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ing to our nature. The results of this science are not like the temples of the ancients, in which statues of the Gods were placed, where incense was offered and sacrifices were performed, and which were presented to the adoration of the multitude, founded upon superstitious feelings; but they are rather like the palaces of the moderns to be admired and used, and where the statues, which in the ancients raised feelings of adoration and awe, now produce only feelings of pleasure and gratify a refined taste. It is surely a pure delight to know how and by what processes this earth is clothed with verdure and life, how the clouds, mists, and rain are formed, what causes all the changes of this terrestrial system of things, and by what divine laws order is preserved amidst apparent confusion. It is a sublime occupation to investigate the cause of the tempest and the volcano, and to point out their use in the economy of things, to bring the lightning from the clouds and make it subservient to our experiments, to produce as it were a microcosm in the laboratory of art, and to measure and weigh those invisible atoms, which, by their motions and changes, according to laws impressed upon them by the divine intelligence, constitute the universe of things. The true chemical philosopher sees good in all the diversified forms of the external world. Whilst he investigates the operations of infinite power guided by infinite wisdom, all low prejudices, all mean superstitions, disappear from his mind. He sees man an atom amidst atoms fixed upon a point in space, and yet modifying the laws that are around him by understanding them; and gaining, as it were, a kind of dominion over time, and an empire in material space, and exerting on a scale infinitely small a power seeming a sort of shadow or reflection of a creative energy, and which entitles him to the distinction of being made in the image of God and animated by a spark of the divine mind. Whilst chemical pursuits exalt the understanding, they do not depress the imagination or weaken genuine feelings; whilst they give the mind habits of accuracy, by obliging it to attend to facts, they likewise extend its analogies, and, though conversant with the minute forms of things, they have for their ultimate end the great and magnificent objects of nature. They regard the formation of a crystal, the structure of a pebble, the nature of a clay or earth; and they apply to the causes of the diversity of our mountain chains, the appearances of the winds, thunder-storms, meteors, the earthquake, the volcano, and all those phenomena which offer the
most striking images to the poet and the painter. They keep alive that inextinguishable thirst after knowledge, which is one of the greatest characteristics of our nature; for every discovery opens a new field for investigation of facts, shows us the imperfection of our theories. It has justly been said, that the greater the circle of light, the greater the boundary of darkness by which it is surrounded. This strictly applies to chemical inquiries; and, hence they are wonderfully suited to the progressive nature of the human intellect, which by its increasing efforts to acquire a higher kind of wisdom, and a state in which truth is fully and brightly revealed, seems, as it were, to demonstrate its birthright to immortality.
82.-OF GREAT PLACE.
MEN in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business. So as they have no freedom, neither in their persons; nor in their actions; nor in their times. It is a strange desire to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self. The rising unto place is laborious; and by pains men come to greater pains; and it is sometimes base; and by indignities, men come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse, which is a melancholy thing: Cum non sis, qui fueris, non esse, cur velis vivere? Nay, retire men cannot when they would; neither will they when it were reason: but are impatient of privateness, even in age and sickness, which require the shadow; like old townsmen that will be still sitting at their street door, though thereby they offer age to scorn. Certainly, great persons had need to borrow other men's opinions to think themselves happy; for if they judge by their own feeling, they cannot find it; but if they think with themselves what other men think of them, and that other men would fain be as they are, then they are happy, as it were by report, when perhaps they find the contrary within. For they are the first that find their own griefs; though they be the last that find their own faults. Certainly, men in great fortunes are strangers to themselves; and while they are
* Since you are no longer what you were, there is no reason why you should desire to live as a nonentity.
in the push of business, they have no time to tend their health, either of body or mind. Illi Mars gravis incubat, qui notus nimis omnibus, ignotus moritur sibi*. In place, there is licence to do good and evil; whereof the latter is a curse; for in evil the best condition is not to will; the second, not to care. But power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring. For good thoughts (though God accept them), yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act, and that cannot be without power and place, as the vantage and commanding ground. Merit and good works is the end of man's motion; and conscience of the same is the accomplishment of man's For if a man can be partaker of God's theatre he shall likewise be partaker of God's rest. Et conversus Deus, ut aspiceret opera, que fecerunt manus suæ, vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis; and then the Sabbath. In the discharge of thy place set before thee the best examples; for imitation is a globe of precepts. And after a time set before thee thine own example; and examine thyself strictly whether thou didst not best at first. Neglect not also the examples of those that have carried themselves ill in the same place; not to set off thy self by taxing their memory, but to direct thyself what to avoid. Reform therefore, without bravery or scandal of former times and persons; but yet, set it down to thyself as well to create good prece dents, as to follow them. Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein and how they have degenerate, but yet ask counsel of both times; of the ancient time what is best; and of the latter time what is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that men may know beforehand what they may expect; but be not too positive and peremptory; and express thyself well when thou digressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of thy place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction. And rather assume thy right in silence, and de facto. than voice it with claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of inferior places, and think it more honour to direct in chief. than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and advices touching the execution of thy place, and do not drive away such as bring thee information, as meddlers, but accept of them in good part. The
* Death is a severe infliction on him who dies well known to others, and unknown to himself.
And when God turned to behold all the works which his hand had made, he saw that they were very good.
vices of authority are chiefly four: delays; corruption; roughness; and facility. For delays; give easy access, keep times appointed, go through with that which is in hand, and interlace not business but of necessity. For corruption; do not only bind thine own hands, as thy servant's hands, from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering. For integrity used doth the one; but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other. And avoid not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found variable, and changeth manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of corruption. Therefore, always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to change, and do not think to steal it. A servant or a favourite if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close corruption. For roughness; it is a needless cause of discontent; severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility; it is worse than bribery. For bribes come but now and then, but if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be without. As Solomon saith, "To respect persons is not good, for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread." It is most true that was anciently spoken; a place showeth the man; and it showeth some to the better, and some to the worse; "Omnium consensu; capax Imperii, nisi imperasset;"* saith Tacitus of Galba, but of Vespasian, he saith "Solus Imperantium Vespatianus mutatus in melius." Though the one was meant of sufficiency, the other of manners and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit whom honour amends. For honour is, or should be, the place of virtue. And as in nature things move violently to their places, and calmly in their place; so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man's self, whilst he is in the rising; and to balance himself, when he is placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will sure be paid when thou art gone. If those have colleagues, respect them, and rather call them, when they look not for it, than exclude them when they have reason to look to be called. Be not * He would have been universally deemed fit for empire, if he had never reigned. † Vespasian was the only emperor who was changed for the better by his accession.
too sensible, or too remembering of thy place, in conversation, and private answers to suitors; but let it rather be said, when he sits in place, he is another man.
83.-ADVENTURE IN A FOREST.
(From Ferdinand Count Fathom.)
HE departed from the village that same afternoon, under the auspices of his conductor, and found himself benighted in the midst of a forest, far from the habitations of men. The darkness of the night, the silence and solitude of the place, the indistinct images of the trees that appeared on every side, "stretching their extravagant arms athwart the gloom," conspired, with the dejection of spirits occasioned by his loss, to disturb his fancy, and raise strange phantoms in his imagination. Although he was not naturally superstitious, his mind began to be invaded with an awful horror, that gradually prevailed over all the consolations of reason and philosophy; nor was his heart free from the terrors of assassination. In order to dissipate these disagreeable reveries, he had recourse to the conversation of his guide, by whom he was entertained with the history of divers travellers who had been robbed and murdered by ruffians, whose retreat was in the recesses of that very wood.
In the midst of this communication, which did not at all tend to the elevation of our hero's spirits, the conductor made an excuse for dropping behind, while our traveller jogged on in expectation of being joined again by him in a few minutes. He was, however, disappointed in that hope; the sound of the other horse's feet by degrees grew more and more faint, and at last altogether died away. Alarmed at this circumstance, Fathom halted in the middle of the road, and listened with the most fearful attention; but his sense of hearing was saluted with nought but the dismal sighings of the trees, that seemed to foretel an approaching storm. Accordingly, the heavens contracted a more dreary aspect, the lightning began to gleam, the thunder to roll, and the tempest, raising its voice to a tremendous roar, descended in a torrent of rain.
In this emergency, the fortitude of our hero was almost quite over