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Printed by James Walker. 







I. Of* the Ddicacy of Taste and Fteaum ^ 

^_ II. Of the Liberty of the PJpe» 8 

*^ III. That PoUtics may be reduced to a Sdence ^ 18 

"^ IV. , Of the First Principles of GoTemment 87 < 

^ V. Of the Origin of Govenunent ^ 32 

* VI. Of the Independence of Fkriiament 87 

VII. Whether the British Govemmenft incUnes to Absolute Mo- 
narchy, or to a Republic '.. • 4f 

VIII. Of Parties in general 49 

IX. Of the Forties of Great Britain 56 

k' '"X. Of Superstition and Enthusiasm 67 V 

XI. Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Kature 73 

XII. Of Civil Liberty 81 

XIU. Of Eloquence 1 91 

-* XIV. Of the Rise and Pktigress of the Artsand Sciences 101. 

XV. The Epicurean 131 

XVL The Stoic ^ 140 

XVII. The Flatonist 150 

XVIIL The Sceptic ^..., 155 X 

XIX, Of Polygamy and Divorces 178 

XX. Of Simplicity and Refinement in Writing 188 

XXL Of National Characters 194 

XXIL Of Tragedy 211 

XXIIL Of the Standard of Taste 221 


PART n. 


I. Or Commerce 240 

II. Of Refinement in tbe Arts 265 

III. Of Money 279 

IV. Of Interest 293 

v. Of the Balance of Trade 907 

VI. Ofthe Jealousy of Trade 328 

VII. Of the Balance of Power , 331 

VIIL Of Taxes 340 

IX. Of Public Credit •w.m.^.- .^ « 346 

X. Of some Remarkable Customs 363 

XL Of the Populousness of Ancient Nations 373 

XII. Of the Original Contract 444 

XIII. Of P^issire Obedience 467 

XIV. Of the CoaKtion of Forties - 472 

XV. Of the IVotestant Succession 481 

XVI. Idea of a Perfect CommoaWtaHfa 492 



PART I •. 

• PobliilMd in 1742. 

VOL. 1. 



Some people are subject to a certain delicacy of passuMy 
'which makes them extremely sensible to all the accidents 
of life, and gives them a lively joy upon every prosperous 
event) as well as a piercing grief when, they meet with 
misfortunes and adversity. Favours and good offices easily 
engage their friendship, while the smallest injury provokes 
their resentment Any honour or mark of distinction 
elevates them above measure, but they are as sensibly 
touched with contempt People of this character have, 
no doubt, more lively enjoyments, as well as more pun- 
gent sorrows, than men of cool and sedate tempers : But, 
I believe, when every thing is balanced, there is no one, 
who would not rather be of the latter character, were he 
entirely master of his own disposition. Good or ill for- 
tune is very little at our disposal ; and when a person, that 
has this sensibility of temper, meets with any misfortune, 
his sorrow or resentment takes entire possession of him, 
and deprives him of all relish in the common occurrences 
6f life, the right enjoyment of which forms the chief part 
of our happiness. Great pleasures are much less frequent 
than great pains, so that a sensible temper must meet with 
fewer trials in the former way than in the latter. Not to 
motion, that men of such lively passions are apt to be 



transported beyond all bonnds of prudence and discre- 
tion, and to take false steps in the conduct of life, which 
are often irretrievable. 

There is a delicacy of taste observable in some men, 
which very much resembles this delicacy of passion^ and 
produces the same sensibility to beauty and deformity of 
every kind, as that does to prosperity and adversity, obli- 
gations and injuries. When you present a poem or a pic- 
ture to a man possessed of thb talent, the delicacy of his 
feeling makes him be sensibly touched with every part of 
it ; nor are the masterly strokes perceived with more ex- 
quisite relish and satis&ction, than the negligences or ab- 
surdities with disgust and uneasiness. A polite and judi- 
cious conversation affords him the highest entertainment ; 
rudeness or impertinence is as great a punbhment to him. 
In short, delicacy of taste has the sajsie effect as delicacjy 
of passion. It enlarges the sphere both of our happiness 
and misery, and makes us sensible to pains as well as plea- 
8ure% which escape the rest of mankind. 

I believe, however, every one will agree with me, that, 
notwithstanding this resemblance, delicacy of taste i& as 
much to be desired and cultivated, as delicacy of passion 
is to be lamented, aad to be remedied, if possible. The 
good or ill accidents of life are very litjtle at our disposal; 
but we are pretty much masters what books we shall read, 
what diversions we shall partake o^ ajod what company we 
shall keep. Philosophers have endeavoured U^ render hap* 
piness entirely independent of every thing external. The 
degree of perfection is impossible to be atkmtmd; but 
every wise man will endeavour to pllu^ his happiness on 
such objects chiefly as depi^d upon himsdf ; and that 'm 
not to be attained so much by any <^er means as by this 
deljcai^ of sentiment When a mati is possessed <^ that 


talent, he is more happy by what pleases his taste, than 
by what gratifies his appetites, and receives more enjoy- 
ment from a poem, or a piece of reasoning, than the most 
expensive luxury, can afibrd. 

Whatever connection there may be originally between 
diese two species of delicacy, I am persuaded, that nothing 
is so proper to cure us of this delicacy of passion, as the 
cultivating of that higher and more refined taste, which 
enables us to judge of the characters of men, of composi^ 
tions of genius, and of the productions of the nobler arts. 
A greater or less relish for those obvious beauties, which 
strike the senses, depends entirdy upon the greater or lesft 
sensibility of the temper ; but with regard to die sciences 
and liberal arts, a fine taste is, in some measure, the same 
with strong sense, or at least depends so much upon it 
that they are inseparable. In order to judge aright of a 
composition of genius, there are so many views to be taken 
in, so many circumstances to be compared, and such a 
knowledge of human nature requisite, that no man, who 
is not possessed of the soundest judgment, will ever make 
a tolerable critic in such performances. And this is a new 
reason for cultivating a relish in the liberal arts. Our 
judgment will strengthen by this exercise. We shall form 
jnster notions of life. Many things which please or affict 
others, will appear to us too frivolous to engage our at^ 
tention } and we shall lose by degrees diat sensibility and 
d^li^sAcy of plissbli, whidb is so incommodious^ 

But perhaps I have gone too far, in saying that a cul^* 
titated taste for the polite arts extinguishes the passions, 
and renders us indifferent to those ol]jects, which are so 
folkDy ptirsued by the rest of mankind On fkrther re- 
flection, I find, that it rather improves our sensibility for 
all the tender and agreeable passions ; at the same time 


that it renders the mhid incapable of the rougher and 
more boisterous emotions. 

Ingenaas didiciSMfideliter artet, 
Emollit mores, nee tinh esse feros. 

For this> I think, there maybe assigned two very natural 
reasons. In the^^ place, nothing is so improving to the 
temper as the study of the beauties, either of poetry, elo- 
quence, music, or painting. They ^ve a certain elegance 
of sentiment to virhich the rest of mankind are strangers. 
The emotions which they excite are soft and tender. They 
draw off the mind from the hurry of business and interest; 
cherish reflection ; dispose to tranquillity ; and produce 
an agreeable melancholy, which, of all dispositions of the 
mind, is the best suited to love and friendship. 

In the second place, a delicacy of taste is favourable to 
love and friendship, by confining our choice to few people, 
and making us indifferent to the company and conversa- 
tion of the greater part of men. You will seldom find 
that mere men of the world, whatever strong sense they 
may be endowed with, are very nice in distinguishing 
characters, or in marking those insensible differences and 
gradations, which make one man preferable to another. 
Any one, that has competent sense, is sufficient for their 
entertainment They talk to him of their pleasures and 
affairs, with the same frankness that they would to an- 
other; and finding many who are fit to supply his place, 
they never feel any vacancy or want in his absence. But 
to make useof the allusion of a celebrated French ^ author, 
the judgment may be compiled to a clock or viratch, where 
the most ordinary machine is sufficient to tell the hours ; 

* Mons, FoHmiLLii Plunilh^ des Mondes, Soir 6. 


but the most elaborate alone can point out the mmutes and 
seconds, and distinguish the smallest differences of time. 
One that has well digested his knowledge both of books 
and men, has little enjoyment but in the company of afew 
select companions. He feels too sensibly, how much all 
the rest of mankind fall short of thenotioiis which he has 
entertained. And, his a£fections being thus confined 
within a narrow drde^ no wonder he carries them fur- 
ther, than if they were more general and undistinguished. 
The gaiety and frolic of a bottle companion improves with 
him into a solid friendship; and the ardours of a youth- 
fut appetite become an elegant passion. 



rcoTKina is aore apt to snr^ise a fereigoeri iikwx 4ba 
eittoeme liberty which we exkjoj vk this eomitry^ of com^ 
mimicating whatever we please to the public, and of cspet^ 
ly censuring every measure entered into by the King or 
his ministers. If the administration resolve upon war, it 
is affirmed, that, either wilfidly or ignorantly, they mistake 
the interests of the nation; and that peace, in the present 
situation of affiiirs, is infinitely preferable. If the passion 
of the mmisters lie towards peace, our political writers 
breathe nothing but war and devastation, and represent 
the pacific conduct of the government as mean and pusil- 
lanimous. As this liberty is not indulged in any other go- 
vernment, either republican or monarchical ; in Holland 
and Venice, more than in France or Spain ; it may very 
naturally give occasion to the question. How it hcgppem 
that Great Britain alone ef^oys this peculiar pri^nkge ? 

The reason why the laws indulge us in such a liberty, 
seems to be derived from our mixed form of government, 
which is neither wholly monarchical, nor wholly republi- 
can. It will be found, if I mistake not, a true observation 
in politics, that the two extremes in government, liberty 
and slavery, commonly fq>proach nearest to each other ; 
and that, as you depart from the extremes, and mix a Uttle 


of nonarehy with liberty, tbe government becomes- always 
the more free ; and, on the odier handy wh^i you mix a 
little of liberty with monarchy, the yoke becomes always 
the more grievous and intolerable. In a government, such 
as that of France, which is absolute, and where law, cus- 
tom, and religion concur, all of them, to make the people 
fidly satisfied wi A their oondhioii, the monarch cannot en- 
tertain any jeakmy against his mibjeets, and therefore is 
vpi to indulge tfiem in great ISbetHea both of speech and 
action. In a government ahogetlier republican, such as 
that of Holland, where there is no magistrate so eminent 
as to give^eoiMiqf to the state, there is no danger in intrusts 
ing the magistrates with large discretionuy powers ; and 
though many advantages result from such powers, in pre- 
serving peace and order, yet they lay a considerable 
restnunt on men's acticms, and make every private citizen 
pay a great respect to the government Thus it seems evi- 
dent that the two extremes of absdinte monarchy and of a 
republic, ^^roaoh near to each other in some material cir- 
cumstances. In the^f j^ the magistrate has no jealousy of 
the people ; in the second^ the peqile have none of the 
magistrate : Whidi want of jealousy b^ets a mutual con- 
fidence and trust in both cases, and produces a species of 
liberty in monarchies, and of arbitrary power in republics. 
To justify tbe other pert of the foregoing observation, 
tha^ in every govemm^it, the means are most vride of 
each othcgp, and that ^e mixtures of monarchy and liberty 
teoAfft the yoke either more easy or more grievous ; I must 
take notice of a remark in Tacitus with regard to the Ro- 
mans under the emptors, that they neitiber could bear td- 
tal slavery nor total liberty. Nee Mam BerviMemy neetotam 
HberiakmpatiposmmiL This remark a celebrated poet has 


translated and applied to the English, in his lively descrip- 
tion of Queen Elizabeth's policy and gOTemment^ 

Bt it aimtr Mm joug ii 1' AngloU indompt^ 

Qui ne peut ni tenrir, ni TiTre en liberty HnnuAOty liv. 1. 

According to these remarksi we are to consider the Ro- 
man goveniment under the emperors as a mixture of des- 
potism and liber^, where the deq>otism prevailed ; and 
the English government as a mixture of the same kind, 
where the liberty predominates* The consequences are 
conformable to the foregoing observation; and such as 
may be expected from diose mixed forms of government, 
which beget a mutual watchfulness and jealousy. The 
JEloman emperors were, many of them, the most frightful 
tyrants that ever disgraced human nature; and it is evi- 
dent, that their cruelty was chiefly excited by their/eofotf^, 
and by their observing that all the great men of Rome 
bore with impatience the dominion of a family, which, but 
a little before, was nowise superior to their own* On the 
other hand,^ as the r^ublican part of the government pre- 
vails in England, thou^ vnth a great mixture of mo- 
narchy, it is obliged, for its own preservation, to maintain 
a watchful/eoAntfy over the magistrates, to ronove all dis- 
cretionary powers, and to secure every cme's life and for- 
tune by general and inflexible laws. No action must be 
deemed a crime but what the law has plainly determined 
to be such : No crime must be imputed to a man but frcmi 
a legal proof before his judges; and even these judges 
must be his fellow-subjects, who are obliged, by their own 
interest, to have a watchfiil eye over the encroachments 
and vjplence of the ministers. From these causes it pro- 
ceeds, that there is as xnich liberty, and even, perhaps, li- 


centiousness in Great Britain, as there were formerly sla- 
very and tyranny in Rcune. 

These principles account for the great liberty of the 
press in these kingdoms, beyond what is indulged in any 
other govemmept It is apprehended, that arbitrary 
power would steal in upon us, were we not careful to pre- 
vent its progress, and were there not an easy method of 
conveying the alarm from one end of the kingdom to the 
other. The spirit of the people must frequently be roused, 
in order to curb the ambition of the court ; and the dread 
of rousing this spirit must be employed to prevent that 
ambition. Nothing so effectual to this purpose as the li- 
berty of the press ; by which all the learning, wit, and 
genius of the nation, may be employed on the side of free- 
dom, and every one be animated to its defence. As long, 
therefore, as the republican part of our government can 
maintain itself against the monarchical, it will naturally be 
careful to keep the press open, as of importance to its own 

It must however be allowed, that the unbounded liberty 
of the press, though it be difficult, perhaps impossible^ to 
propose a suitable remedy for it, is one of the evils attend- 
ing those mixed forms of government. 

ESSAY in. 


It is a question with several, whether there be any essen- 
tial difference between one form of government and im- 
other ? and, whether every form may not become good or 
bad, according as it is well or ill administered ^ ? Were it 
CMice admitted, that all governments are alike, and that 
the only difference conosts in the character and conduct 
of the governors, most political disputes would be at an 
endf and all Zeal for one constitution above another must 
be esteemed mere bigotry and folly. But^ though a friend 
to moderation, I cannot forbear condemning this senti- 
ment, and should be sorry to think, that human afiairs 
admit of no greater stability, dian what they receive from 
the casual humours and characters of particular men. 

It is true, those who maintain, that the goodness of all 
government consists in the goodness of the administration, 
may cite many particular instances in history, where the 
very same government, in different hands, has varied sud- 
denly into the two opposite extremes of good and bad. 
Compare the French government under Henry III. and 
under Henry IV. Oppression, levity, artifice on the part 
of the rulers; fection, sedition, treachery, rebellion, dis- 

* For fonni of gOTenunent let fools contcsty 
WhaM*er it best administered is best 

EssAT ON Mak, Book 5. 


loyaby on the part of the subjects : Tkese jcompose the 
character of the former miserable era. Bat when the pa- 
triot and hetoic prince, who succeeded, was pnce firmly 
seated on the throne, the government, the people, every 
thing, seemed to be totally changed ; and all from the dif- 
ference of the temper and conduct of these two sovereigns. 
Instuices of this kind may be multiplied, almost without 
number, from ancient as well as qiodam history, foreign 
as well as domestic. 

But here it may be proper to make a distinction. All 
absolute gov^mments must very naxah dq[>end on the ad- 
ministration ; and this is one of the great incimvenienees 
attending that fonn of government But a republican and 
free government would be an obvious absurdity, if the pur- 
tienlar chedcs and controls, provided by the oonstitntibn^ 
had really no influmee, and made it not the interest, even 
ef bad men, to act for the public good. Such is the m- 
tenticm of these forms of government^ and sudi is tbdr 
real etkct^ where tibey are wisely constitnted : As, on the 
other hand, they are the source of all disorder, a»d of the 
bladest crimes, where cither skiU or honesty has been 
wanting in their original frame and institution. 

So gveat ia die force of laws, and of particolar fi)rms of 
government, and sa little dependence have they cm the 
hamours aod tempam of mtn, that consequences almost 
as general amA certain may sometimes be deduced from 
diem, aa any wilidi die mathematical sciences afilird uSk 

The constitation ef the Roman republic gave die whole 
fegislatife power to the pecqple, without allowtng a n^^ 
dve voice either to the nobility or ccmsuls* ThisiHibemKl- 
ed power they possessed in a colleedvis^ Bot in a represoH 
tatire body. The comequences weve ; Whaib Ae peqple, 
by success and conquest, had becemci very numereus, and 


had spread themselves to a great distance from the capi- 
tal, the city tribes, though the most contemptible, carried 
almost every vote : They were, therefore, most cajoled by 
every one that affected popularity: They were suf^rted 
in idleness by the general distribution of com, and by 
particular bribes, which they received from almost every 
candidate : By this means, they became every day more 
licentious, and the Campus Martins was a perpetual scene 
of tumult and sedition: Armed slaves were introduced 
among these rascally citizens ; so that the whole govern- 
ment fell into anarchy ; and the greatest happiness, which 
the Romans could look for, was the despotic power ef the 
Caesars. Such arc the effects of democracy without a re- 

A Nobili^ may possess the whole, or any part of the 
legislative power of a state, in two different ways. Either 
every nobleman shares the power as a part of the whole 
body, or the whole body enjoys the power as composed 
(^ parts, which have each a distinct power and authority. 
The Venetian aristocracy is an instance of the first kind 
of government; the Polish, of the second. In the Vene- 
tian government the whole body of nobility possesses the 
whole power, and no nobleman has any authority which 
he receives not from the whole. In the Polish govern- 
ment every nobleman, by means of his fiefs, has a distinct 
hereditary ^thority over his vassals, and the whole body 
has no authority but what it receives from the concurrence 
of its parts. The different operations and tendencies of 
these two species of government might be made i^parent 
even a priori. A Venetian nobility is preferable to a Po- 
lish, let the humours and education of men be ever so 
much varied. A nobility, who possess their power in com- 
mon, will preserve peace and order, both among them- 


selves, and their subjects ; and no member can have au- 
thority enough to control the laws for a moment The 
nobles will preserve their authority over the pec^le, but 
without any grievous granny, or any breach of private 
pri^per^; because such a tyrannical government promotes 
not the interests of the whole body, however it may that 
f^spme individuab. There will be a distinction of rank 
between the nobility and people, but this will be the only 
distinction in the state. The whole nobility will form one 
body, and the whole people another, without any of those 
private feuds and animosities, which ^read ruin and de- 
solation every where. It is easy to see the disadvantages 
of a Polish nobility in every one of these particulars. 
. It is possible 90 to constitute a free government, as that 
a single person, call him a doge, prince, or king^ shall 
possess a large share of power, and shall form a proper 
balance or countorpoise to the other parts of the legisla^ 
ture. This chief magistrate may be either elective or he^ 
redifary i and though the former institution may, to a su- 
perficial view, appear the most advantageous ; yet a more 
accurate inspection will discover in it greater inconvenien- 
ces than in the latter, and such as are founded on causes 
and principles eternal and immutable. The filling of the 
throng in such a government, is a point of too great and 
U)o general interest^ not to divide the whole people into 
jbctions : . Whence a civil war, the greatest of ills, may be 
apprehended, almost with certainty, upon every vacancy. 
The prince elected must be either a Foreigner or a Nor 
Hoe :■ The former will be ignorant of the people whom he 
J8 to govern ; suqpicious of his new subjects, and suspected 
by them ; giving his confidence entirely to strangers, who 
will have no other care but of enriching themsdves in the 
/juickest manner while their master's favour and authority 


are able to support diem. A nalhre wiU oarty into the 
throne all his private ammorities and friendshipsi aofi will 
never be viewed in his elevation without excitiDg the sea* 
timent of envy in those who formeriy considered hira as 
their equaL Not to mention that a crown is too high m 
reward ever to be given to merit alone^ and will alwi^ 
induce the candidates to employ forc^ or ttHmey, cnr in- 
trigue^ to procure the votes c^the electors : So that such 
an election will give no better chance for superi<Mr merit 
in the prince, than if the state had trusted to birth alone 
for determining the sovereign. 

It may therefore be pronounced as im universal axiom 
in politics, TTio^ on bereeHiary prince, a nediUfy wUkM 
vassabj and a people voHng hy Oe^ represenMiveSf /brm 
tke best MOvrAftcHTf abistocracv, ami niBfocEAcr. But 
m order to prove more fiilly, that pofities admit of gene* 
ral truths, which are invariable by the famnour or edQca-> 
tibn either of subject or sovereign, it may not be amiss to 
observe some other princq)les of this science, whkh may 
seem to deserve that diaracter. 

It may easily be observed, that, tiiov^ free govern* 
ments have been commonly the most happy for those who 
partake of their freedom; yet are diey the most ruinous 
and oppressive to their provinces : And this observatiott 
may, I befieve, be fixed as a maxim' of Ae kind we are 
here speaking of* When a monarch tttends his domi* 
nions by conquest, he soon learns to consider his old 
and his new subjects as on the same fbotmg; because in 
reafi^, all his subjects are to him the sam^ except die 
few friends and favourites with whom he b personally ae^ 
quainted. He does no^ tberefbr^ make any cEs&ictioii 
between them in his peiiera/kiws ; and, at the same time^ 
is cardfiil to prevent 9k&partiadar acts of oppressicm on 


die one as well as on the other. But a free state necessa-» 
lily makes a great distinction, and must always do so, till 
men learn to love their neighbours as well as themselves. 
The conquerors, in such a government, are all legislators, 
and will be sure to c<mtrive matters, by restrictions on 
trader and by taxes, so as to draw some private, as well 
as public advantage from their conquests. Provincial go* 
▼emors have also a better chance^ in a republic, to escape 
with their plunder, by means of bribery or intrigue ; aad 
their fellaw-citizens, who find their own state to be ^irich- 
ed by die spoils of the subject provinces, will be theinore 
inclined to tolerate such abuses. Not to mention, that it 
18 a necessary precaution in a free state to diange ihe go-r 
viemors frequently ; which obl^^es these temporary tyrants 
to be more expeditioos and rapacious, that they may ac* 
cumulate sufficient wealth before they give place to their 
successors. What cruel tyrants were the Romans over 
the world during the time of their commonwealth ! It is 
true, they had laws to prevent oppression in their provin- 
cial magistrates; but Cicero informs us, that thie Romans 
could not better consult the interests of the provinces than 
by repealing these very laws. For, in that case, says he, 
our magistrates, having entire impunity, would plunder 
no more thiui would satisfy their own rapaciousness ; 
whereas, at present, they must also satisfy that of their 
judges, and of all the great men in Rome, of whose pro- 
tection they stand in need. Who can read of the cruelties 
and impressions of Verres without horror and astoriish-* 
ment? And who is not touched with indignation to hear, 
that, after Cicero had exhausted on that abandoned cri- 
minal dll the thunders of his eloquence, and had prevailed 
so far as to get him condemned to the utmost extent of 
the law§ ; yet that cruel tyrant lived peaceably to old age, 
VOL. I. c 


in opulence and ease» and, thirty years afterwards, was 
putinto the proscription by Mark Ant^H^, <m account of 
his exorbitant wealth, where he fell with Cicero himself, 
and all the most yittuous men of Rome? After the disso- 
lutioa of the commonwealth, the Boman yohe became 
easier upon the provinoes, as IWitusinfarms us * ; and it 
may be observed, that many of 4lie wo|«t emperors, Po* 
mitian^ finr instance, wece cavefid to prevent all oppress 
sion ondie pvovinces. - In Tiberius'f^ ^ time, Gaul was es« 
teemed richer than Itaty itself: iiov do I find, dming the 
whole time of the Roman m^^u^y, that the empire 1ie^ 
came less rich or populous in any of its provinces ; though 
indeed its valour and military discipline were always upon 
the decl^ie* The expression and tyran^iy of the Cartha^ 
ginians over their subject states in Africa went so 
w» leacn from Pofybins ^ that, not content with exacting 
the half of all the produce of the land, which of itself wtts 
a very high rent, they also loaded th^n with many other 
taxes. If we pass from ancient to modem times, w^ shftll 
ttill find the observsition to hold. The provinces of abso* 
lute monarchies are always better treated than those of 
free states* Compare the Pai& oonqtds of France with Ife- 
hmdy a^d you wlU be convinced of this truth ; though diis 
latter kingdom, being, in a good measure, peopled from 
Ea^and, possesses so many rights and privileges as should 
natundly make it challenge better treatment than jthat of 
a conquered province. Corsica is also an obvious instance 
to the same purpose* . > 

• Anib lib* i. cap. S. ' ^ Suftt in viM Domit 

• Efrogium rMUnend« UbairUti temjpu^ si ip«j Aotente$, ^^m nppf 
Italiti q^uam imbelUs urbana plcbs, nihil validum ia excrcitibutt, ni8i-qt^04 
externum cogiiarent— Tacit. Ann* Hb. iii. 

^ * Lib. i. cap. 71?. 

POLinCS A sa£NCE. Id 

Ttiere is an observation of Maciuavel, with regard to 
die conquests of Alexander the Chreat^ which, I think, 
may be regarded as one <^ those eteHud pditical truths, 
whidi no thne nor accidents can vary. It may seem 
strange, says that politician, that snch sodden conquests, 
as those of Alexander, should be possessed so peaceably 
by his successors, and that the Persians, during all the 
confusions and civil wars among the Grades, never-mad^ 
the smallest effort towards the l^ecorery of their ferm^ in«- 
dependent government To satisfy us concerning the cause 
of this remarkable event, we may consider, tibtat a monafeh 
may govern bis subjects in two different ways. He mfty 
either follow the maxims of the eastern princes, and stretch 
his authority so fiir as to leave no distinction of rank among 
bis subjects, but wbat proceeds immediately from himself; 
ik> sD^antages of birth ; no hereditdi^ honours tad po^ 
sessions ; and, in a word^ no cfedft among the people, ex^ 
cept from his commission alone. Or a monarch may ex- 
ert tus power after a milder manner, like other European 
princes ; and leav^ other sources of honour, beside his 
tattle and fevour : Birti), titles, possessions, valour, inle- 
grity, knowledge, or great and fbrtunate achievement^^/ 
in the fiMrmer species of government, after a conquest, it 
is impossible ever to shake off the yoke ; since no one pos^ 
aesses, among the people, «o much personal credit and au^ 
thority as to begin such an enterprise : Whereas, in th6' 
latter, the least misfortune, or discord among the' victors, 
will encourage the vanquished to take arms, who have 
leaders ready to prompt and conduct them in every un- 

Such is the reasoning of Machiavel, which seems solid 

• So« Note [A.] 


so £88AT III. 

and conclusive ; though I wish be bad not mixed falsehood 
with truth, in asserting, that monardiies, governed accord- 
ing to eastern policy, though more easily kept when cMice 
subdued, yet are the most difficult to subdue ; since they 
cannot contain any powerful subject, whose discontent and 
factitm may fecilitate the enteiprises of an enemyt For, 
besides that such a tyrannical government enervates the 
courage of men, and renders them indifferent towards the 
fortunes of their sovereign ; besides this, I say, we find by 
experience, that even the temporary and delegated autho- 
rity of the generals and magistrates, being always, in such 
governments, as absolute within its sphere, as that of the 
prince himself is able, with barbarians, accustomed to a 
blind submission, to produce the most dangerous and fa^ 
tal revolutions. So that, in every respect, a gentle govern- 
ment is preferable, and gives the greatest security to the 
sovereign as well as to the subject, 

Legblators, therefore, ought not to trust the future go- 
vernment of a state entirely to chance, but ought to pro- 
vide a system of laws to regulate the administration of 
public afiairs to the latest posterity. Effects will always 
correspond to causes ; and wise r^ulations, in any com- 
monwealth, are the most valuable legacy that can be left 
to future ages« In the smallest court or office, the stated 
forms and methods, by which business must be conducted, 
are found to be a considerable check on the natural de- 
pravity of mankind. Why should not the case be the 
same in public affiurs ? Can we ascribe the stability and 
wisdom of the Venetian government, through so many 
ages, to any thing but the form of government? And is 
it not easy to point out those defects in the original con- 
stitution, which produced the tumultuous governments of 
Athens and Rome, and ended at last in the ruin of the&e 


two fiunous republics? And so little dependence has this 
affiur on the humours and education of particular, men^ 
that one part of the same republic may be wisely con« 
ducted, and another weakly, by the very same men, mere- 
ly on account of the differences of the forms and institu- 
tions by which these parts are r^nlated^ Historians in- 
form us that this was actually the case with Genoa. For 
while the state was always full of sedition, and tumult, and 
disorder, the Bank of St Greorge, which had become a 
con^erable part of the people, was conducted, for several 
ages^ with the utmost int^ity and wisdom '• 

The ages of greatest public spirit are not always most 
eminent for private virtue* Good laws may b^et order 
and moderation iri the government, where the manners 
and customs have instilled little humanity or justice into 
die tempers of men. The most illustrious period of the 
Roman history, considered in a political view, is that be- 
tween the beginning of the first and end of the last Punic 
war ; the due balance between the nobility and people be- 
ing then fixed by the contests of the tribunes, and not be- 
ing yet lost by the extent of conquests. Yet at this very 
time, the horrid practice of poisoning was so common, 
that, during part of the season, a Pra^bor punished capi- 
tally for this crime above three thousand ^ per8<»is in a part 
of Italy ; and found informations of this nature still mul- 

* Esaempio Teramento laro, et da FUosofi intante loro imaginate et ve* 
dute Republiche mai non troyato, Tedere dentro ad on mederimo oerduoy 
fira medesimi dUaduri, la liberta, et la tirannide, la rita dvile et la corotta, 
la ghistitia et la lioenaa; peiche quello ordine solo mantiere quella dtta 
piena di coetnmi antidii et ▼enerabtlL E 8*egli auvetUBse (die col tempo 
in ogni modo auTerr^) que San Giorgio tutti qud la dtti occupasse, sar- 
rebbe quella una RepubUca piu daHa Venetiana memorabik. — Ddia Hist. 
Florentine, lib. viii. 

^ T. lirii, lib. xL <^p. 43. 


tiplying upon him. There is a similar, or rather a wors«t 
instance ', in the more early times of the commonwealths 
So deprav^ in private life were that people^ whom in their 
histories we so much admire* I doubt not but they were, 
really more virtuous during the time of the two TYHmm^, 
rates ; when they were tearing their common country t^ 
pieces, and spreading slaughter and desolation over the 
Ihce of the earth, merely for the choice of tyrants K 
. Here, then, is a sufficient inducement to maintain, with 
the utmost 2Seal, in every free state, those forms and insti* 
tutions, by which liberty is secured, the public good coo^'. 
suited, and the avarice or ambition of particular men re- 
strained and punished. Nothing does more honour to 
}iuman nature than to see it susceptible of so noble a p%^ 
sion ; as nothing can be a greatei^ indication of meannesa 
of heart in any man than to see him destitute of it. A 
man who loves only himself, without reg^d to frienddiip 
and desert, merits the severest blame ; and a man who ia 
cmly susceptible of friendship, without public spirit, or 9 
regard to the community, is deficient in the most mate^ 
rial part of virtue. 

But this is a subject which needs not be I(»^er insisted 
cm at present There are enow of zealots on both sides^ 
who kindle up the passions of their partisans, and, under 
pretence of public good, pursue the interests and ends <^ 
their particular faction. For my part, I shall always be 
more fond of promoting moderation than zeal ; though 
perhaps the surest way of producing moderation in every 
party, is to increase our zeal for the public Let us there* 

• T. liTii, lib. ▼iii* oap. 18. 
h L'Aigle comtre TiUgl^y Romains contre Romunsy 
Combatant seulement pour le choix de tyrans. 



ibre try,' tf it be possible, from the foregoing ^loctrine, to 
draw a lesson of moderation with r^ard to the pfiaiietf 
into which our comitry is at present divided ; at the same 
time, that we allow not this moderation to abate die in- 
dustry and passion^ with which every individual is bound 
to pursue the good of his eountty. 

Those who eith^ aMaek or defend a minister in sucih a 
govemihent as ours, where the utmost liberty is allowed^ 
always carry matters to an extreme^ and exaggerate his 
merit or demerit with regard to the pubHc His enemies 
are sure to charge Um with the greatest enormities^ both 
in domestic and foreign management; and dtere ifii no 
meanness or crim^ of which, i» Aieir account, he is not 
capable^ Unnecessary wars, scandalous treaties, profttsion 
of pubUc treasure, oppressive tasces, every kind of mal-ad- 
ministration, is ascribed to him. To aggravate the diarge, 
his pernicious conduct, it is sfdd, will extend its baneftd 
influence even to posterity, by undermining the best con- 
stitntioh in the world, and disordering that wise system of 
laws, institutions, and customs, by which our ancestors, 
during so many centuries, have been so happily governed. 
He is not only a wicked minister in himself, but has re- 
moved every security provided against wicked ministers 
for the future. 

On the oth^r hand, the partisans of the minister make 
his panegyric nm as high as t^e accusation agiiinst him, 
and celebrate his wise, steady, and moderate conduct in 
every part of his admimstration. The h<mour and inte- 
rest of the nation suppcnrted abroad, public credit maii»- 
tmned at home, persecution restrained', fibction subdued^; 
'Ae merit of all these blessings is ascribed solely to the 
minister. At the same time, he crowns all his other me- 
rits by a religious care of the best constitution in the 


woiidy which he has preserved ill all its parts^ and hasp 
transmitted entire, to be the hf^piness and security of the 
latest posterity. 

When this accusation and panegyric are received by the 
partisans of each party, no vironder they beget an extraor- 
dinary ferment on both sides, and fill the nation with vio- 
lent animosities. But I would fain persuade these party 
zealots, that there is a flat contradiction both in the accur 
sation and panegyric, and that it were impossible for ei- 
ther of them to r\in so high, were it not for this contra^ 
diction. If our constitution be really that noble fabric^ 
the pridt qf Britain, the envy of <mr neighboursy raised by 
the labour qf 9o many ceniuries, repaired at the expense (^ 
somany millions, and cemented by such qpn^mkmqf blood*; 
I say, if our constitution does in any degree deserve these 
eulo^es, it would never hfive suffered a wicked and weak 
minister to govern triumphantly ibr a course of twenty 
years, when o[q[)osed by the greatest geniuses in the na- 
tion, who exercised the utmost liberty of tongue and pen, 
in parliament, And in their frequent appeals to the people. 
But, if the minister be wicked and weak, to the degree sq 
strenUbudy insisted on, the constitution must be faulty in 
its original pl*ikieiides, and be cannot consistently be char- 
ged with undermining the best form of government in the 
World> A constitution is only so far goody as it provides 
,a remedy i^fuust mal-administradon ; and if the British, 
when in its greatest vigour, and rq>aired by two such re- 
.Huurkable events, as the Bevolutkm and Accession^ by which 
our aincient royal family was sacrificed to it ; if our coiv- 
^tJtution, I say, with so great advantages, doe^s not, in 
factj provide any such remedy, we are rather beholden tp 

• Dissertation on Pftitiefi, Letter X. 


any miiiister who undermines it, and affords us an oppor- 
tunity of erecting a better in its place. 

I would employ the same topics to moderate the seal 
of those who defend the minister. Ib avr condituiian «o 
^acoeOmtf Then a change of ministry can be no such 
dreadful event ; since it is essential to such a constitution, 
in every ministry, both to preserve itself irom violation, 
and to prevent all enormities in the administration, h 
xmr corutiMion very badf Then so extraordinary a jea- 
lousy and apprehension, on account of changes, is ill 
placed ; and a man should no more be anxious in this case, 
than a husband, who had married a woman from the stews, 
should be watchful to prevent her infidelity. Public af- 
fairs, in such a government, must necessarily go to con- 
fusion, by whatever hands they are conducted ; and the 
zeal q( patriots is in that case much less requisite than the 
patience and submission ot pkUowphers. The virtue and 
good intentions of Cato and Brutus are highly laudable; 
but to what purpose did their zeal serve ? Only to hasten 
the fatal period of the Roman government, and render its 
convulsions and dying agonies more violent and painful. 

I would not be understood to mean, that public affairs 
deserve no care and attention at aU. Would men be mo- 
derate and consistent, their claims might be admitted ; at 
least might be examined. The covntry-party might still 
assert, that our constitution, though excellent, will admit 
of mal-administration to a certain degree; and therefore, 
if the minister be bad, it is proper to oppose him vrith a 
mtUabk degree of zeal. And, on the other hand, the 
court-party may be allowed, upon die supposition that the 
minister were good, to defend, and with some zeal too, his 
administration. I would only persuade men not to con- 
tend, as if they were fighting pro oris etfocisj and change 


a good constitution into a bad one, by the violence of theic 
factions. i 

I hnYe not her^ conaidered any thitig that is pers<mal in 
the present epntroyersy. In the best citil constitution^ 
whjere ev«ty man is strained by the most rigid laws, it 
is easy to discover either the good or bad intentions of a 
miAisfel'^ and to judge, whether his petsonal character det 
serve love or hatred. But such questions are of little imt- 
poitance to the public, and lay those, who employ th^ 
pens upon them, under a just suspicicm either of malevo-* 
lence or of flattery. 



. iN oTHiNG appears more surprising* to those who consider 
human afikirs with a philosophical eye^ than the easiness 
with which the many are governed by the few ; and the 
implicit submission, with which men resign their own sen- 
timents and passions to those of their rulers. When we 
inquire by what means this wonder is effiscted, we shaU 
find, that, ^ Force is always on the side of the governed, 
the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. 
It is, therefore, onua^unioiuonly that government is found- 
ed ; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and 
most military governments, as well as to the most free aad 
most pop^lar. The soldan of Egypt, . or the emperor of 
Rome, might drive his harmless subjects, like brute beast£i, 
against their sentiment^ and inclination : But he must, at 
least, huve led his nuxmalukes^ or prc^orian brnds^ lik^ 
men, by their opinion.^ 

Opinion i^ of tif o kind% to wit, opinion of interesd^ 
and Qpuii(m of i^igut. By opinion of interest, I chiefly 
tmderstand the sense of the general advantage which is 
reaped from government j togedier with the persuasioi^ 
that the particular government^ which is established, is 
equally advantageous with any other that could easily be 
settled. When this ppinion prevails among the generali- 


ty of a state, or among those who have the force in their 
hands, it gives great security to any government 

Right is of two kinds ; right to JJower and right to Pro^ 
perty. What prevalence opinion of the first kind has 
over mankind, may easily be understood, by observing the 
attachment which all nations have to their ancient govern- 
ment, and even to those names which have had the sane-* 
tion of antiquity. Antiquity always begets the opinion of 
right ; and whatever disadvantageous sentiments we may 
entertain of mankind, they are always found to be prodi- 
gal both of blood and treasure in the maintenance of pu- 
blic justice. There h, indeed, no particular, in which, at 
first sight, there may appear a greater contradiction in the 
frame of the human mind than the present. When men 
act in a faction, they are apt, without shame or remorse, 
to neglect all the ties of honour and morality, in order to 
serve their party ; and yet, when a faction is formed upon 
a point of right or principle, there is no occasion where 
men discover a greater obstinacy, and a more determined 
sense of justice and equity. The same social disposition 
of mankind is the cause of these contradictory appearances. 

It is sufficiently understood, that the opinion of right to 
property is of moment in all matters of government. A 
noted author has made property the foundation of all go- 
vernment ; and most of our political writers seem inclined 
to follow him in that particubr. This is carrying the mat- 
ter too far ; but still it must be owned, that the opinion of 
right to property has^ a great influence in this subject. 

Upon these three opinions, therefore, of public irUeresif 
of right to power^ and of right to propertyy are all govern- 
ments founded, and all authority of the few over the ma- 
ny. There are indeed other principles, which add force to 
these, and determine, limit, or alter their operation ; such 


R$ a^f'inkrtMtifear and c^gklbm : But still we may assert^ 
that these other principles' can have no infiaence alone, 
bat suppose the antecedent influence of those opinions 
above mentioned. They are, therefore, to be esteemed 
the sec<mdary, not the original principles of govemmenti. 
For, Jlritt as to seff-interesiy by which I mean the ex^ 
pectation of particular rewards, distinct from die general 
protection which we receive from government^ it is evi- 
dent that the magistrate's authority must be antecedently 
established, at least be hoped for, in order to produce thi» 
expecistimu The prospect of reward may augment his 
authori^ with regard to some particular persons ; but caa 
never give birth to it, with regard to the public* Mea 
naturally look for the greatest lavours from their friends 
and acquaintance ; and therefore, the h(^>6s of any. cpnsi** 
derable number of the state would never centre in any par- 
ticular set of men, if these men had no other title to ma- 
gistracy, and had no separate influence over the opiAioAs 
of mankind The same observation may be extended to 
the other two principles oifoar and <^SMio9U No man 
would have any reason to fiar the fury of a tyrant, if he 
had no authority over any but from fear ; since, as a single 
man, his bodily force can reach but a small way, and all 
the farther power he possesses must be founded either on 
our own opinion, or on the presumed opinion of others* 
And though effedUm to wisdom and virtue in a 9at>treig9^ 
extends very far, and has great influence ; yet he nnust an- 
tecedently be supposed invested with a public character, 
otherwise the public esteem will serve him in no stead, nor 
will his virtue have any influence beyond a narrow sphere, 
A government may endure for several ages, though the 
balance of power and the balance of property do not coin- 
cide. This chiefly happens, where any raok or order oC 

aO B86AT IV;* 

the state has acquii^d a laif^e share in Uieprc^erty ; but,^ 
from the original oQiistitation of die govenunent, has no 
sham in the poivsr. Under what prefisnee Would any ln« 
dividnal of that order assione authority in public afikrrs ?: 
Aft men are commonly much attached to their ancient go<-' 
yemment) it is not to be expected that die public ^ould 
e¥er£etvovr such usurpations. But where the ordinal cdn-^ 
stitution allows any share €i power,, though smally to an 
order of nlen, who possess a large share of property, it is 
easy for thefu gradually to stretch dieir authority, and 
bring the baianceof power to coincide >rith that of ptofptr-^ 
ty. This has been the caeewith the House of Commons: 
in England* 

- Most wrfters that ha?ie treated of the British go'irem'^ 
ment^'have supposed, that as the Lower House r^e- 
settts aU the commons of Great Britain^ its weight in ^o 
scale is proportiEoned to the property and power of all 
whom it represttits* But thb pri|iciple must not be re« 
eeived as absolutely true. For thoi^h the people are ap^ 
to attach themselves more to the House of Commons tbim^ 
to any other member of the constklUlkm ; that House bein^ 
chosen by them as their rqpresentatives^ and as the public 
guar^Kana of their m>erty : yet ar€^ there instuftces where 
the House, even when in oppositl<»n to the crown, has 
not been foHowed by the people; as we may particulariy 
observe of the Any Ho«se of Commons in the reign of 
King William. Were the members obliged to receive 
instructi<ms from their constituents, like the Dutch depu- 
ties^ this would entirely alter the case ; and if such im- 
mense power and riches, as those of all the commons of 
Great Britain, were brought into the stale, it is not easy 
to conceive, that the crowh could either influence that 
multitude of people, or withstand that balance of property* 


It is true, the crown has great influence over the collective 
body in the elections of members ; but were this influence, 
which at present is cHily exerted once in seven years, to be 
employed in bringing over the people to every vote, it 
would so<m be wasted, and no skill, popularity, or revenue 
could support it I must, therefiare, be of opinion, that 
an alteration in this particular would introduce a total 
alteration in our government, and would soon reduce it 
to a pure republic ; and, perhaps, to a republic of no in- 
convenient form. For though the people, collected in a 
\Kidjf like the Efmati t)ribas» b^ qttito unfit iox govera- 
xoMk, jet vHjteo diqE^ersed in smidl bodies,, duty are^ mortt 
iitsdqptible b<Hli of reawHiaDdOfd^r; tbeforo^cdLpopntor 
fwrrepts aad tides is, in sT great meatare,' bi^dtet) ^'atid Aq 
pdili^ idterest nay be parsmed with aane ilijBNibod Md 
ora/rtttiioy. Bnl it ia needAesa to fMsda anyfartke^ c^At* 
ceming a forp of govemiMnt^ whiiohiis never likely td 
have place hi Great BritainV aad which aeema mot Id ba 
tfw aim erf* any party amongst us. |jet,tts dberi^aadim«» 
prove our ancient govemnw^ aa much as posaihl^ wbb-t 
^t aiiecmraging a piaasiQa&nr nich dangerous hoveltitti. 



JVIan, horn in a family, is cmnpeUed toiaaititaiiisocietyy 
from m^QSjisitjr, frcnn natural indinatipn, and from bisJiil* 
The same creature, in his fiurther progress, is engaged to 
establish political society, in order to administer justice^; 
witfaout which there can be no peace among them, nor 
safe^, nor mutual intercourse. We are, therefore, to 
look upon all the vast apparatus of our government, as 
having ultimately no other object or purpose bntAe dis-« 
tribution o fjustice^ o r, in other words, the support of Uie 
tw^e judges. Kings and parliaments, fleets and armies^ 
officers of the court and revenue, ambassadors, ministers, 
and privy-counsellors, are all subordinate in their end to 
>/ this part of administration. Even the sisxgff as their 
duty leads them to inculcate morality, may justly be 
thought, so fiur as regards this world, to have no other 
useful object of their institution. 

All men are sensible of the necessity of justice to main- 
tain peace and order ; and all men are sensible of the ne- 
cessity of peace and order for the maintenance of society. 
Yet, notwithstanding this strong and obvious necessity, 
such is the frailty or perverseness of our nature ! it is im- 
possible to keqp men, faithfully and unerringly, in the 
paths of justice. Some extraordinary circumstances may 



lii|)peii9 ia which a maa finds his interests to be moro 
promoted by fraud or lapine^ than hurt by the breach 
whidi his iigiistice makes in die social miicai# But mncfa 
more fireqoendy he is seduced from his great and impoxw 
tan^ but distant interests, by the alluremoit <^ present^ 
dumgfa often very frirohm^ temptatioDs* This great weak- 
ness is incurable in human lUiture* 

Men must^ therefore, endeavour to palliate what they 
cannot cure* They i^^ust institute some persons under ^ 
the appdlation of magistrates, whose peculiar office it is 
to point out the decrees of equity, to punish traasgresscnrs, 
to correct fraud and violence, and to oUigemen, hcfwevep 
rductaa^ to consult their own real and permanent i^te^* 
rests* In a word, obedieooeis a new duty whiJoh mustbe 
invented to support that of justice, and the ties of equitjr 
must be corroborated by those of aU^ance« 

But still, viewing matters in an abstract l%ht, it may 
be though^ that nothing is gained by this alUaace, and 
that the factitionsdu^ of obedience, from its very nature^ 
lays as feeble a hokl of the hummi mind, as the prunilive 
and natural duty of justice. Peculiar interests and pxe-» 
sent temptations may overocmie the one as well as tho 
other* Th^ are equally ^oqposed to the same inemivef* 
nienoe. And the man, who is inclined to be a bad neighf* 
hour, must be led by the same motives, well or ill underw 
stood, to be a bad citizen and subject* N<rt to inentionr 
diat the magistrate himself may often be negligent, or 
partial, or nnjpst in lus administration* 

Ftyperkmciv however, proves that there is a great dif* 
fisrence between the oases. Order in society, we find, i9 
much bettor maintained by means of government; and 
our duty to the OMgistrate is more strictly guarded l^ the 
principles of human nature^ than our doty to our ffeUow« 

VOL. !• D 

M EilSAY V« 

ettlmia.' Thclave of ddnuUdli isao stikkigiath^ breiri 
dfiBMiylltetida^ilotariyfliifafWt tcv bat Murt all dif 
ind Citigiitay «nd«arfif ef goireraaMDt; andnicp»' 
! nmd ^ A»t tUtiati^ thsm^ oAea 1«1 aatmyby jni* 
VEtft passioiit^ &adf in Gardinafy.ottsi^ a miUe intetfe^t in 
(be iaijpartiai adtbuyatradon of j«adce» Thepenont^ who 
first attain this distincticoi by tbe eonaeiit, tadt or eiq^raas^ 
of the paqde^ must be endowed with superior personal 
qahliliet of Talowr, fbicay integrt^^ or prudenoe^ iHbich 
obimnand reqiect and oMfideace: and» after gorrenmieBt 
is estahliahedf a regard to birth, rank, and station^ has jit 
mig^itjrinfliie&ee over meD,aadeitforc6t thedeereeaef thd 
laagistrate. The printe or leader exclaintt against every 
dborder which disturbs his sooiety« He suaamons all his 
partiaani and aU men of {Nrobitgr to aid him in oo to ectin g 
and redressing it: and he is readily followed by attindifi 
ferent persons in the exeoution of his c^ce. He sooi^ Ac- 
quires the power of rewarding these servioes ; jind in' thri 
progress of society, he establishes sdsordinate liiinisten^^ 
and often a milstary feroey who find an inmiediate and a 
visible interest in supporting his authority. Habit ni&t^ 
consoUdatas what other principlea of hunan Uqiturt had: 
imperfectly founded; and meny once accustomed taobb^ 
dienoe, never think of d^Murting fi*om that patlv in which: 
they and their aneestocs have constantly trod^ and to whirii* 
they are confined by so maby tusgait and visible motivesL 
Bat though this prdgress of human alfiiirs may apptar 
certain and inevitable, and though the support which, ai^ 
Iq^iance brings to justice be founded on obViouapnnci{des 
of bumun nature, k oaniiot be expeoted thatmed should, 
beforehand be aUe to discover thenv or foresee their b^po* 
ration. OovermnentcomflKnceemore casually and more 
imperfedly. It is probata dial due first asoendaiit of one 


-mu^ o^er maltitiictes b^sab ikirkig a state <i£i«ar : -dbeib 
.the 8iqperi6tife]r of courage and of goomU diiw««i^: itrnkS 
*mo8t yiaStAf, whMve iDiaiiimityand.efaiioabt ave mo8tiiek|i^ 
site,: aii4 where the pemidmifi affects of 41sbi<|^ 
-MQiBUy felt The long oontiimati w of that $ti^^ iin iMl- 
-dttt common amequg sava^ tvihes, hiiired t)ie ]^eo^Ie to 
sttbimssion ; and if die diieftaiii pos^sMd ^nraA ^i% 
^ae prudence and valonr) he became^ efen ddring peafee, 
ihe arbiter of all diflbrenoes, and oonld gradaalfy^ t^* a 
mixture of force and consent, establish lus duthori^. The 
benefit sensibly Hslt ifirdm his infin^oe^ m^ it b@ cherish 
o4 fay the p^ple, at least bjr the peaceable td^d wdl!Kiia<^ 
posed afnOngtbem; and if his st^ enjoys the samegood 
qualities, gOTemment adtranced tMe sooni^r to maWrify 
and perfection ; bnt was still'in a feeble stat^ tat tfi§^ 
Iher progrera of improvement procured the ms^strsM a 
rerrenoe, and enabled him to b^tow rewards 6n the seve« 
ral instruments of his admmistration,- and to inflict puhisfa- 
meniB on the refractory and disobedient B^ftretfaat pe4 
nod, each exertion <^ his infiti^ice mtist have beenP partis 
colar, and founded on ^ peculiai^ circumstances of the 
case. After it, submission was no longer k mattieir' of 
fshoice in the bulk of the conmianily, but was rigorously 
exacted by llie authority of th^ supreme magistrate. 
• In all governments, there ii a perpetud intestine Strugs' 
gle, open or secret^ between Authority and Liberty ; 
and neither of them can ever absolutely prevail in the con-^ 
test* A great sacrifice of liberty must necessarily be made 
in every government ; yet even the authority, which con- 
fines liberty, can never, and perhaps ought never, in any 
constitution, to become quite entire and uncontrollable. 
The sultan is master of the life and fortune of any indivi- 
dual ; but will not be permitted to impose new taxes on 


36 Z89AY T. 

his subjects : a French mansrdi can hdpoBe taxes at fiet^ 
sure; but would find it dang^xmsta attempt diie lives and 
fortunes of individuals. Htlijgum aiso» in most countries, 
is commonly found to be a very intractaUe principle ; and 
V other principles or jMrejudioes frequently resist all the au- 
, thority of the civil magbtrate; whose power, being found- 
I -ed on opinion, can never subvert other bpinions, equally 
\ rooted with that of his title to dominioii. The govern- 
ment, which, in commcm appellatton, recdves the appel- 
lation o ffree» is that which admits gf a psrtitimi^powar 
.among several members, whose united authoritjr is n6 
less, or is commonly greater, than that of any monarch; 
but who^ in the usual course of administration, must act 
by general and equal law^ that are previously known jto 
all the members, and to all their subjects. In this sens^ 
it must be owned, that liberty is the perfection dT civil so^ 
dety ; but still authority must be acknowledged essential 
to its very existence : and in those contests, which so of- 
ten take place between the one and the other, the latter 
pay, on that account, challenge the preference* Unless 
perhaps one may say (and it may be sliid with some rea- 
son) that a circumstance, which is ess^itial to the exis^ 
tence of civil socie^, must always support itsdf, and needs 
be guarded with less jealousy, than one tha.t contributes 
only to its perfection, which the indolence of men is so 
apt to neglect, or their ignoranceto overlook. 



P(^smcA3L writers have estobHshed it as a maxim, that, 
in contriving anjr system of government, and fixing the 
several checks and controls of the constitution, every man 
ought to be supposed a Jbiove, and to have no other end, 
in all his actions, than private interest By this interest 
we must govern him, and, by means of it^ make him, not- 
withstanding his insatiable avarice and ambition, co-9pe'^ 
rate to public good. Without this, say they, we shall in 
vaio boast of the advantages of any constitution, and shall 
find, in die ^, that we have no security for our liberties 
er pofl^sessions, except th^ good- will of our rulers, that is, 
we shall have no security at all. 

It is, therefons, a just poUHeal maxim, thai every man 
mmi be st^fpoeed a knave : though, at the same time, it 
appears somewhat strange, that a maxim should be true in 
potitice which is fidse in fiut. But to satisfy us on this 
head, we may consider, that men are generally more ho- 
nest in thrir private than in their public capacity, and wiH 
go greater lengths to serve a par^, than when dieir own 
private interest is alone concerned* Honour is a great 
check upon mankind : But where a considerable body of 
n^en act tc^ther, this check is in a great measure rerno^ 


ved; sinceamanis sure to be approved of by his own par^ 
ty, for virhat promotes the common mterest; and he soon 
learns to despise the clamours of adversaries. To which 
we may add, that every court or senate is determined by 
the greater number pf yoioes; fio that, if self-interest in- 
fluences only the m^ority, (as it will always do,) the whole 
senate follows the allurements of this separate interest, and 
acts as if it contained not one member who had any regard 
to public interest .wd liberty. 
I When there offers, therefore, to our censure and exami^^ 
nation, any plan of government, real or imaginary, where 
^ power is flistributed among sever^ pouftg, and several 
orders of men, we should always consider the sepiaratein* 
t^rest of each court, and each order ; and| if we find that 
A V c ^ ][^y ^^ skUful division of pow^» this interest must neces-^ 

^rily^ in its operation, concur with die public, we may 
pronounce that government to be wise and happy. . If^ 
on the contrary^ separate interest be not chedced, and be 
not directed to the public, we ought to look ibr nothing 
but faction^ disorder, and tyranny from such a govern-^ 
ipent in this opinion I am justified by experience^ as 
well as by the authority of all philosophers and poKti"*- 
(^cians, both ancient and modem. 
, How much, therefore, would it have surprised sqc)i ^ ge- 
nius as Cicero or Tacitus, to have been told, thai in a fo:^ 
tore age, there should arise a Tery regular system of »i«ed. 
government, where the authority was so distidbUted, that 
Que rank, whenever it pleased, might swallow up all the 
lestf and engross the whole power of the constitoticffw— 
Such a government, they would say, will not be a mixed 
governments For $o great is the natural ambition of men^ 
that th^ are never satisfied with power ; and if oneordor 
of men, by pursuing its Qwn interest, can usurp upon every. 


fKher order5 ft will asttutAy do so, and render itsdfy as 
fiuria poaaibk^ absokte aikl iiDOQiitrolUble, 
, But, in tbif opinion, oxperimce sImws they would have 
bean miatakgnj; for iUa id mtnally the case with the Bri« 
lirii coDititiitiM* The sbaca of power, allotted by our 
ecaititittion to the faoose of ooMHaons^ is so great, that k 
ahsolately commands all tfaa other parts of the gosvemment. 
The Idng^s legislative power is {dainly no proper check to 
it ; for thou^ tba king has e negative in framing laws, 
yet dus, in fact, is cateemedof ad little moment, thf^ what<» 
ever is voted by the two houses, is always sure to pass into 
a law, and the rojBl Assent is Utde better than a form* 
The principal weight of the erawn lies in the executive 
power. But besides that the executive power in every go* 
vemment is dtcgether subordinate to the l^islative; be* 
ttdtethis, I say, the exercise of this power requires an im- 
mense expense,'and the oommoos have assumed to them* 
sfiives the sole right of granting money. How easy, 
therefore^ would it be for that bouse to wrest from the 
«Pown all these powers, one after another ; by making eve- 
ry grant conditional, and choosing their time so well, that 
their refusal of supply should only distress Ae government, 
vrithoat giving foreign powers any advantage over us?. Did 
die house of eonnoons depend in the same manner vpto 
die king, and had ncme of the members any pn^)erty bill 
from his gift^ would not he coaomand idl their resoJutidnsi 
and be from that moment absolute ? As to the house <{ 
loacds^ they ere a very powerful support to the crown^ 4o 
long as they are, in their turn, supported by it; but both 
experience and reason shew, that they have no force or au? 
thoritysufficient to maintain themselves alone, without such 

40 SSSAY Yf • 

How, th^retore^ shall we solTe this paradox ? And fay 
what means is this meiaBh& of onr ccNutitatioQ confined 
within the proper limits; sinoe^ from our very oonttitttdon, 
it niustnecessmly have as much power as it demands, and 
can only be confined by itself? How is this consistent 
with our e]q)eTience of Jiuman nature ? I answer, that the 
interest of the body is here restrained by that of the indi* 
viduals, and that the house of commons stretches not its 
power, because such an usurpation would be contrary to 
the interest of the mi^orily of its members. The crown 
has so many offices at Hs disposal, that, when assbted by 
the holiest and disinterested part of the house, it will al« 
ways command the resolutions of the whcle, so &r, at leasts 
as to preserve the ancient constitution frcHU danger. We 
may, therefore, give to this influence what name we please ; 
we may call it by the invidious appellations of carr yp ih n 
and dqtendemce; but some degree and some kind of it are 
inseparable from the very nature of the constitution, and 
necessary to the preservation of our mixed government. ^ 
Instead, then, of asserting* absolutely, that die depen* 
dence of parliament, in every degree, is an infiingemeut 
of BritiA liberty, the conntiy^party should have made some 
4 concessions to thdr adversaries, and have only examitied 

what was the proper degree of this dependence^ beycmd 
^ which it became dangerous to liberty. But sucb-AJnode^ 

\Ua.x^ ration b not to be expected in party-men of any kind« 

After a concession of this nature all declamation must be 
abandoned; and a cahn inquiry into the proper degree of 
ooutt^influence and parliamentary dependence would have 
be^i expected by the readers. And though the advan- 
tage, in such a controversy, might possibly remain to the 

■ Sec Dissertation on Parties, throughout. 


temUr^'parip / yet the victory would not be so complete 
as they wbh for, nor would a true patriot have given an 
entire kxMe to his zeal» for fear of running matters into a 
contrary e^Ureme, by diminishing too* far the influence of 
the crown. It was, therefore, thought best to deny, that 
this extreme could ever be dangerous to the constitution, 
or that die crown could ever have too little influence over 
members of parliament 

AH questions concerning the proper medium between 
extremes are difficult to be decided ; both because it is not 
easy to find words proper to fix this medium, and because 
the good and fll, in such cases, ran so gradually mto each 
Other, as even to raider our senHmenti doubtftil and mw 
certain. But there is a peculiar difficulty in the present 
case, which would embarrass the most knowing and most 
impartial examiner. The power of the crown is alwaya 
lodged in a single person, either king or minister ; and as 
this person may have either a greater or less degree of am-* ' 
bidcm, capacity, courage, popukri^, or fortune^ the power, 
which is too great in one hand, may become too little in 
another. In pure republics, where the authority is distiil 
buted among several assemblies or Senates, the chedcs and 
contnds are more regular in their operation; because dia 
members of such numerous assemblies may be presumed t^ 
be always nearly equal in capaci^ and virtue; and it is only 
their number, riches, or authority, which enter into ooosi^ 
deration. But a limited monarchy admits not of any such 
fltabili^; nor is it possible to assign to the crown such a de^ 
terminicte d^ree of power, as will, in every hand, form a 
proper counterbalance to the other parts of the oonstitOi* 
tion. This is an unavoidable disadvantage, among the 
many advantages, attending that species of government. 

• See Nora [B.] 



Jlt afibrjis a violent pr^udice against almost every science 
tbat DO prudentmaiiy however sure of Jiis princii^esy dares 
pii(^>hes7 oonoemiog any events or foretell the remote con«> 
sequences of tilings. A physician will not venture to pro*- 
iiouoc^ cpncereing the condition of his patient a fortnight 
«r a month after : And still less dares a politician foretell 
the situation of public affiiirs a few years hence. Harring* 
Um thought himself so sore <^his general principles, thai 
ike babmce qf power dq^ends <m that qf propertjf^ that he 
▼eitfitred to pronounce it impossible ever to re-establish 
teoDarchy in England: But his book was scarcely pub* 
lished when the king was resUnred; and we see^ that mo- 
narchy has ever since subsisted upon ihe same footing as 
befiMre* Notwithstanding this unlucky example, I will 
Teoture to examine an in^)ortant question^ to wit, Whdhef 
He JBrtftsA GiSfoenmad imdinu mom to absobUe monarchic 
4Mr t» m repubUcf andim whichqfthe$e two tpecies qfg(h 
wmwimt a wiU niott probabfy terminaU ? As there seems 
not to be any great danger of a sudden revolution either 
way, I shall at least escape the shame attending my teme* 
rity, if I should be found to have been mistaken. 

Those who assert, that the balance of our government 


jiwrliim towards absolute monarchy, may support their opi- 
mqa by the foUowang reasons : That property has a great 
influence on power cannot possibly be denized ; but yet the 
general maxim, that the bakmce<if the one dqj^ntUoii the ba^ 
kmee qfthe other, aiust be received with several limitations. 
jte is evident, that much less property in a single hand w3l 
be able to coaBterbaianoe a greater property in several : not 
only because it is difficult to make many persons combine 
ia the sasie views and measures ; but because property, 
when united, eauses much greater dependence, than the 
same property when disperse* A hundred persons, <^ 
L. 1000 a^year a-piece, can oonsume all their ineome, and- 
nobody shall ever be the better for them, except their ser* 
vants and tradesmen, who justly regard their profits as the- 
product of their own labour. But a man possessed of 
L.100,000 a-year, if he has either any generosity, or any 
cunning, may create a great dependence by obligations, 
and still a greater by expectati<ms« Hence we may ob- 
serve, that, in all free governments, any subject exorbitant' 
]y rich, has always created jealousy, even though his riches 
bore no proportion to those of the state. Crassus's for- 
tune, if I remember well, amounted only to i^ut two mil- 
lions and a half of our money ; yet we find, that though 
his genius was nothing extraordinary, he was able, by means 
of his riches alone, to counterbalance, during hb lifetime, 
the power of Pompey as well as that of Ccesar, who after- 
wards became master of tile world. The wealth of the 
Medici made them masters of Florence ; though, it is pro*' 
bable, it was not C(Hisiderable, compared to the united 
property of that opulent republic. 

These considerations are apt to make one entertain a 
Magnificent idea of the British spirit and love of liberty t 
since We could maintain our free government, during so 


many centuries, against our sovereigns, who, besides the 
power, and dignity, and majesty of the crown, have always 
been possessed of much more prcq^erty, than any subject 
has ever enjoyed in any commonwealth. But it may be 
said, that this spirit, however great, will never be able to 
suj^rt itself against that immense property, which is now 
lodged in the king^ and which is still increasing. Upon a 
moderate computation, there are near three millions a*year 
at the diyosal oTtbe crown. The civil list amounts to 
Bear a million; the o^ection of all taxes to another; and 
the employments in the army and navy, together with ec-* 
clesiastical preferments, to above a third million : — an 
enormous sum, and what may &irly be computed to be 
moti than a thirtieth part of the whole income and labour 
of the kingdom. When we add to this great property, 
the increasing luxury of the nation, our proneness to cor- 
r,uption, together with the great power and prerogatives of 
the crown, and the command of military force, there is no 
one but must despair of being able, without extraordinary 
effints, to support our free government much longer under 
these disadvantages. 

. On the other hand, those who maintain, that the bias 
of the Britbh government leans towards a r^ublic, nuiy 
support their opinion by specious arguments. It may be 
^d, that though this immense property in the crown be 
joined to the dignity of first magistrate, and to many other 
legal powers and prerogatives, which should naturally give 
it greater Influence ; yet it really becomes less dangerous 
to liberty upon that very account Were England a repub- 
lic, and were any private man possessed of a revenue, a 
third, or even a tenth part as large as that of the crown, 
he would very justly excite jealousy ; because he would in.** 
glibly have great authority in the government. And sucK 


4tti ilT^;iibr authoriQr, not avowed by di6 laws, is always 
more ckmgeroos than a much greater authority derived 
£roin them. A man possessed of usurped power can set 
joo bounds to his pretensions : His partisans have liberty 
to Irape for every thing in his favour : His enemies pro^ 
voke his ambition with hb fears, by the violence of their 
opposition : And the government being thrown into a fer- 
ment, every corrupted humour in the state naturally ga^ 
thers to him. On the contrary, a legal authori^, thouj^ 
great, has always k>me bounds, which terminate both the 
hopes and pr^ensions of the person possessed of it : The 
lawa must have provided a remedy against its excesses : 
Such an eminent magistrate has much to fear, and little 
to hope frcmi his usurpations : And as his legal authority 
is quietly submitted to^ he has small t^nptation and small 
opportuni^ of extendii^ it farther. Besides, it happois 
with regard to ambitious aims and projects, what may be 
observed with r^;ard to sects of philos<^hy and rdigion. 
A new sect excites such a ferment, and is both opposed 
and defended with such vehemence, that it always spreads 
fiister, and multiplies its partisans with greater rapidi^, than 
any old established opinion, recommended by the sancticm 
of the laws and of antiquity. Such is the nature of novej* 
ty, that, where any thing pleases, it becomes doubly agree^ 
Ue, if new; but if it displeases, it is doubly displeamig 
upon that very account. And, in most cases, the violence 
of ^lemies is favourable to ambitious projects, as well as* 
the zeal of partisans. 

It may farther be said, that, though men be much go* 
vemed by interest ; yet even interest itself, and all human 
affairs, are entirely governed hy^ggioisgh^ Now, there has 
been a sudden and sensible change in the opinions <^ men 
within these last fifly years^ by the progress <^ learning and 


of liberty. Most peoplet in this island, have divested themu 
selves of all snperadtions reverence to names and anthoii- 
iy: The clergy have miich lost their credit: Their pre- 
t^isions and doctrines have been ridicaled ; and even r^ 
.»-4igion can scarcely snpport itself in the world The fliere 
tiaitie of Ung commands little respect; and to talk of n 
Jung as God's vicegerent on earth, or to give him any of 
those magnificent titles which formerly dazaled mankind, 
would but excite laughter in every on^ Though the 
crovrn, by means of its large revenue, may maintun its auv 
thori^, in times of tranquillity, upon private interest and 
inflnence; yet, as the least shock or convulsion must break 
all these, interests to pieces, the royal power, being no 
longer supported by the settled principles and opinions of 
men, will immediately dissolve. Had men been in the 
same disposition at the JUtfohMcmj as they are at present^ 
monarchy would have run a great risk of being entirely 
lost in this island. 

Durst I venture to deliver my own sentiments amidst 
these opposite arguments, I would assert, that, unless 
there happen some extraordinary convulsion, the power 
^ the crown, by means of its large revenue, is rather 
upon the increase ; though at the same time I own, that 
its progress seems very slow, and almost insensible. The 
tide has mn long and with scmie rapidity to the side of 
popular government, and is just beginning to turn towards 
p-^ [ ^ ^ r^ 1 ^^ ^ ^^^ known, that every government must come to 
I 1 a period, and that death is unavoidable to the political as 
weU as to the animal body. But, as one kind of death may 
be preferable to another, it may be inquired, whether it 
be more desiraUe for the British constitution to terminate 
in a popular government, or in an absolute monarchy ? 


Utfe I would fnuikly dedafe^ that^tfacHigkUt^ 
femfale taaltt^ery, ia almost &nigy.oo»; ytt I Aoidd ra^ i 
iher wish b> see an absolute mosiurek tfaan a repoblio i4 \ 
dttLisland. . For Itit us consider what kind of repi»l\Iic we 
luoas rtason to expect TJw qnestioii is. notlcoaveiteing 
any fine imaginary republic, of which a man may.&mi# 
plan in his closet* There is no doubt, but a popular go- 
vernment may be imagined more perfect than absolute 
monarchy, or even than our present constitution. But 
what reason have we to expect that any such government 
will ever be established in Great Britain, upon the dissolu- 
tion of our mcmarchy ? If any single person acquire power 
enough to take our constitution to pieces, and put it up 
anew, he is really an absolute monarch ; and we have al^^ 
ready had an instance of this kind, sufficient to convince 
us, that such a person will never resign his power, or es- 
tablish any firee government. Matters, therefore, must be 
trusted to their natural progress and operaticm; and the 
house of commons, according to its present constitution, 
must be the only l^slature in such a popular govern- 
ment. The inconveniences attending such a situation of 
affidrs, present themselves by thousands. If the house of 
commons, in such a case, ever dissolve itself, which is not 
to be expected, we may look for a civil war every elec- 
tion. If it continue itself, we shall suffer all the tyranny 
of a &cti(Hi subdivided into new factions. And, as such a 
violent government cannot long subsist, we shall, at last, 
i^r many convulsions and civil wars, find repose in ab- 
solute monarchy, which it would have been happier for 
us to have established peaceably from the beginning. Ab- 
solute monarchy, therefore, is the easiest death, the true 
Euikamma of the British constitution. ' 



Thiifli if we have reason to be more jealous of monarchy^ 
because the danger is more imminent from that quarter; 
we have also reason to be more jealous of popoLur govern^ 
nient, because that danger is more terrible. This may 
teach us a lesson of moderation in all our political control 



\Js fill m^i that ^sth^^nish tbemsdiras by metnartkie' 
adueTemeBtSy the first phce of honcMir secpns due to Ls-' 
oisjATOMS and Ibimdftrs of states^ who transmit a qrstem 
of laws and institutioiis to secure the paac^ hafipioMV indi 
liber^ of future generations* . The influence, pfusefidhv^ 
mentions in the arts and sciences may, peribsps, extend' 
fitrther than that of wise laws, whose e£bcts are limitsd: 
both in time and place; but the benefit ariai^ fma the 
former is n^ so sensible as that which resultafroiaJthe latf 
tm*.: S^[>, indeed, in^rove the Bimd, 
butifais adyantage reaches only to a few pt^raons, who haye' 
leisure:to apply themselves to them. And as to practkid 
arts, whkdi increase the commodities and enjoyments of 
life, it is well known, thatmen's happiness c(msists not )k>' 
mnqh in an abundance of these, as in the peace and^seciir' 
rity widi which they possess them; and those blessing' 
can only be derived from good government Not to ttien- 
tion, that general virtue and good morals in a state, which 
are so requisite to hi^^iness, can never arise frrnn-tlie' 
most r^ned precepts of philos^Ay, or eyeli the severest 
injunctions of rel^rion ; but must proceed entirely from dje 
virtuous education of youth, the efiect of wise laws and ill- ' 
stitntions. I must therefore presume to differ from Lord ' 

VOL* I. E ' 


Bacon in this particular, and must regard antiquity as 
somewhat ui^ust in its distribution of honoursi ^en it 
made gods of all the inventors of useful arts, such as Cere^ 
Bacchus, iEsculapius; and dignified legislators, such as 
Romulus and Theseus, only with the appellation of demi- 
gods and heroes. 

As much as legislators and firanders of states ought to be 
honoured and respected among men, as much ought the 
founders of sects and factions to be detested and hated ; 
because the influence of faction is directly contrary to that 
Q(h^9k FagtioDs subvert gfyvB^nmeut, render laws im* 
potint, tod beget the fiercest animosaties among men of 
iImi flfwe QAtiaOf who ought to give motual assistance and 
pyptpfilkm lo eafih other. And what should render the 
jGanideri of parties more odious, is the difficolly of eKtirpa* 
ting the^ weeds^ when once they have taken root in any 
stats* Thfij D^urally propagate themselves for many cen«* 
tnries^ and seldom end but by the total dissolution of that 
go^nemment^ in which they are sown. Tliey are, besides, 
{^tS: wh}<^ gmw roost pkntifiiUy in the richest soil; and 
though libsohite govenunents be not wholly firee firom them, 
it iwf t be confessedf that they rise more easily^ and propa* 
g^ tbi^ipselves &ster in firee governments, where they al- 
ways ip&ct the legislature itself whidi alone could be alde^ 
by th^ steady application <^ rewards and pumshments, to 
eradicate thflm^ 

Ff^Qm may be divided into Personal and Real; that 
i% fflftx^ fap^QlMSf foundid on personal friendship or anioio* 
sitgr am^Wg such as compose the co n te n di ng |>a|ties, and 
iptQ t}^o»e ^iuh}^ <Kn some re$l dlffereqce of sentiment or 
int^r^Mrtr 71)^ reason <^ this di«tiiictioD is obvious; though 
I must lu^pwledg^ thai parties are seldom found pure 
apd mwixedi eHher of the one kind or the other. It is 


not ofiiM s^diif 'that a goTermnent divides into faotions, 
wkerf there is no diflereBeein the views of the conflrituent 
membew, eithetr >eal or appaBMrt, trivial dot mate ml ; Ab4 
19 those fiustuHUy whieh are foipded on the mo^t veal and 
nioft material diflferenee, diere is alwaTS observed a great 
deal of pensoDal animosity oar affection, Qut notwithstaad* 
iag this mixtiiFe, a par^nay be denomiiiated either pei>r 
•onal or reel, acdurj^ing to that principle vAkk is predo* 
minant^ and is found to have the greatest influence* ^ 

Perscmal fections arise most easily in small republics. -^^ 
Every domestic quarrel, there, becomes an affiiir <^ stale. 
Lovie, ypnily, emulation, any passion, as well as ambition 
and reseptment, begets public diyigion. Hie Nbri and 
PiAKCHi of Florence, the Freoocz and AafMxi ciQmoa, 
the CoLOKHi^ and Obsini of modem Rcmie, were parties 

Men have such a ^wapexiaity to divide into pers^Md 
fitftions, that the smallest lypearance of real difltoence will 
produce them. What can be imaguied more trivialthan 
the difference between one colour of livery and another in 
hane^rfuxB? Yet this diffisr^nce begat two most inveterate 
fiictJons ifi the QreA empire, the Pbasini end Vbkbti, 
who never suspended their animosities till they ruined that 
unhaj^^ govwimient. 

W^ find in the Roman history a reraaiicaU^ dissension 
between two tribes, the Pollia and Papi^^ia, which cou- 
tupoed for the sp^ce of near (hreie hundred yews, anddisr 
eov^ed ij^df in their suffirages at every election of ma<* 
gblrates *. This faction was the more remarkable, as it 
cpuld continue for so long a tract of time ; even though it 

* As fhls fiict has not been much obserred by antiquaries or politicians, 
I sfaaH deliTer it in the words of the Roman historian. " Populus Tuscula- 
nus cum conjugibus ac liberis Romam venit : £a multitude veste mutata, 



did not spnead itself nor draw any of the other tribes into 
ashare of theqnarreL If mankind had not a strong pro* 
pensity to such divisicxis, the indifference of the rest of the 
Gomnuinily must have suppressed this foolish animosi^^ 
that had not any aUment of new benefits and injuries, of 
general sympathy and antipathy, which never fail to take 
plac^ when the whole state is rent into two equal Mictions. 
Nothing is more usual than to see parties, whidi have 
begun upon a real difference, continue even after that dif-* 
ference ia lost. When men are once inlisted cm, opposite 
sides, they ccmtract an a£fectt<m to the persons with whom 
thc^ are united, and an animosity against their antagonists: 
And these pasi^ions they often transmit to their posterity* 
The real diflferenoe between Ouelf and Ghibbelline was long 
lo^t in Italy, befi>re these fa^ions were extinguished The 
Guelfs adhered to the pope, the Ghibbellines to the em- 
peror ; yet the family of Sforsa, who were in alliance with 
the^emperor, though they were Guelfis, being expelled Milan 
by the ki)ig ^ of France, assisted by Jacomo Trivulzio and 
the GfaiUbellines, the pope concurred with the latter, and 
they formed leagues with the p<q>e against the emptor. 

.The l^ivil wars which arose some few years ago in Mo^ 
rocco, b^ween the blacks and whiUSy merely on account of 
their complexion, are founded on a pleasant diflference.- 
We laugh at them; but;, I b^eve, were things rightly exa- 
ct specie ireonim, trlbus qrcuit, genfbus se omnium advolvens. Plus itaque 
miserioordia ad pi^im Teniam impetrandam, quam causa ad crimen pur- 
gandtim Talnit. Xtibos omnesy pnster Polliam, andquarunt legem. PolUss 
senteotia fult* puberes yerberatoe necari ; liberos coDJugesque sub conma 
lege belli venire : Memoriamque ejus ir» Tusculanis in pceme tam atrods 
auc^ores, mansisse ad patrum atatem constat, nee quemquam fermeex Pollia 
tribu candidatu m Fapiriam ferre solitum.*' T. Livii, lib. 8. The Castklami 
and NiootLOTi are two mobbish factions in Venice, who firequently box to-i 
getbeTi and then laj aside their quarrels presently. 

• Lewb XII. 

e and a. 
tide off 
is not/I 
nd ex«' 


nuned, we afford much more occasion of ridicule to the 

Moors. For, what are all the wars of feligion, which hare 

prevailed in this pcdite and knowing part of the world ? 

They are certainly more absurd than the Moo^sh civil 

wars. The difference of complexion is a sensiUe and a 

real difierence : But the controversy about an article i 

fiuth, which is utterly absurd and unintell%ifale, 

a difference in sentiment, but in a few phrases and ex« 

pressions, which one party accepts of, without under^ 

standing them ; and the other refuses in the same manner. f) . 

Real factions may be divided into those fixMoa intirat, jX ^"^*^ ^ 
fromprwtct/ife, and from ^{^^cltofi. Of all factions, the first ^ 

are the most reasonable and the most excusable. Whm'e 4 Ux ^ t-^ r ^"^ 
two orders of men, such a^ the nobles and people Ji«ve& - ^''^ ^' 

distinct authority in a government, not very accuratdy 
balanced and modeled, they naturally follow a distinct in^ 
terest ; nor can we reas<mably expect a difierent conducty 
eonsidering that degree of selfishness implanted in humui 
nature. It requires great skill in a legislator to prevent 
such parties; and many philosophers are of opinion, that 
this secret, like the gAmd eKxir^ or petpehitd moHmj niay> 
amuse men in theory, but can never possibly be reduced to 
practice. In despotic governments, indeed, factions often 
do not appear; but they are not the less real ; or rather, 
they are more real and more pernicious, up^i that very 
account. Hie distinct orders of men, nobles and poc^le, 
soldiers and merchants, have all a distinct interest; but 
the more powerfiil oppresses the weaker with impunity, 
and withdut resistance ; which begets a seeming tranquil-* 
Bty in such governments. 

There has been an attempt in England to divide die 
kmded and trading part of the nation; but without success. 
The interests of these two bodies are not really distinct, 

S4 £88 AY VIII, 

and never will be so^ till our public d^bta i^oreftse to sbdi a. 
\ degrke^a^tobecotaiiefdtogetherDt)pre88iveandi]rtol6raUe. 

^^ r / 5 Ptartiet frdm prind^ e^iteiaUy abstract spieciilaliTe 
' ^;vv v^i^^P^^ <^^ known only to ihodem tiities^ and arc, pei> 
hapSy the most extraordinilry and unaccountable jbA^nemeu 
Hon that has yet appeared in hnmaii affiilrs. Where di^ 
ferent principles bq;et a coiitrarlety of conducit^ irhidi is 
the c&se with all different political principle^ the nifttter 
may be more easily explained. A man, ^ho esteenis the 
true right of government to lie in one foan, or dne fitimly^ 
cimndt eanly agree with his fello#*«ids5en9 wh6 di&ks 
diat aikother mati ct family is possessed of this r^hL 
Em& haturally wishes that right may take place, accord- 
ing to his own ikoticoif of it But where die difierence of 
prindple is attended with no ccmtnurtety of aeticm^ but 
ev^ one may follow his own Way, Whhout inferieritii; 
with his neighbdury as happ^ils in all religious controvert 
SMI #li^t madhesi^ whatftfry, oanbegbtsuth ail iddiap^ 
py and such tMl divisions? 

Two liicn tfuveUing ob the highway^ the one east^ d» 
odier westy cw easily pass.each bther^ if the Way be broad 
enougitt but two lnen» reasoning upon opposite prindples 
of religion, c&nnot so easily pass without shdckihg ; tlioi^ 
<Mie should thinks that Ae way were ialso, in that case, su& 
ficiently broadi and that eadi might proceed, without in* 
terruptiGai, in his own course* But such is the nature of 
the human niind^ that it always lays hold on every miiid 
that af^oacbes it ; and al» it is wcmderfully fortified hy ah 
unanimity of sentiments, sb it Li shocked and disturbed by 
any contrariety. Hence the eagerness which most peo* 
pie diiicoter in a dispute ; and h^iee thdr impatience of 
opposition) even in the most speculative and indiffsrent 

OF PARfits m Mneral, 5& 

TMb prfaidpld, howidY^r 6nt<A&t^ it itt&y Appaar, dMaoi 
to b(«rd bett the otigitt df dtl td%ioitt wars and divMdil^ 
But as this princ^le b universal in hmnattt natufe^ Hk t4^ 
fects would nol hi(ve beisn eonflned to om age^ and to one 
«eet dP ifel^on, did it not fh^ eonenr with oHi^ moi^ 
aceidentftl cau^e^ which raise it M dttch a height^ tiS tS 
produce fh^ greatest misety mA A^mte^atL Most Nti*" 
gions of the BikSeat world aiNMl^ in tlio ttfkhomi &g6§'<A 
govemmettt, when men Wei^ n» yet baiiMtfoRO^ antf ntrnn 
ttmcted^ a^ the {Aince^ as well Aii pea0«n^ warf ^^poied 
to receiTe, wfih hnplidt fiddi, etaliy plOQi f«te <^ fietioil^ 
winch was d0bt>ed him. The mi^sti^te embftf^ iis^ 
religion of the people;^ «nd> enteiring eot^dtaUy info ^ 
care o^ sacred matteiT^ i^turdly dcqnired M Mih^^^ih 
them» and nnited the ecclesiastical with the Cfvff pbim. 
But the ChridioH rdi^on arising, While princ1|)te» diredtt 
Ij opposite to it were firmly estftUished in the p^lbM pdti 
cfihe world, who despised the Mtion that fll^t bi^O^^cid 
this notelly ; no wondei^ that, in snoh ch'e^edrrces^ ii 
WAS hot fi^fe coimteiumc^ by tk€ dv^ tteigfalttai^:^ 
that the priesthood was alloWed to e^ftgfo^ dll t^d UttdkO^ 
rity in the new sect ^bad ilnse dUf they ihiOse dfiMk 
power, ev^ in those earfy tintes^ th«t the pittfAlS^ pe^fee^ 
cations nlay, peA^ps, Mpari^t ^ li^eribed to the f!6letiM 
instilled by them into theii^ MOweri^. 

And the same principles of priestfy gotetriment conti^ 
nnhig, after Chris^ity became the estaMJ^hed religion ; 
they have engendered a ^ndt of persecntion, which htfi 
ever smee been the poison of htiman society, and tfie 
source of the most hrrdterate factions in every government 
Such dit^ion^ tikerefore, on the part Of the people tMf 

66 fiSfiAY VIII. 

JMftdy be e»toeiiied factictts cfpmiefgfkj but, on the piuct 
of the priests, who are the prioie mov^ris, th^ are rettUy 
factkODs of Meneal. 

There is another cause (beside the authority of the 
priests^ and the ag[fflm*ifln .o£ ^ ^ cd^i^^icfll an^ c^yil 
powers) which has conitributied tp j-^d^r Chri/4«md<N|i the 
scene of religtous wars and di?isip«s% Religions that 
i^rise in ages totallyignprant and barbarous, consist mostly 
xrf* ti:a4iti9nal lalss and fi<^n«^ which may be difier^it jn 
jpveaty0^f^ irithout being contnMj to each other: andeyeo 
ythm tl^iQpe ^^atuary, every cm^ adhere to th^ tradition 
p£)4$ pwn sec^ wfthput much reasoning or disputation* 
*34t,as;i4iilpQc^^ was widely.^read over the world at 
iha tifue ,when Christianity arps^ the teachers of die new 
fi^weija obliged to ferm a s^tmi of speculative ^[^unions; 
to divide, with some accuracy, their articles of faith ; and 
to exp^, comment, confute, and. defend, with all the 
subtlety of aigument and science. Hence naturally arose 
keenness in dilute, when the Christian religion came tp 
be^plit into new divisions and heresies : And this keenness 
assisted the priests in their policy, of begetting a mutual 
hatred and ant^>athy funcmg their deluded fc^ower^ Sects 
of i^iilosophy, in the ancient world, were more zealpus 
jthan parties of religion ^ but, in modem times, parties of 
religion are more furious and enraged than the most cruel 
ihcticins that ever arose from interest and ambition. 
I have mentioned parties frpm^jjg^Mn as a Idnd of reo/ 
X r r ,^T c '■ parties, beside those from interest and principle. By par- 
- Tfc \i^ ; ^ v<>^ties from affection, I underst^d those which are founded 
' on the different attachments of men towards particular fa- 
milies and persons, whom they desire to rule over them. 
These fisictions are oflen very violent ; though, I must own, 
it may seem unaccountable, that men should attach them- 


sdTes so fttrongly to persons, with whom they are nowise 
acqiuinted, whom periiaps tbqr never saw, and from whom 
they never received, nor can ever hope for, any favour. 
Yet this we oRai find to be the case, and even with men, 
who^ on other occasions, discover no great generosity of 
spirit^ nor are found to be easily transported by friendship 
beyond their own interest We are apt to think the reU- 
tion between as and our sovereign very close and intimate. 
The splendour of majesty and power bestows an impor- 
tance cm the fortunes even of a single person. And when 
a lean's good nature floes not give him this imaginary in- 
terest^ his ill nature wSl, from spite and opposition to per* 
sons whose sentiments are different from his own. 


^^^^^^ — ^ ^ — ^. > --1 t^ 


W^JBAB the British gOTetniMiit proposed as a suli^ecl of 
qpeoulittioii9 one wDaU immediately peroeive in it a seuffoe 
of division end par^ which it woidd be ehoost impossiMe 
for it, under any administration^ to avoid. The just ba- 
lance between the republi^ and moriarc^ij^^rt of our 
constitution is really, in itself, so extremely delicate and 
uncertain, that, when joined to men's passions and preju- 
dices, it is impossible but di£ferent opinions must arise con- 
cemiqgit, even among persons of the best understanding. 
. Those of mild tempers, who love peace and order, and de- 
test sedition and civil wars, will always entertain more &- 
vourable sentiments of monarchy than men of bold and ge- 
nerous spirits, who are passionate lovers of liberty, and 
think no evil comparable to subjection and slavery. And 
though all reasonable men agree in general to preserve our 
mixed government; y^t, when they c«me to particulars, 
some will incline to trust greater powers to the crown, to 
bestow on it more influence, and to guard against its en- 
croachments with less caution, than others who are terri- 
fied at the most distant approaches of tyranny and despo- 
tic power. Thus are there parties of PaiMaPLE involved 
in the very nature of our constitution, which may proper- 
ly enough be denominated those of Court and Country. 


The strength and Tiolenoe of each of these parties wtH 
ffiift^ depend upon the partioofaur adiiiiiintration% An ad« 
iftbiistratlcm nu^ be so bad, aa to throw a great majority 
faitd tiie opposition; as a good admiitisdratioa will recoii'i 
eOe to the eoort many of the most passionate lorers of 11* 
beny. But however the natkm rai^ flnctoate between 
them^ the parties tlitanselres wIU always subsist, so long as 
we toe governed by a limited monardiy. ^ 

Bnt^ besides this d^rasEoe of Prtmiipkj those partk# ' ] ^ ~ y^ ^ 
are rery much fomented hy a dHFeremce of IittebesIv 
Irithout which Aey could scarcely erer be dangerous en 
tkdent The crown will naturally bestow all trust and 
(Myw^if^itpoa dios^ whose prinoiple% real or pretended, are 
most ihyonrable to monarcfaioal goremmait; and this 
temptation wHl naturally engage l&em to go greater lengths 
thm their principles would otherwise carry them* Their / 
antagonists^ who are dlsi^ipointed hi thmr ambitioM aims, co^^( 
throw diemsdves into the party wlmse sentiment s incline 
them to be most Jealous of tOfal power, and naturdUy car** ^ 
tf those sentiments to a greater height than sound poli- 
tics will jtiStify. Thus Qmrt and OmOry^ which are the 
genume o^bpring of the British government, are a kind of 
mixed x>arties, and are influenced both by principle and by 
interest* The heads of the faethms are conunonly most 
g<yvemed by the latter motive ; the inferior members of 
them by the fofmer. 

As to eccleriastical parties, "we may observe, that, in all 
ages of the world, priests have been enemies to liberty) "*" 
And it i^ certan^, that this steady conduct of tiieirs must 
have been founded on fixed reasons of jntere st and ambj^ 
tign. Liberty of thinking, and of expressing our thoughts, 
is always fatid to priestly power, and to those pious frauds 
on whidi it is commonly founded ; and, by an infallible 

^,ac L^^-»t* Us 

60 / ESSAY IX. 

oonnection, which prerails among all kinds (^liberty, this 
privilege can never be enjoyed, at least has never yet been 
enjoyed, but in a free government Hence it most hap- 
pen, in such a constitution as that of Great Britcun,* that 
the established clergy, while things are in their natural si- 
^ tuation, will alwilys be of the CpusftrP^nrty ; 0Sy on the con- 
t^\ trary, dissenters of all kinds will "be of the Ccmn/irj/^party; 
since they can never hope for that toleration, which they 
stand in need of, but by means cf our free government 
All princes that have aimed at d^iq>otic power have known 
of what importance it w&s to gabi the established clergy; 
as the clergy, on their part, have shewn a great facility in 
entering into ikhe views of such princes ■. Oustavus Vasa 
was, perhaps, the only ambitious monarch that evtir de- 
pressed the church, at the same time that he discouraged 
liberty. But the exorbitant power of the bishops in Swe- 
den, who, at that time, overtopped the crown itself^ to- 
gether with their attachment to a foreign family, was the 
reason of his embracing such~an unusual system of politics. 
This observation, concerning the propensity of priests 
to the government of d single perscm, is not true with re- 
^ gafd to one sect only. The Presbyterian and CaMttiiiie 
clergy in Holland were professed friends to the family of 
Orange ; as the Arminiansj who were este^ned heretics, 
were of the Louvestein faction, and zealous for liberty. 
But if a prince have the choice of both, it is easy to seo 
that he will prefer the episcopal to the presbyterian form 
of government, both because of the greater affiaify betweeu 
monarchy and episcopacy, and because of the facility which 

■' Judari sibi ipd regis imposuere ; qni mobilltate vulgi expulsi» resump- 
ta per armA dominatlonet fugas civium, urbium eversiones, fratrum, con- 
juguin, parentum neces aliaque solita regibus ausi» superstitionem fovebant ; 
quia honor saoerdotii, finnamentum potential asaumebatur. Tacit. Hist lib. u» 


he will find, in suA a government, of ruling the clergy by 
mejans of their ecclesiastical superiors *. 

If we consider the first rise of parties in England, during 
Ike great rebellion, we shall observe that it was conform- 
able to this general theory, and that the species of i^vem- 
aieiit gave birth to them by axegular and infallible opera* 
tion. The English oonstitutioii, before that period, had 
lain in a kind of confusion; yet so as that the subjects 
possessed many noble {nivileges, whicl^ thou^ not exact* 
ly bounded and secured by law, were universally deemed, 
firom loatig possession, to belong to them as their birth* 
righL An ambitious, or rather a misgiuded, prince arose, 
who deemed aH these privileges to be concessions of his 
pri^cessors, revocable at pleasure ; and, in prosecution 
of this principle^ he openly acted in violation of liberty 
dnring the course of several years* Necessity, at last^ con- 
strained him to call a parliament: The i^urit of liber^ 
arose and spread itself: The prince, being without any 
support, was obliged to grant every thing required of him ; 
And his enemies, jealous and implacable, set no bounds to 
their pretensicms. Here^ then» began those contests, in 
which it was no wonder that men of that age were divided 
into difiPerent parties; since, even at this day, the impar- 
tial are at a loss to decide concerning the justice of the 
quarrel. The pretensions of the parliament, if yielded to^ 
broke tbe balance of the constitution, by rendering the 
government almost entirely republkan. If not yielded to, 
the nation was, perhaps, still in danger of absolute power, 
firom the settled principles and inveterate habits of the 
king, which had plainly appeared in every concession that 

* PopuU impeiium jozU libertatexn : paucorum dominatio regie libidini 
jiropior ^st. Tacit. Ann. lib. vi. 


l|tt h«d been <«n9Ci!aiiied to make to hii people. In dm 

^pertion, so delicate and mcertaioy men natwalljr fidl to 

the side which was most c^Nifonnahle to their Miial priiir 

df^es : and the aiore passioiuite finrourcrs of «t*«^rfhy 

declared for the kiz^ as the aaalons friends cf liber^ sided 

with the parliament. The hopes of success being ncavly 

e^ial on both sides^ iaierut had no general inflnence in 

this contest : So that Bou9PHS4d and Cavaliek were 

I ^ . merety parties ^jir'"^Vtf neither ot which disowned 

other monardiy or liber^; but the finrmer party inditted 

^i^,.^^ ^^ most to the lepubliom piprt of our govenunsK^ the latter 

( to the monarchical. In this req>ec^ th^ may be coQsi« 

^, u v\^ !.(<?.< dered as coort and country party, inflamed into a cavil 

war, by an unhappy amcnrrence of oiroumstanoes, and by 

the tnrbulent spirit of the ag^ The commonwealth's men, 

and the partisans of absolute power, lay ocmcealed in both 

parties, and fi^rmed but an inconsideraUe part of -them. 

The dergy had concurred with the kii^s arbi^ry de« 
signs ; and, in return, were allowed to persecute (heir f|d* 
versaries, whom they called heretics and schismatics. The 
established clergy were episcopal; the non-conformists 
presbyterian: So that all diings concurred to throw the 
former, without reserre, into the king^s party, and the laJb* 
ter into that of the parliament. 

Every one knows the event of this quarrel ; fatal to the 
king first, to the parliament i^rwards. After many con- 
iusions and revcdutions, the royal fiimily was at last restored, 
and the ancient government re-established. Charles IL 
was not made wiser by the example of his father, but pro- 
secuted the same measures, though, at first, with more 
secrecy and caution. New parties arose under the ap- 
^ '^ ^ pellation of Whig and Tory, whidi have continued ever 

since to confound and distract our government. To de- 


^|]OiM tlie Mtiitzfi of those partttB is peaeb^is 4Joe of the 
MPt difficHlt. luroblenii that cm be m^ .with, and is a 
IMXK>f that biatofjr noay ocmtam qaestiens as n«ccrtaifi as 
aiiirloJbi^fiMliuliiitheiBOitabstiaotaeiettce^ .We have 
f0to^ejBQ»diictQfthe.twopArtie8y during the coavse of 
9»wi»^ywnk in a yyt rariely of dnaimrtanocBy po s s asoad 
of power, and deprived of st» during peae^ and dipriBg 
wop; PeiMMwi^fUTDfosstbeiDsdvaiixfanf sideoroiber^ 
we ineet with every hottTt in ecmipaaj, inoQrplaasiires» in 
our amoiii ocenpatioaa: We oorsdvesare oonstrained^ in 
1^ manmr, to take parly; and living in a country of the 
hi^est liberty^ ^viery one may openly dedare all his sen«- 
tjimpotsaiid pinions: Yrtareweataloss tDtellthena- 
tmii^ piliMaWoAS} and principles, of the diflSarent fi^etioM. 
Whw we CMipare the parties of Whi^ and Tory with 
thP^ of BoovpiMSAj) and Gavaukb^ the most obvious 
di^r^npe that appears between them consists ia the ptin^ 
eipleii of pami» cbpXmcef and ind^ft(mUe rijfit, which 
Wer^ bist <little heard of among the jCavaUecs, bui became 
the poivi^sal ddctrinef and were esteemed the true charao^ 
teristicofaTory. Were these principles pushed into their 
most obvious cQPsequenceSt Aey imply a formal renimoia*- 
tion of all our liberties, and an avowal of absolute mo- 
narchy ; since nothing can be a greater absurdity than a 
limited powers which mu^ not be restated^ even when it ex- 
ceeds its limitations. But» as the most rational principles 
Bre often but a weak counterpoise to passion, it is nawoo- 
d&r that these absurd principles were found too weak for 
that effect. The Tories, as men, were enemies to oppres- 
sion ; and also as Englishmen, they were enemies to arb^ 
trary power* Their zee) for liberty was, perhaps, less feiu 
vent than that of their antagonists, but was suQdent to 


make them forget, all their general principles, when they 
saw themsdves openly threatened with a subversion of the 
micient government. From these sentiments arose thtf 
revobiiion ; an event c^ mighty ooBseqnence, and ike firm* 
eat foundation of British liberty. The conduct of the 
Tories during that event, and after it, will affinrd us a true 
insight into die nature of idiat party. 

In the^sl place, they appear to have had the gentune 
sentiments of Britons in their affection for liberty, and in 
their determined resolution not to sacriQee it to any ab* 
stract principle whatsoever^ or to any imaginary rights of 
princes. This part of th^ir character mi^t justly have 
been doubted of before the revobOian, from the obvious 
tendency of their avowed principles, and from their com* 
pliances with a court,, which seemed to make little secret 
. of its arbitrary designs. The revohOkm shewed them to 
have been, in this respect, nothing but a genuine coidi-' 
parijf, such as might be expected in a ^ntish government; 
that is. Lovers of Ubertg^ bvtgreaier lovers efimmarehg. 
It must, however, be confessed, that they carried their mo- 
narchical principles fiurther even in practice, butmore so in 
theory, than was, in apy d^g^^ consistent with a limited 

Secondfyy Neither their principles nor a£kctIons ooncmv 
red, entirely or heartily, with the settlement made at the 
EevoltUionf or with that which has since taken place. This 
part of their character may seem opposite to the former ; 
since any other settlement, in those circumstances of the 
nation, must probably have been dangerous, if not fatal to 
liberty. But the heart of man is made to reconcile contra^ 
dictions ; and this ccmtradiction is not greater than that 
between passive obedience^ and the resistance employed at 


the Revolation. A Tort» theirefora^ since die BevobMm^ 
may be defined in a fienur wDids» to be a hcer ^mom&rchg^ 
tkfmffh withtmi tibimdamng Uberty: and a pariiaaH nf Ae 
fitmUif tfStmri : As a Whio may be defined to be a iS>- 
tferofN^ertyy Aough without remnmcing momarchy ; and a 
JHend to tik settlemefU in the Proiestani line. 

These difierent views, with regard to the settlement of 
the croiwn, were accidental, bot natural additions to the 
principles of the court and comdrp parties, which are the 
genuine divisicms in the British govenunent A passion- 
ate lover of monarchy is i^t to be displeased at any change 
of the succession; as savouring too much of a common- 
wealth : A passionate lover of liberty is apt to think that 
every part of the government ought to be subordinate to 
the interests of liberty. 

Some, who will not venture to assert, that the reo/ diffe- 
rence between Whig and Tory was lost at the BevoluOon^ 
seem inclined to think, that the difference is now abolish- 
ed, and that ai&irs are so far returned to their natural 
state, that there are at present no other parties among us 
but cowi and country ; that is, men who, by interest or 
principle, are attached either to monarchy or liberty. The 
Tories have been so long obliged to talk in the republican 
sQrle, diat diey seem to have made converts of themselves 
by their hypocrisy, and to have embraced die sentiments 
as well as language of dieir adversaries. There are, how- 
ever, very considerable remains of that party in England, 
with all their old prejudices ; and a proof that court and 
country are not our only parties, is, that almost all the dis- 
senters side with the court, and die lower clergy, at least 
ci the church of England, with die opposidcm. This may 
convince us^ that some bias still hangs upon our constitu- 

VOL. !• F 

66 BSSAT IX. . 

timi) some extrinuc weight, vhich turns it from it& natii^ 
rid course, and causes a eonfiision in our parties^, i 

^ 3oid4 oCthB opIaioBs deliTerad in tbeteEisi^ with ngardto Ifce yu* 
blic tnnsactkma in the lad century^ the Author, on more accurate examiQa. 
tion, found reason to retract in his llistoiy of Great Britain. And as he 
would not ensUve himself to the systems of either party, neither would he 
fetter his judgment by his own preconceived opinions and prindplefl ;' nor 
is he ashamed to acknoirledgt bis mistakes. These mistakes vevo indeed* 
at that time^ ahuost unitenal in this kiog;dom. 



1 UKT the c(m'%yiiim (^ the be^ of things produces the WW 
is gi^owfi into a maxim, and is commonly proved, among 
oth^r instances, by the pernicious efifects of superstiiion and 
ttttkma$mj the coirupUons of true religion. 

These two species of false religion, though both pemi* 
ciouS, are yet of a very difierent, and even of a contrary 
nature. • The mhid of man is subject to certain unaccount- 
able terit)(rs and apprehensionsj proceeding either from the 
«inhat>py situatioh of private or public afiairs, from ill 
health, from a gloomy and melancholy disposition, or from 
the concurreilce of all these circumstances. In such a state 
of mindy infinite mknown evils are dreaded from unknown 
agwts; and'where real ol^ects <^ terror are wanting, the 
soul, its owti prejudice^ and fostering its predo*- 
minaDt JpcIiiiiitiQn, finds imagin&ry ones, io whose power 
^ip4 mi^evolttce it sets no limits. As these enemies ace 
entirely invisible and unknown, the methoids taken to ^>- 
pease tb^m aiie equally unacooua table, and consist in cere- 
moaies, obsarvances, mortifications, sacrifices, presents^ or 
in finy* practice however absurd or frivolous, whidi e^ither 
foUy or knavery recommends to a blind and terrified cre- 
dulity* Weakness, fear, mehQ]icholy» together with igno- - 
ranee, are, dievefore, the true sources of Superstition. . ^ | 


68 ESSAY X. 

But the mind of man is also subject to an unaccount* 
able elevation and presumption, arising from prosperous 
success, from luxuriant health, from strong spirits, or from 
a bold and confident disposition. In such a state of mind, 
the imagination swells with great, hnt confused concep- 
tions, to which no sublunary beauties or enjoyments can 
correspond. Every thing mortal and perishable vanishes 
as unworthy of attention. And a full range is ^ven to 
the fancy in the invisible regions, or world of Spirits, 
where the soul is at liberty to indulge itself in every imar 
gination, which may best suit its present taste and dispo- 
sition. — Hence arise raptures, transports, and surprising 
flights of fancy; and confidence and presumption still iii« 
creasing, these raptures, being altogether unaccountable, 
and seeming quite beyond the reach of our ordinary fa- 
culties, are attributed to the immediate inspiration of that 
Divine Being, who is the object of devotion. In a litde 
time^ the inspired person comes to regard himsdf as adia- 
lingnished favourite of the DiviniQr ; and when this 6tenzy 
(mce takes place, which b the summit of enthusiasm, every 
whimsy is consecrated : Human reascm, and even morafi* 
ty, are rejected as fiillacious guides : A»d the Ihnalic mad- 
man delivers himself over, blindly, and without reserve, 
to the supposed iHapses of the spirit, and to inspiration 
from' above.-^Hope^ pride, presumption, a warm imagi- 
nation, together with ignorance, are, therdbr^ the trve 
sources of Enthusiasm. 

These two i^ieoies of &lae re^ioa m^fatafibrd occaskm 
to many speculations ; but I shall confine mysdf, at pre^ 
seat^ to a fbw reflections concerning thdr diftureat inflfi* 
enoe on govermnent and society. 

VLj first reflection is, Oiai mtper&iiikm is finxmwik to 
\jprie$tly pomer^ ondenffmHamnoi km or mfkernmtcm' 


trmrjf iQ iif OoH mmki reamm and jMhtopky. As super- f 
stitton is foimcled on fear, sonrow, and a depression of spi« 
rits^ it represents the man to himself in such de^cableco^ 
lours, that be a{q>ears onworthy, in his own eyes, of ap« 
pi^oaching die Dtvine presence and naturally has recourse 
to any other person, whose sanctity of life, or, perha^ im* 
podenoe and cunning, have made him be supposed more 
&voared by the Divinity. To him the superMitions en* 
trust their devotions : To bus care they recommend their 
prayers, pelitioi», and sacrifices : And by his means,' they 
hope to render their addresses acceptable to their incensed 
Dei^* Hence the origin of Priests, who may justly 
be regaided as an invention of a timorous and abject sib- 
perstitfam, which, ever diffident of itself dares not ofler up 
its own devotions, but ignorantly thinks to recommend it- 
self to the Divinify, by the mediation of his supposed 
irsuids aiid servants. As superstition is a omsiderable in- 
gredient in almost all religions, even the most iaDiatical; 
there being nothing but philosophy able entirely to con- 
•quer these unaccountable terrors; hence it proceeds, that 
m idnost every sect of religicm there are priests to be found : 
Birt the stronger mixture there is of superstition, the highr 
er is the authority of the priesthood. 

On the odier hand, it may be observed, that all enthn- 
siaate have been fi:ee firiHn die yoke of eedesiasdcs, and 
have eiq>re8aed great independence in their devotion ; with 
4 contempt of forms, ceremonies, and traditions. The 
Qwifaff are the most egregious, diough, at die same time, 
the most inoocent enthusiasts that have yet been known; 
and are perhaps the only sect that have never admitted 
priests amcmg diem. The ^fiidlgaewfai^ of all the English 
aaetaries^ iqpproach nearest to die Quahtn in fimatician, 
and in dieir fireedom from priestly bondage. The iVet- 

70 ESSAY X. 

hgUruuw follow after, at an equal distance, m both parlki> 
culars. In short, this observation is founded in experience ; 
and will also appear to be fmmded in reason, if we consi- 
der, that, as enthusiasm arises from a presuo^ptuous pride 
and confidence, it thinks itself suflScieutly qualified to €^ 
proack the Divinity, without any human mediator. Its 
rapUktaas devotions are so fervent, diat it even imagines 
itself octed^ to approackhim by the way of conleniplation 
and inward ocmverse; which makes it n^ect all tboise out* 
ward ceremonies and dbservances, to whidi the assistance 
of the priests appears so requisite in the eyes of tlKir su« 
perstidous votaries. The fanadc oonsecratea hilnsel^ and 
bestows on his own person a sacred chaticter, niudi supe* 
rior to what forms and ceremonious institutions can coa*^ 
fer on any other* 

My second reflecti<m with regard to these sfiecks o£ fake 
religion is, that rdigknSy wkU^ partake of enMuiaami are^ 
m their first rise^ m(n^ fitrioHS and violent than ikose which 
partake tf siq)erstition i but in a Httk time become more 
gende and moderate. The violence of thb species of reli*- 
gion, when excited by novdty, and animated by efpomh 
tion, appears fixun nnmberiess instances; of the Anabap- 
tists in Germany, the Camisars in France, the JjBveUers 
and other fanatics in England, and the Covenanters in Scot- 
land. Enthusiasm being founded on strong ispiiit^ and a 
presumptuous boldness of character, it naturally begets the 
most extreme resoluticms ; especially after it rises to thai 
^height as to inquire the deluded fenatic with the opiakm.of 
<divine illuminations, and with a contempt fer tbeoonmon 
rules of reason, morality, and prudence. . i . - 

It is thus enthusiasm produces the most crud disorders 
in human society; but its fury is like that of thunder and 
tensest, which exhaust themselves . in a little time, .and 


Umte tile air more calm and sereiie tbao before*. i.A)f bett 
the fiiM fire of ienlhiisiaflm ia speAt^ mm BalitfaUy». m>aU 
fanalical sect% sink into the: greatest rraUsda^ss. tod oad^. 
oessin^^rediaatlers; there bcdng.oo body of jmen am<iQg 
tbe]<i> eod^wed witb sofficieiit audior%) wbpte ittt<rest.i& 
eoDQeniedtO0ii|ifMinthere%b9as]|w Nb ritefi no t^e? 
remoAieS} bk> bdy observances, whidi may ester into^ibe 
oeinifioQt train of. Uf<v Md preserve the sacrad prmeifiles 
fromoblhrion* 8aperfltitiQ%oiitl^contrar]r) steals i^^iMt 
dodlgiaiidiaseiisiUy; reiiders mto.tame and iittl)iiMsei?e ; 
isatice|itaUe to the mi^jistJtate, add seems iiiaffeqaiy^ tx)*the 
paddle : TiU at last the priest, havjng firmly e$tpbU9t|ed hh 
antbQtjts^ .bepomes the tyrant and dist«trl^ ^ humioi spr. 
W$^:by his endli^s contention^ p^nMJctttkmd^^and reljU 
gious wars. How stiiootbly did the Romish ehurch ad-' 
taiMC^ at fhei: acquisition of j^0wer? B^t into, whfi[t dismal 
Wtt^^ttlNQns'did'f^.thrpw all Surope, in order to main;; 
tainiit ? On the other hand, our sectarl^ who w^re Sor^ 
merly such daqgero^is b^ts, are now become very £ree 
reasopers; and the Quakers seem to approach nearly thp 
oply jreguhar body of XtetsCs in the umverse, th^ lUeritfi^Qv, 
the(disdplesofCp^ufiiis in China? ^ . !- 

My.tiUrd observaticm on this head is, t6e)t'9jii$0'$iitim.\t 
is m.eneiffsfio doH ISbertih and^fitfixmm'^ afrimiUi H^. 
A^ B^q^^ti^ groana .under the d(>miaion oC prints, an^ 
enlhusiasm is dastructiye of all eoele^iaiitical po^er, ,tht«t 
sirficj^tly acjQounts for the present pbiervation. ; Not to 
ai^ti(M|,,thf|t enthusiasp^ being th^ infim^ity of bold Aud 
amhi^o|its l^eofi^s, is m^tfvrally accmaipanied if ith a spj^t 
of Ubiety.; assup^ti||oi^ on thelcontrary, renders 4)te 
tame and abjec^ and fits them for slavery. We learn fi;om 

* The Chinese litcnui have no priests oi ecclesiastical estabUshmcDt. 

TS E6&AY X. 

Eo^h hadory, that, diirii^ die mil wtsmt th« AcA|Mpn 
SrnH and /Mito^ though the mott opposite in their rdi* 
gkms pnnciples, yet were mited in their political ones, 
iikd were i£ke passionate for a Gommoiiweaith. Andeinee 
tkeot^tdWkigmd Tovy, die leaders of the WkiffahAye 
ekher been IkidB <Hr ptofessed Lamndmariam in their 
prindples; ihatis^ friends to k^ratioBi and indifferent to 
anyparticulttrsiictofCSinMieiNf.* While the sectaries, who 
ha?e idl a strcmg tinctare of endmsiasm, have always, widi- 
oiit<«xceptaon, concnrred with diat party, indeftnoec^dh 
vil liberty. Hie resemUanoe in their svperstitions loi^ 
muted die H^h-Caiurch T^riai^ and die itoawi CartafrWi 
in sof^ott of pr^t^gaiiTe and king^ pow^; though ex^ 
pmeiiceofthetoleradDg spirit <rf' die ff?>^ seems of lale 
to have reocMwiled die CaiMicB to that party. 

The MiHwiiit and JaPtae»M» in France have a thoBsaad 
nniaftelligible disputes, which are not worthy die reflection 
of a mim of sense 2 But what piincipfdlydistitigiiishes these 
two sects, and alone merits attention^ is the di&rent spi* 
rit<J their rdigton. The JMoiipm^ condulctedby die<^ 
MtUif are great friends to supersdtion, ri^d ob^ervrars of 
external tanas and ceremomes, and devoted to die autho- 
rity of die priests, and to tnufidon. Tlie Jiam$enut$ are 
entlnisiasts, and secdons pnMnofeers of the passionale devo- 
tion, imdcf&e ki ward hlb; litde influenced by auttearity; 
and, cnaword, bttthalf CadiolicSf The ccmseqoenoes are 
exactly confiirmable to the foregoing reasonii^. . The Jb^ 
suto itfe the tyrants of the pec3^)Ie, and the daves of the 
court :^ And the Jimsepii^ preserve alive the small qfmrks 
of the love of liberty which are to be fontid in the F^^ench 



7hebs are cortion sects, wbidi secredjfbrmtbemsdTes 
IB the leatnad wiHrld^ as weH as fiwtions in thepofilical; 
and tboi^ someliines tfiey come not to an open ruptnre, 
dwy ghre a dift i wt ton to the ways of AUking of Aose 
who have taken pait on either side^ The most remarfc- 
aMa of tUs kfaid a>e the aects fiMmded on die diibrent 
sendments wkh Mgard tv die dtgtritif qfktman matrnt: 
wfaksh is a pokit du^ scans to have dhrided phflosophers 
and poets, as well as dhruies, from the banning of the 
world to tUsdaj. SoneeMaltoorspedestodieddes^atid 
repressHt man as « kind of hmnan denrigbd, who derives 
his origiii fitmi faeaven, and retains evident marks of his 
lineage «id descent, Odiers insist upon the Mind sides 
of hmnan natOM^ and can diseofer nofliing, esicept vani^, 
is whleh man smpasscB the other anhnals, whom he aiftcte 
so much to demise. If an author possess the trient of 
rhetoric and dedssaaticm, ho commonly takes part with 
llm former: If his torn Be towards irony and ridioale, he 
natnraDy thsows hiaMtelf into the other extreme. 

I am fiur fttmi thinking, that all those, who hate depre^ 
cialed our apeoies, have been enemies to Tirtne^ add have 
exposed the firaikies of their feUow^creatureS widi any bad 
intention. On the contrary, I am srasiMe that a delicate 


sense of morals, especially when attended with a splene- 
tic temper, is apt to give a man a disgust of the world, and 
to make him consider the common course of human afiairs 
with too much indignation. I must, however, be of opi- 
nion, that the sentidients bf those^ who are inclined to 
think favourably of mankind, are more advantageous to 
virtue, than the contrary principles, which give us a mean 
opinion of our nature. When a man is prepossessed with 
a high n6tK>ii of hts rank and character in the cteotiori, he 
will naturally endeavour to act up to it, and will scorn to 
do 'a bascf or vieious action, which- migbt .sink him bdow 
that figure which he makes hd bis own* imaginatioil. . Aa* 
coordiiigly we find,4hat all our ^pdite and -feshionidbie ifadodh 
jsts insist vipon lOkis topic, andiendeaxronr to ropreseiit vide 
utiworthy of man^ as well as odious in Kkseid / 

Wtt find ' few dispnites^ tint are not fduhded.^Dhvisotaie 
awbignity in Ihe e^cp^eitslan; and! I am p^vuaded, itfaat 
the ^HreseiEkl dispbte^ concerning liie dignity or meanndss 
ofihumaflinalure, ik not miore'eMen^t.lnmi ittfanr any 
6then It mdy, therefore, he ivorthwhUe to 'consider,.' wkfH 
is.reai^anA^Jfait^isoidy'verb^iiithiscQiitrennefsy* : > 
, That tbeare is a natural difierence between merit and db* 
m^tit^ virtue and vice, wisdom and Goliy, no treasonable 
m«n will dttny : Yet it' is evident, thdt in affixing jkhete^hiy 
whieb dehotes eithte oiir apparobatiooorl^laiiie^ ww ateiiam* 
monly'moreinfluenoed: b^ comparison than'by^ahy rfixed 
lindtQisa^estlmdahliBthenalui^oftlik)^^ Inlikeman-f 
ner, ^jiMMity^ and extedsio% and bnlk, ate Iby leveryl eab 
acknowledged il». he Jreal UiiogsTBtti ividMftiiPe>eUlrfRiji 
aninml ^^.^t/liA^^^ always form a sepr^Rcp«apwri|on 
betwei^ jtluit '^Uimal and others of the sa$ae. e^pefiies t »od 
it ,i$ that <^mparj^i<^!wluct^ fiegulfitts o^if; jtf^UpcJiit c^^R- 
cerixipg Ustgreatpwss. 4- dog and a horSe tfiiLy b(^>pf: tbp 


very same site^ while the one b adnubred for the greainesd 
oTits bulk) and the otfier for die smaUiiess. When laul 
presait, therefi)re, at aoy dispute, I always oousider witli 
niysd^ whether it be a qtiesCkm ef compomon or not that 
18 the sohject of the oontrover^ ; and iTit'be, whether the 
dbpntants compare the same cft)jectft^txigetfaer,^ or tMi of 
thii^ that are widely d^reot. 

In forming bur notions ot httinan^ natm^ we are apt 
to make a compiarisoti between -men and' anisials^ the.only 
creatures endowed wftk thought, that fliU under our sen^esi 
Certify this eomparisen is fayourable to mankhid. On 
die one-hand, we see a creature^ whose ihoog^ are not 
fimited by any narrow bounds, ^ther< of pbipe or timeji 
who carries his researches into tbe most distant Mgimsof 
thb globes and beyond Ais glob^ to the placets and hisa* 
venly bodies ; looks bcuskimrd to eonnder the flratdrlgin, at 
feast die history of the humim race; casts his eye ibrw]ard 
to see the influence of his aott<»6 upon posterity, 4Uid th4 
judgments which will be fmned of his dbaraoter a tfaoo^ 
sand years hence; acreature, who traces causes and et 
iects to a greatltagth and intrica^^; exjyacts gta6r|dflrinA> 
ciples from particular i^pearances ; improves upon bis disf- 
coTeries ; corrects hb mistakcs^; (und makes his very ertors 
pn^taUe. On the either hand, we are pres^tedwidi 4 
creature the very reverse ^ ijtm; limited in its obaervii^ 
tioos and reasonings to a few sensible objects* which siirr 
ronnd it ; w^out curiosilT, without 'foresight ; blindly 
oondttcied by^inslinct, and adCatnin^ in a sborttinie^ i^ 
vUtmostperfeedM, beyond whjch it as never aUa to ituWaKc^ 
a sii^ step. What a;wide cKfinence is ^Moe betwieeh 
these creatures ! And how eooaltied a nottcmnmst we en^ 
tertain of the former, in comparison of the-ktter !• 

There arc two me«as commonly employed Co deatFO)' 

79 M0SAY XI. 

thb GOodusioQ : Firsi^ By tnakii^ an onfiur represepi^- 
tioD of the case» and laNstJng ody upoo the weaknesses of 
buinan nature. Andf sectmj^ By formiiig a new and se- 
cret eoflspaiison between, oaan and beings of the most per- 
fect wisdem. Among the o(iier eoboeUencies of man, this 
is one^ that be can fiHrm an idea of perfecti^ws nmcl^ be- 
I yond what he has experience of in himself; and is pot li<- 
I mited ia. bis eooc^tion of wisdom and virtue* He can 
easily exalt his notiftns> and conceive a degree of know*- 
ledgi^ whicby when compared to his own^ will make the 
latter appear very ooRtemptUde, and will canae the dife- 
rence between liiat and tfas si^^ty irfanimalst in aman- 
neTv to. disi^ipear and vanish. Now this being « point, ipt 
which all the world is agceed, that human undemtandiqg 
ftlls infinitely short of perfect wisdom ; it is proper we 
should know when this coa^pariaon takes place, tlu^ we 
nu^ not diq>iiie wherethere is no real diflferenoe in our senr 
timentfc Man £Uls aouch mose short of perfisct wisdom, and 
evm of his own ideas of perfect irisdom, than animals do 
of man; jwt the latter difference is so considerable, that 
nothing butaconofMuriaon with the former can make it f^ 
penr of little moment 

It is also usual to esMjpors one man with another; and 
finding very few iiriicmi we can caU IMS cNrewfuQitf^ we are 
npi to entertain a ccmtemptiMe notkm of our qpecjes in 
generaL That we may be sensible of the feUacy of this 
way of reasoning, wemsy obs<gve, that the hoooumMe^fy- 
pel|ations of wise and virtuous are MA annesed tp any 
paetieular digreeof thoae qualities of.tMsdsm and virtmj 
butariseatocgetberfinom the comparison we make between 
o«e man and another. When we find a man, wh9 arrives 
at such a pitch, of wisdom as is very uncommon, we pro- 
nounce him a wise man: So tl»t to say, there are few 


wise men in the worid, is reMy to say notfaiiig; since k is 
onfy by tbdr scardty diat diey mezil that appdbtiom 
Were the lowest of onr species as wise as TnUy, or Lord 
Bacon, we sfaoidd still hare reason to say Ihat there are^few 
wise men. For in that case we idioidd exalt our ndtiQiis 
of wisdom, and should not pqr a singular konoiir to air^ 
one, who was not singolarly dii^tii^;inshed by his talents. 
In like manner, I have heard it observed by thoogfatless 
peq[)le, that there are few women possessed of beauty, in 
comparison of those who want it; not oonsidering, that 
we bestow the epidiet of Aeenil{^<Mdy On such as possess 
a degree c^ beauty tbat is common to them with a few« 
Th^ same degree of beauty in a woman is cdled ^^mni- 
1y, whidi is treated as real beauty in oiie of our sex* 

As it is usual, in forming a notion of 4>ur species^ to 
conqnre h with the other specie above or b^low it, or to 
compare th^ individuals of the species amo]% themadves; 
so we often coa^iare together the difierent motived or m^ 
tua^ing principles of human nature^ in order to regnkle 
our jod^^ment concemiiq; it» And, indeed, dns is the on- 
ly kind of comparison whidi is wi^rth ouri&tteiilicn, or de« 
cides any thing in the present question* Were our selfish 
and viaoosprincipka so much predominant above omr so* 
cial and i^irtnous, as is asserted by somejABosophcfs, we 
ought lasdonbtedly to entertaitf a coolmplible mtfionof 
bumaii nature. 

Tberfe b ttulah of a di^fe cif wordi in att lUa ciiirtikK 
versy* When a manf denies ike sincerity of dfl puUk 
ufmt or a&etion to a oowtvy and tsmmm^ I an at a 
loss ¥4iat to think of Idm. P^topaheneterfekthispal^ 
sion in so dear anddistincta maim^ m to KWK>yeatt his 
doubts concmiing its force and realiQr. Bat wfcdn he' pro- 
ceeds afterwards to re^ all privale frioadshipy'if no in* 

78 ES8AY xr. 

terast or ^elf-IoTe intermiK itself; I am tlien confident that 
he iElbuses;ternis^ tfnd confounds the ideas orthmgs;' sihee 
tt Js^nqiossible for any one to be bo Helfaiit 6t rather so 
n/tapiA^ as to niake no.diffisrcnre ibetwBte one man aifd 
onochcr, and give no preference to qnallties^ vhioh engage 
his appnobatibn and esteem. Is he also, sajl^ us insensi* 
ble to angerilshelprelehds to be to friendship ? And does 
injnry and wrong no more affect [him than, kindness or be- 
nefits? ImpossiUe : He. does not know himself: He 
has forgotten the movemeMs of his heart ; or rather, he 
makes use of a diffiN^t languiige fVbm tbe rest of bis 
countrymen^ and caUs not things by their proper names. 
What say you<^ natoral afiection ! (I subjoin) Is that al- 
so a species of self«Iove ? Yes : :Ali is selMove. lour 
children are loved ohlybecauise they aiie yours: Your 
firiend for a like reason : And yonr country engages yoa 
only so far as it has a connection with pourul/:' Werpi the 
idea of self removed, nothing wonkl afibct yon : You 
would be altogether unactive smd insensible : Or, if you 
ever give yourself any movement^ it would otily be from 
vanity, and a desire of feme and reputation to this same 
self. I am wilKng, ttpiy I, to receive your interpretation 
of human actions^ provided yon admit the facts. That 
species of sel'C'lctve, which dlqilays itself in kindness to 
others, yon niusl^Bow to have great Muence over human 
actions, and even greater, on many occasiom, than that 
whk4i reniaitis ki its original.Bbape andform. For how 
tmm^ AetBf havmg a feniily, iohtld^en, and relations, who 
do not ^end more on the maintenance aiid education of 
tbeie dMl on theit ownpleasures? Hiis, indeed, you justly 
observe, may pitooeedficom thdr sd&Iove, since the pro- 
nfwrity tf Aeirftmily and friends is <Mie, or the chief, of 
their pleas^es, ai well as their chief honour. Be you al- 


90 one of these selfish .meii| ftod yoa are sareof et^ry tone's 
gobd cfpiikmemdgood will ;• or, not to cbo^tyattreai^ 
wkh these tepressUmsy lihd sdf«ioire cifWeiy'One^ aBdmine 
among the rest, will then ihoUnie us to> seryeyou^ anipl'Speak 
well of you* * . . 

In my opinion, there are two things which have led 
astray those philosophers, that have insisted so much on the 
selfishness of man. In the Jirst place, they found, that 
every act of virtue or friendship was attended with a secret 
pleasure ; whence they concluded, that friendship and vir- 
tue could not be disinterested. But the fallacy of this is 
obvious. The virtuous sentiment or passion produces the 
pleasure, and does not arise from it* I feel a pleasure in 
doing good to my friend, because I love him ; but do'not 
love him (or the sake of that pleasure. 

In the second place, it has always been found, that the 
virtuous are far from being indifierent to praise; and 
therefore they have been represented as a set of vain-glo- 
rious men, who had nothing in view but the applauses of 
others* But this also is a iallacy. It is very unjust in the 
world, when they find any tincture of vanity in a laudable 
action, to depreciate it upon that account, or ascribe it en- 
tirely to that motive. The case is not the same with va- 
nity, as with other passions. Where avarice or revenge 
enters into any seemingly virtuous action, it is difficult for 
us to determine how far it enters, and it is natural to sup- 
pose it the sole actuating princq>le. But vanity is so close- 
ly allied to virtue, and to love the fame of laudable actions 
approaches so near the love of laudable actions for their 
own sake^ that these passions are more capable of mixture^ 
than any other kinds of affisction ; and it is almost impos- 
sible to have the latter without some degree of theformer. 
Accordmgly, we find, that this passion for glory is always 

80 XS8AT XX. 

warped and vari^ according to the particular taste or dia- 
poattion of tlie mind on which it fidla. NeiohadtheaaaM 
vanity in driving a cfaariot^ that Trajan had in governing 
the empire with jttstice and ability. To love the^^y of 
virtuous deeds is a sure proof of the love of virtue. 



X HOSE who employ their pens on ptifitical subjects, ftee 
0mm party-n^^ and partyi-prejndices, evdtitttt^ a seience» . 
which, of an others, contributes most to publientili^, and 
even to the private satisfaction of those who addict tfieKI-^' 
selves to the study of it I am ap;t, however, t6 entertain 
a suspicion, that the world is still too youiig to ^ many' 
general truths in politics which will ronain true to the 
latest posterity. We have not as yet had experience of 
three thousand years ; so that not only the art cf reason- 
ing is still imperfect in this science, as in all othens, but 
we ev^i wont sufficient materials upon which we can rea- 
son. 11 is not fully known what degree ^f re&iement, 
either in virtue or vice, human nature is susceptible of, 
nor what may be escpected of mankind firinn any great 
nsvdlution in their education, customs, or principles* Ma-' 
cbiavel was certainly a great genius ; but^ havitig con&ied • 
his study to the furious and tyrannical gov^mnents of 
ancient times, or to the little disorderly principalities of 
^ly, his reasonings especially upon monarchieal govern- 
ment, have been found extremely defective ; and there 
scarcely is any maxim in his Prince which subsequent ex- 
perience has not entirely refuted. " A weak prince,*' says 
he, " is incapable of receiving good counsel; for, if he 
VOL. I. o 


consist with several, he will not be able to choose amoiig 
their diftrent counsels. If he abandon hlmsdf to oiiet 
t^t minister may perhaps have capacity, but he will not 
IpDg be a minister. He will be sure to dispossess hi^ 
master, and place himself and his fain|ly up<m the throne.'' 
I mention this, among po^y iiis^nces of the errors of that 
politician, proceeding, in a great measure, from his having 
)ived in too early an age of the world, to be a good judge 
of pcditical truth. Aknost all the princes of Europe are 
at present governed by dieir ministers, and have been so 
tor near two centuries; and yet no such event has ever 
ba{q[>ene^, or can possibly happen. Seja|)us iiMght pro* 
j^ dethrpnii^ the Caew^ but Fleury^ tboi;^ ever sq 
vkipqs, copld upt, whilfs in his senses, entertain the leaM 
hopes of tfiqposspssing the Bourbons. 

Trade was never esteemed an a£Biir of state till the last- 
cemwry f aad th^e scarcely 19 wy an^nent writer on politics 
who has fldiide ynention of it ^ {lyefi the Italians have kept 
a pfpfouod silence, with r^eg^ to it, though it hfis now 
ei^aged the ohief i^egtion, 1^ wfill of ininisters of state 
as of specolative reasoners. The great c^iilenee^ gvan-. 
deur, and miUtary achievements of the two maritime' 
powensi 9eein.first to have instructed mankind in tbe imx- 
portance of an ext^isive oMnmerce. 

Having ther^qre iptende^ in tl^s essyj, to mal^e a ful) 
compariiaii pf civil liberty an^ ^t^so^Rte govenm^^t, ao^r 
to show the great advantages of the fi>|rmer above the hotter. . 
I b^an to entertain a suspicion that no man in this age; 
was sufficiently quahfied for such an mulertaking; andtha^; 
whatever ^ny pni^ ^lioiUd {uivl^lce fin that hea4 would, ij^^ 

" Xenophon mcntipiis it, but with a dopht if U be of any adrantage to ^ 
•tate £^ mt7if*9f^t» tfifiuri ^Ktf, Ac. Xm. HixAO.<.-F]ato to« 
<alljr excludes it from his jip^ginar}' republic J)c Lcgibus, lib. it, 


all protMibiiity, be refuted by further experience, end be 
rejected by posterity* Such mighty revolutions have hap- 
p»ed in human affairs, and so many events have arisen 
contrary to the expectation of the ancimts, that they are 
sufficient to beget the suspicion of still further changes. 

It had been observed by the ancients, that all the arts 
and sciences arose among free nations; and that the Per- 
sians and Egyptians, notwithstanding their ease^ opulence^ 
and luxury, made but feint efforts towards a relish in those 
finer pleasures, which were carried to such perfection by 
the Greeks, amidst continual wars, attended with poverty, 
and the greatest simpUcity of life And miners. It had i^ 
so been observed, that, when the JGjreelks lost their liberty, 
though they increased mightily in riches by means otthe 
conc|uests of Alexander ; yet the arts, from that moment, 
dedioed among them^ and have never since been able to 
raise their head in that jclinmte. Learning was transplanted 
to fiom^ the x>nly free mUion at that^me jn the universe; 
and having met .with so favourable a soil, it made prodi- 
gious shoots for above a century; till the decay of liber- 
ty lurodttced also the decay of letters, and spread a total 
barbarism over the world. From these two experiments, 
of which each was double in its kind, and shewed the fall 
of learning in abscdute governments, as we]l as its rise iu 
pqptdar ones, Ixmginus thought I^mself sufficiently justi- 
fied in asserting, tjhat the arts ^nd i^iences could never 
flourish but in a free govenimeat : And in this opinicm he 
has been folloiwed by several ^mijient writers * in our own 
coofitry, who eith^ coti^ned their view merely to ancient 
fiKts, or entertained too great a partiality in favour of that 
form of govexnment established among us. 
But what would these writers have said to the instances 

* Mr Addison iind I^^rd Shaftrs^urf . 

G i 

84 SS8AY XII. 

of modem Rome and FWenee ? Of which the former car* 
ried to perfection ail the finer arts of sculptare, paintings 
and music, as well as poetry, though itgroaned under tyran- 
ny, and under the tyranny of priests: While the latter made 
its chief progress in the arts and sciences after it began to 
lose its liberty by the usurpation of the fiunily of Medici. 
Ariosto, Tasso, Oalileo^ no more than Raphael or Michael 
Angelo, were not bom in republics. And thou^ the 
LcHubard school was famous as well as the Roman, yet the 
Venetians have had the smallest share in its honours, and 
seem rather inferior to the other Italians in their genius 
for the arts and sciences. Rubens established his schoc^ 
at Antwerp, not at Amsterdam. Dresden, not Hamburgh, 
is the centre of politeheto in* Germany. 

But the most eminent instance of the flourishing of leam^ 
ing in absolute governments is that of France, which s^arce^ 
ly ever enjoyed any established liberty, and yet has car-» 
ried the arts and sciences as near perfection as any other 
nation. The English are, perhaps, greater philosc^hers ; 
the Italians better painters and musicians ; tiie Romans 
wer^ greater orators : But the French are die only people^ 
except the Greeks, who have been at once philosophers^ 
poets, orators, historians, painters, architects, sculptors^ 
and musicians. With regard to the stage, they have ex-> 
celled even the Greeks, who far excelled the English* 
And, in common life, they have, in a great measure^ per^ 
fected that art, the most useful and agreeable of any, PAri 
de Fivrey the art of society and conversation. 

If we consider the state of the sciences and polite arts in 
our own country, Horace's observation, with r^ard to the 
Rbmans, may in a great measure be applied to the British* 

— ~> Sed in longum tmnen crum 
Manterunty hodie<pie maaent vediffia rwrith 


The elegance and propriety of style have l>een very much 
neglected among us. We have no dictionary of our lan- 
guage, and scarcely a tolerable grammar*. The first polite 
prose we have was writ by a man who is still alive *• As 
to Sprat, Locke, and even Ten^le^ they knew too little of 
the rules of art to be esteeated diegant writers. The prose 
of Bacon, Harrington, and Milton, is altogether stiff and 
pedantip, though their sense be excdlenU Men, in this 
country, have been so much occupied in the great disputes 
efltdigionj PoUticSj and Philasophyj that they had no re- 
lish for the seemingly minute observiU;ions of grammar and 
criticism. And, though this turn of thinking must have 
considerably improved our sense and our talent of reason- 
ing, it must be confessed, that even in those scieices above 
mentioned, we have not any staikbrd4Kx>k which we can 
tratvnmt to posterity : And the utmost we have to boast of 
are a few essays towards a more just philosophy; whith 
indeed promise well, but have not as yet reached any de- 
gree of perfisction. 

It has become an established opinion, that commerce 
can never flourish but in a fire^ government ; and Aiii 
opinion seems to be founded on a longer and larger ex- 
perience than the foregoing, with r^ard to the arts and 
sciences. If we trace commerce in its progress through 
Tyre, Athens, Syracuse, Carthage, Venice, Florence 
G^UMi, Antwerp, Hidland, England, &c we shall always 
find it to have fixed its seat in firee governments. The 
diree greatest trading towns now in Europe, are London, 
Amsterdam, and Hamburgh; all free cities, and Protestant f I 
cities ; that is, enjoymg a double liberty. It must, how- 
ever, be observed, that the great jealousy entertained of 

• l>r Swilt 

/ f 


liUe with regard to tlie commerce of France, seems to ptbve 
that this maxim is no more certain and inTalltbie than the 
foregoing, and that the subjects of an absolute prince may 
become our rivals in commerce as well as in learning. 

Durst I deliver my opinion in an affiiir of so much un« 
certainty, I would assert, that notwithstanding the efforts 
of the French, there is something hurtful to commerce in*" 
herent in th^ very nature of absolute government, and in- 
separable from it; through the reason I should assign for 
this opinion is somewhat different from that which is com< 
monly insisted on. Private property seems to me almost 
as secure in a civilized European monarchy as in a repab-^ 
lie ; nor is danger much apprehended, in such a govern-^ 
ment, from the violence of the sdvereign, more than we 
commonly dread harm from thunder, or earthquakes, or any 
accident the most unusual and extraordinary. Avarice, the 
q>ur of industry, is so obstinate a passion, and works its 
way through so many rei4 dangers and difficulties, that it 
is not likely to be scared by any imaginary danger, which 
is so small, that it scarcely admits of calculation. Com-. 
jmerc^^ therefore, in my (pinion, is apt to decay in absolute 
governments, not because it is there less secure^ but because 
it is les^JmaufMe* A subordination of rank is Absolutely 
necessary to the support of monarchy. Birth^ titles^ and 
places must be honoured above industry and riches. And 
while these notions prevail, all the considerable traders 
willbe .tempted to throw up their commerce, in order to 
purchase some of those employments, to which privileges 
and honours are annexed. 

Since I am upon this head, of the alterations which time 
has produced) or may politics, I must observe, 
that all kinds of government, free and absolute, seem to 
have undergone, in modem times, a great change for the 


better, with regaard both to foreign and domestic manage- 
ment. The bmkmee of power is a secret in {yolitics, fully 
iouywn only to the present Hf^; and I must add, that the 
internal police of states hafi also received great improve- 
ments within the l«st century. We are informed by Sal- 
hiMtf that CadHineV army was much augmented by the ac- 
cesskm of the highwaymen about Rome^ thoi^ I believe^ 
thatall of that profemon whoare i^ present dis][)ersed over 
Evrope would not amoimt to a r^imenu In Cicero's 
pleadings for Milo, I find this argument among others^ 
made use of to prove that his client had not asi^assitiated 
Clodiiis. Had Milo, said he, intended to hav^ killed Clo- 
dfais, he had not attacked hSmin Ae day-4jme^ and at such 
a distance from the city? Kte had Waylaid himt at night, 
near the suburbs, where it might have been pretended that 
he was kiUed by robbers ; and the frequency of the acci- 
dent would have fiivoured the deceit This is a surprising 
proof of the loose policy of Rome, and of the tramber and 
foroe of these robbers^ since Clodius * was at that time at- 
tended by Aitty slaves, #ho w^re completely armed, and 
sufficiently accustomed to blood and danger in the frequent 
tomuhs excited by that seditious tribune. 

But though all kinds of government be improved in mo- 
dem times^ yet monarchical government seems to have 
made the greatest advances towards perfection. It may 
now be affirmed of civilized monarchies, what was former-f 
]y said in praise of republi<» alone, Aat they are a gcvertiA 
metU ^Laws^ not of Men. They are found susceptible or t 
order, method, and constancy, to a surprising degree. 
Property is there secure ; industry encouraged ; the arts 
flourish ; and the prince lives secure among his subjects, 

■ Vide Asc. Fed. tn Om. pro MHone. 


like a &th6r an^png his childreo. There are, perliaps^ aod 
hs^vt been fpr two oenturi^s^ neiu: twa bUndml absolottt 
prkioeSi ^reat and amftU, in Europe; wd aUomngtwen* 
ty years to each reigii» we may Huppose, that thea« hmn 
If^W in the whole two tboui^aod looMUcha or tyrmita^ as 
the Gneeks. would have c^dl^themr YeCof these there b«i 
pot hem one, not even Philip IJ. of Spain, so bud aa Ti^ 
beiriMSp Caligula, Nero^ or I>omitf«n» who wene fiiiur in 
twelve amongst the Romw ^emp^rora^ It muat, howmmv 
1^ confessed, that though anentoebica^ govemnn^tp Vft y^ 
approached nearer to p<^u)ar 0}u^ kk g^tloness and atft« 
bility, they are still inferior. Our modem edttcatiott m^ 
customs instil more humani^ and moder^tioda tbm the ^^ 
cieat; but hgve not as yet been able tP ^vercQpie entirely 
the disadvantages pf that form of gov^vmn^oyU' 

. Buthere J must b«;g leave toadyi^)i^'9Cpq}fpt»ii:e» which 
seems prob^le, but which posterity ^lo^e €M fu% judge 
of.. I am apt to think^ that |p i^onarcbical goverpn^ants 
there is a source of improvement, and in pQpn^r ff^y^u^ 
ments a source of d^fenen^, whi^, in t^q^ will btMi^ 
these species of civil polity stiU nearer «a e^i^Uty^ 'Sh^ 
greatest abuses, which arise in Fr^^oe, the Df^pst pfyrffWb 
model of pure monarchy, proceed AOt &qm the nutnfa^t or 
weight of the taxes, beyond what are to be met with in&ee 
countries; but from ihe expensive, lui^qual, arbitrary, tod 
intricate method of levying thenv by which the industry of 
the poor, especially of the peasants and farmers, i% in a 
great measure, discouraged, and agric^lture rendered a^ 
beggarly and slavish employments But to whose. adv^n* 
tage do these abuses tend ? If to that of the npbiliityj thfitV 
might be esteemed inherent in that form of govemm^t ; 
since the nobility are the true supports of monarchy; and 
it is natural their interest should be more consulted, in such 


» OontftitttUott) tlian that of the people* 'But the nobility 
ai\9t ia reidily^ the chief losers by this oppression; simse it 
miM their eslate% and beggars their . tenants* The otAf 
gf^xff^tshf k are the Financiers ^ a i^ee of men nfcther o* 
4ioiia4o the lu^ility and the.wfacSe kingdom. If a prince 
or qdiilislery ^er^are^ ahoiiU ariset^ endowed with sufii^ 
ejei^ discernment la knofwhif own and the paUk iiHeresf^ 
and with sufficient force of mind tq bi«ak ihrough andent 
cuaUMiks, ve mi^t espect to see these abuses remedied:' 
in which ease ibt difference betsmen that absolute goVerAM 
ment and our free one would not appear so cohsMenUH^ 
as at present 

The source of degeneracy, which may be remarked in 
free governments, consists in the practice of contracting 
debt, and mortgaging the public revenues, by which taxes 
may, in time, become altogether intolerable, and all the 
property of the state be brought into the hands of the pu- 
blic This practice is of modem date. The Athenians, 
though governed by a republic, paid near two hundred /ler 
cent for those sums of money, which any emergence made 
it necessary for them to borrow ; as we learn from Xeno- 
phon *. Among the modems, the Dutch first introduced 
the practice of borrowing great sums at low interest, and 
have well nigh ruined themselves by it. Absolute princes 
have also contracted debt ; but as an absolute prince may 
make a bankruptcy when he pleases, his people can ne- 
ver be oppressed by his debts. In popular govemments, 
the people, and chiefly those who have the highest offices, 
being commonly the public creditors, it is difficult for the 

?iM0W€tf Uf T«v «^«^f— •! }f yt irXiM^ aAimcmw irAfMM Xtri^rrm umr 
ifMitrr«y9 mw vf unnyiunvy i yk^ ftutf w^tnXtrmmsy tyyvf itmv ft9mf 

ufm. lEN. noroL 

90 ESflAY XIX. 

State to make use of this remedy, which, however, it maj 
sometimes be necessary, is always cruel and barbnroHs. 
TUs, therefore^ seems to be an incontenience, whick near- 
ly threatens $11 free governments ; especially our own, at 
ihe present juncture of affiors. And what a strong motive 
is this, to increase our frugality of public money; lest^ for 
want of it^ we be reduced, by the mnk^licity of taxes, or 
what is worse, by our public impotence and inability for 
defence^ to curse our very liberty, and wish oursdves in 
the same state ef servitude with all the nations that sur- 
round us? 



jThose who consider the periods and revoliitions of hu-i 
man kind, as represented in history, are aitertained with 
a spectacle full of pleasure and variety, and see with sur-i 
prise, themanners, customs and q[>ini<Mis of the same spe» 
eies susceptible of such prodi^ous changes in difierent pe- 
riods of time. It may, however, be observed, that, in dvU 
history, there is found a much greater uniibrmily in the 
history of learning and science, and that the wars, nego* 
dations, and politics of one age, resemble more those of 
another, than the taste, wit, and speculative principles! In- 
terest and ambition, honour and shame, friendship and en- 
mity^ gratitude and revenge, are the prime movers in all 
public transactions ; and these passions are pf a very stub- 
bom and untractable nature^ in comparison of the senti- 
nients and understanding, which are easily varied by edu- 
cation and example. The Goths were much more infe- 
rior to the Romans in taste and science, than in courage 
and virtue. 

But not to compare together nations so widely different ; 
it may be observed, that even this latter period of human 
learning is, in many respects, of an opposite character to 
the ancient ; and that, if we be superior in philosophy, we 

92 ' E6SATXIII. 

are still, notwithstanding all our refinements, much infe^ 
rior in eloquence. 

In ancient times, no work of genius was thought to re^ 
quure so great parts and capacity, as. the speaking in pu- 
blic ; and some eminent writers have pronounced the ta- 
lents, even of a great poet or philosopher, to be of an in- 
ferior nature to those which are requisite for such an un- 
dertaking. Greece and Rome produced, each of them, 
but <Hie accomplished orator ; and whatever praises the 
other celebrated speakers might merit, they were still es- 
teemed much inferior to these great models of eloquence. 
It is <A>servtable, that the anoint critics could searodiy find 
twoorators inanyage^ whodeserved to be placed preciae« 
ly in the same rank, and possessed die $ame degree <rf' me* 
rit< Calvus, Qelius, Curio, Hortensius, CsMar, rose oae 
above another : Bat the greatest of that age Was isferior 
to Cicero, die most eloquent speaker that hadevet appear** 
ed i^ Rome. Those of fine taste, however, pronoonoed 
this judgment of the Roman orator, m irell as ofthe. Ghre* 
cian, that both of them surpassed in doqu«EipeaH that had 
ever -appeared, but that they were far from reachuig the 
perfec^n of their art, which was infinite, and not only exf 
eeeded human force to attain, but human imagination to 
conceive^ Cicero declares himself satisfied widi his own 
performances; nay, even with those of Demosdienes. Ita 
imU cttridiB et capaces metB amresj says he, tt mmptr aUgmid 
immentum^ h^btUumque desiderant. 

Of all the polite and learned natioas, England alone poa^ 
sesses a popular government, or admits into the legislatnm 
such numerous assemblies as can be supposed to lie under 
die dominion of eloquence* But what has England to boast 
6f in diis particular ? In ^lumerating the great mmh ^ho 
have done honour to our country, we exult in our poets 


juid.phiiosopliers; bvt what orators are ever mentioned? 
-or where are the nmnimeiits of their gaiius to bemet irith? 
There are fiMind, indeed, in onr histories^ tbenaneadf se- 
veral, who directed the resolutions of our parliament: But 
^neilicr themselves nor jot&ers haro takep the pams'to pre- 
Miye their speeches .-.and the autkbrityy wfaiehihtty po^ 
aessed^ seems to Have been owing to their experienee, wiss- 
4Ek)tn,or{kmer9 more than to theurtdent6fiir'o]»to^ At 
fMresent, there are above half a dozen speakers in the tw^ 
liovses, who, in the judgment of the public, have-reaohed 
very tiear the same pitch 6f eloquence; and no nan prd- 
itendalogive any one the preference above die vest. Hiis 
see^oa to me a certain proof, diat^ime of them hove attain- 
ed mndi beyond a mediocrity in their art, and that *thfe 
species of eloquence, which they a^re to, g(vef» no etdt^ 
else to the sublimer faculties of die mind, but may be i^cb^ 
^ by ordinary talents and a sUght af^Iioation. A httt»- 
4dred cabinet makers in London ijian wo^ ■ a taUe or 'a 
t^aif equally well ; but no one poet can write vema with 
imdi spirit and elegance as Mr Pope. 

We are told, that when Demosthenes waa to pkad, iril 
Ingenoous men flocked to Athens from the most remote 
parts of Greece, as to die most celebrated spectacle of the 
world */ At London you mi^ see meti sauMevlng in the 
court of requests, while the most important debate is caa^- 
rying on in the twd houses ; and many do not thinktbenh- 
s^kes sufficiendy compensated for the losing of their 
dinners, by all the eloquence of our most celebrated speak- 

* NftiHodqitideiiiiiitQlfigiiiitt Bon inodoitaiiMmioriaprvdkiini e«e^ sed 
it* Decease fuisse, eum Demoetheiiefl dictnrus esset^ ut ooaeunua, jnidleBcK 
-ettttssy €Z 0ott Gnseiti flereiit. At earn isti Attid dicnnt, noa modo a co- 
-foiift (qttoi est iptwa inlvAibile) eed etiam ab adroeatis reKnqnontiir. 


iastu. Wkcn-gU Cabber is to act, die puriotity of several 
is mon excited, thfii when our prime minister is to da- 
iisiid htaself fipom a motion for Us WEOfini or in^teack- 

Even a parion, unaoqaaiiitedivith tlie nofaJe remains of 
ancient omtors, umy jadge, from a fiiw strokee, that the 
eljle or speeies of their eloqueaee jres infinitely mpse sur 
Mime dian thst which modem orators aqiire ia. How 
absmd woidd it appear, in oar temperate and calm speak- 
lera, to make ^ae of an ^poiCrtynAe^ like, that noUe one of 
Demesthenes, ao nuidi celebrated by Qftintiltanand Loo- 
ginvs, when justifying the imsuocesfifol battle of Gtuenm^ 
he breaks a«t, No» my fisllow-citizttiis, No: Y<m havje 
not emd. I swear by the snhm of those heroes, wfaio 
foi^t for the same caaise in the plains of Marsthon and 
PlateBa." Who could now endure such a bpld and poetir 
cal figure as that which Cicero employs, af^r describii^ 
in the most tragical terms, the .crucifiwm of a fioman 
^cttiaen? ^^fiKiouldlpaintthelMHrrorsof this scene, not to 
Roman citiz^is, not to the allies of our state, not to those 
srho have ever heard of the Roman name, not even to 
men, bat to brute creatures; or, to go farther, should I 
lift up my voice, in the most desdiate s<dkude, to the rocks 
and mountains, yet should I surely see those rude and io- 
aaimate parts of nature moved with honpr an|I iodigna- 
iion at the recital of so enormous an action K" With 
jHFfaat a bl^uie of eloqiience must such a 9enteniQ^ be surr 

* The original is : ^ Quod ti hme non ad citcs Romanoa, non ad aliquos 
Amkoa noflra civitati% non ad eoa qui populi Ronani nomen aadlnent ; 
jdcniqiM^ ai nan ad bomiBcsi venim ad bcsUai ; ant etiam, ut longtus pro- 
grediar» ti in aliqna descrtiuima soUtudine, adiaxa at ad aeopulos bcc ton^ 
queri ci deplorare vcUcin» tamcn oinnia mitta Alqiit inanima, tanta et taqn 
indigaa xtrvat atrodtale jcoamoverentuir. Ctc, in Fer, 

OF six>eu£^i:£. 95 

yonndnj tQ give it fftf^Mh <^ CMm U tp nudw any in{ucest 
^ifm PM tfee hearer^ ? And what i¥>Ub i^ rad sidblime 
talents are requisite to arrive^ by just degrees, at a seolir 
ment so bold acid recessive : To inflaioe tbe aucUeuM^ so 
as tp m^ Ihcm aooompaoy llie speiAer ia sueh mdeat 
pfsric^iyi aad such devafted ecmoeptkms; and to cmosaI« 
under a ti^rreis^t of elpqQ^i»€e» tl^e artifice by which all. tfa^ 
is effectuated ! /Should tim swthawt eyen appear to ua 
exeessivey as perhaps jufKtty i^fffy^ itwitt at least sai^eto 
gjuva an idea of the s^le oC ancient ^Ipqueitee, wbdi^ such 
ffcellijag expr^ssig^ were ^ njectbed f^ 

Suitable to this vehepten^ of thought and elqfweswfiy 
irfsthe vet^meoceofactjo^Hrfiserted in the ancienit on^ 
tofs* TbesiiniMoj^etff^orslyunpiD 
one of the most usual |uid modarate gestures which diey 
made use of*; thoa^ that is now esteemed too Tiden^ 
dther Jbr the senate^ bai;».or jiijdpil^ and is coily admitted 
ijQito the theatre^ to accompany the most violent pastt^mif^ 
w|iich ^e there representedf 

Que k BQmeyfh^t jst a loss tfi whjst cause w^ may ^scriha 
sodeiusajde^.^^lipepf eloqifienpem Tbfsger'- 

nius of mankindy at all times, is pe|rbi^ eqi^; Th/e mpn 
4^jrqa hava applied thenfselyefs, wi|h gr^ indi«|try a|i4 
s^cpessy to all the other ^rtsfuid sciences: Andaleam^ 
na)i^po4^j«S9(BS.a.popi^r government; a circumstaii^ 
whii^ seems jcc^iiisifefipr the fall dispby of these noUis i^ 
lents : But notwithstanding all these advantages, oifr prp« 

• Ubi dokr? Ubt, ardor anioiiy qui etiMp ex intetium iDg«iius.«licfff| 
▼oce^ et querelas solet ? , t^uih perturbatio Btanu, nulla corporis : finons noi^ 
percuflsa, noo femur ; pedis tquod mimmum est J nulla supplosio. Itaque 
tuUum aHuit ui inflammares nostros toimos \ somnum Isto loco if a tene- 
^Mttus. I Cketo <U diarU 0rttt9ribu9, 


gun m eloquMO^ i» vei^ iMonsideraUe^ i& oomparmm^or 
the idwahom vdkichwt hme made )n all other ^art^ of 
Iconiiiig: ^ . 

t Shall weassert) thiit the stntins of aneieM eloqnetice ar^ 
ttDfloilabk to ourage, ofid ought not to be imitated by* mo*' 
^km osatolrs?' Whatever reasons maybe made dse of to 
prb^e tht% I'am petvattded ibtfyimll be fbond^ upon exA^ 
BHOtftiOD^ to^be tmttoimd and M«at»fiu;(ory. 
• JVM^ It may be -satd^.lhaty in ancient iimesy during (hcf 
flomriAfa^ period of Greek and Boman learning, the mu-^ 
nieipal law^i in every state^ "weTe but few and simple, and 
the decision of causes was, in a great measur^ left to Ale 
ei|ahy and coBttion sense of the jodges. The study of the 
laws was not then a laborious occupation, requiring the 
drudgery of a whole Kfe to finish it^ and incompatible witff 
Mivwy ooier study or professibh. Tb^ g^^^^ statesmenf and 
generals am6ng the Romans were all kwyers ; and CSce- 
fo» to shew the fedKty of acqturmg this science, declares,' 
that in tfte midst <^ all his occupadom^ he Would under- 
take, in a few days, to make himself a complete civilian: 
Now, where a pleader addresses himself to the equity of 
hii judges, he has mudi more room to display his elo- 
quence than where he mustdraw his arguments from strict 
laws, statutes, and precedents. In the former case, many 
eiroumstances must be taken in ; many personal considera- 
tions regard^; and even fkvour and Inclination, which i€ 
belongs to the orator, by his art and eloquence, to conci- 
liate^ may be di^uised under the appearance of equity. 
But how shall a modem lawyer have leisure to quit his 
toilsome occupations, in order to gather the flowers of 
l^amassus ? Or what opportunity shall he have of display- 
ing them, amidst the rigid and subtle arguments, objec- 
tions^ and rallies, whidi he is obliged to make use of? Hie 


greatest genius^ and greatest orator, who should pretend 
to plead before the CkomcBBar^ after a numth's stody of 
the laws, woi|ld only labour to make himself ridieoloiis. 

I am ready to own, that this circumstance, of the mul- 
tiplidty and Intricacy of laws, is a discouragement to elo- 
quence in modem times: But I assert, thatit will noten-> 
ttrely account for the decline of that noble art It may 
banish oratory from Westminster-Hall, but not fhmi ei- 
ther house of Parliament Among the Athenians, the 
Areopagites expressly forbade all allurements of eloquence ; 
aiid ^soihe have pretended, that in the Greek oraticms, writ- 
ten in the judiciary form, there is not so bold and rheto^ 
rical a style as appears in the R<Mnan. But to what a 
jntch did the Athenians carry their eloquence in the cfcJH 
Aenrim kind, when affitirs of state were canvassed, and the 
liberty, happiness, and honour of the rqipblic were the 
subject of debate? I^lqsutes of this nature devate thege-> 
nius above all others, and give the fullest scqpe to do- 
quence; and such disputes are very frequent in this nan 
tion. . 

Secqmdiyj It may be pret^ded, that the decline of do? 
quence is owing to the superior good sense of the modems, 
who rqect widi disdain all those rhetorical tricks employ- ' 
ed to seduce the judges, and will admit of nothing butso^ 
lid argument in fmy debate of deliberation. If a tban be 
accused of murd^, the hcX m\ist be proved by witnesses 
and evidence, and the laws wil^ afterwards determine the 
punishment of the crimind. It would be ridiculous to 
describe, in strong colours, the horror and crudty of the 
action; to introduce the relations of the dead, and, at a 
signal, make them throw tfaenuelves at the feet of the 
judges, imploring justice, with tears and lamentations: 
And still more ridiqulous would it be, to employ a picture 

yoL. I. 11 

09 ESSAY xiti. 

tts^it&euiitig tlm hloi^y 4eed, in order to move ibe jttdgei» 
by tbe di^p^y oC so tn^N^ a speetAcie; 4oiigh wd know 
that Oik artifice wiib spm^Umea practiaed by tbe pleadfers 
of old ^. ^9w» baoMb tb6 pathetic from public diseoiMr^es, 
aodyciii reduce tbe speid^rs merely to modem eloqueaeef 
that)i% to good seftse^ debvered'in proper elpresuons* 

Perbaps it may be acknowledged^ tbdt oitr modern ottsh 
tonvS} or our ^Hp^rior good sedse^ if you wiH, should mAke 
our orators more cautious and reaerr^d ^ah tbe anciept^ 
in attempting to inflame tbe passions^ or elevate the ima-* 
gination of their audi^ice: But I see na reason why it 
should, make tbetn det^iaii^ absolutely of succeeding m that 
attempt It ^ould make them redcmble their art» not 
aba^on it :entirely« The ancient orators seem also to 
have been on their guard against this jealousy of thenr an^ 
diencef buttbeyiook a dafferentway of eludii^ it^ Tbejr 
hurried, away with such a totcestt of subliixie i^ patbetio^ 
that they left their hearers no leisure to perceive the arti-* which they i^ere deceived. Nay^ to conaider die> 
matter aright, they were not deceived by any artifice. The 
orator, by tbe fort;e of hid owirgenius and eloquence, first 
inflamed biiidself with «ager^ indignation, pity, scnrrow;' 
and. then commuiucated tboito impetuous movements to 
his audience* 

IDpes any man pretedd to have more good sense than 
Julius Caesar? yet that haughty conqueror, we know^ was 
so !iubdued. by tbe diarmsn>f Cicero's eloquence, that he 
was, in a mtmnejr, ccmstrained to change his setded pur- 
pose and ^resolution, and to absolve a criodira], whom, be^ 
fore.that orator plea^d, he was determined to condemn. 

^ome objectioi^ I own, . notwithstanding his vast suc- 

• Quiimi- lib. Ti, c«p. 1. fc LQNaiin;»> cap. 15. 

OF ELOQtfit^Cfi. 99 

tMf ftUtf li6 ftgiiiiibt sdme peuli»ages <rf th^ lUmftti eftBUir. 
He is too florid dUd ttn&SoiitAi Hb figtoes ^< tdd ^ti^- 
faig aad [Mdpable : Tbe ditisidm dtt&S 6i!bc&srBe ait^ ArbWti 
cIikAjr from (be rules of the schodl^ : Abd his wit dUAaxtiT 
not ahtrajs the artifice even of a pmi^ rhytii^ 61^ jiiigte of 
Words. The Grecian addi^essed himself to ah ati^nce 
much less refined than the Roman senate or judges; 'Hie 
towest vulgar of Athens were his sOTeretgns, and &e itrbi- 
(ers of hi^ eloquence *. Yet is his manner more chitotife nhA 
Austere than that of the otlier. Could it be copiedy its 8U6* 
eess would be infalUf>le oyer a modem assembly. It is ra* 
pid harmony^ exactly adjusted to the sense : It is Vehe* 
ment reasoning, without any appearance of ^rt: Iti^ dis^ 
dain, anger, boldness, freedom, iny(dved in li contiiitted 
stream of argument: And, of all humto productions^' di<i 
6rattons of Demosthenes present to us the models i¥tA&i 
approach the nearest to perfecticm* 

Tktrdtjfj It mdy be pretended, that the disoi^d^s df tb<^ 
ancient gotdminents, and the enormous crimes, ^ which 
(he dtia^ns were oi^ guilty, fltffi>rded much ampler txM^ 
ter for eloquence than can be met With among the mo^ 
dems. Were there no Verres or Catiline there w6uld be 
no Cicero. But that ii^ reason can have ho great influ- 
ence is evident. It would be easy td fi^ a Philip in nio* 
dem times; but where shall we'&id a Demosthenes? 

What remains, then, but that we lay the blame on Ae 
want of genius, or of judgment, in our speakers, who ei- 
ther found themselves inci^able of reaching die he^^hts of 
ancient eloquence, or rejected all such endeavours, as un« 
Btdtable to the spirit of modern assemblies ? A few sttocess^ 
ful attempts of this nature mig^t rouze the genius of the 

See Non [D.] 

100 . ESSAY XIII. 

natioiif excite the emulation of the youth^ and accustom 
our ears to a more sublime and more pathetic elocution^ 
than what we have been hitherto ^itartained with. There 
is certainly soi^ething accidental in the first rise and pro* 
gress of the acts in any nation. I doabt whether a very 
satisfiictory reason can be given, why ancient Rome, though 
it received all its refinements fix>m Greece, could attain on- 
ly to a relish for statuary, painting, and architecture, with- 
out reaching the practice of these arts : While modem 
Rome has .been excited by a few remains found among the 
ruins of antiquity, and has produced artists of the greatest 
ennnence and distinction. Had such a cultiv^i^ genius 
for oratory, as Waller's for poetry, arisen during the civil 
wars, when liberty beggui to be fully established, and popu- 
lar assemblies to enter into all the most material points of 
govemm^t; I am persuaded so illustrious an example 
would have given a quite different turn to British eloquence,^ 
and made us reach the perfection of the ancient modeL 
Our orators would then have done honour to their coun-. 
try,, as well fus omr poets, geometers, and philosophers; and 
British Ciceros have appi^r^, as well as British Archime- 
d^a^aand Vii^^ 

In ia seldom or never found, when a false taste in poetry 
or eloquence prevails among any people, that it has been 
preferred to a true, upon comparison and reflection. It 
commonly prevails merely firom ignorance of the true, and 
from the want of perfect mpdels to lead men into a juster 
apprehensicm, and more refined relish of those productions 
of genius. When these i^pear, they soon unite all suffir»* 
gjS^ in their favour, and by their natural and powerful 
Ghar|[;i% gain over, even the most prejudiced, to the love 
and admiration of them. The principles of every passion, 
and of every sentiment, is in every man ; and, when touch- 


ed properly, they rise to life, and warm the hearty and con- 
vey that ^tisfaction, by which a work oT genius is distin- 
guished irom the adulterate beauties of a capricious wit 
and fiuicy. And, if this observation be true, with regard 
to all the liberal arts, it must be peculiarly so with r^ard 
to eloqu^ice; which) being merely calcidated for the pu- 
blic, and for men of the world, cannot, with any pretence 
of reason, appeal from the pec^le to more refined judges, 
but must submit to the public verdict without reserve or 
limitation. Whoever, upon comparison, is deemed by a 
common audience the greatest bratbr, bughjt mobt ce^tuil- 
ly to be pronounced such by men of science afhd erudltidri. 
And though an indifferent speaker may triumph for alcmg 
time, and be esteemed altogether perfect by the vulgar, who 
are satisfied with his accomplishments, and know not in 
what he is defective ; yet, whenever the true genius arises, 
ke draws to him the attention of every one, and immedi- 
ately appears superior to his rival. 

Now, to judge by this rule, ancient eloquence, that is^ 
the sublime and passionate, is of much juster taste than the 
modem, or the argumentative and rational; and, if pro- 
perly executed, will always have more command and au- 
thority over mankind. We are satisfied with our mediocri- 
ty, because we have had no experience of any thing better : 
But the ancients had experience of both ; and upon com- 
parison, gave the preference to that kind of which they 
have left us such applauded models. For, if I mistake 
not, our modem eloquence is of the same style or species 
with that which ancient critics denominated Attic elo- 
quence, that is, calm, elegant, and subtile, which instmct- 
ed the reason more than afiected the passions, and never 
raised its tone above argument or common discourse. 
Such was the eloquence of Lysias among the Athenians, 

103 ESSAY xm. 

and pf Q^us ^mong tbe RcNsaans. These were esteemed 
mthwtixf^; but, wl)ea<^i^p9^#d with Deoiostbenes and 
Ci/oei^ w;eris ^c^psed like a ti^r when seit in the rays df a 
il^f^djan sup. lliose latter orators possessed the same ele* 
gwce^ a^d su)>tUty» and forc^ of argument with the former; 
but^ n^ait rendered them chiefly ad^iirable, was that pa^ 
thetic ^fkd subll|Be> whieh, oix proper ocoagions, they threw 
ipto their dfeicvHir^e, and by whiich they commanded the 
resohition of their audience* 

Of thU specks of dbquence we have scarcely had any 
in$|b99oe in Gngland» at least in our public speakers. In 
Qur writers, we have had some instances which have met 
with great applause, and might assure our ambitious youth 
of equal <x superior glory in attempts tofc the revival of aa- 
cienit eloquence. Lord BoUngbroke's productions, with all 
Aeit defects in argument, method, and precision, contain 
a force and energy which our orators scarcely ever aim 
at; though it is evident that such an elevated style has 
jjfkVLok better grace in a speaker than in a writer^ and is as- 
mvpi of more prompt and more astonishing success. It 
is therie seconded by the graces of voice and action : The 
nipiirements are mutually communicated betwet^ Uie ora- 
tor and the audience : And the very aspect of a large as-* 
$eidbly, attentive to the discourse of one man, must inspire 
him with a peculiar elevation, sufficient to give a propriety 
to the strongest figures and expressions. It is true, there 
is a great pr^udice against sei 9peeches ; and a man can- 
not escape ridicule, who repeats a discourse as a school- 
boy does his lesson, and takes no notice of any thing that 
has been advanced in the course of the debate. But where 
is the necessity of falling into this absurdity ? A public 
speaker ibust know beforehand the question under debate. 
^e may compose all the arguments, objections, and an*^ 


swers, such as he thinks will be most proper for his dis- 
course^. If any thing new occur, he may supply it from 
his invention ; nor will the di£Eerence be very apparent be- 
tween hb elaborate and his extemporary compositions. 
The mind naturally continues with the same impetus or 
Jbrce, which it has acquired by its moti<m ; as a vessel, 
once impelled by the oars, carries on its course for some 
time, when the original impulse is suspended. 

I shall conclude this subject with observing, that, even 
though our modem orators should not elevate their style, 
or aspire to a rivabhip with the ancient ; yet is there,, in 
most (^ihek speeches, a matenal dc^t^ w^ich 4h^y might 
correct, without departing from tii^t coapOMd air of ar^ 
gum^it and reasoning, to which diey limit tfaefar ambWdti: 
Their great affectation of extemporary disco^rseslias SH^ 
them reject all order and metbod^ which se^s so •I'equidit^ 
to argument, and without which it is soaroely pod^Ie td 
produce an entire ccmviction on the mind* it i» ntit^ th^t 
one would recommend many divisions in a public c^scourse, 
nnless die subject very evidently offer them t Bot It i« eaiy, 
without this formaU^, to observe a method,, and mak^ thai 
aaetbod conspioupus to tl^e hearers, who will be iafinkely 
pleated to see the arguments rise naturally fuMi mmt bjo^ 
other, ttod will retain a moce thorough peDsuasIoi), than 
can arise from the strongest veasons, which are^ thrown 
together in conftision* 

* Vm ftivt of tbe AHMiiumsy wbo mapoMd And wrote hit sp^e^io^wiAv 
Poridesy • man of buainesB «iid A Hmui of feeose, if ^v^ $^?F yi¥ ^9*i 

Suidas in Ut^tzXif 

feSSAY XlV. 


iNt OTHIKO Ireqliires greater nicety, in oar inqniries con** 
eeming human a£Burs, than to distinguish exactly what is 
owing to ckakce^ and what proceeds from cau$e8 ; nor is 
there any subgeot) in which an author is more liable to de^ 
oeive himself by fisdse subtleties and refinem^its* . To say^ 
that any event is derived from chance, cuts short all farther 
inquiry concerning it, and leaves the writer in the same 
state of ignorance with the rest of mankind* But when 
the event is iu[^x>sed tb proceed from certaiii and stable 
causes, he may then display his ingenuity, in assigning 
these causes; and as a man of any subtle^ can never be at 
a loss in this particular, he has thereby an opportunity of 
swelling his volumes, and discovering his.profound know* 
ledge, in observing what escapes the vulgar and ignorant 
The distinguishing between chance and causes must de- 
pend upon every particular man's sagacity, in considering 
every particular incident But^ if I were to assign any 
general rule to help us in applying this distinctiot^, it would 
be the fcdlowing^ What dg)ehds %ip(m ajk^ persons isy in ^ 
a great meaeurey to be ascribed to chance^ or secret and wtr 
hicwn causes ; What arises from a great number^ may qfUm 
he acooMted/br by determinate and known causes^ 


I'wo natural reasons may be assigned for this role. 
#Sr0^ If you suppose a dye to have any bias, however 
^mall, to a particular side, this bias, though, perhf^)s, it 
may not appear in a few throws, will certainly prevail in 
a great number, and will cast the balance entirely to that 
side. In like manner, when any causes beget a particular 
incUnation ot passion^ at a certain time^ and imaong a cer* 
tain people; though many individuals may escape the con- 
tagion, and be ruled by passions peculiar to themselves, 
yet the multitude will certainly be seized by the common 
efiecticm, and be governed by it in all their actions. 

SeoomOj^f Those principles or causes^which are fitted to 
tspearate on a multitude, are alwajrs of It grosser and more 
stubborn nature, less subject to accU^it^^ and less influen- 
ced by whim and private iancy, than those which operate 
on a few only. The latter are commonly so delicate and 
refined, that the smallest incident in the healthy eduoaiion, 
or fortune of a particular person, is sufficient to divert 
their course and retard their operation ; mx is it possible 
to reduce them to any general maxims or observations. 
Their influence at one time will never assure us concern* 
ing their iiduence at another ; even though all the ge- 
neral citcumstancss should be the same in both cases^ 

To judge by this rule, the domestic and the gradual 
revolutions of a state must be a more proper subject of 
reasoning and observation, than the foreign and the vio* 
lent, which are commonly produced by single persons, and 
are more influenced by whim, folly, or caprice^ than by 
general passions and interests. The depression of the 
lords, and rise of the commons in England, after the sta« 
tntes of alienation and the increase of trade and industry^ 
are more eamly accounted for by general principles, than 
the depression of the Spanish, and rise of the f^nch mo^ 


narchy after the deaith of Chiurles Quint. Had H^rry i V. 
Cardinal Rididieu, and Louis XIV. been Spaniards ; and 
Fhil^ U. III. and IV. ind Charles 11. been Frenchmen, 
the history of these two nations had been entirely rever- 

For the same reason^ it is more easy to account for the 
rise and progress of commerce in any kingdom, than £6r 
that of leammg ; and a state, which should apply itself to 
the encouragement of the one, would be more assured of 
anccess, than one which should cultivate the other. Ava- 
rice, or the desire of gain, is am universal pas^on, whicb 
operates at all times, in all places, and upon all persons : 
But cnriosi^, or the love of knowledge, has a very limitr 
ed influence, and requires youth, leisure, education, ge^ 
nius, and example, to make it govern any person* You 
will never want booksellers, while there are buyers of 
books: But there may frequently be readers where there 
are no authors. Multitudes of people, necessity and li-^ 
berty, have begotten commerce in Holland : But study 
and applicaticm have scarcely produced any eminent wri- 

We may, therefore, conclude, that there is tio subject, 
in iriuch we must proceed with more caution, than in tra*- 
cing the history of the arts and sdences; lest we assign 
causes which never existed, and reduce what is merely 
contingent to stable and universal principles. Those who 
cultivate the sciences in any state, are always few in num« 
ber : The passion, which governs them, limits : Their 
taste and judgment delicate and easily perverted ; And 
their application disturbed with the smallest accident 
Chance, therefore, or secret and unknown causes, must 
have a great influence on the rise and progress of fdl the 
refined arts. 


f But there is a reason, which induces me not to ascribe 
the matter altc^ther to chance. Though the persoas, 
who cultivate the sciences with such astonishing success, 
as to attract the admiration of posterity, be always few, in 
all nations and all ages ; it is impossible but a share of the 
same spirit and genius must be antecedently difibsed 
through the pec^le among whom they arise, in <^der to 
produce, fc^rm, and cultivate, from their earliest infancy, 
the taste and judgmait of those eminoit writers. The 
mass cannot be altogether insipid, from which sudli refr* 
ned spirits are extracted. TTiere ii a God within u$y says 
Oridji who breatieg thai dwmefiref bp which wg are anma^ 
ied\ Poets in all ages have advanced this daim to iiH 
spirati<Mi. There is not, however, any thing supernatural 
in the case. Their fire is not kindled from heaven. It 
only runs along the earth ; is eaUght from one breast to 
another; and bums bright^ whern the materials are liest 
prepared^ and most happily di^Mised* The question, there- 
fore, concerning the rise and progress of the arts and 
sdences, is not altogether ^ question copceming the taste, 
geniu^ and qpirit of a few, but conoeming those of a whole 
people ; and may, therefore, be accounted for, in some 
measure by general causes and prindples. I grant, that 
a man, who should inquire, why such a purticnlar poet, as 
Homer, for instance, existed, at such a place, in such a 
time, would throw himself headlong into chimsera, and 
could never treat of such a subject, without a multitude of 
false subtleties and refinements. He might as well pre- 
tend to give a reascm, why such particular generals, as 
Fabius and Scipib, lived ii> Rome at such a time, and why 
Fabius came into the world before Scipio. For such in^ 

* Est Deus in nobis ; agitante calescimus illo : 
Impetas hic; sacrae semina mentis habet Ovia. Fast* Ub, i. 

108 ESSAY XiV. 

cidentr as these^ no other reason can be given than that of 
Horace : 

Scit geniufly natale cmnei, ^qui lemporat aitruiD, 
Vatarm Dens humanaB, mortalis in unum 

■ Quodque caput, Tultu mutabilify albus et ater. 

But I am persuaded, that in many cases good reasons 
might be given, why such a nation is more polite and 
learned, at a particular tirne^ than any of its neighbours. 
At least, tiiis is so curious a subject, that it were a pity to 
abandon it entirdy, before we have found whether it be 
susceptible of reasoning, and can be reduced to any gene- 
ral principles. 

My first observation on this head is, T^at it is impo89i- 
hkfor the arU and sciences to arise, at first, ama/^anypeo- 
pie, unkss that peqpk efffoff the blessing (^ a Ji^ee^ovenifnef^ 

In the first ages of the world, when men are as yet bar- 
barous and ignorant, they seek no farther security against 
mutual violence and injustice, than the'choice of some ru- 
lers, few or many, in whom t^ey place an implicit confi- 
dence, without providing any security, by laws or politi- 
cal instituticms, against the violence and injustice of these 
rulers. If the authority be centered in a single person, 
and if the people, either by conquest, or by the ordinary 
course of prq[)agation^ increase to a great multitude, the 
monarch, finding it impossible, in his own person, to exe- 
cute every ofiice of sovereignty, in every place, must dele- 
gate his authority to inferior magistrates, who preserve 
peace and order in their respective districts. As expe- 
rience and education have not yet refined the judgments 
of men to any considerable degree, the prince, who is him- 
self unrestrained, never dreams of restraining his ministers, 
but delegates his full authority to every one, whom he sets 
over any portion of the people. All general laws are at- 


tended with inoonveniences, when applied io particular 
cases ; and it requires great penetration and experience^ 
both to perceive that these inoonveniences are fewer than 
what result fhnn full discre^onary powers, in every ma* ' 
gi8trate» and also to discern what general laws aret upon 
the whole^ atte^ided with fewest inconveniences. This is 
a matter of so great. difficult j» that men may have made 
some advances, even in die sublime arts of poetry and elo- 
quence, where a rapidity of genius and imagination as- 
sists their progress, before they have arrived at any great 
refinement in their municipal laws, where frequent trials 
and diligent observation can alone direct their improve- 
ments. It is not, therefore, to be supposed, that a barbae 
rous monarch, unrestrained and uninstructed, will ever 
become a legislator, or think of restr^uing his Bashctwsp 
in every province, or even his CacUSi in every village. We 
are tdd, that tb^ late CsfCfr^ though actuated with a noble 
genius, and smit with the love and admiration of Euro* 
pean ^rts ; yet professed an esteem for the Turkish policy 
in this particular, and approved of s^ch siynmary d^isiona 
of causes, as are practised i9 that barb^ous monarchyj^ 
where the judges are not restrained by any methods, ibrms^ 
or laws. He did not perceive, how contrary such a prac- 
tice would have been to all his other endeavours for refi- 
ning his people. Arbitrary power, in aU cas^s, is Sippi^ 
what oppr^sive find debasing; but it is altogether ruinous 
and intolerable, when contracted into a small compass ^ 
and becomes still worse, when the person, who possesses it^ 
knows that the time of his authority is limited and uncer^ 
tain. Habet subfedos tanquam mos ; mles, tU alienos ^. He 
governs the subjects with full authority, as if they were^ 

* Tacit. Hist. lib. \f 

110 tSSAYtlf. 

own ; and with negligence or tyranny. Us belonging td 
another. A people, goTemed after such a manned, ai^ 
^aves in the fall aUd proper seliale of the #ord : and it is 
impossible diey can eiret aspire hb any re&ietzients of tast^ 
or reason. They dlire not sd mneh as pr#t^d tb enjoy 
the necessaries of life in pksntf of security. 

To ^3tpect, therefor^ that the arts and science^ should- 
take their first rise iii a monarchy, is to expect a contra-* 
diction. Before these refinements have taken place, thd 
monarch is ignorant and uninstructed ; and not having 
knowledge sufficient to make him sensible of the necessity 
of balancing his government upon general laws, he dele* 
gates his full power to all inferior magistrates. This bar^ 
barous policy debases the people, and for ever prevents all 
improvements. Were it possible, that, befi>re science were 
known in the world, a monarch could possess so much wis- 
dom as to become a legislator, and govern his people by 
law, not by the arbitrary will of their fellow-subjectsi it 
.might be possible for that species of government to be the 
first nursery of arts and sciences. But that snppositi<m 
seems scturcely to be consistent or rationaL 

It may happen, that a republic, in its infant stale, may 
be supported by as few laws as a barbatous mcmarchy, and 
may entrust as unlimited an authority to its nu^riatrates or 
judges. But, besides that the frequ^it elections by th^ 
people are a considerable check upon authority ; it is iat* 
possible, but in time, the necessity of restraining the magss* 
trates, in order to preserve liberty, must at last appear, and 
^e rise to general laws and statutes. The Roman Cdti^ 
suls, for some time, decided all causes, without being eoB« 
fined by any positive statutes, till the people, bearing this 
yoke with impatience, created the decemvirSf who promul- 
gated the twelve tables ; a body of laws, which, though, 


perhiq^s, they were not equal in bulk to one English act of 
parliament, were almost the only written rules, which. re- 
gulated property and punishment, for scwe ages, in that 
famous r^puUic They wei'e, however, sufficient, together 
with the forms of a free government, to secure the lives and 
properties of the citizens ; to exe&ipt one num from the 
dominion of another ; and to protect every one against the 
violence or tyranny of his fellow-citizens. In such a situa- 
tion the sciences may raise their heads and flourish ; but 
never can have being amidst such a scene of oppression 
and slavery, as always results from barbarous monarchies, 
where the people alone are restituned by the authority of 
the magistrates, and the magistrates are not restrained by 
any law or statute* An unlimited despoti^n of this na- 
ture, while it exists, ^ectually puts a stop to all improve- 
ments, and ke^ men from attaining that knowledge) 
which is requisite to instruct thetn in the advantages a- 
rising from a better police, and more moderate authority. 
Hete then are the advantages of free states. Though 
a republic should be barbarous, it necessarily, by an in- 
fallible operation, gives rise to Law, even before mankind 
have made any cohsiderable advances in the other scien- 
ces. From law arises security : From security curiosity : 
And fit>m curiosity knowledge* The latter steps of this 
progress may be more accidental ; but the former are al- 
together necessary. A republic without laws can never 
have any duration. On the contrary, in a monarchical 
government, law arises not necessarily from the forms of 
government Monarchy, when absolute, contains even 
something repugnant to law. Qreat wisdom and reflection 
can alone reconcile them* But such a degree of wisdom 
can never be expected, before the greater refinements and 
impi-ovements of human reason. These refinements re- 

112 £S6AT XIV. 

quire curiosity, security, anfl law. The ^firsi grpwih, there- 
fore, of the arts and scieqees, can never be ei^pected in 
despotic governments. 

There are other causes which discourage the rise of the 
refined arts in despotic governments ; though I take the 
want of laws, and the delegation of full powers to every 
petty magistrate, to be the principal. Eloquence certainly 
springs up more naturally in popular govemmeBts: Emu- 
lation, too, in every accomplishment, must there be more 
animated and enlivened ; and genius and capacity have a 
fuller scope and career. All these causes render free 
governments the only proper nursery for the arts and 

The next observation which I shall make on this head 
is, That nothing is marefinfovrabk to tie rise of politeness 
and learning^ than a mtmber of neighbouring and independ-^ 
ent staiesj eofinected together by commerce and policy. The 
emulation, which naturally arises among those neighbour^ 
ing states, is an obvious source of improvement : But what 
I would chiefly insist on is the stop, which sudi li^^ted 
territories give both to power and to authority^ 

Extended governments, where a single person has great 
influence, soon become absolute ; but small ones change 
naturally into commonwealths. A large government is 
accustomed by degrees to tyranny ; because each act of 
violence is at first performed upon a part, which, being 
distant from the majority, is not taken notice of, nor excite 
any violent ferment. Besides, a large government, though 
the whole be discontented, may, by a little art, be kept in 
obedience; while each part, ignorant of the resolutions of 
the rest, is afraid to begin any commc^ion or insurrection. 
Not to mention, that there is a superstitious reverence for 
princes, which mankind naturally contract when they do 


Bot often 1^ the sov^ceign, and when many of them be* 
oom^ not acquainted with him so as to perceive his weak- 
nesses. And as large states can affinrd a great expense^ in 
order to support the pomp of majesty; this is a kind of 
fascination on men, and naturally contributes to the misla- 
ying of them. 

In a small govemmenti any aot of oppression is imme- 
diately known throughout the whole : The murmurs and 
discontents proceeding from it» are easily communicated t 
And the indignation arises die higher, because the subjects 
are not apt to apprehend, in such states, that the distance 
is very wide between themselTes and their sovereign. <<No 
man,'' said the prince of Cond^ ^ is a hero to his VaM 
dt Ckambre.** It is certain that admiration and acquaint-^ 
ance are altogether incompatibletowards any mortal ctta^ 
Cure. Sleep and love convinced even Alexander himself 
that he was not a Ood : But I suppose that such as daily 
attended him could easily, from the numberless weaknesses 
to which he was subject, have given him many still more 
convincii^ prooA of his hnmani^. 

But the divisions into small states are favouirable to 
learning, by stopping the progress to (ndkoritif as well as 
that of power. Rqmtation is often as great a £fMcination 
upon men as sovereignty, and is equally destructive to the 
freedom of thought and examination. But where a nunb- 
ber of neighbouring states have a great intercourse of arts 
and commerce, their mutual jealousy keeps than from re- 
ceiving too lightly the law from each other, in matters of 
taste and of reasoning, and makes them examine every work 
t>f art with the greatest care and accuracy. The contagion 
€»f popular opinion spreads not so ea^yfrom one place to 
another. It readOy receives a check in some state or other, 
where it concurs not with the prevailing prejudices. And 

VOL. I. I 


nothing but nature and reason,. or at least what bears them 
•a strong resemblance, can force its way through all ob- 
' stacles, and unite the most rival nations into an esteem and 
admiration of it 

Greece was a cluster of little principalities, which soon 
became republics; and being united both by their near 
neighbourhood, and by the ties of the same language and 
' interest, they entered into the closest intercourse of com- 
merce and learning. There concurred a hi^py dimate, a 
. soil not. unfertile, and a most harmonious and compreh^- 
sive language ; so that every circumstance among that 
people, seemed to favour the rise of the arts and sciences. 
*£ach city produced its several artists, and philosophers, 
who refused to yield the preferaice to those of the Deigh<» 
bomring republics : .Their contention and debates sharpeo-* 
ed the wits of men : A varie^ of objects .was presented tft 
. the judgmait, while each challenged the preference to the 
I'est ; and the sciences, not .being dwarfed by the restraint 
of ^autfiority, .were enabled. to inake such considerable 
shoots, as are even at this time the objects of our admira- 
tion. Afler the Roman Christian. or Catholic church had 
Bptesid itse}f over the civilized world, and had engrossed 
. all the learning of the times ; being really one large state 
:within itself, and united under one head; this variety of 
•sects immediately disappeared, and. the Peripatetic philo- 
sophy was, alone admitted into all the schools, to the utter 
depravation of every kind of learning. But mankind.ha- 
ying at length thrown off this yoke, affairs are now re- 
turned nearly to the same situation as before, and Europe 
is at present a copy, at large, of what Greece was formeriy 
^ a pattern in miniature. We have seen the advantage of 
this situati<m in several instances. What checked.the pro- 
'gress of the Cartesian philosophy, to which the French 


nation shewed such a strong propensity towards the end of 
the last century, but the opposition made to it by the other 
natimui of Europe^ who soon discovered the w^Jc sides of 
that philosc^hy? The severest scrutiny, which Newton's 
theory has undergone^ proceeded not from his own eoim- 
bymen, but from foreigners ; and if it can oveiPcome the 
obstacles, which it meets with at present in all parts of 
Enrc^e, it wiU probably go down triumphant to th^ latest 
pbsterity. The Ei^lish are become sensible of the scaih- 
dldous licentiousnais of Aeir stage, from the.exaniple df 
the French decency and' morids. The French areicdd^ 
yjnced, that their theatre has become somewfiaHefiPeminitte^ 
by too mudi love and gallantiy ; and'begin to approve ef 
the: moremasculine tai^ of sdme neighboiifiBg nadont. 

In CSiina, there seems to be a pretty considehible stock 
of poltts^ness and' sdeiioe^ which> in the course of so niaay 
centuries, n%ht naturally be expected to' ripen inio some- 
thing more perfect and finished, than what has yet arisen 
from them.' But China is one vast empire, -^^eaking one 
language, governed by one law,* and sympathising in the 
same manners. The authority of any teacher, such l» 
Cdnliiciiis, was propagi^ed easily from one comer of tHe 
empire to the other. None had courage^ to resist die tcMt- 
rent 'of popular opinion. And posteari^ was not boli 
enough to dispute what hud been universally im^vedJb^ 
their ancestors. This seems to be one nat^uralreiisQiQS .why 
the adenoes haVe mfade so! slow a progress ia.tfaat niightjr 
empire *. 

If we consider the face of the globe, Europe of aU tbe 
four parts <£the w6rld 1$ tfoe toost bnoken by sea^ ntets, 
and mbuntakis'; and Greece: of all countries .of Eurbp^ 

• SeeNofi[F.] '^ , ^^ 

I 2 


Hence iliese regions were natnrally diTided into seYsral 
t&tiBcl governments* And liMce the soieBoes.aBKise in 
Greece ; and Europe has been hitherto the most constant 
habttaticm of them. 

I have somedmes been indined to think» that intemip# 
ttons in tibe periods of learnkig^ were tbej not attended 
!vitb such a destmction of ancient books, and the records 
of histovy, vonld be rather fiivourable to the nts and 
«eience6y by breaking the progress of authorlQr) and de^ 
throqing the tyranmcal nsnrpers cner human reason. In 
thi&particniaf they have the same influence as interrup* 
fiofis in political govenunetits and societies. Consider the 
Wind snbmiision of the ancient phikm^ers to th^ sevei^ 
masters in each school, and you will be conirinoed, that 
fitdie good could be expected from a hundred centuries of 
snch a servile philosophy • Eten die Eclectics) who arose 
about the age of Augustos^ notwithstanding their profess* 
ing to dioose freely what pleased them from every difie* 
rent sect, wiere yet, in the main, as slavish and dqf)endent 
as any of their brethren ; since they sought for truth, not 
in Nature, but in the several schools ; where they supposed 
she must necessarily be found, though not united in a bo* 
dy, yet diq>ersed in parts. Upon die revival of learning, 
ihose sects of Stoics and Epicureans, Platoiusts and Py* 
t^mgorioians,. could never regain any credit or authoriQr ; 
and, At the same time, by the example of iimt fidl, k^ 
HUffii from submittmg^ with such blmd deference, to those 
new sects, which have attempted to gain an ascendant ov«r 

r The Oml pbsnrvation, whkh I shall form on this head^ 
of :die rise and progress of the arts and scienoes, is, Tkai 
though the only proper nursery (^ these nobk plants be a 
free state; yet may they be tranq)lanied into any gooenur 


md ikai a rqmblic is modjhmwrabk k> He grcwik 
qfAemskmBUfOmiaeMliisdmomarckpia ikatqftikpoUifL 

To balance a large state or aocie^, whether monarchical 
er rqpubHcan, on general laws> is a work df so grealdiflH 
otltj, that no human genhi% however cxHoaprehawve^ ii 
aUe, by the mere dint of reason and reflection^ to effbd 
it* The judgments of many must unite in this work: E&^ 
perience must guide their labour: Time must bring U to 
perfection : And the ieelingof inoonreniences must conreet 
the mistakes^ which they inevitably fiedl into^ in their firal 
trials and experiments. Hence appears the imposstt)iUly» 
that this undertaking should be b^fun and carried on in 
any monarchy; since such a form of govemmeni, erexi- 
▼iliaed) knows no other secret or pdicy^ than that of eo* 
trusting unlimited powers to every governor or nu^pa* 
trat^ and subdividing die peojde into so many classes ai^ 
orders of slavery. From such a situaition, no knprove* 
ment can ever be expected in the sciences, in the liberal 
arts, in laws, and scarcely in the manual arts and manu* 
fiictures. The same barbarism and ignorance^ with which 
die government commences, is prqpagated to all posterity^ 
and can never come to aperiod by the edbrts or ingenuii' 
ty of snc^ unhappy slaTCS. 

But though law, the aomroe of all aeoartty and hmppv- 
ness^ arises late in any gorvemment, and is the slow product 
of oMkr and of liberty, it is not preserved vnth the same 
dHicnlty with which it is produced ; but when it has once 
taken root, is a hardy plant, which will scarcely ever pe«- 
Irish througih the ill culture of men^ or the rigour of the 
seasons. Hie arts erf* luxury, and much more the Uberal 
arts, whidi dqnend on a refined taste or senttmen^ ase 
eas^y lost; because they are ahri^ rdidbed by a few cdi- 


ly, whose leisure, fortune) and genius, fit them fer sock 
amusements.' But what is profitable to every mortal, and 
in common life, when once discovered, can scarcely fall 
into oblivion, but by the total subversion of society, and 
by such furious. inundations of barbarous invaders^ as ob- 
literate all memory of former arts and civility. Imitation 
ako is apt to transport these coarser and more osefol aHa 
from one climate to another, and make them precede the 
refined arts in their progress; though, perhaps, they ^rang 
$fter them in their first rise and prc^agation. From thesci 
causes proceed civilised monarchies ; where the arts of go-i 
yemment, first invented in free states, are preserved to the 
mutual advantage and security of sovereign and subject . 
Howler perfect, therefore, the monarchical form may 
i^eiEur to some ^politicians, it owes all its perfection to the 
republican ; nor is it possible, that a pure despotism, esta- 
blished among a barbajf'ous people, can ever, by its. native 
ibroe.and energy, refitie and polish itself.. It must borrow 
Ua laws, and n^ethods, and institutions, and consequently 
its stability and order, from free governments. The3e adr 
vantages ar/s the sole growth of republics. The ecxtensivis 
despotism of a barbarous monarchy, by entering into t)i£e 
detail of the government, ais well as into dbe principal pobxts 
of administration, for ever prevents all such improvemi^ts. 
-. .In a civilized monarchy, the prince ak»ie is unirestrain- 
ed in the exercise of his authority, and. possesses alone a 
power, which is not bounded by any thitig.but custom^ 
example, and the sense of his own interest. Every mi£is- 
ier or mi^istrate, however eminent, must submit. to tbe 
l^eral laws which govern the vrtiole society, and.otast 
exert the authority delegated to him after the manner which 
is prescribed. . The people depend on none but their so- 
verdgn for the security of their property. He is so &r 


removed from them, and is so much exempt frcmi private, 
jealousies or interests, that this depoulence is scarcely feh> 
And thus a species of government arises,^ to which, in a> 
high political rant, we may give the name of T\/rcamg ;: 
but which, by a just and prudent administration, may af-^ 
ford tolerable security to the peopled, and may answer most) 
of the ends of political society. 

But though in a civilized monarchy, as well as in a re-' 
public, the people have security for the enjoyment of their 
prc^rty; yet iti both these forms of government, those* 
who possess the supreme authority have the disposal of 
many himours and advantages, which excite the ambition' 
and avarice of mankind. The only difference is, that, in 
A republic^ the candKlates for office must look downwards 
t6 gahi the suffirages of the people ; in a monarchy, they ■ 
nJOSt turn thieir btt^tion upwards, to court the good 
grac^ Bud favour of the great To be su^essful in the 
finrmer way, it is necessary for a man to make himself ii^e- 
yk^ by his industry^ capacity, or knowledge x To be pro- 
sperous in the latter way, it is requisite for him to render 
himself itgtfstalMi by his wit, complaisance, or civility* A' 
strong gehiiis succeeds best iii republics t A refined taste' 
in monardues : And^ consequently, the sciences are the 
HMM« natural growth bf the one, and the peliteartsof the 

Mbt to mention, that monarchies, receiving their chief 
stability from a ^iopetstitious reverence to priests and 
princes, have commbnly abridged the liberty of reasonings 
with r^ard to rehgion and politics, and consequently me^* 
taphysics and morals. All these form the most consider^ 
able branches of science. Mathematics and natural phi- 
losophy, which only remain, are not half so valuable. 

Among the arts of conversation, no one pleases more 

ISD BMAT xiy. 

Aaamiitaddefareiioe or civility, which kadi ug to rougn 
our own iacUiuitkuis to those of our oompnkmf imd to 
ontb and conceal that presomptiim and arrogance^ so na* 
tural to the human mind. A good-natured man, who is 
wdl educated, practiaea this ciirility to erery mortal, wid>> 
out premeditation or interest. But in order to render tbet 
valuable quality general among any people it aeema no* 
ceaaary to asaist the natural du^xMiticm by gome general 
motive. Where power riaes upwards frmn the pecqple to 
the great, as in all republics, such refinements of civility 
are apt to be little practised; since the whole state is, by 
tjkaft means, brought near to a level, and every member of 
ilisMiidered, in a great nieasure, independent of another. 
The people have the advanti^;^ by the authority of their 
ssdBn^gesi (he great by the superior!^ of their statioiit 
But in a civiliaed monarchy, there is a long train of de- 
peodende fipom the prince to Ihe peasant, which is not great 
enough to render property precarious, or dq>re9s the minds 
of the people; but is snflBdent to bq^et in everyone an in- 
clination to please hb superiors, and to form himaelf upon 
those models, which are most accqptable to people of con^* 
dikieii and education* PoUteneas <tf manners^ therefor^ 
arises moat naturally in mcmarchiesand courtss and whev«i 
Aat flourishes, none of the Ubetel arts will be altqg^th^ 
neglected or despised. 

The republics in Europe are at present noted for want 
of poUteueas. 7%s ifPod-matmer$ qf « iSic^ ^ivilmim 
HollnQd S is an expression for rusticity among the French. 
The English, in smne degree, fell un^ the sam^ censure 
notwithstanding their learning and genius* And if the 

En Hollande ciyilis^ Rouukad. 


VcnetiMs be an cKoepdon to the vule^ tliey owe It, per- 
haps, totliMrecimmiinicationwitlttheoth^ most 

of whose goTemmeots beget a dqpend^iee more than suf- 
ficient for civilimig their manners. 

. It ia diffienlt to pronomc^ any jndgment oonceraiiig the 
refinements of the ancient repnblica in this particnlar > But 
I am apt tosaqpect, that the arts of coni^ersation were not 
brought so near to periection amcmg them as die nrts of 
writing and composition* The soirrility of the andent 
orators, in many instances, is quite shoddi^ and esceeda 
all belief. Vanity too is o&isa not a little offiaasive in an- 
thors of diose ages * ; as well as the commcn licentiousness 
and immodesty c^dieir style. QmeMiijimut^miicH$^4mhil^ 
UTy ffOf^Mf tiun^Uy ve9iiif$f peof, foiM poifin taco^uctnxi^ 
saysSallust in one of the grayest and most moral passagee 
of his history. Nam/mi mtte Helmam Qm$m^ tetarrimm 
beOi cmtBOf Is aa ezprestton ^ Horace, in tracing the eri« 
gte of moral good and eviL Ovid and Lucretiua^ am al- 
most as Ueentioos in their style as Lord Roehesler; though 
the former were fine gend^nen aad delicate writers, and 
the* latter, from the e^mplions.of that ooiurt in idiioh hm 
Ui^ seems to ha^e thrown off all regard to shame and de<* 
oency. Juvenal inculcates modesty with great aeal ; but 
sets a very bad example of it» if we consider the in^Mideacfr 
of his expressions. 

* It !i noedleis to cit» dceroor Pliny on this head : They ore tbo much 
noted. But one is m little surprised to find Anian, a yery graye^ judicious 
writer^ itttenrupt the duvad of hii narration au or snadian« to tell fats readert 

was for arms. Lib, L 

^ Thiipoet (aea lib, iv. 1 1^) rorommwidis Twy extraordinary cure far 
loye. and wlitt one axpeelanol to meet with in so elegant and philosophical 
a j^oem. Itseems to haye been the orig;inal of some of Dr Swift's imiges. 
The elegant C|i|ull9« ^ Fhpdr^ £ill under the upm QNMmre. 


I shall also be b<^ to aSurm, that among die aadent^' 
ihere was not much delicacy c^breeding, or that polite de-^ 
ference and respect, which civili^ obliges us either to ex*- 
press or counterfeit towards the persons with whom we 
converse. Cicero was certainly one of the finest gehtle- 
men of his age; yet I mui^ confess I have fi^quendy 
been shocked with the poor figure under which he repre- 
sents his friend Atticus, in those dialogues where he him- 
self IS intrckluced as a speaker. That learned and virtuous 
Roman, whose dignity, though he was only a private gei;i- 
tleman, was inferior to that of no one in Rome, is th^re 
shown in rather a more pitiful light than Philalethes's 
friend in our modem dialogues. He id a humble itdmil-er 
of the orator, pays him frequent compliments, and receives 
his instructions, wldi all the defertoce which a scholar 
owes to his nmster K Even Cato is treated in sot^ewhat 
of A cavalier manner in the dial(>gues De Fimlms^ 

One of the most particular details of a real dialogue 
which we meet with in antiquity, is related by Polybius ^ ; 
when Philip king of Macedon, a prince of wit and parts» 
met with Titus Flanuninus, one of the pditest of the Ro- 
mans^ as we learn from Plutarch ^, accompanied with amr 
bassadors fix>malmost all the Greek cities. The ^tolian 
ambassador v^ry abruptly telU die king^ diat he talked like 
a fool or a madman (ah^v.) << That's evident, (says, his. 
Majesty), even to a blind man 9* which was a raillery on 
the blindness of his excellency. Yet all this did not pass the 
usual bounds : For the c<mference was not disturbed ; and 
Flaminimis was very well diverted with diese strokes of hu^ 

* An. Non mihl videtur ad beatc ▼irendum satis esse Yirtutem. Mau. 
Athercule Bruto meo videtur ; cujiis ego judidttm* pace tua dizerim, longo 
anftepono tuo. 3W. Quasi* Ub* v. 

* Lib. XTiL . « In Vita Flamiii. 


nour. At the end, when Philip' craved a little time ta 
consult with his fiiends, of whcuBi he had nbiie present, 
the Roman general, being desirons also to show his wit, as 
the historian says, tells him, << That perhaps the reason 
why he had none of his friends with him, was because he 
had murdered them aU;^ which was actoally the case. 
This mo^Nroyoked piece of rusticity is not condemned by the 
historian; caused no farther resentment in Philip than 
to excite a Sardonian smile, or what we call a grin ; and 
hindered him not from renewing the conference nextday« 
Plutarch % too, mentions this raillery amongst the witty 
and agreeable saymgs of Flamininus. 

Cardinal Wolsey apologized for his fimKms piece of in^ 
science, in saying. Ego et bex msus, loMdw^ Kimgi^ by 
obsendng, that this expression was conformable to the Zo- 
Un Idiom, and that a Roman always named himself befiire 
the person to whom, or of whom, he spake. Yet this seems 
to have been an instance of want of ctTility among that 
people. ' The ancients made it a rule, that the person off 
the greatest dignity should be mentioned first in the disb 
course; insomuch, that we find the spring of a quami 
and jealousy between the Romans, and JEtoUans, toihava 
been a poet's naming the ^toliand before the Romaiisin 
celdbrating a victory gained by their united Arms oiw 
the Maeedonians.^ Thus Livia disgusted Tiberins fagr 
placing her own name before lus in aa inacripiion <^. ! 

No advantages in thi^ world are pure imd uiimixedk In 
like manner, as modern politeness, .whidi is naturally so 
ornamental, runs.oftea into affectation and- foppery, A»* 
guise and insincerity ; so the ancient simplicity, which is 

■ Plut in Vita Flamiii. ^ Ibid. « lVK»t Ann. libb iii. cap. 64. 

IM xsgAT xnr. 

aatttrally to anriaMe and affisdiiigy often degenerates into 
rusticity md abuse, scurrility and obscenity. 

If tke superiority in politeness should be a^wed to nio- 
dern times, the modern notions of gc^UmOnfj the natural 
pTodoce of eonrts and monarchies, will probably be as* 
signed as the causes of this refinement. No one denies 
this invention to be modem * : But some of the more zeal- 
oos partisans of the ancients have asserted it to be foj^Msk 
and ridiculous^ andareproach, rather than a credit, to the 
present age^ It may h^re be proper to examine this 
qaesti<Hi. ^ 

Nature has implanted in all livii^ creatures an aflfection 
between the sexes, which, even in the fiercest and most 
fBpaoions anhnals^ is not merefy confined to the satisfiic- 
tkm of die bodily appetite^ but bq;ets a friendship and mo* 
toal sjnnpadiy, which runs through the whole tenor c^thefar 
lives. Nay, even in those species, where nature limits the 
iadolgenoe of this aj^ietite to one season and to <»e ob« 
ject, and forms a kind of marriage or association b^wem 
a sin|^ male and fiunale^ there is yet a visible complacency 
and benevolence, which extends fiurther, and mutually so& 
tna the atibctions of the sexes towards each other. How 
mnoli more mnst this have place in man, where tlie con* 
fiaement of the appetite is not natural^ but either is derived 
acddentafly from some strong charm of lov^ or arises from 
reflectioBS on duty and convemence. Nothii^, therefore, 
can proceed less fit>m a£fectation than the pasdmi of gal- 
lantry. It is notarial in the highest degree. Artandedu* 
eationy in Ae most elegant courts, make no more i^ra* 

• In the Sdf-Tormetiiwtsi Tenaee, Cliiiia% whenerer he comes to town, 
initMd of iraituig on lus miftreiiy lencU for her tocone to him* 
» Lord ShaHeilHiiy. See his MoraHtis. 


tiofr on it than on all the other Uradable pesikms. Thej 
only txau llie mfaid more towards it ; they refine it ; they 
polish it; and giTO ita proper grace and expression. 

But gaUantry is as gmiiwu as it is nahari. To eor- 
red snoh gros» vices^ 9s lead ns to commit real injury on 
etber% is thepartof morals, and the object of the most oiv 
dinary education. Where HActf is AotattaadedtO) in some 
d^ee, no human society can subsist But, in order to 
render conym'sation) and Ae interconrse of mmds msjste 
easy and agreeaftde^ good manners have been indented, and 
have carried the matter somewhat fiirther. Wherever 
natnre has given the mind a propensitjr to any vice, or to 
any passion disagreeable to others, refined breeding has 
taught men to throw the bias on the of^iosite side, and to 
preserve^ in all thdr behaviour, the iqppearance of senti*> 
ments different from those to which they naturally incline. 
Thus, as we are commonly proud and selfish, and apt to 
assume the preference above others, a polite man learns 
to b^ave with deference towards his companions, and to 
yield the superiority to them in all the common incidents 
of society. In like manner, wherever a person's situation 
may naturally beget any disagreeable suspicion in him, it 
is the part of good manners to prevent it, by a studied dis- 
play of sentiments, directly contrary to those of which he 
is apt to be jealous. Thus, old men know their infirmitie% 
and naturally dread contempt from the youth : Hence 
well-educated youth redouble the instances of req^ect and 
deference to their elders. Strangers and foreigners are 
without protection : Hence, in all polite countries, they 
receive the h^hest civilities, and are entitled to the first 
place in every company. A man is lord in his own fami* 
ly ; and his guests are, in a manner, subject to his autho- 
rity : Hence, he is always the lowest person in the compa- 


ny; attentive to the wants of every one; and giving him- 
self all the trouble^ in order to please, wMch may not be- 
tray too visible an a£Eectation, or impose too mncb con- 
straint on hiagoesti^ Gallantry b nothing biU an in- 
stance of die saii» generons attention* As nature has ^ 
ven man the superiority above taomoHf by endowing Jhii^ 
widi greater strength, both of mind and body; itishispart 
to alleviate' that superiority, as much as posixble, by the 
generottty ofhis b^taviour, and by a studied deferenie^ and 
complaisance for all .her inclinations and bpinions. Bar- 
barous nations display this superiorily, by reducing their 
females to the most abject slavery ; by confining them, by 
beating them, by selling them, by killing them. But the 
male sexi, among a pdite people, discovet their authority 
in a more generous, though not & less evident manner ; by 
civility, by respect, by cotaplaisanciei, and, in a word, by 
gallantry. In good company, you need not ask. Who is 
the master of the feast ? The man who sits in the lowest 
plaice, and who is always industrious in helping every one» 
is certainly the person* ' We must either condemn all such 
instances of generosity, as foppish and affected, or admit 
of gallantry among the rest The ancient Muscovites 
wedded their wives with a whip, instead of a ring. The 
same people, in their own houses, took always the prec^ 
dehcyaboveforeigners^eveh^fore^ ambassadors* These 
two instances of their g^erosity and politeness q^ much 
of a piece* 

* The frequent mention in ancient autbon of that ill-bred custom of the 
master of the family's eating better bread, ot drinking better wine at table, 
than he afforded his guests, isbut an indiffenntmark of ^e cii^hy <tf tbost 
ages.' See Jurenal* sat. 5.t; PUn^ lib. ziv. capw 19, ; al^ Plinii Ej^st lii- 
cian de mereede conductis, Satunudia» &c« ; There is scarcdy any part of 
Europe at present so undyilixed a& to admit of such a custom. 

^ See Relation of three Embassies, by the Earl of Carlisle. 


. Gallantry is jiot less compatible with wisdom and pm^ 
4emxj than, with nature and generosity j and, when under 
proper regulations, contributes more than any other inven- 
tion to the entertainment and improvement of the youth of 
both sexes. Among every species of animals, nature. has 
founded on the love betwe^Li the sexes their sweetest and 
best enjoyment. But the satisfaction of the bodily appe^ 
tite is not alone sufficient to gratify the mind ; and, even 
among brute creatures, we find that their play and dalU^ 
ance, and other expressions of fondness, . form the great* 
est part of the entertainment. In rational beings, we must 
certainly admit the miud for a considerable share. Were 
we to rob the feast of all its garniture of reason, discourse, 
sympathy, friendship, and gaiety,, what remains would 
scarcely be^ worth acceptance, in the judgment of the truly 
elegant and luxurious. 

^What better. school for manners than the company of 
virtuous women, where the mutual endeavour to please must 
insensibly polish the mind, where the example of the fe^ 
male soilness and modesty must communicate itself to their 
admirers, and where the delicacy of that sex puts every 
one on his. guard, lest he give offence by any breach of 

Among the ancients, the character of the fair sex was 
considered as altogether domestic ; nor were they regard- 
ed, as part of the polite world, or of good company. This, 
perhaps, is the true reason why the ancients have not left 
jis one piece of pleasantry that is excellent (unless one may 
, except the Banquet of Xenophon, and the Dialogues of 
Lucian), though many of their serious compositions are al- 
together iniiQitable. Horace condemns the coarse raille- 
ries and cold jests of Plautus : But, though the most easy, 
agreeable, and judicious writer in the world, is his own 

188 £»AT XIV« 

ident for ridiciile verj striking or refined ? Thi% there- 
fore, is one considerable improrenent^ which the polit* 
arts have received from gallantry, and from conrta ^iHiere 
it first aroee. 

But, to retmn from this digression, I shall advance it as 
$kJbuHk observation on this subject, of the rise and pro- 
gress of the arts , and sdenees, That whm He art9 ami 
9cuMC€$ cfMM to ptrfeMtM in ong $Me^ flxM ihatwiotMKi 
iheg wOmtaUff or raOiar nscesiarily decUm^ and mUkm ct 
never revive ta thai nation^ where AefJbrmerfyJkmriehetL 

It must be confisssed, that this nUbdm, though confor* 
mable to experience, may at first sight be esteemed oon^ 
trary to reason. If the natural genius of mankind be the 
iame in all ages, and in almost all countries (as seems to 
be the truth,) it must very much forward and cidtivate diis 
genius, to be possessed of patterns in eveiy art, which may 
regulate the taste, and fix the objects of imitation. The 
models left us by the ancients gave birth to all the artd 
about 200 years ago, and have mightily advanced their 
progress in every country of Eurqpe: Why had they not 
a like effect during the reign of Tn^ and his suocea* 
sors, when they were much more entire, and were sliU 
admired and studied by the whole world ? So late as the 
empenur Justinian, the Poet, by way of distinction, was 
understood, among the Gbedcs, to be Homer | amcmg the 
Romans, VirgiL Such admirations still remained for diese 
divine geniuses; though no poet had appeared for many 
centuries, who could justly pretend to have imitated them. 

A man's genius is always, in the beginning of life, as mueh 
unknowntohimself as to others: and it is only after frequent 
trials,^ attended with success, that he dares think himsdf 
equal to those undertakings, in which those, who have sue- 
oeeded, have fixed the admiraticm irf'maBkind. If his own 



Hatfam be already posidessed of many modeb of eloquenoe^ 
he ttatttfally compares his own juvenile exercises with these ; 
alKl being sensible of the great disproportion, is di6coa«-> 
raged from any fkrther attempts, and never aims at a ri-* 
▼alship' with those authors, whom he so mnch admiraSr 
A noble emulation is the source of eveiy excellence. Ad** 
miration and modes^ naturally extinguish this enmlation. 
And no one is so liable to an excess of admiration and 
modesty as a truly great genius. 

Next to emuladon, the greatest enoourager of die noble 
aitS'is praise and glory.. A writer is animated with new 
ferce^ when he hears the applauses of the world for has for- 
mer productions; and, bring roused by sindi a motive, he 
often reaches a pitch of perfeoticm, which is equally sur« 
pTtting to himself and to his readers. But when the poata 
of honour are all occupied, his first attempts are but cold- 
ly received by the public; being compared to prodne* 
tton^ whidh are both in themselves more excdlent^ and 
have already the advantage of an established rqmtation.- 
Were Moliere and Comdlle to bring upon the stage at 
present thefar early productions, which were formerly so 
weH received, it would didoourage the youi^poets, to see 
^indiffisrence and disdain of the public The ignorance 
of the age alone could have given admission to the PrUoe 
qfTjfre; but it is to diat we owe 7%e Jfesr .• HAdEverp 
Man m hi$ Hmmmr been rejected, #e had never seen 

Perhaps, it may not be for the advantage of any nation 
to have the arts imported from their neighbours in too 
great perfection. This extinguishes emulation, and sinks 
the ardour of the generous youth. So many models of 
Italian painting brought to England, instead oS exciting 
our artists, is the cause (^ their small progress in thi^ no- 

VOL. I. K 


Ue Art The stme^ perhaps^ Was the case of Romc^ when 
it received the arts firdm Greece. That multitude of po* 
lite producticms in the French language, dispersed all OTer 
Gerodany and the North, hinder the^e nations from cul- 
tivating their own language, and keep them.itiU di^pen- 
dent on their neighbours for those elegant entartainm<entsif 
. It is true, the ancients had kA us models in every kind 
of writings which are highly worthy of admiration. But 
besides that they were written in languages knoum only 
to the learned ; besides this, I say, the comparison is not 
80 peciect or entire between modem wits, and those who 
Uved in so remote an age^ Had Waller been born in 
Rome, during the reign of Tiberius, his first produotiooff 
kadbebn despised, when compared to the finished odes of, 
Horace. But in this island the superiority of the Roman 
poet diminished nothing from the fame of the EngUih* 
W« esteemed ourselves sufficiently happy, that our climate 
ind language could produce but a famt copy of so.e^cd- 
lent an origiHaL 

In riiort, the arts and sciences,, like some {giants, require 
afresh soil; andhoweverrichthelandmaybe, and how- 
ever you may recruit it by art or carci, it will never, whm 
onee exhausted, produce any thing that is perfect or finish* 
ed in the kind* 



,'i-.i •: 

•Lt : if ^. ffreat mpriiiQcation to 1^ vanity .of ikiim3,,;4^ l^ t 
%4foiqetf art a^^ mdnstry can n^yer equal the meanest of / 
l^|i^^> pi^odfiCtiopsy eUber fS^r b^fity 9r:value».:^ ;^ Is 
o^ljr thfi.M^^wpikmany and is. emplo jied togiveiaf^ 
strokes o^ embellishment to those pieces which cpmp frpfok 
thiel^^ of the m^»ter* Some of the drapq^; n^gr 
Im dfai^rinf^ but he is not alloifed to touch, j^ pij^o^ip^ 
Agoxef^ Art may make a suit of clothes^ but nature must ^ 
produce a man. 

flyenin those pro4uctionscommonly denominated works 
of art, we find that ftbe i^oblest of the kmd arebdn^il^ 
for t^ir c^>€^bewty to the force a^ happy ipfluepce o£ 
nature. To the native ^ithusiasn^ of thepo^ ^e ow^^, 
what^er is admirable in their productions. The ^eatests 
g^iu^^whesjenature^at apytin^. fails lf^\{fqr s^e jsiipW 
eq\ials)',tIiroDfs aside ,t^a lyre, and hc^es not, frwM the^ 
rules of art, to reach that divine hanpony^ wh;ch nnist 
proceed fromher inspiration alone. How poor are those 

^^ Kh.^ktfikait ^ a0§anc$ taUpUeawre. The Utention ot ibk ahd ttt^ 
tiraft fdlimi^ gjfji \^ ttottd^Antcfa to «l:]plaiii aceanitely the wokihaek^ 
of lbo.«iiaMy|l,ipel» drj|ii>otoihy^ ipo to d4^« the sentinmitv of Mct> <liiti 
natimlly fona thoiBMlT«i in tiio wprid» «id enfe]1«in different ic^i^ pf hv-. 
map Ufq and happiiieM. I haye ^Ten each of them tho name of thef hilo- 
•ophical Beet to which it bean the greatest affinity. 

132 ^ ESSAY XV. 

sohgs, where a happy flow of fimcy has notfurnifihed ma^ 
terials for art to embellish and refine ! 

But of all the fruitless attempts of art, no one b so ridi- 
culous, as that which the severe philosophers have under- 
taken, the producing of Bnafi^kialktyyriness, and making 
us be pleased by rufes of reason, and by r^ection. Why 
did none of them claim the reward, which Xerxes promised 
to him, who should invent a new pleasure ? Unless, per- 
hi^s, they invented so many pleasures for their own use, 
that they despised riches, and stood in no need of any en^ 
joyments, which the rewards^ of ihat monarch could pro^ 
cure diem. I am apt^ itidec^ to think, that they were 
hot willing to fuxliiidi die Persian conit widi a new pfe»- 
dure, by presenting it widi so new and unusual &u object 
6r ridicule. Then: speculations, when confined to dieory, 
and gravely delivered in the schools of Greece, might ex* 
tite admiration in dieir igriorant pupih $ but Aesttenipt^ 
ing to i^uoe such prindples to firacttcewoiild^oonluitve 
betrayed their absurdity. / 

You pretend to makemehilppy by reasoii, and bymles 
of art Yotf must dien create me ibieW by rules of ar<^ 
jft»r on my original firame and structure does nty happiness* 
depend. • But you want power toefiect diis, and skiH too, 
I am afirald t nor can I entertain a less opinion of nature's 
wisdoni dlan of yours; and let fa^ conduct die machine 
Which she has so wisely finuned, I find that I adiould only 
spdiS^ it by tampering. 

' To #hat purpose should I pretend to regtllate, refine^ ^ 
or invigorate any of tlH>se springs or principles which na- 
ture has implanted in me ? Is this the road by whick I 
must reach happiness ? But hqipiness implies ease, coh<^* 
tentment, repose, and pleasure ; not watchfiilnes^ caif e, ' 
and fatigue. The health of my body consists in the &- 


ciUty with which all its (^rations are performed. The 
stomach digests the aliments; the heart circulates the 
bliMHl; the hr^m separates and refines the spirits ; and all 
thiS; iwitboot my concerning myself in the matter. A^hen 
hgr my w91 ^dde I t$n stop the blood, as it rqns with hni 
petAOsiQr lUong its ^^anak^ then may I hope to change thf 
course of my senlijpi^ts and passions. In vain should I 
strtiia My &en}ties, imd endeavour to receive pleasure from 
an object^ which is not flttei) by nature to affect my organs 
yffUh delight I may give myself pain by my fr uitlesp[ en- 
deav/cmrsy but diall never reach any pleasure. 

Awiiy then with aU those vain pretences.of making our- 
selves happy within ourselves^ of feastiD^ on our own 
thougbtS) <£ being sl^isfied with the consciousness of well- 
doi|3g; l^d.of deq^skig all assistance and all supplies frooa 
extemtA ^Agects.. TImb is the voice of pride, not of naf- 
tttret i^Adlt were wdi if even this pride could support 
itlet^ and <)0mmunicat9 a. real^ mward pleasure, however 
melMlehoiy <^ sevareK But thi§ impotent pride can do no 
moqej^W regulate tb«4MtfsJd^ aud with infinity pains and 
irtlentioti impose tb^ language a^d countenance to a pbi- 
kMophifltl dS^tj^ itt order to deceive the i^orant vulgar. 
TheJbefurft ivi^lia^rhleyis^n^ty of adl ^qjpument, and the 
jnind> laiiiipportod by it^ j^^'^pier (AgectSf $in)csintp the 
deejpeW sorrow and df|)9eti(ni» Misc^Uc^ but vain mortal I 
!n{|r490ldb^lMppy within ilself^^ With what resource^ is 
itiwdbwd to£U 40 inm^nse a void, andaig>ply llie^Iace 
of all tky bodily senses and &cultie^? Cafi thy head sub- 
Mst wUhowt thy otb^ members? In 8i»h a situation, \ 

Whai fcolkb figure Bum it make ? 
Do notiiing dae but sleep and ake. 

Into such a lethargy, or such a melancholy, must thy 

iS4 E8SAY XV. 

mind be plunged^ when depriTed of foreign occnpations 
and enjoyments. 

Keep me, therefore, no longer in this violent constraint.' 
Confine me not within mysdi^ but point out to me those 
objects and pleasures which afibrd the chief ^nj«y|nent« 
But why do I apply to yon, prond and ignorant sieges, to 
shew me the road to happmess ? L^t me consult my own 
/ passions and inclinations. In them must I read the dic- 
' tates of nature, not in your frivolous discourses. 

But see, propitious to my wishes, the divine, the aA^ble 
Pleasure *, the supreme love of Gods and men,advaue0s 
towards me. At her approach, my heart beats with' ge- 
nial heat, and every sense and every fiumlty is dissolved in 
joy; while she poors around me all the wibelbhmeiltftiU 
the spring, and idl the treasures of tlife ajatjmm. The me^ 
lody of her voice charma my ears wiiii the s^^slt musics 
as she invites me to partake ofthodedelic^iouaffintiit^ whichi 
with a smHe that dtfiuises ai gloi^ oti^ the licwveiis iOkS iiit 
^^rdi,'8ihi^ presents to me. The spottive Ctlpljis who sd^ 
iML hei^ or fiin me with their odc^iferous wingi^ far pour 
oh my h^d flie most fragrant oSs, at othtvp^ thdriEfpark^ 
Hi^ntectar in golden goblets: Ol fiNr^erletnetiprsaA 
% Wibi onihiiB bed of rpse^ and thM, thvs fed ihe^^ 
lidbiis mdments, with soft and downy 6teps, glide A6h§. 
-bat crud ihtoce ! Whither do yob fly so fast? Wh(y do 
hiy anient wishes, and that load icif plelt^uiies iuMter^w^^ 
ybii labour, ratiler hast^ thatf rettfd y^iu^ bttefetllulg 
pice. Suffer W to enjoy this sk)ftrepoBe»aft^$fiiiyfiK 
tigues in search of haziness, l^d^rme to>s4cia)leinys^ 
with these delicacies, after the pains of so long and so 
foolish an abstinence. . >/: 


But it will not do. Hie- roses bare lost their hue,- the 
fruit its 6«TOur, and that delicious wine, ^ose furaes ho 
late mtoxicated all ray senses with such delight^ now soG- 
cits in vain the sated palate* Pkiuure smiles at my lan- 
guor. She beckons her sister, FMue, to come to her as- 
sistance. The gay, the frolic Virtue, observes the call, aiid , 
brings along the whole troop of my jovial friends. Wei- I 
oome, thrice welcome, my ever dear companions, to these / 
shady bowers, and to this luxurious repast Your pre- / 
sence bas restored to the rose its hue, and to the fruit its | 
flavour. The vapours of this sprightly nectar now again 
|dy Around my heart; while you partake of my deligbts, 
and discover, in. your cheerful looks, the pleasure wkidi 
ybu receive fitmi my ha{^iness and satis&ctiob. The Eke 
do I receive froin yours ; and, enisouraged by your joyoiis 
presence, shall again renew the feast, with which, fitun top 
much «tyoyment^ my senses are well nigh satied. While | 
tfae.mind kept not pace with the bo^, nor afforded relief 1 
loJie^ overburdened partner. 

In oar dieerfnl discourses, better than in the fonnal/ 
feasoning of the schocds, is true wisdom to be found. hk( 
^0ur %iendly endetonents, better than in the hollow debates 
of statesmen and pretended patriots, does tme virtue dis- 
-pby itself. Foi^^etful of the past^ secure of die future^ let 
Mt hearis ttijoy the presentr, and while we yet possess a bdng, 
let us fix some dood, beyond the power of fate or fortune. 
T<Hnort6w will »bring its own pleasures along wfth it: 
Or» should it di^ippoint our fond wbhes, we shall at least 
enjoy, the pleasure of reflecting on the jdeasures of to-di^. 

Fear not, my friends, that the barbarous dissonance q{ 
Bacchus, and of his revellers, should break in up<m this 
entertainment, and confound us with their turbulent and 
clamorous pleasures. The sprightly muses wait around ; 

196 3B88AY XT. 

likl Willi llunrcbiupnwgsyoipboDys ndScient to soften the 
wolves and tygen of the savage desert^ inspire a soft joy 
into every bosom. Peace^ harmony, and concord, reign 
in thia retreai; nor is the silence ever broken but by tibe 
mttric of onr flongs, or the cheerful accents of our friendly 

Bnthaiki the fimNuriteofthennisesytiM gentle Damoti 
strikes the lyre; and while he accompanies its haemooiaos 
notes widi his more hannonious song^ he inspires us with 
die same happy debauch of fanqr, by vrUoh he is himsalf 
transpcnied. ^ Ye happy youths," he sings, ^ Ye &- 
voured of Heaven % while the wanton ^ring pours upon 
yon all her blooming honours, let not fhrff seduce yon, 
with her delusive Uase, to pass in perils and dangers^tUs 
ddickms season, thb prime of life. Wisdom points out to 
you die road to pleasures Nature too bedcons you to fol- 
low her in that smooth and flowery path. Will you shut 
your ears to their commanding voice? WSll you harden 
your heart to their soR, allurements? Oh, deluded mor- 
tals I dras to lose your youth, thus to throw away so in* 

•taluaUe a present, to trifle widi so perishfa% a blessing. 
ContnmplatB well yonr recompeoce. CJonsidertfaatghiry, 

f which sodfames your proud hearty and seduces yon with 
your own |^*aises. It is an echc^ a dream, nay the bImi* 
dow of a dream, dissqmted by every wind, and lost liy 
every contrary breathof the ignofrant and iU-judging mul- 
titude. Yonfearnotthatenrendeathitself shall ranish it 
ficom you. But behold I while you are yet alive, caluniny 

.bdveavesyouof it; ignorance negkcta it; nature enjoys it 

* Ap iinitettoo of th^ Syrens song in Tmpo :' 
^ O GioTinettf, mentre Aptile et Maggio 
- : ^^'V^MmMiliBdiftorH^elTeidetpogKc^ftc. 

airjr recogipemwy ein>^ ^^ jiMlable as heinalC^' : 

Thua tbe hours pfu» iiiq^€8iY«d|doiig» and lead in dieiir 
wa&toa train all the pleasiires of aense» ahd all the joysof 
hainMmyaod firifBdahip* Siailiiig umooeme dofes the 
prooeaiion; aad^irhileahiepreaentshqradftoourrayiilind 
eym^ ahaiwriyilliihcaAe whole aeg»i^ apdrefaders Ae vkw 
of thaeeftewjgeaaa tgaagportlDg, after thiey haw past m, 
aa when^ viih bmgl^iig cantiteaance^ <hey w^ie ye^ {ut 
Yaticaog toarardt OS* ' ^ 

But the aim has sunk below the horizon I and daifaiea% 
stealing ailentfy upon us^ has now buried all nature in an 
unireraal shade* << Rejoice^ my fifiends^ contipueyour re^- 
pasty or change it fi>r soft repose. Tlioiigh absentr ymr 
joyoryourtrimqiuMity^hallstillbeBuaew'V BmwSiiktr 
ihpm gofOrta^ai new fiUamn^^ calf you fivrnqur a^ 
eidlft htiikreaitgUmgreeaUtwMM Aki 

em migU pleatt m wl^A we pmtatkBmot9 ^ Ye%'>my 
fiieods; the joy whloli I now.seelr,. admits not ef your 
participatiott. Here dione I wish your abaeaoes And 
here alone eaa I Aud |i sufficient compeosatiOB Ibr the ioii 
f^youraociety.'^ • . .'-'\'': 

Bat I have not advanced far llireiigh ^e dmdes df the 
thick iiwaodyWhiehspi^adda double idghtitrDHnd me^iM«^ 
methints, I perceive through ^the gloonl the charttAMU 
Ctdim^ the mist^esa^ my wishes^ wh<y Srimlders impatieiit 
through the gMVQ^flM, jpreventfhg Ae^iqjipdtttted ho^' et- 
loitly chides i^y tardy eteps* Btet ihe joy, which ttiie'te^ 
orives Jrom my presence^ best {deads my eareuse; and^iie^ 
aipating e^ry ontioiis aind every mgry thoiq^' ^etf^ 
room for novght but mutual jey and rapture. Widt.i«4ik 
worchs ny Mroh^ ishaft I eiq)i^ iny tendehteSs, o^'d^ 
aeiibe <b« eiMtobs whMi now warm my tiMisj^orted'bd- 

I8B >l$SAT&¥^ ^ 

som ! WoiiU aro lioo jfiunt t^ diB$cfAbe my tote; knd if^ 
idas I you fad not- the dame flam^ ^irHhin, m ifahi* sball 
lettdsaiwiir tO'ConTeytoyouajiiitconoeptioii^ilPit; But 
your every wotd aud every motioD $uffie^ Co reiilave this 
doubt ; and wksk they express y<Nir possMiH Mrvie also to 
influne snina . How amidbte.tlM solitude^ tfaktileiioe^ 
thisdarknefls I No oiqectanow importune the ravidiMaouL 
The thought, the sense, all full of nothuig but <ifr mutual 
happineis, whcUty possets the mind^ and oobv^ a plea- 
sure, which deluded mortals vainly sedc fiir in^very other 
enjoymentw ' ■ 

But why does your bosom hea:fe with these sighs, while 
tears bathe your glowii^ cheeks ? Why distract your heart 
with such vain anxieties ? Why so often ask me, ǣ&ȣ; iltwy 
aiy knfe $ktiU yet endure f Alas I my Gaelia, can i resolve 
tins questidfi? Do I kmno h^ bmg niylifk ekoB yei ei^ 
dtiref Butdoesthisrakodistiirbyoutteiider bk^east? And 
is the image of our frail mortality ibr ever present with 
youy to throw a damp on your gayest! houra, and poisiok 
iBven Uioae joys which love itispirefc ? Cotaiiider rather, that 
if Hfe be frail, if youth be transitory^ we should wdl tm^ 
ploy the present moment, and lose no part of so pemshable 
aN^ eipstence. Yet a litde moment, tmd tfsie shall be no 
mor^ WeshaUb% asif we hdd never b^to«.'^tii m6^ 
mory .of us be left up<^ earth^a^d ev^ the fkbulous 
9bii4esb|dowinU4iotafi|Hd ; Ow^fruiOess 

>i>iyjf)tilVS our vain prcjfeot^ -ow «mej4wi q>6cirtatioirt^ 
shall :aU be «widlowed upland Ip^ 0m presMU doubts, 
cwoenjing tha-priginal cause pf all tfapigs,' must neuter^ 
a)|i^ ( be TesoLyed« llus^pne weipa(yfoi^oeiskiun.o4:4^ 
ifany governing mind preside, he mi}at]be pleased to see us 
fulfil the ends pf our bein^^ and enyoy that pleasutiQ ftr 
' which alone i«r? were, created., LetMus^efled^on giveiease 



to your anxious thoughts ; but render not your joys too 
serious, by dwelling for ever upon it It is sufficient, once 
to be acquainted with this philosophy, in order to give an 
unbounded loose to love and jollity, and remove all the 
scruples of a vain superstition: But while youth and pas- 
sion, my fair one, prompt our eager desires, we must find 
gayer subjects of discourse to tntermhc with these amorous 

i • 'I. ". :[ 'kI lyfAVj. '['. '!; [,i ' i . ij - ■' ,*. ^ i ■• 

i"A . 'i'i'::i\;u i-.u: ', :. J :: r-i >,.[ \\l 
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J. HERE is this obvious and material difference in the con- 
duct of nature, with regard to men and other animals, 
that, having endowed the former with a sublime celestial 
spirit, and having given him an affinity with superior 
beings, she allows not such noble fiumlties to lie lethargic 
or idle ; but urges him by necessity to employ, on every 
emergence, his utmost art and indiutry. Brute-creatures 
have many of their necessities supplied by nature, be- 
ing clothed and armed by this beneficent parent of all 
things : And where their own indiutry is requisite on any 
occasion, nature, by implanting instincts, still supplies them 
with the art^ and guides them to their good by her unerr- 
ing precepts. But man, exposed naked and indigent to 
the rude elements, rises slowly from that helpless state, by 
the care and vigilance of his parents ; and, having attained 
his utmost growth and perfection, reaches only a capacity 
of subsisting, by his own care and vigilance. Eveiy thing 
is sold to skiU and labour ; and where nature furnishes the 
materials, they are still rude and unfinished, till industry, 
ever active and intelligent, refines them from their rude 
state, and fits them for human use and convenience. 

* Or the man of action and Tirtiie. 



luMte ; ibx> sh«r IbM gh^eo th«d Aat lutelligMioe wiiicil slip>« 
plies aU thy BeMttdiltes* Bvl l6t floti iedcdaio^ 
fideje BJ)p4iiit«nee of gradtudd^ penuBdt thee to rest eon- 
tented ivtth ber pt^Mtti. t Wbiddst tfaou return to tke r aW 
herbage for thytoeH^ to> di6 optti Ocj for^y co¥eriii|^, 
aad Cd^ atimea andcli^ Ibr thy^d^fibce ag^iat the ra^n- 
oas adiiiiflla of llio d«fiett? Then ret^ 
tnantiens ^ lliy tanoi^oua siiperkillon} to thy brutal igno^ 
vanco^^d sfaflc-lliy^elf WekwllK^ai^imitdi^ W^ 
tioti'thop adiii»^ aild woiMflt^so feiMfy iMn^ . 
- They fatid pareiMv '^^u^ ha^u^ gitien Aree art and in^ 
tell%8tiee^ hm tt&6d the #hbie globe with materiald to em-> 
ploy thes^ takiita : Haricta t^ her rcioe, whidi so pi dnly 
tella iliee, that iinm thyself shouldst ako be the objeet of 
thyindiutry,^ oad that by- art and attention idone AotL 
cabst Aoqtui^ that abi% which will raise thee to thy pro- 
perratatdonrik llMFMEhrMSe: Behold this artisan who con- 
wtssiradeaiiA abapelesi^tone into'a nblde metal; and, 
HuyuUfag Aak jtwtBl by hfa cumimg hands^ creates, as ft 
ifemfa^ms^^eTeiyweiipmifoi^ his defence^ and erery 
uteniAforihis poanrenitnca He^ b*s not this skill from 
natnre : Uar^and pir^adce harve-taught 'H bins : and if thou 
^iddstenmhiit his kmkeds^Aiaa adust Ibllowhis laborious 

;j'. i;.) t I ".. 

' &it wUhr Ihoii 4mikkm9fy i^j^itte^ to jpei^fecting thy 
bodiy foimeAsad faculties, wouldst thou meanly n^Ject 
tlqr]miid,lBiidtfitim|ipreposteriMis6k)(^ leave t^ mde 
and uncnitivaliadt as it xxom ftom^the hands of nature ? 
Far be sacli foUy and iM|g^igkK» from e^ery imion^l ^ 
If natnire has been fri^- in' her gifts and endowment^ 
t^reislbem<Htt need ofaittosoppfy her ddkitk Ifshe 
baa been generous and liberal, know that she still expects 



> v- 

H9 sasAjv «Yf4 

^99tl7 wdi^>pU9a|iQaoniOiif>.p^ i»DdretMgM herself 
i]|,,p]Yip(»UcaiU>QUrJie|^y|gei^ The ridiest 

up(ipt}ot]i^ rarest: iree^ikf 99(d.U)^aiMl^f Tims sod oUites 
^ir ith^ pleasure wd n^eic^ iiipi» .{nrod«ce% AO Jt$ ^bImMiI 
9nfn^>^tbei||09ta))iui4mMrQt)<^ -t -i^a 

I /Xb^gr^0pd.of9ll;bl9ip^ 

pi^iind wi^dcm of patriot, olidt l^lM;dnU Even dbe 
lonely sav^^get who lieft ^i3>0i9od to the dtaieiici^jof ttfae 
elenp^ent^ and 4e fury <^ wild Jbe^ff^^.fpffg^ba^ii^ fi>r aiMo- 
ment»;th^sg^:i^d objjectofbUbjgj^^ IgnormaLMheU^ 
^reiy ^rt of lile» h^^ Btill k^ep^ ^ 319^ thcs fitiiioSM jtbote 
firtst wd eagefly $f^ forfetf^tjjTwiki^ttihEat.dafkBBaB 
viA whi^ he ig e^Yirwed* : 5* MlPittl* ^ Ae wildctt 
savage is inferior. tx> the p9^«bed ,cil«Jw*/ ]*ih^ifipdsrdi5 
protection of lafw% i^joys; e^rery conveiMeiite lilfaiotu imlvflN 
tQT has ipvented; so nmch i^ihis Qitin&i Suma^ onfatior 
to the ma^a^of yirtue» aiid 4he ttUe'^WfaMoph^ ^w^' got« 

Iverpshi^appetitesb subdnds hia passicmSfa^A^lataKdy 
&omi,]reBSon» to set a just l^alue^ooi.eveiypabsiiit'aiid eii«4 
yiym^t Fpr is therfe . anitft andjappytatioa^p neceiN 
\ saiy fof eve^ oth^ atMwn^P|r? Attd ;lsi thdreiiio act of 
\ life, no rule, no precepts to direct us in this princqppl oon* 
^ ^rp ? Can no particda^ ple^^ur^teitttaiiidd witftoutsKill; 
/ i|9d can die whole be fc^gulat^d^ .witkbilutjoefieotioi^ or'ion 
\ tel%epice, bythe blind gui^no€{0f^petife,iuid&riuict9 
8ur^y then np, odstakes aife evar ^conmiitlfcwianiAb afl9»ry 
but every mai^ Mwe?er /disadliite and nc^U^fckit^ proceeds 
in the pursuit of happintsai witbaaiiherni^cadnotMby as 
tti#l li^ich ibt ce\e9ABi ^f^diesjofaaeinr^.viien^cDndlietai by 
the hand of the Almigbl;^, Ithey rdi. along^ihe tgAninti 


pbiins. .9»tifiiust^e9be<>%ii»b(eiaeidtablycptp^ 
IjeA us i^rj^t&r Uiese iid$l;$ke8 ; let ^ consider til 
l^ U3 weigh their importance ; let us inquire for their ice^ 
m^ie^ . Wh^ from thi^ we ha>?e fi^^ed, aU , the xj^l^ :pf 
conduct, we, ar^ p/iilo^fpkms. When i^^ih^ve ^te4iuce4 
thtt^ m]^ to praclicef Mre »r«i «tws*' .^ ■ . i 

Like many subordinate artists, enqiloyed to ijo^nn th^ se* 
▼oral wheek and springs of a machine^; such are thosQ who 
excel }n all the particular arts of life. Be is the Juaat^. 
worlmanwho patB those severajl pwrts together ;'iQoye^ 
them according to just harmony and prppor^on ; and pirp-f 
duces. true felicity as. the result of their conspiring; o^der^ 

While thottlhust such an alluring object in \i^w, shall 
that labour ^nd: attention, ret^ite to the attaii^nentpf 
thy end, ever $einn burdensome and intolerable? K^ow, 
that thi3 labour itself is the chief is^predient of, the felici^ 
tOk which thou aspkest, mid that every enjoyment «Don be-. 
OQBuesjnsipid alul distasteful, when not acquired by fatigMQ 
aqd induitiT- See the hardgr hunters rise from their 
dpwny couches, shakis <jff the slumbers which still weigh 
dfifwxk their hei^vy eye^lids, ami ere Awrora haK yet covered 
the heaven^ with her* fl^t)g wmd^ Imsten to the fore^ 
They.leave bel^pid, in their own houses, and in the nei^n 
bomru^ phuD% aoimals of every ki^afd, whose flesl^ fiimis^es 
the^ ,mo9( deUcions %e^ a^d. wjiich offer theffiselv/^ jtq 4^ 
$ital st(oke« {4boriou« i^en disda in s spj^asy a puircha^r 
He, seeK^. fi>r a, prey« which hjlAes itself |rom hia.sear^ /^ 
fliep from his pursuit^, ox. defends itself from hi^ yiolence. 
Having ei^rted in the chase evjc^ pas^V^n of > ^e j^v^, 
m4 qveiy iMmber ofth^ b€|4y> 1^ then fii^s th?t cham». 
of jrqpqse, apd with jcQf.compares his pl^i^re^ tp iSm^fki 
hiseqgeghigliibours.. - ;, . ,:. 

And can vigorous industry give pleasure, to the pursuit 


even of the most worthkas prey, which fi^eqoently esetipei 
Mr tirfls ? And cannot the same indnstry render the cuhi*- 
▼ating of our mind^ the moderadng of oar passions^ the 
enlightening of onr reason^ an agreeable oc^cnpation; while 
We are every day sensible of oiurprogress» and behold oat 
inward features and oonntienance brightening incessantly 
with new charms ? d^;in by curing yourself of this lethar- 
gic indolence ; the task is not difficult : You need but 
taste the sweets of hcnoest labour. Proceed to learn the 
just value of every pvlfsuit ; loi% study is not reqoisiter 
Compare, though but for onoe^ llie mind to the body^ vir^ 
tue to fortune, and glory to pleasure. You will then per-' 
ceive the advantages of industry : Von will then be sensible 
what are the proper objects of your industty* 

In vain do you seek repose ftom beds of roses : In vtin 
do you hope for enjoyment from the most delicioiiB wines 
and fruits. Your indolence itself becomes a fatigue ; ytw 
pleasure itself creates disgust Hie mindy une:iterdded| 
finds every delight insipid and loathsome ; and ere yet the 
body, full of noxious humours, feels the torment of its 
multiplied diseases, your noUer ps^ is senttble of the in- 
vading poison, and seeks in vain to relieve its anxie^ by 
new pleasures, which still augment the fatal malady. 

i need not tell you, that, 1^ this eager pursuit of plea- 
sure, you more and more expose yourself to fortune and 
accidents, and rivet your a£fections on external objects^ 
which chance may, in a moment, ravish from you. I shall 
suppose that your indu%ent stars favour ybii st^ with the 
enjoyment of your riches and possessions. I pr^vetoyoa^ 
that even in the midst of yonr luxurious pleasures, yiMi 
are unhappy ; and that, by too mudi indulgence, yoo are 
incapable of enjoying what prosperous ibrtsne stitt allowa 
you to possess. 

«^E STOI<$. 145 

But SQi^y tke instabMity Of fortune is a ccmsideraticm 
not to be overlook^ or neglected. Happiness ciEinnot po9<« 
sibly etLsrt whef e diere is no security; and security can 
have no plaee where fortune has any dominion. Though 
that unstable ^efty should not exert her rage against yo% 
the dread offt would 'StSfttomentyoo; woidd disturb your 
Hrkanbers, haunt your di^etais> «nd throw a damp on die 
jollity of yonr most ddicious banquets. 

The temple of wisdom is seated cm a rock, above die 
rage of t!he fighting elements, and hiacoessiUe to all the 
malice of man. The rolling thunder breaks below ; and 
tfiose more terrible instruments of 'human &ry readi not 
1» so subMme a htt^lit. The sage, while he breathes that 
serene air, looks down with pleasure, mixed with compas^ 
sibn, oA die errors of mistsdcen mortals, who blindly seek 
lor the true path of lifi^ and pursue riches, nobilily, ho- 
nOttr, or power, for genuine felicity. The greater part he 
beholds ^bappohfted ^ ^ir fbnd widics : Some lament, 
diat having once possessed the object of their desires, it is 
ravished from them by envious fortune; and all complain, 
that eten their mm vows, diough granted, cannot give 
dMn hapinness, or relieve the anxiety of dieir distracted 
mindt. - 

But does die sage always preserve himself in Alaphilo- 
sophioid indifference, imd rest contented with lamenting 
iise ioiiseries of mankind, withjOUt ever employing himself 
for their relief? Does he constantly indulge diis severe 
wisdom, which, by pretending to elevate him above human 
accidents, does in reality hetdien his heart, and render him 
careless df the interests of ttankind, and of society ? No; 
he knows that in difs^suUto ApatJ^ neither true wiadom 
n(ft trkt happiness can be found. He feels too strongly 
die charm of the social afiPections^ ever to counteract so 

VOL. I. L 


146 £«8AY XVJ. 

tweet, so natural, so virtuous a propensity. Even wfaeOf 
bathed in tears, be bunents the miseries of the bmnan race^ 
of his country, of his friends, and unable to ^ve succour, 
cim only relieve them by compassion; he yet rejoices in the 
generous disposition, and feels a satisfaction superiOT to 
thatofthe most indulged sense. So engaging are the sen- 
timents of humanity, that they br^^hten up the very face 
of sorrow, and operate like the sun, which, shining on a 
dusky doud or falling rain, paints on them the most glo- 
rious colours which ere to be found in the whole circle of 

But it is not here alone that the social virtues diqplay 
their energy. With whatever ingredient you mix them, 
they are still predominant. As sorrow cannot overcome 
th^n, so neither can sensual pleasure obscure them. The 
joys of love, however tumultuous, banish not the tender 
sentiments of sympathy and afiScction. They even derive 
dieir chief influence from that generous passion; and when 
pussented alone, afford nothing to the unhiq>py mind but 
lassitude and disgust. Behold this sprightly debauchee^ 
who professes a contempt of all other pleasures but those 
of wine and jollity: Separate him bom his companions^ 
like a spark from a fire, where before it contributed to the 
general blaze: his alacrity suddenly extinguishes; and, 
though surrounded with every other means (^delight, he 
loaths die dumptuous banquet, and prefers evoi the most 
abstracted study and speculation, as more agreeable and 

But the social pa8si<ms never afford such transporting 
pleasures, or make so glorious an iqipeanuioe in the eyes 
both of God and man, as when, sba^g off every earthly 
mixture, they associate themselves with the sentiments of 
virtue, and prompt us to laudable and worthy acticms. As 


faamionioiis colours mutually give and receive a lustre by 
their firioAdly wakm ; so do these ^mobling sentiments of 
the human mind. See the triumidi of niU;ure in parental 
affiaction I What selfish passion; what s^isual delight is 
a match fiaor it; whether a man exults in the prosp^tgr 
and virtue of his o£^rin^ or flies to their succour, through 
the most threatening and tremendous dangers ? . 

Proceed still in purifying die gen^ous passion^ you will 
still the more admire its shining glories* What charms 
are there in the harmony of minds, and in a friendship 
founded on mutual esteem and gratitude I What satisfiuv 
tion in relieving the dtstressed, in comforting the afflicted, 
in raising the fiiUen, and in stopping the career of cruel for- 
tune, or of more cruel man, in their insults over the good 
and virtuous! But what supreme joy in the victories over 
vice as well as misery, when, by virtuous example or wise 
exhortation* our fellow-creatures are tai;^bt to govern their 
passions, reform their vices, and subdue their worst ene- 
mies, which inhabit within their, own bosoms 1 

But these objects are still too limited for the human 
mind, which, being of celestial origin, swells with the di- 
vinest and most enlai^^ afiections, and, carrying its at- 
tention beycmd kindred and acquaintance, extends its be- 
nevolent wishes to the most distant posterity* It views li- 
berty and laws as the source of human happiness, and de- 
votes itsdf, with the utmost alacrity, totbeir guard inqsbip 
and protection. Toils, dangers, death itself carry their 
charms, when we brave than for the public good, and en- 
noble that beings which we generously sacrifice for the in- 
terests -of our country. Hi^y the man whom indulgei^t 
fortune allows to pay to virtue what he owes to nature^ and 
to make a generous gift of what must otherwise be ra vi^- 
ed from him by cruel necessity. 

.146 cssAT xn. 

in Che trae sage and patriot «re anited vdkaisver can 
diitiiigiiifiii fatuiiaii notare, or dbvate aaoftal ttuai to a re- 
§MAfbmm with Ihe lUviBify. Ti^ soOwt baiemteacto, 
the moift tedauntdd vcsohokn, tfe teadere6t sentiments, 
tli«ilMBtiBaibliiiiakrrQ«f«rirtue^ all diese antnuAe sODiDes- 
>sit«}y hii^ €nMM{M)MMl boaoniv What satk&etioii^ wfam 
he looks ivMihi^ltt fliidliMiw>sit)nrbulentpas8l(lB^ tuMd 
tb j«tllluMiotiy mi 'cmocftA^ and every jarring somd ba- 
inl^icid from this ^ndiantiaignmsie! If thecomemplatioii, 
e^«n^ ibatiiaiate boauty, is 60 deli^tfiil ; if it raMsb^ 
the senses, eten ii^en die fidr fcmn isforeigii to w: what 
must be the «ifeetB of tMral beauty ? and what influence 
must ittiave, wben it embeUishes our own mnid^ and is 
the resHll rfwir own reflection and indnBtry ? 

i^^xkdfi^ftvtiUiWAk^v^ itf Ob, sons 

dfeartht Areyeigncvaittof die value of (Ads cdesdakniA- 

tress? Anddoye«baaulyifaii^it« far her iMTtion, when y^ 

'dbs«rve her geMiie dharms^? Bat kmm^ that Natat^ has 

i)«en indulgent td femaim weakness, Md haa not left tirib 

-firvonrke child nakad and unendowed. She has prodded 

Tirtiie w«h the richest ^dqwiy^ bilt bebig carcft*, lest the 

Mhirements eCinterest ^tucmiA wga^ stfdi isuhors, as weils 

inseniifUe bf ibe nalive w^i^ ^cf «o tM^« abeauty, she htts 

wisely provided, that tMs doiv^ry lean have no charms btft 

in the ey^ of those who are idneady transported w4th ibfe 

love <jf v^rtoe. Glory is tiie paition of viitee^ the fewest 

/ -reward t>f %onottTable tails, the ttiumphant Crown whi<$h 

; covers the tiiofi^lytftil bead of tike dif^terested patriot, or 

; the dusty brow of the wctorioas warrior. Elevailed by so 

' siibtime a pri^ the man of tirtae faxA^ down wilk oo*i*- 

tempt on all the allurements of pleasure, and all ^e me- 


naces of danger. Death itself loses its terrors, when he 
considers, that its dominion extends only over b part of 
him, and that, in spite of death and time, the rage of the 
elements, and the endless vicissitude of human affairs, he | 
is assured of an immortal fame among all the sons of men. * 
There surely is a Being who presides over the universe ; \ 
and who, with infinite wisdom and power, has reduced the \ 
jarring elements into just ordei* and proportion. Let spe- * 
culative reasoners dispute^ how fyx, this beneficent Being 
extends his care, and whether he prolongs our existence 
beyond the grave, in order to bestow on virtue its just re-^ 
waftt, and render kfii&y triaaiph«nt Thedbah'of'mor«iI% j 
wilhont deddiag anything oa so dubious a^cfutj!^ te 6a- | 
tiifidd with the pOrticuLmarked out U> Uni'bTilthe SUfiftYtHr' ^ 
DiiIMNMafakltiiiiig& OnU»&U;f ke aoee^^tfiflit ^' 
tber lewaid pvcparsd Urn bim; but if^ dteat^poilMed, he^ 
tMsksiiiot virtue aa enpt^ nmmef but justify esteeming k' 
its aim ttwatd, he gtnttfcTiy a^nowledgecr the b^nty of 
hisC^netoK^ idioy byciffiiif himivld ^xisletice^hastkei'^^' 
fay dfc g ded kin an opportunity of onise acqmring so. iiiv^ ^ 
lutaUe.apotscesiaii. "'.'< "'-^ 

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.i • ."'.V 'i t/o 

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. . : ; ' ' ■ . - tU: -'I / '. V ■ :' * w oflT 

': ' •' ' '<■: iif I'.: ' ■ .: !.:!':.! nf>ni 

' • . ' . ■ '. ' ". ,"'\\'^ jiL •" rij : ) c'.iU 

- , ■. . . ••■ • . :^/; <- /»; ■ J Ijm'- .S ot 

-' .. ■' ■ ' ' :i I.'' nt 1' »/f')>:i) r*.\ IJ .noii 

': '■' ... . .:- • \\v: lyjiiil . M'^ .') '")rlj ,i\ 

' 't f . ''»'■'!.'•; ' r:-^ i I): ■"' :■ ''^^ o') .Jtij-iiot 




X o some philosophers it appear^ matter of surprise, that 
all mankind, possessing the same nature, and being en- 
dowed with the same faculties, should yet difier so widely 
in their pursuits and inclinations, and that one should ut- 
terly condemn what is fondly sought after by another. To 
some it appears matter of still more surprise, that a man 
should differ so widely from himself at different times; 
and, after possession, reject with disdain what, before, was 
the object of all his vows and wishes. To me this feverish 

I uncertain^ and irresolution, in human conduct, seems al- 
together unavoidable; nor can a rational soul, made for 

/ the contemplation of the Supreme Being, and of his works, 
/ ever enjoy tranquillity or satisfaction, while detained in the 
I ignoble pursuits of sensual pleasure or pc^ular applause. 
The Divinity b a boundless ocean of bliss and glory : Hu- 
man minds are smaller streams, which, arising at first Gcom 
this ocean, seek still, amid all their wanderings, to return 
to it, and to lose themselvea in that immensity of perfec- 
tion. When checked in this natural course by vice or fol- 
ly, they become fiirious and enraged ; and, swelling to a 
torrent, do then spread horror and devastation on the 
neighbouring plains. 

* Or> tfM maa of conttrnplatioii^ 9nd phQotophital derotioiL 


In vain, by pompous phrase and passionate expression, 
each recommends his own pnrsnit, and invites the credulous 
hearers to an imitation of his life and manners. The heart 
belies the countenance, and sensibly feels, even amid the 
highest success, the unsatisfactory nature of all tliose plea^ 
sures which detain it from its true object I examine the 
voluptuous man bef<Nre enjoyment^ I measure the vehe- 
mence of his desire, and the importance of his object; I 
find that all his happiness proceeds only from that hurry 
of thought, which takes him from himself and turns his 
view fixun his guilt and misery. I consider him a moment 
after ; he has now ^oyed the pleasure, which he foddly 
sought after. The sense of his guilt and misery returns 
upon him with double anguish : His mind tormented with 
fear and remorse; his body depressed with disgpst and 

Bat a more august, at leasta more haughty personage, 
presents himself boldly to our censure; and, assumii^ the 
title of a philosopher and man of morals, offers to submit 
to ihemost rigid examination. He challenges, with a vi- 
siUe, thou^ concealed impatience, our approbation and 
applause ; and seems offisnded, that we should hesitate a 
HKNnent before we break out into admiration of his virtue. 
Seeing this impatience, I hesitate still more ; I begin to 
examine the motives of his seeming virtue : But, behold I 
ere I can enter upon this inquiry, h^flings himself from 
me; and, addressing his discourse to that crowd of heed- 
less auditors, fimdly amuses them by his magnificent pre- 

O philosopher ! thy wiadom is vain, and thy virtue ua- 
profitable. Thou seekest the ignorant a{q)lauses of man, 
not the solid reflections of thy own conscience, Or the more • 

152 EfiaiT XVII. 

solid approbation of that Beii^ who^ widi one regard of 
his all^-fleeiiig eye, penetratei the vsabrmst^ Thoa aureljr 
art conscious of the hoUowness of thypsKfenckd piobi^; 
whilst caUh^ thyself a ckizen, a son, a firknd, thJoa for^ 
gettest thy highar soterergn, thy tme fidher, thy greatest 
benefifustor. Where is die adoration due to infinite pex^ 
fection, whence erery dnng good and vahidsle is derived 1 
Where ia the gradtude owing to thy Creator, wha eaUed 
thee forth firm nothing, who phued thee in all these rela- 
tions to thy iellow^creatnres, and re<{airing thee to 6dfil. 
the dsty of each relation, forbids thee to n^ect what thou 
owest to himself, the most perfect bring, to whom thou 
art connected by the closest tie ? 

Bat thou art diyself thy own idol. Thoii worshipf^est 
thy imagmary perfections : or rather, sensible of tky. real 
imperfections, thou seekest only to deceive the world, and 
to pleaae thy fancy, by nmltipljring thy ignorant admirers. 
Thms not content with ne^eottng what is most excciknt 
in the uuverae, diou desirest to substitute in his plaoa 
what is mo^ vile and contempdhle. i 

Consider all the works of umu's hands, all the inventions 
of human wit, in which thou affisctest so nice a cybeenK 
ment Thou wUt find, that the most perfect productioi» 
stiQ proceeds from the most perfect thought, and that it i& 
MiHB alone which we admire, while we bestow our ap-« 
plause on the graces of a wdl^prqportkmed statue, or the 
symmetry of a noble pile. The statuary, the arduteet, 
come stiU in view, and makes us reflect on the beauty of 
his art and contrivance, which, from a heap of un^cnrnied 
ma(fcter» could extract such repressions and iMropor|;ions. 
This superior beauty of thought and intdlig^cethoo thy- 
self acknowledgest, while thou invitest us to contmipl^le. 

THE nATONlfir. 163 

id ihj condnfity the haroiany of aftctkuM^ tlw dignily of 
scBtiiiMiOv and alLdiQfie gnues of a m6md lirUdi d^9% . 
menHQdor aiteatiott. BuLwhyi Bkifspt^ tkmk9h«%l S^esir 
tbottnothitigfusdbiertliatkvabiaUft? Ap^thgr^t^MfciM 
applauses of beauty sjoA ordaiy att ibm atfll %i¥if<iti^' 
where is to be found the most consummate beauty, the 
most perfect order ? Compare the works of art with those 
of nature. The one are but imitations of the other. The 
nearer art approadies to nature, the more perfect is it 
esteemed. But still, how wide are its nearest approaches, 
and what an immense interval may be observed between 
them ? Art copies only the outside of nature, leaving the 
inward and more admirable springs and principles, as ex- 
ceeding her imitation, as beyond her comprehension. Art 
copies only the minute productions of nature, despairing \ 
to reach that grandeur and magnificence, which are so \ 
astonishing in the masterly works of her original. C!an \ 
we then be so blind as not to discover an intelligence and i 
a design in the exquisite and most stupendous contrivance 
of the universe? Can we be so stupid as not to feel the 
warmest raptures of worship and adoration, upon the con- 
templation of that intelligent Being, so infinitely good and 

The most perfect happiness, surely, must arise firom the 
contemplation of the most perfect object But what more 
perfect than beauty and virtue? And where is l>eauty to 
be found equal to that of the universe, or virtue which can 
be compared to the benevolence and justice of the Deity ? 
If aught can diminish the pleasure t>f this contemplation, 
it must be either the narrowness of our faculties which 
conceals from us the greatest part of these beauties and 
perfections, or the shortness of our lives, which allows not 
time sufficient to instruct us in them. But it is our com- 

154> ESSAY XVtI. 

fort, that if we employ wmthily the fiu;ulties here assigned 
at, they will be enlarged in another state of existence, so 
as to render us more soitable worshippers of our Maker ; 
and that the task, which can never be finished in time^ 
will be the business of an eternity. 



I HAVK long entertained a suspicion with r^^ard to the 
decisions of philosophers upon all subjects, and found in 
myself a greater inclination to diqiute than assent to their 
omclusions* Th^re is one mistake, to which they seem 
liable, almost without exception ; th^ confine too much 
their principles, and make no account of that vast yariety 
which nature has so much aflbcted in all her operations. 
When a philo6<q>her has once laid hold of a &vourite 
princ^le, which perhaps accounts for many natural effects, 
he extends the same principle over the whole creati9n, 
and reduces to it every phenomenon, thoi^h by the most 
vicdent and absurd reasoning. Our own mind being nar- 
row and contractedy we cannot extend our concepticm to 
the variety and extent oi nature^ but imagine that she is 
as much bounded in her (^rations, as we are in our spe- 

But if ever this infirmity of philosc^hers is to be sus- 
pected on any occasion, h is in their reasonings concem- 
ipg human life, and the methods of atttiuiiy bappjness. 
In that case they are led astray, not oidy by the narrow- 
ness of their understandings, but by that also of their pas- 
sions. Almost every one has a predominant inclination, 
to which his other desires and affections submit, and which 


governs him, though perhaps with some intervals, through 
the whole course of his life. It is difficult for him to ^- 
prehend, that any thing which appears totally indifferent 
to him can ever give enjoyment to any person, or can 
possess charms which altogether escape his observation. 
His own pursuits are al\i^ays, in his account, the most en- 
gaging, the objects of his passion the most valuable, and 
the road which he pursues the oidy one that leads to hap- 

But would these prejudiced reasoners reflect a moment, 
there are many obvious instances and arguments sufficient 
to ilmteceive them, attd miike them €tilai^ their maxims 
smd principle. Do they not ^e the vast variety of in- 
dinatioAs and pUTStttls among om* species, wh^re eath< 
nuov seems fblly satisfied wil^ his own course of yife^ and 
y^oM edteem it the greatest Hnha^ness to be coi^ned 
t« diat of his neighbour? Do they not feel in themselves, 
that wiiBt pleases tit one tune, ^Ispleeses at another by the 
diange of inclinatioii, anid ^at it is net kt their p^wer, by 
their utmoM eibrts, to recatt^hat taste or appetite which 
formerly bestowed charms miwf^ new appears incKfler- 
enf or ^agreoaible? What is the meahtng therefore of 
those generflS preferences- of Ae town or country life^ of a 
Kfe 'of actibii bp one of pleasure, *of rerirement or society ,- 
when, besides Ike difliireiit inelkiations of ^Bffecent men, 
every ' ©lie's ejcperience mayconvfece him, tfiat each of 
these kinds of life is agreeable in its turn, and that llieir 
variety or their judieiem mixture ehieffy eohtrttmtes to flie 
rei](detteg$il^th^m agreeable? ' 

BM^^^tbistmisiness be alleii^^ fo go akogefteir alb 
ad^^totil^e^^ Aifidmttst afman bhly consultMi hanrour and 
inclination; in ord^ to detei*miiie his conrse of Kfe, with^' 
out eraployin]^ his reason to m^crfh^hihi What road isTwe- 

fHR «CfeH^. 15*7 

i^aibfle, BUnA leads most s«ifc*ely t<> )iat>ptiftess»? Is there tio 
^Hfefeiice, tibeti) betw^een out j^ti*^ (k^dncft ahd atiotker ? 
I am^wter, tkere is a gfeat dilfetieilde* One man^ follow- 
jtig his lAclintrtioB, in cJhoosing his toarde of 1^ mi^ em^ 
fk^ ttHttdb 'Mttft itieMsfiM*^li€Ceeding than anodier, who 
l» I^ I^4iicli«atk)A iMo )h^ aafetle cdfB^-of life, and ptir^- 
mies tfi^ s&rtie fo^ett. Are fkheslhe ^Mrf olgedt tf ywtt 
desires? Ac^ektt iskill ill yMt- priftfessiofi: be diligent in 
the fe:feet(4se of it ; enlar^re Ate d^e ^ your firt^ds and 
iicquBultance ; nvcAA pleasure and expense : and never be 
gehefotts^ but with a view of gaining more than you could 
save hf frugality. ffhuU you acquits Ike pnbiie esteem f 
<^MtA ^ually agabist the eMteiAes of attogance and fawn- 
ing. Let it atppear that y (Ri set ^ value upon yoUrself, but 
without <Wspising others. If you fiiH into either of the el- 
tremes, you either provoke men's piide fey yonr insolence, 
or teach them to de^Mse yon by your fSmorous submission, 
and by Ihe mean ophum whidb yoa seem to entertain <tf 

' Theiie, you say, are the ina&ims bf commbh prudence 
teid-discretion ; what elvery porettt ineidcates on his dtild, 
and what every man of sense pursues in the course of lifb 
wbkb he bas cferais^. — What is tl *en you diesh^ more? 
l)oyt)U^eome to a tdiiloso^e^ a^ to e cumnh^ mem, tolbam 
sottietbmg by ikiagic ot witblicmft, beyond what can be 
knowid by ttdltttoon pwAftUce and Akitoktf&m?iLJ^^\ ^ 
oome to a)>htlosopher to be ilistnictfed,, how we ^h^ dh6ose 
^mr endi^ more thM the means i^t attMning th^sie ends. 
We want td taww what desire we shall gratify, what pas- 
sicn we shall CGtai{^ with, what appetite we shall indulge. 
As to the test, we trust to omimon sense, and the general 
maxims of the world, for our instruction. 
• . I am sorry, then, 1 have pretended to be a philosopher: 


For I find your questicNOi v^ry perplexing ; and am in dan- 
ger, if my answer be too rigid and «evepe, of passing for a 
pedant and scholastic; if it be too easy and free^ of being 
taken for a preacher of vice and immorali^. However, 
to satisfy you, I shall deliver my opinion upon the matter, 
and shall only desire you to esteem it of as little conse-* 
quence as I do lAyself. By that means you will neither 
think it worthy of your ridicule nor your anger. 

If we can depend upon any principle, which we learn 

'^from philosophy, this, I think, may be considered as cer- 
tain and undoubted, diat there is nothing, in itself, valua- 
ble or despicable, desirable or hatefid, beautiful or deform- 
ed; but that these attributes arise from the particular con- 

i^titution and fabric of human sentiment and affection. 
What seems the most delicious food to one animal, appears 
loathsome to another : What affects the feeling of one with 
delight, produces uneasiness in another. This is confessp 
edly the case with r€^;ard to all the bodily senses : But, if 
we examine the matter more accurately, we shall find that 
the same observation holds even where the mind concurs 
with the body, and mii^les its sentiment with the exterior 

Desire this passionate lover to give you a character of 
hismistress: He will tell you, that he is at a loss for words 
to describe her charms, and will ask you very seriously, if 
ever you were acquainted with a goddess or an angel? If 
you answer that you never were: He will then say, that 
it is in^xwsible for you to form a concq>tion of such divine 
beauties as those which his charmer pouesses ; so complete 
a shape; such well-prc^rtioned features; so engaging an 
air; such sweetness of disposition ; such gaie^ of humour. 
You can infer nothing, however, from all this discourse 
but that the poor man is in love ; and that the general ap- 


petite between the sexes, which ihiturehas infused into all 
animals, is in him determined to a particular object by 
some qualities whidi give him pleasure* The same divine 
creature, not only to a different animal, but also to a dif» 
finrent man, appears a m^re mortal being, and is behdd 
with the utmoat indi£ferenee. 

Nature has given all animals a like prejudice in favour 
of their offipring* As soon as the helpless infimt sees the 
light, thou£^ in every other ty^ it appears a despicable and 
a miserable creature, it is regarded by its fond parent with 
the utmost affection^ and is prefisrred to every other objept, 
however perfect and aecon^lished. The passion alone^ ^ 
arising from the original structure and formation of human 
nature, bestows a value on the most insignificant object , 

We may push the same observatum fiurther, and may 
condnde that, even when the mind opemtds alone, and 
feeling the s^itiment of bhune or approbation^ pronounces 
one object deformed and odious^ another beautiful and ar 
unable; I say thal^ even in this ctte^ those qualities are not ^ 
really in the ol^ects, but bekmg entirely to the sentiment 
rfthat mind which blames or praises. I grant, that it will ^ 
be more difficult to make this proposition evident, and, as 
it were^ palpaUe, to negligent thinkers; because nature is 
mwe uniform in the saitiments of the mind than in most 
feelii^ of the body, and produces a nearer resemblance in 
the inward than in the outward part of human kind. There 
is something iqaproaehing to principles in mental taste; and 
antics con remK>u and diq[mte more plausibly than cooks 
or perfumers^ We may observe, however, that this uni- 
formly among human kind, hinders not^ but that there 
is a considerable diversity in the sentiments c£ beauty and 
worthy and that education, custom, prejudice, cqyrice, and 
humour, frequentiy vary our taste o( this kind. You will 

166 1C86AY xnu. 

never conyinos « man, iiiio is not accustomed to Italian 
music, aftd hail not an car to fafiov its intrioacaes» that a 
Scots tone is net preferable. Tea haire not even juiy mn* 
^ atg^t^eett beyond your own tasfee, ^MA you.aan anr^ 
)4cy fa^ your b^alf t' Aadtoywraiatagoiiigthigpagticdar 
taste will always appear a more oonTincbig argument to tha 
eotitraiy. if you bd wise, each of you will allow that the 
eAer may be in the r^t; and having many odier in* 
isrtances o^this£venity of tad^ you will both confess, that 
beauty and worth are merely of a rriativie nature, and cod* 
sist in an agreeable senrtmeut, produced by an object in a 
paMieuIar mind, according td the peculiar structure and 
^eonstiiution of that mind. 

By l9iis diversity of Mfftimeiit, obsepvabie in iiutaw 
nature hat, f»erhap^ Itit^ided 4o mal^e us senftUe oT her 
authority, fo^ let tis see what surprising changes she could 
produce oh the passions and desires of mankind, merely by 
ifte change-of %heir biimid lilbvie, without afiy alteration 
iM tfie eifajeeti!. The v«lgar toay e^a be eontrioced by 
iMs argulnikent. But men, accustomed to thinking, may 
dr& w a more eonvfaiciiig, at least a more general atgament^ 
ikxtt ^e vary hMore ef tht wbje<^ 

In the operatic^ of reason^, the mnid does nothii^ 
-but run over its etijects^ as tiiey are supposed to stand in 
reality, wfthoat adding Mrf thing to them, or dnnhiishii^ 
any thing from them. If I examine the Ptolomaie and 
Oopemkan systems, t endeavour only, by my ini|«fies, 
to know the real sitafttionof the planets^ that is, hi other 
words, I endeavour to give them, in my cenceptmn, l9ie 
same relations that they bear towards eadi oittier m the 
heavens. To this operation of idie ndnd, tlwaefore, there 
seems to be always a real, though often an unknown stan- 
dard, in the nature^ things; nor is truth or falsehood 



i;«riA^le by the various apprehensions of mankind. Though ^ 
fUdie human race should for ever conclude, that the sun 
moves, and the earth remains at rest, the sun stirs not an 
inch from bis place for all these reasonings; and such 
C€8idiisioiis arp eternally false and erroneous. ^ 

Bat the case is not the same with the qualities of beau- 
t^ mud d^ormedf demrabk and ixUmuj as with truth and 
fidsehood. In the former case, the mind is not content 
wkh merely surveying its objects, as they stand in them- 
selves : It also feels a sentiment of delight or uneasiness, 
a{q)robatioa or blame, consequent to that survey; and^is 
s^otunent determines it to affix the qpithet beautffid or de^ 
/bnmd, duinMe or odkmi. Now, it is evident, that this 
sentiment must depend upon the particular fabric or struc- 
ture of the mi^' which enables such particular forms to 
Ofperate in such a particular manner, and produces a sym- 
pathy- or conformity between the mind and its objects. 
Vary the structure, of the mind or inward organs, the senti- 
ment no longer follows, thoi^h the form remains the same. 
The sentiment beingt different fi\>m the object, and arising 
from its operaticm upon the organs of the mind, an altera- 
tion upcm the latter must vary the effect, nor can the same 
olg^Qt, presented to a mind totally different, produce the 
same sentiment 

This conclusion every one is apt to draw of himself, 
wtithpQt;m|idi phtloBophy, where the sentiment is evidently 
djidnguishable^om the object Who is not sensible^ that 
power, and ^ry, and vengeance, are not desirable of them- 
selves^ bat derive all their valuefrom the structure of bu- 
rn^, passions, which^b^^ets a desire towards sudi particu- 
lar pursuits? Bi^t with regard to beauty, either natural or 
moral, the case is oommonly supposed to be difierent The 
agreeable quality is thought to lie in the object, not in the 

VOL. I. M 

162 XSSAT xviti. 

dendment; and that metelj because the sentiiiieilt is iioticr 
turbulent and violent as to dtstingnish itsd^ hi aft etidetif 
liianner, from the perception of the cAject 

But a little reflection suffices to distinguiA tbem. A 
man may know exactly all Ae cihrles and ellipses (of the 
Copernican system, and all tfie iir^ubbr spirals of die 
Pt6l&malc, without perceiving dlM the former istnor^b^t^i 
tiful than the latter. Euclid has folly exfAained every 
quality of the circle, but has not, in any proposHiofi, <said 
k word of its beauty. The reason is evldeilt Beauty la 
not a quality of the circle. It lies not hi ahy part of die 
line, whose parts are all equally distant from a comnkm 
centre. It is only the eSbct, idiich thttt Bgat^ prddncA 
upon a mind, whose particulikr fabric or strulitttre retiders 
it susceptible of such sentinlents* In vain Would ^oU look 
for it in the circle, or seek 1^ either by fotxt ^hies, or by 
m&themadcal reasonings, in all the properties ofthat figure. 

The Inathematician, who took no other pleasure in read- 
ing Virgil, but that of examining .^eas^s voyage by die 
map, mi^t perfectly tUidet^^tdnd the meaning of every 
Latin word, employe^d by that divine authoi^ ; and, con- 
isequently, inigfat have k distinct idei of th^ whole n^brtMbtt. 
He would feven have a more distinct ide^ of it, thatr thejr 
could attain who had not studied so exactly di^ geogmphy 
bf tlie poem. He knew, therefore, every diihg ih the pdem : 
But he Was ignorant *6f its beauty ; because die bea«rty, 
properly speakbg, fie^ not in the pbeih^ btit in the l^nd- 
tnent or taste of die read^. Atld where a man has nb suth 
delit^cy of tempisr ^ to tftake hM T6A diis MMtoeitt, fate 
tntisi be ignoratit t6f die bi^autry, dib«gfa possliMed of di^ 
iKrience and tinderMAndifl^ of iGin fan^ «. 



/ Xbe urferwM ^xp^ (b0 wlM^ iS| t^tk i«|iQt firom (b^^ 

we can dHe«mitiQlii»c^)tymeqt, but qmr^iruiothepii«(" 
umk with wliiolt he pwvtie^ i^ wd U»e wocea^ which be 
meeta with in hi» ptgursv^ Qfajjeds huve ^baphib^y na 
worth or vahio in thnmolvea. They deri^ tbeir worth 
merely from the pemoeu If diet be strong w^ steady, 
end amoeaflfttl^ the peraon is happy* It cannot reasonably j 
he donblad> blitaliltle ioi»> dressed in a mew go^n fiir ii 
dancing-school beU^ reeeivea as opmplete enjoyment fis Ihe 
geeatest oraMTi who triumidis in the splepdonr of bia ^o- 
^pieoeei whilehege^ems thepestionaandreaohltionsofa 

AU I|m difierence» tberdEbfe^ between one inauL and an* 
olber^ with «egttd to hfei oQiisisia mther in the /w^^ 
m the tt p $i fm $i i i : And these difi»eni:ea ate aMflkient te 
pufldoce the wide cortr<Mnes of happlnesB ^ nuscary* -J 

To be happy, the/iosstofi must nekher be too violenti nor 
loo remiss^ . In the first oase> the mind is in a perpi^tnal 
hwary and tuMoU; in the seoond^ it sinks intoe disagree- 
idile inddenoe Md ledbesMV* 

. To be happy, the pession mus^ be benign ^and social; 
90t rongfa or fimae^ TheaJOS^ctjonsofthektter kindare 
Mfc Mar f0 ^gmeable to the feeUm^ as tbose of the former* 
Who n^ epnqiereraaoettr avd enimosiQ^ envy end re^ 
,teeigei,te£rjendsbjp» benignity, elemenoj^ a^d gratitude? 
: To he ba|yy» tbepatwen must be cheerfal and gey». m>t 
gteomfandmehoidtoly. Ap^qpeoMtytoh^eandjoyia 
jtealriohea: One to£m*andaoc*ow^realpovei;^. ' 

Some pas$ion# or imrlipatiQiiSj in Ae mufoyinwif ff their 
^ tf wn are not so steady <HriKmsMNata»othy%ffori99»yey 
jaachdwaWe pleeeiire and w»isfaction> J ^i k m * m^l ^ 
p^tmh S» 'mHmm, hhe the «dmaeain «f a po^ is the 


\M S88AY XVfir/ 

transitory etkct of high spirits, great leisure^ a tbae gemuSf 
and a habit of study and contemplatioii: Batnotwithstaad- 
ing all these circnmstanees, an abstract, invisible object, 
like that which natural religion al<»ie presents to us, can- 
not long actuate the mind, or be of any moment in lifis. 
To render the passion of continuaaoe, we must find some 
method of affecting the senses and imagination, and must 
embrace some hisloricalas well as pkilosqpkieal account of 
[ the divinity. Popular superstitions and observances an 
even found to be of use in tiiis particular. 

Though, the tempers of men be very diffisr^t, yet we 
may safely pronounce in general, that a life of pkasum 
cannot support itself so long as one of business, but is much 
iliore subject to satiety and disgust* The amusements 
which are the most durable have all a miztore ctf apfiliea- 
ticm and attention in tiiem ; sudi as gaming and hunting. 
And, in general, business and action fill up all the great 
vacancies in human life. 

But where the temper is the best disposed fer any -ai* 
joyment, the object is often wanting : And in this respect, 
the passions, which pursue external objects, contribute not 
so much to happiness, as those whkh rest .in ourselves ; 
since we are neitiier so certam of attaining such objects^ 
nor so secure in possessing thenu A passion for leamfaig 
is preferable, with regard to happiness, to one for riches. 

Some men are possessed of great strength of mind ; and, 
even when they pursue eaOemal objects, are not much af- 
fected by disappointment, but renew their applicatiim and 
industry, with tiie greatest cheerfulness. Nothing contri- 
butes more to happihess t&an such a turn ctf mind. 

Accon&g to this short and imperfect sketch of human 
life, liie happiest disposition of mind is the virtwmBt or^ 
in other words, that which leads to action and employment^ 

TiUS fiCSFXIC. 165 

readers us sensible to the social passions, steels th^e heart 
against the assaults of fortune, reduces the affections. jU> a 
just moderation, makes our own thoughts m entertainment 
to us, and inclines us rather to the pleasures of socie^ and 
conTersation, than to those of the senses. This, in.the 
mean time, must be obvious to the most cardess reas<mer, 
that idl diq)ositioDS of mind are not alike favourable to 
happiness, and that one passion or humour may be ex- 
tremdy desirable, while another is equally disagreeable. 
Andy indeed, all the diffisr^ice between the ccmdition^ of 
U& depends upon the mind ; nor is . there any one jsitua- 
tion (tf affiurs, in itsdl^ prefisrable to another* Good and 
ill^ both natural and moral, are entirely relatiye tp hupian 
sentiment and a£fection. No man would ever be unhap- 
py, oouUL be aher his feelingSi, Proteus-Uke, he wQuld j 
^ctode all attacks, by the ccmtinual alterations, of his shape 
and form* 

But of this resource nature has, in a gre^t measure, de- 
prived uiB. The fabrio and constitution of our ]](iind no 
mbre depends on our dunce, than that of Qurbpdy. The i 
generality of men have not even the smallest notiop, that 
any alteration in diis r^pect can ever be desirable*. As a 
stream necessarily follows the sevend indinations of the 
ground on wfaidi it nma ; so ar&the.ignorsnl, and tjiought- 
less part of mankind actuated by their natural propensi- 
tiesi Such are tflb^l»aU}r exduded from ei\ pi^tepsions 
to phikato^yfBSidfhtmedMmqfthef^^ 
ed« fiat even upon the wise and thoughtful, nature has 
a prodKgious influence ; nor is it always in a man's power^ 
bfili^ utmost art and indnstryy to conrect his ^e^per, and 
,atbMi that virtuous character, to which he aspires* The 
en^Hure of philosophy, extends over a few ; 0Bd. with rer 
gard to Uiese too, her authpij^ is Vjsry weak, woA Iw^ted* 

)66 fi«6AV XVtll* 

Men nay mM be sensMe of ike Talae of Tiftoe) aodvMiy 
desire to atUnhi ft; but it is ftdt elfmys certain, liiattlB^ 
iivffl be sMbessffhl in thdr wieiieft. 

Whoever considers, widioutpre^dke, the cowrse of hu* 

man actions, wfll find, that mankiod ore almoet entbrdy 

guided by ooniAkntion and tenper, and thatgenemlttnx* 

ims have tittJelnfltteiioa, but aofiar as they affect otHT ta0le 

onsMSHtimetit ff^a manlnrfie « livdy tense of honour ^ad 

^irtne^ irith modeMtef aBsiont, Us ooadnet^apiUaltrajfabe 

oonferiBaUetotiieTaleaofmoMility; or if hedqMrtifiwn 

tiiem, Ms r^Mmifill be oasy «ttd eitpeditieas. On die 

4otherhimd, iviiere one is txnn of ao perverse a ihuneof 

mind, ^so oaSous and insensible odisporidon, as to have 

no fcSish for viitae and hwnanity, no sympathy with hsa 

JRdtow-ci' eat itt cs , no'desiieof esteem mimpj^bimt; sock 

«<me most be allowed enlivelykioi»«t)ie,'BOriB tbtitea»f 

remedy in philosophy. He reaps no satisfaction but &om 

leitr and ^KffiBurf ob)6Ct% or ftoat the ittdnlgcDce of ^^ 

tentpassions: He feAttoreOMrae to control fas vioiona 

indlinations: He has not even that sense or 4aate,v4iidi is 

itequisite%»HMdw him -desire abetter chancier. SW^gr 

"part, Ilcnow not howl idiouldoddioss mysctf to auch « 

^one, ^r lyf Wha;t argoments I ohould ondeswwor to aufaim 

Irfn. BhoiddlMllhimoftbeinwndsatislhctaonqRiw* 

Tresnks ftomlandaWe^andhuniBne na ti e ns, di edeiicateplen" 

wtre^dianterefTled love and flimdriJp, Ike kating^o- 

joymettts of n good «ttttne and «n«8lrfi]iriied iihawniu^ he 

n^fstS reply,'ttiat*the»e^«pwe, pethaps, plea6nins:lo such 

«8 ^(rere susceptible of •ihem ; butthilt, finr 3iis part, bojitds 

temsdf of a <{n^ different tirai onA disposkioiL Cmipiit 

irepeat-it; my philMi^y afiMks te>>enMdy ki sia^ aosye, 

Hdrxotfld^Iidoimythfag^botlaBient Ibis persoiA m i fcap 

*py condn9on« 'But Oen % one, ff any ^eAer ^hilaaopby 

Jf$l^ SCEPTIC. 19H 

fftft «jB^ ^ W^^fi 9^ if it f)e possi^e, by aixy ^y^p^m^ 
to T^od^ aU ffiapldpd virtuous^ how<^er perverse may ^ 
ti^ l^afw^ &W^ ^ i^d ? Experience w^ mon con* 
yjj^^ m of tti^ qpi^trarjr; «jad I will venture t9 affiryp,^ 
tiMlf P^fbapjib ^ ^14^ b^pefit wbiich ^results from philo^ 
9ppfrj> ^ri^.w a^ Andireti^t manneri and proceeds morf 
firpfQ jte secret) iw^i^iW^ influence^ than from Itf unmet 

jl^ 44 WF!^ml M^( f seripus afteption I9 the sciences ap4 
-Wwr^ju^ sq%p*. apdliumfipize^ the t^mpi^p, audch^ri^r 
«^ 0io8^ %4^ ^p)QtiQnf» |n vjiich true virtue and bpnpnf 
WWlirtf U W^» V(»ry W^ J>?PPfi»Sj th«t a^n^an of 
-We m4 tewJMWis »9fc «it lef^ an Jjpnest man, i^hatr 
ever, fi'ailties may attend him. The bent of his mind U^ 
tfffifffiMiY» <6(lldf¥ S<9^t mf^rtify ip hifn the passipns of in* 

um9tM^mMim» im^ptm^ »^ tl^ m^^ lim^ give him 

lig^Mtor imilbMfir.(^«a4be ^/^ffp/^ax^ duties of li% 

naiUMMii nor ia litt SABie iof this kind diminifihedi bnti on 
jtfao 0O9Mvry» U h WS^ mffpffis^, by speculation. 

diiq^itio% it is highly probable, that others may }}e pro- 
Ai«i >)y f|;|i4y md, f^j^Uq^^t^Bf Th? pffgdig^oiis effects . 

of AdaAation inAxr riniii rinf*^ iif, that the mlsd is UOt altO* 

gnAd^r i^bbpw jpd Ai i wr Ji h ] e » bu$ fjM §4!¥t 9^ pany ^ 

tagiiiitwia-firiiifili tMriirinal mtilfir aiid stmiiiure* I^t a man 
BikiBiii* M ihimaftf ithfl iBAdaljof a fharantfir whAd^Jie an- 

A»xrkMat b|a/9Wi fl]|»]||$|;(^.deiwl#f A^PP^j^ks^^ J^ 
•kMateiSE Acmiii^Mit wfti#»k ^vi>>^i f n uMtUl and bendliisBuiiuL 

Iqt AHMtiim^ «tfwt» ^^m t^ yii(p$i% towards the wtuei^; 
^i][4MdHA9i(to^iPii;WW> bewiUto4»ipJijiErt^n;ipfyr> 
an alteration for the better. 

148 £S8AY xyiii. 

Habit b another powerfiil means ctf reforming the mmd, 
and implanting in it good dispositions and indinatibns: 
K man who continues in a course xX sobrie^ and tempe- 
ranee,, will bate riot and disorder : If he engage in btisi- 
ness or study, indolence will seem a pnnishanent to him : 
If he constrain himself to practise beneficence ^and affit- 
bifity, he will soon abhor all instances of pride and ^io* 
lence. Where one is thoroughly convinced that Ae tit* 
tuous course of life is preferable ; if he have but resolu- 
tion enough, f<Nr some time, to impose a violence on him- 
self, his reformation needs not to be despaired of. The 
misfortune is, that this conviction and this resolution never 
can have place, unless a man be, beforehand, tolerably vir^ 

Here then is the chief triumph of art and philosoiiiy • 
It insensibly refines the temper, and it points out to us 
those dispositions ^n^ch we should endeavour to attain, by 
a constant had of mind, and by repealed AoM Beyond 
this I cannot acknowledge it to have great influenoe^iand 
I mustentertafai doubts concerning all those exhortadons 
and consolations, which are in such vc^e among specu^ 
iative reason^^ 

We have already observed, that bo objeeta -an^ in 
-tfielkiselves, desirable or odious, valuable or despioahle ; 
bat l3iat objects ac^dre these qualttiesfiKmi'the paitieukr 
diameter and constitntion of Ae mind whieb^iurvqw th^i. 
'^To diminish, therefcre, or an^jmentany panon^a vttliipAir 
an object, toesx^teor moderatehis passions, tbeieafeno 
direct arguments or reasons, whi^ can be eoqployed widi 
anyferee or influence. Hie catching of fliesyUki^DMii- 
tian, ^itgive more pkaabre^ k prefiamUe to theJHuitio^ 
.of wild beasts, like William Rufiis, or conquering of klog^ 
doms like Alexander. 

THE acsFnc. 160 

fiat though the Talueof «?ery o^ectcan be d^emuned 
only by the sentinMnt or passion of every individfial, we 
may cfaserve) thi^ the passion^ in pronouncing its veccfid, 
oomiders not the object simply, as it is in itsd^ but stutr 
-^riyt it with all the circumstances idiidi attend it. A man 
transported with joy, on account of his possessing a dia^ 
mondy confines not Ihs view to the glittering stone before 
him : He also consideiB its rarity, and hence chiefly arises 
hisi^kasure.andezultatioiL Here therdbre a philosopher^ 
may stsp m, and suggest particular views, and considers*- 
tions, and circumstances, which otherwise would have 
escaped i», and by that ineans, he may either moderate or 
exdte any partimkr passion. 

It pmyseem unreasonable absolutely to deny the atidwip 
rityofphflosopbyinthis resfpect: But it must be oonfess>> 
«d, that there Hen this strong presumption against it, thai, 
if these views be natural and obvious, they would have Qei>' 
curredof tbem^elves^ without i^assiBtkttce<rf'ph2oso|Ay ; 
if they be hpt natural, they never can have any influence 
4mtheafibctions» SHIsas-areof averydeUcotenatmre, and, 
cannot be Iwced or conit]»i]^ by the utmost itftor.i^ 
try. A consideration ^hich we aeek fcir op puipos^ which 
we enter, into widi difficulty, whidi we cannot attain witfa«- 
oat care andaCtentiw, will nevier produce those genubie 
<and durable aovementsofpiUsion, which «re the lesiiltidf 
nature, and itfae ccmstttotion jdf .die.mnKL A man may iss 
weil pretend tocurehimsel£ofk)rve, by viewing hfanustresB 
through the or^l^feia/ medium of a nucrescope or [^^ 
-and beholding there the ooarscnest of her. skin, andmon- 
-atrous di^pirdportSoa of lie» feotores, as hope to es^eil^or 
nKklerate any jpasMon by the wt^hM argotaenA of 9 8b- 
neca or an Epictetus. The remembrance of the natural 
aspect and situation of the object, will, in both cases, still 

tW muutr xnii. 

re(»irq9oahiin. Thm iteftectioiiscf phHogopby Mre too aib- 
^ and iUfitttut ta lake place in aHnman Ufe^ otf eradi^eale 
any a&ction. Theair is too fine tp bnealhe ^i| vhere it b 
above the winds and clouds of the atmo^diere, 
r Another defixst^ those i3efinedreflection%.vU6hpUb]^ 
aopby jioggests to us, is» jduit oommc^y they cannot diflaif- 
nisli or extinguish our ykioos passions^ without din^iBish- 
ing4>r exttnguishing su^ as ace Tirtnons, and remdeiing 
the mind tptaUy indi£Eei»nt andvinactiTe. They aie^ fiir 
4iie moat part, general^ aad are fif^^k^e 10 ^ wr a4E60^ 
iioBK. In vun do we hope to direct their influence only 
to one side» Kby incessant stndy and meditatioa Ke have 
rendered them intimate andpresen|; to us, di^y inUjOpef 
«ate thmiagkoat, and ^nread an UBtyersdl insensibjyUQr over 
Ae mind* When we destcoy Ihe negvi^ we .cK4)ii^;uiA 
Ae^^naaofi^leasure, togetl^erwidithatof paiBt inthehur 

1^ wis bf ^asy, byoneghuaee ofibeeye^ to£ad.0iie.or 
4)dMr<of these defiots in most of tiio#e philosophieid rafleo- 
tiosi% sosmchoelebridsedfaodiiaaDcifintandjBi^ 
IjamiiieuffmiuervMmceqfmienf say th0{>liik)6OpheiB % 
lioerdi^DompQtifpamtymgsr at hatred, JfbuU ^m be,w^ 
^gff^aUiBaftfiHr U^ ifialk^4^1haJtygerfari(bfir&m 
This Inflection leads ps into a bad cpsoflai.Qf limaMi a^ 
tmie, «nd*mufltaxdngvddiithe iooiil affbctaMis* itjMaik 
<{nKyflQtaHiiemoiBe£>ramsnVowninrimes; .when 
iM iMBaider^ tiittt Tit^ is as^ natural ix^BMnkind^ M 
jlieu^rdbpstiiic^ telxrnte.Greaturies. . 

^Ar fcr UmMh^ ^, |iMr mh jHfrtMer mt^ftM? WhtAif 


lli» flts I soffbr mda^ finon malipe #r toppresiibn ? BwiAe 

order (f At univerms 

if pUgiies aod earthquakes break not heaTen*8 design, 
yrtkj ihen a BomoiA or a CatalimS ? 

Let this be allowed ; and my own vices will also he^pari 
of the sane wordier, 

' X^-OM wbo saMt ^thatnoiK^ wwe hi^/Qjy wlw tk&o^iw^ 
Afxwe^ ppiniicim a %Hgrt^ ^QQpl>^ Tl^^ ^Mme ar^ k^igfjf 

Ma9ii9iomioUmmrdbk^ a^ U he $urpri^ 
particwkrniifartwft? Jvid^umM gi^wayjtae^rrmai^ 
ttmentatiw 191011 w;e(matjqf {mj^dUoi^eff Yeif : H^ f^ 
jrea^QpaUj lmnf9(rt% that; ^^ ah^nldrWJbom to^^ifusi^f ab)^ 
y4H9r,€OQsolati9i^ jttfsenUAti^^ t^mJmk, 

j|VMi pireteild to ^aape Uopu 

oerfy, btimbiesSi exiky cdbmnyy andiatfamjfi asHbtohickoi^ 
i^cyienitokwmmmfffarei^^ Jff'a9^qftke$eiB8/attiofwrloif 

Ijioshk^ if j¥ex»nfiQeK>ursfelvesio a ganeral^nd^di^tai^ 
idkctiop on tbe iUsof l^uxoaa Jlife^ /Mcap baeve^^0 eflEbsof 
^ prfp^ «3 fiur thexD. If ^^^lase m^ intense modi^* 
JM^^ we vender th^|Q;i9;vf^QtmdMtimate to 19^ tkfl/^i9^ib^ 
Ttroe jieqret-f<y- pn i f (m if g>aU wr.plyywiiifrh m^jtjrep^qgjty 
j|gfcipetiiaUy:inis^Bff^ble/ . ; 

lAuiftfV. VegrtiW/: a^d fi)r that veiyreason I am apn]r« 

l^iiQ^s ^xoMolaiiaa ifor . dea&es^ i» aonaawJbat /cp9i;jflm- 

Hifw mam lemguage$ are (herfip ^igrs h^ wUif!h.}ffm ^mf 

mder$Umd f The Pumcy Spamshy GalliCj Eggptitm^ ffc. 

* Flut. Lacom Apophfkig. 

178 X8f AT XVIII. 

fVUh tegatd to oH tki$ey you an d$ifyou udert deqf^ yet 
you are im^fii tt ii aboui Ae waiter, b Utkm^ great a 

I like better the repartee of Antipater the Cyrenaic, 
when some women were condoling with him for his blind- 
ness: What f says he^ Do you think there are no pleasures m 
the dark? 

NoMng can be more destructhSy says Fontenelle, to am- 
MCfofi, (xndthe passion Jbr conquest, than the true system qf 
astronomy. What a poor Mng is even Ae whok gfobe in 
comparison of the if^biUe extent (f Nature f This consider- 
ation IS evidently too distant ever to l^ave any eflect Or, 
if it had any, would'it not destroy patriotism as well as am- 
bition ? The same gallant author adds, with some reason, 
-diat the br^ht eyes of the ladies are the only objects wMch 
lose nothing of Aeir histre or value from the most exten- 
sive views of astronomy, but stand proof against every sys* 
tem. Would philosophers advise us to limit ourafiections 
to them? 

ExSej says Plutarch to a friend in banishment, is no 
toil: Mathematicians tdl usj Aat the whole earOi is but a 
pobfOj compared to the heavens. To change onis counltryj 
then," is Ut(k more than to remove from one street to orumer. 
Man is not a plant, rooted in a certain spot of earth : AU 
soils arid aB cHmates are aUke suited to himK These to- 
pics are admirable, could they fall only hito the hands of 
banished persons. But what if they com6 also to the kiiow- 
ifedge of those who are employed in public affairs, and de- 
stroy all their attachment to their native country ? Oi^ will 
-fiiey operate 13te the quack's medicine, which is equally 
l^ood foir a diabetes and a dropsy ? 

* Tuac. Qnest U^ t. ^ Dg eiUio. 

TiTE scsnrc 178 

It IS certain^ were ft superior being tbrttst into a human 
b^y, that the whole of life would to him appear so mean, 
contemptible, and puerile, that he never could be induced 
to take part in any thing, aild would scarcely give attai« 
tion to what passes around him. To engage him to sudi 
a ccMidescension as to play even the partof a Philip with 
zeal and alacrity, would be much more difficult, than to 
constrain the same Philip, after baring been a king and 
a conqueror during fifty years, to mend old shoes with 
propec care and attention; the occupation which Ln* 
cian assigns him in the infernal r^ons. Now, all the 
same tc^ics of disdain towards human affiiirs, which could 
operate on this supposed being, occur also to a philo- 
sopher ; but beings in some measure^ disproportioned to 
human capacity, and not being ftHrtified by the &q^ 
rience ot any thing better, they make not a fiiU impres- 
sion on him. He sees, but he feels not sufficient their 
truth : and is always a sublime philosopher^ when b^ 
needs not ; that is, as long as nothing disturbs him, or 
rouses his aflections* While others play, he wonders at 
their keeimess and ardour ; but he no sooner puts in his 
own stake, than he is commonly tran^xirted with Am 
same passionSf that he had 90 much condemned, while he 
remained a spectator. 

.There are two considerations, dxiefly, to be met w^ in 
bo(duofphilo6<^hy, ftom which any inqportanteflfect is t» 
be expected, and that* because these ccoasideratioiis are 
drawn from common life, and occur upon the most supei^ 
ficial view of human' affiurs. When we reflect on the 
shartness and uncertainty of Mfe, how despicaUe seem all 
our pursuits of hiqapiness? And ev^ if we would extend 
our concern beyondour own life, how frivolous appear our 
roost enlarged and mort generous progeets; wlmiwecoo- 


sidir the tno^sBant clmlg^ and ler^tioiis cf Juwum af* 
fiur8» bgr which lawg and Ittaroing, books aad govenuiiMitf 
Are hurried Awejr by timet as by a r^id stream) and are 
jqet in th^imfiMHiae ocean ofiaatter? Suchar^actioiioer^ 
ttinly tendtf to mattiff all oar paaaiona : But does it not 
thereby counterwork th^ artifice of nature^ who has hi^ 
pily deceived tia into an opinion^ tibat human life is of some 
importaitce ? And may not such a reflection be empk>yed 
With fucdessl by toluptuous reaaonera^ in order to )ead iis» 
ftotn the paths of action and virtue^ into Ibe flowery fidds 
of indolence and pleasure* 

We ar^ infiN*med by Thucydidesi that» during the &« 
mMspkigae of Athene when death seeped present to eve^ 
ry k>iie» adissolute mirth and gaie^ prevailed among the 
pap[de» irho esOiOfted one another to make the meet of 
Utt em long as it endtiredw The same observation is mad^ 
by Boooaoct with regatd to the plague of Florence. Alike 
principle mafcto aoldiepr% during war^ be more addicted t9 
riot ahd e±pc&se, than any othef race of men. Present 
pleaatte is always of inptetanoe $ iftnd whiitever dlminishea 
di^ importaaoa of att atfier Ol^jeetfl^ mUs4 bestow oa it an 
•dditimal iniaenoe and yidne* 

The seocmd pliflosqphical cdasldetatidn whidb may of- 
ten have an influence on the affections, is.derifedy ibom a 
cbiiiparison of oi^r nwto oonditioil wilh die oonditipn of 
«thers« This oomparisaii «f^ are cdntinuaUy making evea 
in conmon life; but the mtsfiartann is, that We are rathefr 
-apt^^ txHupare onr sitaaticm with that t>f our sttperioni, 
tian widi that of oof ihferion. A philosephar cotoMs 
AiisnaitiliridinifrflBBtjs b^tisniing his view to the other sid^ 
in ordev to reader .Unself ^asy in the sitnation ta whidi 
^MtBBieliasoonfiiiedJuii* There am few people who are 
«et susoeptible ^ wnve ootokripsi fmni Uys reflection, 

Tm scxpTic. 179 

dunq^ ti> a retj gooct-nalureil rium^ thft Iriew of liiuikfta 
iimries sfaonld rather produce torrow ihaA comfort, and 
add, to his lameDtationel fiur his own aiiifortimea^ a deep 
eompassioD for those of others. Sitchis the imptrfiictha^ 
ev^ of the best of these phflosophkai topios of ooriM^ 

I shall cmidude this subject widi obsenrin^ that, though 
Tirtae be undoubtedly the best chotce, i^hen it iA attaiftn 
able; jet rach is the disorder andeonfusioti df humanaft 
fairs, that no perfect or regular diittribution of happiii^ss 
atid misery is ever, in this life^ to be expected. Notofaly 
the goods of .fortune, and die endowments of the bo^ 
(bo4h of which are important,) not only these adranti^gesi 
I say, are.tmfequally divided between the Victttous Atid yh 
dotts, biit even due mind itself partakeft» in some degrebi 
of thk disorder ; and the most wordiy diaracter^ by the 
very eoostttationof the passions^ ^^K7* 1^^ always thi 

It is observably that though every bodily pain proceeds 
firom sotne disorder in the part oc oigsb, yet the pain is 
not always properttoned to the disorder^ but is geaatar ctr 
less, aJuoMrding'to the greater arless setasibffitj^crir tbe pall; 
ttponwkieh the hokious hurao'tifB eosehrt their iniudnee. A 
feolhitfa produces more violent mnvolsibas of pain thaa 
tLphthumbmSnimi^ In like kdamnov with regard t» the 
economy of die mind, we may obseiife, that all vice sa it^ 
deed pemidous; yet the disftnrbaUte or pdin is not nikea- 
saiisd out by nabore wilh exact proportion to the degrees 
tif vice;, not is theanui of barest virtae^ even distracting 
"fi pa m «tf rnd a6ridtots» idwqrsthemostha|)py*' Agloooi}r 
and BMlandioly dis|fK»itio» ii eestaialy^ * bar. mitimikt$, 


176 ESSAY XVItl. 

a Ticebr in^^erfection ; but as kmay be aooompaaied with 
great sense of hoDonr and great integrity^ it maybefiKUid 
in Tery worthy cbaractiMrs, diongh it is su&cmot alone to 
imbitter life^ and render the person aftcted with it oohk 
pletely miserably. On the other hand, a selfish vSiain may 
possess a spring and alacrity of temper, a certain ^qm^ qf 
hearif which is indeed a good quality, but which is reward- 
ed much beyond its merit, and when attended with good 
fortune, will compensate for the uneasiness and remcme 
arising from all the other vices. 

I shall add, as an observation to the same purpose, that, 
if a man be liable to a vice or imperfection, it may often 
happen, that a good qualiQr, which he possesses along with 
it, will render him more miserable, than if he were com* 
pletdy vicious. A person of such imbecility of temper, 
as to be easily broken by affliction, is more unhappy for 
being endowed widi a generous and friendly disposition, 
which gives him a lively concern for others, and exposes 
him the more to fortune and accidents. A sense of shame, 
in an imperfect character, is certainly a virtue ; but pro« 
duces great uneasiness and remorse, from which the aban- 
doned villain is entirely free. A very amorous complexion, 
with a heart incapable of friendship, is happier than die 
same excess in love, with a generosity of temper, iriuch 
transports a man beyvmd himself and renders him a total 
slave to the object of his passion. 

Inaword, human life is more governed by fortune than 
by reason ; is to be regarded more as a did! pastime than 
a serious occupation; and is more influenced byparticular 
humour^ than by general principles. Shall we engi^ our- 
selves in it with passion and anxie^? It is not wordiy of 
so much concern. ShaU we be indifferent about what 
happens? We lose all tlie pleasure of the game by our 


phlegm and carelessness. While we are reasoning con- 
cerning life, life is gone; and death, though perhaps they 
receive him diffisrentlj, yet treats alike the fool and the phi- 
losq[>her. To reduce life to exact rule and method is com- 
monly a puinfid, c^ a firuitless occupation : And is it not 
alaoaproo^ that we overvalue the prize for which we con- 
tend? Even to reason so carefully concerning it, and to fix 
with accuracy its just idea^ would be overvaluing it, were 
it not that, to soqie tempers, this occupation is one of the 
most amusing in which life could possibly be employed* 

VOL. I. N 




As mnrriage is an engagement entered 6ttto by mtittiftl 
consent, and bas for its end the propagation of the species, 
it is evident, that it must be susceptible of all the variety of 
conditions which consent establishes, provided they be not 
contrary to this end* 

A man, in conjoining himself to a woman, is bound to 
her according to the terms of his engagement : In begets 
ting children, he is bound, by all the ties of nature and 
humanly, to provide for their subsistence and education* 
When he has performed these two parts of duly, no one 
can reproach him with injustice or injury. And as the terms 
of his engagement, as well as the methods of subsisting his 
offspring, may be various, it is mere superstition to ima- 
gine, that marriage can bo entirely uniform, and will ad* 
mit only of one mode or form. Did not human laws re- 
strain the natural liberty of men, every particular marriage 
would be as different as contracts or bargains of -any other 
^ind or species. 

As circumstances vary, and the laws propose different 
advantages, we find, that, in di£(erent times and places, 
they impose different conditions on this important con* 
tract. In Tonquin, it is usual for the sailors, when the 
ship comes into the harbour, to marry for the season ; and, 
notwithstanding this precarious engagement, they are asr 


sored, it b aaid, of tko strictest fidelity to thorbcd^ 9»W€4 
as in'tiie wlioie manBgwnent of th«r albirs, from those 
temporary qpouses. 

I ceamot, at prascnty raooUect my authorities ; but I hate 
somewhere r^d^ that the republic of Athensy having lost 
nia^y of its citiaaus by war and pestMence, allowed every 
man to marry two wives, in order the sooner to repair the 
waste whidi had been made by these calamities. The poet 
fiuripides happened to be cotqiled to two noisy Vixens, 
-who soplagncid Jum with their jealousiei and qfuurtda, that 
habeoaaie e^er afteraprofi^ssedfSDfliMMirAafer^- and is the 
oidy theatnoaL writer, perhaps the only poet^ that ever tx^ 
ttttained an avttsioii to the sex. 

in diat agreeable ramanee, oall^ HmMktoiV qfilUi S^ 
parumSianft where a great ipaoor meiii and a few womep 
are supposed to be shipwrecked on a desert coesti thecap- 
tain of the tiofipf in order to obviate those endless qmu^- 
rds which aroae^ n^gulates their marriages afier the fal<^ 
lowing manner : He. takes a hend^ome female to biipse)f 
done ; assigns one to every couple of inferior officersy ao4 
to five of the lowest rank be gave one wife 1^ cmmoUf 

The ancient BritcHis had asingidec kind ^f marriage^ tp 
be met mth among no other peo|^ Any number of tbfii^, 
aa ten or a doaeii> joined in a society t<3^ther, which W4^ 
perhaps raquiaite for mutual defence in tbai^ baxbaroHs 
times. In order to link thia aocie^ the closer* the^ tpqk 
an equal number of wives in common i and whatever phil- 
dsen wera bonv were, rqmted to belong tQ aU of tbem» 
and were aocc^diai^ provided fi»r by tlw wMie. iK>punif- 

^y* ■-':',•.... 

AnoDg the inferior creatures, nature heraelf^ Ip^eing ^ 
suphenm legislator^ prasecibBS all the laws whkb r^gflate 

thak mavriagas, and variea those laws a^scoicding j^ 


180 .EiSAY XIX* 

ferent oircuintUiioes of the creatuxe. Wh^e abe far« 
nishes, with ease, food and defence (o the new-born ani- 
mal, the present embrace termmates the marriage ; and 
the care of the ofipring is comroitted entirely to the fe- 
male. Where the food is of more di£Bcult purchase, the 
marriage condiraes tor one season, till the common pro- 
geny can proride for itself; and th^i the union imme- 
diately dissolves, and leaves eadi of the parties free to en- 
ter into a new engagement at the .ensuing seascm. But 
nature havii^ endowed man with reascMi, . has not so exr 
actly regulated every article of his marriage-icontract, but 
has left htm to adjust them, by his own prudence, accord- 
ing to his particular circumstances and aitnation. Muni- 
cipal laws are a supply to the wisdom of each individual ; 
and, at the same time, by restraining the natural liberty 
of men, make private interest submit to the interest of the 
public. All regulations, therefore, on this head, are equally 
lawfiil, and equally coniimnaUe to the principles of na- 
ture ; though they are not all^equally convenient, or equally 
useful to' sodety. The laws may aUow of polygamy, as 
among the Eagtem nations ; or of voluntary divorces, as 
among the Chreeks and Romans; or they may ccmfine one 
man to one woman, during thewhcdecourseof their lives, 
as among the modern Europeans. It may not be dis- 
agreeable to consider the advantages and disadvantages 
which result from each of these institutions. 

The advocates for p<dygamy may recommend it as the 
only effectual remedy for the disorders of love, and the<m- 
ly expedient for freeing men from that slavexy to the fe- 
males, which the natural violence of our passions has im^ 
posed upon us* By this means alone can we regun our 
right of so^ere^nty; and, sating our appetite, re-establish 
the authority d* reason in our minds, and, of co n seqpcnoe, 


oar own aothority in oar families* Man, like a weak. so- - 
Tereign, being imable to support himself against the wiles 
and irikigues of his subjects, must play one faction against 
another, and become absolute by the mutual jealousy of 
the females. To divide and to gaoemis an universal max- 
im; and by neglecting it, the Europeans undergo a more 
grievous and a more ignominious slavery than the Turics 
or Persians, who are subjected indeed to a sovereign, that 
lies at a distance firom them, but in their domestic afiairs 
rule with an uncontrollable sway. 

On the other hand, it may be urged with better reason^ 
that this sovereignty of the male b a real usurpation, and 
destroys that nearness of rank, not to say equality, which 
nature has established between the sexes. Weare, by na* 
ture, their lovers, their friends, their patrons : Would we 
willingly exchange such endearing appdlations for the bar^ 
barous title of master and tyrant ? 

In what capacity shall we gain by this inhuman proceed* 
ing? As lovers, or as husbands ? The looer is totally an- 
nihilated ; and courtship, the most agreeable scene in Ms, 
can no longer have place where women have not the free 
disposal of themselves, but are bought and sold, like the 
meanest animaL The AtMtend is as little a gainer, having 
found the admirable secret of extinguishing every part of 
love, except its jealousy. No rose without its thorn ; but 
he must be a foolish wretch indeed, that throws away the 
rose and preserves only the thorn. 

But the Asiatic manners are as destructive to friendship 
astolove. Jealousy excludes men fit>m all intimacies and 
familiarities with each other. No one dares bring his 
friend to his house or table, lest he luring a lover to his niH 
merouswives. Hence, all over the East, each fiunily is as 
much separate from another as if they were so many dia- 


tinct kingdomsi No wander tben that Solomoiv living 
like on eftistern prince^ with his seven hundred wlves^ and 
three hundred concubinds^ without one firidid, could write 
9o patheticalljr concerning the vanity of the world. Had 
he tried tile secret of one wife or mistress^ a few friends, 
and a great tnany companions^ he xsdf^ have found life 
somewhat more agreeable* Destroy love and friendship, 
whkt remains in the world worth accepting? 

The bad education of children, espedally children of coih 
dition, is another unavoidable consequence of these eastern 
institutions* Hiose who pass the early part of life among 
slaves^ are only qualified to be, themselves, slaves and ty* 
iBUts^ And in every future intercourse, either with their 
inferiors or superiors, are apt to forget the tiatural equality 
of mankMd; What attention^ too^ can it be supposed a 
parent, whose seraglio afibrds him fifty sons, will give to 
instilling principles of morality or sdetice into a progeny, 
with whom he himself is scarcely acquainted^ and whom he 
loves with so divided on affisction ? Barbarism^ therefore^ 
i^pears, from reason as well as experience, to be the inse^ 
parable attendant of polygamy. 

To tender polygamy more odious, I need not recount 
the frightful efiects of jealousy, and tht constraint in which 
St hdkls the fair sex all over the east In those countries 
men are not allowed to have any icommerce with the fe- 
males, not even physicians, when aackneas may be suppo- 
sed to have extinguished all wantkm passions in the bosom^s 
of the fiuk*^ and^ at the same time, has renderad then unfit 
(rii^tB of desire. IVMimefort teUs us» that when he was 
broiighl into the Qrcmd Seigmoi^s Seraglio as a j^yfiaciatl, 
he was not a little surprised^ in looking akng a gsUery, 
to see agreatnumber of naked arms standing outfrcnn the 
sides of die room. . He could not imagme what this couUl 


mean; tiU he was toid that those arms bdoBged to bodiesi 
which he. must curei without knowing ai^ more about 
them than what he cx>uld leam from the enns. He was 
not allowed to ask a question of the patient, or even of her 
attendants^ lest he mi^it find it necessary to inquire con* 
(:erning circumstances which the delicacy of the l^raglio 
^lows not to be revealed. Hence pl\ysicians in the East 
pretend to know all diseases from the pulsei asou^ quacks 
in Europe undertake to ci^re a person merely frcHn seeing 
his water. I suppose^ had Monsieur Tournefort been of 
this latter kind, he would not, in Constantinople, have bj^en 
allowed by the jealous Turks to be furnished with mate^ 
rials requisite for cttercasing his art* 
. In another country, where polygamy is al&o allowed^ 
they render their wives cripples, and make their feet of no 
use to them, in order to confine thera to their ow)i boUses« 
J^ it Will, pc^rbapsi appeilr strai^^ that, in a European 
country, jealousy can yet be carried to such a height, that 
it is indecent so much as to suppoise that a woman of rank 
can have feet or legs. Witness the following story, which 
we have from very good anthority K When the mother 
of. the late king of Spain was on her h>ad towSards Madrid^ 
«he passed through a little town in Spain £unou$ for its 
maimfiu;tairyt)f gloves and stockings* .The nia^strales of 
jfehe {dace tjwyght they covid not better express their joy 
-Sot Utt tteccption of their |iew queeo^ than by presenting 
her with a sample of those cominodities, for whkh alooe 
kheir toWn was leiaarkable. The mt^ domoj who oon- 
-ducted the princess, Teoeived the gloves very graciou&Iy : 
bnlv when the stackii^ were presented, he flung them 
away witii great indignation, and severely reprimanded the 

* M4inokv9 46 <q C^ur i*£9p<iitutt pmr Madame d'4un9y. 


magistirates for this egrefpous piece of indecency. KmWf 
says he, ^ai a qneen qf Spain has no legs. The young 
queen, who at that time understood the language but im- 
perfectly, and had often been frightened with stories of 
Spanish jealousy, hnagined that they were to cut off her 
legs. Upon which she fell a-crying, and b^ged them to 
conduct her back to Gtermany, for that she never could 
endure the operation ; and it was with some difficulty they 
could appease her. VhSSSap IV. is said never in his life to 
have laughed heartily but at the recital of this story. 

Having rejected Polygamy, and matched one man with 
one woman, let us now c(msider what duration we shall as- 
s^n-to their union, and whether we shall admit of those 
vduntary divorces which were customary amongtheChreeks 
and Romans. Those who would defend this practice may 
employ the following rea8<m8. 

How often does disgust and aversion arise, after mar- 
riage, from the most trivial accidents, or from an incompa^ 
dbili^ of humour; where time, instead of curing the 
wounds, proceeding fitmi mutual injuries, festers them 
every day the more, by new qusrrds and reproaches? Let 
us separate hearts whidi ware not made to associate to- 
gether. Either of them may, perhaps, find another for 
which it is better fitted. At least, nothii^ can be more 
cruel than to preserve, by viol^ice, an union, which, at 
first, was made by mutual love, and is now, in eflfect, dis- 
solved by mutual hatred. 

But the liberty of divorces is not only a cure to hatred 
and domestic quarrels : It is also an admirable preserva- 
tive against them, and the only secret for keeping alive 
that love which first united the married coupk. Tlie heart 
of man delights in liberty : The very image of constraint 
is grievous to it : When you would confine it by violence, 


to what would otherwise have been its choice, the inclina- 
tion immediately changes, and desire is turned into aver- 
sion. If the public interest will not allow us to enjoy in 
polygamy that varieiy which is so agreeable in love ; at 
least, deprive us not of that liberty which is so essentially 
requisite. In vain you tell me, that I had my choice of 
the person with whom I would conjoin myselE I had my 
choice, it is true, of my prison; but this is but a small 
comfort, since it must still be a prison. _. 

Such are the arguments which may be urged in favour 
of divorces : But there seem to be these three unanswer- 
able objections against them. First, What must become 
of the children upon the s^aration of the parents? Must 
they be committed to the care; of a stq>mothesr ; and in- 
stead of the fond attention and concern of a parent, feel 
all the indi£ference or hatred of a stranger, or an enemy? 
These inconveniences are sufficientiy felt, where nature 
has made the divorce by the doom inevitable to all mor- 
tals: And shall we seek to multiply those inconveniences 
by multiplying divorces, and putting it in the power of 
parents, upon every ci^rice, to render their posterity mi- 
serable? ,. *H ,'- • 

Seotmdfyy If it be true, on the one hand, that the heart 
of man naturaUy delights in liberty, and hates every thing 
to which it is confined ; it is also tru^ on the other, that 
the heart of man naturally submits to necessity, and soon 
loses an inclination, when there appears an absolute impos- 
sibility of gratifying it These principles of human nature, 
you'll say, are contradictory : But what is man but a heap 
of contradictions I Though it is remarkable, that where 
principles are, after this manner, contrary in their opera- 
tion, they do not always destroy each other; but the one 
or the other may predominate on any particular occasions 

186 ESSAY XiX« 

According $^ Girciui|8tiiaQ#« tur^ more or k»$ fi^v^urahleto 
it. For Aostancei love is a riisUess and Imjialmit jMAsioo^ 
fpll of capricep «nd yarlatjpQs: arising in a moment ficom 
a feature, from an airi from nothing, ai^l Kuddeidj extin- 
guishiDg after the saibe manner. Such a passion requicea 
liberQr above all thbgs ; and therefore £lois« had reason, 
when, in order to preserve this passioot she refused to mar^ 
ry her beloved Abelard* 

How ottf when pressed to marriage, hate I said. 
Cone dti mU lawt but thdae wlddi lota bM iMder 
Lov€^ firae aa air> at aigbt Vlmmaa tksy 
Spreada hia light wings, and in a moment fliea. 

Brxt/riendMp is a ealm and sedate affection, conducted by 
reason and cemented bj habit ; springing from long iic^ 
^aintance mid matual obligations ; mthont jealonsieis or 
feiM^ andirithout those feverish fits of heat and cold, which 
cause such an agreeable torment in the amorous passion. 
So sober an affection, therefore, asfriendship, rafther thrives 
under constraint, and never rises to such a height, as when 
any strong interest or necessity binds two persons tc^ether, 
and i^ves tibem some common object of pursuit We need 
not, therefore, be afraid of drawing the marriage^^not, 
whidi chiefly subsists by friendship, the closest possible. 
Tlie amity between the persons, where it is solid khd sin^ 
ccr^, win rather gain by it : And where it is wavering a Ad 
uncertain, this is the best expedient for fixing it. Mow 
many frivolous quarrels and disgusts are there, which peo^ 
pie of common prudence endeatour to forget. When they 
fie under a necessity of passing their lives together; but 
which would soon be inflamed mto the most deadly hatted, 
were they pursued to the utmost, under the prospect of aa 
easy separation ? 
^ In the third place, We must consider, that nothing h 


more daDgerous than to imite two persons so closely in all 
their interests and concerns, as man and wife, without ren- 
dering the union entire and total. The least possibility of 
a separate interest must be the source of endless quarrels 
and suspici6ns. The wife, not secure of h^ establishment, 
will still be driving some separate end or project ; and the 
husband's selfishness, being accompanied with more power, 
may be still more dangerous. 

Should these reasons against voluntttty divorces be deem- 
ed insufficient, I hope nobody will pretend to refuse the 
testimony of eKperience. At the time when divorces were 
most frequent among the Romansi marriages were most 
fare ; and Augustus was obliged^ by penal law% to forcp 
men of fashion into the married state : A circumstanjQe 
which b scarcely to be found in any other age ornation* 
.The more ancient laws of Rome» which prohibited divov- 
€e8| are extremely praiised by Dionysius Halycarnassaeus ^« 
Wonderfiil watf tk% baratooy, says the historian, which this 
ms^mrable union of interests produced between married 
persons ; while each <tf them considered the J^vitable ne- 
cessity by Kfhiek they wer6 linked together, and abandon- 
ed all jftovpect of any other choice or establishments 

The exduflion of polygamy and divorce^ sufficiently r^ 
conmieiids our present Eurc^)e0n practice with regard to 
' ' . > ' I, . ' , 



if INE writing, according to Mr Addison, consists of sen- 
timents which are natural, without being obvious. There 
cannot be a juster and more oonds^ definition of fine writ- 

Sentiments, which are merely natural, affect not the mind 
' with any pleasure, and seem not worthy of our attention. 

* The pleasantries of a waterman, the observations of a pea- 
sant, the ribaldry of a porter or hackney coachman, all of 
these are natural and disagreeable. What an insipid co- 

' medy should we make of the chit-chat of the tea-table, co- 

* pied faithfully and at full length ? Nothing can please per- 
sons of taste, but nature drawn with all her graces and or- 

* naments, la beUe nahtre s orif wecopy low life, the strokes 
must be strong and remarkable, and must ccmvey a lively 
image to the mind. The absurd nawete of Scmco PamAo 
is represented in such inimitable colours by Cervantes, that 
it entertains as much as the picture of the most magnani- 
mous hero -or the softest lover. 

The caae is the same with orators, philosophers, critics, 
or any author who speaks in his own person, without in- 
troducing other speakers or actors. If hts language be not 
el^;ant, his observations uncommon, hii sense strong and 
masculine, he will in vain boast his nature and simplicity. 


He maybe correct; but he never will be agreeable. Itb 
the unhappiness of such authors, that they are never blam- 
ed or censured. The good fortune of a book^ and that of 
a man, are not the same. The secret deceiving path of 
life, which Horace talks of, faUenHs semita vUcBj may be 
the happiest lot of the one ; but is the greatest misfortune 
which the other can possibly fall into. 
. On the other hand, productions which are merely sur- 
prising, without being natural, can never give any lasting 
entertainment to the mind. To draw chimeras, is not, 
properly q>eakh:ig^ to copy or imitate. The justness of the 
representation is lost, and the mind is displeased to find a 
picture which bears no resemblance to anyoriginaL Nor 
are such excessive refinements more agreeable in the epis- 
tolary or philosophic style, than in the epic or tragic. Too 
much ornament is a fault in every kind of producticm. Un- 
conmion ei^ressions, strong flashes of wit, pointed similes, 
and qjjgrammatic turns, especially when they recur too 
frequently, are a disfigurement, rather than any embellish- 
ment of discourse. As the eye^ in surveying a Gothic 
buildings is distracted by the multipUcily of ornaments, 
and loses die whole by its minute attention to the parts; 
so the mind, in perusing a work overstocked with wit, is 
fiitigued and disgusted with the constant endeavour to 
shine and surprise. This is the casewherea writer over- 
abounds in wit, even though that wit, in itself should be 
just and agreeable. But it commonly happens to such 
writers, that they seek for their favourite ornaments, even 
where the subject does not affi>rd them; and by that means 
have twenty insipid ccmoeits for cme thought which is real- 
ly beautifuL 

There is no object in critical learning mere copious 
than this, of the just mixture of simplicily and refinement 


m writing I and thcrrefore, not to wander in too large d 
field, I sliall confine myself to a few general obseryati<His 
on that Itead. 

Firstf I observe Thai though excesses of Mh, kinds are 
to b&avoided^ and though a proper medium ought to be <fa- 
died in atl productions, yet this medium lies not in a pointy 
but admits of a considerable latitude. Consider the wide 
distance, in this respect, between Mr Pope and Lucre- 
tius. These seem to lie in the two greatest extremes of 
refinement and simplicity in which a poet can indulge 
himself, without being guilty of any blameable excess. All 
this interval maybe filled with poets who may dififer from 
each other^ but may be equally admirable, each in his pe-i 
ctiliar style and manner. Comeille and Congreve, who 
carry their wit and refinement somewhat farther than Mr 
Pope, (If poets of so different a kind can be compared to* 
gether,) and Sophocles and Terence, who are more simple 
than Lticretiiis, seem to have gone out of that medium in 
which the most perfect productions are found, and to be 
gutlty of some excess in these opposite characters. Of all 
the great poets^ Virgil and Racine, in my opinion, lie 
neiarest thfe centre, and are the farthest removed from both 
Jhe e^fetremlties. 

My second observation on thiis head is. That it is very 
dificutti if not impossihk, to explain by words where thejw/t 
medium ttei between' the excesses of stmflicity and refine^ 
mentj or to give any rule by which we can know precisely A« 
bowids between the fixuU and the beauty. A critic may not 
onty disCoui»se very judiciously on this head without iiv- 
structfri^his readers, but even without understanding the 
matter perfectly himself. There is not a finer piece of 
critidlsfn than the tilssertaiionori PastorcOs by Fontenelle, 
jrfi which,* l!ry^ &' number of reflections and philosophied 


feasbnings, lie endeavours to fix ihe just mcditim: vfhicb u 
tuHable to that species of writang. But' let any one vead 
the pasloraU of tb|ftt author, and be will be poi^¥i^[iced that 
this jvcHeioiis etitie, Dotwithstanding his fine xei^toninga^ 
had a false taste, and fixed the point of pev&ction nmdi 
nearer the extireme of refinemiont than pastoral poetry Anil 
admit of. Hie sendments of his shepherds are better 
suited to tho toilettes of Paris than to the forests of Asciif 
dia. But 1^ it is impossible to discover from lua criticskl 
reasonings* He blames all e:i^essive fiainting and otnitf^ 
Bient OS much as Virgil could have don^ had that great 
poet wrotea dissertation on this species of poetry. Hqw^ 
evet d^rent the tastes of men, their general discourse ofi 
these subjects is comQionly the sume. No. ^ritidsnt can 
be faistructive which descends not ta particulars^ and is 
•noib fM of esan^iles and illustrations. It is all«ir^an a^ 
hands, that beauly, as well as virtue^ always lies, ki^'m^ 
dium I bat where this medium is placed is a gfeat ques- 
tioB, andcimilever be suHciently expk^ied by geninral 

I diall deliver it as a iki^d obserwitkpi. on diis snlgeot, 
Tk(tti»eimjiklt(>ie mors im our gf^m^ mf/drnMih^^aieetftitf 

meireedces^ <s toil kea beautiful^ and mon dai^erous tftfi 

* it U a certi^n rule, that wit aiid' passion are entkedly 
incompatible. When the affections are moved^ there is 
ik> place for ^e imagination. The mind c^ man-ttfeing 
naturally limited, it is impossible that all its facukiea can 
operate at once; and the more any one preddmioates,. khe 
less rbom is there for the others to ^xert tUeir rv^gour. 
For this reason, a greater d^eie of simplicitgr is Required 
in all compositloiis where men, apd actions, and passions 

199 ES8AT XX. 

are painted^ than in such as consist of reflections and ob« 
seryadons. And as the former species of writing is the 
more engaging and beautifhl, one may safely, upon this 
account, give the preference to the extreme of sim{dici^ 
abore that of refinement 

We may also observe, that those compositions which 
we read the oftenest, and which every man of taste has 
got by heart, have the recommendation of simjdicily, and 
have nodung surprising in the thought, when divested ci 
that elegance (^expression, and harmmiy of numbers, with 
which it is clothed. If the merit of the compositicm lie in 
a point of wit, it may strike at first; but the mind antici- 
pates the thought in the second perusal, and is no longer 
afiBscted by it When I read an epigram of Martial, the 
firstline recalls the whole ; and I have no pleasure in re- 
peating to myself what I know already. But each line, 
each word in Catullus has its merit, and I am never dred 
with the perusal of him. It is suffident to run over Cow- 
Iq^once; but Pacnell, after the fiftieth reading is as firesh 
as at the first Besides, it is with books as with womeuj 
wh^ a certain plainness of manner and erf* dress is more 
ei^^aging than that (^are of paint, and airs, and appard, 
which may dazzle &e eye, but reaches not the affections. 
Terence is a modest and bashfiil beauQr, to whom we 
grant every thing, because he assumes nothing, and whose 
purity and nature make a durable, though not a vident 
impression on us. 

But refinement, as it is the less feoitfi^ so is it the 
more danffenms extreme^ and what we are the aptest to 
fall into. Simplicity passes for dulness, wh^i it is not ac- 
companied with great elegance and propriety. On the 
contdhry, there is something "surprising in a blaze of wit 
and conceit Ordinary readers ste mightily struck with 



it) and falsely imagine it to be the most difficult, as well 
as most excellent way of writing. Seneca abounds with 
agreeable fiiults, says Qnintilian, dbundat dukibus viiUs i 
and for that reason is ^e mo|re dimgifrous, and the more 
apt to pervert the taste of the young and inconsiderate. 

I shaU add, that the excess of refinement is now more 
to be guarded against than ever ; because it is the extreme 
which men are the most ^pt to fall into^ after learning has 
made some progress, and after eminent writers haye ap- 
peared in every species of composition. The endeavour 
to pkase by^ moifeky bads men widm of mmfUc^ mi ii»- 
tov^ aba fills their milhgs with affbisMiail md OMMt 
It waa Ana tlie Asiaiio aloquflBos dagcA e>ato4 aft mudb. 
fmnllieAltia itwMAusAeageiif filaodiiisaiidVtm 
beeameaoranichkiferior tothatofAugBstesiataote and 
gwins. And periiaps there are, alpr^senl^iffiiMftqmptoBit 
ofaUhed^psttMracyaftastaia Fiaace, aswdlasiBEi^ 

vol.. !• 



L HE vulgar are apt to carry all national characten to ex- 
tremes ; and, baving once established it as a principle, that 
any people are knavish, or cowardly, or ignorant, they 
will admit of no exception, but comprehend every indivi- 
dual under the same, censure. Men of sense condemn 
these undistinguishing judgments ; though, at the same 
time, they allow that each nation has a peculiar set of man- 
ners, and that some particular qualities are more frequent- 
ly to be met with among one people than among their 
neighbours. The common people in Switzerland have 
probably more honesty than those of the same rank in Ire- 
land ; and every prudent man will, from that circumstance 
alone^ make a diflPerence in the trust which he reposes in 
each. We have reason to expect greater wit and gaiety 
in a Frenchman than in a Spaniard ; though Cervantes 
was bom in Spain. An Englishman will naturally be sup- 
posed to have more knowledge than a Dane ; though 
Tycho Brahe was a native of Denmark. 

Different reasons are assigned for these national charac- 
ters : while some account for them from morale other? from 
p^ncof causes. By mora/ causes, I mean all circumstances, 
which are fitted to work on the mind as motives or rea- 
sons, and which render a peculiar set of manners habitual 


to US. Of this kind are, the nature of the government, the 
revoluti<Mis of public affairs, the plenty or penury in which 
the people live, the situation of the nation with regard to 
its neighbours, and such like circumstances. By physical 
causes, I mean those qualities of the air and climate, 
which are supposed to work insensibly on the temper, by 
altering the tone and habit of the body, and giving a par- 
ticular complexion, which, though reflection and reason 
may sometimes overcome it, will yet prevail among the 
generality of mankmd, and have an influence on their 

That the character of a nation will much depend on 
morai causes, must be evident to the most superficial ob- 
server ; since a nation is nothing but a collection of indi- 
viduals) and the manners of individuals are frequently de- 
termined by these causes. As poverty and hard labour 
debase the minds of the common people, and render them 
unfit for any science and ingenious profession ; so, where 
any government becomes very oppressive to all its subjects, 
it must have a proportional effect on their temper and ge- 
nius, and must banish all the liberal arts from among them. 
The same principle of moral causes fixes the character 
of different professions, and alters even that disposition, 
which the particular members receive firom the hand of 
nature. A sokSer and a priest are different characters, in 
all nations, and all ages ; and this difference is founded 
on circumstances whose operation is eternal and unalter- 

The uncertainty of their life makes soldiers lavish and 
generous, as well as brave : Their idleness, together with 
the large societies which they form in camps or garrisons, 
inclines them to pleasure and gallantry : By their frequent 
change of company, they acquire good breeding and an 


196 SaSAY XXI. 

openness of behaviour : Being employed only against (i 
public and an open enemy, they become candid, honest, 
and undesigning : And as they use more the labour of the 
body than that of the mind, they are commonly thought- 
less and ignorant '. 

It is a trite, but not altogether a fidse maxim, thi^t 
priesig nf all rdigUms are the same ; «md though the cha- 
racter of the profession will not, in every instance, prevaU 
over the personal character, yet it is sure always to pre<- 
dominate with the greater number* For as chenusts ob* 
serve^ that spirits, when rabed to a certain height, are all 
the same, from whatever materiab they be extracted ; so 
these men, being elevated above huiqanity, acquire a uni* 
fipmn character, which is entirely their owA) ^nd which, in 
my opinion, is, generally speaking, not the most amiable 
that is to be met with in hum^n so(;iety. It is, in most 
points, opposite to that of a soldier ; as is the way of life, 
from which it is derived **. 

As to physical canmSf 1 am inclined to doubt altogether 
of theur operation in this particular ; m^ dp I think thai 
men owe any thing of ih^ tamper or genius, to the 9ir% 
iood, or climate. I confess, thai the ccmtnoy opinion may 
jnstly, ait first sight, seem probable ; since we find that 
these circumstances have an influence over every other wai^r 
mslf and that even those creatui^ which are fitted to live 
in all climates, such as dogs, horses, &c» do not attain the 
same perfection in all. The courage of buU^<ioga and 
game-cocks seems peculiar to England. Flanders is re* 
Barkable for targe and heavy horses : Spam far hoises 
light, and of good mettle. And any breed of d^sse orea;- 
tunea, transplanted from one oosntry to aootfier, wiH soap 

• See MoTi [H-J " ^ ^m [L] 



lose the qualities which diey derived from their iiatiTe di*^ 
mate. It may be asked, ^y not the same wkh men * ? 

Here are few questions more curious than this, or 
which will oftener occur in our inquiries concerning hu- 
man affiurs; and therefore it may be proper to give it a 
fidl examination. 

The human mind is of a very imitative nature; nor is 
it possible fof any set of men to converse often together, 
without acquiring a similitude of manners, and communi- 
cating to each other their vices as well as virtues. The 
propensity to company and society is strong in all rational 
cteatures ; and the same disposition, which gives us this 
propensity, makes u^ enter deeply into each other's senti- 
ments, and causes like passions and indinationB to run, as 
4t Wef e, by contagion, through die whole tlub or knot of 
companions. Where a number of men are united into 
one political body, the occasions <^ their intercourse muift 
be so frequent, for defence, commerce^ and government, 
that, together witii the same speech or language, they 
must acquire a resemblance in their manners, and have a 
oMttnoil or national character, as well as a personal one^ 
peddiar to each individuaL Now, though n$ture produces 
all kinds of temper and understanding in great abundance, 
it does not follow, that she always produces them in like 
proportions^ and that in every society the ingredients of iti- 
dttstty afiMl indoleno^ valour and cowardk^e, humanity and 
br^ali(y» Wiaddm and fcdly^ wiU be mined aSbe/t the same 
maittier. In the kAAcy of society, if any of these diqM>si- 
tions be found iti greats abundance than the rest, it will 
naturally prevail in th^ compositkm, and give a tincttu^ to 
the natkmal characM". Or should it be asserted, that no 

• See Non [K.] 


species of temper can reasonably be presumed to pre(k>- 
minate, even in those contracted societies, and that the 
same proportions will always be preserved in the mixture; 
yet surely the persons in credit and authority, being. a stiU 
more contracted body, cannot always be presumed to be 
of the same character ; and their influence on the manners 
of the people must, at all times, be very considerable* If, 
on the first establishment of a republic, a Brutus 
placed in authority, and be transported with such an en- 
thusiasm for liberty and public good, as to overlook all the 
ties of nature, as well as private interest, such an illustrious 
example will naturally have an e£Pect on the whole sdbie^ 
and kindle the same passion in every bosom. Whatever 
it be that forms the manners of one generation, the next 
must imbibe a deeper tincture of the same dye ; men 
being more susceptible of all impressions during infancy, 
and retaining these impressions as long as they remain in 
the world* I assert, then, that all national characters, 
where they depend not on fixed mcral causes, proceed fix>m 
such accidents as these, and that physical causes have no 
discernible operation on the human mind. It is a maxim 
in all philosophy, that causes which do not appear, are to 
be considered as not existing. 

If we run over the globe, or revolve the annals of history, 
we shall discover every where signs of a sympathy or con- 
tagion of manners, none of the influence of air or climate. 

Ih'st^ We may observe, that wbere a very extensive 
government has been established for many centuries, it 
spreads a national character over the whole empire, and 
communicates to every part a similarity of maimers. Thus 
the Chinese have the greatest uniformity of character 
imaginable, though the air and climate, in difierent parts 


of those vast dominions, admit of very considerable yaria- 

Secondfyf In small governments, which are contiguous, 
the people have notwithstanding a different character, and 
are often as distingubhable in their manners as the most 
distant nations. Athens and Thebes were but a short day^is 
journey from each other ; though the Athenians were as 
remarkable for ingenuity, politeness, and gaiety, as the 
Thebans for dulness, rusticity, and a phlegmatic temper. 
Plutarch, discoursing of the etkcts of air on the minds of 
men, observes, that the inhabitants of die PirsBum possessed 
very diflSsrent tempers from those of the higher town in 
Athens, which was distant about four miles from the for* 
mer: But I bdieve no one attributes the difference of 
manners, in Wiqpping and St James's, to a difference of 
air or climate. 

Tkbt^f The same national character commonly follows 
the authority of government to a precise boundary; and 
upon crossing a river or passing a mountain, one finds a 
new set of manners, with a new government. The Lan- 
guedocians and Gascons are the gayest people in France ; 
but whenever you pass the Pyrenees, you are among 
Spaniards. Is it conceivable, that the qualities of the air 
should change exactly with the limits o( an empire, which 
depend so much on the accidents of battfes, negociatioiis, 
and marriages ? 

Jbttrttfy, Where any setofmai, scattered over distant 
nations, maintain a close society or communication U>- 
geiher, they acquire a similitude of manners, and have but 
little in common with the nations amongst whom they live. 
Thus the Jews in Europe, and the Armenians in the East, 
have a peculiar character; and die former are as much 


nMedAH*frMd»a8lh#lMerforprobttgr*. Th% JmiMfkk 
all Botmm CaUuMe eomUries are also dbserved to hav« a 
dtaradter p«6«liftr to tbemselresv 

FifiUiH WhfiK M iu9cident| m a difiefwoe ia language 
or reygioDi kecpa two n Miop % inluibiting the same coan- 
tiyi from muiidg wkh e*cb t>ther# tb^7 wiU persenrei ds^ 
ring aevenl cebturieb, b diatin^l and eten cq^peflite «et of 
nianoersi The Uiilegri^igttivitjri and bravery c^th«Tiurk% 
ibrm an exaol obfttrasfc to the deceit, kvk^i and cowavdiee 
of the modisni Gredcs. 

SuMigj Hm same eel of manners will follow a nation* 
and adhere to tlMri over the whdle globei as wdl as the 
same kwB add lingnagi. Ilie Spatlisbi Ei^^iah, Fretwh 
tad D«t«h ookliiesi are all diaiinguishable eVen between 
Ae tropics^ 

SeoenMy^ The manners of a people change v^ cet^ 
sideivbljr from me age to another \ eilker bj^ great altera- 
iioBs:in their gbTehment, by the mixtiirelof new people 
or by Ihat inpeastnncyt to whieh aU httttaa affiura are sob- 
jtot Th^ ingBDttilyi indttstryt Md actin^of the vacmt 
Oreebii haT6 nothmg in oommon with the stupidity and 
indoLanoe of .the. present inhid>itant8 of those regions^ 
Candbiftf^ brtitwiry^ art Ion <rfliber^» fon^ed the character 
dftteaBCMabBseibans} As snbtb<|r# cowardice, and n ski* 
vidtdisposiUomdotlliltofth^tooderti. Tbeold%>aBiardi 
were restless, turbulent, and so addicted to war, that many 
ef ditin kiUed themselves when derived oftfieir mmB by 
the Rotnads^ One would find an equal difficidiyAt'Pf^ 
icMt (at l^ast one would huve finmd it 61^, yea«s ago) to 
roujie «|^ the inod^m Spaniards to artna« The Battvjad$ 

, -SttNimilUJ 

^ Tit. Lim, lib. xxzir. cap. 17. 


r aU aoldiirs of fbUune, and hired tftemedves Bito the 
Benah anniaa. Their posterity umke dae of ftiragners 
fiMr the same pwrposa that die Romans didUKiraacestors. 
Thoa|^ some few strokes of the Fmiich diaracter be the 
same with that whidi Csesar has ascribed to the Oank ; 
j^ what oompariaon between the oiTility, humain^, atld 
'kiidwledge of the medtrn inhabitants of that comtry, and 
the i|(naraiice> barbarity, and grossiiess of the ancient ? 
Not to insist iit>on tlie great di£ferende between the present 
poosessors of Britain^ and those before the Roman con* 
^afest; wemayobaerrethatotirano^torsyafeweentmries 
ago^ were mmfc into the most abject superstition ; last cen^ 
tacjrth^ were inflamed with thtimost furious emburiasm^ 
and are bo# settlod lAto die droit cool indiftrence wMi 
•regiurd to taligions matters^ that is io be found In lunyna^ 

BifhtUifi Wh^e sevehd imghboumg nations hav« ii 
^rsry 4dose eomnmnicadon together, eidier by pdUty, t^sm- 
merce» or traveUii^, they acquire a sipnlittid^ of manned, 
propoatioiied io the oonuBunication^ Thiis all the Franks 
appodr tb hare a unifeM obaraoier to the eastern ^atlimd. 
The di£fefawes aiiMHig dwui are like the peotiliar Moent^ 
of diffisrent protinces^ which are not disthigulshable 4!afr- 
ccpt by an efcur aeeustomed to tbem^ and whidi eomnu^y 
a«tape a ftre%nerk 

JRaA^ We may eAen remark l^wrad^rfldmiidi^e^ 
mmB^t^ bM diaraotert kl the saase nalite, spettkbig th^ 
mb^ language, and«lii)eett6 the sailiegoverfiiiMii: A&d 
ah diia paxlieular the Engli^ are thd most remarkable Hf 
afiypetiifleaiatpcriM^4terllrerei» the wm'ld. Nori^ 
this to beaaeribM to dM mutritiilityand uneertBkity df tti^ 
ehmate, or to alqr oAerptfgkiAl eAUses; s&iee iH th6S^ 
bauses take place m die m^ighbouring conhtly of Seotlftik!, 


without having the same effect Where the govemm^it 
of a nation is altogether republican, it is apt to b^[et a 
peculiar set of manners. Wfaare it is altogether monardi- 
ical, it is more apt to have the same effect ; the imitation 
of superiors spreading the national manners filter among 
the people. If the governing part of a state consist altoge- 
ther of merchants, as in Holland, their uniform way of life 
will fix their character. If it consists chiefly of nobles and 
landed gentry, like Germany, France, and Spain, the same 
effect follows. The genius of a particular sect or reli- 
gion is also apt to mould the manners of a people. But 
the English government is a mixture of monarchy, aristo- 
cracy, and democracy. The people in authority are com- 
posed of gentry and merchants. All sects of rdigion are 
to be found amcmg them. And the great liberty and in- 
dependency, which every man enjoys, allows him to display 
the manners peculiar to him. Hence the English, of any 
people in the universe, have the least of a national charac- 
ter ; unless this very singularity may pass for sudi. 

If the characters of men depended on the air and cli- 
mate, the d^rees of heat and cold should naturally^be ex- 
pected to have a m%hty influence ; smce nothing has a 
greater effect on all plants and irrational animals. And 
indeed there is some reason to think, that all the nations, 
which live beyond the polar circles or between the tropics, 
are inferior to the rest of the species, and are incapable of 
all the higher attainments of the human mind. The po- 
verty and misery of the northern inhabitants of the globe, 
and the indolence of the southern, from their few necessi- 
ties, may, perhaps account for this remarkable difference, 
without our ha^g recourse to pkgrical causes. This, 
however, is certain, that the characters of nations are very 
promiscuous in the temperate climates, and that almost all 


the general observatioDs, which have been formed of the 
more southern or more northern people in these climates^ 
are found to be uncertain and fallacious ^. 

Shall we say, that the neighbourhood of the sun inflames 
the imagination of men, and gi^es it a peculiar spirit and 
yivacity ? The French, Ghreeks, Egyptians and Persians, 
are remarkable for gaiety. The Spaniards, Turks, and 
Chinese, are noted for gravity and a serious deportment, 
without any such difierence of climate as to produce this 
diflference of temper. 

The Greeks and Romans, who called all other nations 
barbarians, confined genius and a fine understanding to 
the more southern climates, and pronounced the northern 
nati<ms incapable of all knowledge and ciyility. But our 
island has produced as great men, either for action or 
learning, as Greece or Italy has to boast of. 

It is pretended, that the sentiments of men become more 
delicate as the country approaches nearer to the sun ; and 
that the taste of beauty and elegance receives proportional 
improvements in every latitude ; as we particularly observe 
of the languages, of which the more southern are smooth 
and melodious, the northern harsh and untunable. But 
this observation holds not universally. The Arabic is 
uncouth and disagreeable : The Muscovite soft and musi- 
cal. Eneigy, strength, and harshness, form the character 
of the Latin tongue: The Italian is the most liquid, 
smooth and effeminate language that can possibly be ima- 
gined. Every language will d^end somewhat on the man- 
ners of the people; but much more on that original stock 
of words and sounds, wtdxh they received from their an- 
cestors, and which remain unchangeable, even vAale their 

• 8m Nor [M.] 

•04 BMAY SKI. 

manliera Admit of the ginatestaitoratioiis. Whoeandoabt, 
but the BogUsh are ftt present ft tifore poUte and knowk^ 
people than the Greeks were for serend agei aft^rthe sifdfg^ 
of IVoy ? Vet is there no compatifion between the lan- 
guage of Milton and that of Homer. Nay, the greater 
the alteratiims and improyemento, whldh happed ia the 
tttaniiMid of a people^ the le6s catl be expected in their fain- 
gnage* A few eminent and refined geniuses will commil- 
ntcate their, taste and knowledge to a whole people^ and 
produce the greatest improvements ; but they fix the tongue 
by iheir writings, and prevent, in some degree, its fiirdier 

Lord Bacon has obsetved, that the inhabitants of the 
south are, In geneml, more ingenious than those of the 
norths but that where the native of acold climate has ge- 
nius, he rises Id ti higher pitch than can be reached by the 
southern wits. This obsemttion a late ^ writer confirms, 
by comparulg the southern wits to cucumbers, which are 
oommooly all good in their kind; but at best 9ite ah insi- 
pid fruit : While the northern geniuses are like melons, of 
Whidi not one in fifty is good; but when it is so, it has an 
ekquisite ivUsb. I believe this remark may be allowed 
just, when confined to the European nations, and to the 
preseM age, or rather to tfce preceding/one : But I think 
km^beaetevniedforfirommotmlcauses* All the sciences 
hod Ubaral aits have bew impdrted to ns fiiMn the south ; 
«iid k is eaqr to imagine, that) im the Arst ord^ of appli- 
cation^ wtea ndted byemtiation and by glory, the ftw, 
whb are addicted to dMB^ would carry diem to ih« gteai- 
eat height^ aid stretoh evefy neirve, and every fiMOley, to 
reach the pifloada of perfi»)tion. 8udi illustrious eAam- 

• Dr Berk#l^. Bfibttli FhUotopher. 


pkft spread knowledge eyery wfcere, fud beget ah imivfir- 
sal eateem fiur the sciencas : After which, il k no wonder 
that industry relaxes; whik men me^ noi widi soitable 
encouragemait, nor arrive i^ sui^ distiiiQtioa bytbdr at- 
tainments» The unirersal difiiision of Wrning aiaoiig a 
people, and the oitire banishmeirt of grpss igacvalipe 
and rusticity, is, therefore, seldon attended mth pay re- 
markable perfection in particular persons. It seema lo be 
taken for granted in the dialogue ds Oraiorilmsj that know- 
ledge was much more common in Vespasian's age thMi in 
that of Cicero and Augustus. Quintilian abo conplidns 
of the profanation o{ learnings by its beeoiqing tdo com- 
moD. << Formerly," says Juvena), ^ science was Mofined 
to Greece and Italy. Now the whole ifpvld ^wnthites 
Athens and Rome. Eloquent Gaul has ttagfit Britaj% 
knowing in the laws. Even Thule entertains tbongh(g of 
hiring rhet<Mricians for its instructi<m '.'' This stale of 
learning is remarkable; because Juvenal is hhnself die last 
of the Roman writers that possessed any d^pee of gtniue. 
Those who succeeded are valued for nothing but the mat» 
ters of fiiel of which they give us informatioB. I hope 
the late conversion of Muscovy to die study of llie sdenoea 
will not prove a like prognostic to t^ present period of 

Cat^nal BmtivogUo gives the pfeferaice to theMvtln 
eam nations above the southern wk|i regard to oMdow 
and smcerity; andmenlions, on tlieonehaa^ the Spt^^mda 
and Italians, aad» on the ether, the Hemings awl 0er- 

Nunc totus Qnda^ nostnaq^e habet orbi^ Athenaf. 

Gallia caosidicot docult facunda BiitaanoB : 

De con^ucen^p loquitur jam rhetore Thule." Sat. 15. 

806 ESSAY xxr. 

mans. But I am apt to think, that this has happened by 
accident The ancient Romans seem to have been a can- 
did, sincere people, as are the modem Torks* But if we 
must needs suppose, that this event has arisen firom fixed 
causes, we may only conclude from it, that all extremes are 
apt to concur, and are commonly attended with the same 
consequences. Treachery is the usual concomitant of ig- 
norance and barbarism ; and if civilized nations ever em- 
brace subtle and crooked politics, it is from an excess of 
refinement, which makes them disdain the plain direct path 
to power and glory. 

Most conquests have gone from north to south ; and it 
has hence been inferred, that the northern nations possess 
a superior degree. of courage and ferocity : But it would 
have been juster to have said, that most conquests are made 
by poverQr and want, upon plenty and riches. The Sara^ 
cens, leaving the deserts of Arabia, carried their conquests 
northwards upon all the fertile provinces of the Roman 
empire; and met the Turks half way, who were coming 
southwards from the deserts of Tartary. 

An eminent writer ^ has remarked, that all courageous 
animals are also carnivorous, and that greater courage is 
to be expected in a people, such as the English^ whose food 
Is strong and hearty, than in the half-starved conmionalty 
c^ othier countries. But the Swedes, notwithstanding their 
disadvantages in this particular, are not inferior, in martial 
courage, to any nation that ever was in the world. 

In general, we may observe, that courage,, of all national 
qualities, is the most precarious; because it is exerted only 
at intervals, and by a few in every nation; whereas indus- 
try, knowledge, civility, may be of constant and universal 
use, and for several ages may become habitual to the whole 

^ Sir WniiMa Temple's Account of ^e Netherlands. 


people. If courage be preserved, it must be by discipline, 
example, and opinion. The tenth legion of Caesar, and 
die regiment of Picardy in France, were formed promis- 
cuously from among the citizens ; but having once enter- 
tained a notion, that they were the best troops in the ser- 
vice, this very opmion really made them such. 
' As a proof how much courage depends on opinion, we 
may observe, that, of the two chief tribes of the Greeks, 
the Dorians and lonians, the former were always esteem- 
ed, and always appeared more brave and manly than the 
latter ; though the colonies of both the tribes were inter- 
spersed and intermingled throughout all the extent of 
Oteeoe, the Lesser Asia, Sicily, Italy, and the islands of 
the JEgeBXk sea* The Athenians were the only lonians 
tbat ever had any reputation for valour or military achieve- 
ments; though even these were deemed inferior to the La- 
cedemonians, the bravest of the Dorians. 

The only observation, with regard to the diffisrence of 
men in different climates, on which we can rest any weight, 
is the vulgar one, that people in the northern felons have 
a greater inclination to strong liquors, and those in the 
southern to love and women* One can assign a very pro- 
bable phy$kal cause for this difference. Wine and distill- 
ed waters warm the frozen blood in the colder dimates, 
and fortify men against the injuries of the weather : As the 
genial heat of die sun, in the countries exposed to his 
beams, inflames the blood and exalts the passion betweeii 
the sexes. 

Perhaps, too, the matter may be accounted for hy moral 
causes. All strong liquors are rarer in the north, and con- 
sequently are more coveted. Diodorus Siculus ^ tells us, 

• Lib. T. The tame author ascribMtadturnitj to that people; a new proof 
that national character! may alter very much. Tadturnity, as a national 

see ¥fi9^Y wi. 

that ^ QwIb m bM lime were gr^at druol^Ms^ and muob 
addict^ to win^; eUe%> I suf^pose^ turn it9 rari^ and 
Dovtf^ On the Qtber )ia»d» the h^t in ith« qwthem <di^ 
mflte8» oUigiiig neH wd women to gp half naked» thaivrtijr 
ronded their freqtifot commeroe more diwigerou% and iiH 
flames their mutual fM9sion# Thic mdUa pan^tfi and hua-r 
bands iMra jealous wd reservad; wMch atill ftrther in- 
flamss thn passion. . Ifiot to mention^ tb«t ^» woman ri<* 
pon sooMT in the soutfiera ragk>ns> it is necessary to A- 
serve greater jealousy and care in their education! kbo-» 
ing ofidenl that a gsd of twelve cannot possess oqusl dis-^ 
ctetkm to govern this passion^ with qm that f&Bia not im 
vioknce till she be seventeen or eighteen. Nothing so 
mimh encourages the passion of love as ease and leimire^ 
Of is mmre destracttve to it dmn indnabry and hard bhonr ; 
and as the naeessities of men are evidently fewer in the 
warm climates than in Ae eold ones^ this oircumstanoa a-« 
lone may make a consklend)le di£farence between them. 

But peihaps the fact k doubtfiil, that nature has, eidier 
inmi mmral or physMMl causes 4i*^pbuted their respective 
mdination to die difler^t <j|]mates« Tkt ancient afeck% 
tkoqgli bom in a warm elimatir^ seem to have been mueh 
adtfcted to the botde; nor were their parties of pleasure 
ai^ diing but matdies of drinking among men, who pass* 
ed the'* time altogettier apfurt from the fair. Yet when 
Alexanoer M the Greeks hrto Persia, a still mofie soath-> 
«rn ctknate, th^ multiptted dieir debanches of this kind, 
in imitation of the Persian manners K So honourable was 
the. diMVU'ter of a drunkard among tlie Persians, that Cy- 

chancteTy iq^li^ nnforithlwiBia. Arable, inhit PoliticBy boc^iL cap. S. 
mji, that the Oault are the only warlike nadon who are negligeiit of women. 

* BabjftonH nuttkiu in vimim, et ^um iMetatem $ equ u f U nr, wffuti tuni* 
QuniT. Cinu lit. r. ci^. 1. 


yte.dier]no«iQ|^ Mticiitfig Ui6 sober LocedefMiitatii Ibr 
iti^l^iigdUstliis hMibktAmMtTt^^tiit^W&iSety 
ibcdnni jof" fail faiperlor ^odowjiamttMi atf mibr6 ^iA6totii^ 

vm^B it b^ nMeribed oq hitf umJIih^m^ iMoti^ Ud (Mh^ 
Yicttm and pHncoly qpudkto^ Aat -te^M omM iMai^ # 
grasterqdaatb^ofU^piot. Yott'ioiy dMJAft ttq^tlliil^di 

pMfaE mdi ^Kin ito ^ell^ Mt cmly ^leil^ cA^ti^ imt ihdi' 
iriites.aBdiiUBMipCB) Ibt a^dMk ^brtttidy.^&f PrttM^MlA 
Itaif feur dtiidc pi»« MiB^ edi^tiiVt th^ gt'^McHtlMtt^dr 
saifalDart.Mid^ iiid«ledyltto4li^l^tf6l5t<i»«€i^e^^ 
^ertbtnciiiittbevs^ti^ «^a]^<MM)%y^ ^'it^fe'citt 
Sircdb^^^dl]«iDgsA« 9rikt«r^2ii 61^ 1^^ 
congealed by the rigour oTAe-^^^MM. ^ lt}^ttmfy%^¥» 
garded as a proof o{ an amorous disposition, no people 
were more jealous than the Muscovites, before their com* 
munication with Eun^ had somewhat altered their man- 
ners in this particular. 

But supposing the fitct true, that nature, by physical 
principles, has regularly distributed these two passions, the 
one to the northern, the other to the southern regicms; we 
can only infer, that the climate may affect the grosser and 
more bodily organs of our frame, not that it can work on 
those finer organs, on which the operations of the mind 
and understanding depend. And this is agreeable to the 
analogy of nature. The races of animals never d^;enerate 
when carefully attended to; and horses, in particular, al* 
ways show their blood in their shape, spirit, and swiftness: 
But a coxcomb mayb^etaphilosqfdier; asamanof vir<* 
tue may leave a worthless progeny. 

* Plut Sjrmp. lib. L ^umuL 4. 
VOL* I. p 

810, . i, EfifiAY XXI.. . , 

^ { ^hall coodudetlus subject with obaorvii^duitth^ 
ti^ passion for liquor be more hrutidi and debaaiiigdiiait 
Ipy/B, which, ^beu properly nianaged, i^the soixrce^M 
politeness andrelb^uent; yet tbi^ glres not so great a» 
adv^tage to tb^ s<Qutbem dimates^ as we may be apt, at 
ftrstr^^bt, rta,imflgin<^ Wheiildve goes beyond a certain 
^t^j it re^d^prs mea J€#lou% and euts bff the free inter- 
c^WBp l^e^ .t|i(? sexes, on wbith the politeness of a na^- 
tjw^iji commonly mjgohdepeod-. And if we (wcwld sob^ 
^ifejB^ and, refiflie. upon Ais pofet^ we .fl^bt observe, tkat 
*b^ RWple, in, yery tc^aperate ,cU«ja|ea,^afe tHemost like4 
Ij to attain aU sorts of improvpmegt; their blood not bo^ 
^Igfojnflamedaai to render them jealipus, andyet bein^ 
Wffmien^jigh tot iQ^^them :$et>,9 due vidue bntfaetfianhs 
an4 €iidpiH9pe^ of the iair a^x;^, : 



-ri/ \') i'.'ur ': • . :'t 

; j;s3AY xxn. 

It seems an unaccountable pleasure, which the spectator^ 
oF'a<^^i9I-*wfftten tmgedy receive from sorrow, terror, im- 
^d^tjr^'ittid other passions that are in themselves disagree^ 
aMef ^ahd.uneflsy. ^The more they are touched and affbct- 
ei'^ the moi'e are they d^^ghted with the spectacle ; and as 
80091 as Qi^ uiitMy^pttssiuns cease to x^erate, the piece is 
at ^ end; One scene o( fbU joy and contentment and sc'^ 
dtu^tjis the utmost that any composition of this kind can 
b^lMr't <^ K ii^'stii^ dwayn to be the concluding one. If 
ifl'the texture of the pie<ie, there be interwoven any scenes 
of Mtlsfiiictton, they afford only faint gleams of pleasure,' 
whl^ «re thrown in by way of variety, and in order to 
plunge the actors into deeper distress by means of that 
contlrast and disajipointsnent The whole art of the poet is 
employ^, in rousing and ^pporting the compassion and 
ittdtj^adon, die anxiety and resentment, of his audience.' 
Tbey are pleased m proportion as they are afllicted, and ' 
nimt are so happy as when they employ tears, sobs, and 
ortiss,' to give vent to their sorrow, and relieve dieir heart 
swoln with the tenderest sympathy and compassi(m. 
' The fbw critica who have had s6me tincture of philoso* 
pby,"bave remarked this singular phenomenon, and havo' 
and^voured to account fi>t it 



L'Abbe Diibos, in his reflections on poetry and paitit'* 
ing, asserts, that nothing is in general so disagreeable to 
the mind as the languid, listless state of indolence, into 
irfiich it falb upon the removal c^ all passion and occiqia- 
tion* To get rid of this palnfiil sttnadon, it seeks every 
amusement and pursuit; business, gaming, shows, execu- 
tions ; whatever will rouse the passions and take its atten- 
tion firom itself. No matter what the passion is ; let it be 
disagreeable, afficting, mdanclioly, disordered; it is still 
better than that insipid languor, iPidiich arises firom perfiect 
t^an^uiUi^ and repose. 

. J^ '^ impossible nc(( to a^ipit thbaccofu^ i^ \mHh ^ 
le^^ in pfirt, jf^tisf^c^c^. You n^fyr observe whea tl^^ 
^rcj^if^ tftbles o(g^ng^ th^t^all i^e cofsag/f^y^ r«n to. 
i}^ y^eif? the deqpesjb pby isy ^» tjiou^^ tlwqr %*. 
H^ tf^cse tlj^e best pliers. Tk^ y^^f^^^t^ i^e§f|^ WHgir 
iiation of hJig^ pwsion^ arisigg %pu^ fpee^ }oss ^ygm^, 

#¥* ^p »!?ct*tor by i5Pflw%, mnimwmi ^wib^ 

Cjf the Sj^ ps^QB^ im^ spr;^ 

tgrtflHip)^ I^4XH»I^€pilie^me,PMfUi$e«^m^^ 

w(^is soQif relief to ^ qw^S^iSlpP' Wdw iv^^ nen 

<?9puno^ li»bp»fe ^ben 1^ ^»lwly4Q^^ 0Wn4ibP¥{giit«. 


T^e firal t^at^^pf^pau Jifrs 4iiray9 iiii^|^» ijoi, tAi«ix! mnw 
reti9^ all kindi^ of ^ang^j ^a^ d^ftresf;, siok^ess, deftduw 
murd?rs, apd q^eWes-j !%s^iieUa$^y, l?efiifjr, iiurtb^ ^Dd 
i^iagnifiqenp^ |jt is.^ ^smi m&^ #(ic*,tl|e7fcj|v^ for 
]jl^iiig tiifiur epmp^y, &;^ iji^ att^nlioii, an4i«t(adb* 
^ig tfrepi ^ 8u<^ m4i:v«ll<mft rdiatioitp, by tb^ pa^siou anA 
emotions iF^b. t^^ «3fifa|^ 

TjlfRf^ ig,: l^pfviT!^^^ a dlffi^idQ^ in n^flng tm tibe pre- 
iBeat nti^ w\t^ Mt f^t^Dt, this oolutioo^ lu^wever in* 
genious and satisfactory it may a^pear^ It is certain, thai 


the satti6 d^t of distress, wliich pleases m i ^B^^, 
witiivfmtiy det befo^ itt^ wo^ gm the'iiio^Q^i^^ 
ime^ttlMsi ; "Aodgh it be th^ thd letioit tStStitka} dkre to 
hmgtior and kidit^Boe. Monsieur t^nten^M^ ikettA ib 
bare b^en ^nsibleof thk cMoiilly^ itnd liccordfai^ at- 
tempts an6diers6hition of Ale {^ndbieikxni atletf^inok^ 
Mtee^ addkioA td die' thebty abtove eaiftntfoiii^^. 

^ tkiirtne kHA pS&xii*" ^ys U^- «< Which arb two seiiti- 
<< jnent^ sd <M^erei^ irt di^tBSfel¥^^ )£ifef' t<MJ sbimuch M 
» Ati^ eaiise^ FMft tft(^ nUtailt^ ^^ticfeKfig^ it appe^si 
^ that the i^^¥iiAmi^ 6t ]^k69i^<^ pttiib^.A ISgAk too ^ 
<< h^iMneif pAiii x ^xA tbttt Uie ^ovenfi^ ef paAn, a lig)^ 
<* moderate, beeolnes pleas^el Henc^ it prbceeds^ ^lit 
^* there is such d thin^ a^ ft^ soirb^^, inc^ m& a^eea^t 
<< It is a pain w^bKtoed atad^£m^bh6d. "VM^^^ lik^i 
<< natmraUy to be tooired and ^fibcted. MdWthbly 4^ 
^ jeets suit % aitid eren disastrous dbdiso^^l^ftd^ prbvidiNl 
^ Ihey «re sdft^ed by some eircumstaho^ ti is ikrfiliAi 
^ thal^ en tfte tlieatr^ the re]M^e^eiltaftoii has atWay^-dm 
« effect dffesSif^; yet it has not alto^h^r that e^^iilt; 
^ Howe^ We aky be hurried aWs^ by the 6p<0etab}e} 
^-wlntte^r dofl^fetbii tbe^ sensei^ and iajagbi€(ti<bn i^y 
<* nsiifp OYe# tii^ i^eadc^ there stil( Jufk^ af'tM^b<^«e^ li 
« ^erttfii idea of fidseUedd . ^^ the Wbole^ c^ #4iM we seei 
«^ lliis £te^ tlio«^i^eak-ad(tdisguis^9>sJlffle<^ to^li]^ 
^ rii^h tbe^ ptin^idileb we^ istiifet f^ioin' tbi ilitefdlttbali ^ 
^ tbo^^htiili^lc^iabd td.^edboe lhfltaffli)$tk>ii>to»ud)f 
^apitc^ fisoolxverti^itimoaplefiisure. We^Mc^for^Hiitf 
^ misfortune of a hero, to whom we are ^HAttChedl In tM 
^ siaiifle 'inlstaill we^ con^Mrt o^lvsdttes,' by reflecting^ thdt it 
^ H^ ndthiftjl; bui titkOims Ai^d; it is precisely tbflinifaB^ 

• BdiictiaM tut U PoiWqua^ $ 30. 

814 KSiAY XXII* 

^tate of neiMtimeiita, which composes an iigiieed)le wrrow^ 
^ ^nd te^rs that^felight us. But as diat affliction, mbkii 
^ is caused by ei^terior an4 sensible pbjfK^a^ is stronger 
>^ than the jcopsolatioii which aris^ from an infernal re- 
<< flecticMi, they are the effects and symptoms of sorrow, 
•^ tliat ought to predomina^ in the c<»9ipo8itiop.'' 

This solution seems just and convincing; ^ut perhaps 
it wants still some new addition, in ord^ to noiake |t an- 
swer fully the phetic^enon which ye he^e examioet . All 
(he passionS) excited by eloquence^ are agreeable in die 
liighest de^g^reC) as well as those which are moved by paint- 
ing and the theatre. The Epilogues pf Cicero are, on 
this account chi^y, the dejight of eyery read^ of taste j 
and it is di^iciilt to read some pf them without tb^ deepest 
sympathy and sorrow. His mmt as an OTBtpr^ no dpjibtj 
depends much on his success in this partaculan When 
he had raised tears in his judges and all hi^ audience^ they 
irere then the most highly deji^ted^ and exprjSi^^jthe 
greatest satisfactiw with tjbe pleg^ej*. The p^^^tiq de- 
scription pf the butchery, made by Verres of the SidUan 
capjtains, is a masterpiece of this kind : B^t I believe nc^e 
vill a$rm, that the being present at. a melanohdy sc^e 
pf that nature would afford any ente^r^inni^i^ ^^ither 
is llie si^rrow here softened by fiptioq ; ; f^r the andipn^ 
were convinced of th^ reality pf ejrery circ^m;3t9<^3ef . Wfcfa* 
Ib it, thw, which in this pas^ raises a ple^cpre^^mitho 
boscnn cf uneasineiss, so tp speajc; ^od a pj^^urc, wbtph 
atiU retains; all the feature an4 Ptitw^^^yja^pton^.^dis^ 
twss and sorrow? 

I answer: This ^traordioary .effect proceeds iiiom.that 
wrir.eloquence, wit^ which jfebe miel^X^bply ^c^ie;^xi^pi^ 
sented. The genius required to paint objects in a lively 
panner, the art employed in collecting all the pathetii^ 

ciwiittutmoes, the judgment displayed in disposing them x 
tbe lOBircise, I say, of. these noble talents, together ndtb 
itm Ibvc^ of ei^esdion and beasty of oratorial nmakbers,' 
diffiisethe highesi satis&ction on l^e audieiace, and excite 
Ae n^fiit d^Ugbtful movements. By this means, the mi- 
easiness of the melaoM^oly passions is notimly overpower-* 
ed apd e£bc^ by something stronger of an opposite kind; 
but.tfab:irhole impulse of: those passions V converted intd 
pleasure, «iid 'swells Ithe delight whi<^:tlieeloqtlenoe raises 
inoJs. . [ISie: same force of oratory, en^iloytedM^ 
temstmg subject, would not please half s^ mu^h, of ra^er 
wonldiai^earcaltogether ridiculous; and tbe mmd^ beii^' 
left in. absolute' calnbiess and indiflbr^iee, wottld i^dish* 
none of those beauties of imagination Or exjuression, i^d^i^^ 
i£ joined to pttssionj givie it such exquisite ente^toiinneait 
The.impulse or vehemence, arising fiom sorrbwy aompi^' 
sion, indignation, iteceives a newdbr6C!|ti<^'frdm ihe sei^-* 
meats x)f ti[eaitly« The latter, being the pt'edosbiiuuiii^mo^'. 
tiouy seize die i whole vbUb^ and conwrt^^dieiibnia^ into 
theihselves, atieast ttneture'theinso stiN)]%^as:ilota% to^ 
alter their nature. . ^Jidthe^pulbieia^ at ^same'^ine,' 
roused by passion, and charmed Jbgyoelbcjueqce^'-feely oil tfce- 
wjbk^iOristang'WQtv^ent) wfaidKis'altdgetber dd(gJlrtfifl. 
Theisam'ejiirinbqile takes .'place, inv tragedy; "withtbir' 
addition, thjB^ tragedy ik an inutation; aiid unitlitibii U 
always of itself agreeable. This eiraamstiafCift sitfr^^ sfciM 
faidther to an^ooth the xdotions of padsion^ and covv^tt the 
who|e feeling: into one uhilbrm and strong' en^yiam^ 
Objects of the igpetttest terror and distifesa pleasein paint-f 
ing, and please itaoce than thq most beanti^lidfaj^otii that^ 
appear cidai and'indifierent*. tfTbe frffeotibn, 900snfigihk^ 

9H ffi^AY sum. 

in i41 tTftii^iffi^ iPio ptofU5«i^ by Ae ferte of U» pw^ 
vitU^WfnofYim^^ IU«4^Wt|#fictii>aaftr»^ya0ft«iia 

gfi^^ vef^evtax^ ^rr^w, tiUU Mtldly.^JMlppeara; yet 
^mi^ oC i^ g i mdlft fem * wilt it^var giyd ^eiisiire; es^ 
fW^f^I^W^il^yftCffUeitty to ionlaa stink udecfeduargio 

. T^ Mirfbrib fthiiktbMiTV k willlM<dffiai«itto j[>rQdhoe 
fiidl^ MWta«W»i wbcte (hft slibKHrdiiiaito^^nuiTe^^ is coih 
^i^KTtod UMk Ihft piiedpii>marit» aad gives foree ta it^ thongli 
qC li 4ifiU)eill> umI »rGa sbmetiiMs tli^agh of « contniiy 

. Ni9MU|!rQatouftUyrao$eatlieintiid^ ^at^^ 
teKttm I ^ tfe moremiasU idiick it. caiues are abrays 
G«fiKvert^iatQaiiypeasi0»J>e]DB^^ to the olgect» and 
jcdii iimxfaU» to it. Whefher mi event exdte. joy or lor-* 
Km> irideopdbuaty angeror^aodkwill^ it is sure to pro^ 
dncei & «broo|)eff afieotioo^ wfaai aur or nnns^al* And 
t^MNigk novdl^r ^ Uself be agteeaUe* it fbrtifiu the pain* 
fiiJl eawdyt sAagveeal^ passions. 

Ha4 ]toti asi7 intention to uHxtfe apersoD; eictcenidif by 
tke Diirratipii; of any event, the best method of increasing 
ill eflkit would be artfiiUy to. delay infi^nuing him df ft, 
4M1 ficst.tQ excite hia curiosity and impatience before you 
let hm into tlie.seciwk TUsis. the artifice practised by 
lagoi ill the faoHxia scene of Shakeq»eare; and every spec^ 
tatol! is sensiUe^ diat Othello's jealousy acquires additional 
fevde bom his>preceiUng impatirace, and that die subw^ 
diiiate passion is hete readily tmnsfbnned into the preclo^ 
minant one. 

PiflBculties increase passions of every kind; and by 

or TBAGHunr^ f 17 

ymmmgjom litteption, koA ematiog our Btidmt powers, tbey 
produce an emotioiiy whicb^noiirUies the prerailiDg -bAc^ 

P^kreo|gocmimoiily love thfttdiild most whose tkdel^ iof- 
fins Gnune.of body, has oecpfionedthett die greatest painsy 
iHttble^aadanxjel^ mMariBghim^ TlieagtwaMe sen*- 
tiaaeqt'of afibctkmhere acqaires force frtm sentiments 06 

Ne4idiig'eiidear$ so moA a firiettd as sonmir Ur hia 
death; 'n^plelurtre of bk company has not so powerful 

fetHomy h a painftil passion ; yet wkhoot some diare 
ef it) tike agreeable affibetMMi cf tot^^ha^ difficulty to snb^ 
stat m Hs ftiR for^ceaM viotenc^' Abaetteeiaalso a grettt 
^ouree dt complaint among Idhrers, litid gives iixem the 
greatest uneasinesB : Yet nothingis more feVonrable todielr 
mntoa! pas^on than short intervak of that kind. And if 
Icmg intervds dRen prove &tat^ itraonlybeciinse, &rol^ 
tSmie^ men are accustomed to them^ ilad tb^ cease to' give 
uneasiness. Jealou^ and absence in love compose the^ 
dhfee pkttmieaFAe Italians, which they snp^one so essen- 
tial to all pleasure. 

^Thttt is afine obiMrvation df the elder Pliny, which il^ 
Instrates the principle here insisted on. << It is very re^ 
nM^foble,'^ says he^ ^ llM the last wbi4^i(^ ^'WAMUed ar- 
tistic iHiioktb^leftimp^iM, &i^at#i(]itttbeifld^ 
steb as ih« Ittlfi o# AristidiM, AM»Tn9Mfttb«» of Ntco- 
machos, the Meoea of Timomachos, and the Venus of 
Apeltes. Thes^ are vaked eveit ^b6V«? ft^ fldiAed pr6- 
ductions. The broken lineaments of tKe piece,' and the 
hal&fofined idea of the painter, ftre, carefully studied ; and 
our very grief for that curious hand^ whichr bad been stop<- 

1^18 CSfiAY XZII/ 

ped:by dotdv is an addUkmal marease to.our pl6»K 



These instances (and many more migbt be collected) are 
s«^GcieAt ta afihrd us soBie ia»ight tilto the analogy of na- 
ture» asd to ^ew m^ that the pkaaune which poets, oonn 
tor% abd nroskiaiii? gixe us» by exdting gtkf, 9on^;.hb^ 
digmttosiy coDBfuts^ioDt is not so. ^xtibondinAry <or pam-r 
doxical as it may at first sight iq^pear. The force of ima-i 
giiiatkxi, tfaeeaei^of ^jtpcesbioo, the power of aiubbers, 
tbeobarfns of inuMtion ;; aUjtb^eare iiat4<rallj»:bf them^ 
selves, delight&l to the mind : And when the ofayoct pre-. 
a»»itM'lAya^alao h^ of some afiecitiQii^ il^ pleesure^ji^ 
rises upon ue^ .by:t]^ cc»tiFer9Son of tbi^ suboif^inltt^ 
Q)OYeiiiient:iptr> U>Atwl|ich }s pf^4p|iman^,n f^ fSL^^s^^ 
thiiugb p^r)iai)an^turi^r.^9d whf^n: elicited by^th^ sample 
app^r^^/pf a real object, it may^e painful | yet ^ so, 
simootl^edyjaild foftp^i^d, and mollified, wb^^^ised by thoi 
fifier aj9Sythf^it:aff^TM the^^hj^l^,en^r^lMBl»en> ; ^j 

To iK>nfirm tl^is r^A^Qaii^ wemay obs^vi^ tbatJf^^; 
moyeo^ents of the imagiQ^tion l^e not pred<q[ninant:fd}oye. 
tljpse pf tbe pfts^oDj ' a cppfrary effcpt fiiUqw^ ; apd ,thf^> 
former, being now subordinate, is convoirted intq;1^ Jfj^; 
tj6r,Md $tjiUforthjar iucri^fi«ip4bep^ and j^ictjpp^p^the 
s^ffe^er,r .: •:.!::;■:'; .;■:* -jl 

Who.iMHdd ^(^ thiek of it ^ ^ g^od jexf^j^t for cOfari 
farting an ftfllkted parent* tQ)t«ftggei*t^ ^«i^^)aft t^^forpe, 
of ^Ig^ittion, ^bcvi^rppnt^hlie los&xi^bk* kl? Jwfnii?! vj^bfbyi 

'•./.'.> . ' \ "i : I' ' ^1 •:.. . ■:'":' J 

artMiciim^ imperfectas^ue tfibuli|8, sicut» Ibim Ari^^ TrwAiuoAs Kicby 
ipachi, IVfKDKAX T^QiQacbi, etquam ^iximus Vknbrbic Apellis, in majori 
admiration^ esse quam perfettiu Qutpp4' in lis llnkmnenta rcfiqus^ fp^aeque 
cogitatioiies ai^6cuni^s^tanttnr,' mtqu^ fn Ithbcfaiio dittBiBe«4*ionii dolor 
est manus, cum id ageret, extincUe. Lib. xxxv, cap. 1 1. 

OF TRAOltBY. 219 

the daalh cf a favourite child ? The more power of: jola-^ 
gination aBdiexpi^essioQ you Here employ » the more yoa 
iDorease his da^air.and affliotioii. > 

The flhame, conftisioii, and terror. of Yeinres, no doubt,* 
rose in proportion to the noble eloquence and'vehieroenoe 
of Cicero: So alsd did his fKun and uneasiness. These* 
former passions were too strong for t^e pleasure artaingt 
from the beauties of elocution^ and operated, though from 
Ae same princ^ile^ yet m n ocbtrary manner,' to the syfai- 
patfa^, compassion, i;nd indignattdn j^fihe audience. 

Lord Clarendon, when he approaches towards the c&-. 
tastrophe of the vojH paity^ supposes that his narration' 
must then become infinitely disagreeable; and he hurries, 
over the kiag^s death Mothbut giving iis one ciKcnmstaKKOf 
of it He .cotigiders it as too horrid a scene to be con-; 
templated with any satis&ctKm, or even without the utmost 
pasn and'^aversioh* He himseli^ as well as the'readera of : 
that age, were too deeply concerned in the events, j^mkfAt-^ 
a pain Horn sufajects^ which ta historian and a readeir bf 
another age would regard as die most pathetic. and inost^ 
intefeslang, and, by consequence, the most agj^feeabteu i > 
A An aotidn, r^vesenited in' ti:togsdy, inay be' too Uoody i 
and atMcious. It ihay ^soitejsueh mbvementsief bosrrdr iaev; 
wiU not softeliintb pleasure; aUd ^''^no^testreaiengy^of "^ 
eaqy^essjon^ i^sto^d onrdeacrifHiena of thai h^ture^/Servbs- , 
only to augment our uneasiness. Soekis tfaatiaotibn.Te^ilitir' 
semted in Jtb^ AmbUkmB 'AqMMetfMv'i.fdb^i^rvene^alAe 
old man, Raised' to tlidc|ie9glrf ofiiny Add3dk8piirf'i;nshie9 
against •apniliBr, aakd, sinking his head upcm-it^ b^siMearft: 
ittallover w|th' mingled l7aiiiB'iindiigdri&' \Tfae,EDglitfhj. 
tfaekiie abdnncb too.miBeh with such shocking inuges. ^ / 

Even the common seiktiments of ' 
be softened by some agreeable affection, in order lo give 

ItO ESSAY xxn. 

a thorough sstisfBckioii to the audience.. The tneife sii£bi% 
ing of plaintive virtns, uaderthe triaB^anttycanDyanol 
oppression of vice, forms m diMgtieeaUe spestacle^ anchis 
dureftiliy avoided by all masters of the tbrama. In dtder 
to dismiss the audiance widi entire satifl&ction and . coih 
tantaaent,. the vktae most either convert itself intaa iid>le 
conrageoos de^aif,^ or the vice receive its proper pimisfa-' 

Most painters appear in Mb li^t to have been very im^ 
happy in tfa^subjecta. As diey wrought nniekiarchiM^cbaa 
and ccmventsy they have chiefljt repiresentdd sadi bknrr^e 
sobjects as crucifixioBe and mar^rrdoms, ^ere liotfaiagi 
af^ears but tortures^ wctrnds^ ekecnliQiiSi and ]|iassilKrsiift{ 
fecii^ without any action or afiection. When the/ tiini*-^ 
ed dieir pencil from dds ^astfy mythdk^y^tkty h^ cDkil-^ 
nkmly recourse to Ovid» whose fictions^ diough psssftboate 
and agreeable^ are scarcely natural 01^ probable enbugb fsr 
painting. f - ♦ •* . ^ .,.,1^ 

The same inversion of that ^riiiciple^ which is here in-: 
slstadon, displays itself in common lifis, sisintheeflfedfarofi 
oratory and poetry • Rake so tkealdx>rdihlitepassiaalhM■ 
it beocMnes the predominant^ it swallows np that affection 
which k before nonridied and increased. Too nmohjte*. 
lousy extinguishes love. Too mndi diffioiiky re&decs'iis^ 
indifibrent: Too much sickness and infimutj^disgaslS'A, 
selfisli and unkind parent. .0 

What so disagroeabie astfae dismal» gloosDfi disafl(trMa> 
stories, wida idiioh mdancholy peot>le anteitain Uieir. coin 
panions? Hie uneiEisy passion bemg. there raised akine^^ 
unaccompanied with any qpirit^ genius, or eloquence,^ (i6a^: 
veys a pure uneasiness, and is atteoMkd with nothing that 
can soften it into pleasure or satisfiKrtkm. 



1 HE great variety of Taste^ as well as of opinion, which 
prevails in the world, 15 too obvious not to have fallen un* 
der every one's observation. Men of the moet confined 
knowledge are able to remark a difference of taste ia the 
narrow circle of tlieir acquaintance, even where the per- 
sons have been educated under the same government, and 
have early imbibed tlie same prejudices;. But tho^e, who 
can enlarge their view to contemplate distant nations and 
remote ages, are still more surprised at the great inconsis- 
tence and contrariety. We are apt to call barbarous what- 
ever departs widely from our own taste and apprehension j 
but sooji find the epithet of reproach retorted on us. And 
the highest arrogance and self-conceit is at last startled^ 
on observing an equal assurance on all sides, and scruples, 
amidst si^ch a contest of sentiment, to pronounce positively 
in its own favour. 

As this variety of taste is obvious to the most careless 
inquirer \ so will it be found, on examination, to be still 
greater in reality than in appearauce« llie sentiments of 
men often differ with regard to beauty and deformity of 
e]l kinds, ^ven while their general discourse is the same. 
There ar<} certabi terms in every language, which import 
blame, and others praise; and all men, who use the same 

222 ESSAY XXII r. 

tongue^ must agree in their application of them. Every 
voice is united in applauding elegance, propriety, simpli- 
city, spirit in writing; and in blaming fustian, affectaticm, 
coldness, and a fidse brilliancy : But when critics cosne to 
particulars, this seaming unanimity v^mishes; and it is 
found, that they had affixed a very difierent meaning to 
their expressions* In all matters of opinion and science^ 
the case is opposite : The difference among men is diere 
oftener found tq lie in generals than in pa^culars ; and to 
be less in reality than in appearance. An explanation of 
the terms commonly ends the controversy; and the dispi^ 
Cants Hfe surprised to find^ that they had been guarrdlin^ 
wWle at bottom (hey agreed in their judgment. 

Those who found morality on sentiment, i^ore tlian oti 
resisStiy ^t6 inclined to comprehe<id ethics under the for- 
mer observation, and to maintain, that, in all questitbnisi 
which regard conduct and manners, the dilference among 
intn is really greater than at first sight it appears. It is 
indeed obvious, that writers of all nations and all ages cbn- 
ctnr in applauding justice, humanity, magnanimity, pru- 
dence, veracity ; and in blaming the opposite qualities. 
Even poets and other authors, whose compositions are 
chiefly difculated to please the imagination, are yet found, 
from Homer down toFenelon, to inculcate the same moral 
precepts, and to bestow their applause and blame on the 
same virtues and vices. This great unanimity is usually 
ascribed to the influence of plain reason ; whidi, in all 
these cases, maintains similar sentiments in all men, and 
prevents those controversies, to which the abstract sciences 
are so much exposed. So far as the unanimity is real, tha 
account may be admitted as satisfactory: But we must also 
allow, fliat some part of the seeming harmony in morals 
may be accounted for from the very nature of language, 
s^ ' ' 


TbeiVovd vistm^ widi its equifaknt kievdtj tobgue, im^ 
plies praise; as that of rice does blame : Andnamab, with-^ 
OHt tlie most obiqoiis ondgm^QBtimpMpifoty, could affix 
leproacfa to m t^cm^irfaicfaio'gettiraLaoeqptwtiofnismider* 
stood ia' a 'good' sense; of. bestomr. applause, where the 
idkinjre^iisesdisaiqicobatioaii .Honepr^general ptseoepts^ J 
Iwhere.he'delxfeis'aiiy suoh^ will neVer be cbntrfmnerlied ; 
iMit it is obTioaSy tha^ wkfii: He dmwa partieular piatiires 
jof inaoiEiersi'aiidlfepreMiits hesoism, in A^hiUes, ^nd prs* 
denbe ^.ISyasfii^heiini^mix^ia muchgiieatieBc^g^ 
jeif^oikyiiiltbeifpraieiv andcCciv^^ ^Ut^ 

Icir^.thah.Eeiiridntiirioidd adndi: oL The sage tlfyfeses in the 
Greek poet seems to delight in lie&and£dtkm% nAtCftbe^ 
^iaploysi Aeod litho^taHy nedsant^pwei atttanlage: 'But 
^is move acrdpidaiis aoil^ iHithe French epio wifkdr^ ^spo^ 
aeahimself tothejs^ostimtnineiitperBiSy rather IfaandqiaM 

from the most exact line of troth and veracstjrV' ^ 

? 1%d admirers did&Ho^mftbrdi^^ 
^xceUrat moral .precepts intetq9eraMi:ilifeoi^ ^that wild 
and absprd perfotmanceL But it kip be snppooedy >dbat 
the Arabic 'words^^wfaibh^cmrrespoiid latheBngBsH,' eqoitjr^ 
jvBliGe^ tempeibtice^ meekness^ chiu^tf, were^auchias^iijo^ 
the cotisbmt!ustt of itb&t tongue^ ijo^islriahr^rs be taken^ a 
l^ood sense: and it woiild'baTe argtied the greatest' igno*> 
ranee, not of nibials^ but of laDgdjigey to luLve mentioned 
tbeni with 40^. epithets, besides. Adsd^ctfap^ausia and api- 
proboUon^.n^Bntitfodld w«['know,''i.whet)|^ preterided 
prophet had reaDy altaided a jii^)SJ3nttme6t'of moiU% 
let ua attend to :fais micraticn ^ ixbd we ahaU soonfind^ 
Hfaat hb Aiestbws praifas^osi suchciostatero ^tceadiery, jm- 
.hwwMiity, evudty,' rbvei)ge,'bigotry^'as are nttetly irionm' 
-pnAMt with dviUaed society. Nb steady rtde of right 
^(eems there to be Attended to ; andiHery actioiiisUamed 

22i iissAT XXII r. 

or pirabed^ so fiu* only ob it is benefibuil or hiuifiil lo th« 
trbe bcUereiB. : 

The merit of deliYering trac^ geiieid^;pKte€|)te.iii Athios 
is indeed veiy fiaaU. Wiiocve^ rtoamraendt any morvl 
▼ictues, really docs naaiOEie than; is ioaplied ip the tenUt 
diefBjHlves* ^ That people, wbd invmitpd iflie mu;d ehatUgi^ 
pibd used it is a good sensio^ idonkated laoBSt dessiy and 
mvch more efficaciowdy^ the ptece^ ifcAoniEiUer tkMi 
oay pretended ^gialatnr jot pnqAet^who shoidd inseft 
8«di a maasdm in hbr-wrilii^ . Of alLie^cpvemon^ tfaoat 
^iriachy together wkhtbcar •tt^fc ^meiaung^' imply ia d e g te t 
eittier of blame or approliat&m^ are the kaat liable to bt 
perverted ^r ibiatahsn. ' * ' ' ' natoral finr as tQ mekM^SItandardt^iaiAi a iwle^ 

by -which titer taipaDda semtimdElitB of men laay ;be ceoomriled; 

at }^t^ m deeiaioii afo wl ed , vbnfirin&ig one selitiknent,' and 

condemning anodier. 

..Theteisaspede^^ofpHilosophy, which ents^offall hopes 

oEsQoeesB ii^smJiaii j i l t einply and iHfireBentatheinyottribi^ 

lily ofefgr TMttainiiig any stiyadard of taste* The dMfepenca» 

it is 8ai(l^ i; very' wide bettweeti judjgment and aebdAient 

AUiB^Dtimentis i%)it; beciuise sentinffinthaa ajseferaaofs 

to hotbing beyond itself and is ahrays veal^ iriicareFeria 

man is conscious, of it 'Bat all determinations of tfabv^- 

derstanding are not r^t ; becanse they have a refisnoKe 

t9 something b^ond themselves, to wit, real matfer offiMt; 

'and ate. not always conformable to that standardw Aaakntg 

A. thousand di£krent opinions which diBirent mejugakjtaoh 

tertam of the same subject, there is one, and boloney tfadt 

isjust andtixia;<andtheonlydifficnliyis torftxandaseekH 

tain it 'On die contrary, a thousmd difiEerent senHmriMj 

^kcitcki by the seme object,. are all light; beckose abseil- 

timent represent what is really in the object* It onfy 



naiks » certem eoafcHiBitj or relation between the <4]^ct 
and tbe oi*gaiis or fiwiikies of the mind ; and if that con* 
fennky dUliKitirmUy einst, the sentiment could nei^r pot^ 
sibly have l^eiag^ B^astj is no quality in tilings thmn-* 
selves : It exists merely in the mind whidi cpntemplatef 
tiiom I and «aoh mind pereaivea a different beauty. One 
pas>sda may even perceive deformity, where another is sen* 
siUe of beatity; and every individual ought to aequiesoa 
in his own sentfanent, williout pretendkig to regulate Amim 
6£ others. To seek the real beauty, or real defi>rmityi; 
i^ as (HiMess an kiquiry, as to pretend to ascertain the 
real srMet or real bitt^. Acoordmg to the dkpimtion of 
thei^gans^ the Dame object may be bdfch sweet and bitter; 
Mi thd proverb has justly determined it to be fruitless to 
dkqpute concerning tastes. It is very natural, atid even 
qttite neeessary, to exteild this axiom to mental, as weU mn 
bodily tast^ i and thus ecMnmon sense, which is so often at 
vatianoe with{^los<^by, especial^ with Ae sceptical kmd^ 
found, in one instance at least, to agree in pronouncing 
'the same dectsion. 

But though this axiom, by passing mto a proverb, 
seems to have atlllkied the sancticm of common sense ; 
there is eertainly a species of common sense, which <^po^ 
ses i^ at least serves to modify and restrain it. Whoeter 
would assert an equality of genius and el^^ance betweeii 
Ogilby and Milton, or Bunyan and Addison, woidd bei 
thoi^ht to defend no less an extravagance, than if he had 
mabtained a mole^Ql to be as high as Teneriffe, or a 
pond as extensive as the ocean. Though there may bo 
found persons, who gfive the preference to the foftnet au-^ 
thors ; no one pays attention to such a taste; and we pro* 
nounce, without scruple, the sentiment of these pretended 
critics to be absurd and ridiculous. The principle of the 

VOL. I. 8 

220 ESSAY .xxiir. 

natural equality of tastes is then totally foi^t^ and whEe 
we admit it on some occasions, where the objects seen» 
near an equality, it appears an extraragant paradox, or ra- 
dier a palpable absurdity, where objects so di^roportiMi- 
ed are compaced together. 

It is evident that none ot the rules of composition are 
fixed by reasonings aprioriy or can be esteemed abstract 
concliuions of the understanding, firom comparing those 
hah&udes and relations of ideas, which are eternal and im* 
nmtable. Their foundation is the same with that of all 
the pi^ctical sciences, experience; nor aire there any thing 
but general observations, concern!^ what has been uni- 
Tersally fi^und to please in all countries and in all ages^ 
Muiy of the beauties of poetry, and even of eloquence, are 
founded on falsehood and ficticMi, on hyperbcdes, meta- 
phors, and an abuse or perversion of tenns fr<»n th^ na* 
turn! meaning. To check the sallies of the imagiiiatioo^ 
a&d X^ reduce every expression to geometrical truth And 
exactness, would be the most contrary to the jaws of prHi- 
cism ; because it would produce a work, which, by uni- 
versal , experiesftCe, has be^i found the most insqpid and 
dtsi^e^ble. But though poetry can never submit to ex- 
act truth, it must be confined by rules of art, discovered 
to the author either by genius or observation. If s<Hne ne- 
gligent or irregular writers have pleased, they have not 
pl^Elsed by their transgressions of ruie or ord^r, but in spite 
of these trtu^gressions : They have possessed other beau- 
tie% which were conformable to just criticism; and the 
fof c^ of these beauties has.been able to overpower censure, 
and give the nnnd a satisfaction superior to the disgust 
arming fi^pm the blemishes. Ariosto pleases; but not by 
l^is monstrous and improbable fictions, by his bizarre mix- 
ture of the serious and comic styles, by the want of cohe- 


yence in his stories, or by the continual interruptions of 
his narration. He charms by the force and deamiass of 
his expression, by the readiness and variety of his inven*- 
tions, and by his natural pictures of the passions, espe* 
cially those of the gay and amorous kind : And however 
his faults may diminish our satisfaction, they are not able 
entirely to destroy it. Did our pleasure really arise from 
those parts of his poem, which we denominate faults, this 
would be no objection to criticism in general : It would on- 
ly be an objection to those particular rules of criticism, 
which would establish such circumstances to be faults, and 
would represent them as universally blameable. If they 
are found to please, they cannot be faults ; let the pleasure 
which they produce be ever so unexpected and unaccount- 

But though all the general rules^ of art are founded only 
on experience, and on the observation of the ccnnmon sen* 
timents of human nature, we must not imagine, that, on 
every occasion, the feelings of men will be conformable to 
these rules. Those finer emotions of the mind are of a 
very tender and delicate nature, and require the amcur^ 
renoe of many favourable circumstances to make them 
play with facility and exactness, according to their gene«* 
ral and established principles. The least exterior hin- 
drance Co such small qprings, or the least internal disor^- 
der, disturbs their motion, and confounds the operati<m 
of the whole machine. When we would make an expe^ 
riment of this nature, and i^ould try the force of any beaur 
ty or defbnnity, we must choose with care a proper time 
and place, and bring the fancy to a suitable situation and 
disposition, A perfect serenity of mind, a recdSection of 
thought, a due attention to the object ; if any of Aese cir- 
cumstances be wanting, our experiment will be fidlacious, 



MFid we $Iiali bt nnaUe to judgs of tho catholic and um^ 
veptal beauty. The t elation, which natulre haa placed bo^ 
tween Ae fiirm and the sentiiiMnt, will at least be ^siore 
cAifcure ; and it will require greater accuracy to trace and 
itiscera it We shall be able to ascertain its infliMnce^ 
Bot so muck from the c^ration of each particular beau* 
tfy as from the durable adndration, which attends those 
works, ^t have swnrived all the capriqes of mode and fiu 
tduon, all the mistakes of ignoranoe and envy. 

The same Homer, who {leased at Athens and Rome 
two thousand years ago^ is still admired at Paris and at 
Ixmdoa. All the changes of climate^ government, rdi** 
gion^ aqd language^ havo not been able to obscure his glo* 
ry. Authority or pr^udice may give a temporary vogue 
to a bad poet or orator; but his reputation will never be 
durable or general. When his compositiohs are exami- 
ned by posteri^ or by loreigners, the enchautmeiit is disai* 
pated, and his faults appear in their true colours. On the 
contrary, a real genius, the longer his works imdure^ and 
A^ more wide they are spread, the knore aincere is the ad^ 
fluration whidi he meets with. Blnvy and jealousy have < 
too mucli place in a narrow circle ; and even fiuniliar ar^ 
quomtaned with his person may diminish the applause d^ 
to his perffarmanoes : But when these obatrutstions are re* 
nioved, the beauties, which are naturally fitted to excite 
agreeable sttitiments^ immediately dis{day their energy 2 
while the #orid endures, they mmitain their authority 
ov«r the minds of men^ 

It Bpp9Mrs^ diwn^ tha% amidst dl the variety and caprice 
bf taste, there at« certain general principles of approba* 
tion or blame^ whose influence a careful eye may trace in 
all operatms c^ the mind. Some particular forms or qua« 
lities, frosi the original stnpcturs of the internal fabric, are 


Qfdculated to plfease^ and others td dkpleMe; land if they 
fiul of Ibeir ^Ifect in any particular instancts, ilis fitmi some 
apparent defect or imperfecttoil iti the orgaiu A man in j 
a fever would not insist on his palate as able to dedde c^li- 
oeming flavours; n0r would one^ affected wiA the jaun- 
dice^ pretend to give a verdiet with regiird to ccdotura. In ' 
^ach creature there is a soDnd aiid % defective state { atd 
the forluer aiokie eaa he supposed %o a&rd us a true atuk- 
dard of taHe a«d B»timeAt I& in the sound state of the 
organ» there be an entire 6r ^ considerable vaiiScMopaky of 
aentinnsnt amdng nien> we may thence derive on idea of 
Ihe p^ilaet beauty; in Uke manner as ^ sppearaikse of 
ol^ta in day4ighl^ to the «yB of a mem in hjsakfa> is de- 
of^mmited their tru« and real colour, bven while colour is . 
aUowed to hi$ merely a idiantfosm q( the senses. 

T^Smj^tA frefuentaie th^defeett mihe internal orgaiis, 
#hich preveaut at ^wetiom tbe infl^enoe of tbose gmiwal 
princ^to^ im which depeuds tnu^ sentimeht of beat^y or 
deformity. Though a4«tte ob^tt% by the structure of <ihe 
miod^ be naturally cakmlated io givb pleasure^ it is hot to 
be e3(pected» that in every individual die fdeasute will be 
eqtually felt* Particular inbidietits and situatioiis occur, 
which either throlf ^ fietlse h^ on the ol^ects^ or hinder 
the true fr^anoonveying to the imagination the prqier sen- 
thUent and peirceptioo. 

One obvil>us cause» why many feel not the proper sen- 
timent of beauly, is the want of that Mixf^usff of imagina- 
tion whidi is requidte ia convey a seninbili^ of those ftoar 
emodons. This delicacy qvbtj one ^iretedds to } E^et^ 
obe talks of it ; and waold rifdae^ every id|ul of tabta «^ 
sentiment (o its standard. Qut as ear infasntion la this 
estay is to ming^ some hgfat of the underetanding with 
the fetiiiii|[B of sentimeDt, it wiU he proper to givoa motfe 


accurate definition of delicacy than has hitherto been at- 
tempted. And not to draw our philosophy from too pro- 
found a source, we shall have recourse to a noted story in 
Don Quixotte. 

It is with good reason, says Sancho to the squire with 
the great nose, that I pretend to have a judgment in wine: 
This is a quality hereditary in our family. Two of my 
kinsmen were once called to give their (pinion of a hogs- 
head, which was supposed to be excell^it, being old and 
of a good vintage. One of them tastes it; considers it ; 
and, after mature reflection, pronounces the wine to be 
. good, were it not for a small taste of leather, which he per- 
• ceived in it The other, after using the same precautions, 
gives also his verdict in favour of the wine ; but with die 
reserve of a taste of iron, which he could easily distinguish. 
You cannot imagine how much they were both ridiculed 
for their judgment But who laughed in the end? On 
emptying the hogshead, there was found at the bottom an 
old key with a leathern thong tied to it 

The^ great resemblance betwe^fi mental and bodily taste 
will easily teach us to apply this story. Though it be cer- 
tain, that beauty and deformity, more than sweet and bit- 
ter, are not qualities in objects, but belong entirely to the 
sentiment, internal or external ; it must be allowed, that 
there are certain qualities in objects, whidi are fitted by 
nature to produce those particular feelings. Now, as these 
qualities may be found itf a small degree, or may be mixed 
and confounded with each other, it often happenithat the 
taate is not affected with such minute qualities, or is not 
able to distinguish all the particular flavours, amidst the 
disorder in which they are presented. Where the organs 
are so fine, as to allow nothing to escape them ; and at 
tbe 3iinie time so exact, as to perceive every ingredient in 


llie coniposition : This we call delicacy of taste, whether 
we employ these terms in the literal or metaphorical sense. 
Here then the general rules of beauty are of use, being 
drawn firom established models, and from the observation 
of what pleases or di^leases, when presented singly and in 
a high'defpree: And if the same qualities, in a continued 
compositko, and in a smaller d^ree^ affect not the organs 
with a sensible delight or uneasiness, we exclude the pet- 
aon from all pretensions to this delicacy. To produce these 
general rules or avowed patterns of cotiiposition, is like 
finding the key with die leadiem thong; which justified 
the verdict ' of Sancho's kinsmen, and confounded those 
pretended judges who had condemned them« Though the 
hogshead bad never been emptied, the taste of tb6 one was 
stilL equally delicate, and that <yf the other equally dull and 
kngvdd: But it would have been more difficult to have 
prov^ this stipertdrity of the former, to the conviction of 
every bystander. In like manner, though the beauties 
of writing had never been methodized, or redilced to ge- 
neral principles; though no excellent models had ever 
been acknolvledged ; the different degrees of taste would 
still have subsisted, and the judgment of one man been 
preferable to that of another : but it woidd not have been 
so easy to silence the bad critic, who might ^ways insist 
upon his particular sentiment, and refuse to submit to bis 
antagonist But when we show him an avowed prupojiple 
f)f art; when we illustrate this principle by examples^ 
whose operation, from his own particjular taste, he acknow- 
ledges to be confbrmi^le to the princifde; when we prove 
that the same principle may be f^jdied to the present case, 
where he did not perceive or feel its influence : He n^i^ 
xonclude, upon the whole, that the fault lies in himself 
3nd that he wants the delicacy, which is requisite. to m^ko 

iS2 xMAtr xxtii. 

him i^fibltt of every b«aii^ and every hi^nMh^ in luly 
eompontioB <Mr diioaurse* 

it is aokiiowledged to be the perfection of erefy tcbse 
or &culty) to pei^ve with exactness its ttiost nmiote ok- 
jectS) and alloir noHbing to ^oape it0 notice and obserma^ 
tion* The smallet the objeets are, whieh beeoue sena&ie 
to t^ eye, the finer » that organ, and the BMve elaboivle 
its make and compocntion. A good pakte is not tried by 
strongflai^ottrs, butbyamfactareof snaUingrodients, wbeR 
ire are still sengtt^le of each part^ notwithstanding its aq- 
nutenees and its conAision with the rest In Uk^ manner, 
a quick and acute perception of bean^ and deformiigr 
must be the perfiection of our menial taste ; nor can amap 
be satisfied with himself while he snspeota thai any exoel- 
lence or blemish in a discourse haspass^htia onobsej^red. 
In diis case, the perfection of the man, and the peifeetioh 
of die sense of feeling, are found to be npted. A wy 
ddioate palate, on many occasions, may be a gteBt iooooi- 
fenienoe both to a man himself and to his friends : But 
a delloate taste of wit or beanty must always be a dem- 
able quality, because it » the source of all the finest and 
moM innocent enjoyments of whidi human Batifl*e is sns- 
cQ>tible. In this decision the semtim^nts df all manldnd 
Hare agre^. Wherever you can ascertain a delicAcy of 
taste, it is sure to meet with ^probation; und the bi«t 
way of isieertahdi^ it is to appeal to those modds uai 
principles which have been established by th^ ontform con^ 
sMt and experience of nations and ages. 

But though there be naturally a wide dilfermce in point 
Indelicacy between one perscm and another, nothing tendik 
further to increase and improve this talent, than^^^kjMtJ^ 
in a particular art, and the frequent survey or ccmtempliN 
tion of a particular species of beauty. When objects of 


Any kind ate first presented to the eye or imagi]iatio% the 
sentiment K^ioh attends them is dbscure and confiised ; 
•od the mind iS) iti a great measure, incapable of pro*- 
noiancing concerning their merits or defects. The taste 
cannot perceive the several excellaices dT the perfcn&ance^ 
mtch less distmgnish the particular character of each ex.*' 
oelleii^, $Xkd ascertain its quality and degree. If it pro^ 
ndimce the la^hole in genenX to be beautiful or deformed, 
it is the utmost that can be expected; and even ^sjudgv 
ment, a person so unpractised will be apt to deliver mA 
greUt hesitatiojt^ and reserve* But sdlow him to acquire 
expetpnoe in those objects, his feeling becomes more ex^ 
act a^d nice : He not only percdves the beauties and de«> 
fcels of e^cii pert, but ma^ks the distinguishing s|>eoies 
of ^aoh quidity, and assigns it suitable praae or fahunek 
A olear einA distinct sentiment attmds him through the 
whole survey ^ the otgeotst and he diocems that veiy 
degree and kind 6f ^pirobatioti or displeasui% which ef^ch 
part is naturally fitted to produce. The mist di8si{totes 
which seemed formerly to hang over the object: The or* 
gan acquires greater perfection in its operations ; and con 
ptimmmoty without danger or mistake, concerning the 
merhs of every performance. In a ward, the same ad- 
dress and dexterity, which pmotice gives to the execution 
of any work^ is also acquired by the same means, in the 
judging of it 

So adtantageous is practice to the discemtfient of beau- 
ty, that, before we can give judgment on any work of im-^ 
portance, it will even be reqmsite that that very individual 
petformanoe lie more than once perused by us, andbesurr 
veyed in diffinnent lights with attention and deliberatiofi* 
Tliere is a flutter or hurry of thou^t which attends the 
first perusal of toy piece^ and which confounds the genuine 


sentiment of beauty. The rtelation of the parts is not dis* 
cemed : The true characters of sfyle are little dbtinguish- 
ed. The several perfecti<ms and defectis seem wrapped up 
in a species of confusion, and present themselyes indistinct^ 
ly to the imagination. Not to mention^ that there is a spe* 
cies of beauty, which, as it is florid and superficial, pleases 
at first; but being found incompatible with a just expres* 
sion either of reason or passion, soon palls upon the taste, 
and is then rejected with disdain, at least ratedat amiich 
lower value. 

It is impossible to: continue in the practice of contem- 
plating any order of beauty, without being fi*equently 
obliged to £»rm comparisons between the several species 
and degrees of excellence^ and estimating thdo* proportion 
^to each other. A man, who has had no opportibiily c^ 
con^aring the different kinds of beauty, is: indeed tdtally 
unqualified to pronounce an opinion with regard to any 
object' presented to him. By comparison alOne we fix the 
epitb^Bof praise or blames and learn. hoW jbo assign th^ 
due d^refe of eadi. The coarsest daubing contains a cer^ 
tain lustre of colours and exactness of imitation, which .ai^ 
so far beauties, and would affect the vmi of a peasant or 
Indian with the highest admiration. The most vulgar 
ballads are not entirely destituJ;e of hanncmy or nature ; 
and none but a person fiUniliarised to superior beauties 
would pronounce their numbers harsh, or narration unin^ 
teresting. A great inferiority of beauty gives pain to a 
person conversant in the highest excellence of the kind, 
and is for that reason pronounced a deformity : As the 
most finished ol^ct with which we are acquainted is na« 
turally supposed to have reached the pinnacle of perfec*^ 
tion, and to be entitled to the bluest applause. One ax> 
customed to see^ and examine^ and wei^ the several per-< 


formances, admired in different ages and nations, can alone 
rate the merits of a work exhibited to his view, and assign 
its proper rank among the productions of genius. 

But to enable a critic the more fully to execute this un- 
dertaking, he must preserve his mind free irom all prefih 
dicey and allow nothing to enter into his consideration, but 
the yery object which is submitted to his examination. We ^ 
may obserye, that every work of art, in order to produce 
its due effect on the mind, must be surveyed in a certain 
point of view, and cannot be fully relished by persons, 
whose situation, real or imaginary, is not conformable to 
that which is required by the performance. An orator ad-J 
dresses himself to a particular audience, and must have a 
regard to their particular genius, interests, opinions, pai^ 
aions, and' prejudices ; otherwise he hopes in vain to go- 
,vern their resolutions, and inflame their affections. Should 
they even have entertained -some prepossessions- against 
him, however unreasonable, he must not overlodc this dis- 
advantage ; but, before he enters upon the subject, must 
endeavour to conciliate their affection, and acquire thehr 
good graces. A critic of a different age or nation, who 
should peruse this discourse, must havd all these circum^ 
stances in his eye, and must place himself in the same si- 
tuation as the audience, in order to form a true judgment 
of the oration. In like manner, when any work is address-^ 
ed to the public, though I should have a friendship or en- 
mi^ with the author, I must depart from this situation ; 
and considering mysdf as a man in general, forget, if pos- 
sible, my individual being, and my peculiar circumstances. 
A person influenced by prejudice, complies not with this 
condition, but obstinately maintains his natural position 
Without placing himself in that point of view which the 
performance suf^poses. If the work be addressed to per- 

23$ xasAY XXAU. 

foas of a different «g« or naikiiit he inakes no aUowmnoe 
for tb^ir peculiar views and pr^udices; but, fuU of the 
manners of hi^ own age and country, raahly condemns 
what seemed admirable in the eyes of those for whom a- 
lone the discourse was caficulated. If the work be exe- 
cuted for the public, he ne^er sufficiently enlarges his oom- 
{M^henaion, or forgets his interest as a firiend or enemy, as 
s rival or coumientitor. By this means, his sentiments 
are perverted ; nor hate the same beauties and blemishes 
the same influebce upon him, as if he had imposed a pro- 
per vidente on his imagination, and had forgotten himself 
far a moment So fiur his tasle evidently dqmrts £rom the 
true standard, and of consequence loses all credit and au- 

It is well known, thitt in all questions submitted to the 
understandings prejudice is destructive of sound judgment, 
and perverts all operations of the intellectual faculties : It 
is no less contrary to good taste ; nor has it less influence 
to corrupt our sentiment of beauly. It belongs to ffood 
MM to check its influence in both cases; and in this r^ 
spect, as well as in many others, reason^ if not an essential 
part of taste, is at least requisite to the operations of this 
latter faculty. In all die nobler prodncticms of genius, 
there is a mutual relation and correspond^ice of parts; 
nor can either the beauties or blemishes be perceived by 
him whose thought is not capacious oioUgh to comprehend 
aU those parts, and compare them witii each other, in or- 
der to perceive the consistence and unybrmity of the whole. 
Every work of art has also a certun end or purpose fcnr 
which it is calculated; and is to be deemed more or leto 
perfect, as it is more or less fitted to attain this end. The 
okyeet of eloquence is to persuade, of history to instruct, 
of poetry to please, by means of the pa8S|<His and the im%- 


ginatktfi. These ends we must carry ooDftanlly in our 
view when we peruse any performance ; and We mutt be 
able to judge how fiir the means employed ai^ adagted to 
their respective puipoaes* Besides, every kind of ootiqpKi- 
sition, even the most poetical, is nothing but a chain of 
propositions and reasomngs; not always, indeed^ the justr 
est and most eacact, but still plausible and specious, howr 
ever disguised by the oolouring of the imagmatioii. The 
persons introduced in tragedy and epic poetry mtuft be 
repreaented as reasoning, and thinking, and ccmdudiilg^ 
and acting, suitably to their duuracter aqd cireumstancea; 
and without judgmoit, as well as taste and invention, « 
poet can never hi^ to succeed in so delicate an undet^ 
taking. Not to mention, that the same exceUence of fth 
euhies which contributes to the improvement of reason, the 
same clearness of conc^tion, die same exactness of dis* 
tinction, the same vivaci^ of apprehension, are esaeAtial 
to the operationsx>f true taste, and are its inlBmible oonco*- 
mitairts. It seldom or never happens, that a mail of aeose, 
who has experience in any art, cannot judge of its betoty; 
«nd it is no less rare to meet with a man who has a just 
taste widiout a sound understanding. 

Thus, though the principles <^ taste be imiversal, and 
nearly, if not entirely, the same inall men; yet few are 
qualified to give judgment on any work of art» or establish 
their own sentiment as the standard of beauty. Tlie or^ 
gans of internal sensation are seldom so perfect as to allow 
the general principles their fiill play, ipad prpduce afeeling 
correspondent to those prindplee. They either labour wh 
dor some defect, ov are vitiated by some dis(»der ; and by 
chat means, excite a sentiment, vHiicfa may be pronounced 
ernMieons. When the critic has no delicacy, he judges 
without any distinction, and is only afiected by the grosser 

SS8 1SS6AY XXttt. 

and more palpable qualities of the object : The finer touchy 
pass unnotioed and disregarded. Where he is not aided 
by practice, his yerdict is attended with confusion and he* 
sftation. Where no comparison has been employed, the 
most frivolous beauties, such as rather merit the name of 
defects, are the object of his admiration* Where he lies 
under the influence of prejudice, all his natural sentiments 
are perverted. Where good sense is wanting, he is not 
qualified to discern the beauties of design isuid reasoningv 
which are the highest and most excellent. Under some or 
other of these imperfections, the generality of men labdur ; 
^md hence a true judge in the finer arts is observed, even 
during the most polished ages, to be so rare a character: 
Strong sense, united to delicate sentiment, inq}roved by 
practice, perfected by comparison, and cleared of all plre^ 
judice, can alone entitle critics to this valuable character ; 
and die joint verdict of such, wherever they are to be found, 
is the true standard of taste and beauty. r 

But where are such critics to be found ? By what marks 
are they to be known? How distinguish them from pre- 
tenders ? These questions are embarrassing : and seem to 
throw us back into the same uncertainly, from which, dui> 
ring the course of this essay, we have endeavoured to ex- 
tricate ourselves. 

But if we consider the matter aright, these are questions 
of fact, not of sentiment Whether any particular person 
be endowed with good sense and a delicate imagination, 
free from prejudice, may often be the subject of dispute^' 
and be liable to great discussion and inquiry : But that such 
a character is valuable and estimable,, will be agreed on by 
'^all mankind. Where these doubts occur, men can do no 
more than in other disputable questions which are sulnnit- 
ted to the understanding : They must produce the best ar- 


guments that their invention suggests to them ; they must 
acknowledge a true and decisive standard to exist some- 
where, to wit, real esdstence and matter of fact ; and they 
must have indulgence to such as differ firom them in their 
appeals to this standard. It is 8u£Bcient for our present 
purpose, if we have proved, that the taste of all individuids 
is not upon an equal footing, and that some men in gene- 
ral, however difficult to be particularly pitched upon, will 
be acknowledged by universal sentiment to have a prefe- 
rence above odiers. 

But, in reality, the difficulty of findmg, even in particu- 
lars, the standard of taste, is not so great as it is represent- 
ed. Though in speculation, we may readily avow a cer- 
tain criterioii in science, and d^ny it in sent^nent, the mat- 
ter is found in practice to be much more hard to ascertain 
in the former case than in the latter. Theories of abstract 
philosophy, systems of profound theology, have prevailed 
during one age : in a successive period these have been 
universally exploded : Their absurdity has been detected : 
Other theories and systems have supplied their place, which 
again gave place to their successors : And nothing has been 
experienced more liable to the revolutions of chance and 
fashion than these pretended decisions of science. The 
case is not the same with the beauties <^ eloquence and 
poetry. Just expressions of passion and nature are sure, 
after a little time, to gain public applause, which they main- 
tain for ever. '. Aristotle, and Plato, and Epicurus, and 
Pescartes, may successivdy yield to each other : But Te- 
rence and Virgil maintain an universal, undiq)uted empire 
over the minds of men. The abstract philosophy of Cicero 
has lost its credit: The vehemence of his oratory is still the 
object of our admiration. 
. Though men o( delicate taste be rare, they are easily to 

840 £8MT XXIII. 

be dtstinguialied in society by the soundness of thetr uih- 
derstanding, and the superiority of their fiiculties above the 
real of mankind. The aacendaot^ which they acquire^ girea 
a prevalence to that lively approbatiaii^ trith whk^ they 
reoeive any producttoins of genius, and renders it gent^ally 
predominant Many misn, when left to th.iemselves» haw 
but a faint and dubbus perception of beauty, vho yet are 
<»ipable of relishing any fine stroke which is pointed oli( to 
tb0i9. Every convert to the admiratiob of th6 real poet 
or orator is the cause of some new conversiotu And thou^ 
pr^udiees may prcviulfor a tim^ they never unite in ce- 
lebraling ai^ rival to the true genius, but yield at last to 
the force of nature and just sentiment Thus, though a 
civilized nation may eaaily be mi^taketi in the choice of 
their admireld pbilosopherv they never have been foiind 
long to err^ in their aflRM^ion for a favourite epic or trigid 

But notwithstanding all our endeavours to fix a standard 
of taste, and reconcile the discordant apprehensions of men, 
there still remain two sources of variatbn, which are hot 
suffici^ait indeed to confound all the boondarws of beauty 
laid defarmifcy^ but will often serve to produce a difiereace 
in the degrees ol oiyc* apptobation or Uame. The on^ is 
the different hmnours of particular men; the othw, the 
particidar manners and opinions of our age and country^ 
The genaral pHndples of taste are uniform in human nin 
ture I Where men vary ia their judgmentB, some defect at 
pi^rveffftion in the fiurohies may ccHnmonly be reittarked ; 
proceedmg estfaer from prcjvdiee, firom want of practice, or 
want of ddicaey : and there is just reason for approviag 
ime tarte^ asid condemning anotberw But where there is 
such a diversity in the internal frame or ^Ltemal skilatidn 

as is entirely bUmeleaB on bodi sides, and leaves no room 



Ipgiyi^ one the prefereilP^ above tf^e Other; inthatcasea 
MTtaip d^ee of diyenu^ in judgment is mumudaUey and 
we seek in yun for a.stoidardy by which we can reconoilej 
the cQn^rajQr seqtim^pts. 

A yofrngmaot who^ ]|fmiona are waraii will be more 
fdHsibly tfwpbed wUh amoKons and taider m^gi^ than^i 
$a9ti moreadvaneed in years, who tali^ ptensore in itriat^ 
pbiloao|^k46al; refleclKms^ oonpenupg j&e emduet of Mfe and 
inoden^caicf tt€(p<istf<>og» Ai t«renty» Orid may be thf^ 
^yonilte w$kbt$ Hor^de at for^ ; and perhaps Tadtiis 
Irt.fift^ YaudywotildW^ in sneheasesy endeavour to el^ 
jtec:]nt0 dK Sentiment of others, and divest onrsdves of 
th0se prcf^ensiliica wbieh a«e natural to ns. We choose 
Mx frvourite author as we do our friend, from » cc^ifo- 
sa%oCbumotfranddisp08iti<nL Mirth or paisiony senti- 
4g^iMat teBt&ctifyni whichever of thtoe most j^redominates 
jn <mr temper, it gives ns k pecnliar sympathy with the 
vriter who resemUes qiu 

.One pierlon is more jdeesed ^th tike sublime ; another 
with die tehder; a third with raillerjr. Que has a strong 
aftisSMlity to Uemaflhes,.and is exfremdy studious of cor« 
ij^tnesa: A u o t hear has a more lively fedii^ of beaoties, 
and piasdoiis twenty absofardities and defects lor aqe elev»- 
tnddrpatfaeticstroke. The ear of this mni^iaeH^lf turn- 
ed towards concisepieiB and energy^ tbitmanisddlghted 
widi a copious^ riband harmonious exiMTjessioti. SnnpU- 
lAfy is afieeted by one; omame^ by anodier. Comedy, 
tragedy, satire, odes, have each its partisans, who prefer 
ihatpariiculipr spei^ies of writiiig to aU others. Itispkiib 
tff mk enoT hn a critic, to c<mflne his approbatkm to one 
^>ecies or style of writing, and condemn all the rest But 
H is almost imposrible not to feel a predSection for that 
^hidi suits our particular tprn and disposition, Sio^h prpr 

yoL. I. K 

jM2 ESSAY XXlth 

f^t^^nces are innocent and unavoidable, and can mveriea^ 

«sonabIy be the object of di^ute^ because there ib no stm^ 

dard by which they can be decided. 

For a like reason, we are more pleased, in the course of 

'our reading, with pictures and characters that resemble 
^objects which are found in our own age or country, thaa 

with those which describe a ^ftrent set of cmtoms. It is 
'not without some eflbrt, that we reooaeile oursdves to thp 

simplici^ of anei^t manners, and behold princesses oan^ 
'ing water from the spring, and kings and heroes dressing 

their own victuals. We mi^ allow in general, that the 
' representation of such manners is no &ult in the autboiv 

nor deformity in the piece; but we are not «o sensibly 

touched with them. For this reason, comedy is not easily 
-transferred from one age or nation to another. A French 
;nian or EkigUshman is not pleased withthe JndriadtT^ 
trence, or CBAia of Machiayei ; where th6 fine lady, upon 

whom all the play turns, never once ai^)ears ta the spect«- 
- tors, but is always kept behind the scenes, suitably to the 
-reservedhumout of the ancient Greeks and modemltaKans. 
•A man of learning and reieetion can make afiowancefer 
,these peculiarities of manners; but b common audimce am 
^ever divest the&nselves so far of their u^ual ideas and sent»- 
4nents, as to relish pictures which'nowise resemble them. 
' But here there occurs a reflection, which may, perhaps, 
.be useful. in examining die celebrated controversy con- 

eemingancieolt wad miodem learning; where we oftehfind 
• the one side, excusing any seeming absurditf in the ataicients 
.from the miu^ners of the age, and the other refusing to ad- 
.mit this excuse, or at least admitting it only as an iqpology 

for the author, not for the performance* In my opinion, 

the proper boundari^ in this subject have seldom been 
.fixed between the contending parties.^ Where any innoc^git 


peooliariti^ of niwners are represenUd, such as those 
^above mentioiiedf they ought certakiiy to be admitted; : aqd 
.« man, l?ho is shocked with them, gives aa evident proof 
of fidse delicacy and refinement. The poet's nycfiwrnaiit 
more ditrabU than brasSf must fall to the ground like com- 
mon brick €Mr day, were men to make no allowance for the 
continual revolutioiia of manners andcustinns, and would 
admit of nothing but what was suitable to the previuling 
,&shion. Mast we throw aside the pictures of our ances- 
tors, because of their ruffi and fardingales? But where the 
ideas of morality and decency ^ter &om one age to aft- 
tOther, and wheve vicious manners are described, without 
.being marked with the iproper diaracters of blame aqd 
idisapprobatton, thismust be allowed to dis%uire the poen^ 
and to be a real deformity. I cannot, nor is it prx^r X 
jhould» enter into such sentiments; and however I may 
iBCKCiise the poet, on ibccount of the manners of his age^ I 
^eyer can relish die composition. The want of humanity 
jmdof decency, so c^mspicuous in the characters drawn by 
several of the ancient.poets, even sometimes by Homer and 
the Gredk tragedians, diminishes considerably the merit of 
itheir noble performances, and gives modem authors an 
jKlvantage over them. We are not interested in the 
fortunes and sentiments of such rough heroes ; We are 
di^leased to find the limits of vice and virtue so much con- 
founded; and whatever indulg^ice we may give to the 
.writer on acco.unt of his prejudices, we cannot prevail on 
ourselves to enter into his sentiments, or bear an affection 
to characters, which we plainly discover to be blameable. 

The case is not the same with moral principles as with 
apectdative opinions of any kind. These are in continual 
flux and revolution. The scm embraces a di&rent system 
from the father. Nay, there scarcely is any map, who can 



bMstefgreM duislaticy and unifimaitf ia tbii particiilar. 
Whatever speouUtive errors mmy be found un the pdbe 
writbigsof any ege or country, diey detract but Utile fiom 
tke value of l^seeompositiona* There needs bot a bertmn 
tUM o# thought en iflaagkiatkin to make na enter fanto all 
tbeb^kdont i»lilcfa tben prevailed, and relish the aenti- 
ifaenls or coneliisionsderived from them. Bat a very violent 
40Qtt iareqniirite to change our judgment of manners, and 
ekeke sentiments ^ tppycdMition or blame, love or hatred, 
iWnpent tt6m those to which the mind, from long custom, 
1ms been familiarized. And where a man is confident of 
the rectitude of that moral standard by wiiich he judges, 
heisJQsdy jealous of it, and will not pervert the sentiments 
^his heart for a moment, in compkisanoe to any writer 

Of all specuiaiive errors, those whidi r^[ard reUgkm are 
4be most excusable in compositions of geniUsi uov is it ever 
permitted to judge of the civility or wisdom of any people^ 
or evoi of single persons, by the grossness or vefinemot 
of their theological principles. The same good sense, dutt 
directs men in the ordinary occurrences of life, is not 
hearkened to m religious matters, which arci supposed to 
be placed altogether above the cognisance of hmnan reason. 
Oh this account, all the absurdities of the pagan system of 
theology must be overlodced by every critic, who would 
pretend to form a just noticm of ancient poetry ; and our 
pQsierity,.in their turn, must have the same mdulgence to 
their forefathers. No religious principles can ever be 
imputed as a fault to any poet, while they remain merely 
principles, and take not such strong possession of his heart 
As to lay him under the imputation ofNgoiry or mgae rtti H&t i . 
Where that happens, they confound the sentiments of mo* 
rality, and alter the natural^ boundaries of vice and vir- 


tM. Thejr are tberefiMre eternal UeiBiab«% fHscordiog IQ ; 
tk prinoiple abote mentiomd; nor aafe the ^rejwjices fml > 
fake opinions oftbe age Buffieietit td Justify them*: 

It k cHsratial to the Boiwm CaAoUc religiw t# atfpfot 
a Tioknt hatred of ^very other wcN^hifs and 4a r^presppt 
aU {>agaii|^ mahomc^ass, and bemtic% as tbe obf eot^ of 
divine wrath and vengeance. Such sentiments, Jbongll 
they are in reality very blameable, are considered as virtues 
by the zealots of that communion, and «re represented in 
their tragedies and epic poems as a kind of divine heroism. 
This bigotry has disfigured two very fine tragedies of the 
French theatre, Polieucte and Athalia ; where an in* 
temperate zeal for particular modes of worship is set off 
with all the pomp imaginable, and forms the predominant 
character of the heroes. <^ What is this," says the sublime 
JoAO to JosABET, finding her in discourse with Mathan 
the priest of Baal, << Does the daughter of David speak 
to this traitor ? Are you not afraid, lest the earth should 
open and pour forth flames to devour you both ? Or lert 
these holy walls should fall and crush you together ? What 
k hk purpose ? Why comes that enemy of God hither to 
pokon the air, which we breathe, with hk horrid pre- 
sence T* Such sentiments are received with great applause 
on the theatre of Park ; but at London the spectators- 
would be full as much pleased to hear Achilles tell Aga- 
memnon, that he was a dog in hk forehead, and a deer in 
his heart ; or Jupiter threaten Jimo with a sound drub- 
bing, if she will not be quiet. 

Religious principles are also a blemkh in any polite com- 
position, when they rise up to superstition, and intrude 
themselves into every sentiment, however remote from any 
connection with religion. It is no excuse for the poet, that 
the customs of his country had burdened life with so many 

5tj^ kSBAt XXIII. 

rdigious ceremonies and obflervances, that no part oFit ) 
exempt irom that yoke. It most for ever be ridiculous in. . 
Petrarch to compare his mistress, Ljivra, to Jesus Cheist* 
Nor is it less ridiculous in that agreeable libertine, Boccaoe, 
very seriously to give thanks to God Almighty and the 
ladies^ for their assistance in defending him against his. 




• PuUiibediiinM. 



1 HE greater part of mankind mpy be divided into two 
classes ; that oiskaUow thinl^ers, who fall sh<Nrt of the truth; 
and that of a&tCriMie thinkers^ wbogo beycHid it. Th^ iM- 
ter class are by far thfs mpst: rare; «nd» I may add, by Smt 
the most nsefiil and yalifaible. Thf^angg&^l^tSyi^tlfAs^ 
and start difficnlties, which they watit, p^baps^ fkill tp 
pursue ; b^t which may produce fime disctyvenes^ ifhA 
handled by n^^ wbp haye a' viore just w4^ of thinkitigv 
At woisty wlpt thgey say is uncomimDn; dnd if it should 
coat some paias to compreh^d it, one has, boweven Ae 
pleasure of fte^nig si^mething thatis new# Anaiithoria 
litde to be babied who tells m nioduiig but irhat we cA 
learn, froo^ e¥try cQffetJ¥Mise ecffiterwti^ 

All pe^a of 4tatfp^ iboai^ aitf apt to decry drelt 
thoaa of #t^ understfindiog, IM^ oftsA^ 
tpp^sic^i^Mmd tefiiiers^:and Beifisr will alloli any thi% 
^ ^J^t-wbyi i<k:h^9fMfi idimr own imk tiWgplwns 
Tberf fre mat case^ ItoymfYrh^t an flatraoidiiar/ns** 
^owyss^^SS^HcihA MroBg 'presiilnptiaii orftkebood^awl 
wfiere no jfMoaiiig is to be tmaled but whist Unadteai 

duotiq aiy jm pHi u fi h rsafiMr, and fitiur ibhr ■t s t inrpdlit»s8|> 
tr^4^ epoMinyi 4Mr w$ bttsin^ss in li£^ 1w m&^Aimxf^ t» 

250 ESSAY I. 

draw his arguments too fine, or connect too long a chain 
of consequences together. Something is sure to happen, 
that will disconcert his reasoning, and produce an event 
different from what he expected. But when we reason 
upon general subjects, one may justly aflirm, that our spe- 
culations can scarcely ever be too fine, provided they be 
just ; and that the difference between a common man and 
a man of genius is chiefly seen in the shallowness or depth 
of the principles upon which they proceed. General rea- 
sonings seem intricate, merely because they are general ; 
nor is it easy for the bulk of mankind to distinguish, in a 
great number of particulars, that common circumstance in ^ 
which they all agree^ or to extract it, pure and unmixed, * 
from the other superfluoc^ circumstances. Every jndg* 
ment or condusion, with them, is particular. Hiey can-* 
not ^darge their view to those universal: propositions,' 
which comprehend under them an. infinite number of in- '. 
dividuals, and include a uriiole science in a single theorem. - 
Tbefar eye is confounded with such, an extensive prospect;- 
and the condusions derived firom it, even though dearly 
expressed, seem intricate and obscure. , But howev» in- ' 
tricatethey may seem, it is certain, that general princi^des, 
if just and sounds must always {»)evail in the genand course* 
of things, though they may fail in partlcukr case^; aiiid 
it is the diief business of philosophers to regard die gene-' 
cal course of things. I may add, ^SMl it ia also ^ chief 
bosiiiepir of politicians; espedatty in the domestic govem-^' 
ment of the state,^ where the public good, whidi i^ or 
ought ta be their object, depends on thec^mcurrenceof a^ 
nwilrttndfl of causes ; not as in fordgq poKlic8,-on acd-' 
dents and chances, and the caprices of a few persons. This^ 
thacefoie makes the di£brence betwe^ pwtHc^kKt ddibe-' 
nitiohs and^anerxrf reasonings, and. enders subtil^ and* 

OF COJUfSBCS. 261 ' 

rtfiwwDt mwh more mitUble to- tbe latter tlwi td the 

• I thought this introduction necessary before tbt follow^: 
ing disconrses on commmxy nKomeg^ indUfetty bakmceoftrade^: 
^ where, perhaps, there will occur' some principles which 
are uncommon, and which may seem too refined and su]>- 
de fiir such Tulgar subjects. If fidse, let' them be rejected:^ 
But no one ought to entertain a prejudice against them,: 
merely because they kre out of the common road* 

. The greatness of a state, aild the happiness 6f its^sub* 
jects, how independent soever they may be supposed in. 
some respects, are conmionly allowed to be ioseparabler 
with regard to commerce ; and as private men receive 
greater security, in the possession of their trade and riches^ 
firom the power of the public, so the public becomes power-) 
ful in pn^pcHrtion to the opulence and extensive tommetce 
of private men. This maxim is true in general; though 
I cannot forbear thinking that it may possibly admit df 
exceptions, and that we <^ten establish it with too' little re* 
serve and limitation. There may be some circumstances^ 
where the commerce, and riches, and luxury of individ|ui)s, 
instead of adding str^igth to the puUic, will serve only to 
thin its armies, and diuiinish its authority among the 
neighbottring nations. Man is a very variable being, an4 
suscqptiblecrf'many different opinions, principles, and rules 
ct conduct. What may be true, while he adheres to one 
way of thinking, will be found false, when he has embraced 
an opposite set of manners and opinions* 
* The bulk of every state may be divided into hu A tmd^ 
men and numu^turers. The former iEire emfdoyed in the 
culture of the land ; the latter works up the materials fur- 
nished by the former, into all the commodities which are 
necessary or ornamental to human life* As soon as men 

252 . ESSAY I. 

quit tlieir sarage states wheve Ihegr Uto chidly by ImMtllg 
and fishing, they must &11 into these two classes j dxNigh 
the arts of agriculture emidGy aiJbrM the most nuflMroiis 
part of the society ^ Tkna and eSperieBoe improne so 
nmdi these art% that the land nuiy easily maiatainaani^ 
greater aumbcr of ibea dian those who are i 
employed ib its caltsre) orwfaoiiinnshthemore] 
laanufeetiuts to such as aire so calpkiyed* 

If these superftiiotis hands apply themsdves to the fiamr 
art% which acre cpimboiily dsnoikiitiated the arts of hunuif^ 
they add to the happiness of the state; si|ice thcfyafiiwd 
to naaqf the oppbrtuaity of receiviiig tajoymeiits, widi 
whidi they would atiierwise hare been uaaequainted^ But 
Hiay n«t another scheme be p rop o ne d for the empldyisdiit 
of lhe«e superfluous hands? May not the sovcragU'lar^ 
daim to cheaiy aad employ dbm i» ifleilts and iimfioi^ id 
increaise the doQ^nions of the tftate abroad,, and ^MrMd} \t» 
fcinieov«rdistaift nations? it is certam^ that Bie fewer de^ 
sires and wants are fbimd ii> thepraprietors smd labofomrs 
of land, the fewer bands do thep employ; andcoAiaqneaa^ 
ly, the sup^itiiJdlieB of iJM land^ insteod of: m a i ma h iiay 
mufesmen and mana^iiver^ may soppi^t fleets aadaa* 
mies to a much gitAf^r ^xten%^ «tMmi K4ie^ a peMism^ 
tttii are recpnredto Mmfefer' loathe kftu^y ^rf" pttt^kiibr 
persons. Herig <berte<bre sterns §(^ be a kibd bf opi!><|9ttlm 
be^)l^cien tbe gt^ne&tidi &^ sMe and (he %eppu)^^tlte 

• Mods. Melon* in hk ^bR^ttl-akMly <«» ^MbiieM, Mitfltt- ffcU ^veS ai 
#<a M Jt> \fjmt dWI« VJmpi iat» ^mm^r PWlfb e^tewi a|«l||Aj»Aft^rfl»e»- 

andLon^merohantSy financUn, and bourgeois. This calculation is certainly 
Tery erroneous, fn France, Englandi and indeed most parts of Europe, 
half of the inhabitants live in cities; atid even* of those who lite iif tk 
coMhtr^; a grcit nmnber are aHiiMl^ pwhaps idtovtt aidiird. 


nibject ▲ itatt isn^yer greaier than wben all its super- 
Aiwit b$tiAk wte emplojred in the service of the public. 
Hie ^as^ and coiiveiiieiioe of privilte pehioiiS;req(Uil*e^ that 
theae bands dwoh} be enqfdoyediiltheitaeiMoe. The one 
ean navsr be aatisfitd but at tfa^ expense of the other. As 
di^ambilioA of the aorertign nniit entimich on the loxorjr 
of iodiTidnak, so the Inipwrj of iildiTidUals OEiust diminish 
the force, and check die ambition of the sovereign. 

Nor is this reasoning merely chimerii^ ; but is fouildr 
^' oD histoty end experience. The repliblto of Sparta 
IMS cei>tainly more powerfal tUan anjr stated now in the 
work^ coositting of an equal number of people; and this 
was owing entirely to the want of commerce and luxuty^ 
The Hdotes were the labourers ; the Spartan^ were die 
8Bldi»rs or grattemen. It is evident, that the labour of 
die Heloles oduld not have maintained so great a number 
of (^artans, had these latter lived in ease and ddicac^ 
«qd gi^en emj^ynient to a great variety of trades and vob^ 
nufaetures. The Uke pciicj may be remarked in Borne. 
Andy indeed, throughout all ancient history, it is observa^ 
Ue, that the smallest repuUics raised and maintained greats 
er armies, than states, ocmsisting of tripk the number of 
tahabituits, are aUe to support at piresent^ It is com- 
)»Dted, that in all European nations, die proportion be^ 
tween soldiers and peq)le does not exceed one to a hua^* 
dred. But we read, that the city of Rome alcme, widi its 
small territory, raised and maintained, in early times, ten 
l^poiM agafaist the Latms. Athens^ the whole of whose 
dominions was not larger than Yorkshire, sent to the ex- 
pedidon against Sicily near fbr^ thousand men *. Dio- 
nysins the elder, it is said) maintained a standing army of 

• TuocTDiDEt, lib. ?ii. 

]U4 fiSSATI. 

-« hsndred ttossand foot, and tenthoosaiidfadkrse,. betidfltf 
a lai^ fl«et of four faundred sail * ; diovgh his territories 
extended no fiuther than the cky of Syracuse^ about a 
third of the iilaad 4^ SicQy, and some seaport towns and 
garridonson the coast of Italy and lUyricom. Itutnie^ 
the ancient armies, in time <^ war, sidMistedmuch upon 
plunder: But did not the enemy plunder iu their turn ? 
which was a more ruinous way of levying a tax, than any 
other that could be devised. In short, no probable rea- 
Mtt can be assigned for the great power of the more ans- 
tient states above the modem, but their want of commeroift 
and luxury. Few artisans were maintained by the labour 
-ofthe farmers, and therefore more soldiers mi^t live up^ 
t>n it. Livy says, that Rome, in his time, would find it 
difficult ta raise as large an army .as that which, in her 
early days, she sent out against the Chmk and Latins '^ 
Instead of those soldiers who fought for liberty and em- 
pire in Camillus's time, there were, in Augustus's days^ 
musidaais, painters, cooks, players, and tailors; and if 
^he land was equally cultivated at both periods, itcould cer- 
tainly maintain equal numbers in the one professbn as 
in the other. They added nothing to the mere necessar 
•ries of life, in the latter period more than in the former. 
' It is natural on this occasion to ask, whether sovereigns 
-may not return to the maxims of ancient policy, and conr 
«ult their own intereid; in this respect, m<H'e than the bapr 
piness of their subjects ? I answer, that it appears to me 
almost impossU)le; and that because ancient policy was 

. .* Dioo. Sic. lib. liL T14i acoounty I owiiy if Bomewhtft suti»cioii8» not 
"^io say worse; chiefly because this anny was not composed of cidzeiis» but 
of raercenaty forces* 

** Tin LiTii, lib. TiL cap. 24. '* Adeo in quie laboramus,** says he^ ** sola 
^< creTimuSy divitias luxuriftnique,*' 


OF COM mmcE. 206 

•^tokiit, imd omtrary io die more naturaiind uaiiid course 
lofdiiiigs. .It is ivdU known whh what peculiar laws SparU 
was.goTemedy and what a prodigy that repnUic is jusdy 
esteemed by eTeryon% iriK>^Jia8 considered human nature^ 
as it has dispkqredjtself in other nations, and tether ages. 
Were the testimony of history less positire and drcimF- 
stantial, such a goYenunent would appear a mere phttoso* 
l^iical whim or fiction, and impossible erer to be reduced 
to practice. And though the Roman and other ancient 
jfepublics were sujqported on princii^s somewhat more na>- 
turaly yet was there an extraordinary, ocmeunrenceof cir* 
•cumstances, to make them submit to sujch grkvous bur- 
dens. They were free states ; they were small onds ; and 
the age being martial, all their neigjibours were contii^t- 
ally in arms. Freedom naturally begets public spirit, espe» 
daily in small states ; and this public spirit, this amorp^ 
-iruSf must increase, when the public is almost in continiud 
iilarm, and men are obliged, every moment, to expose 
.themselves to the greatest dangers for its defence. A con- 
tinual succession of wars maizes every citizen a soldier: 
.He takes the field In his turn : And during his service he 
is chiefly maintained by himsejf. This service b indeed 
.equivalent to a heavy tax; yet is it less felt by a peqple 
^ad^icted to arms, who fight for honour and revenge more 
.than pay, and are unacquainted with gain and industry, 
as well as pleasure *. Not to mention the great equally 
.of fortunes among the inhabitants of the ancient republics, 
.where every field, belonging to a different proprietor, vras 
.able to maintain a family, and rendered the numbers of cv- 
tizens very considerable, even witl^itf^ trade and manubo 
tures. :v t 

• Sm Nm [O.] 

306 £SSAT h 

Sot tfaoii^tli6w«i|tof trdkandniaiinfiwtiireBy among 
a Tree and. my martial pecqiie^ may sometimes bvre no 
ckfaer eflbct tbaa to render the pabUcmore powerfid» it is 
^ortain^ tb$tf in tlie ccnnmon coiusse of bimuui afthrs, it 
.will ha^e a quite cc^itmry tendency. Sovereigns most take 
mankind as they find then^, and cannot pretend to intro- 
duce any violent change in thdr jninciples and wq« of 
thiqfcing* A long course of time, with a varie^ of accir 
dents and circumstances, are requisite to prodnce those 
grent revdlutions, which so mnch diverdfy the face of hn- 
man affirifs. And tibe less natural any set of principles 
are, whieh support a partic^lar society, ih^ more diffieulfy 
wiU a legislator meet with in raising and caltivathig them. 
It » his best policy to comply with the common bent of 
iMnkind, and give it idl the improvements of which it is 
^Qscqptible. Now, according to the most natnral coarse 
0f things, industry, and arts, and trad^ increase the power 
-of the sovereign, as well as the happiness of the subjects; 
-and that policy is violent which aggrandizes Ae public by 
the poverty of individuals, This will easily i^pear from i^ 
few ccmmderations, which will present to us the consequen- 
ces of slodi and barbarity. 

Where manuffactures and mechanic ^rts are not cnltti^ 
vated* the bulk <^ the people must apply themselves to 
^^prictiltHre ; imd if their skill and industry increase, tfiere 
mast in'ise a great superfluity from their labour, beyond 
what suffices to maintain them. They have no tempta- 
tjon^ therefere, to increase their skill and industry; since 
they cannot exchange that superfluity for any commodi* 
ties which may serve either to their pleasure, or vanity. 
A habit of indolence natfirally prevails. The greater part 
of the land lies uncultivated. What is cultivated, yields 
not its utmost, for want of skill and assiduity in the farm? 



eng. If at any time the public exigencies require that 
great numbers should be employed in the pubUe service^ 
the labour of the people furnishes now no supei€uities by 
which these numbers can be maintained. The labourers 
cannot increase dieir skill and industry on a sudden. 
Lands uncultivated cannot be brought into tillage for some 
years. The armies, meanwhile, must either make sudden 
%nd violent conquests^ or disband for want of subsistence. 
Ar^pdarattackor defence, therefore, isnotto be expect- 
ed from such a people, and dieir soldiers must be as igno-' 
XMOt and unskilful as their farmers and manu&cturer& 

Every thing in the world is purchased by labour; and 
our passions are the only causes of labour. When a na- 
t^ abounds in manufactures andmechanic arts, the pro* 
prietors of land, as well as the farmer% study agriculture 
as a science, and redouble their industry and attention. 
The superfluity which arises from their labour, is not lost ; 
but is exchai^ped with roannfacturejB for those commodities 
which men's luxury now makes- them covet. By this 
means, land furnishes a great deal more of the necessaries 
of life than what suffices for those who cultivate it. In 
ttmesxxf peace and tranquillity, this sup^^uity goes to the 
maintenance of manufacturers and the improvers of liberal 
arts. But it is easy for the public to convert many of these 
manufacturers into^oldiers, and maintain them by tba$ $u* 
perflttity which arises from the labour of the farmers. Ac- 
cordingly we find that this is the case in all civilized go- 
vernments. When the sovereign raises an army, what is 
the consequence ? He imposes a tax. This tax obliges all 
the pec^Ie to retrench what is least necessary to their sub-^ 
sistence. Those who labour in such commodities must 
either enlist in the troops, or turn themselves to agricul- 
ture, and thereby oblige some labourers to enlist for want 

VOL. I. s 

25^ fc«sAY t 

of bu^nes^. And to consider the inftttef Bbslrttttiff nrtt** 
na&etiired inef edse tfce porret df the state t)tily as they stote . 
up so much libour^ ftnd that of a kind fo #hi^ ttie pub* 
lie xiiiLj lay claim, Wlthbut depriving any <mt 6£ the ixtdti^ 
saries of life. The more labour, thet'efore, that is eragioyed 
beyond mere necessaries, the more powerful is any stkte ; 
since the persons engaged in thiH; labcnir may eiteily be ton- . 
▼erted to the public service. Jbi a state #ithoUt mannfiic^ 
tures, there may be llie same ntMbet of hand^ ; but ther6 
is not the same quantity of labour,- nor of the satne kind. 
All 4be labour is there bestowed upon necessaries which 
can adMtf of little or no abatement 

Thud the greatness of the soTeteign, tod flie bappine^ 
of die state, are in a gi*eat measure tmited WiA regftttF ia 
trdde and mantdhctnres. It is H violem mdbod, and itt 
most eases ml{)racticafale, to obUg^Bie labbtirer t6 t<fU, ill 
drder to raise from the land more than what subsists him«» 
self and family, l^mish him with manufactures atfd com-^ 
modities, and he will do it ef himself ; afte^ards yon will 
find it easy to sei2e some part of his silpeiflucmi labour^ 
aVid employ it in the public service, without giviiig him hi« 
W^ented return. Being ^eciistomed to rndustry, (te will 
think this less grievous^ than if at ohce yon obliged him tc^ 
an augmentation of labour Without any reward. The case 
is the same with regard ib the other members df the sUxe^ 
The greater is the stock of labour of all kinds, the 'greater 
quantity may be taken from the heap, without making any 
sensible alteration in it 

A public granary of corfa, a sfbtehotise of cfoth, a ihtf- 
gazuie of arms ; all these must be allowed real riches and 
strength in any state. Trade and industry are really no- 
thing but a stock of labour. Which, in times of peace and 
tj^quillity, is employed for the ease and satisfaction of 

ll}()ivy oak) but in the exigencies of slate, nuiy in part be 
ttiriled to puMic adrdtitage. Cottld we convert a ckj iih- 
Id a kihd cnf fenified canip^ and kifuae into each brea^ ao 
ttiartkl a genios, and such a passion for public good, as 
to make every one willing to undergo the greatest hard* 
ships for the sake of tfi0 public, these affisetioBs ini|^ 
how, as ill ancient titaes^ proy€ akme a suAeient spur to 
iiiditstry, ahd support the community. It would then be 
advantageous, as in camps, to bauMi all arts and luxury; 
aiid> by restrictions on equipage and tables^ make die pro« 
visions and forage last longer dian If the army were loed^ 
ed with a number of superftuous retainers* B«t as these 
principtes ai*e too disttiterested, and too difltult to sdp^ 
port, H is requisite to govefm men l^ othei^ passions^' imd 
anim^kte them with a spirit of avarice and indtistry, art 
and luxury. The camp is, iti Ibis case^ loaded with a su^ 
petfindas retinue, but the j^ovi^Jcms flow in proportion* 
aUy latget. The hatmony of the whole is still so^xMfted ; 
ind die natural bent of the raind, being mere complied 
whh, individuals, as well as the public, find their account 
in the observance of those ma^ms* 

The same method of reasoning will let us see the ad<* 
vanti^ ofjbretffti oommerce in augmenting the power of 
tfaci stikte, ds well as (he riches and happiness of the sub^ 
ject It hicreases the stock of labour in the nation; and 
the sovereign may convert what share of it he finds ne* 
cessary to the service of the public* Foreign trade, by its 
imports, furnishes materials for new manufkctures ; and^ 
by its exports, it produces labour in particular commodi* 
ties, which could not be consumed lit home. In short, tf 
kingdom that has a large imik>rt and export, must abound 
more with industry, and that employed upon delicaeiel 
and luxuries, than a kingdom which rests contented with 


260 E88AT U 

its native ccmimodities. It is therefore more powerful, as 
well as richer and happien The individuals reap the be- 
nefit of these commodities, so far as they gratify the senses 
and appetites ; and the public is also a gainer, while a 
greater stock of labour is, by this means, stored up against 
any public exigency ; that is, a greater number of labo- 
rious men are maintained, who may be diverted to the 
public service, without robbing any one of the necessaries, 
or even the chief conveniences of life. 
- If we consult history, we shall find, that in most nations 
foreign trade has preceded any refin^tnent in home manu- 
fiM^tures, -and given birth to domestic luxury. The temp- 
tation is stronger to make use of foreign commodities 
which are ready for us^ and which are entirely new to 
OS, than to make improvements on any domestic commo- 
dity, whidi always advance by slow degrees, and never 
a£fect us by their novelty. The profit is also very great 
in exporting what is superfluous at home, and what bears 
no price, to foreign nations^ whose soil or climate is not 
favourable to that commodi^. Thus men become ac- 
quainted with the pkasures of luxury, and the prqfiU of 
commerce ; and their delicacy and indwtryj being once 
awakened, carry them on to farther improvements in every 
branch of domestic as well as foreign trade; and this per- 
haps is the chief advantage which arises from a commerce 
with strangero^ It rouses men from their indolence ^ and 
presenting the gayer and more opulent part of the nation 
with objects df luxury which they never before dreamed 
of, raises in them a desire of a more splendid way of life 
than what their ancestors enjoyed. And, at the -same 
time, the few merchants who possess the secret of this im- 
portation and expcMtation, make great profits, and be- 
coming rivals in wealth to the ancient nobility, tempt 


Other adventurers to become their rivals in commerce. 
Imitation soon diffiises all those arts, while domestic ma-< 
nu&ctorers emulate the foreign in their improvements, and 
work up every home commodity to the utmost perfection 
of which it is susceptible. Their pwn steel and iron, in 
such laborious hands, become equal to the gold and mUes 
of the Indies. 

When the affiurs of the society are once brought to this 
situation, a nation may lose most of its foreign trade, and 
yet continue a great and powerful people. If strangers 
will not take any particular commodity of ours, we must 
cease to labour in it The same hands will turn them- 
selves towards some refinement in other commodities which 
may be wanted at home ; and there must always be ma- 
terials for them to work upon, till every person in th^ 
state, who possesses riches, enjoys as great plenty of home 
commodities, and those in as great perfection as he de- 
sires ; which can never possibly happen. - China is repre- 
sented as one of the most flourishing empires in the world, 
though it has very little commerce beyond its own terri- 

It will not, I hope, be considered as a superfluous di- 
gression, if I here observe, that as the multitude of me- 
chanical arts is advantageous, so is the great number of 
persons to whose share the productions of these arts falL 
A too great disproportion among the citizens weakens 
any state. Every person, if possible, ought to enjoy the 
fruits of his labour, in a full possession of all the neces- 
saries, and many of the conveniences of life. No one can 
doubt but such an equality is most suitable to human na- 
ture, and diminishes much less from the happiness of the 
rich, than it adds to that of the poor. It also augments 
the power of the state, and niakes any extraordinary taxes 


or impositions be paid with more cheeifalness* Whfar^ 
the riches are wgfossed by a few, 4i^$e fomt cwtrihut^ 
very largely to the supplyiqg of the public peeessities; fa^ 
when the ridbes fure diiqpersed amoqg B^dtoitudes th^e Ihutt 
den fi^ls light on erery shoulder, end tb^iaxes Hieke n^ 
a very sensible diSerence on apy one> vi^ qfUv^^. 

Add to this, that where the riches are iii lew haode^ 
these mist e^joy aU tb^ power, and will readily ^^onfpire 
to lay the whole burden on the poiMr, ipd oppress tbem 
still &xiiieT9 to the diacoiuagement of aU ii^duffUy. 

In this circumstance consists die ^eat advanti^e of 
England above any nati(m at present in the world, or that 
appears in the records of any story. It is true, the £qg- 
lish feel some disadvantages in fimreign trade Ipy the h^ 
price of labour, which is in part the^ffect of the riches of 
thtix artisans, as well as of the plenty of money* But aa 
foreign trade is not the most material drcumstance, it i^ 
not to be put in competition with the happiness of so 
many millions ; and if there were no more to endear to 
them that free government under which they Hve, this 
alone were sufficient The poverty of the common peo- 
ple is a natural, if not an in&Uible effect of abscdute mo* 
narchy ; though I doubt, whether it be always true on the 
other hand, that their riches are an in&Uible result of 11^ 
berty. Liberty must be attended with particular acci* 
dents, and a certain turn of thinkkig, in order to produce 
that effect Lord Bacon, accounting for the great advan-^ 
tages obtained by the English in their wars with France, 
ascribes them chiefly to the superior ease and plenty of the 
common people amongst the former ; yet the government 
of the two kingdoms was, at that time, pretty much alike. 
Where the labourers and artisans are accustomed to work 
ibr low wages, and to retain but a small part of the fruits 

OF cQiyiMliRCE. 9fi8 

<of Hihf iff iW>fiWj At is di«owlt for .tbero, ftv^» in » firpe «»- 

xhipp^ii^sg t^ h$j^tj|ft(^ nbm WA^9; but .ev^ i^^h^oQ tiwjr 
#r# .4§«lrt»nWll te a TOW pi^tifttl )v*y of life, ili i« ^*«jr 

^gWWt thm% ¥"4 Aw>F tlV2 vfeol^ burdeft pf tfee twfi$ on 

It may $ee» ^n odd po^dyLUu), that the poverty of the 
iSQiW9oa peopljs ip France, Italy, and Spain, iv, in aome 
ineaaore, oiiaog to the superior ridies of the bpU and hap- 
piness of the climate ; yet there want not reaacins to justify 
ihis punwlo^c:. In such a fine mould or soil as that of those 
4EK>re aoudb^rn regions, agriculture is an easy art ; * and one 
joan, with a /couple of ^rry horses, will be able, in a sear 
<on, to cultivate as much land as .will pay a pretty consl- 
4ftmhle rent to the proprietor. All the art, wfai^ the &r- 
aoier teows, is to leave his ground fallow for a year, as soon 
4$ it is ,0idiau8ted ; and the warmth of the sun alone and 
f/^mperfttiu^ joftbe climate enrich it, and restore its ferti- 
lity. Sach poor peasants, therefore, require only a simple 
jvtaintenaiHse for their labour. They have no stock or 
jricbes which claim more ; and at the same time they are 
for ever 4q[>endent on the landlord, idio gives no leases, 
nor fears that his land will be spoiled by the ill methods of 
cultivation* In England, the land is rich, but coarse; 
must be cidtivated at a great expense ; and produces slen- 
der crqps, when not carcsfully managed, and by a method 
which gives not the full profit but in a course of several 
years. A farmer, therefore, in England must have a con- 
siderable stock, and a long lease ; which beget proportion- 
al profits. The vineyards of Champagne and Burgundy, 
that often yield to the landlord above five pounds per, acre, 
are cultivated by peasants who have-scarcely bread : The 

264 "ESSAY I. 

reascHi is, that peasants need no stock but their own limbs, 
with instnunents of husbandry, which they can buy for 
twenty shillings. The fiurmers are oraimonly in some bet- 
ter circumstances in those countries. But the graziers are 
most at their ease of all those who cultivate the land. Hie 
reason is still the same. Men must have profits propor- 
tionable to their expense and hazard. Where so consider- 
able a number of the labouring poor, as the peasants and 
formers, are in very low circumstances, all the rest must 
partake of their poverty, whether the government of that 
nation be monarchical or republican. 

We may form a similar remark with regard to the ge- 
neral hfstory of mankind. What is the reason, why no 
people, living between the tropics, could ever yet attain to 
any art or dvilily, or reach even any police in their go- 
vernment, and any military disdidine ; while few nations 
in the temperate climates have been altogetherd^mved of 
these advantages ? It is probable that one cause of this 
phenomenon is the warmth and equality of weather in the 
torrid zone, which render clothes and houses less requisite 
for the inhabitants, and thereby remove, in part, that n»- 
cessit^, which is the great spur to industry and invention. 
Curis acuens mortaUa corda. Not to mention, that the 
fewer goods or possessions of this kind any people en- 
joy, the fewer quarrels are likely to arise amongst them, 
and the less necessity will there be for a settled police or 
r^ular authority, to protect and defend them from foreign 
enemies, or from each other. 



Xjuxurt is a word of an uncertam significatictti, and may 
be taken in a good as well as in a bad sense* In general, 
it means great refinement in the gratification of the senses; 
and any degree of it may be innocent or blameable, ac- 
cording to the age, or country, or condition of the person. 
The bounds between the virtue and the vice camiot here 
be exactly fixed, more than in other moral subjects. To 
imagine, that the gratifying of any sense, or the indulging 
of any delicacy in meat, drink, or apparel, is of itself a 
vice, can never enter into a head, that is not disord^^ by 
the frenzies of enthusiasm. I have, indeed, beard of a 
monk abroad, who, because the windows of his cell open- 
ed upon a noble prospect, made a covenant with Ms epe$ 
never to turn that way, or receive so sensnid a gratifica- 
tion. And such is the crime of drinking Champagne or 
Burgundy, preferable to small beer or porter. These in- 
dulgences are only vices, when they are pursued at the ex- 
pense of some virtue, as liberality or charity ; in like man- 
ner as they are follies, when for them a man ruins his for- 
tune, and reduces himself to want and beggary. Where 
they entrench upon no virtue, but leave ample subject 
whence to provide for friends, family, and every proper 
object of generosity or compassion, they are entirely iimo- 

206 ESSAY II. 

cent, and have in every age been acknowledged such by 
almost all moralists. To be entirely occupied with the luxu- 
ry of the table, for instance, without any relish for the plea- 
sures of ambition, study, or conversation, is a mark of stu- 
pidity, and is incompatible with any vigour of temper or 
genius. To confine one's expense entirely to such a gi-a- 
tification, without regard to friends or family, is an indi- 
cation of a heart destitute of humanity or benevolence. 
But if a man reserve time sufficient for all laudable pur- 
suits, and money sufficient for all generous purposes, he is 
^ee from every ahadow of blame qf reproach. 

Since luxury may be considered either as innocenj; or 
blameaUe, one may be surpric^d at those preposterous opi- 
nions which have been entertained concerning it; while 
men of libertine principle bestow praises even pn vioipua 
luxury, and represent it as highly advaotageous to spciety i 
and, on the other hand, men of severe morals bliune even 
the most innocent luxury, and represent it as -the source 
of all the corruptions, disorders, and factions incident to 
civU government We shall here :endeavour to cprrect 
both these extremes, by proving, ^«^ that the agjss of re-* 
finement are both the happiest and most virtuous ; aeeond- 
fyf that wherever luxury ceases to beinnoceBt, it ajsio ceases 
to be beneficial ; and when carried a degree too far, is a 
quality pernicious, though perhaps not the most pernicious^ 
to political society. 

To prove the first point, we need but consider the e& 
fects of refinement both on private and on publie life. Hu- 
man happiness, according to the most recetived notions^ 
seems to consist in tliree ingredients ; action, pleasure, and 
indolence : and though these ingredients ought to be 
mixed in different proportions, according to the particu- 
lar disposition of the person ; yet no one ingredient can be 



esiliraly wmtM§9 wkhoot de^tr^^ing, in sofise meAfmre^ Uie 
r^h o( tbe whole caiopo»itio«i- Indolenee ^ repose, in-* 
deed, seems not of itidtf'to cooitribiiCe nuuih to owr enjoy- 
ment; biit^ like sleep, is requisite i^ ^ rndtdgeoee, to the 
weakness of human nature, which cannot support en un- 
interrupted course of business or pleesure. That quick 
mareh of the qpirits, which takes a man from himself, and 
chiefly gives satisfaction, does in the end exhaust the mind, 
and requires some intervals of repose, which, ibongh a- 
greeable for a moment, yel^ if prolcmged, beget a languor 
andiediargy &at destroy «U rajc^meot. Ediication, cuch 
torn, and example, have a mighty infltteace in turning 
Aetmnd to any of these jMursuits; and it must be owned 
tho^ wherejkhey{iroBMAe ardish for action and i^easure, 
they are so fitr favourable to human hi^pmeas. In tunes 
when industry and the arts flonrish, men are kept in per- 
petmd occupation, takdeagoyf as thdor reward, the oocnp»« 
tion itself as well as tfaoae pleasures whioh are the fimitof 
their labour. The mind acquires new vigour ; enlarges its 
powexB and facubies ; and, by an assiduity in honest in-^ 
dustry, both satisfies, its natural appetites, and prevents the 
growth of unnatural ones, which commonly ^spring up, 
when nourished by ease and idleness. Banish those arts 
from society, you deprive men both of action and of ple^n 
sure ; and leaving nodiing but indol^ce in their place, 
you even destroy the relish of indolence^ whidi never is 
agreeable, but when it succeeds to labour, and recruits the 
spirits, exhausted by too much applicaticm and fatigue. 

Anotiier advantage of industry and of refinements in the 
mechanical arts, is, that they commonly produce some re- 
finements in the liberal ; nor can one be carried to per- 
fection, widiout being accompanied, in some degree, with 
the other. The same age which produces great philoso- 

SOS Egg AY ir. ^ 

pben and politicians, renowned generals and poets, nsuaf-* 
ly abounds witb skilful weavers and ship-carpenters. We 
cannot reasonably expect, that a piece of woollen cloth will 
be brought to perfection in a nation which is ignorant of 
astronomy, or where ethics are n^lected. The spirh of 
the age affects all the arts, and the minds of men being 
once roused from their lethargy, and put into a ferments*- 
Uon, turn themselves on all sides, and carry improvements 
into every art and science. Profound ignorance is totally 
banished^ and men enjoy the privilege of rational creatures, 
to think as well as to act, to cultivate the pleasures of the 
mind as well as those of the body. 

The more these refined arts advance, the more sociable 
men become : Nor is it possible, that when enriched with 
science, and possessed of a fund of conversation, they 
should be contented to r^niun in solitude, or live with 
their fellow-citizens in that distapt manner, which is pecu- 
liar to ignorant and barbarous nations. They floek into 
cities ; love to receive and communicate knowledge ; to 
shew their wit or their breeding ; their taste in conversa- 
tion or living, in clothes or furniture. Curiosity allures 
the wise ; vanity the foolish ; and pleasure both. Parti- 
cular clubs and societies are every wh^e formed : Both 
sexes meet in. an easy and sociable manner ; and the tem- 
pers of men, as well as their behaviour, refine apace. Se 
that, bedde the inprovem^its which they receive from 
knowledge and the liberal arts, it is impossible but they 
must feel an increase of humanity, from the very habit of 
conversing together, and contributing to each other's plea- 
sure and entertainment Thus indugtry, knowffidgej and 
hutrnmUyy are linked tc^ther by an indissoluble chain, 
and are found, from experience as well as reason, to be 


peculijur to the more polished, and, what are commonly 
denominated, the more luxurioos ages. 

Nor are these advantages attended with disadvantages 
that bear any proporticm to them. The more men refine 
upon pleasure, the less will they indulge in excesses of any 
kind; because nothing is more destructive to true pleasure 
than such excesses. One may safely affirm, that the Tar* 
tars are oftener guilty of beastly gluttony, when they feast 
on their dead horses, than European courtiers with all their 
refinements of cookery. And if libertine love, or even in** 
fidelity to the marriage-bed, be more firequent in polite 
ages, when it is ofi»n regarded only as a piece of gallantry; 
drunkenness, on the other hand, is much less common : 
a vice more odious, and more pernicious, both to mind 
and body. And in this matter I would appeal, not only 
toan OvidoraPetronius, but to a Seneca or a Cato. We. 
know, that Caesar, during Cataline's conspiracy, being ne- 
cessitated to put into Cato's hands a bUkt-douxj which dis- 
covered an intrigue with Servilia, Cato's own sister, that 
stem philosopher threw it back to him with indignation ; 
and, in the bitterness of his wrath, gave him the appella- 
tion of drunkard, as a term more <^probrious than that 
with which he could more justly have rq)roached him. 

But industry, knowledge, and hiunanily, are not advan- 
tageous in private life alone; they difiuse their beneficial in- 
fluence on the public^ and render the government as great 
and flourishing as they make individuals happy and pro- 
sperous. The increase and consumption of all the com- 
modities, which serve to the ornament and pleasure of life^ 
are advantages to society ; because, at the same time that 
they multiply those innocent gratifications to individuals, 
they are a kind o( storehawe of labour, which, in the exi- 
gencies of state, may be turned to the public service. In 

S7d fessAt !h 

a nation where there is no demand for such superfluttied) 
men sink into indolence, lose M enjoymeflt of life, and are 
useless to the pubHc, whieh cannot mnitttirin or support its 
fleets and armies from the Industry of such slothful members. 

The bounds of all the European kingdomd are, at pre* 
sent, nearly the same they ^re two hundred years ago t 
But whtct ft diffh*ence is there in the power and grandetnf 
of those kingdoms ? whieh can be ascribed to nothing but 
the increase of art and industry. MTieli Charles Till, of 
France inraded Italy, he carried with him about S0^,000 
men ; yet this armament so exhausted the nation, as we 
learn from Guicciaf din, that for some years k was not able 
to make so great an effbrt The late king of France^ in 
time of war, kept In pay abore 400,000 men*j though: 
from Mazarine's death to his <mn, he was engaged in a 
course of wars that lasted near thirty years. 

This industry is much promoted by the knowledge in« 
separable from ages of art and refinement ; as^ on the othef 
hatld, this knowledge enables the public to make the best 
advantage of the industry of its subjectii. Laws, order, 
police^ discipline ; these can rterer be carried to any de-^ 
gree of perfS^on, before human reason has refined itsdf 
by exercise, and by an application to the nK>re vulgar arts^ 
at least, of commerce and man^cture. Can we expect 
that a government will be well-modelled by a people, who^ 
know not how to make a spinning-wheel, or to employ a 
loom to advantage ? Not to mention, that all ignorant 
ages ate infested with superstition, which Arows the go- 
vernment off its bias, and disturbs men in the pursuit of 
their interest and happiness. 

Knowledge iii the arts of government naturally begets 

* Th« hiseription dn the PlaceMk^V^n^o^jM says 440,000. 


Hifktiiess and modettkikm^ by instructing men in the ad- 
tMtages of bimmiie ihsidiM nbote rigour and sererHy, 
wbieh dHte dttbjeetd ifito itibellidtty nhi make dve retunt 
to siibti&i^skm iiif^racticablei by cutting off aH bopes of 
pfiirdon« WlieA the tenipets of men are softened as wefl 
OS tbdr knowledge improredj thi^ hnmanity appears still 
moi^ ctotispic^iiouis^ and Is the ehief ehAracteristie which 
ditrt^goishea a eitiHzed age firom thncJs of barbarity and 
igkleiWi^. FaetioAs are then lesis inreteratie, rerohttioii^ 
less tragical^ authority less sevef e^ and seditions lesff fre* 
quent. Eteh feteign wars abate of their cruelty; and a& 
tet the field of battle, whete hotiouf ahd inteteM steel men 
against eotnpasston, as wdl as fear, the combataiits direst 
tfaeinseltes of the brute, and resume die mtm. 

Nor need we fear, that men, by loshlg their ferocity^ 
will loisre their martial spirit dr become le^s undaunted and 
vigorous in defence of their countrf or their liberfy. The 
arts hare no such efi^ Ih enervating either the mind or 
body; On ihe contrary^ industiry^ their inseparable at* 
tendant, adds new force to both. And if anger, which is- 
sttd to be the whetstone of coun^e, loses somewhat of its 
asperity, by pofiteness and refineinent ; a sense of honour, 
whiefa is a atrcmgerj more constant, fmd more governable 
prindipte, acquires ftesh vi^ur by that elevation of genius 
Which arises from knowledge and a good education. Add 
to this^ that course can neither have any duration, nor 
be idf any use, when not accmnpanied with discipline and 
martial i^kilH which arte seldom fomid amcMbg a barbarous 
peopte. l^e ancients remarked, that Datames was the 
<Hily barbarian tiiat ever kn^w fh6 art of war. And Pyr* 
rhns, seeing the tlomiins marshal ihew army with some 
art artd skill, said with suif^ise, 'Mese barbarians luwe no- 
thing barbarous in their discipline ! It is observable, that, 

972 E88AT H. 

as the old Romans, by applying themselves solely to waiy 
were almost the only uncivilized people that ever possessed 
military discipline; so the modem Italians are the only ci- 
vilized people, among European^ that ever wanted courage 
and a martial spirit* Those who would ascribe this e£Ee- 
minacy of the Italians to their luxury, or politeness, or ap- 
plication to the arts, need but consider the French and 
English, whose bravery is as incontestable,^ as their love 
for the arts, and their assiduity in coBuneroe. The Ita- 
lian historians give us a more saUs&ctory reascm for this 
degoieracy of their countrymen* * They show us how the 
sword was dropped at once by all the Italian sovereigns;^ 
while the Venetian aristocracy was jealous of its subjects, 
the Florentine democracy applied itself entirely to com- 
merce ; Rome was governed by priests, and Naples by wo- 
men* War then became the business of soldiers of for- 
tune, who spared one another, and, to the astonishment 
of the world, could engage a whole day in what they call- 
ed a battle, and return at night to their camp without the 
least bloodshed. 

What has chiefly induced severe moralists to declaim 
against refinement in the arts, is the example of ancient 
Rome, which, joining to its poverty and rusticity virtue 
and public spirit, rose to such a surprising height of gran- 
deur and liberty ; but, having learned from its conquered 
provinces the Asiatic luxury, fell into every kind of cor- 
ruption ; whence arose sedition and civil wars, attended at, 
last with the total loss of liberty. All the L^in classics, ~ 
whom we peruse in our infancy, are full of these senti^ 
ments, and universally ascribe the ruin of their state to the 
arts and riches Hftorted from the East ; insomuch that 
Sallust represents a taffe for fiunting as a vic^ no less 
than lewdness and drinking. And so popular were thesis 


^ dkrii^ tbo Isltar ages of the repdbUe, tha^ 
antlier ahoonida in piabpaof tiia old rigid Roman Tirtue, 
liiD^gli bimadf the mwt egragioiia instance of modem 
huauyandc un r upCi oD; speaks eontemptuously of the Ore* 
dan ekxpienee^ though the moat elqant writer m ^ 
wcHdd; nay, cnptpya prepoateroua digressions and decta^ 
i tethip purpose, though a model of taste and OOF* 

Bat it w«ald be easy to prove, that these writers 
toidc iht eanse of the disorders in the Roman stat^ and 
^acriiMd to hanmry and the arts, what reaUy proceeded 
from an itt-vo^^^d govenunent, and the unlimited extent 
of oeoquesta* Refinement on the pleasures and conre* 
Biueea 4£ Mb has no natural tendency to beget vemiliQr 
and corruption. The Tahie which all men put iqK>n any 
pavtkular pleasure, depends on comparison and expe- 
rience ; nor is a porter less greedy of money, which he 
spoids on bacon and brandy, than a courtier, who pur- 
chaaes champaign and ortolans. Riches are valuable at 
all times, and to aU worn ; because they always purchase 
pleasures, such as men are accustomed to and desire : Nor 
ean any thing restrain or r^^ulate the love of money, but 
a sense of honour and virtue ; which, if it be not neariy 
equd at all times, wffi naturally abound most in ages of 
knowledge and refinement. 

Of all European kingdoms, Poland seems the most de- 
fective in the arts of war as well as peace, mechanical as 
well as liberal; yet it is there that venality and corruption 
do most prevail. Tlie nobles seem to have preserved their 
crown elective Ibr no other purpose, than regularly to sell 
it to Ae highest bidder. This is ^most the only speciea 
ef commerce v^h which thit people are acquainted. 

The liberties of England, so far from decaying since the 

VOL. I. T 


improvements in the arts, have never flooriiiled aaauich. 
as during that period. And thon^ cqrmptioa may seem, 
to increase of late years, this is chiefly to be ascribe«l to 
onr established liberty, when oor princes. have fbmid the. 
impossibility of governing withoot parliaments, or of ter- 
rifying parliaments by the phantCMn of prerogative. Not 
to mention, that this corruption or venali^ prevails much, 
more among the electors than the elected ; and therefore, 
cannot justly be ascribed to any refinements in luxury.^ 

If we consider the matter in a proper li^t, we shall find, 
that a progress in the arts is rather fiivouraUe to liberty,, 
and has a natural tendency to preserve, if not produce a. 
free government In rude unpolished nations, where the 
arts are neglected, all labour is bestowed on the cultivation 
of the ground ; and the whole society k divided into two. 
classes, proprietors of land, and their vassals or tenants. 
The latter are necessarily dependent, and fitted for slavery 
and subjection ; especially where they possess^ no riehe^. 
and are not valued for their. knowledge in agriculture; as 
must always be the case where the arts are n^kcted. The. 
former naturally erect themselves into petty tyrants ; and 
must either submit to an absolute master, for the sake of 
peace and order ; or if they will preserve their indepen- 
dency, like the ancient barons, they must fell into feuds and 
contests among themselves, and throw the whole society 
into such confusion, as is perhaps worse than the most 
despotic government But where luxury nourishes com- 
merce and industry, the peasants, by a proper cultivatiou 
ofthe land, become rich and independent: while the trades- 
men and merchants acquire a share of the property, and 
draw authority and consideration to that middling rank <^, 
men, who are the best and firmest basis of public liberty. 
These submit not to slavery, like the peasants, from po- 


Yertj dud meanness of sfArit;' utid Innring no hopes of ty^^t 
numuang over others^ 1^ tke bairoDs^ they are not tempt"* ^ 
ed, for die sake of tkot gralifieataon, to submit to the ty^ 
nnnj of their sovereign. They covet equal kws, which 
may secnre" their property^ and preserve them from mcM*' 
narchical, as well as aristocratieal tyraimy. 

The lower house is the support of onr popttlar govehW 
ment; and all the wotld acknowledges, that it oweditschief 
inflnence and consideration to die increase of commerce, 
which threw snch a balance of property into the hands of 
the Commons. How inconsistent, then^ is it toUame so 
violently a refinement in the arts, and to represent k as 
die bane of liberty and public spirit ! 

To declaim against preisent dmes, and magnify the vir-« 
tne of remote ancestors, is a propensity almost inherent in 
human nature : And as the sentiments and opinions of ci- 
vilized ages alone aire transmitted to posterior, hence it is 
that we meet with so many severe judgments pronounced 
against luxury, and ev^i science; and hence it is that at 
present we give so ready an assent to them. But the falla^ 
cy is easily perceived, by comparing different nations that 
are contemporaries ; where we both judge more impartkil- 
ly, and can better set in opposition those inanners, with 
which we are sufficiendy acquainted. Treachery and cru- 
elty, the most pernicious and most odious of all vices, seem 
peculiar to uncivilized ages; and, by the refined Greeks 
and Romans, were ascribed to all the barbarous nations 
which surrounded them. They might jusdy, therefore, 
have presumed, that tb^ir own ancestors, so highly cele- 
brated, possessed no greater virtue, and were as much in- 
ferior to their posterity in honour and humani^, asln taste 
and science. An ancient Frank or fiazon mi^ be h^hly 
extriled : But I believe every mim would dunk bis life or 

2W_ JeatAVM|^^ ; 

fortune a^mkiooa amu^ ia tli0 kmiM loS f^Umr, of. Tjat* 

of «iiiL die jiMflft cwUiMd ia ti# mo^ 
• W#coiDiilicmlatiM»iwMfpo9Uiwwl^ 
to iUiiitrite^ 10 ix^t» tJMili $9 inpuceat Iwcary^ or » x%Sfi^ 
ment in the art» Mftd eonyetueoce^ oiUkt iftadyiiptPBiMiift 
to tlie public; to whereT<«r honury C0aie9 to |)a iipiocfnt, 
kalaoceMes tobefaMefidal; fiad wben carried a dagre* 
fJKihntf bc^gins to be a <jpmiii^ pemeio«% iboi^ perhaps 
tet the most pernkioiia to poUtkal sooi^y* 

Let tt^ consider what we call yy&om lipcury. Nograti* 
fiaatioiH howerer sensual^ eao of itself bft esteemed yicioiis* 
A gratification is only vicioas when it epgrosses all a man^i 
exi?eMe» and leaves BO ability for siich acts of duty and ge-^ 
neroaity aa aare required by his sitiiation and fortune. Sup* 
pose that he correct the vice^ and emploj part of his ei^** 
penseia the edacatioa of his cbildreiv in the support of U^ 
firiendsy and in relieving the poor; would any prejudice re- 
sult to society ? On the eomtrary, the same consumption 
would ariae ; and that labour, which at presentis employ* 
ed only in producing a slender gratificaticm to one man» 
woidd relieve the nece^ilties, and bestow satisfaction on 
hundreds* The same care and toil that raise a dish of 
pease at Christmas, would give bread to a whole fiunily, 
.during six months. To say that, without a vicious luxury, 
the labour would not have been employed at all^ i^ooly to 
say, diatdiereissomeotherdefect in human nature^ such 
aa inddtence^ selfishness^ inattention to others, for which 
texttry> in some measure, provides a remedy; as one poison 
m^ be an antidote to anothv « jQut virtue, like whole- 
some food» is better than poiaoos» however corrected. 

Suppose the same mimber of men, that are at present in 
Gbneat Britain, with the same soil and dimate ; I adc^isit 


por aod 4iU|po8i(k|i ? To a69ert, (hat th^y cuxatoh fiffM^^ 

a UU[4aBst4l£bfe«t wyotli^^llstbw^^ 
from bodily aickne^s} AQdU^esearenotd^lialf of htimai;^ 
miaones^ AU otfier:Ula apriog fr^m so^ie Yioe, ^ifteor i^ 
owpelves or oCbarai .a«4 evM Qiany of ouj^ di^p^ 
Q^frwith^saiiiei^rigiii, Beaiiovethevi^e^iuiddvsitti) 
faUow. You must ooily tak^ cfgre to ramoYQ all tbe ykm*. 
If you ^irwDQYepAn, yo« may rmidar tbe matt^ worsen J3y 
bfttiis h i ng wWiiiit hixwyt ifkhoiil curing doth iuid aii mdif- 
iarence to othen^ yon only diminJA induatiy in Ifae atlita^ 
and add nothing to men's ctuinty or tfc«ir geiieifQsity. Lai 
usy therefore, rest contented with asserting, that two op- 
posite vices in a state may be more advantageous than ei- 
ther of them alone ; but let us never pronounce vice in it- 
self advantageous. Is it not very inconsistent for an au- 
thor to assert in one page, that moral distinctions are in- 
ventions of politicians for public interest ; and in the neict 
page maintain, that vice is advantageous to the public ^ ? 
And indeed it seems, upon any system of morality, Uttle 
less than a contradiction in terms, to talk of a vice, which 
is in general beneficial to society. 

I thought this reasoning necessary, in order to give some 
light to a philosophical question, which has been much dis- 
puted in England. I call it b, philoMphical question, not 
a poUtkal one. For whatever may be the consequence of 
such a miraculous transformation of mankind, as would en- 
Table of the Bees. 


dow diem' "widx 'every spedos of Tiitii^ and fiee tiMmilroBi 
every species of vice ; this amcems not the magistrate^ 
vrho dims only at possibilities. He cannot cure every yice 
by siibstitating a virtue in its place. Very often he caa 
only cure one vice by another; and in that case he ought 
to prefer what is least pernicious to society. Luxury, when 
excessive is the source of many ills; but is in general pre- 
ferable to sloth and idleness, which would commonly suc- 
ceed in its plac^ and toe moreliurtful both to private per- 
sons and to the public When sloth reigns, a mean tm- 
cdtivated way of life prevails am<mg8t individuals, without 
society, vfithout enjoyment. And if the soverdgn, in sudi 
a situation, demands the service of his sabjectMf the labour 
of the state suffices only to furnish the necessaries of life 
to the labourers, and can afford notimg to ihose who ate 
employed in the public service. 


«ff MONET* 

J^lowsY is not, properly q^eaking, one of the sobjects of 
commerce; but only the instrument which men have a- 
greed upon to fiicilitate the exchange of one commodity 
for anodier. It is none of the wheels of trade : It is the 
oil ii^oh lenders die motion of the wheels more smooth 
and easy. If we consider any one kingdom by itself, it is 
evident, that the greater or less plenty of money is of no 
consequence since the prices of commodities are iklways 
proportioned to ihe plenty of money, and a crown in 
Harry VII/s time served the same purpose as a pound does 
at pment It is only the/mUic which draws any advantage 
from the greater ploity of mcmey; and that only in its war^ 
and negotiations with foreign States. And this is the rea^ 
son why all rich and trading countries, from Carthage to 
Great Britain and Holland, have emjployed mercenary 
troops, which they hired from their poorer neighbours* 
Were they tonudse use of dieir inatfare subjects, they wopld 
find less advantage fr«>ih their superior riches, and from 
their great plenty of grid and silirier; sfaice the pay of all 
their sorants must rise in proportion to the public opii* 
lence. Our small army of S0,000 men is tnaintiuned at as 
great expense as a French army twice as numerous: The 
English fleet, during the late war, required as much mo- 


ney to support it as all the Roman l^onSf which kept the 
whcde world in suljgectiony during the time of the empe- 
rors •• 

The great number of peofde^ and their greater industry, 
are serviceable in all cases ; athone andabroad, in private 
and in public But the greater {dentj of numey is yeiy 
limited in its use, and may even som^imes be a loss to a 
nation in its commerce vnth fioareigners. 

There seems to be ahappy ccmcurrenoe of causes inhu- 
man affiars, which checks the growth of Irade and fMies, 
and hinders them from beii^ confiaad entirely U> <Mi^poo» 
pie; as might natural^ at first be dreaded from the aA- 
vantagesofanasteblishedcMioifiioew Where coenatioii 
baa galten the ilart of another in trader k is v«7 difintlt 
fior the latter to^n^pun the gnoond it Iwakett becaoseof 
the suparior indaatfy and skill of the former, and the 
gneaA^ stocks of which its aierehants are poasesaed, and 
w^ch enable them to drade on so much amiller profits. 
Bttt thsae advantages are compensated, im some measure^ 
by the low price of labour in every nstion which has not 
an evtenaire oonmirbe^ and does not jBtmch abound in gdd 
and siker. MannfiictuKs, therefore, gradually shift ditir 
jl^aces^ leaving those ooimtxies and provinnes which thqr 
hafve ahready enriched, and flying to others, whither fth^ 
are allured by the cheapness of pfovisioosandhdNmr; till 
ihsf have enriched theaa alao^ and am again banished by 
the same canses. And in general we may observe that 
the deaznesa of every things finom plenty of money, is a 
disadvantage, wfaieh attudsaneirtaUished enwarrrf, and 
aets bounds to it in emy countiy, by enaUing the poorer 
states to wndcrsdl the ridier in aU foreign markets. 

• Ste Nora [P.] 

orMOist. Ml 

This Ims tmdm me entatrin « doabt o anc nmm g Ae 
btt&cAl dibmktfmd pap t^ o r m Kt, wUch are eo genanXty 
eitoeinadadvaiitBgeowtoefeiyttftioiL That provUens 
flOdlebovreliDaldbecoMe^er by^e ittcrenBe of tmde 
and money, ii, in Hiimj vegpeete, an i&eoii^oiienoei but 

ffMic ivMkfa and proeperky wUdiaie the end of all attt 
wMiee. It it compeneated by the advantages whidi wt 
reap fiom the possessiea ofthese precious metals, sad the 
weight which d^y give the naticm in all foreign wars and 
negotiations. Bnt diere appears no reason for inoreasini^ 
that inconveni^MM by a counterfeit money, which fiirsagn* 
eie ^dll not aooc(pt of in any payment, and which any greet 
disorder in the state wiK rsdttce to nothing. There are, 
it is tine, many people in efvery rich stat^ who^ ba«9ng 
large snms ef money, would prefer paper widi good seetfr* 
riiy? im being of more easy tran^KNrt and moi« safe <»Vh 
t»ij. if the pnbttc provide not a bank, private baaken 
will take advantage of this circumstance, as the golRlsaiitks 
foiaanlj! did in London, or as the bankers do at present 
in DdUin : And there&re it is better, it may be* thought^' 
that ar pobtto company dioidd 'cngoy the ben^t of that- 
paper oedit, whidi always will have pbioe in every opth 
lent kingdom. But to endeavonr aitiAcially to ineraase 
Mch a cvedit, can never be the interest ef any trading mU 
tim; bat mast lay them under disadvantages, by increa- 
sing money beyond its natural p roporti on to labour and 
commodities, and thereby heightening their prioe to the 
merchant and manuftusturer. And in this view, it must 
be allowed, diatno bank oouM be more advantageouathan 
mtdk a cos as locked up all the money it received'*, and 

• lUi it the eiM with tiM httnk of 

tut JCfliBAT in; 

Berer aiiigiBiiited.the'ciiscidaiiiig'Ooiiiy at is uami by re- 
tunuiig pait of its treasme into conmeBCe. A pnblije 
bank, by this expedient, m^t cut off modi of tlie deal« 
ii^ of private bankers and mcmey-jobberst and tbon^ 
tile state bore the charge of salaries to the diredoni and 
tellers of thb bank, (for, according to the preceding sup- 
position, it would have no profit from its deaUngs), the 
national advantage^ resnlting from the low price of labour 
and the destracticm of paper*credit, would be a suffident 
cofl^>ensation« Notto mentioB, thatsokurgeasumlyii^ 
ready at command woidd be a convenience in times of 
great public danger and distress ; and what part of it was 
used might be replaced at leisure^ when peace and tcan- 
qmlli^ wa^ restored to the nation. 

But of this subject io( paper-credit we shall treat more 
hvgdiy hereafter. . And I shall finish this essay onrmon^ 
by proposing and explaining two observation^ which may 
perhaps serve to employ the thoughts of oqr speculative 

. It was a shrewd observatioa of A nacharris* the Scythian^ 
who had never seen nuHiey in his own country,, that gold 
and silver seemed to him of no use to the Greeks, but t^ 
assist them in numeration and arithmetic It is inde^ 
evident, that money is nothing but the repiesentaticoL <^ 
labour and commodities, and serves only as a method- of 
rating pr e^tioiating them* Where coin is in gr^^ler 
plenty; as a greater quantity of it is required to represent 
the same qiwitity of goods ; it can have no eflfect, either 
good or bad, taking a nation within itself; any more^than* 
it would make an alteration on a mercbantfs bocdcs, if, in^' 
ilead of the Arabian method of notation, which requires^ 

* Flut. QuQmdfi^ qnii tu9s irrffhclut in virttUe $€i^^ pomt. 

fcw cbairaeters, he shobld m^k&um lof the Homaii^ vdudi 
reqttireff a great lOMiy. Ni^^ tfaegmter quaotity of mo* 
ney, like the Roman diaracters» k radier moonTeDieaili 
and requires greater trooble both to keep and transport 
it Bat, notmthiitmdii^ this condnsion, whidi must hi 
alloivred just, it is ceitaiii, that sipee 4ha discovery of the 
minefl in America, industry has increased in all the na- 
tions of Eurqpe, except in the possessors of those mines ; 
and tins may justly be ascribed, amongstotker neaaons, to 
Ae increase of gold and silvers Accordingly we find, that, 
in every kingd«;nn, into which money begins to flow in 
greater abondaiiee than formerly, everything takes anei^ 
filce': idM>ur and industry gain )ife ; the merchant becomes 
more enterprising, the manofactnrer more diligent and 
sldUnl, and even the farmer follows his plough with greater 
akcrityand attention. This is not easily to be accounted 
for, if we consider only the influence whidi a gie^r 
idbimdanee of coin- has in the kingckBi itself by hefghteSf* 
ing the price of commodities^ and obligUBg every one to 
pivfia gseiter opmber of these lj(tle yellow or white pieces 
^r every thin^ he purdiases« And as to foreign trader ii 
appears, that great plenty of money is xather disadvan^ 
tageous^ by raising the price of every kind of Idbouif* 
' To %ccomit, then, for ^bis [dienom^ion, we must comsii 
deivtliat though the |iigfa price of commodities be a nitos-> 
sary conaequenee c^ the incr^ise of gold and silver, yet it 
SeiUows no!!t immediately upon that increase; but some time 
is reiiuired before the money drcubtes through the wfaola 
state, and makes its effect be felt on all ranks of j^Mople. 
At first, do alttntion is perceived ; by degrees tke.priod 
rises, first of one commodity, then of another*; tili the 
whole at last reaches a just proportion with the new quan- 
tity of specie which 16 in the kingdom. In my opinioui 


it k oidy in tlifa ioMfral or itttanMdiate sHui^^ 
Am noqnMtkm of money and rite of priceg, that tht ii>ora»* 
rfttg qmati^ of g^ and ailTer is fayovrable to indostry* 
When anyqaandty of money is impmted into a nation^ it 
is not at first dispersed into maiiy hands; bat is confined 
10 the ooflfers of a few persons, who iounedlately 
tiiq>loy it to advantage. Hereareasetofxnanufectnram 
ornerdiantSy we diall suppose, who have received retains 
of gold and silver finr goods whidi they sent to Gadia* 
They are diereby enabled to en^loy more workmen than 
fisrmeriy, who never dreom of demanding higher wi^;es, 
bat are glad ot employment fixnn sndi good pqmasiefi. 
if worionen become scarce^ the manofiu^tarer gives 14g^Mr 
wages, but at first requires an increase of labour; and this 
is wUlingly suboutted to by die aitisan, who can now eat 
and ^frink better, to compensate his additional toil imdfe^ 
tigue. He carries his money to nurket, where he finds 
every thing at the saaw price as fisrmerly, bat retems widb 
greater quantity, and of better Idnds, for the nse crf^hb ISn 
nrily. The fiurmer and gardener, finding that aH theif 
commodities are taken ot^ apply themselves with alacrk]^ 
to the raising more; and at the same time can ajSovdia 
take better and more dotfaes firom their tradesmen^ whose 
prieeisthe same as formerly, and dieir industry only whet- 
ted by so mnch new gain. It is easy to trace iSkt mon^ 
in its progress through the wlude ccanmonwealth; wheaa 
we dodl find, that it must first quicken the ditigence of 
aveiy individnal, b^are it increase the price of lahonr. 

And that die i^>ede may increase to a considerable pitdi^ 
befeire it have dus latter effect, appears, amongst odnt in* 
stances, firom the frequent operations of the Fiandi hang 
OR the money; where it was always found, that the aug^ 
menting of the numerary value did not produce a premier-* 

ovMomnr. 886 

riie of die prioes, at least for some time. Ib tbe 
last year of Lonia XIV. mon^ims raised durec s o fmidMy 
but prices aagmentecl onlj one. Com Id Fiance is now 
sold at the same priee, or for the same mnaber of li?vesi 
it was ip 1«SS; though silver was then at SO livns the 
jUMtky and 4s now at 50\ Not to mention die great ad^ 
dilion of gold and silver, which may have come into that 
kingdom since the former period. 

From the whdeof this rsason'mg we may condude^ thai 
it is of no manner of consequence with regard to the do- 
mestic happiness of a state, whether money be in a greater 
or less qoandty. The good p<^cy of the magistrate cmi^ 
sists only in keeping ity if possiUe, still increasmg; becaoaa 
by that means he keeps aKve a. sfint oi industry in the 
nation, and increases the stock of labour in which consists 
all real pow;er and riches. A nation, whose money de» 
Ofeases, is actually at that time weaker and more misev* 
able than another nation which possesses no more moaey^ 
bat is on the increasing hand. This will be easily accoomb* 
ed for, if we consider that tbe alteratimis in the quantity 
of money, either on one side or die other, are not iauso^ 
diately attended with propordooable aheraticoa m the prioe 
of commodities. There is aWays an interval before mat* 
ters be adjusted to Adr new sitnadon ; and this interval is 
as pemidoos to industry, whea gold and silver are dinu* 
nishing^ as it is advantageous when these metals are in^ 
creasing. The woricmen has not the same emjdoyment 
from the manufacturer and merchant ; though he pays the 
same price for every thing in the market* The former 
cannot dispose of his com and catde, though he must pay 

• Set Non [a] 

3M C88AT III. 

the aune neat to hk landlord. The porertjr and beggny,. 
and dbthy mkkh moat coau^ane easily fixreseetti 

II. The aecoad ebservatioo which I propoaed to make* 
with regard to monej, may be explained after the fcilow^ 
ingmanner? There are some kingdoms, and many prowi* 
eesinEuropey (and all of them were once in the same eon-^ 
ditionX where money is so scarce, tfaaC the landlkMrd oatr 
get none at all from his tenants, but is oMiged to take hiat 
rent in kind, and either to consume it himself, or transp<Hrt 
it to plaees where he may find a market. In those coun*> 
tries, tba prince can lery few or no taxes but in the same 
manner; and as he will reoeite small benefit fix>m impo- 
litioiia so paid, it is evidenft that such a kingdom has litatlo. 
fi>rce eten at home, and cannot maintain fleets-and armies 
to the same extent as if every part of it gold 
and sihrer. There is surely a greater dusproporticm be* 
tween. the fi>rce <^ Germany at present, and what it was 
three centuries ago S than there is in its industry, people, 
and maraifeftures. The Austrian dominions in the em* 
pire axe in general well peeked and well cultiyated, and 
are of great extent, hvit have not a proporticmable weight 
in. die balance of Europe ; proceeding, as is commonly 
supposed, from the scarcity of money. How do all these 
iacts agree with that principle of reason, that the quanti^ 
of gold and silver is in itself altogether indi&rent? Ac- 
aording to that principle, wherever a sovere%n has nnm«- 
bers of subjects, and these have plenty of commodities, he 
shoald of course be great and powerful, and they rich and 
happy, independent of the greater or lesser abundance of 

* The ItaliiuM gare to the ODperor Maiimilian Um nlckiiaiiie of Pbcci- 
Danaei. None of the enterprises of that pt^nce ever succeeded, for want 
of money. 

OF ]K>1IBY. 987' 

tlMiprecioittmelals* Tbeseadmkof divittondandsubdi* 
▼iiioii8toa§reatezteiit; andwlieretbepieoes might be^ 
eomesosmaUastobeindaiiger of bdiigloit^ kiseasjto. 
Bux the gold or silyer with a baeer metid^ m is practised 
in some countries of Europe, and by diat means raise the 
pieces to a bulk more sensible and convenient. Thej sfiilr 
serve the same purposes of exdiange,. whatever their nuin- 
ber may be, or whatever colour they may be supposed to 

To these dfficukies.I answer, ^bkt the eflect here sbip^ 
posed toflowfrom scarcity of money; really arises from tfie 
manners and customs of the people; andithatwemtstake^ 
as is too usual, a collateral e£Rsctf<» axause. The contra«- 
diction isonlyapparent; but it requires some thought md 
reflection to discover the principles by which we can re«, 
condle ttamm to experknce . 

It seeais a maxim almost setf-evident,. that the prices of 
every thing depend on the propditioh between oommodi* 
ties and money, and that any considerable alteiation out 
either has the same effect, either of heightening or lower- 
ing the price. Increase the commodities, they become 
cheaper; increase the money, they rise in.their taloe. As, 
on the other hand, a diminution of. the former, and that 
of the latter, have contrary tendencies. 

It is alsoevident, that the (prices do not so much depend 
OB the absolute quantity of commodities and' that of aioQcgf^ 
which are in a nadon, as on that of the commbdities w|ii<d^ 
come or may come into market, and of the money which 
circulates. If the coin be locked up in chests, it is the 
same thing with regard to'prices, as if it wereannibil^t^; 
if the commodities be hoarded in magawnes and granaries 
a like effect fellows. As the money and commodities, in 
these oases, never meet, they cannot affect each other. 

it m. 

Wcl» «cv at Mqr timc^ to Ana aaqyectiiftti I 

pfioe of prarifliani^ iim€&m^ wfakkAei 

lenrc fcr le^ iid fiy Ae wMwfmiMicqogkanidf M>afc> 

mity, ougtoagvfr to enter into egrimrtiw Ilisoniylfas 

merfittBf compu^d to the denuMd^ tint ftemmini tb» 

To apply d m > twriiicipki ij iiemoiteoa MJgiv that in dig 

confoimded her wants with those of nature, men, contail 
wUi die prodaae of duir ewAfidda, or widi tiuMe mde 
jaiy f Oft HWiita whiAthey dwnnehrei can wodc mpam Amm^ 
ham IMeoccaabn te exchaage^ at feast fee monejs vhid^ 
byagraeBMQt, k the common measve of eo^dnoge^ Tb« 
wopl cf the fiurmei's own flod^ spmi in his own femitfv 
and wrooght by a neighbouring weai«v ^^ veoscves hio 
payment in com or wool, suffices fer fiimkups and dodh* 
ing!. Hie caqpenter, thesmith, themason, die tailor, are 
FtCaoMd by wages of a. like nature; and the landlord (um^ 
idf, dwelling in die nei|^bo«rhood, ia coateat to raoeive 
his rent i|i tb^ commoditiea raised by die finrmer. The 
greater part of these he eonsvnes at home, in rustic ho-* 
spitality: The Mst, perfaqiSy he disposes of fer monfy to 
die ndghbooring tqwn, whence he draws die few mats** 
rials of his expense and loxory. 

But after men begin to refine on all these enjoyments, 
and live not always at home^ nor are cmtent with what 
can be raised iD their ndghboarhoody diere is nMnre ex- 
ehange and ccHnmerce of all kinds, and Bsore money enters 
hito diat mcehange. Hie tradesmen will not be paid fai 
eom^ becanse diey want somediing more thaa barely to 
eat The frrmer goes beycmd his own parish for the ecmh* 
modittes he purchases^ and cannot always carry his com- 
modides t» the merchant who supplies him. The famd' 


kard liTet in the capital, or in a foreign country; and de- 
mands bis rent in gc^ and silver, which can easily be 
transported to him* Great midertakers, and manufactu^ 
rers, and merchants, arise in eyery cmnmodtty ; and these 
can conveniently deal in nothing but in specie. And conr 
sequ^itly, in this situation o£ society, the coin enters into 
many more contracts, and by that means is much more 
employed than in the former. 

The necessary effect is, that provided the money in* 
crease not in the nation, every thing must beccMae much 
cheaper in times of industry and re fi nem^t, than in r^e 
uncultivated ages. It is the prc^rtion betweep the cir- 
culating money, and the commodities in the market, whidi 
d^ermines the prices* Goods that are consumed at home^ 
or exchanged with other goods in the ne^hbottfhood# 
never come to market ; th^ aStct not in the least the 
current specie; with regard to it they are aa if totally anr 
nihilated ; and consequently this method of using thm 
sinks the proportion on the side of the commodities, and 
increases the prices. But after mcmey enters into all con- 
tracts and sales, and is everywhere the measure of exchange 
the same national cash has a much greater task to perform; 
all commodities are then in the market; the sjhxxe of 
circulation is Enlarged ; it is the same case as if thatindir 
vidual sum were to serve a larger kingdom; and therefor^ 
the proportion being here lessened <m the side of the mo- 
n6y> every thing must become cheiqfier, and the prices gr»- 

By the most exact computations that have been fonned 
all oyer Europe, after making allowancefor the alteration 
in the nnmerary value or the denomination, it is found, 
that the prices €i all things have only arisen three, or, at 
mosty four times since tiie discovery of the West Indies. 

VOL. I. u 

380 E88AY in. 

But will any one assert, that there ig not much more thMi 
four times the coin in Europei that was in the fifteenth 
century, and the c^ituries preceding it? The Spaniards 
and Portuguese from their mines, the EInglisb, French, 
and Dutch, by their African trade, and by their inteilo* 
pers in the West Indies, bring home about six miUiQifs 
a-year, of which not above a third goes to the East la- 
dies. This sum alone, in ten years, would probably doubfe 
the ancient stock of money in Europe. And no other sa^ 
tisfiictory reascm can b^ given, why all prices have not ri- 
sen to a much more exorbitant height, except that whidi 
is derived from a chai^ of customs and manners. Be- 
sides that more commodities are produced by additional 
industry, the same commodities come more to market^ a£* 
ter men depart from their ancient simplicity of manners* 
And though this increase has not been equal la that <^ 
monejr, it has, however, been considerid^le, and has pre- 
served the proportion between coin ^md commoditiesneaiv . 
er the ancient standard. 

Were the question proposed. Which of these methods of 
living in the people^ the simple or refined, is the most ad- 
vantageous to the state or public? I should, without much 
scruple, prefer the latter, in a view to politics at least; and 
should produce this as an additional reason f<Nr the encou- 
ragemoit of trade and manufactures. 

While men live in the ancient single manner, and sup- 
ply all th^ir necessaries fix>m domestic industty, or from 
the neighbourhood, the sovereign can levy no taxes in 
money from a considerable part of his subjects ; and if he 
will impose on them any burdens, he must take payment 
in commodities, with whidi alone they abound; a method 
attended with such great and obvious inconveniences, tha^; 
they need not here be insisted on. AU the money he can 

OF MONEY. 291 

pretend to raise must be from bis principal cities, where 
alone it circulates ; and these, it is evident, cannot afford 
him so much as the whole state could, did gold and silver 
circulate throughout the whole. But besides this obvious 
duninution of the revenue, there is another cause of the 
poverty of the public in such a situation. Not only the 
sovereign receives les^ mcmey, but the same money goes 
not so far as in times of industry and general commerce. 
Every thing is dearer where the gold and silver are sup- 
posed equal ; and that because fewer commodities come to 
market, and the whole coin bears a higher proportion to 
what is to be purchased by it ; whence alone the prices of 
every diing are feed and determined. 

Here then we may learn the fallacy of the remarl^ often 
to be met with in historians, and even in common con- 
versation, that any particular state is weak, though fertile, 
populous, and well cultivated, merely because it wants 
money* It appears, that the want of money can never in- 
jure any state within itself; for men and commodities are 
the real strength of any community. It is the simple man- 
ner of living which here hurts the public, by confining the 
gold and silver to few hands, and prevonting its universal 
diffusion and circulation. On the contrary, industry and 
refinements of all kinds incorporate it with the whole state, 
however small its quantity may be : They digest it into 
every vein, so to speak ; and make it enter ii^to every trans- 
action and contract. No hand is entirely empty of it 
And as the prices of every thing &U by that means, the 
sovereign has a double advantage ; He may draw money 
by his taxes from every part of the state; and what he re- 
ceives, goes & in every purchase and payment, 

We may infer, from a comparison of prices, that money 
is not more plentiful m China, than it was in Europe three 


198 SSiAT III. 

cmtories ago: But what immense power is that empire 
possessed o^ if we may judge by the civil and military es* 
tablishment maintained by it? P<dyhius* tells us, that 
provisions were so cheap in Italy during his time, that in 
some places the stated price for a meal at the inns was a 
mmi$ a-head, little more than afarthing I Yet the Roman 
power had evra then subdued the whole known world. 
About a century before that period, the Carthaginian am- 
bassador said, by way of raillery, that no people lived more 
sociably amongst themselves than the Romans ; for that, 
in ev^ entertainment, which, as foreign ministers, they 
received, they still observed the same plate at every tabled 
The absolute quantity of the precious metals is a matter of 
great indiflference. There are only two drcumstanoes of 
aiqr importance, namely, their gradual increase, and their 
thoroii^ concoction and circulation through the state; 
and the ic^uenoe of both those circumstances has here 
bera eiqplajned. 

' In the following essay we shall see an instance of alike 
fallacy as that above mentioned ; where a collateral e£bct 
is taken for a cause, and where a consequence is ascribed 
to the plenty of money; thou^ it be really owk^ to a 
change in the manners and customs of the people. 

• Lib. iL d^ 15. ^ Flin. lib. znlii cap. II. 



JM OTHINO is esteemed a more certain sign of the flourish* 
ing condition of any nation than the lowness of interest : 
And with reascm ; though I believe the cause is somewhat 
difierent from what is commonly apprehended. Lowness 
of interest is generally ascribed to plenty^of money. But 
money, however plentiful, has no other effect, if fixed, than 
to raise the price of labour. Silver is more common than 
gold ; and therefore you receive a greater quantity of it 
for the same commodities. But do you pay less interest 
for it ? Interest in Batavia and Jamaica is at 10 per cent, 
in Portugal at 6 ; though these places, as we may learn 
from the prices of every thing, abound more in gold and 
silver than either London or Amsterdam. 

Were all the gold in England annihilated at once, and 
(me and twenty shillings substituted in the place of every 
guinea, would money be more plentiful, or interest lower? 
No, surely : We should only use silver instead of gold. 
Were gold rendered as common as silver, and silver as 
common as copper ; would money be more plentiful or 
interest lower ? We may assuredly give the same answer. 
Our shillings would then be yellow, and our halfpence 
white ; and we should have no guineas. No other di£fer- 
ence would ever be observed ; no alteration on commerce^ 

294 ESSAY IV. 

manufactures, navigtttioD, or interest ; unless we imagine 
that the colour of the metal is of any consequence. 

Now, what is so visible in these greater variations of 
scarcity or abundance in the precious metals must hdd in 
all inferior changes. If the tnultiplying of gold and silver 
fifteen times makes no difference, much less can the doU«« 
bling or tripling them. All augmentation has no other 
effect thim to heighten the price of labour and commodi» 
ties ; and even this variation is little more thim that of a 
name. In the progress towards these changes, the aug- 
mentation may have some influence, by exciting industry ; 
but after the prices are settled, suitably to the dew abun-* 
dance of gold and silver, it has no manner of influence. 

An effect always holds proportion with its cause. Prices 
have risen near four times since the discovery of the In^es; 
and it is probable gold and silver have multiplied much 
more : But interest has not fifillen much above half. The 
rate of interest, therefore, is not derived from the quantity 
of the precious metals* 

Mone^ having chiefly afictitious value, the greater or less 
plen^ of it is of no consequence^ if we omsider a nation 
within itself; and the quantity of specie, when once fixed^ 
though ever so large, has no other effect than to oblige 
every one to tell out a greater number of those shining 
bits of metal, for clothes, furniture, or equ^)age, without in- 
creasing aay one convenience of life. If a man borrow 
money to build a house, he then carries home a greater 
load ; because the stone, timber, lead, glass, &c. with the 
labour of the masons and carpenters, are represented by a 
greater quantity of gold and silver. But as these metals 
re considered chiefly as representations, there can no alte- 
lation arise, from their bulk or quantity, their weight or 
colour, either upon their real value or their interest. The 


tame interest, in all cases, bears the Mme proportkm to the 
sum. And if you lent me so much labour and so many 
commodities; by recdving five per^cenL you always re- 
ceive proportional labour and commodities, however re- 
presented, whether by yellow or white coin, whether by a 
pound or an ounce. It is in vain, therefore, to look for 
the cause of the fall or rise of interest in the greater or less ' 
quantity of gold and silver, which is fixed in any nation. 

H%h interest arises from three drcurastatices : A great 
d^nand for borrowings little riches to supply that de- 
mand; and great profits arising firom commerce: And 
the circumstances are a dear proof of the small advance 
<^ commerce and industry, not of the scarciQr of gold and 
silver. Low interest, on the other himd, proceeds from 
the three opposite circumstances : A small demand tor bor- 
rowing ; great riches to supply that demand ; and small 
profits arising from commerce : And these circumstances 
are all connected together, and proceed from the increase 
of industry and commerce, not of gold and silver. We 
shall endeavour to prove these points ; and shall begin 
with the t^uses and the e£Eects c^a great or small demand 
for borrowing. 

When a people have emerged ^rer so little from a sal- 
vage state^ and their numbers have increased beyond the 
original multitude, ther^ must immediately arise an ine- 
quality of property ; and while scnne possess large tracts 
of land, others are confined within narrow limits, and some 
are entirely without any landed property. . Those irfia 
possess more land than they can labour, employ those 
who possess none, and agree to receive a determinate part 
of the product. Thus the hmded interest is immediately 
established ; nor is there any settled government, however 
rude, in which affairs are not on this footing* Of these 

206 SSflAY IV. 

proprietors of land, some siaat presaitly discover tfaem- 
selves to be of different tempers from others ; and while 
one wonld willin^y store op the produce of hb land for 
faturitjr, another desires to consume at present what should 
suffice for many jrears. But as the spending of a settled 
revenue is a way of life entirely widiout occupation ; men 
have so much need of somewhat to fix and adgage them, 
that pleasures, such as they are, will be the pursuit of the 
greater part of the landholders, and the prodigals among 
them will always be more numerous than the misers. In 
a state, therefore, where thare is nothing but a landed in- 
terest, as there b little frugaliQr, the borrowers must be 
v^ry numerous, and the rate of interest must hold pn^r- 
tion to it The diffsrence depends not on the quantity of 
money, but on the habits and manners which prevail. By 
this alone the demand for borrowing is increased or dimi- 
nished. Were money so plentiful as to make an egg be 
sold for sixpence ; so long as there are only landed gen- 
try and peasants in the state, the borrowers must be nu- 
merous, and interest high. The rent for the same fiurm 
would be heavier and more bulky : But the same idleness 
of the landlord, with the high price of commodities, would 
dissipate it in the same time, and produce the same ne- 
cessity and demand for borrowing. 

Nor is the case difierent with i^sgard to the secoml cir- 
cumstance which we prc^>osed to consider, namely, die 
great or little riches to supply the demand. This effect 
also dcpendsonthehabitsandwqr of living of the people^ 
not on the quantity of gold and silver. In order to have^ 
in any state, a greater number <^ lenders, it is not suffix 
dent nor requisite^ that Aere be great abundance of the 
precious aMtals. It is only requisite, that the property 
or command of Aat quantity, which is in the state, wbe- 


ther great or small^ should be collected in partkmlar 
hands, so as to form considerable sums^ or ocHupose a 
great moneyed interest This begets a number of lakbrs, 
and sinks the rate of usury ; and this, I shaU yentnre to 
affimv depends not on the quantity of specie, but on par- 
ticular manners and customs, ^diich make the specie ga^ 
ther into separate sums or msoMen of considerable yalue. 

For suppose that, by miracle, every man in Great Bri* 
tain should have five pounds slipt into his pocket in one 
night ; this would much more than double the whole mo* 
ney that is at present in the kingdom ; yet there would 
not next day, nor for some time, be any more lenders, nor 
any variation in the ioterest And were there nothing 
but landlords and peasants in the state, this money, how- 
ever abundant, could never gather into sums; and would 
only serve to increase the prices <^ every thing, without 
any farther consequence. Hie prod^^al landlord dissi^i' 
pates it, as ftst as he receives it; and the beggarly peasant 
has no means, nor view, nor ambition of obtaining $howe 
a bare livelihood. The overplus of borrowers above that 
crf'lenders continuing still the same, there will fidlow no 
reduction of interest. That depends i^>on another prin^ 
ciple; and must proceed firom an increase of industry and 
fiiigality, charts and commerce. 

Every thing useful to the life of man arises firom die 
ground ; but few thmgs arise in that conditi<m which la 
requisite to render them usefuL There must, therefin^ 
beside the peasants and the proprietors of land, be another 
rank of men, who, receiving firom the former the rude 
materials, work them into their proper form, and retain 
part for their own use and subsistence. In the infancy of 
society, these contracts between the artisans and the pea^ 
sants, and between (me species ci artisans and another, 

298 ESSAY IT. 

are iMomotly entered into immediately by the personi 
themselves, who being neij^ibours, are easily acquainted 
with each other's necessities, and can lend their mutoai 
assistance to supply them. But when men's industry in- 
creases, and their views enlai^ it is found, that the most 
remote parts of the state can assist each other as well as 
the more contiguous, and that this intercourse of good 
oflices may be carried on to the greatest extent and intri- 
cacy. Hence the origin of merckantSj one of the most 
useful races of men, who serve as agents between those 
parts of the state that are wholly unacquainted, and are 
ignorant of each other's necessities. Here are in a city 
fifty workmen in silk and linen, and a thousand custom- 
ers; and these two ranks of men, so necessary to ead^ 
other, can never rightly meet, till one man erects a shopy 
to which all the woricmen and all the customers repair. 
In this province, grass rises in abundance: The inhabi- 
tants abound in cheese, and butter, and cattle ; but want 
bread and com, which, in a neighbouring province, are in 
too great abimdance for the use of the inhabitants. One 
man discolors this. He brings com from the one pro^ 
vince, and returns with catde ; and, supplying the wants 
of both, he is, so fiur, a common bene&ctor. As the peo- 
ple increase in numbers imd industry, the difficulty of their 
intercourse increases : The business of the agency or mer- 
chandise becomes more intricate ; and divides, subdivides, 
compounds, and mixes to a greater variety. . In all these 
transactions it is necessary, and reasonable, that a consi- 
derable part of the commodities and labour should belong 
to the merchant, to whom, in a great measure, they are 
owing. And these commodities he will sometimes preserve 
in kind, or more commonly convert into money, which is 
their common representation. If gold and silver have in- 


creased in the state together with the industry, it will re- 
quire a great quantiQr of these metals to represent a great 
quantity of ccnnmodities and labour. If industry alooe 
has increased, the prices of every thing must sink, and a 
small quantity of specie will serve as a representation. 

Tliere is no craving or demand of the human mi&d 
more constant and insatiable than that for exercise and 
employment; and this desire seems the foundation of most 
of our passions and pursuits. Deprive a man of all busi* 
ness and serious occupation, he runs restless from one 
iunmsement to another; and the weight and oj^ression 
which he feels from idleness is so great, that he forgets 
the ruin which must follow him from his immoderate ex- 
penses. Give him a more harmless way of employing his 
mind or body, he is satisfied, and feels no longer that in- 
satiable thirst after pleasure. But if the employment you 
give him be lucrative, especially if the profit be attached 
to every particular exertion of industry, he has gain so of- 
ten in his eye, that he acquires, by degrees, a passion for 
it, and knows no such pleasure as that of seeing the daily 
increase of his fortune. And this is the reason why trade 
increases frugality, and why, among merchants, there is 
the same overplus of misers above prodigals, as among the 
possessors of land there is the contrary. 

Commerce increases industry, by conveying it readily 
from one member of the state to another, and allowing 
none of it to perish or become useless. It increased fru- 
gality, by giving occupation to men, and employing them 
in the arts of gain, which soon engage their affection, and 
remove all relish for pleasure and expense. It is an in« 
fallible consequence of all industrious professions to beget 
frugality, and make the love of gain prevail over the love 
of pleasure. Among lawyers and physicians who have 

•90 ES8AT IV. 

any practice, there are many more who live within their 
ineome, ^an who exceed it, or even live up to it But 
lawyers and physicians b^et no industry ; and it is even 
at the expense of others they acquire their riches ; so that 
they are sure to diminish the possessions of some of their 
fellow-eitiiens, as fast as they increase their own. Mer- 
clulnts, on the contraiy, beget industry, by serving as ca- 
nals to convey it dirough every comer of the state : And 
at ike same time, by their frugality, they acquire great 
power over that industry, and collect a large property in 
the labour and commodities, which they are the chief in* 
•truments in producing. Tliere is no other profession, 
therefore, exc^t merchandise^ which canmake the moneyed 
interest considerable, or, in other words, can increase in* 
dustry, and, by also increasing frugality, give a great com- 
mand of that industiy to particular members of tlie sode- 
ty. Without commerce, the state must consist chiefly of 
landed gaitry, whose prodigality and expense make a con- 
tinual demaad for borrowing; and of peasants, who have 
no sums to supply that donand. The money never ga- 
thers into large stocks or sums, which can be lent at inte- 
rest It is dispersed into numberless hands, who either 
squander it in Jdle ^w and magnificence, or employ it in 
the purchase of the common necessaries of life. Com- 
merce alone assembles it into omsiderable sums ; and this 
^bct it has merely fit>m the industry which it begets, and 
the frugality which it inspires, independent of that par- 
ticular quantity of predous metal which may circulate in 
the state* 

Thus an increase of commerce, by a necessary conse* 
quence, raises a great number of lenders, and by that means 
produces lowness of interest We must now consider how 
fiur this increase of commerce diminishes the profits arising 


from tbat profi^sion, and gives rise to the third circum- 
stance requisite to produce lowness of interest. 

It may be proper to observe on this head, that low i^ 
terest and low profits of merchandise are two events that 
mutuaUy forward each other, and are both originally de- 
rived from that extensive commerce^ which produces opur 
lent merchants, and renders the moneyed interest consi- 
derable. Where merchants possess great stocks, whether 
rq>resented by few or many pieces of metal, it must fi^ 
quently happen, that, when they either become tired of 
business, or leave heirs unwilling or unfit to engage in 
commerce, a great proportion of these riches naturally 
sedcs an annual and secure revenue. The plenQr dimi- 
nishes the price, and makes the lenders accept of S low in- 
terest This consideration obliges many to keq> their 
stock employed in trade, and rather be content widi low 
profits, than dispose of their money at an unde^rvalue. On 
the other hand, when commerce has become extensive, and 
employs large stocks, there must arise rivalships among the 
merchants, which diminish the profits of trade, at the same 
time that they increase the trade itself. The low profits 
of merchandise induce the merchants to accept more will- 
ingly of a low interest, when they leave off business, and 
begin to indulge themselves in ease and indolence. It is 
needless, therefore^ to inquire which of these circumstai^- 
ces, to wit, law iniereMiy or low prpfiU^ is the causey and 
which the effect ? They both arise firom an extensive com- 
merce, and mutually forward each other. No man will 
accept of low profits where he can have high interest ; and 
no man will accept of low interest where he can have high 
profits. An extensive commerce, by produ<;ing laige 
stocks, duninishes both interest and profits ; and is always 
assisted, in its diminutim of the one, by the prqportio&a^ 

802 ESSAY IT. 

tinking of the other. I may add» that, as low profits arise 
from the increase of commerce and mdustry, they serve in 
their turn to its farther increase, by rendering the com^ 
modities cheaper, encouraging the consumption, and 
heightening the industry. And thus, if we consider the 
whole connection of causes and effects, interest is the ba* 
rometer of the state, and its lowness is a sign almost in- 
fallible of the flourishing condition of a pec^le. It proves 
the increase of industry, audits prompt circulation, through 
the whole state^ Uttle inferior to a dem<mstrati<m* And 
though, perhaps, it may not be impossible but a sudden 
and a great check to commerce may have a momentary ef* 
feet of the same kind, by throwing so many stocks out ol* 
trade ; it must be attended with such misery and want of 
employment to the poor, that, besides its short duration, 
it will not be possible to mistake the one case for the other. 
Those who have asserted, that the plenty of money, 
was the cause of low interest, seem to have taken a colla- 
teral efiect for a cause ; since the same industry, which 
sinks the interest, commonly acquires great abundance of 
the precious metals. A variety of fine manufactures, with 
vigilant enterprising merchants, will soon draw money to 
a state, if it be any where to be found in the world. The 
same caui;e, by multiplying the conveniences of life, and in- 
creasing iildustry, collects great riches into the hands of 
persons, who are not prc^rietors of land, and produces, 
by that means, a lowness of interest. But though both 
these effects, plenty of money and low interest, naturally 
arise from commerce and industry, they are altogether in- 
dependent of each other. For suppose a nation removed 
into the Pac^c ocean, without any foreign commerce, or 
any knowledge of navigation : Suppose that this nation 
possesses ahvays the same stock of com, but b continually 


increasing in its numbers and industry : It is evident, that 
the price of every commodity must gradiially diminish in 
that kingdom ; since it is the proportioni between money 
and any species of goods which fixes their mutual value : 
and, upon the present supposition, the coikveniences of life 
become every day more abundant, withoi^t any alteration 
in the current specie. A less quantity of mpney, therefore, 
among diis people, will make a rich man, ^uring the times 
of industry, than would suffice to that pm^pose, in igno- 
rant and slothful ages. Less money will build a house, 
portion a daughter, buy an estate, support a manufactory, 
or maintain a family and equipage. These are the uses 
for which men borrow money ; and therefore, the greater 
or less quantity of it in a state has no influence on the 
interest. But it is evident, that the greater or less stock 
of labour and conmiodities must have a grebtt influence ; 
since we really and in effect Ikirrow thes^ when we 
take money upon interest. It is true, whet commerce 
is extended all over the glob^ the most indastrious na- 
tions always abound most with the precious metals ; so 
that low interest and plenty of money are in fact almost 
inseparable. But still it is of consequence to know the 
principle whence any phenomenon arises, and to distin- 
guish between a cause and a concomitant effect Besides 
that the speculation is curious, it may frequently be of use 
in the conduct of puUic affiurs. At least, it must be owned, 
that nothing can be of more use than to improve, by prac- 
tice, the method of reasoning on these subjects, which of 
all others are the most important ; though they are com- 
monly treated in the loosest and most cmrdess knanner. ' 
Another reason of this popular inbtake with re^wrd to 
the cause of low interest, seems to be the instance of some 
nations, where, after a suddra acquisition of money, or of 

the'praoioiis met 

bowrin^ stales, 
S^pamfiall near 
ibe West JaOii 
Vfga; and it 
^yery kingdom^ 
conquest of 
from Dion \ 

The oai 

X88AT IT. 

^ by means of foragn conquests, the m^ 

^ only amcHi^ them, but in all the neigh- 
\ aoon as that money was dispersed, and 

'into every corner. Thus, interest in 
half immediatdy after the discoYexy of 
as we are informed by Gardlasso de la 

beoa ever since gradually sinking in 
* Europe. Interest in Rome, after the 
pt^ fell from 6 to A per cent as we learn 

of the sinking <^ interest^ upon such an 
it in the ccmquering country and in the 
neighbouring latates ; but in ndther of th^n can we justly 
asi^ibe that efteot meidy to the increase of gold and silver. 
In the connuaring country, it is natural to imagine, that 
this new ac^uisitimi of money will fisdl into a few hands, 
and be gathpred into huge vmns, whidi seek a secure re- 
venue, eithdr by the purchase of land, or by interest; and 
consequently the same effect follows, for a little time^ as if 
there had been a great accessi<m of industry and com- 
merce. The increase i^lenders above the borrowers sinks 
the interest, and so much the faster, if those who have ac- 
quired those large sums find no industry or commerce in 
the state, and no method o( en^loyiag their money but 
by lendii^ it at inib^rest But after this new mass of gold 
and silver him been digested, and has circulated through 
the whole states affiurs will so(m return to their fonner si- 
tniKti(m» while the landlords and new money-lioUers^ living 
idly, sqpiander abov^Q their income; and the former daily 
contract debt^ and the latter encroach on thar stock till 
its final exttnctiOD. The whole money may still be in the 

• Lih.U. 


MU), and Bwke iUwlf Mt by tkd lAf r«a«e of prices ; bat 
iiel bebv now ooUeoted into mxf la^ masaHa or sto<duv 
the diaftrefuttiaa between due honrowere and l«idire ik 
t)ie same at Sbrnedjv apd conaeqnendy die h%^ interest 

Asceatdmgly we ind in Barney lliat^ so earljr as TAe* 
tjm^s time^ interest had again mounted to 6 psr efs& *, 
thengh no aiaddmit bad happened to drain tbe erapii^ of 
Dnoney. In Trajan's t\m^ money lent on nartgagM in 
Italy bore 6 par cent ^ on ocHnmon seenritat^ in BUiynia 
1&^{ and if interest in Spain has not risen to ita(ddptteh» 
this can be ascribed to nothing-bat die ckmtiniutnoe of the 
aaiae cause that sunk it, to wit, the large fbrtuhea ccm^ 
tinnally made in the Indies, which come Ofer to Spam 
from time to time, and supply the demand of the borrow- 
ers. By this accidental and extraneous cause, more mo- 
ney is to be lent in Spain, that is, more money is collected 
into large sums, than would otherwise be found in a state, 
where there are so little ccnnmerce and industry. 

As to the reduction of interest which has followed in 
England, France, and other kingdoms of Europe that 
have no mines, it has been gradual, and has not proceed- 
ed from the increase of money, considered merely in it- 
self, but from that of industry, which is the natural effect 
of the former increase in that interval, before it raises the 
prices of labour and provisions; for to return to the fore- 
going supposition, if the industry of England had risen as 
much from other causes, (and that rise might easily have 
happened, though the stock of money had remained the 
same,) must not all the same consequences have followed, 

* Columella, lib. liL cap. S. 

^ Plinii Epist lib. Tii. cp. 18. 

• Id. lib. X. ep. 62. 
VOL. I. X 

806 XMAT IV. 

which we obserre at present? The same pe(^k would in 
that case be found in the kingdom, the same commodities, 
the same industry^ manufactures^ and conuoerce; and 
consequently the same merchants, with the same stocks^ 
that is, with the same command over labour and commo-^ 
dities^ only represented l^ a similar number of white or 
yellow pieces, which being a circumstance of no moment 
would only affect the waggoner, porter, and trunk-maker. 
Luxury, therefore, manufiictures, arts, industry, frugality, 
flourishing equally as at present, it is evident, that interest 
must also have been as low, since that is the necessary re« 
suit of all these circumstances, so far as they determine 
the profits of commerce, and the proportion between tbm 
borrowers and lenders in any state. 



Ir is very usual, in nations ignorant of the nature of com- 
merce, to prohibit the exportation of commodities, and to 
preserve among themselves whatever they think valuable 
and useful. They do not consider, that in this prohibi- 
tion they act directly contrary to their intention ; and thai 
the more there is exported of any commodity, the more 
wfll l>e raised at home, of which ihey iheniselves will ai- 
rways have the first offer. 

It is well known to the learned, that the ancient laws 
of Athens rendered the exportation of figs criminal ; that 
"being supposed a species of* fruit so excellent in Attica, 
diat the Athenians deemed it too delicious for the palate 
of any foreigner ; and in this ridiculous prohibition they 
were so much in earnest, that informers were thence called 
sycophants among them, from two Greek words, which 
signify Jigs and discoverer *• There are .proofs in many 
old acts of parliament of the same ignorance in the nature 
of commerce, particularly in the reign of Edward III. ; 
and to this day, in France, the exportation of com is al- 
most always prohibited, in order, as they say, to pre vert 
famines; though it is evident, that nothing contributes 

• Plut D« Cwriositftte. 

808 XS8AY T. 

more to the frequent famines^ which 80 much distress that 
fertile country. 

The same jealous fear, with r^ard to money, has alsd 
prevailed among several nati<vi0 i and it required both rea- 
son and experience to convince any people, that these 
prohibitions serve to no other purpose than to raise the 
exchange against them, and produce a still greater expor- 

These errors, OB^mayaa^T, aire gross and palpable; but 
there still prevails, even in nations well acquainted with 
jcommerce* astrong j<ealousy with regat*d to the balance ^ 
trade, and a fear that all their gold and silver may be lea- 
ving them* This seems to me, almost in every case, a 
groundless apprehension ; and I should as soon dread, that 
all our springs and rivers should be exhausted, as that 
money should abandon a kingdom where there are people 
and industry. Let us carefully preserve these latter ad- 
vantages, and we need never be apprehensive of losiiig the 

It is easy to observe, that all calculatibps concerning the 
balance of trade are found^^ on very uncertain facts and 
suppositions. The custom-bouse books are allowed to be 
an insufficient ground of reasoning ; nor is the rat^ of ex- 
change much better, unless we consider it with all nation^ 
and know also the proportion of the jseveral sums remit- 
ted, which one may safely pronounce impossible* Every 
man, who has ever r^asoii^ on this subyect, has always 
proved his tb^ry,. whatever it was, by kcts and calcida* 
tions, and by an enumeration of all th^ commodities sent 
to all foreign kingdoms. 

The writings of Mr Gee struck the nation with an uni^ 
versal panic, when they saw it plainly demonstrated, by k 
detail of particulars, that the balance was against them for 


SO g on i ^CT tibl^ & sttto» «9 fnttflttesve tiiem ^dioui it siifi^ 

liave since ^(^se^^ witk ah «)cpeittsiv6 foreign war ; yet it 
ii patmtMily svippoMd, that mtmey Is still mort plentHbl 
among ns tbah m any former period. 

NotUng can be more entertainitig on this head tfaatl Br 
Swift; an atttibor to <jti!tk in discerning uie mistakes and 
idysnrdilies of others. He say^ In his Short Vtew ofths 
Stale eflrdandf fliat the whole <ash of that kingdom for- 
merly amounted but to L. 500,000; that out of thistlie 
Irish remitted every year a neat mfllbti to England, and 
had scarcely any other source from wbieh they c6tdd cdm- 
pensate themselves, and little other foreign trade than ttie 
importation of French vrines, for which they paid iready 
money. Hie consequence of this sftuatloli, which mu^t 
be owned to be disadvantageous, wim, that, in a course of 
ilbtee years, the current money oflretand^ from L. 5O0,ty00, 
Was reduced to less than two. And at pre^nt, I fiupi^ose, 
in a (»arso of thirty y^rs, It is absolutely nothing. Yet I 
know not how that opinion of the advance of riches in Ire- 
land, which gave the Doctor so mti(^ indignation, seems 
still to conthnie, and gain ground with everybody. 

Ih short, this appreSiensioh of the wrong balatice of 
trade appears of sndi a nature, that it discovert ifsetf 
wherever one is out of htnnour whh the ministry, or h iti 
low spirits ; ahd as it can never be refuted by a particular 
detail of all the es:potts which ^tmtetbatance the imports, 
it may here be pit)per to Ibrm a general argument, that 
may prove the impossibility of this event, so long as we 
preserve our people and otur Indastry. 

Si^pose four-fifths of all- the money in Great j&ritain to 
be amtihilftted in one night, and the nation reduced to the 
same condition, whh regard to ^ede, ai$ In the reigns of 

310 l^SAY T. 

tbe Harrjrs an4Edwards> what would be tbeeonsetgiieiice?, 
Most not tbe price of all labour and commodities sink in 
proportion^ and every thing be sold as dieap as they were; 
in those ages ? What nation could then diq>ute with us ia 
any foreign market, or pretend to navigate or to sellma^, 
n9fiu:tiMres at the same price, which to us would afford suf- 
ficient profit? In how little time, therefore, must this bring:, 
back the money which we had loat, and raise us to the le^, 
veL of aM the neighbouring nations? wher^ after we have^ 
arrived, we immediately lose the advantage of the cheap^ 
ness of labour and commodities ; and the farther flowing^ 
in of money is stopped by our fuhiess and repletion* 

Again, suppose that all the money of Great Britaia 
were multiplied fivdbld in a night, must not the contrary 
effect follow ? Must not all labour and commodides rise to. 
such an e^corbitant l\^ht, that no neighbouring nations 
could afford to buy firom us ; while their commociitie^^ on. 
tlie other hand, became comparatively so cheap, that, in 
spite of all the laws which could be formed^ diey 
run in upon us, and our money flow out ; till we fall to a 
level with foreigners^ and lose that great superipori^ of 
riches, which had laid us under such disadvantages ? 

Now, it is evident,^ that the same causes which would 
correct these exorbitant ineijualities, were they to happen 
miraculously, must prevent their happening in the com- 
mon course of nature, and must for ever, in all nei^bour- 
ing nations^ preserve money nearly proportionable to the 
art and industry of each nation. All water, wherever it 
communicates, remains always at a level. Ask naturalista 
the reason ; they tellyou^ tbat^ were it to be raised in any 
one place, the superior gravity of that part not being ba- 
lanced, must depress it, till it meets a counterpoise ; and 
that the^same cause, which redresses the inequality when 


it hlHppcliis, must for ever prevent it, without som^ violent 
iQKten^ operation K 

Can one imagine, that it bad ever been possible, by any 
laws, (NT even by any art or industry, to have kept all the 
money in l^pain, whidi the galleons have brought from 
the Indies? Or that all commodities could be sold in 
iVance for a tenth of the price which they would yield on 
the other side ci the Pyrenees, without findmg their way 
thid&er, and draining from that immense treasure? What 
Other reason, indeed, is there, why all nations, at presient, 
gainin thdr trade with Spain and Portugal; but because 
it is impossible to heap up money, more than any fluid, 
beyoiiditpprc^r level? The*sovere^;ns of these countries 
have shewn, that they wanted not inclination to keep their 
gold and silver to themselves, had it been in any degree 

Bbt as aAjr body of water may be raised above the level 
of the surroundiilg element, if the former has no commu- 
nication with the latter ; so in money if the communication 
be ci)t off, by any material or physical impediment (&r all 
laws alone are ineffectual), there may, in such a case, be a 
very great inequality of money. Thus the immense disfv 
tance of China, together with the monopolies of our India 
companies, obstructing the communication, preserve in 
Europe the gcid apd silver, especially the Utter, in much 
greater plenty than they are found in that kingdom. But, 
notwithstanding this great obstruction, the force of the 

* There it another cmuse, Uiough mora limited in its operttiaiii idiid^ 
checks the wrong balance of trade, to erery particular nation to which tba 
kingdom tradea. When we import more goods than we export, the exchange 
turni againitiit>andthiibecomesattewenooiiragemeiitto export; asmuch 
at the charge of carriage and inauraace of the money wlaidk beeomat duo 
^ould amount ta For the«xchange can nevar riaa but a little h^bcr tl|at| 

S13 SSflAY V. 

CMaweB abo^ mentkmed is ttffl evUeiit Tbesldtlii^ b^ 
genuity of Europe in general surpasses p«i^9^ tkttl ^ 
Chkia, ifith rig&td to matiaal arts and mantt^etureS) yet 
are we h^nfi^ aUe to trade thither widumt^reat diiNidirail^ 
tage. And were-te not for the eofttkmed recruits whkdh 
we iectiy% from Amerioa, money would soon iinfc in fifr* 
wpe, and riee in Caiim^ till it came nearly to a let^ iA 
both places. Nor ean any reasonable man deiabt, bvtthM 
thatkidustrioBsnatkMi, were th^ as near ns as Pbbind^Mf 
Baorbary, wotdd drain ns of the overplus dT otir specie, tanA 
draw to tbemselveB * larger share of the West&dia trea^ 
sores. We need not hai^MMimte 1611 physical attrm^ion, 
in otdtr to explahi the necessity of this opemtf on. Theh$ 
is a moral attraction, arising fhnn the interests and pas* 
sions of men, whieh is full as patent and iii^llible. 

How is the balance kept in the provinces of ev«ry Idngw 
dom attoiq^ themselves, but by the Jbroe of tMiSpfteli^le, 
y/Aash makes it impoesible for money to lose ¥» levels and 
either to rise or sink beyond tiie prc^Kiftion dfthe labour 
and commodities whidi lot in each provm^e ? Did not 
k>ng experience mak^ peo]ple easy on this head, what a 
fond of gloomy reflections mAf^ calculations afford to a 
melandioly Yorksbireman, while he amtpMeA aiid mag^ 
nified the sums drawn to London by taxes, absentees, 
commodities, and Ibond on comparison the tq^posite arti- 
cles so much inferior ? And no doubt, had the Ekpiim^^ 
subsisted in England, the kgislature of each state had been 
continually alarmed by the fear of a wrong balance ; and 
tks it Is probable that the mutual hatred of these states 
would have been extremely violent on account of their dose 
neighbourhood, they would have loaded and opprctssed all 
•otnmarces by a jeidons and sf^yerftnoos cantioh* Shice 
Ihe union has removed the barriers between Scotland and 


Eflghmd, wliioh of Aese nitiett gaiM frtmi the other by 
thiiB &ed eommetce? Or if the ibrmer Uagidem has re- 
ceived «iiy monweof riidies) ceait reefimiaUy be account* 
ed for by any tfaiog but the inerease of its art aad indus- 
try ? It was a oomnKNH apprehe&skm in England, before 
the Union, as we learn from L'Abb^ dn Bols % thatScot- 
kiid wonld soon drain tiMtta of their treasure, were an open 
tcade allowed; and on the other side of the Tweed a con- 
trary appMhenBion prevailed : With what justice in both 
time has eheim. 

What happens in ifilaall portions at mankind must take 
place in greater^ The provinces of the Eoman empire, no 
donbt, kept thcdr balafice with each odier^ and with Italy, 
indepeBdent of the i^isdatune; m mttch as the several coun^ 
ties of Great Britain, or the several parishes of each coun- 
ty. And any man wiio travels over Europe at this day, 
may see, by the prices of commodities, that money, in spite 
of the absurd Jealousy of princes and states, has brought it- 
self neariy to a kvel; and diat the difference betwe^i one 
kingdom and another is not greater in &is respect, than it 
is often b^ween diffeseat provinces of the same kingdom. 
Men naturally flock to capital cities, sea-ports, and navi- 
gaUerivers. There we find more ttiea, more industry, 
more commodities, and consequently more money ; but still 
the latter dafierenoe boUs proportion with the former, and 
the fevd is preserved K . 

Our jeJEdonsy and our hatred of Fhmoe ere without 
bouhds.; anil the £mner sentiment, at least, must be ao* 
kaoidbedged reasonaMe and well-grounded, l^ese pas- 
aitfms haJie oecadooed iinuuDerable barriers and obstruc- 

Lcs Interits d'Angleterrc nud-entendus* 

314 xasAYT. 

tioDs upon commerce^ where we are itccnsed of bebg covh 
monly the i^ggre^sors. But what have we gained by tbs 
bargain? We lost the French market for our woollen ma- 
nufactures, and transferred the commerce of wine to Spain- 
and Portugal, where we buy worse liquor at a higher price* 
There are few Englishmen who would not think their coun-* 
try absolutely ruined, were French wines sold in England 
so cheap and in such abundance as to supplant, in sdme 
measure, all ale and hom«*bi^wed liquors : But would we 
lay aside prejudice, it would not be difficult to prove, that 
nothing conld be more innocent^ perhi^s adYanttgeous, 
Eadi new acre of vineyard planted in France, in order to 
supply England with wine, would make it requisite fat the 
French to take the produce of an English acre, sown in 
wheat or barley, in order to subsist themselves ; and it is 
evident; that we should thereby get command of the better 

There are many edicts of the French king, prohibiting 
the planting of new vineyards, and orderuig all those irtiich 
are lately planted to be grubbed up : So sensible are they,; 
in that country, of ^e superior value of com whme every 
other product* 

Mareschal Vauban complains often, and with reascm, of 
the absurd duties which load the entry of tliose wines of 
Languedoc, Ouienne, and other southern provinces, that 
are imported into Britanny and Ncnrmandy. He enter* 
tained no doubt but these latter provinces could preserve 
their balance, Qotwithstanding the open commerce whidi 
he recommends. And it ia evideni;. diat a few leagues 
more navigation to England would make no di£Eerence; or 
if it did, that it must operate alike on the commodities of 
both kingdoms. 

There is indeed one expedient by which it is possible tq 


9iiik» and another by which we may raise mon&f beyond 
itf oatnral level in any kiqgdom; but these cases, when 
examined, will be found to resolve into our general theory, 
and to bring additional author!^ to it 

I scarcely know any method of sinking money below its 
levelt but those institutions of banks, fiind^ and paper ere* 
dit, which are so much practised in this kingdom. These 
render paper equivalent to money, circulate it throughout 
the whole state, nwke it supply the place of gold and silr 
ver, raise proportionably the price of labour and commor 
dities, and by that means either banish a great part of those 
precious metals, or prevent their farther increase. What 
can be more short-sighted than our reasonings on this 
head? We fancy, because an individual would be nmch 
richer, were his stock of money doubled, that the same 
good effect would follow were the money of every one in* 
creased ; not considering that this would raise as much the 
price of every commodity, and reduce every man in tim^ 
to the same condition as before. It is oidy in our publie 
negotiations and transactions with foreigners, that a greater 
stock of money is advantageous; and as our paper is there 
absolutely insignificant, we fed, by its means, all the eiv 
fiscts arising from a great abundance of money, without 
reaping any of the advantages \ 

Suppose that there are 13 millions of paper, which cir- 
culate in the kingdom as money (for we are not to imagine 
that all our enormous funds are employed in that shape,} 
and suppose &e real cash of the kingdom to be 18 millions; 

■ We obsenred in Essay HI. that money, wiien increasing, gives encmil 
fAgeiMiit to industry, during the intervals betwe^a die increase of money 
«ad rise of the prices. A good effect d this nature may 'foU6sr too froqi 
paper credit; but it is daogenms to paecipitale nutters at tlie risk of lp%^ 
ing all by the failing of that credit as must happen upon any violent shock 
. in public affairs. 

Slti ESSAY T. 

Here is a state frhith is fotind by e&perieMe to be able td 
hold a stock oTSO fliSIions. Isay, if it be able to hoMh^ 
it mnst of necessity hate acqmredit in gold and silrer, hud 
we not obstructed die entrance of these metals by this new 
invention of paper. Whence would it have acquired 0ua 
9nm f From ali the kingdoms of the world. But why f 
Because, if you remove these IS miliions, money in this 
state is below its level, compared widi our neighbours ; and 
we must immediately draw ftom all of them, I3U we be foil 
and saturate, so to speak, and can hold no more. By our 
present politics, we are as carefol to stuff the nation with 
this fine commodi^^ of bank-bills and diequer notes, as If 
we were afraid of being overbimdened widi the precious 

It is not to be doubted, but the great plenty of bttUion 
tn France is, in a great measure, owing to the want df pa» 
per-credit The French have no banks: Merchanti^ bills 
do not there circulate as with us : Usury, w lending on 
interest, is not directly permitted ; so that many have large 
sums in their coffers : Great quantiiies of plate are ttsed in 
private houses; and all the chnrdies arefuB of it By 
this means, provisions and labour stffl remain dheaper a- 
mong them, than in nations that are not half so rich in 
gold and silver. The advantages of this situation, in point 
of trade, as well as in great public e m ergencies, are too evi- 
dent to be disputed. 

The same fashion a few years ago prevafled in Genoa, 
which still has place in England and Holland, of using ser- 
vices of China-ware instead of plate ; but the senate, fore- 
seeing the conseqoeiice^ prohibited the ufle of thfttbrittk 
commodity bey<md a certain extent; while the use cf sil- 
ver-plate was l^ft ntilimited. And I suppose, in thdr late 


tm on f30t9 ifi% perhaps, ifk this yiev, sosn^whaft ioqpditic. 

Before the iutroductioa pf peper-mcmey into our colo* 
iiies, they bod gcM add s&ver tuficftent tor tbeSr circiila^ 
tiop. SiBce the introdnctioii of th«^ coiWQodtJ^» the least 
iDcooveiiiency ^at has iG^Uowed is die total banWtmpat of 
the precuHis metals. And after the aholiliQii of papear» 
can it be doubted but money will return^ vfaile these cdo* 
nies possess mamifaetures and corani)diA)es» the ottly thing 
valuable ia commerce^ ^ind for whose sake alooe aU men 
desire mon^ ? 

What pity liycntgus did not thiidiL of papcar-oredit, when 
he wanted to banish gold and silver from Sparta I It would 
have served his purpose better than the lumps of iron he 
made use of as money ; and would also have prevented 
more efi^tuaUy all commerce with strangers, as beii^ of 
ao much less real imd intrinsic value* 

It must, however, be confessed^ tba^ as. all these quesr 
ilons of trade and money are extreme^ complicaled, tJ»Be 
we certain lights^ in wbiich this aulsjeci way be (daced^ so 
#s to r^reoent Ae advantages of papev^re^t and bmhs 
to be superior to their disadvantages. Thatth^banidi 
iqpecie and bidUoit firom a state, is «nd/mbtedly tme; and 
vhoeirer looks no further than this circumatance^ doea weH 
<o condemn t^em; l»it specie wd huUwA «re not of so 
great c<m8equence as not to admit of a compenaationy a»d 
oven m overbalance firom the increase of indu^JEj and of 
«9redil^ which may be promoted by the tight use of paper- 
money.. It is. well known of trhad advantage it ia to a mar- 
^anl to he able to disoounjt hia bills upon occasion: and 
ev^ thmg that facifitates Ak spedea of traffic is fisvouiw 
^IdetothogcnmLcofBroerceofastaln. Butpvivate banb- 
lors are cMUed to^^ve such credit by the credit iimy i»- 

sift SSftAt V, 

oetve from the depositing of money in their shops ; tanH 
the bapk of Elnglftod in the same' manner, fr(Hn the Mmrty 
it has to issue its notes io all payments. There was an in- 
yention of this kind, which was fallen upon some years ago 
by the banks of Edinburgh ; and which, as it is one of the 
most ingenious ideas that has been executed in commerce, 
has also been thoeght advantageous to Scotland. It is ' 
there called a Bank-Credit ; and is of this nature. A 
man goes to the bank and finds surety to the amount, we 
shall suiq>ose, of a thousand pounds. This money, or any 
part of it, he has the liberty of drawing out whenever he 
pleases, and he pays only the ordinary interest for it while 
it is HI his hands. He may, when be pleases, repay any 
sum so small as twenty pounds, and di^ interest is discount- 
ed from the very day of the repayment. The advantages 
resulting from this contrivance are manifold. As a man 
may find surety nearly to the amount of his substance, and 
hisbanb-credit is equivalent to ready money, a merchant 
floes hereby in a manner coin his house, his household- 
liirniture, the goods in his warehouse^ the foreign debts 
due to him, bis ships at sea; and can, upon occasion, em- 
ploy them in all payments, as if th^ were the current mo- 
aey of the country. If a man borrow a thousand pounds 
from a private hand, besides that it is not always to b^ 
found when required, he pays interest for it, whether he 
be using it or not ; His bank-credit costs him nothing ex- 
cept during the very moment in which it is of service to 
him : .And this circamstance is of equal advantage as if he 
had borrowed money at much kwer interest. Merchantis 
likewise, from this invention, acquire a great facility in 
supporting each other's credit, whidi is a considerable se^ 
curity against bankruptcies. A man, when his own bank- 
ctedit is exhausted,, goes to any of his neighbours who ia 


not in the same condition ; and he gets the money, which 
he replaces at his ccmvenience* 

After this practice had taken place dl^ing some years 
at Edtnbargh, several companiesof merchants at Glasgow 
carried the matter farther. They associated themselves 
iQto different banks, and issued notes as low as ten shil* 
lings, which they used in all payments for goods, manu^* 
factores, tradesmen's labour c£ all kinds ; and these notes, 
from the established credit of the companies, passed as 
money in all payments throughout the country. By this 
means, « stock of five thousand pounds was able to perform 
the same operations as if it were six or seven ; and mer-* 
chants were thereby enabled to trade to a greater extent, 
and to require less profit in all their transactions* But 
whatever other advantages result from these inventions, it 
must still be allowed that besides giving too great &cility 
to credit, which isdangerous^ they banish the precious me* 
tals ; and nothing can be a m<Nre evident proof of it, than 
a comparison of the past and present condition of Scot^ 
land in that particular. It was found, upon the recoinage^ 
made after the Union, that there was near a million of q>e- 
eie in that country : But notwithstanding the great increase 
of riches, commerce, «nd manufiictures of all kinds, it is 
thought that, even where Aere is no extraordinary drain 
made by England, the current specie will not now amount 
to a third of that sum. 

But as our projects of paper-credit are almost the only, 
expedient by which we can sink money below its level ; 
so, in my c^inion^ the only expedient, by which we can 
raise money above it, is a practice which we should all ex^ 
claim against as destructive, namely, thegatheriug (^hurgft 
sum^into a public treasure, locking them up, and d[)so«i 
hitely preventing their circulation. The fluid, not com** 

dSO E84AY V. 

TOankntii^ witU tb^ ntigkbouring ^lemeot^ may% by mtb 
an artifice, be raised to what beigbl we pl^a^o* To py^ve 
tbui we need <m\y teium t^ ow^ iral wq)|Mwitioii> of anoi* 
hilatiog thelialf or «iqrpartof <Hirc4ahi where we founds 
thai the immediate coBs^iieiice of much an event would be 
the attraction of an equal mm firan all the neighbouring 
kingdoms. Nor doea tfiere teen ta be any necessary 
bounds se^ by tfa^ nature of thing% to dm practice of 
hoarding. A OBfU dty^ like Geneva^ continning this po^ 
licy for age8> mig^ engross nin&*tendu of the money in 
EuFffie. There seems, indeed, in the nature of man, an 
invinc3)te obstade to that tnunecse growth of riches. A 
weak state, with an enormous treasure^ will soon become 
a prey to some of its poorer, but more powetful nei^hours* 
A great state would dissipate its weahh m dangerous and 
ill-concerted projects ; wul probably destroy, with it, what 
is much more valuable, the industry, morals, and numbsis 
of its people. The fluid, in this case, raised to too great 
a height, bursts and destroys the vessel that contains it; 
and mixing itself wit^Lthe surroonding dements, soon &Iia 
to its {NToper leveL 

So little are we ^ommonljr acquainted widi tliia prinein 
pie, thst, though all historians agree in rdsiting unifimn^ 
so recent an event, as the immensi^ treasure amass^ by 
Harry VII. (which thqr make amount to 2,70(M)M 
pounds) we rather reject their concurring testimony, than 
admit of a fact, which i^^rees so ill with our inveterate pre- 
judices. It is indeed probable, that diia sum might bo 
three-fourths of all the money in KngkiucL But whore ia 
the difficulty in conceiving, that such a sum mi(^ be a« 
massed ii^ twen^ years^ by a cunning, rapacious, frugal,' 
and almost at^olute monarch ? Hor is it probable, that tlie 
diminution, of circulating money was ever sensibly (e^ by 



the pec^e^ or eyer did them any prejudice. The sinking 
of the prices of all eommoditieft would immediately replace 
it, by giving England the advantage in its commerce with 
ihe neighbouridg kiiq;dom8« 

Have we not an instance in the small republic of Athena 
with its allies, who, in about fifty years, between the Me* 
dian and Peloponnesian wars, amassed a sum not much 
iderioi' to that of Harry VII. ? For all the Greek his- 
torians *■ and orators ^ agree, that the Athenians collected 
in the citadel more than 10,000 talents, whidi they after-* 
wards dissipiEited to tiieir own ruin, in rash and inq>rudent 
enterprises. But when this money was set ^-running, 
and* began to communicate with the surrounding fluid, 
what was flie consequence ? Did it remafai in the state ? 
No. Fbr we find, by the memorable ceMua mentioned by 
Demosthenes ^ and Polybius^, that, in about fifty years 
afterwards, the wfade vcdue of the republic, comprehend* 
ing lands, houses, commodities, slaves, and money, was 
less than 6000 talents. 

What an ambitious high-spirited people was this, to 
collect and keep in their treasury, with a view to conquests, 
« sutn, which it witis ev^ day in the power of the citizens, 
fay a single vote, to distribute among themselves, and which 
wouU have gone near to triple the riches of every indivi«- 
dual I For we must observe, that the numbers and pri^ 
vate riches of the Athenians are said, by ancient writers, 
to have been no greater at the beginning of the Pelopon^ 
nesian war, than at the beginning of the Macedonian. 

Money was little more plentifiil in Greece during the 
age of Philip and Perseus, than in England during that of 

* ThucydidMy lib. ii aqd I>iod. Sic Ub. xii, 
^ VitL iEschinis ei Demostbenis Epitt, 

* Ilf^i J,v(AfM^i*i. ' Lib. ii. cap. 62. 
VOL. 1. Y 

882 £8SAT V. 

Harry VII. : Yet these two mcmarchs in thirty years * col* 
lected from the small kingdom of Macedon, a larger trea* 
sure than that of the English monarch* Paulus .Slmilios 
brought to Rome about 1,700,000 poimds Sterling^. Pliny 
juiys, 2,400,000 <". And that was but a part of the Ma- 
cedonian treasure. The rest was dissipated by the resis- 
tance and flight of Perseus ^* 

We may learn from Stanian, that the canton of Berne 
had 800,000 pounds lent at interest, and bad about six 
times as much in their treasury. Here then is a sum 
hoarded of 1,800,000 pounds Sterling, which is at least 
quadnq)le what ^ould naturally circulate in sudi a petly 
state ; and yet no one, who travels in the Pais de Vaux^ 
or any part of that canton, observes any want of money 
more than could be su(qM>sed in a country of that extent, 
schI, and situation. On the contrary, there are scarce any 
inlmd provinces in the continent of France or Germany, 
where the inhabitants are at this time so opulent, though 
that canton has vastly increased its treasure since 1714, 
the time when Stanian wrote hb judidous account of Swit« 
jKrland \ 

The account given by Appian ' of the treasure of die 
. Ptolemies, is so prodigious, that one cannot admit <^it ; 
and so much the less, because the historian says, that the 
other successors of Alexander were also frugal, and had 
jnany of them treasures not much inferior. For this sa- 
ving humour of the neighbouring princes must necessarily 
have checked the frugality of the Egyptian monarchs, ac- 

•• Titi Liviiy lib, xIt. cap. 4a ** VeL Paterc. lib. L cap. 9. 

• Lib. xxxiii. cap. 3. * Titi Livii, ibfd. 

* The porerty which Staniaii tpeaki of if only to be seen in the mott 
mountainous cantons, whore there is no commodity to bring money. And 
even there the people are not poores than in the diocese of Saltsburg on the 
one hand, or Savoy on the other. ' Proem. 


tAtdmgioyh^ foregoing theory* Tlie som he meotions 19 
^4O»0(M» talentit or 191|16<li|669 pounds^S shilliiigs aQ4 
4 peMie^ according to Dr Arbathnof s computatioiau AoA 
y<U Appian aayB» that he extracted hb aoconnt from the 
public records; andhewaahimself a native of Alexandria. 

From these principles we may learn what judgment we 
ought to form of tlK)flc numberless bars, obstructions, and 
imposts, which all nations of Eurc^>e^ and nonemiure than 
En^^iand, ha^e put upon trade ; from an exorbitant desire 
•f aniawiing money, whi^ never will hei^ up beyond ita 
level, while it circulates ; or from an ill-ground^ appre* 
kension of losing their specie, which never will sink below 
it Could any thing scatter our riches^ it would be such 
impolitic contrivances. But this general ill efieel^ how- 
ever, results from them, that they dqprive neighbouring 
iMtions 4iS that free communication and exchai^ which 
the Aathor lof the world has intended, by giving them soils^ 
climates, and geniuses, so different from each othen 

Our modem politics embrace the <mly method of ba-r 
lushing money, the using of paper-credit ; they reject the- 
odly method of amassing it, the practice of hoarding; and 
tkey ad^ a hundred contrivances, which serve to no pur«- 
pose but to dieck industry, and to rob ourselves and our 
neighbours of the comnnm benefits of art and nature. 

All taxes, however, upon foreign commodities, are not 
to be rqjarded as prejudicial or useless, but those only 
which are founded on the jealousy «bove mentioned. A 
tax on German linen encourages home manufactures, and 
thereby multiplies our people and industry. A tax oa 
brandy increases the sale <^ rum, and siq)ports our south- 
em colonies. And as it is necessary that imposts should 
be levied for the support of government, it may be thought 
mor^ convenient to lay them on foreign copmoditicj^ 


to th^ ittipo^ We «tfglit^ how^v^^ flhrays to femtMhet 
tii^lnajiknef Di- 9mfty HuLt) m ^arkhiiietie^^ecii^ 
toBiss two and two milk^ i^tft foti#, tmt dtien taak^ only 
one. It can acareely be dotibtad^ btt^ if «li« duties ofi wta^ 
wore kmefed t^ ft tbtfd^ fhay woaU ykkt modi more to 
the gG^rMient thiift at prtsMt c OlMf ftedple migbl diei^ 
by afibrd to drkk commonly a bailer and more whobesDme 
Hqnof ; Md m( prcgodke wc«U <sQ$ae to the bditc of 
ti^d«^ofwhidiweare!k>jeatous. the manafdciMNi of ate 
be jond the agritukai^e is bttt ioeoAddcMbki^ and giires t 
ployment to few htods. Hie (taii5]K>rt of wiae and i 
wottld riot be much infetiw«^ > ... 

But lUre dierei not freqnent ksti^Msea^ yoa will aay, 4ft 
Miltes and kingdoHis^ \^iob were fortiieily Heb imd opii^ 
Itn^i and are now po&c and b^garly ? Has hot tbe motlaf 
left diem witii wbich they formerly abonnded ? I itniWti^ 
If they lese ^ir trade, indnstry, and people, tkeff^amot 
eiapect to keep their gold and silvef : For these prechlus 
metals will hold proportion to die former admntagea* 
When Lisbon and Amsterdora got the East India trade 
irOtn Vetifde and Genoa^ di^ also got the profits and ^19^ 
h^y whitoh arose fVom it Where the seatof govtonmeM 
is transferred, where expensive armies are maimoiiied at« 
distimce^ where great funds ere possessed by fbraigtlcrs ; 
dieft naturally follows from these causes a dimimildoD of 
the specie. Bat these, we may observ€^ are violent and 
foreiUe methods of carrying away moneys and areintioie 
commohly attended ^ith the tratlspott ot people and in- 
dustry. Bet where these remain^ and the AnSm is not eon** 
thmed, the money always finds its way back again, by « 
hundred canals^ of which we have no notion or suspteion* 
What immense treasures have been spent, by so m«ny na-^ 


tHHis, in Flanders, since the Revolution, in the course of 
three long wars ? More money perhaps than the half of 
what is at present in Europe. But what has now become 
of it? Is it in the narrow cppipass of the Austrian pro- 
vinces ? No, surely : It has most of it returned to the se- 
veral countries whence it came, and has followed that art 
and industry by which at first ft was acquired. For above 
a thousand years, the money of Europe has been flowing 
to Rome, by a» epBU and ^i^MiUc cotrcnt | but it has been 
mptied by many secret and insensible canals : And the 
mfl^rfii0nfitry ^^d copuoaearp^ rf^Qfiars at pirefi^^ \hf^ pt- 
j^ lim^flcipm the pooi^ teiriitory in all jtaly. 

In s\k<^ a gfmevm^nt h^s great reason to preiary^ 
m^ oav^ Us pwpjk wd to m^nufi|cture& Its mq^iy, it 
mif 9fMt tmat ^tb^ tmr^ 0f hwnan f^k^t V^l^m/t 
fm f»i«i)owy^ Or, tf H »¥€r giris ^tt^ntiioii t^ f]^i$ htm 
m^tmmtm&f^ it Q^^Gtiy to b^ so fajr #sf it ^fbcta t^ 



-rlAViNG endeavoured to remove one species of iU-founded 
jealousy, which is so prevalent among commercial na!don% 
It may not be amiss to mention another, which seems 
equally groimdless. Nothing is more usual, among states 
which have made some advances in eonmierce, than to look 
on the progress of their neighbours with a suspicious eye^ 
to consider all trading states as their rivals, and to suppose 
that it is impossible for any of them to flourish, but At A^St 
expense. In opposition to this narrow and malignant 
opinion, I will venture to assert, that the increase of riches 
and commerce in any one nation, instead of hurting, com- 
monly promotes the riches and commerce of all its neigh- 
bours ; and that a state can scarcely carry its trade and 
industry very far, where all the surrounding states are bu- 
ried in ignorance, sloth and barbarism. 

It is obvious, that the domestic industry of a pe<^le can- 
not be hurt by the greatest prosperity of their neighbours ; 
and as this branch of commerce is undoubtedly the most 
important >in an extensive kingdom, we are so fiur re- 
moved from all reason of jealousy. But I go farther, and 
observe, that where an open conmiunication is preserved 
among nations, it is impossible but the domestic industry 
of every one must receive an increase from the improve- 


Bienls of the others* Compare the sitiiation of Great Bri^ 
tain at present, with what it was two centuries ago. All 
the art% both of agriculture and manofactures, were then 
^Ktremely rode and imperfect* Every improvement, which 
we have since made, has arisen from our imitation of fo<* 
reigners ; and we ought so £ur to esteem it happy, that 
they had previously made advances in arts and ingenuity. 
But this intercourse is still upheld to oi|r advantage : Not-» 
withstanding the advanced state of our mannfiEictures, we 
daily adopt, in every art, the inventions and improvements 
of our neighbours. The commodity is first imported from 
abitMid, to our great discontent, while we imagine that it 
drains us of our money : Afterwards, the art itself is gra- 
dually imported^ to our visible advantage : Yet we conti<- 
nue still to repine, that our neighbours should possess any 
art, industry, and invention ; forgetting that, had they not 
first instructed us, we should have been at present barban^ 
lians ; and did th^ not still continue thekr instructions, 
the arts must fall into a state of languor, and lose that 
emulation and novel^ which contribute so much to theb 

The increase of domestic industry lays the foundation of 
foreign oMnmerce. Where a great number of commodi- 
ties are raised and perfected for the home market, there 
will always be found some which can be exported with ad- 
vantage. But if our neighbours have no art or cultivation 
they cannot take them | because they will have nothing to 
give in exchange. In thb respect, states are in the same 
condition as individuals* A single man can scarcely be in- 
dustrious, where all his fellow-citizens are idle. The riches 
of the several members of a OHnmunity contribute to in- 
crease my riches, whatever prdession I may fdlow. They 

$88 EMAT VU 

coBSiUM the produce of mj indiistry> and afiordiae ^m 
prodai:e of tbeir$ ia leturo. ; 

Nor seeds wj sUte entertiuii appreheuttODs, that thfilt 
neig^ibours wiU ivfirove to s«ch a d<^ee iu every art and 
numnfa^ure, as to have no demand from them. Natuse^ 
by giving a divenity of ^eniusesi dlnrntesi and sotb tx> difi 
fiDrent nations^ baa secured tbair mntval intecepiivBe and 
commerce^ aa long as they all remain indnatrious andelfc 
Tiliz^ Nay, the more the arts increase in any state, die 
■KHre wiU be its demands from its iBdustrioiis niefghboiur&r 
The inhabitants^ having beeome opulent and skilful^ desife 
to have every oonmiodi^ in Ae utmost perfeetian;.aMl; as 
they have plen^of commoditiea to give in exchange, they 
make large importattoiis from evoyfiireigQ country. The 
industry of the nations, from whom they import, receives 
enoonragement ; Their own is also increased^ by the s^ile 
of die commoditiea which they give in exchange. 
. But what if a natkm has any sta^e eommoditji^ suokaa 
the woollen mantt&cture is in England? Must not the in» 
t^rfering of our noi^bours in tbit mannfactttfe be a Iosk 
to us? I answer, that, when any commodity is denominated, 
the staple of a kingdom^ it is si^pqsed tb^t this kingdom 
has some pecn^iar and natural advantages for raising the 
conwodity ; and if, notwithstanding these advantages, th^. 
lose such a manu&ctt^re, they ought to blame their own. 
idl^iess or bad government, not the indvrstry of their ne^;h- 
bours. It oiight also to be ^naidered, ^iE^ by the in- 
crease of industry amppg the neighbouring naUons, the 
consumption pf every partieuW species of commodity is . 
also increased ; and thoi^ foreign manu&ctures interfere 
with them in the market, the demand for their product 
may ^till continue, or even increase* And should it dimi- 
nish, ought the consequence to be esteemed so fatal ? If 


tl|^9|)Ht of indwtry be pr^mrvcd) itnmy ^^aily be^iver^ 
^Nfm Qiv$ brweh to wolbor; nod tb« inwariibotiiFera of 
woeUt fi^r in9tawe> be enjoyed m line«, ftilk» ii^g, or any 
oth#r wmmoHtm fi>r wbl<^ tbere ^ipom to be a demand* 
We peed not apprehendt t^At aU ih^ objects of iodvuBtiry 
will be exhausted, or that our manufacturers, while thejr 
fV^wn OS an equal fo^tie^ with tho^^ of our oc^bonrs, 
wiU be in danger of wamting emp^ym^nU The imulatiQn 
ajiiopg rival oatiom serves rather to ketgp iodustry alive 
iu ^ of them : And wy peq^^le 19 happier whp.po^^eaa 4 
vari^y.of manufSM^ures, thaa if th^ ^oyod oee mo^Io 
great mauu&etHre^ m whif^h they are all eioplogred. Theif 
sitfiotioii is less puecarioita ; and th#y wilt feel less sensibly 
ik^^e revdations and uoffertainties, to iRhicb every partis 
CttliMT branch of commeoce will always be exposed* 

The only eommereial state that ought to dread th^ im^ 
provraients and industry of their nei^f^bbours, is such a one 
48 the Dtttch^ who^ efyoying na extent of land,, nor pos^ 
sesfiAgany number of native awmodities, flourish only by 
their being the hrokars, and factory and caniera of others. 
Sm:h « people may oa|nrally appreheodl, ihat as soon m 
the neighbouring states come to know and punue their in<« 
terest, they will take into their own hands the management 
of their affidrs, and deprive their brokers of that profit 
which they formerly reaped firom it But though this con- 
sequence may naturally be dreaded^ it is very long before 
it takes place ; and by art and industry it may be warded 
off for many generatbns, if not wholly eluded. The ad- 
vantage of superior stocks and correspondence is so great, 
that it is not easily overcome ; and as all the transactions 
increase by the increase of industry in the neighbouring 
states, even a people whose commerce stands on this pre- 
carious basis, may at first reap a considerable profit from 

SSO EfiftAY VI. 

the flourishing coiuliti<m of their neighbours. Hie Dnteh^ 
iiaving mortgaged all their revenues) make not such a fignre 
in polttioal tnmsactions as formerly ; but their commerce 
is surely equal to what it was in the middle of the last cen** 
tury» when they were reckoned among the great powers of 

Were our narrow and malignant p<ditica to meet with 
success, we should reduce all our neighbouring nations td 
the same state of sloth and ignorance that prevdls in Mo- 
rocco and the coast of Barbary. But what would be the 
consequence? They coidd send us no commodities : They 
could take none from us : Our domestic commerce itsdf 
would languish for wwt of emulation, es^ample^ and in* 
struction ; And we ourselves should soon fall into the same 
abject condition, to which we had reduced Chem. I shall 
therefore venture to acknowledge, that, not only as a man, 
but as » British subject, I pray for the flourishing com-* 
merce of Germany, Spain, Italy, and even France itselE 
I am at least certain that Great Britain, and all those na-^ 
tions, would flourish more, did their sovereigns and mini«* 
sters adopt such enlarged fmd benevoknt sentiments tON^ 
wards each other* 





It is a question, whetiher Ae Mm of the balance of power 
be owing entirely to modtam policy, or whether the phmse 
only fcas been iarented in the later ages ? It is certain 
that Xenophon \ fai his Institation of Cyrus, represents the 
combination <^ the Asiatic powers to have arisen from a 
jeakiasy 4^ thekicreasingforcec^tfae Medesand Pernansi 
and thoBgh that el^;ant composition dionld be supposed 
altogether a romance, this ^entimen^ ascribed by the au** 
thor to the Eastern princes, is at least a proof of the pte* 
vafling notion of ancient times* 

In all the politics of Greece, the anxiety, with r^ard io 
the bfdance of power, is i^parent, and is expressly pointed 
oat to us, even by the ancient historians. Thucydides* 
re^^esents the league which was formed against Athens, 
and which produced the Peloponnesian war, as entirely 
owing to this princ^k. And after the decline of Athens, 
when the Thebans and Lacedemonians diq)uted forsove^ 
reignly, we find that the Athenians (as well as numy other 
republics) always direw themselves into the lighter scale, 
and endeavoured to preserve the balance. Hiey support* 
ed Thebes against Sparta, till the great victory gained by 
Epaminondas at Leuctra ; after which they immediately 

• Lib. i. * Lib. I. 


went over to the conquered, from generosity, as they pre- 
tended, but in realily from their jealousy of the oonque-r 

Whoever will rea^ DeiQQSthenes's oration for the Me- 
galopolitans, may see the utmost refinements, on this prin- 
ciple that.ev^r entered into the head of a Venetian or Eng- 
lish q>eculati8t And upon the first rise of the Macedo- 
nian power, this orator immediately discovered the danger, 
sounded the alarm diroiqghottt aH Greece, and at last as- 
sembled that confederacy under the banners of Athens 
which foiigbi tb# gtfiUufA4fsmw^btM0idamwof^ 

It ifi tn9% the Onaciaa wmi m^ legiN^d^i bgr hi>t<»riai» 
M wim of eiiid^tkm 9«lbev than of polities ; and €»^ 
Mema to havf hml qio«e in vie^lNl^Mgwof tendinglhf 

miiw If»«€ottiid»i^ffidiQftd» AeMnaUmiak^ 
bilMite i« wy M0 nepnblk^ eonpeiittd Iq Ite i^hok^ tht 
grii» diftoriy <f fc raii ig mgi^ in ibmo iitam^^ ^MAb 
flKiiaaldteiki7 btairaj And dtwfUm oj mmtf Smemm a^ 
mong that noble people ; W0 ahatt iwwif iitif » .<hat tji» kmr 

anA p«#d i|M ^fune been ipwrd^ vi^ that ^w^ien ^^ 
M^f \^ Pf^itft m, i)Qmr ^g(^ But vlloti^ we i^riba 
th^shi^^ ^»4U9 ff> pU tb« (JMci«p rq[nibUp& ta > i flfay f 
PMtfntiw 9r ffV^vwn j?qMm«^ «iie effe^ w^^e lUiip^ Had 
^#ry pTQ^xa^]^ pPf^npr wn^ su«^ tq P9<^t wkh a a^nfekw 
c^y ^B#t it, aod tbiH^ oftoR pcHnpoaed of il$ fbrm^ 
^etm49 wd »ttitMu 

Tine «MAd i^iteei^ «$U i^ epyy or prudMicc^ wbi^b 
piK)diiei^ the.O^CnMMi. of Athens, md Pdaiimm of Syra^ 
aas«k Md evpdiled af^i^ $itia^n who9e feme or power osrear* 

• Xenoph. Hist. Gr«c. lib. yi. and Yii. 


telpped Ae rcfsl; the Mgie ptltuAjpHe^ I say, fMMilitfy dis^ 
Covered itself fo foi^gn pdMcs, and sooa faued dnenriea 
t6 iheliMmg 5tale^ h&wt^er tMdetBUt^ tik the e3teit:i»e ot 

The Pet^^uifi moiiftrdh was iredly, ifii fair 6me, ft fCRl^ 
prkioe compart to die Oredto fepuUios ; and (faereferei 
it bettored him^ from ticws df safety more Stun friam rnia-^ 
lattoa^ t^iiit^estMttiself In their qnafrek, and to snpp^vl 
tfie weaker side in every contest This was the adviee 
given by Al^tades to Tissaphemes *, and it prokmgedi 
iieai^ a eeMurf^ the date of the Persian en^yire; t3l the 
tie^fcct of it fot a Aotnent, after the first appearance of 
the aspiring gehius of Hiilip, broug^ that leJIfy and ItaSl 
e^Kfice to the gromid) wiA a rapidHy of whieh &ere ara 
few instances ih the history of mankind. 

The snccessofs of Alexander showed great jeakmsy of 
(be balance 6f power ; a jealousy fonnded on true polities 
and pmdence, and Which preserved distinct for several ages 
Ihe partitk)B mufie after the death of that famoos conquc« 
ror. The ftnrtune and ambitioa of Andgcmus ^ threaten* 
ed them anew with a nnitersal monarchy ; bat tlieir eom^ 
fatoation, and their victory at Ipsns, saved them. And in 
subsequent times, we find, that, as the Eastern princes 
considered ihe Greeks and Macedonifms as the only real 
military force with whom they had any intercourse, tliey 
kept i^ays a watdiiul c^ over that part of the world. 
Hie Ptoleraies, in paitteular, supported first Anstus and 
the Aehs^ns, and then Oleomenes king of Sparta, fit>m no 
oilier view than as a counterbalance to the Macedonian 
ltionurchs« Far this is the account which I^olybius gives 
of the Egyptian politics ^. 

• Thucyd. lib. viil. *» Diod. Sic. lib. xz. * Lib. ii. cap. 51. 

tS4 EfiSAT VII. 

The reason why it is stqiposed that the aacioite w^rf 
entirely ignorant of the 6akmte ifjmoer^ seems to be drawn 
from the Roman history more than the Grecian; and aa 
the transactions of the former are generally more fiuniliar 
to m^ we have thenoe formed all our oonofasiona, Itmnst 
\>e ownedy that the Romans never met with any such gene- 
ral combinadon or confederaqr against theni) as nnght na- 
tarally have been expected for their rapid eooquests and 
declared ambition, but were allowed peaceably to sobdui^ 
{h^ neighbours, one after another, tiU they extended their 
dimiinion over the whole knpwn world. Not to mention 
the fabulous history of the Italic wars, there was, upon 
Hifftnibal's invasion of the Roman state, a remarkable cri-t 
sis, which ought to have called up the attention of all civi* 
lized nations. It afqseared afterwards (nor was it diffiicull 
to be observed at the time)* that this was a cootest for uni- 
versal empire; yet no prince or state seems to have been 
ia the least alarmed about the event or issue of the <]uar- 
rel. Philip of Macedon reaaained neuter, till he saw tlm 
victories of Hannibal; and then most imprudently formed 
an alliance with the conqueror, upon terms still more im-» 
prudent. He stipulated, that he was to assist the Cartbar 
g^ian state in their oonquest of Italy; after which tbej^ 
engaged to aend over forees into Greece, to assist him ii\ 
subduing the Greeian commonwealth \ 

The Rhodian and Achaean republics are much celebra- 
ted by ancient historians for their wisdom and sound po- 
licy ; yet both of them assisted the Romans in their wara 
against Philip and Antiodius. And what may be esteem-, 
ed still a stnmger proof, that this maxim wws not generally 

* It was observed by some^ m appears by the speech of Agesilaxis of Nau> 
pactum, in the general congress of Greece. See Polyb. lib. t. cap. 101. 
^ Tit. IdTii, Kb. udli cap. 33^ 


known in those tges^ no ancient Author has remarked the 
impmdenee of these measures, nor has even blamed that 
absurd treaQr above menticHied, made by Philip with the 
Carthaginians. Princes and statesmen, in all ages, maj^ 
beforehand, be blinded in their reasonings with regard to 
events : But it is somewhat extraordinary, that historians, 
afterwards, should not form a sounder judgment of thenu. 
. Ma ss inissa, Attalu^ Prusias, in gratifying their private 
passions, were all of them the instruments of the Roman 
greatness, and never seem to have suspected, that they 
were forging their own chains, while they advanced th^ 
conquests of their ally. A simple treaty and agreement 
between Massinissa and the Carthaginians, so much requi- 
red by mutual interest, barred the Romans from all en-* 
trance into Africa, and preserved liberty to mankind. 

The only {Hrince we meet with in the Roman history, 
who seems to have understood the balance of power, is 
Hiero^ king of Syracuse. Though the ally of Rome, he 
sent assistance to the Carthaginians during the war of the 
auxiliaries { << Esteeming it requisite,'^ says PolybiusS 
^< both in order to retain his dominions in Sicily, and to 
«< preserve the Roman friendship, that Carthage should 
<* be safe ; lest by its fall the remaining power should be 
^< able, without control or opposition, to execute every pur- 
^ pose and undertaking. And here he acted with great 
<< wisdom and prudence : For that is never, on any ao- 
^ count, to be overlooked ; nor ought such a force ever to 
*< be thrown into one hand, as to incapacitate the neigh- 
«c bouring states from defending their rights against it.'* 
Here is the aim of modem politics pointed out in express 

* lib. i* cap. 93. 


In short the niaxim of preserfing the baUoic^ tdJTfm^^ 
is foiUKlffl so nnick oh conunon sense and bbrious ien^M^ 
ing, that it is impossible it could ahogether ha^ra escaped 
anCiquit^) where we find^ in otber particulars, so mMy 
auirks of deep penetration and discernment If it was not 
so generally known and adinowledged as at present^ it bad 
at least an influence on all the wiser and more experienced 
princes and politicians. And indeed, ereH at present, 
however generally known and acknowledged aifioiig spe-* 
culatlve reasoner 8, it has ndt, in practice, aoi authority 
much more extensive among th<ise who govern the worldi 

After the fall of the Roman empire, the form of govern-' 
ment, established by the northern conquerors, incapacita^ 
ted them, in a great measure, for fkrther cottque^ts, and 
long maintained each Gtate in its proper boundaries* But 
when vassalage and the feudal militia were abolished, men- 
kind were anew alarmed by the danger at universal mo* 
harchy, iVom the union of so maliy kingdoms and princi«- 
palities in the person of the fknperor Charles. But the 
power of the house of Austria, founded on e3(tensive but 
divided dominions ; and their riches, derived chiefly from 
mines of gold and silver, were more likely to decay of 
themselves, from internal defects, thim to overthrow all 
the bulwarks raised against them. In less than a century, 
the force of that violent and haughty race was shattered", 
their opulence dissipated, their splendour eclipsed* A net^ 
power succeeded, more formidable to the liberties of Eu- 
rope, possessing all the advantages of the former, and la^ 
bouring under none of its defects, except a share of that 
spirit of bigotry and persecution, with which the house of 
Austria was so long, and is still so much infatuated. 

In the general wars maintained against this ambitious 

power, Great Britain has stood foremost, and she still 



maintains her station. Beside ber advantages of lidies 
and skuation, her people are animated with such a national 
^Mrit, and are so fully sensible of the blessings of their 
government^ that we may hope their vigour never will lan- 
guidi in so necessary and sojust a cause. On thlB contrary, 
if we may judge by the past, their passionate ardour seems 
rather to require some moderation ; and they have oftener 
erred from a laudable excess than fixmi a blameable defi- 

- In the Jim place, vre seem to have been Q»ore possessed 
.with the andaoit Greek spirit of jealous emulaticm, than 
w^tnated by the prudent views of modem politics. Our 
wars with France have been b^^ with justice, and even 
perhaps from necessity, but have always been too far push- 
^, from obstinacy and passion. The same peace, which 
was afierwards made at Ryswick in 1697, was offered so 
^arly as the year ninety-two ; that concluded at Utrechlt in 
1T19 might hare been finished <m as good condition^ at 
Gertruytenberg in the year eight; and we might have gi- 
ven at Frankfort, in 1T43, the same terms which we were 
glad to accept of i»t Aix-la^Chapelle in the year forty- 
eight. Here then we see, that above half of our wars with 
France ami all our public debts, are owing more to our 
own imprudent vehemence, than to the ambitiim of our 

In the second place, we are so declared in our exposi- 
tion to French power, and so alert in defence of our al- 
lies, that they always reck<m upon our force as upon their 
^own ; and expecting to carry on war at our expense, re- 
fuse all reasonable teirms of accommodation. Habeni suft- 
jedasy tanquam moss vilesj ui aUenos* All the world knows, 
that the factious vote of the House of Commons, in the 
b^;inning of the last parliament, with the professed humour 

VOL. I. z' 


cS die BatkNiy made the Qucai of Hungary mflezible in 
her temUf and preveated that agreeoieBt with Fruamif 
which wodd immediataly hare restored the general tntt* 
qnillitjr of Europe. 

In the AM place, we are inch trne oenfaatants, tha^ 
iHien once engaged, we lose all cancem far ovradfes and 
our posterity^ and consider only how we may best annoy 
the enemy. To mortgage our revenuas at so deep a rate 
in wars where we were only accessaries, was surdy the 
neat fiual ddnsion that a nation, wfaidi had any preten- 
sions to politics and prudence^ has erer yet been guilty oC 
That remedy of funding, if it be a remedy, and not rsither 
a poison, ought, in all rraooti, to be reaenred to die last 
eactremity; and no evil, bntAe greatest and most nrgen^ 
should ever induce us to embrace ao dangerous an eKp&- 

Theae excesses^ to which we have been carried, are pre- 
judicial, and may, perhi^M, in time^ become still more pre- 
judicial another wi^, by b^gettin^ as is usual, the opposite 
extreme, and residering us totally cardess and supine with 
regard to the fieOe of Enrc^M. The Athenians, from the 
most busding^ intriguing, warlike, pecqple of Greece, find- 
ing thdr error in thrusting themsdiTes into erery i^mrrel, 
abandoned aM attention to foreign afiurs; and in no conr 
test ever took part on either side, excqpt by their flatteries 
and complaisanoe to the victor. 

ibormons BMmavchies are probably destracdTe to hu- 
man nature in their progress, in their contiimapce^ and 
even in their downfid, which never can be vtry distant 
from their establishment. The imlitary genius, whidi 

* If Um Roman empire was of advantagey it could onlyproeeed from tiiii; 
HbaA maokind were generally io a ytrj diiordtrljy oochfliud condhioiiy be> 


aggrandized the monarchy, soon leaves the court, the ca^ 
pital, and the centre of such a government, while the wan 
are carried on at a great distance and interest so small a 
part of the state. The ancient nobili^, whose affections 
attach them to their sorereign, Kre aH at court, and never 
wiU accept of military employments, which would carry 
them to remote and b arbarous fitmiiei ' s, ^diere th^ are 
distant both from their pleasures and their fortune. The 
arms of the state must therefore be entrusted to mercenary 
strangers, without zeal, without attachment, without ho- 
Aomv leady on evwy occaoioft to tttm tbe«i ugainsti ihe 
primbt, and join eadi despwale Htdbeonteiil whoefibrs^pi^r 
aad.pbmdar. Thia is Ao mo^mafy pro^seia of human 
aflbics* .ll»i huBMNi nature chcdiEakaalfiftila My ,^ 
ration; this aidbitmii Umdly idbomrs for liw destrnctite 
of Ibe eonquerov, af hia finuly, and of every tUmgnem 
mod dear to hiio. The Bourbons, tmsdngitotlKstqipaBt 
of dieBr fanvt, fcitiiftdy aad affixdonaie noUU^, iroiM 
push their advantage without reserve or limitation. Thesc^ 
vhie fired widi (^ry and fwilfltinti, can bear A& fiii- 
tignes and dangers of war; but never wo«Usttbmit to lan^ 
gniih in Ac garriaons of Hungary or Lithuania, foigoiat 
ooorty and sacrificed to the intrigues of crety nuaioa or 
MMtnas who qiptoachea die prince. The iroopa an 
aOei with C^^nvatea aad Tartua, Honraand OasaMi, 

4ttbeMevprfmaoeB$ andthe^anlaociMiyfiilecfidieRbi- 
man enpetois, irom the-saoie caos^ ia renewed owr and 
oiftr again, «iH the ftml dissolution of the ttKmaidqr. 


ESSAY Vlll. 


X MBRB is a prevailing maxim among some reasoners, 
4kai etferp new tarn enaten a new abUUy in the wtgeci to 
'bear kf €md Aat each increase 4^ pnbKc^imrdene increases 
■pr o pcfrt im abfy the indmebry (f the peopk. lliis maxibt is 
xyf sudi a nature as is most likely to be abused^ and is so 
mnch the more dangerous, as its truth cannot be altoge- 
sjber denied; but it must be owned, when kq)t within cer- 
Jlam .bounds, to have 8<Miie foundation in Ji^eason and ex- 

- When a tax is l«d upcm commodities whidi. are con- 
•svmed by the common people, the necessary consequence 
may seem to be, either that the poor must retrench some^ 
-thing firom their way of living, or raise their wiages, so as 
to make the. burden of the tax &11 enttrdy upon the .rich. 
JBui there is a diird consequence which often follows iqKm 
Aaxes^namsly^ that the poor incEeasetheir industry^^per* 
£»rm.ihore work^ and'Kve as weU as before, without de- 
toanding more for their labour. Where taxes aretno*- 
derat^ are laid on gradn^y, and afiect not the necessaries 
of life, this consequence naturally fdlows ; and it is certain, 
that such difficulties often serve to excite the industry of a 
people, and render them more qpulent and laborious, than 
others, who enjoy the greatest advantages ; for we may 

OF TA9CES. 341 

observe, as a parallel instance, that the most tonHnercial - 
nations have not always pfossessed the greatest extent of • 
fertile land, but, on the contrary, that they have laboured 
under many. natural disadvantages. • Tyre, Ath^is, Car-; 
thage, Rhodes, Genoa, Venice^ Holland, are strong ex-^ 
amples to this purpose ; and in all history, we find only : 
three instances of large and fertile countries which have 
possessed much trade; the Netherlands, England, and 
France. The two former seem to have been allured by . 
the advantages of their maritime situation, and the neoes- . 
sity thiey lay under ct frequenting finreign ports, in order 
to procure what their own climate refused them ; and as 
to France, trade has come late into that kingdom, wd: 
seems to have been the effect of reflection and ob8ervatian^ 
in an ing^ous and enterprising people, who remarked 
the riches acquired by such of the neighbouring nations as 
cultivated navigation and commerce. 

The places menticmed by Cicero ^, as possessed of the 
greatest commerce in his time, are Alexandria, Colchos, , 
Tyre, Sidon, Andros, Cyprus, Pamphylia, Lycia, Rhodes, . 
Chios, Byzantium, Lesbos, Smyrna, Miletum, Coos. AH 
thes^ except Alexandria, were either small islands, or nar- 
row territories ; and that city owed its trade entirdiy to 
the happiness of its situaticm. 

Since, therefore, some natural necessities or disadvanta*- ; 
ges may be thought favourable to industry, why may not 
artificial burdens have the same effect ? Sir William Tem- 
ple ^ we may observe, ascribes the industry of the Dutch ; 
entirely to necessi^, proceeding from their natural disadr 
vantages ; and illustrates his doctrine by a striking com- 
parison with Ireland, '^^ where,^ says he, <^ by the large- 

• Epkt ftd AU. lib. ix. ep. 1 1 . 

^ Account of the Netfirrlaiids, chap. 6, 

31S EMAT Vllf . 

nets «id plenty of the «oil, uid ficarcity of people, all 
tbh^ oeeeMttty to 1% are so cbeap, that m industrious 
man, by two 6$ytf labour, nay gain enough to feed him 
the rest of the week ; which I take to be a very pUdn 
ground of the kusiness attributed to the pec^le^ for men 
natordfy prefer ease before labour, and wHI not take pains 
if they can li^ idle ; diough when, fay necesrity, they hav^ 
been enured to % tiiey cannot leaye it, being grown a 
custom necessary to their herith, and to di^ Tery enter- 
tainment. Nor perhaps is the change harder, irom con- 
stant ease to labour, than from constant labour to iease.^ 
After wbidi the author proceeds to confirm his doctrine, 
by enumerating, as above, the places where trade has most 
fburished in ancient and modem times ; and which are 
commonly observed to be such narrow confined territories, 
as b^t a necesst^ for industry. 

The best taxes are such as are levied tqpon consump- 
tions, especially those of luxury, because such taxes are 
least fete by ihe people. They seem, in some iheasure, 
voluntary; since a man may dioose howfar he wffluseihe 
commodity which is taxed. They are paid gradually ai^d 
insensibly ; they naturally produce sobriety and frugidi^, 
if judiciously imposed; and hemg confounded with the 
natural price of the commodi^, they are scarcely perceived 
by the consumers. Their only disadvantage is, that diey 
are expensive in Ae levying. 

Taxes upon possessions are levied without expend but 
have every other disadvantage. Bfost states, however, 
are obliged to have recourse to them, in order to supply 
the deficiencies of the other. 

But t}ie most pernicious of all tates are die arbitraty. 
They are commonly converted, by their management, in- 
to punishments on industry ; and also, by ihetr unavoid* 


aUe tnequalitjTt are more grievoni, than by the real bur- 
den which they impose. It is surprising^ therefore, to see 
them have phu:e among any civilized people. 

In general, all polt-taxes, even when not arbitrary, which 
they conmumly are, may be esteemed dangerous: Because 
it is so easy for the sovereign to add a little more, and a 
little more, to the sum demanded, that these taxes are apt 
to become altogedier oppressive and intolerable. On the 
other hand, a duty upon commodities checks itself; and a 
prince wiU soon find, that an increase of the impost is no 
increase of his revenue It is not easy, therefore, for a 
people to be altogedier ruined by such taxes. 

Historians inform us, that one of the chief causes of the 
destruction of the Roman state, was the alteradcm which 
Constandne introduced into the finances, by substituting 
an universal poll-tax, in lieu of almost all the tithes, cus* 
toms, and excises, which formerly composed the revenue 
of die mi^firi. The pe<^e, in all the provinces, were so 
grinded and oppressed by the pubHofmsy that th^ were 
l^ad to take refuge under die<xniqa6ving arms of the bar- 
barians; whose dominion, as they had &wer necessities 
and less art, was fomid preferable to the refined tyranny of 
Ae Romans. 

It is an opinion, aeakmsly promoted by some political 
writers, Aat, since all taxes, as they pretend, &11 ultimate* 
}j npon land, it were better to lay them origmally there^ 
aid abolish 6««ffy duty upon Goniomptions. But it is de^ 
nied that all taxes fall ultimately upon land. If a duty 
be had upen any oomniodity» consumed by an artisan, he 
has two obvious expedients finr paying it; he may retrench 
somewhat of his expenae, or he may increase his labour. 
Bodi these resources are more ea^ and nataral than that 
of heightening his wages. We see, that, in years of scar- 


city, the weaver either ooosumes less or labours inor^ or 
employs both these expedients of frugality and industry, 
by which he b enabled to readi the end q£ the year. It is 
but just that he should subject himself to the same hard- 
ships, if they deserve the name, for the sake of the public 
which gives him protection. By what contrivance can he 
raise the price of his labour? The manufiicturer who em- 
ploys him will not give him mort: Neither can he, be- 
cause the merchant) who exports the cloth, cannot raise its- 
price, being limited by the price which it yields in foreign 
maricets. Every man, to be sure, is desirous of pushing 
off from himself the burden of any tax which. is imposed, 
and of laying it* upon others : But as every man has the 
same inclination, and is upon the defensive; no set of men 
can be supposed to prevail alt<^;ether in this contest And 
why the landed gentleman should be the victim of the 
whole, and should not be able to defend himself, as well 
as others are^ I cannot readQy imagine. All tradesmen,' 
indeed, would willingly prey upon him, and divide him 
among them, if they could : But this inclination they al- 
ways have, though no taxes were levied; and the same 
methods by which he guards against the imposition of 
tradesmen before taxes, will serve him afterwards, and 
make them share the burden with him. They must be 
very heavy taxes, indeed, and veiy injudiciously levied, 
which the artisan will not, of himself be enabled to pay 
by superior industry and frugality, without raising the 
price of his labour. 

I shall ccmdude this subject with observing, that we 
have, with r^;ard to taxes, an instance of what frequently 
happens in political institutions, that the consequences of 
things are diametrically opposite to what we should expect 
on the first appearance. It is regarded as a fundamental 

OF TAXE8. S45 

maxim of the Turkish govermnent^ that th,e Grand Sig^ 
moTj though absolute master of the lives and fortunes of 
each individual, has no authority to impose a new tax : 
and every Ottoman prince, who has made such an attempt, 
either has been obliged to retract, or has found the fatal 
effects of his perseverance. One would imagine, that this 
prejudice or established opinion were the firmest barrier in 
the world against oppression ; yet it is certain that its ef- 
fect is quite contrary. The emperor, having no regular 
method of increasing his revenue, must allow all the ba- 
shaws and governors to oppress and abuse the subjects ; 
and these he squeezes after their return from their govern- 
ment. Whereas, if he could impose a new tax, like our 
European princes, his interest would so far be united with 
that of his people, that he would immediately feel the bad 
effects of these disorderly levies of money, and would find, 
that a pound, raised by a general imposition, would have 
less pernicious effects than a shilling taken in so unequal 
and arbitrary a manner. 



It appears to have been the commcMi practice of antigui- 
tf , to xnake provision, during peace, for the necessities of 
war, and to hoard np treasures beforehand as the instru- 
ments either of conquest or defence; without trusting to 
extraordinary impositions, much less to borrowing in times 
of disorder and confusion. Besides the immense sums 
above mentioned*, which were amassed by Athens, and 
by the Ptolemies, and other successors of Alexander; we 
learn from Plato ^, that the firugal Lacedemonians had al- 
so collected a great treasure; and Anianc and Plutarch' 
take notice of the riches which Alexander got possession 
of on the conquest of Susa and Ecbatana, and which were 
reserved, some of them, from the time of Cyrus. If I re- 
member right, the Scripture also mentions the treasure of 
Hezekiah and the Jewish princes ; as profime history does 
that of PhQip and Perseus, kings of Macedon. The an- 
dent republics of Gaul had commonly large sums in re- 
serve ^ Everyone knows the treasure seized in Rome by 

• 'BMKf v. ^ Akik 1. • lib. iii. 

' Flat in titA Alex. He bmIcm theie trettunt ammint to 80,000 ta- 
lanti, or aboat 15 mfllions Sterling. Qnintns Curtiat (lib. t. o^, S. ) seji, 
thai Alexander found in Sum above 50,000 talents. 
• Strabo, b*b. ir. 


Jdins Caesar, during the dvil wars : and we find after- 
wards, tliat the wiser. emperors^ Angostns, Tiborins, Ves» 
pasian, Severus, &c. always discovered the pmdent fove- 
s^ht of saving great sums agunrt any pnblic exigency. 

On the contrary, our modem expedient, which has be^ 
come very general, is to mortgage the pnblio revomes, 
and to trust that posterity will pay off the incnmbrances 
contracted by their ancestors: and they, having befon 
their eyes so good an txampLd of dieir wise fathers, have 
the aaliie prudent reliaace on £t€«r posterity; who, at last, 
bom necessity more than choice, are obliged to place die 
same confidence in a new posteri^. ButnoC to waste time 
in declaiming against a practice which tcppesn ruinous be- 
yond all controversy; it seems pretty appasent, that the 
ancient maxims are, in this reelect, more prudent than 
die modem ; even though the latter had been confined 
within some reasonable bounds, and had ever, in any bt* 
stance, been attended with such frugali^, in time of peace, 
as to disdbarge the debts incurred by an expensive war. 
Forwhydiouldthecasebe so diffirent between the pnblic 
and an individual, as to make ns establidi different maxims 
of conduct for each ? If die funds cf the former be greater, 
its necessary expenses are proportionably larger; if its re- 
sources be more numaroos, tiiey are not infinite ; and as 
its frame shoiiM be caleidated tor a much longer damtioft 
dMUddlie date of a single life, orevenofafiunlly, it should 
embrace maxims hurg^y durable, and graerous, agreeably 
to the 6iq)posed extent of its existeBce. To trust to chances 
and tonporary expedients, is, mdeed, what the necessity 
ofhuman affiihrs frequendy renders onavmdabie ; but wtio» 
ever viohmtaray depend on such resources, have not ne- 
cessity, but their own foUy, to accuse for their misfciiuaes, 
when any such befall Aem. 

a48 ESSAY IX. 

If the abuses of treasures be dangeroos, either l^ ^)ga<^ 
ging the state in rash enterprises, or making it neglect mi- 
litary discipline, in omfidence of its riches ; the abases of 
mortgaging are more certain and inevitable ; pover^, im- 
potence^ and'Svbjectioii to foreign ^powers* 

According to modem policy, war is attended with every 
destructive drcumstanoe; loss of men, increase of taxes, 
decay of commerce dissipatian of money, devastation <by 
sea and land. AcocMpding to ancioit maxims, the openings 
of the public treasure, as it produced an uncommon a^ 
fluence of gtdd and silver, served as a temporary encou- 
ragement to industry, and atoned, in some degree^ for the 
inevitable calamities of war. 

It is very tempting to aminister to employ such an ex- 
pedient, as enables him to make a great figure during his 
administration, without overburdening die peojdewith 
taxes, or exciting any immediate clamours against himself.' 
The practice, therefinre, of contacting debt, will almost 
infiilUbly be abused in every.govenunent. It would scarce-^ 
ly be more imprudent to give a. prodigal son a credit in 
every banker's shop in London, than to empower a states-: 
man to draw bills, in this manner, upon posterity. > 

What, then, shall we say to the new paradox, that pu- 
blic incumbrances are, of themselves, advantageous, inde-i 
pendant, of the necessi^ of contracting them ; and <hat^ 
any state, even though it were not pressed by a fordgn em^ 
my, could not possibly have embraced a wiser expedient 
for promoting commerce and riches, than to create funds, 
and debts, and taxes, without limitation? Reasonings, 
such as these, might naturally have passed for trials of wit 
among rhetoricians, like the paneg3rrics on folly and a fia- 
ver, on Busiris and Nero, had we not seen such absurd 


maxims patronised by great ministers, and by a whole 
party among tis* 

. Let us examine the consequences of public debts, both 
An our domestic management^ by their influ^ice on com- 
merce and indastry; and in otir foreign transactions, by 
their, effect on wars and negotiations. 

Public securities are with us become a kind of money, 
.and pass as readily at the current price as gold or silver. 
Where^rer any profitaUe undertaking offers itself, how ^c- 
' pensive however, there are never wanting hands enow to 
embrace it; nor need a trader, who has sums in^tihepnl^c 
•stocks, fear to launch, out into the most extensive trade ; 
:skice he is possessed of funds which will answer the most 
-sadden delttand that can be Baade upon him* l^o mer- 
tdiant thinks it necessary to'keep by him any consi€tetd[>le 
cash. Bank-stock, or India bdndb^ eqpeeialfy the latter, 
serve ail the^same purposes; beeaiisehe can dispose of 
them, or pledge themtoabatikm',iB&quaiterof anbour; 
and at the same time they are not idle, even when in his 
scrutoire, but bring him m a constant revenue. In shorty 
our national debts furnish merdiants with a species of nK>- 
ney that b conttnually multij^yii^ in their hands, and pro- 
duces sure gain, besides the profits of their commerce. 
-This must enable them to trade upon less profit The 
small profit of the meidiant renders the commodity cheap- 
er, causes a greater consumption, qaidLens thie labour <rf* 
the commonpeopl^ and helps <o q)read arts and indus- 
try throughout the whale society. 

There are also, we may observe, in Engtend and in all 
stales which have both commerce and pubMc dcArts^ a set 
of men, who are half merchants^ half stockholders, and 
may be supposed willing to trade for small prdits; because 
commerce is not their principal or sde support, and their 

850 BSiAT IX* 

ill the fimdi are a sure retovrce for tfaanselfes 
and thdr fiuniliefu Were there no iund% great Bfterchants 
would hare no eaqiedient for realiaing or ieeniHig vxj part 
of their profit, but bj maUng porehaaes of fauid; and knd 
lias many difadTantagettaooB^Nuiflon of fimds. Beqnirii^ 
more care and inspection, it divides the time and attention 
of the merchant iqpon aiqr tempting oflSeror extraonUnaiy 
accident in trade; it is not so easily conr e r t ed intomonqr; 
and as it attracts too mudit both by the Bumy natural plea- 
sores it affiNrd% and the authority it gprves, it so<mooBverfeB 
the ririaen into the eoontry gentleman. More men, there- 
fbre^ with large stocks and incomes, nuiy nataraUy be sop- 
posed to ocotmne in trader iHliere there are public debts; 
and this, it must be owned, is of some adfimtay to cobh 
merocb by difainishing its profits, promoting cirtektiois 
and encouraging industry^ 

But in o|^>08ition to these two fiiTOurable GurauBstancei^ 
perhaps of no very great importanoe^ weigh themany dis- 
advantages which attendjpur public ddit% in the wbdevfr- 
iifiar eoonomy of the state : You wifl find no comparison 
between the ill and the good whidi residt &am them.. 

Finif It is certain that national debts cause a mig^ 
ffonflucnrtt (^ people and riches to tibeo^pilal^ by the great 
smns levied in the profdnces topay dbeintocest; and per- 
hi^s, too^ by the advantages in trade above recntionad^ 
which tbey give the merclMmta in the ospiftat above the rest 
of the kingdom. The questiim is^ Whedw, in our case^ 
it be fi>r the public interest, that so many privileges should 
be confiDrr^d on London^ which has already arrived at such 
an en<«aous sice, snd seems stiU increasing ? Some nen 
pi% apprehensive of the consequences. For ray own pert^ 
I cannot iotbear Ainking, that, though die head is undoubt- 
fdly tiso large for the body, yet durt great city is so hap- 


pUj utxMed, thftt its excessive bulk cauaes laas incoavcan- 
enoe than even a smaner capttal to a greater kingdom. 
There is more difibrence betweoi the prices of all pro^ 
sioDsin Pans and Langiiedoc» than between those in Lon- 
don and Yorkshire* The immense greatsiea% indeedn of 
London^ mider a government whidhi admita nol of discre- 
tionary power, renders the people fiuetious, mntinou3» se- 
ditious, and even perhaps rebellious. But to this evil the 
national debts themselves tend to provide a cea^edy* The 
first visibk enq>tic»i, or even immediate dang^ ^poUic 
disorders^ nmst alam all the stockholders^ tvhose proper- 
ty b the most precarious of any; and will makethem% 
to the support of government, whether wipaac^ bjr Jaco- 
fattirii violence or democratical £raaqr. . 

Secmdfy, Public stocks^ bcang a kind of pif>tr-^i3edit, 
have all due disadvantagea attending that species oSimsmfff. 
They banish gold and silver ficom the mosl Considerable 
cbounerce of the stale, reduce them to ceeunoia drculation, 
and by that means reiider all provisions and Uboiir dearer 
than otherwise they would be. 

7%ir«%, The taxes^whidi are levied to pay tbemtereals 
of these debts, are apt either to beij^ten the price of la- 
bour, or to be an oppreasion on the poorer scart. ^ 

FourMpf As foreigners possess a great ushare oS our 
mtional fiinds, they render the pubUcv in a manner^ tribu-* 
tary to them, and may in tame Qccasjoa the transport of 
o«r pei^le and our iadnstiy. 

lyOfyf The greyer part of die. puUtt stock behiga^ 
ways in the hands c£ idle people who liveon^ their rew- 
4Mi^onr fimds, in that view» giy^y»ateMOoarHygneDt to 
an useless and UMCtive life. 

But thou^ the iiyaryt thai arises to cmnnevee and la- 
daatryfiEKU our puUk funds will appear^ iqfKm bahmiiig 


the whole, not inconsiderAble, it is triml, in eonparisoB 
of the prqudice that resuhs to the state considered as a 
body politk) which must siq)port itself in the society of 
nations, and have Tarious transacticms with other states in 
wars and negotiations* The ill there, is pure and unmix- 
ed, without any favourable circumstance to atone for it; 
and it is an ill too of a nature the highest and most im- 

We have indeed been told, that the public is no weidrar 
upcm account of its debts, since they are mostly due 
among ourselves, and bring as much property to one as 
they take firom another. It is like transfbring mctaey 
from the right hand to the left; which leaves the person 
neither richer nor poorer than before. Such loose reascm- 
ii^ and specious ccmiparisons will always pass where' we 
judge not upon princi{des. I ask, Is it possiUe, in the 
nature of things, to overburden a nation with taxes, evai 
where the sovereign resides among them? The vexy doubt 
seems extravagant; since it is requisite, in every commu- 
nity, that there be a certain proportion obeeirved between 
the laborious and the idle part of it. But if all our pre- 
sent taxes be mortgaged, must we not invent new ones ? 
And may not this matter be carried to a length that is 
ruinous and destructive ? 

In every nation, there are always s<mie methods of levy- 
ing money more easy than others, agreeably to the way of 
living of the people, and the commodities they make use 
of. In Great Britain, the excises upon malt and beer af- 
ford a large revenue; because the operations of malting 
and brewing are tedious, and are impossible to beconceal- 
^ed; and, at the same time, these coDunodities are not so 
riiMutely necessary to life^ as that the raising of their price 
would verymudi aflfect the poorer sort These taxes 


MiigdlBlort^ed^^bMdifficoIiyid&idiieviroDes! what 
fdbtatiwi nd mia of d>« pdor I 

Duties upon c<mMimptictfui are mot6 equal and ea^ than 
those upon posaeMiodi* What a loss to the pnbli^ that 
the former are ^l efA^wted^ and that we must have re- 
aootM to the more griofous mediod d*ktying taxes ! 

Were all the prt^rietors of land Only stewards to the 
public^ must not neeessity foree tbeta t6 praetbe all ih6 
aarts of oppvesskm used by stewards ^ where the absence 
«r aegl^Mce of the proprietor render t^etn s^ute against 

It will soave^ fee aaserted^ that no bounds ought evet 
^ be set to national debts^ wd that the ppUic would be 
no wtelter^ were twelve or iMeen shillhigs in the pounds 
iaikUax^ tnortgsiged, wHh ell the present eustottis and e)t^ 
dses. tliere Is somedihig^ therdbre^ in the ^itse, be^de 
|he niev6 trasiilSirring of property Aom the one ha^ 
oibtri in fli«se hundred years^ die posteriQr of those now 
fti Ao Mtfehos^ and of those op<m <be boxes, willprobaMy 
faam diai^;ed plflpes^ Without a0^e^ ^public by these 

Sui^ose th* pufefie OMe fiirly t»'ought to (hut condtt 
Itav to whkdi it t^ hostenitig with sdd^ atnaring rapidity $ 
sKI^Mise the koid to be ttted e^hteen i» nhieteeii shfflings 
in the poQia^( fbt h cmt nerer bear the whole twen^; 
svppbseali theeoEdtfesand eustomstobe sprewediip to the 
fNMioitwIiieh Ibo iMAe^ eiui bear, i)p)thottt endrely loshig 
its coamuitee and industry^ and suppose that all those 
jR)nds ate moitgaged to pel^fj^etuiQr, and that the invention 
and wH of nil our projectors ^an find no tten imporillon, 
wtMiniaiysi»veasthefeaiidatk»tiofaiiewl^ add let 
us cmisider the necessary consecjuences of this situiition. 
Though the imperfeet state cf our p<ditical knowUd^anj) 

roL. I. 2 a 

354 E88AT IX. 

the narrow ciqpacilies of meii^ make it difficult to breUH Urn 
dBfects which will result from any untried neaauve^ the 
seeds of ruin are here scattered with sudi profiiaion as not 
to escape the eye of the most careless observer. 
. In this unnatural state of society, the only persons ^dio 
possess any revenue bey<Hid the inunediate eflfects of their 
industry, are the stockholders, who draw ahnost idl the 
rent of the land and houses, besides the produce of all the 
customs and excises* These are men who have jio con- 
nexions with the state, who can enjoy their revalue in any 
part of the globe in which they choose to reside, who wiU 
naturally bury themselves in the. capital, or in great cities, 
and who will sink into the lethaigy of a stupid and pam- 
pof^ luxury, without spirit, ambition, or a^joym^it. Adieu 
to all ideas of nobilily, gentry, and fiunily. Tlie stocks 
can be traasierred in an instant; aodbanginsu^a.fluc- 
tuatiBg state, will sddom be transmitted during three ge- 
neratioDs from fiither to son. Or were they to remaii^ver 
so l<Hig in ope family^ they convey no.hexcditary authority 
or credit to the possessor ; and by this means the several 
ranks of men, which form a kind of independent magistra- 
qr in a state, instituted by the hand of nature, are esotirely 
lost; and every man in authority derives his influence from 
the commission alone of the sovereign. No ea])edient re- 
mains for preventing or siq^iressioginsurrections but mer- 
cenary amnes : No expedient at all remains for resisting 
tyranny: iUactiims are swfiyed by bribery and oormptioii 
alone : And the middle power between king and people be- 
ing totally removed, a grievous despptism must iuSsjlibly 
prevail. The landholders, despised Sat their poirer^ and 
hated for their oppressions, will be utterly unaUe to make 
any opposition to it 

Though a resolutiim should be formed by the legislature 


BtTer to impose any tax which hurts commerce and dis- 
courages industry, it wUl be impossible for men, in subjects 
of such extreme delicacy, to reason so jusdy as never to be 
mistaken, or, amidst difficulties so urgent, never to be se- 
duced from their resolution. The continual fluctuations in 
conmierce require continual alterations in the nature of the 
taxes ; which exposes the legislature every moment to the 
danger both of wilful and involuntary error. And any 
great blow given to trade, whether by injudicious taxes or 
by other accidents, throws the whole system of government 
into confusion. • 

But what expedient can the public now employ, even 
supposing trade to continue in the most flourishing condi- 
tion, in order to support its foreign wars and enterprises, 
and to defend its own honour and interest, or those of its 
allies ? I do not ask how the public is to exert such a pro* 
digious power as it has maintained during our late wars; 
where we have so much exceeded, not cmly our own natu- 
ral strength, but even that of the greatest empires. This 
extravagance is the abuse complained oi^ as the source of 
all the dangers to which we are at present exposed. But 
since we must still suppose great commerce and opulence 
to remain, even after every fund is mortgaged; theseriehes 
must be defended by prq[X)rtional power; and whence is 
the public to derive the revenue which supports it? It must 
plainly be from a continual taxation of the' annuities^ or, 
which is the same thing, firom mortgaging anew, on every 
exigency, a certain part of their annuities ; and thus ma- 
king them contribute to their own defence, and to that of 
the nation. But the difficulties attending this system of 
policy will easily appear, whether we si4)pose the king to 
have become absolute master, or to be still controlled by 


356- E8SAT IX. 

natk)iMil couticils, in which the annmlants thcimselvttft aiMt* 
necessarily bear the priiic^>al sway. 

If the prince has becoBie absokfte^ as wcmy naUursUy b# 
expected from this situation oTaftdiiSy it is so easy for him 
to increase his exactions upon the anmutants, whMi mnount 
only to the retaining of money in hia own bands, that tU9 
}^)ecies of property would soon lose all its credit^ and (be 
whde income of every individual in the state must lie en^ 
tirely at the mercy of the sovereign; a degree of despo- 
tism which no cmental monarch has ever yet attained. I^ 
on the contrary, the coAsent of the annuitants be requisite 
ft>r every taxation, they will never be persuaded to odutri^ 
bute sufficiently even to the support of government ; as the 
diminution of their revenue must m that case be very moh 
sibl^ would not be disguised under the appearance of a 
branch of excise or customs,, and would not be shared by 
any other order of the state, who are already su|^>O0ed to 
bcS taxed to the utmost Hiere are instance^ in some re» 
publics, <^a hundredth pem^r^ and someciQes of diefiftieth^ 
being given to the support of the state ; but ihk is atwaya 
an extraordiliaryexerticmrf power, and can* never become 
the foundatimi of a ccmstant ni^ional defence. We hava 
always found, where a government has vaortgaged bXL 'M 
revenues, that it necessarily sinks into a ttfaate of bnguor, 
inactivi^, and impotoicew 

Such are the inconveniences which may reasonaUy b< 
foreseen of this situation to which Great Britain in visibly 
tending. Not to mention the numberless inconveuieiicesj 
which cannot be foreseen, and which must residt fh>m so 
monstrous a situation as that of making the public the chief 
or sole proprietor of land, besides invedtii^ it with eveiy 
branch of customs imd excise, which the fertile imi^natiei^ 
of ministers and projectors have been able to invent. 


I miuft confess tliat there has a strange supineness, from 
iopg custoni) creeped into all ranks of men, with regard to 
public debts, not unlike what divines so vehemently com- 
phin of wkh r^^ard to their religious doctrines. We all 
own that the most sanguine imagination cannot hope, ei- 
tber that this or any future ministry will be possessed of 
such rigid and steady frugality, as to make a considerd[>le 
iNTogress in the paymmt of our debts ; or that the situa- 
tion of foreign affiurs will, for any long time, allow them 
leisure and tranquillity for such an undertaking. What then 
(s t» become cfua f Were we ever so good Christians, and 
tver ao resigned to Providence ; this, methiaks, were a cu- 
kious question, even considered as a speculative one, and 
what it might not be altogether impossible to form some 
coogectural solution of. The events here wiB depend lit*' 
tie upcm the contingencies of battles, negotiations, intrigues, 
and factions. There seems to be a natural progress of 
things which may guide our reasoning. As it would have 
required but a moderate share of prudence, when we first 
b^an this practice of mortgaging to have foretold, from 
the nature of men and of ministers, that tilings would neces:* 
^rily be carried to the length we see ; so now, that they have 
at last hi^pily reached it, it may not be difficult to guess 
*t the consequences. It must, indeed, be one of these two 
events ; either the nation must destroy public c?%dit, or pu- 
Uic credit will destroy the nation. It is impossible that 
they can both subsist, after the manner they have been hi« 
therto managed, in this, as well as in some other countries* 

There was, indeed, a scheme for the payment of our 
debts, which was proposed by an excellent citiaen, ' Mr 
Hutchinson, above thirty years ago^ and which was mudi 
approved of by some men of sense, but never was likely to 
take eflfect He asserted that there was a fallacy in ima- 

858 ESSAY IX. 

gining that the public owed this debt ; for that really evety 
individual owed a proportional share of it, and pidd, in his 
taxes, a proportional share of the interest, beside the ex- 
pense of levying these taxes. Had we not better, then, 
says he, make a distribution of the debt amcmg ourselves, 
and each of us contribute a sum suitable to his property, 
and by that means discharge at once all our funds and 
public mortgages ? He seems not to have considered that 
the laborious poor pay a considerable part of the taxes by 
their annusd consumptions, though they could not advance, 
at once, a proportional part of the sum required. Not to 
mention, that property in money and stock in trade might 
easily be concealed or disguised ; and that visible proper- 
ty in lands and houses would really at last answer for the 
whole : An inequality and oppression, which never would 
be submitted to. But though this project is not likely to 
take place, it is not altogether improbable, that, when the 
nation becomes heartily sick of their debts, and is cruelly 
oppressed by them, some daring projector may arise with 
visionary schemes for their discharge. And as public cre- 
dit will begin, by that time, to be a little fr^ the least 
touch will destroy it, as happened in France during the 
regency ; and in this manner it will die qfthe doctor. 

But it is more probable, that the breach of national fiuth 
will be the necessary effect of wars, defeats, misfortunes, 
and public calamities, or even perhaps of victories and 
conquests. I must confess, when I see princes and states 
fighting and quarrelling, amidst their <lebts, funds, and 
public mortgages, it always brings to my mind a match of 
cudgel-playing fought in a China shop. How can it be 
expected, that sovereigns will spare a species of property, 
which is pernicious to themselves and to the public, when 
they have so little compassion on lives and properties, that 


toe useful to both ? Let the time come (and sorely it will 
come) when the new ftmds, created for the exigencies of 
the year, are not subscribed to, and rabe not the mcmey 
projected. Sui^x>se either that the cash of the nation is. 
exhausted; or that our faith, whidi has hitherto been so 
ain{de, begins to fiul us. Suppose that, in this distress, 
the naition is tbreat^ied with an invasion ; a rebellion is 
8ttq>6cted or broken out at home ; a squadron cannot be 
equipped for want of pay, victuals, or repairs ; or ev«n a 
foreign subsidy cannot be advanced* What must a prince 
or minister do in such an emergence? The ri^t of self- 
preservation is unalienable in every individual, much more 
in every communis* And the folly of our statesmen must 
then be greater than the folly of those who first contracted 
debt, or, what is more, than that of those who trusted, or 
continue to trust this security, if these state»nen have the 
means of safe^ in their hands, and do not employ them. 
The funds, created and mortgaged, will by that time 
bring in a large yearly revenue, sufficient for the de£^e 
and securi^ of the nation : Money is perhaps lying in the 
exdiequer, ready for the discharge of the quarterly in- 
terest: necessity calls, fear urges, reason exhorts, compasr 
sion alone exclaims : The money will immediately be seized 
for the current service, under the most solenm protesta^ 
tions, perhaps, of being immediately replaced. But no 
more is requisite. The whole fiibric, already tottering^ 
falls to the ground, and buries thousands in its ruins.. And 
this, I think, may be called the iiate^i/ifeeilA of public cre- 
dit; for to this period it tends as ni^turally as an aniiml 
body to its dissolution and destruction. 

So great dupes are the generality of mankind, that, not- 
withstanding such a violent shock to public credit, as a vo- 
lunt^ bankruptcy in England would occasion, it would 

360 ESSAY IX. 

not pcobibly bo long ere credit would agMn reibfe m m 
floondung a. catkditicn m be^we. The i^resent kjpgjof 
Fnoce, dnnng the late war, bomMved money at a krmr 
intelrest than ever hLi gtaadfiuhar did; and as low at ^ 
Brittth parliament^ ooaqiartng tibe natural rate of iateragt 
iji beth kingdoms Andtlunigh men areMomioiilymam 
governed fay what they have aaen» than bj what they fore- 
aae, with whatever certainty ; yet promises^ protestakupia, 
fiur appeamooai^ vofth the allnremflpta of preient interaqft, 
have f och powerM inflnffnee as few are able to resist. 
Mankind are^ in all ages» caught by the same baits s The 
same tricksy fi^yed over and ovbr again, still trqum them. 
Thehaightsof popnlari^andpatriotism are still the beaten power and tyram^; flattery, totreachery; stand* 
■ig an&iea to arbitrary government ; and the glory of Ood 
to the temporal interest of the clergy. The fear of an 
eaeriaating destraotion of credit, aUowiag it to be an evil, 
is a neadless bugbear. A pnsdent man, in rea^f would 
rather lend to the poblic imnediately after we had taken a 
sponge to pur debts^ tfaimat preasnti as mael^ as an opo* 
lent knave, cTen thoagh one ooald not f^irce him \o ^uf^ 
is a preferable debtor to an honest banknipt: FordiefbffK> 
mer, in onkr to carry on business may find it his interast 
to disduirge his dd>t% where theyjure not exorbitant: Hie 
latter has Jt not in his power. The reasoning of Tacitus % 
as it is eternally true, is Tery applicable to our present case. 

ssnucsfKMgtejBaniaiiaawnrabaearr Jjmdmfieftki caim he^ 
bekmtury quatieqUidarineqW'aac^ mjifin rqmUioci^ jKh 
ttroML The pubUc is a. debtoiv whom no BMn can oblige 
lo pay. The only cfa^ which the credijtors hove i^xm 

' Hist. Ubk ii. 


her^ is die inte r es t of pzeserviog credit^ an intoresi whieh 
may easily be overbalanced by a great dAt^ and by a diiw 
fienlt and extraordinary emerg e nee» even suppoHing that 
credit irreeoverdble* Not to mentioD, that a pceseait na* 
cessi^ (^en fiDvees states ato awamres, wUch aret strictigr 
speakings against their interest 

These two evmts supposed above, are ealamitoni, b«t 
not the most calamitous. Thousands are therd>y sacri« 
ficed to the safety of nalUons. Bnt we are aot.wkhont 
danger, that the contrary event may tsike place, and that 
millions may be sacrificed for ever to the temporary, oaft ty 
of thousands *. Our popular government, perhaps, will 
render it difficult or dangerous for a minister to venture 
on so desperate an expedient as that of a voluntary bank- 
ruptcy. And though the House of Lords be altogether 
composed of proprietors of land, and the House of Couh 
mons chiefly ; and consequently neither of them can be 
supposed to have great property In the funds: Yet the con- 
nexions of the members may be so great with the proprie- 
tors, as to render them more tenacious of public faith than 
prudence, policy, or even justice, strictly speaking, requires. 
And perhi^s, too, our foreign enemies may be so politic 
as to discover, that our safety lies in despair, and may not, 
therefore, show the danger, open and barefaced, till it be 
inevitable. The balance of power in Europe, oiur grand- 
fathers, our fathers, and we, have all deemed too unequal 
to be preserved without our attention and assistance. But 
our children, weary of the struggle, and fettered with en- 
cumbrances, may sit down secure, and see their neigh-* 
hours oppressed and conquered ; tiU, at last, they them- 
selves and their creditors lie both at the mercy of the con- 

■ See Nor [S.] 

362 ESSAY IX. 

queror*. And this may properly enough be denominated 
the violaU death of our public credit 

These teem to be the ev»it% which are not very remote^ 
and which reason foresees as dearly almost as she can do 
any thing that lies in the wmnb of time. And though the 
ancients maintained that, in order to reach the gift of pro- 
phecy^ a certain divine fury at madness was requisitei one 
may saiely affirm that, in order to deliver such prophecies 
as these,, no more is necessary than merely to be in one's 
senses, free from the influence of popular madness and de*^ 



1 SHALL observe three remarkable customs in three cele» 
brated governments ; and shall conclude from the whole^ 
that all general maxims in politics ought to be established 
with great caution ; and that irregular and extraordinary 
appearances are frequently discovered in the moral, as well 
as in the physical world. The former^ perhaps, we can 
better account for after they happen, firom springs and 
principles, of which every one has, within himself, or from 
observation, the strongest assurance and conviction : But 
it is oflen fully as impossible for human prudence, before<^ 
hand, to foresee and foretell thenL 

I. One would think it essential to every supreme coun- 
cil or assembly which debates, that entire liber^ of speech 
should be granted to every member, and that all motions 
or reasonings should be received, which can any way tend 
to illustrate the point under deliberation* One would con- 
clude, with still greater assurance, that, after a motion waii 
made, which was voted and approved by that assembly in 
which the legislative power is lodged, the member who 
made the motion must for ever be exempted firom future 
trial or inquiry. But no political maxim can, at first sight, 
appear more indisputable, than that he must, at least, be 
secured from all inferior jurisdiction; and that nothing less 

361* ESSAY X. 

than the same supreme legislative assembly in their subset 
quent meetings, could make him accountable for those mo-^ 
tions and harangues, to which they had before given theii^ 
approbation. But these axioms, however irrefragable they 
may appear, hate all fitiled in the Athenian government^ 
from causes and principles tooy which appear almost in-^ 

By the y^m^ irtt^Kf^imy or indicbnentofUkgalUy, (though 
it has not beea remarked by antiquaries or commentator^) 
any man was tried and punished in a common court of 
judicature^ for 4oy law which had passed upon his motion^ 
m the asseoiUiy of th« peofJie, if that law appeared to the 
tovrt ^ntti or prejudicial to the puUic. Hius Oemoa- 
ihm0$9 fiodu^ that BhipHosoney was levied irregularly, and 
thai the poor bore the aame burden as ^ rich in equip* 
ping the galleys, corrected this inequality by a very useful 
law* which proportioiied the expense to the revenue and 
income of eadi individual He moved Ibr this law in the 
assembly; he proved its advantages * ; he convinced the 
people the only legislature in Athens; the law passed, ainl 
was carried into execiUion : Yet was he tried in a crimi^ 
iiel court for that law, npon the complaint a( the rich, who 
resented the alteration that he had introdooed into th# 
finances ^ He was indeed acquitted, upon proving anew 
the usefulness of his law. 

Ctesiphon moved in the assembly of the people, thai 
particular honours should be conftrred on Demosthenes 
«s on a citizen aCecUonate and useful to the commoo- 
. wealth : The people, convinced of this truth, voted thoae 
honours ; Yet was Ctesiphcm tried by the y^^ w^^ttft^f^ 

* Hii barangiMi fiir ii is MiH ejUant f Uim Ttfi^tfuit 
► Pro Ctcsipbontc. 


it wM ossetud, among other topk^^ U^t Demodfheiie» wa^ 
not a godd dtiseu, ikm* aflfectionitte to the.cMMttonweahh t 
And ih^ orator was ci^bd upon to defend hh iMend, and 
Gonseqaendy himself | which he execnted by that sublime 
piece of eloquence^ that has errer since been the admiration 
of mankind. 

AAer the battle df Ch^^ronea^ a law was passed upon the 
motion of Hyperides, giving liberty to staves, and enroll- 
ing them m the troops *. On account of this law, the 
orator was afterwards tried by the indictment above men- 
tioned, and defended himself, amcmg other topics, by that 
stroke celebrated by Phi^rch and Longinus. Ji uxts nd 
f, said h^ thai mo/oedf&r thiM law : It tdas the necessities of 
war i it was thebatOe ^Ckmimck The orations of p^i* 
tnosdienes abotmd with many instances of trials of this na- 
ture, and prove clearly that nothing was more commonly 

' The Athenian Demo<^«cy was such $l tumultuons go* 
vemment as we can scarcely fonn a notion of in the pre«- 
tMfit age 42S the world. The whole ooUective body of the 
people voted in every low, without any limitation of pror 
perty, without any distinction of rank, witfaonC control 
froM any magistracy or senate ^ ; and consequently with- 
out regard to order, justice, or prudence. The Athenians 
soon became sensible of the mischiefs attending this con- 
stkntion 2 But being averse to checking themselves by any 
rule or restriction, they resolved, at least, to check their 

* Mittfchi!Sii!titAl>«e6fflOniforUtki. DemostiienesgiTesmdifierentac 
cMint of tMs law. Contrs ArfstogitOtt, Oftit II. He says, that its purport 
wafl» to reticbr tfie amfMi tirtttfUs^ &r to restore Oie privilege ot bdanng of- 
ilett in those who had been d^Iared incapable. Perhaps Uiese were both 
irlauses of the same 1a\r. 

^ Tbtf neneae of the Bean was only a less namerous mob, chosen by lot 
from amon^ the peOpte ; and their authority was not great 

966 ESSAY X. 

demagogues or oounsellors, by tiie (ear of future ponish* 
ment and inquiry. They accordingly instituted dds re- 
nuurkable law ; a law esteemed so essential to thdr ferm of 
gOTemment) that JEschines insists on it as a known truth, 
that were it abolished or n^ected, it were impossible for 
the Democracy to subsist *• 

The people feared not any ill consequence to liberty from 
the authority of the criminal courts ; because these were 
nothing but very numerous juries, chosen by lot from a- 
inong the pec^le. And they justly considered themselves 
asin astate of perpetual pupilage ; where they had an au- 
thority, afler they came to the use of reason, not only to 
retract and control whatever had been determined, but 
to punish any guardian for measures which they had em- 
braced by his persuasion. The same law had place in 
Thebes^, and for the same reason. 

It appears to have been a usual practice in Athens, on 
the establishment of any law esteemed very us^iil or po- 
pular, to prohibit for ever its abrogation and repeaL 

Thus the demagogue, who diverted all the public reve- 
nues to the support of shows and spectacles, made it cri- 
minal so much as to move for a repeal of this law ^. Thus 
Leptines moved for a law, not only to recall all the immu- 
nities formerly granted, but to deprive the pec^le for the 
future of the power of granting any more ^. Thus all bills 
of attainder * were forbid, or laws that afiected one Athe- 

* In Cteaphontem. It is remarkAble, that th« first step afttr the dissoliu 
tionof thaDonocracybyCritias and the thiitj, was to annul the ox^ifv 
irM^iusfMnr, as we leara fitan DeBKMthenes Mif» Ti^MK. Ilieofalorintfaia 
oration gires us the words of the law, establishing the y{«^ wm^rnHftm, 
page S97* «ar edii, AldL And he accounts for it IWim the same principles 
we here reason upon 

^ Plut in Tita Pelop. « Demest OljnUi. 1* 8. 

' Demost. contra Lept. • Denx»st contra Aristocratem. 


luam 'withaiit extending to the wkde cmnmonwefllth. 
These absurd danses^ by whick the legislature Tainly at^ 
tempted to bind itself for ever, proceeded from an uni- 
versal sense in the people of their own levity and incon- 

IL A wheel within a wheels such as we observe in tjie 
German empire, is considered by Lord Shaftesbury* as 
an absurdity in politics : But what must we say to equal 
wheels, which govern the same political machine, without 
any mutual check, control, or subordination; and yet pre* 
serve the greatest harmony and concord? To establish two 
distinct legislatures, each of which possesses full and abso- 
lute authority within itself, and stands in no need of the 
other^s assistance, in order to give validity to its acts ; this 
may appear, beforehand, altogether impracticable, as long 
as men are actuated by the passions of ambition, emula- 
tion and avarice, which have hitherto been their chief go- 
verning principles* And should I assert, that the state I 
have in my eye was divided into two distinct factions, each 
of which predominated in a distinct legislature, and yet 
produced no clashing in these independent powers; the 
supposition may appear incredible. And i^ to augment 
the paradox, I should affirm, that this disjointed, irregular 
government, was the most active, triumphant, and illu»* 
trious commonwealth that ever yet appeared; I should 
certainly be told, that such a political chimera was as al>» 
surd as any vision of priests or poets. But there is no need 
for searching long^ in order to prove the reality of the fore- 
going suppositions : For this was actually the case with the 
Roman r^ublic. 
, The legislative power was there lodged in the comitia 

* Essaj on the Freedom of Wit and Httmour, P«t 9. § 2. 

369 BefiiiT %. 

teHh&kM atfd camiita tribma. in tb« kfnmt^ U is ^^ 

when ihefim t\iM was uiltti|itii»qB» dknigh H MMained 
not, perhaps th^ hiBidredtfa port of the eMMaoaiNuJUi, it 
determined the whole ; and^ with the authority o{ ^$^ 
Aat^edtaMtekedAkw* In tlielalMr^eryvtciteWB^ equal; 
and as ^ authority of the aenate was iiot their roqaisitei 
ihe lewei* pMj^e wAxAj pi^vailed, and gtve law to thf 
whole fitate. In alt purQr-^BTiskms^ «t first bitw^ea the 
F&ttidans tod Plebeians^ afterwards between A* Mblea 
Md the people^ the Interest of the aristocrat was ptedo^ 
minant in the first legi^ture ; that of the dettocMey i^ 
the second : The one could always destroy what tfalf other 
had established : Nay, the <me by a sodd^ and toifcn-eseetl 
notion, might take the start isi the other, and lottfly im* 
pihilate ib rit^l, by a rote, wbich^ from the xtatnre of the 
constitution, had the full authority of a law. Bttt flo ^ch 
contest is obserred in the history of Rome : Nt> ikistance 
of a qoarrel between these two legishttires ; though ifiany 
between the parties that governed in each. Whefice of os^ 
this concord, which may seem so eltraordintffy^ 

The legfslfiture established in Rome^ Isy the authblffty 
of Servius TuUius, was the comUia oeMherUiiaf which, iiftef 
the expulsion of the kings, rendered the goye^rmneftt tat 
tome time very aristocrattcal. But the people, having 
numbers and force on their side, and being elated wltft 
frequent conquests and victories in their ibrg%n war^ al- 
t^ys prevailed when pushed to extremity, and first ex- 
torted fi*om the senate the magistracy of the tribunes^ an4 
next the legislative power of the ixmifia tribtda. It then 
behoved the nobles to be more careful than ever Hct to 
provoke the people. For beside the force which the lat- 
ter were always possessed of, they h&d now got possession 


of lqi;al authority, and could instantly break in pieces any 
order or institution whicli direcdy ojptposed then^ By in* 
trigue, by influence, by money, by combination, and by 
the respect paid to their character, the nobles might often 
prevail, and direct the whole machine of goyemmient : 
But had they openly set their comUia ceatwriaid in o|qpo» 
sition to the trSmiay they had soon lost the advantage of 
that institution, together with their omsuls, praetors, edQes, 
and all the magistrates elected by it But the comUia irU 
flute, not having the same reason for respecting the een- 
iwriatOf frequently repealed laws fkvourable to the artsto* 
cracy : Thqr limited the authority of the nobles^ protected 
the people from oppression, and controlled the actions of 
the senate and magistracy. The cmhttiaia found it con- 
venient always to submit ; and though equal in authority, 
yet being inferior in power, durst never directly give any 
shock to the other legislature, either by repealing its laws, 
or establishing laws which it foresaw would soon be re* 
pealed by it 

No instance is found of any opposition or struggle be- 
tween these comMoy except one slight attempt of this kind, 
mentioned by Appian in the third book of his civil wars.. 
Mark Antony, resolving to deprive Decimus Brutus of 
the government of Cisalpine Gaul, railed in the Forumy 
and called one of the oomtMo, in order to prevent the 
meeting of the other, which had been ordered by the se- 
nate. But aflairs were then fidlen into such confusion, 
and the Roman constitution was so near its final dissolu- 
tion, that no inference can be drawn from such an expe- 
dient This contest, besides, was founded more on form 
than party. It was the senate who ordered the comUia iri' 
butay that they might obstruct the meeting of the caUuria" 

VOL. I. 2 b / 


ta^-^ffbithf by the conititiitiolit or at least fidsnm otihe go« 
Teimnent^ co«U alone d&pose of {M^ovmcea. 

(Soero was recalled by the eomitia cmtmriatOf thoof^ 
banished by the iriMto» that i% by a>fa^^ Bi^hig 
faamshmeiit, we may observe^ neyekr was eoAffidered as a 
kgal deedy arisfaig from Ae free choice wd indinadon of 
the Tpeofit* It was always ^scribed to the ynoLmc^ alone 
of dodinS) and to the disorders introduced by him intQ 
the govemmdnt 

III. The tkiri ciistom, which we purpose to rem^k^ 
v^^^rds Enghmd; dioilgh it be tiot so in^iortan^ as those 
Whidi we have pmnted ant in Athens and Rome, is no less 
fiiiyilar and une3qpe<^ed. It is a maxim in politics, whidi 
wereadilyadmit as undisputed and universal, thatapower^ 
however great, when granted by law to an eminent mar 
gistrate^ is not so dangerous to liberty, as an authority, 
however inconaidarable, which he acquires from vidience 
and usurpation. For, besides that the law always limits 
every power which it bestows, die very receiving it as a 
concession establishes the authority whrace it is derived, 
taid preserves the harmony of the constitution. By the 
aame ri^t that onfe prerogative is assumed without law, 
another may cb^med, and another with still great- 
,er £»ci]ity ; white the first usurpations both serve as prece- 
dents to the following, and gpiye force to maintain .them. 
Heate the heroism of Hampden's conduct, who sustained 
the whirfe violence of royal prosecvtipi^ rather than pay a 
tax of twenty shillings not in^sed by parliament ;rhfnQe 
the care <rf'all the English patriots to guard agdnst the 
first encroachiUebtaof the crown ; ai^d hence alone the ex- 
istence, at this day,\of English liberty^ 

There is, however, one occasion, where the parliament 
has departed from this maxim ; and that is, in the press^ 


JMf^mmmtit I1ieelerai&oftoini6gUIar'|MNier ithen 
taoidjr permitted ai die cnmn^ and Atnigb k fies £ne* 
qaendy beea wonder deKbehltida hok diat power nigh iibe 
rendertd legal, and ipranAed, mhdte preper Mstrictbiis, ete 
tke aorefeigd^ no safe espedieiit teald '^^^r be projkosed 
fiMT Aat perpose^ and Aedai^er to liberty alw$ji i^pealp- 
ed gteater^m Ism than irom osuipatiori. Wlmn ibis 
powvr k exercknd'^Aer dnd than to man the nivjitj 
men wllli^;fy submit to it from a sense df its use andiie^ 
oesriity; and the sailors who are alone a£feoted bj it, find 
no body to snpp^nrt them, in chiiisiing the rig^ and«pri» 
vil^es which the laur grahts, without difrtindion to stU 
Bng^h sirti)ects. But wcore this power, on any occasimi, 
made an instrument of fiu^on or miniiterbl tyranily, the 
opposite faction, and indeed all lovers of their country, 
would immediately take the alarm, and support the in- 
jured party ; the liberty of Englishmen would be asserted; 
juries would be implacable ; and the tools of tyranny, act- 
ing both against law and equity, would meet with the se- 
verest vengeance. On the other hand, were the parlia- 
ment to grant such an authori^, they would probably fidl 
into one of these two inconveniences. They would eidier 
bestow it under so many restrictions as would make it lose 
its effect, by cramping the authority of the crown ; or they 
would render it so large and comprehensive, as might give 
occasion to great abuses, for which we could, in that case, 
have no remedy. The very irregularity of the practice at 
present prevents its abuses, by affordmg so easy a remedy 
against them. 

I pretend not, by this reasoninj[| to exclude all possi- 
bility of contriving a register for seamen, which might 
man the ^avy, without being tl'nt^rnin to liberty. I only 
observe, that no satisfiu:tory scheme of that nature has yet 


been proposecL Rather than adopt any project hitherto 
urrenled, we continue a practice seeminj^y the most ab- * 
sard and nnacooontable. Authority, in times of full in- 
ternal peace and concord, is armed against law. A ooii-» 
tinned yiolence is permitted in the crown, amidst the greats 
est jealousy and watdifiilness in the people; nay, pro- 
ceeding from those very principles, liber^, in a country 
of the highest liberty, is left entirely to its own defence, 
without any countenance or protection. The wild state . 
of nature is renewed^ in cme of the most civilized societies, 
of mankind ; and great vidence and disorder are com- 
mitted with inqmnity ; while the one party pleads obe- 
dience to the supreme magistrate, the other the sa&ctioD 
of fundamental laws. 



jL hsse is very little gronnd, either from reason or ob- 
tervBtioii, to ooncliide the world eternal or incomqptible. 
The ecmtiniial and nfid motion of matter, the violent re- 
volutions with which every part is agitated, the changes 
remarked in the heavens, the plain traces as well as tra- 
dition of an universal delnge, or general omvulsionof the 
dfements; alltheseprovestrongly the mortality of this fii- 
bric of die world, and its passage, by corruption or dis- 
ttdution, from one state or order to another. -It must 
therefore, as well as each individual form which it con- 
tains, have its infiuicy, youth, manhood, and old age; and 
it is probable, thi^ in all these variations, man, equally 
with every animal and vegetaUe, wUl partake. In the 
flourishing age of the world, it may be expected, that the 
human species should possess greater vigour both of mind 
and body, more prosperous health, hi^er spirits, longer 
life^ and a stronger inclination and power of generation. 
But if the general system of things, and human sodetyof 
course, have any such gradual revolutions, they are too 
slow to be discernible in that short period which is com- 
prehended by history and tradition. Stature and force of 
body, length of life, even courage and extent of genius, 
seem hitherto to have beoi naturally, in all ages, pretty 

874 EUSAY XI. 

much the same. Tbe arts and scieiices, indeed, have 
flourished in one period, and have decayed in anodier; 
bat we may obsenre, that at the time when they rose to 
greatest perfection among one people, they were perhaps 
totally unknown to idl the neighbouring nations; and 
though they universally decayed in one ag^ yet in a suc- 
ceeding generation th^ again revived, and diffitsed them- 
selves over the world* As fer, therefore, as observadcm 
reaches, there is no universal difference discetnibte in the 
human species; and though it were allowed, that tiie uni- 
verse like an aniaul body, had a natoral prqgms from 
iafioicy to old age^ yet as it must stSl be aneertan^ wImi^ 
ther, at present it be advancing to its point of perfisctaoB, 
or decUniDg from it^ we catmcyt dience presuppose a^ de*> 
e&y m koun nature *• To prove, tbarefoie, ov acoooat 
fev that siqserior popidousness of anti^pitty, which is com- 
monly supposed, by the imaginary youth or v^;onr of the 
world, will scarcely be admitted by «ny just reasoner. 
T:tme jfeneNd pkj^tiMl oauaes ought entirely to be eobdiH 
ded from this question. 

Tb«re are indeed some more /lorttciilar |il|^^ 
oF iippoMance. Diseases aire meolioBed in aatiquity, 
which are almost unknown to modem medicaie; and new 
diseases have arisen and propagated themselves, of which 
there are no traces in ancient histcMry. In this particular 
we may observe, upon ooaiqpariseo^ diat tke'disadvaatage 
is miidi on the side <tf die modems. Not lo mmtiktn 
ma^ others of less moment, Ike smaU-poK oommks saek 
ravages, as would almost akme account fin* the gnMt sa« 
peiiority ascribed to ancient limes* The tentk w dM 
twdfth partof mankind destroyed^ e ve r y g e ne ratiijn, should 

•8m Von (t.] 


make a vast di£Eerence, it may be though in the numbers 
of die people; and when jdned ta Tenereal dktempers, a 
new plague diffiised every where,' this disease is perhaps 
equivaleiil, by its constant operation, to the diree great 
scourges of mankind, war, pestilence, and fiunine. Were 
it certain, therefore, that ancient times were more popu- 
loos than the present, and coold no moral causes be as^ 
8^;ned for so great a diange, these physical causes alone, 
inthecqpiniondTmany, would be sufficient to give us satis* 
fiKtion (m that head. 

But is it certain, that antiquity was so much more po« 
pulous, as is pretended ? The extravagances of Vossius, 
with regard to this subject^ are well known. Butanauthor 
of much greater genius and discernment has ventured to 
afikrm, thataccording to the best computations which these 
subjects wiU admit <^ there are not now, on thefiweof the 
earth, the fiftieth part of mankind, winch existed in the 
timeof Julius Csesar \ It may easily be observed, that the 
comparison, in this case^ must be imperfect, even though 
Yre omfine ourselves to the scene of ancient history; £u-> 
nq>e, and the nations round the Mediterranean. We 
Ipiow not exactly the numb^-s of any Eurcqpean kingdout 
or e[vencity, at present: How can we pretend to calculate 
those of ancient cities and states, where hi^rians have left 
us such in^er^ict traces? For my part, the matter appears 
to me so uncertain, that, as I intend to throw tog^ev 
some r eflecti< m a<» that head, I shall inteiwwngle tibte in* 
<IuiryconcemmgcaHaMwkhthatc(Hicernii]gyBK^ which 
ought never to be admitted, where the &cts can be ascer* 
tinned with any tolerable assuranofe. We doaiif jfinsi, CQUr 
sider whether it be probable, from what we know of the 

* Lettres Penanes. See tho VEsprii dm laH, lit* txiii. csp. 17, IS^ 

S76 KS8AY XI. 

tkuatim of society in both periodsi that antiqiiiiy muse 
liare beoi more popukms ; m xmU fj wfaethar in reality it 
was so. If I can make it appear, that the coocbision is 
not so certain as is pretended, in &voar of aati^ty, it is 
all I aspire to. 

In general, we may obsenre, that the qaesttcm with re- 
gard to the comparative poptdousness c^ages or kiogdoms, 
impCesimportantccmsequences, and commonly determines 
concemii^ the preference of their whole police, their man- 
ners, and the constitution of their government. For as 
there is in all men, both male and female, a desire and 
power of generation, more active than is ever universally 
exerted, the restraints which they lie under must proceed 
from some. difficulties in their situaticm, which it bekmgs 
to a wise legislature cardhlly to observe and ranove. Al- 
most every man, who thinks he can maintain a fiunily, 
will have one ; and the human species, at this rate of pro- 
pagiitibn,' would more than double every generation. How 
fast do mankind multiply in every colony or new settle- 
ment ; where it is an easy matter to provide for a fiunily . 
and where men are nowise straitened or confined as in 
long established governments ? History tells us firequently 
of plagues which have swept away the third or fourth part 
of a people ; yet in a generation or two^ the destruction 
was not perceived, and the society had again acquired 
their former number. The lands which were cultivated, 
the houses built, the commodities raised, the riches ac- 
quired, enabled the people, ifho escaped, immediately to 
marry and to rear families, wUchsnpplied the placeof those 
who had perished *• And, for a like reason, every wise, 

* This too it m good ratioii whj the maU-pox does not dqiopulste conn, 
tries 10 onidi aft mftj at int nght be imiginod. Where titers is room for 


just) and mild goremiiieiiti by rendcfiog die coiiditwn of 
its sdbgectft easy and secure^ will always abound most in 
pecqfde, as well as in commodities and ridMS. A country^ 
indeed, whose climate and soil are fitted for vines, will nft- 
tnrally be more i>opulous than one which produces cons 
only, and diat more populous than one which is only fitted 
for pasturage. In general, warm olimates, aa die neoeasi- 
ties of the inhabitants are there fewer, and vegetation 
more powerful, are likdy to be BM»4 populous: Buttfevcffy 
thing else be equal, it seems natural to eiqpect diat, where* 
ever there are most happiness and virtue, and the wiaeat 
institutions, there will also be most people. 

The question, dierefore, concerning the pq[>ulou8ness 
of ancient and modem times, being allowed of great im- 
portance, it will be requisite^ if we would bring it to some 
determination, to compare both the dometHe and potiScal 
situation erf* these two periods, in order to judge of the facts 
by their moral causes ; which is ih»Jbr9t view in which. we 
proposed to ccmsider them. . 

The chief difference between die domegtie economy of 
the ancients and that of the modems, consists in the prac- 
tice of slavery, which prevailed among the former, and 
which has been abolished for scmie centuries throughout 
thegreater part df Europe. Some pas si o n a t e admirers of 
the ancients, and aeakms partisans of civil IHierty, (for these 
sentiments, as thqr are, botb of diem, in the main^ ex- 
tremely just, are found to be almost inseparable)^ cannot 
forbear regretting the loss of this institnticm ; and whilst 
they brand all submission to the government of a single 

mora people^ tbej wUl alwi^ aike, •ten witiioat the amiitanf of AAtu- 
ralisation biUt. It b remaiked by Don Geronimo De Ustaris, that the 
proTinces of Spaio, which lend most people to the Indies, are moet popu- 
lous ; which proceeds from their superior riches. 


pew<wmrfih thfthfurshdiaoroinflinn of daifety, they wooM 
gladly roduoe the greater part of Tnanlrind to real sk^ 
very end subyeetioB. But to one who considers coolfyoa 
dM subjeot, it will appeat^ that hsmaB nature, in general^ 
MaUjei^oyBiDore liberty at present, in the nost arbitrary 
ge^ o rnment of Europe, tban it erex did duru^ tbe moat 
fewrishing period of andent tmes. As much as snb- 
■UBsion te a petty prince, wbose dominions extend not be- 
yend a single city^ is more grievous than obecUcnoe to a 
great monardi; so much is domestic slarery more cruel 
and c^ressive than any ciril sutjection whatsoever. Tlie 
more the master is removed from us in place and rank, 
die gMater liberty we «i}oy ; the less are our acticms in- 
spected and controlled ; and the fiiinter that cruel com- 
parison becomes between our own subjection, and the free- 
dom, apd even dominion of another. The remains which 
are found of domestic sla^pery^ in the American colonies, 
and among some European nation^ would never surdy 
create a desire of rendering it more universaL The little 
humanity, commonly observed in persons, accustomed^ 
fiom.their infimey, to exeacise so great authority over their 
fciiow creatures, and to tram{de upon human nature, were 
tfuffidentaloneto disgust ns with that unbounded dominion. 
Nor can a nioie probable reason be assigned fi[|r,the seyeie, 
I might say, barbarous manners of ancient times, than the 
practice of domestic slavery; by which ev^ry man of rank 
was rendered a petty (j^ran^ andedncated amidst the fla^ 
tary, submission, and low debasement of his sliives. 

.^kceording to aneient practice, all checks were on the 
inferior, to restrain him to the duty of submission ; none 
on the superior, to engage him to the reciprocal duties of 
gentleness and humanity. In modem times, a bad servant 
finds not easily a good ^^fer, npr a bad master a good 


$tmat; aad Jihe chjacka •» itiinilj mMtif tptli^ianriohH 
ble and eltiBal laws of reasoB and eqnitjr* 

Tbeoustoin of expoBiBg old, naeLeaSy or aokskuiet in an 
island of the Tj^faer, tbene to starye, stems lo have been 
pretl^ciaiimoninRonie; and whoever feeofered,. after han 
Ting been mo exposed^ ha^ kis liberty gbren bins by an 
edict of the Emperoat Qandnia; in whi(^ it was Ucewiae 
forbidden to kill ai^dave merely fer old age or skkness% 
But supposing that this edict was strictly obqred, woali 
it betler the dofaestio treatment of slav^ or render their 
lires much ipos« comfortable? We may imagine whal 
others would practise, when it was the professed maxim of 
the elder Cato» to sell his supeEamiuated akses for any 
price, rather than maintain what he esteemed mnselpsslmiw 

Thesi^oilMici, or dmgeons, whore shtTos in chains were 
forced to work, were very cnmnimi all over Italy. , Co^ 
mella® advises, that they be always boik under gsoundi 
and reoopunends^ it as the duty of a oarefnl overseei^ to 
call over every day the names of these slaves, like themii%« 
tering of a regiment or ship^s con^i^iy, in order to kaew 
presently when any of them had daaerted;* mpwootaStba 
fosqnenqr of these erffOfitdth <^ o£ the great nnmbes of 
slasres usually oonfined in them* 

A chaine4 tlava for e porter was usnalinBome,a8i^ 
pears from Ovid*, and other auUuMrs f. Had.not these 
people shaken off idl sense of compassion toavi|rdl|i that mn 
happy part of their species^ would they hare pteseif ted 

^ Sndoiiiiit in vita Claodii. ^ Pint, in vita Catonls. 

^ • Lib. i. cap, 6. ^ lib. li* cqp. t. 

• Amor. Vh. I «lig. 6 

' Soeton. de Claris Blietor. flo aho tiie aaeitaC poat, MniMi tmUnnir^ 
mped i m enUi ttudiM 


tkdr firicack) at the first aitnnce, with such aa image of 
the severity of the master and misery oi the slaye? 

• Nothing so common in all trials, even of civil causes, as 
to call for the evidence of slaves ; which was always extort- 
ed by the most exquisit e tcwments. Demosthenes says % 
diat, where it was possible to produce, fiir the same hct, 
tkher fireemen or slaves, as witnesses, the judges always 
preferred the torturing of slaves, as a more certain evi- 

Seneca draws a picture <^ that disorderly luxury, which 
changes day into i^|fat, and night into day, and inverts 
every stated hour of every office in life. Among other 
eircumistances, such as displacing the meals and.times of 
bathings he mentions, that, r^ularly about the^third hour 
of the night, the neighbours of one, who indulges this.false 
refinement, hear the noise of whips and lashes; and, upon 
mquiry, find that he b then taking an account of the con- 
duct of his servants, and giving them due correction and 
discipline. Tins is not remarked as an instance of cruel- 
ty, but only of disord^, which, even in actions the most 
usval and methodical, changes the fixed hours that an es- 
tablished custom had asngned for them ^. 
< But our present busmess is cmly to consider the influ- 
&ice of slavery on the populoiisness <^a state. It is pre- 
tended, that, in this particular, the ancient practice had 
infinitely the advantage, and was the chief cause of. that 
extreme populousness, which is supposed in those times. 
At present, all masters discourage the marrying of their 
male servants, and admit not by any means the marriage 

• In OaHenm Orat. I. 

^ Hm mom pnctioe wm werj cmamoa in Rome ; but Cicoto seems not 
to think UiSs eridence so certain •• the tcstunooy <rf lree..citiiens. ZVoCMiff. 

• See NofB [U.] 


of the female, who are then supposed altogether incapa- 
citated for their service. But where the properly of the 
servants is lodged in the master, their marriage ferins his 
riches, and brings him a successicm of slaves, that supply 
the place of those whom age and infirmity have disabled. 
He encourages, therefore, their propagation as much as 
that of his cattle; rears the young with the same care; 
and educates them to some art or calling, which may ren- 
der them more useful or valuable to him. The opulent 
are, by this policy, interested in the being at least, tibough 
not in the well-being of the poor ; andeinich themsdves 
by increasing the number and industry of those who are 
subjected to them. Elach man, being a soverdgn in his 
own family, has the same interest i^ith regard t6 it^ as the 
prince with regard to the state ; and has not, like the 
prince, any opposite motives of ambition or vain glory, 
which may lead him to depopulate his litde sovereignty* 
All of it is, at all times, undar hiseye; and he has leisure 
to inspect the most minute detail of the marriage and edu- 
cation of his subjects *• 

Such are the consequences of domestic slavery, accord- 
ing to the first aspect and appearance of things : But if 
we enter more deeply into the subject, we shall perhapa 
find reason to reti^ct our hasty determinations. Hie 
comparison is shocking between the management of haaMti 
creatures and that of cattle; but being extremely just^ 

* We may htra obwirre» that if dn nn n lc •faifay rwUy ia ewi cd pop«« 
Iniiinm, it would b« am exoaptkm to the ganend rule, thai tbt h ap pine w of 
any lociaty aod ita populouaneit are necessary at t en da nt s. A master, from 
bumour or interest, may make hb slares Tory unhappy, yet be careftiJ, from 
interest, to increase their number, llidr marriage is not a matter of choice 
to them, more than any other action of tiidr life. 

8M KStAT Xf . 

when applied to the pmest subject) it may be proper to 
trace die cooteqiMices of it. At the capital, near dl^t^at 
okies^im idi popokms, ridi, iiida8trioQ9» provinces, finr t»t^ 
tIearebfecL ProvisioBs, lodgings, jitteiidaikoe^ labour are 
thore dear; and men find their accotmt better in bt^i^g 
Ihe catde^ after tfaej come to a certain age^ finom the re^ 
moter and cbsaper eomitries. Theaeareeonseqpiaitlytb^ 
only breeding countries for cattle; an4 ^ a pati^ of 
tmaaOf ht men;too, when the biter are^put <m ihe sam^ 
footing wkh the former. To rear a diild in Londod, tHI 
he conld be senriceaUe^ would cost much dearer than to 
boy one of the same age from Scotland or Ireland, where 
he had been bred in a cottage^ cchFer^ with rags, and ftd 
eaoatmed and potatoes. Hiose who had sbtye^, there- 
fore, in all the richer and more pdpukmseountties, would 
diaeourage the pregoaney of the femal<>% and either pre- 
vent or destroy, the birth* Hie hnman species would pe- 
rish in those places whereit oug^ to increase the fosteat; 
and a perpetual recmit bewahted from the poorer and 
more desert provinces. Such a continued drain would 
tend ni^;htily to depofmlate the state, and render gctBt 
dtieB ten times more destroetivef than with us; where eve- 
ry nmn is. master of faimaelf, and provides for his children 
from the power&l instinct of nature not the calculations 
efjofdid interest, if Ltrndsn^ at present, without niuch 
iacreasingv needs a yearly reemt from tlie coutry dP 5000 
people, as is usually computed, what must it require, if the 
greater'part of the tradesosett and common peq^ were 
slaves, ^nd were hindered from breeding' by their avari- 
cious masters ? . 

All anaient.authors tell us, that there was a perpetual 
flux of slaves to Italy, from the remoter provinces, parti- 


colarly Syria, Cilicia \ Oapi^adociay aod the licsser Asia, 
Tbrace, ilod Egypt: Yet tte number of people didapQt 
increeae in Itdiy ; and Itrriteni cono^aia of tbe'coatinual 
decay of industry and agriculture ^. Wb^e then is that 
extreme feiNility of the E<Hntm dave^ which is commonly 
supposed? So ihr frcnnmult^[)^ing|thQy could no^itseeras^ 
so much us keep up the cftock withou); immense recruita^ 
Aiid though great numbers i^re continually mfuiumitted 
and converted kito Roman citizens^ die ni|m)i)ers even of 
diese did not increase % ttfl the free4Qm^of the ci^ wi|9 
communicated to foreign provinf^es. 

The term for a dat% bora anti biped, inthe £Eunily, -was 
jwma^; and these slaves seem to have been entitled liiyciia- 
totOL to privilegea and indulgences b^yc^4 others ; a suffi- 
cient reason why the itiastetis woiild ^ot be; fond of rearing 
many ci that kind ^ Whoev^ is ^aequaip^d with the 
inaxims of our {daflt^rs^ iriU ludmbwledge ^e justness of 
this observattoii ^ 

* Ten thousand slaves in • day bave oQen been sold for the use of the 
Romans, at Delus in Cflida. Strabo, Ub. tit. 

^ Cohimenay Ub. L piMtti, et-ca^ 1. ct 7. Vano^ lSb> HL ta^ 1. Hd- 
ta^ lib. it od* 15. Taok. Aanal. lib. ilL caf» 54. Sueton* in vita Aug. 
cap. xliL Flin. lib. xviiL c^ 13. 

^ Minora indies pUbe ingentutf says Tacitus, Ann. lib. zziv. cap. 7. 

« See Noil fX.] 
. « VttHan used by fiomaa wnten^aa a word equlT^lent to fcnrrt^ on 
•ecmini^if tira petubwoeaBd in^podence of those sUves. Mart. lib. .i. ep^ 
■48. Horace «lao maations the vima procaca: and Petronius, cap. 24. 
vermtia urbanittu. Seneca, De Prorid. cap. I. vemnlarum licentia* 

' It 14 compoted m the West Indies, that a stock of slaves grow worse 
JSi99 per cent, every year, unless pe^v slaves be bought to recruit them. They 
are not able to keep up their number, even in those warm countries, where 
clothes' an4 provisions Are so easily got. How much more must this happen 
in European countries, and in or near great cities ? I shall add, that, from 
the experienoe of our planters, slavery is as little advantageous to the master 
as to the slave, wherever hired servants can be procured. A man is obliged 
to clothe and feed his slave ; and he does no more for his servant : iThe price 

164 ESSAY xr. 

AtticQS is mndi praised by his historian, tar the care 
which he took in recruiting his fiumly from the slaves bom 
in it*: May we not thenoe infer, that Uiispractioe was not 
then Tery oonunon? 

The names o£ slavjes in the Greek comedies, Steus, 
Mtsus, Octa, Thrax, Dayius, Ltdus, Phbtx, ftc af- 
ford a presumption, that, at Athens at least, most of the 
slaves were imported frmn for^^n oouitfries. The Athe- 
nians, says Strabo ^ gave to their slaves, either the names 
of the nations whence they w^ brought, as Lvnus, St- 
mus ; or the names that wane most oOTumm among those 
nations, as Makxs, or Midas, to a Rirygian, Tibias to a 

Demosthtties, having mentioned a law which forbad 
any man to strike the slave of another, praises the huma- 
nity c^this law; and adds, diat if the barbarians, from 
whom the daves were bought, had infimnation that their 
countrymen met widi such gentle treatment, they would 
entertain a great esteem for the Athenians ^. Isocrates ^ 
too insinuates, that the slaves of the Greeks were general- 
ly or very commonly barbarians. Aristode in his politics^ 
plainly supposes, that a slave is always a foreigner. The 
ancient comic writers represented the slaves as speaking a 
barbarous language ^. This was an imitation of nature. 

(>f tiieilntpurdis«eis,tfa«refore, loiiiidilowtoliini: nottomentloiiytiMik 

die fttf of puiiidAiieiit wm never drew 80 mudi lilw^ 

dndl of being tuned oil^ and m>i gvttiqf mnotlM MTTici^ idU ft«^ 

• Corn. NepoB in viu Attid. Vfemtjnmurk, diat Attkui's oetatolay 
chiefly in Epinis, which being a remote, deiohite place, would render it pro- 
fitable for him to rear tUrea tfiere. 

^ Ub. TiL * In BGdiam, p. SSI. ez edit AldL 

' Panegyr. * Lib. tIL cap. 10. sub fin. 

' Aristoph. Equites, I. 1 7. Tlie andent scholiast renarlcs on this passage 



it is well known tkat Demosthenes, in his nonage^ had 
4}e0n definBu4ecl of a kfge fortune bjr his totois^ and UmI 
afterwards he recovered, by a prosecution at law, ihevahie 
lof his patrimony. His oratH>ns, on that oocaskm, stiEre- 
viain,. andoontain an eocact detail of the^slKde snfatimce 
left by his father', in money, merdiandise, honses^/iuld 
slaves, tagethermth the value of eaidipaitiettkik*^ Aaft^ng 
Ae rest were 5ft slaves, handicfaftsmen» namely, a^ ssford»' 
outlers, and 20 cabinet-makers^; allmaks; aota.welBd 
«f any wiv^. children, or .fiunify^.. which, they cactaialj 
.monld haye had, had H been a cammon praMiee.ataAtflienS 
to breed from the slaves ; and the value.of the wholemns^ 
have much depended on thi^ drcumstanoe. No £uude 
alaares are ^ven so much as mentioned, except aome hwMr ^ 
vmids, who belonged to his mother* This ai^gumctit has 
great force, if it be not altogether coDohistve. 

Consider thif passage of PJntarcbS speaking. <^ the £1* 
der *Cato : *^ He had a great number of slaves^ whom Jie 
$ock care to buy at the saks of prisbnen o£.i^^ mad he 
<diose them youngs that dn^ might easily be aosustoimed 
So any diet or manner of life, and be instmctadinjmy bu* 
sineas or labour^ aa men teach any. thing to youiig.dogs or 
hone«.-*-Aiid esfffliing love the chief source e£>aU cKmiv 
ders, he allowed the oiak slaves to havee oomnmce with 
the female in bis family, upon paying a. certain :suiIk: for 
this privilege: But he strictly prohibited aU intarignes Out 
of his fiunfly.'.' Are there any symploBBur ia Ihb narratkm 
of that care which is supposed in the ancients of the mar* 
riage and propagation qf their slaves ? If that w^s a cbqi- 
mon practice, founded on g^nejral interi^tf it woukJlsujrel.y 

■ In /imvi^ohyftn, Otaif 1. .1 

^ KAiy*«'#M, makert of those beds which the ancients Uy upon at nieB|% 
• In Tita CatonLw . . . , \ 

VOL, I. 2 c 

iHMre iiian fiabraoed bgr C^^ wli» wn$ agMUt MMiMlist, 
lad liv6d m timtt whea tke topital frugally arid ^wtfik- 
tHy of OMmert v«re stiU ia credit rad rcpntnti^ 
It 10 cqumdj vemackcd bgr tbe writers «if ^ RomM 

K oooediBg imn tlMni*« 

Ottlackqrs and hiwaeHDttdi,. l-awn^ doiadt f^rF^jmadii 
iomdlSl^yibeirveotflit But tho aaoiaBt>» ImwIm ttuM 
Jiiii» tftteaded M their piBEiOB, bid afattrMt «UtlMir 1^^ 
y lifaiMu Jj and ewjO nviim ii tftnr Rs em wi t r ri by dbves, iA» 
4t««dy iiianyofthefl^iatlKn''fiMMi]gr; end some fpreatoMi 
Itotkennmbercf Ifl^MSw If there beaajreos- 
» therefare, Aatthis iwtitaftion vaj osiamiiimble to 
I (and the same rsaaoiv at kast in paxC, Jiolda 
«tlh ragax^ to ancient sbnres as medarai 8er¥aants), how 
destructive nmst dK^mry hxve proved ? 

Histofy mentions a Roman nnWomsni vho had 400 
alafM im4er the aaaae nsof ^ritli him.x And faaYifig.'been 
dM hMT ims gxeptsd srith rie(Mtr» and all .vidboiit,e9»a(b- 
lion isemisat to deaths Jdanyodmr.Jbman noblemen 
had fiteiMios eqoi^.or nuxe nameaou^; andlbeKeve 
every ott&mH^dloWt timt tUa woold aoarcbly be .pwti^ 
cable, sivseiaeta^s^ipeBeaUlfaftsfevesiliarmed, andliie 
fanalaa tobetareeduv K 

IBoJOfiBy as Ihe poetliep]pd^ marriea sbpres^ w^thdr 
male or ifaniie» isawp ustej Wjed incettiwfent Hovnuich 

* See Non [Y.] ^ Tacit Ann. xir. cap. 49. 

• Dm slaves in fb^ gi^eat bouiet had Uttle rooma ascigntd them catlod 
dSifllvw lAnWBeet^|UMMofoell%iatih|ni^m«di»«henMia^'a TO^ 
eottfant. See fiurther on thb head, Jait lipaioa, Satonu i. cap. 14. These 
Ibcm strong presumptions against the maniage and propegatton of the fiu 
AiHy staTSS. 

' Open et Dies, lib. ii. L S4. alio L S90. 


iDopre^ mk^» flui|i)iM Jiad j ftcw at wi to m^ fn eoonaous 
•tze as in. Boiae» aii4«li6cet)MmKsaiHiiii^pliekyafiii^ 
nttv wits ^MHudMd Atnm all fanjcs qf people ? 

X#iH)plioa in faU OEJoonomics, wliere Iiegwes d |g e eti i mt 
fer the inanagement pi a ikrniy icconmends a tiriet earn 
and fttenCiQ&of laying the male and the ftatiaWdanna at # 
cKatanoe from aacH qdiar. Qe eeema not to Mqpppse Aat 
they are ever married. The only ria^et among the Onak^ 
tfaatappaar to have oantimied their 09m race, were the 
Heiotet, who had hoaaes apart^ aod Jfcffemorettl^ skmra^ 
of the mbKc than of indifidaak^ 

Thaaameaothor^ taUsus, that Hieias^ oimrsaer, by 
agreement ^h hismaeter, was obliged to pi^ him anabot 
his a-day for eai^ slaye; besides maintaining thaa^ an4 
keeptng «q[> the nmnber. ^ad the ancient slavtes been aH 
bre#der8| this hat oiromnstanoe of the contraot 1^ beeii 

The ancients talk so fi^ne^itly of a ^xed, alyitedpatdp^ 
of promions assigned tip each daseS t}iatwei^natuMdly 
ledtoeonelnde, that flai^es lived almost ^ singly andw* 
ceived that portion as a kind of boM4*wages. 

Hie practice indeed, of parrying (iavas, «eems not tSf^ 
hare been fery common, er» aaoang the comtiy libofr- 
ers, where it is more n^tiuafiy tiobe expect. (S^*s 
enamerating the slaves Requisite to labour a vineyard of a 
hmidred acres, makes lliem amount to 15; the overseer 
andhisvrife, vSHe9f^ mai vtUka, and Ml4i|ala slaves; 'for 
an dive ptantatbn of 240 acres, the overseer and Us wife, 
and II male slaves; and so in prop<^rtipn t^ ft fPeatqr of 
less plantation or viney.^rd* 

• Stftibo, lib. Tui. ^09 BMdom VMitunaL 

** * 8m Ckto De Re Rustioi, cap. 50. 1>nwtii» in Pbonmoo, L i. c 9. 
Bm^crn, Epist 80. ' De Re RuiCft. eep. tO, t1» ' 



Vsrro '» ipiottng Ibis passage of Cato^ aUows hjaconqm-r 
Mkm io be jdst in every reject except the last. For as 
it is requisite, says he, toliaTe jan overseer and hia wife» 
whether the vineyard or plantation be great or small, this 
mast alter the exactness of the prc^rtion. Had Cato's 
corapatatioa been ertaneoas in aoy other respect,, it bad 
ceHaiiily been conreoted by Varro^ who seems fond of dis^ 
covtriag so trivial an. error. 

The sameandior S as well as Columella ^, reeommends 
it as reqiustte to give a wife to the overseer, in order to at- 
tach him the more strongly to his master's service^ This 
wAs therelbre a peculiar indulgence grmted to a slavey' in 
mhom so great confidence was reposed* 

In the same place, Varro mentions it as an useful precau*^ 
tion, n6t to buy too. many slaves, from the same n&tiw^ 
lest tjbjr. beget fiictions and seditions in the fiumly ; Itpre? 
sumption, that in Italy, the greater part, even pf th^ oomh 
try ldb9uringslaves(for he speaks of no other,) we^n bought 
from tihie jwiDQiter prpvinces. All the world knp^^ .that 
the.fiumUy slaves in IUdne> who were instrumetits ef.^«m 
and luxury, were coknmonly imported iVom the £«it« ^Mo^ 
frq^ioer^ says Flinyi! speaking ^f the jealous care of nms- 

wrumquoq^ cansa mrnenck^ adhibendus ''. 

It'is indeed jreoommended by Varro ' to propagate young 
ahepAi^rds fai the family from the old ones« For as gra* 
4H9g Uxjam were cofprnonly in remote and cheap plgces^ ami 
eiM^ she^erd lived i^ acottage apart, his marriage and in*- 
'Crease were not liable to the same inconveniences as in 
dearer places, and where many servants lived in the fami^ 

• Lib. i. d^ 18. >" Lib. L cap. 17. <= Lib. i. cap. 18« 
' LiU xzxiiL cap. 1. So likewise Tacitus, Annal. lib. w» cap. 44^ 

* Lib. ii. cap. 10, • . 


If ; wkkli was iirihmrs«ny th^ case in such of the Roinan 
forms aa pibduoed wine or .conw If we consider tbis' «x-» 
eeption with regard to shepherds, and weigh the reasons 
•fit, it wUl serve for astroagocynfiniMitioDof aU'ourlbre« 
going saspiciobs f« • 

I C^um^a^ I own, advises die master to give a re#Ard^ 
and even libertyto a female slave, that had reared him a^ 
bove three children ; a proof that sometimes the ancient! 
propaga^d frcm their slaves, whidi indeed cannot be de^ 
nied* Were it otherwise, the pvaeticd of slavery, being so 
common in antiquity, must have been destructive to a de* 
gree which no expedient could rqmir. All I pretend to 
infer fi-om these reasonings is, that slavery is in general dis«* 
fldyai^tageous both to the hiqipiness and p^^lonsness of 
manliind, and that its place b much better supplied by the 
practice of hired servants. 

The laws, or, as some writers call them, the seditions of 
the Gracchi) were occasioned by their observing the in- 
crease of slaves all over Italy, and the diminution of free 
citizens. Appian^. ascribes this increase to the propaga- 
tion of the slaves : Plutarch <* to the purchasing of barba- 
rians, who were chained and imprisoned, $mfiM^t*M hrftm- 
tn^m *. It is to be presumed that both causes concurred. 

■ Pastorifl duri est hie filius, ille bubuIcL Juveo* Sa^ II. 1^1. 

* Lib. i. cap. 8. « De Bdl. Civ. lib. L , 

* In Vita Tib. et C. Gracchi. 

- * To the sanie purpo^' is that passage in the elder Seneca, ex eontrorer- 
My 5. lib. V. ** AmU.qoondm pc|Mill»nii«« aingolortttn cfgaituloniiD Mmt; 
M latiusquA mine vilUd9,9uam olim rego^ imperaat.** '' At nunc eadett^** 
says Pliny, *' vincti pedes, damnAts manus, inscripti vultus exercent. *' Lib. 
XTiii. cap. 3. So also Martial, 

*' £t sonet innumera compcdo Thuscus ager.** Lib. ix. ep. S3. 
And Lucan^ ** Turn longos jungcrc fines 

*' Agrorum, ct quondam duro sulcata Camilll, 
(• Vomcrc et antiquas Curiorum passa ligones,. 


Sktifj my» Fkirut', wm Ml efftymlMli, ud wm coIm 
thvted bj labMrert in chmaak Ewms tad AAMio ex-i 
eked the wtnUt wzt^ by hrtwkmg np tbate notttrou pri» 
foitt»MklgiTin9lftert3rt0 «tMMsla^Fe& The yom^^tv 
Pompejr augmented his simj m l^win bjr the smmm expe* 
Aml^ HtbecKmstrfhrigMMrt^difoaghoattl^ 
Mipil:^ wtro 80 gtaeiidif in tfak mtilBtiw^ ^ 
fiddt w impombk to ftud s^pwste lodgti^ fcrthefiMH 
Iks ^ Ae city seifimii^ how ttnfii?f(mmble to ptopag^thni 
AsweUlui to hmuuA^t mist the instittttiDa cf domeslis 
i^ery be esteemcid? 

Copstm Ct no ^e, atprcstet» requires the seme recraitt of 
daft» from all the prOTAoes that Rome did of old; and 
these pvovittees Are of ooosequen^ fiur from being pop»* 

Egypt, according to Mons. Maill^ sends continual co* 
lonies of blach slayes to the other parts^ the Turkish an- 
pire, and receires «imu*Uy an equal return of white : The 
one brottglit from the iiJand parts of Africa; the other 
from Mingrelia» Circassian and Tartary. 

Our modem conventa are, no doubt, bad institattons t 
But there is re&son t^ su^iect^ that anci^tly every great 
^unily in Italy, and probably in other parts of the worldp 
was a species of conTcnt. And tluragh we have reason to 
condemn all those popish institutions, as nurseries of su- 
perstition, burdensome to the public, and 0{9>ressive to the 
|)Oor prisoners, nude as Well as female; yet may it be ques- 
tioned whether they be so destmctiTe to the populou^eaa 
H3t a ^I6te^ as is commonly imagined. Were the land which 

^ Ikmgti M} igttotok extettdere mra colonis.** lib. i. 

** Vincto foMore coluntur 
«• Heqpeda segetci-**— — lib. tu. 

* Lib. iii. ctp. 19. ^ Jd. lib. iv« cap. S. 


bUQiqpft.ta a cmvcal bnlofred oaa a ab lM iaih he mow^ 

Spcsd itft XBRT^Hie mi wUtWMf ilQBMBt fP'O^^BB^ lifllfmilH| COQk% 

mri h wi liaiflii , , niifl h1i fiiily wnnM unt fimiiih mhwy 
more citizens than the .eoiuMit. 

, Th»pc)»iaaea gsasyB rfy asqr ylwit threats hitdtwgK" 
t6|«iBtf>Baons(iip^ is thai he ang^upt beaveatjivdttMd 
wl{h*tw mnbetoiis a fiuailsr ; but A^ andtats had a me- 
thod ahttost as ia^ooenti and move eftetnal ta that pw^ 
p08e,taiirk»exp«siP9dwi»cluhikeainear]^kifi^^ Tfaia 
pi^Mtioa anas very ooBiqMA; awl is not spoken (^ by any 
authof irfdioso tines wtdi die faonw it deserve^ or aoar8»» 
ly 9 ef^sn wididisappvobacion* Plntarcb, the hamaiiefpood- . 
natiifed Platafch ^ mealioas Jt as anerit in Attahu^ hi§g 
oiFepgamm, that hemwderad, CRr,ifyoawill^ eaq[Kisedatf 
his own children, in order to leave hk crown to the son of 
Usbrather Evpsttes; signaliaing in this PHaum'hia gra- 
titude and afectiint <|0 EiimeittSy w%o had left; hia his hair 
preferably to diatstfi^ It was Sedan, die nxistceMnratsd 
of the si^es of Greece, that gave panents permission by biw 
i0 kill their children c. 

Shall we then allqw these two oircnmstaoces to eon^ 
panate each other, to wit, mooastie vows and die ei|K>- 
sing of children, and to be iin&voonible, in equal degrees, 
to die propagation of mankind ? I doobt the advantage is 
here on die side of antiqfuty. Fairhaps, by an odd oflB* 
nection of causes^ the barbaroasi pjitef iee of the anoiants . 
might rather render those times mare popdloHs. By ra^ 
moving the terrors of too nmnerons a fiunily it wonld e»- . 

« TmHw bUmti it* Db MoqIs Gflna. 

^ Pe Fraterno Amove. Seneca mIw approves of the eipoHiig of jicklj 
hifinn children. De Ira, lib. i. cap. 1 5* 
* Sext. £inp. lib* iii. cap. 24. 

gli^ftinaDjr people lainarriBge; mdsvdi is the fiacmtf; 
nftoral affiselioB) tlMt Toryfinr, m ooapwi^^ 
resoiotion dKn^ Jtheu k cme to the piuby to aorry kn 
to executicHi their former iatcntions. 

CkiatLf tfaeoolyco«ilrjwberethif practioeofezpoaiDg 
cbUdrnpieevsikat preaent, is the most popoknuoomtiy 
wobiow of ; end every man 18 oiorried beliMe he is twt^ 
Such eerly manrieges cmU seuxeijf be genenl, had not 
men thefMro^aeeiof so ieasy H mediod of gettisg rid<tf tfaeh: 
chiidrai.. I own that Mlvfearch speaks of it as a Jv^ 
general maxim of the poor to expose their diildrra; and 
as the rich ««re then averse to marriage^ on acoount of 
the Gcprtshi(^ they met with bom those who expected . 
I^faoies from them» the public imut h«ve been in a bed > 
sttiiatioo between than W 

Of aUsdences, there isnoim where first apfiearaiioes ^H 
more deoeitfid than in priitics. Hospitala for fcmidliDgi 
seem favom*able to th^ increase of numbors; and» perhaps^ 
mayi be so^ lii^^i kept und^ proper restrictions. Bat 
when they open the door to every one, without distinctiotH 
they have probably a contrary effort, and are penudous 
te^^ state. It is oompnted^ that every ninth child bom 
at Park is sent to the hospital; thoi^ it seems oertaiOf 
according to the common course of hnman affiurs, that it. 
is not a'faundr^th child whose parents are altogether in* 
capacitated to. rear ai4t|echKate hinu The great difl^- 
enoe^ for health, industry, and morals, between an edu- 
cfliion in anfaoqpital and that in a private family, should 
induce us not to make the entrance into the former too 
easy and engaging. To kill one's own child is shocking 
t6 nature, and must therefore be somewhat unusual ; but 

• De Amorc Proliti. * See Nott [Z.] 


to tttin over the care of Mm upon others, k rety tempting 
to the natural indolence of mankind. 

Havhig considered the domestic life and manners of the 
ancients, compared to those of the modems ; where, in the 
mam, we sdem rather superior, so fkr as the present ques* 
tion is concerned ; we shall now examine the poHHeal cus" 
toms and institutions of both ages, and weigh their mfluence 
in retarding or forwarding the propagation of mankind. 
< Before the increase of the Roman powers or rather till 
its full establishment, almost all the nations, which are the 
scene of ancient history, were divided into small territories 
or petty oommonweol^s, where of course a great equality 
of fortune prevailed, and the centre of the government was 
always very near its frontiers. 

This was the situation of affairs not only in Greece and 
Italy, but also in Spain, Gaul, Germany, Africa, and a 
great part of the Lesser Asia: And it must be owned, 
that no institution could be more favourable to the propa- 
gation of mankind. For though a man of an overgrown 
fortune, not being able to consume more than another,- 
must share it with those who serve and attend him; yet 
their possession being precarious, they have not the same 
encouragement to marry, as if each had a small fortune^ 
Secure and independent Enormous cities toe,. besides, 
destructive to society, b^t vice and disorder of all kinds,- 
starve the remoter provinces, and even starve themselves, 
by the prices to which they raise all provisions. Where 
each man bad his litde house and field to himself, and each 
county had its capital^ free and independent; what a hiqipy 
situation of mankind ! How favourable to industry and 
agriculture; to marriage and propagation ! The prolific 
virtue of men, were it to act in its full extent, without that 
restraint which poverty and necessity impose on it, wquld 

dM EtlAY XI. 

dottU« tbeniiixibereiperygflmkailMm: And ao<iMig evtly 
can giTeJt more libert]?, than such amallcoiniBQiiwealtli^ 
aod sacb an equality of fimnne among tbe ckkesi. AU 
snail states naturally produce eqnali^ of fiDrUm^ bacanaa 
they a£bffd no opportunities of great incraaae; but amtt 
oomnumwadtha mudi more, by tbatdivisicMi of power and 
antborky whidi is esasntial to> thesi. 

When Xenopfaon ^ returned after the fiMBoua exped^ 
tion with Oyrus^ he hired himself and 6(MK) of the Greeks 
into the serrice of Seatfaes, a prince of Thraoe; and the 
articles of his agreement were, dbat each soldier shoaJd re* 
cdve a ddrJc a month, each captain two dorjoi^ and he hisi- 
sel^ as general, foar. A r^ulation of pay which would 
not a little surprise our modem officers. 

Demosthenes and .£sdiine% with eight morei were sent 
ambassadors to I^iilip of Macedon, and their appointments 
for above four months w^re a thoosand dirocAaia^ which k 
less than a drodbaa a day for each ambassador ^ But n 
dradma a-day, nay sometiBies two ^, was the pay of a 
common fi>ot«ddier. 

A centurion among the Romans bad only donble p#y 
to a private roan in Polybius's time ^ ; and we accordingly 
find the gratuities after a triumph rtq^ulated by'that pro- 
portion ^ But Mark Antony and the Triumvirate gave 
the centurions five times the reward of the other ^ So 
much had the increase of the commonwealth increased the 
inequality among the citiaens '* 

* De Eip. Cyr. lib. viL 

^ Denuat De F«lf« Leg. He ealb it a ceatideisbte soat 
« Thucyd. lib. iii. * lib. vi. cap. 37. 

* Tit Liv. lib. xli* cap. 7. 13. d alibi p<uum» 
' Appian. De Bell Civ. lib. it. 

* Caraar gave t^ centurions ten times the gratuity of tbe cop M no n seU 
diert. De Bello GaUico, lib. viH. In tbe Rbodiaa cartel, mentioMd af. 
tcr wards, no distinction in the ransom was made on account of ranks in the 


• ItflMut be owned, tluitthesittuiticmof sffiursinmodem 
tifBe% witk regard to civil liberty, as equality of fortune, 
k not mar m> favourable either to the propagation or hap- 
pinest of mankind. Europe is shared out mostly into 
grieat monarchies ; and such parts of it as are divided into 
small territories are commonly governed by absdlute prin<» 
ces, who min their people by a mimicry of the great mo- 
nardis, in the splendour of their court, and number of their 
forces. Swisserland alone and Holland resemble the an* 
eient republics; and though the former is fiur firom possess- 
ing any advantage, either of soil, climate, or commerce, 
yet the numbers of people with which it abounds, notwitln 
standing their enlisting themselves into every service in 
Europe, prove sufficiently the advantages of their pcditical 

The ancient republics derived their chief or only secu* 
rity from the numbers of their citizens. The Trachinians 
having lost great numbers of their people, the remainder^ 
instead of enriching themselves by the inheritance of their 
fellow«citizens, applied to Sparta, their meUropolis, for a 
new stock of iidiabitants. The Spartans immediately col- 
lected ten thousand men ; among whom the old citizens 
divided the lands of which the former proprietors had 
perished K 

After Timoleon had banished Dionysius from Syracuse^ 
and had settled the affiiirs of Sicily, finding the cities of 
Syracuse and Sellinuntium extremely depopulated by tyran- 
ny, war, and faction, he invited over from Greece some* 
new inhabitants to repeople them \ Immediately forty 
thousand men (Plutarch^ says sixty thousand) offered 
themselves; and he distributed so many lots of land among 
them, to the great sat^facticm of the ancient inhabitants ; 

• Diod. Cyc. lib. xii. Tbucyd. lib. iii. *» Diod. Sic. lib. zvi. 

< In y\U TimoU 

896 ESSAY XI, 

» proof at ooce of the maxims of ancient poUcy, wluch af- 
fected populousness more than riches; and of the .good 
efibcts of these maxims, in the extreme populousness of 
that small country, Greece, which could at once supply so 
great a colony. The case was not much different with the 
Romans in early times. He is a pernicious citizen, said 
M.Curius, who cannot be content with seven* acres* £luch 
ideas of equality could not fail of producing great nuoH 
bers of people. 

We must now consider what disadvantages the andeats 
lay under with regard to populousness, and what chedcs 
they received from their political maxims and institutions. 
There are commonly compensations in every human con*» 
ditioa ; and thou^ these oxnpensations be not always 
perfectly equal, yet they serve, at least, to restrain the 
prevailing principle. To compare them, and estimate 
cheir influence, is indeed difficidt, even where they take 
place in the same age, and in neighbouring countries : But 
where several ages have intervened, and only scattered 
lights are affi>rded us by ancient authors ; what can we do 
but amuse ourselves by talking pro and am on an inierestr 
ing subject, and thereby correcting all hasty aad violent 

Firsts We may observe, that the ancient republics were 
alraosi in perpetual war ; a natural effect of their martial 
spirit, their love of liberty, their mutual emulation, and 
that hatred which generally prevails among nations that 
live in close neighbourhood. Now, war in a small state is 
mueh more destructive than in a great one ; both because 
«U the inhabitants, in the former case, must serve in the 
armies, and because the whole state is frontier, and is all 
exposed to the inroads of the enemy. 

• ScfiNotE[AA.] 


The maxims or ancient war were much more destruc* 
live than those of modem, chiefly by that distribution of 
plunder, in which the soldiers were indulged. The pri- 
Tate men in our armies are such a low set of people, that we 
find any abundance, beyond their simple pay, breeds con* 
fusion and disorder among them^ and a total dissolution of 
discipline. The very wretchedness aad meanness of those 
who fill the modem armies, render them less destructive to 
the countries which they invade; one instance, among 
many, of die deceltfulness of first appearances in all potlti* 
cal reasonings ** » 

Ancient battles were much more bloody, by the very 
nature of the weapons employed in them. The ancients 
<lrew up their men 16 or 20, sometimes 50 men deep, which 
jnade a narrow front; and it was not difficult to find a 
field, in which both armies might be marshalled^ and 
might engage with each other. Even where any body of 
the troops was kept dT by hedges, hillocks, woods, or hot- 
low ^ways, the batde was not so soon decided between the 
contending parties, but that the others had time to over- 
jcome the difficulties which opposed them, and take part in 
the engagement. And as the whole army was Urns en- 
.gaged,, and ead man closely buckled to hb antagonist, the 
battles were commonly very bloody, and great slaughter 
was made on both sides, especially pn the va^jiquisbjed. 
The long thin lines, required by fire-arms, and the quick 
decision of the fi*ay, render our modem engagements but 
partial rencounters, and enable the general* who is foiled 

* The ancient soldiers, being firee citizens, above the lowest rank, were all 
married. Our modem soldiers are either forced to live unmarried, or their 
OMrriagea turn to smaU account towards the increase of mankind -, a ipir. 
cumstance which oug^t, perfaap, to be ta^en into consideration, asx)f som; 
consequence in favour of the ancients. 

9W SMAY Xl« 

in die begiDiuiig of the daj» to draw off the gventer part 
of Us armjr, sound and entire* 

The battles of antiquity, both by their duratioQ 9tA 
their reiemblanoe to ain^e combats, were Wfoug^ v^ tm 
a degree of fary quite unknown to later ages* Not^i^ 
could then engage the combatants to gi?e quarter, but tb^ 
hopes of pro^t, by making slaves of their prisoii«rs» Ifi 
civil wars, as we learn from Taoitiis \ ^ batiks witfe the 
most bloody, because the prisoners were not daves* 

What a stout resistance must he mad^ where the Tsn^ 
quished expected so hurd a fiite ? How inveterate the ragiQ^ 
where the maxims (^ war were, in every reqpect, so bloody 
and severe ? 

Instances are frequent, in ancient histosy, of cities be^ 
sieged, whose inhabitants, rather than open their gate% 
murdered their wives and children, and rushed themselves 
on a voluntary dead^ sweetened perhaps by a little pio- 
spect of revenge upon the-^emy. Gbreeks ^, as wsU as baiv 
foarians, have often been wrought up to this degree of fury. 
And the same determined spint and cmdly must, in other 
instances less rsmarkabk^ have been destmotive to haman 
society, in those petty comnonweakhs which lived in dose 
neighbourhood, and were en^ged ia perpetual wars and 

Sometimes the wars in Oreece, si^ PlntaidiS wave 
carried on entirely by inroads, and robberies, andx>iracies. 
Such a method of war must be more destructive ip small 
states, than the bloodiest battles and sieges.^ 

By the laws of the twelve tables, possession during two 

« Hilt lib. ii. cmp. 4. 

^ At Abydus, mentioned by Livy, lib. zxxi. cap. 17, IS. snd Pbiyf>. lib. 
XYi. At alto the Xanthiant, Applan, De Bell. CiriL lib. it. 
« In vita Arati. 


jrears finraed a prescription for land ; one year for move* 
ables* ; an indication, that there was not in Italy, at that 
tiaie, mndb more order, teanqniUity^ and settled police, 
Aai there is at present among the Tartars^ 

T1»e oviy cartel I remember in ancient jiistory, is that 
between Dametrios Poliorc^es and the Ahodians ; whck 
it was i^eed that a free citiasn should be restored for 
1600 tkaokmiB, aslave bearing arms for 500 ^« 

But, aiC0M%, It iqopears that ancient mannei^ were 
jnare iiBbvoarable than the modem, not only in times of 
WATvlmtalaoiA those of peace; somI that too in every rei- 
speet eacept the love of civil liboty and of equality, whiich 
48, 1 omi, of. cimaderable importance. To exclude he*' 
lien firom a fxee goveroment, is very difficult, if not alto- 
gether impracticable ; but anch inveterate rage betweea 
the factions, and such bloody mamms are founds in mo«- 
liem times, amongst religious parties ^Ipne. In ancient 
history we may al wi^ observe, where one party prftvailed^ 
whether the npbks or people (for I can observe no diffisri- 
ence in this respect ^), thatdiey immediately butchered aU 
m£ Ae opposite parly who fdl into dieir hands, and bam^h- 
•ed sttdi -as had been so Ibrtmmte as to eampe their forj^ 
NofontiofpnoeesB,nohiw, notria],iiox>ardon* Aifburth, 
« third, peihaps near half pf the city was sknghtered^ or 
eeqaelled, ^yery revolution ; and the eidles always joined 
fttelgn enemies, and did all the mischirf.possible to their 
&Ilow<9tizens, tifi fortune put it in their power to .tahe 
full revenge by a new revolution* And as these were fre- 
quent in such violent governments, the disorder, diffiden^^^e, 

• Ilift fiK fi. cap. 6. * Died. SidiL Vth is. 

fmd inm Um Chatty tjfmak% myt, *•! fht Dmdemaj wm m titlmff^- 
▼cmment m the Oligarchy. Ormt. 24, De Statu Popul. 


jealousy, eamity, which must prevail, are not easy foGr us 
to imagine in this age of the world. 

Thera are only two revolutions I can recollect in anckot 
history, which passed without great severity, and great eC- 
fusion of blood in massacres and assassinations^ namely, 
the restoration of the Athenian Democracy by Thrasybu* 
lus, and the subduing of the Roman Republic by Caesar. 
We learn from ancient history, that Thrasybulns passed a 
gonend anmesty for all past offences ; and first introduced 
diat Word, as well as practice, into Greece •» It appears^ 
however, from many orations of Lysias \ that the chiel^ 
and even some of the subaltern offenders, in the precedii^ 
tyranny, were tried and capitally punished. And as to 
Caesar's clemency, though much celebrated^ it would not 
gain great applause in the pnesent age. He butchered, fi»r 
instance, all Cato's senate, when he became master of Ud* 
ca ^ ; and these, we may readily believe, were not the most 
worthless of the party. All those who had borne arms 
against that usurper were attainted, and by Hirtius's lav 
declared incapable of all public offices. 

These pe<q>le were extremely fond of liberty, but seem 
not to have understood it very welL When the tUrty ty^ 
rants first established their dominion at Athens, they be- 
gan with seising all the sycophants and informers, who 
had been so troubles<Hne during the democracy, and put* 
ting them to death by an aibitrary sentence and execu«- 
tion. Ev&yifum^ says Sallust"^ and Lysias % r^(riQ€dat 

• Cicerok Philip. I. 

^ As Or»t 11. contra Eratost ; Orat 12. contra Agorat.; Orat ti^ 
pro Mantith. 
« Appian De BcA. Civ. lib. it ^ See Ciesar's speetk, De BeL Cat 

* Orat. S4. And in Orat, 'S9. he menttons the factioua spirit of the po- 
pular a ss emb lies as the only OMise why diese iUegal puni^unents shoold dis*> 


ikue pmkhmaUs s not considering that liberty was from 
that moment annihilated. 

The utmost energy of the nenrcms style of Thucydides, 
and the copioumess and expression of the Greek language, 
seem to sink under that historian, when he attempts to de- 
scribe the disorders which arose from faction throughout, 
all the Grecian commonwealths* You would imagine 
that he still labours with a thought greater than he can 
find words to communicate. And he concludes his pathe- 
tic description with an observation, which is at once re- 
fined and solid : ^^ In these contests," says he, <^ those who 
« were the dullest and most stupid, and had the least fi^'e- 
<< sight, commonly prevailed. For being conscious of this 
<< weakness, and dreading to be over-reached by those of 
« greater penetration, they went to work hastily, without 
^< premeditation, by the sword and poinard, and thereby 
^* got the start of their antagonists, who were forming fine 
*< schemes and projects for their destruction *." 

Not to mention Dionysius ^ the elder, who is computed 
to have butchered in cold blood above 10,000 of his fel- 
low-citizens ; or Agathocles ^, Nabis ^, and others, still 
more bloody than he ; the transactions, even in free go- 
vernments, were extremely violent and destructive. At 
Athens, the thirty tyrants and the nobles, in a twelve- 
month, murdered, without trial, about 1200 of the people, 
and banished above the half of the citizens that remained ^ 
In Argos, near the same time, the people killed 1800 of 
the nobles; and afterwards their own demagogues, because 

• Ub. at »» Plut. de Virt. et Fort. Alex. 

• IMod. Sic. lib. xviH, xii. * Tit. Liv. xxxi, xxxiJi, xxim 

• Diod. Sic lib. xit. laocnUes says, there were only 5000 baaMbed. 
He makes the number of those kUled amount to 1500. Areop. Aschinea 
contra Ctetiph. assigns precisely the same number. Seneca (De Tranq* 
Anim.) cap. ▼. says I9,00a 

VOL. I. 2d 

408 EiSAT xr. 

they had reiused to carry their prosecutions farth^ The 
people also in Corcyra killed 1600 of the inMes, and ba- 
nished a thousand ^ These numbers will appear the more 
surprising if we consider the extreme nnallness of these 
states ; but all ancient history is Ml o£ sudi circumstan- 
ces ^ 

When Alexander ordered aH: the adles to be restored 
.throughout all the cities; it w«s fbnn^ that die ¥rhole a- 
mounted to 20^000 men ^ ; the remains probably of still 
greatev slaughters and massacres. What an astonidiing 
multitude in so narrow a country as ancient Greece! And 
what domestic confusion^ jealousy, partiafity^ revenge, 
heart-burnings, must have torn those cities, where fr«tions 
were wrought up to such a d^ree«f fury and despair ! 

It would be easier, says Isocratea to Hiilip, te^ raise an 
army in Greece at present from the vagabonds than- from 
the cities. 

Even when affiurs came not to such extremities (which 
they failed not to do almost in every city twice or thrice 
every century), T^roperty was rendered very precarious by 
the maxims of ancient govemmait. Xenophon, in the Ban- 
quet of Socrates, gives us a natural unaffected description 
of the tyranny of the Athenian peqple. << In my poverty," 
says Charmides, << I am much more happy than I ever 
^ was while possessed of riches : as mudi as it is happier 
.^^ to be in security than in terrors, free than a slave, to re- 
*^ ceive than to pay court, to be trusted than suspected. 
^< Formerly I was obliged to caress every informer ; some 
<< imposition was continually laid upon me ; and it was 
<< never allowed me to travel, or be absent from the city. 
*< At present, when I am poor, I look big, and threaten 

■ Diod. Sic. lib. xv. ^ Diod. Sic lib. xiu* 

* See NoTB [BB.] ^ Diod. Sic lib. xYiii. 


^ odiers. The rich are afraid of me, and show me every 
<^k]nd of civili^ and respect; and I ambepomeakindof 
<< tyrant in the city V 

In one of the pleadings of Lysias^ the orator very coolly 
speaks <tf it, by and bye, as a nuodm of the Athenian peo- 
ple that whenever they wanted numey, they put to death 
some of the rich citizens as well as strangers, for the sake 
of the forfeiture. In mentioning this, he seems not (b 
have any intenticm of blaming them, still less of provoking 
them, who were his audience and judges* 

Whether a man was a citizen or a stronger among that 
peqple, it seemed indeed requisite, either that h^ should 
impoverish hiuisel^ or that the pe(^le wopld impoverish 
him, and perhi^ kill him into the bargain* The orat<»r 
last mentioned gives a pleasant account of an estate laid 
out in the public service^; that is, above the third <^ it 
in raree-shows and figured dances* 

I need not insist on the Greek tjrrannies, which were al- 
together horrible* Even the mixed monarchies, by which 
most of the anci^it states of Greece were governed, before 
the introduction of republics, were very unsettled* Scarce;* 
ly any city, but Athens, says Isocrates, could show a suc- 
cession of kings for four or five generations ^* 

Besides many other obvious reas<ms for the instability 
<tf anci^t monarchies, the equal division of pn^rty amotig 
the brothers of private fieimilies, must, by a necessary con- 
sequence, contribute to unsettle and disturb the state* The 
universal preference given to the elder by modem laws, 
though it increases the inequality of fortunes, has, how- 
ever, this good effisct, thft it accustoms ipen to the same 

• Pfeg. 885. cz. edit. LeimclaT. ^ OnU 99, in Nicom. 

• See NoTc [CC,] f Fteiatht 


i04 ¥SSAY XI^ . 

idea in public 9iiccession» and cul^ off aU claim and pte^ 
tension of tbe younger* 

The new settled colony of Heradeas felUi^ iminediately 
into faoti<Ni^ applied to ^parta» who aent Heiipidas with 
full anthori^ to quiet their ditaensioBis, This man, not 
provoked by any oppoaitioB, not ii^anied by party rage^i 
knew no better expedient than imniediatdy putting to 
death about 500 of the citizois * ; a strong proof how 
deeply rooted these violent maxims of government were 
throughout all Greece. 

If sudi was the disposition of men's minds among tfiat 
l^fined people, what may be expected in the oominoa* 
Wealths of Italy, Africa, l^pain, and Gaul, which were de^ 
nominated barbarous? Why otherwise did the Greeks so 
much value thansdves on their humanity, gentleness, and 
moderation above an oUier nations? This reasoning seems 
very natural. But unluckily the history of the Roman 
conuaoiiwealtb]^ in its earlier times, if we give credit to the 
received accounts, presets an opposite, conclusioo. No 
Uood was ever shed in any sedition at Rome tiU the mur^ 
derof the Gracchi* Dionysius Hallicamassseus^ observing 
the singular humani^ of die Roman people in this parti-^ 
cular, make^ use of it as an argument that they were oth 
ginaliy of Grecian extraction : Whence we may condude, 
that the facticms and revolutions in the barbarous rqmblica 
were usually more violent than ev^i those of Greece above 

, Jf the Romans were so late in coming to blows, they 
made ampl^ comp^isation after they had cmce entered 
upon the Uoody scene ; and Appian's history of their dr» 
vil wars contains the most frightful picture of massacres, 

* Diod. 8kN Itb. xvi. *> Lib. L 


proscr^ons, and forfeitures, that ever was presented to 
the world. What pleases most, in that historian, is, that 
he seems to feel a proper resentment of these barbarous 
proceedings ; and talks not with that provoking coolness 
and indifierence which custom had produced in many of 
'the Greek historians K 

The maxims of ancient politics contain, in general, so 
little humanity and moderation, that it seems superfluous 
to give any particular reason for the acts of violence com- 
mitted at any particular period. Yet I cannot forbear 
observing, that the laws, in the latter period of the Roikian 
commonwealth, were so absurdly contrived, that they obli- 
ged the heads of parties to have recourse to these extremi- 
ties. An capital punishments were abolished : However 
criminal, or, what is more, however dangerous any citi- 
zen might be, he could not regularly be punished other- 
wise than by banishment : And it became necessary, in th^ 
revolutions of pArty, to draw the sword of private ven- 
geance ; nor was it easy, when laws were once violated, to 
set bounds to these sangumary proceedings. Had Brutus 
himself prevailed over the triumvirate ; could he, in com- 
mon prudence, have allowed Octavius and Antony to live, 
and have contented himself with banishing them to Rhodes 
or Marseilles, where they might still have plotted new 
Commotions and rebellions ? His executing C. Antonius, 
brother to the triumvir^ shows evidently his sense of the 
matter. Did not Cicero, with the approbation of all the 
wise and virtuous of Rome, arbitrarily put to death Cati- 
line's accomplices, contrary to law, and without any trial 
or form of process ? and if he moderated his executions, 
did it not proceed, either from the clemency of his tem^- 

• Sec Note [DD.] 

406 £8SAYkl. 

per, or the conjunctures of the times? A^ wretched jecuri- 
tj in a goTemment which pretends to laws and liberty ! 

Thus one extreme produces another. In th^ same man- 
ner as excessive severi^ in the laws is apt to beg^ great 
relaxation in their execution ; so their excessive lenity na- 
turally produces cruelty and barbarity. It is dangerous tp 
force us, in any case, to pass their sacred boundaries^ 

One general cause of the disi^ers, so frequent in aU 
ancient govenunmts, seeyps to have consisted ia the great 
difficulty of establishing any aristocracy in those ^gei^ and 
the perpetual discontents and seditions of the pec^le^ 
whenever even the meanest and most b^garly were ex- 
cluded from the legislature and from public offices* The 
very quality oi freemen gave such a rank, being opposed 
to that pf slave, di^it it seemed to entitle the possessor to 
every ppwer and privilege of the commonwealth. Solon's ^ 
laws excluded no freemen fix>m votes or elections, but con- 
fined some magistracies to a part^ular>i9t«t(^ / yet were 
the people never satined till those laws we^ repealed. 
By the treaty with Antipater^, no Athenian was allowed 
a vote whose census was less than 2000 drachmas (aboujt 
L. 60 Sterling). And though su/eh a government would 
to us appear sufficiently democratical, it was so ^Isagreer 
able to that people^ that above two-thirds of thepi ^mme^ 
diately left their country ^^ Cassanijer reduced that CMsas 
to the half ^ ; yet still the government was considered as 
an oligarchical tyranny, and the effect of foreign violence. 

Servius Tullius's ^ laws seem equal and reasonable, by 
fixing the power in proportion to the property ; yet the 
Roman people could never be brought quietly to submi|; 
to them. 

* Plutarch, in vita Solon. *» Diod. Sic. lib. XYiii. 

• Id. ibid. * Id. ibid. • Tit, Ut. lib. i. cup. 45. 


III tbo$% days there was no medhim between a severe, 
jealous aristocracy, ruling ova: discontented subjects, and 
A turbulent, fiu^ous, tyrannical democracy. At present, 
4here is not one rq>abUc in Europe» firom one extremity 
«f it to the other, that is not remarkable for justice, lenity, 
4md stability, espial to^ or even bey<xid Marseilles, Rhodes, 
•or the most celebrated in antiquity. Almost all of them 
are well tempered aristocracies. 

But, MnBjf^ There are many other circumstances in 
.whidi ancient nations seem inferior to the modem, both 
ibr the hf^iness and increase o£ mankind. Trade, ma* 
nufisurtures, industry, were no where, in former ages, so 
Nourishing as they are at present in Europe. The only 
qsLTh of the ancients, both for males and females, seems to 
have been a kind of flannel, which they wore commonly 
white or grey, and which they scoured as often as it be- 
came lUrty. Tyre, which carried on, after Carthage, the 
greatest commerce of any city in the Mediterranean, be- 
fore it was destroyed by Alexander, was no mighty city, 
if we credit Arrian's account of its inhabitants \ Athens 
is commonly supposed to have been a trading city ; but it 
was as. populous before the Median war as at any time 
after it, according to Herodotua^ ; 3ret its commerce at 
that time was so inconsiderable, that, as the same histo- 
rian observes ^, even the neighbouring coasts <^ Asia were 
as litUe frequented by the Greeks as the pillars of Heixu- 
)e% for heyood these he conceinred nothing. 

* Lib. 11. There were SOOO killed during the fiege, and the csptiTes 
iinqfunted to 30,00Q. Dfodonis 8ieulus» lib* xriL sajs only 15,000 ; but 
he accounts for this imall number by saying, diat the Tynans had sent a- 
way beforehand part of their wives and children to Carthage. 

^ Lib. y. he makes the number of the citizens amount to 30,00a 

« lb. V. 

406 E88AY XU 

Great interest of money, and great profits of trade, are 

«a infallible indication, that industry and comtn^^ice are 

iHtit in their in£uicy* Wereadin Lytims^ctlW per emit, 

]>rofit made on a cargo of two talents, sent to no greater 

distance than from Athens to the Adriatic ; nor is this 

.mentioned as an instance of extraordinary profit. Antt- 

4oita) says Demosthenes ^, paid tSuee talents and a half 

for ahouse, which he letata talent ayear; and the orator 

Jidames his own tutors for notemplojdng his money tx> like 

advantage. My fortune, says he, in eleven years' minority, 

CHight to have been trqpled. The value of 20 of the slaves 

left by his frther^ he computes at 40 minas, and the year^ 

ly profit of their labour at 18 ^. Hie most moderate in* 

terest at Athens, (for thore was higher^ often pud,) was 

^3 per cenL % and that paid monthly. Not to insist upon 

the high interest whidi to the vast sums distributed in 

elections had raised money ^ at Rome, we find, that Ver-^ 

res^ before that factious period, stated 24 per oemL kr 

fnoney which he left in the hands of the publicans ; and 

though Cicero exclaims against this article, it is not on 

account (^ the extravagant usury, but because it had never 

been customary to state any interest on such occasions '» 

Interest, indeed, sunk at Rome, afler the settlement of the 

empire ; but it never remained any considerable time so 

low as in the commercial states of modem times \ 

. Among the other inconveniences which the Athenians 

felt from the fcnrtifying of Decdia by the Lacedemonians, 

it is represented by Thucydides^ as one of the most con- 

» Orat S3. adTers. IMagit. ■> Contra Apbob. p. 25. ex edit AVIL 

« Id. p. 19. ^ Id. ibid. 

* Id. ibid, and JEschines contra Ctesiph. 

' Epist. ad Attic, lib. iv. epist 15. 

« CoAtra Verr. Orat. 3. >> See Essay IV. * Lib vu. 


iudenUe, that they coakl not bring over their corn from 
Euboea by land, passing by Oropus, bat were dUiged to 
embark it, and to sail round the promontory of Sunium ; 
-a surprising instance of the imperfecd<m of ancitot navi*- 
gBtion,'for die water-carriage is not here above double the 

I do not remember a passage in any ancient author, 
where die growth of a dty is ascribed to die establishment 
of a manu&cture. The commerce, which is said to flou- 
rish, is chiefly die exchange of those commodities, for 
which difierent soils and climates were suited. The sale 
of wine and oil into AArica, according to Diodorus Si- 
culus ^, was die foundation of the riches of Agrigentum. 
The situation of die city of Sybaris, according to the' seme 
abdior^, was the cause of its immense pc^ulousness, being 
built near the two rivers Crathys and Sybaris. But these 
two rivers, we may observe, are not navigable^ and could 
only produce some fertile valleys for agriculture end til- 
lage ; an advantage so inconsiderable, that a modem wri* 
ter would scarcely have taken notice of it. 

The barbarity of the ancient tyrants, together with the 
extreme love of liberty which animated those ages, must 
have banished every merchant and manufacturer, and 
have quite depopulated the state, had it subsisted upon 
industry and commerce. While the cruel and suspicious 
Dionysius was carrying on his butcheries, who, that was 
not detained by his landed property, and could have car- 
ried with him any art or skill to procure a subsistence in 
other countries, would have remained exposed to such im- 
placable barbarity ? The persecutions of Philip II. and 

■ Lib. xiii. •» Lib. xii. 

410 Si64Y XI. 

LewU XIV. AU«d aU Europt i^ith Um nuutefiMfaMi of 
Flaaderi apd Frftnce* 

I gnmt^ that agrictiltiire b the qMcm of industry ducAy 
xequiaile to the uriisisteiice of amkitodes ; and it is poa- 
aible that tbia iadnstrj may flourish, eren wbare manu&o- 
tures and other arts are unknown and n^ected. SwiaMr- 
lend is ai present a remarkable inatanget vherefve fin^ at 
oQoc^ the most skilM husbandni^^ atid the most bungling 
trade wnfiUi that are to be met wilk in Europe. Thai 
agricuknre flourished in Greece and Italy, at least in some 
parts of them, and at some periods, we have reason to pre- 
sume ; and whether the n^cbanical arts had reached the 
same d^pree of perfection, may not be esteemed so mate' 
rial» especially if we consider the great equality oS riches 
in the ancient republics, where each family waa obliged to 
cultivate^ with the greatest care and industry^ its own Utflf 
fields in order to its s^baistencet 

But is it just reascming, because agricaltore may, in 
some instances, flourish without trade or manu&ctures, to 
conclude, that, in any great extent of country, and for any 
great tract of time, it would subsist alone? The most na- 
tural way, surely, of encouraging husbandry, is, first, to 
excite other kinds of industry, and thereby a£Ebrd the la- 
bourer a ready market for his commodities, and a return 
for such goods as may contribute to his pleasure and en- 
joyment. This method is infallible and universal ; and, 
as it prevails more in modem governments than in the an*- 
cient, it affords a presumption of the superior populous^ 
ness of the former. 

Every man, says Xenophon ^, may be a fanner : No art 
or skill is requisite : AH consistsin industry, and in atten* 

» (Econ. 


turn lo the execution. A strong proafi as Columella liintSy 
that agriculture was but little known in the age of Xeno- 

All our later improvements and refinements, have they 
done nothii^ towards the easy subust^ice of men, and 
consequently towards their propagaticm and increase? Our 
superior skill in mechanics ; the discovery of new worlds, 
by which commerce has been so mvick enlai^ged ; the es- 
tablishment of posts; and the use of bills of escchimge : 
These seem all extremely useful to the encouragement of 
art, industry, aiklpopulousness. Were we to strike o£Pthese, 
what a check should we give to every kind of business and 
labour^ and what multitudes of families would immediate* 
ly perish 6rom want and hunger ? And it seems not pro- 
bable, that we could supply the place of these new inven- 
tions by any other rc^uladon or institution. 

Have we reason to think, that the police of ancient states 
was any wise comparable to that of modem, or that meii 
had then equal security, either at home, or in their jour- 
neys by land or water? I question not, but every impartial 
exammer would give us the preference in this particular »• 

Thus, upon comparing the whole, it seems impossible 
to assign any just reason, why the world should have been 
more populous in ancient than in modem times. The 
equality of property among the ancients, liberty, and the 
Bmall divisions of their states, were indeed circumstances 
favourable to the propagation of mankind : But their wars 
were more bloody and destmctive, their governments more 
factious and unsettled, commerce and manufactures more 
feeble and languishing, and the general police more loos6 
and irregular. These latter disadvantages seem to form a 

• Sec Part I, Essay XI. 

412 BSSAY XI. 

sufficient coanterbalance to the former advantagies; and 
rather favour the opposite opinion to that wldch commoii** 
ly prevails with regard to this subject 

But there is no reasonings it may be said^ against mat- 
ter of fiict If it iq^pear, that the world was then more 
populous than at present^ we may be assured, thatonr oon* 
jectures are fabe, and that wb have overlooked some ma* 
terial circumstance in the comparison. This I readily 
own : All our preceding reasoningsr I acknowledge to be 
hierely trifling, or, at least, small skirmishes and frivolous 
rencounters, which decide nothing. But unluckily the 
main combat, where we compare fiicts, cannot be render^ 
ed much more decisive. The facts, delivered by ancient 
authors, are either so uncertain or so imperfect as to afford 
us nothing positive in this matter. How indeed could it 
be otherwise? The very facts which we must oppose to 
them, in computing the populousness of modem states^ are 
lar from being either certain or complete. Many grounds 
of calculation proceeded on by celebrated writers are little 
better than those of the emperor Heliogabfdus, who form* 
ed an estimate of the immense greatness of RcMne from ten 
thousand pound weight of cobwebs which had been found 
in that city*. 

It is to be remarked, that all kinds of numbers are un* 
certain in ancient manuscripts, and have been subject to 
much greater corruptions than any other part of die text^ 
and that for an obvious reason. Any alteration,' in other 
places, commonly affects the sense or grammar, and is 
more readily perceived by the reader imd transcriber. 

Few enumerations of inhabitants have been made of any 
tract of country by any ancient author of good authority, 
so as to afford us a large enough view for comparison. 

• -Elii Lamprid. in vita Ilellogab. cap. 26. 


It is probable that there was fomueriy^ a go»d foundi^ 
turn for the number of citizens assigned to any £ree cky^ 
because they entered for a shAre in the goveramentt and 
there were exact registers kept of them. But as the num^ 
ber of slaves is seldom mentioned, this leaves us in as grea4 
uncertainty as ever with regard to the populousness even 
of single cities. 

The first page of Thucydides i% in my opinioiii, the com«^ 
mencement of real history. All preceding narraUons are 
so intermixed with &ble, that philosophers ou^t to aban-r 
don them, in a great measure, to the embellishment of 
poets and orators *• 

With regard to remoter times, the numbers of peopla 
assigned are often ridiculous, and lose all credit and autho- 
rity. The free citizens of Sybaris, able to bear arms, and 
actually drawn out in btfttle, were 809»000, They en-^ 
countered at Siagra with 100,000 citizens of Crotona, an«* 
other Greek city contiguous to them, and were d^eated.-— 
This is Diodorus Siculus's^ account, and is very seriously 
insisted on by that historian. Strabo ^ also mentions the. 
same number of l^barites. 

DiodoruB Siculus ', enumeitidng the inhabitants of 
Affrigentum, when it was destroyed by the Carthaginiani^ 
says that they amounted to 20,000 citizens, 200,000 stran^ 
gers, besides slaves, who^ in so opulent a city as he rq)re- 
sents it, would probably be at least as numerous. We 
must remark, that the women and the children are not iiw 
eluded ; and that therefore, upcm the whole, this city must 
have contained near two millions of inhabitants ^ And 

• Sm Notb [££.] ^ Lib. xiL • Lib. n. < Lib. xiil. 

* Diog«net Lsertiui (in vito Empedoclit) ujm, th«t Agrigtatom eontain* 
cd <m]j 800,000 inhabitonts. 

414 BfleAT XI. 

wbaA w«i tlM reMon of so inmenfe an increase? Tbey 
wegeinJiiutiKHit in coltiyatingdie neigkbonring fields, not 
^li^ wji^ ili iig a waH English eonn^; and they traded with 
hair wine and oil to A£riea^ which at that time produced 
none of these commodities. 

Plolemjt says Tbeoeritns \ commands SS^SW cities. 
I suppose the singolarity of the number was the reason of 
assigning it. Dtodoms Sicnlus^ assigns three imHions cf 
iidmbitants to Egypt, a small number: But then he makes 
the iraraber of cities amount to 18»000; an evident con- 

He says «, the people were formerly seven milRons. Thus 
remote times are always moat envied and admired. 

That Xerzes's army was extremely numerous I can rea- 
dily bdieve ; both from the great extrat of his empire, 
and from the practice among the eastern nations of en- 
cumbering their camp with a superfluous multitude : But 
will any rational man cite Herodotus's wonderful narrations 
as any authority ? There is something yery rational, I own, 
in Lysiai^s^aii^ument upon this subject Had not Xerxes^ 
army been incredibly numerous, says he, he had never 
made a bridge over the Helleqxmt i It had been much 
easier to have transported his men over so short a passage 
with the numerous shipping of whidi he was master. 

Polybius says * that the Romans, between the first and 
second Punic wars, being threatened with an invasion flx>m 
the Oauls, mustered all their own forces, and those of their 
allies, and found them amount to seven hundred thousand 
men able to bear arms ; a great number surely, and which, 
when joined to the slaves, is probably not less, if not rather 

^ UyU. |7. » Lib. i. • IdjVL 17. 

' Ormt de Funtbm. • lib. ii. 


more, than that exlralof country aAbidsatpfcwiit*. The 
tmmamnHmm tBo seems to have been made with some ex* 
aetnetsr ^umI Polybius gires as the detail of the particulars. 
But m^t not the number be magnified, in order to en** 
courage the people ? 

Diodorus Siculusb makes the same ennmeratiottamomt 
to near a miUioik These variations aie suspicious. He 
plainly too supposes^ that Italy, in his dme, was not so po- 
pulous ; another suspicious circumstance. Fo? who can 
believe, that die inhabitants of that country diminished from 
the time of the first Punic war to that of the triumviraiegf 

Juliua Cffisar, according to Appian ^, encountered four 
miUions of Oauls, kiHed one million, and made another 
million prisonevs ^. Supposing the number of the en«Boy*s 
army and that of the slain could be exactly assigned^ which 
never is possible ; how could it be known how often the 
same men vetomed into the armies, or how distinguish tba 
new from the oU levied soldiers ? No attention ought ever 
to be given to such loose, exaggerated calculations, espe^ 
dally where the author does not tell ua the mediums upon 
which the calculations were founded. 

Paterculus ^ makes the nusiber of Gaula killed by Gttsar 
amount only to 400,000 ; a more probable account, and 
more easily reconciled to the history of these wars given 
by that conqueror himself in his Commentaries ^ The 
most bloody of his battles were fought against the Helvetii 
and the Germans. 

* The country that supplied this number wm not iboTe a third of Italy, 
▼is. the Pope'i dominioni, Tuscany, and a part of the kingdom of Naples : 
But periiaps in those early times there were Tery few sIsTes, except in 
Rone, or the gfrn^ dtiea. ^ Lib. ij* * Cdtica. 

' Plutarch (in rita Css.) makes the number that C«sar fought with a- 
mount to three millions ; Julian (in C«saribus) to twow 

• Lib. ii. cap. 47. ' See Nort [FF.] 

416 tSSAX XI. 

One would imagine, that every circumstance of the lifc 
and actions of Dionysius the elder might be r^arded as 
anthenticy and free from all fabulous exa^eration; both 
because he lived at a time when letters flourished most in 
Greece, and because his chief historian was Fhilistos, a 
man allowed to be of great genius, and who was a courtier 
and minister of that prince. But, can we admit that he 
had a standing army of 100,000 foot, 10,000 horse, alid t 
fleet of 400 galleys * ? These, we may observe, were m^"* 
oenary forces, and subsisted upon pay, like our armies in 
Europe ; for the citizens were all disarmed : and when Dion 
afterwards invaded Sicily, and called on his countrymen 
to vindicate their liberty, he was obliged to bring arms 
along with him, which he distributed among those who 
joined him^. In a state where agriculture alone flourishes, 
there may be many inhabitants ; and if these be all armed 
and disciplined, a great force may be called out upon oo 
casion : But great bodies of mercenary troops can never 
be maintained, without either great trade and numerous 
manufactures, or extensive dominions. The United Pkh 
vinces never were masters of such a force by sea and land, 
as that which is said to belong to Dionysius ; yet they pos- 
sess as large a territory, perfectly well cultivated, and have 
much more resources from their commerce and industry. 
Diodorus Siculus allows, that, even in his time^ the army 
of Dionysius appeared incredible ; that is, as I interpret it^ 
was entirely a fiction ; and the opinion arose from the.ex«> 
aggerated flattery of the courtiers, and perhaps from the 
vanity and policy of the tyrant himself. 
. It'is a usual fallacy, to consider aU the ages of antiquity 
as one period, and to compute the numbers ccmtained in 

■ Diod. Sic. lib. li. ^ Fluterch. in vita Dionys. 


the g^ttst cities mentioned by ancient authors, as if these 
cities had been all contemporary. The Greek colonies 
flourished extremely in Sicily during the age (^Alexander : 
But in Augustus's time they were so decayed^ that almost 
all the produce of that fisrtile island was consumed in Italy S 

Let us now examine the numbers of the inhabitants as- 
signed to particular cities in antiquity; and omitdng the 
numbers of Nineveh^ JSabylon, and the Egyptian Thebes^ 
let us omfine ourselves to die qphere of real history, to the 
Grecian and Roman states* I must own, the more I con* 
sider this subject, the more am I inclined to scq>ticism 
widi regard to the great pt^ulousness ascribed to ancient 

Athens is said by Plato*' to be a very great tity; and 
it was surely die greatest of all the Greek ^ cities except 
Syracuse^ whidi was nearly about the same size in Thucy- 
dides's' time, and afterwards increayd beyond it For 
Cicero * mentions it as the greatest of all the Cbreek cities 
in his time ; not comprehending^ I suppose, either Antioch 
or Alexandria under that denominatioiu Atheneeus ' saya^ 
that by the enumeradon of Demetrius Pbalereus, there 
were in Adieus 81,000 citizens, 10,000 strangers, and 
400,000 slaves* This number is much insisted on by those 
whose opinion I call in question, and is esteemed a funda- 
mental fitct to their purpose: But, in my opinion, there is 
no point of criticism more certain, than that Atbenaeus 

■ StnOxH liK tL ^ Apolog. Soar. 

« Argot aecmi ako to hATe bem a great city ; for Lydas contents him- 
■elf with saying that it cBd not exceed Atiiens. Drat 54. 

' Lib. tL See also Plutarch in Tita Iffkim. 

• Orat contra Verrem, lib. It. capb 52* Stiabo, lib. tL si^il was twenty, 
two miles in compass. But then we are to consider, that it contained two 
harixmiB within it ; one of idiieh was a reiy Unge one^ and might be re^ 
garded as a kind of bay. / Lib. yrl cap, Sa 

VOL. I. 2 E 

418* ESSAY XI. 

tfod Cttsides, whom be i|uoteS| are here nmtriffn^ and that 
tke somber <»rsfamis is, at leait, aagmeated by a^vliole 
tiypbev, attd ought not tp be iiq;axded 89 oioDe t^ 

1«M| Whan l^e numberof dtueneiBaaid tabe 21,CK^ 
byAitbeiWMisSiiieiifiiUofageatQoiilyiiiidenlnod.^ Watf 
L HerodoiuBeay»^,4iat Arktagaras^ambaasadar £sNBiiiie 
lo&fiams found iiihgrderk)daceivecaieapafteiitipnaBva#> 
Atbeatani; t^fiudagf inalMeewa)!^ |ieiviHile)iUBte^aap4> 
peocd tobe Met in one poyukir afteeadbfy, ranbiding thai 
iPdttien and diilcbien. 2. lliacjfdides'^aajrs^ fluit nn&sqp 
allowance for all the absenneesin theflee^ anay, gwri90tt% 
and iiMr pe(^leem(doyed in theur prhnUe aftiis^' the Atha* 
nian assembly never rose to five thousand. 3. Thefbnxi^ 
enuniei:iiCed by th^ sane histtorian'^, beingaM dtiseu, and 
amouatiag to 13,000 heavynurmed infimtry, prafgtkeiBBiti 
metkod of calculation; as aba the idiok tenor cf tlie i3im^ 
htetoridas, who'alimys understand ioaea of fidlage adien 
theyassign the number ofcitisens in any n^inbUc. Nore^ 
these faalag but Ae fourth of the inhabitants, the fiwe AAa* 
mans w«i« by this acoonnt 84,000; the stiangers, 40,4100 9 
and die akvea, oalcolating by the saiaUer nmnbet, andad-r 
lowing that they mai4*ied and projpagated at tkesamenta 
wMi freemen, weralt^OOO; and die adiofe of the inhi^ 
failants 284^000; a number aatiely kif^e mongfa« The 
othor number, l,tdO,00% makes Alliens krgec than Lon* 
dim and Paris united. 

Secondly^ There were but 10,000 houses in Ath^n^ *. 
. Thirdfif^ Though the extent of the walU^ as ^iven us by 
Thucydides ^ be great, ^feo wit eighteoi railas, beside the 

* Denoftaicnei «tsigiis ao>QeO ; contra Amiag. 

' » Lib. y. « Ub-yiiL 

- ' tMu & Bi#dorui Seuhiflrs teeoufit perfeetly ^tgree^, Hb. xH. 

* Xeno^oii Men. lib. it. * Ub. iL 


icA^oodst) : Yet Xem^hoo * says there was much waste 
frroand wUhbi ihii yiMt^ ' Hi^y «eem indeed to have jam- 
ed four disdnet aiid a^arate cities \ - ^ 

HmrtUpf 'So MBttrveotioa of th^ slavey xir saspicion of 
insurrectsoiiy is e^eif iiAntio»ed by hiatonaais, except one 
oen iu M j Ii an df <he aAyrt % 

F^iUi^ The treatmeijt of flakes by the Athenians is said 
by XBnqsboii^t and Demostkien^ h f^d Plautus ^ to have 
been extremely ^esltle itod mM^j/ei^ : Wliich could never 
haim beea the cafle» kad tile disproporlion been iwenly to 
ene. 13ie dispropodioii is not to great in any of our co- 
Icmies; yet aire we gUigefl to exereis^ a rigorous and mili- 
•<aiy gdvonnmeok o]rer ibd negroes. 

Siadklf, No mam is jemr aateet^ed iM^, Gmt possessing 
what may be r»fcoaed aa e^ual distributioa of property in 
aoy^oiintry^oreven triple or quiadruplelbat wealth. Thus 
every person in England is compui^d by so^ae to spend 
sixpence a-day; yet is he etileenMl bat poor who has five 
times that sum. Now TiiimridHis is said by J£sdiines < to 
have been left in easy dreumstanoes ; but he was master 
imly of ten slates empi^ed in aEianuiacturea. Lystas and 
bis'brbdier, two strangers, were proscribed by thednrty 
for their great ridies; thou^ tb^ bad bitf^ sixty appiece** : 
Demosdienes was left very rich byhis ftth^r; yet he had 
no more than fifty^two daves K His worlp-houfe, of twea- 
ty oid>2net^makers9 ts said to be a very considerable manu- 

Sevmfkl gt During the Pi^cetian wars a^'the Greek his- 
torians call it, 2O5OOO slaves deserted^ ^nd bro«^t tl^e 

• De Ratione Red. ^ See Nm [OO.] " Atti6n. Ub. ti. 

<> Be B^ AHietk. •TUOip.a. ' Stic^ > 

'«€«»«» TlMunrcii. i^.eiat.11. . .A ,QmPm A^Mb. 

k Ibid. 


420 tSSAV XJ. 

Athenians to great distress, as we learn from Thncy^dcv^. 
This could not have happened had they been only the 
twentieth part The best slaves would not desert 

Eiffhihfyy Xenophon** proposes a scheme for mamtun- 
ing by the public 10,000 slaves : And diat so ^great a num- 
ber may possibly be supported^ any coie will be convinced, 
says be, who considers the numbers we possessed before 
the Decelian war ; a way of speaking altogether incom- 
padble idth the larger number of Adienasns. 

JJwMyy The whole census of the state of Alliens was less 
than 6000 talents. And though numbers in ancient ma- 
nuscripts be often suspected by critics, yet this is unexcep- 
tionable ; both because Demosthenes^ who gives it, gives 
also the detail, which checks him ; and because Polybtus^ 
assigns the same number, and reasons upon it Now, fhe 
most vulgar slave could yidd by his labour aa Mbts a-day, 
over and above his maintenance^ as we learn from Xeno- 
phon % who says, that Nicias's overseer paid his master so 
much for slaves, whom he employed m mines. If you ynXi 
take the pains to estimate an Mbu a-day, and ibe slaves 
at 400,000, computing only at four years' purdiase, you 
will find the sum above 12,000 talents; even though allow- 
ance be made for the great number of holidays in Adiens. 
Besides, many of the slaves would have a much greater va- 
lue tirom their art The lowest that Deniosthenesestbuates 
any of his ' Other's slaves is two minas a-head. And up- 
on this supposition, it is a little difficult, I confess, to re- 
concile even the number of 40^000 slaves widi &e o&mms 
of 6000 talents. 

TenMy, Chios is said by Thucydides* to contain more 

• Lib. tH. 

» D«aat.E^ 

• BsaMwAw 

« Llb.H.«^6t. 

• DeRAt. Btod. 




skyes than any Greek cityj except Sparta* Sparta then 
had more than Athens, in proportion to the number of ci- 
tizens. The Spartans were 9000 in the town, 30,000 in 
the country *• Hie male slares, ther^re, of full age, n^ast 
have been more than 780,000; the whole more than 
8,180,000; a nnmber impossible to be maintained in a 
narrow barren country, such as Laconia, which had no 
trade. Had the Hdotes been so very numerous, the mur- 
der of 2000, mentioned by Thucydidea^ would have irri^ 
tated them without weakemng them* 

Besides^ we are to consider, that the number assigned 
by Athenseus ^^ whatever it is, comprehends all the inha- 
bitants of Attica, as well as those of Athens. The Athe- 
nianii affiscted much a country life^ as we learn from Thu- 
i^didea ^ ; and when they were allchased into town, by the 
invasion of their terriU^ during the Pdoponnesian war^ 
-die city was not able to contain them ; and they were ob- 
liged to lie in the porticos, temples, and even streets, for 
want of lodging ^' 

Hie same renuurk is to be extafided to all the other 
Greek cities ; and when the number of citizens is assi^- 
ed, we must always understand it to ocmiprehend the in- 
habitants of the ndghbouriog country, as well as of the 
city. Yet even with this allowance^ it must be confessed 
that Greece was a populous country, and exceed^ what 
we could imagine concerning so narrow a territory, nati^ 
irilly not very fertile, and which ^w no supplies of com 

* Plutarch. In Tito Lyeurg. ^ Lib. ir. 

• The Munt aothor sfflnnsy Uiat Corindi had once 460,000 sIatcs ; JBgina 
470^00a But the fbregoing argnmanti bold tU fO ug e r againat Uiaaa ttcU, 
which ara i adaa d aatlrdyabamd and impoawble. It ia bowarer lanarkabla 
Uiat AthaMRM dtaa to great an autboritj ai AiiMotlelbr Uib laatAct: 
And tiie acfaoUaat on Pindar nentioDS Uie tame number of ilaivet in JBgina. 

' lib. iL • ThucTd. lib. it 

4dB S88AY XI. 

fl-on odier plaoesr For, excepting AdMils, wbkb traded 
to Pontoft for that ooMmodtty^ the odiet dtka teem to 
have subsisted chiefly from their neigfabonrtng territMrj *. 

RhcKles is well kaown to have beeo a city of extsBshre 
commerce, and of great fime a&d splendonr^ yet it ocm*- 
tained only 6000 citizens able to bear arms wfaea it wa* 
besieged by Demetrius **. 

Thebes was alwi^s one of the capital cities of Greece* ; 
but the number of its dtiaens exaceedrd not those of 
Rhodes '. Phliasia it said to be a smaU city by Xeii»* 
phon S yet we find that it contwfied 6Md citinos ^ I 
pretend not to rec<mcile these two &cts; PeriMftt Xeno* 
phon ctl&s Phliasia a small town, because it madq hmt a 
small figure in Greece) aid itfaiMikitd only a sobaRbnata 
alliance with Sparta; or perhaps die counliy^ bek«i|pog 
to it, was extensrreiaiidlDostof tibecdtbensweseemplojN 
ed in the cultiyation of it, and dwelt m the najghbeoraig 

Mantinea was equal to any city in A^cacUa K Goovt^ 
quently ft was equal to MegalopdMs, wkicfh wis fifty sta- 
dia, or six miles and a quarter in ciifcttmferMioe.^^ But 
Mantinea had only 8000 citi^MisV The OmA citie% 
therefore, contained oAai fi^Ms and gpsrdeos, togettietwiA 
the houses; and we cannot judge €# them li^Mfae extent of 
iheir waRs. Athens ccmtained no more than lOyMO 
houses ; 3ret its walls, with the sea^coast, wereabofe twt»- 
ty m9es in extent Syracuse was €wen^-iwo miks in cir- 
cumference ; yet was ever scarcely spoken of by the an- 

•flMl9oa[Ra] » OiiMi. Si«. lik zx. 

• Hirt. Qwmt. lib. vE Ud. lib. nj. 

• Folyb. Kb. il. ^ Poljb, lib. ix. ci|>.fl(X 
^ I*7liiii Qrtd, 84, 


cimto i^.mof» p^!fl^ow than Atbens. Babylon wa^ a 
a^^lM^ 0f fift^el)^ wtt^ or ^ixtgr mile3 in dn^ 
tlMil^d torg<l fitdtk^s^ fields apd indo$ufes» as we leani^ 
4mMb PUnjr* TlMim^ Awelian'ti wall was fifty miles in 
circtiiQferm€# ^» the Girmit of all the thirteen divisions g£ 
BiNPe^ taken afparV accordiim^ Publiua Victor, waa on* 
}y akwm forQhtiMrae mUas. When) an enemy invaded th^ 
cowtiiy) aU th^ inhabitants retired within the waUs of the^ 
ancient cities, with their cattle and furniture and iostru-^ 
Bttinla.itfihltobaa^; op^ the fceat heig^it to whi^ the 
widia w<^re faised,^ enabled a small number to defiend them^ 

Spartl^ saya X^lM>phol|^ Jb <mi ^^ fitiesof Graei^ 
fhalhtsthc faiftt$ti>ihabitaots* yatP(dybiiis,« s^ystbi^i^ 
«a» fintynsight ittdia bt curwif^p^ae, an^ ims r^miA- > 

AU the iBtoOaiM able te ^ar ^rms in Antt)^l^g'atj«w^ 
deducting sone (tm^gur^G^H wer^ b«t Ip^OO^jq^^ 

Polybroa "* talla v, dbat the.Ach«Q$n le^go^ IP^jJ^.i^th^ 
init^y loMOTenieB^ maroh 9<^ or 40»090^ e^en; Atd 
d^ sMQiiht aealiiat>robabto; filr that )e^0«e ocmprdi^mk 
ad Ae.gtseater part of Pelop9i>i|esiN^ :Yf« PaUMnina ^ 
apaidciiigfilthfa aame {Hurjod^ 8ay% that all the Acbmi* 
ahfe tH'hMV 8nn«» even ^hei> se^^ral nwMmi>t|id »lw^ 
MTi jdiiAd bof thm^ did n^t amowi^ |o 1%«00, 

Hit TbesaiUlWi laU iMr M ppqqsest h; the Ror 
jniani^ 1v«le, in dl age^ Itokulaiiti f^ctipn9> ^oditioqA, djar 
orderly '• It i» n<vl therefore nptturat to au|f>QK thftt; thi> 
fArtof Greete abowded iMiCh m^ pia^le. 

• Vopiscus in TiU Aurel. 

tarch abore, who Mjt that Sparta IM foaadtisiaib 
« Polyb. lib. ix. cap. zx. ' Diod. Sic ztiii. 

• Legat ' ' In Achaickk 

< Tit lir. lib; incxiT.* cap. 51. Plato iv CrHoitek ' 

424 liSAY tt. 

W« arc told by Thiicydid«tS that tlM put of Pelopoa^ 
nesus, adjoining to Pjdoa, was detert and QncoltiTatod* 
Herodotus says ^ that Bfacedonia was full of lions and 
wild bulls; animals which can only iidialnt vast unpeoplMl 
forests. These were the two eiLtremitiei of Gi^eeee. 

All the inhabitants of ^ims, of all i^e% sexes^ and 
conditions, who were sold by Paulus JRwiiltus^ amounted 
only to 150,000 «• Yet Epirus might be double the ex- 
tent of Yorkshire. 

Justin ' tells us, that when Philip of Maoedon was de- 
dared head of the Greek ccmfederacy, he called a congress 
of all the states, except the Lacedemonians, who i^fiised 
to concur ; and he found the force of the whol^ upon 
cementation, to amount to 900^000 infimtry and 1&,000 
cavalry. His must be understood to be aU.tiie cidaens 
capable 6t bearing arms. For as the Greek republics 
maintained no mercenary forces, and had no militia dis- 
tinct from the whcde body of cittsens, it is not conceivable 
what other medium therecouM be <rf*Gompntatioii. That 
such an army could ever, by Greece, be brought into the 
field, and be maintained diere, is contrary to all histcHry. 
Upon this supposition, therefore, we may thus reason. 
The fiwGredcs of all ages and sexes were 800^000. The 
fdaves, estimating them by the number of Athenian slaves 
as above, who seldom married or had fiunilies, were doable 
the male citisens i^ML Bget to wit, 430,000. And all the 
inhabitants of and^it Ghreece, excepting Laconia, were 
about one milliim two hundred and nineQr thousand : No 
migh^ number, nor exceeding what may be found at pre- 
jie&t in Scotland, a country of not much greater extents 
and very indifferently peopled. 

«( lib. vii. » Lib. tIL 

• Tit. LIt. lib. xlf.otp. SI. ' lib. is. cape S» 


We may now oonader the numbers of people in Rome 
ind Italy, and cdlect all the lights afforded us by scattered 
passages in anci^it authors. We shall find, up<m the 
whole, a great difficulQr in fixing any opinion on that 
head; and no reason to 8ujqH>rt those exaggerated calcur 
lations so much insisted on by modem writers* 

Dionysius HalUcamassseus * says, that the ancient walla 
of Rome were nearly erf* the same compass widi those of 
Athens, but that the suburbs ran out to a great extent; 
and it was difficult to tell where the town ended or the 
country b^^an. In some places erf* Borne, it appears, firom 
the same author^ finm JuvenalS and fix>m other ancknt 
writers ', that the houses were high, and families lived in 
separate stories, cme above another : But it is probable 
that Aese were only the poorer citizens, and ^nly in some 
few streets. If we may judge firmn the younger Pliny's ^ 
account of his own house, and firom Bartoli*s plans of an- 
cient buildings^ the men of quality had very spacious pa^ 
laces : and their buildings were like the Chinese housesat 
this day, where each apartment is separated from the rest^ 
and rises no l^;her than a single story. To which if we 
add, that the Roman nobffitjr much affected extensive por* 
ticoes^ and even woods ' in town; we may perhaps aBov 
Vossius, (though there is no manner of reason for it) to 
read the famous passage of the dderHinys his own way, 
without admitting the extravagant consequences whichhe 
draws fr<Hn it 

The number <rf'ctta8ens lAko recMvedcom by thepnUic 

• lib. IT. * Lib. X. . • Sit|T. iiL L S69, S7a 

« 8m Nob [KK.] ' 8m MofB[LL.] 

< VitniT. Ub. It. cap. II. Tsdt Amud. lib. sL ea|i. 9r Sadon. in viU 
OcUt. cap. 79, &ۥ 
f Ste KoiB [MH] 

4M £86A¥ XI. 

dirtrilmlioD in 4b» tame ^ Aagiutas was tw» buB^d 
tbonsMd ^ Tbk one wouU tsUeen a ptetty oQttiuf^ 
gMmA of calouktion ; yet it is attended with sucb cir- 
cmnstancet as throw ua back iato doi;Ait and luicertahi^^ 

Did the poorer citizens only receive the distributieik? 
It was calculated, to be sure^ chiefly figar tbefar benefit BttC 
k appears bom a pessa^ in Ciee«>*> tbsit Ike rieh might 
also take their portioB> and that k ^rtw to Ues a eda^r^* 
proach in them to apply for It 

To whom was ihe eom f^m; whether only to heada 
of iamiUes, or to erery mai^ woraan andchild ? The poe« 
tioBccTeryaMNitkwaBfiYe^lioriittoeaeh^ (abotit five-iiKthB 
efabfttbel). Tki^ was loo Utile for a family^ and too midt 
faraikindiTidiiaL A very aecBrateaatMpiary <^» IfaorcAnpe^ 
mfinrsy that it jwas given to every nAn^Wtfatt age: Bnikie 
aUows ibe Mitler IQ be^woevtaiii. 

Was it strietlgp toqiiifod^ whethef the ekimnk lived 
within Ihe predncta df Itome ? or waail suffideiUz thae he 
preasntad hiaMelf at the flHiiithI|[.distriimtkai ? Huhvt 
sterns laoie pmbable^ 

Were dure no fiiba ffbiMMts? We aria told'^ flnt 
CflBsar ibnidi off at once ITMM, who hiid ciept im 
wiAoat a jost titk ; and H ia vary fittk peohabb that he 
temedied dl abuses. 

• Ex nKmumcnt. Ancyr. ^ TubC Qusst lib. m. cap. 48. 

« lidnfui apud SalhtsC, 'Aht IrSg. Ift. ifi. 

' Nioolaui Hortoiiiius De Re Frumentaria Roman. 

« M9ttotdweNp«Dc^to^iiiw:kft<9P^eMrb«tiiieiih Ang$ttM ^rgkin- 
cd the distribution of corn to be made onlj tfarice a-year: Bat the people 
fining the mealhly dtft^bntiona more ebmvsioit (as preaervfii^ t &p. 
pose, a more rtgAr ecdbomj in their fimiily,) dcihp ad to fearre aMm're- 
atored. Soelon* Atfguaf. Mp. ilOi llafl aot seme of the people eeme^om 
some distance for their com, Augustus's precaution se^tts fuperilieus. 

' Sueton. in JuL cap. 41. * 


But laitly^ wluit propoitioii of tkiTes must we aaatgn to 
these citizens? This is the awst material qMstiDD, aad 
the BKMt uncertaiiu It is very douhlfiil in^thei Atheina 
can be established as a rale for Rome. Perl|apstheAt£e- 
nians had more dares, because tfa^ emfdoryed them in-ma-* 
nafactureS) for which a capital dtji, like Rome, seems not 
so proper^ VeAtps^ <m| the other hand, die Rcmians bad 
more slates on account of their Mpeiiarlaxnrjr and riches. 

Tliere were exact bills of mortally kept at Rook; but 
no ancient author has given us die number of burials, eX'* 
cepi Sufi|toniu&*, who tells usy that ki oneseason there were 
80,000 namea earned to the tenq^e of Libet^ia: But this 
was dvrmg a phigue, which eaa afioad ho certain founda^ 
tion fcnr any inferenee. 

The public conv though distsUMted only to 900,000 ci> 
Usmus, aflfected very CimsMerably.l&e whoie agsioAtuieof 
Italy**; a fact nowise reconoikaUe to some modecneBci^ 
gerations with ifegard to the udkabitants. of^tkat coontty. 

The best greund of congteoturet can find canceimingtbe 
greatness df ancieM Rome is lia^ i Werase told by Hena- 
dian% that Anttoch and Aiexandl-ia wei« very: little in. 
ferior to RoBie.< It apj^ears iirom Diedoms Skufaia<^, that 
one stnrighl st^et of Alett&dii% seaofwig irom gate, to 
gate, waa Hve m3es k^g^ and aa Akbamdnft was iamA 
Hiofe extended in Jbengtlt than te«|dtky it juimi tahfre 
been a aty nearly «f the buttt of Park/ ^ and Ifome mi^ 
be about die size of Xoi^on. 

There lived in Alexandria, in Diodorus 3iculus's time^, 
300,000 free people, comprehending, IsnptK>se, wbmenand 

* In vita NeroDii. ^ Suetdfu Au^p^ 4S« • i 

* Lib. nr. cap. 5. •* Lib. xrii. 

* *te How [KK.] ^Li>.xWL 

488 E8IAT XI. 

children*. Bat wbat number of sUves? Had we any just 
ground to fix these at an equal number with the free in-» 
habitants, it would fitvour the foregoing computation* 

There is a passage in Herodian which is a little surpri- 
sing. He says positively, that the palace of the Emperor 
was MM large as all the rest of the city \ This was Nero's 
golden house, which is indeed represented by Suetonius ^ 
and Pliny as of an aiormous extent ^ ; but no power of 
imagination can make us conceive it to bear any propor- 
tion to such a city as London* 

We may observe, had the historian been relating Nero's 
extravagance, and had he made use of such an repression, 
it would have had much less Weight; these rhetc^cal ex- 
aggerations being so i^t to creep into mA author's sfyle^ 
even when the most chaste sindcorrecL But it is mention- 
ed by Herodian only by the bye, in relating the quarrels 
between Geta and Caracalla. 

It a{q)ears from die JNune historian % that there was then 
muck land uncultivated, and put to no manner of* use ; 
and he ascribes it as a great praise to Pertinax» that he 
allowed every one to take such land, either in Italy or 
elsewhere, and cultivate it as he pleased, without paying 
any taxes. L(md$ ummUivaled, Md pti ia no mmmer ^ 
UMM I This is not heard of in any part of Christendom, ex- 
cept in some remote parts of Hungaiy, as I have been in- 
ibrmed : And surely it corresponds very ill with that idea of 
the extreme populousness of antiquity so much insisted on. 

• He ttTt iXivli^*, BOl w^Xi/nu^ wjiich iMt ezpremon rnuft havft been 
undaritood of dtiMU aloM^ and grown nieii. 

^ lib. iT. cap. I. ir«nK «r#Aii^« PolitUn inteiprets if» '^adibtts migo- 
xibuB etUm rdiqua mbe.'* 

• 8m Non [00.] 

' Flmius, lib. xxvil o^g. 15. <' Bif ▼idimus urbcm totam dogi dfltmbua 
** priDcipum, Gail ac Naronit." 

• Lib. ii. cap. \6, 


We learn from Vopiscns \ that there was even in £tni- 
ria much fertile hmd oncultivated^ which the emperor Ai»- 
relian intended to convert into vinqrards, in order to fur- 
nish the Roman people with a gratuitous distribution of ' 
wine; a very prq>er e:q>edient for dej^ulating stiU fiur- 
ther that capital, and all the neighbouring territories. 

It may not be amiss to take notice of theaocount which 

. Polyfaitts'* gives of the great herds of swine to be met with 

in Tuscany and Lombardy, as well as in Greecei and of 

the method of feeding them which was then practised. 

*^ There are great herds of swine,^ sayshe, ^ throu^^ut 

<< all Italy, particularly in former times, through Etruria 

^ and Cisalpine Oaul. And a herd frequently consists of 

^ a thousand or more swine. When one of these herds in 

<^ feeding meets with another, they mix together; and the 

^ swine-herds have no other expedient for separating them 

. << than to go to difierent quarters, where they soiind their 

*^ horn ; and these animals, being accustomed to that sig« 

<< nal, run immediately each to the horn of his own keep- 

^ er. Whereas in Greece, if the herds of swine happen 

. <f to mix in the fiirests, he who has the greater flock takes 

<< cunningly the opportunity of driving all away. And 

. ^ thieves are very apt to purloin the stragglmg hogs, 

<< which hav6 wandered to a great distance from their 

«< keeper in search of fbod.^ 

Mttj we not infer, from this account, that the ncurth of 
. Italy, as well as Greece, was then much less peopled, and 
worse cultivated than at present? How could these vast 
herdsbefed in a co untr y so fiillrfindosures, soinquroiml 
by agriculture, so divided by ferms, so planted with vines 
and com intermingled together ? I must confess, that Po* 

• In Aur^Uuii cap. 48, ^ Lib. iii. cap. 2. 

4W E88AT Xr. 

lybUis's rdttion has More the air of that economjr' which is 
^l>en6tvithinoiir An»erieaiicoloiiie8y thmliia nMmage- 
-meiit of an Eiiropeaa coantiy. 

We meet mth a reflection in Aristotle's^ EtUca^'wfakh 
-^eeiss 9v m rf m antMt on any toiqpositaoii, and bypnmmg 
too nmoh in frvaat of onr present jemomng, may be 
^hienght really to pro^ nodUng* That philosopher, tneat- 
ing'ef iHtndship, and observing that thb rdation ought 
•nebber to be eontraciied to a rerj fair, ner extended otbt 
a gMtlnaititude, ilkstrates his opinion by tbe feliowiag 
argoaieaitt << in Iftenumner,* sqra he, ^aeneity cannot 
^ sabtist, if it either bare so few iphabitints as ten, or so 
^ many as a hmidred thonsand; so is there a medEocn^ 
•^ fieqoiied in Ae nnnberof friends ; md yen doatrby the 
«* essence of friendshtp by running into ebhnr cxtnase/' 
What I impossible that a ci^ can contain a hnndind thou- 
sand inhabitants ! Had Aristotle never seen nor heard ef 
a city so p(^lous ? TbiSy i rnnat own, passes mjeompre- 

PBny* tells us, that Seleucia, die seat of the Chreek em- 
pire in the East, was reported to contain «(K>,000 peofple. 
Carthage is said by l^abo ^ to haw contained f €0,^09. 
The inhabitants oS Pekin are not mu(rh more nnmeroos. 
London, Paris, and Constantinople^ nn^ adndt of neariy 
the same computation ; at leas4^ the two Istter Gitiaadonot 
^ exceed it Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, wn bmwe wbmady 
qx>kenof. Frcm die eiqierience of past and presoit ages, 
Goe might com^eotore that tfaetfe ts a fckd of impostSiilky 
diat upy eky could e^er rise much beefond this proportioii. 
Whether the grandeur of a city be founded on coanneree 

• Lib. n. cap. 10. His expression is wf^^mfH^ not ^^Xtrnty inHabiUnt, 
not citiieii. 

«» Lib. Ti. 28, * Lib. xrii. 


•r on "empire, tliere oeem to be iowicible. obstades nduch 
pedveai lt& ftrther progrfesaw 'Qie jeftta. cf vast OMMur* 
olueSy bj i&ttoodiickig ej U i ft i ag aiit lajnivy^ xrr^ular ex-^ 
pcnse^ uUencBSi idep^Bdaiec^ land £ike ideas cf rank and 
sopeiiorki^ are kaprapcr ibr oaauMroe^ Extenme ^tem^ 
snoa! ehodds itari^. b]r laMiig^tbe'iirioe <tf 
toannodhies. 'WhoLM Jgiisateciart engages. 4he atumd- 
ance of a numerous nobility, possessed of overffrntm for- 
tunes, the middling g^nt^ realign in thoirproviixpuil towns, 
where they can make a figure on a moderate income. And 
if the dominions of a state arrive at an enormous size, there 
nfioeasaxily arise wmxff OBpiftilis. iiL the ita»t&i ptovtiktes^ 
^fUdier iaU ifae inhabfaaq^p, except a few c^intiorsi, repair 
fir cdosaiiaBy finrtiuie, jdid amuscmeik *« Ij0ndo% by 
mattng estoismcomittesceaqdaDif dling^ispire, has per- 
fci^ utmfl at <a .gnotoaas >diUi ao city will erver ^ 

. Chooea Dover or Calais fin* a aeatimi Dtmw a oir<^ of 
Jkwo fauDdied niks laidims : You comprehend Lomlon, 
Pans, the Netherlands, the United Frovnlce5^ and some df 
^ha he$t oikivaited partBicf France Mid Bngland* It may 
maMj^lHadk^ beaffinned, that no q)iit of ground can be 
found, in antiquity^ .of eqpaal extent^ which oonCained Heat 
~803itiBy^i«ik8iidpop«kM8 cities, and was so atoi^^ with 
jEkhea joid liifaaUtaHtsr 

To balaiioe, ill bioth period«s tfcesMes which poaseaaed 
(jBibat art, jcnoi^ledge^ cvrility, and £be best police, aeens 
-itlift tzuait medioA ^eoaoparison* 

. It i^ «B ebaervptiaa af IfMiA flu Boa, that kdy Is 

• . • I ' • i 

* Such were Alexandria, Antiocb, Carthage, Ephesus, Ljops, &c^ in the 
'^mari empire. Such are even Bourdeauz, Hioulouie, Dijon, Bennet, 
Rouen, Aix, &c. in France ; Dublin, Edinburgh, York, in the British do- 


i^armer at present than it was in andait times. ^^ The 
« annalB of Rome tell us,*" says he» ^ that in the yewr 4d0 
^ ab U. C. the winter was so severe that it destroyed Ale 
^ trees. The Tyber frose in Rome, and the gromid was 
^< covered with snow finr fisrty days. When Jmrenal* do- 
^ scribes a superstitions w om an, he rtpremats her as break- . 
(< ing the ice of the Tyber, that she might perfiMcm her 

** H jbtfimm IbeU glade ijniwrtjft in aiiuMia« 
** T«r matatino lyberf mtrgtHm, 

<< Ub Speaks of that riv^s fteezii^ as a common event 
<< Many passages of Horace smppoBt the streets of Rome 
^ fall of snow and ice. We dioald hare more certainty 
^ with regard to this point, had the ancients known the 
«< use of thermometers: But their writers, without intend- 
*< ing it, give us information, sufficient to convince us, that 
*^ the winters are now much more temperate at Rome than 
«< formerly. At present the Tyber no more freezes at 
<< Rome than the Nile at Cairo. The Romans esteem the 
<< winters very rigorous if die snow lie two days, and if 
<< one see for eight and forty hours a few iddes hang from 
« a fountain that has a north eaqiosure.*^ 

The observation of this ingenious critic may be extendi 
ed to other European climates. Who conid discover the 
mild climate of France in Diodorus Siculus's^ description 
of that of Gaul? << As it is a ncurthem dimate,'' says he, 
<« it is infested with cold to an extreme degree. In cloudy 
<< Weather, instead of rain, there foil great snows; and in 
<< dear weather it there freezes so excessive hard, that the 
« rivers acquire bridges of their own substance ; over 

• S»t. 6. * Lib. if. 



<< wbich, not only single travellers may pass, but large ar- 
^ inies, accompanied with all their baggage andjo^ed 
<< waggons. And tl;ere being many rivers in Gaul,, the 
^ Rhone, the Rhine, &c. almost all of them. are frc^sen 
« over ; and it is usual, in order to prevent falling, to co« 
^ ver the ice with chaff and straw at the places where the 
<< road passes." CMer Hum a Gallic WmteTf is used by 
Petronius as a proverbial expression. Aristotle says, that 
Gaul is so cold a climate that an ass could not live in it*. 

North of the Cevennes, says Strabo ^, Gaul produces 
not figs and olives : And the vines, which have.been plant- 
ed, b^ar not grapes that will ripen. 

Ovid positively maintains, with all the serious affirm- 
adon of prose, diat the Enxine Sea was frozen over every 
winter in his time ; and he a{qpeals to Roman govemprs, 
whom he names, for the truth of his assertion ^. This sel- 
dom or never happens at present in the latitude of Toini, 
whither Ovid was banished. All the complaints of the 
same poet seem to mark a rigour of the seasons, which is 
scarcely experienced at present in Petersburgb or Stock- 

Toomefort, a Provenfoly who had travelled ii^to jthe 
same country, observes, that there is not a finer clinvite 
in the world: And he asserts, that nothing but Ovid's 
melancholy eould have given him such dismal ideas of it. 
But the fiu^ts, mentioned by that poet, are too circum- 
stantial to bear any such interpretation. 

Polybius^ says, that the climate in Arcadia was very 
cold, and the air moist 

* De Oencimt. Anim. lib. ii. ^ Lib. ir, 

• TtkU lib. iiL ekg. 9. De Ponto, lib. it. eleg. 7, 9. 10. 
^ Lib. !▼. cap. 2K 

VOL. I. 2 F 


<< Italy,'' says Varro % <* is tbe aioBt temp^mte i 
^ in Ei]r<^>e. Tbe inland parts, (Gaol, Oeniiaiqr» and 
^ Pannoni% no doubt) bare almost perpetual winter*'' 

Tbe ncrtbem parts of l^pain, aooonlingto Straho ^, iro 
but ill inhabited, because of the great ecdd* 

Allowing^ therefore^ this remark to be just, IbaiEmtjpe 
is become wanner than fermerly ; how can we acooont for 
it ? Plainly, by no other method, than by supposin^^ thai 
the land is at present much bMer cukrnited, andthafc the 
woods are defied, whidk fermeriy threw a dbade upon the 
earth, and kept the rays of the sun fifom penetratangto it 
Our northern colonies in Ammea become move t*>mp^rfl<#^ 
in prc^rticm as the woods are Mled « ; bo^ in general, 
every (me may remark, that ooid is stiU nuich more senerei^ 
ly felt, both in North and South America, than k placet 
under the same latitude in Eurqpe^ 

Saserna, quoted by Columella ^, affirmed, that the dis^ 
position of the heavens was altered before his time, 'and 
that the air had become much milder and warmer; asi^ 
pears hence, says he, that many places now abound with 
vineyards and olive plantations, which formerly, by reason 
of tbe rigour of the climate, could raise none of these pro- 
ductions» Such a change, if realt wiU be allowed an evi» 
dent sign of the better cultivaticm and peopling of oountries 
before the ^e of Saserna <>; and if it be contimmd to tbe 

* lib. L cap. 9, ^ lib* Mi. 

•I1iew«intottth«lrn«d(mMt«bob8O0BMinffrebMUfaftil: AaAithr^ 
markable, tlutt in the Spuiith historiet of the Snt disoofrery andcoiiqaesl of 
these countries, they tpp^^ ^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^T healthful ; being then wdl 
peopled and cohiTaled* No account of the sickness or dec^ of Covtes's 
or Fixarro's small armies* 

« lib. L cap. 1. 

« He seems to have lived about the tine of the yo«ngerAiH€iMi«; lil».i. 
cap. I. 


pi^font tiflMH^ Is Ik proof tbttt th«M ttdvinuigeB hftve bten 
oMttHMlly increaiing ifarouf bout this |Nurt <rf*tiM imtM. 

Let tts now cMt o«r ey« otomtt the cotmtties wbidh ire 
die MOM tf Mieient and nodan hidtory^ laid Miftpft«« 
their pa«t ind preiMt silttatiaii t W^ diall Mt^ p^AiApg^ 
find ^iich fbundatton fiM* the eoaq^nt of the pmmt ^mf^ 
ness Md deiolAtiaii of die workL ASgypi ts Hij^dtiMdd 
by MeUlet) to whom we owe the b^ikiuoootmitt ity sutli^ 
treadiy populous; though he etteems the lumber of it» 
inhnbileiitstobediaaiftklwd^ Syria^ And the Lesser Atri% 
as wen as the coasts of Barbary^ I can rtedily owh io be 
desert in comparison of theii" anciebt cadditk)ti» Tb^ 
depopulation of Greece is also obrtons. But wfaetbifir tl^ 
country now dtUed Tarkey m Eoro^ aoay n6t^ te genefal^ 
contain more inhabitants than during ite iouri^ing pijriod 
of Greece^ may be a little doabflil* The Thraeiails seem 
then to have lired like the Tartars at prestat^ by ptuftm^ 
rage and plunder*: The Gete$ were still more and^zed*'} 
And the Blyrians were no b^ttsr ^ i These oecepy ntiiei> 
tenths of that country : And tbot^h the gotertiioeitt of 
the Turks be not very favourable to industry and propaga^ 
tion ; yet it preserves at least peace and order anioii^ the 
iilhabitatttB, and is preferable to lh4t barbarous^ ms^tlied 
eonditfoa bi which tbey anei^ndy fivedi 

PoIaiMl aad Mttsdovy in Europe are tiot populous; btti 
Aie oertafoly mMcbsftoresothaA the aucient Sertnatiaaod 
Scythia, where no husbandry or tillage iihe» (dver betfrd 0(4 
aftd pasturage was <he sole art by which the people li^^re 
snuntabied. Hie Uke obe^Yalioft may b^ extended to 
Settmailc aasl Sweden. No Me omht to 0^wm Aa im- 

• XSBopi mi^ WL til. Potjb. lib. iT. ctp. 45. 

» Orid ^ririaij Ai& Sferabo, Ub. TiL • Polyb. fib. fi. ci)^> 1% 


486 E88AT XI. 

^mense swanns <^ people which formerly came.fjrom the 
North, and overran all Eurcqpe» tobeany objection to this 
opinion. Where a whole naticHi, or even half of it, re- 
move their seat, it is easy to imagine what a prodigious 
multitude they must form; with what desperate valour 
they must make their attacks; and how the terror th^ 
strike into the invaded nations will make these magnify, in 
their imaginariim, both the courage and multitude of. the 
invaders. Scotland is neither extensive nor populous; 
but were the half of its inhabitants to seek new seats, they 
would form a colony as numerous as the Teutons and Cim- 
bri ; and would shake all Eairope, supposing it in no better 
conditiim for defence than formerly. 
, Germany has surely at present twenty times more in- 
habitants than in ancient times, when they cultivated no 
ground, and each tribe valued itself on the extensive deso- 
lation which it spread around ; as we learn from Caesar*, 
and Tacitus % and Strabo ^ ; a proof^ that the division 
into small republics will not alone render a nation popu- 
lous, unless attended with the spirit of peace, order, and 

The barbarous condition of Britain in former times b 
well known, and the thinness of its inhabitants nmy easily 
be conjectured, both from their barbarity, and fi*om a 
circumstance maitioned by Herodian ^, that all Britain was 
marshy, even in Severus's time, after the Romans had 
been fully settied in it above a century. * 

It is not easily imagined, that the Gauls were anciently 
much more advanced in the arts of Ufe than their northern 
neighbours; since they travelled to this island for their 

• De Bello Gallico, lib. vi. ^ De MorOras Genn.^ 

• liK Tii. A Lib. iii. e«p. 47. 


education in the mysteries of the religion and philosc^by 
of the Druids >. I cannot, therefore, think that (jraul was 
then near so populous as France is at present 

Were we to believe, indeed, and join together, the tes- 
tunony of Appian, and that of Diodorus Siculus, we must 
admit of an incredible populousness in Gaul. The former 
historian^ says, that there were 400 nations in that couiw 
try ; the latter ^ a£Srms, that the largest of the Gallic na- 
tions consisted of 200,000 men, besides women and chil- 
dren, and the least of 50,000. Calculating, therefore, at 
a medium, we must admit of near 200,000,000 of people 
in a country which we esteem populous at present, though 
supposed to contain little more than twenty ^. Such cal- 
culations, therefore, by their extravagance, lose all man- 
ner of authority. We may observe, that the equality of 
proper^, to which the populousness of antiquity may be 
ascribed, had no place among the Gauls ^. Their intes- 
tine wars also^ before Caesar's time, were almost perpetual ^. 
And Strabo ^ observes, that though all Gaul was cultiva- 
ted, yet was it not cidtivated with any skill or care : the 
genius of the inhabitants leading them less to arts than 
arms, till their slavery under Rome produced peace among 

Csesar ^ enumerates very particularly the great forces 
which were levied in Belgium to oppose his conquests ; 
and makes them amount to 208,000. These were not the 
whole people able to bear arms : For the same historian 
tells us, that the Bellovaci could have brought a hundred 

* Cmar de BeUo GmllicOy lib. xn. Stnbo, lib. viL mjn, the Chuik wqre 
not much more improved than the Germani. 

k Celt. puB 1. c i^ ^^ 

* Ancieot Gaul wat more exttnuTe than modem Fruice. 
•Cmar de BeUo Galileo, Ub. ▼<. < Id. ibid. 

« Ub. iv. - »» De BeUo Gallioo, lib. ii. 

4S8 KM4Y XJ« 

itiOttsaod I9W ipta the fielf), ikwDi^ 
msty. Takii^ Urn wbole, Uwrffor^ iq this profiortioQ of 
ten to six, tbo 01m of figh^g flion imiU th^ aUtciof B#)r. 
gimnf«9«bout3$0i000; aUtbeinlMibltaotsamiUioatnd 
a bnUI And BdgiwQ boipg about a fourtb of Oaul, thai 
oountiy laight ooataiii six milliona, vfakh is aoC oear tbe 
tbird of iHis pre^ai^ mhabitwis K We art ufonnod bjF 
Oi^saJTs that tbe Gaols bad no Axed pivtq^ty inland ; hot 
that the cbiefUiaa» i?ban any imA happimed ia a hmSy^ 
made a new diviskm of all &a Imda among lbs aeverd 
siember^ of tbe fan%. This ^ the <aisteiii of Tamtrp, 
vbich 90 long prevailed w lfdand» and vi^ieb eetaiaed 
tba^ country in a state of ini«eiy> barbariaflm and deaola^ 

Tbe anciettt Helyetia was 850 mOes in Iwgth> and 180 
in breedtb, according t» tbe same avtbof ^ ; yet contained 
only SQ0,,990 inhabitants* TheeantoiiefB^nieakmeha% 
at present, as many people^ 

AiiUr this competatibaof Appian and Dtodomt Sicuhifl, 
I know not whether I date affiiait tbat the modemDuteh 
aie more numerona than tbe ancMOfc Baitan^ 

Spain is» perha|M» decayed iroM wbalit waa three cen- 
turies ago ; but if we step backward two thousand yaaf% 
and consider the restless, turbulent* unsettML condition of 
its inhabitants, we may probaUy be indined to think tbat 
il is now ipuch more populou9* Many ^aaniaids killed 
themsekve^ wbw deprived of their arms by the Romans ^ 
It appears from Plutardi<^ that robbery and phmdsr were 
esteemed honourable among the Spaniards. Hirtius^ re- 
presents in the same light the situation of that country in 

• Sm Man [FP.] ^ D« BtoBe CNiHico, Ub. L 

• Titi LMi» Ub. niir. cap. 17. < InvhaMwii. •DelMtoHi^ 


Gmmt's time; aiidlieav|riB»that<T€i7nuinmi«oUi^;edta 
live in oa«tles and walled towm for hi$ ne^mkjp It wfi» 
not till its final conquest under AugufNwfly that these disr 
orders were repressed K The account which Strabo ^ and 
Justin ^ gave of ^Miin^ corresponds exactly with those 
above nentioDed. How mndis therdbre, must it diminish 
from our idea of the populousness of antiquity, when we 
find that Tully» comparing Ita^, Africa* Gaul, Greece, 
and Spaiiv m^itions thue great number of inhabitants as 
the peculiar circimstance which rendered this latter coun- 
try fonoSdiOile <> ? 

Italy, however, it is probaUe^ has decayed : But how 
Biany great cities does it ttSl contain ? Venice, Genoa, 
Faviat Turip, Milan, Naples^ Fh)renc^ Leglmm, which 
either subsisted not in andmt times, or were then veryinr 
omsideraMe? If we reflect pn this, we shall not be apt to 
«arry matters to so great an extreme as is usual with re^ 
gard to this sulject 

When the Roman authors complain that Italy, which 
formerly exported com, became depend^it on all the pro- 
vinces for its daily bread, they never ascribe this alteration 
to the increase of its inhabitants, but to the neglect of tal- 
lage and agricnlture^; a natural effect of that pemici<Mifi 
practioaof importiaigcora, in order to distribute it ^nolis 
I the Roman citiasens^ and a very bad means of mul- 

• VelL F^terc lib. iL $ 90. » lib. Hi. lib. xUv. 

• '' Kec numero Hiipanof, nee robore Oallos, nee calliditate Porooty nee 
** utibQt Onecot, nee denlque boe ipioe Imjos gentbt me term domeitieo 
** nthroqoe eenwi^ itriotlpeoe •elMtfao a ■ ' ■apaa f lm m." De Heruep. 
Knp. cip* 9» ^Rie duforaenoi fl^pini fleenito bive been elnM)et pvoveiMil: 
** Nee impeeitoe e tergo horNbie Iberoe.** Vhg. Oeoig. lik iii. the 
IbOTi are bere plainly taken, by e poKtIeal figure, for robberB in generai 

• Varro De Re Rustica, lib. ii. pr«£ Columella praC SmIoii. Angutt 

440 E86AV XI. 

Uplying Ae iiibiri>itaiit8 of any ooantry *. The apantdoi 
wo much talked of by Martial and Juvenal, being presets 
r^ulariy made l^ the great lords to their smaller client^ 
most bare had a like tendency to produce idleness, de- 
bauchery, and a continual decay among the people. The 
parish rates have at present the same bad consequences in 

Were I to assign a period when I inuigiiied this part of 
the world might possibly contain more inhabitants than at 
present, I should pitch upon the age of Tn^ and the 
Antonines ; the great extent of the Roman empire being 
then civilized and cultivated, settled almost in a profound 
peace, both foreign and dcHnestic, and living under tte 
same regular police and government ^. But we are told, 
that all extensive governments, especially absolute moniur- 
chies, are pernicious to population, and contain a secret 
vice and poison, which destroy the effect of all these pro* 
mising appearances ^« To confirm this, there is a passage 
cited from Plutarch **, which being somewhat singular, we 
shall here examine it. 

Hiat author, endeavourinjg to account for the silence 
of many of the orades, says^ that it may be ascribed to the 
present desolation of the world, proceeding from former 
wars and factions ; which common calamity, he adds, has 
fallen heavier upcm Greece than on any odier country; 
insomuch that the whole could scarcely at present furnish 

* Though the obsomilioiis of L'AbU du Bot should be admitted, diat 
Italy ra uow wanner than in Banner tiaaip, thecooiefueiiceaiay notbene- 
oeMarf^ that U ia mora popokue or better cultiTated. If the other countnes 
of Europe were noiore Mvage and woody, the cold windf that Uew from 
tham inigfat affect the climate of Italy. 

» See Nova [QA*] 

' L*£8prit de Loix, liv. xiiii. chi^. 19. ' De Orac Defcctu. 


three thousand warriors; a number whicb» in the iune 0f> 
the Median war» was supplied by the single city of Me-*. 
ganu The gods, therefore, who a£fect works of dignity 
and importance, have suppressed many of their ora(4^. 
and deign not to use so many interpreters of their will to 
so diminutiye a people. 

I must confess, that this passage contains so many dif- 
ficulties, that I know not what to make of it. You may 
observe, that Plutarch assigns, for a cause of the decay of 
nuudcind, not the extensive dominion of .the Romans, but 
the former wars and factions of the several states, all whicl^ 
were quieted by the Roman arms. Plutarch's reasoning^ 
th«refore^ is directly contrary to the inference which is 
drawn from the fact he advances. j 

Polybius supposes, that Greece bad become more pro* 
sperous and flourishing after the establishment of the Ror 
man yoke * ; and though that historian wrote before theiff 
conquerors had degaierated^ from being the patrons, to 
be the plunderers of mankind, yet as we find from Taci- 
tus ^, that the severity of the emperors afterwards correct- 
ed the licence of the governors, we have no reason td think 
that extensive monarchy 30 destructive as it is ofi^n repre^ 

We learn firom Strabo S that the Romans, from tl^ 
regard to the Greeks, maintained, to bis time, most of the 
privileges and liberties of that celebrated natioi]^ ; : and 
Nero afterwards rather increased them ^. Hqw, there- 
tore, can we imagiiie that the Roman yoke if?as S9 burden- 
some over that part of the world ? The oppression of the 
proomsuls was checked ; and the magisti^acies in Greece 
being all bestowed, in the several cities, |l>y the firee votes 

• Sm Von [RR.] ^ AnnaL Ub. L cap. 3. « lib. yui. and iz. 

* Fhitarch. Dt his qui sero a Kumine paniuntur. 

440 fittAY XI. 

atikmfeefpii^f tbtrt was bo neeeiHly for thft eota^MtkorB 
tOBttand^IkipenHr's oourt. If giwt numbers were to 
wfA dieur fbrtmies in Rome, snd edymoee thooMelves b j 
kendng or eloqacnesi Che cmnmndities of tbeir netive 
eoiHiCry» many of tihem would retem with the fortuHs 
which they had aoqnired, and therd>y enrich the GnectMi 

Bat Plutarch si^ that the general depofmlalioa had 
bemnoresensUilyfeltin Oveeee than in any other ooiub' 
tij. How is tkb recondleaUe to its superior privflsgss 

Besides ^ passage, by praving too mnch, really proves 
ttodiing. Opi^ diris tkotmmd mm 0Ue i» itar mnm Ai 
mB Chreeoe I Who can admit so strange a proposition^ 
espedafy if we consider the great number of Greek cities, 
whose names still remain in histoiy, and which are mesb- 
tioned by writers long after the age of Plutarch? HMse 
are Aere sorely len'times more peo|^ et psesen^ whtm 
there scarcely remains a city in all tlie bounds of ancient 
Greece. That ooontry Is still telerahly cultivated, and 
Inmidies a sure sapflj of com, hi case of a scarcity in 
Spain, Italy, or the south of France. 

We may observe, that the ancient frugality of the 
Greeks, and their equality of property, still subdsted du- 
fteg the age (rf* Plutarch, as appears from Lucian** Nor 
is there any ground to imagine) that diat cooQtry wtfs 
possessed by a few masters, and a great number of slaves. 

It is probable^ indeed, that military discipline being cu- 
tirdy usdess, was extremely negleeted in Greece after dK 
estaUishment ai the Roman emfMre; and If dMse com- 
monwealths, formerly so warlike and ambitious^ 

* Ih mcrcediii cQndMCtii* 


ed each of them a small ci^ guard, to prevent mobbish 
disorders, it is all they had occasion for; and these, per- 
haps, did not amount to SOOO men throughout all Greece. 
I own, that if Plutarch has this fact in his eye, he is here 
guil^ of a gross paralogism, and assigns causes nowise 
proportioned to the e£Pects. But is it so great a prodigy, 
that an author should fall into a mistake of this nature ^ ? 
But whatever force may remain in this passage of Plu- 
tarch, we shall endeavour to counterbahmce it by as re- 
markable a passage in Diodorus Siculus, where the histo- 
rian, after weotioning Ninns's army of 1,700,000 foot, and 
800,000 boifse, mdaavowrs to airport the oredifailitjr of 
thi9 aocouAt by some poat^ior facta; and adds, thai we 
must not fotm a notion of the attdeiic popukmsDess of 
nankind from the present en^tiiiesa and depopuktioii 
which ia spread ov^ the world \ Thus an author, who 
lived at that v^ry period of antiquity whidk is representid 
as moBtpopulpua S orwnplaiw of the deaolatkn wfaieh dwii 
iweviuledfi gives the pfefeiencie to former times^ and has 
recourse to anoSent iablos as a foundatioii for hb opiniab. 
The humour of blamng the present^ and admimg die 
pastf is «tnng\y rooted m human nature, and has an in- 
floence even on persona endued with thoprofiwmdest jud^^ 
nent and most cxtensiva learning. 

« He WM coDtfmpovsrj widi CmHir tnd Aiifmtii9. 



At fio party) in the present age^ jcan wdl support itself 
without a philosophical or specnlative system of principles 
aaneKodto its political or practical one, we accordingly 
find, thateadi of tbefiustions, into which this nation is di^ 
Tidedt has reared up a bbnc of the former kind, in order 
to protect and corer that scheme of actions which it pur- 
sues. The pt&fie being commonly very rude builders, es- 
pecially in this qpecalative way, and more especially still 
idienjbctaated bypartyieal; it is natural to imagine, that 
their workmanship must be a litde unshapely, and disco- 
ver erident marks of that tioleiice and hurry in which it 
was raised. The one party, by tradng up government to 
the Deity, endeavour to render it so sacred and invio^ 
late, that it must be little less than sacrilege, however ty- 
rannical it may become, to touch or invade it in the small- 
est article. The other party, by founding government al- 
together on the consent of the People, suppose that there 
is a kind of origi$ud coniractf by which the subjects have 
tacitly reserved the power of resisting the sovereign, when- 
ever they find themselves aggrieved by that authority, with 
which they have, for certain purposes, voluntarily entrust- 
ed him. These are the speculative principles <^ the two 


-parties ; and Uiese too are the practical coniequenoes de- 
duced from tbem. 

I shall venture to affirm, 'naiboih them systems qfig^ 
ctdatioe pr merries are just f thoughnot in ihe eenae iiUmied 
byAepartiee: And^ J%at bath the scheoieBtfpractkxdcot^ 
segtiemxe tare prudent i tkmgh notinAe extremes to which 
eachpartjff inapposMm to the other^ has comtmmfy emka^ 
voured to carry them. 

That the Deity is the ultimate author of all gorerttmen^ 
will never be denied by any, who admit a general piovi- 
.denoe, and allow, that all events in the universe are con- 
ducted by an uniform plan, and directed to wise purposes. 
As it is impossible for the human race to subsist, at least 
in any c(»nfortable and secure state, without the protectiim 
of government ; this institution must certainly have been 
intended by that beneficent Being, who means the good of 
all his creattires : And as it has universally, in fiict, taken 
place in all countries, and all ages, we may conclude, witii 
still greater certainty, that it was intended by that omni* 
scient Being, who can never be deceived by any event or 
operation. But since he gave rise to i^ not by any parti- 
cular or miraculous interposition, but by his concealed and 
universal efficacy, a sovereign camo^ prq^eriy speaking, 
be called his vic^^erent in anyother sense than everypower 
or force, being derived from him, may be said to act by 
his commissicm. Whatever actually hiqipens is compre- 
hended in the general plan or intention <^ Providence ; 
nor has the greatest and most lawfid prince anymore'tea^^ 
son, upon that account, to plead a. peculiar sacredness or 
inviolable authority, than an inferior magistrate, or even 
an usurper, or even a robber and a pirate. The same Di- 
vine Superintendant, wIkh for irise purposes, invest ed a 
.Titus or a Tngan with authority, did also, for purposes no 


dOttU oqpMUy wifB^ thai^[;h ttiikiiowii# b9t(Mr powitr on a 
Borgia or an Angria* The same causes^ wliiob gMre riae 
ta the tovcnign power in atery itate> aslabiiAed likewiae 
•tary pel^ jnrisdictioii In ^ and arerj limited aolbod^ 
AaooilaUai tliar«fiara» no ki* diiO a kaig^ aMa I7 a di* 
irina comauMioDi and poateiiai an indafiwwible riglit* 

Whan we aoDiider how naarljr oqiial all men are in tbair 
bodily force, and even in their mental powara and fiwnl^ 
tiae» tiU cnUiralad by adneationi we nnist neaessarily aU 
1m^ that nothing but thai^ own codaeni ocmld at first a»- 
aoaiate tham together, and aol:g«ot tbam toany anthori^. 
The people^ if we trace government to iti first origin in the 
wooda and desarts, are the sonroe of all power and jorii- 
dnttton^ and Tcdnntarily, finr the sake of peace and order, 
abandoned their natiTe liberty, and received laws from their 
equal and conq>aniolu Hie condilionsy upon which they 
wa^ willing to subnit, were either ei^ressed^ or wera so 
ctear ahd obvious, dntt it might well be esteemed supers 
flooos to express tbeuL If this^ then, be meant by the 
wrifm&l coniraety it cannot be darned, that all government 
ill at first, founded en a contract, and that the most an^ 
ount rude oombinatiooB of mankind were fonaaad cUtfly 
by duit principle. In vnn are we asked in whnt reeoyds 
thisdiarterofourlibertiaaisreglstared* Itwasnotwrit*- 
tenon parchment, nor yet Mlea^M or barks of tiv«s^ It 
pteqeded the nse rf wttlii^ and aU the other civiUaed arte 
ofMfa. Bm We trace it {dainly hi the nation of mankind 
in tfae«pnlity, or Boaitfifaitigapproaeh&i|geqiialily, wMA 
we&idinalltheindivkhMdsofthntqNMteS. Theforas 
which now pcnvafls) and which it fbnndbd m taets and MN- 
mieais plainly polkM,nnd.daiivedflwi nnAorlty, itit 
i of astaUfidiad gammmefic A aam^s natcml ftMfe 
i onlyia dit vigour of Ms limbs, and di€ imtiiHs 


of bis OMuragt; whidi could nev«r tiibycct tdidtiliftfks to 
ike onnMfiiid of out. Nothing but tlleir own€Otiteiit» add 
tbair aatiM of tbe adTBiittges MrakiBg froHl p«ioe dttd or- 
der» could btn bad tbat kAuenoo. 

Yel «9«i this canaaot was long Tery inqperfi^Ay and could 
not be tbe baabof a ragular admbiMtrtioii* Tbe obicC- 
tain, wbo bad probably aoq^uirad bla influanca during, tbe 
continuance of war, ruled more by persuasion tban ooa»- 
juand; and till be Could Employ force to rtduoadM* re- 
fractory and diiobedimt^ tbe society could scarody be said 
to bave attained a state of civil goferamcDt. Noaaupaot 
or agreement^it is eytdanty was expressly farmed lor gen^ 
ral subnusaion ; an idea £yr beyond the ctuK^nrebeusion of 
saragest Eatb ez«rtio» of authority ill tbe dikftaiAmiMt 
htem hemk paletaoulajf^ and. caUad ferth by the present en- 
gendes of the case: The sensible utilitgr, ttsultii^ firom 
bis interpositiDn^ made these estertions beeowe daily more 
frequent; and dunrfrecpMncjr gradually pH)duoed an habi- 
tual^ andyif you please to oillksdy ft voluntary, and there- 
ibre precarious^ adquitsoenoe in the peq[)le» 

But philosophers, who have embraced a party (if tbat be 
not a oontradictioB in tenns) are not contented with these 
ooBCessions* Theyasserti not ottlytba^tgovemmirat inits 
earliest Mufnc^aroas from consent, or rather the voluntary 
actjttiescenoe i£ the people; but aUo that, even at. pr^ 
sent, when it baa attained ita filll maturity,. it u$U m 
no other foundation. They afilm» that aU men are stiU 
bmmequaltaod owe allegiance toBoprinte orgovantmao^ 
unless bound by the oUigitioii and lanctioB of ajnmfia. 
Ajsd aa BO man, witbebt some eqniv^ent^ wouU /oT^igP 
4lie advantages of hia nallini^ libera, and sd:90^ 
the will of another ; diis pRunise ia dhiay t wdeistood tO 
be eondidoBal^ and isiposes on him no iiblirtsljnii; ualsas 

448 figSAT XII. 

be meet with justice and protection tieom his wver^ga* 
These advantages die sovereign promiaes him in return ; 
«m1 if he fiil in the execution, he has brdcen, on his part, 
the articles of engagement, and has thereby fireed his sub- 
ject fixxn all obligations to allq^ianpe. Such, according to 
these (dulosophers, is the foundation of authority in every 
gbvemment ; and such the r^;ht of renstance, possessed 
by every subject* 

But would these reasoners look abroad into the world, 
ihcy would meet with nodiing that, in the least, corre- 
sponds to their ideas, or can warrant so refined and philo- 
sophical a system. On the ccmtrary, we find every where 
princes who daim their suligects as their property, and as- 
sert their independent right of sovereign^, firom conquest 
or sucoessioiu We find also every where subjects who ac- 
knowledge this right in their prince, and suppose them- 
sebres bom under obligations of obedience to a certain so- 
vereign, as much as under the ties of reverence and duty 
to certain parents. Hiese connexions are always con- 
ceived to be equally independent of our consent, in Persia 
and China ; in France and Spain ; and even in Holland 
and England, wherever the doctrines above m^itioned 
have not been carefully inculcated. Obedience or subjec- 
tion becomes so familiar, that most men never make any 
inquiry about its origin or cause, mcnre than about the 
^principle of gravity, resistance, or the most universal laws 
of nature. Or if curiosity ever move them, as soon as 
they learn that di^ themselves and their ancestors have^ 
for several ages, or from time immemorial, been sidgect to 
such a form of government or such a fiimily ; they imme- 
diately acquiesce, and acknowledge their obligation to al- 
legiance. Were you to preach, in most parts of the world, 
that political connexions are founded altogether on volun^ 


tery consent ^or a mutual promise, the magistrate would' 
soon imprison you as seditious for loosening the ties o£ 
obedience; if your friends did not brfore shut you u|) as 
delirious for advancing such absurdities. It is strange, 
that an act of the mind, which every individual is supposed 
tohai^ formed, and after he came to the use of reason too^- 
Otberwiae it could have no authori^; that this ac(^ I say, 
should be so mudi unknown to all of them, that, over tb* 
&ce of the whole earth, there scarcely remain, any traises^ 
or memory of it. 

. But the contract} on which government is founded^ 19 
said to be the original contretct,- and consequently may be 
supposed too old to &11 under the knowledge of the pre- 
sent goieration. If the agreement, by which savage meh i 
first associated and aonjoincd their force, be here meant,! 
this is acknowledged to be real ; but being so ancient, andl 
being obliterated by a thousand changes of govertim^t 
and prinoes, it cannot now be supposed to retain any au- 
thority. If we would say any thing* to the purpose, we 
must assert, that every particular government, which is 
lawAil, and which imposes any duty of allegiance on the 
svkjectj was, at first, founded on consfent and a voluntary 
compact. But besides that this supposes the consent of 
the fathers to bind the children, even to the most remote 
geaerfitions (which rcpublicai) writers will never alloW,) 
besides this, I say, it is not justified by history or expet 
rience in any age or country of the )vorld. 

Almost all the governments which exist at present, 01* 
of which there remains any record in history, have been 
founded origmaUy, either on usurpation 01* conquest, ote 
both, without any pretence of a fair consent or voltmtarjr 
subjection of the people. When an artful and bold man is 
placed at the head of an army or faction, it is oflen easy 

VOL. I. 2 G 

46Q i^a^xxii^ 

for hkfit by exttifhf'mg, nowciiiWft viokAoiy i 

pcet^io^ W ealahlifh his dowMbiaa •¥»« a ptopk a 1mm»» 

died ti|in<» iB^re nuBMroiM tfaaa hb partiia»8> HeaUoirv 

i^ fttdl opw comaMUfittkNE^ tkat kb 

irithocvttio^)^ their niimbaroifiNroe. Ha gheft lb«D no 

]^Wf to atienbk t ig eth t r 'm a bod^ to ^ppoae hm. 

Hiijr wUi hk fi|U ; but d^b igMOBUioe of each^ othet^v in- 
iNUJm keeps tlMm m awt^ aad B the iokfr cavM €f hbM^ 
cori^. By sadi arts as these many goTemi^snts have 
beeaeetablished; aad tfab b aU the^r^^mf «M«raHC ii4^ 
they have to boaat oC 

The face of tke earth b contiDaally chaogiag, by ^ 
uicrease of saudlkiagdfims into great einpbes, by Aedis- 
sohrtioii of giea^ empires into amaUer kiagdona, by ik» 
ideating of eoh)iiiei^ by tfa^migratbikoC tribes. It there 
my thiag diaooveraUe in aU these events but fevceand 
vkdence? Whete b the aiaiual agraanent or vofamtai*f 
assooiatmi ao moA iplkod of? 

Eyw the siMOlhest way by which a natbn may veeewre 
a fomgn meater^ by aiarriaga or a wiU» b not eztcemi^ 
hiWMivaUe for the people; bufe aapposea dienLto be jfe« 
poa^ of lik^ 9 dowry or a lega^ aooording to the piea» 
sure or interest oCthw rubra. 

Bnt where no force bterpoaesr and election takes pbce; 
whut b thbelePtioQ so highfy. vaunted? It b etthei? Ae 
combination of a iew great asen^ who decide for the irtole^ 
a^d wi}li4)owof»oop|)mitiM; oritbthefasyofamul- 
titn4e» thut roUow a sedi^usjdiq^bader) whobaot known^ 
p^r^pi^ to a iomask amoAgtbeni) and wdio oweahb ad* 
vancemcmt merely to hb own impudence, or to the mo* 
m^tisry caprioe of hb fellows. 

Ar^ th^se disorderly election^ which are rare too, of 


of >ll gmmmfaeat imdl alhgiMitf n ? 

b reali^ dKre is nok a mora MrUe tfent dum a tdid 
iKaniatbn (^(pvanuneDt^ wUdiFgiTeB iberty to iite nml^ 
titiidB^ Mmi BMikea th^ dettrmiiuitbB or ehoieei ol a new 
oftablialiaiiflnt depend upon a vmBher^ wkkk neariy afM 
proacheatalfaatoftibebodf df dve peopfe: Fork] 
comes antirtty to Ae whole^ bcH^ of Aam* Everf ' 
naii» dia% wish^a to^ ste^ et tlia h%ad of a powisrlbl and 
afcodieM aii^y^ a genend ivha nmy spaedUy sdaa Use p^ 
and give to the people a maatcai^whiGh lbe«^ ave so-nnfittn 
ekooaa fixr tkemseUw. So* little oorregpondgnt m fact ahd 
reality to those phifeaophu^ notiops^ 

I^ not tivs estaUi^Monni at die Revolutien decern 
or make us so much in love with a philosc^hical origin to 
gcnrennuentv as> to imagiiie all others monstroai and iire* 
goUnr. Efmi tiMt event neir far from corvespekidiiig to 
liMMarefibed'ftlea&' Ifcitasoi^tHersuooession^andtliat 
only itt dM rtgii part of the gkiVemmenf^ wUdr was ihm 
changed : And itwas only^thnnMiorilj of seven huhdnrf^ 
who detorndnedtluitdiani^ felt neaor ten milliDns* Idodbt 
not, indeed^i Imt the; bttUs of tboae>tcv millions acqitieseed 
wStail^ 01 dw determination: But was the niatter leA^ 
in die leasts to dinar cholee? War it; net jnsdy sqipoaid 
to be, front tkatnfcanent, deeidbd^ aAdeiPei^ntalpittia4» 
ed^ ^priMvfefiised tp^ subnet w die new sofreragnr? Hotr 
odii^wise oonid th» m nt tm hm^ emniMNmbreught to anr^ 
Isstie or oonelaston ? 

The repnblio of Adiem was, Ibelieiae^ dioi]tfo5teitte» 
sivedtmocneytlMtwenndof inhi8tov7« YetrilwemalBe 
the requisite allowances for the women, the slaves, and 
the strangers, we shaU- fiadf that that establishment was 
not at first made, nor any law ever voted, by a tenth part 

459 X88AY XII. 

of tboie who were bound to payobedtence to it; not ta 
mention the blands and ibreign dominions, whk:h .the 
Athenians daimed as dieirs by right of conquest. And as 
it is wen known that popular assemblies in that city were 
alwmys fiiU of licence and ilisorder, notwithstanding the 
institutions and laws by which diey were checked; how 
modi more disorderly murt they prore, idiere they £>rm 
not the established constitution, but meet tumultuously oa 
the dissolution of the ancient government, in order to gvve 
rise to a new one ? How chimerical must it be to talk ot 
a thciee in such circumstances ? 

. The Achaeans enjoyed the freest and most perfect de^ 
mocracy of all antiquiQr ; yet they employed force to oblige 
some dties to enter into their league^ as we learn from Fo- 
lybius *• 

Harry IV. and Harry VII. of England had really no 
title to the throne but a parliamentary dection ; yet they 
never would acknowledge it, lest th^ should thereby 
weaken their authority. Strange^ if the only jreal /bundiw 
tion of all authoriQr be consent and promise ? 

It is vain to say, that all governments are or should be 
at first fijonded on popular consent^ as mudi as the ne- 
cessi^ of human affiurs will admit This favours entirdy 
my pretension. I maintahi, that human afiairs will nev^r 
admit of this consent, seldom of the iqipearance of it ; but 
that conquest or usurpation, that is, in plain terms, forces 
by dissolving tlie ancient g9vemments, is the or^nof al^ 
most all the new ones which were ever estaWshed in the 
world. And that in die few cases where consent may 
iseem to have taken place, it was commonly so irregular, 

• Xik. ii eap, 3S, 


90 (kmfme^ or so much intemixed either with fraud or 
viideiice, that it cannot have any great authorify* 
'. ]^y intention here is not to exclude the conseat of the ' 
people irom beingone just £bundati<m of gev«mnie|it where 
ithaspliice. It is surely the best and most sacved of ai^. 
i only contend^ that it has Tery sdd(»n had place in any 
degree, and never almost in its full extent; andthatther&« 
forq some other foundation of government, must also ba . 
admitted^ ^ 

Were all men possessed of so inflexible a regard tojns^^ 
tice, that of themselves they would totaUy abstain firom 
the properties of others ; they had for ever remained in a 
itatQ <^ absolute liberty, widiout subjection to any mi^^tsi^ 
trate or political society : But this is a state jof per&ctioD ^ 
•fwhich hmnan nature is justly deemed incapable^ Agaii^ 
were all men possessed ci so perfect an understanding aa 
always to know their own interests, no form of government 
had ever been submitted to- but what was established on 
consent, and was fully canvassed by every member of the 
society : But this state of perfection is likewise much supe- 
rior to human nature. Reason, history, and experience 
shew us^ that all political societies have had an origin much 
less accurate and tiegularg and were one to choose a pe-* 
tiod of time when the people's consent was the least rer 
garded in public transactions, it would be precisely 4Hi the 
«ist9blishment of a new government. In a settled consti^ 
tution their inclinations are often consulted; but during 
the fury of revolutions, conquests, and public convulsions^ 
military force or political craft iisually decides the ccmtro- 
y^rsy. . . 

, When a new gov^mmettt is established, by whatever 
neanst the people are commonly dissatisfied with it, and 
pay obedience more from fear and necessity, thM froin 

4M KBUkirut. 

aoyuimaf aMegiatuieor €f mcM«loUigataoQ. Thfltptinoe 
iswatchAdnijcdoOy «dl amit atre&dUjr giard agaiMt 
fiiry bugBMMigiir wiff/mnmu 9£ msmreciiaiiL TIsM^by 
chgrra^ nmo^C9 aU then dMirtthjea, wsd aeonstomt lim 
iiBtblitongtnl^aiidMifimMoriialm Cjuit&l<^ 

sdljrirliicli fit fiiist lii^coiifidcnd as wnipeni or fivi^gm 
wnqiMron. In miat io f (Mmd tibis epinkm^ they butit 
to» xaeotne U any ootifan of vdhmtary cooieni or pio* 
mbe, which, they know, never was, in this case, ehbtre9D» 
peded or dB i aaihJ . Tke original cg liiHiflhm c n t was 
fixined by Tialenoe^ aid sidimiMed to froflEi necessity. Tlia 
mbsacpantadminislratien is also sBf^iorted by powmv and 
aoqvicaccdiabytfaepospli^&otasamattefofdiolte^ but 
of Gft>ligatiott, TThcy imagine aot that th^ consent {^^Toe 
their prinoe a titk : Bat tiiey wSlingly oomteat, becansa 
IImj think, that, from kng possessioB, he has acqtnred a 
title independent of their dioioe cr indiaation. 

■Should it be said, that, by living under the damiman of 
a prfaca ifhkik me nij^t leavoi every individnal has gi-' 
veq a tacit consent to his aathority, and promised himobe* 
dience; it may be answered, that such an implied consent 
ean oiJy have place where a man imagines that the mat* 
ter depend on bis choice^ But where he thinks (as all 
mmkind do who are bom under establidied governments) 
that by his birth he owes allegiance to a certidn prince or 
certain fenn of government^ it would be absurd to infera 
consent or dioioe, which he expressly, in this oasc^ r^ 
nooMes and disclaims* 

Can we seriously say, that a poor peasant or artisan has 
a free choice to leave his country, when he knows no fo* 
reign language or manners, and lives, from day to dayv 
bv the small wages which he acquires ? We may as weU 
isssert that a man, by remaiaJng ina vessel freely coasenla 


blhe^dlDttiiUmordieimfller; though he wiit duiied bn 
bOM^ While t^kfe^f tM Mittsi Iea]p infto the oc^an, andpfe- 
tlA, ih^ DKMent he letvek hfen 

"Wlltt if the prince fitf bid hiis mlijects toi^iitt his do- 
«llDiiM>, AsiilTHkriti^iaBetHWasiTegariedi&^ltcrime 
Hn ^ botiuA kn^t that he hM attempte d tb % to Ae 
^M^thiaafi^ fii <(^er to escape the tyrmAy of that etnpe- 
fW^ ? O as di^ anSetit Mitsoovftes prohibited all travel- 
th% Mdl^r pamof defeitfi? And did a prince observe, that 
ttitiy^ ^ hia sdbjeets irt^e iieb^ wiOi the ft^^ 
tfaig te foirdgn cMntries, he woutd, doubUesis^ wi^ greiit 
reaaoo atid j«ntfd^ Restrain them, in order to present the 
dtpopn^enofhiaownkkigdom* Would he forfeit the 
attegiatiee of all his MiEgects by so wise and reteondble a 
law: Yet die freedom oflheirchirfce is snfeljr, in that case^ 
•jratished Srim them. 

Acompanyirf'tteii^ whoshouldleave their natiye country, 
•m order to people some miinhi^ited region, might dream 
of recovering their native freedom, but they would soon 
ind, that their prince still laid claim to Aein, and called 
them his stibjeels^ even in their hew settlement. And in 
this IM would bat aet conformably to the common ideas of 

The truest UieU consent of dus kind that is ever obser- 
ved, is when a foreigher settles in any countrjr, and is be^ 
forebMd acquainted with the prince, and govemment, 
and laws to which he must submit: Yet b his allegiance, 
though more voluutaiyj much less expected or depended 
on, than that of a natural bom subject On the contrary, 
Ms native prince s^ assorts a clabn to him. And if h^ 
pm^sh not the renegade^ when he seises him in war With 

^ TuH, Ann. lib; ti. cup. Mi 


his new prince's cpmmissioD; this demeiicy is ootibniui- 
ed on the municipal law, which in all countries condeauia 
the prisoner; but on the consent of princes, who have 
agreed to this indulg^cey jn ord^r to prevent reprisals. 

Did one generation <^ men go off th9 stage at ooce^ and 
pother sucoeedi as is the cas^ with siljk wouqs and|>^^ta^ 
flie% the new race, if thej had sense enoog^ ^1 chiKM -their 
government, which surdy is never the case with menvmi^t 
voluntarily, and by .general consent, establish their own 
ibrm of civil polity^ wi^ontany regard to the laws or pre- 
cedents which prevfuled among their ancestors. But itt 
human socifsty is in perpetual flnz, one man every hour 
.going out of the world, another comii^ into it^ it Is neeea- 
.sarjf^ in order to preserve stability in government, thai the 
new brood should conform themselves to the established 
constitution, and nearly follow the path which their fathers, 
treading in the footsteps of theirs, had marked out to tb^m. 
jSome innovations must necessarily have place in every ha- 
.man institution ; and it is hi;>py where the enlightened 
jgenius of the age give these a Erection to the side of rea- 
son, liberty, and justice ; 3ut violent innovations no indir 
vidufli is entitled to make : They are even dangerous to be 
attempted by the legislature : More ill than good is ever 
.to be expected from them : And if history affords exam- 
ples to the contrary, they are not to be drawn intoprece- 
dent, and are only to be regarded as proofs, that the science 
of politics affords few rule^ which wiU not admit of some 
(exception, and which may not sometimes be controlled by 
fortune and accident. The violent innovations in the reign 
oF Henry VIII. proceeded from an imperious monarch, 
seconded by the appearance of legislative authority : Those 
in the reign of Charles I. were derived from faction and 
fanaticism ; and both of them have proved happy in the 


mti^ But jeveki the former were long die source of many 

. difforders, tod stiU more dangers; and if the measures of 

.aUegiciuoe were to be taken firom the latter, a total anarchy 

oatUst'lMiTe place in haman society, and a final period at 

. once be put to every government. 

SupfoiOf tfifiAaa usurper, after having banished his law- 
fid prince and royal -fiimily, should establish his dominion 
for ten or a dozen years in any comitry, and should pre- 
aewe'.so exact a ^o^ilme in his troops, and so regular a 
dispdshfam in his gavrifom^ that no insurrectiofi had ever 
been raised, or even murmur heard against his administrft- 
tation : Can it be asserted, that the people^ who in their 
hearts abhor his treason, have tacitly consented to his au^ 
thority, and promised him allegianoe, merely because, from 
.neces»^, they live imder his dominion ? Snppo^ agmn 
their native prince restored, by means of an army, which 
he levies in foragn countries : They receive him with joy 
and exultation, and show plainly with what reluctance thej 
had submitted to any other yoke. I may now ask, upon 
what feundadcm the prince's title stands ? Not on popular 
consent surely : For though the people willingly acquiesce 
in his authori^, they never imagine thatthetr consent made 
him sovereign. They consent^ because they apprehend 
him to be fdready, by birth, their lawful sovereign. And 
ias to that tacit ccmsent. Which may now be inferred from 
their Kving under his dominion, this is no more than what 
■they formerly gave to the Qrrant and usurper. 

When we assert, that all lawful government arises from 
the consent of ike people, we. certainly do them a great 
deal more honour than tfey deserve, or even expect and 
desire from us. After the Roman dominions became too 
ufiwieldy for the republic to govern them, the pec^le over 
the whole known world were extremely grateful to Augus- 

iM ESSAY Ktl* 

Uis for tbstatttliority wUdi by tioleiioe fat hid^stiMMi. 
«d over tteni ; and tbejr sbrred an «i|tel dbpMhkMi to 
sibnk totiie siMbBKor iflmiitekftdMtt bylwlM 
and liiteiiMML it w|» aAmmeds tbik arisftMae^ Itat 
there nerer was, in ooe fiuBilf^ aaylaag ]!«(|[d^ 
ImiI th*t dibir Ike of princes was coadnyalljr kffoiH% ^^ 
by privUte affsasiinatinhi or paUia ndMymte.. IWjifMti- 
.naa bandar Mt :tbe fidnce of eveiy familT^ ^ 
,pet<Mri ibaltc^miatatiieBMtasaaoidlrthQaamiHnMi- 
Bjt pnhwfBy a Ihiffds And the rarad rioM cmU dstiic 
the ^^OpttovMBji. Th^ coHditkni of the pac^ m^ that 
mgh^ mtMiarcl^4 was to be haneated^ not betaaae the 
jdioied of the easfieror was nerer left to tbeao, fiir that was 
impractieaUe; but because they aetcr idl under any suo- 
cesskm of Masters who might regularly follow eadiodnr,* 
Aa to the Tioleiusa, and wars, and bloodshed, oCcassMMd 
by crrery new settlement; these were aoi blnwcablei bo- 
cajsse they were iaevitabie* 

The house of Lancaster nded m this islaiid about matiky 
•years; yet the partisans of the white roaeseMteddaUy to 
multiply im E^tg^bttML The ftfeswat estsblishmcBt has t»- 
ken place dariig a atiU loBger period* Have all viewsof 
lri|^ in another fmily been utterly exfinguisbed^ ev« 
though scarce any man now alive had arrived at the yiers of 
discr#tiou when it was eaq)elfed» or could ha^ Isoosedlted 
to its dominion, or hens promised it aU^iance? A sofr- 
cient indication, surely, of the general sentiment of maa^ 
kind on this head. ForweblaaseBetlltepaitisaaBof the 
abdicated fiuuily, aurely en account of the k>^ thne dn- 
rin^ which they have preaerred their BM^inaiy loyi^. 
We blame them for adhering to a family, wbidi we affirm 
has been jnstly expelled, and which, from the moment dife 

1 .J 


h&w MtflenMit took places kad forfeited all titkto aatho- 

' BqC vvolikl we have atfiofe regular, at leort a more phi* 
loMpliical nAtatiop of tbk principle of an original con« 
trais^ o^yepnlar cooNVt^ perfaape the fcUowing obserra* 

All ladraTdatias nay be divided flito two kinds. Tli^ 
JIni are those to %^di men are impelled by a nateral in* 
ftinct or Imaediate prepeneity^ whidi opemtes on then^ 
ifldependent of idl ideat of obUgation, and of all views m^ 
Aier to pttblit or private utility* Of this natone are bve 
of iMdren, gratitiide to benefactors, pt^ to the onfort^- 
nate. Wh^a we reflect <m die advantage which results to 
society from such humane insthicts, we pay them the just 
tribute of moral approbation and esteem : But the person 
actuated by them feds their power and influence antece- 
dent to any such reflection. 

Hie seocmd kind of moral duties are sticfa as arenotsup* 
ported by any original instinct of nature, but are perform- 
ed entirely from a sense of obligation, when we consider 
die necessities of human society, and the mipossibillty cf 
supporting it, if these duties were neglected. It is thus 
juOice^ or a regard to the properQr of others, JfdeUi^^ or 
the observance of promises, become obligatoiy, andacquhre 
an authority over mankind. For as it is evident that every 
man loves himself better than any other person, he is na- 
turally impelled to extend his acquisitions as much as pos^ 
sible ; and nothing can restrain him in this propensity but 
reflection and experience, by whi<A he lemrns the pemi- 
cions eflects of diet licence, and the total dissolution of so* 
ciety which must ensue from it. His original inclmation^ 
therefore, or instinct, is here checked and restrained by a 
subsequent judgment or observation. 

460 SS8AY xn« ' 

TIm case is precisely the same widi tbe political or oivft 
duty of (iUegiance, as with the natural duties of justicejuul 
fiddiQr. Oar primary instincts kad us, eidite to indulge 
onrselves ia unlimited fireedom^ or to. seek dom^uoa OY&t 
others; and it b reflection only which engages us to saori-' 
fice such strong passions to the interests of peace and pubr 
lie order* A small degree of esqperience'ani observafion 
saffices to teach us, that sodety canaoi possibly be maiii* 
tained without Ae authority of magistnMtJeSy and tliat Ibis 
authori^ must soon fall into GdRtempt» wJWre exact ob^ 
dtence is not paid to it* The obserratioiv^ these general 
and obiiouB interests is the sotirce of aU aUc^ancci and OC 
that moral obligation which we attribute ta i^ 
. What necessity, therefore, is there to ibund th^ duty of 
^UeffioBee, or obedience to magistrates, on that offideStf, 
or a regard to promises, and to suppose that it is the con- 
sent of each individual which subjects him to government^ 
when it iqipears that both all^ianee ilnd SdeUty stand 
precisely on tlie same foandation^ and are both submitted 
to by mankind, on account of the apparent interest and 
tiecessides of human society? We are bound to obey our 
sovereign, it is said, because we have given atadt promise 
ta that, purpose* But why are we bound to observe our 
promise ? It mutft here be asserted, that the commerce and 
intercourse of mankind, which are of such mighty advan-^ 
tagie, can have no security where niei|i pay no regard to- 
their engagements. In like manner, may it be said, that 
men could not live at all in society, at leaat in a civilized 
society, without laws, and magistrates and judges^ to pre- 
vent the encroachments of the strong upon the weak, of 
the violent upon the jast and equitable. The ol^igation 
to allegiance being of like force and authority with tbe 
obligation to fidelity, wc gain nothing by resolving the. 


oi>e into the other. The general mterests or necessities 
of society are sufficient to establbh both. 

If th^ reiisoQ be ask^ of that obedience which we are 
bonnd to pay to goremment^ I readily answer, because 90* 
day coidd noi oiherwi$e mAmsi > and this answer is clear 
and intelMgible. to all mankind. Your answer is, because, 
we should hetp our word But besides that nobody, till 
trained in a philosophical system, can either comprehend 
or relish this answer, besides this, I say, you find your* 
self ^embarrassed, when it is asked, why we are bound, to 
keep our word? Nor can you gwe any answer, but what 
would immediately, without any circuit, have accounted 
for our obligation to allegiance. 

Bat iO'Wkam is n^B^cnice due^ and who is our lawfkl so^ 
vereigmf This question is often the most difficult of any, 
and liable to infinite discussions. When people are so 
happy that ^y can answer. Our present sovereign^ who 
Merits, in a dired Ime, from a^westors that have governed 
MS fir many ages : This answer admits of no reply, even 
thou^ historians, in tracing up to the remotest antiquity, 
the origin of that royal family, may find^ as commonly 
happens, that its first authority was derived frxnn usurpa- 
tion and violence. It is. confessed, that private justice, or 
Ibe abstinence from the properties of others, is a most oar^ 
dinal virtue. . Yet reason tdls us, that there is no pro« 
perly in durable ol]9ects, such as land or houses, wfaea 
e«refully examined m passing from hand to hand, but 
must) in some period, have been founded on fraud and 
hqustice. The iiece»»ties of human society, neither lia 
private nor public life, will sX\ow oi such an accurate in- 
quiry ; and there is no virtue or oipral duty, but what 
may, with &cility, be refined away, if we indulge a false sifting and scrutinizing it, by every captious 


n^of b^ in^vtryfiglil or pofltioii in whkk itwm^ 
be placed* 

Thtt qaMrintta "rilikk ifgwil to priwl^ F^^P^^ lM«re 
fiUtd infinite wtam of Inv and ttukmaphj^ if in bidi 
¥it add the commentator t^lha owgiaiii %sA^ tmd'miim 
eadf im bm^ aafriyr prononooe^ that manjr of (ke rulea 
there; eatahlithftd areoaoartain^ aiabig»oiM» aad ariatearyu 
The Uke opinbiimagF be formed vilhiegaird to ti^ 
ocMJon and lif^ts of prinoaa^ and fooM of govenunaiil. 
Several caaeB no doabi ocour^ etpeoaUy in tke iafiiMy o( 
way eonatitiitioB, whidt admk ef no determmalbn' 6mm 
the lawa of jastice and eqakj; and onr Urtoriani Rapiiir 
pretends, that the c<HitroTeEay between Edvard the Thifcfi 
and niil%> De Valoia waa ef diis natere^ and caold be 
deddad only by m appeal to hesvent tiiafc isi l^ war aadr 

Who ahall teU me^ whether GenDntcM «r Draaaa 
ought to hare ancceadedta Tibecki^ had ha «Bedw<hiiar 
thej wwe both almi withoot namiiig anyof theaa Ac hia^ 
sncoeaaor? Ought the. light of adoption to he leeeited an 
equivalent to that of l^xid, in a nation where it had the 
same effect in private familim, and had already in tnro in^ 
stancet, taken jriace in the pnUae? CNigU Gemmnona to 
be eateemod the elder son, becaaaa he was bom brfofo 
X>nuut; or die yonngei^ because he wB*ad<^iftad after the 
birth of hia brother? Ought the. Of^ of the eldeir to be 
legarded in a nation^ where he had no advantsgp in tha^ 
soccessim of private fiunilies ? Ought die Bobmu empira 
at that time to be deemed heceditary, becanae of two «i?* 
amplea; or ought it, even so early, to be regarded as be^ 
longing to the stronger, or to. the present possassor^ aa 
being founded on so recent an usurpatioii ? 

Commodus mounted the throne after a pretty Umg i 


oesfkin af exoclfent enperars^ ivha had ac<pHred tkelr> 
tide^ nor bjr birtb^ M public ele6tio% Inrt by the flditioos 
rke of adoption. That Uood^ debnchee being murder- 
ad bjr a coDBpiraoy) saddndj fonned batweaa kU wanck 
and ker gallant^ who happened at that tkiie to^ba^ A«ft^- 
rkm Pr€B/€ctf tkaie iiamedkiliely ddibaratad iboiil eboa- 
$aigaa|asliertohumafn l(iad> tospeak m Ike vtytaof those 
ages 9 and they oast their ^ee on Pertiaax. Before the* 
lyraafs death was known, the Frmfbtt went secretly to 
that senator, wko, at the appearance ef the seldiei^ kna« 
ffoed that his executkm had been ordered by Conipoclus. 
Ha was iBMnediately saluted en^ror by the officer and 
ki^ attandsntB, cbeerfliHy proclaimed by the populace un- 
wiliiiigly sabnitled to by the guards^ (brmatty recognised! 
ky tka senate^ and paasvvely received by the prorinces and 
araiies of tke empire. 

The discontent of tke Praidrian bands broke out ki a 
sudden sedllion, which occasioned tke murder of Aat ex*-^ 
aeHent pikiee; and die woiW beiiig now without a maen 
Uff9 mni mtkool govemment, the guards thought proper 
to set the empire ibnnalty to sale* Julian, the puvcheser, 
was proclaimed by the soldiers, recognised by tke senate^ 
and submitted to by the people ; and must also have been 
submitted to by- the provinces, had not the ^wy of thele* 
gions begotten opposition and resistance. Pescennius 
Niger ii) %ri|i elected himself emperois gained the l»4 
multuary oenseat ef his army, and was attended wi«b the 
seoMt good will of tke. senate and people of Rome. At* 
binus in Brkahi found an equal right to^ set np his claim ; 
but S^vetuB, whp go^med Pftnnonia, prevailed in the 
and above both of them. That able politician and war- 
rior, finding his own birth and dignity too much inferior 
to the imperial crown, professed, at first, an intention only 

464 EMAY XII* 

of revenging the death of P^rtiiiBX. He inarched as ge-« 
neral into Italy, defeated Juliaii» and without being able 
to fix anj preciae commencement even of the soldio^' 
consent, he was from necessity adaiowledged enqieror by 
the smate and peqple, amd fully estiJ^lished in his violent 
authority, by subduing N^jer and Albinus *. 

IwHer kcK Gordumus Cmmr (says Capitolinus, spealdng^ 
of another period) mMatu a miliiibus. Imperator es^ ig^ 
peBatuij quia mon erat oUmm inprasetOu It is to be re- 
marked, that Gordian was a boy of fourteen years of age. 

Frequent instances of a like nature occur in the history 
of the emperors ; in that of Alexander's successors ; and of 
many other countries; Nor can any thing be more unhap-: 
py than a despotic govermnent <^ this kind ; where the sucr 
cession is disjointed and irregular, and must be determirr 
ned on every vacancy by force or electicm. Ia a free gov 
vemment, the matter is oft^n unavoidable, and is also 
i4uch less dangerous* The interests of liberty may thero 
firequently lead the people^ in their own defence, to alles 
the succession of the crown. And the coiistitaition» bei«g 
compounded of parts, may still maintwi a sufficient at%« 
bility, by resting on the aristocratical or democratical memr 
bers, though the monarchical be altered, from time to time^ 
in order to accommodate it to the former. 

In an ajbsolute government, when tberp is no legai 
prince, who has a title to die thrOne, it may safely ba de? 
termined to belong to the first occupant. Instances of iim 
kind are bqt top frequent, especially in the eastern monar- 
chies. When any race of princes e)(pires, the will or diefr> 
tination of the last sovereign will be regarded as a tide; 
Thus the edict of Lewis XIV., who called the bastard 

■ Herodian, Ub. ii. 



priMM to Ibe soccmboii fat diw df flit &]ha» ti idl .tf|i^ 
UfgitoDiitoprliioei) wmM^mtfaA9h^mAt4^htm 9m»eBm^ 
thprUjr^ Tluibtiwwillc^eiwleitlb^iSMMod 
of the whole Spanish monarchy^! ThftloeisigaiJofidie«iN 
ciciit fn^etm^jftgrntlMy Wiettjciadd totaaaquglsi^ isfike- 
wnB{daMiMl a good titkb <Tlil^^gaKnidb^g^tklI^la^^ 
bHfd»w to gofcnuDoity^aitlii^ int^^ 
sotie^^ aod flnaobUgatioii^kmfjr adto^gu. HedatenpuMN; 
tioD of kto4iBorjd«tp8ffticsahatf»rindt^orfiBtfraar^o^ 
menl^ fa ftagmdntiy mopo imcgrtw i n mmi djhklm i F ammL 
ppiiowiatt hit ooiiakkndile aatbofitpiiB thofooafei^ afad 
graitar'thaa iq private prpparty; beeatue«lith»dfaardaii^ 
whkhi attnul all royolatkp^ and cHaagw itf goref it^ « 
We shaU onbfobaar^ before are coadHcfa^ tlpatit}toiigki 
an appeal to gettotal opiaioii may JMtlyv in die ipiaoulatiVe 
Bciencea^rf iaetapli yaiei, natwral pluiu a u p fcy vdr aatrenfxnyt 
be deemed unfair and inconclusive, yet in all questicms 
with regard to morals^ as well as crfdi^tsm, Atei^ is really 
no other standard, by which any controversy can ever be 
decided. And nothing is a clearer proo^ that a theory of 
this kind is erroneous, than to find, that it leads to para- 
doxes repugnant to the common sentiments of mankind, 
and to the practice and opinion of all nations and all ages. 
The doctrine, which founds all lawful government on an 
original contrcuty or consent of the people, is plainly <^ 
this kind ; nor has the most noted of its partisans, in pro- 
secution of it, scrupled to affirm, Aat akmihde monarchy is 
imxmsistait wiA cmt sociefy, andwcanbenojbrmqfciwl 
go v e mmeni ai oSS md tkai the supreme power in a state 
cannot takefnm anff man^ by taxes and imposiHonSj any 
part of his property, wi^ont his own consent or that of his 

* Sm Nan [TT.] ^ Sm Lock* on Q of fmm ont, chap. rii. $ 90. 
VOL. I. 2 H 

4M KstAT xir. 

njprettnto fa' ge i ** What aadiority any moral 
canhaTC^ idtich leads intoopinioiisaowideofdiegeDerttl 
practice of manlrind, in every place butt diis stngte ktng^ 
dom, it is easy to determine. 

> The only passage I meet with in antiquity, where tfie 
obligation of obedi^ce to government is ascribed to aprb- 
nuse, is in Plato's CHto .* wh^re Socrates refbses to escape 
from prison, becaose he had tacitly jHronused to obey the 
laws. Thus he builds a Tofjf ccmseqnenoe of pasnye obe- 
dience on a WUff foondation of the original ccmtraet. 

. New discoveries are not to be expected in these matten. 
If scarce any man, till very ktdy, ever imagined that go- 
venuDSttt was founded cm oonpact^ it is certain that it 
cannot, in general, have may such foudation. 

The crhne of rebellion among the andents was common- 
ly expressed by the terms nmn^mh Mtm raf.Moftrt. 

' Locke oa OormmBtent, cbap. zi $ MSB, 159, i4(k 

.is t 



In the fanner «ssay, we endeavoared to refute the qMcti* 
have systems of politics advanced in this nation ; as well 
the religious system of the one party, as the philosophical 
of die other. We come now to examine the praetkal 
omsequenees deduced by each party, with vegard to the 
measures of submission due to sovereigns* 

As the oblation to justice is foimded entirely on the 
interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from 
property, in order to preserve peace among mankind; it 
is evident, that, when the execution of justice would be at* 
tended with very pernicious consequences, that virtue must 
be suspended, and give place to public utiltky, in such ex- 
traordinary and such pressing emergdicies. '^Qie maxim, 
JIat JugtiOa et ruai Ocdumj let justice be performed, though 
the univ^nse be de$tiroyed, is a|^rently false, and by sa- 
crificing the end to the means, shews a preposterous idea 
of the subordination of duties. What governor of a town 
makes any scruple of burning the suburbs, wlien they fa- 
cilitate the approaches of the enemy? Or what generill 
4ibttains from plundering a neutral country, when the ne- 
' eessities of war, require it, and he cannot otherwise subsist 
his army? The case is the same with the duty of allegiance ; 
and common sense teaches us, that, as government binds 


408 ESSAY xid. 

us to obedience only on account of its tendency to publie 
utilityt that duty must always, in extraordinary cases, 
when public ruin would evidently attend obedience, yield 
to the primary and original obligation. Sabupopuli gur 
jprema Lex^ the safety of the pe(^» is the supreme law. 
This maxim is agreeable to the sentiments of mankind in 
all ages : Nor is any one, when he reads of the insurrec- 
tions against Nero or Philip the Second, so infatuated with 
party systems, as not t6 ^i^vlk Success U> the enterprise, and 
praise the undertakers* Even our high monarchical party, 
in qpite of their jSubKme d»«oty» areforc^ in such Gase% 
to jtt(%e, Mid M^ and ^ipra^ in coti&rtaity to Ae r«8t 
tf mankiikL 

Resistance, therefore, being admtt^ln o^tfaorddi^ 
emeificsicies, the question oeo oily be among good lee* 
soners, with regard to the d^pree of necessiOV whkh cao 
justify resistance, and mder it lawftil or eolamcBideble. 
And here I must confess, tbet I shaU idwayd incline U> 
their side, who draw the bond of aU^ianoe revy dose^aad 
consider an infringement of it as the last refiige in deq>e^ 
rate cases, when the puUio b in thelugheat danger from 
Tioknce and tyranny. For besidea.lhei iischidb of a cvA 
war, which commonly attonds imurrectioii^ it is oertara, 
that, where a disposition to rebelUoH aH»c«ns ttteng any 
people, it is one chief cause of tyranny in the raLon^ and 
finrces them into many .itiolent meastnres Irhidi'tbey MPer 
would liaTe embraced, .had evcaey one been ittdined to sUb- 
missidn and obedisiice. Thus the tpnmnriade or assasstna- 
tio% approved of hgr andent mucioMly isslead dt keeping 
tyrants and usurpers) in .aw«^ niade them ten tfanea nore 
fierce and unrelenting; end is aowjusdyv upon that ae- 
eooBt, abolished by the laws oEttadens,. and tonmrsaliy 


txBidcflBiied fts A base and treacbfecous method of bringbg 
to jintioe, these disturbers of society. 

Besides, we most consider, that as obedience is our duty 
m the common course of things, it ou^t diiefly to be in- 
cttieate^ ; nor can. any thing be more preposterous than 
on lUDXioas care and solicitude in stating all the cases in 
iwhich resistance mi^ be«Uowed» In like manner, though 
A philosopher reasonably acknowledges, in the course of 
4m aEi^gnment, that the mks cf justice may be dispensed 
.with ki cases^ of porgent neceraity; what should we think 
of apflcacher or casnist, whoidiould make it bis chief study 
to find out such cases, and enforce them with all the ve- 
faemeiKe of argument and eloquence ? Would he not be 
l>etter employed in inculcating the general doctrine, than 
^ dismaying the particular exoeptions, which we are, per- 
iiapa, but too mudi indined, of ouraelyes, to embrace and 
to extend ? 

Thece aae, bowevei^ two reasons, which may be pleaded 
^ki defence 4)f that party among us, who bave^ with so much 
jihdustiy, propagated the maxims of resistance ; maxims 
wfaidiy it must be confessed, are, in general, so pemicwus, 
and ao destructive iof civil society. The^«^ is, that their 
antagonists^ carrying the doctrine of obedience to such an 
extravagant heig^ as not only never to mention the ex- 
ertions in extraordinary cases, (which might, perhaps, be 
iQxcusabb)^ but mm poulively to exclude them; it became 
necesaary to insi^ on these exceptions, and defend the 
xiglits o{ injured truth and liber^) iThe sec(mdt and, per- 
liaps, better reason, is fouiided on the natuie qf the Bri- 
tish Gonstitwdon and fbian of government. 

It is almost peoidiar to our cooatitutiOQ to establish a 
first magLltrafte with, such high pre-^mittence and dignity, 
that, though limited by the laws, he is, in a manner, so 


far as regards bis own person, above the laws, and oui 
neither be questioned nor punished for any mjury or wrong 
which may be committed by him. His ministers alone, 
or those who act by his commission, are obnoxious to jus- 
tice ; and while the prince is thus aUnred, by the pn»pect 
of personal safety, to give the laws their free courses^ an 
equal security is, in ^ect^ obtained by the punidmient of 
lesser offenders, and at the same time a civil war is avdd- 
ed, which would be the infallible consequence, were an 
attack, at every turn, made direcdy i^khi the sovereign. 
But though the constitution pays this salutary oompliaent 
to the prince, it can never reasonably be understooi^ by 
that maxim, to have determined itsown destruction, or to 
have established a tame submission, where he protects his 
ministers, perseveres in injustice, and usurps the wh<4e 
power of the commonwealth. This case, indeed, is never 
expressly put by the laws ; because it is impossible for 
them, in their ordinary course, to provide a remedy for it, 
or establish any magistrate, with superior authority, to 
chastise the exorbitances of the prince. But as a ri^t 
without a remedy would be an absurdity ; the remedy, in 
this case, is the extraordinary one of resistance, when af- 
fiurs come to that extremity, that the constttuticm can be 
defended by it alone. Resistance, therefore, must, of 
course, become more frequent in the British govemaaent, 
than in others, which are simpler, and consiist of fewer 
parts and movements. Where the king is an absolute so- 
vereign, he has little temptation to commit such enormous 
Qrranny as may justly provoke rebellion. But where he 
b limited, his imprudent ambition, without any great vices, 
may run him into that perilous situation. This is fre- 
quently supposed to have been the case widi Charles the 
First; and if we may now speak truth, after animosities 


are ceased, this was also the case with James the Second. 
These were harmless, if not, in their private character, 
good men ; bat mistaking the nature of onr constitaticMi, 
and engrossing the whcde legislative power, it became ne- 
cessary to ofqpose them with some vehemence ; and even 
to deprive the latter formally of that authority, which he 
had used with such imprudence and indiscretion. 

» ■ 

1 ' / * .' 

. ' ' » ' .1 



1 o abolish all distinctions of par^ may not be practica- 
ble, perhaps not desirable in afireegoremiiient. The only 
dangerous parties are snch as entertain opposite views with 
regard to the essentials of government, the succession of 
the crown, or the more considerable privil^es belonging 
to the several members of the constitution ; where there is 
no room for any compromise or accommodation, and where 
the controversy may 9pptur so momentons as to justifyevea 
an (^positi<m by arms to the ^pretaisions of antagonists. 
Of this nature was the animosi^ continued Sat above a 
century past, between the parties in England ; an animo- 
si^ which broke out sometimes into dvil war, which ooca^ 
sioned violent revolutions, and which continually endan- 
gered the peace and tranquillity of the natioiu But as there 
have iqppeared of late tlie strongest synqitoms of an uni- 
iversal desire to abolish these party distinctions ; this ten- 
idency to a coalition affords the most agreeable prospect of 
/future happiness, and ou^t to be'careftdly cherished and 
i promoted by every lover of his country. 

There is not a more effectual method of promoting so 
good an end, than to prevent all unreasonable insult and 
triumph of the one party over the other, to encourage mo- 
derate opinions, to iSnd the proper medium in all diq^utes, 



te paEgadeitadi4luKlit8 iini^iiiiii iiw<jifliMiriliyb»Mnif 
•timeb Jn die rj|^tviMd.tak<ttp m.}Mam^ib. tfie pmiBhm 

f otjrij umimriiiiM tho miffimii niMHitU- i , mA j aiifiii i phi 

ti66, ittui tjkmd totkowtbat iiBitfaar'.6ide«ce.iiiliMae re- 
«p0(A$ tto fWy ««p|^orti6d ty MaMu w tkfy «ii4wv«nir to 
Halter (iidiiiMlire«. We«lNilt>foc0^|p«fteftiBeliw«uiie 
iBoAeMloa iHdi rtigilrdte tlM^4AltoNMditpat0^ b«t4reM 
ike piiPties, by pnydng^Mit eMk of them irlu jmHiimA by 
l^lamiUe i»fim t Aat there mm od both aides wise men^ 
who meant well to their country ; and that the ptuit a»^ 
tmAf betireett die iJMtiou ;bid;noii^ter feondatioMithan 
aittToo ye|adBoe or ait n ust e d paasUm, 

3%i&popiiarp8r^,)99iK>«fterwiada aoqsmd tlM name 
4>f:i^fyg% tfigbt jorti^^ by ^etfmp td m m layHnam^ timt 
oy y^ a it ion .t» the «0iw% ft^fc # iii€h n ^ ii pwwBtrifteo con- 
'iCtedM^iadeiivdL Though ob%id to aoimowkdc^tlMt 
pMtoedearta in &cwwe pf yte i n gati ^ u had imifeni^ taken 
plaeedwhig nny Migna befaiieChariea ibe fir^ thqr 
lhrt>a(l|ht,>that therew» no «aai^ 
t^uo4mgetimamwtiAKfikj. ihwh odghtiMrte beenitair 
tWMi&teg t Ac «he id{^ of Hunktnd aro for emor cobe 
dittoed aai*«id, no ^ptmati/lAom of tycamy or attritMry 
-pifir^r Mtt h tt» le aw whori ty MtteieWttMiMtWi them iyM- 
ben^jja > bl ea ifa i g' -aotfaMii iiiiw i i i j thii^ nlMtevarilMre 
appears any probabilky of recoveringky a nadMi mayiprili* 
higly^nfMi iMaHf bM«vdsr««id^«^ HOtusvenlo repine at 
-dte gt«tfiest eihaUm of Mood «r dtesipattoii c^tMttiM. 
jMl^hutean inMMitieks^' Mid maie iMr« «ban |f0^^^ 
iMteooi^JMtof4ii<»ttMS«M»f: Kings o#e viM'4tif^eai<braoe 
"crferyi^ippcRiMDliy^f^iQendmg thekp iwOg tiC lM es'; And4f 

4V4 EMAruv. . 

^mmmmhA^hum^ntmhAjaot t^^hdd hold nf £tw .rrt0»»^,V|g 

aad serariag tfcepvmk^ o£ die ptto|d%.«^ 
potiim mart fcr e^er prevail amongit imuilrind, Hieex- 
•Mpk of aU the Migkbovnog nad^ 
loa^Br safe, to etitniit with the crown the siune high pne- 
ragatives which had fiHaiieri|y bean exerobed dmriag tlnde 
and ample ages. And though the example cCnany late 
jreigos may be pleaded in fe^our of a power in the prinee 
foOMwiail arlHtraiy^ more remote reigns afford Jnntanoia 
of atrictor limitalMNla attpoaed on die croim; andlhoie 
preteaunoos of the pat liaiittit now branded with the tide 
of inno^ratiottii are only a recovery of the jnst rights of the 

Thcae view% fer fiflkn bdng odiottv are sosdy large» and 
generousi and nohla: to thmr preivalrace md aucoeas the 
hingdlMn owetita liberty: porhapa its leamik]^ its indus- 
ttff cofluneroe» aaMi> naval powter: By them chiisty the 
Eof^liah name isdistjaguishedtfmo^g the aocietyof nations, 
and aspires to a rivakhip widi diat of die,6eeat and moat 
iUikstriooa conmionwealths of andqiu^. But as all these 
mighty oonacquencas oould not reiaionaMy be/oveaeen at 
die time sHiM the ocH^estb^;an» theroyalists.of (hatjige 
wanted notapciciousaigmBents ^m^dur side^ by which tl^ 
cdaU justify their defence of thedfeneatidditfied ps^^ 
tms of <be prince.^ We^ shall atale. die ^jmstidlb. as it 
mig^t ha^e a{q[ieared to dietnat the awwnibling of diet pai;- 
liament» wlndi^ by its videaitencfoachmentsmi tbeicroms, 
began the civil wars. 

The only rule of gavemmentf they nnght ham aaidf 
km»im and acknowledged Amoag maii»;l^vaae and prsio- 
tice: BttMon is 8o uncertain A gnid^ that it will. always 
beecxposed to doMbt and contiovenpyir Copied i|; evei: ren- 
der itself prevaWttt over the jieqdie, D»eniJ|iad.alw;i^.*re- 



tahied i| as their sole rule of conduct: They hadstill ooi>- 
tiiiaed in the primitive unconnec^ stale c€ nature) i^icb- 
out snbmittmg to political government, whose 8<^ basis 
iS) not pure reason, bat authori^ and precedent Dissntfe 
these ties, you break all the bonds of civil society, and leave 
every man at liberty to consult his private interest, by thoae 
expedients, which his appeths, disguised under- the i^ 
pearance of reason, shall dictate to him. The spirit of 
innovation is in itself pernicious, however' favouraUe its 
particular object may sometimes appear ; a truth so ob- 
vious^ that the pc^ular par^ themselves are sensiUe of it, 
and therefore cover their encroachments on the crown by 
the plausible pretence of their recovering the ancient liber- 
ties of the people. 

But the present prerogatives of the crown, allowing all 
the suppositions of that party, have be^i inconteetaUy es- 
tablbhed ever since the accession of the House of Tudor ; 
a period which, as it now comprehends a hundred and 
sixty years, may be allowed sufficient to give stability to , 
any constitution. "Would it not have i^peared ridiculous, 
in the reign of the Smperor Adrian, to have talked of the 
republican constitution as the rule of govemtncni; or to 
have supposed, that the former r^^fats of tiie senate^ and 
consuls and tribunes, were still subsisting. 

Bin the present claims of the English mcfuarehs are much 
more favourable tiian tiios^ of the Rotkui empeoMs' dtl- 
rii^ iimt Bge. Hie authcmty of Augustus was a pbin 
usurpation, grounded only on military violence, imid forms 
^uoh an epoch in the Roman hbtory as is obVious to^ .eve- 
ry reader. But if Henry VIL redly, as some pretend, 
enlarged the power of the crowns it Was^idy by ins^lsible 
aocjuisitions, which escaped the apprebenrion of the people, 
and have scarcely been remarked even by historians and 

4f96 MMAf JWr. 

poMtfai Mt fc . The n^wgonBcOmolity if U 4e9erv€3 tk« (gpi- 
«bel| is < B wt |i rg ca p ri ble tr ^ mil h m finore th» fiMrmar^ iseO" 
tmlyMgrnfiadoi^iti ^faiwPMitotitblaUyfitmi that root; 
aod a» to be MMidffed only as iwe of tbiise gi^^ 
I IniiMt^ t)a wkkh hMMMa affiiir9» iq ov^iy aatJoD, will be 

The hotea of Tkidor, and after tbem that of Stuart, ^xr 
erciaad bo prenfpatiTOB biH what had been dainedaiidex- 
tfdiedbjrltiePlMlageiieta. Nota«^iabraQdii^thair 
( mkborStj aw bo aaid to be aa kmwfiti<mw The pnlydif- 
.&r«iioe i% tbat parfaapa fermer kii^ exerted these pow«^ 
^diy^sgrinaenndsytaid «rere »at aUe^ by reaaoQ ofdie«fK 
poiiliaii of their baroaa, ip.tMder them ao atea^ a riUe 
of administration. But the sole inferenoe from, this £Mt 
is, tfaiat those.aaoiaiittU&ea were m<Nre turbident and aedi- 
tkm; and thai i^yal anthorily^ the eonstittttioQ, and the 
.hoM^ liaye happily of late gained the asoendaqt. 
. Uvkr what pretenoe «an the popular party now apeak 
df reoovarti^ the aacimt conatitutioii? The fiiraier ooia- 
tool over the luagB wm Hot ptecedin the commons, but in 
liie.hanms: The people had no ai^horii^, and even Utftfe 
lar no lihiA If ^ titt the crown, by auppreswng these f^^ 
iaftairtB, cBforoedtheaxeciitiDiiof die bars, and obliged all 
the subjects eqaa% to seapact ie»eh other's rights, privi- 
lagei, said psoperties. If we xmat reluni to die ancient 
iMnrbaraw and fiuidal oanatitntion, kfc those g^itleme*, 
adk) now behave thonselves WBth ao much insolence to their 
aavereign, aet the fint exanqple. Lat^themnudKeoonntfeo 
be adinilted as iielaineM to a neigyi)oiiringhamB^ and by 
aubteittiBg to slavery nnder hin, acqukescsne piioteetioii 
io thmaaeivies ; Sogetber with the posier of eaoeroising ra- 
pioe andopprosmoM over their iac^MEaar alaves and yfflfins. 

OF THE €X>iltlVieir Ot* PARTIES. Wt 

This wfli tile condkion ef the commoin maoag thor ir^ 
Aole tticestotg; 

But hiDwikF back most we go» in haring recoor8et94Ui« 
dMt eotistitiitkmd andgovenmietitB ? There was a tootti^ 
tntkm still tnore ancient than that to which these inncnra* 
tors iiS^t S6 jxaatch tt> ^ppeaL During thiaS pe»bd.4«Te 
was no li^tffna Charkt : Hie barons tbemsehes poasessecl 
few regnUuT) stated privil^^es; and tbebomeof cmnmona 
probably hiA not an existenee. 

It is rtdioulons to bear the Commons, whfl&diey area»i 
siming^ by ustirpation^ the whole power of |>0¥a»imeDi^ 
talk 6f reviroig the andest instilntioiis. Is it not kniswiii 
that, though representatives received wages from their oon« 
stituents; to be a member of t^ lower hpttse was always 
considered as a biffden, and aa exemptkn ftomitaa a {Mi^ 
viTege? Will they persuade us, that power, wliieb, oTdl 
faumai^ acquisitions, is the most coveted and in compari- 
soitof which, even reputati<Mi, and pleasvre, and riches^ 
are slighted, could ever be r^arded as a burden by any 

The property acquired of late by t^ commons, it is 
said, entitles them to more powor (ban thcar Aneestors en^ 
joyed, l^ut to what is diis increase of their piq>erty ow^ 
ing, but to an increase of their liberty and thehrsecuritjrP 
Let them llierefbre acknowledge, that Aeif fmeestM^ while 
ihe crown was restr^ed by the seditiou^^ batons, really 
enj<^ed Jess l{berf3^^anf they ^i^ttselte^ b«^ jottkkKsd, 
after the sot^reigii acquilred tfaeHscendaM} And'let tbe^ 
«njoy that liberty with moderation^ andnot ibi<feil iV'% 
now exorbltiuit ctoittiss and % rend^Wng It ^rMeptO'lbr 
erfffless ititib'fatio^' : 'i v , .nr^vj/jrlT 

IChe Jme rufe of gov^timeot is the present escibltshkl 
-practice of th^ ^e. That has motit mff^^yh^tic(M^t 


kveottit: ItigftLBobegtkiiowii,forthesaiaereagoB« Who 
has assured those tribunes, that the Plantagenets did not 
•xersiae as hi^ acts of authority as the Tudors ? Histo- 
rians> they aay, do not mention them. But historians aie 
abo siient with regard to the chief exertions of preroga- 
tive by the Tudors. Where any pow^ or prerogative is 
fidly and undoubtedly eataUished, the exerdse of it passes 
finr a thing of course, andireadUy escaped the notice of his- 
tory and annals. Had we no other m(mum^its of Eliza- 
bath's T^ffh Iban what are preserved even by Cambden, 
the most copious, judicious^ and exact of our historians, 
we diouldbe enturely igmmmt of themost impcMrtant max- 
ims xif hcri f^vermoant. 

Was not the preseiUiiioKiarchicalgovaiuaeQt, in its fi^ 
e(al^iltt.aatb(Mr{9^.by.lawy6r$, recoq(w«iiiled \>y divines, 
aohiowledgad by politidans, acquiesce^ in, nay passion- 
at4y cherished* l^ the people in general ; and all this du- 
jii\g A period of at least a hundred and sjxty yefur% and, 
^ oClat^ without the smallest murmur or contnoversy ? 
This general consent, surely, during so long a time, must 
be sufficient to reader a constitution l^al and valid. If 
die origin of ail power be derived^ as is pretended, from 
.the people, here is their c<msent in the fullest and most am- 
ple terms that can be d^red or imaged. 

But the people must not pretttid, because they can, l^ 
their oonsmt, lay the fiNindations of government, that there- 
fore they are to be permitted, at their pleasure, to over- 
throw and subvert them. There is no end of these sedi- 
tious and arrogant daims. Thepower ofthe crown isnow 
43pmiy struck at : The nobility are also in visiUe peril: 
The gentry will soon follow : The popular leaders, who will 
tfata assume the name of gentry, will next be exposed to 
.danger : And the people tliemoelves, having become inca- 



pttMe of civil government, and lying under the festhnvt vf 
iMt> ttudiority, must, for die sake of peace, -ftddu^ inkefld'^f' 
their legal and mild monarchs, a flUoeesdon'-of JnOiHiry^ttid 
deflpotio tyratnts* ^ ^^ •^' '•^'- • 

Thede oonseqaences are die more to bedreadedy a».<he 
present hty of the people, dv>iigh glosaad lOrver b^preiMt^ 
sions to ciWl liberty, is in realky incited by tUi»i|iiitifiiB|a 
gf rdyppn 'v a princ^le the most blind, headstrong^ and 
ungovernable, by which human nature can possibly be acU 
taated. Popular rage is dreadfiil, from whatever niotlve 
derived : But must be attended witfi tlie most pemieious 
consequences, when it arisen flrom a principle, whidi di»» 
claims all ccmtrcd by human law, reason or antbority. 

These are the arguoentB^ wkicH eady^wrtT^ttMrf makC: 
use of to justify the omduct of th<dir pydkbes s dra dning* 
dM; great crisis. The eveni, M^l)iattin be Mirilted as.a 
rieason, has shown, that4iie arguments of the'pcqjndar pfuru 
ty were better founded $ fafut perbapa/ aoconUtig toUw^^ 
tablished maxrnis of lawyeirs and pc^I^ians, the views of 
the royalists oi^ht, beforehand, to have appeared nufn 
solid, more safe^ and morel^aL But this is certaip, that 
the greater moderatioo we now employ in representnigpatt 
events, the ^nearer shdl we be to produce a iiiU omlkioii 
of the parties, and an endre aequi^se^nca in oar present 
establishment Moderatkm is (tfadvaotagvto every est** 
blishment > Nbdiing but v^\ can ov^^rtwnjtseilled power;; 
and an oveivacdv^ zeal unfriends iriqfit t&b^p^k like a^i* 
rit inf antigoniMa. The transltiimfimnamodefatooppo* 
sitSon iigaihst anestMriiABwnt, to an entire acqnseacence' 
in it, is easy and insenslUe* 

There are many invincible argumeatowhifah shasUiin^' 
duce the malecontent par^ to acquieaee entirely in the pre* 
sent setdement of the constitution. They now find, that 


ligLmk&MUtm oMiU {)^ai|^ italic frgp^ 
aiidififMrviMUr »mm gtmiMMd^wgiigw^a^ia^i 
a friend to toleratioiiy and encoorager of all ^ ealioged 
ttdlga&MNMtitttitMPla thiitdo ImaMrtoliiuBaii nature. 
TlM|r. Biiy.uht<np% Uiat tlie populai: dates aonU sipp al 
a|Mtotwr|iedod; and after teCiwchiagdMlwgbelaiiiia of 
|vaD09irtiv%<OMM stOl maintain a daefaiiK^ 
tkfraotili^f and to all anoMft kialilttliooi. A}»ort^^ 
th^jMfllba wtwUcy'thiftdba taiypancifik^ iMch made 
tbaittoiglh oClhtil? pntlgr, and fimn wUdi H demad it^ 
oUif aallMirit^ liaa now deMctad thw»» find gsm^ over to 
their tnnggnbta Tl^idanoflibnCyi^a^ttM; k&Bap- 
pjraftclaMftpatiedli/ei^ieciracai a loojt tyigt of <ime_ 
hw giteniti ta bi ity i iind iwimnrer w w MjaWfflfit ti^ ovcar* 
tnint il^ attA to raeaU tlM |MI gatwrniMtit or abdicated fi^ 
BBijf wciM% haftidea od^r mora criminat w|Hitatk>n% ba 
expoa»d» in theiv tan^ to dia tqpro^ob of ibctieii a<id ior, 
Dovmiofek Wide Ihajparaia the Uaiorjr of past ei^tib 
tbcy o«§^ la leflaaty bodi dia^ tliaie rif^ of tb» e^ 
»e kyi« amee tmOwhtfid^ andtbat. the tyranBy^md Ho- 
Icofi^ «idoppreiiioai# to wUck tl»^ often ga^exise^ «ra 
iU% fiam whidb the WdMH4 Vbw^ ef t^ 
faM now to iMthiwflirpaatoctod die people. Hiesere* 
flaatmtmUpMnFfin batter aaeani^to our fi ge^d a nn ipd 
pn wk g cB ^diantoAMiy^ conlrtoj^tott^f^toto^slevodbi^ 
of fiMt% dud; Midi arffial powers etor bad ap epdatepa^ 
T^reknota noreirffcotod «athad <rf* batoayiBg aifi^^ 
thantolagr theatreoBof'tfae a^gtoOeM on n wiMg plMBi 
and by disputing an untenable poMrMlifleitbi^ ad^f^aj^lto 
tO( nmiiMi nnd ilii uaiy '^i' .,.j. ', ■ ^ 

-v.*. ^^^^m^mmmtmm^^^smm^tammrm'^g^ 



I suvrosfi, that if a member of Parliament in die reign of 
King William or Queen Anne> while the establishment of 
the iVtfefftmf iStocoefvte was yet uncertain, were delibe- 
rating concerning the party he would choose in that impor- 
tant qoestioB, and wei^g^ with impartidity, the advan- 
tages and disadvantages on each side^ 1 believe the follow- 
ing particulars would have entered into his consideration. 
He would easUy perceive the great advantage resulting 
fipom the restoration oi the Stuart family ; by which w© 
should preserve the succession dear and undisputed, free 
from a pretender, with such a specious title aa that of blood, 
which, with the multitude^ is always the claim the strong- 
est and most easily comprehended. It is in vain to say, a^ 
many have done, that the question with r^ard to gaver- 
MTj^ independent of gavemmenif is frivolous, and Httle 
wofdi di^mting, much less fightmg about The genera^ 
lity of mankind never wUl enter mto these sentiments ; 
tod it is much happier, I believe, for society, that they do' 
^ot, but rather continue in their natural prepossessions. 
How oould stability be preserved m any monarchical go- 
vemment (which, diough perhaps not the best, is, and al- 
ways ha^ been, the most common of any,) unless men had 

VOL. I. 2 I 

482 E88AT xr. 

so panioDate a regard for the tni^ heir of their rojal fa- 
Hiiiy; and even though he be weak in understanding, or 
infirm in years, gave him so sensible a preference above 
persons the most accon^lished in shining talents, or cele- 
brated for great achievements ? Would not every popular 
' leader put in his claim at every vacancy, or even without 
any vacancy ; and the kingdom become the theatre of per- 
petual wars and convulsions ? The condition of the Ro- 
man empire, surely, was not in this respect much to be 
aivied ; nor is that of the JSagtem nations, who pay little 
i^egard to the titles of their sovereign, but sacrifice them, 
every day, to die caprice or momentary humour of the po^ 
pulace or soldiery* It is butaibolish wisdom, which is so 
carefully diq[>kyed in undervaluing. priacM^ and plAcinf^ 
them on a level with the meaneai of mankinds To be 
sure, an anatomist finds no more in the greatest monarch 
than in the lowest peasant or day labourer; and amorak- 
ist may, perhaps, fireqoendy find leatu But what do all 
these reflections tend to? We, aJl of us, stilt retain these 
prejudices in favour of birtk and fiumly; and neither in 
our serious occupations, nor most careless amusementa, 
can we ever get entirely rid of th^n. A tragedy that 
should rq>resent the adventurea of sailors, or porters, «r 
even of private gendemen, would presendy disgust us ; but 
one that introduces kings and princes, acquires in our eyes 
an air of importance and iigMty. Or ihoidd a moi 
b^ able, by his superior wisdomp to get entire^ above such 
prepossessions, he would soon, by means of the same wis- 
dom, again bring himself down to them for the sake of 
society, whose welfare he would perceive to be intimatdy 
connected with them. Far from endeavouring to^und^ 
ceive the people in this particular, he would cheriah sucb 
sentiments of reverence to their princes^ as rec^iiaite ta 


prtflsrre A dm suboffdinalioD intocietjk Andthoiiglktb^ 
lirea mftw^ntf thowmnd sm be often setrlfic^ to bmiwi- 
tain a king in poesesskiti of his throne^ or. preMrve tkm 
fight a£ gmeommn undiBtiirbedy he eaterUuif oA indig&a* 
tion at the lots, on pretence that every individual of these 
ira% perhaps, in himsell^ as valaable as the prince he ser<- 
ved. He considers the consequences of vioUting the here^ 
ditary right of kings : Consequences whith iniy be felt 
for many centaries ; while the loss of several thousand men 
brings so little prcgudiee to A large kingdom^ that it may 
not foe perceived a few years after. 

The advantages of Ae Hanov)^ succession are of an 4^ 
posite nature, and arise from this very circumstabee, that 
it vfolates hersdttary rights and places on the throne a 
prince to whom birth gave no tide to that digni^. It is 
evident, from the history of this adand, that the privileges 
of the people have, during near two centuries^ been conti^ 
nually upon the increase^ by the division of the churdi«- 
iands, by the alienations of the barons^ estates, by the pro- 
gress of trade, and above all by the happiness of our sitna* 
tion, whidi, for a long time, gave us sufficient security, 
without any standing army or military establishment. Oo 
the contrary, public liberty has, almost in every other na* 
tion of Europe, been, during the same period, extremely 
on the decline ; while the people were disgusted at the 
hardships of die cid femiti militia, and rather chose to ent 
trust their prince with mercenary armies, which be ea8% 
tamed against themselves. It was nothing extraprdinary, 
-therefore, that some of our British sovereigns n^istook the 
•nature of the eonstitation, at least the geluu^ o( the people; 
and as they embraced all the favourable precedents leff 
them by their ancestors, they overlooked all those which 
were contrary, and which supposed a limitation in our go«- 

2i 2 


^emmeiit. They were cnoouraged in this misuke^ fay the 
ezain|de of aU the neighbcNuring prinoesy who beariag the 
•erne tide or appeUatimi, and being edoraed with the 
same enrigns of anAority , natnrally led them to chum the 
same powers and prerogatiTes. It appears Snxa the 
speeches and prochunations of James L and the whole 
train of that prince's actions, as well m& his son's, that he 
regarded the English government as a simple monarchy^ 
and never imagined that any considerable part of hb sub* 
jects entertained a contrary idea. This i^inion made those 
monarchs discover their pretensions) widiout preparing any 
ibrce to support them ; and even without reserve or dis- 
guise, which are always employed by those who enter up^ 
on any new project, or endeavour to innovate in any go- 
vernment. The flattery of courtiers farther confirmed 
their prejudices ; and, above all, that of the clergy, who 
firom several passages cS Scriptwrej and these wrested too^ 
had erected a regular andavowed system of arbitrary power* 
-The only method of destroying at once, all these h^gh 
claims and pretensions, was to depart from the true here- 
ditary line, and choose a prince, who, being plainly a crear* 
txure of the public, and receiving the crown on conditions^ 
expressed and avowed, found his authority established oa 
the same bottom with the privileges of the people. By 
electing him in the royal line, we cut off all hopes of am- 
bitions subjects, who might, in fuiure emergencies^ disturb 
the government by tbeir cabals and pretensions: By ren- 
dering the crown hereditary in his family, we avoided all 
the inccmveniences of elective monarchy ; and by exdn- 
ding the lineal heir, we secured all our c on s t i t u t i o nal limir 
tations, and rendered our government untform and of a 
piece. The people cherish monarchy, because protected 
by it : The monarch favours liber^, because created by 


it: And thus erery advantage is obtained by the new es- 
tablisbinent, as fiur as human skill and wisdom can extend 

These are the separate advantages of fixing the succes- 
sion, eidier in the bouse of Stuart, or in that of Hanover. 
There are also disadvantages in each establishment which 
an impartial patriot would ponder and examine, in order 
to form a just judgment upon the whole. 

The disadvantages of the protestant succession consist 
in the foreign dominions which are possessed by the 
princes of the Hanover line, and which, it might be sup- 
posed, would engage us in the intrigues and wars of the 
continent, and lose us, in some measure, the inestimable 
advantage we possess, of being surrounded and guarded 
by the sea, ^ich we command. The disadvantages of 
recalling the abdicated fimiily consist chiefly in their reli- 
gion, wlHcfa is mora prejudicial to society than that esta- 
blished amoing us, is contrary to it, and affords no tolera- 
tion, or peace, or security, to any other communion. 

It appears to me, that these advantages and disadvan- 
tages are allowed on both sides; at least, by every one 
who is at all susceptible of argument or reasoning. Np 
su[fagect, however loyal, pretends to deny, that the disputed 
title and foreign dcnninions of the present royal family 
are a loss* Nor is thereany partisan of the Stuarts but 
-will confess, that &e daim of hereditary^ indefi^asible 
a^ght, anid the Roman Catholic reUgioilt are also disad- 

• vantiiges in that family. It belongs, therefore, to a philo- 
aophiof- alone^ who is of neither party^ to put all the cir- 
cnmstanoes in the.aeale, and assign to each of them its 
proper poise and influence. Such a one will readily at 

* first aduiowledge, that all political questions are infinitely 
coibpUcated, and that there scarcely ever occurs in apy 

486 BS8AY XV. 

ddiberatioo^ a choice which is either purdy geod» or 
purely ilL Cobsequenccs, mixed and varied^ may be fore* 
teen to flow from every measure : And many consequoi* 
eea» unfiHreseen, do alwajra, in fiu:t» result from every one. 
Hesitation and reserve, and suspense, are tberelhre the 
cnly sentiments be brings to this essay or triaL Ob> if he 
indulges say panioii, it is that of deriskm agdnst die igi 
norant multitude, who are idways clamorous and dognuH 
taeal, even in the nicest questions, of which, from waht of 
tcmpef, perhaps ftiU more than of undrrstanding, they are 
ahogether mofit judges. 

But to say something more determinate on diis headi 
the following reflections will, I hope, show the temper, if 
net the understandii^ of a philosopher. 

We^e we to juc^e merely by first appesnnoes» and fa^ 
past experknoe, we must allow that the advantages of a 
parKamentary title in the house o£ Hanover are greater 
than those of an undiluted hereditary title in the house 
of Stuart, and that our frilhers acted wisely in preferring 
the former to the latter. So long as the house of Staart 
ruled in 0?«at Britain, which, widi some inlemiption, was 
above eighty years, the government was kept in acontinual 
fever, by the contention between die privil^;es of the peo|de 
and the prerogatives of the crown. If arms weredrepped, 
the noise of disputes continued: Or if these were sflenced, 
jealousy still corroded the heart, asd threw the natioii in- 
to an unnatural ferment and disorder. Andwhaeweansse 
thus occupied in domestic ^Esputes, a Ibreign powers dan- 
gerous to public Iflbertj^ erected itself in Europe^ widmit 
any opposition from 0$, and even sometimeB with mir as- 

But during these last sixty years, when a parliamentary 
e8tidt>lishment has taken place; whatever fectioasniay have 


pterailedy either among the people or in ptiblic aieemblies, 
Che whole finrce of our constitution has always fallen to one 
side, and an uninterrupted harmony has been jM^eserved 
lietween our princes and our parliaments. Public liber^^ 
with interna] peace and order, has flourished almoeti with- 
out interruption : Trade and manufiustnres, and agricul* 
ture, hare increased: The arts, and sciences, and philpso* 
phy, have been cultivated. Even religious parties have 
been necessitated to lay a^de their mutual rancour; and 
^he i^ry of the nation has spread itself all over Europe; 
deiived equally fiom our progress in the arts of peace, 
and from valour and success in war. So long and so glot- 
none a period no nation almost can boast of: Nor is theve 
another instance in the whole history of mankind, that so 
jnany miUkms of pecyle have, during such a space of time, 
been held together, in a manner so fre^ so rational, and 
ao sttilahle to-the digni^ of human natura 

But thoi^h this recent eaqj^ e nce secns dearly to de^ 
cide in £ivoar of the present establishment, there are somfs 
chrcumstances to be thrown into ihe other scale ; and it 
is dangerons to regulate our judgment by one event or e»- 

We have had two rebellions durii^ the flourishmg pe- 
riod above maitioned, besides plots and oonqifarades witli- 
out number* And if none of these have prodnsed may 
v«vy^£itat evcKnt, we may ascribe omr escape chieflyto the 
narrow genius of those princes who disputed oar establish- 
Bwnt; and we may esteem oursdves so fiur foitiaiate* Bttt 
thedaimsof ihtbaiilMklfiunily, I fear, are net yet anti- 
quated; andwhp can feretetl, that their flitnre attempts 
mil prodiioe no greater discwder ? 

The disputes between privilege and prerogative nmy ea- 
sily be composed by laws, and votes, and conibrenoes^ and 


where there k tolarable tenqper or j^adeooe 
oa both sides, or on either side. Among oo&teodingtitlei^ 
the question can only be determined by the sword, and by 
devastation, and by ciril war. 

A prince, who fills the throne with a diqwted title, 
dares not arm his snbfects; the onfymetbodofseraringr a 
peopkfiiUy, both against domestic oppieasKin and fecalgn 

Notwithstanding onr riches and renown, what a crili* 
cal escape did we make, by the late peace, firom daggers, 
idiidi were owing not so nmch to bad conduct and ill 
success in war^ aa to the perniooos practice of moctgaging 
iMur finances, andthe stiUmore pemicions maxim of neier 
paying off onr encumbrances? Such fiital measures would 
not probably have been embraced, had it not been to ae*- 
oare a precarious estaUlAmei^ 

But to ccmvince us, that an hereditary title is to be «n* 
braced rather than a parliamentary one^ which isnotsiq>- 
porled by any othor news or motives; a man needs only 
transport himself back to the era of the Restoration, and 
suppose diat he had had a seat in that psriiament wUdk 
recalled the royal fiunily, and putaperiod to the greatest 
disorders that ever arose fitm Hit opposite pratenaons of 
prince and people. What would have been thmiglrt of 
OK that had prqmed, at diat time, to set aside CSuucks 
U. aad settle the crown on dse Dakex>f Yorkcor Olo»* 
oest6r, merely in order to exclude all high daims, like those 
irf thair finheir and grandfiither ? Would not sndi a one 
hare been regarded as an extrmagant {wcgedxir, who lo» 
Ttd dang^K>us ramedie^ and could tamper and play with 
a goremment and national constitntion, like a quack widi 
H sickly patient« 

In reality, the reason as8i|;ned by the nation for esdu'- 


ding the race of Staart^ and so many other bran^es of 
the royal finoily) is not on accoimt of their hereditary tMe/ 
(a reason whidi woald, to ndgar apprebensioiis, haveap-^ 
peered altogether absnrdO but on acooont of their religion^ 
wUsh leads us to oompare die disadtantages above men* 
tioned in each, estflblislment* 

I confess that, considering the matter ii^getiend, it were 
mnch to be wished that out prince had no finreign domi- 
and could ocmfine all his attention to the govern* 
;ofdiisMlaBd For hot to mention some reaiincon* 
veniepoes that nutyreswkfiwa^ territories on the coptinsii^ 
diey afford such a ha&db far cahunny and defiahotieti, as 
is greedily seised by the people, always ijispoted to^dunk 
ill of their superiors. Itinust,howeiwr,beadinoid6C^gei^ 
that Hanover is, periiaps, die spot of ground in Europe 
the least inconvenient for a King of Bnglknd. . It lies 
in die heart of.Oennany^ at a <Kitance fro«i the gl'eat 
powers, which are our natural riv^dsiItsiproSeeSsd byti^ 
laws of the empire, as well as by the anns of its own-so- 
vereign : And it serves only to connect us more closely 
with the house of Austria, our natural aUy« 

The rel%ions persuasion of the house of Stuart is an 
iB W W w s imce of a much daq>er dhy and woidd t hr e at en 
us with much move dismal CMsequenoes. The Ro(Mn 
Catholic religion, widi ita train of priests and friars, is 
■M>re expensive than ours; evsb diough: unaccumpanied 
widi its natural a ttend an ts of inquhdtoni anAetakes, and 
gibbets, it is less tolerating: And notoontentwith dividing 
dio saoerdotal from the regal oflBee^ {wlttcb must be prqtf* 
dicial to any state^)iit hestows the ibsmttr en a foee^pier, 
who has always a separate interest firoin that of the public, 
and may often luM^e an Of^xisite one« - 

But were this religion ever so advantageous to society. 

4M E«ftAT anr. 

it is cOotrafy kH Ihat which k onteMiihed aiMi^ us, anfl 
whifih is likely to http posfleswn, for a long timc^ <^tlie 
iiuBcUafthepeafile. And dboii^ it b much to be hc^KcU 
that th^progreu of jreMon will, by d^precs, abate the acri- 
lao^y i£ opposite ffoUgioiu a& over Europe; yot the ^iff^ 
of moderation has, as yet, made too dow adTanoes to be 
otird i y trusted. 

Tkn% apoti the Irholoi die adrantages of the setd^nent 
IB the frmily of Stuart, wfcidb frees us from a ^spi^ed 
titl^aesaatorbearsomeproportioa with those ef Ilia settle- 
IMSit in the family of Hanofer, which fi«es us from the 
daioM of prefeogaliw; but, at ithe ssme tune^ its disadvan- 
Isges, by placing on ihe throne a Bomaa CathoU^ are 
gresicr thaii^theie of the other establiAiacnt, in settUng 
the «rown on a fordgn jHriniie. What parly an impartial 

{ petriet, in Ihe teign of K. William or Q. Anne, would 
hew ohosen amidst these opposite news, may perhaps to 
adeeie appear htni 1o determine. 

Bnt the settkmort in the house of Hsnover has actually 
lakeApbioe. The princes <^tliatfiuauly,widiout intrigue^ 
without cabal, without adieitation cm thw part,, hawe been 
/icaUed to mtiaot out throne, by the united voice of the 

,' wh(^ le|;islat^ body. They hav^ since dieiraooessiod, 
disjJeyed, in all their actions, the utmost mildness, equily, 
4ttd n^l^ to dbe laws and oonatitntion^ Onrowniuni- 
stlsrsi ourown perliameats, oursdTes» have governed us; 
andifiiui^illhasbefifillflnus, we can only blame ihrtune 
<Hr ourselves. What a rqHroach must we become aiimng 
oatiepsiiifcdi^gested with a settlement so deUberately medlB, 
end whose.oonditioBS have been so rdigiously ohservfed, we 
should throw every thing again into confusidn; and by 
our levity and rebellioHS disposition peove ourselves tbtalr 


ly unfit for any state but diat of absolute slavery and sub- 

The greatest inconvenience, attending a disputed title, 
is, tbat it brings us In danger of omlwars and rebellions. 
What wise man, to avoid this inconvenience, would run 
directly into a civil war and rebellion? Not to mentioiiy 
that so long possession, secured by so many laws, must, 
ere this tima^ in die apprefaeoaian of a fpfMt part of the 
nation, haveb^otten a title in the house of Hanover, in- 
depettdeHt ^f Ibeir p^eseni posaeasioii^t So tliat aow we 
should 9ot,-eiven^bya g oP ufcili op» oUaintliieeadc]^ avoid* 

No revolution made bynational fi)roeaw91 ever be ahle^ 
wMioot some odner great necesnty, to abofirii our debts 
and eDcmnbrances, m whi(&^e]nt«E«stof wnany pev^ 
aOfls i^ dOQoemed^ And a y«fVol«lioii made by fisteigii 
Ibfoes is aKxmquest; • ealami^ witk wkkk the ptecari* 
ous balance a( pmter thvoate a s us, and whieb omt cipttt 
dissensions are lUtely, above att other eircauMtances^ to 
bring upen us. 



» iiDOtirflh forms of goyensmitt an with othtt artifi^ 
ctal contrhMMtt ; where an old engine may be n|eeted»tf 
we can discorer another more accorate atid ooaamodioast 
or where triab mqr madfe, even though tbe mic- 
ceislMdoidMhL AneatabUfbedgo^emknentbasaninfi* 
nite advantage^ by that v^ circmnstilnce of ks bek^estar 
Miahed; thelmlk of manhind beipg governed by aqth<Mri- 
^, not rcMMn, and nevor aitlnbiiliii^ aioho^ 
that haa ndt the kwopminendaljaRpfanlifaU}!^ 
. . To tampei^ tl^r^lclre, te tbia aAUr, or try experiment^ 
merely upon the credit of supposed argument and phikMo* 
phy, can never be the part ot a wise magistrate, who will 
bear a reverence to vrfiat carries the marks of age; and 
though he may attempt some improvemoits for the puUic 
good, yet will he ac(iust his innovafimiSy as much as possi- 
ble, to the ancient fabric, and preserve entire ^ chief 
pillars and supports of the constitntkm* 

The mathematicians in Europe have been mudi divided 
concerning that figure of a ship whidi is the most commo- 
dious for sailing : and Huygens, who at last determined 
the controversy, is justly thought to have obliged the 
learned as well as commercial world ; though Columbus 
had sailed to America, and Sir Francis Drake made the 


tottr of the woiU, without any tndi disodvel^. As on4 
Ibrm of government mutt be allowed more perfect than aor 
othor, iodependeiit of the manners and hiimanr$ of parti^ 
•cuLir men; why may we not inquire what is the moat per- 
fect of all» diough the commaabotdied and inaepnirate go* 
▼eraments seem to serre thepuipoflesof s<>Qiety> aDdtboiigh 
it be not so eaay to establish a new aijstem of government, 
as to build a vessel upon a new constrm^tion ? The sub* 
j^t is surely die most worthy of curiosity of any the wit of 
•man can possibly devise, Aix^ who kqpw^^.if thip/W^ti^ 
versy were fixed by the unl?ei:sal consent oCthe^ wii^ <u^ 
-learned^ but, in.some fiituGe age^ an opportunity mig^t be 
afibrded of reducing the theory to practice^ either jby a dis* 
sidution of some cUL govemmwty or by Xh^ qcwtoaiaon of 
men to fitrm a newone^ in somedistantpartof the world? 
-In all cases, it must be advantageous to know what i| the 
most perfect in the.kmdy that we miQr be ftble to brii^ aqy 
real constitutkm or fi)mi.0f gpvenpoentas near it s^.pq^ 
sifale, by such gentle alteti^tions and innovations as may 
not give too great distorbancie to society* » 

All I pretend to in the present essay is» to revive thfe 
subject of apeeulatioii;^ and therefiore I s^all deliver my 
sentiments in as few words as possible. A long dissertation 
on that head would not, I apprehend, be very acceptable 
to the public, who will be q>t to te^i;d such disquifjiitions 
both as useless and cUmericaL 

AH planas df govenunfsnt, which suppose gr^ refonpar 
tion in the manners of mankind, are plainly imaginary. 
Of this nature, are the BepMic of Plato^ and the Utcfia 
•q{ Sir Thomas More. The Oceana is the only valuably 
onodel of a commonwealth that has yet been offered to %\^ 
.. The chief defects of the OeMma seem to be these: JF\(rs^ 

4M CMATXfl. 

its roMioa Is noonvenieiitt by knowing men^ of wbatsser 
abilitiesybjhiternds^oatorpvbliceinpkiyin^ 8mmd- 
4S te Agrmnm b loiprMtieftble. Men wiU soon kam 
theartvpfaidi WAspractmd inancieBt Rome^ of oonoeal* 
n^ Ihsir p o ss e s si o M umfer adicr people's iiaiiie% tiU mt 
lost the abttsQwitt beto a w so qimmni^ tlttrt they wiMdin^ 
offerenthe appeoraocoof restnmt 31ini|y, the Ooeafm 
provides not a soBcicttt secni^for Uber^, or die redress 
of griefanoss. The senate most propose^ and the people 
eottsent^ by iriiioh means, the senate have not oidy a ne^ 
gatite vpon the people^ bat^ what is of nrach greater coO" 
seqMDoe, their n^gatit^ goes befare the rates of the peo- 
ple. Were the Idng^s negative of the sanse nature in the 
Eikglnh eonstitaitiom 9mA oovid he prevent any bill from 
coming into pulianient^ be would be an absdote moaardi. 
As his n^atfve follows the votes of the houses, it is of lil- 
ile ooRsequeaoe^ sech a diflferenee is there in the manner 
of placing the tame thing* When a popular biH has 
been debated in parliament, k broaght to mmiarhyj ail its 
conveniences and inconveniences weighed and balanced ; 
if afterwards it be presented for the rc^al assent, few 
princes wHl venture to reject the unaaimoas deme of die 
people. Bat coaM the king crush a disagreeable bill in 
e mb ryo, (as was the case for soawe time in the Scotttdi 
paiitament, by means of the lords of die articles,) the Bri- 
tish government would have no balance, nor would gri^ 
'vances ever be redressed; and it is eertam, that exorbitant 
power proceeds not in any government from new laws, so 
maclr m ftom neglecting to remedy the abuses wfaidi firo- 
quendy rise from die old ones. A government, says Ma^ 
dnavel, must often be brought bade to its ordinal pr»- 
ciplps. It appears then, that in the Oouma^ the whole 
legislature may be said to rest in the senate ; whidi Har- 



irington would own to be an inooQvmitiit fioann of govern- 
mcfktt especUly after the Jgrariam it aboittkecL 

Here is a form of goTemment, to whiqh I cannot, in 
theory, ditcover any oonaidcrable ol^tion. 

Let Great Britain and Ireland, or any tenitoiy of eqpal 
extent, be divided into 100 coontiiw,. and each oounty in* 
to 100 parishes, making in all 10^000* If die opoDtry pro- 
posed to be erected intoa commonwealth be of more nar- 
row extend we may diminish the number of counftiea ; but 
never bring them below thirty* If it be of ^raaler ex- 
tent, it were better toenlarge the parishes, or diiEOW BMnre 
parishes into a ooon^, Aan increase tiw number of oom- 

Let all the freeholders of twenQr pounds a-year in the 
oouaty, and all the householders worth 600 pp«n^ in the 
town parishes, meet annually in die parisk-dturch, aad 
ch oos e, by ballot, some freehcdder of the coun^ fiar their 
wfecobety whom we shall call the eom^i iiijiiinwifti^i^ii. 

Let the 100 ooun^ represeitetives, two days after their 
electioo, meet in the county town, and choose by ballot, 
from their own body, ten county maguirate$y and one se*- 
oator. There are^ therefinre, m die whole commonweakb, 
100 senators, 1100 county magistrates, and 10,000 county 
representadves ; for we shall bestow on aU senators the 
authority of coun^ magistrates, and on all oounty anagi»- 
trates the authority of county representadyes* 

Let the senatofs meet in the capital, and be en d owed 
with the whole exeeotive power of the commonwealth; 
the power of peace and war, of gifing ordeis to gmerals, 
admirals, and ambassadors, and, in short, all the pren>- 
gatiyes of a Brittsh king, except his negatvre^ 

Let the county representadvcs ineet in thdr partfamlar 
counties, and possess the whole legislative power of the 

4M sasAT x^f . 

oommoaweaU), the grailer nandier of oountiet dedding 
the question; and whene these are equel, let the senate 
have the cattiog vote. 

Every new law m^st first be debated in the senate; and 
thoi^[h reacted by k, if ten senatots insist and protest, it 
must be seat down tO'the ooonties. The snate^ if thej 
pleasf^ may join to the copy of the kw their reaaoos /or 
receiving or rcyeottng it. 

Becaase it would be troublesome to assemble all die 
coanly representatives for every trivial law that may be 
requisite^ the senate have their dioice of sending down the 
law dither to die coaaty magistrates or ooonty.represen* 

The magbtrates, fhough the law be referred to them, 
may, if thqr [dease, oall the rqires^tatives, and sdbaMk 
the affiur to their ^ V^ti*'*'w nationi 

Whedier the law be referred by die senate to diecoon^ 
ty magistnites or itprasentativies, a copjy of il^ and of the 
senate's reasons, must be sent toevery representative e%ht 
days before the day appointed for the assembling, in order 
to deliberate conosrning it And though the detenaina- 
iion be, by the senate, referred to the magistrates, if five 
rquresentatrres of the counQ^ order tke magistrates to as- 
semble the whole eonrt of representatives, and submit the 
afcir to thek determination, they must obey. 

Either the county nu^trates or representatives may 
give, to the senator of the county, tfae<^yof alaw tobe 
proposed to the senate ; and if five counties concur in the 
same orders die law, though refiised by the senate, must 
<oine either to the coai^ magistrates or r^resentatives, 
as is contained in the ordor of the five counties. 

Any twen^ counties^ hy a vote either of dieir uiagis- 
1 - 


tniies or rtpf esentadvest Hiay ihvow any man out of all 
pobiac oAoas for a year* Thirtj eoonties for diree yeaihw 

Thd senate haa a power of tfaorowbig out ai^ mettibcr 
or number of members of its own body, not to be r6KiMlrt 
ad fgr tltat year. Hie tanate cannot direw oat twiod in 
a year tha saHaior of tbo same oevaubj. 

Tkm power ^flbmcid aenata coaCmnas for thtaa weeka 
after the annual election of the county rqpresentatii^^H; 
Tbem aU the new stna^rs are ahat vp in a ednciave fike 
lile cardiMk 3 and by an intricate ballot^ suc^ as tihat of 
Venice or Malta, they choose the following magiitrfttea; 
* protectoiv who rcptesents the d%iiHy af the cdiiniion- 
wealdiy and prasidca in the senate; two iCBiatariei of state: 
th^aa six coanefls, a eowicil of slAta^ a oouadl of rdigicai 
aaditttTniiig^ a oouimU of trade, a oouadl of lilw% a conii« 
eQ of war, a eooncU of the lidnwaily, eiidi council con«- 
flistiiig of five persons; together with six commissioners 
of the treasury, and a ibrst commissioaer* All these nlnst 
be sanators* The senate also names aU the attibassaddars 
to faveigii courts, who may akber be senators or not. 

.Tha sttiata may oontnlue any or all of these, but amst 
reHcbot them crvaty year. 

' T|ie prutector and two aecretaries bore ses^dh add ntf- 
frage in ifad coondl of state^ The business of Aat eonur 
pl is all fotfeigapotiticB. Hie ooundt of state laui steasion 
and auffipage in aU die other cmmciis. 

The council of r^igBoH and learning inspeclatba uni- 
T8Bsi|tas and olergyi That of trade inspects every thing 
littt may a&ct eomiaeroe. lliai of hiwi itoqiecis aU die 
ihwses of lawT by the iHforior magiBtrates^ and e «aMu ie s 
wiiat impnyfaniaats miff be made of 4be municipal law. 
That of war inspects the militia and its discipline, maga- 
xkles^ stores, Sdcv mi when the repaUib is in war, exa- 

VOL. I. 2 k 

498 X6SAY. XTT. 

miiies into the proper orders far geoerals. Tlie council of 
admindfty has the same power with regsatd to the navy, 
together with the nominaiion of the ^^ptaitu and all infe- 
rior officers. 

None of these bonncils can gire orders themaebres^ ex-« 
cept where they receive 8a<^ powcns from the senate. In 
other cases, they must comnumicate every tiring to the se- 

When the senate is under adjoummoit, any of the 
toundls may assemble it befiMre the day appointed for its 

Besides these councils or courts, thare is another called 
the court of eompetiiorg ; which is thus constituted If 
any candidates lor the office of senator have more votes 
than a third of the representatives, that candidate who has 
most votes, next to the senator elected, becomes incapable 
for one year of all public offices, even of being a magi»* 
tnite or representative: But he takes his seat in the court 
of competitors. Herethen is a court which ma/ sometimes 
consist of a hundred members, sometimes have no mem- 
bers at all ; and by diat means be for a year abolidied. 

The court of competitors has no power in die common- 
wealth. Ithasonly the inspection of puUic accounts, and 
the accusing of any man before the senate. If the senate 
acquit him, the court of competitors may, if they please, 
appeal to the people, either magistrates or representatives. 
Upcm that appeal, the magistrates or representatives meet 
on die day appointed by ihe court of competitors^ and 
choose in each county three persons ; from wbixk number 
every soiator is excluded.. Tliese, to the !nuniber of SOD^ 
meet in the cqiital, and bring the person accused to a new 

The court of competitors may propose any law to the 


senate; and if refused, may appeal to the people, that i^ 
to the magistrates <* representatives, who examine it in 
their counties. Every senator, who is thrown out of the 
senate by a vote of the court, takes his seat in the court 
9f comp^tors. 

The senate possesses all the judicative authority of the 
House of Lords, that is, all the appeals from the inferior 
courts. It likewise appoints the Lord Chancellor, and all 
the officers of the law. 

Every county is a kind of republic within itself, and the 
representatives may make bye-laws ; which have no autho- 
rity tiU three months after they are voted. A copy of the 
law is sent to the senate, and to every other county. The 
senate, or any single county, may, at any time, annul any 
bye-law of another county. 

The rq)resentaUves have all the authority of the British 
justices of the peace in trials, commitments, &c. 

The magistrates have the appointment of aU the officers 
of the revenue in each county. AU causes with regard to 
the revenue are carried ultimately by appeal before the 
magUtrates. They pass the accounts of aU the officers; 
but must have their own accounts examined and passed 
at the end of the year by the representatives. 

The magistrates name rectors or ministers to all the 

The Presbyterian government is established; and the ^ 
highest ecclesiastical court is an assembly or synod of all 1 
the presbyters of the county. The magistrates may take / 
anycause from this court, and determine it themselves. / 

The magmrates may try, and depose or suspend anv 
presbyter. \ ^ 

The militia is established in imitation of that of Swisser- 
land, which being well kno^n, we shall not insist upon it 


60d £SSAT xri. 

It will only be proper ta m«ketbU «ddkio% tbat aa ttn^ 
of 80,000 men be anmuilfy drawn omt by rotatioB^ paid aiid 
•Manpod dttriag six weekd in rammer, thttt tbe dafy of 
a omp maj not be altegeiher ludcttowii^ 

The magistrates appoint all the colonels and dowwntfds. 
Tbe aengte all upwards. Oaring war, tbe gtaerai Bppokits 
tkt colond i»d do^wQwards, «m1 bis eibvoatission is good 
kn * twehttnoHdu But after that, it must be eonflttned 
by the magistrates of the coun^ to wbieh tbe regbnent be* 
kit^^ Tbe magistratcaHMy break any officer in tbe cottn- 
ty regiMMUit. And the senate jnay do tbe sune to any of 
ficer in the service. If tbe magistrates do not think pro- 
per to confinm the general^ choice^ tbey flHiy appoint an- 
other officer in tbe place of hJQi tbey reject 

All crimes are tried within the county by die magistirat^ 
and a jury : But ^ aenate can stop any trial, and bring 
it before tfaemsd^ea. 

Any county nay indict tmy man befev^e tbe senate for 
any erne. 

Tbe protectoor, the two teortAavies, Ake cooneil erf" state, 
with any five or more thai die smate appoints, are pos- 
sesaedi on extraoidbiary emergendeB, of dMs^bfutf power 
for six months. 

TImi pvoteder ivay pardon any persofi condemned by 
the inferior courts. 

In tim^ ctf war^ no offieer of die arn^ tbat is m the field 
can have any dril office in the commonwealtb. 

. The capkal, which we shall call London, may be aHow^ 
ed finir munbers ia the senate^ it nH^tfterefbre be di- 
vided into four counties. The repvesentativea of each of 
these choose one senator, and ten magistrates. There are 
tberefiMre in the city fovr senators, ferty^burmagistrates, 
and four faundred r^resentitives. The magistrates have 


thfi lame auUu>ritjr as in the counties. The represeatatives 
alio have the «Mie authofcity ; but they never meet in one 
geoeral court t Tbey give their votes in their particular 
tonoty or division of hundreds. 

When they enact any bye-law, the greater number of 
countiee or divisions determinefi th^ matter. And where 
these are equals the magistrates have the casting votis. 

The magistrates choose the mayor, sheriff, recorder^ 
aod other officers of the city. 

In the commonwealth, no representative, magbtrate^ or 
senator^ as such, has any salary. The ptoitctotf secreta- 
ries, councils* and ambassador have salaries. 

The first year in every century is set apart for cortbcting 
all ioeqoalitiea* which tinie may have prixluc^ in the re- 
preseatalm. .. Tliis must be done by the legislature. 
. The foUowmg p<ditical aphorisms may explain the rea- 
son of these orders. 

The lower sort di people and small propri^tots ate good 
enough judges of one not very distant from them in rank 
or habitation ; and therefore, in their parochial meetings, 
will probably choose the best, or nearly the best represen* "^ 
tative : But they are wholly unfit for county^-meetings, and 
tar electing into the higher offices of the republic* Their 
ignorance gives the grandees an oppoitunity of deceiving 

Ten thousand, even thbugh they were not annually elect- 
ed, are a basis large enough for atiy free govemtnent 
It is true, the nobles in Poland are mote than 10,000| and 
yet these oppress the people. But as power always con- 
tinues there in the same persons and families^ this makes 
them, in a manner, a diffinrent nation from the people. 
Betides, the nobles are there united under a few beads of 

502 '^ IKSSAV XVI. 

All free governments must, consist of two oomicils, a less-' 
er and greater ; or, in other words, of a senate and people. 
The pec^le, as Harrington obs^^es, would want wisdom 
without the senate : The senate, without the peopk, would 
want honesty. 

A large assembly of 1000, for instance, to represent the 
people, if idlowed to debate, would fell into disorder. If 
not allowed to debate, the senate has a n^ative upon 
them, and the worst kind of negative, that b^ore resolu- 

Here therefore is an inconvenience, which no govern- 
ment has yet fully remedied, but which is the easiest to be 
^remedied in the world. If the people debate, all is oon- 
^ fusion : If they do not debate, they can only resolve; and 
I then the senate carves for them. Divide -the. people into 
: many separate bodies ; and then they may dd^ate with 
; safety, and every inconvenience seems to be prevented. 

Cardinal de Retz says, that all numerous assemblies, 
however composed, are mere mob, and swayed in their 
debates by the least motive. This we find confirmed by 
daily experience. When an absurdity strikes a member, 
he conveys it to his neigfibour, and so on, till the whole 
be infected. Separate this great body; and though every 
Tnember be only of middling *^nse, it is not probable that 
*any thing but reason can prevail over the whole. Influ- 
ence and example being removed, good sense will always 
Iget the better of bad among a number of people. 

There are two things to be guarded against in every 
senate : Its combination and its divisi<m. Its combination 
is most dangerous. And against this inconvenience we 
have provided the following remedies: 1. The great de- 
pendence of the senators on the people by annual elec- 
tions; and that not by an undistinguished rabble,. like th\» 



English electors, but by men of ft^rtune and edacation* 2. 
The «mall power they are aUowed* They hare few offices 
to dispose of. Almost all are given by the Aiagistrotes in 
the counties. 8. The court of competitors ; which being 
composed of men that are their rivals, next to them in in* 
ter^t, and imea^ in their present situation, will be sure 
to take all advantages against them. 

The division of the senate is prevented, 1. By the small- 
ness of their number. 2. ABfiustion supposes a combination 
jn a sqmrate interest, it is prevented by their dependence 
on the pieople. 8. They have a power of expelling any 
factious member. It is true, when anodier member of the 
same spirit copies from the coun^, they l^ave no power of 
expelling him : Nor is it fit they should ; for that sl^ow^ 
the humour to be in the pebple, and may possibly arise 
fit>m some ill conduct in public aflGdrs. 4. Almost any man, 
in a senate so r^^ularly chosen by the people, may be sup<^ 
posed fit for any GivU office. It would be proper, there- 
fore^ for the senate to fom) some general resolutions with 
r^ard to the disposing of offices among the members : 
Which resolutions would not confine them identical times, 
when extraordinary partson theone hand, pr extraordmary 
stupidity on the other, appears in any senator ; but they 
would be sufficient to prevent intrigue and faction, by mas- 
king the disposal of the offices athing of course. ' For in- 
stance, let it be a resolution, Tbat no maashaS enjoy any 
office till he has sat four years in the senate; That, exc^t 
ambassaddrs, oo man shall be in office two years fcdlowtng : 
That no man shall attain the higher offices but through the 
lower : That no man shall be protector twice, &c* The 
senate of Venice govern themselves by such res(dutions. 

In foreign politic the interest of the senate can scarcely 
ever be divided from that of the people ; and therefore it 

OM «64AY XVJ. 

it fil to oftkf tk^ fW^te »b«oli«ite intb regwrd Iq ibem ; 
othcrwif^ thcTQ codid be no flecrrair w reiiMd polkjr* Bq- 
adetiwithoiilmcm^ynotltiaiioeowbeejef^utod; mbmIAc 
KHMte is ilall ittfBciMdy depsodant Notto iMiHiom tfagt 
the legidalive power, being alweji superior to the execs- 
ii?% the nagiatratas or represcnUrtiiws n»y isteipooe 
whenever they think pnoper* 

Tifte chief support of the British govenuDMiitis the op- 
poririon of iotflffost: But tlut, thougb in the amk ser*- 
Tioeeble, breeds eodhss loottons. In tlio forogoiiv plan, 
it 4ot9 all the good without any of the faacm* The eoai* 
pMuTM ha^e m pow^r of controUiag tha aeMie: Tbey 
have 09lf the powear of aocnaiog, and appealing to the 

U is aaoessarjr, likewise, to prtfrent boA eoiAi'mlttkai 
and dinsion in the Ihousand iMgistMlMu Thia b done 
■■i^aaffioiondy by the separatkm of plaoes and inteMita. 

Bat lest that should not be safteien^ their dependanoe 
on the 10,000 for their ebetiQiia serraa i0 the sanaB par* 

Nor is that all : for the 10,000 amy resume the power 
whenever they please; and not only when they ail plmse, 
but wiwn fuiy fire of mhundred please ; whiob will happen 
upon the very first suspicion of a soparttbe interest. 

The 10,000 are too large a body either to unite or di^ 
Tide, ezoept whan they naeet in one fdaoe, and All under 
tibe guidance of axnbitioas leaders. Not to mention their 
annual election, hj the whole body of diepei^le, that are 
of any oonsideration. 

A small coramonweahli is the happiost government in 
the world withui itself, because every thing lies uader the 
eye of die rulers: But it may be subdued by great force 



from widiput. This fcbeme 99tam to h»^ aU Ibe adVm^ 
tagei both of a gnat and a litdrcoiaitiDnwcaltii, 

Eveiy iQOttBty4aw nu^ be ananUed attbct by die 4aiM« 
<Hr aaotber coimty ; because iktit $hows ad opl^oiitio* of 
uiteMtt : In which case no part ought to deckle for itself* 
The natter Buist be referred to the wbole» whicjh will best 
detemune what agrees witb general interest* 

As to the dergy and militia, the reasons of these ordeiv 
are obvious. Witboatdiedependenoeoftbe clergy on the » 
etril ma^tratesy and without a militia^ it is in Tain to think; 
Uuit any free government will ever hare Mcnrityovstabilky4 

la nuonf goveitinient% the inferior iMgistrates hive no 
rewards but what arise from their andiiticnit Tanity, or 
pnUie spirit Tlie salaries of tihe French judges amount 
not to the interest of the swns they pay §x their offices* 
The Quteh bnifo«masters have little more imttiediate piro- 
fitlhsp the English jaetices <rf'peaoe, or the members of the 
Hsuse of GoBMaons finrmerly, Bot lest any shouUsus^ct 
that this would beget ne^igenoe in the admini^ation 
(which is iktie to be feared, considering the natural ambi- 
tion (>f mankind,) let the magisbratesfaaveoompelent sale* 
ries. Tlie senators have aooeas to so many honourable 
and laoratrm ofikes, that their attendance needs not be 
bought There is little attendance required of the repre- 

That the I br sgo in g plan of government is piraetioehie, 
no one ean doubt who comoders the resemblance that tt 
bears to the eommonwealtk of die United jPro vinces^ a 
wise and renowned govennnent The altssatmns in the 
present sdieme seem idl evidteatly for die better. L The 
representation is more equal. 2. The unlimited power of 
the burgo-mastem in the towns, which forms a peiAot 
aristocracy in the Dutch commonwealth, is corrected by 

Nc^ii^ >..* 


a well-tanpered democracy^ in giving to the peojpie the 
annual eleetion of die comity r^resentadves. 8. The ne* 
gadve, which everyprovince and town has upon the whole 
body ct the Datch Republic, with r^ard to alliances, 
peace, and war, and the imposition of taxes, is here re* 
moved. 4. Hie coonties, in the presoit pian, tare not so 
independent of each other, nor do they form separate hoo- 
dies to much as the seven provinces ; whore the jeakmsy 
and envy of the smaller provinces and towns against the 
greater, particularly Holland and Amsterdam, have fre* 
qoently disturbed the government. 5. Larger powers, 
though of the safest kind, are entrusted to the senate than 
the States-Oenoral possess ; by which mems, the ibrmer 
may become more expeditious and secretin their resohi-* 
tions than it is posnble for the latter* 
' The diief alterations that could be made on the British 
government, in order to bring it to the most perfect model 
of limited monarchy, seem to be the following^ JF£rj4 
The plan of Crcmiwell's parliament ought ia be restored, 
by making Ihe representation equal, and by allowing none 
to vote m the county elections who possess not a property 
of SOO pounds value. Secorndfy^ As such a House of 
Commons would be too weighty for a frail House of Lords, 
like the present, the Bishops, and Scotch Peers, ought to 
be removed : The number of the upper house ought to be 
raised to three or four hundred : Their seats not heredi- 
tary, but during life : They ought to have the election of 
their own members ; and no commoner should be allowed 
to refuse a seat that was offered hinu By this means the 
House of Lords would consist entirely of the men of chief 
credit, abilities, and interest in the nation ; and every tur- 
bulent leader in the House of Commons might be taken 
off, and connected by interest with the House of Peers* 


Such an aristocracy would be an excdlent barrier both to 
the monarchy and against k* At present, the balance of 
our government depends in some measure oh the abilities 
and behaviour of the sovereign ; which are variable and 
uncertain circumstances. 

This plan of limited monarchy, however corrected, seems 
still liable to three great inconveniencies. FirUy It re-* 
moves not entirely, though it may soften the parties of 
court and ooumtry. Secondly^ The king's personal charac« 
ter must still have great influence on the government. 
Thirdigi The sword is in the hands ^f a single perscm^ 
who will always n^lect to discipline the milij^ in order 
to have a pretence for keeping up. a standi]]^ arnqr« 

We shall conclude this subject, with observiag the fab^Tf 
hood of the coomion opinion, that ao large atate^ such 9^ 
France or Great Britain, ooold ever be modelled into ^ 
commonwealth, but that such a form of goversunent can 
only take place ina city or small territory. The contrary 
seems probable. Though it is more difficult to form a re-* 
publican government in an extensive oountry than in »| 
city, there is more facility, when once it is formed, of 
preserving it steady and unifbrai, glhrinhtumult aud facw 
tion. It is not easy for die distant parts of a iai^ state 
to combine in any plan ofifree goyemmeBt ; but they easi- 
ly conspire in the esteenx end reverence for a single per- 
son, who, by means o£ this popular fiivour, may seize, the 
power, and forcing the mqre.obslbKate t6 submit* may 
establish a monarchical govendnent On the oti^r band, 
a city readily concurs in die same n<Aions of government, 
the natural equality of property, favours liberty, and the 
nearness of halntation enables the dtizens mutually to as* 
sist each other. Even under absolute princes, the subor- 
dinate government of cities is <;ommonly republican; while 


ttwCoTcouBtks aadprovincts » inoa«rchk»L B^ these 
same oircamMmoei^ whidi fatUiMe tbe.ereoCioBof ooqh- 
■KHiwMltlu in cttm» rewkr their eonUkntkm flaort fml 
and oncerriwu Demooracies are turbulent. For however 
the people may be separated or divided info small parties, 
ekber in dieir votes or elections ; tbeir near habitation in 
a city will alwajrs make the force itf popular tides and our- 
rents very a ms i bk . Aristocracies nre b^ter adapted for 
peace and orderi ai»d aooordioi^ w«re most adimred by 
ancient wiilers ; but tbey are jealous and op|»esaive» In 
a large govcmmeiM^ vrbieb ia modelled with masterly dull, 
jtfacEeJsjcan^ng.a^ enough to refine the democm- 

Icyi from the lower people who mity be admitted into the ~ 
jfirst elections or Arat concoction of the eommMwealthi to 
Ihe Mgfaer magistvatM^ %riio dowtall Ibemovements, At 
the same time, the parts an so distant and remote, tbatit 
Is v^ry dtflcult, eilher by int^ne^ prejudice^ or passion, to 
liurry them into any oeasuses ii^paiast She pohlic interest. 
It ii needless to inquare, .whether such a government 
would be immoftaL I idlow the justness of the poef s ex« 
ckmatfon cm the endless projects of human race, Mianmid 
/brevetf The world itself probably is not launortaL Such 
consuming plagues may arise as would leave even a per^ 
fectgofermnente weafcineytoitsneighbonra. We know 
not to what lengdi cndi u s i asm» or crther extraordmary 
movements of the huasaa mindy may transport men, to 
the neglect of all order and publio good. Where difibr« 
ence of interest is removed, jyJH)!PA'r!*l.y^ J?9SR!^5S&tl^^ 
jactiou^oAen arise, Crom personal favour or enmity. Per- 
haps rust may grow to the tprings of the most accu r at e 
political machme, and disorder iU motkms. Lastly, ex- 
tensive conquests, when pursued, auut be the ruinof every 
firee government ; and of the more perfect governments 


sooner than of the imperfect; because of the very advan- 
tages which the former possess above the latter. And 
though such a state ought to establish a fundamental law 
against conquests, yet republics have ambition as well as 
individuals, and present interest makes men forgetful of 
their posterity. It is a sufficient incitement to human en* 
deavours that such a government would flourish for many 
ages ; without pretending to bestow, on any work of man, 
that immortality which the Almigh^ seems to have refu- 
sed to his own producti<His. 




NOTE EA.] p. «0, 

1 HAVE taken it for granted, accbr^ng to the anpporition of 
IVfadiiarely that the ancient Persiana had no nohility; tfaongh 
there is reaaon to anapect, that the Florentine aecrettfy, who 
aeema to have heen better acquainted with the Boman than ihe 
Greek authors, was mistaken in this particnlar. The more an- 
dent Persians, whose manners are described by Xenophon, 
were a free people, and had nobility. Thdr •fMttfut were pie- 
aerved eren after the extending of their conquests and ^e con- 
seqneiit change of 4idr goremment* Arrian mentions them in 
Dtoins^s time, De exped* Akx, Hb. iL Historians also speak 
often of nie penons in command as men of ftmily. Tygranes, 
whovwas general ci the Modes under Xerxes, was of the race of 
Achnmnes, Herod, lib. viL cap. 62. ArtacluBus, who directed 
the cutting of the canal about Mount Athoe, was ci the same 
fiunily. Id. cap. 117. MiiBgabyeus was one of the seven emi- 
nent Persians who conspired against the Magi. His son, Zo- 
jyynus was in ihe highest command under Darius, and d^ver- 
ed Babylon to hhn. His grandson) Megabysus, commanded 


the vtmy deletted «t Marathon. His great-grandfloo, ZapjruB, 
was also eminaiit, and was banished Peraa. Herod, lib. iiL 
Thnc lib. L Rosaces, who commanded an army in Egypt wi- 
der Artaxenes, was also descended from one of the seven con- 
spiratori, Diod. Sic lib. ztL Agesiknsy in Xenof^ioii. Hist. 
Gnse. lib. ir. bdng denrons of making a rnamage betwixt king 
Cotys, his ally, and the damhier of Sptthridates, a Perakn of 
rank, who had deserted to him, firet asks Cotys what huaaHy 
l^»ithridates is o^ One of the most omsiderable in Perma, says 
Cotys. ArisBiis, when offered the sovereignty by Ckardnis 
and the ten thousand Greeks, refused it as of too low a rank, 
and said, that so many eminent Pernans would never endnre hb 
mle. Id. de exped. Uk iL Smmi of th# fiuniEes descended 
from the sevm Penians above mentioned remained dming 
Alexander's successors ; and ^fithridates, in Antiochns's time, 
is said by Polybins to be descended from one of them, lib. v. 
cap. 43. Artabazos was esteemed, as Arrian says, n rmt w^imuf 
ni(#«p, lib. iiL And whea MmmABt mnried in one day 80 of 
his captains to Peraian womm, hb intention plainly was to aDy 
ib%Mttwdoniawwiihth»iMat tDunsntP^^ li 

Kkvii. I)iDdonia 9ici^hi» safs^ th«y weiB sf tb miM n 
birth ia Peaia,.]ik «vii nefowenunantof Psiaia wa^despo- 
tis, and oondwBtaJt im man^ rsi^aoks aftss th6 eaaftavv manner, 
. bat was not carried so &raa to fxtiKpaU all nohSitfaand oon- 
foood aD ranks and oidivsr It kit mea wl» wen adi pasd^ 
by thsminlvfla and tbew familf , indq^ndnt of tbsb ottca and 
.oonmiiBicm. And the isasan why tba MyoAsniaM Isepi so 
rimly doniaion over them^ waa owii^ «a vAer c tn as s aaCT to 
be firand 'm the laaiDriana ; ihoi^ijb it auMt bp ownsd that Ma- 
cfaiaval!9 reaaaniBf i^ iaiMdfvjwWlMni'v^rw dovbtMits agpU- 
cation ta tha praseat case. 

only thai whioh aiisas from ll» affiotf and hf¥Jmm Aal «« at 



the disposal of the crown. As to private bribery^ it may be 
considered in the same ligfat as the practice of employing spies, 
which is scarcely justifiable in a good minister, and is infinnoiis 
in a bad one : But to be a spy, or to be oormpted, is always 
infiunons ander all mimsters, and is regarded as a sbaiiMh 
less prostitotion. Polybius justly esteems the peconiary iaflii- 
enoe of the senate and censors to be one of the regular and cofr- 
stttutional weights which preserved the balance of the Roman 
government. Lib. vi. cap. 15. 

NOTE [C] p. 55. . 

I SAY m part; for it is a vulgar error to imagine, that the 
ancients were as great friends to toleration as the English or 
Dutch are at present. The laws against external superstitimi, 
among the Romans, were as ancient as the time oi the twelve 
tables ; and the Jews, as well as Christians, were sometimes pu- 
nished by them ; though, in general, these laws were not rigo- 
rously executed. Immediately after the conquest of Craul, thejr 
forbad all but the natives to be initiated into the region of the 
Druids ; and this was a kind of persecution. In about a cen- 
tury after this conquest, the emperor Claudius quite abdished 
that superstition by penal laws ; whidi would have been a very 
grievous persecution, if the imitation of the Roman manners had 
not, beforehand, weaned the Grauls from their ancient preju- 
dices. Suetonius m viia Claudii. FKny ascribes the abolition 
of the Druidical superstitions to Tiberius, probably because dutt 
emperor had taken some steps towards restrainii^ them (fiS. 
XXX. cap. i.) This is an instance of the usual caution' and mo- 
deration of the Romans in such cases ; and very different from 
their violent and sanguinary method of treating' the Christians. 
Hence we may entertain a suspicion, that those furious perse- 
ontions of ChrisHanify were in some measure owing to the im- 
ptudent seal and bigotry of the first propagators of diat sect ; 
and ecclesiastical history afibrds us many reasons to confirm this 

VOL. I. 2 L 


NOTE [D.] p. 99. 

Tiu octton ikmied the tMte of the Alhenkn people 
people of tbe oraton. Gorgtas Leontiiiin wae Toy tiJdiig with 
thoB, tin dioy beeune eoqannted with a better muiner. Hie 
ignree of qieecfa, nye Diodom Sicnhi^ his eotttbeoB, his i#MEe- 
XHf Ua ifMmAivvMry irfiidi are now desp i Mid, bad m pceat effect 
upon the audience. Lib. ziL p. 106, ex ediiiome Bbod. It is 
in Tain thorefore for modeni orators to plead the taste of tbnr 
hearers as an apdogy for their kme perfonnances. It would be 
atrange prejudice ni fimnir of antiqnitjry not to allow a Britidi 
pariiaaMiit to be natnatty soparior in judgment and delicacy to 

NOTE [E.] p. 116. 

If it be asked how we can reconcile to the foregcniig prin- 
cqto the hKppoBm, ndbm, and good pofiqr of the Chinese, 
who hare always been goroned by a monarch, and can scarce- 
ly form an idea of a free gonnonent ; I woold answer, that 
thoogfa the Chinese gorermnent be a pure numardby, it is not, 
protKBrly qpealdng^ abaohrte. Una proceeds from a pecofiaxity 
m the s j tn a t ion of that country: They have no neigfaboan, 
ezcept the Tartars, from whom they were, in some measore, 
8ecared,at least seemed to be seemed, by their fionoos wall, 
and by the great Bopariorityc^ their munben. Bythismeans, 
military discipline has always been mnch neglected amongst 
them; and their standing forces are mere militia of the worst 
kind, and unfit to suppreas any general insunection in conn> 
tries so extremely popnkms. TIms sword, therefore, may pro- 
perty be aaid to be always in the hands of the people; lAoA 
u a sufficient restraint upon the monarch, and obl^ea him to 
by his MOiidStwtiiJ^ or goreniorB of provinces, under the restramt 
of genecal laws, in order to prevent those rebellions, vi^ich we 
learn from history to bare been so frequent and dangeroos in 


that goYenuneiit. Perhaps a pare monarchy of this kiiid> were 
it fitted for deftnce against foeign enemies, winild he the best 
of aU governments, as having both the tranquillity atten^ng 
kingly power, and the moderation and liberty of popoho- as^ 

NOTE [F.] p. 162. 

Were I not afraid of appearing too philosophical, I shoold 
remind my reader of that fiunons doctrine, siqyposed to be lol- 
ly proved in modon times, " That tastes and coknors, and aU 
*^ other sensible qualities, lie not in the bodies, but merely in 
^ the senses*"* The case if the same with beanty and defor- 
mity, virtue and vice. Hub doctrine, however, takes off no 
more from the reality of ilie latter qualities, tlmn from that of 
the former ; nor need it give any mnbrage eitiher to critics or 
mondists. Though ocdoons were flowed to lie <mly in the eye, 
would dyers or painters ever be less regarded or esteemed ? 
There is a sufficient unifomity in the senses and feefings of 
mankind^ to make all lliese qiudifties the objects of art and rea- 
soning, and to have tbe greatest influence on life and man- 
ners. And as it is certain, that the discovery above menti<med 
in natural philosophy makes no aheratioii on action and con- 
duct, why should a Eke disoovery in moral philosophy make loiy 
alteration? - 

NOTE [GO p. 175. 

Tii» Sceptic, perhaps, carnes the natter too ftr, when he 
limits all phfloaophieal tofucs and reflectaons to these two. 
There seem to be odiers, whose truth is undeniiMe, and whose 
natural tendency is to tranquillise and soften aU the pemon^. 
FhikMoiAy greedily seises dieee; studies them, weighs Aem, 
cenmdts them to the memory, and fimdMarissB tbeni to the mind : 



And their inihMBce am Um p&n^ whidi are thoii§^itf«l, gemtie, 
and «odgffalt>» BMy be oooeiderabie. Bvk wbat is liieir inflii- 
flMeyymiwiUn9E, if iIm temper be Mteoedently dkpoeed after 
dw tnaeBMnner m that to wkidi theypietaid to formh? 
Hmjt wmy, at leaat, iartaSy that temper, and fonuah it with 
▼iewiy by wfaidi it may entertain and nonridi itselt Here are 
a km eampieB of such pfailoaophical reflocdoas. 

Lit it not certain, ^lat.ereryeonditioii baa concealed ilk ? 
llien why enry any body ? 

9. Every one has known ilk ; and there is a compenealion 
Am^^MMt. Why not be contented widi the present? 

• S. Coslem deadem the sense bodiof dw good and the ill, 
and hnh ensrj dnng. . 

4. Health and hnmomr alL The rest of little consequence, 
eicept diese be aftcted. 

5. How many other good dm^ have I? Tlien why be tbol- 

6. How many are happy in the csad iti op of wfaidi I oom- 
piainP How many cBvy me ? 

7. Brerygoodmnstbe paidlbr: Fertone by laboar, faroor 
byiattery. Would I keep die pricey yet hare the commodity ? 

a Ei^iect not too great happ in e ss in life. Hmsan natore 

9. Ptopose not a hapinnem too conqpficated. But does ibat 
d^wndonme? Yes: The tet dioioe does. Ltfeislflcea 
game : One may choose the game : And passion, by degrees, 
aeiMs the proper object. 

10« Anticipate by yoor hopes and fancy ftitnrB consdation, 
wUA time in&Sibly brings to e?ery affliction. 

11. 1 desve to be rich. Why ? That I may possess many 
fine objects ; booses, gsffdens, e^pdpage, te. How many fine 
algeds does aatara ofier to every one without expense ? Ifen- 
joyed, sofficisnt. If not : See Ae effwt of cnstom or of tem- 
per, whidi would soon take off the rsiish of the ridies. 

19.Idesii)eliRme. Let this occar : If I act well, I shall hwre 
dtt esteem of all my acqoaintance. And what is all the rest 


These reflections are so obvionsy that it is a wonder they oc- 
cur not to every man. So convincing, that it is a wonder they 
persuade not every man. Bat perhi^ they do occor to and 
persuade most men, when they consider human life by a general 
and cahn survey : But where any real, affecting incident hap- 
pens ; when passion is awakened, fancy agitated, example draws, 
and counsel urges ; the philosopher is lost in the man, and he 
seeks in vain for that persuasion which before seemed so firm 
and unshdcen. What remedy for this inconvenience ? Assist 
yourself by a frequent perusal of the entertaining moralistB: 
Have recourse to the learning of Plutarch, the imagination of 
Lucian, the ek>quence of Cicero, die wit of Seneca, the gaiety 
of Montaigne, the sublimity of Shafitesbury. Moral precepts, so 
couched, strike deep, and fortify the mind against the iQusions 
of passion. But trust not altogether to external aid : By habit 
and study acqure that philosophical temper which boA gives 
force to reflection, and by rendering a great part of your hi^i- 
ness independent, takes off the edge from alldisorderiypassioiM, 
and tranquilliaes the mind. Despise not these helps; but con- 
fide not too much in them neither, unless nature has been fitvonr- 
able IB the temper with which she has endowed you. 

NOTE [H.] p. 196. 

iTisasuyingof Menander,ICi|ii,^#j r^mrums mX m u wXmrru 
Buf 09$tn ynur m. Men. apud Stobnum. It is not in the 
ptnoer even of God to make a poUie soldier. The contrary obser- 
vation with regard to the manners of soldiers takes place in our 
days. This seems to me a presumption, that the ancientsowed 
all dieh- refinement and civiKty to books and study ; for which, 
indeed, a soldier s life is not so weD calculated. Company and 
the world is their sphere. And if there be any pditeness to be 
learned from company, they win certainly have a considerable 
share of it. 


NOTE [I.] p. 196. 

Though all mankind have a strong propensity to rd^um al 
certain times and in certain dispositicHiiy yet are there few <m- 
none who bare it to that degree^ and with that constancy, which 
is recpiisite to support Ae chancter of thk profeaedoii. Itmwt» 
therefore, happen, that clergymen, being drawn from ^ com- 
mon mass of mankind, as people are to other employments, by 
the views of profit, the greater part, thong^ no athiHsts or free- 
thinkers^ will find it necessary, on particolar occasions, to feign 
more devotion than they are, at that time, po o sea oed o^ and to 
maintain the appearance of ferronr and seriousiMSB, even when 
jaded with the exercises of their rehgimi, or whim they h^ve 
their minds engaged in the common oocapatioDS of Ufe. Hiey 
most not, like the rest of the worki, give scope to dieir natnxal 
movemoits and sentiments. They most set a goard over th^ 
looks, and words, and actions : And in ord^ to support the ve- 
neration paid them by the mnhitade, they most not only keep a 
remarkable reserve, but mnst promote tbe apint o£ snpavdtho^ 
by a continned grimace and hypocrisy. This disamnlation ofien 
destroys the candonr and ingennity of th^ temper, and makes 
an irreparable breach in their character. 

If by chance any of them be possessed of a temper more i 
ceptible of devotion than nsnal, so that he has but little i 
for hypocrisy to support the character of his professicm, it is so 
natural for him to overrate this advantage, and to think that it 
atones for every violati<m of morality, that frequently he is not 
ipoore virtuous than the hypocrite. And thou^^ few dare q>en- 
ly avow those exploded opinions, ^at every Mng is lawfnl to 
the saintSy and thai they alone have property in their goods ; 
yet may we observe, that these principles lurk in every bosom, 
and represent a zeal for religious observances as so great a mmt, 
that it may compensate for many vices and enormities. This 
observadon is so common, that all prudent men are on their 
guard, wbenthey meet with any extraordinary appearance of re- 


l%ieB ; though at die an»e tune, thejr cmAmy that thare are 
manyexoeptioiis totlusgeiiardniley and that probity and nqMr- 
atitkmy or erea probity and ftmadciflmy are not ahogetfaer andin. 
every instance ineompa^le. 

Most men are amlntioiu; bat the ambition of other men may 
commonly be satisfied by excelling in their partiealar profeenony 
and thereby promoting the interests of society. The ambition 
of the clergy can often be sat is fi e d only by promotiBg ignoianoey 
and Boperstition, and impticit fioth, and impions frauds. And 
having got what Archimedes oidy wanted^ {namdy, anothec 
world, on which he ooidd fix his engines), nowcmderdieyHiove 
this world at their pleasore* 

Most men have an overw e e ni ng conceit of thems et v e a; bnt 
these have a pecnUar tempitction to that vice, who sre regarded 
with snch veneration, and are even deemed sacred, by the igno- 
rant mnhitade. 

Most men are apt to bear a particular regard for members of 
their own profession ; bnt as a lawyer, or physician, or merdiant, 
does each of them fi^ow ont his business apart, the interests of 
men of these professions are not so closely united as the inte- 
rests of dergymen of tiie same reBgion; Where the whole body 
gains by the veneration paid to thdr common tenets, aadby the 
suppression of antagonists. 

Few men can bear contracUetion with patience ; bikt the deigy 
too often proceed even to a d^;ree of fury on this bead: Be- 
cause an their credit and livelihood depend upon Ae belief wUch 
their opinions meet with ; and they alone pretend to a divine 
and supernatural authority, or have any colour for lepiesenthig 
their antagcmists as impious and proftme. Hie Odhtm Tkeobh 
gicum^ or Theological Hatred, is noted even to a proverb, and 
means that degree of rancour whidi is ihe most furious and im- 
placable. ' 

Revenge is a natural passion to mankind ; but seems to reign 
with the greatest force in priests and women : Because, being 
deprived of the immediate exertion of anger, in violence and 
combat, they are apt to ftncy themselves despised on that ac- 
count ; and their pride supports their vindictive disposition. 


Tins natty of die vices of hnBian natiire aro, by fixed monf 
csnses, inibnied in thst profesaon; and tboogh sererai in- 
diridoals esofM the oootagioD, yet all wise govemmeBti witt 
be on their guard against the attempts of a society, who will 
for ever oondiiBe into one fiu^on ; and -vHuIe it ads as a society, 
will for ever be actuated by andbidon, pride^ revoige^ and a per- 
secnting ^irit. 

Tlie temper of retigioD is grare and serknis ; and ttus is the 
daffacter r eq uir e d of priesta, which confoies them to strict rules 
of decency, and commonly prevents irregolarity and intem- 
pci Ml e amongst diem* The gaiety, modi less the excesses of 
pleasmv, is not permitted in that body ; and this virtoe is, per^ 
haps, the -oidy one whidi they owe to their frofession. In rdi- 
gions, indeed, fomdedmispecalativeprind^es, and where psb- 
lie discooFMs make a part of raligioas service, it may also be 
supposed that the clergy will have a considerable share in the 
haramg of the tfanea; thongfa it is 'Certain that their taste in 
ekqnenee will always be greater than their proficiency in rear 
soning and philosophy. But whoever possesses the oUier nobk 
lirtnes of hamanity, medoiess and modenition»as very many of 
thenii no doubt, do^ is beholden for them to natore or reflectku^ 
not to tlie gouns of his calling. 

It was no bad expedient in the old Roiiians, for preventing 
the strmig eflbct of the priestly character, to make it a law, 
that no one shoold be received into the sacerdotal office till he 
was past fifty years of age. Dion. HaL lib. L The living a 
layman tiU that a^, it is presumed, would be able to fix the 

NOTE tK.] p. 197. 

Cjesar (deBeOo GaUicOy lib. 1.) says, that the Gallic h<»Bea 
were very good, the German very bad. We find in lib. viL 
that he was obliged to mount some German cavahy with Gallic 
hones. At present no part of Europe has so bad hones of all 
kinds as Fiance ; but Gormany abounds with ezceDent war ^ 


bones. This may beget a little smpicioiiy that even animala 
depend not on. the cUmate, bat on the different breedsy and on 
the skill and care in rearing them. The north of England 
abomids in the best horses of aU kinds windk are peihaps in the 
wcM. In the neighbooriag oonntiesy north side of the Tweed, 
no good horses of any kind are to be met with. Str^H!, lib. ii. 
rejects, in a great measure, the influence of climates upon men* 
AU is costom and edocation, says he. It is not from natare 
that the Athenians flfe learned, the Lacedemonians ignonMiit, 
and the Thebans too, who are still nearer neighbours to the for- 
mer. Even the difference of animals, he adds, depends not on 

NOTE [L.] p. 200. 

A SMALL sect or society amidst a greater, are conunonly 
most regular in their morals ; becaase they are more remarked, 
and the faults of individuals draw didmnour on the whole. The 
only exception to this rule is, when the stqierstitioii and preju- 
dices of the laige society are so strong as to dvow an infinny 
on the smaller society, independent of their morals. For in 
that case, having no character either to save or gain, they be- 
come careless of their behaviour, except anumg themselves. 

NOTE [M.] p. 203. 

I AM apt to suspect the Negroes to be natundly infinior to 
the Whites. There scarcely ever was a oiviMaed nation of that 
oomplezion^ nor ev^i any indiiadual, eminent either in action 
or speculation. No ingenious manu&ctures amongst them, no 
arts, no sciences. On the other hand, the most rude and bar- 
barous of the Whites, su^ as the ancient Germans, the present 
Tartars, have stUl something eminent about them, in their va- 
lour, form of government, or some Gtber particular. Such a 
uniform and constant difierence could not happ^ in so many 


coaBtriM tad agMy if natore had not made an original dittmo- 
tuo b ot ipa ca diaae breeda of man. Not to mentioa our colo- 
mea, there are Negro akrea diapened all ofer £nrope> of whom 
none ever diaooTwed any aymptoma of ingendty; though knr 
people, withottt edncatiooy will atart up amoogat va, and diatin- 
gvidh themadrea in erery pofeaakm. In Jamaica, indeed, they 
talk of one Negro aa a man of porta and Jeaniiog ; but it is like- 
ly he ia admired for alender aocoBi|diahmentay like a parrot who 
apeaka a few wofda pkinly. 

NOTE [N.] p. 215. 

Paimtsrs make no acmple of lepreaenting diatreaa and aor- 
row aa well aa any odiar paaaion : Bnt they aeem not to dwell 
ao much on theae mehmdioly affectiona aa the poets, who 
though they copy every aaotion of the hmnan breast, yet pass 
qoickly orer the agreeable aentinienta> A painter repreaenta 
only one inatant ; and if that be paasionate nunigfa, it is sore to 
afieetand delight the ipectator: Bat nothing can fhmish to the 
poet a Tariety of acenea, and incidents, and sentiments, except 
jdiatreaa, terror, or anxiety. Complete joy and aatis&ctiwi is at- 
tended with aecniily, and leaTea no fiviher room for action. 

NOTE [O.] p. 255. 

Thb more ancient Romana lired in perpetual war with all 
their neighbonrs : and in old Latin, the term kottiSf oxpieoBo d 
both a stranger and an enemy. This is remarked by Cicero ; 
hot by him is aacribed to the humanity of his antestors, who 
aoftened, as much aa possible, the denomination of an enemy, 
by calling him by the same a(^>eOation whidi signified a stran- 
ger. De Off* lib. iL It is however much more probable, from 
the manners of the timea, that the ferocity of dioae people waa 
so great as to make them regard all atrangera as enemies, and 
call them by the same name. It is not, besides, eonsistrat with 


the most common maxims of policy or of iiatiire> tbat any state 
should regard its public oiemies with a friendly eye, or preserve 
any such sentiments for them as the Roman orator would 
ascribe to Ms ancestors. Not to mention, that the early Romans 
reidly exercised piracy, as we learn from their first treaties widi 
Carriage, preserved by Polybins, lib. iii., and consequently, like 
the Sallee and Algerine rorers, were actiuJly at war with most 
nations, and a stranger and an enemy were with them almost 

NOTE [P.] p. 280. 

A PRIVATE soldier in the Roman infrmtry had a denarius 
a-day, somewhat less than eightpence. The Roman emperors 
had commonly 25 legions in pay, which, allowing 5000 men to 
a legion, makes 125,000. TaeiL Ann. lib. it. It is true, there 
were also auxiliaries to the legions ; but their numbers are un- 
certain as well as their pay. To consider only Ae legionaries, 
the pay of the private men could not exceed 1,600,000 pounds. 
Now, the parliament in the last war commonly allowed for the 
fleet 2,500,000. We have therefore 900,000 over for the of- 
ficers and other expenses of the Roman legions. There seem 
to have been but few officers in the Roman armies in compari- 
son of what are mnployed in all our modem troops, except some 
Swiss corps. And these officers had very small pay : A cen- 
turion, for instance, only double a common soldier. And as 
die soldiers from their pay ( TaciL Ann. fib. L) boug^ their 
own clothes, arms, tents, and baggage ; this must also JlnmSmaAk 
considerably the other charges of the army. So little expensive 
was that mighty government, and so easy was its yoke over the 
worid. And, indeed, this is the more natural conclusion from 
the foregoing calculations. For money, after the conquest of 
Egypt, seems to have been neariy in as great plenty at Rome as 
it is at present in the richest of the European kingdoms. 


NOTE [a] ^ 285. 

Thbss fiieto I gm iqpoo the aatfaority of M. do Tot, in Ui 
B/^Uetiinu PokHques^ an author of rapntation. Though I nmst 
confefli, that the fiMSta which he advances on other occasions^ 
are oliten so snspidoasy as to make his anthority less in this 
HMSter. Howerer, the general obserratkm, that the angm^it- 
ing of the money in Fhmce, does not at firat proportionably aug- 
ment the prices, is certainly just. 

By the bye, this seems to be <me of the best reasons which 
can be giren for a gradual and univenal increase of the deno- 
mination of money, though it has been entb^y orerlooked in 
aU those Tohmies which hare been written on that question by 
Melon du Tot, and Puis de Vecney. Were all our money, for 
instance, raomned, and a penny's worth of siher taken from 
every shilling, the new dnffing would probably purchase every 
thing that conhl have been bought by the old ; the prices of 
every thing would thereby be insensiUy diminished ; foreign 
trade enlivened ; and domestic indwtry, by the drculatioD of a 
great number of pounds and shillingB, waald rec^re Bome in- 
crease and encouragement. In executing such a project, it 
would be bettor to make the new slnlling pass for 24 halfpence, 
in order to pio se i f o the illusion, and to make it be taken for the 
same. And as « reeoinage of our silver begins to be requisite^ 
by the contmual wearing of our shillings and sixpences, it may 
be doubtful, wfaedier we ought to imitate the example in King 
WiBiam's reign, when the dipt money was raised to the old 

NOTE [R.] p. 3S1. 

It must carefully be remarked, that throughout this dis- 
course, wherever I speak of the level of money, I mean always 
its proportional level to the commodities, labour, industry and 
skill, which is in the several states. And I assert, that where 


time adyiaiitageft are donUe, triple, quadruple, to wbat they are 
in the neighbonring states, the money infailibly will also be 
doable, triple, and qnadmple. The only circmnstance that 
can obstmct the exactness of these proportions, is the escpense 
of transporting the commodities from one place to another; 
and this e3q)ense is sometimes unequal. Thus the com, cat- 
tle, cheese, butter of Derbydiire, cannot draw the money of 
London, so much as the manufJEusturers of London draw the 
money of Derbyshire. But this objection is only a seeming 
one ; for so far as the transport of commodities is expensive, 
flo fo is the comnranication between ~the places obstructed and 

NOTE [S.] p. 361. 

I RAVE heard it has been computed, that all the creditors 
of the public, natires and foreigners, amount only to 17,00(h 
These make a figure at present on their income ; but in case 
of a pQbHc bankruptcy, would, in an instant, become the low- 
est, as well as the most wretched of the people. The dignity 
and authority of the landed gentry and nobiKty is much better 
rooted ; and would render the contention yery imequal, if ever 
we come to that extremity. One would indine to assign to this 
event a very near period, such as half a century, had not our 
ftther's prophecies of this kind been already found fiUladous, by 
the duistion of our public credit so much beyond all reasonaUe 
expectation. When the astrologers in France were erery year 
foretdhng the deaA of Henry IV., ^ These Mows," says he, 
** must be rig^ at last." We rinO, therefore, be more cantiotts 
than to assign any precise date ; and shall content ourselves 
tritfa pointnig out the event in general. 

NOTE [T.] p. 874. 

CoLtTM ELLA says, lib. in. cap; 8, that in Egypt and Afrka 
At bearmg of twins was iieqnent and even customary; ^vml- 


mpartu$fnmttliare$y oepcmeMdenneitynL If this was tnie» 
thore i» a phyaiaJ differenoe both in coantnes and ages ; fiu- 
trareUen make no soeh femaiks on these ooontriea at preaent. 
On the contmy^ we are i^t to auppoae the northern natioDa 
more {Kolific. As those two coimtries were proTinoes of the 
Roman empire» it is difficnlt, though not altogether absurd, to 
suppose that snch a man as C<^ameOa m^t be mistaken with 
regard to them. 

NOTE [U.] p. 380. 

Epist. 122. The inhnman q>ortB exhibited at Rome may 
jostly be considered too as an effect of ^ people's contempt 
for daTes, and was also a great cause of the general inhumanity 
of their princes and rulers* Who can read ^ accounts of the 
anqihitheatncal entertainmenta without horror ? Or who is sur- 
prised that the empercMv should treat that people in the same 
way the people treated their inferiore ? One's humanity is apt 
to renew the barbarous wish of r4iligula, that the people had 
but one neck : A man could almost be pleased^ by a siaglf^ 
bk>W| to put an end to such a race of monsters. You may 
thank God, says the author above cited, (qnsL 1.) addresang 
himself to die Roman people, that you have a mast^, (to wit, 
the mild and merciful Nero,) who is incapable of learning cruel- 
ty firom your example. This waa spoke in the b^inning of his 
reign ; but he fitted them very well afterwards ; and, no doub^ 
waa considerably improved by the si^^oC the barbarous djecte, 
to which he bad, fimn his infincy, been accostiiwed. 

NOTE [X.] p. 888. 

As 9ervu$ was the name of the genus, and vema of the qie- 
cies without any conrebitiye, this forms a strong presumption, 
that thalattsv were by for the least numerons* Itisan miivar- 




ttl obsorvatioii which we may fbrm upon k&giiage, that where 
two related parts of a whde hear any prqxNrtion to each other, 
in numbers, rank, or consideration, there are always correlative 
terms invented, which answer to both the parts, and express 
their mntoal relation. If they bearno proportion to each other, 
the t^m is only invented for the less, and marks its distinctioa 
from the whole. Thns man and womany master and servantf 
father Biidsafh prince BODidwlifecif sfron^^ and ct^uen, are cor- 
relative terms. But the words seamofi^ carpefUerf smithy taUoTy 
kc* have no correspondent terms, which express ^lose who are 
no seamen, no carpenters, &c. Langoages di£fer very mnch 
with regard to the particular words where this distincticm ob<> 
tains ; and may thence afford very strong inferences oonceming 
the manners and customs of different natuma. The military go- 
vernment of the Roman emperors had exalted the s<ddiery so 
hig^ that they balanced all the other orders of the state. 
Hence miks and paganns became rdative tenhs; a thing, tiH 
then, unknown to aadent, and still so to modem languages. 
Modem stq^erstition exalted the clergy so hig^ that they over- 
balanced the whole state f Hence eUrgy and laity are terms 
opposed in all modem languages, and in diese akme. And 
from the same principles I infer, that if the number of slaves 
bought by the Romans from foreign countries had not extreme- 
ly exceeded those which were bred at home, vema would have 
had a correlative, which would have expressed the former spe- 
cies of sbves. But these, it would seem, composed the main 
body of the ancient slaves, and the latter were but a few excep- 

NOTE [Y.] p. 886. 

^ NoN temere andUs ejus rei cansa comparantur ut parik 
<<ant.*' Digest. Ub.v. Hi. S.deksered. petit lex 27. Thefol^ 
lowing texts are to the same puipose : *^ fi^adimem moriiosum 
<< non esse, neque Titiosum, verios mihi videtur; sed sanum 
'^ esse, secuti ilium qui unum testiculum habet, qui etiam ge- 


** nerve potest.** BigeiL lib. adUUio e^Ucio, lac B. 
^ § 2. Sin entem qnis its spwlo nt, ut tun necessaria pn 
^ corpori g penitns absit, morbos est.** IcL lex 7. His impo- 
tence, it seems, was only regarded, so for as his health or fife 
might be afiected by H. In other respects, he was full as th- 
hiahle. The same reasoning is employed with regard to female 
slaves. ^ Qanritiir de ea mnliere qnse semper mortuos parity 
** an mofbos a sit? et ait Sabinns, si vnlve Titio hoc oontangiV 
** merboaam esse.** Id, ler 14. It has even been doehted, 
w heth er a woman pregnant was moibid or litiated ; and it is 
d e l ei min ed that she is soond, not on aceomit of the vahie of her 
ofl bp r ing, bat because it is ihe natural part or office of women to 
bear chikhen. ** Si raulier pnegnans Tenerit, inter omnes cob- 
^ Tenit saaan earn esse. Manmum enim ac prsedpnnm mn- 
^ nos ioBminanim accipeare ac tneri conceptmn. Pnearpenm 
** qnoqae sanam esse ; si modo nSnl extrinsecns accedit, quod 
** cofpos ejus in aliqoam yaletndiBem innnitteret. De sterifi 
^< Coriias distinguere TVebathmi dictt, ut si natnra sterilis sit, 
^saiia^; siyitioeorponi,contnu** Id. 

NOTE [Z.] p.SW. 

The practice of leaving great sums of money to fnends, 
though one had near relations, was common in Greece as well 
as Rome, as we may gather from Lucian. This practice pre- 
vails much less in modem times ; and Ben Johnson s Volpone 
is therefore almost entirely extracted from ancient authors, and 
suits better the manners of those times. 

It mayjustly be thought, that the liberty of divorces in Rome 
was another discouragement to mairiage^ Such a piactioe pre- 
yents not quarre1^ from humour^ but rathw increases them ; and 
occasions abo those from tiU^raii; which are mudh more danger- 
ous and dsstmcdve. See fivther on this head, Bart I. Essay 
XVIIL Perhaps too the unnatural lusts of the ancients ongfat 
to be taken into consideratien as of smne moment. 



NOTE [AAO p. 396. 

Plin. Itti. xyiii. cap. S. Hie mme mntiiQr, in cap. 6. 8a.y% 
pnmneias. *Sex domi semiemn AfrJMt poi M Aam t ; ctonffK 
teffsciieosNeropHncepi* IndiisviewvthelMrteoiwbiUd^My 
committed by the fint Roman emperors^ waa iu»t» p«liapa» aa 
deatroctiTe to tlie puUic aa we may imagine. These never 
ceased till they had extinguished all the iUiistrioiia fiuiiilie% 
which had eigoyed the {bonder of the world during the latter 
agea of die republic^ The new nobles who roae in their place 
were leas spleodidy as we learn from Tacitiis. i4im« likiii«cap« 

NOTE [BB.] p. 402. 

We shall mention from Diod<Mii8 Siculus alone a few mas- 
sacresy which passed in the coarse of sixty years, daring the 
most shining age of Greece. There were banished from Sy- 
baria 500 of the noUee and their partisans ; lib. xii. p. 77. ex 
MLRhodomamtL Of Chiansy 600 dtiaens banished ; lib. xiiu 
p. 180. At Rhesus, 340 killed, 1000 banished; lOi. xiiL p* 
223. Of CyieniaiMi, 500 nobles killed, all the rest baaisbed ; 
Hb. xir. p. 263. The Corinthiaiia killed 120, banished 500 ; 
fib. xir. p. 304. FhslMdM the Spartan banished 300 BceotiaiM ; 
lib. XT. p. 342. Upon the M of the Lacedemonians, deuKH- 
craciea were restored in many citiea, and severe vengeance ta- . 
ken of the nobles, after the Greek manner. But mattens did 
not end there. For the banished nobles, retaraiog in many 
pkcqa, butchered their adrenariea at Fhiake, in Corinth^ in 
Megara, in Fhliasia. In this hMt i^aoe they killed 300 of the 
people ; but these again rerdting, failed above 600 of the no^ 
bles, and bankhed the rest ; fib. xv. p. 357. In Arcadia 1400 
baniahed, besides many lolled. The baniidied retnred to Spar- 
ta and to FsDantium : The latter were delivered up to their 

VOL. I. 2 m 

Md noties TO TffB rr&st ▼o4i;Mr#> 

coiintiymen, aad all killed ; lib. xr. p. 373. Of th» biDkfaed 
from Aiigos and Thebes, dMta we«e 500 fai the Spartan anny ; 
id, p. 374. Here is a detaO of the most remarkable of Aga- 
Aacfes's cneltits fraia Ae same author. The paopb before hi» 
toiu|iatiaa had bnkhed eOdnoMsa; Mk six. p. 655. Aftav 
mrda that iPfvant, in coocameiiee witk the poo^ kflod 4080 
voUea, Itfd fawidiedeaCM); tdp^647. He IdUedf 4000 pea* 
pie 01 Oik; Ml p. Ml* Bf AgiMtahiA'slnoiinreOOOhaMi^ 
odfhttnSyraciMt ttb.ix.p.7$9. The WiabhantH of JBgeata^ 
to the ftMUHber of 4O,O0O, weM ktta^ ttan^ n^om^ 9mA dMi 
and with tortttfOB, for the sake of dnif Inonefs i^ p< ^OSi 
Afi the relattons, to idt, lirtheri htwtneky chUdi«ii, gfandMwiv 
oChisLibyaaatmy.kiled; tdLp.teB. He hattsd 7006 ozilw 
afier capittdation ; id, p. 816. It is to be remariLod, that Ag^ 
thodes was a man of great sense and courage, and is not to 
he saiq>ected of wanton cmekjr, contrary to the mazinis of bio 

iiOtE tCC] Jfc 406* 

In oNfer to i«comBMiid his dlnlt ts thi^ fiiivte nf lie pmM 
(ilev ho uiU mka M O B lA tii^ snms ha hid iiniaiiiluiL What 
;Di^«y«f SOmittaa; Upon achomsof men MmfaiBi; •rxt>^^;(i«^ 
tii^, 6 minas; «yl|^««« ;^^^^i»f , 50 ndiias ; m m n m* x/k^ 3 mi* 
tmht Seventtmestrievard^ whttt ha speat 6 tIdeAto; l\Be% 
cum 80 minas ) anodier time 40 ; fm^ttmhm^x^f ^^ minas ; 
X^f*^ » '** ^ * IC^'h ^^ mvm 1 ittfut^ x>*fnyti»y 12 minas ;i 
sn^iX«<mi^ A^rtiiif, 7iaktti; tjiyt s | < i < aA i(alii fi i5 . min i s ; 
^ie^en^k^^) SOndnas: In the iriiole ton tJanta OS mMm An 
ittttMAso dwn fbir on AAMiim iortahcv «Kid ^bat w^M wonhl. 
be e^toetned great riches^ Omti, 90. It li tiUHS ^^ ^y^ ^^ 
hkw ^ ^toi obfige tdm abosliltely t^ bo at «er UMich e^poBsa> 
not abore-ft fomi^* Bvt wilhmt the la^o«ol tto pe^p^ P»- 
bbdyi^^ «<» mndi aft safe; and thk was tbo oidy way w gain 
it; (^ fbtthef) Ohm. Ii4. 4^ /i^ sirtfw. In anotfae;^ phwa^ 
ho IfitrOdifti^ spfoieiv '^^ Mijhs tkki4 he had spent his tsimlo. 

MTtS to tHt YlllST VOLUME* 4ftt 

tottmiey and an immense one, eighty talents, for tho people ; 
OraU 25. de Prob, Evandri. The untKty or strangers, find, 
says he, if they do not eofttribute laiigely enon^^ to the people's 
iancy, that they have reason to repent it ; Orat SO. contra 
Pkil Tdn hiay see #to what ^nre Demosthenes diflptoys his 
expensefir df ite n^ttnue, wheil he frfeads for hiiAs6lf decaroHa) 
and htrw he eia^rate^ tfDdtim'n sdi^fhiess in this partienW, itf 
hfe accttsatbn of that ciHminaL All this, hy the bye, is a mark 
ofarery hdqilholttjitdicatilre: And yet the Athenians raltted 
th^ifafc tc hes on hafitig the ihost legal and regidar admii^Btratiott 
of ttny people in Oreeceu 

NOTE IDD.^i p. 40& 

Th£ a«tW>nliaft above cited are all historiaoa, orators, anc[ 
phi]o8q>hers, whose testimony is unquestioned. It is danger- 
ous to rely upon writers who deal in ridicule and satire. What 
will posterity, for instance, infer ficom this passage of Dr Swift ? 
'' I told him, that in the kingdom of Tribnia (Britain), by tlie 
<< natires called Lai^on (London), tHiere I had scjourned 
'^ some time in my travels, the bulk of the people consist, in a 
«< manner^ wholly of discoverers, witnesses, informers, accusers, 
*^ prosecutors, evidences, swearers, together with their several 
*^ subservient and subaltern instruments, all under the colours, 
*\ the conduct^ and pay of ministers of state and their deputies. 
'< Th^ plots in that kingdom are usually the workmanship of 
<< those persons,^ kc CfulUvere TraveUk Sadi a represen*' 
tation might suit the government of Athens ; not that of Bug-* 
hmd, whidi is remarkable, even in modem times, for htmittnlty^ 
justice, and liberty. Vet Ifi the Dooto^^s satire^ though teried 
to extremes, as is usual with him, even beyond other satirical 
(dUlMfCaksl^BdMir want ail et|)act« The l^h^ of Ro- 
, who «a» bit hmsA, and of the same partyi had been . 
iMiiilbMl a Kttia before hy a bill of «tiaijider» wilib gieai justice, 
but.widionft aaeh prOaf as was* hlsA% or aoeerding to the strict 
fauna ofsotiloii law. 



NOTE [EE.3 p. 418, 

In gj^enly thflrokmorecandovfiiidimoentyinaiident^^ 
tori|UM^ batlcMexacUieMandcare, dianiodieiiiodania^ Our 
•pecnlalire hcdom^ etpedtlXiY those of leligioa, throw gu€h an 
ittumon oirer imr mindi, tbat nien teem to regard impartiaiB^ 
their tdTemriM and to keredcs as a Tioe or weakneaa. But 
the coBimoimaaa of booksy by meana of printings hae o^ 
dem hiatorianB to be more careAil m aroiding contradictaona and 
incongnuties. Diodoma Sicohia is a good writer; but it is with 
pain I see his Darration contradict, in so many particalarB» the 
two moat authentic pieces of all Greek history, to wit, Xeno- 
phon s expedition, and Demoathenea*s oratioiis. Flntarch ami 
Appian seem scarce ever to have read Ckeio'a epiatks. 

NOTE CFF.] p. 415. 

Pliny, lib. vii. cap. 25. says, that Caesar med to boast, that 
there had fallen in battle agauist him one miOion one hnncbed 
and ninety-two thousand men, besides those who perished m tlie 
civil wars. It is not probable that that conqueror could ever 
pretend to be so exact in his computation. But allowing the 
6Bu;t, it is likely that the Helvetii, Germans, and Britons, whom 
he slaughtered, would amount to near a half of the number. 

NOTE CGG-] p; 419. 

We are to observe^ thai when Diottysitts Hali^ 
says, that if we r^ard the ancient walls of Rome, ^ exteat 
of that city will not appear greater than thai of Adiena ; her 
must mean the Acn^lis and high town ctAy. No ancienl va^ 
thor erer speaks of the Pyrsenm, I^alerus, and Munydiia, aa 


4lie aune with Athens. Much less can it be sappdsed, that 
Dicmysins would consider the nwtter in that light, after the walln 
of Cimon and Peridee were destroyed, and Athens was entirely 
aepaimted from these other towns* This obserration destroys 
all Vossins's ceasonings, and intiodnces common sense into these 

NOTE [HH.] p- 422, 

Dkmost. eenira Lbpt. The A^nians brought yearly from 
PontM 400,000 nmiiinint or bushels of com, as appeared from 
the custom-house books. And this was the greater part of thehr 
impo rtat ion af com. Timy by the bye, is a strong proof that 
there is some great mistake in the foregoing passage of Athe- 
nnos. For Attica itself was so barren of com, that it produced 
not enough even to maintain the peasants ; Tit. Liv. lib. xliii. 
cap. 6. And 400,000 mediami would scarcely feed 100,000 
men during a twelvemonth. Lucian in his natigium nve votUy 
sayS) thaS aslnp, whidi, by the dimensions he gives, seems to have 
been aboul the siae of our third rates, carried as much com as 
would maintain Attica for a twelvem<mth. But perhi^ Athens 
waa decayed at that time; and, besides, it is not safe to trustto 
auch loose ilietorical calcubtioos. 

NOTE [II.] p. 422. 

DiOD* Sic. hk zriL When Alexander attacked Thebes, we 
may safely condade that almost all the inhabitants were present. 
Whoerer is acquainted with the spirit of the Greeks, espedaliy 
of the Thebans, will never suspect that any of them would de- 
sert then: country when it was reduced to such extreme peril 
and distress. As Alexander took the town by storm, all those 
who bore arms were put to the sword without mercy ; and they 
amounted only to 6000 men. Among these were some stran- 
gers and manumitted slaves. The captives, consisting of old 

5S4 KOTis TO THi PiitsT roLxnou 

mm, woMMiHj ebildmi and thv^i, were mU, ani tkey ( 
ed to 90,000. We m$j thcw fc re condude, tlisl iIm Ins chi- 
aem in Tbebea, of both sflGics and aB agia» were aaar 84,000 ; 
the stiwg€i« and diVMaboat 18,000. Theae latl, uRamayob- 
aerre, wtH aomewlMl Umvt in prapartioB llwa at Ath«» ; mm 
m reaaooaUe to imagine from thkdrcam8tance,tiiatAdMBaivn» 
a town of more trade to support alares, tad of more eotertaia- 
ment to alhnre strangen. It isalao tobeicmaiked, tliat 36,00Q 
waa the whole number of peef^ both in Ae city of Hiebeaand 
the neighbonring teiritoiy. A Teiy moderate number, it must 
be conieaied; and tUa c oipnUi rion, being fennded en ftcte 
wUcb af^iear iodippntabia, aanal hacrt grant wnig^t in tfaa pn« 
aent co nirore f ay . Tkt abovn-mentioned nnmhar of Rhodbna, 
too, were all the inhalnlanta of the iiland, who were feae^ and 
•bk to bear MKM. 

NOTE [KKO p. 48ft. 

STnABo, lib. V. eayi, thai the Emperor Angnatna prdiiMM 
the a a irin g hn m m higher than aareniy feet. In another pnM^iB^ 
lib.xn.heq»eaki of the howea ef Home aa i iidiilly hi|^ 
See also to the aame pvpeaa VitniviaB, Hb. iL nap. 8. 
dea the sof^vt, in his oradon tn fmimf aayn, ifanRonnf 
ed of dtiee mi the top of cttiea; and dwt if one were to apread 
it out, and unfold it, it would corer ^ uHbole auifiude of Italy. 
Where an author indulges himaelf in auch extniragant deckmaT 
tions, and gives so much into the fayperbdical style, one knows 
nothof^&rhemuatberadacedr But tbis reaaening aeems na- 
tural: IfRome wasbuiltinaaaenttnredanManerasDioByMS 
aaya, and ran so much into the country, there inwt have been 
rery few streets where the booses were raised BO high. Itison- 
ly ftnr want of room that any body builds in that inconvenleot 


NOTE [LL.] p. 425. 

Lib. ii. episu 16. lib. v. epist. 6« It is trae, Pliay there <k« 
f^cribes a counUy-Juntse ; bat since that was the idea which 
tiie ancients finrned of a magnificent and convenient building* 
the gfeat men would certainly build the same way in town* 
'< In laxitatem runs excurrunt,'* says Seneca of the rich and 
Toluptuous, ^Mst. 1 14* Valerius Maximus, lib. iv. cap. 4. speaki- 
ng of Cincinpatas*s field of foor acres, says, ** Augoste se ba« 
** l^lare puno pvtat, ciyus domus tsntom patet quantom Cinr 
'f ^im¥>^ num patuerant*'' To the same purpose^ aee li))» xjpcvi. 
iriip, 1;^.; ^ lib* xviiif cfip. 2. 

NOTE [MM.] p,4^ 

'< McBKtA epis (Romae) colbgere ambitu. imperatonbw> 
<< ceosoribiwivi^ yespmiaw^ A. U. C. 838. pass. xiiL MCC 
^ eomplasa IneHtM ««pleH», ifttt dividitur in ^egMMnes qiiMii^ 
<< dMrim eonqjta m^um a»5. fjusdem ^atii uansor^ om- 
^^icnleamilliarioineipiteRom* Fm sti^uto, ad singidaa poiir 
^< tttiy (pus Mttt hodae nttmeio 9^, ite nt duod e cim portss semel 
^» immBmdaXt prsetareaatarqae e% teteribus a^tem^ qnar esse 
<' dnitnait, effich pwsuiim per dwec^wn 3(^775*. Ad cqunMna 
«« rm> tectomm c«m caaltis fntftom at eodsm Millianoi per 
«^ vieoa ooumim vianaiii mansufa c<^kgit paido MBpUns seplw- 
*^ ginta niBk pasBttmn. Quo si ipsua akitudinem teetoram ad- 
'<dat, dignam profecto, estimalMiiatt Oo»cipiat» fate^tufque 
** iftJSku mlm magaitBdiiiem in toto ocbe potitiflsa ei i^ompara- 
^ ri." Plm. Mb. iH. oap. & 

Att the best manustn^ of Pliny naad the passagea as hefe 
eked, and fix the cmspaw of the waUa of Home to be ihifUm 
miles. The ^iiestkm is, What PHny mbds by 8ft775 pacas, 
and how that number wba foiMMd ? The mBQnar in wUdi I 
conceive it is this. Rome was a sMHMiiwskv araa of thklaBit 
miW circumference. The F^Twn, and cdnae^nentlf ^ Mil-* 


liariun, we know, wm tttuated on the bsnkB of the Tyber, and 
near the centre of the circle, or npon the diameter of the aemi- 
circnlar area. Though there were thirty-«even gates to Rome, 
yet only twelve of them had straight streets, leading from them 
to the Milliariimi. Fliny, therefore, haring assigned the cir- 
cnmlerence of Rome, and knowing thai that akme was not suf- 
ficient to gire OS a jnst notion of its svr&ce, uses tbia &rUier 
method. He supposes all the streets, teaidting from the Mil- 
liarium to the twehre gates, to be laid together into one straigfat 
line, and supposes we run along that line, so as to count each 
gate once ; b which case, he says, that ^ whole line is 36,775 
paces ; or, in other words, that each street or radius of the se- 
midrcnlar area is upon an average two miles and ahalf ; and the 
whole length of Rome is fire milee, and its Ineadth about half 
as much, besides the scattered suburbs. 

Pere Hardouin understands this p a assge in die same man- 
ner, with regard to the laying together the sereral streets of 
Rome into one line, in order to oompeae 90,775 paces ; but 
then he supposes that streets led from the BfilHBnum to every 
gate, and that no street exceeded 800 paces in lei^tfc. But, 
1st, A semicircular area, whose radios was only 800 pmcee, 
tx>uld never have a drcumfovnoe near thirteen mi&eB, ^ com- 
pass of Rome as assigned by PKny. A ra^ua of two nukes and 
a half forms very nearty that c i r cumfe rence. 2d, There is an 
absurdity in su p pos in g a city so built as to have streets running 
to its centre from eve ry gate in its circumferenoe ; these streets 
must interfere as they apjHtmch. Sd, This diminishes too much 
from the greatness of ancient Rome, and reduces that city be- 
low even Bristol or Rotterdam. 

The sense which Vossius, in his ObservaHan^ varitBy puts 
on this passage of Pliny, errs widely in the other extreme. 
One m a nu s cr ip t of no authority, instead of thirteen miles, has 
assigned thirty miles for the compaas of the walls of Rome. 
And Vossius undentaads this only of the cnrviliiiear part of the 
cireumferenee ; supposing that, as the Tyber fbimed the dia- 
.meter, there were no walls built on that side. But, lst» Tlis 
-refding is aUoifed to be contrary to almost all the manuscripts* 


2cl, Why ahoiikl Pliny, a canaae writer, repeat the compass d 
the walls of Rome m two suoceasiveseDteiioes? Sd^Whyrepeat 
it with so sensible a variation ? 4Ui, What is the meaning of 
Pliny's mentioning twice the Milliarimn, if a line was measured 
that had no dependence on the Milliarinm ? 5th, Anrelian's 
waU is said hy Yopiscos to have been drawn laxiare ambUu^ 
and to have oomprehended all the bnildmgs and soborbs on the 
north side of the Tyber ; yet its compass was only Miy miles ; 
and even here critics suspect some mistake or cormptioii in 
the text, since the walls whidi remain, and which are sup- 
posed to be the same with Aurelian's, exceeds not twelve 
miles. It is not probable that Rome would diminish from Au- 
gustus to Aurehan. It remained still the capital of the sane 
emph« ; and none of the civil wars in that long period, except 
the tumults on the death of Maximus and Balbtnus, ever a^ 
fDCted the city. Caracalla is said by Aurefius Victor to have 
-increased Rome. 6U1, There are no remains of ancient buUd'^ 
mga which mark any such greatness of Rome* Vossius's re- 
ply to this objection seems absurd ; that the rubbish would sink 
sixty or seventy feet under ground. It a]^>ean from Spartian 
(in vUa SevetiJ that the five mil e st oae tit vim Lam tama was 
out of the city. 7th, Olympiodorus and Publius Victor fix 
the number of houses in Rome to be betwixt forty and fifty thou- 
sand. 8th, The very extravagances of the consequences drawn 
by this critic, as well as Lipsias, if they be neceonry, destroy 
the foundatimi on which they are grounded ; that Rome con- 
tained fourteen m]Ui<ms of inhabitants, while the whole king- 
dom of France contama only five» aeoording to his computa^ 
tion, &C. 

The only objection to the sense wUdi we have affixed above 
to the passage of Pliny, s eems to Ke in this, that Pliny, after 
mentioning the thirty-seven gates of Rome, assigns only a rea- 
son for suppr es s ing the seven old ones, and soys nothing of 
the eighteen gates ; the streets leading from which terminated, 
accordmg to my opinion, before they reoched the Forum. 
But as Pliny waa writing to the Romans, who perfectly knew 
the disposition of the streets, it is not strange he shoukl taka 


a cttcuMtance lor gnnted whkk vas so fiuoilkr to evciy ho^ 
dy. Perliape, too, numy of thew gates led to wfaarfe apoB tiie 

NOTE [NN.] p. 427. 

QuiHTus CuRTJUS «iy% ito waUs wei« ten miies in cin;iuii« 
farenoe, when fowMied by Alexander, lib. it. cap. B. Suabo» 
adio travdled to Alestandria a« well m Diodonift Skqlus, aays 
it was scarce ibur miles long, and in most places about a mila 
broad, lib. x?ii* Pliny said it vesainblad a Macedonian cas« 
sock, stretching oat in the comers lib. r. capw 10. Notwttl)* 
standing ^mb bulk of Alexandria! wbidi seems but moderate, 
Diodorns Sicnlns, spealqng of its circait as drawn by AleX)* 
ander, (which it nei^^ exceeded, as we learn from Amwianas 
MaxcaUinnsy lib. xxii. cap. 16.) says it was ft^r^ ii^p^^mr^ 
fQdtnmd^ greats ^d. Tbe reason which be ass^^ far its sur- 
passing all cities in tbe world (for he excepts not Hoipe) i^ 
that it coataiaed 300,000 free inhabitants. He also a»entioiv 
the rerennes of the kings, to wit, 6000 talents, as aaothtt' 
ciicomstance to the same pmpose. No stich mighty sara in 
ear eyas, effen though we mdb^ sBowanoa for tha-d^i^rant y9r 
iae of money* What Stidbo says af the nf^s^dHxariag country, 
means only the* i* was laeU peopled, iiu9imm uMkmt. Mi^ 
•atone affins, without any greaskyperbole, that the whole banliB 
of the lirar, finom Grsvasand to Wiodsoiv are one city ? This 
is even more than Stiabo says of the badks of the hdce Mseiotis, 
-and of the oanal to Caaapna. It is a Tidgar saying k Italy, 
that the king of Sardinia has but one town in Redmont, fmr k 
is aU a town. Agrqipa, m Jcmpkm de hdloJudak. Bb. ii. 
cap. 16., to flttke Iw an^cose coB9pi«bend the exeessiye greal- 
Mss of Atexaadria, which he andeanrovn to magnify, describes 
only the c onipa B S el the ^ty as drawn by Alexsadw;^ a clear 
proof that the bnlk of the inhabitamis Unere lodged there, and 
that the veighbaarnig country wa4 no mere than what aught be 
expected about all great towns, vary well c^tirated, tmd well 


NOTE [00.] p. 488. 

Hb says (in Nerone, cap. 30.) that a portico or piazia of it 
was 3000 feet long ; << tanta laxitas nt portieas tnplices miUiar 
^* rias haberet." He cannot mean diree nules ; for the whole 
extent of the house from the Paktine to the Esqniline was not 
near so great. So ii^ien Yopisc^ in Anreliano mentions a por^ 
tico in Salhist's gardens, which he calls portietis mi&iariemi^ 
it most be understood of a thousand feet. So also Horace : 

'' Nulla decempedi^ 
'* Metata priTatls opacam 
"< Fbrticus exdpiebat Arcton." Lib. ii. ode 15. 

So also in lib. L satyr 8. 

<' BfiUe pedes in fronte, trecentos cippus in agrum 
« BBc dabftt." 

NOTE [PP.] p. 438. 

It appears from Casar s acoount, that the Gauls had no do- 
mestic shKveS) who formed a dMIfiuvnt order from the Plebei, 
The whole comm<m pe<^ were indeed a kind of slaves to the 
nobility, m the peopfo of Poland are at dns day; and a noble- 
jnan of Gaol had sometiniee ten thoosaad dependeMs of diis 
kmd Nor can we doubt that the armies were composed of the 
|)eopleaswella8ofthe9obflity. An amy of 100,000 noblemen, 
irom a rery email state, is mcred94e. Tlie fightingmen among 
the Helretii were the fourdi part of the inhabitants ; a dea^ 
proof that all the mal^a of ndUtary age bore arms. See Ctesar 
4e heUo GaU. lib. L 

We may remark, that the numbers in G«sar*e Commentari^ 
can be more depended on than those of any other ancient flf«- 
thor, because of the Greek translation, which still remaini?, and 
which checks the Latin original 


NOTE [Oa] p. 441. 

The i^habitaiitB of Mtneilles lost not their snperiority over 
the Gttuls in commerce and the medumic artB, till the Roman 
dominion tamed the latter fixm anns to agricnhore and dril 
life, see Strabo, lib* ir. That aod!iar» in aerenl phcea, re- 
peats the otiaer vat ion conceniing the improvement arknig from 
the Roman arts and dvifity ; and he lived at the time when the 
change was new, and would be aoore sensible. So also Riny : 
** Qois enim non commnnicato orbe terrarom, majestate Roma- 
<< ni imperii, profecisse vitam pntet, commerdo renun ac sode- 
" tate feats pads, omniaqoe etiam, qtue occulta anteafiierant, in 
** {Momiscno nsn fecta. Lib. xir. pnxem. Nnmine deum elec- 
*< ta (speaking of Italy) que coehim ipsnm darins feceret, sparaa 
<* congregaret imperia, ritosqae molliret, et tot popnlonmi dis- 
** cordes, ferasqife lingoas sermonis conmerdo contraheret ad 
** coDocpiia, et hnmanitatem homini daiet ; breviterqne, uia 
** cnnctaram gentium in toto orbe patria fieret ;** lib. iL cap. 5. 
Nothing can be stronger to this purpose than the foDowing pas- 
aage from Tertullian, who lived abont the age of Sererus. ** Cer^ 
^ tk qnidem ipae orbis impromptu est, coltior de die et instruc- 
" tior pristino* Omnia jam pervia, omnia nota, omiua negotio- 
'< sa* S^tndines femosas retro fundi anMsnissimi obfiterave- 
*^ rant, sihas arva dOmueront, fecas pecora fugaverunt ; arense 
^ seruntnr, saza panguntnr, paludes eliqaantur, tantse urbes, 
*' quanta non cas« quondam. Jam nee insula horrent, nee 
*^ scopuE terrent ; ubique domus, ulnque populus, ubiqne res- 
<' publica, ubique vita. Summum testimonium frequenti» hu- 
'' auiQfB, onerod sumus nmndo, vix nobis elements suffidunt ; 
<< $L necessitates arctiores, et querela spud omnes, dum jam 
*^ nos natura non sustinet." De Anima, cap. SO. The air of 
rfaftoric and decboiaticm which i^^iears in this passage dimi- 
nishes some^diat from its authority, but does not aoitirely de- 
<»troy it. The same remark may be extended to the following 
passage of Aristides the sophist, who lived in the age of Adrian. 


** The whole world,** says he» addressing himself to the Ro- 
mans, << seems to keep one bdiday ; and mankind, laying aside 
'^ the sword which they formerly wOTe, now betake themselves 
«< to feasting and to joy. The cities, forgettiBg their ancient 
** animosities, pfeserro only one emnlation, which shall embel- 
** htih itself most by erery art and oniament ; Theatres every 
^ where aiise^ amphitheatres, portioos, aqueducts, temples, 
^ adiools, academies ; and one may safely pronounce, that the 
^ sinking world has been again raised by your an^idous em« 
** pire. NcnrhaTo Okies akme jeceived an increase of ornament 
** and beauty; but the whude earth, like a garden or paradise^ 
** m cuKhvted and adotned ; Inaonndi, that such of mankind 
^< as are placed out of the limits of your empire (who aro bu| 
*^ few) seem to merit our sympathy and compassicm." 

Jt is remarkable, that though Diodorus Siculus makes the 
inhabitants of Egypt, when conquered by the Romans, amount 
only to three millions ; yet Ja$q)h. de beUo JudL lib. ii. cap. 16. 
says, that its inhabitants, excluding those of Alexandria, were 
seven millions and a half in the reign of Nero : And he ex^ 
pre8dy^sayB,''tl^ he drew this account from the books of the 
Roman Publicans, who levied die pdH-tax. Strabo, lib. xviL 
praises the superior police of the Romans with regard to the 
finances of Egypt, above that of its former monarchs : And no 
part of administration is more essentnl to the hsq^piness of a 
people. Yet we read in Adiensus, (1&. i. ctef. 25.) who flou- 
rished during the reign of the Antonines, tlwt the town Ma- 
reia, near Alexandria, which was formerly a large city, had 
dwindled into a village. Tliis is not, properly speaking, a con- 
tradiction. Suidas (August.) says, that the Emperor August 
tus, having numbered the whole Roman empire, found it con- 
tamed mily 4,101,019 men («v^.) Thoe is here surely 
some great mistake, either in the author or transcriber. But 
this authmty, feeble as it is, may be sufficient to counteiiba- 
lance the exaggerated accounts of Herodotus and Diodorus Si* 
cuius, with regard to more eaify times. 


NOTE [HR*] ^ 441. 

Lis* ii. cap* 6t. It «M]r perbops he uttgiiiM^ thsi Pot^^ 
bhtt, being dep^fldtfiit m Rohm, wvold Mtarajiy eatol ^ 
HmttUk dMikiiom But, ia the Jhsi pboe^ Pi^insy tlio^li 
one MA sometiaMi lniirilM<H af Inrt canrtbn, dncanren no 
tynfiKMltMr <ir flmtii'j. JSAcoiiifl^Thk flpunon is eidy debyewA 
b c riftgle Mmtaciy by Am bfi^ nUe he it intettt 19011 nwOitf 
giAjMI $ sad k Ift iUmred, if ^Mm be asf an^icioa of an an-* 
tbor'» tefaic«tit7, thai them ofoH^M pri(>^ti£oi» dkdoveged 
hk rMl opldbtt better thtta Mft laara fbnaal «id direei SBatr' 

NOTE CSSw} p. 448. 

I MUST coo£mb that that discoiuise of Plvtareb, conoerning 
the sileace of tba aradea, -k in general of so odd a,t6xture and 
80 nalike bia other pgylnctionBy that one is at a lees what judg-' 
nieot to fonn of iu It is wntten in dialegne, which is a me- 
thod oi compoflitian that PlntPEch conMiwrn/y but Uttle affects* 
The personages he introdacea advance Tory wild, ahsord, and 
contradictory apinionsy more lijte the visionary systems or ra-^ 
vingi pf Plato than the jfkin senae of Plutarch. There runs al- 
so throng tbs whole an air of snpen^tion and credufity, which 
resamhlea very little the ^irit that appearsr in other philoso- 
phic^ .compositions of that authon ^ For it is remarkable, that 
thopgbP^uUKh be an fa^stor^tt fA supen^tiaw as ^erodotns 
or I^vy, yat thert is .s^arc^yy V ^ ^f^^fV4^} ^ .philosopher 
less snpeistitioits^.axtfqptin; CJDsrp faid^LaeieB, I must there^ 
fore coD^MSy that a,pasaige of pf^tarolv^ ci^ ^^ ^ ^~. 
cpune^ has n^nefa less autbority with me> ihaa if it had beeiik 
foond jn ^M of )iia 4^her CGonil^ 

There is only one other discaittse of Plutarch lial^le to like 
objections, to wit, that concerning those whose punishment is de^ 


layed hj^tie ZhUj^. It is also wtit in diologve, cMitams lik« 
Mpevstitiovuy wild yMom^ mA MenA to lutve been chiefly 
e^uipoM in rivakhip td t^lat<s ptutkntety his last book De 

And here I cannot but obeerve, that Mons. Fontenelle^ a wa- 
ter eminent for candour, seems to have departed a little from 
his nsnal character, when he endeavours to throw a ridicule 
upon Plutarch on account of passages to be met with in this 
dialogue concerning oracles. The absurdities here put into the 
mouths of the several personages are not to be ascribed to Plu- 
tardi. He makes them refute each other ; and, in general, he 
seems to intend the ridiculing of those very opinions which 
Fontenelle would ridicule him for maintaining. See Histairt 
dei' Oracles* 

NOTE [TT.] p. 465. 

It is remarkable, that in the remonstrance of the Duke of 
Bourbon and the legitimate princes, against this destination of 
Louis XIV. the doctrine of the original contraet is insisted on, 
even in that absolute government. The French nation, say 
they, choosing Hugh Capet and his posterity to rule over them 
and their posterity, when the former Hoe fails, there is a tacit 
right reserved to choose a new royal family ; and this right is 
invaded by calling the bastard princes to the throne, without the 
consent of the nation. But the Comte de Boulainvilliers, who 
wrote in defence of the bastard prini^es, ridicules this notion of 
an original contract, especially when applied to Hugh Capet ; 
who mounted the throne, says he, by the same arts which have 
ever been employed by all conquerors and usurpers. He got 
his title, indeed, recognised by the states after he had put him- 
self in possession : But is this a choice or a contract ? The 
Comte de Boulainvilliers, we may observe, was a noted repub- ' 
lican ; but being a man of learning, and y«ry ceoyersant inhis** : 


lory, be kaew that the people w«« neyer dnuMt cenadted ia 
theee revohitioiit uid new etabKehmenta, and that time akna 
beatowed right and aathority on what was coaunoBlf at fiiat 
fonnded on faroe and yiolenoe. See Etai de la Prameey Td. uL 


fiDmBURGA : 
FHnted by Jamss Walker. 



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3 2044 054 086 

eCT 1 1954 .< 

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"jftN 3 1 1980 


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