Author: Bentham, Jeremy, 1748-1832
Title: Deontology or, The science of morality : in which the harmony and co-incidence of duty and self-interest, virtue and felicity, prudence and benevolence, are explained and exemplified : from the MSS. of Jeremy Bentham / arranged and edited by John Bowring.
Publisher: London : Longman, Rees, Orme, Browne, Green, and Longman; Edinburgh : William Taft, 1834
Tag(s): utilitarianism; ethics; deontology; benevolence; prudence; efficient benevolence; regarding prudence; negative efficient; virtue
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DEONTOLOGY; OR, THE SCIENCE OF MORALITY: IN WHICH THE HARMONY AND CO-INCIDENCE OF DUTY AND SELF-INTEREST, VIRTUE AND FELICITY, PRUDENCE AND BENEVOLENCE, ARE EXPLAINED, EXEMPLIFIED, AND APPLIED TO THE BUSINESS OF LIFE. FROM THE MSS. OF JEREMY BENTHAM. ARRANGED AND EDITED BY JOHN BOWRING. IN TWO VOLUMES. ^ VOL. II. V LONDON: LONGMAN, REES, ORME, BROWNE, GREEN, AND LONGMAN. EDINBURGH: WILLIAM TAIT. 1834. BT / 006 6/f JO CONTENTS. PART II. PRACTICE OF VIRTUE. PAGE PREFACE. . . . . vii to x INTRODUCTION. . . .1 26 CHAPTER I. General Statement . . .27 80 CHAPTER II. Self-regarding Prudence . . .81 131 CHAPTER III. Extra-regarding Prudence . .132 188 CHAPTER IV. Negative Efficient Benevolence . .189 258 CHAPTER V. Positive Efficient Benevolence . . 259 304 CHAPTER VI. Conclusion. . . . 305 319 PREFACE. IT is not presumed that this Volume contains rules for every probable or possible contingency in which the inquirer may seek for the applica tion of the Deontological code. But the prin ciples being laid down, and so many incidents offered for their explanation and illustration, the reader may be safely left for himself to gather together such circumstances as his observation may furnish, in order to submit them to those tests with which he is here supplied. In doing this, he will forward the views of that wise and benevolent Philosopher to whom these pages owe their birth. I hope, he says in one of his memoranda, that the care of others, calling in the experience of their friends and acquaint- ance, will record all those cases which demand VOL. ii. b VJ11 PREFACE. the application of the sound principles of mo- rality ; that they will solve them by right rules, and give the reasons for the solution/ Obser vation, he was accustomed to say, would ere long, condense the marrow of morality into a few simple rules, that would become the Vade Mecum of every body, and be ready on every occasion to apply to every demand. They will be pasted, he remarked, on the back of an almanack, which now loses part of its value every day, and soon is rendered worthless by the lapse of time ; but the moral side, while recording principles that are immutable, will remain as fresh, as true, as useful as ever. And, in elucidation of our Author s purpose, I can find nothing more characteristic, nothing more emphatic, than his own words : I have taken the principle of utility for my guide. I will follow wheresoever it leads me. No prejudices shall force me to quit the road. No interest shall seduce me. No superstitions shall appal me. Addressing myself to a free and enlightened nation, what have I to fear ? PREFACE. IX I will make the augmentation of the general fe- licity, which is the object, which is the motive of my inquiry, so plainly my purpose, that those who would persuade men to the contrary, shall not be able. How shall this be ? By opening my breast, by casting my offerings at the feet of the public without reserve. I write not to an Athenian mob, nor to a fanatic rabble. * I write to many who, were my merit ever so many times greater than I can hope, would be c worthy to be my judges ! There are, properly speaking, but two parties in morals or politics, and in religion. The one is for the unlimited exercise of reason ; the other is against it. I profess myself of the former : I hold myself to be more in communion with I feel myself more cordially disposed towards those who agree with me in that one point, than with those who, disagreeing with me in that, agree with me in every other. These, with res pect to each other, are the two grand heresies : the others are but schisms. The materials out of which this volume has X PREFACE. been put together, are, for the most part, dis jointed fragments, written on small scraps of paper, on the spur of the moment, at times remote from one another, and delivered into my hands without order or arrangement of any sort. J. Bo. INTRODUCTION. THE purpose of this volume is, to bring the Deontological system of morality into practical use ; to give to opinion the power of operation. Having laid down a rule of conduct, it is intended to show its applicability to the daily concerns of life, and its aptitude for the cre ation of human happiness and the diminution of human misery. The theory of the social science has been largely developed in the volume dedicated to the topic. With a view to the better under standing and greater usefulness of the Deon tological law, it appears desirable to revert, even though briefly, to the principles which it was our object to establish, in order that they may be at hand for use, as the various cases for abstention and action present themselves. The value of the philosophical instrument will VOL. II. B 2 INTRODUCTION. not, it is believed, be lessened in the estimate either of wisdom or of virtue, when that instru ment is seen busied in its moral work. The present portion of our labor will be to the intelligent moralist what reports of cases ad judged, or set down for judgment, are to the inquiring jurisconsult ; and if it be found that our legislation leads in all cases to satisfactory decisions, a tolerable evidence will be given of the excellence of the code recommended. Laws in England the law of parliament and the common law take a considerable portion of human actions under their cognizance. Wherever the sufferings inflicted by miscon duct are so great as to affect the persons or property of the community on a large scale of mischievousness, penal visitation comes with its punishments : where actions are supposed to be beneficial over so large an extent as to demand the attention of the legislative or ad ministrative authorities, public recompense is brought to reward them. Beyond these limits vast masses of enjoyment and suffering are produced by human conduct, and here is the INTRODUCTION. O province of morality. Its directions and its sanctions become a sort of factitious law. Those directions are of course dependent on the sanc tions to which they appeal ; and it is only by bringing the behaviour of men under the ope ration of those sanctions that the moralist, or the divine, or the legislator, can have any success or influence. These sanctions deal out their pains and pleasures, their rewards and punishments ; and they emanate from the following sources : 1 . The pathological, which include the phy sical and psychological, or the pleasures and pains of a corporeal character. 2. The social or sympathetic, which grow immediately out of a man s domestic and social relations. 3. The moral or popular, which are the expression of public opinion. 4. The political, which comprise the legal and administrative ; the whole of which belong to jurisprudential rather than moral ethics. 5. The religious sanctions, which belong to the ecclesiastical teacher. 4 INTRODUCTION. With the two last of these the Deontologist has little concern. They are the instruments of the legislator and the divine. There are, as has been repeated, two grand divisions in a man s sphere of conduct; one con cerns himself, and the other concerns all be sides : these involve personal and extra-personal considerations. All actions that regard himself, and which are not indifferent, are either prudent or imprudent. All actions that regard others, and which are not indifferent, are either bene ficent or maleficent. Hence virtue and vice all virtues and all vices belong either to indi vidual or social relations. Virtue, if individual, is prudential ; if social, it is benevolent : and thus all the virtues are modifications either of prudence or benevolence. Not that all pru dence is virtue : for it is prudent to exercise the ordinary functions of nature ; but virtue is found where the temptation to a present enjoy ment is sacrificed to a greater future enjoyment; not that all benevolence is virtue, for bene volence may encourage both vice and misery; but in order to be efficient, it must operate INTRODUCTION. O to the diminution or extinction of both. The foundation of all virtue is individual happiness, the pursuit of which is necessary to the very existence of the human race, the pursuit of which is necessary to the existence of virtue, and the judicious pursuit of which is the true and sole resource for the extension of virtue and consequent felicity. In the search after this felicity, with whom has man to do ? He has to do with himself in those proceedings in which others are not con cerned ; with himself in those proceedings in which others are concerned ; and with others in those proceedings in which either himself or they are concerned. Within these limits come all questions of duty, and in consequence all questions of virtue. And into these divisions all investigations as to morality must be brought. The first inquiry, then, should be directed to that conduct which concerns the individual alone, and which has no influence upon the pains or pleasures of others ; that is to say, the purely self-regarding. Where the influence 6 INTRODUCTION. of conduct does not reach beyond the indivi dual, where his thoughts, or tastes, or actions do not affect others, his line of duty is plainly marked. He must provide for his own per sonal enjoyment, weighing one pleasure against another, taking into account all corresponding pains, and then draw that balance of happiness which will best stand the test of thought and of time. As to his bodily acts, he will have to weigh the consequence of each ; the suffer ing growing out of pleasure, the pleasure atten dant upon privation. As to his mental acts, he will have to take care that present plea surable thoughts do not bring with them fu ture preponderant sufferings : in retrospective thoughts, it will become him to dwell only on such as leave a profit to happiness ; and in his thoughts for futurity, whether requiring or not requiring action, it will be his wisdom to avoid anticipations likely to be disappointed, or such as, when the accounts are closed, will give a loss of pleasure. So, in the expectations he may form, let him not add to possible future the more pernicious influence of positive pre- INTRODUCTION. 7 sent evil ; let him not create a misery now, which perhaps may never have an existence hereafter. In those relations with others where a man s own happiness is involved, those relations which may be deemed of extra-regarding pru dence, Deontology will teach him to apply the same happiness-producing and misery-avoiding rules of conduct, and to watch the flux and reflux of his deportment towards others on his own individual well-being. For until a man s intercourse with other men can be shown to have some connection with his own felicity, it will be in vain to talk with him as to the conduct he should pursue towards them. His benevolence will be the re-action of benefits received or anticipated. Deontology will in struct him as to the course he should pursue towards men in general, and show him how his proceedings should be modified by all those circumstances in his social relations, which demand his special regard. It will trace out for him those peculiar duties which, as equal, inferior, or superior, are demanded from him, 8 INTRODUCTION. with a reference to his own individual interests. It will guide him in his connection with those who are habitually or frequently in contact with him, as well as with those whom acci dent may throw in his way friends, fellow- countrymen, strangers towards each will it assist him to measure out that portion of pru dential sympathy which will, on the whole, lead to the greatest ultimate sum of good. "Where the powers of benevolence come into operation, Deontology will be near with her beneficent instructions. In one hand she holds a bridle, to check the tendency to inflict pain ; in the other a spur, to impel the disposition to communicate pleasure. She puts her veto upon the will that would hurt ; she offers her recompense to that which would serve. Upon the lips whose discourse would annoy, without some preponderant good to the hearer or to society, she puts the finger of silence : to the language that would communicate enjoyment, without any preponderant evil either to the speaker or the listener, she gives expression. The written effusions which vex and torment INTRODUCTION. U and irritate, but bring with them no decided result of benefit, she claims to censure and to suppress. Where valuable truth and know ledge are communicated, where misconduct is exposed, whose exposure is predominantly use ful, where mischief is to be prevented, where good is to be effected, in all cases where, in a word, there results to the world a greater portion of good than of evil, she interferes with her imprimatur. And the same rules she applies to actions. She arrests the hand that would inflict pain, unless for the prevention of a greater pain. She counsels the transfer of every species of happiness to others, except where that transfer leads to a sacrifice of happiness greater than the happiness conferred. In her eyes happiness is a treasure of such value, and interest, and importance, that she would not willingly lose the smallest portion of it. She watches it in all its wanderings, and would fain bring it back to every bosom from whence it has escaped. If Deontology issue her cautions, it is solely in the spirit of maternal kindness. If she ever 10 INTRODUCTION. frown, in order to deter from misconduct, it is (if she succeed in checking the error) only that she may recompense its correction with smiles. The elements of pain and pleasure give to the Deontologist instruments sufficient for his work. Give me matter and motion/ said Descartes, and I will make a physical world. Give me/ may the Utilitarian teacher ex claim, give me the human sensibilities joy and grief, pain and pleasure and I will create a moral world. I will produce not only jus tice, but generosity, patriotism, philanthropy, and the long and illustrious train of sublime and amiable virtues, purified and exalted/ But, it may be said, Your principle of utility is useless ; it will not excite to virtuous action, it will not restrain from vicious/ If it will not, there is no help for it ; no other principle will stand in its stead, no other principle has so many elements for encouragement to good and discouragement to evil. Will clamoring about ought/ and ought not/ that perpe tual petitio principii will pronouncing the INTRODUCTION. 11 words, bonum, hone stum, utile, decorum, do more ? What motives can be furnished by any other system what motives which are not borrowed from this ? Men may wear out the air with sonorous and unmeaning words ; those words will not act upon the mind ; nothing will act upon it but the apprehensions of pleasure and pain. If, indeed, there could be conceived such a thing as virtue which would contribute nothing to the happiness of mankind, or vice which should contribute nothing to its misery, what possible motive could there be for embracing the one and avoiding the other? From man there could be none, as, by the supposition, he is uninterested in the matter : from God there can be none : a being all-sufficient and all-benevolent, who himself, placed beyond the reach of the effects of human actions, must estimate them only by their result, and whose benevolence can have no conceivable object but that very happiness for which sound mo rality strives. 12 INTRODUCTION". Stand up untremblingly, then, and avow that what is called the duty to oneself is but pru dence; and what is called duty to others is effective benevolence ; and that all other duties and virtues are resolvable into these. For that God willeth the happiness of his creatures is indisputable, and has made it impossible that they should not endeavour to obtain it. To this end he has given them every faculty they possess, and to no other end. It is absurd in reasoning, and dangerous in morals, to represent the Divine Being as having purposes to accomplish which are opposed to all the tendencies of our nature, he himself having created those tendencies. To suppose that a man can act without a motive, much less against a motive operating singly, is to suppose an effect without and against a cause. To suppose the Deity to require it, is to suppose a contradiction in terms, that he commands us to do what he has rendered it impossible for us to do that his will is opposed INTRODUCTION. 13 to his will his purpose to his purpose in a word, that in the same breath he forbids and commands the same action. The impulses of the principles of our nature are his undoubted voice a voice heard in all bosoms, and to which all bosoms respond. Be it owned, however, that in too many cases the discussion of the grounds of morality is carried on in a way little likely to advance its cause. Your motives are bad/ says the un believer to the orthodox ; you are interested in deceit you merely support the craft by which you get your bread. And you, retorts the orthodox, are influenced only by the love of paradox the pride of singularity ; if not by what is worse, a determination to cut up religion by the roots to do it all the mischief you can. Yours is a universal malice ; an odium generis humani. 9 In such recriminations, in such estimate of motives, the unbeliever is seldom right, the orthodox never. When moral teachers wander beyond the limits of experience, when, guided by other considerations than those of happiness and 14 INTRODUCTION. misery, they adventure upon a trackless waste leading no man can say whither. How can we reason but from what we know ? And the intrusion of the Divine Being, not as he is known to us, but as he is feigned or fancied by those who would make his attributes subservient to their theories, only makes their dogmatism more offensive. The happiness of mankind is too precious a possession to be sacrificed to any system. The felicity of a future state as a recompense for virtue, can never have been intended by a beneficent being to be employed for introducing false standards of virtue. In truth, if moralists are to dispose of a state of things unknown to them, they may as well advocate one system as another ; if they are to have a licence for coining suppo sitions, what is to prevent any extravagance? If the benevolence of God is to be cramped, or bent, or tortured, to become the servant of their malevolence, what fastings, whippings, mace rations, what deplorable caprices of a western monk or an eastern fakir, may not be proved to be a merit or a duty ! INTRODUCTION. 15 Sad must be the fate of religion, if it be placed in hostile array against morality ; for no religion can be reconciled to reason but on evidence that it is calculated to strengthen, and not to dissolve the moral ties. And what can be so extensive an appeal as that which is made to every man s bosom ? How could God declare himself in a manner less liable to be misunderstood, than by those infallible, inex tinguishable, universal sentiments, that he has implanted within us ? What words could speak so strongly as the omnipresent fact, that to will our own present happiness is the essence of our nature; and who made our nature what it is? our present happiness, be it repeated ; because it is only by being linked with the present that ideas of futurity can reach us at all. And on this basis, that man endeavors to procure his own felicity, shall we build our edifice without fear of its falling. For of a truth, that fact is subject to no dis pute, it is evident beyond the reach of doubt, it is paramount to all principles of reasoning, and forcible beyond all possibility of resist- 1(5 INTRODUCTION. ance. And let not the mind be led astray by any distinctions drawn between pleasures and happiness. Happiness is the aggregate of which pleasures are the component parts. Happiness without pleasures is a chimera and a contradiction ; it is a million without any units, a square yard in which there shall be no inches, a bag of guineas without an atom of gold. Be it understood that, in endeavouring to apply the Deontological code of morals to the business of life, in seeking to displace all those theories which have not happiness for their end and reason for their instrument, the only wish to be preceptive is in so far as utility can be called into operation. To drive out the ipse- dixitism of another, by an ipse-dixitism of his own, is no part of the business of theDeontologist, and with no ipse-dixitism has he so irreconcil able a quarrel as with that of asceticism. Other principles may or may not be wrong : sentimen- talism, which sometimes leads astray, may also sometimes conduct into the paths of benevo lence, without wandering so far from those of prudence as to make that benevolence perni- INTRODUCTION. 17 cious, but the ascetic principle must be wrong; wrong whenever it is in action. It exclaims, as Satan did Evil be thou my good ; and turns upside down all virtues in endeavouring to shift them from their true foundation happiness. In fact, asceticism is the natural growth of a barbarous and superstitious age ; it is the representation of a principle which would despotize over other men, by making duty something different from that to which interest points. The standard of happiness being in every man s bosom, his pains and pleasures being his own, and their value best estimated by himself, it is clear that, in order to obtain authority over him ; in order to legislate not for his interest, but for the interests of the legislator, some other influence than that of his own emo tions must be appealed to. Hence the preten sion to set up authority against reason and experience ; hence the disposition and determi nation to exalt the past at the expense of the present ; to laud up a Golden Age when know ledge was in its cradle, and to put forward the golden mean as the true test of virtue. Medi- VOL. II. C 18 INTRODUCTION. ocrity, said the ancients ; Between extremes/ re-echo the moderns : useless and delusive phrases, well fitted to keep the mind and the affections from their safest and most judicious direction. Then again, refining upon refine ment, dividing the indivisible, moralists have introduced a class of virtues, which are not quite virtues, called half- virtues or semi-virtutes . Examine them closely, exhaust them of the prudence and the benevolent beneficence that are in them, the rest is worthlessness, and the parade of it foppery and folly. The omnipresence of the self-regarding affec tion, and its intimate union with the social, are the bases of all genuine morality. That in the human character certain dissocial affections should exist, so far from being injurious to the interests of virtue, is one of the greatest securi ties for virtue. The social affections are the instruments by which pleasure is communicated to others ; the dissocial are those by which the social are kept in check when a greater sacri fice is proposed to be made to beneficence than prudence warrants ; in other words, when less INTRODUCTION. 19 happiness is to be gained by others than is lost by ourselves. But with the term dissocial let no idea of antipathy be connected. Hatred, anger, indignation, or any such passions will rather bewilder and blind than serve the moralist in his investigations into the causes of vices, or their appropriate cures. The law- giver should be no more impassioned than the geometrician. They are both solving problems by sober calculation. The Deontologist is but an arithmetician whose cyphers are pains and pleasures ; his science is that of addition, subtraction, multiplica tion, and division. And certainly the result of his labors will be far more facilitated by the quiet influence of composed thought, than by imaginative wanderings, or passionate sallies. It may perhaps assist the understanding and recollection of the subject, if the Deontological principles be arranged under a few heads, taking the shape of axioms. Happiness may be defined to be the posses sion of pleasures with the absence of pains, or the possession of a preponderant amount of pleasure over pain. 20 INTRODUCTION. Good and evil, when resolved into their elements, are composed of pleasures and pains. These pleasures and pains may be either negative or positive, growing out of the absence of the one, or the presence of the other. The possession of a pleasure, or the absence of a menaced pain, is good. The presence of a pain, or the absence of a promised pleasure, is evil. A positive good is the possession, or the ex pectation of a pleasure. A negative good is the exemption, or the cause of exemption from a pain. Sensations are of two sorts; those accom panied by pleasure or by pain, and those which are unaccompanied by either. It is only on those which produce pain and pleasure, that motives or sanctions can be brought to operate. The value of a pleasure, separately considered, depends on its intensity, duration, and extent. On those qualities its importance to society turns; or in other words, its power of adding to the sum of individual and of general happiness. The magnitude of a pleasure depends on its intensity and duration. INTRODUCTION. 21 The extent of a pleasure depends on the number of persons who enjoy it. And the same laws apply to pains. The magnitude of a pleasure or a pain, in any one of its qualities, may compensate or over balance its deficiency in any other. A pleasure or a pain may be fruitful or barren. A pleasure may be fruitful in pleasures or in pains, fruitful in pleasures like their parent, or in pleasures of another character ; it may be fruitful also in pains, and in the same manner a pain may be fruitful in pains and pleasures. Where pains and pleasures are barren, the calculation of interest is easy. The task of the moralist becomes more complicated, when pains and pleasures produce fruits unlike them selves. A pleasure or a pain may be derived either from another pleasure or pain, or by the act which produces that other pleasure or pain. If the act be the source of the derived pleasure or pain, it is the act that is fruitful ; if it be the pleasure that produces the secondary pleasure or pain, the fecundity is in the pleasure. 22 INTRODUCTION. The pleasure that is produced by the contem plation of the pleasure enjoyed by another, is a pleasure of sympathy. The pain that is suffered by the contemplation of the pain experienced by another, is a pain of sympathy. The pleasure enjoyed by the contemplation of the pain suffered by another, is a pleasure of antipathy. The pain suffered by the contemplation of the pleasure enjoyed by another, is a pain of antipathy. The benevolence of a man must be measured by the number of beings out of whose pains and pleasures he draws his own pleasures and pains of sympathy. The virtues of a man must be measured by the number of persons whose happiness he seeks to promote; that is, the greatest portion and happiness to each, taking into amount the sacrifice which he knowingly makes of his own happiness. When the amounts of pleasures and pains are balanced, the balance of pleasure is the evidence INTRODUCTION. 23 of virtue, the balance of pain the evidence of vice. Beyond, and exclusive of these balances of pains and pleasures, the words virtue and vice are emptiness and folly. Not that the quantity of happiness determines the quantity of virtue, there being much happi ness with which virtue has nothing whatever to do. Virtue implies the presence of a difficulty, the presence of fruitfulness too as to pains and pleasures. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the difficulty. The sources of happiness by which the individual is preserved, which sources, too, provide the greatest portion of happiness, are independent of the exercise of virtue. They may be called acts of well-doing, of beneficence, according to the strictest meaning of the words, but they are not acts of benevolence. In fine, it would be a self-contradiction to say, that an act which produced a balance of suffering could be a virtue, as it would be to declare, that an act producing a balance of enjoyment could be a vice. 24 INTRODUCTION. For the want of a standard to apply to con duct, the strangest errors and mistakes have been made : paradoxes one after another have intruded themselves into common use, and have served to darken counsels by words without knowledge/ The vessel of public felicity has been beaten about on the ocean of vague un certainty, without a helmsman or a rudder. Books have been printed, whose authors, had they but attached distinct ideas to the phrase ology they employed, would have rendered val uable service to the cause of truth and virtue. When Mandeville put forward his theory, that private vices are public benefits, he did not per ceive that the erroneous application of the terms vice and virtue was the source of the confusion which enabled him to advocate a seeming con tradiction. For if what is called virtue produce a diminution of happiness, and if vice, being the opposite of virtue, have a contrary effect, it is clear that virtue is the evil and vice the good, and that the principle which he advocates is merely the greatest-happiness principle under a cloud. If a private vice be on the whole in- INTRODUCTION. 25 strumental in producing a result of felicity to the community, all that can be said is, that the vice has been christened by an erroneous and mistaken name. True it is that utility will transfer many actions to the score of vice, which unenlightened opinion has honored as virtues, and will give to qualities, which have been fre quently called vices, some name of indifference, or even of approval. But the utilitarian scale vibrates only between good and evil pain and pleasure other elements count for nothing in the balance, let them be called by names as pompous as they may. That a system of morality adapted to the growing intelligence of man should not have come down to us from remote time, is not to be wondered at. Even in the knowledge of mate rial objects, antiquity had made small progress. In the knowledge of the functions of the human mind, in intellectual physiology, there was no progress at all. Ancient learning is the ware house of wit, the treasury of superficial resem blances. Modern learning science founded on experiment and observation is the mine 26 INTRODUCTION. whence materials for future progress are to be extracted. There only can those combinations be sought which constitute improvements ; there only will those discoveries be made, out of which theory rears its magnificent deductions. One after another, the different branches of practical philosophy are drawn into the regions of scien tific arrangement. It is not Homer, nor Horace, nor Virgil, nor Tibullus it is not all the furni ture of a whole Christ Church library that will help ethical science either to a nomenclature, or an analysis. Neither virtues nor vices can find their appropriate places, or exercise their true influences, until the test is found which is to divide them into the elements of pain and plea sure. The science of morals is but the gather ing up of the sensations of suffering and enjoy ment, and arranging them under their different heads of vice and virtue. Every moral law is an integrant and harmonious part of the great moral code, descending from and traceable to the two master principles of all virtuous con duct Prudence and Benevolence. GENERAL STATEMENT. 27 CHAPTER I. GENERAL STATEMENT. THE object of Deontology is to instruct the inquirer in the management of the affections, so that they may be made most subservient to his own well-being. He has pains and plea sures of his own with .which the world has no concern ; he has pains and pleasures which de pend on his intercourse with mankind ; and it is in both these relations to give pleasure such a direction as that it may be the progenitor of other pleasures, and to give pain such a direc tion that, if possible, it may be made a source of pleasure, or at all events, that it may be made as light and as bearable and as transitory as possible, that the Deontological moralist pours out his instructions. Abstractedly they may be reduced to a single inquiry. At what cost of future pain or sacri fice of future pleasure is a present pleasure pur chased ? What repayment of future pleasure may be anticipated for a present pain ? Out of this examination morality must be developed. Temptation is the present pleasure punish- 28 DEONTOLOGY. ment is the future pain ; sacrifice is the present pain enjoyment is the future recompense. The questions of virtue and vice are, for the most part, reduced to the weighing that which is, against that which will be. The virtuous man has a store of happiness in coming time, the vicious man has prodigally spent his revenues of happiness. To-day the vicious man seems to have a balance of pleasure in his favor ; to morrow the balance will be adjusted, and the day after it will be ascertained to be wholly in favor of the virtuous man. Vice is a spendthrift, flinging away what is far better than wealth, or health, or youth, or beauty namely, happiness: because all of these without happiness are of little value. Virtue is a prudent economist that gets back all her outlay with interest. The duty of the Deontological teacher cannot be better discharged than when he, watching the occasion of calm and quiet thought, trea sures up in his own mind, or conveys to the mind of others, those instructions which may be turned to account in the untranqnil or passionate hour. The time for planting truth is when there is freedom from excitation. Truths so planted may in the moment of excitation put forth their salutary power. Occasions there will be when the affections seem peculiarly at tuned to the influences of virtuous suggestion. GENERAL STATEMENT. 29 There are hours of sunshine, hours of happiness, which dispose us to the reception of prudent and generous impulses. It is then that the word appropriately spoken the Deontological law felicitously put forward may make its in delible impression, and become a practical and efficient monitor, when impulses, either impru dent or maleficent, would lead astray. For, to bring passion into the regions of virtue, so that virtue may assume the sovereignty, or with simi lar success to conduct virtue into the regions of passion, is the highest triumph of morality ; a triumph which can only be secured by the pro visional foresight that lays in its stores of use ful precepts with anticipating care. It is not amidst the hurly-burly of exciting temptations that we can safely look around us for motives to check their promptings. Let the rules be gathered up, let the motives be fixed within us, while the temptations are absent, and it is thus, and thus only, that when the temptations are present, we shall find the arguments at hand for resisting them. In the still hour when passion is at rest, Gather up stores of wisdom in thy breast ; So when the storms awake, and in the din Imprudence or malevolence to sin Would tempt thy frailty thoughts of wisdom stor d Shall check the passion, ere its tides are pour d. A pebble turns the streamlet, whose proud sway Unbridled sweeps the granite rocks away. 30 DEONTOLOGY. The principle of utility, or rather the greatest- happiness principle, has this advantage over every other that, whenever the divergences of opinion, which recognize another standard, do meet, it is in the field of utility. If there be any point of union or harmony between them, it is exhibited there. Even where men agree to recognise a certain authority, a text, a law, for example, it will be found far more difficult to induce them to coincide as to its interpreta tion, than as to the decision of a question which is submitted to the Deontological law. Let the articles of a code (dependent on authority, and removed from the application of the utilitarian tests), or let the various texts of a volume on morality be appealed to on any occasion as the standard of rectitude, and it will be seen that those who recognise the authority of the code or the text-book, will be far less unanimous in their suffrages, than would be the same number of persons who, making utility their standard, should be referred to for their decision on the case in point. Under the influence of the blind, instinctive impulse, people have, in truth, from the be ginning of the world, been in the habit of con sulting the greatest-happiness principle, and whenever they have acted reasonably, that prin ciple has been their guide. They have been led by it, without being aware of its existence : GENERAL STATEMENT. 31 as, in a clouded day, men walk in the light without tracing the brightness to the uprising of the sun. Helvetius is the first moralist who turned with steady eye to the utilitarian prin ciple. He saw its radiance and its power, and reasoned under its influence. The general principle has been again and again referred to. Morality is the art of max imizing happiness : it gives the code of laws by which that conduct is suggested whose result will, the whole of human existence being taken into account, leave the greatest quantity of felicity. Now the greatest quantity of felicity must depend on the means, or sources, or instruments by which the causes of happiness are produced, and the causes of unhappiness avoided. In so far as these causes are accessible to man, and are under the influence of his will, and become the rule of his conduct for the pro duction of happiness, that conduct may be de signated by one word, virtue; in so far as, under similar circumstances, they lead to conduct generating a result of unhappiness, that conduct is designated by a word of an opposite character, namely, vice. Hence nothing that is called virtue is entitled to the name, unless, and in so far as, it is con tributory to happiness ; the happiness of the 32 DEONTOLOGY. agent himself, or of some other being. And nothing that is called vice is properly desig nated, unless, and in so far as, it is productive of unhappiness. The sources of happiness are physical or in tellectual : it is with the physical sources that the moralist has principally to do. The culti vation of the mind the creation of pleasure from the purely mental faculties belongs to another department of instruction. Now, every person being for his own happi ness principally dependent on his own conduct, his conduct towards himself and his conduct towards others, in all those relations in which he exercises any influence upon their happiness, it remains to give this theory of morals its prac tical value, by applying it to the circumstances of life ; and thus, to group human actions into the two classes so often pointed at the two grand departments of prudence and bene volence. It may at first appear, that the considerations of benevolence are intitled to take precedence of those of prudence, inasmuch as the field of action for prudence is narrow and individual, that for benevolence is social, vast, universal. But prudence must have the pre-eminence ; for though it regards but one individual, that indi vidual is the man himself that individual is GENERAL STATEMENT. 33 the man over whose actions an influence can be exercised which cannot be exercised over the actions of any other man or men. Of his own will a man has the disposal, but he cannot employ more than a limited authority over the will of others. And could he do this, the self- regarding, the prudential affections, are more necessary to the existence, and thence to the happiness of man, than the sympathising can be ; to every man more necessary, and therefore to the whole of the human race. The subject, too, is more simple, and easy to be developed to begin with one being, ere the connection of that one being with others is traced. Hence it is natural to trace the influence of his conduct upon his own happiness, where the welfare of no other person is concerned ; to proceed then to consider what are the laws of prudence where the welfare of others is involved ; and then to proceed to the wider branch of the subject to the consideration of the laws of effective bene volence. A stigma has too frequently been attached to the self-regarding considerations ; because in their erroneous calculations they have sometimes been allowed to invade and do mischief in the regions of benevolence ; because to them the beneficent sympathies have been sometimes sacrificed ; and an erroneous estimate of what VOL. II. D 34 DEONTOLOGY. human nature might become, if the social were allowed preponderance over the selfish principle, has often led men to fancy that there are analo gies teaching and justifying the uncalculating sacrifice of self. Beasts herd together, it is said, beasts of the same sex, who have no wants to satisfy by means of intercommunication, no motive but in the abstract gregarious instinct. Hence it is argued, that man seeks society for its own sake, from an irresistible social tendency, which has nothing to do with the enjoyments he derives from it. But the assumption may well be doubted. The search for food, the de fence against common enemies are, it is be lieved, the principal motives (and these undoubt edly self-regarding ones), which determine the congregation of animals together. Where the same sort of wants and the same sort of dangers exist, there is the bond the strongest : and a similarity of wants and dangers often determines the association of animals of different species. Those animals which derive no assistance from their fellows, either for the supply of their ne cessities or for their security from molestation ; those, the precariousness and scantiness of whose subsistence create on the contrary an opposi tion of interests, as, for example, the larger beasts of prey, such as lions, tigers, &c., do not associate even among themselves ; and if the GENERAL STATEMENT. 35 case is otherwise in those of inferior strength, as wolves, it may safely be attributed to their inability singly to master the animals which are their most usual prey. They feed upon horses and oxen, which are stronger than themselves ; or sheep, which are watched and guarded by men, their proprietors. The fox is a beast of prey, and not usually a gregarious one, but his prey is poultry, and animals weaker than him self, his interests being solitary rather than social, his character and condition are solitary. Prudence thus divides itself into two classes ; the prudence which regards ourselves, the in sulated prudence, where no interests but those of the agent are at stake, and the prudence which has reference to others, where the in terests of others are at stake : for though a man s happiness is naturally and necessarily his primary and ultimate object, yet that happiness is so dependent on the conduct of others to wards him, as to make the regulation and direc tion of the conduct of others towards him an object of his prudential care. Hence grows the association of prudence with benevolence, and hence the necessity of ascer taining the dictates of effective benevolence, even with a view to the interests of prudence alone. 36 DEONTOLOGY. Effective benevolence, again, both in its ne gative shape, where a man refrains from doing that which may injure others, or in its positive shape, where a man confers pleasure upon others, is of two classes ; either practicable without self-sacrifice, or requiring self-sacrifice for its exercise. But for the application of these principles to practice, inasmuch as they bear upon all the concerns of existence, on every event of every day of every man s life, and as these events are infinitely varied in their character, it is obvious that nothing more can be done, than to lay down general rules, and to point out some cases for their exemplification. Such cases will be come like lamps illumining a sphere far beyond their own little flame. And the whole moral edifice is one of unity, simplicity, and symme try : each part enabling the inquirer to compre hend the rest any fragment of it will give the character, the measure of the whole. Taken out of the circle of dogmatism and vagueness, the moral code is perfectly harmonious, consist ing of very few articles ; but these are applica ble to every possible case, and resolve every debateable question. In self-love there is a foundation for universal benevolence ; there is none for universal malice. GENEKAL STATEMENT. 37 And this is in itself evidence of the union between the interest of the individual and that of mankind. In the universal desire to obtain the good opinion of others there is also security for this same union. No man is deaf to expressions of approbation and esteem. They are sources of satisfaction to all. For suppose smiles and praises were accompanied with the rod, and that on the contrary frowns and reproaches brought with them valuable gifts, who would not shun the smile and desire the frown ? The appetite for censure would supersede that for praise; frowns would diffuse the alacrity that now accompa nies smiles, and smiles be the harbinger of gloom. The desire of praise is in fact inter woven among our earliest sensibilities ; so early that no man recollects a period when it did not exist in his mind; nor does it require the pierc ing eye and attentive searching of the philoso pher to call into view a principle which is so interblended with the very ground-work of our nature. Existing in every man thus early, strengthened by repeated, by habitual exercise, this desire of approbation becomes indissolubly and intimately united with our physical wants: it is so associated that it can hardly be detached from the idea of a personal pleasure. Praise may indeed appear to be desired for itself, but the 38 DEONTOLOGY. desire is so connected with the self- regarding principle that to separate them is impossible. The process by which benevolence is gene rated is a beautiful one, and by it virtue is asso ciated with felicity. A child receives praises and marks of affection when at command it ceases crying, or takes physic, or lays down a for bidden object which it had seized. Its earliest sacrifices are made to the moral, the happiness- generating principle, and it finds its recompense. The love of its parents, its brothers and sisters, its nurse and attendants, grows out of its phy sical sensibilities, and these sensibilities are awakened to felicity by the action of that love. Nor is there much value in the objection, that this process is too complicated and intricate, too long and difficult for childish intellects. The gradual production of the results is the real cause of the difficulty of following them by words ; and the absence of appropriate words to express the different phenomena, leaves the erroneous impression that the phenomena are themselves entangled and confused. To deny the connection is to deny the association of ideas in the minds of children ; though this association is exhibited in the very earliest development of intellect, and it is no more to be wondered at than that a child should put out its hands rather than its feet to grasp an GENERAL STATEMENT. 39 object, and direct organically, as it were, its little means to an end. And as the child grows to manhood, and manhood with its stronger powers and passions impels to more ambitious efforts, the thirst for praise becomes more ardent. It is for this that men sacrifice their repose, and rush on to the goal even of public misery through the ranks of embattled competitors and in the defiles of toil and danger. It is for this, in happier times, that through the phalanxes and amidst the darts of ignorance and envy, men urge their course to the goal of public felicity, content though it should be their fate to sacrifice their tranquillity in the contest. There is in the world so universal and constant a competition for the respect, esteem and love of others, the dependence of every man upon other men is so obvious and so intimate, that a certain quantity of benevolence is almost a necessary condition of social existence. True it is that those whose station enables them most easily to command the services of others, value those services least, as those who want them most feel the greatest difficulty in obtain ing them ; but there is no man so poor who by his own good conduct may not increase the disposition to serve him, and no man so mighty as to be able to despise the services of 40 DEONTOLOGY. others without diminishing their amount and lessening their value and efficacy. Absolute independence is the prerogative of none ; and were it possible to conceive of a human being wholly sufficient to his own enjoyments, a human being deriving neither pleasure nor pain from the persons or the events which surround him he would be no object of envy ; compared with him the hyssop on the wall would be privileged, since some consideration, some regard might now and then be flung upon it ; while the man removed from the regions of sympathy would at the same time be removed from those of beneficence. The great security for the active energy of the benevolent feeling is found in the mutual dependence of every human being upon other or others of the human race, and in this de pendence must we look for the check upon the maleficent affections ; since, if neither hatred nor love produced a re-action, if men could visit others with their ill-will without getting any ill-will in return ; or, on the other hand, if they poured out their kindly sympathies in mere waste, awakening no responsive kindly senti ment, the link between prudence and benefi cence would be wanting. If one man give pain to another either by words or deeds, that other will in all ordinary cases seek to inflict pain upon GENERAL STATEMENT. 41 him in return. Hate engenders hate as a sort of self-defence. It is employed for prompt and often for vindictive punishment, whose awards are to a certain extent in the power of its employer. Cases there are, no doubt, where the disposition to return evil for evil is controlled by high and en nobling moral principle, by the true arithmetic of virtue. But those cases are exceptional, and to dream of escaping the ill-will of those whom we make the victims of our ill-will, is to calculate on miracles for the guidance of conduct. And be the exceptions what they may to the rule that malevolence in your bosom will, when brought into action, be the prolific parent of malevolence towards yourself in the bosom of others, an ex ception can scarcely be found to the counterpart of the rule, that love is the source of love. The practical deduction is obvious. Never let pain or uneasiness be inflicted on any one in any shape, but for the purpose of producing a prepon derate good, good clearly to be made out, and traceable in its consequences. The good, if good it be, will be good to some person or other ; to per sons one or more ; to yourself by whom the pain is caused ; to him in whom the pain is caused ; or to third persons ; to third persons, assignable, or to third persons in general. The demand of pru dence and benevolence is peremptory that there shall be a balance, a predominance, of good. 42 DEONTOLOGY. In order to apply this general rule to every particular case, it becomes the Deontologist to consider, first, the various shapes in which pain may be produced, since pain is multiform; 2nd, the occasions on which pain may be produced, occasions presenting themselves whenever inter course exists between ourselves and others ; 3rd, the persons on whom it may be produced ; and 4th, the acts by which it may be produced. All these are important elements in the score of suffering. When the other side of the account comes to be examined, when the good is to be estimated whose existence can alone counter balance or justify the evil, the quantity of that good must be brought into view ; the situation and susceptibility of the persons who are to benefit by the resulting good ; and when it is not traceable to individuals, its existence in the bosoms of unassignable persons must be evi denced. Occasions for the illustration of this impor tant principle will present themselves as we proceed. Here it was intended only to give the general caution, and to establish the universal rule. Deductions will flow into the minds of the thoughtful. They will see that the mere cir cumstance of misbehaviour on the part of another will not of itself justify the infliction of pain. If that infliction will prevent the repeti- GENERAL STATEMENT. 43 tion of the misbehaviour, then, indeed, the pain may be wisely and morally excited : the use of the pain is obvious ; but pain must not be created, pleasure must not be interfered with, where no end is answered of which utility can approve. Hence the reproach, the scorn, that are flung upon others in consequence of any irremediable defect, are useless, cruel, immoral inflictions of misery. Imperfections, whether corporeal or mental, which cannot be controlled or extirpated, must not be visited by punish ment. The stupidity, or wrong-headedness, or ill-temper, which are beyond the reach of discipline, which are not curable by attention, are not fit objects for the castigation of pain ; how far less is that castigation warrantable when it only exasperates the sufferer, and aggravates the defect? In bringing all conduct into the regions of pleasures and pains, inquiry will be much facilitated by tracing actions up to their sources, and distinguishing the relations which exist between the impulses which gave those actions birth . Emotions, affections, humors and passions, singly and mingled, are each of them the origin of action, and each presents its elements of enjoyment and suffering. An act is said to be the effect of an emotion when the motive by which it is produced is a pleasure or pain of a 44 DEONTOLOGY. transient character. Where a permanent or habitual state of mind, as for example, where sympathy or antipathy towards an individual has created a continuous disposition to gratify or annoy, the motive will be the result of an affection; where the emotion becomes vehement, whether allied with an habitual affection or not, its consequences are called the effect of passion. Humor is somewhat more of a capricious cha racter, and implies a subjection of the emotions or passion to a predetermination of the under standing. It was my humor, e I controlled my actions by the volition of the moment/ I made the motive at my own good pleasure/ But among the sources of misjudgment, and among the causes of despotism, the busy search after men s motives is among the most fruitful. Claims to purity, accusations against impurity of motive are dragged about in eternal proces sions, to excuse, to justify, to laud, to reprove, to reprobate, to condemn. The whole field of action is covered with pretensions on this score, indefati- gably put forward, constantly appealed to, and seldom grounded on any thing better than the usurpation of the motive-denouncer. Why is a habit so baneful to the general well-being so constantly persisted in ? In the first place, it is so flattering to the self-regarding affections ; it enables the speaker or the writer to set up his GENERAL STATEMENT. 45 own standard of right and wrong; it saves him from the laborious necessity of tracing the conse quences of actions ; it enables him to take the opinions of others into a region the region of another man s mind where those opinions find no light to guide, and men are but too willing from mere love of ease, to allow the usurper to set up his throne of judgment. If a man is to determine as to the value of an action by its consequences, he must study those consequences; he must present them to those whose approval or condemnation of the action he desires to obtain ; he exposes himself to contradiction if he misrepresents, to correction if he voluntarily or involuntarily errs. The blanks he leaves may be filled up, the exaggerations he introduces may be cut down ; he is, in a word, forced to come into court with his witnesses, and to establish his case by the evidence he can adduce. But if, on the contrary, he can, by his own dictum, proclaim that for the action there was a bad motive or a good motive in the mind of the actor, the judgment is an easy process ; its decrees are not complicated by a variety of entanglements. Good and evil present themselves at once, and thus rashness and self-conceit perform functions which belong to reason and philosophy. The imputation of motive is one of the most dangerous weapons with which to attack an 46 DEONTOLOGY. adversary, and one of the most deceitful grounds for judgment; since motives can be known to him alone whose conduct is in question, and can only be guessed at by other persons. This disposition on the part of the impugner or the approver of an act, to esteem it praiseworthy or blameworthy, not according to its results, but to the unknowable intentions of the actor, may destroy all the reputation and recompense of virtuous conduct, by the insinuation that the motives were bad, and all the disreputableness and punishment of vicious conduct, by the setting forth the goodness of the motives that led to it. But, on the other hand, it should not be forgotten that every ill-founded impu tation is not mala fide invented by him who first casts it. A measure is deemed to be wrong, where it is opposed to the interest of another ; and if wrong in the eye of that other, it is but natural that he should attribute it to a wrong motive. Hence, to avoid the attribut ing motives to others, and to avoid ready or hasty condemnation of those who do attribute motives to others, are alike the dictates of morality. Then, again, the perception of the prodigious strength of authority comes in aid of the self- regarding affections. The same inducements which influence the motive-denouncer, have, GENERAL STATEMENT. 47 to a greater or less extent, influenced every body else. Authority, with prejudices, its favorite and baleful progeny, ally themselves with the egotistical principle. In the estimate of conduct, derivative judgment is wont to take possession of nearly the whole question, leav ing scarcely any portion to the decision of self- formed judgment. Thus, in the determination of human action, two elements become fre quently the principal guides : self-presumption and blind deference, qualities which seem some what incompatible, indeed ; but which unite in mischievous influence ; the deference being, in fact, submission to that species of authority which flatters the self-regarding principle. True it is that the ordinary phraseology of the world is likely to lead the inquirer astray. The qualities upon which the stamp of public approbation has been set are frequently those which deserve no such honorable distinction ; while public reprobation interdicts actions on which it would be difficult to affix the scandal or the stain of vice. The judgments of the public-opinion tribunal are thus sometimes in opposition with the dictates of utility and the conventions of society ; some of them, the mere vestiges of barbarism, make laws which resist all argument, and stand unshaken on the pre judices left by feudal times. 48 DEONTOLOGY. The historian of morality will one day appear, to write the tales of the several dynasties that have ruled over human actions, and most in structive will the pages be. First epoch, that of Force. No other code, no other standard, no other source of morality. Violence the law, and violent the law-giver. Virtus, or virtue, is there found in its original sense, a mere conjugate of vis. This vis, when in action, took the name of courage, or virtus ; the quality which is most the object of admi ration among savages ; a quality far more animal than moral, and deserving of no praise, any farther than as the ally of prudence or bene ficence. Then comes the second reign, the reign of Fraud. Force belongs to a time of ignorance : fraud to semi-civilization. Its influence, like that of force, is usurpation ; but it comes with fallacies, instead of open violence, to help it. It fosters credulity, it leagues itself with super stition. It takes hold of the terrors of the mind, and makes them subservient to its real, but often concealed despotism. The usurping priest, the aristocratical lawyer, flourish under its dynasty. Last of all comes the reign of Justice, the reign of utility. Under its auspices the work of the legislator will be lightened, and the GENERAL STATEMENT. 49 moralist will assume many of the legislator s functions. The great court of public opinion will take charge of the decision of many ques tions which are now in the keeping of penal judicature. The lines which separate right and wrong will be more clearly and more broadly defined as the predominance of the great social interest breaks down those barriers which have been raised for sinister purposes, or left by the ignorant traditions of ancient days. Delightful it is to contemplate the pro gress of virtue and of happiness; to see them subduing, by mighty efforts or by quiet influ ences, more and more of the domain where false maxims of private and public morality had so long held undisputed sway. Yet more delightful is it to anticipate a period when the moral code, grounded on the greatest-happiness principle, will be the code of nations, teaching them, in their vast political concerns, to create no useless misery, and to make their patriotism subservient to the demands of benevolence. As knowledge has, in its progress, gathered fami lies and tribes, once hostile, into the regions of common interest and mutual affection, so it will, in its further triumphs, fling the girdle of beneficence around now-separated nations. As the crimes of violence have diminished under the rebuke of more enlightened opinion as that VOL. II. E 50 DEONTOLOGY. opinion, acquiring strength, will not fail to act upon the other departments of improbity, who can doubt that war the maximizer of every crime, the harvester of every violence, the picture of every horror, the representative of every folly, will at last be overwhelmed and annihilated by the mighty and resistless influ ence of truth, virtue, and felicity? It is only to a certain extent the lot of man to mark out for himself his mortal destiny. He does not choose his position in the world. The accident of birth decides for him a thou sand contingencies. It puts into his hand cer tain sources of pleasure, and excludes him from others. But so regulated are the instruments of enjoyment and suffering, so beautifully balanced, so equitably compensated, that the ultimate portion of well-being dealt out to men in the different orders of society is, perhaps, not very unequal in amount. For whatever estimate may be given to the pleasures of frui tion, in any of their attributes, the pains of privation must be increased in proportion. Wants, which soon become pains, grow up more easily in the bosoms pampered with superfluity than among those whose enjoyment demands little for its satisfaction : and often, close upon the pleasures of rank and wealth, tread lassitude and weariness. The pleasures GENERAL STATEMENT. 51 of sense may grow dull from over-use, or feeble from over-straining. The social or domestic sanction loses its power when pride supposes it can command all services without it. Public opinion is checked in its influence by the indis position of the powerful to recognize its au thority, or to submit to its awards. These and similar dangers wait on opulence, and thus lower its virtue-creating tendencies. Yet power, in all and every shape, is the sole instrument of morality, and the struggle for it, within the limits of prudence and benevolence, so far from being worthy of reprehension, is perhaps the very strongest of all excitements to virtue. In those regions of action which birth, edu cation, and social position have prescribed to the individual, he has the power of directing his pursuits and occupations with a view to the general happiness of life. No man is without some moments of leisure which may be em ployed in the search of pleasure, or, in other words, in the practice of that virtue which is the parent of pleasure ; and no occupation is there which does not create or allow occasions for those thoughts thoughts from recollection, or of anticipation, which are, in themselves, happiness. No man who has the gift of lan guage can, in the presence of others, pass a single hour without the opportunity being 52 DEONTOLOGY. afforded him of communicating enjoyment. One principal reason why our existence has so much less of happiness crowded into it than is accessible to us is, that we neglect to gather up those minute particles of pleasure which every moment offers to our acceptance. In striving after a sum total, we forget the cyphers of which it is composed. Struggling against inevitable results which he cannot control, too often man is heedless of those accessible plea sures, whose amount is by no means incon siderable when collected together. Stretching his hand out to catch the stars, he forgets the flowers at his feet, so beautiful, so fragrant, so various, so multitudinous. By the condensation of the virtues into two, that is, into prudence and effective benevolence, let it not be supposed that any real, substan tial, or useful virtue is removed from the moral field. Wretched would be the task of that moralist who should seek to destroy a virtue, and deplorable would be his success. If, how ever, after the most scrutinizing and severe examination, it is discovered that whatever exists of virtue is really a part of one of these two great branches, the discovery is equivalent to those great advances that have been made in chemical science, by the reduction of the infinite variety of compounds to a few simple, GENERAL STATEMENT. 53 elementary substances. And the time, per haps, will hardly be deemed uselessly em ployed, that is engaged in reviewing those moral qualities which, from time immemorial, at all events from the time of Aristotle, have put in their claims to be placed on the list of virtues. It is, in some respects, to repeat what has been urged before, yet, until the false, imperfect, and ambiguous virtues are moved aside, room will not be so easily found for the true and legitimate virtues. And the repetition may be excused on the score of its necessity for clearing away incumbrances, and preparing the field for the introduction of a genuine and practical morality. 1 . Piety is the virtue by which is understood reverence for the Divine Being, exhibiting itself in obedience to his will. Reverence can only have its source in a high estimate of his attributes, especially of the attributes of wisdom, power, and goodness. Now to what purpose can these attributes be directed, so that they may harmonize, but to the production of happiness ? What other object can infinite goodness propose to itself? What can infinite wisdom be so effi ciently engaged in, as the discovery of the fittest means ? And how should infinite power, being allied to wisdom and to goodness, give evidence of its existence but in the accomplishment of 54 DEONTOLOGY. this great end ? In what situation then does man stand to the Divinity ? In what way can he best serve, in what way can he best give evidence of that piety, which consists in obedi ence ? Surely by furthering the great objects proposed by the Divine Being; surely by labor ing in the same field the field of benevolence. And on whom can his benevolence be exerted ? Only on himself and others. To himself and others then all his powers of usefulness are con fined ; beyond these he has no sphere of action. What is piety, therefore, disassociated from prudence and benevolence? a mere empty sound. 2. Fortitude is a quality which is understood to embrace patience and equanimity. It is to a great extent the result of particular physical organization ; and in so far as this is the case, it is no more a virtue than strength, or symmetry, or any other gift of nature, Unobtainable by human effort. That portion of it which is under the dominion of the will, may, if made subor dinate to prudence and benevolence, be intitled to the denomination of virtue ; but it is not ne cessarily virtuous, for there may be an impru dent fortitude and a maleficent fortitude, though there can be no imprudent, no maleficent virtue : in other words, no virtuous imprudence or improbity. Fortitude generally implies Ion- GENERAL STATEMENT. 55 ganimity under suffering, or resistance to pain ; and as one of the great objects of virtue is to diminish suffering, fortitude may frequently be a useful auxiliary. There are cases in which its exercise may only lead to a prolongation of suffering, as where, exhibited under torture, the opposition made by it to the ordinary expressions of suffering, brings down tortures more terrible. Whether in such a case the pleasures of the dissocial affections, of scorn and contempt, counterbalance the added agonies of the tortured, as some have supposed, may well be questioned. Few men would, of their own choice, allow the additional tortures to be inflicted for any gratification they could derive from hurling any quantity of scorn at the inflictor. The true reason may be, that though the torture is near, the scorn is nearer ; and when sufferings are intense, there may be a sort of doubt in the mind of the sufferer as to the possibility of adding to their intensity. Fortitude is nearly allied to courage ; and courage, like fortitude, depends wholly for its title to approval upon the use made of it. In itself it is no virtue ; and the exercise of it, independently of its application to prudent or beneficent purposes, is the exercise of a quality rather the distinction of wild beasts than men, 56 DEONTOLOGY. and distinguishing them in the very degree of their fierceness and ferocity. 3. Temperance, may include sobriety and chas tity. For the submission to their dictates there is the strongest prima facie case. Neither pru dence nor benevolence appears compromised by the observance of these virtues. Both may be so most seriously by their infraction. But even here, on a closer examination, it will appear that nothing but the subordination of temperance to the two great primary virtues will make it really virtuous. What virtue is there in the tempe rance which produces disease or death ? What virtue was there in the fastings of ascetic mora lists, making experiments on the powers of ab stinence, and frequently perishing in the strug gle ? In the instance of temperance, as in those of most of the virtues inculcated by ancient writers, the imperfection of their theory of morals is made manifest, and the necessity of introducing some other test besides the so-called virtue, in order to determine whether it really be a virtue, is the best evidence of the incom pleteness of their moral code. This test they called moderation, for their notion was, that in the excess of virtue there was no virtue at all. In too much temperance there was no virtue ; in too little there was none. Their golden mean GENERAL STATEMENT. 57 \vas, in fact, a vague recognition of some higher quality to which their virtues, in order to prove them virtues, must be made subordinate. They were not happy in the choice of a word, though they could find no better a word than modera tion. They would have been ill-content with its application to the business of life : they would not have been satisfied certainly with moderate honesty on the part of their depen dants, or moderate chastity on the part of their wives, or moderate temperance on the part of their children. But, feeling the insufficiency and inapplicability of their phraseology, they wanted some other guide. Their virtues were the virtues of occasion, whose value depended not on their intrinsic and substantial excellence, but on the circumstances which called them into operation. What was virtue this moment, might not be virtue the next. Thus their defi nitions of virtue were sometimes so narrow as to exclude the highest virtue, and sometimes so wide and vague as to embrace equally both virtue and vice. 4. Justice is one of those qualities of which a great parade is made by the moralists of the Aristotelian school. Its interests are, to a great extent, taken under the care of the legislator, and its infractions are made responsible to the criminal code in their most extensively perni- 58 DEONTOLOGY. cious consequences. Justice is generally un derstood to be the coincidence of conduct with the dictates of law, or of morality. With the moral, and not with the legal department is our present concern; and the claims of justice, stripped of their vague phraseology, will be found to be simply the claims of benevolence ; the claims of benevolence being here the applica tion of the non-disappointment principle. Injus tice, in as far as it has any definite or definable meaning, is the denial of a pleasure which a man has a right to enjoy, or the infliction of a pain which he should not be exposed to suffer. In both cases the dictates of benevolence are violated towards him. But the claims of jus tice, disassociated from the tests which Deon tology applies to them, are vague and unsatis factory. The declaration that such and such an action, or such and such a course of action, is just or unjust, is mere declamatory pretence, unless, at the same time, the dependent plea sures and pains are brought into the calculation. If it could be proved that evil, in the shape of a balance of suffering upon the whole, grew out of a given line of conduct, and it were agreed that such line of conduct ought to be called just, the consequence would simply be, that justice and virtue might be opposed to one another, and that to be just would be to be immoral. Made GENERAL STATEMENT. 59 secondary to the general happiness, or in other words, to the combined influences of prudence and benevolence, justice is intitled to the de signation of virtue. 5. Liberality is beneficence on a large scale, but, unless under the guidance of prudence, may be a vice instead of a virtue ; and, unless under the guidance of benevolence, may be still more extensively pernicious. The word liberal is one of vague and various interpretations. It is applied, with different meanings, to thoughts, words, and actions. A liberal mind is usually understood to imply a disposition to give a friendly interpretation to the conduct of others ; to avoid harsh and sudden judgments; to be candid and charitable : reduced to conduct, liberality may mean mercy, justice, generosity; in a word, beneficence, either by abstention or by action. In order to associate the term with pru dence and benevolence, it is very usual to attach to it some phrase or word which takes it out of the region of possible misinterpretation : for ex ample, prudent liberality, well-judged liberality, well-timed liberality. Liberality, undisciplined by the two real and cardinal virtues, is mere folly. It would be very liberal for any man to give to others all that he has, either in posses sion or in prospect, but it would be neither wise nor virtuous : it might be very liberal to patro- 60 DEONTOLOGY. nise and to reward error and misconduct, but it would be neither useful nor philanthropic. In fact, no liberality would be so liberal as that which should run into all sorts of extravagan ces. In the political field, liberal and liberalism are used as self-laudatory terms by a party in the state, and are generally associated, in the meaning of those who employ them, with the original idea of liberty, liberals, the advocates of liberty ; liberalism, the principles of liberty applied to public life. There are few words which, with its derivations, have been more mis chievous than this word liberty. When it means any thing beyond mere caprice and dog matism, it means good government ; and if good government had had the good fortune to occupy the same place in the public mind which has been occupied by the vague entity called liberty, the crimes and follies which have disgraced and retarded the progress of political improvement would hardly have been committed. The usual definition of liberty that it is the right to do every thing that the laws do not forbid shows with what carelessness words are used in ordi nary discourse or composition : for if the laws are bad, what becomes of liberty ; and if the laws are good, where is its value ? Good laws have a defined, intelligible meaning ; they pur sue an obviously useful end by obviously appro- GENERAL STATEMENT. 61 priate means. When Madame de Roland un dertook to distinguish liberty from licence, she flattered the ear by alliteration, but brought no satisfaction to the understanding. 6. Magnificence, which, however, is repre sented as under the check of frugality, in order to be deemed a virtue, simply means the doing great things. And were it a virtue, the masses of mankind would be wholly excluded from its exercise. A quality, whose power of action is confined to the extremely small mi nority of mankind, has happily no real claims to the recompense or to the praise of virtue. Magnificence is a sort of grandiloquent word for aristocratical beneficence. Ostentation has a dyslogistic character, and mingles some alloy of pride, or vanity, or scorn in its displays. Mag nificence, even with frugality for its check and control, is not of necessity either worthy of praise or blame ; it may not have any tincture of vice or virtue ; it may imply no sacrifice to others; it may bring no pleasure to oneself; it may be a mere waste of a means of pleasure. As a question of expenditure, it may be pru dential, and it may be benevolent ; but if it ab sorb or subtract from means which might be employed more prudentially and more benevo lently, it is, supposing the expenditure would, but for the magnificence, have been employed 62 DEONTOLOGY. for the production of the greater instead of the lesser good, it is a source of mischief equal to the amount of difference between that lesser and that greater good. The decking magnificence with the pomp of virtue is, in the moral world, a fallacy of a somewhat similar character to that which has often intruded into the world of political economy, namely, that it is more meri torious to spend than to save. They both grow out of an inordinate estimate of the value of the social principle, separately and narrowly viewed, that social principle which there is a great disposition to aggrandize at the expense of the self-regarding. Now the value and true influence of the social depends on its subjection and subordination to the self-regarding, as the primary source of action, in the same way as all the minor virtues resolve themselves into the two major virtues which hold sole dominion over the regions of morality. 7. Magnanimity is a word which, for popular use, might be conveniently translated into great- mindedness. It conveys an undefined idea of intellectual superiority prompting beneficent conduct of forbearance or of action, such as on ordinary occasions could not be expected of ordinary men. But magnanimous acts and vir tuous acts are by no means synonymous, neither are pusillanimous and vicious acts. Suppose a GENERAL STATEMENT. 63 man, by sacrifice, to have done that which adds to his ultimate stock of happiness, while it in terferes not with, or increases the happiness of other men, will the vituperating his conduct with the charge of pusillanimity make it other than wise and virtuous ? Let a man have per formed a deed by which he has inflicted misery on himself or others, or both, will any pomp ous ejaculations to the honor and glory of his magnanimity make the deed any other than one of wickedness or folly ? Such two-edged in struments as, at one moment, do good service to the cause of morals, and the next inflict on that cause the deadliest wounds, should be hung up in the armoury of Deontology, to be very rarely, always cautiously employed, and never without the recollection, that they cut both ways. To estimate the quantity of virtue in an action claiming to be magnanimous, the peculiar phy sical organization of the actor must be taken into the account, in order to estimate the amount of sacrifice, and of consequent effort made. Then comes the question, has the action been more injurious to himself than useful to others ? Has it been more injurious to others than use ful to himself? In the first place, the magnani mous action was imprudent ; in the second, it was maleficent, in neither was it virtuous. 64 DEONTOLOGY. The result of the magnanimous action, has it been the diminution of human happiness ? If so, there is nothing to save it from being drag ged forth by the Deontologist from the territory of virtue into which it has intruded, exposed as an impostor, and flung into the realms of im morality. 8. Modesty is a branch of extra-regarding prudence. It is a virtue of abstention. In its application to the two sexes, the sense of the word undergoes a somewhat remarkable modi fication. A modest man is understood generally to mean a bashful, unobtrusive, unpretending person ; a modest woman immediately associates the character with the idea of sexual purity or chastity. The different interpretation of the same word, when thus differently employed, is one of the consequences of that public opinion which imposes upon woman a far stricter moral law than that to which a man is required to submit. Yet the distinction does not exist as to the corresponding vice. Immodest, as applied to man or woman, has nearly the same meaning, and implies lasciviousness in words or action. Modesty, in its ordinary sense, wins men s affec tions by conciliating their opinion. It checks the disposition to annoy by contradiction. It is an unobtrusive tribute to the self-esteem of another. It is unwilling to sit in j udgment on the conduct GENERAL STATEMENT. 65 of others, and if it do sit in judgment, that judgment is given in the least offensive shape. Modesty in language is the result of prudential restraint upon expression ; modesty in conduct of prudential constraint upon action. 9. Mansuetude, when a virtue, is dependent on extra-regarding prudence. Like modesty, it is flattering to the self-esteem of the person towards whom it is exercised. It is modesty with a deeper tinge of humility ; or, which pro duces the same effect upon the object, it is modesty influenced by timidity : it goes farther in deference and submission than modesty does, and when suffering is brought into action man- suetude becomes patience or longanimity. It is a quality ordinarily virtuous, vibrating as it were between other ordinarily virtuous qualities, but whose amount of virtue can only be esti mated by the application of the Deontological tests. The meekness of a man whose meek ness diminishes his own enjoyments, and adds less to the happiness of others than the amount he sacrifices of his own, that meekness, being imprudent and improvident, is the contrary of virtuous. The meekness of a man whose meek ness is pernicious to others, and useless to him self, is unbenevolent, and the contrary of vir tuous. Meekness is to a considerable extent a natural personal gift, and it is only to such VOL. II. F 66 DEONTOLOGY. portion of it as is acquired by thought that the question of morality can apply. From this portion, so diminished, subtract every thing that is not prudence or benevolence, and the residuum will be the virtue ; that is to say the prudence and the effective benevolence will be the virtue, and nothing else. 10. Veracity. There are two classes which com prize the pernicious breaches of veracity. They are the anti-prudential and the anti-social. The violation of truth, when by its violation mischief is done to the individual or the community, is vicious ; and the idea of the sacredness of truth is a very important element in the field of morals. But the value of truth is not always and on all occasions the same. Like every other quality professing to be virtuous, veracity must be made subservient to prudence and benevo lence. Its excellence can only be estimated by the result of good that it produces ; and though it may appear safe and simple legislation to declare that prudence and benevolence shall be made subservient to truth, a little examination will show that truth, in order to be most benefi cial, must be subordinate to the great and lead ing virtues. For truth must be either useful, useless, or pernicious. Upon useful truths no restraint should be placed ; the more influence, the more diffusion they have the better. Pru- GENERAL STATEMENT. 67 dence and benevolence unite not only in en couraging their utterance but in giving wings to their circulation. As to truths whose influence is neutral, neither injurious nor beneficial, they may be left to men s caprices, for they stand upon their innoxious qualities ; but of those truths that are mischievous, truths which are creators of pain and destroyers of pleasure, let them be suppressed ; they are ministers of evil, not instruments of good. Happily, however, the number of such pernicious truths can be but small, and the demands for their utterance rare. The man who treats the dictates of veracity lightly, who seeks occasions either for the con cealment of truth, for prevarication, or for utter ing falsehood, loses that reputation for veracity the preservation of which is one of the highest objects of prudence. And strong must be the case of utility which will warrant a man s sacrificing any portion of his character for veracity, since falsehood is the high road to self-contradiction. 1 1 . Amity or Friendship is neither a vice nor a virtue until it is brought into the domains of prudence or benevolence. It is merely a certain state of the affections implying an attachment to particular objects. Now that attachment may be pernicious or beneficial. Indifferent it can scarcely be, for that would suppose motives and consequences of pain and pleasure without any 68 DEONTOLOGY. balance for a result ; a case so rare in the field of human action as scarcely to be worthy of consideration. Amity may be pernicious to both parties, in which case it violates both pru dence and benevolence ; it may be pernicious to the man who bestows his amity, and in that state of things the laws of prudence forbid its exer cise : without being pernicious to the man who confers, it may be so to the man who is the object of the amicable word or deed, or to others, in which case it is maleficent. Again, where the pleasures on either side are more than counter balanced by the pains on the other, there is a clear loss to happiness, and consequently to virtue. Where amity is the source of mutual benefit, pru dence and benevolence are served to the extent of that mutual benefit, always supposing that the consequences of the words or actions which are the source of that benefit do not extend beyond the parties. For no result of happiness to those parties will make their friendship virtuous, if that friendship destroy more happiness elsewhere than they have created for themselves. 12. The word Urbanity is a very ambiguous description of a virtue. That portion of it which is denominated good temper or good nature is an idiosyncratic element ; a part of a person s con stitutional or physical identity, for which no title of vice or virtue can be properly claimed. Where GENERAL STATEMENT. 69 urbanity is the result of an effort made to give pleasure to another, where it infuses benignity into a word or action, makes the gracious thing more gracious, and takes from that which is unacceptable to another all unnecessary in fliction of pain, where in a word it bears the character of benevolence ; there, and there only is virtue. But beyond that benevolence there is no virtue at all, and there is no virtue except in the benevolence. Urbanity, then, is intitled to the honors of virtue in all those cases where efficient benevolence is its guide and sovereign ; with the understanding that prudence makes no sacrifice of pleasure greater in value than the pleasure won by that benevolence. So vague are the conceptions, so unsatisfac tory the definitions of morality proceeding even from the most distinguished writers, that there would be little difficulty in drawing the picture of imprudence and improbity, and showing that it was quite consistent with the qualities to which, and to which alone they give the name of virtue. Examine, for example, the dif ferent characteristics which Mr Hume has put forward in his Essays as tests and evidence of virtuous disposition, which is/ he says, * in * other words, that which leads to action and employment, renders us sensible to the social * passions, steels the heart against the assaults of 70 DEONTOLOGY. fortune, reduces the affections to a just modera- tion, makes our own thoughts an entertainment to us, and inclines us rather to the pleasures of society and conversation than to those of the senses. It would be easy to show, that of these qualities there is scarcely one that is necessarily virtuous ; scarcely one that may not be applied to the production of misery. Action and employment may be as well directed to per nicious as to useful objects; the social passions may be the fruitful sources of imprudence and improbity ; the moderation of the affections may or may not be worthy of praise ; for why should not the virtuous affections be maximized instead of moderated ? The making our own thoughts an entertainment to us may be feeding those thoughts with poison : no thoughts are perhaps more entertaining than thoughts of profligacy, while the pleasures of society and conversation/ in preference to those of the senses/ may, without prudence and benevolence for their guide, be exhibitions equally perilous to the understanding, and depraving to the benevolent sympathies. But how should Hume be safe from error, who makes a sense of virtue a feeling referable to no results, the groundwork of good conduct? - An action/ he says, is virtuous or GENERAL STATEMENT. 71 c vicious, because its view causes a pleasure or uneasiness of a particular kind. iii. 28. But what action is there which in different men will not produce different feelings ? To have the * sense of virtue, he proceeds, is nothing but to feel a satisfaction of a particular kind from the contemplation of a character. The very feeling constitutes our praise or admiration. We do not infer a character to be virtuous because it pleases ; but in feeling that it pleases after such a particular manner, we in effect feel that it is virtuous. The same is implied in our judgments concerning all kinds of beauty, and tastes, and sensations ; our approbation is implied in the immediate pleasure they convey to us/ Truly it is inexplicable how all mankind should have possessed this new sense this moral sense, without ever dreaming of it till the last century. And since the exercise of this sense is a pleasure, well is its inventor intitled to Xerxes and Tiberius s reward ! But if original, if organic, it would be as strong in savage as in civilised life : is that contended for? Hume was a man to get glimpses of truth. He brought in the light of utility to show what was the motive and the merit of justice. But he stopped there, as if unconscious of the value 72 DEONTOLOGY. of his discovery. Yet in Hume there is no obstinacy, no uncandid artifice. Not wedded to a system by professional attachment, a mild philosophy breathes in his every line. But this moral sense, instead of being or giving a reason, is, after all, only an artifice to avoid giving a reason. It affords in reality no criterion to distinguish right from wrong; what ought to be done from what ought not to be done. It does not answer the question, Ought I to do this or not ? It may say peremptorily, Yes ! or No! Suppose the partisan of the moral sense says No ! and he were asked why ? he could only say, My moral sense condemns it. But, if farther pushed by an inquiry as to what he meant by his moral sense, he could but declare that it was painful to do it; and then, if asked for evidence of that pain, he might rejoin that all the wise and the good felt it ; but if more moderate and accurate he might content himself by averring that he felt it. In the first case, he throws the whole question back upon authority, which cuts, but does not untie the gordian knot, and makes all morality arbitrary ; in the second, he gives me, as a reason for not doing a thing that it would give him pain were he to do it. If he were to show that it would give me pain, he would do something ; but the case is by the supposition just the contrary ; for if GENERAL STATEMENT. 73 it did give me pain, I should never think of doing it, nor of asking him the question. Besides, the existence of the moral sense, if not organic or intuitive, will just be wanting where it is most wanted, that is, in the case of those who have it not. It will explain what is understood already, and leave all the rest as dark an enigma as before. It is a medicine which will take effect only on those who are in good health, and we know who has said, and how wisely he has said it, They that are whole need not a physician. Vain is the attempt to teach morals by decla mation, or to build theories out of facts opposed to every thing we know. Is virtue less virtuous because it is proved not to be disinterested ? In no sense whatever. Shall the structure of morality be raised on the foundation of truth, or falsehood ? Answer, ye lovers of right ! Be men what they may, it becomes us to know them as they are ; no flattering and faithless portrait will mend the original. Were they still worse, it could not but be useful to study them honestly ; for every rule and argument founded on an erroneous estimate, must be idle or pernicious in proportion to the errors of that estimate. The knowledge of man must be beneficial to man. The times of the grossest depravity have always been those of the darkest 74 DEONTOLOGY. ignorance, and never were examples of enor mous and devastating vice more abundant, than in the days when outrageous and useless sacrifices of happiness were most sedulously preached, and most scrupulously practised. They who discourse, and they who legislate on the supposition, that man will act in oppo sition to acknowledged interests, make morality a fable, arid law a romance. Their commands are nugatory their expedients vain. Of the systems of morality presented to the acceptance of mankind, which is there so ho norable to its advocates as the Deontological ? Sensible of no weakness, it asks for no mercy ; it has no hidden defects to be glossed over by sophistry ; no inexplicable mysteries to be covered by the shield of authority. In itself it contains the elements of its own purification, and offers no barriers to the progress of those investigations which are disposed to follow truth and virtue through every ethical labyrinth in which prejudice, or interest stronger than prejudice, may have involved them. No man need be ashamed on any occasion to own that he is desirous of being governed by the doctrines of utility in all his conduct ; and in making such a declaration, he is certain to find a large amount of sympathy ; for it cannot be denied that the moral sanction is really grounded on GENERAL STATEMENT. 75 the recognition of those doctrines. The Deon- tological code is the harmonizer of that popular opinion which, in fact, is awakening to its re peated appeals. It is the law of society brought into order and reduced to system, with a few alterations necessary for the consistency and unity of the whole. But when a system of morals proposes to a man a higher degree of perfection than it can find motives to stimulate him to, that system is false and hollow. If the conduct it proposes to men in general is such as, from the very nature of things, few men can be expected to pursue, that system is false and hollow. If it proposes to a man a line of conduct as necessary to be maintained which is not main tainable, for which it can find no sanctions of pleasure to attract, no menaces of pain to force him to avoid ; if, in a word, it affects to accom plish what is not accomplishable, that system is false and hollow. But, in order for utility to be the ground of approbation for a species of action, it is not necessary that every one who approves it should have discovered or be able to explain its utility, or every one who disapproves an act have per ceived its mischievousness or be competent to point it out to others. One man perceives 76 DEONTOLOGY. its mischievousness he disapproves of it he expresses his disapprobation he is looked to as an authority he says it is bad it is wrong it is mischievous nobody has any motive to approve it, that is, in others. Men take him at his word. A general opinion prevails that the action is bad ; fit to be disapproved. It is generally disapproved, The disapprobation against the act thus established, a person has occasion to consider whether he shall do it or not. He concludes not. Why ? It occurs to him that it is disapproved ; to do an action that is disapproved draws on him the ill will of the persons who disapprove of it; tis therefore that he abstains from doing it. Is it because he perceives it is mischievous ? No. He never thinks whether it is mischievous or not ; he has no occasion to look so far ; he does not look so far : if he did look so far as to see whether there were mischief or not in it, perhaps he might not find it of himself. It was general disapprobation of the act and not a sense of its mischievousness that \vas the ground of his disapprobation. But what was the ground of that general dis approbation of it ? Particular experience of its mischievousness. The mischievousness of the act, even if recog nised, would not be the immediate cause of his conduct ; the immediate cause, that is, his GENERAL STATEMENT. 77 motive, would be the idea of pleasure and pain as about to arise from it : that is, the pain he might incur, in consequence of the ill will of men which would arise upon his committing an act marked with their disapprobation. Every thing concurs to make this train of reasoning habitual, so habitual and so rapid as to assume the guise of instinct ; it is a lesson we are learning almost every moment of our lives. Need we wonder at our being familiar with it, when we see what practice will do in the operation of the most difficult arts ? The ends of morality will, however, be on all occasions best served by the habit of comparing the consequences of action ; of weighing their results of pain and pleasure, and estimating the profit and loss to human happiness on the whole. The ablest moralist will be he who calculates best, and the most virtuous man will be he who most successfully applies right calculation to conduct. Nor will the result be always attainable without circuitousness, without reference to motives and consequences not immediately adjacent. To aim at virtuous conduct is the first element of success. Aiming supposes judgment; judgment is a comparison of two ideas at a time, the pro nouncing that one of them is or is not conform able to the other. 78 DEONTOLOGY. When he who delivers the ball at cricket takes aim, you see him balancing the hand that holds it backwards and forwards several times before he parts with it. What is it that passes in his mind all the while ? He is placing the moving forces of his hand in an infinity of different situations; he is adjusting the several muscular fibres of his hand and arm to their several degrees of tension ; all these different adjustments pass over in review to no other purpose than out of them all to find some one which he recollected under parallel circum stances of distance to have been attended with the desired effect, namely, of hitting the wicket which is the aim of his action. Here then are an infinity of judgments passed in the compass of a few minutes ; for of all the adjustments that he has tried before his coming to that which determines the casting of the ball, there is not one of which he has not pronounced that it was different from any of those he had in his memory as models. The really practical part of morality consists in the management of the springs of action ; in the directing the affections to the increase of human happiness. These affections, as has been often repeated, are self-regarding, social, or dissocial ; each having a relation to pleasure and pain; each operating upon interests, and motives, GENERAL STATEMENT. 79 and desires, and purposes. The question of virtue and of vice is on almost all occasions represented by a present evil or a present good, to be weighed against future good and evil. Morality is the true, immorality the false calculation of the final balance. The choice between that which is and that which will be, is, in fact, the whole subject of inquiry, and the laws of morality come into action from the moment in which the will exercises its influence upon the choice of con duct. The mastery of the mind over its own operations, is the only ground work on which any theory of morals can be raised. As well were it to preach to wood or to stone as to appeal to motives which cannot be brought into action. To drag forth pleasures and pains from their places of concealment, to show their connection with, and dependence on conduct, to enable the greater interest to prevail against the lesser interest, is the task of the genuine teacher. While he attaches to actions their consequences of good and evil, while he removes vague and obscure generalities into the domains of felicity and misery, while he brings the calculations of ultimate happiness to decide upon all the questions which vanity, or authority appealing to vanity, would place beyond the reach of a probing examination, he, the genuine teacher 80 DEONTOLOGY. is advancing the cause of truth and virtue. That cause is, after all, one of the most intel ligible simplicity. Prudence and imprudence, beneficence and maleficence in these four words are the exhausted list of those virtues which alone it recognises, and the vices which alone it deprecates. Beyond these simple and intel ligible qualities, all is mystery and uncertainty. SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 81 CHAPTER II. SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE. HAVING thus traversed, with somewhat wander ing footsteps, the domains of practical morality, so as to present a general view of the system which the greatest-happiness principle incul cates having shown, or attempted to show, that, after all, there are only two classes of vir tues the prudential and the beneficent it only remains to develope that mental discipline by which prudence and beneficence may be made most efficient for the creation of felicity. Pru dence, it has been shown, naturally divides itself into two departments : the first, that prudence with which others have nothing to do ; that which refers to actions whose influences do not reach beyond the actor ; in a word, that which belongs to the individual in his relations with himself, and not in his relations with society : and the second, that prudence which is de manded from him in consequence of his inter course with others ; a prudence which is closely connected with benevolence, and especially with abstential benevolence. The claims of purely VOL. II. G 82 DEONTOLOGY. self-regarding* prudence first demand attention : the subject is less embarrassed by complication ; the power of the individual over himself is more complete ; the estimate of pain and plea sure is more immediately accessible to the party concerned ; and any light thrown upon this portion of the subject will, perhaps, relieve the rest of some of its seeming embarrass ments. Self-regarding prudence comprises in its domain actions and thoughts, or rather exter nal and internal actions; for thoughts are only internal or mental actions. Its dictates so direct the choice between actions, or the choice between thoughts, as to promote the greatest happiness to the individual concerned. As regards external actions, what prudence can do, and all that prudence can do, is to choose between the present and the future ; and in so far as the aggregate of happiness is increased, thereby to give preference to the greater future over the lesser present pleasure. But of two portions of happiness of equal magnitude, one present and the other not pre sent, the one present will always be greater in value than that which is future; the value of the future pleasure being measured by, and in proportion to its adjacency, and, in case of uncertainty, by the measure of its uncertainty. SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 83 If time be out of the question, if two portions of happiness present themselves, equal in value and equal in remoteness, or equal in value, notwithstanding remoteness, virtue is not con cerned in the choice between them ; it is a matter, not of virtue, but of taste. Under the head of self-regarding prudence, as there has been occasion to remark, come several of those virtues which Aristotle and, guided by him, other moralists to this day have put on the same level with prudence ; each being, in fact, prudence presenting itself in some shape or other, and each requiring for its exer cise the sacrifice of the present to the future. These virtues are temperance, continence, for titude, magnanimity, and veracity. Subtract prudence from each of these, and the residuum will be almost nothing. If there be, under any circumstances, any virtue left after the subtraction of prudence, the small residuum of virtue must be benevolence ; whatever else remains, however it may pretend to the name of virtue, will be nothing but impos ture. If the interest of others be concerned in the exercise of the prudential virtues by ourselves, the prudence is not purely self- regarding, but extra-regarding. But if neither our own greater future happiness, nor the happiness of others, to an extent greater than 84 DEONTOLOGY. the sacrifice demanded by a particular action is promoted by it, that sacrifice is mere asceti cism ; it is the very opposite to prudence ; it is the offspring of delusion ; it is miscalculating or uncalculating blindness ; since to sacrifice any, the least particle of pleasure, for any other purpose than that of obtaining for a man s self, or some other person, a greater quantity of pleasure, or of avoiding a more than equivalent quantity of pain, is not virtue, but folly; and to cause, or endeavor to cause any other person to give up any particle of pleasure, for any other purpose than in exchange for a greater quantity of pleasure, or to save him from a more than equivalent quantity of pain, is not virtue it is vice ; it is not benevolence it is malevolence; it is not beneficence it is male ficence. * Sperne voluptates/ says Horace ; c docet empta dolore voluptas, Spurn pleasures ; purchased pleasure teacheth pain. Silly is the precept ; sadly silly, if taken to the letter ; but no such silly notion had the poet in his head. No such silly notion did he mean to inculcate. He was thinking of the verse, not of the morality; and when the option is be tween truth and rhythm, between serving and pleasing, extraordinary indeed must be the poet who makes any other choice than was made SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE. by Horace. What he really meant to inculcate was that which we have been inculcating. * Utilitas/ he says elsewhere, utilitas justi prope mater et aequi/ Here, happily, sound and sense harmonize. Here is the principle of utility set up in express terms, as the standard of right and wrong; in terms, the import of which is plain enough, though even here the expression wants completeness. What is utility? What but the property of producing pleasure and preventing pain ? In the field of purely self-regarding prudence, the sensual pleasures being the most intense, and the most peremptory in their demands for grati fication, are especially those which require the most cautious and careful estimate of their asso ciated pains. The experience of the medical ad viser, the lessons of the economist, may indeed take place of the counsels of morality ; the option is often between the enjoyment of a moment and the pain of years ; between the excited satisfaction of a very short period and the sacrifice of a whole existence : between the stimulation of life for an hour, and the conse quent adjacency of disease or death. Of the crime and misery which exist in the world, the irregularities of the sexual passions are among the most pregnant. Guerry, in his < Statistique Morale de la France, states that 86 DEONTOLOGY. one thirty-third portion of the attacks on the lives of men take place in houses of ill-fame : one-fourteenth of the cases of incendiarism, a great part of the duels, a large proportion of cases of insanity, all the cases of infanticide, and almost all the instances of suicide among young women, grow out of sexual immorality. The weakened force of public opinion on this part of the field of conduct demands prompt consideration ; and M. Guerry most properly draws the conclusion, that whatever opinions we may form of the innocence or guilt of the aberrations from chastity, men have but too much neglected to trace their physical con sequences, * for/ he continues, when deeply examined, views of true utility and moral duty will ever be found inseparable and iden tical. But these pleasures of sex stand on the same ground as every other pleasure, and can be placed on their true basis by the Deontological principle alone. Certain it is that asceticism, calling itself religion, has set its face against them ; and by deductions from that most false and most per nicious dogma, that the favor of heaven is to be purchased only by the sacrifice of pleasure, has dragged forth the most intense of plea sures as the meetest for sacrifice. And truly, SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 87 a great inroad was made upon the donfains of virtue, when it was laid down as a religious axiom, that these pleasures are simply and per se immoral, and offensive to the Deity, and that abstention from them is in itself meri torious. It was only by gathering round the word chastity a mist of confusion that a case could be seemingly made out for the virtue of abstention from enjoyment, under all cir cumstances, and without any reference to ulti mate good or evil. Is not chastity, then, a virtue? Most un doubtedly, and a virtue of high deserving. And why ? Not because it diminishes, but because it heightens enjoyment. Is not temperance a virtue? Aye, assuredly is it. But wherefore ? Because by restraining enjoyment for a time, it afterwards elevates it to that very pitch which leaves, on the whole, the largest addition to the stock of happiness. Modesty, itself a ramification and evidence of chastity, what is it but an invention by which pleasure is augmented ? Modesty dic tates concealment ; concealment stimulates cu riosity ; curiosity augments desire, and with previous desire subsequent gratification in creases. Modesty, in fact, is to one appetite what 88 DEONTOLOGY. bitters or acids are to another ; they contribute to its healthfulness and pleasurableness, not by their similarity, but by their contrast. If they create a temporary disagreeableness, they produce, on the whole, a greater amount of agreeable sensations than would have been experienced without them. If they repel a pleasure of the palate, and substitute an annoy ance, it is only to create a greater and more enduring pleasure. In fact, temperance, modesty, chastity, are among the most efficient sources of delight. They form part of the very pleasures which they magnify and purify, and which, without them, lose the best part of their value, and shrink into almost nothing. Strange that a result so obvious should have escaped the penetration of the whole herd of moralists ! Strange that the simple uses of such valuable instruments should have been so mistaken and so distorted ! The force that was intended to be applied to the spring of action, solely to increase and strengthen its activity, has been thus represented as meant to break that spring; and hence the means which Providence has put into men s power, for the creation of happiness, have been perverted to its destruction. Such moralists, indeed, would SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 89 be aptly commented on by the surgeon who, in order to cure a pimple, should amputate a limb. As it has been said, in the shape of a para doxical truth, that religion is the height of self-love, so, with equal propriety, may it be asserted that modesty is the height of volup tuousness. So futile is the distinction, so absurd the variance, so mischievous the rupture which have been made between interest and duty, between what is virtuous and what is pleasurable ! The acts which come under that branch of prudence which we are now considering, are either such as are in their character unsociable, and accordingly performed without witness, or such as are performed in the presence of others. They may therefore be divided into uncogniz- able and cognizable acts. Those which are performed out of view are actions purely internal, namely, thoughts, in so far as thoughts are voluntary, or external actions which may be performable in the pre sence of others. Actions there are, which, though performed in the presence of others, are to them subjects of complete indifference, and therefore come not under the control either of extra-regarding prudence or benevolence. Where an act is wholly inoffensive to others, 90 DEONTOLOGY. it comes under the dominion of the physical or pathological sanction ; where it is or may be offensive, the retributive, the popular or moral, and the political, including the legal, may have application to it. But the acts that are not knowable, or at least not known in themselves, may be knowable, or known by their consequences, and those consequences may be immaterial or material. If an act is unknown, and unattended with material consequences, it belongs to the pro vince of taste, and not to that of morality. A man is perfectly free to perform it or not ; and whatever part he takes, he cannot do amiss. An apple being before him, and he, subject to no danger from indigestion, may eat it or not eat it, eat it with his right hand or his left hand ; an apple or a pear being before him, he may eat the pear first or the apple first. Deontology has nothing to do with his conduct on the occasion. But when material consequences grow out of an action, the authority of morality begins. Here may be two conflicting interests ; the interest of the moment, and the interest of the rest of life. Here may have place the tempt ation and the demand for sacrifice, the sacrifice of the present to the contingent SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 91 future, or of the contingent future to the present. And then comes the question, of the two sacrifices, which is of the greatest value ? The apple, we will suppose, would have produced indigestion. At the cost of the future suffer ings that indigestion will bring, is it wise to buy the present immediate gratification of eat ing the apple? And if there be no danger of indigestion, there is no call for sacrifice : the eating of the apple is a pleasure from which no pain is to be deducted ; it is a clear result of good ; but if there be danger of indigestion, then must the comparative values of the pains and pleasures be estimated, and according to the reported balance will be the demand for self-sacrifice. Again shall I have beef or mutton to-day for dinner ? The price is the same, the cost of cooking the same ; it is only a question of taste. But suppose the price of the mutton be dearer than that of the beef, and that my pecuniary circumstances do not make the cost indifferent to me, here is obviously room for the exercise of prudence ; but suppose, farther, my wife has a fit of longing for the mutton, in exclusion of the beef, and that she is in circumstances requiring peculiar regard to her desires, then prudence combines with bene- 92 DEONTOLOGY. volence, even at the expense of part of the next day s meal, in deciding in favor of the mutton. The rules for making our thoughts subser vient to our happiness are two : 1. To exclude such thoughts as are painful, and 2. To introduce such as are pleasurable. The thoughts whose consequence is to influ ence action will engage our attention elsewhere. They belong to the head of means-selecting prudence. Such are the thoughts which review past life with a reference to future conduct. The first lesson, then, of self-regarding pru dence in the management of the thoughts is negative, it teaches the avoidance of thoughts which bring self-annoyance with them. The next law is positive, and encourages those thoughts to which self-gratification attaches. In both cases prudence requires that the rejec tion of painful and the creation of pleasurable thoughts should not be accompanied by the visi tation of a greater pain than that avoided, or the sacrifice of a greater pleasure than that ob tained. Do not, for the sake of laying them aside, or in the expectation that you may easily do so, look out for painful thoughts : that would be the way not to keep them out of your mind, but to keep them in. Look out exclusively for SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 93 the pleasurable ones ; by so doing, in so far as you succeed, you will, at the same time, get in the pleasurable ones ; and by introducing the pleasurable you will keep out the painful ones ; by so doing, for in mind as in body, no two objects can at the same time occupy the same space. Matchless, it is true, is the rapid ity with which any two, or any greater number of such objects, may succeed one another ; but still succession is not co-existence : successive is not simultaneous existence. Without being looked after, thoughts will in troduce themselves, and in many a mind hateful thoughts more readily than pleasurable ones. It is idle to seek for unnecessary misery. The painful thoughts that will come must come; but add not uselessly to their number; encourage not their visitations, and drive them away as fast and as far as you can. Disassociated from the present and the future, the past is valueless, for as past, present, and future are only interesting or instructive, in so far as they afford materials out of which good may be extracted, the past being irrevocable, cannot, of course, be influenced by succeeding events or opinions. But, except in the past, there is no experience, and from it alone can be gathered those results which may serve for the guidance of the future. Beyond the lessons it 94 DEONTOLOGY. gives, the remembrances of the past are, for the most part, painful. Its history is, to a great extent, the history of privations. If the mind can be so happily tuned as to make those privations sources of pleasurable retrospect, something will be gained to happiness by dwel ling upon them. In a great many instan ces the memory of departed time is sad and distressful. The calculation of what we had and have not, is not fairly balanced against the estimate of what we have. The lost, the irre vocable, is frequently exaggerated in import ance, because it is irrevocably lost, while there is a prevalent disposition to underrate the value of a present possession. On the whole, the safest general rule is, to apply the attention as little as possible to by-gone scenes and events. Every man may for himself mark out certain exceptions. There are thoughts of past enjoy ments that still leave pleasant impressions, notwithstanding the knowledge of their being never to return ; so there are recollections of painful events from which the remembrance of our escape will be constantly accompanied with pleasurable impressions. One class of reminis cences are wholly pernicious that of vain re grets, dreamings of what might have been had not that been which was. No regret can change the past, and unless it can be turned to some SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 95 useful account for the future, prudence requires its suppression. There is profound philosophi cal truth in Shakespeare s dictum, that All regrets are vain, and those most vain Which, by pain purchased, do inherit pain/ Past occurrences in general, and in particular such as at the time were of a painful nature, will be continually forcing, or endeavoring to force themselves from their repository in the memory into present remembrance : and this in a proportion rising with that of their magnitude, and in particular to that of their intensity : that is, with the intensity which belongs to them at the time. To keep them out of present remem brance, in one word, out of view, will be but in an imperfect degree in any man s power. At tention, however strong, desire, however earn est, will fail to exclude the recurrence of sad and disagreeable recollections ; the will has not, in general, so perfect a command over the thoughts as to chase such recollections away. By exercise, however, this faculty, like any other, may be strengthened and improved. In fact, the thoughts have been often trained not only to whelm past sorrows in oblivion, but even to deaden the intensity of present suffer ing. Cases are recorded of men who, at the very time they were undergoing the severest 96 DEONTOLOGY. torture, have had the faculty of drawing away their attention even from the present sensation with such force, as in a very considerable de gree to diminish the baleful influence of it. In comparison of the force of attention requisite for the production of such an effect, the force necessary to the keeping out of view the ordi nary stock of such unpleasant incidents as those which exist in the memory, will be found to be very inconsiderable. The power of managing the thoughts may seem to presuppose the absence of other strong excitement ; yet, if that power can be exercised notwithstanding excruciating tortures, if calm ness and even rejoicing under suffering have been sometimes exhibited, what an influence must strong determination produce upon the thoughts ? When an idea or ideas have possession of the mind, the will may be often successfully em ployed in keeping them there ; but the will cannot exclude ideas from the mind : the mind cannot empty itself at will ; it may keep itself full, it cannot keep itself empty ; it can only get rid of one idea by turning aside from it and calling in another idea. When the ideas so dealt with are arguments on the opposite side of a controverted question, the process so carried on is the self-deceptive process the process by which the reasonings on one side of a question SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 97 are admitted, and the reasonings on the other side are excluded. In this way, there is scarcely a proposition so absurd but that a man may keep himself tolerably persuaded of the truth of it ; nor a proposition, however reasonable, but may be rejected. The instruments of this sad delu sion are hope and fear ; but especially by fear the stronger passion of the two, is this despotism exerted over the mind. In the question as to the power exercised over a man s own mind, is involved the question of liberty and necessity ; and a close attention to the subject will perhaps show that the two principles are co-existent. Liberty, or its equivalent, the sense of liberty, does un doubtedly and without dispute exist ; yet necessity is not excluded by it. It is solely in virtue of the power, the command, the mastery which I have over my own thoughts, of which I feel myself every moment in posses sion, that I am writing or dictating these observations. But what was it that set me on this occupation ? It was something other than these same thoughts, some thought which was already in my mind, without any exertion of my will to bring or keep it there. Among thoughts of pain which struggle to force themselves into the mind, endeavor espe cially to exclude the recollection or the anticipa- VOL. ir. H 98 DEONTOLOGY. tion of irremediable evil. Evil to which you are quite sure that it is impossible for you to apply, or to assist others in applying any the least remedy, think of as little as possible ; for the more you think of it, the more you in crease it. To this case belong all the evils that are passed. Passed are they, and nothing can make them not to have passed ; no anxiety about an event which has happened will make it not to have happened. If it be an evil that you might have prevented by acting differently, then prudence requires that your thoughts should dwell upon it long enough to prevent a recurrence of the conduct that induced it. If you have suffered a loss of money, or power, or any object of desire or of gratification, and your own imprudence or improvidence was the cause, recall it to your mind sufficiently to prevent a repetition of your miscalculation. But if no error of yours led to the evil, revert not to it ; forget it as soon as you can ; you only waste your painful emotions, and in wasting, magnify them. Always remember that pains and pleasures are, after all, the stock of human good and evil the seed of future well-being. They should, wherever their creation depends upon volition, be thrown on no ground uncon genial to the production of good. A pain pregnant with future pleasure may be an in- SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 99 strument as valuable as a pleasure-producing pleasure. If a primary pain be the parent of a greater balance of pleasure than a primary pleasure would give birth to, that primary pain is of more value, in the account of happiness, than that primary pleasure. The true discipline, the genuine arithmetic of morality is here. To resume. If, the recollection of past scenes of pleasure give more gratification, from the memory of the pleasure, than pain from the knowledge that the pleasure is passed away, it is wise and prudent to recall them to the thoughts. If on scenes that were originally painful, the delight of escape, the contrast which present relief affords to past suffering, leave a balance of satisfaction greater than would be left by absolute forgetfulness, the lesson of utility is to summon them forth from the recesses of remem brance. No rule can be given which shall apply to a particular case, as the constitution of different minds is so variable. To some, for example, the memory of the dead, whom they have loved and honored, comes always in the shape of pain ; nay, often of agony. They can think of nothing but of the privation of happiness, caused by the removal of those they loved. To others there is no source of pleasurable emotion more sweet, more pure, more permanent, than that which flows from the recollection of beings 100 DEONTOLOGY. who no longer take a personal part in the busi ness of life. These dwell less upon the thought of what they lost by their absence than upon the memory of what they enjoyed in their presence. Happily, the tendency of reflection, and the progress of time, are generally in alliance with the teachings of prudence. The grief that mourns the dead, is subdued by a sense of its fruitlessness ; the mind is dragged forth gradu ally from the vanities of useless sorrow ; and regret, after exhausting itself in idle lamentation, yields to those more rational influences which utility recommended long before. Self-reproach may to a certain extent be prudential prudential as a check upon future conduct ; but self-reproach which has no refer ence to the time to come is the mere deposition of a certain quantity of misery in the mind, which in every respect it would have been better to have kept out of it. Reproach of others, where no purpose of good is to be answered by it the reproach which is concen trated in your own thoughts, is unqualified imprudence ; it is pain to yourself; it cannot be of any benefit to them. It is the first step to malevolent words, and to malevolent deeds. Cases there are, no doubt, where language and actions which give evidence of displea sure where reproaches and their accompanying SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 101 appropriate punishment, are demanded alike by prudence and virtue ; but where this is not the case, where the reproach is not in tended to be exhibited in the shape of action, then it is only a pain planted in the mind of the reproacher : he will do well and wisely to shut the door against its access. To future evils, unpreventable by thought, let not thought be applied ; and if preventable, and the means of prevention are settled, think of them no longer. Some men waste their time and destroy their peace by imagining possible evils evils which may never visit them, and if they do, will not visit them the less severely for all the anxiety which anticipated their arrival. They will only have swelled the pains of endurance by the pains of expectation. Of evil contingent on prudential or unprudential con duct, it is, of course, not intended to speak. To think of these is the self-regarding prudence we are teaching ; but to harass the mind by imagining disease fancying the tortures of the stone, the visitations of blindness, or the loss of any of the senses, is a most unfruitful, not to say baleful occupation. Dr Johnson was an ex ample of a man whose existence was frequently made wretched by the fears of insanity fears so vivid as nearly to create the very calamity they deprecated fears which frequently inter- 102 DEONTOLOGY. fered with his usefulness, always (when present) with his felicity. In the pursuit of pleasurable thoughts, what infinite regions are open to the explorer ! The world is all before him, and not this world only, but all the worlds which roll in the unmeasured tracks of space, or the measureless heights and depths of imagination. The past, the present, the future all that has been, all that is, of great and good, of beautiful and har monious and all that may be. Why should not the high intellects of the days that are gone be summoned into the presence of the inquirer ; and dialogues between or with the illustrious dead be fancied, on all the points on which they would have enjoyed to discourse, had their mortal existence stretched into the days that are ? Take any part of the field of knowledge, in its present state of cultivation, and summon into it the sages of former time ; place Milton, with his high-toned and sublime philanthropy, amidst the events which are bringing about the emancipation of nations ; imagine Galileo hold ing intercourse with Laplace; bring Bacon either the Friar or the Chancellor, or both into the laboratory of any eminent modern che mist, listening to the wonderful development, the pregnant results of the great philosophical mandate Experimentalize/ Every man, pur- SELF-HEGAKDING PKUDENCE THOUGHTS. 103 suing his own favorite tendencies, has thus a plastic gift of happiness, which will become stronger by use, and which exercise will make less and less exhaustible. All the combinations of sense with matter, the far-stretching theories of genius, the flight of thought through eternity what should prevent such exercises of the mind s creative will ? How interesting are those speculations which convey men beyond the regions of earth into more intellectual and exalted spheres where creatures endowed with capacities far more expansive, with senses far more exquisite than observation had ever offered to human knowledge, are brought into the regions of thought ! How attractive and instructive are even some of the Utopian fancies of imaginative and benevolent philosophy ! Regulated and controlled by the utilitarian principle, imagination becomes a source of boundless blessings. Though the imaginative or mental powers depend on and are reducible into bodily plea sure, the field they expatiate in is far more extensive than any other ; and the expanse opened to the contemplation, more varied and sublime. As objects appear larger by night, as obscurity magnifies everything, so imagina tion of the vague outstrips the calculation of the 104 DEONTOLOGY. real. When Milton describes the descent of Satan, who 1 To this hour Had still been falling- the idea of the fall is far more great than if there had been a positive estimate of tens of thousands of miles, from the moment of his over throw to the present hour. A definite expres sion by numbers would have made a far less forcible impression on the imagination. Out of this disposition to magnify what is unknown, grows a great part of the charm of voyages of discovery. In an anticipated certainty, there can be none of the pleasure of surprise ; and hence the value of the mental pleasures is not of a nature opposite to and separate from the bodily ones, but is grounded on their giving an indistinct and, therefore, magnified view of the expected enjoyment of the latter. But utility must be applied to both for their fit estimate. It is the absence or presence of utility that makes the sole difference between the arrange ment of the pin on a pincushion by a child, or the locating the stars on a celestial globe by a philosopher. In all these cases in all cases where the power of the will can be exercised over the thoughts let those thoughts be directed towards SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 105 happiness. Look out for the bright, for the brightest side of things, and keep your face constantly turned to it. If exceptions there are, those exceptions are but few, and sanc tioned only by the consideration that a less favorable view may, in its results, produce a larger sum of enjoyment on the whole; as where, for example, an increased estimate of difficulty or danger, might be needful to call up a greater exertion for the getting rid of a present annoy ance. When the mind, however, reposes on its own complacencies, and looks around itself in search of food for thought when it seeks rest from laborious occupation, or is forced upon inaction by the pressure of adjacent circum stances, let all its ideas be made to spring up in the realms of pleasure, as far as the will can act upon their production. A large part of existence is necessarily passed in inaction. By day (to take an instance from the thousand in constant recurrence), when in attendance on others, and time is lost by being kept waiting ; by night, when sleep is un willing to close the eyelids the economy of happiness recommends the occupation of plea surable thought. In walking abroad, or in resting at home, the mind cannot be vacant; its thoughts may be useful, useless, or perni cious to happiness. Direct them aright ; the 10G DEONTOLOGY. habit of happy thought will spring up like any other habit. Let the mind seek to occupy itself by the solution of questions upon which a large sum of happiness or misery depends. The machine, for example, that abridges labor will, by the very improvement and economy it introduces, produce a quantity of suffering. How shall that suffer ing be minimized ? Here is a topic for bene volent thought to engage in. Under the pres sure of the immediate demands of the poor, Sully is said to have engaged them in raising huge and useless mounds in his garden. Others have been found to propose the digging holes and filling them again, as meet employment for industry when ordinary labor fails. But what a fertile field for generous consideration is that, which seeks to provide the clear accession to the national stock of riches and happiness which all real improvements bring with them, at the least possible cost of pain ; to secure the permanent good at the smallest and least en during inconvenience; to make the blessings that are to be diffused among the many fall as lightly as possible in the shape of evil on the few! Perhaps when the inevitable misery is really reduced to the smallest amount, by the attention of the intelligent and benevolent, the transition will become in most instances SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 107 neither perilous, as it has often been made by riotous violence towards those who intro duce it, nor alarming to those whose labor may be temporarily shifted by its intro duction. To point out the projects of benevolence with which the mind might occupy itself would be to engage in a limitless task. But let a man pass in review the different sorts of human misery for the purpose of endeavoring to relieve or to remove it : what employments could be found for the blind, the deaf, the dumb ; for those who had lost one or both hands, and what pleasures could be invented for them ? How, by the least quantity of pain inflicted on a criminal, could the greatest effect possi ble be produced on the people? and so forth. The thoughts which have future consequences for their object are called expectations ; and upon these expectations no small part of a man s happiness depends. If a pleasure is anticipated, and fails of being produced, a positive pain takes place of the anticipation. For the designation of this pain the French language furnishes nothing but a compound appellation, namely, peine d attente trompe*e the pain of frustrated expectation. One word communicates the idea in English, namely, the pain of disappointment. 108 DEONTOLOGY. And of such importance is this pain in the field of human existence, such its influence on the aggregate of happiness, that it constitutes a very great part of the foundation on which the whole branch of the civ 7 il law is erected : it is to the exclusion of disappointment that the labors of legislation are in that department mainly directed. Why do you give to the proprietor that which is his own, rather than to any other person? Because, by giving it to any other person than the proprietor, you would produce the pain of disappointment. Dean Swift has concentrated his notion of the necessity of excluding pain from this source in the vivacity of an apophthegm ; or rather he has added it to the beatitudes. * Blessed is he which expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed/ Hence the high importance of forming correct estimates of what may be expected from man kind at large, in all those cases where their conduct may influence your own well-being. * If we would love mankind, says Helvetius, as before quoted, we ought to expect little from them ; and he might have added, if we love ourselves. The less sanguine are our expec tations that others will sacrifice their pleasures to our pleasures, the less shall we be exposed to disappointment, and the less will be the SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 109 sum of disappointment. And if such sacrifices are really made to us by others, the more keen and exquisite will be our satisfaction : what ever pleasure the sacrifice made or the service done might render us, that pleasure will be heightened by the pleasure of surprise, and the pain of disappointment be supplanted by a pleasure beyond expectation. Now, though in every part of the field of morals the keeping in view the primary fact, that the social feelings must inevitably be subordinate to the self-regarding is of the high est importance, in this particular part of the field the necessity is more prominently obvious. Against the pain of disappointment he will be best able to preserve himself who takes a cor rect and complete view of the necessity of that preponderance which, by the unalterable condition of human nature, the force of self- regarding affection is destined to maintain over social or sympathetic affection. The rights of property, be they what they may, grow out of this source ; and indeed the whole machinery of society is the recognition of the truth of the principle. We are thus naturally led to inquiry as to the the best means of giving to the mind mastery over its own thoughts. If it possess the power of banishing thoughts of pain, and introducing 110 DEONTOLOGY. thoughts of pleasure, how can that power be exercised with most effect ? The obvious means are to divert the mind from the thoughts that are painful, and from the objects associated with those thoughts; and on the other hand to occupy it with thoughts that are pleasurable and with ob jects likely to awaken pleasurable thoughts. The expulsion of the one and the introduction of the other, are in truth closely allied ; for unless some thought of pleasure is at hand to take place of the thought of pain which exertion has eject ed, little may be won for happiness. Enough will not be done by the mere attempt at forcing an annoying thought to vacate the mind ; it will infallibly be supplanted by another thought, and the balance of happiness will be between the efforts of the thought which enters and that which makes its exit. In many cases, as in cases of annoyance from objects of the corporeal class, a man may employ direct means ; he may remove the object itself, or remove himself from its presence. When the fatal apple was presented to Eve, Eve might have turned her back upon it, or have made a present of it to the first frugivorous quadruped that crossed her path. But it is not thus with impressions underived from physical objects ; with ideas presented by memory or imagination. A man can employ SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. Ill no direct means for getting rid of these. He has but one way of ridding himself, and that an indirect one. He must detach his thoughts from the idea he desires to expel, by attaching them to some idea of a different nature. Until he can do this his object must be thwarted ; for the continuance of the endeavor to get rid of the unpleasant idea, until he has hold of some object to replace it, will but keep the unplea sant idea constantly present, and more promi nently in view. Thus, to drive or keep an unpleasant idea out of the mind, the attention must not be thrown on the idea itself; since that would only fix it the faster, and counteract the object. Endea vor to lay hold of some idea that interests you, and use it as the instrument for the expulsion of the other. If it fail to fix itself in your mind, and no other agreeable idea presents itself, use any that, even though afflicting, is less afflicting than the one you desire to be freed from. In this case, the remedy employed is analagous to that employed in the case of a blister : by a pain less intense and less lasting, a pain more intense and more lasting is subdued. For example. You are visited by the wrath of a near and dear relative. You plunge into business in order to mitigate your grief. If your grief be exceedingly afflictive, it might happen that the business you carry on, even though 112 DEONTOLOGY. accompanied by loss and vexation, would bring alleviation with it. It might even involve you in quarrels with other parties, and still, by occupying your attention, distract you from the greater grief from which you sought to escape. But, in a case like this, the pursuit to which you fly in the search of a remedy must demand your continuous attention, an attention contin ued long enough to allow the sharpness of your sorrow to be mitigated ; for if the business be soon despatched, and you are left at liberty, and exposed to the influence of your former feelings, your purpose will scarcely be answer ed. Thus, if by way of remedy against the distress produced by the loss of a friend, you betake yourself to mere reading, especially light reading, the demand upon your attention will be so weak, that your attention will refuse obedience, and instead of the ideas which the book presents, the distressing thought will intrude itself at every turn, and take and keep its place. Nor is it irrelevant to refer here to the great advantages attendant on a busy, in contradistinction to an idle life ; to the privilege of being fitted for and practised in a variety of occupations in comparison of being dependent on a few ; to the distinction of having a mind highly cultivated by study in contrast with a mind left by want of culture in emptiness and barrenness. It is generally to persons of SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 113 small fortunes and little or no education, that such domestic losses are most afflictive and irremediable. Time for free thought, unoccupied or misoc- cupied time, almost every human being has in abundance. Apart from those engagements on which existence and its enjoyments depend, apart from those amusements which are neces sary to health, apart from hours of repose, or hours of repast, time there is in the posses sion of all men which they may employ in the exercise of free thought, giving to that thought a moral, or in other words, a useful and a feli citous direction. Every night, and every day, morning and evening, have those interstices which may be filled up to excellent purposes. Some time elapses between the moment of lying down and that of sleep. Sleep itself is not continuous, its breaks leave time for reflection. How much, again, of a man s life is employed in locomotion, in walking or being conveyed from place to place ; how much in attendance on others ! What thousand interruptions steal moments away from his occupations of business or of pleasure ! These moments are all of them precious. And then, how many of the engage ments of mankind are handicraft and mechani cal, leaving to the thoughts an almost unbridled liberty to wander whither they will ! Time for VOL. II. 1 1 14 DEONTOLOGY. thought is wanting to no man who has learned how to husband time. In the multitudinous moments of existence, as in the multitudinous topics which have a claim upon the attention of our race, neither time nor subjects for pruden tial and benevolent reflection can be long sought for in vain. A few such subjects it may not be amiss to touch upon ; but the field is boundless, and will offer to every man some peculiar points of interest. All men may occupy themselves in thinking of means for the prevention of evil, in projects of profit or of amusement : if no such projects occur to them, hopes may take their place; if no hopes, agreeable imaginations; imaginations turning aside from the improba bility or impossibility of their being realised ; imaginations which may be made more vivid and delightful by individual recollections. For himself each individual must mould his habits of thought to suit his own circumstances. If his thoughts are engaged in the search after means of security against evil, and there be no evils in particular of which he is apprehensive, or none which it is in his power to guard against, or none against which he has not already made sufficient provision, he will do well to turn his thoughts away from any such unpleasant topic. And even if such evils SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 115 menace him, his attention to the means of pre vention should not be continuous, he should seek his times of respite, otherwise the effect of his endeavors to secure himself against future suffering may be to make that suffering perpe tually present. In every case, the thoughts should be directed as much as possible to the means of prevention, and as little as possible to the evils themselves, to the evils only so far as is necessary for devising those means. Thoughts directed to the consideration of the means of alleviating the sufferings of others, do not belong to this part of the subject ; nor are they of any importance to others until and unless they lead to action. Projects have an advantage over imaginations. Projects, in addition to the present good, afford a chance of future. The interest and excite ment they create are more lasting than hopes and fancies, and more likely to extend; to be prolific, productive of ulterior projects ; and those of ulterior, and so on, in long suc cession. But, in the absence of purposes and projects, hopes and imaginings come with their pleasure- giving influence. Though imagination must work upon the elements furnished by recollec tion, yet imagination and recollection are not 116 DEONTOLOGY. the same thing. There may be recollection without any work done by imagination ; there may be imagination without any distinct recol lection of the individual objects by which the matter for the operations of the imagination has been furnished. No situation is there out of which imagination may not extract pleasure. Nothing so painful as not to offer to the fancy materials pregnant with enjoyment. When a man is laboring under any disorder, pleasure may be derived from the imagination of the mere absence of that disor der ; from the mere imagination unaccompanied by the expectation, and thus unaccompanied even by hope. But, in such a case, it must be the sufferer s endeavor to abstract his thoughts as effectually as possible from the consideration that the relief is not obtainable ; he must attach them as strongly as they can be attached to the recollection of his former state, and the several enjoyments furnished by it antecedently to the commencement of the disorder, shutting out the idea of the hopelessness of their return. To such a state of mind it is not uncommon for reflection to discipline us. Of the pleasures of the past, of boyhood and youth, of the glory in the grass and the sunshine on the flower, thousands think and talk with a satis faction which the thought that those pleasures SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE THOUGHTS. 117 are irrevocably departed has not been able to imbitter. In proportion to the quantity of pain which a given thought brings with it, will, in general, be the difficulty of removing it from the mind. At all events, the motive for its removal will be proportioned to its intensity and duration. And of such painful thoughts those caused by the loss of friends are often the most painful. In the earlier stages of grief the power of intro ducing thoughts of a character unallied to grief can scarcely be exercised, and it then becomes the object of wisdom to modify the painful thought by associations naturally and easily linked to it, of which the presence of death itself furnishes an abundance, and almost every individual case of death some peculiar and per sonal elements. For there is no sorrow which has not in some way or other been linked with pleasure, and the very existence of sorrow im plies a contrast with the absence of sorrow. Grief and grievance derive many of their pains from the privation of some good once possessed or hoped for, and cannot enter the mind but in adjacency to pleasures enjoyed or anticipated; the remembrance of which enjoyment or antici pation is not necessarily, and on all occasions, overwhelmed with the idea of its loss. Thus the memory of the dead may be brightened with so 118 DEONTOLOGY. many beautiful and pleasure-giving reflections as to make even their death a source of happi ness ;~ and there is a true philosophy as well as an affectionate tenderness in the reflection, that a greater bliss may be associated with the recollection of the dead we have loved than with the enjoyments gathered among the living. As to the direction to be given to dis course when the well-being of others is not concerned, little is required to be said. Such ill-timed or ill-judged conversation as is likely to bring with it the resentment of others, belongs to another branch of our inquiry. To such discourse as produces no influence on the con duct of others towards us, but merely leaves behind it a balance of pain, from the reflection of its having been calculated to lower us in their friendly opinion, to such discourse as, from that or any other cause, we think of with after-regret, so that when the balance is drawn between the pleasures of giving it utterance, and the pains of future reflection, something is found to be lost to our personal happiness, to such discourse the character of imprudence must attach, and therefore such discourse should be avoided. So, again, the discourse which, being pleasurable to the speaker, gives no annoyance to the hearer, leaves so much of gain as the pleasure SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE DISCOURSE. 119 it excites. But this is perilous ground, inas much as annoyance may often be felt by the listener, to which he will give no utterance, from his own prudential calculations ; from the desire of avoiding the appearance of contradiction, and the expression of displeasure. The only rule that can be given by way of estimating the effect of conduct, is, to change places with the other party ; to apply the law of doing to another as we should desire another to do unto us ; a law of great value and importance when made sub servient to the greatest-happiness principle ; but inapplicable on many occasions, and especially on those where the infliction of pain is necessary to accomplish the purposes of the moralist or the legislator; since if the offender, who is the object of punishment, could claim the benefit of the rule just referred to, it is clear he would escape punishment altogether, as no man willingly entails suffering upon himself. There is a source of enjoyment in words not listened to by others : in recitations and soliloquies; in viva voce composition; in reading alone when no one is present but the reader. For if the art of chasing grief be often unsuc cessfully practised in supplanting thoughts of grief by thoughts less painful, the instrument of language will sometimes prove a valuable auxiliary; and it frequently happens, when oui 120 DEONTOLOGY, own mind is unable to furnish ideas of pleasure with which to drive out the impressions of pain, these ideas may be found in the writings of others, and those writings will probably have a more potent influence when utterance is given to them. To a mind rich in the stores of literature and philosophy, some thought appro priate to the calming of sorrow, or the brighten ing of joy, will scarcely fail to present itself, clothed in the attractive language of some favorite writer, and when emphatic expression is given to it, its power may be considerably increased. Poetry often lends itself to this benignant purpose, and where sound and sense, truth and harmony, benevolence and eloquence are allied, happy indeed are their influences. In the management of conduct at large, the two great departments of abstention and of action, naturally present themselves, and they again may conveniently be divided into corpo real, intellectual, and mixed. Though some general principles may be laid down, both negative and positive, yet in all questions of suffering and enjoyment, much depends on the peculiar constitution of the individual. For be the sense of pleasure what it may, a man has no right to assume that because he has no relish for it, therefore his neighbor has none ; and still less reason has he to interdict to another SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE CONDUCT. 121 an enjoyment, on the ground that it is no enjoy ment to himself. Every man is able to form the best estimate of his own pleasures and his own pains. No description of them, no sympathy for them, can be equivalent to their reality. No story of a blow ever produced a bruise, nor was the agony of tooth-drawing ever felt by mere interest excited in the sufferings of a friend under the hands of a dentist. Even were it other wise, the power of sympathy is nothing till it acts upon self: a truism which is almost reduci ble to the self-identical proposition, that a man can feel nothing but his own feelings. To escape from one s self, to forget one s own interests, to make unrequited sacrifices, and all for duty, are high-sounding phrases, and, to say the truth, as nonsensical as high sounding. Self-preference is universal and necessary : if destiny be any where despotic, it is here. When self is sacri ficed, it is self in one shape to self in another shape, and a man can no more cast off regard to his own happiness, meaning the happiness of the moment, than he can cast off his own skin, or jump out of it. And if he could, why should he? What provision could have been made for the happiness of the whole so successful, so complete as that which engages every individual of that whole to obtain for himself the greatest possible portion of happiness ? and what amount 122 DEONTOLOGY. of happiness to mankind at large could be so great on the aggregate as that which is made up of the greatest possible portion obtained by every individual man ? Of the largest number of units, and those units of the largest amount, the largest sum total must be the necessary result. One considerable branch of abstential self- regarding prudence may be called the medical ; it is that in which bodily future suffering is the penalty of imprudent present enjoyment. The discipline of after-punishment generally follows the excess of sensual pleasure ; if the excess be extreme it invariably follows. The pleasure of fruition will be in most cases corporeal, but the adjacent, or consequent pain, will be both corporeal and mental ; for imprudence calls down the chastisement of the mind in alliance with that of the body; and regret adds stings to suffering, when man s frame is least able to endure them. Take any case of imprudence ; intoxication, for instance, from the excessive use of spirituous liquors. Setting aside the effect upon others, the evils of example, the loss of reputation, the exposure to commit all those indiscretions and offences which the temporary absence of reason brings with it, what is the amount of pleasure and pain which regards the individual con- SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE CONDUCT. 123 sidered as isolated from the rest of his race ? At the cost of a certain loss of time and money, he purchased a certain quantity of pleasurable ex citement. To the loss of time occupied by the enjoyment, add the loss of time and money sacri ficed by or in consequence of the inebriety ; add to that the sufferings of sickness and the suffer ings of debility; the loss of self-control by strengthening a vicious propensity ; the shame, the sorrow, attendant on the imprudence (and if no shame and sorrow be there, far more than their amount of suffering will have to be added to the extra-regarding portion of the account.) All these are considerations affecting the indivi dual, without reference to those pains which it is in the power of others to inflict upon him. To calculate the consequences of immorality is the first step towards escaping from it. To the acts of imprudence which may be considered of a mental, or mixed character, the same tests must be applied ; irascibility, for example, which to a certain extent is attribut able to natural temperament, but upon which the greatest-happiness principle would put a strong and an effective bridle. The pleasure of its exercise, the pleasure of being in a passion, is a very transitory one. Excessive anger soon exhausts its stores. Now, the irascible affections as respects others, are of all the most infectious, 124 DEONTOLOGY. and ordinarily produce a vehement re-action. Let them be directed against whom they may, they diminish the pleasure felt in serving the irascible person, and with the diminution of the pleasure comes the diminution of the disposition or the motive to serve him. But what is the effect on the irascible person, as disassociated from others ? What price has he paid for the short-lived pleasure of being out of humor? He has fluttered his temper; he has weakened his powers of judgment; his mastery over his own mind is diminished ; he has lost time; he has lost influence : in a word, he is left with a serious balance of loss. Upon gaming self-regarding prudence lays its interdict. Benevolence is not the less peremptory in insisting on the immorality of this so dearly-purchased pleasure. The public- opinion tribunal has stigmatized the practice with sufficient disgrace to hold a considerable check upon the gaming propensity, and legis lation has, at different times and in different ways, interfered to bring the offence into the field of penal judicature. Its consequences, too, have been frequently followed into all their ramifications of misery, personal, domes tic, and social, by the pens and pencils of authors and artists. But there is a consider ation, and one of mere prudential calculation, SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE CONDUCT. 125 which seems to have escaped observation, or, at all events, has not had any popular cur rency. Has it ever been hitherto considered that every gamester who plays upon equal terms, plays to a disadvantage? Though the stake, skill and chance be entirely equal, a man loses more than he could have gained. Sup pose the stake 20/. on each side. If he loses, he loses 20/. If he wins, he wins 20/. and no more. Now 20/. lost is more on the side of pain than 20/. won on the side of pleasure. A man can better bear to be without 201. added to what he has already, than to be without 20/. out of that which he has ; so that, in fact, either person is sure to lose more than the other gains. In order for the one to gain as much as the other loses, or rather say, for the one to lose no more than the other gains, the sum at stake should be a sum that had belonged to neither of them before. In extravagant expenditure, imprudence is often exhibited; and the error is sometimes brought about by the benevolent affections ; by the exercise of those very qualities which oc cupy so large a part of the domain of virtue, but which, when escaped from the control of the self-regarding interest, become pernicious 126 DEONTOLOGY. vices. The imprudence will be greatest where its errors are least reparable ; and though the estimate of the quantity of imprudence must be weighed in every particular case, yet the fit distribution of expenditure may be subjected to some general considerations, which it will be well to keep in view, as, for example, where income depends wholly upon labor ; in such case, the necessity is obvious of a strict economy, and of the laying by some portion of the fruits of labor, as a security against those interruptions to which ill-health, or accidents, or the inevitable inroads of time, subject the whole human race. When the work of the laborer, who is wholly dependent on daily exertions for his daily bread, is sus pended, and he has no store gathered out of the economy of the past, the imprudence which neglected the habit of a strict economy will be most painfully and most prominently felt. In the expenditure of income underived from labor, considerations of another character pre sent themselves. Its judicious distribution will be facilitated by the removal of all those un certainties and contingencies to which the income of the laborer is subjected. The means of judging what prudence deprecates or de mands are more accessible, and at the same time the habit of labor, as a resource against SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE CONDUCT. 127 want, being wanting, it will not, in ordinary cases, be looked to as a resource. Perhaps the happiest of human conditions is that in which income is derived partly from and partly without labor, in which labor is looked to, not for the supply of absolute necessities, but for those extra enjoyments which add so much to the sum of human pleasures. That the fruition of them should be pushed to the greatest ex tent, it is needful that their present intensity should not interfere with their future duration, so far as would, on a fair calculation of pro babilities, diminish the final amount of them. If, for the purchase of one pleasure to-day, two, each of equal amount, are to be sacrificed to-morrow, it is clear the bargain is one of loss, of folly, of imprudence. The means of positive pleasure, which self- regarding prudence presents to the mind, are multifarious. They depend for their extent upon the habits and pursuits of the individual, and must be followed out with a particular re ference to those sources of enjoyment which experience has taught to be most valuable to him. Groups of pleasures will be found in those different regions of amusement to which different men address themselves, amuse ments intellectual and corporeal, stationary and locomotive, scientific and artistical; amusements 128 DEONTOLOGY. of research into the past, or of discovery for the future. Sex, age, station may influence some of these. In every individual s case he must select for his own pursuit those which to him afford the greatest amount of satisfaction. Happily for mankind, men s minds are so vari ously endowed, so variously trained and tutored, that tastes will always be distributed among a considerable number of dissimilar objects. To some the solitary, to others the social investi gation will be most delightful. The leaves of the library will instruct one, the flowers of the field another. Some enjoy the examination of the minutest details, others are most gratified when they can grasp great and general princi ples. And thus it is that in turn the whole domain of thought and inquiry is occupied, and the crowding upon some departments, and the abandonment of others provided against. Where no distinct tendency towards a particular study has been perceived, a little attention to the pursuits and amusements of men distin guished for their possession of happiness may be very useful. Of amusements purely mental the list would be multitudinous, embracing all the topics to which mind can devote itself. Pass in review the various games by which skill may be exercised without such a mixture of chance as to produce more annoyance from unexpected SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE CONDUCT. 129 disappointment than satisfaction from unex pected success. How much enjoyment may grow from the collection of antiquities, with a view to illustrate the past, to assist the investi gation of historical facts, and especially to throw light upon any topics which might be made instructive to the future ; from the collec tion of objects of natural history, in the animal, mineral, and vegetable field, but particularly in the two latter, since their collection inflicts no pain, and implies no destruction of life, or of happiness or enjoyment ; and most of all in the last, the vegetable or botanical, which fre quently gives the opportunity of diffusing plea sure to others by the multiplication of speci mens ; and, as connected with such studies, the breeding of domestic animals, with a view to the observance of their peculiar instincts, habits, and propensities; the power of education upon them ; their aptitude for services to which they have not been before applied ; the culture of beautiful flowers, such as tulips, auriculas, or anemones, or of choice and useful plants for purposes culinary or medicinal. Of locomotive amusements many will present themselves, both healthful and varied. Nutting, or mush room hunting, or the thousand other attractions of forest and field amusements not only plea surable in themselves, but useful in their con- VOL. II. K 130 DEONTOLOGY. sequences, and sometimes even lucrative ; and no man need blush if, without loss to others, his amusements can be made pecuniarily profitable to himself. The mechanical arts again ; those arts which invent and modify the instruments directly subservient to animal enjoyment, or indirectly subservient by their subserviency to sciences which promote that enjoyment. But prudence, setting out in the chace for happi ness, will seldom fail of success ; the world is all before it, a world which presents at every turning some new instrument, some new ele ment of pleasure. All the virtues, whether prudential or bene volent, do, in effect, essentially, though indi rectly, belong to the regions of self-regarding prudence. For, be their action upon the minds of others what it may, their action upon the mind of him who exercises them must be bene ficent. When the temper is in the most com placent and pleasurable state, the disposition to display acts of kindness is most fervent. It may happen, indeed, that the effort of benefi cence may not benefit those for whom it was intended, but when wisely directed, it must benefit the person from whom it emanates. Good and friendly conduct may meet with an unworthy, with an ungrateful return, but the absence of gratitude on the part of the receiver SELF-REGARDING PRUDENCE CONDUCT. 131 cannot destroy the self-approbation which re compenses the giver. And we may scatter the seeds of courtesy and kindness around us at so little an expense ! Some of them will inevit ably fall upon good ground, and grow up into benevolence in the minds of others, and all of them will bear fruit of happiness in the bosom whence they spring. Once blest are all the virtues always ; twice blest sometimes. The counterpart of these observations applies to the baneful and immoral qualities. Their influence upon others may be undefinable, not so their influence on the person who exhibits them: he must be deteriorated. Cases may occur in which incivility, asperity, anger, ill- will, may, as far as they regard others, produce consequences opposed to their natural tenden cies, but they can only have a pernicious effect upon him who makes the foolish experiment of trifling with the happiness of others. 132 DEONTOLOGY. CHAPTER III. EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. THIS branch of the great moral topic may be perhaps most conveniently and satisfactorily treated by considering, first, the general laws which extra-regarding prudence dictates in our ordinary intercourse with mankind; and then by pursuing the inquiry into relations which de mand modification of those general laws, in order to produce on the whole the greatest accessible sum of felicity. The dependence of man upon his fellow men is the sole source of the extra-regarding, as it is of the benevolent principle. For if a man were wholly sufficient to himself, to himself he would be sufficient ; and as the opinions and conduct of others towards him, would by the supposition be indifferent to him, no sacrifice would he make to obtain their friendly affections. In fact, such sacrifice would be but a waste, and such waste would be a folly. Happily for each, happily for all of us, the human being is differently constituted. Of man s pleasures, a great proportion is dependent on EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 133 the will of others, and can only be possessed by him with their concurrence and co-operation. There is no possibility of disregarding the hap piness of others without, at the same time, risk ing happiness of our own. There is no possi bility of avoiding those inflictions of pain with which it is in the power of others to visit us, except by conciliating their good will. Each individual is linked to his race by a tie, of all ties the strongest, the tie of self-regard. Dream not that men will move their little finger to serve you, unless their advantage in so doing be obvious to them. Men never did so, and never will, while human nature is made of its present materials. But they will desire to serve you, when by so doing they can serve themselves ; and the occasions on which they can serve themselves by serving you are multi tudinous. The intelligent will catch at oppor tunities which escape the eyes of the vulgar ; and in these mutual services there is virtue, and there is little virtue beyond them ; and hap pily of such virtue, there is more than those who do not possess it are willing to acknowledge or able to believe. The social and popular sanctions are called into action in the field of extra-regarding pru dence. In the domestic and private relations of man, as well as in his public position, he has 134 DEONTOLOGY. not only to create but to apply those pains and pleasures which the tribunals of social and popular opinion distribute ; to create, by fixing as far as he is able, an accurate standard of vice and virtue; to apply, by judging every action according to the greatest- happiness principle, and awarding to it the recompense or penalty which that principle demands. Of the head of a family, in his family circle, the power is great, because he is the principal source of opinion ; and the character of the moral atmosphere in which his household dwells will essentially depend upon himself. He may establish around him a state of things, in which happiness being wisely, will on most occasions be successfully sought; but the sound judgments established at home, will spread abroad and afar off in every direction in which the members of such a family may be placed. Were a correct estimate of right and wrong, were sound notions on moral topics born in the centre of families, they would soon make their way into the civic and thence to the national world. For the felicity-promot ing code is universally applicable, applicable to all men, on all occasions, in all places. Where the dictates of prudence, and those of benevolence obviously harmonize, the line of duty is clear ; where they clash, as for example, where prudence requires abstention from benefi- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 135 cent action, or even the infliction of pain by ac tive interference, no other rule can be laid down than that the evil should be made not greater than is necessary to accomplish the good, and that the good obtained should be as great as is obtainable. The question must always be one of arithmetic ; for morality can be nothing but the sacrifice of a lesser for the acquisition of a greater good. The virtue of extra-regarding prudence is only limited by the limits of our intercourse with our fellow men ; it may even extend far beyond the bounds of our personal communion with others, by secondary, or reflected influences. In the public field, and as forming a part of a whole people, both national and international law may be said to constitute a proper ground for the in troduction of that prudence which concerns others. And, were this the fit occasion, the subject might be followed into the ramifications which the legislative and the executive depart ments of government present, and these again subdivided into their administrative and judicial functions. But these topics belong more pro perly to the question for philosophical legisla tion ; and it is therefore to the private part of the subject, as divided into the domestic and non-domestic branches, that our attention will be given; that part which embraces man s 136 DEONTOLOGY. social relations which have not a public cha racter; relations either permanent or accidental, constituted by genealogical ties which are dis solved only by death, or growing out of those shifting or temporary associations which form a part of every man s history. Various are the situations in which an indivi dual may be placed, as connected with public opinion ; at its tribunal, a man may be either judge, pleader, or party. He may have to award and dispense pains and pleasures to others ; to advocate at the hands of others the dispensa tion of reward or punishment, or to receive from the decrees of others the penalty or recompense of acts submitted to the scrutiny of the social or the popular sanction. In all these cases, let him be on his guard against a common failing, the ascription to others of certain motives, inducements, or intentions, or the setting up a claim of motive, inducement, or intention for himself. In the character of a judge, nothing can more assist an honest and a useful decision, than the laying bare all actions as they really are ; the tracing consequences as they present themselves in overt conduct; avoiding carefully, on the one hand, all attempts to dive into the unfathomable regions of motives which cannot be known ; and, on the other, steering clear of that petty, pharisaical vanity which is so fond EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 137 of exhibiting itself to the great detriment of the exhibitor. As an advocate, happily removed from that most perilous position in which usage has placed a numerous profession, who are doomed, at the bidding of a sufficient fee, indis criminately to defend right or wrong, by truth or falsehood ; as an advocate, who is bound, if he can, to obtain a correct verdict at the hands of the popular sanction, no attempt to misdirect, or lead astray from the consequences of the action in question, can be sanctioned by the moral principle. And, as a party to be judged by the tribunal of public opinion, nothing can be more safely recommended than to bear con stantly in mind the conditions on which the affection of others is held, namely, the inter change of mutual services ; the sacrifice, on fit occasions, of the present to the future. As a general rule, let useless reproaches in thought be avoided : they may lead to useless reproaches in words, or useless reprobation in action. In all these in thoughts, words and actions, extra-regarding prudence has to exhibit itself. Thoughts, not leading to words or actions, are harmless to others, however painful or pleasur able to ourselves. But, inasmuch as thoughts often, do lead to words and actions are their source and origin in fact, are in every case the first impulse which prompts to conduct, they must be followed into their recesses by the inquiring 138 DEONTOLOGY. moralist, and divested, as far as may be, of those qualities which are likely to break out in pernicious influence upon individuals, bodies of men, or mankind at large. Thoughts there are prejudicial to a fair esti mate of human character, and which by their disparagement of our nature lead to erroneous judgment, and what is worse to practical injus tice and malevolence. Of these it will be suffi cient to point out some of the most obvious. The list might easily be extended, but the inquirer will not be ill-employed in drawing on his experience, his recollection, or his observa tion, in order to increase the number of instruc tive examples. One, is to conclude, because professions once made have afterwards been departed from, that therefore they were insincere at the time they were made. Another, is to suppose that men profess such and such sentiments solely because they are of such and such a party : whereas, the case may be that they are of such a party, because such and such are their sentiments. A third is, where a man may be a gainer by professing such and such sentiments, to con clude, in every case, that such interest is the sole cause of his professing such sentiments. The greater part of those who in point of opinions are swayed by interest, are probably EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 139 sincere. This is the case when the interest which sways them is not perceived by or sensible to themselves. There are few, perhaps, who have the bold ness to own their dishonesty to themselves : few who say to themselves aloud : This is not my opinion, but yet I will say it is, because I can * get so much by saying so. Interest in general, acts in a more insensible and covert manner. It does not attack men s integrity in front, but undermines it. It occasions them to view the arguments against the proscribed opinion with more complacency ; those in favor of it with less. When any of the former make their appear ance in the mind, they are thought much of; they are regarded with attention, and have their full weight given them; when any of the latter present themselves they are received askance, and hustled as it were out of the mind without a hearing. In the political world, errors of opinion, which may well be called vulgar from their universality, are the sources of much unchari- tableness and suffering. Such are those which make consummate characters either in depra vity or in virtue ; those which refer every motion of public men to political motives; which attribute every action to ends and purposes which belong to them as politicians, and none to those which belong to them as men ; which lay every instance of supposed misconduct in 140 DEONTOLOGY. public men to the account of the depravity of the heart, and none to the imbecility of the head ; which suppose every thing immoral which appears inexpedient. True it is, that every observer of public men may have noticed instances of misconduct which would seem to justify the severest judg ment; but the severest judgment is seldom the wisest ; and the passions, which in political matters so often mingle with the estimate we form of others, sadly bewilder the intellect, and. play havoc with the generous affections. The law of benevolence requires that our thoughts of others should be candid and merciful, and this the claim of prudence yet more emphatic ally urges; for harsh judgments of others will bring back harsh judgments on ourselves; and the pleasure of malevolence must be purchased by the reaction of its penalties. The prudential management of discourse is a difficult, but most important branch of morals. The aberrations of the tongue have been from time immemorial the topic upon which prose and poetry have poured forth their judgments, though neither prose nor poetry has hitherto given us any complete set of rules by which the faculty of speech may be made most sub servient to the creation of happiness and the diminution of misery. With that great object in view, the functions of the tongue, like all the EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 141 other functions of the body, may be made the instruments of good. In a great part of the regions of conversation, boundless as they are, the dictates of bene volence are in complete accordance with those of prudence : and the topics are multitudinous which, while they are pernicious to no one, are pleasurable to the hearer, pleasurable to the speaker, and pleasurable or useful to mankind at large. And such topics should undoubtedly be those of primary choice, where the direction of conversation is in our hands, and where, at the same time, the more urgent claims of a par ticular present interest do not interfere. But the mistake must be specially guarded against, which is too frequently made, of supposing that a topic interesting to the speaker is necessarily so to the hearer, however really important that topic may be. The prudential, as well as the benevolent motives, dictate an abstention from conversation which is annoying to others, and even from that which is indifferent to them. Nay, that which is pleasurable to both parties may be in disaccordance with the great rule of virtue the ultimate balance of good. The discourse by which a man may be affected is susceptible of three divisions. Dis course to him, of him, and both ; in other words, that discourse addressed to him of which 142 DEONTOLOGY. he is not the topic ; that discourse addressed to him of which he is the topic ; and that dis course addressed to others of which he is the object. But by the discourse of which he is not the topic he may be very sensibly influ enced, though, in ordinary cases, far more sen sibly by that which concerns his own person and character. The discourse addressed to others will act upon him as a portion of the awards of the public-opinion tribunal ; and, in fact, the judgments we give expression to, are in themselves awards, and dispense the pains and pleasures, the recompense and punishment, of which we have the disposal. Those judg ments may or may not harmonize with the opinions of the majority ; they may or may not influence the opinions of the majority ; they may or may not affect the happiness of the individual in question ; but we are bound to suppose that unfavorable judgment will infalli bly produce pain, and we have no right to pro duce it without satisfactory evidence that the mischief inflicted by the pain in one direction, will be more than compensated by the produc tion of pleasure, or the removal of pain in another direction. And so with undeserved, or ill-deserved eulogium. To lower the standard of morals, by dealing out the language of approval to character or conduct in itself blame- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 143 worthy, that is to say, to conduct or character unfriendly to the happiness of mankind, is to play a pernicious part on the stage of morality, is to pervert that judgment in its sources, whose correctness and appropriateness are the great securities for its beneficial influences, in a word, is to lend a helping hand to the demo ralization of the race. As a general rule, if the affections of him with whom you are about to commence a con versation are matters of indifference to you, all topics are open to you : if it be an object with you to gain or keep his affections, choose that topic, whatever it be, that is most agreeable to him. At any rate, you may avoid every topic which you know or suspect to be dis agreeable to him. So, as to hearing and making others hear, it will be a question of prudence as to the proportion of time you shall yourself occupy in the discussion, or allow to your companions for their portion of the conversation. Not to fur nish your contingent when that contingent might instruct or amuse instruct without annoyance, or amuse without mischief, is to be wanting in one of the great arts of pleasing ; while, on the other hand, to assume an unfair portion of the time employed in conversational intercourse, to intrude your discourse upon 144 DEONTOLOGY. others, to their annoyance, is to assume a right to interfere with the pleasures or the prejudices of others, which sound morality will by no means justify, still less recommend. Let the tone of your conversation be inva riably benevolent. Differ without asperity : agree without dogmatism. Kind words cost no more than unkind ones. Kind words produce kind actions : not only on the part of him to whom they are addressed, but on the part of him by whom they are employed ; and this not incidentally only, but habitually, in virtue of the principle of association. There is an infirmity to which many men are subject, and which cannot but leave an unfavorable impression on the minds of their hearers. It is the use of hyberbolical language, of praise or blame, as applied to actions of too little importance to merit such extreme judg ments : out of such phraseology oratory is wont to choose its instruments of delusion, and to these a great portion of the mischief of erroneous moral estimate is to be attributed. It is an act of sophistry to attach terms of stigma to the conduct which the sophist wishes to deprecate. The conduct in itself, perhaps, if plainly and simply stated, would excite little emotion ; but if some opprobrious name can be attached to it, it is already half-condemned in EXTRA-REGARD^ 7 G PRUDENCE. 145 the mind of the inconsiderate. Among the most important triumphs of mental discipline, is that which at once separates good and evil actions from the laudatory or condemnatory language in which they are so frequently wrapt up, and which serves to bewilder or to blind the observer. To the substantive act some adjectival qualification is frequently appended, by which the act is removed from its appropri ate region into that where the applause or vitu peration of the speaker chooses to place it. Phrases eulogistic or dyslogistic act upon the mind as stained glasses act upon the visual sense, and the object contemplated assumes a coloring which is not its own. In the political world especially, men are prone to indulge in that decorative and dishonest language, which may sometimes serve the purposes of spite or of flattery, but must, in the long run, be per nicious to the moral and intellectual reputation of him who employs it. Avoid all arguments that you know to be so phistical. Think not, by shutting your own eyes against the weakness of your statements, that you have thereby shut the eyes of your hearer. Your sophistry will but irritate, for sophistry is not only uncandid, but dishonest. It is an at tempt to cheat, not the purse of another, but his senses and his judgment. His aversion to you VOL. II. L 14G DEONTOLOGY. will be awakened by your effort to shine at his expense ; and his contempt will be roused for the folly that supposed it was able so to shine. In all argument be candid, for the sake of your comrade and for your own sake. The triumph of an argument which is known and felt to be unfair and unfounded, is a wretched exhibition of perversity. If successful, it can serve no interests but those of fraud : if unsuccessful, it brings with it the consequences of blunder ing and detected dishonesty. Constituted as society is, with its errors and prejudices, its narrow interests and interested passions, the pursuit of truth makes demands enough upon courageous virtue ; for he who goes one step beyond the line which the world s poor con ventions have drawn around moral and political questions, must expect to meet with the thun dering anathemas and obloquies of all who wish to stand well with the arbiters of opinion. Let no searcher after truth be led into the labyrinths of sophistry. He will have enough to do in order to make good his ground one step beyond that trodden by those who dog matize about decorum, and propriety, and right and wrong. While differing in opinion from others, and giving expression to that difference, let care be taken to avoid the appearance of personal EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 147 attack. And this may be accomplished by the use of those forms of expression which secure you against seeming personally to assume a hostile position. You have, for example, oc casion to convey your disapproval of certain opinions, held by another. There is no need of bringing upon yourself the sort of un divided hostility which may probably result from your direct and violent onset against those opinions which, for aught you know, may be as deeply rooted in your opponent s mind as the contrary are in your own mind. Instead, therefore, of taking the front ground, as it were, of personal offence, you may represent yourself to be one of a number who have not been able to see the weight of the arguments alleged in favor of your opponent s doctrine ; that the doctrine has been met by such and such difficulties, and so on. Or, you may put your own opinions into the mouth of another, by using a class of men indefinitely, or any deter minate body of men, for the avoidance of that sort of personal jousting which is so frequently a source of annoyance to both combatants. Such a form of expression as Some say, or The opponents of this opinion say, will blunt the sharp edge of the controversy ; and, if the subject be one in which particular classes are concerned, the terms of dissent will be suffi- 148 DEONTOLOGY. ciently conveyed by a phrase like this Yet there are lawyers who contend/ &c. ; or, * But some divines argue/ and so on, with reference to the special case before you. And this contrivance has many uses. It leaves your argument free from obnoxious per sonality, and it leaves your person free from the obnoxious associations which your opinions might have attached to yourself. True, a state of things may exist and to such a state of things we are happily tending in which opinions will not require to shroud themselves in any trappings but those of ho nesty. Yet, independently of difference of opinions, respect must be had even to the pre judices of others, so as to check the disposition to intrude opposed opinion in what appears to them an incongruous or offensive shape. Minds there are, to whom the treating even ludicrous topics with any thing like levity would be vexatious and disagreeable ; and others, to which serious and mathematical reasoning is repugnant. To each the general rule applies, though for each a distinct course may have to be adopted. In the shape we give to the com munication of our opinions, as well as in the opinions themselves, let every thing be avoided which creates a useless pain. There is an instrument of tyranny, and con- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 149 sequent source of annoyance, against whose intrusions it is most desirable to find protection. It is that of imprudent interrogation. It as sumes various shapes, and sometimes produces evil of no inconsiderable amount. Its powers of annoyance vary with the situation of the person who asks the question, as compared or contrasted with that of him who is expected to answer it ; they vary with the topic which is put forward, and with the times or occasions on which it is introduced. Where an individual in a superior situation asks a question of an inferior, which that inferior is known to be un willing to answer, what is the question but the interference of despotism on the part of the questioner ; and what to the party questioned but a cause of suffering, and of mendacity, self-preservative mendacity? When a monarch inquired of a novelist, in the presence of others, whether he was the author of certain works, whose authorship the monarch knew was intended to be kept a profound secret, the interrogation was an exhibition of tyranny, a lie-compelling tyranny. But to avoid collision, prudence requires, not that the intrusion of offensive questionings should be met with offensive answers, but rather that they should be turned aside by 150 DEONTOLOGY. good-humored management. What a ques tion! You are not serious, surely! Thereby hangs a tale ; and so forth. A facetious quo tation, the singing a line of a ballad, an appro priate look or gesture, may relieve the mind of its embarrassment, and prevent the mischiefs of imprudence. It is scarcely possible to pro vide formulas for every condition in life, but the broad Deontological line is sufficiently ob vious. The restraints demanded upon discourse by prudence must be sought in every direction where discourse has the power of inflicting pain ; and, indeed, the rules which apply to words differ only from the rules that apply to actions, in that the immediate influence of dis course upon human felicity is not so easily nor so accurately definable. The pain which is the consequence of a corporeal injury can be estimated without much difficulty. The value of a pleasure derived from a particular grati fication might be, probably, averaged without any considerable error. But the influence of words upon the mind of the speaker, or upon the mind of the hearer, cannot be very correctly traced. The same quantity of tooth-ache would affect, pretty equally, ten different individuals ; but the same words, which addressed to one EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 151 man would fill his mind with acute distress, would be heard by another with complete indifference. In the giving advice to others, and in the abstaining from giving it, there is great reason for the exercise of prudential calculation. Cases are rare, in which the giving advice is not the infliction of pain on him who receives it; for, unless his conduct were in some re spects defective, there would be no motive for giving him the advice ; and to have defects pointed at, or weaknesses divulged, cannot but be disagreeable to him whom, by the advice, it is sought to improve. Is there a certainty that the advice will be wasted ? Let the adviser spare himself the pains of disappointment, and spare the advised the annoyance of a useless infliction. But, escorted between self-regard ing prudence and beneficence, if the adviser has good reason to believe that his lessons will not be lost, he is well occupied in giving them. Let him avoid reference to by-gone misconduct, except as necessary to give more efficiency to his counsels. Let those counsels be tinged as little as possible with reproach for the past, but brightened as much as may be with encou ragement for the future. In a word, let him look forward instead of backward, and urge his hearer to do the same. By sparing him 152 DEONTOLOGY. the recollections of pain, by opening to him the prospects of pleasure, he will best discharge his moral mission. To restrain those sallies of wit which give annoyance to others, is one of the duties, and a difficult one, whose exercise is demanded by extra-regarding prudence. The complacency with which men in general display their intel lectual superiority, and especially in the regions of ridicule, often betrays them into disregard for the feelings they wound, and the reaction of those wounded feelings upon themselves. Happy he, who, tempted to say a clever but malicious thing, has his own self-love so con trolled by the benevolent principle, as to be able, on any occasion, to check the utterance of that which would distress another; and hap pier still the man in whom the powers of wit and ridicule have been so constantly subjected to the influence of beneficence, as to feel no dispo sition to utter that which could give to another useless pain ! Men there are, whose minds have been so successfully disciplined, as to be placed, by a temperament which has become habitual, beyond the influence, and even beyond the suggestions of that infirmity, w 7 hich exasperates its victims far more than it injures them, and is often repaid by a malevolence more intense, because its fears do not allow it to break forth EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 153 in ordinary expression. Pleasantry, the gay and joyous pleasantry which proceeds from happy spirits, and avoids all topics of painful results, is alike an attraction and a merit. Beware in your discourse of raising expect ations, without a certainty of their realization ; and if you have the certainty, take care that the expectation be rather of something less than of something more than you anticipate. The value of the pleasure, when it arrives, will be heightened by its being greater in amount, intensity, or in duration than was looked for. If you prepare disappointment, you suffer in the good opinion of the party whose hopes your representations have raised too high, and you suffer in your own good opinion. You will have lost something in usefulness by losing something in reputation. In exciting a less amount of expectation than the case would warrant, you can do neither yourself, nor the expecting person any evil ; for if the event happen, it will bring with it greater pleasure from its out-weighing anticipation, and if the event do not happen, the pain will be lessened in proportion to the smallness of the disappointment. And that we should prevent all needless disappointment, is but the corollary to the principle that we should not awaken undue expectation. Next to the creation of felicity, as the great and fundamental basis 154 DEONTOLOGY. of all sound morals and legislation, comes the non-disappointment principle as second in im portance. And its application to discourse is obvious : the language which creates an expect ation not to be fulfilled, or in other words, which lays the ground-work of a disappointment which is inevitable, is as pernicious as any other conduct which does not produce a greater amount of suffering. Promises lightly made, and carelessly broken, are frequent sources of misery. The pretension which indicates the motives of others is almost always futile and offensive. For if their motive be what we suppose it, and the motive be a praiseworthy one, it will be visible by and in the act ; and if the motive be blameworthy, to denounce it will but be a cause of annoyance to him to whom the motive is attributed. And after all, we have nothing to do with motives. If bad motives produce good actions, so much the better for society ; and if good motives produce bad actions, so much the worse. It is the act, and not the. motive, with which we have to do; and when the act is before us, and the motive concealed from us, it is the idlest of idling to be inquiring into that which has no influence, and forgetting that which has all the real influence upon our condi tion. What acts, however outrageously and ex- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 155 tensively mischievous, but may be excused and justified, if the motives of the actor, instead of the consequences of the act, become the test of right and wrong? Perhaps there never was a group of more conscientious and well-intending men than the early inquisitors ; they verily believed they were doing God service ; they were under the influence of motives most religious and pious, while they were pouring out blood in rivers, and sacrificing, amidst horrid tortures, the wisest and best of their race. Motive, indeed ! as if all motives were not the same, to obtain for the actor some recompense for his act, in the shape of pain averted, or pleasure secured. The motive, as far as that goes, of the vilest is the same as the motive of the noblest, to increase his stock of happiness. The man who murders, the man who robs another, believes that the murder and the robbery will be advantageous to him, will leave to him more happiness than if he had not committed the crime. In the field of motive, however, he may make out a case as recommendatory of his conduct, as if he were the most accomplished of moralists. To say that his motives were ill-directed to his object, is to reason wisely with him ; to say that his motives had not the object of obtaining for himself some advantage, is to deny the operation of cause on effect. There is, and the existence 156 DEONTOLOGY, of the disposition is a striking evidence of the tendency of men towards despotic assertion, there is by far too great a willingness to turn away from the consequences of conduct in order to inquire into its sources. The inquiry is a fruitless one, and were it not fruitless it would be useless. For were motives other than they are, were they fit and proper evidence of the vice or virtue of any given action, it would not be the less true, that opinion could ultimately have no other test for judgment than the consequences of that action. A man s motives affect nobody until they give birth to action ; and it is with the action and not with the motive, that individuals or societies have any concern. Hence, in discourse, let all indica tions of motives be avoided. This will remove one spring of error and false judgment from the mind of the speaker, and from the minds of the hearers one source of misunderstanding. In the conveying approbation to another for meritorious conduct, let the expressions be warm and cordial. Let the recompense be as much as the circumstances of the case justify. Sin cerity and candor, indeed, are modifications of veracity ; or rather veracity is a modification of sincerity ; but veracity has its shapes more or less attractive ; and when it has the matter of pleasure at its disposal, let its distribution be EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 157 made as welcome as possible to the receiver. That a favor denied may be made, by the grace of its denial, almost as pleasurable as a bene fit conferred has almost passed into a proverb ; and that the language of approval may lose all, or almost all its acceptableness by its forms of expression or manner of utterance, is within the observation of every man s experience. Let your praise then, when given, be given with all the accompaniments which make praise most delightful. The exercise which conveys appro bation is in itself most salutary. Let it be the expression of truth combined with warm-heart edness : one sentence so characterized will be worth many in which such qualities are wanting. And, where extra-regarding prudence requires that disapprobation should be conveyed to an other, let only so much of pain be created as is necessary for the accomplishing the object you have in view. If you create too little pain, indeed, that which you do create is wasted, because the purpose for which it was created fails. But the common error is on the other side. Vindictive- ness frequently mingles with the awards of justice. The disposition of power to display itself, usually leads to the infliction of more suffering than prudence or benevolence warrant. And in ordinary cases disapprobation is con veyed in that moment when passion has 158 DEONTOLOGY. enfeebled the power of judging how much of pain is demanded. As a general rule, avoid the ex pression of disapprobation when you are angry. The violent expressions to which irritation gives birth, are those which will be least adapted to the end ; for the blindness of anger prevents it from seeing and seizing the fit object for the accomplishment of its ends. If a man has injured you, avoid, if possible, being yourself the awarder of the punishment the injury merits : wait for denunciation of the injury by some other person ; it will produce more effect than from you, and the odium to yourself will be saved. Some men have a failing, which is a source of great annoyance to others, and for which they pay the penalty, by making their conversation less agreeable, and even at times making their conversation intolerable : it is the habit of stickling for the final word. Right or wrong in the controversy, subdued or victorious, there are persons who insist on exercising the petty and vexatious despotism of uttering the last sen tence that is uttered. This disposition is the outbreak of pride in a very offensive shape ; it is the usurpation of dominion over the self-love of other men, on a ground where men are ordi narily most sensitive. It is, in fact, a determi nation to humiliate him with whom you have EXTKA-REGAllDING PRUDENCE. 159 been holding intercourse, to humiliate him, not by the success of an irresistible argument, but by the intrusion of a tyrannic power. Avoid then the act, lest the act should create the habit ; and if the habit exist, extra-regard ing prudence requires that it should be got rid of. Watch yourself ; and inquire of any friend on whose sincerity you can rely, inquire, if you are quite sure that you will not be hurt by his reply, whether the infirmity is exhibited by, or has been observed in you. And if it be, correct the infirmity. The proper subjugation of the virtue of vera city to those of prudence and benevolence has been already insisted on. Of the vice men dacity, which is the contrasted vice to the virtue of veracity, there are several ramifications, of a character more or less pernicious, but against whose exercise prudence demands us to be on our guard. Mendacity is one of many modes by which deceit is practised. Disingenuous- ness is another. Its tendency always, and its intention generally, is to produce misconcep tion. Insincerity is another form of mendacity, to be estimated, as to the extent of its per- niciousness, by the extent of evil which it generates. Exceptions excepted and those are the rare cases in which the higher demands of prudence and benevolence require the sacri- 160 DEONTOLOGY. fice of veracity ingenuousness and sincerity are among the virtues which extra-regarding prudence takes under its care. They are sin gularly fascinating and self-recommendatory. The interest that every individual feels, on ordinary occasions, in the communication of truth, gives to truth a peculiar recommendation when it comes in a shape so attractive. Its charm is then upon the surface ; visible to the eye; obvious to the understanding. As to the general influence of our actions upon others, as reflected back upon ourselves, and with a sole regard to our own happiness, that is, supposing their happiness to form no part of our estimate, it is certain that an en lightened selfishness would prescribe friendly deeds towards them. For, take any object of desire, power, for example, power, as a source of pleasure, which it undoubtedly is, and inquire how it is best obtainable, in so far as other men are concerned. There are two courses of action, namely, doing good to them, or doing evil to them ; for non-action will, of course, produce no results. By doing evil to them, you make enemies ; by doing good to them, you make friends : now which, in refer ence to your own good, is preferable ? Solitary and isolated man disposes but of small portions of pleasure. Alone, all his ex- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 16 J ertions would scarcely be enough to provide for himself food and clothing, and protection against the elements. Even in the earlier periods of civilization, where the means of association are few, his sufferings are considerable, from the frequent absence of the necessaries of life ; and it is often his fate to perish from the want of co-operation. All that social knowledge does, is to make men more useful to one another, is to give to each an interest in the resources of the whole, is to deal out to every man, for himself, a greater portion of the enjoyments which are in the gift of others, than he would otherwise have obtained. Though, to the definitions of the Aristotelians a thousand irresistible objections may be urged, though their classification of morality, under the bifurcate divisions of virtues and half- virtues, is wholly untenable, yet the virtues may be very conveniently and fitly divided into two sections, the major and the minor morals, the major, as they regard the interests which are greater, but are more rarely at stake; the minor, those which regard interests that are comparatively less, but are continually brought into question. To both branches the same rules apply; but, inasmuch as the quantity of good and evil which depends on any one action belonging to VOL. ir. M K)2 OI .ONTOI.OOV. tho minor hrancli will be comparatively small, it is .MM inn. . more dillieult lo mark out the course which prudence and benevolence pre scribe, hut the popular sanction ha.s taken u great j)art of the minor morals under its wing, and, to a very considerable extent, the, laws of goad hm tHng are in conformity with the, Deon- tological principle*. To those laws there is seldom any hostility on the part of the aristo- eratical seetion of society. Like the rest of mankind, the inliiig lew are dependent on their observance (or no small portion of their own happiness, and then-lore they combine to give them action and effect. Ueeklcss as are too often the*, opulent and privileged classes of the claims of morality in its more exalted and important bearings, they are cautious in violat ing its dictates in that narrower field, where aristocratical opinion has itself marked out a certain course. Their extra-regarding prudence ha.s I M! a decided check upon the dissocial affections. In numberless cases, the impulse which would inflict pain on another is disarmed by the, well-established code of courtesy, (jood manners already tolerate difference of opinion in religion, politics, and taste. Tin- outbreaks which, only a lew years ago, would have been allowed to intolerance, have been already checked by the peremptory mandates of polite ness. A better system of morals than that EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. which has so long overruled society is gra dually introducing itself, and regulating the world s judgment by a more faithful standard of right. In this there is consolation, in this may be seen a tendency towards a state of tilings where social and popular rewards and punishments will be sufficient to restrain and encourage a vast number of acts which are now left to the intervention either of the legislative, administrative, or judicial authorities; to the dictum of the priesthood, or the terrors of the law-giver. With the Deontological test in hand, let Chesterfield s Letters be read, or any other work whose object it is to teach the minor morals, and it will be found very easy to separate the chaff from the wheat, to rescue and reduce to practice whatever is wise and virtuous, and to pick out and fling aside, as unfit for use, all those instructions which violate the great primary principles. Such an employ ment would be a delightful exercise, both for the intellect and the affections : for the intel lect, as engaged especially in calculating the claims of the self-regarding interest; and for the affections, in giving weight to all the sug gestions of effective benevolence. If the accomplishment of any one purpose which a man proposes to himself be submitted to any other rule of action than that we have 164 DEONTOLOGY. laid down, will that other rule give him so many chances of success, or make his success so complete or so economical as the rule of Deontology, which is resumable in two sim ple precepts, Maximize good, minimize evil ? Take any case that can be suggested. You have, for example, long been in habits of inter course with another. His society has ceased to be acceptable to you. It is desirable the connec tion should be dissolved. Now, for the putting a termination, whether temporarily or other wise, to his visits, could any better advice be offered to you than that, while removing from yourself the annoyance caused by his company, you should take care that as little vexation as possible should be given to him ? No good end can be answered by exciting in his mind, or in your own, a useless pain. Prudence would guard you against distressing yourself unnecessarily. Benevolence would prevent your bringing down upon him unneeded suffering. Such being the general law, you would so apply it, in every case, as to give it the greatest efficiency. If there were any peculiar suscep tibility in the mind of your acquaintance, that susceptibility you would take care not to wound. Unless the case demanded an imme diate rupture, you would break off your inter course gradually ; if instant cessation of com- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 105 munication were absolutely needful, you would put forward the least offensive reason you could find for your justification. Let a man s object be to ingratiate himself with another, a fit and proper object, if pursued in accordance with prudence and benevolence, how can he best accomplish it ? How shall he apply the Deontological rule ? To ingratiate yourself with another is to obtain his good opinion, his good opinion on any particular occasion, or his good opinion in general. Out of his good opinion will grow the desire to render you acceptable services ; services in a shape which you or he may spe cially have in view, or services of a more exten sive character. It is your desire that he should not regard you as he regards men in general, or men unknown to him, but that his mind should be impressed with favorable and friendly affections towards you. You have these two distinguishable courses to pursue. If you have the power of giving evidence of your disposition to render accept able services to the party whose good opinion you are seeking, and still more, if you have the power of rendering him such services ; if you can induce him to look upon you as likely to be able, or as able in reality to add any thing to his enjoyment; if, in a word, you are 166 DEONTOLOGY. in a situation to exercise towards him the virtues of benevolence and beneficence, do so : it is the first and most obvious means of ingra- tiation, and may be intitled courtship. But if this be wanting, you have another means of ingratiation. Set yourself, as regards men in general, in a favorable light. Endeavor to appear in his eyes as a fit object of social affection, as worthy of love or esteem, or both. This may be called self-recommendation, or self-elevation. With some persons this self-elevation is the most recommendatory course ; with others, the system of courtship, in other words, the exhibi tion of the qualities which make your title out to friendly regard, may be put forward with more success and with less reserve to certain per sons than to others. Where the desire of ingratiating is exhibited with prudence and wisdom, it seldom fails of success, since there is no man who is not de pendent, to some extent, on the good-will of others, and very few who, in the obvious calcu lations of self-interest, are not willing to make some return for tendered useful services. But self-recommendation cannot be employed with out more or less hazard; it is an attempt to occupy a higher position than that we fill in the mind of the person appealed to. If it fail, EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 167 we are lowered in his opinion, and humiliated in our own. Yet it is the most agreeable instrument, and the most flattering to self: it is that which is most frequently employed for the purpose of winning the friendly sympathies of others ; and the anxiety to employ it is the frequent cause of the counteraction of its own purpose. To the young it is peculiarly fasci nating and peculiarly delusive. They are wont to assign to themselves a place more exalted than the world in general is disposed to re cognize ; a place above the ordinary level in the scale of popular estimation. They do not easily lend themselves to the practice of court ship, lest it should be deemed disreputable flattery, and are therefore more prone to take their stand upon their own merit. But, in as far as the good opinion of others can be purchased by services done, and if those services can be done without any other sacrifice of self than will be recompensed by a greater result of good, no opportunity should be lost which enables us to win the friendly affections of mankind in general, or of any individual in particular whose approval will augment our own and the general happiness. Various rules have at various times been given for the suppression of anger, most of which consist of devices for giving the irritation 168 DEONTOLOGY. time to allay itself, before it breaks out into offensive words or actions. All these rules are in fact appeals to sober judgment against ex cited passions. The deliberate repetition of the alphabet, a walk into the open air, if the scene of excitement be within doors, any device, indeed, for diverting the mind from its irascible tendency, may be used with effect. But instead of depending on the chance of finding the power of alienating the mind from its angry dispositions, when on any particular occasion they chance to be awakened, it would be far better to obtain the power of subjugating those dispositions by the habitual exercise of the cor rective influences. Hence, in the cool and quiet hour, when nothing disturbs the tranquil lity of your feelings, satisfy yourself completely of the usefulness and applicability of those rules for which you may have occasion in the moment of exasperation. Lodge them fix them firmly in your memory think frequently of their value ; and thus, when any incidental provoca tion happens to excite anger, the recollection of these rules may serve to repress it. It is in this way you will purchase redemption from the slavery to which passion would subject you, on the cheapest and the safest terms. The hoarding money is among the mistakes of imprudence and miscalculation. With refer- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 169 ence to ourselves to treasure it up unproduc- tively is an obviously false estimate of interest. As a means of enjoyment, the transfer of the affections from the reality, to that which is only the instrument by which the reality is obtain able, will, in its consequences, reduce many pleasures to one, and that one disassociated from, or even opposed to, the pleasures of others. The sensibility to pleasure being dead ened by non-exertion, the vague and undefined anticipation of good to be obtained by money, as a source of pleasure, is magnified. One after another, the individual pleasures vanish, and as they vanish the pleasure of possessing the source of so many pleasures takes stronger and stronger root in the affections ; it becomes in itself an object of desire, independent of and above all others, and at last excludes them all. Here then is a man who has disconnected the self-regarding principle from the social, and endeavored to obtain for himself an additional portion of good by alienating others from co operation in his own happiness. And the con sequences are as Deontology and philanthropy would desire they should be. He has made a foolish bargain in the interest of self. He has lost much good to obtain little, and that little good is made almost an evil by its being associ- 170 DEONTOLOGY. ated with the anxieties which attend the one, single, solitary source of pleasure. Indifferent to the opinion of others, that opinion retaliates a sentiment that is not indifferent. For how ever men may desire to escape the judgment of mankind, escape is impossible : the tribunal of opinion drags all men inexorably before its bar. The rules of extra-regarding prudence, though simple in their claims, dictate different forms of operation with reference to the different situations in which a man may be placed with respect to others. The law is in all cases the same, and the inquiry resolves itself into the means of giving that law the greatest efficiency. In the various grades of social position various rules apply. The general reasoning is grounded on the average of those grades. But it may be well to point out some of those diversities of position which demand the attention of the Deontological student. The cases presenting themselves where no conflict of interest has place, will be of the easiest decision. On those occasions where, to do that which is most agreeable to others is to do that which is most agreeable to your self, and where to do that which is most agreeable to yourself is, at the same time, to ingratiate yourself with others, the task of exer- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 171 tion is easy. In so far as without sacrifice of prudence on the one hand, or of benevolence on the other, you can make your own wishes to accord with the wishes of others your own interests with their interests, you will advance the cause of virtue and consequent felicity. But the points of difficulty will be, when con flicting, or, still worse, irreconcilable interests meet, where the conduct which would be satisfactory to yourself is repelled by others, as the cause of vexation and pain to them. It might be a great enjoyment to a man to smoke, notwithstanding the annoyance caused to others by involving them in the fumes of his tobacco. Setting aside the question as to what benevo lence might prompt, would not extra-regarding prudence demand from him the sacrifice of his enjoyment, for the sole purpose of protecting himself from the re-action, upon his own com forts, of the ill-will of those he had annoyed ? He might consider that the quantity of pleasure which the smoking communicated would be less in amount than the pleasures he would lose by losing other men s good opinion, or in compari son of the pains which other men would have it in their power, and perhaps in their disposition, to inflict. Again, the laws of extra-regarding prudence will be applied with greater facility on those 172 DEONTOLOGY. occasions where no difference has place as to the inferiority or superiority of a man s con dition, as regards the party with whom he has to do. Actions, which, generally speaking, appear controlled by the Deontological princi ple, might be found more or less accordant with it, when the relative situation of the parties is duly weighed. The very conduct which might be prudent and benevolent when practised, for example, by an opulent man towards his poorer neighbour, by a wise man towards his less instructed acquaintance, by a father towards a child, by an old man to a youth, might change its character on being adopted by the opposite side, by those whose condition is contrasted in the circumstance of wealth, or knowledge, or of paternity, or age. In a situa tion of equality, the mind is released from weighing in the balance many topics of differ ence which, if they exist, are intitled to be duly estimated. As the pains and pleasures enjoyed or suffered by persons in the same condition, resemble each other more closely than where the gradations of rank have sepa rated men, the similarity of position will in crease the power of accurately estimating the value of the pleasure and the pain. For plea sures and pains are not worth seeking or avoid ing, except in so far as they act upon the EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 173 individual, and can be applied to his particular case. The domestic and social relations present, under their various characters, various demands for the exercise of extra-regarding prudence. The intimacy and adjacency of a connection, and our dependence upon it for our own hap piness, strengthen the influence of the pruden tial principle, by bringing us more immediately into the presence of those who hold in their hands the power of distributing to us frequently recurring pains or pleasures. The ties of con sanguinity are ordinarily the strongest ; next follow r those of affinity ; next those of domestic contract, such as exist between master and servant ; next those of accidental social inter course ; and last, those of neighborhood. To some family circle almost every individual belongs ; upon the services rendered by the other members of that family circle every indi vidual is greatly dependent for his ordinary portion of happiness. Immediately beyond or beneath the habitual relations of family, come those accidental relations which grow out of the communications by which others are some times brought into our domestic circle, or by which we are taken into theirs ; while the friendly, but less intimate, intercourse of neigh borhood may be deemed the last grade to 174 DEONTOLOGY. which the social sanctions apply. Beyond it, the popular sanction begins its action. A family is a small community, in which the situation of the heads is analogous to that of rulers in a state : it is a government in minia ture ; a government armed with all the powers necessary for regulating its own concerns, and especially all those which belong to the Deon- tological field. Appropriate rewards, for the recompense of actions which add to the hap piness of the domestic circle, and appropriate punishments for actions which diminish it, are in the hands of those who exercise the func tions of authority. And to them the rules of extra-regarding prudence apply ; for their au thority must become more or less influential, as exercised with a greater or less regard to the well-being of their dependents. Every human being is dependent, in some degree, upon others. In the very highest elevations of the social ranks, the influences exercised descend upon the ranks beneath, while the very lowest are not without influence on those above them, being called upon for services necessary to the enjoyments of the more privileged classes. To every individual whether as patron or as subject, the claims of Deontology apply. If his views look not be yond his own personal interest, if he be reck- EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 175 less of every thing but the means of exacting from others useful and agreeable services, the dictates of wisdom will lead him to seek the accomplishment of every end he proposes to himself by the instrumentality of happiness. Let the conditions of man s varied existence be examined, one after another. Let the master inquire how the ready attentions of his servant can be best obtained. How but, by associat ing the interests of that servant with his duties, by making the duties pleasurable ? How can the servant most easily win that good opinion of his master which will lighten his labors or make them sources of enjoyment ? Certainly only by giving evidence to the master, that his services are not without their beneficent influ ence upon that master s felicity. In following the claims dependent on man s varied condition, those of superiority, inferiority, and equality have been referred to, as present ing topics for distinct consideration. Superiority may represent greater excellence in general, or greater excellence in some par ticular and special branch. Superiority in power, whencever derived, is the ordinary ground for the claim to superior services ; and the claim is obvious, for whatsoever induce ments you have to the exercise of beneficence towards inferiors and equals, on the score of 176 DEONTOLOGY. prudence and benevolence, you have these, and others too, when the virtues are to be exercised towards a superior. The claims of self- regard ing prudence come in to add their weight to the claims of beneficence. The superiority of him you serve places in his hands an additional means of recompense, and your own self-regard would compel you to endeavor to obtain it. Superiority in power, derived from wealth, shuts out, to a certain extent, the influence of the inferior in that particular. The smaller sum sacrificed by the unopulent may be a greater loss than the larger sum obtained by the opulent. The value of money, in different hands, is a most important consideration, when it is to be employed as a means of influence. In early life, strange mistakes are wont to be made by inexperience. Indifference, or even haughtiness to superiors, is assumed as a characteristic of independence, and an evidnece of high-mindedness. And yet such exhibitions do not alter the real situations of men. The gradations of rank exist, in spite of all that benevolence can anticipate, or philosophy sug gest. Let any man ascertain what he gets by scorn or disdain directed towards those above him ! The ill-will of those who are mightier than he is cannot serve his purpose. Even if beneficence did not prompt him to EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 177 avoid the giving useless pain, a prudent regard to his own well-being should teach him for bearance. By superiors in general are to be understood superiors in power ; and, consequently, on the part of the persons who are considered as their inferiors, there exists, as towards them, a cor respondent degree of dependence. In regard to the deportment proper to be maintained by their inferiors, as towards such superiors, the error of which we have spoken is apt to have place; and it is of a sort prejudicial, at once, to beneficence as well as prudence, and which is apt not to stop at the breach of these negative virtues, but to go on to a violation of the cor responding positive ones. A sort of merit is attached by some to the refusal to manifest towards the feelings of superiors that degree of regard which, by the same persons, would not be refused to equals or to inferiors. To this supposed merit is annexed more or less of self-praise, on the score of spirit, as it is called ; on the score of a spirit of independence. But if there is no merit in the violation of the dictates of a single virtue, viz. beneficence, negative or positive, still less can there be in the violation of the dictates of that same virtue, added to the dictates of self- regarding pru dence. VOL. II. N 178 DEONTOLOGY. In this particular a difference may have place, according as, on the occasion in question, third persons are, or are not present. The case where third persons are present, is the case in which a display of this sort of spirit is most apt to be made. It will depend, however, upon the cast of mind that has place on the part of the persons thus present. It may possibly happen that, in the opinion of them, or some of them, the character of the person in question may be raised by this display of independence : so far as this is the case, what a man loses in the affection and regard of the superior in question, this, or more, he may gain by increase of regard on the part of these same third persons. In this case, a sort of conflict has place between the two virtues. The dictates of beneficence are neglected ; those of prudence self-regard ing prudence are consulted and conformed to ; and happiness gains by the sacrifice made by the one virtue to the other. In the other case in the case where no other persons are presentif imprudence, in this shape, is committed, ill humor anger is apt to be the cause. By the anti-social passion, the joint force of the self-regarding and the social affections is overborne : folly presents itself to the actor under the garb of merit : he EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. J 79 fancies himself to be displaying strength when, in fact, he is betraying weakness. A case, not absolutely impossible or unex ampled, is, that by this display of hostility, in a case where obsequiousness is not only more advisable but more common, the inferior enter tains a hope of raising himself in the estimation of the superior ; and where that hope may even have its accomplishment. But the experiment is a hazardous one, and requires no small degree of skill and attention to be made successful. The nature and existence of equality is as easily conceived as those of superiority and infe riority ; it being a negation of both. But between no two persons is the existence of it capable of being demonstrated, or with any thing like precision capable of being ascer tained. Suppose, for argument sake, the existence of it ascertained, as between yourself, whoever you are, and another person, whoever he is. From self-partiality you, in your own scale, may be placed above him ; he, in his scale, above you. This difference, therefore, it belongs to you to bear constantly in mind, as well with respect to beneficence as with respect to self-regarding prudence. 180 DEONTOLOGY. The difference, however, is not so great in the case of those classes which have least, as in the case of those which have most powerful incentives to emulation. Examples: day- laborers on the one hand, professional men on the other. Superiority and inferiority suppose each other: neither would have place without the other. But superiority and inferiority, in order to present a positive idea to the mind, must be associated with some object, in itself a good, or, at all events, supposed to be a good, so as to awaken desire. The different quantity of that good possessed relatively, may be con sidered as the different degrees of a scale of superiority or inferiority, with a reference to the particular good in question. One of the shapes in which superiority pre sents itself most obviously to the mind has been already referred to. It is that of power. It is a superiority easily conceived, early established, and widely spread. Take, for example, the dependence of the infant child upon its mother, and the power she exercises over it. It begins with the child s existence, it is absolute, it is boundless, it even precedes existence ; on the mother the child depends for its very being. The power she exercises cannot but be hers. EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 181 No child can be born without a mother ; the existence of a mother implies the existence of a determinate child. The mother, standing in the relation of extreme superiority and absolute power over the child ; the child in those of extreme inferiority and absolute dependence upon the mother. Of primeval, and necessary, and absolute superiority, the relation of the mother to the child is far more complete, though less seldom quoted as an example, than that of father and son. No man can with positive, indisputable certainty, be known to be the father of a deter minate child. His connection with his sup posed or real offspring is, in the very nature of things, less intimate than that of the mother. By Filmer, whose name is kept alive by his having had Locke for his antagonist in the field of the political branch of moral art and science, by Sir Robert Filmer, the supposed necessary as well as absolute power of the father over his children was taken as the foundation and origin, and thence justifying cause of the power of the monarch in every political state. With more propriety he might have stated the abso lute dominion of a female as the only legitimate form of government. In the Negro kingdom of Ashantee, the king has for his successor the eldest male child of 182 DEONTOLOGY. his eldest sister. In so far as certainty, com bined with proximity of natural relationship to the preceding monarch, is a proper, efficient cause of title to the vacant throne, the advisers of the black monarch of Africa have been, and are wiser than the advisers of the white monarchs of Europe. The scales of comparison by which supe riority, equality, and inferiority may be mea sured, embrace, necessarily, a great variety of topics, and may be classified under the head of qualities which distinguish one man s situa tion from another, or under those situations themselves. Qualities useful to self, qualities useful to others ; qualities natural, qualities acquired ; and these, again, divided into the qualities which are acquirable by a man s own exertions alone, and not acquirable, except with the concurrence of others ; qualities also of the body, and qualities of the mind, in the pos session of each, or all of these, almost every man is in some way distinguished from every other man. The amount of these qualities may be the same in the cases of different individuals, but their distribution is never so ; and a great portion of the charm of social intercourse grows out of the infinite distinctions by which these varied elements exist in different persons. A man may be distinguished from another by his EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 183 wisdom on general topics, by an all-pervading accuracy of judgment, or by a wisdom peculiarly associated with certain determinate objects. A man may be characterised, though very rarely, by universal knowledge ; but in nine hundred cases, or more, out of a thousand, it will be his devotion to, and acquirements in some particular branch of study, that denote his superiority over any man, or over men in general. So, in that more vague dependence, which may be called the dependence of expectation, an inferior may anticipate good from a superior, growing out of any one of the qualities spoken of, or of any one of the various branches of those qualities. Among the more determinable sources of infe riority and superiority in position, age, wealth, rank, and political power, are particularly pro minent. The difference in age is easily definable, and in some cases towers over every other distinc tion. The power of the nurse, for example, over the infant, however wealthy or high-born the infant may be, is almost limitless. In general estimate it may be remarked, that the superiority conferred by age is frequently ex aggerated, or rather, the points of character in which youth may be fairly considered as pos- 184 DEONTOLOGV. sessing greater excellence, are not sufficiently taken into the account. The mental powers are generally improved by the teachings of time ; at all events, up to a certain period of man s existence ; but this can hardly be said of the benevolent tendencies. If age bring experience with it, a cooler and a riper judgment, if by it the intellectual faculties are strengthened, youth presents, on the other hand, valuable and virtuous qualities, which are not, alas ! fortified by long life ; for youth is the season of generous affections, of warm and glowing sympathies, of zeal and of activity. And occasions there are in which difficulties are vanquished by it, because their magnitude has not been perceived ; difficulties against which, perhaps, reflection would have counselled a more advanced intelligence not to contend. Youth, too, has a longer period of recompense or punishment before it; its cal culations of the fruitfulness of pains and plea sures are spread over a wider future field ; its susceptibilities are more intense ; its hopes are brighter ; it has more to gain and more to lose ; its destinies are not fixed, but remain to be called up, to a great extent, by the tendencies itself must give. From the novi homines the great advances EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 185 must be expected ; un palled by satiety of honors, to them the slightest regale is a ban quet the most exquisite. The distinctions of wealth, in the scale of superiority and inferiority, may be easily mea sured. The pound in the hands of the foolish man cannot, indeed, be considered an instru ment of the same value as a pound in the hands of the \vise ; but, as far as the standard of wealth is applied, the fool and the wise are in the same condition. Wealth, however, re garded through the optics of utility, is only one of the many means of power ; the means of possessing that which is an object of desire; and upon its application, less than its distribu tion, depends the quantity of pleasure pur chased, and pain avoided by it. The number of fallacies current on the sub ject of wealth is extremely great, and many of them leave erroneous impressions on the mind, both as to the value and the use of wealth. Its value, its sole value, is as an instrument of power, and the possession of power, until called into exercise, counts for little in the balance of pain or pleasure. On its exercise its value depends. There is no more truth in saying that Money is the root of all evil, than in saying that Money is the source of all good. The phrase endeavors to 18G DEONTOLOGY. give to a small portion of a truth, mingled with a large portion of that which is not truth, all the influence of a truism. No doubt, some desire or other is the cause of all misconduct, and money is the means for gratifying a large por tion of our desires. But as there are many pains which neither the presence nor the absence of money can create, remove, or even influence, so there are pleasures beyond the reach of wealth, however boundless. Rank, as a representative of prosperity, is, like wealth, to be estimated by its own scale of influence, as different titles constitute different grades of social position. But their bearing upon the general question of a man s superior in fluence, depends also upon moral and intellectual qualities. As a rule of conduct, extra-regarding prudence demands, in almost every case, the recognition of those habits of deference which are ordinarily paid to rank. Exceptional cases there are in which self-regarding prudence will league with benevolence to prevent that prostration which is painful to the prostrate, and pernicious to him who exacts or allows the humiliation. Political power implies the means of action in a wider sphere of influence. It enables a man to dispose of a larger portion of good and evil than power in any other shape will confer on him. And prudence requires that conduct EXTRA-REGARDING PRUDENCE. 187 should be directed with a view to that greater quantity of happiness and misery of which political power disposes. In intercourse with superiors, prudence par ticularly requires attention to all those lesser marks of respect which superior station is wont to exact. Great faults are sometimes par doned, little ones seldom. Many great men there are very willing to forgive an error, but few who would forgive an inattention. In the world, men s thoughts are far less occupied with important than with trivial things. The usages of polite society, the minor morals are within every body s observation and estimate who dwells in the more privileged social regions. Hence, there is little chance of any violation of them passing undetected and unpunished. Among the lessons of extra-regarding pru dence, that which teaches us to brook the inso lence of office, is not the least valuable. How shall that insolence be divested of its sting of annoyance ? Consider yourself as having to do with a stock or a stone. In that case there is no use in giving expression to resentment : as little in the other case. In that case no mischief results to your self from the expression of irritation : in the other case mischief indefinite. If your social position enables you success- 188 DEONTOLOGY. fully to resist the disposition of men in power to worry others by the display of their authority, good service may be done by your appealing against, by your resisting their pretensions ; but if you can neither serve others nor serve your self, by rebellion against those pretensions, subdue your disposition to break out into fruit less contention. Save yourself from vexation, by preventing your own irascible passions from urging your susceptibilities into openly ex pressed discontent. Think that the possession of power in the hands of others is in itself a means of annoying you, and take care that the occasion is not given to them. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 189 CHAPTER IV. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. THE compound term effective or efficient be nevolence/ has been adopted, in consequence of the want of a single word which should imply the union of benevolence and beneficence. These operate by checkingorby excitingto action. They are either restrictive or instigative. The effective benevolence which requires abstention from action is the first branch that deserves atten tion. Actions there are, and those very numer ous, which at the same time that they are inhibited by efficient benevolence, are mani festly so by the considerations of prudence. And where the alliance between prudence and benevolence is obvious, there can be no doubt as to the line of duty. But the miscalculations of self-regard so often encroach on the claims of benevolence, the sacrifice of the happiness of others is so often made on the false estimate, that by such sacrifice our own happiness is best promoted, that the first and most important task of the moralist, is to harmonize the selfish and beneficent principle, and to demonstrate that a 190 DEONTOLOGY. due regard to the felicity of others, is the best and wisest provision for our own. Negative effective benevolence consists in nothing more than in the avoiding to do evil to others. But of evil done to others, some portions are taken cognizance of by law, others are left to the operation of opinion, with its different sanc tions or instruments of pain and pleasure. Evil done to others by man s instrumentality may be deemed annoyance ; and annoyance is either punishable or not punishable by judicial proceedings. This division, it is obvious, must be riot natural but factitious. Its lines of demarcation shift with time and place. In different countries different laws visit the same acts with different consequences; what is sanctioned by the legis lation of one nation, is unnoticed or prohibited by that of another. In the same country the same act has been at different epochs rewarded, allowed, or punished. The annoyance that is punishable by law is termed injury, personal injury. But the evil we are engaged in prevent ing here is that, and that alone, which it is in a man s power to produce, without exposing him self to legal punishment. It would be a service of no small moment NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 191 done to mankind, if a work were specially de voted to the collection and exhibition of those evils and annoyances to which men are exposed, and which are not visited by the interference of the law. A manual of this sort would convey a mass of practical moral instruction, which might be turned to beneficial account, on occa sions of constant occurrence. If the different cases of men s vexations and sufferings produced by the acts of others, and remediable by forbearance, were gathered out of the different volumes which tell the tales, whether in ridicule of, or sympathy for, human misery, such a collection might be made the manual of abstential virtue. Of these evils, one division might be com posed of those, by the infliction of which no advantage in any positive shape is produced, or expected to be produced to himself, by the agent. In the case of these, the efficient in ducement may be referred to one or other of two causes: 1. Antipathy, or say malignity; 2. Sport. Another division may be composed of the cases in which, from the production of the evil, positive advantage, in some shape or other, is reaped or looked for by the agent. Of this class, one sub-class may be composed of those in which superiority, on some account 192 DEONTOLOGY. or other, is by the agent exercised, or supposed by him to be exercised over, or at the expense of the patient. Such an investigation, conducted in a benevo lent and inquiring spirit, would assuredly lay open vast fields of pain, in which the tares of misery might be torn up by the roots, and, perhaps, no small portion of the ground be covered with the seeds of happiness. How many little pleasures are interfered with by the meddling of unwelcome intruders, how many checked by the asceticism, or the ill- nature, or the ridicule, or the scorn of a by stander ? How many trifling vexations are aggravated by the dissocial qualities, or heed less deportment of a looker-on ? At the end of a day how much total loss is there not of hap piness by inattention to those small elements of which it is composed ? What an aggregate amount is made up of those particles of pain produced by carelessness alone ! The time will perhaps arrive, when all these sources of evil will be investigated, grouped together in their distinguishing characteristics, illustrated by examples, and their inconsistency with virtue be made so apparent, that opinion will take charge of their extirpation, opinion, which to enlighten and to make influential, is the highest purpose of the moralist. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 193 The general rules of negative benevolence and beneficence may be thus enumerated : 1 . Never do evil, in any shape or quantity, to any individual, but for the purpose of some determinate and specific greater good : good to yourself, to the other party in question, or to third persons : to third persons, assignable or unassignable. In one verse, Never do evil but for greater good. 2. Never do evil, solely on the ground that it is deserved. In one verse, Never do evil for mere ill-desert. These two branches of morality correspond with the branches of negative and positive offences which are taken cognizance of by law. A negative offence is the omitting to prevent that which, if done, would constitute a positive offence. It is a guilt of abstention. It is the forbearance of a man to prevent a mischief pre ventable by his interference. A positive offence is the direct infliction of a mischief. In both cases, the offence consists in that course of conduct which leaves a balance on the side of evil. Negative beneficence is exercised by me, in so far as evil, which, by an act of mine, might VOL. II. O 194 DEONTOLOGY. have been done to another, is purposely forborne to be done. It has benevolence for its cause, or, at any rate, for its accompaniment, in so far as the contemplation of the evil in question, and the efficient desire and endeavor to avoid contribut ing to the production of the evil, has place in my breast. It will be highly conducive to the cultivation of negative beneficence and benevolence, to have present to the mind the several sources from which evil-doing to others is liable to flow ; and these sources or motives may be classified under the following heads : 1. Self- regarding interest at large, and in particular the interests of the senses, and the interest of the sceptre ; the interests of active corporeal enjoyments, and those of power. 2. Interest of the pillow, interest correspond ing to the love of ease ; to the aversion to labor of body or mind. In this case, the cause of the evil may generally be expressed by some such single word as heedlessness, carelessness, inad vertence, indifference, and so forth. 3. Interest of the trumpet. Interest corres ponding to the pleasures and pains of the popular or moral sanction. In this is included the interest affected by wounds given to pride and vanity. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 195 4. Interest of malevolence. Interest corres ponding to the motive termed ill-will or antipathy. Ill-will or antipathy, considered in respect of its source or cause, may be thus distinguished : - 1. Ill-will or antipathy on account of rivalry; opposition of interests, in respect of self-regard ing interest at large. 2. Ill-will on account of trouble, that is, labor of mind, regarded by me as produced in my mind by the individual who is the object of the ill-will thus produced ; say anti-social affection. 3. Ill-will on account of wounded pride or vanity ; pains of the popular or moral sanction experienced by me, and regarded as having their source in some act, habit, or disposition of his. 4. Ill-will or antipathy, having its source, its immediate source, in sympathy : in sympathy for the feelings of some person to whom evil, in any of its shapes, is regarded by me as being done, or more or less likely to be done, by the instrumentality of the individual in question, in whom this anti-social affection of mine beholds its object. 5. Ill-will on the score of difference in opinion. In this case, the interest affected is composed of the interests respectively corresponding to love of power, and to the love of the pleasure, and 196 DEONTOLOGY. aversion to the pains of the popular or moral sanction. In a man whose opinions are, in respect of some point or system, or topic of importance, in a state of determinate opposition to mine, I behold a man in whose mind there cannot be that esteem, or that affection, which there might be in the opposite case ; I behold a man in whose instance my love of power cannot receive that exercise and that gratifica tion which it would receive, if I could cause him to give up that adverse opinion of his, and adopt mine ; I behold a man at whose hands I receive the evil, consisting in the suspicion of an exemplification of mental weakness on my own part : for the greater the number of the persons by whom the opinion opposite to mine is entertained, the greater the probability is that mine may be erroneous. Of the sufferings experienced by others, in consequence of our behavior to them, a very large portion brings with it no benefit, in any shape, to ourselves. Nothing is gained to the self-regarding interests, in order to form a coun terpoise to the pain to which we have given birth. The sole justification for annoyances caused to others is, the obtaining for ourselves some advantage: the justification can only be complete when the advantage gained is clearly greater than the annoyance caused. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 197 Hence the rule of general application that nothing be ever done of which you have reason to suppose it will, in any shape, be productive of uneasiness to any individual, unless some obvious, special, and preponderant advantage to yourself, to some other individual or indivi duals, or to mankind at large, is to be the certain result. Such a subject, wherever the pains and plea sures of others are involved, demands the strict est investigation : for to every individual the stock of pains and pleasures possessed, recol lected, or anticipated, forms all the elements out of which existence itself is made worthy of his regard. Even in joke, say nothing and do nothing which you have reason to apprehend will cause uneasiness to another : that uneasiness is a sad, an unworthy source of merriment. And if for no purpose of merriment the inflic tion of uneasiness is to be allowed, how much less can it be tolerated for any purpose of malignity ? Though the sensibilities of men are more or less acute, and the same actions, which as re spects some would cause little suffering, and as respects others, more, or even much suffering, no better rule can be given for enabling you properly to estimate the amount of suffering, 198 DEONTOLOGY. than that of changing places with the sufferer. Put yourself in his position imagine the pains are inflicted on yourself, and then make the estimate of their burthensomeness. The more you have accustomed your thoughts to weigh the different classes of pains and pleasures, the more accurate your opinions as to their value, the sounder will be your judgment in all those matters where they come in question within the domains of morality. But under both classes of negative and posi tive benevolence, provision must be made for those exceptions, where a preponderant good or evil takes the case out of the ordinary instances. Hence, in order to avoid producing prepon derant evil for want of being aware of it, caution is necessary. The caution may be exercised by guidance from a pernicious course. Direct guidance is employed by indication or creation of pain. Indirect guidance by the indication or creation of pleasure. Indirect where practical is preferable ; for it gives pleasure to both parties, and it is more likely to be efficacious. The modes of gratification and annoyance are two : Physical acting on the bodily organs. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 199 Mental acting by impressions on the mind. The occasions of benevolent action and absten tion are Incidental, or Permament. The permanent occasions are Domestic, or Extra-domestic. And the domestic are again divided into those of kindred, which have their origin at the begin ning of the social relation, and are dissolved only when that relation is terminated by death ; or such as exist between masters and servants . between hosts and visitors, which are entered upon, and closed at the will of either or both the parties. The instruments by which effective benevo lence gives evidence of its existence are words and deeds. Words, as exhibited either in oral or written discourse ; deeds, which have an in fluence upon the pains or pleasures of others. Much of the ground which has been gone over in the inquiry as to the demands of extra- regarding prudence, again presents itself for examination under the head of effective bene volence. Their claims are in many instances the same their interests happily identical. One of the topics treated of, however, leaves little to be said. In the regions of thought 200 DEONTOLOGY. thought as unconnected with, or unproductive of actions, prudence has many laws to estab lish ; for thoughts have no small influence upon enjoyment. But unless and until thoughts become words or deeds, they do not concern others ; they form no part of the field of effective benevo lence. Intrusion into their sanctuary is usurpa tion. If any thoughts do you, or do others, no mischief, on what plea do you interfere with them ? If they do, they must be exhibited in some mischievous shapes. They must have found expression, they must have become an act. To words and deeds, therefore, the inquiry into the exigencies of effective benevolence must be confined ; and, first, it will be convenient to examine into the requirements of negative effective benevolence as to discourse. The general rule for the abstention from the infliction of all unnecessary pain, all pain unnecessary to the avoidance of greater pain, or the production of a balance of pleasure, must be accommodated to the different cases, as they present themselves. The great moral law is peremptory : Exceptions excepted, inflict no pain. The province of the legislator and the moralist is to inquire into, to produce, to justify the exceptions. To prevent the uneasiness produced by dis- NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 201 course, where that uneasiness, in its general results, would be useless or pernicious, is the object of the instructions about to be offered. And, as a primary precept Consider whether the words you are about to employ are likely to produce uneasiness in the breast of those to whom they are addressed, or whom they may reach. Discourse is either conveyed by evanescent or by permanent signs : when evanescent, com monly by word of mouth ; when permanent, usually by writing or printing. Word-of-mouth discourse being the most sim ple, and the only original mode, with this let us commence. And, in the first place, let it be to one person alone that the ideas thus expressed are communicated. That person may be either present at the utterance of the dis course, or absent. If, among its probable effects, be that of producing uneasiness, consider, in the next place, whether, in the account of good and evil, in compensation for the uneasiness so pro duced, good may not be produced in some shape or shapes, in which it will be prepon derant in value, with reference to such unea siness. More briefly thus. If uneasiness be among the probable effects of it, consider, then, 202 DEONTOLOGY. whether the uneasiness may not be compensated for by some greater good ; by a more than equi valent good. In this case comes the consi deration of the justifying causes for producing uneasiness by discourse. Again. In the case where uneasiness to the other party is regarded as a probable conse quence, consider whether, among the effects or accompaniments of such uneasiness, anger, of which you are the object, may not be the result. For want of a sufficient attention to the particular causes by which uneasiness may be produced by discourse, an indefinite quantity of suffering is often caused, even where the satisfaction felt by the utterer is extremely small. The sufferings of others, originating in the words of heedlessness, are often greater than malevolence itself would be disposed to inflict. Inattention may create an intenser pain than hatred; and levity be more mischievous than immorality. In every case, however, small though it be, there must be some motive of pleasure to him self, which induces any man to give pain to another. As to evil without good, that is impossible; for no evil ever is, or can be done, but with NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 203 a view to good. The least possible good is, in this case, where it is through ill-will to the man that you do the evil, without doing good, in any shape, other than that of a gratification to your own ill-will : which gratification, in the supposition of your conceiving yourself to have received evil at his hands ; and to be acting in consideration of such evil, is called vengeance, or revenge. But let the evil thus done by you be ever so enormous, and the gratification to be derived from it ever so slight, still the object, in con templation of which the act found its motive, is in itself not evil, but good. To do good to a man, the evil you speak must be to him, not of him, unless it be in the view that what is said of him may, in some way or other, for his good, have the effect of drawing on him punishment, at the hands of the political or of the popular sanctions. Supposing always that the good in question cannot be produced at any cheaper rate, the following are the justifying causes by which the production of evil, in any shape, and therefore in this shape, may be justified : 1. Production of preponderant good to the evil- speaker himself. 2. Production of preponderant good to the 204 DEONTOLOGY. person who is spoken to or spoken of, and to whom evil is thus done. 3. Preponderant good to any other person or persons at large. 4. Preponderant good to the public at large. To the head of preponderant good done, done to the public at large, belongs the case where, in the production of the uneasiness, the author of it acts in the character of a member of the tribunal of public opinion, applying the force of the popular or moral sanction. But a distinction must be drawn between the case, where there is nobody present but the person in whom the uneasiness is caused, and the case where there are another or others pre sent. Abstraction made of any particular relation borne by them to either of the parties, the uneasiness produced will be the greater, the greater the number of the persons so present. Always keeping, therefore, in view the mini mization of suffering, if the discourse which benevolence demands will answer the ends of benevolence, by being addressed to the indi- ^ 7 idual in the absence of all other persons, it should only be addressed to him in their absence. If the presence of others be necessary for its intended effect, let the number present NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 205 be as few as are needful for producing that effect. In the cases of the exercise of the domestic authority, and of the exercise of the public authority in an official situation ; that is, as a depository of the political sanction, true and proper grounds may be found for the infliction of pain by discourse, which could not be justi fied as disassociated from that authority. And, as a member of the public-opinion tribunal, as a dispenser of the popular sanction, language is demanded frequently by benevolence in repro bation of misdeeds, which the same benevo lence would check, if addressed personally to the misdoers. But, in ordinary cases, the justifications put forth for the infliction of pain by discourse are not tenable. It is far from sufficient to say that the assertions made are true ; it is far from sufficient to pretend that the person on whom the pain is inflicted deserves the infliction ; it is far from sufficient to urge that he is reckless or worthless, or that you deal charitably with his misconduct. Unless you can come and show that preponderant good is to result from the sufferings you create, your vituperation of your victim, your laudation of yourself, are but vain and wasted words. The modes in which the feelings of others 206 DEONTOLOGY. may be wounded by discourse are many for example : By direct reprehension, whether by the im putation of positive misconduct, on a particular occasion, on the part of the persons addressed, or by that assumption of authority which inti mates, by words, the right of general dictation. The right to reprehend is in itself a virtual claim of superiority, and a claim which is likely to hurt the pride and vanity of him upon whom it is exercised. Reprehension is awarded pun ishment ; and in proportion to the doubtfulness of the title to arbitrate and to condemn, of him who thus takes on himself the functions of condemner, will be the perils incurred by his own self-interest, from the enmity of the party punished. The extent of his malevolence will be measured by the same standard, and the amount of his usurpation will be measured by the needless seventy of his reprehension. Imperiousness is the attempt to strengthen argument by despotic authority. Not satisfied even with being right, some men s pleasure seems to consist in putting others in the wrong. They must have a triumph for their dogmatism as well as their reason. They must humiliate while they subdue. They will beat down a companion, even though his downfall should not be needful to their success. Not only shall NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 207 their opponent be in the wrong, but they will extort from him a confession that he is in the wrong. They condemn him others condemn ; but their tyranny will be satisfied with nothing but a declaration of self-condemnation from the condemned himself. Stickling for the last word is another form of this conversational imperiousness, a poor and petty triumph, which only serves to lengthen the endurance of pain, and to exasperate by humbling an opponent. A form of imperiousness is that of positive and unqualified assertion, which is made more offensive when it contradicts an opposite opinion expressed by another : and the arrogance be comes heightened if the assertion be of a character not to be substantiated by proof. Of a fact, for instance, a man may have evidence that amounts to demonstration ; but imperious- ness is not satisfied with unqualified assertions as to facts, it often makes them, as to matters wholly incapable of proof. A man may safely say, that he witnessed such and such an action ; but that such an action was a crime or a virtue, might be a matter of opinion ; and if the case were one of doubt, his peremptory declaration as to the character of the action could not fail to wound the man who had been giving a contrary opinion. So, positive assertions as to matters of fact, 208 DEONTOLOGY. not witnessed by the assertor, the proof of which depends upon evidence; assertions ma king no reference to that evidence, but demand ing belief on no other ground than the assertion itself. But of this anon. Peremptoriness of decision, before an opportu nity has been given to others to express their con victions, is a usurpation, shutting the door upon discussion. Peremptoriness of decision after an opinion has been given by others is annoying and offensive. Useless contradiction is another violation of benevolence; it is also an exhibition of folly; for while it manifests impotence, it wounds power. There is a form of imperiousness, somewhat less annoying, but still worthy of discourage ment and reprobation, which may be called assummgness -. It generally displays itself in the naked and crude assertion of an alleged matter of fact, without reference to any per cipient interest. Its pretension is to demand implicit credence. Now, if with the expression of the opinion of the speaker, intimation were given of the evi dence on which that opinion was founded, no thing would be lost to the reputation of the speaker, and the hearers would be spared the annoyance inflicted by a rude and unauthorized demand upon their credulity. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 209 Another of the exhibitions of an assuming temper, is the peremptory assertion of future events ; such and such a circumstance will take place. In so far as the speaker has any knowledge which enables him to predict the coming events of futurity, he may, without giving any pain to the self-love of others, em ploy some such formula as, I should, or I should not expect to find, It would not sur prise me if Whether the domineering spirit exhibits itself by undervaluing your companion, or overvaluing yourself; in whatever shape of arrogance or overbearingness it displays its propensities, tyranny and aristocracy are there. Its consequences will be resentment, either open or secret : if open, quarrels ensue; if secret, secret plans of injury. Benevolence insists on its suppression: to all, its efforts are maleficent ; if exercised towards a dependent, it is ungenerous ; if exercised to wards a patron, it is imprudent. If you have benefited another, do not fancy that your beneficence gives you a right to tyrannize over him. Destroy not the good of one action by the evil of another. Discourse may wound by advice-giving, in volving in it the appearance of reprehension, or exhibiting itself in a shape implying the pos- VOL. II. p 210 DEONTOLOGY. session of an authority not recognized by the hearer. Even the giving good advice is the assumption of authority on the score of wisdom. A man may be in the wrong, but however egregiously wrong you may deem him, do not think it is incumbent on you to set him right. If the case require the interference of good advice, give it so that it may be least offensive to his self-esteem and self-complacency. Speak to him rather alone than in company ; rather in the company of few than of many. If a man be engaged in a pursuit in which success is hopeless and the expense seriously prejudicial to him, advise him to abandon it. But if not, avoid saying anything that can tend to discourage him. On the contrary, say what appears to you, so it be consistent with truth, likely to encourage him. Hold up to his view the considerations which tend to probabilize success ; not bringing out spontaneously any, the tendency of which is, to disprobabilize it. More particularly if success would, in your view, be upon the whole beneficial to himself and mankind at large. If in this case you represent success as im probable, you will hurt his feelings without any possible good. If he, on his part, contend in favor of probability of success, you will appear NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 211 to him in the character of a person making pre tension to superior wisdom, and holding him in contempt in the character of a self-deceiver. Whereas want of judgment may be evidenced, as well by regarding success as improbable where it is probable, as by regarding it as pro bable where it is improbable. Discourse may wound by information-giving ; first, where it involves the supposition of general ignorance or general inferiority in the scale of knowledge on the part of the person to whom it is given ; or relative ignorance in relation to some special subject of knowledge which, for some special reason, he ought to be possessed of; and secondly, where it involves a suppo sition of a supposed consciousness of superiority, general or special, on the part of the speaker with relation to the person spoken to. In all these cases a circumstance supposed is, that, with reference to the speaker, the person spoken to is, in point of general estima tion, superior, decidedly superior, or at least equal ; or, if inferior, not so decidedly inferior as to warrant any such assumption of superi ority as above. Beyond these cases, the communicating infor mation cannot come within the limits of offence ; for no person is so knowing as not sometimes to stand in need of instruction, even from the ignorant. 212 DEONTOLOGY. If you have to communicate information of any sort, avoid all arrogance. In preference to general, employ the most particular assertion, and state, if possible, the authority or authorities, the person or persons, who, with reference to yourself, are the narrat ing witness or witnesses. General assertions are but conclusions con clusions drawn by the judgment from particular supposed facts. Assent to a general assertion supposes two things : unlimited confidence in the appropriate aptitude of all supposed wit nesses through whose minds and tongues, or pens, the supposed fact has passed, or is sup posed to have passed ; and the like confidence in the rectitude of their conclusions. Hence in the general rectitude of the intellectual facul ties of the party by whom the communication has been made. If it be to a familiar friend that the commu nication is made by you, the non-mention of the individual person, or other source of evi dence, from whence your belief has been de rived, is a token of want of confidence in him : if by any tie of propriety you stand precluded from making the disclosure, acknowledging that this is the case is less offensive than the arro gance which calls for implicit credence : it indicates some confidence, not the absence of confidence. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 213 If a friend be permanently distant, do not communicate to him any vexations of yours which he is unable to relieve. You will spare him all the suffering that his sympathy would have excited. Discourse may wound, by contempt ex pressed for the religious opinions of another. The contempt which is poured forth on those who differ from us in religious matters, is ordinarily close upon the regions of hate. The dogmatism of establishments, the dam natory creeds of church usurpation, sharpen the edge of scorn with the instruments of maleficence. Why should I spare my ana themas towards those who are under the curse of God? Why? Because I cannot hate without pain to myself pain increasing with the increase of hatred, so that my self-regard ing interest should check the growth of hatred. Why ? Because I cannot hate without desiring to punish those I hate, to punish them in the ratio of my hatred ; and as the outbreak of hatred must thus necessarily be maleficent, my regard for others should prohibit that outbreak. And what is true of hatred is true in a less degree of scorn. Scorn has its pains, too ; and even though they may sometimes be outweighed by the pleasures of the scorner, they cannot counterbalance the sufferings produced in the breast of the scorned. 214 DEONTOLOGY. Abstential benevolence requires that no ques tion should be put, the answer to which would, or might expose the answerer to considerable, or lasting inconvenience. Such might be the consequence of inquiries as to the religious sentiments of an individual. He might gain little if his opinions were found in accordance with those of the inquirer, and of other persons present. He might lose much if they were found discordant. Even without culpable intention, much damage might be done, and the damage might be irreparable. The very question has more of intolerance in it than even of curiosity. Let, then, intolerance be checked in every shape, the expression of impatience, con tempt, or ill-will, when you are unable to con vince another, however cogent and irresistible your arguments may appear to yourself. No man can believe just what he likes to believe, at all events, at a moment s notice. He can do a great deal towards believing in future, by lending a favorable and attentive ear to the evidence on one side, and resolutely turning away from the evidence on the other. This is all that can be exacted from him by way of operating on his convictions, to produce the re sult you desire. But such a convert would do little honor to your apostleship ; and, at all events, take care that no dishonest declaration NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 215 is obtained by the menace, or the infliction of evil, or by the withdrawal of good. Discourse may wound by contempt ex pressed for the tastes of another. For taste there can be no standard. To you such an object of sight is beautiful, to another it is offensive. How can you estimate the causes, which, in his mind, have associated with pain that which you deem pleasurable ? To you such and such an assemblage of sounds is har monious and attractive, to another they seem discordant, or they afford no gratification. What mischief results to you, or to mankind, from that difference of opinion ? In what possible way is any one injured from the circumstance, that certain colors, or forms, or melodies do not make exactly similar impressions on the senses of different individuals? If you fed contempt for the judgment of another on such topics, it is your misfortune ; if you express it, it is your offence. Abstential benevolence need not pre vent your adopting the opinions which seem to you best founded, but abstential benevolence requires you should not so express them, as to give needless pain to others. Discourse may wound by contempt, or ill- will, expressed towards the class of men, or country, to which the hearer belongs. This is a malevolence exercised on a wide scale, 216 DEONTOLOGY. and unfortunately finding sympathy in the bosoms of many who are in the same con dition as the malevolent person. It some times takes the name of esprit de corps, of nationality ; sometimes the higher title of patriotism ; and, in so far as these imply the desire and the action of good upon the indivi duals or parties with which we are specially connected, nothing can be said against them : it is a diffusion of the benevolent and beneficent principle. But, from the moment in which their exercise is exclusively directed to the body, the class, or nation to which we belong, and is denied to others, from the moment in which they break out into words and deeds of antipathy, from the moment in which the fact, that a fellow man speaks a different lan guage, or lives under a different government, constitutes him an object for contempt, abhor rence, or misdoings, from that moment they are maleficent. A toast, for example, in Ame rica, has been given, Our country, right or wrong, which is, in itself, a proclamation of maleficence, and if brought into operation, might lead to crimes and follies on the widest conceivable field, to plunder, murder, and all the consequences of unjust war. Nor less blameworthy was the declaration of a prime minister of this country, that England nothing NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 217 but England formed any portion of his care or concern. An enlarged philanthropy might, indeed, have given to both expressions a Deon- tological meaning, since the true interests of nations, as the true interests of individuals, are equally those of prudence and benevolence ; but the phrases were employed solely to justify wrong, if that wrong were perpetrated by the land or government which we call our own. Among the various exhibitions by which superiority is assumed, and annoyance caused to others by conversation, imperative command, whether of injunction or prohibition, is among the most vexatious. Remember, on all occasions, that kind costs a man no more than unkind language. To use kind language costs nothing at all ; unkind costs always more or less ; oftentimes more to him who employs it than even to those to whom it is addressed. But every man is bound to anticipate that unkind language will produce the fruits of unkindness ; that is, suffer ing, in the bosoms of others. The mandate which exacts obedience may lose the despotic character with which harsh ness would invest it, and become even plea surable, if communicated in forms and terms of kindness. Men there are, whom, to serve, is 218 DEONTOLOGY. in itself pleasurable, from the consideration for the feelings of others which accompanies their demands for service. Interrogation is often offensive, other than in the way of request : there is a manner of inter rogation which assumes all the dogmatism of command. A question is put in the shape of a requisition. Information is called for with the coerciveness of authority. It is one of the exhi bitions of imperiousness. It is generally exer cised by superiors towards inferiors ; and its vexatiousness increases in proportion as the interrogator is less and less removed above the rank of the interrogated. The purpose of a question being to obtain an answer, morality requires that the answer should be associated with no unnecessary pain. Discourse may wound by censure, whether it takes the form of direct disapprobation, or of laudation bestowed on conduct similar to your own, and opposed to that of the party censured. When censure is vituperative, it assumes the functions of judge and execu tioner. Defamation, when no person is pre sent but the party defamed, is but vituperation particularized. If you have occasion to speak of a man s fault, if for the prevention of its repetition, or NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 219 for some other undoubted purpose of good, it is desirable that reference should be made to it in your conversation with him, provide him with an exculpation ; suppose, if that be possible, a casual and blameless ignorance on his part, on yours a casual knowledge. Equally avoid accompanying your censure with any expression of scorn, with any phrase ology which shall convey a wish of yours to degrade or lower him in the social scale. Abstain from all vituperative words, when neutral will express the meaning. Instead of saying that a man intended to defraud you of your rent, say he appeared desirous of avoiding the payment. If you think a man has used you ill, do not overwhelm him with reproaches, do not even let him know that such are your thoughts, unless their communication to him be necessary to pre vent a repetition of the misdeed. In almost every case, the reproach will come with more grace and more effect from any other party ; for the judgment of a third party will be less liable to be warped by interest, or exasperated by passion. If called upon to give an unfavorable opinion as to a saying of any kind, or a work of any kind of which you disapprove, do not be forward to communicate your disapprobation merely be cause your self-love is flattered by the appeal 220 DEONTOLOGY. made to your judgment. If the influence of that of which you disapprove be pernicious to mankind, in conveying your opinion to others, for a purpose of preponderate good, employ no phraseology stronger than is absolutely necessary to communicate the amount of your disapproval ; taking care that no portion of malevolence mingles with your award. Be cautious not to drag forward ill-conduct which, but for your reference to it, might be for gotten. Except for some obvious purpose of future good, to treasure up in your mind the records of old misdeeds of others, is to sin against prudence and benevolence ; it is to make your breast a store-house of pain, to be inflicted on yourself and on others. The expression of dissatisfaction at past ill-conduct, when it has no reference to present ill-conduct, and at the same time is not likely to prevent future ill- conduct, is the creation of misery to no end whatever, or to a bad end. If you imagine you have cause for complaint against any man, on the ground of his miscon duct, towards you, and if it appear to you of use that he should be informed of this, take care that the communication be made so as to give him the least possible annoyance ; do not convey your expression in a way to make him suppose you think ill of him ; so speak that he NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 221 may regard you as attributing his conduct to a cause in which he is little, or not at all blame worthy. You have asked him, for example, to visit you ; he has neither done this, nor sent an answer ; he ought to have come, or at least to have given a reason why he did not, or would not come. Impute his neglect to the possible miscarriage of your letter; or if the message was a verbal one, to probable misconception on the part of the bearer, to misconception, or misexpression, or forgetfulness ; for, as the effect might have been produced by any of these causes, there is no insincerity in a man s sup posing as much. Choose a fit time for that reproof which effective benevolence demands. If a failure have taken place on the part of any individual toward you, avoid mentioning it at the moment, for nothing you can say will cause that not to have happened which has happened. The tendency of your observation will naturally and necessarily be to produce suffering on his part, and that ill-humour toward you which is the result of his suffering. If a similar occasion is likely to occur, then and then only, just before the occasion, if you see a prospect that your interposition will be of use, is the time for recalling to his mind the former failure. The effect will thus be influ- 222 DEONTOLOGY. ential at the moment when it is wanted, and all the intermediate suffering will be spared. But remember, that of useless reproof pure evil is the consequence, evil certain and con siderable, in the humiliation of the person re proved, evil contingent, in the loss of his amity and the exposure to his enmity. These lessons may be resumed in a single sentence : Blame nobody but for preventing further cause of blame. Direct and avowed interruption of the speaker is one of the evidences of contemptuous dis- esteem to be particularly guarded against. Its offensiveness is often so intolerable as to make conversation painful rather than pleasurable, and to produce so much of annoyance as to excite even the reaction of ill-will. Indirect and unavowed interruption of the speaker, by your own loud discourse, while the other party has not completed his, this is only another mode of annoyance ; the attempt is injurious, and, in case of success, oppressive. When, by such interruption, the thread of a man s discourse is broken, it is frequently irre coverable. By a man with a stronger voice a man with a voice less strong may thus be rendered at any time virtually dumb ; the weak-voiced man kept in a sort of depressed and slavish state, and the strong-voiced man NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 223 deprived of whatsoever benefit he might have derived from the conversation of the other. Departure from the presence of the speaker before he has ended his discourse, is one of the offences against good-breeding, which abstential benevolence takes under its care. Great must be the demand for the presence of the listener elsewhere, to justify his abruptly quitting that of the speaker. And in a less degree is the exhibition of impatience, by language or ges ture, during conversation prohibited by the minor morals, always barring those exceptions where an obvious and preponderate good is to be set against the annoyance caused. Affectation of disregard, while another person is speaking, is another exhibition of contempt. To hear what a man is saying to you, and take no notice of it, is a breach of good-breeding which would find little justification in public opinion ; and the inattention is more offensive, if a request is conveyed that you will not do so and so, and paying no attention to his desires, you continue to do it. This, indeed, is positive, not negative maleficence ; but negative bene volence should induce you to refrain. A mode of annoyance which does not neces sarily assume superiority, is direct or virtual inquisitiveness into the private affairs of the person addressed. By such interrogations pain 224 DEONTOLOGY. will almost certainly be excited. In ordinary cases the communication will be spontaneous, if it be, on the whole, desirable that the know ledge should >be conveyed. At all events, the right of judging whether the communication should be made, is with the party inquired of, and not with the inquirer. The inquiry creates pain to the inquirer, if the information be re fused ; pain to the other party, if it be unwil lingly given : and, in many cases, pain to both. And where pain to either is a probable con sequence, the motive to abstention from the inquisitiveness should check its expression. Avoid causing annoyance by the communica tion of unpleasant, afflictive, or useless infor mation. The general exception is where the evil of the annoyance promises to be outweighed by the good produced by the information. The persons susceptible of the good are 1. The person to whom the information is conveyed ; 2. The person by whom the information is con veyed ; and 3. Other persons at large. If it be supposed that no good, in any shape, can accrue from the information to any person of any one of these classes, it is clearly the case to which the application of the rule is absolute : to convey the information is incon sistent with benevolence and beneficence. But NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 225 if there are cases where, to set against the evil from the information, good, in some shape and quantity, is created on the other side ; where, for example, the communication of disagreeable news is necessary to the adoption of certain measures of prudence, whose adoption is of preponderating importance ; where, but for the communication, more pain would be suffered than if the communication had not been made ; where some important object is to be accom plished by him who makes the communication, or some important benefits to be obtained by individuals or society at large : on such occa sions the pain must be inflicted, for its infliction will prevent greater pain, or secure pleasure more than sufficient to counterbalance the pain. Never bring to view irremediable disasters ; especially to or in the hearing of any who, in the eyes of others or their own, may have contributed to those same disasters, or the like. No reference to them will make them not to have happened ; and, in addition to the suffer ings they caused, acid not the sufferings which the reminiscence of them brings with it. Avoid condolence with those who are mourn ing the loss of .friends. Condolences, as well as mournings, are bad things. Men, and more especially women, give actual increase to their grief while, under the notion of duty, and VOL. II. Q 226 DEONTOLOGY. even of merit, they make display of it. If mournings were altogether out of use, a vast mass of suffering would be prevented from coming into existence. Some savage or bar barous nations make merry at funerals : they are wiser, in this respect, than polished ones. Instead of offering condolence to your friend, if you cannot persuade him to take any amuse ment, contrive that business shall, in some shape or other, make an irresistible demand upon him for his attention. Abstain from holding up to a man s view imperfections which it is clearly beyond his power to remedy or remove. The value of your abstention will be in the ratio of your elevation above his position. If his position be superior to yours, prudence should teach you forbearance ; if you be so little dependent on him, that his ill-will can do you no sort of mis chief, effective benevolence requires that you should cause him no useless suffering. Such forbearance is demanded, whether the infirmity is intellectual, moral, or corporeal ; it is demanded even in the absence of others; it is more strongly demanded in their presence. One never-failing result of unkindness in this shape is, a pain of humiliation. This pain will be greater or less, according to the relations existing between the person NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 227 thus annoyed and other persons present : and, be those relations what they may, it will be greater and greater, in proportion to the increased number of persons present. And if the consequences of such unkindness be 1 raced, they will be found to produce evil to all parties: 1. Evil to the person thus annoyed, by the infliction of this pain of humi liation : 2. Evil to the third persons present, by the infliction of the pain of sympathy, produced in their minds, by the idea of his pain : 3. Evil by pain of antipathy, of which you will be the ob ject of antipathy produced by their sympathy : 4. Evil to yourself, by danger of retribution at the hands of the person thus annoyed ; and, eventually, at the hands of those in whose breasts any such antipathy may have been excited. For this mass of evil, whatever it may amount to, compensation cannot, in any shape or quantity, have place. Yes, perhaps, if the imperfection thus brought to view were remediable ; but, by the supposition, this is not the case. If any reference to irremediable infirmities be thus prohibited, by the laws of benevolence, far more decidedly and severely is it where it comes in the shape of ridicule. Derision of organic defects is one of the most cruel forms of pain-giving. Imperfections there are, which 228 DEONTOLOGY. may or may not be shaken off; but where, in the very constitution of the human being, some infirmities are interblended, the demands of ab- stential beneficence are peremptory. To this class of evils belong many of those tricks and inflictions known as school-boy jokes. Some malformation some human wretched ness, is often marked and selected as the butt for petty inflictions of pain. Let the maleficent tendency be checked in its very earliest exhi bitions. Let children, especially, be instructed that the pleasure which finds its aliment in the pain of another in the useless, uncompensated pain of another, has in it the germ of all that is immoral. In the case of remediable imperfections, though the rule which suppresses allusion to them does not absolutely apply; yet before you refer to them by oral discourse, and especially oral dis course in the presence of third parties, be sure that the object, which allusion to them purposes to accomplish, cannot be accomplished without those pains of humiliation which your reference to them brings with it. Be sure that the good is not attainable by some lesser evil. Be sure that you are the person most likely to attain the good at the least expense of evil. In your intercourse with a child, servant or other dependent, in regard to every fault or im- NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 22$ perfection not incorrigible by his exertions, re mind him of it every time you observe it, so long as prospect of amendment have place. If all prospect is at an end, cease reminding him ; and never afterwards let him see that you observe it. In the choice of subjects for conversation, abstential benevolence will often find occasion for its exercise. Every man s mind is so organized, or at all events so trained by habit and usage, that certain topics are less pleasur able than others. Let those be avoided which are the least agreeable, and in proportion to their disagreeableness, be your anxiety to shun them. The presence of important interests may require the introduction of subjects on which there is a known discordance of opinion. Necessity, or preponderant benefit, can alone justify their being brought forward.* * I remember an interesting case in point. For two or three years after my acquaintance with Mr Bentham, we had frequent discussions on some points of religious con troversy. Certainly on his part there was no diminution of affection towards me ; on mine, no diminution of reverence towards him, notwithstanding the unchanged state of our minds on the subject in question, after so many and such long debates. One day, he said to me I shall not change 1 your mind, I see; you will not change mine, you know. If 4 we goon, I shall give you pain, or you will give me pain, and 230 DEONTOLOGY. Avoid on all occasions wounding the self- love of another. If a man misunderstand, or do not understand your conversation, attribute the failure not to misconception on his part, but to misexpression on yours. For misexpression may be the cause of misconception, and there is no reason for seeking an explanation which will give pain, when one is at hand which can give no pain. Give no expression, and as far as you can avoid it, give no place in your mind to useless resentment ; not even where you feel that you are calumniated. If you are accused of bad conduct, past or intended, and it is in your power to disprove the accusation, do not fly into a passion, but give disproofs : to fly into a pas sion is naturally a guilty man s sole and there fore natural resource ; disproofs are the only means of distinguishing your case from that of a guilty man. Where you think you observe marks of stupidity, beware of asperity in your observations. Only in so far as negligence is the cause, can they be of any use. Suppose negligence out of the question, the effect of any in either case pain to both will be the consequence. We will never talk on this matter again/ Nor did we. And yet, if ever there were a man who unveiled his bosom to another, Bentham unveiled his to me. J. Bo. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 231 asperity is to give purely useless pain, and to excite resentment towards yourself on the score of your injustice and cruelty. Patience under invective is a lesson hard to learn and difficult to practice, but well worthy of being learned and practised. If, in your presence, an attack is made upon you, be it ever so outrageous, especially if there be others in company, treat it, if you can, either with manifest indifference, plain good humor, or with pleasantry, as occasion serves. The more outrageous the attack and to the assail ant who makes it the more disgraceful the more effectually will he be then put down : he will be disappointed, humbled, and yet not irritated, nor made your enemy in a greater de gree than he was before ; he may possibly be even reconciled. As to his disappointment, it follows of course : at any rate, if no other persons are present. For in such a case what could have been the object of the attack? No other assuredly than the making you suffer : and the more completely undisturbed your complacency, the more complete his failure. This is no doubt of the number of those lessons which it is so much easier to give than to obey : few lessons, be it repeated, either 232 DEONTOLOGY. of self-regarding prudence or of effective bene volence, can be more difficult than this. This, however, or any other conquest over temptation may, on adequate inducement, be effected by previous preparation. Exercises for the strengthening the body, have been inven ted, and with illustrious success brought into practice : this is of the number of those exer cises by which, on a similar principle, strength, the passive strength of patience, may be given to the mind. In the denial of favors, let the denial give as little pain as possible to the person who applies. Even though the request should appear ill- timed and unreasonable, there is no motive for showing that there is any disinclination on your part to oblige or serve him. Should it seem necessary to convince him that the request is unreasonable, do so suaviter in modo : by the fortiter in modo, you may humble or irritate him, or both ; you may make him unhappy without need or use ; you may even make him your enemy; and what advantage can you obtain from his suffering what good from his enmity ? In the case of otherwise unmanageable im portunity, that is, if gentleness and kind expres sion have failed to rid you of the suppliant s presence, have recourse to the punitory method. NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 233 Abstain from all expressions whose object is the manifestation of opposition to the will or judgment of another; no matter how trivial the occasion. Contest not a point of no practical importance, merely because you are in the right and another in the wrong. Out of such contests spring dissension and enmity. If, on account of something which he has done, a demand presents itself for speaking of a man in the correspondent unfavorable light, mention the particular fact, but not in general terms the opinion formed by you on account of the fact. The fact may prove the correctness of your judgment of condemnation. The terms of condemnation will prove nothing, perhaps, in the eyes of the person you are conversing with, but the state of your affection with refer ence to the person in question. Excite in the minds of others no unreasonable hopes, by holding out prospects of whose realization there is any reasonable doubt. Let the language in which you speak of anticipated pleasures be such as to leave the smallest amount of disappointment, should the pleasures never arrive. Little will be lost by lowering the tone of expectation ; much will be suffered if it be raised too high. The passion of anger has been already de- 234 DEONTOLOGY. nounced as useful on no occasion ; pernicious and pain-giving on almost every occasion. All habits, therefore, that administer to it are to be avoided. Of these habits, that of cursing and swearing is among the most foolish and the most mischievous. The popular sanction is happily directing its opprobrium against such exhibitions. Fashion had once taken them under its protection; fashion is now repudiating them. In addition to the pain produced by the anger which excites them, other pain will be produced by the expression of anger in a form so offensive. In the minds of some, it will shock the religious affections ; in the minds of all, it will produce sensations which benevolence should avoid conveying. Thoughtlessness, or heedlessness of the con sequences of language, is the source of the greater portion of the evils inflicted by language. Men are apt to speak, without consideration of the effect their words may produce upon those with whom they are conversing, or who are within hearing. Truth, it is said, ought not to be spoken at all times. But there is a dangerous ambiguity in the aphorism, and hence it is often employed to a pernicious purpose. It has two senses; one a bad, the other a good one. Falsehood ought sometimes to be spoken, this is the bad NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 235 and perilous sense. Cases there are, in which truth ought not to be spoken. What, then, ought to be spoken? Falsehood? No! nothing at all. This is the good sense. And this is the sense in which only it should be employed as an aphorism by the moralist. The maxims which have been thus put for ward, as the rules for conduct in matters of discourse, will be found of similar application where actions are in question. In fact, in the progress of our investigations, it will have been seen, that it has been convenient sometimes to associate actions as the consequences of words, their connection with one another being so inti mate, that it has been difficult to separate the consideration of them. Of actions, however, a greater proportion than of words comes into the domains of judicial authority. The actions which are controlled by the laws may be considered obligatory; those of which the laws take no cognizance may be deemed free; and they are such as are not considered to belong to the domain of penal justice. Actions annoying to others may either be so by offending the physical senses, or the intel lectual feelings. Of the five senses, the feeling and the taste do not, on this occasion, come in question : 236 DEONTOLOGY. annoyance to either of these senses presents itself in the form of a legally-punishable offence : annoyance to the touch or feeling becomes what, in law language, is called assault : an noyance to the taste presents the idea of poison ; and, unless deceit or intimidation be employed as the instrument of it, cannot but involve in it an offence of the nature of assault. In a word, the only senses exposed to those annoyances which come under Deontological cognizance, are the three senses which are capable of being operated upon without imme diate contact. These are the smell, the hear ing, and the sight. 1. The smell. The ways in which annoy ance may be inflicted on this sense are, for the most part, sufficiently obvious. Under this head some cautions may not be altogether with out their use. Trifling as they may seem at first sight, in regard to all these modes of annoyance which operate through the senses, such may be the effect as to banish one friend from the society of another, and even render a man an object of recorded aversion to a whole company, in any degree numerous. Trifling as it may seem, what renders the mischief in this case the more serious is, that by a sort of mixture of shame, fear, and sympathy, the person by whom the NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 237 annoyance is felt is apt to be restrained from making communication of his feelings to the person who is the author of it. Here, then, is the case of an act which, having the effect of maleficence, stands clearly prohibited by the dictates of negative beneficence, and thence of self-regarding prudence. Trifling in the ex treme as it may seem, greater annoyance is pro duced by it than would be produced by many a punishable offence ; at the same time that, by the circumstance just mentioned, the injury, such as it is, stands precluded from the benefit of pardon. The cautions in question consist in present ing to view, to the reader, this or that cir cumstance which, though really productive of mischief in the shape in question, has been found, by experience, to be liable to escape notice. First, then, as to annoyance in that shape in which the seat of it is in the sense of smell. The most obvious is that which is produced by the emission of gas from the alimentary canal. Of gas of that species which is emitted from the lower part of that canal, the emission is, almost always, optional : in such sort that, in ge neral, annoyance in tins shape cannot be inflicted without being intended : forbearance is in the 238 DEONTOLOGY. power of the individual by whom it is inflicted. In the production of annoyance which has place in this shape, though the sense is the immediate seat of it, imagination acts the prin cipal part : the self-same scent which, if emitted from a man s own body, would not have been productive of any annoyance to him, is ren dered productive of annoyance to him, in a highly offensive degree, by the mere circum stance of its being by another person that it has been emitted, and the annoyance is capable of being mitigated or enhanced by a variety of circumstances connected with the person of the individual whose body has been the source of it. As the share which the imagination has in the production of annoyance in this shape is so great, annoyance may, in this case, have place without any actual impression on the organ which is the natural seat of it. Such is the disgust apt to be produced by the impres sion, that, by means of the principle of asso ciation, a disgust correspondent in its nature, though inferior in degree, is commonly pro duced by the idea, when excited by operations which apply not to any other sense than that of hearing. Education has done much for the suppression of annoyances from this source. The good- NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 239 breeding which has penetrated even to the masses of society, has succeeded in making acts unfrequent, which are considered such evidence of rudeness and ill-manners as to make their exercise perilous to the reputation of the offender. The power of preventing disagreeable emis sions from the mouth is not possessed to the same extent ; but absolute power is possessed, to regulate them so as to prevent their offen- siveness to others. Eructation, which cannot always be controlled, may be made less annoy ing to those present, by watching the direction in which the blast will not reach any person ; then let the air escape in that direction, from the smallest possible aperture at the corner of your mouth, so the act may be unperceived. If there be persons on every side within reach of the blast, either cover your mouth with your handkerchief or your hand ; the car bonic acid gas will descend by its own gravity. If you are at table, with any person opposite to you, the covering your mouth is better than your visibly puffing out the effluvia ; for if the distance be so great that the annoyance will not affect your companion s sense of smell, you may save him from fancying that he does per ceive it, a fancy likely to be created by his 240 DEONTOLOGV. perceiving that the act of eructation has had place. 2. Hearing sense of hearing. To this sense annoyance may be applied in a direct way, or in a collateral way, by the instrumentality of the association of ideas. In a direct way, either by the quality of the sound, or by its quantity. Annoyance by means of sounds offensive by their quality, independent of their quantity, is not very apt to be inflicted without intention : without intention, having, for its end in view, the production of such an effect. If inflicted in pursuance of any such intention, it might, perhaps, be considered as forming the matter of a legally-punishable injury ; at any rate, any warning to abstain from the practice can be no better than superfluous and useless. By the principle of association, any sound, the effect of which is to call up and place in the mind the idea of an application offensive to any other sense, such as, for example the sense of smell, becomes thereby, itself, noisome. Annoyance may be created through the ear to the inside of the nose and mouth by the power of sympathy. By an assortment of glands opening into the nose, the interior of the mouth, and the passage NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 241 called the larynx into the lungs, a viscous liquid, subservient to various uses, a liquid, but in some cases, partly by its original texture, partly by evaporation, approaching to solidity, is discharged. This liquid, when accumulated in the passages to a certain quantity, becomes, in various ways, productive of disagreeable sen sations, which cannot be removed but by the expulsion of it. That portion of it which lines the lungs, the larynx, and the interior of the mouth, is capable of being discharged through either of two channels : through the mouth, in which case it is expelled out of the body alto gether, and in its own form; or through the gullet into the stomach, in which latter case it mixes itself with the food, and, after having undergone like changes, is finally expelled through the same passages. That which lines the nose, the upper part of it at least, is capable of being dis charged through anyone of three orifices : namely, at the nostrils ; at the mouth, as above ; or into the stomach. When at the nose, it is driven out from above by an extraordinary quantity of air inhaled for that purpose ; in this case, the nose is said to be blowed ; that which is expelled through the mouth, is discharged partly by means of a current of air inhaled for the purpose, partly by means of the muscular force of the tongue and the lips. In the instance of some persons, if, VOL. II. R 242 DEONTOLOGY. instead of being expelled from the mouth or nose, this mucus is swallowed, sickness is apt to be produced : sickness, partly by the diffi cultly-digestible quality of the matter when taken into the stomach, party by its tenacity, by which it is kept in a state of continuous strings, extending themselves down the gullet, and stimulating it in such manner as to pro duce a sort of convulsion called retching. A man who is liable to be thus affected, when, by the sense of hearing, he perceives that another person experiences annoyance from the accumulation of mucus in an extra quantity is, in order to relieve himself, swallowing, or preparing to swallow it into his stomach, instead of expelling it through the mouth or the nose, such a man is apt to receive from such percep tion no inconsiderable annoyance. This annoy ance has for its cause the affection of sym pathy. By his own experience, in his own case, the idea of sickness is associated with the idea of that state of things. Very considerable, indeed, is the suffering produced by a cause apparently so inconsider able, and the nature of which seems not to be commonly understood. A distinction must here be observed between the cases in which the bodily organ, the organ of sense, is itself the seat of annoyance suf- NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 243 fered, and the cases in which it is but an inlet to the impression made on some other part of the body or on the mind. Thus, for example, the organs of sight and hearing are each of them exposed to particular modes of annoyance, of which they are respec tively the seats. But, taken together, they are the inlets to an infinity of annoyances as well as of enjoyments, the seat of which is not in the respective organs, but in the mind ; in a word, of the annoyances and enjoyments capa ble of being afforded by the means of discourse. The only cases in which it is worth while, for the present purpose, and on the present occa sion, to bring a mode of annoyance to view, are those in which it is in a man s power to avoid giving the annoyance, without taking himself out of the presence of those who are exposed to it. There are some persons to whom the sight of a person whose eyes are the seat of a certain morbid affection, is sufficient to produce a similar affection ; no forbearance, except the forbearance to introduce himself into the pre sence of the person laboring under this morbid susceptibility, being sufficient to prevent the annoyance, the case belongs not to this head. On terms of less inconvenience than that of their avoiding each other s presence, the annoy ance may be avoided by an easy forbearance on 244 DEONTOLOGY. the part of the person laboring under the mor bid susceptibility : namely, by his avoiding to turn his eyes towards those eyes, by the morbid state of which the morbid sensibility is affected, and the annoyance produced. These cases, purposely gone into with some detail, will be sufficient to awaken attention to other points, where the corporeal senses are likely to be affected by want of attention to the causes which bring annoyance to them; and will enable every man for himself to watch the in stances in which benevolence demands absten tion from practices thus offensive to others. The subject is in itself so unattractive, that even what has been said would seem to demand an apology, were it not that to such sources a large amount of disagreeable sensations is to be traced, and that the full importance of pro tecting men, as far as possible, from the visita tions of such annoyance is not sufficiently, or generally felt. As an example of the way in which the topic may be followed into other departments of the minor morals, the following extract is given from the Examiner newspaper : Mode of Feeding annoying to persons of any delicacy : making a clattering with their knives and forks ; smacking their lips ; draw- ing in their liquids with a bubbling sound ; NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 245 chewing with a noise ; and eating with rapid - ity. These things may seem of little import- ance to some, but they are very far from being so ; for they not only indicate coarse feelings * on the part of the offenders, but tend greatly to make their company very distasteful to per- sons of refinement, and must therefore operate greatly to their injury in their commerce with society/ Unkind expressions, with regard to the infir mities of others, have been referred to as vio lations of the Greatest-Happiness Principle. Unkind actions are yet more palpable and de cided violations of it. If you meet with any person laboring under corporeal or mental de fects, let your attention be especially awakened, and be most anxious to say, and still more to do, nothing which can wound the person suffer ing from the defect. If the infirmity be one of temper, do not suppose that you are authorised to let your disapproval exhibit itself in words or deeds of unkindness. Many defects of tem per are constitutional, and cannot be overcome: the cases are very rare indeed, where any, the slightest good, can be done by your giving evi dence of hostility, or even censure. Appear not to notice the weakness, and if you notice it, let it, at all events, be in a manner which shall give the least possible pain. 246 DEONTOLOGY. In cases of corporeal defects, do not refer to them. It is dangerous to do so, even by an expression, or an act of sympathy ; for the de fect is brought by that sympathy into the im mediate view of the sufferer; and the pleasure of your sympathy, even where it communicates a pleasure, which it will not always do, may be overbalanced by the pain which excited atten tion will awaken. The case is different where the suffering is remediable remediable by your kindness, or alleviable by your sympathy. Such a case establishes a claim to both. If the words or deeds of another give you pain, and you, in consequence, desire they should cease from annoying you, so manage that the discontinuance of the annoyance be obtained with as little pain as possible to the other party. Do not, therefore, desire abruptly that the vex ation may cease ; do not give evidence of the pain it causes you, but propose some new topic ; give a direction to the conversation, or conduct, which shall lead it away from the course that annoys you. In the interference of others on your behalf, it may well happen that there has been impru dence ; that the interference has not been such as you would approve, and that your dissatis faction is well-grounded. Before you complain, NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 247 be quite sure that, with a reference to the future, it is necessary to apprize the party of your displeasure : nothing but some reference to the future will authorise, in any case, an ex pression of dissatisfaction ; for no such expres sion will change the past, or make an evil that has been, not to have been. Should a recur rence of ill-judged interference be contem plated, then, at the moment when it is about to take place, gently apprize the party that, on a former occasion, some unintended mischief was done ; otherwise, do not let him perceive that you noticed the consequences of his injudicious interference, nor apprize him of it. The rule has been mentioned by which you are enabled to judge of pains and pleasures experienced by another : namely, by changing positions with him. Thus, to avoid giving use less offence, or uneasy pain, on the occasion of any thing you are about to do or to say in rela tion to any individual, think, in the first place, in what manner, if said or done in relation to yourself, it would aifect yourself. If to your self it would be a matter of indifference, think then whether between your situation and his there may not be some difference, the effect of which may be to render painful to him what would not be so to you. The best ordinary rule is, to assume equality; 248 DEONTOLOGY. to make equality the law of general application exceptional variations, growing out of differ ence of position, must be applied to the parti cular cases as they occur. There may be cases where the peculiar character of the individual likely to be offended, makes him less suscep tible of pain than in ordinary persons; but safety is on the side of forbearance. What thou doest, do quickly/ and especially if the deed be one that is likely to gratify others. Hence, negative benevolence exacts, that there should be no needless waste of time in the discharge of those functions, on whose exercise others depend for any portion of their enjoyments. Unnecessary delay in answering letters, for example, is inconsistent with prudence and beneficence. It brings with it loss of reputa tion, in so far as you are concerned, and is likely to cause annoyance to others. Promptitude adds to the value of every service. Procrasti nation is punishment imposed by the despotism of indolence. The same service rendered promptly is often of far greater value than a more important ser vice when delayed. Bis dat qui citd dat, He gives twice who gives quickly, is an aphorism which, when the gift is a benevolent one, the Deontologist may adopt into his code. For to NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 249 promptitude of beneficent action not only is greater efficiency of service ordinarily attached, but greater vivacity in the generous affections. Applications for services are too frequently treated with inattention. At a little cost, the pains of delay may be saved to the applier. It was said to be the Duke of Wellington s prac tice invariably and promptly to reply to all such communications. Next to conferring the favor, attention to the application is the surest way of gratifying the applicant. It is a saving of all those sufferings which grow out of hope deferred. Occasion has been found to point out some of the instances of discordance between the laws of politeness and the Deontological laws, or in other words, the want of coincidence between the popular sanction and the Deontological principle. Persons, for example, have been deemed perfect gentlemen whose morality was as bad as it could well be, and whose manners really no better than their morality. Perhaps, if such persons had not occupied stations pre-eminently exalted, they would not have been quoted as models. At all events, a politeness of a higher character, and a gentlemanly spirit more re gardful of the pains and pleasures of others, might more properly be proposed for imitation. 250 DEONTOLOGY. Far from being inconsistent with true moral ity, the laws of genuine politeness harmonize with those of benevolent beneficence. It will as cautiously avoid giving pain, or exciting painful associations, as if its name were virtue. But fashionable habits, to be made truly polite, must undergo many changes. These habits are now a very chaos of inconsistencies, inconsistencies sanctioned by aristocratic usage, and escaping from the influence of any gene ral law. A gentleman whose conversational demeanor is courtesy itself, who will not utter a word that shall cause needless pain, will not hesitate to break an engagement for the dispatch of business, to keep a visitor in weary attend ance, to leave unanswered letters of intense interest to the writer, to mislay or lose valuable manuscripts, in a word, to give extreme and gratuitous pain, without any sort of benefit to himself. As in your words, so by your conduct excite no expectation that is likely to be disappointed ; and, in as far as the intensity of expectation depends on you, take care that it is less than the probable amount of gratification ; for though the pleasures of anticipation occupy no small portion of the field of happiness, they will be overbalanced by the pains of disappointment, in so far as disappointment follows them. And NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 251 that portion of the pleasure really obtained, which had not been looked for, will come with the additional relish and welcome of surprise. Your exaggeration of your own ability to serve will not only increase the demands of others upon you, but lead to diminished affection towards you when that exaggeration is made manifest by the failure of your attempts to serve. Your self-love will leave more vexation from its detected helplessness than gratification from its anticipated influence ; and others will experience the annoyance of unrequited expec tation, without any of those abatements, which the pleasure of making fair promises to others had excited in your mind. Intrusion into the company of another, when unexpected or uninvited, is one of the modes of annoyance which effective benevolence would avoid. It is the substitution of your will for the will of another, and in so far is the assump tion of despotism. A purpose, an important purpose, may have to be answered; the intrusion may be justified by preponderant good; but such a case is exceptional. You are to take for granted, unless on some general understanding that your presence is welcome at all times, or at specified times, you are bound to suppose that, if your company were wished for, you would have 252 DEONTOLOGY. been advised of the wish. At all events, your intrusion does not give the person intruded on any choice: it may compel him to submit to an an noyance he would not have chosen, or to inflict on you the annoyance of expulsion. If you have a wish to see a person, and the business is not of a peremptory character, communicate the wish in a way which may leave him the privilege of a refusal, without giving him pain or you offence. Do not let the timidity of another induce you to act intolerantly towards him. If, in ordinary cases, a benevolent man would avoid giving pain, still more would he be anxious to avoid it were any additional susceptibility excited in the mind of the sufferer. So in case of dullness. Let a man be naturally ever so stupid, do not give him reason to believe that you are annoyed by his stupidity ; do not let him perceive that you have discovered it. No thing that you can say or do can make him less stupid than nature has made him, and your tell ing him of his stupidity will only bring bad con sequences to both ; to him, by the uneasiness you cannot fail to give him ; to you by that ill-will which no stupidity will prevent being excited, to a greater or less extent, in his bosom. A remote, but not unimportant consequence of a habit of effective benevolence is, that in case NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 253 of rupture between yourself and any associate of yours, the presumption antecedently to a particular investigation will be in your favor in the minds of your common associates. The habit, which, being a habit, will have exhibited itself in the presence of others, has laid up for you a fund of reputation in the minds of other men, which will influence their judgment with out your knowing it. If you have deserved, as you will have de served, the credit of abstaining from all those causes of offence which ordinarily are supposed to justify reprisals, the advantage of so honor able a distinction will be your acquittal, in doubtful cases, of blame, and an unwillingness, on all occasions, to receive evidence tending to shake your acquired fame. Your character will be your justification. As the field of pernicious action widens, the demand for beneficent abstention increases. If the claims of benevolence be strong where the happiness and misery of few are concerned, still stronger are they in view of the happiness and misery of the multitude. And, it unfortu nately happens, that the popular sanction as regards one of the great topics of human wretch edness is miserably immoral. Nothing can be worse than the general feeling on the subject of War. The church, the state, the ruling few, 254 DEONTOLOGY. the subject many, all seem to have combined, in order to patronise vice and crime, in their very widest sphere of evil. Dress a man in particular garments, call him by a particular name, and he shall have authority on divers occasions to commit every species of offence ; to pillage ; to murder ; to destroy human felicity ; to maximize human suffering ; and for so doing he shall be rewarded ! Of all that is pernicious in admiration, the admiration of heroes is the most pernicious ; and how delusions should have made us admire what virtue should teach us to hate and loathe, is among the saddest evidences of human weak ness and folly. The crimes of heroes seem lost in the vastness of the field they occupy. A lively idea of the mischief they do, of the misery they create, seldom penetrates the mind through the delusions with which thoughtless ness and falsehood have surrounded their names and deeds. Is it that the magnitude of the evil is too gigantic for entrance ? We read of twenty thousand men killed in a battle, with no other feeling than that it was a glorious victory/ Twenty thousand, or ten thousand what reck we of their miserable sufferings ? The hosts who perished are the evidence of the com pleteness of the triumph; and the complete ness of the triumph is the measure of merit NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 255 and the glory of the conqueror. Our school masters, and the immoral books they so often put into our hands, have inspired us with an affection for heroes ; and the hero is more heroic, in proportion to the numbers of the slain. Add a cypher, not one iota is added to our disapprobation. Four, or two figures, give us no more sentiment of pain than one figure, while they add marvellously to the grandeur and splendor of the victor. Let us draw forth one individual from those thou sands or tens of thousands : his leg has been shivered by one ball, his jaw broken by an other ; he is bathed in his own blood, and that of his fellows ; yet he lives, tortured by thirst, fainting, famishing : he is but one of the twenty thousand, one of the actors and sufferers in the scene of the hero s glory, and of the twenty thousand, there is scarcely one whose suffering or death will not be the centre of a circle of misery. Look again, admirer of that hero ! Is not this wretchedness ? Because it is repeated ten ten hundred ten thousand times, is not this wretchedness? The period will assuredly arrive, when better instructed generations will require all the evidence of history to credit that, in times deeming themselves enlightened, human beings should have been honored with public approval, 256 DEONTOLOGY, in the very proportion of the misery they caused, and the mischiefs they perpetrated. They will call upon all the testimony which incredulity can require, to persuade them that, in past ages, men there were, men, too, deemed worthy of popular recompense, who, for some small pecuniary retribution, hired themselves out to do any deeds of pillage, devastation, and murder, which might be demanded of them. And still more will it shock their sen sibilities, to learn that such men, such men- destroyers, were marked out as the eminent and the illustrious ; as the worthy of laurels and monuments, of eloquence and poetry. In that better and happier epoch, the wise and the good will be busied in hurling into oblivion, or dragging forth, for exposure to universal ignominy and obloquy, many of the deeds we deem heroic; while the true fame and the perdurable glories will be gathered round the creators and the difFusers of happiness. Intolerance in language, for difference in religi ous opinions, bad as it is, is more worthy of tole ration than intolerant deeds. Persecution in action is the exhibition of this lamentable species of maleficence. And next to the mischiefs of war come the mischiefs of religious hatred. To say nothing more than has been said of the immo rality of punishing men for holding opinions NEGATIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 257 different to our own, let the absurdity of the pretence be investigated. Why are they to be punished? Because they will not bow to your authority, will not blindly submit to the faith you would impose upon them. Now a blind faith can operate only by sup pressing evidence. It cannot change sensation ; it cannot change the sentiment of truth and falsehood. Offering rewards for faith, and punishments for the want of it, is therefore like offering rewards for, and punishing the absence of, preju dice and partiality in a judge. To say, Believe this proposition rather than its contrary/ is to say, do all that is in your power to believe it. Now, what is in a man s power to do in order to believe a proposition, and all that is so, is to keep back and stifle the evidences that are opposed to it. For, when all the evidences are equally present to his observation, and equally attended to, belief or disbelief is no longer in his power. It is the necessary result of the preponderance of the evidence on one side over that of the other. The sources to which is to be attributed the pain-giving which it is the object of negative effec tive benevolence to avoid or counteract, are to be found in arrogance, imperiousness, scornfulness, overbearingness, coldness, closeness, pride, and VOL. jr. s 258 DEONTOLOGY. affectation. Any one of these vices may pro duce a similar result. To the sufferer, it mat ters little whether his suffering emanates from one bad quality or another. The law of ab stention applies to all. In some minds, some of them predominate ; in other minds, others. They must be measured in the scale of moral defects, by the quantity of pain they cause. One man s scorn may be less offensive than another man s coldness, and therefore less mis chievous. The arrogance of a man in an ele vated station may be more tolerable than the closeness of a man in a station of inferiority, or even of equality. Of each of these vices some examples have been given ; but each of them is susceptible of so many modifications, each of being exhibited in such varieties of words and deeds, that it must be left to every man to fill up, from the pages of his own experience, the blanks that are left. To root out these vices from the mind, is to extirpate their fruits. They partake, more or less, of the two fundamental vices, of imprudence and maleficence, and therefore cannot be retained without injury and suffering. POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 259 CHAPTER V. POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. BENEFICENCE consists in contributing to the comforts of our fellow-creatures : benevolence is the desire so to contribute. Beneficence is not a virtue, except in so far as accompanied with benevolence. The food we eat contributes to the comfort of those by whom it is eaten. But the comfort of the eater does not render the food or the act of eating virtuous. Benevolence may be a virtue, without being accompanied by beneficence ; for the desire may exist, without any power of carrying it into effect. But benevolence is not a virtue, any farther than, as occasion serves, it is ac companied with beneficence ; if, when occasion serves, correspondent beneficence is not exer cised, it is a proof that the desire was not, in reality, present ; or that, if present, it was inoperative ; it was so faint as to be of no use. Over and above any present pleasure with which an act of beneficence may be accompanied to the actor, the inducement which a man has for its exercise is of the same sort as that which 260 DEONTOLOGY. the husbandman has for the sowing of his seed ; as that which the frugal man has for the laying up money. Seed sown is no otherwise of any value than for the crops of which it is produc tive. Money is of no value, but for the ser vices of all sorts which it procures at the hands of other men : at the hands of the laborer, the service rendered by the performance of his labor ; at the hands of the baker, the service performed by the delivery of his bread to the customer, who gives the money for it. By every act of virtuous beneficence which a man exercises, he contributes to a sort of fund, a savings-bank, a depository of general good-will, out of which services of all sorts may be looked for, as about to flow from other hands into his ; if not positive services, at any rate negative services ; services consisting in the forbearance to vex him by annoyances with which he might otherwise have been vexed. Negative beneficence, as we have seen and we again go over the ground, for the sake of showing what is left to positive beneficence negative beneficence is exercised in so far as mischief is not done to others. Negative bene ficence amounts to nothing, unless in so far as accompanied either with correspondent be nevolence or with self-regarding prudence. The most mischievous of all beings exercises nega- POSITIVE EFFICIENT BEXEVOLENCE. 261 live beneficence in respect of all imaginable mischief, except that which he does. Negative beneficence is a virtue, in so far as any mischief which without consideration might have been produced, is by consideration forborne to be produced. In so far as it is by the consideration of the effect which the mis chievous action might have upon a man s own comfort, the virtue is prudence self-regarding prudence : in so far as it is by the consideration of the effect which the mischievous action might have upon the comfort of any other person, the virtue is benevolence. A main distinction here is, between bene ficence which cannot be exercised without self- sacrifice, and beneficence which can be exer cised without self-sacrifice. To that which cannot be exercised without self-sacrifice, there are, necessarily, limits, and these, compara tively, very narrow ones. In truth, beneficence which is accompanied with self-sacrifice is not exercised but at the expense of a certain amount of self-regarding prudence ; although it may be no otherwise at the expense of self- regarding prudence, than as the seed sown by the husbandman is sown at the expense of self- regarding prudence. In no case in which money is disbursed without adequate return 262 DEONTOLOGY. can beneficence be exercised without correspon dent self-sacrifice. To the exercise of beneficence, where it is exercised without self-sacrifice, there can be no limits; and by every exercise thus made of it, a contribution is made to the good-will fund, and made without expense. In a certain sense, indeed, beneficence that has any virtue in it cannot be exercised without self-sacrifice ; for it cannot be exercised without forbearance ; and forbearance, in so far as there is any the smallest desire to perform the act forborne from, requires consideration, requires effort ; and to undergo any uneasiness with which this effort may be accompanied, is, by the amount of that uneasiness, self-sacrifice. There are cases in which this self-sacrifice is accompanied with uneasiness to a great amount ; an amount beyond the endurance of the generality of men, in the present state of society at least. Such as that which causes a forbearance to gratify the appetite of revenge, when excited by severe injury. But to self-sacrifice in this shape, whatever limits may be set by the dictates of benefi cence and self-regarding prudence, there are others set by the nature of the case ; others, such as those which are set in the case where POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 263 the act of beneficence consists in the gift of money, and the rendering of service by labor performed. Negative beneficence, then, is exercised in so far as annoyance is forborne to be inflicted on others. Negative beneficence is forbearance of annoyance. By acts of this description no direct contribution, it is true, can be said to be made to the good- will fund abovementioned. But, on the other hand, correspondent to that same good-will fund there is an ill-will fund ; and by every exercise of negative beneficence the ill-will fund is kept from receiving contri bution, contribution to the amount of value it would otherwise have received. In an indirect way, the withdrawing contribution from the ill- will fund may be productive of an effect equi valent to that produced by a contribution to the good- will fund. For if, while malevolence keeps filling his ill-will fund, benevolence keeps his ill-will-fund empty, it is manifest what the advantage will be which, in a case when they are rival candidates for a certain service, which may be rendered to either, and must be rendered to one of them, benevolence will have on his side. Described in general terms, the inducement to positive beneficence, in all its shapes, is the contribution it makes to the man s general 204 DEONTOLOGY. good-will fund ; to the general good-will fund from which draughts in his favor may come to be paid : the inducement to negative beneficence is the contribution it keeps back from his general ill-will fund the general ill-will fund hanging over his head ; and besides its own particular use, any exertion made to keep the ill-will fund empty, may be produc tive of advantage in the same shape as that pro duced by contribution made to a man s general good- will fund. I le who is in possession of a fund of this sort, and understands the value of it, will understand himself to be the richer by every act of bene volent beneficence he is known to have exer cised. He is the richer, and feels that he is so, by every act of kindness he has ever done. Will it be believed believed or not, it is strictly true F knew a man once, of whose mind the very contrary impression had taken hold ? He had a phrase of his own by which he gave ex pression to it. Even without self-sacrifice, in any shape, to be the source of advantage or gratification to any one else, without receiving an advantage equal, at least, in value, he called, * being made a property of. Often have I heard him declare, he did not like to be made a pro perty of, or, he would not be made a property of: he would have regarded himself as being so POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 205 much the poorer for it ; he would have been ashamed of it as of a weakness. If a disposition of this stamp was in this same instance productive of its natural effects, it had for its accompaniment an ardent ambition, and to that appetite it contributed to secure contin ually-repeated rebuffs and disappointments. The retributive sanction has been pointed out as a motive to efficient benevolence, its power of reward depending on the relation existing between the parties. Widely separated as they may be, there is no case where the influence possessed by any individual, however mean, over any other individual, however mighty, is really null, and unworthy of all regard. The mouse in the fable releasing the lion from bond age, is an exemplification of the possible de pendence of the strong upon the weak. Popular opinion, in so far as it is enlightened and has cognizance of beneficent actions, takes them under its care. Its awards depend on the estimate it forms of the merit of an action, and the number and influence of those who sit in judgment, and decree the recompense of that action. Independently of the rewards of opinion, and the pleasures of sympathy, the acts of positive benevolence tend to the creation of the habits of benevolence. Every act adds something to 266 DEONTOLOGY. the habit ; the greater the number of acts, the stronger will be the habit ; and the stronger the habit, the larger the recompense; and the larger the recompense, the more fruitful in producing similar acts ; and the more frequent such acts, the more will there be of virtue and felicity in the world. Employ, then, every opportunity of benefi cent action, and look out for other opportuni ties. Do all the good you can, and seek the means of doing good. Efficient benevolence, when in action, may be considered the gymnastics of the mind, or the field in which it is displayed the mental gymnasium. Like the gymnastics of the body, they will not only give enjoyment but strength ; enjoyment in their exercise, and strength from their calling into greater activity the moral and intellectual faculties, training them to the vigor of habitual exertion. The indirect and general object is, to fortify the mind, in order that it may better guide the affections to virtue; the direct and particular purpose is, on any given occasion, so to influence conduct, as that a result of happi ness may be the consequence of the individual action in question. In the application of evil for the production of good, never let it be applied for the gratifica tion of mere antipathy ; never but as subser- POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 267 vient to, and necessary for the only proper ends of punishment, the determent of others by ex ample, the determent of the offender by suffer ing. In the interest of the offender, reformation is the great object to be aimed at ; if this can not be accomplished, seek to disable him from inflicting the like evil on himself or others. But always bear in mind the maxim, \vhich cannot be repeated too often : Inflict as much and no more pain than is necessary to accom plish the purpose of benevolence. Create not evil greater than the evil you exclude. When it is settled in a man s mind that such or such another is a bad man, an effect apt to be produced by such judgment is a settled affec tion of antipathy ; of antipathy more or less strong, according to the temper of the indivi dual. Thereupon, without troubling himself to measure out the proper quantity of punish ment which it would be proper for him to ad minister, upon every opportunity that presents the means of expressing towards the offending party the affection of hatred and contempt, he accordingly employs it ; and in so doing he piques himself upon the evidence he affords to others of his hatred of vice and love of virtue; while, in truth, he is only affording a gratification to his own dissocial and self-regarding affections, to his own antipathy and his own pride. 268 DEONTOLOGY. The happiness of the worst man of the species is as much an integrant part of the whole mass of human happiness as is that of the best man. On every occasion in which evil done to a delinquent does not afford an adequate promise of greater good to the delinquent himself, or others so far from doing evil to him, the law of benevolence enjoins us to do as much good to him as is consistent in other respects with bene ficence and extra-regarding prudence. The points of abstential benevolence which have been brought forward, will serve as analo gies in exhibiting parallel cases of active efficient benevolence. To avoid giving pain being the ne gative rule, to seek to give pleasure is the posi tive. And though it cannot be invariably said, that the virtuous abstention has necessarily a counterpart of virtuous action, yet in a great number of cases, to act precisely contrary to what imprudence and maleficence would dic tate, is to pursue the course which morality demands. It is not always possible to draw the exact line between the claims of efficient benevolence, whether positive or negative, and those of pru dence, self-regarding or extra-regarding ; nor is it always necessary nor desirable, for where the interests of the two virtues are the same, the path of duty is quite clear. But points of POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 269 agreement and of difference may be easily pointed out, and a general definition may show what, in ordinary cases, is the distinction be tween the two qualities. As for example : you are called upon to do service to another. If he is in a condition to render you services in return, prudence as well as benevolence com bine to interest you in his favor. If he is wholly removed from the occasions of serving you, your motives can be those of benevolence alone. But though in a given case it may be diffi cult to show, that the interests of prudence demand a particular act of beneficence, it is not the less true that the self-regarding consider ation does, in fact, occupy the whole ground of conduct. Whatever peculiar reasons benevo lence may furnish for a given course of benefi cent action, the universal principle remains, that it is every man s interest to stand well in the affections of other men, and in the affections of mankind in general. A really beneficent act, which may seem to be removed from the prudential considerations always taking for granted that the act is itself no violation of pru dence, and that it is one which has the sanction of the Deontological principle, by producing a balance of good, such an act will, in its remoter consequences, serve the self-regarding interests, 270 DEONTOLOGY. by helping to create, to establish, or to extend that general reputation for judicious benevolence, which it is every man s obvious interest to pos sess in the opinions of his fellow men. Suetonius records that a Roman tyrant offered a premium to the inventor of a new pleasure. Since that time, many a moralist has numbered the tyrant s desire to create a new enjoyment among that tyrant s most obnoxious crimes. Yet to the discovery of unexperienced grati fications, a great portion of man s anxiety is directed. From the moment human beings associate, that object becomes their prominent concern. In proportion to their aggregate num ber are their efforts to provide some untasted enjoyment. Every newspaper bears evidence of the attempt. The list of theatrical exhibitions is a list by which an appeal is made to attention by rarities and novelties, by something in the shape of pleasure unenjoyed before. But, it will be said, the tyrant was a sensual ist ; his desire was for some other sensual gratifi cation ; it wanted to make his senses subservient to the production of some new delight. What then ? Had he succeeded it would have been the better for him and the better for us. And as to pleasure of which the senses are not to be the instruments, let colors be presented to the blimund, sic to the deaf, or motion to the lifeless. POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 271 As a matter of fact, however, civilization, knowledge, commerce, have invented new plea sures. And no generation passes away without adding something to the stock of the generation that preceded it. The discovery of America opened a host of unexperienced gratifications to our hemisphere. And what various and valuable pleasures has not the progress of philosophy brought with it ! The experiments of chemistry, the discoveries of astronomy, the telescope, the microscope, the mechanical powers, natural history, in a word, the world of modern science ; a world more extensive than that which Columbus made known. These, and whatever besides can add an iota to happiness, have been added to the domains of effective benevolence. These are to be appealed to, these are to be drawn upon, in order to pro mote the felicity of man. Exhibit any source from whence enjoyment can be made to flow, and you may add that source to the sum total of prolific good. And if the premium once offered by despot ism could now be offered by intelligent benevo lence, it would be given to him who should suc ceed in exhibiting the greatest variety of shapes in which pleasure can be produced, and how its 272 DEONTOLOGY. magnitude, intensity, duration, and extent can best be secured. To give exercise, influence, and extension to efficient benevolence, is one of the great con cerns of virtue. Nor let it be thought that such benevolence is to be bounded in its conse quences by the race of man. There are other, though inferior, sensitive objects intitled to its consideration and its care. There is happiness beyond the sphere of human beings happiness with which human beings have much to do happiness of which human beings are the guardians, though the participators of that hap piness are not of the human species. Let men remember, that happiness wherever it is, and by whomever experienced, is the great gift confided to their charge that any thing else is unworthy their regard, and that this this alone is the pearl of great price. It has been said, that Honesty is the best policy. This is not exactly true. There is a policy that is better, the policy of active benevolence. Honesty is but negative : it avoids doing wrong; it will not allow intrusion into the enjoyments of others. It is, however, only an abstential, and not an active quality. The best policy is that which creates good ; the second best is that which avoids evil. POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 273 The modes by which efficient benevolence can gratify others by action, may be arranged under the same heads as those by which annoy ance is avoided, and belong to two classes : 1. Discourse. 2. Deportment. And as nega tive morality takes under its cognizance those acts of mischief which the laws allow to pass unpunished the political sanction being too great and solemn for the occasion, so positive morality takes under its charge that con duct which state recompense leaves unre warded. But the interposition of the law being more punitory and prohibitory than remuneratory and exciting, inasmuch as it is more specially charged with the functions of protecting indivi duals against wrong, than with those of en couragement for right, a small portion alone of the field of active beneficence is taken posses sion of by the legal or political authority. Numerous acts of maleficence fall under the cognizance of the law s penalties, for whose counter or corresponding acts of beneficence those laws provide no reward. Over multitu dinous deeds, whose results would be a balance of pain, the Deontological authority obtains the allied influence of the retributive legal power, each assisting the other with its restrictive force ; but in the regions of positive benevolence, the Deontological principle is, for the most part, left VOL. ir. T 274 DEONTOLOGY. to its own solitary influences for the production of good. Ill-appropriated as are, in many cases, the legal sanctions of punishment to offences, the application of reward by those same sanctions, is even more irregular and imperfect. With the growth of intelligence, with the spread of mo rality, the state of public opinion will become more and more accordant with the Deontological code, and the popular affections will be more busied in distinguishing real from spurious vir tue, and in giving to the virtue that is real its fit recompense. Meanwhile, to that end we must labor, each for himself, and as far as he is able, marking out for his highest approbation in the conduct of others those actions which have produced, or are likely to produce, the greatest sum of happiness, and visiting with his loudest reprobation that conduct which leads to, or creates, the greatest amount of misery. By these means, every man will do something to make the popular sanctions more useful, health ful, active, and virtuous. The alliance of true morality with the great interests of mankind, mankind will soon discover, and the discovery once generalized, it will not be in the power of fallacy, of dogmatism, or despotism, to prevent its influence, its universal action. As regards discourse, the inquiry of positive effective benevolence is what are the means POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 275 by which language can be best made to advance the happiness of others? And the occasions which offer themselves for consideration are, as before, those in which the subject-person is present: those in which the subject-person is absent: and those where the subject-persons and others are present. In all these cases, the pleasure produced must primarily depend on the power of the speaker ; power intellectual, moral and active : the power growing out of wisdom, knowledge, the social affections, and the will to give them a beneficent direction : the power of supe riority in any of its shapes, whether political or social ; whether of age, station, wealth, or any other influence. To employ their action for the removal of pain, or the sources of pain, for the promotion of pleasure, or the introduction of the sources of pleasure, whether the discourse be oral or written, is the business of active beneficence. In the presence of the person of whom you are speaking, and in so far as the topics of con versation are in your power, choose always those which are likely to be the most pleasurable to him, taking care, however, that nothing is said by you, the result of which would lower your own credit for veracity, or imply approbation of pernicious words or actions. In the first case, 276 DEONTOLOGY. damage might be done to your own reputation; in the second, damage to the character of the hearer. But, if you have occasion to refer to meritorious conduct, on the part of him to whom you are speaking, deal out such liberal en couragement as the case will justify. For the prevention of a balance of mischief, take into consideration the disposition of the individual, and be sure that your putting forth prominently his merits will not give such inor dinate increase to his pride or vanity, as by its results will produce evil to himself or others. If the quality which appears to its possessor a merit or an accomplishment, is really of a cha racter to injure others by its exercise ; that is to say, if it cause preponderant evil, either to its possessor or others, the flatterer who encourages its development, becomes accessary to all the evil done in consequence by the person flattered. Again, if your flattery exceed the bounds of truth, and the flattered person detects your insincerity, and perceives that you are yourself aware of it, you may become to him an object of con tempt and dislike ; your influence for the future may be destroyed, and even the honest praise with which you may have gratified him on for mer occasions will thus lose its value. The annoyance caused by the intrusion of good advice has been referred to, while inquiry POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 277 was engaged in the claims of abstential benevo lence. In the too-frequent way of communicat ing even useful counsels, there is almost invari ably something to vex, often to insult, and almost always the arrogance which assumes authority, and exercises a species of despotism. Now, if men were as willing, and as ready to give rea sons as they are to give rules, ( much mischief might be prevented, and some good might be done. Pride is undoubtedly gratified by being enabled to deal out its animadversions, and self- regard is flattered, but at a terrible expense a great sacrifice of benevolence. Yet, it is no small part of good-breeding and good morals to give appropriate advice appropriately. There is a class of people in the world, offen sive intruders, forward hypocrites, and bold usurpers, who, under the mask of friendly ad visers, are great creators of misery. Vice is never so much at ease, never more tyrannical, never more ambitious, than when it imagines it has found a mask, under the cover and protection of which it may pass off for vir tue. And masks there are which, to a certain extent, deceive even the wearers ; a deceit to which they lend themselves with alacrity, and find in their own delusion, encouragement to make daring experiments on the credulity, timidity, or dependence of others. 278 DEONTOLOGY. By no other means can a man give himself so good a chance of conquering the weakness which he finds in his way, of subduing the wills of others by the instrumentality of their under standings, as by taking upon himself the cha racter of a giver of good advice. In this character some men so dextrously comport themselves, as to make abuse of others the very instrument of self-elevation. Not that, on every occasion, the counsels of the adviser, even though injudicious, can be taken as evidence of an unfriendly purpose. For fool ish though it be, hastily concocted and inconsi derately communicated, it may have had its source in sympathy, and be really a mark of good- will. But such cases are exceptions. Selfishness untouched by sympathy, is ordinarily the in- spirer of the intrusive counsellor. Pure self ishness is abundantly sufficient for the produc tion of the character. And without good grounds for believing that credit is to be given to benevolence, it may, with great probability, be presumed that some quality, far removed from benevolence, gave birth to the intervention. It is clearly then demanded by morality, that advice-giving, as a habit, should be abstained from ; and if the demand for it be obvious and undoubted, if the case be clear and urgent, that POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 279 it should be accompanied with such statements and reasons as will, in so far as may be, plead its excuse and justification to the person ad vised, and cause to him as little suffering as may be necessary, to give the advice its in tended effect. Without strong evidence both of the necessity for its application, and the proba bility of its success, virtue requires the sup pression of the advice, and the abstention of the adviser. Revenge itself sometimes takes the shape of advice-giving. For a gratification of ill-will a man censures another in the shape of counsel. He visits another with the burthen of evil, for the obtaining a small pleasure in the infliction of that evil. In so far as the inflicter is concerned, no doubt the infliction of evil is good, for no action can have its source in any other motive. However enormous the evil may be, and how ever trifling the pleasure of inflicting it, still that pleasure is good, and must be taken into account. But the law of effective benevolence requires that the advice you give to a man, or the evil speaking of him, necessary to do him good, should lead to no waste of evil. Only in the absolute necessity of drawing on him punishment from the popular source, or sanction, are you authorised to speak evil of him to others ; and then be sure there is reason to 280 DEONTOLOGY. believe that the awarded punishment will bring a result of good. Ingenuousness is sometimes a virtue, some times not. Where it leads a man to declare his sentiments without being called upon, there would be no disingenuousness in his refraining from doing so ; and, exceptions excepted, the declaration of unasked opinions is to be avoided. Where, being asked to declare his opinions, he forbears to express them, his conduct would be disingenuous, but not necessarily blameworthy. Where no evil, in any shape, would result from giving utterance to opinions, and the expression of those opinions is solicited, ingenuousness would be worthy of praise. To abstain from bringing into view the infir mities of others, was exhibited as one of the marks of negative efficient benevolence. To hold up to view the accomplishments or merits of another, occupies the corresponding place in the regions of positive benevolence. But, as will have been naturally deduced from preced ing observations, while in the negative part of the field of action, there are no restrictions or limitations, since the avoidance of action is the avoidance of evil ; in the positive part, care must be taken that the good which is done, the pleasure which is purchased, do not cost more than its worth, by leading to the destruction of POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 281 a greater amount of good, or the creation of a greater portion of evil. Within these limits, it is an act of effective benevolence to give to deserving conduct its full meed of approbation. The effect of praise is to dispose to imitation, and you as effectually elevate the standard of morals by encouraging virtue, as by exposing or reprobating vice. The immediate recognition of the merits of an act of efficient benevolence, will have the advantage of helping to place it at once in the regions of public approval. The value of the praise will be heightened by its promptitude a promptitude which will take the character of generosity. In cases where an action, obviously beneficial to mankind, is left, by the want of courage on the part of others, floating in the regions of unde cided judgment, do what it depends upon you within the pale of prudence, to give it the benefit and sanction of your favorable opinion. In intercourse with others, it may sometimes be demanded by benevolence that their opinions should be corrected on points affecting their own happiness. In general, however, it be comes us rather to seek points of agreement than points of difference ; but where points of difference are to be discussed, give the dis cussion the character of a joint search after truth an inquiry by which both are to be 282 DEONTOLOGY. benefited, rather than of a contention for vic tory, or an exhibition of dogmatism. Knowledge communicated by benevolence has the united charm of intellect and virtue, intellect engaged in clearing the ground of evil, and virtue en gaged in covering it with good. If you have two topics to talk to a man about, one of which interests him the most, while the other interests you the most, begin with that which interests him the most. It will put him in good humor ; it will confer pleasure. If you are not assured that a particular topic on which you have to speak interests him, allow him every facility for commencing the conver sation with the subject that is most agreeable to him. The power exercised over the press, is one of those instruments of good or evil whose influ ences upon human felicity are, though not de finable, of most extended range. And, in as much as the re-action of opinion upon a public writer, especially if anonymous, is for the most part less operative than if individual responsi bility were present to answer for the consequen ces of thoughts or actions, it is rather to the claims of benevolence than to those of prudence, that mankind must look for the proper direction of the writer s productions. They act in a wide field, a field proportioned to the number POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 283 of readers, and to the influence of those readers upon society. When an author gives vent, from some inaccessible retirement, to opinions which distress the feelings of others, his dissocial affections have not the restraint put upon them which exists when a man gives utterance to his ideas viva voce. If, however, the desire to maxi mize good were present to the minds of public writers if it were ever less their purpose to give pain to some object of individual hostility than to further the great ends of the popular felicity, the atmosphere of opinion would soon become bright and clear. Public meetings, or deliberative assemblies, often afford occasion for the exercise of active beneficence on a large scale. But, under the excitement which the presence of numbers creates, too often the passions obtain the mas tery, and the passions of the orator acting upon those of the auditors, lead to consequences which benevolence must deplore. That always mischievous, and often dishonest practice of attaching to conduct adjectival terms of praise or blame, the habit of speaking of actions, not in their simple shape, but with the association of some term of reproach or eulogy, is too apt to obtain, on occasions, where to move men s feelings is as much an object of desire, as to con vince their judgments ; where, in fact, the great 284 DEONTOLOG\*. ambition of the speaker is, to find such instru ments as will enable him to carry his auditors with him to the conclusions at which he desires they should arrive. But let the Deon- tological law be present to his mind, and the triumph he will desire will be only the triumph of the greatest- happiness principle. Contend ing for that, and for that alone, the victory of any sentiments more friendly to the principle than his own sentiments will be, in fact, his victory. Whatever object of good is to be accom plished by our interference, will be best accom plished by the instruments of veracity and by the avoidance of exaggeration. If we have to speak of actions, let them, therefore, be repre sented as they are, without the addition of those terms of vituperation, or of applause, by which men are led astray from the action itself to our estimate of the action. The best testimony is the simple statement of facts ; the worst, is that which distorts and tortures facts into a prede termined shape, and communicates them with a judgment tacked to them. Now, the man who, in seeking my opinion of the conduct of another, gives his own opinion in putting the question to me, does all he can to deprive me of the power of judging truly, and of expressing myself honestly. POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 285 To point out public abuses is a high function of positive efficient beneficence, and to point them out so that their removal may be accom plished with the least possible sacrifice on the part of those interested in their continuance, is the task of intellectual virtue. For it often happens that, in the anxiety to get rid of an evil, a greater evil is entailed on an individual or a class, than the evil got rid of by the com munity ; that the sufferings experienced by the few are not counterbalanced by the benefits resulting to the many. In the demand for poli tical reforms, the situation of those who benefit by the unreformed state of things, is seldom held up to view, as benevolence, as morality itself would dictate. Sweep abuses away is undoubtedly the maxim of political wisdom ; but so sweep them away that as little disap pointment, vexation, or pain, be created as pos sible. A man occupies a situation for which he is overpaid, but occupies it on an understand ing with the public authorities that he shall not be displaced. Is it wise, is it just to displace him? I care little how that question is an swered, but of this I am sure, that the greatest- happiness principle, while it would provide that no other person should be appointed to succeed him on the same conditions, would also provide that he individually should suffer no loss ; that 286 DEONTOLOGY. the future good to the public should not be accompanied by present injury to him. Some rules of positive benevolence and bene ficence may be made the immediate source of happiness amidst the daily events of life. Whenever you have nothing else to do, in other words, whenever you have no particular object in view, of pleasure or profit, of imme diate or remote good, set yourself to do good in some shape or other ; to men, to sensitive beings, rational or irrational ; to one or to many; to some individual, or to the whole race. In so doing, and in proportion as you do so, you will be producing a stock of sympathy and good reputation, laid up in the breasts of others, ready, upon occasion, to be brought into action for your advantage. In the mean time, whatsoever be the result to you or to them, you will have been giving exercise to your own powers ; giving exercise to your faculties, mental and bodily, and, by means of such exercise, strength. Your reward will be, at all events, to experience and enjoy the pleasure of power ; that sort of pleasure which is capable of being reaped from the mere exercise of power, independently of all advantage in the shape of the fruit of labor, or of any other fruit or result of such exercise. That pleasure may be reaped from the mere POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 287 exercise of power, independently of all fruit expected from it, is true beyond dispute : it is proved so by universal experience. Witness the pleasure derived from games of skill from which all pecuniary profit-seeking is excluded: for example, among mental exercises, chess and draughts; amongst athletic bodily exer cises, walking and riding with extraordinary speed or perseverance. Again, when your endeavors are directed towards doing good to an individual, in other words, to do him service, if there be any option as to the mode or way, consider and observe what mode of so being served is most to his taste. If you serve him, as you think or say, in a way which is yours, and not his, the value of any service may, by an indefinite amount, be thus reduced. If the action of serving a man, not in the way in which he wishes to be served, but in the way in which he ought to be served, or the way in which it is best for him to be served, be carried to a certain length, it becomes tyranny, not beneficence ; an exer cise of power for the satisfaction of the self- regarding affection, not an act of beneficence, for the gratification of the sympathetic or social affection. True it is, that so you do but produce to the 288 DEONTOLOGY. individual in question a balance on the side of good, the choice as to the quantity you will produce is yours, and be it greater or less, your act is an act of beneficence ; but if, by a little self-restraint, at the end of a little reflection, you could do good to him in his own way, or serve him in his own way ; it is bad economy and weakness, on your part, to choose to serve him, or do a less good to him, only because it is your own way, rather than do more good to him, render him greater service, as you might do, by serving him in his own way instead of yours. A belief, an honest belief, that they are under the real influences of benevolence, sometimes leads men to conduct the most intrusive and tyrannical. Power is usurped for the purpose, it is supposed, of doing good. The doing good is beneficent, therefore it ought to be done. Beneficence is virtue, and virtue must, at all events, be practised. Under the shadow of this fallacy, vast masses of misery have been poured out upon the world, and that with the most benevolent intention. The ground-work of the mischief is this. A man fancies he knows what is best for other men; that he is better acquainted with their sources of happiness than they can be ; that POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 289 he has more appropriate knowledge, and having more power, that he can turn his knowledge to good account on their behalf. He has formed his own estimate of good; he is thoroughly persuaded that such and such a thing is good, and being good, he will compel others to receive and to adopt it, because it is good, and because he knows, from experience, that it is so. Yet despotism never takes a worse shape than when it comes in the guise of benevolence ; and is never more dangerous than when it acts under the impression that it represents bene ficence. Pleasures and pains, the sweets and the bitters of existence, cannot be tried by the taste of another. What is good for another cannot be estimated by the person intending to do the good, but by the person only to whom it is intended to be done. The purpose of another may be to increase my happiness, but of that happiness I alone am the keeper and the judge. His feelings are not my feelings, nor can they be ; nor can his feelings be made to comprehend my feelings, except in so far as, by observation or by frank communication on my part, he has mastered my springs of action, my pleasures arid my pains. But no obser vation of his, and no communication of mine, VOL. II. U 290 DEONTOLOGY. can have made him as much the subject as I am of my own enjoyments and sufferings ; and any pretence on his part to understand them better is a freak of usurpation. Refrain, then, from doing good to any man against his will, or even without his consent. Obtain his consent beforehand, or be sure of his subsequent consent. If the good you pro pose to do be really such as, in his estimate of it, will add to his happiness, no resistance on his part will there be to your doing it. No man opposes an increase to his pleasures, when he sees reason to believe that the increase will have place. And for his sake do not exhibit, and for your own sake suppress, any annoyance that you may feel from his rejection of a good proffered by you. Your forbearance will be more truly beneficent than your persistance in a purpose of greater beneficence. To this source, to this pretension of doing good to others in spite of themselves, may be traced the worst of religious persecutions. They had their origin in a desire to benefit the per secuted : to give them some chance of that eternal happiness, of which their persistance in error was supposed wholly to deprive them. And let it not be supposed, that those misdeeds which have flooded the world with misery are to be attributed to malignant intentions. To POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 291 do evil for its own sake is not in the nature of man. The most horrible of offences, the most devastating and murderous of crimes, if followed up to their origin, will be found only a distortion of the happiness-seeking principle ; the creation of a misery, intending to prevent a greater misery, but mistaking its purpose and miscalculating its means. And of such mistakes and such miscalculations none has been more prolific than the despotism of bene volent intention ; a despotism taking no account of the parties it subjects to its influence ; a despotism setting up its own standard for other men s happiness. A man who, on principle, pretends to be, or is in reality, a benefactor, in spite of, or in opposition to him he intends to benefit, is among the most maleficent of tyrants: beneficent or not in purpose, he is necessarily maleficent in effect. The motives to seek the good opinion of others will be strong, in the proportion of the power of others to do us service. Inferiority of social position diminishes the means of be nevolent action, and scarcely allows those of positive beneficence to be brought at all into operation. There are two methods of winning the friendly sympathies of superiors : by accom modating ourselves to their wishes and plea sures, or by the display of talents in whose 292 DEONTOLOGY. exercise they may see an after-interest, and feel the desire of appropriating them to their service. But this latter case requires pre eminence of talents, and therefore is at the disposal of few: the other means are at the disposal of all. Rising in the scale of superiority, man rises in that of usefulness. Superiority is, in fact, the representative of power ; power in its various shapes ; the power of good and the power of evil. To associate all the power we have with the exercise, and hence with the habit of effec tive benevolence, is to give to virtue its widest scope. By what is the exercise of that bene volence to be limited ? By nothing, as respects objects susceptible of pain or pleasure ; by no limits of family, or clanship, or province, or nation : no, not even by the boundaries of the human species ; but by the considerations of prudence alone. Prudence must not allow the individual to sacrifice more happiness than he gains. Benevolence demands that, to the common stock of happiness, every man should bring the largest possible contribution. To this diffusive spirit of benevolence it has been commonly objected, that it weakens the ties of friendly and family relations, and gives less of enjoyment to the many than it takes from the few. But why should it? Is it found POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 293 by experience that the really philanthropic man is the man most wanting in domestic affections? Are the tone and temper which constitute bene volence likely to find no fit exercise among those who are habitually in contact with them ? Or must not the social principle be essentially strong and influential, when it enables its possessor to act upon the wide field of public happiness ? In general, so far from neglecting the enjoyments of those immediately dependent on him, the true lover of his race brings into the circle of their enjoyments the re-action of the beneficent influences, which he exercises on the vaster scale ; his contributions to the happiness of mankind are so much in addition to the happiness he creates in his own social sphere. Let no man apprehend for himself or others, that he can produce too much good, or remove too much evil. It is not on the side of expansive benevolence that his mistakes are likely to be made. Let him do all the good he can, and wherever he can, he will never do too much for his own happiness, or the hap piness of others. The immorality of acts of maleficence may be greatly heightened by the want of tempta tion ; that is, in cases where the pleasure purchased is small to the evil-doer, from the absence of want, or other cause, contrasted 294 DEONTOLOGY. with the injury done to the sufferer. Thus, the rich man who is a despoiler, commits an offence far more culpable than one of the same cha racter committed by a poor man. And, in the regions of active or positive beneficence, where the good done has required some special effort, in consequence of the situation of the good- doer, the merit (always supposing the laws of prudence not to be violated) will be great, in proportion to the sacrifice. As a mischievous act will naturally be considered evidence of a man s malignity, should its natural consequence be the production of other mischievous acts, so those acts of beneficence will be worthy of the highest praise, whose result and effect are the creation of other acts of beneficence ; in other words, should the one deed of virtue be prolific of other deeds of virtue. The exercise of positive efficient benevolence towards inferiors brings with it increase of the power which constitutes superiority. Of two men occupying a position of equality as regards others, the man who contributes most to the happiness of those others will infallibly become the most influential : will dispose of a greater quantity of service. He will strengthen his position by augmenting the number of his good deeds. Every benefit conferred on others will be prolific to himself. And the benefits con- POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 295 ferred on others increase the power of others ; and the increase of power in the hands of those willing to do him service, is the increase of his own power. The compound interest brought to effective benevolence by deeds of benevo lence, is happily limitless. Of the seeds scat tered by the husbandry of virtue, few will turn out barren. And the gratitude exhibited towards a man who has benefited us, is, on our parts, an act of positive beneficence. It may be laid down as a general principle, that a man becomes rich in his own stock of pleasures, in proportion to the amount he distributes to others. His opulence will be the offspring of his generosity. Every time he creates to himself a pleasure, by the commu nication of a pleasure, or the suppression of a pain, he increases the sum of his own hap piness, directly, speedily, surely. Every time he renders a service to another, he augments the amount of his own happiness, indirectly, remotely, slowly ; but in both cases his well- being will be added to by his benevolence. What then? Where no means are at hand for increasing your happiness directly, employ yourself in increasing it indirectly. In the field of active benevolence there is always work to be done. 296 DEONTOLOGY. You have the night for repose. How better can you employ the day than in the pursuit of happiness ? You cannot always add to your stock by direct means ; it is surely better to do so by indirect means than not to add to it at all. Those indirect means are labors of beneficence. You have solitary pleasures, perhaps. You smoke your pipe, you drink your coffee alone. You do well, if your enjoyment causes nobody annoyance. But how are your thoughts em ployed? They cannot be better employed than in turning over in your mind all those oppor tunities of usefulness which, though they seem primarily to concern others, yet have the faculty of bringing happiness home to yourself. Promptitude has been mentioned as one of the evidences of effective benevolence. In general much pain is saved, and sometimes much pleasure communicated by early atten tion. While delay lasts, false hopes are excited, and the mind is kept on the rack by painful expectation. In public functionaries, where the points of consideration are often of the greatest importance, and the anxieties of the applicant, therefore, the greater, the virtue which avoids procrastination is peculiarly me ritorious. It is pleasant to speak of a depart ment where promptitude appears the order of POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 297 the day. The Secretary of the Post-office is said to give immediate attention to every appli cation. It is an honorable distinction, and worthy of all praise. On every occasion in which the virtue is exercised, if something is not added to happiness, something is taken away from anxiety. If, from day to day, our recollection recorded the little circumstances which had given us pleasure in the conduct of others, in order to dispose us to imitation for the benefit of others ; and, on the other hand, if the causes of annoy ance created by others were reverted to in our intercourse with our own minds, solely for the purpose of guarding against them in our rela tions with our fellow men, no day would pass without treasuring up some addition to the store of virtue. You leave your house in the morning. Many circumstances may occur in which the know ledge of the hour of your return would be useful, useful to your inmates, useful to stran gers. Mention, therefore, the time when you will probably be at home, and be sure that the information be as correct as your thoughtful anticipation will allow it to be. Wilful mis- statement will be more mischievous than silence : it will lower your reputation for veracity. Heed less mis-statement, though not equally per- 298 DEONTOLOGY. nicious with intended mis-statement, will be almost equally liable to cause annoyance. A stranger calls. You are at home. Keep him not waiting. His time is not yours, nor are you to judge of its value. If he call on you by appointment, his claim on your prompt at tention is undoubted. Out of his weariness from being kept in attendance, will grow loss of reputation to yourself, and when admitted, his frame of mind will be less pleasurable, less fit ted for the discussion and dispatch of the busi ness that has brought him to you. The habitual practice of requiring inferiors to lose their time in waiting-rooms, is one of the ordinary mis deeds of aristocratical and official pride. If the amount of annoyance suffered in the anti-cham ber of many a great man could be added up, and presented to him in its results, he might be made to blush at the quantity of useless misery he had created. A great portion of the aliment of pride is suffering ; suffering gratuitously created by itself, for its own good pleasure, without bringing any addition to those elements of power, the possession of which is pride s main ambition. On the contrary, pride saps its own foundation by the intrusive display of its influence. To be proud of the power of doing evil is something ; to be proud of possess ing the power without exercising it is something POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 299 better ; but to be proud because our pride has made others unhappy, is an exhibition of vice equally maleficent and mean. The laws of good-breeding might be pro perly classed under the pleasures of amity, to which they belong. They demand, as depen dent upon positive efficient benevolence in the ordinary intercourse of life, the doing all those services, the creating all those pleasures against which neither prudence nor beneficence in their regions of wider influence have aught to object. Good-breeding, when it degenerates into for mality or ceremoniousness, loses the charm of beneficence. Separately taken, acts of good- breeding are of small importance. Added to gether, the amount of pain and pleasure depen dent on them will be found to be very consider able. Good-breeding is a quality perpetually in demand, while conducting our relations with others ; for there is scarcely any one action which may not be made instrumental to more or less of pain or pleasure, that pain or pleasure dependent often on the good or ill grace with which the action is done. No man can have opened his eyes upon the events of every day, without perceiving how con stantly the occasions occur in which the benevo lent person is placed in advantageous contrast to the unbenevolent. No man but mav have remark- 300 DEONTOLOGY. ed at how small a sacrifice of self, some persons win the good affections of others, and find occa sions for the exercise of friendly sympathies, which either wholly escape the attention or the regard of minds less happily constituted or less virtuously trained. You are travelling, for example, in a public carriage, shut up with others, and mutually de pendent for the pleasures or annoyances of your position. Now watch how many subjects of contention may arise. Shall the windows, one or both, be shut or open? One man will shut or open them in spite of the remonstrances of all the rest. On that occasion, as far as that act is concerned, his maleficence would be maxi mized ; another man would do so against the re monstrances of one passenger, the others contin uing silent ; a third would do so without having heard or consulted the opinions of the others. The line of true morality, as of genuine courtesy, would be to consult the majority, and if in an individual case there were any special cause of annoyance, or gratification from the opening or shutting the window, to state that case for the consideration of the rest. But suppose the rest were unreasonable ? It is a rare case, but it would still be more for the interest of the rea sonable person to give way. Which side of the coach shall I occupy ? POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 301 Suppose a case, a frequent one, that a fellow passenger suffers from riding in a particular position, say with his back to the horses, or from being forced to lean on the right side or the left, beneficence would demand from me that I who suffer little, or less, or not at all from that particular position, should surrender my place to him who suffers more. But by surrendering it, I abandon a right ; a right whose recognition is important for the general good ; a right whose recognition prevents mistakes, quarrels and their consequences. No doubt it is so ; no doubt I make some sacrifice ; but I do so in the interests of benevolence. I aban don a small temporary pleasure in order to com municate to another a greater temporary plea sure. I have added to the amount of happiness ; I have excited gratitude ; I have done good to myself and to another. The coach stops, a passenger expresses a desire for food ; says he is hungry or thirsty ; he had not time to eat before the coach started ; and asks his fellow passengers to consent to a short delay. They have the power, the right to refuse him the gratification. Should they ? Certainly not, unless the delay were unreason able ; for the pains of hunger may be greater in his case than any pains growing out of that short delay. The dinner-time arrives. The same passen- 302 DEONTOLOGY. ger having satisfied his own wants, becomes impatient, and attempts to shorten the average duration and enjoyment of the meal. Here is again a conflict of wills and interests. Does benevolence demand that the individual will should be submitted to by the rest ? On the contrary, it is a fit occasion for resistance, and for the display of the popular sanction ; for a les son gently and not intrusively given, that those who had exhibited patience and kindness to wards the passenger just before, are intitled to his consideration then ; but it is no occasion for vituperation or anger. Even self-regarding pru dence would check these, and demand that only as much pain should be given to the party offending as was necessary to prevent a repeti tion of the offence : for what is to be gained by his ill-will ? He is your companion, and being so, many opportunities of manifesting his ill- will, will be in his power during the remainder of the journey, and by these you may suffer. Why then should he be rebuked at all ? Be cause the interests of the community require that such a want of beneficence should not be unnoticed; because, if the instruction be judi ciously conveyed, it is not unlikely that to the person himself the vexations may be saved which a repetition of his offence would bring with it. A subject of conversation is started. It is ob- POSITIVE EFFICIENT BENEVOLENCE. 303 viously painful to one of the parties. Opinions, political or religious, are expressed which wound the sensibilities of a fellow-traveller. Is it an occasion to rebuke the speaker ? In ordinary cases not, unless the case be one of more than common impropriety ; but often there is a very obvious claim on benevolence for endeavoring to give another turn to the conversation. And the course taken should be such as least to annoy the annoy er and the annoyed. It is not necessary to show that you have been hurt by what may have been a want of temper, or a want of liberality, on the part of him who has been irritated by the expression of opinions hos tile to his own ; it is not necessary that you should give pain to the speaker who, in the in troduction of a disagreeable topic, had, perhaps, no intention to hurt the feelings of his neighbor. Check not the conversation, then, by imperious reproof, nor even by any species of animadver sion ; the animadversion will not be justifiable till other means have been tried. If you can seduce the conversation away to pleasurable topics, by any other than painful agencies, that is your duty. And, as a necessary consequence of this, the acts of benevolence cannot be better exercised, on occasions where we are forced, as it were, into the company of others, than by the choice 304 DEONTOLOGY. of pleasurable topics of conversation. A little attention will discover those topics. To detect what are the peculiar riches of another man s mind, or experience, or knowledge, is among the happiest of resources. Its exercise is alike complimentary to the other party and instructive to ourselves. CONCLUSION. 305 CHAPTER VI. CONCLUSION. IN pursuing these important inquiries, it is hoped and believed that the sole disposition operating on the mind of the writer has been the promotion of that great interest, the interest of human happiness, to which reason and mo rality, if they are of any worth, must be made subservient. Since to trace errors to their source is to refute them, there has been no hesitation in threading the mazes of sophistry, or following up the aberrations of honest pur pose, or exposing the sinister interests of dog matism and self-conceit. When progress shall have been made in the true philosophy of morals, investigation may possibly take a bolder range, and proceed with less anxiety and less distrust. As matters are, the counsel given in Roman Catholic countries is the most judicious counsel which can be offered to the student : let him, in order to keep clear of mistakes, believe not the testimony of his own eyes. Let him be warned, at every turning, to take VOL. II. X 30G DEONTOLOGY. care how he trusts to the dictates of his own senses. But while the Roman Catholic teacher insists on the prostration of his moral and intellectual perceptions, before the said teacher and the church which he represents, the Deon- tologist asks for the submission of the inqui rer s faculties to his own felicity. He assumes nothing but that happiness is the end and aim of his being, and reasons only on that contin gency. While thus prosecuting the interests of truth, the Deontologist will employ none of the arts of falsehood. Why need he? What possible end could he accomplish by it ? Applying to himself the theory he proposes to others, his labors are, to him, felicity ; and if he earnestly intreat the attention of others to the thoughts he scatters abroad, he asks no welcome for them, but in so much and in so far as they are susceptible of becoming to others instru ments of felicity. He cares not whether the honors of invention belong to him or not ; for he is consoled with the reflection, that there are men who, as wise to their own true interests as they are zealous in the cause of truth, are indifferent as to the manner in which they make the commonwealth their debtor; whether the discovery of truth is due to their sagacity, CONCLUSION. 307 the recognition of it to their candor, or the diffusion of it to their zeal. Among the highest and brightest hopes of the Deontologist, upon this he dwells, that he is laboring, not unsuccessfully, to hasten the day when opinion will give expression and effect to the greatest-happiness principle. For till that time arrives, vast mischiefs and mise ries, which would not exist but for the preju dices that sanction them, will continue to walk abroad and devastate the earth. War, for example, inadequately grounded, or utterly groundless war, must infallibly be suppressed by the progress of a sound morality. Nothing but the lamentable success of those who, for personal and sinister interests, have sought to narrow the field of good-will and sympathy, could have made those destructive contests, in which nations have been so constantly en gaged, appear innocent or laudable. And had they not found fit instruments in phrases of delusion, had they not filled men s ears with the clamors of honor/ glory/ dignity/ and so forth, till the sounds of human felicity and human wretchedness could obtain no entrance there ; had they not, in a word, turned upside down all that wisdom or benevolence ever taught, the greatest of scourges and the greatest 308 DEONTOLOGY. of crimes could not so long have afflicted hu manity. There is much, there is very much to be done. Who, of all those who are the actors in the murderous deeds of war, who but looks with abhorrence on a solitary murderer ? Napoleon himself made a boast that he had never committed a crime ! In the same way, though to an extent less lamentable, exists the notion that power, rank, opulence, may convert malevolence into inno cence, wrong into right. The obtaining money under false pretences, an offence punished, when found among the poor, according to statute, by imprisonment, whipping, or trans portation ; when carried on by great men, on a great scale, appears scarcely illaudable. Is the measure of wretchedness produced by the crime considered as the measure of wickedness? Far from it; too often is it the wretchedness of the criminal. Let him be dirty and untidy in his apparel; let him use a phraseology different from that of the opulent ; let him, in a word, be vulgar, and see how differently, in ordinary cases, will he be judged and punished, even by popular opinion. Vulgar is the word to which the association of dislike attaches ; and hence the willingness to bring down the fruits of dislike upon the vulgar. Yet what is the CONCLUSION. 309 meaning of the epithet ? Vulgar is that which is in use among the common people. And what are the common people ? What but the great majority of the people ? And because a thing is in use among the great majority of the people, is that a reason, a sufficient reason that it should be held in contempt ? Is the exist ence of a usage among the relatively few, and among those alone, a reason, an adequate reason, for its being held in honor ? Poets and philosophers have not been blind, indeed, to the enormous injustice of opinion on these matters ; they have not failed to observe the impunity with which the errors of the rich are clothed, and the harshness which scourges the offences of the poor. Aphorisms, metaphors in abundance, dance up and down the pages of moralists, from the biblical books to the newspaper of this morning, but still nearly the same measure of injustice is dealt out, and will be dealt out, until men shall see that virtue is made up of pleasures, vice of pains, and that morality is but the maximization of happiness. The state of opinion as to duels is alike unfortunate and immoral. Take an ordinary case, in which the popular sanction may be said to be leagued with evil. A man imputes to 310 DEONTOLOGY. another a wilful falsehood ; and here, in ordi nary judgment, a man is authorised to destroy another s life, and to risk his own. Could the magnitude of the suffering be less appropriately weighed against the demand for it? A false hood has been uttered, and the life of the utterer is to be staked in consequence ; and because the falsehood has been uttered, an innocent person, already, perhaps, suffering from its utterance, is placed on a level with the guilty, and compelled to risk his own life. Could a more monstrous distribution of penal ties be fancied by barbarism? But it was a falsehood, a wilful falsehood ! And where is the man who, while he calls upon another to expiate the falsehood with his life, can boldly say that he has never uttered a falsehood ; that he has not done so more than once ; that he has not done so frequently? The jealousy of honor, as it is called, if pursued into its recesses, will be found, far more frequently, the self-convicted, self-condemning sense of frailty, the exhibition of inwardly-avowed assailable- ness, than the evidence of conscious strength and purity. But in this particular the tribunal of the vulgar is far more enlightened than that of the privileged. Duelling has not descended to the many ; and if, on any occasion, it has CONCLUSION. 311 attempted to intrude itself among them, ridicule has been sufficient to stop its progress. The popular sanction has protected the common people from a folly monopolized by their betters; and the benefit of the example of that many may one day act with salutary influ ence upon the few/ It is thus, by gathering up, wherever they are found, the elements of good, by giving patronage to whatever exists of truth, virtue, and happiness, and more especially where they are found spreading over a wide field of thought and action, it is thus, by putting into every man s hand an instrument of power and an instrument of felicity, that the work, the great work of morality advances. If each man, for himself, will seek emancipation from those fraudful delusions by which his own well-being is sacrificed ; if each man, while thinking of the well-being of others, will ask the true meaning of the words and the things by which social and national affairs are conducted ; if he will bring down the pompous phraseology of the eloquent into the regions of his own and other men s happiness ; if he will strip influential opinions of the artful decorations of interest and passion ; if he have the courage to ask, Shew me, then, the good, and shew me the 312 DEONTOLOGY, evil : exhibit to me what there is of enjoyment, and what there is of suffering/ the seed planted by true morality will be indeed ripen ing to an abundant harvest, and the reapers will be the whole family of man. But, alas ! not such has been the course of those who have had the monopoly of morals in their hands : those who, seated in pomp and pretence, loaded with dignities, riches, and honors, have taught that it was sacrilege to doubt their authority, impious to resist their decrees. And what have been their tactics, and what their conquests ? Theirs the art to cover their advances from the eyes of the people, and their usurpations from the scrutiny of the conscience of the people. They have taught mankind to be silent, se cret, submissive, accommodating : to hate inno vations, to join those with alacrity who would stop up the inlets at which light may enter, in order to save them the fatigue of examining projects which distress their indolence, and the vexation of being obliged to adopt measures which oppose a bar to their cupidity. Why should these worldly ones insult weakness, and ignorance, and mediocrity, with the demon- CONCLUSION. 313 strations of wisdom ? They know that, to avoid being tempted, the safest plan is to close up the entrance of wisdom into the minds of the people. How many are there who, for six days, have the Mammon of unrighteousness, of intrigue, of avidity, of fraud, of insincerity, of time serving, of debasement, in their hearts, and who dream of settling matters easily if, on the seventh, the gospel of righteousness, or what they call the gospel of righteousness, is in their ears? How many are there, who live in the habitual practice of what themselves call perjury, and in the still more flagitious tyranny of forcing that perjury upon others, who rise to vow- breaking as to their breakfast, and sleep on it as their pillow ? Are they not the nurses of that corruption which is the child of weakness : are they not the teachers of that profligacy which is the parent of crime ? In the course of these volumes, it will have been seen, that mathematical terms have been sometimes employed ;; and their employment requires explanation, in order that two dangers may be guarded against. One is, that some people will think mathe- VOL. II. Y 314 DEONTOLOGY. matical certainty attained : others, who see very well that it is not attained, will think it affected. It is not attained, neither is it affected. It is not mathematical modes of expression that can give mathematical certainty, to the facts which are necessarily put forward, as the foun dation of the notions advanced, but they may serve, in a certain degree, to give mathematical precision to those notions. But the inadequacy and insufficiency of lan guage is a source of equal embarrassment to the writer and the reader. Moral philosophy will, in the course of time, probably create better modes of expression, in proportion as moral truths force their way into men s minds, and the poverty of existing terms is conse quently felt. Meanwhile, such words must be employed as are found ready-made to the hands of the teacher : all that he can permit himself to do is now and then to venture upon a new locution. And though, in the progress of this work, the necessity of making such experiments has been strongly felt, yet have they been sparingly and unfrequently ventured on. Will these volumes find mercy at the hands of dogmatism? Probably not! Yet, it is hoped, humbly and earnestly hoped, that the im- pugner of the greatest-happiness principle, be CONCLUSION. 315 he whom he may, will bring forward cases to which it does not apply. This it is incum bent on him to do, if he mean to conduct a controversy in the love of truth and the spirit of honesty. A standard of morals is here pro posed. Its dictates are clear and intelligible. He who runs may read ; and it is believed that it has the merit of universal, invariable appli cability. If men retreat from it into the regions of mysticism, all that its advocate will have to say is, that he stands in the light, while its adversaries shroud themselves in darkness. If authority comes with arbitrary and despotic mandates, the Deontologist has only to tell mankind that he reasons, but does not menace. If crabbed asceticism pronounce evil to be the real good, the advocate of happiness can but retort, that to him evil is evil. And the world will decide between them ; the world, which will create its own futurity, which has its own felicity in its own keeping, and which will hereafter give to the disputants of the present day the influence which unto it shall seem good. For the earnestness with which the cause of happiness has been advocated, can an apology be needed ? It is a cause, in the presence of which every thing else really sinks into insig nificance. It is a cause, beyond which man 316 DEONTOLOGY. has nothing to desire, nothing to accomplish. It is the sole link which binds him to the present, the past, or the future. It is the treasury in which all he has, all he hopes for, is up-gathered. Happy he who points out the edifice, happier still who unlocks the portal. THE END. LONDON: C. AND W. REYNELL, PRINTERS, LITTLE rULTENEY STREET, HAYMARKET. BINDiNG S^CT. UtU 1 Bentham, Jeremy Deontology * v.2 PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY