for the other It isxmly those in whom indolence amounts to a vice that p not

For the other it isxmly those in whom indolence

This preview shows page 34 - 37 out of 141 pages.

for, the other. It isxmly those in whom indolence amounts to a vice, that ^p not desire excitement after an interval of repose ; it is\ only those in whom the need of excitement is a disease, that feel the tranquillity which follows excitement dull and insipid, instead of pleasurable in direct pro portion to the excitement which preceded it. When people who are tolerably fortunate in their outward lot do not find in life sufficient enjoyment to make it valuable to them, the cause generally is, caring for c 2
Image of page 34
20 UTILITARIANISM. nobody but themselves. To those who have neither public nor private affections, the excitements of life are much curtailed, and in any case dwindle in value as the time approaches when all selfish interests must be terminated by death : while those who leave after them objects of personal affection, and especially those who have also cultivated a fellow-feeling with the collective interests of mankind, retain as lively an in terest in life on the eve of death as in the vigour of youth and health. Next to selfishness, the principal cause which makes life unsatisfactory, is want of mental cultivation. A cultivated mind I do not mean that of a philosopher, but any mind to which the fountains of knowledge have been opened, and which has been taught, in any tolerable degree, to exercise its faculties finds sources of inexhaustible interest in all that surrounds it ; in the objects of nature, the achievements of art, the imaginations of poetry, the incidents of history, the ways of mankind past and present, and their prospects in the future. It is possible, indeed, to become indifferent to all this, and that too without having exhausted a thousandth part of it ; but only when one has had from the beginning no moral or human interest in these things, and has sought in them only the gratification of curiosity. Now there is absolutely no reason in the nature of things why an amount of mental culture sufficient to give .an intelligent interest in these objects of contem plation, should not be the inheritance of every one born in a civilized country. As little is there an in herent necessity that any human being should be a selfish egotist, devoid of every feeling or care but those
Image of page 35
ITS MEANING. 21 which centre in his own miserable individuality. Some thing far superior to this is sufficiently common even now, to give ample earnest of what the human species may be made. Genuine private affections, and a sin cere interest in the public good, are possible, though in unequal degrees, to every rightly brought-up human being. In a world in which there is so much to inter est, so much to enjoy, and so much also to correct and improve, every one who has this moderate amount of moral and intellectual requisites is capable of an existence which may be called enviable ; and unless such a person, through bad laws, or subjection to the will of others, is denied the liberty to use the sources of happiness within his reach, he will not fail to find this enviable existence, if he escape the positive evils of life, the great sources of physical
Image of page 36
Image of page 37

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 141 pages?

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors