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an agreeable variety, what was originally the cause of a flagitious sameness in our actions, is surely beneficial to the community. The vices of nature are concentrated, but violent; those of civilization diffuse, but gentle. According, therefore, to the established political maxim, divide and conquer, those of the latter being individually less powerful, are more easily subdued. To this it may be objected, that if the vices of the natural man are more violent, his virtues are at least of a superior nature; that obsequious insincerity is a bad substitute for disinterested honesty; and that where courage and friendship are exchanged for policy and civility, however it may advance the abilities of mankind, it argues that their hearts are proportionably corrupted. . . · Specious as the names of these virtues are, that boasted honesty while it extended its influence to the immediate circle in which it moved, narrowed the heart against a general intercourse with mankind, and precluded the idea of philanthrophic benevolence; on the contrary, a general attention to the duties of society, while like the sun it diffuses its light and heat, loses nothing of its central fire. Courage, when restricted by laws, is a desirable attribute ; but when it becomes its own legislator, is too much the child of chance to be depended upon as the arbiter of the happiness or misery of mankind.
Civilized policy is by no means so infernal an agent to ambition as it has been generally represented. The time is at length arrived in the more enlightened parts of Europe, when the statesman has ceased to adopt the dagger and the bowl as necessary pieces of furniture in his cabinet; and in the present age, the school of Machiavel is not considered as the only road to greatness : so far has the refined spirit of the times contributed to humanize even the love of power.
Having thus endeavoured to prove, that a closer on that gences ke began assist tbe 200 habitac ebastising t) struct the SOL From hence a quent assumpt degrees they we of luxury, portico ments; their igno ment, to what was slavery,
union of the bonds of society is by no means derogatory to the dignity, or even prejudicial to the interests of mankind; my next endeavour shall be to investigate, what in all ages has been the most effectual method of reducing barbarous ferocity ; of softening the vices of human nature into foibles; and of refining its good qualities into virtues. And no principle we may observe has been more conducive to these effects than the love of pleasure. We may exemplify this by the authority of the most consummate politicians; the revolutions of the most powerful empires; and the errors* of the most experienced commanders, the world ever produced. Cæsar, in accounting for the superior ferocity of the Germans to the Gauls, mentions, as the principal cause, the effeminacy which a frequent intercourse with merchants had introduced among the latter; but which, among the former, was hitherto but little known. Nay, so adapted to the support of this idea are the words of Tacitus in relating Agricola's method of reducing the savage independence of the Britons, that I will trespass on the reader's patience by transcribing them.
Ut homines dispersi et rudes, eoque bello faciles, quieti et otio per voluptates assuescerent; hortari privatim, adjuvare publicè, ut templa, fora, domus exstruerent, laudando promptos, et castigando segnes. Jam vero principum filios liberalibus artibus erudire. Inde etiam habitûs nostri honor, et frequens toga. Paulatimque discessum ad delinimenta vitiorum, porticus, et balnea, et conviviorum elegantiam. Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.'
That this nation, dispersed and uncultivated, and
A convincing pro approved of by this vernment; a measure salutary consequences the opposite conduct of whose progress was merely, perhaps, from t this founded principle.
To proceed however advanced, and to prove has often been instrume. stitution of empires found ing to sleep this ferocious constituent part of the gove to the well known instance The decline of the former be dated from the abrogati tuary laws instituted by th Lycurgus. That celebrate long studied the genius of that a military governme adapted to it; and that th ment, which, from their in Athenians, would tend to e
* This position may seem a little extraordinary, but as the opposite events tend chiefly to the aggrandizement of individuals, it is to subsequent effects we are to look for the advantageous or destructive tendency of these.
on that account, more prone to war, might by indulgences become more accustomed to ease and quiet, he began privately to encourage, and publicly to assist them in building temples, courts of judicature, and habitations; by commending the ready and chastising the idle; and at the same time, to instruct the sons of their chieftains in the liberal arts. From hence arose their respect for us, and their frequent assumption of the Roman habit ; so that by degrees they were brought over to the allurements of luxury, porticos, and baths, and elegant entertainments; their ignorance giving the name of refinement, to what was in reality to conduce to their slavery.
A convincing proof, that this politic measure was approved of by this great pattern of provincial government; a measure, which, when we reflect on its salutary consequences, naturally brings to our mind the opposite conduct of the first invaders of America, whose progress was marked with such carnage, merely, perhaps, from their ignorance or neglect of this founded principle. .
To proceed however in illustrating what I have advanced, and to prove that the love of pleasure has often been instrumental to subverting the constitution of empires founded on military law, by lulling to sleep this ferocious insolence where it was a constituent part of the government, I need only recur to the well known instances of Sparta and Rome. The decline of the former may, with great reason be dated from the abrogation of those wise sumptuary laws instituted by the political penetration of Lycurgus. That celebrated legislator, from having long studied the genius of his countrymen, judged, that a military government was most peculiarly adapted to it; and that the very principle of refinement, which, from their innate pride supported the Athenians, would tend to enervate the haughty seve
rity of the Spartans, and subvert that warlike disposition by which alone they existed as a commonwealth. The alteration produced in the manners, and shortly after in the government, of the latter, from similar causes (a period of about one hundred and thirty years having elapsed from the introduction of the Corinthian and Syracusan luxuries, to the perpetual dictatorship of Sylla), is too well known to need discussion here. Suffice it to say, that during this interval, and even after the subversion of the commonwealth, the great and elegant geniuses, who from the introduction of the liberal arts, were enabled to add cultivation to a rich and luxuriant soil, have so far obscured the rugged and unformed virtues of their predecessors, that though the mind may rest with a momentary satisfaction on a Cincinnatus or a Fabricius, it is to the refined voluptuous. ness of a Lucullus, the unbounded soul of a Cæsar, and the inexhausted genius of a Cicero, that we look for the character of this extraordinary people.
Lastly, to exemplify this idea in the defeats or dissolution of the most powerful and veteran armies, which have entirely originated in a deviation from the simple abstinence necessary to their unity, let us take a short review of the conduct of Hannibal, from his entrance into Italy, to the defection of Capua. This astonishing commander, having through the most barbarous countries in the midst of the united attacks of war, famine, and tempest, cemented the jarring interests of an army made up of the flower of some nations, and the scum of others; having personally surmounted the most incredible difficulties, and in all his enterprises united the characters of soldier and general ; having gained four decisive victories over the Romans in the very heart of Italy; neither himself nor his army could resist the soft climate and luxurious effeminacy of Campania, · Adeo ut verè dictum sit,' says Florus, “Capuam
Hannibali Cannas fuisse.' - So that it was with justice said, that Capua was Hannibal's Cannæ. I might farther enforce this maxim, by Cæsar's description of the state of Pompey's camp, when he accounts for his victory in Thessaly; and afterward by the effect of Egyptian luxury on the veteran legions of Antony; were I not hastening to a period, with which, as I presume, some of my fellow-citizens are unwillingly familiar, I purpose concluding this winter's tale.
The sudden alteration in the genius of the English on the Restoration, an epocha which has now a double hold on immortal celebrity, from the assistance of history and poetry, has been to some a matter of surprise; and the immediate transition from the cold suspicious policy of Cromwell, and the fanatic hypocrisy of the commonwealth, to the general spirit of dissipation, and the sudden revival of sprightly wit, and genius in all its levity, which characterized the reign of Charles, has been considered as a striking instance of fickleness in the human understanding. · But it was probably this principle, so inherent in our natures, which gave rise to so general a variation. The mind of man, after having been harassed by the usurpation of the more violent passions, seizes with avidity the first object which offers itself, as a relaxation from care, and a gratification of the unsatisfied appetites. This was, at the accession of Charles, the state of England; at one time distracted by internal discord, at another enslaved by its pretended deliverer, it easily concurred with the more voluptuous disposition of its new master, in exchanging political, for poetical ribaldry; and converting the intrigues of the cabinet, into those of the chamber. 'In the one case, the angry collision of two thunder clouds, struck forth mutual flashes, whose progress was only known by the subsequent