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system of government, than travellers have generally been disposed to allow her. Long life is the best evidence of a strong and well regulated constitution; and this empire, containing three hundred millions of souls, has endured for a period of time, reaching from the remotest antiquity. What her system of government is, we do not perfectly know. · But the fact is curious, that so far as we have any authentic account, it is the exact opposite of our own society and government, in all its parts. It may be, that this instinct of imitation is the moral power which has rendered her empire almost as enduring as the world.
The passions which our author considers peculiar to this intinct, are, einulation, envy and ambition. We do not agree with him in this arrangement. Envy, we think, belongs rather to the selfish principle of our nature. Of all the desires of the human breast, those meet with the least sympathy of men, which tend to our exclusive gratification. Every other having the same desire, his self-love is opposed to ours so soon as he believes that we are consulting our own enjoyment, if not in opposition to, yet in exclusion of his. And hence arises envy. It is grounded in self-love and in an impression that most of us unfortunately are prone to indulge, that the exclusive good of another must be some loss to ourselves. This impression, often unconsciously awakened, though one of the most unaccountable, is yet one of the most common in the whole range of human character. Envy goes on the ground of a comparison of ourselves, or of our condition with that of another; and also on a belief, either that he whom we envy, has, or that the world will think he has, the superiority over us in this comparison. But though envy supposes this parallel, which belongs to the instinct of imitation, yet envy does not consist in this. We may compare a thousand times without envy. It is the belief mentioned above, that the elevation of another must be connected with the debasement of ourselves, which constitutes envy. And for this we hate him, for envy always hates whilst it lasts, as though his advancement either foreboded or produced humiliation to us. Self-love is the parent of envy, and hatred is its offspring. It is to the selfish, and not to the imitative law of our system, that envy belongs.
The next primordial law, according to our author, is the “instinct of relation.” Those philosophers who have asserted that society was formed by men merely from a consciousness of weakness and for security, have certainly erred. The instinct of relation is inherent in our nature. Every human creature
feels that the society of his kind is necessary, if not to his security, yet to his happiness; we look upon the misanthrope as a being out of the order of nature, if not deranged. It requires much misery and affliction before we can shun the society of our kind. There is a voice within us which tells us that we are not to be alone upon the earth. It is neither reason nor science, which has taught us to form political societies; it is the instinct of relation which first brought mankind together, and by bringing them together has taught the necessity of those laws and regulations which are calculated to establish and perpetuate social harmony and security.
This instinct, one of the most powerful, is also one of the most general in our nature. It comprehends almost the whole circle of our enjoyment—benevolence, friendship, pity, gratitude, duty, justice, languages, signs and symbols.
The social instinct belongs also to other animals, but amongst them, this instinct is more closely connected with that of selfpreservation, than amongst men. Gregarious animals acquire confidence and courage whilst herding together; 'when separated, they are generally cowards. There are even certain plants which are said never to flourish so well separately as when growing together. They have something analogous to the sympathy of animals.
It is the instinct of relation which has led man to communicate with man over the whole face of the globe. Impelled by this irresistible law, his home, his country, becomes too narrow for his desires-he must see new lands, partake of new enjoyments, communicate with new men. Dangers, sufferings, and privations become as nothing in his eyes. The strong barriers of the ocean have given way before him. Navigation and commerce have encompassed and enlightened the world. A thousand ports are open for the interchange of social sympathies and enjoyments—a thousand sails are spread to every wind that blows.
But the instinct of relation has still a higher and a nobler sphere. When alone and without a witness to the workings of his inind, man feels a powerful sympathy with the beauties and sublimities of nature.
In the walks of science so strong is this sympathy and interest in the wonderful design and exquisite arrangement apparent at every step, that he neglects his comfort and his health, to wander in strange lands, to trace out new relations in the system of things. In his closet, in the fields, he shuns for a time the society of his fellowmen, that he may become
conversant with the principles which appertain to other natures than his own. He contemplates with a philosophic eye the growth of the plant that springs beneath his feet, the physical structure of the rock that obstructs his way. Every insect that hums across his path-every strange bird that flutters in his view—every novel form of nature awakens new emotions of delight. On the bleak ridges of Chimborazo or Cotopaxi-on the dismal shores of the Amazon or La Plata, though solitary and almost unprotected, surrounded by desolation and peril, he enjoys a happiness more elevated and pure than courts or cities could afford. The mighty form of nature is before him in all her primæval simplicity; in the contemplation of her silent grandeur, in the countless forms of symmetry and beauty which he traces, he feels unconquerable emotions of interest; because in every newly discovered symptom of design, he feels a new link of relation, awakened within himself to that disposing power, whose purposes in all their endless variety are thus made manifest.
Language is the most powerful instrument by which man extends and multiplies his relative emotions. But there are more languages than that of the tongue. In the varying glances of his eye, in the muscular play of every feature of his expressive countenance, in the rush and retreating current of the blood, man often displays to man, an intensity of emotion that the tongue could not utter. Through the medium of written language he feels the thrill of sympathy with those who have ceased to exist thousands of years ago. In the sublime pages of Plato or Aristotle, his heart swells with bigh and holy imaginings, or glows with the sacred love of country at the narrative of the devotion, sufferings and virtues of the great and good of old.
The instinct of relation gives rise to all the benevolent passions. That a passion tends to the good of another, entitles it to be considered as virtuous; some have pretended that this instinct is not a natural inclination, that the state of war is the natural state of man. But we would ask whether a 'state of war be not adverse to a state of happiness? And whether a state of happiness be not the natural end and aim of every living being ? Man was not fitted by nature for a state of war; he was endued with an irresistible propensity towards benevolence and affection; he was given a moral guide within him which constantly teaches him, that it is only under the influence of these ennobling passions, that he can be either meritorious or happy; man is never truly consistent with his nature, but when it is subservient
to some benevolent or virtuous end; when for the maintenance or acquisition of some more important good, the present evil is incurred. In the present state of the world, war is a necessary evil.
Benevolence is the first passion (if it can be called a passion without the abuse of terms) which appertains to the instinct of relation. It is a faculty necessary to the existence of social order, and one of the most essential attributes of the sensible system. It is the opposite of egotism and self-love, and springs purely from a sympathetic impulse of our nature. An action is truly meritorious only in proportion as it is prompted purely by the instinct of relation'; but we should not be too rigorous in our estimate of the motives which prompt the benevolent actions of men. It is requiring too much of man to expect that he should altogether forget himself. God alone is capable of extending his benevolence altogether to beings from whom he can hope nothing. Benevolence is an expansive affection, it is the source of almost every virtue. It manifests itself by exterior signs that we cannot mistake wa
“ The charni of relation impresses upon every feature of the countenance, the most pleasing serenity—the eyes beam with animation the forehead becomes more expansive—the face glows with a higher colour—the lips stand apart—the muscles of the cheek assume an air of grace and mildness-the whole physiognomy expands to express the joy and contentinent of the soul.-Vol. ii. p. 31.
The forms of politeness are imitations of the signs of benevolence. Unfortunately they are in most instances imitations and nothing more; yet, are men allured and delighted by these fictitious professions; though they cannot receive them as genuine signs of benevolence, they can still regard them as tributes to vanity. “We would not receive so much politeness if they did not deem us of sufficient importance,” is the common reasoning in these cases, and most frequently the reasoning is just; benevolence, though her forms are borrowed, has least to do in the affair. . Still are the rules of politeness requisite to the peace and harmony of society. Whenever we infringe these rules, we infringe our duties to the ease and comfort of others.
The traits which are peculiar to this instinct of relation are many. Benevolence, friendship, esteem, respect, consideration, contempt, ridicule, pity, admiration, enthusiasm, gratitude, ingratitude, resentment, hatred, revenge, justice, a love of war, a love of glory, a love of our country. We cannot follow our author through this long list of passions; some of his disquisitions are VOL. VI.—No. 11.
nevertheless of great interest. Pity we should have resolved into the emotion of benevolence, instead of allotting this passion a separate place in the physiology of moral sentiments. It appears to us, so far as we can understand the emotion, that pity and benevolence are the same passion only differing in the object to which it is directed, and the intensity with which it is felt. Pity is confined to the helpless and unfortunate. Benevolence, the more general term for the same emotion, may embrace the whole circle of animated beings. We should think that we comprehended all the virtuous actions of Mr. Howard, when we said he was a man of unbounded benevolence; yet was his whole life spent in relieving objects of pity. .. , ,
We are susceptible of pity and benevolence for other animals than man. And it is curious that we feel this emotion the more vividly, in proportion as the animal more resembles ourselves in its physical organization. We feel less pity for birds than quadrupeds. We destroy a fish or an insect with even less compunction than birds.
“M. de Malouet, in his “Voyage to Guiana,' mentions a hunting of apes by the Indians. He says that he found himself so much moved by the cries of the wounded animals, that he ordered them to stop the firing. That which above all excited his compassion, was the groạns of the wounded females carrying their little ones under their arms to save them from danger. They spoke a language whích, though he could not understand, seemed to breathe rage, indignation, and all the agonies of despair. The distant resemblance of the ape to the human species, contributed greatly to increase this feeling, and, to use the expression of M. Malouet, it seemed in a manner to command it.” Vol. ii. "p. 92.
To this godlike instinct of our nature belong all the public institutions of charity and beneficence, which have adorned the world. In these asylums, the madman, tbe idiot, every child of misfortune of every age and country, finds a refuge froin the hardships of life. Oppressed by disease, indigence and contempt ; deserted by every being with whom they claimed the relative connexion of kindred or acquaintance, here the victims of misery find a home.
Qur author has illustrated many of the passions by short, authentic accounts of individuals who have been peculiarly subjected to their influence. We have been much interested in some of these details. In illustration of pity, he has selected the story of the plague which raged in the town of Villefranche d'Avignon, in the year 1628, in which, out of twelve thousand citizens, eight thousand perished. In the midst of this frightful pestilence, the criminal judge, Jean de Pomairols, and a Father Ambroise,