The stout wood bent and cracked. The canoe stopped short and the voyageurs leaped ashore to be swallowed up in the crowd that swarmed down upon them. The races were about equally divided, and each acted after its instincts the Indian greeting his people quietly, and stalking away to the privacy of his wigwam; the more volatile white catching his wife or his sweetheart or his child to his arms.
The key to this attitude is clear enough. The improvement of society is due, he thinks not to the calculations of government but to the natural instincts of economic man. We cannot avoid the impulse to better our condition; and the less its effort is restrained the more certain it is that happiness will result.
The idea of the mos maiorum was still so strong in the mind of every true Roman, his conservative instincts were so powerful, that long after all real life had left the divine inhabitants of his city, so that they survived only as the dead stalks of plants that had once been green and flourishing, he was quite capable of being horrified at any open contempt of them.
In his nature, it may be said, pre-historic man was the same as a modern savage; it is only in his acquisition that he was different. And probably of the first men, the first beings worthy to be so called, this was true: they had, or may have had, certain remnants of instincts which aided them in the struggle of existence, and as reason gradually came these instincts may have waned away.
He was a quick-witted fellow, as has been seen, much more anxious for his own interests than for his master's, though he had hitherto found it easy to consult both. Indeed, in a certain way he was faithful to Del Ferice, and admired him as a soldier admires his general. The resolution he now formed did honour to his loyalty to Ugo and to his thievish instincts.
We are glad that he has concluded never to revisit our town, altho', incredible as it may appear, the fellow really did contemplate so doing last summer, when, still true to the craven instincts of his black heart, he wrote the hireling knaves of the obscure journal across the street to know what they would charge for 400 small bills, to be done on yellow paper!
They hailed with rude and boisterous rejoicings the restoration of the Monarchy which they felt, with a true instinct, involved the restoration of the old Church of England, the church of their fathers and of the older among themselves, with its larger indulgence for the instincts of humanity, its wider comprehensiveness, and its more dignified and decorous ritual.
A theory of legislation, therefore, which supposes ready formed all the instincts which make a decent commercial society possible can do without much reference to sympathy or altruism. Bentham's man is not the colourless unit of a priori writing, nor the noble savage of Rousseau, but the respectable citizen with a policeman round the corner.
Reason is as old as man and as prevalent as human nature; for we should not recognise an animal to be human unless his instincts were to some degree conscious of their ends and rendered his ideas in that measure relevant to conduct.
They constantly set forth the principle of local self-government, which was tenaciously and religiously clung to by the Patriots as being the foundation of all true liberty, as a principle of independence; and they represented the jealous adherence to the local usages and laws, which faithfully embodied the popular instincts and doctrine, to be proofs of a decay of the national authority, and the cloak of long-cherished schemes of rebellion.