The Map of Life - Conduct and Character
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The Map of Life - Conduct and Character

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Map of Life, by William Edward Hartpole Lecky This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Map of Life Conduct and Character Author: William Edward Hartpole Lecky Release Date: August 16, 2008 [eBook #26334] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MAP OF LIFE*** E-text prepared by Delphine Lettau, Martin Pettit, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net) THE MAP OF LIFE WORKS BY The Rt. Hon. W. E. H. LECKY. HISTORY of ENGLAND in the EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. Library Edition. 8vo. Vols. I. and II. 1700-1760. 36s. Vols. III. and IV. 1760-1784. 36s. Vols. V. and VI. 1784-1793. 36s. Vols. VII. and VIII. 1793-1800. 36s. Cabinet Edition. England. 7 vols. Crown 8vo. 6s. each. Ireland. 5 vols. Crown 8vo. 6s. each. The HISTORY of EUROPEAN MORALS from AUGUSTUS to CHARLEMAGNE. 2 vols. Crown 8vo. 12s. HISTORY of the RISE and INFLUENCE of the SPIRIT of RATIONALISM in EUROPE. 2 vols. Crown 8vo. 12s. DEMOCRACY and LIBERTY. Library Edition. 2 vols. 8vo. 36s. Cabinet Edition. 2 vols. Crown 8vo. 12s. THE MAP OF LIFE: Conduct and Character. Library Edition. 8vo. 10s. 6d. Cabinet Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net. POEMS. Fcp. 8vo. 5s.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The
Map of Life, by William Edward
Hartpole Lecky
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Map of Life
Conduct and Character
Author: William Edward Hartpole Lecky
Release Date: August 16, 2008 [eBook #26334]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MAP OF LIFE***

E-text prepared by Delphine Lettau, Martin Pettit,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading
Team
(http://www.pgdp.net)




THE MAP OF LIFE
WORKS BY
The Rt. Hon. W. E. H. LECKY.
HISTORY of ENGLAND in the EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
Library Edition. 8vo. Vols. I. and II. 1700-1760. 36s. Vols. III. and IV. 1760-1784.
36s. Vols. V. and VI. 1784-1793. 36s. Vols. VII. and VIII. 1793-1800. 36s.Cabinet Edition. England. 7 vols. Crown 8vo. 6s. each.
Ireland. 5 vols. Crown 8vo. 6s. each.
The HISTORY of EUROPEAN MORALS from AUGUSTUS to
CHARLEMAGNE.
2 vols. Crown 8vo. 12s.
HISTORY of the RISE and INFLUENCE of the SPIRIT of RATIONALISM in
EUROPE.
2 vols. Crown 8vo. 12s.
DEMOCRACY and LIBERTY.
Library Edition. 2 vols. 8vo. 36s.
Cabinet Edition. 2 vols. Crown 8vo. 12s.
THE MAP OF LIFE: Conduct and Character.
Library Edition. 8vo. 10s. 6d.
Cabinet Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.
POEMS. Fcp. 8vo. 5s.
LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO.
39 Paternoster Row, London, and Bombay.
THE MAP OF LIFE
CONDUCT AND CHARACTER
BY
WILLIAM EDWARD HARTPOLE LECKY

'La vie n'est pas un plaisir ni une douleur, mais une affaire grave dont nous
sommes chargés, et qu'il faut conduire et terminer à notre honneur'
Tocqueville

NEW IMPRESSION

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
NEW YORK AND BOMBAY
1904
All rights reserved

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE.
First printed, 8vo, September 1899. Reprinted November 1899; December
1899; January 1900 (with corrections). Cabinet Edition, Crown 8vo, February
1901. Reprinted December, 1902. July, 1904

[Pg v]CONTENTS
CHAPTER I
How far reasoning on happiness is of any use
The arguments of the Determinist
The arguments for free will
Securus judicat orbis terrarum
CHAPTER II
Happiness a condition of mind and often confused with the means of attaining it
Circumstances and character contribute to it in different degrees
Religion, Stoicism, and Eastern nations seek it mainly by acting on disposition
Sensational philosophies and industrial and progressive nations seek it chiefly
in improved circumstances
English character
Action of the body on happiness
Influence of predispositions in reasonings on life
Promotion of health by legislation, fashion and self-culture
Slight causes of life failures
Effects of sanitary reform
Diminished disease does not always imply a higher level of health
[Pg vi]Two causes depressing health
Encroachments on liberty in sanitary legislation
Sanitary education—its chief articles—its possible exaggeration
Constant thought about health not the way to attain it
CHAPTER III
Some general rules of happiness—1. A life full of work.—Happiness should not
be the main object of pursuit
Carlyle on Ennui2. Aim rather at avoiding suffering than attaining pleasure
3. The greatest pleasures and pains in spheres accessible to all
4. Importance and difficulty of realising our blessings while they last
Comparison and contrast
Content not the quality of progressive societies
The problem of balancing content and the desire for progress
What civilisation can do for happiness
CHAPTER IV
The relation of morals to happiness.—The Utilitarian justification of virtue
insufficient
Power of man to aim at something different from and higher than happiness
General coincidence of duty and happiness
The creation of unselfish interests one of the chief elements of happiness
Burke on a well-ordered life
Improvement of character more within our power than improvement of intellect
High moral qualities often go with low intellectual power
[Pg vii]Dangers attaching to the unselfish side of our nature.—Active charity
personally supervised least subject to abuse
Disproportioned compassion
Treatment of animals
CHAPTER V
Changes of morals chiefly in the proportionate value attached to different
virtues
Military, civic, and intellectual virtues
The mediæval type
Modifications introduced by Protestantism
Bossuet and Louis XIV.
Persecution.—Operations at childbirth.—Usury
Every great religion and philosophic system produces or favours a distinct
moral type
Variations in moral judgments
Complexity of moral influences of modern times.—The industrial type
Qualified by other influences
Unnecessary suffering
Goethe's exposition of modern morals
Morals hitherto too much treated negatively
Possibility of an over-sensitive conscience
Increased sense of the obligations of an active life
CHAPTER VI
In the guidance of life action more important than pure reasoning
The enforcement of active duty now specially needed
Temptations to luxurious idleness
Rectification of false ideals.—The conqueror
The luxury of ostentation
Glorification of the demi-monde
[Pg viii]Study of ideals
The human mind more capable of distinguishing right from wrong than of
measuring merit and demerit
Fallibility of moral judgments
Rules for moral judgmentCHAPTER VII
The school of Rousseau considers man by nature wholly good
Other schools maintain that he is absolutely depraved
Exaggerations of these schools
The restraining conscience distinctively human.—Comparison with the animals
Reality of human depravity.—Illustrated by war
Large amount of pure malevolence.—Political crime.—The press
Mendacity in finance
The sane view of human character
We learn with age to value restraints, to expect moderately and value
compromise
CHAPTER VIII
Moral compromise a necessity in life.—Statement of Newman
Impossibility of acting on it
Moral considerations though the highest must not absorb all others
Truthfulness—cases in which it may be departed from
Moral compromise in war
War necessarily stimulates the malevolent passions and practises
deception
Rights of war in early stages of civilisation
Distinction between Greeks and Barbarians
[Pg ix] Roman moralists insisted on just causes of war and on formal declaration
Treatment of prisoners.—Combatants and non-combatants
Treatment of private property
Lawful and unlawful methods of conducting war
Abdication by the soldier of private judgment and free will
Distinctions and compromises
Cases in which the military oath may be broken.—Illegal orders
Violation of religious obligations.—The Sepoy mutiny
The Italian conscript.—Fenians in the British army
CHAPTER IX
Moral compromise in the law
What advocates may and may not do
Inevitable temptations of the profession
Its condemnation by Swift, Arnold, Macaulay, Bentham
Its defence by Paley, Johnson, Basil Montagu
How far a lawyer may support a bad case.—St. Thomas Aquinas and
Catholic casuists
Sir Matthew Hale.—General custom in England
Distinction between the etiquette of prosecution and of defence
The case of Courvoisier
Statement of Lord Brougham
The license of cross-examination.—Technicalities defeating justice
Advantage of trial by jury
Necessity of the profession of advocate
Moral compromise in politics
Necessity of party
How far conscientious differences should impair party allegiance[Pg x] Lines of conduct adopted when such differences arise
Parliamentary obstruction
Moral difficulties inseparable from party
Evil of extreme view of party allegiance.—Government and the Opposition
Relations of members to their constituents
Votes given without adequate knowledge
Diminished power of the private member
CHAPTER X
THE STATESMAN
Duty of a statesman when the interests and wishes of his nation conflict
Nature and extent of political trusteeship
Temperance questions
Legitimate and illegitimate time-serving
Education questions
Inconsistency in politics—how far it should be condemned
The conduct of Peel in 1829 and 1845
The conduct of Disraeli in 1867
Different degrees of weight to be attached to party considerations
Temptations to war
Temptations of aristocratic and of democratic governments
Necessity of assimilating legislation
Legislation violating contracts.—Irish land legislation
Questions forced into prominence for party objects
The judgment of public servants who have committed indefensible acts
The French coup d'état of 1851
Judgments passed upon it
Probable multiplication of coups d'état
Governor Eyre
The Jameson raid
[Pg xi]How statesmen should deal with political misdeeds
The standard of international morals—questions connected with it
The ethics of annexation
Political morals and public opinion
CHAPTER XI
Moral compromise in the Church
Difficulties of reconciling old formularies with changed beliefs
Cause of some great revolutions of belief.—The Copernican system.—
Discovery of Newton
The antiquity of the world, of death, and of man
The Darwinian theory
Comparative mythology.—Biblical criticism.—Scientific habits of thought
General incorporation of new ideas into the Church
Growth of the sacerdotal spirit
The two theories of the Reformation
Modern Ritualism
Its various elements of attraction
Diversity of teaching has not enfeebled the Church
Its literary activity.—Proofs that the Church is in touch with educated laymen
Its political influence—how far this is a test of vitality
Its influence on education
Its spiritual influence How far clergymen who dissent from parts of its theology can remain within
it
Newman on a Latitudinarian establishment
Obligations imposed on the clergy by the fact of Establishment
Attitude of laymen towards the Church
Increasing sense of the relativity of belief
This tendency strengthens with age
The conflict between belief and scepticism
[Pg xii] Power of religion to undergo transformation
Probable influence of the sacerdotal spirit on the Church
CHAPTER XII
THE MANAGEMENT OF CHARACTER
A sound judgment of our own characters essential to moral improvement
Analogies between character and taste
The strongest desire generally prevails, but desires may be modified
Passions and habits
Exaggerated regard for the future.—A happy childhood
Choice of pleasures.—Athletic games
The intellectual pleasures
Their tendency to enhance other pleasures.—Importance of specialisation
And of judicious selection
Education may act specially on the desires or on the will
Modern education and tendencies of the former kind
Old Catholic training mainly of the will.—Its effects
Anglo-Saxon types in the seventeenth century
Capriciousness of willpower—heroism often succumbs to vice
Courage—its varieties and inconsistencies
The circumstances of life the school of will.—Its place in character
Dangers of an early competence.—Choice of work
Choice of friends.—Effect of early friendship on character
Mastery of will over thoughts.—Its intellectual importance
Its importance in moral culture
Great difference among men in this respect
Means of governing thought
The dream power—its great place in life
Especially in the early stages of humanity
Moral safety valves—danger of inventing unreal crimes
Character of the English gentleman
Different ways of treating temptation
[Pg xiii]
CHAPTER XIII
MONEY
Henry Taylor on its relation to character
Difference between real and professed beliefs about money
Its relation to happiness in different grades of life
The cost of pleasures
Lives of the millionaires
Leaders of Society
The great speculator
Expenditure in charity.—Rules for regulating itAdvantages and disadvantages of a large very wealthy class in a nation
Directions in which philanthropic expenditure may be best turned
CHAPTER XIV
MARRIAGE
Its importance and the motives that lead to it
The moral and intellectual qualities it specially demands
Duty to the unborn.—Improvident marriages
The doctrine of heredity and its consequences
Religious celibacy
Marriages of dissimilar types often peculiarly happy
Marriages resulting from a common weakness
Independent spheres in marriage.—Effect on character
The age of marriage
Increased independence of women
CHAPTER XV
SUCCESS
Success depends more on character than on intellect
Especially that accessible to most men and most conducive to happiness
[Pg xiv]Strength of will, tact and judgment.—Not always joined
Their combination a great element of success
Good nature
Tact: its nature and its importance
Its intellectual and moral affinities
Value of good society in cultivating it.—Newman's description of a gentleman
Disparities between merit and success
Success not universally desired
CHAPTER XVI
TIME
Rebellion of human nature against the essential conditions of life
Time 'the stuff of life'
Various ways of treating it
Increased intensity of life
Sleep
Apparent inequalities of time
The tenure of life not too short
Old age
The growing love of rest.—How time should be regarded
CHAPTER XVII
THE END
Death terrible chiefly through its accessories
Pagan and Christian ideas about it
Premature deathHow easily the fear of death is overcome
The true way of regarding it
[Pg 1]
THE MAP OF LIFE
CHAPTER I
One of the first questions that must naturally occur to every writer who deals
with the subject of this book is, what influence mere discussion and reasoning
can have in promoting the happiness of men. The circumstances of our lives
and the dispositions of our characters mainly determine the measure of
happiness we enjoy, and mere argument about the causes of happiness and
unhappiness can do little to affect them. It is impossible to read the many books
that have been written on these subjects without feeling how largely they
consist of mere sounding generalities which the smallest experience shows to
be perfectly impotent in the face of some real and acute sorrow, and it is equally
impossible to obtain any serious knowledge of the world without perceiving that
a large proportion of the happiest lives and characters are to be found where
introspection, self-analysis and reasonings about the good and evil of life hold
the smallest place. Happiness, indeed, like health, is one of the things of which
men rarely think except when it is impaired, and much that has been written on
the subject has been written under the stress of some great depression. Such
[Pg 2]writers are like the man in Hogarth's picture occupying himself in the debtors'
prison with plans for the payment of the National Debt. There are moments
when all of us feel the force of the words of Voltaire: 'Travaillons sans
raisonner, c'est le seul moyen de rendre la vie supportable.'
That there is much truth in such considerations is incontestable, and it is only
within a restricted sphere that the province of reasoning extends. Man comes
into the world with mental and moral characteristics which he can only very
imperfectly influence, and a large proportion of the external circumstances of
his life lie wholly or mainly beyond his control. At the same time, every one
recognises the power of skill, industry and perseverance to modify surrounding
circumstances; the power of temperance and prudence to strengthen a
naturally weak constitution, prolong life, and diminish the chances of disease;
the power of education and private study to develop, sharpen and employ to the
best advantage our intellectual faculties. Every one also recognises how large
a part of the unhappiness of most men may be directly traced to their own
voluntary and deliberate acts. The power each man possesses in the education
and management of his character, and especially in the cultivation of the
dispositions and tendencies which most largely contribute to happiness, is less
recognised and is perhaps less extensive, but it is not less real.
The eternal question of free will and determinism here naturally meets us, but
on such a subject it is idle to suppose that a modern writer can do more than
[Pg 3]define the question and state his own side. The Determinist says that the real
question is not whether a man can do what he desires, but whether he can do
what he does not desire; whether the will can act without a motive; whether thatmotive can in the last analysis be other than the strongest pleasure. The
illusion of free will, he maintains, is only due to the conflict of our motives.
Under many forms and disguises pleasure and pain have an absolute empire
over conduct. The will is nothing more than the last and strongest desire; or it is
like a piece of iron surrounded by magnets and necessarily drawn by the most
powerful; or (as has been ingeniously imagined) like a weathercock, conscious
of its own motion, but not conscious of the winds that are moving it. The law of
compulsory causation applies to the world of mind as truly as to the world of
matter. Heredity and Circumstance make us what we are. Our actions are the
inevitable result of the mental and moral constitutions with which we came into
the world, operated on by external influences.
The supporters of free will, on the other hand, maintain that it is a fact of
consciousness that there is a clear distinction between the Will and the
Desires, and that although they are closely connected no sound analysis will
confuse them. Coleridge ingeniously compared their relations to 'the co-
instantaneous yet reciprocal action of the air and the vital energy of the lungs in
[1]breathing.' If the will is powerfully acted on by the desires, it has also in its
turn a power of acting upon them, and it is not a mere slave to pleasure and
[Pg 4]pain. The supporters of this view maintain that it is a fact of the plainest
consciousness that we can do things which we do not like; that we can
suspend the force of imperious desires, resist the bias of our nature, pursue for
the sake of duty the course which gives least pleasure without deriving or
expecting from it any pleasure, and select at a given moment between alternate
courses. They maintain that when various motives pass before the mind, the
mind retains a power of choosing and judging, of accepting and rejecting; that it
can by force of reason or by force of imagination bring one motive into
prominence, concentrating its attention on it and thus intensifying its power; that
it has a corresponding power of resisting other motives, driving them into the
background and thus gradually diminishing their force; that the will itself
becomes stronger by exercise, as the desires do by indulgence. The conflict
between the will and the desires, the reality of self-restraint and the power of
Will to modify character, are among the most familiar facts of moral life. In the
words of Burke, 'It is the prerogative of man to be in a great degree a creature of
his own making.' There are men whose whole lives are spent in willing one
thing and desiring the opposite, and all morality depends upon the supposition
that we have at least some freedom of choice between good and evil. 'I ought,'
as Kant says, necessarily implies 'I can.' The feeling of moral responsibility is
an essential part of healthy and developed human nature, and it inevitably
presupposes free will. The best argument in its favour is that it is impossible
really to disbelieve it. No human being can prevent himself from viewing certain
[Pg 5]acts with an indignation, shame, remorse, resentment, gratitude, enthusiasm,
praise or blame, which would be perfectly unmeaning and irrational if these
acts could not have been avoided. We can have no higher evidence on the
subject than is derived from this fact. It is impossible to explain the mystery of
free will, but until a man ceases to feel these emotions he has not succeeded in
disbelieving in it. The feelings of all men and the vocabularies of all languages
attest the universality of the belief.
Newman, in a well-known passage in his 'Apologia,' describes the immense
effect which the sentence of Augustine, 'Securus judicat orbis terrarum,' had
upon his opinions in determining him to embrace the Church of Rome. The
force of this consideration in relation to the subject to which Dr. Newman refers
does not appear to have great weight. It means only that at a time when the
Christian Church included but a small fraction of the human race; when all
questions of orthodoxy or the reverse were practically in the hands of the
priesthood; when ignorance, credulity and superstition were at their height and