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the low or laborious condition of a parent be communicated to his family; but with respect to the successor himself it is nothing but chance. Inequalities therefore of fortune which attend us from our birth and depend upon our birth may be left, as they are left, to chance without any just cause for questioning the government of a supreme disposer of events.


362. KNOWLEDGE OF FIRST PRINCIPLES, HOW ATTAINED. We have a knowledge of truth not only by reasoning, but by intuition, and by a clear and vivid intelligence, and it is in this way that we attain our knowledge of first principles. It is, therefore, in vain for reason, which has no share in producing them, to attempt to combat them. We know when we are awake, however unable we may be to demonstrate it by reasoning. This inability shows nothing more than the feebleness of our reasoning powers, but not the uncertainty of all our knowledge, as they pretend. For the knowledge of first principles, as for example, that there are such things as Space, Time, Number, Motion, Matter, is as certain as any with which our reasonings furnish us. Nay, it is upon this knowledge, by perception and intuition, that reason must rest and found all its procedures. We perceive principles, and we conclude propositions; and both with equal certainty, though by different ways. And it is as ridiculous for reason to demand of perception and intelligence a demonstration of these first principles before it consents to them, as it would be for the intellect to demand of reason a clear intuition of the propositions it demonstrates.

363. ADVANTAGE OF THE UNCERTAINTY OF DEATH. It seems to be expedient that the period of human life should be uncertain. Did mortality follow any fixed rule, it would produce a security in those who were at a distance from it, which would lead to the greatest disorders; and a sorrow in those who approached it similar to that which a condemned prisoner feels on the night before his execution. But, that death may be uncertain, the young must sometimes die as well as the old: also, were deaths never sudden, they who are in health would be too confident of life. The strong and active, who want most to be warned and checked, would live without apprehension or restraint. On the other hand, were

sudden deaths too frequent, the sense of constant jeopardy would interfere very much with the degree of ease and enjoyment intended for us; and human life be too precarious for the business and interest which belong to it: there could not be dependence either upon our own lives or the lives of those with whom we were connected, sufficient to carry on the regular offices of human society. The manner therefore in which death is made to occur conduces to the purposes of admonition, without overthrowing the necessary stability of human affairs.


364. THE HAPPINESS OF SENTIENT BEINGS. The young of all animals appear to me to receive pleasure simply from the exercise of their limbs and bodily faculties, without reference to any end to be obtained, or any use to be answered by the exertion. A child, without knowing anything of the use of language, is in a high degree delighted with being able to speak. Its incessant repetition of a few articulate sounds, or perhaps of the single word which it has learned to pronounce, proves this point clearly. Nor is it less pleased with its first successful endeavours to walk, or rather to run (which precedes walking), although entirely ignorant of the importance of the attainment to its future life, and even without applying it to any present purpose. A child is delighted with speaking, without having anything to say; and with walking, without knowing where to go. And, prior to both these, I am disposed to believe that the waking hours of infancy are agreeably taken up with the exercise of vision, or perhaps, more properly speaking, with learning to see.


365. THE GENTOOS-THEIR DISTRIBUTION INTO CASTES. With the Gentoos, they who are born noble can never fall into any second rank. They are divided into four orders; with many subdivisions in each. An eternal barrier is placed between them. The higher cannot pass into the lower, the lower cannot rise into the higher. They have all their appropriated rank, place, and situation, and their appropriated religion too; which is essentially different in its rites and ceremonies, sometimes in its objects, in each of those castes. A man who is born in the highest caste, if he loses that, does not fall into one of the three inferior orders, but he is thrown

at once out of all ranks of society. He is precipitated from the proudest elevation of respect and honour to a bottomless abyss of contempt; from glory to infamy; from purity to pollution; from sanctity to profanation. No honest occupation is open to him. His children are no longer his children. The parent loses that name; the conjugal bond is dissolved. Few survive this most terrible of all calamities. To speak to an Indian of his caste is to speak to him of his all. But the rule of his caste has with them given one power more to fortune than the manners of any other nation were ever known to do. For it is singular that caste may be lost not by voluntary crimes, but by certain involuntary sufferings, disgraces, and pollutions, utterly out of their power to prevent. Tyranny is armed against them with a greater variety of weapons than are found in its ordinary stores.


366. WELLINGTON'S DISPOSITIONS OF ATTACK AT SALAMANCA, A.D. 1812. But at three o'clock a report reached him that the enemies' left were in motion. Then starting up he repaired to the high ground, and observed their movements for some time. For their left wing was entirely separated from their centre. The fault was flagrant, and he fixed it with the stroke of a thunderbolt. A few orders issued from his lips, and suddenly the dark mass of troops which covered the hill on our side was seemingly possessed by some mighty spirit, and rushing violently down the interior slope of the mountain, entered the great basin amidst a storm of bullets, which seemed to shear away the very surface of the earth over which the soldiers moved. The columns formed lines as they marched, and the enemies' gunners standing up manfully for the honour of their country sent showers of grape in the advancing masses, while a crowd of light troops poured in a fire of musketry, under cover of which the main body endeavoured to display a front. But bearing onwards through the skirmishers with the might of a giant the English broke the half-formed lines into fragments, and sent the whole in confusion upon the advancing supports. One only officer remained by the artillery; standing alone he fired the last gun at a few yards, but whether he lived or there died could not be seen for the smoke.


367. ADVENTURE AT THE BATTLE OF NASEBY, A.D. 1645. The king's reserve of horse, which was his own guards, with himself in the head of them, were even ready to charge those horse who pursued the left wing, when on a sudden such a panic seized upon them, that they all ran near a quarter of a mile without stopping, which happened upon an extraordinary accident, which hath seldom fallen out, and might well disturb and disorder very resolute troops as these were the best horse in the army. The king, as was said before, was even upon the point of charging the enemy in the head of his guards, when a certain nobleman, who rode next to him, (a man never suspected for infidelity, nor one from whom the king would have received counsel in such a case,) on a sudden laid his hand on the bridle of the king's horse, and said, "Will you go upon your death in an instant?" and, before his majesty understood what he would have, turned his horse round; upon which a word ran through the troops that they should march to the right hand; which was both from charging the enemy or assisting their own men. And upon this they all turned their horses, and rode upon the spur, as if they were every man to shift for himself.


368. THE EARL OF ESSEX SEIZES CIRENCESTER, A. D. 1643. The Earl of Essex stayed in Gloucester three days: all which time the king lay at Sley Castle within eight miles of that town, watching when that army would return: which, they conceived, stayed rather out of despair than election in those latter quarters; and to open them a way for their retreat, he removed to Esham, hoping the Earl would choose to go back the same way he came; which for many reasons was to be desired; and thereupon the Earl marched to Tewkesbury, as if he had no other purpose. The king's horse, though bold and vigorous upon action and execution, were always less patient of duty and ill accommodation than they should


and at this time, partly with weariness, and partly with the indisposition that possessed the whole army upon this relief of the town, were less vigilant toward the motion of the enemy: so that the Earl was marched with his whole army and train from Tewkesbury four and twenty hours before the king heard which way he was gone; for he took the advantage of a dark night, and having sure guides, reached Cirencester before the breaking of day, where he surFOL. CENT.


prised two regiments of the king's horse quartered securely, and, which was of much greater value, found a quantity of provisions prepared by the king's commissaries for the army before Gloucester, and which they neglected to remove after the siege was raised, and so most sottishly left it for the relief of the enemy, far more apprehensive of hunger than of the sword.



369. STORY OF KING HENRY VII. AND AN ASTROLOGER. While Erasmus was in London, the King had been for some time in a declining state of health: this had encouraged a saucy astrologer to foretell his death, and that it should happen before the year expired. The wise king had more mind to expose than punish him. So he sent for the man and talked friendly with him, seeming not to know any thing of his insolent prophecy. The king gravely asked him, Whether any future events could be foretold by the stars? Yes, Sir, (says the man,) without all doubt. Well! have you any skill in the art of foretelling? The man affirmed that he had very good skill. Come then, says the king, tell me where you are to be in the Christmas holidays that are now coming? The man faltered at first, and then plainly confessed he could not tell where. Oh! says the king, I am a better astrologer than you. I can tell where you will bein the Tower of London, and accordingly commanded him to be committed a prisoner thither; and when he had lain there, till his spirit of divination was a littled cooled, the king ordered him to be dismissed for a silly fellow.



BRITISH GOVERNMENT IN INDIA, A. D. 1783. But under the English government all this order is reversed. The Tartar invasion was mischievous; but it is our protection that destroys India. It was their enmity, but it is our friendship. Our conquest there, after twenty years, is as crude as it was the first day. Young men (boys almost) govern there, without society and without sympathy withe natives. Animated with all the avarice of age and all the impetuosity of youth, they roll in one after another; wave after wave; and there is nothing before the eyes of the natives but an endless, hopeless prospect of new flights of birds of prey and passage, with appetites continually renewing for a food that

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