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CHAPTER XXXIII

REGARD FOR OTHER PERSONS' HAPPINESS IN GENERAL

GRATITUDE_PATRIOTISM AND COSMOPOLITANISM

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In previous chapters we have dealt with moral ideas concerning various modes of conduct which have reference to other men's welfare—to their life or bodily comfort, their liberty, property, knowledge of truth, or self-regarding pride. But the list of duties which we owe to our fellow-creatures is as yet by no means complete. Any act, forbearance, or omission, which in some way or other diminishes or increases their happiness may on that account become a subject of moral blame or praise, being apt to call forth sympathetic retributive emotions.

To do good to others is a rule which has been inculcated by all the great teachers of morality. According to Confucius, benevolence is the root of righteousness and a leading characteristic of perfect virtue. In the Taouist • Book of Secret Blessings' men are enjoined to be compassionate and loving, and to devote their wealth to the good of their fellow-men. The moralists of ancient India teach that we should with our life, means, understanding, and speech, seek to advance the welfare of other creatures in this world ; that we should do so without expecting reciprocity ; and that we should enjoy the prosperity of others even though ourselves unprosperous. The writers

1 Lun , xvii. 6. Douglas, Con. ments rendered from Sanskrit Writers, fucianism and Taouism, p. 108. p. 107 sq. Monier Williams, Indian 2 Douglas, op. cit. p. 272 sq.

Wisdom, p. 448. 3 Muir, Religious and Moral Senti

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of classical antiquity repeatedly give expression to the idea that man is not born for himself

alone, but should assist his fellow-men to the best of his ability. In the Old Testament we meet with the injunction, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”;and this was declared by Christ to be of equal importance with the commandment, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.”3

To a reflecting mind it is obvious that the moral value of beneficence exclusively lies in the benevolent motive, and that there is nothing praiseworthy in promoting the happiness of others from selfish considerations. Confucius taught that self must be conquered before a man can be perfectly virtuous. According to Lao-Tsze, self-abnegation is the cardinal rule for both the sovereign and the people. Selfdenial is the chief demand of the Gospel, and is emphasised as a supreme duty by Islam.' Generally speaking, the

." merit attached to a good action is proportionate to the self-denial which it costs the agent. This follows from the nature of moral approval in its capacity of a retributive emotion, as is proved by the fact that the degree of gratitude felt towards a benefactor is in a similar way influenced by the deprivation to which he subjects himself. On the other hand, there is considerable variety of opinion, even among ourselves, as to the dictates of duty, in cases where our own interests conflict with those of our fellowmen. To Professor Sidgwick it is a moral axiom that “ I ought not to prefer my own lesser good to the greater good of another.”? According to Hutcheson, we do not condemn those as evil who will not sacrifice their private interest to the advancement of the positive good of others, “ unless the private interest be very small, and the publick good very great.

The idea that it is bad to cause harm to others and

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6 Imeer Ali, Ethics of Islam, P. 32.

Sidgwick, Methods of Ethics,

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1 Schmidt, Die Ethik der alten Griechen, ii. 275 squi:

Leviticus, xix. 18.
3 St. Jatthew, xxii. 39.
+ Lun , xii. 1. 1.
5 Douglas,

Confucianism and Taouism, 192.

P. 383.

8 Hlutcheson, Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions, &. p. 312.

good or obligatory to promote their happiness, is in different ways influenced by the relationship between the parties ; and to many cases it does not apply at all. We have previously noticed that according to early ethics an enemy is a proper object of hatred, not of love ;' and according to more advanced ideas a person who treats us badly has at all events little claim upon our kindness. The very opposite is the case with a benefactor or friend. To requite a benefit, or to be grateful to him who bestows it, is probably everywhere, at least under certain circumstances, regarded as a duty. This is a subject which in the present connection calls for special consideration.

The duty of gratefulness presupposes a disposition for gratitude. According to travellers' accounts, this feeling is lacking in many uncivilised races. Lyon writes of the

3 Eskimo of Igloolik :-“Gratitude is not only rare, but absolutely unknown amongst them, either by action, word, or look, beyond the first outcry of satisfaction. Nursing their sick, burying the dead, clothing and feeding the whole tribe, furnishing the men with weapons, and the women and children with ornaments, are insufficient to awaken a grateful feeling, and the very people who relieved their distresses when starving are laughed at in time of plenty for the quantity and quality of the food which was bestowed in charity.” Various other tribes: in

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? Supra, i. 73 sq:

Voyage round the World, ii. 109 For the definition of gratitude, see (Samoans). Colenso, Vaori Races of supra, i. 93.

New Zealand, p. 48; · Dieffenbach, 3 Steller, Beschreibung von Ramt- Travels in New Zealand, ii. 110. schatka, p. 292. Bergmann, Nomadische Ling Roth, dhorigines of Tasmania, Streifereien under den Kalmüken, ii. p. 63. Gason, Manners and Customs 310, 316. Foreman, Philippine of the Dieyerie Tribe,' in Woods, Islands, p. 183. Modigliani, Viaggio Native Tribes of South Australia, a Nias, p. 467. Selenka, Sonnige p. 258. Baker, Albert N'yansa, i. 242 Welten, p. 286 (Malays). Marsden, (Latukas), 289 (Negroes). History of Sumatra, p. 207 (Malays of François, Nama und Damara, p. 191 Sumatra). Forbes, A Naturalist's (Herero). Wanderings in the Eastern Archi- Lyon, Private Journal during the lazo, p. 320 (natives of Timor- Voyage of Discovery under Captain laut). Mrs. Forbes, Insulinde, p. 178 Parry, p. 348 sq. See also l'arry, (natives of Ritabel). Hagen, Unter Journal of a second l'orage for the des Papua's, p. 266 (Papuans of Discovery of a North-West Passage, Bogadjim). Romilly, Western Pacific

p. 524 sq. and New Guinea, p. 239. La Pérouse,

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North America have been accused of ingratitude ;' and of some South American savages we are told that they evinced no thankfulness for the presents which were given them. The Fijians are described as utterly indifferent to their benefactors. The Rev. Th. Williams writes : “If one of them, when sick, obtained medicine from me, he thought me bound to give him food ; the reception of food he considered as giving him a claim on me for covering ; and, that being secured, he deemed himself at liberty to beg anything he wanted, and abuse me if I refused his unreasonable request.” 3 Mr. Lumholtz had a similar experience with regard to the natives of Herbert River, Northern Queensland :-“ If you give one thing to a black man, he finds ten other things to ask for, and he is not ashamed to ask for all that you have, and more too. He is never satisfied. Gratitude does not exist in his breast." 4

In several languages there is no word expressive of what we term gratitude or no phrase corresponding to our “thank you " ;5 and on this fact much stress has been laid, the deficiency of language being regarded as an indication of a corresponding deficiency in feelings.

1 Cranz, i. 174.

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History of Greenland,

Sarytschew, Voyage of Discovery to the North-East of Siberia,' in Collection of Modern Voyages, vi. 78 (Aleuts). Harmon, Voyages and Travels in the Interior of North America, p. 291 (Tacullies). Heriot, Travels through the Canadas, p. 319. Lafitau, Maurs des sauvages ameriquains, i. 106. Burton, City of the Saints, p. 125 (Sioux and prairie tribes generally).

von Spix and von Martius, Travels in Brazil, ii. 228, 241 sq. (Coroados). Stokes, quoted by King and Fitzroy, Voyages of the - Adventure' and Beagle,' i. 77 (Fuegians).

3 Williams and Calvert, Fiji, p. 111. See also Anderson, Notes of Travel in Fiji and New Caledonia, pp. 124, 131. 4 Lumholtz, Among Cannibals,

(Toungtha). Foreman, op. cit. p. 182 sq. (Bisayans). Modigliani, Viaggio a Nias, p. 467. Ling Roth, Natives of Sarawak, i. 74 (Dyaks). Chalmers, Pioneering in New Guinea, P: 187 ;

Romilly, Western Pacific and New Guinea, P. 239 sq. (However, Mr. Romilly's statement that “in all the known New Guinea languages there is not even a word for *thank you,

is not quite correct, as appears from Chalmers, op. cit. p. 187.) Wilson, Missionary loyage to the Southern Pacific Ocean, p. 365 ; Waitz-Gerland, Anthropologie der Naturvölker, vi. 116 (Tahitians). Colenso, op. cit. p. 48 (Maoris). New, Life ami Labours in Eastern Africa, p. 100 (Wanika). von François, op. cit. p. 191. (Herero). In the Vedic language, also, there was no word for " thanks” (Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, p. 305); and many Eastern languages of the present day lack an equivalent for “thank you" (Ward, View of the History, &c of the Hindoos, ii. 81, n. a. ; Pool, Studies in Muhammedanism, p. 176; Polak,

p. 100.

5 Southey, History of Brazil, iji. 399 (Abipones, Guaranies). Hearne, Journey to the Northern Ocean, p. 307 (Northern Indians). Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 192

Here again we must distinguish between a traveller's actual experience and the conclusions which he draws from it ; and it seems that in many cases our authorities have been too ready to charge savages with a total lack of grateful feelings, because they have been wanting in gratitude on certain occasions. It is too much to expect that a savage should show himself thankful to any stranger who gives him a present. Speaking of the Ahts of British Columbia, Mr. Sproat remarks that the Indian's suspicion prevents a ready gratitude, as he is prone to see, in apparent kindness extended to him, some under-current of selfish motive. “He is accustomed, among his own people, to gifts made for purposes of guile, and also to presents made merely to show the greatness and richness of the giver ; but, I imagine,” our author adds, “ when the Aht ceases to suspect such motives—when he does not detect pride, craft, or carelessness—he is grateful, and probably grateful in proportion to the trouble taken to serve him.” As for the ingratitude of the Northern Queensland natives, Mr. Lumholtz himself admits that “they assume that the gift is bestowed out of fear” ;? and of the New Zealanders we are told that their total want of gratitude was particularly due to the fact that “no New Zealander ever did any kindness, or gave anything, to another, without mainly having an eye to himself in the transaction.”3 Moreover, gratitude often requires not only the absence of a selfish motive in the benefactor, but some degree of self-sacrifice. “A person,” says Mr. Sproat, “may keep an Indian from starving all the winter through, yet, when summer comes, very likely he will not walk a yard for his preserver without payment. The savage does not, in this instance,

Persien, i. 9). When one of the missionaries in India was engaged in the translation of the Scriptures into Bengali, he found no common word in that language suitable to express the idea of gratitude (Wilkins, Modern

Hinduism, p. 397).

Sproat, Scenes and Studies of Savage Life, p. 165 sq.

2 Lumholtz, Among Cannibals, p. 159.

3 Colenso, op. cit. p. 48.

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