Essays on the Intellectual Powers, Moral Sentiment, Happiness and National Felicity

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Parsons and Galignani, 1805 - Ethics - 72 pages

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Page 44 - It should seem, therefore, to be the happiness of man, to make his social dispositions the ruling spring of his occupations; to state himself as the member of a community, for whose general good his heart may glow with an ardent zeal, to the suppression of those personal cares which are the foundation of painful anxieties, fear, jealousy, and envy ; or, as Mr.
Page 62 - ... state. In forming personal pretensions, they must be satisfied with that degree of consideration they can procure by their abilities fairly measured with those of an opponent; they must labour for the public without hope of profit; they must reject every attempt to create a personal dependence. Candour, force, and elevation of mind, in short, are the props of democracy; and virtue is the principle of conduct required to its preservation. How beautiful a pre-eminence on the side of popular government!...
Page 31 - ... labour has ceased. What was enjoyment, in the sense of that youth, who, according to Tacitus, loved danger itself, not the rewards of courage? What is the prospect of pleasure, when the sound of the horn or the trumpet, the cry of the dogs, or the shout of war, awaken the ardour of the sportsman and the soldier? The most animating occasions of human life, are calls to danger and hardship, not invitations to safety and ease...
Page 60 - When I recollect what the President Montesquieu has written, I am at a loss to tell why I should treat of human affairs ; but I too am instigated by my reflections and my sentiments ; and I may utter them more to the comprehension of ordinary capacity because I am more on the level of ordinary men.
Page 54 - Notwithstanding the advantage of numbers and superior resources in war, the strength of a nation is derived from the character, not from the wealth, nor from the multitude of its people.
Page 46 - To the ancient Greek, or the Roman, the individual was nothing, and the public every thing. To the modern, in too many nations of Europe, the individual is every thing, and the public nothing.
Page 44 - Man, like the gen'rous vine, supported lives ; The strength he gains is from th' embrace he gives. On their own axis as the planets run, Yet make at once their circle round the sun ; So two consistent motions act the soul; And one regards itself, and one the whole.
Page 47 - ... apart, and each for himself, the several arts of personal advancement, or profit, which their political establishments may enable them to pursue with success. Commerce, which may be supposed to comprehend every lucrative art, is accordingly considered as the great object of nations, and the principal study of mankind.
Page 56 - Forms of government are supposed to decide of the happiness or misery of mankind. But forms of government must be varied, in order to suit the extent, the way of subsistence, the character, and the manners of different nations. In some cases, the multitude may be suffered to govern themselves; in others they must be severely restrained. The inhabitants of a village, in some primitive age, may have been safely entrusted to the conduct of reason, and to the suggestion of their innocent views; but the...
Page 49 - MAN is, hy nature, the member of a community ; and when considered in this capacity, the individual appears to be no longer made for himself. He must forego his happiness and his freedom where these interfere with the good of society. He is only part of a whole...

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