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WHEN man considers himself, the first thing that claims his notice is his body; that is a certain portion of matter evidently appertaining to himself. But if he would know what this is, he must compare himself with all that is superior or inferior to him; and thus he will ascertain his own just limits. But he must not rest contented with the examination of the things around him. Let him contemplate universal nature in all the height and fulness of its majesty. Let him consider that glorious luminary, hung as an eternal lamp, to enlighten the universe. Let him consider that this earth is a mere point, compared with the vast circuit which that bright orb describes.* Let him learn with wonder, that this wide orbit itself is but a speck compared with the course of the stars, which roll in the firmament of heaven. And if here our sight is limited, let the imagination take up the inquiry and venture further. It will weary with conceiving, far sooner than nature in supplying food for thought. All that we see of the universe is but an almost imperceptible spot on the ample bosom of nature. No conception even approaches the limits of its space. Let us labor as we will with our conceptions, we bring forth mere atoms, compared with the immensity of that which really is. It is an infinite sphere, whose centre is every where, and whose circumference is no where. And, in fact, one of the most powerful sensible impressions of the omnipotence of God is, that our imagination is lost in this thought. !

Then let man return to himself, and consider what he is, compared with all else that is. Let him consider himself as a wanderer in this remote corner of nature; and then from what he sees of this narrow prison in which he lies-this visible world; let him learn to estimate rightly the earth, its kingdoms, its cities, himself, and his own real value. What is man in this infinity? Who can comprehend him?

who would not wonder to think that this body,
which so lately was not perceptible in that universe,
the bosom of infinity, should now appear a colossus,
which universe was itself an imperceptible spot on
a world, a universe, compared with that ultimate
atom of minuteness to which we cannot arrive.
alarmed to see himself, as it were, suspended in the
He who thus thinks of himself, will doubtless be
mass of matter that is allotted to him, between these
two abysses of infinity and nothingness, and equally
tion of these wonders; and I would think, that his
remote from both. He will tremble at the percep
curiosity changing into reverence, he would be
more disposed to contemplate them in silence, than
after all is man, in nature? A nothing compared
to scrutinize them with presumption. For what
with infinity-a universe compared with nothing-
a mean between all and nothing. He is infinitely
distant from both extremes. His being is not less
remote from the nothing out of which he was form-
ed, than from the infinity in which he is lost.

His mind holds the same rank in the order of intelligent beings, as his body in material nature; and all that it can do, is to discern somewhat of the middle of things, in an endless despair of ever knowing their beginning or their end. All things are called out of nothing, and carried onward to infinity. Who can follow in this endless race? The Author of these wonders comprehends them. No other can.

extremes, shows itself in all our powers.
This state which occupies the mean between two

Our senses will not admit any thing extreme. zles, too great distance or nearness prevents vision, Too much noise confuses us, too much light daztoo great prolixity or brevity weakens an argument, too much pleasure gives pain, too much accordance annoys. We relish neither extreme heat, nor extreme cold. All excessive qualities are injurious to us, and not perceptible. We do not feel them, we suffer them. Extreme youth and extreme age alike enfeeble the mind; too much or too little noutoo little instruction it becomes stupid. Extreme rishment weakens its operation; by too much or things are not ours, any more than if they were not; we are not made for them. Either they escape us, or we them.

thing can stay its course.

But to show him another prodigy equally astonishing, let him search among the minutest objects round him. Let a mite, for instance, exhibit to him, in the exceeding smallness of its frame, portions yet incomparably smaller; limbs well articulated; This is our real condition. It is this which conveins in those limbs; blood in those veins; humors fines our knowledge within certain limits that we in that blood; globules in that humor; and gases cannot pass, being equally incapable of universal in those globules;-and then dividing again their knowledge, or of total ignorance; we are placed in smallest objects, let him exhaust the powers of his a vast medium; ever floating uncertainly between conception, and then let the lowest particle that he ignorance and knowledge; if we attempt to go farcan imagine become the subject of our discourse. ther forward, our object wavers and eludes our grasp He thinks, perhaps, that this is the minutest atom-it retires and flies with an eternal flight, and noof nature, but I will open to him, within it, a new and fathomless abyss. I can exhibit to him yet, not only the visible universe, but even all that he is capable of conceiving of the immensity of nature, embosomed in this imperceptible atom. Let him see there an infinity of worlds, each of which has its firmament, its planets, its earth; bearing the same proportion to the other parts as in the visible world: and in this earth, animals, and even mites again, in which he shall trace the same discoveries which the first mites yielded; and then again the same in others without end and without repose. He is lost in these wonders, equally astonishing in their minuteness, as the former by their extent. And

The Copernican system was not then generally received by the members of the Romish church. 520

This is our natural condition; yet it is ever opposed to our inclination. We burn with desire to sound the utmost depth, and to raise a fabric that shall reach infinity. But all we build up crumbles, and the earth opens in a fathomless abyss beneath our deepest foundation

2. I can readily conceive of a man without hands or feet; and I could conceive of him without a head, if experience had not taught me that by this he thinks. Thought then is the essence of man, and without this we cannot conceive of him.

What is it in us which feels pleasure? Is it the hand? the arm? the flesh? the blood? It must be something immaterial.

3. Man is so great, that his greatness appears even in the consciousness of his misery. A tree

does not know itself to be miserable. It is true that it is misery indeed to know one's self to be miserable; but then it is greatness also. In this way, all man's miseries go to prove his greatness. They are the miseries of a mighty potentate-of a dethroned monarch.

4. What man is unhappy because he is not a king, except a king dethroned. Was Paulus Emilius considered miserable that he was no longer consul. On the contrary every one thought that he was happy in having it over, for it was not his condition to be always consul. But Perseus, whose permanent state should have been royalty, was considered to be so wretched in being no longer a king, that men wondered how he could endure life. Who complains of having only one mouth? Who would not complain of having but one eye? No man mourns that he has not three eyes; yet each would sorrow deeply if he had but one.

5. We have so exalted a notion of the human soul, that we cannot bear to be despised by it, or even not to be esteemed by it. Man, in fact, places all his happiness in this esteem.

henceforth it may not blind him in making his choice, nor impede his progress when he has chosen. 9. I blame with equal severity those who elevate man, those who depress him, and those who think it right merely to divert him. I can only approve of those who seek in tears for happiness.

The stoics say, Turn in upon yourselves, and there you will find your repose. This however is not true. Others say, Go forth from yourselves, and seek for happiness in diversion. This is not true either. Disease will come. Alas! happiness is neither within us, nor without us. It is in the union of ourselves with God.

10. There are two ways of regarding human nature, one according to the end of man, and then it is grand and incomprehensible; the other according to his habits, as we judge of the nature of a horse or a dog, by the habit of observing his going, and then man is abject and vile. It is owing to these two different ways that philosophers judge so differently and dispute so keenly; for cne denies what the other assumes. One says, man is not born for this noble end; for all his actions are opposed to it. The other says, when he commits such base and grovelling actions, he wanders from the end of his being. Instinct and experience, taken together, show to man the whole of what he is.

If on the one hand this false glory that men seek after is a mark of their misery and degradation, it is on the other a proof of their excellence. For whatever possessions a man has on the earth, and whatever health or comfort he enjoys, he is not sa- 11. I feel that I might not have been; for when I tisfied without the esteem of his fellow-men. He speak of myself, I mean my thinking being; and L rates so highly the human mind, that whatever be who think, would not have been, if my mother had his worldly advantages, if he does not stand, as well been killed before I was quickened. Then I am also in man's estimation, he counts himself wretch- not a necessary being, nor am I eternal, nor infied. That position is the loveliest spot in the world.nite; but I see clearly that there is in nature, a beNothing can eradicate the desire for it. And this ing who is necessary, eternal, infinite. quality is the most indelible in the human heart; so that even those who most thoroughly despise men, and consider them equal with the brutes, still wish to be admired by them; their feelings contradict their principles. Their nature which is stronger than their reasonings, convinces them more forcibly of the greatness of man, than their reason can do of his vileness.

6. Man is but a reed; and the weakest in nature; but then he is a reed that thinks. It does not need the universe to crush him: a breath of air, a drop of water will kill him. But even if the material 2 universe should overwhelm him, man would be more noble than that which destroys him; because he knows that he dies, while the universe knows nothing of the advantage which it obtains over


Our true dignity then, consists in thought. From thence we must derive our elevation, not from space or duration. Let us endeavor then to think well; this is the principle of morals.



WE are not satisfied with the life that we have in ourselves-in our own peculiar being. We wish to live also an ideal life in the mind of others; and for this purpose, we constrain ourselves to put on appearances. We labor incessantly to adorn and sustain this ideal being, while we neglect the real one. And if we possess any degree of equanimity, generosity, or fidelity, we strive to make it known, that we may clothe with these virtues that being of the imagination. Nay, we would even cast off these virtues in reality, to secure them in the opinion of others; and willingly be cowards, to acquire the reputation of courage. What a proof of the emptiness of our real being, that we are not satisfied with the one without the other, and that we often sacrifice the one to the other; for he is counted infamous who would not die to save his reputation.

Glory is so enchanting, that we love whatever we associate it with, even though it be death.

7. It is dangerous to show man unreservedly how nearly he resembles the brute creation, without pointing out, at the same time, his greatness. It is 2. Pride countervails all our miseries, for it ei dangerous also to exhibit his greatness exclusively, ther hides them, or if it discloses them, it boasts of without his degradation. It is yet more dangerous | acknowledging them. Pride has so thoroughly got to leave him ignorant of both, but it is highly pro-possession of us, even in the midst of our miseries fitable to teach him both together. and our faults, that we are prepared to sacrifice life with joy, if it may but be talked of.

8. Let man then rightly estimate himself-let him love himself, for he has a nature capable of good;but yet let him not love the evils that he finds there. Let him despise himself, because this capacity is without an object; but let him not on that account despise the natural capacity itself. Let him both love and hate himself. There is in him the power of discerning truth, and of being happy, but he is not in possession of certain and satisfying truth, I would lead man to desire to find truth, to sit loose to his passions, and to be ready to follow truth wherever he may find it and knowing how sadly his powers of comprehension are clouded by his passions, I would wish him to hate in himself that concupiscence which overrules his judgment, that

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3. Vanity is so rooted in the heart of man, that the lowest drudge of the camp, the street, or the kitchen, must have his boast and his admirers. I is the same with the philosophers. Those who write to gain fame, would have the reputation of having written well; and those who read it, would have the reputation of having read it; and I who am writing this, feel probably the same wish, and they who read this, feel it also.

4. Notwithstanding the sight of all those miseries which wring us, and threaten our destruction, we have still an instinct that we cannot repress, which elevates us above our sorrows.

5. We are so presumptuous that we wish to be

known to all the world, and even to those who f Hence it is that those who have any interest in come after us; and we are so vain, that the esteem securing our regard, shrink from the performance of five or six persons immediately around us, is enough to seduce and satisfy us.

6. Curiosity is but vanity: too frequently we only wish to know more, that we may talk of it. No man would venture to sea, if he were never to speak about what he sees-for the mere pleasure of seeing, without ever speaking of it to others.

7. We do not care to get a name in the towns through which we are travelling: but if we come to sojourn there a short time, we soon become desirous of it: and what time is sufficient for this a period proportioned to our vain and pitiful duration. 8. The nature of self-love and of human egotism, is to love self only, and to consult only self-interest. But to what a state is man reduced! He cannot prevent this object of his love from being full of defects and miseries. He wishes to be great, but he sees himself little: he wishes to be happy, but he sees himself miserable: he wishes to be perfect, but he sees that he is full of imperfections: he wishes to be the object of men's love and esteem, and he sees that his errors deserve their hatred and contempt. This state of disappointment generates in him the most wretched and criminal passion that can be imagined: he conceives a deadly hatred against that truth which reproves him, and convinces him of his faults: he desires to destroy it, and unable actually to destroy it in its essential nature, he blots it out as far as possible from his own knowledge and from that of others: that is, he does his utmost to conceal his faults both from others and from himself, and will not suffer others to exhibit them to him, or to examine them themselves.

It is surely an evil to be full of faults; but it is a far greater evil to be unwilling to know them, since that is to add to them the guilt of a voluntary delusion. We do not like others to deceive us; we do not think it right that they should wish to be esteemed by us beyond their deserts: it is not right then that we should deceive them, and that we should wish them to esteem us more than we de


So that when they discover in us nothing but the imperfections and vices which we really possess, it is evident that in this they do us no wrong, because they are not the cause of those errors; and that they even do us good, since they aid us in avoiding a real evil-the ignorance of these our imperfections. We should not be indignant that they discover these errors if they really exist, nor that they should know us to be what we really are, and despise us, if we really are despicable.

These are the thoughts that would rise spontaneously in a heart full of equity and justice: what then shall we say of our own when we see its disposition to be just the reverse. For is it not true that we hate the truth, and those who tell it us; and that we love men to be deceived in our favor, and wish to be estimated by them very differently from what we really are?

of an office which they know to be disagreeable to us; they treat us as we wish to be treated; we hate the truth, and they conceal it; we wish to be flattered, and they flatter; we love to be deceived, and they deceive us.

And hence it arises that each step of good fortune by which we are elevated in the world, removes us farther from truth; because men fear to annoy others, just in proportion as their good will is likely to be useful, or their dislike dangerous. A prince shall be the talk of all Europe, and he only know it not. I do not wonder at this. To speak the truth is useful to him to whom it is spoken, but sadly the reverse to him who speaks it, for it makes him hated. Now they who live with princes, love their own interests better than that of him whom they serve, and do not therefore care to seek his benefit by telling him the truth to their own injury. This evil is doubtless more serious and more common, in cases of commanding rank and fortune, but the very lowest are not free from it; because there is always some benefit to be obtained by means of man's esteem. So that human life is perpetual delusion-nothing goes on but mutual flattery and mutual deceit: no one speaks of us in our presence, as he does in our absence. The degree of union that there is among men, is founded on this mutual deception; and few friendships would subsist, if each one knew what his friend says of him when he is not present, although at the time he speaks sincerely and without prejudice.

Man, then, is nothing but disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both towards himself and others. He does not wish them to tell him the truth-he will not tell it to them: and all these dispositions, so far removed from justice and sound reason, have their root naturally in his heart.



THAT which astonishes me most is, that no man is astonished at his own weakness. Men act seriously; and each one follows his occupation, not because it is actually good to follow it, since that is the custom; but as if each one knew precisely where to find reason and truth. Each one however finds himself deceived repeatedly, and yet by a foolish humility thinks that the failure is in his own conduct, and not in the faculty of discerning truth, of which he continually boasts. It is well that there are so many of these persons in the world, since they serve to show that man is capable of holding the most extravagant opinions; inasmuch as he can believe that he is not naturally and inevitably in a state of moral weakness; but that on the contrary, he has naturally wisdom adequate to his circumstances.

2. The weakness of human reason appears more evidently in those who know it not, than in those who know it.

There are different degrees of this aversion for truth; but we may affirm that in some degree it ex- He who is too young will not judge wisely; no ists in every one, ,because it is inseparable from self-more will he that is too old. If we think too little love. It is this vile sensitiveness to applause, which or too much on a subject we are equally bewildercompels those whose duty it is to reprove another, ed, and cannot discover truth. If a man reviews to soften the severity of the shock, by so many cir- his work directly after he has done it, he is pre-occuitous and alleviating expressions. They must ap-cupied by the lively impression of it: if he reviews pear to attenuate the fault; they must seem to ex-it a long time after, he can scarcely get into the spicuse what they mean to reprove; they must mix rit of it again. with the correction the language of praise, and the assurances of affection and esteem. Yet still this pill is always bitter to self-love: we take as little of it as we can, always with disgust, and often with a secret grudge against those who presume to administer it.

There is but one indivisible point from which we should look at a picture; all others are too near, too distant, too high, or too low. Perspective fixes this point precisely in the art of painting; but who shall fix it in regard to truth and morals?

3. That queen of error, whom we call fancy and

opinion, is the more deceitful because she does not | We scarcely think at all of the present; or if we deceive always. She would be the infallible rule do, it is only to borrow the light which it gives, for of truth if she were the infallible rule of falsehood: regulating the future. The present is never our but being only most frequently in error, she gives object: the past and the present we use as means; no evidence of her real quality, for she marks with the future only is our object. Thus in fact we the same character both that which is true and that never live, we only hope to live; and thus ever which is false. doing nothing, but preparing to be happy, it is certail that we never shall be so, unless we seek a higher felicity than this short life can yield. 6. Our imagination so magnifies this present existence, by the power of continual reflection on it; and so attenuates eternity, by not thinking of it at all, that we reduce an eternity to nothingness, and expand a mere nothing to an eternity; and this habit is so inveterately rooted in us, that all the force of reason cannot induce us to lay it aside. 7. Cromwell would have laid desolate all Christendom. The royal family was ruined; his own was completely established; but for a small grain of sand, which entered the urethra, even Rome would have trembled before him; but when only this atom of gravel, which elsewhere was as nothing, was placed in that spot, behold he dies, his family is degraded, and the king restored!

This haughty power, the enemy of reason, and whose delight is to keep reason in subjection, in order to show what influence she has in all things, has established in man a second nature. She has her happy and her unhappy, her sick and her healthy, her rich and her poor, her fools and her sages; and nothing is more distressing than to see that she fills her guests with a far more ample satisfaction, than reason gives; since those who think themselves wise have a delight in themselves, far beyond that in which the really prudent dare to indulge. They treat other men imperiously; they dispute with fierceness and assurance-whilst others do so with fear and caution; and this satisfied air often gives them advantage in the opinion of the hearers: so much do the imaginary wise find favor among judges of the same kind. Opinion cannot make fools wise, but she makes them content, to the great disparagement of reason, who can only make her friends wretched. The one covers her votaries with glory, the other with shame.

Who confers reputation ? who gives respect and veneration to persons, to books, to great men? Who but opinion? How utterly insufficient are all the riches of the world without her approbation!

Opinion settles every thing. She constitutes beauty, justice, happiness, which is the whole of this world. I would like much to see that Italian work, of which I have only heard the title. It is called "Opinion, the Queen of the World." It is worth many other books. I subscribe to it without knowing it, error excepted.

4. The most important concern in life, is the choice of an occupation; yet chance seems to decide it. Custom makes masons, soldiers, bricklayers, &c. They say, "That's a capital workman," or when speaking of soldiers, "What fools those men are:" others again say, "There is nothing noble but war, all men but soldiers are contemptible." And according as men, during their childhood, have heard those several occupations praised and others vilified, they make their choice; for naturally we love wisdom and hate folly. It is these words that influence us; we err only in the application of them; and the force of custom is such, that in some countries, the whole population are masons; in others, soldiers. Now we do not conceive that nature is so uniform. It is custom which does this, and carries nature with it. There are cases, however, in which nature prevails, and binds man to his specific object, in defiance of custom, whether bad or good.

5. We think very little of time present; we anticipate the future, as being too slow, and with a view to hasten it onward; we recall the past to stay it as too swiftly gone. We are so thoughtless, that we thus wander through the hours which are not here, regardless only of the moment that is actually our own so vain, that we dream of the times which are not, and suffer that only which does exist, to escape us without a thought. This is because, generally, the present gives us pain; we hide it from our sight, because it afflicts us; and even if it ministers pleasure, we grieve to see it flying: and hence we bring up the future to sustain it, and speculate on doing things which are not in our power, at a time which we can have no assurance that we shall ever see.

Let any man examine his thoughts; he will find them ever occupied with the past or the future.

8. We see scarcely any thing, just or unjust, that does not change its quality with its climate. Three degrees of latitude upset all the principles of jurisprudence; a meridian determines what is truth, or a few years of settled authority. Fundamental laws may vary. Right has its epochs. Droll justice indeed, that a river or a mountain limits! Truth on one side of the Pyrenees is error on the other.

9. Theft, incest, parricide, infanticide, each has been ranked among virtuous actions. Is there any thing more ridiculous, than that a man has the and that his prince has a quarrel with mine, though right to kill me, because he lives across the water, I have none with him?

There are certainly natural laws, but this corrupted reason has corrupted every thing, Nihil amplius nostri est; quod nostrum dicimus, artis est; ex senatus consultis et plebiscitis crimina exercentur, ut olim vitiis sic nunc legibus laboramus.

From this confusion it arises that one affirms that the essential principle of justice is the authority of the legislature; another, the convenience of the sovereign; another, present custom; and this is the safest. There is nothing, if we follow the light of reason only, that is in itself, independently just. Time alters every thing; custom makes equity, simply because it is received. That is the mystic basis of its authority, and he who traces it to its origin, annihilates it. Nothing is so faulty as those laws which redress faults. He who obeys them because they are just, obeys that which he has conceived to be justice, but not the essence of the law. Its whole force lies in this, It is law and nothing more. He who looks into the principle will find it so weak and flimsy, that if he is not accustomed to the prodigies of the human imagination, he would wonder how a century could have nourished it with so much pomp and veneration.

The secret for overturning a state, is to shake to their foundation established customs, by going back to their origin, and showing the defect of the authority or the principle on which they rest. "We must return," say they, "to those fundamental and primitive laws of the state, which corrupt custom has abolished." This is a sure play for losing every thing. In such a balance nothing will appear right; yet the people listen eagerly to such discourses. They throw off the yoke as soon as they perceive it; and the great make their advantage of this to ruin both them and these curious inspectors of established customs. Yet there is an error directly the reverse of this, and there are men who think

that any thing can be done justly, which has a precedent in its favor.

Whence one of the wisest legislators said, "That for the welfare of man, he must frequently be deceived;" and another great, politician says, Cum veritatem qua liberetur ignoret, expedit quod fallatur. Man should not ascertain the truth of the usurpation; for it was introduced in ancient times, without good reason. But now it must always be held up as authentic and eternal; we must veil its origin, if we wish it to be perpetuated.

10. Set the greatest philosopher in the world upon a plank, even broader than the space he occupies in walking on plain ground, and if there is a precipice below him, though reason convinces him of his safety, his imagination will prevail to alarm him the very thought of it would make some perspire and turn pale. Who does not know that there are persons so nervous, that the sight of a cat, or a rat, or the crushing of a bit of coal, will almost drive them out of their senses.

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11. Would you not say of that venerable magistrate, whose years command the respect of a whole people, that he is under the control of pure and dignified wisdom, and that he judges of things as they are, without being influenced by those adventitious circumstances which warp the imagination of the weak. But see him enter the very court where he is to administer justice; see him prepare to hear with a gravity the most exemplary; but if an advocate appears to whom nature has given a hoarse voice, or a droll expression of countenance if his barber has but half shaved him, or an accidental splash of mud has fallen on him, I'll engage for the loss of the judge's self-possession.

12. The mind of the greatest man on earth, is not so independent of circumstances, as not to feel inconvenienced by the merest buzzing noise about him: it does not need the report of a cannon to disturb his thoughts. The creaking of a vane or a pully is quite enough. Do not wonder that he reasons ill just now; a fly is buzzing by his ear; it is quite enough to unfit him for giving good counsel. If you wish him to see the rights of the case, drive away that insect, which suspends his reasoning powers, and frets that mighty mind which governs cities and kingdoms.

13. The will is one of the principal sources of belief; not that it produces belief, but that things appear true or false to us according to the way they are looked at. The will, which inclines to one thing more than another, turns away the mind from considering the qualities of that which it does not approve; and thus the whole mind led by the will or inclination, limits its observation to what it approves, and thus forming its judgment on what it sees: it insensibly regulates its belief by the inclinations of the will, i. e. by its own preferences.

14. Disease is another source of error. It impairs the judgment and the senses: and if serious disorders do visibly produce this effect, doubtless minor ailments do so in proportion.

Self-interest also is a surprising means of inducing a voluntary blindness. Affection or dislike will alter our notions of justice. For instance, when an advocate is well paid beforehand, how much more just he thinks the cause which he has to plead. Yet owing to another strange peculiarity of the human mind, I have known men who, lest they should serve their own interest, have been cruelly unjust, through a contrary bias: so that the sure way to lose a good cause, was to get it recommended to them by one of their near relations.

15. The imagination often magnifies the veriest trifle, by a false and romantic preference, till it fills the whole soul; or in its heedless presumption,

brings down the most elevated subjects to our own low standard.

16. Justice and truth are two points of such exquisite delicacy, that our coarse and blunted instruments will not touch them accurately. If they do find out the point, so as to rest upon it, they bruise and injure it, and lean at last more on the error that surrounds it, than on the truth itself.

17. It is not only old and early impressions that deceive us: the charms of novelty have the same power. Hence arise all the differences among men, who reproach each other, either with following the false impressions of their infancy, or with hastily running after new ones.

Who keeps the golden mean? Let him stand forth and prove it. There is not a single principle, however simply natural, and existing from childhood, that may not be made to appear a false impression, conveyed by instruction or the senses. Because, say they, you have believed from your infancy that a chest was empty when you saw that there was nothing in it, you have assumed that a vacuum is possible. But this is a strong delusion of your senses, confirmed by habit, which science must correct. Others on the contrary say, Because you have been taught in the schools, that there is no vacuum in nature, your common sense, which previous to this delusive impression, saw the thing clearly enough, has been corrupted, and must be corrected by a recurrence to the dictates of nature. Now, which is the deceiver here, our senses or our education?

18. All the occupations of men have respect to the obtaining of property; and yet the title by which they possess it, is at first only the whim of the original legislator: and after all, no power that they have, will insure possession. A thousand accidents may rob them of it. It is the same with scientific attainment: Disease takes it away.

19. What are our natural principles but the result of custom? In children, they are those which have resulted from the custom of their parents, as

the chace in animals.

A different custom would give different natural principles. Experience proves this. And if there are some that custom cannot eradicate, there are some impressions arising from custom, that nature cannot do away. This depends on disposition. in their children. What is this natural principle so liable to decay? Habit is a second nature, which destroys the first. Why is not custom nature? I suspect that this nature itself is but a first custom, as custom is a second nature.

Parents fear the destruction of natural affection

20. If we were to dream every night the same thing, it would probably have as much effect upon us, as the objects which we see daily; and if an artisan were sure of dreaming every night for some hours' continuance, that he was a king, I think he would be almost as happy as a king, who should dream every night for twelve hours successively, that he was an artisan. If we should dream every night that we are pursued by enemies, and harassed by distressing phantoms, and that we passed all our days in different occupations, as if we were travelling; we should suffer almost as much as if this were true, and we should dread to sleep just as much as we dread to awake, when we fear to enter really upon such afflictions. In fact, these dreams would be almost as serious an evil as the reality. But because these dreams are all different, what we see in them afflicts us much less than what we see when awake, on account of its continuity;-a continuity, however, not so equal and uniform that it undergoes no change, but less violently, as in a voyage; and then we say, "I seem to myself to dream;" for life is a dream a little less variable,

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