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important science; to let it feel its own power, and accustom it to wield the sceptre intrusted to it with dexterity and steadiness. Where this is accomplished, the violent passions can never show themselves-they can have no real existence; for we have already produced evidence that they are nothing more than the simpler affections, discordantly associated, or raised to an improper pitch. Where this is accomplished, the sea of life will, for the most part, be tranquil and sober,-not from indifference or the want of active powers, but from their nice balance and concord; and if, in the prosecution of the voyage, the breeze should be fresh, it will be still friendly, and quicken our course to the desired haven. Finally, wherever this is accomplished, man appears in bis true dignity-he has achieved the great point for which he was created, and visions of unfading glory swell before him, as the forthcoming reward of his present triumph.
ON THE LEADING CHARACTERS AND PASSIONS OF SAVAGE AND CIVILIZED LIFE.
In the preceding lecture but one I stated, as may, perhaps, be remembered by many of the audience before me, that, of the numerous and complicated faculties which form the nice mechanism of the human mind, sometimes one, sometimes another, and sometimes several in conjunction, appear peculiarly active and prominent, and acquire a mastery over the rest; and that such effect is, in different instances, the result of different causes, as peculiarity of temperament, peculiarity of climate, or peculiarity of local or national habits and associations. Let us pursue this subject, and make it a groundwork for the present lecture.
All violent passions are evil, or in other words, produce, or tend to produce, unhappiness: for evil and unhappiness are only commutable terms. There is no proposition in morals that admits of clearer proof. Some violent passions are evil intrinsically; others as extremes of those that are good; and all of them as refractory and hostile to the legitimate control of the understanding. For happiness, as we had lately occasion to prove, is a state of discipline; and is only to be found, in any considerable degree of purity and permanency (without which qualities it is unworthy of the name,) in a regulated and harmonious mind; where reason is the charioteer, and reins, and guides, and moderates the mental coursers in the great journey of life, with a firm and masterly hand.
It may, hence, be supposed, that the greatest degree of violence and unhappiness to be met with any where, is among savages; since, unquestionably, it is here that the traces of discipline are most feeble and obscure. And such, in fact, is the concurrent opinion of moralists and civilians. But it is an opinion which should be given with some degree of hesitation. It is true so far as the simpler passions, and especially those of the selfish class, are concerned,-passions which are more or less common to all countries and conditions; but civil life has passions peculiar to itself, and passions, too, of peculiar force and obstinacy, that
Grow with its growth, and strengthen with its strength,
which no system of internal discipline seems at all times capable of moderating; which, in too many instances, we behold defying, with equal contumacy, all the laws of religion and morality; and, consequently, introducing into the world pains and penalties, mischiefs and miseries, which the tribes of barbarous and uncultivated nature, amidst all their evils, know nothing of.
To a certain extent, it is, however, probable, that the common opinion is correct, and that the greatest portion of violence and wretchedness is to be met with in savage life.
Now what are the passions that are chiefly brought into action, in this low and lamentable state of existence? Let us take a brief survey of them, it may prove an interesting inquiry,-and examine the changes they undergo, and the new affections they give rise to, as man emerges from chaos to order, from the gloom of ignorance to the light of civilization, morality, and science.
One common character runs through savages of every kind. The empire of the heart is divided between two rival deities or rather demons— Selfishness and Terror. The chief ministers of the first are lust, hatred, and revenge; the chief ministers of the second are cruelty, credulity, and superstition. Look through the world, and you will find this description apply to barbarians of every age and country.
It is equally the history of Europeans and Africans; of the Pelasgi, who were the progenitors of the Greeks, and of the Celts and Scythians, the successive progenitors of the English. All the discoveries of modern circumnavigators confirm the assertion; and though the captivating names of Friendly and Society Islands have been given to two distinct groups in the vast bosom of the Pacific Ocean, and the inhabitants in several of them have made some progress in the first rudiments of civilization and government, there is not a people or a tribe to be met with, who are yet in a savage state, that are not still slaves to these debasing and tyrannical passions. The gentleness of courtship, or rather the first proof of affection, among the savages of New South Wales, consists in watching the beloved fair one of another tribe to her retirement, and then knocking her down with repeated blows of a club or wooden sword. After which impressive and elegant embrace, the matrimonial victim is dragged, streaming in her blood, to the lover's party, and obliged to acknowledge herself his wife. Cannibalism, in times of war, is still common to several of the islands; human immolation to most of them. It was at the bloody shrine of revenge, that Captain Cook fell a sacrifice in Owhyhee, one of the bestinformed and most disciplined of all the islands; nor has any one, perhaps, who ever read the interesting history of Prince Lee Boo, forgotten the delight he manifested at St. Helen's on discovering a bed of groundsel, which he immediately converted to an article of food. All of them believe in magic-are the dupes of priestcraft and witchcraft-and in carving images of their deities, seem to think they can never represent them under figures sufficiently terrific and disgusting.
The simple but violent passions, then, common to mankind in savage life, are selfishness, lust, hatred, revenge, terror, cruelty, credulity, and superstition. These are differently modified, as well as combined with other passions, according to the force of collateral circumstances, as the dulness or vivacity of the intellectual faculties, the warmth or frigidity of the climate, the tameness or picturesque grandeur of the scenery, and the
political constitution and habits of the people. Let us see how far this remark is supported by history.
From the cap or caf of the Caucasus descended those streams of adventurers that under the names of Getes, Goths, Scythians, and Scandinavians, over-run all the north of Europe, and progressively spread themselves from the Caspian Sea to the Thames. Born in the midst of snows, brought up in the midst of perils, and stretching their barren track from lake to lake, and from mountain to mountain, through the wildest, the boldest, the sublimest, and most fearful line of country that indents the face of the old world, they caught the gloomy grandeur that surrounded them; exchanged the love of women for the love of war; and carried fierceness and terror into the whole of their political institutions, their süllen ritual, and their mythology. They neither gave nor would consent to receive quarter; their highest honour being to fall in battle, and their deepest disgrace to sink into the grave by a natural death. They had their heaven, but it was only for heroes; and they denominated it Valhalla, or the hall of slaughter. They had also their hell, but it was only for those who died at home, and who, as they taught, were immediately conveyed to it, and tormented for ever, for their cowardice, with hunger, thirst, and misery of every kind. This audacious contempt of death, and burning desire to enter the hall of their ferocious gods, is correctly described by Lucan, who calls it a happy error-felices errore suo.
We here meet with all the passions I have enumerated as characteristic of savage life, but modified and peculiarly directed by local circumstances, which at the same time give birth to other passions equally fierce and violent.
Nerved by nature with a firm, robust constitution, and nursed in the midst of cliffs and cataracts, and torrents and tempests, they drank in' courage and independence with every breath of air; their only delight was the gloomy one of hunting out difficulties and dangers; their only lust that of battle, and conquest; and their only fear that of being thought cowards on earth, and being shut out from the hall of slaughter in heaven. To adopt once more the language of Lucan, and follow up his correct description, which, nevertheless, before a mixed audience I must endeavour to give in our own tongue,
In error bless'd, beneath the polar star,
The worst of fears, the fear of death they dare;
The natural passions of cruelty, hatred, and revenge seem to have remained untouched, and the whole character of the heart concurred in giving a terrible enthusiasm to their superstition. Patriotism they had none, for they had no country; and they only so far sacrificed their personal liberty, and concentrated themselves into tribes and clans, with leaders of limited authority at their head, as they found best calculated to give success to their lawless enterprises. And hence the origin of the feudal system, and
the first rude efforts towards a basis of government and civilization in northern Europe.
Let us contrast this picture with one of a different kind.
Seated in an early period of the world in the vicinity of these ferocious mountaineers, but at the southern foot of the Caucasus, instead of at its summit, we behold another set of barbarians, who progressively spread themselves into the softer regions of the south and west, under the names of Gomerians or Cymerians, and Celts. Their patronymic appellation sufficiently proves them to have been the sons of Gomer, and gives them a near connexion with the tribes we have just noticed. The country which formed their cradle was the finest part of Asia Minor, a country that has been regarded in all ages as the garden of the world. Soft tepid airs; a rich productive soil, that scarcely demanded cultivation; plains and sloping hills extending in every direction, and covered with fattening verdure; fountains interspersed and meandering rivers; banks blossoming with the choicest flowers, and suffused with the sweetest odours; the refreshing foliage of deep umbrageous woods; and over all the blue and cloudless canopy of the skies, diffusing light and laughter and benevolence, seemed labouring with happy concert to subjugate the rugged feelings of the savage heart, and attune it to harmony and peace. Nor was the magic force exerted in vain. The agreeable ideas hereby excited, prompted them, in their migrations, to seek, as far as they were able, for regions of a similar character; and the growing impulse of internal pleasure thus derived from external beauty gave a new direction to their mental powers. Selfish lust softened gradually into social love; the activity of a sportive fancy subdued the gloomy dictates of cruelty and revenge; the Gorgon form of fear gave place to the young radiance of hope; and superstition dropped her circlet of snakes, and half listened to the soothing song of reason and of truth.
In proof of this, it is only necessary to mention that they spread themselves from the head-spring of the Danube or Ister, as it was formerly called, to the mouth of the Tagus, and peopled in their progress Phrygia, so celebrated for its dithyrambic music and vigorous dance; the Troad, or country of Troy, ages ago
Married to immortal verse:
Thrace, of scarcely less distinction than Troy; Hungary, the greater part of Germany, Gaul, Italy, Spain, and the British islands; sometimes confining themselves to small independent tribes, and sometimes, as in the warmer regions more especially, sinking conjointly into subjugation, under one ambitious and powerful chieftain. Different local circumstances diversified their general character; but for the most part we find them equally courteous and courageous, faithful to their engagements, hospitable to strangers, full of patriotism, loyalty, and domestic virtue, and let me add, it is to the quarter I am now speaking of that the Greeks were indebted not only for their Phrygian music, which formed their most enthusiastic and maddening movements, as I have just observed, but also for their Lydian, which formed its opposite, and was equally adapted to quell the cares and fury of the breast, and melt it into feelings of tenderness and affection. It is under this description Dryden speaks of it in his Ode te Alexander's Feast.
Softly sweet in Lydian measures
And thus a greater than Dryden, in his well-known poem, entitled l'AIlegro
And ever against eating cares
Such, in most parts of the world, has been the effect of climate and sur rounding scenery. But there is another cause, and a still more powerful one, that ought not to be admitted in the consideration of national character; and that is the government and habits of a people.
These may, in the first instance, be produced by accident; they may be the result of the cause already adverted to; but, when once formed and established, they lay a much firmer basis for public feeling and conduct than can be derived from any physical impulse whatever.
Persia had at one time as much reason as Macedonia to boast of her military hardihood and heroism; and, under the guidance of Cyrus, is well known to have overrun all Egypt and Asia Minor, taken Babylon, and destroyed the Assyrian empire. But her government at that time was most excellent; her code of laws full of wisdom; her administration of justice exemplary; and her morals the simplest and most correct in the Pagan world. Her youth, from the age of seven to that of seventeen, were allowed no other food than bread and cresses, and no other drink than water. They were all educated at public schools, provided by the state, and superintended by masters of the highest character for sobriety and science; who were enjoined by the constitution to use every means of inspiring them with a love of virtue for its own sake, and an equal abhorrence of vice. With the exception of the Macedonians, the Persians are the only people who enacted a law against ingratitude, punishing with a brand on the forehead every one who was convicted of so heinous a crime; a regulation which, I shrewdly suspect, if carried into execution in the present day, would wofully disfigure the faces of great multitudes of our contemporaries. The ear of the prince, moreover, was open to the advice of every one, but with this salutary limitation, to prevent the royal presence from being pestered with political busy-bodies: the adviser in proposing his opinion was placed upon an ingot of gold; if his counsel were found useful, the ingot was his reward; if trifling, or of no value, his reward was a public whipping.
So long as this system of simplicity and political jurisprudence continued, the Persians were the most powerful people in the world; but the temptations of a warm luxurious climate, and the influx of enormous wealth, from the conquest of surrounding countries, threw them gradually off their guard; their discipline became relaxed, their laws slighted, their manners changed; and the nation which was able to conquer Phrygia, Lydia, Egypt, and the proud empire of Assyria, not two centuries afterwards, fell prostrate before an army of little more than thirty thousand Greeks, under the banners of Alexander the Great.
If we turn our attention to the Greeks who triumphed on this proud occasion, their whole history will furnish us with a repetition of the same lesson. The mildness of their climate, the luxuriance of their soil, the picturesque beauty of their country, attuned all the rougher passions to