Leviathan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 636 pages of information about Leviathan.

Worthinesse Fitnesse worthinesse, is a thing different from the worth, or value of a man; and also from his merit, or desert; and consisteth in a particular power, or ability for that, whereof he is said to be worthy:  which particular ability, is usually named Fitnesse, or Aptitude.

For he is Worthiest to be a Commander, to be a Judge, or to have any other charge, that is best fitted, with the qualities required to the well discharging of it; and Worthiest of Riches, that has the qualities most requisite for the well using of them:  any of which qualities being absent, one may neverthelesse be a Worthy man, and valuable for some thing else.  Again, a man may be Worthy of Riches, Office, and Employment, that neverthelesse, can plead no right to have it before another; and therefore cannot be said to merit or deserve it.  For Merit, praesupposeth a right, and that the thing deserved is due by promise:  Of which I shall say more hereafter, when I shall speak of Contracts.

CHAPTER XI

OF THE DIFFERENCE OF MANNERS

What Is Here Meant By Manners By manners, I mean not here, Decency of behaviour; as how one man should salute another, or how a man should wash his mouth, or pick his teeth before company, and such other points of the Small Morals; But those qualities of man-kind, that concern their living together in Peace, and Unity.  To which end we are to consider, that the Felicity of this life, consisteth not in the repose of a mind satisfied.  For there is no such Finis Ultimus, (utmost ayme,) nor Summum Bonum, (greatest good,) as is spoken of in the Books of the old Morall Philosophers.  Nor can a man any more live, whose Desires are at an end, than he, whose Senses and Imaginations are at a stand.  Felicity is a continuall progresse of the desire, from one object to another; the attaining of the former, being still but the way to the later.  The cause whereof is, That the object of mans desire, is not to enjoy once onely, and for one instant of time; but to assure for ever, the way of his future desire.  And therefore the voluntary actions, and inclinations of all men, tend, not only to the procuring, but also to the assuring of a contented life; and differ onely in the way:  which ariseth partly from the diversity of passions, in divers men; and partly from the difference of the knowledge, or opinion each one has of the causes, which produce the effect desired.

A Restlesse Desire Of Power, In All Men So that in the first place, I put for a generall inclination of all mankind, a perpetuall and restlesse desire of Power after power, that ceaseth onely in Death.  And the cause of this, is not alwayes that a man hopes for a more intensive delight, than he has already attained to; or that he cannot be content with a moderate power:  but because he cannot assure the power and means to live well, which he hath present, without the acquisition of more.  And from hence it is, that Kings, whose power is greatest, turn their endeavours to the assuring it a home by Lawes, or abroad by Wars:  and when that is done, there succeedeth a new desire; in some, of Fame from new Conquest; in others, of ease and sensuall pleasure; in others, of admiration, or being flattered for excellence in some art, or other ability of the mind.

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