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life, which we have so long been seeking; that life, where the value of all things is justly measured by those relations which they bear to the natural frame, and real constitution of mankind :" in fewer words, a life of virtue appears to be the life according to nature. It appears so.
But, in such a life, every pursuit, every avoiding, (to include all,) every action, will of course admit of being rationally justified.-It will.—But that which, being done, admits of a rational justification, is the essence or genuine character of an office, or moral duty. For thus, long ago, it has been defined by the best authorities. --Admit it. If so, then a life according to virtue, is a life according to moral offices or duties.—It appears 80.But we have already agreed it to be a life according to nature. -We have. Observe, then: a life according to virtue, according to moral offices, and according to nature, mean all the same thing, though varied in the expression.--Your remark, said I, seems just.
XVI. We need never, therefore, replied he, be at a loss how to choose, though the objects of choice be ever so infinite and diversified. As far as nothing is inconsistent with such a life and such a character, we may justly set existence before death, prefer health to sickness, integrity of the limbs to being maimed and debilitated, pleasure to pain, wealth to poverty, fame to dishonour, free government to slavery, power and magistracy to subjection and a private state; universally, whatever tends either to being, or to well-being, we may be justified, when we prefer to whatever appears the contrary. And when our several energies, exerted according to the virtues just mentioned, have put us in possession of all that we require;' when we enjoy, subjoined to a right and honest mind, both health of body and competence of externals; what can there be wanting to complete our happiness, to render our state perfectly consonant to nature, or to give us a more sovereign good than that which we now enjoy? -Nothing, replied I, that I can at present think of.
h See pages 56, 58, 66, 82, 83. γίγνεται κατ' αρετήν-την αρίστης και
1 In the original, it is και πραχθέν εύλογον τελειοτάτην εν βίω τελείω : « If this be Yoxet årologio póv. Diog. Laert. I. vii. admitted, it follows, that human good or Ε. 107. όπερ πραχθέν εύλογον έχει την happiness is the energizing of the soul ac&rologiay. Sext. Emp. Adv. Mathem. l. cording to the best and most consummate Vii. Thus rendered by Cicero: Officium id virtue, in a perfect and complete life." esse dicunt, quod cur factum sit, ratio pro Ethic. Nic. l. i. c. 7. A perfect and combabilis reddi possit. De Offic. 1. i. c. 3. plete life, they explained to be such a life The reason of its Greek name, kadakov, is as was no way deficient either as to its given by Simplicius : Kaðýkovtá doti tà duration, its bodily health, and its being γινόμενα κατά τα ήκοντα και επιβάλ- attended with a proper competence of exAovra: “Moral offices are those things ternal goods, and prosperity. By the best which are done agreeably to what is fitting and most consummate virtue, they not only and expedient.” Simplic. in Ench. c. 37. meant that virtue which was in its kind
* By Tully, in his Offices, and by other most perfect, but which was the virtue also authors of antiquity.
of that part which is in each of us most | This was the idea of happiness adopted excellent. For there are virtues of the by the old academy, or Platonics : Secun- body, such as strength and agility ; and dum naturam vivere, sic affectum, ut optime there are virtues of the senses, such as affici possit, ad naturamque accommodatis accurate seeing, accurate tasting ; and the sime. Cic. de Fin. 1. v. C. 9. p. 370. The same of every faculty, from the lowest to Peripatetics, who were originally of the that which is supreme. same school, held the same. Ei 8' Dürw, The sovereign good, or happiness, here το ανθρώπινον αγαθόν ψυχής ενέργεια spoken of, is again repeated, in other words page 71, where
There would be nothing, indeed, said he, were our energies never to fail; were all our endeavours to be ever crowned with due success. But suppose the contrary; suppose the worst success to the most upright conduct, to the wisest rectitude of energies and actions. It is possible, nay, experience teaches us it is too often fact, that not only the pursuers of what is contrary to nature, but that those who pursue nothing but what is strictly congruous to it, may miss of their aims, and be frustrated in their endeavours. Inquisitors and monks may detest them for their virtue, and pursue them with all the engines of malice and inhumanity. Without these, pests may afflict their bodies; inundations overwhelm their property; or, what is worse than inundations, either tyrants, pirates, heroes, or banditti. They may see their country fall, and with it their bravest countrymen; themselves pillaged, and reduced to extremities, or perishing with the rest in the general massacre.
Cadit et Ripheus, justissimus unus
Qui fuit in Teucris, et servantissimus æqui.m -It must be owned, said I, this has too often been the case.
Or grant, continued he, that these greater events never happen; that the part allotted us be not in the tragedy of life, but in the comedy. Even the comic distresses are abundantly irksome : domestic jars, the ill offices of neighbours; suspicions, jealousies, schemes defeated; the folly of fools; the knavery of knaves : from which, as members of society, it is impossible to detach ourselves.
is called, “ the attaining called, the opinion of the old Academics and the primary and just requisites of our na- Peripatetics. It is again repeated by the ture, by a conduct suitable to virtue and same author : Honeste vivere, fruentem moral office."
rebus iis, quas primas homini natura conThe primary and just requisites here ciliet. Acad. 1. ii. c. 42. p. 240. mentioned, are all things requisite to the It is to be observed, that Cicero, speaking use and enjoyment of our primary and of this hypothesis, says, that it proposed an natural perfections. These primary and idea of happiness, which was not properly natural perfections, mean the natural in our own power. Hoc non est positum in accomplishments of both our mind and nostra actione: completur enim et ex eo body. They were called by the Latins, genere vitæ, quod virtute finitur, et ex iis prima naturæ, prima secundum naturam ; rebus quæ secundum naturam sunt, neque by the Greeks, td apta kard púow, te sunt in nostra potestate. De Fin. l. iv. c. apūra rîs púoews. In them were in- 6. p. 287. cluded health, strength, agility, beauty, Hence, therefore, the deficiency of this perfect sensations, memory, docility, in- doctrine. However justifiable, however vention, &c. See Stob. Ecl. Eth. p. 163. laudable its end, it could not insure a due Cic. de Fin. l. v. c. 7. p. 364. A. Gell. I. success to its endeavours. And hence, xii. c. 5.
too, the force of what is objected to it in A like sentiment of happiness, to this the Dialogue, in this and the following here spoken of, is that mentioned by Cicero: page. Virtute adhibita, frui primis a natura datis. m Æneid. l. ii. 426. De Fin. 1. ii. c. 11. p. 113. It is there
Where, then, shall we turn, or what have we to imagine? We have at length placed happiness, after much inquiry, in attaining the primary and just requisites of our nature, by a conduct suitable to virtue and moral office. But as to corresponding with our preconceptions, (which we have made the test,) does this system correspond better than those others which we have rejected ? Has it not appeared, from various faets, too obvious to be disputed, that, in many times and places, it may be absolutely unattainable? That in many, where it exists, it may in a moment be cancelled, and put irretrievably out of our power, by events not to be resisted? If this be certain, and I fear it cannot be questioned, our specious long inquiry, however accurate we may believe it, has not been able to shew us a good, of that character which we require; a good durable, indeprivable, and accommodate to every circumstance: far from it, our speculations (I think) rather lead us to that low opinion of happiness which, you may remember, you expressed," when we first began the subject. They rather help to prove to us, that instead of a sovereign good, it is the more probable sentiment, there is no such good at all.—I should indeed, said I, fear so.-For where, continued he, lies the difference, whether we pursue what is congruous to nature, or not congruous; if the acquisition of one be as difficult as of the other, and the possession of both equally doubtful and precarious ? If Cæsar fall in attempting his country's ruin; and Brutus fare no better, who only fought in its defence ?-It must be owned, said I, these are melancholy truths; and the instances which you allege too well confirm them.
We were in the midst of these serious thoughts, descanting upon the hardships and miseries of life, when, by an incident not worth relating, our speculations were interrupted. Nothing at the time, I thought, could have happened more unluckily; our question perplexed, its issue uncertain, and myself impatient to know the event. Necessity, however, was not to be resisted, and thus for the present our inquiries were postponed.
“ Brutus perished untimely, and Cæsar did no more.” These words I was repeating the next day to myself, when my friend appeared, and cheerfully bade me good-morrow. I could not return his compliment with an equal gaiety, being intent, somewhat more than usual, on what had passed the day before. Seeing this, he proposed a walk into the fields.-The face of nature, said he, will perhaps dispel these glooms. No assistance on my part shall be wanting, you may be assured.-I accepted his proposal; the walk began, and our former conversation insensibly renewed.
a See page 44.
Brutus, said he, perished untimely, and Cæsar did no more. It was thus, as I remember, not long since you were expressing yourself. And yet, suppose their fortunes to have been exactly parallel, which would you have preferred? Would you have been Cæsar or Brutus? - Brutus, replied I, beyond all controversy. -He asked me, why? Where was the difference, when their fortunes, as we now supposed them, were considered as the same?—There seems said I, abstract from their fortunes, something, I know not what, intrinsically preferable in the life and character of Brutus.-If that, said he, be true, then must we derive it, not from the success of his endeavours, but from their truth and rectitude. He had the comfort to be conscious that his cause was a just one: it was impossible the other should have any such feeling.--I believe, said İ, you have explained it.
Suppose, then, continued he, (it is but merely an hypothesis) suppose, I say, we were to place the sovereign good in such a rectitude of conduct;° in the conduct merely, and not in the event. Suppose we were to fix our happiness, not in the actual attainment of that health, that perfection of a social state, that fortunate concurrence of externals which is congruous to our nature, and which we have a right all to pursue ; but solely fix it in the mere doing whatever is correspondent to such an end, even though we never attain, or are near attai ng it. In fewer himself, the governor and conductor of this For to be thus inculpable was the necessary universal administration." Laert. l. vii. result of rectitude of conduct, or rather, in a S. 88. edit. Aldobrand.
• As the conduct here mentioned implies Jovis. To which he subjoins, as above, a conduct under the direction of a befitting Ergo ut illa divina mens summa lex est ; ita rule or law, and that, as opposed to wrong cum in homine est, perfecta est in mente conduct, which has either no rule at all, or sapientis. De Leg. 1. ii. c. 4, 5. p. 88. at least one erroneous, it may not be an im- It is in this sense the apostle tells us of proper place to inquire, what was the ancient the Gentiles, or mankind in general, that opinion concerning law universal; that great they “shew the work of the law written in and general law, which stood opposed to their hearts, their conscience also bearing the municipal laws of particular cities and witness, and their thoughts the mean while communities.
accusing or else excusing one another.” Rom. Est quidem vera lex, recta ratio, naturæ ii. 15. congruens, diffusa in omnes, constans, sem- As Cicero, in his book of laws above piterna, quæ vocet ad officium jubendo, ve- cited, follows the Stoic discipline, so is it tando a fraude deterreat—nec erit alia lex agreeable to their reasoning, that he makes Romæ, alia Athenis, alia nunc, alia posthac; the original natural law, of which we here sed et omnes gentes, et omni tempore una treat, to be the sovereign reason of the Deity lex, et sempiterna, et immortalis continebit; himself. Thus Chrysippus : Idem [scil. unusque erit communis quasi magister, et Chrysippus) legis perpetuæ et æternæ vim, imperator omnium Deus. Ille hujus legis quæ quasi dux vitæ et magistra officiorum inventor, disceptator, lator. Cui qui non sit, Jovem dicit esse. Nat. Deor. l. i. c. 15. parebit, ipse se fugiet, ac naturam hominis p. 41. aspernabitur ; hoc ipso luet maximas pænas, So, by the same philosophers, in Laertius, etiamsi cætera supplicia, quæ putantur ef- we are ordered to live according to nature : fugerit. Fragm. Cic. de Rep. 1. iii.
ουδέν ενεργούντας ών απαγορεύειν είωθεν και Lex est ratio summa, insita in natura, νόμος ο κοινός, όσπερ εστίν ο ορθός λόγος quae jubet ea quae facienda sunt, prohibet- διά πάντων ερχόμενος, και αυτός εν τω Διά, que contraria. What follows is worth re- καθηγεμόνι τούτη της των όντων (for όλων) marking. Eadem ratio, cum est in hominis dlouhoews óti: “doing nothing forbidden mente confirmata et confecta, lex est. Cic. by the universal law; that is to say, by de Leg. l. i. c. 6. p. 22.
that right reason which passeth through all Again : Lex vera-ratio est recta summi things, and which is the same with Jove 8. 3. l. x. &. 11. The most simple account of this law, One would imagine that our countryman, which the Stoics gave, seems to be that re- Milton, had this reasoning in view, when, corded by Stobæus ; according to which in his nineteenth sonnet, speaking of his they called it λόγον, ορθόν όντα, προστακτι- own blindness, he says, with a becoming κον μεν των ποιητέων, απαγορευτικόν δέ magnanimity, TÔ où tomtéwy, “right reason, ordaining
manner, the same thing with it. Agreeably to this reasoning, Plutarch I cannot conclude this note without recorrects those who made alan a goddess, marking on an elegant allusion of Antoninus and the assessor of Jove ; for, says he, to the primary signification of the word kaΖεύς ουκ έχει μεν την Δίκην πάρεδρον, αλλ' τόρθωσις, that is to say, κατά ορθός, “right αυτός Δίκη και Θέμις εστί, και νόμων και onwards, straight, and directly forwards.” TPEOBÚratos KalTEMELÓTatos, “ Jove has not Speaking of the reasoning faculty, how, Alan or right for his assessor, but is himself without looking further, it rests contented right, and justice, and of all laws the most in its own energies, he adds, kaod katoposancient and perfect.” Moral. p. 781. B. σεις αί τοιαύται πράξεις ονομάζονται, την
Thus Antoninus: Τέλος δε λογικών ζώων, ορθότητα της οδού σημαίνουσαι, « for which το έπεσθαι τα της πόλεως και πολιτείας reason are all actions of this species called Tîis apeo Burdons abro val deouço: “The rectitudes, as denoting the directness of end of rational animals is to follow the their progression right onwards." I. v. s. 14. reason and sacred law of that city and So again, in the same sense, evdciar nepalmost ancient polity," [in which all rational veiv, to keep on the straight road.” Í. v. beings are included.] I. ii. s. 16.
Yet I what is to be done, and forbidding what is Against heaven's hand or will; nor bate one jot not to be done." Ecl
. Ethic. 178. See also of heart or hope; but still bear up, and steer the notes of Turnebus and Davis upon Cic. Right onwards. de Leg. 1. i. c. 6.
The whole sonnet is not unworthy of peHaving premised thus much concerning rusal, being both sublime and simple. law universal, it remains to say something p Thus Epictetus in Arrian, speaking of of that rectitude of conduct which is in this address to men in power, and admitting part of the dialogue proposed as our happi- such address, when justified by certain mo ness. Rectitude of conduct is intended to tives, adds, that such address ought to be express the term kat bp wois, which Cicero made without admiration or flattery. Upon translates recta effectio: Katopowua he this, an objector demands of him, tws oöv translates rectum factum. See De Fin. l. iii
. TÚXw, og déouar; “but how, then, am I to c. 14. p. 242. Now the definition of katbp obtain that which I want ?”—The philoθωμα was νόμου πρόσταγμα, "a thing com- sopher answers, Εγώ δέ σοι λέγω, ότι ως manded by law ;" to which was opposed τευξόμενος απέρχου: ουχί δε μόνον, ίνα áudprnua, "a sin or offence ;" which was apášps Td oavto TPÉTov; “Did I ever say defined νόμου απαγόρευμα, «,
a thing for- to thee, that thou shouldst go and address, bidden by law.” Plut. Mor. 1037.C. What as though thou wert to succeed ; and not, law is here meant, which thus commands or rather, with this only view, that thou forbids, has been shewn above.
mightest do that which is becoming thy Hence, therefore, may be seen the reason character ?” And soon after, when an obwhy we have said thus much on the nature jection is urged from appearance, and the and idea of law universal ; so intimate being opinion of mankind, he answers, Oủk oloo' the union between this and right conduct, ότι ανήρ καλός και αγαθός ουδέν ποιεί του that we find the latter is not more than δόξαι ένεκα, αλλά του πέπραχθαι καλώς ; a perfect obedience to the former.
“ Knowest thou not, that a fair and good Hence, too, we see the reason, why in one man does nothing for the sake of appearview it was deemed happiness, to be void of ance, but for the sake only of having done error or offence, αναμάρτητος είναι, as we well and fairly ?” Arr. Epict. l. iii. c. 24. find it in Arrian. Epict. I. iv. c. 8. p. 633. p. 497, 498. This doctrine, indeed, seems