« ElőzőTovább »
but not the sense in which the garrison of Sebastia actually received it: which last sense, according to our rule, was the sense in which he was in conscience bound to have performed it.
From the account which we have given of the obligation of promises, it is evident, that this obligation depends upon the expectations which we knowingly and voluntarily excite. Consequently any action or conduct towards another, which we are sensible excites expectations in that others is as much a promise, and creates as strict an obligatton, as the most express assurances.- Paley.
Republican Equality.--Story. i GENTLEMEN have argued, as if personal rights only were the proper objects of government. But what, I would ask, is life worth, if a man cannot eat in security the bread earned by his own industry ? If he is not permitted 10 transmit to his children the little inheritance, which his affection has destined for their use ? What enables us to diffuse education among all the classes of society, but property ? Are not our public schools, the distinguishing blessing of our land, sustained by its patronage? I will say
no more about the rich and the poor. There is no parallel 2 to be run between them, founded on permanent constitu
tional distinctions. The rich help the poor, and the poor in turn adıninister to the rich.
In our country the highest man is not above the people ; the humblest is not below the people. If the rich may
be said to have additional protection, they have not additional power. Nor does wealth here form a permanent distinction of families. Those who are wealthy to-day pass to the tomb, and their children divide their estates. Property
is thus divided quite as fast as it accumulates. No family 3 can, without its own exertions, stand erect for a long time
under our statute of descents and distributions, the only true and legitimate agrarian law. It silently and quietly dissolves the mass, heaped up by the toil and diligence of a long life of enterprise and industry.
Property is continually changing, like the waves of the
One wave rises and is soon swallowed up in the vas“ abyss, and seen no Another rises, and having reaches its destined limit, falls gently away, and is suc
ceeded by yet another, which in its turn, breaks and dies 4 away silently on the shore. The richest man among us
may be brought down to the humblest level; and the child with scarcely clothes to cover his nakedness, may rise to the highest office in our government. And the poor man while he rocks his infant on his knees, may justly indulge the consolation, that if he possess talents and virtue, there is no office beyond the reach of his honorable ambition.
To die, they say, is noble—as a soldier-
Long hast thou wandered in a stranger's land,
Man and Animals.-JANE TAYLOR. 1 Mr. F. and his children were walking one summer evening, in what are familiarly called the high woods. A
narrow path conducted them through the underwood, where straggling branches of the wild rose intercepted them at every step : the rich and variegated stems of the forest trees were illumined here and there in bright spots, by golden beams of the setting sun, which streamed through the interstices of the massy foliage. Swarms of merry gnats danced in the open spaces of the wood ; birds of
every note sang, in uninterrupted gladness, amid its deep 2
recesses; the nimble squirrel was observed occasionally leaping from bough to bough; and the timid eye of the wild rabbit was seen peeping from behind the roots of the trees, and then swiftly disappearing, she escaped into her inaccessible fortresses. How happy are young people, whose taste is raised to the enjoyment of these elevated and simple pleasures, and who find in their parents, intelligent friends, capable of cultivating this taste, of inspiring and guiding their love of knowledge, and of giving a right
direction to both! 3 The liberty and happiness evidently enjoyed by the va
rious little inhabitants of these woods, gave a turn to the evening's conversation, as the party returned home.
“I think,” says little Joe," that if I were going to be changed into any thing else, I should like best to be a rabbit, and to live in the woods; they seem so happy and comfortable here.
Father. Can you tell me, Joe, what is the greatest disserence between you and a rabbit.
Joe. Why, papa, we are as different as can be. Rabbuis 4 have got long ears, and four legs, and are covered all over with soft hair.
Father. So far, then, the rabbit seems to have the advantage of you, for it can run faster with four legs than y ju can with only two; and its long ears enable it to hear more acutely; and it has a warm dress, ready made, without any trouble or expense : now can you think of any thing in which you are better off than a rabbit ?
Joe was such a very little boy that he could not think of any thing ; but his brother, Edward, soon answered for 5 him, saying, “ Why, we are better off than rabbits, almost in every thing: we can talk, and laugh, and read, and write, and learn Latin."
Father. It is true the rabbit can not do these things; but
then she is quite independent of them, for she answers all the purposes of her existence perfectly well without their assistance. Richard, can you give us a more accurate account of the difference between man and animals ?
Richard. I suppose, papa, the chief difference is our hav. ing reason, and they only instinct. 6 Father. But, in order to understand what we mean by the terms reason and instinct, I think three things may be mentioned, in which the difference very distinctly appears.
Richard. What are they, papa ?
Father. Let us first, to bring the parties as nearly on a level as possible, consider man in a savage state, wholly occupied like the beasts of the field, in providing for the wants of his animal nature ; and here the first distinction, that
appears between him and the creatures around him, is, the use of implernents. 7 Richard. Ah, I should never have thought of that.
Father. When the savage provides himself with a hut, or a crawl, or a wigwam, for shelter, or that he may store up his provision, he does no more than is done by the rabbit, the beaver, the bee, and birds of every species. But the man cannot make any progress in his work without something like tools, however rude and simple in their form: he must provide himself with an axe, even before he can lop down a tree for its timber; whereas these animals form their burrows, their cells, or their nests, with the most math8 ematical nicety, with no other tools than those with which
nature has provided them. In cultivating the ground, also, man can do nothing without a spade or a plough ; nor can he reap
what he has sown, till he has shaped an instrument, with which to cut down his harvests. But. the animals provide for themselves and their young without any of these things.
Edward. Then, here again, the animals are the best off.
Father. That is not our present inquiry : now for the second distinction : Man, in all his operations makes 9 mistakes, animals make none.
Edward. Do animals never make mistakes?
Father. Why Edward, did you ever see such a thing, or hear of such a thing, as a little bird sitting disconsolate on a twig, lamenting over her half finished nest, and puzzling her little poll to know how to complete it? Did you ever see the cells of a bee-hive in clumsy irregular shapes, or observe any thing like a discussion in the little community, as if there were a difference of opinion among the architects ?
The boys laughed, and owned they had never heard of 10 such a thing.
Father. Animals are even better physicians than we are, for when they are ill, they will many of them, seek out some particular herb, which they do not use as food, and which possesses a medicinal quality exactly suited to the complaint. Whereas, the whole college of physicians will dispute for a century, and not at last
agree upon the virtues of a single drug. Man undertakes nothing in which he is not more or less puzzled : he must try numberless experiments before he can bring his undertakings to any thing 11 like perfection; and these experiments imply a succession of mistakes. Even the simplest operations of domestic life are not well performed without some experience ; and the term of man's life is half wasted, before he has done with his mistakes, and begins to profit by his lessons.
Edward. Then, papa, how is it? for after all, we are better than animals.
Father. Observe, then, our third distinction, which is, that animals make no improvements, while the knowledge
and the skill, and the success of man are perpetually on 12 the increase. The inventions and discoveries of one gen
eration, are, through the medium of literature, handed down to succeeding ones; so that the accumulated experience of all former ages and nations is ready for our use, before we begin to think and act for ourselves. The result of which is, that the most learned and ingenions among the ancient philosophers, Aristotle or Archimedes, might learn in an hour from a modern school boy, more than the laborious study of their lives could enable them to discover.
Richard. Well, I am glad we have thought of something 13 at last, to prove that men are wiser than rabbits.
Father. Herein appears the difference between what we call instinct and reason. Animals, in all their operations, follow the first impulse of nature, or that invariable law which God has implanted in them. In all they do undertake, therefore, their works are more perfect and regular than those of men.
But man, having been endowed with the faculty of thinking or reasoning about what he does,