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eies: and every experiment rela- ftate, he is found to be above tive to this subje& should be made them; and in his greateft degene. with entire focieties, not with racy, never descends to their tesingle men. We have every rea- vel. He is, in fort, a man in fon, however, to believe, that in every condition; and we can learn the case of such an experiment nothing of his nature from the made, we shall fuppose' with a analogy of other animals. If we colony of children transplanted would know him, we must attend from the nursery, and left to form to himself, to the course of his a society 'apart, untaught and un. life, and the tenor of his conduct." disciplined, we should only have with him the society appears to the fame things repeated, which, be as old as 'the individual, and in so many different parts of the the use of the tongue as universal earth, have been tranfacted alrea. as that of the hand or the foot. If dy, The members of our little there was a time in which he had fociety would feed and sleep, his acquaintance with his own would herd together and play, species to make, and his faculties would have a language of their to acquire, it is a time of which own, would quarrel and divide, we have no record, and in reta. would be to one another the moft tion to which our opinions can important "objects of the scene, serve no purpose, and are support. and, in the ardour of their friend- ed by no evidence:-ships and competitions, would o. We speak of art as diftinguished verlook their personal danger, and from nature, but art itself is na'fufpend the care of their felf-pre- tural to man. He is in fome measervation. Has not the human sure the artificer of his own frame, race been planted like the colony as well as his fortune, and is de.
question? who has directed itined, from the firft age of his be." their course ? whose instructioning, to invent' and contrive. He have they heard? or whose exam: applies the same talents to a varie. ple have they followed ?
ty of purpofes, and acts nearly the * It would be ridiculous to affirm, fame part
very different scenes. as a discovery, that the species of He would be always improving the horse was probably never the on his subject, and he carries this same with that of the lion; yer, intention wherever he in opposition to what has dropped through the streets of the populous from the pens of eminent writers, city, or the wilds of the forest.we are obliged' to observe, that To whatever length he has carried men have always appeared among his artifice, there he seems to en animals a ditinet and a fuperior joy the conveniences that suit his race; that neither the poffeffion nature, and to have found the conof similar organs, nor the approx. dition to which he is destined. imation of papé, nor the use of The tree which an American, on the hand, nor the continued inter- the banks of the Oroonoko, has course with this sovereign artist, chosen to climb, for the retreats and has enabled any other species to the lodgement of his family, is to blend their nature of their inven. him a convenient dwelling. "The Lions with his ; that in his rudest' fopha, the vaulted dome, and the
colonade, do not more effectual. vention are bat a contitualion of ly content their native inhabi- certain devices which were practant.
tised in the earlieft ages of time If we are asked, therefore, Where world, and in the rodeft ftate of the fate of nature is to be found mankind. What the fayage prowe may anfwer, It is here; and jects, or observes, in the foref, it matters not whether we are un- are the fteps i which led nations, derstood to speak in the island of more advanced, from the archiGreat Britain,- at the Cape of tecture of the cottage to that of Good Hope, or the Straits of Ma- the palace, and conducted the tu. gellan. While this active being man mind from the preceptions of is in the train of employing his sense to the general conclusions of talents, and of operating on the science.
subjects around him, all Ituations are equally natural.
If we are told, that vice, at least, is con- Extracts from the feation on moral katrary to nature; we may answer, it is worse; it is folly and wrerchedness. But if - nature is only Upon a fight obfervation of opposed to art, in what fituation - what paffes in human life, we of the human race are the footsteps thould be apr to conclude, that of art unknown? In the condition the care of fubfiftence is the prinof the favage, as well as in that cipal spring of human actions. of the citizen, are many proofs of "This confideration leads t she inhuman invention; and in either vention and practice of mechani. is not any permanent station, but' cal arts, it ferves to diftinguith a mere stage through which this amusement from bufiness; and, travelling being is deftined to pass, with many, scarcely admits, into If the palace be unnatural, the competition any other subject of cottage is so no less; and the pursuit or attention. The mighty highest refinements of political and in advantages of property and for. moral apprehension, are not more tune, when ftript of the recom. artificial in their kind, than the mendations they derive from vani. first operations of sentiment and ey, or the more ferious regards to reafon.
independence and power, only If we admit that man is fufcep- mean a provifion that is made for tible of improvement, and has in animal enjoyment; and if our sohimself a principle of progreflion,' licitude on this subject were re. and a desire of perfection, it-ap- moved, not only the toils of the pears improper to say, that he has mechanic, but the studies of the quitted the state of his nature, learned, would ceale;ierery de. when he has begun to proceed; or partment of public bufiness would that he finds a ftation for which become unnecessary ; cevery fenatehe was not intended, while, like hoofe would be shut up, and eve. other animals, he only follows the ry place deserted. ::: difpofition, and employs the pow. Is man, therefore, in refpect to ers that nature has given in his object; to be claffed with the The latest efforts of human in- mere brutes, and only to be dir.
tinguished by faculties that qualis believed that Othello, on the fy him to multiply contrivances stage, was enraged for the loss of for the fupport and convenience his handkerchief, was not more of animal lite, and by the extent mistaken, than the reasoner who of a fancy that renders the care of imputes any of the more vehement animal prefervation to him more pallions of men to the impressions burdensome than it is to the herd of mere profit or loss.r. with which he thares in the bounty Men assemble to deliberate on of nature? If this were his case, businefs; they feparate from jeathe joy which attends on fuc- loufies of interest'; but in their *cess, or the griefs which arise from several collifions, whether difappointment, would make the friends or as enemies; a fire is sum of his passions. The torrent truck out which the regards to that wasted, or the inundation that intereft or safety cannot confine. enriched his possessions, would The value of a favour is not meagive him all the emotion with fured when sentiments of kindness which he is seized, on the occa- are perceived ; and the term misa fion of a wrong by which his for- fortune has but a feeble meaning, : tunes are impaired, or of a benefit when compared to that of infult by which they are preserved and and wrong. enlarged. His fellow-creatures As actors or spectators, we are would be confidered merely as perpetually made to feel the dif- they affected his interest, Profit ference of human conduct, and or loss would fervę. to mark the from a bare recital of transactions event of every transaction; and which have passed, in ages and thg epithets ufeful or detrimental coupuries remote, from our own, I would serve to distinguish his are moved with admiration and mates in society, as they do the pity, or transported with indignatree which bears plenty of fruit, tion and rage. Our fenfibility on from that which ferves only to cum. this fubject gives their charm, in - ber the ground, or intercept his retirements to the relations of his. view.
tory, and to the fi&tions of poetry; This, however, is not the hif- fends forth the tear of compaffior, tory of oop fpecies. What comes gives to the blood, its brikkeft from a fellow-creature is received movement, and to the eye its livewith peculiar attention, and even lieft glances of displeasure of joy. ry datiguage abounds with terms It turns humag, life-into an inthat express somewhat in the tranf. terefting fpectacle, and perpetually actions of men, different from suc. folicits even che indoleut to mix, cefs and disappointment. The as opponents or friends, in the bofom kindles in company, while 1 Scenes which are acted before them.
the point of interest in view has Joined to the powers of delibera's nothing to inflame ; and a matter cion and reason, it constituces the * frivolous in itself, becomes in. basis of a moral nature; and whilft
portant, when it serves to bring to it dictates the terais of praise and light the intentions and charac. of blame, ferves to clais our fel. ters of men. The foreigner, who low-creatures by the most admi
rable and engaging, or the most miseration ; if calamities be mea. odious and contemptible, denomi- fured by the numbers and the quanations.
lities of men they involve; and if It is pleafant to find men, who, every suffering of a fellow-creature in their speculations, deny the rea- draws a crowd of attentive fpectality of moral distinctions, forget tors; if even in the case of thofe in detail the general positions they to whom we do not habitually with maintain, and give loose to ridi. any positive good, we are Áill a. cule, indignation, and scorn, as verse to be the instruments of if any of these sentiments could harm; it should feem, that in these have place, were the actions of various appearances of an'amicable men indifferent; and with acri. difpofition, the foundations of a mony pretend to detect the fraud moral apprehenfion are sufficiently by which moral restraints have laid, and the fenfe of a right which been imposed, as if to cenfure a we maintain for ourselves, is, by a fraud were not already to take a movement of humanity and canpart on the fide of morality. dour, extended to our fellow-crea.
Can we explain the principles tures. upon which mankind adjudge the What is it that prompts the preference of characters, and upon 'tongue when we censare an att which they indulge such vehement of cruelty or oppreffion? What is emotions of admiration or con- it that constitutes oor restraint from tempt! If it be admitted that we offences that tend to distress ogr cannot, are the facts lefs true? or fellow creatures ? It is probably, muft we suspend the movements of in both cases, a particular applicathe heart until they who are em- tion of that principle, which, in ployed in framing systems of scia' presence of the sorrowful, fends ence have discovered the principle forth the tear of compaffion; and a from which those movements pro- combination of all those sentiments, ceed? If a finger burn, we care which constitute a' benevolent dif. not for information on the proper- position ; and if not a resolution ties of fire: if the heart be torn, to do good, at least an aversion to or the mind overjoyed, we have " be the instrument of harm. not leisure for fpeculations on the. It may be difficult, however, to subject of moral sensibility. - enumerate the motives of all the
If it be true, that men are united." cenfures and commendations which by inftinét, that they act in fo-' are applied to the actions of men. ciety from 'affections of kindnefs Even while we moralize, every dirand friendship; if it be true, that position of the human mind may even prior to acquaintance and ha- ' have its Thare in forming the judg., bitude, men, as such, are com- ment, and in prompting the tongue. monly to one another objects of As jealoufy is often the most watch. attention, and some degree of re- ful guardian of chastity, so malice gard; that while their prosperity is often the quickest to spy the is beheld with indifference, their failings of our neighbour. Envy aMiQions are considered with com- affectation, and vanity, may dictate
the verdies we give, and the worst which no complexion of features principles of our nature may can equal. From this scource the the bottom of our pretended zeal scenes of human life derive their for morality; but if we only mean principal felicity; and their imi. to inquire, why they who are well iations in poetry, their principal disposed to mankind, apprehend, ornament. Descriptions of nature, in every instance, certain rights even representations of a vigorous pertaining to their fellow-creaconduct, and a manly courage, do tures, and why they applaud the not engage the heart, if they be confideration that is paid to those not mixed with the exhibition of rights, we cannot perhaps align a generous sentiments, and the pa. better reason, than that the person thetic, which is found to arise in who applauds, is well disposed to the itruggles, the triumphs, or the the welfare of the parties to whom misfortunes of a tender affection. his applauses refer.
The death of Polites, in the Æneid, When we consider, that the rea- is not more affecting than that of lity of any amicable propensity in many others who perished in the the human mind has been fre- ruins of Troy? but the aged Priam quently contested; when we re. was present when this last of his collect the prevalence of interested fons was flain ; and the agonies of competitions, with their attendant grief and sorrow force the parent pallions of jealousy, envy, and from his retreat, to fall by the malace; it may seem strange to hand that thed the blood of bis alledge, that love and compallion child. The pathetic of Homer are the most powerful principles in confifts in exhibiting the force of the human breaft: but they are affe&ions, not in exciting mere destined, on many occasions, to terror and pity; passions he has urge with the mott
' irresistible ve- never perhaps, in any instance, athemence ; and if the desire of felf. tempted to raise. preservation be more conftant, and After all, it muft be confessed, more uniform, these are a more that if a principle of affection to plentiful source of enthusiasm, fa- mankind, be the basis of our moral tisfaction, and joy. With a power, approbation and dislike, we fomenot inferior to that of resentment times proceed in distributing apand rage, they hurry the mind ina plause or censure, without precise. to every sacrifice of interest, and ly attending to the degree in which bear it, undismayed through every our fellow-creatures are hurt or hardship and danger.
obliged ; and that, besides the virThe disposition on which friend. tues of candour, friendship, gene: Mip is grafted, glows with fatis-rosity, and public spirit, which faction, in the hours of tranquillity, bear an immediate reference to and is pleasant, not only in its this principle, there are others triumphs, but even in its Torrows. which may seem to derive their It throws a grace on the external commandation from a different air, and, by its exprellion on the source. Temperance, prudence, countenance, compensates for the fortitude, are those qualities like. want of beauty, or gives a charm wise admired from a principle of