Portrait of Jean Barbeyrac

Jean Barbeyrac on the Virtues which all free Men should have (1718)

Found in: The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature (1673, 2003)

In his translation of Samuel Pufendorf’s treatise on natural law, The Whole Duty of Man (1691, 1718), Jean Barbeyrac included a number of essays and commentaries. In one, a “Discourse on the Benefits Conferred by the Laws”, he made the following observation:


There are other virtues which, while free from all constraint, nonetheless carry a clear and imperative obligation… humanity, compassion, charity, beneficence, liberality, generosity, patience, gentleness, love of peace, these are not empty names, nor are they indifferent things… they are sentiments which all reasonable persons in all times have counted among their duties…