Essay Instructions: The documentary "film"... This film is not yet rated... is a film about how MPAA rated movies. I want you to write me an essay addressing the following questions, be sure to support your idea with examples from the film.
What do you think about the MPAA and the ratings system? How is it similar to or different from the Production Code? Why is it an important issue to think about? What do you think about the filmmaker’s role in the documentary?
For instance, the film shows the role of private investigators to get information about the raters, because all information about these people is secret and confidential. please address this point in the essay. also, how some directors try to have their movies rated R , and at the end they get a NC17 rate. Also address the idea that movies in the 50s and 60 would have nudity and would get R rating, these days nudity doenst mean the film must get an R, but NC17 ,or PG or something. Do some research about this film and address the above questions in the essay....again, the film is called " THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED"
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: This research paper?s content should be pertaining to College level, but its grammar and sentence structure should not be strong. (High school level or paper that is written by a person who?s English is as second language. Everyone knows that I am a foreigner, and I don?t have strong writing skill.)
Quotes should be about 20%~ 25%, and could include some quotes from a book called ?The Pinochet Papers; the case of augusto Pinochet in Spain and Britain? by Reed Brody and Michael Ratner. Published in 2000 by Kluwer Lay International. And/Or ?Pinochet; the politics of Torture? by Hugh O?Shaughnessy published in 2000.
Here is my introduction, could you write based on my introduction or just revise/add some/more statements of what this paper is going to be in the body.
Introduction (revisable [not completely])
General Augusto Pinochet is guilty for the torture, disappear, and murder of thousands of Chilean including international citizens; but he has not yet brought to justice. After Patricio Aylwin inaugurated democratic presidency in 1990, it is annoying how he brings excuses or exercises control to avoid facing justice. Pinochet declared himself to Commander of Chief of Army and afterward, Senator for life in Chile. He enforced the Organic Laws, which threat on new incoming government that Pinochet?s military will take action against them if they touch him or his men. While in England, Pinochet was arrested on a warrant from Spain for murder during his dictatorship; however, due to his age and alleged mental incapacity, he was released again in March 2000. Today, he remains in his mansion and getting treatment for insanity, will Chilean and Human Rights forgive what he has done? Pinochet case needs to be harshly reevaluated and put in justice to set it as model which its simil
ar history never repeats.
Body Outline(Need to add more body)
1. Pinochet avoided paying for his crimes, murder, disappearance, and torture, in his post-presidency.
a. Pinochet Assigned himself a Commander in Chief of the Army
b. Threatened to the government that if he or his men were to be touched, then his men will take action against them.
c. Pinochet kept his permanent immunity from prosecution by having position in Senator for life.
2. Pinochet was arrested in London for over a year on a warrant from Spain on his murdering under his rule; many decisions were made by House of Lords, but eventually Pinochet was released due to his health issue.
a. Pinochet was bailed at London?s high Court
b. Pinochet?s immunity issues in trial
c. Conflict in making process of extradition Pinochet to Spain, tortured many Spanish during his power, to stand trial for torture and human rights charges.
d. Guzman ordered psychiatric and doctor to decide whether Pinochet is unfit for extradition or further trial. Pinochet was released to Chile in early 2000.
3. Pinochet case influenced many spots
a. Chilean?s view on justice and laws
b. Human Rights activists
c. Chilean military officers
Could you focus writing paper related to Pinochet?s case.
I know you would not be violate plagiarism but I want to make sure again, because this is very important criteria. and could you make sure i get this paper on the date i have set?
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: The Topic
The essay should address the topic below.
Thomas More, the Catholic, Machiavelli, the critic of the Catholic Church of his day, and John Calvin, the Protestant, share a belief that religion is a great social glue and a great support for the state. Thomas More and John Calvin however understand that religion constrains as well as supports the rulers. It is that understanding that prompts More and Calvin to stress the importance of limiting arbitrary use of power by the state.
-Define important terms.
-Determine the role of religion in the political thought of the three theorists.
-Consider how religion can both constrain and support the state.
-Discuss what unites and what divides the three theorists.
-Note the republican-like commitment to the common good in the work of each theorist and discuss the strategy each theorist uses to enforce that commitment.
*The thesis paragraph should paraphrase the argument developed in your essay and should be a response to the topic.
The essay should present and defend the thesis stated in the first paragraph. The relevant references of the essay should be limited the readings. Evidence and arguments from those sources should be used to develop and illustrate the argument of the thesis.
-I consider how well you have synthesized this material into a coherent argument that supports the thesis and how well have handled contrary arguments.
-element of imagination: can you go beyond what we have read and said in class?
Here is how you will site the sources.
examples: (person, page numbner) (More, 23) (Calvin, 120), ect..
The books needed for the sources are:
1. The Prince and the Discourses by Niccolo Machiavelli--interdoction by Max Lerner. its published by random house inc.
2. UTOPIA by Thomas More
3. Conversion and Call to Geneva by John Calvin...I will email this one to you. I will also put it below just in case.
Conversion and Call to
The great reformer John Calvin was less open and articulate about his own personal spiritual development than was Luther, who wore his heart on his sleeve. This very reticence about speaking of himself makes all the more precious the account of his own conversion and call to Geneva which he included almost incidentally in the Author's Preface to his Commentary on the Book of Psalms, dated July 22, 1557.
[Just] as he [King David] was taken from the sheepfold and elevated to the rank of supreme authority, so God having taken me from my originally obscure and humble condition has reckoned me worthy of being invested with the honorable office of a preacher and minister of the gospel. When I was as yet a very little boy, my father had destined me for the study of theology. But afterwards, when he considered that the legal profession commonly raised those who followed it to wealth, this prospect induced him suddenly to change his purpose. Thus it came to pass that I was withdrawn from the study of philosophy and was put to the study of law. To this pursuit I endeavored faithfully to apply myself, in obedience to the will of my father; but God, by the secret guidance of His providence, at length gave a different direction to my course. And first, since I was too obstinately devoted to the superstitions of popery to be easily extricated from so profound an abyss of mire, God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life. Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness, I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, I yet pursued them with less ardor.
I was quite surprised to find that before a year had elapsed, all who had any desire after purer doctrine were continually coming to me to learn, although I myself was as yet but a mere novice and tyro. Being of a disposition somewhat unpolished and bashful, which led me always to love the shade and retirement, I then began to seek some secluded corner where I might be withdrawn from the public view; but so far from being able to accomplish the object of my desire, all my retreats were like public schools. In short, whilst my one great object was to live in seclusion without being known, God so led me about through different turnings and changes that He never permitted me to rest in any place, until, in spite of my natural disposition, He brought me forth to public notice. Leaving my native country, France, I in fact retired to Germany expressly for the purpose of being able there to enjoy in some obscure corner the repose which I had always desired, and which had been so long denied me. But lo! whilst I lay hidden at Basle and known only to a few people, many faithful and holy persons were burnt alive in France; and the report of these burnings having reached foreign nations, they excited the strongest disapprobation among a great part of the Germans, whose indignation was kindled against the authors of such tyranny. In order to allay this indignation, certain wicked and lying pamphlets were circulated, stating that none were treated with such cruelty but Anabaptists and seditious persons, who by their perverse ravings and false opinions were overthrowing not only religion but also civil order. Observing that the object which these instruments of the court aimed at by their disguises was not only that the disgrace of shedding so much innocent blood might remain buried under false charges and calumnies which they brought against the holy martyrs after their death, but also that afterwards they might be able to proceed to the utmost extremity in murdering the poor saints without exciting compassion towards them in the breasts of any, it appeared to me that unless I opposed them to the utmost of my ability, my silence could not be vindicated from the charge of cowardice and treachery. This was the consideration which induced me to publish my Institutes of the Christian Religion. My objects were, first, to prove that these reports were false and calumnious, and thus to vindicate my brethren, whose death was precious in the sight of the Lord; and next, that as the same cruelties might very soon after be exercised against many unhappy individuals, foreign nations might be touched with at least some compassion towards them and solicitude about them. When it was then published, it was not that copious and labored work which it now is, but only a small treatise containing a summary of the principal truths of the Christian religion; and it was published with no other design than that men might know what was the faith held by those whom I saw basely and wickedly defamed by those flagitious and perfidious flatterers. That my object was not to acquire fame appeared from [the fact] that immediately afterwards I left Basle, and particularly from the fact that nobody there knew that I was the author.
Wherever else I have gone, I have taken care to conceal that I was the author of that performance; and I had resolved to continue in the same privacy and obscurity until at length William Farel detained me at Geneva, not so much by counsel and exhortation as by a dreadful imprecation, which I felt to be as if God had from heaven laid His mighty hand upon me to arrest me. As the most direct road to Strassburg, to which I then intended to retire, was shut up by the wars, I had resolved to pass quickly by Geneva, without staying longer than a single night in that city. A little before this, popery had been driven from it by the exertions of the excellent person whom I have named, and Peter Viret; but matters were not yet brought to a settled state, and the city was divided into unholy and dangerous factions. Then an individual who now basely apostatized and returned to the papists discovered me and made me known to others. Upon this, Farel, who burned with an extraordinary zeal to advance the gospel, immediately strained every nerve to detain me. And after having learned that my heart was set upon devoting myself to private studies, for which I wished to keep myself free from other pursuits, and finding that he gained nothing by entreaties, he proceeded to utter an imprecation that God would curse my retirement and the tranquility of the studies which I sought, if I should withdraw and refuse to give assistance when the necessity was so urgent. By this imprecation I was so stricken with terror that I desisted from the journey which I had undertaken; but sensible of my natural bashfulness and timidity, I would not bring myself under obligation to discharge any particular office. After that, four months had scarcely elapsed when, on the one hand, the Anabaptists began to assail us, and on the other, a certain wicked apostate,... secretly supported by the influence of some of the magistrates of the city, was thus enabled to give us a great deal of trouble. At the same time, a succession of dissentions fell out in the city which strangely afflicted us. Being, as I acknowledge, naturally of a timid, soft and pusillanimous disposition, I was compelled to encounter these violent tempests as part of my early training; and although I did not sink under them, yet I was not sustained by such greatness of mind as not to rejoice more than it became me when, in consequence of certain commotions, I was banished from Geneva.
By this means set at liberty and loosed from the tie of my vocation, I resolved to live in a private station, free from the burden and cares of any public charge, when that most excellent servant of Christ, Martin Bucer [reformer in Strassburg], employing a similar kind of remonstrance and protestation as that to which Farel had recourse before, drew me back to a new station. Alarmed by the example of Jonas which he set before me, I still continued in the work of teaching. And although I always continued like myself, studiously avoiding celebrity, yet I was carried, I know not how, as it were by force to the Imperial assemblies, where, willing or unwilling, I was under the necessity of appearing before the eyes of many. Afterwards, when the Lord having compassion on this city had allayed the hurtful agitations and broils which prevailed in it, and by His wonderful power had defeated both the wicked counsels and the sanguinary attempts of the disturbers of the Republic, necessity was imposed upon me of returning to my former charge, contrary to my desire and inclination. The welfare of this church, it is true, lay so near my heart that for its sake I would not have hesitated to lay down my life; but my timidity nevertheless suggested to me many reasons for excusing myself from again willingly taking upon my shoulders so heavy a burden. At length, however, a solemn and conscientious regard to my duty prevailed with me to consent to return to the flock from which I had been torn; but with what grief, tears, great anxiety and distress I did this, the Lord is my best witness; and many godly persons who would have wished to see me delivered from this painful state, had it not been that which I feared and which made me give my consent, prevented them and shut their mouths.
The Geneva Confession
Soon after Calvin's arrival in Geneva, William Farel with Calvin's collaboration prepared the Confession of Faith as a summary of central Christian doctrine. It was written in 1536, the same year in which the first edition of Calvin's Institutes was published, and it followed the same plan as Calvin's major work. The basic Reformation principle that the source of all Christian teaching must be the Word of God is emphasized in the very first paragraph, where the sola scriptura principle is insisted upon. The Confession serves as a neat summary of Calvin's doctrinal views.
Confession of Faith
which all the citizens and inhabitants of Geneva and the subjects of the country must promise to keep and hold (1536)
1. The Word of God
First we affirm that we desire to follow Scripture alone as rule of faith and religion, without mixing it with any other thing which might be devised by the opinion of men apart from the Word of God, and without wishing to accept for our spiritual government any other doctrine than what is conveyed to us by the same Word without addition or diminution, according to the command of our Lord.
2. One Only God
Following, then, the lines laid down in the Holy Scriptures, we acknowledge that there is one only God, Whom we are both to worship and serve, and in Whom we are to put all our confidence and hope; having this assurance, that in Him alone is contained all wisdom, power, justice, goodness and pity. And since He is spirit, He is to be served in spirit and in truth. Therefore we think it an abomination to put our confidence or hope in any created thing; to worship anything else than Him, whether angels or any other creatures; and to recognize any other Saviour of our souls than Him alone, whether saints or men living upon earth; and likewise to offer the service which ought to be rendered to Him in external ceremonies or carnal observances, as if He took pleasure in such things; or to make an image to represent His divinity or any other image for adoration.
3. The Law Of God Alike For All
Because there is one only Lord and Master who has dominion over our consciences, and because His will is the only principle of all justice, we confess all our life ought to be ruled in accordance with the commandments of His holy law in which is contained all perfection of justice, and that we ought to have no other rule of good and just living, nor invent other good works to supplement it than those which are there contained, as follows: Exodus 20: "I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee," and so on.
4. Natural Man
We acknowledge man by nature to be blind, darkened in understanding, and full of corruption and perversity of heart, so that of himself he has no power to be able to comprehend the true knowledge of God as is proper, [nor] to apply himself to good works. But on the contrary, if he is left by God to what he is by nature, he is only able to live in ignorance and to be abandoned to all iniquity. Hence he has need to be illumined by God, so that he come to the right knowledge of his salvation, and thus... be redirected in his affections and reformed to the obedience of the righteousness of God.
5. Man By Himself Lost
Since man is naturally (as has been said) deprived and destitute in himself of all the light of God and of all righteousness, we acknowledge that by himself he can only expect the wrath and malediction of God, and hence that he must look outside himself for the means of his salvation.
6. Salvation in Jesus
We confess that it is Jesus Christ who is given to us by the Father, in order that in Him we should recover all of which in ourselves we are deficient. Now all that Jesus Christ has done and suffered for our redemption we veritably hold without any doubt, as it is contained in the creed which is recited in the Church, that is to say: "I believe in God the Father Almighty," and so on.
7. Righteousness in Jesus
Therefore we acknowledge the things which are consequently given to us by God in Jesus Christ: first, that being in our own nature enemies of God and subjects of His wrath and judgment, we are reconciled with Him and received again in grace through the intercession of Jesus Christ, so that by His righteousness and guiltlessness we have remission of our sins, and by the shedding of His blood we are cleansed from all our stains.
8. Regeneration In Jesus
Second, we acknowledge that by His Spirit we are regenerated into a new spiritual nature. That is to say that the evil desires of our flesh are mortified by grace, so that they rule us no longer. On the contrary, our will is rendered conformable to God's will, to follow in His way and to seek what is pleasing to Him. Therefore we are by Him delivered from the servitude of sin, under whose power we were of ourselves held captive, and by this deliverance we are made capable and able to do good works and not otherwise.
9. Remission Of Sins Always Necessary For The Faithful
Finally, we acknowledge that this regeneration is so effected in us that, until we slough off this mortal body, there remains always in us much imperfection and infirmity, so that we always remain poor and wretched sinners in the presence of God. And, however much we ought day by day to increase and grow in God's righteousness, there will never be plentitude or perfection while we live here. Thus we always have need of the mercy of God to obtain the remission of our faults and offenses. And so we ought always to look for our righteousness in Jesus Christ and not at all in ourselves, and in Him be confident and assured, putting no faith in our works.
10. All Our Good In The Grace Of God
In order that all glory and praise be rendered to God (as is His due), and that we be able to have true peace and rest of conscience, we understand and confess that we receive all benefits from God, as said above, by His clemency and pity, without any consideration of our worthiness or the merit of our works, to which is due no other retribution than eternal confusion. None the less our Saviour in His goodness, having received us into the communion of His son Jesus, regards the works that we have done in faith as pleasing and agreeable; not that they merit it at all, but because, not imputing any of the imperfection that is there, He acknowledges in them nothing but what proceeds from His Spirit.
We confess that the entrance which we have to the great treasures and riches of the goodness of God that is vouchsafed to us is by faith; inasmuch as, in certain confidence and assurance of heart, we believe in the promises of the gospel, and receive Jesus Christ as He is offered to us by the Father and described to us by the Word of God.
12. Invocation Of God Only And Intercession Of Christ
As we have declared that we have confidence and hope for salvation and all good only in God through Jesus Christ, so we confess that we ought to invoke Him in all necessities in the name of Jesus Christ, who is our mediator and advocate with Him and has access to Him. Likewise we ought to acknowledge that all good things come from Him alone, and to give thanks to Him for them. On the other hand, we reject the intercession of the saints as a superstition invented by men contrary to Scripture, for the reason that it proceeds from mistrust of the sufficiency of the intercession of Jesus Christ.
13. Prayer Intelligible
Moreover since prayer is nothing but hypocrisy and fantasy unless it proceed from the interior affections of the heart, we believe that all prayers ought to be made with clear understanding. And for this reason, we hold the prayer of our Lord to show fittingly what we ought to ask of Him: "Our Father which art in heaven,... but deliver us from evil. Amen."
We believe that the sacraments which our Lord has ordained in His Church are to be regarded as exercises of faith for us, both for fortifying and confirming it in the promises of God and for witnessing before men. Of them there are in the Christian Church only two which are instituted by the authority of our Saviour; baptism and the supper of our Lord; for what is held within the realm of the pope concerning seven sacraments, we condemn as fable and lie.
Baptism is an external sign by which our Lord testifies that He desires to receive us for His children, as members of His Son Jesus. Hence in it there is represented to us the cleansing from sin which we have in the blood of Jesus Christ, the mortification of our flesh which we have by His death that we may live in Him by His Spirit. Now since our children belong to such an alliance with our Lord, we are certain that the external sign is rightly applied to them.
16. The Holy Supper
The supper of our Lord is a sign by which under bread and wine He represents the true spiritual communion which we have in His body and blood. And we acknowledge that according to His ordinance it ought to be distributed in the company of the faithful, in order that all those who wish to have Jesus for their life be partakers of it. Inasmuch as the mass of the pope was a reprobate and diabolical ordinance subverting the mystery of the holy supper, we declare that it is execrable to us, an idolatry condemned by God; for so much is it itself regarded as a sacrifice for the redemption of souls that the bread is in it taken and adored as God. Besides there are other execrable blasphemies and superstitions implied here, and the abuse of the Word of God which is taken in vain without profit or edification.
17. Human Traditions
The ordinances that are necessary for the internal discipline of the Church, and [that] belong solely to the maintenance of peace, honesty and good order in the assembly of Christians, we do not hold to be human traditions at all, inasmuch as they are comprised under the general command of Paul, where he desires that all be done among them decently and in order. But all laws and regulations made binding on conscience which obliged the faithful to things not commanded by God, or [which] establish another service of God than which he demands, thus tending to destroy Christian liberty, we condemn as perverse doctrines of Satan, in view of our Lord's declaration that He is honored in vain by doctrines that are the commandment of men. It is in this estimation that we hold pilgrimages, monasteries, distinctions of foods, prohibition of marriage, confessions and other like things.
18. The Church
While there is one only Church of Jesus Christ, we always acknowledge that necessity requires companies of the faithful to be distributed in different places. Of these assemblies each one is called Church. But inasmuch as all companies do not assemble in the name of our Lord, but rather to blaspheme and pollute Him by their sacrilegious deeds, we believe that the proper mark by which rightly to discern the Church of Jesus Christ is that His holy gospel be purely and faithfully preached, proclaimed, heard and kept; that his sacraments be properly administered, even if there be some imperfections and faults as there always will be among men. On the other hand, where the gospel is not declared, heard and received, there we do not acknowledge the form of the Church. Hence the churches governed by the ordinances of the pope are rather synagogues of the devil than Christian churches.
Because there are always some who hold God and His Word in contempt, who take account of neither injunction, exhortation nor remonstrance, thus requiring greater chastisement, we hold the discipline of excommunication to be a thing holy and salutary among the faithful, since truly it was instituted by our Lord with good reason. This is in order that the wicked should not by their damnable conduct corrupt the good and dishonor our Lord, and that though proud they may turn to penitence. Therefore we believe that it is expedient according to the ordinance of God that all manifest idolaters, blasphemers, murderers, thieves, lewd persons, false witnesses, sedition mongers, quarrelers, those guilty of defamation or assault, drunkards, dissolute livers – when they have been duly admonished and if they do not make amendment, be separated from the communion of the faithful until their repentance is known.
20. Ministers Of The Word
We recognize no other pastors in the church than faithful pastors of the Word of God, feeding the sheep of Jesus Christ on the one hand with instruction, admonition, consolation, exhortation, deprecation; and on the other resisting all false doctrines and deceptions of the devil, without mixing with the pure doctrine of the Scriptures their dreams or their foolish imaginings. To these we accord no other power or authority but to conduct, rule and govern the people of God committed to them by the same Word, in which they have power to command, defend, promise and warn, and without which they neither can nor ought to attempt anything. As we receive the true ministers of the Word of God as messengers and ambassadors of God, it is necessary to listen to them as to Him Himself, and we hold their ministry to be a commission from God necessary in the church. On the other hand we hold that all seductive and false prophets, who abandon the purity of the gospel and deviate to their own inventions, ought not at all to be suffered or maintained; who are not the pastors they pretend, but rather, like ravening wolves, ought to be hunted and ejected from the people of God.
We hold the supremacy and dominion of kings and princes as also of other magistrates and officers to be a holy thing and a good ordinance of God. And since in performing their office they serve God and follow a Christian vocation, whether in defending the afflicted and innocent, or in correcting and punishing the malice of the perverse, we on our part also ought to accord them honor and reverence, to render respect and subservience, to execute their commands, to bear the charges they impose on us so far as we are able without offence to God. In sum, we ought to regard them as vicars and lieutenants of God, whom one cannot resist without resisting God himself; and their office as a sacred commission from God which has been given them so that they may rule and govern us. Hence we hold that all Christians are bound to pray God for the prosperity of the superiors and lords of the country where they live, to obey the statutes and ordinances which do not contravene the commandments of God, to promote welfare, peace and public good, endeavoring to sustain the honor of those over them and the peace of the people, without contriving or attempting anything to inspire trouble or dissension. On the other hand we declare that all those who conduct themselves unfaithfully towards their superiors, and have not a right concern for the public good of the country where they live, demonstrate thereby their infidelity towards God.
Institutes of the Christian Religion
Calvin was one of the most prolific authors in the history of the Church, comparable in productivity to Augustine, Aquinas, and Luther. To know Calvin well requires extensive reading in his sermons, treatises, letters, and especially his Biblical commentaries. And yet in a special sense Calvin was a man of one book; his remarkable Institutes of the Christian Religion is a systematic presentation of Christian theology which he constantly improved and enlarged from the first edition in 1536 to the last edition which left his hand in the late summer of 1559. He was a young man of twenty-six when he dedicated the first edition to King Francis I of France with a plea for understanding and defense against the persecutors of the French evangelicals. The second edition of 1539 was twice the size of the first; and the final edition, from which the following excerpts are translated, was twice the size of its immediate predecessor. This huge eighth edition was based upon a masterful knowledge of the Scriptures and the Church fathers. The three subjects represented here have not been selected because they are central to the theological heart of the work: for that the student must read on the knowledge of God, in the person and work of Christ, on justification, and on the church. They are chosen rather because of contemporary historical interest in the impact of Calvin's teaching on predestination, vocation, and civil government upon western culture.
Necessity and Beneficial Effect of the Doctrine of Election; Danger of Curiosity
In actual fact, the covenant of life is not preached equally among all men, and among those to whom it is preached it does not gain the same acceptance either constantly or in equal degree. In this diversity the wonderful depth of God's judgement is made known. For there is no doubt that this variety also serves the decision of God's eternal election. If it is plain that it comes to pass by God's bidding that salvation is freely offered to some while others are barred from access to it, at once great and difficult questions spring up, explicable only when reverent minds regard as settled what they may suitable hold concerning election and predestination. A baffling question this seems to many. For they think nothing more inconsistent than that out of the common multitude of men some should be predestined to salvation, others to destruction. But how mistakenly they entangle themselves will become clear in the following discussion. Besides, in the very darkness that frightens them not only is the usefulness of this doctrine made known but also its very sweet fruit. We shall never be clearly persuaded, as we ought to be, that our salvation flows from the wellspring of God's free mercy until we come to know His eternal election, which illumines God's grace by this contrast: that He does not indiscriminately adopt all into the hope of salvation but gives to some what He denies to others.
How much the ignorance of this principle detracts from God's glory, how much it takes away from true humility, is well known. Yet Paul denies that this which needs so much to be known can be known unless God, utterly disregarding works, chooses those whom He has decreed within Himself. "At the present time," he says, "a remnant has been saved according to the election of grace. But if it is by grace, it is no more of works; otherwise grace would no more be grace. But if it is of works, it is no more of grace; otherwise work would not be work" [Roman. 11:5-6]. If – to make it clear that our salvation comes about solely from God's mere generosity – we must be called back to the course of election, those who wish to get rid of all this are obscuring as maliciously as they can what ought to have been gloriously and vociferously proclaimed, and they tear humility up by the very roots. Paul clearly testifies that when the salvation of a remnant of the people is ascribed to the election of grace, then only is it acknowledged that God of His mere good pleasure preserves whom He will, and moreover that He pays no reward, since He can owe none.
They who shut the gates that no one may dare seek a taste of this doctrine wrong men no less than God. For neither will anything else suffice to make us humble as we ought to be nor shall we otherwise sincerely feel how much we are obliged to God. And as Christ teaches, here is our only ground for firmness and confidence: in order to free us of all fear and render us victorious amid so many dangers, snares and mortal struggles, He promises that whatever the Father has entrusted into His keeping will be safe [John 10:28-29]. From this we infer that all those who do not know that they are God's own will be miserable through constant fear. Hence those, who by being blind to the three benefits we have noted would wish the foundation of our salvation to be removed from our midst, very badly serve the interests of themselves and of all other believers. How is it that the Church becomes manifest to us from this, when, as Bernard rightly teaches, "it could not otherwise be found or recognized among creatures, since it lies marvelously hidden... both within the bosom of a blessed predestination and within the mass of miserable condemnation"?
But before I enter into the matter itself, I need to mention by way of preface two kinds of men.
Human curiosity renders the discussion of predestination, already somewhat difficult of itself, very confusing and even dangerous. No restraints can hold it back from wandering in forbidden bypaths and thrusting upward to the heights. If allowed, it will leave no secret to God that it will not search out and unravel. Since we see so many on all sides rushing into this audacity and impudence, among them certain men not otherwise bad, they should in due season be reminded of the measure of their duty in this regard.
First, then, let them remember that when they inquire into predestination they are penetrating the sacred precincts of divine wisdom. If anyone with carefree assurance breaks into this place, he will not succeed in satisfying his curiosity and he will enter a labyrinth from which he can find no exit. For it is not right for man unrestrainedly to search out things that the Lord has willed to be hid in Himself, and to unfold from eternity itself the sublimest wisdom, which He would have us revere but not understand that through this also He should fill us with wonder. He has set forth by His Word the secrets of His will that He has decided to reveal to us. These He decided to reveal insofar as He foresaw that they would concern us and benefit us.
Doctrine of Predestination to be Sought in Scripture Only
"We have entered the pathway of faith," says Augustine. "Let us hold steadfastly to it. It leads us to the King's chamber, in which are hid all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom. For the Lord Christ Himself did not bear a grudge against His great and most select disciples when He said: 'I have... many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now' [John 16:12]. We must walk, we must advance, we must grow, that our hearts may be capable of those things which we cannot yet grasp. But if the Last Day finds us advancing, there we shall learn what we could not learn here. If this thought prevails with us, that the Word of the Lord is the sole way that can lead us in our search for all that it is lawful to hold concerning Him, and is the sole light to illumine our vision of all that we should see of Him, it will readily keep and restrain us from all rashness. For we shall know [that] the moment we exceed the bounds of the Word our course is outside the pathway and in darkness, and that there we must repeatedly wander, slip and stumble. Let this, therefore, [be] first of all before our eyes: to seek any other knowledge of predestination than what the Word of God discloses is not less insane than if one should purpose to walk in a pathless waste [cf. Job 12:24], or to see in darkness. And let us not be ashamed to be ignorant of something in this matter, wherein there is a certain learned ignorance. Rather, let us willingly refrain from inquiring into a kind of knowledge, the ardent desire for which is both foolish and dangerous, nay, even deadly. But if a wanton curiosity agitates us, we shall always do well to oppose to it this restraining thought; just as too much honey is not good, so for the curious the investigation of glory is not turned into glory [Prov. 25:27}. For there is good reason for us to be deterred from this insolence which can only plunge us into ruin....
Summary Survey of the Doctrine of Election
As Scripture, then, clearly shows, we say that God once established by His eternal and unchangeable plan those whom He long before determined once for all to receive into salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, he would devote to destruction. We assert that, with respect to the elect, this plan was founded upon His freely given mercy, without regard to human worth; but by His just and irreprehensible but incomprehensible judgment He has barred the door of life to those whom He has given over to damnation. Now among the elect we regard the call as a testimony of election. Then we hold justification another sign of its manifestation, until they come into the glory in which the fulfillment of that election lies. But as the Lord seals His elect by call and justification, so, by shutting off the reprobate from knowledge of His name or from the sanctification of His Spirit, he, as it were, reveals by these marks what sort of judgment awaits them. Here I shall pass over many fictions that stupid men have invented to overthrow predestination. They need no refutation, for as soon as they are brought forth they abundantly prove their own falsity. I shall pause only over those which either are being argued by the learned or may raise difficulty for the simple, or which impiety speciously sets forth in order to assail God's righteousness.
How We Must Use The Present Life And Its Helps
1. Double Danger: Mistaken Strictness and Mistaken Laxity
By such elementary instruction, Scripture at the same time duly informs us what is the right use of earthly benefits – a matter not to be neglected in the ordering of our life. For if we are to live, we have also to use those helps necessary for living. And we also cannot avoid those things which seem to serve delight more than necessity. Therefore we must hold to a measure so as to use them with a clear conscience, whether for necessity or for delight. By His work the Lord lays down this measure when He teaches that the present life is for his people as a pilgrimage on which they are hastening toward the heavenly kingdom [Lev. 25:23; I Chron. 29:15; Ps. 39:13; 119:19; Heb. 11:8-10, 13-16; 13:14; I Peter 2:11]. If we must simply pass through this world, there is no doubt we ought to use its good things insofar as they help rather than hinder our course. Thus Paul rightly persuades us to use this world as if not using it; and to buy goods with the same attitude as one sells them [I Cor. 7:30-31].
But because this topic is a slippery one and slopes on both sides into error, let us try to plant our feet where we may safely stand. There were some otherwise good and holy men who when they say intemperance and wantonness, when not severely restrained, ever raging with unbridled excess, desired to correct this dangerous evil. This one plan occurred to them: they allowed man to use physical goods insofar as necessity required. A godly counsel indeed, but they were far too severe. For they would fetter consciences more tightly than does the Word of the Lord – a very dangerous thing. Now to them necessity means to abstain from all things that they could do without; thus, according to them, it would scarcely be permitted to add any food at all to plain bread and water. And others are even more severe. We are told of Crates the Theban that he cast all his goods into the sea; for he thought that unless they were destroyed, they would destroy him.
But many today, while they seek an excuse for the intemperance of the flesh in its use of external things, and while they would meanwhile pave the road to licentious indulgence, take for granted what I do not at all concede to them: that this freedom is not to be restrained by any limitation, but to be left to every man's conscience to use as far as seems lawful to him. Certainly I admit that consciences neither ought to nor can be bound here to definite and precise legal formulas; but inasmuch as Scripture gives general rules for lawful use, we ought surely to limit our use in accordance with them.
2. The Main Principle
Let this be our principle: that the use of God's gifts is not wrongly directly when it is referred to that end to which the Author Himself created and destined them for us, since he created them for our good, not for our ruin. Accordingly, no one will hold to a straighter path than he who diligently looks to this end. Now if we ponder to what end God created food, we shall find that He meant not only to provide for necessity but also for delight and good cheer. Thus the purpose of clothing, apart from necessity, was comeliness and decency. In grasses, trees and fruits, apart from their various uses there is beauty of appearance and pleasantness of odor [cf. Gen. 2:9]. For if this were not true, the prophet would not have reckoned them among the benefits of God, "that wine gladdens the heart of man, that oil makes his face shine" [Ps. 104:15]. Scripture would not have reminded us repeatedly, in commending His kindness, that He gave all such things to men. And the natural qualities themselves of things demonstrate sufficiently to what end and extent we may enjoy them. Has the Lord clothed the flowers with the great beauty that greets our eyes, the sweetness of smell that is wafted upon our nostrils, and yet will it be unlawful for our eyes to be affected by the beauty, or our sense of smell by the sweetness of that odor? What? Did He not so distinguish colors as to make some more lovely than others? What? Did He not endow gold and silver, ivory and marble, with a loveliness that renders them more precious than other metals or stones? Did He not, in short, render many things attractive to us, apart from their necessary use?
3. A Look At The Giver Of The Gift Prevents Narrow-Mindedness And Immoderation
Away, then, with that inhuman philosophy which, while conceding only a necessary use of creatures, not only malignantly deprives us of the lawful fruit of God's beneficence but cannot be practiced unless it robs a man of all his senses and degrades him to a block.
But no less diligently, on the other hand, we must resist the lust of the flesh, which, unless it is kept in order, overflows without measure. And it has, as I have said, its own advocated, who under the pretext of the freedom conceded permit everything to it. First, one bridle is put upon it if it be determined that all things were created for us that we might recognize the Author and give thanks for His kindness toward us. Where is your thanksgiving if you so gorge yourself with banqueting or wine that you either become stupid or are rendered useless for the duties of piety and of your calling? Where is your recognition of God if your flesh, boiling over with excessive abundance [of] vile lust, infects the mind with its impurity so that you cannot discern anything that is right and honorable? Where is our gratefulness toward God for our clothing if in the sumptuousness of our apparel we both admire ourselves and despise others, if with its elegance and glitter we prepare ourselves for shameless conduct? Where is our recognition of God if our minds be fixed upon the splendor of our apparel? For many so enslave all their senses to delights that the mind lies overwhelmed. Many are so delighted with marble, gold and pictures that they become marble; they turn, as it were, into metals and are like painted figures. The small of the kitchen or the sweetness of its odors so stupefies others that they are unable to smell anything spiritual. The same thing is also to be seen in other matters. Therefore, clearly, leave to abuse God's gifts must be somewhat curbed, and Paul's rule is confirmed: that we should "make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires: [Rom. 13:14}, for if we yield too much to these, they boil up without measure or control.
4. Aspiration To Eternal Life Also Determines Aright Our Outward Conduct Of Life
But there is no surer or more direct course than that which we receive from contempt of the present life and meditation upon heavenly immortality. For from this two rules follow: those who use this world should be so affected as if they did not use it; those who marry, as if they did not marry; those who buy, as if they did not buy, just as Paul enjoins [I Cor. 7:29-31]. The other rule is that they should know how to bear poverty peaceable and patiently, as well as to bear abundance moderately. He who bids you use this world as if you used it not destroys not only the intemperance of gluttony in food and drink, and excessive indulgence at table, in buildings and clothing, ambition, pride, arrogance and overfastidiousness, but also all care and inclination that either diverts or hinders you from thought of the heavenly life and zeal to cultivate the soul. Long ago Cato truly said: "There is great care about dress, but great carelessness about virtue." To use the old proverb: those who are much occupied with the care of the body are for the most part careless about their own souls. Therefore, even though the freedom of believers in external matters is not to be restricted to a fixed formula, yet it is surely subject to this law: to indulge oneself as little as possible; but, on the contrary, with unflagging effort of mind to insist upon cutting off all show of superfluous wealth, not to mention licentiousness, and diligently to guard against turning helps into hindrances.
5. Frugality, Earthly Possessions Held In Trust
The second rule will be: they who have narrow and slender resources should know how to go without things patiently, lest they be troubled by an immoderate desire for them. If they keep this rule of moderation, they will make considerable progress in the Lord's school. So, too, they who have not progressed, in some degree at least, in this respect have scarcely anything to prove them disciples of Christ. For besides the fact that most other vices accompany the desire for earthly things, he who bears poverty impatiently also when in prosperity commonly betrays the contrary disease. This is my point: he who is ashamed of mean clothing will boast of costly clothing; he who, not content with a slender meal is troubled by the desire for a more elegant one, will also intemperately abuse those elegances if they fall to his lot. He who will bear reluctantly and with a troubled mind his deprivation and humble condition, if he be advanced to honors will by no means abstain from arrogance. To this end, then, let all those for whom the pursuit of piety is not a pretense strive to learn, by the apostle's example, how to be filled and to hunger, to abound and to suffer want [Phil. 4:12].
Besides, Scripture has a third rule with which to regulate the use of earthly things. Of it we said something when we discussed the precepts of love. It decrees that all those things were so given to us by the kindness of God and so destined for our benefit that they are, as it were, entrusted to us, and we must one day render account of them. Thus, therefore, we must so arrange it that this saying may continually resound in our ears: "Render account of your stewardship" [Luke 16:2]. At the same time let us remember by whom such reckoning is required: namely, Him Who has greatly commended abstinence, sobriety, frugality and moderation; and has also abominated excess, pride, ostentation and vanity; Who approves no other distribution of good things than one joined with love; Who has already condemned with His own lips all delights that draw man's spirit away from chastity and purity, or befog his mind.
6. The Lord's Calling A Basis Of Our Way Of Life
Finally, this point is to be noted: the Lord bids each one of us in all life's actions to look to His calling. For He knows with what great restlessness human nature flames, with what fickleness it is borne hither and thither, how its ambition longs to embrace various things at once. Therefore, lest through our stupidity and rashness everything be turned topsy-turvy. He has appointed duties for every man in his particular way of life. And that no one may thoughtlessly transgress his limits. He has named these various kinds of living "callings." Therefore each individual has his own kind of living assigned to him by the Lord as a sort of sentry post so that he may not heedlessly wander about throughout life. Now so necessary is this distinction that all our actions are judged in His sight by it, often indeed far otherwise than in the judgment of human and philosophical reason. No deed is considered more noble, even among philosophers, than to free one's country from tyranny. Yet a private citizen who lays his hand upon a tyrant is openly condemned by the heavenly judge [I Sam. 24:7, 11; 26:9]. But I will not delay to list examples. It is enough if we know that the Lord's calling is in everything the beginning and foundation of well-doing. And if there is anyone who will not direct himself to it, he will never hold to the straight path in his duties. Perhaps sometimes he could contrive something laudable in appearance; but whatever it may be in the eyes of men, it will be rejected before God's throne. Besides, there will be no harmony among the several parts of his life. Accordingly, your life will then be best ordered when it is directed to this goal. For no one, impelled by his own rashness, will attempt more than his calling will permit, because he will know that it is not lawful to exceed its bounds. A man of obscure station will lead a private life ungrudgingly so as not to leave the rank in which he has been placed by God. Again, it will be no slight relief from cares, labors, troubles and other burdens for a man to know that God is his guide in all these things. The magistrate will discharge his functions more willingly; the head of the household will confine himself to his duty; each man will bear and swallow the discomforts, vexations, weariness and anxieties in his way of life when he has been persuaded that the burden was laid upon him by God. From this will arise also a singular consolation: that no task will be so sordid and base, provided you obey your calling in it, that it will not shine and be reckoned very precious in God's sight.
1. Differences Between Spiritual And Civil Government
Now, since we have established above that man is under a two-fold government, and since we have elsewhere discussed at sufficient length the kind that resides in the soul or inner man and pertains to eternal life, this is the place to say something also about the other kind, which pertains only to the establishment of civil justice and outward morality.
For although this topic seems by nature alien to the spiritual doctrine of faith which I have undertaken to discuss, what follows will show that I am right in joining them, in fact that necessity compels me to do so. This is especially true since, from one side, insane and barbarous men furiously strive to overturn this divinely established order; while, on the other side, the flatterers of princes, immoderately praising their power, do not hesitate to set them against the rule of God himself. Unless both these evils are checked, purity of faith will perish. Besides, it is of no slight importance to us to know how lovingly God has provided in this respect for mankind, that greater zeal for piety may flourish in us to attest our gratefulness.
First, before we enter into the matter itself, we must keep in mind that distinction which we previously laid down so that we do no (as commonly happens) unwisely mingle these two, which have a completely different nature. For certain men, when they hear that the gospel promises a freedom that acknowledges no king and no magistrate among men, but looks to Christ alone, think that they cannot benefit by their freedom so long as they see any power set up over them. They therefore think that nothing will be safe unless the whole world is reshaped to a new form, where there are neither courts, nor laws, nor magistrates, nor anything which in their opinion restricts their freedom. But whoever knows how to distinguish between body and soul, between this present fleeting life and that future eternal life, will without difficulty know that Christ's spiritual kingdom and the civil jurisdiction are things completely distinct. Since, then, it is a Jewish vanity to seek and enclose Christ's kingdom within the elements of this world, let us rather ponder that what Scripture clearly teaches is a spiritual fruit which we gather from Christ's grace; and let us remember to keep within its own limits all that freedom which is promised and offered to us in Him. For why is it that the same apostle who bids us stand and not submit to the "yoke of bondage" [Gal. 5:1] elsewhere forbids slaves to be anxious about their state [I Cor. 7:21], unless it be that spiritual freedom can perfectly well exist along with civil bondage? These statements of His must also be taken in the same sense: In the kingdom of God "there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor free" [Gal. 3:28; order changed]. And again, "there is not Jew nor Greek, uncircumcised and circumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman; but Christ is all in all" [Cor. 3:11]. By these statements He means that it makes no difference what your condition among men may be or under what nation's laws you live, since the kingdom of Christ does not at all consist in these things.
2. The Two "Governments" Are Not Antithetical
Yet this distinction does not lead us to consider the whole nature of government a thing polluted, which has nothing to do with Christian men. That is what, indeed, certain fanatics who delight in unbridled license shout and boast: after we have died through Christ to the elements of this world [Col. 2:20], are transported to God's kingdom and sit among heavenly beings, it is a thing unworthy of us and set far beneath our excellence to be occupied with those vile and worldly cares which have to do with business foreign to a Christian man. To what purpose, they ask, are there laws without trials and tribunals? But what has a Christian man to do with trials themselves? Indeed, if it is not lawful to kill, why do we have laws and trials? But as we have just now pointed out that this kind of government is distinct from that spiritual and inward kingdom of Christ, so we must know that they are not at variance. For spiritual government, indeed, is already initiating in us upon earth certain beginnings of the heavenly kingdom, and in this mortal and fleeting life affords a certain forecast of an immortal and incorruptible blessedness. Yet civil government has as its appointed end, so long as we live among men, to cherish and protect the outward worship of God, to defend sound doctrine of piety and the position of the church, to adjust our life to the society of men, to form our social behavior to civil righteousness, to reconcile us with one another and to promote general peace and tranquility. All of this I admit to be superfluous if God's kingdom, such as it is now among us, wipes out the present life. But if it is God's will that we go as pilgrims upon the earth while we aspire to the true fatherland, and if the pilgrimage requires such helps, those who take these from man deprive him of his very humanity. Our adversaries claim that there ought to be such great perfection in the church of God that its government should suffice for law. But they stupidly imagine such a perfection as can never be found in a community of men. For since the insolence of evil men is so great, their wickedness so stubborn, that it can scarcely be restrained by extremely severe laws, what do we expect them to do if they see that their depravity can go scot-free – when no power can force them to cease from doing evil?
3. The Chief Tasks And Burdens Of Civil Government
But there will be a more appropriate place to speak of the practice of civil government. Now we only wish it to be understood that to think of doing away with it is outrageous barbarity. Its function among men is no less than that of bread, water, sun and air; indeed, its place of honor is far more excellent. For it does not merely see to it, as all these serve to do, that men breathe, eat, drink and are kept warm, even though it surely embraces all these activities when it provides for their living together. It does not, I repeat, look to this only, but also prevents idolatry, sacrilege against God's name, blasphemies against His truth and other public offenses against religion from arising and spreading among the people; it prevents the public peace from being disturbed; it provides that each man may keep his property safe and sound; that men may carry on blameless intercourse among themselves; that honesty and modesty may be preserved among men. In short, it provides that a public manifestation of religion may exist among Christians and that humanity be maintained among men. Let no man be disturbed that I now commit to civil government the duty of rightly establishing religion, which I seem above to have put outside of human decision. For when I approve of a civil administration that aims to prevent the true religion which is contained in God's law from being openly and with public sacrilege violated and defiled with impunity, I do not here, any more than before, allow men to make laws according to their own decision concerning religion and the worship of God.
But my readers, assisted by the very clarity of the arrangement, will better understand what is to be thought of the whole subject of civil government if we discuss its parts separately. These are three: the magistrate, who is the protector and guardian of the laws; the laws according to which he governs; the people, who are governed by the laws and obey the magistrate.
Let us, then, first look at the office of the magistrate, noting whether it is a lawful calling approved of God; the nature of the office; the extent of its power; then, with what laws a Christian government ought to be governed; and finally, how the laws benefit the people, and what obedience is owed to the magistrate....
31. Constitutional Defenders Of The People's Freedom
But however these deeds of men are judged in themselves, still the Lord accomplished His work through them alike when He broke the bloody scepters of arrogant kings and when He overturned intolerable governments. Let the princes hear and be afraid.
But we must, in the meantime, be very careful not to despise or violate that authority of magistrates, full of venerable majesty, which God has established by the weightiest decrees, even though it may reside with the most unworthy men who defile it as much as they can with their own wickedness. For, if the correction of unbridled despotism is the Lord's to avenge, let us not at once think that it is entrusted to us, to whom no command has been given except to obey and suffer.
I am speaking all the while of private individuals. For if there are now any magistrates of the people, appointed to restrain the willfulness of kings (as in ancient times the ephors were set against the Spartan kings, or the tribunes of the people against the Roman consuls, or the demarchs against the senate of the Athenians; and perhaps, as things now are, such power as the three estates exercise in every realm when they hold their chief assemblies), I am so far from forbidding them to withstand, in accordance with their duty, the fierce licentiousness of kings, that, if they wink at kings who violently fall upon and assault the lowly common folk, I declare that their dissimulation involves nefarious perfidy, because they dishonestly betray the freedom of the people, of which they know that they have been appointed protectors by God's ordinance.
32. Obedience To Man Must Not Become Disobedience To God
But in that obedience which we have shown to be due the authority of rulers, we are always to make this exception; indeed, to observe it as primary, that such obedience is never to lead us away from obedience to Him to Whose will the desires of all kings ought to be subject, to Whose decrees all their commands ought to yield, to Whose majesty their scepters ought to be submitted. And how absurd would it be that in satisfying men you should incur the displeasure of Him for whose sake you obey men themselves! The Lord, therefore, is the King of Kings, Who, when He has opened His sacred mouth, must alone be heard, before all and above all men; next to him we are subject to those men who are in authority over us, but only in Him, If they command anything against Him, let it go unesteemed. And here let us not be concerned about all that dignity which the magistrates possess; for no harm is done to it when it is humbled before that singular and truly supreme power of God.
On this consideration, Daniel denies that he has committed any offense against the king when he has not obeyed his impious edict [Dan. 6:22-23]. For the king had exceeded his limits, and had not only been a wrongdoer against men, but, in lifting up his horns against God, had himself abrogated his power. Conversely, the Israelites are condemned because they were too obedient to the wicked proclamation of the king [Hos. 5:13]. For when Jeroboam molded the golden calves, they, to please him, forsook God's temple and turned to new superstitions [I Kings 12:30]. With the same readiness, their descendants complied with the decrees of their kings. The prophet sharply reproaches them for embracing the king's edicts [Hos. 5:11]. Far, indeed, is the pretense of modesty from deserving praise, a false modesty with which the court flatterers cloak themselves and deceive the simple, while they deny that it is lawful for them to refuse anything imposed by their kings. As if God had made over His right to mortal men, giving them the rule over mankind! Or as if earthly power were diminished when it is subjected to its Author, in Whose presence even the heavenly powers tremble as suppliants! I know with what great and present peril this constancy is menaced, because kings bear defiance with the greatest displeasure, whose "wrath is a messenger of death," says Solomon [Prov. 16:14}. But since this edict has been proclaimed by the heavenly herald, Peter – "We must obey God rather than men" [Acts 5:29] – let us comfort ourselves with the thought that we are rendering that obedience which the Lord requires when we suffer anything rather than turn aside from piety. And that our courage may not grow faint, Paul pricks us with another goad: That we have been redeemed by Christ at so great a price as our redemption cost Him, so that we should not enslave ourselves to the wicked desires of men – much less be subject to their impiety [I Cor. 7:23].
God Be Praised
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Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: email for file needed to plete this order.
I need a general chapter about Beauty/female beauty. It should consist of a general introduction about the idea of beauty, from some ancient theories to the present?for example, maybe from the ancient philosophical discussion/different ideas about beauty, then to eighteenth century aesthetics discussion, then to some modern theories about beauty??
And I hope, if possible, some discussion of the theory of beauty can more or less turn to the discussion about female beauty. For example, feminist sees female beauty as a suppression from the patriarchal society, which undermine female autonomy (for instance, The beauty myth : how images of beauty are used against women / Naomi Wolf); biological theories sees female beauty or any good-looking persons advantaged, because their good appearances implicates their good health, good balance physically and mentally, (for instance, Survival of the Prettiest: the science of beauty/Nancy Etcoff)??..and any other theories???
Indeed, mostly we view beauty positively. And nowadays more and more research shows that good physical appearance is advantageous in many perspectives such as career, social relationship, and so on. And due to some factors, appearance is more important for a woman than it is for a man (for instance, according to Linda A. Jackson in her Physical Appearance and Gender: sociobiological and sociocultural perspectives)??..
I am researching on a 18th century novel?Roxana, the fortunate mistress by Daniel Defoe. Due to long patriarchal tradition, women are always moditized, which also means their appearance are always judged. And generally speaking, lovely appearance is of great advantage. On the one hand, I see Roxana as gaining power from those powerful men who are obviously attracted to her by her beauty and being financially powerful herself, but on the other hand, her final tragic ending makes me wonder if the exploitation of her beauty is really a good way for survival, or for social upward mobility?. because she then labeled herself a whore and she claim she bees more and more vain about her beauty and more wicked. She cannot reconcile her very first decision of yielding to her landlord, who is obviously attracted to her, which opens the door for her mistress career. And her shame makes her not able to face her daughter and eventually causes the murder of her daughter?..
What does her reliance on her beauty means and how does it affect her? This is what I want to figure out, trying to explain her tragedy in this perspective. Her beauty makes her a fortunate mistress to powerful men, but this career makes her feel both vain and guilty.
In this chapter, the most important thing is to describe generally as many as important theories about beauty/or female beauty, from ancient to the present, and these theories don?t have to conform to each other, just bring them out. If any theory can relate to Roxana and explain her situation, that would be great; but if not, it is OK. What I need most is a general chapter on as many as theories about beauty/female beauty, both consistent and contradictory ones.
ps. 1. please don't use unnecessary spacing (my last order had two much unnecessary space)
2. Remend resources (books):
* The Power of Beauty / Nancy Friday
* The beauty myth : how images of beauty are used against women / Naomi Wolf
* Survival of the Prettiest: the science of beauty/Nancy Etcoff
* Physical Appearance and Gender: sociobiological and sociocultural perspectives / Linda A. Jackson
* Beauty in History: Society, Politics and personal Appearance c.1500 to the Present / Arthur Marwick
Thank you very much for the help!!
Here is the source:
Outline of the Project: The Beauty-Empowered Fortunate Mistress--Roxana
Bearing such an indicative adjective as ?fortunate? in it?s title, Daniel Defoe?s novel Roxana, the Fortunate Mistress, arouses in the readers an interest in how different her adventure will be from those of other contemporary fictive characters, as to be called ?fortunate.? Following the biographical story of Roxana, we find her really fortunate in the sense that every time she is faced with misery or difficulty in surviving, there is always someone, powerful man in particular, to help her out of her misfortune. However ?fortunate? she is, ironically, Roxana is Defoe?s only one novel that ends in tragedy. Does Defoe imply that under the system of patriarchy, a woman, no matter how successful and powerful she bees, is doomed to be a loser? This seemingly fortunate mistress?s tragic ending has room for discussion.
In addition, observing the narratives and Roxana?s rise to prosperity from her earlier mishap, we may assume that she is so blessed with ?beauty? and so aware of it that men are attracted to her. If a man, under patriarchy, is considered to be both dominating and powerful, then a woman, possessed with beauty, can be capable of turning the power of an influential man into hers and makes herself bee twice as powerful, by the use of her physical beauty, the seduction for example. In a word, in Roxana?s case, she is empowered greatly by her physical beauty. Furthermore, this kind of female power of beauty is an ?alternative power,? which is underlying and obscure but can be manipulated so well as to transcend the ?dominant power? of men.
In the early modern days, like the eighteenth century, people tended to value women according to her good marriage and her charming beauty; it is mainly a means to stabilize male supremacies in the social construction. Ironically, a woman like Roxana reversibly deploys her beauty as an apparatus to manipulate people around her, particularly the seemingly powerful men. They are factually her servants in many senses, as long as they still find her attractive and adorable. Beauty and sex still function as a prevailing currency up to now, so was the society back in the times of Enlightenment.
The main objective of this paper is to give as full as possible a perspective about the process of Roxana?s ?fortunate? adventure and to apply psychoanalysis to the aspects of Roxana?s prostituting herself, that is, her use of the physical attractiveness to gain power from men and furthermore to fulfill her ambition for fame and vanity. In this perspective, the issue of gender and human sexuality may be taken into account. Besides, the historical background of such period as eighteenth-century enlightenment, during which the formation of taste of the middle class, as well as the appreciation of (female) beauty, constituted a claim to cultural fluency and intellectual capacity, will be researched too.
Roxana and Her Men
With the obscurity and variety of its titles, editions and authorship, Daniel Defoe?s last novel, Roxana, or the Fortunate Mistress, is indeed an interesting fiction that deserves scrutiny from a diversity of perspectives. Besides, Roxana, the heroine of the novel and also the narrator of her own life, is a character that has given rise to a lot of different interpretations and criticisms regarding her conduct and morality. In this last novel, the experiences of Defoe?s heroine are in some way equivalent to those of his previous famous heroine, Moll Flanders. Roxana, faced with the problem of survival, like Moll, employs a strategy for living, which is in close relation to men, with different manipulations and purposes, though.1 However, ironically and differently, Roxana, Defoe?s ?fortunate mistress,? ends up falling into ?a dreadful Course of Calamities? (Roxana 329). Being the author?s only one novel that ends in tragedy, the autobiographic novel, Roxana, or the Fortunate Mistress, therefore, while describing the ?fortunate? protagonist?s rising from adversity to prosperity, by the exercise of the power of her beauty over influential and wealthy men, deserves close attention and analysis with regard to the process of the heroine?s calculating management of her life as a mistress and the meaning that lies behind.
Observing Roxana?s life story, some critics consider her a woman victimized by the patriarchal system and the male-dominated society. In regard to her first marriage, this may seem quite true. However, following her management of her life after the desertion of her brewer husband, we see her being more and more powerful, growing more and more perceptive to the situations she is in, and hence exerting her influence more and more effectively. It is undeniable that Roxana owes her later great progress in accumulating fortunes to her beauty, with which she is born, and by which she transforms men?s power into her own, and bees twice as powerful herself. She seizes every chance to pursue fame and fortune and would avoid anyone or anything that threaten her seemingly secure and fortable life. In the light of her management of life and the narrative she gives about it, it is discernible that Roxana is definitely not just a weak woman trapped in a system that is against her, but instead a very ambitious and clever woman, who not only paves her own way for great financial success, but also has us readers sympathize with her, despite of her ?wicked conduct.? As Mona Scheuermann suggests in the introduction to Her Bread to Earn: Women, Money, and Society from Defoe to Austen, ?Defoe?s women are capable of virtually any acplishment that men can achieve;? and regarding the case of Roxana, she further notes that:
Defoe, in parison to just about anyone else, has the most positive view of woman and her capabilities, insisting in both Moll Flanders and Roxana that a woman?s talent for productive work is limited only by society?s definition of what avenue for earning money are available to her. (2)
Therefore, in this chapter, I am going to discuss Roxana?s career from initial ruin as a result of a bad marriage which she does not really have an option but to accept whatever the consequences it may bring, then to her rising again, to giddy heights. The focus is on her clear awareness of her most useful resource to exploit, that is, her beauty, and on the way she exercises the power of it over men. Those men are obviously so attracted to her that they offer to help and give her as much as she pleases, even to the extent that she transcends them, regarding the financial resources she has at hand later. As a result, not only is she free from the threat of her former destitution, but also she lives an extremely agreeable life. In addition, being a mistress to one man after another, Roxana manages her mistress career better and better. From her very first benefactor, the jeweler, then the Prince, the Dutch merchant, the third and also the last of her men, to the Lord in London, Roxana manipulates these men more and more effectively to meet what she needs.
Bad Marriage as Dilemma
Never, Ladies, marry a Fool; any Husband rather than a Fool;
with some other Husbands you may be unhappy, but with a Fool
You will be miserable. (Roxana 8)
Under the patriarchal system, a woman in the eighteenth century did not really have the right to choose a husband. Rather, she was betrothed to a man picked by the head of the family, the father, according to the social class, or the prospect that the husband-to-be was going to benefit the whole family socially as well as economically. As long as the two families reached an agreement, the daughter could not but marry the man in question. Speaking of this kind of matrimony, Lawrence Stone remarks:
So far as the propertied laity was concerned, the ideal marriage began with the selection by the parents of the potential spouse, an agreement among both sets of parents upon the financial arrangements, and the acceptance of this choice by both parties, either voluntarily or under pressure. (Road to Divorce )
In Roxana?s case, her first marriage, which later proves disastrous, just follows this tradition: ?At about Fifteen years of Age, my Father gave me, as he call?d it in French, 25000 Livres, that is to say, two Thousand Pounds Portion, and married me to an Eminent Brewer in the City? (Roxana 7). Considered from an economic point of view, Roxana?s marriage seems a perfect match of two families of equal standing: she being a daughter of a well-off middle class family, and he, the son of an affluent family and also the heir to the prosperous family business. However, this seemingly ideal husband later bees the very destroyer of her life.
As a wife, Roxana is dependent on her husband, which means that if her husband is capable of managing the business, she is living a pleasant and carefree life; but if her husband is, in her own words, a ?Fool,? ?worthless Thing,? ?Nothing-doing Wretch,? or ?useless thing,? her life is so helplessly dependent on him that she is destined for disaster because of her husband?s poor management of life and family. Then, in this light, whether Roxana?s husband is leaving and deserting the family or not, the family is doomed to decline, due to his inpetence in financial management and his irresponsibility toward family affairs. In a word, the cause of Roxana?s predicament originates in the improper judgment in deciding the future spouse, whether the judgment be entirely her father?s or hers.
As to Roxana?s bad choice of taking the brewer as her husband, here lies something interesting. Among those men to whom Roxana is married, or have a relationship or affair with, the brewer husband is the only one that Roxana describes at all and says to find handsome.2 When Roxana introduces her husband, she gives a short account, which only reveals his physical appearance and skill?a handsome man and a good dancer. She remarks: ?He was a jolly, handsome Fellow, as any Woman need wish for a Companion; tall, and well made; rather a little too large, but not so as to be ungentile; he danc?d well, which, I think, was the first thing that brought us together.? And after a few lines, she further confirms that ?after I have told you that he was a Handsome Man, and a good Sportsman, I have, indeed, said all? (Roxana 7). Whether her consent to this marriage is on a voluntary basis or is forced, this judgment of a future mate according to his physical attractiveness proves to be a disastrous mistake. While Roxana?s beauty can grant her power to attract men and gain from them everything she wants, a man?s physical attractiveness does not operate in this way, and what really counts should be his ability, especially back in the eighteenth century.3 Firstly, in that period during which capitalism and mercantilism prevail after the long overseas exploration and colonization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, running a business as a tradesman or merchant was definitely the best way not only to climb up the social ladder to a more prominent status, but also to maintain the family prosperity, especially for middle class families. Those middle class businessmen were well equipped with the capital to manage a business and thus progressed higher and higher. Discussing the economic themes in Roxana, Bram Dijkstra remarks, ?The English middle classes of the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century were caught up in a feverish pursuit of gain from mercial enterprises which seemed capable of unlimited expansion? (7). Besides, to promote as well as to guide the citizens? participation in the business, Defoe even published a very lengthy volume?The Complete English Tradesman.4 Furthermore, reflecting on the narrative of Roxana, Dijkstra makes a ment on the relationship between the story and Defoe?s opinions about economics, observing that:
Key phrases, and even sometimes whole paragraphs from Roxana turn up nearly verbatim in The Complete English Tradesman (1725-7), A Tour thro? the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724-5), Augusta Triumphans (1727), and A Plan of the English Commerce (1728). (4)
This manifests the importance of running a business, as well as Defoe?s emphasis on people?s sense of it, which Roxana?s brewer husband simply lacks. In addition, since capitalism and mercantilism are both based on a system of money making and accumulating to benefit both the individual and the nation, and principally a free market petition, a businessman?s ability to handle his investment and to manage his business, as well as the efforts he is willing to make, is of crucial importance. Otherwise, under this system, one can easily lose one?s petitiveness and all one?s capital is at stake, as well as one?s business and family.
Secondly, under the patriarchal system, the choice of a husband was not only not up to a woman, but also the marriage itself was hindering a woman?s independence and autonomy. In Her Bread to Earn, Mona Scheuermann mentions this dilemma of eighteenth-century women regarding their predicament after getting married:
In brief, a woman?s legal rights over her own property depended on her marital status. While an unmarried (and not betrothed) or widowed woman had control of her property and of her money, the married woman had virtually no such rights. (9)
Considered in terms of these two respects, that is, her husband?s inpetence in a mercial world and her dependence on him, Roxana?s marriage is doomed to fail her. She consents to marry a man, only knowing that he is running a business as a brewer and he is good-looking. She does not call in question whether he is capable of dealing with the brewery until she gets married to him and es to the belated realization that ?he was otherwise a weak, empty-headed, untaught Creature? (Roxana 7). What is much more dejecting is that since Roxana is a very smart woman, she can foresee the consequence of her husband?s way of leading his life, but the efforts she makes to prevent it are just in vain. She not only warns him against his poor business practice of the brewery house and his idle life, but also, after he luckily escapes from bankruptcy, proposes some suggestions: ?I propos?d to him either to buy some Place with the Money, or with Part of it, and offer?d to join my part to it, which was then in Being, and might have been secur?d; so we might have liv?d tolerably, at least, during his Life? (Roxana 11). But her husband is such a fool who is ?void of Council? that he ?neglected it [her proposal], liv?d on as he did before, kept his Horses and Men, rid every Day out to the Forest a Hunting, and nothing was done all this while? (Roxana 11). Roxana?s dilemma lies in that she knows how to deal with it, even to save her husband?s business, yet as a wife, she has no right to manage it but to see her husband use up all the resources in idleness, regretting ?I thought I saw my Ruin hastening on, without any possible Way to prevent it? (Roxana 11).
Compared with other men who help Roxana first in her struggle to survive and later in her pursuit of wealth, her first husband is indeed her ?destroyer.? Yet his taking ?French leave?5 is in fact, to Roxana, not so much destructive as ?constructive.? Moreover, his disappearance is not so much a shock for Roxana as a secret wish that es true. As a matter of fact, realizing her husband is too foolish to take her warning seriously, not to mention to make any improvement, Roxana is contemplating the idea of his being gone before it should be too late. Therefore she reflects that ?When he said he wou?d be gone, I us?d to wish secretly, and even say in my Thoughts, I wish you wou?d, for if you go on thus, you will starve us all? (Roxana 11-12). And viewed from another angle, it is thanks to her husband?s deserting the family and thus leaving her in charge that she can have a chance to arrange for her five children, preventing their starvation, and then open the door to her later life as a beautiful mistress, a professional businesswoman, and most importantly, as a extremely rich and powerful individual.
Good Looks As Fortune
?tis enough to tell you, how agreeable you are to me;
how I am surprised at your Beauty, and resolve to make you happy,
and to be happy with you.6 (Roxana 63)
After her husband disappears, Roxana is left without a protector, her father being dead and her brother in prison. She is all on her own then. Although, as discussed above, the social environment and particularly the marital laws frustrate a woman?s independence, Roxana, fortunately, is in possession of an ?alternative? power, her captivating beauty. What is more, Roxana has learned her lesson and will find her way to rise again. Her later amours with her men best illustrate the power of beauty and the way the engineering of beauty captures attention and power from men. Indeed, despite of the long unequal social position of men and women, a beautiful woman is paratively favored in some respects. And the eighteenth century did have its own contemporary interpretation of female beauty and viewed it positively.
During the eighteenth century, in addition to the emphasis on intellect, which was associated with the intellectual movement called ?The Enlightenment,? people at that time also tended to pay particular attention and stir the controversy over the idea of ?taste? and ?beauty.? With the development of mercantilism and capitalism, a specific variety of self-establishing and promising middle class emerged. It consisted of self-sufficient businesspersons, who were secure in finance and thus they occasionally turned their attention to the realm of culture with their own claims. The eighteenth century can be said to be going through a change both economically and culturally. Discussing this phenomenon, Robert W. Jones in the preface to his book, Gender and the Formation of Taste in Eighteenth Century Britain: The Analysis of Beauty, indicates that in eighteenth-century Britain, ?a reference to the concept of beauty constituted a claim to cultural fluency and intellectual capacity? (Jones vii). Of course here, at first, the concept and debate of taste or beauty was associated with the appreciation of art and any pleasing objects such as paintings. However, due to the long convention of women?s subordination to men, plus the tendency to ?modify? and ?objectify? women, the term ?beauty? was always related and applied to the appearance or physical charms of women and the concerns were then inevitably turned to the appreciation and judgment of female physical beauty. The term, though, was perhaps most strikingly deployed in relation to the role of women in cultural and social debate. For this, Jones further explains:
More directly, the perceived beauties of women received minute attention
as the signs, alternately, of virtue or depravity. Therefore while the beautiful was the object of judgment in cultural debate, it also functioned as a guarantor of moral discourses, this was particular true of those texts, which addressed the conduct of women. (Jones ix)
Jones also points out that, ?Spence, for example, successfully united an investigation into the question of taste with an account of how women should behave, claiming that a woman?s beauty could make manifest her inner virtue? (1). In a word, it is her physical beauty, that best signifies a woman?s presence at that time. And Roxana is certainly not ignorant about that. Possessed of the charm that the society regards as a pleasant existence, despite that she is reduced so low after having been abandoned by her husband, Roxana will not be excluded from it for long, but will return to exhibit her power and influence when she is ready.
Being brought up in a well-off middle class family, Roxana is so well educated and trained that she, at a very young age, ?had acplished myself for the sociable Part of the World? (Roxana 6). In addition, her later self-description further reveals that she is clearly aware of her physical attractiveness, as well as her intellectual aptness and capability:
I was (speaking of myself as about Fourteen Years of Age) tall, and very well made; sharp as a Hawk in Matters of mon Knowledge; quick and smart in Discourse; apt to be Satyrical; full of Repartee, and a little too forward in Conversation; or, as we call it in English, BOLD, tho? perfectly Modest in my Behaviour. (Roxana 6)
After the tragic oute of her first impulsive marriage, although Roxana remains in a dejected condition for a while, she is not in despair, nor is she ruined for good. Rather, she is moving on, just being more careful and experienced, and starting from arranging for her five young children to be sheltered from being starved. After getting rid of her five children, Roxana is alone again, except for the pany of Amy, who is actually her efficient assistant, instead of an obstacle to her rising. Leaving the children in the care of the family relatives renders Roxana single and available, ready to arouse sympathy from the men who are attracted to her, to obtain supports emotionally and economically from them, and ultimately, to empower herself, although the ?proper? management of ridding herself of her children at last turns out to be one of the main causes of her ruin.7 Citing Mona Scheuermann?s statement that ?Roxana, having tried the socially prescribed course of marriage?a course that leaves her penniless and burdened with five children?bees mistress to a series of men, accumulating a great fortune as she proceeds from relationship to relationship? (Her Bread to Earn 13), we may conclude this passage, asserting that from that time on, Roxana?s career as a mistress is set on stage.
Accordingly, the landlord, Roxana?s first benefector, after a period of visiting her for dealing with the rent, es to help. Obviously attracted by the beauty of Roxana, the landlord, as she observes, ?came oftener to see me, look?d kinder upon me, and spoke more friendly to me, than he us?d to do? (Roxana 25). As a landlord, he is very likely to have noticed what the old aunt and the poor woman see when they e to help Roxana out with the children??they found me in that Posture, and crying vehemently? (Roxana 17). And the landlord later observes and says to Roxana that ?it grieved him for my [Roxana?s] sake, realizing ?how poorly I lived, how low I was reduc?d, and the like? (Roxana 25). This demonstrates that not only Roxana?s beauty but also her suffering is exerting influence on the landlord. In Crito: or a Dialogue on Beauty, Crito, speaking of the beautiful Mrs. B***, whom he sees weeping and later ?wiping away a Tear,? praises the sign of suffering as an enhancement of beauty:
The Distress in her Countenance, and the little Confusion that appeared about her Eyes, on her first discovering me [. . .] added so much to the other Beauties of her Face, that I think I never saw her look so Charming in my Life. (Crito 5-6)8
Similarly, Roxana?s beauty may have earlier impressed the landlord but it might be her grieving that renders her so attractively beautiful that the landlord finally decided to e to her rescue. Roxana?s narrative later confirms this. One night, when they are spending time drinking together, what he says to Roxana makes her understand more clearly what, besides her beauty, has brought him to her:
[H]e told me, That as the sad Condition which I was reduc?d to, had made him pity me, so my Conduct in it, and the Courage I bore it with, had given him a more than ordinary Respect for me, and made him very thoughtful for my Good. (Roxana 26)
This confession of the landlord proves to be constructive, for later we will see Roxana employ this effect very successfully on her second protector, the Prince. To further manifest the influence of her distress, we may refer again to Robert W. Jones? argument. In the chapter entitled ?The Art of Being Pretty: Polite Taste and the Judgment of Women,? he observes:
Kames, for example, also employed an image of distressed femininity as part of his definition of beauty in the Elements of Criticism: Pity interests us in this object, and remends all its virtuous qualities. For this reason, female beauty shows best in distress, and is more apt to inspire love, than upon ordinary occasions. (qtd. in Jones 95-96)
Besides, Jones continues:
According to Kames, pity warms and melts the spectator, thus preparing him ?for the reception of other tender affections?. Spence?s Mrs B *** could also be described as a spectacle wherein ?admiration concurred with pity to produce love?. (Jones 96)
Like Mrs B***, Roxana, as an afflicted beauty, kindles love from the sympathetic landlord. Therefore, after spending some time with Roxana, doing everything he can to relieve her distress, indeed, the landlord is so eager to keep Roxana by his side that he tells her that he loves her. And he wants to take her as his wife, regardless of the unlawfulness of this desire, for he actually has a wife from whom he has been parted for a long time. However sincere he is, Roxana, not yet recovered from the former misery of being ruined by a man on the one hand, and being virtuous at that time on the other, hesitates to consent.
In fact, before the landlord proposes to support and protect Roxana in the name of love, Amy has earlier noticed that he is attracted to her mistress and has foreseen that he will, sooner or later, disclose his adoration to her and furthermore ask her for favor. She suggests that Roxana take the chance to enjoy the benefit that her beauty has bring her and yield to the landlord, persuading her that ?he knows your Condition as well as you do: Well, and what then? Why then he knows too that you are young and handsome, and he has the surest Bait in the World to take you with? (Roxana 28). At first Roxana is arguing time and again with Amy against her suggestion, insisting that ?a Woman ought rather to die, than to prostitute her Virtue and Honour, let the Temptation be what it will? (Roxana 29). Then it follows that the landlord reveals his feeling for her and, moreover, offers her a contract, which is an emotional as well as financial guarantee. Considering the pleasant life the landlord can afford and the successful business he manages, Roxana cannot help choosing the road of security and admitting the validity of Amy?s contention that under that circumstance, it is perfectly lawful for her to respond to her landlord?s advances and consent to ?lye with him for bread? (Roxana 28).
Speaking of the landlord, who is also a jeweler, there is one thing that deserves to be mentioned?his responsible business practice. Instead of first of all noticing his appearance, what Roxana sees in the landlord is that he is a reliable businessman. This is observed when one night Roxana, giving up her resistance and deciding to be obliged to him, asks him to stay and take a night?s lodging with her. Rather than promising to stay immediately and happily, he declines her request, or favor, by reason of his business in London. Roxana relates the situation: ?he cou?d not deny me, but he would take his Horse, and go to London, do the business he had to do, which, it seems, was to pay a Foreign Bill that was due that night, and wou?d else be protested? (Roxana 35-36). Thus it is apparent not only that he is an honest man but that he is a wise man who knows how to get his priorities right. And he will, with little doubt, make a good supporter whom Roxana can rely on, at least economically. With the landlord, Roxana does live a fortable and happy life until he is murdered.
After the jeweler?s murder, which terminates her second ?marriage,? Roxana is left without a protector again. While the jeweler?s death is anything but a part of Roxana?s plan, her life with him had been so safe and happy that it prompts her to try initiating a beneficial affair again. As David Durant observes, she has bee calculating:
As a relative innocent, she had been deserted, befriended, and seduced; as an older and wiser woman, what could make more sense than to plan to seem more innocent than she now is so as to set the stage for a rich man to protect her again. (Bloom 159)
To this end, Roxana calls herself ?The pretty Widow of Poictou,? though she scruples against viewing herself as the wife of the jeweler when he is alive. By calling herself thus, she consequently attracts the attention of the Prince, to whom the jeweler was to deliver some valuable jewelry when he was robbed and murdered on the way. Learning from her earlier experience with the landlord, Roxana is ?performing? the role as a grieving woman while the Prince es to visit and console her for the loss of her husband. Asked by the Prince about whether she has still a fortune agreeable to the condition she had lived in before, Roxana reveals that ?I reply?d, with some Tears, which, I confess, were a little forc?d? (Roxana 59; my italics). And accordingly her performance acplishes the purpose of impressing the Prince. In response to her mourning over her husband, the Prince expresses regret over his death, and ?at the same time he plimented me upon my being very handsome, as he was pleas?d to call it? (Roxana 59). After their first meeting, the Prince often sends his gentleman either to deliver gifts to her or to settle things for his visits. As a matter of course, she bees one of the kept women of the Prince, but his favorite.
The influence of her beauty over men cannot manifest itself more on anyone else than on the Prince. When they are together, the Prince pliments her on her beauty, time after time, professing that she is ?the most beautiful Creature on Earth? (61), and ?the finest Woman in France? (62). Besides, he once ments to her that ?my Quality sets me at a Distance from you, and makes you ceremonious; your Beauty exalts you to more than an Equality [. . .] ?tis enough to tell you, how agreeable you are to me; how I am surpriz?d at your Beauty? (Roxana 63). It is quite apparent that if not for her beauty, Roxana would not have earned the caring and support from a man of such a high rank. Her beauty not only gives her power, but also exalts her quality, her seeming virtue, for example. And since the Prince adores Roxana extremely, he showers her with various gifts and treasures. Therefore, when the Prince?s conversion due to his wife?s illness leaves Roxana deserted still a third time, she is ?grown not only well supply?d, but Rich, and not only Rich, but was very Rich? (Roxana 110).
If we probe into the reason for Defoe?s involving his heroine, extraordinarily, with a royal member due to her seductive beauty, it might make sense to relate the fictive character to a real person at that time. And this investigation can be attained according to two revealing allusions in the novel. Firstly, the full title of the novel says clearly that the context of the story is set in the time of Charles II, who is, in fact, known by the public to have kept several mistresses.9 Then secondly, in her essay ?Defoe?s Protestant Whore,? Alison Conway makes the following statement:
The eponymous heroine of Defoe?s last novel, Roxana, titles herself ?a Protestant Whore,? and in doing so introduces into the fictional universe of the narrative an historical woman, Nell Gwyn, mistress of Charles II. ?Pray, good people, be civil; I am the Protestant whore,? declared Gwyn in 1681. (Conway 215)
Judging from these two points, we may reasonably relate the real legendary life of Nell Gwyn, who rises as an actress, to the fictional one of Roxana. And what they share in mon is not hard to find. Besides the fact that they are both mistresses to a royal highness, Roxana?s use of her beauty as a means of manipulating people around her renders her capable of performance, which is exactly what Nell Gwyn is good at as an actress.
That Roxana is like a beautiful and professional actress lies in the sense that she performs in her assumed roles so well that she is able to arouse from the people around her or from the audience whatever feelings she wishes to benefit from herself. For example, before she presents herself to the Prince as a mournful widow, she has, like in a rehearsal, played the role to the public, even with effective management of necessary costume. She describes:
As I did not forget to set myself out with all possible Advantage, considering the Dress of a Widow, which in those Days was a most frightful thing; I say, as I did thus for my own Vanity, for I was not ignorant that I was very handsome; I say, on this Account, I was soon made very publick, and was known by the Name of La Belle venue de Poictou. (Roxana 57)
Afterwards, as asserted above, if the very reason that the Prince keeps Roxana as mistress is for her beauty, then the reason that he constantly rewards her with precious things is a result of her good performance as an obedient and decent woman. When the Prince gives her leave to use as much freedom with him and to have everything of him, Roxana ?yet did not ask of him with an Air of Avarice, as if I was greedily making a Penny of him; but I manag?d him with such Art, that he generally anticipated my Demands? (Roxana 66). In other words, besides her calculating mind, Roxana is able to put her scheme into practice by her good acting. Besides, as a good actor/actress is very good at pretending to be somebody else, this is disclosed in the later episode when she hosts parties and dresses herself in the fashion of a Turkish princess to entertain the guests. Still a more impressive performance is her disguising herself as a Quaker, when she retreats from public life as Roxana and lives with an honest Quaker. In order to keep her identity from disclosure, Roxana sometimes assumes the dress, as well as the manner of a Quaker. And she does it very well too: ?I had not only learn?d to dress like a QUAKER, but so us?d myself to THEE and THOU, that I talk?d like a QUAKER too, as readily and naturally as if I had been born among them? (Roxana 213).
Arthur Marwick, researching the looks and lives of famous beauties in history (in the chapter ?Personal Appearance and Life Experiences, c. 1600-c. 1800?) makes particular ment on the court of Charles II: ?However, if we look back across the Channel to the court of Charles II matters are more straightforward; in that environment beauty certainly brought rewards? (97). Indeed, his descriptions of those mistresses mainly put emphasis on their physical attractiveness and he es to a conclusion that ?The shared feature in all of the women who found favour with Charles II was undoubted physical beauty? (104). Beside, in the case of Nell Gwyn, he makes it clear that ?The early career of Nell Gwyn tells us much about the relationship between looks and social mobility? (100). To sum up, the power of beauty is so great that it can help exalt a person?s quality and as well as status, Roxana and Nell Gwyn being examples.
When it es to Roxana?s next affair with the Dutch merchant, she does not exert the power of her beauty so noticeably or purposefully as she does in her previous affairs, because she has bee markedly powerful and independent at that time. However, the beauty effect still functions to do her good. This time, her beauty serves her more as ?protective? power than as seductive power. This is manifested by the incident that happens when she just first meets the Dutch merchant. To help Roxana dispose of her jewels, the honest merchant remends her to a Jew, whom he knows to perfectly understand jewels. However, to his surprise, not only do Roxana and the Jew not make a deal, but also the Jew is accusing Roxana of robbery and murder because he recognizes the jewels as the reported stolen jewels of the murdered jeweler. Yet the Dutch merchant, instead of believing his Jew friend?s accusation, gives credence to Roxana?s story and explanation. Moreover, he manages to fool the Jew and helps Roxana to make a narrow escape to Holland from being put to prison. On the one hand, Roxana?s beauty just operates latently to make the Dutch merchant be careful for her and protect her so as to keep her beauty from harm; on the other hand, her beauty is like a guarantee of her inner virtue and it helps clear her of any disgraceful charge.
The honest Dutch merchant, like other men, falls in love with beautiful Roxana, but differing from them, proposes to marry her lawfully, since his wife is dead. Nevertheless, Roxana, though having feelings for him too, is now too full of vanity of her beauty and wealth to consent. And she refuses him on the pretence of maintaining her liberty against matrimony, confessing: ?it was upon the Account of my Money that I refus?d him? (Roxana 147). Having tasted the sweetness of being beautiful and being rich, she is by far more interested in seeing to what extent can her beauty exalt her than in marrying to the Dutch merchant. Consequently the merchant disappointedly leaves Holland and goes back to Paris, while Roxana leaves for London, with the understanding and ambition that:
I was rich, beautiful, and agreeable, and not yet old; I had known something of the influence I had had upon the Fancies of Men, even of the highest Rank; [. . .] I knew I cou?d make a Figure at London, [. . .] and having already been ador?d by Princes, I thought of nothing less than of being Mistress to the King himself. (Roxana 161)
Settling down in London and known to the public as a beautiful and wealthy woman, Roxana is courted by a multitude of men. Yet now what she aims at is not economic support as before, but fame and title, which are related to the Royal Highness, to gratify her vanity. To achieve such a goal, she cannot just wait passively for him to e to her. Rather, she arranges parties at her apartment on purpose to present her beauty and attract the royal attention that she desires. And thus she sets up a stage for herself to perform again, but publicly this time. When she is dressed in the habit of a ?Turkish Princess,? and performs in front of the guests, she dances like an oriental queen so much that one of the gentlemen cries out ?Roxana! Roxana!? This is how she has the name ?Roxana? fixed on her afterwards. And Roxana?s beauty and grace with which she dances are so fascinating that, ?one Gentleman had the Folly to expose himself, as to say, and I think swore too, that he had seen it danc?d at Constantinople; which was ridiculous enough,? for according to her, the dance is invented by a famous master at Paris and she learns it there to please her second benefactor, the Prince. Although she does not successfully, as she intends, make the King take her as a mistress, her remarkable beauty never disappoints her in terms of attracting a man. She is then taken on by a Lord for as long as eight years in London. And when she gets sick of his Lordship, she is powerful enough to leave him, hiding herself in a suburban lodging with a Quaker.
Following her story here, we find her still fortunate, for not only does the Dutch merchant whose proposal she refused (something she always kept feeling a bit sorry for) e to find her out after their parting for so long, but also does she find him still in love with her. What is more, he offers to buy her titles, which are what she has been longing for. Therefore, as she is growing older and her beauty diminishing, joined with the fact that the Prince is too weak to take her again, Roxana consents to marry the Dutch merchant. And they do live happily for a while and she particularly enjoys and takes pride in the titles that her husband buys her. However, after getting married and moving to Holland, their happy life does not last long, for the shadow of Roxana?s previous indecent life haunts her, and given a chance, it would give her a stroke.
To sum up, if we view it from the economic point of view, Roxana is indeed rising incredibly high, by the use of her beauty. As Dijkstra suggests, Defoe, by the story of Roxana, makes effort to ?educate the feminine part of his audience in the proper management of their central financial resource, their physical beauty? (21). Indeed, observing the narratives, we see no other reasons but Roxana?s extraordinary beauty as the explanation of, at least initially, her attraction for those powerful men. However, leading a life considered by herself as corrupted and full of vanity, Roxana certainly suffers pangs of guilt that make her feel immoral and wicked. Hence, an inquiry into Roxana?s changing and troubling mentality is of importance because, although her final downfall seems a direct result of the murder of her daughter Susan, her self-condemning and guilty mind ever since her first yielding to the landlord is ultimately responsible for her eventual misery. Thus she ends the story of her own life struggle with ?the Blast of Heaven seem?d to follow the Injury done the poor Girl, by us both; and I was brought so low again, that my Repentance seem?d to be only the Consequence of my Misery, as my Misery was of my Crime? (Roxana 330). By ?Crime? she means not only the murder of her daughter, but chiefly also the wicked way that she achieves prosperity. In other words, probing into Roxana?s final predicament, we see that it has its roots in her trading her beauty/body for living, and in her increasing vanity toward the titles and money which her beauty can bring her. Such influence of her beauty as a backlash, as well as Roxana?s mental disturbance will be discussed in next chapter.
1. Moll, in order to survive, besides mitting thievery, always wants to get married to get support from men, while Roxana, regarding marriage as against a woman?s liberty, mostly enjoys the power and money she gains herself from those powerful and rich men without thinking about marrying them.
2. As a matter of fact, when Amy tries to persuade Roxana into yielding to the landlord, she argues that ?Your choice is fair and plain; here you may have a handsome, charming [my italics] Gentleman, be rich, live pleasantly, and in Plenty? (Roxana 40). Here on the one hand, the argument is Amy?s, rather than Roxana?s. On the other hand, Amy is emphasizing what the landlord is able to provide for Roxana, and his good appearance is just viewed as an ?additional value.?
3. Here my argument is not that while good looks are advantageous to a woman, they are disadvantageous to a man. My point is that I regard Roxana?s beauty as her best virtue, which can attract powerful men to shelter and provide for her. And these powerful men?s choosing a wife according to her physical beauty could not cause them harm, let alone destruction, because under that social circumstance, a married woman does not control the family property or capital, or rather, they are all in the hands of the husband. However, conversely, if a woman considers taking a man as her husband on the basis of his good appearance, it is absolutely a risky decision, because once they get married, she is under the threat of being helplessly ruined by her inpetent spouse, who is in charge of the family and business and whose good looks does not necessarily promise his good ability.
4. The Complete English Tradesman, Vol. I (1725); A Supplement to the Complete English Tradesman (1727 [for 1726]); The Compleat English Tradesman, Vol. II (1727). Edited by John McVeagh, The Complete English Tradesman (1725 & 1727) is a thorough and detailed account of the methods, the rules of conduct, the miseries, dangers and grandeur of the profession of merchant, both at the apprentice stage and when in a large way of business. It includes a remarkable tribute to the value to society of the international merchant, and stands as a summation of Defoe?s ideas about the trading life.
5. In etymology, ?French leave? derives from an 18th century French custom of leaving a reception without taking leave of the host or hostess and therefore means an informal, hasty, or secret departure. In literature, the allusion is to the French soldiers, who in their invasions take what they require, and never wait to ask permission of the owners or pay any price for what they take. (http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/english/fr/french+leave.html). Regarding what happens to Roxana?s brewer husband after his taking French leave, we may notice sometime interesting and coincidental for he is later found out to have escaped to France and serves as a guard, in the ?Gensd? arms.? (Roxana 86)
6. The Prince pays this pliment to Roxana, and his royal highness has brought Roxana?s career as a mistress to a climax.
7. The unpromising pursuit by one of Roxana?s deserted children, Susan, and the implied threat to Roxana?s undisclosed identity, give rise to Susan?s murder, mitted by Roxana?s faithful maid, who is, to Roxana, as close as a family member and who disappears too. This incident definitely shatters Roxana.
8. Crito is written by Joseph Spence [Sir Harry Beaumont, pseud.]. Here it is included in Aesthetics: Sources in the Eighteenth Century Vol. 5, edited and introduced by John Valdimir Price.
9. The full title being Roxana, the Fortunate Mistress, or, a History of the Life and Vast Variety of Fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, afterwards called the Countess de Wintselsheim in Germany, Being the Person Known by the Name of the Lady Roxana in the time of Charles II.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Daniel Defoe. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.
Conway, Alison. ?Defoe?s Protestant Whore.? Eighteenth-Century Studies
35. 2 (2002): 215-233.
Defoe, Daniel. Roxana, or the Fortunate Mistress. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.
Dijkstra, Bram. Defoe and Economics. London: Macmillan, 1987.
Jones, Robert. Gender and the Formation of Taste in Eighteenth-Century Britain:
The Analysis of Beauty. Cambridge: U of Cambridge P, 1998.
Marwick, Arthur. Beaury in History: Society, Politics and Personal Appearance
c. 1500 to the Present. Gloucester: Thames and Hudson, 1988.
Price, John Valdimir, ed. and introd. Aesthetics: Sources in the Eighteenth Century
Vol. 5. Bristol: Thoemmes, 1998.
Scheuermann, Mona. Her Bread to Earn: Woman, Money, and Society from Defoe
to Austen. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1993.
Stone, Lawrence. Road to Divorce: England 1530-1987. New York: Oxford UP,
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