KNOWLEDGE AND UNION ARE POWER:
POWER, DIRECTED BY KNOWLEDGE, IS HAPPINESS:
HAPPINESS IS THE END OF CREATION.
No. 7] NOVEMBER 1, 1828. [1d.
5. But the sweetest of all bonds is that which is formed not merely by a common science, but by a congenial disposition and heart. It is from the heart that every valuable feeling spring, and every source of pleasure and happiness. No kind of pursuit, or knowledge, becomes a source of happiness to a man, till it takes fast hold of the heart and affections. When we love a science, then we appreciate its value and its beauties. They grow and expand every day, and the more we examine them, the more inexhaustible do we find them. We see that the objects of our love are infinite—our hearts dilate with a feeling of the same infinity—we ourselves experience a kind of growth within us—our very nature seems to change, to enlarge, to purify, to be exalted—and we are led continually to wonder at the vast and improving character of the powers and faculties we possess.
6. This feeling of friendship is so peculiar and delightful, that it has been the subject of some of the most beautiful compositions which have ever been written. This however is not of so much importance in our view, as the fact that friendship of some kind, and in some degree, is absolutely necessary to every man's comfort in the common intercourse of life. No man would wish to say, and no man can say, that he has not a friend in the world. It is considered a most forlorn estate for a man not to know to whom to turn for an act of kindness: and when we meet with so extreme a case, we instantly forget all the common forms of society, and of rank, and by an instinctive impulse we become that friend ourselves, as if to prevent the world from being loaded with the disgrace of bearing on its face a friendless man.
7. It is oppressive to contemplate the picture of man, in this state, approaching to friendless destitution. The heart mourns over it, and seeks relief in imagining the possibility of a state of things in which we may extend the delightful feeling of friendship from one to many—in which we may open our bosom and receive into our arms all who wear the fair form and features of man. Such is the state which Co-operation holds out, and Co-operation alone. Co-operation removes the almost insurmountable obstacles to friendship, namely—self-interest, rivalry, jealousy, and envy. When two persons have an inclination to cultivate a friendship for each other, they seldom proceed far without finding their interest’s clash. The delicate feelings of mutual esteem, which at first is small and weak, and requires time for its growth, and a variety of kind offices for its strength, receives a check in its very outset. Mutual suspicions and jealousies arise, and the tender plant is nipped in the bud. Men must have different pursuits, and be wholly independent of each other, in order to stand any chance of a real and sincere friendship.
8. But if persons were so situated that their interests were in all respects the same: if the prosperity of the one ensured the prosperity of the other, and the happiness of the one, the happiness of the other, then, instead of suspicion and jealousy, they could only feel towards each other love, esteem, and affection. If one were cleverer than another, or more indefatigable—if he had more genius, knowledge, or energy than another—or were more zealous, industrious, and persevering than another, while that other reaped an equal share of all this superiority—surely that other could not but entertain for his kind friend a high degree of respect, esteem, and admiration, in proportion to his superior merits. The weak is now beaten down by the strong; the ignorant man by the man of genius: but were they to find in the strength and wisdom of others their own protection and safeguard, they would feel no longer unhappy and discontented in their own moderate powers, while they would look, with pleasure and approbation, on the greater powers of their neighbour.