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Raymond. Sancho! (walking up to him sternly,) I tell thee what. Thou knowest my free nature.
SANcho. Aye, that I do, (rubbing his back and shoulders,) he, he, he. Ray Mond. Rascal, thou presum'st on't, and lik'st a joke e'en to the detriment of thy service. Now mark me—if thou playest off another of thy waggish tricks
for the next six months, I'll have thee whipp'd like a dog, just as thou art—dost hear 3
SANcho. Nature gave me ears, master.
RAYMond. Aye, and long ones, too.
us forth–and if thou be not ready on the instant—I have a whip, (shakes it at him, and exit.)
Sancho. Well, let me but once get out of this cursed Madrid, and if thou catch me in't again, why I give thee leave to whip me like a dog, aye! and hang me too—so here goes, (runs off.)
END OF first ACT. Yale College.
PHILOSOPHY AND NATIONAL SECURITY.
The world at all times presents an ample field for the study of the wise, the inquiries of the doubting, and the solicitude of the benevolent. Every portion of its history reveals some distinct seature, upon which the mind may rest with interest, though it may be often painful interest. Error and suffering make up the most of its experience, and have rendered the past a sepulcher of buried greatness. For man is great even in his ruin, were there in his history no other proof of his capacities. But he has at times, even in his cabin, dreamed of a nobler nature, and realized after patient pursuit the refinements of civilization. These instances make us proud of our race, notwithstanding its errors, for they are fragments of a broken statue, each specimen declaring the beauty of the original whole. In these scattered limbs we find a memento that unites our sympathies in a firmer bond with the world, and constrains us to extend the limits of patriotism, and say, man
“With all thy faults we love thee still.”
But the attainments of all preceding ages have been limited when compared with the present. It was reserved for us to proclaim the true relations of man, and the proper ends of government;-for us to penetrate the mysteries of nature, and bring out new elements to
affect the condition of society. No age has been so marked with the full development of all its resources. Science no longer stands aloof regardless of our wants, nor does benevolence turn away to weep over sufferings she cannot relieve. It would be interesting to follow the history of each particular science down to the present time, to observe its successive influence upon the welfare of society, and to mark the steps by which each has contributed to make the present age so eminently practical. But this is not our object. We wish only to remind the reader of the general neglect, at this day, of one important science, and of some reasons why such neglect is fearfully dangerous. It is well known that mental philosophy has fallen into almost universal neglect. We do not stop to prove that our circumstances as a nation, by the attention requisite for establishing our government and fortunes, tend naturally to exclude from the public mind all subjects of only abstract nature or remote interests; we only notice the fact that philosophy is neglected, and proceed to show that such neglect is unsafe. The ability to discover moral truth is involved in the true knowledge of the mind's operations. For the difference between truth and error is not to be found in those states of the mind when it rests upon its final convictions; these convictions cannot be taken and pronounced true or false in themselves, but the conditions of their error or truth are to be sought in the steps which the mind has taken to arrive at those convictions. If the preliminary process has been undeviating, the conclusion is true; if not, it is false. The ability then to discover truth involves the power of inspecting, discriminating and classifying thoughts, which is the work of mental philosophy. Now, if the mind were in no danger of being misled by specious appearances; or if there were no connection between error and the harm of him who embraces it;-if individual mistakes were not contagious, endangering communities; or if the present age were one of apathy and inaction, or of blind subservience to ancient maxims and institutions, there might be no occasion of alarm in neglecting the means of ascertaining truth. But the world has always been full of errors and consequent suffering. Men have erred in their notions of religion, and clung with eager assurance to every dream of superstition or of atheism; they have erred in their opinions of government, and groaned under every possible system of oppression; they have erred in their estimate of knowledge, and groped their way through ignorance to oblivion, thus fearfully illustrating the liability of the whole race to error and consequent misery. Hence in the growing experience of the world, no question has come down to us invested with such interest as the oft repeated inquiry, what is truth? As to facts in the external world, there is little danger of mistake, for they strike the mind with immediate conviction. But the great questions of right and religion, with all their varied applications to morals and government, are decided only
after a process of reasoning, a process always deliberate, and often tedious, in which the attention is liable to be dissipated, the judgment bewildered, and the mind impatient of its task to seek repose in the first convenient delusion. Thus released, it too often revels in the more passive enjoyments of sense, or employs its energies upon the interests of active life. In this state of passive impressions, blinded and confused by the occasional violence of passion, the mental philosopher finds most men, and proposes to lead them away from things seen, to conduct them into the labyrinths of their own minds, and teach them to inspect, compare, and classify, till order shall arise out of confusion, and they shall no more stumble upon error. Who then is more worthy of studious regard, than he who thus offers us a guide in matters of temporal and immortal interest? And yet he is neglected by us, and what is worse, we feel no insecurity on that account. Why is this? Have we made a covenant with truth and wisdom, and thereby secured their unsailing alliance? Heretofore they have been distant and cautious, yielding only to patient and assiduous enticements: are we favorites, or have we new charms to captivate and make them ours for ever ? On the contrary, truth is as modest, among us, as ever, and as liable to be overlooked in the crowd of every-day thoughts. No one, indeed, doubts that we, or rather our fathers, have made great advances in the knowledge of the principles of religion and government, but it is a question of serious import, whether we of this day are not clouding the prospects of the future, by neglecting the stern philosophy which they cherished;—whether we do not err, in dreaming that they did all the thinking, and left it to us to act only. The inquiry of course does not refer to all, but to the greater portion of community;-to those who hold in their own hands the interests of the church and the nation. Every one knows that the profound metaphysician is neglected by this class, and more, he is derided by many of those who call themselves philosophers. (It is to be hoped that a timely public verdict upon these latter will save us from the impositions of a most dangerous school of quackery.) We say every one knows the extent of this distaste for mental philosophy, and moreover, every one who knows any thing of the history or habits of the mind, knows also that it is the most successful way of inviting error. Such neglect is unsafe in any government, much more so in ours. For there are relations peculiar to ourselves which every thinking man must see, and which, in the view of every such man, invests this subject with tremendous consequences. Our government is an experiment. It arose without a model, the original conception of unperverted minds. It stands based upon truth;-embracing the interests of a mighty empire;—its portals thronged with crowds of admiring strangers, eager to commit their lives and sortunes to its protection;–in it are the resources of wealth and power, the elements of stupendous action, and the unfolding destinies of future W 01,. ii. 26
generations! And yet, with all these energies, it is only an experiment. If truth is maintained, its operations are safe, and all our hopes are realized. But if by any neglect of ours, this foundation fails, the mighty fabric must fall and bury us in its ruins. We have said that our government is based upon truth. Others are built upon power, and this is one of the considerations that show the vital connexion between a correct philosophy, appreciated and studied, and the welfare of the nation. Power, once triumphant, can secure itself against enemies more easily than truth. The tendency of the former is from victory to domination, its enemies yielding a forced submission at first, followed soon by abject subservience. But the enemies of truth gather a desperate malignity from every defeat. Since, therefore, it can only maintain a perpetual struggle with obstinate error, that government which relies upon this foundation for existence is unwise and unsafe, while neglecting a philosophy whose object is to qualify it to establish truth. But this is not the only nor the greatest danger on this subject. Other governments are in the hands of a few individuals, who may, if they will, qualify themselves. In these, the ignorance and errors of the multitude never reach beyond the limits of their own domestic condition, and never affect the government. But with us, legislation is the joint business of all. The high and low, wise and ignorant, idle and busy, reflect alike their peculiar passions and prejudices in the government to which they contribute. The danger is increased by this circumstance, not only as the number of legislators, but much more in proportion as the facilities for corruption and error, are more abundant in such a promiscuous assemblage. If the government is to rest upon all, then all must have the ability to discover, as well as the integrity to vindicate correct principles. At any time there would be danger of neglecting in such a government that philosophy which alone can guide to the knowledge of intricate truth. But much more, at such a time as the present in this government, amidst all the activity and precipitance which our age and interests demand, is there danger of such neglect. There is already among us a class who have no power, and seemingly no disposition, to judge of truth, and are therefore ready to rush in any direction, under any impulse. Another and larger class, the active, are too busy to give time to philosophical inquiries, and are therefore rendering themselves incompetent to manage the concerns of a governinent, which, from their numbers, they must preserve or ruin. And the last and smallest class, who might advise, is too feeble to counteract the dangerous and growing indifference of the others. Such then is our government, and such its circumstances. Without a chart or a record of the course of any former adventurer, it has embarked upon an unexplored sea. Truth is the needle on which alone it depends for guidance, and this, if injured or its laws neglected, will only mislead. Those who conduct the course are already, forgetting their dependence amidst the scenes of novelty and interest around them. The voice of alarm is heard in time to escape the danger and recover our course. But it calls for dispatch. We cannot, and every American ought to ponder it, conduct our nation safely through the dangers that encounter it, without a true and universally appreciated philosophy. Nor can we err long on this subject, and yet be safe. What we do takes hold of the future. A deviation of small account to-day, may open to-morrow wide from truth, and disclose an impassable chasm, separating us for ever from our hopes. C. W.
THE TWILIGHT HOUR.
The murmurs of day are sunk at its close,
The song of the warblers is hush'd on the air,
Oh, dearer to me than the glare of the day
Thus when the brief day of our being is o'er,