Page images
PDF
EPUB

For the lovely one whom thou left'st forlorn,

A deep lament shall be ;
But no heart will sigh, and no bosom mourn,

And no eye e'er weep for thee.
Thou wilt pass away to the realms of death

In solitude and gloom ;
And a curse will cling to thy parting breath,

As awful as thy doom. But this, and a few other extreme room window of romance into the cases, I consider as mere exceptions area of common sense, and real life ; to my general rule. Now, supposing, but he was forced to make the best as I have said before, that a man of it: so he took his meals oftener dotes upon a beauty without a heart: and thought no more about it. He What, in the name of reason, should afterwards actually became a suitor induce him to die for one who does to another, was married, and now, not care a rush for him? There may I have no doubt, thinks just as I do be others who would have more feel on the subject of dying for love. ing, and less coquetry, with quite as Ere I part with you my

readers many personal charms. Or sup- all!” take notice of these my last posing that he is attached to one far words, and farewell directions, which above him, either in fortune or rank, I give in sincerity of heart, and out of or in both. What then! Must he anxiety for your welfare. Ye who therefore waste away, and become have never been in love, but who are the mere shadow of himself? A child approaching insensibly towards itmay long to catch a star as he does Corydons of sixteen! “ Apollines ima butterfly, or to turn the sun round berbes” come home for the holidays! as he is accustomed to turn his hoop, take heed ! Ye are entering on a but his non-success would not, as little known and perilous sea. Look nurses call it, “ be the death of him.” to your bark lest she founder. Bring Again: let us imagine that a man her head round, and scud away beplaces his affections on an equal, and fore the wind into the port of Indifthat she has a stronger yearning to- ference. There is danger in the very wards another. Still, I say, there is serenity that sleeps upon the waves : no harm done. Let him think (as there is faithlessness in the lightest I should do that there may be other breath that curls them. Ye who are females with quite as many outward in love-ye who are already on the attractions, and more discernment. deceitful ocean-listen to me! Look I have no notion of dying to please any out for squalls !-Beware of hurrione. I have had too much trouble to canes !-Have a care of approaching support existence to think of laying storms! There may be an enemy's it down upon such grounds. I should ship nearer than you wot of. Just deem it quite enough to perish for give a salute, and sheer off to Bachethe sake of one who really loved me: lor's harbour. And ye, the last and for one who did not, I should be most pitiable class of all-ye, who sorry, to suffer a single twinge of fancy yourselves dying for love, make the rheumatism, or the lumbago. I a tack! about ship! and, above all, have read of a man who actually keep plenty of good wine a-board ; fancied he was fading away. so that when a sigh is rising in the victim to the tender passion;"—but throat you may choke it with a who afterwards discovered that his bumper; and, in case of tears flowcomplaint was caused by abstaining ing, depend upon it that port will too long from his necessary food. prove the best eye-water. This was a sad fall from the drawing

6 а

IDEA OF A UNIVERSAL HISTORY ON A COSMO-POLITICAL PLAN.

BY IMMANUEL KANT.

WHATSOEVER difference there may if they perceived it, they would little be in our notions of the freedom of regard. the will metaphysically considered, Considering that men, taken colit is evident that the manifestations lectively as a body, do not proceed of this will, viz, human actions, are like brute animals under the law of as much under the control of uni- an instinct, nor yet again, like raversal laws of nature as any other tional cosmopolites, under the law of physical phænomena. It is the pro- a preconcerted plan, - one might vince of history to narrate these ma- imagine that no systematic history of nifestations; and let their causes be their actions (such for instance as the ever so secret, we know that history, history of bees or beavers) could be simply by taking its station at a possible. At the sight of the actions distance and contemplating the a- of man displayed on the great stage gency of the human will upon a large of the world, it is impossible to esscale, aims at unfolding to our view cape a certain degree of disgust: a regular stream of tendency in the with all the occasional indications of great succession of events ; so that wisdom scattered here and there, we the very same course of incidents, cannot but perceive the whole sum which taken separately and indic of these actions to be a web of folly, vidually would have seemed per- childish vanity, and often even of the plexed, incoherent, and lawless, yet idlest wickedness and spirit of deviewed in their connexion and as the struction. Hence at last one is puzactions of the human species and not zled to know what judgment to form of independent beings, never fail to of our species so conceited of its discover a steady and continuous high advantages. In this perplexity though slow developement of certain there is no resource for the philosogreat predispositions in our nature. pher but this -- that, finding it imposThus for instance deaths, births, and sible to presume in the human race marriages, considering how much any rational purpose of its own, he they are separately dependent on the must endeavour to detect some natufreedom of the human will, should ral purpose in such a senseless curseem to be subject to no law accord- rent of human actions ; by means of ing to which any calculation could be which a history of creatures that made beforehand of their amount: pursue no plan of their own may yet and yet the yearly registers of these admit a systematic form as the hisevents in great countries prove that tory of creatures that are blindly purthey go on with as much conformity suing a plan of nature. Let us now to the laws of nature as the oscilla- see whether we can succeed in finding tions of the weather: these again out a clue to such a history; leaving are events which in detail are so far it to nature to produce a man capable irregular that we cannot predict them of executing it. Just as she proindividually; and yet taken as a duced a Kepler who unexpectedly whole series we find that they never brought the eccentric courses of the fail to support the growth of plants planets under determinate laws; and --the currents of rivers—and other afterwards a Newton who explained arrangements of nature in a uniform these laws out of a universal ground and uninterrupted course. Individual in nature. men, and even nations, are little aware that, whilst they are severally pursuing their own peculiar and often All tendencies of any creature, to contradictory purposes, they are un- which it is predisposed by nature, are consciously following the guidance of destined in the end to develope thema great natural purpose which is selves perfectly and agreeably to their wholly unnoticed by themselves; and final purpose.—External as well as are thus promoting and making ef- internal (or anatomical) examination forts for a great process which, even confirms this remark in all animals. Oct. 1824.

20

PROPOSITION THE FIRST.

PROPOSITION THE SECOND.

An organ which is not to be used, a apart, through his own reason.-Na-
natural arrangement that misses its ture does nothing superfluously: and
purpose, would be a contradiction in in the use of means to her ends does
physics. Once departing from this not play the prodigal. Having given
fundamental proposition, we have a to man reason, and freedom of the
nature no longer tied to laws, but will grounded upon reason, she had
objectless and working at random ; hereby sufficiently made known the
and a cheerless reign of chance steps purpose which governed her in the
into the place of reason.

choice of the furniture and appoint-
ments, intellectual and physical, with

which she has accoutred him. Thus
'In man, as the sole rational creature provided, he had no need for the
upon earth, those tendencies which have guidance of instinct, or for know-
the use of his reason for their object are ledge and forethought created to his
destined to obtain their perfect develope- hand: for these he was to be in-
ment in the species only and not in the debted to himself. The means of
individual.Reason in a creature is a providing for his own shelter from
faculty for extending the rules and the elements—for his own security,
purposes of the exercise of all its and the whole superstructure of de-
powers far beyond natural instinct, lights which add comfort and embel-
and it is illimitable in its plans. It lishment to life, were to be the work
works however not instinctively, but of his own hands. So far indeed has
stands in need of trials—of practice she pushed this principle, that she
—and of instruction in order to as- seems to have been frugal even to
cend gradually from one degree of niggardliness in the dispensation of
illumination to another. On this ac- her animal endowments to man, and
count either it would be necessary to have calculated her allowance to
for each man to live an inordinate the nicest rigor of the demand in the
length of time in order to learn how very earliest stage of his existence:
to make a perfect use of his natural as if it had been her intention hereby
tendencies; or else, supposing the to proclaim that the highest degree
actual case that nature has limited of power-of intellectual perfection
his term of life, she must then require —and of happiness to which he should
an incalculable series of generations ever toil upwards from a condition
(each delivering its quota of know- utterly savage, must all be wrung
ledge to its immediate successor) in and extorted from the difficulties and
order to ripen the germs which she thwartings of his situation-and the
has laid in our species to that degree merit therefore be exclusively his
of developement which corresponds own: thus implying that she had
with her final purpose. And the pe- at heart his own rational self-estima-
riod of this mature developement tion rather than his convenience or
must exist at least in idea to man as comfort. She has indeed beset man
the object of his efforts : because with difficulties; and in no way could
otherwise his own natural predis- she have so clearly made known that
positions must of necessity be re- her purpose with man was not that
garded as objectless; and this would he might live in pleasure; but that
at once take away all practical prin- by a strenuous wrestling with those
ciples, and would expose nature difficulties he might make himself
the wisdom of whose arrangements worthy of living in pleasure. Un-
must in all other cases be assumed as doubtedly it seems surprising on this
a fundamental postulate to the sus- view of the case that the earlier ge-
picion of capricious dealing in the nerations appear to exist only for the
case of man only.

sake of the latter-viz. for the sake
of forwarding that edifice of man's

grandeur in which only the latest geIt is the will of nature that man nerations are to dwell, though all should owe to himself only every thing have undesignedly taken part in raiswhich transcends the mere mechanic ing it. Mysterious as this appears, constitution of his animal existence; it is however at the same time necesand that he should be susceptible of no

sary, if we once assume a race of raother happiness or perfection than what tional animals, as destined by means he has created for himself, instinct of this characteristic reason to a per

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

PROPOSITION THE THIRD.

fect developement of their tendencies, must suffocate and stifle all talents and subject to mortality in the indi- in their very germs. Men, as gentle vidual but immortal in the species. as the sheep they fed, would com

municate to their existence no higher PROPOSITION TIIE FOURTH.

value than belongs to mere animal The means, which nature employs to life ; and would leave the vacuum of bring about the developement of all the creation which exists in reference to tendencies she has laid in man, is the the final purpose of man's nature as antagonism of these tendencies in the a rational nature, unfilled. Thanks social state-no farther however than therefore to nature for the enmity, for to that point at which this antagonism the jealous spirit of envious compebecomes the cause of social arrange- tition, for the insatiable thirst after ments founded in law.-By antago- wealth and power! These wanting, nism of this kind I mean the unsocial all the admirable tendencies in man's sociality of man; that is, a tendency nature would remain for ever undeto enter the social state combined veloped. Man, for his own sake as with a perpetual resistance to that an individual, wishes for concord : tendency which is continually threat- but nature knows better what is good ening to dissolve it. Man has gre- for man as a species; and she ordains garious inclinations, feeling himself discord. He would live in ease and in the social state more than man by passive content: but nature wills means of the developement thus that he shall precipitate himself out given to his natural tendencies. But of this luxury of indolence into lahe has also strong anti-gregarious in- bors and hardships, in order that he clinations prompting him to insulate may devise remedies against them himself, which arise out of the unso and thus raise himself above them cial desire (existing concurrently with by an intellectual conquest-not sink his social propensities) to force all below them by an unambitious evathings into compliance with his own sion. The impulses, which she has humor; a propensity to which he with this view laid in his moral connaturally anticipates resistance from stitution, the sources of that antihis consciousness of a similar spirit sociality and universal antagonism of resistance to others existing in from which so many evils arise, but himself. Now this resistance it is which again stimulate a fresh 'rewhich awakens all the powers of action of the faculties and by conseman, drives him to master his pro- quence more and more aid the devepensity to indolence, and in the shape lopement of the primitive tendencies, of ambition--love of honormor ava- -all tend to betray the adjusting rice impels him to procure distinction hand of a wise Creator, not that of for himself amongst his fellows. In an evil spirit that has bungled in the this way arise the first steps from the execution of his own designs, or has savage state to the state of culture, malevolently sought to perplex them which consists peculiarly in the social with evil. worth of man: talents of every kind are now unfolded, taste formed, and by gradual increase of light a pre- The highest problem for the human paration is made for such a mode of species, to the solution of which it is thinking as is capable of converting irresistibly urged by natural impulses, the rude natural tendency to moral is the establishment of a universal civil distinctions into determinate practical society founded on the empire of politi- . principles, and finally of exalting a cal justice.-Since it is only in the sosocial concert that had been patho- cial state that the final purpose of logically extorted from the mere ne- nature with regard to man (viz. the cessities of situation into a moral developement of all his tendencies) union founded on the reasonable can be accomplished,—and in such a choice. But for these anti-social pro- social state as combines with the ut: pensities, so unamiable in themselves, most possible freedom, and consewhich give birth to that resistance quent antagonism of its members, which every man meets with in his the most rigorous determination of own self-interested pretensions, an

the boundaries of this freedom-in Arcadian life would arise of perfect order that the freedom of such inharmony and mutual lore such as dividual may coexist with the free

PROPOSITION THE FIFTH.

dom of others; and since it is the quires a master therefore to curb his will of nature that this as well as all will, and to compel him into submisother objects of his destination should sion to a universal will which may be the work of men's own efforts,- secure the possibility of universal freeon these accounts a society in which dom. Now where is he to find this freedom under laws is united with master? Of necessity amongst the huthe greatest possible degree of irre- man species. But, as a human being, sistible power, i. e. a perfect civil con- this master will also be an animal stitution, is the highest problem of that requires a master. Lodged in one nature for man: because it is only by or many, it is impossible that the suthe solution of this problem that na- preme and irresponsible power can ture can accomplish the rest of her be certainly prevented from abusing purposes with our species. Into this its authority. Hence it is that this state of restraint man, who is other- problem is the most difficult of any; wise so much enamored of lawless nay, its perfect solution is imposfreedom, is compelled to enter by sible: out of wood so crooked and pernecessity-and that the greatest of verse as that which man is made of, all necessity, viz. a necessity self- nothing absolutely straight can ever be imposed; his natural inclinations wrought. An approximation to this making it impossible for man to pre- idea is therefore all which nature enserve a state of perfect liberty for joins us. That it is also the last of all any length of time in the neighbour- problems, to which the human species hood of his fellows. But, under the addresses itself, is clear from thisrestraint of a civil community, these that it presupposes just notions of the very inclinations lead to the best nature of a good constitution-great effects : just as trees in a forest, for experience—and above all a will favorthe very reason that each endeavours ably disposed to the adoption of such to rob the other of air and sun, com- a constitution; three elements that pel each other to shoot upwards in can hardly, and not until after many quest of both; and thus attain a fine fruitless trials, be expected to concur. erect growth : whereas those which stand aloof from each other under no mutual restraint, and throw out their The problem of the establishment of boughs at pleasure, become crippled a perfect constitution of society depends and distorted. All the gifts of art upon the problem of a system of interand cultivation, which adorn the national relations adjusted to law; human race,-in short the most beau- and, apart from this latter problem, tiful forms of social order, are the cannot be solved. To what purpose fruits of the anti-social principle is labor bestowed upon a civil consti, which is compelled to discipline it- tution adjusted to law for individual self, and by means won from the very men, i. e. upon the creation of a resistance of man's situation in this commonwealth? The same anti-soworld to give perfect developement cial impulses, which first drove men to all the germs of nature.

to such a creation, is again the cause

--that every commonwealth in its PROPOSITION THE SIXTH.

external relations, i. e. as a state in This problem is at the same time the reference to other states, occupies most difficult of all, and the one which the same ground of lawless and unis latest solved by man. The diffi- controled liberty; consequently each culty, which is involved in the bare must anticipate from the other the idea of such a problem, is this: Man very same evils which compelled inis an animal that, so long as he lives dividuals to enter the social state. amongst others of his species, stands Nature accordingly avails herself of in need of a master. For he ine- the spirit of enmity in man, as existvitably abuses his freedom in regard ing even in the great national corpoto his equals; and, although as a rations of that animal, for the purreasonable creature, he wishes for a pose of attaining through the inelaw that may set bounds to the vitable antagonism of this spirit a liberty of all, yet do his self-intera state of rest and security: i. e. by ested animal propensities seduce him wars, by the immoderate exhaustion into making an exception in his own of incessant preparations for war, favor whensoever he dares. He re- and by the pressure of evil conse

PROPOSITION THE SEVENTH.

« PreviousContinue »