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dicament; and I therefore cannot the threatened alternative. I know this as a rule, that the stronger the repentance, the surer the relapse and the more hopeless the cure! The being engrossed by the present moment, by the present feeling, whatever it be, whether of pleasure or pain, is the evident cause of both. Few instances have been heard of, of final reformation on this head. Yet it is a clear case; and reason, if it were that Giant that it is represented in any thing but ledgers and books of accounts, would put down the abuse in an instant. It is true, this infirmity is more particularly chargeable to the English and to other Northern nations; and there has been a considerable improvement among us of late years; but I suspect it is owing to a change of manners, and to the opening of new sources of amusement, (without the aid of ardent spirits flung in to relieve the depression of our animal spirits,) more than to the excellent treatises which have been written against the "Use of Fermented Liquors," or to an increasing, tender regard to our own comfort, health, and happiness in the breasts of individuals. We still find plenty of ways of tormenting ourselves and sporting with the feelings of others! I will say nothing of a passion for gaming here, as too obvious an illustration of what I mean. It is more rare, and hardly to be looked on as epidemic with us. But few that have dabbled in this vice have not become deeply involved, and few (or aone) that have done so have ever retraced their steps or returned to sober calculations of the main-chance. The majority, it is true, are not gamesters; but where the passion does exist, it completely tyrannizes over and stifles the voice of common sense, reason, and humanity. How many victims has the point of honer! I will not pretend that as matters stand, it may not be excusable to fight a duel under certain circumstances and on certain provocations, even in a prudential point of view, (though this proves how little the maxims and practices
think that the deviations from the line of strict prudence and wisdom are so rare or trifling as the theory I am opposing represents them, or I must have been singularly unfortunate in my acquaintance. Out of a score of persons of this clsss I could mention several that have ruined their fortunes out of mere freak, others that are in a state of dotage and imbecility for fear of being robbed of all they are worth. The rest care nothing about the matter. So that this boasted and unfailing attention to the main-chance resolves itself, when strong, into mad profusion or griping penury, or if weak, is null and yields to other motives. Such is the conclusion, to which my observation of life has led me: if I am quite wrong, it is hard that in a world abounding in such characters, I should not have met with a single practical philosopher.
Take drunkenness again, that vice which till within these few years (and even still) was fatal to the health, the constitutions, the fortunes of so many individuals, and the peace of so many families in Great Britain. I would ask what remonstrance of friends, what lessons of experience, what resolutions of amendment, what certainty of remorse and suffering, however exquisite, would deter the confirmed sot (where the passion for this kind of excitement had once become habitual and the immediate want of it was felt) from indulging his propensity and taking his full swing, notwithstanding the severe and imminent punishment to follow upon his incorrigible excess? The consequence of not abstaining from his favorite beverage is not doubtful and distant (a thing in the clouds), but close at his side, staring him in the face, and felt perhaps in all its aggravations the very next morning, yet the recollection of this and of the next day's dawn is of no avail against the momentary craving and headlong impulse given by the first application of the glass to his lips. The present temptation is indeed heightened by
of the world are regulated by a mere consideration of personal safety and welfare)—but I do say that the rashness with which this responsibility is often incurred, and the even seeking for trifling causes of quarrel, shows any thing but a consistent regard to self-interest as a general principle of action, or rather betrays a total recklessness of consequences when opposed to pique, petulance, or passion.
The fault of reason in general, (which takes in the whole instead of parts,) is that objects, though of the utmost extent and importance, are not defined and tangible. This fault cannot be found with the pursuit of trade and commerce. It is not a mere dry, abstract, undefined, speculative, however steady and wellfounded, conviction of the understanding. It has other levers and pulleys to enforce it, besides those of reason and reflection. As follows:
1. The value of money is positive or specific. The interest in it is a sort of mathematical interest, reducible to number and quantity. Ten is always more than one; a part is never greater than the whole; the good we seek in this way has a technical denomination, and I do not deny that in matters of strict calculation, the principle of calculation will naturally bear great sway. The returns of profit and loss are regular and mechanical, and the operations of business, or the main-chance, are so too. But, commonly speaking, we judge by the degree of excitement, not by the ultimate quantity. Thus we prefer a draught of nectar to the recovery of our health. Yet there is a point at which self-will and humor stop. A man will take brandy, which is a kind of slow poison, but he will not take actual poison, knowing it to be such, however slow the operation or bewitching the taste; because here the effect is absolutely fixed and certain, not variable, nor in the power of the imagination to elude or trifle with it. I see no courage in battle, but in going on what is called the forlorn hope.
2. Business is also an affair of hab
it; it calls for incessant and daily application; and what was at first a matter of necessity to supply our wants, becomes often a matter of necessity to employ our time. The man of business wants work for his head, the laborer and mechanic for his hands; so that the love of action, of difficulty and competition, the stimulus of success or failure, is perhaps as strong an ingredient in men's or dinary pursuits as the love of gain. We find persons pursuing science, or any hobby-horsical whim or handicraft that they have taken a fancy to, or persevering in a losing concern, with just the same ardor and obstina cy. As to the choice of a pursuit in life, a man may not be forward to engage in business, but being once in, does not like to turn back amidst the pity of friends and the derision of enemies. How difficult is it to prevent those who have a turn for any art or science from going into these unprofitable pursuits! Nay, how difficult is it often to prevent those who have no turn that way, but prefer starving to a certain income! If there is one in a family brighter than the rest, he is immediately designed for one of the learned professions. Really, the dull and plodding people of the world have not much reason to boast of their superior wisdom cr numbers: they are in an involuntary majority!
3. The value of money is an er changeable value: that is, this pursuit is available towards and convertible into a great many others. A person is in want of money, and mortgages an estate, to throw it away upon a round of entertainments and compa ny. The passion or motive here is not a hankering after money, but society, and the individual will ruin himself for this object. Another, who has the same passion for show and a certain style of living, tries to gain a fortune in trade to indulge it, and only goes to work in a more round-about way. I remember a story of a common mechanic at Manchester, who laid out the hard-earned savings of the week in hiring a horse
and livery-servant to ride behind him to Stockport every Suuday, and to dine there at an ordinary like a gentleman. The pains bestowed upon the main-chance here was only a cover for another object, which exercised a ridiculous predominance over his mind. Money will purchase a horse, a house, a picture, leisure, dissipation, or whatever the individual has a fancy for that is to be purchased; but it does not follow that he is fond of all these, or of whatever will promote his real interest, because he is fond of money, but that he has a passion for some one of these objects, to which he would probably sacrifice all the rest, and his own peace and happiness into the bargain.
4. The main-chance is an instrument of various passions, but is directly opposed to none of them, with the single exception of indolence or the vis inertia, which of itself is seldom strong enough to master it, without the aid of some other incitement. A barrister sticks to his duty as long as he has only his love of ease to prevent; but he flings up his briefs, or neglects them, if he thinks he can make a figure in Parliament. No one flings away the main-chance without a motive, any more than he voluntarily walks into the fire or breaks his neck out of a window. A man must live; the first step is a point of necessity :-every man would live well; the second is a point of luxury. The having, or even acquiring wealth, does not prevent our enjoying it in various ways. A man may give his mornings to business, and his even ings to pleasure. There is no contradiction; nor does he sacrifice his ruling passion by this, more than the man of letters by study, or the soldier by an attention to discipline. Reason and passion are opposed, not passion and business. The sot, the glutton, the debauchee, the gamester, must all have money, to make their own use of it, and they may indulge
all these passions and their avarice at the same time. It is only when the last becomes the ruling passion that it puts a prohibition on the others. In that case, every thing else is lost sight of; but it is seldom carried to this length; or when it is, it is far from being another name, either in its means or ends, for reason, sense, or happiness, as I have already shown.
I have taken no notice hitherto of ambition or virtue, or scarcely of the pursuits of fame or intellect. Yet all these are important and respectable divisions of the map of human life. Who ever charged Mr. Pitt with a want of common sense, because he did not die worth a plum? Had it been proposed to Lord Byron to forfeit every penny of his estate, or every particle of his reputation would he have hesitated to part with the former ? Is there not a loss of character, a stain upon honor, that is felt as a severer blow than any reverse of fortune? Do not the richest heiresses in the city marry for a title, and think themselves well off? Are there not patriots who think or dream all their lives about their country's good; philanthropists who rave about liberty and humanity at a certain yearly loss? Are there not studious men, who never once thought of bettering their circumstances? Are not the liberal professions held more respectable than business, though less lucrative? Might not most people do better than they do, but that they postpone their interest to their indolence, their taste for reading, their love of pleasure, or other pursuits? And is it not generally understood that all men can make a fortune, or succeed in the main-chance, who have but that one idea in their heads ?* Lastly, are there not those who pursue or husband wealth for their own good, for the benefit of their friends, or the relief of the distressed? But as the
* I have said somewhere, that all professions that do not make money breed are careless and extravagant. This is not true of lawyers, &c. I ought to have said that this is the case with all those that by the regularity of their returns do not afford a prospect of realizing an independence by frugality and industry.
4 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.
examples are rare, and might be sup- "Masterless passion sways us to the mood, posed to make against myself, I shall of what it likes or loaths— not insist upon them. I think I have said enough to vindicate or apologize for my first position
or if not to make good my ground, to march out with flying colors and beat of drum !
Star of the Mariner! thy car,
O'er the blue waters twinkling clearly, Reminds him of his home afar,
And scenes he still loves, ah how dearly! He sees his native fields, he sees
Grey twilight gathering o'er his moun-
And hears the murmuring of green trees,
How beautiful, when, through the shrouds,
And as, athwart the billows driven,
Star of the Mourner! 'mid the gloom,
Of him who left her broken-hearted; Darkness within, and Night around,
The joys of life no more can move her, When lo! thou lightest the profound,
To tell that Heaven's eye glows above
Star of the Lover! Oh, how bright
Above the copsewood dark thou shinest, As longs he for those eyes of light,
For him whose lustre burns divinest; Earth, and the things of earth depart,
Transform'd to scenes and sounds Elysian; Warm rapture gushes o'er his heart,
And Lite seems like a faëry vision.
Yes, thine the hour, when, daylight done,
The torch illuming Evening's portal,
With burning soul, in lays immortal.
Star of the Poet! thy pale fire,
Awakening, kindling inspiration,
The loftiest themes of meditation;
Bright leader of the hosts of Heaven!
When day from darkness God divided, In silence through Empyrean driven,
Forth from the East thy chariot glided; Star after star, o'er night and earth,
Shone out in brilliant revelation; And all the angels sang for mirth,
To hail the finish'd, fair Creation.
Star of the bee! with laden thigh,
Thy twinkle warns its homeward wing
Star of the bird! thou bid'st her lie
Ere Isaac, mid the piny dell,
And, when to Death's stern mandate bow
Down o'er her young, and hush her sing- Thou shalt uprise, as thou dost now,
Star of the pilgrim, travel-sore,
How sweet, reflected in the fountains,
Thou art the Star of Freedom, thou
Undo'st the bonds which gall the sorest; Thou bring'st the ploughman from his plough;
Thou bring'st the woodman from his forest;
Thou bring'st the wave-worn fisher home,
Star of declining day, farewell!-
Star that proclaims Eternity!
THE GIANT AND THE DWARF.
Humbly inscribed to T. Pidcock, Esq. of Exeter Change.
A GIANT that once of a Dwarf made a friend,
(And their friendship the Dwarf took care shouldn't be hid), Would now and then, out of his glooms, condescend
To laugh at his antics,-as every one did.
This Dwarf-an extremely diminutive dwarf,
In birth unlike G-y, though his pride was as big,
He wrote little verses-and sung them withal,
And the Giant's dark visions they sometimes could charm,
And the song which could Hell and its legions disarm.
The Giant was grateful, and offered him gold,
But the Dwarf was indignant and spurned at the offer:
"What would Dwarfland, and Ireland, and every land say ?
And the Quarterly swear that I must have been bribed.
"You see how I'm puzzled: I don't say it wouldn't
I wouldn't accept it-on any account.
"But couldn't you just write your Autobiography,
Would bring me far more than my Songs or my singing
"You know what I did for poor Sheridan's Life;