« AnteriorContinuar »
be made for the advantage of man, all the first fundamental right of unconthe advantages for which it is made (10 venanted man, that is, to judge for himself, become his right. It is an institution of and to assert his own cause. He abdicates beneficence; and law itself is only benefi- all right to be his own governor. He incence acting by a rule. Men have a right clusively, in a great measure, abandons to live by that rule; they have a right to the right of self-defence, the first law of do justice, as between their fellows, nature. Men cannot enjoy the rights of whether their fellows are in public func | an uncivil and of a civil state together. 170 tion or in ordinary occupation. They That he may obtain justice, he gives up have a right to the fruits of their industry; his right of determining what it is in points and to the means of making their indus the most essential to him. That he may try fruitful. They have a right to the (20 secure some liberty, he makes a suracquisitions of their parents; to the nour- render in trust of the whole of it. ishment and improvement of their off Government is not made in virtue of spring; to instruction in life, and to con- natural rights, which may and do exist solation in death. Whatever each man in total independence of it; and exist in can separately do, without trespassing much greater clearness, and in a much upon others, he has a right to do for him | greater degree of abstract perfection; (80 self; and he has a right to a fair portion of but their abstract perfection is their pracall which society, with all its combina tical defect. By having a right to everytions of skill and force, can do in his thing they want everything. Government favor. In this partnership all men [30 | is a contrivance of human wisdom to have equal rights; but not to equal things. provide for human wants. Men have a He that has but five shillings in the part right that these wants should be pronership, has as good a right to it, as he vided for by this wisdom. Among these that has five hundred pounds has to his wants is to be reckoned the want, out of larger proportion. But he has not a civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon right to an equal dividend in the product their passions. Society requires not (90 of the joint stock; and as to the share of only that the passions of individuals power, authority, and direction which should be subjected, but that even in the each individual ought to have in the mass and body, as well as in the indimanagement of the state, that I must [40 viduals, the inclinations of men should deny to be amongst the direct original frequently be thwarted, their will conrights of man in civil society; for I have trolled, and their passions brought into in my contemplation the civil social man, subjection. This can only be done by a and no other. It is a thing to be settled power out of themselves, and not, in the by convention.
exercise of its function, subject to that If civil society be the offspring of con will and to those passions which it is (100 vention, that convention must be its law, its office to bridle and subdue. In this That convention must limit and modify sense the restraints on men, as well as all the descriptions of constitution which their liberties, are to be reckoned amongst are formed under it. Every sort of [50 their rights. But as the liberties and the legislative, judicial, or executory power restrictions vary with times and circumare its creatures. They can have no stances, and admit of infinite modificabeing in any other state of things; and tions, they cannot be settled upon any how can any man claim under the con abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish ventions of civil society, rights which do as to discuss them upon that principle. not so much as suppose its existence? The moment you abate anything (110 rights which are absolutely repugnant to from the full rights of men, each to govern it? One of the first motives to civil so himself, and suffer any artificial, positive ciety, and which becomes one of its funda- | limitation upon those rights, from that mental rules, is, that no man should (60 moment the whole organization of governbe judge in his own cause. By this each ment becomes a consideration of conperson has at once divested himself of venience. This it is which makes the constitution of a state, and the due dis the laws of nature, refracted from their tribution of its powers, a matter of the straight line. Indeed in the gross and most delicate and complicated skill. It complicated mass of human passions and requires a deep knowledge of human (120 concerns, the primitive rights of men nature and human necessities, and of the undergo such a variety of refractions and things which facilitate or obstruct the reflections, that it becomes absurd to various ends, which are to be pursued talk of them as if they continued in the by the mechanism of civil institutions. simplicity of their original direction. The state is to have recruits to its strength, The nature of man is intricate; the oband remedies to its distempers. What is jects of society are of the greatest (180 the use of discussing a man's abstract | possible complexity: and therefore no right to food or medicine? The question simple disposition or direction of power is upon the method of procuring and can be suitable either to man's nature, administering them. In that delibera- (130 or to the quality of his affairs. When I tion I shall always advise to call in the | hear the simplicity of contrivance aimed aid of the farmer and the physician, rather at and boasted of in any new political than the professor of metaphysics.
constitutions, I am at no loss to decide The science of constructing a common that the artificers are grossly ignorant wealth, or renovating it, or reforming it, of their trade, or totally negligent of their is, like every other experimental science, duty. The simple governments are (190 not to be taught a priori. Nor is it a fundamentally defective, to say no worse short experience that can instruct us in of them. If you were to contemplate that practical science; because the real society in but one point of view, all the effects of moral causes are not always (140 simple modes of polity are infinitely immediate; but that which in the first captivating. In effect each would answer instance is prejudicial may be excellent its single end much more perfectly than in its remoter operation; and its excellence the more complex is able to attain all may arise even from the ill effects it pro its complex purposes. But it is better duces in the beginning. The reverse also that the whole should be imperfectly and happens: and very plausible schemes, anomalously answered, than that, (200 with very pleasing commencements, have while some parts are provided for with often shameful and lamentable conclu great exactness, others might be tosions. In states there are often some tally neglected, or perhaps materially obscure and almost latent causes, (150 injured, by the over-care of a favorite things which appear at first view of little member. moment, on which a very great part of its The pretended rights of these theorists prosperity or adversity may most essen are all extremes: and in proportion as they tially depend. The science of government are metaphysically true, they are morally being therefore so practical in itself, and and politically false. The rights of men intended for such practical purposes, a are in a sort of middle, incapable of (210 matter which requires experience, and definition, but not impossible to be diseven more experience than any person cerned. The rights of men in governcan gain in his whole life, however saga ments are their advantages; and these cious and observing he may be, it is (160 are often in balances between differences with infinite caution that any man ought of good; in compromises sometimes beto venture upon pulling down an edifice, | tween good and evil, and sometimes bewhich has answered in any tolerabletween evil and evil. Political reason is a degree for ages the common purposes of computing principle; adding, subtracting, society, or on building it up again, with multiplying, and dividing, morally and out having models and patterns of ap not metaphysically, or mathematic- (220 proved utility before his eyes.
ally, true moral denominations. These metaphysic rights entering into | By these theorists the right of the common life, like rays of light which people is almost always sophistically conpierce into a dense medium, are, by (170 | founded with their power. The body of
My Peggy smiles sae kindly,
It makes me blyth and bauld, And naething gives me sic* delight
As wauking of the fauld.
the community, whenever it can come to act, can meet with no effectual resistance; but till power and right are the same, the whole body of them has no right inconsistent with virtue, and the first of all virtues, prudence. Men have no [230 right to what is not reasonable, and to what is not for their benefit; for though a pleasant writer said, Liceat perire poetis, when one of them, in cold blood, is said to have leaped into the flames of a volcanic revolution, Ardentem frigidus Ætnam insiluit, I consider such a frolic rather as an unjustifiable poetic license, than as one of the franchises of Parnassus; and whether he were poet, or divine, or (240 politician, that chose to exercise this kind of right, I think that more wise, because more charitable, thoughts would urge me rather to save the man, than to preserve his brazen slippers as the monuments of his folly.
My Peggy sings sae saftly
When on my pipe I play,
And in her sangs are tauld
At wauking of the fauld.
THE LASS WITH A LUMP OF LAND
Gi’e me a lass with a lump of land,
And we for life shall gang thegither; Though daft or wise I'll never demand, Or black or fair it maks na whether. I'm aff with wit, and beauty will fade, 5
And blood alane is no worth a shilling; But she that's rich, her market's made,
For ilka? charm about her is killing.
THE PRECURSORS OF
ALLAN RAMSAY (1686–1758)
My Peggy is a young thing,
Just entered in her teens,
And I'm not very auld,
The wauking of the fauld.
My Peggy speaks sae sweetly
Whene'er we meet alane, I wish nae mair to lay my care, I wish nae mair of a' that's rare; My Peggy speaks sae sweetly,
To a' the lave? I'm cauld, But she gars' a' my spirits glow
At wauking of the fauld.
There's meikle good love in bands and
bags, And siller and gowd's12 a sweet com
plexion; But beauty, and wit, and virtue in rags,
Have tint13 the art of gaining affection.20 Love tips his arrows with woods and parks, And castles, and riggs,14 and moors, and
meadows; And naithing can catch our modern
sparks, But well-tochered15 lasses or jointured
My Peggy smiles sae kindly
Whene'er I whisper love, That I look down on a' the town,
That I look down upon a crown; 20 I watching.
widows. A such. choice. foolish. ? every. 8 once.
property. 10 mournful. 11 poverty. 14 ridge, a measure of land.
12 gold. I lost. 15 well-dowered.
Attract his slender feet. The foodless JAMES THOMSON (1700-1748)
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The THE SEASONS
Though timorous of heart, and hard beset From WINTER
By death in various forms, dark snares and
dogs, Through the hushed air the whitening And more unpitying men, the garden shower descends,
260 At first thin-wavering, till at last the Urged on by fearless want. The bleating flakes
kind Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming Eye the bleak heaven, and next, the glisthe day
tening earth, With a continual flow. The cherished With looks of dumb despair; then, sad disfields
persed, Put on their winter robe of purest white: Dig for the withered herb through heaps 'T is brightness all, save where the new of snow.
snow melts Along the mazy current. Low the woods Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid As thus the snows arise, and foul and sun
276 Faint from the west emits his evening All winter drives along the darkened air, ray,
In his own loose-revolving fields the swain Earth's universal face, deep-hid and chill, Disastered stands; sees other hills ascend, Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries Of unknown joyless brow, and other wide
280 The works of man. Drooping, the labor Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless er-ox
240 plain; Stands covered o'er with snow, and then Nor finds the river nor the forest, hid demands
Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of From hill to dale, still more and more heaven,
astray, Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around Impatient flouncing through the drifted The winnowing store, and claim the little heaps, boon
Stung with the thoughts of home; the Which Providence assigns them. One thoughts of home alone,
245 Rush on his nerves, and call their vigor The redbreast, sacred to the household forth gods,
In many a vain attempt. How sinks his Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, soul! In joyless fields and thorny thickets What black despair, what horror, fills his leaves
heart! His shivering mates, and pays to trusted When for the dusky spot which fancy man
290 His annual visit. Half-afraid, he first 250 His tufted cottage rising through the snow, Against the window beats; then, brisk, He meets the roughness of the middle alights
waste, On the warm hearth; then hopping o'er Far from the track and blessed abode of the floor,
man; Eyes all the smiling family askance, While round him night resistless closes And pecks, and starts, and wonders where fast, he is;
And every tempest howling o'er his Till more familiar grown, the table
255 | Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the busy shapes into his On some impatient seizing, hurls them in: mind,
Emboldened then, nor hesitating more, 381 Of covered pits, unfathomably deep, Fast, fast, they plunge amid the flashing A dire descent! beyond the power of frost; wave, Of faithless bogs; of precipices huge, 300 And, panting, labor to the farther shore. Smoothed up with snow; and what is land Repeated this, till deep the well-washed unknown,
fleece What water of the still unfrozen spring, Has drunk the flood, and from his lively In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
385 Where the fresh fountain from the bottom The trout is banished by the sordid stream; boils.
Heavy and dripping, to the breezy brow These check his fearful steps, and down he Slow move the harmless race; where, as sinks
305 they spread Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray, Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death, Inly disturbed, and wondering what this Mixed with the tender anguish nature wild
Outrageous tumult means, their loud Through the wrung bosom of the dying complaints man,
The country fill—and, tossed from rock His wife, his children, and his friends, un to rock, seen.
310 Incessant bleatings run around the hills. In vain for him the officious wife prepares At last, of snowy white, the gathered The fire fair blazing, and the vestment flocks warm;
Are in the wattled pen innumerous pressed, In vain his little children, peeping out Head above head; and ranged in lusty Into the mingling storm, demand their sire rows
396 With tears of artless innocence. Alas! 315 The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding Nor wife nor children more shall he behold, shears. Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every The housewife waits to roll her fleecy nerve
stores, The deadly winter seizes, shuts up sense, With all her gay-dressed maids attending And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
round. Lays him along the snows a stiffened One, chief, in gracious dignity enthroned, corse,
320 Shines o'er the rest, the pastoral queen, Stretched out, and bleaching in the north and rays
401 ern blast.
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shep
herd-king; From SUMMER
While the glad circle round them yield
their souls Rushing thence, in one diffusive band,371 | To festive mirth, and wit that knows no They drive the troubled flocks, by many a gall. dog
Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace: Compelled, to where the mazy-running Some mingling stir the melted tar, and brook
some, Forms a deep pool; this bank abrupt and Deep on the new-shorn vagrant's heaving high,
side, And that, fair-spreading in a pebbled To stamp his master's cipher ready stand; shore.
: 375 | Others the unwilling wether drag along; Urged to the giddy brink, much is the toil, | And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy The clamor much, of men, and boys, and Holds by the twisted horns the indignant
411 Ere the soft, fearful people to the flood Behold where bound, and of its robe Commit their woolly sides. And oft the bereft, swain,
By needy man, that all-depending lord,