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soli toto orbe terrarum septingentos jam annos amplius unis moribus, et nunquam mutatis legibus 'vivunt." The laws were not changed, because the manners were not changed ;--for the laws must depend upon, and be subservient to, the manners—and the manners were not changed, because education and discipline held them fixed and uniform.
But in other nations, such as ours for instance, where morals in educating are little cultivated, and mere accomplishments chiefly regarded, manners will never retain any fixed and regular form; but exhibit that variegated and motley appearance, which must needs result from individuals differently trained, and differently fashioned. And thus the body social, composed of heterogeneous and dissonant materials, as it were, which do not kindly mix, and conspire to form a whole, will generate ill humours, fermentation, and disorder within; and these operating surely, though perhaps slowly, will gradually corrupt, and finally dissolve it.-Sylva or the Wood.
CVII. Doctors.-A certain author defines a doctor to be a man who writes prescriptions, till the patient either dies or is cured by nature. And, accordingly, the ancient Greeks had a saying, that" doctors were triflers.” Indeed, I by no means submit to these definitions, because numerous great cures may be produced, and so evidently proved, that next after God, they must be ascribed to physic. I only say, that physicians frequently obtain a name for cures performed by nature, by accident, or by help of the patient's imagination. The last physician in a case is usually thought the best; not because he understands his art better, but because he had the good luck to be called
in when the disease was declining, and nature began to assist herself. This the people do not observe, and, therefore, sometimes unjustly blame the best physicians, and undeservedly praise the worst by ascribing that to the last doctor which was the effect of time or nature.—The Re, flector.
CVIII, Covetousness.--I cannot discover an adequate cause of covetousness. What should move a man to undergo trouble, anxiety, and disquietude, in taking up money, not for himself but another, perhaps a profligate, or even an enemy? I, therefore, attribute this passion to the folly of man; which, we see, may sometimes rise so high as 'to make some misers actually starve themselves. Avarice, in such a degree, is a shocking disease; and properly compared to that dropsy, wherein the more a man drinks, the more thirsty he grows, and the sooner he dies. Nay, this disease is like witchcraft; for the miser does not possess his money, but his money possesses him, Hence, though covetouşness be an odious failing, it seems a characteristic of man, as a creature that does not know himself. Ibid.
The Miser and the Squanderer.--The hoarding miser punishes himself; and the spendthrift punishes the innocent. The hoarder thinks so much of the time to come as to forget the present; the squanderer has his thoughts so taken up with the present as to neglect the future. The first lives as if he was never to die; and the last as if he had but a day to enjoy. Both are unprofitable members of society; the one occasioning a stoppage in the circulation, and the other a hemorrhage. The hoarding
miser is like a fog that infests the air; the prodigal re. sembles an outrageous storm that overturns all in its way. The hoarder passes restless nights, though he has nothing to fear; the squanderer sleeps soundly, and leaves want of repose to his creditors. The hoarding miser is a ridicu. lous creature, and the prodigal a noxious animal.-Ibid.
The Roman Laws, how made.-The ancient Romans, before they enacted a law, hung up the scheme for it in a public place, where it remained exposed to view for three weeks, or during the space of tres nundina, included three market days; whereby the inhabitants both of the city and country had an opportunity of reading and examining it. The ablest orators and lawyers publicly harangued upon the sketch; so that every man might hear what was to be said for and against it. After this, the whole people were convened to give their votes in their respective classes; and if the law was adjudged to be good by a majority of voices, it was confirmed by the council and engraved in copper. This ceremony may appear strange to us, but it had such an effect, that the laws so made, are likely to prove eternal; for, they not only remained in force to the end of the Roman empire, but have survived it; so as to be still observed and fol. lowed in most of the states of Europe.
Some may think it a loss of time thus to spin out the examination of a law;'and an easy matter, by a subsequent act, to correct the errors or supply the defects of a former. But the making of experiments in laws is as dan. gerous to a state as the making of experiments in physic. Mischief is done in both cases, if the experiment mis-, carries. Men must not argue in such momentous affairs,
as they do in lighter matters; and cry, “ It is easy to make the experiment;" because commotion is sooner raised than suppressed in a Government." Interim patitur Justus," is a maxim that must be regarded: for no good man should be hurt." And as it is necessary to be well assured of the strength of a medicine before it is given; so it is necessary that a scheme of a law should be well considered, before it passes into an act. lbid.
. On Education.—'Twas not to learn foreign languages that the Grecian and Roman youths went for so long to. gether to the academies and lectures of their philosophers. 'Twas not then, as now, with us, when the character of a scholar is, to be well skilled in words—when one well versed in the dark terms and subtleties of the schools passes for a profound philosopher (by which we seem to have so far perverted the notion of learning, that' a man may be reputed a most extraordinary scholar, and, at the same time, be the most useless thing in the world;) much less was it to learn their own mother tongues, the Greek and Latin, which we must hunt after so eagerly for many years together-not as being the vehicles of good sense, but as if they had some intrinsic virtue. 'Twas to learn how and when to speak pertinently, how to act like a man, to subdue the passions, to be public spirited, to despise death, torments, and reproach, riches and the smiles of princes as well as their frowns, if they stood between them and their duty. This mode of education produced men of another stamp than' appear now upon the theatre of the world; such as we are scarce worthy to men. tion, and must never hope to imitate, till the like manner of 'institution grows again into reputation; which in en.
slaved countries 'tis never likely to do, as long as the ec. clesiastics, who have an opposite interest, keep, not only the education of youth, but the consciences of old men in their hands.-Lord Molesworth-Preface to an Account of Denmark.
Man.-Philosophers have puzzled themselves how to define man, so as to distinguish him from other animals. Burke says, “Man is an animal that cooks his victuals." " Then," says Johnson, " the proverb is just, there is rea. son in roasting eggs” Dr. Adam Smith has hit the case : ** Man," says he, “is an animal that makes bargains; no other animal does this—one dog does not change a bone with another,”- London Magazine,
CXIII. On Belief.–For my own part, I think nothing can be more clearly deduced from Scripturé, nothing more fully expressed in Scripture, nothing more suitable to natural reason, than that no man should be forced to believe--for no man can be forced to believe, You may force a man to say this or that, but not to believe it. If you hold a clearly printed book with a clear candle to a man of clear eyes and able to read, he will certainly read; but if the print be not clear, or the candle or his sight not clear, or he not learned to read-oan your force make him to read? And just so it is with our understanding, which is the eye of our soul, and a demonstration being as a candle to give light, if then your demonstration or deduction, or his understanding be not clear, or he not learned, you may with a club dash out his brains, but never clear them. He then that believes the Scripture, cannot but believe