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and that in England, was, that the former mise a restitution of the laws of King Ed. was effected gradually, by the consent of ward the Confessor, or ancient Saxon sysprivate persons; the latter was done at tem; and accordingly, in the first year of once, all over England, by the common his reign granted a charter, whereby he consent of the nation.
gave up the greater grievances, but still reIn consequence of this change, it be- served the fiction of feodal tenure, for the came a fundamental maxim and necessary same military purposes which engaged his principle (though in reality a mere fiction) father to introduce it. But this charter was of our English tenures, that the king is gradually broke through, and the former the universal lord and original proprietor grievances were revived and aggravated, of all the lands in his kingdom; and that by himself and succeeding princes; till, no man doth or can possess any part of it, in the reign of King John, they became so but what has mediately or inmediately intolerable, that they occasioned his babeen derived as a gift from him, to be rons, or principal feudatories, to rise up held upon feodal services.” For, this be- in arms against him; which at length proing the real case in pure, original, proper duced the famous great charter at Runfeuds, other nations who adopted this sys- ning-mead, which with some alterations, tem were obliged to act upon the same was confirmed by his son Henry III. And supposition, as a substruction and founda- though its immunities (especially as altertion of their new polity, though the fact ed on its last edition by his son) are very was indeed far otherwise. And, indeed, greatly short of those granted by Henry I. by thus consenting to the introduction of it was justly esteemed at the time a vast feodal tenures, our English ancestors pro- acquisition to English liberty. Indeed, by bably meant no more than to put the the further alteration of tenures that has kingdom in a state of defence by a mili- since happened, many of these immunities tary system: and to oblige themselves (in may now appear, to a common observer, respect of their lands) to maintain the of much less consequence than they really king's title and territories, with equal vi- were when granted : but this, properly gour and fealty as if they had received considered, will shew, not that the acquitheir lands from his bounty upon these sitions under John were small, but ihat express conditions, as pure, proper bene- those under Charles were greater. And ficiary feudatorics. But, whatever their froin hence also arises another inference; meaning was, the Norman interpreters, that the liberties of Englisbinen are not skilled in all the niceties of the feodal con- (as some arbitrary writers would represent stitutions, and well understanding the im- them) mere infringements of the king's port and extent of the feodal terms, gave prerogative, extorted from our princes by a very different construction to this pro- taking advantage of their weakness; but is ceeding, and thereupon took a handle to restoration of that ancient constitution, of introduce, not only the rigorous doctrines which our ancestors had been defrauded which prevailed in the duchy of Norman- by the art and finesse of the Norinan lawdy, but also such fruits and dependencies, yers, rather than deprived by the force of such hardships and services, as were never
the Norman arms. known to other nations ; as if the English
Blackstone's Commentaries, had in fact, as well as theory, owed every thing they had to the bounty of their
$61. Of British Juries. sovereign lord.
The method of trials by juries, is geneOur ancestors, therefore, who were by rally looked upon as one of the most exe 50 means beneficiaries, but had barely cellent branches of our constitution. In consented to this fiction of tenure from the theory it certainly appears in that light. "rown, as the basis of a military discipline, According to the original establishment, with reason looked upon those deductions the jurors are to be men of competent for-$ grievous impositions, and arbitrary con- tunes in the neighbourhood ; and are to be lusions from principles that, as to them, so avowedly indifferent between the parad no foundation in truth. However, ties concerned, that no reasonable excepis king, and his son William Rufus, tion can be made to them on either side. ept up with a high hand all the rigours In treason, the person accused has a right the feodal doctrines : but their succes. to challenge five-and-thirty, and in felony, Pr, Henry I found it expedient, when he twenty, without shewing cause of chalEt up his pretensions to the crown, to pro. lenge. Nothing can be more equitable. No
prisoner can desire a fairer field. But the its nature, and not unfrequently even turns misforiune is, that our juries are often to vice. The expences of society, of precomposed of men of mean estates and low sents, of entertainments, and the other understandings, and many difficult points helps to cheerfulness, are actions merely of law are brought before them, and sub- indifferent, when not repugnant to a betier mitted to their verdict, when perhaps they method of disposing of our superfiuitits ; are not capable of determining, properly but they become vicious when they oband judiciously, such nice matters of jus. struct or exhaust our abilities from a more tice, althouglı the judges of the court ex- virtuous disposition of our circumstances. plain the nature of the case, and the law True generosity is a duty as indispensawhich arises upon it. But if they are not bly necessary as those imposed upon us by defective in knowledge, they are some- law. It is a rule imposed on us by reason, times, I fear, from their station and indi- which should be the sovereign law of a ragence, liable to corruption. This, indeed, tional being. But this generosity does not is an objection more to the privilege lodged consist in obeyi:g every impulse of humawith juries, than to the institution itself. nity, in following blind passion for our The point most liable to objection, is the guide, and impairing our circumstances power which any one or more of the by present benefactions, so as to render us twelve have, to starve the rest into a com- incapable of future ones. pliance with their opinion ; so that the
Goldsmith's Essars. verdict may possibly be given by strength of constitution, not by conviction of con- 63. Habit, the Difficulty of conquering. science : and wretches hang that jury- There is nothing which we estimate so men may dinc.'
fallaciously as the force of our own reso
lutions, nor any fallacy which we so un$ 62. Justice, its Nature and real Import willingly and tardily detect. He that bas defined.
resolved a thousand times, and a thousand Mankind, in general, are not sufficiently times deserted his own purpose, yet suffers acquainted with the import of the word no abatement of his confidence, but still justice: it is commonly believed to consist believes himself his own master, and able, only in a performance of those duties to by innate vigour of soul, to press forward which the laws of society can oblige us. to his end, through all the obstructions This, I allow, is sometimes the import of that inconveniences or delights can put in the word, and in this sense justice is dis- his way. tinguished from cquity; but there is a That this mistake should prevail for a justice still more extensive, and which can time, is very natural. When comviction is be shewn to embrace all the virtues united. present, and temptation out of sight, we de
Justice may be defined, that virtue not easily conceive how any reasonable which impels us to give to every person being can deviate from his true interest. what is his due. In this extended sense of What ought to be done while it yet hengs the word, it comprehends the practice of only in speculation, is so plain and certain. every virtue which reason prescribes, or that there is no place for doubt: the whole society should expect. Our duty to our soul yields itself to the predominance of Maker, to cach other, and to ourselves, truth, and readily determines to do wha!, are fully answered, if we give them what when the time of action comes, will be at we owe them. Thus justice, properly last omitted. speaking, is the only virtue, and all the I believe most men may review all the rest have their origin in it.
lives that have passed within their obser. The qualities of candour, fortitude, cha- vation, without remembering one efficaci rity, and generosity, for instance, are not ous resolution, or being able to tell a sin in their own nature virtues; and, if ever gle instance of a course of practice sudthey deserve the title, it is owing only to denly changed in consequence of a chanz justice, which impels and directs them. of opinion, or an establishment of deterWithout such a moderator, candour might mination. Many indeed alter their coubecome indiscretion, fortitude obstinacy, duct, and are not at fifty what they wert charity imprudence, and generosity mis. at thirty, but they commonly varied intaken profusion.
perceptibly from themselves, follower the A disinterested action, if it be not con- train of external causes, and rather sutJucted by justice, is, at best, indifferent in fered reformation than made it.
It is not uncommon to charge the differ- shops. I had not been long in the world ence between promise and performance, before an ingenious transmuter of metals between profession and reality, upon deep laid violent hands on me; and observing design and studied deceit ; but the truth is my thin shape and flat surface, by the help that there is very little hypocrisy in the of a little quicksilver exalted me into a world; we do not so often endeavour or shilling. Use, however, soon degraded wish to impose on others as ourselves ; we me again to my native low station; and I resolve to do right, we hope to keep our unfortunately fell into the possession of resolutions, we declare them to confirm an urchin just breeched, who received me our own hope, and fix our own inconstan- as a Christmas-box of his godmother. cy, by calling witnesses of our actions ; “A love of money is ridiculously inbut at last habit prevails, and those whom stilled into children so early, that bewe invited to our triumph, laugh at our fore they can possibly comprehend the defeat.
use of it they consider it as of great vaCustom is commonly too strong for the lue: I lost therefore the very essence of most resolute resolver, though furnished for my being, in the custody of this hopeful the assault with all the weapons of philoso- disciple of avarice and folly; and was phy. “ He that endeavours to free him- kept only to be looked at and admired : "self from an ill habit,” says Bacon, but a bigger boy after a while, snatched “must not change too much at a time, me from him, and released me from my “ lest he should be discouraged by diffi- confinement. “culty ; nor too little, for then he will “ I now underwent various hardships “make but slow advances.” This is a among his play-fellows, and was kicked precept which may be applauded in a about, hustled, tossed up, and chucked book, but will fail in the trial, in which into holes, which very much battered and every change will be found too great or too impaired me ; but I suffered most by the little. Those who have been able to con- pegging of tops, the marks of which I have quer habit, are like those that are fabled to borne about me to this day. I was in this have returned from the realms of Pluto : state the unwitting cause of rapacity; Pauci, quos æquus amavit.
strife, envy, rancour, malice, and revenge, Jupiter, atque ardens evexit ad æthera virtus. among the little apes of mankind; and
They are sufficient to give hope but not became the object and the nurse of those security, to animate the contest but not to passions which disgrace human nature, promise victory.
while I appeared only to engage children Those who are in the power of evil ha- in innocent pastimes. At length I was bits, must conquer them as they can, and dismissed from their service, by a throw conquered they must be, or neither wisdom with a barrow-woman for an orange. nor happiness can be attained; but those “ From her it is natural to conclude I who are not yet subject to their influence, posted to the gin-shop; where, indeed, it may, by timely caution, preserve their is probable I should have immediately freedom, they may effectually resolve to gone, if her husband, a foot-soldier, had escape the tyrant, whom they will very not wrested me from her, at the expence vainly resolve to conquer.
Idler. of a bloody nose, black eye, scratched face,
and torn regimentals. By him I was car$64. Halfpenny, its adventures.
ried to the Mall in St. James's Park, where
I am ashamed to tell how I parted from “ I shall not pretend to conceal from him-- let it suffice that I was soon after you the illegitimacy of my birth, or the deposited in a night-cetlar: baseness of my extraction : and though I * From hence I got into the coat-pocket seem to bear the venerable marks of old of a blood, and remained there with seage, I received my being at Birmingham veral of my brethren for some days annonot six months ago. From thence I was ticed. But one evening as he was reeling transported with many of my brethren of home from the tavern, he jerked a whole different dates, characters, and configura- handful of us through a sash-window into*** tions, to a Jew pedlar in Duke's place, the dining-roont of a tradesman, who herewho paid for us in specie scarce a fifth membered bad been so unmannerly to him part of our nominal and extrinsic value. the day before as to desire payment of his We were soon after separately disposed of, bill. We reposed in soft ease on a fine at a more moderate profit, to coffee-houses, Turkey carpet till the next morning, when chop houses, chandler's-shops, and gin- the maid swept us up; and some of vs
3 E 2
power to relieve.
were allotted to purchase tea, sone to with others in change to the next customer, buy suff, and I myself was immediately gave me this opportunity of relating my trucked away at the duor for the Sueet. adventures to you." Adrenturer. heart's Delight. “ It is not my design to enumerate every
$65. History; our natural Fondness for little accident that has befallen me, or lo
it, and its true Use. dwell upon trivial and indifferent circum- The love of history seems inseparable stances, as is the practice of those impor- froin human nature, because it seems inse tant egotists, who write narratives, me- parable from self-love. The same princimois, and travels. As useless lo commu- ple in this instance carrics us forward and nity as my single self may appear to be, backward 10 future and to past ages. We I have been the instrument of much good imagine that the things which affect us, and evil in the intercourse of mankind; I must affect posterity; this seotiment runs have contribuud 10 small sum to the re- through mankind, from Cæsar down to the venues of the crown, by my share in each parish-clerk in Pope's Miscellany, We newspaper ; and in the consumption of are fond of preserving, as far as it is in our tubacco, spirituous liquors, and oiher tax. frail power, the memory of our own adable cominorities. If I have encouraged ventures, of those of our own time, and of debauchery, or supported extravagance, I those that preceded it. Rude beaps of have also rewarded the labours of indus stones have been raised, and ruder hymns try, and relieved the necessities of indi- have been composed, for this purpuse, by gence. The pour acknowledge me as their nations who had not yet the use of arts and constant friend ; and the rich, though letters. To go do further back, the use they affect to slight me, and treat me with umphs of ()din were celebrated in Runic contempt
, are often reduced by their fulo songs, and the feats of our British ancestors lies to distresses which it is even in my were recorded in those of their bards. The
savages of America have the same custom The present exact scrutiny into our at this day: and long historical ballads of constitution has, indeed, very much ob- their hunting and wars are sung at all their structed and embarrassed iny travels; festivals. There is no need of saying how though I could not but rejoice in my con- this passion grows among all civilized na. dition last Tuesday, as I was debarred hav• tions, in proportion to the mcans of gratiirig any share in naiming, bruising, and fying it: bui let us observe, that the same destroying the innocent victims of vulgas principle of nature directs us as strongly barbarity; I was happy in being confined and more generally, as well as more early, to the inock encounters with feathers and to indulge our own curiosity, instead stuffed leather; a childish sport, rightly preparing to gratify that of others. The calculated to initiate tender minds in acis child hearkens with delight to the tales of of cruelty, and prepare them for the excr- bis nurse; he learns to read ; and be de cise of inhumanity on helpless animals. vours with eagerness fabulous legends and
“I shall conclude, Sir, with informing novels. In riper years he applies to hisio you by what means I came to you in the ry, or to that which he takes for history, ło condition you see. A choice spirit, a mem- authorized romance ; and csen in age the ber of the kilkcare club, broke a linke desire of knowing what has happened to boy's pate with me last night, as a reward other men, yields to the desire alone of for lighting bim across the kennel ; the lad relating what has happened to ourselves. wasted half his tar flambeau in looking Thus history, true or false, speaks to our for mos but I escaped his search, being passions always. What pity is it that even lodged snugly against a post. This morn- ihe best should speak to our understanding ing a parish girl picked me up, and carried so seldom! That it does so, we have doue me with raptures to the next baker's shop to blame but ourselves. Nature has done to purchase a roll. The master, who was her part. She has opened this study to churchwarden, examined me with great every inan who can read and think : and attention, and then grufily threatening her what she has made the most agrecable, with Bridewell for putting off bad money, reason can make the most useful applica knocked a nail through my middle, and tion of to our minds. But if we consult our fastened me to the counter : but the mo- reason, we shall be far froin following the ment the poor hungry child was gone, he examples of our fellow-creatures, in this as .whipt me up again, and sending one away in most other cases, who are so proud of
being rational. We shall neither read to
We shall neither read to is a kind of appeal, with which we are ffatsooth our indolence, nor to gratify our va- tered, made to our senses, as well as our nity: as little shall we content ourselves to understandings. The instruction comes drudge like grammarians and crities, that then upon our own authority : we frame others may be able to study, with greater the precept after our own experience, and case and profit, like philosophers and states- yield to fact when we resist speculation. men; as little shall we affect the slender But this is not the only advantage of inmerit of becoming great scholars at the ex- struction by example; for example aprence of groping all our lives in the dark peals not to our understanding alone, but mazes of antiquity. All these mistake the io our passions likewise. Example assua. true drift of study, and the true use of his- ges these or animates them; sets passion tory. Nature gave us curiosity to excite on the side of judgmeat, and makes the the industry of our minds, but she never whole man of a-piece, which is more than intended it to be made the principal, much the strongest reasoning and the clearest less the sole object of their application. demonstration can do; and thus forming The true and proper object of this appli- habits by repetitions, example secures the cation, is a constant improvement in private observance of those precepts which exand in public virtue.' An application to ample insinuated. Bolingbroke. any study, that tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men, and bet.
$ 66. Iluman Nature, its Dignity. ter citizens, is at best but a specious and In forming our notions of human nature ingenious sort of idleness, to use an, ex. we are very apt to make comparison bepression of Tillotson : and the knowledge twixt men and animals, which are the only we acquire is a creditable kind of igno- creatures endowed with thought, that fall rance, nothing more. This creditable kind under our senses. Certainly this compariof ignorance is, in my opinion, the whole son is very favourable to mankind; on the benefit which the generality of men, even
one hand, we see a creature, whose of the most learned, reap from the study of thoughts are not limited by any narrow history: and yet the study of history seems
bounds either of place or time, to me, of all other, the most proper to train ries his researches into the most distant fr. us up to private and public virtue.
gions of this globe, und beyond this globe, We need but to cast our eyes on the to the planets and heavenly bodies ; looks world, and we shall see the daily force of backward to consider the first origin of the example: we need but to turn thein inward, human race; casts his eyes forwards to and weshall soon discover why example has
see the influence of his actions upon pos. this force. Pauci prudentia, says Tacitus, terity, and the judgments which will be honesta ab deterioribus, utilia abnoriis dis formed of his character a thousand years cernunt : plures aliorum eventis docentur. hence : a creature who traces causes and Such is the imperfection of human under- effects to great lengths and intricacy; exstanding, such the frail temper of our
tracts general principles from particular minds, that abstract or general proposi- appearances ; improves upon his discovetions, though never so true, appear obscure ries, corrects his mistakes, and make his or doublful to us very often, till they are very errors profitable.
On the other explained by examples; and that the hand, we are presented with a creature the wisest lessons in favour of virtue go but a
very reverse of this; limited in its obserlittle way to convince the judgment and vations and reasonings to a few sensible determine the will, unless they are en-objects which surround it; without cuforced by the same means, and we are oboriosity, without a foresight, blindly conliged to apply to ourselves that we see hap- ducted by instinct, and arriving in a very pen to other men. Instructions by precept short time at its utmost perfection, beyond have the further disadvantage of coming which it is never able to advance a single on the authority of others, and frequently step. What a difference is there betwixt require a long deduction of reasoning. these creatures ; and how exalted a notion Homines amplius oculis quam auribus cre
must we entertain of the former, in comdunt : longum inter est per præcepta, parison of the latter.
Hume's Essays. brere et efficar per erempla. The reason of this judgment, which I quote from one
$67. The Operations of Human Nature
considered. of Seneca's cpistles, in confirmation of my own opinion, rests I think on this, That We are composed of a mind and of a when examples are pointed out to us, there body, intimately united, and mutually af