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Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, Vol. 1 [1732]

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Bernard Mandeville, 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. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/846

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About this Title:

Mandeville is a witty satirist who used a poem to make the profound economic point that “private vices” (or self-interest) lead to “publick benefits” (such as orderly social structures like law, language, and markets).

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Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [none]
M A N D E V I L L E’S
FABLE OF THE BEES
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Edition: current; Page: [i]

Letter Addressed to Sir Hans Sloane

Sloane MS. 4076, f. 110 (British Museum)

(Reduced)

The date of this letter must be later than 3 April 1716 for Sloane was not made a baronet till then

Edition: current; Page: [ii]
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THE

FABLE

OF THE

BEES:

O R,

Private Vices, Publick Benefits.

By

BERNARD MANDEVILLE.

With a Commentary

Critical, Historical, and Explanatory by

F. B. KAYE

The First Volume

O X F O R D:

At the Clarendon Press

MDCCCCXXIV

Edition: current; Page: [iii]
The Fable of the Bees
or Private Vices, Publick Benefits.
BY BERNARD MANDEVILLE
WITH A COMMENTARY
CRITICAL, HISTORICAL, AND EXPLANATORY
BY F. B. KAYE
VOLUME ONE
Liberty Fund
INDIANAPOLIS
Edition: current; Page: [iv]

This book is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a foundation established to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.

The cuneiform inscription that serves as our logo and as the design motif for our endpapers is the earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom” (amagi), or “liberty.” It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 B.C. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.

This Liberty Fund edition of 1988 is an exact photographic reproduction of the edition published by Oxford University Press in 1924. Permission to reprint has been granted by the Yale University Library, New Haven, CT, who own the rights to the 1924 edition. Copy for reprint from Indiana University Library, Bloomington, IN.

Liberty Fund, Inc.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Mandeville, Bernard, 1670–1733.

The fable of the bees, or, Private vices, publick benefits/by

Bernard Mandeville; with a commentary, critical, historical, and explanatory/by F.B. Kaye.

Previously published: Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1924.

Includes index.

1. Ethics—Early works to 1800. 2. Virtue—Early works to

1800. 3. Charity-schools—Early works to 1800. I. Title.

II.Title: Private vices, publick benefits.

BJ1520.M4 1988 88-646

170–dc 19 CIP

ISBN 0-86597-072-6 (set)

ISBN 0-86597-073-4 (v. 1)

ISBN 0-86597-074-2 (v. 2)

ISBN 0-86597-075-0 (pbk. : set)

ISBN 0-86597-076-9 (pbk. : v. 1)

ISBN 0-86597-077-7 (pbk. : v. 2)

02 01 00 99 90 C 6 5 4 3 2

03 02 01 00 99 P 8 7 6 5 4

his book is printed on paper that is acid-free and meets the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library MAterials, 739. 48–1992.archival

Cover design by Betty Binns Graphcs, New York, NY

Printed and bound by Edwards Brothers, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI

Edition: current; Page: [v]

To

My Father

Edition: current; Page: [vi]

‘I read Mandeville forty, or, I believe, fifty years ago. . . . he opened my views into real life very much.’

Johnson, in Boswell’s Life, ed. Hill, 1887, iii. 292.

‘The wickedest cleverest book in the English language.’

Crabb Robinson, Diary, ed. Sadler, 1869, i. 392.

‘If Shakespeare had written a book on the motives of human actions, it is. … extremely improbable that it would have contained half 50 much able reasoning on the subject as is to be found in the Fable of the Bees.’

Macaulay, in the essay on Milton (Works, ed. 1866, v. 5).

‘I like Mandeville better [than La Rochefoucauld]. He goes more into his subject.’

Hazlitt, Collected Works, ed. Waller and Glover, vi. 387.
  • ‘Ay, this same midnight, by this chair of mine,
  • Come and review thy counsels: art thou still
  • Staunch to their teaching ?—not as fools opine
  • Its purport might be, but as subtler skill
  • Could, through turbidity, the loaded line
  • Of logic casting, sound deep, deeper, till
  • It touched a quietude and reached a shrine
  • And recognized harmoniously combine
  • Evil with good, and hailed truth’s triumph—thine,
  • Sage dead long since, Bernard de Mandeville!’
  • Browning, Parleyings with Certain People (1887), p. 31.
Edition: current; Page: [vii]
Prefatory Note. Prefatory Note.

PREFATORY NOTE ON THE METHOD OF THIS EDITION

I. The Explanatory and Historical Annotations

I HAVE not passed these last years in Mandeville’s company without an ever-deepening certainty of his literary greatness. But the reader will discover very little insistence on this fact in the present edition. An editor, I think, may well post upon his study walls Dr. Johnson’s remark to Boswell: ‘consider, Sir, how insignificant this will appear a twelvemonth hence’—changing the twelve months to a hundred years. In such perspective, argument for Mandeville’s genius and complaint at his present neglect are futile, for republication and time will of themselves, I believe, so establish him as to make editorial defence an anachronism.

I have consistently tried to orient Mandeville in the stream of thought of his period by a constant paralleling of his text with the works of his contemporaries or predecessors, so that the measure of his difference from or kinship with the speculation of his age may always be apparent. Where the thought considered was common, I have cited only enough representative passages to bear out the fact of its commonness, or such anticipations as might be sources; where the sentiment was rare, I have usually given all the parallels found, whether or not sources. Since, however, a scholarly edition is not a text-book, Edition: current; Page: [viii] I have not attempted, in the matter of these citations, to do for the competent reader what he can do for himself. When noting parallels to Mandeville’s text I have indicated their relation as possible sources only when I felt that my study of the subject enabled me to bring to bear special insight, or when I believed that I could prove a case. And throughout I have been more interested in background than in sources.

In no edition can the commentary be exactly adapted to all the readers, and the difficulty of suiting the notes to the readers is especially great in the present case. The Fable of the Bees is concerned with so wide a range of thought that it is of import not only to those whose interest is primarily literary, but also to specialists in the history of economics and philosophy, and to Americans and Europeans as well as Englishmen. Consequently, what is extremely obvious to one reader may seem recondite to another, and an explanation which is a necessity for the one may impress the other as an insult to his education. I ask pardon of those whom I have thus outraged, having made it a rule to annotate when in doubt, on the ground that it is very easy to skip, but not so easy to supply an omission.

In determining what obsolete or technical words demanded elucidation I have tried to base my choice as objectively as possible, not simply conjecturing what words might justly perplex the reader. I selected two reputable dictionaries of moderate scope—an American and an English—the Desk Standard (Funk & Wagnalls) and the Concise Oxford Dictionary. A word not found in both these works is, I have assumed, sufficiently recondite to excuse annotation for the sake of either the American or the English reader.

I have not employed sic to indicate typographical errors in passages and titles cited. The reader may assume that the attempt has always been made to quote verbatim and literatim.—In my references the date given after the title refers not to the year of first issue, but to the particular edition used.— In the effort to cite from the best editions accessible to me, I have referred to two authors—Montaigne and Pascal—in editions differing somewhat in text from those available to Mandeville. I have, however, taken care to cite nothing Edition: current; Page: [ix] which might not have been known by Mandeville in the same or an equivalent form.

Let me also note here that certain words—‘rigorism’, ‘utilitarian’, ‘empirical’—have been used in a somewhat special sense (see my definitions below, i. xlviii and xlviii, n. 1, and lii).

II. The Text

Since the Fable of the Bees was published in two parts at different times, this edition is built on two basic texts of different date. The text used in volume one is that of the 1732 edition, which was the last edition during Mandeville’s life of the first part of the Fable. It is impossible to be sure whether this edition or that of 1725 is closer to Mandeville’s final intention (see below, i. xxxiv–xxxv). I have preferred the text adopted, because, other things being equal, the last authorized edition1 seemed to me preferable to an intermediate one and because the orthography of the 1732 edition is more modern.2 This edition has, moreover, a certain further interest in that it was from this issue that the French translation was made.3 The text used in volume two is that of the 1729 edition—the first edition of Part II. The only variations in the editions of Part II were apparently, as may be seen from the variant readings, due to the printer, so that the first edition is nearest to Mandeville’s text.

The textual notes list all significant variations in the texts of all the editions issued during Mandeville’s life except the pirated edition of the Grumbling Hive (1705). For the first volume, the editions used are those of 1714, 1723, 1724, 1725, 1728, 1729, and 1732, as well as the original edition of the Grumbling Hive (see below, i. xxxiii) and Mandeville’s Vindication, as it appeared in the London Journal for 10 August 1723, Edition: current; Page: [x] which first published it; and, for Part II, the editions of 1729, 1730, and 1733. Variations considered of sufficient interest for record comprise (1) all differences of text in which substitution, addition, or subtraction of words is involved, (2) contractions and expansions of words where the change causes a difference in pronunciation (e.g., them to ’em), and (3) a very few variations in punctuation which affected the sense of the passages involved. Variations due to misprints have not been noted except where there might be doubt as to the fact of the misprint, or where it made good sense. Variations in capitalization have not been noted, nor have differences in spelling, except in the special case of a proper name, where the alteration had significance (see below, i. 154, n. c). Although technically a change of word, the consistent alteration of whilst in the earlier editions to while in the last edition has been treated as the mere change of spelling which for practical purposes it was. Nor have I listed the frequent changes from humane to human. Likewise, the many alterations of terminal cy to ce and cies to ces (e. g., inconveniency to inconvenience) have not been noted except in two cases (i. 26 and 36) where they affected the rhyme scheme of versified portions of the Fable, and there I have made an exception to my general practice by substituting the terminal cies of the earlier texts for the ces of the basic one. In the case of references by Mandeville to the page numbers of other parts of his book, the numbers of which vary, of course, according to the editions, no variants are given, except where the reference is different not only in number but in fact. The presence of lists of errata has not been noted (with a few significant exceptions), but the corrections have been made as indicated in the various texts.

The basic texts (1732 and 1729) are reprinted unaltered in every way except that misprints have been corrected when it was quite certain that they were misprints, and that the punctuation of the basic text has been changed where it was too misleading. The latter has been done, however, only in the few cases where the pointing was so perplexed that it was more annoying than is the presence of the note with which I have always accompanied a correction; and, with three exceptions (see i. 263, n. a, ii. 311, n. a, and 338, n. a), there has always been authority for the Edition: current; Page: [xi] correction in some other edition. In every case whatever, I have always fully indicated all changes made in the basic text, with the authority for the change found in the other editions. The occasional semicolon where we should now never use it (e. g., in i. 144, l. 2, ii. 206, l. 2, 232, l. 36, 242, l. 27, 261, ll. 9 and 13, and 287, l. 24) is not an overlooked misprint, but according to the practice of the day.—Corrections in Mandeville’s indexes have been made by placing the correct reference in brackets after the original reference.

The original pagination of the basic texts is indicated in brackets in the margin throughout, so that references to Mandeville in previous critical works may be more easily traced.1 Because the original paging is given, I have not changed the pagination in Mandeville’s own references and his indexes to correspond to that of the present edition.

In my textual notes, the different editions are discriminated by the last two numbers of their date—e.g., 23 for 1723. Mandeville’s Vindication as originally published in the London Journal for 10 August 1723 is designated by the letters L. J. Both 1714 editions are designated as 14 where the variants noted are identical in both editions; where the variants differ the first printing is referred to as 141, the second, as 142. The presumed second printing of sheet O in the 1729 edition of Part II (see below, ii. 394–5) is referred to as 29b. In noting variants lemmas were thought unnecessary and omitted where a single word is substituted for another single word. Throughout the notes, ‘add.’ [added] means that the passage referred to first appeared at the date given by the note; e. g., ‘the add. 24’ means that the word ‘the’ was first inserted in the text in the edition of 1724. It may be assumed that an edition not named in a textual note is identical as regards the variant considered with the text adopted.

A bird’s-eye view of the extent and date of the chief textual variations in the different editions of the Fable may be secured below, ii. 392–3; and a history of the development of the text is given in the second chapter of the Introduction.

Edition: current; Page: [xii]

The decorations are all reproduced from books printed by James Roberts between 1717 and 1732, and chiefly from various editions of the Fable. Roberts printed most of Mandeville’s major works (see below, ii. 2, n.).

This edition is an elaboration of a dissertation presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Yale University in 1917. I gratefully confess my debt for aid given me at Yale by Professors G. H. Nettleton, A. S. Cook, and W. H. Durham. Since then I have incurred pleasant obligations to many other friends. Professor E. L. Schaub, Mr. Nichol Smith, Mr. George Ostler, Dr. A. E. Case, Professor Gustave Cohen, Dr. W. H. Lowenhaupt, and Dr. A. J. Snow have given me valuable criticism and suggestions. Miss Simone Ratel and Mrs. G. R. Osler have aided me to find references and verify the proof. Dr. A. H. Nethercot, Mr. F. H. Heidbrink, and Mrs. L. N. Dodge have greatly helped me in collating and preparing the text. Mr. George Ostler, of the Oxford Press, has kindly taken on his shoulders the task of making the index. To Mr. T. W. Koch I owe especial gratitude for making this book, as it were, his foster-child—he will know what I mean. Nor am I forgetful of the patience and goodwill with which the Press has placed its wisdom at my disposal. But above all I am indebted to my colleague, Professor R. S. Crane, to whose painstaking criticism and literary and scholarly tact this edition owes so much that were it not pleasurable it would be embarrassing to make acknowledgement.

Northwestern University,
Evanston, Illinois,
Edition: current; Page: [xiii]

THE CONTENTS

  • VOLUME ONE
  • PREFATORY NOTE vii
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS xiii
  • INTRODUCTION xvii
  • I. Life of Mandeville xvii

    Early life in Holland, p. xvii. Career in England, p. xix. Writings, p. xxx

  • II. History of the Text xxxiii
  • III. Mandeville’s Thought xxxviii

    1. The literary aspect, p. xxxviii. Background for the mingling of criteria which produced the paradox of ‘Private Vices, Publick Benefits’: the Deists, Renaissance scepticism, Pierre Bayle, p. xxxix. 2. Analysis of the paradox as embodied in the Fable, p. xlv. 3. Of the two contrary standards simultaneously adopted by Mandeville, which was his genuine attitude? p. lii. 4. Mandeville’s ethics: his apparent pyrrhonism, his basal utilitarianism, p. lvi. 5. Mandeville’s psychology: man completely egoistic; the function of pride; human irrationality; the ‘invention’ of virtue, p. lxi. 6. Certain misunderstood economic doctrines: the benefits of waste, his attitude towards charity-schools, p. lxvi. 7. Mandeville and Shaftesbury, p. lxxii. Summary, p. lxxv.

    Edition: current; Page: [xiv]
  • IV. The Background. lxxvii

    1. International character of the background, p. lxxvii. Background for Mandeville’s psychology (French): anti-rationalism, p. lxxviii; anticipations of anti-rationalism, p. lxxxiv; the basal egoism of man, p. lxxxvii; the function of pride in moral action, p. xci. Background for Mandeville’s economics (English, French, and Dutch): defence of luxury, p. xciv; the economic phase of Mandeville’s paradox, p. xcviii; defence of laissez-faire: general historical factors, literature, Mandeville’s special contribution, p. xcviii. 2. Influence of individual predecessors: Bayle, La Rochefoucauld, Gassendi, Erasmus, Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza, &c., p. ciii. Mandeville’s originality, p. cxi.

  • V. Mandeville’s Influence cxiv

    1. Vogue of the Fable, p. cxiv. 2. Literary influence, p. cxviii. 3. Influence on ethical thought: effect of Mandeville’s paradox as a stimulus towards utilitarianism—the two groups influenced: the ‘rigoristic’—Law, Dennis, et al., p. cxx—and the non-rigoristic—Adam Smith, John Brown, &c., p. cxxix; effect of Mandeville’s pyrrhonism on utilitarian theory, p. cxxxii; effect of his individualism, p. cxxxiii, n. 2. 4. Influence on economic theory: Adam Smith and the doctrine of ‘the division of labour’, p. cxxxiv; the defence of luxury, p. cxxxv; laissez-faire and Mandeville’s philosophy of individualism, p. cxxxix. Other influence by Mandeville, p. cxlii.

Edition: current; Page: [xv]
  • THE FABLE OF THE BEES. Part I

  • The Preface. 3
  • The Grumbling Hive 17
  • The Introduction 39
  • An Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue 41
  • Remarks. 58
  • An Essay on Charity, and Charity-schools 253
  • A Search into the Nature of Society 323
  • The Index [Mandeville’s] 371
  • A Vindication of the Book 381
  • VOLUME TWO
  • THE FABLE OF THE BEES. Part II

  • The Preface. 3
  • The First Dialogue 29
  • The Second Dialogue 62
  • The Third Dialogue 100
  • The Fourth Dialogue 148
  • The Fifth Dialogue 194
  • The Sixth Dialogue 266
  • The Index [Mandeville’s] 359Edition: current; Page: [xvi]
  • APPENDIXES
  • MANDEVILLE’S FAMILY (with Genealogical Table) 380
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE EDITIONS 386
  • CRITICISMS OF THE FABLE 401

    William Law, Richard Fiddes, John Dennis,

    George Bluet, Bishop Berkeley, Lord Hervey,

    Adam Smith, John Brown. Summary.

  • A LIST, CHRONOLOGICALLY ARRANGED, OF REFERENCES TO MANDEVILLE’S WORK 418
  • INDEX TO COMMENTARY 455
  • LIST OF FACSIMILES IN VOL. I

  • Letter addressed to Sir Hans Sloane frontispiece
  • Mandeville’s Will facing p. xx
  • Letter addressed to Lord Macclesfield facing p. xxvii
Edition: current; Page: [xvii]

INTRODUCTION

Introduction. Life of Mandeville.
I

LIFE OF MANDEVILLE 1

HEREDITY had its full share in Mandeville’s genius. From the sixteenth century men of prominence had been common in his family—on his father’s side, city governors, scholars, and physicians (his father, Michael, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather had all been eminent physicians); his mother’s kinsmen, the Verhaars, were naval officers.2

Bernard de Mandeville, or Bernard Mandeville, as he chose to call himself in later life,3 was baptized in Rotterdam, 20 November 1670.4 He attended the Edition: current; Page: [xviii] Erasmian School there until October 1685, when he matriculated at the University of Leyden.1 On this occasion he pronounced what he called, with a foreshadowing of the wit which was to make him famous, an oratiuncula,2 in which he stated his intention of devoting himself to the study of medicine. Nevertheless, he was registered the next year, 17 September, as a student in Philosophy.3 In 1689, on the twenty-third of March, he presented a dissertation under the mentorship of Burcherus de Volder, professor of Medicine and Philosophy.4 The subject-matter of this dissertation—Disputatio Philosophica de Brutorum Operationibus—suggests that Mandeville had continued for some time as a student in Philosophy. In 1690 Mandeville was still in residence,5 but the beadle’s lists for 1691 do not mention him, so that it is probable that he was away from Leyden during most of the Edition: current; Page: [xix] college year of 1690 to 1691. This would explain his being once more entered in the Album Studiosorum Academiae in 1691, the nineteenth of March,1 on the thirtieth of which month he took the degree of Doctor of Medicine,2 apparently returning only for that purpose.

He then took up the practice of medicine as a specialist in nerve and stomach disorders, or, as he called them, the ‘hypochondriack and hysterick passions’ or ‘diseases’.3 His father had practised this very branch of medicine.4

Soon after, Mandeville left his native country and, possibly after a tour of Europe,5 went to London ‘to learn the Language; in which having happen’d to take great delight, and in the mean time found the Country and the Manners of it agreeable to his Humour, he has Edition: current; Page: [xx] now been many Years, and is like to end his days in England’.1 Thus he himself explained his change of country.

His decision to remain in England must have been confirmed on 1 February 169 8/9, when he married Ruth Elizabeth Laurence at St. Giles-in-the-Fields.2 By her he was to have at least two children—Michael and Penelope.3

By 1703 he had achieved his wish of learning the language, for in that year he published the first extant of the English works which were to make him known to all the western world. 4

History now becomes paradoxical. Her file, which has not spared details of Mandeville’s youthful days of obscurity, records almost nothing of the years when he was one of the most celebrated men in the world. She notes a couple of his dwelling-places,5 lists his literary works,6 and records his death. That is almost all.

lf0014-01_figure_003.jpg

Mandeville’s Will

(Slightly reduced)

The will is endorsed, ‘Testator fuit põe Sti. Stephani Coleman street Lond et obijt 21 instan.’ The statement of probate 1 February by Michael Mandeville follows.

The affidavit (dated 31 January) to the genuineness of the will, preserved with it at Somerset House, was signed by John Brotherton (the publisher) and Daniel Wight.

But though record has been thus discreet, Edition: current; Page: [xxi] rumour has been more communicative. The brilliant free-thinking doctor was a kind of scarecrow to frighten ministers with, and the most damning whispers about him rustle through the pages of the eighteenth century:

‘… his own life was far from being correct … an indulger in gross sensuality. …’ 1 ‘…. a man of very bad principles. …’2 ‘On dit que c’étoit un homme qui vivoit comme il écrivoit. …’ 3 ‘ … the Writer of the Fable of the Bees was neither a Saint in his Life, nor a Hermit in his Diet. …’ 4

Gossip such as this has a certain spice lacking to that duller but more dependable information which may be culled from first-hand sources, and this is probably a reason why these second-hand speculations have hitherto bulked so large in all accounts of Mandeville’s life. The reader, however, who remembers the usual treatment given by gossip to writers supposed to hold irreligious principles will approach these indefinite statements with some scepticism, and may even wonder why there have not been preserved for us some really exciting scandals about Mandeville, for, as Lounsbury put it, ‘There is no mendacity more unscrupulous than that which sets out to calumniate those whom its utterers choose to deem the enemies of God’.5

The nearest approach to such scandals was furnished by Sir John Hawkins, one of the most unamiable liars who ever lived. Sir John’s motto was decidedly Edition: current; Page: [xxii] not ‘de mortuis nil nisi bonum’, for he spent much of his life elaborating unpleasant fictions about dead geniuses. He libelled Dr. Johnson, and Boswell rages in a score of places against his ‘inaccuracy’ and ‘dark uncharitable’ assertions.1 Bishop Percy spoke of him as a detestable libeller; Sir Joshua Reynolds called him ‘mean’, ‘grovelling’, and ‘absolutely dishonest’, and Malone observed that he never knew any one who did not believe Hawkins a scoundrel.2 I mention the facts relating to Sir John Hawkins so that the reader may know in what attitude to approach the facts related by him.

Mandeville [he said],3 whose christian name was Bernard, was a native of Dort in Holland. He came to England young, and, as he says in some of his writings,4 was so pleased with the country, that he took up his residence in it, and made the language his study. He lived in obscure lodgings in London, and betook himself to the profession of physic, but was never able to acquire much practice. He was the author of the book above-mentioned [the Fable], as also of ‘Free Thoughts on Religion’, and ‘a Discourse on Hypochondriac Affections’, which Johnson would often commend; and wrote besides, sundry papers in the ‘ London Journal’, and other such publications, to favour the custom of drinking spirituous liquors, to which employment of his pen, it is supposed he was hired by the distillers. I once heard a London physician, who had married the daughter of one of that trade, mention him as a good sort of man, and one that Edition: current; Page: [xxiii] he was acquainted with, and at the same time assert a fact, which I suppose he had learned from Mandeville, that the children of women addicted to dram-drinking, were never troubled with the rickets. He is said to have been coarse and overbearing in his manners where he durst be so; yet a great flatterer of some vulgar Dutch merchants, who allowed him a pension. This last information comes from a clerk of a city attorney, through whose hands the money passed.

In this string of statements—taken at the most unspecified second-hand and apparently an imaginative rendering of material originally in the Bibliothèque Britannique1and of some reminiscences of Mandeville’s own works2—there is scarcely an allegation which is not either highly improbable or capable of being directly disproved. If Mandeville wrote to increase the use of spirituous liquors, careful search through the contemporary journals has failed to reveal the fact.3 Such articles, indeed, would have been contrary to all his acknowledged opinions on the subject. In both the Fable of the Bees and the Treatise of the Hypochondriack and Hysterick Diseases, Mandeville dwelt vividly on the dangers of what he termed ‘this Liquid Poison’ (Fable i. 89).4 Concerning Edition: current; Page: [xxiv] Mandeville’s supposed opinion about the children of dram-drinking mothers, it is worth noting the form in which Hawkins put it. A friend of Mandeville gave Hawkins a medical opinion, and without the slightest apparent reason Hawkins assumed that this friend, although himself a physician, must have learned the opinion from Mandeville. As to the ‘vulgar Dutch merchants’, if they ever existed they were probably John and Cornelius Backer.1 The ‘pension’, however, was in that case apparently no gratuitous endowment, but the South Sea Annuities Edition: current; Page: [xxv] which made up part of Mandeville’s income and which the Messrs. Backer held in trust for him.1

The assertions of Hawkins as to Mandeville’s worldly station and professional success are of more interest, and we have, I believe, sufficient authentic evidence to determine the truth of these two matters, which are interdependent.

In the first place, it would be well to note a remark in Mandeville’s Treatise. Philopirio, who acts as his mouthpiece throughout the book,2says for him, in answer to the observation of another character that Philopirio would not ‘get into great Business’: ‘I could never go through a Multiplicity of Business. … I am naturally slow, and could no more attend a dozen Patients in a Day, and think of them as I should do, than I could fly.’3 In view of Hawkins’s general untrustworthiness and the fact that some of the information he retails is drawn from the Treatise, it is a fair prima facie assumption that the citation just given furnished the basis for Hawkins’s generalizations about Mandeville’s lack of worldly success. At any rate, there is positive evidence that Hawkins was romancing. Mandeville was one of the most successful authors and widely famed men of his day. His works were selling not only by editions but literally by dozens of editions.4 It is worthy of remark, too, that, in an age which specialized in personal abuse, none indictive attacks on Mandeville took what would have been an obvious course, had there been any grounds for it, of calling attention to his poverty. On the contrary, a contemporary opponent spoke of Edition: current; Page: [xxvi] him as ‘well dress’d’ (Fable ii. 23). It is to be noted, furthermore, that Mandeville felt able to take the notice of his medical skill which appeared in the first edition of his Treatise1 out of the later one. Moréri’s Dictionnaire, also, which was far from holding a brief for him, mentioned that ‘il … passoit pour habile’.2 Positive evidence of Mandeville’s status is contained in a letter from him to Sir Hans Sloane,3 perhaps the leading physician of the day. This letter shows Mandeville in consultation with the famous court physician and on terms of easy familiarity with him. Mandeville, moreover, was a friend of the wealthy and powerful Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Macclesfield. The attachment between the Earl of Macclesfield and Mandeville has been noted a number of times,4and a letter from Mandeville to the Chancellor indicates Edition: current; Page: [xxvii] this relation to have been one of genuine intimacy.1 The friendship of the Earl would have amply insured Mandeville against poverty and neglect. Finally, Mandeville, when he died, managed to leave behind him a competency which, measured by the monetary standards of the day, was at least respectable.2 In view of all this, it is hardly possible that the world-famous author, the consultant of Sir Hans Sloane, and the friend of Lord Macclesfield was in anything resembling the circumstances in which Hawkins has painted him, and Hawkins may be generally discredited.

lf0014-01_figure_004.jpg

Letter Addressed to Lord Macclesfield

Stowe MS. 750, f. 429 (British Museum)

(Reduced)

The ‘Lady Betty’ mentioned in this letter was Elizabeth Parker, Macclesfield’s daughter, who married William Heathcote of Hursley, Hampshire.

As a matter of fact, there is no authoritative firsthand evidence whatever as to Mandeville’s character and habits except what he himself has told us and the Edition: current; Page: [xxviii] brief remark of one single contemporary.1 Through his spokesman Philopirio, in the Treatise, in answer to the observations of another character in the work, Misomedon, Mandeville thus speaks of himself:

Phil.

… I hate a Crowd, and I hate to be in a Hurry. … I must own to you likewise, that I am a little selfish, and can’t help minding my own Enjoyments, and my own Diversion, and in short, my own Good, as well as the Good of others. I can, and do heartily admire at those publick-spirited People that can slave at an Employment from early in the Morning, ’till late at Night, and sacrifice every Inch of themselves to their Callings; but I could never have had the Power to imitate them: Not that I love to be idle; but I want to be employed to my own liking; and if a Man gives away to others two thirds of the Time he is awake, I think he deserves to have the rest for himself.

Misom.

Pray, did you ever wish for a great Estate?

Phil.

Often, and I should certainly have had one before now, if wishing could have procur’d it.

Misom.

But I am sure, you never sought heartily after Riches.

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Phil.

I have always been frugal enough to have no Occasion for them.

Misom.

I don’t believe you love Money.

Phil.

Indeed I do.

Misom.

I mean you have no Notion of the Worth of it, no real Esteem for it.

Phil.

Yes I have; but I value it in the same manner as most People do their Health, which you know is seldom thought of but when it is wanted.1

In another place 2 Mandeville remarked, ‘I am a great Lover of Company. …’ This trait is noted also in the one other first-hand account we have—that of Benjamin Franklin, fortunately a sane witness. Dr. Lyons,3 wrote Franklin,4 ‘carried me to the Horns, a pale alehouse in ——— Lane, Cheapside, and introduced me to Dr. Mandeville, author of the “Fable of the Bees”, who had a club there, of which he was the soul, being a most facetious, entertaining companion’.

Mandeville died at Hackney,6 Sunday morning,5 Edition: current; Page: [xxx] 21 January 173⅔,1 in his sixty-third year, possibly of the prevalent influenza.2

His works comprised the following writings: 3

I: AUTHENTIC WORKS
4Another edition, without date, placed by the British Museum in 1720.
1New editions 1724 (reissued 1731), 1742, 1757, and in 1713 (by title-page, 1714) under title of Mysteries of Virginity.
2The first edition had two issues in 1711 and one in 1715; the enlarged version, issued 1730 under title of A Treatise of the Hypochondriack and Hysterick Diseases, had two issues that year.
3First edition reissued 1721 and 1723; new edition (enlarged), 1729 and, possibly, 1733. French version (Pensées Libres), 1722, 1723, 1729, 1738; Dutch version, 1723; German version, 1726.
4Second edition, 1725, two editions in 1740, two without date, c. 1730–40. Numerous editions of the French translation (Vénus la Populaire), the first in 1727, the last in 1881.
5Second edition advertised in the Post Man for 4–7 Dec. 1714, under title of ‘Non-Resistance an useless Doctrine in Just Reigns’. The work is probably by Mandeville.
1Reprinted 1751 in Another Cordial for Low Spirits, which appeared as vol. 2 of A Cordial for Low SpiritsTracts by Thomas GordonSecond Edition (1751). The collection was reprinted in 1763.
Bernardi à Mandeville de Medicina Oratio Scholastica. Rotterdam. 1685
Disputatio Philosophica de Brutorum Operationibus. Leyden. 1689
Disputatio Medica Inauguralis de Chylosi Vitiata. Leyden. 1691
Some Fables after the Easie and Familiar Method of Monsieur de la Fontaine. 1703
Æsop Dress’d or a Collection of Fables Writ in Familiar Verse.4 1704
Typhon: or the Wars between the Gods and Giants: a Burlesque Poem in Imitation of the Comical Mons. Scarron. 1704
The Grumbling Hive: or, Knaves Turn’d Honest. 1705
The Virgin Unmask’d: or, Female Dialogues betwixt an Elderly Maiden Lady, and her Niece.11709
A Treatise of the Hypochondriack and Hysterick Passions.21711
Wishes to a Godson, with Other Miscellany Poems. By B. M. 1712
The Fable of the Bees. 1714
Free Thoughts on Religion, the Church, and National Happiness.31720
A Modest Defence of Publick Stews.4 1724
An Enquiry into the Causes of the Frequent Executions at Tyburn. 1725
Letter published in the British Journal for 24 April and 1 May 1725. 1725
The Fable of the Bees. Part II. 1729
An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War. 1732
A Letter to Dion, Occasion’d by his Book Call’d Alciphron. 1732
II: DOUBTFUL WORKS
The Planter’s Charity. 1704
A Sermon Preach’d at Colchester, to the Dutch Congregation. … By the Reverend C. Schrevelius. … Translated into English by B. M. M.D. [1708]
The Mischiefs that ought justly to be apprehended from a Whig-Government.5 1714
Letter to the St. James’s Journal for 20 Apr. 1723. 1723
Letter to the St. James’s Journal for 11 May 1723. 1723
Remarks upon Two Late Presentments of the Grand-Jury … wherein are shewn, the Folly … of Mens Persecuting One Another for Difference of Opinion in Matters of Religion. … By John Wickliffe.1 1729
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II: HISTORY OF THE TEXT 1

THE production of The Fable of the Bees consumed some twenty-four years. The germ from which it developed was a sixpenny2 quarto of twenty-six pages published anonymously on 2 April 1705.3 It was called The Grumbling Hive: or, Knaves Turn’d Honest.4 The piece took, for a pirated edition was soon printed, and ‘cry’d about the Streets in a Half-Penny Sheet’5 of four pages.

The work now lay fallow for almost a decade, until, in 1714,6 it reappeared as part of an anonymous book called The Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits, in which the original poem was followed by a prose commentary, explaining, in the form of An Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue and twenty ‘Remarks’, divers of the opinions expressed in the poem. There was a second edition the same year.7 Edition: current; Page: [xxxiv] In 17231 another edition, entitled the second, was issued at five shillings,2 with the ‘Remarks’ much enlarged3 and two essays added—An Essay on Charity and Charity-Schools and A Search into the Nature of Society.4

Now, for the first time, the work attracted real attention,5 and attacks upon it began to accumulate. The Grand Jury of Middlesex presented the book as a public nuisance, and what Mandeville called ‘an abusive Letter to Lord C.’ appeared in the London Journal for 27 July 1723. This caused Mandeville to publish, in the London Journal for 10 August 1723, a defence of his work against the ‘abusive Letter’ and the presentment. This defence he had reprinted upon sheets of a size such that they could easily be bound up with the 1723 edition,6 and he included this defence in all subsequent editions, together with a reprint of the letter to Lord C. and the Grand Jury’s presentment.7

In 1724 appeared the so-called third edition,8 in which, besides including the defence, Mandeville made numerous stylistic changes and added two pages to the preface. The next edition, in 1725, was identical except for a number of slight verbal alterations, some Edition: current; Page: [xxxv] of which are probably by Mandeville.1 The editions of 1728 and 1729 are unchanged except for small variations which are probably due to the compositor.2 Mandeville may have been responsible for a few verbal variations in the edition which followed in 1732.3

The variations between the editions show Mandeville to have been a conscious stylist, carefully polishing.4

While the various editions of Part I were pouring out, Mandeville was writing a second part to the Fable, made up of a preface and six dialogues, amplifying and defending his doctrines. He issued this in Edition: current; Page: [xxxvi] 1728 (by title-page 1729)1 under the title of The Fable of the Bees. Part II. By the Author of the First. It was published independently of the first part—by a different publisher, in fact. A second edition of Part II followed in 1730, and in 1733 came a third edition, called, on its title-page, ‘The Second Edition’.2

After this, the two parts were published together. A two-volume edition was advertised in 1733.3 Another two-volume edition was published at Edinburgh in 1755, this same edition later appearing with a misleading title-page dated London, 1734.4 Still another two-volume edition issued from Edinburgh in 1772. In 1795 both parts appeared in a single volume, and this same edition was reisued in 1806. This was the last complete edition of the book. It had, however, a partial resurrection in 1811, when the poem of The Grumbling Hive was issued at Boston, Massachusetts, in a small pamphlet ‘printed for the People’.5

Meanwhile, the work had been translated into foreign languages. In 1740 appeared a four-volume Edition: current; Page: [xxxvii] French translation attributed to J. Bertrand1—a free one, in which the Rabelaisian element in Mandeville was toned down; and a new edition of this was issued in 1750. It is possible that there was still another French edition in 1760.2 German translations appeared in 1761,3 1818,4 1914,5 and, possibly, in 1817.6

Such, in brief, was the textual history of the Fable of the Bees.

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III: MANDEVILLE’S THOUGHT

§ 1

IT is difficult to know whether the reader who discovers Mandeville is most struck at first by the freshness of his style or by the vitality of his thought. If, however, the thought be the thing which impresses, it does so largely because couched in a style in which the most idiomatic and homely vigour is combined with sophisticated control of rhythm and tone—a style at once colloquial and rhetorical, retaining all the easy flow of familiar speech and yet with a constant oratorical note,1and never failing to make even the most abstruse analysis so concrete as to strike beyond the intellect to the sympathies. No style of the age has retained more of the breath of life. It is more forceful and vivid than Addison’s, and, though it lacks Swift’s compression, it has more unction and more colour. Abounding in wit and humour, rich yet clear, equally adapted to speculation and to narrative, it offers a medium for popular philosophic prose lacking only in the quality of poetry.2

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Yet, paradoxically, the very power of Mandeville’s style has helped to make the Fable of the Bees a much misunderstood book. Mandeville put his unconventional point of view in such vigorous, downright, and uncompromising terms that he literally frightened a large proportion of his readers into misunderstanding him. The very title-page of his book—Private Vices, Publick Benefits—was enough to throw many good people into a kind of philosophical hysterics which left them no wit to grasp what he was driving at. Besides, despite the apparent clarity which Mandeville’s unusual articulateness allowed him to impart, his thought, since it dealt often with some of the profundities of ethical speculation, cannot be fully grasped unless related by the reader to a certain background of theory and observation.

A perspective can be gained from an analysis of a certain phase of contemporary thought—a phase well represented by the Deists. The Deists show on analysis a curious dual nature. On the one hand, they were a part of the great empirical movement that produced Bacon and Locke, and was to produce Hume. They believed in a world ordered by natural law, and in the inference of knowledge concerning this world by observation of its workings. In Edition: current; Page: [xl] so far, therefore, they appealed, empirically, to experience. On the other hand, they had faith in a cosmogeny and an ethics of divine origin and of eternal and universal truth and applicability. According to this view, the search for truth was an attempt to discover the divine ordinances, and a true ethics the correct formulation of the will of God. The method by which the Deists contrived to believe at once both in the divine origin of truth and virtue, and in its basis in observation and experience, was by postulating the inevitable agreement of the will of God with the results of man’s rational speculation.1To them, therefore, there was no conflict between reason and religion, private judgement and revelation.

But the forces which the Deists had managed temporarily to reconcile were capable of almost infinite mutual repulsion. On the one hand, as soon as men come to realize the contradictory nature of the data of experience and the irreconcilability of the appreciations of the experiencers, the appeal to experience may easily tend towards undermining faith in the absolute validity of our conceptions of truth and Edition: current; Page: [xli] virtue. The appeal may lead, in other words, towards a belief in the relativity of all our views, a belief which, intensified, becomes philosophical anarchism, or a denial of the possibility of any final criteria whatever. On the other hand, the religious conception that the laws of nature are the will of God is essentially anti-relativistic, for laws of divine origin are true irrespective of the opinions of conflicting observers—are of universal and absolute validity.—Similarly, in ethics, the stress on experience leads naturally to some such relating of moral codes to human convenience as utilitarianism; whereas the belief that moral codes have a divine sanction transcending the test of experience tends, on the contrary, to a moral absolutism which, though it does not necessarily lead to, may not inconsistently foster asceticism. Thus deism coupled in one creed a conception capable of leading to the most extreme relativism with one holding the potentiality of the most rigorous and uncompromising absolutism.

The Deists, as we have seen, held these forces in equilibrium by assuming the identity of the dictates of reason and the will of God. And this was a general position for the rationalists of the age.1But it was not the only method of handling the inevitable problem of the relation of individual inquiry and traditional religion. Another, and opposite, method was seen in that scepticism—especially prevalent in the Renaissance—of which Montaigne’s Apologie de Edition: current; Page: [xlii] Raimond Sebond was an example.1The Sceptics argued that reason and religion were antithetical. Religion offers us absolute truth; but, they argued in detail, the human reason is incapable of reaching such final truth: its conclusions are never more than relative. Having elaborated thus far the conflict between reason and religion, the Sceptics then proceeded to resolve the discord. Since, they said, reason is impotent to give us truth, reason itself, by its very impotence, shows us the need of religion to furnish us the truths we cannot find elsewhere. Thus the Sceptics developed elaborately the potential antithesis between reason and religion while yet holding them in unstable equilibrium.

Of the two chief methods of dealing with this fundamental problem of the relation of private judgement and traditional religion it was the second which Mandeville’s great thought-ancestor chose as the main theme on which to write his variations. Pierre Bayle2 (1647–1706) spent his prolific genius demonstrating with gusto the essential disconcordance between revealed religion and any appeal to experience, contrasting all the absolutism inherent in the one with all the relativism latent in the other.

With Bayle the appeal to experience led to a relativism so extreme as to approach a thoroughgoing philosophical anarchism. ‘. . . I am sure’, he said, ‘that Edition: current; Page: [xliii] there are very few good Philosophers in our Age, but are convinced, that Nature is an impenetrable Abyss, and that its Springs are known to none, but to the Maker and Director of them.’1 This scepticism as to the possibility to human endeavour of attaining absolute truth is general throughout his work.2 On the other hand, Bayle took pains to impress on his readers that religion demands precisely that finality which is unattainable from experience. Immediately after his statement that ‘Nature is an impenetrable Abyss’, he definitely stated that this doctrine is ‘dangerous to Religion; for it ought to be grounded upon Certainty. . . .’

But he was not satisfied with elaborating the conflict merely between reason and religion. Passing from the world of concepts to the world of actual conduct, he paralleled the opposition between reason and religion by the opposition of human nature in general to the demands of religion. Christianity, said Bayle, is ascetic, ordaining that we subdue our natural desires because they are due to the ‘Dominion of Original Sin, and … our corrupt Nature’.3 But Edition: current; Page: [xliv] humanity will not submit itself to such a discipline. Even if man could be made to sincerely profess Christianity, yet his nature would prevent his following his faith, for man does not act according to the principles he professes, but ‘almost always follows the reigning Passion of his Soul, the Biass of his Constitution, the Force of inveterate Habits, and his Taste and Tenderness for some Objects more than other’ (Miscellaneous Reflections i. 272). Small wonder, then, that Bayle should conclude that ‘the Principles of Religion are little pursued in the World . . .’ (Misc. Refl. i. 285).

Thus Bayle insisted on the incompatibility of religion not only with reason but with human nature in general. But Bayle did not on this account reject the religion he had thus opposed to humanity. He accepted it—at least outwardly—and with it, therefore, a code and an attitude with which his whole temper was out of harmony and which his normal manner of thinking discredited.

Bayle thus shows a paradoxical dualism in his scheme of things. He is an extreme relativist, yet he announces that the religion he professes demands finality; he reduces conduct, even the most beneficial, to the following of some dominant desire, yet he denounces desire Edition: current; Page: [xlv] as wicked. What he has shown true and good from a worldly point of view he condemns according to the other-worldly criterion. Now, in one way, there is nothing new about this. Long before Ecclesiastes, moralists were insisting that the good things of this world are vanity; that what is good from one point of view is wicked from a higher. Really, however, there is an essential difference between this and the attitude of Pierre Bayle. With the prophets, the paradox was that the things denounced should ever be thought good; with Bayle, that things so frankly true and useful should have to be looked upon as bad. Verbally, there may not seem much difference; philosophically, there could hardly be greater disparity between attitudes. In the latter case, the duality hid a fundamental worldliness which was eventually to crack the other-worldly moulds into which it was temporarily forced, as the incompatibility of the two elements was made more evident. The incongruity of the two attitudes held concurrently is clear in Bayle; but it is in Mandeville that it becomes most definite.

§ 2

It was in 1714, in an atmosphere contradictorily charged with the fanatical agitation of religious prophets and strange sects prophesying Armageddon, with the rationalism of the Deists, and with an adumbrating scientific attitude, that Mandeville issued the sensational volume in which these contemporary contradictions were caught up and juxtaposed in brilliant and devastating paradox.

The book is introduced by a short, rhymed allegory Edition: current; Page: [xlvi] of a bee-hive. Mandeville describes the dishonesty and selfishness in this hive. Merchants, lawyers, doctors, priests, judges, statesmen—all are vicious. And yet their wickedness is the stuff out of which is made the complicated social mechanism of a great state, where are seen

  • Millions endeavouring to supply
  • Each other’s Lust and Vanity … (Fable i. 18).
  • Thus every Part was full of Vice,
  • Yet the whole Mass a Paradise … (i. 24).

The bees, however, are not satisfied to have their viciousness mixed with their prosperity. All the cheats and hypocrites declaim about the state of their country’s morals and pray the gods for honesty. This raises the indignation of Jove, who unexpectedly grants the hive its wish.

  • BUT, Oh ye Gods! What Consternation,
  • How vast and sudden was th’ Alteration! (i. 28).
  • As Pride and Luxury decrease,
  • So by degrees they leave the Seas. …
  • All Arts and Crafts neglected lie;
  • Content, the Bane of Industry,
  • Makes ’em admire their homely Store,
  • And neither seek nor covet more (i. 34–5).

In this way, through the loss of their vices, the hive at the same time lost all its greatness.

Now comes the moral:

  • THEN leave Complaints: Fools only strive
  • To make a Great an Honest Hive.
  • T’ enjoy the World’s Conveniencies,
  • Be fam’d in War, yet live in Ease,
  • Without great Vices, is a vain
  • Eutopia seated in the Brain.
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  • Fraud, Luxury and Pride must live,
  • While we the Benefits receive. …
  • So Vice is beneficial found,
  • When it’s by Justice lopt and bound;
  • Nay, where the People would be great,
  • As necessary to the State,
  • As Hunger is to make ’em eat (i. 36–7).

Then, in the series of prose essays which follows, Mandeville elaborated the thesis of the poem on the bee-hive, that vice is the foundation of national prosperity and happiness. Now, by this he did not mean simply that all evil has a good side to it, and that this good outweighs the evil. His paradox turned, instead, on his definition of virtue. This definition was a reflection of two great contemporary currents of thought—the one ascetic, the other rationalistic. According to the first—a common theological position—virtue was a transcending of the demands of corrupt human nature, a conquest of self, to be achieved by divine grace. According to the second, virtue was conduct in accord with the dictates of sheer reason.1 Mandeville adopted both of these conceptions, and, amalgamating them, declared those acts alone to be virtuous ‘by which Man, contrary to the impulse of Nature, should endeavour the Benefit of others, or the Conquest of his own Passions out of a Rational Ambition of being good’ (i. 48–9). Thus, he combined an ascetic with a rationalistic creed. No contradiction was involved, for to Mandeville, in accord with much contemporary thought (see below, i. cxxii, n. 1), purely rational conduct was action in no wise dictated by emotion or natural impulse; and, therefore, both aspects of Mandeville’s definition equally proclaimed all conduct vicious which was not the result of a complete denial of one’s emotional nature—true virtue being unselfish and dispassionate.—This blend of asceticism and rationalism in Mandeville’s definition I shall hereafter refer to as ‘rigorism’.

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Now, when Mandeville came to examine the world in the light of this formula, he could find no virtue: he discovered, search as he would, no actions—even the most beneficial—dictated entirely by reason and quite free from selfishness. The affairs of the world are not managed in obedience to any such transcendent view of morality. If all actions were to cease except those due to unselfishness, the pure idea of good, or the love of God, trade would end, the arts would be unnecessary, and the crafts be almost abandoned. All these things exist only to supply purely mundane wants, which, according to Mandeville’s analysis, are all at bottom selfish. From the standpoint, therefore, of his rigoristic formula, everything was vicious. It was, accordingly, merely an obvious deduction that, since all is vicious, even things beneficial to us arise from vicious causes, and private vices are public benefits.

The matter can also be put in this way. Mandeville decided upon the public results of private actions according to utilitarian standards.1 That which is Edition: current; Page: [xlix] useful, that which is productive of national prosperity and happiness, he called a benefit. But he judged the private actions themselves according to an anti-utilitarian scheme, whereby conduct was evaluated, not by its consequences, but by the motive which gave it rise. In this case, only such deeds were virtuous as sprang from motives which fulfilled the demands of rigorism; the actual effect of conduct on human happiness made no difference. Mandeville himself was aware of the presence in his book of this dual morality of consequence and motive: ‘… there is an Ambiguity in the Word Good which I would avoid; let us stick to that of Virtuous . . .’, he said (ii. 109). And throughout the Fable he has been rather careful to use the words virtuous or vicious when applying the rigoristic criterion to motive, and other words when applying the utilitarian criterion to conduct. The paradox that private vices are public benefits is merely a statement of the paradoxical mixing of moral criteria which runs through the book.

Mandeville, then, like Bayle, has elaborated the obvious incompatibility of the ascetic ideal of morality with any utilitarian standard of living, and of the rationalistic ideal of conduct with a true psychology. By juxtaposing the contrary standards he has achieved a reductio ad absurdum of one or the other. Many people would say, of course, that Mandeville had demonstrated the absurdity of the Edition: current; Page: [l] rigoristic creed. They would say, If it be vice by which the good of the world is achieved, by all means let us be vicious, for viciousness of this kind is not wickedness but virtue. Mandeville, however, again like Bayle, did not accept this aspect of the reduction to absurdity; he did not admit that the usefulness of vice abolishes its wickedness. ‘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 . . .’ (i. 231). Neither, however, in spite of the passage just cited, did he accept the other aspect of the reduction; he did not say that, since national prosperity is based on viciousness, we should cease to endeavour to gain this prosperity and should live lives of self-mortification. Although he held this up as the ideal of conduct, he argued equally forcibly that this ideal is quite impossible of achievement. What he really advised is the abandonment of the attempt

  • To make a Great an Honest Hive.

Since you will be wicked in any case, he said, whether your country is prosperous or not, you might as well be wicked and prosperous.

… if Virtue, Religion, and future Happiness were sought after by the Generality of Mankind …, it would certainly be best, that none but Men of good Lives, and known Ability, should have any Place in the Government whatever: But to expect that this ever should happen … is to betray great Ignorance in human Affairs. … The best of all then not being to be had, let us look out for the next best …’ (ii. 335).

So Mandeville outlined methods by which to achieve Edition: current; Page: [li] national happiness, but always with the proviso that all this happiness is wicked; that, if it were only possible, it would be better to abandon it. In this way, he managed to maintain with consistency that public benefits are and must be based on private vices.

Perhaps it may seem to some as if Mandeville must have been either a very dull or a very perverse man not to have seen that he had achieved a practical reductio ad absurdum of the rigoristic attitude and should therefore have abandoned a creed which he had found so irreconcilable with experience. To such as think this I point to the example of Bayle, who exhibited a similar phenomenon, and remind the reader that Mandeville’s rigorism was an adaptation of a contemporary point of view both popular and respected, a view-point not yet extinct.1 Long after Mandeville, for instance, a position as rigorous as that of the Fable of the Bees was taken by Kant, who, like Mandeville, refused the name of ‘moral’ to actions dictated by personal preference, reserving the name for conduct motivated by impersonal devotion to abstract principle.2 Indeed, some such rigorism whereby principle is made completely superior to circumstance is latent in the morality of almost everybody. The ordinary man who says that right is right regardless of the consequences is taking the rigoristic position that it is obedience to principle, and not results, which determines right, and it needs only a development of this attitude to make him also maintain that private vice may become public good. Place this Edition: current; Page: [lii] average man in a position where if he does not tell a lie a great public calamity will come about. Now, in so far as he believes that right is independent of its consequences, he must believe that the lie would remain vicious in spite of all the good it would do the State. He must therefore in a sense believe that private vice (here, the lie) is a public benefit. In so far, indeed, as any one refuses to believe that, in morals, circumstances alter cases, he can be forced into Mandeville’s paradox.—I stress this particular matter for two reasons. The first is to vindicate Mandeville from the charge of obtuseness in the position which he took. The second is to show the still living interest of his thought.

§ 3

But which of the two contrary attitudes whose simultaneous presence had produced the Mandevillian paradox was really the one sympathetic to Mandeville? Did he really feel that only those actions were good which were done in accord with the dictates of a transcendent morality, or did he believe that the natural desires, whose need to society he had shown, were good? Should we call him ascetic or utilitarian, worldly or unworldly? Was he basally rigoristic or what, for lack of an exact term, I shall call ‘empirical’, meaning thereby that combination of qualities here opposed to ‘rigorism’? The question is crucial: and I believe it can be answered positively. Mandeville was fundamentally an empiricist, and an intense one. He shrinks from what transcends human experience: ‘… all our knowledge comes à posteriori, it is imprudent to reason otherwise than from facts’, he says (ii. 261). He will admit Revelation, formally, Edition: current; Page: [liii] but in such a way as to suggest that he does so only to avoid trouble with the authorities; and he then proceeds to negate the admission by denying the existence of even one instance of a man according his life with Revelation. Virtue? Honour? Charity? are not these of a transcendent sanctity? Certainly not, he would answer if thus asked; they have their roots in human nature and desire, and are as relative to the forces of nature as is the cultivation of a tulip. Those who best understand man, he believes, take him for what he is, ‘the most perfect of Animals’ (i. 44).

Mandeville’s adoption of the ascetic, other-worldly formula is entirely arbitrary. It is simply a final twist given to his thought after it has been worked out in harmony with the opposite or empiric viewpoint. It is a suit of clothes made for some one else which he has put on the living body of his thought. It is a kind of candle-snuffer with which he has covered the light of his real persuasion, and has no more of the real flame of his genius than a candle-snuffer of candle-flame. The rigoristic qualification—‘But all this of which I have shown the necessity is wrong’—is added to his thought as one adds a new twist to the ending of an already concluded story. Mandeville’s feeling is throughout anti-ascetic. He rejoices in destroying the ideals of those who imagine that there is in the world any real exemplification of the transcendent morality which he formally preaches. He is delighted to find that the rigoristic creed which he has adopted is an absolutely impracticable one. His real bias appears constantly. Of Cleomenes, who serves as his avowed spokesman (see ii. 21) in Part II of the Fable, he declares (ii. 18) that he has a ‘strong Aversion to Edition: current; Page: [liv] Rigorists of all sorts’. And he states that, ‘As to Religion, the most knowing and polite Part of a Nation have every where the least of it …’ (i. 269 and 308). Furthermore, he betrays his fundamental antipathy to the rigorism he outwardly espouses, by associating it with something he has definitely repudiated—the doctrine of ‘passive obedience’ (see below, i. 233, n. 1).

His very adoption of rigorism is in a way a means of satisfying his dislike of it. The stress he places on the irreconcilability of this rigorism with all the manifestations of civilization indirectly gratifies his disrelish of the former, just as his insistence on the absurdity of the biblical miracles from a scientific point of view satisfies his repugnance to them in the very act of apparently embracing them (cf. below, ii. 21, n. 2). Thus a man unwillingly doing another a favour may console himself by dwelling on his self-abnegation. In addition, the very intensity of the rigorism which Mandeville adds to his thought is a means of discounting the rigorism. By making his ethical standards so exaggeratedly rigorous, he renders them impossible of observance, and therefore can and does discard them for the ordinary affairs of the world.

True rigorists and transcendentalists have always sensed the fundamental disharmony between Mandeville’s real tendencies and his arbitrary asceticism; they have known that the latter was artificial and have detested him. Mandeville lacks one essential of a true believer in the insufficiency of the purely human: he does not believe in the existence of a superior something in comparison with which humanity is insignificant. He is lacking in any religious feeling or idealism. His rejection of all absolute laws and knowledge, his Edition: current; Page: [lv] insistence on the animal facts of life—these are not the result of any rigoristic distrust of nature as it is, but of such complete faith in it that he feels no need for any beliefs by which to attempt to lift himself above it. When he says (i. 231), ‘If I have shewn the way to worldly Greatness, I have always without Hesitation preferr’d the Road that leads to Virtue’, he is simply not to be believed.—Indeed, the empiric bias so pervades Mandeville’s book that it has been considered a deliberate satiric attempt to reduce the rigoristic attitude to absurdity.

The empiricism is so dominant and the rigorism so arbitrary in Mandeville’s thought that there is, in fact, an air of probability about this diagnosis. I do not, however, believe that Mandeville was attempting any conscious reductio ad absurdum of rigorism, whether or not he has achieved it. The rigoristic twist in his thought is too consistent for this supposition; it appears in all his major works,1 and seems to have become a part of his mind. The coupling of contradictory attitudes was, moreover, a prominent feature of the thought of the age 2 and still produces quite undeliberately the Mandevillian paradox. In addition, it furnished Mandeville with a protection against the wrath of the orthodox: he could, at will, point to the orthodox side of his teachings—‘I have always without Hesitation preferr’d the Road that leads to Virtue’; and, since people tend honestly to believe what makes them most comfortable, he must Edition: current; Page: [lvi] have had a real incentive to maintain his rigorism as more than a mere pose. But the rigorism is certainly not in keeping with his natural tendencies. That is the important thing to remember.

Mandeville’s philosophy, indeed, forms a complete whole without the extraneous rigorism. The best way, then, to know him thoroughly is to understand the details of the ‘empirical’ aspect of his thought. Once we have found what, from this point of view, Mandeville thinks desirable, we have only to add the rigoristic qualification, ‘But all this is vice’, and we shall understand the Fable.

§ 4

Discounting, then, the superficial rigorism, we may define Mandeville’s ethics as a combination of philosophical anarchism in theory with utilitarianism in practice. Theoretically, he admitted no final criterion for conduct whatever: ‘ … the hunting after this Pulchrum & Honestum is not much better than a Wild-Goose-Chace …’ (i. 331). There is no such thing as a summum bonum. All such principles of conduct as honour are chimeras (i. 198). The inevitable differences between men render it impossible that any definite agreement should ever be reached as to what is really desirable. Shall we say that the pleasurable or useful shall form our ideal? Why, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. From any different standpoint, ‘… a Man that hates Cheese must call me a Fool for loving blue Mold’ (i. 314). If it were argued that there is disagreement here because one of the two is mistaken as to what really constitutes pleasure, Mandeville would answer that Edition: current; Page: [lvii] the objection was entirely arbitrary. A man’s real pleasures are what he likes (i. 147–8); one cannot go behind this. One cannot, therefore, discover any really definite and final agreement between men as to what shall constitute a summum bonum or criterion according to which to plan a system of morality.

In the Works of Nature, Worth and Excellency are as uncertain [as the comparative value of paintings): and even in Humane Creatures what is beautiful in one Country is not so in another. How whimsical is the Florist in his Choice! Sometimes the Tulip, sometimes the Auricula, and at other times the Carnation shall engross his Esteem, and every Year a new Flower in his Judgment beats all the old ones. … The many ways of laying out a Garden Judiciously are almost Innumerable, and what is called Beautifulin them varies according to the different Tastes of Nations and Ages. In Grass Plats, Knots and Parterre’s a great diversity of Forms is generally agreeable; but a Round may be as pleasing to the Eye as a Square: … and the preeminence an Octagon has over an Hexagon is no greater in Figures, than at Hazard Eight has above Six among the Chances. … In Morals there is no greater Certainty (i. 327–30).

This radical philosophical anarchism, like the rigorism to which it formed so paradoxical a companion, was largely a reaction to contemporary rationalistic thought. In the one case as in the other, Mandeville was endeavouring to prove the impossibility of certain existing ideals. As he had confronted the current rigoristic standards with the demonstration that human nature rendered them unattainable, so he faced the current belief that the laws of right and Edition: current; Page: [lviii] wrong must be ‘eternal and immutable’1 with the observation that, in point of fact, they are temporary and variable.

Nevertheless, Mandeville’s pyrrhonism was not by any means so extreme as it might at first seem. He has exaggerated his opinions. He himself, protesting against a too literal reading of some of his statements, says quite definitely (ii. 221–2) that

A Man of Sense, Learning and Experience, that has been well educated, will always find out the difference between Right and Wrong in things diametrically opposite; and there are certain Facts, which he will always condemn, and others which he will always approve of: … and not only Men of great Accomplishments, and such as have learn’d to think abstractly, but all Men of midling Capacities, that have been brought up in Society, will agree in this, in all Countries and in all Ages.

No one, in point of fact, could write a book in which practical suggestions were offered if he really thought in accord with the extreme anarchism outlined in the last paragraphs.

And, indeed, Mandeville seems, in practice, not even a mild anarchist, but a thoroughgoing utilitarian. As a matter of fact, he is both a philosophical anarchist and a utilitarian. There is not here the contradiction there may at first seem to be, for utilitarianism need not be the hard-and-fast setting up of some particular form of welfare as the goal of conduct, but may be simply the ideal of satisfying the various differing Edition: current; Page: [lix] desires and needs of the world as much as possible.1 To say that welfare, or pleasure, or happiness should be the end of action does not mean the limiting of this welfare, pleasure, or happiness to one particular kind, but may allow the satisfaction of as many kinds as there are people. It offers no fatal opposition to pyrrhonism, then, for under it, as well as under pyrrhonism, a man could enjoy blue mould without forbidding his neighbour to eat truffles. Indeed, anarchism in the realm of theory accords very well with utilitarianism in the world of practice, and always has so accorded.

Mandeville’s utilitarianism is marked. It not only underlies his position, but is given explicit expression.

Every Individual [he says] is a little World by itself, and all Creatures, as far as their Understanding and Abilities will let them, endeavour to make that Self happy: This in all of them is the continual Labour, and seems to be the whole Design of Life. Hence it follows, that in the Choice of Things Men must be determin’d by the Perception they have of Happiness; and no Person can commit or set about an Action, which at that then present time seems not to be the best to him (ii. 178).

… 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 Person who commits them (i. 244).

… there is not one Commandment in it [the Decalogue], that has not a regard to the temporal Good of Society … (ii. 283; cf. also ii. 282).

In his Modest Defence of Publick Stews (ed. 1724, pp. 68–9), he states his utilitarianism most succinctly:

Edition: current; Page: [lx]

… it is the grossest Absurdity, and a perfect Contradiction in Terms, to assert, That a Government may not commit Evil that good may come of it; for, if a Publick Act, taking in all its Consequences, really produces a greater Quantity of Good, it must, and ought to be term’d a good Act. … no sinful Laws can be beneficial, and vice versa, … no beneficial Laws can be sinful.

If we look at the Fable in this light, we shall see that, even in places which at first seem out of keeping with it, the utilitarian standard has been applied. ‘Private Vices, Publick Benefits’—does this mean that everything is a benefit since everything is vicious? Not at all. Vices are to be punished as soon as they grow into crimes, says Mandeville (i. 10). The only vice to be encouraged is useful vice (i. e., that which the non-rigoristic would not call vice at all). Harmful vice is crime, and to be discouraged. In other words, the real thesis of the book is not that all evil is a public benefit, but that a certain useful proportion of it (called vice) is such a benefit (and, as I indicated earlier, is on that account not really felt to be evil, though still called vicious). There is here a definite application of the utilitarian standard.

This point can hardly be over-emphasized. Much nonsense has been uttered concerning Mandeville’s believing everything equally valuable and his attempting to encourage wholesale vice, and crimes such as theft and murder. And this although he wrote a whole book1 on how to make the prevention of crime more efficacious. Mandeville never urged that all vice was equally useful to society; this misappre Edition: current; Page: [lxi] hension drew from him protest after protest.1 All he maintained was that, viewed from his arbitrary rigoristic point of view, all actions were equally vicious. But practically, if not always theoretically, he was a utilitarian.

§ 5

Having considered the objective phase of Mandeville’s ethics, let us now examine its subjective side. What feelings cause men to be moral, and how are these feelings related to one another? We have already noted the untranscendental nature of Mandeville’s anatomy of society, and his analysis of the world’s activity into the interplay of purely human ‘passions’ and wants. These various passions and wants, it remains to add, he found to be so many manifestations of self-love, and all the actions of men so many naïve or deliberate efforts to satisfy that self-love.

ALL untaught Animals are only sollicitous of pleasing themselves, and naturally follow the bent of their own Inclinations, without considering the good or harm that from their being pleased will accrue to others (i. 41).

But such a state of things could not comfortably go on. So wise men

thoroughly examin’d all the Strength and Frailties of our Nature, and observing that none were either so savage as not to be charm’d with Praise, or so despicable as patiently to bear Contempt, justly concluded, that Flattery must be the most powerful Argument that cou’d be used to Human Creatures (i. 42–3).

Edition: current; Page: [lxii]

They therefore organized society in such a fashion that those who acted for the good of others were rewarded through their pride, and that those who lacked this regard for others were punished through their shame. ‘… the Moral Virtues’, concluded Mandeville (i. 51), therefore, ‘are the Political Offspring which Flattery begot upon Pride.’

To develop more exactly Mandeville’s conception of the selfish basis of moral conduct, we may divide the motivation of good acts by selfish emotion into two varieties. First, there is the good which may be done by a savage. If any one should see a ‘nasty over-grown Sow’ crunching the bones of an innocent infant, he would naturally try to rescue it (i. 255–6). But this would be a selfish act in spite of its good social consequences, for the rescuer was acting to relieve his own compassion. In like manner, people give alms to beggars, not from unselfishness, but ‘from the same Motive as they pay their Corn-cutter, to walk easy’ (i. 259). The natural acts, therefore, are selfish. Secondly, there is the good which may be done by an educated man, who does not obey his impulses naïvely like a savage. It is here that Mandeville was most adroit. Through an analysis of human nature of extraordinary subtlety and penetration, he proceeded to reduce all apparent self-mortification and sacrifice, where there is no reward in view, to love of praise or fear of blame.

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 over-pay the Conquest of the strongest Passions … (i. 68).

The very desire not to appear proud he reduced to Edition: current; Page: [lxiii] pride, for the true gentleman takes pride in never appearing proud.1 All apparent virtue, therefore, educated or naïve, is fundamentally selfish, being either the satisfaction of a natural, and hence selfish, impulse, or of the selfish passion of pride.

There are several things to be borne in mind in connexion with Mandeville’s reduction of all action to open or disguised selfishness. The first is that he did not deny the existence of those impulses which are commonly called altruistic. He merely argued that the philosopher can go behind this apparent unselfishness. He was rather explaining altruism than explaining it away. Nor, in the second place, was he accusing mankind of deliberate hypocrisy. One of his main contentions was that, for want of self-knowledge, almost all men deceive themselves. Their apparent altruism may be honest, he maintained: they simply do not realize that it springs from selfishness. Such self-deception is, he held, the most normal of psychological phenomena, for men’s convictions, and, indeed, reason itself, are the playthings of emotion. It is one of Mandeville’s basal beliefs that our most elaborate and judicial philosophizings are only a rationalization of certain dominant desires and biases: ‘… we are ever pushing our Reason which way soever we feel Passion to draw it, and Self-love pleads to all human Creatures for their different Views, still furnishing every individual with Arguments to justify their Inclinations’ (Fable i. 333).2 This conception Mandeville developed, in the Fable, Free Thoughts, and Edition: current; Page: [lxiv] Origin of Honour, with a completeness and subtlety beyond that of any predecessor or contemporary, and not matched till present-day psychology attacked the problem.1

Another important point in Mandeville’s tracing of morality and society to some form of egoism is that his description of the invention of virtue and society by lawgivers and wise men who deliberately imposed upon man’s pride and shame is a parable and not an attempt at history. This fact, which is often misapprehended, is important enough to demand special consideration. All that Mandeville was attempting to show by his allegory of the growth of society and morality was the ingredients that make it up, and not the actual process of growth. He did not mean that ‘politicians’ constructed morality out of whole cloth; they merely directed instincts already predisposed to moral guidance.

How unanimous soever, therefore, all Rulers and Magistrates have seem’d to be in promoting some Religion or other, the Principle of it was not of their Invention. They found it in Man … (Origin of Honour, p. 28).

Nor did he mean that society was organized overnight. Edition: current; Page: [lxv] To miss this point would be to miss an essential element in Mandeville, which is his precocious feeling for evolution. In a day which lacked historical perspective, he had a real feeling for the gulf of time and effort which divides us from the primitive: ‘… it is the Work of Ages to find out the true Use of the Passions …’ (ii. 319). Even in the allegory itself he took precautions that the reader should not understand him too literally. ‘This was (or at least might have been) the manner after which Savage Man was broke …’, he qualified (i. 46). And he was careful to add that the law-givers were and are as much deceived as the rest of mankind.

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 … are greater Bubbles to Pride than any of the rest (i. 220–1).

But it is in Part II, which he wrote largely to correct misconceptions caused by the deliberately paradoxical Part I, that Mandeville most stressed the gradualness of evolution.1 A great part of the volume is devoted to tracing the growth of society in a surprisingly Edition: current; Page: [lxvi] scientific manner, and completely contradicts the literal interpretation of the allegory in the earlier portion of Part I.

Among the things [evidences of civilization] I hint at [he said (ii. 321–2)], there are very few, that are the Work of one Man, or of one Generation; the greatest part of them are the Product, the joynt Labour of several Ages. … By this sort of Wisdom [ordinary intelligence], and Length of Time, it may be brought about, that there shall be no greater Difficulty in governing a large City, than (pardon the Lowness of the Simile) there is in weaving of Stockings.

There are other similar passages,1 in which Mandeville demonstrated a vision and grasp of the origin and growth of society unique in his day.

However, the important thing to realize for the understanding of Mandeville is not so much his conception of the evolution of morals and society as the configuration of the passions on which it is based—always, Mandeville maintained, selfish.

§ 6

Such is the general philosophic background of Mandeville’s thought. Against this background he outlined theories on a great variety of practical matters, notably concerning economics. Some of these theories are considered in the next chapter of Edition: current; Page: [lxvii] this introduction. The present chapter being devoted to interpretation, we are here occupied only with those doctrines about which misunderstanding has arisen. One of those tenets was a celebrated economic fallacy with which Mandeville’s name has been closely connected.

The Fire of London was a Great Calamity [wrote Mandeville (i. 359)], but if the Carpenters, Bricklayers, Smiths, and all, not only that are employed in Building but likewise those that made and dealt in the same Manufactures and other Merchandizes that were Burnt, and other Trades again that got by them when they were in full Employ, were to Vote against those who lost by the Fire; the Rejoicings would equal if not exceed the Complaints.

And, he added (i. 364):

A Hundred Bales of Cloth that are burnt or sunk in the Mediterranean, are as Beneficial to the Poor in England, as if they had safely arriv’d at Smyrna or Aleppo, and every Yard of them had been Retail’d in the Grand Signior’s Dominions.

The theory took another form in Mandeville’s statement (i. 355–6) that,

It is the sensual Courtier that sets no Limits to his Luxury; the Fickle Strumpet that invents new Fashions every … ; the profuse Rake and lavish Heir… : It is these that are the Prey and proper Food of a full grown Leviathan. … He that gives most Trouble to thousands of his Neighbours, and invents the most operose Manufactures is, right or wrong, the greatest Friend to the Society.

This is what economists call the ‘make-work fallacy’, the belief that it is the amount of industry, and not the amount and quality of the goods produced, Edition: current; Page: [lxviii] that measures a nation’s prosperity. Mandeville’s name has been so intertwined with this theory that now sane and intelligent critics—like Leslie Stephen1—believe that Mandeville would have welcomed a succession of London fires and absurd extravagance on the part of everybody. That is what happens when serious people read a whimsical book. Mandeville did not mean these silly things. It should be remembered that the Fable of the Bees was a professedly paradoxical work, and not always to be taken literally. The passages from which I have quoted formed part of Mandeville’s general paradoxical assertion that good is based upon evil: he was substantiating this by showing that there is nothing bad which has not some compensations attached to it. He was also demonstrating, in accord with the general thesis of the book, that it is not ascetic virtues, such as a hoarding frugality, which make a nation prosperous.

He most explicitly denied the false meanings that have been read into him.

Should any of my Readers draw Conclusions in infinitum from my Assertions that Goods sunk or burnt are as beneficial to the Poor as if they had been well sold and put to their proper Uses, I would count him a Caviller … (i. 364).

And again (i. 249):

… whoever can subsist and lives above his Income is a Fool.

What he believed was that ‘Goods sunk or burnt’, and foolish extravagances, are beneficial to the class of Edition: current; Page: [lxix] workers which will have increased occupation in supplying the extra demands. And where he did argue that losses and extravagances are good for the state, it should be remembered that he was considering not an ideal state where people would spend for useful things what they now do for follies, but an actual, imperfect state of actual, imperfect people, where the abolishing of extravagance would mean a curtailment of demand and production. Mandeville, that is, was not trying to show the ideal way to make a state wealthy, but the way it often actually is made so.1

One other article in Mandeville’s economic creed demands attention here—his notorious attack upon the charity-schools. Mandeville’s case against them was, briefly, as follows: Nobody will do unpleasant work unless he is compelled to by necessity. There is, however (i. 311), ‘Abundance of hard and dirty Labour’ to be done. Now, poverty is the only means of getting people to do this necessary work: men ‘have nothing to stir them up to be serviceable but their Wants, which it is Prudence to relieve, but Folly to cure’ (i. 194). National wealth, indeed, consists not in money, but (i. 287) in ‘a Multitude of laborious Poor’. Since, therefore, it would be ruinous to abolish poverty, and impossible to do away with unpleasant labour, the best thing to do is to recognize this fact, and help adapt the poor to the part they have to play. But charity-schools, by educating children above their station and thus leading them both to expect comforts they will not have and to loathe Edition: current; Page: [lxx] occupations they must engage in, are subversive of the future happiness and usefulness of the scholars:

… to divert … Children from useful Labour till they are fourteen or fifteen Years old, is a wrong Method to qualify them for it when they are grown up.1

Finally, he attacked the schools on the ground that they interfered with the natural adjustment of society:

… proportion as to Numbers in every Trade finds it self, and is never better kept than when no body meddles or interferes with it.2

The gusto of Mandeville’s assault on the charity-schools, and his incidental attack on what he termed the ‘Petty Reverence for the Poor’ (i. 311), is apt to impress the modern reader as almost incredibly brutal. But that is because the Essay is judged from a humanitarian point of view which hardly existed in Mandeville’s time. Seen in historical perspective, there is nothing unusually harsh in Mandeville’s position. The age was not interested in making the labourer comfortable, but in making his work cheap and plentiful.3 Sir William Petty was no friendlier than Mandeville to the poor when he termed them ‘the vile and brutish part of mankind’; 4 even so ardent an upholder of the rights of man as Andrew Fletcher urged that labourers be returned to a condition of slavery; 5 Edition: current; Page: [lxxi] and Melon, too, advised slavery.1 The truth is that, although Mandeville’s attack on the charity-schools caused great scandal at the time,2 his adversaries were really as little desirous as Mandeville to lessen the labourer’s work or raise his wages.

Mandeville, indeed, was perhaps more considerate of the condition of the labourer than was the average citizen, for he felt at least the need of answering what could be urged on the other side:

I would not be thought Cruel, and am well assured if I know any thing of myself, that I abhor Inhumanity; but to be compassionate to excess where Reason forbids it, and the general Interest of the Society requires steadiness of Thought and Resolution, is an unpardonable Weakness. I know it will be ever urged against me, that it is Barbarous the Children of the Poor should have no Opportunity of exerting themselves, as long as God has not debarr’d them from Natural Parts and Genius more than the Rich. But I cannot think this is harder, than it is that they should not have Money as long as they have the same Inclinations to spend as others (i. 310).

It should be remembered, also, that Mandeville believed the lot of the hard-working poor need not be a sad one:

Was impartial Reason to be Judge between real Good and real Evil, … I question whether the Condition of Kings would be at all preferable to that of Peasants, even as Ignorant and Laborious as I seem to require the latter to be. … what I urge could be no injury or the least diminution of Happiness to Edition: current; Page: [lxxii] the Poor. … by bringing them up in Ignorance you may inure them to real Hardships without being ever sensible themselves that they are such (i. 316–17).

In view of this apology and the fact that his views rested on the current economic attitude, such complaint as was made against his brutality may be taken as due really to his having omitted the flavouring of sentiment and moralizing with which his contemporaries sweetened their beliefs; they were scandalized at his downrightness of statement, which here, as elsewhere, was able to make a current creed obnoxious by the mere act of stating it with complete candour.

§ 7

One other important aspect of the Fable will be considered here—and that is the relation of Mandeville to Shaftesbury. In both parts of the book Mandeville used Shaftesbury as a sort of ‘horrible example’, the epitome of everything with which he disagreed. When Mandeville, however, produced the Grumbling Hive in 1705, and wrote the Fable around this little satire in 1714, there is no reason to suppose that he had so much as read Shaftesbury. The Fable contained no mention of Shaftesbury till 1723.1 Mandeville, apparently, grew more and more conscious of the implications of his own position, relating it to other systems more fully as he expanded the Fable, and by 1723, when he began his systematic attack on the Characteristics, had realized that, as he put it, ‘two Edition: current; Page: [lxxiii] Systems cannot be more opposite than his Lordship’s and mine’ (i. 324).

Now, at first, a reader who is aware of certain resemblances between Shaftesbury and Mandeville may wonder just why their two systems show such an antithesis. Shaftesbury, for example, joined with Mandeville in decrying philosophical systems,1 and agreed that private advantage harmonizes with the public good. These agreements, however, are really superficial. Although Shaftesbury declaimed against system-makers, he was himself notorious for his system. Indeed, he saw the world as so perfectly and beautifully co-ordinated a piece of divine mechanism that he denied the very existence of evil, on which Mandeville built his philosophy.2 And, whereas to Mandeville the totality to which each particular act contributed so perfectly was the actual work-a-day world, to Shaftesbury it was the universe from the point of view of the Whole. Their entire emphasis, too, was different. Shaftesbury said, Consider the Whole and the individual will then be cared for; Mandeville said, Study the individual and the Whole will then look after itself. To Shaftesbury, also, the coincidence of public and private good was due to an enlightened benevolence, whereas to Mandeville it was the result of narrow self-seeking—Mandeville believing men completely and inevitably egoistic, Shaftesbury thinking them endowed with altruistic and gregarious feeling (see below, i. 336, n. 1). This is a fundamental distinction, for Mandeville’s whole conception of the rise and nature of society was determined by his belief in the essential egoism of Edition: current; Page: [lxxiv] human nature, and Shaftesbury’s, by his faith in the actuality of altruism.1

The main distinction, however, between the two men cannot be made clear till one point has been allowed for: both men are remarkable for philosophies the apparent meaning of which is not the real meaning. Mandeville held on the surface that there is only one method of being virtuous—self-mortification from purely rational and unselfish motives; but essentially he believed that virtue is relative to time and place, that man is fundamentally irrational, and that he is unalterably selfish (cf. above in this chapter). Shaftesbury, on the other hand, because of his advice to follow nature, has often been thought to have advocated the virtue of obeying impulse and gratifying one’s own desires; but he really meant something very different. His ‘Nature’ was the whole divine scheme of creation—a thing of unalterable and perfect law, to follow which meant the subjection to it of all individual wills and differences; his was the Stoic following of ‘Nature’ and essentially rationalistic and repressive.2 Thus, Mandeville is on Edition: current; Page: [lxxv] the surface an absolutist, a rationalist, and an ascetic, but is basally a relativist, an anti-rationalist, and a utilitarian; whereas Shaftesbury is superficially a relativist and spokesman for impulse, but is really an absolutist and a rationalist. The opposition between the two men, therefore, was double, for not only did the superficial aspects of their beliefs conflict, but the basal attitudes which motivated their thought were equally opposed.1 Each affords an inverse summary of the other.

With some such summary of Mandeville’s philosophy I shall close this discussion, for the reading of hundreds of estimates of Mandeville’s thought has impressed me with the fact that it is as important to explain what Mandeville did not mean as what he meant. A recollection of the following negative propositions, already elaborated in this chapter, will save the reader some perplexity.

Mandeville did not believe that all vice is a public benefit; he held the converse—that all benefits are based on actions fundamentally (according to his rigoristic definition ) vicious.

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He did not believe that one could never tell right from wrong.

He did not believe that virtue was arbitrarily ‘invented’.

He did not deny the existence of the sympathetic emotions such as compassion, but merely refused to term them unselfish.

He did not deny the existence of what is usually termed virtue, but only maintained that it was not true virtue.

He did not believe that all extravagance and waste were good for the State.

He did not believe that vice should be encouraged, but merely that some vices ‘by the dextrous Management of a skilful Politician may be turned into Publick Benefits’ (i. 369).

And, finally, although his book is, as Dr. Johnson remarked, ‘the work of a thinking man’,1 and of great insight and shrewdness, he did not intend it to be taken as literally as a treatise on the calculus, but designed it also for what it successfully achieves, ‘the Reader’s Diversion’ (i. 8).

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IV: THE BACKGROUND

§ 1

IF one is to chart the intellectual ancestry of a writer with much completeness and subtlety it is necessary to know more of his private life than is known of Mandeville’s. Of Mandeville’s intellectual companions, his tastes, his reading, the practical influences that played upon him, we know little more than can be learned from his books. And these books, moreover, date from a period when he was already a mature man, the first work definitely indicative of his outlook on life—the Virgin Unmask’d (1709)—having been published in his thirty-ninth year. Yet we can, none the less, discover those general aspects of the speculation of Mandeville’s age which were base and framework for his system. We can point out certain related elements in the thinking of contemporaries and predecessors with the assurance that, if this body of cognate thought did not mould him through this or that particular work, it must at least have done so through works of the same sort.

Now, the author of the Fable of the Bees was a very cosmopolitan person. Born and educated in Holland, familiar with the Continent,1 and conversant with the literature of three nations, Mandeville’s thought partook Edition: current; Page: [lxxviii] of the international quality of its creator; and this is especially true of the psychological and economic aspects of it.

It will be remembered that a dominant element in his analysis of the human mind was his insistence on its basal irrationality, his belief that what seems like the display of pure reason is merely the dialectic by which the mind discovers reasons to justify the demands of the emotions (cf. above, i. lxiii–lxiv). Now, before searching into the earlier history of this anti-rationalistic conception, it is necessary carefully to distinguish between several kinds of anti-rationalism existent at the time. There was, first, the pyrrhonistic distrust of reason as an instrument incapable of achieving absolute truth. This was a mere commonplace of an age confronted through its geographical discoveries with the knowledge that what one people held sacred was thought evil by another, and familiar with the philosophical anarchism of ancient thinkers like Sextus Empiricus.1 Secondly, there was the aristocratic belief that the majority of men are incapable of reasoning well—a platitude shared by Plato and the village alderman, and particular to no age. Both of these forms of distrust of human reason are to be found in Mandeville,2 but neither should be confused with the type of anti-rationalism here to be considered. Pyrrhonism announced the weakness of the reason on logical rather than on psychological grounds; Mandeville—always the psychologist—was not so much interested in proving that reason is impotent to discover truth, as that, whether it find truth or not, it does so entirely at the bidding and Edition: current; Page: [lxxix] under the sway of some sub-rational desire.1 And, whereas the aristocratic attitude distrusted merely the reason of the multitude, Mandeville declared the reason of all men the tool of their passions.

All Human Creatures are sway’d and wholly govern’d by their Passions, whatever fine Notions we may flatter our Selves with; even those who act suitably to their Knowledge, and strictly follow the Dictates of their Reason, are not less compell’d so to do by some Passion or other, that sets them to Work, than others, who bid Defiance and act contrary to Both, and whom we call Slaves to their Passions (Origin of Honour, p. 31)

It is only this form of anti-rationalism which is here to be considered.

Mandeville’s anti-rationalism is developed with such Edition: current; Page: [lxxx] literary inventiveness that it gives the effect of great originality. It was, however, merely the most brilliant handling of a conception which, from the time of Montaigne, had been common in French thought, and which, besides, had been profoundly stated by Spinoza.1 Some of the greatest French writers—La Rochefoucauld, Pascal, Fontenelle—had anticipated Mandeville; and popular philosophers had defended the conception elaborately.2 Thus Bayle devoted Edition: current; Page: [lxxxi] several sections of his Miscellaneous Reflections, Occasion’d Edition: current; Page: [lxxxii] by the Comet to the contention that ‘… Man Edition: current; Page: [lxxxiii] is not determin’d in his Actions by general Notices, or Views of his Understanding, but by the present reigning Passion of his Heart’ (see below, i. 167, n. 2). And Jacques Abbadie rivalled Mandeville in his elaboration of the anti-rationalistic position:

… l’ame est inventive à trouver des raisons favorables à son desir, parce que chacune de ces raisons luy donne un plaisir sensible, elle est au contraire trés lente à apercevoir celles qui y sont contraires, quoy qu’elles sautent aux yeux, parce qu’elle … ne cherche point, & qu’elle conçoit mal, ce qu’elle ne reçoit qu’à regret. Ainsi le cœur rompant les reflexions de l’esprit, quand bon luy semble, détournant sa pensée du côté favorable à sa passion, comparant les choses dans le sens qui luy plait, oubliant volontairement ce qui s’oppose à ses desirs, n’ayant que des perceptions froides & languissantes du devoir; concevant au contraire avec attachement, avec plaisir, avec ardeur & le plus souvent qu’il luy est possible, tout ce qui favorise ses penchans, il ne faut pas s’étonner s’il se joüe des lumieres de l’esprit; & s’il se trouve que nous jugons des choses, non pas selon la verité: mais selon nos inclinations.1

Il est vray que j’ay des maximes d’equité & de droiture dans mon esprit, que je me suis accoûtumé de respecter: mais la corruption qui est dans mon cœur se joüe de ces maximes generales. Qu’importe que je respecte la loy de la justice, si celle-ci ne se trouve que dans ce qui me plaît, ou qui me convient, Edition: current; Page: [lxxxiv] & s’il depend de mon cœur de me persuader qu’une chose est juste ou qu’elle ne l’est pas?1

With this body of anti-rationalistic thought Mandeville must have been conversant. Not only does his early career as a translator of French verse argue his familiarity with the literature of that nation, but such specific references as he makes in his writings are most frequently to French sources, and in particular to two writers—Bayle and La Rochefoucauld—who developed elaborately the anti-rationalistic concept.2

In addition to literature of this nature, in which anti-rationalism is formulated with considerable completeness, there were other writings which might well have prepared the way for Mandeville’s beliefs. I refer to those works in which the anti-rationalistic position is found merely in embryo. Anti-rationalism, of course, did not spring fully articulated into thought, but had a long and tortuous ancestry. It is worth our while to examine into this preliminary history, for there is no element in it here to be considered which is not advocated somewhere by Mandeville, and which may not therefore have contributed directly to his thought.

In the first place there was the sensationalistic psychology of the Peripatetics and Epicureans, elaborated by Hobbes, Locke, and others. The usefulness of this doctrine—which is found in Mandeville3—as a groundwork for anti-rationalism is too obvious to need elucidation.—Secondly, there was the body of unorthodox thought—Epicurean and Averroistic—which held the soul to be mortal. It is no great stride from Edition: current; Page: [lxxxv] the belief that the soul (rational principle) is dependent on the body for its existence to the belief that the rational faculty cannot help but be determined by the mechanism through which it has its being. And Mandeville, it should be noted, doubts the immortality of the soul.1—Also related to the anti-rationalism we are considering was that other form of anti-rationalism, mentioned above, which denied the ability of the reason to arrive at final truth. This philosophical anarchism, a commonplace of Renaissance thought,2 is found in Mandeville closely interwoven with his psychological anti-rationalism,3 and evidently contributed towards it.—Another probable contributing influence was an opinion kindred to the Epicureanism of the seventeenth century; I mean the opinion that men cannot help living for what seems to their advantage. Such a conception, which allows the reason no function except that of discovering and furthering what the organism desires, needs only to have its implications made clear to become anti-rationalism. Now, Mandeville propounds this belief that men cannot help acting for what seems to their profit.4—Still another agent conducing to anti-rationalism may have inhered in the discussions of the century concerning animal automatism. Add to the belief that animals are machines the belief that they feel, as Gassendi argued; and, with Gassendi, place man in the category of animals: man is then a sentient machine. From this position it is easy to progress to a deterministic psychology in which reason is little more than a spectator of physical Edition: current; Page: [lxxxvi] reactions. And Mandeville had embraced the Gassendist positions.1

Finally, there is one other precursor of anti-rationalism which did certainly enter into the formation of Mandeville’s psychology: the medical conception of the humours and temperament. From the time of the ancient Greeks,2 physicians had taught that our mental and moral constitution was determined by the relative proportions of the four ‘humours’ or body fluids—blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy—or the four qualities—hot, cold, dry, and moist—which combine to compose a man’s temperament. Nor was this doctrine peculiar to physicians: it had been popularized by well-known literary men,3 including La Rochefoucauld. We do not, however, need the evidence that Mandeville actually cited La Rochefoucauld’s opinion that our virtues result from our temperament4 to prove that Mandeville was influenced by this popular medical concept; it is enough to know that he was himself a physician. Now, this doctrine of the dependence of the mind on the temperament is only removed by an inference from Edition: current; Page: [lxxxvii] a systematic anti-rationalism which should proclaim the similar dependence of the reason on the temperament.1

A second main trait of Mandeville’s psychology, as important as his anti-rationalism, was his insistence that man is completely egoistic, that all his apparently altruistic qualities are really merely an indirect and disguised form of selfishness.2 Here again, Mandeville’s speculation was led up to by a long avenue of thought. The basal egoism of man had been lamented by theologians from the beginning of Christianity.3 It was, however, the seventeenth century Edition: current; Page: [lxxxviii] that saw the rise to prominence of the careful psychologizing of human nature which distinguishes Mandeville’s theory of human selfishness from the common theological form of the doctrine. In England, Hobbes had based the conception of human selfishness on psychological analysis,1 and La Rochefoucauld, Pascal, and others had done so in France.2 Jacques Esprit, for instance, declared that

… depuis que l’amour propre s’est rendu la maître Edition: current; Page: [lxxxix] & le tyran de l’homme, il ne souffre en luy aucune vertu ni aucune action vertueuse qui ne luy soit utile. … Ainsi ils [men] ne s’acquittent d’ordinaire de tous ces devoirs que par le mouvement de l’amour propre, & pour procurer l’execution de ses desseins.

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Je dis d’ordinaire, parce que je n’entre pas dans ces contestations des Theologiens …1 (La Fausseté des Vertus Humaines, Paris, 1678, vol. 1, pref., signn. [a 11v–12]; for a sample of other similar passages in Esprit, see i. 172).

Even writers like Nicole, who believed that the doctrine of human selfishness was not always true, yet gave it such clear and complete expression as easily to serve for propagators of the conception: 2 one needed only to omit their exceptions. So elaborate, indeed, had been the development of the doctrine, that even in such details as the analysis whereby Mandeville showed sympathy itself selfish he had been anticipated.3

The chief means, Edition: current; Page: [xci] according to Mandeville, whereby the human mechanism is made to hide its ineradicable egoism under a cover of apparent altruism, and thus to deceive the uninitiated observer, is the passion of pride. To gratify this passion man will undergo the greatest deprivations, and, as a wise organization of society has ordained that actions which are for the good or ill of others shall be repaid by glory or punished by shame, the passion of pride is the great bulwark of morality, the instigator of all action for the good of others which seems contrary to the interests and instincts of the performer.1 Now, the value of pride as a spur to moral action was, of course, a commonplace of ancient thought, and, being a very obvious fact, had never ceased to be remarked. Until the Renaissance, however, theology, to which pride was the first of the deadly sins, prevented much elaboration of the usefulness of this passion. But, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as theology lost grip, the value of pride became highly stressed, especially by the neo-Stoics.2 However, mere recognition Edition: current; Page: [xcii] of the utility of pride could scarcely serve as a genuine anticipation of Mandeville: the account of the uses of pride had first to become systematized, and a psychology of the emotion developed which should show it not merely a separate passion which happens to have social efficacy, but the basis of moral action in general. The real predecessors of Mandeville were those analysts who demonstrated how pride may take to itself the form of the various virtues. There were a considerable number of such anticipators.1 Mandeville, indeed was not original even Edition: current; Page: [xciii] in the most subtle part of his analysis of the function of pride—his reduction of modesty to a form of pride.1

It is clear, then, that the main elements in Mandeville’s vivisection of human nature had been often anticipated—by Erasmus, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Locke, and by many French writers. Of predecessors outside Edition: current; Page: [xciv] France, however, only Erasmus and, possibly, Hobbes, as I try to show below, had much influence. The great source of Mandeville’s psychology was France, as is seen not only from the mass of anticipations there to be found,1 but from the fact that Mandeville’s citations and the circumstances of his life show him to have been thoroughly acquainted with this French speculation.2

In the field of economics Mandeville’s most carefully developed position was his defence of luxury.3 This defence had two aspects to meet two current attitudes. In the first place, there was the attitude which made luxury a vice by making its opposite, frugality, a virtue. Mandeville met this by denying the virtuousness of national frugality: it is always, he said, merely the inevitable result of certain economic conditions and without relation, therefore, to morality: ‘ … a National Frugality there never was and never will be without a National Necessity’ (Fable i. 251). In the second place, Mandeville attacked the belief that luxury, by corrupting a people and wasting its resources, is economically dangerous. It is on the contrary, he argued, not only inseparable from great states, but necessary to make them great. For this defence of luxury there was little direct preparation—chiefly in Saint-Évremond.4

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Nevertheless, in a way, the road to Mandeville’s Edition: current; Page: [xcvi] position was really well paved, although this road may seem at first sight to have been leading in an opposite direction. The attacks on luxury, paradoxically, opened the way for Mandeville’s defence. The ancient world abounded in philosophers who denounced the search for wealth and luxury; and throughout the Christian era such denunciation had represented the orthodox position. According to this attitude, then, luxury was ex hypothesi condemned; Edition: current; Page: [xcvii] and the condemnation was elaborated in the seventeenth century by analyses of primitive civilizations such as those of Rome and Sparta showing how in these states greatness and the absence of enervating luxury were synonymous.1 Meanwhile, however, commerce and manufacture were growing enormously, and, as a result, the consumption of luxuries. The interest of the state being thereby involved in this increasing trade, the safeguarding of this activity became naturally a chief end of political theory. But, although the inevitable result of worldly interests was thus to foster the development of production and commerce, and thereby the spread of luxury, yet, in the face of this actual activity, popular opinion still denounced luxury as evil in itself and corrupting in its effects. This union of conflicting attitudes—of the practical aim of getting wealth with the moral condemnation of luxury—can plainly be seen, for example, in Fénelon when, immediately after discussing the way to make a state rich, he urges, ‘Lois somptuaires pour chaque condition. … On corrompt par ce luxe les moeurs de toute la nation. Ce luxe est plus pernicieux que le profit des modes n’est utile’ (Plans de Gouvernement, § 7).2 The age Edition: current; Page: [xcviii] was partly aware of this dualism, for it made an effort to reconcile its opinions by arguing that wealth could be attained without producing luxury and without depending on it (see below, i. 189, n. 2). But, none the less, it was obvious that in practice wealth and luxury were companions; and the contradiction between the actual pursuit of this wealth and the current moral condemnation of the luxury it involved remained. The popular attitude, therefore, was a compound of antagonistic intellectual reagents needing only the proper shock of one upon the other to cause an explosion. This shock was supplied by Mandeville.

In other words, here as elsewhere Mandeville gained his effect by consciousness of a contradiction in current opinion which had escaped his contemporaries. And by playing on this contradiction, by confronting, in his usual manner, the ideal with the actual, he secured a greater effect on his contemporaries than the modern reader may suspect. Since, to Mandeville’s public, luxury was morally evil, when Mandeville demonstrated that it was inseparable from flourishing states, he was not only challenging orthodox economic theory, but forcibly achieving once more the moral paradox of ‘Private Vices, Publick Benefits’.

The other very important aspect of Mandeville’s economic speculation was the defence of free trade whereby he became so important a forerunner of the school of laissez-faire.1 Mandeville’s argument that business most flourishes when least interfered with Edition: current; Page: [xcix] by government had two aspects according to whether considered domestically or internationally. That internal affairs are best left to their own devices was urged strongly by Mandeville (Fable i. 299–300 and ii. 353); and, although he qualified in somewhat the usual manner concerning the ‘balance of trade’, he was caused by his sense of the interdependence of nations to plead urgently for freer trade with other states (Fable i. 109–16). For this attitude there had been much preparation. In the first place, there were certain general historical factors leading naturally to a reaction against restrictions on trade. For one thing, trade was growing rapidly, and thereby bringing into prominence groups of influential men who stood to gain by the removal of barriers and monopolies. For another thing, certain changes in the public outlook on life in general had effect in the field of economics. Thus, the conception of religious toleration was developing, carrying in its wake the idea of freedom in other fields;1 and the old Stoic doctrine of ‘following nature’, as revived in the neo-Stoics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and in jurists like Grotius, was apparently being carried over into the theory of commerce, where too ‘nature’ was to rule.2 In addition, Mandeville had the opportunity of being familiar with an extensive body of English, Dutch, and French literature urging the cause of freer trade, both domestic and international.3 Every practical aspect Edition: current; Page: [c] of Mandeville’s argument had been anticipated.1 Nor should we overlook the probable effect on Mandeville of the Dutch environment in which he grew up. The Dutch were especially concerned with free Edition: current; Page: [ci] trade. They were carriers to the rest of Europe and thus possessed of the interest in the freedom of the seas reflected in the treatises of Grotius and Graswinckel—the freedom of the seas, of course, being a problem closely connected with the question of the restriction of trade. The Dutch, furthermore, were international bankers and therefore could not help having driven in upon their consciousness the interdependence of national interests. The whole matter, also, must have been brought vividly before Mandeville when the city of Amsterdam, in 1689, reduced its tariffs so as to compete with Hamburg as a port of exchange, and thus aroused a heated controversy over free trade,1 Mandeville being then at the impressionable age of nineteen and still in Holland.

But, if Mandeville was thus anticipated even in the details of his argument—if, indeed, predecessors like Barbon and North had gone beyond him—what was there original about his advocacy of free trade? There was this very important difference between Edition: current; Page: [cii] Mandeville and his predecessors: they considered the welfare of the state as a whole and the interest of its individual inhabitants as not necessarily corresponding; Mandeville held that the selfish good of the individual is normally the good of the state. Mandeville, therefore, not only argued away a powerful reason for restriction, but furnished a genuine philosophy for individualism in trade. This was a profoundly important step. Hitherto, except for a very few tentative and unsystematic anticipations,1 defence of Edition: current; Page: [ciii] laissez-faire had been opportunist rather than a matter of general principle. Mandeville allowed it to be made systematic. It is through his elaborate psychological and political analysis that individualism becomes an economic philosophy.1

§ 2

I have stated the difficulty of indicating more than the general background of Mandeville’s thought; yet there were some predecessors who can with certainty be specified as Mandeville’s teachers.

By far the chief of these was Pierre Bayle. In the Fable Mandeville cited Bayle and borrowed from him again and again—especially from his Miscellaneous Reflections;2 in his Free Thoughts3 Mandeville specifically confessed the debt which that book owed to Bayle’s Dictionary; and the germ of the Origin of Honour is to be found in the Miscellaneous Reflections.4 Mandeville’s basal theories are in Bayle: the general scepticism as to the possibility of discovering absolute truth; the anti-rationalism which held that men do Edition: current; Page: [civ] not act from principles of reason or from regard for abstract morality, but from the reigning desires of their hearts; the corollary opinion that Christianity, despite the lip service paid it, is little followed in the world; the stress on man’s inevitable egoism, and the realization of the moral implications and uses of pride; the belief that men could be good without religion; the definition of Christianity as ascetic; and the belief that Christianity thus defined and national greatness are incompatible.1 Bayle, in fact, might almost have been planning the groundwork of the Fable when he summarized his own Miscellaneous Reflections as teaching

That considering the Doctrine of Original Sin, and that of the Necessity and Inamissibility of Grace, decided at the Synod of Dort, every reform’d Protestant is oblig’d to believe, that all, except the predestin’d, whom God regenerates and sanctifys, are incapable of acting out of a Principle of Love to God, or resisting their Corruptions from any other Principle than that of Self-love and human Motives: So that if some Men are more vertuous than others, this proceeds either from Natural Constitution, or Education, or from a Love for certain kinds of Praise, or from a fear of Reproach, &c. (Miscellaneous Reflections ii. 545).

Granted this psychology and these tenets, it needed only the educing of the latent inference to reach the doctrine that private vices are public benefits. And like Mandeville, also, Bayle refused to attack the validity of rigoristic morality because of its impracticability. Mandeville, in fact, offered as one of his Edition: current; Page: [cv] guiding principles what he termed ‘that true, as well as remarkable Saying of Monsieur Baile. Les utilités du vice n’empéchent pas qu’il ne soit mauvais.1

It is worth noting, too, that Bayle was teaching in Rotterdam while Mandeville was attending the Erasmian School there (see above, i. xvii–xviii), and that, consequently, Mandeville may have had personal contact with Bayle.

Mandeville was indebted also to La Rochefoucauld, whom he cited several times and closely paralleled in thought (see index to commentary). Both insisted that men are creatures of passion and not reason and that human motives are at bottom self-love. Much of Mandeville’s philosophy, indeed, might be summarized as an elaboration of La Rochefoucauld’s maxim, ‘Nos vertus ne sont le plus souvent que des vices déguisées’,2 with le plus souvent changed to toujours. Nevertheless, as the doctrines in question were not rare, it is impossible to tell how much Mandeville drew them from La Rochefoucauld and how much from other sources (say Bayle or Esprit)—whether, in fact, Mandeville’s debt to La Rochefoucauld was not chiefly literary—phrasal borrowings to fit beliefs already formed.

Gassendi probably helped to mould Mandeville’s thought. Mandeville had read him while yet a boy, although at that time he opposed him in his De Brutorum Operationibus (Leyden, 1689), which Edition: current; Page: [cvi] upheld the Cartesian position. Perhaps, however, Mandeville’s youthful attack on Gassendi was not sincere, for the Disputatio was written under the tutelage of Burcherus de Volder, a violent Cartesian;1 and a student might well have hesitated to disagree with the fundamental beliefs of his instructor. Be that as it may, when he came to write the Fable Mandeville had discarded his Cartesianism and assumed the Gassendist attitude towards both animal automatism and the relation between man and beast.2 It may be, of course, that Mandeville reached the Gassendist positions without aid from Gassendi; but the latter was rather too big a figure to pass over, especially when read young; and it is perhaps significant that Mandeville referred favourably to him in the Fable (ii. 21).3

Another noteworthy influence on Mandeville was that of Erasmus. Trained in the Erasmian School in Erasmus’s city of Rotterdam, Mandeville again and again shows traces of Erasmus’s mentorship. He cites him in the Virgin Unmask’d (1724), sign. [A 5v], in the Treatise (1730), pp. 14 and 111, and in the Fable.4 According to his own Edition: current; Page: [cvii] statement, also, Mandeville quotes continually from the Adagia of Erasmus (see below, i. 314, n. 2); and Typhon (1704) was dedicated to the ‘Numerous Society of Fools’, avowedly after the example of Erasmus.

The two men, indeed, had similar points of view. Erasmus too was empirical and disbelieved in absolute laws without exceptions; and he held with Mandeville that true religiousness makes demands upon human nature rarely fulfilled. Both, also, shared belief in the irreconcilability of war and Christianity.

Not only their attitudes but their cast of wit was akin, and their thoughts often took similar forms. The skeleton of the Encomium Moriae is essentially identical with that of the Fable: both works demonstrate, in a series of loosely connected essays, the necessity of something by hypothesis evil, in the one case, Folly, in the other, Vice; and Mandeville means by vice pretty much what Erasmus means by folly.

To show the general similarity between the thought of the two men I cite here some parallels:

ERASMUS MANDEVILLE
‘… Jupiter quanto plus indidit affectuum quam rationis? quasi semiunciam compares ad assem’ (Opera, Leyden, 1703–6, iv. 417, in Encomium Moriae). ‘… For we are ever pushing our Reason which way soever we feel Passion to draw it, and Self-love pleads to all human Creatures for their different Views, still furnishing every individual with Arguments to justify their Inclinations’ (Fable i. 333).
‘Quid autem æque stultum, atque tibi ipsi placere? te ipsum admirari? At rursum quid venustum, quid gratiosum, quid non indecorum erit, quod agas, ipse tibi displicens’ (Opera iv. 421, in Encomium Moriae)? ‘There is no Man … wholly Proof against … Flattery …’ (i. 51). ‘If some great Men had not a superlative Pride … 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?’ (i. 221)… ‘Self-liking … is so necessary to the Well-being of those that have been used to indulge it; that they can taste no Pleasure without it …’ (ii. 135–6).
‘Verum ut ad id quod institueram, revertar: quæ vis saxeos, quernos, & agrestes illos homines in civitatem coëgit, nisi adulatio’ (Opera iv. 424, in Encomium Moriae)? ‘… the Moral Virtues are the Political Offspring which Flattery begot upon Pride’ (i. 51). Cf. Mandeville’s Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue.
‘Tum autem quæ res Deciis persuasit, ut ultro sese Diis Manibus devoverent? Quod Q. Curtium in specum traxit, nisi inanis gloria, dulcissima quædam Siren, sed mirum quam a Sapientibus istis damnata’ (Opera iv. 426, in Encomium Moriae)? ‘… the great Recompence in view, for which the most exalted Minds have … sacrificed … every Inch of themselves, has never been any thing else but the Breath of Man, the Aerial Coin of Praise’ (i. 54–5).
‘Cujus rei si desideratis argumenta primum illud animadvertite, pueros, senes, mulieres, ac fatuos sacris ac religiosis rebus præter cæteros gaudere, eoque semper altaribus esse proximos, solo, nimirum, naturae impulsu. Præterea videtis primos illos religionis auctores, mire simplicitatem amplexos, acerrimos litterarum hostes fuisse’ (Opera iv. 499–500, in Encomium Moriae). ‘As to Religion, the most knowing and polite Part of a Nation have every where the least of it. … Ignorance is … the Mother of Devotion …’ (i. 269). Cf. Fable i. 308.
‘Ego puto totum hoc de cultu pendere a consuetudine ac persuasione mortalium’ (Opera i. 742, in Colloquia Familiaria). ‘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 direct them’ (i. 172).

I do not mean to imply, though, that Mandeville drew constantly and consciously from Erasmus as he did from Bayle. The Erasmian influence was, I believe, Edition: current; Page: [cix] a general formative one, and the parallels to Erasmus—where they were derivative—the result probably of early absorption rather than of deliberate borrowing.

That the Fable often parallels and sometimes derives from Hobbes is evident from my annotations to the text, and, indeed, some indebtedness to Hobbes was inevitable at that period of thought. As early as his college days Mandeville had studied Hobbes, for he disagreed with him in his Disputatio Philosophica (1689), sign. A3v. Among their chief points of similarity is their analysis of human nature. To Hobbes also the mainspring of social action was egoism: man was a selfish animal, and society, consequently, artificial:

All society … is either for gain, or for glory; that is, not so much for love of our fellows, as for the love of ourselves (English Works, ed. Molesworth, ii. 5; cf. also Leviathan, pt. 1, ch. 13).

And to Hobbes as well, the love of virtue was derivable ‘from love of praise’ (Engiish Works iii. 87). Both men, too, denounced the search for a universal summum bonum (cf. English Works iii. 85), and, denying the ‘divine original’ of virtue, thought morality a human product. ‘Where no law, no injustice’ was Hobbes’s dictum (iii. 115). But in the midst of this similarity there was a very important difference. Hobbes maintained that

The desires, and other passions of men, are in themselves no sin. No more are the actions, that proceed from those passions, till they know a law that forbids them … (iii. 114).

Mandeville, however, when identifying current moralities with custom, did not say that genuine virtue and vice are thus dependent, but only that Edition: current; Page: [cx] men’s opinions of them are. To Mandeville men in the ‘state of nature’ were ipso facto wicked, as being unredeemed from their primal degeneracy (cf. below, i. 40, n. 1).

In his account of the origin of society in Part II Mandeville is closer to Hobbes’s discussion of this matter in his Philosophical Rudiments concerning Government and Society and his Leviathan than to any other predecessor (cf. below, i. xcii, n. 1).

It is not, however, possible to gauge Mandeville’s indebtedness to Hobbes with much accuracy, since most of what Mandeville shares with Hobbes he shares also with other predecessors such as Bayle and La Rochefoucauld. Hobbes and Mandeville, besides, were both in the same current of speculation, and it is therefore always possible that Mandeville’s resemblances to Hobbes were due not so much to immediate influence as to the effect of a stream of thought which Hobbes had done so much to direct.

In the case of Locke also, although Mandeville cites him and shows kinship to him, it is not possible to be certain how much he was influenced by him directly, and how much indirectly through the medium of an age which Locke had so greatly affected.

Of the various other precursors noted in the first part of this section, Mandeville specifically cited only Saint-Evremond,1 Fe,2 Spinoza,3 and Montaigne.4 From Saint-Evremond Mandeville may well have drawn for his defence of luxury.5 As to the various other possible progenitors of Mandeville, their very Edition: current; Page: [cxi] multiplicity precludes any certainty in the selection of particular ones as sources. Those most likely to have had important general influence—if we judge by the quantity and closeness of the parallel passages recorded in my notes—are Spinoza,1 Esprit, Abbadie, North, and D’Avenant.2

From this chapter and the notes to the text it will be seen that a great part of Mandeville’s thought was derivatory. What he did was to take conceptions of more or less currency and give to them an especially vivid embodiment; and if there was any self-contradiction in these conceptions, or if they had their roots in attitudes and circumstances usually concealed, he gave to these contradictions and concealments an especial prominence, so that merely by fully stating them he rendered men aghast at theories they had Edition: current; Page: [cxii] held all their lives. Much of his originality, then, lay in his manner of exposition.

But, for all that, Mandeville’s was essentially an original mind—in so far as there is such a thing. The reader who thinks that Mandeville’s evident borrowings show him a mere dealer in the second-hand would do well first to consider that the author of original mind is often (like Montaigne) more full of evident borrowings than the prosaic writer. The self-conscious, individualized, original thinker recognizes at once kindred elements in the thought of others; and, in his satisfaction at finding a sympathetic view-point in the midst of a world whose conventional opinions are usually hostile, may make an especial parade of statements by other writers with which he agrees. It should also be remembered that sufficient research can make any thought seem stale. If originality consists in not being anticipated, no one was ever original. We cannot help drawing from the old thoughts with which we first fed our consciousness; but we are not thereby made unoriginal unless we retail these thoughts without rethinking them. Mandeville did rethink them: in his books they bear the especial stigmata of his own mind. And, in such contributions as his psychologizing of economics and his extraordinary sketch of the origin of society,1 he offered that drawing Edition: current; Page: [cxiii] of latent inference from old material, that novel rearrangement of old knowledge, which constitutes the positive side of originality.

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V: MANDEVILLE’S INFLUENCE

§ 1

WHEN first issued in 1714 the Fable, despite its two editions that year, attracted little notice.1 Another edition was not called for until 1723, and then, possibly, only because Mandeville had doubled the bulk of his book and wished publicity for the new matter. Included in that new matter, however, was an attack on a vested interest—the charity-schools. The work now at once attracted attention. The newspapers focused their batteries on it, and within a few months whole books began to be aimed at it. At the same time the public commenced to exhaust an edition a year. Then it went into foreign editions.2 Meanwhile, other books by Mandeville were having frequent printings in England and, translated, on the Continent.3 His works, moreover, must have been made familiar to thousands who never saw the books by the reviews (often of great length) which appeared of them in periodicals such as the Bibliothèque Britannique and the Histoire des Ouvrages des Savans,4 in Edition: current; Page: [cxv] theological bibliographies like those of Masch, Lilienthal, and Trinius, and in encyclopaedias like Chaufepié’s and Birch’s General Dictionary. The many attacks, also, on the Fable not only reflected the celebrity of the book, but diffused this fame still further—a fame often commented on by contemporaries.1 Here is a partial list Edition: current; Page: [cxvi] of some of the better-known men who at some time gave him specific and often lengthy attention: John Dennis, William Law, Reimarus, Hume, Berkeley, Hutcheson, Godwin, Holberg, John Brown, Fielding, Gibbon, Diderot, Holbach, Rousseau, Malthus, James Mill, Mackintosh, Kant, Adam Smith, Warburton, John Wesley, Herder, Montesquieu, Hazlitt, and Bentham.1 Some of these, like Hazlitt, referred to him repeatedly, and some wrote whole books on him. William Law devoted a volume to him; so did John Dennis; Francis Hutcheson, no unimportant figure in the history of English thought, wrote two books against him; while Berkeley apportioned him two dialogues, and Adam Smith twice wrote at length about his thought.

Nor was this vogue merely academic. The Fable of the Bees made a public scandal. Mandeville, with his teaching of the usefulness of vice, inherited the office of Lord High Bogy-man, which Hobbes had held in the preceding century. The Fable was twice presented by the Grand Jury as a public nuisance; minister and bishop alike denounced it from the pulpit.2 The book, indeed, aroused positive consternation, ranging from the indignation of Bishop Berkeley3 to the horrified amazement of John Wesley,4 who protested that not even Voltaire could have said so much for wickedness. In France, the Fable was actually ordered to be burned by the common hangman.5

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It would, in fact, be difficult to overrate the intensity and extent of Mandeville’s eighteenth-century fame. A letter of Wesley’s,1 in 1750, indicates that the Fable was current in Ireland. In France, in 1765, we find Diderot evidencing that the book was a familiar subject of conversation.2 In 1768 the friend of Laurence Sterne, John Hall-Stevenson, thought a good title for one of his pieces would be ‘The New Fable of the Bees’. In Germany, in 1788, when Kant made his sixfold classification of ethical systems, he chose Mandeville’s name as that by which to identify one of the six types.3 And in America the author of the first American comedy—a play meant for popular consumption4—referred to Mandeville as if his theories were as well known to the audience as the latest proclamation of General Washington.

The enormous vogue of the book should be borne in mind during the discussion of its influence; for in the light of this vogue points of relationship between the Fable and subsequent developments take on fuller significance, and the manner in which future events followed the trend foreshadowed by the book becomes more closely associated with the influence of the work.5

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§ 2

We shall be occupied here with Mandeville’s effect in three fields: literature, ethics, and economics.

His literary influence was slight. The Fable had no direct imitators. Its influence was limited to the offering of titbits for amalgamation or paraphrase by other writers. Among these were Pope, Johnson, Adam Smith, and Voltaire. Pope paraphrased the Fable both in the Moral Essays and in the Essay on Man.1 The manuscript of the latter, it should be Edition: current; Page: [cxix] noted, had instead of the present line ii. 240 this direct paraphrase of the sub-title of the Fable of the Bees:

And public good extracts from private vice.1

—Dr. Johnson, who said that Mandeville opened his views into real life very much,2 and whose economic theories were largely borrowed from Mandeville,3 limited his literary indebtedness to a passage in one of his Idlers (no. 34), which seems to be a paraphrase of a witty portion of the Fable (i. 106),4 and to some able discussions with Boswell about the book.—Adam Smith’s literary obligation extended to at least one famous passage, but this matter will be considered later as incidental to Smith’s debt to Mandeville in the field of economics.—The literary borrowings of Voltaire, whose considerable general indebtedness will Edition: current; Page: [cxx] also be touched on later, consisted in the paraphrase in French verse of several pages of the Fable (i. 176–80), Voltaire’s poem being called Le Marseillois et le Lion (Œuvres, ed. Moland, 1877–85, x. 140–8); and of passages in Le Mondain and the Defense du Mondain, and in the Observations sur MM. Jean Lass, Melon et Dutot; sur le Commerce, which have parallels in the Fable.1

All this, however, constitutes an unimportant phase of Mandeville’s influence. His great effect was on ethics and economics.

§ 3

To understand the effect which Mandeville exercised on ethical theory, certain aspects of his creed should be recalled. In the first place, his conception of virtue proclaimed that no action was virtuous if inspired by selfish emotion; and this assumption, since Mandeville considered all natural emotion fundamentally selfish, implied the ascetic position that no action was virtuous if done from natural impulse. Secondly, Mandeville’s definition of virtue declared that no action was meritorious unless the motive that inspired it was a ‘rational’ one. As he interpreted ‘rational’ to imply an antithesis to emotion and self-regard, both aspects of his ethical code—the ascetic and the rationalistic—alike condemned as vicious all action whose dominant motive was natural impulse and self-regarding bias. To put it from a different angle, his code condemned all such Edition: current; Page: [cxxi] acts as were caused by the traits men share with the animals.

This conception of morality was no invention of Mandeville’s. He merely adopted the creed of two great popular groups of the period. The first group comprised the theologians who, from the orthodox belief in the depravity of human nature, concluded naturally that virtue could not be found except in such action as unselfishly denied or transcended the workings of the nature they condemned.1 To all logical inferences from Mandeville’s position as to the Edition: current; Page: [cxxii] moral necessity of unselfishness and the conquest of natural impulse these ascetics were fairly committed. The other group comprised the rationalistic or ‘intellectualistic’ ethical thinkers, who identified morality with such action as proceeded from rational motives. This group was committed to conclusions logically deducible from Mandeville’s position only in so far as, like him, they made an antithesis between reason and emotion and therefore denied the virtue of action dictated by emotion; but, since this antithesis was very commonly made, at least implicitly,1 these Edition: current; Page: [cxxiii] thinkers too were largely implicated in Mandeville’s conclusions. The inferences, then, which Mandeville was to deduce from the rigorous application of his definition of virtue were such as could genuinely involve and provoke the thought of his day.

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The analysis of human emotions and their relation to opinion and conduct which led Mandeville, in the light of his definition of virtue, to the conclusion that all human action is at bottom vicious has already been considered (i. lxi–lxiv). He found, in brief, that reason is not a determinant factor in men’s actions, our most elaborate and apparently detached ratiocination being basically only a rationalizing and excusing of the demands of dominant emotions; and that all our acts—even those apparently most unselfish—are, traced to their source, due to some variety or interplay of selfishness—that, in fact, despite all the divines and philosophers, man is, after all, only ‘the most perfect of Animals’ (Fable i. 44) and can never contradict or transcend this Edition: current; Page: [cxxv] fact. Thus, no part of his definition of virtue being fulfillable in a world governed by more utilitarian considerations, he was driven to the conclusion that the world is entirely vicious, even its agreeable and valuable products being the effect of vice, and so arose the paradox ‘Private Vices, Publick Benefits’.

By juxtaposing together the utilitarian principles by which the world is inevitably controlled and the demands of rigoristic ethics, and showing their irreconcilability, Mandeville achieved a latent reductio ad absurdum of the rigoristic point of view. But he never educed this reductio ad absurdum. Although he spent most of his book in the demonstration that a life regulated by the principles of rigoristic virtue as expressed in his definition is not only impossible but highly undesirable, whereas the actual immoral world is a pleasant place, he continued to announce the sanctity of the rigoristic creed. This paradoxical ethical duet which Mandeville carried on with himself is the point to note here, for it is this fact which gives the clue to the influence on ethics which he exerted.

The attacks on Mandeville focus on this paradox, but the type of attack varies according to the intellectual leanings of the particular polemicist. First there were the critics who, like William Law and John Dennis, adhered to the rigoristic school of ethics. On these the effect of the Fable was that of the insane root which takes the reason prisoner. William Law was almost alone in keeping his head, although not his temper. It was not merely the theories of Mandeville that caused this riot of reason, but the tone of the Doctor’s writing. Mandeville employed a humorously cynical downrightness of statement that made him so Edition: current; Page: [cxxvi] provocative that even now, after two hundred years, he has kept almost unimpaired his ability to irritate those who disagree with him. But, apart from their expression, there was enough in Mandeville’s tenets to agitate those who believed virtue necessarily unselfish and rational. Mandeville accepted their own position to argue them into unbearable predicaments. He agreed that only such behaviour is virtuous as proceeds from dispassionate obedience to a moral code; and then he demonstrated that there can be no such conduct in this world. He admitted that a state based on selfishness is corrupt and that luxury is contrary to the Christian religion, and then he proceeded to show that all society must be based on selfishness and that no state can be great without luxury. He agreed that men must transcend their animal nature, and then he proved that it could not be done. In other words, he took advantage of his opponents’ own standards to show them that according to those standards they had never done a virtuous action in their lives, and that, if those principles could be lived up to, they would inevitably cause the total collapse of society. Meanwhile Mandeville stood in the middle of this spectacle roaring with laughter; which did not help to soothe his critics.

They lost their heads. If only Mandeville had accepted the reductio ad absurdum latent in his book and rejected the rigoristic system of ethics, things would have been simple for the William Laws. They would merely have rushed to the defence of their code, and been quite comfortable. But Mandeville did not reject it; the force of his demonstration of the value of vice and impossibility of virtue rested on his accepting their position.

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There were, therefore, only two rational1 objections open to the rigorists. They could argue, first, that Mandeville’s vivisection of human nature was faulty and that men really do act from absolutely dispassionate unselfishness. This they tried.2 But Mandeville’s analysis had been so keen and thorough that few of his opponents dared claim that they had demonstrated much more than that in some few cases a man might conceivably be virtuous in their sense of the word. This was hardly very comforting, for it left them still drowning in a sea of almost undiluted iniquity.

The other method was to qualify the rigoristic point of view that only such actions were virtuous Edition: current; Page: [cxxviii] as were done from unselfish devotion to principle, and to call for another criterion of virtue. Now, the significant fact is that almost every rigorist who undertook to answer Mandeville did in some way modify the rigoristic position.1 William Law was perhaps as staunch and unmitigated an ascetic as ever urged his dogmas on other people; to Law an act done simply because a person wished to do it was ipso facto without merit.2 Yet Law, in his answer to the Fable, was at pains to defend the admissibility of emotion and desire, and even approached a utilitarian3 position.4

Law was typical. Of the rigorists who attacked the Fable with any insight, almost all were driven in some manner to qualify the severity of the current rigoristic conception—to insist less on the sheerly rational element in moral conduct, to allow more play to interested motives, to offer, if only obliquely, something more in harmony with a utilitarian philosophy.5

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On the other hand, there was another class of critics of the Fable, comprising those men by intellectual Edition: current; Page: [cxxx] bias anti-rigoristic, like Hume and Adam Smith. These men took the Fable more calmly. Not holding the ascetic premiss, they were not perturbed by Mandeville’s deductions therefrom. They agreed with his analyses; but when he came to his rigoristic candle-snuffer and said, ‘All these good things are due to vice’, they answered with Hume, If it be vice which produces all the good in the world, then there is something the matter with our terminology; such vice is not vice but good.1 These critics, then, simply accepted the reductio ad absurdum which Mandeville refused to educe, and, rejecting the rigorism which gave rise to Mandeville’s paradox, set up instead a utilitarian scheme of ethics.

This may seem the simple and obvious thing to do. And it is simple and obvious now—after two hundred years. But in that simple and obvious step is the germ of the whole modern utilitarian movement; in that rejection of absolute a priori codes and in that refusal to dissever man from the animals is the core of the modern scientific, empirical attitude. With the solving of Mandeville’s paradox, indeed, is bound up our whole present-day intellectual atmosphere, the development of which the utilitarian movement has done so much to foster.

Now, recognition of the inexpediency of rigoristic codes, which recognition eventually led to the utilitarian movement, was to be found elsewhere than in Mandeville, and the Mandevillian paradox was to be found latent in every-day points of view; but Mandeville’s Edition: current; Page: [cxxxi] statement of the paradox was the most forceful, the most provocative, and the most celebrated, and therefore, by natural deduction, one of the most influential. That it was Mandeville who furnished much of the specific stimulus towards the utilitarian solution of the paradox is demonstrated by the fact that in the case of at least two of the earlier utilitarian leaders—Francis Hutcheson and John Brown1—their first statements of the utilitarian theory are found in those books of theirs which deal with Mandeville, and were evidently largely evolved through the controversy. Hume, too, may have owed to Mandeville some impulse towards utilitarianism.2 We might note, also, that of the later major utilitarians Bentham and Godwin praised him, and James Mill strongly defended him. And, turning from the leaders to the intellectual soil upon which they had to work, it should be remembered that contemporary anti- or non-utilitarian opinion had been disturbed, and thus prepared for change, by the insistent paradox of the Fable, the outstanding ethical irritant of its generation.

The case might be summed up thus: Mandeville’s critics, for all their dissimilarity from each other, were forced in common away from strict rigorism and, more or less, towards a utilitarian attitude. It seems, then, that the paradox of the Fable supplied a spur which, on contact, urged all groups in the general Edition: current; Page: [cxxxii] direction of utilitarianism; and the enormous vogue of the book, together with the facts that its paradox was based on dominant types of ethical theory and thus involved and affected their many adherents, and that the book was so studied and reacted to by the utilitarian leaders, is proof of how generally and efficaciously the spur was applied.

As a matter of fact Mandeville has an even fuller claim than this to be considered a prime mover in the development of modern utilitarianism: it was not alone through forcing a solution of the paradox that private vices are public benefits that the Fable helped to precipitate the utilitarian philosophy; another salient feature of Mandeville’s ethical scheme had effect of a similar sort. This feature can be equally well described as moral nihilism, philosophical anarchism, or pyrrhonism (cf. above, i. lvi–lviii). In morals, declared Mandeville, there are no universally valid rules of conduct. No person believes one thing but some one professes the opposite; no nation approves one form of conduct but another nation as strongly condemns it; ‘… hunting after this Pulchrum & Honestum is not much better than a Wild-Goose-Chace …’ (Fable i. 331). ‘What Mortal can decide which is the handsomest, abstract from the Mode in being, to wear great Buttons or small ones? … In Morals there is no greater Certainty’ (Fable i. 328–30).

How Mandeville reconciled this pyrrhonism with the rigoristic ethics which he accepted superficially and the utilitarianism which was basic in his thought has been discussed elsewhere (above, i. lviii–lxi). The point here is that he put his denial of general moral standards with his usual pungency, and that it produced Edition: current; Page: [cxxxiii] reactions in a number of his critics.1 It affected them in much the same way that his famous paradox had. It presented what was to them an intolerable scheme of things, which, for their peace of mind and soul, they had to remodel. And this remodelling—the furnishing of those valid ethical standards whose existence Mandeville denied—led them either to assert some code of divine origin and to maintain a rigoristic scheme of ethics (in which case the other edge of Mandeville’s blade—his paradox—drove them towards utilitarianism); or it caused them to appeal to the utility of actions to supply, for judging those acts, the moral criteria Mandeville denied.

Thus with a double lash Mandeville drove his critics towards utilitarianism. By making the rigoristic position intolerable and the anarchistic position plausible, he forced his readers to formulate a way out. He furnished the necessity which is the mother of invention, and, by so doing, became one of the most fundamental and persistent of the early literary influences underlying the modern utilitarian movement.2

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§ 4

Let us turn now to Mandeville’s effect on the course of economic theory, where his consequence was perhaps greatest.

One aspect of Mandeville’s effect in this field was his association with the famous division of labour theory, which Adam Smith made into one of the foundation stones of modern economic thought. For his statement of this principle Adam Smith owed much to Mandeville’s definite and repeated development of the conception.1 I do not mean that the Fable was the sole source of Smith’s doctrine, for, of course, knowledge of the implications of division of labour was far older than Mandeville.2 The Fable’ was only one source, but it was a source with special claims to influence. To begin with, Mandeville’s statement of the doctrine was a brilliant one, and Smith was intimately acquainted with it. At the beginning Edition: current; Page: [cxxxv] of his literary career he devoted part of an essay to the Fable, and his careful discussion of Mandeville in the Theory of the Moral Sentiments1 showed that he had not only learned Mandeville’s ideas but had the very language of the Fable by heart. Mandeville’s treatment of division of labour must have made an especial impression on him, for one of the most famous passages on this matter in the Wealth of Nations—that about the labourer’s coat—is largely a paraphrase of similar passages in the Fable.2 The celebrated phrase, too—‘division of labour’—was anticipated by Mandeville,3 and, apparently, by no one else. Finally, Dugald Stewart, who knew Smith personally, credited Mandeville with having been Smith’s inspiration.4 Obviously, therefore, considerable credit for establishing the division of labour theory belongs to Mandeville.

But, though important, his influence on the establishment of this doctrine was a minor phase of Mandeville’s effect on economic tendencies. More important was his effect through his defence of luxury—that argument for the harmlessness and necessity of luxury with which he confronted not only all the more ascetic codes of morality but what was once the classic economic attitude, which set forth the ideal of a Spartan state, exalted the simpler agricultural pursuits, and denounced luxury as the degenerator of peoples and impoverisher of nations. The problem of the value of luxury was to be a widely agitated question in the eighteenth century—one of the battlegrounds of the Encyclopaedists.

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Now, of all single literary influences in this discussion of luxury the Fable of the Bees was one of the very greatest. In brilliance and completeness it surpassed all previous defences of luxury,1 and some of the leading contestants in the quarrel drew on the Fable for their opinions and arguments. Voltaire was considerably indebted to Mandeville.2 Melon3 probably owed Edition: current; Page: [cxxxvii] him much. Montesquieu was at least slightly in his Edition: current; Page: [cxxxviii] debt.1 Dr. Johnson confessed himself Mandeville’s pupil.2

Nor was the Fable merely a potent influence in the works of other writers. It not only spurred on the others, but was itself in the van of the attack. In 1785, Professor Pluquet, in a work approved by the Collège Royal, called Mandeville the first to defend luxury from the standpoint of economic theory;3 and so thoroughly in the public mind was Mandeville Edition: current; Page: [cxxxix] conceived of as spokesman for the defence of luxury that a popular American play1 as late as 1787 apostrophized not Voltaire, not Montesquieu, not any of the well-known encyclopaedists, but Mandeville as the arch-advocate for this defence.

We now come to perhaps the most important aspect of Mandeville’s economic influence. In the Fable Mandeville maintains, and maintains explicitly, the theory at present known as the laissez-faire theory, which dominated modern economic thought for a hundred years and is still a potent force. This is the theory that commercial affairs are happiest when least regulated by the government; that things tend by themselves to find their own proper level; and that unregulated self-seeking on the part of individuals will in society so interact with and check itself that the result will be for the benefit of the community. But unnecessary interference on the part of the state will tend to pervert that delicate adjustment. Of this attitude Mandeville has definite anticipations: ‘In the Compound of all Nations, the different Degrees of Men ought to bear a certain Proportion to each other, as to Numbers, in order to render the whole a well-proportion’d Mixture. And as this due Proportion is the Result and natural Consequence of the difference there is in the Qualifications of Men, and the Vicissitudes that happen among them, so it is never better attained to, or preserv’d, than when no body meddles with it. Hence we may learn, how the short-sighted Wisdom, of perhaps well-meaning People, may rob us of a Felicity, that would flow spontaneously from the Nature of every large Society, if none were to divert or interrupt the Stream’ (Fable ii. 353). The Edition: current; Page: [cxl] Fable of the Bees, I believe, was one of the chief literary sources of the doctrine of laissez-faire.

But it became a source not because of such passages as that just cited—though the vogue of the Fable vouches for their having been well known; it became an influence because of the philosophy of individualism so prominent in the Fable. Man, said Mandeville, is a mechanism of interacting selfish passions. Fortunately, however, these passions, although, at first sight, their dominion might seem to threaten anarchy, are so composed and arranged that under the influence of society their apparent discords harmonize to the public good. This immensely complicated adjustment is not the effect of premeditated effort, but is the automatic reaction of man in society. Now, the laissez-faire theory was to be grounded on such a philosophy—a philosophy, indeed, without which there could hardly have been a self-conscious doctrine of laissez-faire and with which, sooner or later, there could hardly help but be.

But was it Mandeville’s statement of this philosophy which was influential? To answer this it should be noted that before Mandeville there was no systematic formulation of laissez-faire. All manifestations of the spirit were opportunist and unsynthesized for want of a philosophy of individualism.1 It should be noted, too, that Mandeville’s exposition of the individualistic position was incomparably the most brilliant, the most complete, the most provocative, and the best known until Adam Smith made the laissez-faire position classic in the Wealth of Nations. Adam Smith himself is the concrete example which indicates that Mandeville’s Edition: current; Page: [cxli] influence here was not merely a likelihood, but an actuality. I have already shown (above, i. cxxxiv–cxxxv) the general fact of Smith’s familiarity with and indebtedness to the Fable. There are additional reasons why he should have been influenced by Mandeville in conceiving his exposition of laissez-faire. Smith studied under Francis Hutcheson at Glasgow, and in both philosophy and economics owed his teacher much inspiration.1 Now, Mandeville was an obsession with Hutcheson. He could hardly write a book without devoting much of it to attacking the Fable.2 And the concepts concerning which he was most aroused were precisely those which underlie laissez-faire—the egoism of man and the advantage to society of this egoism. It is inconceivable that Hutcheson could have lectured without often analysing Mandeville’s point of view. Thus, precisely during a critical period of intellectual growth, Smith’s mind must have been fed on the Fable. And that the food was absorbed and not rejected we may see from the fact that in his exposition of laissez-faire and its basis Smith repudiated Hutcheson to come close to Mandeville.3

Edition: current; Page: [cxlii]

This sketch of Mandeville’s importance in the modern utilitarian movement and of his effect on Edition: current; Page: [cxliii] economic thought through the division of labour theory, the defence of luxury, and the laissez-faire philosophy does not exhaust the subject of his influence. It is, for instance, more than possible that he was a factor in the development of philological theory, for both Condillac and Herder may well have owed to the Fable inspiration for their noted studies of the origin of language.1 There remains, Edition: current; Page: [cxliv] also, the fact of the enormous influence Mandeville must have exerted at second-hand—through Voltaire, through Melon, through Hutcheson, through Adam Smith, and, possibly, through Helvétius.1

Edition: current; Page: [cxlv]

But, leaving aside the possible and the indirect in Mandeville’s influence and considering only his probable and immediate effect, his influence bulks so large in the two great fields of ethics and economics1 Edition: current; Page: [cxlvi] that it is doubtful whether a dozen English works can be found in the entire eighteenth century of such historical importance as The Fable of the Bees.

Edition: current; Page: [1]

Note on the phrase ‘Private Vices, Publick Benefits’

This conception was adumbrated by Montaigne: ‘De mesme, en toute police, il y a des offices necessaires, non seulement abiects, mais encore vitieux: les vices y trouuent leur rang & s’employent à la cousture de nostre liaison, comme les venins à la conseruation de nostre santé. … Le bien public requiert qu’on trahisse & qu’on mente et qu’on massacre …’ (Essais, Bordeaux, 1906–20, iii. 2–3). Charron put it that ‘Premierement nous sçavons, que souuent nous sommes menés & poussés a la vertu & a bien faire par des ressorts meschans & reprouués, par deffaut & impuissance naturelle, par passion, & le vice mesmes’ (De la Sagesse, Leyden, 1656, i. 246; bk. 2, ch. 3). Bayle wrote, ‘Les erreurs, les passions, les préjugez, & cent autres défauts semblables, sont comme un mal nécessaire au monde. Les hommes ne vaudroient rien pour cette terre si on les avoit guéris …’ (Oeuvres Diverses, The Hague, 1727–31, ii. 274; and cf. iii. 361 and 977 sqq.). There is an interesting parallel to Mandeville’s phrase in The City Alarum, or the Weeke of our Miscarriages (1645), p. 29: ‘… most men being ambitious, and affecting the repute of opulent, many from whom the Magistrate exacts too much, chuse rather to pay, then proclaime the slendernesse of their fortunes. So that vice it selfe supports vertue, and reall profit is reaped from wealth imaginary.’

I have cited only passages exhibiting some kinship in expression to Mandeville’s epigram. The general idea, however, of the possible usefulness of vice was frequently anticipated in the numerous seventeenth-century discourses on the passions. In these treatises it was shown how the passions, although vicious in themselves, could none the less be converted into virtues. Some of these works—Pierre Nicole’s De La Charité, & de l’Amour propre (Essais de Morale, vol. 3) is an example—continued to term the passions vicious despite their practical utility. Lay works also preached this moral. Thus Fontenelle wrote, ‘Avez-vous de la peine à concevoir que les bonnes qualités d’un homme tiennent à d’autres qui sont mauvaises, et qu’il seroit dangereux de le guérir de ses défauts?’ ((Œuvres, Paris, 1790, i. 367, in Dialogues des Morts); and an anonymous English work argued that ‘What the generality of men take for Virtues, are only Vices in Masquerade’ (Laconics: or, New Maxims of State and Conversation, ed. 1701, pt. 2, maxim 53; p. 43). See, also, the citation from La Rochefoucauld (above, i. cv) and from Rochester (below, i. 219, n. 1). Another, related, type of work held that the passions may become the ingredients of genuine virtue, but nevertheless showed at the same time much of the theological belief that the passions are in their nature of the world, the flesh, and the devil. For instances of such writings one might cite J. F. Senault’s De l’Usage des Passions (1643), Malebranche’s Recherche de La Vérité (cf. ed. Paris, 1721, iii. 18), and W. Ayloffe’s Government of the Passions, according to the Rules of Reason and Religion (1700). In these studies of the emotions—especially in the first-mentioned type—there lay implicit the paradox that vices may be benefits.—Concerning this whole matter of the psychologizing of virtue into vice cf. above, i. xlvii–xlix, lxxxvii–xciii, and below, ii. 404, n. 1.

These anticipations, however, unlike Mandeville, usually put little stress on the social implications of the value of vice, being content to show how the individual could transmute the evil passions of his nature into personal virtue.

As part of the background for Mandeville’s phrase there should be considered also the common ‘optimistic’ belief that somehow good springs from evil (see below, i. 57, n. 1).

For Mandeville’s own explanation of his phrase see below, i. 412, n. 1.

Edition: current; Page: [3]
The PREFACE. The PREFACE.

THE PREFACEEdition: orig; Page: [iii]

LAWS and Government are to the Political Bodies of Civil Societies, what the Vital Spirits and Life it self are to the Natural Bodies of Animated Creatures; and as those that study the Anatomy of Dead Carcases may see, that the chief Organs and nicest Springs more immediately required to continue the Motion of our Machine, are not hard Bones, strong Muscles and Nerves, nor the smooth white Skin that so beautifully Edition: orig; Page: [iv]covers them, but small trifling Films and little Pipes that are either over-look’d, or else seem inconsiderable to Vulgar Eyes; so they that Edition: current; Page: [4] examine into the Nature of Man, abstract from Art and Education, may observe, that what renders him a Sociable Animal, consists not in his desire of Company, Good-nature, Pity, Affability, and other Graces of a fair Outside; but that his vilest and most hateful Qualities are the most necessary Accomplishments to fit him for the largest, and, according to the World, the happiest and most flourishing Societies.

The following Fable, in which what I have said is set forth at large, was printed above eighta Years ago* in a Six Penny Pamphlet, call’d, the Grumbling Hive; or Knaves turn’d Honest; and being soon after Pirated, cry’d about the Streets in a Half-Penny Sheet.1 Since the first publishing of it I have met with several that either wilfully or ignorantly mistaking the Edition: orig; Page: [v] Design, would have it, that the Scope of it was a Satyr upon Virtue and Morality, and the whole wrote for the Encouragementc of Vice. This made me resolve, whenever it should be reprinted, some way or other to inform the Reader of the real Intent Edition: current; Page: [5] this little Poem was wrote with. I do not dignify these few loose Lines with the Name of Poem, that I would have the Reader expect any Poetry in them, but barely because they are Rhime, and I am in reality puzzled what Name to give them; for they are neither Heroick nor Pastoral, Satyr, Burlesque nor Heroi-comick; to be a Tale they want Probability, and the whole is rather too long for a Fable. All I can say of them is, that they are a Story told in Dogrel, which without the least design of being Witty, I have endeavour’d to do in as easy and familiar a manner as I was able: The Reader shall be welcome to call them what he pleases. ’Twas said of Montagne, that he was pretty well vers’d in the Defects of Man-Edition: orig; Page: [vi]kind, but unacquainted with the Excellencies of human Nature:1 If I fare no worse, I shall think my self well used.

Edition: current; Page: [6]

What Country soever in the Universe is to be understood by the Bee-Hive represented here, it is evident from what is said of the Laws and Constitution of it, the Glory, Wealth, Power and Industry of its Inhabitants, that it must be a large, rich and warlike Nation, that is happily govern’d by a limited Monarchy. The Satyr therefore to be met with in the following Lines upon the several Professions and Callings, and almost every Degree and Station of People, was not made to injure and point to a particular Persons, but only to shew the Vileness of the Ingredients that all togetherb compose the wholesome Mixture of a well-order’d Society; in order to extol the wonderful Power of Political Wisdom, by the help of which so beautiful a Machine is rais’d from the most contemptible Branches. Edition: orig; Page: [vii]For the main Design of the Fable, (as it is briefly explain’d in the Moral) is to shew the Impossibility of enjoying all the most elegant Comforts of Life that are to be met with in an industrious, wealthy and powerful Nation, and at the same time be bless’d with all the Virtue and Innocence that can be wish’d for in a Golden Edition: current; Page: [7] Age; from thence to expose the Unreasonableness and Folly of those, that desirous of being an opulent and flourishing People, and wonderfully greedy after all the Benefits they can receive as such, are yet always murmuring at and exclaiming against those Vices and Inconveniences, that from the Beginning of the World to this present Day, have been inseparable from all Kingdoms and States that ever were fam’d for Strength, Riches, and Politeness, at the same time.

To do this, I first slightly touch upon some of the Faults and Corruptions the several Professions and Callings are generally charged with. After that I shew that those very Vices of every particular Person by skilful Management, were made subservient to the Grandeur and worldly Happiness of the whole. Lastly, by setting forth what of necessity must be the consequence of general Honesty and Virtue, and National Temperance, Innocence and Content, I demonstrate that if Mankind could be cured of the Failings they are Naturally guilty of, they would cease to be capable of being rais’d into such vast, potent and polite Societies, as they have Edition: current; Page: [8] been under the several great Commonwealths and Monarchies that have flourish’d since the Creation.

If you ask me, why I have done all this, cui bono? and what Good these Notions will produce? truly, besides the Reader’s Diversion, I believe none at all; but if Ia was ask’d, what Naturally ought to be expected from ’em, I wou’d answer, That in the first Place the People, who continually find fault with others, by reading them, would beEdition: orig; Page: [ix] taught to look at home, and examining their own Consciences, be made asham’d of always railing at what they are more or less guilty of themselves; and that in the next, those who are so fond of the Ease and Comforts, and reap all the Benefits that are the Consequence of a great and flourishing Nation, would learn more patiently to submit to those Inconveniences, which no Government upon Earth can remedy, when they should see the Impossibility of enjoying any great share of the first, without partaking likewise of the latter.

This I say ought naturally to be expected from the publishing of these Notions, if Edition: current; Page: [9] People were to be made better by any thing that could be said to them; but Mankind having for so many Ages remain’d still the same, notwithstanding the many instructive and elaborate Writings, by which their Amendment has been endeavour’d, I am not so vain as to hope for bet-Edition: orig; Page: [x]ter Success from so inconsiderable a Trifle.1

Having allow’d the small Advantage this little Whim is likely to produce, I think my self oblig’d to shew, that it cannot be prejudicial to any; for what is published, if it does no good, ought at least to do no harm: In order to this I have made some Explanatory Notes, to which the Reader will find himself referr’d in those Passages that seem to be most liable to Exceptions.

The Censorious that never saw the Grumbling Hive, will tell me, that whatever I may talk of the Fable, it not taking up a Tenth part of the Book, was only contriv’d to introduce the Remarks; that instead of clearing up the doubtful or Edition: current; Page: [10] obscure Places, I have only pitch’d upon such as I had a mind to expatiate upon; and that far from striving to extenuate the Errors committed before, I have made Bad worse, and shewn my self a more barefaced Champion for Vice, in the ram-Edition: orig; Page: [xi]bling Digressions, than I had done in the Fable it self.

I shall spend no time in answering these Accusations; where Men are prejudiced, the best Apologies are lost; and I know that those who think it Criminal to suppose a necessity of Vice in any case whatever, will never be reconcil’d to any Part of the Performance; but if this be thoroughly examin’d, all the Offence it can give, must result from the wrong Inferences that may perhaps be drawn from it, and which I desire no body to make. When I assert, that Vices are inseparable from great and potent Societies, and that it is impossible their Wealth and Grandeur should subsist without, I do not say that the particular Members of them who are guilty of any should not be continually reprov’d, or not be punish’d for them when they grow into Crimes.

There are, I believe, few People in Edition: current; Page: [11] London, of those that are at any time a forc’d to go a-foot, but what could wish the Edition: orig; Page: [xii]Streets of it much cleaner than generally they are; while they regard nothing but their own Clothes and private Conveniency: but when once they come to consider, that what offends them is the result of the Plenty, great Traffick and Opulency of that mighty City, if they have any Concern in its Welfare, they will hardly ever wish to see the Streets of it less dirty. For if we mind the Materials of all Sorts that must supply such an infinite number of Trades and Handicrafts, as are always going forward; the vast quantity of Victuals, Drink and Fewel that are daily consum’d in it, theb Waste and Superfluities that must be produced from them; the multitudes of Horses and other Cattle that are always dawbing the Streets, the Carts, Coaches and more heavy Carriages that are perpetually wearing and breaking the Pavement of them, and above all the numberless swarmsc of People that are continually harassing and trampling through every part Edition: orig; Page: [xiii]of them: If, I say, we mind all these, we shall find that every Edition: current; Page: [12] Moment must produce new Filth; and considering how far distant the great Streets are from the River side, what Cost and Care soever be bestow’d to remove the Nastiness almost as fast as ’tisa made, it is impossible London should be more cleanly before it is less flourishing. Now would I ask if a good Citizen, in consideration of what has been said, might not assert, that dirty Streets are a necessary Evil inseparable from the Felicity of London, without being the least hindrance to the cleaning of Shoes, or sweeping of Streets, and consequently without any Prejudice either to the Blackguard1 or the Scavingers.

But if, without any regard to the Interest or Happiness of the City, the Question was put, What Place I thought most pleasant to walk in? No body can doubt but, before the stinking Streets of London, I would esteem a fragrant Garden, or a shady Grove in the Country. Edition: orig; Page: [xiv]In the same manner, if laying aside all worldly Greatness and Vain-Glory, I should be ask’d where I thought it was most probable that Edition: current; Page: [13] Men might enjoy true Happiness, I would prefer a small peaceable Society, in which Men, neither envy’d nor esteem’d by Neighbours, should be contented to live upon the Natural Product of the Spot they inhabit, to a vast Multitude abounding in Wealth and Power, that should always be conquering others by their Arms Abroad, and debauching themselves by Foreign Luxury at Home.a

Thus much I hadb said to the Reader in the First Edition;c and have added nothing by way of Preface in the Second. But since that, a violent Out-cry has been made against the Book, exactly answering the Expectation I always had of the Justice, the Wisdom, the Charity, and Fair-dealing of those whose Good-will I despair’d of. It has been presented by the Grand-Jury,1 and condemn’d Edition: orig; Page: [xv]by thousands who never Edition: current; Page: [14] saw a word of it. It has been preach’d against before my Lord Mayor; and an utter Refutation of it is daily expected from a Reverend Divine, who has call’d me Names in the Advertisements, and threatned to answer me in two Months time for above five Months together.1 What I have to say for my self, the Reader will see in my Vindication2 at the End of the Book, where he will likewise find the Edition: current; Page: [15] Grand-Jury’s Presentment, and a Letter to the Right Honourable Lord C.1 which is very Rhetorical beyond Argument or Connexion. The author shews a fine Talent for Invectives, and great Sagacity in discovering Atheism, where others can find none. He is zealous against wicked Books, points at the Fable of the Bees, and is very angry with the Author: he bestows four strong Epithets on the Enormity of his Guilt, and by several elegant Innuendo’s to the Multitude, as the Danger there is in suffering such Authors to live, and the VengeanceEdition: orig; Page: [xvi] of Heaven upon a whole Nation, very charitably recommends him to their Care.

Considering the length of this Epistle, Edition: current; Page: [16] and that it is not wholly levell’d at me only, I thought at first to have made some Extracts from it of what related to my self; but finding, on a nearer Enquiry, that what concern’d me was so blended and interwoven with what did not, I was oblig’d to trouble the Reader with it entire, not without Hopes that, prolix as it is, the Extravagancy of it will be entertaining to those who have perused the Treatise it condemns with so much Horror.a

Edition: current; Page: [17]
The Grumbling Hive: Or, Knaves turn’d Honest. fpage="" lpage=""

Edition: orig; Page: [1]The Grumbling Hive: o r, Knaves turn’d Honest.a

  • A Spacious Hive well stockt with Bees,
  • That liv’d in Luxury and Ease;
  • And yet as fam’d for Laws and Arms,
  • As yielding large and early Swarms;
  • Was counted the great Nursery
  • Of Sciences and Industry.
  • No Bees had better Government,
  • More Fickleness, or less Content:
  • They were not Slaves to Tyranny,
  • Nor rul’d by wild Democracy;
  • Edition: orig; Page: [2]But Kings, that could not wrong, because
  • Their Power was circumscrib’d by Laws.
Edition: current; Page: [18]
  • T h e s e Insects liv’d like Men, and all
  • Our Actions they perform’d in small:
  • They did whatever’s done in Town,
  • And what belongs to Sword or Gown:
  • Tho’ th’ Artful Works, by nimble Slight
  • Of minute Limbs, ’scap’d Human Sight;
  • Yet we’ve no Engines, Labourers,
  • Ships, Castles, Arms, Artificers,
  • Craft, Science, Shop, or Instrument,
  • But they had an Equivalent:
  • Which, since their Language is unknown,
  • Must be call’d, as we do our own.
  • As grant, that among other Things,
  • They wanted Dice, yet they had Kings;
  • And those had Guards; from whence we may
  • Justly conclude, they had some Play;
  • Unless a Regiment be shewn
  • Of Soldiers, that make use of none.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [3]Va s t Numbers throng’d the fruitful Hive;
  • Yet those vast Numbers made ’em thrive;
  • Millions endeavouring to supply
  • Each other’s Lust and Vanity;
  • While other Millions were employ’d,
  • To see their Handy-works destroy’d;
  • They furnish’d half the Universe;
  • Yet had more Work than Labourers.
  • Edition: current; Page: [19]
  • Some with vast Stocks, and little Pains,
  • Jump’d into Business of great Gains;
  • And some were damn’d to Sythes and Spades,
  • And all those hard laborious Trades;
  • Where willing Wretches daily sweat,
  • And wear out Strength and Limbs to eat:
  • (A.)a While others follow’d Mysteries,
  • To which few Folks bind ’Prentices;
  • That want no Stock, but that of Brass,
  • And may set up without a Cross;1
  • As Sharpers, Parasites, Pimps, Players,
  • Pick-pockets, Coiners, Quacks, South-sayers, 2
  • Edition: orig; Page: [4]And all those, that in Enmity,
  • With downright Working, cunningly
  • Convert to their own Use the Labour
  • Of their good-natur’d heedless Neighbour.
  • (B.) These were call’d Knaves, but bar the Name,
  • The grave Industrious were the same:
  • Edition: current; Page: [20]
  • All Trades and Places knew some Cheat,
  • No Calling was without Deceit.
  • T h e Lawyers, of whose Art the Basis
  • Was raising Feuds and splitting Cases,
  • Oppos’d all Registers, that Cheats
  • Might make more Work with dipt Estates; 1
  • As wer’t unlawful, that one’s own,
  • Without a Law-Suit, should be known.
  • They kept off Hearings wilfully,
  • To finger the refreshinga Fee;
  • And to defend a wicked Cause,
  • Examin’d and survey’d the Laws,
  • As Burglars Shops and Houses do,
  • To find out where they’d best break through.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [5]P h y s i c i a n s valu’d Fame and Wealth
  • Above the drooping Patient’s Health,
  • Or their own Skill: The greatest Part
  • Study’d, instead of Rules of Art,
  • Grave pensive Looks and dull Behaviour,
  • To gain th’ Apothecary’s Favour;
  • The Praise of Midwives, Priests, and all
  • That serv’d at Birth or Funeral.
  • Edition: current; Page: [21]
  • To bear with th’ ever-talking Tribe,
  • And hear my Lady’s Aunt prescribe;
  • With formal Smile, and kind How d’ye,
  • To fawn on all the Family;
  • And, which of all the greatest Curse is,
  • T’ endure th’ Impertinence of Nurses.
  • A m o n g the many Priests of Jove,
  • Hir’d to draw Blessings from Above,
  • Some few were Learn’d and Eloquent,
  • But thousands Hot and Ignorant:
  • Yet all pass’d Muster that could hide
  • Their Sloth, Lust, Avarice and Pride;
  • Edition: orig; Page: [6]For which they were as fam’d as Tailors
  • For Cabbage, or for Brandy Sailors:a
  • Some, meagre-look’d, and meanly clad,
  • Would mystically pray for Bread,
  • Meaning by that an ample Store,
  • Yet lit’rally received no more;
  • And, while these holy Drudges starv’d,
  • The b lazy Ones, for which they serv’d,
  • Indulg’d their Ease, with all the Graces
  • Of Health and Plenty in their Faces.
  • Edition: current; Page: [22]
  • (C.) T h e Soldiers, that were forc’d to fight,
  • If they surviv’d, got Honour by’t;
  • Tho’ some, that shunn’d the bloody Fray,
  • Had Limbs shot off, that ran away:
  • Some valiant Gen’rals fought the Foe;
  • Others took Bribes to let them go:
  • Some ventur’d always where ’twas warm,
  • Lost now a Leg, and then an Arm;
  • Till quite disabled, and put by,
  • They liv’d on half their Salary;
  • Edition: orig; Page: [7]While others never came in Play,
  • And staid at Home for double Pay.
  • T h e i r Kings were serv’d, but Knavishly,
  • Cheated by their own Ministry;
  • Many, that for their Welfare slaved,
  • Robbing the very Crown they saved:
  • Pensions were small, and they liv’d high,
  • Yet boasted of their Honesty.
  • Calling, whene’er they strain’d their Right,
  • The slipp’ry Trick a Perquisite;
  • And when Folks understood their Cant,
  • They chang’d that for Emolument;
  • Unwilling to be short or plain,
  • In any thing concerning Gain;
  • (D.) For there was not a Bee but would
  • Get more, I won’t say, than he should;
  • Edition: current; Page: [23]
  • But than he dar’d to let them know,
  • (E.) That pay’d for’t; as your Gamesters do,
  • That, tho’ at fair Play, ne’er will own
  • Before the Losers what they’ve won.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [8]B u t who can all their Frauds repeat?
  • The very Stuff, which in the Street
  • They sold for Dirt t’enrich the Ground,
  • Was often by the Buyers found
  • Sophisticated with a quarter
  • Of good-for-nothing Stones and Mortar;
  • Tho’ Flail had little Cause to mutter,
  • Who sold the other Salt for Butter.
  • J u s t i c e her self, fam’d for fair Dealing,
  • By Blindness had not lost her Feeling;
  • Her Left Hand, which the Scales should hold,
  • Had often dropt ’em, brib’d with Gold;
  • And, tho’ she seem’d Impartial,
  • Where Punishment was corporal,
  • Pretended to a reg’lar Course,
  • In Murther, and all Crimes of Force;
  • Tho’ some, first pillory’d for Cheating,
  • Were hang’d in Hemp of their own beating;
  • Yet, it was thought, the Sword she bore
  • Check’d but the Desp’rate and the Poor;
  • Edition: current; Page: [24]
  • Edition: orig; Page: [9]That, urg’d by meer Necessity,
  • Were ty’d up to the wretched Tree1
  • For Crimes, which not deserv’d that Fate,
  • But to secure the Rich and Great.
  • T h u s every Part was full of Vice,
  • Yet the whole Mass a Paradise;
  • Flatter’d in Peace, and fear’d in Wars,
  • They were th’ Esteem of Foreigners,
  • And lavish of their Wealth and Lives,
  • The Balance of all other Hives.
  • Such were the Blessings of that State;
  • Their Crimes conspir’d to make them a Great:
  • (F.) And Virtue, who from Politicks
  • Had learn’d a Thousand Cunning Tricks,
  • Was, by their happy Influence,
  • Made Friends with Vice: And ever since,
  • (G.) The worst of all the Multitude
  • Did something for the Common Good.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [10]T h i s was the States Craft, that maintain’d
  • The Whole of which each Part complain’d:
  • This, as in Musick Harmony,b
  • Made Jarrings in the main agree;c
  • Edition: current; Page: [25]
  • (H.) Parties directly opposite,
  • Assist each other a, as ’twere for Spight;
  • And Temp’rance with Sobriety,
  • Serve Drunkenness and Gluttony.
  • ( I.) T h e Root of Evil, Avarice,
  • That damn’d ill-natur’d baneful Vice,
  • Was Slave to Prodigality,
  • (K.) That noble Sin; (L.) whilst Luxury
  • Employ’d a Million of the Poor,
  • (M.) And odious Pride a Million more:
  • (N.)b Envy it self, and Vanity,
  • Were Ministers of Industry;
  • Their darling Folly, Fickleness,
  • In Diet, Furniture and Dress,
  • That strange ridic’lous Vice, was made
  • The very Wheel that turn’d the Trade.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [11]Their Laws and Clothes were equally
  • Objects of Mutability;
  • For, what was well done for a time,
  • In half a Year became a Crime;
  • Yet while they alter’d thus their Laws,
  • Still finding and correcting Flaws,
  • They mended by Inconstancy
  • Faults, which no Prudence could foresee.
  • Edition: current; Page: [26]
  • T h u s Vice nurs’d Ingenuity,
  • Which join’d with Time and Industry,
  • Had carry’d Life’s Conveniencies a,
  • (O.)b It’s real Pleasures, Comforts, Ease,
  • (P.) cTo such a Height, the very Poor
  • Liv’d better than the Rich before,1
  • And nothing could be added more.
  • H o w Vain is Mortal Happiness!
  • Had they but known the Bounds of Bliss;
  • And that Perfection here below
  • Is more than Gods can well bestow;
  • Edition: orig; Page: [12]The Grumbling Brutes had been content
  • With Ministers and Government.
  • But they, at every ill Success,
  • Like Creatures lost without Redress,
  • Curs’d Politicians, Armies, Fleets;
  • While every one cry’d, Damn the Cheats,
  • And would, tho’ conscious of his own,
  • In others barb’rously bear none.
  • Edition: current; Page: [27]
  • O n e, that had got a Princely Store,
  • By cheating Master, King and Poor,
  • Dar’d cry aloud, The Land must sink
  • For all its Fraud; And whom d’ye think
  • The Sermonizing Rascal chid?
  • A Glover that sold Lamb for Kid.
  • The least thing was not done amiss,
  • Or cross’d the Publick Business;
  • But all the Rogues cry’d brazenly,
  • Good Gods, Had we but Honesty!
  • Edition: orig; Page: [13]Merc’ry smil’d at th’ Impudence,
  • And others call’d it want of Sense,
  • Always to rail at what they lov’d:
  • But Jove with Indignation mov’d,
  • At last in Anger swore, He’d rid
  • The bawling Hive of Fraud; and did.
  • The very Moment it departs,
  • And Honesty fills all their Hearts;
  • There shews ’em, like th’ Instructive Tree,
  • Those Crimes which they’re asham’d to see;
  • Which now in Silence they confess,
  • By blushing at their Ugliness:
  • Like Children, that would hide their Faults,
  • And by their Colour own their Thoughts:
  • Edition: current; Page: [28]
  • Imag’ning, when they’re look’d upon,
  • That others see what they have done.
  • B u t, Oh ye Gods! What Consternation,
  • How vast and sudden was th’ Alteration!
  • In half an Hour, the Nation round,
  • Meat fell a Peny in the Pound.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [14]The Mask Hypocrisy’s flung down,
  • From the great Statesman to the Clown:
  • And some in borrow’d Looks well known,
  • Appear’d like Strangers in their own.
  • The Bar was silent from that Day;
  • For now the willing Debtors pay,
  • Ev’n what’s by Creditors forgot;
  • Who quitted them that had it not.
  • Those, that were in the Wrong, stood mute,
  • And dropt the patch’d vexatious Suit:
  • On which since nothing lessa can thrive,
  • Than Lawyers in an honest Hive,
  • All, except those that got enough,
  • With Inkhorns by their sides troop’d off.
  • J u s t i c e hang’d some, set others free;
  • And after Goal delivery,
  • Her Presence beingb no more requir’d,
  • With all her Train and Pomp retir’d.
  • Edition: current; Page: [29]
  • First march’d some Smiths with Locks and Grates,
  • Fetters, and Doors with Iron Plates:
  • Edition: orig; Page: [15]Next Goalers, Turnkeys and Assistants:
  • Before the Goddess, at some distance,
  • Her chief and faithful Minister,
  • ’Squire Ca t c h,1 the Law’s great Finisher,
  • Bore not th’ imaginary Sword,2
  • But his own Tools, an Ax and Cord:
  • Then on a Cloud the Hood-wink’d Fair,
  • J u s t i c e her self was push’d by Air:
  • About her Chariot, and behind,
  • Were Serjeants, Bums3 of every kind,
  • Tip-staffs, and all those Officers,
  • That squeeze a Living out of Tears.
  • T h o’ Physick liv’d, while Folks were ill,
  • None would prescribe, but Bees of skill,
  • Which through the Hive dispers’d so wide,
  • That none of thema had need to ride;
  • Wav’d vain Disputes, and strove to free
  • The Patients of their Misery;
  • Edition: current; Page: [30]
  • Left Drugs in cheating Countries grown,
  • And us’d the Product of their own;
  • Edition: orig; Page: [16]Knowing the Gods sent no Disease
  • To Nations without Remedies.
  • T h e i r Clergy rous’d from Laziness,
  • Laid not their Charge on Journey-Bees;1
  • But serv’d themselves, exempt from Vice,
  • The Gods with Pray’r and Sacrifice;
  • All those, that were unfit, or knew
  • Their Service might be spar’d, withdrew:
  • Nor was there Business for so many,
  • (If th’ Honest stand in need of any,)
  • Few only with the High-Priest staid,
  • To whom the rest Obedience paid:
  • Himself employ’d in Holy Cares,a
  • Resign’d to others State-Affairs.
  • He chas’d no Starv’ling from his Door,
  • Nor pinch’d the Wages of the Poor;
  • But at his House the Hungry’s fed,
  • The Hireling finds unmeasur’d Bread,
  • The needy Trav’ler Board and Bed.
  • Edition: current; Page: [31]
  • Edition: orig; Page: [17]A m o n g the King’s great Ministers,
  • And all th’ inferior Officers
  • The Change was great; (Q)a for frugally
  • They now liv’d on their Salary:
  • That a poor Bee should ten times come
  • To ask his Due, a trifling Sum,
  • And by some well-hir’d Clerk be made
  • To give a Crown, or ne’er be paid,
  • Would now be call’d a downright Cheat,
  • Tho’ formerly a Perquisite.
  • All Places manag’d first by Three,
  • Who watch’d each other’s Knavery,
  • And often for a Fellow-feeling,
  • Promoted one another’s stealing,
  • Are happily supply’d by One,
  • By which some thousands more are gone.
  • (R.)b No Honour now could be content,
  • To live and owe for what was spent;
  • Liv’ries in Brokers Shops are hung,
  • They part with Coaches for a Song;
  • Edition: orig; Page: [18]Sell stately Horses by whole Sets;
  • And Country-Houses, to pay Debts.
  • Edition: current; Page: [32]
  • V a i n Cost is shunn’d as much as Fraud;
  • They have no Forces kept Abroad;
  • Laugh at th’ Esteem of Foreigners,
  • And empty Glory got by Wars;
  • They fight, but for their Country’s sake,
  • When Right or Liberty’s at Stake.
  • N o w mind the glorious Hive, and see
  • How Honesty and Trade agree.
  • The Shew is gone, it thins apace;
  • And looks with quite another Face.
  • For ’twas not only that They went,
  • By whom vast Sums were Yearly spent;
  • But Multitudes that liv’d on them,
  • Were daily forc’d to do the same.
  • In vain to other Trades they’d fly;
  • All were o’er-stock’d accordingly.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [19]T h e Price of Land and Houses falls;
  • Mirac’lous Palaces, whose Walls,
  • Like those of Thebes, were rais’d by Play,1
  • Are to be let; while the once gay,
  • Edition: current; Page: [33]
  • Well-seated Houshold Gods would be
  • More pleas’d to expirea in Flames, than see
  • The mean Inscription on the Door
  • Smile at the lofty ones they bore.
  • The building Trade is quite destroy’d,
  • Artificers are not employ’d;
  • (S.)b No Limner for his Art is fam’d,
  • Stone-cutters, Carvers are not nam’d.
  • T h o s e, that remain’d, grown temp’rate, strive,
  • Not how to spend, but how to live,
  • And, when they paid their Tavern Score,
  • Resolv’d to enter it no more:
  • No Vintner’s Jilt in all the Hive
  • Could wear now Cloth of Gold, and thrive;
  • Nor Torcol such vast Sums advance,
  • For Burgundy and Ortelans;
  • Edition: orig; Page: [20]The Courtier’s gone, that with his Miss
  • Supp’d at his House on Christmas Peas;
  • Spending as much in two Hours stay,
  • As keeps a Troop of Horse a Day.
  • T h e haughty Chloe, to live Great,
  • Had made her (T.)c Husband rob the State:
  • Edition: current; Page: [34]
  • But now she sells her Furniture,
  • Which th’ Indies had been ransack’d for;
  • Contracts th’ expensive Bill of Fare,
  • And wears her strong Suit a whole Year:
  • The slight and fickle Age is past;
  • And Clothes, as well as Fashions, last.
  • Weavers, that join’d rich Silk with Plate,
  • And all the Trades subordinate,
  • Are gone. Still Peace and Plenty reign,
  • And every Thing is cheap, tho’ plain:
  • Kind Nature, free from Gard’ners Force,
  • Allows all Fruits in her own Course;
  • But Rarities cannot be had,
  • Where Pains to get thema are not paid.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [21]A s Pride and Luxury decrease,
  • So by degrees they leave the Seas.
  • Not Merchants now, butb Companies
  • Remove whole Manufactories.
  • All Arts and Crafts neglected lie;
  • (V.)c Content, the Bane of Industry,1
  • Edition: current; Page: [35]
  • Makes ’em admire their homely Store,
  • And neither seek nor covet more.
  • S o few in the vast Hive remain,
  • The hundredth Part they can’t maintain
  • Against th’ Insults of numerous Foes;
  • Whom yet they valiantly oppose:
  • ’Till some well-fenc’d Retreat is found,
  • And here they die or stand their Ground.
  • No Hireling in their Army’s known;
  • But bravely fighting for their own,
  • Their Courage and Integrity
  • At last were crown’d with Victory.
  • They triumph’d not without their Cost,
  • For many Thousand Bees were lost.
  • Edition: orig; Page: [22]Hard’ned with Toils and Exercise,
  • They counted Ease it self a Vice;
  • Which so improv’d their Temperance;
  • That, to avoid Extravagance,
  • They flew into a hollow Tree,
  • Blest with Content and Honesty.
Edition: current; Page: [36]
The MORAL. fpage="36" lpage="38"

Edition: orig; Page: [23]THE MORAL.

  • THEN leave Complaints: Fools only strive
  • (X.) a To make a Great an Honest Hive
  • (Y.) b T’ enjoy the World’s Conveniencies,c
  • Be fam’d in War, yet live in Ease,
  • Without great Vices, is a vain
  • Eutopia seated in the Brain.
  • Fraud, Luxury and Pride must live,
  • While we the Benefits receive:
  • Hunger’s a dreadful Plague, no doubt,
  • Yet who digests or thrives without?
  • Do we not owe the Growth of Wine
  • To the dry shabby crooked d Vine?
  • Which, while its Shoots neglected stood,
  • Chok’d other Plants, and ran to Wood;
  • But blest us with its noble Fruit,
  • As soon as it was ty’d and cut:
  • Edition: current; Page: [37]
  • Edition: orig; Page: [24]So Vice is beneficial found,
  • When it’s by Justice lopt and bound;
  • Nay, where the People would be great,
  • As necessary to the State,
  • As Hunger is to make ’em eat.
  • Bare Virtue can’t make Nations live
  • In Splendor; they, that would revive
  • A Golden Age, must be as free,
  • For Acorns, as for Honesty.1
FINIS.
Edition: current; Page: [38] Edition: current; Page: [39]

Edition: orig; Page: [25]THE INTRODUCTION.

ONE of the greatest Reasons why so few People understand themselves, is, that most Writers are always teaching Men what they should be, and hardly ever trouble their Heads with telling them what they really are.1 As for my Part, without any Compliment to the Courteous Reader, or my self, I believe Man (besides Skin, Flesh, Bones, &c. that are obvious to the Eye) to be a compound of various Passions, that all of them, as they are provoked and come uppermost, govern him by turns, whether he will or no. To Edition: current; Page: [40] shew, that these Qualifications, which we all pretend to be asham’d of, are the great support of a flourishing Society, has been the subject of the foregoing Edition: orig; Page: [26]Poem. But there being some Passages in it seemingly Paradoxical, I have in the Preface promised some explanatory Remarks on it; which to render more useful, I have thought fit to enquire, how Man, no better qualify’d, might yet by his own Imperfections be taught to distinguish between Virtue and Vice: And here I must desire the Reader once for all to take notice, that when I say Men, I mean neither Jews nor Christians; but meer Man, in the State of Nature and Ignorance of the true Deity.1

Edition: current; Page: [41]

Edition: orig; Page: [27]AN ENQUIRY Into the ORIGIN of MORAL VIRTUE.

ALL untaught Animals are only sollicitous of pleasing themselves, and naturally follow the bent of their own Inclinations, without considering the good or harm that from their being pleased will accrue to others. This is the Reason, that in the wild State of Nature those creatures are fittest to live peaceably together in great Numbers, that discover the least of Understanding, and have the fewest Appetites to gratify; and consequently no Species of Animals is, without the Curb of Government, less capable of agreeing long together in Mul-Edition: orig; Page: [28]titudes than that of Man; yet such are his Qualities, whether good or bad, I shall not determine, that no Creature besides himself can ever be made sociable: But being an ex-traordinary Edition: current; Page: [42] selfish and headstrong, as well as cunning Animal, however he may be subdued by superior Strength, it is impossible by Force alone to make him tractable, and receive the Improvements he is capable of.

The Chief Thing, therefore, which Lawgivers and other wise Men, that have laboured for the Establishment of Society, have endeavour’d, has been to make the People they were to govern, believe, that it was more beneficial for every Body to conquer than indulge his Appetites, and much better to mind the Publick than what seem’d his private Interest. As this has always been a very difficult Task, so no Wit or Eloquence has been left untried to compass it; and the Moralists and Philosophers of all Ages employed their utmost Skill to prove the Truth of so useful an Assertion. But whether Mankind would have ever a believ’d it or not, it is not likely that any Body could have persuaded them to disapprove of their natural Inclinations, or prefer the good of others to their own, if at the same time he had not shew’d them an Equivalent to be enjoy’d as a Reward for the Violence, which by so doing they of necessity must commit upon themselves. Those that have undertaken to civilize Mankind, were not igno-Edition: orig; Page: [29]rant of this; but being unable to give so many real Rewards as would satisfy all Persons for every individual Action, they were forc’d to contrive an imaginary one, that as a general Equivalent for the trouble of Self-denial should serve on all Occasions, and without costing any thing either to themselves or others, be yet a most acceptable Recompense to the Receivers.

They thoroughly examin’d all the Strength and Frailties of our Nature, and observing that none were either so savage as not to be charm’d with Praise, or so despicable as patiently to bear Contempt, justly concluded, that Flattery must be the most powerful Edition: current; Page: [43] Argument that could be used to Human Creatures. Making use of this bewitching Engine, they extoll’d the Excellency of our Nature above other Animals, and setting forth with unbounded Praises the Wonders of our Sagacity and Vastness of Understanding, bestow’d a thousand Encomiums on the Rationality of our Souls, by the Help of which we were capable of performing the most noble Atchievements. Having by this artful way of Flattery insinuated themselves into the Hearts of Men, they began to instruct them in the Notions of Honour and Shame; representing the one as the worst of all Evils, and the other as the highest Good to which Mortals could aspire: Which being done, they laid before them how unbecoming it wasEdition: orig; Page: [30] the Dignity of such sublime Creatures to be sollicitous about gratifying those Appetites, which they had in common with Brutes, and at the same time unmindful of those higher Qualities that gave them the preeminence over all visible Beings. They indeed confess’d, that those impulses of Nature were very pressing; that it was troublesome to resist, and very difficult wholly to subdue them. But this they only used as an Argument to demonstrate, how glorious the Conquest of them was on the one hand, and how scandalous on the other not to attempt it.

To introduce, moreover, an Emulation amongst Men, they divided the whole Species into a two Classes, vastly differing from one another: The one consisted of abject, low-minded People, that always hunting after immediate Enjoyment, were wholly incapable of Self-denial, and without regard to the good of others, had no higher Aim than their private Advantage; such as being enslaved by Voluptuousness, yielded without Resistance to every gross desire, and madeb no use of their Rational Faculties but to heighten their Sensual Pleasure.c These vile grov’ling Wretches, they said, were the Dross of their Kind, and having Edition: current; Page: [44] only the Shape of Men, differ’d from Brutes in nothing but their outward Figure. But the other Class was made up of lofty high-spirited Creatures, that free from sordid Selfishness, esteem’d the Improvements of the Mind to be their fairestEdition: orig; Page: [31] Possessions; and setting a true value upon themselves, took no Delight but in embellishing that Part in which their Excellency consisted; such as despising whatever they had in common with irrational Creatures, opposed by the Help of Reason their most violent Inclinations; and making a continual War with themselves to promote the Peace of others, aim’d at no less than the Publick Welfare and the Conquest of their own Passion.a

  • Fortior est qui se quàm qui fortissima Vincit
  • Mœnia — — — — 1

These they call’d the true Representatives of their sublime Species, exceeding in worth the first Class by more degrees, than that it self was superior to the Beasts of the Field.

As in all Animals that are not too imperfect to discover Pride, we find, that the finest and such as are the most beautiful and valuable of their kind, have generally the greatest Share of it; so in Man, the most perfect of Animals,2 it is so inseparable from his very Essence (how cunningly soever some may learn Edition: current; Page: [45] to hide or disguise it) that without it the Compound he is made of would want one of the chiefest Ingredients: Which, if we consider, it is hardly to be doubted but Lessons and Remonstrances, so skilfully adapted to the good Opinion Man has of himself, as those I have mentioned, must, if scatter’d amongst Edition: orig; Page: [32]a Multitude not only gain the assent of most of them, as to the Speculative part, but likewise induce several, especially the fiercest, most resolute, and best among them, to endure a thousand Inconveniences, and undergo as many Hardships, that they may have the pleasure of counting themselves Men of the second Class, and consequently appropriating to themselves all the Excellences they have heard of it.

From what has been said, we ought to expect in the first Place that the Heroes who took such extraordinary Pains to master some of their natural Appetites, and preferr’d the good of others to any visible Interest of their own, would not recedea an Inch from the fine Notions they had receiv’d concerning the Dignity of Rational Creatures; and having ever the Authority of the Government on their side, with all imaginable Vigour assert the esteem that was due to those of the second Class, as well as their Superiority over the rest of their kind. In the second, that those who wanted a sufficient Stock of either Pride or Resolution to buoy them up in mortifying of what was dearest to them, follow’d the sensual dictates of Nature, would yet be asham’d of confessing themselves to be those despicable Wretches that belong’d to the inferior Class, and were generally reckon’d to be so little remov’d from Brutes; and that therefore in their own Defence they would say, as othersEdition: orig; Page: [33] did, and hiding their own Imperfections as well as they could, cry up Self-denial and Publick-spiritedness as much as any: For it is highly probable, that some of them, convinced by the real Proofs of Fortitude and Self-Conquest Edition: current; Page: [46] they had seen, would admire in others what they found wanting in themselves; others be afraid of the Resolution and Prowess of those of the second Class, and that all of them were kept in aw by the Power of their Rulers; wherefore it is reasonable to think, that none of them (whatever they thought in themselves) would dare openly contradict, what by every body else was thought Criminal to doubt of.

This was (or at least might have been) the manner after which Savage Man was broke;1 from whence it Edition: current; Page: [47] is evident, that the first Rudiments of Morality, broach’d by skilful Politicians, to render Men useful to each other as well as tractable, were chiefly contrived that the Ambitious might reap the more Benefit from, and govern vast Numbers of them with the greater Ease and Security. This Foundation of Politicks being once laid, it is impossible that Man should long remain uncivilized: For even those who only strove to gratify their Appetites, being continually cross’d by others of the same Stamp, could not but observe, that whenever they check’d their Inclinations or but followed them with more Circumspection, they avoided a world of Troubles, and often escap’d many of the Calamities that Edition: orig; Page: [34]generally attended the too eager Pursuit after Pleasure.

First, they receiv’d, as well as others, the benefit of Edition: current; Page: [48] those Actions that were done for the good of the whole Society, and consequently could not forbear wishing well to those of the superior Class that perform’d them. Secondly, the more intent they were in seeking their own Advantage, without Regard to others, the more they were hourly convinced, that none stood so much in their waya as those that were most like themselves.

It being the Interest then of the very worst of them, more than any, to preach up Publick-spiritedness, that they might reap the Fruits of the Labour and Self-denial of others, and at the same time indulge their own Appetites with less disturbance, they agreed with the rest, to call every thing, which, without Regard to the Publick, Man should commit to gratify any of his Appetites, V I C E; if in that Action there cou’d be observed the least prospect, that it might either be injurious to any of the Society, or ever render himself less serviceable to others: And to give the Name of V I R T U E to every Performance, by which Man, contrary to the impulse of Nature,1 should endeavour the Benefit of others, or the Conquest of his own Edition: current; Page: [49] Passions out of a Rational1 Ambition of being good.2

It shall be objected, that no Society was ever any Edition: current; Page: [50] ways civiliz’d before the major part Edition: orig; Page: [35]had agreed upon some Worship or other of an over-ruling Power, and consequently that the Notions of Good and Evil, and the Distinction between Virtue and Vice, were never the Contrivance of Politicians, but the pure Effect of Religion. Before I answer this Objection, I must repeat what I have said already, that in this Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue, I speak neither of Jews or a Christians, but Man in his State of Nature and Ignorance of the true Deity; and then I affirm, that the Idolatrous Superstitions of all other Nations, and the pitiful Notions they had of the Supreme Being, were incapable of exciting Man to Virtue, and good for nothing but to aw and amuse a rude and unthinking Multitude. It is evident from History, that in all considerable Societies, how stupid or ridiculous soever People’s received Notions have been, as to the Deities they worshipp’d, Human Nature has ever exerted it self in all its Branches, and that there is no earthly Wisdom or Moral Virtue, but at one time or other Men have excell’d in it in all Monarchies and Commonwealths, that for Riches and Power have been any ways remarkable.

The Ægyptians, not satisfy’d with having Deify’d all the ugly Monsters they could think on, were so silly as to adore the Onions of their own sowing;1 yet at the same time their Country was the most famous Nursery of Arts and Sciences in the World, and them-Edition: orig; Page: [36]selves more eminently skill’d in the deepest Mysteries of Nature than any Nation has been since.

No States or Kingdoms under Heaven have yielded more or greater Patterns in all sorts of Moral Virtues than the Greek and Roman Empires, more especially the latter; and yet how loose, absurd and ridiculous were their Sentiments as to Sacred Matters? For Edition: current; Page: [51] without reflecting on the extravagant Number of their Deities, if we only consider the infamous Stories they father’d upon them, it is not to be denied but that their Religion, far from teaching Men the Conquest of their Passions, and the Way to Virtue, seem’d rather contriv’d to justify their Appetites, and encourage their Vices.1 But if we would know what made ’em excel in Fortitude, Courage and Magnanimity, we must cast our Eyes on the Pomp of their Triumphs, the Magnificence of their Monuments and Arches; their Trophies, Statues, and Inscriptions; the variety of their Military Crowns, their Honours decreed to the Dead, Publick Encomiums on the Living, and other imaginary Rewards they bestow’d on Men of Merit; and we shall find, that what carried so many of them to the utmost Pitch of Self-denial, was nothing but their Policy in making use of the most effectual Means that human Pride could be flatter’d with.

Edition: orig; Page: [37]It is visible then that it was not any Heathen Religion or other Idolatrous Superstition, that first put Man upon crossing his Appetites and subduing his dearest Inclinations, but the skilful Management of wary Politicians; and the nearer we search into human Nature, the more we shall be convinced, that the Moral Virtues are the Political Offspring which Flattery begot upon Pride.2

There is no Man of what Capacity or Penetration soever, that is wholly Proof against the Witchcraft of Flattery, if artfully perform’d, and suited to his Edition: current; Page: [52] Abilitiesa. Children and Fools will swallow Personal Praise, but those that are more cunning, must be manag’d with greater Circumspection; and the more general the Flattery is, the less it is suspected by those it is levell’d at. What you say in Commendation of a whole Town is receiv’d with Pleasure by all the Inhabitants: Speak in Commendation of Letters in general, and every Man of Learning will think himself in particular obliged to you. You may safely praise the Employment a Man is of, or the Country he was born in; because you give him an Opportunity of screening the Joy he feels upon his own account, under the Esteem which he pretends to have for others.1

It is common among cunning Men, that understand the Power which Flattery has upon Pride, when they are afraid they shallEdition: orig; Page: [38] be impos’d upon, to enlarge, tho’ much against their Conscience, upon the Honour, fair Dealing and Integrity of the Family, Country, or sometimes the Profession of him they suspect; because they know that Men often will change their resolution, and act against their Inclination, that they may have the Pleasure of continuing to appear in the Opinion of Some, what they are conscious not to be in reality. Thus Sagacious Moralists draw Men like Angels, in hopes that the Pride at least of Some will put ’em upon copying after the beautiful Originals which they are represented to be.2

When the Incomparable Sir Richard Steele b, in the Edition: current; Page: [53] usual Elegance of his easy Style, dwells on the Praises of his sublime Species, and with all the Embellishments of Rhetoric sets forth the Excellency of Human Nature,1 it is impossible not to be charm’d with his happy Turns of Thought, and the Politeness of his Expressions. But tho’ I have been often moved by the Force of his Eloquence, and ready to swallow the ingenious Sophistry with Pleasure, yet I could never be so serious, but reflecting on his artful Encomiums I thought on the Tricks made use of by the Women that would teach Children to be mannerly. When an aukward Girl, before she can either Speak or Go, begins after many Intreaties to make the first rude Essays of Curt’sying, the Nurse falls in an ecstacy of PraiseEdition: orig; Page: [39] There’s a delicate Curt’sy! O fine Miss! There’s a pretty Lady! Mama! Miss can make a better Curt’sy than her Sister Molly! The same is echo’d over by the Maids, whilst Mama almost hugs the Child to pieces; only Miss Molly, who being four Years older knows how to make a very handsome Curt’sy, wonders at the Perverseness of their Judgment, and swelling with Indignation, is ready to cry at the Injustice that is done her, till, being whisper’d in the Ear that it is only to please the Baby, and that she is a Woman, she grows proud at being let into the Secret, and rejoicing at the Superiority of her Understanding, repeats what has been said with large Additions, and insults over the Weakness of her Sister, whom all this while she fancies to be the only Bubble among them. These extravagant Praises would by any one, above the Capacity of an Infant, be call’d fulsome Flatteries, and, if you will, abominable Lies, yet Experience teaches us, that by the help of such gross Encomiums, young Misses will be brought to make Edition: current; Page: [54] pretty Curt’sies, and behave themselves womanly much sooner, and with less trouble, than they would without them. ’Tis the same with Boys, whom they’ll strive to persuade, that all fine Gentlemen do as they are bid, and that none but Beggar Boys are rude, or dirty their Clothes; nay, as soon as the wild Brat with his untaught Fist begins to fumble for Edition: orig; Page: [40]his Hat, the Mother, to make him pull it off, tells him before he is two Years old, that he is a Man; and if he repeats that Action when she desires him, he’s presently a Captain, a Lord Mayor, a King, or something higher if she can think of it, till egg’d on by the force of Praise, the little Urchin endeavours to imitate Man as well as he can, and strains all his Faculties to appear what his shallow Noddle imagines he is believ’d to be.1

The meanest Wretch puts an inestimable value upon himself, and the highest wish of the Ambitious Man is to have all the World, as to that particular, of his Opinion: So that the most insatiable Thirst after Fame that ever Heroe was inspired with, was never more than an ungovernable Greediness to engross the Esteem and Admiration of others in future Ages as well as his own; and (what Mortification soever this Truth might be to the second Thoughts of an Alexander or a Cæsar) the great Recompence in view, for which the most exalted Minds have with so much Alacrity sacrificed their Quiet, Health, sensual Pleasures, and Edition: current; Page: [55] every Inch of themselves, has never been any thing else but the Breath of Man, the Aerial Coin of Praise. Who can forbear laughing when he thinks on all the great Men that have been so serious on the Subject of that Macedonian Madman,1 his capacious Soul, that mighty Heart, in one Corner of which, ac-Edition: orig; Page: [41]cording to Lorenzo Gratian,2 the World was so commodiously Lodged, that in the whole there was room for Six more? Who can forbear Laughing, I say, when he compares the fine things that have been said of Alexander, with the End he proposed to himself from his vast Exploits, to be proved from his own Mouth; when the vast Pains he took to pass the Hydaspes forced him to cry out? Oh ye Athenians, could you believe what Dangers I expose my self to, to be praised by you!a 3 To define then b the Reward of Glory in the amplest manner, the most that can be said of it, is, that it consists in a superlative Felicity which a Man, who is conscious of having perform’d a noble Action, enjoys in Self-love, whilst he is thinking on the Applause he expects of others.

But here I shall be told, that besides the noisy Toilsc of War and publick Bustle of the Ambitious, there are noble and generous Actions that are perform’d in Silence; that Virtue being its own Reward, those who are really Good have a Satisfaction in their Consciousness of being so, which is all the Recompence Edition: current; Page: [56] they expect from the most worthy Performances; that among the Heathens there have been Men, who, when they did good to others, were so far from coveting Thanks and Applause, that they took all imaginable Care to be for ever conceal’d from those on whom they bestow’d theirEdition: orig; Page: [42] Benefits, and consequently that Pride has no hand in spurring Man on to the highest pitch of Self-denial.

In answer to this I say, that it is impossible to judge of a Man’s Performance, unless we are throughly acquainted with the Principle and Motive from which he acts. Pity, tho’ it is the most gentle and the least mischievous of all our Passions, is yet as much a Frailty of our Nature, as Anger, Pride, or Fear. The weakest Minds have generally the greatest Share of it, for which Reason none are more Compassionate than Women and Children. It must be own’d, that of all our Weaknesses it is the most amiable, and bears the greatest Resemblance to Virtue; nay, without a considerable mixture of it the Society could hardly subsist: But as it is an Impulse of Nature, that consults neither the publick Interest nor our own Reason, it may produce Evil as well as Good. It has help’d to destroy the Honour of Virgins, and corrupted the Integrity of Judges; and whoever acts from it as a Principle, what good soever he may bring to the Society, has nothing to boast of but that he has indulged a Passion that has happened to be beneficial to the Publick. There is no Merit in saving an innocent Babe ready to drop into the Fire: The Action is neither good nor bad, and what Benefit soever the Infant received, we only obliged our selves; for to have seen it fall, and notEdition: orig; Page: [43] strove to hinder it, would have caused a Pain, which Self-preservation compell’d us to prevent: Nor has a rich Prodigal, that happens to be of a commiserating Temper, and loves to gratify his Passions, greater Virtue to boast of when he relieves an Object of Compassion with what to himself is a Trifle.

Edition: current; Page: [57]

But such Men, as without complying with any Weakness of their own, can part from what they value themselves, and, from no other Motive but their Love to Goodness, perform a worthy Action in Silence: Such Men, I confess, have acquir’d more refin’d Notions of Virtue than those I have hitherto spoke of; yet even in these (with which the World has yet never swarm’d) we may discover no small Symptoms of Pride, and the humblest Man alive must confess, that the Reward of a Virtuous Action, which is the Satisfaction that ensues upon it, consists in a certain Pleasure he procures to himself by Contemplating on his own Worth: Which Pleasure, together with the Occasion of it, are as certain Signs of Pride, as looking Pale and Trembling at any imminent Danger, are the Symptoms of Fear.

If the too scrupulous Reader should at first View condemn these Notions concerning the Origin of Moral Virtue, and think them perhaps offensive to Christianity, I hope he’ll forbear his Censures, when he shall consider, that nothing can render the unsearchable Edition: orig; Page: [44]depth of thea Divine Wisdom more conspicuous, than that Man, whom Providence had designed for Society, should not only by his own Frailties and Imperfections be led into the Road to Temporal Happiness, but likewise receive, from a seeming Necessity of Natural Causes, a Tincture of that Knowledge, in which he was afterwards to be made perfect by the True Religion, to his Eternal Welfare.1

Edition: current; Page: [58]

Edition: orig; Page: [45]REMARKS.

Remark (A.) Remark (A.)

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [46]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 Edition: current; Page: [59] 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

Edition: orig; Page: [47]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 Edition: current; Page: [60] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [48]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.

Edition: current; Page: [61]

Edition: orig; Page: [49]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.

Remark (B.) Remark (B.)

(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-Edition: orig; Page: [50]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 Edition: current; Page: [62] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [51]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 Edition: current; Page: [63] ; 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 Edition: orig; Page: [52]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.

Remark (C.) Remark (C.)

(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 Edition: current; Page: [64] or less Noise or Bustle there is made about the demonstration of it; and when we say the So-Edition: orig; Page: [53]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-Edition: orig; Page: [54]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: Edition: current; Page: [65] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [55]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 Edition: current; Page: [66] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [56]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 Edition: current; Page: [67] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [57]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 Edition: current; Page: [68] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [58]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 Edition: orig; Page: [59]are Lust, Edition: current; Page: [69] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [60]orders the Stays to be cut very low, a blooming Virgin may, without Fear of rational Censure, shew all the World;

  • How firm her pouting Breasts, that white as Snow,
  • On th’ ample Chest at mighty distance grow.1

But to suffer her Ancle to be seen, where it is the Fashion for Women to hide their very Feet, is a Breach Edition: current; Page: [70] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [61]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 Edition: current; Page: [71] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [62]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.

Edition: orig; Page: [63]The Multitude will hardly believe the excessive Force of Education, and in the difference of Modesty between Men and Women ascribe that to Nature, Edition: current; Page: [72] 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 Edition: current; Page: [73] violent an Inclination to a Woman as the brutish Fellow; but then heEdition: orig; Page: [64] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [65]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 Edition: current; Page: [74] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [66]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.

  • Illa verecundis lux est præbenda puellis,
  • Qua timidus latebras sperat habere pudor.1

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 Edition: current; Page: [75] 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. Edition: orig; Page: [67]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 theyEdition: orig; Page: [68] have lost their Modesty Edition: current; Page: [76] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [69]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 Edition: current; Page: [77] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [70]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 Edition: current; Page: [78] 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 growEdition: orig; Page: [71] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [72]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 Edition: current; Page: [79] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [73]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 Edition: current; Page: [80] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [74]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.

Remark (D.) Remark (D.)

(D.)

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, Edition: current; Page: [81] Tradesmen are generally forc’d to tell Lies in their own Defence, and invent a thousand improbable Stories, rather than disco-Edition: orig; Page: [75]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

Remark (E.) Remark (E.)

Edition: orig; Page: [76](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 Edition: current; Page: [82] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [77]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 Edition: current; Page: [83] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [78]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, Edition: orig; Page: [79]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 Edition: current; Page: [84] 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. inEdition: orig; Page: [80] 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.

Edition: current; Page: [85]
Remark (F.) Remark (F.)

(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.

Edition: orig; Page: [81]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.

Edition: current; Page: [86]
Remark (G.) Remark (G.)

Edition: orig; Page: [82](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 Edition: orig; Page: [83]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,

  • —— —— —— Employ’d,
  • To see their Handy-works destroy’d.1
Edition: current; Page: [87]

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 Edition: orig; Page: [84]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 Edition: current; Page: [88] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [85]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 Edition: orig; Page: [86]to shew. They received above Fourscore Pounds each, which extricated every one of them out of the Edition: current; Page: [89] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [87]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, Edition: current; Page: [90] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [88]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 Edition: current; Page: [91] 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, toEdition: orig; Page: [89] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [90]bour, requireda in Husbandry, in Malting, in Carriage and Edition: current; Page: [92] 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 theEdition: orig; Page: [91] 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 Edition: current; Page: [93] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [92]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.

Edition: current; Page: [94]
Remark (H.) Remark (H.)

Edition: orig; Page: [93](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’dEdition: orig; Page: [94] Clergy to boast of than any other Roman Catholick Country. The Clergy of Edition: current; Page: [95] 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

Edition: orig; Page: [95]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 Edition: current; Page: [96] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [96]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 Edition: current; Page: [97] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [97]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, Edition: current; Page: [98] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [98]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 Edition: current; Page: [99] Courtezans, the Repub-Edition: orig; Page: [99]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 Edition: current; Page: [100] generally believ’d, says Monsieur Bayle,1 (to whom I owe the last Paragraph) a that 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.

Remark (I.) Remark (I.)

Edition: orig; Page: [100](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 Edition: current; Page: [101] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [101]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, Edition: orig; Page: [102]keep Horses and Dogs, Edition: current; Page: [102] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [103]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.

Edition: current; Page: [103]
Remark (K.) Remark (K.)

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [104]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 Edition: current; Page: [104] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [105]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 Edition: orig; Page: [106]dreaming Edition: current; Page: [105] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [107]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 Edition: current; Page: [106] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [108]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

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Remark (L.) Remark (L.)

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [109]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 Edition: current; Page: [108] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [110]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’ Edition: current; Page: [109] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [111]the rest, and so by the Balance of that Trade only, the Nation should get Six Hundred Thousand Pounds per Annum.1

Edition: current; Page: [110]

To examine the force of this Argument, we’ll suppose (what they would have) that but half the Silk, &c. Edition: current; Page: [111] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [112]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 Edition: current; Page: [112] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [113]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 Edition: current; Page: [113] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [114]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 Edition: current; Page: [114] powerful and valuable Company,1 and overlooks very weighty Inconveniences at Home, to promote the Edition: current; Page: [115] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [115]to be thoroughly acquainted with, and stedfastly to Edition: current; Page: [116] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [116]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 Edition: current; Page: [117] 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! Edition: orig; Page: [117]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 Edition: current; Page: [118] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [118]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 Edition: orig; Page: [119]The cheapest and most slovenly way of indulging our Pas-sions Edition: current; Page: [119] , 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-Edition: orig; Page: [120]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 Edition: current; Page: [120] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [121]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, Edition: current; Page: [121] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [122]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, Edition: orig; Page: [123]Gluttony and Edition: current; Page: [122] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [124]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 Edition: current; Page: [123] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [125]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

  • Flatter’d in Peace, and fear’d in Wars,
  • They were th’a Esteem of Foreigners,
  • And lavish of their Wealth and Lives,
  • The Balance of all other Hives.1

(See what is fartherb said concerning Luxury in the Remarks (M.) and (Q).c

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Remark (M.) Remark (M.)

(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-Edition: orig; Page: [126]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.

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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 Edition: orig; Page: [127]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 Edition: orig; Page: [128]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 Edition: current; Page: [126] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [129]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.

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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 Edition: orig; Page: [130]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 Edition: current; Page: [128] . 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 Edition: orig; Page: [131] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [132]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 Edition: current; Page: [129] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [133]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 Edition: current; Page: [130] 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

Edition: orig; Page: [134]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.

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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 Edition: orig; Page: [135]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-Edition: orig; Page: [136] Edition: current; Page: [132] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [137]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 Edition: current; Page: [133] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [138]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 Edition: current; Page: [134] , 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; Edition: orig; Page: [139]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.

Remark (N.) Remark (N.)

(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, Edition: current; Page: [135] is owing toEdition: orig; Page: [140] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [141]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 Edition: current; Page: [136] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [142]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 Edition: current; Page: [137] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [143]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 Edition: orig; Page: [144]the Superiority of his Edition: current; Page: [138] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [145]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 Edition: current; Page: [139] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [146]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 Edition: current; Page: [140] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [147]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-Edition: orig; Page: [148]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 Edition: current; Page: [141] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [149]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

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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

Edition: orig; Page: [150]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 Edition: current; Page: [143] , 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [151]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 Edition: current; Page: [144] them in Silence; and it is the Edition: orig; Page: [152]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 Edition: orig; Page: [153]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 Edition: current; Page: [145] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [154]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 Edition: current; Page: [146] , 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: Edition: orig; Page: [155]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 Edition: current; Page: [147] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [156]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.

Remark (O.) Remark (O.)

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [157]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 Edition: current; Page: [148] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [158]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, Edition: current; Page: [149] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [159]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 Edition: current; Page: [150] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [160]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-Edition: orig; Page: [161]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 Edition: current; Page: [151] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [162]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 Edition: current; Page: [152] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [163]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 Edition: current; Page: [153] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [164]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 Edition: current; Page: [154] , 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, andEdition: orig; Page: [165] 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 Edition: current; Page: [155] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [166]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 Edition: current; Page: [156] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [167]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 Edition: current; Page: [157] 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. Edition: orig; Page: [168]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-Edition: orig; Page: [169]turn to a study’d Incivility, the highest Compliment a Man of his Pride was able to make?

Edition: current; Page: [158]

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 Edition: orig; Page: [170]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 Edition: current; Page: [159] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [171]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 Edition: current; Page: [160] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [172]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 Edition: current; Page: [161] ——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.

Edition: orig; Page: [173]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 Edition: orig; Page: [174]World, are at least as Wise as the Edition: current; Page: [162] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [175]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 Edition: current; Page: [163] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [176]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, Edition: current; Page: [164] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [177]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 Edition: current; Page: [165] allow that the Splendor and all the Elegancy of a Court area insipid, and only tiresome to the Prince himself, and are Edition: orig; Page: [178]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 Edition: orig; Page: [179]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 Edition: current; Page: [166] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [180]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, Edition: current; Page: [167] 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, Edition: current; Page: [168] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [181]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.

Edition: current; Page: [169]
Remark (P.) Remark (P.)

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [182]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 Edition: current; Page: [170] Toil and Labour, and what length of Time must it have cost, before Man could learn Edition: orig; Page: [183]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, Edition: orig; Page: [184]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 Edition: current; Page: [171] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [185]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 Edition: current; Page: [172] ,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 Edition: orig; Page: [186]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 Edition: current; Page: [173] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [187]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-Edition: orig; Page: [188]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 Edition: current; Page: [174] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [189]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 Edition: current; Page: [175] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [190]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 Edition: current; Page: [176] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [191]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 Edition: current; Page: [177] 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; Edition: orig; Page: [192]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 Edition: orig; Page: [193]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 Edition: current; Page: [178] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [194]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 Edition: current; Page: [179] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [195]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 Edition: current; Page: [180] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [196]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 Edition: current; Page: [181] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [197]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

Remark (Q.) Remark (Q.)

(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 Edition: current; Page: [182] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [198]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. Edition: current; Page: [183] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [199]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, Edition: current; Page: [184] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [200]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-Edition: orig; Page: [201]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 Edition: current; Page: [185] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [202]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 Edition: current; Page: [186] 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

Edition: orig; Page: [203]Rather than to become a Victim to theb Spanish 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 Edition: current; Page: [187] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [204]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 Edition: orig; Page: [205]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 Edition: current; Page: [188] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [206]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 Edition: current; Page: [189] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [207]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 Edition: current; Page: [190] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [208]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 Edition: current; Page: [191] Edition: orig; Page: [209]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.

Edition: orig; Page: [210]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 Edition: current; Page: [192] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [211]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 Edition: current; Page: [193] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [212]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 Edition: current; Page: [194] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [213]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 Edition: current; Page: [195] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [214]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 Edition: current; Page: [196] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [215]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 Edition: current; Page: [197] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [216]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 Edition: current; Page: [198] 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

Remark (R.) Remark (R.)

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [217]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 Edition: current; Page: [199] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [218]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 Edition: current; Page: [200] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [219]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.

Edition: orig; Page: [220]The Passion that is rais’d in us when we apprehend that Mischief is approaching us, is call’d Fear: The Edition: current; Page: [201] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [221]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 Edition: current; Page: [202] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [222]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 Edition: current; Page: [203] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [223]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 Edition: orig; Page: [224]Prowess and Fortitude Edition: current; Page: [204] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [225]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 Edition: current; Page: [205] 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: Edition: orig; Page: [226]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 Edition: current; Page: [206] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [227]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 Edition: orig; Page: [228]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 Edition: current; Page: [207] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [229]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 Edition: current; Page: [208] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [230]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 Edition: current; Page: [209] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [231]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 Edition: orig; Page: [232]against all the Attacks of the Ravisher, even when he threatened her Life; which shews that she Edition: current; Page: [210] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [233]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 Edition: current; Page: [211] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [234]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 Edition: current; Page: [212] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [235]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, Edition: current; Page: [213] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [236]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.

Edition: orig; Page: [237]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 Edition: current; Page: [214] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [238]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 Edition: current; Page: [215] 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

Edition: current; Page: [216]

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 Edition: orig; Page: [239]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 Edition: orig; Page: [240]so much paltry Gaudiness and affected Fineryb? The coarsest Manufacture that can be made of Wool, Edition: current; Page: [217] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [241]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 Edition: current; Page: [218] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [242]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 Edition: current; Page: [219] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [243]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 Edition: current; Page: [220] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [244]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 Edition: current; Page: [221] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [245]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 Edition: orig; Page: [246]would do it for you: Religion mainly forbids Murther, Honour openly justifies it: Religion bids you not shed Edition: current; Page: [222] 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 Edition: current; Page: [223] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [247]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.

Remark (S.) Remark (S.)

(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 notEdition: orig; Page: [248] 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?

Edition: current; Page: [224]

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

  • Weaversc that join’d rich Silk d with Plate,
  • And all the Trades subordinate,

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [249]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.

Edition: current; Page: [225]
Remark (T.) Remark (T.)

(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 Edition: orig; Page: [250]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.

Edition: current; Page: [226]

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-Edition: orig; Page: [251]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 Edition: orig; Page: [252]be added to those, that already one way or other are a Burthen to the Society.

Edition: current; Page: [227]

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 Edition: orig; Page: [253]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 Edition: current; Page: [228] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [254]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 Edition: current; Page: [229] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [255]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.

Edition: orig; Page: [256]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 Edition: current; Page: [230] 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-Edition: orig; Page: [257]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, Edition: current; Page: [231] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [258]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 Edition: current; Page: [232] 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

Edition: orig; Page: [259]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, Edition: current; Page: [233] innocent and well-meaning People, that would never dispute the Doctrine of Passive Obedience,1 nor any other Orthodox Principles, Edition: orig; Page: [260]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 Edition: orig; Page: [261]it is an Affront to Virtue to make it inaccessible, that I make a Bugbear Edition: current; Page: [234] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [262]upon. Ashamed of the many Frailties they feel within, all Men endeavour to hide themselves, their Ugly Nakedness Edition: current; Page: [235] , 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-Edition: orig; Page: [263]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 Edition: current; Page: [236] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [264]The 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 Edition: current; Page: [237] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [265]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, Edition: orig; Page: [266]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.

Edition: current; Page: [238]

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

Remark (V.) Remark (V.)

Edition: orig; Page: [267](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 Edition: current; Page: [239] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [268]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 Edition: current; Page: [240] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [269]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 Edition: orig; Page: [270]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 Edition: current; Page: [241] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [271]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 Edition: current; Page: [242] 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, Edition: orig; Page: [272]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 Edition: current; Page: [243] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [273]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 a a young Man as you are, Edition: orig; Page: [274]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 Edition: current; Page: [244] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [275]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, Edition: current; Page: [245] 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.

Remark (X.) Remark (X.)

Edition: orig; Page: [276](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 Edition: orig; Page: [277]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 Edition: current; Page: [246] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [278]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 Edition: current; Page: [247] 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.

Remark (Y.) Remark (Y.)

(Y.)c T’d enjoy the World’s Conveniencies.

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 Edition: orig; Page: [279]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 Edition: current; Page: [248] 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

Edition: orig; Page: [280]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 Edition: current; Page: [249] , 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 Edition: orig; Page: [281]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 Edition: orig; Page: [282]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 Edition: current; Page: [250] 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 Edition: orig; Page: [283]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, Edition: current; Page: [251] 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.

Edition: orig; Page: [284]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.

Edition: current; Page: [252] Edition: current; Page: [253]
An ESSAY on CHARITY and CHARITY-SCHOOLS.

Edition: orig; Page: [285]An ESSAY on CHARITY, and Charity-Schools.

CHARITY is that Virtue by which part of that sincere Love we have for our selves is transferr’d pure and unmix’d to others, not tied to us by the Bonds of Friendship or Consanguinity, and even meer Strangers, whom we have no obligation to, nor hope or expect any thing from. If we lessen any ways the Rigour of this Definition, part of the Virtue must be lost. What we do for our Friends and Kindred, we do partly for our selves: Edition: orig; Page: [286]When a Man acts in behalf of Nephews or Neices, and says they are my Brother’s Children, I do it out of Charity; he deceives you: for if he is capable, it is expected from him, and he does it partly for his own Sake: If he values the Esteem of the World, and is nice as to Honour and Edition: current; Page: [254] Reputation, he is obliged to have a greater Regard to them than for Strangers, or else he must suffer in his Character.

The Exercise of this Virtue relates either to Opinion, or to Action, and is manifested in what we think of others, or what we do for them. To be charitable then in the first Place, we ought to put the best Construction on all that others do or say, that the Things are capable of. If a Man builds a fine House, tho’ he has not one Symptom of Humility, furnishes it richly, and lays out a good Estate in Plate and Pictures, we ought not to think that he does it out of Vanity, but to encourage Artists, employ Hands, and set the Poor to work for the Good of his Country: And if a Man sleeps at Church, so he does not snore, we ought to think he shuts his Eyes to increase his Attention. The Reason is, because in our Turn we desire that our utmost Avarice should pass for Frugality; and that for Religion, which we know to be Hypocrisy. Secondly, That Virtue is conspicuous in us, when we bestow our Time and Labour for nothing, or employ our Credit with others in behalf of those who stand in need Edition: orig; Page: [287]of it, and yet could not expect such an Assistance from our Friendship or Nearness of Blood. The last Branch of Charity consists in giving away (while we are alive) what we value our selves, to such as I have already named; being contented rather to have and enjoy less, than not relieve those who want, and shall be the Objects of our Choice.

This Virtue is often counterfeited by a Passion of ours, call’d Pity or Compassion, which consists in a Fellow-feeling and Condolence for the Misfortunes and Calamities of others: all Mankind are more or less affected with it; but the weakest Minds generally the most. It is raised in us, when the Sufferings and Misery of other Creatures make so forcible an Impression upon us, as to make us uneasy. It comes in either at the Eye or Ear, or both; and the nearer and more Edition: current; Page: [255] violently the Object of Compassion strikes those Senses, the greater Disturbance it causes in us, often to such a Degree as to occasion great Pain and Anxiety.

Should any of us be lock’d up in a Ground-Room, where in a Yard joining to it there was a thriving good-humour’d Child at play, of two or three Years old, so near us that through the Grates of the Window we could almost touch it with our Hand; and if while we took delight in the harmless Diversion, and imperfect Prittle-Prattle of the innocent Babe, a nasty over-grown Sow1 should come in upon Edition: orig; Page: [288]the Child, set it a screaming, and frighten it out of its Wits; it is natural to think, that this would make us uneasy, and that with crying out, and making all the menacing Noise we could, we should endeavour to drive the Sow away. But if this should happen to be an half-starv’d Creature, that mad with Hunger went roaming about in quest of Food, and we should behold the ravenous Brute, in spite of our Cries and all the threatning Gestures we could think of, actually lay hold of the helpless Infant, destroy and devour it; To see her widely open her destructive Jaws, and the poor Lamb beat down with greedy haste; to look on the defenceless Posture of tender Limbs first trampled on, then tore asunder; to see the filthy Snout digging in the yet living Entrails suck up the smoking Blood, and now and then to hear the Crackling of the Bones, and the cruel Animal with savage Pleasure grunt overa the horrid Banquet; to hear and see all this, What Tortures would it give the Soul beyond Expression! Let me see the most shining Virtue the Moralists have to boast of so manifest either to the Person possess’d of it, or those who behold his Actions: Let me see Courage, or the Love of one’s Country so apparent without any Mixture, clear’d and distinct, the first Edition: current; Page: [256] from Pride and Anger, the other from the Love of Glory, and every Shadow of Self-Interest, as this Pity would be clear’d and distinct from all other Passions. There would be no Edition: orig; Page: [289]need of Virtue or Self-Denial to be moved at such a Scene; and not only a Man of Humanity, of good Morals and Commiseration, but likewise an Highwayman, an House-Breaker, or a Murderer could feel Anxieties on such an Occasion; how calamitous soever a Man’s Circumstances might be, he would forget his Misfortunes for the time, and the most troublesome Passion would give way to Pity, and not one of the Species has a Heart so obdurate or engaged that it would not ake at such a Sight, as no Language has an Epithet to fit it.

Many will wonder at what I have said of Pity, that it comes in at the Eye or Ear, but the Truth of this will be known when we consider that the nearer the Object is the more we suffer, and the more remote it is the less we are troubled with it. To see People Executed for Crimes, if it is a great way off, moves us but little, in comparison to what it does when we are near enough to see the Motion of the Soul in their Eyes, observe their Fears and Agonies, and are able to read the Pangs in every Feature of the Face. When the Object is quite remov’d from our Senses, the Relation of the Calamities or the reading of them can never raise in us the Passion call’d Pity. We may be concern’d at bad News, the Loss and Misfortunes of Friends and those whose Cause we espouse, but this is not Pity, but Grief or Sorrow; the same as we feel for the Death of those we love, or the Destruction of what we value.

Edition: orig; Page: [290]When we hear that three or four thousand Men, all Strangers to us, are kill’d with the Sword, or forc’d into some River where they area drown’d, we say and perhaps believe that we pity them. It is Humanity bids us have Compassion with the Sufferings of others, and Reason tells us, that whether a thing be far off Edition: current; Page: [257] or done in our Sight, our Sentiments concerning it ought to be the same, and we should be asham’d to own that we felt no Commiseration in us when any thing requires it. He is a cruel Man, he has no Bowels of Compassion: All these things are the Effects of Reason and Humanity, but Nature makes no Compliments; when the Object does not strike, the Body does not feel it; and when Men talk of pitying People out of sight, they are to be believed in the same manner as when they say, that they are our humble Servants. In paying the usual Civilities at first meeting, those who do not see one another every Day, are often very glad and very sorry alternately for five or six times together in less than two Minutes, and yet at parting carry away not a jot more of Grief or Joy than they met with. The same it is with Pity, and it is a thing of Choice no more than Fear or Anger. Those who have a strong and lively Imagination, and can make Representations of things in their Minds, as they would be if they were actually before them, may work themselves up into something that resembles Compassion; but this is done by Art, and often Edition: orig; Page: [291]the help of a little Enthusiasm, and is only an Imitation of Pity; the Heart feels little of it, and it is as faint as what we suffer at the acting of a Tragedy; where our Judgment leaves part of the Mind uninform’d, and to indulge a lazy Wantonness suffers it to be led into an Error, which is necessary to have a Passion rais’d, the slight Strokes of which are not unpleasant to us when the Soul is in an idle unactive Humour.

As Pity is often by our selves and in our own Cases mistaken for Charity, so it assumes the Shape, and borrows the very Name of it; a Beggar asks you to exert that Virtue for Jesus Christ’s sake, but all the while his great Design is to raise your Pity. He represents to your View the worst side of his Ailments and bodily Infirmities; in chosen Words he gives you an Epitome of his Calamities real or fictitious; and Edition: current; Page: [258] while he seems to pray God that he will open your Heart, he is actually at work upon your Ears; the greatest Profligate of them flies to Religion for Aid, and assists his Cant with a doleful Tone and a study’d Dismality of Gestures: But he trusts not to one Passion only, he flatters your Pride with Titles and Names of Honour and Distinction; your Avarice he sooths with often repeating to you the Smallness of the Gift he sues for, and conditional Promises of future Returns with an Interest extravagant beyond the Statute of Usury tho’ out of the reach of it. People not used to great Cities, being thus attack’d on all sides, are commonly Edition: orig; Page: [292]forc’d to yield, and can’t help giving something tho’ they can hardly spare it themselves. How oddly are we manag’d by Self-Love! It is ever watching in our Defence, and yet, to sooth a predominant Passion, obliges us to act against our Interest: For when Pity seizes us, if we can but imagine that we contribute to the Relief of him we have Compassion with, and are Instrumental to the lessening of his Sorrows, it eases us, and therefore pitiful People often give an Alms when they really feel that they would rather not.

When Sores are very bare or seem otherwise afflicting in an extraordinary manner, and the Beggar can bear to have them expos’d to the cold Air, it is very shocking to some People; ’tis a Shame, they cry, such Sights should be suffer’d; the main Reason is, it touches their Pity feelingly, and at the same time they are resolv’d, either because they are Covetous, or count it an idle Expence, to give nothing, which makes them more uneasy. They turn their Eyes, and where the Cries are dismal, some would willingly stop their Ears if they were not ashamed. What they can do is to mend their Pace, and be very angry in their Hearts that Beggars should be about the Streets. But it is with Pity as it is with Fear, the more we are conversant with Objects that excite either Passion, the less we are disturb’d by them, and those to whom all Edition: current; Page: [259] these Scenes and Tones are by Custom made familiar, they make little Impression upon. Edition: orig; Page: [293]The only thing the industrious Beggar has left to conquer those fortified Hearts, if he can walk either with or without Crutches, is to follow close, and with uninterrupted Noise teaze and importune them, to try if he can make them buy their Peace. Thus thousands give Money to Beggars from the same Motive as they pay their Corn-cutter, to walk easy.1 And many a Half-penny is given to impudent and designedly persecuting Rascals, whom, if it could be done handsomely, a Man would cane with much greater Satisfaction. Yet all this by the Courtesy of the Country is call’d Charity.

The Reverse of Pity is Malice: I have spoke of it where I treat of Envy. Those who know what it is to examine themselves, will soon own that it is very Edition: current; Page: [260] difficult to trace the Root and Origin of this Passion. It is one of those we are most ashamed of, and therefore the hurtful part of it is easily subdued and corrected by a Judicious Education. When any body near us stumbles, it is natural even before Reflexion to stretch out our Hands to hinder or at least break the Fall, which shews that while we are Calm we are rather bent to Pity. But tho’ Malice by it self is little to be fear’d, yet assisted with Pride, it is often mischievous, and becomes most terrible when egg’d on and heighten’d by Anger. There is nothing that more readily or more effectually extinguishes Pity than this Mixture, which is call’d Cruelty: From whence we may learn that to perform a Edition: orig; Page: [294]meritorious Action, it is not sufficient barely to conquer a Passion, unless it likewise be done from a laudable Principle, and consequently how necessary that Clause was in the Definition of Virtue, that our Endeavours were to proceed from a rational Ambition of being Good.1

Pity, as I have said somewhere else, is the most amiable of all our Passions, and there are not many Occasions on which we ought to conquer or curb it. A Surgeon may be as compassionate as he pleases, so it does not make him omit or forbear to perform what he ought to do. Judges likewise and Juries may be influenced with Pity, if they take care that plain Laws and Justice it self are not infringed and do not suffer by it. No Pity does more Mischief in the World than what is excited by the Tenderness of Parents, and hinders them from managing their Children as their rational Love to them would require, and themselves could wish it. The Sway likewise which this Passion bears in the Affections of Women is more considerable than is commonly imagined, and they daily commit Faults that are altogether ascribed to Lust, and yet are in a great measure owing to Pity.

What I named last is not the only Passion that mocks Edition: current; Page: [261] and resembles Charity; Pride and Vanity have built more Hospitals than all the Virtues together. Men are so tenacious of their Possessions, and Selfishness is so riveted in our Nature, that whoever can but any ways con-Edition: orig; Page: [295]quer it shall have the Applause of the Publick, and all the Encouragement imaginable to conceal his Frailty and sooth any other Appetite he shall have a mind to indulge. The Man that supplies with his private Fortune, what the whole must otherwise have provided for, obliges every Member of the Society, and therefore all the World are ready to pay him their Acknowledgement, and think themselves in Duty bound to pronounce all such Actions virtuous, without examining or so much as looking into the Motives from which they were perform’d. Nothing is more destructive to Virtue or Religion it self, than to make Men believe that giving Money to the Poor, tho’ they should not part with it till after Death, will make a full Atonement in the next World, for the Sins they have committed in this. A Villain who has been guilty of a barbarous Murder may by the help of false Witnesses escape the Punishment he deserv’d: He prospers, we’ll say, heaps up great Wealth, and by the Advice of his Father Confessor leaves all his Estate to a Monastery, and his Children Beggars. What fine Amends has this good Christian made for his Crime, and what an honest Man was the Priest who directed his Conscience? He who parts with all he has in his Life-time, whatever Principle he acts from, only gives away what was his own; but the rich Miser who refuses to assist his nearest Relations while he is alive, tho’ they never designedly disoblig’d Edition: orig; Page: [296]him, and disposes of his Money for what we call Charitable Uses after his Death, may imagine of his Goodness what he pleases, but he robbs his Posterity.1 I am now thinking Edition: current; Page: [262] of a late Instance of Charity, a prodigious Gift, that has made a great Noise in the World:1 I have a mind to set it in the Light I think it deserves, and beg leave, for once to please Pedants, to treat it somewhat Rhetorically.

That a Man with small Skill in Physick and hardly any Learning,2 should by vile Arts get into Practice, and lay up great Wealth, is no mighty Wonder; but that he should so deeply work himself into the good Opinion of the World as to gain the general Esteem of a Nation, and establish a Reputation beyond all his Contemporaries, with no other Qualities but a perfect Knowledge of Mankind, and a Capacity of making the most of it, is something extraordinary. If a Man arrived to such a height of Glory should be almost distracted with Pride, sometimea give his Edition: current; Page: [263] attendance on a Servant or any mean Person for nothing, and at the same time neglect a Nobleman that gives exorbitant Fees, at other times refuse to leave his Bottle for his Business without any regard to the Quality of the Persons that sent for him, or the Danger they are in: If he should be surly and morose, affect to be an Humourist, treat his Patients like Dogs, tho’ People of Distinction, and value no Man but what would deify him, and never call in question the certainty of his Oracles: If he Edition: orig; Page: [297]should insult all the World, affront the first Nobility, and extend his Insolence even to the Royal Family:1 If to maintain as well as to increase the Fame of his Sufficiency, he should scorn to consult with his Betters on what Emergency soever, look down with contempt on the most deserving of his Profession, and never confer with any other Physician but what will pay Homage to his Superior Genius, creep to his Humour, and never approach him but with all the slavish Obsequiousness a Court-Flatterer can treat a Prince with: If a Man in his Life-time should discover on the one hand such manifest Symptoms of Superlative Pride, and an insatiable Greediness after Wealth at the same time, and on the other no regard to Religion or Affection to his Kindred, no Compassion to the Poor, and hardly any Humanity to his Fellow-Creatures, if he gave no Proofs that he lov’d his Country, had a Publick Spirit, or was a Lover of Arts, of Books or of Literature, what must we judge of his Motive, the Principle he acted from, when after his Death we find that he has left a Trifle among his Relations who stood in need of it, and an immense Treasure to an University that did not want it?a

Edition: current; Page: [264]

Let a Man be as charitable as it is possible for him to be without forfeitinga his Reason or good Sense; can he think otherwise, but that this famous Physician did in the making of his Will, as in every thing else, indulge his darling Passion, entertaining his Vanity with the Hap-Edition: orig; Page: [298]piness of the Contrivance? when he thought on the Monuments and Inscriptions, with all the Sacrifices of Praise that would be made to him, and above all the yearly Tribute of Thanks, of Reverence and Veneration that would be paid to his Memory with so much Pomp and Solemnity; when he consider’d, how in all these Performances Wit and Invention would be rack’d, Art and Eloquence ransack’d to find out Encomiums suitable to the Publick Spirit, the Munificence and the Dignity of the Benefactor, and the artful Gratitude of the Receivers; when he thought on, I say, and consider’d these Things, it must have thrown his ambitious Soul into vast Ecstasies of Pleasure, especially when he ruminated on the Duration of his Glory, and the Perpetuity he would by this Means procure to his Name. Charitable Opinions are often stupidly false; when Men are dead and gone, we ought to judge of their Actions, as we do of Books, and neither wrong their Understanding nor our own. The British Æsculapius1 was undeniably a Man of Sense, and if he had been influenc’d by Charity, a Publick Spirit, or the Love of Learning, and had aim’d at the Good of Mankind in general, or that of his own Profession in particular, and acted from any of these Principles, he could never have made such a Will; because so much Wealth might have been better managed, and a Man of much less Capacity would have found out several better Edition: orig; Page: [299]Ways of laying out the Money. But if we consider, that he was as undeniably a Man of vast Pride, as he was a Man of Edition: current; Page: [265] Sense, and give ourselves leave only to surmise, that this extraordinary Gift might have proceeded from such a Motive, we shall presently discover the Excellency of his Parts, and his consummate Knowledge of the World: for, if a Man would render himself immortal, be ever prais’d and deify’d after his Death, and have all the Acknowledgement, the Honours, and Compliments paid to his Memory, that Vain-Glory herself could wish for, I don’t think it in human Skill to invent a more effectual Method. Had he follow’d Arms, behaved himself in five and twenty Sieges, and as many Battles, with the Bravery of an Alexander, and exposed his Life and Limbs to all the Fatigues and Dangers of War for fifty Campaigns together; or devoting himself to the Muses, sacrific’d his Pleasure, his Rest, and his Health to Literature, and spent all his Days in a laborious Study, and the Toils of Learning; or else abandoning all worldly Interest, excell’d in Probity, Temperance, and Austerity of Life, and ever trod in the strictest Path of Virtue, he would not so effectually have provided for the Eternity of his Name, as after a voluptuous Life, and the luxurious Gratification of his Passions, he has now done without any Trouble or Self-Denial, only by the Choice in the Disposal of his Money, when he was forc’d to leave it.

Edition: orig; Page: [300]A rich Miser, who is thoroughly selfish, and would receive the Interest of his Money even after his Death, has nothing else to do than to defraud his Relations, and leave his Estate to some famous University: they are the best Markets to buy Immortality at with little Merit; in them Knowledge, Wit and Penetration are the Growth, I had almost said, the Manufacture of the Place: There Men are profoundly skill’d in Human Nature, and know what it is their Benefactors want; and there extraordinary Bounties shall always meet with an extraordinary Recompense, and the Measure of the Gift is ever the Standard of their Praises, whether the Donor be a Physician or a Tinker, Edition: current; Page: [266] when once the living Witnesses that might laugh at them are extinct. I can never think on the Anniversary of the Thanksgiving-Day decreed to a great Man, but it puts me in mind of the miraculous Cures, and other surprizing Things that will be said of him aa hundred Years hence, and I dare prognosticate, that before the End of the present Century, he will have Stories forg’d in his Favour, (for Rhetoricians are never upon Oath) that shall be as fabulous at least as any Legends of the Saints.

Of all this our subtle Benefactor was not ignorant, he understood Universities, their Genius, and their Politicks, and from thence foresaw and knew that the Incense to be offer’d to him would not cease with the present or a fewb succeeding Generations, and that it would Edition: orig; Page: [301]not only lastc for the trifling Space of three or four hundred Years, but that it would continue to be paid to him through all Changes and Revolutions of Government and Religion, as long as the Nation subsists, and the Island it self remains.

It is deplorable that the Proud should have such Temptations to wrong their lawful Heirs: For when a Man in ease and affluence, brimfull of Vain-Glory, and humour’d in his Pride by the greatest of a polite Nation, has such an infallible Security in Petto for an Everlasting Homage and Adoration to his Manes to be paid in such an extraordinary manner, he is like a Hero in Battle, who in feasting ond his own Imagination tastes all the Felicity of Enthusiasm. It buoys him up in Sickness, relieves him in Pain, and either guards him against or keeps from his View all the Terrors of Death, and the most dismal Apprehensions of Futurity.

Should it be said that to be thus Censorious, and look into Matters, and Mense Consciences with that Nicety, will discourage People from laying out their Edition: current; Page: [267] Money this way; and that let the Money and the Motive of the Donor be what they will, he that receives the Benefit is the Gainer, I would not disown the Charge, but am of Opinion, that this a is no Injury to the Publick, should one prevent Men from crowding too much Treasure into the Dead Stock of the Kingdom. There ought to be a vast disproportion between the Active and Unactive part Edition: orig; Page: [302]of the Society to make it Happy, and where this is not regarded the multitude of Gifts and Endowments may soon be excessive and detrimental to a Nation. Charity, where it is too extensive, seldom fails of promoting Sloth and Idleness, and is good for little in the Commonwealth but to breed Drones and destroy Industry. The more Colleges and Alms-houses you build the more you may. The first Founders and Benefactors may have just and good Intentions, and would perhaps for their own Reputations seem to labour for the most laudable Purposes, but the Executors of those Wills, the Governors that come after them, have quite other Views, and we seldom see Charities long applied as it was first intended they should be. I have no design that is Cruel, nor the least aim that savours of Inhumanity. To have sufficient Hospitals for Sick and Wounded I look upon as an indispensible Duty both in Peace and War: Young Children without Parents, Old Age without Support, and all that are disabled from Working, ought to be taken care of with Tenderness and Alacrity. But as on the one hand I would have none neglected that are helpless, and really necessitous without being wanting to themselves, so on the other I would not encourage Beggary or Laziness in the Poor: All should be set to work that are any ways able, and Scrutinies should be made even among the Infirm: Employments might be found out for most of our Lame, and many that are unfit Edition: orig; Page: [303]for hard Labour, as well as the Blind, as long Edition: current; Page: [268] as their Health and Strength would allow of it.1 What I have now under Consideration leads me naturally to that kind of Distraction the Nation has labour’d under for some time, the Enthusiastick Passion for Charity-Schools.

The generality are so bewitched with the Usefulness and Excellency of them, that whoever dares openly oppose them is in danger of being Stoned by the Rabble. Children that are taught the Principles of Religion and can read the Word of God, have a greater Opportunity to improve in Virtue and good Morality, and must certainly be more civiliz’d than others, that are suffer’d to run at random and have no body to look after them. How perverse must be the Judgment of those, who would not rather see Children decently dress’d, with clean Linen at least once a Week, that in an orderly manner follow their Master to Church, than in every open place meet with a Company of Black-guards without Shirts or any thing whole about them, that insensible of their Misery are continually increasing it with Oaths and Imprecations! Can any one doubt but these are the great Nursery of Thieves and Pick-pockets? What Numbers of Felons and other Criminals have we Tried and Convicted every Sessions! This will be prevented by Charity-Schools, and when the Children of the Poor receive a better Education, the Society will in a few Years reap the Benefit of it, and the Nation beEdition: orig; Page: [304] clear’da of so many Miscreants as now this great City and all the Country about it are fill’d with.

This is the general Cry, and he that speaks the least Edition: current; Page: [269] Word against it, an Uncharitable, Hard-hearted and Inhuman, if not a Wicked, Profane, and Atheistical Wretch. As to the Comeliness of the Sight, no body disputes it, but I would not have a Nation pay too dear for so transient a Pleasure, and if we might set aside the finery of the Shew, every thing that is material in this popular Oration 1 might soon be answer’d.

As to Religion, the most knowing and polite Part of a Nation have every where the least of it; Craft has a greater Hand in making Rogues than Stupidity, and Vice in general is no where more predominant than where Arts and Sciences flourish. Ignorance is, to a Proverb, counted to be the Mother of Devotion, and it is certain that we shall find Innocence and Honesty no where more general than among the most illiterate, the poor silly Country People. The next to be consider’d, are the Manners and Civility that by Charity-Schools are to be grafted into the Poor of the Nation. I confess that in my Opinion to be in any degree possess’d of what I named is a frivolous if Edition: current; Page: [270] not a hurtful Quality, at least nothing is less requisite in the Laborious Poor. It is not Compliments we want of them, but their Work and Assiduity. But I give up this Article with all my Heart, Edition: orig; Page: [305]good Manners we’ll say are necessary to all People, but which way will they be furnished with them in a Charity-School? Boys there may be taught to pull off their Caps promiscuously to all they meet, unless it be a Beggar: But that they should acquire in it any Civility beyond that I can’t conceive.

The Master is not greatly qualify’d, as may be guessed by his Salary,1 and if he could teach them Manners he has not time for it: While they are at School they are either learning or saying their Lesson to him, or employed in Writing or Arithmetick, and as soon as School is done, they are as much at Liberty as other Poor Peoples Children. It is Precept and the Example of Parents, and those they Eat, Drink and Converse with, that have an Influence upon the Minds of Children: Reprobate Parents that take ill Courses and are regardless ofa their Children, won’t have a mannerly civiliz’d Offspring tho’ they went to a Charity-School till they were Married. The honest pains-taking People, be they never so poor, if they have any Notion of Goodness and Decency themselves, will keep their Children in awe, and never suffer them to rake about the Streets, and lie out a-nights. Those who will work themselves, and have any command over their Children, will make them do something or other that turns to Profit as soon as they are able, be it never so little; and such asb are so Ungovernable, that neither Words norc Blows can work upon them, Edition: orig; Page: [306]no Charity School will mend; Nay, Experience teaches us, that among the Charity-Boys there are abundance of bad ones that Swear and Curse about, and, bar the Edition: current; Page: [271] Clothes, are as much Black-guard as ever Tower-hill or St. James’s produc’d.

I am now come to the enormous Crimes, and vast Multitude of Malefactors, that are all laid upon the want of this notable Education. That abundance of Thefts and Robberies are daily committed in and about the City, and great Numbers yearly suffer Death for those Crimes is undeniable: But because this is ever hooked in when the Usefulness of Charity-Schools is called in Question, as if there was no Dispute, but they would in a great measure remedy, and in time prevent those Disorders, I intend to examine into the real Causes of thosea Mischiefs so justly complained of, and doubt not but to make it appear that Charity-Schools, and every thing else that promotes Idleness, and keeps the Poor from Working, are more Accessary to the Growth of Villany, than the want of Reading and Writing, or even the grossest Ignorance and Stupidity.

Here I must interrupt my self to obviate the Clamours of some impatient People, who upon Reading of what I said last will cry out that far from encouraging Idleness, they bring up their Charity-Children to Handicrafts, as well as Trades, and all manner of Honest Labour. I promise them that I shall take notice of Edition: orig; Page: [307]that hereafter, and answer it without stifling the least thing that can be said in their Behalf.

In a populous City it is not difficult for a young Rascal, that has pushed himself into a Crowd, with a small Hand and nimble Fingers to whip away a Handkerchief or Snuff-Boxb from a Man who is thinking on Business, and regardless of his Pocket. Success in small Crimes seldom fails of ushering in greater, and he that picks Pockets with Impunity at twelve, is likely to be a House-breaker at sixteen, and a thorough-paced Villain long before he is twenty. Those who are Cautious as well as Bold, and no Drunkards, may do a world of Mischief before they Edition: current; Page: [272] are discovered; and this is one of the greatest Inconveniences of such vast over-grown Cities as London or Paris, that they harbour Rogues and Villains as Granaries do Vermin; they afford a perpetual Shelter to the worst of People, and are places of Safety to Thousands of Criminals, who daily commit Thefts and Burglaries, and yet by often changing their places of Abode, may conceal themselves for many Years, and will perhaps for ever escape the Hands of Justice, unless by chance they are apprehended in a Fact. And when they are taken, the Evidences perhaps want clearness or are otherwise insufficient, the Depositions are not strong enough, Juries and often Judges are touched with Compassion; Prosecutors tho’ vigorous at first often relent before the time of Trial comes on: Few Men prefer the publick Edition: orig; Page: [308]Safety to their own Ease; a Man of Good-nature is not easily reconcil’d with takinga away of another Man’s Life, tho’ he has deserved the Gallows. To be the cause of any one’s Death, tho’ Justice requires it, is what most People are startled at, especially Men of Conscience and Probity, when they want Judgment or Resolution; as this is the reason that Thousands escape that deserve to be capitally Punished, so it is likewise the cause that there are so many Offenders, who boldly venture in hopes, that if they are taken they shall have the same good Fortune of getting off.

But if Men did imagine and were fully persuaded, that as surely as they committed a Fact that deserved Hanging, so surely they would be Hanged, Executions would be very rare, and the most desperate Felon would almost as soon hang himself as he would break open a House. To be Stupid and Ignorant is seldom the Character of a Thief. Robberies on the Highway and other bold Crimes are generally perpetrated by Rogues of Spirit and a Genius, and Villains of any Fame are commonly subtle cunning Fellows, that are Edition: current; Page: [273] well vers’d in the Method of Trials, and acquainted with every Quirk in the Law that can be of Use to them, that overlook not the smallest Flaw in an Indictment, and know how to make an Advantage of the least slip of an Evidence and every thing else, that can serve their turn to bring thema off.

Edition: orig; Page: [309]It is a mighty Saying, that it is better that five hundred Guilty People should escape, than that one innocent Person should suffer: This Maxim is only true as to Futurity, and in relation to another World; but it is very false in regard to the Temporal Welfare of the Society. It is a terrible thing a Man should be put to Death for a Crime he is not guilty of; yet so oddly Circumstances may meet in the infinite variety of Accidents, that it is possible it should come to pass, all the Wisdom that Judges, and Conscienciousness that Juries may be possess’d of, notwithstanding. But where Men endeavour to avoid this with all the Care and Precaution human Prudence is able to take, should such a Misfortune happen perhaps once or twice in half a score Years, on Condition that all that time Justice should be Administred with all the Strictness and Severity, and not one Guilty Person suffered to escape with Impunity; it would be a vast Advantage to a Nation, not only as to the securing of every one s Property and the Peace of the Society in general, but it would likewise save the Lives of Hundreds, if not Thousands, of Necessitous Wretches, that are daily hanged for Trifles, and who would never have attempted any thing against the Law, or at least notb have ventured on Capital Crimes, if the hopes of getting off, should they be taken, had not been one of the Motives that animated their Resolution. Therefore where the Laws are plain and severe, all the remissness Edition: orig; Page: [310]in the Execution of them, Lenity of Juries and frequency of Pardons are in the main a much greater Cruelty to a populous State or Kingdom Edition: current; Page: [274] , than the use of Racks and the most exquisite Torments.

Another great Cause of those Evils is to be look’d for in the want of Precaution in those that are robbed, and the many Temptations that are given. Abundance of Families are very remiss in looking after the Safety of their Houses, some are robbed by the Carelessness of Servants, others for having grudg’d the price of Bars and Shutters. Brass and Pewter are ready Money, they are every where about the House; Plate perhaps and Money are better secured, but an ordinary Lock is soon opened, when once a Rogue is got in.

It is manifest then that many different Causes concur, and several scarce avoidable Evils contribute to the Misfortune of being pester’d with Pilferers, Thieves, and Robbers, which all Countries ever were and ever will be, more or less, in and near considerable Towns, more especially vast and overgrown Cities. ’Tis Opportunity makes the Thief; Carelessness and Neglect in fastning Doors and Windows, the excessive Tenderness of Juries and Prosecutors, the small Difficulty of getting a Reprieve and frequency of Pardons, but above all the many Examples of those who are known to be guilty, are destitute both of Friends and Money, and yet by imposing on the Jury, Baffling the Edition: orig; Page: [311]Witnesses, or other Tricks and Stratagems, find out means to escape the Gallows. These are all strong Temptations that conspire to draw in the Necessitous, who want Principle and Education.

To these you may add as Auxiliaries to Mischief, an Habit of Sloth and Idleness and strong Aversion to Labour and Assiduity, which all Young People will contract that are not brought up to downright Working, or at least kept employ’d most Days in the Week, and the greatest part of the Day. All Children that are Idle, even the best of either Sex, are bad Company to one another whenever they meet.

Edition: current; Page: [275]

It is not then the want a of Reading and Writing, but the concurrence and a complication of more substantial Evils that are the perpetual Nursery of abandon’d Profligates in great and opulent Nations; and whoever would accuse Ignorance, Stupidity and Dastardness, as the first, and what Physicians call the Procatartic Cause,1 let him examine into the Lives, and narrowly inspect the Conversations and Actions of ordinary Rogues and our common Felons, and he will find the reverse to be true, and that the blame ought rather to be laid on the excessive Cunning and Subtlety, and too much Knowledge in general, which the worst of Miscreants and the Scum of the Nation are possessed of.

Human Nature is every where the same: Genius, Wit and Natural Parts are always sharpened by Application, and may be as muchEdition: orig; Page: [312] improv’d in the Practice of the meanest Villany, as they can in the Exercise of Industry or the most Heroic Virtue. There is no Station of Life, where Pride, Emulation, and the Love of Glory may not be displayed. A young Pickpocket, that makes a Jest of his Angry Prosecutor, and dexterously wheedles the old Justice into an Opinion of his Innocence, is envied by his Equals and admired byb all the Fraternity. Rogues have the same Passions to gratify as other Men, and value themselves on their Honour and Faithfulness to one another, their Courage, Intrepidity, and other manly Virtues, as well as People of better Professions; and in daring Enterprizes, the Resolution of a Robber may be as much supported by his Pride, as that of an honest Soldier, who fights for his Country.

The Evils then we complain of are owing to quite other Causes than what we assign for them. Men must be very wavering in their Sentiments, if not Edition: current; Page: [276] inconsistent with themselves, that at one time will uphold Knowledge and Learning to be the most proper means to promote Religion, and defend at another that Ignorance is the Mother of Devotion.

But if the Reasons alledged for this general Education are not the true ones, whence comes it that the whole Kingdom both great and small are so Unanimously Fond of it? There is no miraculous Conversion to be perceiv’d among us, no universal Bent to Goodness and Morality Edition: orig; Page: [313]that has on a sudden overspread the Island; there is as much Wickedness as ever, Charity is as Cold, and real Virtue as Scarce: The Year seventeen hundred and twenty has been as prolifick in deep Villany, and remarkable for selfish Crimes and premeditated Mischief, as can be pick’d out of any Century whatever; not committed by Poor Ignorant Rogues that could neither Read nor Write, but the better sort of People as to Wealth and Education, that most of them were great Masters in Arithmetick, and liv’d in Reputation and Splendor.1 To say that when a thing is once in Vogue, the Multitude follows the common Cry, that Charity Schools are in Fashion in the same manner as Hoop’d Petticoats, by Caprice, and that no more Reason can be given for the one than the other, I am afraid will not be Satisfactory to the Curious, and at the same Time I doubt much, whether it will be thought of great Weight by many of my Readers, what I can advance besides.

The real Source of this present Folly is certainly very abstruse and remote from sight, but he that affords the least Light in Matters of great Obscurity does a kind Office to the Enquirers. I am willing to Edition: current; Page: [277] allow, that in the Beginning the first Design of those Schools was Good and Charitable, but to know what increases them so extravagantly, and who are the chief Promoters of them now, we must make our Search another way, and address ourselves to the rigid Edition: orig; Page: [314]Party-men that are Zealous for their Cause, either Episcopacy or Presbytery; but as the latter are but the poor Mimicks of the first, tho’ equally pernicious, we shall confine ourselves to the National Church, and take a turn thro’ a Parish that is not bless’d yet with a Charity School.—But here I think myself obliged in Conscience to ask pardon of my Reader for the tiresome Dance I am going to lead him if he intends to follow me, and therefore I desire that he would either throw away the Book and leave me, or else arm himself with the Patience of Job to endure all the Impertinences of low Life, the Cant and Tittle-tattle he is like to meet with before he can go half a Street’s length.

First we must look out among the young Shopkeepers, that have not half the Business they could wish for, and consequently Time to spare. If such a New-beginner has but a little Pride more than ordinary, and loves to be medling, he is soon mortify’d in the Vestry, where Men of Substance and long standing, or else your pert litigious or opinionated Bawlers, that have obtained the Title of Notable Men, commonly bear the Sway. His Stock and perhaps Credit are but inconsiderable, and yet he finds within himself a strong Inclination to Govern. A Man thus qualified thinks it a thousand Pities there is no Charity School in the Parish: he communicates his Thoughts to two or three of his Acquaintance first; they do the same to others, and in a Month’s time there is nothing else talk’d of in Edition: orig; Page: [315]the Parish. Every body invents Discourses and Arguments to the Purpose according to his Abilities.—It is an errant Shame, says one, to see so many Poor that are not able to educate their Children, and no Provision made for Edition: current; Page: [278] them where we have so many rich People. What d’ye talk of Rich, answers another, they are the worst: they must have so many Servants, Coaches and Horses: They can lay out hundreds, and some of them thousands of Pounds for Jewels and Furniture, but not spare a Shilling to a poor Creature that wants it: When Modes and Fashions are discours’d of they can hearken with great Attention, but are wilfully deaf to the Cries of the Poor. Indeed, Neighbour, replies the first, you are very right, I don’t believe there is a worse Parish in England for Charity than ours: ’Tis such as you and I that would do good if it was in our power, but of those that are able there’s very few that are willing.

Others more violent fall upon particular Persons, and fasten Slander on every Man of Substance they dislike, and a thousand idle Stories in behalf of Charity are rais’d and handed about to defame their Betters. While this is doing throughout the Neighbourhood, he that first broach’d the pious Thought rejoices to hear so many come in to it, and places no small Merit in being the first Cause of so much Talk and Bustle: But neither himself nor his Intimates being considerable enough to set such a thing on foot, some body Edition: orig; Page: [316]must be found out who has greater Interest: he is to be address’d to, and shew’d the Necessity, the Goodness, the Usefulness, and Christianity of such a Design: next he is to be flatter’d.—Indeed, Sir, if you would espouse it, no body has a greater Influence over the best of the Parish than yourself: one Word of you I am sure would engage such a one: If you once woulda take it to heart, Sir, I would look upon the thing as done, Sir.—If by this kind of Rhetorick they can draw in some old Fool or conceited Busy-body that is rich, or at least reputed to be such, the thing begins to be feasible, and is discours’d of among the better sort. The Parson or his Curate, and the Lecturer are every where extolling the Pious Project. Edition: current; Page: [279] The first Promoters mean while are indefatigable: If they were guilty of any open Vice they either Sacrifice it to the love of Reputation, or at least grow more cautious and learn to play the Hypocrite, well knowing that to be flagitious or noted for Enormities is inconsistent with the Zeal which they pretend to for Works of Supererogation and excessive Piety.

The Number of these diminutive Patriots increasing, they form themselves into a Society and appoint stated Meetings, where every one concealing his Vices has liberty to display his Talents. Religion is the Theme, or else the Misery of the Times occasion’d by Atheism and Profaneness. Men of Worth, who live in Splendor, and thriving People that have a great Edition: orig; Page: [317]deal of Business of their own, are seldom seen among them. Men of Sense and Education likewise, if they have nothing to do, generally look out for better Diversion. All those who have a higher Aim, shall have their Attendance easily excus’d, but contribute they must or else lead a weary Life in the Parish. Two sorts of People come in voluntarily, stanch Church-men, who have good Reasons for it in Petto, and your sly Sinners that look upon it as meritorious, and hope that it will expiate their Guilt, and Satan be Non-suited by it at a small Expence. Some come into it to save their Credit, others to retrieve it, according as they have either lost or are afraid of losing it: others again do it Prudentially to increase their Trade and get Acquaintance, and many would own to you, if they dared to be sincere and speak the Truth, that they would never have been concern’d in it, but to be better known in the Parish. Men of Sense that see the folly of it and have no body to fear, are persuaded into it not to be thought singular or to run Counter to all the World; even those who are resolute at first in denying ita, it is ten to one but at last they are teaz’d and importun’d into a Compliance. The Charge Edition: current; Page: [280] being calculated for most of the Inhabitants, the insignificancy of it is another Argument that prevails much, and many are drawn in to be Contributors, who without that would have stood out and strenuously opposed the whole Scheme.

Edition: orig; Page: [318]The Governors are made of the middling People, and many inferiour to that Class are made use of, if the forwardness of their Zeal can but over-balance the meanness of their Condition. If you should ask these Worthy Rulers, why they take upon them so much Trouble to the detriment of their own Affairs and loss of Time, either singly or the whole body of them, they would all unanimously answer, that it is the Regard they have for Religion and the Church, and the Pleasure they take in Contributing to the Good, and Eternal Welfare of so many Poor Innocents that in all Probability would run into Perdition in these wicked Times of Scoffers and Freethinkers. They have no thought of Interest, even those, who deal in and provide these Children with what they want, have not the least design of getting by what they sell for their Use, and tho’ in every thing else their Avarice and Greediness after Lucre be glaringly conspicuous, in this Affair they are wholly divested from Selfishness, and have no Worldly Ends. One Motive above all, which is none of the least with thea most of them, is to be carefully conceal’d, I mean the Satisfaction there is in Ordering and Directing: There is a melodious Sound in the Word Governor that is charming to mean People: Every Body admires Sway and Superiority, even Imperium in Belluas1 has its delights, there is a Pleasure in Ruling over any thing, and it is this chiefly Edition: orig; Page: [319]that supports human Nature in the tedious Slavery of School-masters. But if there be the least Satisfaction in governing the Children, it must be ravishing to govern the School-master himself Edition: current; Page: [281] . What fine things are said and perhaps wrote to a Governor, when a School-master is to be chosen! How the Praises tickle, and how pleasant it is not to find out the Fulsomness of the Flattery, the Stiffness of the Expressions, or the Pedantry of the Style!

Those who can examine Nature will always find, that what these People most pretend to is the least, and what they utterly deny their greatest Motive. No Habit or Quality is more easily acquir’d than Hypocrisy, nor any thing sooner learn’d than to deny the Sentiments of our Hearts and the Principle we act from: But the Seeds of every Passion are innate to us and no body comes into the World without them. If we will mind the Pastimes and Recreations of young Children, we shall observe nothing more general in them, than that all who are suffer’d to do it, take delight in playing with Kittens and little Puppy Dogs. What makes them always lugging and pulling the poor Creatures about the House proceeds from nothing else but that they can do with them what they please, and put them into what posture and shape they list, and the Pleasure they receive from this is originally owing to the love of Dominion and that usurping Temper all Mankind are born with.

Edition: orig; Page: [320]When this great Work is brought to bear, and actually accomplish’d, Joy and Serenity seema to overspread the Face of every Inhabitant, which likewise to account for I must make a short Digression. There are every where slovenly sorry Fellows that are used to be seen always Ragged and Dirty: These People we look upon as miserable Creatures in general, and unless they are very remarkable we take little Notice of them, and yet among these there are handsome and well-shaped Men as well as among their Betters. But if one of these turns Soldier, what a vast Alteration is there observ’d in him for the better, as soon as he is put in his Red Coat, and we see him look Edition: current; Page: [282] smart with his Grenadier’s Cap and a great Ammunition Sword!1 All who knew him before are struck with other Ideas of his Qualities, and the Judgment which both Men and Women form of him in their Minds is very different from what it was. There is something Analogous to this in the Sight of Charity Children; there is a natural Beauty in Uniformity which most People delight in. It is diverting to the Eye to see Children well match’d, either Boys or Girls, march two and two in good order; and to have them all whole and tight in the same Clothes and Trimming must add to the comeliness of the sight; and what makes it still more generally entertaining is the imaginary share which even Servants and the meanest in the Parish have in it, to whom it costs nothing; Our Parish Church, Our Charity Edition: orig; Page: [321]Children. In all this there is a Shadow of Property that tickles every body that has a Right to make use of the Words, but more especially those who actually contribute and had a great Hand in advancing the pious Work.

It is hardly conceiveable that Men should so little know their own Hearts, and be so ignorant of their inward Condition, as to mistake Frailty, Passion and Enthusiasm for Goodness, Virtue and Charity; yet nothing is more true than that the Satisfaction, the Joy and Transports they feel on the accounts I named, pass with these miserable Judges for principles of Piety and Religion. Whoever will consider what I have said for two or three Pages, and suffer his Imagination to rove a little further on what he has heard and seen concerning this Subject, will be furnished with sufficient Reasons abstract from the love of God and true Christianity, why Charity-Schools are in such uncommon Vogue, and so unanimously approv’d of and admired among all sorts and conditions of People. It is a Theme which every Edition: current; Page: [283] Body can talk of and understands thoroughly, there is not a more inexhaustible Fund for Tittle-tattle, and a variety of low conversation in Hoy-boats and Stage-coaches. If a Governor that in Behalf of the School or the Sermon exerted himself more than ordinary, happens to be in Company, how he is commended by the Women, and his Zeal and Charitable Disposition extoll’d to the Skies! Upon my word, Sir, says an Old Lady, Edition: orig; Page: [322]we are all very much obliged to you, I don’t think any of the other Governors could have made Interest enough to procure us a Bishop; ’twas on your Account I am told that his Lordship came, tho he was not very well: To which the other replies very gravely, that it is his Duty, but that he values no Trouble nor Fatigue so he can be but serviceable to the Children, poor Lambs: Indeed, says he, I was resolv’d to get a pair of Lawn Sleeves, tho’ I rid all Night for it, and I am very glad I was not disappointed.

Sometimes the School it self is discours’d of, and of whom in all the Parish it is most expected he should build one: The old Room where it is now kept is ready to drop down; Such a one had a vast Estate left him by his Uncle, and a great deal of Money besides; a Thousand Pounds would be nothing in his Pocket.

At others the great Crouds are talk’d of that are seen at some Churches, and the considerable Sums that are gather’d; from whence by an easy transition they go over to the Abilities, the different Talents and Orthodoxy of Clergymen. Dr. —— —— —— is a Man of great Parts and Learning, and I believe he is very hearty for the Church, but I don’t like him for a Charity-Sermon. There is no better Man in the World than —— —— ——; he forces the Money out of their Pockets. When he preach’d last for our Children I am sure there was abundance of People that gave more than they intended when they came to Church. Edition: orig; Page: [323] Edition: current; Page: [284] I could see it in their Faces, and rejoic’d at it heartily.

Another Charm that renders Charity-Schools so bewitching to the Multitude is the general Opinion Establish’d among them, that they are not only actually Beneficial to Society as to Temporal Happiness, but likewise that Christianity enjoynsa and requires of us, we should erect them for our future Welfare. They are earnestly and fervently recommended by the whole body of the Clergy, and have more Labour and Eloquence laid out upon them than any other Christian Duty; not by young Parsonsb or poor Scholars of little Credit, but the most Learned of our Prelates and the most Eminent for Orthodoxy, even those who do not often fatigue themselves on any other Occasion. As to Religion, there is no doubt but they know what is chiefly required of us, and consequently the most necessary to Salvation: and as to the World, who should understand the Interest of the Kingdom better than the Wisdom of the Nation, of which the Lords Spiritual are so considerable a Branch? The consequence of this Sanction is, first, that those, who with their Purses or Power are instrumental to the increase or maintenance of these Schools, are tempted to place a greater Merit in what they do than otherwise they could suppose it deserv’d. Secondly, that all the rest, who either cannot or will not any ways contribute towards them, have still a very good reason Edition: orig; Page: [324]why they should speak well of them; for tho’ it be difficult, in things that interfere with our Passions, to act well, it is always in our power to wish well, because it is perform’d with little Cost. There is hardly a Person so Wicked among the Superstitious Vulgar, but in the liking he has for Charity-Schools, he imagines to see a glimmering Hope that it will make an Atonement for his Sins, from the same Principle as the most Vicious comfort themselves Edition: current; Page: [285] with the Love and Veneration they bear to the Church, and the greatest Profligates find an Opportunity in it to shew the Rectitude of theira Inclinations at no Expence.

But if all these were not Inducements sufficient to make Men stand up in Defence of the Idol I speak of, there is another that will infallibly Bribe most People to be Advocates for it. We all naturally love Triumph, and whoever engages in this Causeb is sure of Conquest, at least in Nine Companies out of Ten. Let him dispute with whom he will, considering the Speciousness of the Pretence, and the Majority he has on his side, it is a Castle, an impregnable Fortress he can never be beat out of; and was the most Sober, Virtuous Man alive to produce all the Arguments to prove the detriment Charity-Schools, at least the Multiplicity of them, do to Society, which I shall give hereafter, and such as are yet stronger, against the greatest Scoundrel in the World, who should only make use of the common Cant of Charity and Religion, the Edition: orig; Page: [325]Vogue would be against the first, and himself lose his Cause in the Opinion of the Vulgar.

The Rise then and Original of all the Bustle and Clamour that is made throughout the Kingdom in Behalf of Charity-Schools, is chiefly built on Frailty and Human Passion, at least it is more than possible that a Nation should have the same Fondness and feel the same Zeal for them as are shewn in ours, and yet not be prompted to it by any principle of Virtue or Religion. Encouraged by this Consideration, I shall with the greater Liberty attack this vulgar Error, and endeavour to make it evident, that far from being Beneficial, this forc’d Education is pernicious to the Publick, the Welfare whereof as it demands of us a regard Superior to all other Laws and Considerations, so it shall be the only Apology I intend to make for differing from the present Sentiments of the Edition: current; Page: [286] Learned and Reverend Body of our Divines, and venturing plainly to deny, what I have just now own’d to be openly asserted by most of our Bishops as well as Inferior Clergy. As our Church pretends to no Infallibility even in Spirituals, her proper Province, so it cannot be an Affront to her to imagine that she may err in Temporals which are not so much under her immediate care.—— —— —— But to my Task.

The whole Earth being Curs’d, and no Bread to be had but what we eat in the sweat of our Brows, vast Toil must be undergone before Man can provide himself with Necessaries for his Edition: orig; Page: [326]Sustenance and the bare Support of his corrupt and defective Nature as he is a single Creature; but infinitely more to make Life comfortable in a Civil Society, where Men are become taught Animals, and great Numbers of them have by mutual compact framed themselves into a Body Politick; and the more Man’s Knowledge increases in this State, the greater will be the variety of Labour required to make him easy. It is impossible that a Society can long subsist, and suffer many of its Members to live in Idleness, and enjoy all the Ease and Pleasure they can invent, without having at the same time great Multitudes of People that to make good this Defect will condescend to be quite the reverse, and by use and patience inure their Bodies to work for others and themselves besides.

The Plenty and Cheapness of Provisions depends in a great measure on the Price and Value that is set upon this Labour, and consequently the Welfare of all Societies, even before they are tainted with Foreign Luxury, requires that it should be perform’d by such of their Members as in the first Place are sturdy and robust and never used to Ease or Idleness, and in the second, soon contented as to the necessaries of Life; such as are glad to take up with the coursest Manufacture in every thing they wear, and in their Diet have no other aim than to feed their Bodies when their Edition: current; Page: [287] Stomachs prompt them to eat, and with little regard to Taste or Relish, refuse no wholesome Nourishment that can be swallow’d Edition: orig; Page: [327]when Men are Hungry, or ask any thing for their Thirst but to quench it.

As the greatest part of the Drudgery is to be done by Day-light, so it is by this only that they actually measure the time of their Labour without any thought of the Hours they are employ’d, or the weariness they feel; and the Hireling in the Country must get up in the Morning, not because he has rested enough, but because the Sun is going to rise. This last Article alone would be an intolerable Hardship to Grown People under Thirty, who during Nonage had been used to lie a-bed as long as they could sleep: but all three together make upa such a Condition of Life as a Man more mildly Educated would hardly choose; tho’ it should deliver him from a Goal or a Shrew.

If such People there must be, as no great Nation can be happy without vast Numbers of them, would not a Wise Legislature cultivate the Breed of them with all imaginable Care, and provide against their Scarcity as he would prevent the Scarcity of Provision it self? No Man would be poor and fatigue himself for a Livelihood if he could help it: The absolute necessity all stand in for Victuals and Drink, and in cold Climates for Clothes and Lodging, makes them submit to any thing that can be bore with. If no body did Want no body would work; but the greatest Hardships are look’d upon as solid Pleasures, when they keep a Man from Starving.

Edition: orig; Page: [328]From what has been said it is manifest, that in a free Nation where Slaves are not allow’d of, the surest Wealth consists in a Multitude of laborious Poor; for besides that they are the never-failing Nursery of Fleets and Armies, without them there could be no Enjoyment, and no Product of any Country could be valuable. To make the Society Edition: current; Page: [288] happy and People easy under the meanest Circumstances, it is requisite that great Numbers of them should be Ignorant as well as Poor. Knowledge both enlarges and multiplies our Desires, and the fewer things a Man wishes for, the more easily his Necessities may be supply’d.

The Welfare and Felicity therefore of every State and Kingdom, require that the Knowledge of the Working Poor should be confin’d within the Verge of their Occupations, and never extended (as to things visible) beyond what relates to their Calling. The more a Shepherd, a Plowman or any other Peasant knows of the World, and the things that are Foreign to his Labour or Employment, the less fit he’ll be to go through the Fatigues and Hardships of it with Chearfulness and Content.

Reading, Writing and Arithmetick, are very necessary to those, whose Business require such Qualifications, but where People’s livelihood has no dependence on thesea Arts, they are very pernicious to the Poor, who are forc’d to get their Daily Bread by their Daily Labour. Few Children make any Progress at School, but at the Edition: orig; Page: [329]same time they are capable of being employ’d in some Business or other, so that every Hour thoseb of poor People spend at their Book is so much time lost to the Society. Going to School in comparison to Working is Idleness, and the longer Boys continue in this easy sort of Life, the more unfit they’ll be when grown up for downright Labour, both as to Strength and Inclination. Men who are to remain and end their Days in a Laborious, Tiresome and Painful Station of Life, the sooner they are put upon it at first, the more patiently they’ll submit to it for ever after. Hard Labour and the coarsest Diet arec a proper Punishment to several kinds of Malefactors, but to impose either on those that have not been used and brought up to both is the greatest Edition: current; Page: [289] Cruelty, when there is no Crime you can charge them with.

Reading and Writing are not attain’d to without some Labour of the Brain and Assiduity, and before People are tolerably vers’d in either, they esteem themselves infinitely above those who are wholly Ignorant of them, often with so little Justice and Moderation as if they were of another Species. As all Mortals have naturally an Aversion to Trouble and Painstaking, so we are all fond of, and apt to over-value those Qualifications we have purchased at the Expence of our Ease and Quiet for Years together. Those who spent a great part of their Youth in learning to Read, Write and Cypher, expect and not unjustly to be em-Edition: orig; Page: [330]ploy’d where those Qualifications may be of use to them; the Generality of them will look upon downright Labour with the utmost Contempt, I mean Labour perform’d in the Service of others in the lowest Station of Life, and for the meanest Consideration. A Man who has had some Education, may follow Husbandry by Choice, and be diligent at the dirtiest and most laborious Work; but then the Concern must be his own, and Avarice, the Care of a Family, or some other pressing Motive must put him upon it; but he won’t make a good Hireling and serve a Farmer for a pitiful Reward; at least he is not so fit for it as a Day-Labourer that has always been employ’d about the Plough and Dung Cart, and remembers not that ever he has lived otherwise.

When Obsequiousness and mean Services are required, we shall always observe that they are never so chearfully nor so heartily perform’d as from Inferiors to Superiors; I mean Inferiors not only in Riches and Quality, but likewise in Knowledge and Understanding. A Servant a can have no unfeign’d Respect for his Master, as soon as he has Sense enough to find out that he serves a Fool. When we are to learn or to Edition: current; Page: [290] obey, we shall experience in our selves, that the greater Opinion we have of the Wisdom and Capacity of those that are either to Teach or Command us, the greater Deference we pay to their Laws and Instructions. No Creatures submit contentedly to their Equals, Edition: orig; Page: [331]and should a Horse know as much as a Man, I should not desire to be his Rider.

Here I am obliged again to make a Digression, tho’ I declare Ia never had a less Mind to it than I have at this Minute; but I see a thousand Rods in Piss,1 and the whole Posse of diminutive Pedants against me for assaulting the Christ-cross-row,2 and opposing the very Elements of Literature.

This is no Panick Fear, and the Reader will not imagine my Apprehensions ill grounded, if he considers what an Army of petty Tyrants I have to cope with, that all either actually persecute with Birch or else are solliciting for such a Preferment. For if I had no other Adversaries than the starving Wretches of both Sexes, throughout the Kingdom of Great Britain, that from a natural Antipathy to Working, have a great Dislike to their present Employment, and perceiving within a much stronger Inclination to command than ever they felt to obey others, think themselves qualify’d, and wish from their Hearts to be Masters and Mistresses of Charity-Schools, the Number of my Enemies would by the most modest Computation amount to one hundred thousand at least.

Methinksb I hear them cry out that a more dangerous Doctrine never was broach’d, and Popery’s a Fool to it, and ask what Brute of a Saracen it is that draws his ugly Weapon for the Destruction of Learning. It is ten to one but they’ll indict me for endeavouring by In-Edition: orig; Page: [332]stigation of the Prince of Darkness, to introduce into these Realms greater Ignorance and Barbarity Edition: current; Page: [291] than ever Nation was plunged into by Goths and Vandals since the Light of the Gospel first appeared in the World. Whoever labours under the Publick Odium has always Crimes laid to his Charge he never was guilty of, and it will be suspected that I have had a hand in obliterating the Holy Scriptures, and perhaps affirm’d that it was at my Request that the small Bibles publish’d by Patent in the Year 1721, and chiefly made use of in Charity-Schools, were through badness of Print and Paper render’d illegible; which yet I protest I am as innocent of as the Child unborn. But I am in a thousand Fears; the more I consider my Case the worse I like it, and the greatest Comfort I have is in my sincere Belief, that hardly any body will mind a Word of what I say; or else if ever the People suspected that what I write would be of any weight to any considerable part of the Society, I should not have the Courage barely to think on all the Trades I should disoblige; and I cannot but smile when I reflect on the Variety of uncouth Sufferings that would be prepar’d for me, if the Punishment they would differently inflict upon me was emblematically to point at my Crime. For if I was not suddenly stuck full of useless Penknifes up to the Hilts, the Company of Stationers would certainly take me in hand and either have me buried alive in their Hall under a great Heap of Primers and Spel-Edition: orig; Page: [333]ling-Books, they would not be able to sell; or else send me up against Tide to be bruised to Death in a Paper Mill that would be obliged to stand still a Week upon my Account. The Ink-makers at the same time would for the Publick Good offer to choke me with Astringents, or drown me in the black Liquor that would be left upon their Hands; which, if they join’d stock, might easily be perform’d in less than a Month; and if I should escape the Cruelty of these united Bodies, the Resentment of a private Monopolist would be as fatal to me, and I should soon find my self pelted and Edition: current; Page: [292] knock’d o’ th’ Head with little squat Bibles clasp’d in Brass and ready arm’d for Mischief, that, Charitable Learning ceasing, would be fit for nothing but unopen’d to fight with, and Exercises truly Polemick.1

The Digression I spoke of just now is not the foolish Trifle that ended with the last Paragraph, and which the grave Critick, to whom all Mirth is unseasonable, will think very impertinent; but a serious Apologetical one I am going to make out of hand, to clear my self from having any Design against Arts and Sciences, as some Heads of Colleges and other careful Preservers of human Learning might have apprehended upon seeing Ignorance recommended as a necessary Ingredient in the Mixture of Civil Society.

Edition: orig; Page: [334]In the first place I would have near double the number of Professors in every University of what there is now. Theology with us is generally well provided, but the two other Faculties have very little to boast of, especially Physick.2 Every Branch of that Art ought to have two or three Professors, that would take Pains to communicate their Skill and Knowledge to others. In publick Lectures a vain Man has great Edition: current; Page: [293] Opportunities to set off his Parts, but private Instructions are more useful to Students. Pharmacy and the Knowledge of the Simples are as necessary as Anatomy or the History of Diseases: It is a shame that when Men have taken their Degree, and are by Authority intrusted with the Lives of the Subject, they should be forc’d to come to London to be acquainted with the Materia Medica and the Composition of Medicines, and receive Instructions from others that never had University Education themselves; it is certain that in the City I named there is ten times more Opportunity for a Man to improve himself in Anatomy, Botany, Pharmacy, and the Practice of Physick, than at botha Universities together. What has an Oil-shop to do with Silks; or who would look for Hams and Pickles at a Mercer’s? Where things are well managed, Hospitals are made as subservient to the Advancement of Students in the Art of Physick as they are to the recovery of Health in the Poor.

Edition: orig; Page: [335]Good Sense ought to govern Men in Learning as well as in Trade: No Man ever bound his Son ’Prentice to a Goldsmith to make him a Linen-draper; then why should he have a Divine for his Tutor to become a Lawyer or a Physician? It is true, that the Languages, Logick and Philosophy should be the first Studies in all the Learned Professions; but there is so little Help for Physick in our Universities that are so rich, and where so many idle People are well paid for eating and drinking, and being magnificently as well as commodiously lodg’d, that bar Books and what is common to all the Three Faculties, a Man may as well qualify himself at Oxford or Cambridge to be a Turkey-Merchant as he can to be a Physician; Which is in my humble Opinion a great sign that some part of the great Wealth they are possessed of is not so well applied as it might be.

Professors should, besides their Stipends allowed ’emb Edition: current; Page: [294] by the Publick, have Gratifications from every Student they teach, that Self-Interest as well as Emulation and the Love of Glory might spur them on to Labour and Assiduity. When a Man excels in any one Study or part of Learning, and is qualify’d to teach others, he ought to be procur’d if Money will purchase him, without regarding what Party, or indeed what Country or Nation he is of, whether Black or White. Universities should be publick Marts for all manner of Literature, as your Annual Fairs, that are kept at Leipsick, Francfort, and Edition: orig; Page: [336]other Places in Germany, are for different Wares and Merchandizes, where no difference is made between Natives and Foreigners, and which Men resort to from all Parts of the World with equal Freedom and equal Privilege.

From paying the Gratifications I spoke of I would excuse all Students design’d for the Ministry of the Gospel. There is no Faculty so immediately necessary to the Government of a Nation as that of Theology, and as we ought to have great Numbers of Divines for the Service of this Island, I would not have the meaner People discouraged from bringing up their Children to that Function. For tho’ wealthy Men, if they have many Sons, sometimes make one of them a Clergyman, as we see even Persons of Quality take up Holy Orders, and there are likewise People of good Sense, especially Divines, that from a Principle of Prudence bring up their Children to that Profession, when they are morally assured that they have Friends or Interest enough, and shall be able either by a good Fellowship at the University, Advowsons or other Means to procure ’em a Livelihood: But these produce not the large Number of Divines that are yearly Ordain’d, and for the Bulk of the Clergy we are indebted to another Original.

Among the midling People of all Trades there are Bigots who have a superstitious Awe for a Gown and Cassock: of these there are Multitudes that feel an Edition: current; Page: [295] ardent Desire of having a Son Edition: orig; Page: [337]promoted to the Ministry of the Gospel, without considering what is to become of them afterwards; and many a kind Mother in this Kingdom, without consulting her own Circumstances or her Child’s Capacity, transported with this laudable Wish, is daily feasting on this pleasing Thought, and often before her Son is twelve Years old, mixing Maternal Love with Devotion, throws herself into Ecstasies and Tears of Satisfaction, by reflecting on the future Enjoyment she is to receive from seeing him stand in a Pulpit, and with her own Ears hearing him preach the Word of God. It is to this Religious Zeal, or at least the Human Frailties that pass for and represent it, that we owe the great plenty of poor Scholars the Nation enjoys. For considering the inequality of Livings, and the smallness of Benefices up and down the Kingdom, without this happy Disposition in Parents of small Fortune, we could not possibly be furnished from any other Quarter with proper Persons for the Ministry, to attend all the Cures of Souls, so pitifully provided for, that no Mortal could live upon them that had been educated in any tolerable Plenty, unless he was possessed of real Virtue, which it is Foolish and indeed Injurious, we should more expect from the Clergy than we generally find it in the Laity.1

The great Care I would take to promote that part of Learning which is more immediately useful to Society, should not make me neglect Edition: orig; Page: [338]the more Curious and Polite, but all the Liberal Arts and every Branch of Literature should be encouraged throughout the Kingdom, more than they are, if my wishing could do it. In every County there should be one or more large Schools erected at the Publick Charge for Latin and Greek, that should be divided into six or more Classes, with particular Masters in each of them. The whole should be under the Care and Inspection Edition: current; Page: [296] of some Men of Letters in Authority, who would not only be Titular Governors, but actually take pains at least twice a Year, in hearing every Class thoroughly examin’d by the Master of it, and not content themselves with judging of the Progress the Scholars had made from Themes and other Exercises that had been made out of their Sight.

At the same time I would discouragea and hinder the multiplicity of those petty Schools, that never would have had any Existence had the Masters of them not been extremely indigent. It is a Vulgar Error that no body can spell or write English well without a little smatch of Latin. This is upheld by Pedants for their own Interest, and by none more strenuously maintained than such of ’emb as are poor Scholars in more than one Sense; in the mean time it is an abominable Falshood. I have known, and am still acquainted with several, and some of the Fair Sex, that never learn’d any Latin, and yet keep to strict Orthography, and write admirable good Sense;1 whereasc on the other hand every Edition: orig; Page: [339]body may meet with the Scriblings of pretended Scholars, at leastd such as went to a Grammar School for several Years, that have Grammar Faults and are ill-spelt. The understanding of Latin thoroughly is highly necessary to all that are designed for any of the Learned Professions, and I would have no Gentleman without Literature; even those who are to be brought up Attorneys, Surgeons and Apothecaries, should be much better vers’d in that Language than generally they are; but to Youth who afterwards Edition: current; Page: [297] are to get a Livelihood in Trades and Callings in which Latin is not daily wanted, it is of no Use, and the learning of it an evident Loss of just so much Time and Money as are bestowed upon it.1 When Men come into Business, what was taught them of it in those petty Schools is either soon forgot, or only fit to make them impertinent, and often very troublesome in Company. Few Men can forbear valuing themselves on any Knowledge they had once acquired, even after they have lost it; and unless they are very modest and discreet, the undigested scraps which such People commonly remember of Latin, seldom fail of rendring them at one time or other ridiculous to those who understand it.

Reading and Writing I would Treat as we do Musick and Dancing, I would not hinder them nor force them upon the Society: As long as there was any thing to be got by them, there would be Masters enough to Teach them; but Edition: orig; Page: [340]nothing should be taught for nothing but at Church: And here I would exclude even those who might be designed for the Ministry of the Gospel; for if Parents are so miserably Poor that they can’t afford their Children these first Elements of Learning, it is Impudence in them to aspire any further.

It wou’d Encourage likewise the lower sort of People to give their Children this part of Education, if they could see them preferred to those of idle Sots or sorry Rake-hells, that never knew what it was to provide a Rag for their Brats but by Begging. But now when a Boy or a Girl are wanted for any small Edition: current; Page: [298] Service, we reckon it a Duty to employ our Charity Children before any other. The Education of them looks like a Reward for being Vicious and Unactive, a Benefit commonly bestow’d on Parents, who deserve to be punished for shamefully neglecting their Families. In one Place you may hear a Rascal Half-drunk, Damning himself, call for the othera Pot, and as a good Reason for it add, that his Boy is provided for in Clothes and has his Schooling for nothing: In another you shall see a poor Woman in great Necessity, whose Child is to be taken care of, because herself is a Lazy Slut, and never did any thing to remedy her Wants in good earnest, but bewailing them at a Jinshop.

If every Body’s Children are well taught, who by their own Industry can Educate them at our Universities, there will be Men of Learn-Edition: orig; Page: [341]ing enough to supply this Nation and such another; and Reading, Writing or Arithmetick, would never be wanting in the Business that requires them, tho’ none were to learn them but such whose Parents could be at the Charge of it. It is not with Letters as it is with the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, that they may not be purchased with Money; and bought Wit, if we believe the Proverb, is none of the Worst.

I thought it necessary to say thus much of Learning, to obviate the Clamours of the Enemies to Truth and fair Dealing, who had I not so amply explained my self on this Head, wou’d have represented me as a Mortal Foe to all Literature and useful Knowledge, and a wicked Advocate for universal Ignorance and Stupidity. I shall now make good my Promise of answering what I knowb the Well-wishers to Charity-Schools would object against me, by saying that they brought up thec Children under their care to Warrantable and Laborious Trades, and not to Idleness as I did insinuate.

Edition: current; Page: [299]

I have sufficiently shew’d already, why going to School was Idleness if compar’d to Working, and exploded this sort of Education in the Children of the Poor, because it Incapacitates them ever after for downright Labour, which is their proper Province, and in every Civil Society a Portion they ought not to repine or grumble at, if exacted from them with Discretion and Humanity. What remains is that I should speak as to their putting them out to Trades, Edition: orig; Page: [342]which I shall endeavour to demonstrate to be destructive to the Harmony of a Nation, and an impertinent intermeddling with what few of these Governors know any thing of.

In order to this let us examine into the Nature of Societies, and what the Compound ought to consist of, if we would raise it to as high a degree of Strength, Beauty and Perfection, as the Ground we are to do it upon will let us. The Variety of Services that are required to supply the Luxurious and Wanton Desires as well as real Necessities of Man, with all their subordinate Callings, is in such a Nation as ours prodigious; yet it is certain that, tho’ the number of those several Occupations be excessively great, it is far from being infinite; if you add one more than is required it must be superfluous. If a Man had a good Stock and the best Shop in Cheapside to sell Turbants in, he wou’d be ruin’d, and if Demetrius or any other Silversmith made nothing but Diana’s Shrines,1 he would not get his Bread, now the Worship of that Goddess is out of Fashion. As it is Folly to set up Trades that are not wanted, so what is next to it is to increase in any one Trade the Numbers beyond what are required. As things are managed with us, it would be preposterous to have as many Brewers as there are Bakers, or as many Woollen-drapers as there are Shoe-makers. This Proportion as to Numbers Edition: current; Page: [300] in every Trade finds it self, and is never better kept than when no body meddles or interferes with it.1

Edition: orig; Page: [343]People that have Children to educate that must get their Livelihood, are always consulting and deliberating what Trade or Calling they are to bring them up to, ’till they are fix’d; and Thousands think on this that hardly think at all on any thing else. First they confine themselves to their Circumstances, and he that can give but ten Pounds with his Son must not look out for a Trade where they ask an hundred with an Apprentice; but the next they think on is always which will be the most advantageous; if there be a Calling where at that time People are more generally employ’d than they are in any other in the same Reach, there are presently half a score Fathers ready to supply it with their Sons. Therefore the greatest Care most Companies have is about the Regulation of the Number of Prentices. Now when all Trades complain, and perhaps justly, that they are overstocked, you manifestly injure that Trade, to which you add one Member more than wou’d flow from the Nature of Society. Besides that the Governors of Charity-Schools don’t deliberate so much what Trade is the best, but what Tradesmen they can get that will take the Boys, with such a Sum; and few Men of Substance and Experience will have any thing to do with these Children; they are afraid of aa hundred Inconveniences from the necessitous Parents of them: So that they are bound, at least most commonly, either to Sots and neglectfulb Masters, or else such as are very needy and don’t Edition: orig; Page: [344]care what becomes of their Prentices, after they have received the Money; by which it seems as if we study’d nothing more than to have a perpetual Nursery for Charity-Schools.

When all Trades and Handicrafts are overstock’d, it Edition: current; Page: [301] is a certain sign there is a Fault in the Management of the Whole; for it is impossible there should be too many People if the Country is able to feed them. Are Provisions dear? Whose Fault is that, as long as you have Ground untill’d and Hands unemploy’d? But I shall be answer’d, that to increase Plenty, must at long run undo the Farmer or lessen the Rents all over England. To which I reply, that what the Husbandman complains of most is what I would redress: The greatest Grievance of Farmers, Gardeners and others, where hard Labour is required, and dirty Work to be done, is, that they can’t get Servants for the same Wages they used to have them at. The Day-Labourer grumbles at sixteen Pence to do no other Drudgery than what Thirty Years ago his Grandfather did chearfully for half the Money.1 As to the Rents, it is impossible they should fall while you increase your Numbers, but the Price of Provisions and all Labour in general must fall with them if not before; and a Man of a Hundred and Fifty Pounds a Year, has no Reason to complain that his Income is reduced to One Hundred, if he can buy as much for that One Hundred as before he could have done for Two.

Edition: orig; Page: [345]There is no Intrinsick Worth in Money but what is alterable with the Times,2 and whether a Guinea goes for Twenty Pounds or for a Shilling, it is (as I have already hinted before) the Labour of the Poor, and not the high and low value that is set on Gold or Silver, which all the Comforts of Life must arise from. It is in our Power to have a much greater Plenty than we enjoy, if Agriculture and Fishery were taken care of, as they might be; but we are so little capable of increasing our Labour, that we have hardly Edition: current; Page: [302] Poor enough to do what is necessary to make us subsist. The Proportion of the Society is spoil’d, and the Bulk of the Nation, which should every where consist of Labouring Poor, that are unacquainted with every thing but their Work, is too little for the other parts. In all Business where downright Labour is shun’d or over-paid, there is plenty of People. To one Merchant you have ten Book-keepers, or at least Pretenders; and every where in the Country the Farmer wants Hands. Ask for a Footman that for some Time has been in Gentlemen’s Families, and you’ll get a dozen that are all Butlers. You may have Chamber-maids by the Score, but you can’t get a Cook under extravagant Wages.

No Body will do the dirty slavish Work, that can help it. I don’t discommend them; but all these things shew that the People of the meanest Rack know too much to be serviceable to us. Servants require more than Masters Edition: orig; Page: [346]and Mistresses can afford, and what madness is it to encourage them in this, by industriously increasing at our Cost that Knowledge which they will be sure to make us pay for over again! And it is not only that those who are educated at our own Expence incroach upon us, but the raw ignorant Country Wenches and Boobily Fellows that can do, and are good for, nothing, impose upon us likewise. The scarcity of Servants occasion’d by the Education of the first, gives a Handle to the latter of advancing their Price, and demanding what ought only to be given to Servants that understand their Business, and have most of the good Qualities that can be required in them.

There is no Place in the World where there are more clever Fellows to look at or to do an Errand than some of our Footmen; but what are they good for in the main? The greatest part of them are Rogues and not to be trusted; and if they are Honest half of them are Sots, and will get Drunk three or four Edition: current; Page: [303] times a Weak. The surly ones are generally Quarrelsome, and valuing their Manhood beyond all other Considerations, care not what Clothes they spoil, or what Disappointments they may occasion, when their Prowess is in Question. Those who are good-natur’d, are generally sad Whore-masters that are ever running after the Wenches, and spoil all the Maid-Servants they come near. Many of them are Guilty of all these Vices, Whoring, Drinking, Quarreling, and yet shall Edition: orig; Page: [347]have all their Faults overlook’d and bore with, because they are Men of good Mien and humble Address that know how to wait on Gentlemen; which is an unpardonable Folly in Masters and generally ends in the Ruin of Servants.

Some few there are that are not addicteda to any of these Failings, and understand their Duty besides; but as these are Rarities, so there is not one in Fifty but what over-rates himself; his Wages must be extravagant, and you can never have done giving him; every thing in the House is his Perquisite, and he won’t stay with you unless his Vails are sufficient to maintain a midling Family; and tho’ you had taken him from the Dunghil, out of an Hospital, or a Prison, you shall never keep him longer than he can make of his Place what in his high Estimation of himself he shall think he deserves; nay, the best and most civiliz’d, that never were Saucy andb Impertinent, will leave the most indulgent Master, and, to get handsomely away, frame fifty Excuses, and tell downright Lies, as soon as they can mend themselves. A Man, who keeps an Half-Crown or Twelve-penny Ordinary,1 looks not more for Money from his Customers than a Footman does from every Guest that Dines or Sups with his Master; and I question whether the one does not often think a Shilling or Half a Crown, according to the Quality of the Person, his due as much as the other.

Edition: current; Page: [304]

Edition: orig; Page: [348]A Housekeeper who cannot afford to make many Entertainments, and does not often invite People to his Table, can have no creditable Man-Servant, and is forc’d to take up with some Country Booby or other Aukward Fellow, who will likewise give him the Slip as soon as he imagines himself fit for any other Service, and is made wiser by his rascally Companions. All noted Eating-Houses and Places that many Gentlemen resort to for Diversion or Business, more especially the Precincts of Westminster-hall, are the great Schools for Servants, where the dullest Fellows may have their Understandings improved; and get rid at once of their Stupidity and their Innocence. They are the Academies for Footmen, where Publick Lectures are daily read on all Sciences of low Debauchery by the experienc’d Professors of them, and Students are instructed in above Seven Hundred illiberal Arts, how to Cheat, Impose upon, and find out the blind side of their Masters, with so much Application, that in few Years they become Graduates in Iniquity. Young Gentlemen and others that are not thoroughly vers’d in the World, when they get such knowing Sharpers in their Service, are commonly indulging above measure; and for fear of discovering their want of Experience hardly dare to contradict or deny them any thing, which is often the Reason that by allowing them unreasonable Privileges they expose their Ignorance when they are most endeavouring to conceal it.

Edition: orig; Page: [349]Some perhaps will lay the things I complain of to the charge of Luxury, of which I said that it could do no hurt to a rich Nation, if the Imports never did exceed the Exports;1 but I don’t think this Imputation Just, and nothing ought to be scored on the Account of Luxury, that is downright the Effect of Folly. A Man may be very extravagant in indulging his Ease and his Pleasure, and render the Enjoyment Edition: current; Page: [305] of the World as Operose and Expensive as they can be made, if he can afford it, and at the same time shew his good Sense in every thing about him: This he cannot be said to do if he industriously renders his People incapable of doing him that Service he expects from them. ’Tis too much Money, excessive Wages, and unreasonable Vails that spoil Servants in England. A Man may have Five and Twenty Horses in his Stables without being guilty of Folly, if it suits with the rest of his Circumstances, but if he keeps but one, and overfeeds it to shew his Wealth, he is a Fool for his Pains. Is it not Madness to suffer that Servants should take three and others five per Cent. of what they pay to Tradesmen for their Masters, as is so well known to Watchmakers and others that sell Toys, superfluous Nicknacks, and other Curiosities, if they deal with People of Quality and Fashionable Gentlemen that are above telling their own Money? If they should accept of a Present when offer’d, it might be conniv’d at, but it is an unpardonable Impudence that they should Edition: orig; Page: [350]claim it as their due, and contend for it if refused. Those who have all the Necessaries of Life provided for, can have no occasion for Money but what does them hurt as Servants, unless they were to hoard it up for Age or Sickness, which among our Skip-kennels1 is not very common, and even then it makes them Saucy and Insupportable.

I am credibly inform’d that a parcel of Footmen are arriv’d to that height of Insolence as to have enter’d into a Society together, and made Laws by which they oblige themselves not to serve for less than such a Sum, nor carry Burdens or any Bundle or Parcel above a certain Weight, not exceeding Two or Three Pounds, with other Regulations directly opposite to the Interest of those they Serve, and altogether Edition: current; Page: [306] destructive to the Use they were design’d for. If any of them be turn’d away for strictly adhering to the Orders of this Honourable Corporation, he is taken care of till another Service is provided for him, and there is no Money wanting at any time to commence and maintain a Law-suit against any Master that shall pretend to strike or offer any other Injury to his Gentleman Footman, contrary to the Statutes of their Society. If this be true, as I have reason to believe it is, and they are suffer’d to go on in consulting and providing for their own Ease and Conveniency any further, we may expect quickly to see the French Comedy Le Maitre le Valet1 acted in good earnest in most Families, which Edition: orig; Page: [351]if not redress’d in a little time, and those Footmen increase their Company to the Number it is possible they may, as well as assemble when they please with Impunity, it will be in their Power to make a Tragedy of it whenever they have a mind to’t.a

But suppose those Apprehensions frivolous and groundless, it is undeniable that Servants in general are daily incroaching upon Masters and Mistresses, and endeavouring to be more upon the Level with them. They not only seem sollicitous to abolish the low Dignity of their Condition, but have already considerably rais’d it in the common Estimation from the Original Meanness which the publick Welfare requires it should always remain in. I don’t say that these things are altogether owing to Charity-Schools, there are other Evils they may be partly ascrib’d to. London is too big for the Country, and in several Respects we are wanting to our selves. But if a thousand Faults Edition: current; Page: [307] were to concur before the Inconveniences could be produced we labour under, can any Man doubt who will consider what I have said, that Charity-Schools are Accessary, or at least that they are more likely to Create and Increase than to lessen or redress those Complaints?

The only thing of Weight then that can be said in their behalf is, that so many Thousand Children are Educated by them in the Christian Faith and the Principles of the Church of England. To demonstrate that this is not a suffici-Edition: orig; Page: [352]ent Plea for them, I must desire the Reader, as I hate Repetitions, to look back on what I have said before, to which I shall add, that whatever is necessary to Salvation and requisite for Poor Labouring People to know concerning Religion, that Children learn at School, may fully as well either by Preaching or Catechizing be taught at Church from which or some other Place of Worship I would not have the meanest of a Parish that is able to walk to it be absent on Sundays. It is the Sabbath, the most useful Day in seven, that is set apart for Divine Service and Religious Exercise as well as resting from Bodily Labour, and it is a Duty incumbent on all Magistrates to take particular Care of that Day. The Poor more especially and their Children should be made to go to Church on it both in the Fore and Afternoon, because they have no Time on any other. By Precept and Example they ought to be encouraged and used to it from their very Infancy; the wilful Neglect of it ought to be counted Scandalous, and if downright Compulsion to what I urge might seem too Harsh and perhaps Impracticable, all Diversions at least ought strictly to be prohibited, and the Poor hindred from every Amusement Abroad that might allure or draw them from it.

Where this Care is taken by the Magistrates as far as it lies in their Power, Ministers of the Gospel may instil into the smallest Capacities, more Piety and Edition: current; Page: [308] Devotion, and better Principles Edition: orig; Page: [353]of Virtue and Religion than Charity-Schools ever did or ever will produce, and those who complain, when they have such Opportunities, that they cannot imbue their Parishioners with sufficient Knowledge of what they stand in need of as Christians, without the assistance of Reading and Writing, are either very lazy or very Ignorant and Undeserving themselves.

That the most Knowing are not the most Religious, will be evident if we make a Trial between People of different Abilities even in this Juncture, where going to Church is not made such an Obligation on the Poor and Illiterate, as it might be. Let us pitch upon a hundred Poor Men, the first we can light on, that are above forty, and were brought up to hard Labour from their Infancy, such as never went to School at all, and always lived remote from Knowledge and great Towns: Let us compare to these an equal number of very good Scholars, that shall all have had University Education; and be, if you will, half of them Divines, well versed in Philology and Polemick Learning; then let us impartially examine into the Lives and Conversations of both, and I dare engage that among the first who can neither Read nor Write, we shall meet with more Union and Neighbourly Love, less Wickedness and Attachment to the World, more Content of Mind, more Innocence, Sincerity, and other good Qualities that conduce to the Publick Peace and real Felicity, than we shall find among the latter, where on the contrary, Edition: orig; Page: [354]we may be assured of the height of Pride and Insolence, eternal Quarrels and Dissensions, Irreconcilable Hatreds, Strife, Envy, Calumny and other Vices destructive to mutual Concord, which the illiterate labouring Poor are hardly ever tainted with to any considerable Degree.

I am very well persuaded, that what I have said in the last Paragraph will be no News to most of my Edition: current; Page: [309] Readers; but if it be Truth, why should it be stifled, and why must our concern for Religion be eternally made a Cloke to hide our real Drifts and worldly Intentions? Would both Parties agree to pull off the Masque, we should soon discover that whatever they pretend to, they aim at nothing so much in Charity-Schools, as to strengthen their Party, and that the great Sticklers for the Church, by Educating Children in the Principles of Religion, mean inspiring them with a Superlative Veneration for the Clergy of the Church of England, and a strong Aversion and immortal Animosity against all that dissent from it. To be assured of this, we are but to mind on the one hand, what Divines are most admired for their Charity Sermons and most fond to Preach them;1 and on the other, whether of late Years we have had any Riots or Party Scuffles among the Mob, in which the Youth of a famous Hospital in this City were not always the most forward Ring-leaders.

The Grand Asserters of Liberty, who are ever guarding themselves and Skirmishing against Edition: orig; Page: [355]Arbitrary Power, often when they are in no danger of it, are generally speaking, not very superstitious, nor seem to lay great stress on any Modern Apostleship: Yet some of these likewise speak up loudly for Charity-Schools, but what they expect from ’ema has no relation to Religion or Morality: They only look upon them as the proper means to destroy and disappoint the power of the Priests over the Laity. Reading and Writing increase Knowledge, and the more Men Edition: current; Page: [310] know, the better they can Judge for themselves, and they imagine that, if Knowledge could be rendered Universal, People could not be Priest-rid, which is the thing they fear the most.

The First, I confess, it is very probable will get their Aim. But sure wise Men that are not Red-hot for a Party, or Bigots to the Priests, will not think it worth while to suffer so many Inconveniences, as Charity-Schools may be the Occasion of, only to promote the Ambition and Power of the Clergy. To the other I would answer, that if all those who are Educated at the Charge of their Parents or Relations, will but think for themselves and refuse to have their Reason imposed upon by the Priests, we need not be concerned for what the Clergy will work upon the Ignorant that have no Education at all. Let them make the most of them: considering the Schools we have for those who can and do pay for Learning, it is ridiculous to imagine that the abolishing of Charity-Schools would be a step towards Edition: orig; Page: [356]any Ignorance that could be prejudicial to the Nation.

I would not be thought Cruel, and am well assured if I know any thing of myself, that I abhor Inhumanity; but to be compassionate to excess where Reason forbids it, and the general Interest of the Society requires steadiness of Thought and Resolution, is an unpardonable Weakness. I know it will be ever urged against me, that it is Barbarous the Children of the Poor should have no Opportunity of exerting themselves, as long as God has not debarr’d them from Natural Parts and Genius more than the Rich. But I cannot think this is harder, than it is that they should not have Money as long as they have the same Inclinations to spend as others. That great and useful Men have sprung from Hospitals, I don’t deny; but it is likewise very probable, that when they were first employ’d, many as capable as themselves not brought up in Hospitals were neglected, that with the same good Edition: current; Page: [311] fortune would have done as well as they, if they had been made use of instead of thema.

There are many Examples of Women that have excelled in Learning, and even in War, but this is no reason we should bring ’emb all up to Latin and Greek or else Military Discipline, instead of Needle-work and Housewifery. But there is no scarcity of Sprightliness or Natural Parts among us, and no Soil or Climate has Human Creatures to boast of better formed Edition: orig; Page: [357]either inside or outside than this Island generally produces. But it is not Wit, Genius or Docility we want, but Diligence, Application, and Assiduity.

Abundance of hard and dirty Labour is to be done, and coarse Living is to be complied with: Where shall we find a better Nursery for these Necessities than the Children of the Poor? none certainly are nearer to it or fitter for it. Besides that the things I calledc Hardships, neither seem nor are such to those whod have been brought up to ’eme, and know no better. There is not a more contented People among us, than those who work the hardest and are the least acquainted with the Pomp and Delicacies of the World.

These are Truths that are undeniable; yet I know few People will be pleased to have them divulged; what makes them odious is an unreasonable Vein of Petty Reverence for the Poor, that runs through most Multitudes, and more particularly in this Nation, and arises from a mixture of Pity, Folly and Superstition. It is from a lively Sense of this Compound that Men cannot endure to hear or see any thing said or acted against the Poor; without considering, how Just the one, or Insolent the other. So a Beggar must not be beat tho’ he strikes you first. Journeymen Tailors go to Law with their Masters and are obstinate in a wrong Edition: current; Page: [312] Cause,1 yet they must be pitied; and murmuring Weavers must be relieved, and have fifty silly things Edition: orig; Page: [358]done to humour them, tho’ in the midst of their Poverty they insult their Betters, and on all Occasions appear to be more prone to make Holy-days and Riots than they are to Working or Sobriety.

This puts me in mind of our Wool, which considering the posture of our Affairs, and the Behaviour of the Poor, I sincerely believe ought not upon any Account to be carried Abroad: But if we look into the reason, why suffering it to be fetched away is so pernicious, our heavy Complaint and Lamentations that it is exported can be no great Credit to us. Considering the mighty and manifold Hazards that must be run before it can be got off the Coast, and safely landed beyond Sea; it is manifest that the Foreigners, before they can work our Wool, must pay more for it very considerably, than what we can have it for at Home. Yet notwithstanding this great difference in the Prime Cost, they can afford to sell the Manufactures made of it cheaper at Foreign Markets than ourselves.2 This is the Disaster we grone under, the Edition: current; Page: [313] intolerable Mischief, without which the Exportation of that Commodity could be no greater prejudice to us than that of Tin or Lead, as long as our Hands were fully employed, and we had still Wool to spare.

There is no People yet come to higher Perfection in the Woollen Manufacture, either as to dispatch or goodness of Work, at least in the most considerable Branches, than ourselves, Edition: orig; Page: [359]and therefore what we complain of can only depend on the difference in the Management of the Poor, between other Nations and ours. If the labouring People in one Country will work Twelve Hours in a Day, and six Days in a Week, and in another they are employ’d but Eight Hours in a Day, and not above Four Days in a Week, the one is obliged to have Nine Hands for what the other does with Four. But if moreover the Living, the Food and Raiment, and what is consumed by the Workmen of the Industrious costs but half the Money of what is expended among an equal Number of the other, the Consequence must be that the first will have the Work of Eighteen Men for the same Price as the other gives for the Work of Four. I would not insinuate, neither do I think, that the difference either in diligence or necessaries of Life between us and any Neighbouring Nation is near so great as what I speak of, yet I would have it considered, that half of that difference and much less is sufficient to over-balance the Disadvantage they labour under as to the Price of Wool.

Nothing to me is more evident than that no Nation in any Manufacturea whatever can undersell their Neighbours with whom they are at best but Equals Edition: current; Page: [314] as to Skill and Dispatch, and the conveniency for Working, more especially when the Prime Cost of the thing to be Manufactured is not in their favour, unless they have Provisions, and whatever is relating Edition: orig; Page: [360]to their Sustenance cheaper, or else Workmen that are either more Assiduous, and will remain longer at their Work, or be content with a meaner and coarser way of Living than those of their Neighbours. This is certain, that where Numbers are equal, the more laborious People are, and the fewer Hands the same Quantity of Work is perform’d by, the greater Plenty there is in a Country of the Necessaries for Life, the more considerable and the cheaper that Country may render its Exports.

It being granted then, that abundance of Work is to be done, the next thing which I think to be likewise undeniable is, that the more chearfully it is done the better, as well for those that perform it as for the rest of the Society. To be happy is to be pleas’d, and the less Notion a Man has of a better way of Living, the more content he’ll be with his own; and on the other hand, the greater a Man’s Knowledge and Experience is in the World, the more exquisite the Delicacy of his Taste, and the more consummate Judge he is of things in general, certainly the more difficult it will be to please him. I would not advance any thing that is Barbarous or Inhuman: But when a Man enjoys himself, Laughs and Sings, and in his Gesture and Behaviour shews me all the tokens of Content and Satisfaction, I pronounce him happy, and have nothing to do with his Wit or Capacity. I never enter into the Reasonableness of his Mirth, at Edition: orig; Page: [361]least I ought not to judge of it by my own Standard, and argue from the Effect which the thing that makes him merry would have upon me. At that rate a Man that hates Cheese must call me Fool for loving blue Mold.1 De gustibus non est disputandum2 is as true Edition: current; Page: [315] in a Metaphorical as it is in the Literal Sense, and the greater the distance is between People as to their Condition, their Circumstances and manner of Living, the less capable they are of judging of one anothers Troubles or Pleasures.1

Had the meanest and most unciviliz’d Peasant leave Incognito to observe the greatest King for a Fortnight; tho’ he might pick out several Things he would like for himself, yet he would find a great many more, which, if the Monarch and he were to change Conditions, he would wish for his part to have immediately alter’d or redress’d, and which with Amazement he sees the King submit to. And again if the Sovereign was to examine the Peasant in the same manner, his Labour would be insufferable, the Dirt and Squalor, his Diet and Amours, his Pastimes and Recreations would be all abominable; but then what Charms would he find in the other’s Peace of Mind, the Calmness Edition: current; Page: [316] and Tranquillity of his Soul? No Necessity for Dissimulation with any of his Family, or feign’d Affection to his Mortal Enemies; no Wife in a Foreign Interest, no Danger to apprehend from his Children; no Plots to unravel, no Poison to fear; no popular Statesman at Home or cunning Edition: orig; Page: [362]Courts abroad to manage; no seeming Patriots to bribe; no unsatiable Favourite to gratify; no selfish Ministry to obey; no divided Nation to please, or fickle Mob to humour, that would direct and interfere with his Pleasures.

Was impartial Reason to be Judge between real Good and real Evil, and a Catalogue made accordingly of the several Delights and Vexations differently to be met with in both Stations, I question whether the Condition of Kings would be at all preferable to that of Peasants, even as Ignorant and Laborious as I seem to require the latter to be.1 The Reason why the generality of People would rather be Kings than Peasants is first owing to Pride and Ambition, that is deep]y riveted in human Nature, and which to gratify we daily see Men undergo and despise the greatest Hazards and Difficulties. Secondly, to the difference there is in the force with which our Affection is wrought upon as the Objects are either Material or Spiritual. Things that immediately strike our outward Senses act more violently upon our Passions than what is the result of Thought and the dictates of the most demonstrative Reason, and there is a much stronger Bias to gain our Liking or Aversion in the first than there is in the latter.

Having thus demonstrated that what I urge could be no Injury or the least diminution of Happiness to the Poor, I leave it to the judicious Reader, whether Edition: current; Page: [317] it is not more probable we should increase our Exports by the Methods Edition: orig; Page: [363]I hint at, than by sitting still and damning and sinking our Neighbours for beating us at our own Weapons; some of them out-selling us in Manufactures made of our own Product which they dearly purchas’d, others growing Rich in spite of Distance and Trouble, by the same Fish which we neglect, tho’ it is ready to jump into our Mouths.

As by discouraging Idleness with Art and Steadiness you may compel the Poor to labour without Force, so by bringing them up in Ignorance you may inure them to real Hardships without being ever sensible themselves that they are such. By bringing them up in Ignorance, I mean no more, as I have hinted long ago, than that as to Worldlya Affairs their Knowledge should be confin’d within the Verge of their own Occupations, at least that we should not take pains to extend it beyond those Limits. When by these two Engines we shall have made Provisions, and consequently labour cheap, we must infallibly out-sell our Neighbours; and at the same time increase our Numbers. This is the Noble and Manly way of encountring the Rivals of our Trade, and by dint of Merit out-doing them at Foreign Markets.

To allure the Poor we make use of Policy in some Cases with Success. Why should we be neglectful of it in the most important Point, when they make their boast that they will not live as the Poor of other Nations? If we cannot alter their Resolution, why should we applaud the Justness Edition: orig; Page: [364]of their Sentiments against the Common Interest? I have often wondred formerly how an Englishman, that pretended to have the Honour and Glory as well as the Welfare of his Country at Heart, could take delight in the Evening to hear an Idle Tenant that owed him above a Year’s Rent ridicule the French for wearing Wooden Shoes, when in the Morning he had had the Mortification of Edition: current; Page: [318] hearing the great King William that Ambitious Monarch as well as able Statesman, openly own to the World and with Grief and Anger in his Looks complain of the Exorbitant Power of France. Yet I don’t recommend Wooden Shoes, nor do the Maxims I would introduce require Arbitrary Power in one Person. Liberty and Property I hope may remain secured, and yet the Poor be better employ’d than they are, tho’ their Children should wear out their Clothes by useful Labour, and blacken them with Country Dirt for something, instead of tearing them off their Backs at play, and dawbing thema with Ink for nothing.

There is above three or four Hundred Years Work, for a Hundred Thousand Poor more than we have in this Island. To make every part of it Useful, and the whole thoroughly inhabited, many Rivers are to be made Navigable, Canals to be cut in Hundreds of Places. Some Lands are to be drain’d and secured from Inundations for the future: Abundance of barren Soil is to be made fertile, and thousands of Acres rendred more beneficial by being made more accessible. Edition: orig; Page: [365]Dii Laboribus omnia vendunt.1 There is no difficulty of this nature, that Labour and Patience cannot surmount. The highest Mountains may be thrown into their Valleys that stand ready to receive them, and Bridges might be laid where now we would not dare to think of it. Let us look back on the Stupendious Works of the Romans, more especially their Highways and Aqueducts. Let us consider in one view the vast Extent of several of their Roads, how substantial they made them, and what Duration they have been of, and in another a poor Traveller that at every Ten Miles end is stop’d by a Turnpike, Edition: current; Page: [319] and dunn’d for a Penny for mending the Roads in the Summer, with what every Body knows will be Dirt before the Winter that succeeds it is expired.

The Conveniency of the Publick ought ever to be the Publick Care, and no private Interest of a Town or a whole County should ever hinder the Execution of a Project or Contrivance that would manifestly tend to the Improvement of the whole; and every Member of the Legislature, who knows his Duty, and would choose rather to act like a wise Man, than curry Favour with his Neighbours, will prefer the least Benefit accruing to the whole Kingdom to the most visible Advantage of the Place he serves for.

We have Materials of our own, and want neither Stone nor Timber to do any thing, and was the Money that People give uncompell’d to Edition: orig; Page: [366]Beggars who don’t deserve it, and what every Housekeeper is oblig’d to pay to the Poor of his Parish that is otherwise employ’d or ill-applied, to be put together every Year, it would make a sufficient Fund to keep a great many Thousands at work. I don’t say this because I think it practicable, but only to shew that we have Money enough to spare to employ vast multitudes of Labourers; neither should we want so much for it as we perhaps might imagine. When it is taken for granted that a Soldier, whose Strength and Vigour is to be kept up at least as much as any Body’s, can live upon Six-Pence a Day, I can’t conceive the Necessity of giving the greatest part of the Year Sixteen and Eighteen Pence to a Day-Labourer.

The Fearful and Cautious People that are ever Jealous of their Liberty, I know will cry out, that where the Multitudes I speak of should be kept in constant Pay, Property and Privileges would be precarious. But they might be answer’d, that sure Means might be found out, and such Regulations made, as to the Hands in which to trust the management and direction of these Labourers; that it would be Edition: current; Page: [320] impossible for the Prince or any Body else to make an ill Use of their Numbers.

What I have said in the Four or Five last Paragraphs, I foresee will with abundance of Scorn be Laugh’d at by many of my Readers, and at best be call’d Building Castles in the Air; but whether that is my Fault or theirs is a Question. Edition: orig; Page: [367]When the Publick Spirit has left a Nation, they not only lose their Patience with it and all thoughts of Perseverence, but become likewise so narrow-soul’d, that it is a pain for them even to think ofa things that are of uncommon extent or require great length of Time; and whatever is Noble or Sublime in such Conjunctures is counted Chimerical. Where deep Ignorance is entirely routed and expell’d, and low Learning promiscuously scatter’d on all the People, Self-Love turns Knowledge into Cunning, and the more this last Qualification prevails in any Country the more the People will fix all their Cares, Concern and Application on the Time present, without regard of what is to come after them, or hardly ever thinking beyond the next Generation.

But as Cunning, according to my Lord Verulam, is but Left-handed Wisdom,1 so a prudent Legislature ought to provide against this Disorder of the Society as soon as the Symptoms of it appear, among which the following are the most obvious. Imaginary Rewards are generally despised; every body is for turning the Penny and short Bargains; he that is diffident of every thing and believes nothing but what he sees with his own Eyes is counted the most prudent, and in all their Dealings Men seem to Act from no other Principle than that of The Devil take the hindmost. Instead of planting Oaks, that will require a Hundred and Fifty Years before they are fit to be Edition: current; Page: [321] cut down, Edition: orig; Page: [368]they build Houses with a Design that they shall not stand above Twelve or Fourteen Years. All Heads run upon the uncertainty of things, and the vicissitudes of human Affairs. The Mathematicks become the only valuable Study, and are made use of in every thing even where it is ridiculous, and Men seem to repose no greater Trust in Providence than they would in a Broken Merchant.

It is the Business of the Publick to supply the Defects of the Society, and take that in hand first which is most neglected by private Persons. Contraries are best cured by Contraries, and therefore as Example is of greater efficacy than Precept in the amendment of National Failings, the Legislature ought to resolve upon some great Undertakings that must be the Work of Ages as well as vast Labour, and convince the World that they did nothing without an anxious regard to their latest Posterity. This will fix or at least help to settle the volatile Genius and fickle Spirit of the Kingdom, put us in mind that we are not born for our selves only, and be a means of rendring Men less distrustful, and inspiring them with a true Love for their Country, and a tender Affection for the Ground it self, than which nothing is more necessary to aggrandize a Nation. Forms of Government may alter, Religions and even Languages may change, but Great Britain or at least (if that likewise might lose its Name) the Island it self will remain, and in all human probability last as long Edition: orig; Page: [369]as any part of the Globe. All Ages have ever paid their kind Acknowledgments to their Ancestors for the Benefits derived from them, and a Christian who enjoys the Multitude of Fountains and vast Plenty of Water to be met with in the City of St. Peter, is an ungrateful Wretch if he never casts a thankful Remembrance on old Pagan Rome, that took such prodigious Pains to procure it.

When this Island shall be cultivated and every Inch Edition: current; Page: [322] of it made Habitable and Useful, and the whole the most convenient and agreeable Spot upon Earth, all the Cost and Labour laid out upon it will be gloriously repaid by the Incense of them that shall come after us; and those who burn with the noble Zeal and Desire after Immortality, and took such Care to improve their Country, may rest satisfy’d, that a thousand and two thousand Years hence they shall live in the Memory and everlasting Praises of the future Ages that shall then enjoy it.

Here I should have concluded this Rhapsody of Thoughts, but something comes in my Head concerning the main Scope and Design of this Essay, which is to prove the Necessity there is for a certain Portion of Ignorance in a well-order’d Society, that I must not omit, because by mentioning it I shall make an Argument on my side of what, if I had not spoke of it, might easily have appear’d as a strong Objection against me. It is the Opinion of most People, and mine among the rest, that the most com-Edition: orig; Page: [370]mendable Quality of the present Czar of Muscovy1 is his unwearied Application in raising his Subjects from their native Stupidity, and Civilizing his Nation: but then we must consider it is what they stood in need of, and that not long ago the greatest part of them were next to Brute Beasts. In proportion to the Extent of his Dominions and the Multitudes he commands, he had not that Number or Variety of Tradesmen and Artificers which the true Improvement of the Country required, and therefore was in the right in leaving no Stone unturn’d to procure them. But what is that to us who labour under a contrary Disease? Sound Politicks are to the Social Body what the Art of Medicine is to the Natural, and no Physician would treat a Man in a Lethargy as if he was sick for want of Rest, or prescribe in a Dropsy what should be administred in a Diabetes. In short, Russia has too few Knowing Men, and Great Britain too many.

Edition: current; Page: [323]
A SEARCH into the NATURE of SOCIETY.

Edition: orig; Page: [371]A SEARCH into the Nature of Society.a

THE Generality of Moralists and Philosophers have hitherto agreed that there could be no Virtue without Self-denial; but a late Author, who is now much read by Men of Sense, is of a contrary Opinion, and imagines that Men without any Trouble or Violence upon themselves may be naturally Virtuous.1 He seems to require and expectb Goodness in his Species, as we do a sweet Taste in Grapes and China Oranges, of which, if any of them are sour, we boldly pronounce that they are not come to that Perfection their Nature is capable of. This Noble Writer (for it is the Lord Shaftesbury I mean in his Characteristicks) Fancies, that as Man is Edition: orig; Page: [372]made for Society, so he ought to be born with a kind Affection to the whole, of which he Edition: current; Page: [324] is a part, and a Propensity to seek the Welfare of it. Ina pursuance of this Supposition, he calls every Action perform’d with regard to the Publick Good, Virtuous; and all Selfishness, wholly excluding such a Regard, Vice. In respect to our Species he looks upon Virtue and Vice as permanent Realties that must ever be the same in all Countries and all Ages,1 and imagines that a Man of sound Understanding, by following the Rules of good Sense, may not only find out that Pulchrum & Honestum2 both in Morality and the Works of Art and Nature, but likewise govern himself by his Reason with as much Ease and Readiness as a good Rider manages a well-taught Horse by the Bridle.

The attentive Reader, who perused the foregoing part of this Book, will soon perceive that two Systems cannot be more opposite than his Lordship’s and mine. His Notions I confess are generous and refin’d: They are a high Compliment to Human-kind, and capable by the help of a little Enthusiasm of Inspiring us with the most Noble Sentiments concerning the Dignity of our exalted Nature: What Pity it is that they are not true: I would not advance thus much if I had not already demonstrated in almost every Page of this Treatise, that the Solidity of them is inconsistent with our daily Experience. But to leave not the least Shadow of an Objection that might Edition: current; Page: [325] be made unanswer’d, Edition: orig; Page: [373]I design to expatiate on some things which hitherto I have but slightly touch’d upon, in order to convince the Reader, not only that the good and amiable Qualities of Mana are not those that make him beyond other Animals a sociable Creature; but moreover that it would be utterly impossible, either to raise any Multitudes into a Populous, Rich and Flourishing Nation, or when so rais’d, to keep and maintain them in that Condition, without the assistance of what we call Evil both Natural and Moral.

The better to perform what I have undertaken, I shall previously examine into the Reality of the pulchrum & honestum, the τὸ κάλον1 that the Ancients have talk’d of so much: The Meaning of this is to discuss, whether there be a real Worth and Excellency in things, a pre-eminence of one above another; which every body will always agree to that well understands them; or that there are few things, if any, that have the same Esteem paid them, and which the same Judgment is pass’d upon in all Countries and all Ages. When we first set out in quest of this intrinsick worth, and find one thing better than another, and a third better than that, and so on, we begin to entertain great Hopes of Success; but when we meet with several things that are all very good or all very bad, we are puzzled and agree not always with ourselves Edition: current; Page: [326] , much less with others. There are different Faults as well as Beauties, that as Modes and Fashions alter and Men vary Edition: orig; Page: [374]in their Tastes and Humours, will be differently admired or disapproved of.

Judges of Painting will never disagree in Opinion, when a fine Picture is compared to the dawbing of a Novice; but how strangely have they differ’d as to the Works of eminent Masters! There are Parties among Connoisseurs, and few of them agree in their Esteem as to Ages and Countries, and the best Pictures bear not always the best Prices : A noted Original will be ever worth more than any Copy that can be made of it by an unknown Hand, tho’ it should be better. The Value that is set on Paintings depends not only on the Name of the Master and the Time of his Age he drew them in, but likewise in a great Measure on the Scarcity of his Works, anda what is still more unreasonable, the Quality of the Persons in whose Possession they are as well as the length of Time they have been in great Families; and if the Cartons now at Hampton-Court were done by a less famous Hand than that of Raphael, and had a private Person for their Owner, who would be forc’d to sell them, they would never yield the tenth part of the Money which with all their gross Faults they are now esteemed to be worth.

Notwithstanding all this, I will readily own, that the Judgment to be made of Painting might become of universal Certainty, or at least less alterable and precarious than almost any thing else: The Reason is plain; there is a StandardEdition: orig; Page: [375] to go by that always remains the same. Painting is an Imitation of Nature, a Copying of things which Men have every where before them. My good humour’d Reader I hope will forgive me, if thinking on this glorious Invention I make a Reflexion a little out of Season, tho’ very much conducive to my main Design; which is, that Valuable as the Art is I speak of, we are beholden to Edition: current; Page: [327] an Imperfection in the chief of our Senses for all the Pleasures and ravishing Delight we receive from this happy Deceit. I shall explain my self. Air and Space are no Objects of Sight, but as soon as we can see with the least Attention, we observe that the Bulk of the things we see is lessen’d by degrees, as they are further remote from us, and nothing but Experience gain’d from these Observations can teach us to make any tolerable Guesses at the distance of Things. If one born Blind should remain so till twenty, and then be suddenly bless’d with Sight, he would be strangely puzzled as to the difference of Distances, and hardly able immediately by his Eyes alone to determine which was nearest to him, a Post almost within the reach of his Stick, or a Steeple that should be half a Mile off. Let us look as narrowly as we can upon a Hole in a Wall, that has nothing but the open Air behind it, and we shall not be able to see otherwise, but that the Sky fills up the Vacuity, and is as near us as the back part of the Stones that circumscribe the Space where they are wanting. Edition: orig; Page: [376]This Circumstance, not to call it a Defect, in our Sense of Seeing, makes us liable to be imposed upon, and every thing, buta Motion, may by Art be represented to us on a Flat in the same manner as we see them in Life and Nature. If a Man had never seen this Art put into practice, a Looking-glass might soon convince him that such a thing was possible, and I can’t help thinking but that the Reflexions from very smooth and well-polish’d Bodies made upon our Eyes, must have given the first handle to the Inventions of Drawings and Painting.

In the Works of Nature, Worth and Excellency are as uncertain: and even in Humane Creatures what is beautiful in one Country is not so in another. How whimsical is the Florist in his Choice! Sometimes the Tulip, sometimes the Auricula, and at other times the Carnationb shall engross his Esteem, and every Year a new Flower in his Judgment beats all the old ones, Edition: current; Page: [328] tho’ it is much inferior to them both in Colour and Shape.1 Three hundred Years ago Men were shaved as closely as they are now: Since that they have wore Beards, and cut them in vasta Variety of Forms, that were all as becoming when fashionable as now they would be Ridiculous. How mean and comically a Man looks, that is otherwise well dress’d, in a narrow-brim’d Hat when every Body wears broad ones; and again, how monstrous is a very great Hat, when the other extreme has been in fashion for a considerable time? Experience has taught us, Edition: orig; Page: [377]that these Modes seldom last above Ten or Twelve Years, and a Man of Threescore must have observed five or six Revolutions of ’emb at least; yet the beginnings of these Changes, tho’ we have seen several, seem always uncouth and are offensive afresh whenever they return.2 What Mortal can decide which is the handsomest, abstract from the Mode in being, to wear great Buttons or small ones? The many ways of laying out a Garden Judiciously are almost Innumerable, and what is called Beautiful in them varies according to the different Tastes of Nations and Ages. In Grass Plats, Knots3 and Parterre’s3 a great diversity of Forms is generally agreeable; but a Round may be Edition: current; Page: [329] as pleasing to the Eye as a Square: An Oval cannot be more suitable to one place than it is possible for a Triangle to be to another; and the preeminence an Octogon has over an Hexagon is no greater in Figures, than at Hazard Eight has above Six among the Chances.

Churches, ever since Christians have been able to Build them, resemble the Form of a Cross, with the upper end pointing toward the East; and an Architect, where there is room, and it can be conveniently done, who should neglect it, would be thought to have committed an unpardonable Fault; but it would be foolish to expect this of a Turkish Mosque or a Pagan Temple. Among the many Beneficial Laws that have been made these Hundred Years, ita is not easy to name one of greater Edition: orig; Page: [378]Utility, and at the same time more exempt from all Inconveniencies, than that which has regulated the Dresses of the Dead.1 Those who were old enough to take notice of things when that Act was made, and are yet alive, must remember the general Clamour that was made against it. At first nothing could be more shocking to Thousands of People than that they were to be Buried in Woollen, and the only thing that made that Law supportable was, that there was room left for People of some Fashion to indulge their Weakness without Extravagancy; considering the other Expences of Funerals where Mourning is given to several, and Rings to a great many. The Benefit that accrues to the Nation from it is so visible that nothing ever could be said in reason to condemn it, which in few Years made the Horror conceived against it lessen every Day. I observed then that Young People who had seen but few in their Coffins did the soonest strike in with the Innovation; but that those who, when the Act was made, had Buried many Friends and Relations remained Edition: current; Page: [330] averse to it the longest, and I remember many that never could be reconciled to it to their dying Day. By this time Burying in Linen being almost forgot, it is the general Opinion that nothing could be more decent than Woollen, and the present Manner of Dressing a Corps: which shews that our Liking or Disliking of things chiefly depends on Mode and Custom, and the Precept and Example of our Bet-Edition: orig; Page: [379]ters and such whom one way or other we think to be Superior to us.

In Morals there is no greater Certainty. Plurality of Wives is odious among Christians, and all the Wit and Learning of a Great Genius in defence of it1 has been rejected with contempt: But Polygamy is not shocking to a Mahometan. What Men have learned from their Infancy enslaves them, and the Force of Custom warps Nature, and at the same time imitates her in such a manner, that it is often difficult to know which of the two we are influenced by. In the East formerly Sisters married Brothers, and it was meritorious for a Man to marry his Mother. Such Alliances are abominable; but it is certain that, whatever Horror we conceive at the Thoughts of them, there is nothing in Nature repugnant against them, but Edition: current; Page: [331] what is built upon Mode and Custom. A Religious Mahometan that has never tasted any Spirituous Liquor, and has often seen People Drunk, may receive as great an aversion against Wine, as another with us of the least Morality and Education may have against lying with his Sister, and both imagine that their Antipathy proceeds from Nature. Which is the best Religion? is a Question that has caused more Mischief than all other Questions together. Ask it at Peking, at Constantinople, and at Rome, and you’ll receive three distinct Answers extremely different from one another, yet all of them equally positive and peremptory. Christians are Edition: orig; Page: [380]well assured of the falsity of the Pagan and Mahometan Superstitions; as to this point there is a perfect Union and Concord among them; but enquire of the several Sects they are divided into, Which is the true Church of Christ? and all of them will tell you it is theirs, and to convince you, go together by the Ears.1

It is manifest then that the hunting after this Pulchrum & Honestum is not much better than a Wild-Goose-Chace that is but little to be depended upon: But this is not the greatest Fault I find with it. The imaginary Notions that Men may be Virtuous without Self-denial are a vast Inlet to Hypocrisy, which being once made habitual, we must not only deceive others, but likewise become altogether unknown to our selves, and in an Instance I am going to give, it will appear, how for want of duly examining himself this might happen to a Person of Quality of Parts and Erudition, one every way resembling the Author of the Characteristicks himself.

A Man that has been brought up in Ease and Affluence, if he is of a Quiet Indolent Nature, learns Edition: current; Page: [332] to shun every thing that is troublesome, and chooses to curb his Passions, more because of the Inconveniencies that arise from the eager pursuit after Pleasure, and the yielding to all the demands of our Inclinations than any dislike he has to sensual Enjoyments; and it is possible, that a Person Educated under a great Philosopher,1 who was a mild and good-natured as well as able Tutor, may in such happy Cir-Edition: orig; Page: [381]cumstances have a better Opinion of his inward State than it really deserves, and believe himself Virtuous, because his Passions lie dormant. He may form fine Notions of the Social Virtues, and the Contempt of Death, write well of them in his Closet, and talk Eloquently of them in Company, but you shall never catch him fighting for his Country, or labouring to retrieve any National Losses. A Man that deals in Metaphysicks may easily throw himself into an Enthusiasm, and really believe that he does not fear Death while it remains out of Sight. But should he be ask’d, why having this Intrepidity either from Nature or acquired by Philosophy, he did not follow Arms when his Country was involved in War; or when he saw the Nation daily robb’d by those at the Helm, and the Affairs of the Exchequer perplex’d, why he did not go to Court, and make use of all his Friends and Interest to be a Lord Treasurer, that by his Integrity and Wise Management he might restore the Publick Credit; It is probable he would answer that he lov’d Retirement, had no other Ambition than to be a Good Man, and never aspired to have any share in the Government, or that he hated all Flattery and slavish Attendance, the Insincerity of Courts and Bustle of the World. I am willing to believe him: but may not a Man of an Indolent Temper and Unactive Spirit say, and be sincere in all this, and at the same time indulge his Appetites without being able to subdue them, tho’ his Edition: orig; Page: [382] Edition: current; Page: [333] Duty summons him to it. Virtue consists in Action, and whoever is possest of this Social Love and kind Affection to his Species, and by his Birth or Quality can claim any Post in the Publick Management, ought not to sit still when he can be Serviceable, but exert himself to the utmost for the good of his Fellow Subjects. Had this noble Person been of a Warlike Genius or a Boisterous Temper, he would have chose another Part in the Drama of Life, and preach’d a quite contrary Doctrine: For we are ever pushing our Reason which way soever we feel Passion to draw it, and Self-love pleads to all human Creatures for their different Views, still furnishing every individual with Arguments to justify their Inclinations.

That boasted middle way, and the calm Virtues recommended in the Characteristicks, are good for nothing but to breed Drones, and might qualify a Man for the stupid Enjoyments of a Monastick Life, or at best a Country Justice of Peace, but they would never fit him for Labour and Assiduity, or stir him up to great Atchievements and perilous Undertakings. Man’s natural Love of Ease and Idleness, and Proneness to indulge his sensual Pleasures, are not to be cured by Precept: His strong Habits and Inclinations can only be subdued by Passions of greater Violence.1 Preach and Demonstrate to a Coward the unreasonableness of his Fears and you’ll not make him Valiant, more than you can make him Taller by bidding him to be Edition: orig; Page: [383]Ten Foot high, whereas the Edition: current; Page: [334] Secret to raise Courage, as I have made it Publick in Remark R, is almost infallible.

The Fear of Death is the strongest when we are in our greatest Vigour, and our Appetite is keen; when we are Sharp-sighted, Quick of Hearing, and every Part performs its Office. The Reason is plain, because then Life is most delicious and our selves most capable of enjoying it. How comes it then that a Man of Honour should so easily accept of a Challenge, tho’ at Thirty and in perfect Health? It is his Pride that conquers his Fear: For when his Pride is not concern’d this Fear will appear most glaringly. If he is not used to the Sea let him but be in a Storm, or, if he never was ill before, have but a sore Throat or a slight Fever, and he’ll shew a Thousand Anxieties, and in them the inestimable Value he sets on Life. Had Man been naturally humble and proof against Flattery, the Politician could never have had his Ends, or known what to have made of him. Without Vices the Excellency of the Species would have ever remain’d undiscover’d, and every Worthy that has made himself famous in the World is a strong Evidence against this amiable System.

If the Courage of the great Macedonian came up to Distraction when he fought alone against a whole Garrison, his Madness was not less when he fancy’d himself to be a God, or at least doubted whether he was or not; and as soon Edition: orig; Page: [384]as we make this Reflexion, we discover both the Passion, and the Extravagancy of it, that buoy’d up his Spirits in the most imminent Dangers, and carried him through all the Difficulties and Fatigues he underwent.a

There never was in the World a brighter Example of an able and compleat Magistrate than Cicero: When I think on his Care and Vigilance, the real Hazards he slighted, and the Pains he took for the Safety of Rome; his Wisdom and Sagacity in detecting Edition: current; Page: [335] and disappointing the Stratagems of the boldest and most subtle Conspirators, and at the same time on his Love to Literature, Arts and Sciences, his Capacity in Metaphysicks, the Justness of his Reasonings, the Force of his Eloquence, the Politeness of his Style, and the genteel Spirit that runs through his Writings; when I think, I say, on all these things together, I am struck with Amazement, and the least I can say of him is that he was a Prodigious Man. But when I have set the many good Qualities he had in the best Light, it is as evident to me on the other side, that had his Vanity been inferior to his greatest Excellency, the good Sense and Knowledge of the World he was so eminently possess’d of could never have let him be such a fulsome as well as noisy Trumpetera as he was of his own Praises, or suffer’d him rather than not proclaim his own Merit, to make a Verse that a School-Boy would have been laugh’d at for. O! Fortunatam, &c.1

Edition: orig; Page: [385]How strict and severe was the Morality of rigid Cato, how steady and unaffected the Virtue of that grand Asserter of Roman Liberty! but tho’ the Equivalent this Stoick enjoy’d, for all the Self-denial and Austerity he practised, remained long concealed, and his peculiar Modesty hid from the World, and perhaps himself, a vast while the Frailty of his Heart that forced him into Heroism, yet it was brought to light in the last Scene of his Life, and by his Suicide it plainly appeared that he was governed by a Tyrannical Power superior to the Love of his Country, and that the implacable Hatred and superlative Envy he bore to the Glory, the real Greatness and Personal Merit of Cæsar, had for a long time sway’d all his Actions under the most noble Pretences. Had not Edition: current; Page: [336] this violent Motive over-rul’d his consummate Prudence he might not only have saved himself, but likewise most of his Friends that were ruined by the Loss of him, and would in all probability, if he could have stooped to it, been the Second Man in Rome. But he knew the boundless Mind and unlimited Generosity of the Victor: it was his Clemency he feared, and therefore chose Death because it was less terrible to his Pride than the Thought of giving his mortal Foe so tempting an Opportunity of shewing the Magnanimity of his Soul, as Cæsar would have found in forgiving such an inveterate Enemy as Cato, and offering him his Friendship; and which, it is thought by the Judicious, that Edition: orig; Page: [386]Penetrating as well as Ambitious Conqueror would not have slipt, if the other had dared to live.

Another Argument to prove the kind Disposition and real Affection we naturally have for our Species, is our Love of Company, and the Aversion Men that are in their Senses generally have to Solitude, beyond other Creatures. This bears a fine glossa in the Characteristicks,1 and isb set off in very good Language Edition: current; Page: [337] to the best Advantage: the next Day after I read it first, I heard abundance of People cry Fresh Herrings, which with the Reflexion on the vast Shoals of that and other Fish that are caught together, made me very merry, tho’ I was alone; but as I was entertaining my self with this Contemplation, came an impertinent idle Fellow, whom I had the Misfortune to be known by, and asked me liow I did, tho’ I was and dare say looked as healthy and as well as ever I was or did in my Life. What I answered him I forgot, but remember that I could not get rid of him in a good while, and felt all the Uneasiness my Friend Horace complains of from a Persecution of the like nature.1

I would have no sagacious Critick pronounce me a Man-hater from this short Story; whoever does is very much mistaken. I am a great Lover of Company, and if the Reader is not quite tired with mine, before I shew the Weakness and Ridicule of that piece of Flattery Edition: orig; Page: [387]made to our Species, and which I was just now speaking of, I will give him a Description of the Man I would choose for Conversation, with a Promise that before he has finished what at first he might only take for a Digression foreign to my purpose, he shall find the Use of it.

By Early and Artful Instruction he should be thoroughly imbued with the notions of Honour and Shame, and have contracted an habitual aversion to every thing that has the least tendency to Impudence, Rudeness or Inhumanity. He should be well vers’d in the Latin Tongue and not ignorant of the Greek, and moreover understand one or two of the Modern Languages besides his own. He should be acquainted Edition: current; Page: [338] with the Fashions and Customs of the Ancients, but thoroughly skilled in the History of his own Country and the Manners of the Age he lives in. He should besides Literature have study’d some useful Science or other, seen some Foreign Courts and Universities, and made the true Use of Travelling. He should at times take delight in Dancing, Fencing, Riding the Great Horse, and knowinga something of Hunting and other Country Sports, without being attach’d to any, and he should treat them all as either Exercises for Health, or Diversions that should never interfere with Business, or the attaining to more valuable Qualifications. He should have a smatch of Geometry and Astronomy as well as Anatomy and the Oeconomy of Human Bodies.b Edition: orig; Page: [388]To understand Musick so as to perform, is an Accomplisbment, but there is abundance to be said against it, and instead of it I would have him know so much of Drawing as is required to take a Landskip, or explain ones meaning of any Form or Model we wouldc describe, but never to touch a Pencil. He should be very early used to the Company of modest Women, and never be a Fortnight without Conversing with the Ladies.

Gross Vices, as Irreligion, Whoring, Gaming, Drinking and Quarrelling, I won’t mention; even the meanest Education guards us against them; I would always recommend to him the Practice of Virtue, but I am for no Voluntary Ignorance, in a Gentleman, of any thing that is done in Court or City. It is impossible a Man should be perfect, and therefore there are Faults I would connive at, if I could not prevent them; and if between the Years of Nineteen and Three and Twenty, Youthful Heat should sometimes get the better of his Chastity, so it was done with caution; should he on some Extraordinary Occasion, overcome by the pressing Solicitations of Jovial Friends, drink more than was consistent with strict Sobriety, so he Edition: current; Page: [339] did it very seldom and found it not to interfere with his Health or Temper; or if by the height of his Mettle and great Provocation in a Just Cause, he had been drawn into a Quarrel, which true Wisdom and a less strict adherence to the Rules of Honour might have declined or prevented, so Edition: orig; Page: [389]it never befel him above once; If I say he should have happened to be Guilty of these things, and he would never speak, much less brag of them himself, they might be pardoned or at least over-looked at the Age I named, if he left off then and continued discreet for ever after. The very Disasters of Youth have sometimes frighten’d Gentlemen into a more steady Prudence than in all probability they would ever have been masters of without them. To keep him from Turpitude and things that are openly Scandalous, there is nothing better than to procure him free access in one or two noble Families where his frequent Attendance is counted a Duty: And while by that means you preserve his Pride, he is kept in a continual dread of Shame.

A Man of a tolerable Fortune, pretty near accomplish’d as I have required him to be, that still improves himself and sees the World till he is Thirty, cannot be disagreeable to converse with, at least while he continues in Health and Prosperity, and has nothing to spoil his Temper. When such a one either by chance or appointment meets with Three or Four of his Equals, and all agree to pass away a few Hours together, the whole is what I call good Company. There is nothing said in it that is not either instructive or diverting to a Man of Sense. It is possible they may not always be of the same Opinion, but there can be no contest between any but who shall yield first to the other he differs from. Edition: orig; Page: [390]One only speaks at a time, and no louder than to be plainly understood by him who sits the farthest off. The greatest Pleasure aimed at by every one of them is to have the Satisfaction of Edition: current; Page: [340] Pleasing others, which they all practically know may as effectually be done by hearkning with Attention and an approving Countenance, as if we said very good things our selves.

Most People of any Taste would like such a Conversation, and justly prefer it to being alone, when they knew not how to spend their time; but if they could employ themselves in something from which they expected either a more solid or a more lasting Satisfaction, they would deny themselves this Pleasure, and follow what was of greater consequence to ’em.a But would not a Man, though he had seen no mortal in a Fortnight, remain alone as much longer, rather than get into Company of Noisy Fellows that take Delight in Contradiction, and place a Glory in picking a Quarrel? Would not one that has Books, Read for ever, or set himself to Write upon some Subject or other, rather than be every Night with Party-men who count the Island to be good for nothing while their Adversaries are suffered to live upon it? Would not a Man be by himself a Month, and go to Bed before seven o’Clock,b rather than mix with Fox-hunters, who having all Day long tried in vain to break their Necks, join at Night in a second Attempt upon their Lives by Drinking, and to express their Mirth, are louder in sense-Edition: orig; Page: [391]less Sounds within Doors, than their barking and less troublesome Companions are only without? I have no great Value for a Man who would not rather tire himself with Walking; or if he was shut up, scatter Pins about the Room in order to pick them up again, than keep Company for six Hours with half a Score common Sailors the Day their Ship was paid off.

I will grant nevertheless that the greatest part of Mankind, rather than be alone any considerable time, would submit to the things I named: But I cannot see, why this Love of Company, this strong Desire Edition: current; Page: [341] after Society should be construed so much in our Favour, and alledged as a Mark of some Intrinsick Worth in Man not to be found in other Animals. For to prove from it the Goodness of our Nature and a generous Love in Man, extended beyond himself on the rest of his Species, by virtue of which he was a Sociable Creature, this Eagerness after Company and Aversion of being alone ought to have been most conspicuous and most violent in the best of their kind, the Men of the greatest Genius, Parts and Accomplishments, and those who are the least subject to Vice; the contrary of which is true. The weakest Minds, who can the least govern their Passions, Guilty Consciences that abhor Reflexion, and the worthless, who are incapable of producing any thing of their own that’s useful, are the greatest Enemies to Solitude, and will take up with any Edition: orig; Page: [392]Company rather than be without; whereas the Men of Sense and of Knowledge, that can think and contemplate on things, and such as are but little disturb’d by their Passions, can bear to be by themselves the longest without reluctancy; and, to avoid Noise, Folly, and Impertinence, will run away from twenty Companies; and, rather than meet with any thing disagreeable to their good Taste, will prefer their Closet or a Garden, nay a Common or a Desart to the Society of some Men.

But let us suppose the Love of Company so inseparable from our Species that no Man could endure to be alone one Moment, what Conclusions could be drawn from this? does not Man love Company, as he does every thing else, for his own sake? No friendships or Civilities are lasting that are not reciprocal. In all your weekly and daily Meetings for Diversion, as well as Annual Feasts, and the most solemn Carousals, every Member that assists at them has his own Ends, and some frequent a Club which they would never go to unless they were the Top of it. I have known a Man Edition: current; Page: [342] who was the Oracle of the Company, be very constant, and as uneasy at any thing that hindred him from coming at the Hour, leave his Society altogether, as soon as another was added that could match, and disputed Superiority with him. There are People who are incapable of holding an Argument, and yet malicious enough to take delight in hearing others Wrangle, and tho’ Edition: orig; Page: [393]they never concern themselves in the Controversy, would think a Company Insipid where they could not have that Diversion. A good House, rich Furniture, a fine Garden, Horses, Dogs, Ancestors, Relations, Beauty, Strength, Excellency in any thing whatever, Vices as well as Virtuesa, may all be Accessary to make Men long for Society, in hopes that what they value themselves upon will at one time or other become the Theme of the Discourse, and give an inward Satisfaction to them. Even the most polite People in the World, and such as I spoke of at first, give no Pleasure to others that is not repaid to their Self-Love, and does not at last center in themselves, let them wind it and turn it as they will. But the plainest Demonstration that in all Clubs and Societies of Conversable People every body has the greatest Consideration for himself is, that the Disinterested, who rather over-pays than wrangles; the Good-humour’d, that is never waspish nor soon offended; the Easy and Indolent, that hates Disputes and never talks for Triumph, is every where the Darling of the Company: Whereas the Man of Sense and Knowledge, that will not be imposed upon or talk’d out of his Reason; the Man of Genius and Spirit, that can say sharp and witty things, tho’ he never Lashes but what deserves it; the Man of Honour, who neither gives nor takes an affront, may be esteem’d, but is seldom so well beloved as a weaker Man less Accomplish’d.

Edition: orig; Page: [394]As in these Instances the friendly Qualities arise Edition: current; Page: [343] from our contriving perpetually our own Satisfaction, so on other Occasions they proceed from the natural Timidity of Man, and the sollicitous Care he takes of himself. Two Londoners, whose Business oblige them not to have any Commerce together, may know, see, and pass by one another every Day upon the Exchange, with not much greater Civility than Bulls would: Let them meet at Bristol they’ll pull off their Hats, and on the least Opportunity enter into Conversation, and be glad of one another’s Company. When French, English and Dutch meet in China or any other Pagan Country, being all Europeans, they look upon one another as Country-men, and if no Passion interferes, will feel a natural Propensity to love one another. Nay two Men that are at Enmity, if they are forc’d to travel together, will often lay by their Animosities, be affable and converse in a friendly manner, especially if the Road be unsafe, and they are both Strangers in the Place they are to go to. These things by superficial Judges are attributed to Man’s Sociableness, his natural Propensity to Friendship and love of Company; but whoever will duly examine things and look into Man more narrowly, will find that on all these Occasions we only endeavour to strengthen our Interest, and are moved by the Causes already alledg’d.

What I have endeavour’d hitherto, has been to prove, that the pulchrum & honestum, excel-Edition: orig; Page: [395]lency and real worth of things are most commonly precarious and alterable as Modes and Customs vary; that consequently the Inferences drawn from their Certainty are insignificant, and that the generous Notions concerning the natural Goodness of Man are hurtful as they tend to mis-lead, and are meerly Chimerical: The truth of this latter I have illustrated by the most obvious Examples in History. I have spoke of our Love of Company and Aversion to