The selfishness of the three directors threw away this golden opportunity.
But Miranda's desire - that all the South American colonies should form a federal republic - awoke the selfishness of provincial administrations, and the cause was believed to be hateful to heaven owing to a great earthquake on the 26th of March 1812.
It is not easy to see how Washington survived the year 1775; the colonial poverty, the exasperating annoyances, the outspoken criticism of those who demanded active operations, the personal and party dissensions in Congress, the selfishness or stupidity which cropped out again and again among some of the most patriotic of his coadjutors were enough to have broken down most men.
Suicide, and all other forms of selfishness, are highly reprehensible.
Having witnessed the unjust exactions of a democracy at Athens, the dwindling population of an oligarchy at Sparta, and the oppressive selfishness of new tyrannies throughout the Greek world, he condemned the actual constitutions of the Greek states as deviations (7rapec- (3do as) directed merely to the good of the government; and he contemplated a right constitution (607) 7roAtTeia), which might be either a commonwealth, an aristocracy or a monarchy, directed to the general good; but he preferred the monarchy of one man, pre-eminent in virtue above the rest, as the best of all governments (Nicomachean Ethics, viii.