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Principles in Mankind, which lead direSly and neceflarily to combining Fellowfhips. Man, fay they, was created frail and weak, fubject to Wants, which in a fingle Capacity he could not fupply, and obnoxious to Dangers, againft which his own unaffifted Arm was not a fufficient Defence. An Union of the Many was therefore formed, as a Remedy for the Imbecillity of feparate Individuals. Hence Juftice arofe; and the Rule of Right was afcertained and enforced, as a neceffary Means to maintain the Plan of focial Order. You affert, that the Law of Equity is an original implanted Principle in the human Breaft. But if I were inclined to difpute this Point with you; I might afk, what Occafion would there have been for fuch a Law, if Man had been framed with fo ardent an Affection towards his Species, as you contend for? Where Love reigns in full Power, Property cannot be a Subject of Contention. So far is fhe from doing V iolence and Wrong, that Ihe is ever tender of the Welfare and Intereft of the Object beloved, and even lavifh in her Munificence.

I do not contend, faid Pbilocles, that the focial and kind Affe&ions are fo ftrong as to fubdue all the reft; but only that there are fuch Paffions in Mankind, in Conjunction with others. The Love of our Species cannot therefore be faid to fuperfede the Love of Equity: On the contrary, they are entirely compatible with each other. Nor does it feem in the leaft to follow, that, if the Cafe be as I have ftated it, univerfal Peace and Juftice muft for ever prevail. For Man being liable to great Errors, not only from

the the Mif-rule of his Paffions, but the Imperfection of his Reafon, many Occafions of moral Evil muft neceflarily arife, notwithftanding the focial Affections are allowed to exiit in all the Strength, which I contend for.

But had mutual Affe&ion, returned Sspbron!ust been only a leading Paffion in us; or had it been equally balanced with Self-regard, all legal Reflraints had been entirely unneceflary. Man would have been in no Danger from the fecret Attempts of Fraud, or the bold Attacks of bare-faced Oppreffion: His whole Life would have been one continued Scene of Security and Happinefs. But the Legiflators found his real State to be quite another Thing. If they did perceive that Nature had clearly dictated the Law of Equity; yet Experience taught them, "That the "Administration of that Law was fo incompetently "and irregularly executed, as to inflame rather than "heal the Evils of the undifciplined State, whilft "there was no common Arbiter to adjuft and enforce "its Operations [/>].

Thefe are the Reafons, which induce me to believe, that Dangers and Neceifities gave Birth to the Plan of Government.- And when Society was eftablifhed upon a proper Bafis, and equitable Laws had given Security to Mankind, the Community had full Experience of its happy EffeiSs. But as Particulars ftill felt many Wants, for which the public Combinations afforded no Relief; it was natural for them to

If ] JiT—.'t D. Legat.


look ou( f°r a Supply to this Deficiency. The moft obvious feems to be private Fellowfhips; which by an Union of Hearts, and amicable Intercourfes, might procure Enjoyments, which do not refult from general Affociations.

This I take to be the true Source of Friendfhip; Nor does it appear to me any Derogation to the Lovelinefs of the Affection. For, what but the Imbecillity of our Frame gives Rife to that Paffion, which is looked upon as the moft amiable belonging to our Nature? Had the Firmnefs of our Minds been, greater, our Compaffion had certainly been lefs. For it is ever found, that as the fofteft Metals are moft eafily diffolved; fo the tenderef t Minds fooneft melt into Pity. This, perhaps, is the Reafon, why that Sex, whofe Characteriftic is, by no means, Strength, are moft liable to the Impreffions of this afflicting Paffion.

Pity, returned Pkilocles, can hardly be faid to flow from Weaknefs in the fame Senfe that you fuppofe focial Affection to do: In the latter, Weaknefs is the Attribute of that Subject, from whence the Affection is fuppofed to proceed; Men united, becaufe they found themfelves too weak to fubfift in a feparate State:—But in the former, Weaknefs can only be the Attribute of that Subject, on which the Paffion is fuppofed to operate. It is not the Weaknefs of the diftreffed Object, but of him who beholds it, which produces the fympathizing Sorrow. Imbecillity therefore cannot give Rife to focial Inclinations, in the fame Way you imagine it does-to Compafllon. The only Inference, that can fairly be drawn from your Argument, feems to be, that the Tendernefs of Senfations, or Weaknefs (if you will call it fo) is the Means whereby the Paffion operates upon any Subject: But it does not therefore follow, that it is the Fountain of the Paffion; or that it is grounded on no other Principle in Nature. For why fhould Ssphionius afcribe this Sufceptibility of Companion, to a Weaknefs of Mind? Is it not far more reafonable to derive it from the quick Feeling of the Sentiments of Humanity, and the Hidden Exertion of generous Sympathy? Examine the Condition of your own Breaft under a lively Senfe of Pity; and tell me whether you do not always find, that it gives you an exalted Idea of the Generofity of your Temper, when it is touched in this kind and benevolent Way? And though it may, perhaps, draw Tears from your Eyes; yet they are the Tears of manly Affection, and not the Meltings of weak Effeminacy. For furely, Sepbronius, there can be no Weaknefs in Compaffion, purely and abftractedly confidered; fince the nobleft Souls are open to the ftrongeft Impreffions of this Kind. Homer, who had a complete Infight into Human Nature, and fo well underftood what it was that gave the finifhing Excellence to a Character, reprefents the Hero of his Poem, the great dchittes himfelf, melting into Pity at the Miferies of a venerable aged Monarch, on his Knees begging him to reftore the Body of his Son Heftor. Nay, he not only makes him relent, but even endeavour to afluagc the Sorrows of the unhappy Prince, with the moft tender, as well as rational, Confolation's [q]. Pity then, in the Eftimation of this jtadiCious Poet, who was always true to Nature, is perfectly compatible with an elevated and fublime Spirit. Nay, is it not an Attribute afcribed even to the Deity himfelf? How then can it be derived from fo mean an Original? It is, indeed, a Softnefs, but not (as you call .it) an Imbecillity of Heart. Juvenal, I remember, fomewhere extols it as the beft and moft lovely Paffion belonging to human Nature, and the diftinguifhing Characteriftic of our Species [rj.

[y] At>li*' «7ro §(o»a 4>{lo, ys
Qyxletpu» izohiov Te xafy,
Ka» [niv (paHflc-a; ETrsa wl

. . "From the high Throne divine Achilles rofe:

".The rev'rend Monarch by the Hand he rais'd;
"On his white Beard and Form majeftic gaz'd,
"Not unrelenting. Then ferene began
"With Words to lboth the ffliferable Man.

Iliai xxiv. Pope's Tranfl.

Tliere is not, as Mr. Pofe obferves, a more beautiful Faffage than tills, in the whole Iliad. Homer, to fhew tliat Achilles was not a mere Soldier, here draws him as a Perfon of excellent Senfe, and found Reafon. And it was a Piece of great Judgment thus to defcribe him: for the Reader would have retained but a very indifferent Opinion of him, if he had had no Qualification, but mere Strength, It alfo {hews the Art of the Poet, thus to defer this Part of his Character to the Conclufion of the Poem: By thefe Means, he fixes an Idea cf his Greatnefs upon our Minds, and makes his Hero go off the Stage with Applaufe.

Pope's Homer, B. xxiv. p. 168. ed. 1736.

\r\ " . Molliflima corda

"Humano generi dare fe r.atura fatetur,

"Quas lachrymas dedit. Hasc noftri pars optima fenfus,

"___^_ Separat hoc n*3 "A grege mutorum." Juvzs. Satyr, xv.

Vol. I. Y You

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