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one. Do not multitudes pursue, said he, infinite objects of desire, acknowledged; every one of them, to be in no respect necessaries? Exquisite viands, delicious wines, splendid apparel, curious gardens, magnificent apartments adorned with pictures and sculptures; music and poetry, and the whole tribe of elegant arts? It is evident, said I. If it be, continued he, it should seem, that they all considered the Chief or Sovereign Good not to be that which conduces to bare existence or mere being; for to this the necessaries alone are adequate. I replied, they were. But if not this, it must be somewhat conducive to that, which is superior to mere being. It must. And what, continued he, can this be, but wellbeing, under the various shapes in which different opinions paint it? Or can you suggest any thing else? I replied, I could not. Mark here, then, continued he, another preconception, in which they all agree; the Sovereign Good is somewhat conducive, not to mere being, but to wellbeing. I replied, it had so appeared.
Again, continued he. What labour, what expense, to procure those rarities, which our own poor country is unable to afford us! How is the world ransacked to it's utmost. verges, and luxury and arts imported from every quarter! Nay more: How do we baffle Nature herself; invert her order; seek the vegetables of spring in the rigours of winter, and winter's ice during the heats of summer! I replied, we did. And what disappointment, what remorse, when endeavours fail! It is true. If this then be evident, said he, it would seem, that whatever we desire as our Chief and Sovereign Good is something, which, as far as possible, we would accommodate to all places and times. I answered, so it appeared. See then, said he, another of it's charac-.. teristics, another preconception.
But, farther still; What contests for wealth! What scrambling for property! What perils in the pursuit! What solicitude in the maintenance! And why all this? To what purpose, what end? Or is not the reason plain? Is it not, that wealth may continually procure us whatever we fancy good; and make that perpetual, which would otherwise be transient? I replied, it seemed so. Is it not farther desired,, as supplying us from ourselves; when, without it, we must be beholden to the benevolence of others, and depend on their
eaprice for all that we enjoy? It is true, said I, this seems.
Again; Is not power of every degree as much contested for as wealth? Are not magistracies, honours, principalities, and empire, the subjects of strife and everlasting contention ? I replied, they were. And why, said he, this? To obtain what end? Is it not to help us, like wealth, to the possession. of what we desire? Is it not farther to ascertain, to secure our enjoyments; that when others would deprive us, we may be strong enough to resist them? I replied, it was.
Or, to invert the whole; Why are there, who seek reeesses the most distant and retired; flee courts and power, and submit to parsimony and obscurity? Why all this, but from the same intention? From an opinion, that small possessions, used moderately, are permanent; that larger possessions raise envy, and are more frequently invaded; that the safety of power and dignity is more precarious than that of retreat; and that therefore they have chosen what is most eligible upon the whole? It is not, said I, improbable, that they act by some such motive.
Do you not see, then, continued he, two or three more preconceptions of the Sovereign Good, which are sought for by all, as essential to constitute it? And what, said I, are these? That it should not be transient, nor derived from the will of others, nor in their power to take away; but be durable, self-derived, and (if I may use the expression,) indeprivable. I confess, said I, it appears so. But we have already found it to be considered, as something agreeable to our nature; conducive, not to mere being, but to wellbeing; and what we aim to have accommodated to all places and times. We have.
There may be other characteristics, said he, but these I think sufficient. See then it's idea; behold it as collected from the original, natural, and universal preconceptions of all mankind. The Sovereign Good, they have taught us, ought to be something agreeable to our nature; conducive to wellbeing; accommodated to all places and times; durable, self-derived, and indeprivable. Your account, said I, appears just.
keeping up an acquaintance or correspondence among his friends in the country, but by going down once or twice a year at a very extraordinary charge, and often without any other business; so that we may conclude, a gentleman in office cannot, even in seven years, save much for distributing in ready money at the time of an election; and I really believe, if the fact were narrowly inquired into, it would appear that the gentlemen in office are as little guilty of bribing their electors with ready money, as any other set of gentlemen in the kingdom.
That there are ferments often raising among the people without any just cause is what I am surprised to hear controverted, since very late experience may convince us of the contrary. Do not we know what a ferment was raised in the nation toward the latter end of the late Queen's reign? And it is well known, what a fatal change in the affairs of this nation was introduced, or at least confirmed, by an election's coming on while the nation was in that ferment. Do not we know what a ferment was raised in the nation soon after his late Majesty's accession? And if an election had then been allowed to come on, while the nation was in that ferment, it might perhaps have had as fatal effects as the former; but, thank God, this was wisely provided against by the very law, which is now wanted to be repealed.
As such ferments may hereafter often happen, I must think, that frequent elections will always be dangerous; for which reason, as far as I can see at present, I shall, I believe, at all times think it a very dangerous experiment to repeal the septennial bill.
LORD LYTTLETON'S SPEECH ON THE REPEAL OF THE ACT CALLED THE JEW BILL, IN THE YEAR 1753.
I SEE no occasion to enter at present into the merits of the. bill we passed the last session for the naturalization of Jews; because I am convinced, that, in the present temper of the
THE SPEECH OF BRUTUS ON THE DEATH OF CÆSAR.
ROMANS, Countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause; and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus's love to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves; than that Cæsar were dead, to live all freemen ? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There are tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honour for his valour, and death for his ambition. Who's here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who's here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who's here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended.-I pause for a reply.
None? then none have I offended-I have done no more to Cæsar, than you should do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol: his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony; who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this I depart, that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death. SHAKSPEARE.
GLOCESTER'S SPEECH TO THE NOBLES.
BRAVE Peers of England, pillars of the state,
In winter's cold, and summer's parching heat,
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe ?
And shall these labours and these honours die?