THE last chapter closed with the unreconciled opposition between duty and advantage. Each, by itself, would seem to make a triumphant appeal to common-sense: every one is familiar with the stern mandates of duty, whether he is in the habit of obeying them or not; every one is equally familiar with the maxim that “honesty is the best policy”; and believes with the Utilitarians that it pays to be good, and even, within limits, that what pays must be good. On the other hand, at a nearer view, the strength of these two principles lies rather in their mutual antagonism; each would be hopelessly weak were it not for the weakness of the other. Each has lived on, indeed, not so much for its own sake as to afford a refuge from the difficulties of the other. If Utilitarianism is to be a system at all, it necessarily comes to lay down definite rules and affirm a definite end. Unless it is to be a merely natural science, describing what people are observed to do and choose, and therefore not ethics at all, it must assert the imperative which it sets out by denying. Why ought I to seek my happiness (or other people’s) in the way my Lord the Utilitarian is pleased to direct? why ought I to seek other people’s happiness at all, or even my own? Every science is either descriptive or normative. It must either state antecedents and consequents, or 53lay down regulations. Science knows but two sentences, the conditional and the imperative. Utilitarianism has never been content simply with the conditional, it has refused to say nothing more than “if A happens B will follow,” as if it were one of the natural sciences; but it can only indulge in the imperative by denying itself. Once tell me what pleasure I ought to choose, and, with an ipse dz’xit as flagrant as that of the dogmatic moralist, you lay on me an obligation which is distinct from pleasure and alien to it.