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they are fitted by nature to yield. Hence it is usual with me to consider myself as having a natural property in every object that administers pleasure to
When I am in the country, all the fine seats near the place of my residence, and to which I have access, I regard as mine. The same I think of the groves and fields where I walk, and muse on the folly of the civil landlord in London, who has the fantastical pleasure of draining dry rent into his coffers, but is a stranger to fresh air and rural enjoyments. By: these principles I am possessed of halfa-dozen of the finest seats in England, which, in the eye of the law, belong to certain of my acquaintance, who, being men of business, choose to live near the court.
In some great families where I choose to pass my time, a stranger would be apt to rank me with the other domestics; but in my own thoughts and natural judgment, I am master of the house; and he who goes by that name is my steward, who eases me of the care of providing for myself the conveniences and pleasures of life.
SATIRE ON THE ART OF GOVERNING.
A strange effect of narrow principles and views ! that a prince, possessed of every quality which procures veneration, love, and esteem; of strong parts,5 great wisdom, and profound learning, endowed with
1 Which, etc... ...to yield, que la nature les a destinés à procurer2 the same I think of, je considère au même point de vue —3 by, en vertu de—4 he who goes by that name, celui à qui on en donne le nom.
5 Strong parts, hautes facultés.
admirable talents, and almost adored by his subjects, should, from a nice, unnecessary scruple, whereof in Europe we can have no conception, let slip an opportunity put into his hands that would have made him absolute master of the lives, the liberties, and the fortunes of his people. Neither do I say this with the least intention to detract from the many virtues of that excellent king, whose character I am sensible? will, on this account, be very much lessened in the opinion of an English reader; but I take this defect among them to have risen from their ignorance, by not having 4 hitherto reduced politics into a science, as the more acute wits of Europe have done. For I remember well, in a discourse one day with the king, when I happened to say, “there were several thousand books among us written upon the art of government,” it gave him (directly contrary to my intention) a very mean opinion of our understandings. He professed both to abominate and despise all mystery, refinement, and intrigue, either in a prince or a minister. He could not tell? what I meant by secrets of state, where an enemy or some rival nation were not in the case.8 He confined the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds, to common sense and reason, to justice and lenity, to the speedy determination of civil and criminal causes, with some other obvious topics which are not worth considering. And he gave it for his opinion, that
1 From, par—I am sensible, je le sens—3 I take......to have risen from, je considère......comme provenant de—4 by not having, parce qu'ils n'ont pas—5 in a discourse, que dans un entretien—6 when I happened, comme il m'arriva—7 tell, comprendre—8 where an enemy or ......were not in the case, lorsqu'il ne s'agissait pas d'un ennemi ou...... - he gave it for his opinion, il déclarait être d'avis.
“ whoever could make two ears of corn or two blades
grass grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.” No law of that country must exceed in words the number of letters in their alphabet, which consists of two-andtwenty. But indeed few of them extend even to that length. They are expressed in the most plain and simple terms, wherein those people are not mercurial enough to discover above one interpretation : and to write a comment upon any law is a capital crime. As to the decision of civil causes, or proceedings against criminals, their precedents are so few, that they have little reason to boast of any
extraordinary skill in either.
SWIFT,“ Gulliver's Travels."
We cannot grant the monopoly of æsthetic culture, so often claimed for the ancient classics. The very word “classics” itself is a sort of petrified expression of this fallacy. At the time when the title was bestowed, its appropriateness was beyond a doubt;' but since the whole wealth of modern literature has been created, the title has ceased to be exclusively applicable, and ought no longer to be exclusively applied. Of our English authors we need not speak ; but when we have such writers in French as Montaigne, Corneille, Bossuet, Molière, Pascal, Fénélon, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Chateaubriand; in German, as Lessing, Wieland, Goëthe, Richter, and Schiller; in Italian, as Dante, Tasso, Ariosto, and Machiavelli — the term classics ought never to be applied, even to the immortal productions of Greek or Roman fame, without the word "ancient” prefixed, by way of reservation in favour of the modern classics, which also well deserve the name ... Without any disparagement of the ancient literature, however, we may maintain on the whole, the superiority of the modern. In so far as 3 the modern may have caught inspiration from the ancient, all honour to the “classic” tongues that they have so greatly helped to make the modern literatures richer than their own. But the modern literature is not a mere copy of the ancients : it has a stamp4 and flavour of its own ;5 in the multiform and ever-changing phases of our social state, it has assumed a corresponding diversity and flexibility; and while the ancient literatures are now fixed and limited, the modern are ever progressive, becoming more abundant and more various with lapsing years. The former are as a lake, beautiful, but motionless and unchanging; the latter are as a river, which, swelled as it advances by tributaries on either hand, rolls on in ever more majestic volume. The spirit of the old has permeated our modern literatures, and can never perish, even were we to cease from its study. But
1 Few, etc......length, il y en a peu qui soient même aussi longues
2 Its, etc......doubt, il était d'une justesse incontestable.
1 By way, en forme_2 without any disparagement of, sans le moins du monde rabaisser—3 in so far as, en tant que-4 stamp, cachet5 of its own, à elle—6 with lapsing years, avec le progrès du temps—
as, à mesure que-8 even, etc......study, quand même nons cesserions de l'étudier.
neglect of the new cuts us off from the ever-flowing stream of contemporaneous thought and life, fed, too, as it is, from distant fountains in the ancient hills. . We are of opinion, then, that, as regards whether their utility in the intercourse of life,—the wealth of the literature which they contain,-or their etymological relationship to the mother-tongue,—the modern languages, and especially French and German, ought, in all school studies, to precede the ancient languages of Greece and Rome.
Their superior utility cannot be denied; the value of their literary and scientific contents, already greater, is in rapid and continual increase ; and our language being of two-fold origin-Latin and Teutonic-French serves admirably to illustrate the former part, and German the latter, while their unlikeness to each other prevents confusion in the learner's mind.
Again, much more thorough proficiency is both attainable and desirable in the modern than in the ancient languages; and yet we act as if the reverse were the fact. While the test of knowledge of the modern languages is much more frequent and severe than it can be in Greek or Latin, we have far too low an estimate of what constitutes a real acquaintance with them. It is not enough to be able to read ordinary books with tolerable facility, and a vague notion of their meaning, or to carry on fragmentary conversations about the weather, or the dishes at a dinner-table: fluency both in writing and speaking on subjects grave and various—a full appreciation of
? Their unlikeness to each other, la différence de l'une à l'autrem 2 again, d'un autre côté_3 as if, etc.....
.... fact, comme si c'était réellement l'inverse with them, de ces langues.