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made? Here we are brought again immediately to utility for our test and measure of enthusiasm, if not for our own paltry happiness, at least for the felicity of those for whom we would gloriously devote ourselves. It will scarcely be maintained in these days, that mere sacrifice without any view to the advantage of human creatures is virtue.-Simeon Stylites, on his pillar, stiffening on one foot all his life, would now scarcely obtain admiration for his useless martyrdom. Curtius jumping into the gulf, sacrificing himself and his horse, would not even in those times of ignorance have been celebrated for his generosity, unless he had performed this feat for some object of national utility, or with some hope, however mistaken, of being useful to his fellow creatures or his country.' In proportion to the advantage actually conferred on mankind, or in proportion to the probability of its eventually accomplishing some good purpose, will probably be the admiration and gratitude for any public sacrifice. In private life the same measure obtains: so that begin as far off as we will, we must end in some calculation of the utility of all actions and of all enthusiasm.-Is enthusiasm, is dévouement, more useful, more conducive to happiness, than prudence? Prove it to us, and we will cultivate, we will honour the disposition to enthusiasm, with all our powers, in morality as well as in the fine arts. But prove it first, and explain what is meant by the terms; for, instead of having an impatience, a horror of definitions, we, slow, sober, English philosophers conceive, that till we have defined our terms we are reasoning or rather talking about we know not what. But the Enthusiasts will tell us they cannot define, or they scorn to define, enthusiasm: it must be felt to be understood. Alas! how shall we deal with these privileged sen timentalists? how can we hope to share this special grace of enthusiasm? how can we ever be enlightened by this dark lantern "which none see by but those who bear it?"-Since you will not, you cannot explain or define, we must endeavour to come round about your meaning. Let us try if we can embody these fine sentiments and put them into action. Let us try this theory in practice. Let us suppose this enthusiasm, this dévouement, showing itself in any of the relations or situations of life-Between lovers, for instance. Is it not always to obtain happiness, or to confer it, that this self-devotion is practised? As society is constituted, however, it is scarcely possible for man, and much less for woman, to make great sacrifices without involving the interests and happiness of a family, relations, or friends. Here we are stopped by puzzling contradictory motives: and how to manage between opposing sentiments we know not, unless we consider what is for the good of all the parties concerned.-But this is base. This brings us again to sordid calculations about happiness. And virtue in the
code of sentiment consists in sacrifice-and love scorns every thing but enthusiasm. And what is the consequence of this scorn? Family quarrels, of course. And what next? It sometimes happens that the person for whom the sacrifice was made and the person who made that sacrifice feel its value differently. The generous. usually expect a generous measure of gratitude. Love can be repaid only by love. But passion is not everlasting: then come disappointments of the heart, and reproaches the more severe and unanswerable because the offence or the injury is of an indefinite na-. ture, to be estimated only by the sensibility of the person aggrieved.. If, to settle the matter, any acknowledged measure of mutual interest or advantage be appealed to by either party, they both end exactly where they should have begun they make, in the bitterness of disappointment and reproach, that calculation which they should previously have made for the preservation and security of the happiness which they have sacrificed, perhaps irremediably lost. Is not this the plain unvarnished history of the greater part of the enthusiastic, devoted lovers, of whose history we have ever heard the beginning, middle, and end?
But let us speak of patriotism, of that warm love of our country. for which the best and the wisest are ready not only to hazard, but to sacrifice, to devote their lives.-Surely this is a noble enthusiasm, far superior to any base calculating moral prudence, and as such it is rewarded by the admiration, the enthusiastic gratitude of mankind. True-And it is so esteemed, so admired, so rewarded, precisely because it is useful, and in proportion to the degree in which it is of public utility. In Sparta, and in all states whose very existence depended on military courage and hardihood, and on the patriotism of their inhabitants, we find these virtues were in the greatest public estimation, and consequently in the greatest perfection. These dispositions were nourished from infancy with the fostering dew of praise: education, institution, laws, public opinion-all conspired to raise them to the highest energy.-Why? Because they were the virtues most useful to the state. But it may be said, They were not the virtues most useful to the individual-for he was called upon to sacrifice ease, pleasure, fortune, continually, for the service of his country, and was rewarded at best but with a triumphal arch, a few empty words, a crown of laurel, or a sprig of parsley. Would any man, accustomed coolly to make the calculation of what is most for his own happiness, the guide of his conduct, be capable of feeling such enthusiasm ?Would he be ready to hazard his life for rewards intrinsically worthless?
Worthless!-There is the mistake.-These crowns of laurel, these leaves of parsley, instead of being worthless, became of the
highest value, because they were signs of the highest distinction. They gratified in the strongest degree the self-complacency, the honourable pride of those on whom they were conferred. From their birth, by all the combined powers of education, example, and sympathy, ancient heroes were taught to consider glory, the approving voice of their country, and the signs of this approbation as the highest happiness. The symbols, the fashion of glory may have altered in our times; but the same ardour for distinction, and for whatever becomes a sign of distinction, animates the patriot and the hero in modern days. Yet it is not from an innate passion, or with blind enthusiasm, that the hero devotes himself: he prefers the pleasure of glory to all other pleasures; and pursuing honour, he follows that which he believes, which he feels, to be most for his own happiness. How often must it be repeated that the sensual pleasures, and those usually called the selfish gratifications, are not the only pleasures which the supporters of the system of utility take into their estimate of human happiness? By straining the meaning of the word, all our enjoyments, the pleasures of exalted generosity and enthusiasm, may be called selfish, since they centre all in self. Abstract the idea of personal identity, and they cease to exist. This play upon words, this show of paradoxical ingenuity, is quite sufficient to give celebrity to a volume of epigrammatical maxims: but somewhat more of accuracy and good faith is requisite in philosophical discussion. The word selfish, as it is used in a popular sense, conveys the idea of blame and opprobrium incurred by one who without due attention to the interests or feelings of others pursues his own exclusively. But a man cannot with any propriety be called selfish because he pursues his own happiness by increasing the happiness of others. We may observe, that in the minds of those who are the most capable of appreciating their own feelings, the sensual pleasures are comparatively low in the scale; and even in the practice of the least refined of the lower classes of mankind, we see them frequently sacrificed when any hope of distinction is held in view. That cool calculation alone would not lead individuals to sacrifice themselves for love of their country, is admitted; but wherever such extraordinary sacrifices have been requisite for the good of that country, it has been usually the practice of the legislator to supply all the rewards and motives which can create and strengthen the virtue he requires.-By education he prepares those habits which become second nature, and which prove of force sufficient to balance the fear of danger and the instinctive love of life. If any further doubt remain on this subject, let us observe how those qualities, particularly useful in peculiar circumstances or in different stages of society, arę raised in the scale of virtues, and rewarded either by law
or opinion, with public bounties or applause in proportion to their utility during the time, and only during the time, when they continue to be eminently useful.-Look at the history of the rise and fall of chivalry. In the exigencies of turbulent times, and as long as the prowess of the knight was useful to supply the place of imperfect public justice, to redress private wrongs, and to defend the weak against the strong, the lofty language and demeanour, the valour, the spirit of adventure and romance, and all that characterized the knight and showed the enthusiasm of chivalry, were in the highest estimation. No sooner did the establishment of order, law, and peace, lessen the necessity for these exertions of individuals; no sooner was their utility diminished-than the esteem and admiration for the chivalrous virtues sunk. The useless knight was no longer the object of private favour or of public regard. Ridicule, the antagonist of enthusiasm, began to act, and chivalry was laughed out of countenance and out of fashion.
Were we to pursue this inquiry, we should find that the prevailing admiration for certain enthusiasms has constantly had a manifest or secret connexion with their utility, with the degree in which they contributed, or were supposed to contribute, to the sum of social happiness. In this point of view it seems scarcely possivle that the partisans of enthusiasm and the adherents to utility should oppose each other; because, however the enthusiast may disdain what is merely useful, the friends of utility are ready to admire, and eager to cultivate, any species of enthusiasm the moment it is proved to increase human felicity.
- We may, however, in the mean time observe, that the high value set upon certain virtues of the enthusiastic kind in certain states of civilization, is by no means a proof of the superior purity or exaltation of the human mind at those periods, but rather an evidence of some defect in the state of general manners or government. In proportion as society becomes more enlightened, and as laws are better adapted to promote the purpose for which they were intended, the security and good of the whole community, in proportion as each member of society understands and fulfills his duty, the necessity and value for what may be called virtues of supererogation diminish, and they fall into disrepute and disuse. If the circle of our duties in society were complete, there would be no need of those compensations, or rather of those compensating qualities which now supply what may be deficient. For example: If justice were perfect, there would be no need of mercy. If benevolence were universal, generosity would have no room for exertion,
It is singular, that some of those who deny or who hesitate to acknowledge utility as the foundation of morals, should unequivocally admit it to be the only solid and secure basis for jurispru
dence. We thought that morals and jurisprudence rested on the same foundation. At all events, we might perhaps for our present purpose have been satisfied with the partial admission of the principle of utility, since the work now before us treats only of the theory of legislative punishments and rewards. We thought it best, however, not to evade any difficulty, but fairly to meet it, and at once to go into an examination of the merits of the general principle on which his whole system rests. Having endeavoured to establish this on solid grounds, we proceed to examine how the principle is applied in his theory of punishments and rewards.
Punishment inflicted by law is pain given to those who break the laws. The object and end of all just laws, and of all just legal punishment, is to increase the happiness of society by preventing future evil, or repairing that which has been committed. Montesquieu, Beccaria, and Bentham, agree in this definition.
It is now, we believe, so fully understood and generally admitted by so many persons of sound judgement, that it is not worth while to advert to some attempts which have been lately made to revive the exploded notion that legal punishment is legal vengeance. Crimes, from the highest to the lowest offence, are in Bentham's system measured and classed according to the degree of injury which they directly produce or indirectly occasion in society. Dy the same measure punishment should be proportioned. Punishment being in itself an evil, would by its infliction only increase the sum of human misery, unless by its operation it eventually produce a degree of security or advantage, in some form or other, to society, which shall outweigh the partial evil. The smallest quantity of pain, therefore, that can obtain the effects desired, that is to say the reparation of the injury committed-the reformation of the offender-or the prevention of similar injury in future, is the de gree of punishment which will be preferred by the humane and just legislator. Laws would be perfect, if they could, by the mere apprehension excited of the pains and penalties they denounce, prevent entirely the commission of crimes or injuries. But it is not to be expected that laws can attain this degree of perfection; because the pleasures and pains, the hopes and fears of individuals, vary with the different circumstances of their natural sensibility, their education, habits, or situation. It is therefore impossible for the most skilful legislator so to balance motives, so to proportion the fear of the punishments of the law to the strength of the temptations of the passions, as entirely to prevent the commission of crimes. All he can do is constantly to aim at this point of perfec tion. With this view, and to attain this purpose, he must have a clear knowledge of the motives which act upon the human mind. From thence he must form accurate ideas of all that can render punishment