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able. We do not understand by this advancement, in general, the mere making of money, but the being known to have made it; not the accomplishment of any great aim, but the being seen to have accomplished it. In a word, we mean the gratification of our thirst for applause. That thirst, if the last infirmity of noble minds, is also the first infirmity of weak ones; and, on the whole, the strongest impulsive influence of average humanity: the greatest efforts of the race have always been traceable to the love of praise, -as its greatest catastrophes to the love of pleasure.
I am not about to attack or defend this impulse. I want you only to feel how it lies at the root of effort; especially of all modern effort. It is the gratification of vanity which is, with us, the stimulus of toil, and balm of repose; 80 closely does it touch the very springs of life, that the wounding of our vanity is always spoken of (and truly) as in its measure mortal; we call it “mortification," using the same expression which we should apply to a gangrenous and incurable bodily hurt. And although few of us may be phy. sicians enough to recognise the various effect of this passion upon health and energy, I believe most honest men know, and would at once acknowledge, its leading power with them as a motive. The seaman does not commonly desire to be made captain only because he knows he can manage the ship better than any other sailor on board. He wants
to be made captain that he may be called captain. The clergyman does not usually want to be made a bishop only because he believes that no other hand. can, as firmly as his, direct the diocese through its difficulties. He wants to be made bishop primarily that he may be called “ My Lord.” And a prince does not usually desire to enlarge, or a subject to gain, a kingdom because he believes that no one else can as well serve the state upon the throne; but, briefly, because he wishes to be addressed as “Your Majesty," by as many lips as may be brought to such utterance.
This, then, being the main idea of advancement in life, the force of it applies, for all of us, according to our station, particularly to that secondary result of such advancement which we call "getting into good society.” We want to get into good society, not that we may have it, but that we may be seen in it; and onr notion of its goodness do pends primarily on its conspicuousness.
Will you pardon me if I pause for a moment to put what I fear you may think an impertinent question? I never can go on with an address unless I feel, or know, that my audience are either with me or against me: (I do not much care wbich, in begiiving ;) but I must know where they are; and I would fain find out, at this instant, whether you think I am putting the motives of popular action too low. I am resolved to-night, to state them low enough to be admitted
as probable; for whenever, in my writings on Political Economy, I assume that a little honesty, or generosity,-or what used to be called “virtue"-may be calculated upon as a human motive of action, people always answer me, saying, “You must not calculate on that: that is not in human nature: you must not assume anything to be common to men but acquisitiveness and jealousy; no other feeling ever bas influence on them, except accidentally, and in matters out of the way of business." I begin accordingly to-night low down in the scale of motives; but I must know if you think me right in doing so. Therefore, let me ask those who admit the love of praise to be usually the strongest motive in men's minds in seeking advancement, and the honest desire of doing any kind of duty to be an entirely secondary one, to hold up their hands. (About a dozen of hands held un-the audience partly not being sure the lecturer is serious, and partly shy of expressing opinion.). I am quite serious -I really do want to know what you think; however, I can judge by putting the reverse question. Will those who think that duty is generally the first, and love of praise the second motive, hold up their hands? (One hand reported to have been held up, behind the lecturer.) Very good : I see you are with me, and that you think I have not begun too near the ground. Now, without teasing you by putting farther question, I venture to assume that you will admit
duty as at least a secondary or tertiary motive. You think that the desire of doing something useful, or obtaining some real good, is indeed an existent collateral idea, though a secondary one, in most men's desire of advancement. You will grant that moderately bonest men desire place and office, at least in some measure for the sake of their beneficent power; and would wish to associate rather with sensible and well-informed persons than with fools and ignorant persons, whether they are seen in the company of the sensible ones or not. And finally, without being troubled by repetition of any common truisms about the preciousness of friends, and the influence of companions, you will admit, doubtless, that according to the sincerity of our desire that our friends may be true, and our companions wise, -and in proportion to the earnestness and discretion with wbich wechoose both, will be the general chances of our happiness and usefulness.
But, granting that we had both the will and the sense to choose our friends well, how few of us have the power! or, at least, how, limited, for most, is the sphere of choice ! Nearly all our associations are determined by chance or necessity; and restricted within a narrow circle. We cannot know whom we would; and those whom we know, we cannot have at our side when we most need them. All the higher circles of human intelligence are, to those beneath,
only momentarily and partially open. We may, by good fortunc, obtain a glimpse of a great poet, and hear the sound of his voice; or put a question to a man of science, and bo answered good-humouredly. We may intrude ten minutes' talk on a cabinet minister, answered probably with words worse than silence, being deceptive; or snatch, once or twice in our lives, the privilege of throwing a bouquet in the path of a Princess, or arresting the kind glance of a Queen. And yet these momentary chances we covet; and spend our years, and passions, and powers in pursuit of little more than these; while, meantime, there is a society continually open to ns, of people who will talk to us as long as we like, whatever our rank or occupation ;-talk to us in the best words they can choose, and with thanks if we listen to them. And. this society, because it is so numerous and so gentle,-and can be kept waiting round us all day long, not to grant audience, but to gain it;—kings and statesmen lingering patiently in those plainly furnished and narrow anterooms, onr bookcase shelves, we make no account of that company,-perhaps never listen to a word they would say, all day long!
You may tell me, perhaps, or think within yourselves, that the apathy with which we regard this company of the noble, who are praying us to listen to them, and the passion with which we pursue the company, probably of the ignoble, who despise ur, or who have nothing to teach us, are grounded in