Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXXV. - The Works of Vicesimus Knox, vol. 5
LETTER XXXV. - Vicesimus Knox, The Works of Vicesimus Knox, vol. 5 
The Works of Vicesimus Knox, D.D. with a Biographical Preface. In Seven Volumes (London: J. Mawman, 1824). Vol. 5.
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- To the Right Honourable Charles James Fox.
- Personal Nobility Or , Letters to a Young Noble Man
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- The Spirit of Despotism.
- Section I.: Introductory.
- Section II. Oriental Manners, and the Ideas Imbibed In Youth, Both In the West and East Indies, Favourable to the Spirit of Despotism.
- Section III. Certain Circumstances In Education Which Promote the Spirit of Despotism.
- Section IV. Corruption of Manners Has a Natural Tendency to Promote the Spirit of Despotism.
- Section V. An Abhorrence of Despotism and an Ardent Love of Liberty Perfectly Consistent With Order and Tranquillity; and the Natural Consequence of Well-informed Understandings and Benevolent Dispositions.
- Section VI. On the Venality of the Press Under the Influence of the Despotic Spirit, and Its Effects In Diffusing That Spirit.
- Section VII. The Fashionable Invectives Against Philosophy and Reason, a Proof of the Spirit of Despotism.
- Section VIII. Of Loyalty, and Certain Mistaken Ideas of It.
- Section IX. On Taking Advantage of Popular Commotions, Accidental Excesses, and Foreign Revolutions, to Extend Prerogative and Power, and Encroach On the Liberties of the People.
- Section X. When Human Life Is Held Cheap, It Is a Symptom of a Prevailing Spirit of Despotism.
- Section XI. Indifference of the Middle and Lower Classes of the People to Public Affairs, Highly Favourable to the Encroachments of the Tory Principle, and Therefore to the Spirit of Despotism.
- Section XII. The Despotic Spirit Is Inclined to Discourage Commerce, As Unfavourable to Its Purposes.
- Section XIII. The Spirit of Despotism Displaying Itself In Private Life, and Proceeding Thence to Avail Itself of the Church and the Military.
- Section XIV. The Despotic Spirit Inclined to Avail Itself of Spies, Informers, False Witnesses, Pretended Conspiracies, and Self-interested Associations Affecting Patriotism.
- Section XV. The Manners of Tory Courtiers, and of Those Who Ape Them, As People of Fashion, Inconsistent With Manliness, Truth, and Honesty; and Their Prevalence Injurious to a Free Constitution, and the Happiness of Human Nature.
- Section XVI. The Spirit of Truth, Liberty, and Virtue, Public As Well As Private, Chiefly to Be Found In the Middle Ranks of the People.
- Section XVII. On Debauching the Minds of the Rising Generation and a Whole People, By Giving Them Military Notions In a Frée and Commercial Country.
- Section XVII. Levity, Effeminacy, Ignorance, and Want of Principle In Private Life, Inimical to All Public Virtue, and Favourable to the Spirit of Despotism.
- Section XIX. Certain Passages In Dr. Brown’s “estimate” Which Deserve the Serious Consideration of All Who Would Oppose the Subversion of a Free Constitution By Corruption of Manners and Principles, and By Undue Influence.
- Section XX. On Several Subjects Suggested By Lord Melcombe’s Diary; Particularly the Practice of Bartering the Cure of Souls For the Corruption of Parliament.
- Section XXI. On Choosing Rich Men, Without Parts, Spirit, Or Liberality, As Representatives In the National Council.
- Section XXII. Of the Despotic Influence of Great Merchants Over Their Subalterns, of Customers Over Their Tradesmen, and Rich Trading Companies Over Their Various Dependents, In Compelling Them to Vote For Court Candidates For Seats In Parliment, Merely T
- Section XXIII. Of the Pageantry of Life; That It Originates In the Spirit of Despotism; and Contributes to It, Without Advancing Private Any More Than Public Felicity.
- Section XXIV. Insolence of the Higher Orders to the Middle Ranks and the Poor; With Their Affected Condescension, In Certain Circumstances, to the Lowest of the People.
- Section XXV. Of a Natural Aristocracy.
- Section XXVI. The Excessive Love of Distinction and Power Which Prevails Wherever the Spirit of Despotism Exists, Deadens Some of the Finest Feelings of the Heart, and Counteracts the Laws of Nature.
- Section XXVII. On the Opinion That the People Are Annihilated Or Absorbed In Parliament; That the Voice of the People Is No Where to Be Heard But In Parliament; and On Similar Doctrines, Tending to Depreciate the People.
- Section XXVIII. The Fashionable Contempt Thrown On Mr. Locke, and His Writings In Favour of Liberty; and On Other Authors and Books Espousing the Same Cause.
- Section XXIX. Of the Despotism of Influence; While the Forms of a Free Constitution Are Preserved.
- Section XXX. The Spirit of Despotism Delights In War Or Systematic Murder.
- Section XXXI. On the Idea That We Have Arrived At Perfection In Politics, Though All Other Sciences Are In a Progressive State.
- Section XXXII. On Political Ethics; Their Chief Object Is to Throw Power Into the Hands of the Worst Part of Mankind, and to Render Government an Institution Calculated to Enrich and Aggrandize a Few, At the Expense of the Liberty, Property, and Lives of
- Section XXXIII. On Trafficking With the Cure of Souls, (cura Animarum,) For the Purposes of Political, I. E. Moral, Corruption.
- Section XXXIV. Of Mr. Hume’s Idea, That Absolute Monarchy Is the Easiest Death, the True Euthanasia of the British Constitution.
- Section XXXV. The Permission of Lawyers By Profession, Aspiring to Honours In the Gift of the Crown, to Have the Greatest Influence In the Legislature, a Circumstance Unfavourable to Liberty.
- Section XXXVI. Poverty, When Not Extreme, Favourable to All Virtue, Public and Private, and Consequently to the Happiness of Human Nature; and Enormous Riches, Without Virtue, the General Bane.
- Section XXXVII. On the Natural Tendency of Making Judges and Crown Lawyers, Peers; of Translating Bishops and Annexing Preferments to Bishoprics, In, What Is Called Commendam.
- Section XXXVIII. That All Opposition to the Spirit of Despotism Should Be Conducted With the Most Scrupulous Regard to the Existing Laws, and to the Preservation of Public Peace and Good Order.
- Section XXXIX. The Christian Religion Favourable to Civil Liberty, and Likewise to Equality Rightly Understood.
- Section Xl. the Pride Which Produces the Spirit of Despotism Conspicuous Even On the Tombstone. It Might Be Treated With Total Neglect, If It Did Not Tend to the Oppression of the Poor, and to Bloodshed and Plunder.
- Section Xli.: Conclusion.
- Antipolemus; Or, the Plea of Reason, Religion, and Humanity, Against War. a Fragment; Translated From the Latin of Erasmus.
- Preface. By the Translator.
- Antipolemus; Or, the Plea of Reason, Religion, and Humanity, Against War.
Health makes the best blood, not nobility. I could not help adopting this idea, on seeing poor Lord ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ at the coffee-room. He is but five and thirty, and he has all the infirmity of three-score and ten. He was born feeble; and yet sent early to one of the fashionable schools, because his father and grandfather were educated there. His pockets were always full of money, and he indulged himself, in consequence, with every luxury in eating and drinking. High-seasoned food, and brandy and water, every day, at the age of eighteen! Sad havoc it made in his feeble frame! A dreadful disease, at twenty, introduced the decrepitude of old age at thirty. And there he stands (and, alas! can hardly stand) a melancholy example of the folly of parents, in sacrificing the health and happiness of their children to fashion. His servant is the son of one of his tenants, and nearly of the same age as himself. How strong and hale! how florid his complexion! how cheerful his looks! Poor Lord ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ would give up all his pedigree for half his footman's vigour.
It is a great error of the present age, to bring boys forward too soon. They are made little men, and they continue little men. Unfortunately this is in a peculiar manner the case of the rich and great. What poor creatures are many who are born to sit in the senate-house, above their fellow-citizens, with coronets and robes of honour! Their whole business is to take care of their health; how can they watch over a nation? They may indeed give a feeble voice at the command of a minister; but will the people respect them? And does not their imbecility of mind and body, besides the great misfortune of it to themselves, endanger the existence of their order, by rendering it contemptible?
Among other modes of restoring lustre to the peerage, if it be true that it is tarnished, care should be taken, in early youth, to prevent the body from being weakened by excess or effeminacy. A school in a great, corrupt, and unhealthy metropolis, should never be chosen by those who are able to select the place of their children's education. The diet of young persons should be plain, yet always plentiful. Early hours of retiring to repose, and rising from it, should be constantly insisted upon. Boys should not be introduced to the luxuries of a nobleman's table, not even their father's; nor suffered to drink wine, or any strong liquor.
Fortunately for you, you were educated in the country, and with rural simplicity of diet, and accommodation. You therefore preserved your health, while you acquired those solid accomplishments, which will last you through life. But the danger is not yet over: the late hours which modern life renders almost unavoidable, are certainly a deviation from nature, and therefore debilitating. The luxury of the table is also carried to a great height; and excess in wine, at an early age, has become, in certain elevated circles, fashionable.
Be singular, my Lord, in avoiding such practices as will render you an old man before your time. Take care not to reduce yourself to such a state as may oblige you to become a valetudinarian for life. Strength of body is necessary to strength of mind. Temperance will contribute to both; but let it not run into excess, and become the abstinence of a devotee. And let not your exercise take up all your time, and serve only, as is the case with some of the fox hunters, to give an appetite for nocturnal orgies, or the carousals of gross gluttony, and unideal conviviality.
I am, &c.