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“ Soli Deo Gloria
As the coming stream poured up towards him, a sudden crowding, * dark object appeared upon a turret, and the black bow of a scorpion + moved on the wall, and levelled upon the knight. For an instant it lay upon the battlement, till suddenly the bright eye of the arrow looked at him over the stone ; a universal cry and waving of hands and caps came from the assault, but Raymond stood still, waving his hand, and singing the song, till a wild cry, a flying shadow came through the smoke, and at the moment that the dart parted from the cord, Albert threw himself upon the breast of his master, the hissing shaft struck short and sharp in his back, and he dropped from the bosom of the knight upon the rampart.
The dart snapped upon the stone, but the bright point stood stiff and red through the breast of his coat ; Raymond dropped the banner, and gave a cry of grief, and drew out the broken wood; and as the clear blood gushed after, tore open the breast of the page to stanch the wound, when, as he undid the gorget, he discovered, not the dark neck of a sun-burnt boy, but the white snowy throat of a maiden bosom ! She turned her face to the stone-" Thank God !” she said,
“ I die for you, as you died for me !"
Raymond raised her eagerly in his arms" Who! Who are you?” he exclaimed, looking wildly upon her dark face and snow-white bosom.
« I was-Blanche Rose !” whispered the page.
Raymond fell upon her face, and for a moment held her to his mailed breast as still and silent as herself ; but suddenly he started up, and rending his surcoat, bound the fillets round her bleeding breast ; but still as he wound fold over fold with wild eagerness, the red blood came through the silk.
“ It is not painful,” said Blanche, “ it will soon be past !”
Raymond dropped the last bandage, and gazed upon her with the fixedness of despair, as she lay still in his arms, her white passive face reclined upon his breast, and her cold hand resting quiet in his mail glove. For awhile she lay like one composing into sleep, at last she lifted her heavy eyes —
“ I am happy! I die in peace !” she said ; and turned her face to his bosom like an infant to its rest ; and one long tremulous sigh, and her breast came still, her hand unclosed, the smile fixed on her white lip, and the tear in her eye, and she lay calm, and still, and placid, like a child on its parent lap.
They buried them together in the valley of Jehosaphat, and raised
• In the middle ages the vulgar Latin was little more than a patois through most parts of Europe. There are some MSS. almost unintelligible from the number of barbarous words, and the confusion of Latin and native terminations ; and in many serious pieces the language was little more pure than the doggrel rhyme in which the English monks satirized the ignorance of the Lollards.
“ My name is Tutivillus, my horn is blowen,
Belzebub algorum Belial bellman doliorum !"
over them a grave of simple turf; for he said, “ Let our pillow be the earth where He has trodden, and let His light shine upon us by day and His dew come down upon our breast at night.”
There is a palm-tree at the head of the heap, and a little well at the foot, and one white rose of Sharon that blossoms very sweet over the brink, and sheds the incense of the earth over their breasts who sleep below. At evening the gazelle comes to feed upon the green turf, and the bulbul sings on the bough over his flower, and the palmer at noon takes his branch from the tree, and a blossom from the bush, and sits in the shade, and drinks out of the well, and says,
« Il'uminat Dominus faciem suum super te
JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU.
We have hitherto considered the character and fortunes of Rousseau as they regarded himself alone; the next, and now succeeding objects of consideration, however, are the views he took of the society into which he was thrown, the opinions he promulgated respecting the evils which infected it, and the remedies he proposed for the disease he fancied he had discovered. When these have been discussed, and the bearing they have on the opinions of the present day pointed out, the task we pro.. posed to ourselves respecting Rousseau will have been accomplished.
Though endowed with quick sensibilities for himself, Jean Jacques yet extended his sympathies to his race. The injustice practised towards the poor made him the apostle of humanity; the misery inflicted on chil. dren kindled those lively feelings which led to the production of Emile, the most important work on education that ever appeared : the vices of social life induced him to compose, for the instruction of every coming generation, his remarkable romance “ La Nouvelle Heloïse,” in the hope of being able to build up some moral code in the place of that which he saw was utterly destroyed ; while the reigning ignorance on the science of government induced him to compose his Contrat Social, for the purpose of establishing some definite principles of political science. In all these various works he endeavoured, as he himself observes, to re-con. struct the fabric of opinions, and to rescue men from the floating uncer. tainty then prevalent on most of the important subjects of thought; an uncertainty which, in any other than highly-cultivated minds, is but too apt to lead to carelessness respecting truth itself, and indifference to the well-being or misery of our fellows. Speaking of himself, as a third person, he says,
In this age, in which philosophy is employed only to destroy, I saw this author alone attempting solidly to reconstruct opinions. In the books of all others I detected the passion which had dictated them, and the personal object the writer had in view. Jean Jacques alone seemed to me to seek truth with rectitude of purpose, and simplicity of heart. He alone appeared to me to point out to men the path of true happiness, by teaching them to distinguish between reality and appearancebetween the man of nature and that fictitious, fantastic man which has been put in his place, by our prejudices and our institutions. The system he framed, (almost entirely the result of his own meditations,) like every first attempt in science, was a compound of truth and error. Still, although the errors he enunciated were of startling extra. vagance, the truths he eloquently established were of the highest import; and, while he left much to be performed by succeeding inquirers, he himself made a great advance in the science he was endeavouring to form.
His system, which has been egregiously misunderstood and misrepresented, was framed with constant reference to the existing state of society.* This state he saw was one of vice and misery: and the first great inquiry suggested to his mind, by this circumstance, was,
whether men were doomed necessarily to be thus vicious and thus unhappy. In oro der to answer this question, he was led to inquire into the nature of man, and to dissect the constitution of society. The result of his investigations may be summed up in the following propositions: 1st, That men are, by nature, prone to good rather than to evil, and that they are capable of happiness.t 2d, That the chief misery that men suffer is the result of a mischievous social system. 3d, That the system which would confer on them the highest degree of enjoyment, is that which would bring them back to their original or natural state. 4th, That, since to do this completely and at once is impossible, the best that can now be effected, would be to modify the existing system, keeping in mind the natural state of man, and, in as far as it is possible, correcting, by that model, the present mischievous regulations of society. 5th, That since these regulations have reference to our social and our political state, the latter resulting from the former, and the former resulting from our education, we must, if we desire to modify our condition, politically or socially, to any great or material extent, make a revolution previously in our system of education. The individuals who compose society must be changed before we can hope for any fundamental change in society itself.
In this series of propositions, that which is peculiar to Rousseau, that which brought down on him the ridicule of the philosophes, and which was the ground-work of his whole plan of regeneration, is the 3d, viz., “ That the system which would confer on men the greatest degree of enjoyment, is that which would bring them back to their original or natural state.” The meaning, however, which Rousseau attached to this proposition was either misunderstood or wilfully misrepresented by his contemporaries. The spirit in which it was uttered was completely mistaken. The evils to which it pointed, and the remedies which it suggested, were alike misconceived by the critics of the day, and by the
It may safely be assumed, that the small wits, who, on authority, sneer at the extravagance of Rousseau, have not been aware that he ever penned such a passage as the following:
“ Here is found, as it appears to me, the ordinary fault of the Abhé St. Pierre ; which is, the never suiting his schemes to existing men, times, and circumstances ; and the bringing forward, as means to facilitate the execution of a project, the very things that act as obstacles to it. In his present plan, he wished to modify a government declining through age, by means altogether foreign to its present nature ; he wished to give it that general vigour which (if we may use such an expression) puts the whole person in action. This was, as if he had said to a decrepit and gouty old man, Walk, and labour ; use your hands and your legs, for exercise is good for your health.” (Jugement sur la Polysynodie.)
+ This proposition brought down on him the anger and anathemas of the priesthood. If the reader be desirous of knowing the evils that fell on poor Rousseau, for his enunciation of this proposition, let him read the eloquent letter of Jean Jacques to the Archbishop of Paris, M. de Beaumont.
little wits who, since that period, have never ceased to laugh at Rousseau for what they have chosen to call his Savage System.* They could neither understand the reform he suggested, nor perceive the evils which he described as now inhering in society.
Driven by his own condition, and that of the millions who constitute the poor of every country, to contemplate the existing state of society, he could not but quickly perceive, that individual merit had little to do with the well-being of any individual. He saw that the rules of civi. lized life were so framed, that a blind necessity for the most part determined the situation of every one ; that the rules which governed society were expressly framed, not to be influenced by the circumstances of any particular case :--that their supposed virtue consisted in their undeviating certainty. This certainty cannot be attained without striking out of consideration individual differences. Any rule which is drawn with reference to the peculiar qualities of individuals must of necessity vary ; but varying, it creates uncertainty; and uncertainty is the evil dreaded. The rule, therefore, has been based upon circumstances foreign to the individual himself, and not liable to doubt or uncertainty. Thus grew up the law of property, the law of condition,—thus arose the relative situation of governor and governed, of subject and master, poor and rich, noble and plebeian. Thus originated the vices of our social condition,—the evils of government,-the misery of millions apparently for the well-being of a few.
The regulations of civilized life were said to be necessary to the happiness of society. The happiness of society is made up of the happiness of the individuals who compose it. But of the individuals who compose society, a very small, if any portion do enjoy any happiness, And if this be so, then the regulations have not attained the end for which they were established, and consequently are at best unnecessary.t But it is true that no portion of society enjoys any thing like happiness. The poor by all are allowed to be in a situation of horrible destitution and misery. The rich, with all their means of enjoyment, are, by their education, an education arising out of their condition, rendered incapable of making a useful application of those means. The poor drag out a miserable existence, with all their capabilities of happiness destroyed, because deprived of the means. The rich waste their lives in “ strenuous idleness ;" seeking for pleasure, ever to be disappointed. No wise man will say that the feverish excitement, or the listless indolence of a rich man is happiness.
Voltaire even mistook the meaning of Rousseau : and was witty at his expense, The exquisite style and wit of that wonderful man sometimes successfully hid want of knowledge and research. Great men—and none can be found greater than Voltaire_ought, however, to recollect, that their errors are oftentimes the texts of fools. The herd who never examine for themselves must have an authority and a leader. The fools who have sneered at Rousseau shield themselves under the name of Voltaire. The origin of many a sarcasm may be found in the following sentence of a letter from Voltaire to Rousseau :
“ J'ai reçu, Monsieur, votre nouveau livre, contre le genre humain ; je vous en remercie. Vous plaisez aux hommes à qui vous dites leur verités, et vous ne les corrigerez pas. On ne peut peindre avec des couleurs plus fortes les horreurs de la so. ciété humaine, dont notre ignorance et notre foiblesse se promettent tant de douceus. On n'a jamais employé tant d'esprit à vouloir nous rendre bêtes. Il prend envie de marcher à quatre pattes, quand on lit votre ouvrage.” &c.
t It must be remembered, that we are following Rousseau's reasoning, not coinriding with it.
The regulations of society, then, do not fulfil the conditions on which they were established. But what are the conditions required to make the society happy? A previous inquiry is,-What are the condi. tions required to make the individuals happy? These are of two descriptions, physical and moral. A man's frame should be robust and healthy; and his mind should be so constituted that it lead him to seek for enjoyments, unalloyed with mischievous consequences either to him. self or others, and to enjoy to the utmost such pleasures, as while mischievous to no one, are easily obtained. Unless his physical state be one of health and comfort, neither the mind nor the body can be at ease. Unless the mind be framed for happiness, no physical comfort will produce it. But, to the production of a healthy and robust frame, a pure and simple life, exercise, sufficiency, frugal and sober habits, are necessary. To the production of a sane and healthy mind, a state must be found in which there should be no temptation to acquire mischievous desires; the interest of the individual being never opposed to virtuous inclinations and conduct. Rousseau himself thus expresses it :-Speaking of his father's conduct, he says,
This conduct, in a father, whose tenderness and virtue 1 so well knew, led me to make reflections on myself, which have not a little contributed to keep my mind virtuous. I drew from it this great maxim of morality, the only one, perhaps, which is of use in practice, viz. to shun those situations which place our duties in opposition to our interests, and which make us see that our own happiness is dependent on that which is mischievous to another ; being certain, that, in such situations, however sincere may be the love of virtúe we bring to them, sooner or later it becomes weak, without our perceiving it; and we are unjust and wicked, in fact, with. out ceasing to be just and good in our minds. (Confessions, L. 11.) Thus far he would find many to agree with him. At the next step this coincidence of opinion would cease. In what state is this condition, phy, sical and moral, most likely to be created ? His answer was, The state not civilized; the state in which men's minds are not corrupted by false science, nor their bodies enervated by luxurious and profligate habits,
This answer is startling, and thus stated is undoubtedly incorrect. But the accusations brought by Rousseau against civilized life as he saw it, were true, were deserving of serious attention, and led to measures of education in the highest degree conducive to our well-being. posed the civilized state of which he was an eye-witness, to the state not civilized, which his imagination created; and making the comparison, he could not but prefer the latter. But this latter never existed ; it was a fancy founded on the declarations of former writers, and the incorrect statements of travellers. Thus, though the conclusion of Rousseau was erroneous in point of fact, it led to exceedingly judicious plans of reformation. He saw what others were not inclined to admit, viz, the imperfections of the existing society. He in a great measure traced these imperfections to their right sources. He acknowledged that his beau ideal could not be attained, but he believed that an approach might be made to it. This approach is, in reality, all that is required. The modified plans of amelioration, plans modified by the existing state of society, are for the most part what the most consummate and far-sighted wisdom would have suggested.
Rousseau hastily and unwarily took upon trust the opinions of almost 2]l preceding writers respecting the virtue and simplicity of a barbaric