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tions of most men are such, that if it were devised, ) promoted ? Every one knows that the balance is on they would not enjoy it ? It may be feared that the the side of vice, and this conclusively decides the desires which are seeking for gratification are not question—" Is it lawful to attend ?" themselves pure; and pure pleasures are not conge- The same question is to be asked, and the same nial to impure minds. The real cause of the objec- answer I believe will be returned, respecting various tionable nature of many popular diversions is to be other assemblies for purposes of amusement. They sought in the want of virtue in the people.

do more harm than good. They please but they Amusement is confessedly a subordinate concern injure us; and what makes the case still stronger is, in life. It is neither the principal nor amongst the that the pleasure is frequently such as ought not to principal objects of proper solicitude. No reasonable be enjoyed. A tippler enjoys pleasure in becoming man sacrifices the more important thing to the less, drunk, but he is not to allege the gratification as a and that a man's religious and moral condition is of set-off against the immorality. And so it is with no incomparably greater importance than his diversion, small portion of the pleasures of an assembly. Disis sufficiently plain. In estimating the propriety or positions are gratified which it were wiser to thwart; rather the lawfulness of a given amusement, it may and, to speak the truth, if the dispositions of the safely be laid down, That none is lawful of which mind were such as they ought to be, many of these the aggregate consequences are injurious to morals : modes of diversion would be neither relished nor --nor, if its effects upon the immediate agents are, resorted to. Some persons try to persuade themin general, morally bad :-nor if it occasions need selves that charity forms a part of their motive in less pain and misery to men or to animals :-nor, attending such places; as when the profits of the lastly, if it occupies much time or is attended with night are given to a benevolent institution. They much expense. Respecting all amusements, the ques. hope, I suppose, that though it would not be quite tion is not whether, in their simple or theoretical right to go if benevolence were not a gainer, yet character, they are defensible, but whether they are that the end warrants the means. But if these perdefensible in their actually existing state.

sons are charitable, let them give their guinea withThe Drama.–So that if a person, by way of out deducting half for purposes of questionable proshowing the propriety of theatrical exhibitions, should priety. Religious amusements, such as Oratorios ask whether there was any harm in a man's repeat- and the like, form one of those artifices of chicanery ing a composition before others and accompanying by which people cheat, or try to cheat, themselves. it with appropriate gestures-he would ask a very The music, say they, is sacred, is devotional; and foolish question : because he would ask a question we go to hear it as we go to church: it excites and that possesses little or no relevancy to the subject.- animates our religious sensibilities. This, in spite of What are the ordinary effects of the stage upon the solemnity of the association, is really ludicrous. those who act on it? One and one only answer can be These scenes subserve religion no more than they given—that whatever happy exceptions there may be, subserve chemistry. They do not increase its power the effect is bad ;-that the moral and religious cha- any more than the power of the steam-engine. As racter of actors is lower than that of persons in it respects Christianity, it is all imposition and ficother professions. “ It is an undeniable fact, for the tion; and it is unfortunate that some of the most truth of which we may safely appeal to every age solemn topics of our religion are brought into such and nation, that the situation of the performers, par- unworthy and debasing alliance.* ticularly of those of the female sex, is remarkably MASQUERADes are of a more decided character. unfavourable to the maintenance and growth of the If the pleasure which people derive from meeting religious and moral principle, and of course highly in disguises consisted merely in the “fun and droldangerous to their eternal interests."*

lery” of the thing, we might wonder to see so many Therefore, if I take my seat in the theatre, I have children of five and six feet high, and leave them paid three or five shillings as an inducement to a perhaps to their childishness :—but the truth is, that number of persons to subject their principles to ex- to many. the zest of the concealment consists in the treme danger ;-and the defence which I make is, opportunity which it gives of covert licentiousness ; that I am amused by it. Now, we affirm that this of doing that in secret, of which, openly, they would defence is invalid ; that it is a defence which reason profess to be ashamed. Some men and some women pronounces to be absurd, and morality to be vicious. who affect propriety when the face is shown, are Yet I have no other to make: it is the sum total of glad of a few hours of concealed libertinism. It is my justification.

a time in which principles are left to guard the citaBut this, which is sufficient to decide the morality del of virtue without the auxiliary of public opinion. of the question, is not the only nor the chief part of And ill do they guard it! It is no equivocal indi. the evil. The evil which is suffered by performers | cation of the slender power of a person's principles, may be more intense, but upon spectators and others when they do not restrain him any longer than his it is more extended. The night of a play is the har- misdeeds will produce exposure. She who is immovest time of iniquity, where the profligate and the dest at a masquerade, is modest nowhere. She may sensual put in their sickles and reap. It is to no affect the language of delicacy and maintain external purpose to say that a man may go to a theatre or decorum, but she has no purity of mind. parade a saloon without taking part in the surround- The Field.- If we proceed with the calculation ing licentiousness. All who are there promote the of the benefits and mischiefs of Field Sports, in the licentiousness, for if none were there, there would merchant-like manner of debtor and creditor, the be no licentiousness; that is to say, if none pur- balance is presently found to be greatly against chased tickets there would be neither actors to be them. The advantages to him who rides after depraved, nor dramas to vitiate, nor saloons to de- hounds and shoots pheasants, are—that he is amused, grade, and corrupt, and shock us.-

-The whole ques

and possibly that his health is improved; some of tion of the lawfulness of the dramatic amusements, the disadvantages are--that it is unpropitious to the as they are ordinarily conducted, is resolved into a influence of religion and the dispositions which relivery simple thing :- After the doors on any given gion induces; that it expends money and time which wght are closed, have the virtuous or the vicious dis- a man ought to be able to employ better; and that „positions of the attenders been in the greater degree it inflicts gratuitous misery upon the inferior ani.


WÜberforce : Practical View, c. 4, s. 5,


See also Essay 2, c. 1.

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mals. The value of the pleasure cannot easily be com- Many go to a race-ground who cannot tell when puted, and as to health it may pass for nothing; for if a they return what horse has been the victor. Every man is so little concerned for his health that he will one therefore who is present must take his share of not take exereise without dogs and guns, he has no the mischief and the responsibility. reason to expect other men to concern themselves It is the same with respect to the gross and vulfor it in remarking upon his actions. And then for gar diversions of boxing, wrestling, and feats of the other side of the calculation. That field sports running and riding. There is the same almost pure have any tendency to make a man better, no one and unmingled evil-the same popularity resulting will pretend; and no one who looks around him will from the concourses who attend, and, by consedoubt that their tendency is in the opposite direc- quence, the participation and responsibility in those tion. It is not necessary to show that every one who do attend. The drunkenness, and the profanewho rides after the dogs is a worse man in the even- ness, and the debauchery, lic in part at the doors of ing than he was in the morning: the influence of those who are merely lookers-on; and if theselookerssuch things is to be sought in those with whom they on make pretensions to purity of character, their are habitual. Is the character of the sportsman, example is so much the more influential and their then, distinguished by religious sensibility ? No. responsibility tenfold increased. Defences of these By activity of Benevolence ? No. By intellectual gross amusements are ridiculous. One tells us of exertion ? No. By purity of manners ? No. keeping up the national spirit, which is the same Sportsmen are not the persons who diffuse the light thing as to say, that a human community is benefited of Christianity, or endeavour to rectify the public by inducing into it the qualities of the bull-dog. morals, or to extend the empire of knowledge. Look Another expatiates upon invigorating the muscular again at the clerical sportsman. Is he usually as strength of the poor, as if the English poor were exemplary in the discharge of his functions as those under so little necessity to labour, and to strengthen who declinc such diversions ? His parishioners know themselves by labour, that artificial means must be that he is not. So, then, the religious and moral devised to increase their toil. tendency of Field Sports is bad. It is not neces- The vicissitudes of folly are endless ; the vulgar sary to show how the ill effect is produced. It is games of the present day may soon be displaced by sufficient that it aetually is produced.

others, the same in genus, but differing in species. As to the expenditure of time and money, I dare At the present moment, Wrestling has become the say we shall be told that a man has a right to em- point of interest. A man is conveyed across the ploy both as he chooses. We have heretofore seen kingdom to try whether he can throw down another ; that he has no such right. Obligations apply just as and when he has done it, grave narratives of the truly to the mode of employing leisure and property, feat are detailed in half the newspapers of the as to the use which a man may make of a pound of country! There is a grossness, a vulgarity, a want arsenic. The obligations are not indeed alike en- of mental elevation in these things, which might inforced in a court of justice: the misuser of arsenic duce the man of intelligence to reprobate them even is carried to prison, the misuser of time and money if the voice of morality were silent. They are reawaits as sure an enquiry at another tribunal. But mains of barbarism-evidences that barbarism still no folly is more absurd than that of supposing we maintains itself amongst us-proofs that the higher have a right to do whatever the law does not punish. qualities of our nature are not sufficiently dominant Such is the state of mankind, so great is the amount over the lower. of misery and degradation, and so great are the ef. These grossnesses will pass away, as the deadly fects of money and active philanthropy in meliorating conflicts of men with beasts are passed already. Our this condition of our species, that it is no light thing posterity will wonder at the barbarism of us, their for a man to employ his time and property upon fathers, as we wonder at the barbarism of Rome. vain and needless gratifications. It is no light thing Let him, then, who loves intellectual elevation ad. to keep a pack of hounds, and to spend days and vance beyond the present times, and anticipate, in weeks in riding after them. As to the torture which the recreations which he encourages, that period field sports infliet upon animals, it is wonderful to when these divisions shall be regarded as indicating observe our inconsistencies. He who has, in the one of the intermediate stages between the feroday, inflicted upon half a dozen animals almost as ciousness of mental darkness and the purity of much torture as they are capable of sustaining, and mental light. who has wounded perbaps half a dozen more, and left them to die of pain or starvation, gives in the These criticisms might be extended to many other evening a gravé reproof to his child, whom he sees species of amusement, and it is humiliating to disamusing himself with picking off the wings of flies! cover that the conclusion will very frequently be the The infliction of pain is not that which gives plea- same—that the evil out balances the good, and that sure to the sportsman, (this were ferocious depra- there are no grounds upon which a good man can vity,) but he voluntarily inflicts the pain in order to justify a participation in them. In thus cancluding, please himself. Yet this man sighs and moralizes it is possible that the reader may imagine that we over the cruelty of children! An appropriate device would exclude enjoyment from the world, and subfor a sportsman's dress would be a pair of balances, stitute a system of irreproachable austerity. He of which one scale was laden with is. Virtue and hu- who thinks this is unacquainted with the nature and manity," and the other with“Sport; "the latter should sources of our better enjoyments. It is an ordinary be preponderating and lifting the other into the air. mistake to imagine that pleasure is great only when

The TURF is still worse, partly because it is a it is vivid or intemperate, as a child fancies it were stronghold of gambling, and therefore an efficient more delightful to devour a pound of sugar at once, cause of misery and wickedness. It is an amuse- than to eat an ounce daily in his food. It is happily ment of almost unmingled evil. But upon whom is and kindly provided that the greatest sum of enjoythe evil chargeable ? Upon the fifty or one hundred ment is that which is quietly and constantly induced. persons only who bring horses and make bets ? No; No men understand the nature of pleasure so well, every man participates who attends the course. The or possess it so much, as those who find it within great attraction of many public spectacles, and of their own doors. If it were not that Moral Educathis amongst others, consists more in the com- tion is so bad, multitudes would seek enjoyment and pany than in the ostepsible object of amusement. 4, find it here, who now fancy that they never partake


of pleasure except in scenes of diversion. It is un- An individual either fears public opinion, or be questionably true that no community enjoys life more does not. than that which excludes all these amusements from If he does not fear it, the custom of duelling canits sources of enjoyment. We use therefore the not prevent him from insulting whomsoever he language, not of speculation, but of experience, when pleases ; because public opinion is the only thing we say, that none of them is, in anv degree, neces- which makes men fight, and he does not regard it. sary to the happiness of life.

If he does fear public opinion, then the most effectual way of restraining him from insulting others, is by directiug that opinion against the act of insulting—just as it is now directed in the case of the clergy.

Thus it is that we find—what he knows the per. CHAPTER XV.

fection of Christian morality would expect — that Duelling, as it is immoral, so it is absurd.

It appears to be forgotten that a duel is not more

allowable to secure ourselves from censure or nePitt and Tierney-Duelling the offspring of intellectual mean.

ness, fear, and servility-“ A fighting man"-Hindoo immo. glect than any other violation of the Moral Law. If lations-Wilberforce-Seneca.

these motives constitute a justification of a duel, they

constitute a justification of robbery or poisoning. It is not to much purpose to show that this strange | To advocate duelling is not to defend one species of practice is in itself wrong, because no one denies it. offence, but to assert the general right to violate Other grounds of defence are taken, although, to be the laws of God. If, as Dr Johnson reasoned, the sure, there is a plain absurdity in conceding that a “ notions which prevail" make fighting right, they thing is wrong in morals, and then trying to show

can make any thing right. Nothing is wanted but that it is proper to practise it.

to alter the “ notions which prevail,” and there Public notions exempt a clergyman from the is not a crime mentioned in the statute-book that “ necessity” of fighting duels, and they exempt will not be lawful and honourable to-morrow. other men from the “necessity” of demanding satis- It is usual with those who do foolish and vicious faction for a clergyman's insult. Now, we ask the things, or who do things from foolish or vicious man of honour whether he would rather receive an

motives, to invent some fiction by which to veil the insult from a military officer or from a clergyman ? evil or folly, and to give it, if possible, a creditable Which would give him the greater pain, and cause

appearance. This has been done in the case of him the more concern and uneasiness?

That from duelling. We hear a great deal about honour, and the military officer, certainly. But why? Because spirit, and courage, and other qualities equally the officer's affront leads to a duel, and the clergy- | pleasant, and, as it respects the duellist, equally man's does not. So, then, it is preferable to receive fictitious. The want of sufficient honour, and spirit, an insult to which the “necessity” of fighting is not

and courage, is precisely the very reason why men attached than one to which it is attached. Why fight. Pitt fought with Tierney; upon which Pitt's then attach the necessity to any man's affront? You biographer writes—“ A mind like his, cast in no com, say, that demanding satisfaction is a remedy for the

mon mould, should have risen superior to a low and evil of an insult. But we see that the evil, together unworthy prejudice, the folly of which it must have with the remedy, is worse than the evil alone. Why perceived, and the wickedness of which it must have then institute the remedy at all? It is not indeed acknowledged. Could Mr Pitt be led away by that to be questioned that some insults may be forborne, false shame which subjects the decisions of reason because it is known to what consequences they lead. to the control of fear, and renders the admonitions But, on the other hand, for what purpose does one of conscience subservient to the powers of ridiman insult another ? To give him pain ; now, we cule ?" Low prejudice, folly, wickedness, false have just seen that the pain is so much the greater shame, and fear, are the motives which the comin consequence of the “necessity” of fighting, and

placent duellist dignifies with the titles of honour, therefore the motives to insult another are in.

spirit, courage. This, to be sure, is very politic: creased. A man who wishes to inflict pain upon he would not be so silly as to call his motives by another, can inflict it more intensely in consequence their right names. Others, of course, join in the of the system of duelling.

chicanery. They reflect that they themselves may The truth is, that men fancy the system is useful, one day have “a meeting," and they wish to keep because they do not perceive how Public Opinion

up the credit of a system which they are conscious has been violently turned out of its natural and its they have not principle enough to reject. usual course. When a military man is guilty of an Put Christianity out of the question-Would not insult, public disapprobation falls but lightly upon even the philosophy of paganism have despised that him. It reserves its force to direct against the in

littleness of principle which would not bear a man sulted party if he does not demand satisfaction. But

up in adhering to conduct which he knew to be when a clergyman is guilty of an insult, public dis- right—that littleness of principle which sacrifices approbation falls upon him with undivided force.

the dictates of the understanding to an unworthy The insulted party receives no censure. Now, if fear !- When a good man, rather than conform to you take away the custom of demanding satisfaction, some vicious institution of the papacy, stood firmly what will be the result? Why, that public opinion against the frowns and persecutions of the world, will revert to its natural course ; it will direct all against obloquy and in famy, we say that his mental its penalties to the offending party, and by conse- principles were great as well as good. If they were, quence restrain him from offending. It will act to

the principles of the duellist are mean as well as wards all men as it now acts towards the clergy ; vicious. He is afraid to be good and great. He and if a clergyman were frequently to be guilty of knows the course which dignity and virtue prescribe, insults, his character would be destroyed. The

but he will not rise above those lower motives which reader will perhaps more distinctly perceive that the prompt him to deviate from that course. It does fancied utility of duelling in preventing insults, re- not affect these conclusions to concede, that he who sults from this misdirection of public opinion by this

# See West. Rev. No. 7. Art. 2. brief argument.;

+ Gifford's Life, vol. 1, p. 263.


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is afraid to refuse a challenge may generally be a operated so powerfully that the officers were absoman of elevated mind. He may be such; but his lutely enslaved-driven against their wills by Fear, refusal is an exception to his general character. It as negroes are by a cart-whip. is an instance in which he impeaches his consistency We are shocked and disgusted at the immolation in excellence. If it were consistent, if the whole of women amongst the Hindoos, and think that, if mind had attained to the rightful stature of a such a sacrifice were attempted in England, it would Christian man, he would assuredly contemn in his excite feelings of the utmost repulsion and abpractice the conduct which he disapproved in his horrence. Of the custom of immolation, Duelling heart. If you would show us a man of courage, is the sister. Their parents are the same, and, like bring forward him who will say, I will not fight. other sisters, their lineaments are similar. Why does Suppose a gentleman who, upon the principles which a Hindoo mount the funeral pile ? To vindicate Gifford says should have actuated Pitt and all great and maintain her honour. Why does an Englishminds, had thus refused to fight, and suppose him man go to the heath with his pistols! To vindicate saying to his withdrawing friends—“I have acted and maintain his honour. What is the nature and with perfect deliberation : I knew all the conse- character of the Hindoo's honour ? Quite facti. quences of the course I have pursued: but I was tious. Of the duellist's ! Quite factitious. How persuaded that I should act most like a man of in- is the motive applied to the Hindoo? To her fears tellect, as well as like a Christian, by declining the of reproach. To the duellist? To his fears of meeting ; and therefore I declined it. I feel and reproach. What then is the difference between deplore the consequences, though I do not depre- the two customs ? This—That one is practised in cate them. I am not fearful, as I have not been the midst of pagan darkness, and the other in the fearful ; for I appeal to yourselves whether I have midst of Christian light. And yet these very men not encountered the more appalling alternative, give their guineas to the Missionary Society, lament whether it does not require a greater effort to do the degradation of the Hindoos, and expatiate upon what I have done, and what I am at this moment the sacred duty of enlightening them with Christi. doing, than to have met my opponent."-Such a anity! “ Physician ! heal thyself.man's magnanimity might not procure for him the One consideration connected with duelling is of companionship of his acquaintance, but it would do unusual interest. “ In the judgment of that religion much more; it would obtain the suffrages of their which requires purity of heart, and of that Being to judgments and their hearts. Whilst they continued whom thought is action, he cannot be esteemed in. perhaps externally to neglect him, they would in- nocent of this crime, who lives in a settled, habitual, ternally honour and admire. They would feel that determination to commit it, when circumstances shali his excellence was of an order to which they could call upon him so to do. This is a consideration which make no pretensions; and they would feel, as they places the crime of duelling on a different footing were practising this strange hypocrisy of vice, from almost any other ; indeed there is perhaps no that they were the proper objects of contempt and other, which mankind habitually and deliberately pity.

resolve to practise whenever the temptation shall T'he species of slavery to which a man is some

It shows also that the crime of duelling is far times reduced by being, as he calls it, “ obliged to more general in the higher classes than is commonly i fight," is really pitiable. A British officer writes of supposed, and that the whole sum of the guilt which

a petulant and profligate class of men, one of whom the practice produces, is great beyond what has per

is sometimes found in a regiment, and says, “ Sensible haps been ever conceived."* i that an officer must accept a challenge, he does not * It is the intention,” says Seneca, “and not the

hesitate to deal them in abundance, and shortly ac- effect which makes the wickedness:"and that Greater quires the name of a fighting man; but as every one than Seneca who laid the axe to the root of our is not willing to throw away his life when called vices, who laid upon the mental disposition that guilt upon by one who is indifferent to his own, many be- which had been laid upon the ect, may be expected come condescending, which this man immediately to regard this habitual willingness and intention to construes into fear; and, presuming upon this, he violate his laws, as an actual and great offence. The acts as if he imagined no one dare contradict him felon who plans and resolves to break into a house, but all must yield obedience to his will.Here the is not the less a felon because a watchman happens servile bondage of which we speak is brought pro- to prevent him ; nor is the offence of him who hapminently out.

Here is the crouching and unmanly pens never to be challenged, necessarily at all less lear. Here is the abject submission of sense and than that of him who takes the life of his friend. reason to the grossest vulgarity of insolence, folly, and guilt. The officer presently gives an account of an instance in which the whole mess were domineered over by one of these fighting men ;-and a pitiably ludicrous account it is. The man had in

CHAPTER XVI. vited them to dinner at some distance. “On the day appointed, there came on a most violent snow storm, and in the morning we dispatched a servant with an apology." But alas ! these poor men could not use Unmanliness of Suicide-Forlidden in the New Testamenttheir own judgments as to whether they should ride Ils folly--Legislation respecting suicide - Verdict of Felo in a "most violent snow storm

or not.

The man sent back some rude message that he “expected

There are few subjects upon which it is more them.” They were afraid of what the fighting man

difficult either to write or to legislato with effect, would do next morning; and so the whole mess,

than that of Suicide. It is difficult to a writer, beagainst their wills, actually rode“ near four miles in a

cause a man does not resolve upon the act until he heavy snow storm, and passed a day," says the officer,

has first become steeled to some of the most power" that was, without exception, the most unpleasant I

ful motives that can be urged upon the human mind; ever passed in my life !"* In the instance of these

and to the legislator, because he can inflict no penalty men, the motives to duelling as founded upon Fear,

upon the offending party. • Lieut. Auburey: Travels in North America.

• Wilberforce : Practical View, c, 4. $ 3.




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It is to be feared that there is little probability of | quences; by the duties that are deserted; by the diminishing the frequency of this miserable offence claims that are defrauded; by the loss, affliction, or by urging the considerations which philosophy sug- disgrace which our death, or the manner of it, causes gests. The voice of nature is louder and stronger our family, kindred, or friends; by the occasion we than the voice of philosophy; and as nature speaks give to many to suspect the sincerity of our moral to the suicide in vain, what is the hope that philo- religious professions, and, together with ours, those sophy will be regarded ?- There appears to be but of all others;'* and lastly, by the scandal which we one efficient means by which the mind can be armed bring upon religion itself by declaring, practically, against the temptations to suicide, because there is that it is not able to support man under the calamities but one that can support it against every evil of life of life. -practical religion-belief in the providence of Some men say that the New Testament contains God--confidence in his wisdom_hope in his good- no prohibition of suicide. If this were true, it would

The only anchor that can hold us in safety, avail nothing, because there are many things which is that which is fixed “ within the vail.” He upon it does not forbid, but which every one knows to be whom religion possesses its proper influence, finds wicked. But in reality it does forbid it. Every that it enables him to endure, with resigned patience, exhortation which it gives to be patient, every enevery calamity of life. When patience thus fulfils couragement to trust in God, every consideration its perfect work, suicide, which is the result of ime which it urges as a support under affiction and dispatience, cannot be committed.

He who is sur- tress, is a virtual prohibition of suicide ;-because, rounded, by whatever means, with pain or misery, if a man commits suicide, he rejects every such advice should remember that the present existence is strictly and encouragement, and disregards every such moprobationary—a scene upon which we are to be ex.

tive. ercised, and tried, and tempted; and in which we are To him who believes either in revealed or natural to manifest whether we are willing firmly to endure. religion, there is a certain folly in the commission of The good or evil of the present life is of importance suicide ; for from what does he fly? From his prechiefly as it influences our allotment in futurity: sent sufferings; whilst death, for aught that he sufferings are permitted for our advantage: they are has reason to expect, or at any rate for aught that designed to purify and rectify the heart. The uni- he knows, may only be the portal to sufferings more versal Father "scourgeth every son whom he re- intense. Natural religion, I think, gives no counteceiveth ;” and the suffering, the scourging, is of nance to the supposition that suicide can be approved little account in comparison with the prospects of by the Deity, because it proceeds upon the belief another world. It is not worthy to be compared with that, in another state of existence, he will compensate the glory which shall follow—that glory of which good men for the sufferings of the present. At the an exceeding and eternal weight is the reward of a best, and under either religion, it is a desperate stake. “ patient continuance in well doing.". To him who He that commits murder may repent, and we hope, thus regards misery, not as an evil but as a good; be forgiven ; but he that destroys himself, whilst he not as the unrestrained assault of chance or malice, incurs a load of guilt, cuts off, by the act, the power but as the beneficent discipline of a father ; to him of repentance. who remembers that the time is approaching in which Not every act of suicide is to be attributed to exhe will be able most feelingly to say, “ For all I bless cess of misery. Some shoot themselves or throw Thee—most for the severe,"_every affliction is ac- themselves into a river in rage or revenge, in order companied with its proper alleviation : the present to inflict pain and remorse upon those who have ill hour may distress but it does not overwhelm him ; used them. Such, it to be suspected, is sometimes he may be perplexed but is not in despair : he sees a motive to self-destruction in disappointed lore. the darkness and feels the storm, but he knows that The unhappy person leaves behind some message or light will again arise, and that the storm will even- letter, in the hope of exciting that affection and tually be hushed with an efficacious, Peace be still; commiseration by the catastrophe, which he could so that there shall be a a great calm.

not excite when alive. Perhaps such persons hope, Compared with these motives to avoid the first too, that the world will sigh over their early fate, promptings to suicide, others are likely to be of little tell of the fidelity of their loves, and throw a roeffect; and yet they are neither inconsiderable nor mantic melancholy over their story. This weeds few. It is more dignified, more worthy an enlight- not to be a subject of wonder: unnumbered multiened and manly understanding, to meet and endure tudes have embraced death in other forms from an inevitable evil than to sink beneath it. The case kindred motives. We hear continually of those who of him who feels prompted to suicíde, is something die for the sake of glory. This is but another phanlike that of the duellist as it was illustrated in tom, and the less amiable phantom of the two. It tbe preceding chapter.

Each sacrifices his life is just as reasonable to die in order that the world to his fears. The suicide balances between op- | may admire our true love, as in order that it may posing objects of dread, (for dreadful self-destruction admire our bravery. And the lover's hope is the must be supposed to be,) and chooses the alternative better founded. There are too many aspirants for which he fears least. If his courage, his firmness, glory for each to get even his" peppercorn

of his manliness, were greater, he who chooses the al- praise." But the lover may hope for higher honours; ternative of suicide, like him who chooses the duel,

a paragraph may record his fate through the existwould endure the evil rather than avoid it in a man.

ence of a weekly paper; he may be talked of through ner which dignity and religion forbid. The lesson half a county; and some kindred spirit may inscribe too which the self-destroyer teaches to his connexions, a tributary sonnet in a lady's album. of sinking in despair under the evils of life, is one of the most pernicious which a man can bequeath. The power of the example is also great. Every act of To legislate efficiently upon the crime of suicide suicide tacitly conveys the sanction of one more is difficult, if it is not impossible. As the legislator judgment in its favour : frequency of repetition di- cannot inflict a penalty upon the offender, the act minishes the sensation of abhorrence, and makes must pass with impunity unless the penalty is made succeeding sufferers resort to it with less reluetance.

to fall upon the innocent. I say the penalty; for “ Besides which general reasons, each case will be aggravated by its own proper and particular conse

• Mor. and Pol. Phil. b. 4, c. 3.


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