Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times  

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"Well then, said he, that I may appear to take no advantage against you, I quit the dazzling form which carries such a force of complicated beauties, and am contented to consider separately each of those simple beauties, which taken all together create this wonderful effect. For you will allow, without doubt, that in respect of bodies, whatever is commonly said of the unexpressible, the unintelligible, the I-know-not-what of beauty, there can lie no mystery here, but what plainly belongs either to figure, colour, motion or sound. Omitting therefore the three latter, and their dependent charms, let us view the charm in what is simplest of all, mere figure. Nor need we go so high ..." --on disinterestedness

"What is it you admire but mind, or the effect of mind? Tis mind alone which forms. All which is void of mind is horrid, and matter formless is deformity itself."

"Suppose that, being charmed as you seem to be with the beauty of those trees under whose shades we rest, you should long for nothing so much as to taste some delicious fruit of theirs; and having obtained of Nature some certain relish by which these acorns or berries of the wood become as palatable as the figs or peaches of the garden, you should afterwards, as oft as you revisited these groves, seek hence the enjoyment of them by satiating yourself in these new delights."

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_ Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times (1711) is a book by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury. It appeared in 1711 in three volumes, without any name or initials on the title-page, and without even the name of a printer. These volumes contain in addition to the four treatises already mentioned, Miscellaneous Reflections, now first printed, and the Inquiry concerning Virtue and Merit, described as formerly printed from an imperfect copy, now corrected and published intire, and as printed first in 1699.

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The Moralists, A Philosopmical Rhapsody

Paht I.

— Section






Paht 11.

— Section










Paht III.






10 20

26 40 47 60 84

95 124 145


Miscellaneous Reflections on the Preceding Treatises, etc.



Of the nature, rise, and estal)lisliment of Miscellanies— Tlie subject

of which follow — Intention of the writer . . . 157





Of contro\'ersial writings : answers : replies — Pctlemic divinity, or the writing Church niilitant^I'hilosopliers, and l)ear garden — Authors paired and niatclied — The matclnnakers — Football — A dialogue between our author and his bookseller . . . IGl


Of the letter concerning Enthusiasm — Foreign critics — Of letters in general, and of the epistolary style — Addresses to great men — Authors and horsemanship — The modern amble — Further ex- planation of the miscellaneous manner .... 1G6



Review of Enthusiasm — Its defence, praise — Use in business as well as pleasure — Operation by fear. Love — Modifications of en- thusiasm ; magnanimity; heroic virtue; honour; public zeal; religion; superstition; pei-secution ; martyrdom — Energy of the ecstatic devotion in the teiuler sex- Account of ancient priest- hood — Religious war — Reference to a succeeding chapter . 173


Judgment of divines and grave authors concerning Enthusiasm — Reflections upon scepticism — A sceptic Christian — Judgment of the inspired concerning their own inspirations — Knowledge aiul l)elief — History of religion resumed — Zeal offensive aiul defensive — A Church in danger — Persecution — Policy of tlie Church of Rome ....... 19G





Of the force of humour in religion — Support of our autlior's ;irgu- ment in his essay on the freedom of wit and raillery — Zeal dis- cussed. Spiritual surgeons; executioners; carvers — Original of human sacriiice — Exhilaration of religion — Various aspects from outward causes . . . . . ,215



Further remarks on the author of the treatises — His order and design — His remarks on the succession of wit^ and progress of letters, and philosoj)hy — Of words, relations, affections — Countrymen and country — Old Englaiul — Patriots of the soil — Virtuosi and philosophers— A taste ...... 2.38


Explanation of a taste continued — Ridiculers of it — Their wit and sincerity — Application of the taste to affairs of Cio\erinnent and politics — Imaginary characters in the State — Young nohility and gentry — Pursuit of heauty — Preparation for philosophy . 250



Connection and union of the suhject-treatises — Philos(t])hy in form- Metaphysics — Egoity— Identity — Moral footing — Proof and dis- cipline of the fancies — Settlement of opinion — Anatomy of the mind — A fable ....... 27o





Passage from terra hicoynita to the visible world — Mistress-ship of nature — Animal confederacy, deg-rees, subordination — Master animal man — Privilege of his birth — Serious countenance of the author ........ 286



Ceremonial adjusted between author and reader — Affectation of pre- cedency in the former — \'arious claims to inspii-ation — Bards, prophets, Sibj'lline Scripture — ^Vritten oracles, in verse and prose — Common interest of ancient letters and Christianity — State of wit, elegance, and correctness — Poetic truth — Prepara- tion for criticism on our author in his concluding treatise 296


Generation and succession of our national and modern wit — Manners of the proprietors — Corporation and joint stock — Statute against criticism — A coffee-house committee — Mr. Rays — Other Bays' in divinity — Censure of our author's dialogue piece, and of the manner of dialogue writing used by reverend wits . . .32-4


Of extent or latitude of thought — Free-thinkers — Tlieir cause and character— Dishonesty, a half-thought — Short-thinking, cause of vice and bigotry — Agreementof slavery and superstition — Liberty, civil, moral, spiritual — Free-thinking divines — Representatives incognito — Ambassadors from the moon — Effectual determination of Christian controversy and religious belief . . 341



THE MORALISTS, A Philosophical Rhapsody BEING A Recital of certain Conversations on Natural and Moral Subjects

The Moralists

see The Moralists

TREATISE VI MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS On the preceding Treatises, etc. [and the rest]

Scilicet uui aequus Virtuti atque ejus amicis.

Hor. Sat. i. ii.

Printed first in the year MDCCXI.^

' [In many of the later editions this date is wrongly given as 171-1. The Miscellaneous Reflections actually appeared in 1711, making the third volume of the Characteristics.^



Of the nature, rise, and establishment of Miscellanies — Tlie subject of these wliich follow — Intention of the writer.

Peace be with the soul of that charitable and courteous author who, for the common benefit of his fellow-authors, introduced the ingenious way of miscellaneous writing ! It must be owned that since this happy method was established, the harvest of wit has been more plentiful, and the labourers more in number than heretofore. 'Tis well known to the able practi- tioners in the writing art " that as easy as it is to conceive wit, 'tis the hardest thing imaginable to be delivered of it, upon certain terms." Nothing could be more severe or rigid than the conditions formerly prescribed to writers, when criticism took place, and regularity and order were thought essential in a treatise. The notion of a genuine work, a legitimate and just piece, has certainly been the occasion of great timidity and backwardness among the adventurers in wit ; and the imposition of such strict laws and rules of composition has sat heavy on the free spirits and forward geniuses of mankind. 'Twas a yoke, it seems, which our forefathers bore, but wliich, for our parts, we have generously thrown off. In effect, the invidious distinctions of bastardy and legitimacy being at length removed, the natural and lawful issue of the brain conies with



like advantage into the world, and wit (mere wit) is well received without examination of the kind or censure of the form.

This the miscellaneous manner of writing, it must be owned, has happily effected. It has rendered almost every soil pro- ductive. It has disclosed those various seeds of wit which lay suppressed in many a bosom, and has reared numberless con- ceits and curious fancies which the natural rudeness and asperity of their native soil would have withheld, or at least not have permitted to rise above the ground. From every field, from everv hedge or hillock, we now gather as delicious fruits and fragrant flowers as of old from the richest and best cultivated gardens. Miserable were those ancient planters who, understanding not how to conform themselves to the rude taste of unpolished mankind, made it so difficult a task to serve the world with intellectual entertainments, and furnish out the repasts of literature and science.

There was certainly a time when the name of author stood for something considerable in the world. To succeed happily in such a labour as that of writing a treatise or a poem was taken as a sure mark of understanding and good sense. The task was painful, but, it seems, 'twas honourable. How the case happened in process of time to be so much reversed is hard to say. The primitive authors perhaps being few in number and highlv respected for their art, fell under the weight of envy. Being sensible of their misfortune in this respect, and being excited, as 'tis probable, by the example of some popular genius, they quitted their regular schemes and accurate forms of work- manship in favour of those wits who could not possibly be received as authors upon such difficult terms. 'Twas necessary, it seems, that the bottom of wit should be enlarged. 'Twas advisable that more hands should be taken into the work, and nothing could better serve this popular purpose than the way of miscellany or common essay, in which the most confused head, if fraught with a little invention and provided with common-



place book learning, might exert itself to as much advantage as the most orderly and well-settled judgment.

To explain the better how this revolution in letters has been effected, it may not perhaps be indecent should we offer to compare our writing artists to the manufacturers in stuff or silk. For among these 'tis esteemed a principal piece of skill to frame a pattern or plan of workmanship in which the several colours are agreebly disposed, with such proportionable adjustment of the various figures and devices as may, in the whole, create a kind of harmony to the eye. According to this method each piece must be in reality an original. For to copv what has gone before can be of no use. The fraud would easily be perceived. On the other side, to work originally, and in a manner create each time anew, must be a matter of press- ing weight, and fitted to the strength and capacity of none besides the choicest workmen.

A manner therefore is invented to confound this simplicity and conformity of design ; patchwork is substituted ; cuttings and shreds of learning, with various fragments and points of wit, are drawn together and tacked in any fantastic form. If the}- chance to cast a lustre and spread a sort of sj^rightly glare, the miscellany is approved and the complex form and texture of the work admired. The eye, which before was to be won by regularity, and had kept true to measure and strict proportion, is by this means pleasingly drawn aside to commit a kind of debauch and amuse itself in gaudy colours and disfigured shapes of things. Custom in the meanwhile has not only tolerated this licentiousness, but rendered it even commend- able, and brought it into the highest repute. The wild and whimsical, under the name of the odd and pretty, succeed in the room of the graceful and the beautiful. Justness and accuracy of thought are set aside as too constraining and of too painful an aspect to be endured in the agreeable and more easy com- merce of gallantry and modern wit.

NcAv since it has been thought convenient in these latter



ages to distinguish the provinces of wit and wisdom and set apart the agreeable from the useful, 'tis evident there could be nothing devised more suitable to the distinct and separate interest of the former of these provinces than this complex manner of performance which we call miscellany. For whatever is capricious and odd is sure to create diversion to those who look no further. And where there is nothing like nature, there is no room for the troublesome part of thought or contempla- tion. ""Tis the perfection of certain grotesque painters to keep as far from nature as possible. To find a likeness in their works is to find the greatest fault imaoinable. A natural con- nection is a slur. A coherence, a design, a meaning is against their purpose, and destroys the very spirit and genius of their workmanship.

I remember formerly \\'hen I was a spectator in the French theatre I found it the custom at the end of every grave and solemn tragedy to introduce a comic farce or miscellany which they called the little piece. We have indeed a method still more extraordinary upon our own stage, for we think it agreeable and just to mix the little piece or farce with the main plot or fable through every act. This perhaps may be the rather chosen, because our tragedy is so much deeper and bloodier than that of the French, and therefore needs more immediate refreshment from the elegant way of drollery and burlesque wit, which, being thus closely interwoven with its opposite, makes that most accomplished kind of theatrical miscellany, called by our poets a tragi-comedy.

I could go further perhaps, and demonstrate from the writings of many of our grave divines, the speeches of our senators, and other principal models of our national erudition " that the miscellaneous manner is at present in the highest esteem." But since my chief intention in the following sheets is to descant cursorily upon some late pieces of a British author, I will presume that what I have said already on this head is sufficient, and that it will not be judged improper or



absurd in me, as I proceed, to take advantage of this miscel- laneous taste which now evidently prevails. According to this method, whilst I serve as critic or interpreter to this new writer, I may the better correct his flegm, and give him more of the fashionable air and manner of the world, especially in what relates to the subject and manner of his two last pieces, which are contained in his second volume. For these being of the more regular and formal kind may easily be oppressive to the airy reader, and may therefore with the same assurance as tragedy claim the necessary relief of the little piece or farce above mentioned.

Nor ought the title of a miscellaneous writer to be denied me on the account that I have grounded my miscellanies upon a certain set of treatises already published. Grounds and foundations are of no moment in a kind of work which, accord- ing to modern establishment, has properly neither top nor bottom, beginning nor end. Besides that, I shall no way confine myself to the precise contents of these treatises, but, like my fellow-miscellanarians, shall take occasion to vary often from my proposed subject, and make what deviations or excursions I shall think fit, as I proceed in my random essays.


Of controversial writings : answers : replies — Polemic divinity, or the writing- Church militant — Philosophers, and bear garden — Authors paired and matched — The matchmakers — Football — A dialogue between our author and his bookseller.

Amoxg the many improvements daily made in the art of writing, there is none perhaps which can be said to have attained a greater height than that of controversy or the method of answer and refutation. 'Tis true indeed, that anciently the wits of men were for the most part taken up in'; other employment. VOL. II ICl M


If authors writ ill they were despised, if well they were by some party or other espoused. For parties there would necessarily be, and sects of every kind in learning and philosophy. Every one sided with whom he liked, and having the liberty of hearing each side speak for itself, stood in no need of express warning pieces against pretended sophistry or dangerous reasoning. Particular answers to single treatises were thought to be of little use. And it was esteemed no compliment to a reader to help him so carefully in the judgment of every piece which came abroad. Whatever sects there were in those days, the zeal of party-causes ran not so high as to give the reader a taste of those personal reproaches which might pass in a debate between the diiferent party-men.

Thus miatters stood of old, when as yet the method of writing controversy was not raised into an art, nor the feuds of contendino; authors become the chief amusement of the learned world. But we have at present so high a relish of this kind, that the writings of the learned are never truly gustful till they are come to what we may properly enough call their due ripe- ness, and have begot a fray. When the answer and reply is once formed our curiosity is excited ; we begin then, for the first time, to whet our attention and apply our ear.

For example, let a zealous divine and flaming champion of our faith, when inclined to show himself in print, make choice of some tremendous mystery of religion, opposed heretofore by some damnable heresiarch, whom having vehemently refuted, he turns himself towards the orthodox opinion, and supports the true belief, with the highest eloquence and profoundest erudi- tion ; he shall, notwithstanding this, remain perhaps in deep obscurity, to the great affliction of his bookseller and the regret of all who bear a just veneration for Church history and the ancient purity of the Christian faith. But let it so happen that in this prosecution of his deceased adversary our doctor raises up some living antagonist, who, on the same foot of orthodoxy with himself, pretends to arraign his expositions, and refute the



refuter upon every article he has advanced ; from this moment the writing gathers Kfe, the pubhc hstens, the boolcseller takes heart, and when issue is well joined, the repartees grown smart, and the contention vigorous between the learned parties, a ring is made and readers gather in abundance. Every one takes party, and encourages his own side. "This shall be my champion ! This man for my money ! Well hit, on our side ! Again, a good stroke ! There he was even with him ! Have at him the next bout ! " Excellent sport ! And when the combatants are for a while drawn off and each retired with his own companions, what praises and congratulations ! what applauses of the supposed victor ! And how honourably is he saluted by his favourers, and complimented even to the dis- turbance of his modesty ! " Nay, but gentlemen ! Good gentlemen ! do you really think thus .? Are you sincere with me ? Have I treated my adversary as he deserves ? Never was man so mauled. Why, you have killed him downright. O sirs ! you flatter me. He can never rise more. Think ye so indeed ? Or if he should, 'twould be a pleasure to see how you would handle him."

These are the triumphs. This is what sets sharp ; this gives the author his edge and excites the reader's attention, when the trumpets are thus sounded to the crowd, and a kind of amphi- theatrical entertainment exhibited to the multitude by these gladiatorian penmen.

The author of the preceding treatises being by profession a nice inspector into the ridicule of things, must in all probability have raised to himself some such views as those which hindered him from engaging in the way of controversy. For when, by accident, the first of these treatises ^ (a private letter, and in the writer's esteem little worthy of the public's notice) came to be read abroad in copies, and afterwards in jjrint, the smartest answers which came out against it could not, it seems, move our author to form any reply. All he was heard to say in ^ Viz. the Letter Concerning Enthusiasm.



return was, " that he thought whoever had taken upon him to pubHsh a book in answer to that casual piece, had certainly made either a very high compliment to the author, or a very ill one to the public."

It must be owned that when a writer of any kind is so considerable as to deserve the labour and pains of some shrewd heads to refute him in public, he may, in the quality of an author, be justly congratulated on that occasion. 'Tis supposed necessarily that he must have written with some kind of ability or wit. But if his original performance be in truth no better than ordinary, his answerer's task must certainly be very mean. He must be very indifferently employed who would take upon him to answer nonsense in form, ridicule what is of itself a jest, and put it upon the world to read a second book for the sake of the impertinencies of a former.

Taking it, however, for granted " that a sorry treatise may be the foundation of a considerable answer," a reply still must certainly be ridiculous whichever way we take it. For either the author, in his original piece, has been truly refuted or not. If refuted, why does he defend ? If not refuted, Avhy trouble himself.'* What has the public to do with his private quarrels or his adversary's impertinence ? Or supposing the world, out of curiosity, may delight to see a pedant exposed by a man of better wit, and a controversy thus unequally carried on between two such opposite parties, how long is this diversion likely to hold good ? And what will become of these polemic writings a few years hence ? What is already become of those mighty controversies with which some of the most eminent authors amused the world within the memory of the youngest scholar . An original work or two may perhaps remain ; but for the subsequent defences, the answers, rejoinders, and replications, they have been long since paying their attendance to the pastry- cooks. Mankind perhaps were heated at that time when first those matters were debated ; but they are now cool again. They laughed ; they carried on the humour ; they blew the



coals ; they teased, and set on maliciously, and to create them- selves diversion. But the jest is now over. No one so much as inquires where the wit was, or where possibly the sting should lie of those notable reflections and satirical hints which Avere once found so pungent, and gave the readers such high delight. Notable philosophers and divines, who can be con- tented to make sport, and write in learned Billinsgate to divert the coffee-house, and entertain the assemblies at booksellers shops or the more airy stalls of inferior book retailers !

It must be allowed that in this respect controversial writing is not so wholly unprofitable, and that for book-merchants, of whatever kind or degree, they undoubtedly receive no small advantage from a right improvement of a learned scuffle. Nothing revives them more, or makes a quicker trade, than a pair of substantial divines or grave philosophers, well matched and soundly backed, till by long Avorrying one another they are grown out of breath and have almost lost their force of biting. " So have I known a crafty glazier, in time of frost, \ procure a footmll to draw into the street the emulous chiefs of the robust youth. The tumid bladder bounds at every kick, bursts the withstanding casements, the chassies,^ lanterns, and all the brittle vitreous ware. The noise of blows and outcries Alls the whole neighbourhood, and ruins of glass cover the stony pavements, till the bloated battering engine, subdued by force of foot and fist, and yielding up its breath at many a fatal cranny, becomes lank and harmless, sinks in its flight, and can no longer uphold the spirit of the contending parties."

This our author supposes to have been the occasion of his being so often and zealously complimented by his amanuensis (for so he calls his bookseller or printer -) on the fame of his first piece. The obliging craftsman has at times presented him with many a handsome book, set oft' with titles of remarks, reflections, and the like, Avhich, as he assured him, were answers to his small treatise. " Here, sir, says he, you have a consider-

^ [I.e. window-frames. Fr.] - Vol. i. p. 108.



able hand has undertaken you ! — This, sir, is a reverend ; this a right reverend ; this a noted author. Will you not reply, sir ? O' my word, sir, the world is in expectation. Pity they should be disappointed ! A dozen sheets, sir, would be sufficient ! You might dispatch it presently. Think you so ? 1 have my paper ready — and a good letter. Take my word for it. You shall see, sir ! Enough. But hark ye (Mr. A-a-a-a), my worthy engineer and manager of the war of letters, ere you prepare your artillery or engage me in acts of hostility, let me hear, I entreat you, whether my adversary be taken notice of. Wait for his second edition, and if by next year, or a year or two after, it be known in good company that there is such a book in being, I shall then perhaps think it time to consider of a reply."


Of the letter concerning; Enthusiasm — Foreign critics — Of letters in general, and of the epistolary style — Addresses to great men — Authors and horsemanship — The modern amble — Further explana- tion of the miscellaneous manner.

As resolute as our author may have shown himself in refusing to take notice of the smart writings published against him by certain zealots of his own country, he could not, it seems, but out of curiosity observe what the foreign and more impartial critics might object to his small treatise, Avhich he was surprised to hear had been translated into foreio-n languages soon after it had been published here at home. The first censure of this kind which came to our author s sight was that of the Paris Journal des Savans} Considering how little favourable the author of the letter had shown himself towards the Romish Church and policy of France, it must be owned those journalists

1 Du 2o mars 1709.



have treated him with sufficient candour, though they failed not to take what advantages they well could against the writing, and particularly arraigned it for the want of order and method.^

The Protestant \\ riters, such as live in a free country, and can deliver their sentiments without constraint, have certainly ^ done our author more honour than he ever presumed to think he could deserve. His translator, indeed, who had done him the previous honour of introducing him to the acquaintance of the foreign world, represents particularly, by the turn given to the latter end of the letter, that the writer of it was, as to his condition and rank, little better than an inferior dependent on the noble Lord to whom he had addressed himself. And in reality the original has so much of that air that I wonder not, if what the author left ambiguous, the translator has determined to the side of clientship and dependency.

But whatever may have been the circumstance or character of our author himself, that of his great friend ought in justice to have been considered by those former critics above mentioned. So much, at least, should have been taken notice of, that there was a real great man characterised and suitable measures of address and style preserved. But they who would neither observe this nor apprehend the letter itself to be real, were insufficient critics, and unqualified to judge of the turn or humour of a piece which they had never considered in a proper light.

'Tis become indeed so common a practice among authors to feign a correspondency, and give the title of a private letter to a piece addressed solely to the public, that it would not be strange to see other journalists and critics, as well as the gentle- men of Paris, pass over such particularities, as things of form.

^ " Ses pensees ne sembleiit occuper dans son ouvrage que la place (lue le hazard leur a donnee." Ih. p. 181.

- (1) Btbliothcque Choisie, aunee 1709, tome xix. p. 427. (-) Hi'Sfoire des Ouvrages des Savans, mois d'octobre, uovembi-e, et de'cembre 1708, p. 514. (3) Nouvelles de la R^publique des Lettre.i, mois de mars 1710.



This prejudice, however, could not misguide a chief critic of the Protestant side, when mentioning this letter concerning En- thusiasm,^ he speaks of it as a real letter (such as in truth it was), not a precise and formal treatise designed for public view.^ It will be owned surely, by those who have learnt to judge of elegancy and wit by the help merely of modern languages, that we could have little relish of the best letters of a Balsac or Voiture, were we wholly ignorant of the characters of the principal persons to whom those letters were actually written. But much less could we find pleasure in this reading, should we take it into our heads that both the personages and corre- spondency itself were merely fictitious. Let the best of Tully's Epistles be read in such a narrow view as this, and they will certainly prove very insipid. If a real Brutus, a real Atticus be not supposed, there will be no real Cicero. The elegant writer will disappear, as will the vast labour and art with which this eloquent Roman writ those letters to his illustrious friends. There was no kind of composition in which this great author prided or pleased himself more than in this, where he en- deavoured to throw off the mien of the philosopher and orator, whilst in effect he employed both his rhetoric and philosophy with the greatest force. They who can read an epistle or satire of Horace in somewhat better than a mere scholastic relish, will comprehend that the concealment of order and method in this manner of writing makes the chief beauty of the work. They will own that unless a reader be in some measure apprised of the characters of an Augustus, a Maecenas, a Florus, or a Trebatius, there will be little relish in those satires or epistles

1 " Ceux qui Font lue out pu voir en general, que Fauteur ne s'y est pas propose un certain plan pour traiter sa matiere methodiquement ; parceque c'est une lettre, et iion un traite." Bibliotheque Choisie, tome xix. p. 328.

2 If in this joint edition, with other woi'ks, the letter be made to pass under that general name of treatise, 'tis the bookseller must account for it. For the author's part, he considers it as no other than what it origin- ally was.



addressed in particular to the courtiers, ministers, and great men of the times. Even the satiric or miscellaneous manner of the polite ancients, required as much order as the most regular pieces. But the art was to destroy every such token or ajipear- ance, give an extemporary air to what was writ, and make the effect of art be felt without discovering the artifice. There needs no further explanation on this head. Our author himself has said enough in his Advice to an Authoi\^ particularly where he treats of the simple style, in contradistinction to the learned, the formal, or methodic.

"'TIS a different case indeed when the title of Epistle is im- properly given to such works as were never writ in any other view than that of being made public, or to serve as exercises or specimens of the wit of their composer. Such were those infinite numbers of Greek and Latin Epistles, writ by the ancient sophists, grammarians, or rhetoricians, where we find the real character of the Epistle, the genuine style and manners of the corresponding parties sometimes imitated, but at other times not so much as aimed at, nor any measures of historical truth preserved. Such perhaps we may esteem even the letters of a Seneca - to his friend Lucilius. Or supposing that philosophical

1 Vol. i. pp. 107-169.

- 'Tis not the person^ character, or genius, hut tlie style and manner of this great man which we presume to censure. We acknowledge his noble sentiments and worthy actions. We own the patriot and good minister ; but we reject the writer. He was the first of any note or worth who gave credit to that false style and manner here spoken of. He might on this account be called in reality the corrupter of Roman eloquence. This indeed could not but naturally, and of itself, become relax and dissolute, after such a relaxation and dissolution of manners, consecjuent to the change of Government, and to the horrid luxury and effeminacy of the Roman court even before the time of a Claudius or a Nero. There was no more pos- sibility of making a stand for language than for liberty. As the world now stood, the highest glory which could be attained by mortal man was to be mitigator or moderator of that universal tyranny already established. To this 1 must add that in every city, principality, or smaller nation, where single will prevails, and court-power, instead of laws or constitutions,



courtier had really such a correspondency, and, at several times, had sent so many fair Epistles, honestly signed and sealed, to his country friend at a distance ; it appears, however, by the Epistles themselves, in their proper order (if they may be said to have any), that after a few attempts at the beginning, the author by degrees loses sight of his correspondent, and takes the world in general for his reader or disciple. He falls into the random way of miscellaneous writing, says everywhere great

guides the State, 'tis of the highest difficulty for the best minister to pro- cure a just or even a tolerable administration. AV'here such a minister is found, who can but moderately influence the petty tyranny, he deserves considerable applause and honour. But in the case we have mentioned, where a universal monarchy was actually established, and the interest of a whole world concerned, he surely must have been esteemed a guardian- angel who, as a Prime Minister, could for several years turn the very worst of courts, and worst conditioned of all princes, to the fatherly care and just government of mankind. Such a minister was Seneca under an Agrippina and a Nero. And such he was acknowledged by the ancient and never-sparing satii'ists, who could not forbear to celebrate withal his generosity and friendship in a private life : —

Nemo petit modicis quae mittebantur amicis A Seneca ; quae Piso bonus, quae Cotta solebat Largiri : namque et titulis, et fascibus olim Major habebatur donandi gloria.

[No one asks for what used to be sent to his clients by Seneca, or what good-natured Piso or Cotta used to give ; for the glory of liberality was once reckoned greater than inscriptions recoi'ding your high office." — Juvenal, v. 108-llL]

Quis tam Perditus, ut dubitet Senecam praeferre Neroni .

[" AVlio is so abandoned as to liesitate to set Seneca above Nero ? " — Juvenal, viii. 212.]

This remark is what I have been tempted to make by the way on the character of this Roman author, more mistaken (if I am not very much so myself) than any other so generally studied. As for the philosophic cliaracter or function imputed to him, 'twas foreign, and no way proper or peculiar to one who never assumed so much as that of sophist or pensionary teacher of philosophy. He was far wide of any such order or profession.



and noble things, in and out of the way, accidentally as words led him (for with these he plays perpetually), with infinite wit, but with little or no coherence, without a shape or body to his work, without a real beginning,^ a middle, or an end. Of a hundred and twenty-four Epistles, you may, if you please, make five hundred, or half a score. A great one, for instance, you may divide into five or six. A little one you may tack to another, and that to another, and so on. The unity of the writing will be the same ; the life and spirit full as well pre- served. 'Tis not only whole letters or pages you may change and manage thus at pleasure ; every period, every sentence almost, is independent, and may be taken asunder, transposed, postponed, anticipated, or set in any new order, as you fancy.

This is the manner of writing so much admired and imitated in our age, that we have scarce the idea of any other model. AVe know little, indeed, of the difference between one model or character of writing and another. All runs to the same tune, and beats exactly one and the same measure. Nothing, one would think, could be more tedious than this uniform pace. The common amble or canterbury is not, I am persuaded, more tiresome to a good rider than this see-saw of essay writers is to an able reader. The just composer of a legitimate piece is like an able traveller, who exactly measures his journey, considers

Tliere is great difference between a courtier who takes a fancy for philo- sophy and a pliilosopher who should take a fancy for a court. Now Seneca was born a courtier, being son of a court rhetor ; himself bred in the same manner, and taken into favour for his wit and genius, his admired style and eloquence, not for his learning in the books of philosophy and the ancients. For this indeed was not very profound in him. In short, he was a man of wonderful wit, fluency of thought and language, an able minister, and honest courtier. And what has been delivered down to his prejudice, is by the common enemy of all the free and generous Romans, that apish shallow historian and court flatterer, Dion Cassius, of a low age, when barbarism (as may be easily seen in his own work) came on apace, and the very traces and features of virtue, science, and knowledge were wearing out of the world.

^ Infra, Misc. v. ch. i., in the notes; and Wit and Humour, part. iv. §3.



his ground, premeditates his stages and intervals of relaxation and intention to the very conclusion of his undertaking, that he happily arrives where he first proposed when he set out. He is not presently upon the spur, or in his full career, but walks his steed leisurely out of his stable, settles himself in his stirrups, and, when fair road and season offer, puts on perhaps to a round trot, thence into a gallop, and after a while takes up. As down or meadow or shady lane present themselves, he accordingly suits his pace, favours his palfrey ; and is sure not to bring him puffing, and in a heat, into his last inn. But the post-way is become highly fashionable with modern authors. The very same stroke sets you out and brings you in. Nothing stays or interrupts. Hill or valley, rough or smooth, thick or thin ; no difference, no variation. When an author sits down to write he knows no other business he has than to be witty, and take care that his periods be well turned, or, as they commonly say, run smooth. In this manner he doubts not to gain the character of bright. When he has writ as many pages as he likes, or as his run of fancy would permit, he then perhaps considers what name he had best give to his new writing ; whether he should call it letter, essay, miscellany, or aught else. The bookseller perhaps is to determine this at last, when all besides the preface, epistle dedicatory, and title-page is dispatched.

. . . Incertus scamnum faceretne Priapum. . . . Deus hide ego ! ^

^ [" Hesitating' whether he should make a bench or a Priapus. ... So I am a God ! " Horace^ Sat. i viii. 2, .3. ]




Review of Enthusiasm — Its defence, praise — Use in business as well as pleasure — Operation by fear. Love — Modifications of enthusiasm ; magnanimity ; heroic virtue ; honour ; public zeal ; religion superstition ; persecution ; martyrdom — Energy of the ecstatic devotion in the tender sex — Account of ancient priesthood — Religious war — Reference to a succeeding chapter.

Whethee, in fact, there be any real enchantment, any influence of stars, any power of demons or of foreign natures over our own minds, is thought questionable by many. Some there are who assert the negative, and endeavour to solve the appearances of this kind by the natural operation of our passions and the common course of outward things. For my own part, I cannot but at this present apprehend a kind of enchantment or magic in that which we call enthusiasm ; since I find that, jhaving touched slightly on this subject, I cannot so easily part with it at pleasure.

After having made some cursory reflections on our author's letter,- I thought I might have sufficiently acquitted myself on this head, till passing to his next treatise I found myself still further engaged. I perceived plainly that I had as yet scarce entered into our authors humour, or felt anything of that passion which, as he informs us, is so easily communicable and naturally engaging. But what I had passed over in my

  • Viz. Letter Concerning Enthusiasm, above.



first reflections I found naturally rising in me upon second thoughts. So that by experience I proved it true what our author says, " That we all of us know something of this principle."" And now that I find I have in reality so much of it imparted to me, I may with better reason be pardoned if, after our author s example, I am led to write on such subjects as these with caution, at different reprises ; and not singly, in one breath. I have heard indeed that the very reading of treatises and accounts of melancholy has been apt to generate that passion in the over-diligent and attentive reader. And this, perhaps, may have been the reason why our author himself (as he seems to intimate towards the conclusion of his first letter) cared not in reality to grapple closely with his subject, or give us at once the precise definition of enthusiasm. This, however, we may, with our author, presume to infer from the coolest of all studies, even from criticism itself (of which we have been lately treating), " that there is a power in numbers, harmony, proportion, and beauty of every kind, which naturally captivates the heart, and raises the imagination to an opinion or conceit of something !^ majestic and divine.'"

Whatever this subject may be in itself, we cannot help being transported with the thought of it. It inspires us with something more than ordinary, and raises us above ourselves. Without this imagination or conceit the Avorld would be but a dull circumstance, and life a sorry pastime. Scarce could we be said to live. The animal functions might in their coiu'se be carried on ; but nothing further sought for or regarded. The gallant sentiments, the elegant fancies, the belles passions which have, all of them, this beauty in view, would be set aside, and leave us probably no other employment than that of satisfying our coarsest appetites at the cheapest rate, in order to the attain- ment of a supine state of indolence and inactivity.

Slender would be the enjoyments of the lover, the ambitious man, the warrior, or the virtuoso (as our author has elsewhere^ ^ Moralists, part iii. § 2. "--5



intimated), if in the beauties which they admire and passion- ately pursue there were no reference or regard to any higher majesty or grandeur than what simply results from the particular objects of their pursuit. I know not, in reality, what we should do to find a seasoning to most of our pleasures in life, were it not for the taste or relish which is owing to this particular passion, and the conceit or imagination which supports it. Without this, we could not so much as admire a poem or a picture ; a garden or a palace ; a charming shape or a fair face. Love itself would appear the lowest thing in Nature when thus anticipated, and treated according to the anti- enthusiastic poet's method : —

Et jacere humorem collectum in corpora quaeque.^

How heroism or magnanimity must stand in this hypothesis is easy to imagine. The Muses themselves must make a very indifferent figure in this philosophical draught. Even the prince of poets ^ would prove a most insipid! writer if he were thus reduced. Nor could there, according to this scheme, be yet a place of honour left even for our Latin poet,^ the great disciple of this un-polite philosophy, who dares with so little equity employ the Muses' art in favour of such a system. But in spite of his philosophy he everywhere gives way to admira- tion and rapturous views of Nature. He is transported with the several beauties of the world, even whilst he arraigns the order of it, and destroys the principle of beauty from whence in ancient languages the world ^ itself was named.

' Lucretius, iv. 106.5.

- ovdev /if'pos 'Ofirjpuj 8.0eov, ov5k dvvdcrrov 6.vopov, ov5i dpxv^ ^pij/xov, aXXa Trdvra tieard deiuv ovo/j-aTuv /cat deiwi' \6-/uv, Kal Oelas rexi'V^- \_" No part in Homer is devoid of Gods, or bare of princes, or destitute of magistrates ; but all is full of names and speeches and art of Gods. " — Maximus Tyrius, Dissert. 16. ]

2 Viz. Lucretius, as above, Treatise i. § G, end.

  • Kda-fjLos, mundus. From whence that expostulation, iv <toI /xiv rts k6(t/j.os

iKp'ujTaadai. bvvaTai, iv Si tuj TravTl d.Koafj.ia ; [" Or can a certain order subsist



This is what our author advances : when in behalf of enthusiasm he quotes its formal enemies, and shows that they are as capable of it as its greatest confessors and assertors. So far is he from degrading enthusiasm or disclaiming it in himself, that he looks on this passion, simply considered, as the most natural, and its object as the justest in the world. Even virtue itself he takes to be no other than a noble enthusiasm justly directed and regulated by that high standard which he supposes in the nature of things.

He seems to assert ^ " that there are certain moral species or appearances so striking and of such force over our natures, that when they present themselves they bear down all contrary opinion or conceit, all opposite passion, sensation, or mere bodily affection." Of this kind he makes virtue itself to be the chief, since of all views or contemplations this, in his account, is the most naturally and strongly affecting. The exalted part of love is only borroM'ed hence. That of pure friendship is its immediate self. He who yields his life a sacrifice to his prince or country ; the lover who for his paramour performs as much ; the heroic, the amorous, the religious martyrs, who draw their views, whether visionary or real, from this pattern and exemplar of divinity; all these, according to our authors sentiment, are alike actuated by this passion, and prove themselves in effect so many different enthusiasts.

Nor is thorough honesty, in his hypothesis, any other than zeal or passion moving strongly upon the species or view of the decorum and sublime of actions. Others may pursue ^ different

within thee, and none in the universe .'* " — Marcus Aurelius, iv. 27.] And that other allusion to the same word, Kbafiov 8' irvfius rb (xifiirav, a\X ovk aKojfiiav dvo/j-daais &v. [" We might with correct etymology call the uni- verse an order, but not a disorder." — Aristotle, -rrepi Koaixov, c. 6.] Below, Misc. V. ch. i. in the notes.

1 Wit and Humour, part iv. § 2 ; Inquiry, bk. ii. part ii. § 1.

2 Moralists, part iii. § 3.




forms and fix their eye on different species (as all men do on one or other). The real honest man, however plain or simple ; he appears, has that highest species, honesty itself,^ in view ; and instead of outward forms or symmetries, is struck with that of inward character, the harmony and numbers of the heart and beauty of the affections, which form the manners and conduct of a truly social life.

'Tis indeed peculiar to the genius of that cool philosophy above described,' that as it denies the order or harmony of things in general, so by a just consequence and truth of reason- ing it rejects the habit of admiring or being charmed with whatever is called beautiful in particular. According to the regimen prescribed by this philosophy, it must be acknowledged that the evils of love, ambition, vanity, luxury, with other disturbances derived from the florid, high, and elegant ideas of things, must in appearance be set in a fair way of being radically cured.

It need not be thought surprising that religion itself should in the account of these philosophers be reckoned among those vices and disturbances which it concerns us after this manner to extirpate. If the idea of majesty and beauty in other inferior subjects be in reality distracting, it must chiefly prove so in that principal subject, the basis and foundation of this conceit. Now if the subject itself be not in nature, neither the idea nor the passion grounded on it can be properly esteemed natural ; and thus all admiration ceases, and enthusiasm is at an end. But if there be naturally such a passion, 'tis evident that religion itself is of the kind, and must be therefore natui'al . ,

to man. /^

We can admire nothing profoundly without a certain d^ t^ religious veneration. And because this borders so much on fear, and raises a certain tremor or horror of like appearance, 'tis easy to give that turn to the affection, and represent all

^ The honestum, pulchrum, t6 koXw, vpi-Kov. Infra, Misc. iii. ch. ii.

- Supra, p. 175 ; Treatise i. § G ; and Treatise ii. part iii. § 3. VOL. II 177 N


enthusiasm and religious ecstasy as the product or mere effect of fear :

Primus in orbe deos fecit timoi-.

But the original passion, as appears plainly, is of another kind, and in effect is so confessed by those who are the greatest opposers of religion, and who, as our author observes, have shown themselves sufficiently convinced, " that although these ideas of divinity and beauty were vain, they were yet in a manner innate, or such as men were really born to and could hardly by any means avoid." ^

Now as all affections have their excess, and require judgment and discretion to moderate and govern them, so this high and noble affection, which raises man to action and is his guide in business as well as pleasure, requires a steady rein and strict hand over it. All moralists, worthy of any name, have recog- nised the passion, though among these the wisest have prescribed restraint, pressed moderation, and to all tyros in philosophy forbid the forward use of admiration, rapture, or ecstasy, even in the subjects they esteemed the highest and most divine. They knew very well that the first motion, appetite, and ardour of the vouth in general towards philosophy and knowledge depended chiefly on this turn of temper : - yet were they well apprised, Avithal, that in the progress of this study, as well as in the affairs of life, the florid ideas and exalted fancies of this kind became the fuel of many incendiary passions ; and that, in religious concerns particularly, the habit of admiration I and contemplative delight would, by over-indulgence, too easily { mount into high fanaticism or degenerate into abject superstition. 1 Upon the whole, therefore, according to our author, enthusi-

^ Letter of Enthusiasm, § 6.

^ So the Stagirite : otd yap to 6av/xa^eii> ol di/dpuiroi Kal uvv koI rb irpwrou ijp^avTo (piXocrocpe'ii'. [" For it was through wonder that men first began, and do still begin, to philosophise." — Arist. Metaph. i. ii. 982 b.] See below, Misc. iv. ch. i. , in the notes.



asm is in itself a very natural honest passion, and has properly nothing for its object but what is good and honest.^ ""Tis apt indeed, he confesses, to run astray. And by modern example we know, perhaps yet better than by any ancient, that in religion the enthusiasm which works by love is subject to many strange irregularities, and that A\hich works by fear to many monstrous and horrible superstitions. Mystics and fanatics are known to abound as well in our reformed as in the Romish churches. The pretended floods of grace poured into the bosoms of the quietists, pietists, and those who favour the ecstatic way of devotion, raise such transports as by their own proselytes are confessed to have something strangely agreeable, and in common vnth what ordinary lovers are used to feel. And it has been remarked by many that the female saints have been the greatest improvers of this soft part of religion. What truth there may be in the related operations of this pretended grace and amorous zeal, or in the accounts of what has usually passed between the saints of each sex, in these devout ecstasies, I shall leave the reader to examine, supposing he will find credible accounts sufficient to convince him of the dangerous progress of enthusi- asm in this amorous lineage.

There are many branches indeed more vulgar, as that of fear, melancholy, consternation, suspicion, despair. And when the passion turns more towards the astonishing and frightful than the amiable and delightful side, it creates rather what we call superstition than enthusiasm. I must confess, Avithal, that what we commonly style zeal in matters of religion, is seldom without a mixture of both these extravagancies. The ecstatic motions of love and admiration are seldom unaccompanied with the horrors and consternations of a lower sort of devotion. These paroxysms of zeal are in reality as the hot and cold fits of an ague, and depend on the different and occasional views or aspects of the divinity, according as the worshipper is guided from without, or affected from within, by his particular constitution.'- 1 TO KaXov Kal dyadof. - Infra, Mine. ii. ch. iii. , end.



Seldom are those aspects so determinate and fixed as to excite constantly one and the same spirit of devotion. In religions, therefore, which hold most of love, there is generally room left for terrors of the deepest kind. Nor is there any religion so diabolical as, in its representation of divinity, to leave no room for admiration and esteem. Whatever personage or spectre of divinity is worshipped, a certain esteem and love is generally affected by his worshippers. Or if, in the devotion paid him, there be in truth no real or absolute esteem, there is however a certain astonishing delight or ravishment excited.

This passion is experienced in common by every worshipper of the zealot kind. The motion, when unguided and left wholly to itself, is in its nature turbulent and incentive. It disjoints the natural frame and relaxes the ordinary tone or tenor of the mind. In this disposition the reins are let loose to all passion which arises ; and the mind, as far as it is able to act or think in such a state, approves the riot, and justifies the wild effects by the supposed sacredness of the cause. Every dream and frenzy is made inspiration, every affection, zeal. And in this persuasion the zealots, no longer self-governed, but set adrift to the Avide sea of passion, can in one and the same spirit of devotion exert the opposite passions of love and hatred, unite affectionately and abhor furiously, curse, bless, sing, mourn, exult, tremble, caress, assassinate, inflict and suffer martyrdom,^ with a thousand other the most vehement efforts of variable and contrary affections.

The common heathen religion, especially in its latter age, when adorned with the most beautiful temples and rendered

^ A passage of history comes to my miiid^ as it is cited by an eminent divine of our own Cliurcli^ with regard to that spirit of martyrdom M'hich furnishes, it seems^ such solid matter for the opinion and faith of many zealots. The story, in the words of our divine, and with his own reflec- tions on it, is as follows : "Two PVanciscans offered themselves to the fire to prove Savonarola to be a heretic ; but a certain Jacobine offered him- self to the fire to prove that Savonarola had true revelations, and was no heretic. In the meantime Savonarola preached, but made no such con- fident offer, nor durst he venture at that new kind of fire-ordeal. And




more illustrious by the munificence of the Roman senate and succeeding emperors, ran wholly into pomp, and was supported chiefly by that sort of enthusiasm which is raised from the external objects of grandeur, majesty, and what we call august.^ On the other side, the Egyptian or Syrian religions, which lay more in mystery and concealed rites, having less dependence on the magistrate and less of that decorum of art, politeness, and magnificence, ran into a more pusillanimous, frivolous, and mean , kind of superstition : " The observation of days,(the forbearance ' of meats, and the contention about traditions, seniority of laws, and priority of godships. ^

Summus utrinque Inde furor viilgo, quod numina vicinorum Odit uterque locus, quum solos credat habendos Esse deos, quos ipse colit.'^

History, withal, informs us of a certain establishment in Egypt which was very extraordinary, and must needs have had a very uncommon effect, no way advantageous to that nation in particular, or to the general society of mankind. We know very well that nothing is more injurious to the police or municipal constitution of any city or colony than the forcing of a particular trade. Nothing more dangerous than the over- peopling any manufacture, or multij^lying the traders or dealers, of whatever vocation, beyond their natural proportion and the public demand. Now it happened of old, in this motherland of

put case, all four had passed through the fire and died in the flames, what would that have proved? Had he heeu a heretic, or no heretic, tlie more or the less,'for the confidence of these zealous idiots ? If we mark it, a great many arguments whereon many sects rely are no hetter prol)ation than this comes to." — Bishop Taylor in his dedicatory discourse, hefore his Libert !i of Prophesying. See Letter of Enthnaicmn , § ,3.

1 Infra, Misc. ii. eh. ii. 2 ggg Moralists, ])t. iii. § 1.

^ [" Hence a raging madness is ahroad on both sides, iiecause each place hates its neighbours' deities, since it believes that only its own objects of worship are Gods." — Juv. xv. 3o-8.]



superstition, that the sons of certain artists were by law obliged always to follow the same calling with their fathers.^ Thus the son of a priest was always a priest by birth, as was the whole lineage after him, without interruption. Nor was it a custom with this nation, as with others, to have only one single priest or priestess to a temple ; but as the number of Gods and temples was infinite, so was that of the priests.- The religious foundations were without restriction, and to one single worship or temple as many of the holy order might be retainers as could raise a maintenance from the office.

Whatever happened to other races or professions, that of the priest, in all likelihood, must by this regulation have propagated

^ ^UTi 5^ AiyvTrTiuu eTrrd. yivea.' Kal tovtwv ol /J.iv, ip^es, ol de, /xaxi- fJ-Oi KetcXiarai. — ov5^ tovtolulv i^ean rex^V (TraaKijaai. ovdepiirjv, dWa to. is woXefjiOv iira<TKiovffL fxovva, Trats irapa Trarpos eKOeKo/xevos. [' " The Egj^tians are divided into seven classes — one of priests, one of warriors, etc. . . . The warriors may not practise any craft, hut only that of war, which they inherit hy birth."— Herodot. ii. 164, 166.]

iparai 5^ oi'/c e^s eKaarov tu>v OeQiv, dWa iroWol . . eTre di' Oe ris OLTrodavrj, tovtov 6 Trats cLVTiKaTiaraTaL. ['^ Not one priest, but a whole college of priests, is consecrated to each god, . . . and when one priest dies his son is con- secrated in his place." — Ihld. ii. .37.]

2 T?7S 5^ x^P°-^ airda-qs eb Tpia fj-eprj 8iripT]/j.€vr]s, etc. Cum tota regio in tres partes divisa sit, primam sibi portionem vendicat ordo sacerdotum, magiia apud indigenas auctoritate pollens, tum ob pietatem in deos, turn quod multam ex eruditione scientiam ejusmodi homines afferunt. Ex reditibus autem suis cuncta per Aegyptum sacrificia procurant, ministros alunt ; et propriis commoditatibus ancillantur, rais t'Skts xpe'a's xop'^ToCcriv. Non enim (Aegyptii) existimant fas esse deorum honores mutari, sed semper ah eisdem eodem ritu peragi ; necjue eos necessariorum copia destitui qui in com- mune omnibus consulunt. In universum namque de maximis rebus con- sulentes, indesinenter regi praesto sunt, in nonnullis tanquam participes imperii, in aliis reges, duces et magistri (cri'vepyoi, elariyrjTai, diddaKaXoi) existentes. Ex astrologia quoque et sacrorum inspectione futura prae- dicunt, atque e sacrorum librorum scriptis res gestas cum utilitate con- junctas praelegunt. Non enim, ut apud Graecos, unus tantummodo vir aut foemina una sacerdotio fungitur ; sed complures sacrificia et honores deum obeuntes liberis suis eandem ^•itae rationem ([uasi per manus tradunt. Hi autem cuuctis oneribus sunt immunes, et primos post regem honoris



the most of any. 'Tis a tempting circumstance to have so easy a mastery over the world, to subdue by wit instead of force, to practise on the passions and triumph over the judgment of mankind, to influence private famiUes and public councils, conquer conquerors, control the magistrate himself, and govern without the envy which attends all other government or superiority. No wonder if such a profession was apt to multiply, especially when we consider the easy living and security of the professors, their exemption from all labour and hazard, the supposed sacredness of their character, and their free possession of wealth, grandeur, estates, and women.

There was no need to invest such a body as this with rich lands and ample territories, as it happened in Egypt. The generation or tribe being once set apart as sacred, would without further encoui'agement be able, no doubt, in process of time to establish themselves a plentiful and growing fund or religious land-bank. 'Twas a sufficient donative to have had only that single privilege from the law,^ " that they might retain what

et potestatis gradus obtinent. [" The whole country being divided into three parts, the order of priests claims the first part. It enjoys great authority among the people, both for its piety toward the Gods and for its profound learning. Out of their revenues the priests find all the sacrifices for Egypt, pay their servants, and meet their own expenses. For the Egyptians do not think it lawful to change the rites of the Gods, but hold that they must be carried on unchanged by the same class of persons, and that those who watch for all must not lack bread. For the priests, perpetually watching for the general good, are ever by the king's side ; and in some matters they share his power, in some they act as fellow-workers, advisers, teachers. They also foretell the future from astronomy and from the examination of victims, and from their sacred books they give useful teaching in history. P"'or it is not as with the Greeks, among whom one man or one woman holds a priesthood, but several Egyptian priests attend to sacrifices and ritual, and they pass on the same way of life by inheritance to their children. They are exempted from all taxes, and they enjoy the first rank and dignity after the king." — Diod. Sic. i. 73. Shaftesbury chooses to cite this Greek author in a Latin version.] 1 Infra, Misc. ii. ch. ii.



they could get, and that it might be lawful for their order to receive such estates by voluntary contribution, as could never afterwards be converted to other uses,"

Now if, besides the method of propagation by descent, other methods of increase were allowed in this order of men, if volunteers were also admitted at pleasure, without any stint or confinement to a certain number, 'tis not difficult to imagine how enormous the growth would be of such a science or pro- fession, thus recognised by the magistrate, thus invested with lands and power, and thus entitled to whatever extent of riches or possessions could be acquired by practice and influence over the superstitious part of mankind.

There were, besides, in Egypt some natural causes of super- stition, beyond those which were common to other regions. This nation might well abound in prodigies, when even their country and soil itself was a kind of prodigy in nature. Their solitary idle life whilst shut up in their houses by the regular inundations of the Nile ; the unwholesome vapours arising from the new mud and slimy relicts of their river exposed to the hot suns ; their various meteors and phenomena, with the long vacancy they had to observe and comment on them ; the necessity, withal, which, on the account of their navigation and the measure of their yearly drowned lands, compelled them to promote the studies of astronomy and other sciences, of which their priesthood could make good advantages — all these may be reckoned perhaps as additional causes of the immense growth of superstition, and the enormous increase of the priest- hood in this fertile land.

Twill, however, as I conceive, be found unquestionably true, according to political arithmetic, in every nation whatsoever, " that the quantity of superstition (if I may so speak) will in proportion nearly answer the number of priests, diviners, soothsayers, prophets, or such who gain their livelihood or receive advantages by officiating in religious afFairs.*" For if these dealers are numerous, they will force a trade. And as



the liberal hand of the magistrate can easily raise swarms of this kind where they are already but in a moderate proportion, so where through any other cause the number of these, increas- ing still by degrees, is suffered to grow beyond a certain measure, they will soon raise such a ferment in men's minds as will at least compel the magistrate, however sensible of the grievance, to be cautious in proceeding to a reform.

We may observe in other necessary professions, raised on the infirmities and defects of mankind (as, for instance, in law and physic), "that with the least help from the bounty or beneficence of the magistrate, the number of the professors and the subject-matter of the profession is found over and above increasing." New difficulties are started, new subjects of con- tention ; deeds and instruments of law grow more numerous and prolix, hypotheses, methods, regimens, more various, and the materia medica more extensive and abundant. What, in process of time, must therefore naturally have happened in the case of religion among the Egyptians may easily be gathered.

Nor is it strange that we should find the property^ and power of the Egyptian priesthood in ancient days arrived to such a height as in a manner to have swallowed up the state and monarchy. A worse accident befel the Persian crown, of which the hierarchy having got absolute possession, had once a fair chance for universal empire. Now that the Persian or Babylonian hierarchy was much after the model of the Egyptian, though different pei'haps in rites and ceremonies, we may well

^ VHiich was one-third. fiovXo/j.ei'rip oe ttjc "Io-li>, etc. Sed cum Isis lucro etiani sacerdotes invitare vellet ad cultus istos (nempe Osiridis, mariti fato fuiicti) tertiam eis terrae partem eh Trpoaddovs, ad deorum ministeria et sa(!ra munia^ frueudam donavit. ["But as Isis wished to encourag-e the priests by gain also to the worship of her dead liusband Osiris, slie granted them one-third of the country, to employ its revenues for divine duties and sacrifices." — Diod. Sic. i. 21.] A remarkable effect of female superstition ! See also the passage of the same historian, cited above, p. 182, in the notes.



judge, not only from the history of the Magi,^ but from what is recorded of ancient colonies sent long before by the Egyptians into Chaldea^ and the adjacent countries. And whether the Ethiopian model was from that of Egypt, or the Egyptian from that of Ethiopia (for each nation had its pretence ^), we know by remarkable effects* that the Ethiopian empire was once in the same condition, the state having been wholly swallowed in the exorbitant power of their landed hierarchy. So true it is, " That dominion nmst naturally follow property." Nor is it possible, as 1 conceive, for any state or monarchy to withstand the encroachments of a growing hierarchy, founded on the model of these Egyptian and Asiatic priesthoods. No superstition will ever be wanting among the ignorant and vulgar whilst the able and crafty have a power to gain inherit- ances and possessions by working on this human weakness.

1 See Treatise ii. part ii. § 1. Herodotus gives us the history at length in his third book.

2 Diod. Sic. i. 28, 81.

3 Herodot. ii. 30, 104 ; and Diod. Sic. iii. .3.

•* Kara Tr]v MepoTjv ol Trepl ras tQi/ de(>iv OepaTreias re Kal Tifihs ^Larpl^ovTei iepeh, etc. Qui in Meroe (urbe, et insula primaria Aetliiopum) deorum cultus et honores administrant sacerdotes (ordo autem hie maxima pollet auctoritate), quandocumque ipsis in mentem venerit, niisso ad regem nuntio, vita se ilium abdicare jubent. Oraculis enim deorum hoc edici : nee fas esse ab uUo mortalium, quod dii immortales jusserint, contemni. [" The priests who look after the ritual and worsliip of the Gods at Meriie (and very great is the authority of this order) send word to the king, whenever they think fit, that he must die ; for so (they say) the oracles of the Gods enjoin, and wliat Gods command no mortal must disobey." — Diod. Sic. iii. 6.] So much for their kings ; for as to subjects, the manner was related a little before. Unus ex lictoribus ad reum mittitur, signum mortis praeferens : quo ille viso domum abiens sibi mortem consciscit. [ One of their attendants is sent to the accused, bearing a sign of death ; whereupon the accused goes home and kills himself." — Diod. Sic. iii. .5.] This the people of our days would call passive obedience and priestcraft, with a witness. But our historian proceeds : Et per superiores quidem aetates, non armis aut vi coacti, sed merae superstitionis vw 'avTrjs ttjs BeiaLdaifMovias fascino mente capti reges, sacerdotibus morem gesserunt ;



This is a fund which, by these allowances, will prove inexhaust- ible. New modes of worship, new miracles, new heroes, saints, divinities (which serve as new occasions for sacred donatives), will be easily supplied on the part of the religious orders, whilst the civil magistrate authorises the accumulative donation, and neither restrains the number or possessions of the sacred body.

We find, withal, that in the early days of this ancient priestly nation of whom we have been speaking, 'twas thought expedient also, for the increase of devotion, to enlarge their system of deity, and either by mystical genealogy, consecration, or canonisation, to multiply their revealed objects of worship and raise new personages of divinity in their religion. They proceeded, it seems, in process of time, to increase the number of their Gods,^ so far that at last they became in a manner numberless. What odd shapes, species, and forms of deity were in latter times exhibited is well known. Scarce an animal or plant but was adopted into some share of divinity.

O sanctas genteSj quibus haec nascuntur in hortis

Numina ! -

donee Erg-amenes, Aethiopum rex (Ptolemaeo secundo rerum potiente), Graecorum disciplinae et pliilosophiae particeps^ mandata ilia primus adspernari ausus fuit. Nam hie animo, qui regem deceret, sumto, cum militum manu in locum inaccessum, ul)i aureum fuit templum Aethiopum, profectus : omnes illos sacrificos jugulavit, et abolito more pristino, sacra pro arbitrio suo instauravit. [" In former generations the kings, not forced by arms, but simply bewitclied by superstition, obeyed the priests. But Ergamenes, king of the Ethiopians in the time of Ptolemy II., who was initiated into Greek philosopliy, was the first to despise their orders. ^V'itll kingly courage he marclied liis soldiers uj)on the inaccessible spot where stood the golden temple of the Ethiopians, cut down all the priests, abolished the old usage, and rearranged the ritual to his own liking." — Diod. Sic. iii. 6.]

^ (is 5^ avTol X^yovai, ^red iari eTrraKiaxL^ia Kal fxvpia t^' Kfiacnv jBaaiXei'ffafTa, e'Tre/ re iK tCiv 6/cra; dedov oi SvwBeKa deol iyivovro. [" By the Egyptians' own story it is 17,000 years from the time when the eight (iods grew into twelve down to the reign of Amasis." — Herodot. ii. 4.3.]

^ \." O pious nation, for whom Gods like these grow in the garden !" — Juv. XV. 10.]



No wonder if by a nation so abounding in religious orders, spiritual conquests Avere sought in foreign countries, colonies led abroad,^ and missionaries detached on expeditions in this prosperous service. ""Twas thus a zealot people, influenced of old by their very region and climate, and who through a long tract of time, under a peculiar policy, had been raised both by art and nature to an immense growth in relig-ious science and mystery, came by degrees to spread their variety of rites and ceremonies, their distinguishing marks of separate worships and secret communities, through the distant World, but chiefly through their neighbouring and dependent countries.

We understand from history that even when the Egyptian state was least powerful in arms, it Avas still respected for its religion and mysteries. It drew strangers from all parts to behold its wonders. And the fertility of its soil forced the adjacent people, and wandering nations who lived dispersed in single tribes, to visit them, court their alliance, and solicit a trade and commerce with them, on whatsoever terms. The strangers, no doubt, might well receive religious rites and doctrines from those to whom they owed their maintenance and bread.

Before the time that Israel was constrained to go down to Egypt and sue for maintenance to these powerful dynasties or

^ ot 5e ovv AlyvTTTioi., etc. Aegyptii plurinias colonias ex Aegypto in orbem terraruni disseminatas fuisse dicuiit. In Babylonem colonos deduxit Belus, qui Neptuni et Libyae filius habetur : et posita ad Euphratem sede, instituit sacerdotes ad morem Aeoryptiorum exemptos impensis et oiieribus publicis^ quos Babylonii vocant Chaldaeos, qui, exemplo sacerdotum et physicorum^ astrologorumque in Aegypto^ ob- servant Stellas. [" Tlie Egyptians say that very many colonies were scattered over the world from Egypt. Belus, who is reputed son of Poseidon and Libya^ led colonists to Babylon. After planting his town on the Euphrates^ he instituted priests after the Egyptian fashion, exempt from taxes and public burdens ; these, whom the Babylonians call Chaldeans, like the priests and the men of science and the astronomers in Egypt, watch the stars." — Diod. Sic. i. 28, also 81.]



lowland states, the holy patriarch Abraham himself had been necessitated to this compliance on the same account.^ He applied in the same manner to the Egyptian court. He was at first well received and handsomely presented, but afterwards ill-used and out of favour with the prince, yet suffered to depart the kingdom and retire with his effects, without any attempt of recalling him again by force, as it happened in the case of his posterity. 'Tis certain that if this holy patriarch, who first instituted the sacred rite of circumcision within his own family or tribe, had no regard to any policy or religion of the Egyptians, yet he had formerly been a guest and inhabitant in Egypt (where historians mention this to have been a national rite-), long ere he had received any divine notice or revelation con- cerning this affair.^ Nor was it in religion merely that this reverend guest was said to have derived knowledge and learning from the Egyptians. 'Twas from this parent-country of occult sciences that he was presumed, together with other wisdom, to have learnt that of judicial astrology,* as his successors did afterwards other prophetical and miraculous arts, proper to the Magi or priesthood of this land.

One cannot indeed but observe, in after times, the strange

^ Gen. xii. 10, etc.

- Abramus, quando Aegyptum ingressus est, nonduni circunicisus erat, neque per auiios amplius viginti post reditum. . . . Illius poster! circumcisi sunt, et ante introituni, et dum in Aegypto commorati sunt : post exitum vero nou sunt circumcisi, quamdiu vixit Moses. Fecit itaque Josue cultros lapideos, et circumcidit filios Israel in colle praeputiorum. Factum Deus ratum habuit, dixitcjue, Hodie a^etXoj' rbv dveiSicfibv Aiyinrrov acp' v/xQv, abstuli opprobrium Aegypti a vobis." Josue, v. 3. Tarn Aegyptiis quam Judaeis opprobrio erant incircumcisi. Apud Aegyptios circumcidendi ritus vetus- tissimus fuit, et dw' dpxv^ ab ipso initio iustitutus. Illi nuUorum aliorum liominum institutis uti volunt. Herodot. ii. 91. rd aldoia (^ dWoi nh iuxn Jjs iyevovTo, TrXr^v baoi dno tovtwv ^/xadov ' AiyvirTioi 5i TrepiTd/jLVOvTai. [" The Egyptians practise circumcision, but no other people do so except those who have learned it from the Egyptians."— Herodot. ii. 3G.]— Marsliami Chronkns Canon, p. 72. 3 q^^ j.^,jj_

  • Julius Firmicus, apud Marshamum, pp. 4.52, 4.5o.



adherence and servile dependency of the whole Hebrew race on the Egyptian nation. It appears that though they were of old abused in the person of their grand patriarch ; though after- wards held in bondage, and treated as the most abject slaves ; though twice expelled, or necessitated to save themselves by flight out of this oppressive region, yet in the very instant of their last retreat, whilst they were yet on their march, conducted by visible Divinity, supplied and fed from heaven, and supported by continual miracles, they notwithstanding inclined so strongly to the manners, the religion, rites, diet, customs, laws and con- stitutions of their tyrannical masters, that it was with the utmost difficulty they could be withheld from returning again into the same subjection.^ Nor could their great captains and

^ It can scarce be said in reality, from what appears in Holy "SFrit^ that their retreat was voluntary. And for the historians of other nations^ they have presumed to assert that this people was actually expelled Egypt on account of their leprosy, to which the Jewish laws appear to have so great a reference. Tlius Tacitus : Plurimi auctores consentiunt, orta per Aegyptum tabe, quae corpora foedaret, regem Occhorim, adito Hammonis oraculoj remedium peteuteni, purgari regnum, et id genus hominum ut invisum deis, alias in terras avehere jussum. Sic conquisitum coUec- tumque vulgus, . . . Mosen unum monuisse, etc. [" Several authors agree that when a disfiguring disease spread among the Egyptians, king Bocchoris consulted the oracle of Hammon, and was bidden to purge the kingdom and remove from it that class of men (the sick) as offensive to the Gods. So when the mob was hunted up and got together . . . Moses alone advised," etc. — Tacitus, ///*■/. v. .'3.] Aegyptii, quum scabiem et vitiliginem patereutur, responso mouiti eum (Mosen) cum aegris, ne pestis ad plures serperet, terminis Aegypti pellunt. Dux igitur exulum factus, sacra Aegyptiorum furtoabstulit : quae repetentes armis Aegyptii, domum redire tempestatibus compulsi sunt. [" ^Vllen the Egyptians were suffer- ing from leprosy they were warned by an oracle to expel Moses and the sick from Egypt, lest the disease should spread further. Becoming there- fore leader of the exiles, Moses stole the sacred objects of the Egyptians ; and when tlie Egyptians tried to recapture these, they were driven home by storms." — Justin, xxxvi. 2,] And in Marsham we find this remarkable citation from Manetho : Amenophin regem affectasse OeQv yepiadai dear-qv, wcnrep Qp ets tu>v irpb avrov /3e/3acrtXei'K6rwv, deorum esse comtemplatorem,



lef^islators prevent their relapsing perpetually into the same worship to which they had been so long accustomed.^

How far the divine Providence might have indulged the stubborn habit and stupid humour of this people, by giving them laws (as the Prophet says^) which he himself approved not, I have no intention to examine. This only I pretend to

sicut Orum quendam regum priorum. Cui responsum est^ 6Vt Swijo-erat deovs iS{?v, quod posset videre deos^ si regionem a leprosis et immundis liomiiiibus purgaret. ["That king Ameiiophis desired to see the Gods, like Orus, an earlier king, and received the answer from an oracle that he miglit see the Gods if he cleared the country of filthy lepers." — Chronicus Canon, p. 52.]

^ See what is cited above (p. 189, in the notes from Marsham) of the Jews returning to circumcision under Joshua, after a generation's inter- mission ; tliis being approved by God, for the reason given, " That it was taking from them the reproach of the Egyptians, or what rendered them odious and impious in the eyes of that people." Compare with this the passage concerning Moses himself, Exod. iv. 18, 25, 26 (together with Acts vii. 30, 34), where in regard to the Egyptians, to whom he was now retui'ning when fourscore years of age, he appears to have circumcised liis children, and taken off this national reproacli ; Zipporah, his wife, never- theless, reproaching liim with the bloodiness of the deed, to which she appears to have been a party only through necessity, and in fear rather of her husband than of God.

2 Ezek. XX. 25 ; Acts xv. 10. Of these Egyptian institutions received amongst the Jews, see our Spencer. Cum morum quorundam antifiuorum toleratio vi magna polleret, ad Hebraeorum auimos Dei legi et cultui con- ciliandos, et a reformatione Mosaica invidiam omnem amoliretur ; maxime conveniebat, ut Deus ritus aliquos antiquitus usitatos in sacrorum suorum numerum assumeret, et lex a Mose data speciem ali(iuam cultus olim re- cepti ferret. . . . Ita nempe nati factique erant Israelitae, ex Aegypto recens egressi, quod Deo pene necesse esset (humanitus loqui fas ,sit) rituum aliijuorum veterum usum iis indulgere, et illius instituta ad eorum morem et modulum accommodare. Nam populus erat a teneris Aegypti moribus assuetus, et in iis multorum annorum usu confirmatus. . . . Hebraei, non tantum Aegypti moribus assueti, sed etiam refractarii fuerunt. . . . Quemadmodum cuj usque regionis et terrae po])ulo sua sunt ingenia, moresijue proprii, ita natura gentem Hebraeorum, praeter caeteros orbis incolas, ingenio moroso, difficili, et ad infamiam usque pertinaci, finxit. . . . Cum itaque veteres Hebraei moribus essent asperis et efferatis adeo,



infer from what has been advanced, " that the manners, opinions, rites, and customs of the Egyptians had, in the earhest times and from generation to generation, strongly influenced the Hebrew people (their guests and subjects), and had undoubtedly gained a powerful ascendency over their natures."

How extravagant soever the multitude of the Egyptian superstitions may appear, 'tis certain that their doctrine and wisdom were in high repute, since it is taken notice of in Holy Scripture as no small advantage even to Moses himself, " that he had imbibed the wisdom of this nation," V which, as is well known, lay chiefly among their priests and Magi.

Before the time that the great Hebrew legislator received his education among these sages, a Hebrew slave,^ who came

populi conditio postulavit, ut Deos ritus aliquos usu veteri lirmatos iis con- cederet, et vo/jliktjv \a.Tpeiav ry eavruv aadeveia avfi^alvovaav (uti loquitur Tlieodoretus) cultum legalem eorum infirmitati accommodatum iustituerit. . . . Hebraei superstitiosa gens eraut, et omni peiie literatura destituti. Quam alte gentium superstitionibus immergebantur, e legibus intelligere licet, quae populo tanquam remedia superstitionis iniponebantur. Con- tumax autem bellua superstitio, si praesertim ab ignorantiae tenebris novam ferociam et contumaciam liauserit. Facile vero credi potest, IsraelitaSj nuper e servorum domo liberatos, artium humaniorum rudes fuisse, et vix quiccjuam supra lateres atque allium Aegypti sapuisse. Quando itaque Deo jam uegotium esset, cum populo tarn barbaro, et superstitioni tam impense dedito ; pene necesse fuit, ut alicjuid eorum infirmitati daret, eostjue dolo quodam (uou argumentis) ad seipsum alli- ceret. Nullum animal superstitioso, rudi praecipue, morosius est, aut majori arte ti'actandum. — Spencerus, De Leg. Hebr. pp. C27, 028, 629.

1 (1) /cat €TraiOev6r) Mwcr^j wdaj] ao(piq. AiyvirTiwv' ^v de dwarbs iv \6701s Kal ev ipyoLS. Act. Apost. vii. 22.

(2) Exod. vii. 11, 22.

(;3) Ibid. viii. 7.

(4) Justin, xxxvi. 2.

- Gen. xxxix., etc. Minimus aetata inter fratres Joseph fuit, cujus

excellens iugenium veriti fratres clam interceptum peregrinis mercatoribus

veudiderunt. A quibus deportatus in Aegyptum, cum magicas ibi ai*tes

solerti ingenio percepisset, brevi ipsi regi percarus fuit. ["^^ Joseph was

he youngest of the brothers, and they, fearing his cleverness, kidnapped



a youth into the Egyptian Court, had ah'eady grown so powerful in this kind of wisdom, as to outdo the chief diviners, prognos- ticators and interpreters of Egypt. He raised himself to be chief minister to a prince, who, following his advice, obtained in a manner the whole property, and consequently the absolute dominion of that land. But to what height of power the established priesthood was arrived even at that time, may be conjectured hence: "that the crown (to speak in a modern style) offered not to meddle with the church lands "" ; and that in this great revolution nothing was attempted, so much as by way of purchase or exchange,^ in prejudice of this landed clergy, the prime minister himself having joined his interest with theirs, and entered by marriage into their alliance.'- And in this he was followed by the great founder of the Hebrew state. For he also matched himself with the priesthood of some of the neighbouring nations ^ and traders "^ into Egypt, long ere his establishment of the Hebrew religion and commonwealth. Nor had he perfected his model till he consulted the foreign priest, his father-in-law,5 to whose advice he paid such remarkable deference.

But to resume the subject of our speculation concerning the wide diffusion of the priestly science or function, it appears from what has been said, that notwithstanding the Egyptian priesthood was by ancient establishment hereditary, the skill of divining, soothsaying, and magic was communicated to others besides their national sacred body ; and that the wisdom of the magicians, their power of miracles, their interpretation of dreams and visions, and their art of administering in divine affairs, were entrusted even to foreigners who resided amongst them, him and sold him to foreign merchants. These men carried him to Egypt^ where he (juickly learned magic and rose to high favour even with the king." — Justin, xxxvi. 2.]

1 Gen. xlvii. 22, 26. 2 Qg,, ^jj 4.5

^ Exod. iii. 1, and xviii. 1, etc.

  • Such were the Midianites, Gen. xxxvii. 28, 30.

° Exod. xviii. 17-24.

VOL. II 193 o


It appears withal, from these considerations, how apt the rehgious profession was to spread itself widely in this region of the world, and what efforts would naturally be made by the more necessitous of these unlimited professors towards a fortune or maintenance, for themselves and their suc- cessors.

Common arithmetic will, in this case, demonstrate to us " that as the proportion of so many laymen to each priest grew every day less and less, so the wants and necessities of each priest must grow more and more." The magistrate too, who, according to this Egyptian regulation, had resigned his title or share of right in sacred things, could no longer govern as he j^leased in these affairs, or check the growing number of these professors. The spiritual generations were left to prey on others, and (like fish of prey) even on themselves, when destitute of other capture and confined within too narrow limits. ^Vhat method therefore, was there left to heighten the zeal of worshippers and augment their liberality, but " to foment their emulation, prefer worship to worship, faith to faith, and turn the spirit of enthusiasm to the side of sacred horror, religious antipathy, and mutual discord between worshippers ' ?

Thus provinces and nations were divided by the most contrary rites and customs which could be devised in order to create the strongest aversion possible between creatures of a like species. Yov when all other animosities are allayed, and anger of the fiercest kind appeased, the religious hatred, we find, continues still, as it began, without provocation or voluntary offence. The presumed misbeliever and blasphemer, as one rejected and abhorred of God, is, through a pious imitation, abhorred by the adverse worshipper whose enmity must naturally increase as his religious zeal increases.

From hence the opposition rose of temjile against temple, proselyte against proselyte. The most zealous worship of one God was best expressed (as they conceived) by the open defiance of another. Surnames and titles of divinity passed as watch-




words. He who had not the symbol nor could give the word received the knock.

Down Avith him ! Kill him ! Merit heaven thereby ;

as our poet has it in his American tragedy.^

Nor did philosophy,- when introduced into religion, ex- tinguish but rather inflame this zeal, as we may show perhaps in our following chapter more particularly, if we return again, as is likely, to this subject. For this, we perceive, is of a kind apt enough to grow upon our hands. We shall here therefore observe only what is obvious to every student in sacred anti- (juities, that from the contentious learning and sophistry of the ancient schools (when true science, philosophy, and arts were already deep in their decline^) religious problems of a like contentious form sprang up, and certain doctrinal tests were framed by which religious parties were engaged and listed against one another, with more animosity than in any other cause or quarrel had been ever known. Thus religious massacres began and were carried on ; temples were demolished, holy utensils destroyed, the sacred pomp trodden under-foot, insulted, and the insulters in their turn exposed to the same treatment in their persons as well as in their worship. Thus madness and confusion were brought upon the world, like that chaos which the poet miraculously describes in the mouth of his mad hero, when even in celestial places disorder and blindness reigned ; " No dawn of light *" —

" No glimpse or starry spark, But Gods met Gods, and justled in the dark." '

  • Dryden, Indian Emperor, Act v. Sc. 2.

^ Infra, Misc. ii. ch. ii.

•^ Treatise in. part ii. § 1 ; and part iii. § 3 in tlie notes. Infra, Misc. ii. ch. ii.

  • Oedipus of Dryden and Lee.




Judgment of divines and grave authors concerning enthusiasm — Reflec- tions upon scepticism — A sceptic Christian — Judgment of the inspired concerning their own inspirations — Knowledge and l)elief — History of religion resumed — ^Zeal offensive and defensive — A Church in danger — Persecution — Policy of the Church of Rome.

What I had to remark of my own concerning enthusiasm I have thus dis})atched ; what others have remarked on the same subject I may, as an apologist to another author, be allowed to cite, especially if I take notice only of what has been dropped very naturally by some of our most approved authors and ablest divines.

It has been thought an odd kind of temerity in our author to assert,^ " that even atheism itself was not wholly exempt from enthusiasm, that there have been in reality enthusiastical atheists, and that even the spirit of martyrdom could, upon occasion, exert itself as well in this cause as in any other. Now, besides what has been intimated in the preceding chapter, and what in fact may be demonstrated from the examples of Vaninus and other martyrs of a like principle, we may hear an excellent and learned divine,^ of highest authority at home and fame abroad, who after having described an enthusiastical atheist and one atheistically inspired, says of this very sort of men " that they are fanatics too, however that word seem to have a more peculiar respect to something of a deity ; all atheists being that blind Goddess Nature's fanatics.'"

And again, " All atheists,"" says he, " are possessed with a certain kind of madness that may be called pneumatophobia,^

1 Viz. in his Letter concernitig Entkusiaam.

2 Dr. Cud worth's Intellectual System, p. 134.

2 The good doctor makes use here of a stroke of raillery against the over-fi'ighted anti-superstitious gentlemen, with whom our author reasons



that makes them have an irrational but desperate abhorrence from spirits or incorporeal substances ; they being acted also, at the same time, with an hylomania, whereby they madly dote upon matter, and devoutly worship it as the only numen."

What the power of ecstasy is, whether through melancholy, wine, love, or other natural causes, another learned divine ^ of our church, in a discourse upon enthusiasm, sets forth, bringing an example from Aristotle " of a Syracusean poet who never versified so well as when he was in his distracted fits." But as to poets in general, compared with the religious enthusiasts, he says, there is this difference, " that a poet is an enthusiast in jest, and an enthusiast is a poet in good earnest."

" 'Tis a strong temptation, says the doctor,^ with a melan- cholist, when he feels a storm of devotion and zeal come upon him like a mighty wind, his heart being full of affection, his

at lar^e in liis second Treatise (part ii. § 1). 'Tis indeed tlie nature of fear, as of all other passions, when excessive, to defeat its own end and prevent us in the execution of what we naturally propose to ourselves as our advantage. Superstition itself is but a certain kind of fear, which possessing us strongly with the apprehended wrath or displeasiu-e of divine powers, hinders us from judging what those powers are in them- selves, or what conduct of ours may, with best reason, be thought suitable to such highly rational and superior natures. Now if from the experience of many gross delusions of a superstitious kind the course of this fear begins to turn, 'tis natural for it to run with equal violence a contrary way. The extreme passion for religious objects passes into an aversion. And a certain horror and dread of imposture causes as great a disturbance as even imposture itself had done before. In such a situation as this, the miiul may easily be blinded, as well in one respect as in the other. 'Tis plain l)()th these disorders carry something with them which discovers us to be in some manner beside our reason, and out of the right use of judgment and understanding. For how can we be said to intrust or use our reason if in any case we fear to be convinced ? How are we masters of ourselves when we have acquired the habit of bringing horror, aversion, favour, fondness, or any other temper than that of mere indifference and impartiality into the judgment of opinions and search of truth ?

1 Dr. More, §§11, 19, 20, and so on.

2 § 16.



head pregnant with clear and sensible representations, and his mouth flowing and streaming with fit and powerful expressions, such as would astonish an ordinary auditory'; ^ 'tis, I say, a shrewd temptation to him to think it the very spirit of God that then moves supernaturally in him, whenas all that excess of zeal and affection and fluency of Avords is most palpably to be resolved into the power of melancholy, which is a kind of natural inebriation."

The learned doctor, with much pains afterwards, and by help of the peripatetic philosophy, explains this enthusiastic inebriation, and shows in particular- "how the vapours and fumes of melancholy partake of the nature of wine.""

One might conjecture from hence that the malicious opposers of early Christianity were not unversed in this philosophy, when they sophistic-ally objected against the apparent force of the divine spirit speaking in divers languages, and attributed it " to the power of new wine." ^

But our devout and zealous doctor seems to go yet further. For besides what he says of the enthusiastic power* of fancy in atheists, he calls melancholy^ a pertinacious and religious complexion, and asserts "that there is not any true spiritual grace from God, but this mere natural constitution, according to the several tempers and workings of it, will not only resemble, but sometimes seem to outstrip." And after speaking of prophetical enthusiasm,^ and establishing (as our author^ does) a legitimate and a bastard sort, he asserts and justifies the devotional enthuiasm ^ (as he calls it) of holy and sincere souls, and ascribes this also to melancholy.

^ It appears from hence that in tlie notion wliioh tliis learned divine gives us of entlmsiasnij he comprehends the social or popular genius of the passion ; agreeably with what our author in his Letter concerning Enthnsiaftm has said of the influence and power of the assembly and auditory itself, and of the communicative force and rapid progress of this ecstatic fervour, once kindled and set in action.

2 §§ 20, 22, 23, 20. ^ Acts ii. 18. " § j, ^ % U.

6 §§ 30 and 57. ' Treatise i. § G. * § G3.



He allows " that the soul may sink so far into phantasms as not to recover the use of her free faculties, and that this enormous strength of imagination does not only heget the belief of mad internal apprehensions, but is able to assure us of the presence of external objects which are not." He adds, "that what custom and education do by degrees, distempered fancy may do in a shorter time." And speaking of ecstasy ^ and the power of melancholy in ecstatic fancies, he says " that what the imagination then puts forth, of herself, is as clear as broad day, and the perception of the soul at least as strong and vigorous as at any time in beholding things awake. ""

From whence the doctor infers " that the strength of per- ception is no sure ground of truth."

Had any other than a reverend father of our church ex- pressed himself in this manner, he must have been contented perhaps to bear a sufficient charge of scepticism.

'Twas a good fortune in my Lord Bacon's case that he should have escaped being called an atheist or a sceptic,- when, speaking in a solemn manner of the religious passion, the ground of superstition or enthusiasm (which he also terms a panic ^), he derives it from an imperfection in the creation, make, or natural

^ §28.

2 [As a matter of fact he did not escape it. See the preface (Author to Reader) to Francis Oshora's MiscelUmy of Sundry Essays, etc.^ in his ^V'orksJ 7th. ed., 1G7;3.]

^ Natura rerum omnihus viventibus indidit metum et formidineni, vitae atque esseutiae suae conservatricem^ ac mala in^ruentia vitantem et depellentem. \'erumtamen eadem natura modum tenere nescia est, sed timoribus salutaribus semper vanos et inanes admiscet : adeo ut omnia (si intus conspici darentur) panicis terroribus plenissima sint, praesei'tim humana ; et maxime omnium apud vulgum, qui superstitione ((juae vere nihil aliud quam panicus terror est) in immensum laborat et a^ritatur ; praecipue temporibus duris et trepidis et adversis. — Franciscus Bacon de Augment. Sclent., lib. ii. c. L'>.

The author of the letter, I dare say, would have expected no quarter from his critics, had he expressed himself as this celebrated author here quoted, who by his Natura Rerum can mean nothing less than the universal



constitution of man. Hoav far the author of the letter ^ differs from this author in his opinion both of the end and foundation of this passion, may appear from what has been said above. And, in general, from what Ave read in the other succeeding treatises of our author we may venture to say of him with assurance, " that he is as little a sceptic (according to the vulgar sense of that word) as he is Epicurean or atheist." This may be proved sufficiently from his jjhilosophy ; and for anything higher, 'tis what he nowhere presumes to treat, having forborne in par- ticular to mention any holy mysteries of our religion, or sacred article of our belief.

As for what relates to revelation in general,^ if I mistake not our author"'s meaning, he professes to believe, as far as is possible for any one who himself had never experienced any divine communication, whether by dream, vision, apparition, or other supernatural operation ; nor was ever present as eye- witness of any sign, prodigy, or miracle whatsoever. Many of these,^ he observes, are at this day pretendedly exhibited in the world with an endeavour of giving them the perfect air and exact resemblance of those recorded in Holy Writ. He speaks indeed with contempt of the mockery of modern miracles and in- spiration. And as to all pretences to things of this kind in our present age, he seems inclined to look upon them as no better than mere imposture or delusion. But for what is recorded of ages heretofore, he seems to resign his judgment, with entire condescension, to his superiors. He pretends not to frame any certain or positive opinion of his own, notwithstanding his best searches into antiquity and the nature of religious record and traditions ; but on all occasions submits most willingly, and

dispensing Nature, erring blindly in tlie very first design, contrivance, or original frame of things, according to tlie opinion f»f Epicurus himself, wliom this author immediately after cites with praise.

1 Viz. the Letter concerning Enthusiasm, above.

- Infra, Misc. v. 'S.

^ Letter concer)iing Ettthasiasm, § H ; Moralists, part ii. § .5.



with full confidence and trust, to the opinions ^ by law estab- lished. And if this be not sufficient to free him from the reproach of scepticism, he must, for aught I see, be content to undergo it.

To say truth, I have often wondered to find such a disturb- ance raised about the simple name of sceptic.^ 'Tis certain that, in its original and plain signification, the word imports no more than barely " that state or frame of mind in which every one remains on every subject of which he is not certain." He who is certain, or presumes to say he knows is in that particular, whether he be mistaken or in the right, a dogmatist. Between these two states or situations of mind there can be no medium. For he who says " that he believes for certain, or is assured of what he believes," either speaks ridiculously or says in effect " that he believes strongly, but is not sure." So that whoever is not conscious of revelation, nor has certain knowledge of any miracle or sign, can be no more than sceptic in the case ; and the best Christian in the world, who being destitute of the means of certainty depends only on history and tradition for his belief in these particulars, is at best but a sceptic Christian. He has no more than a nicely critical ^ historical faith, subject to various speculations, and a thousand different criticisms of languages and literature.

This he will naturally find to be the case if he attempts to search into originals in order to be his own judge, and proceed on the bottom of his own discernment and understanding. If, on the other hand, he is no critic, nor competently learned in these originals, 'tis plain he can have no original judgment of his own, but must rely still on the opinion of those who have opportunity to examine such matters, and whom he takes to be the unbiassed and disinterested judges of these religious narratives. His faith is not in ancient facts or persons, nor in

' Advice to an Author, towards the end ; ii. 3 ; v. 1, :l

^ Moralists, part i. § 2 ; Misc. v. 3.

3 Wit and lliniioiir, part iv. § 8 ; Misc. v. .3.



the ancient wi'it, or primitive recorders ; nor in the successive collators or conservators of these records (for of these he is un- ahle to take cognisance). But his confidence and trust must be in those modern men, or societies of men, to whom the pubhc or he himself ascribes the judgment of these records, and commits the determination of sacred writ and genuine story.

Let the person seem ever so positive or dogmatical in these high points of learning, he is yet in reality no dogmatist, nor can any way free himself from a certain kind of scepticism. He must know himself still capable of doubting ; or if, for fear of it, he strives to banish every opposite thought, and resolves not so much as to deliberate on the case, this still will not acquit him. So far are we from being able to be sure when we have a mind ; that indeed we can never be thoroughly sure, but then only when we can't help it, and find of necessity we must be so, whether we will or not. Even the highest implicit faith is in reality no more than a kind of passive scepticism ; " a resolution to examine, recollect, consider, or hear as little as possible to the prejudice of that belief, which having once espoused we are ever afterwards afraid to lose,"

If I might be allowed to imitate our author, in daring to touch now and then upon the characters of our divine worthies, I should, upon this subject of belief, observe how fair and generous the great Christian convert and learned apostle has shown himself in his sacred writings. Notwithstanding he had himself an original testimony and revelation from heaven on which he grounded his conversion ; notwithstanding he had in his own person the experience of outward miracles and inward communications; he condescended still, on many occasions, to speak sceptically, and with some hesitation and reserve, as to the certainty of these divine exhibitions. In] his account of some transactions of this kind, himself being the witness, and speak- ing (as we may presume) of his own person and proper vision,^

1 2 Cor. xii. 2, 3.



he says only that " he knew a man, whether in the body or out of it, he cannot tell. But such a one caught up to the third heaven he knew formerly, he says, above fourteen years before his then writing/"' And when in another capacity the same inspired writer, giving precepts to his disciples, distinguishes what ^ he writes by divine commission from what he delivers as his own judgment and private opinion, he condescends neverthe- less to speak as one no way positive, or master of any absolute criterion in the case. And in several subsequent - passages he expresses himself as under some kind of doubt how to judge or determine certainly, " whether he writes by inspiration or otherwise. He only " thinks he has the spirit." He " is not sure," nor would have us to depend on him as positive or certain in a matter of so nice discernment.

The holy founders and inspired authors of our religion required not, it seems, so strict an assent, or such implicit faith in behalf of their original writings and revelations, as later un- inspired doctors, without the help of divine testimony or any miracle on their side, have required in behalf of their own comments and interpretations. The earliest and worst of heretics, 'tis said, were those called Gnostics, who took their name from an audacious pretence to certain knowledge and comprehension of the greatest mysteries of faith. If the most dangerous state of opinion was this dogmatical and presump- tuous sort, the safest, in all likelihood, must be the sceptical and modest.

There is nothing more evident than that our holy religion, in its original constitution, was set so far apart from all philosophy or refined speculation, that it seemed in a manner diametrically opposed to it. A man might have been not only a sceptic in all the controverted points of the academies or schools of learning, but even a perfect stranger to all of this kind ; and yet complete in his religion, faith, and worship.

Among the polite heathens of the ancient world, these 1 1 Cor. vii. 10, 12. - 1 Cor. vii. 40.



different provinces of religion and philosophy were ujiheld, we know, without the least interfering with each other. If in some barbarous nations the philosopher and priest were joined in one, 'tis observable that the mysteries, whatever they were, which sprang from this extraordinary conjunction were kept secret and undivulged, 'Twas satisfaction enough to the priest- philosopher, if the initiated pai'ty preserved his respect and veneration for the tradition and worship of the temple, by com- plying in every respect with the requisite performances and rites of worship. No account was afterwards taken of the philosophic faith of the proselyte or worshipper. His opinions were left to himself, and he might philosophise according to what foreign school or sect he fancied. Even amongst the Jews themselves, the Sadducee (a materialist and denier of the soul's immortality) was as Avell admitted as the Pharisee ; who from the schools of Pythagoras, Plato, or other latter philosophers of Greece, had learnt to reason upon immaterial substances, and the natural immortality of souls.

'Tis no astonishing reflection to observe how fast the world declined in wit and sense,^ in manhood, reason, science, and in every art when once the Roman Empire had prevailed and spread an universal tyranny and oppression over mankind. Even the Romans themselves, after the early sweets of one peaceful and long reign, began to groan under that yoke of which they had been themselves the imposers. How much more must other nations and mighty cities at a far distance have abhorred this tyranny, and detected their common servitude under a people who were themselves no better than mere slaves ?

It may be looked upon, no doubt, as providential, that at this time, and in these circumstances of the world, there should arise so high an expectation of a divine deliverer; and that from the eastern parts and confines of Judea, the opinion should spread itself of such a deliverer to come, with strength from heaven sufficient to break that Empire, which no earthly ' Advice, part ii. § 1, and in the preceding chapter, at the end.



power remaining could be thought sufficient to encounter. Nothing could have better disposed the generality of mankind to receive the evangelical advice whilst they mistook the news, as many of the first Christians plainly did, and understood the promises of a Messias in this temporal sense, with respect to his second coming and sudden reign here upon earth.

Superstition,^ in the meanwhile, could not but naturally prevail, as misery and ignorance increased. The Roman emperors, as they grew more barbarous, grew so much the more superstitious. The lands and revenues as well as the numbers of the heathen priests grew daily. And when the season came, that by means of a convert-emperor the heathen- church- lands, with an increase of power, became transferred to the Christian clergy, 'twas no wonder if by such riches and

' Wit and Humour, part iv. § 1, and below, p. 213.

2 How rich and vast these were, especially in the latter times of that Empire, may be judged from what belonged to the single order of the vestals, and what we read of the revenues belonging to the temples of the sun (as in the time of the monster Heliogabalus) and of other donations by other emperors. But what may give us yet a greater idea of these riches, is, that in the latter heathen times, which grew more and more superstitious, the restraining laws (or statutes of Mortmain) by which men had formerly been withheld from giving away estates by will or otherwise to religious uses were repealed ; and the heathen church left in this manner as a bottomless gulf and devouring receptacle of land and treasure. Senatus-consulto, et constitutionibus priucipum, haeredes instituere concessum est Apollinem Didymaeum, Dianam Ephesiam, matrem deorum, etc. lUpianus post Cod. Theodos. j). 92, apud Marsh.

This answers not amiss to the modern practice and expression of making our son our heir, giving to God what has been taken sometimes with freedom enough from man, and conveying estates in such a manner in this world as to make good interest of them in another. The reproach of the ancient satirist is at present out of doors. 'Tis no affront to religion nowadays to compute its profits. And a man might well be accounted dull, who, in our present age, should ask the question, Dicite, pontifices, in sacro quid facit aurum } [" Reverend pontiffs, tell us what good gold can do in a holy place . " Persius, ii. 01), Conington's translation.] See below, p. 213, and ch. iii., in the notes, and p. 211.



authority they were in no small measure influenced and cor- rupted, as may be gathered even from the accounts given us of these matters by themselves.

When, together with this, the schools of the ancient philosophers,^ which had been long in their decline, came now to be dissolved, and their sophistic teachers became ecclesiastical instructors, the unnatural union of religion and ] philosophy was comjileted, and the monstrous product of this match appeared soon in the world. The odd exterior shapes of deities, temples, and holy utensils, which by the Egyptian sects - had been formerly set in battle against each other, were now metamorphosed into philosophical forms and phantoms ; and, like flags and banners, displayed in hostile manner, and borne offensively by one party against another. In former times those barbarous nations above mentioned were the sole warriors in these religious causes ; but now the whole world became engaged when instead of storks and crocodiles other ensigns were erected ; when sophistical chimeras, crabbed notions, bombastic phrases, solecisms, absurdities, and a thou- sand monsters of a scholastic brood were set on foot, and made the subject of vulgar animosity and dispute.

Here first began that spirit of bigotry which broke out in a more raging manner than had been ever known before, and was less capable of temper or moderation than any species, form, or mixture of religion in the ancient world. Mysteries which were heretofore treated with profound respect, and lay unexposed to vulgar eyes, became public and prostitute, being enforced with terrors, and urged with compulsion and violence on the unfitted capacities and apprehensions of mankind. The very Jewish traditions and cabalistic learning underwent this fate. That which was naturally the subject of profound specula- tion and inquiry was made the necessary subject of a strict and absolute assent. The allegorical, mythological account of sacred

^ As above, cli. i. end. 2 Supra, ch. i., and Advice, part ii. § 3, in the notes.



things was wholly inverted; liberty of judgment and exposition taken away ; no ground left for inquiry, search, or meditation, no refuge from the dogmatical spirit let loose. Every quarter A\as taken up ; every portion prepossessed. All was reduced to article and proposition.^

Thus a sort of philosophical enthusiasm overspread the world. And bigotry ^ (a species of superstition hardly known before) took place in men's affections, and armed them with a new jealousy against each other. Barbarous terms and idioms were every day introduced, monstrous definitions invented and imposed, new schemes of faith erected from time to time, and hostilities, the fiercest imaginable, exercised on these occasions. So that the enthusiasm or zeal, which was usually shown by mankind in behalf of their particular worships, and which for the most part had been hitherto defensive only, grew now to be universally of the offensive kind.

It may be expected of me perhaps, that being fallen thus from remote anti(|uity to later periods, I should speak on this occasion with more than ordinary exactness and regularity. It may be urged against me that I talk here as at random and without book ; neglecting to produce my authorities or continue my ([notations, according to the professed style and manner in which I began this present chapter. But as there are many greater privileges by way of variation, interruption, and digres- sion allowed to us writers of Miscellany, and especially to such as are commentators upon other authors, I shall be content to remain mysterious in this respect, and explain myself no further than by a noted story, which seems to suit our author*'s purpose, and the present argument.

'Tis observable from Holy Writ, that the ancient Ephesian

1 Infra, Misc. v. ch. iii. in the notes ; et supra, p. 1!).5.

' Let any one who considers distinctly the meaning and force of the word hifi^otry, endeavour to render it in either of the ancient languages, and he will find how peculiar a passion it implies ; and how different from the mere affection of enthusiasm or superstition.



worshijjpers, however zealous or enthusiastic they appeared, had only a defensive kind of zeal in behalf of their temple ; ^ when- ever they thought in earnest, it was brought in danger. In the tumult ^ which happened in that city near the time of the holy apostle's retreat, we have a remarkable instance of what our author calls a religious panic. As little bigots as the people were, and as far from any offensive zeal, yet when their estab- lished church came to be called in question, we see in what a manner their zeal began to operate.^ All with one voice, about the space of two hours, cried out, saying, ". Great is Diana of the Ephesians.'" At the same time this assembly was so confused, that the greater part knew not wherefore they were come together ; ^ and consequently could not understand why their church was in any danger. But the enthusiasm was got up, and a panic fear for the church had struck the nmltitude. It ran into a popular rage or epidemical frenzy, and was com- municated (as our author expresses it ^) " by aspect, or, as it were, by contact or sympathy."

It must be confessed that there was besides these motives a secret spring which forwarded this enthusiasm. For certain parties concerned, men of craft, and strictly united in interest, had been secretly called together, and told, " Gentlemen ! ^ (or

^ Tlie magnificence and beauty of that temple is well known to all who have formed any idea of the ancient Grecian arts and workmanship. It seems to me to be remarkable in our learned and elegant apostle^ that though an enemy to this mechanical spirit of religion in the Ephesians, yet according to his known character he accommodates himself to their humour^ and the natural turn of their enthusiasm^ by writing to his con- verts in a kind of architect style, and almost with a perpetual allusion to building, and to that majesty, order, and beauty of which their temple was a masterpiece. ^woiKodofj.rjd^i'Tes ewl tQ 0e/xe\iiii tQv dTrocrTdXuv Kal wpo<pT]TU)v, 61/Tos oiKpoyuviaiov avroD Xpiffrov IrjcroO iv y iraaa i] olKo8ofj.r] crvvapfio\oyov- fiivT] af^et eis vabv dyiov iv Kvplcj), ev (p Kal ii/JieU avvoiKoSop-elade ds KaTOiK-qTripiov Tov Qiov eV TTvevjuLaTL. Eph. ii. 20, 21, 22 ; and so iii. 17, 18, etc. ; and iv. 16, 29.

' Act. Apost. xix. 2o. ^ Jb. xix. 28, 34. * lb. xix. 32.

^ Letter 0/ Enthusiasm, § 2. ^ Act. Apost. xix. 25, etc.



sirs !) Ye know that by this mystery or craft we have our wealth. Ye see withal and have heard that not only here at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has per- suaded and turned away many people, by telling them, they are no real Gods who are figured or wrought with hands, so that not only this our craft is in danger, but also the temple itself."

Nothino; could be more moderate and wise, nothino- more agreeable to that magisterial science or policy which our author recommends,^ than the behaviour of the town clerk or recorder of the city, as he is represented on this occasion in Holy Writ. I must confess indeed, he went pretty far in the use of this moderating art. He ventured to assure the people, " that every one acquiesced in their ancient worship of the great God- dess, and in their tradition of the image which fell down from Jupiter ; that these were facts undeniable, and that the new sect neither meant the pulling down of their church, nor so much as offered to blaspheme or speak amiss of their Goddess."

This, no doubt, was stretching the point sufficiently, as may be understood by the event in after time. One might, perhaps, have suspected this recorder to have been himself a dissenter, or at least an occasional conformist, who could answer so roundly for the new sect, and warrant the church in being secure of damage and out of all danger for the future. Mean- while the tumult was appeased ; no harm befell the temple for that time. The new sect acquiesced in what had been spoken on their behalf. They allowed the apology of the recorder. Accordingly, the zeal of the heathen church, which was only defensive, gave way, and the new religionists were prosecuted no further.

Hitherto, it seems, the face of persecution had not openly shown itself in the wide world. "'Twas sufficient security for every man that he gave no disturbance to what was publiclv established. But when offensive zeal came to be discovered in one party, the rest became in a manner necessitated to be ^ Letter of Enthusiasm, § 2.

VOL. II 209 p


aggressors in their turn. They who observed or had once experi- enced this intolerating spirit could no longer tolerate on their part.^ And they who had once exerted it over others, could

^ Thus the controversy stood before the time of the Emperor Julian, when blood had been so freely drawn and cruelties so frequently exchanged not only between Christian and heathen, but between Christian and Christian, after the most barbarous manner, ^\'hat the zeal was of many early Christians against the idolatry of tlie old heathen church (at that time tlie established one) may be coni])rehended by any person who is ever so slenderly versed in the history of those times. Nor can it be said indeed of us moderns, that in the (juality of good Christians (as tliat character is generally understood) we are found either backward or scrupulous in assigning to perdition such wretches as we pronounce guilty of idolatry. The name idolater is sufficient excuse for almost any kind of insult against the person, and much more against the worship of such a misbeliever. The very word Christian is in common language used for man, in opposition to l)rute-beast, without leaving so much as a middle place for the poor heathen or pagan, who, as the greater beast of the two, is naturally doomed to massacre, and his Gods and temples to fracture and demolishment. Nor are we masters of this passion even in our best humour. The French poets, we see, can with great success and general applause exhibit this primitive zeal even on the public stage : Polyeucte, Act ii. Sc. 6 : —

Ne perdons plus de temjjs, le sacrifice est pret, AUons-y du vrai Dieu soutenir I'interet ; Allons fouler aux pieds ce foudre ridicule Dont arme un bois pourri ce peuple trop cre'dule ; Allons en eclairer I'aveuglement fatal, Allons briser ces Dieux de pierre et de metal ; Abandonnons nos jours a cette ardeur celeste, Faisons triompher Dieu ; qu'il dispose du reste.

I should scarce have mentioned this, but that it came into my mind how ill a construction some people have endeavoured to make of what our author, stating the case of heathen and Christian persecution in his Letter of Enthusiasm, has said concerning the Emperor Julian. It was no more indeed than had been said of that virtuous and gallant Emperor bv his greatest enemies, even by those who (to the shame of Christianity) boasted of his having been most insolently affronted on all occasions, and even treacherously assassinated by one of his Christian soldiers. As for such



expect no better quarter for themselves. So that nothing less than mutual extirpation became the aim and almost open profession of each religious society.

autliors as tliese^ sliould I cite tliem in their ])r()])er iuvecti\e style and saint-like phrase, tliey would make no very ajrreeable appearance, especially in Miscellanies of tlie kind we have here undertaken. But a letter of that elegant and witty Emperor may not be improperly placed amongst our citations as a pattern of his humour and genius, as well as of his principle and sentiments on this occasion. Julian's Epistles, No. 52.


" I should have thought, indeed, that the Galilsean- leaders would have esteemed themselves more indebted to me than to him who preceded me in the administration of the Empire. For in his time many of them suffered exile, persecution, and imprisonment. Multitudes of those whom in their religion they term heretics were put to the sword ; insomuch tliat in Samosata, Cyzicum, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Galatia, and many other countries, whole towns were levelled with the earth. The just reverse of this has been ol)served in my time. The exiles have been re- called, and the proscribed restored to the lawful possession of their estates. But to that height of fury and distraction are this people arrived, that being no longer allowed the privilege to tyrannise over one another, or persecute either their own sectaries, or the religious of the lawful church, thev swell with rage, and leave no stone unturned, no opportunity unem- ployed of raising tumult and sedition ; so little regard have they to true piety, so little obedience to our laws and constitutions, however humane and tolerating. For still do we determine and steadily resolve never to suffer one of them to be drawn involuntarily to our altars. ... As for the mere people, indeed, they appear dri\'en to these riots and seditions by those amongst them whom they call clerics, who are now enraged to find themselves restrained in the use of their former i)ower and intemperate rule. . . . They can no longer act the magistrate or civil judge, nor assume authority to make people's wills, supplant relations, possess them- selves of other men's patrimonies, and by specious pretences transfer all into their own ])ossession. . . . For this reason I have thought fit l)y tliis public Edict to forewarn the people of this sort, that they raise no more commotions, nor gather in a riotous manner about their seditious clerics, in defiance of the magistrate, who has been insulted aiul in danger of being stoned by these incited rabbles. In their congregations they may, not- withstanding, assemble as they please, and crowd about their leaders, performing worship, receiving doctrine, and praying, according as thev



In this extremity, it might well perhaps have been esteemed the happiest wish for mankind, that one of these contending parties of incompatible religionists should at last prevail over the rest, so as by an universal and absolute power to determine orthodoxy,^ and make that opinion effectually catholic which in their particular judgment had the best right to that denomi- nation. And thus by force of massacre and desolation, peace in worship, and civil unity by help of the spiritual, might be presumed in a fair way of being restored to mankind.

I shall conclude with observing how ably the lioman- Christian and once catholic church, by the assistance of their converted emperors,^ proceeded in the establishment of their growing hierarchy. They considered wisely the various super- stitions and enthusiasms of mankind, and proved the different kinds and force of each. All these seeming contrarieties of human passion they knew how to comprehend in their jiolitical

are by them taught and conducted ; but if with any tendency to sedition, let them ])evvare how they hearken or give assent, and remember 'tis at their peril if 1)y these means they are secretly wrought up to mutiny and insurrection. . . . Live therefore in peace and quietness, neither spite- fully opposing or injuriously treating one another. You misguided people of the new way, beware, on your side ; and you of the ancient and established church, injure not your neighbours and fellow-citizens, who are enthusiastically led away in ignorance and mistake rather than with design or malice I 'Tis by discourse and reason, not by blows, insults, or violence that men are to be informed of truth and convinced of error. Again therefore and again I enjoin and charge the zealous followers of the true religion, no way to injure, molest, or affront the Galila^an people." Thus the generous and mild' Emperor, whom we may indeed call he.athen, but not so justly apostate, since being at different times of his youth transferred to different schools or universities, and bred under tutors of each religion, as well heathen as Christian, he happened, when of full age, to make his choice (though very unfortunately) in the former kind and adhered to the ancient religion of his country and forefathers. See the same Emperor's letters to Artabius, No. 7, and to Hecebolus, No. 43, and to the people of Alexandria, No. 10. See Treatise i. § 3.

1 Infra, at the end.

2 ^y\t and Humour, part iv. § 1, end ; xupra. Mine, ii. ch. ii,



model and subservient system of divinity. They knew how to make advantage both from the high speculations of philosophy and the grossest ideas of vulgar ignorance. They saw there was nothing more different than that enthusiasm which ran upon spirituals, according to the simpler views of the divine existence,^ and that which ran upon external proportions,^ magnificence of structures, ceremonies, processions, choirs, and those other harmonies which captivate the eye and ear. On this account they even added to this latter kind, and displayed religion in a yet more gorgeous habit of temples, statues, paintings, vest- ments, copes, mitres, purple, and the cathedral pomp. AVith these arms they could subdue the victorious Goths, and secure themselves an Attila when their Caesars failed them.^

The truth is, 'tis but a vulgar species of enthusiasm which is moved chiefly by show and ceremony and wrought upon by chalices and candles, robes and figured dances. Yet this, we may believe, was looked upon as no slight ingredient of devotion in those days, since at this hour the manner is found to be of considerable efficacy with some of the devout amongst ourselves, who pass the least for superstitious, and are reckoned in the number of the polite world. This the wise hierarchy duly pre- ponderating,^ but being satisfied withal that there were other tempers and hearts which could not so easily be captivated by this exterior allurement, they assigned another part of religion to proselytes of another character and complexion, who were

^ Moralists, part ii. § 3.

2 Supra, Misc. i. ch. ii.

2 When this victorious ravaj^er was in full march to Ronie^ St. Leon (the then pope) went out to meet him in solemn pomp. The Goth was struck with the appearance, obeyed the priest, and retired instantly with his whole army in a panic fear, alleging? that among the rest of the ponti- fical train lie had seen one of an extraordinary form who threatened him with death if he did not instantly retire. Of this important encounter there are in St. Peter's Church, in the Vatican, and elsewhere at Rome, many fine sculptures, paintings, and representations, deservingly made in honour of the miracle. ^ [/.c. considering.]



allowed to proceed on a quite different bottom, by the inward way of contemplation and divine love.

They are indeed so far from being jealous of mere enthusiasm or the ecstatic manner of devotion, that they allow their mystics to write and preach in the most rapturous and sera])hic strains. They suffer them in a manner to supersede all external worship and triumph over outward forms, till the refined religionists proceed so far as either expressly or seemingly to dissuade the practice of the vulgar and established ceremonial duties. And then, indeed, 1 they check the supposed exorbitant enthusiasm, which would prove dangerous to their hierarchal state.

If modern visions, prophecies, and dreams, charms, miracles, exorcisms, and the rest of this kind be comprehended in that which we call fanaticism or superstition, to this spirit they allow a full career ; whilst to ingenuous writers they afford the liberty, on the other side, in a civil manner, to call in question these spiritual feats performed in monasteries, or up and down by their mendicant or itinerant jjriests and ghostly missionaries.

This is that ancient hierarchy which, in respect of its first foundation, its policy, and the consistency of its whole frame and constitution, cannot but appear in some respect august and venerable, even in such as we do not usually esteem weak eyes. These are the spiritual conquerors, who, like the first Ca?sars, from small befjinnings established the foundations of an almost universal monarchy. No wonder if at this day the inmiediate view of this hierarchal residence, the city and court of Rome, be found to have an extraordinary effect on foreigners of other latter churches. Xo wonder if the amazed surveyors are for the future so a])t cither to conceive the horridest aversion to all ]n"iestly government, or, on the contrary, to admire it so far as even to wish a coalescence or reiuiion with this ancient mother church.

In reality, the exercise of power, however arbitrary or

^ W^itness the case of Moliiios, and of the pious, worthy, and ingenious Abhc Fench)U, now Archbishop of C'anibray.



despotic, seems less intolerable under such a spiritual sovereignty, so extensive, ancient, and of such a long succession, than under the petty tyrannies and mimical polities of some new pretenders. The former may even persecute with a tolerable grace ; ^ the latter, who would willingly derive their authority from the former, and graft on their successive right, must necessarily make a very awkward figure. And whilst they strive to give themselves the same air of independency on the civil magistrate, whilst they affect the same authority in government, the same grandeur, magnificence, and pomp in worship, they raise the highest ridicule in the eyes of those who have real discernment, and can distinguish originals from copies : —

O iniitatores, servum pecus ! '^


Of the force of humour in religion — Support of our author's argument in his essay on the freedom of wit and raillery^Zeal discussed. Spiritual surgeons; executioners; carvers — Original of human sacrifice — Exhilaration of religion — Various aspects from outward causes.

The celebrated wits of the miscellanarian race, the essay writers, casual discoursers, reflection coiners, meditation founders, and others of the irregular kind of writers, may plead it as their peculiar advantage "that they follow the variety of Nature. And in such a chmate as ours their plea, no doubt, may be very just. We islanders, famed for other mutabilities, are particu- larly noted for the variableness and inconstancy of our weathej'. And if our taste in Letters be found answerable to this tempera- ture of our climate, "'tis certain a writer must, in our account, be the more valuable in his kind, as he can agreeably surprise

1 Infra, p. :224. - Hor. Ep. i. xix. 11).



his reader by sudden changes and transports from one extreme to another.

Were it not for the known prevalency of this relish, and the apparent deference paid those geniuses who are said to elevate and surprise, the author of these Miscellanies might, in all probability, be afraid to entertain his reader with this multifarious, complex, and desultory kind of reading. 'Tis certain, that if we consider the beginning and process of our present work, we shall find sufficient variation in it. From a professed levity we are lapsed into a sort of gravity unsuitable to our manner of settino; out. We have steered an adventurous course, and seem newly come out of a stormy and rough sea. ^Tis time indeed we should enjoy a calm, and instead of expand- ing our sails before the swelling gusts, it befits us to retire under the lee-shore and ply our oars in a smooth water.

'Tis the philosopher, the orator, or the poet whom we may compare to some first-rate vessel which launches out into the wide sea, and Avith a proud motion insults the encountering surges. We essay- writers are of the small craft or galley kind. We move chiefly by starts and bounds, according as our motion is by frequent intervals renewed. We have no great adventure in view, nor can tell certainly whither we are bound. We undertake no mighty voyage by help of stars or compass, but row from creek to creek, keep up a coasting trade, and are fitted only for fair weather and the summer season.

Happy therefore it is for us in particular, that having finished our course of Enthusiasm, and pursued our author into his second treatise,^ we are now at last obliged to turn towards pleasanter reflections, and have such subjects in view as must naturally reduce us to a more familiar style. Wit and humour (the professed subject of the treatise now before us) will hardly bear to be examined in ponderous sentences and poised discourse. We might now perhaps do best to lay aside the gravity of strict argument and resume the way of chat, which, through aversion ^ Viz. Essay on the Freedom of Wil and Humour.



to a contrary formal manner, is generally relished with more than ordinary satisfaction. For excess of physic, Ave know, has often made men hate the name of wholesome. And an abund- ancy of forced instruction and solemn counsel may have made men full as averse to any thing delivered with an air of high wisdom and science, especially if it be so high as to be set above all human art of reasoning, and even above reason itself, in the account of its sublime dispensers.

However, since it may be objected to us by certain formalists of this sort " that we can prove nothing duly without proving it in form," we may for once condescend to their demand, state our case formally, and divide our subject into parts, after the precise manner and according to just rule and method.

Our purpose, therefore, being to defend an author who has been charged as too presumptuous for introducing the way of wit and humour into religious searches, we shall endeavour to make apjiear : —

1st. That wit and humour are corroborative of religipn, and promotive of true faith,

2nd. That they are used as proper means of this kind by the holy founders of religion.

3rd. That notwithstanding the dark complexion and sour humour of some religious teachers, we may be justly said to have in the main a witty and good-humoured religion.

Among the earliest acquaintance of my youth, I remember, in particular, a club of three or four merry gentlemen, who had long kept company with one another, and were seldom separate in any party of pleasure or diversion. They happened once to be u})on a travelling adventure, and came to a country where they were told for certain they should find the worst entertain- ment, as well as the worst roads imaginable. One of the gentlemen, who seemed the least concerned for this disaster, said slightly and without any seeming design, "that the best expedient for them in this extremity would be to keep them- selves in high humour, and endeavour to commend everything



which the place afforded." The other gentlemen immediately took the hint, but, as it happened, kept silence, passed the subject over and took no further notice of what had been proposed.

Being- entered into the dismal country, in which they j)ro- ceeded without the least complaint, 'twas remarkable, that if by great chance they came to any tolerable bit of road or any ordinary prospect, they failed not to say something or other in its praise, and would light often on such pleasant fancies and representations, as made the objects in reality agreeable.

AVhen the greatest part of the dav was thus spent, and our gentlemen arrived where they intended to take their quarters, the first of them who made trial of the fare, or tasted either glass or dish, recommended it with such an air of assurance and in such lively expressions of approbation, that the others came instantly over to his opinion, and confirmed his relish with many additional encomiums of their own.

Many ingenious reasons were given for the several odd tastes and looks of things which were presented to them at table. " Some meats were wholesome, others of a high taste, others according to the manner of eating in this or that foreign country."" Every dish had the flavour of some celebrated receipt in cookery ; and the wine and other liquors had, in their turn, the advantage of being treated in the same elegant strain. In short, our gentlemen ate and drank heartily, and took up with their indifferent fare so well, that "'twas apparent they had wrought upon themselves to believe they were tolerably well served.

Their servants, in the meantime, having laid no such plot as this against themselves, kept to their senses, and stood it out, "that their masters had certainly lost theirs. For how else could they swallow so contentedly and take all for good which was set before them ? '"'

Had I to deal with a malicious reader, he might perhaps pretend to infer from this story of my travelling friends, that I




intended to represent it as an easy matter for people to persuade themselves into what opinion or belief they pleased. But it can never surely be thought that men of true judgment and understanding should set about such a task as that of perverting their own iudfrment and sivins; a wrons: bias to their reason. They must easily foresee that an attempt of this kind, should it have the least success, would prove of far worse consequence to them than any perversion of their taste, ajjpetite, or ordinary senses.

I must confess it, however, to be my imagination that where fit circumstances concur, and many inviting occasions offer from the side of men's interest, their humour, or their passion, 'tis no extraordinary case to see them enter into such a plot as this against their own understandings, and endeavour by all possible means to persuade both themselves and others of what they think convenient and useful to believe.

If in many particular cases, where favour and affection prevail, it be found so easy a thing with us to impose u})on ourselves ; it cannot surely be very hard to do it where, we take for granted, our highest interest is concerned. Now it is certainly no small interest or concern with men to believe what is by authority established, since in the case of disbelief there can be no choice left but either to live a hy])ocrite or be esteemed profane. Even where men are left to themselves, and allowed the freedom of their choice, they are still forward enough in believing, and can officiously endeavour to persuade themselves of the truth of any flattering imposture.

Nor is it unusual to find men successful in this endeavour; as, among other instances, may appear by the many religious faiths or opinions, however preposterous or contradictory, which, age after age, we know to have been raised on the foundation of miracles and pretended commissions from heaven. These have been as generally espoused and passionately cherished as the greatest truths and most certain i-evelations. 'Tis hardly to be supposed that such combinations should be formed, and



forgeries erected with such success and prevalency over the understandings of men, did not they themselves co-operate, of their own accord, towards the imposture, and show " that by a good-will and hearty desire of believing, they had in reality a considerable hand in the deceit/

'Tis certain that in a country where faith has for a long time gone by inheritance, and opinions are entailed by law, there is little room left for the vulgar to alter their persuasion, or deliberate on the choice of their relieious belief. When- soever a government thinks fit to concern itself with men's ojiinions, and by its absolute authority impose any particular belief, there is none ])erhaps ever so ridiculous or monstrous in which it needs doubt of having good success. This we may see thoroughly effected in certain countries by a steady policy and sound application of punishment and reward, with the assistance of particular courts erected to this end, peculiar methods of justice, peculiar magistrates and officers, proper inquests and certain wholesome severities, not slightly administered and played with (as certain triflers propose), but duly and properly enforced, as is absolutely requisite to this end of strict conform- ity, and unity in one and the same profession and manner of worship.

But should it happen to be the truth itself which was thus effectually propagated by the means we have described, the very nature of such means can, however, allow but little honour to the propagators, and little merit to the disciples and believers. 'Tis certain that Mahometism, Paganism, Judaism or any other belief may stand as well as the truest upon this foundation. He who is now an orthodox Christian, would by virtue of such a discipline have been infallibly as true a Mussulman or as errant a heretic, had his birth happened in another place.

For this reason there can be no rational belief but where comparison is allowed, examination permitted, and a sincere toleration established. And in this case, I will presume to say, " that whatever belief is once espoused or countenanced by the



magistrate, it will have a suflicient advantage, without any help from force or menaces on one hand, or extraordinary favour and jiartial treatment on the other." If the belief be in any measure consonant to truth and reason, it will find as much favour in the eyes of mankind as truth and reason need desire. What- ever difficulties there may be in any particular speculations or mysteries belonging to it, the better sort of men will endeavour to pass them over. They wi^l believe (as our author ^ says) to the full stretch of their reason, and add spurs to their faith, in order to be the more sociable, and conform the better with what their interest, in conjunction with their good -humour, inclines them to receive as credible, and observe as their religious (hity and devotional task.

Here it is that good-humour will naturally take place, and the hospitable disposition of our travelling friends above re- recited will easily transfer itself into religion, and operate in the same manner with respect to the established faith (however miraculous or incomprehensible) under a tolerating, mild, and gentle government.

Evei'y one knows, indeed, that by heresy is understood a stubbornness in the will, not a defect merely in the under- standing. On this account 'tis impossible that an honest and good-humoured man should be a schismatic or heretic, and affect to separate from his national worship on slight reasons or without severe provocation.

To be pursued by petty inquisitors ; to be threatened with punishment or penal laws ; to be marked out as dangerous and suspected ; to be railed at in high places with all the studied wit and art of cahnnny, are indeed sufficient provocations to ill-humour, and may force people to divide who at first had never any such intention. But the virtue of good-humour in religion is such that it can even reconcile persons to a belief in which they were never bred, or to which they had conceived a former prejudice.

  • Letter of Enthusiasm, § 4.



From these considerations we cannot but of course conclude, " That there is nothing so ridiculous in respect of policy, or so wrong and odious in respect of common humanity, as a moderate and half-way persecution/ It only frets the sore ; it raises the ill-humour of mankind ; excites the keener spirits ; moves indignation in beholders ; and sows the very seeds of schism in men^s bosoms. A resolute and bold-faced persecution leaves no time or scope for these engendering distempers or gathering ill-humours. It does the work at once, by extirpa- tion, banishment, or massacre ; and, like a bold stroke in surgery, dispatches by one short amputation what a bungling hand would make worse and worse, to the perpetual sufferance and misery of the patient.

If there be on earth a proper way to render the most sacred truth suspected, 'tis by supporting it with threats, and pretend- ing to terrify people into the belief of it. This is a sort of daring mankind in a cause where they know themselves superior, and out of reach. The weakest mortal finds within himself that though he may be outwitted and deluded, he can never be forced in what relates to his opinion or assent. And there are few men so ignorant of human nature, and of what they hold in common with their kind, as not to comprehend " that where great vehemence is expressed by any one in what relates solelv to another, 'tis seldom without some private interest of his own.

In common matters of dispute, the angry disputant makes the best cause to appear the worst. A clov\'n once took a fancy to hear the Latin disputes of doctors at a university. He was asked what pleasure he could take in viewing such combatants, when he could never know so much as which of the parties had the better. " For that matter," replied the clown, " I a'n't such a fool neither, but I can see who's the first that puts t'other into a passion." Nature herself dictated this lesson to the clown, that he who had the better of the argument, would be easy and well-humoured ; but he who was unable to support his cause by reason, would naturally lose his temper and grow violent.



Were two travellers agreed to tell their story separate in public, the one being a man of sincerity, but positive and dogmatical; the other less sincere, but easy and good-humoured; though it happened that the accounts of this latter gentleman were of the more miraculous sort, they would yet sooner gain belief, and be more favourably received by mankind, than the strongly asserted relations and vehement narratives of the other fierce defender of the truth.

That good -humour is a chief cause of compliance or acquiescence in matters of faith, may be proved from the very spirit of those whom we commonly call critics. 'Tis a known prevention against the gentlemen of this character, " that they are generally ill-humoured and splenetic." The world will needs have it that their spleen disturbs [them. And I must confess I think the world in general to be so far right in this conceit, that though all critics perhaps are not necessarily splenetic, all splenetic people (whether naturally such, or made so by ill-usage) have a necessary propensity to criticism and satire. When men are easy in themselves they let others remain so, and can readily comply with what seems plausible, and is thought conducing to the quiet or good corres])ondence of mankind. They study to raise no difficulties or doubts. And in religious affairs 'tis seldom that they are known forward to entertain ill thoughts or surmises, whilst they are unmolested. But if disturbed by groundless arraignments and suspicions, by unnecessary invectives and bitter declamations, and by a con- tentious quarrelsome aspect of religion, they naturally turn critics, and begin to question everything. The spirit of satire rises with the ill mood ; and the chief passion of men thus diseased and thrown out of good humour is to find fault, censure, unravel, confound, and leave nothing without exception and controversy.

These are the sceptics or scrupulists, against whom there is such a clamour raised. 'Tis evident in the meanwhile that the very clamour itself, joined with the usual menaces and show



of force, is that which cliiefly raises this sceptical spirit, and helps to multiply the number of these inquisitive and ill- humoured critics. Mere threats, without power of execution, are only exasperating and provocative. They ^ \\ ho are masters of the carnal as well as spiritual weapon may apply each at their jileasure, and in what proportion they think necessary. But where the magistrate resolves steadily to reserve his fasces for his own proper province, and keep the edge-tools and deadly instruments out of other hands, 'tis in vain for spiritual pretenders to take such magisterial airs. It can then only become them to brandish such arms when they have strength enough to make the magistrate resign his office, and become provost or executioner in their service.

Should any one who happens to read these lines perceive in himself a rising animosity against the author for asserting thus zealously the notion of a religious liberty and mutual toleration, 'tis wished that he would maturely deliberate on the cause of his disturbance and ill-humour. AVould he deimi


to look narrowly into himself, he would undoubtedly find that it is not zeal for religion or the truth which moves him on this occasion. For had he happened to be in a nation where he was no conformist, nor had any hope or expectation of obtaining the precedency for his own manner of worship, he would have found nothing preposterous in this our doctrine of indulgence. 'Tis a fact indisjiutable, that whatever sect or religion is under- most, though it may have persecuted at any time before, yet as soon as it begins to suffer persecution in its turn it recurs instantly to the principles of moderation, and maintains this our plea for complacency, sociableness, and good humour in religion. The mystery therefore of this animosity or rising indignation of my devout and zealous reader is only this : "That being devoted to the interest of a party already in possession or expectation of the temporal advantages annexed to a particular belief, he fails not, as a zealous party-man, to 1 Supra, Misc. ii. ch. ii., end.



look with jealousy on every unconformable opinion, and is sure to justify those means which he thinks proper to prevent its growth."" He knows that if in matters of religion any one believes amiss, 'tis at his own peril. If opinion damns, vice certainly does as much. Yet will our gentleman easily find, if he inquires the least into himself, that he has no such furious concern for the security of men's morals, nor any such violent resentment of their vices, when they are such as noway in- commode him. And from hence it will be easy for him to infer " that the passion he feels on this occasion is not from pure zeal, but private interest and worldly emulation."

Come we now (as authentic rhetoricians express themselves) to our second head, which we should again subdivide into firsts and seconds but that this manner of carving is of late days grown much out of fashion.

'Twas the custom of our ancestors, perhaps as long since as the days of our hospitable King Arthur, to have nothing served at table but what was entire and substantial. 'Twas a whole boar or solid ox which made the feast. The figure of the animal was preserved entire, and the dissection made in form by the appointed carver, a man of might as well as profound craft and notable dexterity, who was seen erect, with goodly mien and action, displaying heads and members, dividing according to art, and distributing his subject matter into proper parts, suitable to the stomachs of those he served. In latter days 'tis become the fashion to eat with less ceremony and method. Every one chooses to carve for himself. The learned manner of dissection is out of request ; and a certain method of cookery has been introduced, by which the anatomical science of the table is entirely set aside. Ragouts and fricassees are the reigning dishes, in which everything is so dismembered and thrown out of all order and form that no part of the mass can properly be divided, or distinguished from another.

Fashion is indeed a powerful mistress, and by her single authority has so far degraded the carving method and use of VOL. II 225 Q


solids, even in discourse and writing, that our religious pastors themselves have many of them changed their manner of dis- tributing to us their spiritual food. They have quitted their substantial service and uniform division into parts and under- parts, and in order to become fashionable, they have run into the more savoury way of learned ragout and medley. 'Tis the unbred rustic orator alone who presents his clownish audience with a divisible discourse. The elegant court divine exhorts in miscellany, and is ashamed to bring his twos and threes before a fashionable assembly.

Should I therefore, as a mere miscellanarian or essay writer, forgetting what I had premised, be found to drop a head and lose the connecting thread of my present discourse, the case perhaps would not be so preposterous. For fear, however, lest I should be charged for being worse than my word, I shall endeavour to satisfy my reader by pursuing my method pro- posed, if peradventure he can call to mind what that method was. Or if he cannot, the matter is not so very important but he may safely pursue his reading without further trouble.

To proceed, therefore. Whatever means or methods may be employed at any time in maintaining or propagating a religious belief already current and established, 'tis evident that the first beginnings must have been founded in that natural complacency and good humour which inclines to trust and confidence in mankind. Terrors alone, though accompanied with miracles and prodigies of whatever kind, are not capable of raising that sincere faith and absolute reliance which is required in favour of the divinely authorised instructor and spiritual chief. The affection and love which procures a true adherence to the new religious foundation must depend either on a real or counterfeit goodness ^ in the religious founder. Whatever ambitious spirit may inspire him, whatever savage zeal or persecuting principle may lie in reserve ready to disclose itself when authority and power is once obtained, the first scene ^ Wit and Humour, part ii. § 2 ; Moralists, part ii. § 5.



of doctrine, however, fails not to present us with the agreeable views of joy, love, meekness, gentleness, and moderation.

In this respect religion, according to the common practice in many sects, may be compared to that sort of courtship of which the fair sex are known often to complain. In the beginning of an amour, when these innocent charmers are first accosted, they hear of nothing but tender vows, submission, service, love. But soon afterwards, when won by this appear- ance of gentleness and humility, they have resigned themselves, and are no longer their own, they hear a different note, and are taught to understand submission and service in a sense they little expected. Charity and brotherly love are very engaging sounds ; but who would dream that out of abundant charity and brotherly love should come steel, fire, gibbets, rods, and such a sound and hearty application of these remedies as should at once advance the worldly greatness of religious pastors and the particular interest of private souls, for which they are so charitably concerned ?

It has been observed by our author ^ " that the Jews were naturally a very cloudy people." That they had certainly in religion, as in everything else, the least good-humour of any people in the world is very apparent. Had it been otherwise, their holy legislator and deliverer, who was declared the meekest man on earth,- and who for many years together had by the most popular and kind acts endeavoured to gain their love and affection, would in all probability have treated them afterwards with more sweetness, and been able with less blood and massacre ^ to retain them in their religious duty. This, however, we may observe, that if the first Jewish princes and celebrated kings acted in reality according to the institutions of their great founder, not only music but even play and dance were of holy appointment and divine right. The first monarch of this nation,

^ Letter of Enthusiasm, § 2 ; and above. Misc. ii. ch. i.

^ Num. xii. 3.

2 Exod. xxxii. 21 , etc. ; and Num. xvi. 41.



though of a melancholy complexion, joined music with his spiritual exercises, and even used it as a remedy under that dark enthusiasm or evil spirit,^ which how far it might resemble that of prophecy, experienced by him - even after his- apostasy, our author ^ pretends not to determine. 'Tis certain that the successor of this prince was a hearty espouser of the merry devotion, and by his example has shown it to have been funda- mental in the religious constitution of his people. The famous entry or high dance * performed by him, after so conspicuous a manner, in the procession of the sacred cofferj shows that he was not ashamed of expressing any ecstasy of joy or play some humour^ which was practised by the meanest of the priests or people on such an occasion.^

Besides the many songs and hymns dispersed in Holy Writ, the Book of Psalms itself. Job, Proverbs, Canticles, and other entire volumes of the sacred collection, which are plainly poetry and full of humorous images and jocular wit, may sufficiently show how readily the inspired authors had recourse to humour and diversion as a proper means to promote religion and strengthen the established faith.

1 1 Sam. xviii. 10 ; and xix. 9. 2 jf, 23, 24,

3 Letter of Enthusiasm, § 6. M Sam, vi. 5, 14, 16. ^ Ih. 22.

^ Though this dance was not performed quite naked, the dancers, it seems, were so slightly clothed that, in respect of modesty, they might as well have worn nothing, their nakedness appearing still by means of their high caperings, leaps, and violent attitudes which were proper to this dance. Tlie reader, if he be curious, may examine what relation this religious ecstasy and naked dance had to the naked and processional prophecy (1 Sam. xix. 28, 24), where prince, priest, and people prophesied in conjunction, the prince himself being both of the itinerant and naked party. It appears that even before he was yet advanced to the throne he had been seized with this prophesying spirit, errant, processional, and saltant, attended, as we find, with a sort of martial dance performed in troops or companies, with pipe and tabret accompanying the march, together with psaltry, harp, cornets, timbrels, and other variety of music. See 1 Sam, x. 5 ; xix. 23, etc, ; 2 Sam, vi. 5 ; and above, Letter of Enthusiasm, § 6.



When the affairs of the Jewish nation grew desperate, and everything seemed tending to a total conquest and captivity, the style of their holy writers and prophets might well vary from that* of earlier days in the rise and vigour of their common- wealth, or during the first splendour of their monarchy, when the princes themselves prophesied and potent kings were of the number of the sacred penmen. This still we may be assured of, that however melancholy or ill-humoured any of the prophets may appear at any time, 'twas not that kind of spirit which God was wont to encourage in them. Witness the case of the prophet Jonah, whose character is so naturally described in Holy Writ.

Pettish as this prophet was, unlike a man, and resembling rather some refractory boyish pupil, it may be said that God, as a kind tutor, was pleased to humour him, bear with his anger, and in a lusory manner expose his childish frowardness and show him to himself.

" Arise (said his gracious Lord), and go to Nineveh." ^ " No such matter," says our prophet to himself, but away over sea for Tarshish. He fairly plays the truant, like an arch school- boy, hoping to hide out of the way. But his Tutor had good eyes and a long reach. He overtook him at sea, where a storm was ready prepared for his exercise, and a fish's belly for his lodging. The renegade found himself in harder durance than any at land. He was sufficiently mortified. He grew good, prayed, moralised, and spoke mightily against lying vanities.-

Again the prophet is taken into favour,^ and bid go to Nineveh to foretell destruction. He foretells it. Nineveh repents ; God pardons, and the prophet is angry.

" Lord ! did I not foresee what this would come to ? Was not this my saying when I was safe and quiet at home ? A\'^hat else should I have run away for ? As if I knew not how little dependence there was on the resolution of those who are always

^ Jonah i. etc. - Ih. ii. 8. lb. iii. 1, etc.



so ready to forgive and repent of what they have determined. No ! Strike me dead ! Take my hfe this moment. 'Tis better

for me. If ever I prophesy again " ^

" And dost thou well then to be thus angry, Jonah ? Con- sider with thyself Come ! Since thou wilt needs retire out of the city to see at a distance what will come of it, here, take a better fence than thy own booth against the hot sun which incommodes thee. Take this tall- plant as a shady covering

for thy head. Cool thyself, and be delivered from thy grief. 2

^Vhen the Almighty had shown this indulgence to the prophet he grew better-humoured, and passed a tolerable night. But the next morning the worm came and an east wind ; the arbour \vas nipped, the sun shone vehemently, and the prophet's head was heated as before. Presently the ill mood returns, and the prophet is at the old pass. " Better die than live at this rate. Death — death alone can satisfy me. Let me hear no longer of living. No ! 'Tis in vain to talk of it." ^

Again God expostulates ; but is taken up short, and answered churlishly by the testv prophet. "Angry he is, angry he ought to be, and angry he will be to his death.""* But the Almighty, with the utmost pity towards him in this melancholy and froward temper, lays open the folly of it, and exhorts to mildness and good humour in the most tender manner and under the most familiar and pleasant images ; whilst he shows expressly more regard and tenderness to the very cattle and brute-beasts than the prophet to his own human kind, and to those very disciples whom by his preaching he had converted.^

In the ancienter parts of sacred story, where the beginning of things and origin of human race are represented to us, there are sufficient instances of this familiarity of style, this popular pleasant intercourse and manner of dialogue between God and

1 Jouah iv. 1, 2, 3. "- lb. i, 5, 6. ^ //, 7^ g,

  • lb. 9. ^ See the last verse of this prophet.



man ; ^ I might add, even between man and beast ; - and what is still more extraordinary, between God and Satan.^

Whatsoever of this kind may be allegorically understood, or in the way of parable or fable, this I am sure of, that the accounts, descriptions, narrations, expressions, and phrases are in themselves many times exceedingly pleasant, entertaining, and facetious. But fearing lest I might be misinterpreted should I offer to set these passages in their proper light, which, however, has been performed by undoubted good Christians and most learned and eminent divines of our own church,^ I forbear to go any further into the examination or criticism of this sort.

As for our Saviour's style, 'tis not more vehement and majestic in his gravest animadversions or declamatory discourses than it is sharp, humorous, and witty in his repartees, reflections, fabulous narrations, or parables, similes, comparisons, and other methods of milder censure and reproof, his exhortations to his disciples, his particular designation of their manners, the pleasant images under which he often couches his morals and prudential rules ; even his miracles themselves (especially the first he ever Avrought^) carry with them a certain festivity, alacrity, and good humour so remarkable that I should look upon it as impossible not to be moved in a pleasant manner at their recital.

Now, if what I have here asserted in behalf of pleasantry and humour be found just and real in respect of the Jewish and Christian religions, I doubt not it will be yielded to me, in respect of the ancient heathen establishments, that the highest care was taken by their original founders and following reformers to exhilarate religion, and correct that melancholy and gloomi- ness to which it is subject, according to those different modifica- tions of enthusiasm above specified.^

^ Gen. iii. 9-, etc. - Num. xxii. 28, etc.

3 (1) Job i., ii. ; (2) 2 Chron. xviii. 18, etc.

  • See Burnet, Archccol. cap. 7, p. 280, etc.

" St. John ii. 11. ^ Above, cli. i., ii.



Our author, as I take it, has elsewhere ^ shown that these founders were real musicians and improvers of poetry, music, and the entertaining arts, which they in a manner incorporated with religion ; not without good reason, as I am apt to imagine. For to me it plainly appears, that in the early times of all religions, when nations were yet barbarous and savage, there was ever an aptness or tendency towards the dark part of superstition, which among many other horrors produced that of human sacrifice. Something of this nature might possibly be deduced even from Holy Writ.^ And in other histories we are informed of it more at large.

Every one knows how great a part of the old heathen worship consisted in play, poetry, and dance. And though some of the more melancholy and superstitious votaries might approach the shrines of their divinities with mean grimaces, crouchings, and other fawning actions betraying the low thoughts they had of the divine nature ; yet 'tis well known that in those times the illiberal sycophantic^ manner of devo-

^ Advice to an Author, part ii. § 2.

^ Gen. xxii. \, 2, etc. ; and Judges xi. 30, 31, etc.

These places relating to Abraham and Jephthah are cited only with respect to the notion which these primitive warriors may be said to have entertained concerning this horrid enormity, so common among the inhabitants of Palestine and other neighbouring nations. It appears that even the elder of these Hebrew princes was under no extreme surprise on this trying revelation. Nor did he think of expostulating in the least on this occasion, when at another time he could be so importunate for the pardon of an inhospitable, murderous, impious, and incestuous city, Gen. xviii. 23, etc. See Marsham's Citations, pp. 70, 77 : " ex istis satius est colligere hanc Abrahami tentationem nou fuisse KeKaivovpynfj.^i'rjv irpa^tv, actionem innovatam ; non recens excogitatam, sed adjpristinos Cananaeorum mores designatam." See the learned Capel's Dissertation upon Jephthah, "ex hujus voti lege (Lev. xxvii. 28, 29) Jephte filiam omnino videtur immolasse, hoc est, morte affecisse^ et executus est in ea votum quod ipse voverat, Jud. xi. 89."

3 See Letter of Enthusiasm, § 4.



tion was by the wiser sort contemned and oft suspected as knavish and indirect.^

How different an air and aspect the good and virtuous were presumed to carry with them to the temple, let Plutarch singly, instead of many others, witness in his excellent treatise- of

1 . . . Non tu prece poscis emaci^ etc.

Haud cuivis promptum est, murmurque liumilesque susurros

Tollere de templis. . , .

De Jove quid sentis ? Estue, ut praeponere cures

Hunc cuinam ? . . .

. . . Qua tu mercede deorum

Enieris auriculas ? . . .

O curvae in terris aniniae et coelestium iiianes !

Quid juvat hoc, templis nostros immittere mores,

Et bona diis ex hac scelerata ducere pulpa ? [" You are not the man to make higgling prayers. ... It is not every- one who is ready to do away with muttering and whispering from our temples. . . . AMiat is your view of Jupiter? May 1 assume that you would think of putting him above — ' above whom . ' . . . What is the price you pay for the ears of the Gods .... O ye souls that cleave to earth and have nothing heavenly in you ! How can it answer to introduce the spirit of the age into the temple-service, and infer what the Gods like from this sinful pampered flesh of ours ? " — From Persius, Sat. 2 ; Coning- ton's translation.]

Non est meum, si mugiat Africis Malus procellis, ad miseras preces Decurrere. . . . [" It is not for me to betake myself to pitiful entreaties if my mast roar with the south-west wind." — Horace, Od. iii. xxix. 57-59.]

See Wit and Humour, part iii. § 1 ; and above, p. 205, in the notes. ^ S) ^ap^ap i^€vpbvT€s"'EiWT}Vis Kara rfj BeLcnSai/xoviq., TrrjXJjcreis, Kara^ap^apuaeis, (Ta^paTLcriJovs, plipeis eirl TrpSawirop aiVxpas, vpocTKadiaeLS, iWoKdrovs wpoaKwrjaeis, etc. " O wretched Greeks (says he, speaking to his then declining countrymen), who in a way of superstition run so easily into the relish of barbarous nations, and bring into religion that friglitful mien of sordid and vilifying devotion, ill-favoured humiliation and contrition, abject looks and countenances, consternation, prostrations, disfigurations, and in the act of worship, distortions, constrained and painful postures of the body, wry faces, beggarly tones, mumpings, grimaces, cringings, and the rest of this kind. ... A shame indeed to us Grecians ! . . . For to us (we know)^



superstition, and in another against the Epicurean atheism,

'tis prescribed from of old by our peculiar laws concerning music and tbe public choruses, that we should perform in the handsomest manner, and with a just and manly countenance, avoiding those grimaces and contortions of which some singers contract a habit. And shall we not in the more im- mediate woi'ship of the Deity preserve this liberal air and manly appear- ance ? or, on the contrary, whilst we are nicely observant of other forms and decencies in the temple, shall we neglect this greater decency in voice, words, and manners, and with vile cries, fawnings, and prostitute behaviour betray the natural dignity and majesty of that divine religion and national worship delivered down to us by our forefathers, and purged from every- thing of a barbarous and savage kind ? "

What Plutarch mentions here of the just countenance or liberal air, the crrbtxa bUaiov, of the musical performer, is agreeably illustrated in his Alcibiades. 'Twas that heroic youth, who, as appears by this historian, first gave occasion to the Athenians of the higher rank wholly to abandon the use of flutes ; which had before been highly in favour with them. The reason given, was ^ the illiberal air which attended such performers, and the unmanly disfiguration of their looks and countenance which this piping work produced." As for the real figure or plight of the superstitious mind, our author thus describes it : " Gladly would the poor comfortless mind by whiles keep festival and rejoice ; but sucli as its religion is, there can be no free mirth or joy belonging to it. Public thanksgivings are but private mournings. Sighs and sorrows accompany its praises. Fears and horrors corrupt its best afi'ections. \Vhen it assumes the outward ornaments of best apparel for the temple, it even then strikes melancholy and appears in paleness and ghastly looks. AVhile it worships, it trembles. It sends up vows in faint and feeble voices, with eager hopes, desires, and passions, discoverable in the whole disorder of the outward frame ; and, in the main, it evinces plainly by practice, that the notion of Pythagoras was but vain, who dared assert that we were tlien in the best state, and carried our most becoming looks with us, when we approached the Gods. For tlien above all other seasons are the superstitious found in the most abject miserable state of mind, and with the meanest presence and behaviour, approaching the sacred shrines of the Divine Powers in the same manner as they would the dens of bears or lions, the caves of basilisks or dragons, or other hideous recesses of wild beasts or raging monsters. To me therefore it appears wonderful, that we should arraign atheism as impious, whilst superstition escapes the charge. Shall he wlio holds there are no Divine Powers be esteemed impious, and shall not he be esteemed far more impious who holds the Divine Beings such in their nature as the superstitious



where it will plainly enough appear^ what a share good humour had in that which the politer ancients esteemed as piety and true religion.

But now, methinks, I have been sufficiently grave and serious in defence of what is directly contrary to seriousness

believe aud represent ? For my own part, I had rather men should say of me," etc. See Treatise i. § 5 in the notes. Nothing- can be more remark- able than what our author says again, a little below. " The atheist believes there is no Deity, the religionist or superstitious believer wishes there were none. If he believes, 'tis against his will ; mistrust he dares not, nor call his thought in question. But could he with security, at once, throw off that oppressive fear which like the rock of Tantallus impends and presses over him, he would with equal joy spurn his enslaving thought, and em- brace the atheist's state and opinion as his happiest deliverance. Atheists are free of superstition, but the superstitious are ever willing atheists, though impotent in their thought, and unable to believe of the Divine Being as they gladly would, wvl Be tQ jxev dOeip Seio-idai/j.oi'lai ovdef ixerecTTLv, 6 5^ 5ei(n5ai/jLwi' rrj Trpoaipecrei ddeos ibv, dudeveaTepd's iariv fj rod do^d^eiv irepl OeOiv 6 /Soi^Xerat." See Treatise i. § 4-5.

^ Where speaking of religion as it stood in the heathen church and in his own time, he confesses "That as to the vulgar disposition there was no remedy. Many even of the better sort would be found, of course, to intermix with their veneration and esteem something of terror or fear in their religious worship, which might give it perhaps the character of superstition ; but that this evil was a thousand times over-balanced by the satisfaction, hope, joy, and delight which attended religious worship. This (says he) is plain and evident from the most demonstrable testimonies, for neither the societies or public meetings in the temples, nor the festivals themselves, nor any other diverting parties, sights, or entertain- ments, are more deliglitful or rejoicing than what we ourselves behold, and act in the divine worship and in the holy sacrifices and mysteries which belong to it. Our disposition and temper is not, on this occasion, as if we were in the presence of worldly potentates, dread sovereigns, and despotic princes. Nor are we here found meanly luuiibling ourselves, crouching in fear and awe, and full of anxiety and confusion as would be natural to us in such a case. But where the divinity is esteemed the nearest and most immediately present, there horrors and amazements are the furthest banislied ; there the heart, we find, gives freest way to pleasure, to entertainment, to play, mirth, humour, and diversion, and this even to an excess."



and gravity. I have very solemnly pleaded for gaiety and good humour; I have declaimed against pedantry in learned language, and opposed formality in form ; I now find myself somewhat impatient to get loose from the constraint of method ; and I pretend lawfully to exercise the privilege which I have asserted of rambling from subject to subject, from style to style, in my miscellaneous manner according to my present pro- fession and character.

I may, in the meanwhile, be censured probably for passing over my third head. But the methodical reader, if he be scrupulous about it, may content himself with looking back, and if possibly he can pick it out of my second, he will forgive this anticipation in a writing which is governed less by form than humour, I had indeed resolved with myself to make a large collection of passages from our most eminent and learned divines, in order to have set forth this latter head of my chapter, and by better authority than my own to have evinced "that we had in the main good-humoured religion." But after considering a little while, I came to this short issue with myself, " that it was better not to cite at all than to cite partially." Now if I cited fairly what was said as well on the melancholy as the cheerful side of our religion, the matter, I found, would be pretty doubtfully balanced, and the result at last would be this, " that, generally speaking, as oft as a divine was in good humour, we should find religion the sweetest and best humoured thing in nature, but at other times (and that pretty often) we should find a very different face of matters."

Thus are we alternately exalted and humbled, cheered and dejected, according as our spiritual^ director is himself in- fluenced, and this, peradventure for our edification and advantage " that by these contrarieties and changes we may be rendered more supple and compliant." If we are very low and down we are taken up, if we are up and high we are taken down. This is discipline, this is authority and command. Did 1 Supra, p. 179. 236


religion carry constantly one and the same face, and were it always represented to us alike in every respect, we might perhaps be overbold and make acquaintance with it in too familiar a manner ; we might think ourselves fully knowing in it and assured of its true character and genius. From whence perhaps we might become more refractory towards the ghostly teachers of it, and be apt to submit ourselves the less to those who by appointment and authority represent it to us in such lights as they esteem most proper and convenient.

I shall therefore not only conclude abruptly but even sceptically on this my last head, referring my reader to what has been said already on my preceding heads for the bare probability " of our having in the main a witty and good- humoured religion."

This, however, I may presume to assert, that there are un- doubtedly some countenances or aspects of our religion which are humorous and pleasant in themselves, and that the sadder representations of it are many times so over-sad and dismal, that they are apt to excite a very contrary passion to what is intended by the representers.




Further remarks ou the author of the treatises — His order and design — His remarks on tlie succession of wit, and progress of letters, and philosophy — Of words, relations, affections — Countrymen and country — Old England — Patriots of the soil — Virtuosi and philosophers — A taste.

Having already asserted my privilege as a miscellaneous or essay writer of the modern establishment, to write on every subject and in every method as I fancy, to use order or lay it aside as I think fit, and to treat of order and method in other works, though free perhaps and unconfined as to my own ; I shall presume, in this place, to consider the present method and order of my author's treatises as in this joint edition they are ranged.

Notwithstanding the high airs of scepticism which our author assumes in his first piece, I cannot, after all, but imagine that even there he proves himself at the bottom a real dogmatist, and shows plainly that he has his private opinion, belief, or faith, as strong as any devotee or religionist of them all. Though he affects perhaps to strike at other hypotheses and schemes, he has something of his own still in reserve, and holds a certain plan or system peculiar to himself, or such at least in which he has at present but few companions or followers.

On this account I look upon his management to have been



much after the rate of some ambitious architect, who being called perhaps to prop a roof, redress a leaning wall or add to some particular apartment, is not contented with this small specimen of his mastership ; but pretending to demonstrate the unserviceableness and inconvenience of the old fabric, forms the design of a new building, and longs to show his skill in the principal part of architecture and mechanics.

'Tis certain that in matters of learning and philosophy the practice of pulling down is far pleasanter and affords more entertainment than that of building and setting up. Many have succeeded to a miracle in the first, who have miserably failed in the latter of these attempts. We may find a thousand engineers who can sap, undermine, and blow up with admirable dexterity, for one single one who can build a fort or lay the platform of a citadel. And though compassion in real war may make the ruinous practice less delightful, 'tis certain that in the literate warring-world, the springing of mines, the blow- ing up of towers, bastions, and ramparts of philosophy with systems, hypotheses, opinions and doctrines into the air, is a spectacle of all other the most naturally rejoicing.

Our author, we suppose, might have done well to consider this. AVe have fairly conducted him through his first and second letter, and have brought him, as we see here, into his third piece. He has hitherto, methinks, kept up his sapping method and unravelling humour with tolerable good grace. He has given only some few and very slender hints ^ of going further or attempting to erect any scheme or model which may

^ Viz. in the Letter of Enthudasm, §§ 5 and 6 ; so again, Treatise ii. part i. § 6 ; and iii. § 3 ; and again, Treatise in. part iii. § 1 ; where the inquiry is proposed and the system and genealogy of the affections previously treated ; with an apology (p. 202) for the examining practice and seeming pedantry of the method. And afterwards the apology for Treatise iv. in Treatise v. part ii. § 3. Concerning this series and de- pendency of these joint treatises see more particularly below, Misc. iv. beginning.



discover his pretence to a real architect-capacity. Even in this his third piece he carries with him the same sceptical mien, and what he offers by way of project or hypothesis is very faint, hardly spoken aloud, but muttered to himself in a kind of dubious whisper or feigned soliloquy. What he discovers of form and method is indeed so accompanied with the random miscellaneous air, that it may pass for raillery rather than good earnest. 'Tis in his following treatise - that he discovers himself openly as a plain dogmatist, a formalist, and man of method ; with his hypothesis tacked to him,- and his opinions so close sticking; as would force one to call to mind the figure of some precise and strait-laced professor in a university.

What may be justly pleaded in his behalf when we come in company with him to inquire into such solemn and profound subjects, seems very doubtful. Meanwhile as his affairs stand hitherto in this his treatise of advice, I shall be contented to yoke with him and proceed in my miscellaneous manner, to give my advice also to men of note, whether they are authors or politicians, virtuosi or fine gentlemen ; comprehending him, the said author, as one of the number of the advised, and myself too (if occasion be) after his own example of self-admonition and private address.

But first as to our author's dissertation in this - third treatise, where his reflections upon authors in general and the rise and progress of arts make the inlet or introduction to his philosophy ; we may observe that it is not without some appear- ance of reason that he has advanced this method. It must be acknowledged that though in the earliest times there may have been divine men of a transcending genius Avho have given laws both in religion and government to the great advantage and improvement of mankind ; yet philosophy itself as a science and known profession worthy of that name, cannot with any probability be supposed to have risen (as our author shows) till

  • Viz. Treatise v. the Inquiry concerning Virtue.

2 Part ii, § 2.



other arts had been raised, and in a certain proportion advanced before it. And as this was of the greatest dignity and weight, so it came last into form. It was long clearing itself from the affected dress of sophists, or enthusiastic air of poets, and appeared late in its genuine, simple, and just beauty.

The reader perhaps may j ustly excuse our author for having in this place so overloaded his margin with those weighty authorities and ancient citations,^ when he knows that there are many grave professors in humanity and letters among the moderns who are puzzled in this search, and write both re- pugnantly to one another and to the plain and natural evidence of the case. The real lineage and succession of wit is indeed plainly founded in Nature, as our author has endeavoured to make appear both from history and fact. The Greek nation, as it is original to us in respect to these polite arts and sciences, so it was in reality original to itself. For whether the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Thracians, or barbarians of any kind may have hit fortunately on this or that particular invention, either in agri- culture, building, navigation, or letters, whichever may have introduced this rite of worship, this title of a deity, this or that instrument of music, this or that festival, game, or dance (for on this matter there are high debates among the learned), 'tis evident, beyond a doubt, that the arts and sciences were formed in Greece itself. 'Twas there that music, poetry, and the rest came to receive some kind of shape and be distinguished into their several orders and degrees. Whatever flourished or was raised to any degree of correctness or real perfection in the kind was by means of Greece alone, and in the hand of that sole polite, most civilised, and accomplished nation.

Nor can this appear strange when we consider the fortunate constitution of that people. For though composed of different nations, distinct in laws and governments, divided by seas and continents, dispersed in distant islands, yet being originally of the same extract, united by one single language, and animated 1 Advice to an Author, part ii. § 2. VOL. II 241 E


by that social public and free spirit which, notwithstanding the animosity of their several warring states, induced them to erect such heroic congresses and powers as those which consti- tuted the Amphictyonian councils, the Olympic, Isthmian, and other games, they could not but naturally polish and refine each other, 'Twas thus they brought their beautiful and com- y prehensive language to a just standard, leaving only such variety \ in the dialects as rendered their poetry, in particular, so much the more agreeable. The standard was in the same proportion carried into other arts ; the secretion was made ; the several species found and set apart ; the performers and masters in every kind honoured and admired ; and, last of all, even critics themselves acknowledged and received as masters over all the rest. From music, poetry, rhetoric, down to the simple prose of history, through all the plastic arts of sculpture, statuary, painting, architecture, and the rest; everything muse-like, graceful, and exquisite was rewarded with the highest honours and carried on with the utmost ardour and emulation. Thus Greece, though she exported arts to other nations, had properly for her own share no import of the kind. The utmost which could be named would amount to no more than raw materials of a rude and barbarous form. And thus the nation was evidently original in art ; and with them every noble study and science was (as the great master, so often cited by our author, says of certain kinds of poetry) self-formed,^ wrought out of Nature, and drawn from the necessary operation and course of things, working, as it were, of their own accord and proper inclination.

1 avToa-x^diaaTLKri. Treatise in. part ii. § 2. 'Tis in this sense of the natural production and self-formation of the arts, in this free state of ancient Greece, that the same great master uses this word a little before, in the same chapter of his Poetics, viz. the 4th, speaking in general of the poets : Arara fUKpbv irpodyovres, iyivvqtrav Tr}i> TrolrjcrLv, £k twv ai/roirxeSta- an6.TU)v. [" Advancing step by step they produced poetry out of their im- provisations." — Arist. Poet. iv. 6.] And presently after, Xe'ffws 6f yevotxivt)^, avTT] 7) (pvcns to oIk€iov fiirpov evpe. [A\'hen dialogue was introduced. Nature herself found out the appropriate metre." — lb. iv. 14.]



Now, according to this natural growth of arts pecuHar to Greece, it would necessarily happen that at the beginning, when the force of language came to be first proved, when the admiring world made their first judgment and essayed their taste in the elegancies of this sort, the lofty, the sublime, the astonishing and amazing would be the most in fashion and preferred. Metaphorical speech, multiplicity of figures and high-sounding words would naturally prevail. Though in the commonwealth itself and in the affairs of government men were used originally to plain and direct speech, yet when speaking became an art and was taught by sojihists and other pretended masters, the high poetic and the figurative way began to prevail even at the Bar and in the public assemblies, insomuch that the grand- master, in the above-cited part of his Rhetorics, where he extols the tragic poet Euripides, upbraids the rhetoricians of his own age, who retained that very bombastic style, which even poets, and those too of the tragic kind, had already thrown off, or at least considerably mitigated. But the taste of Greece was now polishing. A better judgment was soon formed when a Demo- sthenes was heard and had found success. The people themselves (as our author has shown) came now to reform their comedy and familiar manner, after tragedy and the higher style had been brought to its perfection under the last hand of an Euripides. And now in all the principal works of ingenuity and art, simplicity and Nature began chiefly to be sought ; and this was the taste which lasted through so many ages, till the ruin of all things under a universal monarch.

If the reader should perad venture be led by his curiosity to seek some kind of comparison between this ancient growth of taste and that which we have experienced in modern days and within our own nation, he may look back to the speeches of our ancestors in Parliament. He will find them, generally speaking, to have been very short and plain, but coarse and what we properly call home-spun, till learning came in vogue and science was known amongst us. When our princes and



senators became scholars tliey spoke scholastically. And the pedantic style was prevalent from the first dawn of letters, about the age of the Reformation, till long afterwards. AA'itness the best written discourses, the admired speeches, orations, or sermons, through several reigns, down to these latter, which we compute within the present age. 'Twill undoubtedly be found that till very late days the fashion of speaking and the turn of wit was after the figurative and florid manner. Nothing was so acceptable as the high-sounding phrase, the far-fetched com- parison, the capricious point, and play of words ; and nothing so despicable as what was merely of the plain or natural kind. So that it must either be confessed that in respect of the preceding age we are fallen very low in taste, or that, if we are in reality improved, the natural and simple manner which conceals and covers art is the most truly artful, and of the genteelest, truest, and best studied taste, as has above been treated more at large. ^

Now, therefore, as to our author's philosophy itself, as it lies concealed in this treatise,- but more professed and formal in his next,^ we shall proceed gradually according to his own method, since it becomes not one who has undertaken the part of his airy assistant and humorous paraphrast to enter suddenly without good preparation into his dry reasonings and moral researches about the social passions and natural affections, of which he is such a punctilious examiner.

Of all human affections, the noblest and most becoming human nature is that of love to one's country. This, perhaps, will easily be allowed by all men who have really a country, and are of the number of those who may be called a people,* as

^ i. 3 ; and Treatise in. part ii. § 2.

- \'iz. Soliloquy, or Advice to an Author ; Treatise in.

^ Y'lz. Inquiry, etc. ; Treatise iv.

^ A multitude held together by force, though under one and the same head, is not properly united. Nor does such a body make a people. 'Tis the social league, confederacy, and mutual consent, founded in some common good or interest, which joins the members of a community and makes a



enjoying the happiness of a real constitution and pohty by which they are free and independent. There are few such countrymen or freemen so degenerate as directly to discountenance or con- demn this passion of love to their community and national brotherhood. The indirect manner of opposing this principle is the most usual. We hear it commonly as a complaint, " That there is little of this love extant in the world."" From whence 'tis hastily concluded, " That there is little or nothing of friendly or social affection inherent in our nature or proper to our species." 'Tis however apparent that there is scarce a creatm'e of human kind who is not possessed at least of some inferior degree or meaner sort of this natural affection to a country.

Nescioqua natale solum dulcedine captos Ducit.i

'Tis a wretched aspect of humanity which we figure to our- selves when we would endeavour to resolve the very essence and foundation of this generous passion into a relation to mere clay and dust, exclusively of anything sensible, intelligent, or moral. 'Tis, I must own, on certain - relations or respective proportions that all natural affection does in some measure depend. And in this view it cannot, I confess, be denied that we have each of us a certain relation to the mere earth itself, the very mould or surface of that planet in which, with other animals of various sorts, we (poor reptiles !) were also bred and nourished. But had it happened to one of us British men to have been born at sea, could we not therefore properly be called British men .'* Could we be allowed countrymen of no sort, as having no distinct relation to any certain soil or region ; no original neighbourhood but with the watery inhabitants and sea-monsters .? Surely, if

people one. Absolute power annuls the public. And where there is no public or constitution tiiere is in realitj- no nu)ther country or nation. See Treatise in. part iii. § 1.

1 Ovid, Font. i. iii. 3.5. [" Our own country charms and draws us with a certain sweetness."]

2 TO, KadriKOVTa rais ffx^cfcrt Trapa/xfTpeTrat.



we were born of lawful parents, lawfully employed, and under the protection of law, wherever they might be then detained, to whatever colonies sent, or whithersoever driven by any accident, or in expeditions or adventures in the public service or that of mankind, we should still find we had a home and country ready to lay claim to us. We should be obliged still to consider our- selves as fellow-citizens, and might be allowed to love our country or nation as honestly and heartily as the most inland inhabitant or native of the soil. Our political and social capacity would undoubtedly come in view, and be acknowledged full as natural and essential in our species as the parental and filial kind, which gives rise to what we peculiarly call natural affection. Or supposing that both our birth and parents had been unknown, and that in this respect we were in a manner younger brothers in society to the rest of mankind, yet from our nurture and education we should surely espouse some country or other, and joyfully embracing the protection of a magistracy, should of necessity and by force of nature join ourselves to the general society of mankind, and those in particular with whom we had entered into a nearer communication of benefits and closer sympathy of affections. It may therefore be esteemed no better than a mean subterfuge of narrow minds to assign this natural passion for society and a country to such a relation as that of a mere fungus or common excrescence to its parent- mould or nursing dunghill.

The relation of countryman, if it be allowed anything at all, must imply something moral and social. The notion itself pre- supposes a naturally civil and political state of mankind, and has reference to that particular part of society to which we owe our chief advantages as men and rational creatures, such as are^ naturally and necessarily united for each other's happiness and support, and for the highest of all happinesses and enjoyments, " the intercourse of minds, the free use of our reason, and the exercise of mutual love and friendship.'" ^ Treatise ii. part iii. § 1 ; Treatise v. part ii. § 4.



An ingenious physician among the moderns, having in view the natural dependency of the vegetable and animal kinds on their common mother earth, and observing that both the one and the other draw from her their continual sustenance (some rooted and fixed down to their first abodes, others unconfined and wandering from place to place to suck their nourishment), he accordingly, as I remember, styles this latter animal race, her released sons, filios terrae emancipatos. Now if this be our only way of reckoning for mankind, we may call ourselves indeed the sons of earth at large, but not of any particular soil or district. The division of climates and regions is fantastic and artificial ; much more the limits of particular countries, cities, or provinces. Our natale solum, or mother earth, must by this account be the real globe itself which bears us, and in respect of which we must allow the common animals, and even the plants of all degrees, to claim an equal brotherhood with us under this common parent.

According to this calculation we must of necessity carry our relation as far as to the whole material world or universe, where alone it can prove complete. But for the particular district or tract of earth, which in a vulgar sense we call our country, however bounded or geographically divided, we can never, at this rate, frame any accountable relation to it, nor consequently assign any natural or proper affection towards it.

If, unhappily, a man had been born either at an inn or in some dirty village, he would hardly, I think, circumscribe him- self so narrowly as to accept a denomination or character from those nearest appendices or local circumstances of his nativity. So far should one be from making the hamlet or parish to be character! stical in the case, that hardly would the shire itself, or county, however rich or flourishing, be taken into the honorary term or appellation of one's country.

" What, then, shall we presume to call our country ? Is it Eno-land itself ? But what of Scotland ? Is it therefore Britain ? But what of the other islands, the Northern Orcades, and the



Southern Jersey and Guernsey ? What of the Plantations and poor Ireland ? " Behold, here, a very dubious circumscription !

But what, after all, if there be a conquest or captivity in the case ? a migration ? a national secession, or abandonment of our native seats for some other soil or climate ? This has happened, we know, to our forefathers. And as great and powerful a people as we have been of late, and have ever shown ourselves under the influence of free councils and a tolerable ministry, should we relapse again into slavish principles, or be administered long under such heads as, having no thought of liberty for them- selves, can have much less for Europe or their neighbours, we may at last feel a war at home, become the seat of it, and in the end a conquest. We might then gladly embrace the hard condition of our predecessors, and exchange our beloved native soil for that of some remote and uninhabited part of the world. Now should this possibly be our fate, should some considerable colony or body be formed afterwards out of our remains, or meet as it were by miracle in some distant climate, would there be for the future no Englishman remaining ? No common bond of alliance and friendship by which we could still call countrymen, as before ? How came we, I pray, by our ancient name of English- men ? Did it not travel with us over land and sea ? Did we not indeed bring it with us heretofore from as far as the remoter parts of Germany to this island ?

I must confess, I have been apt sometimes to be very angry with our language for having denied us the use of the word Patria, and afforded us no other name to express our native community than that of country, which already bore two differ- ent significations abstracted from mankind or society.^ Reign- ino- words are many times of such force as to influence us considerably in our apprehension of things. Whether it be from any such cause as this, I know not, but certain it is, that in the idea of a civil state or nation we Englishmen are apt to mix somewhat more than ordinary gross and earthy. No people 1 rus and regio, in French campagne and pagn.



who owed so much to a constitution, and so little to a soil or climate, were ever known so indifferent towards one, and so passionately fond of the other. One would imagine from the common discourse of our countrymen that the finest lands near the Euphrates, the Babylonian or Persian paradises, the rich plains of Egypt, the Grecian Tempe, the Roman Campania, Lombardy, Provence, the Spanish Andalusia, or the most delicious tracts in the Eastern or Western Indies were con- temptible countries in respect of Old England.

Now by the good leave of these worthy patriots of the soil, I must take the liberty to say, I think Old England to have been in every respect a very indifferent country, and that Late England, of an age or two old, even since Queen Bess's days, is indeed very much mended for the better. We were, in the be^innino; of her grandfather's reign, under a sort of Polish nobility, and had no other liberties than what were in common to us with the then fashionable monarchies and Gothic lordships of Europe. For religion, indeed, Ave were highly famed above all nations, by being the most subject to our ecclesiastics at home, and the best tributaries and servants to the Holy See abroad.

I must go further yet, and own that I think Late England, since the Revolution, to be better still than Old England by many a degree, and that in the main we make somewhat a better figure in Europe than we did a few reigns before. But however our people may of late have flourished, our name or credit have risen, our trade and navigation, our manufactures or our husbandry been improved, 'tis certain that our region, climate, and soil is in its own nature still one and the same. And to whatever politeness we may suppose ourselves already arrived, we must confess that we are the latest barbarous, the last civilised or polished people of Europe. We must allow that our first conquest by the Romans brought us out of a state hardly equal to the Indian tribes, and that our last conquest by the Normans brought us only into the capacity of receiving arts

" 249


and civil accomplishments from abroad. They came to us by degrees from remote distances, at second or third hand ; from other courts, states, academies, and foreign nurseries of wit and manners.

Notwithstanding this, we have as overweening an opinion of ourselves as if Ave had a claim to be original and earth born. As oft as we have changed masters, and mixed races with our several successive conquerors, we still pretend to be as legitimate and genuine possessors of our soil as the ancient Athenians ac- counted themselves to have been of theirs. ' ""Tis remarkable, however, in that truly ancient, wise, and witty people, that as fine territories and noble countries as they possessed, as indis- putable masters and superiors as they were in all science, wit, politeness, and manners, they were yet so far from a conceited, selfish, and ridiculous contempt of others, that they were even, in a contrary extreme, " admirers of whatever was in the least degree ingenious or curious in foreign nations." Their great men were constant travellers. Their legislators and philosophers made their voyages into Egypt, passed into Chaldea and Persia, and failed not to visit most of the dispersed Grecian governments and colonies through the islands of the ^gean, in Italy, and on the coasts of Asia and Africa. 'Twas mentioned as a prodigy, in the case of a great philosopher, though known to have been always poor,i " that he should never have travelled, nor had ever gone out of Athens for his improvement." How modest a reflection in those who were themselves Athenians !

For our part, we neither care that foreigners should travel to us,2 nor any of ours should travel into foreign countries.

1 Socrates.

2 An ill token of our beinj; tlioroug-hly civilised, since in the judgment of the polite and wise this inhospitable disposition was ever reckoned among the principal marks of barbarism. So Strabo, from other preceding authors, Koifdv /xev elvai to?s ^ap^dpois iraaiv Wos ti]v ^evrjXaa-iav. ["The ex- pulsion of foreigners is a common measure with all barbarians." — Erato- sthenes in Strabo, xvii. i. 802.]

Tlie Zei'j Sej-ios of the ancients was one of the solemnn characters of



Our best policy and breeding is, it seems, " to look abroad as little as possible, contract our views within the narrowest com- pass, and despise all knowledge, learning, or manners which are not of* a home growth." For hardly will the ancients themselves be regarded by those who have so resolute a contempt of what the politest moderns of any nation besides their own may have advanced in the way of literature, politeness, or philosophy.

This disposition of our countrymen, from whatever causes it may possibly be derived, is, I fear, a very prepossessing circum- stance against our author, whose design is to advance something new, or at least something different from what is commonly

diviuit_v : the ijeculiar attribute of the supreme Deity, benign to mankind, and recommending- universal love, mutual kindness, and benignity between the remotest and most unlike of human race. ITius their divine poet, in harmony with their sacred oracles, which were known frequently to con- firm this doctrine —

^eTv', OIL/' fMoi OifiLS 'i(TT , ov5' el KaKiuiv criOev i\6oL, ^eivov aTL/xfjcrai.' Trpbs yap Ai6s eicni' aTracres ^eivoL.

[" My guest, I may not slight a strangei', even if he were a meaner man than thou art; for from Zeus are all strangers." — Homer, Odyssey, xiv. oC), .58.] Again, —

01)5^ Tis &/Mfj.i ^poTuv eirt/jiiayeTai dWos. dW 6Se ris Bvctttjvos aXw/xevos ivddd' iKavei, Tbv vvv xpv KopL^eiv' irpos yap Ai6s elaiu diravTes ^eivoi.

[" And no other mortals hold intercourse with us. But this is some luckless man who has come hitlier in his wanderings, and we must tend him well, for from Zeus are all strangers." — Odyssey, vi. 20.5-208.] And again, —

d<pv€Lbs ^LOTOto, (piXos d' Tjv dpOpuJiroicn' Trdvras yap (piXeecKeu 65a3 ^vl OLKia vaiuv.

[" Ricli he was, and beloved among men, f»)r he lived by the roadside

and entertained all."— Homer, Iliad, vi. 14, 1.5.]

See also Odyssey, lib. iii. M, etc., and 67, etc. ; lib. iv, 30, etc., and GO, Such was ancient heathen charity and pious duty towards the whole

of mankind, both those of different nations and different worships. See

Inquiry concerning Virtue, bk. ii. part ii. § 3.



current in philosophy and morals. To support this design of his he seems intent chiefly on this single point, " to discover how we may to best advantage form within ourselves what in the , polite world is called a relish or good taste." '

He begins, it is true, as near home as possible, and sends us to the narrowest of all conversations, that of soliloquy or self-dis- course. But this correspondence, according to his computation, is wholly impracticable without a previous commerce with the world ; and the larger this commerce is, the more practicable and improving the other, he thinks, is likely to prove. The sources of this improving art of self-correspondence he derives from the highest politeness and elegance of ancient dialogue and debate, in matters of wit, knowledge, and ingenuity. And nothing, according to our author, can so well revive this self- corresponding practice as the same search and study of the highest politeness in modern conversation. For this, we must necessarily be at the pains of going further abroad than the province we call home. And by this account it appears that our author has little hopes of being either relished or compre- hended by any other of his couiitrymen than those Avho delight in the open and free commerce of the w^orld, and are rejoiced to gather views [and receive light from every quarter in order to judge the best of what is perfect, and according to a just standard and true taste in every kind.

It may be proper for us to remark, in ftivour of our author, that the sort of ridicule or raillery which is apt to fall upon philosophers is of the same kind with that Avhich falls commonly on the virtuosi or refined wits of the age. In this latter general denomination Ave include the real fine gentlemen, the lovers of art and ingenuity, such as have seen the world, and informed themselves of the manners and customs of the several nations of Europe ; searched into their antiquities and records ; considered their police, laws, and constitutions ; observed the situation, strength, and ornaments of their cities, their principal arts, studies, and amusements ; their architecture, sculpture, paint-



ing, music, and their taste in poetry, learning, language, and conversation.

Hitherto there can lie no ridicule, nor the least scope for satiric wit or raillery. But when we push this virtuoso character a little further and lead our polished gentleman into more nice researches, when from the view of mankind and their affairs, our speculative genius and minute examiner of Nature's works proceeds with equal or perhaps superior zeal in the con- templation of the insect life, the conveniencies, habitations, and economy of a race of shell-fish ; when he has erected a cabinet in due form, and made it the real pattern of his mind, replete with the same trash and trumpery of correspondent empty notions and chimerical conceits, he then indeed becomes the subject of sufficient raillery, and is made the jest of common conversations. ^

A worse thing than this happens commonly to these inferior virtuosi. In seeking so earnestly for rarities they fall in love with rarity for rareness' sake. Now the greatest rarities in the \ world are monsters. So that the study and relish of these gentlemen, thus assiduously employed, becomes at last in reality monstrous ; and their whole delight is found to consist in select- ing and contemplating whatever is most monstrous, disagreeing, out of the way, and to the least purpose of anything in Nature.

In philosophy, matters answer exactly to this virtuoso scheme. Let us suppose a man who, having this resolution merely, how to employ his understanding to the best purpose, considers " who or what he is ; whence he arose or had hi^i bcino; ; to what end he Avas designed ; and to what course of action he is by his natural frame and constitution destined "" ; should he descend on this account into himself and examine his inward powers and faculties, or should he ascend beyond his own immediate species, city, or community, to discover and recognise his higher polity or community (that common and universal one of which he is born a member), nothing surely of this kind could reasonably draw upon him the least contempt or mockery. On the contrary, the finest gentleman must after all be considered



but as an idiot, who, talking much of the knowledge of the world and mankind, has never so much as thought of the study or knowledge of himself, or of the nature and government of that real public and world from whence he holds his being.

Quid sumus, et quidnam victuri gignimur ? ^ —

" AMiere are we ? under what roof? or on board what vessel ? whither bound? on what business? under whose pilotship, government, or protection ? ^ are questions which every sensible man would naturally ask if he were on a sudden transported into a new scene of life. 'Tis admirable, indeed, to consider, that a man should have been long come into a world, carried his reason and sense about with him, and yet have never seriously asked himself this single question, " where am I ? or what ? "" but, on the contrary, should proceed regularly to every other study and inquiry, postponing this alone, as the least consider- able, or leaving the examination of it to others commissioned, as he supposes, to understand and think for him upon this head. To be bubbled, or put upon by any sham advices in this affair, is, it seems, of no consequence. We take care to examine accurately, by our own judgment, the affairs of other people, and the concerns of the world which least belong to us. But what relates more immediately to ourselves, and is our chief self-interest, we charitably leave to others to examine for us, and readily take up Avith the first comers, on whose honesty and good faith 'tis presumed we may safely rely.

Here, methinks, the ridicule turns more against the philo- sophy-haters than the virtuosi or philosophers. Whilst philo- sophy is taken (as in its prime sense it ought) for mastership in life and manners, 'tis like to make no ill figure in the world, whatever impertinencies may reign, or however extravagant the times may prove. But let us view philosophy, like mere virtuosoship, in its usual career, and we shall find the ridicule rising full as strongly against the professors of the higher 1 Pers. -S'«^ iii. 07-




as the lower kind. Cockle-shell abounds with each. Many things exterior and without ourselves, of no relation to our real interests or to those of society and mankind, are diligently investigated ; Natures remotest operations, deepest mysteries and most difficult phenomena discussed and whimsically ex- plained ; hypotheses and fantastic systems erected, a universe anatomised, and by some notable scheme ^ so solved and reduced as to appear an easy knack or secret to those who have the clue. Creation itself can, upon occasion, be exhibited ; transmutations, projections, and other philosophical arcana, such as in the corporeal world can accomplish all things ; whilst in the intel- lectual a set frame of metaphysical phrases and distinctions can serve to solve whatever difficulties may be propounded either in logics, ethics, or any real science of whatever kind.

It appears from hence that the defects of philosophy and those of virtuosoship are of the same nature. Nothing can be more dangerous than a wrong choice or misapplication in these affairs. But as ridiculous as these studies are rendered by their senseless managers, it appears, however, that each of them are,! in their nature, essential to the character of a fine sentleman i and man of sense. '

To philosophise, in a just signification, is but to carry good -breeding a step higher. For the accomplishment of breeding is, to learn whatever is decent in company or beautiful in arts; and the sum of philosophy is, to learn what is just in I society and beautiful in Nature and the order of the world. I

'Tis not wit merely, but a temper which must form the well- bred man. In the same manner, 'tis not a head merely, but a \ heart and reso lution which must complete the real philosopher, i Both characters aim at what is excellent, aspire to a just taste,| and carry in view the model of what is beautiful and becoming. Accordingly, the respective conduct and distinct manners of each party are regulated ; the one according to the perfectest ease and good entertainment of company, the other according ^ Moralists, part i. § 1.



to the strictest interest of mankind and society ; the one accord- ing to a man's rank and quahty in his private station, the other according to his rank and dignity in Nature.

Whether each of these offices or social parts are in them- selves as convenient as becoming, is the great question which must some way be decided. The well-bred man has already decided this in his own case, and declared on the side of what is handsome ; for whatever he practises in this kind,^ he accounts no more than what he owes purely to himself, without regard to any further advantage. The pretender to philosophy, who either knows not how to determine this affair, or if he has determined, knows not how to pursue his point with constancy and firmness, remains in respect of philosophy what a clown or coxcomb is in respect of breeding and behaviour. Thus, accord" ing to our author, the taste of beauty and the relish of what is decent, just, and amiable perfects the character of the gentle- man and the philosopher. And the study of such a taste or relish will, as we suppose, be ever the great employment and concern of him who covets as well to be wise and good as agreeable and polite. -^

Quid varum atque decens euro et rogOj et omnis in hoc sum.^


Explanation of a taste continued — Ridiculers of it — Their wit and sin- cerity — Application of the taste to affairs of government and politics. — Imaginary characters in the State— Young nobility and gentry — Pursuit of beauty — Preparation for philosophy.

By this time, surely, I must have proved myself sufficiently engaged in the project and design of our self-discoursing author, whose defence I have undertaken. His pretension, as plainly

1 Wit and Humour, part iv. § 1. - Hor. Epist. I. i. 11.



appears in this third treatise ^ is to recommend morals on the same foot with what in a lower sense is called manners, and to advance })liilosophy (as harsh a subject as it may appear) on the very foundation of what is called agreeable and polite. And 'tis in this method and management that, as his interpreter or paraphrast, I have proposed to imitate and accompany him, as far as my miscellaneous character will permit.

Our joint endeavour, therefore, must appear this : to show " that nothing which is found charming or delightful in the polite world, nothing which is adopted as pleasure or entertain- ment, of whatever kind, can any Avay be accounted for, supported, or established, without the pre-establishment or supposition of a certain taste." Now a taste or judgment, 'tis supposed, can hardly come ready formed with us into the world. Whatever principles or materials of this kind we may jiossibly bring with us, whatever good faculties, senses, or anticipating sensations and imaginations may be of Nature's growth, and arise properly of themselves, without our art, promotion, or assistance, the general idea which is formed of all this management and the clear notion Ave attain of what is preferable and principal in all these subjects of choice and estimation will not, as I imagine, by any person be taken for innate. Use, practice, and culture must precede the understanding and wit of such an advanced size and growth as this. A legitimate and just taste can neither be begotten, made, conceived, or produced without the ante-j cedent labour and pains of criticism.

For this reason we presume not only to defend the cause of critics, but to declare open war against those indolent supine authors, performers, readers, auditors, actors or spectators who, making their humour alone the rule of what is beautiful and agreeable, and having no account to give of such their humour or odd fancy, reject the criticising or examining art, by which alone they are able to discover the true beauty and worth of every object.

1 Treatise in. part iii. § 3.

VOL. II 257 s


According to tliat afiected ridicule which these insipid remarkers pretend to throw upon just critics, the enjoyment of all real arts or natural beaut v would be entirely lost ; even in behaviour and manners we should at this rate become in time as barbarous as in our pleasures and diversions, I would presume it, however, of these critic -haters, that they are not yet so uncivilised or void of all social sense as to maintain " that the most barbarous life or brutish jileasure is as desirable as the most polished or refined.'

For my o\\n ])art, when I have heard sometimes men of reputed ability join in with that effeminate plaintive tone of invective against critics, I have really thought they had it in their fancy to keep down the growing geniuses of the youth, their rivals, by turning them aside from that examination and search, on which all good performance as well as good judgment depends. I have seen many a time a well-bred man, who had himself a real good taste, give way with a malicious com- plaisance to the humoui' of a company, where, in favour chiefly of the tender sex, this soft languishing contempt of critics and their labours has been the subject set afoot. " Wretched creatures ! (says one) impertinent things, these critics, as ye call them ! As if one could not know what was agreeable or ]iretty without their help. ""Tis fine, indeed, that one should not be allowed to fancy for oneself. Now should a thousand critics

tell me that Mr. A 's new })lay was not the wittiest in the

world, I would not mind them one bit.'"

This our real man of wit hears patiently, and adds, perhaps of his own, " that he thinks it truly somewhat hard, in what relates to people's diversion and entertainment, that they should be obliged to choose w^hat pleased others and not themselves."" Soon after this he goes himself to the play, finds one of his effeminate companions commending or admiring at a wrong place. He turns to the next person who sits by him, and asks | privately, " what he thinks of his companion's relish.""

Such is the malice of the world ! They who by pains and



industry have acquired a real taste in arts, rejoice in their advantage o\ev others, who have either none at all or such as renders them ridiculous. At an auction of books or pictures, you shall hear these gentlemen persuading every one "to bid for what he fancies."" But at the same time thev would be soundly mortified themselves if, by such as they esteemed good judges, they should be found to have purchased by a wrong fancy or ill taste. The same gentleman who connnends his neighbour for ordering his garden or apartment as his humour leads him, takes care his own should be so ordered as the best judgments would advise. Being once a judge himself, or but tolerably knowing in these affairs, his aim is not " to change the being of things, and bring truth and Nature to his humour ; but, leaving Nature and truth ju^t as he found them, to accom- modate his humour and fancy to their standard."' Would he do this in a yet higher case, he might in reality become as wise and great a man as he is already a refined and polished gentle- man. By one of these tastes he understands how to lay out his garden, model his house, fancy his equipage, appoint his table ; by the other he learns of what value these amusements are in life, and of what importance to a man's freedom, happiness, ajid self-enjoyment. For if he would try efJ'ectually to acquire the real science or taste of life, he would certainly discover " that a right mind and generous affection had more beauty and charm than all other symmetries in the world besides." And " that a grain of honesty and native worth was of more value than all the adventitious ornaments, estates, or preferments; for the sake of which some of the better sort so oft turn knaves, for- saking their principles and quitting their honour and freedom for a mean, timorous, shifting state of gaudy servitude."

A little better taste (were it a very little) in the affair of life itself would, if I mistake not, mend the manners and secure the happiness of some of our noble countrymen, who come with high advantage and a worthy character into the public. But ere they have long engaged in it, their worth unhappily



becomes venal. Equipages, titles, precedencies, staffs, ribbons, and other such olitterino; ware are taken in exchange for inward merit, honour, and a character.

This they may account perhaps a shrewd bargain. But there will be found very untoward abatements in it when the matter comes to be experienced. They may have descended in reality from ever so glorious ancestors, patriots, and sufferers for their nation^s liberty and welfare ; they may have made their entrance into the world upon this bottom of anticipated fame and honour ; they may have been advanced on this account to dignities which they were thought to have deserved. But when induced to change their honest measures, and sacrifice their cause and friends to an imaginary private interest, they will soon find, by experience, that they have lost the relish and taste of life ; and for insipid wretched honours of a deceitful kind have unhappily exchanged an amiable and sweet honour, of a sincere and lasting relish and good savour. They may, after this, act farces as they think fit, and hear qualities and virtues assigned to them under the titles of graces, excellencies, honours, and the rest of this mock praise and mimical appella- tion. They may even with serious looks be told of honour and worth, their principle, and their country ; but they know better within themselves, and have occasion to find that after all the world too knows better, and that their few friends and admirers have either a very shallow wit or a very profound hypocrisy.

'Tis not in one party alone that these purchases and sales of honour are carried on. I can represent to myself a noted patriot and reputed pillar of the religious part of our constitu- tion, who having by many and long services and a steady conduct gained the reputation of thorough zeal with his own party, and of sincerity and honour with his very enemies, on a sudden (the time being come that the fulness of his reward was set before him) submits complacently to the proposed bargain, and sells himself for what he is worth, in a vile, detestable old



age, to which he has reserved the infamy of betraying both his friends and country. ^

I can imagine, on the other side, one of a contrary party, a noted friend to hberty in Church and State ; an abhorrer of the slavish dependency on courts, and of the narrow principles of bigots. Such a one, after many public services of note, I can see wrought upon, by degrees, to seek court preferment, and this too under a patriot character. But having perhaps tried this way with less success, he is obliged to change his character, and become a royal flatterer, a courtier against his nature ; submitting himself and suing, in so much the meaner degree, as his inherent principles are well known at court and to his new adopted party, to whom he feigns himself a proselyte.

The greater the genius or character is of such a person, the greater is his slavery and heavier his load. Better had it been that he had never discovered such a zeal for public good, or signalised himself in that party which can with least grace make sacrifices of national interests to a crown, or to the private will, appetite, or pleasure of a prince. For supposing such a genius as this had been to act his part of courtship in some foreign and absolute court, how much less infamous would his part have proved . how much less lavish, amidst a people who were

^ [The reference is presumably to Harley, "ho, coming of a Puritan family, set out as a strong A\'hig-, had come round to Toryism, ivas made successively Secretary of State and Cliaiicellor of the Hvcliequer, and in 1711 was raised to tlie peerage as Earl of Oxford and appointed L(U"d High Treasurer. iMacaulay (chap. xx. , Student's ed., ii. 464-4(i7) mentions two other noted converts from AMiiggism to Toryism, Foley and Howe ; l)ut tlie passage in the text fits only Harley in full, his foreign policy Iieing regarded by Shaftesbury as a betrayal of his country. Macaulay tells (p. 403) how Shaftesbury was bewildered by the different case of Wharton, whom he described as "^the most mysterious of human beings, as a strange compouiul of best and worst, of private depravity and public virtue, and owned himself unal)le to understand how a man utterly without principle in everything but politics should in ])olitics be true as steel." The case indeed failed to chime with Sliaftesbury's general theory of human nature.]



all slaves ? Had he peradventure been one of that forlorn begging troop of gentry extant in Denmark or Sweden, since the time that those nations lost their liberties ; had he lived out of a free nation and happily balanced constitution ; had he been either conscious of no talent in the affairs of government or of no opportunity to exert any such to the advantage of mankind : where had been the mighty shame, if perhaps he had employed some of his abilities in flattering like others, and paying the necessary homage required for safety's sake and self-preservation, in absolute and despotic governments ? The taste, perha])s, in strictness, might still be wrong, even in this hard circumstance ; but how inexcusable in a ([uite contrary one ! For let us suppose our courtier not only an iMiglishman, but of the rank and stem of those old English patriots who were wont to curb the licentiousness of our court, arraign its flatterers, and purge away those poisons from the ear of princes ; let us suppose him of a competent fortune and moderate appetites, without any apparent luxury or lavishment in his manners : what sl^dl we, after this, bring in excuse, or as an apology, for such a choice as his ? How shall we explain this preposterous relish, this odd ])reference of subtlety and in- directness to true wisdom, o})cn honesty, and uprightness ? ^

""Tis easier, I confess, to give account of this corruption of taste in some noble youth of a more sumptuous, gay fancy ;

^ [The referonce liere is doubtless to II;irley's collejigue, Henry St. John, aftervvMi-fls Mscount Boliiijihroke. His family and circumstances and early leaniiifrs answer to the description in the text ; and he is the only puhlic man of" the day descrihahle as a i;vnius. Shaftesbury aiul he, so sym])athetic in their ])hiIos()j)hical opinions, had prohahly heea ac- ([uaintances ; ;iiid his and llarley's deliberate adoption, in 1710, of a Hij^h C'hurch policy, as well as his previous support of tlie Occasional Conformity Bill, fits closely with tlie description of a " prefei'cnce of subtlety and indirectness to true wisdom, open honesty, and uprij^htness. " After such a criticism it is (|uite intelligible that Bolinjfbroke should make no acknowledgment of liis philosophical debt to the author of the Chin'drtcn.sfic.s.]



supposing him born truly great and of honourable descent, with a generous free mind, as well as ample fortune. Even these circumstances themselves may be the very causes perhaps of his being thus ensnared. The elegance^ of his fancy in outward things may have made him overlook the worth of inward character and proportion : and the love of grandeur and magnificence, wrong turned, may have possessed his imagination over - strongly with such things as frontispieces, parterres, equipages, trim varlets in parti - coloured clothes, and others in gentlemen's apparel, — magnanimous exhibitions of honour and generosity ! " In town, a palace and suitable furniture ! In the country the same, with the addition of such edifices and gardens as were unknown to our ancestors, and are lumatural to such a climate as Great Britain ! "

Meanwhile the year runs on, but the year's income answers not its expense. For " which of these articles can be re- trenched ? Which way take up, after having thus set out ? A princely fancy has begot all this, and a princely slavery and court dependence must maintain it.

The young gentleman is now led into a chase, in which he will ha^'e slender capture, though toil sufficient. He is himself taken. Nor will he so easily get out of that labyrinth, to which he chose to commit his steps, rather than to the more direct and plainer paths in which he trod before. "Farewell that generous, proud spirit, which was wont to speak only what it apjiroved, conmiend only whom it thought worthy, and act only what it thought right! Favourites must be now ob- served ; Httle engines of power attended on and loathsomely caressed ; an honest man dreaded, and every free tongue or pen abhorred as dangerous and reproachful."" For till our gentle- man is become wholly prostitute and shameless; till he is brought to laugh at public virtue, and the very notion of common good ; till he has openly renounced all ])rinciples of honour and honesty, he must in good policy avoid those to 1 117/ aiirl Humour, part iv. § 2.



whom he lies so much exposed, and shun that commerce and familiarity which was once his chief delight.

Such is the sacrifice made to a wrong pride and ignorant self-esteem, by one whose inward character must necessarily, after this manner, become as mean and abject as his outward behaviour insolent and intolerable.

There are another sort of suitors to powers, and traffickers of inward worth and liberty for outward gain, whom one Mould be naturally drawn to compassionate. They are themselves of a humane, compassionate, and friendly nature, well-wishers to their country and mankind. They could, perhaps, even embrace poverty contentedly rather than submit to anything diminutive either of their inward freedom or national liberty. But what they can bear in their own persons they cannot bring them- selves to bear in the persons of such as are to come after them. Here the best and noblest of affections are borne down by the excess of the next best, those of tenderness for relations and near friends.

Such captives as these would di.sdain, however, to devote them- selves to any jmnce or ministry whose ends were wholly tyrannical and irreconcilable with the true interest of their nation. In other cases of a less degeneracy, they may bow down perhaps in the temjile of Rimmon, support the weight of their supine lords, and prop the steps and ruining credit of their corrupt })atrons.

This is di'udgery sufficient for such honest natures, such as by hard fate alone could have been made dishonest. But as for pride or insolence on the account of their outward advance- ment and seeming elevation, they are so far from anything resembling it that one mav often observe what is very contrary in these fjiirer characters of men. For though perhaps they were known somewhat rigid and severe before, you see them now grown in reality submissive and obliging. Though in conversation formerly dogmatical and overbearing on the points of State and government, they are now the patientest to hear, the least forward to dictate, and the readiest to embrace any



entertaining subject of discourse, rather than that of the pubhc and their own personal advancement.

Nothing is so near virtue as this behaviour ; and nothinor so remote from it, nothing so sure a token of the most profligate manners, as the contrary. In a free government, 'tis so much the interest of every one in place, who profits by the public, to demean himself with modesty and submission, that to appear immediately the more insolent and haughty on such an ad- vancement is the mark only of a contemptible genius, and of a want of true understanding, even in the narrow sense of interest and private good.

Thus we see, after all, that "'tis not merely what we call principle, but a taste which governs men. They may think for certain, " this is right, or that wrong " : they may believe " this a crime, or that a sin ; this punishable by man, or that by God "" : yet if the savour of things lies cross to honesty ; if the fancy be florid and the a})petite high towards the subaltern beauties and lower order of worldly symmetries and proportions, the conduct will infallibly turn this latter way.

Even conscience, I fear, such as is owing to religious dis- cipline, will make but a slight figure where this taste is set amiss. Among the vulgar, perhaps, it may do wonders. A devil and a hell may prevail where a jail and gallows are thought insufficient. But such is the nature of the liberal, polished, and refined part of mankind. So far are they from the mere simplicity of babes and sucklings that, instead of applying the notion of a future reward or punishment to their immediate behaviour in society, they are apt nuuli rather, through the whole course of their lives, to show evidently that they look on the pious narrations to be indeed no better than children's tales or the amusement of the mere vulgar : —

Esse aliquos Manes, et siibterranea vcfrna,

Nee pueri credunt, nisi qui nondum aere lavantur.^

' ["'Fliat our ghosts exist and realms below the earth . . . not even



Something therefore should, methinks, be further thought of in behalf of our generous youths towards the correcting of their taste or relish in the concerns of life. For this at last is what will influence. And in this respect the youth alone are to be regarded. Some hopes there may be still conceived of these. The rest are confirmed and hardened in their way. A middle-aged knave (however devout or orthodox) is but a common wonder ; an old one is no wonder at all ; but a young one is still (thank heaven !) somewhat extraordinarv. And I can never enough admire what was said once by a worthy man at the first appearance of one of these voung able prosti- tutes, '• that he even trembled at the sight, to find nature capable of being turned so soon ; and that he boded greater calamity to his country from this single example of young villany than from the practices and arts of all the old knaves in being."

Let us therefore proceed in this view, addressing ourselves to the grown youth of our polite world. Let the appeal be to these whose relish is retrievable, and whose taste may yet be I formed in morals, as it seems to be already in exterior manners and behaviour.

That there is really a standard of this latter kind will immediately, and on the first view, be acknowledged. The contest is only, " which is right ; which the unaffected carriage and just demeanour; and which the affected and false.'"' Scarce is there any one who pretends not to know and to decide A\hat is well-bred and handsome. There are few so affectedly clownish as absolutely to disown good breeding, and renounce the notion of a beauty in outward manners and dejiortment. With such as these, wherever they should be found, I must confess I could scarce be tempted to bestow the least pains or labour towards convincing them of a beautv in inward sentiments and principles.

cliildreu lielieve, oxcopt tliose who ;iro too young- to jniy ;it tlio I);iths. " Juv. ii. Ul-l.")!.]



Whoever has any impression of what we call gentility or politeness is already so acquainted with the decorum and grace of things that he will readily confess a pleasure and enjoyment in the very survey and contemplation of this kind. Now if in the way of polite pleasure the study and love of beauty be essential, the study and love of symmetry and order, on which beauty depends, must also be essential in the same respect. i

'Tis impossible we can advance the least in any relish or taste of outwai'd symmetry and order, without acknowledging that the proportionate and regular state is the truly prosperous | and natural in every subject. The same features which make deformity create incommodiousness and disease. And the same shapes and proportions which make beauty afford advantage by adapting to activity and use. Even in the imitative or designing- arts (to which our author so often refers) the truth or beauty of every figure or statue is measured from the perfection of Nature in her just adapting of every limb and proportion to the activity, strength, dexterity, life and vigour of the particular species or animal designed.

Thus beauty and truth are plainly joined with the notion of utility and convenience,^ even in the apprehension of every ingenious artist, the architect,'^ the statuary, or the painter.

  • Treatise ii. part iv. § .">.

^ In Graecis operibus nenu) suh niutiild deiiticiilos coustituit, etc. Quod erfj-o sii])r;b cautherios et templa in veritate (lel)et esse collocatuni, id in imapiiihus, si infra constitutum fuerit^ mendosani hahebit operis rationeni. Etiamque antitjui non probaverunt, neque instituerunt, etc. I til quod non potest in veritate fieri, id non putaverunt in ima^inibus factum, posse cerbim rationem habere. Onniia enini certa j)roprietate et a veris naturae deductis nioribus traduxerunt in oporuin j)erfectiones : et ea proba\erunt <|uoruni explicationes in disjtutationibus rationem possunt habere veritatis. Ita(iuc ex eis ori}rinil)us symmetrias et pro- portiones uniuscujusqiu* generis ronstitutas reli(iuerunt. ["In (ireek buildini^s no one placed denticules under nnitules. . . . \\'hat tlierefore oujrbt in reality to be put above beams and small timbers will, if in imita- tions it be put below, be faulty in theory : aiul so the ancients did not

i])l)rovc of this or practise it. . . . Thus they thought that what cannot



'Tis the same in the physician's way. Natural health is the just proportion, truth, and regular course of things in a con- stitution. 'Tis the inward beauty of the body. And when the harmony and just measures of the rising pulses, the circulating humours, and the moving airs or spirits, are disturbed or lost, deformity enters, and with it, calamity and ruin.

Should not this (one would imagine) be still the same case and hold equally as to the mind ? Is there nothing there which tends to disturbance and dissolution ? Is there no natural tenour, tone, or order of the jjassions or affections ? No beauty or deformity in this moral kind ? Or allowing that there really is, must it not, of consequence, in the same manner im})ly health or sickliness, prosperity or disaster ? Will it not be found in this respect, above all, " that what is lieautiful is harmonious and proportionable ; ^ what is harmonious and proportionable

be (lone in reality cannot be c(»rrect if done in a copy thereof. For they transferred e\erything to their perfect works with exact accuracy aiid attention to the true laws of Nature^ and approved only those points the explanation of which can, when discussed, show truthfulness. And so from this beginning they left us proportions and canons ready established in every kind."] \'itruvius, iv. 2, whose commentator Philander may be also read on this place. See above, Treatise iii. part i., end; part iii. § 3 ; and I>elow, Mi.<fc. v. ch. i.

1 This is the honestum, the j)ulc]irum, to Ka\6v, on which our author lays the stress of virtue, and the merits of this cause ; as well in his other Treatises as in this of So/iloqui/ here commented. This beauty the Roman orator, in his rhetorical way, and in the majesty of style, could express no otherwise than as a mystery. " Ilonestum igitur id intelligimus, quod tale est, ut, detracta omni utilitate, sine ullis praemiis fructil)usve, per seipsum possit jure huulari. Quod quale sit, non tarn definitione qua sum usus intelligi potest (<|uan(iuam ali(|uantum potest) (juam communi omnium judicio, et optimi cujusque stiuliis, atque factis ; (jui permulta ob eam unam causam faciunt, quia decet, quia rectum, quia honestum est ; etsi nullum consecuturum emolumentum vident." ["By right therefore I understand what is such that, apart from expediency, without any reward or profit, it can properly be praised on its own account. AVhat sort of thing, that is, may be understood, not so much from the definition I have given (though to some extent it may be so understood) as from the



is true ; and what is at once both beautiful and true is, of consequence, agreeable and good ? "

general agreement of all^ and from the enthusiasm and acts of tlie best men ; they do many a thing for this one reason, that it is becoming, is ])roper, is right, even thougli they see no gain likely to follow." — Cicero, De Finibus, ii. 45.] Our author, on the otlier side, having little of the orator, and less of the constraint of formality belonging to some graver characters, can be more familiar on this occasion ; and accordingly descend- ing without the least scruple into whatever style or humour, he refuses t(» make the least difficulty or mystery of this matter. He pretends, on tliis head, to claim the assent not only of orators, poets, and the higher virtuosi, but even of the beaux themselves, and such as go no farther than the dancing-master to seek for grace and beauty. He pretends, we see, to fetch this natural idea from as familiar amusements as dress, equipage, the tiring-room, or toy-shop. And thus in his proper manner of soliloquy or self-discourse, we may imagine him running on, beginning perhaps with some particular scheme or fancied scale of beauty, Mliich, according to his philosophy, he strives to erect by distinguishing, sorting, and dividing into things animate, inanimate, and mixed, as thus : —

In tlie inanimate : beginning from those regular figures and symmetries with which cliildren are delighted, and proceeding gradually to the pro- portions of architecture and the other arts. The same in respect of sounds and music. From beautiful stones, rocks, minerals, to vegetables, woods, aggregate parts of the world, seas, rivers, mountains, vales. The globe. Celestial bodies and their order. The higher architecture of Nature. Nature herself considered as inanimate and passive.

In the animate : from animals and their several kinds, tempers, sagacities, to men. And from single persons of men, their private char- acters, understandings, geniuses, dispositions, manners, to public societies, communities or commonwealths. From flocks, herds, and other natural assemblages or groups of living creatures, to human intelligencies and correspondencies, or whatever is higher in the kind. The correspondence, union and harmony of Nature herself, considered as animate and intelligent.

In the mixed : as in a single person (a body and a mind) the union and harmony of this kind, which constitutes the real person ; and the friendship, love, or whatever other affection is formed on such an object. A household, a city or nation, with certain lands, buildings, and other appendices or local ornaments which jointly form that agreeable idea of home, family, country.

"And what of this?" says an airy spark, no friend to meditation or deep thought. " ^\'hat means this catalogue or scale, as you are pleased




AVhere then is this beauty or harmony to be found ? How- is this synnnetry to be discovei'ed and applied ? Is it any other art tlian that of })hilosophy or the study of inward numbers and proportions which can exhibit this in life ? If no other, wlio then can possibly have a taste of this kind, without being beholden to philosophy ? AVho can admire the outward beauties and not recur instantly to the inward, which are the most real

to call it? Only, sir, to satisfy myself that I am not alone or sing-le in a certain fancy I have of a tliiiijj- called heauty ; that I have almost the whole world for my companions ; and that each of us admirers and earnest pursuers of heauty (sucli as in a manner we all are) if ])erad\'enture we take not a certain sagacity along with us, we must err widely, range ex- travagantly, and run ever upon a false scent. 'W^e may (in the spi»rtsman's phrase) have many liares afoot, hut shall stick to no real game, nor Ite fortunate in any capture which nuiy content us.

"See with «hat ardour and vehemence the young man, neglecting his proper race and fellow-creatures, aiul forgetting what is decent, handsome, or becoming in human affairs, pursues these species in those common ol)jects of his affection, a horse, a liound, a hawk ! ^Vhat doting on these beauties ! ^Vhat admiration of the kind itself ! Aiul of the particular animal, what care, and in a manner idolatry and consecration, when the beast beloved is (as often haj)pens) even set a])art from use, and only kept to gaze on and feed the enamoured fancy with highest delight ! See in another youth, not so forgetful of human kind, but remembering it still in a wrong way ! a (pL\6Ka\os t>f another sort, a C'haerea. Quam elegans ft)rmarum spect.itor ! See as to otlier beauties, where there is no posses- sion, no enjoyment or reward, but barely seeing and admiring ; as in the virtuoso-passion, the love of painting and the designing arts of every kind so often observed. How fares it with our princely genius, our grandee wlio assembles all these beauties, and within the bounds of his sumptuous palace incloses all these graces of a thousand kinds .'^ "NVhat pains ! study! science ! Behold the disposition and order of these finer sorts of apart- ments, gardens, ^■illas ! The kind of harmony to the eye from tlie various shapes and colours agreeably mixed and ranged in lines, intercrossing without confusion, aiul fortunately coincident. A parterre, cypresses, groves, wildernesses. Statues here and there of virtue, fortitude, temper- ance. Heroes' busts, philosophers' heads, with suitable mottoes and in- scriptions. Solemn representations of things deeply natural — caves, grottoes, rocks, urns and obelisks in retired places and disposed at proper distances and points of sight, with all those svmmetries which silently



and essential, the most naturally affecting, and of the highest pleasure, as well as profit and advantage ?

In so short a compass does that learning and knowledge lie on which manners and life depend. 'Tis we ourselves create and form our taste. If we resolve to have it just, 'tis in our power. ^Ve may esteem and resolve, approve and disapprove,

express a reii-iung- order, peace, harmony, and beauty ! . . . But what is there answerable to this in the minds of the possessors ? W'liat possession or propriety is theirs? AMiat constancy or security of enjoyment.^ AMiat peace, what harmony within ? "

Thus our monohjgist, or self-discoursinj;' author, in liis usual strain, when incited to the search of Beauty and tlie Decorum by vulgar admira- tion and tlie universal acknowledgment «)f the species in outward things, and in the nu'aner and subordinate sul»jects. Jiy this inferior species, it seems, our strict inspector disdains to be allured ; and refusing to be captivated by anything less than the superior, original, aiul genuine kind, he walks at leisure, without emotion, in deep philosophical reserve, through all these pompous scenes ; passes unconcernedly l)y those court jjageants, tlie illustrious and much envied potentates of the place ; over- looks the rich, the great, and even the fair, feeling no other astonishment than wliat is accidentally raised in him by the view of these impostures and of this specious snare. For here he ol)serves those gentlemen chiefly to be caught and fastest held who are the highest ridiculers of such reflections as his own, and who in the very height of this ridicule prove themselves the impotent contemners of a species which, whether they will or no, they ardently pursue, some in a face and certain regular lines or features, others in a palace and apartments, others in an equipage and dress. " O efl'eminacy, eft'eminacy ! \Mio would imagine this could be the vice of such as ap})ear no inconsiderable men } But person is a sul)ject of flattery which reaches bejond the bloom of youth. The experienced senator and aged general can in our days dispense with a toilet and fcike his outward form into a very extraordinary adjustment and regulation. All embellishments are affected, besides the true. And thus, led liy example, whilst we run in search of elegancy and neatness, pursuing beauty, and adding, as we imagine, more lustre and value to four own person, we grow, in our real character and true self, deformed aiuI mon- strous, servile and abject, stooping to the lowest terms of courtship, and sacrificing all internal proportion, all intrinsic and real beauty and worth for the sake of things which carry scarce a shadow of the kind." Sajjra, Morulistn, part iii. § 2 ; Wit and Humour, part iv. § 2 ; Advice, part iii. § '6.



as we would wish. For who \\oulcl not rejoice to be always equal and consonant to himself, and have constantly that opinion of things which is natural and proportionable ? But who dares search opinion to the bottom, or call in question his early and prepossessing taste? Who is so just to himself as to recall his fancy from the power of fashion and education to that of reason ? Could we, however, be thus courageous, we should soon settle in ourselves such an opinion of good as would secure to us an in- variable, agreeable, and just taste in life and manners.

Thus have I endeavoured to tread in my author's steps, and prepare the reader for the serious and downright philosophy which even in this ^ last commented treatise, our author keeps still as a mystery and dares not formally profess. His pretence has been to advise authors and polish styles, but his aim has been to correct manners and regular lives. He has affected soliloquy, as pretending only to censure himself, but he has taken occasion to bring others into his company and make bold with personages and characters of no inferior rank. He has given scope enough to raillery and humour, and has intrenched very largely on the province of us miscellanarian writers. But the reader is ^ now about to see him in a new aspect, " a formal and professed philosopher, a system-writer, a dogmatist and ex- pounder." Habes confitentem reum.

So to his philosophy I commit him. Though, according as my genius at present disposition will permit, I intend still to accompany him at a distance, keep him in sight, and convoy him, the best I am able, through the dangerous seas he is about to pass.

1 Treatise ni. {Advice to an Author). 2 Treatise iv. (The luquiry).




Connection and union of the subject-treatises — Philosophy in form — Metaphysics — Egoity — Identity — Moral footing- — Proof and discipline of the fancies — Settlement or opinion — Anatomy of the mind — A fable.

We have already, in the beginning of our preceding Miscellany, taken notice of our author's plan and the connection and dependency of his joint tracts,^ comprehended in two preceding volumes. We are now, in our commentator capacity, arrived at length to his second volume, to Avhich the three pieces of his first appear pre])aratory. That they were really so designed, the advertisement to the first edition of his Soliloquy is a sufficient proof. He took occasion there, in a line or two under the name of his printer, or (as he otherwise calls him) his amanuensis, to prepare us for a more elaborate and methodical piece which was to follow. AVe have this system now before us. Nor need we wonder, such as it is, that it came so hardly into the world, and that our author has been delivered of it with so much difficulty and after so long a time. His amanuensis and he were not, it seems, heretofore upon such good terms of correspondence. Otherwise such an unshapen foetus or false birth as that of which our author in his title-page - complains had not formerly appeared abroad. Nor had it ever risen

  • Above, p. 230 ; ag-ain below, Mist: v. 2.

- Viz. to the Inquiry (Treatise i\.).

VOL. II 273 T


again in its more decent form but for the accidental publication of our author's first letter,^ which, by a necessary train of conse- quences, occasioned the revival of this abortive piece, and gave usherance to its companions.

It will appear, therefore, in this joint edition of our author's Five Treatises that the three former are preparatory to the fourth, on which we are now entered, and the fifth (with which he concludes) a kind of apology for this revived Treatise con- cerning virtue and religion.

As for his Apology, particularly in what relates to revealed relig-ion and a world to come, I commit the reader to the disputant divines and gentlemen whom our author has intro- duced in that concluding piece of dialogue writing or rhapsodical philosophy. INIeanwhile we have here no other part left us than to enter into the dry philosophy and rigid manner of our author, without any excursions into various literature, Avithout help from the comic or tragic muse, or from the flowers of poetry or rhetoric.

Such is our present pattern and strict moral task, which our more humorous reader, foreknowing, may immediately, if he pleases, turn over, skipping (as is usual in many grave works) a chapter or two as he proceeds. We shall, to make amends, endeavour afterwards, in our following Miscellany, to entertain him again with more cheerful fare, and afford him a dessert to rectify his palate, and leave his mouth at last in good relish.

To the patient and grave reader, therefore, who in order to moralise can afford to retire into his closet, as to some religious or devout exercise, we presume thus to offer a few reflections in the support of our author's profound inquiry. And, accordingly, we are to imagine our author speaking as follows.

How little regard soever may be shown to that moral

speculation or inquiry which we call the study of ourselves, it

must, in strictness, be yielded that all knowledge whatsoever

depends upon this previous one, " and that we can in reality

1 Viz. Letter of Enthusiasm.



be assured of nothing till we are first assured of what we are ourselves." P'or by this alone we can know what certainty and assurance is.

That there is something undoubtedly which thinks, our very doubt itself and scrupulous thought evinces. But in what subject that thought resides, and how that subject is continued one and the same, so as to answer constantly to the supposed train of thoughts or reflections which seem to run so harmoni- ously through a long course of life, with the same relation still to one single and self-same person, this is not a matter so easily or hastily decided by those who are nice self - examiners or searchers after truth and certainty.

'Twill not, in this respect, be sufficient for us to use the seeming logic of a famous modern,^ and say, " We think, therefore we are." Which is a notably invented saying, after the model of that like philosophical proposition, that " What is, is." JNIiraculously argued ! " If I am, I am." Nothing more certain ! For the Ego or I being established in' the first part of the proposition, the ergo, no doubt, must hold it good in the latter. But the question is, " What constitutes the AVe or I ? " and " whether the I of this instant be the same with that of any instant preceding or to come ':: " For we have nothing but memory to warrant us, and memory may be false. \V^e may believe we have thought and reflected thus or thus ; but we may be mistaken. We may be conscious of that as truth which perhaps was no more than dream, and we may be conscious of that as a past dream which perhaps was never before so much as dreamt of.

This is what metaphysicians mean when they say " that identity can be proved only by consciousness, but that con- sciousness, withal, may be as well false as real in respect of what is past." So that the same successional AV'e or I nmst remain still, on this account, undecided.

To the force of this reasoning I confess I must so far submit 1 Monsieur Des Cartes.



as to declare that, for my own part, 1 take my being upon trust. Let others philosophise as they are able : I shall admire their strength when, upon this topic, they have refuted what able metaphysicians object and Pyrrhonists plead in their own behalf.

Meanwhile there is no impediment, hindrance, or suspension of action on account of these wonderfully refined speculations. Argument and debate go on still. Conduct is settled. Rules and measures are given out and received. Nor do we scruple to act as resolutely upon the mere supposition that we are, as if we had effectually proved it a thousand times, to the full satisfaction of our metaphysical or Pyrrhonean antagonist.

This to me appears sufficient ground for a moralist. Nor do I ask more when I undertake to prove the reality of virtue and morals.

If it be certain that I am, 'tis certain and demonstrable who and what I ought to be, even on my own account, and for the sake of my own private happiness and success. For thus I take tlie liberty to proceed.

The affections of which I am conscious are either jjrief or joy, desire or aversion. For whatever mere sensation I may experience, if it amounts to neither of these, 'tis indifferent and no way affects me.

That which causes joy and satisfaction when present causes grief and disturbance when absent ; and that which causes grief and disturbance when present does, when absent, by the same necessity occasion joy and satisfaction.

Thus love (which implies desire, with hope of good) nnist afford occasion to grief and disturbance M'hen it acquires not what it earnestly seeks. And hatred (which im})lies aversion and fear of ill) nmst, in the same manner, occasion grief and calamity when that which it earnestly shunned, or would have escaped, remains present or is altogether unavoidable.

That which being present can never leave the mind at rest, but must of necessity cause aversion, is its ill. But that which can be sustained without anv necessary abhorrence or aversion



is not its ill, but remains incliftbrcnt in its own nature, the ill being in the affection only, which wants redress.

In the same manner, that which being absent can never leave the mind at rest, or without disturbance and regret, is of necessity its good. But that which can be absent without any present or future disturbance to the mind, is not its good, but remains indifferent in its own nature. From whence it must follow, that the affection towards it, as sup})osed good, is an ill affection, and creative only of disturbance and disease. So that the affections of love and hatred, liking and dislike, on which the hap})iness or prosperity of the person so much depends, being influenced and governed by opinion, the highest good or liaj^piness must de])end on right opinion and the highest misery be derived from \\ rong.

To explain this, I consider, for instance, the fancy or imagination I have of death, accortling as I find this subject naturally passing in my mind. To this fancy, })erhaps, I find united an opinion or apprehension of evil and calamity. Now^ the more my apprehension of this evil increases, the greater I find my disturbance proves not only at the approach of the supposed evil, but at the very distant thought of it. Besides that, the thought itself will of necessity so much the oftener recur, as the aversion or fear is violent and increasing.

From this supposed evil I must, however, fly with so much the more earnestness as the ojiinion of the evil increases. Now if the increase of the aversion can be no cause of the decrease or diminution of the evil itself but rather the contrary, then the increase of the aversion must necessarily prove the increase of disappointment and disturbance. And so, on the other hand, the diminution or decrease of the aversion (if this may any way be effected) must of necessity prove the diminution of inward disturbance, and the better establishment of inward cpiiet and satisfaction.

Again, I consider w^ith myself, that I have the imagination ^

' Of tlie necessary beiuj; and prevalency of some sueli imagination or



of something beautiful, great, and becoming in things. This imagination I apply jierhaps to such subjects as plate, jewels, apartments, coronets, patents of honour, titles, or precedencies. I must therefore naturally seek these, not as mere conveniencies, means, or helps in life (for as such my passion could not be so excessive towards them), but as excellent in themselves, necessarily attractive of my admiration, and directly and im- mediately causing my happiness and giving me satisfaction. Now if the passion raised on this opinion (call it avarice, pride, vanity, or ambition) be indeed incapable of any real satisfaction, even under the most successful course of fortune ; and then too, attended with perpetual fears of disappointment and loss, how can the mind be other than miserable when possessed by it . But if instead of forming thus the opinion of good, if instead of placing worth or excellence in these outward subjects we place it, where it is truest, in the affections or sentiments, in the governing part and inward character, we have then the full enjoyment of it within our power; the imagination or opinion remains steady and irreversible, and the love, desire, and appetite is answered, without apprehension of loss or disappointment.

Here, therefore, arises work and employment for us within, " to regulate fancy and rectify opinion,^ on which all depends.'"

sense (natui'al and common to all men, irresistible, of original growth in the mind, the guide of our affections, and the ground of our admiration, contempt, shame, honour, disdain, and other natural and unavoidable im- pressions), see Treatise ii. part iv. § 2 ; Treatise in. part iii. § 3 ; Treatise IV. bk. i. part ii. § 3 ; Treatise v. part iii. §§ 2, 3 ; and above. Misc. ii. ch, i. ; iii. ch. ii. in the notes.

^ OTi. Trdcra 17 VTr6\ri\pLS, Kai avrrj evl aol. apov ovv ore OeXeis rr^v vwbXyi^pLV, Kal wawep Ko.jj.'ij/avTi ttju aKpav yaXrivrj, aradepa Travra Kal koXttos clkv/jluv, [ W^hat view you take is everything, and your view is in j'our power. Remove it then when you choose, and then, as if you had rounded the cape, come calm serenity, a waveless bay." — Marcus Aurelius, xii. 22.]

oTov €(TTLv 7] XeKavT] Tou v8aTos, TOLovTov T) ^vxv- o^o" V o.vy7] 7] TrpoffTritTTOvaa Tt^ vSari, TOLOVTOI/ ai (pavracriai.. orav ovv to vdup KLvqdrj, doKel fi^v Kal t) avyrj KiveiffOai. ov fxivToi Kivelrai: Kal orav roivvv ffKorudrj rls, ovx 0.I Tix^o-i Kal al dperal crvyxeofTai^

dWd TO TTvevixa €

ouv TT]v iKKXiaiv dirb iravTWv tCiv oi/K i(p' Vfuv, Kal fierddes iiri to. itapa <pvaiv tQv i(p' r]tuv. [" Give up then aversion from all things which are not 280 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS than the engaging passions ; since if we give Avav chiefly to incHnation, by loving, applauding, and admiring what is great and good, we may possibly, it seems, in some high objects of that kind, be so amused and ecstasied as to lose ourselves and miss our proper mark for want of a steady and settled aim. But being more sure and infalliable in what relates to our ill, we should begin, they tell us, by applying our aversion on that side and raisinjj our indignation against those meannesses of c? O o opinion and sentiment which are the causes of our subjection and perplexity. Thus the covetous fancy, if considered as the cause of misery (and consequently detested as a real ill), must of necessity abate ; and the ambitious fancy, if opposed in the same manner with resolution, by better thought, must resign itself and leave the mind free and disencumbered in the pursuit of its better objects. Nor is the case different in the passion of cowardice or fear of death. For if we leave this passion to itself (or to certain tutors to manage for us) it may lead us to the most anxious and tormenting state of life. But if it be opposed by sounder opinion and a just estimation of things, it must diminish of course, and the natural result of such a practice nnist be the in our power ; transfer it to tlie things contrary to nature wliicli are in our power."— p4)ictetus, Ench. ii.] ope^LV Spat (T€ del TravreXQs, eKK\i.(nv t-jrl /xova p.eradeiyaL to. irpoaipeTLKO.. [ You must do away with desire altogether, and transfer aversion to those things only which are within the scope of the will." — Epictetus, Dls.s. iii. 22.] This suhdued or moderated admiration or zeal in the higliest subjects of virtue and divinity, the pliilosopher calls avfifierpov Kai KadtaTa/xevriv Ty\v ipe^Lv. ['"Desire settled and proportioned to its objects." — Epict. Diss. iv. 1.] 'JTlie contrary disposition, rha\oyov Kal (hariKov. [ Unreasonable and pushing." — Epict. Diss. '\v. 1.] The reason why this over-forward ardour and pursuit of high subjects runs naturally into enthusiasm and disorder is shown in what succeeds the first of the passages here cited, viz. , tQiv ok i(p' il/Mv, ocrav 6p(yecr6ai KaXbv av, ovMv ovoeiru croi Trdpecm. \" And of things in our power, such as it would be well to desire, no one is yet set before you." — Epict. Ench. ii.] And hence the repeated injunction, dirdaxov nore TrairdTracnv ope'^ews, 'iva. irori Kal fvXoyus opexOijsri ti 5' ev\6yw?. orav fxV^ "' ^^ 281 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS rescue of the mind from numberless fears and miseries of other kinds. Thus at last a mind, by knowing itself and its own proper powers and virtues, becomes free and independent. It sees its hindrances and obstructions, and finds they are wholly from itself, and from opinions wrong conceived. The more it conquers in this respect (be it in the least particular) the more it is its own master, feels its own natural liberty, and con- gratulates with itself on its own advancement and prosperity. AVhether some who are called philosophers have so applied their meditations as to understand anything of this language, ffeavTu dyadov e!) opexOwv- [Keep away altogether from desire^ in order tliat you may some day have a desire witli good reason ; and if with good reason^ when you have anything good in you, you will desire well." — Epict. Uiss. iii. 1:3.] To this Horace, in one of his latest epistles of the deeply philosophical kind, alludes. Insani sapiens nomen ferat, aequus ini(|ui. Ultra quam satis est virtutem si petat ipsam. — Epist. i. vi. [" Tlie wise man must be called mad, the fair man unfair, if he seek even virtue too keenly."] And in the beginning of the epistle, — Nil admirari prope res est una, Numici, Solaque quae posset facere et servare beatum. — lb. [Not to admire is all the art I know. To make men happy and to keep them so." — Pope's version.] J'or though these first lines (as many other of Horace's on the subject of philosophy) have the air of the Epicurean discipline and Luci-etian style ; yet, by the whole taken together, it appears evidently on what system of ancient philosophy this epistle was formed. Nor was this prohibition of tlie wondering or admiring habit in early students peculiar to one kind of philosophy alone. It was common to many, however the reason and account of it might differ in one sect from the other. The Pythagoreans sufficiently checked their tyros by silencing them so long on their first courtship to philosophy. And though admiration, in the Peripatetic sense, as above mentioned, may be justly called the inclining principle or first motive to philosophy, yet this mistress, when once espoused, teaches us to admire after a diiferent manner from what we did before. See above, J/wc. ii. ch. i. ; and Treatise i. § 0. 282 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS I know not. But well I am assured that many an honest and free-hearted fellow, among the vulgar rank of people, has naturally some kind of feeling or apprehension of this self- enjoyment when, refusing to act for lucre or outward profit the thing which from his soul he abhors and thinks below him, he goes on, with harder labour, but more content, in his direct plain path. He is secure w ithin, free of what the world calls policy or design, and sings (according to the old ballad) — My mind to me a kingdom is, etc. Which in Latin we may translate, — Et mea Virtute me involvo, probnmque Paiiperiem sine dote qiiaero.^ But I forget, it seems, that I am now speaking in the })erson of our grave inquirer. I should consider I have no right to vary from the pattern he has set, and that whilst I accompany him in this particular treatise, I ought not to make the least escape out of the high road of demonstration into the diverting paths of poetry or humour. As grave however as morals are presumed in their own nature, I look upon it as an essential matter in their delivery to take now and then the natural air of pleasantry. The first morals which were ever delivered in the world were in parables, tales, or fables. And the latter and most consummate dis- tributers of morals, in the very politest times, were great tale- tellers and retainers to honest ^^^sop. After all the regular demonstrations and deductions of our grave author, I daresay 'twould be a high relief and satisfaction to his reader to hear an apologue or fable well told, and with such humour as to need no sententious moral at the end to make the application. As an experiment in this case, let us at this instant imagine ' Hor. 0(1. in. xxix. [" I wrap myself in my own merits and seek as my bride lionest poverty, undowered."] 283 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS our grave inquirer taking pains to show us, at full length, the unnatural and unhappy excursions, rovings, or expeditions of our ungoverned fancies and opinions oyer a world of riches, honours, and other ebbing and flowing goods. He performs this, we will suppose, with great sagacity, to the full measure and scope of our attention. Meanwhile, as full or satiated as we might find ourselves of serious and solid demonstration, "'tis odds but we might find vacancy still sufficient to receive instruction by another method. And I dare answer for success should a merrier moralist of the .'Esopean school present himself, and, hearing of this chase described by bur philosopher, beg leave to represent it to the life by a homely cur or two of his master's ordinary breed. "Two of this race," he would tell us, "having been daintily bred and in high thoughts of what thev called pleasure and good living, travelled once in quest of game and rarities, till they came by accident to the seaside. They saw there, at a distance from the shore, some floating pieces of a wreck, which they took a fancy to believe some wonderful rich dainty, richer than ambergris or the richest ])roduct of the ocean. They could prove it by their appetite and longing to be no less than quintessence of the main, ambrosial substance, the repast of marine deities surpassing all which earth afforded. . . . By these rhetorical arguments, after long reasoning M'ith one another in this florid vein, they proceeded from one extravagance of fancy to another, till they came at last to this issue. Being unaccustomed to swimming, they would not, it seems, in prudence, venture so far out of their depth as was necessary to reach their imagined prize, but being stout drinkers, they thought with themselves they might compass to drink all which lay in their way, even the sea itself, and that by this method they might shortlv brino; their jjoods safe to drv land. To work therefore they went, and drank till they were both burst."' For my own part I am fully satisfied that there are more sea-drinkers than one or two to be found among the principal 284 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS personages of mankind, and that if these dogs of ours were silly curs, many who pass for wise in our own race are little wiser, and may properly enough be said to have the sea to drink. 'Tis pretty evident that they who live in the highest sphere of human affairs have a very uncertain view of the thing called happiness or good. It lies out at sea, far distant, in the offing, where those gentlemen ken it but very imperfectly, and the means they employ in order to come up with it are very wide of the matter, and far short of their proposed end. " First a general acquaintance. Visits, levees. Attendance upon the great and little. Popularity. A place in Tarliament. Then another at Court. Then intrigue, corruption, prostitution. Then a higher place. Then a title. Then a remove. A new Minister ! Factions at court. Shipwreck of Ministries. The new, the old. Engage with one, piece up with t'other. Bargains, losses, after-games, retrievals." Is not this the sea to drink ? At si divitiae prudeutem reddere possent. Si cu})idum timidumque minus te ; nempe ruberes, V^iveret in terris te si quis avarior uno.^ But lest I should be tempted to foil into a manner I have been obliged to disclaim in this part of my miscellaneous performance, I shall here set a period to this discourse, and renew my attempt of serious reflection and grave thought by taking up my clue in a fresh chapter. ^ Ilor. Ep. n. ii. ["But if riches could make you vvise^ if they couhi make you less lustful, less easily frifrhteued, of course you would blush to have any one alive more avaricious than you."] 285 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS CHAPTER II Passage from terrd incoijiiita to the visible world — Mistress -ship of Nature — Animal confederacy, degrees, subordination — -Master animal man — Privilege of his birth — Serious countenance of the author. As heavily as it went with us in the deep philosophical part of our preceding chapter, and as necessarily engaged as we still are to prosecute the same serious inquiry, and search into those dark sources; "'tis hoped that our remaining philosophy may flow in a more easy vein, and the second running be found somewhat clearer than the first. However it be, we may at least congratulate with ourselves for having thus briefly passed over that metaphysical part to which we have paid sufficient deference. Nor shall we scruple to declare our opinion " that it is in a manner necessary for one who would usefully philosophise, to have a knowledge in this part of philosophy sufficient to satisfy him that there is no knowledge or wisdom to be learnt from it."" For of this truth nothing besides experience and study will be able fully to convince him. When we are even past these empty regions and shadows of ])hilosophy, 'twill still perhaps appear an uncomfortable kind of travelling through those other invisible ideal worlds, such as the study of morals, we see, engages us to visit. ; Men must acquire a very peculiar and strong habit of turning their eye inwards in order to explore the interior regions and recesses of the mind, the hollow caverns of deep thought, the private seats of fancy, and the wastes and wildernesses, as well as the more fruitful and cultivated tracts of the obscure climate. But what can one do . Or how dispense with these darker disquisitions and moonlight voyages, when we have to deal with a sort of moon-blind wits, who though very acute and able in their kind, may be said to renounce daylight and extinguish in a manner the bright visible outward world, by allowing us to 286 MISCELLANEOUS REP^LECTIONS know nothing beside what we can prove by strict and formal demonstration ? 'Tis therefore to satisfy such rigid inquirers as these, that we ha^•e been necessitated to proceed by the inward way ; and that in our preceding chapter we have built only on such foundations as are taken from our very perceptions, fancies, appearances, affections and opinions themselves, without regard to anything of an exterior world, and even on the supposition that there is no such world in being. Such has been our late dry task. No wonder if it carries, indeed, a meagre and raw appearance. It may be looked on in })hilosophy as worse than a mere Egyptian imposition. For to make brick without straw or stubble is perhaps an easier labour than to prove morals without a world, and establish a conduct of life without the supposition of anything living or extant besides our immediate fancy and world of imagination. But having finished this mysterious work we come now to open day and sunshine, and as a poet perhaps might express himself, we are now ready to quit The dubious labyrinths, and PyiThonean cells Of a Cimmerian darkness. AVe are henceforward to trust our eyes and take for real the whole creation, and the fair forms which lie before us. We are to believe the anatomy of our own body, and in proportionable order the shapes, forms, habits, and constitutions of other animal races. Without demurring on the profound modern hypothesis of animal insensibility, we are to believe firmly and resolutely " that other creatures have their sense and feeling, their mere passions and affections, as well as ourselves." And in this manner we proceed accordingly, on our author's scheme, to inquire what is truly natural to each creature, and whether that which is natural to each, and is its perfection, be not withal its happiness or good." To deny there is anything properly natural (after the con- 287 SHAFTESBURY S CHARACTERISTICS cessions already made) would be undoubtedly very preposterous and absurd. Nature and the outward world being owned existent, the rest must of necessity follow. The anatomy of bodies, the order of the spheres, the proper mechanisms of a thousand kinds, and the infinite ends and suitable means established in the general constitution and order of things ; all this being once admitted and allowed to pass as certain and un- questionable, ^tis as vain afterwards to except against the phrase of natural and unnatural, and question the propriety of this speech applied to the particular forms and beings in the world, as it would be to except against the conmiou appellations of vigour and decay in plants, health or sickness in bodies, sobriety or distraction in minds, prosperity or degeneracy in any variable part of the known creation. We may, perhaps, for humour^s sake, or after the known way of disputant hostility, in the support of any odd hypothesis, pretend to deny tliis natural and unnatural in things. 'Tis evident, however, that though our humour or taste be by such affectation ever so much dc})raved, we cannot resist our natural ^ anticipation in behalf of nature ; according to whose supposed standard we })erpetually approve and dis- 1 See what is said above on the word sensus communis, in that second Treatise, part iii. §§ 1, 2 ; part iv. § 2 ; Treatise in. part iii. § ;3 ; Treatise v. part. ii. § 4 ; part iii. § 2, etc., concerning tlie natural ideas, and the preconceptions or presensations of this kind ; the vpoK-qfus, of which a learned critic and master in all philosopli y, modern and ancient, takes notice in his lately published volume of Socratic dialogues, where he adds this reflection, with respect to some philosophical notions much in vogue amongst us of late here in England. Obiter dumtaxat addemus, Socraticam quam exposuimus doctrinam magno usui esse posse, si probe expendatur, dirimendae inter viros doctos controversiae, ante paucos anuos, in Britannia praesertim, exortae, de ideis innatis, quas dicere possis ifj.<pvTovs evvolas. Quamvis enim nullae sint, si adcurate loquamur, notiones a natura animis nostris infixae ; attameu nemo negarit ita esse facultates animorum uostrorum natura adfectas, ut quam primum ratione uti incipimus, verum a falso, malum a bono aliquo modo distinguer^ incipiamus. Species veritatis nobis semper placet ; displicet contra 288 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS approve, and to whom in all natural appearances, all moral actions (whatever we contemplate, whatever we have in debate) we inevitably appeal, and pay our constant homage with the most apparent zeal and passion. Tis here, above all other places, that we say with strict justice — meiidacii : inio et hoiiestum iuhonesto praeferimus ; ob semina nobis iiulita, quae turn demum in hicem prodeunt, cum ratiocinari possumus, eoque uberiores fructus proferunt^ quo melius ratiocinamur, ad curatioreque institutione adjuvamur. Ae-sch. Dial, cum Sik'is Philol. Jo. Cler. ann. 1711, p. 176. They seem indeed to be but weak philosophers, though able sophists, and artful confounders of words and notions, who would refute Jsature and common sense. But Nature will be able still to shift for lierself, and get the better of those schemes, which need no other force against them than that of Horace's single verse : — Dente lupus, cornu taurus petit : unde, nisi intus Monstratum ? [" The wolf bites, the bull tosses you : how did they learn it, but by instinct?" — Sat. 11. i. 52.] An ass (as an English author says) never butts with his ears ; though a creature born to an armed forehead exercises his butting faculty long ere his horns are come to him. And perhaps if the philosopher would accordingly examine himself and consider his natural passions, he would find there were such belonged to him as Nature had premeditated in his behalf, and for which she had furnished him with ideas long before any particular practice or experience of his own. Nor would he need be scandalised with the comparison of a goat or boar or other of Horace's premeditating animals, who have more natural wit, it seems, than our philosopher; if we may judge of him by his own hypothesis, which denies the same implanted sense aiul natural ideas to his own kind. Cras donaberis haedo, C'ui frous turgida cornibus I'rimis et venerem et proelia destinat. ["To-morrow a kid shall be sacrificed to you, a kid whose brow just sprouting with horns promises him a life of love and fighting." — Od. m. xiii. 3-5.] And Verris obliquum meditantis ictum. ["The boar who practises his side-long slash." — Ofl. \ii. xxii. 7 1 VOL. n 289 u SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.^ The airy gentlemen, who have never had it in their thoughts to study Nature in their own species, but being taken with other loves, have applied their parts and genius to \,h.e same study in a horse, a dog, a game-cock, a hawk, or any other animal - of that degree, know very Avell that to each species there belongs a several humour, temper, and turn of in^^'d disposition, as real and peculiar as the figure and outward shape which is with so much curiosity beheld and admired. If there be anything ever so little amiss or wrong in the inward frame, the humour or temper of the creature, 'tis readily called vicious ; and when more than ordinarily wrong, unnatural. The humours of the creatures, in order to their redress, are attentively observed, sometimes indulged and flattered, at other times controlled and checked with proper severities. In short, their affections, passions, appetites, and antipathies are as duly regarded as those in human kind under the strictest discipline of education. Such is the sense of inward proportion and regularity of affec- tions, even in our noble youths themselves, who in this respect are often known expert and able masters of education, though not so susceptible of discipline and culture in their own case, after those early indulgences to which their greatness has entitled them. As little favourable, however, as these sportly gentlemen are presumed to show themselves towards the care or culture of their own species ; as remote as their contemplations are thought to lie from Nature and philosophy, they confirm plainly and establish our philosophical foundation of the natural ranks, orders, interior and exterior proportions of the several distinct species and forms of animal beings. Ask one of these gentlemen, unawares, when solicitously careful and busied in the great 1 [" You may turn out nature with a pitchfork^ yet back she will keep coming." — Horace, Ep. i. x. 24.] 2 Treatise iv. bk. ii. part i. § 3 ; part ii. § 1 ; Treatise \-. part ii. § 4. 290 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS concerns of his stable or kennel, "whether his hound or greyhound-bitch who eats her puppies is as natural as the other who nurses them ? "" and he will think you frantic. Ask him again, " whether he thinks the unnatural creature who acts thus, or the natural one who does otherwise, is best in its kind and enjoys itself the most?" and he will be inclined to think still as strangely of you. Or if perhaps he esteems you worthy of better information, he will tell you " that his best-bred creatures and of the ti'uest race are ever the noblest and most generous in their natures ; that it is this chiefly which makes the difference between the horse of good blood and the arrant jade of a base breed ; between the game-cock and the dunghill craven ; between the true hawk and the mere kite or buzzard ; and between the right mastiff", hound, or spaniel and the very mongrel/ He might, withal, tell you perhaps with a masterly air in this brute-science, " that the timorous, poor-spirited, lazy and gluttonous of his dogs were those whom he either suspected to be of a spurious race, or who had been by some accident spoiled in their nursing and management, for that this was not jSiatural to them. That in every kind they were still the miser- ablest creatures who were thus spoiled ; and that having each of them their proper chase or business, if they lay resty and out of their game, chambered and idle, they were the same as if taken out of their element. That the saddest curs in the world were those who took the kitchen chimney and dripping- pan for their delight, and that the only happy dog (were one to be a dog oneself) was he who in his proper sport and exercise, his natural pursuit and game, endured all hardships and had so much delight in exercise and in the field as to forget home and his reward." Thus the natural habits and affections of the inferior creatures are known, and their unnatural and degenerate part discovered. Depravity and corruption is acknowledged as real in their affections as when any thing is misshapen, wrong, or monstrous in their outward make. And notwithstanding nuich 291 SHAFTESBURY'S CHAEACTERISTICS of this inward depravity is discoverable in the creatures tamed by man, and for his service or pleasure merely turned from their natural course into a contrary life and habit ; notwith- standing that, by this means, the creatures who naturally herd with one another lose their associating humour, and they who naturally pair and are constant to each other lose their kind of conjugal alliance and affection ; yet when released from human servitude and returned again to their natural wilds and rural liberty, they instantly resume their natural and regular habits, such as are conducing to the increase and prosperity of their own species. Well it is perhaps for mankind that though there are so many animals who naturally herd for company ^s sake and mutual affection, there are so few Avho for conveniency and by necessity are obliged to a strict union and kind of confederate state. The creatures who, according to the economy of their kind, are obliged to make themselves habitations of defence against the seasons and other incidents ; they Avho in some parts of the year are deprived of all subsistence, and are there- fore necessitated to accumulate in another, and to provide withal for the safety of their collected stores, are by their nature indeed as strictly joined, and with as proper affections towards their public and community, as the looser kind, of a more easy subsistence and support, are united in what relates merely to their offspring and the propagation of their species. Of these thoroughly associating and confederate animals, there are none I have ever heard of who in bulk or strength exceed the beaver. The major part of these political animals and creatures of a joint stock are as inconsiderable as the race of ants or bees. But had Nature assigned such an economy as this to so puissant an animal, for instance, as the elephant, and made him withal as prolific as those smaller creatures commonly are, it might have gone hard perhaps with mankind ; and a single animal, who by his proper might and prowess has often decided the fate of the greatest battles which have been 292 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS fought by human race, should he have grown up into a society, with a genius for architecture and mechanics proportionable to what we observe in those smaller creatures ; we should, with all our invented machines, have found it hard to dispute with him the dominion of the continent. Were we in a disinterested view, or with somewhat less selfishness than ordinary, to consider the economies, parts, interests, conditions and terms of life, which Nature has dis- tributed and assigned to the several species of creatures round us, we should not be apt to think ourselves so hardly dealt Avith. But whether our lot in this respect be just or equal, is not the question with us at j)resent. ^Tis enough that we know " there is certainly an assignment and distribution ; that each economy or part so distributed is in itself uniform, fixed, and invariable ; and that if anything in the creature be accidentally impaired, if anything in the inward form, the disposition, temper or affections, be contrary or unsuitable to the distinct economy or part, the creature is wretched and unnatural.'" The social or natural affections, which our author considers as essential to the health, wholeness, or integrity of the particular creature, are such as contribute to the welfare and prosperity of that whole or species, to which he is by Nature joined. All the affections of this kind our author comprehends in that single name of natural. But as the design or end of Nature in each animal system is exhibited chiefly in the support and propagation of the particular species, it happens, of consequence, that those affections of earliest alliance and mutual kindness between the parent and the offspring are known more particu- larly by the name of natural affection.^ However, since it is evident that all defect or depravity of affection which counter- works or opposes the original constitution and economy of the ci'eature, is unnatural, it follows " that in creatures who bv their particular economy are fitted to the strictest society and rule of common good, the most unnatural of all affections are 1 (jTopy^. For which we have no particular name in our language. 293 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS those which separate from this community ; and the most truly natural, generous and noble are those which tend towards public service and the interest of the society at large." This is the main problem which our author in more philo- sophical terms demonstrates in this treatise,^ " that for a creature whose natural end is society, to operate as is by Nature appointed him towards the good of such his society, or whole, is in reality to pursue his own natural and proper good. And that to operate contrariwise, or by such affections as sever from that common good or public interest, is in reality to work, towards his own natural and proper ill.'" Now if man, as has been proved, be justly ranked in the number of those creatures whose economy is according to a joint-stock and public weal ; if it be understood, withal, that the only state of his affections which answers rightly to this public weal is the regular, orderly, or virtuous state ; it necessarily follows " that virtue is his natural good, and vice his misery and ill."" As for that further consideration, " whether Nature has orderly and justly distributed the several economies or parts, and whether the defects, failures, or calamities of particular systems are to the advantage of all in general, and contribute to the perfection of the one common and universal system *" ; we must refer to our author's profounder speculation in this his Inquiry, and in his following philosophic dialogue. But if what he advances in this respect be real, or at least the most probable by far of any scheme or representation which can be made of the universal nature and Cause of things ; it will follow " that since man has been so constituted, by means of his rational part, as to be conscious of this his more immediate relation to the universal system and principle of order and intelligence ; he is not only by Nature sociable within the limits of his own species or kind, but in a yet more generous and extensive manner. He is not only born to virtue, friendship, honesty, and faith ; but to religion, piety, adoration, and a generous ^ Viz, the Inquiry concerning Virtue. 294 MISCELLANEOUS KEFLECTIONS surrender ^ of his mind to whatever happens from that Supreme Cause or order of things, which he acknowledges entirely just and perfect."" These are our author's formal and grave sentiments, which if they were not truly his and sincerely espoused by him as the real result of his best judgment and understanding, he would be guilty of a more than common degree of imposture. For, according to his own rule," an affected gravity and feigned seriousness carried on through any subject, in such a manner as to leave no insight into the fiction or intended raillery, is in truth no raillery or wit at all ; but a gross, immoral, and illiberal way of abuse, foreign to the character of a good writer, a gentleman, or man of worth. But since we have thus acquitted ourselves of that serious part, of which our reader was beforehand well apprised, let him now expect us again in our original miscellaneous manner and capacity. "'TIS here, as has been explained to him, that raillery and humour are permitted, and flights, sallies, and excursions of every kind are found agreeable and requisite. Without this, there might be less safety found, perhaps, in thinking. Every light reflection might run us up to the dangerous state of meditation. And in reality profound thinking is many times the cause of shallow thoughts. To prevent this contemplative habit and character, of which we see so little good effect in the world, we have reason perhaps to be fond of the diverting manner in writing and discourse, especially if the subject be of a solemn kind. There is more need, in this case, to interrupt the long-spun thread of reasoning, and bring into the mind, by many different glances and broken views, what cannot so easily be introduced by one steady bent or continued stretch of sight. ^ Treatise iv. bk. i. part iii. § ^, near end. - Treatise ii. part i. § 2. 295 MISCELLANY V CHAPTER I Ceremonial adjusted between author and reader — Affectation of pre- cedency in the former — Various claims to inspiration — Bards, prophets. Sibylline Scripture — ^Fritteu oracles, in verse and prose — Common interest of ancient letters and Christianity^State of wit, elegance, and correctness — Poetic truth — Preparation for criticism on our author in his concluding treatise. Of all the artificial relations formed between mankind, the most capricious and variable is that of author and reader. Our author, for his part, has declared his opinion of this, where he gives his advice to modern authors.^ And though he supposes that every author in form is, in respect of the particular matter he explains, superior in understanding to his reader, yet he allows not that any author should assume the upper hand, or pretend to withdraw himself from that necessary subjection to foreign judgment and criticism, which must determine the place of honour on the readers side. 'Tis evident that an author's art and labour are for his readers sake alone. 'Tis to his reader he makes his application, if not openly and avowedly, yet at least with implicit courtship. Poets indeed, and especially those of a modern kind, have a peculiar manner of treating this affair with a high hand. They pretend to set themselves above mankind, "Their })ens are sacred, their style and utterance divine." They write often as ^ Vh. Treatise in. 296 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS in a language foreign to human kind, and would disdain to be reminded of those poor elements of speech, their alphabet and grammar. But here inferior mortals presume often to intercept their flight and remind them of their fallible and human part. Had those first })oets who began this pretence to inspiration been taught a manner of communicating their rapturous thoughts and high ideas by some other medium than that of style and language, the case might have stood otherwise. But the inspiring divinity or muse having, in the explanation of herself, submitted her wit and sense to the mechanic rules of human arbitrary composition ; she must in consequence and by necessity submit herself to human arbitration and the judgment of the literate world. And thus the reader is still superior and keeps the upper hand. 'Tis indeed no small absurdity to assert a work or treatise, written in human language, to be above human criticism or censure. For if the art of writino; be from the orammatical rules of human invention and determination ; if even these rules are formed on casual practice and various use, there can be no scripture but what must of necessity be subject to the reader's narrow scrutiny and strict judgment, unless a language and grammar, different from any of human structure, were delivered down from heaven, and miraculously accommodated to human service and capacity. 'Tis no otherwise in the grammatical art of characters and painted speech than in the art of painting itself. I have seen, in certain Christian churches, an ancient piece or two, affirmed, on the solemn faith of priestly tradition, " to have been angelic- ally and divinely wrought by a supernatural hand and sacred pencil.'" Had the piece happened to be of a hand like RaphaePs I could have found nothing certain to oppose to this tradition. But having observed the whole style and manner of the pretended heavenly workmanshij} to be so indifferent as to vary in many particulars from the truth of art, I ])resumed within myself to 297 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS beg pardon of the tradition and assert confidently, " that if the pencil had been heaven-guided it could never have been so lame in its performance." It being a mere contradiction to all divine and moral ti'uth that a celestial hand, submitting itself to the rudiments of a human art, should sin against the art itself, and express falsehood and error instead of justness and proportion. It may be alleged, perhaps, " that there are however certain authors in the world Avho, though of themselves they neither boldly claim the privilege of divine inspiration nor carry indeed the least resemblance of perfection in their style or composition, yet they subdue the reader, gain the ascendant over his thought and judgment, and force from him a certain implicit veneration and esteem."" To this I can only answer, " that if there be neither spell nor enchantment in the case, this can plainly be no other than mere enthusiasm " ; except, perhaps, where the supreme powers have given their sanction to any religious record or pious writ. And in this case, indeed, it becomes immoral and profane in any one to deny absolutely or dispute the sacred authority of the least line or syllable contained in it. But should the record, instead of being single, short, and uniform, appear to be multifarious, voluminous, and of the most difficult interpreta- tion, it would be somewhat hard, if not wholly impracticable in the magistrate to suffer this record to be universally current, and at the same time prevent its being variously apprehended and descanted on by the several differing geniuses and contrary judgments of mankind. 'Tis remarkable, that in the politest of all nations the writings looked upon as most sacred were those of their great poets, whose works indeed were truly divine in respect of art and the perfection of their frame and composition. But there was yet more divinity ^ ascribed to them than what is comprehended in this latter sense. The notions of vulgar religion were built on their miraculous narrations. The wiser and better sort them- selves paid a regard to them in this respect, though thev ^ Supra, p. 251 in the notes. 298 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS interpreted them indeed more allegorically. Even the philo- sophers who criticised them with most severity were not their least admirers, when they ascribed ^ to them that divine inspira- tion or sublime enthusiasm of which our author has largely treated elsewhere.- It would, indeed, ill become any pretender to divine writing to publish his work under a character of divinity, if, after all his endeavours, he came short of a consummate and just per- formance. In this respect the Cumean Sibyl was not so indiscreet or frantic as she might appear, perhaps, by writing her prophetic warnings and pretended inspirations upon joint leaves, which, immediately after their elaborate superscription, were torn in pieces and scattered by the wind. Insanam vatem aspicies ; quae rupe sub ima Fata canit, foliisque^ notas et noniina mandat. Quaecunque in foliis descripsit carmina virgo, Digerit in numerum, atque anti'o seelusa relinquit. Ilia manent immota locis, neque ab ordine cedunt. Verum eadem, verso tenuis cum cardine ventus Inpulit, et teneras turbavit janua frondes ; Nunquam deinde cavo volitantia prendere saxo. Nee revocare situs, aut jungei-e carmina curat. Inconsulti abeunt, sedemque odere Sibyllae.^ 'Twas impossible to disprove the divinity of such writings whilst they could be perused only in fragments. Had the ^ Treatise i. end. 2 Viz. Letter of Enthusiasm. And above^ Misc. ii. ch. i. 2. ^ [" You will see an inspired prophetess, who chants destiny at the foot of her rock and entrusts her marks and words to leaves. ^Vhatever lines the maid has written on the leaves, she sorts into order and shuts them within her cave. There they remain unmoved nor shift from their order. Yet when the hinge turns and a breath of wind has stirred them, and the door has disordered the light leaves, never thereafter does she trouble to capture them as they flutter in her cavern or to restore their order or join the leaves. Away men go without advice and hate the Sibyl's home." — Virgil, Aeneid, iii. 44.3-452.] 299 SHAFTESBURY'S CHAIIACTERISTICS sister priestess of Delphos, who delivered herself in audible plain metre, been found at any time to have transgressed the rule of verse, it would have been difficult in those days to father the lame poetry upon Apollo himself But where the invention of the leaves prevented the reading of a single line entire, whatever interpretations might have been made of this fragile and volatile scripture, no imperfection could be charged on the original text itself. What those volumes ^ may have been which the disdainful Sibyl or prophetess committed to the flames, or what the remainder was which the Roman prince received and con- secrated, I will not pretend to judge; though it has been admitted for truth by the ancient Christian fathers, that these writings Avere so far sacred and divine as to have prophesied of the birth of our religious founder, and bore testimony to that Holy Writ which has preserved his memory, and is justly held in the hiohest deg^ree sacred among Christians. The policy, however, of old Rome was such as not absolutely to rest the authority of their religion on any composition of literature. The Sibylline volumes were kept safely locked, and inspected only by such as were ordained or deputed for that purpose. And in this policy the new Rome has followed their example in scrupling to annex the supreme authority and sacred character of infallibility to Scripture itself, and in refusing to submit that Scripture to public judgment, or to any eye or ear but what they qualify for the inspection of such sacred mysteries. ^ Libri tres in sacrarium couditi, Sibylliui appellati. Ad eos quasi ad oraculum quiiidecimviri adeunt, cum dii immortales publice consulendi sunt. Aul. Gell. i. 19; Plin. xiii. 13. ["The three books were placed in a shrine and called the Sibyl's books. Tlie College of Fifteen consults them, like an oracle, wllene^•er the Gods have to be consulted by the state."] But of this first Sibylline scripture, and of other canonised books and additional sacred writ among the Romans, see what Dionysius Halicarnasseus cites (from Varro's Roman Theologies) in his History, iv. 02. 300 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS The Mahometan clergy seem to have a different poHcy. They boldly rest the foundation of their religion on a book : such a one as (according to their pretension) is not only perfect, but inimitable. Were a real man of letters and a just critic permitted to examine this scripture by the known rules of art, he would soon perhaps refute this plea. But so barbarous is the accompanying policy and temper of these Eastern religion- ists that they discourage and in effect extinguish all true learning, science, and the politer arts, in company with the ancient authors and languages, which they set aside ; and by this infallible method leave their sacred writ the sole standard of literate performance. For being compared to nothing besides itself, or what is of an inferior kind, it must undoubtedly be thought incomparable. 'Twill be yielded, surely, to the honour of the Christian world, that their faith (especially that of the Protestant churches) stands on a more generous foundation. They not only allow comparison of authors, but are content to derive their proofs of the validity of their sacred record and revelation even from those authors called profane ; as being well apprised, (according to the maxim of our Divine Master ^) " that in what we bear witness only to ourselves, our witness cannot be established as a truth." So that, there being at present no immediate testimony of miracle or sign in behalf of Holy Writ, and there being in its own particular composition or style nothino; miraculous or self-convincing ; if the collateral testi- mony of other ancient records, historians, and foreign authors were destroyed or wholly lost, there would be less argument or plea remaining against that natural susjjicion of those who are called sceptical, " that the holy records themselves were no other than the pure invention or artificial compilement of an interested party in behalf of the richest corporation and most profitable monopoly which could be erected in the world." Thus, in reality, the interest of our pious clergy is necessarily 1 John V. 31. 301 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS joined with that of ancient letters and pohte learning. By this they perpetually refute the crafty arguments of those objectors. When they abandon this, they resign their cause. When they strike at it, they strike even at the root and foundation of our holy faith, and weaken that pillar on which the whole fabric of our religion depends. It belongs to mere enthusiasts and fanatics to plead the sufficiency of a reiterate translated text, derived to them through so many channels and subjected to so many variations, of which they are wholly ignorant. Yet would they persuade us, it seems, that from hence alone they can recognise the Divine Spirit and receive it in themselves, unsubject (as they imagine) to any rule, and superior to what they themselves often call the dead letter and unprofitable science. This, any one may see, is building castles in the air and demolishing them again at pleasure, as the exercise of an aerial fancy or heated imagination. But the judicious divines of the established Christian churches have sufficiently condemned this manner. They are far from resting their religion on the common aspect or obvious form of their vulgar Bible, as it presents itself in the printed copy or modern version. Neither do they in the original itself represent it to us as a very masterpiece of writing, or as absolutely perfect in the purity and justness either of style or composition. They allow the holy authors to have written according to their best faculties, and the strength of their natural genius : " A shepherd like a shepherd ; and a prince like a prince. A man of reading, and advanced in letters, like a proficient in the kind ; and a man of meaner capacity and reading, like one of the ordinary sort, in his own common idiom and imperfect manner of narration." 'Tis the substance only of the narrative, and the principal facts confirming the authority of the revelation, which our divines think themselves concerned to prove, according to the best evidence of which the matter itself is capable. And whilst 302 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS the sacred authors themselves allude not only to the annals and histories of the heathen world, but even to the philosophical works, the regular poems,^ the very plays and comedies - of the learned and polite ancients, it must be owned that, as those ancient writings are impaired or lost, not only the light and clearness of Holy Writ, but even the evidence itself of its main facts, must in proportion be diminished and brought in question. So ill advised were those devout churchmen ^ heretofore, who in

  • Aratus, Acts xvii. 28; and Epimeiiides, Titus i. 12^ "even one of
their own prophets " ; for so the holy apostle deij^ned to speak of a heathen poet, a physiologist, and divine, who prophesied of events, wrought miracles, and was received as an inspired writer and author of revelations in the chief cities and states of Greece. 2 Menander, 1 Cor. xv. 33. ^ pjven in the sixth century the famed Gregorius, Bishop of Rome, who is so highly celebrated for having planted the Christian religion by his missionary monks in our English nation of heathen Saxons, was so far from being a cultivator or supporter of arts or letters, that he carried on a kind of general massacre upon every product of human wit. His own words in a letter to one of the French bishops, a man of the highest con- sideration and merit (as a noted modern critic and satirical genius of that nation acknowledges), are as follow : — Perveuit ad nos quod sine verecundia memorare non possumus, fraternitatem tuam grammaticam (juibusdam exponere. Quam rem ita moleste suscepimus, ac sumus vehementius aspernati, ut ea (juae prius dicta fuerunt, in gemitum et tristitiam ver- teremus, quia in uno se ore cum Jovis laudibus Christi laudes non capiunt. . . . Uude si post hoc evidenter ea cjuae ad nos perlata sunt, falsa esse clarueriut, nee vos uugis et secularibus Uteris studere contigerit, Deo nostro gratias agimus, qui cor vestrum maculari blasphemis nefandorum laudibus nou permisit. — Gregorii Opera, Epixt. xlviii. 'J, Paris, ann. 1533. [*' A story has reached me which I am ashamed to mention, that your brotherhood teaches certain pupils grammar ! This news I received with such grief and rejected with such scoi-n that 1 turned what was said before into groans and lamentations ; for one mouth cannot hold the praise of Jupiter and of Christ too. ... So if hereafter the news ])roves false, and you have not spent your time upon trifles and worldly literature, I return thanks to God, who would not have your hearts stained with the blasphemous praise of the wicked."] And in his dedication, or first preface to ;his Morals, after some very insipid rhetoric and figurative dialect, employed against the study and art of speech, he has another fling 303 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS the height of zeal did their utmost to destroy all footsteps of heathen literature, and consequently all further use of learning or antiquity. But happily the zeal of this kind is now left as proper only to those despised and ignorant modern enthusiasts we have at the classic authors and discipline, betraying his inveterate hatred to ancient learning, as well as the natural effect of this zealot-passion, in his own barbarity both of style and manners. His words are : — Unde et ipsam artem loquendi, quam magisteria disciplinae exterioris insinuant, servare despexi. Nam sicut hujus quoque epistolae tenor euunciat, non metacismi collisionem fugio ; non barbarismi coufusionem devito, situs motus(|ue praepositionum casus(|ue servare contemno ; quia indignum vehementer existimo, ut verba coelestis oraculi restringam sub regulis Donati. [" So I think scorn of observing even the art of speech, which the wider education is bringing in upon us. For, as the course of this letter shows, I do not avoid the frecjuent use of M ; I do not shun barbarisms ; I despise rules about the position or the changing or the cases of preposi- tions : for I strongly hold it to be unfitting to bind the words of heaven by the rules of Donatus."] 'lliat he carried this savage zeal of his so far as to destroy (what in him lay) the whole body of learning, with all the classic authors then in being, was generally believed. And (what was yet more notorious and unnatural in a Roman ])ontiff) the destruction of the statues, sculptures, and finest pieces of antiquity in Rome, was charged on him by his successor in the see ; as, besides Platina, another writer of his life, without the least apology, confesses. See in the above-cited edition of St. Gregory's works, at the beginning, viz. Vita D. Gregorii ex Joan. Laziardo Coelestiuo. 'Tis no wonder, therefore, if other writers have given account of that sally of the prelate's zeal against the books and learning of the ancients, for which the reason alleged was very extra- ordinary, " that the Holy Scriptures would be the better relished and receive a considerable advantage by the destruction of these rivals." It seems they had no very high idea of the Holy Scriptures when they supposed them such losers by a comparison. However, 'twas thought advisable by other fathers (who had a like view) to frame new pieces of literature after the model of these condemned ancients. Hence those ridiculous attempts of new heroic poems, new epics and dramatics, new Homers, Euripides, Meuanders, which were with so much pains and so little effect industriously set afoot by the zealous priesthood ; when ignorance prevailed, and the hierarchal dominion was so universal. But though their power had well nigh compassed the destruction of those 304 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS described. The Roman Church itself is so recovered from this primitive fanaticism that their great men, and even their pontiffs, are found ready to give their helping hand, and confer their bounty liberally towards the advancement of all ancient and polite learning.^ They justly observe that their very traditions stand in need of some collateral proof. The con- servation of these other ancient and disinterested authors they wisely judge essential to the credibility of those principal facts, on which the whole religious history and tradition depend. 'Twould indeed be in vain for us to bring a Pontius Pilate into our Creed, and recite what happened under him in Judea, if we knew not " under whom he himself governed, whose great origintils, they were far from being able to procure any reception for tlieir puny imitations. The mock works have hiin in their deserved obscurity, as will all otlier attempts of that kind, concerning which our author has already given his opinion. Treatise in. part iii. § 3. But as to the ill policy as well as barbarity of this zealot — enmity against the works of the ancients, a foreign Protestant divine, and most learned defender of religion, making the best excuse he can for the Greek Fathers, and endeavouring to clear them from this general charge of havoc and massacre committed upon science and erudition, has tliese words : " Si cela est, voila encore un nouveau sujet de mepriser les patriarches de Constanti- nople qui n'etoient d'ailleurs rien moins que gens de bien ; mais j'ai de la peine a le croire, parce qu'il nous est reste de poetes inliuiment plus sales que ceux qui se sont perdus. Personne ne doute qu'Aristophane ne soit beaucoup plus sale que n'etoit Menandre. Plutarque en est un bon temoin dans la comparaison qu'il a faite de ces deux poetes. II pourroit etre neanmoins arrive, que quelques eccle'siastiques emiemis des belles lettres en eussent use comme dit Chalcondyle, sans penser (ju'en con- servant toute I'antiquite' grecque, ils conserveroient la langue de leurs predecesseurs et une infinite de faits qui servoient beaucoup a I'intelligence et a la confirmation de I'histoire sacrce, et meme de la religion chrc'tienne. Ces geus-la devoient au moins nous conserver les histoires anciennes des Orientaux, comme des Chalde'ens, des Tyriens, et des Lgyptiens ; mais ils agissoient plus par ignorance et par negligence que par raison."— Bibl. Chois., xiv. 131, 132, 133.
  • Such a one is the present prince, Clement XI. , au encourager of all
arts and sciences. VOL. II 305 X SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS authority he had, or what character he bore in that remote country and amidst a foreign people." In the same manner, 'twould be in vain for a Roman pontiff to derive his title to spiritual sovereignty from the seat, influence, power, and dona- tion of the Roman Caesars and their successors, if it appeared not by any history or collateral testimony " who the first Caesars were, and how they came possessed of that universal power and long residence of dominion." My reader, doubtless, by this time must begin to wonder through what labyrinth of speculation and odd texture of capricious reflections I am offering to conduct him. But he will not, I presume, be altogether displeased with me when I give him to understand that, being now come into my last Miscellany, and being sensible of the little courtship I have paid him, comparatively with what is practised in that kind by other modern authors, I am willing, by way of compensation, to express my loyalty or homage towards him, and show by my natural sentiments and principles " what particular deference and high respect I think to be his due." The issue therefore of this long deduction is, in the first place, with due compliments, in my capacity of author, and in the name of all modest workmen willingly joining with me in this representation, to congratulate our English reader on the establishment of what is so advantageous to himself — I mean that mutual relation between him and ourselves, which naturally turns so much to his advantage and makes us to be in reality the subservient party. And in this respect 'tis to be hoped he will long enjoy his just superiority and privilege over his humble servants who compose and labour for his sake. The relation, in all likelihood, must still continue and be improved. Our common religion and Christianity, founded on letters and Scripture, promises thus much. Nor is this hope likely to fail us whilst readers are really allowed the liberty to read — that is to say, to examine, construe, and remark with understanding. Learning and science must of necessity flourish, whilst the 306 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS lano'uaffe of the wisest and most learned of nations is acknow- ledged to contain the principal and essential part of our holy revelation. And criticism, examinations, judgments, literate lahours, and inquiries must still be in repute and practice, whilst ancient authors, so necessary to the support of the sacred volumes, are in request, and afford employment of such infinite extent to us moderns, of whatever degree, avIio are desirous to signalise ourselves by any achievement in letters, and be con- sidered as the investigators of knowledge and politeness. I may undoubtedly, by virtue of my preceding argument in behalf of criticism, be allowed, without suspicion of flattery or mere courtship, to assert the reader's privilege above the author, and assign to him, as I have done, the upper hand and place of honour. As to fact, we know for certain that the greatest of philosophers, the very founder of philosophy itself,^ was no author. Nor did the Divine Author and Founder of our religion condescend to be an author in this other respect. He who could best have given us the history of his own life, with the entire sermons and divine discourses which he made in public, was pleased to leave it to others " to take in hand." - As 1 Socrates. 2 So Luke i. 1, 2, 3, 4 : "(1) Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration (exposition or narrative, dirjyrjaiv) of those things whicli are most surely belie\'ed among (or were fulfilled in or among) us, (2) Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word ; (.■]) It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first (or having looked back and searched accurately into all matters from the beginning or highest time, TrapijKoXovdrjKdTi SLvudev iracxLv aKpi^ws), to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, (4) That thou mightest know the certainty (or validity, sound discussion, do-^aXftac) of those things wherein tliou hast been instructed (or catechised), vepl wv KaTTfxvSv^-" ^V hether the words Tre-n-X-ijpocpoprj/xii'wi' ec tj/xli' in the first verse should be rendered "believed among," or "fulfilled in," or "among us," may depend on the difl^erent reading of the original. For in some copies the iv next following is left out. However, the exact interpreters or verbal translators render it "fulfilled" : ride Ar. Montan., edit. Plantin., 1584. 307 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS there were many, it seems, long afterwards, who did, and under- took accordingly " to write in order, and as seemed good to them, for the better information of particular persons, what was then believed among the initiated or catechised from tradition and early instruction in their youth, or what had been transmitted by report from such as were the presumed auditors and eye-witnesses of those things in former time." Whether those sacred books ascribed to the divine lesis- lator of the Jews, and which treat of his death, burial, and succession,^ as well as of his life and actions, are strictly to be understood as coming from the immediate pen of that holy founder, or rather from some other inspired hand guided by the same influencing spirit, I will not presume so much as to examine or inquire. But in general we find that, both as to public concerns, in religion, and in philosophy, the great and eminent actors were of a rank superior to the writing worthies. The great Athenian legislator,^ though noted as a poetical genius, cannot be esteemed an author for the sake of some few verses he may occasionally have made. Nor was the great Spartan founder^ a poet himself, though author or redeemer (if I may so express it) to the greatest and best of poets,'* who owed in a manner his form and being to the accurate searches and collections of that great patron. The politicians and civil sages, who were fitted in all respects for the great scene of In verse 4 the word certainty, aacpaXeiav, is interpreted aKpi^eiav, validity, soundness, good foundation, from the sense of the preceding verse. See the late edition of our learned Dr. Mill, ex recensione Kusteri, Rot. 1710. For the word catechised, kutyixvOv^ (the last of the fourth verse), Rob. Constantine has this explanation of it : " Priscis theologis apud Aegyptios mos erat, ut niysteria voce tantum, veluti per manus, posteris relin- querent. Apud Christianos, qui baptismatis erant candidati, iis, viva voce, tradebantur fidei Christianae mysteria, sine scriptis : quod Paulus et Lucas KaTTjxe'iv vocant. Unde qui docebantur, catechumeui vocabantur, qui docebant, catechistae." 1 Deut. xxxiv. 5, 0, 7, etc. ^ Solon. •^ Lycurgus. * Homer. 308 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS business, could not, it seems, be well taken out of it to attend the slender and minute affairs of letters and scholastic science. 'Tis true, indeed, that without a capacity for action and a knowledge of the world and mankind there can be no author naturally qualified to write with dignity, or execute any noble or great design. But there are many who, with the highest capacity for business, are by their fortune denied the privilege of that higher sphere. As there are others who, having once moved in it, have been afterwards, by many impediments and obstructions, necessitated to retire, and exert their genius in this lower degree, 'Tis to some catastrophe of this kind that we owe the noblest historians (even the two princes and fathers of history^) as well as the greatest philosophical writers, the founder of the academy- and others, who were also noble in respect of their birth, and fitted for the highest stations in the public, but discouraged from engaging in it, on account of some misfortunes experienced either in their own persons or that of their near friends. 'Tis to the early banishment and long retirement of a heroic youth out of his native country that we owe an original system of works, the politest, wisest, usefullest, and (to those who can understand the divineness of a just simplicity) the most amiable and even the most elevating and exalting of all uninspired and merely human authors.^ To this fortune we owe some of the greatest of the ancient poets. ""Twas this chance which produced the muse of an exalted Grecian lyric,^ and of his follower Horace,^ whose
  • Herodotus and Thucydides. 2 pjato.
3 Tov 7JSia-Toi> Kai xo^pi-^i^TaTov 'S.evocpQvTa, as Athenaeus calls him, xi. See Treatise iii. j>art ii. § 2. ■* Et te sonaiitem plenius aureo, Alcaee^ plectro dura navis, Dura fugae mala, dura belli. [And thou, Alcaeus, who tellest in a fuller tone on a lyre of gold the hardships of the sea, of exile, and of \var."^Hor. , Od. 11. xiii. 26-28.] •... Age die Latinum, Barbite, carmen, 309 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTEIIISTICS character, though easy to be gathered from history and his own works, is Httle observed by any of his commentators. The general idea conceived of him being drawn chiefly from his precarious and low circumstances at court, after the forfeiture of his estate, under the usurpation and conquest of an Octavius and the ministry of a Maecenas, not from his better condition and nobler employments in earlier days, under the favour and friendship of greater and better men, whilst the Roman state and liberty subsisted. For of this change he himself, as great a courtier as he seemed afterwards, gives sufficient intimation.^ Lesbio primum modulate civi, Qui ferox bello, etc. [" Come, my lyre, utter for me a Latin song, though thou vvert first tuned by a citizen of Lesbos," etc. — Hor., Od. i. xxxii. 3-5.] 1 Dura sed emoyere loco me tempora grato, Civilisque rudem belli tulit aestus in arma, Caesaris Augusti non responsura lacertis. Unde simul primum me dimisere Philippi, Decisis liumilem pennis, inopemque paterni Et laris et fundi, paupertas impulit audax Ut versus facerem. [" But the cruel times tore me away from that ])leasant spot, and civil strife hurried me, with all my ignorance of war, to take up those arms wliich wei'e to be no match for the might of Augustus Caesar. As soon as Philippi set me free from arms, humbled, my wings clipped, my father's house and estate lost, the fearlessness of a poor man drove me to write verses." — Hor,, Ej). ii. ii. 46-52.] At olim Quod mihi pareret legio Romana tribuno. ["A legion of Roman soldiers obeyed me as its officer." — Hor., Sut. i. vi. 47, 48.] Viz. under Brutus. Whence again that natural boast : Me primis urbis belli placuisse domique. [" I pleased the first men of the city in war and peace." — Hor., Epii^t. i. XX. 23.] And again. Cum magnis vixisse invita fatebitur usque luvidia. 310 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS Let authors therefore know themselves, and though conscious of worth, virtue, and a genius, such as may justly place them [" Envy shall confess against her will that I have ever lived with the great." — Hor. , Sat. ii. i. 76, 77.] Adhere the vixisse shows plainly whom he principally meant by his magni, his early patrons and great men in the State ; his apology and defence here (as well as in his fourth and sixth satires of his first book, and his second epistle of his second and elsewhere) being supported still by the open and bold assertion of his good education (equal to the highest senators, and under the best masters), his employments at home and abroad, and his early commerce and familiarity with former great men, before these his new friendships and this latter court acquaintance, which was now envied him by his adversaries. Nunc quia sim tibi, Maecenas, convictor : at olim Quod mihi pareret legio Romana tribuno. [" Now they envy me because I live familiarly with thee, Maecenas, but formerly because a legion of Roman soldiers obeyed me as officer." Hor., Sat. i. vi. 47, 48.] Tlie reproach now was with respect to a Maecenas or Augustus. Twas the same formerly with respect to a Brutus and those who were then the principal and leading men. The complaint or murmur against liim on account of his being an upstart or favourite under a Maecenas and Augustusj could not be answered by a vixisse relating to the same persons, any more than his placuisse joined with his belli domique could relate to those under whom he never went to war nor would ever consent to bear any honours. For so he himself distinguishes {Sat. vi. to Maecenas) — Quia uon, ut forsit honorem Jure mihi invideat quivis, ita te quoque amicum. [" The two reasons are unlike because, though perhaps a man might fairly grudge me my commission, yet he cannot fairly grudge me your friendship too." — Sat. i. vi. 49, 50.] He was formerly an actor, and in the ministery of affairs ; now only a friend to a minister, himself still a private and retired man. 'I'hat he refused Augustus's offer of the secretaryship is well known. But in these circumstances, the politeness as well as artifice of Horace is admirable, in making futurity or posterity to be the speaking party in both those places, where he suggests his intimacy and favour with the great, that there might in some measure be room left (though in strictness there was scarce any) for an Octavius and a Maecenas to be included. See Treatise III. part ii. § 3, in the notes. 311 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS above flattery or mean courtship to their reader, yet let them reflect that as authors merely they are but of the second rank of men. And let the reader withal consider, " that when he unworthily resigns the place of honour, and surrenders his taste or judgment to an author, of ever so great a name or venerable antiquity, and not to reason and truth, at whatever hazard, he not only betrays himself but withal the common cause of author and reader, the interest of letters and knowledge, and the chief liberty, privilege, and prerogative of the rational part of mankind." 'Tis related in history of the Cappadocians, that being offered their liberty by the Romans and permitted to govern themselves by their own laws and constitutions, they were much terrified at the proposal, and as if some sore harm had been intended them, humbly made it their request, " that they might be governed by arbitrary power, and that an absolute governor might without delay be appointed over them at the discretion of the Romans."" For such was their disposition towards mere slavery and subjection, that they dared not pretend so much as to choose their own master. So essential they thought slavery, and so divine a thing the right of mastership, that they dared not be so free even as to presume to give themselves that bless- ing, which they choose to leave rather to Providence, fortune, or a conqueror to bestow upon them. They dared not make a king, but would rather take one from their powerful neighbours. Had they been necessitated to come to an election, the horror of such a use of liberty in government would perhaj^s have determined them to choose blindfold, or leave it to the decision of the commonest lot, cast of die, cross or pile, or whatever it were which might best enable them to clear themselves of the heinous charge of using the least foresight, choice, or prudence in such an affair. I should think it a great misfortune were my reader of the number of those who, in a kind of C'appadocian spirit, could easily be terrified with the proposal of giving him his liberty, 312 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS and making him his own judge. IVIy endeavour, I must confess, has been to show him his just prerogative in this respect, and to give him the sharpest eye over his author, invite him to criticise honestly, without favour or affection, and with the utmost bent of his parts and judgment. On this account it may be objected to me, perhaps, " that I am not a little vain and presumptuous in my own as well as in my author's behalf, who can thus, as it were, challenge my reader to a trial of his keenest wit.'"' But to this I answer, that should I have the good fortune to raise the masterly spirit of just criticism in my readers and exalt them ever so little above the lazy, timorous, over-modest, or resigned state in which the generality of them remain, though by this very spirit I myself might possibly meet my doom, I should, however abundantly congratulate with myself on these my low flights, be proud of having plumed the arrows of better wits, and furnished artillery or ammunition of any kind to those powers to which I myself had fallen a victim. Fungar vice cotis.^ I could reconcile my ambition in this respect to what I call my loyalty to the reader, and say of his elevation in criticism and judgment what a Roman princess said of her son's advance- ment to empire, " occidat, dum imperet.'" - Had I been a Spanish Cervantes, and with success equal to that comic author, had destroyed the reigning taste of Gothic or Moorish chivalry, I could afterwards contentedly have seen my burlesque work itself despised and set aside, when it had wrought its intended effect and destroyed those giants and monsters of the brain, against which it was originally designed. Without regard, therefore, to the prevailing relish or taste Avhich, in my own person, I may unhappily experience, when 1 [" I will play the part of h \vliotst(»iie." — Hor., De arte poet. 804.] 2 [" Let him kill me, so loiifj as he comes to tlie throne." — Tacitus, Annalu, xiv. 0.] 313 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS these my miscellaneous works are leisurely examined, I shall proceed still in my endeavour to refine my reader's palate, whetting and sharpening it the best I can for use and practice in the lower subjects, that by this exercise it may acquire the greater keenness, and be of so much the better effect in subjects of a higher kind which relate to his chief happiness, his liberty and manhood. Supposing me therefore a mere comic humorist in respect of those inferior subjects, which after the manner of my familiar prose satire I presume to criticise ; may not I be allowed to ask, " whether there remains not still among us noble Britons some- thing of that original barbarous and Gothic relish not wholly purged away, when, even at this hour, romances and gallantries of like sort, together with works as monstrous of other kinds, are current and in vogue, even with the people who constitute , our reputed polite world ? " Need I on this account refer again to our author,^ Avhere he treats in general of the style and manner of our modern authors, from the divine to the comedian? What person is there of the least judgment or understanding, who cannot easily, and without the help of a divine or rigid moralist, observe the lame condition of our English stage, which nevertheless is found the rendezvous and chief entertainment of our best company, and from whence in all probability our youth will continue to draw their notion of manners and their taste of life more directly and naturally than from the rehearsals and declamations of a graver theatre ? Let those whose business it is advance, as they best can, the benefit of that sacred oratory which we have lately seen and are still like to see employed to various purposes and further designs than that of instructing us in religion or manners. Let them in that high scene endeavour to refine our taste and judgment in sacred matters. 'Tis the good critic's task to amend our common stage, nor ought this dramatic performance to be decried or sentenced by those critics of a higher sphere. 1 Viz. iu his Advice to Authors, Treatise in. 314 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS The practice and art is honest in itself. Our foundations are well laid. And in the main our English stage (as has heen remarked ^) is capable of the highest improvement, as well from the present genius of our nation as from the rich ore of our early poets in this kind. But faults are easier imitated than beauties. We find, indeed, our theatre become of late the subject of a growing criticism. We hear it openly complained " that in our newer plays as well as in our older, in comedy as well as tragedy, the stage presents a proper scene of uproar, — duels fought, swords drawn, many of a side, wounds given and sometimes dressed too, the surgeon called and the patient probed and tented upon the spot. That in our tragedy nothing is so common as wheels, racks, and gibbets properly adorned, execu- tions decently performed, headless bodies and bodiless heads exposed to view, battles fought, murders committed, and the dead carried off in great numbers."" Such is our politeness ! Nor are these plays, on this account, the less frequented by either of the sexes, which inclines me to favour the conceit our author- has suggested concerning the mutual correspondence and relation between our royal theatre and popular circus or bear-garden. For in the former of these assemblies, 'tis un- deniable that at least the two upper regions or galleries contain such spectators as indifferently frequent each place of sport. So that 'tis no wonder we hear such applause resounded on the victories of an Almanzor, when the same parties had possibly, no later than the day before, bestowed their applause as freely on the victorious butcher, the hero of another stage; where amidst various frays, bestial and human blood, promiscuous wounds and slaughter, one sex are observed as frequent and as pleased spectators as the other, and sometimes not spectators only, but actors in the gladiatorian parts. These congregations, which we may be apt to call heathenish (though in reahty 1 Treatise ni. part ii. §§ 1, 2, 3. 2 Treatise lu. part ii. § 3. 315 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS never known among the politer heathens) are, in our Christian nation, unconcernedly allowed and tolerated as no way injurious to religious interests, whatever effect they may be found to have on national manners, humanity, and civil life. Of such in- dulgences as these we hear no complaints. Nor are any assemblies, though of the most barbarous and enormous kind, so offensive, it seems, to men of zeal, as religious assemblies of a different fashion or habit from their own. I am sorry to say that, though in the many parts of poetry our attempts have been high and noble, yet in general the taste of wit and letters lies much upon a level with what relates to our stage. I can readily allow to our British genias what was allowed to the Roman heretofore : — Natura sublimis et acer : Nam spirat tragicum satis et feliciter audet.^ But then I must add too, that the excessive indulgence and favour shown to our authors, on account of what their mere genius and flowing vein afford, has rendered them intolerably supine, conceited, and admirers of themselves. The public having once suffered them to take the ascendant, they become, like flattered princes, impatient of contradiction or advice. They think it a disgrace to be criticised, even by a friend, or to reform at his desire what they themselves are fully convinced is negligent and uncorrect. Sed turpem putat in scriptis metuitque lituram.2 The limae labor ^ is the great grievance with our country- men. An English author would be all genius. He would reap 1 [" By nature full of elevation and passion ; for he has tragic inspira- tion enough and happy holdness." — Hor. Epist. ii. i. 1G.5, 1G6.] -[... wanted or forgot The last and greatest art, the art to l)lot." Ilor. II. i. 167, Pope's imitation.] 3 Ars Poet. 316 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS the fruits of art, but without study, pains, or application. He thinks it necessary, indeed (lest his learning should be called in question), to show the world that he errs knowingly against the rules of art. And for this reason, whatever piece he publishes at any time, he seldom fails, in some prefixed apology, to speak in such a manner of criticism and art as may confound the ordinary reader, and prevent him from taking up a part which, should he once assume, would prove fatal to the impotent and mean performance. 'Twere to be wished, that when once our authors had con- sidered of a model or plan, and attained the knowledge of a whole and parts ; ^ when from this beginning they had pro-
  • 6\ov 8' i<jTL TO ^x°^ ^PXV KO.I- fJ-ecrov Kal TeXevrrjv. dpxv Se iarcv 8 aiJro fxiw
fii] (^ dvdyKT]^ fj-er' &\\o ecrri, /xer' CKeivo 5' eTepov ■Ke<t>VKiv eTvai fj yiveaOai. TiXevTij 8^ TovvavTiov 6 aiiTO fier' dWo ire(pvKev ehai ij e£ d.vdyKT]S ?) ws enl to woXv, fieTO. 8e TovTO dWo ovdev. fxeaov de 6 /cat avTO /xer' &\\o Kal jjut iKeivo erepov. [" A wlutle is that which lias beginning, middle, and end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow on anything by necessity, but after which something else naturally is or arises. On the contrary, an end is that which naturally follows on something else, either of necessity or as a rule, while it is followed by nothing. A middle is that which itself follows on something else, and has something following on it." — Arist. De poet. ch. 7.] And in the following chapter, /aO^os 5' {(ttIv eh ovx Cicnrep Tivh otovTai edv irepl 'iva rj, etc. [" Unity of plot is not, as some people think, secured by having unity of hero."] Denique sit quod vis simplex duntaxat et unum. [" Let it be what you will, provided only it he consistent and uniform." Hor. De arte poet. 23.] See Treatise ii. part iv. § 3. 'Tis an infallible proof of the want of just integrity in every writing, from the epopee or heroic poem down to the familiar epistle or slightest essay, either in verse or prose, if every several part or portion fits not its proper place so exactly that the least transposition would be impracticable. Whate\er is episodic, though perhaps it be a whole and in itself entire, yet being inserted as a part in a work of greater length, it must appear only in its due place. And that place alone can be called its due one which alone befits it. If there be any passage in the middle or end which might have stood in the beginning, or any in the beginning which might have stood as well in the middle or end, there is properly in such a piece neither beginning, middle, or end. 'Tis a mere rhapsody, not a work. And the 317 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS ceeded to morals, and the knowledge of what is called poetic manners and truth ; ^ when they had learnt to reject false more it assumes the air or appearance of a real vvork^ the more ridiculous it becomes. See above, p. 173 , and Treatise ii. part iv. § 8. ^ 1 Respicere exemplar vitae morumque jubebo Doctum imitatorem et veras hinc ducere voces. [ I shall bid the well-trained imitator look to the pattern which life pre- sents, and there learn the language of reality." — Hor. De arte poet. 317,318.] The chief of ancient critics, we know, extols Homer above all things, for understanding how " to lie in perfection," as the passage shows which we have cited above. Treatise iii. part iii. § 3. His lies, according to that master's opinion, and the judgment of many of the gravest and most venerable writers, were in themselves the justest moral truths, and ex- hibitive of the best doctrine and instruction in life and manners. It may be asked, perhaps, " how comes the poet, then, to draw no single pattern of the kind, no perfect character, in either of his heroic pieces ? " I answer, that should he attempt to do it he would as a poet be preposterous and false. 'Tis not the possible but the probable and likely which must be the poet's guide in manners. By tliis he wins attention and moves the con- scious reader or spectator, who judges best from within, ])y what he natur- ally feels and experiences in his own heart. The perfection of virtue is from long art and management, self-control, and, as it were, force on nature. But the common auditor or spectator, who seeks pleasure only, and loves to engage his passion by view of other passion and emotion, comprehends little of the restraints, allays, and corrections which form this new and artificial creature. For such indeed is the truly virtuous man, whose art, though ever so natural in itself or justly founded in reason and nature, is an improvement far beyond the common stamp or known character of human kind. And thus the completely virtuous and perfect character is unpoetical and false. Effects must not appear w here causes must necessarily remain unknown and incomprehensible. A hero without passion is in poetry as absurd as a hero without life or action. Now if passion be allowed, passionate action must ensue. The same hei-oic genius and seeming magnanimity which transport us when beheld, are naturally transporting in the lives and manners of the great who are described to us. And thus the able designer who feigns in behalf of truth and draws his characters after the moral rule, fails not to discover Nature's propensity, and assigns to these high spirits their proper exorbitancy and inclination to exceed in that tone or species of passion which constitutes the eminent or shining part of each poetical character. The passion of an 318 MISCELT.ANEOUS REFLECTIONS thought, embarrassing and mixed metaphors, the ridiculous point in comedy, and the false sublime and bombast in heroic, they would at last have some regard to numbers, harmony, and Achilles is towards tliat glory which is acquired by arms and personal valour. In favour of this character we forgive the generous youth his excess of ardour in the field, and his resentment when injured and pro- voked in council and by his allies. The passion of an Ulysses is towards that glory which is acquired by prudence, wisdom, and ability in affairs. 'Tis in favour of this character that we forgive him his subtle, crafty, and deceitful air ; since the intriguing spirit, the over-reaching manner, and over-refinement of art and policy are as naturally incident to the ex- perienced and thorough politician as sudden resentment, indiscreet and rash behaviour, to the open undesigning character of a warlike youth. The gigantic force and military toil of an Ajax would not be so easily credible or engaging, but for the honest simplicity of his nature and the heaviness of his parts and genius. For strength of body being so often noted by us as unattended with equal parts and strength of mind, when we see this natural effect expressed and find our secret and malicious kind of i-easoning confirmed on this hand, we yield to any hyperbole of our poet on the other. He has afterwards his full scope and liberty of enlarg- ing and exceeding in the peculiar virtue and excellence of his hero. He may lie splendidly, raise wonder, and be as astonishing as he pleases, Everji;hing will be allowed him in return for this frank allowance. Thus the tongue of a Nestor may work prodigies, whilst the accompanying allays of a rhetorical fluency and aged experience are kept in view. An Agamemnon may be admired as a noble and wise chief, whilst a certain princely haughtiness, a stiffness and stately carriage natural to the char- acter, are represented in his person and noted in their ill effects. For thus the excesses of every character are by the poet redressed. And the mis- fortunes naturally attending such excesses being justly applied, our passions, whilst in the strongest manner engaged and moved, are in the wholesomest and most effectual manner corrected and purged. \\'ere a man to form , himself by one single pattern or original, however perfect, he Mould him- self be a mere copy. But whilst he draws from various models, he is original, natural, and unaffected. We see in outward carriage and behaviour how ridiculous any one becomes who imitates another, be he ever so graceful. They are mean spirits who love to copy merely, nothing is agreeable or natural but what is original. Our manners, like our faces, though ever so beautiful, must differ in their beauty. An ovwj^egularity is next to a deformity. And in a poem (whether epic or dramatic) a com- {aki J-CiX. L*4 0--^^^ 319 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS an ear,^ and correct, as far as possible, the harsh sounds of our language, in poetry at least, if not in prose. But so much are our British poets taken up in seeking out that monstrous ornament which we call rhyme,- that 'tis no plete and perfect character is the greatest monster^ and of all poetic fictions not only the least engaging hut the least moral and improving. Thus much hy way of remark upon poetical truth and the just fiction or artful lying of the ahle poet, according to the judgment of the master- critic. AVhat Horace expresses of the same lying virtue is of an easier sense, and needs no explanation. Atque ita mentitur, sic veris falsa remiscet ; Primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum. [" Such is his use of fiction, such his combination of true and false, that the middle does not clash with the beginning or the end with the middle.' — Hor. De arte poet. 151, 152.] The same may be observed not only in heroic draughts, but in the in- ferior characters of comedy. Quam similis uter(|ue est sui ! [" How like himself each man acts" ! — Terence, Phorni. in. ii. 10.] See Treatise i. § 1 ; Treatise ii. part iv. § 3 ; Treatise in. part iii. § 3, in the notes at the end. ^ Treatise in. part ii. § 1. 2 llie reader, if curious in these matters, may see Is. Vossius De viribun rhythmi, and what he says withal of ancient music, and the degrees hy which they surpass us moderns (as has been demonstrated by late mathema- ticians of our nation), contrary to a ridiculous notion some have had, that because in this, as in all other arts, the ancients studied simplicity and affected it as the highest perfection in their performances, they were therefore ignorant of parts and symphony. Against this. Is. Vossius, amongst other authors, cites the ancient Peripatetic irepl K6a-fiov at the beginning of his fifth chapter. To which he might have added another passage in chapter vi. The suitableness of this ancient author's thought to what has been often advanced in the philosophical parts of these volumes, concerning the universal symmetry or union of the whole, may make it excusable if wo add here the two passages together, in their inimitable original, taws oi Kal Tu)v ivavriwv i] (pvais -/Xt'xexat, Kal e'/c tovtujv aTroreXuv to avfKpwvov, oijK €k tQiv ofioluv, wavep aufKu to appev avvrjyaye irpos rd drfKv, koX ovx eKOLTepov irpbs to bixb(j>v\ov, Kal ttjv wpuTrjv o/xofOLav Stdrwv ivavriuvlcriiVTi^l/ev , ov dia tuv 6/j.oluy. loiKe Si Kal 7] Tex^'V '^V" <pi"^i-v fup.ovfX€V7] tovto woutv. ^uyypa(pla fxev yap, XevKwv re Kal fxeXdvojv, Cixpwv re Kal epvdpuv xP^f^'^''^ iyKepaaafievri (pvaas rds e'tKoyas Toh 320 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS wonder if other ornaments and real graces are unthought of and left unattempted. However, since in some parts of poetry (especially in the dramatic) we have been so happy as to triumph over this barbarous taste, 'tis unaccountable that our poets, who from this privilege ought to undertake some further refinements, should remain still upon the same level as before. 'Tis a shame to our authors that, in their elegant style and metred prose, there should not be found a peculiar grace and harmony irpo-rfyovfj.ei'OLS dwer^Xecre (rvficpuivovs. /u,oi'crt/C7j 5^, o^ds d/xa Kal ^apeh, /xaKpovs re Kal (Bpax^s <pd6yyovs /xi^aaa, iv diacpopois cpuvah, /xlav direTiXfcrei' dpfioviav. ypafiixaTiKTj 8e, e'/c <pwv7)ivT0}v koX afpufwu ypaf-iixaTui/ Kpdcriv iroirjcra/j.ei'rj, rrjv oXt/j/ rix^'H^ ^'" o-vtQv crvveaTTjcraTO. Taiirb 8e tovto rjv Kal to irapa tw aKOTCLViZ \ey6- fievou 'HpaKXeLTuj. (Tvvd\f/€La^ ovXa Kal o^X' ovXa, avp.(pep6iJ.€vov Kal diatpepo/Jievoi', ffvfadov Kal dcadov, Kal eV irdfTwi' eV, Kal i^ ivbs Travra. And ill the following passage, A"'<x oe £k irdvTWv dp/xovia avya86vTUP Kal xo/seuofTwv Kara rhv ovpavov, i^ ei'os re yiverat, Kal eiS iv diroXriyei. Kbcixov S' ^tv/jlus to avfiirav, dX\' oi5x aKoapiiav ovofidaaLS dv. KaOdirep 8^ iv X'^PV Kopvcpaiov Kardp^avTos, avveirrixei Tras 6 xopdj dvbpCbv, €(t6' ore /cat yvvaLKUv, iv di.a(p6pois (puvals o^vripai^ Kal ^apvripais, fiiav dpuoviav e/x/xeX^ Kepavvvvroiv, oi'tws ^x^' '<^'- f""' O^ ^ avfXTrav diiirovTOi Qeov. [" And perhaps Nature wants opposites too, and wants to make harmony out of them, not out of similars ; as, for instance, she brings the male to the female and not each of these to one of his or her own sex ; and she made tlie first concord by means of opposites, not similars. Art too seems to do tliis ill imitation of nature. For painting, by combining the natures of Mack and white, yellow and red, makes its representations correspond with their types. Music, uniting sharp and grave notes, and long and short syllables, makes one harmony among different sounds. Grammar too, bringing together vowels and consonants, I>uilds her whole art up(»n them. Tliis is the very point which was given forth by Heraclitus the Obscure, who said, " combine wholes and parts, that which is dispersed and that which is united, that which makes discord and that which is in unison, and iMit of all comes one and out of one comes all." . . . There is one harmony arising from all the bodies which sound together and circle in the sky, and it springs from one thing and ends in one. We might with correct etymology call the universe an order, but not a disorder. And, just as in a chorus, when the leader has led off, all the band of men (and sometimes women) joins in, making by combination of different voices, higher and Itiwer, one harmony in unison, so it is also in the case of the Deity who controls the universe." — Ps.-Arist. I)e Mundo, cc. 5, 0.] See Treatise v. part i. § 3 ; and above, pp. 2G8-270, in the notes. VOL. II 321 Y SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS resulting from a more natural and easy disengagment of their periods, and from a careful avoiding the encounter of the shocking consonants and jarring sounds to which our language is so unfortunately subject. They have of late, 'tis true, reformed in some measure the gouty joints and darning -work of whereunto"'s, whereby 's, thereofs, therewith's, and the rest of this kind, by Avhich complicated periods are so curiously strung or hooked -on one to another, after the long-spun manner of the bar or pulpit. But to take into consideration no real accent or cadency of words, no sound or measure of syllables, to put together, at one time, a set of compounds of the longest Greek or Latin termina- tion, and at another to let Avhole verses, and those too of our heroic and longest sort, pass currently in monosyllables, is, methinks, no slender negligence. If single verses at the head, or in the most emphatical places of the most considerable works can admit of such a structure and pass for truly harmonious and poetical in this negligent form, I see no reason why more verses than one or two of the same formation should not be as well admitted, or why an uninterrupted succession of these well- strung monosyllables might not be allowed to clatter after one another, like the hammers of a paper mill, without any breach of music or prejudice to the harmony of our language. But if persons who have gone no farther than a smith's anvil to gain an ear are yet likely, on fair trial, to find a plain defect in these ten-monosyllable heroics, it would follow, methinks, that even a prose author, who attempts to write politely, should endeavour to confine himself within those bounds, which can never without breach of harmony be exceeded in any just metre or agreeable pronunciation. Thus have I ventured to arraign the authority of those self- privileged writers who would exempt themselves from criticism and save their ill-acquired reputation by the decrial of an art on which the cause and interest of wit and letters absolutely depend. Be it they themselves, or their great patrons 332 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS in their behalf, who would thus arbitrarily support the credit of ill writings, the attempt, I hope, will prove unsuccessful. Be thev moderns or ancients, foreigners or natives, ponderous and austere writers or airy and of the humorous kind, whoever takes refuge here or seeks protection hence, whoever joins his party or interest to this cause, it appears from the very fact and endeavour alone that there is just ground to suspect some insufficiency or imposture at the bottom. And on this account the reader, if he be wise, will the rather redouble his application and industry to examine the merit of his assuming author. If, as reader and judge, he dare once assert that liberty to which we have shown him justly entitled, he will not easily be threatened or ridiculed out of the use of his examining capacity and native privilege of criticism. 'Twas to this art, so well understood and practised heretofore, that the wise ancients owed whatever was consummate and perfect in their productions. 'Tis to the same art we owe the recovery of letters in these latter ages. To this alone we must ascribe the recognition of ancient manuscripts, the discovery of what is spurious and the discernment of whatever is genuine of those venerable remains which have passed through such dark periods of ignorance and raised us to the imjirovements we now make in every science. 'Tis to this art that even the sacred authors themselves owe their highest purity and correctness. So sacred ought the art itself to be esteemed, when from its supplies alone is formed that judicious and learned strength by which the defenders of our holy religion are able so successfully to refute the heathens, Jews, sectarians, heretics, and other enemies or opposers of our jn'imitive and ancient faith. But having thus, after our author's example, asserted the use of criticism in all literate works, from the main frame or plan of every Avriting down to the minutest particle, we may now proceed to exercise this art upon our author himself, and by I his own rules examine him in this his last treatise, reserving still to ourselves the same privilege of variation and excursion 323 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS into other subjects, the same episodic liberty and right of wandering which we have maintained in the preceding chapters. CHAPTER II Generation and succession of our national and modern wit — Manners of the proprietors — Corporation and joint stock — Statute against criticism — A coffee-house committee — Mr Bays — Other Bays' in divinity — Censure of our author's dialogue piece, and of the manner of dialogue writing used by reverend wits. According to the common course of practice in our age, we seldom see the character of writer and that of critic united in the same person. There is, I know, a certain species of authors who subsist wholly by the criticising or commenting practice upon others, and can appear in no other form besides what this employment authorises them to assume. They have no original character or first part, but wait for something which may be called a work in order to graft upon it, and come in for shares at second hand. The penmen of this capacity and degree are, from their function and employment, distinguished by the title of answerers. For it happens in the world that there are readers of a genius and size just fitted to these answering authors. These, if thcv teach them nothing else, will teach them, they think, to criticise. And though the new practising critics are of a sort unlikely ever to understand any original book or writing, they can understand or at least remember and (|Uote the subsequent reflections, flouts, and jeers which may accidentally be made on such a piece. AVherever a gentleman of this sort happens at any time to be in company, you shall no sooner hear a new book spoken of, than "twill be asked, " Who has answered it ? " or, " When is there an answer to come out ? """ Now the answer, as our gentleman knows, must needs be newer than the book ; and the newer a thing is, the more fashionable still and 324 I MISCELLANEOUS llEFLECTIOXS the genteeler the subject of discourse. For this the bookseller knows how to fit our gentleman to a nicety, for he has commonly an answer ready besjioke, and perhaps finished by the time his new book comes abroad. And 'tis odds but our fashionable gentleman, who takes both together, may read the latter first and dro]) the other for good and all. But of these answering wits, and the manner of rejoinders and reiterate replies, we have said what is sufficient in a former jNIiscellany.^ We need only remark in general, "that 'tis necessary a writing critic should understand how to write. And though every writer is not bound to show himself in the capacity of critic, every writing critic is bound to show himself ca])able of being a writer. For if he be apparently impotent in this latter kind, he is to be denied all title or character in the other." To censure merely what another person writes ; to twitch, snap, snub-up or banter ; to torture sentences and phrases, turn a few expressions into ridicule, or write what is nowadavs called an answer to any piece, is not sufficient to constitute what is pro})erly esteemed a writer or author in due form. For this reason, though there are many answerers seen abroad, there are few or no critics or satirists. But whatever may be the state of controversy in our religion or politic concerns, 'tis certain that in the mere literate world affairs are managed with a better understanding between the principal parties concerned. The writers or authors in ])ossession have an easier time than any ministry or religious party which is uppermost. They have found a way, by decrying all criticism in general, to get rid of their dissenters, and prevent all pretences to further reformation in their state. The critic is made to appear distinct and of another species, wholly different from the writer. None who have a genius for writing and can jKn-form with any success are presumed so ill-natured or illiberal as to endeavour to signalise themselves in criticism. 'Tis not difficult, however, to imagine why this ])ractical ^ ^'iz. siipru, Misc. i. cli. ii. 325 SHAFTESIUJRY'S CHAllACTEUISTICS difference between writer and critic has been so generally established amongst us as to make the provinces seem wholly distinct and irreconcilable. The forward wits who, without waiting their due time or performing their requisite studies, start up in the workl as authors, having with little pains or judgment and by the strength of fancy merely accpiired a name with mankind, can on no account afterwards submit to a decrial or disparagement of those ra\\' ^^■orks to which they o\sed their early character and distinction. Ill would it fare with them, indeed, if on these tenacious terms they should venture upon criticism, or offer to move that spirit which would infallibly give such disturbance to their established title. Now we may consider that in our nation, and es])ecially in our present age, whilst wars, debates, and public convulsions turn our minds so wholly upon business and affairs, the better geniuses being in a manner necessarily involved in the active sphere, on which the general eye of mankind is so strongly fixed, there must remain in the theatre of wit a sufficient vacancy of place, and the quality of actors upon that stage must of con- sequence be very easily attainable, and at a low price of ingenuity or understanding. The persons, therefore, who are in possession of the prime parts in this deserted theatre, being sufl'ered to maintain their ranks and stations in full ease, have naturally a good agreement and understandinij with their fellow- wits. Being indebted to the times for this happiness, that with so little industry or ca})acity they have been able to serve the nation with wit, and supply the place of real dispensers and ministers of the muses"' treasures, they must necessarily, as they have any love for them- selves or fatherly affection for their works, conspire with one another to preserve their connnon interest of indolence and justify their remissness, uncorrectness, insipidness, and downright ignorance of all literate art or just poetic beauty. Magna inter molles concordia.^ ' Juveii. Sat. ii. 47. [" Great is the unity of the effeminate."] 326 I MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS For this reason you see them mutually courteous and benevolent, gracious and obliging beyond measure ; compliment- ing one another interchangeably, at the head of their works, in recommendatory verses, or in separate panegyrics, essays, and fragments of poetry ; such as in the Miscellaneous Collections (our yearly retail of wit) we see curiously compacted and accom- modated to the relish of the world. Here the tyrocinium of geniuses is annually displayed. Here, if you think fit, you may make acquaintance with the young offspring of wits as they come up gradually under the old ; with due courtship and homage paid to those high predecessors of fame in hope of being one day admitted, by turn, into the noble order and made wits by patent and authority. This is the young fry which you may see busily surrounding the grown poet or chief playhouse author,^ at a coffee-house. They are his guards, ready to take up arms for him, if by some presumptuous critic he is at any time attacked. They are indeed the very shadows of their immediate predecessor, and represent the same features, with some small alteration perhaps for the worse. They are sure to aim at nothing above or beyond their master, and would on no account give him the least jealousy of their aspiring to any degree or order of writing above him. From hence that harmony and reciprocal esteem, which, on such a bottom as this, cannot fail of being perfectly well established among our poets : the age, meanwhile, being after this manner hopefully provided and secure of a constant and like succession of meritorious wits, in every kind ! If by chance a man of sense, unapprised of the authority of these high powers, should venture to accost the gentlemen of this fraternity, at some coffee-house connnittee, whilst they were taken up in mutual admiration and the usual praise of their ^ [In view of the references to "ten-monosyllable heroics" above (p. 322), and to "Mr. Bays" in the sequel, it is probable that here also Dryden is aimed at. As he died in 1700, there is room for a presumption that this portion of the 3Ii.^cellank's had been written before that date.] 327 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS national and co-temporary wits, 'tis possible he might be treated with some civility, whilst he inquired, for satisfaction sake, into the beauties of those particular works so unanimously extolled. But should he presume to ask in general, " Why is our epic or dramatic, our essay or common prose no better executed ? " Or, " Why, in particular, does such or such a reputed wit write' so incorrectly, and with so little regard to justness of thought or language ? "" The answer would presently be given, " That we Englishmen are not tied up to such rigid rules as those of the ancient Grecian or modern French critics/*' " Be it so, gentlemen ! 'Tis your good pleasure. Nor ought any one to dispute it with you. You are masters, no doubt, in your own country. But, gentlemen, the question here is not what your authority may be over your own writers : you may have them of what fashion or size of wit you please, and allow them to entertain you at the rate you think sufficient and satisfactory. But can you, l)y your good pleasure, or the approbation of your highest patrons, make that to be either wit or sense, which would otherwise have been bombast and con- tradiction ? If your poets are still Mr. BaysV and your prose ^ To see the iucorrigibleuess of our poets in their pedantic manner, their vanity, defiance of criticism, their rliodoniontade and poetical bravado, we need only turn to our famous poet-laureate (the very Mr. Bays himself) in one of his latest and most valued pieces, writ many years after the ingenious author of the Rehearsal had drawn his picture. " I have been listening" (says our poet in his preface to Don Sebastian) " what objections had been made against the conduct of the play, but found them all so trivial, that if I should name them a true critic would imagine that I played booty. . , . Some are pleased to say the writing is dull. But aetatem habet, de se loquatur. Others, that the double poison is unnatural. Let the common received opinion, and Ausomus his famous epigram, answer that. Lastly, a more ignorant sort of creatures than either of the former maintain that the character of Uorax is not only unnatural but inconsistent with itself. Let them read the play and think again. A longer reply is what these cavillers deserve not. But I will give them and their fellows to understand, that the Earl of was pleased to read the tragedy twice over before it was acted, and did me the favour to send me word that I had 328 I MlSCELLANEOl^S REFLECTIONS authors Sir Rogers, without offering at a better manner, nuist it follow that the manner itself is wood or the wit genuine ? What say you, gentlemen, to this new jiiece ? Let us examine these lines which you call shining ! This string of sentences which you call clever ! This pile of metaphors which vou call sublime ! Are you unwilling, gentlemen, to stand the test ? Do you despise the examination ? " Sir ! since you are pleased to take this liberty with us, may we presume to ask you a question ? Oh, gentlemen ! as many as you please : I shall be highly honoured. Why then, })ray sir ! inform us whether you have ever writ ? V cry often, gentlemen, especially on a post-night. 13ut have you writ, for instance, sir, a play, a song, an essay, or a jiaper, as, by way of eminence, the current ])ieces of our weekly wits are generally styled ? Something of this kind I may perha])s, gentlemen, have attempted, though without publishing my work. But pray, gentlemen, what is my writing or not writing to the question in hand ? Only this, sir, and you may fairly take our words for it, that whenever you publish you will find the town against you. Your piece will infallibly be condemned. So let it. But for what reason, gentlemen ? I am sure you never saw the piece. written Ijeyond any of my former plays, aud that he was displeased any- thing- slioukl he cut away. If I have not reason to prefer liis single judg- ment to a whole faction, let the world be judge : for the opposition is the same with that of Lucan's hero against an ai-my, concurrere bellum atfjue virum. I think I may modestly conclude, etc." Thus he goes on to the very end in the self-same strain, ^^'llo, after this, can ever say of the Rehearml author that his picture of our poet was over-charged, or the national humour wrong descril)ed ? [Shaftesbury might have mentioned tliat Uryden in his closing paragraj)h writes, " At least, if I appear too positive, I am growing old, and thereby in possession of some experience, which men in years will always assume for a right of talking." He had, besides, l»een deprived of his offices of poet- laureate and historiographer-royal at the Revolution, and being forced to return to play-writing for a livelihood, after having given it up for eight years, saw in the attacks on Don Sebastian an ungenerous hostility to himself. The play was published in l(ji)0, his fifty-ninth year.] 329 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS Xo, sir. But you are a critic. And we know bv certain ex- perience that, when a critic writes according to rule and method, he is sure never to hit the English taste. Did not Mr. Rymer, who criticised our English tragedy, write a sorry one of his own ? If he did, gentlemen, 'twas his own fault, not to know his genius better. But is his criticism the less just on this account ? If a musician ])erforms his part well in the hardest symphonies he nuist necessarily know the notes and understand the rules of harmony and music. But must a man, therefore, who has an ear, and has studied the rules of music, of necessity have a voice or hand . Can no one possibly judge a fiddle but who is himself a iiddler. Can no one judge a picture but who is himself a layer of colours ? " Thus far our rational gentleman ])erha})s might venture before his coffee-house audience. Had I been at his elbow to prompt him as a friend, I should hardly have thought fit to remind him of any thing further. On the contrary, I should have rather taken him aside to inform him of this cabal and established corporation of wit, of their declared aversion to criticism, and of their known laws and statutes in that case made and provided. I should have told him, in short, that learned arguments would be misspent on such as these, and that he would find little success, though he should ever so plainl}' demonstrate to the gentlemen of this size of wit and understand- ing, " that the greatest masters of art, in every kind of writing, were eminent in the critical practice." But that they really were so, witness, among the ancients, their greatest philo- sophers,^ whose critical pieces lie intermixed with their profound philosophical works and other politer tracts ornamentally writ ^ for public use. AVitness, in history and rhetoric, Isocrates, Dionysius Halicarnasseus, Plutarch, and the corrupt Lucian himself; the only one perhaps of these authors -whom our ^ Viz. PlatOj Aristotle. See in particular tlie Phuedrus of the former^ where an entire piece of the orator Lysias is criticised in form. - The distinction of treatises was into the aKpoa/xarLKoi and i^uTepiKol. 330 MISCEIXANEOUS RP^FLECTIOXS gentlemen niav, in some modern translation, have looked into with any curiosity or delight. To these among the llomans we may add Cicero, Varro, Horace, Qnintilian, Pliny, and many more. Amono" the modei*ns, a Boileau and a Corneille are sufficient precedents in the case before us. They applied their criticism with just severity, even to their own works. This indeed is a manner hardly practicable with the poets of our own nation. It would be unreasonable to expect of them that they should bring such measures in use as, being ap})lied to their works, would discover them to be wholly deformed and disproportion- able. 'Tis no wonder, therefore, if we have so little of this critical genius extant to guide us in our taste. 'Tis no wonder if what is generally current in this kind lies in a manner buried, and in disguise under burlesque, as particularly in the witty comedy ^ of a noble author of this last age. To the shame, how- ever, of our professed wits and enterprisers in the higher spheres of poetry, it may be observed that they have not wanted good advice and instruction of the graver kind from as high a hand in respect of quality and character; since one of the justest of our modern poems, and so confessed even by our poets them- selves, is a short criticism, an Art of Poetry ; - by which, if they themselves were to be judged, they nmst in general appear no better than mere bunglers, and void of all true sense and knowledge in their art. But if in reality both critic and poet, confessing the justice of these rules of art, can afterwards in practice condemn and approve, perform and judge in a quite different manner from what they acknowledge just and true; it plainly shows that though perhaps we are not indigent in wit, we want what is of more consequence, and can alone raise wit to any dignity or worth, even plain honesty, manners, and a sense of that moral truth on which (as has been often expressed in ^ The Reheamil. See Treatise in. part ii. § 2 ; and just above, p. 328. - Or Rs.s(n/ on Poetry, by J. Sheffiebl, Duke of Buckiugliamsliire. [Note in small ed. of 17oo.] 331 SHAFTESBURY'S CHAIIACTERISTICS these volumes) ^ poetic truth and hcautv must naturally depend. Qui didicit, patriae quid debeat et quid aniicis. Quo sit amore parens^ quo frater ainandus et hospes. Quod sit conscripti, quod judicis otficium, . . . ille profecto Reddere personae scit convenieutia cuique.^ As for this species of morality which distinguishes the civil offices of life and describes each becoming personage or character in this scene, so necessary it is for the poet and polite author to be apprised of it, that even the divine himself may with juster pretence be exempted from the knowledge of this sort. The composer of religious discourses has the advantage of that higher scene of mystery, which is abo\e the level of human connnerce. 'Tis not so much his concern or business to be agreeable. And often when he would endeavour it, he becomes more than ordinarily displeasing. His theatre and that of the polite world are very different, insomuch that in a reverend author or declaimer of this sort, we naturally excuse the ignorance of ordinary decorum, in what relates to the affairs of our inferior temporal world. But for the poet or genteel writer, who is of this world merely, 'tis a different case. He must be perfect in this moral science. We can easily bear the loss of indifferent poetry or essay. A good bargain it were, could ^e get rid of every moderate performance in this kind. But were Me obliged to hear only excellent sermons, and to read nothing in the Avay of devotion which was not well writ, it might possibly go hai'd with many Christian people who are at present such attentive auditors and readers. Established jmstors have a right to be 1 Viz. Treatise iii. part i. § 3 ; part ii. § .3 ; part iii. § 3. So above, p. 318, and in the notes. " [" The man who has learned what are liis duties to liis fatherland or to his friends ; wliat affection is due to a fatlier, a brotlier, or a guest ; what is tlie duty of a senator, wliat of a juryman, ... he to be sure knows how to find suitable language for each character," — Hor. De arte poet., 312-310.] 332 MISCELLANEOUS llEFLECTIOXS indifferent. But voluntary discourses and attempters in wit or poetry are as intolerable, \\ hen they are indifferent, as either fiddlers or painters : — Poterat duci quia coena sine istis.^ Other Bays"* and poetasters may be lawfully baited, though we patiently submit to our Bays' in divinity. Had the author of our subject treatises- considered thoroughly of these literate affairs, and found how the interest of wit stood at present in our nation, he would have had so much regard surely to his own interest, as never to have writ unless either in the single ca])acity of mere critic, or that of author in form. If he had resolved never to produce a regular or legitimate piece, he might jiretty safely have writ on still after the rate of his first volume and mixed manner. He might have been as critical, as satirical, or as full of raillery as he had pleased. But to come afterwards as a grave actor upon the stage, and expose himself to criticism in his turn, by giving us a work or two in form, after the regular manner of composi- tion, as we see in his second volume ; this I think was no extraordinary proof of his judgment or ability, in what related to his own credit and advantage. One of these formal pieces (the Incjuiry, already examined) we have found to be wholly after the manner which in one of his critical ])ieces he calls the methodic. But his next piece (the INIoralists, which we have now before us) must, according to his own rules,^ be reckoned as an undertaking of greater weight. 'Tis not only at the bottom as systematical, didactic, and pre- ceptive as that other piece of formal structure ; but it assumes withal another garb and more fashionable turn of wit. It con- ceals what is scholastical under the appearance of a polite work. It aspires to dialogue, and carries with it not only those })oetic ^ [ Because a diiiuer could he carried on without them." — Ilor. De arte poet. , 37(5. - Supra, Misc. iii. ch. i. ; iv. ch. i. ^ Treatise in. part i. § ."5 ; i)art ii. S -. 333 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS features of the pieces anciently called mimes ; but it attempts to unite the several personages and characters in one action or story, within a determinate compass of time, regularly divided and drawn into different and proportioned scenes ; and this, too, with variety of styles ; the simple, comic, rhetorical, and even the poetic or sublime, such as is the aptest to run into enthusiasm and extravagance. So much is our author, by virtue of this piece,^ a poet in due form, and by a more apparent claim than if he had writ a play or dramatic piece in as regular a manner, at least, as any known at present on our stage. It appears, indeed, that as high as our author in his critical capacity would pretend to carry the refined manner and accurate simplicity of the ancients, he dares not, in his own model and principal performance, attempt to unite his philosophy in one solid and uniform body, nor carry on his argument in one continued chain or thread. Here our author's timorousness is visible. In the very plan or model of his work, he is apparently ^ Tli;it he is conscious of tliis, we may gather from that Hue or t^u of advertisement, which stands at the heginning of his first edition. As for the characters and incidents, tliey are neither wholly feigned," says he, " nor wholly true ; but according to the liberty allowed in the way of dialogue, the principal matters are founded upon truth, and the rest as near resembling as may be. 'Tis a sceptic recites, and the hero of the piece passes for an enthusiast. If a perfect character be wanting, 'tis the same case here as with the poets in some of their best pieces. And this surely is a sufficient warrant for the author of a philosophical romance." Thus our author himself, who to conceal, however, his strict imitation of the ancient poetic dialogue, has prefixed an auxiliary title to his work, and given it the surname of Rhapsody. As if it were merely of tliat essay or mixed kind of works, which come abroad with an affected air of negligence and irregularity. But whatever our author may have affected in his title page, 'twas so little his intention to write after that model of incoherent workmanship, that it appears to be sorely against his will if this dialogue piece of his has not the just character and correct form of those ancient poems described. He would gladly have constituted one single action and time, suitable to the just simplicity of those dramatic works. And this, one Mould think, was easy enough for him to have 334 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS put to a hard shift to contrive how or with what probabihty he might introduce men of any note or fashion, reasoning expressly and purposely,^ without play or trifling, for two or three hours together on mere philosophy and morals. He finds these subjects (as he confesses) so wide of common conversation, and by long custom so appropriated to the school, the university chair or pulpit, that he thinks it hardly safe or practicable to treat of them elsewhere or in a different tone. He is forced therefore to raise particular machines, and con- strain his principal characters in order to carry a better face and bear himself out against the appearance of pedantry. Thus his gentleman philosopher Theocles, before he enters into his real character, becomes a feigned preacher. And even when his real character comes on, he hardly dares stand it out ; but to deal the better with his sceptic friend he falls again to per- sonating, and takes up the humour of the poet and enthusiast. Palemon the man of quality, and who is first introduced as speaker in the piece, must, for fashion-sake, appear in love, and under a kind of melancholy produced by some misadventures in the world. How else should he be supposed so serious 't Philocles his friend (an airy gentleman of the world and a thorough railleur'") must have a home charge upon him, and feel the anger of his grave friend before he can be supposed grave doue. He needed only to have brought liis first speakers immediately into action, and saved the narrative or recitative part of Philocles to Palemon, by producing them as speaking personages upon his stage. The scene all along might have been the park. From the early evening to the late hour of night, that the tw(» gallants witlidrew to their town apartments, there was sufficient time for the narrator Philocles to have recited tlie whole transaction of the second and third part, which would have stood throughout as it now does ; only at the conclusion, when the narrative or recitative part had ceased, the simple and direct dialogue would have again returned to grace the exit. By this means the temporal as well as local unity of the piece had been preserved. Nor had our author been necessitated to connnit that anachronism, of making his first part in order to be last in time. ^ Treatise ii. part i. § 3. - [Sliaftesbury wrote "Raillyer."] 335 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS enough to enter into a philosophical discourse. A quarter of an hour's reading must serve to represent an hour or two"'s debate. And a new scene presenting itself, ever and anon, must give refreshment, it seems, to the faint reader, and remind him of the characters and business going on. 'Tis in the same view that we miscellanarian authors, being fearful of the natural lassitude and satiety of our indolent reader, have prudently betaken ourselves to the ways of chapters and contents, that as the reader proceeds, by frequent intervals of repose contrived on purpose for him, he may from time to time be advertised of what is yet to come, and be tem})ted thus to renew his application. Thus in our modern ])lavs we see, almost in every other leaf, descriptions or illustrations of the action, not in the poem itself, or in the mouth of the actors, but by the poet in his own person ; in order, as appears, to help out a defect of the text by a kind of marginal note or connnent, which renders these pieces of a mixed kind between the narrative and dramatic. 'Tis in this fashionable style or manner of dumb show that the reader finds the action of the piece more amazingly ex])ressed than he ])ossibly could by the lines of the drama itself, where the parties alone are suffered to be speakers. 'Tis out of the same regard to ease, both in resjiect of writer and reader, that we see long characters and descrijitions at the head of most dramatic pieces, to inform us of the relations, kindred, interest, and designs of the dramatis personae ; this being of the highest importance to the reader, that .he may the better understand the plot, and find out the principal characters and incidents of the })iece, which otherwise could not possibly discover themselves as they are read in their due order. And to do justice to our play-readers, they seldom fail to humour our poets in this respect, and read over the characters with strict application, as a sort of grammar or key, before they enter on the piece itself. I know not whether they would do so much for any philosophical piece in the world. Our author seems 336 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS very much to question it, and has therefore made that part easy enough which relates to the distinction of his characters, by making use of the narrative manner. Though he had done as well, perhaps, not to have gone out of the natural plain way on this account. For wuth those to whom such philosophical subjects are agreeable, it could be thought no laborious task to give the same attention to characters in dialogue as is given at the first entrance by every reader to the easiest play composed of fewest and plainest personages. But for those who read these subjects with mere supineness and indifference, they will as much begrudge the pains of attending to the characters thus particularly pointed out as if they had only been discernible by inference and deduction from the mouth of the speaking parties themselves. JNIore reasons are given by our author ^ himself for his avoid- ing the direct way of dialogue, which at present lies so low, and is used only now and then in our party-pamphlets or new-fashioned theological essays. For of late, it seems, the manner has been introduced into Church controversy, with an attempt of raillery and humour, as a more successful method of dealing with heresy and infidelity. The burlesque divinity grows mightily in vogue. And the cried-up answers to heterodox discourses are generally such as are written in drollery or with resemblance of the facetious and humorous language of conversation. Joy to the reverend authors who can afford to be thus gay, and condescend to correct us in this lay-wit. The advances they make in behalf of piety and manners by such a popular style are doubtless found upon experience to be very considerable. As these reformers are nicely t;[ualified to hit the air of breeding and gentility, they will in time, no doubt, refine their manner and improve this jocular method, to the edification of the j)olite world, who have been so long seduced by the way of raillery and wit. They may do wonders by their comic muse, and may thus, perhaps, find means to laugh gentlemen into their religion ^ Treatise v. part i. § 1. VOL. II 337 z SHAFTESBURY'S CHAKACTERISTICS who h;ive unfortunately been laughed out of it. For what reason is there to suppose that orthodoxy should not be able to laugh as agreeably, and with as much refinedness, as heresy or infidelity ? At present, it must be owned, the characters or personages employed by our new orthodox chalogists carry with them little proportion or coherence, and in this respect may be said to suit ])erfectly with that figurative metaphorical style and rhetorical manner, in which their logic and arguments are generally couched. Nothing can be more com})Iex or multiform than their moral draughts or sketches of humanity. • These, indeed, are so far from representing any particular man or order of men, that they scarce resemble anything of the kind. 'Tis by their names only that these characters are figured. Though they bear different titles and are set up to maintain contrary points, they are found, at the bottom, to be all of the same side ; and, notwithstanding their seeming variance, to co-operate in the most officious manner with the author, towards the display of his own proper wit, and the establishment of his j)rivate opinion and maxims. They are indeed his very legitimate and obse- quious puppets, as like real men in voice, action, and manners as those wooden or wire engines of the lower stage. Philotheus and Philatheus, Philautus and Philalethes are of one and the same order : just tallies to one another ; questioning and answering in concert, and with such a sort of alternative as is known in a vulgar play, where one person lies down blindfold and presents himself, as fair as may be, to another, who by favour of the company or the assistance of his good fortune, deals his companion many a sound blow, without being once challenged, or brought into his turn of lying down. There is the same curious mixture of chance and elegant vicissitude in the style of these mock personages of our new theological drama; with this difference only, "that after the poor phantom or shadow of an adversary has said as little for his cause as can be imagined, and given as many opens and 338 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS advantages as could be desiretl, he lies down for good and all, and passively submits to the killing strokes of his unmerciful conqueror."" Hardly, as I concei\e, will it be objected to our moralist (the author of the philosophic dialogue above) " that the per- sonages who sustain the sceptical or objecting parts, are over- tame and tractable in their disjiosition." Did I ])erceive any such foul dealing in his piece, I should scarce think it worthy of the criticism here bestowed. For in this sort of writing, where personages are exhibited and natural conversation set in view ; if characters are neither tolerably preserved nor manners with any just similitude described, there remains nothing but what is too o-ross and monstrous for criticism or examination. ""Twill be alleged, ]Derha])s, in answer to what is here ad- vanced, " that should a dialogue be wrought up to the exactness of these rules, it ought to be condenmed as the worse piece, for affording the infidel or sceptic such good quarter and giving him the full advantage of his argument and wit."" But to this I reply, that either dialogue should never be attempted, or, if it be, the parties should apj^ear natural and such as they really are. If we paint at all, we should endeavour to paint like life and draw creatures as they are knowable, in their proper shapes and better features, not in metamorphoses, not mangled, lame, distorted, awkward forms, and impotent chimeras. Atheists have their sense and w'its as other men, or why is atheism so often challenged in those of the better rank ? Why charged so often to the account of wit and subtle reasoning ? Were 1 to advise these authors, towards whom I am ex- tremely well-affected on account of their good-humoured zeal and the seeming sociableness of their religion, I should say to them, " gentlemen ! be not so cautious of furnishing your representative sceptic with too good arguments or too shrewd a turn of wit or humour. Be not so fearful of giving quarter. Allow your adversary his full reason, his ingenuity, sense, and 339 SHAFTESBURY'S CHAllACTERTSTICS art. Trust to the chief character or hero of vour piece. Make him as dazzhng bright as you are able. He will undoubtedly overcome the utmost force of his opponent, and dispel the darkness or cloud which the adversary may unluckily have raised. But if when you have fairly wrought up your antagonist to his due strength and cognisable proportion, your chief char- acter cannot afterwards prove a match for him or shine with a superior brightness ; whose fault is it ? The subject's ? This, I hope, you will never allow. Whose, therefore, beside your own 't Beware then, and consider well your strength and mastershi}) in this manner of writing, and in' the qualifying- practice of the polite world, ere you attempt these accurate and refined linniings or portraitures of mankind, or offer to bring gentlemen on the stage. For if real gentlemen seduced, as you })retend, and made erroneous in their religion or philosophy, discover not the least feature of their real faces in your looking- glass, nor know themselves in the least by your description, they will hardly be apt to think they are refuted. How wittily soever your comedy may be wrought up, they will scarce appre- hend any of that wit to fall upon themselves. They may laugh indeed at the diversion you are pleased to give them, but the laugh jjerhaps may be different from what you intend. They may smile secretly to see themselves thus encountered ; when they find, at last, your authority laid by and your scholastic weapons quitted, in favour of this weak attempt to master them by their own arms and proper ability." Thus we have performed our critical task, and tried our strensth both on our author and those of his order, who attempt to write in dialogue after the active dramatic,^ mimical, or personating way, according to which a writer is properly poetical. What remains, we shall examine in our succeeding and last chapter. 1 See Treatise iii. part i. § 3. 340 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS CHAPTER III Of extent or latitude of thought — Free-thinkers — Their cause and char- acter — Dishonesty, a half-thought — Short-thinking, cause of vice and bigotry — Agreement of slavery and superstition — Liberty, civil, moral, spiritual — Free-thinking divines — Representatives incognito — Ambas- sadors from the moon — Effectual determination of Christian contro- versy and religious belief. Beikg now come to the conclusion of my work, after havino- defended the cause of critics in general, and employed what strength I had in that science upon our adventurous author in particular ; I may, according to equity and with the better grace, attempt a line or two in defence of that freedom of thought which our author has used, particularly in one of the personages of his last dialogue treatise. There is good reason to suppose that, however equably framed or near alike the race of mankind may appear in other respects, they are not always equal thinkers, or of a like ability in the management of this natural talent which we call thought. The race, on this account, may therefore justly be distinguished, as they often are, by the appellation of the thinking and the unthinking sort. The mere unthinking are such as have not yet arrived to that happy thought by which they should observe " how necessary thinking is, and how fatal the want of it must prove to them."" The thinking part of mankind, on the other side, having discovered the assiduity and industry requisite to right thinking, and being already commenced thinkers upon this foundation, are in the progress of the affair convinced of the necessity of thinking to good purpose and carrying the work to a thorough issue. They know that if they refrain or stop once upon this road, they had done as well never to have set out. They are not so supine as to be with- held by mere laziness, when notliing lies in the way to interru])t the free course and progress of their thought. 341 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS Some obstacles, 'tis true, may on this occasion be pretended. Spectres may come across and shadows of reason rise up against reason itself. But if men have once heartily espoused the reasoning or thinking habit, they will not easily be induced to lay the practice down ; they will not at an instant be arrested or made to stand and yield themselves when they come to such a certain boundary, landmark, j)ost, or pillar, erected here or there (for what reason may probably be guessed) with the inscription of a ne plus iiltra. 'Tis not, indeed, any authority on earth, as we are well assured, can stop us on this road, unless we please to make the arrest or restriction of our own accord. 'Tis our own thovight which must restrain our thinking. And whether the restraining thought be just, how shall we ever judge, without examining it freely and out of all constraint ? How shall we be sure that we have justly quitted reason as too high and dangerous, too aspiring or presumptive ; if through fear of any kind or sub- mitting to mere command we cpiit our very examining thought, and in the moment stop short, so as to put an end to further thinking on the matter ? Is there nuich difference between this case and that of the obedient beasts of burden, who stop pre- cisely at their ap])ointed inn, or at whatever point the charioteer or governor of the reins thinks fit to give the signal for a halt ? I cannot but from hence conclude that of all species of creatures said connnonly to have brains, the most insipid, Avretched, and preposterous are those whom in just propriety of speech we call half- thinkers. I have often known pretenders to wit break out into admira- tion on the sight of some raw, heedless, unthinking gentleman, declaring on this occasion that they esteemed it the happiest case in the world, " never to think or trouble one's head with study or consideration." This I have always looked upon as one of the highest airs of distinction which the self-achniring wits are used to give themselves in public company. Now the echo or antiphony which these elegant exclaimers hope, by this 342 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS reflection, to draw necessarily from their audience, is " that they themselves are over-freighted with this merchandise of thought, and have not only enough for ballast, but such a cargo over and above as is enough to sink them by its weight." I am apt, however, to imagine of these gentlemen that it was never their over-thinking which oppressed them, and that if their thought had ever really become oppressive to them, they might thank themselves for having under-thought or reasoned short, so as to rest satisfied with a very superficial search into matters of the first and highest importance. If, for example, they overlooked the chief enjoyments of life, which are founded in honesty and a good mind ; if ,they pre- sumed mere life to be fully worth what its tenacious lovers are pleased to rate it at ; if they thought public distinction, fame, power, an estate or title to be of the same value as is vulgarly conceived, or as they concluded on a first thought without further scepticism or after-deliberation ; 'tis no wonder, if being in time become such mature dogmatists and well-practised dealers in the affairs of what they call a settlement or fortune, they are so hardly put to it to find case or rest within themselves. These are the deeply-loaded and over-pensive gentlemen, who, esteeming it the truest wit to pursue what they call their interest, wonder to find they are still as little at ease when they have succeeded as when they first attempted to advance. There can never be less self-enjoyment than in these supposed wise characters, these selfish computers of happiness and private good, whose piu-suits of interest, whether for this world or another, arc attended with the same steady vein of cunning and low thought, sordid deliberations, perverse and crooked fancies, ill dispositions and false relishes of life and manners. The most negligent, undcsigning, thoughtless rake has not only more of sociableness, ease, tranquillity and freedom from worldly cares, but in reality more of worth, virtue, and merit than such grave plodders and thoughtful gcnllenien as these. 343 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS If it happens, therefore, that these graver, more circumspect, and deeply interested gentlemen have, for their soul's sake and through a careful provision for hereafter, engaged in certain speculations of religion, their taste of virtue and relish of life is not the more improved on this account. The thoughts they have on these new subjects of divinity are so biassed and per- plexed by those half-thoughts and raw imaginations of interest and worldly affairs, that they are still disabled in the rational pursuit of happiness and good ; and being necessitated thus to remain short-thinkers, they have the power to go no further than they are led by those to whom, under such disturbances and perplexities, they apply themselves for cure and comfort. It has been the main scope and principal end of these volumes, " to assert the reality of a beauty and charm in moral as well as natural subjects, and to demonstrate the reasonable- ness of a proportionate taste and determinate choice in life and manners." The standard of this kind and the noted character of moral truth appear so firmly established in Nature itself, and so widely displayed through the intelligent world, that there is no genius, mind, or thinking principle Avhich (if I may say so) is not really conscious in the case. Even the most refractory and obstinate understandings are by certain reprises or returns of thought on every occasion convinced of this existence, and necessitated, in common with others, to acknowledge the actual right and wrong. 'Tis evident that whensoever the mind, influenced by passion or humour, consents to any action, measure, or rule of life contrary to this governing standard and primary measure of intelligence, it can only be through a weak thought, a scantiness of judgment, and a defect in the application of that unavoidable imjiression and first natural rule of honesty and worth, against which whatever is advanced will be of no other moment than to render a life distracted, incoherent, full of irresolution, repentance, and self-disapprobation. Thus every innnorality and enormity of life can only happen 344 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS from a partial and narrow view of happiness and good. What- ever takes from the largeness or freedom of thought must of necessity detract from that first relish or taste on which virtue and worth depend. For instance, when the eye or appetite is eagerly fixed on treasure and the monied bliss of bags and coffers, 'tis plain there is a kind of fascination in the case. The sight is instantly diverted from all other views of excellence or worth. And here, even the vulgar, as well as the more liberal part of mankind, discover the contracted genius and acknowledge the narrowness of such a mind. In luxury and intemperance we easily apprehend how far thought is oppressed and the mind debarred from just reflection, and from the free examination and censure of its own opinions or maxims, on which the conduct of a life is formed. Even in that complicated good of vulgar kind which we commonly call interest, in which we comprehend both pleasure, riches, power and other exterior advantages, we may discern how a fascinated sight contracts a genius, and by shortening the view even of that very interest which it seeks, betrays the knave, and necessitates the ablest and wittiest proselyte of the kind to expose himself on every emergency and sudden turn. But above all other enslaving vices and restrainers of reason and just thought, the most evidently ruinous and fatal to the uuderstanding is that of superstition, bigotry, and vulgar enthusiasm. This passion, not contented Hke other vices to deceive and tacitly supplant our reason, professes open war, holds up the intended chains and fetters, and declares its resolution to enslave. The artificial managers of this human frailty declaim against free-thought and latitude of understanding. 'J'o go beyond those bounds of thinking which they have prescribed is by tbem declared a sacrilege. To them freedom of mind, a mastery of sense, and a liberty in thought and action imply debauch, cor- ruption, and depravitv. 345 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS In consequence of their moral maxims and political establishments they can indeed advance no better notion of human happiness and enjoyment than that which is in every respect the most opposite to liberty. 'Tis to them doubtless that we owe the opprobriousness and abuse of those naturally honest appellations of free-livers, free-thinkers, latitudinarians, or what- ever other character implies a largeness of mind and generous use of understanding. Fain would they confound licentiousness in morals with liberty in thought and action, and make the libertine, who has the least mastery of himself, resemble his direct opposite. For such indeed is the man of resolute purpose and immovable adherence to reason against everything which passion, prepossession, craft or fashion can advance in favour of aught else. But here, it seems, the grievance lies. 'Tis thouoht dangerous for us to be over-rational or too much masters of ourselves in what we dra^v by just conclusions from reason only. Seldom therefore do these expositors fail of bringing the thought of liberty into disgrace. Even at the expense of virtue and of that very idea of goodness on which they build the mysteries of their })rofitable science, they derogate from morals and reverse all true philosophy, they refine on selfishness and explode generosity, promote a slavish obedience in the room of voluntary duty and free service, exalt blind ignorance for devotion, reconmiend low thought, decry reason, extol voluptuousness,^ wilfulness, vindicativeness, arbitrariness, vain glory, and even deify those weak passions which are the disgrace rather than ornament of human nature.- But so far is it from the nature of liberty to indulge such passions as thcse,^ that whoever acts at any time under the power of any single one may be said to have already provided for himself an absolute master. And he who lives under the power of a whole race (since "'tis scarce possible to obey one without the other) nuist of necessity undergo the worst ^ Mordlists, part ii. § 2, iiiid below, ]>. "A?>. - Treatise i. ? 1, end. •^ MoraHsf-s, part ii. S - ; l>;irt iii. § o. 346 IVITSCELLANEOUS IIEFLECTIONS of servitudes, under the most capricious and domineering lords. That this is no paradox even the writers for entertainment can inform us, however others may moralise who discourse or write (as they pretend) for profit and instruction. The poets even of the wanton sort give ample testimony of this slavery and ^^■retchedness of vice. They may extol voluptuousness to the skies and point their wit as sharply as they are able against a virtuous state. But when they come afterwards to pay the necessary tribute to their commanding pleasures, we hear their pathetic moans and find the inward discord and calamity of their lives. Their example is the best of precepts, since they conceal nothing, are sincere, and speak their passion out aloud. And 'tis in this that the very worst of poets may justly be preferred to the generality of modern philosophers or other formal writers of a yet more specious name. The muses' pupils never fail to express their passions and write just as they feel. 'Tis not, indeed, in their nature to do otherwise, whilst they indulo-e their vein and are under the ])ower of that natural enthusiasm which leads them to what is highest in their per- formance. They follow Nature. They move chiefly as she moves in them, without thought of disguising her free motions and genuine operations, for the sake of any scheme or hypothesis which they have formed at leisure and in particular narrow views. On this account, though at one time they quarrel perhajis with virtue for restraining them in their forbidden loves, they can at another time make her sufficient amends, when with indignation they complain " that merit is neglected, and their worthless rival preferred before them." ^ C'ontrane lucrum nil valerc caiulidum Pauperis ina^enium ? - And thus even in common elegiac, in song, ode, or epigram ^ Treatise ii. part iv. 2. 2 ["To think that the honest lieart of a |)oor man should liave no weight ajjainst ^ohl !" — Ilor., K/iorl. xi. 11, 12.] 347 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTEETSTICS consecrated to pleasure itself, we may often read the dolorous confession in behalf of virtue, and see at the bottom how the case stands : — Nam verae voces tum demiim pectove ab imo Eliciiintur.i The airy poets in these fits can, as freely as the tragedian, condole with virtue, and bemoan the case of suffering merit : — The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's eontmnely, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes. The poetic chiefs may give what reason they think fit for their humour of representing our mad a])petites, especially that of love, under the shape of urchins and wanton boys scarce out of their state of inf;\ncy. The original design and moral of this fiction, I am persuaded, was to show us how little there was of great and heroic in the government of these pretenders, how truly weak and childish they were in themselves, and how nuich lower than mere children we then became when we submitted ourselves to their blind tutorage. There was no fear left in this fiction the boyish nature should be misconstrued as in- nocent and gentle. The storms of passion, so well known in every kind, kept the tyrannic quality of this wanton race sufficiently in view. Nor could the poetical description fail to bring to mind their mischievous and malignant play. But when the image of imperious threatening and absolute connnand was joined to that of ignorance, puerility, and folly, the notion was completed of that wretched slavish state which modern libertines, in conjunction with some of a graver character, admire and represent as the most eligible of any. " Happy condi- tion ! "" says one. " Happy life, that of the indulged passions,
  • [" For llion and then only are tlie \\()r(ls of triitli (li-a\Mi from the
bottom of a man's heart." — Lucretius, iii. 57.] 348 MTSCELLANF.OUS REFLECTIONS niio-ht we piusue it ! Miserable condition ! miserable life, that of reason and virtue, \\ liich we are bid pursue ! " ^ 'Tis the same, it seems, with men in morals as in politics. AVhen they have been unhaj^pily born and bred to slavery, they are so far from being sensible of their slavish course of life, or of that ill usage, indignity, and misery they sustain, that they even admire their own condition, and being used to think short, and carry their views no further than those bounds which were early prescribed to them, they look upon tyranny as a natural case, and think mankind in a sort of dangerous and degenerate state when under the power of laws, and in the possession of a free government. We may by these reflections come easily to apprehend what men they were who first brought reason and free thought under disgrace, and made the noblest of characters (that of a free thinker) to become invidious. 'Tis no wonder if the same interpreters would have those also to be esteemed free in their lives, and masters of good living, who are the least masters of themselves, and the most impotent in passion and humour of all their fellow-creatures. But far be it, and far surely will it ever be from any worthy genius to be consenting to such a treacherous language and abuse of words. For my own part, I thoroughly confide in the good powers of reason, " that liberty and freedom shall never by any artifice or delusion be made to pass with me as frightful sounds, or as reproachful, or invidious, in any sense."" I can no more allow that to be free living, where unlimited passion and unexamined fancy govern, than I can allow that to be a free government where the mere people govern, and not the laws. For no people in a civil state can possibly be free, when they are otherwise governed than by such laws as they themselves have constituted, or to which they have freely given consent. Now, to be released from these, so as to govern them- selves by each day's will or fancy, and to vary on every turn the ^ Morulints, part ii. § 2. 349 SHAITESEURY'S CHAllACTERTSTICS rule and measure of government, without res{)ec't to any ancient constitutions or establishments, or to the stated and fixed rules of equity and justice, is as certain slavery as it is violence, dis- traction, and misery, such as in the issue nnist prove the estab- lishment of an irretrievable state of tyranny and absolute dominion. In the determinations of life, and in the choice and govern- ment of actions he alone is free who has A\ithin himself no hindrance or control in acting \\hat he himself, by his best judgment and most deliberate choice, approves. Could vice agree possibly with itself, or could the \ icious any way reconcile the various judgments of their inward counsellors, they might with justice perhaps assert their liberty and independency. But wliilst they are necessitated to follow least wliat, in their sedate hours, they most appro\e, whilst they are jiassively assigned and made over from one ])ossessor to another^ in contrary extremes, and to different ends and j)ur})oses of which they are themsehes wholly ignorant, 'tis evident that the more they turn their eyes - (as many times they are obliged) towards virtue and a free life, the more they must confess their misery and subjec- tion. They discern their own ca})tivity, but not with force and resolution sufficient to redeem themselves and become their 1 Huuccine an liuuc sequeris.^ Subeas alteruus oportet Aiicipiti obsequio dominos. [Are you for followinu- this hook or tliat? You must submit to each master in turn, with waveriuj^ allegiance."] — Pers., Sat, v. 155, 156. See Treatise ni. part iii. §§ 1, 2, etc. ^ Magne pater divumj saevos punire tyraunos Haud alia ratione velis, cum dira libido Moverit ingenium ferventi tinctsi veneno, Virtutem videant, intabescantque relictii. [" Great father of the Gods, condescend to punish the cruelty of tyrants in no other way, when fierce passion dipped in fiery poison has stirred their souls. Let them look upon virtue and pine to think that they have abandoned her." — Persius, iii. 35-38.] 350 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS own. Such is the real tragic state, as the old tragedian represents it : — ^ Video nieUora pi'oboque, Deteriora sequor."- And thus the highest spirits and most refractory wills con- tribute to the lowest servitude and most submissive state. Reason and virtue alone can bestow liberty. Vice is unworthy, and unhappy on this account only, " that it is slavish and debasing." Thus have we pleaded the cause of liberty in general, and vindicated withal our authors particular freedom in taking the person of a sceptic, as he has done in this last treatise," on which we have so largely paraphrased. AVe may now perhaps, in compliance with general custom, justly presume to add some- thing in defence of the same kind of freedom we ourselves have assumed in these latter miscellaneous comments, since it would doubtless be very unreasonable and unjust for those who had so freely played the critic to expect anything less than the same free treatment and thorough criticism in return. As for the style or language used in these comments, 'tis very different, we find, and varies in proportion with the author commented, and with the different characters and persons fre- (luently introduced in the original treatises. So that there will undoubtedly be scope sufficient for censure and correction. As for the observations on antiquity, we have in most passages, except the very common and obvious, produced our vouchers and authorities in our own behalf. VMiat may be thought of our judgment or sense in the application of these authorities, and in the deductions and reasonings we have ' Kal fxavdavu /xtv ola ToK/jLTjau} KaKo.' ^Uyuos 5^ Kpeiaatov tQv ijxuiv ^ov\€Vfj.6.Tuv. I" Aud well I know the crime I shall commit, jet rage is stronger than all counsel."— Eur., Med. 1078, 1079.] 2 ["I see aud I esteem the better course, I follow the worse." — Ovid, Metamorphoses, vii. 21.] • Viz. The Moralists or Philosophic Dialogue recited in tlie person of a sceptic, under the name of Philocles. See Treatise v. part i. g 2, Sol SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS formed froui such learned topics, must be submitted to the opinion of the wise and learned. In morals, of which the very force lies in a love of discipline and in a willingness to redress and rectify false thought and erring views ; we cannot but patiently wait redress and amicable censure from the sole competent judges, the wise and good ; whose interest it has been our whole endeavour to advance. The only subject on which we are perfectly secure, and with- out fear of any just censure or rejjroach, is that of faith and orthodox belief. For in the first place it will appear tliat through a profound respect and religious veneration, we have forborne so much as to name any of the sacred and solemn mysteries of revelation.^ And in the next place, as we can with confidence declare that we have never in any writing, public or private, attempted such high researches, nor have ever in practice acquitted ourselves otherwise than as just conformists to the lawful church ; so we may, in a proper sense, be said faithfully and dutifully to embrace those holy mysteries, even in their minutest particulars, and without the least exception on account of their amazing depth. And though we are sensible that it would be no small hardship to deprive others of a liberty of examining and searching, with due modesty and sub- mission, into the nature of those subjects ; yet as for ourselves, who have not the least scruple whatsoever, we pray not any such grace or favour in our behalf, being fully assured of our own steady orthodoxy, resignation, and entire submission to the truly Christian and catholic doctrines of our holy church as by law established. ""Tis true, indeed, that as to critical learning - and the ex- amination of originals, texts, glosses, various readings, styles, compositions, manuscripts, compilements, editions, publica- tions, and other circumstances such as are common to the sacred books with all other writings and literature, this we have con- ^ Supra, Mine. i. ch. ii. 2 Treatise ii. part iv, § 3. 352 MISCELT.ANEOUS HEFT.ECTIONS fideiitly asserted to be a just and lawful study. We have even represented this species of criticism as necessary to the preserva- tion and purity of Scripture ; that Sacred Scripture which has been so miraculously preserved in its successive copies and transcriptions under the eye (as we nmst needs suppose) of holy and learned critics, through so many dark ages of Christianity to these latter times, in which learning has been happily revived. But if this critical liberty raises any jealousy against us, we shall beg leave of our offended reader to lay before him our case at the very w^orst ; that if on such a naked exposition it be found criminal, we may be absolutely condemned ; if other- wise, acquitted, and with the same favour indulged as others in the same circumstances have been before us. On this occasion, therefore, we may be allowed to borrow- something from the form or manner of our dialogue author, and represent a conversation of the same free nature as that recited by him in his night scene,^ where the supposed sceptic or free- thinker delivers his thoughts and reigns in the discourse. 'Twas in a more considerable company, and before a more numerous audience that, not long since, a gentleman of some rank (one who was generally esteemed to carry a sufficient caution and reserve in religious subjects of discourse, as well as an apparent deference to religion, and in particular to the national and established Church) having been provoked by an impertinent attack of a certain violent bigoted party, was drawn into an open and free vindication not only of free-think- ing but free professing and discoursing in matters relating to religion and faith. Some of the company, it seems, after having made bold with him as to what they fancied to be his principle, began to urge " the necessity of reducing men to one profession and belief" And several gentlemen, even of those who passed for moderate in their way, seemed so far to give in to this zealot opinion as to agree, " that notwithstanding the right method ^ Treatise \'. part ii. § 5. VOL. II 35l^ 2 A SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS was not yet found, 'twas highly requisite that some way should be thought on to reconcile differences in opinion ; since so long as this variety should last, religion they thought could never be successfully advanced." To this our gentleman at first answered coldly, that " what was impossible to be done, could not he thought be properly pursued as necessary to be done."" But the raillery being ill taken, he was forced at last to defend himself the best he could upon this point, " that variety of opinion was not to be cured.' And "that 'twas impossible all should be of one mind."" " I well know," said he, " that many pious men, seeing the inconveniences which the disunion of persuasions and opinions accidentally produces, have thought themselves obliged to stop this inundation of mischiefs, and have made attempts accord- ingly. Some have endeavoured to unite these fractions by pro- pounding such a guide as they were all bound to follow, hoping that the unity of a guide would have produced unity of minds. But who this guide should be, after all, became such a question that 'twas made part of that fire itself which was to be ex- tinguished. Others thought of a rule. This was to be the effectual means of union ! This was to do the work or nothing could ! But supposing all the world had been agreed on this rule, yet the interpretation of it was so full of variety, that this also became part of the disease." The company, upon this preamble of our gentleman, pressed harder upon him than before, objecting the authority of Holy Scripture against him, and affirming this to be of itself a sufficient guide and rule. They urged again and again that known saying of a famed controversial divine of our Church against the divines of another, " that the Scripture, the Scripture was the religion of Protestants." To this our gentleman at first replied only by desiring them to explain their word Scripture, and by inquiring into the original of this collection of ancienter and later tracts, which 354 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS in general they comprehended under that title : whether it were the apocryphal Scripture or the more canonical ? The full or the half-authorised ? The doubtful or the certain ? The controverted or un controverted ? The singly-read or that of various reading ? The text of these manuscripts or of those ? The transcripts, copies, titles, catalogues of this Church and nation, or of that other ? of this sect and party or of another ? of those in one age called orthodox, and in possession of power, or of those who in another overthrew their predecessors'* authority, and in their turn also assumed the guardianship and power of holy things ? For how these sacred records were guarded in those ages, might easily (he said) be imagined by any one who had the least insight into the history of those times which we called primitive, and those characters of men whom we styled Fathers of the Church. " It must be confessed," continued he, " "'twas strange industry and unlucky diligence which was used, in this respect, by these ecclesiastical forefathers. Of all those heresies which a:ave them employment, we have absolutely no record or monument but what themselves who were adversaries have transmitted to us ; and we know that adversaries, especially such who observe all opportunities to discredit both the persons and doctrines of their enemies, are not always the best recorders or witnesses of such transactions. We see it," continued he, in a very em- phatical but somewhat embarrassed style, " we see it now in this very age, in the present distemperatures, that parties are no good registers of the actions of the adverse side : and if we cannot be confident of the truth of a story now (now, I say, that it is possible for any man, especially for the interested adversary, to discover the imposture), it is far more unlikely that after-ages should know any other truth than such as serves the ends of the representers." Our gentleman by these expressions had already given con- siderable offence to his zealot auditors. They plied him faster with passionate reproaches than with arguments or rational 355 SHAFTESBURY'S CHAIIACTETIISTICS answers. This, however, served only to animate him the more, and made him proceed the more boldly, with the same assumed formality and air of declamation, in his general criticism of holy literature. " There are," said he, " innumerable places that contain (no doubt) great mysteries, but so wrapped in clouds or hid in umbrages, so heightened with expressions or so covered with allegories and garments of rhetoric, so profound in the matter or so altered and made intricate in the manner, that they may seem to have been left as trials of our industry, and as occasions and opportunities for the exercise of mutual charity and tolera- tion, rather than as the repositories of faith and furniture of creeds. For when there are found in the explications of these writings so many commentaries, so many senses and interpreta- tions, so many volumes in all ages, and all like men's faces, no one exactly like another : either this difference is absolutely no fault at all, or if it be, it is excusable. There are, besides, so many thousands of copies that were writ by persons of several interests and persuasions, such different understandings and tempers, such distinct abilities and weaknessess, that 'tis no wonder there is so great variety of readings . . . whole verses in one that are not in another . . . whole books admitted by one church or communion which are rejected by another : and whole stories and relations admitted by some Fathers and re- jected by others. ... I consider, withal, that there have been many designs and views in expounding these writings; many senses in which they are expounded ; and when the grammatical sense is found out, we are many times never the nearer. Now there being such variety of senses in Scripture, and but few- places so marked out as not to be capable of more than one ; if men will write commentaries by fancy, what infallible criterion will be left to judge of the certain sense of such places as have been the matter of question ? I consider again, that there are indeed divers places in these sacred volumes, containing in them mysteries and questions of great concernment ; yet such is the 356 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS fabric and constitution of the whole, that there is no certain mark to determine whether the sense of these passages should be taken as literal or figurative. There is nothing in the nature of the thing to determine the sense or meaning ; but it must be gotten out as it can. And therefore 'tis unreasonably required, that what is of itself ambiguous should be understood in its own prime sense and intention, under the pain of either a sin or an anathema. \'ery wise men, even the ancient Fathers, have expounded things allegorically, when they should have expounded them literally. Others expound things literally when they should understand them in allegory. If such great spirits could be deceived in finding out what kind of senses were to be given to Scriptures, it may well be endured that we who sit at their feet should be subject at least to equal failure. If we follow any one translation, or any one man's commentary, what rule or direction shall we have by which to choose that one aright ? Or is there any one man that hath translated perfectly, or expounded infallibly ? If we resolve to follow any one as far only as we like or fancy, we shall then only do wrong or right by chance. If we resolve absolutely to follow any one whithersoever he leads, we shall })robably come at last where, if we have any eyes left, we shall see ourselves become sufficiently ridiculous."" The reader may here, perhaps, by his natural sagacity, remark a certain air of studied discourse and declamation, not so very proper or natural in the mouth of a mere gentleman, nor suitable to a company where alternate discourse is carried on in unconcerted measure and unpremeditated language. Something there was so very enq:)hatical, withal, in the delivery of these words by the sceptical gentleman, that some of the company who were still more incensed against him for these expressions, began to charge him as a preacher of pernicious doctrines, one who attacked religion in form, and carried his lessons or lectures about with him to repeat by rote, at anv time, to the ignorant and vulgar, in order to seduce them. 357 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS 'Tis true, indeed, said he, gentlemen, that what I have here ventured to repeat is addressed chiefly to those you call ignorant ; such, I mean, as being otherwise engaged in the world, have had little time, perhaps, to bestow upon inquiries into divinity matters. As for you, gentlemen, in particular, who are so much displeased with my freedom, I am well assured you are in effect so able and knowing, that the truth of every assertion I have advanced is sufficientlv understood and ac- knowledged by you, however it may happen that, in your great wisdom, you think it proper to conceal these matters from such persons as you are ])leased to style the vulgar. ""Tis true, withal, gentlemen, continued he, I will confess to you, that the words you have heard repeated are not my own. They are no other than what have been publicly and solemnly delivered even by one ^ of the episcopal order, a celebrated ^ The pious and learned Bishop Taylor^ in his treatise On the Liberty oj Prophesying, printed in his collection of Polemical and Moral Discourses, anno 1G57. The pajjres answering to the places above cited are, 401, 402 (and in the epistle dedicatory, three or four leu\es before), 438, 439-444, 4.51, 452. After which, in the succeeding page, he sums up his sense on this subject of sacred literature, and the liberty of criticism, and of private judgment and opinion in these matters, in the following words: "Since there are so many copies, with infinite varieties of reading ; since a various interpunction, a parenthesis, a letter, an accent, may much alter the sense ; since some places have divers literal senses, many have spiritual, mystical, and allegorical meanings ; since there are so many tropes, metonjTTiies, ironies, hyperboles, proprieties and improprieties of language, whose understanding depends upon such circumstances, that it is almost impossible to know the proper interpretation, now that the knowledge of such circumstances and particular stories is irrecoverably lost ; since there are some mysteries, which at the best advantage of expression are not easy to be apprehended, and whose explication, l)y reason of our imper- fections, must needs be dark, sometimes weak, sometimes unintelligible : and lastly, since those ordinary means of expounding Scripture, as searching the originals, conference of places, parity of reason, and analogy of faith are all dubious, uncertain, and very fallible ; he that is the wisest, and by consequence the likeliest to expound truest, in all proba- bility of reason will be very far from confidence, because every one t)f 358 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS Chui'chman, and one of the highest sort, as appears by his many devotional works, which carry the rites, ceremonies, and pomp of worship with the honour and dignity of the priestly and episcopal order to the highest degree. In effect, we see the reverend doctors treatises standing, as it were, in the front of this order of authors, and as the foremost of those good books used by the politest and most refined devotees of either sex. They maintain the principal place in the study of almost every elegant and high divine. They stand in folios and other volumes, adorned with variety of pictures, gildings, and other decorations, on the advanced shelves or glass-cupboards of the ladies closets. They are in use at all seasons and for all places, as well for church-service as closet-preparation ; and, in short, may vie with any devotional books in British Christendom. these, ami many more, are like so many degrees of improbability and uncertainty, all depressing- our certainty of finding out truth in such mysteries and amidst so many difficulties. iVud, therefore, a wise man that considers this, would not willingly be prescribed to by others ; for it is best every man should be left in that liberty, from which no man can justly take him, unless he could secure him from error." Tlie Reverend Prelate had but a few pages before (viz. p. 427) acknowledged, indeed, " that we had an apostolical warrant to contend earnestly for the faith. But then," says the good bishop, very candidly and ingeniously, as these things recede farther from the foundation, our certainty is the less. . . . And therefore it were very fit that our confidence should be according to our evidence, and our zeal according to our confidence." He adds, p. 507, "all these disputes concerning tradition, councils. Fathers, etc., are not arguments against or besides reason, but contesta- tions and pretences of the best arguments, and the most certain satisfaction of our reason. But then all these coming into question submit themselves to reason, that is, to be judged by human understanding, upon the best grounds and information it can receive. So that Scripture, tradition, Councils and Fathers are the evidence in a cjuestion, but reason is the judge : that is, we being the persons that are to be persuaded, we must see that we be persuaded reasonably ; aiul it is unreasonable to assent to a lesser evidence when a greater and clearer is propounded ; but of that every man for himself is to take cognisance, if he be able to judge ; if he be not, he is not bound under the tie of necessity to know anything of it." 359 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTEllIS J ICS And for the life and character of the man liiinself, I leave it to you, gentlemen (you, I mean, of the zealot kind), to except against it, if you think proper. 'Tis your manner, I know, and what you never fail to have recourse to when any authority is produced against you. Personal reflection is always seasonable and at hand on such an occasion. No matter what virtue, honesty, or sanctity may lie in the character of the person cited. No matter though he be ever so much, in other respects, of your own party and devoted to your interest. If he has indiscreetly spoken some home truths, or discovered some secret which strikes at the temporal interests of certain spiritual societies, he is quickly doomed to calumny and defamation. I shall try this experiment, however, once more (continued our gentleman), and as a conclusion to this discourse will venture to produce to you a further authority of the same kind. You shall have it before you in the exact phrase and words of the great author in his theological capacity, since I have now no further occasion to conceal my citations, and accommodate them to the more familiar style and language of conversation. Our excellent Archbishop ^ and late ]*'ather of our church, when expressly treating that very subject of a rule in matters of belief, in opposition to Mr. S and Mr. R , his Romish antagonists, shows plainly how great a shame it is for us Protest- ants at least, whatever the case may be with Romanists, to dis- allow difference of opinions and forbid ])rivate examination and search into matters of ancient record and Scriptural tradition, Avhen at the same time we have no pretence to oral or verbal ; no claini to any absolute superior judge or decisive judgment in the case ; no polity, church, or comnnmity ; no ]iarticular man or number of men who are not, even by our own confession, plainly fallible and subject to error and mistake. " The Protestants," says his Grace (speaking in the person of Mr. S— and the Romanists), "cannot know how many the books of Scripture ought to be ; and which of the many con- 1 Viz. Archbishop Tillotsou in his Rule nf Faith, p. 077. 300 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS troverted ones may be securely put in that catalogue, which not. But I shall tell him (replies his Grace) that we know that just so many ought to be received as uncontro verted books, concerning which it cannot be shown there was ever any con- troversy."" It was not incumbent perhaps on my lord Archbishop to help Mr. S so far in his objection as to add, that in reality the burning, suppressing, and interpolating method, so early in fashion and so tightly practised on the epistles, com- ments, histories, and writings of the orthodox and heretics of old, made it impossible to say with any kind of assurance, " what books, copies, or transcripts those were, concerning which there was never any controversy at all." This indeed would be a point not so easily to be demonstrated. But his Grace proceeds in showing the weakness of the Romish ])iilar, tradition. "For it must either," says he, " acknowledge some books to have been controverted, or not. If not, why doth he make a supposition of controverted books ? If oral tradition acknowledges some books to have been controverted, then it cannot assure us that they have not been controverted, nor consequently that they ought to be received as never having been controverted ; but only as such, concerning Avhich those Churches who did once raise a controversy about them, have been since satisfied that they are canonical.^ AVhere is then the infallibility of oral tradition ? How does the living voice of the present Church assure us that what books are now received by her were ever received by her.^ And if it cannot do this, but the matter ^ His (irace sultjoins imnicdiatel}' : "The traditionary Church ii(»w receives tlie Epistle to the Ilelircws as canonical. I ask, do they receive it as exev deli\ered for such .^ That they must, if they receive it from oral tradition, which conveys things to them under this notion as ever delivered ; and yet St. Ilierom (speakiiii; not as a speculator hut a testifier) says expressly of it that the custom of the Latin Church doth not receive it anionfr the Canonical Scriptures. A\'liat saitli Mr. S to this? It is clear from this testimony that the Roman Church in St. Hierom's time did not acknowledf^e this ejjistle for canonical ; and 'tis as plain that the present Roman Church doth receive it for canoin'cal." 361 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS must come to be tried by the best records of former ages (which the Protestants are AvilHng to have the catalogue tried by), then it seems the Protestants have a better way to know what books are canonical than is the infallible way of oral tradition. And so long as 'tis better, no matter though it be not called in- fallible." Thus the free and generous archbishop. For, indeed, what greater generosity is there than in owning truth frankly and openly, even where the greatest advantages may be taken by an adversary ? Accordingly, our worthy Archbishop speaking again immediately in the person of his adversary, " the Pro- testants,"' ^ says he, "cannot know that the very original, or a perfectly true copy of these books, hath been preserved. Nor is it necessary," replies the archbishop, " that they should know either of these. It is sufficient that they know that those copies which they have are not materially corrupted. . . . But how do the Church of Kome know that they have perfectly true copies of the Scriptures in the original languages ? They do not pretend to know this. The learned men of that Church acknowledge the various readings as well as we, and do not pretend to know, otherwise than by probable conjecture (as we also may do) which of those readings is the true one." - 1 P. 678. '■^ The reader perhaps may find it worth while to read after this what the Archbishop represents (pp. 716^ etc.) of the plausible introduction of the grossest article of belief in the times when the habit of making creeds came in fashion. And accordingly it may be miderstood of what effect the dogmatising practice in divinity has ever been. " We will suppose, then, that about the time when universal ignorance and the genuine daughter of it (call her devotion or superstition) had overspread the world, and the generality of people were strongly inclined to believe strange things, and even the greatest contradictions were recommended to them under the notion of mysteries, being told by their priests and guides that the more contradictious anything is to reason, the greater merit there is in believing it, I say, let us suppose that in this state of things one or more of the most eminent then in the Church, either out of design or out of superstitious ignorance and mistake of the sense of our Saviour's words 362 MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS And thus, continued our lay-gentleman, 1 have finished my quotations, which I have been necessitated to bring in my own defence to prove to you that I have asserted nothing on this head of religion, faith, or the sacred mysteries which has not been justified and confirmed by the most celebrated churchmen and respected divines. You may now proceed in your invectives; bestowing as free language of that kind as your charity and breeding will permit. And you, reverend sirs, who have assumed a character which sets you above that of the mere gentlemen, and releases you from those decorums and constraining measures of behaviour to which we of an inferior sort are bound, you may liberally deal your religious compliments and salutations in what dialect you think fit, since, for my own part, neither the names of heterodox, schismatic, heretic, sceptic, nor even infidel or atheist itself will in the least scandalise me, whilst the used ill the consecration of the Sacrament^ shouhl advance this new doctrine, that tlie w^ords of consecration, etc. . . . Such a doctrine as tliis was very likely to be advanced by the ambitious clerg-y of that time as a probable means to draw in the people to a greater veneration of them. . . . Nor was such a doctrine less likely to take and prevail among- the people in an age prodigiously ignorant and strongly inclined to sui)erstition, and thereby well prepared to receive the grossest absurdities under tlie notion of mystery. . . . Now supposing such a doctrine as this, so fitted to the humour and temper of the age, to be once asserted either by chance or out of design, it would take like wildfire, especially if by some one or more who bore sway in the Church it were but recommeiuled witli con- venient gravity and solemnity. . . . And for the contradictions contained in this doctrine, it was but telling the people then (as they do in effect now) that contradictions ought to be no scruple in tlie way of faith ; that the more impossible anything is 'tis the fitter to be believed ; that it is not praiseworthy to believe plain possibilities, but this is the gallantry and heroical power of faith, this is the way to oblige (Jod Almiglity for ever to us, t() believe flat and downright contradictions. . . . llie more absurd and unreasonable anything is, it is for tliat very reason the more proper matter for an article of faitli. And if any of these innovations be objected against as contrary to former belief ami practice, it is but putting forth a lusty act of faith and believing another contradiction, that thougli they be contrary yet they are the same." Above, i)p. 200-208. 363 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS sentence comes only from your mouths. On the contrary, I rather strive with myself to suppress whatever vanity might naturally arise in me from such favour bestowed. For whatever may in the bottom be intended me by such a treatment, 'tis impossible for me to term it other than favour, since there are certain enmities which it will be ever esteemed a real honour to have merited. If, contrary to the rule and measure of conversation, I have drawn the company's attention towards me thus long, without affording them an intermission during my recital, they will, I hope, excuse me, the rather because they heard the other recitals and were witnesses to the heavy charge and personal reflection which, without any real provocation, was made upon me in public by these zealot gentlemen to whom I have thus replied. And notwithstanding they may, after such breaches of charity as are usual with them, presume me equally out of charity on my own side, I will take upon me, however, to give them this good advice at parting : " that since they have of late been so elated by some seeming advantages and a prosperity which they are ill fitted to bear, they would at least bcAvare of accumulating too hastily those high characters, appellations, titles, and ensigns of power, which may be tokens, perhaps, of what they expect hereafter, but which, as yet, do not answer the real power and authority bestowed on them." The garb and countenance will be more graceful when the thino- itself is secured to them and in their actual possession. IMeanwhile, the anticipation of high titles, honours, and nominal dignities beyond the common style and ancient usage, though it may be highly fashionable at jiresent, may not prove beneficial or advantageous in the end. I would, in particular, advise my elegant antagonists of this zealot-kind, that among the many titles they assume to them- selves they would be rather more s])aring in that high one of ambassador, till such time as they have just means and founda- tion to join that of plenipotentiary together with it. For as matters stand hitherto in our British world, neither their 364 MTSCET.T.ANEOUS REFLECTIONS coiuniission from the sovereign nor tliat which they pi'etencl from lieaveii, amounts to any absohite or determinino- power. The first holy messengers (for that 1 take to be the highest apostoHc name) brought with them their proper testimonials in their lives, their manners, and behaviour, as well as in powerful works, miracles, and signs from heaven. And though, indeed, it might well be esteemed a miracle in the kind, should our present messengers go about to represent their predecessors in any part of their demeanour or conversation, yet there are further miracles remaining for them to perform ere they can in modesty plead the apostolic or messenger authority. IA)r though in the torrent of a sublime and figurative style a holy apostle may have made use, perhaps, of such a phrase as that of embassy or ambassador to express the dignity of his errand, 'twere to be wished that some who were never sent of any errand or message at all from God himself, would use a modester title to exjiress their voluntary negotiation between us and heaven. I must confess, for my own part, that I think the notion of an embassy from thence to be at best somewhat high strained in the metaphorical way of speech. But certain I am that if there be any such residentship or agentship now established, 'tis not immediately from God himself, but through the magistrate and by the prince or sovereign power here on earth, that these gentlemen agents are appointed, distinguished, and set over us. They have undoubtedly legal charter ^ and character, legal titles and precedencies, legal habits, coats of arms, colours, badges. But they may do well to consider that a thousand badges or liveries bestowed by men merely can never be sufficient to entitle them to the same authority as theirs who bore the immediate testimony and miraculous signs of j)ower from above. For in this case there was need only of eyes and ordinary senses to distinguish the commission and acknowledge the embassy or message as divine. But allowing it ever so certain a truth, that there has
  • Treatise in. near tlie end.
305 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS been a thousand or near two thousand years'" succession in this commission of embassy," where shall we find this commission to have lain ? How has it been supplied still, or renewed ? How often dormant ? How often divided, even in one and the same species of claimants ? What party are they among moderns who by virtue of any immediate testimonial from heaven are thus entitled ? Where are the letters patent ? the credentials ? For these should in the nature of the thing be open, visible, and apparent. A certain Indian of the train of the ambassador princes sent to us lately from some of those pagan nations, being engaged one Sunday in visiting our churches and happening to ask his interpreter, " who the eminent persons were whom he observed haranguing so long, with such authority from a high place ? was answered, " they were ambassadors from the Almighty, or (according to the Indian language) from the sun." AVhether the Indian took this seriously or in raillery did not appear. But having afterwards called in, as he went along, at the chapels of some of his brother-ambassadors of the Romish religion, and at some other Christian dissenting congregations, where matters, as he perceived, were transacted with greater privacy and inferior state, he asked " whether these also were ambassadors from the same place." He was answered " that they had indeed been heretofore of the embassy, and had possession of the same chief places he had seen, but they were now succeeded there by others." " If those, therefore," replied the Indian, " were ambassadors from the sun, these, I take for granted, are from the moon." Supposing, indeed, one had been no pagan but a good Christian, conversant in the original Holy Scriptures but unacquainted with the rites, titles, habits, and ceremonials, of which there is no mention in those writings, might one not have inquired, with humble submission, into this affair ? Might one not have softly and at a distance applied for information concerning this high embassy, and addressing perhaps to some 36G MISCELLANEOUS REFLECTIONS inferior officer or livery-man of the train asked modestly, " How and whence they came ? whose equipage they appeared in ? at whose charges they were entertained ? and by whose suffrage or command appointed and authorised ? Is it true, pray sirs ! that their Excellencies of the present establishment are the sole-commissioned ? or are there as many real commissioners as there are pretenders ? If so, there can be no great danger for us, whichever way we apply ourselves. We have ample choice, and may adhere to which commission we like best. If there be only one single true one, we have then, it seems, good reason to look about us, search narrowly into the affair, be scrupulous in our choice, and (as the current physic bills admonish us) beware of counterfeits, since there are so many of these abroad with earthly powers and temporal commissions to back their spiritual pretences."" 'Tis to be feared, in good earnest, that the discernment of this kind will jirove pretty difficult, especially amidst this universal contention, embroil, and fury of religious challengers, these high defiances of contrary believers, this zealous opposition of commission to commission, and this din of hell, anathemas, and damnations raised everywhere by one religious party against another. So far are the pretendedly commissioned parties from pro- ducing their commission openly, or proving it from the original record or court-rolls of heaven, that they deny us inspection into these very records they plead, and refuse to submit their title to human judgment or examination. A poet of our nation insinuates indeed in their behalf, that they are fair enough in this respect. For when the murmuring people, speaking by their chosen orator or spokesman to the priests, says to them, — With ease you take what we provide with care. And we who your legation must maintain. Find all your tribe in the commission are, And none but Heaven could send so large a train, 307 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS the apologist, afterwards excusing this boldness of the people and soothing- the incensed priests with fairer words, says to them, on a foot of moderation, which he presumes to be their character : — You with such temper their intemperance beai', To show your solid science does rely So on itself as you no trial fear : For arts ai'e w^eak that are of sceptics shy.^ The poet, it seems, never dreamt of a time when the very countenance of moderation should be out of fashion with the gentlemen of this order, and the word itself exploded as imworthy of their profession. And, indeed, so far are they at present from bearing with any sceptic or inquirer, ever so modest or discreet, that to hear an argument on a contrary side to theirs, or read whatever may be writ in answer to their particular assertions, is made the highest crime. Whilst they have among themselves such differences and sharp debates about their heavenly commission, and are even in one and the same connnunity or establishment divided into different sects and headships, they will allow no particular survey or inspection into the foundations of their controverted title. They woukl have us inferior passive mortals, amazed as we are, and behold- ing with astonishment from afar these tremendous subjects of dispute, wait blindfold the event and final decision of the controversy. Nor is it enough that we are merely passive. 'Tis required of us, that in the midst of this irreconcilable debate concerning heavenly authorities and powers, we should be as confident of the veracity of some one, as of the imposture and cheat of all the other pretenders ; and that, believing firmly there is still a real commission at the bottom, we should endure the misery of these conflicts and engage on one side or the other as we happen to have our birth or education, till by fire and sword, execution, massacre, and a kind of depopulation of this ' Gondibert, bk. ii. canto 1. 868 IMISCEI.LANEOUS REFLECTIONS earth, it be determined at last amongst us,i " Which is the true commission, exclusive of all others and superior to the rest." Here our secular gentleman, who in the latter end of his discourse had already made several motions and gestures which betokened a retreat, made his final bow in form and quitted the place and company for that time, till (as he told his auditors) he had another opportunity and fresh leisure to hear, in his turn, whatever his antagonists might anew object to him in a manner more favourable and moderate, or (if they so approved) in the same temper and with the same zeal as they had done before. ^ Supra, p. 212. VOL. II 369 2 B INDEX Abraham, ii. 232 Absolutism, i. lil Academic Philosopliy, ii. 9, 309 Addison, i. xv, xvi, xix, xlv Admiration, ii. 177, 178 Advice to an Author, i. 103 Advice, i. 103 Affectation, ii. 53 Affection, natural, public, and private, i 74-81, 82-85, 247-250, 280-336 ; ii. 77, 291-294 AiNSWORTH, M., i. xliii Alchemy, ii. 10 Alcibiades, ii. 234 Ambition, i. 210, 327 Anacharsis, i. 61 Anatomy, ii. 6;'., 73, 135 Anger, i. 99, 320 Animals, i. 245, 285, 314 ; ii. 72, 74 76, 120, 287, 289 Apelles, i. 220 Apollo, i. 7 Appetite and Reason, i. 123 Abatds, ii. 303 Architecture, ii. 133, 208 Aristophanes, i. 160 ; ii. 305 Aristotle, i. xxii, 52, 94, 96, 129, 156 163, 223 ; ii. 243 ^ • Art and Nature, ii. 135 Art, Shaftesbury's views of, i. xliii, 132 218, 219, 227; ii. 11, 267, 317-321 Arthur, ii. 225 Arts and Morality, i. 217, 227 Arts and Sciences, promotion of, i. 145- 149, 151-157 Atellan plays, i. 164 Atheism, i. 240, 241, 257, 261, 275 ; ii. 47, 49, 89, 93, 196, 339 Athens, i. 161, 162 ; ii. 242, 243 Augustus, i. 148, 175 Authors, i. 104-112, 127, 131, 139, 172, 179, 197, 223 ; ii. 316, 322 Babylonian empire, ii. 188 Bacchic worship, i. 33 Bacon, ii. 199 Bart'lemy Fair, i. 21 Baumgarten, i. xliii Bays, Mr., ii. 328, 329, 333 Beauty, i. 90, 91, 94 ; ii. 20, 21 69 125, 126, 128, 130-137, 141-144; 147, 268 Beggars, i. 26 Belief, ii. 219-221 Berkeley, i. xxv, xlv Bible, i. 229-231 ; ii. 228-232, 302 Bigotry, i. 307 ; ii. 207, 345 Blank verse, i. 142 Blount, C, i. 238 BoiLEAU, i. 142 ; ii, 331 Bolingbroke, i. xxvi, xxviii ; ii. 282 Bossu, i. 94 Boyle, ii. 10 Breeding, i. 86 Britain, i. 73, 139, 143, 175, 177 ; ii 215, 247-249 Brown, J., i. xv, xxvii, xxxviii, xxxix, 52 Browning, i. xxxiv Buffoonery, i. 50, 51, 85 Bury, Rev. A., i. 238 Cabala, ii. 206 Caesar, i. 146, 149 Cantouising, i. 76 r'APPADOCIANS, ii. 312 371 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS Cabaccio, i. 218 Caruiva], i. 58 Casaubons, i. 70, 226 Catechisms, i.^197 Catholicism. See Rome Cervantes, ii. 313 Chance, i. 29 Charles I., i. 140 Charity, ii. 227 Chivalry, i. 177 Christianity, i. xxiii. 19 ; ii. 19, 51, 55, 201, 306 Church and Clergy, ii. 363-369 Cicero, ii. 168 Circumcision, ii. 189 Club methods, i. 53 Collins, A., i. xxviii Comedy, i. 157-160, 164, 165, 166, 169 Common sense, i. 55, 69 Conscience, i. 305 Controversy, i. 47, 48 ; ii. 161, 223 Conversation, polite, ii. 6 COBNEILLE, ii. 210, 331 Courage, i. 79 Credulity, i. 222 ; ii. 8§^ Criticism, i. 30, 150, 152, lo6, 170 ; ii. 258, 313, 324-331 CoDWORTH, ii. 50, 196 Cumberland, i. xxxii, xxxvii Cybele, ii. 45 Daemons, i. 112, 116, 240 Dancing, ii. 228 Death, i. 203 Defoe, i. 223 Deism, i. 238 ; ii. 19, 53 Deity, i. 240, 242, 258-265, 266-280, 305 : ii. 57, 91, 93, 98, 103, 110, 113, 114 Demosthenes, ii. 243 Descartes, i. xxxiii, 191 ; ii. 275 Despotism, i. 72, 144. 155 Dialogue, i. 51, 132, 133 ; ii. 9, 337-340 Diana, ii. 208 Dion Cassius, ii. 171 Dogmatism, ii. 238 Drama, ii. 160, 315. See Comedy and Tragedy Dryden, \. XV, xvii, 142 ; ii. 322, 327- 329. See Bays Education, i. 82, 125, 215, 331 Egypt, Priesthood of, ii. 181-185, 188- 194, 206 England and Englishmen, i. 73, 141, 175 ; ii. 215, 248, 315-320 Enthusiasm, Letter concerniag, 1. 4 Enthusiasm, i. 12, 32, 35 ; ii. 54, 129, 173, 179, 198 Ephesians, ii. 208 Epicurus and Epicureanism, ii. 41, 42, 53 Epimenides, ii. 303 Ethiopia, ii. 186 EUPHRANOK, i. 219 Euripides, i. 157 ; ii. 243 Fables, ii. 283 Faction, i. 76 Fairies, i. 7 Fanaticism, ii. 89, 195, 196. See Zeal and Bigotry Fancy, i. 122, 201, 208-210, 218, 302 ; ii. 149, 278, 349 Fear, i. 191 Fenelon, ii. 214 Fowler, Bishop, i. 7 Fowler, Prof., i. x, xix, xxiv, xl, xliii Free thought, ii. 341-353 Free trade, i. 46 French literature, i, 142, 216 Friendship, i. 67, 68 ; ii. 37, 41 Futurg state, j. 26S-277»; ii. 59 Gatakeb, i. 70 Genius. See Deity Genius, i. 127, 151 Gnostics, ii. 203 Goiulibert, ii. 368 GoRGiAS, i. 52 Gospels, ii. 307 Gothicism, i. 141, 153, 227 ; ii. 313 Government, i. 15, 74, 138, 155, 272 Gravity and fi'aud, i. 44, 52 Greek culture, i. 145, 161, 163, 178; ii. 241-243 Gregory the Great, ii. 303, 304 Harley, ii. 261 Heart, wisdom of, i. 180 Helmont, Van, i. 186 Herbert of Cherbury, i. 238 Herder, i. ix Herodotus, ii. 309 History, i. 146 Hobbes, i. xix, xxviii, xxxiii, xxxvii, 61, 79, 238, 281 372 INDEX Homer, i. 129, 157, 160, 166; ii. 17, 26, 175, 318 Honesty, i. 69, 83. 114, 171 ; ii. 17o, 177 Honour, i. 81, S3 Horace, i. 70, 211 ; ii. 168, 282, 310 Hume, i. xxxvii, xli Humour, i. 17 ; ii. 337 HUTCHESON, i. xiv, xxxvii, xxxviii Inquiry concerning Virtve, etc., i. 237 Inspiration, i. 32 Instinct, i. 248, 250, 257, 259, 288, 289 ; ii. 76 Insularity, English, ii. 251 Interest, self, i. 77, 80, 183 Intolerance, i. 16, 22 Isis, ii. 185 Italians, i. 51, 216 James I., i. 140 Jephthah, ii. 232 Jews, i. xxiii, 22, 23, 69 ; ii. 188-193. 204, 227, 229 Job, i. xxxiii, 25 Jonah, ii. 229 Joseph, ii. 192, 193 Joshua, i. 229, 230 Julian, ii. 210-212 Jupiter, i. 262 Kant, i. xiv '• Kind," instinct of, i. 74 King, Archbishop, i. xxxi Kings, i. 138 Knavery, i. 64, 87, 113, 136 Knights Templars, i. 59 Lamb, i. xv Leclebc, ii. 288, 305 Leibnitz, i. xiv, xxvi, xxxi, 187 Leon, St., ii. 213 Liberty, i. 144, 145, 155-219 ; ii. 44 Life, love of, i. 317-319 Light, ii. 117 LiVY, cited, i. 33 Locke, i. x, xi, xx, xxxvii, xxxviii, 223 Love, i. 116-121, 200, 213, 311 ; ii. 125 Lucian, i. xxii ; ii. 330 Lucretius, i. 34, 37 ; ii. 175 Luke, ii. 307 Lycurgus, ii. 308 Macaulay, i. xi Magi, i. 59, 60 Magic, ii. 193 Mahometanisni, i. 227 ; ii. 301 Mandeville, i. xxxviii-xli Marsham, ii. 189-191 Martineau, Dr., i. xxxiv Mathematics, i. 188 Melancholy, i. 12, 24 ; ii. 198 Menander, i. 160, 167 ; ii. 305 Messiah, ii. 205 Metaphysics, i. 188 ; ii. 275 Milton, i. 141, 142, 180 Miracles, i. 222 ; ii. 87, 90, 200, 201 Miscellaneous Reflections, ii. 157 MoLiNOS, ii. 214 Montaigne, i. ix, xv, 331 Montesquieu, i. ix Moralists, The, ii. 3 Morals, and art, i. 171, 179, 181 ; ii. 217, 227 Morals, basis of, i. 63-93, 227-338 ; ii. 137 Moral sense, i. 262 More, Dr. H., i. xxxiii ; ii. 197 Moses, ii. 190-193, 227 Muses, the. i. 5-8, 142, 204 ; ii. 175 Music, i. 152-154, 227 Mystery in religion, ii. 206 Mysticism, ii. 55 Nature, i. 78, 95, 215, 228, 240, 243, 260, 261, 314, 324 ; ii. 10, 14, 22, 39, 62, 71-84 Nature, state of, i. 73 ; ii. 78-84 Nero, ii. 169 Novels, i. 222-225 Nymjyholepti, i. 35 Olympic games, i. 179 Opinion, ii. 139, 146, 152 Oracles, ii. 90 Oratory, i. 49, 155 ; ii. 243, 244 Orthodoxy, ii. 220 Painting, i. xliii, 132 Pan, i. 12 Panegyric, i. 175 Panics, i. 13 Parody, i. 130, 160 Pascal, i. xxvii Passion,s, the, i. 62, 289-293, 297, 320, 321, 330 ; ii. 348 Patria, ii. 248 373 SHAFTESBURY'S CHARACTERISTICS Patriots, ii. 244-250, 262 Patrons, i. 147, 148, 149, 181, 197 Paul, St., i. xxiii, 23 ; ii. 202, 209 Persecution, ii. 209, 220-224 Persians, i. 60 ; ii. 185, 186 Persuasion, i. 154 Petronius, cited, i. 126 Philosophy, i. 82-88, 156, 166, 186, 187, 193, 194, 225 ; ii. 3-9, 195, 240, 255 Phonetics, i. 187 Plato, i. 38, 161 ; ii. 309 Pleasure, ii. 29-33, 147, 280, 349 Pliny, i. 219 Plutarch, i. 29, 38 ; ii. 233 Poets and Poetry, i. 5, 129, 135, 136, 157, 166 ; ii. 197, 320 Polytheism, i. 241 Pope, i. ix, xxv-xxvii, xxxiii-xxxv Pre-sensation, ii. 76 Press, i. 198 Priests and Priesthoods, ii. 181-185, 188-194, 205 Prometheus, ii. 15, 16 Prophecy, i. 32 Prophets, French, i. 20, 31 Property and dominion, ii. 185, 186 Protestantism, i. 19 ; ii. 360 Public spirit, i. 27, 66, 85, 287 ; ii. 38 Punning, i. 46, 141 Puppet-shows, i. 21, 22 Pyrrho and Pyrrhonism, ii. 101, 104 Pythagoreanism, i. 14 ; ii. 234, 282 Quietists, ii. 214 Raillery, i. 43-65, 85, 238 Reason, i, 49, 54, 62, 123 Rehearsal, The, i. 169 Religion, 1. 17, 232, 237, 273, 303 ; ii. 85, 90, 177, 179, 231-235 Revelation, ii. 90 Revenge, i. 320 Rewards and punishments, i. 268-277 ; ii. 59 Rhyme, ii. 320 Ridicule, 1. 9-11, 81 ; ii. 253, 254 ROBtNSON, H. C, i. xl Rochefoucauld, i. 80 Rochester, i. 79 Rome, Clnirch of, i. 20, 22 ; ii. 212, 214, 305, 306, 361 "^Rome, empire and civilisation of, i. 143- 145, 164, 176, 219 ; ii. 204, 205 Rymer, ii. 330 Sacheverel, i. xlii Sadducees, ii. 204 Salmasius, i. 70 Satire, i. 173 ; ii. 84 Saul, i. 32, 68 Scepticism, ii. 17-20, 34, 53, 85, 103, 105, 201, 202, 238 Scholarship, i. 215 Scriptures, ii. 298-300 Self and selfishness, i. 81, 247-250, 329 Seneca, ii. 169 Sensus Communis, i. 43 Shakspere, i. xvi, xviii, 141, 179, 224 Sibyls, i. 33 ; ii. 299 Society, rise and basis of, i. 74 ; ii. 82 Socrates, i. 23 ; ii. 307 Soliloquy, i. 101 Soliloquy, practice of, i. 105-112 Solitude, i. 113 SOMERS, i. 8 Sophists, i. 156, 167 Sophocles, i. 157 Species, i. 74, 246, 249 ; ii. 289, 293 Spencer, J., cited, ii. 191, 192 Spicker, i. xxix Spinoza, i. xxxi-xxxiv, 243, 269, 280, 302 ; ii. 10 Spirits, i. 33 Spirits, animal, i. 50 Strabo, i. 136, 164 Style, i. 142, 151, 161, 168 ; ii. 169, 171, 243 Sublime, the, i. 165, 169 Superstition, ii. 122, 184 Swift, i. xix, xlv Taste, i. 216-228 ; ii. 243, 252-256, 257 Taylor, Bishop, cited, i. 67 ; ii. 180, 181, 358, 359 Theism, i. 240, 241, 261-265, 266-280 ; ii. 19, 52, 54-59, 91, 93, 94, 98, 103-124 Thucydides, ii. 309 TiLLOTSON, ii. 360-363 TiNDAL, i. xiv Toland, i. xii, xxiv, xliii, 238 Toleration, i. 21 ; ii. 354, sq. Tragedy, i. 157, 161, 164, 165, 180 Trajan, i. 148 Truth, i. 94-98 ; ii. 220, 259 Turks, i. 148 Tyranny, i. 72, 144, 155 374 INDEX Uniformity, iu religion, i. 15 ; ii. 353- 369 Unitarianisni, i. xxxvi, 238 Universe. See Xature Universities, i. 215 Vaninus, ii. 196 Vice, i. 310, 323 Virgil, ii. 27 Virtue, Inquiry concerning, etc., i. 237 ; ii. 50 Virtue, basis of, i. 83, 171, 252-258, 265-338 ; ii. 58, 291 Virtuosoship. See Taste Vossius, ii. 320 War, i. 75 Warbcrton, i. xxvii Water, ii. 117 Wharton, ii. 261 Whichcote, i. xii Will, freedom of, i. 122 Will to believe, ii. 219-221 Wit and Humour, i. 43 Wit, i. 46, 52, 53, 56, 65, 80, 165 ; ii, 216, 231 Women, i. 80, 177, 178 Worldliuess, ii. 263, 285 Worship, public, i. 14 Xenophon, i. 146, 167 ; ii. 309 Zeal and zealotry, i. 46, 48, 98, 110, 307 ; ii, 122, 162, 197, 181, 353-369 THE END

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