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the laws, which in punishing are not directed by resentments but by equity.
XXVI. Now, during our prosperity, and while things flow agreeably to our desire, we ought with great care to avoid pride and arrogance ; for, as it discovers weakness not to bear adversity with equanimity, so also with prosperity. That equanimity in every condition of life is a noble attribute, and that uniform expression of countenance and appearance which we find recorded of Socrates, and also of Caius Lælius. Though Philip of Macedon was excelled by his son in his achievements and his renown, yet I find him superior to him in politeness and goodness of nature; the one, therefore, always appeared great, while the other often became detestable. So that they appear to teach rightly, who admonish us that the more advanced we are in our fortune the more affable ought we to be in our behavior. Panätius tells us his scholar and friend, Africanus, used to say, that as horses, grown unruly by being in frequent engagements, are delivered over to be tamed by horse-breakers, thus men, who grow riotous and self-sufficient by prosperity, ought, as it were, to be exercised in the traverse of reason and philosophy, that they may learn the inconstancy of human affairs and the uncertainty of fortune.
In the time of our greatest prosperity we should also have the greatest recourse to the advice of our friends, and greater authority should be conceded to them than before. At such a time we are to take care not to lend our ears to flatterers, or to suffer ourselves to bé imposed upon by adulation, by which it is easy to be misled : for we then think ourselves such as may be justly praised, an opinion that gives rise to a thousand crrors in conduct; because, when men are once blown up
icule and led into the greatest mistakes. So much for this subject.
One thing you are to understand, that they who regulate public affairs perform the greatest exploits, and such as require the highest style of mind, because their business is most extensive and concerns the greatest number. Yet there are, and have been, many men of great capacities, who in private life have planned out or attempted mighty matters, and yet have confined themselves tɔ the limits of their own
affairs; or, being thrown into a middle state, between philosophers and those who govern the state, have amused themselves with the management of their private fortune, without swelling it by all manner of means, not debarring their friends from the benefit of it, but rather, when occasion calls upon them, sharing it both with their friends and their country. This should be originally acquired with honesty, without any scandalous or oppressive practices; it should then be made serviceable to as many as possible, provided they be worthy ; it should next be augmented by prudence, by industry, and frugality, without serving the purposes of pleasure and luxury rather than of generosity and humanity. The man who observes those rules may live with magnificence, with dignity, and with spirit, yet with simplicity ani lionor, and agreeably to the economy of) human life.
XXVII. The next thing is, to treat of that remaining part of virtue in which consist chastity and those (as we may term them) ornaments of life, temperance, moderation, and all that allays the perturbations of the mind. Under this head is comprehended what in Latin we may call decorum (or the graceful), for the Greeks term it the apenov. Now, its quality is such that it is indiscernible from the honestum ; for whatcver is graceful is virtuous, and whatever is virtuous is graceful.
But it is more easy to conceive than to express the difference between what is virtuous and what is graceful (or between the honestum and the decorum); for whatever is graceful appears such, when virtue is its antecedent. What is graceful, therefore, appears not only in that division of virtue which is here treated of, but in the three foregoing ones; for it is graceful in a man to think and to speak with propriety, to act with deliberation, and in every occurrence of life to find out and persevere in the truth. On the other hand, to be imposed upon, to mistake, to falter, and to bo deceived, is as ungraceful as to rave or to be insane. Thus, whatever is just is graceful; whatever is unjust is as ungraceful as it is criminal. The same principle applies to courage ; for every manly and magnanimous action is worthy of a man, and graceful ; the reverse, as being unworthy, is ungraceful.
This, therefore, which I call gracefulness, is a universal
property of virtue, and a property that is self-evident, and not discerned by any profundity of reasoning; for there is a certain gracefulness that is implied in every virtue, and which may exist distinctly from virtue, rather in thought than in fact : as grace and beauty of person, for example, can not be separated from health, so the whole of that gracefulness which I here speak of is blended with virtue, but may exist separately in the mind and in idea.
Now, the definition of this is twofold: for there is a general gracefulness that is the property of all virtue, and that includes another, which is fitted to the particular divisions of virtue. The former is commonly defined to be that gracefulness that is conformable to that excellence of man, in which he differs from other sentient beings; but the special, which is comprised under the general, is defined to be a gracefulness so adapted to nature as to exhibit propriety and sweetness under a certain elegant appearance.
XXVIII. We may perceive that these things are so understood from that gracefulness which is aimed at by the poets, and of which elsewhere more is wont to be said ; for we say that the poets observe that gracefulness to be when a person speaks and acts in that manner which is most becoming his character. Thus if Æacus or Minus should say :
Let them hate me, so they fear me; Or
The father's belly is his children's grave,
it would seem unsuitable, because we know them to have been just persons ; but when said by an Atreus, they are received with applause, because the speech is worthy of the character. Now, poets will form their judgment of what is becoming in each individual according to his character ; but nature herself has stamped on us a character in excellence greatly surpassing the rest of the animal creation.
Poets, therefore, in their vast variety of characters, consider what is proper and what is becoming, even in the vicious : but as nature herself has cast to us our parts in constancy, moderation, temperance, and modesty; as she, at the same time, instructs us not to be unmindful how we should behave to mankind, the effect is, that the extent both of that gracefulness which is the general property of all virtue, and of that particular gracefulness that is adapted to every species of it, is discovered. For as personal beauty, by the symmetrical disposition of the limbs, attracts our attention and pleases the cye, by the harmony and elegance with which each part corresponds to another, so that gracefulness which manifests itself in life, attracts the approbation of those among whom we live, by the order, consistency, and modesty of all our words and deeds.
There is, therefore, a degree of respect due from us, suited to every man's character, from the best to the worst : for it is not only arrogant, but it is profligate, for a man to disregard the world's opinion of himself; but, in our estimate of human life, we are to make a difference between justice and moral susceptibility. The dictate of justice is to do no
Justice and moral susceptibility.1 Orig. Justiciam et verecundiam. This is a very fine passage, and deserves to be explained. Verecundia is commonly translated bashfulness or modesty ; but in the sense of our author here, neither of these two words will do; nor am I sure that the word decency, or any word in the English tongue, comes fully up to his meaning, which is, an inborn reverence for what is right, and which supplies the place of, and sometimes controls, the law. Many actions may be agreeable to law, and yet disagreeable to this inborn principle. The tragedian Seneca has distinguished them very finely. He brings in Pyrrhus, saying,
Pyr. Lex nulla capto parcit aut pænam impedit.
Ag. Quod non vetat lex, hoc vetat fieri pudor.
Ag. “Where the law does not, moral duties bind." Our author inculcates the same principles in many other parts of his works; and it was afterward admitted by Justinian into his Institutes. “Fide commissa appellata sunt, quia nullo vinculo juris, sed tantum pudore eorum qui rogabantur, continebantur.” “Deeds of trust were so called, because the party intrusted was not obligated by law, but by conscience or morality.” Ovid has a very noble sentiment, which he seems to have taken from our author and from Plato.
Nondum justiciam facinus mortale fugarat,
Ultima de superis illa reliquit humum;
Of all their godheads she the last remained;
Ruled without fear, and without force restrained.”
wrong; that of moral susceptibility is to give no offense to mankind, and in this the force of the graceful is most perceptible. By these explanations I conceive that what we mean by the graceful and becoming may be understood.
Now the duty resulting from this has a primary tendency to and agreement with and conservation of our nature; and if we follow it as a guide we never shall err, but shall attain
moral turpitude, through which the conscience is awed, and may be said to blush. Plato, and from him Plutarch, makes justice and this verecundia to be inseparable companions. “God (says the former), being afraid lest the human race should entirely perish upon earth, gave to mankind justice and moral susceptibility, those ornaments of states and the bonds of society."
It is on the possession of this moral susceptibility, anterior to and independent of human laws, that Bishop Butler founds his ethical system. Thus he says of man, that “from his make, constitution, or nature, he is, in the strictest and most proper sense, a law to himself;" that “ ho hath the rule of right within," and that "what is wanting is only that ho honestly attend to it;” and, in enforcing the authority of this natural monitor, “your obligation to obey this law is its being the law of your nature. That your conscience approves of and attests to such a course of action is itself alone an obligation. Conscience does not only offer itself to show us the way we should walk in, but it likewise carries its own authority with it, that it is our natural guide-the guide assigned us by the Author of our nature. It, therefore, belongs to our condition of being; it is our duty to walk in that path, and to follow this guide, without looking about to see whether we may not possibly forsake them with impunity.” It is with a like reference that Lord Bacon says: “ The light of nature not only shines upon the human mind through the medium of a rational faculty, but by an internal instinct, according to the law of conscience, which is a sparkle of the purity of man's first estate." But a parallel passage from the pen of Cicero himself, affords a still fuller and loftier enunciation of this principle:-“There is, indeed, one true and original law, conformable to reason and to nature, diffused over all, invariable, eternal, which calls to the fulfillment of duty and to abstinence from injustice, and which calls with that irresistible voice which is felt in all its authority wherever it is heard. This law can not be abolished or curtailed, nor affected in its sanctions by any law of man. A whole senate, a whole people, can not dispense from its paramount obligation. It requires no commentator to render it distinctly intelligible, nor is it different at Rome, and at Athens, at the present, and in ages to come; but in all times and in all nations, it is, and has been, and will be, one and everlasting—one as that God, its great Author and promulgator, who is the common sovereign of all mankind, is himself one. No man can disobey it without flying, as it were, from his own bosom and repudiating his nature, and in this very act will inflict on himself the soverest of retributions, even though he escape what is commonly regarded as punishment."