Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

E

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

E

[ocr errors]

William III. Commissioner of the Revenue. He sentiment that even to this day finds currency. married an Irishwoman of low birth, and left at his Stella left Dublin for a time to escape from it, but death, in 1703, about £16,000 in equal division to his when somebody said to her that the Dean must have wife, his two sons, and his two daughters, Esther | cared for Miss Van Homrigh very much to write so and Mary. The family was sickly. The sons went beautifully as he did in “ Cadenus and Vanessa," she abroad. The elder died beyond sea, and the younger replied, “It is very well known that the Dean can died soon after. The widow and two daughters write beautifully on a broomstick." spent money in London till the widow died; in It was in the year after Miss Van Homrigh's death London Swift became acquainted with them, and that Swift won immense popularity in Ireland by undertook to play tutor to Esther, whose education an attack upon the copper coinage that the English had been neglected, who, says Lord Orrery, was Government was then introducing. Coins of small “ far from being either beautiful or genteel," and who value had become so scarce in Ireland that it was was certainly obtrusive. She fell in love with Swift, often difficult to give change to a customer. The and told him she had done so. This was at the end Government ordered a supply of copper money, and of Queen Anne's reign. Swift was made, in 1713, gave to Mr. Wood, an ironmaster at WolverhampDean of St. Patrick's, and he wrote for Miss Van ton, the contract for making it. When the outcry Homrigh a poem on her declaration to him, his title was led by Swift against the coins thus introduced, of Dean, Decanus, twisted round into Cadenus, Sir Isaac Newton was the Master of the Mint. He Cadenus and Vanessa-in which he expressed his was asked to examine the new coinage, and certified surprise and pointed out her error, but made his that in intrinsic value it was rather better than that bitter pill so small and covered it with so much sugar current in England. Swift's letters against it, signed that she took the dose for a sugar-plum. Swift M. B. Drapier, because in the character of Drapier went to his Deanery in Dublin after the change of he had recommended the use of Irish linen by the reign which placed the Whigs again in power, and Irish, are amusing for their ingenious but quite did his duty by the Church. There is reason to honest extravagance. This is the first of them. think that in 1716 he was married privately to Esther Johnson (Stella) in the Deanery garden. If so, it

A was at her wish for the private satisfaction of her mind. If he had not felt that he must forego marry. ing as others marry, while he yet desired to join himself in daily converse of mind to the woman

TO THE whom he wholly loved, he would have married Esther Johnson years before. But there was that Shopkeepers, Tradesmen, Farmers, within which made Swift, in later life, keep his birth

and Common People days by reading to himself the third chapter of Job, which begins, “ After this opened Job his mouth,

OF and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said, Let I RE L A N D, the day perish in which I was born." The attacks of giddiness and deafness could not be continuously

CONCERNING THE misinterpreted, nor the shadow of the coming end in many a mood of inner consciousness. He would not

BRASS-HALF-PENCE transmit the curse to a child, yet the star of his life was indeed Esther Johnson. In 1717 Esther and

Coined by one WILLIAM WOOD, Mary Van Homrigh, after their mother's death, came

Hard-ware-Man, to live about ten miles from Dublin, in a house

With a DESIGN to have them pass in they had, Marley Abbey, near Cellbridge. Swift did

this KINGDOM. not visit them. But in 1720, in which year Swift published proposals for the universal use of Irish

Wherein is Shewn linen manufactures by the Irish people, Mary Van The Power of his Patent, the Value of his HalfHomrigh became dangerously ill. Then Swift, in PENCE, and how far every Person may be obliged to simple kindness, called on the sisters. Mary died, take the same in Payments, and how to behave himand Swift did not withdraw himself from Vanessa, self in Case such an Attempt should be made by but again unwisely humoured her, the last survivor Wood, or any other Person. of a sickly house, herself not marked for a long life,

(Very proper to be kept in every Family.) until she presumed so far as to write to Esther Johnson and ask what were her relations with the

By M. B. DRAPIER. Dean. When this was sent on to Swift, he rode in anger to Marley Abbey, placed the letter upon the table before Miss Van Homrigh, left her without a

LETTER I. word, and never saw her again. That was in 1720. Miss Van Homrigh died in 1723, and left evidence

To the Tradesmen, Shopkeepers, Farmers, and Country People in of the diseased state of her mind by requiring that

general, of the kingdom of Ireland. “Cadenus and Vanessa," with Swift's letters to her,

BRETHREN, FRIENDS, COUNTRYMEN, AND Fellow-SUBJECTS, should be published. The scandal-loving public pro What I intend now to say to you is, next to your duty to ceeded to the manufacture of a large stock of false God, and the care of your salvation, of the greatest concern

to yourselves and your children ; your bread and clothing, and every common necessary of life entirely depend upon it. Therefore I do most earnestly exhort you as men, as Christians, as parents, and as lovers of your country, to read this paper with the utmost attention, or get it read to you by others; which, that you may do at the less expense, I have ordered the printer to sell it at the lowest rate.

It is a great fault among you, that when a person writes with no other intention than to do you good, you will not be at the pains to read his advices. One copy of this paper may serve a dozen of you, which will be less than a farthing apiece. It is your folly that you have no common or general interest in your view, not even the wisest among you; neither do you know, or enquire, or care who are your friends, or who are your enemies.

About four years ago a little book was written to advise all people to wear the manufactures of this our own dear country. It had no other design, said nothing against King or Parliament, or any person whatsoever; yet the poor printer was prosecuted two years with the utmost violence; and even some weavers themselves, for whose sake it was written, being upon the jury, found him guilty. This would be enough to discourage any man from endeavouring to do you good, when you will either neglect him, or fly in his face for his pains; and when he must expect only danger to himself, and to be fined and imprisoned, perhaps to his ruin.

However, I cannot but warn you once more of the mani. fest destruction before your eyes, if you do not behave yourselves as you ought.

I will therefore first tell you the plain story of the fact; and then I will lay before you how you ought to act, in common prudence, and according to the laws of your country.

The fact is thus : It having been many years since copper halfpence or farthings were last coined in this kingdom, they have been for some time very scarce, and many counterfeits passed about under the name of “raps.” Several applications were made to England that we might have liberty to coin new ones, as in former times we did; but they did not succeed. At last one Mr. Wood, a mean ordinary man, a hard. ware dealer, procured a patent under his Majesty's broad seal, to coin £108,000 in copper for this kingdom ; which patent, however, did not oblige any one here to take them unless they pleased. Now, you must know that the halfpence and farthings in England pass for very little more than they are worth; and if you should beat them to pieces, and sell them to the brazier, you would not lose much above a penny in a shilling. But Mr. Wood made his halfpence of such base metal, and so much smaller than the English ones, that the brazier would hardly give you above a penny of good money for a shilling of his; so that this sum of £108,000, in good gold and silver, must be given for trash that will not be worth above eight or nine thousand pounds real value. But this is not the worst; for Mr. Wood, when he pleaseth, may by stealth send over another £108,000, and buy all our goods for eleven parts in twelve under the value. For example, if a hatter sells a dozen of hats for five shillings apiece, which amounts to three pounds, and receives the pay. ment in Wood's coin, he really receives only the value of five shillings.

Perhaps you will wonder how such an ordinary fellow as this Mr. Wood could have so much interest as to get his Majesty's broad seal for so great a sum of bad money to be sent to this poor country; and that all the nobility and gentry here could not obtain the same favour, and let us make our own halfpence as we used to do. Now I will make that matter very plain: We are at a great distance from the

King's court, and have nobody there to solicit for us, although a great number of lords and squires, whose estates are here, and are our countrymen, spend all their lives and fortunes there. But this same Mr. Wood was able to attend constantly for his own interest. He is an Englishman, and had great friends, and, it seems, knew very well where to give money to those that would speak to others that could speak to the King, and would tell a fair story. And his Majesty, and perhaps the great lord or lords who advised him, might think it was for our country's good; and so, as the lawyers express it, the King was deceived in his grant, which often happens in all reigns. And I am sure, if his Majesty knew that such a patent-if it should take effect according to the desire of Mr. Wood-would utterly ruin this kingdom, which hath given such great proofs of its loyalty, he would immediately recall it, and perhaps show his displeasure to somebody or other; but a word to the wise is enough. Most of you have heard with what anger our honourable House of Commons received an account of this Wood's patent. There were several fine speeches made upon it, and plain proofs that it was all a wicked cheat from the bottom to the top: and several smart votes were printed, which that same Wood had the assurance to answer likewise in print, and in so confident a way, as if he were a better man than our whole Parliament put together.

This Wood, as soon as his patent was passed, or soon after, sends over a great many barrels of those halfpence to Cork and other seaport towns, and to get them off, offered an hundred pounds in his coin for seventy or eighty in silver; but the collectors of the King's customs very honestly refused to take them, and so did almost everybody else. And since the Parliament has condemned them, and desired the King that they might be stopped, all the kingdom do abominate them.

But Wood is still working underhand to force his halfpence upon us; and if he can, by the help of his friends in England, prevail so far as to get an order that the commissioners and collectors of the King's money shall receive them, and that the army is to be paid with them, then he thinks his work shall be done. And this is the difficulty you will be under in such a case : for the common soldier, when he goes to the market or ale-house, will offer this money, and if it be refused, perhaps he will swagger and hector, and threaten to beat the butcher or ale-wife, or take the goods by force, and throw them the bad halfpence. In this and the like cases, the shopkeeper, or victualler, or any other tradesman, has no more to do than to demand ten times the price of his goods, if it is to be paid in Wood's money ; for example, twenty pence of that money for a quart of ale, and so in all things else, and not part with his goods till he gets the money.

For suppose you go to an ale-house with that base money, and the landlord gives you a quart for four of those halfpence, what must the victualler do? His brewer will not be paid in that coin; or, if the brewer should be such a fool, the farmers will not take it from them for their beer, because they are bound by their leases to pay their rents in good and lawful money of England, which this is not, nor of Ireland neither; and the squire, their landlord, will never be so bewitched to take such trash for his land ; so that it must certainly stop somewhere or other, and wherever it stops it is the same thing, and we are all undone.

The common weight of these halfpence is between four and five to an ounce. Suppose five; then three shillings and fourpence will weigh a pound, and consequently twenty

| Beer. First-English "bere," barley.

shillings will weigh six pounds butter weight. Now there whole kingdom, by which England gets above a million of are many hundred farmers who pay two hundred pounds a good money every year clear into their pockets ; and that year rent; therefore, when one of these farmers comes with his is more than the English do by all the world besides. half-year's rent, which is one hundred pounds, it will be at But your great comfort is, that as his Majesty's patent least six hundred pounds weight, which is three horses' load. doth not oblige you to take this money, so the laws have not

If a squire has a mind to come to town to buy clothes, and given the Crown a power of forcing the subject to take what wine, and spices, for himself and family, or perhaps to pass money the King pleases ; for then, by the same reason, we the winter here, he must bring with him five or six horses might be bound to take pebble-stones, or cockle-shells, or laden with sacks, as the farmers bring their corn; and when stamped leather, for current coin, if ever we should happen his lady comes in her coach to our shops, it must be followed to live under an ill prince, who might likewise, by the same by a car loaded with Mr. Wood's money. And I hope we power, make a guinea pags for ten pounds, a shilling for shall have the grace to take it for no more than it is worth. twenty shillings, and so on, by which he would in a short

They say Squire Conolly has sixteen thousand pounds a time get all the silver and gold of the kingdom into his own year. Now if he sends for his rent to town, as it is likely he hands, and leave us nothing but brass or leather, or what does, he must have two hundred and fifty horses to bring up he pleased. Neither is anything reckoned more cruel and his half-year's rent, and two or three great cellars in his oppressive in the French Government than their common house for stowage. But what the bankers will do I cannot practice of calling in all their money after they have sunk it tell; for I am assured that some great bankers keep by them very low, and then coining it anew at a much higher value, forty thousand pounds in ready cash to answer all payments, which, however, is not the thousandth part so wicked as this which sum, in Mr. Wood's money, would require twelve abominable project of Mr. Wood. For the French give their hundred horses to carry it.

subjects silver for silver, and gold for gold; but this fellow For my own part, I am already resolved what to do. I will not so much as give us good brass or copper for our gold have a pretty good shop of Irish stuffs and silks, and instead and silver, nor even a twelfth part of their worth. of taking Mr. Wood's bad copper, I intend to truck with my Having said this much, I will now go on to tell you the neighbours the butchers, and bakers, and brewers, and the judgment of some great lawyers on this matter, whom I fee'd rest, goods for goods; and the little gold and silver I have I on purpose for your sakes, and got their opinions under their will keep by me, like my heart's blood, till better times, or hands, that I might be sure I went upon good grounds. until I am just ready to starve, and then I will buy Mr. A famous law book, called the “Mirror of Justice," disWood's money, as my father did the brass money in King coursing of the charters, or laws, ordained by our ancient James's time, who could buy ten pounds of it with a guinea ; kings, declares the law to be as follows: “It was ordained and I hope to get as much for a pistole, and so purchase that no king of this realm should change or impair the bread from those who will be such fools as to sell it me. money, or make any other money than of gold or silver,

These halfpence, if they once pass, will soon be counter without the assent of all the counties; that is, as my Lord feited, because it may be cheaply done, the stuff is so base. Coke says, without the assent of Parliament." The Dutch likewise will probably do the same thing, and This book is very ancient, and of great authority for the send them over to us to pay for our goods; and Mr. Wood time in which it was wrote, and with that character is often will never be at rest, but coin on; so that in some years we quoted by that great lawyer, my Lord Coke. By the laws of shall have at least five times £108,000 of this lumber. Now England several metals are divided into lawful or true metal, the current money of this kingdom is not reckoned to be and unlawful or false metal. The former comprehends silver above four hundred thousand pounds in all; and while there or gold, the latter all baser metals. That the former is only is a silver sixpence left, these blood-suckers will never be to pass in payments appears by an Act of Parliament made quiet.

the twentieth year of Edward the First, called “ The Statute When once the kingdom is reduced to such a condition, I concerning the passing of Pence," which I give you here will tell you what must be the end. The gentlemen of | as I got it translated into English, for some of our laws at estates will turn off their tenants for want of payment; || that time were, as I am told, writ in Latin :-“Whoever in because, as I told you before, the tenants are obliged by their buying or selling presumes to refuse an halfpenny or farthing leases to pay sterling, which is lawful current money of of lawful money, bearing the stamp which it ought to have, England. Then they will turn their own farmers, as too let him be seized on as a contemner of the King's Majesty, many of them do already, run all into sheep where they can, and cast into prison." keeping only such other cattle as are necessary. Then they By this statute, no person is to be reckoned a contemner of will be their own merchants, and send their wool, and butter, the King's Majesty, and for that crime to be committed to and hides, and linen beyond sea, for ready money, and wine, prison, but he who refuseth to accept the King's coin made and spices, and silks. They will keep only a few miserable of lawful metal, by which, as I observed before, silver and cottagers; the farmers must rob or beg, or leave their | gold only are intended. country; the shopkeepers in this and every other town must That this is the true construction of the Act appears not break and starve; for it is the landed man that maintains the only from the plain meaning of the words, but from my merchant, and shopkeeper and handicraftsman.

Lord Coke's observation upon it. "By this Act," says he, But when the squire turns farmer and merchant himself, “ it appears that no subject can be forced to take in buying all the good money he gets from abroad he will hoard up to or selling, or other payment, any money made but of lawful send for England, and keep some poor tailor or weaver, and metal; that is, of silver or gold." the like, in his own house, who will be glad to get bread at The law of England gives the King all mines of gold and any rate.

silver, but not the mines of other metals; the reason of which I should never have done if I were to tell you all the prerogative or power, as it is given by my Lord Coke, is miseries that we shall undergo, if we be so foolish and wicked because money can be made of gold and silver, but not of as to take this cursed coin. It would be very hard if all other metals. Ireland should be put into one scale, and this sorry fellow Pursuant to this opinion, halfpence and farthings were Wood into the other, that Mr. Wood should weigh down this anciently made of silver; which is cvident from the Act of

Parliament of Henry the Fourth, chap. 4, whereby it is enacted as follows: “Item, for the great scarcity that is at present within the realm of England of halfpence and farthings of silver, it is ordained and established that the third part of all the money of silver plate which shall be brought to the bullion shall be made in halfpence and farthings." This shews that by the words halfpenny and farthing of lawful money, in that statute concerning the passing of pence, is meant a small coin in halfpence and farthings of silver.

This is further manifest from the statute of the ninth year of Edward the Third, chap. 3, which enacts:—“That no sterling halfpenny or farthing be molten for to make vessels or any other thing, by the goldsmiths nor others, upon forfeiture of the money so molten (or melted)."

By another Act in this King's reign, black money was not to be current in England; and by an Act made in the eleventh year of his reign, chap. 5, galley halfpence were not to pass. What kind of coin these were I do not know, but I presume they were made of base metal. And these Acts were no new laws, but further declarations of the old laws relating to the coin.

Thus the law stands in relation to coin. Nor is there any example to the contrary, except one in Davis's Reports, who tells us that, in the time of Tyrone's rebellion, Queen Elizabeth ordered money of mixed metal to be coined in the Tower of London, and sent over hither for the payment of the army, obliging all people to receive it, and commanding that all silver money should be taken only as bullion—that is, for as much as it weighed. Davis tells us several particulars in this matter, too long here to trouble you with, and that the Privy Council of this kingdom obliged a merchant in England to receive this mixed money for goods transmitted hither.

But this proceeding is rejected by all the best lawyers as contrary to law, the Privy Council here having no such legal power. And besides, it is to be considered that the Queen was then under great difficulties, by a rebellion in this king. dom, assisted from Spain; and whatever is done in great exigencies and dangerous times should never be an example to proceed by in seasons of peace and quietness.

I will now, my dear friends, to save you the trouble, set before you in short what the law obliges you to do, and what it does not oblige you to.

First, you are obliged to take all money in payments which is coined by the King, and is of the English standard or weight, provided it be of gold or silver.

Secondly, you are not obliged to take any money which is not of gold or silver; not only the halfpence or farthings of England, but of any other country. And it is merely for convenience or ease that you are content to take them ; because the custom of coining silver halfpence and farthings hath long been left off ; I suppose on account of their being subject to be lost.

Thirdly, much less are we obliged to take those vile halfpence of that same Wood, by which you must lose almost elevenpence in every shilling.

Therefore, my friends, stand to it one and all : refuse this filthy trash. It is no treason to rebel against Mr. Wood. His Majesty, in his patent, obliges nobody to take these halfpence: our gracious prince hath no such ill advisers about him ; or, if he had, yet you see the laws have not left it in the King's power, to force us to take any coin but what is lawful, of right standard, gold and silver. Therefore you have nothing to foar.

And let me, in the next place, apply myself particularly to you who are the poorer sort of tradesmen. Perhaps you

may think you will not be so great losers as the rich, if these halfpence should pass; because you seldom see any silver, and your customers come to your shops or stalls with nothing but brass, which you likewise find hard to be got. But you may take my word, whenever this money gains footing among you, you will be utterly undone. If you carry these halfpence to a shop for tobacco, or brandy, or any other thing that you want, the shopkeeper will advance his goods accordingly, or else he must break, and leave the key under the door: Do you think I will sell you a yard of tenpenny stuff for twenty of Mr. Wood's halfpence? No, not under two hundred at least; neither will I be at the trouble of counting, but weigh them in a lump. I will tell you one thing further, that if Ir. Wood's project should take, it would ruin even our beggars; for when I give a beggar a halfpenny, it will quench his thirst, or go a good way to fill his belly; but the twelfth part of a halfpenny will do him no more service than if I should give him three pins out of my sleeve.

In short, these halfpence are like the accursed thing, which, as the Scripture tells us, the children of Israel were forbidden to touch. They will run about like the plague, and destroy every one who lays his hands upon them. I have heard scholars talk of a man who told the King, that he had invented a way to torment people, by putting them into a bull of brass with fire under it. But the prince put the projector first into his brazen bull to make the experiment. This very much resembles the project of Mr. Wood; and the like of this may possibly be Mr. Wood's fate; that the brass he contrived to torment this kingdom with, may prove his own torment, and his destruction at last.

N.B.—The author of this paper is informed by persons, who have made it their business to be exact in their observations on the true value of these halfpence, that any person may expect to get a quart of twopenny ale for thirty-six of them.

I desire that all families may keep this paper carefully by them to refresh their memories whenever they shall have farther notice of Mr. Wood's halfpence, or any other the like imposture.

The fourth letter was considered by the Government to pass the bounds of law, and the printer was proceeded against. A grand jury ignored the bill, after each member of the jury had received a pamphlet of “ Seasonable Advice” from Swift, this text being also circulated : “And the people said unto Saul, shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel ? God forbid ; as the Lord liveth there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan that he died not." Swift had his will. Wood's halfpence were withdrawn, the Dean became for a time the most popular man in Ireland, and the Drapier's head was 'a taphouse sign. At the Drapier's head in Truck Street, Dublin, this was the first verse of a song written upon the great occasion :

With brisk merry lays,

We'll sing to the praise
Of that honest patriot the Drapier;

Who, all the world knows,

Confounded our foes With nothing but pen, ink, and paper,

And another bard began in this fashion :

tions, without considering the good or harm that from their

being pleased will accrue to others. This is the reason, that Now we're free by nature,

in the wild state of nature those creatures are fittest to live Let us all our power exert;

peaceably together in great numbers, that discover the least Since each human creature

of understanding, and have the fewest appetites to gratify; May his right assert.

and consequently no species of animals is, without the curb (Chorus) Fill bumpers to the Drapier,

of government, less capable of agreeing long together in Whose convincing paper

multitudes than that of man; yet such are his qualities, Set us, gloriously,

whether good or bad, I shall not determine, that no creature From Brazen Fetters free.

besides himself can ever be made sociable: but being an Nearly at the same time with Swift's “ Drapier's extraordinary selfish and headstrong, as well as cunning Letters " appeared Bernard Mandeville's “ Fable of

animal, however he may be subdued by superior strength, the Bees,” with the great addition of prose commen

it is impossible by force alone to make him tractable, and tary that enlarged a poem of five hundred lines into

receive the improvements he is capable of. two substantial octavos. Bernard Mandeville, born at

The chief thing, therefore, which lawgivers and other wise Dort, in Holland, about 1670, a year or two older

men, that have laboured for the establishment of society, than Steele and Addison, became doctor of medicine,

have endeavoured, has been to make the people they were to

govern, believe that it was more beneficial for everybody to and practised in England. He was a bold thinker and plain speaker. His first book, in 1709, was

conquer than indulge his appetites, and much better to mind

the public than what seemed his private interest. As this coarse ; his second, in 1711, included attack on

has always been a very difficult task, so no wit or eloquence follies of the doctors; and in 1714 he published the

has been left untried to compass it; and the moralists and poem which afterwards served as text for his two

philosophers of all ages employed their utmost skill to prove volumes, as “The Grumbling Hive; or, the Knaves

the truth of so useful an assertion. But whether mankind turned Honest.” It represented strongly the increas would have ever believed it or not, it is not likely that any ing tendency to dwell upon the evils of society as a

body could have persuaded them to disapprove of their result of over-civilisation, and anticipated the teach natural inclinations, or prefer the good of others to their ing of those philosophers who saw no hope of a own, if at the same time he had not shewed them an equivareturn to innocence but by returning to the state lent to be enjoyed as a reward for the violence, which by of nature. In a hive, he said, bees are as men and so doing they of necessity must commit upon themselves. women with their ranks and fashions, industries Those that have undertaken to civilise mankind, were not and vices. Once on a time every bee in a hive was | ignorant of this; but being unable to give so many real so convinced, not of his own knavery, but of the rewards as would satisfy all persons for every individual knavery of all his neighbours, that there was a action, they were forced to contrive an imaginary one, that general cry for an honest hive. Jove gave them | as a general equivalent for the trouble of self-denial should their prayer, and the knaves turned honest. Then serve on all occasions, and without costing anything either there was an end of quarrel and of lawyers, of un to themselves or others, be yet a most acceptable recompense sound living and of doctors, of vanity and luxury,

to the receivers. and of all who by trade and commerce satisfy false

They thoroughly examined all the strength and frailties needs. The hive grew virtuous and poor; desiring no

of our nature, and observing that none were either so savage conquest, it put down its army, and was then invaded

as not to be charmed with praise, or so despicable as patiently by neighbours; it repelled invasion by the public spirit

to bear contempt, justly concluded that flattery must be of each bee in defence of the common hive, but came

the most powerful argument that could be used to human to learn that even the hive was needless, whereupon

creatures. Making use of this bewitching engine, they the Bees all flew off to lodge in a hollow tree, as poor

extolled the excellency of our nature above other animals,

and setting forth with unbounded praises the wonders of our and honest as they had been made by nature. In

sagacity and vastness of understanding, bestowed a thousand expanding the thought of this poem by appended

encomiums on the rationality of our souls, by the help of essays in 1723, when he first gave to the whole

which we were capable of performing the most noble work the name of “The Fable of the Bees," Mande

achievements. Having by this artful way of flattery inville argued, not, like Shaftesbury, that all is for

sinuated themselves into the hearts of men, they began to good, but that the world is bad, and its whole

instruct them in the notions of honour and shame; recivilisation fed by evil appetites and evil deeds.

presenting the one as the worst of all evils, and the other The work was, indeed, a first sign of the strength as the highest good to which mortals could aspire: which of the reaction that gathered force year after year, being done, they laid before them how unbecoming it was until it struck on Europe with the shock of Revo the dignity of such sublime creatures to be solicitous about lution. But there was nothing in Bernard Mande gratifying those appetites, which they had in common with ville of the fine yearning for a higher life that was brutes, and at the same time unmindful of those higher to rise above the ruins of all that had been based qualities that gave them the pre-eminence over all visible on human wrong. It was enough for him to main beings. They indeed confessed, that those impulses of nature tain steadily that evil was man's good. This is one were very pressing; that it was troublesome to resist, and of the essays forming his appendix to “The Fable very difficult wholly to subdue them. But this they only of the Bees.”

used as an argument to demonstrate, how glorious the con

quest of them was on the one hand, and how scandalous on AN INQUIRY INTO THE ORIGIN OF MORAL VIRTUE.

the other not to attempt it. All untaught animals are only solicitous of pleasing them To introduce, moreover, an emulation amongst men, they selves, and naturally follow the bent of their own inclina- divided the whole species into two classes, vastly differing

« AnteriorContinuar »