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These are fome of the nicest, mot curious is. Such a comparison must tend also to. and surprising works of art ; but let us ex- wards humbling the self-conceit and pride of amine any of them with a good microscope, man, by giving him a more reasonable and and we shall be immediately convinced, that modest opinion of himself; and at the fame the utmost power of art is only a conceal- time may in fome degree conduce towards ment of deformity, an imposition upon our improving his imperfect conceptions of the want of light ; and that our admiration of supreme Creator. it arises from our ignorance of what it really Observations on the Quality or Virtue in Bodies, wbich we call their S MEL L. MELL, by the modern philosophy, adepts pass for profound discoveries. I re
as , , impression upon the mind; and in this sense great regard to the diétates of common it can only be in a mind, or sentient betng: lense, and not to depart from them without But it is evident, that mankind give the absolute necessity : And therefore I am apt name of smell much more frequently to to think, that there is really something in Something which they conceive to be exter- the rose or lily, which is by the vulgar called nal, and to be a quality of body: They freell, and which continues to exist when it understand something by it which does not is not sinelled. at all infer a mind; and have not the least Let us therefore suppose a person begin difficulty in conceiving odoriferous plants ning to exercise the sense of smelling: A fpreading their fragrance in the deserts of little experience will discover to him, that the Arabia, or in some uninhabited island, where nose is the organ of this sense, and that the the human foot never trod. Every sensible air, or something in the air, is a medium of day-labourer hath as clear a notion of this, it. And finding, by farther experience, and as full a conviction of the poflibility of it, that, when a role is near, he has a certain as he hath of his own existence ; and can no sensation ; when it is removed, the sensation more doubt of the one than of the other. is gone; he finds a connection in nature beSuppose that such a man meets with a twixt the role and this sensation.
The modern philosopher, and wants to be in- rose is considered as a cause, occasion, or anformed, what smell in plants is. The phi- tecedent, of the sensation; the fenfátion as lofopher tells him, that there is no smell in an effect or consequent of the presence of the plants, nor in any thing, but in the mind; rose : They are allociated in the mind, and that it is impossible there can be finell but constantly found conjoined in the imaginain a mind ; and that all this hath been de- tion. In order to illuftrate farther how we monstrated by modern philosophy. The come to conceive a quality or virtue in the plain man will, no doubt, be apt to think him role which we call finell
, and what this smell merry: But, if he finds that he is serious, is, it is proper to observe, that the mind behis next conclusion will be, that he is madi gins very early to thirst after principles, or that philosophy, like magic, puts men
direct it in the exertion of its into a new world, and gives them different powers. The smell of a rose is a certain atfaculties from common men. And thus tection or feeling of the mind; and, as it is philosophy and common sense are set at va not constant, but comes and goes, we want riance." But who is to blame for it? In to know when and where we may expect it, my opinion the philosopher is to blame. For, and are uneasy till we find something which, if he means by limell
, what the rest of man being present, brings this feeling along with kind moft common!ymean he is certainly mad. it, and, being remove removes it. This, But if he puts a different meaning upon the when found,
we call the cause of it; not in word, without observing it hiinself
, or giving a strict and philosophical sense, as if the teelwarning to others; he abuses language, and ing were really effe&ted or produced by that disgraces philosophy, without doing any ler. cause, but in a popular senle : For the mind vice to truth: As if a man should exchange is fatisfi d, if there is a constant conjunction the meaning of the words daughter and cow, between them ; and lich causes are in and then endeavour to prove to his plain reality nothing else but laws of nature. neighborir, that his cow is his daughter, and Having found the limell thus constantly come his daughter his cow.
joined with the rose, the mind is at relt, I believe there is not much more wisdom without inquiring whether this conjunction many of those paradoxes of the ideal phi- is owing to a real efficiency or not; that losophy, which to plain sensible men appear being a philosophical inquiry, which does to be palpable ablurdities, but with the nor concern huinan life. But every dii
covery of such a constant conjunction is of causes, and which is apt to be overlooked real importance in life, and makes a strong even by philosophers. Some inftances will impreslion upon the mind.
serve both to illustrate and confirm what we So ardently do we defire to find every have said. thing that happens within our observation Magnetism fignifies both the tendency of thus connected with something else, as its the iron towards the magnet and the power cause or occasion, that we are apt to fancy of the magnet to produce that tendency: connections upon the flightest grounds : . And if it was atked, whether it is quality of And this weakness is most remarkable in the the iron or of the magnet ? One would perhaps ignorant, who know least of the real con- be puzzled at first, but a little attention would nections established in nature. A man discover, that we conceive a power or virtue meets with an unlucky accident on a certain in the magnet as the cause, and a motion in day of the year; and, knowing no other the iron as the effect; and, although these are cause of his misfortune, he is apt to conceive things quite unlike, they are so united in the something unlucky in that day of the calen- imagination, that we give the common name dar ; and if he finds the fame connection of magnetism to both. The same thing may hold a second time, is strongly confirmed in be frid of gravitation, which fometimes lighis fuperftition. . I remember, many years nifies the tendency of bodies towards the ago, a white ox was brought into the coun- earth, foinetimes the attractive power of the uy, of so enormous a fize, that people came earth, which we conceive as the cause of that many miles to see him. There happened, tendency: Some months after, an uncommon fatality Heat signifies a sensation, and cold a conamong women in child-bearing. Two such trary one. But heat likewise fignifies a quauncommon events following one another lity or state of bodies, which hath no congave a fufpicion of their connection, and oc trary, but different degrees. When a man cafioned a common opinion among the coun feels the same water hotto one hand, and cold try-people, that the white ox was the cause of to the other, this gives him occafion to di. this fatality.
ftinguish between the feeling, and the heat of However filly and ridiculous this opinion the body; and, although he knows that the was, it fprung from the fame root in human fenfations are contrary, he does not imagine nature, on which all natural philofophy that the body can have contrary qualities at grows; namely, an eager desire to find out the same time. And when he finds a difconnections in things, and a natural, origi- ferent taste in the same body in fickness and nal, and unaccountable propensity to believe, in health, he is easily convinced, that the that the connections which we have observed quality in the body called taste is the same as in time past, will continue in time to come. before, although the sensations he has from Omens, portents, good and bad luck, pal- it are perhaps oppolite. mistry, astrology, all the numerous auts of The vulgar are cominonly charged by phidivination, and of interpreting dreams, falle losophers with the absurdity of imagining hypotheses and systeins, and true principles in the smell in the role to be something like to the philosophy of nature, are all built upon the sensation of smelling : But, I think, unthe lame foundation in the human constitu- jústly; for they neither give the same epithets tion; and are distinguished only according to both, nor do they reason in the same manas we conclude rally from too few instances, ver from them. What is finell in the or cautiously from a sufficient induction. rose ? It is a quality or virtue of the rose, or
As it is experience only that discovers of something proceeding from it, which we these connections beiween natural causes and perceive by the sense of imelling; and this is their effects; without inquiring farther, we all we know of the matter. But what is attribute to the cause some vague and indi- smelling? It is an act of the mind, but is ftinct notion of power or virtue to produce never imagined to be a quality of the mind. the effect. And in many cases the purposes Again the fenfation of smelling is cor.ceived of life do not make it neceflary to give di- to infer necessarily a mind or fentient hing; stinct names to the cause and the effect. but smell in the role infers no such thing. Whence it happens, that, being closely con- We say, This hody smells sweet, that stinks; nected in the imagination, although very un- but we do not say, This mind smells sweet, like to each other, one name ferves for both; and that stinks. Therefore finell in the role, and, in common discourse, is most frequently and the sensation which it causes, are not applied to that which, of the two, is most conceived, even by the vulgar, to be things the object of our attention. I his occasions of the faine kind, although they have the an ambiguity in many words, which is com- fame name, Hon to all languages, having the lame Cur sensations have very different degree:
of ftrength. Some of them are so quick is not so interesting as to require to be made and lively, as to give us a great deal either an object of thought, our constitution leads of pleafure or of uneasiness : When this is us to consider it as a sign of something exthe case, we are compelled to attend to the ternal, which hath a conftant conjunction sensation itself, and to make it an object of with it; and having found what it indi. thought and discourse ; we give it a name, cates, we give a name to that : The sensawhich lignifies nothing but the sensation ; tion, having no proper name, falls in as an and in this case we immediately and readily accessory to the thing signified by it, and is acknowledge, that the thing meant by that confounded under the fame name. So that name is in the mind only, and not in any the name may indeed be applied to the sensathing external. Such are the various kinds tion, but most properly and commonly is of pain, fickness, and the sensations of hunger applied to the thing indicated by that sensaand other appetites. But where the sensation tion.
Thoughts and Refle&tions on the ill Effects and Tendency of Arbitrary Power. G by ,
REAT and noble ideas are never hut to the disgrace of human nature, reason luxury, and effeminacy, become subject to In despotic States, people care, and indeed arbitrary power ; they are never animated by cannot avoid caring but little for glory and an opinion of their own importance; so that posterity, since they do not love esteem for every one, keeping his eyes fixed on private its own sake, but for the advantages it prointerest, never turns thein on that of the cures ; fince nothing is granted to merit, public.
and there is nothing which they dare refuse It frequently happens, that those who are ' to power. intruffed with the education of Princes, or Lord Bolingbroke, observing the incapathe Minitters that surround them, being fond city and ignorance of most of the leading of governing under their name, have an in men in his time, says on this subject : 'When terest in rendering them stupid. Lewis young, I at first considered those who goXIII, in one of his letters, complains of the verned the nation, as fuperior intelligences ; Marthal D'Ancre. He oppoles, fays he, but experience foon undeceived me. my walking in the streets of Paris, and als ainined those who were at the helin of aflows me no pleasures, but those of hunting, fairs, and soon found that the Great were and taking a few turns in the Thuilleries: like those gods of Phoenicia, on whose He has forbid the Officers of my houshold, shoulders were fixed the head of a bull, as a as well as all my subjects, to converse with mark of fupreme power; and that, in geneme on serious affairs, and to speak to me in ral, men were governed by the greatest private.' Whence it may feem, that in blockheads among then.' most countries, pains are taken to render In States where the laws only dispense pu. Princes but little worthy of the throne, where nishments and rewards, and where obedience they are called to it by birth.
is paid to none but the laws, the virtuous, If critics were banished the republic of dwelling in safety, contract a boldness and letters, it is obvious, that authors being freed firmness of soul, that cannot sublift in a from the salutary fear of cenfure, which come country which is the seat of arbitrary power, pels them to take pains in improving their ta- where property, life, and liberty depend on lents, would then present the public with the caprice of a King or his Minister. In only rude and imperfect pieces : In like man. these countries it would be as imprudent to be ner, if State-minifters had none to put thein virtuous, as it would have been to be vicious in mind of their duty, most of them would in Crete and Lacedemon. There no man be continually hatching schemes inconsistent would be the abettor of injustice, and, rather with the principles of true government. It than applaud it, would cry out with the phiwill not therefore be unrealonable to doubt losopher Philoxenes, • Let me be carried of the justice of their decisions, and repeat af, back to the quarries.' ter Grotius, That every decree or law, It seems the Scots were formerly ignorant which the people are forbid to examine and of our maxim, • The King can do no censure, can never fail of being unjust.' wrong; for their laws might punish the So
Those in power will be always unjust and vereign for an act of injustice committed avindiétive. M. de Vendome laid pleasantly gainst a subject. At Malcolm's accellion to enough on this subject, that in the march of the throne of Scotland, a Nobleman prearmies he had often inquired into the quar- sented to him the patent of his privileges, ina rels between the mules and the muleteers; treating his Majesty to confirm them ; but
the King took the patent, and tore it in pie- tance, he advances into the midt of a croud ces. The Nobleinan complained of this to of clients, who, grave, mute, and immovethe Parliament, who decreed, that the King able, with their eyes fixed and cast down, Thould sit on his throne, and in the presence wait, trembling, for the favour of a look, of the whole Court stitch the Nobleman's nearly in the attitude of those Bramins, who, patent together with a needle and thread.
with their eyes fixed on the end of their All bad Kings and wicked Ministers re noses, wait for the blue and divine flame, semble Tiberius, in whose reign the fighs with which Heaven is to bestow its illuminaand cries of the unhappy wretches under op- tions, and whose appearance, according to pression, were construed to proceed from a thein, is to raise thein to the dignity of a factious fpirit, because every thing is crimi- pagod. nal, says Suetonius, under a Prince, who is We can easily account for the astonishing constantly ftung with his own guilt. rapidity, with which the Greeks and Romans
There are few Prime-ministers under ar subdued Asia. How could Naves inured to bitraży Princes but would reduce mankind the frowns of a master Itifle, at the light of to the condition of those ancient Persians, the Roman swords, the habitual sensations of who, being cruelly whipped by the order of fear they had contracted from arbitrary their Prince, were obliged to appear before power How could men, fo debased, with him : . We come, said they, to thank thee out elevation of mind, accustomed to trample for having condescended to remember us.' on the weak, and to cringe before the pow
Among a Navish people, the name of fac- eiful, avoid yielding to the magnanimity, tious is given to a generous citizen; and the policy, the valour of the Romans, and some are always found to approve his pu. Mew themselves equally dastardly in counsel, nishment. There is no crime on which and in the field of battle? praise is not lavished, in a State where abject If the Egyptians, as Plutarch fays, were meanness is become the mode. If the successively the Naves of all nations, it was plague, says Gordon, had garters, pensions, owing to their being subject to the most seand ribbons to bestow, there are churchmen vere despotic power ; and thus they almost vile enough, and civilians base enough, to constantly gave proofs of cowardice. When maintain, that the plague reigns by divine King Cleomenes, being driven from Sparta, right ; and that to withdraw ourselves from took refuge in Egypt, he was imprisoned by its malignant influences, is a sin against the intrigues of a Minister, named Sobilius ; God. It is then more prudent in these but having killed his guard, and broken his countries to be the accomplice, than the ac. fetters, he presented himself in the streets of cufur of knaves ; for vistue and talents are Alexandria : Yet in vain did he exhort the always the butt of tyranny.
citizens to revenge him, to punish the injufIn countries subject to a despotic govern- tice of his treatment, and shake off the yoke ment, the love of the esteem and acclamations of tyranny. Every-where, says Plutarch, of the people is so criminal, that the Prince he found only immoveable admirers. Thefe always punishes those who obtain them. base and cowardly people had only that speAgricola, after having triumphed over the cies of courage which made them admire Britons, in order to escape popular applause, great actions, but not that which could excite as well as the fury of Domitian, passed to imitate them. through the ftreets of Rome in the night, in We must, Tays Montesquieu, begin by his way to the Emperor's palace. The being bad citizens, in order to become good Prince embraced him coldly ; Agricola flaves. withdrew; and the conqueror of Briton, It is said, notwithstanding, that the vir. Fays Tacitus, was instantly lost in the croud fuous have shone with conspicuous lustre in of other Naves.
States subject to arbitrary power. This In those unhappy times, one might have may be true, when it has happened, that the cried out at Rome with Brutus : O Virtue: throne has been successively possessed by seveThou art but an empty narne !' How can ral great men. Virtue, benumbed by the we expect to find it amongst a people who presence of tyranny, revives at the appearance live in perpetual agonies, and whose minds, of a virtuous Prince. His presence may be being broke with fear, have lost all their compared to that of the fun, when his light force and vigour ? Among such people, we pierces and disperses the black clouds that only meet with powerful infolence, and ab- cover the earth. Then all nature revives, ject, daftardly flaves.
every thing glows with new life, and the What picture can be more humbling to plains are peopled with industrious husband human nature, than the audience of a Vilir, men. Suill the property of arbitrary power is when, with a grave and Aupid air of impor* to stifle the passione When the people be.