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words, what if we make our natural state the standard only to determine our conduct, and place our happiness in the rectitude of this conduct alone ? On such an hypothesis (and we consider it as nothing further) we should not want a good, perhaps, to correspond to our preconceptions;" for this, it is evident, would be correspondent to them all.—Your doctrine, replied I, is so new and strange, that though you have been copious in explaining, I can hardly yet comprehend you.
It amounts all, said he, but to this: place your happiness where your praise is.— I asked, where he supposed that ?Not, replied he, in the pleasures which you feel, more than your disgrace lies in the pain ; not in the casual prosperity of fortune, more than your disgrace in the casual adversity; but in just complete action throughout every part of life, whatever be the face of things, whether favourable or the contrary.
But why, then, said I, such accuracy about externals? So much pains, to be informed what are pursuable, what avoidable? -It behoves the pilot, replied he, to know the seas and the winds; the nature of tempests, calms, and tides. They are the subjects about which his art is conversant: without a just experience of them, he can never prove himself an artist. Yet we look not for his reputation either in fair gales or in adverse, but in the skilfulness of his conduct, be these events as they happen. In like manner fares it with this the moral artist: he, for a subject, has the whole of human life;' health and sickness, pleasure and pain, with every other possible incident which can befall him during his existence. If his knowledge of all these be accurate and exact, so too must his conduct, in which we place his happiness; but if this knowledge be defective, must not his conduct be defective also ?-I replied, so it should seem.-And if his conduct, then his happiness ?—It is true.
to have been the basis of the Stoic morals ; said in Plutarch by the last-mentioned phithe principle which included, according to losophers, otoixeia this evdaluovias the these philosophers, as well honour and ho- púow, Kal to kata púoiv,“ that our natural nesty, as good and happiness. Thus Cicero: state, and what is consonant to it, are the Facere omnia, ut adipiscamur quæ secundum elements of happiness ;” and just before, naturam sint, etsi ea non adsequamur, id the same natural state is called Toû katý esse et honestum, et solum per se expeten- κοντος άρχή, και ύλη της αρετής, “ the dum et summum bonum Stoici dicunt. De source of moral office, and the subject-matter Fin. I. v. c. 7. p. 365, 366. To this is con- of virtue." Plut. Mor. 1069. E, F. Atque sonant that sentiment of theirs in Plutarch: etiam illud perspicuum est, constitui necesse Την μεν φύσιν αυτήν αδιάφορον είναι το esse initium, quod sapientia, cum quid agere δε τη φύσει ομολογείν, αγαθόν. And incipiat, sequatur; idque initium esse naturæ again : TS Gv katà qúouv, téãos elvarrà accommodatum: nam aliter appetitio, etc. Karà púoiv, ådiáoopa elva.. Plut. Mor. Cic. Acad. I. ii. c. 8. p. 85, 86. Initia pro1060, D. E. See below, note s. Socrates poni necesse esse apta et accommodata nawas of the same opinion, as appears from all turæ, quorum ex selectione virtus possit er. parts of the Platonic and Xenophontean istere. De Fin. l. iv. c. 17. p. 316. Cum Dialogues. Take one example out of many : vero illa, quæ officia esse dixi, proficiscantur Τον δε αγαθόν είτε και καλώς πράττειν & ab initiis nature ; ea ad haec referri necesse αν πράττοι. τον δε εν πραττοντα, μακάρι- est: ut recte dici possit, omnia officia eo OVTE Kal evdaluova elval. Gorg. Plat. p. 507. referri, ut adipiscamur principia naturæ ; edit. Serr.
nec tamen ut hoc sit bonorum ultimum. De So Proclus: Nâoai yèp al Toù orovdalou Fin. 1. iii. c. 6. p. 217. πράξεις προς αυτόν έχουσι την αναφοράς: ? Plutarch quotes the following sentiment ενεργήσας ούν ευεργετικώς και θεοπρεπώς, of Chrysippus, who patronised this idea of εν τη ενεργεία το τέλος έχει: “ All the good: τον περί αγαθών και κακών λόγον, actions of the virtuous man have reference oν αυτος εισάγει και δοκιμάζει, συμφωνόto himself. When, therefore, he has ener- τατον είναι φησι τω βίω, και μάλιστα των gized beneficently and divinely, it is in the upútwv Cateodal Aponhyewe. Plut. Mor. very energy itself that he obtains his end.” 1041. E. This from the same MS. comment as is re- * What Quintilian says of rhetoric, may ferred to, p. 46, note i.
with great propriety be transferred to mo9 It is in this sense we find it elegantly rality. Noster orator, arsque a nobis finita,
You see, then, continued he, even though externals were as nothing; though it was true, in their own nature, they were neither good nor evil; yet an accurate knowledge of them is, from our hypothesis, absolutely necessary.-Indeed, said I, you have proved it.
He continued : inferior artists may be at a stand, because they want materials; from their stubbornness and intractability they may often be disappointed. But as long as life is passing, and nature continues to operate, the moral artist of life has, at all times, all he desires. He can never want a subject fit to exercise him in his proper calling; and that, with this happy motive to the constancy of his endeavours, that the crosser, the harsher, the more untoward the events, the greater his praise, the more illustrious his reputation.
All this, said I, is true, and cannot be denied: but one circumstance there appears,
similes seem to fail. The praise, indeed, of the pilot we allow to be in his conduct; but it
non sunt posita in eventu. Tendit quidem not so the use of them. Arr. Epict. I. ii. ad victoriam, qui dicit: sed, cum bene dixit, c. 5. etiamsi non vincat, id, quod arte continetur, Thus Horace: effecit. Nam et gubernator vult salva nave Non possidentem multa vocaveris in portum pervenire : si tamen tempestate Recte beatum; rectius occupat fuerit abreptus, non ideo minus erit guber- Nomen beati, qui Deorum nator, dicetque notum illud ; “dum clavum Muneribus sapicnter uti, rectum teneam.” Et medicus sanitatem ægri Duramque callet pauperiem pati, petit: si tamen aut valetudinis vi, aut in- Pejusque leto flagitium timet : temperantia ægri, aliove quo casu summa Non ille, etc. non contingit ; dum ipse omnia secundum
Od. 1. iv. 9. rationem fecerit, medicinæ fine non excidit. Even the comic poet seems not to have Ita oratori bene dixisse, finis est. Nam est been unacquainted with this doctrine: ars ea--in actu posita, non in eventu. Inst. Ch. Quid narrat? Cl. Quid ille ? miserum Orat. l. ii. c. 17.
* Ουσία του αγαθού, προαίρεσις ποιά CH. Miserum? quem minus credere est ? του κακού προαίρεσις ποιά. Τί ούν τα Quid reliqui est, quin habeat για quidem in εκτός; “Yλαι τη προαιρέσει, περί ας ανα- homine dicuntur bona? Otpepouévn Teutetai toù idlov dyaboll ħ Parentis, patriam incolumem, amicos, genus, HAKOŮ: “The essence of good is a peculiar
cognatos, divitias : direction of mind, and the essence of evil is Atque hæc perinde sunt ut illius animus, qui a peculiar direction also. What, then, are ea possidet: externals? They serve as subjects to the Qui uti scit, ei bona ; illi, qui non utilur mind's direction; from conversing with
recte, inala. which it obtains its proper good or evil.”
Heauton. act. i. s. 2. v. 18. Arr. Epict. I. i. c. 29. ` Again : Ai úra. Vid. Platon. in Euthydemo, p. 281. edit. αδιάφοροι ή δε χρήσις αυτών ουκ αδιάφο- Serr. εν κεφαλαίω δ', έφην, ώ Κλεινία, κινpos: “The subjects are indifferent, but Súvevel.
is in the success of that conduct where we look for his happiness. If a storm arise, and the ship be lost, we call him not happy, how well soever he
have conducted. It is then only we congratulate him, when he has reached the desired haven. Your distinction, said he, is just; and it is here lies the noble prerogative of moral artists above all others. But yet I know not how to explain myself, I fear my doctrine will appear so strange.—You may proceed, said I, safely, since you advance it but as an hypothesis.
Thus, then, continued he, the end in other arts is ever distant and removed :4 it consists not in the mere conduct, much less in a single energy, but is the just result of many energies, each of which are essential to it. Hence, by obstacles unavoidable, it may often be retarded; nay, more, may be so embarrassed, as never possibly to be attained. But in the moral art of life, the very conduct is the end ; the very conduct, I say, itself, throughout every its minutest energy; because each of these, however minute, partake as truly of rectitude, as the largest combination of them, when considered collectively. Hence, of all arts, is this the only one perpetually complete in every instant; because it needs not, like other arts, time to arrive at that perfection, at which, in every instant, it is arrived already. Hence, by duration, it is not rendered either more or less perfect; completion, like truth, admitting of no degrees, and being in no sense capable of either intension or remission. And hence, too, by necessary connection, (which is a greater paradox than all,) even that happiness, or sovereign good, the end of this moral art, is itself, too, in every instant, consummate and complete; is neither
u Sed in cæteris artibus cum dicitur ar- tà fuck. M. Ant. l. xi. s. 1. Et quemadtificiose, posterum quodam modo et conse modum opportunitas (sic enim adpellemus quens putandum est, quod illi ériyevvn- evkalplav) non fit major productione temMatikdv appellant ; quod autem in quo sa- poris (habent enim suum modum quæcunque pienter dicitur, id adprimo rectissime dici- opportuna dicuntur) sic recta effectio (kattur: quicquid enim a sapiente proficiscitur, bpowow enim ita adpello, quoniam rectum id continuo debet expletum esse omnibus factum katopowua) recta igitur effectio, item suis partibus ; in eo enim positum est id, convenientia, denique ipsum bonum, quod quod dicimus esse expetendum. Nam ut in eo positum est ut naturæ consentiat, peccatum est patriam prodere, parentes vio- crescendi accessionem nullam habet. Ut lare, fana depeculari, quæ sunt in effectu: enim opportunitas illa, sic hæc de quibus sic timere, sic mærere, sic in libidine esse, dixi, non fiunt temporis productione mapeccatum est, etiam sine effectu. Verum ut jora: ob eamque causam Stoicis non videtur hæc, non in posteris et in consequentibus, optabilior nec magis expetenda vita beata, sed in primis continuo peccata sunt: sic ea si sit longa, quam si brevis: utunturque quæ proficiscuntur a virtute, susceptione simili, ut, si cothurni laus illa est ad pedem prima, non perfectione, recta sunt judicanda. apte convenire, neque multi cothurni paucis Cic. de Fin. l. iii. c. 9. p. 228. Toù idiou anteponerentur, nec majores minoribus : τέλους τυγχάνει τη λογική ψυχή] όπου sic quorum omne bonum convenientia atque αν το του βίου πέρας riotņ: oux, bomep opportunitate finitur, nec plura paucioribus, επί ορχήσεως και υποκρίσεως και των τοι- nec longinquiora brevioribus anteponentur. ούτων ατελής γίνεται η όλη πράξις, εάν τι Cic. de Fin. I. iii. c. 14. p. 242. See also έγκοψη, αλλ' επί παντός μέρους, και όπου Dio. Laert. 1. vii. 8. 101. Μ. Αnt. 1. νι. αν καταληφθη, πλήρες και απροσδεές έαυτή s. 23. 1. iii. 6. 7. Senec. Epist. 66. το προτεθέν ποιεί ώστε ειπείν, εγώ απέχω
heightened or diminished by the quantity of its duration, but is the same to its enjoyers, for a moment or a century,
Upon this I smiled.—He asked me the reason. It is only to observe, said I, the course of our inquiries. A new hypothesis has been advanced : appearing somewhat strange, it is desired to be explained: you comply with the request, and, in pursuit of the explanation, make it ten times more obscure and unintelligible than before.--It is but too often the fate, said he, of us commentators. But you know in such cases what is usually done : when the comment will not explain the text, we try whether the text will not explain itself; this method, it is possible, may assist us here. The hypothesis, which we would have illustrated, was no more than this: that the sovereign good lay in rectitude of conduct, and that this good corresponded to all our preconceptions. Let us examine, then, whether, upon trial, this correspondence will appear to hold ; and, for all that we have advanced since, suffer it to pass, and not perplex us.Agreed, said I, willingly, for now I hope to comprehend you.
II. Recollect, then, said he. Do you not remember that one preconception of the sovereign good was, to be accommodate to all times and places ?" I remember it.-And is there any time, or any place, whence rectitude of conduct may be excluded ?* Is there not a right action in prosperity, a right action in adversity ? May there not be a decent, generous, and laudable behaviour, not only in peace, in power, and in health ; but in war, in oppression, in sickness, and in death?—There may.
And what shall we say to those other preconceptions; to being durable, self-derived, and indeprivable? Can there be any good so durable, as the power of always doing right? Is there any good conceivable, so entirely beyond the power of others? Or, if you hesitate, and are doubtful, I would willingly be informed, into what circumstances may fortune throw a brave and honest man, where it shall not be in his power to act bravely and honestly? If there are no such, then rectitude of conduct, if a good, is a good indeprivable.--I confess, said I, it appears so.
But, further, said he, another preconception of the sovereign good was, to be agreeable to nature.--It was.—And can any thing be more agreeable to a rational and social animal, than rational and social conduct ?Nothing. But rectitude of conduct is with us rational and social conduct.-It is.
Once more, continued he: another preconception of this good was, to be conducive, not to mere-being but to well-being.
• In this and the subsequent pages, the ρεστεϊν, και τους παρουσιν ανθρώποις κατά general preconceptions of good are applied δικαιοσύνην προσφέρεσθαι. Μ. Αnt. 1. vii. to the particular hypothesis of good, advanced in this treatise. See before, p. 46, 9 Μήκετι ούν μοι λέγε, πως γένηται; 847, 49.
πως γάρ αν γένηται, σύ αυτό θήσεις καλώς, * Πανταχού και διηνεκώς επί σοί έστι, και έσται σοι το αποβαν ευτύχημα. Arrian. και τη παρούση συμβάσει θεοσεβώς ευα- Epict. 1. iv. c. 10. p. 650.
Admit it.—And can any thing, believe you, conduce so probably to the well-being of a rational social animal, as the right exercise of that reason, and of those social affections ?-Nothing.–And what is this same exercise, but the highest rectitude of conduct ? -Certainly.
III. You see, then, said he, how well our hypothesis, being once admitted, tallies with our original preconceptions of the sovereign good.— I replied, it indeed appeared so, and could not be denied. But who, think you, ever dreamt of a happiness like this? A happiness dependent, not on the success, but on the aim?—Even common and ordinary life, replied he, can furnish us with examples. Ask of the sportsman, where lies his enjoyment? Ask whether it be in the possession of a slaughtered hare, or fox? He would reject, with contempt, the very supposition : he would tell you, as well as he was able, that the joy was in the pursuit, in the difficulties which are obviated, in the faults which are retrieved, in the conduct and direction of the chase through all its parts; that the completion of their endeavours was so far from giving them joy, that instantly, at that period, all their joy was at an end.-For sportsmen, replied I, this may be no bad reasoning. It is not the sentiment, said he, of sportsmen alone. The man of gallantry not unoften has been found to think after the same manner.
Meus est amor huic similis ; nam
Transvolat in medio posita, et fugientia captat. To these we may add the tribe of builders and projectors. Or has not your own experience informed you of numbers, who, in the building and laying out, have expressed the highest delight; but shewn the utmost indifference to the result of their labours, to the mansion or gardens, when once finished and complete?
The truth, said I, of these examples is not to be disputed. But I could wish your hypothesis had better than these to support it. In the serious view of happiness, do you ever imagine there were any, who could fix it, (as we said before,) not on the success, but on the aim ?-More, even in this light, said he, than perhaps at first you may imagine. There are instances innumerable, of men, bad as well as good, who having fixed, as their aim, a certain conduct of their own, have so far attached their welfare and happiness to it, as to deem all events in its prosecution, whether fortunate or unfortunate, to be mean, contemptible, and not worthy their regard.— I called on him for examples.
What think you, said he, of the assassin who slew the first
: Hor. Sat. ii. lib. i. 107.
votees," &c. &c. The whole passage is worth a See a long catalogue of these in Cicero's reading. Tusc. Disp. 1, v. c. 27. p. 400, Tusculan Disputations: “Spartan boys, Bar 40), etc. barian sages, Indian wives, Egyptian de