Of the Five Senses of Man, and of his Understanding

AT our next meeting there was a great deal of good company, who came to hear the Boys Philosophy, as they called it; on which account I could observe that Master Telescope took less pains to be understood by the young Gentlemen and Ladies, and addressed himself more particularly to those of greater abilities.

As the company came in laughing, and affected to talk, and behaved in a supercilious manner, which even some great personages do in these our days of refinement, he stood silent, till my Lord Marquis desired him to open the Lecture; upon which he bowed, to his Lordship and the rest of the company and began; but had scarcely spoke three words before he was interrupted by Sir Harry; he therefore stopt for some time, and then began again; but the tongue of the young Baronet soon silenced him, and he stood, without speaking, a considerable time. On this the company looked at each other, <99> and the Marquis bad him go on. My Dear, says the Marchioness, how can you expect this young Gentleman to read a long Lecture, when you know that Sir Harry, who loves to hear himself talk of all things, has not patience to support so much taciturnity! Why, Madam, says the Ambassador of Bantam (who came in with the Marquis) I thought we had all been assembled to hear this Lecture. That was indeed the intention of our meeting, says the Marchioness; but I hope your Excellency knows the polite world better, than to expect people should be so old fashioned as to behave, on these occasions, with any sort of good-manners or decorum. In my country, says the Ambassador, all the company keep a profound silence at these meetings. It may be so, replied the Marchioness; but I assure your Excellency, it is not the custom here. Why, Sir, I have been often interrupted in the middle of a fine air, at an Oratorio, by a Gentleman's whistling an Hornpipe; and at the Rehearsal at St. Paul's, it is no uncommon thing to hear both Gentlemen and Ladies laugh louder than the organ. Hush, Madam, says the Marquis, if your friends and neighbours are fools, you ought not to expose them, and especially to foreigners. <100> Take care, while you condemn this unpolite behaviour in others, that you don't run into it yourself. Politeness is the art of being always agreeable in company; it can therefore seldom deal in sarcasm or irony; because it should never do any thing to abridge the happiness of others; and you see, my Dear, you have made Sir Harry uneasy, for he blushes. The company laughed at Sir Harry, who joined them, and being determined to hold his tongue, our Philosopher thus proceeded.

After the cursory view of Nature, which was concluded in my last Lecture, it may not be amiss to examine our own faculties, and see by what means we acquire and treasure up a knowledge of these things; and this is done, I apprehend, by means of the senses, the operations of the mind, and the memory, which last may be called the Storehouse of the understanding. The first time little Master is brought to a looking-glass, he thinks he has found a new play-mate, and calls out Little boy! little boy! for having never seen his own face before, it is no wonder that he should not know it. Here is the idea, therefore, of something new acquired by sight.--Presently the father, and mother, and nurse come forward to partake of the <101> child's diversion. Upon seeing these figures in the glass with whom he is so well acquainted, he immediately calls out, There, Papa! there, Mamma! there. Nurse! And now the mind begins to operate; for feeling his father's hand on his own head, and seeing it on the little boy's head in the glass, he cries, There me! --Now this transaction is lodged in the memory, which, whenever a looking-glass is mentioned, will give back to the mind this idea of its reflecting objects.

The whole company were pleased with this familiar demonstration; but Sir Harry asked how he came, of all things, to make use of a looking-glass? Because, Sir, says he, it is an object with which some people are the most intimately acquainted.--As Sir Harry is an egregious fop, this reply produced a loud laugh, and Master Telescope was looked upon to be a Wit as well as a Philosopher; however, I am inclined to think the expression was accidental, and not intended to hit Sir Harry, because I know his good sense would not permit him to treat an elder and superior in that manner.--The laugh being a little subsided, our Philosopher thus proceeded on his Lecture.

All our ideas, therefore, are obtained either by sensation or reflection, that is to say, <102> by means of our five senses, as seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching, or by the operations of the mind.

Before you proceed further, says the Countess of Twylight, you should, I think, explain to the company what is meant by the term idea. That, I apprehend, is sufficiently explained by what was said about the looking-glass, says the Philosopher; but if your Ladyship requires another definition you shall have it. By an idea, then, I mean that image or picture, Madam, which is formed in the mind, of any thing which we have seen, or even heard talk of; for the mind is so adroit and ready at this kind of painting, that a town, for instance, is no sooner mentioned, but the imagination shapes it into form and presents it to the memory. None of this company, I presume, have ever seen Dresden, yet there is not one, perhaps, but has formed, or conceived in his mind, some idea or picture of that unhappy place. Not one of us ever saw N{abob}'s prodigious army and elephants, yet we have all formed to ourselves a picture of their running away from a small party of our brave countrymen, led against them by the gallant and courageous Colonel Clive. When we read in the news-papers a description of a sea-engage <103> ment, or the taking of Louisburg, Quebec, or any other important fortress, the mind immediately gives us a picture of the transaction, and we see our valient officers issuing their orders, and their intrepid men {furlin}g their sails, firing their guns, scaling the walls, and driving their foes before them. To pursue this subject a little farther--No man has ever seen a dragon, a griffin, or a fairy; yet every one has formed in his mind a picture, image, or, in other words, an idea of these imaginary beings--Now when this idea or image is formed in the mind from a view of the object itself, it may be called an adequate or real idea; but when it is conceived in the mind without seeing the object, it is an inadequate or imaginary idea.

I shall begin my discourse of the Senses with that of the Sight, says he, because, as Mr. Addison observes, the sight is the most perfect and pleasing of them all. The organ of seeing is the eye, which is made up of a number of parts, and so wonderfully contrived for admitting and refracting the rays of light, that those which come from the same point of the object, and fall upon different parts of the pupil, are again brought together at the bottom of the eye, and by that means the whole object is <104> painted on a membrane called the retina, which is spread there.

But how is it possible, says Sir Harry, for you to know that the object is thus painted on the retina? In some measure from the structure of the eye, replied the Philosopher; but, I think, it is manifest from that disorder of the eye which Surgeons call the gutta serena, the very complaint which my Lord's Butler has in one of his eyes. If you examine it you will find that he has no sight with that eye, tho' it looks as perfect as the other with which he sees well; this is, therefore, occasioned by some paralytic, or other disorder in that membrane, or expansion of the optic nerve, which we call the retina, and proves that all vision arises from thence.

That which produces in us the sensation which we call Seeing, is light, for without light nothing is visible. Now light may be considered either as it radiates from luminous bodies directly to our eyes, and thus we see those luminous bodies themselves; as the Sun, a lighted torch, &c. or as it is reflected from other bodies, and thus we see a flower, a man, &c. or a picture reflected from them to our eyes by the rays of light.

It is to be observed that the bodies which respect the light are of three sorts, 1. Those <105> that emit the rays of light, as the sun and fix'd stars. 2. Those that transmit the rays of light, as the air; and, 3. Those that reflect them, as the Moon, the Earth, Iron,&c. . The first we call luminous, the second pellucid, and the third, opaque bodies. It is also to be observed, that the rays of light themselves are never seen; but by their means we see the luminous bodies from which they originally came, and the opaque bodies from which they are reflected; thus, for instance, when the Moon shines, we cannot see the rays which pass from the Sun to the Moon; but, by their means, we see the Moon, from whence they are reflected.

If the eye be placed directly in the Medium through which the rays pass to it, the Medium is not seen; for we never see the air through which the rays come to our eyes. But if a pellucid body, thro' which the rays are to pass, be placed at a distance from our eye, that body will be seen, as well as those bodies from whence the rays came that pass through it to our eyes: for instance, he who looks through a pair of spectacles, not only sees bodies through them, but also sees the glas{s} itself; because the glass, being a solid body, reflects some rays of light from its surface; and being placed at a convenient <106> distance from the eye, may be seen by those reflected rays, at the same time that bodies, at a greater distance, are seen by the transmitted rays; and this is the reason, perhaps, why objects are seen more distinctly through a reflecting, than through a refracting telescope.

There are two kinds of opaque bodies, namely, those that are not specular, as the moon, the earth, a horse, a man, &c. and others that are specular or mirrors, like those in reflecting telescopes, whose surfaces being polished, reflect the rays in the same order as they came from other bodies, and shew us their images. And rays that are thus reflected from opaque bodies, always bring with them to the eye the idea of colour, tho' this colour in bodies is nothing more than a disposition to reflect to the eye one sort of rays more copiously or in greater plenty than another; for particular rays impress upon the eye particular colours; some are red, others blue, yellow, green, &c. Now it is to be observed, that every, body of light which comes from the Sun seems to be compounded of those various sorts of rays; and as some of them are more refrangible than others, that is to say, are more turned out of their course in passing from one medium to another, it <107> necessarily follows that they will be separated after such refraction, and their colours appear distinct. The most refrangible of these are the violet, and the least the red; the intermediate ones, in order, are indigo, blue, green, yellow, and orange.

How do you know, Mr. Philosopher, that colours are separated in this manner? says Sir Harry. I have no notion of these doctrines without demonstration. That you may have, if you please, replied the Philosopher. Pray, Master Lovelace, hand me that Prism.

Now, Sir Harry, if you will please to hold this prism in the beams of the Sun, you will see the colours separated in the manner I have mentioned. Please to look, Lady Caroline, the separation is very pleasing, and you will find what I said of the rainbow in <108> my third Lecture confirmed by this experiment.

All these rays differ not only in refrangibility, but in reflexibility; I mean in the property of being reflected some more easily than others. And hence arise all the various colours of bodies.

The whiteness of the Sun's light is owing, it is supposed, to a mixture of all the original colours in a due proportion; and whiteness in other bodies, is a disposition to reflect all the colours of light, nearly in the same proportion as they are mixed in the original rays of the Sun; as blackness, on the contrary, is only a disposition to absorb or stifle, without reflection, most of the rays of every sort that fall on those bodies; and it is for that reason, we may suppose, that black clothes are warmer than those of any other colour; and are therefore rejected by the inhabitants of hot countries, who choose such colours for their raiment as will reflect the Sun's rays, and not absorb them.

Light, as we have already observed, is successively propagated with most amazing swiftness; for it comes from the Sun to the Earth in about seven or eight minutes, tho' at the distance of seventy millions of miles.

Hearing is the next most extensive of our <109> senses, the organ of which is the Ear, whose structure is extremely curious, as may be seen in the books of Anatomy.

That which the ear conveys to the brain is called sound, tho' till it reaches and affects the perceptive part, it is in reality nothing but motion; and this motion, which produces in us the perception of sound, is a vibration of the air, occasioned by a very short and quick tremulous motion of the body from whence it is propagated. That sound is conveyed in this manner, may be known by what is observed and felt in the strings of musical instruments, and of bells, which tremble or vibrate as long as we perceive any sound come from them; and from this effect which they produce in us they are called Sounding Bodies.

Sound is propagated at a great rate, but not near so fast as light. I don't know that, says Lady Caroline. Then your Ladyship has forgotten what passed in our Lecture upon Air, replied the Philosopher; and to confirm by experiment what I advanced, I must beg his Lordship to order one of the servants to go to a distance into the park, and discharge a gun. The Gentlemen were averse to this, it being an observation they had made an <110> hundred times; but to gratify the young people, my Lord ordered his Game-keeper out, and when the piece was discharged, they had the satisfaction of seeing the fire long before they heard the report.

Smelling is another sense which seems to be excited in us by external bodies, and sometimes by bodies at a great distance; but that which immediately affects the nose, the organ of smelling, and produces in us the sensation of any smell, are effluvia or invisible particles that fly from those bodies to our olfactory nerves. How do you prove this, young Gentleman? says Sir Harry. Sir, replied the Philosopher, had you been here yesterday, you would not have asked this question, for, as the wind was North-East, the effluvia from my Lord's brick-kilns were ready to suffocate us; but now the wind is turned to the South-West you observe no such thing, because those effluvia are driven a contrary way.

The power which some bodies have of emitting these effluvia or steams without being visibly diminished, is to me most amazing; yet that it is true we know by abundant experience. A single grain of musk will scent a thousand rooms, and send forth these odoriferous particles for a great number of years <111> without being spent. Surely these particles must be extremely small; yet their minuteness is nothing when compared with the particles of light, which pervade and find their way thro' glass, or to the magnetic effluvia which pass freely through metallic bodies; whereas those effluvia that produce the sensation of smelling, notwithstanding their wonderful property of scenting all places into which they are brought, and without any sensible diminution, are yet too gross to pass the membranes of a bladder, and many of them will scarce find their way through common white paper.

There are but few names to express the infinite number of scents that we meet with. I know of none but those of sweet, stinking, rank, musty, and sour; for so barren is our language in this respect, that the rest are expressed either by degrees of comparison, or by epithets borrowed from bodies that produce scent, which must, in many cases, be very inexpressive; for the smell of a rose, of a violet, and of musk, though all sweet, are as distinct as any scents whatever.

The next sense under our consideration is Taste, the organ of which is the tongue and the palate, but principally the tongue. Ay, and a pretty organ it is, says Lady Ca <112> roline. When used with your Ladyship's discretion, Madam, replied the Philosopher. But I must observe to your Ladyship, and the rest of the good company, that though bodies which emit light, sounds, and scents, are seen, heard, and smelt at a distance; yet no bodies can produce taste, without being immediately applied to the organ; for tho' the meat be placed at your mouth, you know not what taste it will produce till you have touched it with your tongue or palate.

Though there are an amazing variety of tastes, yet here, as in scents, we have but a few general names to express the whole; sweet, sour, bitter, harsh, smooth, and rank, are all that I can recollect; and our other ideas of taste are generally conveyed by borrowed similitudes and expressions as those of scents. It is surprizing, says the Ambassador, that in this age of gluttony, your language should be so barren as not to afford you words to express those ideas which are excited by exquisite flavours. Sir, says the Marquis, this may be easily accounted for. I must inform your Excellency, that we are indebted for our most expressive terms to the Poets, who were never much acquainted with good eating, and are less so since literature has lost its zest. Very true, my Lord, <113> says Sir Harry, their dishes, poor creatures, have lately been of the mental kind; but had you a few rich Poets that could afford to live like people of taste, instead of your sweets and your sours, and such old fashion terms, you would have the calapash and calape flavour, the live-lobster flavour, the whipt-pig flavour, and a list of others as long — as my arm. Fye, Sir Harry, says the Marchioness, no more of that, I beg; you know Lady Caroline can't bear the name of Barbarity. Nor I neither, says the Ambassador, but pray what barbarity is there in this, Madam? Oh! none at all, replied Sir Harry, I only mean to insinuate that some of our great people are not content with having food brought from the East and West Indies, and every other part of the world, to gratify their palates, but they must roast lobsters alive, and whip young pigs to death to make them tender. Good God! says the Ambassador, are there people in England capable of such acts of inhumanity? A man that will do that would murder me, if the law did not stand between us; and the law is but a poor screen where humanity is lost and conscience lulled asleep. I'll apply to the King my master for my dismission, and no longer live with a people who have adopted <114> such diabolical customs. The Ambassador was so much in a passion, that it was with difficulty my Lord Marquis pacified him; and poor Lady Caroline, whose kind soul sympathizes with every creature in distress, was in tears at the bare rehearsal of those acts of cruelty. Upon which the Baronet was blamed by all the company, except myself, and, I think, he never shewed so much good sense in his life; for there was one in the room who deserved the reproof.

When the Ambassador had sat down with a sigh, and Lady Caroline had wiped the precious pearly drops from her cheeks, our Philosopher arose and thus pursued his Lecture.

I have already taken notice of four of our senses, and am now come to the fifth and last, I mean that of the Touch, which is a sense spread over the whole body, tho' it is more particularly the business of the hands and fingers; for by them the tangible qualities of bodies are known, since we discover by the touch of the fingers, and sometimes, indeed, by the touch of other parts of the body, whether things are hard, soft, rough, smooth, wet, dry, &c. But the qualities which most affect this sense are heat and cold, and which, indeed, are the great engines of Na <115> ture; for by a due temperament of those two opposite qualities most of her productions are formed.

What we call heat is occasioned by the agitation of the insensible parts of the body that produces in us that sensation; and when the parts of a body are violently agitated, we say, and indeed we feel, that body is hot, so that that which to our sensation is heat, in the object is nothing but motion. Hey-day, says Lady Caroline, what sort of Philosophy is this? Why, Madam, says Sir Harry, this is a position which has been laid down by these airy Gentlemen for a long time, but which never has been proved by experiment. Take care, Baronet, says the Marquis, or you'll forfeit all pretensions to Philosophy. The forfeiture, my Lord, is made already, says the Philosopher; Sir Harry has been bold enough to deny that which experience every day confirms for truth. If what we call Heat is not motion, or occasioned by the motion of bodies, how came my Lord's mill to take fire the other day, when it was running round without a proper supply of corn? And how came your post-chariot to fire while running down Breakneck hill, Sir Harry? Consider, there was nobody with a torch under the axle- <116> tree; but this is a part of Philosophy known even to the poor ignorant Indians, who, when hunting at a great distance from home, and wanting fire to dress their meat, take a bow and a string and rub two pieces of wood together till they produce flame. But you may see, Sir Harry, that heat is occasioned by the motion of bodies, by only rubbing this piece of smooth brass on the table --stay, I'll rub it. — It must be done briskly. There, now you'll feel it hot; but cease this motion for a time, and the brass will become cold again; whence we may infer, that as heat is nothing but the insensible particles of bodies put into motion, so cold, on the contrary, is occasioned by the cessation of the motion of those particles, or their being placed in a state of rest.

But bodies appear hot or cold in proportion to the temperament of that part of the human body to which they are applied; so that what seems hot to one, may not seem so to another: This is so true, that the same body felt by the two hands of the same man, may at the same instant of time appear warm to the one hand, and cold to the other, if with the one hand he has been rubbing any thing, while the other was kept in a state of rest; and for no other reason but because <117> the motion of the insensible particles of that hand with which he has been rubbing, will be more brisk than the particles of the other which was at rest.

I have mentioned those objects which are peculiar to each of our senses, as light and colour to the sight; sound to the hearing; odors to the smell, &c. but there are two others common to all the senses, which deserve our notice, and these are pleasure and pain, which the senses may receive by their own peculiar objects; for we know that a proper portion of light is pleasing, but that too much offends the eye; some sounds delight, while others are disagreeable, and grate the ear; so heat, in a moderate degree, is very pleasant; yet that heat may be so increased as to give the most intolerable pain. But these things are too well known to be longer insisted on.

Now from the ideas or conceptions formed in the mind, by means of our senses, and the operations of the mind itself, are laid the foundation of the human understanding, the lowest degree of which is perception; and to conceive a right notion of this, we must distinguish the first objects of it, which are simple ideas, such as are represented by the words, red, blue, bitter, sweet, &c. from the <118> other objects of our senses; to which we may add the internal operations of our own minds, or the objects of reflection, such as are thinking, willing, &c. for all our ideas are first obtained by sensation and refle{ct}ion. The mind having gained variety of simple ideas, by putting them together, forms what are called compounded or complex ideas, as those signified by the words, man, horse, marygold, windmill, &c.

The next operation of the mind (or of the understanding) in its progress to knowledge, is that of abstracting its ideas; for by abstraction they are made general; and a general idea is to be considered as separated from time and place, and lodged in the mind to represent any particular thing that is conformable to it.

Knowledge, which is the highest degree of the speculative faculties, consists in the perception of the truth of affirmative or negative propositions; and this perception is either immediate or mediate. When, by comparing two ideas together in the mind, we perceive their agreement or disagreement, as that black is not white; that the whole is bigger than a part; that two and two are equal to four, &c. it is called immediate perception, or intuitive knowledge; and as the truth of these and the like propositions is <119> so evident as to be known by a simple intuition of the ideas themselves, they are also called self-evident propositions.

Mediate perception, is when the agreement or disagreement of two ideas is made known by the intervention of some other ideas: Thus if it be affirmed that my Lord's bay horse is as high as my father's, the agreement or disagreement may be seen by applying the measure to both; and this is called demonstration, or rational knowledge. The dimensions of any two bodies which cannot be brought together, may be thus known, by the same measure being applied to them both.

But the understanding is not confined to certain truth; it also judges of probability, which consists in the likely agreement or disagreement of ideas; and the assenting to any proposition as probable, is called opinion, or belief. — We have now finished this Course of Lectures. I hope not, says Lady Caroline, with some emotion! — Why, Madam, returned the Philosopher, we have taken a cursory view of natural bodies, and their causes and effects; which I have endeavoured to explain in such a manner as to be intelligible, at least, if not entertaining; and pray what more did your Ladyship expect? Sir, replied <120> the Lady, I am greatly pleased with the account you have given us, and I thank you, Sir, for the pains you have taken to answer the many questions I have troubled you with. What I had farther to hope, was, that you would have given us, when you was on the subject of Animals, some strictures on the cruelty with which they are too often treated; and have thrown in reflections and observations tending to inforce in mankind a different conduct. This I wished for, and should have been glad to have had Sir Thomas and his Lady here at the same time; who are both extremely fond of their little domestic creatures, and I admire them for their tenderness and compassion. These feelings and sentiments of the human heart, Madam, says the Philosopher, add much to the dignity of our nature, and I am greatly delighted with such behaviour; but I am afraid, Lady Caroline, that we often mistake characters of this kind, and take that for humanity and tenderness, which is only the effect of fancy or self love. That Sir Thomas has compassion, I grant you; but I am afraid it is only for himself. He loves his dogs and horses, because his dogs and horses give him pleasure, but to other creatures that afford <121> him none, he is absolutely insensible. I have seen him, even at Christmas, feed his pretty pupps, as he calls them, with delicacies; but rave, at the same time, in a merciless manner, at poor children who were shivering at his gate, and send them away empty handed. Our neighbour Sir William is also of the same disposition; he will not sell a horse, that is declining, for fear he should fall into the hands of a master who might treat him with cruelty; but he is largely concerned in the slave trade (which, I think, is carried on by none but we good Christians, to the dishonour of our celestial Master) and makes no difficulty of separating the husband from the wife, the parents from the children, and all of them (as well as our own people, who are procured by his {crimps},) from their native country, to be sold in a foreign market, like so many horses, and often to the most merciless of the human race. I remember him in great distress for his pointer Phillis, who had lost her puppies; but the same afternoon I saw him, without the least compunction of mind, press a poor man into the sea service, and tear him from his wife and children; for no other crime, but because he had fought bravely for his King and country in the last war, and be <122> ing now settled in business, and having a family, did not chuse to enter the service again. Is this humanity, Madam? Is this morality? But above all, is this Christianity? And are these the blessed effects of the liberty we boast of? — I don't expect a reply, Lady Caroline, for I shall have occasion to say much more on these subjects in my next course of Lectures, and then, perhaps, you will honour me with your observations. But in the meantime don't let us be misled by specious pretences. We cannot judge of any man, Madam, by one single action, but by the tenour and result of all his actions, and this requires deep penetration and an intimate knowledge of human life.

Benevolence, Lady Caroline, should be universal, for it is an emanation of the Supreme Being, whose mercy and goodness are extended to all his creatures; as ours also should be, for they are fellow tenants with us of the globe we inhabit.

I have often thought, Madam, that most of the mischiefs which embarrass society, and render one man contemptible to another, are owing to inordinate ambition or extreme love of power, and of wealth, the means by which it is procured; for all the gold a man possesses beyond that portion which is <123> requisite for himself and family, only serves to inflame his ambition; as all the wine we drink more than is necessary to recruit the drooping spirits, answers no other purpose but to intoxicate the mind.

I have seen a book, Lady Caroline, in my Pappa's library, which gives some account of one Lycurgus, an old Grecian Lawgiver, with whose character you ought to be acquainted. — This man, Madam, was of opinion, that religion, virtue, and good manners, were the only natural cements and preservatives of liberty, peace, and friendship; which he found had been destroyed and extirpated by means of wealth and self-interest; he therefore prohibited the use of gold and silver, and all kinds of luxury in the state, and established such a plan for the education of youth of every denomination, as was most likely to confirm and habituate them in the practice of religion and virtue, and secure to the Spartans and their posterity the blessings of liberty and peace.

The event proved that his institutions were founded on sound policy, and a perfect knowledge of human nature; for in the space of five hundred years, that is to say, from the time of Lycurgus to the introduction of wealth into the state by Lysander, in the reign <124> of the first Agis, there was no mutiny among the people; every man submitted chearfully to the laws of Lycurgus, and all were so united and powerful in consequence of their virtue, sobriety, and the martial discipline he had established (which was that of a national militia) that Sparta, a very small and inconsiderable State, not only gave laws to the rest of Greece, but made even the Persian Monarchs tremble, though masters of the richest and most extensive empire in the world. But when these great and virtuous people of Sparta had conquered Athens, and from thence introduced wealth and luxury into their own country, they lost their virtue, dwindled to nothing, and were themselves enslaved. Nor is this a matter of wonder; for where Religion and Virtue are set at a distance, and Wealth leads the way to posts of honour and trust, some people will stick at nothing to obtain gold; but were dignities of this kind conferred on the most deserving, and none but men of virtue and superior abilities promoted to places of trust and power, there would be no frauds in the State, or violence among the People, and we might then hope to enjoy the felicities of the Golden Age.


Man in that Age no rule but Reason knew,

And with a native bent did good pursue;

Unaw'd by punishment, and void of fear,

His words were simple and his soul sincere.

By no forc'd laws his passions were confin'd,

For conscience kept his heart, and calm'd his mind;

Peace o'er the world, her blessed sway maintained,

And e'en in Desarts smiling Plenty reign'd.

F I N I S.

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