Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter viii: Of the mutual Duties of Humanity - The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature
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chapter viii: Of the mutual Duties of Humanity - Samuel von Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature 
The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, trans. Andrew Tooke, ed. Ian Hunter and David Saunders, with Two Discourses and a Commentary by Jean Barbeyrac, trans. David Saunders (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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Of the mutual Duties of Humanity
I. Doing good to others. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 3.Among the Duties of one Man towards another, which must be practis’d for the sake of Common Society, we put in the third place this, That every Man ought to promote the Good of another, as far as conveniently he may. For all Mankind being by Nature made, as it were, akin to each other; such a Relation requires more than barely abstaining from offering Injury and doing Despight to others. It is not therefore sufficient that we neither hurt nor despise our Fellows, but we ought also to do such good Offices to others, or mutually to communicate the same, as that common brotherly Love may be kept up among Men. Now we become beneficial to our Neighbour, either indefinitely or definitely; and that either parting with something or nothing our selves.
II. Benefactors of the first Sort. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 3. §2.That Man indefinitely promotes the Good of others, who takes such necessary care of his Mind and Body, that he may be able to perform such Actions as may be profitable to his Neighbour; or who by the Acuteness of his Wit finds out something that may be of Advantage to Mankind. So that those are to be accounted guilty of a Breach of this Duty, who betaking themselves to no honest Calling spend their Lives in Sloth, as if their Souls were given them but to serve as Salt to keep their Bodies from stinking, or as if they were born but to make up a Number, and eat their Share: And such as, being content with the Estates their Ancestors have left ’em, think they may give themselves up to Idleness without blame, because they have whereon to live by the Industry of others: And those who alone enjoy what they have got, not bestowing any Part upon others: Finally, all those who, like Hogs, do Good to no one till they die; and all that Sort of Wretches who only serve to load the Earth with their useless Weight.
III. Such deserve Honour as make themselves useful to the Publick. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 3. §3.On the other side, to those who make it their Business to deserve well of Mankind, the Rest of the World owe thus much, that they don’t envy ’em, nor lay any Rubs in their way, while by their noble Actions they seek the Universal Good: And if there be no Possibility for themselves to imitate ’em, they at least ought to pay a Regard to their Memory and promote their Honour, which perhaps is all they shall get by their Labours.
IV. Good done to others without any charge or cost to the Benefactor.Now not to do readily all that Good to others which we can do without Detriment, Labour, or Trouble to our selves, is to be accounted detestable Villany and Inhumanity. The following are wont to be called Benefits which cost nothing, or which are of Advantage to the Receiver, without being a Charge to the Bestower. Such as, to allow the Use of the running Water; the letting another light his Fire by mine; the giving honest Advice to him that consults me; the friendly Directing a wandring Man to the right Way, and the like. So, if a Man have a mind to quit the Possession of a Thing, either because he has too much, or because the keeping of it becomes troublesome, why should he not rather leave it fit for Use to others, (provided they are not Enemies) than to mar or destroy it? Hence it is a Sin for us to spoil Victuals, because our Hunger is satisfied; or to stop up, or cover a Spring, because we have quenched our Thirst, or to destroy Buoys set up to discover Shelves and Sands, or *Mercuries in Roads, when our selves have made use of them. Under this Head may be comprehended also the little Alms bestow’d by the Wealthy upon those who are in Want; and that Kindness which we justly shew to Travellers, especially if under Necessities, † and the like.
V. Good done to others with an Expence to the Benefactor. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 3. §15.But it is a higher Degree of Humanity, out of a singular Favour to do a good Turn freely, which costs either Charge or Pains, that so another may either have his Necessities relieved, or acquire some considerable Advantage. And these, by way of Excellence, are called Benefits, and are the fittest Matter for rendring Men Illustrious, if rightly tempered with Prudence and Magnanimity. The Dispensation of which, and the Manner, are to be regulated according to the Condition of the Giver and Receiver. Wherein Care is first of all to be taken; 1. That the Bounty we are about to exercise do not more Hurt than Good to the Person to whom we design a Kindness, and to others: Next, 2. That our Bounty be not greater than consists with our Ability: Then, 3. That the Worthiness of Men be regarded in our Distribution, and Preference given to the Well-deserving. We must therefore consider how far each stands in need of our Help, and observe the Degrees of Relation among Men; moreover, ’tis to be observ’d what every one wants most, and what they can or cannot compass with or without our Assistance.‡ The Manner also of exercising Acts of Kindness will render them more acceptable, if they be done chearfully, readily, and heartily.
VI. Gratitude. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 3. §6.And then he who receives a Benefit ought to have a grateful Mind, by which he is to make it manifest, that it was acceptable to him, and that for its sake he has a hearty Respect to the Donor, and that he wants nothing but an Opportunity or an Ability of making, if possible, a Requital of the full value or more. For it is not absolutely necessary that the Returns we make be exactly tantamount to the Courtesy we receive, but our Good-will and hearty Endeavour are in lieu to be accepted. Not but that sometimes he who pretends to have done me a Kindness, may, notwithstanding, have no Reason to say, he has obliged me thereby; as if a Man shall drag me out of the Water, into which he pushed me before; in such a Case I owe him no thanks.
VII. Thanks.Now by how much the more Benefits are apt to oblige and place Engagements on the Minds of Men, by so much ought the Party who is beholden to be the more eager to return his Thanks. If it be but because we ought not to suffer our Benefactor, who out of a good Opinion he had of us has done us a Kindness, to think worse of us; and because we should not receive any Favour, but with a Design to endeavour, that the Giver shall never have Cause to repent of what he has done for us. For, if for any particular Reason we are not willing to be beholden to such or such a Man, we may civilly avoid the Accepting of the Courtesy. And truly if no grateful Returns were to be made upon the Receipt of Benefits, it would be unreasonable for any Man to cast away what he has, and to do a good Turn where beforehand he is sure it will be slighted. By which means all Beneficence, Good-Will, and Brotherly-Love would be lost among Men; and there would be no such things as doing Kindnesses frankly, nor any Opportunities of procuring mutual Friendships, left in the World.
VIII. Ingratitude. L. N. N. l. 3. c. 3. §17.And though the ungrateful Man, cannot be precisely said to do a Wrong; yet the Charge of Ingratitude is look’d upon as more base, more odious, and detestable than that of Injustice; because ’tis judged a Sign of an abject and rascally Soul for a Man to shew himself unworthy of the good Opinion, which another had entertain’d of his Probity, and not to be mov’d to some Sense of Humanity by Benefits, which have a Power to tame even the Brutes. But, let Ingratitude be never so abominable, yet simply considered as it is a bare Forgetting of a Courtesy, and a Neglect of making a due Return upon occasion, Courts of Judicature take no cognizance of it; for it would lose the Name of Bounty, if it were redemandable by Law, as Money lent is; because then it would be a Credit. And whereas it is a high Instance of Generosity to be grateful, it would cease to be a generous Action, when so to do could not be avoided. Beside that it would take up the Business of all Courts, by reason of the great Difficulty in making an Estimate of all the Circumstances, which either would enhance or lessen the Benefit: And that it was to this End I bestow’d it, (to wit, that I did not therefore demand a Promise of Repayment,) that so the other might have an Occasion of shewing his Gratitude, not for Fear of Punishment, but out of Love to Honesty; and to manifest, that it was not in Hopes of Gain, but only out of mere Kindness that I was liberal of that, which I would not take care should be reimburs’d to me. But for him who improves his Ingratitude, and not only gives no thanks to, but injures his Benefactor; * this shall cause an Aggravation of his Punishment, because it plainly demonstrates the profligate Villany and Baseness of his Mind.
[*] Inscribed Posts set up in Highways to direct Travellers.
[†] See Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, lib. 2. cap. 2. §11, 12. seq.
[‡] Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, Lib. 2. Cap. 5. §10.
[*] See Grotius de Jure Belli & Pacis, Lib. 2. Cap. 20. §20.