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dictates of reason and conscience, voluntarily deprives himself of their aid. The loss originates in his own folly.
Her. Ah ! so much the more is he to be pitied! A fu. rious maniac, who should pluck out his own eyes, would deserve more compassion than an ordinary blind man.
Dem. Come, let us accommodate the business. There is something to be said on each side of the question. There is every where reason for laughing, and reason for weeping. The world is ridiculous, and I laugh at it ; it is deplorable, and thou lamentest over it. Every person views it in his own way, and according to his own temper. One point is unquestionable, that mankind are preposterous ; to think right, and to act well, we must think and act differently from them To submit to the authority, and follow the example of the greater part of men, would render us foolish and miserable.
Her. All this is, indeed, true ; but then, thou hast no real love or feeling for thy species. The calamities of mankind excite thy mirth : and this proves that thou hast no regard for men, nor any true respect for the virtues which they have unhappily abandoned.
FENELON, Archbishop of Cambray. SECTION II.
DIONYSIUS, PYTHIAS, AND DAMON. Genuine Virtue commands Respect, even from the bad. Dionyfius. Amazing! What do I see? It is Pythias just arrived. It is indeed Pythias. I did not think it poffible. He is come to die, and to redeem his friend!
Pythias. Yes, it is Pythias. I left the place of my confinement, with no other views, than to pay tn Heaven the vows I had made ; to settle my family concerns according to the rules of justice ; and to bid adieu to my children, that I mi_ht die tranquil and satisfied.
Dio. But why dost thou return ? Halt thou no fear of death? Is it not the character of a madman, to seek it thus voluntarily ?
Py. I return to suffer, though I have not deserved death. Every principle of honour and goodness forbids me to allow
friend to die for me. Dio. Dost thou then love him better than th felf? Py. No ; I love him as myself. Bur I am persuaded
I ought to luffer death rather than my friend ; fi: s Pythias whom thou hadit decreed to die. It w
just that Damon should suffer, to deliver me from the death which was designed not tor him, but for me only.
Dio. But thou supposelt, that it is as unjust to inflict death upon thee, ds upon thy friend.
Py. Very true ; we are both perfectly innocent ; and it is equally unjult to make either of us suffer. Dio. Why dost thou then assert, that it were injustice
him to death, instead of thee ? Py. It is unjust, in the fame degree, to inflict death, either on Damon or on myself ; but Pythias were highly culpable to let Damon fuffer that death, which the tyrant had prepared for Pythias only.
Dio. .Doit thou then return hither, on the day appointed, with no other view, than to save the life of a friend, by lofing thy own!
I'y I return in regard to thee, to suffer an act of iniuftice which it is common for tyrants to infiet ; and, with reipect to Damon, to perform my duty, by rescuing him from the danger he incurred by his generosity to me.
Ms. And now, Damon, let me address myself to thee. Didlt thou not really fear, that Pythias would never resurn: and that thou would be put to death on his account?
üa. i was but ioo weií assured, that Pythias would punctually return : and that he would be more solicitous to keep his promise than to preserve his life. Would to Heaven, that his relations and friends had forcibly detained him! He would then have lived for the comfort and benefit of good men; and I should have the satisfaction of dying for him !
Dio. What! Does life difplease thee?
power of a tyrant
Dio. "It is well! Thou shalt see him no more. I will order thee to be put to death immediately.
Py. Pardon the feelings of a man who fympathises with his dying friend. But remember it was Pythias who was devoted by thee to destruction. 1 come to submit to it, that I may redeem my friend. Do not refuse me this consolaion in my last hour.
Dio. I cannot endure men, who despise death, and fet my power at defiance. Da. Thou canst not, then, endure virtue.
Dio. No: I cannot endure that proud, disdainful tue, which contemns life ; which dreads no punift and which is insensible,
charms of riches and
Da. Thou seest, however, that it is a virtue, which is not infeasible to the dictates of honour, justice, and friendship,
Dio. Guards, take Pythias to execution. We shall see whether Damon will continue to despise my authority.
Da. Pythias, by returning to submit himself to thy pleasure, has merited his life, and deserved thy favour; but I have excited thy indignation, by resigning myself to thy power, in order to save him : be fatisfied, then, with this sacrifice, and put me to death.
Py. Hold, Dionyfius ! remember, it was Pythias alone who offended thee : Damon could not.
Dio. Alas! what do I fee and hear! where am I? How miserable ; and how worthy to be fo! I have hitherto known nothing of true virtue. I have fpent my life in darkness and error.
All my power and honours are insufficient to produce love. I cannot hoast of having acquired a single friend, in the course of a reign of thirty years. And yet these two persons in a private condition, love one another tenderly, unreservedly confide in each other, are mutually happy, and ready to die for each other's preservation.
Py. How couldst thou, who hast never loved any person, expect to have friends ? If thou hadst loved and respected men, thou wouldst have fecured their love and respect. Thou hast feared mankind ; and they fear thee : they detest thee.
Dio. Damon, Pythias, condescend to admit me as a third friend, in a connection so perfect. I give you your lives ; and I will load you with riches.
Da. We have no desire to be enriched by thee; and, in regard to thy friendship, we cannot accept oi enjoy it till thou become good and just. Without these qualities, thou canit be connected with none but trembling flaves, and bare Aatterers To be loved and esteemed by men of free and
generous minds, thou must be virtuous, affectionate, dilinterested, beneficent; and know how to live in a fort of equality with those who share and deserve thy friendship.
Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray.
Christianity defended against the Cavils of Scepticism. vle Yes, we both were philosophers ; but my ph y was the deepelt. You dogmatized : I doubt
Locke. Do you make doubting a proof of depth in phi. lofophy? It may be a good beginning of it ; but it is a bad end.
Bay. No: the more profound our researches are into the nature of things, the more uncertainty we shall find ; and the most subtle minds see objections and difficulties, in every system, which are overlooked or undiscoverable by or. dinary understandings.
Locke. It would be better then to be no philofopher, and to continue in the vulgar herd of mankind, that one may have the convenience of thinking that one knows something. I find that the eyes which nature has given me, fee many things very clearly, though some are out of their reach, or discerned but dimly. What opinion ought I to have of a physician, who should offer me an eye water, the use of which would at first so fharpen my fight, as to carry it farther than ordinary vision ; but would in the end put them out? Your philosophy is to the eyes of the mind, what I have supposed the doctor's noftrum to be to those of the body. It actually brought your own excellent understanding, which was by nature quicklighted, and rendered more so by art and subtilty of logic peculiar to yourself; it brought, I say, your very acute understanding to see nothing clearly and enveloped all the great truths of season and religion in milts of doubt.
Bay. J own it did ; but your comparison is not just. I did not fee well, before I used my philofophic eye water: I only supposed I saw well; but I was in an error, with all the relt of mankind. The blindness was real, the perceptions were imaginary. 1 cured myself first of thofe falfe imaginations, and then I laudably endeavoured to cure other men.
Locke. A great cure indeed! and do not you think that, in return for the service you did them, they ought to erca you a statue?
Bay. Yes; it is good for human nature to know its own weakness. When we arrogantly presume on a strength we have not, we are always in great danger of hurting our. felves, or at least of deserving ridicule and contempt, by vain and idle efforts.
you, that human nature should kno its own weakness, but it should also feel its strength, try to improve it. This was my employment as a opher
I endeavoured to discover the real powe
Locke. I agree
mind, to fee what it could do, and what it could not ; to restrain it from efforts beyond its ability ; but to teach it how to advance as far as the faculties given to it by nature, with the utmost exertion and most proper culture of them, would allow it to go In the vast ocean of philosophy, I had the line and the plummet always in my hands. Many of its depths I found myself unable to fathom ; but, by caution in founding, and the careful observations I made in the course of my voyage, I found out fome truths of fo much use to mankind, that they acknowledge me to have been their benefactor
Bay. Their ignorance makes them think so. Some other philosopher will come hereafter, and show those truths to be falsehoods. He will pretend to discover other truths of equal importance. A later fage will arise, perhaps among men now barbarous and unlearned, whose fagacious discoveries will discredit the opinions of his admired predecessor. In philofophy, as in nature, all changes its form, and one thing exists by the destruction of another
Locke. Opinions taken up without a patient investigation, depending on terms not accurately defined, and principles begged without proof, like theories to explain the phenomena of nature, built upon fuppofitions instead of experiments, must perpetually change and destroy one ano
But some opinions there are, even in matters not obvious to the common sense of mankind, which the mind has received on such rational grounds of assent, that they are as immoveable as the pillars of heaven ; or, (to speak philofophically) as the great laws of nature, by which, under God, the universe is sustainedy Can you seriously think, that because the hypothesis of your countryman, Descartes, which was nothing but an ingenious, well imagined romance, has been lately exploded, the system of Newton, which is built on experiments and geometry, the two most certain methods of discovering truth, will ever fail :
; or that, because the whims of fanatics and the divin. ity of the Schoolmen, cannot now be supported, the doc. trines of that religion, which I, the declared enemy of all enthusiasm and false reasoning, firmly believed and maintained, will ever be shaken ?
Bay. If you had asked Descartes, while he was in the height of his vogue, whether his system would ever be confuted by any other philosophers, as that of Aristotle had been by his, what answer do you suppose he would have relurned