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dius one evening, as we were indulging our imaginations on this delightful subject, “ Oh! Constance ! thou, whom my heart loveth above all the treasures of the world, with what delight could I, even at this advanced season of life, now that my blood is chilled, my eyes fading, and my heart lacerated with cruel wounds;—with what delight could I contemplate, in the bosom of the Pacific, a constellation of free, virtuous, happy, independent spirits !”
But in vain do we look, in all the wide continents of the globe, for a society, in any way approaching to such a state of primitive simplicity! Society, indeed, seems to have assumed a feature, not entirely dissimilar to that, which characterizes the Arabs of the northern part of the deserts ; who, blessed with the affections of husbands, fathers, and friends, esteem all men their enemies, who do not belong to their party. For, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, and in America, there is not a city, nor a town, nor a village, nor even a hamlet, which contains so great a portion of harmony, as that prevailing among the animals that inhabit the shores of the New Year's Islands. There sea-lions, as we learn from a celebrated navigatora, occupy the greatest part of the coast ; bears the principal portion of the land ; shags reside upon the cliffs ; penguins in such places as have the best access to the sea; while the smaller birds occupy the more retired places. Thus every portion of the island is respectively inhabited; none of the animals encroaching upon each other. The most perfect harmony subsisting through all the separate tribes, they occasionally mix together, like domestic cattle in a farmer's yard; eagles and vultures sitting together on the cliffs among the shags ; and shags upon the beach among the sea-lions. They appear, indeed, nearly to have attained their golden age: for vultures and falcons will, (according to the poets), in that happy era, be observed sitting on the cliffs, and on the summits of
• Capt. Cook, 2nd Voyage, vol. ii. p. 186.
high mountains, no longer intent upon their prey. Parrots of every colour will approach nearer to the human voice; the parrokeet, with its green plumage, will sit secure from the attacks of serpents ; the blue bird will quit its inaccessible solitudes; and the bird of Paradise will be gifted with song
Julia ! Oft in my fancy's wanderings,
I've wish'd that little isle had wings,
Were wafted to the sea unknown,
And we might live-love-die-alone!
Where the bright eyes of angels only
A paradise so pure and lonely.--Moore.
What a lesson, and what a contrast, does the picture of Cook present to that greatest and proudest of all animals, · Mana! Is there a city, a town, a village, or even a hamlet, in all Europe, that is not a prey to the worst of all hostilities, envy and ill-will? Is there a city without its factions ; a town without its parties ; a village or a hamlet, that does not contain either a despotic country squire, a proud unbending priest, an encroaching farmer, or a narrow, pinching, worthless overseer? Were you a cynic, my Lelius, you would be almost tempted to say, that the earth more resembled the plantain-tree of Guinea and Brazil, than the New Year's Islands. On the top of this tree, reside monkeys, continually at war with each other; in the middle are snakes ; on the extreme branches hang nests of woodpeckers. A picture, far more melancholy to the heart, than even a view of a rich, beautiful, and romantic country, not only without a man to pluck its fruits, but without an animal to graze its meadows, or a bird to animate its woods. It is thus wherever man places his foot! In vain are the landscapes beautiful, and the soil productive. The meąnness of some, the arrogance of others, and the rapacious appetites of all, will, as long as the present system of engendering dishonourable association lasts, prevent any material accession to public, or to private happiness.
a The inhabitants of the Balearic Islands would never permit either gold or silver, silks or precious stones, to be imported, or even used iŋ their country. Not far distant from Carthage, Rome, Gaul, and Spain, they lived in perpetual peace and ease for upwards of four hundred years. “As there was nothing to pil. lage them of,” says the historian, “ they were permitted to enjoy their poverty in tranquillity.”
The natives of the Loo-choo Islands, in the same manner, have no money, and never heard of war. When Lord Amherst mentioned these circumstances to Bonaparte at St. Helena, he exclaimed, “ No arms ISacre !-How do they carry on war, then?” When the same was related to Mr. Vansittart, the Chancellor of the English Exchequer, he is said to have exclaimed, “No money!-Bless me “How do they carry on the government ?" -Quarterly Review, No. xxxvi. p. 323.
To suppose, that happiness can exist with the present system of education, is as absurd, as the idea, that a comet, because its course is eccentric, and its period of revolution unknown, wanders without a plan, and without a fixed and pre-ordained orbit. What kind of exhibition does society present? Little better than the interior of a wasp's nest ! Among the rich, an almost general conspiracy against the poor; a general ingratitude among the poor themselves ; an universal desire to pull every one down ; fevered with a never-sleeping appetite to elevate ourselves. Why will not governors believe, that the best instrument for human happiness is a manual for the direction of early association ?
Life is a fair, nay, charming-forma
Of nameless grace and tempting sweets ;
That cankers every bud she meets a. Confucius tells a melancholy truth in the moral of the following tale :-A shepherd having lost all his sheep, except fifty, gave himself up to despair, having a large family of children. His neighbours, who respected and loved him (as well as worldly-minded men are capable of loving and respect
ing), came to his cottage, and condoled with him, after the manner of the country. Soon after the loss of his sheep, his wife was seized with a fever and died. Upon this, his neighbours came to him again ; and, to console him, one offered him his sister, another his daughter, a third his niece, and a fourth his ward. “Gracious Heaven !” exclaimed the shepherd, “ in what a country do I live! Now I have lost my wife, the best of all my possessions, you tell me, I can repair my loss by marrying either your nieces, your wards, your sisters, or your daughters. But when I lost my sheep, onę after the other, to the number of two hundred, not one of you offered me so much as a single lamb ;—though you all declared to me, that you loved me better than all your neighbours beside !”
But though we might as well suppose, that water will, for a constancy, turn crimson ; the blue sky purple ; iron become silver, and zinc gold; as to imagine, that men will be, essentially, any other than their natures prompt them; yet, in the wide sphere of history and geography, some few instances are on record, where the human mind appears to have enjoyed, at least an appearance of, repose and content. Italy, in 1490, exhibited such an imposing picture, For the space of a thousand years preceding, Italy had, at no time, enjoyed such peace, prosperity, and ease. And the people, taking advantage of this halcyon state of publię and private affairs, cultivated not only their valleys, but their mountains; and, being under no foreign influence, the cities grew into splendour and magnificence. The country was the seat of majesty and of religion ; military glory was not wanting to their pride ; and there were men distinguished in almost every department of science, learning, and the liberal arts. Nature, however, has not granted a long state of happiness, either to individuals or communities. That of Italy was blighted by the expedition of Charles VIJI. For, from that event proceeded a long train of misfortunes and calamities : changes of countries and masters ; desolation of provinces and states ; and the destruction of many cities. “ The most cruel murders,” says Guiccardinia, “paved the way to new diseases, new modes of governing, new customs, and more cruel methods of making war.”
In many districts of Java, particularly in those of Sundhab; manners and customs prevail, which bear no very distant resemblance to patriarchal ages. The villages constitute detached societies under a priest or chief, and harmony prevails entire in these communities; though one village occasionally disputes with another. Great deference is paid to age; the commands of parents and superiors are strictly obeyed; they hold each other in great esteem ; pride themselves upon any good or great deed, performed by their kindred or neighbours; and have a great veneration for the tombs, ashes, and memories of their ancestors. They are honest, ingenuous, and kind-hearted; faithful in their engagements; and extremely cleanly in their persons. Hospitality is not only enjoined by many striking precepts, but zealously practised: and they indicate their fear of acting unjustly or dishonourably, in the possession of a lively sensibility to shame. They rise before the sun; they go soon after into the rice field with their buffaloes; return home about ten; bathe and take their morning's meal. During the heat of the day, they occupy themselves under the shades of trees, or in their cottages, with making or mending their implements of husbandry, or in forming baskets. About four they again go to the fields with their buffaloes; at six they return and take their supper : then they form themselves into small parties, and the whole village exhibits a picture of quiet enjoyment.
• Hist. of Italy, vol. i. pp. 4, 132.