An Essay on the History of Civil Society

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Hastings, Etheridge and Bliss, 1809 - 464 sider

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Side 12 - If we are asked therefore, where the state of nature is to be found ? We may answer, it is here ; and it matters not whether we are understood to speak in the island of Great Britain, at the Cape of Good Hope, or the Straits of Magellan.
Side 299 - Many mechanical arts, indeed, require no capacity; they succeed best under a total suppression of sentiment and reason; and ignorance is the mother of industry as well as of superstition. Reflection and fancy are subject to err; but a habit of moving the hand, or the foot, is independent of either. Manufactures, accordingly, prosper most where the mind is least consulted, and where the workshop may, without any great effort of imagination, be considered as an engine, the parts of which are men.
Side 90 - It should seem, therefore, to be the happiness of man, to make his social dispositions the ruling spring of his occupations; to state himself as the member of a community, for whose general good his heart may glow with an ardent zeal, to the suppression of those personal cares which are the foundation of painful anxieties, fear, jealousy, and envy; or, as Mr.
Side 32 - It is here indeed, if ever, that man is sometimes found a detached and a solitary being: he has found an object which sets him in competition with his fellow-creatures, and he deals with them as he does with his cattle and his soil, for the sake of the profits they bring.
Side 135 - ... to all ; and thither, as to a general and undivided store, all repair in quest of sustenance. The same principles by which they regulate their chief occupation, extend to that which is subordinate. Even agriculture has not introduced among them a complete idea of property. As the men hunt, the women labour together, and after they have shared the toils of the seed-time, they enjoy the harvest in common.
Side 10 - Of the questions relating to the state of nature ...We speak of art as distinguished from nature; but art itself is natural to man. He is in some measure the artificer of his own frame, as well as his fortune, and is destined, from the first age of his being, to invent and contrive.
Side 272 - We must ever admire as a masterpiece of political wisdom, and as the key-stone of civil liberty, that statute which forces the secrets of every prison to be revealed, the cause of every commitment to be declared, and the person of the accused to be produced, that he may claim his enlargement, or his trial, within a limited time.
Side 199 - Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future ; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are, indeed, the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design. If Cromwell said that a man never mounts higher than when he knows not whither he is going, it may, with more reason, be affirmed of communities, that they admit of the greatest revolutions where no change is intended, and that the most...
Side 366 - If to any people it be the avowed object of policy, in all its internal refinements, to secure the person and the property of the subject, without any regard to his political character, the constitution indeed may be free, but its members may likewise become unworthy of the freedom they possess, and unfit to preserve it.
Side 198 - Mankind, in following the present sense of their minds, in striving to remove inconveniences, or to gain apparent and contiguous advantages, arrive at ends which even their imagination could not anticipate; and pass on, like other animals, in the track of their nature, without perceiving its end...

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