Hitherto, according to all evidence, she had shown herself on all occasions, as on all subsequent occasions she indisputably showed herself, the most fearless, the most keen-sighted, the most ready-witted, the most high-gifted and high-spirited of women; gallant and generous, skilful and practical, never to be cowed by fortune, never to be cajoled by craft; neither more unselfish in her ends nor more unscrupulous in her practice than might have been expected from her training and her creed.
When Wallace found how much more fully Darwin was equipped for expounding the new views, he exhibited an unselfish modesty that fully repaid Darwin's generosity, henceforth described himself as a follower of Darwin, entitled his most important publication on the theory of evolution Darwinism, and did not issue it until 1889, long after the world had given full credit to Darwin.
These deplorable results were, of course, not universally produced; there were admirable exceptions both among masters and among slaves - instances of benevolent protection on the one side and of unselfish devotion on the other; but the evil effects without doubt greatly preponderated.
Her beautiful, unselfish spirit shines out like a bright star in the night of a dark and cruel age.
In his later years he overcame the drunkenness that was habitual to him in youth; he developed seriousness of character and unselfish devotion to what lie believed was the cause of patriotism; and he won the respect of men of high character and capacity in France and Holland.
Towards her parents her conduct was uniformly exemplary, and the charm of her unselfish kindness made her a favourite in the village.
The task was a great one, and the fame to be won by it uncertain, yet it would be something to have made the attempt, and the labour itself would bring a welcome relief from the contemplation of present evils; for his readers, too, this record will, he says, be full of instruction; they are invited to note especially the moral lessons taught by the story of Rome, to observe how Rome rose to greatness by the simple virtues and unselfish devotion of her citizens, and how on the decay of these qualities followed degeneracy and decline.
This, at any rate, is Hobbes's cardinal doctrine in moral psychology, that each man's appetites or desires are naturally directed either to the preservation of his life, or to that heightening of it which he feels as pleasure.2 Hobbes does not distinguish instinctive from deliberate pleasureseeking; and he confidently resolves the most apparently unselfish emotions into phases of self-regard.
It is evident that the merit of these qualities in our eyes is chiefly due to our perception of their tendency to serve the person possessed of them; so that the cynic in praising them is really exhibiting the unselfish sympathy of which he doubts the existence.
He dwells with delight on the unselfish patriotism of the old heroes of the republic. In those times children obeyed their parents, the gods were still sincerely worshipped, poverty was no disgrace, sceptical philosophies and foreign fashions in religion and in daily life were unknown.