Front Page Titles (by Subject) REMARKS. - The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, Vol. 1
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REMARKS. - Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, Vol. 1 
The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, 2 vols. With a Commentary Critical, Historical, and Explanatory by F.B. Kaye (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1988). Vol. 1.
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(A.) Whilst others follow’d Mysteries, To which few Folks bind ’Prentices: Page 3. Line 15.
IN the Education of Youth, in order to their getting of a Livelihood when they shall be arrived at Maturity, most People look out for some warrantable Employment or other, of which there are whole Bodies or Companies, in every large Society of Men. By this means all Arts and Sciences, as well as Trades and Handicrafts, are perpetuated in the Commonwealth, as long as they are found useful; the Young ones that are daily brought up to ’em, continually supplying the loss of the Old Ones that die. But some of these Employments being vastly more Creditable than others, according to the great difference of the Charges required to set up in each of them, all prudent Parents in the Choice of them chiefly consult their own Abilities and the Circumstances they are in. A Man that gives Three or Four Hundred Pounds with his Son to a great Merchant, and has not Two or Three Thousand Pounds to spare against he is out of his Time to begin the World with, is much to blame not to have brought his Child up to something that might be follow’d with less Money.
There are abundance of Men of a Genteel Education, that have but very small Revenues, and yet are forced, by their Reputable Callings, to make a greater Figure than ordinary People of twice their Income. If these have any Children, it often happens, that as their Indigence renders them incapable of bringing them up to Creditable Occupations, so their Pride makes ’em unwilling to put them out to any of the mean laborious Trades, and then, in hopes either of an Alteration in their Fortune, or that some Friends, or favourable Opportunity shall offer, they from time to time put off the disposing of them, ’till insensibly they come to be of Age, and are at last brought up to nothing. Whether this Neglect be more barbarous to the Children, or prejudicial to the Society, I shall not determine. At Athens all Children were forced to assist their Parents, if they came to Want: But Solon made a Law, that no Son should be oblig’d to relieve his Father, who had not bred him up to any Calling.1
Some Parents put out their Sons to good Trades very suitable to their then present Abilities, but happen to dy, or fail in the World, before their Children have finish’d their Apprenticeships, or are made fit for the Business they are to follow: A great many Young Men again on the other hand are handsomely provided for and set up for themselves, that yet (some for want of Industry or else a sufficient Knowledge in their Callings, others by indulging their Pleasures, and some few by Misfortunes) are reduced to Poverty, and altogether unable to maintain themselves by the Business they were brought up to. It is impossible but that the Neglects, Mismanagements and Misfortunes I named, must very frequently happen in Populous Places, and consequently great Numbers of People be daily flung unprovided for into the wide World, how Rich and Potent a Commonwealth may be, or what Care soever a Government may take to hinder it. How must these People be disposed of? The Sea, I know, and Armies, which the World is seldom without, will take off some. Those that are honest Drudges, and of a laborious Temper, will become Journey-men to the Trades they are of, or enter into some other Service: Such of them as study’d and were sent to the University, may become Schoolmasters, Tutors, and some few of them get into some Office or other: But what must become of the Lazy that care for no manner of working, and the Fickle that hate to be confin’d to any Thing?
Those that ever took Delight in Plays and Romances, and have a spice of Gentility, will, in all probability, throw their Eyes upon the Stage, and if they have a good Elocution with tolerable Mien, turn Actors. Some that love their Bellies above anya thing else, if they have a good Palate, and a little Knack at Cookery, will strive to get in with Gluttons and Epicures, learn to cringe and bear all manner of Usage, and so turn Parasites, ever flattering the Master, and making Mischief among the rest of the Family. Others, who by their own and Companions Lewdness judge of People’s Incontinence, will naturally fall to Intriguing, and endeavour to live by Pimping for such as either want Leisure or Address to speak for themselves. Those of the most abandon’d Principles of all, if they are sly and dextrous, turn Sharpers, Pick-pockets, or Coiners, if their Skill and Ingenuity give them leave. Others again, that have observ’d the Credulity of simple Women, and other foolish People, if they have Impudence and a little Cunning, either set up for Doctors, or else pretend to tell Fortunes; and every one turning the Vices and Frailties of others to his own Advantage, endeavours to pick up a Living the easiest and shortest way his Talent and Abilities will let him.
These are certainly the Bane of Civil Society; but they are Fools, who not considering what has been said, storm at the Remisness of the Laws that suffer them to live, while wise Men content themselves with taking all imaginable Care not to be circumvented by them, without quarrelling at what no human Prudence can prevent.
(B.) These were call’d Knaves, But bar the Name, The grave Industrious were the same: Page 4. Line 5.
THIS, I confess, is but a very indifferent Compliment to all the Trading Part of the People. But if the Word Knave may be understood in its full Latitude, and comprehend every Body that is not sincerely honest, and does to others what he would dislike to have done to himself, I don’t question but I shall make good the Charge. To pass by the innumerable Artifices, by which Buyers and Sellers out-wit one another, that are daily allowed of and practised among the fairest of Dealers, shew me the Tradesman that has always discover’d the Defects of his Goods to those that cheapen’d them; nay, where will you find one that has not at one time or other industri-ously conceal’d them, to the detriment of the Buyer? Where is the Merchant that has never against his Conscience extoll’d his Wares beyond their Worth, to make them go off the better?
Decio, a Man of great Figure, that had large Commissions for Sugar from several Parts beyond Sea, treats about a considerable parcel of that Commodity with Alcander an eminent West-India Merchant; both understood the Market very well, but could not agree: Decio was a Man of Substance, and thought no body ought to buy cheaper than himself; Alcander was the same, and not wanting Money, stood for his Price. While they were driving their Bargain at a Tavern near the Exchange, Alcander’s Man brought his Master a Letter from the West-Indies, that inform’d him of a much greater quantity of Sugars coming for England than was expected. Alcander now wish’d for nothing more than to sell at Decio’s Price, before the News was publick; but being a cunning Fox, that he might not seem too precipitant, nor yet lose his Customer, he drops the Discourse they were upon, and putting on a Jovial Humour, commends the Agreeableness of the Weather, from whence falling upon the Delight he took in his Gardens, invites Decio to go along with him to his Country-House, that was not above Twelve Miles from London. It was in the Month of May, and, as it happened, upon a Saturday in the Afternoon: Decio, who was a single Man, and would have no Business in Town before Tuesday, accepts of the other’s Civility, and away they go in Alcander’s Coach. Decio was splendidly entertain’d that Night and the Day following; the Monday Morning, to get himself an Appetite, he goes to take the Air upon a Pad of Alcander’s, and coming back meets with a Gentleman of his Acquaintance, who tells him News was come the Night before that the Barbadoes Fleet was destroy’d by a Storm, and adds, that before he camea out it had been confirm’d at Lloyd’s Coffee-House,1 where it was thought Sugars would rise 25 per Cent. by Change-time. Decio returns to his Friend, and immediately resumes the Discourse they had broke off at the Tavern: Alcander, who thinking himself sure of his Chap, did not design to have moved it till after Dinner, was very glad to see himself so happily prev-ented ; but how desirous soever he was to sell, the other was yet more eager to buy; yet both of them afraid of one another, for a considerable time counterfeited all the Indifference imaginable; ’till at last Decio fired with what he had heard, thought Delays might prove dangerous, and throwing a Guinea upon the Table, struck the Bargain at Alcander’s Price. The next Day they went to London; the News prov’d true, and Decio got Five Hundred Pounds by his Sugars. Alcander, whilst he had strove to over-reach the other, was paid in his own Coin: yet all this is called fair dealing; but I am sure neither of them would have desired to be done by, as they did to each other.
(C.) The Soldiers that were forc’d to fight, If they surviv’d, got Honour by’t: Page 6. Line 11.
SO unaccountable is the Desire to be thought well of in Men, that tho’ they are dragg’d into the War against their Will, and some of them for their Crimes, and are compell’d to fight with Threats, and often Blows, yet they would be esteem’d for what they would have avoided, if it had been in their Power: Whereas if Reason in Man was of equal weight with his Pride, he could never be pleas’d with Praises, which he is conscious he don’t deserve.
By Honour, in its proper and genuine Signification, we mean nothing else but the good Opinion of others,1 which is counted more or less Substantial, the more or less Noise or Bustle there is made about the demonstration of it; and when we say the So-vereign is the Fountain of Honour, it signifies that he has the Power, by Titles or Ceremonies, or both together, to stamp a Mark upon whom he pleases, that shall be as current as his Coin, and procure the Owner the good Opinion of every Body, whether he deserves it or not.
The Reverse of Honour is Dishonour, or Ignominy, which consists in the bad Opinion and Contempt of others; and as the first is counted a Reward for good Actions, so this is esteem’d a Punishment for bad ones; and the more or less publick or heinous the manner is in which this Contempt of others is shewn, the more or less the Person so suffering is degraded by it. This Ignominy is likewise called Shame, from the Effect it produces; for tho’ the Good and Evil of Honour and Dishonour are imaginary, yet there is a Reality in Shame, as it signifies a Passion, that has its proper Symptoms, over-rules our Reason, and requires as much Labour and Self-denial to be subdued, as any of the rest; and since the most important Actions of Life often are regulated according to the Influence this Passion has upon us, a thorough Understanding of it must help to illustrate the Notions the World has of Honour and Ignominy. I shall therefore describe it at large.
First, to define the Passion of Shame, I think it may be call’d a sorrowful Reflexion on our own Unworthiness, proceeding from an Appre-hension that others either do, or might, if they knew all, deservedly despise us.1 The only Objection of weight that can be rais’d against this Definition is, that innocent Virgins are often asham’d, and blush when they are guilty of no Crime, and can give no manner of Reason for this Frailty: And that Men are often asham’d for others, for, or with whom, they have neither Friendship or Affinity, and consequently that there may be a thousand Instances of Shame given, to which the Words of the Definition are not applicable. To answer this, I would have it first consider’d, that the Modesty of Womena is the Result of Custom and Education, by which all unfashionable Denudations and filthy Expressions are render’d frightful and abominable to them, and that notwithstanding this, the most Virtuous Young Woman alive will often, in spite of her Teeth, have Thoughts and confus’d Ideas of Things arise in her Imagination, which she would not reveal to some People for a Thousand Worlds. Then, I say, that when obscene Words are spoken in the presence of an unexperienced Virgin, she is afraid that some Body will reckon her to understand what they mean, and consequently that she understands this and that and several things, which she desires to be thought ignorant of. The reflecting on this, and that Thoughts are forming to her Disadvantage, brings upon her that Passion which we call Shame; and what-ever can fling her, tho’ never so remote from Lewdness, upon that Set of Thoughts I hinted, and which she thinks Criminal, will have the same Effect, especially before Men, as long as her Modesty lasts.
To try the Truth of this, let them talk as much Bawdy as they please in the Room next to the same Virtuous Young Woman, where she is sure that she is undiscover’d, and she will hear, if not hearken to it, without blushing at all, because then she looks upon herself as no Party concern’d;1 and if the Discourse should stain her Cheeks with red, whatever her Innocence may imagine, it is certain that what occasions her Colour is a Passion not half so mortifying as that of Shame; but if in the same Place she hears something said of her self that must tend to her Disgrace, or any thing is named, of which she is secretly Guilty, then ’tis Ten to one but she’ll be ashamed and blush, tho’ no Body sees her; because she has room to fear, that she is, or, if all was known, should be thought of Contemptibly.
That we are often asham’d, and blush for others, which was the second part of the Objection, is nothing else but that sometimes we make the Case of others too nearly our own; so People shriek out when they see others in danger: Whilst we are reflecting with too much earnest on the Effect which such a blameable Action, if it was ours, would produce in us, the Spirits, and consequently the Blood, are insensibly moved after the same manner, as if the Action was our own, and so the same Symptoms must appear.1
The Shame that raw, ignorant, and ill-bred People, tho’ seemingly without a Cause, discover before their Betters, is always accompanied with, and proceeds from a Consciousness of their Weakness and Inabilities; and the most modest Man, how Virtuous, Knowing, and Accomplish’d soever he might be, was never yet asham’d without some Guilt or Diffidence. Such as out of Rusticity, and want of Education are unreasonably subject to, and at every turn overcome by this Passion, we call bashful; and those who out of disrespect to others, and a false Opinion of their own Sufficiency, have learn’d not to be affected with it, when they should be, are call’d Impudent or Shameless. What strange Contradictions Man is made of! The Reverse of Shame is Pride, (see Remark M.a ) yet no Body can be touch’d with the first, that never felt any thing of the latter; for that we have such an extraordinary Concern in what others think of us, can proceed from nothing but the vast Esteem we have for our selves.
That these two Passions,1 in which the Seeds of most Virtues are contained, are Realities in our Frame, and not imaginary Qualities, is demonstrable from the plain and different Effects, that in spite of our Reason are produced in us as soon as we are affected with either.
When a Man is overwhelm’d with Shame, he observes a sinking of the Spirits; the Heart feels cold and condensed, and the Blood flies from it to the Circumference of the Body; the Face glows, the Neck and Part of the Breast partake of the Fire: He is heavy as Lead; the Head is hung down, and the Eyes through a Mist of Confusion are fix’d on the Ground: No Injuries can move him; he is weary of his Being, and heartily wishes he could make himself invisible: But when, gratifying his Vanity, he exults in his Pride, he discovers quite contrary Symptoms; His Spirits swell and fan the Arterial Blood; a more than ordinary Warmth strengthens and dilates the Heart; the Extremities are cool; he feels light to himself, and imagines he could tread on Air; his Head is held up, his Eyes roll’d about with Sprightliness; he rejoices at his Being, is prone to Anger, and would be glad that all the World could take notice of him.a
It is incredible how necessary an Ingredient Shame is to make us sociable; it is a Frailty in our Nature; all the World, whenever it affects them, submit to it with Regret, and would prevent it if they could; yet the Happiness of Conversation depends upon it, and no Society could be polish’d, if the Generality of Mankind wereb not subject to it. As therefore the Sense of Shame is troublesome, and all Creatures are ever labouring for their own Defence, it is probable, that Man striving to avoid this Uneasiness would in a great measure conquer his Shame by that he was grown up; but this would be detrimental to the Society, and therefore from his Infancy throughout his Education, we endeavour to increase instead of lessening or destroying this Sense of Shame; and the only Remedy prescrib’d, is a strict Observance of certain Rules to avoid those Things that might bring this troublesome Sense of Shame upon him. But as to rid or cure him of it, the Politician would sooner take away his Life.
The Rules I speak of consist in a dextrous Management of our selves, a stifling of our Appetites, and hiding the real Sentiments of our Hearts before others. Those who are not instructed in these Rules long before they come to Years of Maturity, seldom make any Progress in them afterwards. To acquire and bring to Perfection the Accomplishment I hint at, nothing is more assisting than Pride and good Sense. The Greediness we have after the Esteem of others, and the Raptures we enjoy in the Thoughts of being liked, and perhaps admired, are Equivalents that overpay the Conquest of the strongest Passions, and consequently keep us at a great Distance from all such Words or Actions that can bring Shame upon us. The Passions we chiefly ought to hide for the Happiness and Embellishment of the Society are Lust, Pride, and Selfishness; therefore the Word Modesty has three different Acceptations, that vary with the Passions it conceals.
As to the first, I mean that Branch of Modesty, that has a general Pretension to Chastity for its Object, it consists in a sincere and painful Endeavour, with all our Faculties to stifle and conceal before others that Inclination which Nature has given us to propagate our Species. The Lessons of it, like those of Grammar, are taught us long before we have occasion for, or understand the Usefulness of them; for this Reason Children often are ashamed, and blush out of Modesty, before the Impulse of Nature I hint at makes any Impression upon them. A Girl who is modestly educated, may, before she is two Years old, begin to observe how careful the Women, she converses with, are of covering themselves before Men; and the same Caution being inculcated to her by Precept, as well as Example, it is very probable that at Six she’ll be ashamed of shewing her Leg, without knowing any Reason why such an Act is blameable, or what the Tendency of it is.
To be modest, we ought in the first place to avoid all unfashionable Denudations: A Woman is not to be found fault with for going with her Neck bare, if the Custom of the Country allows of it; and when the Mode orders the Stays to be cut very low, a blooming Virgin may, without Fear of rational Censure, shew all the World;
But to suffer her Ancle to be seen, where it is the Fashion for Women to hide their very Feet, is a Breach of Modesty; and she is impudent, who shews half her Face in a Country where Decency bids her to be veil’d. In the second, our Language must be chaste, and not only free, but remote from Obscenities, that is, whatever belongs to the Multiplication of our Species is not to be spoke of, and the least Word or Expression, that tho’ at a great Distance has any relation to that Performance, ought never to come from our Lips. Thirdly, all Postures and Motions that can any ways sully the Imagination, that is, put us in mind of what I have called Obscenities, are to be forebore with great Caution.
A young Woman moreover, that would be thought well-bred, ought to be circumspect before Men in all her Behaviour, and never known to receive from, much less to bestow Favours upon them, unless the great Age of the Man, near Consanguinity, or a vast Superiority on either Side plead her Excuse. A young Lady of refin’d Education keeps a strict Guard over her Looks, as well as Actions, and in her Eyes we may read a Consciousness that she has a Treasure about her, not out of Danger of being lost, and which yet she is resolv’d not to part with at any Terms. Thousand Satyrs have been made against Prudes, and as many Encomiums to extol the careless Graces, and negligent Air of virtuous Beauty. But the wiser sort of Mankind are well assured, that the free and open Countenance of the Smiling Fair, is more inviting, and yields greater Hopes to the Seducer, than the ever-watchful Look of a forbidding Eye.1
This strict Reservedness is to be comply’d with by all young Women, especially Virgins, if they value the Esteem of the polite and knowing World; Men may take greater Liberty, because in them the Appetite is more violent and ungovernable. Had equal Harshness of Discipline been imposed upon both, neither of them could have made the first Advances, and Propagation must have stood still among all the Fashionable People: which being far from the Politician’s Aim, it was advisable to ease and indulge the Sex that suffer’d most by the Severity, and make the Rules abate of their Rigour, where the Passion was the strongest, and the Burthen of a strict Restraint would have been the most intolerable.
For this Reason, the Man is allow’d openly to profess the Veneration and great Esteem he has for Women, and shew greater Satisfaction, more Mirth and Gaiety in their Company, than he is used to do out of it. He may not only be complaisant and serviceable to them on all Occasions, but it is reckon’d his Duty to protect and defend them. He may praise the good Qualities they are possess’d of, and extol their Merit with as many Exaggerations as his Invention will let him, and are consistent with good Sense. He may talk of Love, he may sigh and complain of the Rigours of the Fair, and what his Tongue must not utter he has the Privilege to speak with his Eyes, and in that Language to say what he pleases; so it be done with Decency, and short abrupted Glances: But too closely to pursue a Woman, and fasten upon her with one’s Eyes, is counted very unmannerly; the Reason is plain, it makes her uneasy, and, if she be not sufficiently fortify’d by Art and Dissimulation, often throws her into visible Disorders. As the Eyes are the Windows of the Soul, so this staring Impudence flings a raw, unexperienc’d Woman into panick Fears, that she may be seen through; and thata the Man will discover, or has already betray’d, what passes within her: it keeps her on a perpetual Rack, that commands her to reveal her secret Wishes, and seems design’d to extort from her the grand Truth, which Modesty bids her with all her Faculties to deny.
The Multitude will hardly believe the excessive Force of Education, and in the difference of Modesty between Men and Women ascribe that to Nature, which a is altogether owing to early Instruction: Miss is scarce three Years old, but she is b spoke to every Day to hide her Leg, and rebuk’d in good Earnest if she shews it; while Little Master at the same Age is bid to take up his Coats, and piss like a Man. It is Shame and Education that containsc the Seeds of all Politeness, and he that has neither, and offers to speak the Truth of his Heart, and what he feels within, is the most contemptible Creature upon Earth, tho’ he committed no other Fault. If a Man should tell a Woman, that he could like no body so well to propagate his Species upon, as her self, and that he found a violent Desire that Moment to go about it, and accordingly offer’d to lay hold of her for that purpose; the Consequence would be, that he would be call’d a Brute, the Woman would run away, and himself never be admitted in any civil Company. There is no body that has any Sense of Shame, but would conquer the strongest Passion rather than be so serv’d. But a Man need not conquer his Passions, it is sufficient that he conceals them. Virtue bids us subdue, but good Breeding only requires we should hide our Appetites.1 A fashionable Gentleman may have as violent an Inclination to a Woman as the brutish Fellow; but then he behaves himself quite otherwise; he first addresses the Lady’s Father, and demonstrates his Ability splendidly to maintain his Daughter; upon this he is admitted into her Company, where, by Flattery, Submissiona , Presents, and Assiduity, he endeavours to procure her Liking to his Person, which if he can compass, the Lady in a little while resigns her self to him before Witnesses in a most solemn manner; at Night they go to Bed together, where the most reserv’d Virgin very tamely suffers him to do what he pleases, and the upshot is, that he obtains what he wanted without having ever ask’d for it.
The next Day they receive Visits, and no body laughs at them, or speaks a Word of what they have been doing. As to the young Couple themselves, they take no more Notice of one another, I speak of well-bred People, than they did the Day before; they eat and drink, divert themselves as usually, and having done nothing to be asham’d of, are look’d upon as, what in reality they may be, the most modest People upon Earth. What I mean by this, is to demonstrate, that by being well bred, we suffer no Abridgement in our sensual Pleasures, but only labour for our mutual Happiness, and assist each other in the luxurious Enjoyment of all worldly Comforts. The fine Gentleman I spoke of, need not practise any greater Self-Denial than the Savage, and the latter acted more according to the Laws of Nature and Sincerity than the first. The Man that gratifies his Appetites after the manner the Custom of the Country allows of, has no Censure to fear. If he is hotter than Goats or Bulls, as soon as the Ceremony is over let him sate and fatigue himself with Joy and Ecstacies of Pleasure, raise and indulge his Appetites by turns as extravagantly as his Strength and Manhood will give him leave, he may with safety laugh at the Wise Men that should reprove him: all the Women and above Nine in Ten of the Men are of his side; nay he has the Liberty of valuing himself upon the Fury of his unbridled Passion, and the more he wallows in Lust and strains every Faculty to be abandonedly voluptuous, the sooner he shall have the Good-will and gain the Affection of the Women, not the Young, Vain and Lascivious only, but the Prudent, Grave and most Sober Matrons.
Because Impudence is a Vice, it does not follow that Modesty is a Virtue; it is built upon Shame, a Passion in our Nature, and may be either Good or Bad according to the Actions perform’d from that Motive. Shame may hinder a Prostitute from yielding to a Man before Company, and the same Shame may cause a bashful good-natur’d Creature, that has been overcome by Frailty, to make away with her Infant. Passions may do Good by chance, but there can be no Merit but in the Conquest of them.
Was there Virtue in Modesty, it would be of the same force in the Dark as it is in the Light, which it is not. This the Men of Pleasure know very well, who never trouble their Heads with a Woman’s Virtue so they can but conquer her Modesty; Seducers therefore don’t make their Attacks at Noon-day, but cut their Trenches at Night.
People of Substance may Sin without being expos’d for their stolen Pleasure; but Servants and the Poorer sort of Women have seldom an Opportunity of concealing a Big Belly, or at least the Consequences of it. It is possible that an unfortunate Girl of good Parentage may be left destitute, and know noa Shift for a Livelihood than to become a Nursery, or a Chambermaid: She may be Diligent, Faithful and Obliging, have abundance of Modesty, and if you will, be Religious: She may resist Temptations, and preserve her Chastity for Years together, and yet at last meet with an unhappy Moment in which she gives up her Honour to a Powerful Deceiver, who afterwards neglects her. If she proves with Child, her Sorrows are unspeakable, and she can’t be reconcil’d with the Wretchedness of her Condition; the fear of Shame attacks her so lively, that every Thought distracts her. All the Family she lives in have a great opinion of her Virtue, and her last Mistress took her for a Saint. How will her Enemies, that envied her Character, rejoice! how will her Relations detest her! The more modest she is now, and the more violently the dread of coming to Shame hurries her away, the more Wicked and more Cruel her Resolutions will be, either against her self or what she bears.
It is commonly imagined, that she who can destroy her Child, her own Flesh and Blood, must have a vast stock of Barbarity, and be a Savage Monster, different from other Women; but this is likewise a mistake, which we commit for want of understanding Nature and the force of Passions. The same Woman that Murders her Bastard in the most execrable manner, if she is Married afterwards, may take care of, cherish and feel all the tenderness for her Infant that the fondest Mother can be capable of. All Mothers naturally love their Children: but as this is a Passion, and all Passions center in Self-Love, so it may be subdued by any Superior Passion, to sooth that same Self-Love, which if nothing had interven’d, would have bid her fondle her Offspring. Common Whores, whom all the World knows to be such, hardly ever destroy their Children; nay even those who assist in Robberies and Murders seldom are guilty of this Crime; not because they are less Cruel or more Virtuous, but because they have lost their Modesty to a greater degree, and the fear of Shame makes hardly any Impression upon them.1
Our Love to what never was within the reach of our Senses is but poor and inconsiderable, and therefore Women have no Natural Love to what they bear; their Affection begins after the Birth: what they feel before is the result of Reason, Education, and the Thoughts of Duty. Even when Children first are Born the Mother’s Love is but weak, and increases with the Sensibility of the Child, and grows up to a prodigious height, when by signs it begins to express his Sorrows and Joys, makes his Wants known, and discovers his Love to novelty and the multiplicity of his Desires. What Labours and Hazards have not Women undergone to maintain and save their Children, what Force and Fortitude beyond their Sex have they not shewn in their Behalf! but the vilest Women have exerted themselves on this head as violently as the best. All are prompted to it by a natural Drift and Inclination, without any Consideration of the Injury or Benefit the Society receives from it. There is no Merit in pleasing our selves, and the very Offspring is often irreparably ruin’d by the excessive Fondness of Parents: for tho’ Infants for two or three Years may be the better for this indulging Care of Mothers, yet afterwards, if not moderated, it may totally Spoil them, and many it has brought to the Gallows.
If the Reader thinks I have been too tedious on that Branch of Modesty, by the help of which we endeavour to appear Chaste, I shall make him amends in the Brevity with which I design to treat of the remaining part, by which we would make others believe, that the Esteem we have for them exceeds the Value we have for our selves, and that we have no Disregard so great to any Interest as we have to our own. This laudable quality is commonly known by the name of Manners and Good-breeding, and consists in a Fashionable Habit, acquir’d by Precept and Example, of flattering the Pride and Selfishness of others, and concealing our own with Judgment and Dexterity. This must be only understood of our Commerce with our Equals and Superiors, and whilst we are in Peace and Amity with them; for our Complaisance must never interfere with the Rules of Honour, nor the Homage that is due to us from Servants and others that depend upon us.
With this Caution, I believe, that the Definition will quadrate with every thing that can be alledg’d as a piece or an example of either Good-breeding or Ill Manners; and it will be very difficult throughout the various Accidents of Human Life and Conversation to find out an instance of Modesty or Impudence that is not comprehended in, and illustrated by it, in all Countries and in all Ages. A Man that asks considerable Favours of one who is a Stranger to him, without consideration, is call’d Impudent, because he shews openly his Selfishness without having any regard to the Selfishness of the other. We may see in it likewise the Reason why a Man ought to speak of his Wife and Children, and every thing that is dear to him, as sparinglya as is possible, and hardly ever of himself, especially in Commendation of them. A well-bred Man may be desirous, and even greedy after Praise and the Esteem of others, but to be prais’d to his Face offends his Modesty: the Reason is this; all Human Creatures, before they are yet polish’d, receive an extraordinary Pleasure in hearing themselves prais’d: this we are all conscious of, and therefore when we see a Man openly enjoy and feast on this Delight, in which we have no share, it rouses our Selfishness, and immediately we begin to Envy and Hate him. For this reason the well-bred Man con-ceals his Joy, and utterly denies that he feels any, and by this means consulting and soothing our Selfishness, he averts that Envy and Hatred, which otherwise he would have justly to fear. When from our Childhood we observe how those are ridicul’d who calmly can hear their own Praises, it is possible that we may so strenuously endeavour to avoid that Pleasure, that in tract of time we grow uneasy at the approach of it: but this is not following the Dictates of Nature, but warping her by Education and Custom; for if the generality of Mankind took no delight in being prais’d, there could be no Modesty in refusing to hear it.
The Man of Manners picks not the best but rather takes the worst out of the Dish, and gets of every thing, unless it be forc’d upon him, always the most indifferent Share. By this Civility the Best remains for others, which being a Compliment to all that are present, every Body is pleas’d with it: The more they love themselves, the more they are forc’d to approve of his Behaviour, and Gratitude stepping in, they are oblig’d almost whether they will or not, to think favourably of him. After this manner it is that the well-bred Man insinuates himself in the esteem of all the Companies he comes in, and if he gets nothing else by it, the Pleasure he receives in reflecting on the Applause which he knows is secretly given him, is to a Proud Man more than an Equivalent for his former Self-denial, and over-pays to Self-love with Interest, the loss it sustain’d in his Complaisance to others.
If there are Seven or Eight Apples or Peaches among Six People of Ceremony, that are pretty near equal, he who is prevail’d upon to choose first, will take that, which, if there be any considerable difference, a Child would know to be the worst: this he does to insinuate, that he looks upon those he is with to be of Superior Merit, and that there is not one whom he wishes not better to than he does to himself. ’Tis Custom and a general Practice that makes this Modish Deceit familiar to us, without being shock’d at the Absurdity of it; for if People had been used to speak from the Sincerity of their Hearts, and act according to the natural Sentiments they felt within, ’till they were Three or Four and Twenty, it would be impossible for them to assist at this Comedy of Manners, without either loud Laughter or Indignation; and yet it is certain, that sucha Behaviour makes us more tolerable to one another than we could be otherwise.
It is very Advantageous to the Knowledge of our selves, to be able well to distinguish between good Qualities and Virtues. The Bond of Society exacts from every Member a certain Regard for others, which the Highest is not exempt from in the presence of the Meanest even in an Empire: but when we are by our selves, and so far remov’d from Company as to be beyond the Reach of their Senses, the Words Modesty and Impudence lose their meaning; a Person may be Wicked, but he cannot be Immodest while he is alone, and no Thought can be Impudent that never was communicated to another. A Man of Exalted Pride may so hide it, that no Body shall be able to discover that he has any; and yet receive greater Satisfaction from that Passion than another, who indulges himself in the Declaration of it before all the World. Good Manners have nothing to do with Virtue or Religion; instead of extinguishing, they rather inflame the Passions. The Man of Sense and Education never exults more in his Pride than when he hides it with the greatest Dexterity;1 and in feasting on the Applause, which he is sure all good Judges will pay to his Behaviour, he enjoys a Pleasure altogether unknown to the Short-sighted, surly Alderman, that shews his Haughtiness glaringly in his Face, pulls off his Hat to no Body, and hardly deigns to speak to an Inferior.
A Man may carefully avoid every thing that in the Eye of the World is esteem’d to be the Result of Pride, without mortifying himself, or making the least Conquest of his Passion. It is possible that he only sacrifices the insipid outward Part of his Pride, which none but silly ignorant People take delight in, to that part we all feel within, and which the Men of the highest Spirit and most exalted Genius feed on with so much ecstacy in silence. The Pride of Great and Polite Men is no where more conspicuous than in the Debates about Ceremony and Precedency, where they have an Opportunity of giving their Vices the Appearance of Virtues, and can make the World believe that it a is their Care, their Tenderness for the Dignity of their Office, or the Ho-nour of their Masters, what is the Result of their own personal Pride and Vanity. This is most manifest in all Negotiations of Ambassadors and Plenipotentiaries, and must be known by all that observe what is transacted at publick Treaties; and it will ever be true, that Men of the best Taste have no Relish in their Pride as long as any Mortal can find out that they are Proud.
For there was not a Bee but b would Get more, I won’t c say, than he should; But than,d &c.: Page 7. Line 15.
THE vast Esteem we have of e our selves, and the small Value we have for others, make us all very unfair Judges in our own Cases. Few Men can be persuaded that they get too much by those they sell to, how Extraordinary soever their Gains are, when at the same time there is hardly a Profit so inconsiderable, but they’ll grudge it to those they buy from; for this Reason the Smallness of the Seller’s Advantage being the greatest persuasive to the Buyer, Tradesmen are generally forc’d to tell Lies in their own Defence, and invent a thousand improbable Stories, rather than disco-ver what they really get by their Commodities. Some Old Standers indeed that pretend to more Honesty, (or what is more likely, have more Pride) than their Neighbours, are used to make but few Words with their Customers, and refuse to sell at a lower Price than what they ask at first. But these are commonly Cunning Foxes that are above the World, and know that those who have Money, get often more by being surly, than others by being obliging. The Vulgar imagine they can find more Sincerity in the sour Looks of a grave old Fellow, than there appears in the submissive Air and inviting Complacency of a Young Biginner. But this is a grand Mistake; and if they are Mercers, Drapers, or others, that have many sorts of the same Commodity, you may soon be satisfied; look upon their Goods and you’ll find each of them have their private Marks, which is a certain Sign that both are equally careful in concealing the prime Cost of what they sell.1
(E.)—— —— As your Gamesters do, Who, tho’ at fair Play, ne’er will own Before the Losers what they’ve won: Page 7. Line 18.
THIS being a general Practice which no Body can be ignorant of that has ever seen any Play, there must be something in the Make of Man that is the Occasion of it: But as the searching into this will seem very trifling to many, I desire the Reader to skip this Remark, unless he be in perfect good Humour, and has nothing at all to do.
That Gamesters generally endeavour to conceal their Gains before the Losers, seems to me to proceed from a mixture of Gratitude, Pity, and Self-Preservation. All Men are naturally grateful while they receive a Benefit, and what they say or do, while it affects and feels warm about them, is real, and comes from the Heart; but when that is over, the Returns we make generally proceed from Virtue, good Manners, Reason, and the Thoughts of Duty, but not from Gratitude, which is a Motive of the Inclination. If we consider, how tyrannically the immoderate Love we bear to our selves, obliges us to esteem every body that with or without design acts in our favour, and how often we extend our affection to things inanimate, when we imagine them to contribute to our present Advantage: If, I say, we consider this, it will not be difficult to find out which way our being pleased with those whose Money we win is owing to a Principle of Gratitude. The next Motive is our Pity, which proceeds from our consciousness of the Vexation there is in losing; and as we love the Esteem of every body, we are afraid of forfeiting theirs by being the Cause of their Loss. Lastly, we apprehend their Envy, and so Self-Preservation makes that we strive to extenuate first the Obligation, then the Reason why we ought to Pity, in hopes that we shall have less of their Ill-will and Envy. When the Passions shew themselves in their full Strength, they are known by every body: When a Man in Power gives a great Place to one that did him a small kindness in his Youth, we call it Gratitude: When a Woman howls and wrings her Hands at the loss of her Child, the prevalent Passion is Grief; and the Uneasiness we feel at the sight of great Misfortunes, as a Man’s breaking his Legs a or dashing his Brains out, is every where call’d Pity. But the gentle strokes, the slight touches of the Passions, are generally overlook’d or mistaken.
To prove my Assertion, we have but to observe what generally passes between the Winner and the Loser.a The first is always Complaisant, and if the other will but keep his Temper, more than ordinarily obliging; he is ever ready to humour the Loser, and willing to rectify his Mistakes with Precaution, and the Height of good Manners. The Loser is uneasy, captious, morose, and perhaps Swears and Storms; yet as long as he says or does nothing designedly affronting, the Winner takes all in good part, without offending, disturbing, or contradicting him. Losers, says the Proverb, must have leave to rail:1 All which shews, that the Loser is thought in the Right to complain, and for that veryb Reason pity’d. That we are afraid of the Loser’s Ill-will is plain from our being conscious that we are displeased with those we lose to, and Envy we always dread when we think our selves happier than others: From whence it follows, that when the Winner endevours to conceal his Gains, his design is to avert the Mischiefs he apprehends, and this is Self-Preservation; the Cares of which continue to affect us as long as the Motives that first produced them remain.
But a Month, a Week, or perhaps a much shorter time after, when the Thoughts of the Obligation, and consequently the Winner’s Gratitude are worn off, when the Loser has recover’d his Temper, laughs at his Loss, and the Reason of the Winner’s Pity ceases; when the Winner’s apprehension of drawing upon him the Ill-will and Envy of the Loser is gone; that is to say, as soon as all the Passions are over, and the Cares of Self-Preservation employ the Winner’s Thoughts no longer, he’ll not only make no scruple of a owning what he has won, but will, if his Vanity steps in, likewise, with Pleasure, brag of, if not exaggerate his Gains.
It is possible, that when People play together who are at Enmity, and perhaps desirous of picking a Quarrel, or where Men playing for Trifles contend for Superiority of Skill, and aim chiefly at the Glory of Conquest, nothing shall happen of what I have been talking of. Different Passions oblige us to take different Measures; what I have said I would have understood of ordinary Play for Money, at which Men endeavour to get, and venture to lose what they value: And even here I know it will be objected by many, that tho’ they have been guilty of concealing their Gains, yet they never observ’d those Passions which I alledge as the Causes of that Frailty; which is no wonder, because few Men will give themselves leisure, and fewer yet take the right Method of examining themselves as they should do. It is with the Passions in Men as it is with Colours in Cloth: It is easy to know a Red, a Green, a Blue, a Yellow, a Black, &c. in as many different Places b ; but it must be an Artist that can unravel all the various Colours and their Proportions, that make up the Compound of a well-mix’d Cloth. In the same manner may the Passions be discover’d by every Body whilst they are distinct, and a single one employs the whole Man; but it is very difficult to trace every Motive of those Actions that are the Result of a mixture of Passions.
(F.) And Virtue, who from Politicks Had learn’d a thousand cunning Tricks, Was, by their happy Influence, Made Friends with Vice: —— Page 9. Line 13.
IT may be said, that Virtue is made Friends with Vice, when industrious good People, who maintain their Families and bring up their Children handsomely, pay Taxes, and are several ways useful Members of the Society, get a Livelihood by something that chiefly depends on, or is very much influenc’d by the Vices of others, without being themselves guilty of, or accessary to them, any otherwise than by way of Trade, as a Druggist may be to Poisoning, or a Sword-Cutler to Blood-shed.
Thus the Merchant, that sends Corn or Cloth into Foreign Parts to purchase Wines and Brandies, encourages the Growth or Manufactury of his own Country; he is a Benefactor to Navigation, increases the Customs, and is many ways beneficial to the Publick; yet it is not to be denied but that his greatest Dependence is Lavishness and Drunkenness: For if none were to drink Wine but such only as stand in need of it, nor any Body more than his Health requir’d, that Multitude of Wine-Merchants, Vintners, Coopers, &c. that make such a considerable Shew in this flourishing City, would be in a miserable Condition. The same may be said not only of Card and Dice-makers, that are the immediate Ministers to a Legion of Vices; but a of Mercers, Upholsterers, Tailors, and many others, that would be starv’d in half a Year’s time, if Pride and Luxury were at once to be banished the Nation.
(G.) The worst of all the Multitude Did something for the Common Good: Page 9. Line 17.
THIS, I know, will seem to be a strange Paradox to many; and I shall be ask’d what Benefit the Publick receives from Thieves and House-breakers. They are, I own, very pernicious to Human Society, and every Government ought to take all imaginable Care to roota out and destroy them; yet if all People were strictly honest, and no body would meddle with or pry into any thing but his own, half the Smiths of the Nation would want Employment; and abundance of Workmanship (which now serves for Ornament as well as Defence) is to be seen every where both in Town and Country, that would never have been thought of, but to secure us against the Attempts of Pilferers and Robbers.b
If what I have said be thought far fetch’d, and my Assertion seems still a Paradox, I desire the Reader to look upon the Consumption of things, and he’ll find that the laziest and most unactive, the profligate and most mischievous are all forc’d to do something for the common good, and whilst their Mouths are not sow’d up, and they continue to wear and otherwise destroy what the Industrious are daily employ’d about to make, fetch and procure, in spight of their Teeth oblig’d to help maintain the Poor and the publick Charges. The Labour of Millions would soon be at an End, if there were not other Millions, as I say, in the Fable,
But Men are not to be judg’d by the Consequences that may succeed their Actions, but the Facts themselves, and the Motives which it shall appear they acted from. If an ill-natur’d Miser, who is almost a Plumb,1 and spends but Fifty Pounds a Year, tho’ he has no Relation to inherit his Wealth, should be Robb’d of Five Hundred or a Thousand Guineas, it is certain that as soon as this Money should come to circulate, the Nation would be the better for the Robbery, and receive the same and as real a Benefit from it, as if an Archbishop had left the same Sum to the Publick; yet Justice and the Peace of the Society require that he or they who robb’d the Miser should be hang’d, tho’ there were half a Dozen of ’em concern’d.
Thieves and Pick-pockets steal for a Livelihood, and either what they can get Honestly is not sufficient to keep them, or else they have an Aversion to constant Working: they want to gratify their Senses, have Victuals, Strong Drink, Lewd Women, and to be Idle when they please. The Victualler, who entertains them and takes their Money, knowing which way they come at it, is very near as great a Villain as his Guests. But if he fleeces them well, minds his Business and is a prudent Man, he may get Money and be punctual with them he deals with: The Trusty Out-Clerk, whose chief aim is his Master’s Profit, sends him in what Beer he wants, and takes care not to lose his Custom; while the Man’s Money is good, he thinks it no Business of his to examine whom he gets it by. In the mean time the Wealthy Brewer, who leaves all the Management to his Servants, knows nothing of the matter, but keeps his Coach, treats his Friends, and enjoys his Pleasure with Ease and a good Conscience, he gets an Estate, builds Houses, and educates his Children in Plenty, without ever thinking on the Labour which Wretches perform, the Shifts Fools make, and the Tricks Knaves play to come at the Commodity, by the vast Sale of which he amasses his great Riches.
A Highwayman having met with a considerable Booty, gives a poor common Harlot, he fancies, Ten Pounds to new-rig her from Top to Toe; is there a spruce Mercer so conscientious that he will refuse to sell her a Thread Sattin, tho’ he knew who she was? She must have Shoes and Stockings, Gloves, the Stay and Mantua-maker, the Sempstress, the Linen- Draper, all must get something by her, and a hundred different Tradesmen dependent on those she laid her Money out with, may touch Part of it before a Month is at an end. The Generous Gentleman, in the mean time, his Money being near spent, ventur’d again on the Road, but the Second Day having committed a Robbery near Highgate, he was taken with one of his Accomplices, and the next Sessions both were condemn’d, and suffer’d the Law. The Money due on their Conviction fell to three Country Fellows, on whom it was admirably well bestow’d. One was an Honest Farmer, a Sober Pains-taking Man, but reduced by Misfortunes: The Summer before, by the Mortality among the Cattle, he had lost Six Cows out of Ten, and now his Landlord, to whom he ow’d Thirty Pounds, had seiz’d on all his Stock. The other was a Day-Labourer, who struggled hard with the World, had a sick Wife at Home and several small Children to provide for. The Third was a Gentleman’s Gardener, who maintain’d his Father in Prison, where being Bound for a Neighbour he had lain for Twelve Pounds almost a Year and a Half; this Act of Filial Duty was the more meritorious, because he had for some time been engaged to a young Woman whose Parents liv’d in good Circumstances, but would not give their Consent before our Gardener had Fifty Guineas of his own to shew. They received above Fourscore Pounds each, which extricated every one of them out of the Difficulties they laboured under, and made them in their Opinion the happiest People in the World.
Nothing is more destructive, either in regard to the Health or the Vigilance and Industry of the Poor than the infamous Liquor, the name of which, deriv’d from Junipera in Dutch, is now by frequent use and the Laconick Spirit of the Nation, from a Word of middling Length shrunk into a Monosyllable,1 Intoxicating Gin, that charms the unactive, the desperate and crazyb of either Sex, and makes the starving Sot behold his Rags and Nakedness with stupid Indolence, or banter both in senseless Laughter, and more insipid Jests: It is a fiery Lake that sets the Brain in Flame, burns up the Entrails, and scorches every Part within; and at the same time a Lethe of Oblivion, in which the Wretch immers’d drowns his most pinching Cares, and with his Reason all anxious Reflexion on Brats that cry for Food, hard Winters Frosts, and horrid empty Home.
In hot and adust2 Tempers it makes Men Quarrelsome, renders ’em Brutes and Savages, sets ’em on to fight for nothing, and has often been the Cause of Murder. It has broke and destroy’d the strongest Constitutions, thrown ’em into Consumptions, and been the fatal and immediate occasion of Apoplexies, Phrensies and sudden Death. But as these latter Mischiefs happen but seldom, they might be overlook’d and conniv’d at, but this cannot be said of the many Diseases that are familiar to the Liquor, and which are daily and hourly produced by it; such as Loss of Appetite, Fevers, Black and Yellow Jaundice, Convulsions, Stone and Gravel, Dropsies, and Leucophlegmacies.
Among the doting Admirers of this Liquid Poison, many of the meanest Rank, from a sincere Affection to the Commodity it self, become Dealers in it, and take delight to help others to what they love themselves, as Whores commence Bawds to make the Profits of one Trade subservient to the Pleasures of the other. But as these Starvelings commonly drink more than their Gains, they seldom by selling mend the wretchedness of Condition they labour’d under while they were only Buyers. In the Fag-end and Out-skirts of the Town, and all Places of the vilest Resort, it’s a sold in some part or other of almost every House, frequently in Cellars, and sometimes in the Garret. The petty Traders in this Stygian Comfort are supply’db by others in somewhat higher Station, that keep profess’d Brandy Shops, and are as little to be envy’d as the former; and among the middling People, I know not a more miserable Shift for a Livelihood thanc their Calling; whoever would thrive in it must in the first place be of a watchful and suspicious, as well as a bold and resolute Temper, that he may not be imposed upon by Cheats and Sharpers, nor out-bully’d by the Oaths and Imprecations of Hackney-Coachmen and Foot-Soldiers; in the second, he ought to be a dabster at gross Jokes and loud Laughter, and have all the winning Ways to allure Customers and draw out their Money, and be well vers’d in the low Jests and Ralleries the Mob maked use of to banter Prudence and Frugality. He must be affable and obsequious to the most despicable; always ready and officious to help a Porter down with his Load, shake Hands with a Basket-Woman, pull off his Hat to an Oyster-Wench, and be familiar with a Beggar; with Patience and good Humour he must be able to endure the filthy Actions and viler Language of nasty Drabs, and the lewdest Rake-hells, and without a Frown or the least Aversion bear with all the Stench and Squalor, Noise and Impertinence that the utmost Indigence, Laziness and Ebriety, can produce in the most shameless and abandon’d Vulgar.
The vast Number of the Shops I speak of throughout the City and Suburbs, are an astonishing Evidence of the many Seducers, that in a Lawful Occupation are accessary to the Introduction and Increase of all the Sloth, Sottishness, Want and Misery, which the Abuse of Strong Waters is the immediate Cause of, to lift above Mediocrity perhaps half a score Men that deal in the same Commodity by wholesale, while among the Retailers, tho’ qualify’d as I requir’d, a much greater Number are broke and ruin’d, for not abstaining from the Circean Cup they hold out to others, and the more fortunate are their whole Lifetime obliged to take the uncommon Pains, endure the Hardships, and swallow all the ungrateful and shocking Things I named, for little or nothing beyond a bare Sustenance, and their daily Bread.
The short-sighted Vulgar in the Chain of Causes seldom can see further than one Link; but those who can enlarge their View, and will give themselves the Leisure of gazing on the Prospect of concatenated Events, may, in a hundred Places, see Good spring up and pullulate from Evil, as naturally as Chickens do from Eggs. The Money that arises from the Duties upon Malt is a considerable Part of the National Revenue, and should no Spirits be distill’d from it, the Publick Treasure would prodigiously suffer on that Head. But if we would set in a true Light the many Advantages, and large Catalogue of solid Blessings that accrue from, and are owing to the Evil I treat of, we are to consider the Rents that are received, the Ground that is till’d, the Tools that are made, the Cattle that are employ’d, and above all, the Multitude of Poor that are maintain’d, by the Variety of La-bour, requireda in Husbandry, in Malting, in Carriage and Distillation, before we can have the a Product of Malt, which we call Low Wines, and is but the Beginning from which the various Spirits are afterwards to be made.
Besides this, a sharp-sighted good-humour’d Man might pick up abundance of Good from the Rubbish, which I have all flung away for Evil. He would tell me, that whatever Sloth and Sottishness might be occasion’d by the Abuse of Malt-Spirits, the moderate Use of it was of inestimable Benefit to the Poor, who could purchase no Cordials of higher Prices, that it was an universal Comfort, not only in Cold and Weariness, but most of the Afflictions that are peculiar to the Necessitous, and had often to the most destitute supply’d the Places of Meat, Drink, Clothes, and Lodging. That the stupid Indolence in the most wretched Condition occasion’d by those composing Draughts, which I complain’d of, was a Blessing to Thousands, for that certainly those were the happiest, who felt the least Pain. As to Diseases, he would say, that, as it caused some, so it cured others, and that if the Excess in those Liquors had been sudden Death to some few, the Habit of drinking them daily prolong’d the Lives of many, whom once it agreed with; that for the Loss sustain’d from the insignificant Quarrels it created at home, we were overpaid in the Advantage we receiv’d from it abroad, by upholding the Courage of Soldiers, and animating the Sailors to the Combat; and that in the two last Wars no considerable Victory had been obtain’d without.
To the dismal Account I have given of the Retailers, and what they are forc’d to submit to, he would answer, that not many acquired more than middling Riches in any Trade, and that what I had counted so offensive and intolerable in the Calling, was trifling to those who were used to it; that what seem’d irksome and calamitous to some, was delightful and often ravishing to others; as Men differ’d in Circumstances and Education. He would put me in mind, that the Profit of an Employment ever made amends for the Toil and Labour that belong’d to it, nor forget, Dulcis odor lucri è re qualibet;1 or to tell me, that the Smell of Gain was fragrant even to Night-Workers.
If I should ever urge to him, that to have here and there one great and eminent Distiller, was a poor equivalent for the vile Means, the certain Want, and lasting Misery of so many thousand Wretches, as were necessary to raise them, he would answer, that of this I could be no Judge, because I don’t know what vast Benefit they might afterwards be of to the Commonwealth. Perhaps, would he say, the Man thus rais’d will exert himself in the Commission of the Peace, or other Station, with Vigilance and Zeal against the Dissolute and Disaffected, and retaining his stirring Temper, be as industrious in spreading Loyalty, and the Reformation of Manners throughout every cranny of the wide populous Town, as once he was in filling it with Spirits; till he becomes at last the Scourge of Whores, of Vagabonds and Beggars, the Terrour of Rioters and discontented Rabbles, and constant Plague to Sabbath-breaking Butchers. Here my good-humour’d Antagonist would Exult and Triumph over me, especially if he could instance to me such a bright Example.a What an uncommon Blessing, would he cry out, is this Man to his Country! how shining and illustrious his Virtue!
To justify his Exclamation he would demonstrate to me, that it was impossible to give a fuller Evidence of Self-denial in a grateful Mind, than to see him at the expence of his Quiet and hazard of his Life and Limbs, be always harassing, and even for Trifles persecuting that very Class of Men to whom he owes his Fortune, from no other Motive than his Aversion to Idleness, and great Concern for Religion and the Publick Welfare.
(H.) Parties directly opposite, Assist each other, as ’twere for spight: Page 10. Line 5.
NOthing was more instrumental in forwarding the Reformation, than the Sloth and Stupidity of the Roman Clergy; yet the same Reformation has rous’d ’em from the Laziness and Ignorance they then labour’d under; and the Followers of Luther, Calvin, and others, may be said to have reform’d not only those whom they drew in to their Sentiment,a but likewise those whob remain’d their greatest Opposers.1 The Clergy of England by being severe upon the Schismaticks, and upbraiding them with want of Learning, have raised themselves such formidable Enemies as are not easily answer’d; and again, the Dissenters by prying into the Lives, and diligently watching all the Actions of their powerful Antagonists, render those of the Establish’d Church more cautious of giving Offence, than in all probability they would, if they had no malicious Over-lookers to fear. It is very much owing to the great number of Hugonots that have always been in France, since the late utter Extirpation of them,2 that that Kingdom has a less dissolute and more learn’d Clergy to boast of than any other Roman Catholick Country. The Clergy of that Church are no where more Sovereign than in Italy, and therefore no where more debauch’d; nor any where more Ignorant than they are in Spain, because their Doctrine is no where less oppos’d.
Who would imagine, that Virtuous Women, unknowingly, should be instrumental in promoting the Advantage of Prostitutes? Or (what still seems the greater Paradox) that Incontinence should be made serviceable to the Preservation of Chastity? and yet nothing is more true. A vicious young Fellow, after having been an Hour or two at Church, a Ball, or any other Assembly, where there is a great parcel of handsome Women dress’d to the best Advantage, will have his Imagination more fired than if he had the same time been Poling at Guildhall,1 or walking in the Country among a Flock of Sheep. The consequence of this is, that he’ll strive to satisfy the Appetite that is raised in him; and when he finds honest Women obstinate and uncomatable,2 ’tis very natural to think, that he’ll hasten to others that are more compliable. Who wou’d so much as surmise, that this is the Fault of the Virtuous Women? They have no Thoughts of Men in dressing themselves, Poor Souls, and endeavour only to appear clean and decent, every one according to her Quality.a
I am far from encouraging Vice, and think it would be an unspeakable Felicity to a State, if the Sin of Uncleanness could be utterly Banish’d from it; but I am afraid it is impossible: The Passions of some People are too violent to be curb’d by any Law or Precept; and it is Wisdom in all Governments to bear with lesser Inconveniences to prevent greater. If Courtezans and Strumpets were to be prosecuted with as much Rigour as some silly People would have it, what Locks or Bars would be sufficient to preserve the Honour of our Wives and Daughters? For ’tis not only that the Women in general would meet with far greater Temptations, and the Attempts to ensnare the Innocence of Virgins would seem more excusable even to the sober part of Mankind than they do now: But some Men would grow outrageous, and Ravishing would become a common Crime. Where six or seven Thousand Sailors arrive at once, as it often happens at Amsterdam, that have seen none but their own Sex for many Months together, how is it to be suppos’d that honest Women should walk the Streets unmolested, if there were no Harlots to be had at reasonable Pricesa ? For which Reason the Wise Rulers of that well-order’d City always tolerate an uncertain number of Houses, in which Women are hired as publickly as Horses at a Livery-Stable; and there being in this Toleration a great deal of Prudence and Oeconomy to be seen, a short Account of it will be no tiresome digression.
In the first place the Houses I speak of are allowed to be no where but in the most slovenly and unpolish’d part of the Town, where Seamen and Strangers of no Repute chiefly Lodge and Resort. The Street in which most of them stand is counted scandalous, and the Infamy is extended to all the Neighbourhood round it. In the second, they are only Places to meet and bargain in, to make Appointments, in order to promote Interviews of greater Secrecy, and no manner of Lewdness is ever suffer’d to be transacted in them; which Order is so strictly observ’d, that bar the ill Manners and Noise of the Company that frequent them, you’ll meet with no more Indecency, and generally less Lasciviousness there, than with us are to be seen at a Playhouse. Thirdly, theb Female Traders that come to these Evening Exchanges are always the Scum of the People, and generally such as in the Day time carry Fruit and other Eatables about in Wheel-Barrows. The Habits indeed they appear in at Night are very different from their ordinary ones; yet they are commonly so ridiculously Gay, that they look more like the Roman Dresses of stroling Actresses1 than Gentlewomen’s Clothes: If to this you add the aukwardness, the hard Hands, and course breeding of the Damsels that wear them, there is no great Reason to fear, that many of the better sort of People will be tempted by them.
The Musick in these Temples of Venus is performed by Organs,2 not out of respect to the Deity that is worship’d in them, but the frugality of the Owners, whose Business it is to procure as much Sound for as little Money as they can, and the Policy of the Government, who endeavour a as little as is possible to encourage the Breed of Pipers and Scrapers. All Sea-faring Men, especially the Dutch, are like the Element they belong to, much given to loudness and roaring, and the Noise of half a dozen of them, when they call themselves Merry, is sufficient to drown twice the number of Flutes or Violins; whereas with one pair of Organs they can make the whole House ring, and are at no other Charge than the keeping of one scurvy Musician, which can cost them but little: yet notwithstanding the good Rules and strict Discipline that are observ’d in these Markets of Love, the Schout1 and his Officers are always vexing, mulcting, and upon the least Complaint removing the miserable Keepers of them: Which Policy is of two great uses; first it gives an opportunity to a large parcel of Officers, the Magistrates make use of on many Occasions, and which they could not be without, to squeeze a Living out of the immoderate Gains accruing from the worst of Employments, and at the same time punish those necessary Profli-gates the Bawds and Panders, which, tho’ they abominate, they desire yet not wholly to destroy. Secondly, as on several accounts it might be dangerous to let the Multitude into the Secret, that those Houses and the Trade that is drove in them are conniv’d at, so by this means appearing unblameable, the wary Magistrates preserve themselves in the good Opinion of the weaker sort of People, who imagine that the Government is always endeavouring, tho’ unable, to suppress what it actually tolerates: Whereas if they had a mind to rout them out, their Power in the Administration of Justice is so sovereign and extensive, and they know so well how to have it executed, that one Week, nay one Night, might send them all a packing.
In Italy the Toleration of Strumpets is yet more barefac’d, as is evident from their publick Stews. At Venice and Naples Impurity is a kind of Merchandize and Traffick; the Courtezans at Rome, and the Cantoneras in Spain, compose a Body in the State, and are under a Legal Tax and Impost. Tis well known, that the Reason why so many good Politicians as these tolerate Lewd Houses, is not their Irreligion, but to prevent a worse Evil, an Impurity of a more execrable kind, and to provide for the Safety of Women of Honour. About Two Hundred and Fifty Years ago, says Monsieur de St. Didier,2 Venice being in want of Courtezans, the Repub-lick was obliged to procure a great number from Foreign Parts. Doglioni,1 who has written the memorable Affairs of Venice, highly extols the Wisdom of the Republick in this Point, which secured the Chastity of Women of Honour daily exposed to publick Violences, the Churches and Consecrated Places not being a sufficient Azylum for their Chastity.2
Our Universities in England are much bely’d, if in some Colleges there was not a Monthly Allowance ad expurgandos Renes:3 and time was when the Monks and Priests in Germany were allow’d Concubines on paying a certain Yearly Duty to their Prelate. ’Tis generally believ’d, says Monsieur Bayle,1 (to whom I owe the last Paragraph) athat Avarice was the Cause of this shameful Indulgence; but it is more probable their design was to prevent their tempting modest Women, and to quiet the uneasiness of Husbands, whose Resentments the Clergy do well to avoid. From what has been said it is manifest, that there is a Necessity of sacrificing one part of Womankind to preserve the other, and prevent a Filthiness of a more heinous Nature. From whence I think I may justly conclude (what was the seeming Paradox I went about to prove) that Chastity may be supported by Incontinence, and the best of Virtues want the Assistance of the worst of Vices.
(I.) The Root of Evil, Avarice, That damn’d ill-natur’d baneful Vice,Was Slave to Prodigality: Page 10. Line 9.
I Have joined so many odious Epithets to the Word Avarice, in compliance to the Vogue of Mankind, who generally bestow more ill Language upon this than upon any other Vice, and indeed not undeservedly; for there is hardly a Mischief to be named which it has not produced at one time or other: But the true Reason why every Body exclaims so much against it, is, that almost every Body suffers by it; for the more the Money is hoarded up by some, the scarcer it must grow among the rest, and therefore when Men rail very much at Misers there is generally Self-Interest at Bottom.
As there is no living without Money, so those that are unprovided, and have no Body to give them any, are oblig’d to do some Service or other to the Society, before they can come at it; but every Body esteeming his Labour as he does himself, which is generally not under the Value, most People that want Money only to spend it again presently, imagine they do more for it than it is worth. Men can’t forbear looking upon the Necessaries of Life as their due, whether they work or not; because they find that Nature, without consulting whether they have Victuals or not, bids them eat whenever they are hungry; for which Reason every Body endeavours to get what he wants with as much Ease as he can; and therefore when Men find that the trouble they are put to in getting Money is either more or less, according as those they would have it from are more or less tenacious, it is very natural for them to be angry at Covetousness in general; for it obliges them either to go without what they have occasion for, or else to take greater Pains for it than they are willing.
Avarice, notwithstanding it is the occasion of so many Evils, is yet very necessary to the Society, to glean and gather what has been dropt and scatter’d by the contrary Vice. Was it not for Avarice, Spendthrifts would soon want Materials; and if none would lay up and get faster than they spend, very few could spend faster than they get. That it is a Slave to Prodigality, as I have call’d it, is evident from so many Misers as we daily see toil and labour, pinch and starve themselves to enrich a lavish Heir. Tho’ these two Vices appear very opposite, yet they often assist each other. Florio is an extravagant young Blade, of a very profuse Temper; as he is the only Son of a very rich Father, he wants to live high, keep Horses and Dogs, and throw his Money about, as he sees some of his Companions do; but the old Hunks will part with no Money, and hardly allows him Necessaries. Florio would have borrow’d Money upon his own Credit long ago; but as all would be lost, if he died before his Father, no prudent Man would lend him any. At last he has met with the greedy Cornaro, who lets him have Money at Thirty per Cent. and now Florio thinks himself happy, and spends a Thousand a Year. Where would Cornaro ever have got such a prodigious Interest, if it was not for such a Fool as Florio, who will give so great a price for Money to fling it away? And how would Florio get it to spend, if he had not lit of such a greedy Usurer as Cornaro, whose excessive Covetousness makes him overlook the great Risque he runs in venturing such great Sums upon the Life of a wild Debauchee.
Avarice is no longer the Reverse of Profuseness, than while it signifies that sordid love of Money, and narrowness of Soul that hinders Misers from parting with what they have, and makes them covet it only to hoard up. But there is a sort of Avarice which consists in a greedy desire of Riches, in order to spend them, and this often meets with Prodigality in the same Persons, as is evident in most Courtiers and great Officers, both Civil and Military. In their Buildings and Furniture, Equipages and Entertainments, their Gallantry is display’d with the greatest Profusion; while the base Actions they submit to for Lucre, and the many Frauds and Impositions they are guilty of discover the utmost Avarice. This mixture of contrary Vices comes up exactly to the Character of Catiline, of whom it is said, that he was appetens alieni & sui profusus,1 greedy after the Goods of others and lavish of his own.
(K.) That noble Sin —— ——: Page 10. Line 12.
THE Prodigality, I call a noble Sin, is not that which has Avarice for its Companion, and makes Men unreasonably profuse to some of what they unjustly extort from others, but that agreeable good-natur’d Vice that makes the Chimneya smoke, and all the Tradesmen smile; I mean the unmix’d Prodigality of heedless and voluptuous Men, that being educated in Plenty, abhor the vile Thoughts of Lucre, and lavish away only what others took pains to scrape together; such as indulge their Inclinations at their own Expence, that have the continual Satisfaction of bartering Old Gold for new Pleasures, and from the excessive largeness of a diffusive Soul, are made guilty of despisingb too much what most People over-value.
When I speak thus honourably of this Vice, and treat it with so much Tenderness and good Manners as I do, I have the same thing at Heart that made me give so many Ill Names to the Reverse of it, viz. the Interest of the Publick; for as the Avaricious does no good to himself, and is injurious to all the World besides, except his Heir, so the Prodigal is a Blessing to the whole Society, and injures no body but himself. It is true, that as most of the first are Knaves, so the latter are all Fools; yet they are delicious Morsels for the Publick to feast on, and may with as much Justice as the French call the Monks the Partridges of the Women, be styled the Woodcocks of the Society. Was it not for Prodigality, nothing could make us amends for the Rapine and Extortion of Avarice in Power. When a Covetous Statesman is gone, who spent his whole Life in fat’ning himself with the Spoils of the Nation, and had by pinching and plundering heap’d up an immense Treasure, it ought to fill every good Member of the Society with Joy, to behold the uncommon Profuseness of his Son. This is refunding to the Publick what was robb’d from it. Resuming of Grants is a barbarous way of stripping, and it is ignoble to ruin a Man faster than he does it himself, when he sets about it in such good earnest. Does he not feed an infinite number of Dogs of all Sorts and Sizes, tho’ he never hunts; keepa more Horses than any Nobleman in the Kingdom, tho’ he never rides ’em, and give as large an Allowance to an ill-favour’d Whore as would keep a Dutchess, tho’ he never lies with her? Is he not still more extravagant in those things he makes use of? Therefore let him alone, or praise him, call him Publick-spirited Lord, nobly bountiful and magnificently generous, and in ab few Years he’ll suffer himself to be stript his own way. As long as the Nation has its own back again, we ought not to quarrel with the manner in which the Plunder is repay’d.
Abundance of moderate Men I know that are Enemies to Extremes will tell me, that Frugality might happily supply the Place of the two Vices I speak of, that, if Men had not so many profuse ways of spending Wealth, they would not be tempted to so many evil Practices to scrape it together, and consequently that the same Number of Men by equally avoiding both Extremes, might render themselves more happy, and be less vicious without than they could with them. Whoever argues thusc shews himself a better Man than he is a Politician. Frugality is like Honesty, a mean starving Virtue, that is only fit for small Societies of good peaceable Men, who are contented to be poor so they may be easy; but in a large stirring Nation you may have soon enough of it. ’Tis an idle dreaming Virtue that employs no Hands, and therefore very useless in a trading Country, where there are vast Numbers that one way or other must be all set to Work. Prodigality has a thousand Inventions to keep People from sitting still, that Frugality would never think of; and as this must consume a prodigious Wealth, so Avarice again knows innumerable Tricks to rake it together, which Frugality would scorn to make use of.
Authors are always allow’d to compare small things to great ones, especially if they ask leave first. Si licet exemplis, &c. but to compare great things to mean trivial ones is unsufferable, unless it be in Burlesque; otherwise I would compare the Body Politick (I confess the Simile is very low)1 to a Bowl of Punch.2 Avarice should be the Souring and Prodigality the Sweetning of it. The Water I would call the Ignorance, Folly and Credulity of the floating insipid Multitude; while Wisdom, Honour, Fortitude and the rest of the sublime Qualities of Men, which separated by Art from the Dregs of Nature the fire of Glory has exalted and refin’d into a Spiritual Essence, should be an Equivalent to Brandy. I don’t doubt but a Westphalian, Laplander, or any other dull Stranger that is unacquainted with the wholesom Composition, if he was to tastea the several Ingredients apart, would think it impossible they should make any tolerable Liquor. The Li-mons would be too sour, the Sugar too luscious, the Brandy he’ll say is too strong ever to be drank in any Quantity, and the Water he’ll call a tasteless Liquor only fit for Cows and Horses: Yet Experience teaches us, that the Ingredients I named judiciously mixt,a will make an excellent Liquor, lik’d of and admir’d by Men of exquisite Palates.
As to our twob Vices in particular, I could compare Avarice, that causes so much Mischief, and is complained of by every body who is not a Miser, to a griping Acid that sets our Teeth on Edge, and is unpleasant to every Palate that is not debauch’d: I could compare the gawdy Trimming and splendid Equipage of a profuse Beau, to the glistningc Brightness of the finest Loaf Sugar; for as the one by correcting the Sharpness preventsd the Injuries which a gnawing Sour might do to the Bowels, so the other is a pleasing Balsam that heals and makes amends for the smart, which the Multitude always suffers from the Gripes of the Avaricious; while the Substances of both melt away alike, and they consume themselves by being beneficial to the several Compositions they belong to. I could carry on the Simile as to Proportions, and the exact Nicety to be observed in them, which would make it appear how little any of the Ingredients could be spared in either of the Mixtures; but I will not tire my Reader by pursuing too far a ludicrous Comparison, when I have other Matters to entertain him with of greater Importance; and to sum up what I have said in this and the foregoing Remark, shall only add, that I look upon Avarice and Prodigality in the Society as I do upon two contrary Poisons in Physick, of which it is certain that the noxious Qualities being by mutual Mischief corrected in both, they may assist each other, and often make a good Medicine between them.1
(L.) —— —— —— While Luxury Employ’d a Million of the Poor,&c.1 : Page 10. Line 12.
* IF every thing is to be Luxury (as in strictness it ought) that is not immediately necessary to make Man subsist as he is a living Creature, there is nothing else to be found in the World, no not even among the naked Savages; of which it is not probable that there are any but what by this time have made some Improvements upon their former manner of Living; and either in the Preparation of their Eatables, the ordering of their Huts, or otherwise, added something to what once sufficed them. This Definition every body will say is too rigorous; I am of the same Opinion; but if we are to abate one Inch of this Severity, I am afraid we shan’t know where to stop. When People tell us they only desire to keep themselves sweet and clean, there is no understanding what they would be at; if they made use of these Words in their genuine proper literal Sense, they might soon be satisfy’d without much cost or trouble, if they did not want Water: But these two little Adjectives are so comprehensive, especially in the Dialect of some Ladies, that no body can guess how far they may be stretcht. The Comforts of Life are likewise so various and extensive, that no body can tell what People mean by them, except he knows what sort of Life they lead. The same obscurity I observe in the words Decency and Conveniency, and I never understand them unless I am acquainted with the Quality of the Persons that make use of them. People may go to Church together, and be all of one Mind as much as they please, I am apt to believe that when they pray for their daily Bread, the Bishop includes several things in that Petition which the Sexton does not think on.
By what I have said hitherto I would only shew, that if once we depart from calling every thing Luxury that is not absolutely necessary to keep a Man alive, that then there is no Luxury at all; for if the wants of Men are innumerable, then what ought to supply them has no bounds; what is call’d superfluous to some degree of People, will be thought requisite to those of higher Quality; and neither the World nor the Skill of Man can produce any thing so curious or extravagant, but some most Gracious Sovereign or other, if it either eases or diverts him, will reckon it among the Necessaries of Life; not meaning every Body’s Life, but that of his Sacred Person.
It is a receiv’d Notion, that Luxury is as destructive to the Wealth of the whole Body Politic, as it is to that of every individual Person who is guilty of it, and that a National Frugality enriches a Country in the same manner as that which is less general increases the Estates of private Families.1 I confess, that tho’ I have found Men of much better Understanding than my self of this Opinion, I cannot help dissenting from them in this Point. They argue thus: We send, say they, for Example to Turkey of Woollen Manufactury, and other things of our own Growth, a Million’sa worth every Year; for this we bring back Silk, Mohair, Drugs, &c. to the value of Twelve Hundred Thousand Pounds, that are all spent in our own Country. By this, say they, we get nothing; but if most of us would be content with our own Growth, and so consume but half the quantity of those Foreign Commodities, then those in Turkey, who would still want the same quantity of our Manufactures, would be forc’d to pay ready Money for the rest, and so by the Balance of that Trade only, the Nation should get Six Hundred Thousand Pounds per Annum.1
To examine the force of this Argument, we’ll suppose (what they would have) that but half the Silk, &c. shall be consumed in England of what there is now; we’ll suppose likewise, that those in Turkey, tho’ we refuse to buy above half as much of their Commodities as we used to do, either can or will not be without the same quantity of our Manufactures they had before, and that they’ll pay the Balance in Money; that is to say, that they shall give us as much Gold or Silver, as the value of what they buy from us exceeds the value of what we buy from them. Tho’ what we suppose might perhaps be done for one Year, it is impossible it should last: Buying is Bartering, and no Nation can buy Goods of others that has none of her own to purchase them with. Spain and Portugal, that are yearly supply’d with new Gold and Silver from their Mines, may for ever buy for ready Money as long as their yearly increase of Gold or Silver continues, but then Money is their Growth and the Commodity of the Country. We know that we could not continue long to purchase the Goods of other Nations, if they would not take our Manufactures in Payment for them; and why should we judge otherwise of other Nations? If those in Turkey then had no more Money fall from the Skies than we, let us see what would be the consequence of what we supposed. The Six Hundred Thousand Pounds in Silk, Mohair, &c. that are left upon their Hands the first Year, must make those Commodities fall considerably: Of this the Dutch and French will reap the Benefita as much as our selves; and if we continue to refuse taking their Commodities in Payment for our Manufactures, they can Trade no longer with us, but must content themselves with buying what they want of such Nations as are willing to take what we refuse, tho’ their Goods are much worse than ours, and thus our Commerce with Turkey must in few Years be infallibly lost.1
But they’ll say, perhaps, that to prevent the ill consequence I have shew’d, we shallb take the Turkish Merchandizes as formerly, and only bec so frugal as to consume but half the quantity of them our selves, and send the rest Abroad to be sold to others. Let us see what this will do, and whether it will enrich the Nation by the balance of that Trade with Six Hundred Thousand Pounds. In the first Place, I’ll grant them that our People at Home making use of so much more of our own Manufactures, those who were employ’d in Silk, Mohair, &c. will get a living by the various Preparations of Woollen Goods. But in the second, I cannot allow that the Goods can be sold as formerly; for suppose the Half that is wore at Home to be sold at the same Rate as before, certainly the other Half that is sent Abroad will want very much of it: For we must send those Goods to Markets already supply’d; and besides that there must be Freight, Insurance, Provision, and all other Charges deducted, and the Merchants in general must lose much more by this Half that is re-shipp’d, than they got by the Half that is consumed here. For tho’ the Woollen Manufactures are our own Product, yet they stand the Merchant that ships them off to Foreign Countries, in as much as they do the Shopkeeper here that retails them: so that if the Returns for what he sends Abroad repay him not what his Goods cost him here, with all other Charges, till he has the Money and a good Interest for it in Cash, the Merchant must run out, and the Upshot would be, that the Merchants in general finding they lost by the Turkish Commodities they senta Abroad, would ship no more of our Manufactures than what would pay for as much Silk, Mohair, &c.b as would be consumed here. Other Nations would soon find Ways to supply them with as much as we should send short, and some where or other to dispose of the Goods we should refuse: So that all we should get by this Frugality would be, that those in Turkey would take but half the Quantity of our Manufactures of what they do now, while we encourage and wear their Merchandizes, without which they are not able to purchase ours.
As I have had the Mortification for several Years to meet with Abundance of sensible People against this Opinion, and who always thought me wrong in this Calculation, so I had the Pleasure at last to see the Wisdom of the Nation fall into the same Sentiments, as is so manifest from an Act of Parliament made in the Year 1721,1 where the Legislature disobliges a powerful and valuable Company,1 and overlooks very weighty Inconveniences at Home, to promote the Interest of the Turkey Trade, and not only encourages the Consumption of Silk and Mohair, but forces the Subjects on Penalties to make use of them whether they will or not.a
What is laid to the Charge of Luxury besides, is, that it increases Avarice and Rapine: And where they are reigning Vices, Offices of the greatest Trust are bought and sold; the Ministers that should serve the Publick, both great and small, corrupted, and the Countriesb every Moment in danger of being betray’d to the highest Bidders:c And lastly, that it effeminates and enervates the People, by which the Nations become an easy Prey to the first Invaders. These are indeed terrible Things; but what is put to the Account of Luxury belongs to Male-Administration, and is the Fault of bad Politicks. Every Government ought to be thoroughly acquainted with, and stedfastly to pursue the Interest of the Country. Good Politicians by dextrous Management, laying heavy Impositions on some Goods, or totally prohibiting them, and lowering the Duties on others, may always turn and divert the Course of Trade which way they please; and as they’ll ever prefer, if it be equally considerable, the Commerce with such Countries as can pay with Money as well as Goods, to those that can make no Returns for what they buy, but in the Commodities of their own Growth and Manufactures,a so they will always carefully prevent the Traffick with such Nations as refuse the Goods of others, and will take nothing but Money for their own. But above all, they’ll keep a watchful Eye over the Balance of Trade in general, and never suffer that all the Foreign Commodities together, that are imported in one Year, shall exceed in Value what of their own Growth or Manufacture is in the same exported to others. Note, that I speak now of the Interest of those Nations that have no Gold or Silver of their own Growth, otherwise this Maxim need not to be so much insisted on.
If what I urg’d last be but diligently look’d after, and the Imports are never allow’d to be superior to the Exports, no Nation can ever be impoverish’d by Foreign Luxury; and they may improve it as much as they please, if they can but in proportion raise the Fund of their own that is to purchase it.b
Trade is the Principal, but not the only Requisite to aggrandize a Nation: there are other Things to be taken care of besides. The Meum and Tuum1 must be secur’d, Crimes punish’d, and all other Laws concerning the Administration of Justice, wisely contriv’d, and strictly executed. Foreign Affairs must be likewise prudently manag’d, and the Ministry of every Nation ought to have a good Intelligence Abroad, and be well acquainted with the Publick Transactions of all those Countries, that either by their Neighbourhood, Strength or Interest, may be hurtful or beneficial to them, to take the necessary Measures accordingly, of crossing some and assisting others, as Policy and the Balance of Power direct. The Multitude must be aw’d, no Man’s Conscience forc’d, and the Clergy allow’d no greater Share in State Affairs than our Saviour has bequeathed them in his Testament. These are the Arts that lead to worldly Greatness: what Sovereign Power soever makes a good Use of them, that has any considerable Nation to govern, whether it be a Monarchy, a Commonwealth, or a Mixture of both, can never fail of making it flourish in spight of all the other Powers upon Earth, and no Luxury or other Vice is ever able to shake their Constitution.—But here I expect a full-mouth’d Cry against me; What! has God never punish’d and destroy’d great Nations for their Sins? Yes, but not without Means, by infatuating their Governors, and suffering them to depart from either all or some of those general Maxims I have mentioned; and of all the famous States and Empires the World has had to boast of hitherto, none ever came to Ruin whose Destruction was not principally owing to the bad Politicks, Neglects, or Mismanagements of the Rulers.
There is no doubt but more Health and Vigour is to be expected among a People, and their Offspring, from Temperance and Sobriety, than there is from Gluttony and Drunkenness; yet I confess, that as to Luxury’s effeminating and enervating a Nation, I have not such frightful Notions now as I have had formerly. When we hear or read of Things which we are altogether Strangers to, they commonly bring to our Imagination such Ideas of what we have seen, as (according to our Apprehension) must come the nearest to them: And I remember, that when I have read of the Luxury of Persia, Egypt, and other Countries where it has been a reigning Vice, and that were effeminated and enervated by it, it has sometimes put me in mind of the cramming and swilling of ordinary Tradesmen at a City Feast, and the Beastlinessa their over-gorging themselves is often attended with; at other Times it has made me think on the Distraction of dissolute Sailors, as I had seen them in Company of half a dozen lewd Women roaring along with Fiddles before them; and was I to have been carried into any of their great Cities, I would have expected to have found one Third of the People sick a-bed with Surfeits; another laid up with the Gout, or crippled by a more ignominious Distemper; and the rest, that could go without leading, walk along the Streets in Petticoats.
It is happy for us to have Fear for ab Keeper, as long as our Reason is not strong enough to govern our Appetites: And I believe that the great Dread I had more particularly against the Word, to enervate, and some consequent Thoughts on the Etymology of it, did me Abundance of Good when I was a Schoolboy: But since I have seen something of the World, the Consequences of Luxury to a Nation seem not so dreadful to me as they did. As long as Men have the same Appetites, the same Vices will remain. In all large Societies, some will love Whoring and others Drinking. The Lustful that can get no handsome clean Women, will content themselves with dirty Drabs; and those that cannot purchase true Hermitage or Pontack, will be glad of more ordinary French Claret. Those that can’t reach Wine, take up with worsec Liquors, and a Foot Soldier or a Beggar may make himself as drunk with Stale-Beer or Malt-Spirits, as a Lord with Burgundy, Champaignd or Tockay.e The cheapest and most slovenly way of indulging our Pas-sions , does as much Mischief to a Man’s Constitution, as the most elegant and expensive.
The greatest Excesses of Luxury are shewn ina Buildings, Furniture, Equipages and Clothes: Clean Linen weakens a Man no more than Flannel; Tapistry, fine Painting or good Wainscot are no more unwholesom than bare Walls; and a rich Couch, or a gilt Chariot are no more enervating than the cold Floor or a Country Cart. The refin’d Pleasures of Men of Sense are seldom injurious to their Constitution, and there are many great Epicures that will refuse to eat or drink more than their Heads or Stomachs can bear. Sensual People may take as great Care of themselves as any: and the Errors of the most viciously luxurious, don’t so much consist in the frequent Repetitions of their Lewdness, and their Eating and Drinking too much, (which are the Things which would most enervate them) as they do in the operose Contrivances, the Profuseness and Nicety they are serv’d with, and the vast Expence they are at in their Tables and Amours.
But let us once suppose that the Ease and Pleasures the Grandees and the rich People of every great Nation live in, render them unfit to endure Hardships, and undergo the Toils of War. I’ll allow that most of the Common Council of the City would make but very in-different Foot-Soldiers; and I believe heartily, that if your Horse was to be compos’d of Aldermen, and such as most of them are, a small Artillery of Squibs would be sufficient to rout them. But what have the Aldermen, the Common-Council, or indeed all People of any Substance to do with the War, but to pay Taxes? The Hardships and Fatigues of War that are personally suffer’d, fall upon them that bear the Brunt of every Thing, the meanest Indigent Part of the Nation, the working slaving People: For how excessive soever the Plenty and Luxury of a Nation may be, some Body must do the Work, Houses and Ships must be built, Merchandizes must be remov’d, and the Ground till’d. Such a Variety of Labours in every great Nation requirea a vast Multitude, in which there are always loose, idle, extravagant Fellows enough to spare for an Army; and those that are robust enough to Hedge and Ditch, Plow and Thrash, or else not too much enervated to be Smiths, Carpenters, Sawyers, Cloth-workers, Porters or Carmen, will always be strong and hardy enough in a Campaign or two to make good Soldiers, who, where good Orders are kept, have seldom so much Plenty and Superfluity come to their Share as to do them any hurt.
The Mischief then to be fear’d from Luxury among the People of War, cannot extend it self beyond the Officers. The greatest of them are either Men of a very high Birth and Princely Education, or else extraordinary Parts, and no less Experience; and whoever is made choice of by a wise Government to command an Army en chef, should have a consummate Knowledge in Martial Affairs, Intrepidityb to keep him calm in the midst of Danger, and many other Qualifications that must be the Work of Time and Application, on Men of a quick Penetration, a distinguish’d Genius and a World of Honour. Strong Sinews and supple Joints are trifling Advantages not regarded in Persons of their Reach and Grandeur, that can destroy Cities a-bed,c and ruin whole Countries while they are at Dinner. As they are most commonly Men of great Age, it would be ridiculous to expect a hale Constitution and Agility of Limbs from them: So their Heads be but Active and well furnished, ’tis no great Matter what the rest of their Bodies are. If they cannot bear the Fatigue of being on Horseback, they may ride in Coaches, or be carried in Litters. Mens Conduct and Sagacity are never the less for their being Cripples, and the best General the King of France has now, can hardly crawl along.1 Those that are immediately under the chief Commanders must be very nigh of the same Abilities, and are generally Men that have rais’d themselves to those Posts by their Merit. The other Officers are all of them in their several Stations obliged to lay out so large a Share of their Pay in fine Clothes, Accoutrements, and other things by the Luxury of the Times call’d necessary, that they can spare but little Money for Debauches; for as they are advanced and their Salaries rais’d, so they are likewise forced to increase their Expences and their Equipages, which as well as every thing else, must still be proportionable to their Quality: By which means the greatest Part of them are in a manner hindred from those Excesses that might be destructive to Health; while their Luxury thus turn’d another way serves moreover to heighten their Pride and Vanity, the greatest Motives to make them behave themselves like what they would be thought to be. (See Remark (R.)a
There is nothing refines Mankind more than Love and Honour. Those two Passions are equivalent to many Virtues, and therefore the greatest Schools of Breeding and good Manners are Courts and Armies; the first b to accomplish the Women, the other to polish the Men. What the generality of Officers among civiliz’d Nations affect is a perfect Knowledge of the World and the Rules of Honour; an Air of Frankness, and Humanity peculiar to Military Men of Experience, and such a mixture of Modesty and Undauntedness, as may bespeak them both Courteous and Valiant. Where good Sense is fashionable, and a genteel Behaviour is in esteem, Gluttony and Drunkenness can be no reigning Vices. What Officers of Distinction chiefly aim at is not a Beastly, but a Splendid way of Living, and the Wishes of the most Luxurious in their several degrees of Quality, are to appear handsomely, and excel each other in Finery of Equipage, Politeness of Entertainments, and the Reputation of a judicious Fancy in every thing about them.
But if there should be more dissolute Reprobates among Officers than there are among Men of other Professions, which is not true, yet the most debauch’d of them may be very serviceable, if they have but a great Share of Honour. It is this that covers and makes up for a multitude of Defects in them, and it is this that none (how abandon’d soever they are to Pleasure) dare pretend to be without. But as there is no Argument so convincing as Matter ofa Fact, let us look back on what so lately happen’d in our two last Wars with France.1 How many puny young Striplings have we had in our Armies, tenderly Educated, nice in their Dress, and curious in their Diet, that underwent all manner of Duties with Gallantry and Chearfulness?
Those that have such dismal Apprehensions of Luxury’s enervating and effeminating People, might in Flanders and Spain have seen embroider’d Beaux with fine lac’d Shirts and powder’d Wigs stand as much Fire, and lead up to the Mouth of a Cannon, with as little Concern as it was possible for the most stinking Slovens to have done in their own Hair, tho’ it had not been comb’d in a Month;b and met with abundance of wild Rakes, who had actually impair’d their Healths, and broke their Constitutions with Excesses of Wine and Women, that yet behav’d themselves with Conduct and Bravery against their Enemies. Robustness is the least Thing requir’d in an Officer, and if sometimes Strength is of use, a firm Resolution of Mind, which the Hopes of Preferment, Emulation, and the Love of Glory inspire them with, will at a Push supply the Place of bodily Force.
Those that understand their Business, and have a sufficient Sense of Honour, as soon as they are used to Danger will always be capable Officers: And their Luxury, as long as they spend no Body’s Money but their own, will never be prejudicial to a Nation.
By all which I think I have proved what I design’d in this Remark on Luxury. First, That in one Sense every Thing may be call’d so, and in another there is no such Thing. Secondly, That with a wise Administration all People may swim in as much Foreign Luxury as their Product can purchase, without being impoverish’d by it. And Lastly, That where Military Affairs are taken care of as they ought, and the Soldiers well paid and kept in good Dis-cipline, a wealthy Nation may live in all the Ease and Plenty imaginable; and in many Parts of it, shew as much Pomp and Delicacy, as Human Wit can invent, and at the same Time be formidable to their Neighbours, and come up to the Character of the Bees in the Fable, of which I said, That
(M.) And odious Pride a Million more: Page 10. Line 14.
PRIDE is that Natural Faculty by which every Mortal that has any Understanding over-values, and imagines better Things of himself than any impartial Judge, thoroughly acquainted with all his Qualities and Circumstances, could allow him. We are possess’d of no other Quality so beneficial to Society, and so necessary to render it wealthy and flourishing as this, yet it is that which is most gene-rally detested. What is very peculiar to this Faculty of ours, is, that those who are the fullest of it, are the least willing to connive at it in others; whereas the Heinousness of other Vices is the most extenuated by those who are guilty of ’em themselves. The Chaste Man hates Fornication, and Drunkenness is most abhorr’d by the Temperate; but none are so much offended at their Neighbour’s Pride, as the proudest of all; and if any one can pardon it, it is the most Humble: From which I think we may justly infer, that ita being odious to all the World, is a certain Sign that all the World is troubled with it.1 This all Men of Sense are ready to confess, and no body denies but that he has Pride in general. But, if you come to Particulars, you’ll meet with few that will own any Action you can name of theirs to have proceeded from that Principle. There are likewise many who will allow that among the sinful Nations of the Times, Pride and Luxury are the great Promoters of Trade, but they refuse to own the Necessity there is, that in a more virtuous Age, (such a one as should be free from Pride) Trade would in a great Measure decay.
The Almighty, they say,a has endow’d us with the Dominion over all Things which the Earth and Sea produce or contain; there is nothing to be found in either, but what was made for the Use of Man; and his Skill and Industry above other Animals were given him, that he might render both them and every Thing else within the Reach of his Senses, more serviceable to him. Upon this Consideration they think it impious to imagine, that Humility, Temperance, and other Virtues, should debar People from the Enjoyment of those Comforts of Life, which are not denied to the most wicked Nations; and so conclude, that without Pride or Luxury, the same Things might be eat, wore, and consumed; the same Number of Handicrafts and Artificers employ’d, and a Nation be every way as flourishing as where those Vices are the most predominant.
As to wearing Apparel in particular, they’ll tell you, that Pride, which sticks much nearer to us than our Clothes, is only lodg’d in the Heart, and that Rags often conceal a greater Portion of it than the most pompous Attire; and that as it cannot be denied but that there have always been virtuous Princes, who with humble Hearts have wore their splendid Diadems, and sway’d their envied Scepters, void of Ambition,b for the Good of others; so it is very probable, that Silver and Gold Brocades, and the richest Embroideries may, without a Thought of Pride, be wore by many whose Quality and Fortune are suitable to them. May not (say they) a good Man of extraordinary Revenues, make every Year a greater Variety of Suits than it is possible he should wear out, and yet have no other Ends than to set the Poor at Work, to encourage Trade, and by employing many, to promote the Welfare of his Country? And considering Food and Raiment to be Necessaries, and the two chief Articles to which all our worldly Cares are extended, why may not all Mankind set aside a considerable Part of theira Income for the one as well as the other, without the least Tincture of Pride? Nay, is not every Member of the Society in a manner obliged, according to his Ability, to contribute toward the Maintenance of that Branch of Trade on which the Whole has so great a Dependence? Besides that, to appear decently is a Civility, and often a Duty, which, without any Regard to our selves, we owe to those we converse with.
These are the Objections generally made use of by haughty Moralists, who cannot endure to hear the Dignity of their Species arraign’d; but if we look narrowly into them they may soon be answered.
If we had nob Vices, I cannot see why any Man should ever make more Suits than he has occasion for, tho’ he wasc never so desirous of promoting the Good of the Nation: For tho’ in the wearing of a well-wrought Silk, rather than a slight Stuff, and the preferring curious fine Cloth to coarse, he had no other View but the setting of more People to work, and consequent-ly the Publick Welfare, yet he could consider Clothes no otherwise than Lovers of their Country do Taxes now; they may pay ’em with Alacrity, but no Body gives more than his due; especially where all are justly rated according to their Abilities, as it could no otherwise be expected in a very Virtuous Age. Besides that in such Golden Times no Body would dress above his Condition, no body pinch his Family, cheat or over-reach his Neighbour to purchase Finery, and consequently there would not be half the Consumption, nor a third Part of the People employ’d as now there are. But to make this more plain and demonstrate, that for the Support of Trade there can be nothing equivalent to Pride, I shall examine the several Views Men have in outward Apparel, and set forth what daily Experience may teach every body as to Dress.
Clothes were originally made for two Ends, to hide our Nakedness, and to fence our Bodies against the Weather, and other outward Injuries: To these our boundless Pride has added a third, which is Ornament; for what else but an excess of stupid Vanity, could have prevail’d upon our Reason to fancy that Ornamental, which must continually put us in mind of our Wants and Misery, beyond all other Animals that are ready clothed by Nature herself? It is indeed to be admired how so sensible a Creature as Man, that pretends to so many fine Qualities of his own, should condescend to value himself upon what is robb’d from so innocent and defenceless an Animal as a Sheep, or what he is beholdena for to the most insignificant thing upon Earth, a dying Worm; yet while he is Proud of such trifling Depredations, he has the folly to laugh at the Hottentots on the furthest Promontory of Africk, who adorn themselves with the Guts of their dead Enemies,1 without considering that they are the Ensigns of their Valour those Barbarians are fine with, the true Spolia opima, and that if their Pride be more Savage than ours, it is certainly less ridiculous, because they wear the Spoils of the more noble Animal.
But whatever Reflexions may be made on this head, the World has long since decided the Matter; handsome Apparel is a main Point, fine Feathers make fine Birds, and People, where they are not known, are generally honour’d according to their Clothes and other Accoutrements they have about them; from the richness of them we judge of their Wealth, and by their ordering of them we guess at their Understanding . It is this which encourages every Body, who is conscious of his little Merit, if he is any ways able, to wear Clothes above his Rank, especially in large and populous Cities, where obscure Men may hourly meet with fifty Strangers to one Acquaintance, and consequently have the  Pleasure of being esteem’d by a vast Majority, not as what they are, but what they appear to be: which is a greater Temptation than most People want to be vain.
Whoever takes delight in viewing the various Scenes of low Life, may on Easter, Whitsun,a and other great Holidays, meet with scores of People, especially Women, of almost the lowest Rank, that wear good and fashionable Clothes: If coming to talk with them, you treat them more courteously and with greater Respect than what they are conscious they deserve, they’ll commonly be ashamed of owning what they are; and often you may, if you are a little inquisitive, discover in them a most anxious Care to conceal the Business they follow, and the Places they live in. The Reason is plain; while they receive those Civilities that are not usually paid them, and which they think only due to their Betters, they have the Satisfaction to imagine, that they appear what they would be, which to weak Minds is a Pleasure almost as substantial as they could reap from the very Accomplishments of their Wishes: This Golden Dream they are unwilling to be disturbed in, and being sure that the meanness of their Condition, if it is known, must sink ’em very low in your Opinion, they hug themselves in their disguise, and take all imaginable Precaution not to forfeit by a useless discovery the Esteem which they flatter themselves that their good Clothes have drawn from you.
Tho’ every Body allows, that as to Apparel and manner of living, we ought to behave our selves suitable to our Conditions, and follow the Examples of the most sensible, and prudent among our Equals in Rank and Fortune: Yet how few, that are not either miserably Covetous, or else Proud of Singularity, have this Discretion to boast of? We all look above our selves, and, as fast as we can, strive to imitate those, that some way or other are superior to us.
The poorest Labourer’s Wife in the Parish, who scorns to wear a strong wholesom Frize, as she might, will half starve her self and her Husband to purchase a second-hand Gown and Petticoat, that cannot do hera half the Service; because, forsooth, it is more genteel. The Weaver, the Shoemaker, the Tailor, the Barber, and every mean working Fellow, that can set up with little, has the Impudence with the first Money he gets, to Dress himself like a Tradesman of Substance: The ordinary Retailer in the clothing of his Wife, takes Pattern from his Neighbour, that deals in the same Commodity by Wholesale, and the Reason he gives for it is, that Twelve Years ago the other had not a bigger Shop than himself. The Druggist, Mercer, Draper, and other creditable Shopkeepers can find no difference between themselves and Merchants, and therefore dress and live like them. The Merchant’s Lady, who cannot bear the Assurance of those Mechanicks, flies for refuge to the other End of the Town, and scorns to follow any Fashion but what she takes from thence.b This Haughtiness alarms the Court, the Women of Quality are frighten’d to see Merchants Wives and Daughters dress’d like themselves: this Impudence of the City, they cry, is intolerable; Mantua-makers are sent for, and the contrivance of Fashions becomes all their Study, that they may have always new Modes ready to take up, as soon as those saucy Cits shall begin to imitate those in being. The same Emulation is continued through the several degrees of Quality to an incredible Expence, till at last the Prince’s great Favourites and those of the first Rank of all, having nothing else left to outstrip some of their Inferiors, are forc’d to lay out vast Estates in pompous Equipages, magnificent Furniture, sumptuous Gardens and princely Palaces.
To this Emulation and continual striving to out-do one another it is owing, that after so many various Shiftings and Changings of Modes, in trumping up new ones and renewing of old ones, there is still a plus ultra left for the ingenious; it is this, or at least the consequence of it, that sets the Poor to Work, adds Spurs to Industry, and encourages the skilful Artificer to search after further Improvements.1
It may be objected, that many People of good Fashion, who have been us’d to be well Dress’d, out of Custom wear rich Clothes with all the indifferency imaginable, and that the benefit to Trade accruing from them cannot be ascribed to Emulation or Pride. To this I answer, that it is impossible, that those who trouble their Heads so little with their Dress, could ever have wore those rich Clothes, if both the Stuffs and Fashions had not been first invented to gratify the Vanity of others, who took greater delight in fine Apparel, than they; Besides that every Body is not without Pride that appears to be so;a all the symptoms of that Vice are not easily discover’d; they are manifold, and vary according to the Age, Humour, Circumstances, and often Constitution, of the People.
The cholerick City Captain seems impatient to come to Action, and expressing his Warlike Genius by the firmness of his Steps, makes his Pike, for want of Enemies, tremble at the Valour of his Arm: His Martial Finery, as he marches along, inspires him with an unusual Elevation of Mind, by which endeavouring to forget his Shop as well as himself, he looks up at the Balconies with the fierceness of a Saracen Conqueror: While the phlegmatick Alderman, now become venerable both for his Age and his Authority, contents himself with being thought a considerable Man; and knowing no easier way to express his Vanity, looks big in his Coach, where being known by his paultry Livery, he receives, in sullen State, the Homage that is paid him by the meaner sort of People.
The beardless Ensign counterfeits a Gravity above his Years, and with ridiculousa Assurance strives to imitate the stern Countenance of his Colonel, flattering himself all the while that by his daring Mien you’ll judge of his Prowess. The youthful Fair, in a vast concern of being overlook’d, by the continual changing of her Posture betrays a violent desire of being observ’d, and catching, as it were, at every Body’s Eyes courts with obliging Looks the admiration of her Beholders. The conceited Coxcomb, on the contrary, displaying an Air of Sufficiency, is wholly taken up with the Contemplation of his own Perfections, and in Publick Places discovers such a disregard to others, that the Ignorant must imagine, he thinks himself to be alone.
These and such like are all manifest tho’ different Tokens of Pride, that are obvious to all the World; but Man’s Vanity is not always so soon found out. When we perceive an Air of Humanity, and Men seem not to be employed in admiring themselves, norb altogether unmindful of others, we are apt to pronounce ’em void of Pride, when perhaps they are only fatigu’d with gratifying their Vanity, and become languid from a satiety of Enjoyments. That out- ward show of Peace within, and drowsy composure of careless Negligence, with which a Great Man is often seen in his plain Chariot to loll at ease, are not always so free from Art, as they may seem to be. Nothing is more ravishing to the Proud than to be thought happy.1
The well-bred Gentleman places his greatest Pride in the Skill he has of covering it with Dexterity, and some are so expert in concealing this Frailty, that when they are the most guilty of it, the Vulgar think them the most exempt from it. Thus the dissembling Courtier, when he appears in State, assumes an Air of Modesty and good Humour; and while he is ready to burst with Vanity, seems to be wholly Ignorant of his Greatness; well knowing, that those lovely Qualities must heighten him in the Esteem of others, and be an addition to that Grandeur, which the Coronets about his Coach and Harnesses, with the rest of his Equipage, cannot fail to proclaim without his Assistance.
And as in these, Pride is overlook’d, because industriously conceal’d, so in others again it is denied that they have any, when they shew (or at least seem to shew) it in the most Publick manner. The wealthy Parson being, as well as the rest of his Profession, debarr’d from the Gaiety of Laymen, makes it his Business to look out for an admirable Black and the finest Cloth that Money can purchase, and distinguishes himself by the fulness of his noble and spotless Garment; his Wigs are as fashionable as that Form he is forced to comply with will admit of; but as he is only stinted in their Shape, so he takes care that for goodness of Hair, and Colour, few Noblemen shall be able to match ’em; his Body is ever clean, as well as his Clothes, his sleek Face is kept constantly shav’d, and his handsome Nails are diligently pared; his smooth white Hand and a Brilliant of the first Water, mutually becoming, honour each other with double Graces; what Linen he discovers is transparently curious, and he scorns ever to be seen abroad with a worse Beaver than what a rich Banker would be proud of on his Wedding-Day; to all these Niceties in Dress he adds a Majestick Gate, and expresses a commanding Loftiness in his Carriage; yet common Civility, notwithstanding the evidence of so many concurring Symptoms, won’t allow us to suspect any of his Actions to be the Result of Pride; considering the Dignity of his Office, it is only Decency in him what would be Vanity in others; and in good Manners to his Calling we ought to believe, that the worthy Gentleman, without any regard to his reverend Person, puts himself to all this Trouble and Expence merely out of a Respect which is due to the Divine Order he belongs to, and a Religious Zeal to preserve his Holy Function from the Contempt of Scoffers. With all my Heart; nothing of all this shall be call’d Pride, let me only be allow’d to say, that to our Human Capacities it looks very like it.
But if at last I should grant, that there are Men who enjoy all the Fineries of Equipage and Furniture as well as Clothes, and yet have no Pride in them; it is certain, that if all should be such, that Emulation I spoke of before must cease, and consequently Trade, which has so great a Dependence upon it, suffer in every Branch. For to say, that if all Men were truly Virtuous, they might, without any regard to themselves, consume as much out of Zeal to serve their Neighbours and promote the Publick Good, as they do now out of Self-Love and Emulation, is a miserable Shift and an unreasonable Supposition. As there have been good People in all Ages, so, without doubt, we are not destitute of them in this; but let us enquire of the Periwig-makers and Tailors, in what Gentle-men , even of the greatest Wealth and highest Quality, they ever could discover such publick-spirited Views. Ask the Lacemen, the Mercers, and the Linen-Drapers, whether the richest, and if you will, the most virtuous Ladies, if they buy with ready Money, or intend to pay in any reasonable Time, will not drive from Shop to Shop, to try the Market, make as many Words, and stand as hard with them to save a Groat or Six-pence in a Yard, as the most necessitous Jilts in Town. If it be urg’d, that if there are not, it is possible there might be such People; I answer that it is as possible that Cats, instead of killing Rats and Mice, should feed them, and go about the House to suckle and nurse their young ones; or that a Kite should call the Hens to their Meat, as the Cock does, and sit brooding over their Chickens instead of devouring ’em; but if they should all do so, they would cease to be Cats and Kites; it is inconsistent with their Natures, and the Species of Creatures which now we mean, when we name Cats and Kites, would be extinct as soon as that could come to pass.
(N.)a Envy it self, and Vanity, Were Ministers of Industry: Page 10. Line 15.
ENVY is that Baseness in our Nature, which makes us grieve and pine at what we conceive to be a Happiness in others. I don’t believe there is a Human Creature in his Senses arriv’d to Maturity, that at one time or other has not been carried away by this Passion in good Earnest; and yet I never met with any one that dared own he was guilty of it, but in Jest.1 That we are so generally ashamed of this Vice, is owing to that strong Habit of Hypocrisy, by the Help of which, we have learned from our Cradle to hide even from our selves the vast Extent of Self-Love, and all its different Branches. It is impossible Man should wish better for another than he does for himself, unless where he supposes an Impossibility that himself should attain to those Wishes; and from hence we may easily learn after whata manner this Passion is raised in us. In order to it, we are to consider First, That as well as we think of our selves, so ill we often think of our Neighbour with equal Injustice; and when we apprehend, that others do or will enjoy what we think they don’t deserve, it afflicts and makes us angry with the Cause of that Disturbance. Secondly, That we are ever employ’d in wishing well for our selves, every one according to his Judgment and Inclinations, and when we observe something we like, and yet are destitute of, in the Possession of others; it occasions first Sorrow in us for not having the Thing we like. This Sorrow is incurable, while we continue our Esteem for the Thing we want: But as Self-Defence is restless, and never suffers us to leave any Means untried how to remove Evil from us, as far and as well as we are able; Experience teaches us, that nothing in Nature more alleviates this Sorrow than our Anger against those who are possess’d of what we esteem and want. This latter Passion therefore, we cherish and cultivate to save or relieve our selves, at least in part, from the Uneasiness we felt from the first.
Envy then is a Compound of Grief and Anger; the Degrees of this Passion depend chiefly on the Nearness or Remoteness of the Objects as to Circumstances. If one, who is forced to walk on Foot envies a great Man for keeping a Coach and Six, it will never be with that Violence, or give him that Disturbance which it may to a Man, who keeps a Coach himself, but can only afford to drive with four Horses. The Symptoms of Envy are as various, and as hard to describe, as those of the Plague; at some time it appears in one Shape, at others in another quite different. Among the Fair the Disease is very common, and the Signs of it very conspicuous in their Opinions and Censures of one another. In beautiful young Women you may often discover this Faculty to a high Degree; they frequently will hate one another mortally at first Sight, from no other Principle than Envy; and you may read this Scorn, and unreasonable Aversion in their very Countenances, if they have not a great deal of Art, and well learn’d to dissemble.
In the rude and unpolish’d Multitude this Passion is very bare-faced; especially when they envy others for the Goods of Fortune: They rail at their Betters, rip up their Faults, and take Pains to misconstrue theira most commendable Actions: They murmur at Providence, and loudly complain, that the good Things of this World are chiefly enjoy’d by those who do not deserve them. The grosser Sort of them it often affects so violently, that if they were not withheld by the Fear of the Laws, they would go directly and beat those their Envy is levell’d at, from no other Provocation than what that Passion suggests to them.
The Men of Letters labouring under this Distemper discover quite different Symptoms. When they envy a Person for his Parts and Erudition, their chief Care is industriously to conceal their Frailty, which generally is attempted by denying and depreciating the good Qualities they envy: They carefully peruse his Works, and are displeas’d withb every fine Passage they meet with; they look for nothing but his Errors, and wish for no greater Feast than a gross Mistake: In their Censures they are captious as well as severe, make Mountains of Mole-hills, and will not pardon the least Shadow of a Fault, but exaggerate the most trifling Omission into a Capital Blunder.
Envy is visible in Brute-Beasts; Horses shew it in their Endeavours of out-stripping one another; and the best spirited will run themselves to Death before they’ll suffer another before them. In Dogs this Passion is likewise plainly to be seen, those who are used to be caress’d will never tamely bear that Felicity in others. I have seen a Lap-Dog that would choke himself with Victuals rather than leave any thing for a Competitor of his own Kind; and we may often observe the same Behaviour in those Creatures which we daily see in Infants that are froward, and by being over-fondled made humoursome. If out of Caprice they at any time refuse to eat what they have ask’d for, and we can but make them believe that some body else, nay, even the Cat or the Dog is going to take it from them, they will make an end of their Oughts with Pleasure, and feed even against their Appetite.
If Envy was not rivetted in Human Nature, it would not be so common in Children, and Youth would not be so generally spurr’d on by Emulation. Those who would derive every Thing that is beneficial to the Society from a good Principle, ascribe the Effects of Emulation in School-boys to a Virtue of the Mind; as it requires Labour and Pains, so it is evident, that they commit a Self-Denial, who act from that Disposition; but if we look narrowly into it, we shall find that this Sacrifice of Ease and Pleasure is only made to Envy, and the Love of Glory. If there was not something very like this Passion mix’d with that pretended Virtue, it would be impossible to raise and increase it by the same Means that create Envy. The Boy, who receives a Reward for the Superiority of his Performance, is conscious of the Vexation it would have been to him, if he should have fall’n short of it: This Reflexion makes him exert himself, not to be out-done by those whom now he looks upon as his Inferiors, and the greater his Pride is, the more Self-denial he’ll practise to maintain his Conquest. The other, who, in spite of the Pains he took to do well, has miss’d of the Prize, is sorry, and consequently angry with him whom he must look upon as the Cause of his Grief: But to shew this Anger, would be ridiculous, and of no Service to him, so that he must either be contented to be less esteem’d than the other Boy; or by renewing his Endeavours become a greater Proficient: and it is ten to one, but the disinterested, good-humour’d, and peaceable Lad will choose the first, and so become indolent and unactive, while the covetous, peevish, and quarrelsome Rascal shall take incredible Pains, and make himself a Conqueror in his Turn.
Envy, as it is very common among Painters, so it is of great Use for their Improvement: I don’t mean, that little Dawbers envy great Masters, but most of them are tainted with this Vice against those immediately above them. If the Pupil of a famous Artist is of a bright Genius, and uncommon Application, he first adores his Master; but as his own Skill increases, he begins insensibly to envy what he admired before. To learn the Nature of this Passion, and that it consists in what I have named, we are but to observe that, if a Painter by exerting himself comes not only to equal, but toa exceed the Man he envied, his Sorrow is gone and all his Anger disarmed; and if he hated him before, he is now glad to be Friends with him, if the other will condescend to it.
Married Women, who are Guilty of this Vice, which few are not, are always endeavouring to raise the same Passion in their Spouses; and where they have prevail’d, Envy and Emulation have kept more Men in Bounds, and reform’d more Ill Husbands from Sloth, from Drinking and other evil Courses, than all the Sermons that have been preach’d since the time of the Apostles.
As every Body would be happy, enjoy Pleasure and avoid Pain if he could, so Self-love bids us look on every Creature that seems satisfied, as a Rival in Happiness; and the Satisfaction we have in seeing that Felicity disturb’d, without any Advantage to our selves but what springs from the Pleasure we have in beholding it, is call’d loving Mischief for Mischief’s sake; and the Motive of which that Frailty is the Result, Malice, another Offspring derived from the same Original; for if there was no Envy there could be no Malice. When the Passions lie dormant we have no Apprehension of them, and often People think they have not such a Frailty in their Nature, because that Moment they are not affected with it.
A Gentleman well dress’d, who happens to be dirty’d all over by a Coach or a Cart, is laugh’d at, and by his Inferiors much more than his Equals, because they envy him more: they know he is vex’d at it, and imagining him to be happier than themselves, they are glad to see him meet with Displeasures in his turn: But a young Lady, if she be in a serious Mood, instead of laughing at, pities him, because a clean Man is a Sight she takes delight in, and there is no room for Envy. At Disasters, we either laugh, or pity those that befal them, according to the Stock we are possess’d of either of Malice or Compassion. If a Man falls or hurts himself so slightly that it moves not the lattera , we laugh, and here our Pity and Malice shake us alternately: Indeed, Sir, I am very sorry for it, I beg your Pardon for laughing, I am the silliest Creature in the World, then laugh again;b and again,c I am indeed very sorry, and so on. Some are so Malicious they would laugh if a Man broke his Leg, and others are so Compassionate that they can heartily pity a Man for the least Spot in his Clothes; but no Body is so Savage that no Compassion can touch him, nor any Man so good-natur’d as never to be affected with any Malicious Pleasure. How strangely our Passions govern us! We envy a Man for being Rich, and then perfectly hate him: But if we come to be his Equals, we are calm, and the least Condescension in him makes us Friends; but if we become visibly Superior to him we can pity his Misfortunes. The Reason why Men of true good Sense envy less than others, is because they admire themselves with less Hesitation than Fools and silly People; for tho’ they do not shew this to others, yet the Solidity of their thinking gives them an Assurance of their real Worth, which Men of weak Understanding can never feel within, tho’ they often counterfeit it.
The Ostracism of the Greeks was a Sacrifice of valuable Men made to Epidemick Envy, and often applied as an infallible Remedy to cure and prevent the Mischiefs of Popular Spleen and Rancour. A Victim of State often appeases the Murmurs of a whole Nation, and After-ages frequently wonder at Barbarities of this Nature, which under the same Circumstances they would have committed themselves. They are Compliments to the Peoples Malice, which is never better gratify’d, than when they can see a great Man humbled. We believe that we love Justice, and to see Merit rewarded; but if Men continue long in the first Posts of Honour, half of us grow weary of them, look for their Faults, and if we can find none, we suppose they hide them, and ’tis much if the greatest part of us don’t wish them discarded. This foul Play the best of Men ought ever to ap-prehend from all who are not their immediate Friends or Acquaintance, because nothing is more tiresome to us than the Repetition of Praises we have no manner of Share in.
The more a Passion is a Compound of many others, the more difficult it is to define it; and the more it is tormenting to those that labour under it, the greater Cruelty it is capable of inspiring them with against others: Therefore nothing is more whimsical or mischievous than Jealousy, which is made up of Love, Hope, Fear, and a great deal of Envy: The last has been sufficiently treated of already, and what I have to say of Fear, the Reader will find under Remark (R.) So that the better to explain and illustrate this odd Mixture, the Ingredients I shall further speak of in this Place are Hope and Love.
Hoping is wishing with some degree of Confidence, that the Thing wish’d for will come to pass.1 The Firmness and Imbecillity of our Hope depend entirely on the greater or lesser Degree of our Confidence, and all Hope includes Doubt; for when our Confidence is arriv’d to that Height, as to exclude all Doubts, it becomes a Certainty, and we take for granted what we only hop’d for before. A silver Inkhorn may pass in Speech, because every Body knows what we mean by it, but a certain Hope cannot: For a Man who makes use of an Epithet that destroys the Essence of the Substantive he joins it to, can have no Meaning at all; and the more clearly we understand the Force of the Epithet, and the Nature of the Substantive, the more palpable is the Nonsense of the heterogeneous Compound. The Reason, therefore, why it is not so shocking to some to hear a Man speak of certain Hope, as if he should talk of hot Ice, or liquid Oak, is not because there is less Nonsense contain’d in the first than there is in either of the latter; but because the Word Hope, I mean the Essence of it, is not so clearly understood by the Generality of the People, as the Words and Essences of Ice and Oak are.2
Love in the first Place signifies Affection, such as Parents and Nurses bear to Children, and Friends to one another; it consists in a Liking and Well-wishing to the Person beloved. We give an easy Construction to his Words and Actions, and feel a Proneness to excuse and forgive his Faults, if we see any; his Interest we make on all Accounts our own, even to our Prejudice, and receive an inward Satisfaction for sympathizing with him in his Sorrows, as well as Joys. What I said last is not impossible, whatever it may seem to be; for when we are sincere in sharing with another in his Misfortunes, Self-Love makes us believe, that the Sufferings we feel must alleviate and lessen those of our Friend, and while this fond Reflexion is soothing our Pain, a secret Pleasure arises from our grieving for the Person we love.1
Secondly, by Love we understand a strong Inclination, in its Nature distinct from all other Affections of Friendship, Gratitude, and Consanguinity, that Persons of different Sexes, after liking, bear to one another: It is in this Signification that Love enters into the Compound of Jealousy, and is the Effect as well as happy Disguise of that Passion that prompts us to labour for the Preservation of our Species. This latter Appetite is innate both in Men and Women, who are not defective in their Formation, as much as Hunger or Thirst, tho’ they are seldom affected with it before the Years of Puberty. Could we undress Nature, and pry into her deepest Recesses, we should discover the Seeds of this Passion before it exerts itself , as plainly as we see the Teeth in an Embryo, before the Gums are form’d. There are few healthy People of either Sex, whom it has made no Impression upon before Twenty: Yet, as the Peace and Happiness of the Civil Society require that this should be kept a Secret, never to be talk’d of in Publick; so among well-bred People it is counted highly Criminal to mention before Company any thing in plain Words, that is relating to this Mystery of Succession: By which Means the very Name of the Appetite, tho’ the most necessary for the Continuance of Mankind, is become odious, and the proper Epithets commonly join’d to Lust are Filthy and Abominable.
This Impulse of Nature in People of strict Morals, and rigid Modesty, often disturbs the Body for a considerable Time before it is understood or known to be what it is, and it is remarkable that the most polish’d and best instructed are generally the most ignorant as to this Affair; and here I can but observe the Difference between Man in the wild State of Nature, and the same Creature in the Civil Society. In the first, Men and Women, if left rude and untaught in the Sciences of Modes and Manners, would quickly find out the Cause of that Disturbance, and be at a Loss no more than other Animals for a present Remedy: Besides, that it is not probable they would want either Precept or Example from the more experienc’d. But in the second, where the Rules of Religion, Law and Decency, are to be follow’d, and obey’d before any Dictates of Nature, the Youth of both Sexes are to be arm’d and fortify’d against this Impulse, and from their Infancy artfully frighten’d from the most remote Approaches of it. The Appetite it self, and all the Symptoms of it, tho’ they are plainly felt and understood, are to be stifled with Care and Severity, and in Women flatly disown’d, and if there be Occasion, with Obstinacy deny’d, even when themselves are visibly affected by them. If it throws them into Distempers, they must be cured by Physick, or else patiently bear them in Silence; and it is the Interest of the Society to preserve Decency and Politeness; that Women should linger, waste, and die, rather than relieve themselves in an unlawful manner; and among the fashionable Part of Mankind, the People of Birth and Fortune, it is expected that Matrimony should never be enter’d upon without a curious Regard to Family, Estate, and Reputation, and in the making of Matches the Call of Nature be the very last Consideration.
Those then who would make Love and Lust Synonimous confound the Effect with the Cause of it: Yet such is the force of Education, and a Habit of thinking as we are taught, that sometimes Persons of either Sex are actually in Love without feeling any Carnal Desires, or penetrating into the Intentions of Nature, the end proposed by her without which they could never have been affected with that sort of Passion. That there are such is certain, but many more whose Pretences to those refin’d Notions are only upheld by Art and Dissimulation. Those, who are really such Platonick Lovers are commonly the pale-faced weakly People of cold and phlegmatick Constitutions in either Sex; the hale and robust of bilious Temperament and a sanguine Complexion1 never entertain any Love so Spiritual as to exclude all Thoughts and Wishes that relate to the Body.a But if the most Seraphick Lovers would know the Original of their Inclination, let them but suppose that another should have the Corporal Enjoyment of the Person beloved, and by the Tortures they’ll suffer from that Refiexion they will soon discover the Nature of their Passions: Whereas on the contrary, Parents and Friends receive a Satisfaction in reflecting on the Joys and Comforts of a happy Marriage, to be tasted by those they wish well to.
The curious, that are skill’d in anatomizing the invisible Part of Man, will observe that the more sublime and exempt this Love is from all Thoughts of Sensuality, the more spurious it is, and the more it degenerates from its honest Original and primitive Simplicity. The Power and Sagacity as well as Labour and Care of the Politician in civilizing the Society, has been no where more conspicuous, than in the happy Contrivance of playing our Passions against one another. By flattering our Pride and still increasing the good Opinion we have of ourselves on the one hand, and inspiring us on the other with a superlative Dread and mortal Aversion against Shame, the Artful Moralists have taught us chearfully to encounter our selves, and if not subdue, at least so to conceal and disguise our darling Passion, Lust, that we scarce know it when we meet with it in our own Breasts; Oh! the mighty Prize we have in view for all our Self-denial! can any Man be so serious as to abstain from Laughter, when he considers that for so much deceit and insin-cerity practis’d upon our selves as well as others, we have no other Recompense than the vain Satisfaction of making our Species appear more exalted and remote from that of other Animals, than it really is; and we in our Consciences know it to be? yet this is fact, and in it we plainly perceive the reason why it was necessary to render odious every Word or Action by which we might discover the innate Desire we feel to perpetuate our Kind; and why tamely to submit to the violence of a Furious Appetite (which it isa painful to resist) and innocently to obey the most pressing demand of Nature without Guile or Hypocrisy, like other Creatures , should be branded with the Ignominious Name of Brutality.
What we call Love then is not a Genuine, but an Adulterated Appetite, or rather a Compound, a heap of several contradictory Passions blended in one. As it is a product of Nature warp’d by Custom and Education, so the true Origin and first Motive of it, as I have hinted already, is stifled in well-bred People, and almost concealed from themselves: all which is the reason that as those affected with it vary in Age, Strength, Resolution, Temper, Circumstances, and Manners, the effects of it are so different, whimsical, surprizing and unaccountable.
It is this Passion that makes Jealousy so troublesome, and the Envy of it often so fatal: those who imagine that there may be Jealousy without Love, do not understand that Passion. Men may not have the least Affection for their Wives, and yet be angry with them for their Conduct, and suspicious of them either with or without a Cause: But what in such Cases affects them is their Pride, the Concern for their Reputation. They feel a Hatred against them without Remorse; when they are outrageous, they can beat them and go to sleep contentedly: such Husbands may watch their Dames themselves, and have thema observed by others; but their Vigilance is not so intense; they are not so inquisitive or industrious in their Searches, neither do they feel that Anxiety of Heart at the Fear of a Discovery, as when Love is mix’d with the Passions.
What confirms me in this Opinion is, that we never observe this Behaviour between a Man and his Mistress; for when his Love is gone and he suspects her to be false, he leaves her, and troubles his Head no more about her: Whereas it is the greatest Difficulty imaginable, even to a Man of Sense, to part with a Mistress as long as he loves her, what ever Faults she may be guilty of. If in his Anger he strikes her he is uneasy after it; his Love makes him reflect on the Hurt he has done her, and he wants to be reconcil’d to her again. He may talk of hating her, and many times from his Heart wish her hang’d, but if he cannot get entirely rid of his Frailty, he can never disintangle himself from her: tho’ she is represented in the most monstrous Guilt to his Imagination, and he has resolved and swore a thousand Times never to come near her again, there is no trusting him;a even when he is fully convinc’d of her Infidelity, if his Love continues, his Despair is never so lasting, but between the blackest Fits of it he relents, and finds lucid Intervals of Hope; he forms Excuses for her, thinks of pardoning, and in order to it racks his Invention for Possibilities that may make her appear less criminal.
(O.)b Real Pleasures, Comforts, Ease: Page 11. Line 12.
THAT the highest Good consisted in Pleasure, was the Doctrine of Epicurus, who yet led a Life exemplary for Continence, Sobriety, and other Virtues, which made People of the succeeding Ages quarrel about the Signification of Pleasure. Those who argued from the Temperance of the Philosopher, said, That the Delight Epicurus meant, was being virtuous; so Erasmus in his Colloquies tells us, That there are no greater Epicures than pious Christians.1 Others that reflected on the dissolute Manners of the greatest Part of his Followers, would have it, that by Pleasures he could have understood nothing but sensual Ones, and the Gratification of our Passions. I shall not decide their Quarrel, but am of Opinion, that whether Men be good or bad, what they take delight in is their Pleasure, and not to look out for any further Etymology from the learned Languages, I believe an Englishman may justly call every Thing a Pleasure that pleases him,1 and according to this Definition we ought to dispute no more about Mens Pleasures than their Tastes: Trahit sua quemque Voluptas.2
The worldly-minded, voluptuous and ambitious Man, notwithstanding he is void of Merit, covets Precedence every where, and desires to be dignify’d above his Betters: He aims at spacious Palaces, and delicious Gardens; his chief Delight is in excelling others in stately Horses, magnificent Coaches, a numerous Attendance, and dear-bought Furniture. To gratify his Lust, he wishes for genteel, young, beautiful Women of different Charms and Complexionsa that shall adore his Greatness, and be really in love with his Person: His Cellars he would have stored with the Flower of every Country that produces excellent Wines: His Tableb he desires may be serv’d with many Courses, and each of them contain a choice Variety of Dainties not easily purchas’d, and ample Evidences of elaborate and judicious Cookery; while harmonious Musick and well-couch’d Flattery entertain his Hearing by Turns. He employs, even in the meanest trifles, none but the ablest and most ingenious Workmen, that his Judgment and Fancy may as evidently appear in the least Things that belong to him, as his Wealth and Quality are manifested in those of greater Value. He desires to have several sets of witty, facetious, and polite People to converse with, and among them he would have some famous for Learning and universal Knowledge: For his serious Affairs, he wishes to find Men of Parts and Experience, that should be diligent and faithful. Those that are to wait on him he would have handy, mannerly and discreet, of comely Aspect, and a graceful Mien: What he requires in them besides, is a respectful Care of every Thing that is His, Nimbleness without Hurry, Dispatch without Noise, and an unlimited Obedience to his Orders: Nothing he thinks more troublesome than speaking to Servants; wherefore he will only be attended by such, as by observing his Looks have learn’d to interpret his Will from his slightest Motions. He loves to see an elegant Nicety in every thing that approaches him, and in what is to be employ’d about his Person he desires a superlative Cleanliness to be irreligiouslya observ’d. The chief Officers of hisb Houshold he would have to be Men of Birth,c Honour and Distinction, as well as Order, Contrivance and Oeconomy; for tho’ he loves to be honour’d by every Body, and receives the Respects of the common People with Joy, yet the Homage that is paid him by Persons of Quality is ravishing to him in a more transcendent manner.
While thus wallowing in a Sea of Lust and Vanity, he is wholly employ’d in provoking and indulging his Appetites, he desires the World should think him altogether free from Pride and Sensuality, and put a favourable Construction upon his most glaring Vices: Nay, if his Authority can purchase it, he covets to be thought Wise, Brave, Generous, Good-natur’d, and endu’d with all the Virtues he thinks worth having. He would have us believe that the Pomp and Luxury he is serv’d with are as many tiresome Plagues to him; and all the Grandeur he appears in is an ungrateful Burden, which, to his Sorrow, is inseparable from the high Sphere he moves in; that his noble Mind, so much exalted above vulgar Capacities, aims at higher ends, and cannot relish such worthless Enjoyments; that the highest of his Ambition is to promote the publick Welfare, and his greatest Pleasure to see his Country flourish, and every Body in it made happy. These are call’d real Pleasures by the Vicious and Earthly-minded, and whoever is able, either by his Skill or Fortune, after this refin’d manner at once to enjoy the World, and the good Opinion of it, is counted extremely happy by all the most fashionable part of the People.
But on the other side, most of the ancient Philosophers and grave Moralists, especially the Stoicks, would not allow any Thing to be a real Good that was liable to be taken from them by others. They wisely consider’d the Instability of Fortune, and the Favour of Princes; the Vanity of Honour, and popular Applause; the Precariousness of Riches, and all earthly Possessions; and therefore placed true Happiness in the calm Serenity of a contented Mind free from Guilt and Ambition; a Mind, that, having subdued every sensual Appetite, despises the Smiles as well as Frowns of Fortune, and taking no Delight but in Contemplation, desires nothing but what every Body is able to give to himself: A Mind, that arm’da with Fortitude and Resolution has learn’d to sustain the greatest Losses without Concern, to endure Pain without Affliction, and to bear Injuries without Resentment. Many have own’d themselves arriv’d to this height of Self-denial, and then, if we may believe them, they were rais’d above common Mortals, and their Strength extended vastly beyond the pitch of their first Nature: they could behold the Anger of Threatning Tyrants and the most imminent Dangers without Terror, and preserv’d their Tranquillity in the midst of Tor-ments: Death it self they could meet with Intrepidity, and left the World with no greater Reluctance than they had shew’d Fondness at their Entrance into it.
These among the Ancients have always bore the greatest Sway; yet others that were no Fools neither, have exploded those Precepts as impracticable, call’d their Notions Romantick, and endeavour’d to prove that what these Stoicks asserted of themselves exceeded all human Force and Possibility, and that therefore the Virtues they boasted of could be nothing but haughty Pretencea , full of Arrogance and Hypocrisy; yet notwithstanding these Censures, the serious Part of the World, and the generality of Wise Men that have liv’d ever since to this Day, agree with the Stoicks in the most material Points; as that there can be no true Felicity in what depends on Things perishable; that Peace within is the greatest Blessing, and no Conquest likeb that of our Passions; that Knowledge, Temperance, Fortitude, Humility, and other Embellishments of the Mind are the most valuable Acquisitions; that no Man can be happy but he that is good; and that the Virtuous are only capable of enjoying real Pleasures.
I expect to be ask’d why in the Fable I have call’d those Pleasures real that are directly opposite to those which I own the wise Men of all Ages have extoll’d as the most valuable. My Answer is, because I don’t call things Pleasuresc which Men say are best, but such as they seem to be most pleased with;1 how can I believe that a Man’s chief Delight is in the Embellishments of the Mind, when I see him everd employ’d about and daily pursue the Pleasures that are contrary to them? John never cuts any Pudding, but just enough that you can’t say he took none; this little Bit, after much chomping and chewing you see goes down with him like chopp’d Hay;2 after that he falls upon the Beef with aa voracious Appetite, and crams himself up to his Throat. Is it not provoking to hear John cry every Day that Pudding is all his Delight, and that he don’t value the Beef of a Farthing?
I could swagger about Fortitude and the Contempt of Riches as much as Seneca himself, and would undertake to write twice as much in behalf of Poverty as ever he did, for the tenth Part of his Estate:1 I could teach the way to his Summum bonum as exactly as I know my way home: I could tell People that to extricate themselves from all worldly Engagements, and to purify the Mind, they must divest themselves of their Passions, as Men take out the Furniture when they would clean a Room thoroughly; and I am clearly of the Opinion, that the Malice and most severe Strokes of Fortune can do no more Injury to a Mind thus stript of all Fears, Wishes and Inclinations, than a blind Horse can do in an empty Barn. In the The-ory of all this I am very perfect, but the Practice is very difficult; and if you went about picking my Pocket, offer’d to take the Victuals from before me when I am hungry, or made but the least Motion of spitting in my Face, I dare not promise how Philosophically I should behave my self. But that I am forced to submit to every Caprice of my unruly Nature, you’ll say, is no Argument that others are as little Masters of theirs, and therefore I am willing to pay Adoration to Virtue wherever I can meet with it, with a Proviso that I shall not be obliged to admit any as such, where I can see no Self-denial, or to judge of Mens Sentiments from their Words, where I have their Lives before me.
I have search’d through every Degree and Station of Men, and confess, that I have found no where more Austerity of Manners, or greater Contempt of Earthly Pleasures, than in some Religious Houses, where People freely resigning and retiring from the World to combat themselves, have no other Business but to subdue their Appetites. What can be a greater Evidence of perfect Chastity, and a superlative Love to immaculate Purity in Men and Women, than that in the Prime of their Age, when Lust is most raging, they should actually seclude themselves from each others Company, and by a voluntary Renunciation debar themselves for Life, not only from Uncleanness, but even the most lawful Embraces? Those that abstain from Flesh, and often all manner of Food, one wou’d think in the right way to conquer all Carnal Desires; and I could almost swear, that he don’t consult his Ease, who daily mauls his bare back and Shoulders with unconscionable Stripes, and constantly roused at Midnight from his Sleep, leaves his Bed for his Devotion. Who can despise Riches more, or shew himself less Avaricious than he, who won’t so much as touch Gold or Silver, no not with his Feet?1 Or can any Mortal shew himself less Luxurious or more humble than the Man, that making Poverty his Choice, contents himself with Scraps and Fragments, and refuses to eat any Bread but what is bestow’d upon him by the Charity of others.
Such fair Instances of Self-denial would make me bow down to Virtue, if I was not deterr’d and warn’d from it by so many Persons of Eminence and Learning, who unanimously tell me that I am mistaken, and all I have seen is Farce and Hypocrisy; that what Seraphick Love they may pretend to, there is nothing but Discord among them, and that how Penitential the Nuns and Friars may appear in their several Con-vents , they none of them sacrifice their darling Lusts: That among the Women they are not all Virgins that pass for such, and that if I was to be let into their Secrets, and examine some of their Subterraneous Privacies, I should soon bea convinced by Scenes of Horror, that some of them must have been Mothers.1 That among the Men I should find Calumny, Envy and Ill-nature in the highest degree, or else Gluttony, Drunkenness, and Impurities of a more execrable kind than Adultery it self: And as for the Mendicant Orders, that they differ in nothing but their Habits from other sturdy Beggars, who deceive People with a pitiful Tone and an outward Shew of Misery, and as soon as they are out of sight, lay by their Cant, indulge their Appetites, and enjoy one another.
If the strict Rules, and so many outward signs of Devotion observ’d among those religious Orders, deserve such harsh Censures, we may well despair of meeting with Virtue any where else; for if we look into the Actions of the Antagonists and greatestb Accusers of those Votaries, we shall not find so much as the Appearance of Self-denial. The Reverend Divines of all Sects, even of the most Reformed Churches in all Countries, take care with the Cyclops Evangeliphorusc first; ut ventri bene sit, and afterwards, ne quid desit iis quæ sub ventre sunt.2 To these they’ll desire you to add convenient Houses, handsome Furniture, good Fires in Winter, pleasant Gardens in Summer, neat Clothes, and Money enough to bring up their Children; Precedency in all Companies, Respect from every body, and then as much Religion as you please. The Things I have named are thea necessary Comforts of Life, which the most Modest are not asham’d to claim, and which they are very uneasy without. They are, ’tis true, made of the same Mould, and have the same corrupt Nature with other Men, born with the same Infirmities, subject to the same Passions, and liable to the same Temptations, and therefore if they are diligent in their Calling, and can but abstain from Murder, Adultery, Swearing, Drunkenness, and other hainous Vices, their Lives are called unblemish’d, and their Reputations unspotted; their Function renders them holy, and the Gratification of so many Carnal Appetites and the Enjoyment of so much luxurious Ease notwithstanding, they may set upon themselves what Value their Pride and Parts will allow them.
All this I have nothing against, but I see no Self-denial, without which there can be no Virtue. Is it such a Mortification not to desire a greater Share of worldly Blessings, than what every reasonable Man ought to be satisfy’d with? Or is there any mighty Merit in not being flagitious, and forbearing Indecencies that are repugnant to good Manners, and which no prudent Man would be guilty of, tho’ he had no Religion at all?
I know I shall be told, that the Reason why the Clergy are so violent in their Resentments, when at any time they are but in the least affronted, and shew themselves so void of all Patience when their Rights are invaded, is their great care to preserve their Calling, their Profession from Contempt, not for their own sakes, but to be more serviceable to others. ’Tis the same Reason that makes ’ema sollicitous about the Comforts and Conveniences of Life; for should they suffer themselves to be insulted over, be content with a coarser Diet, and wear more ordinary Clothes than other People, the Multitude, who judge from outward Appearances, would be apt to think that the Clergy was no more the immediate Care of Providence than other Folks, and so not only undervalue their Persons, but despise likewise all the Reproofs and Instructions that came from ’em. This is an admirable Plea, and as it is much made use of, I’ll try the Worth of it.
I am not of the Learned Dr. Echard’s Opinion, that Poverty is one of those things that bring the Clergy into Contempt,1 any further than as it may be an Occasion of discovering their blind side: For when Men are always struggling with their low Condition, and are unable to bear the Burthen of it without Reluctancy, it is then they shew how uneasy their Poverty sits upon them, how glad they would be to have their Circumstances meliorated, and what a real value they have for the good things of this World. He that harangues on the Contempt of Riches, and the Vanity of Earthly Enjoyments, in a rusty threadbare Gown, because he has no other, and would wear his old greasy Hat no longer if any body would give him a better; that drinks Small-beer at Home with a heavy Countenance, but leaps at a Glass of Wine if he can catch it Abroad; that with little Appetite feeds upona his own coarse Mess, but falls to greedily where he can please his Palate, and expresses an uncommon Joy at an Invitation to a splendid Dinner: ’Tis he that is despised, not because he is Poor, but because he knows not how to be so with that Content and Resignation which he preaches to others, and so discovers his Inclinations to be contrary to his Doctrine. But when a Man from the greatness of his Soul (or an obstinate Vanity, which will dob as well) resolving to subdue his Appetites in good earnest, refuses all the Offers of Ease and Luxury that can be made to him, and embracing a voluntary Poverty with Chearfulness, rejects whatever may gratify the Senses, and actually sacrifices all his Passions to his Pride in acting this Part, the Vulgar, far from contemning, will be ready to deify and adore him. How famous have the Cynick Philosophers made themselves, only by refusing to dissimulate and make use of Superfluities? Did not the most Ambitious Monarch the World ever bore, condescend to visit Diogenes in his Tub, and re-turn to a study’d Incivility, the highest Compliment a Man of his Pride was able to make?
Mankind are very willing to take one anothers Word, when they see some Circumstances that corroborate what is told them; but when our Actions directly contradict what we say, it is counted Impudence to desire Belief. If a jolly hale Fellow with glowing Cheeks and warm Hands, newly return’d from some smart Exercise, or else the cold Bath, tells us in frosty Weather, that he cares not for the Fire, we are easily induced to believe him, especially if he actually turns from it, and we know by his Circumstances that he wants neither Fuel nor Clothes: but if we should hear the same from the Mouth of a poor starv’d Wretch, with swell’d Hands, and a livid Countenance, in a thin ragged Garment, we should not believe a Word of what he said, especially if we saw him shaking and shivering, creep toward the Sunny Bank; and we would conclude, let him say what he could, that warm Clothes and a good Fire would be very acceptable to him. The Application is easy, and therefore if there be any Clergy upon Earth that would be thought not to care for the World, and to value the Soul above the Body, let them only forbear shewing a greater concern for their Sensual Pleasures than they generally do for their Spiritual ones, and they may rest satisfy’d, that no Poverty, while they bear it with Fortitude, will ever bring them into Contempt, how mean soever their Circumstances may be.
Let us suppose a Pastor that has a little Flock entrusted to him, of which he is very careful: He preaches, visits, exhorts, reproves among his People with Zeal and Prudence, and does them all the kind Offices that lie in his Power to make them happy. There is no doubt but those under his Care must be very much oblig’d to him. Now we’ll suppose once more, that this good Man by the help of a little Self-denial, is contented to live upon half his Income, accepting only of Twenty Pounds a Year instead of Forty, which he could claim; and moreover that he loves his Parishioners so well, that he will never leave them for any Preferment whatever, no not a Bishoprick, tho’ it be offer’d. I can’t see but all this might be an easy task to a Man who professes Mortification, and has no Value for worldly Pleasures; yet such a disinterested Divine I dare promise, notwithstanding the great degeneracy of Mankind will be lov’d, esteem’d and have every Body’s good Word; nay I would swear, that tho’ he should yet further exert himself, give above half of his small Revenue to the Poor, live upon nothing but Oatmeal and Water, lie upon Straw, and wear the coarsest Cloth that could be made, his mean way of Living would never be reflected on, or be a Disparagement either to himself or the Order he belong’d to; but that on the contrary his Poverty would never be mentioned but to his Glory, as long as his Memory should last.
But (says a charitable young Gentlewoman) tho’ you have the Heart to starve your Parson, have you no Bowels of Compassion for his Wife and Children? Pray what must remain of Forty Pounds a Year after it has been twice so unmercifully split? Or would you have the poor Woman and the innocent Babes likewise live upon Oatmeal and Water, and lie upon Straw, you unconscionable Wretch, with all your Suppositions and Self-denials? Nay, is it possible, tho’ they should all live at your own murd’ring rate, that less than Ten Pounds a Year could maintain a Family?——Don’t be in a Passion, good Mrs. Abigail,1 I have a greater regard for your Sex than to prescribe such a lean Diet to married Men; but I confess I forgot the Wives and Children: The main Reason was, because I thought poor Priests could have no occasion for them. Who could imagine that the Parson who is to teach others by Example as well as Precept, was not able to withstand those Desires which the wicked World it self calls unreasonable?a What is the Reason when a Prentice marries before he is out of his Time, that unless he meets with a good Fortune, all his Relations are angry with him, and every body blames him? Nothing else but because at that time he has no Money at his disposal, and being bound to his Master’s Service, has no leisure, and perhaps little Capacity to provide for a Family. What must we say to a Parson that has Twenty, or if you will Forty Pounds a Year, that being bound more strictly to all the Services a Parish and his Duty require, has little time and generally much less Ability to get any more? Is it not very unreasonableb he should Marry? But why should a sober young Man, who is guilty of no Vice, be debarr’d from lawful Enjoyments? Right; Marriage is lawful, and so is a Coach; but what is that to People that have not Money enough to keep one? If he must have a Wife, let him look out for one with Money, or wait for a greater Benefice or something else to maintain her handsomely, and bear all incident Charges. But no body that has any thing her self will have him, and he can’t stay: He has a very good Stomach, and all the Symptomsc of Health; ’tis not every body that can live without a Woman; ’tis better to marry than burn.1 ——What a World of Self-denial is here? The sober young Man is very willing to be Virtuous, but you must not cross his Inclinations; he promises never to be a Deer-stealer, upon Condition that he shall have Venison of his own, and no body must doubt but that if it came to the Push, he is qualify’d to suffer Martyrdoma , tho’ he owns that he has not Strength enough, patiently tob bear a scratch’d Finger.
When we see so many of the Clergy, to indulge their Lust, a brutish Appetite, run themselves after this manner upon an inevitable Poverty, which unless they could bear it with greater Fortitude than they discover in all their Actions, must of necessity make them contemptible to all the World, what Credit must we givec them, when they pretend that they conform themselves to the World, not because they take delight in the several Decencies, Conveniences, and Ornaments of it, but only to preserve their Function from Contempt, in order to be more useful to others? Have we not reason to believe, that what they say is full of Hypocrisy and Falshood, and that Concupiscence is not the only Appetite they want to gratify; that the haughty Airs and quick Sense of Injuries, the curious Elegance in Dress, and Niceness of Palate, to be observ’d in most of them that are able to shew them, are the Results of Pride and Luxury in them as they, are in other People, and that the Clergy are not possess’d of more intrinsick Virtue than any other Profession?
I am afraid that by this time I have given many of my Readers a real Displeasure, by dwelling so long upon the Reality of Pleasure; but I can’t help it, there is one thing comes into my Head to corroborate what I have urg’d already, which I can’t forbear mentioning: It is this: Those who govern others throughout the World, are at least as Wise as the People that are govern’d by them, generally speaking: If for this reason we woulda take Pattern from our Superiors, we have but to cast our Eyes on all the Courts and Governments in the Universe, and we shall soon perceive from the Actions of the Great Ones, which Opinion they side with, and what Pleasures those in the highest Stations of all seem to be most fond of: For if it be allowable at all to judge of People’s Inclinations from their Manner of Living, none can be less injur’d by it than those who are the most at Liberty to do as they please.
If the great ones of the Clergy as well as the Laity of any Country whatever, had no value for earthly Pleasures, and did not endeavour to gratify their Appetites, why are Envy and Revenge so raging among them, and all the other Passions improv’d and refin’d upon in Courts of Princes more than any where else, and why are their Repasts, their Recreations, and whole manner of Living always such as are approv’d of, coveted, and imitated by the most sensual People of that same Country? If despising all visible Decorations they were only in Love with the Embellishments of the Mind, why should they borrow so many of the Implements, and make use of the most darling Toys of the Luxurious? Why should a Lord-Treasurer, or a Bishop, or even the Grand Signior, or the Pope of Rome, to be good and virtuous, and endeavour the Conquest of his Passions, have occasion for greater Revenues, richer Furniture, or a more numerous Attendance, as to Personal Service, than a private Man? What Virtue is it the Exercise of which requires so much Pomp and Superfluity, as are to be seen by all Men in Power? A Man has as much Opportunity to practise Temperance, that has but one Dish at a Meal, as he that is constantly serv’d with three Courses and a dozen Dishes in each: One may exercise as much Patience, and be as full of Self-denial on a few Flocks, without Curtains or Tester, as in a Velvet Bed that is Sixteen Foot high. The Virtuous Possessions of the Mind are neither Charge nor Burden: A Man may bear Misfortunes with Fortitude in a Garret, forgive Injuries a-foot,a and be Chaste, tho’ he has not a Shirt to his Back; and therefore I shall never believe, but that an indifferent Skuller, if he was entrusted with it, might carry all the Learning and Religion that one Man can contain, as well as a Barge with Six Oars, especially if it was but to cross from Lambeth to Westminster; or that Humility is so ponderous a Virtue, that it requires six Horses to draw it.1
To say that Men not being so easily govern’d by their Equals as by their Superiors, it is necessary that to keep the multitude in awe, those who rule over us should excel others in outward Appearance, and conse-quently that all in high Stations should have Badges of Honour, and Ensigns of Power to be distinguish’d from the Vulgar, is a frivolous Objection. This in the first Place can only be of use to poor Princes, and weak and precarious Governments, that being actually unable to maintain the publick Peace, are obliged with a Pageant Shew to make up what they want in real Power: So the Governor of Batavia in the East-Indies is forced to keep up a Grandeur, and live in ab Magnificence above his Quality, to strike a Terror in the Natives of Java, who, if they had Skill and Conduct, are strong enough to destroy ten times the number of their Masters; but great Princes and States that keep large Fleets at Sea, and numerous Armies in the Field, have no Occasion for such Stratagems; for what makes ’em formidable Abroad, will never fail to be their Security at Home. Secondly, what must protect the Lives and Wealth of People from the Attempts of wicked Men in all Societies, is the Severity of the Laws, and diligent Administration of impartial Justice. Theft, House-breaking and Murther are not to be prevented by the Scarlet Gownsa of the Aldermen, the Gold Chains of the Sheriffs, the fine Trappings of their Horses, or any gaudy Shew whatever: Those pageant Ornaments are beneficial another way; they are eloquent Lectures to Prentices, and the use of them is to animate not to deter: butb Men of abandon’d Principles must be aw’d by rugged Officers, strong Prisons, watchful Jailors, the Hangman and the Gallows. If London was to be one Week destitute of Constables and Watchmen to guard the Houses a-nights, half the Bankers would be ruin’d in that time, and if my Lord Mayor had nothing to defend himself but his great two-handed Sword, the huge Cap of Maintenance, and his gilded Mace, he would soon be strip’d in the very Streets of the City of all his Finery in his stately Coach.
But let us grant that the Eyes of the Mobility are to be dazzled with a gaudy outside; if Virtue was the chief Delight of great Men, why should their Extravagance be extended to Things not understood by the Mob, and wholly removed from publick View, I mean their private Diversions, the Pomp and Luxury of the Dining-room and the Bed-chamber, and the Curiosities of the Closet? Few of the Vulgar know that there is Wine of a Guinea the Bottle, that Birds no bigger than Larks are often sold for half a Guinea a-piece, or that a single Picture may be worth several thousand Pounds: Besides, is it to be imagin’d, that unless it was to please their own Appetitesc Men should put themselves to such vast Expences for a Political Shew, and be so sollicitous to gain the Esteem of those whom they so much despise in every thing else? If we allow that the Splendor and all the Elegancy of a Court area insipid, and only tiresome to the Prince himself, and are altogether made use of to preserve Royal Majesty from Contempt, can we say the same of half a dozen illegitimate Children, most of them the Offspring of Adultery by the same Majesty, got, educated, and made Princes at the Expence of the Nation? Therefore it is evident, that this awing of the Multitude by a distinguish’d manner of living, is only a Cloke and Pretence, under which great Men would shelter their Vanity, and indulge every Appetite about them without Reproach.
A Burgomaster of Amsterdam in his plain, black Suit, follow’d perhaps by one Footman, is fully as much respected and better obey’d than a Lord Mayor of London with all his splendid Equipage and great Train of Attendance. Where there is a real Power it is ridiculous to think that any Temperance or Austerity of Life should ever render the Person in whom that Power is lodg’d contemptible in his Office, from an Emperor to the Beadle of a Parish. Cato in his Government of Spain, in which he acquitted himself with so much Glory, had only three Servants to attend him;1 do we hear that any of his Orders were ever slighted for this, notwithstanding that he lov’d his Bottle? And when that great Man march’d on Foot thro’ the scorching Sands of Libya, and parch’d up with Thirst, refus’d to touch the Water that was brought him, before all his Soldiers had drank,2 do we ever read that this Heroick Forbearance weakned his Authority, or lessen’d him in the Esteem of his Army? But what need we go so far off? There has not these many Ages been a Prince less inclin’d to Pomp and Luxury than the† present King of Sweden, who enamour’d with the Title of Hero, has not only sacrific’d the Lives of his Subjects, and Welfare of his Dominions, but (what is more uncommon in Sovereigns) his own Ease, and all the Comforts of Life, to an implacable Spirit of Revenge; yet he is obey’d to the Ruin of his People, in obstinately maintaining a War that has almost utterly destroy’d his Kingdom.1
†This was wrote in 1714.aThus I have prov’d, that the real Pleasures of all Men in Nature are worldly and sensual, if we judge from their Practice; I say all Men in Nature, because Devout Christians, who alone are to be excepted here, being regenerated, and preternaturally assisted by the Divine Grace, cannot be said to be in Nature. How strange it is, that they should all so unanimously deny it! Ask not only the Divines and Moralists of every Nation, but likewise all that are rich and powerful, about real Pleasure, and they’ll tell you, with the Stoicks that there can be no true Felicity in Things Mundane and Corruptible: but then look upon their Lives, and you will find they take delight in no other.
What must we do in this Dilemma? Shall we be so uncharitable, as judging from Mens Actions to say, That all the World prevaricates, and that this is not their Opinion, let them talk what they will? Or shall we be so silly, as relying on what they say, to think them sincere in their Sentiments, and so not believe our own Eyes? Or shall we rather endeavour to believe our selves and them too, and say with Montagne, that they imagine, and are fully persuaded, that they believe what yet they do not believe? These are his Words; Some impose on the World, and would be thought to believe what they really don’t: but much the greater number impose upon themselves, not considering nor thoroughly apprehending what it is to believe.1 But this is making all Mankind either Fools or Impostors, which to avoid, there is nothing left us, buta to say what Mr. Bayle has endeavour’d to prove at large in his Reflexions on Comets: That Man is so unaccountable a Creature as to act most commonly against his Principle;2 and this is so far from being injurious, that it is a Compliment to Human Nature, for we must say either this or worse.
This Contradiction in the Frame of Man is the Reason that the Theory of Virtue is so well understood, and the Practice of it so rarely to be met with. If you ask me where to look for those beautiful shining Qualities of Prime Ministers, and the great Favourites of Princes that are so finely painted in Dedications, Addresses, Epitaphs, Funeral Sermons and Inscriptions, I answer There, and no where else. Where would you look for the Excellency of a Statue, but in that Part which you see of it? ’Tis the Polish’d Outside only that has the Skill and Labour of the Sculptor to boast of; what’s out of sight is untouch’d. Would you break the Head or cut open the Breast to look for the Brains or the Heart, you’d only shew your Ignorance, and destroy the Workmanship. This has often made me compare the Virtues of great Men to your large China Jars: they make a fine Shew, and are Ornamental evena to a Chimney; one would by the Bulk they appear in, and the Value that is set upon ’em,b think they might be very useful, but look into a thousand of them, and you’ll find nothing in them but Dust and Cobwebs.
(P.)a —— —— The very Poor Liv’d better than the Rich before: Page 11. Line 13.
IF we trace the most flourishing Nations in their Origin, we shall find that in the remote Beginnings of every Society, the richest and most considerable Men among them were a great while destitute of a great many Comforts of Life that are now enjoy’d by the meanest and most humble Wretches: So that many things which were once look’d upon as the Invention of Luxury, are now allow’d even to those that are so miserably poor as to become the Objects of publick Charity, nay counted so necessary, that we think no Human Creature ought to want them.
In the first Ages, Man, without doubt, fed on the Fruits of the Earth, without any previous Preparation, and reposed himself naked like other Animals on the Lap of their common Parent: Whatever has contributed since to make Life more comfortable, as it must have been the Result of Thought, Experience, and some Labour, so it more or less deserves the Name of Luxury, the more or less trouble it required, and deviated from the primitive Simplicity. Our Admiration is extended no farther than tob what is new to us, and we all overlook the Excellency of Things we are used to, be they never so curious. A Man would be laugh’d at, that should discover Luxury in the plain Dress of a poor Creature that walks along in a thick Parish Gown and a course Shirt underneath it; and yet what a number of People, how many different Trades, and what a variety of Skill and Tools must be employed to have the most ordinary Yorkshire Cloth? What depth of Thought and Ingenuity, what Toil and Labour, and what length of Time must it have cost, before Man could learn from a Seed to raise and prepare so useful a Product as Linen.
Must that Society not be vainly curious, among whom this admirable Commodity, after it is made, shall not be thought fit to be used even by the poorest of all, before it is brought to a perfect Whiteness, which is not to be procur’d but by the Assistance of all the Elements join’d to a world of Industry and Patience? I have not done yet: Can we reflect not only on the Cost laid out upon this Luxurious Invention, but likewise on the little time the Whiteness of it continues, in which part of its Beauty consists, that every six or seven Days at farthesta it wants cleaning, and while it lasts is a continual Charge to the Wearer; can we, I say, reflect on all this, and not think it an extravagant Piece of Nicety, that even those who receive Alms of the Parish, should not only have whole Garments made of this operose Manufacture, but likewise that as soon as they are soil’d, to restore them to their pristine Purity, they should make use of one of the most judicious as well as difficult Compositions that Chymistry can boast of; with which, dissolv’d in Water by the help of Fire, the most detersive, and yet innocent Lixivium is prepar’d that Human Industry has hitherto been able to invent?
It is certain, Time was that the things I speak of would have bore those lofty Expressions, and in which every Body would have reason’d after the same manner; but the Age we live in would call a Man Fool who should talk of Extravagance and Nicety, if he saw a Poor Woman, after having wore her Crown Cloth Smock a whole Week, wash it with a bit of stinking Soap of a Groat a Pound.
The Arts of Brewing, and making Bread, have by slow degrees been brought to the Perfection they now areb in, but to have invented them at once, and à priori, would have required more Knowledge and a deeper Insight into the Nature of Fermentation, than the greatest Philosopher has hitherto been endowed with; yet the Fruits of both are now enjoy’d by the meanest of our Species, and a starving Wretch knows not how to make a more humble, or a more modest Petition, than by asking for a Bit of Bread, or a Draught of Small Beer.
Man has learn’d by Experience, that nothing was softer than the small Plumes and Down of Birds, and found that heap’d together they would by their Elasticity gently resist any incumbent Weight, and heave up again of themselves as soon as the Pressure is over. To make use of them to sleep upon was, no doubt, first invented to compliment the Vanity as well as Ease of the Wealthy and Potent; but they are long since become so common, that almost every Body lies upon Featherbeds, and to substitute Flocks in the room of them is counted a misera-ble Shift of the most Necessitous. What a vast height must Luxury have been arriv’d to before it could be reckon’d a Hardship to repose upon the soft Wool of Animals!
From Caves, Huts, Hovels, Tents and Barracks, with which Mankind took up at first we are come to warm and well-wrought Houses, and the meanest Habitations to be seen in Cities, are regular Buildings contriv’d by Persons skill’d in Proportions and Architecture. If the Ancient Britons and Gauls should come out of their Graves, with what Amazement wou’d they gaze on the mighty Structures every where rais’d for the Poor! Should they behold the Magnificence of a Chelsey-College,1 a Greenwich-Hospital ,1 or what surpasses all them, a Des Invalides at Paris, and see the Care, the Plenty, the Superfluities and Pomp, which People that have no Possessions at all are treated with in those stately Palaces, those who were once the greatest and richest ofa the Land would have Reason to envy the most reduced of our Species now.
Another Piece of Luxury the Poor enjoy, that is not look’d upon as such, and which there is no doubt but the Wealthiest in a Golden Age would abstain from, is their making use of the Flesh of Animals to eat. In what concerns the Fashions and Manners of the Ages Men live in, they never examine into the real Worth or Merit of the Cause, and generally judge of things not as their Reason, but Custom directb them. Time was when the Funeral Rites in the disposing of the Dead were perform’d by Fire, and the Cadavers of the greatest Emperors were burnt to Ashes. Then burying the Corps in the Ground was a Funeral for Slaves, or madec a Punishment for the worst of Malefactors. Now nothing is decent or honourable but interring, and burning the Body is reserv’d for Crimes of the blackest dye. At some times we look upon Trifles with Horror, at other times we can behold Enormities without Concern. If we see a Man walk with his Hat on in a Church, though out of Service time, it shocks us, but if on a Sunday Night we meet half a dozen Fellows Drunk in the Street, the Sight makes little or no Impression upon us. If a Woman at a Merry-making dresses in Man’s Clothes, it is reckon’d a Frolick amongst Friends, and he that finds too much Fault with it is counted censorious: Upon the Stage it isd done without Reproach, and the most Virtuous Ladies will dispense with it in an Actress, tho’ every Body has a full View of her Legs and Thighs; but if the same Woman, as soon as she has Petticoats on again, should show her Leg to a Man as high as her Knee, it would be a very immodest Action, and every Body will call her impudent for it.
I have often thought, if it was not for this Tyranny which Custom usurps over us, that Men of any tolerable Good-nature could never be reconcil’d to the killing of so many Animals for their daily Food, as long as the bountiful Earth so plentifully provides them with Varieties of vegetable Dainties. I know that Reason excites our Compassion but faintly, and therefore I would not wonder how Men should so little commiserate such imperfect Creatures as Crayfish, Oysters, Cockles, and indeed all Fish in general: As they are mute, and their inward Formation, as well as outward Figure, vastly different from ours, they express themselves unintelligibly to us, and therefore ’tis not strange that their Grief should not affect our Understanding which it cannot reach; for nothing stirs us to Pity so effectually, as when the Symptoms of Misery strike immediately upon our Senses, and I have seen People mov’d at the Noise a live Lobster makes upon the Spit, that could have kill’d half a dozen Fowls with Pleasure. But in such perfect Animals as Sheep and Oxen, in whom the Heart, the Brain and Nerves differ so little from ours, and in whom the Separation of the Spirits1 from the Blood, the Organs of Sense, and consequently Feeling it self, are the same as they are in Human Creatures; I can’t imagine how a Man not hardned in Blood and Massacre, is able to see a vio-lent Death, and the Pangs of it, without Concern.
In answer to this, most People will think it sufficient to say, that all Things being allow’d to be made for the Service of Man, there can be no Cruelty in putting Creatures to the use they were design’d for; but I have heard Men make this Reply, while their Nature within them has reproach’d them with the Falshood of the Assertion. There is of all the Multitude not one Man in ten but what will own, (if he was not brought up in a Slaughter-house) that of all Trades he could never have been a Butcher; and I question whether ever any body so much as killed a Chicken without Reluctancy the first time. Some People are not to be persuaded to taste of any Creatures they have daily seen and been acquainted with, while they were alive; others extend their Scruple no further than to their own Poultry, and refuse to eat what they fed and took care of themselves; yet all of them will feed heartily and without Remorse on Beef, Mutton and Fowls when they are bought in the Market. In this Behaviour, methinks, there appears something like a Consciousness of Guilt, it looks as if they endeavour’d to save themselves from the Imputation of a Crime (which they know sticks somewhere) by removing the Cause of it as far as they can from themselves; and I can discover in it some strong remains of Primitive Pity and Innocence, which all the arbitrary Power of Custom, and the violence of Luxury, have not yet been able to conquer.
What I build upon I shall be told is a Folly that wise Men are not guilty of: I own it; but while it proceeds from a real Passion inherent in our Nature, it is sufficient to demonstrate that we are born with a Repugnancy to the killing, and consequently the eating of Animals; for it is impossible that a natural Appetite should ever prompt us to act, or desire others to do, what we have an Aversion to, be it as foolish as it will.
Every body knows, that Surgeons in the Cure of dangerous Wounds and Fractures, the Extirpationsa of Limbs, and other dreadful Operations, are often compell’d to put their Patients to extraordinary Torments, and that the more desperate and calamitous Cases occur to them, the more the Outcries and bodily Sufferings of others must become familiar to them; for this Reason our English Law, out of a most affectionate Regard to the Lives of the Subject, allows them not to be of any Jury upon Life and Death, as supposing that their Practice it self is sufficient to harden and extinguish in them that Tenderness, without which no Man is capable of setting a true Value upon the Lives of his Fellow-creatures. Now if we ought to have no Concern for what we do to Brute Beasts, and there was not imagin’d to be any Cruelty in killing them, why should of all Callings Butchers, and only they jointly with Surgeons, be excluded from being Jury-men by the same Law?1
I shall urge nothing of what Pythagoras and many other Wise Men have said concerning this Barbarity of eating Flesh; I have gone too much out of my way already, and shall therefore beg the Reader, if he would have any more of this, to run over the following Fable, or else, if he be tired, to let it alone, with an Assurance that in doing of either he shall equally oblige me.
A Roman Merchant in one of the Carthaginian Wars was cast away upon the Coast of Africk: Himself and his Slave with great Difficulty got safe ashore; but going in quest of Relief, were met by aa Lion of a mighty Size. It happened to be one of the Breed that rang’d in Æsop’s Days, and one that could not only speak several Languages, but seem’d moreover very well acquainted with Human Affairs. The Slave got upon a Tree, but his Master not thinking himself safe there, and having heard much of the Generosity of Lions, fell down prostrate before him, with all the Signs of Fear and Submission. The Lion, who had lately fill’d his Belly, bids him rise, and for a while lay by his Fears, assuring him withal, that he should not be touch’d, if he could give him any tolerable Reasons why he should not be devoured. The Merchant obeyed; and having now received some glimmering Hopes of Safety, gave a dismal Account of the Shipwrack he had suffered, and endeavouring from thence to raise the Lion’s Pity, pleaded his Cause with abundance of good Rhetorick; but observing by the Countenance of the Beastb that Flattery and fine Words made very little Impression, he betook himself to Arguments of greater Solidity, and reasoning from the Excellency of Man’s Nature and Abilities, remonstrated how improbable it was that the Gods should not have designed him for a better use than to be eat by Savage Beasts. Upon this the Lion became more attentive, and vouchsafed now and then a Reply, till at last the following Dialogue ensued between them.
Oh Vain and Covetous Animal, (said the Lion) whose Pride and Avarice can make him leave his Native Soil, where his Natural Wants might be plentifully supply’d, and try rough Seas and dangerous Mountains to find out Superfluities, why should you esteem your Species above ours? And if the Gods have given you a Superiority over all Creatures, then why beg you of an Inferior? Our Superiority (answer’d the Merchant) consists not in bodily force but strength of Understanding; the Gods have endued us with a Rational Soul, which, tho’ invisible, is much the better part of us. I desire to touch nothing of you but what is good to eat; but why do you value your self so much upon that part which is invisible? Because it is Immortal, and shall meet with Rewards after Death for the Actions of this Life, and the Just shall enjoy eternal Bliss and Tranquillity with the Heroes and Demi-Gods in the Elysian Fields. What Life have you led? I have honoured the Gods, and study’d to be beneficial to Man. Then why do you fear Death, if you think the Gods as just as you have been? I have a Wife and five small Children that must come to Want if they lose me. I have two Whelps that are not big enough to shift for themselves, that are in want now, and must actually be starv’d if I can provide nothing for them: Your Children will be provided for one way or other; at least as well when I have eat you as if you had been drown’d.
As to the Excellency of either Species, the value of things among you has ever increas’d with the Scarcity of them, and to a Million of Men there is hardly one Lion; besides that, in the great Veneration Man pretends to have for his Kind, there is little Sincerity farther than it concerns the Share which every ones Pride has in it for himself; ’tis a Folly to boast of the Tenderness shewn and Attendance given to your young ones, or the excessive and lasting Trouble bestow’d in the Education of ’ema : Man being born the most necessitous and most helpless Animal, this is only an Instinct of Nature, which in all Creatures has ever proportion’d the Care of the Parents to the Wants and Imbecillities of the Offspring. But if ab Man had a real Value for his kind, how is it possible that often Ten Thousand of them, and sometimes Ten times as many, should be destroy’d in few Hours for the Caprice of two? All degrees of Men despise those that are inferior to them, and if you could enter into the Hearts of Kings and Princes, you would hardly find any but what have less Value for the greatest Part of the Multitudes they rule over, than those have for the Cattle that belonga to them. Why should so many pretend to derive their Race, tho’ but spuriously, from the immortal Gods; why should all of them suffer others to kneel down before them, and more or less take delight in having Divine Honours pay’d them, but to insinuate that themselves are of a more exalted Nature, and a Species superior to that of their Subjects?
Savage I am, but no Creature can be call’d cruel but what either by Malice or Insensibility extinguishes his natural Pity: The Lion was born without Compassion; we follow the Instinct of our Nature; the Gods have appointed us to live upon the Waste and Spoil of other Animals, and as long as we can meet with dead ones, we never hunt after the Living. ’Tis only Man, mischievous Man, that can make Death a Sport.1 Nature taught your Stomach to crave nothing but Vegetables; but your violent Fondness to change, and greater Eagerness after Novelties, have prompted you to the Destruction of Animals without Justice or Necessity, perverted your Nature and warp’d your Appetites which way soever your Pride or Luxury have call’d them. The Lion has a Ferment within him that consumes the toughest Skin and hardest Bones as well as the Flesh of all Animals without Exception: Your squeamish Stomach, in which the Digestive Heat is weak and inconsiderable, won’t so much as admit of the most tender Parts of them, unless above half the Concoction has been perform’d by artificial Fire beforehand; and yet what Animal have you spared to satisfy the Caprices of a languid Appetite? Languid I say; for what is Man’s Hunger if compar’d to the Lion’s? Yours, when it is at the worst,a makes you Faint, mine makes me Mad: Oft have I tried with Roots and Herbs to allay the Violence of it, but in vain; nothing but large Quantities of Flesh can any ways appease it.
Yet the Fierceness of our Hunger notwithstanding, Lions have often requited Benefits received; but ungrateful and perfidious Man feeds on the Sheep that clothes him, and spares not her innocent young ones, whom he has taken into his Care and Custody. If you tell me the Gods made Man Master over all other Creatures, what Tyranny was it then to destroy them out of Wantonness? No, fickle timorous Animal, the Gods have made you for Society, and design’d that Millions of you, when well join’d together, should compose the strong Leviathan.1 A single Lion bears some Sway in the Creation, but what is single Man? A small and inconsiderable part, a trifling Atom of one great Beast. What Nature designs she executes, and ’tis not safe to judge of what she purpos’d, but from the Effects she shews: If she had intended that Man, as Man from a Superiority of Species, should lord it over all other Animals, the Tiger, nay, the Whale and Eagle, would have obey’d his Voice.
But if your Wit and Understanding exceeds ours, ought not the Lion in deference to that Superiority to follow the Maxims of Men, with whom nothing is more sacred than that the Reason of the strongest is ever the most prevalent?1 Whole Multitudes of you have conspir’d and compass’d the Destruction of one, after they had own’d the Gods had made him their Superior; and one has often ruin’d and cut off whole Multitudes, whom by the same Gods he had sworn to defend and maintain. Man never acknowledg’d Superiority without Power, and why should I? The Excellence I boast of is visible, all Animals tremble at the sight of the Lion, not out of Panick Fear. The Gods have given me Swiftness to overtake, and Strength to conquer whatever comes near me. Where is there a Creature that has Teeth and Claws like mine; behold the Thickness of these massy Jaw-bones, consider the Width of them, and feel the Firmness of this brawny Neck. The nimblest Deer, the wildest Boar, the stoutest Horse, and strongest Bull are my Prey wherever I meet them.2 Thus spoke the Lion, and the Merchant fainted away.
The Lion, in my Opinion, has stretch’d the Point too far; yet when to soften the Flesh of Male Animals, we have by Castration prevented the Firmness their Tendons and every Fibre would have come to without it, I confess, I think it ought to move a human Creature when he reflects upon the cruel Care with which they are fatned for Destruction. When a large and gentle Bullock, after having resisted a ten times greater force of Blows than would have kill’d his Murderer, falls stunn’d at last, and his arm’d Head is fasten’d to the Ground with Cords; as soon as the wide Wound is made, and the Jugulars are cut asunder, what Mortal cana without Compassion hear the painful Bellowings intercepted by his Blood, the bitter Sighs that speak the Sharpness of his Anguish, and the deep sounding Grones with loud Anxiety fetch’d from the bottom of his strong and palpitating Heart; Look on the trembling and violent Convulsions of his Limbs; see, while his reeking Gore streams from him, his Eyes become dim and languid, and behold his Strugglings, Gasps and last Efforts for Life, the certain Signs of his approaching Fate? When a Creature has given such convincing and undeniable Proofs of the Terrors upon him, and the Pains and Agonies he feels, is there a Follower of Descartes so inur’d to Blood, as not to refute, by his Commiseration, the Philosophy of that vain Reasoner?1
(Q.)b —— —— —— For frugally They now liv’d on their Salary: Page 17. Line 3.
WHEN People have small comings in, and are honest withal, it is then that the Generality of them begin to be frugal, and not before. Frugality in Ethicks is call’d that Virtue from the Principle of which Men abstain from Superfluities, and despising the operose Contrivances of Art to procure either Ease or Pleasure, content themselves with the natural Simplicity of things, and are carefully temperate in the Enjoyment of them without any Tincture of Covetousness. Frugality thus limited, is perhaps scarcer than many may imagine; but what is generally understood by it is a Quality more often to be met with, and consists in a Medium between Profuseness and Avarice, rather leaning to the latter. As this prudent Oeconomy, which some People call Saving, is in private Families the most certain Method to increase an Estate, soa some imagine that whether a Country be barren or fruitful, the same Method, if generally pursued (which they think practicable) will have the same Effect upon a whole Nation,1 and that, for Example, the English might be much richer than they are, if they would be as frugal as some of their Neighbours. This, I think, is an Error, which to prove I shall first refer the Reader to what has been said upon this head in Remark (L.) and then go on thus.
Experience teaches us first, that as People differ in their Views and Perceptions of Things, so they vary in their Inclinations; one Man is given to Covetousness, another to Prodigality, and a third is only Saving. Secondly, that Men are never, or at least very seldom, reclaimed from their darling Passions, either by Reason or Precept, and that if any thing ever draws ’em from what they are naturally propense to, it must be a Change in their Circumstances or their Fortunes. If we reflect upon these Observations, we shall find that to render the generality of a Nation lavish, the Product of the Country must be considerable in proportion to the Inhabitants, and what they are profuse of cheap; that on the contrary, to make a Nation generally frugal, the Necessaries of Life must be scarce, and consequently dear; and that therefore let the best Politician do what he can, the Profuseness or Frugality of a People in general, must always depend upon, and will in spite of his Teeth, be ever proportion’d to the Fruitfulness and Product of the Country, the Number of Inhabitants, and the Taxes they are to bear.1 If any body would refute what I have said, let hima only prove from History, that there ever was in any Country a National Frugality without a National Necessity.
Let us examine then what things are requisite to aggrandize and enrich a Nation. The first desirable Blessings for any Society of Men areb a fertile Soil and a happy Climate, a mild Government, and more Land than People. These Things will render Man easy, loving, honest and sincere. In this Condition they may be as Virtuous as they can, without the least Injury to the Publick, and consequently as happy as they please themselves. But they shall have no Arts or Sciences, or be quiet longer than their Neighbours will let them; they must be poor, ignorant, and almost wholly destitute of what we call the Comforts of Life, and all the Cardinal Virtues together won’t so much as procure a tolerable Coat or a Porridge-Pot among them:c For in this State of slothful Ease and stupid Innocence, as you need not fear great Vices, so you must not expect any considerable Virtues. Man never exerts himself but when he is rous’d by his Desires: While they lie dormant, and there is nothing to raise them, his Excellence and Abilities will be for ever undiscover’d, and the lumpish Machine, without the Influence of his Passions, may be justly compar’d to a huge Wind-mill without a breath of Air.
Would you render a Society of Men strong and powerful, you must touch their Passions. Divide the Land, tho’ there be never so much to spare, and their Possessions will make them Covetous: Rouse them, tho’ but in Jest, from their Idleness with Praises, and Pride will set them to work in earnest: Teach them Trades and Handicrafts, and you’ll bring Envy and Emulation among them: To increase their Numbers, set up a Variety of Manufactures, and leave no Ground uncultivated; Let Property be inviolably secured, and Privileges equal to all Men; Suffer no body to act but what is lawful, and every body to think what he pleases; for a Country where every body may be maintained that will be employ’d, and the other Maxims are observ’d, must always be throng’d and can never want People, as long as there is any in the World. Would you have them bold and Warlike, turn to Military Discipline, make good use of their Fear, and flatter their Vanity with Art and Assiduity: But would you moreover render them an opulent, knowing and polite Nation, teach ’em Commerce with Foreign Countries, and if possible get into the Sea, which to compass spare no Labour nor Indus-try, and let no Difficulty deter you from it: Then promote Navigation, cherish the Merchant, and encourage Trade in every Branch of it; this will bring Riches, and where they are, Arts and Sciences will soon follow, and by the Help of what I have named and good Management, it is that Politicians can make a People potent, renown’d and flourishing.
But would you have a frugal and honest Society, the best Policy is to preserve Men in their Native Simplicity, strive not to increase their Numbers; let them never be acquainted with Strangers or Superfluities, but remove and keep from them every thing that might raise their Desires, or improve their Understanding.
Great Wealth and Foreign Treasure will ever scorn to come among Men, unless you’ll admit their inseparable Companions, Avarice and Luxury: Where Trade is considerable Fraud will intrude. To be at once well-bred and sincere, is no less than a Contradiction; and therefore while Man advances in Knowledge, and his Manners are polish’d, we must expect to see at the same time his Desires enlarg’d, his Appetites refin’d, and his Vices increas’d.
The Dutch may ascribe theira present Grandeur to the Virtue and Frugality of their Ancestors as they please; but what made that contemptible Spot of Ground so considerable among the principal Powers of Europe, has been their Political Wisdom in postponing every thing to Merchandize and Navigation, the unlimited Liberty of Conscience that is enjoy’d among them, and the unwearied Application with which they have always made use of the most effectual means to encourage and increase Trade in general.
They never were noted for Frugality before Philip II. of Spain began to rage over them with that unheard-of Tyranny. Their Laws were trampled upon, their Rights and large Immunities taken from them, and their Constitution torn to pieces. Several of their Chief Nobles were condemn’d and executed without legal Form of Process. Complaints and Remonstrances were punish’d as severely as Resistance, and those that escaped being massacred, were plundered by ravenous Soldiers. As this was intolerable to a People that had always been used to the mildest of Governments, and enjoy’d greater Privileges than any of the Neighbouring Nations, so they chose rather to die in Arms than perish by cruel Executioners. If we consider the Strength Spain had then, and the low Circumstances those Distress’d States were in, there never was heard of a more unequal Strife; yet such was their Fortitude and Resolution, that only seven of those Provinces1 uniting themselves together, maintain’d against the greatest, and best-disciplin’d Nation in Europe, the most tedious and bloody War, that is to be met with in ancient or modern History.a
Rather than to become a Victim to thebSpanish Fury,2 they were contented to live upon a third Part of their Revenues, and lay out far the greatest Part of their Income in defending themselves against their merciless Enemies. These Hardships and Calamities of a War within their Bowels, first put them upon that extraordinary Frugality, and the Continuance under the same Difficulties for above Fourscore Years, could not but render it Customary and Habitual to them. But all their Arts of Saving, and Penurious way of Living, could never have enabled them to make head against so Potent an Enemy, if their Industry in promoting their Fishery and Navigation in general, had not help’d to supply the Natural Wants and Disadvantages they labour’d under.
The Country is so small and so populous, that there is not Land enough, (though hardly an Inch of it is unimprov’d) to feed the Tenth Part of the Inhabitants. Holland it self is full of large Rivers, and lies lower than the Sea, which would run over it every Tide, and wash it away in one Winter, if it was not kept out by vast Banks and huge Walls: The Repairs of those, as well as their Sluices, Keys, Mills, and other Necessaries they are forc’d to make use of to keep themselves from being drown’d, are a greater Expence to them one Year with another, than could be rais’d by a general Land Tax of Four Shillings in the Pound, if to be deducted from the neat Produce of the Landlord’s Revenue.
Is it aa Wonder that People under such Circumstances, and loaden with greater Taxes besides than any other Nation, should be obliged to be saving? But why must they be a Pattern to others, who besides that they are more happily situated, are much richer within themselves, and have, to the same Number of People, above ten times the Extent of Ground? The Dutch and we often buy and sell at the same Markets, and so far our Views may be said to be the same: Otherwise the Interests and Political Reasonsb of the two Nations as to the private Oeconomy of either, are very different. It is their Interest to be frugal and spend little: Because they must have every thing from abroad, except Butter, Cheese and Fish, and therefore of them, especially the latter, they consume three times the Quantity, which the same Number of People do here. It is our Interest to eat plenty of Beef and Mutton to maintain the Farmer, and further improve ourc Land, of which we have enough to feed our selves, and as many more, if it was better cultivated. The Dutch perhaps have more Shipping, and more ready Money than we, but then thosed are only to be considered as the Tools they work with. So a Carrier may have more Horses than a Man of ten times his Worth, and a Banker that has not above fifteen or sixteen Hundred Pounds in the World, may have generally more ready Cash by him than a Gentleman of two Thousand a Year. He that keeps three or four Stage-Coaches to get his Bread, is to a Gentleman that keeps a Coach for his Pleasure, what the Dutch are in comparison to us; having nothing of their own but Fish, they are Carriers and Freighters to the rest of the World, while the Basis of our Trade chiefly depends upon our own Product.
Another Instance, that what makes the Bulk of the People saving, are heavy Taxes, scarcity of Land, and such Things that occasion a Dearth of Provisions, may be given from what is observable among the Dutch themselves. In the Province of Holland there is a vast Trade, and an unconceivable Treasure of Money. The Land is almost as rich as Dung it self, and (as I have said once already) not an Inch of it unimprov’d. In Gelderland and Overyssel there’s hardly any Trade, and very little Money: The Soil is very indifferent, and abundance of Ground lies waste. Then what is the Reason that the same Dutch in the two latter Provinces, tho’ Poorer than the first, are yet less stingy and more hospitable? Nothing but that their Taxes in most Things are less Extravagant, and in proportion to the Number of People, theya have a great deal more ground. What they save in Holland, they save out of their Bellies; ’tis Eatables, Drinkables and Fewel that their heaviest Taxes are upon, but they wear better Clothes, and have richer Furniture, than you’ll find in the other Provinces.
Those that are frugal by Principle, are so in every Thing, but in Holland the People are only sparing in such Things as are daily wanted, and soon consumed; in what is lasting they are quite otherwise: In Pictures and Marble they are profuse; in their Buildings and Gardens they are extravagant to Folly. In other Countries you may meet with stately Courts and Palaces of great Extent that belong to Princes, which no body can expect in a Commonwealth, where so much Equality is observ’d as there is in this; but in all Europe you shall find no private Buildings so sumptuously Magnificent, as a great many of the Merchants and other Gentlemen’s Houses are in Amsterdam, and some other great Cities of that small Province; and the generality of those that build there, lay out a greater proportiona of their Estates on the Houses they dwell in than any People upon the Earth.
The Nation I speak of was never in greater Straits, nor their Affairs in a more dismal Posture sinceb they were a Republick, than in the Year 1671, and the beginning of 1672.1 What we know of their Oeconomy and Constitution with any Certainty has been chiefly owing to Sir William Temple, whose Obser-vations upon their Manners and Government, itc is evident from several Passages in his Memoirs, were made about that time.2 The Dutch indeed were then very frugal; but since those Days and that their Calamities have not been so pressing, (tho’ the common People, on whom the principal Burthen of all Excises and Impositions lies,d are perhaps much as they were) a great Alteration has been made among the better sort of People in their Equipages, Entertainments, and whole manner of living.
Those who would have it that the Frugality of that Nation flows not so much from Necessity, as a general Aversion to Vice and Luxury, will put us in mind of their publick Administration and Smalness of Salaries, their Prudence in bargaining for and buying Stores and other Necessaries, the great Care they take not to be imposed upon by those that serve them, and their Severity against them that break their Contracts. But what they would ascribe to the Virtue and Honesty of Ministers, is wholly due to their strict Regulations, concerning the management of the publick Treasure, from which their admirable Form of Government will not suffer them to depart; and indeed one good Man may take another’s Word, if they so agree, but a whole Nation ought never to trust to any Honesty, but what is built upon Necessity; for unhappy is the People, and their Constitution will be ever precarious, whose Welfare must depend upon the Virtues and Consciences of Ministers and Politicians.
The Dutch generally endeavour to promote as much Frugality among their Subjects as ’tis possible, not because it is a Virtue, but because it is, generally speaking, their Interest, as I have shew’d before; for as this latter changes, so they alter their Maxims, as will be plain in the following Instance.
As soon as their East-India Ships come home, the Company pays off the Men, and many of them receive the greatest Part of what they have been earning in seven or eight, and some fifteen or sixteen Years time. These poor Fellows are encourag’d to spend their Money with all Profuseness imaginable; and considering that most of them, when they set out at first, were Reprobates, that under the Tuition of a strict Discipline, and a miserable Diet, have been so long kept at hard Labour without Money, in the midst of Danger, it cannot be difficult to make them lavish as soon as they have Plenty.
They squander away in Wine, Women and Musick, as much as People of their Taste and Education are well capable of, and are suffer’d (so they but abstain from doing of Mischief) to revel and riot with greater Licentiousness than is customary to be allow’d to others. You may in some Cities see them accompanied with three or four lewd Women, few of them sober, run roaring through the Streets by broad Day-light with a Fidler before them: And if the Money, to their thinking, goes not fast enough these ways, they’ll find out others, and sometimes fling it among the Mob by handfuls. This Madness continues in most of them while they have any thing left, which never lasts long, and for this Reason, by a Nick-name, they are called, Lords of six Weeks, that being generally the time by which the Company has other Ships ready to depart; where these infatuated Wretches (their Money being gone) are forc’d to enter themselves again, and may have leisure to repent their Folly.
In this Stratagem there is a double Policy: First, if these Sailors that have been inured to the hot Climates and unwholesome Air and Diet, should be frugal, and stay in their own Country, the Company would be continually oblig’d to employ fresh Men, of which (besides that they are not so fit for their Business) hardly one in two ever lives in some Places of the East-Indies, which would often prove a great Charge as well as Disappointment to them. The second is, that the large Sums so often distributed among those Sailors, are by this means made immediately to circulate throughout the Country, from whence, by heavy Excisesa and other Impositions, the greatest Part of it is soon drawn back into the publick Treasure.
To convince the Champions for National Frugality by another Argument, that what they urge is impracticable, we’ll suppose that I am mistaken in every thing which in Remark (L.) I have said in behalf of Luxury, and the necessity of it to maintain Trade: after that let us examine what a general Frugality, if it was by Art and Management to be forc’d upon People whether they have Occasion for it or not, would produce in suchb a Nation as ours. We’ll grant then that all the People in Great Britain shall consume but four Fifths of what they do now, and so lay byc one Fifth part of their Income: I shall not speak of what Influence this would have upon almost every Trade, as well as the Farmer, the Grazier and the Landlord, but favourably suppose (what is yet impossible) thata the same Work shall be done, and consequently the same Handicrafts be employ’d as there are now. The Consequence would be, that unless Money should all at once fall prodigiously in Value, and every thing else, contrary to Reason, grow very dear, at the five Years end all the working People, and the poorest of Labourers, (for I won’t meddle with any of the rest) wouldb be worth in ready Cash as much as they now spend in a whole Year; which, by the by, would be more Money than ever the Nation had at once.
Let us now, overjoy’d with this increase of Wealth, take a View of the Condition the working People would be in, and reasoning from Experience, and what we daily observe of them, judge what their Behaviour would be in such a Case. Every Body knows that there is a vast number of Journey-men Weavers, Tailors, Clothworkers, and twenty other Handicrafts; who, if by four Days Labour in a Week they can maintain themselves, will hardly be persuaded to work the fifth; and that there are Thousands of labouring Men of all sorts, who will, tho’ they can hardly subsist, put themselves to fifty Inconveniences, disoblige their Masters, pinch their Bellies, and run in Debt, to make Holidays. When Men shew such an extraordinary proclivity to Idleness and Pleasure, what reason have we to think that they would ever work, unless they were oblig’d to it by immediate Necessity?1 When we see an Artificer that cannot be drove to his Work before Tuesday, because the Monday Morning he has two Shillings left of his last Week’s Pay; why should we imagine he would go to it at all, if he had fifteen or twenty Pounds in his Pocket?
What would, at this rate, become of our Manufactures? If the Merchant would send Cloth Abroad, he must make it himself, for the Clothier cannot get one Man out of twelve that used to work for him. If what I speak of was only to befal the Journeymen Shoemakers, and no body else, in less than a Twelve-month half of us would go barefoot. The chief and most pressing use there is for Money in a Nation, is to pay the Labour of the Poor, and when there is a real Scarcity of it, those who have a great many Workmen to pay, will always feel it first; yet notwithstanding this great Necessity of Coin, it wou!d be easier, where Property was well secured, to live without Money than without Poor; for who would do the Work? For this Reason the quantity of circulating Coin in a Country ought always to be proportion’d to the number of Hands that are employ’d; and the Wages of Labourers to the Price of Provisions.a From whence it is demonstrable, that whateverb procures Plenty makes Labourersc cheap, where the Poor are well managed; who as they ought to be kept from starving, so they should receive nothing worth saving. If here and there one of the lowest Class by uncommon Industry, and pinching his Belly, lifts himself above the Condition he was brought up in, no body ought to hinder him; Nay it is undeniably the wisest course for every Person in the Society, and for every private Family to be frugal; but it is the Interest of all rich Nations, that the greatest part of the Poor should almost never be idle, and yet continually spend what they get.
All Men, as Sir William Temple observes very well,1 are more prone to Ease and Pleasure than they are to Labour, when they are not prompted to ita by Pride or Avarice, and those that get their Living by their daily Labour, are seldom powerfullyb influenc’d by either: So that they have nothing to stir them up to be serviceable but their Wants, which it is Prudence to relieve, but Folly to cure. The only thing then that can render the labouringc Man industrious, is a moderate quantity of Money; for as too little will, according as his Temper is, either dispirit or make him Desperate, so too much will make him Insolent and Lazy.
A Man would be laugh’d at by most People, who should maintain that too much Money could undo a Nation. Yet this has been the Fate of Spain;2 to this the learned Don Diego Savedra ascribes the Ruin of his Country.3 The Fruits of the Earth in former Ages had made Spain so rich, that King Lewis XI. of France being come to the Court of Toledo,1 was astonish’d at its Splendour, and said, that he had never seen any thing to be compar’d to it, either in Europe or Asia; he that in his Travels to the Holy-Land had run through every Province of them. In the Kingdom of Castille alone, (if we may believe some Writers) therea were for the Holy War from all Parts of the World got together one hundred thousand Foot, ten thousand Horse, and sixty thousand Carriages for Baggage, which Alonso III.2 maintain’d at his own Charge, and paid every Day as well Soldiers as Officers and Princes, every one according to his Rank and Dignity: Nay, down to the Reign of Fer-dinand and Isabella, (who equipp’d Columbus) and some time after, Spain was a fertile Country, where Trade and Manufactures flourished, and had a knowing industrious People to boast of. But as soon as that mighty Treasure, that was obtain’d with more Hazard and Cruelty than the World ’till then had known, and which to come at, by the Spaniard’s own Confession,3 had cost the Lives of twenty Millions of Indians; as soon, I say, as that Ocean of Treasure came rolling in upon them, it took away their Senses, and their Industry forsook them. The Farmer left his Plough, the Mechanick his Tools, the Merchant his Compting-house, and every body scorning to work, took his Pleasure and turn’d Gentleman. They thought they had reason to value themselves above all their Neighbours, and now nothing but the Conquest of the World would serve them.1
The Consequence of this has been, that other Nations have supply’d what their own Sloth and Pride deny’d them; and when every body saw, that notwithstanding all the Prohibitions the Government could make against the Exportation of Bullion, the Spaniard would part with his Money, and bring it you aboard himself at the hazard of his Neck, all the World endeavoured to work for Spain. Gold and Silver being by this Means yearly divided and shared among all the trading Countries, have made all Things dear, and most Nations of Europe industrious, except their Owners, who ever since their mighty Acquisitions, sit with their Arms across, and wait every Year with impatience and anxiety, the arrival of their Revenues from Abroad, to pay others for what they have spent already: and thus by too much Money, the making of Colonies and other Mismanagements, of which it was the occasion, Spain is from a fruitful and well-peopled Country, with all its mighty Titles and Possessions, made a barren and empty Thoroughfare, thro’ which Gold and Silver pass from America to the rest of the World; and the Nation, from a rich, acute, diligent and laborious, become a slow, idle, proud and beggarly People; so much for Spain. The next Country where Money may be called the Product is Portugal, and the Figure which that Kingdom with all its Gold makes in Europe, I think is not much to be envied.
The great Art then to make a Nation happy and what we call flourishing, consists in giving every Body an Opportunity of being employ’d; which to compass, let a Government’s first care be to promote as great a variety of Manufactures, Arts, and Handicrafts, as Human Wit can invent; and the second to encourage Agriculture and Fishery in all their Branches, that the whole Earth may be forc’d to exert it self as well as Man; for as the one is an infallible Maxim to draw vast Multitudes of People into a Nation, so the other is the only Method to maintain them.
It is from this Policy, and not the trifling Regulations of Lavishness and Frugality, (which will ever take their own Course, according to the Circumstances of the People) that the Greatness and Felicity of Nations must be expected; for let the Value of Gold and Silver either rise or fall, the Enjoyment of all Societies will ever depend upon the Fruits of the Earth, and the Labour of the People;1 both which joined together are a more certain, a more inexhaustible, and a more real Treasure, than the Gold of Brazil, or the Silver of Potosi.1
(R.)a No Honour now, &c: Page 17. Line 17.
HOnour in its Figurative Sense is a Chimera without Truth or Being, an Invention of Moralists and Politicians, and signifies a certain Principle of Virtue2 not related to Religion, found in some Men that keeps ’em close to their Duty and Engagements whatever they be; as for Example, a Man of Honour enters into a Conspiracy with others to murder a King; he is obliged to go thorough Stitch with it; and if overcome by Remorse or Good-nature he startles at the Enormity of his Purpose, discovers the Plot, and turns a Witness against his Accomplices, he then forfeits his Honour, at least among the Party he belonged to. The Excellency of this Principle is, that the Vulgar are destitute of it, and it is only to be met with in People of the better sort, as some Oranges have Kernels, and others not, tho’ the out-side be the same. In great Families it is like the Gout, generally counted Hereditary, and all Lords Children are born with it. In some that never felt any thing of it, it is acquired by Conversation and Reading, (especially of Romances) in others by Preferment; but there is nothing that encourages the Growth of it more than a Sword, and upon the first wearing of one, some People have felt considerable Shoots of it in four and twenty Hours.
The chief and most important Care a Man of Honour ought to have, is the Preservation of this Principle, and rather than forfeit it, he must lose his Employments and Estate, nay, Life it self; for which reason, whatever Humility he may shew by way of Good-breeding, he is allow’d to put an inestimable Value upon himself, as a Possessor of this invisible Ornament. The only Method to preserve this Principle, is to live up to the Rules of Honour, which are Laws he is to walk by: Himself is oblig’d always to be faithful to his Trust, to prefer the publick interest to his own, not to tell lies, nor defraud or wrong any Body, and from others to suffer no Affront, which is a Term of Art for every Action designedly done to undervalue him.
The Men of ancient Honour, of which I reckon Don Quixote to have been the last upon Record, were very nice Observers of all these Laws, and a great many more than I have named; but the Moderns seem to be more remiss; they have a profound Veneration for the last of ’em, but they pay not an equal Obedience to any of the other, and whoever will but strictly comply with that I hint at, shall have abundance of Trespasses against all the rest conniv’d at.
A Man of Honour is always counted impartial, and a Man of Sense of course; for no body ever heard of a Man of Honour that was a Fool: for this Reason, he has nothing to do with the Law, and is always allow’d to be a Judge in his own Case; and if the least Injury be done either to himself or his Friend, his Relation, his Servant, his Dog, or any Thing which he is pleased to take under his Honourable Protection, Satisfaction must be forthwith demanded; and if it proves an Affront, and he that gave it likewise a Man of Honour, a Battle must ensue. From all this it is evident, that a Man of Honour must be possessed of Courage, and that without it his other Principle would be no more than a Sword without a Point. Let us therefore examine what Courage consists in, and whether it be, as most People will have it, a real Something that valiant Men have in their Nature distinct from all their other Qualities or not.
There is nothing so universally sincere upon Earth, as the Love which all Creatures, that are capable of any, bear to themselves; and as there is no Love but what implies a Care to preserve the thing beloved, so there is nothing more sincere in any Creature than his Will, Wishes, and Endeavours to preserve himself. This is the Law of Nature, by which no Creature is endued with any Appetite or Passion but what either directly or indirectly tends to the Preservation either of himself or his Species.
The Means by which Nature obliges every Creature continually to stir in this Business of Self-Preservation, are grafted in him, and (in Man) call’d Desires, which either compel him to crave what he thinks will sustain or please him, or command him to avoid what he imagines might displease, hurt or destroy him. These Desires or Passions have all their different Symptoms by which they manifest themselves to those they disturb, and from that Variety of Disturbances they make within us, their various Denominations have been given them, as has been shewn already in Pride and Shame.
The Passion that is rais’d in us when we apprehend that Mischief is approaching us, is call’d Fear: The Disturbance it makes within us is always more or less violent in proportion, not of the Danger, but our Apprehension of the Mischief dreaded, whether real or imaginary. Our Fear then being always proportion’d to the Apprehension we have of the Danger, it follows, that while that Apprehension lasts, a Man can no more shake off his Fear than he can a Leg or an Arm. In a Fright it is true, the Apprehension of Danger is so sudden, and attacks us so lively, (as sometimes to take away Reason and Senses) that when ’tis over we often don’t remember that we had any Apprehension at all; but from the Event, ’tis plain we had it, for how could we have been frighten’d if we had not apprehended that some Evil or other was coming upon us?
Most People are of Opinion, that this Apprehension is to be conquer’d by Reason, but I confess I am not: Those that have been frighten’d will tell you, that as soon as they could recollect themselves, that is, make use of their Reason, their Apprehension was conquer’d. But this is no Conquest at all, for in a Fright the Danger was either altogether imaginary, or else it is past by that time they can make use of their Reason; and therefore if they find there is no Danger, it is no wonder that they should not apprehend any: But when the Dan-ger is permanent, let them then make use of their Reason, and they’ll find that it may serve them to examine the Greatness and Reality of the Danger, and that if they find it less than they imagin’d, thea Apprehension will be lessen’d accordingly; but if the Danger proves real, and the same in every Circumstance as they took it to be at first, then their Reason instead of diminishing will rather increase their Apprehension.1 While this Fear lasts, no Creature can fight offensively; and yet we see Brutes daily fight obstinately, and worry one another to Death; so that some other Passion must be able to overcome this Fear, and the most contrary to it is Anger: which to trace to the bottom I must beg leave to make another Digression.
No Creature can subsist without Food, nor any Species of them (I speak of the more perfect Animals) continue long unless young ones are continually born as fast as the old ones die. Therefore the first and fiercest Appetite that Nature has given them is Hunger, the next is Lust; the one prompting them to procreate, as the other bids them eat. Now, if we observe that Anger is that Passion which is rais’d in us when we are cross’d or disturb’d in our Desires, and that as it sums up all the Strength in Creatures, so it was given them that by it they might exert themselves more vigorously in endeavouring to remove, overcome, or destroy whatever obstructs them in the Pursuit of Self-Preservation; we shall find that Brutes, unless themselves or what they love, or the Liberty of either are threaten’d or attack’d, have nothing worth Notice that can move them to Anger but Hunger or Lust. ’Tis they that make them more fierce, for we must observe, that the Appetites of Creatures are as actually cross’d, while they want and cannot meet with what they desire (tho’ perhaps with less Violence) as when hinder’d from enjoying what they have in view. What I have said will appear more plainly, if we but mind what no body can be ignorant of, which is this: All Creatures upon Earth live either upon the Fruits and Product of it, or else the Flesh of other Animals, their Fellow-Creatures. The latter, which we call Beasts of Prey, Nature has arm’d accordingly, and given them Weapons and Strength to overcome and tear asunder those whom she has design’d for their Food, and likewise a much keener Appetite than to other Animals that live upon Herbs, &c. For as to the first, if a Cow lov’d Mutton as well as she does Grass, being made as she is, and having no Claws or Talons, and but one Row of Teeth before, that are all of an equal length, she would be starv’d even among a Flock of Sheep. Secondly, As to their Voraciousness, if Experience did not teach it us, our Reason might: In the first place, It is highly probable that the Hunger which can make a Creature fatigue, harass and expose himself to Danger for every Bit he eats, is more piercing than that which only bids him eat what stands before him, and which he may have for stooping down. In the second, It is to be considered, that as Beasts of Prey have an Instinct by which they learn to crave, trace, and discover those Creatures that are good Food for them; so the others have likewise an Instinct that teaches them to shun, conceal themselves, and run away from those that hunt after them: From hence it must follow, that Beasts of Prey, tho’ they could almost eat for ever, go yet more often with empty Bellies than other Creatures, whose Victuals neither fly from nor oppose them. This must perpetuate as well as increase their Hunger, which hereby becomes a constant Fuel to their Anger.
If you ask me what stirs up this Anger in Bulls and Cocks that will fight to Death, and yet are neither Animals of Prey nor very voracious, I answer, Lust. Those Creatures, whose Rage proceeds from Hunger, both Male and Female, attack every thing they can master, and fight obstinately against all: But the Animals, whose Fury is provok’d by a Venereal Ferment, being generally Males, exert themselves chiefly against other Males of the same Species. They may do Mischief by chance to other Creatures; but the main Objects of their Hatred are their Rivals, and it is against them only that their Prowess and Fortitude are shewn. We see likewise in all those Creatures of which the Male is able to satisfy a great Number of Females, a more considerable Superiority in the Male express’d by Nature in his Make and Features as well as Fierceness, than is observ’d in other Creatures, where the Male is contented with one or two Females. Dogs, tho’ become Domestick Animals, are ravenous to a Proverb, and those of them that will fight being Carnivorous, would soon become Beasts of Prey, if not fed by us; what we may observe in them is an ample Proof of what I have hitherto advanced. Those of a true fighting Breed, being voracious Creatures, both Male and Female, will fasten upon any thing, and suffer themselves to be kill’d before they give over. As the Female is rather more salacious than the Male; so there is no Difference in their Make at all, what distinguishes the Sexes excepted, and the Female is rather the fiercest of the two. A Bull is a terrible Creature when he is kept up, but where he has twenty or more Cows to range among, in a little time he’ll become as tame as any of them, and a dozen Hens will spoil the best Game Cock in England. Harts and Deer are counted chaste and timorous Creatures, and so indeed they are almost all the Year long, except in Rutting Time, and then on a sudden they become bold to Admiration, and often make at the Keepers themselves.
That the Influence of those two principal Appetites, Hunger and Lust, upon the Temper of Animals, is not so whimsical as some may imagine, may be partly demonstrated from what is observable in our selves; for though our Hunger is infinitely less violent than that of Wolves and other ravenous Creatures, yet we see that People who are in Health and have a tolerable Stomach, are more fretful, and sooner put out of Humour for Trifles when they stay for their Victuals beyond their usual Hours, than at any other time. And again, tho’ Lust in Man is not so raging as it is in Bulls and other salacious Creatures, yet nothing provokes Men and Women both sooner and more violently to Anger, than what crosses their Amours, when they are heartily in Love; and the most fearful and tenderly educated of either Sex, have slighted the greatest Dangers, and set aside all other Considerations to compass the Destruction of a Rival.
Hitherto I have endeavour’d to demonstrate, that no Creature can fight offensively as long as his Fear lasts; that Fear cannot be conquer’d but by another Passion; that the most contrary to it, and most effectual to overcome it is Anger; that the two principal Appetites which disappointed can stir up this last-named Passion are Hunger and Lust, and that in all Brute Beasts the Proneness to Anger and Obstinacy in fighting generally depend upon the Violence of either or both those Appetites together: From whence it must follow, that what we call Prowess or natural Courage in Creatures, is nothing but the Effect of Anger,1 and that all fierce Animals must be either very Ravenous or very Lustful, if not both.
Let us now examine what by this Rule we ought to judge of our own Species. From the Tenderness of Man’s Skin, and the great care that is required for Years together to rear him; from the Make of his Jaws, the Evenness of his Teeth, the Breadth of his Nails, and the Slightness of both, it is not probable that Nature should have design’d him for Rapine; for this Reason his Hunger is not voracious as it is in Beasts of Prey; neither is he so salacious as other Animals that are call’d so, and being besides very industrious to supply his Wants, he can have no reigning Appetite to perpetuate his Anger, and must consequently be a timorous Animal.
What I have said last must only be understood of Man in his Savage State; for if we examine him as a Member of a Society and a taught Animal, we shall find him quite another Creature: As soon as his Pride has room to play, and Envy, Avarice and Ambition begin to catch hold of him, he is rous’d from his natural Innocence and Stupidity. As his Knowledge increases, his Desires are enlarg’d, and consequently his Wants and Appetites are multiply’d: Hence it must follow, that he will be often cross’d in the Pursuit of them, and meet with abundance more disappointment to stir up his Anger in this than his former Condition, and Man would in a little time become the most hurtful and noxiousa Creature in the World, if let alone, whenever he could over-power his Adversary, if he had no Mischief to fear but from the Person that anger’d him.
The first Care therefore of all Governments is by severe Punishments to curb his Anger when it does hurt, and so by increasing his Fears prevent the Mischief it might produce. When various Laws to restrain him from using Force are strictly executed, Self-Preservation must teach him to be peaceable; and as it is every body’s Business to be as little disturb’d as is possible, his Fears will be continually augmented and enlarg’d as he advances in Experience, Understanding and Foresight. The Consequence of this must be, that as the Provocations he will receive to Anger will be infinite in the civiliz’d State, so his Fears to damp it will be the same, and thus in a little time he’ll be taught byb his Fears to destroy his Anger, and by Art to consult in an opposite Methodc the same Self-Preservation for which Nature before had furnished him with Anger, as well as the rest of his Passions.
The only useful Passion then that Man is possess’d of toward the Peace and Quiet of a Society, is his Fear, and the more you work upon it the more orderly and governable he’ll be; for how useful soever Anger may be to Man, as he is a single Creature by himself, yet the Society has no manner of occasion for it: But Nature being always the same, in the Formation of Animals, produces all Creatures as like to those that beget and bear them as the Place she forms them in, and the various Influences from without, will give her leave, and consequently all Men, whether they are born in Courts or Forests, are susceptible of Anger. When this Passion overcomes (as among all degrees of People it sometimes does) the whole Set of Fears Man has, he has true Courage,1 and will fight as boldly as a Lion or a Tiger, and at no other time; and I shall endeavour to prove, that whatever is call’d Courage in Man, when he is not Angry, is spurious and artificial.
It is possible by good Government to keep a Society always quiet in it self, but no body can insure Peace from without for ever. The Society may have occasion to extend their Limits further, and enlarge their Territories, or others may invade theirs, or something else will happen that Man must be brought to fight; for how civiliz’d soever Men maya be, they never forget that Force goes beyond Reason: The Politician now must alter his Measures, and take off some of Man’s Fears; he must strive to persuade him, that all what was told him before of the Barbarity of kil-ling Men ceases as soon as these Men are Enemies to the Publick, and that their Adversaries are neither so good nor so strong as themselves. These things well manag’d will seldom fail of drawing the hardiest, the most quarrelsome, and the most mischievous in to Combat; but unless they are better qualify’d, I won’t answer for their Behaviour there: If once you can make them undervalue their Enemies, you may soon stir them up to Anger, and while that lasts they’ll fight with greater Obstinacy than any disciplin’d Troops: But if any thing happens that was unforeseen, and a sudden great Noise, a Tempest, or any strange or uncommon Accident that seems to threaten ’em, intervenes, Fear seizes ’em, disarms their Anger, and makes ’em run away to a Man.
This natural Courage therefore, as soon as People begin to have more Wit, must be soon exploded. In the first place those that have felt the Smart of the Enemy’s Blows, won’t always believe what is said to undervalue him, and are often not easily provok’d to Anger. Secondly, Anger consisting in an Ebullition of the Spirits is a Passion of no long continuance (ira furor brevis est1 ) and the Enemies, if they withstand the first Shock of these Angry People, have commonly the better of it. Thirdly, as long as People are Angry, all Counsel and Discipline are lost upon them, and they can never be brought to use Art or Conduct in their Battles. Anger then, without which no Creature has natural Courage, being altogether useless in a War to be manag’d by Stratagem, and brought into a regular Art, the Government must find out an Equivalent for Courage that will make Men fight.
Whoever woulda civilize Men, and establish them intob a Body Politick, must be thoroughly acquainted with all the Passions and Appetites, Strength and Weaknesses of their Frame, and understand how to turn their greatest Frailties to the Advantage of the Publick. In the Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue, I have shewn how easily Men were induc’d to believe any thing that is said in their Praise. If therefore a Law-giver or Politician, whomc they have a great Veneration for, should tell them, that the generality of Men had within them a Principle of Valour distinct from Anger, or any other Passion, that made them to despise Danger and face Death it self with Intrepedity, and that they who had the most of it were the most valuable of their kind, it is very likely, considering what has been said, that most of them, tho’ they felt nothing of this Principle, would swallow it for Truth, and that the proudest feeling themselves mov’d at this piece of Flattery, and not well vers’d in distinguishing the Passions, might imagine that they felt it heaving in their Breasts, by mistaking Pride for Cou-rage. If but one in Ten can be persuaded openly to declare, that he is possess’d of this Principle, and maintain it against all Gain-sayers, there will soon be half a dozen that shall assert the same. Whoever has once own’d it is engaged, the Politician has nothing to do but to take all imaginable Care to flatter the Pride of those that brag of, and are willing to stand by it, a thousand different ways: The same Pride that drew him in first will ever after oblige him to defend the Assertion, till at last the fear of discovering the reality of his Heart, comesa to be so great that it out-does the fear of Death it self. Do but increase Man’s Pride, and hisb fear of Shame will ever be proportion’d to it; for the greater Value a Man sets upon himself, the more Pains he’ll take and the greater Hardships he’ll undergo to avoid Shame.
The great Art then to make Man Courageous, is first to make him own this Principle of Valour within, and afterwards to inspire him with as much Horror against Shame, as Nature has given him against Death; and that there are things to which Man has, or may have, a stronger Aversion than he has to Death, is evident from Suicide.1 He that makes Death his choice, must look upon it as less terrible than what he shuns by it; for whether the Evil dreaded be present or to come, real or imaginary, no body would kill himself wilfully but to avoid something. Lucretia held out bravely against all the Attacks of the Ravisher, even when he threatened her Life; which shews that she valu’d her Virtue beyond it: But when he threaten’d her Reputation with eternal Infamy, she fairly surrender’d, and then slew herself; a certain sign that she valued her Virtue less than her Glory, and her Life less than either. The fear of Death did not make her yield, for she resolv’d to die before she did it, and her Compliance must only be consider’d as a Bribe to make Tarquin forbear sullying her Reputation; so that Life had neither the first nor second place in the Esteem of Lucretia.1 The Courage then which is only useful to the Body Politick, and what is generally call’d true Valour, is artificial, and consists in a Superlative Horror against Shame, by Flattery infused into Men of exalted Pride.2
As soon as the Notions of Honour and Shame are received among a Society, it is not difficult to make Men fight. First, take care they are persuaded of the Justice of their Cause; for no Man fights heartily that thinks himself in the wrong;3 then shew them that their Altars, their Possessions, Wives, Children, and every thing that is near and dear to them, is concerned in the present Quarrel, or at least may be influenced by it hereafter; then put Feathers in their Caps, and distinguish them from others, talk of Publick-Spiritedness, the Love of their Country, facing an Enemy with Intrepidity, despising Death,a the Bed of Honour, and such like high-sounding Words, and every Proud Man will take up Arms and fight himself to Death before he’ll turn Tail, if it be by Daylight. One Man in an Army is a check upon another, and a hundred of them that single and without witness would be all Cowards, are for fear of incurring one another’s Contempt made Valiant by being together. To continue and heighten this artificial Courage, all that run away ought to be punish’d with Ignominy; those that fought well, whether they did beat or were beaten, must be flatter’d and solemnly commended; those that lost their Limbs rewarded, and those that were kill’d ought, above all, to be taken notice of, artfully lamented, and to have extraordinary Encomiums bestowed upon them; for to pay Honours to the Dead, will ever be a sure Method to make Bubbles of the Living.
When I say that the Courage made use of in the Wars is artificial, I don’t imagine that by the same Art all Men may be made equally Valiant: as Men have not an equal share of Pride, and differ from one another in Shape and inward Structure, it is impossible they should be all equally fit for the same uses. Some Men will never be able to learn Musick, and yet make good Mathematicians; others will play excellently well upon the Violin, and yet be Coxcombs as long as they live, let them converse with whom they please. But to shew that therea is no Evasion, I shall prove, that, setting aside what I said of artificial Courage already, what the greatest Heroe differs in from the rankest Coward, is altogether Corporeal, and depends upon the inward make of Man. What I mean is call’d Constitution; by which is understood the orderly or disorderly mixture of the Fluids in ourb Body: That Constitution which favours Courage, consists in the natural Strength, Elasticity, and due Contexture of the finer Spirits, and upon them wholly depends what we call Stedfastness, Resolution and Obstinacy. It is the only Ingredient that is common to natural and artificial Bravery, and is to either what Size is to white Walls, which hinders them from coming off, and makes them lasting. That some People are very much, others very little frighten’d at things that are strange and sudden to them, is likewise altogether owing to the firmness or imbecillity in the Tone of the Spirits. Pride is of no Use in a Fright, because while it lasts we can’t think, which, being counted a Disgrace, is the reason People are always angry with any thing that frightens them, as soon as the surprize is over; and when at the turn of a Battle the Conquerors give no Quarter, and are very cruel, it is a sign their Enemies fought well, and had put them first into great Fears.
That Resolution depends upon this Tone of the Spirits, appears likewise from the effects of strong Liquors, the fiery Particles whereof crowding into the Brain, strengthen the Spirits; their Operation imitates that of Anger, which I said before was an Ebullition of the Spirits. It is for this reason that most People when they are in Drink, are sooner touch’d and more prone to Anger than at other times, and some raving Mad without any Provocation at all. It is likewise observ’d, that Brandy makes Men more Quarrelsome at the same pitch of Drunkenness than Wine; because the Spirits of distill’d Waters have abundance of fiery Particles mixt with them, which the other has not. The Contexture of Spirits is so weak in some, that tho’ they have Pride enough, no Art can ever make them fight, or overcome their Fears; but this is a Defect in the Principle of the Fluids, as other Deformities are faults of the Solids.1’ These pusillanimous People are never thoroughly provok’d to Anger, where there is any Danger, and drinking ever makes ’em bolder, but seldom so resolute as to attack any, unless they be Women or Children, or such who they know dare not resist. This Constitution is often influenced by Health and Sickness, and impair’d by great Losses of Blood; sometimes it is corrected by Diet; and it is this which the Duke de la Rochefocault means when he says; Vanity, Shame, and above all Consti-tution, make up very often the Courage of Men and Virtue of Women.1
There is nothing that more improves the useful Martial Courage I treat of, and at the same time shews it to be artificial, than Practice; for when Men are disciplin’d, come to be acquainted with all the Tools of Death and Engines of Destruction, whena the Shouts, the Outcries, the Fire and Smoke, the Grones of Wounded, and ghostlyb looks of dying Men, with all the various Scenes of mangled Carcases andc bloody Limbs tore off, begin to be familiar to them, their Fears abate apace; not that they are now less afraid to die than before, but being used so often to see the same Dangers, they apprehend the reality of them less than they did: As they are deservedly valued for every Siege they are at, and every Battle they are in, it is impossible but the several Actions they share in must continually become as many solid Steps by which their Pride mounts up, and thus their Fear of Shame, which as I said before, will always be proportion’d to their Pride, increasing as the Apprehension of the Danger decreases, it is no wonder that most of them learn to discover little or no Fear: and some great Generals are able to preserve a Presence of Mind, and counterfeit a calm Serenity within the midst of all the Noise, Horror and Confusion that attend a Battle.
So silly a Creature is Man, as that, intoxicated with the Fumes of Vanity, he can feast on the thoughts of the Praises that shall be paid his Memory in future Ages with so much ecstasy, as to neglect his present Life, nay, court and covet Death, if he but imagines that it will add to the Glory he had acquired before. There is no pitch of Self-denial that a Man of Pride and Constitution cannot reach, nor any Passion so violent but he’ll sacrifice it to another which is superior to it; and here I cannota but admire at the Simplicity of some good Men, who when they hear of the Joy and Alacrity with which holy Men in Persecutions have suffer’d for their Faith, imagine that such Constancy must exceed all human Force, unless it was supported by some miraculous Assistance from Heaven. As most People are unwilling to acknowledge all the Frailties of their Species, so they are unacquainted with the Strength of our Nature, and know not that some Men of firm Constitution may work themselves up into Enthusiasm1 by no other help than the Violence of their Passions; yet it is certain, that there have been Men who only assisted with Pride and Constitution to maintain the worst of Causes, have undergone Death and Torments with as much Chearfulness as the best of Men, animated with Piety and Devotion, ever did for the true Religion.
To prove this Assertion, I could produce many Instances; but one or two will be sufficient. Jordanus Bruno of Nola, who wrote that sillyb piece of Blasphemy call’d Spaccio della Bestia triumphante,2 and the infamous Vanini,3 were both executed for openly professing and teaching of Atheism: The latter might have been pardon’d the Moment before the Execution, if he would have retracted his Doctrine; but rather than recant, he chose to be burnt to Ashes. As he went to the Stake, he was so far from shewing any Concern, that he held his hand out to a Physician whom he happen’d to know, desiring him to judge of the Calmness of his Mind by the Regularity of his Pulse, and from thence taking an opportunity of making an impious Comparison, uttered a Sentence too execrable to be mention’d.1 To these we may join one Mahomet Effendi, who, as Sir Paul Ricaut tells us, was put to Death at Constantinople, for having advanc’d some Notions against the Existence of a God. He likewise might have sav’d his Life by confessing his Error, and renouncing it for the future; but chose rather to persist in his Blasphemies, saying, Tho’ he had no Reward to expect, the Love of Truth constrain’d him to suffer Martyrdom in its defence.2
I have made this Digression chiefly to shew the Strength of human Nature, and what meer Man may perform by Pride and Constitution alone. Man may certainly be as violently rous’d by his Vanity, as a Lion is by his Anger; and not only this, Avarice, Revenge, Ambition, and almost every Passion, Pity not excepted, when they are extraordinary, may by overcoming Fear, serve him instead of Valour, and be mistaken for it even by himself;a as daily Experience must teach every Body that will examine and look into the Motives from which some Men act. But that we may more clearly perceive what this pretended Principle is really built upon, let us look into the Management of Military Affairs, and we shall find that Pride is no where so openly encouraged as there. As for Clothes, the very lowest of the Commission Officers have them richer, or at least more gay and splendid, than are generally wore by other People of four or five times their Income. Most of them, and especially those that have Families, and can hardly subsist, would be very glad, all Europe over, to be less Expensive that way; but it is a Force put upon them to uphold their Pride, which they don’t think on.
But the ways and means to rouse Man’s Pride, and catch him by it, are no where more grosly conspicuous than in the Treatment which the Common Soldiers receive, whose Vanity is to be work’d upon (because there must be so many) at the cheapest rate imaginable. Things we are accustom’d to we don’t mind, or else what Mortal that never had seen a Soldier could look without laughing upon a Man accoutred with so much paltry Gaudiness and affected Fineryb ? The coarsest Manufacture that can be made of Wool, dy’d of a Brick-dust Colour, goes down with him, because it is ina Imitation of Scarlet or Crimson Cloth; and to make him think himself as like his Officer as ’tis possible with little or no Cost, instead of Silver or Gold Lace, his Hat is trim’d with white or yellow Worsted, which in others would deserve Bedlamb ; yet these fine Allurements, and the Noise made upon a Calf’s Skin, have drawn in and been the Destruction of more Men in reality, than all the killing Eyes and bewitching Voices of Women ever slew in Jest. To Day the Swineherd puts on his Red Coat, and believes every body in earnest that calls him Gentleman, and two Days after Serjeant Kite1 gives him a swinging wrap with his Cane, for holding his Musket an Inch higher than he should do. As to the real Dignity of the Employment, in the two last Wars, Officers, when Recruits were wanted, were allow’d to list Fellows convicted of Burglary and other Capital Crimes, which shews that to be made a Soldier is deem’d to be a Preferment next to hanging. A Trooper is yet worse than a Foot-Soldier; for when he is most at ease, he has the Mortification of being Groom to a Horse that spends more Money than himself. When a Man reflects on all this, the Usage they generally receive from their Officers, their Pay, and thec Care that is taken of them, when they are not wanted, must he not wonder how Wretches can be so silly as to be proud of being call’d Gentlemen Soldiers? Yet if theyd were not, no Art, Discipline or Money would be capable of making them so Brave as Thousands of them are.
If we will mind what Effects Man’s Bravery, without any other Qualifications to sweeten him, would have out of an Army, we shall find that it would be very pernicious to the Civil Society; for if Man could conquer all his Fears, you would hear of nothing but Rapes, Murthers and Violences of all sorts, and Valiant Men would be like Giants in Romances: Politicks therefore discovered in Men a mixt-mettle Principle, which was a Compound of Justice, Honesty and all the Moral Virtues join’d to Courage, and all that were possess’d of it turned Knights-Errant of course. They did abundance of Good throughout the World, by taming Monsters, delivering the Distress’d, and killing the Oppressors: But the Wings of all the Dragons being clipt, the Giants destroyed, and the Damsels every where set at liberty, except some few in Spain and Italy, who remain’d still captivated by their Monsters, the Order of Chivalry, to whom the Standard of Ancient Honour belonged, has been laid aside some time.1 It was like their Armours very massy and heavy; the many Virtues a-bout it made it very troublesome, and as Ages grewa wiser and wiser, the Principle of Honour in the beginning of the last Century wad melted over again, and brought to a new Standard; they put in the same Weight of Courage, half the Quantity of Honesty, and a very little Justice, but not a Scrap of any other Virtue, which has made it very easy and portable to what it was. However, such as it isb , there would be no living without itc in a large Nation; it is the tye of Society, and though we are beholdend to our Frailties for the chief Ingredient of it, there is no Virtue, at least that I am acquainted with, that has been half so instrumental to the civilizing of Mankind, whoa in great Societies would soon degenerate into cruel Villains and treacherous Slaves, were Honour to be removed from among them.
As to the Duelling Part which belongs to it, I pity the Unfortunate whose Lot it is; but to say, that those who are guilty of it go by false Rules, or mistake the Notions of Honour, is ridiculous; for either there is no Honour at all, or it teaches Men to resent Injuries, and accept of Challenges. You may as well deny that it is the Fashion what you see every body wear, as to say that demanding and giving Satisfaction is against the Laws of true Honour. Those that rail at Duelling don’t consider the Benefit the Society receives from that Fashion: If every ill-bred Fellow might use what Language he pleas’d, without being called to an Account for it, all Conversation would be spoil’d. Some grave People tell us, that the Greeks and Romans were such valiant Men, and yet knew nothing of Duelling but in their Country’s Quarrel: This is very true, but for that Reason the Kings and Princes in Homer gave one another worse Language than our Porters and Hackney Coachmen would be able to bear without Resentment.
Would you hinder Duelling, pardon no body that offends that way, and make the Laws against it as severe as you can, but don’t take away the thing it self, the Custom of it. This will not only prevent the Frequency of it, but likewise by rendring the most resolute and most powerful cautious and circumspect in their Behaviour, polish and brighten Society in general. Nothing civilizes a Man equally as his Fear, and if not all, (as my Lord Rochester said) at least most Men would be Cowards if they durst:1 The dread of being called to an Account keeps abundance in awe, and there are thousands of mannerly and well-accomplish’d Gentlemen in Europe, who would have been insolent and insupportable Coxcombs without it; besides if it was out of Fashion to ask Satisfaction for Injuries which the Law cannot take hold of, there would be twenty times the Mischief done there is now, or else you must have twenty times the Con-stables and other Officers to keep the Peace. I confess that though it happens but seldom, it is a Calamity to the People, and generally the Families it falls upon; but there can be no perfect Happiness in this World, and all Felicity has an Allay. The Act it self is uncharitable, but when above thirty in a Nation destroy themselves in one Year, and not half that Number are killed by others, I don’t think the People can be said to love their Neighbours worse than themselves. It is strange that a Nation should grudge to see perhaps half a dozen Men sacrific’d in a Twelvemonth to obtain so valuable a Blessing, as the Politeness of Manners, the Pleasure of Conversation, and the Happiness of Company in general, that is often so willing to expose, and sometimes loses as many thousands in a few Hours, without knowing whether it will do any good or not.
I would have no body that reflects on the mean Original of Honour complain of being gull’d and made a Property by cunning Politicians, but desire every body to be satisfied, that the Governors of Societies and those in high Stations are greater Bubbles to Pride than any of the rest. If some great Men had not a superlative Pride, and every body understood the Enjoyment of Life, who would be a Lord Chancellor of England, a Prime Minister of State in France, or what gives more Fatigue, and not a sixth part of the Profit of either, a Grand Pensionary of Holland?1 The reciprocal Services which all Men pay to one another, are the Foundation of the Society. The great ones are not flatter’d with their high Birth for nothing: ’tis to rouse their Pride, and excite them to glorious Actions, that we extol their Race, whether it deserves it or not; and some Men have been complimented with the Greatness of their Family, and the Merit of their Ancestors, when in the whole Generation you could not find two but what were uxorious Fools, silly Biggots, noted Poltrons, or debauch’d Whore-masters. The established Pride that is inseparable from those that are possessed of Titles already, makes them often strive as much not to seem unworthy of them, as the working Ambition of others that are yet without, renders them industrious and indefatigable to deserve them. When a Gentleman is made a Baron or an Earl, it is as great a Check upon him in many Respects, as a Gown and Cassock are to a young Student that has been newly taken into Orders.
The only thing of weight that can be said against modern Honour is, that it is directly opposite to Religion. The one bids you bear Injuries with Patience, the other tells you if you don’t resent them, you are not fit to live. Religion commands you to leave all Revenge to God, Honour bids you trust your Revenge to no body but your self, even where the Law would do it for you: Religion mainly forbids Murther, Honour openly justifies it: Religion bids you not shed Blood upon any Account whatever: Honour bids you fight for the least Trifle: Religion is built on Humility, and Honour upon Pride: How to reconcile them must be left to wiser Heads than mine.1
The Reason why there are so few Men of real Virtue, and so many of real Honour, is, because all the Recompence a Man has of a virtuous Action, is the Pleasure of doing it, which most People reckon but poor Pay; but the Self-denial a Man of Honour submits to in one Appetite, is immediately rewarded by the Satisfaction he receives from another, and what he abates of his Avarice, or any other Passion, is doubly repaid to his Pride: Besides, Honour gives large Grains of Allowance, and Virtue none. A Man of Honour must not cheat or tell a Lye; he must punctually repay what he borrows at Play, though the Creditor has nothing to shew for it; but he may drink, and swear, and owe Money to all the Tradesmen in Town, without taking notice of their dunning. A Man of Honour must be true to his Prince and Country, while he is in their Service; but if he thinks himself not well used, he may quit it, and do them all the Mischief he can. A Man of Honour must never change his Religion for Interest, but he may be as Debauch’d as he pleases, and never practise any. He must make no Attempts upon his Friend’s Wife, Daughter, Sister, or any body that is trusted to his Care, but he may lie with all the World besides.
(S.)a No Limner for his Art is fam’d, Stone-cutters, Carvers are not nam’d: Page 19. Line 11.
IT is, without doubt, that among the Consequences of a National Honesty and Frugality, it would be one not to build any new Houses, or use new Materials as long as there were old ones enough to serve: By this three Parts in four of Masons, Carpenters, Bricklayers, &c. would want Employment; and the building Trade being once destroyed, what would become of Limning, Carving, and other Arts that are ministring to Luxury, and have been carefully forbid by those Lawgivers that preferred a good and honest, to a great and wealthy Society, and endeavoured to render their Subjects rather Virtuous than Rich. By a Law of Lycurgus, it was enacted, That the Cielings of the Spartan Houses should only be wrought by the Ax, and their Gates and Doors only smoothed by the Saw; and this, says Plutarch, was not without Mystery; for if Epaminondas could say with so good a Grace, inviting some of his Friends to his Table; Come, Gentlemen, be secure, Treason would never come to such a poor Dinner as this: Why might not this great Law-giver, in all Probability, have thought, that such ill favour’d Houses would never be capable of receiving Luxury and Superfluity?
It is reported, as the same Author tells us, that King Leotichidas, the first of that Name, was so little us’d to the sight of carv’d Work, that being entertained at Corinth in a stately Room, he was much surprized to see the Timber and Cieling so finely wrought, anda asked his Host whether the Trees grew so in his Country.1
The same want of Employment would reach innumerable Callings; and among the rest, that of the b
(as the Fable has it 2 ) would be one of the first that should have reason to complain; for the Price of Land and Houses being, by the removal of the vast Numbers that had left the Hive, sunk very low on the one side, and every body abhorring all other ways of Gain, but such as were strictly honest on the other, it is not probable that many without Pride or Prodigality should be able to wear Cloth of Gold and Silver, or rich Brocades. The Consequence of which would be, that not only the Weaver, but likewise the Silver-spinner, the Flatter,3 the Wire-drawer, the Barman,4 and the Refiner, would in a little time be affected with this Frugality.
(T.) a — —— — To live great, Had made her Husband rob the State: Page 20 Line 6.
WHat our common Rogues when they are going to be hanged chiefly complain of, as the Cause of their untimely End, is, next to the neglect of the Sabbath, their having kept Company with ill Women, meaning Whores; and I don’t question, but that among the lesser Villains many venture their Necks to indulge and satisfy their low Amours. But the Words that have given Occasion to this Remark, may serve to hint to us, that among the great ones Men are often put upon such dangerous Projects, and forced into such pernicious Measures by their Wives, as the most subtle Mistress never could have persuaded them to. I have shewn already that the worst of Women and most profligate of the Sex did contribute to the Consumption of Superfluities, as well as the Necessaries of Life, and consequently were Beneficial to many peaceable Drudges, that work hard to maintain their Families, and have no worse design than an honest Livelihood. —Let them be banished notwithstanding, says a good Man: When every Strumpet is gone, and the Land wholly freed from Lewdness, God Almighty will pour such Blessings upon it as will vastly exceed the Profits that are now got by Harlots.—This perhaps would be true; but I can make it evident, that with or without Prostitutes, nothing could make amends for the Detriment Trade would sustain, if all those of that Sex, who enjoy the happy State of Matrimony, should act and behave themselves as a sober wise Man could wish them.
The variety of Work that is perform’d, and the number of Hands employ’d to gratify the Fickleness and Luxury of Women is prodigious, and if only the married ones should hearken to Reason and just Remonstrances, think themselves sufficiently answer’d with the first refusal, and never ask a second time what had been once denied them: If, I say, Married Women would do this, and then lay out no Money but what their Husbands knew and freely allowed of, the Consumption of a thou-sand things, they now make use of, would be lessened by at least a fourth Part. Let us go from House to House and observe the way of the World only among the middling People, creditable Shop-keepers, that spend Two or Three Hundred a Year, and we shall find thea Women when they have half a Score Suits of Clothes, Two or Three of them not the worse for wearing, will think it a sufficient Plea for new Ones, if they can say that they have never a Gown or Petticoat, but what they have been often seen in, and are known by, especially at Church; I don’t speak now of profuse extravagant Women, but such as are counted Prudent and Moderate in their Desires.
If by this Pattern we should in Proportion judge of the highest Ranks, where the richest Clothes are but a trifle to their other Expences, and not forget the Furniture of all sorts, Equipages, Jewels, and Buildings of Persons of Quality, we shouldb find the fourth Part I speak of a vast Article in Trade, and that the Loss of it would be a greater Calamity to such a Nation as ours, than it is possible to conceive any other, a raging Pestilence not excepted: for the Death of half a Million of People could not cause a tenth Part of the Disturbance to the Kingdom, that the same Number of Poor unemploy’d would certainly create, if at once they were to be added to those, that already one way or other are a Burthen to the Society.
Some few Men have a real Passion for their Wives, and are fond of them without reserve; others that don’t care, and have little Occasion for Women, are yet seemingly uxorious, and love out of Vanity; they take Delight in a handsome Wife, as a Coxcomb does in a fine Horse, not for the use he makes of it, but because it is His: The Pleasure lies in the consciousness of an uncontrolable Possession, and what follows from it, the Reflexion on the mighty Thoughts he imagines others to have of his Happiness. The Men of either sort may be very lavish to their Wives, and often preventing their Wishes croud New Clothes and other Finery upon them faster than they can ask it, but the greatest part are wiser than to indulge the Extravagances of their Wives so far, as to give them immediately every thing they are pleas’d to fancy.
It is incredible what vast quantity of Trinkets as well as Apparel are purchas’d and used by Women, which they could never have come at by any other means, than pinching their Families, Marketting, and other ways of cheating and pilfering from their Husbands: Others by ever teazing their Spouses, tire them into Compliance, and conquer even obstinate Churls by perseverance and their assiduity of asking; A Third sort are outrageous at a denial, and by downright Noise and Scolding bully their tame Fools out of any thing they have a mind to; while thousands by the force of Wheedling know how to overcome the best weigh’d Reasons and the most positive reiterated Refusals; the Young and Beautiful especially laugh at all Remonstrances and Denials, and few of them scruple to employ the most tender Minutes of Wedlock to promote a sordid Interest. Here had I time I could inveigh with warmth against those Base, those wicked Women, who calmly play their Arts and false deluding Charms against our Strength and Prudence, and act the Harlots with their Husbands! Nay, she is worse than Whore, who impiously prophanes and prostitutes the Sacred Rites of Love to Vile Ignoble Ends; that first excites to Passion and invites to Joys with seeming Ardour, then racks our Fondness for no other purpose than to extort a Gift, while full of Guile in Counterfeited Transports she watches for the Moment when Men can least deny.
I beg pardon for this Start out of my way, and desire the experienced Reader duly to weigh what has been said as to the main Purpose, and after that call to mind the temporal Blessings, which Men daily hear not only toasted and wish’d for, when People are merry and doing of nothing; but likewise gravely and solemnly pray’d for in Churches, and other religious Assemblies, by Clergymen of all Sorts and Sizes: And as soon as he shall have laid these Things together, and, from what he has observ’d in the common Affairs of Life, reason’d upon them consequentially without Prejudice, I dare flatter my self, that he will be oblig’d to own, that a considerable Portion of what the Prosperity of London and Trade in general, and consequently the Honour, Strength, Safety, and all the worldly Interest of the Nation consist in, depends entirely on the Deceit and vile Stratagems of Women; and that Humility, Content, Meekness, Obedience to reasonable Husbands, Frugality, and all the Virtues together, if they were possess’d of them in the most eminent Degree, could not possibly be a thousandth Part so serviceable, to make an opulent, powerful, and what we call a flourishing Kingdom, than their most hateful Qualities.
I don’t question, but many of my Readers will be startled at this Assertion, when they look on the Consequences that may be drawn from it; and I shall be ask’d, whether People may not as well be virtuous in a populous, rich, wide, extended Kingdom, as in a small, indigent State or Principality, that is poorly a inhabited? And if that be impossible, Whether it is not the Duty of all Sovereigns to reduce their Subjects, as to Wealth and Numbers, as much as they can? If I allow they may, I own my self in the wrong; and if I affirm the other, my Tenets will justly be call’d impious, or at least dangerous to all large Societies. As it is not in this Place of the Book only, but a great many others, that such Queries might be made even by a well-meaning Reader, I shall here explain my self, and endeavour to solve those Difficulties, which several Passages might have rais’d in him, in order to demonstrate the Consistency of my Opinion to Reason, and the strictest Morality.
I lay down as a first Principle, that in all Societies, great or small, it is the Duty of every Member of it to be good, that Virtue ought to be encourag’d, Vice discountenanc’d, the Laws obey’d, and the Transgressors punish’d. After this I affirm, that if we consult History both Ancient and Modern, and take a view of what has past in the World, we shall find that Human Nature since the Fall of Adam has always been the same, and that the Strength and Frailties of it have ever been conspicuous in one Part of the Globe or other, without any Regard to Ages, Climates, or Religion. I never said, nor imagin’d, that Man could not be virtuous as well in a rich and mighty Kingdom, as in the most pitiful Commonwealth; but I own it is my Sense that no Society can be rais’d into such a rich and mighty Kingdom, or so rais’d, subsist in their Wealth and Power for any considerable Time, without the Vices of Man.
This I imagine is sufficiently prov’d throughout the Book; and as Human Nature still continues the same, as it has always been for so many thousand Years, we have no great Reason to suspect a future Change in it, while the World endures. Now I cannot see what Immoralitya there is in shewing a Man the Origin and Power of those Passions, which so often, even unknowingly to himself, hurry him away from his Reason; or that there is any Impiety in putting him upon his Guard against himself, and the secret Stratagems of Self-Love, and teaching him the difference between such Actions as proceed from a Victory over the Passions, and those that are only the result of a Conquest which one Passion obtains over another; that is, between Real, and Counterfeited Virtue. It is an admirable Saying of a worthy Divine, That tho’ many Discoveries have been made in the World of Self-Love, there is yet abundance of Terra incognita left behind.1 What hurt a do I do to Man if I make him more known to himself than he was before? But we are all so desperately in Love with Flattery, that we can never relish a Truth that is mortifying, and I don’t believe that the Immortality of the Soul, a Truth broach’d long before Christianity, would have ever found such a general Reception in human Capacities as it has, had it not been a pleasing one, that extoll’d and was a Compliment to the whole Spe-cies, the Meanest and most Miserable not excepted.
Every one loves to hear the Thing well spoke of, that he has a Share in, even Bailiffs, Goal-keepers, and the Hangman himself would have you think well of their Functions; nay, Thieves and House-breakers have a greater Regard to those of their Fraternity than they have for Honest People; and I sincerely believe, that it is chiefly Self-Love that has gained this little Treatise (as it was before the last b Impression) so many Enemies; 2 every one looks upon it as an Affront done to himself, because it detracts from the Dignity, and lessens the fine Notions he had conceiv’d of Mankind, the most Worshipful Company he belongs to. When I say that Societies cannot be rais’d to Wealth and Power, and the Top of Earthly Glory without Vices, I don’t think that by so saying I bid Men be Vicious, any more than I bid ’em be Quarrelsome or Covetous, when I affirm that the Profession of the Law could not be maintain’d in such Numbers and Splendor, if there was not abundance of too Selfish and Litigious People.1
But as nothing would more clearly demonstrate the Falsity of my Notions, than that the generality of the People should fall in with them, so I don’t expect the Approbation of the Multitude. I write not to many, nor seek for any Well-wishers, but among the few that can think abstractly, and have their Minds elevated above the Vulgar. If I have shewn the way to worldly Greatness, I have always without Hesitation preferr’d the Road that leads to Virtue.
Would you banish Fraud and Luxury, prevent Profaneness and Irreligion, and make the generality of the People Charitable, Good and Virtuous, break down the Printing-Presses, melt the Founds, and burn all the Books in the Island, except those at the Universities, where they remain unmolested, and suffer no Volume in private Hands but a Bible: Knock down Foreign Trade, prohibit all Commerce with Strangers, and permit no Ships to go to Sea, that ever will return, beyond Fisher-Boats. Restore to the Clergy, the King and the Barons their Ancient Privileges, Prerogatives and Possessionsa : Build New Churches, and convert all the Coin you can come at into Sacred Utensils: Erect Monasteries and Almshouses in abundance, and let no Parish be without a Charity-School. Enact Sumptuary Laws, and let your Youth be inured to Hardship: Inspire them with all the nice and most refined Notions of Honour and Shame, of Friendship and of Heroism, and introduce among them a great Variety of imaginary Rewards: Then let the Clergy preach Abstinence and Self-denial to others, and take what Liberty they please for themselves; let them bear the greatest Sway in the Management of State-Affairs, and no Man be made Lord-Treasurer but a Bishop.1
By such pious Endeavours, and wholsome Regulations, the Scene would be soona alter’d; the greatest part of the Covetous, the Discontented, the Restless and Ambitious Villains would leave the Land, vast Swarms of Cheating Knaves would abandon the City, and be dispers’d throughout the Country: Artificers would learn to hold the Plough, Merchants turn Farmers, and the sinful over-grown Jerusalem, without Famine, War, Pestilence, or Compulsion, be emptied in the most easy manner, and ever after cease to be dreadful to her Sovereigns. The happy reform’d Kingdom would by this means be crowded in no part of it, and every thing Necessary for the Sustenance of Man be cheap and abound: On the contrary, the Root of so many thousand Evils, Money, would be very scarce, and as little wantedb , where every Man should enjoy the Fruits of his own Labour, and our own dear Manufacture unmix’d be promiscuously wore by the Lord and the Peasant. It is impossible, that such a Change of Circumstances should not influence the Manners of a Nation, and render them Temperate, Honest, and Sincere, and from the next Generation we might reasonably expect a more healthy and robust Offspring than the present; an harmless, innocent and well-meaning People, that would never dispute the Doctrine of Passive Obedience,1 nor any other Orthodox Principles, but be submissive to Superiors, and unanimous in religious Worship.
Here I fancy my self interrupted by an Epicure, who not to want a restorative Diet in case of Necessity, is never without live Ortelans, and I am told that Goodness and Probity are to be had at a cheaper rate than the Ruin of a Nation, and the Destruction of all the Comforts of Life; that Liberty and Property may be maintain’d without Wickedness or Fraud, and Men be good Subjects without being Slaves, and religious tho’ they refus’d to be Priest-rid; that to be frugal and saving is a Duty incumbent only on those, whose Circumstances require it, but that a Man of a good Estate does his Country a Service by living up to the Income of it; that as to himself, he is so much Master of his Appetites that he can abstain from any thing upon occasion; that where true Hermitage was not to be had he could content himself with plain Bourdeaux, if it had a good Body; that many a Morning instead of St. Lawrence he has made aa Shift with Fronteniac, and after Dinner given Cyprus Wine, and even Madera, when he has had a large Company, and thought it Extravagant to treat with Tockay; but that all voluntary Mortifications are Superstitious, only belonging to blind Zealots and Enthusiasts. He’ll quote my Lord Shaftsbury against me, and tell me that People may be Virtuous and Sociable without Self-denial,2 that it is an Affront to Virtue to make it inaccessible, that I make a Bugbear of it to frighten Men from it as a thing impracticable; but that for his part he can praise God, and at the same time enjoy his Creatures with a good Conscience; neither will he forget any thing to his Purpose of what I have said, Page 127. He’ll ask me at last, whether the Legislature, the Wisdom of the Nation it self, while they endeavour as much as a possible to discourage Profaneness and Immorality, and promote the Glory of God, do not openly profess at the same time to have nothing more at Heart than the Ease and Welfare of the Subject, the Wealth, Strength, Honour, and what else is call’d the true Interest of the Country; and moreover, whether the most Devout and most Learned of our Prelates in their greatest Concern for our Conversion, when they beseech the Deity to turn their own as well as our Hearts from the World and all Carnal Desires, do not in the same Prayer as loudly sollicit him to pour all Earthly Blessings and temporal Felicity on the Kingdom they belong to.
These are the Apologies, the Excuses and common Pleas, not only of those who are notoriously vicious, but the generality of Mankind, when you touch the Copy-hold of their Inclinations; and trying the real Value they have for Spirituals, would actually strip them of what their Minds are wholly bent upon. Ashamed of the many Frailties they feel within, all Men endeavour to hide themselves, their Ugly Nakedness , from each other, and wrapping up the true Motives of their Hearts in the Specious Cloke of Sociableness, and their Concern for the publick Good, they are in hopes of concealing their filthy Appetites and the Deformity of their Desires; while they are conscious within of the Fondness for their darling Lusts, and their Incapacity, barefac’d, to tread the arduous, rugged Path of Virtue.
As to the two last Questions, I own they are very puzzling: To what the Epicure asks I am oblig’d to answer in the Affirmative; and unless I would (which God forbid!) arraign the Sincerity of Kings, Bishops, and the whole Legislative Power, the Objection stands good against me: All I can say for myself is, that in the Connexion of the Facts there is a Mystery past Human Understanding; and to convince the Reader, that this is no Evasion, I shall illustrate the Incomprehensibility of it in the following Parable.
In old Heathen Times there was, they say, a whimsical Country, where the People talk’d much of Religion, and the greatest part as to outward Appearance seem’d really Devout: The chief moral Evil among them was Thirst, and to quench it a damnable Sin; yet they unanimously agreed that every one was born Thirsty more or less: Small Beer in Modera-tion was allow’d to all, and he was counted an Hypocrite, a Cynick, or a Madman, who pretended that one could live altogether without it; yet those, who owned they loved it, and drank it to Excess, were counted wicked. All this while the Beer it self was reckon’d a Blessing from Heaven, and there was no harm in the use of it; all the Enormity lay in the Abuse, the Motive of the Heart, that made them drink it. He that took the least Drop of it to quench his Thirst, committed a heinous Crime, while others drank large Quantities without any Guilt, so they did it indifferently, and for no other Reason than to mend their Complexion.
They Brew’d for other Countries as well as their own, and for the Small Beer they sent abroad, they received large Returns of Westphalia-Hams, Neats-Tongues, Hung-Beef, and Bolonia-Sausages, Red-Herrings, Pickled-Sturgeon, Cavear, Anchoves, and every thing that was proper to make their Liquor go down with Pleasure. Those who kept great Stores of Small Beer by them without making use of it, were generally envied, and at the same time very odious to the Publick, and no body was easy that had not enough of it come to his own share. The greatest Calamity they thought could befal them, was to keep their Hops and Barley upon their Hands, and the more they yearly consumed of them, the more they reckon’d the Country to flourish.
264The Government had manya very wise Regulations concerning the Returns that were made for their Exports, encouraged very much the Importation of Salt and Pepper, and laid heavy Duties on every thing that was not well season’d, and might any ways obstruct the Sale of their own Hops and Barley. Those at Helm, when they acted in publick, shew’d themselves on all Accounts exempt and wholly divested from Thirst, made several Laws to prevent the Growth of it, and punish the Wicked who openly dared to quench it. If you examin’d them in their private Persons, and pry’d narrowly into their Lives and Conversations, they seem’d to be more fond, or at least drank larger Draughts of Small Beer than others, but always under Pretence that the mending of Complexions required greater Quantities of Liquor in them, than it did in those they Ruled over; and that, what they had chiefly at Heart, without any regard to themselves, was to procure great Plenty of Small Beer among the Subjects in general, and a great Demand for their Hops and Barley.
As no body was debarr’d from Small Beer, the Clergy made use of it as well as the Laity, and some of them very plentifully; yet all of them desired to be thought less Thirsty by their Function than others, and never would own that they drank any but to mend their Complexions. In their Religious Assemblies they were more sincere; for as soon as they came there, they all openly confess’d, the Clergy as well as the Laity, from the highest to the lowest, that they were Thirsty, that mending their Complexions was what they minded the least, and that all their Hearts were set upon Small Beer and quenching their Thirst, whatever they might pretend to the contrary. What was remarkable is, that to have laid hold of those Truths to any one’s Prejudice, and made use of those Confessions afterwards out of their Temples would have been counted very impertinent, and every body thought it an heinous Affront to be call’d Thirsty, tho’ you had seen him drink Small Beer by whole Gallons. The chief Topicks of their Preachers was the great Evil of Thirst, and the Folly there was in quenching it. They exhorted their Hearers to resist the Temptations of it, inveigh’d against Small Beer, and often told them it was Poison, if they drank it with Pleasure, or any other Design than to mend their Complexions.
In their Acknowledgments to the Gods, they thank’d them for the Plenty of comfortable Small Beer they had receiv’d from them, notwithstanding they had so little deserv’d it, and continually quench’d their Thirst with it; whereas they were so thorowly satisfy’d, that it was given them for a better Use. Having begg’d Pardon for those Offences, they desired the Gods to lessen their Thirst, and give them Strength to resist the Importunities of it; yet, in the midst of their sorest Repentance, and mosta humble Supplications, they never forgot Small Beer, and pray’d that they might continue to have it in great Plenty, with a solemn Promise, that how neglectful soever they might hitherto have been in this Point, they would for the future not drink a Drop of it with any other Design than to mend their Complexions.
These were standing Petitions put together to last; and having continued to be made use of without any Alterations for several hundred Years together; it was thought by some, that the Gods, who understood Futurity, and knew that the same Promise they heard in June would be made to them the January following, did not rely much more on those Vows, than we do on those waggish Inscriptions by which Men offer us their Goods, To-day for Money, and To-morrow for nothing. They often began their Prayers very mystically, and spoke many things in a spiritual Sense; yet, they never were so abstract from the World in them, as to end one without beseeching the Gods to bless and prosper the Brewing Trade in all its Branches, and for the Good of the Whole, more and more to increase the Consumption of Hops and Barley.1
(V.)a Content, the Bane of Industry: Page 21. Line 6.
I Have been told by many, that the Bane of Industry is Laziness, and not Content; therefore to prove my Assertion, which seems a Paradox to some, I shall treat of Laziness and Content separately, and afterwards speak of Industry, that the Reader may judge which it is of the two former that is most opposite to the latter.
Laziness is an Aversion to Business, generally attended with an unreasonable Desire of remaining unactive; and every Body is lazy, who without being hinder’d by any other warrantable Employment, refuses or puts off any Business which he ought to do for himself or others. We seldom call any body lazy, but such as we reckon inferior to us, and of whom we expect some Service. Children don’t think their Parents lazy, nor Servants their Masters; and if a Gentleman indulges his Ease and Sloth so abominably, that he won’t put on his own Shoes, though he is young and slender, no body shall call him lazy for it, if he can keep but a Footman, or some body else to do it for him.
Mr. Dryden has given us a very good Idea of superlative Slothfulness in the Person of a Luxurious King of Egypt.1 His Majesty having bestowed some considerable Gifts on several of his Favourites, is attended by some of his chief Ministers with a Parchment which he was to sign to confirm those Grants. First, he walks a few Turns to and fro with a heavy Uneasiness in his Looks, then sets himself down like a Man that’s tired, and at last with abundance of Reluctancy to what he was going about, he takes up the Pen, and falls a complaining very seriously of the Length of the Word Ptolemy, and expresses a great deal of Concern, that he had not some short Monosyllable fora his Name, which he thought wou’d save him a World of Trouble.
We often reproach others with Laziness, because we are guilty of it our selves. Some days ago as two young Women sat knotting together, says one to the other, there comes a wicked Cold through that Door, you are the nearest to it, Sister, pray shut it. The other, who was the youngest, vouchsaf’d indeed to cast an Eyea towards the Door, but sat still and said nothing; the eldest spoke again two or three times, and at last the other making her no answer, nor offering to stir, she got up in a Pet and shut the Door herself; coming back to sit down again, she gave the younger a very hard Look, and said; Lord, Sister Betty, I would not be so lazy as you are for all the World; which she spoke so earnestly, that it brought a Colour in her Face. The youngest should have risen, I own; but if the eldest had not over-valued her Labour, she would have shut the Door herself, as soon as the Cold was offensive to her, without making any words of it. She was not above a Step farther from the Door than her Sister, and as to Age, there was not Eleven Months difference between them, and they were both under Twenty. I thought it a hard matter to determine which was the laziest of the two.
There are a thousand Wretches that are always working the Marrow out of their Bones for next to nothing, because they are unthinking and ignorant of what the Pains they take are worth: while others who are cunning and understand the true value of their Work, refuse to be employ’d at under Rates, not because they are of an unactive Temper, but because they won’t beat down the Price of their Labour. A Country Gentleman sees at the back side of the Exchange a Porter walking to and fro with his Hands in his Pockets. Pray, says he, Friend, will you step for me with this Letter as far as Bow-Church, and I’ll give you a Penny? I’ll go with all my Heart, says t’other, but I must have Two-pence, Master; which the Gentleman refusing to give, the Fellow turn’d his Back, and told him, he’d rather play for nothing than work for nothing. The Gentleman thought it an unaccountable piece of Laziness in a Porter, rather to saunter up and down for nothing, than to be earning a Penny with as little trouble. Some Hours after he happen’d to be with some Friends at a Tavern in Threadneedlestreet, where one of them calling to mind that he had forgot to send for a Bill of Exchange that was to go away with the Post that Night, was in great Perplexity, and immediately wanted some body to go for him to Hackney with all the Speed a imaginable. It was after Ten, in the middle of Winter, a very rainy Night, and all the Porters thereabouts were gone to Bed. The Gentleman grew very uneasy, and said, whatever it cost him that somebody he must send; at last one of the Drawers seeing him so very pressing, told him that he knew a Porter, who would rise, if it was a Job worth his while. Worth his while, said the Gentleman very eagerly, don’t doubt of that, good Lad, if you know of any body let him make what haste he can, and I’ll give him a Crown if he be back by Twelve o’Clock. Upon this the Drawer took the Errand, left the Room, and in less than a Quarter of an Hour came back with the welcome News that the Message would be dispatch’d with all Expedition. The Company in the mean time diverted themselves as they had done before; but when it began to be towards Twelve the Watches were pull’d out, and the Porter’s Return was all the Discourse. Some were of Opinion he might yet come before the Clock had struck; others thought it impossible, and now it wanted but three Minutes of Twelve when in comes the nimble Messenger smoking hot, with his Clothes as wet as Dung with the Rain, and his Head all over in a Bath of Sweat. He had nothing dry about him but the inside of his Pocket-Book,b out of which he took the Bill he had been for, and by the Drawer’s Direction presented it to the Gentleman it belonged to; who being very well pleas’d with the Dispatch he had made, gave him the Crown he had promis’d, while another fill’d him a Bumper, and the whole Company commended his Diligence. As the Fellow came nearer the Light, to take up the Wine, the Country Gentleman I mention’d at first, to his great Admiration, knew him to be the same Porter that had refus’d to earn his Penny, and whom he thought the laziest Mortal Alive.
Thea Story teaches us, that we ought not to confound those who remain unemploy’d for want of an Opportunity of exerting themselves to the best advantage, with such as for want of Spirit, hug themselves in their Sloth, and will rather starve than stir. Without this Caution, we must pronounce all the World more or less lazy, according to their Estimation of the Reward they are to purchase with their Labour, and then the most Industrious may be call’d Lazy.
Content I call that calm Serenity of the Mind, which Men enjoy while they think themselves happy, and rest satisfy’d with the Station they are in: It implies a favourable Construction of our present Circumstances, and a peaceful Tranquillity, which Men are Strangers to as long as they are sollicitous about mending their Condition. This is a Virtue of which the Applause is very precarious and uncertain: for according as Mens Circumstances vary, they’ll either be blam’d or commended for being possess’d of it.
A single Man that works hard at a laborious Trade, has a hundred a Year left him by a Relation: This Change of Fortune makes him soon weary of working, and not having Industry enough to put himself forward in the World, he resolves to do nothing at all, and live upon his Income. As long as he lives within Compass, pays for what he has, and offends no body, he shall be call’d an honest quiet Man. The Victualler, his Landlady, the Tailor, and others divide what he has between them, and the Society is every Year the better for his Revenue; whereas, if he should follow his own or any other Trade, he must hinder others, and some body would have the less for what he should get; and therefore, tho’ he should be the idlest Fellow in the World, lie a-bed fifteen Hours in four and twenty, and do nothing but sauntring up and down all the rest of the time, no body would discommend him, and his unactive Spirit is honoured with the Name of Content.
But if the same Man marries, gets three or four Children, and still continues of the same easy Temper, rests satisfied with what he has, and without endeavouring to get a Penny, indulges his former Sloth: First, his Relations, afterwards all his Acquaintance, will be alarm’d at his Negligence: They foresee that his Income will not be sufficient to bring up so many Children handsomely, and are afraid, some of them may, if not a Burden, become a Disgrace to them. When these Fears have been for some time whispered about from one to another, his Uncle Gripe takes him to Task, and accosts him in the following Cant; What, Nephew, no Business yet! Fy upon’t! I can’t imagine how you do to spend your Time; if you won’t work at your own Trade, there are fifty ways that a Man may pick up a Penny by: You have a Hundred a Year, ’tis true, but your Charges increase every Year, and what must you do when your Children are grown up? I have a better Estate than you my self, and yet you don’t see me leave off my Business; nay, I declare it, might I have the World I could not lead the Life you do. ’Tis no Business of mine, I own, but every body cries, ’tis a Shame aayoung Man as you are, that has his Limbs and his Health, should not turn his Handsb to something or other. If these Admonitions do not reform him in a little time, and he continues half a Year longer without Employment, he’ll become a Discourse to the whole Neighbourhood, and for the same Qualifications that once got him the Name of a quiet contented Man, he shall be call’d the worst of Husbands and the laziest Fellow upon Earth: From whence it is manifest, that when we pronounce Actions good or evil, we only regard the Hurt or Benefit the Society receives from them, and not the Persona who commits them. (See Page 34.)
Diligence and Industry are often used promiscuously, to signify the same thing, but there is a great Difference between them. A poor Wretch may want neither Diligence nor Ingenuity, be a saving Pains-taking Man, and yet without striving to mend his Circumstances remain contented with the Station he lives in; but Industry implies, besides the other Qualities, a Thirst after Gain, and an Indefatigable Desire of meliorating our Condition. When Men think either the Customary Profitsb of their Calling, or else the Share of Business they have too small, they have two ways to deserve the Name of Industrious; and they must be either Ingenious enough to find out uncommon, and yet warrantable Methods to increase their Business or their Profit, or else supply that Defect by a Multiplicity of Occupations. If a Tradesman takes care to provide his Shop, and gives due Attendance to those that come to it, he is a diligent Man in his Business; but if, besides that, he takes particular Pains to sell to the same Advantage a better Commodity than the rest of his Neighbours, or if by his Obsequiousness, or some other good quality, getting into a large Acquaintance, he uses all possible Endeavours of drawing Customers to his House, he then may be called Industrious. A Cobler, though he is not employed half of his Time, if he neglects no Business, and makes dispatch when he has any, is a diligent Man; but if he runs of Errands when he has no Work, or makes but Shoe-pins, and serves as a Watchman a-nights, he deserves the Name of Industrious.
If what has been said in this Remark be duly weigh’d, we shall find, either that Laziness and Content are very near a-kin, or if there be a great difference between them, that the latter is more contrary to Industry than the former.
(X.)a To make a Great an Honest Hive: Page 23. Line 2.
THIS perhaps might be done where People are contented to be poor and hardy; but if they would likewise enjoy their Ease and the Comforts of the World, and be at once an opulent, potent, and flourishing, as well as a Warlike Nation, it is utterly impossible. I have heard People speak of the mighty Figure the Spartans made above all the Commonwealths of Greece, notwithstanding their uncommon Frugality and other exemplary Virtues. But certainly there never was a Nation whose Greatness was more empty than theirs: The Splendor they lived in was inferior to that of a Theatre, and the only thing they could be proud of, was, that they enjoy’d nothing. They were indeed both feared and esteemed Abroad: They were so famed for Valour and Skill in Martial Affairs, that their Neighbours did not only court their Friendship and Assistance in their Wars, but were satisfied and thought themselves sure of the Victory, if they could but get a Spartan General to command their Armies. But then their Discipline was so rigid, and their manner of living so Austere and void of all Comfort, that the most temperate Man among us would refuse to submit to the Harshnessb of such uncouth Laws. There was a perfect Equality among them: Gold and Silver Coin were cried down; their current Money was made of Iron, to render it of a great Bulk and little Worth: To lay up twenty or thirty Pounds, required a pretty large Chamber, and to remove it nothing less than a Yoke of Oxen. Another Remedy, they had against Luxury, was, that they were obliged to eat in common of the same Meat, and they so little allowed any body to Dine or Sup by himself at home, that Agis, one of their Kings, having vanquished the Athenians, and sending for his Commons at his return home (because he desired privately to eat with his Queen) was refused by the Polemarchi.1
In training up their Youth, their chief Care, says Plutarch, was to make them good Subjects, to fit them to endure the Fatigues of long and tedious Marches, and never to return without Victory from the Field. When they were twelve Years old, they lodg’d in little Bands, upon Beds made of the Rushes which grew by the Banks of the River Eurotas; and because their Points were sharp, they were to break them off with their Hands without a Knife: If it were a hard Winter, they mingled some Thistle-down with their Rushes to keep them warm (see Plutarch in the Life of Lycurgus.) 2 From all these Circumstances it is plain, that no Nation on Earth was less effeminate; but being debarred from all the Comforts of Life, they could have nothing for their Pains but the Glory of being a Warlike People inured to Toils and Hardships, which was a Happiness that few People would have cared for upon the same Terms: And though they had been Masters of the World, as long as they enjoyed no more of it, Englishmen would hardly have envy’d them their Greatness.1 What Mena want now-a-days has sufficiently been shewn in Remark (O.)b where I have treated of real Pleasures.
Page 23. Line 3.
THAT the Words Decency and Conveniency were very ambiguous, and not to be understood, unless we were acquainted with the Quality and Circumstances of the Persons that made use of them, hase been hinted already in Remark (L.) The Goldsmith, Mercer, or any other of the most creditable Shopkeepers, that has three or four thousand Pounds to set up with, must have two Dishes of Meat every Day, and something extraordinary for Sundays. His Wife must have a Damask Bed against her Lying-in, and two or three Rooms very well furnished: The following Summer she must have a House, or at least very good Lodgings in the Country. A Man that has a Being out of Town, must have a Horse; his Footman must have another. If he has a tolerable Trade, he expects in eight or ten Years time to keep his Coach, which notwithstanding he hopes that after he has slaved (as he calls it) for two or three and twenty Years, he shall be worth at least a thousand a Year for his eldest Son to inherit, and two or three thousand Pounds for each of his other Children to begin the World with; and when Men of such Circumstances pray for their daily Bread, and mean nothing more extravagant by it, they are counted pretty modest People. Call this Pride, Luxury, Superfluity, or what you please, it is nothing but what ought to be in the Capital of a flourishing Nation: Those of inferior Condition must content themselves with less costly Conveniencies, as others of higher Rank will be sure to make theirs more expensive. Some People call it but Decency to be served in Plate, and reckon a Coach and six among the necessary Comforts of Life; and if a Peer has not above three or four thousand a Year, his Lordship is counted Poor.a
SINCE the first Edition of this Book, several have attack’d me with Demonstrations of the certain Ruin, which excessive Luxury must bring upon all Nations, who yet were soon answered, when I shewed them the Limits within which I had confined it; and therefore that no Reader for the future may misconstrue me on this Head, I shall point at the Cautions I have given, and the Proviso’s I have made in the former as well as this present Impression, and which if not overlooked, must prevent all rational Censure, and obviate several Objections that otherwise might be made against me. I have laid down as Maxims never to be departed from, that the † Poor should be kept strictly to Work, and that it was Prudence to relieve their Wants, but Folly to cure them; that Agriculture * and Fishery should be promoted in all their Branches in order to render Provisions , and consequently Labour cheap. I have named ‡ Ignorance as a necessary Ingredient in the Mixture of Society: From all which it is manifest that I could never have imagined, that Luxury was to be made general through every part of a Kingdom. I have likewise required † that Property should be well secured, Justice impartially administred, and in every thing the Interest of the Nation taken care of: But what I have insisted on the most, and repeated more than once, is the great Regard that is to be had to the Balance of Trade, and the Care the Legislature ought to take that the Yearly * Imports never exceed the Exports; and where this is observed, and the other things I spoke of are not neglected, I still continue to assert that no Foreign Luxury can undo a Country: The height of it is never seen but in Nations that are vastly populous, and there only in the upper part of it, and the greater that is the larger still in proportion must be the lowest, the Basis that supports all, the multitude of Working Poor.
Those who would too nearly imitate others of Superior Fortune must thank themselves if they are ruin’d. This is nothing against Luxury; for whoever can subsist and lives above his Income is a Fool. Some Persons of Quality may keep three or four Coaches and Six, and at the same time lay up Money for their Children: while a young Shopkeeper is undone for keeping one sorry Horse. It is impossible there should be a rich Nation without Prodigals, yet I never knew a City so full of Spendthrifts, but there were Covetous People enough to answer their Number. As an Old Merchant breaks for havinga been extravagant or careless a great while, so a young Beginner falling into the same Business gets an Estate by being saving or more industrious before he is Forty Yearsb Old: Besides that the Frailties of Men often work by Contraries: Some Narrow Souls can never thrive because they are too stingy, while longer Heads amass great Wealth by spending their Money freely, and seeming to despise it. But the Vicissitudes of Fortune are necessary, and the most lamentable are no more detrimental to Society than the Death of the Individual Members of it. Christnings are a proper Balance to Burials. Those who immediately lose by the Misfortunes of others are very sorry, complain and make a Noise; but the others who get by them, as there always are such, hold their Tongues, because it is odious to be thought the better for the Losses and Calamities of our Neighbour. The various Ups and Downs compose a Wheel that always turning round gives motion to the whole Machine. Philosophers, that dare extend their Thoughts beyond the narrow compass of what is immediately before them, look on the alternate Changes in the Civil Society no otherwise than they do on the risings and fallings of the Lungs; the latter of which are asa much a Part of Respiration in the more perfect Animals as the first; so that the fickle Breath of never-stable Fortune is to the Body Politick, the same as floating Air is to a living Creature.
Avarice then and Prodigality are equally necessary to the Society. That in some Countries, Men are more generally lavish than in others, proceeds from the difference inb Circumstances that dispose to either Vice, and arise from the Condition of the Social Body as well as the Temperament of the Natural. I beg Pardon of the attentive Reader, if here in behalf of short Memories I repeat some things, the Substance of which they have already seen in Remark (Q.) More Money than Land, heavy Taxes and scarcity of Provisions, Industry, Laboriousness, an active and stirring Spirit, Ill-nature and Saturninec Temper; Old Age, Wisdom, Trade, Riches, acquired by our own Labour, and Liberty and Property well secured, are all Things that dispose to Avarice. On the contrary, Indolence, Content, Good-nature, a Jovial Temper, Youth, Folly, Arbitrary Power, Money easily got, Plenty of Provisions and the Uncertainty of Possessions, are Circumstances that render men prone to Prodigality: Where there is the most of the first the prevailing Vice will be Avarice, and Prodigality where the other turnsa the Scale; but a National Frugality there never was nor never will be without a National Necessity.
Sumptuary Laws may be of use to an indigent Country, after great Calamities of War, Pestilence, or Famine, when Work has stood still, and the Labour of the Poor been interrupted; but to introduce them into an opulent Kingdom is the wrong way to consult the Interest of it. I shall end my Remarks on the Grumbling Hive with assuring the Champions of National Frugality that it would be impossible for the Persians and other Eastern People to purchase the vast Quantities of fine English Cloth they consume, should we load our Women with less Cargo’s of Asiatick Silks.
See Plutarch’s Lives (Dryden’s, 1683) i. 306, in the life of Solon.
[a]every 14, 23
[a]came] was come 14, 23
Edward Lloyd’s coffee-house, heard of first in 1688, grew into a meeting-place for merchants and shipmen, and by Mandeville’s day had become almost a small stock-exchange.
Compare Spinoza’s definition: ‘ Gloria est Lætitia concomitante idea alicujus nostræ actionis, quam alios laudare imaginamur’ (Ethica, pt. 3, def. 30). See also Descartes, Passions de l’Âme, art. 204. Cf. also below, i. 198, n. 2.
Compare Spinoza’s definition: ‘ Pudor est Tristitia concomitante idea alicujus actionis, quam alios vituperare imaginamur’ (Ethica, pt. 3, def. 31). Cf. also Descartes, Passions de l’Âme, articles 66 and 205.
[a]Woman 14, 23
This analysis of modesty is anticipated in Esprit, La Fausseté des Vertus Humaines, 1678, vol. 2, ch. 7. Cf. also Herrick’s couplets:
Concerning Mandeville’s analysis of sympathy see above, i. xc, n. 3.
Mandeville in 1732 recanted his statement that pride and shame are distinct passions, saying of himself, ‘… it was an Errour, which I know he is willing to own’ (Origin of Honour, p. 12. ‘The Symptoms, and if you will the Sensations’, he continued (p. 13), ‘that are felt in the Two Cases, are, as you say, vastly different from one another; but no Man could be affected with either, if he had not such a Passion in his Nature, as I call Self-liking. Therefore they are different Affections of one and the same Passion, that are differently observed in us, according as we either enjoy Pleasure, or are aggriev’d on Account of that Passion; in the same Manner as the most happy and the most miserable Lovers are happy and miserable on the Score of the same Passion.’—For the use which Mandeville makes of his conception of ‘self-liking’ see below, ii. 129–36.
[a]Rest of Remark C add. 23
[b]was 23, 24
French taste seems to have been more squeamish than English taste. The French translation omits this couplet, saying (ed. 1750, i. 61, n.), ‘ Ceux qui entendent l’Anglois s’appercevront aisément, pourquoi je me suis dispensé de les traduire. J’ai été obligé pour la même raison d’adoucir quantité d’expressions qui auroient pu faire de la peine aux personnes chastes.’
Cf. Virgin Unmask’d (1724), pp. 27–8, for an elaboration of this opinion.
[a]that add. 24
[b]she is] she’s 23–25
Bacon cited ‘ that principle of Machiavel, that a man seek not to attain virtue itself, but the appearance only thereof …’ (Advancement of Learning, ed. Spedding, Ellis, Heath, 1887, iii. 471; cf. Machiavelli, Il Principe, ch. 18). La Rochefoucauld wrote (Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault, maxim 606), ‘Ce que le monde nomme vertu n’est d’ordinaire qu’un fantôme formé par nos passions, à qui on donne un nom honnête, pour faire impunément ce qu’on veut’. Abbadie expressed himself much like Mandeville: ‘ … pour aquerir l’estime des hommes, il n’est pas necessaire que nôtre cœur soit changé, il suffit que nous nous déguisions aux yeux des autres, au lieu que nous ne pouvons nous faire approver de Dieu, qu’en changeant le fond de nôtre cœur’ (L’Art de se connoitre soy-meme, The Hague, 1711, ii. 435–6). Rémond de Saint-Mard said that ‘la politesse est un beau nom qu’on donne à la fausseté; car les vices utiles ont toûjours de beaux noms’ (Œuvres Mêlées, The Hague, 1742, i. 89).
Cf. Ovid, Amores 1. v. 7–8.
[a]no] no other 23
This argument is repeated in Mandeville’s Modest Defence of Publick Stews (1724), p. 26. Cf. Laconics: or, New Maxims of State and Conversation, ed. 1701, pt. 2, maxim 69, p. 46: ‘Reputation is a greater Tye upon a Woman than Nature, or they would not commit Murder to prevent Infamy.’
[a]such] such a 23–25
Cf. above, i. xcii–xciii.
[a]it om. 24
[c]don’t 14, 23
[d]then 14, 23
Cf. Mandeville’s Free Thoughts (1729), p. 292: ‘Therefore every shop-keeper has his mark, which is allowed to be secret. … The intrinsical value and prime cost of things is what all sellers endeavour with the utmost care to conceal from the buyers.’
[a]Leg 14, 23
[a]Loser.] Loser, 32
Cf. Colley Cibber, The Rival Fools 1 (Dramatic Works, ed. 1777, ii. 102): ‘ …. losers must have leave to speak. …’ See also Vanbrugh, The False Friend 1. i (ed. Ward, 1893, ii. 12).
[b]very add. 24
[a]but] but that 14–32
[a]rout 14, 23
[b]Rest of Remark G add. 23
See Fable i. 18.
Who is worth almost one hundred thousand pounds.
[a]Juniper-Berries 23, 24
‘Gin’ is an abbreviation of ‘geneva’.
[b]crafty 24, 29
A medical term implying a general dryness in the body and lack of serum in the blood.
[a]it’s] it is 23, 24
[c]then 23, 24
[a]that 23, 24
Cf. Juvenal, Satires xiv. 204–5.
[a]Example.] Example, 32
Mandeville repeats this observation in his Free Thoughts (1729), p. 257, and makes a similar one in Fable ii. 153.
A reference to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.
Polling a vote in the elections for Parliament held at the Guild-hall.
Mandeville used this word-coinage in Some Fables after the Easie and Familiar Method of Monsieur de la Fontaine (1703), p. 69.
[a]Quality.] Quality, 32
The costumes, possibly, in which ancient Roman rôles were played. Extravagant modern dress was used. Since even Barton Booth played Cato in a ‘flowered gown’ (Pope, Imitations of Horace 11. i. 337), it may be imagined what the dresses of strolling actresses resembled.
The French translator apparently had a different experience in these temples of Venus, for he writes (ed. 1750, i. 116, n.) concerning the music there, ‘C’est pour l’ordinaire un violon, & un psaltérion, ou un mauvais hautbois. Il faut que la musique de ces lieux ait changé depuis le tems que l’Auteur écrivoit
[a]endeavours 14, 23
A bailiff or sheriff.
Alexandre Toussaint de Limojon de Saint-Didier (1630?–89) was a diplomat and historian. Among his works was La Ville et la République de Venise, which is the work cited here—see p. 331, 3rd ed., Amsterdam, 1680.
Giovanni Niccolò Doglioni, who died early in the sixteenth century, was a voluminous historical writer, especially on matters connected with Venice.—Mandeville, however, is not quoting from Doglioni, but from Saint-Didier’s La Ville et la République de Venise, p. 331; or, rather, he is quoting from Bayle’s Miscellaneous Reflections, ii. 335, which quoted Saint-Didier! Anent this complicated series of quotations Bluet humorously remarks (Enquiry, ed. 1725, p. 138), ‘Again, does not he [Mandeville] say, that Mr. Bayle says, that Mr. de St. Didier says, that one Doglioni says, that the Venetians were much in the right to get Whores from Abroad, when they had not enough of their own at Home?’
This entire paragraph and the next to the end of the last italicized citation on p. 100 are an almost literal transcription of Bayle’s Miscellaneous Reflections, Occasion’d by the Comet (1708) ii. 334–6, with the exception of the half sentence above concerning the ‘Universities in England’, which is not in Bayle.
Bluet, with apparent truth, answered Mandeville’s charge against the colleges as follows (Enquiry, pp. 168–9): ‘… for the Satisfaction of all curious Readers, we do assure them, upon the Credit of those who have examined the Statutes of those Colleges in both Universities, which have at any Time been most suspected for such a Licence, that there is no Expression of this Sort, nor any Thing equivalent to it, nor any other that gives the least Countenance to Lewdness, nor does there appear to be the least Foundation to believe there ever was any such. On the other hand, there are in those very colleges express Statutes that punish Fornication with Expulsion.’
See above, i. 99, nn. 1 and 2. Bayle is discussed in the present edition, i. xlii–xlv, ciii–cv, and 167, n. 2.
[a](to whom … Paragraph) add. 23
Cf. Sallust, Catiline v. 4. In his Free Thoughts (1729), p. 380, Mandeville writes of ‘those that are tainted with the vice of Cataline, and are greedy after the possessions of others, only to heighten the satisfaction they feel in throwing away their own’.
[b]a add. 23
[c]thus add. 23
Mandeville several times apologizes for the ‘lowness’ of his similes. Cf. Free Thoughts (1729), pp. 100 and 390, Executions at Tyburn, p. 37, Modest Defence of Publick Stews (1724), p. [xiv], and Fable i. 354 and ii. 322.
[a]judiciously mixt] judiciously, mixt 142
[b]two om. 32
Cf. La Rochefoucauld: ‘Les vices entrent dans la composition des vertus, comme les poisons entrent dans la composition des remèdes …’ (Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault, maxim 182).
Concerning the historical background for Mandeville’s defence of luxury see above, i. xciv–xcviii.
[*]Daniel Dyke made the somewhat similar statement that God ‘can make sin, contrary to his own nature, to work to our good, driving out one poyson with another’ (Mystery of Selfe-Deceiving, ed. 1642, p. 205).
This opinion had been upheld by Locke (Works, ed. 1823, v. 19 and 72), Simon Clement (Discourse of the General Notions of Money, ed. 1695, p. 11), and Sir Josiah Child, who wrote: ‘Is there not a great similitude between the Affairs of a private Person, and of a Nation, the former being but a little Family, and the latter a great Family?
In the passage following Mandeville offers orthodox economics with some variations. The prevailing economic faith of his day—known now as mercantilism—believed money to be the best wealth of a country and the amount of a nation’s money a fair gauge of its prosperity. This did not mean, however, that economists were blind to more fundamental forms of wealth, such as land or labour (see below, i. 197, n.1); nor did it mean that they were ignorant of the limitations possessed by money. They realized the function of money as a ‘counter’ whose value may be adjusted; as Boisguillebert put it, ‘L’argent n’est … que le lien du commerce, et le gage de la tradition future des échanges, quand la livraison ne se fait pas sur-le-champ à l’égard d’un des contractants …’ (Factum de la France, in Économistes Financiers, ed. Daire, 1843, p. 278; cf. Cossa, Introduzione allo Studio dell’ Economia Politica, 3rd ed., Parte Storica, ch. 3, § 2). They understood, also, as early as the sixteenth century, that money has no absolute value, but is, as Mandeville said (below, i. 111), a ‘Commodity’ subject to the laws of commodities (cf. Bodin, Les Six Livres de la Republique, Lyons, 1593, pp. 882–3, and La Response de Iean Bodin aux Paradoxes de Malestroit (1594)—printed with the preceding book—, ff. 47 sqq., and for further examples, Montchrétien, Traité de l’Œconomie Politique, ed. Funck-Brentano, 1889, p. 257, Petty, Treatise of Taxes, ch. 5, § 9 sqq., Sir Dudley North, Discourses upon Trade, ed. 1691, pp. 16 and 18, and D’Avenant, Works, ed. 1771, i. 355). However, although knowing money for a tool, the mercantilists thought it the supreme tool, and, though recognizing it as a commodity, they considered it the most valuable commodity.
Cf. above, i. c, n. 1.
[b]we shall] we’ll 14, 23
[c]and only be] we only shall be 14, 23
[b]&c.] &c, 32
This Act was the culmination of a whole series of kindred Acts. In 1699 was passed an ‘act to prevent the making or selling buttons made of cloth, serge, drugget, or other stuffs’, the reason given being that ‘the maintenance … of many thousands … depends upon the making of silk, mohair … buttons … [which] silk and mohair … is purchased in Turkey … in exchange for our woollen manufacture, to the great … encouragement thereof’ (Statutes at Large 10 William III, c. 2). Two Acts (Statutes 8 Anne, c. 6, and 4 Geo. I, c. 7) were added in 1710 and 1718 to enforce this. Then, in 1720, Parliament passed an ‘Act for prohibiting the importation of raw silk and mohair yarn of the product or manufacture of Asia, from any ports or places in the Streights or Levant seas, except such ports and places as are within the dominions of the Grand Seignior’(Statutes 6 Geo. I, c. 14). In 1721 (Statutes 7 Geo. I, stat. 1, c. 7) Parliament passed a Bill ‘prohibiting the use and wear of all printed, painted, stained or dyed callicoes’. Finally, the same year (Statutes 7 Geo. I, stat. 1, c. 12), was passed an ‘act … encouraging the consumption of raw silk and mohair yarn, by prohibiting the wearing of buttons and buttonholes made of cloth, serge, or other stuffs’.
The opposition was directed chiefly against the more crucial cognate Bill of 1720. Several ‘powerful and valuable Companies’ protested, among them the dyers of linens and calicoes, the linen-drapers, the London drug importers, and the merchants to Italy (Journals of the House of Commons xix. 296–7, 276, and 269). The ‘Act … made in the Year 1721’, though apparently less contested, was impugned sufficiently to cause a resolution to be drawn up in the House of Lords, after the Bill had passed, which read, in part, ‘We do not think it improbable, considering the mighty Influence the great Companies may have on publick Affairs, but that Attempts may be made, even before the Provisions of the Act [7 Geo. I, stat. 1, c. 7] take place, to repeal it …’ (History and Proceedings of the House of Lords from the Restoration … to the Present Time, ed. 1742–3, iii. 143). The particular ‘Company’ to which Mandeville referred was probably the East India Company. The forbidden calicoes were largely ‘Imported by the East-India Company from India’ (John Asgill, Brief Answer to a Brief State of the Question, between the … Callicoes, and the Woollen and Silk Manufactures, 2nd ed., 1720, pp. 6–7. So, also, A Brief State of the Question between the … Callicoes, and the Woollen and Silk Manufacture, 2nd ed., 1719, p. 9).
[a]not.] not, 32; this paragraph add. 23
[b]it.] it, 32
Mandeville was fond of this expression. Cf. Free Thoughts (1729), p. 390, Executions at Tyburn, p. 49, and Fable ii. 309.
[a]Beastliness] beastliness of 142
[b]ou 14; our 23
[e]Tockay] Tockay Wine 14, 23
[a]in om. 32
[a]requires 14, 23
[c]o’ Bed 14, 23
The Duc de Villars. In spite of a serious illness and a disabled leg, and more than threescore years of age, he managed to head his troops in person, and to beat Prince Eugene decisively at Denair.
The war of the Grand Alliance (1689–97) and the War of the Spanish Succession, begun in 1701 and concluded with the Peace of Utrecht in 1713.
[b]Month;] Month 32
Fable i. 24.
[c]Remarks (M.) and (Q.)] Remark (M.) 14
Cf. La Rochefoucauld: ‘Si nous n’avions point d’orgueil, nous ne nous plaindrions pas de celui des autres’ (Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault, maxim 34).
[a]they say] say they 14–25
[b]Ambition,] Ambition 14, 32
[b]no om. 32
The French translator (ed. 1750, i. 166, n.) complains that Mandeville has done the Hottentots an injustice. ‘Ces Peuples,’ he says, ‘après la victoire, ont une humanité & une modération à l’égard des morts, qui ne se rencontrent peut-être chez aucune autre Nation.’ They never, he adds, pick their dead enemy’s pockets or steal his tobacco.
[a]Whitsuntide 14, 23
[a]her om. 142
[b]thence.] thence, 32
In this and the preceding paragraph there may be some reminiscence of a passage in Sir Dudley North’s Discourses upon Trade (1691), p. 15: ‘The meaner sort seeing their Fellows become rich, and great, are spurr’d up to imitate their Industry. A Tradesman sees his Neighbour keep a Coach, presently all his Endeavours is at work to do the like, and many times is beggered by it; however the extraordinary Application he made, to support his Vanity, was beneficial to the Publick, tho’ not enough to answer his false Measures as to himself.’ Cf. also Nicholas Barbon’s Discourse of Trade (1690), p. 64: ‘Those Expences that most Promote Trade, are in Cloaths and Lodging: In Adorning the Body and the House, There are a Thousand Traders Imploy’d in Cloathing and Decking the Body, and Building, and Furnishing of Houses, for one that is Imploy’d in providing Food.’
[a]so;] so, 14, 23
[a]ridiculous] a ridiculous 14–24
Cf. La Rochefoucauld: ‘Nous nous tormentons moins pour devenir heureux que pour faire croire que nous le sommes’ (Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault, maxim 539); and Abbadie: ‘… nôtre âme … cherche … de passer pour heureuse dans l’esprit de la multitude, pour se servir ensuite de cette estime à se tromper elle méme …’ (L’Art de se connoitre soy-meme, The Hague, 1711, ii. 360).
[a]Remark N add. 23
Cf. La Rochefoucauld: ‘On fait souvent vanité des passions même les plus criminelles; mais l’envie est une passion timide et honteuse que l’on n’ose jamais avouer’ (maxim 27, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault). See, also Coeffeteau, Tableau des Passions Humaines, Paris, 1620, pp. 368–9: ‘… les hommes sont honteux de confesser ouuertement qu’ils en [by envy] soient trauaillés … ils aiment mieux s’accuser de toutes les autres imperfections. … L’Enuie est donc vne Douleur qui se forme dans nos ames, à cause des prosperités que nous voyons arriuer à nos égaux ou à nos semblables. …’
[a]the 23, 24
[a]to add. 24
[a]first 23, 24
[b]again;] again 23
[c]again,] again; 23
Compare Spinoza’s definition: ‘Spes est inconstans Lætitia, orta ex idea rei futuræ vel præteritæ, de cujus eventu aliquatenus dubitamus’ (Ethica, pt. 3, def. 12). Cf. also Locke, Essay concerning Human Understanding, ed. Fraser, 11. xx. 9, and Hobbes, English Works, ed. Molesworth, iii. 43.
This passage particularly enraged William Law, who devoted all section 5 of his Remarks upon … the Fable (1724) to an attempted demonstration that certainty is not incompatible with hope. The reason for his agitation will be clear when it is recollected that the words ‘certain hope’ occur in the Order for the Burial of the Dead.
Cf. La Rochefoucauld: ‘Nous nous consolons aisément des disgrâces de nos amis, lorsqu’elles servent à signaler notre tendresse pour eux’ (maxim 235, in Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault, i. 126). See also maxim 583, which is echoed in Abbadie’s statement that ‘… c’est qu’il y a toûjours dans les disgraces qui leur [friends] arrivent, quelque chose qui ne nous déplait point’ (L’Art de se connoitre soy-meme, The Hague, 1711, ii. 319).
In the medical vocabulary of the time, ‘Temperament’ or ‘Complexion’ meant that blend of the four ‘humours’, or chief body fluids (blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy), or of the four related qualities (hot, cold, dry, and moist), the proportions of which, according to the physiology of the day, determined and named a man’s physical and mental disposition. Thus, in choleric, or bilious, people, choler (bile) was dominant; in the sanguine, blood.—‘Complexion’ sometimes also, as perhaps here, was a synonym for ‘humour’.
[a]Body.] Body, 32
[a]which it is] which is 24–29, 24 Errata; which is 32. As 24 already has which is the corrigendum must be a misprinted effort to correct 24 to the text of 23
[a]them] them, 32
[a]him ;] him, 32
See the dialogue called Epicureus (Opera, ed. Leyden, 1703–6, i. 882). Cf. above, i. cvi–cix, for Mandeville’s indebtedness to Erasmus.
Compare Locke, Essay concerning Human Understanding, ed. Fraser, 11. xxi. 60: ‘For, as to present happiness and misery, when that alone comes into consideration, and the consequences are quite removed, a man never chooses amiss: he knows what best pleases him. …’
Virgil, Eclogues ii. 65.
[b]his om, 142
[c]Birth] his Birth 142
[a]arm’d] is arm’d 29
[b]as 14, 23
Compare Locke: ‘… I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts’ (Essay concerning Human Understanding, ed. Fraser, 1. ii. 3). Cf. above, i. 148, n. 1, and below, i. 315, n. 3.
[d]never 14, 23
This same idiom was used by Mandeville in the preface to Typhon.
[a]a om. 142
Cf. Saint-Évremond: ‘Sénéque étoit le plus riche homme de l’Empire, & louoit toujours la pauvreté’ (Œuvres, ed. 1753, iii. 27); and Boisguillebert: ‘[Seneca] … traitant du mépris des richesses sur une table d’or’ (Dissertation sur la Nature des Richesses, in Économistes Financiers du XVIIIe Siècle, ed. Daire, 1843, p. 409, n. 1).
The Franciscans, for example, applied the general monastic vow of poverty so strictly that they were not supposed to allow money even to touch their persons.
[a]soon be] be soon 142
In his Origin of Honour (1732) Mandeville returns to his contention of the unreality of virtue in nunneries: ‘It would perhaps be an odious Disquisition, whether, among all the young and middle-aged Women who lead a Monastick Life, and are secluded from the World, there are Any that have, abstract from all other Motives, Religion enough to secure them from the Frailty of the Flesh, if they had an Opportunity to gratify it to their Liking with Impunity. This is certain, that their Superiors, and Those under whose Care these Nuns are, seem not to entertain that Opinion of the Generality of them. They always keep them lock’d up and barr’d …’ (pp. 56–7).
[c]Evangeliophorus 14, 23
Erasmus, Opera (Leyden, 1703–6) i. 833, in the colloquy Cyclops, sive Evangeliophorus.
[a]the om. 142
John Eachard, D.D. (1636?–97) was the author of Grounds & Occasions of the Contempt of the Clergy and Religion Enquired into (1670).
[a]on 14, 23
[b]will do] does 142
This is a reference to a booklet called Mrs. Abigail; or an Account of a Female Skirmish between the Wife of a Country Squire, and the Wife of a Doctor in Divinity. Mrs. Abigail is a serving-maid who marries a parson and then makes herself ridiculous by attempting to take precedence over her former mistress. The author ridicules the ‘pretended Quality and Dignity of the Clergy’ through Mrs. Abigail’s insistence on their dignity. The work was dated 20 August 1700, was issued in 1702, and reprinted in 1709. An answer, ‘wherein the Honour of the English Clergy … is … vindicated from … a late Pamphlet called Mrs. Abigail’, appeared in 1703.
[a]reasonable 14 Errata (ignored in later editions)
[c]all the Symptoms] a great share 14, 23
1 Cor. vii. 9.
[a]Martyrdom] a Martyrdom 142
[b]has not Strength … to] can’t 14, 23
[c]we give] be given 142
[a]a-foot] on foot 142
The places mentioned and the detail of the six horses show Mandeville to be referring specifically to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
[b]a add. 25
[b]Those pageant Ornaments … but add. 24
[c]their own Appetites] themselves 14
[a]are om. 32
Plutarch, from whom Mandeville probably derived his information (see below, i. 224, n. 1), in his life of Marcus Cato writes that he had five servants (Dryden’s Plutarch’s Lives ed. 1683, ii. 549).
See Lucan, Pharsalia ix. 498–510.
Charles XII (reigned 1697–1718), largely because of his desire for revenge on Augustus of Poland, repeatedly refused the advantageous offers of peace extorted by his extraordinary successes and still available even after his defeat by Peter the Great at Pultowa in 1709. From then till 1714, when Mandeville was writing, Charles was in Turkey, whence he returned late that year to direct the war Sweden had faithfully maintained in his absence.
[a]This note add. 23
Literally quoted, except for the change of one unimportant word, from Bayle’s Miscellaneous Reflections (1708) ii. 381, and ultimately from the Essais (Bordeaux, 1906–20, ii. 146).
See, for example, §§ 135 to 138, and especially § 136, commencing, ‘YOU may call Man a reasonable Creature, as long as you please: still it’s true, he hardly ever acts by fixt Principles’. The gist of Bayle’s opinion is found in § 138: ‘… That Man is not determin’d in his Actions by general Notices, or Views of his Understanding, but by the present reigning Passion of his Heart.’ Cf. above, i. xlii–xlv and ciii–cv.
[a]even om. 29
[b]to add. 23
[a]furthest 141, 23–25
[b]now are] are now 142
King James’s College at Chelsea, founded in 1610 as a religious seminary, failed financially and was abandoned. On its site was erected Chelsea Hospital, one of the most successful works of Sir Christopher Wren, which is still known in the neighbourhood as ‘The College’, and it is to this and not the original institution that Mandeville refers.
Of this erstwhile palace Dr. Johnson, too, remarked (Boswell’s Life, ed. Hill, 1887, i. 460) ‘that the structure of Greenwich hospital was too magnificent for a place of charity. …’
[c]a Funeral … made add. 23
[d]it is] is it 14
Cf. below, i. 212, n. 1.
In 1513 there was passed a statute freeing surgeons from jury-duty. They were not so freed, however, because deemed unfit for the task, but because ‘there be so small number of the said fellowship of the craft and mystery of surgeons, in regard of the great multitude of patients that be, and daily chance, and infortune happeneth and increaseth in the foresaid city of London, and that many of the King’s liege people suddenly wounded and hurt, for default of help in time to them to be shewed, perish . . . by occasion that … [the surgeons] have been compelled to attend upon … juries …’ (Statutes at Large 5 Henry VIII, c. 6).
[a]a om. 32
[b]the Countenance … Beast] his countenance 14
[a]them 14, 23
[b]a add. 24
Compare Montaigne in the Apologie de Raimond Sebond: ‘… la science de nous entredesfaire & entretuer, de ruiner & perdre nostre propre espece, il semble qu’elle n’a pas beaucoup dequoy se faire desirer aux bestes qui ne l’ont pas:
Mandeville cited this very poem (see below, i. 219, n. 1).
The title-page of Hobbes’s Leviathan (ed. 1651) shows the picture of a colossus formed of minute human figures.
Cf. La Fontaine: ‘La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure …’ (Le Loup et l’Agneau, line 1).
Mandeville explains his admiration of the lion’s structure in Fable ii. 233–4.
[a]as soon as … can] what Mortal can, as soon as the wide Wound is made, and the Jugulars are cut asunder, 14
Mandeville had originally held the Cartesian hypothesis that animals are feelingless automata. His college dissertation Disputatio Philosophica De Brutorum Operationibus (1689) was based on this, and his Disputatio Medica de Chylosi Vitiata (1691) had upheld the thesis ‘Bruta non sentiunt’ (p. ). In the Fable, however, he has adopted instead the position of Gassendi (which he had attacked in the Disputatio Philosophica, sign. A3v, that animals do feel; cf. F. Bernier’s Abregé de la Philosophie de Gassendi (Lyons, 1684) vi. 247–59.
[a]Estate, so] Estate. So 14, 29, 32; Estate, So 23–28. When Estate. So was corrected to Estate, so in 23, the compositor evidently forgot to make the corresponding change in capitalization.
Cf. D’Avenant, Political and Commercial Works (1771) i. 390–1: ‘Kingdoms grown rich by traffic, will unavoidably enter into a plentiful way of living. … We in England are not tied to the same strict rules of parsimony, as our rivals in trade, the Dutch. … The ordinary charges of their government in time of peace, what for keeping out the sea, payment of interest-money for 25 millions, and other expences, amount per ann. to near 4 millions, which is a vast sum for so small a country; so that they are continually forced, in a manner, to pump for life, and nothing can support them but the strictest thrift and œconomy imaginable. …’ With this passage compare also Fable i. 185–8.
[a]them 14–32; him 24 Errata
Their political coalition—the Union of Utrecht—did not occur till somewhat after the period Mandeville implies. Before the Union in 1579, Dutch cooperation against Spain was simply one of common action and embraced all the seventeen provinces.
[a]History.] History, 32
[b]the add. 23
The sack of Antwerp in 1576 was thus termed.
[c]further improve our] keep up the Price of 14
[a]they] that they 29
[b]since] ever since 14
[c]it add. 23
It was then that the unprepared Dutch were called upon to face the combined forces of England and of Louis XIV.
[d]Burthen … lies] Burden lies of all Excises and Impositions 14
The common view that wealth depends upon frugality and does not necessarily lead to luxury found a spokesman in Temple, who, in his Observations upon … the Netherlands (Works, ed. 1814, i. 175–8), used the Dutch to prove his points. The case of the Netherlands, therefore, had to be dealt with if Mandeville was successfully to oppose the current opinion, and Remark Q is largely the result of this need. On this matter see Morize, L’Apologie du Luxe (1909), pp. 102–6.
[b]such add. 23
[c]up 14, 23
[a](what …) that] that (which is yet impossible) 14
[a]Remainder of paragraph add. 23
To this and similar passages in the Fable there is an interesting parallel in La Bruyère’s Caractères (Œuvres, ed. Servois, 1865–78, ii. 275): ‘Mais si les hommes abondent de biens, et que nul ne soit dans le cas de vivre par son travail, qui transportera d’une région à une autre les lingots ou les choses échangées? qui mettra des vaisseaux en mer? qui se chargera de les conduire? … S’il n’y a plus de besoins, il n’y a plus d’arts, plus de sciences, plus d’invention, plus de mécanique.’
[a]to it add. 23
See Observations upon the . . . Netherlandsin Works of Sir William Temple(1814) i. 165.
[b]powerfully add. 23
[c]the labouring add. 23
[a]there add. 23
Although, as he states, his position was not the accepted one, yet, in his use of Spain as an example of the dangers of trusting too much to bullion, Mandeville had had numerous predecessors—among them Lewes Roberts’s Treasure of Traffike or a Discourse of Forraigne Trade, 1641 (Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce, ed. Political Economy Club, 1856, pp. 68–9), Britannia Languens, or a Discourse of Trade, 1680 (Select Collection, pp. 300 and 390–1), Petty’s Quantulumcunque concerning Money, 1682 (in the answers to queries 21, 22, and 23), and D’Avenant’s Discourse on the East-India Trade (Political and Commercial Works, ed. 1771, ii. 108). North’s Discourses upon Trade, ed. 1691, pref., p. [xi], while not mentioning Spain, had laid down the proposition ‘That Money is a Merchandize, whereof there may be a glut, as well as a scarcity’. To these various attempts at showing the evil of prohibiting the export of bullion, however, I note no verbal parallels in the Fable.
Mandeville is quoting, as Bluet points out (Enquiry, pp. 56–8), a translation of the Idea de un Príncipe of Diego de Saavedra Fajardo (1584–1648) by Sir J. A. Astry—The Royal Politician Represented in One Hundred Emblems, 1700. Mandeville is citing especially the sixty-ninth Emblem, ii. 151 sqq.
Louis XI was never either at Toledo or the Holy Land. Saavedra Fajardo as correctly translated by Astry said merely, ‘Lewis King of France’ (Royal Politician ii. 157). (The printer may have misread Mandeville’s roman numerals.) During the reign (1126–57) of Alfonzo the Emperor (Saavedra Fajardo identifies him) there were two kings of France called Louis—Louis VI and VII. Saavedra Fajardo probably referred to the latter, who made a pilgrimage to the shrine at Compostela of Iago, the patron saint of Spain, and also took part in the second crusade.
[a]a add. 23
Alfonzo III (reigned 1158–1214), commonly known as Alfonzo VIII, contrived a coalition against the Moors to which Innocent III granted the privileges of a crusade.
In Free Thoughts (1729), p. 270, Mandeville again referred to ‘the Spaniard’s own Confession’. I do not find this ‘Confession’ in the Royal Politician or in de Solis, whom Mandeville might be thought to have had in mind (see below, ii. 277, n. 2).
The paragraph just concluded is a paraphrase of Saavedra Fajardo’s Royal Politician ii. 157–9.
Cf. Hobbes (English Works, ed. Molesworth, iii. 232, in Leviathan): ‘The Nutrition of a commonwealth consisteth, in the plenty, and distribution of materials conducing to life … plenty dependeth, next to God’s favour, merely on the labour and industry of men’; Petty (Economic Writings, ed. Hull, i. 68): ‘… Labour is the Father and active principle of Wealth …’; Locke (Of Civil Government 11. v. 40): ‘… if we will rightly estimate things as they come to our use, and cast up the several expenses about them, what in them is purely owing to nature, and what to labour, we shall find, that in most of them ninety-nine hundredths are wholly to be put on the account of labour’; Child (New Discourses of Trade, ed. 1694, pref., sign. [A 6v]): ‘It is multitudes of People, and good Laws, such as cause an encrease of People, which principally Enrich any Country …’; D’Avenant (Works, ed. 1771, i. 354): ‘… the real and effective riches of a country is its native product’; John Bellers (Essays about the Poor, ed. 1699, p. 12): ‘Land and Labour are the Foundation of Riches. …’ In Spectator no. 232 (by Hughes?) Sir Andrew Freeport is made to say, ‘The goods which we export are indeed the product of the lands, but much the greatest part of their value is the labour of the people. …’
Cf. Sully (Économies Royales, ed. Chailley, Paris, n.d. [Guillaumin], p. 96: ‘… le labourage et pastourage estoient les deux mamelles dont la France estoit alimentée, et les vrayes mines et tresors du Perou.’
In his Origin of Honour (1732) Mandeville wrote:
Was Mandeville perhaps aiming his argument specifically against Descartes’s Passions de l’Âme, art. 45: ‘Ainsi, pour exciter en soy la hardiesse & oster la peur, il … faut s’appliquer à considerer les raisons, les objets, ou les exemples, qui persuadent que le peril n’est pas grand …’? Descartes’s analysis was very much opposed to Mandeville’s; see, for instance, articles 48 and 49, and art. 50, where Descartes held ‘Qu’il n’y a point d’ame si foible, qu’elle ne puisse, estant bien conduite, acquerir un pouvoir absolu sur ses passions’.
The conception that animals owe their bravery to anger is in Aristotle (see Nicom. Ethics 111. viii. 8).
[a]obnoxious 14, 23
[c]to consult … Method] in a different manner to act toward 14
Hobbes had identified anger and ‘sudden courage’ (English Works, ed. Molesworth, iv. 42), and Shaftesbury had impugned this identification in the Characteristics, ed. Robertson, 1900, i. 79–80. Montaigne applied the Aristotelian definition of animal courage (see above, i. 205, n. 1) to men (Essais, Bordeaux, 1906–20, ii. 317). See also Charron, De la Sagesse, bk. 3, ch. 19.
[a]how civiliz’d … may] as civiliz’d as Men can 14
Horace, Epistles 1. ii. 62.
[c]whom add. 24
[a]becomes 14, 23
Cf. Aristotle, Nicom. Ethics 111. vii. 11.
This whole passage concerning Lucretia is a paraphrase of Bayle’s Miscellaneous Reflections (1708) ii. 371–2. See also Fontenelle, Dialogues des Morts, the dialogue between Lucretia and Barbe Plomberge.
‘La passion qui est cachée dans le cœur des Braves,’ wrote Esprit,’ ‘c’est l’envie d’établir leur réputation …’ (La Fawseté des Vertus Humaines, ed. 1678, ii. 165; cf. vol. 2, ch. 10, and i. 522). La Rochefoucauld expressed the same idea (Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault, maxim 215).
Cf. Origin of Honour, p. 159: ‘No body fights heartily, who believes himself to be in the wrong. …’
[a]Death,] Death 32
The physiology of the day conceived the nervous, vital forces as ‘fluids’ circulating through brain and body—the so-called ‘spirits’ (animal, natural, or vital), and, following out this materialistic confusion of thought, attributed the degree of one’s vitality to the vigour and abundance of the ‘spirits’. Mandeville elsewhere (in his Treatise, ed. 1730, p. 163) recognized this as possibly only a convenient hypothesis.—Solids, of course, would be the ordinary body structures.
Maxim 220, Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault.
[c]with all … and] mangled [mangled, 142] Carcasses, with all the various Scenes of 14
Cf. below, ii. 107, n. 1
[b]horrid 141, 23; horid 142
Spaccio della Bestia Trionfante, or, in English, The Expulsion of the Savage Beast, published in 1584, consisted of three allegorical dialogues of anti-Christian tone. Budgell gave an account of this book in Spectator no. 389, for 27 May 1712.
Bayle, from whose Miscellaneous Reflections (ed. 1708, ii. 376–9) Mandeville has apparently taken his information about Vanini, called him ‘the detestable Vannini’ (Miscellaneous Reflections ii. 356).
According to the Historiarum Galliæ ab Excessu Henrici IV (ed. Toulouse, 1643, p. 209) by G. B. Gramont [Gramondus], whose father, by the author’s own statement (p. 211), was Dean of the Parliament of Toulouse which condemned Vanini, and an eye-witness of his execution, the sentence was: ‘Illi [Christ] in extremis præ timore imbellis sudor, ego imperterritus morior.’
Cf. Rycaut, Present State of the Ottoman Empire (1687), p. 64. Bluet, however, demonstrates (Enquiry, p. 128, n.), by alining parallel passages, that Mandeville was not drawing directly from Rycaut, but from Rycaut as cited in Bayle’s Miscellaneous Reflections (see ed. 1708, ii. 379), for Mandeville quotes Bayle verbatim, as he does not do with Rycaut.
[a]instead of Valour … himself], and even by himself be mistaken for a Principle of Valour 14
[b]without laughing … Finery] upon a Man accoutred with so much paultry Gaudiness and affected Finery, without laughing 14
[a]in add. 23
The recruiting sergeant in Farquhar’s play of The Recruiting Officer (see especially 1. i), who enlists men through the very wiles that Mandeville mentions.
[d]there 24–32; they 24 Errata
This reference to survivals of the extravagant novels of an earlier period, such as Amadis of Gaul, is only one of various scornful references by Mandeville to romantic literature. See, for example, Mandeville’s The Virgin Unmask’d (1724), p. 131, where a character says for him, ‘. . . . the reading of Romances has too much spoil’d your Judgement’, and his Origin of Honour, pp. 48 and 90–1.
[b]it is] is it 14
[c]it add. 23
[a]which 14, 23
See A Satyr against Mankind. This verse satire contains matter akin to Mandeville’s, Rochester, too, deriving the so-called good qualities from bad ones:
During the time of the Republic the Raadpensionaris of the province of Holland held an extraordinary variety of offices, including that of Chairman of the Estates of Holland and—in modern terms—of President of the Estates General, Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister of the Republic.
Mandeville’s thesis that honour has two aspects, one according to the social, the other according to the moral law, had been anticipated by Bayle and Locke. Bayle argued, ‘By a Man of Courage, the World understands one extremely nice in the Point of Honor, who can’t bear the least Affront, who revenges, swift as Lightning, and at the hazard of his Life, the least disrespect. … A Man must be out of his Wits to say, the Counsels or Precepts ofJesus Christ bestow this Spirit …’ (Miscellaneous Reflections, ed. 1708, i. 283; cf. Réponse aux Questions d’un Provincial, pt. 3, ch. 28). And Locke wrote, ‘Thus the challenging and fighting with a man, as it is a certain positive mode, or particular sort of action, by particular ideas, distinguished from all others, is called duelling: which, when considered in relation to the law of God, will deserve the name of sin, to the law of fashion, in some countries, valour and virtue; and to the municipal laws of some governments, a capital crime’ (Essay concerning Human Understanding 11. xxviii. 15).—The opposition between ‘honour’ and Christianity is the central thought of Mandeville’s Origin of Honour.
[a]and add. 23
The above paragraph and the preceding one, beginning with ‘was not without Mystery’, is quoted verbatim from Dryden’s Plutarch (see ed. 1683, i. 158–9), in the ‘Life of Lycurgus’.—Hutcheson seems to have noticed this when he spoke of Mandeville’s ‘pert evidences of immense tritical erudition; which no mortal could have known, without having spent several years at a Latin school, and reading Plutarch’s Lives Englished by several hands’ (Reflections upon Laughter, and Remarks upon the Fable of the Bees, Glasgow, 1750, p. 72).
[b]that of the] those 14
[c]Weavers add. 23
[d]Silks 14, 23
See Fable i. 34.
One who prepares bars for the manufacture of wire. The only instance of use of the word in this sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary (Barman 2) is this of Mandeville.
[a]Remark T add. 23
[a]the] that the 23
[a]poorly] but poorly 23
La Rochefoucauld, maxim (3 Œuvres, ed. Gilbert and Gourdault, i. 32): ‘Quelque découverte que l’on ait faite dans le pays de l’amour-propre, il y reste encore bien des terres inconnues.’
[a]hurt] hurt, 28–32
[b]the last] this 23
Compare Mandeville’s later statement (Fable i. 409) that ‘The first Impression … in 1714, was never carpt at, or publickly taken notice of. …’ I know of no reference to the Fable earlier than 1723.
Cf. Jacques Esprit’s La Fausseté des Vertus Humaines (Paris, 1678) i. 100, which, after arguing that vicious conduct is essential to men for worldly success, retorted that ‘il n’est pas necessaire de s’agrandir, & il est necessaire d’être droit, veritable & fidele’.
Cf. Bayle, Continuation des Pensées Diverses, § 124, last paragraph.
[a]be soon] soon be 23–29
[b]very scarce . . . wanted] scarce, if not almost useless 23
This doctrine, rendered of great significance by the rebellions against Charles I and James II, that a king, as sovereign by divine right, is entitled to unquestioned and unlimited obedience, no matter how outrageous his demands, is attacked at length in Mandeville’s Free Thoughts (1729), pp. 335–54.
[a]a add. 24
That virtue consists in following nature, and that ‘to be well affected towards the public interest and one’s own is not only consistent but inseparable’ (Characteristics, ed. Robertson, 1900, i. 282), were fundamental beliefs of Shaftesbury. However, by ‘nature’ he meant the scheme of the universe, to follow which, therefore, involved the subjection of oneself to its plan; and the agreement of one’s interest with that of the community was attained only by self-discipline. Shaftesbury, consequently, although he believed, as Mandeville said, that virtue may sometimes be achieved without mortifying one’s desires, yet, contrary to Mandeville’s implication, placed his emphasis not on self-indulgence, but self-discipline: he thought self-denial usually essential—the most virtuous action, indeed, being the result of the greatest self-denial (cf. Characteristics i. 256). See above, i. lxxiii-lxxv.
[a]as] as is 23–29
The asceticism satirized by Mandeville in his parable of small beer is well exemplified in Mme Périer’s Vie de Pascal: ‘… quand la nécessité le [Pascal] contraignait à faire quelque chose qui pouvait lui donner quelque satisfaction, il avait une addresse merveilleuse pour en détourner son esprit, afin qu’il n’y prît point de part: par example, ses continuelles maladies l’obligeant de se nourrir délicatement, il avait un soin très-grand de ne point goûter ce qu’il mangeait …’ (in Pensées de Pascal, Paris, 1877, p. xix). Law’s Serious Call, whose great vogue vouches for its representativeness, is dominated by the same attitude (cf. ed. 1729, pp. 34, 104, and 110–11). Compare 1 Cor. x. 31.
See Cleomenes 11. ii.
[a]to 14, 23
[a]an Eye] a Look 14
[a]expedition 14; Expedition 23
[a]a] for a 25–32
[b]Hand 23, 24
For this anecdote of the Spartan king of the fifth century b.c., known both as Agis II and Agis I, see Dryden’s Plutarch, the ‘Life of Lycurgus’, ed. 1683, i. 155. Cf. above, i. 224, n. 1. The polemarchi were the military leaders. They had civil functions also and ranked in importance next to the king.
For the cited account, see Dryden’s Plutarch, ed. 1683, i. 170–1.
Just as, in his defence of luxury, Mandeville had to dispose of the case of Holland (see above, i. 189, n. 2), so he had to deal with that of Sparta. But, although he could argue that the Dutch were frugal only because of necessity, it was much more difficult to reason thus about the Spartans. Mandeville’s master, Bayle, had called attention to the wealth of the Spartans and had concluded that, therefore, their frugality was genuine and admirable (Réponse aux Questions d’un Provincial, pt. 1, ch. 11). This is probably the reason why Mandeville, in this Remark, abandoned temporarily his contention of no ‘National Frugality without a National Necessity’ (Fable i. 183), and urged instead the undesirability of the Spartan civilization.
[d]T’ enjoy] To enjoy 29
[e]has] as has 14
[a]Book ends here 14, adding FINIS
[†]P. 212, 213. First Edit. 175, 176.
[*]P. 215. First Edit. 178.
[‡]P. 106. First Edit. 77.
[†]P. 116. First Edit. 87.
[*]P. 115, 116. First Edit 86, 87.
[a]as om. 32
[b]of 23, 24
[c]Saturnine] a Saturnine 23–25