« НазадПродовжити »
Where small and great, where weak and mighty made
NOTES. stance, when the mind had the will to raise the arm to the head, the body was so precontrived, as to raise, at that very moment, the part required. This he called the PRE-ESTABLISHED HARMONY ; and with this he promised to do wonders. W.
Ver. 297. Where small and great,] Swift's opinion about property is remarkable, in his Various Thoughts, p. 394. “ In all well-instituted commonwealths, care has been taken to limit men's possessions ; which is done for many reasons, and among the rest, for one, which is perhaps not often considered ; that when bounds are set to men's desires, after they have acquired as much as the laws will permit them, their private interest is at an end, and they have nothing to do but to take care of the public."
Ver. 303. For Forms of Government] But surely some Forms of Government are better calculated to produce and continue a good administration than others, or alter and reform bad administrations. “ It is a great question with several, Whether there be any essential difference," says Hume, “ betwixt one form of Government and another ? and, Whether every form may not become good or bad, according as it is well administered? Were it once admitted, that all Governments are alike, and that the only difference consists in the character and conduct of the governors, most political disputes would be at an end, and all real for one constitution above another, must be esteemed mere bigotry and folly. But though a friend to moderation, I cannot forbear condemning this sentiment, and should be very sorry to think that human affairs admit of no greater stability than what they receive from the casual humours and characters of parti. cular men.
« 'Tis true, those who maintain that the goodness of all Government consists in the goodness of the administration, may
For Modes of Faith let graceless zealots fight; 305 His can't be wrong whose life is in the right : .
NOTES. cite many particular instances in history, where the very same Government, in different hands, has varied suddenly into the opposite extremes of good and bad. Compare the French Government under Henry III. and under Henry IV. Oppression, levity, artifice, on the part of the rulers : faction, sedition, treachery, rebellion, disloyalty, on the part of the subjects : these compose the character of the former miserable era. But when the patriot and heroic prince, who succeeded, was once firmly seated on the throne, the government, the people, every thing seemed to be totally changed, and all from the difference of the temper and sentiments of these two sovereigns. An equal difference of a contrary kind may be found on comparing the reigns of Elizabeth and James, at least with regard to foreign affairs : and instances of this kind may be multiplied, almost without number, from ancient as well as modern history.
“ But here I would beg leave to make a distinction. All absolute Governments (and such that of England was, in great measure, till the middle of the last century, notwithstanding the numerous panegyrics on ancient English liberty) must very much depend on the administration : and this is one of the great inconveniences of that form of Government. But a republican and free Government would be a most obvious absurdity, if the particular checks and controls, provided by the constitution, had really no influence, and made it not the interest, even of bad men, to operate for the public good. Such is the intention of these forms of Government, and such is their real effect where they are wisely constituted : as, on the other hand, they are the sources of all disorders, and of the blackest crimes, where either skill or honesty has been wanting in their original frame and institution.
“ So great is the force of laws, and of particular forms of Government, and so little dependance have they on the humours and temper of men, that consequences almost as general and certain may be deduced from them, on most occasions, as any which the mathematical sciences afford us."
Hear also the opinion of the Cambridge Professor, Dr. Rutherforth, on this subject, which is an important one: “ Politicians are very well employed in comparing and balancing the advan,
In Faith and Hope the world will disagree,
tages and inconveniences of each form of Government with one another. For though the result of their inquiries will never determine what form it is which any particular nation has agreed to establish, yet it may serve to shew every nation what is the most desirable form, and may lead them, as they have opportunity, to make such alterations in their own as will bring them nearer to that point, if they cannot quite reach it. Certainly our English Poet has but little reason on his side, when he represents such an inquiry as the business of fools; and maintains, that the only difference between civil constitutions of Government consists in the better or worse administration of them : for that constitution is, in his judgment, to be called the best, let it be what it will, which is best administered. Whatever public benefit depends upon the character of the persons in power, it is derived from their wisdom and goodness, and not from the nature of the form of government. So that to call that form the best, which is best administered, seems to be speaking improperly. Or if we will call it the best, we must in the mean time allow, that it is the best by accident only, and not in its own nature. In the common course of human affairs, it is almost impossible to prevent the civil power from coming into the hands of weak and bad men, whatever the constitution is. That form of Government, therefore, is best in itself, which guards most effectually against this evil; or, if this evil ever does happen, which lays the persons in power under such checks and restraints as are most likely to prevent them from abusing their trust; or, lastly, if this trust is abused, which has provided the readiest means for correcting the abuses. An absolute monarchy is a constitution which has so little title to these characters, that it can have no pretension to be thought the only natural, and much less the only possible, form of Government, upon account of its being the best form.” In that elegant and valuable publication, entitled Athenian Letters, written by some of the most respectable persons of the present age, and in which subjects of literature, philosophy, and politics, are treated with uncommon candour and penetration, is an excellent discourse on Forms of Government, by the honourable Charles Yorke, p. 216. London. 4to. 1781.
A penetrating writer has well observed, “ that all Forms of
All must be false that thwart this one great End; And all of God, that bless Mankind or mend. 310
Man, like the gen’rous vine, supported lives; The strength he gains is from th' embrace he gives. On their own Axis as the Plannets run, Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;
NOTES. Government, in fact, mutually approach each other, or recede, by many, and often insensible gradations ?" Aristotle is of opinion, in the seventh chapter of the seventh book of his Politics, that there are some nations who cannot live under a free Government.
Ver. 305. For Modes of Faith let graceless zealots fight;] These latter ages have seen so many scandalous contentions for modes of faith, to the violation of Christian Charity, and dishonour of sacred Scripture, that it is not at all strange they should become the object of so benevolent and wise an Author's resentment. W.
He borrowed this from Cowley; who, extolling the piety of his friend Crashaw, the Poet, who went over to the Romish Church, and died a Canon of Loretto, says,
“ Pardon, my Mother Church, if I consent
Be wrong; his life, I'm sure, was in the right.”
“ Digladient alii circa res religionis :
Quod credas nihil est, sit modo vita proba." But“ digladient is a barbarism; he should have said, digladientur, or contendant,” says Dr. Jortin.
Ver. 313. On their own Aris] This illustration is plainly taken from the Spectator, No. 588, said to be written by Mr. Grove: “ Is therefore Benevolence inconsistent with Self-love ? Are their motions contrary? No more than the diurnal rotation of the earth is opposed to its annual; or its motion round its own centre; which might be improved as an illustration of Self-love; that whirls it about the common centre of the world, answering to
So two consistent motions act the Soul; 315 And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.
Thus God and Nature link'd the gen’ral frame, And bade Self-love and Social be the same.
NOTES. universal benevolence. Is the force of Self-love abated, or its interest prejudiced by benevolence ? So far from it, that benevolence, though a distinct principle, is extremely serviceable to Selflove, and then doth most service when it is least designed.”
Ver. 315. act the Soul ;] It should certainly be actuate, or act upon. He has used this expression again, Iliad xv. v. 487.
“ This acted by a God.” Such inaccuracies are not worth remarking, but in writers so correct and eminent as our author, lest they should give a sanction to errors. Dr. Lowth in his Grammar has pointed out several in our Author's Works.
Ver. 318. And hade Self-love] The Remarks of Warburton on the Essay on Man, on the Moral Epistles, and the Alliance betwixt Church and State, were translated into French by M. De Silhouette; for which translation, supposing it contained opinions unfavourable to the despotic government of France, he was much censured, and had nearly been prosecuted, when he became Controller General of the Finances; and he immediately bought up and destroyed all the copies of this work that could be found.
Voltaire, writing to M. De Cideville, in June 1759, says of M. De Silhouette, “Le genie de M. De Silhouette est Anglois, calculateur, et courageux; mais si on nous prend des Guadeloupe, si ces maudits Anglois ont plus de vaisseaux que nous, et meilleurs, si les frais de la visite qu'on veut leur rendre sont perdus, si les depenses immenses d'une guerre juste, mais ruineuse, absorbent les revenus de l'état, ni M. De Silhouette, ni Pope, n'y pourront suffire."
In this passage (Ver. 318) Pope uses the very words of Bolingbroke : “ Thus it happens that Self-love and Social are divided, and set in opposition to one another in the conduct of particular men, whilst in the making laws, and the regulation of government, they continue the same.” Minutes of Essays, section 51, addressed to Pope.