« 上一頁繼續 »
The pow'rs of man: we fcel within ourselves
divine: he tells the heart,
PANACEA; OR, THE GRAND RESTORATIVE.
WELCOME to Baia's streams, ye sons of spleen, Who rove from spa to spa-to shift the scene. While round the streaming fount you idly throng, Come, learn a wholesome secrét from my song:
Ye fair, whose roses feel th' approaching frost, And drops supply the place of spirits lost: Ye squires, who rack'd with gouls, at heav'n repine, Condemn'd to water for excess in wine: Ye portly cits, so corpulent and full, Who eat and drink till appetite grows
dall: For whets and bitters then unstring the purse, Whilst nature more opprest grows worse and worse: Dupes to the craft of pill-prescribing leeches : You nod or laugh at what the parson preaches : Hear then a shiming-quack, who spurns your wealth, And gratis gives a sure receipt for health. No more thus vainly rove o'er sea and land, Wlien, lo! a snu'reign remedy's at hand; I'is temperance---stale cant ! -'Tis fasting then; Heav'n's antidote against the sins of men. Poul luxury's the cause of all your pain : To scour ti obstructed glands, abstain! abstain!
Fast and take rest, ye candidates for sleep,
Question. Whether Anger ought to be suppressed entirely, or only to be confined within the bounds of moderation ?
Those who maintain that resentment is blamable only in the excess, support their opinion with such arguments as these :
Since Anger is natural and useful to man, entirely to banish it from our breast, would be an equally fuolish and vain atteinpt: for as it is difficult, and next to impossible, to oppose nature with success; so it were imprudent, if wc had it in our power, to cast away the weapons with which she has furnished us for our defence. The best armour against injustice is a proper degree of spirit, to repel the wrongs that are done, or designed against us: but if we divest ourselves of all reseotnient, we shall perhaps prove too irresoluse and languid, both in resisting the attacks of injustice, and inflicting punishment upon those who have committed it. We shali therefore sink into contempt, and by the tameness of our spirit, shall invite the malicious to abuse and affront us. Nor will others fail to deny us the regard which is due from them, if ooce they think us incapable of resentment. To remain unmoved at gross fa
juries, has the appearance of stupidity, and will make us' despicable and mean, in the eyes of many who are not to be influenced by any thing but their fears.
And as a moderate share of resentment is useful in its effects, so it is innocent in itself, nay often commendable. The virtue of mildness-is no less remote from insensibility, on the one hand, than froni fury on the other. It implies, that we are angry only upon proper occasions, and in a due degree; that we are pever transported beyond the bounds of decency, or indulge a deep and lasting resent. ment;; that we do not follow, but lead our passion, governing it as our servant; not submitting ourselves to it as our: master. Under these regulations it is certainly excusable, when moved only by private wrongs: and being excited by the injuries which others suffer, it besprak's a generous mind, and deserves commendation. Shall a gond man feel no indignation against injustice and barbariig? not even when he is witness to shocking instances of theant when he sees a friend basely and cruelly treated? when he observes
Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, -
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes; shall he still enjoy himself in perfect tranquillity ? Will it: be a crime, if he conceives the least resentment: Will it' not be rather somewhat criminal, if he be destitute of it? lo such cases we are commonly so far from being ashamed of our anger, as of something mean, that we are proud of it
, and confess it openly, as what we count laudable and meritorious.
The truth is, there seems to be something manly, and we are bold to say, something virtuous, in a just and wellconducted resentment. In the mean time, let us not be súspected of endeavouring to vindicate rage, and peevishness, and implacable resen meni. No; such is their de. formity, so horrid and so manifest are the evils they produce, that they do not admit of any defence or justification. We condenin,' we detest them, as onnatural, brutish, unmanly, and monstrous. All we contend for, is, that it is better to be moderate in our resentment, than to suppress it altogether. Let us therefore keep it under a strict discipline, and carefully restrain it within the bounds which .
reason prescribes, with regard to the occasion, degree, and continuance of it. But let us pot presume to extirpale any of those affections which the wisdom of God has implanted in us, which are so nicely balanced, and so well adjusted to each other, that by destroying one of them, we may perhaps disorder and blemish the whole frame of our nature,
To these arguments, those who adopt the opinion that anger should be entirely suppressed, icply:
You tell us, anger je natural to man; but nothing is more natural to man, than reason, mildness, and benevolence. Now with what propriety can we call that natural to any creature, which'impairs and opposes the most essential and distinguishing parts of its constitution Sometimes indeed we may call that natural to a species, which being found in most of them, is not produced by art or custom. That anger is in this sense natural, we readily grant; but deny that we therefore cannot, or may not, lawfully ex. tinguish it. Nature has committed to our management the faculties of the mind, as well as the members of the body: and, as when any of the latter become pernicious to the whole, we cut them off and cast them away; in like manner, when
any of our affections are become burtful and useless in our frampe, by cutting them off, we do not in the least counteract the intention of nature. Now such is
anger to a wise mi, To fools and cowards it is a ne. cessary evil; but to a person of moderate sense and virtue, it is an evil, which has no advantage attending it. harın it must do him is very apparent. It must ruse his tenuper, make him less agreeable to his friends, disturb his reason, and unfit himn for discharging the duties of life in a becoming manger. By only diminishing his passion, he may lessen, but cannot remove the evil; for the only way to get clear of the one, is by entirely dismissing the other.
Xow then will anger be so useful to hin, as to make it worth his wbile to retain it in any degree? He may his own rights; assist an injured friend; prosecute and punish a villain; I say, his prudence and friendship, his public spirit and calm resolution, will enable him to do all