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als Schriftsteller zum Ruhme gereichen. Seine Schreibart indessen hat wirkliche Schönheiten; sie ist nicht nur fest, und durch einen eignen Grad von gleich gehaltenem Nachdruck ausgezeichnet, sondern auch reich und musikalisch. Kein Englischer Schriftsteller hat auf den regelmässigen Bau seiner Sätze, sowohl in Ansehung des Ausdrucks, als in Ansehung des Wohlklanges, so viel Aufmerksamkeit verwandt, als Lord Shaftsbury. Alles dies giebt seiner Schreibart so viel Zier lichkeit und Schmuck, dafs man sich nicht wundern darf, wenn sie bei vielen einen hohen Grad von Bewunderung gefunden hat. Aber eben so ausgemacht ist es auch, dafs ihre Schönheiten durch ein steifes, gezwungenes Wesen, das sich allenthalben an ihr bemerken lässt, merklich verdunkelt werden. Und hierin liegt in der That der Hauptfehler dieses Schriftstellers. Es ist dem Lord unmöglich, irgend einen Gedanken natürlich und kunstlos auszudrucken. Er scheint es für zu gemein und unter der Würde eines Mannes von Stande zu halten, gleich andern Menschen zu sprechen. Daher geht sein Ausdruck allenthalben auf Stelzen und ist voller Umschreibungen und künstlicher Zierlichkeit. Jeder Absatz verräth Arbeit und Kunst; nirgends jene Leichtigkeit, mit welcher natürliche Gedanken und ungesuchte Empfindungen sich von selbst in Worte ergiefsen. Übrigens ist er ein aufserordentlicher Liebhaber von Figuren und Verzierungen jeder Art. Zuweilen gelingt es ihm, sie mit vielem Glück anzubringen; aber immer leuchtet seine Vorliebe für dieselben zu sichtbar hervor; und wenn er einmal eine Metapher oder Anspielung, die nach seinem Geschmack ist, erhascht hat, so weifs er sich gar nicht von ihr wieder loszureifsen. Das Sonderbarste bei dem allen ist, dafs er ein erklärter Bewunderer der Simplieität war, sie ohne Unterlafs als den schönsten Vorzug der Alten erhebt, und die Neuern wegen des Mangels derselben tadelt; obschon er selbst sich von ihr weiter entfernt, als irgend ein anderer neuer Schriftsteller. Shaftsbury besafs einen Grad von Feinheit und Zärtlichkeit des Geschmacks, den man beinahe weich und übertrieben nennen möchte; aber es fehlte ihm fast ganz an leidenschaftlicher Wärme, an starken kraftvollen Gefühlen. Und eben diese Kälte seines Charakters war ohne Zweifel die nächste Ursache jener künstlichen und zierlichen Manier, welche in seinen Schriften herrscht. Nichts ging ihm über Witz und feine Spottsucht; und dock fehlte viel, dafs er selbst in beiden glücklich ge

wesen wäre.

Zwar läfst er keine Gelegenheit vorbei, sich darin zu versuchen; aber immer erscheint er dabei zu seinem Nachtheil; er bleibt steif, selbst wenn er scherzen will, und lacht jederzeit mit der feierlichen Miene eines Autors, nie mit der Unbefangenheit des Menschen,“


Of all human affections, the noblest and most becoming

human nature, is that of love to one's country. This, perhaps, will easily be allow'd by all men, who have really a country, and are of the number of those who may be call'd * people **), as enjoying the happiness of a real constitution and polity, by which they are free and independent. There are few such country-men or free- men so degenerate, as di◄ rectly to discountenance or condemn this passion of love to their community and national brotherhood. The indirect manner of opposing this principle, is the most usual. We hear it commonly, as a complaint, „,that there is little of ,,this love extant in the world." From whence it is hastily concluded,,,that there is little or nothing of friendly or so,,cial affection inherent in our nature, or proper to our spe„cies." It is however apparent, that there is scarce a creature of human kind, who is not possess'd at least with some inferiour degree or meaner sort of this natural affection to a country.

Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine captos


Ovid. Pont. lib. I. Eleg. 3. v. 36.

It is a wretched aspect of humanity which we figure to our-selves, when we would endeavour to resolve the very essence and foundation of this generous passion into a relation to mere clay and dust, exclusively of any thing sensible,

*) Miscellaneous reflections, Miscellany III. ch. 1. (im3ten Bande der Characteristicks. **) A multitude held together by force, tho' under one and the same head, is not properly united: nor does such a body make a people, It is the social ligue, confederacy, and mutual consent, founded in some cominon good or interest, which joins the ineinbers of a community, and makes a people One. Absolute power an◄ nuls the publie: and where there is no publie, or constitution; there is in reality no mother-country; or nation.

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intelligent, or moral. It is, I must own, on certain relations, or respective proportions, that all natural affection does in some measure depend. And in this view it cannot, I confess, be denied that we have each of us a certain relation to the mere earth itself, the very mould or surface of that planet, in which, with other animals of various sorts, we, poor reptiles! were also bred and nourish'd. But had it happened to one of us Britishmen to have been born at sea, could we not therefore properly be call'd Britishmen? Could we be allowed country-men of no sort, as having no distinct relation to any certain soil or region; no original neighbourhood but with the walry inhabitants and sea-monsters? Surely, if we were born of lawful parents, lawfully employed, and under the protection of law; wherever they might be then detained, to whatever colonies sent, or whithersoever driven by any accident, or in expeditions or adventures in the public service, or that of mankind, we should still find we had a home, and country, ready to lay claim to us. We should be obliged still to consider ourselves as fellow-citizens, and might be allowed to love our country or nation as honestly and heartily as the most inland inhabitant or native of the soil. Our political and social capacity would undoubtedly come in view, and be acknowledged full as natural and essential in our species, as the parental and filial kind, which gives rise to what we peculiarly call natural affection. Or supposing that both our birth and parents had been unknown, and that in this respect we were in a manner younger brothers in society to the rest of mankind: yet, from our nurture and education we should surely espouse some country or other, and joyfully embracing the protection of a magistracy, should of necessity and by force of nature join ourselves to the general society of mankind, and those in particular, with whom we had entered into a nearer communication of benefits, and closer sympathy of affections. It may therefore be esteemed no better than a mean subterfuge of narrow minds, to assign this natural passion for society and a country, to such a relation as that of a mere fungus or common excrescence, its parent-mould, or nursing dung-hill.


The relation of country-man, if it he allowed any thing at all, must imply something moral and social. The nation itself presupposes a naturally civil and political state of mankind, and has reference to that particular part of society to


which we owe our chief advantages as men, and rational creatures, such as are naturally and necessarily united for each other's happiness and support, and for the highest of all happinesses and enjoyments;,,The intercourse of minds, ,,the free use of our reason, and the exercise of mutual love ,,and friendship."

An ingenious physician among the moderns, having in view the natural dependency of the vegetable and animal kinds on their common mother Earth, and observing that both the one and the other draw from her their continual sustenance, (some rooted and fixed down to their first abodes, others unconfined, and wandering from place to place to suck their nourishment): he accordingly, as I remember, stiles this latter animal-race, her releas'd sons; filios terrae emancipatos. Now if this be our only way of reckoning for mankind,, we may call ourselves indeed, the sons of Earth, at large; but not of any particular soil, or district. The division of climates and regions is fantastick and artificial: much more the limits of particular countries, cities or provinces. Our natale solum, or mother-earth, must by this account be the real globe itself which bears us, and in respect of which we must allow the common animals, and even the plants of all degrees, to claim an equal brotherhood with us, under, this common parent.

According to this calculation, we must of necessity carry our relation as far as to the whole material world or universe; where alone it can prove complete. But, for the particular district or tract of earth, which, in a vulgar sense, we call our country, however bounded or geographically divided, we can never, at this rate, frame any accountable relation to it, nor consequently assign any natural or proper affection

towards it.

If unhappily a man had been born either at an inn, or in some dirty village: he would hardly, I think, circumscribe himself so narrowly as to accept a denomination or character from those nearest appendices, or local circumstances of his nativity. So far should one be from making the hamlet or parish to be characteristical in the case, that hardly would the shire itself, or country, however rich or flourishing, be taken into the honorary term or appellation of one's country. "What, then, shall we presume to call our country? Is „it England itself? But what Scotland? - Is it there

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,,fore Britain? — But what of the other islands, the northern ,,Orcades, and the southern Jersey and Guernsey? What of , the Plantations and poor Ireland?“ Behold, here, a very dubious circumscription!


But what, after all, if there be a conquest or captivity in the case? a migration? a national secession, or abandonment of our native seats for some other soil or climate? This has happened, we know, to our fore-fathers. And as` great and powerful a people as we have been of late, and have ever shown ourselves under the influence of free councils, and a tolerable ministry; should we relapse again into slavish principles, or be administered long under such heads, as having no thought of liberty for themselves, can have much less for Europe or their neighbours; we may at last feel a war at home, become the seat of it, and in the end a conquest, We might then gladly embrace the hard condition of our predecessors, and exchange our beloved native soil for that of some remote and uninhabited part of the world. Now should this possibly be our fate; should some considerable colony or body be formed afterwards out of our remains, or meet, as it were by miracle, in some distant climate; would there be, for the future, no Englishman remaining? no common bond of alliance and friendship, by which we could still call country-men, as before? How came we, I pray, by our antient name of Englishmen? Did it not travel with us over land and sea? Did we not, indeed, bring it with us heretofore from as far as the remoter parts of Germany to this Island?

I'must confess, I have been apt sometimes to be very angry with our language, for having denied us the use of the word patria, and afforded us no other name to express our native community, than that of country; which already bore*) two different significations, abstracted from mankind or society. Reigning words are many times of such force as to influence us considerably in our apprehension of things. Whether it be from any such cause as this, I know not: but certain it is, that in the idea of a civil state or nation, we Englishmen are apt to mix somewhat more than ordinary gross and earthy. No people who owed so much to a constitution, and so little to a soil or climate, were ever known so indifferent towards

* Rus et regio. In French eampagne et pays.

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