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An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War by Bernard Mandeville

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By the Author of the FABLE of the BEES.
[Bernard Mandeville]


I take it for granted, that a Christian is not bound to believe any
Thing to have been of Divine Institution, that has not been declared
to be such in Holy Writ. Yet great Offence has been taken at an Essay,
in the First Part of the Fable of the _Bees_, call'd An Enquiry into the
Origin of Moral Virtue; notwithstanding the great Caution it is wrote
with. Since then, it is thought Criminal to surmise, that even Heathen
Virtue was of Human Invention, and the Reader, in the following
Dialogues, will find me to persist in the Opinion, that it was; I beg
his Patience to peruse what I have to say for my self on this Head,
which is all I shall trouble him with here.

The Word Morality is either synonimous with Virtue, or signifies that
Part of Philosophy, which treats of it, and teaches the Regulation of
Manners; and by the Words Moral Virtue, I mean the same Thing which I
believe Every body else does. I am likewise fully persuaded that to
govern our selves according to the Dictates of Reason, is far better
than to indulge the Passions without Stop or Controul, and
consequently that Virtue is more beneficial than Vice, not only for
the Peace and real Happiness of Society in general, but likewise for
the Temporal Felicity of every individual Member of it, abstract from
thee Consideration of a future State, I am moreover convinced, that
all wise Men ever were and ever will be of this Opinion; and I shall
never oppose Any body, who shall be pleased to call this an Eternal

Having allow'd and own'd thus much, I beg Leave to make a short
Grammatical Reflection on the Sounds or Letters we make use of to
express this rational Management of ourselves: For tho' the Truth of
its Excellency is Eternal, the Words _Moral Virtue_ themselves are not
so, any more than Speech or Man himself. Permit me therefore to
enquire which Way it is most probably, they must have come into the

The Word _Moral_, without Doubt, comes from _Mos_, and signifies every
Thing that relates to Manners: The Word _Ethick_ is synonimous with
_Moral_, and is derived from [Greek: ithik], which is exactly the same
in _Greek_, that _Mos_ is in _Latin_. The _Greek_ for Virtu, is [Greek:
arete], which is derived from [Greek: ares], the God of War and
properly signifies Martial Virtue. The same Word in _Latin_, if we
believe _Cicero_, comes from _Vir_; and the genuine Signification likewise
of the Word _Virtus_ is Fortitude. It is hardly to be conceived, but
that in the first Forming of all Societies, there must have been
Struggles for Superiority; and therefore it is reasonable to imagine,
that in all the Beginnings of Civil Government, and the Infancy of
Nations, Strength and Courage must have been the most valuable
Qualifications for some Time. This makes me think, that _Virtus_, in its
first Acceptation, might, with great Justice and Propriety, be in
_English_ render'd _Manliness_; which fully expresses the Original Meaning
of it, and shews the Etymology equally with the _Latin_; and whoever is
acquainted with that Language must know, that it was some ages before
the _Romans_ used it in any other Sense. Nay, to this Day, the Word
_Virtus_ by it self, in any of their Historians, has the same
Signification, as if the Word _Bellica_ had been added. We have Reason
to think, that, as First, Nothing was meant by _Virtus_, but Daring and
Intrepidity, right or wrong; or else if could never have been made to
signify Savageness, and brutish Courage; as _Tacitus_, in the Fourth
Book of his History, makes use of it manifestly in that Sense. Even
Wild Beasts, says he, if you keep them shut up, will lose their
Fierceness. _Etiam sera animalia, si clausa teneas, virtutis

What the Great Men of _Rome_ valued themselves upon was active and
passive Bravery, Warlike Virtue, which is so strongly express'd in the
Words of Livy: _Et facere & pati fortia Romanum est._ But
besides the Consideration of the great Service, All Warriours received
from this Virtue, there is a very good Reason in the Nature of the
Thing it self, why it should be in far higher Esteem than any other.
The Passion it has to struggle with, is the most violent and stubborn,
and consequently the hardest to be conquer'd, the Fear of Death: The
least Conflict with it is harsh Work, and a difficult Task; and it is
in Regard to this, that _Cicero_, in his _Offices_, calls Modesty, Justice
and Temperance, the softer and easier Virtues. _Qui virtutibus
bis lenioribus erit ornatus, modestia, justitia temperantia,_ &c.
Justice and Temperance require Professors as grave and solemnn, and
demand as much Strictness and Observance as any other Virtues. Why
_lenioribus_ then; but that they are more mild and gentle in the
Restrain they lay upon our Inclinations, and that the Self-denial they
require is more practicable and less mortifying than that of Virtue
itself, as it is taken in it proper and genuine Sense? To be Just or
Temperate, we have Temptations to encounter, and Difficulties to
surmount, that are troublesome: But the Efforts we are oblig'd to make
upon our selves to be truyly Valiant are infinitely greater; and, in
order to it, we are overcome the First, the strongest and most lasting
Passion, that has been implanted in us; for tho' we may hate and have
Aversion to many Things by Instinct, yet this is Nothing so generally
terrible, and so generally dreadful to all Creatures, rational or not
rational, as the Dissolution of their Being.

Upon due Consideration of what has been said, it will be easy to
imagine how and why, soon after Fortitude had been honoured with the
Name of Virtue, all the other Branches of Conquest over our selves
were dignify'd with the same Title. We may see in it likewise the
Reason of what I have always so strenuously insisted upon, _viz._ That
no Practice, no Action or good Quality, how useful or beneficial
soever they may be in them selves, can ever deserve the Name of
Virtue, strictly speaking, where there is not a palpable Self-denial
to be seen. In Tract of Time, the Sense of the Word _Virtus_ received
still a grated Latitude; and it signify'd Worth, Strength, Authority,
and Goodness of all Kinds: _Plautus_ makes use of it, for Assistance.
_Virtute Deum_, by the Help of the Gods. By Degrees it was applied not
only to Brutes, _Est in juveneis, est in equis patrum Virtus_,
but likewise to Things inanimate and was made Use of to express the
Power, and peculiar Qualities of Vegetables and Minerals of all Sorts,
as it continues to be to this Day. The Virtue of the Loadstone, the
Virtue of Opium, &c. It is highly probable, that the Word _Moral_,
either in _Greek_ or _Latin_, never was thought of before the
Signification of the Word _Virtue_ had been extended so far beyond its
Original; and then in speaking of the Virtues of our Species, the
Addition of that Epithet became necessary, to denote the Relation they
had to our Manners, and distinguish them from the Properties and
Efficacy of Plants, Stones, &c. which were likewise call'd _Virtues_.

If I am wrong, I shall be glad to see a better Account, how this
Adjective and Substantive came to be join'd together. In the mean
Time, I am very sure, that this is Nothing strain'd or forc'd in my
Supposition. That the Words, in Tract of Time, are be come of greater
Importance, I don't deny. The Words _Clown_ and _Villain_ have opprobrious
Meanings annex'd to them, that were never implied in _Colonus_ and
_Villanus_, from which they were undoubtedly derived. _Moral_, for ought I
know, may now signify _Virtue_, in the same Manner and for the same
Reason, that _Panic_ signifies _Fear_.

That this Conjecture or Opinion of mine, should be detracting from the
Dignity of _Moral Virtue_, or have a Tendency to bring it into
Disrepute, I can not see. I have already own'd, that it ever was and
ever will be preferable to Vice, in the Opinion of all wise Men. But
to call Virtue it self Eternal, can not be done without a strangely
Figurative Way of Speaking. There is no Doubt, but all Mathematical
Truths are Eternal, yet they are taught; and some of them are very
abstruse, and the Knowledge of them never was acquir'd without great
Labour and Depth of Thought. _Euclid_ had his Merit; and it does not
appear that the Doctrine of the _Fluxions_ was known before Sir _Isaac
Newton_ discover'd that concise Way of Computation; and it is not
impossible that there should be another Method, as yet unknown, still
more compendious, that may not be found out these Thousand Years.

All Propositions, not confin'd to Time or Place, that are once true,
must be always so; even in the silliest and most abject Things in the
World; as for Example, It is wrong to under-roast Mutton for People
who love to have their Meat well done. The Truth of this, which is the
most trifling Thing I can readily think on, is as much Eternal, as
that of the Sublimest Virtue. If you ask me, where this Truth was,
before there was Mutton, or People to dress or eat it, I answer, in
the same Place where Chastity was, before there were any Creatures
that had an Appetite to procreate their Species. This puts me in mind
of the inconsiderate Zeal of some Men, who even in Metaphysicks, know
not how to think abstractly, and cannot forebear mixing their own
Meanness and Imbecillities, with the Idea's they form of the Supreme

There is no Virtue that has a Name, but it curbs, regulates, or
subdues some Passion that is peculiar to Humane Nature; and therefore
to say, that God has all the Virtues in the highest Perfection, wants
as much the Apology, that it is an Expression accommodated to vulgar
Capacities, as that he has Hands and Feet, and is angry. For as God
has not a Body, nor any Thing that is Corporeal belonging to his
Essence, so he is entirely free from Passions and Fralities. With what
Propriety then can we attribute any Thing to him that was invented, or
at least signifies a Strength or Ability to conquer or govern Passions
and Fralities? The Holiness of God, and all his Perfections, as well
as the Beatitude he exists in, belong to his Nature; and there is no
Virtue but what is acquired. It signifies Nothing to add, that God has
those Virtues in the highest Perfection; let them be what they will,
as to Perfection, they must still be Virtues; which, for the aforesaid
Reasons, it is impertinent to ascribe to the Diety. Our Thoughts of
God should be as worthy of him as we are able to frame them; and as
they can not be adequate to his Greatness, so they oughts at least to
be abstract from every Thing that does or can belong to silly, reptile
Man: And it is sufficient, whenever we venture to speak of a Subject
so immensly far beyond our Reach, to say, that there is a perfect and
compleat Goodness in the Divine Nature, infinitely surpassing not only
the highest Perfection, which the most virtuous Men can arrive at, but
likewise every Thing that Mortals can conceive about it.

I recommend the fore-going Paragraph to the Consideration of the
Advocates for the Eternity and Divine Original of Virtue; assuring
them, that, if I am mistaken, it is not owing to any Perverseness of
my Will, but Want of Understanding.

The Opinion, that there can be no Virtue without Self-denial, is more
advantagious to Society than the contrary Doctrine, which is a vast
Inlet to Hypocrisy, as I have shewn at large [1]: Yet I am willing to
allow, that Men may contract a Habit of Virtue, so as to practise it,
without being sensible of Self-denial, and even that they may take
Pleasure in Actions that would be impracticable to the Vicious: But
then it is manifest, that this Habit is the Work of Art, Education and
Custom; and it never was acquired, where the Conquest over the
Passions had not be already made. There is no Virtuous Man of Forty
Years, but he may remember the Conflict he had with some Appetites
before he was Twenty. How natural seem all Civilities to be a
Gentleman! Yet Time was, that he would not have made his Bow, if he
had not been bid.

[Footnote 1: Fable of the _Bees_. p. ii. P. 106.]

Whoever has read the Second Part of the Fable of the _Bees_, will see,
that in these Dialogues I make Use of the same Persons, who are the
Interlocutors there, and whose Characters have been already draw in
the Preface of that Book.


_Honour is built upon a Passion in Human Nature, for which there is no

_The Author's Reasons for Coining the Word Self-liking_

_How the Passion of Self-liking is discovered in Infants_

_A Definition of Honour, and what it is in Substance_

_The Author's Opinion illustrated by what we know of Dishonour or Shame_

_The different Symptoms of Pride and Shame in the Mechanism of Man_

_Are both the Result of the same Passion_

_The Word Honour, as it signifies a Principle of Courage and Virtue, is
of Gothick Extraction_

_All Societies of Men are perpetually in Quest after Happiness_

_The true Reason, why no Nations can be govern'd without Religion,
enquired into_

_Why no one Sort or Degree of Idolatry can be more or less absurd than

_For what Purpose all Religions may be equally serviceable_

_All Men are born with the Fear of an invisible Cause_

_The Usefulness of that Fear, as to Religion_

_The Impossibility of making_ Atheism _universally received_

_Religion no Invention of Politicians_

_The Benefit expected from the Notions of Honour_

_The Reasonableness of Mens Actions examined_

_How the Strictness of the Gospel came to be first disapproved of, and
the Consequence_

_How Mens Actions may be inconsistent with their Belief_

_That many bad Christians were yet kept in Awe by the Fear of Shame,
gave the first Handle to the Invention of Honour as a Principle_

_What it is we are afraid of in the Fear of Shame_

_Why the Principle of Honour has been of more Use to Society than that
of Virtue_

_The Principle of Honour, clashing with Christianity_

_Reasons why the Church of_ Rome _endeavour'd to reconcile them_

_The real Design of_ Legends _and_ Romances

_The Stratagems of the Church of_ Rome _to enslave the Laity_

_What gave Rise to the Custom of Duelling_

The Contents of the Second Dialogue.

_Of the Principle of Honour in the fair Sex_

_The Motives of Women who turn Nuns, seldom Religious_

_Which is most serviceable to the Preservation of Chastity in Women,
Religion, or Self-liking_

_How the Notions concerning the Principle of Honour came to be commonly

_The Qualifications thought Necessary in a Man of Honour_

_But Courage alone is sufficient to obtain the Title_

_When the Fashion of Duelling was at its greatest Height_

_Courts of Honour erected in_ France

_Laws of Honour made by them to prevent Duelling_

_Why those Laws were the Reverse of all others_

_The Laws of Honour introduced as speaking_

_The Effect such Laws must have on Human Nature_

_The Arguments a true Christian would make use of to dissuade Men from

_The Reasons why Men are despised who take Affronts without resenting

_No Scarcity of Believers in Christ_

_The Principle of Honour contrary to Christianity_

_Why the Principle of Honour is of greater Efficacy upon many than

_How Men may adore themselves_

_Equivalents for Swearing_

_A ludicrous Proposal of_ Horatio _upon the Supposition, that Honor is an

_A Passage in the Fable of the Bees Defended_

_Satyr as little to be depended upon as Panegyrick_

_Whatever belongs to Honour or Shame, has its Foundation in the Passion
of Self-liking_

_The Church of_ Rome's _cunning in consulting and humouring Human Nature_

_Heraldry of great influence on the Passion of Self-liking_

_Of Canonizations of Saint, and the different Purposes they serve_

_The want of Foresight in the first Reformers_

_The worldly Wisdom of the Church of Rome_

_Hor. owning the Self-denial required in the Gospel in a literal Sense_

_The great Use she has made of it_

_The Analogy between the Popish Religion and a Manufacture_

_The Danger there is in explaining away the Self-denial of the Gospel_

_How the Self-denial of some may seem to be of use to others that
practise none_

_Easy Casuists can only satisfy the_ Beau Monde

_Jesuits don't, explain away Self-denial in General_

_What sort of Preachers will soonest gain Credit among the Multitude_

_Men may easily be taught to believe what is not Clashing with received

_The force of Education as to Self-denial_

_The Advantage the Church of Rome has made from vulgar Nations_

_Divines, who appeal to Men's Reason, ought to behave differently from
those, who teach implicite Faith._

_Why the Luxury of a Popish Clergy gives less Offence to the Laity,
than that of Protestants_

_What the Church of_ Rome _seems no to dispair of_

_The Politicks of_ Rome _more formidable than any other_

_What must always keep up the Popish Interest in_ Great-Britain

_The most probable Maxims to hinder the Growth as well as Irreligion
and Impiety as of Popery and Superstition_

_When the literal Sense of Words is to be prefer'd to the figurative_

_What the Reformers might have foreseen_

_What has been and ever will be the Fate of all Sects_

The Contents of the Third Dialog

_The Beginning of all Earthly Things was mean_

_The Reason of the high Value Men have for things in which they have
but the least Share_

_Whether the best Christians make the best Soldiers_

_Remarks on the Word_ Difference

_An excursion of_ Horatio

_Why Religious Wars are the most Cruel_

_The Pretensions of the Huguenot Army in_ France, _and that of the_
Roundheads _in England near the same_

_What was answered by their Adversaries_

_What would be the natural Consequeuce of such Differences_

_The Effect which such a Contrariety of Interests would always have on
the sober Party_

_Superstition and Enthusiasm may make Men fight, but the Doctrine of
Christ never can_

_What is required in a Soldier to be call'd virtuous and good_

_Instances where debauch'd Fellows and the greatest Rogues have fought

_What is connived at in Soldiers and what not_

_Divines in Armies seldom rigid Casuists_

_How Troops may aquire the Character of being good Christians_

_Why Divines are necessary in Armies_

_Why the worst Religion is more beneficial to Society than Atheism_

_Whether Preachers of the Gospel ever made Men Fight_

_The use that may be made of the Old Testament_

_An everlasting Maxim in Politicks_

_When the Gospel is preach'd to military Men, and when it is let aside_

_Whether_ Cromwel's _Views in promoting an outward Shew of Piety were
Religious or Political_

_The Foundation of the Quarrels that occasion'd the Civil War_

_How Men who are sincere in their Religion may be made to Act contrary
to the Precept of it_

_When the Gospel ought no longer to be appeald to_

_A promise to prove what seems to be a Paradox_

_What all Priests have labour'd at in all Armies_

_The Sentiments that were instill'd into the Minds of the_ Roundheads

_The Use which it is probable, a crafty wicked General would make of a
Conjucture, as here hinted at_

_How Men may be sincere and in many Respects morally good, and bad

_How an obsure Man might raise himself to the highest Post in an Army,
and be thought a Saint tho' he was an Atheist_

_How wicked men may be useful soldiers_

_How the most obdurate Wretch might receive benefit as a soldier from
an outward Shew of Devotion in others_

_That Men may be sincere Believers and yet lead wicked Lives_

_Few Men are wicked from a desire to be so_

_How even bad Men may be chear'd up by Preaching_

_Hyopcrites to save an outward Appearance may be as useful as Men of

_There are two sorts of Hypocrites very different from one another_

The Contents of the Fourth Dialogue.

_An Objection of_ Horatio, _concerning Fast-Days_

_What War they would be useful in, if duely kept_

_How Christianity may be made serviceable to Anti-Christian Purposes_

_What is understood in_ England _by keeping a Fast-Day_

_The real Doctrine of Christ can give no Encouragement for Fighting_

_Instances, where Divines seem not to think themselves strictly tied to
the Gospel_

_The Art of Preaching in Armies_

_The Use which Politicians may make of extraordinary Days of Devotion,
abstract from all Thoughts of Religion_

_The miserable Nations, which many of the Vulgar have of Religion_

_How the Rememberance of a Fast-Day may affect a Wicked Soldier_

_The Power which Preaching may have upon ignorant Well-wishers to

_The Days of Supplication among the Ancients_

_A general Show of Religion cannot be procured at all Times_

_What Conjuncture it is only practicable in_

_A Character of_ Oliver Cromwell

_A Spirit of Gentility introduced among Military Men_

_An improvement in the Art of Flattery_

_A Demonstration that what made the Men fight well in the late Wars was
not their Religion_

_Why no Armies could subsist without Religion_

_A Recapitulation of what has been advanced in this and the former

_Horatio's Concurrence_

ERRATA Page 81. Line 6. _read_ Influence. P. 94. l. 12. r. _Proprators_.
P. 174. l. 3. r. Rites.

The First Dialogue Between _Horatio_ and _Cleomenes_.

_Horatio_. I Wonder you never attempted to guess at the Origin of
Honour, as you have done at that of Politeness, and your Friend in his
Fable of the Bees has done at the Origin of Virtue.

Cleo. I have often thought of it, and am satisfied within my self,
that my Conjecture about it is Just; but there are Three substantial
Reasons, why I have hitherto kept it to my Self, and never yet
mention'd to any One, what my Sentiments are concerning the Origin of
that charming Sound.

Hor. Let me hear your Reasons however.

Cleo. The Word Honour, is used in such different Acceptations, is now
a Verb, then a Noun, sometimes taken for the Reward of Virtue,
sometimes for a Principle that leads to Virtue, and, at others again,
signifies Virtue it self; that it would be a very hard Task to take in
every Thing that belongs to it, and at the same Time avoid Confusion
in Treating of it. This is my First Reason. The Second is: That to set
forth and explain my Opinion on this Head to others with Perspicuity,
would take up so much Time, that few People would have the Patience to
hear it, or think it worth their while to bestow so much Attention, as
it would require, on what the greatest Part of Mankind would think
very trifling.

Hor. This Second whets my Curiosity: pray, what is your Third Reason?

Cleo. That the very Thing, to which, in my Opinion, Honour owes its
Birth, is a Passion in our Nature, for which there is no Word coin'd
yet, no Name that is commonly known and receiv'd in any Language.

Hor. That is very strange.

Cleo. Yet not less true. Do you remember what I said of Self-liking in
our Third Conversation, when I spoke of the Origin of Politeness?

Hor. I do; but you know, I hate Affectation and Singularity of all
sorts. Some Men are fond of uncouth Words of their own making, when
there are other Words already known, that sound better, and would
equally explain their Meaning: What you call'd then Self-liking at
last prov'd to be Pride, you know.

Cleo. Self-liking I have call'd that great Value, which all
Individuals set upon their own Persons; that high Esteem, which I take
all Men to be born with for themselves. I have proved from what is
constantly observ'd in Suicide, that there is such a Passion in Human
Nature, and that it is plainly [2] distinct from Self-love. When this
Self-liking is excessive, and so openly shewn as to give Offence to
others, I know very well it is counted a Vice and call'd Pride: But
when it is kept out of Sight, or is so well disguis'd as not to appear
in its own Colours, it has no Name, tho' Men act from that and no
other Principle.

[Footnote 2: Fable of the Bees, part II. p. 141]

Hor. When what you call Self-liking, that just Esteem which Men have
naturally for themselves, is moderate, and spurs them on to good
Actions, it is very laudable, and is call'd the Love of Praise or a
Desire of the Applause of others. Why can't you take up with either of
these Names?

Cleo. Because I would not confound the Effect with the Cause. That Men
are desirous of Praise, and love to be applauded by others, is the
Result, a palpable Consequence, of that Self-liking which reigns in
Human Nature, and is felt in every one's Breast before we have Time or
Capacity to reflect and think of Any body else. What Moralists have
taught us concerning the Passions, is very superficial and defective.
Their great Aim was the Publick Peace, and the Welfare of the Civil
Society; to make Men governable, and unite Multitudes in one common

Hor. And is it possible that Men can have a more noble Aim in

Cleo. I don't deny that; but as all their Labours were only tending to
those Purposes, they neglected all the rest; and if they could but
make Men useful to each other and easy to themselves, they had no
Scruple about the Means they did it by, nor any Regard to Truth or the
Reality of Things; as is evident from the gross Absurdities they have
made Men swallow concerning their own Nature, in spight of what All
felt within. In the Culture of Gardens, whatever comes up in the Paths
is weeded out as offensive and flung upon the Dunghill; out among the
Vegetables that are all thus promiscously thrown away for Weeds, there
may be many curious Plants, on the Use and Beauty of which a Botanist
would read long Lectures. The Moralists have endeavour'd to rout Vice,
and clear the Heart of all hurtful Appetites and Inclinations: We are
beholden to them for this in the same Manner as we are to Those who
destroy Vermin, and clear the Countries of all noxious Creatures. But
may not a Naturalist dissect Moles, try Experiments upon them, and
enquire into the Nature of their Handicraft, without Offence to the
Mole-catchers, whose Business it is only to kill them as fast as they

Hor. What Fault is it you find with the Moralists? I can't see what
you drive at.

Cleo. I would shew you, that the Want of Accuracy in them, when they
have treated of Human Nature, makes it extremely difficult to speak
intelligibly of the different Faculties of our intellectual Part. Some
Things are very essential, and yet have no Name, as I have given an
Instance in that Esteem which Men have naturally for themselves,
abstract from Self-love, and which I have been forced to coin the Word
Self-liking for: Others are miscall'd and said to be what they are
not. So most of the Passions are counted to be Weaknesses, and
commonly call'd Frailties; whereas they are the very Powers that
govern the whole Machine; and, whether they are perceived or not,
determine or rather create The Will that immediately precedes every
deliberate Action.

Hor. I now understand perfectly well what you mean by Self-liking. You
are of Opinion, that we are all born with a Passion manifestly
distinct from Self-love; that, when it is moderate and well regulated,
excites in us the Love of Praise, and a Desire to be applauded and
thought well of by others, and stirs us up to good Actions: but that
the same Passion, when it is excessive, or ill turn'd, whatever it
excites in our Selves, gives Offence to others, renders us odious, and
is call'd Pride. As there is no Word or Expression that comprehends
all the different Effects of this same Cause, this Passion, you have
made one, _viz_. Self-liking, by which you mean the Passion in general,
the whole Extent of it, whether it produces laudable Actions, and
gains us Applause, or such as we are blamed for and draw upon us the
ill Will of others.

Cleo. You are extremely right; this was my Design in coining the Word

Hor. But you said, that Honour owes its Birth to this Passion; which I
don't understand, and wish you would explain to me.

Cleo. To comprehend this well, we ought to consider, that as all Human
Creatures are born with this Passion, so the Operations of it are
manifestly observed in Infants; as soon as they begin to be conscious
and to reflect, often before they can speak or go.

Hor. As how?

Cleo. If they are praised, or commended, tho' they don't deserve it,
and good Things are said of them, tho' they are not true, we see, that
Joy is raised in them, and they are pleased: On the Contrary, when
they are reproved and blamed, tho' they know themselves to be in
Fault, and bad Things are said of them, tho' Nothing but Truth, we see
it excites Sorrow in them and often Anger. This Passion of
Self-liking, then, manifesting it self so early in all Children that
are not Idiots, it is inconceivable that Men should not be sensible,
and plainly feel, that they have it long before they are grown up: And
all Men feeling themselves to be affected with it, tho' they know no
Name for the Thing it self, it is impossible, that they should long
converse together in Society without finding out, not only that others
are influenced with it as well as themselves, but likewise which Way
to please or displease one another on Account of this Passion.

Hor. But what is all this to Honour?

Cleo. I'll shew you. When _A_ performs an Action which, in the Eyes of
_B_, is laudable, _B_ wishes well to _A_; and, to shew him his Satisfaction,
tells him, that such an Action is an Honour to Him, or that He ought
to be Honoured for it: By saying this, _B_, who knows that all Men are
affected with Self-liking, intends to acquaint _A_, that he thinks him
in the Right to gratify and indulge himself in the Passion of
Self-liking. In this Sense the Word Honour, whether it is used as a
Noun or a Verb, is always a Compliment we make to Those who act, have,
or are what we approve of; it is a Term of Art to express our
Concurrence with others, our Agreement with them in their Sentiments
concerning the Esteem and Value they have for themselves. From what I
have said, it must follow, that the greater the Multitudes are that
express this Concurrence, and the more expensive, the more operose,
and the more humble the Demonstrations of it are, the more openly
likewise they are made, the longer they last, and the higher the
Quality is of Those who join and assist in this Concurrence, this
Compliment; the greater, without all Dispute, is the Honour which is
done to the Person in whose Favour these Marks of Esteem are
displayed: So that the highest Honour which Men can give to Mortals,
whilst alive, is in Substance no more, than the most likely and most
effectual Means that Human Wit can invent to gratify, stir up, and
encrease in Him, to whom that Honour is paid, the Passion of

Hor. I am afraid it is true.

Cleo. To render what I have advanced more conspicuous, we need only
look into the Reverse of Honour, which is Dishonour or Shame, and we
shall find, that this could have had no Existence any more than
Honour, if there had not been such a Passion in our Nature as
Self-liking. When we see Others commit such Actions, as are vile and
odious in our Opinion, we say, that such Actions are a Shame to them,
or that they ought to be ashamed of them. By this we shew, that we
differ from them in their Sentiments concerning the Value which we
know, that they, as well as all Mankind, have for their own Persons;
and are endeavouring to make them have an ill Opinion of themselves,
and raise in them that sincere Sorrow, which always attends Man's
reflecting on his own Unworthiness. I desire, you would mind, that the
Actions which we thus condemn as vile and odious, need not to be so
but in our own Opinion; for what I have said happens among the worst
of Rogues, as well as among the better Sort of People. If one Villain
should neglect picking a Pocket, when he might have done it with Ease,
another of the same Gang, who was near him and saw this, would upbraid
him with it in good Earnest, and tell him, that he ought to be ashamed
of having slipt so fair an Opportunity. Sometimes Shame signifies the
visible Disorders that are the Symptoms of this sorrowful Reflection
on our own Unworthiness; at others, we give that Name to the
Punishments that are inflicted to raise those Disorders; but the more
you will examine into the Nature of either, the more you will see the
Truth of what I have asserted on this Head; and all the Marks of
Ignominy, that can be thought of; have a plain Tendency to mortify
Pride; which, in other Words, is to disturb, take away and extirpate
every Thought of Self-liking.

Hor. The Author of the Fable of the _Bees_, I think, pretends somewhere
to set down the different Symptoms of Pride and Shame.

Cleo. I believe they are faithfully copied from Nature. ---- Here is
the Passage; pray read it.

Hor. [3] _When a Man is overwhelm'd with Shame, he observes a Sinking
of the Spirits; the Heart feels cold and condensed, and the Blood
flies from it to the Circumference of the Body; the Face glows; the
Neck and part of the Breast partake of the Fire: He is heavy as Lead;
the Head is hung down; and the Eyes through a Mist of Confusion are
fix'd on the Ground: No Injuries can move him; he is weary of his
Being, and heartily wishes he could make himself invisible: But when,
gratifying his Vanity, he exults in his Pride, he discovers quite
contrary Symptoms; his Spirits swell and fan the Arterial Blood; a
more than ordinary Warmth strengthens and dilates the Hear; the
Extremities are cool; he feels Light to himself, and imagines he could
tread on Air; his Head is held up; his Eyes are roll'd about with
Sprightliness; he rejoices at his Being, is prone to Anger, and would
be glad that all the World could take Notice of him._

[Footnote 3: Fable of the Bees, Page 57.]

Cleo. That's all.

Hor. But you see, he took Pride and Shame to be two distinct Passions;
nay, in another Place he has call'd them so.

Cleo. He did; but it was an Errour, which I know he is willing to own.

Hor. what he is willing to own I don't know; but I think he is in the
Right in what he says of them in his Book. The Symptoms of Pride and
Shame are so vastly different, that to me it is inconceivable, they
should proceed from the fame Passion.

Cleo. Pray think again with Attention, and you'll be of my Opinion. My
Friend compares the Symptoms that are observed in Human Creatures when
they exult in their Pride, with those of the Mortification they feel
when they are overwhelm'd with Shame. The Symptoms, and if you will
the Sensations, that are felt in the Two Cases, are, as you say,
vastly different from one another; but no Man could be affected with
either, if he had not such a Passion in his Nature, as I call
Self-liking. Therefore they are different Affections of one and the
same Passion, that are differently observed in us, according as we
either enjoy Pleasure, or are aggriev'd on Account of that Passion; in
the same Manner as the most happy and the most miserable Lovers are
happy and miserable on the Score of the same Passion. Do but compare
the Pleasure of a Man, who with an extraordinary Appetite is feasting
on what is delicious to him, to the Torment of another, who is
extremely hungry, and can get Nothing to eat. No Two Things in the
World can be more different, than the Pleasure of the One is from the
Torment of the other; yet Nothing is more evident, than that both are
derived from and owing to the same craving principle in our nature,
the Desire of Food; for when this is entirely lost, it is more
vexatious to eat, than it is to let it alone, tho' the whole Body
languishes, and we are ready to expire for Want of Sustenance.
Hitherto I have spoken of honour in its first literal Sense, in which
it is a Technic Word in the Art of Civility, and signifies a Means
which Men by Conversing together have found out to please and gratify
one another on Account of a palpable Passion in our Nature, that has
no Name, and which therefore I call Self-liking. In this Sense I
believe the Word Honour, both as a Verb and a Noun, to be as Ancient
as the oldest Language. But there is another Meaning besides,
belonging to the same Sound; and Honour signifies likewise a principle
of Courage, Virtue, and Fidelity, which some men are said to act from,
and to be aw'd by, as others are by Religion. In this latter Sense, it
is much more modern, and I don't believe to be met with a Thousand
Years ago in any Language.

Hor. How! Is it but within these Thousand Years that there have been
men of Bravery and Virtue? Have not the _Greeks_ and _Romans_ had great
Numbers of them? Were not the _Horatii_ and _Curiatii_ Men of Honour?

Cleo. They never were call'd so. All Ages and most Countries have
produced Men of Virtue and Bravery; but this I do not enquire into
now: What I assert to be modern is the Phrase, the Term of Art; it is
that which the Ancients knew Nothing of; nor can you with Ten Words,
in either _Greek_ or _Latin_, express the entire Idea which is annex'd to
the Word Honour when it signifies a Principle. To be a Man of Honour,
it is not sufficient, that he, who assumes that Title, is brave in
War, and dares to fight against the Enemies of his Country; but he
must likewise be ready to engage in private Quarrels, tho' the Laws of
God and his Country forbid it. He must bear no Affront without
resenting it, nor refuse a Challenge, if it be sent to him in a proper
Manner by a Man of Honour. I make no Doubt, but this Signification of
the Word Honour is entirely Gothick, and sprung up in some of the most
ignorant Ages of Christianity. It seems to have been Invention to
influence Men, whom Religion had no Power over. All Human Creatures
have a restless Desire of mending their Condition; and in all Civil
Societies and Communions of Men there seems to be a Spirit at Work,
that, in Spight of the continual Opposition it receives from Vice and
Misfortunes, is always labouring for, and seeking after what can never
be obtain'd whilst the World stands.

Hor. What is that pray?

Cleo. To make Men compleatly Happy upon Earth. Thus Men make Laws to
obviate every Inconveniency they meet with; and as Times discover to
them the Insufficiency of those Laws, they make others with an Intent
to enforce, mend, explain or repeal the former; till the Body of Laws
grows to such an enormous Bulk, that to understand it is a tedious
prolix Study, and the Numbers that follow and belong to the Practise
of it, come to be a Grievance almost as great as could be fear'd from
Injustice and Oppression. Nothing is more necessary than that Property
should be secured; and it is impossible but on many Occasions Men must
trust one another in the Civil Society. Now Nothing has ever been
thought to be more obligatory or a greater Tie upon Man than Religion.

Hor. This I have often wonder'd at: Considering the Absurdities on the
Religion of the _Greeks_ and _Romans,_ the bad Examples and Immoralities
of their Deities, the ridiculous Fables of a _Charon,_ a _Styx,_ a
_Cerberus,_ &c, and the obscenity display'd in several of their
Festivals, I cannot conceive how Men could expect, that such Religions
should make Men Honest, or do any good to their Morals; and yet, which
is amazing to me, most wise men in all Ages have agreed, that, without
some Religion or other, it would be impossible to govern any
considerable Nation. However, I believe it is Fact, that it never was

Cleo. That no large Society of Men can be well govern'd without
Religion, and that there never was a Nation that had not some Worship,
and did not believe in some Deity or other, is most certain: But what
do you think is the Reason of that?

Hor. Because Multitudes must be aw'd by Something that is terrible, as
Flames of Hell, and Fire everlasting; and it is evident, that if it
was not for the Fear of an After-Reckoning, some Men would be so
wicked, that there would be no living with them.

Cleo. Pray, how wicked would they be? What Crimes would they commit?

Hor. Robbing, Murdering, Ravishing.

Cleo. And are not often here, as well as in other Nations, People
convicted of, and punished for those Crimes?

Hor. I am satisfied, the Vulgar could not be managed without Religion
of some Sort or other; for the Fear of Futurity keeps Thousands in
Awe, who, without that Reflection, would all be guilty of those Crimes
which are now committed only by a Few.

Cleo. This is a Surmise without any Foundation. It has been said a
Thousand Times by Divines of all Sects; but No body has ever shewn the
least Probability of its being true; and daily Experience gives us all
the Reason in the World to think the Contrary; for there are
Thousands, who, throughout the Course of their Lives, seem not to have
the least Regard to a future State, tho' they are Believers, and yet
these very People are very cautious of committing any Thing which the
Law would punish. You'll give me Leave to observe by the By, that to
believe what you say, a Man must have a worse Opinion of his Species,
than ever the Author of the _Fable of the Bees_ appears to have had yet.

Hor. Don't mistake me: I am far from believing, that Men of Sense and
Education are to be frighten'd with those Bugbears.

Cleo. And what I say, I don't mean of Libertines or Deist; but Men,
that to all outward Appearance are Believers, that go to Church,
receive the Sacrament, and at the Approach of Death are observed to be
really afraid of Hell. And yet of these, many are Drunkards,
Whoremasters, Adulterers, and not a Few of them betray their Trust,
rob their Country, defraud Widows and Orphans, and make wronging their
Neighbours their daily Practice.

Hor. What Temporal Benefit can Religion be of to the Civil Society, if
it don't keep People in Awe?

Cleo. That's another Question. We both agree, that no Nation or large
Society can be well govern'd without Religion. I ask'd you the Reason
of this: You tell me, because the Vulgar could not be kept in Awe
without it. In Reply to this, I point at a Thousand Instances, where
Religion is not of the Efficacy, and shew you withal that this End of
keeping Men in Awe is much better obtain'd by the Laws and temporal
Punishment; and that it is the Fear of them, which actually restrains
great Numbers of wicked People; I might say All, without Exception, of
whom there is any Hope or Possibility, that they can be curb'd at all,
or restrain'd by any Thing whatever: For such Reprobates as can make a
Jest of the Gallows, and are not afraid of Hanging, will laugh
likewise at Hell and defy Damnation.

Hor. If the Reason I alledge is insufficient, pray give me a better.

Cleo. I'll endeavour it. The First Business of all Governments, I mean
the Task which all Rulers must begin with, is, to make Men tractable
and obedient, which is not to be perform'd unless we can make them
believe, that the Instructions and Commands we give them have a plain
Tendency to the Good of every Individual, and that we say Nothing to
them, but what we know to be true. To do this effectually, Human
Nature ought to be humour'd as well as studied: Whoever therefore
takes upon him to govern a Multitude, ought to inform himself of those
Sentiments that are the natural Result of the Passions and Frailties
which every Human Creature is born with.

Hor. I don't understand what Sentiments you speak of.

Cleo. I'll explain my self. All Men are born with Fear; and as they
are likewise born with a Desire of Happiness and Self-Preservation, it
is natural for them to avoid Pain and every Thing that makes them
uneasy; and which, by a general Word, is call'd Evil. Fear being that
Passion which inspires us with a strong Aversion to Evil, it is very
natural to think that it will put us up on enquiring into the means to
shun it. I have told you already, in our Fifth Conversation, how this
Aversion to Evil, and Endeavour to shun it, this Principle of Fear,
would always naturally dispose Human Creatures to suspect the
Existence of an intelligent Cause that is invisible, whenever any Evil
happen'd to them, which came they knew not whence, and of which the
Author was not to be seen. If you remember what I said then, the
Reasons why no Nations can be govern'd without Religion, will be
obvious. Every Individual, whether he is a Savage, or is born in a
Civil Society, is persuaded within, that there is such an invisible
Cause; and should any Mortal contradict this, no Multitude would
believe a Word of what he said. Whereas, on the other Hand, if a Ruler
humours this Fear, and puts it out of all Doubt, that there is such an
invisible Cause, he may say of it what he pleases; and no Multitude,
that was never taught any Thing to the contrary, will ever dispute it
with him. He may say, that it is a Crocodile or a Monkey, an Ox, or a
Dog, an Onion, or a Wafer. And as to the Essence and the Qualities of
the invisible Cause, he is at Liberty to call it very good or very
bad. He many say of it, that it is an envious, malicious, and the most
cruel Being that can be imagin'd; that it loves Blood and delights in
Human Sacrifices: Or he may say that there are two invisible Causes;
one the Author of Good, the other of Evil; or that there are Three; or
that there is really but One, tho' seemingly there are Three, or else
that there are Fifty Thousand. The many Calamities we are liable to,
from Thunder and Lightning, Hurricanes and Earthquakes, Plagues and
Inundations, will always make ignorant and untaught Men more prone to
believe, that the invisible Cause is a bad mischievous Being, than
that it is a good benign one; as I shew'd you then in that Fifth

Hor. On this Head I own I must give up Mankind, and cannot maintain
the Excellency of Human Nature; for the absurdities in Idolatrous
Worship, that have been and are still committed by some of our own
Species, are such as no Creatures of any other could out-do them in.

Cleo. The Protestant and the Mahometan are the only National Religions
now, that are free from Idolatry; and therefore the Absurdities in the
Worship of all the Rest are pretty much alike; at least, the
Difference in the Degrees of Mens Folly, as Idolaters, is very
inconsiderable. For how unknown soever an invisible Cause, Power, or
Being may be, that is incomprehensible, this is certain of it, that no
clear intelligible Idea can be form'd of it; and that no Figure can
describe it. All Attempts then, to represent the Deity, being equally
vain and frivolous, no One Shape or Form can be imagin'd of it, that
can justly be said to be more or less absurd than another. As to the
temporal Benefit which Religion can be of to the Civil Society, or the
Political View which Lawgivers and Governours may have in promoting
it, the chief Use of it is in Promises of Allegiance and Loyalty, and
all solemn Engagements and Asseverations, in which the invisible
Power, that, in every Country, is the Object of the Publick Worship,
is involved or appeal'd to. For these Purposes all Religions are
equally serrviceable; and the worst is better than none: For without
the belief of an invisible Cause, no Man's Word is to be relied upon,
no Vows or Protestations can be depended upon; but as soon as a Man
believes, that there is a Power somewhere, that will certainly punish
him, if he forswears himself; as soon, I say, as a Man believes this,
we have Reason to trust to his Oath; at least, it is a better Test
than any other Verbal Assurance. But what this same Person believes
further, concerning the Nature and the Essence of that Power he swears
by, the Worship it requires, or whether he conceives it in the
singular or plural Number, may be very material to himself, but the
Socicty has Nothing to do with it: Because it can make no Alteration
in the Security which his Swearing gives us. I don't deny the
Usefulness which even the worst Religion that can be, may be of to
Politicians and the Civil Society: But what I insist upon, is, that
the temporal Benefit of it, or the Contrivance of Oaths and Swearing,
could never have enter'd into the the Heads of Politician, if the Fear
of an invisible Cause had not pre-existed and been supposed to be
universal, any more than they would have contrived matrimony, if the
Desire of Procreation had not been planted in Human Nature and visible
in both Sexes. Passions don't affect us, but when they are provoked:
The Fear of Death is a Reality in our Nature: But the greatest Cowards
may, and often do, live Forty Years and longer, without being
disturb'd by it. The Fear of an invisible Cause is as real in our
Nature, as the Fear of Death; either of them may be conquer'd perhaps;
but so may Lust; and Experience teaches us, that how violent soever
the Desire of Propagating our Species may be whilst we are young, it
goes off, and is often entirely lost in old Age. When I hear a Man
say, that he never felt any Fear of an invisible Cause, that was not
owing to Education, I believe him as much as I do a young married
Woman in Health and Vigour, who tells me, that she never felt any Love
to a Man, that did not proceed from a Sense of her Duty.

Hor. Does this Fear, this Acknowledgment of an invisible Cause,
dispose or excite men any more to the true Religion, than it does to
the grossest and most abominable Idolatry?

Cleo. I don't say it does. But there is no Passion in Human Nature so
beneficial, that, according as it is managed, may not do Mischief as
well as good. What do you think of Love? If this Fear had not been
common to the whole Species, none could have been influenc'd by it;
the Consequence of which must have been, that Men would have rejected
the true Religion as well as the false. There is Nothing that Men may
differ in, in which they will ever be all of the same Opinion: And
abstruse Truths do often seem to be less probable than well dress'd
Fables, when they are skilfully accommodated to our Understanding, and
agreeable to our own Way of thinking. That there is but one God, the
Creator of Heaven and Earth, that is an all-wise and perfectly good
Being, without any Mixture of Evil, would have been a most rational
Opinion, tho' it had not been reveal'd. But Reasoning and Metaphysicks
must have been carried on to a great Height of Perfection, before this
Truth could be penetrated into by the Light of Nature. _Plutarch_, who
was a Man of great Learning, and has in many Things display'd good
Sense and Capacity, thought it impossible, that one Being should have
been the Cause of the Whole, and was therefore of Opinion, that there
must have been Two Principles; the one to produce all the Good; and
the other all the Evil that is in the World. And Some of the greatest
men have been of this Opinion, both before and since the Promulgation
of the Gospel. But whatever Philosophers and men of Letters may have
advanced, there never was an Age or a Country where the Vulgar would
ever come into an Opinion that contradicted that Fear, which all men
are born with, of an invisible Cause, that meddles and interferes in
Human Affairs; and there is a greater Possibility, that the most
Senseless Enthusiast should make a knowing and polite Nation believe
the most incredible Falsities, or that the most odious Tyrant should
persuade them to the grossest Idolatry, than that the most artful
Politician, or the most popular Prince, should make Atheism to be
universally received among the Vulgar of any considerable State or
Kingdom, tho' there were no Temples or Priests to be seen. From all
which I would shew, that, on the one Hand, you can make no Multitudes
believe contrary to what they feel, or what contradicts a Passion
inherent in their Nature, and that, on the other, if you humour that
Passion, and allow it to be just, you may regulate it as you please.
How unanimous soever, therefore, all Rulers and Magistrates have
seem'd to be in promoting some Religion or other, the Principle of it
was not of their Invention. They found it in Man; and the Fear of an
invisible Cause being universal, if Governours had said nothing of it,
every Man in his own Breast would have found Fault with them, and had
a Superstition of his own to himself. It has often been seen, that the
most subtle Unbelievers among Politicians have been forced, for their
own Quiet, to counterfeit their Attachment to religion, when they
would a Thousand Times rather have done without it.

Hor. It is not in the Power then, you think, of Politicians, to
contradict the Passions, or deny the Existence of them, but that, when
once they have allow'd them to be just and natural, they may guide Men
in the Indulgence of them, as they please.

Cleo. I do so; and the Truth of this is evident likewise in another
Passion, (_viz_) that of Love, which I hinted at before; and Marriage
was not invented to make Men procreate; they had that Desire before;
but it was instituted to regulate a strong Passion, and prevent the
innumerable Mischiefs that would ensue, if Men and Women should
converse together promiscuosly, and love and leave one another as
Caprice and their unruly Fancy led them. Thus we see, that every
Legislator has regulated Matrimony in that Way, which, to the best of
his Skill, he imagin'd would be the most proper to promote the Peace
Felicity in general of Those he govern'd: And how great an Imposter
soever _Mahomet_ was, I can never believe, that he would have allow'd
his _Mussulmen_ Three or Four Wives a piece, if he had thought it
better, than one; Man should be contented with and confin'd to One
Woman; I mean better upon the Whole, more beneficial to the Civil
Society, as well in Consideration of the Climate he lived in--, as the
Nature and the Temperament of those _Arabians_ he gave his Laws to.

Hor. But what is all this to the Origin of Honour? What Reason have
you to think it to be of Gothick Extraction?

Cleo. My Conjecture concerning Honour, as it signifies a Principle
from which Men act, is, that it is an Invention of Politicians, to
keep Men close to their Promises and Engagements, when all other Ties
prov'd ineffectual; and the Christian Religion itself was often found
insufficient for that Purpose.

Hor. But the Belief of an over-ruling Power, that will certainly
punish Perjury and Injustice, being common to all Religions, what
pre-eminence has the Christian over the Rest, as to the Civil Society
in Temporals?

Cleo. It shews and insists upon the Necessity of that Belief more
amply and more emphatically than any other. Besides, the Strictness of
its Morality, and the exemplary Lives of Those who preach'd it, gain'd
vast Credit to the mysterious Part of it; and there never had been a
Doctrine or Philosophy from which it was so likely to expect, that it
would produce Honesty, mutual Love and Faithfulness in the Discharge
of all Duties and Engagements as the Christian Religion. The wisest
Moralists, before that Time, has laid the greatest Stress on the
Reasonableness of their precepts; and appeal'd to Human Understanding
for the Truth of their Opinions. But the Gospel, soaring beyond the
Reach of Reason, teaches us many Things, which no Mortal could ever
have known, unless they had been reveal'd to him; and several that
must always remain incomprehensible to finite Capacities; and this is
the Reason, that the Gospel presses and enjoins Nothing with more
Earnestness than Faith and Believing.

Hor. But would Men be more sway'd by Things they believed only, than
they would be by those they understood?

Cleo. All Human Creatures are sway'd and wholly govern'd by their
Passions, whatever fine Notions we may flatter our Selves with; even
those who act suitably to their Knowledge, and strictly follow the
Dictates of their Reason, are not less compell'd so to do by some
Passion or other, that sets them to Work, than others, who bid
Defiance and act contrary to Both, and whom we call Slaves to their
Passions. To love Virtue for the Beauty of it, and curb one's
Appetites because it is most reasonable so to do, are very good Things
in Theory; but whoever understands our Nature, and consults the
Practice of Human Creatures, would sooner expect from them, that they
should abstain from Vice, for Fear of Punishment, and do good, in
Hopes of being rewarded for it.

Hor. Would you prefer that Goodness, built upon Selfishness and
Mercenary Principles, to that which proceeds from a Rectitude of
Thinking, and a real Love of Virtue and Reasonableness of Mens

Cleo. We can give no better Proof of our Reasonableness, than by
judging rightly. When a Man wavers in his Choice, between present
Enjoyments of Ease and Pleasure, and the Discharge of Duties that are
troublesome, he weighs what Damage or benefit will accrue to him upon
the Whole, as well from the Neglect as the Observence of the Duties
that are prescrib'd to him; and the greater the Punishment is he fears
from the Neglect, and the more transcendent the Reward is which he
hopes for from the Observance, the more reasonably he acts, when he
sides with his Duty. To bear with Inconveniencies, Pain and Sorrow, in
Hopes of being eternally Happy, and refuse the Enjoyments of Pleasure,
for Fear of being Miserable for ever, are more justifiable to Reason,
and more consonant to good Sense, than it is to do it for Nothing.

Hor. But our Divines will tell you, that this Slavish Fear is
unacceptable, and that the Love of God ought to be the Motive of good

Cleo. I have Nothing against the refin'd Notions of the Love of God,
but this is not what I would now speak of. My Design was only to
prove, that the more firmly Men believe Rewards and Punishments from
an invisible Cause, and the more this Belief always influences them in
all their Actions, the closer they'll keep to Justice and all Promises
and Engagements. It is this that was always most wanted in the Civil
Society; and, before the Coming of _Christ_, Nothing had appear'd upon
Earth, from which this grand _Desideratum_, this Blessing, might so
reasonably be expected as it might from his Doctrine. In the Beginning
of Christianity, and whilst the Gospel was explain'd without any
Regard to Wordly Views, to be a Soldier was thought inconsistent with
the Profession of a Christian; but this Strictness of the
Gospel-Principles began to be disapproved of in the Second Century.
The Divines of those Days were most of them become arrant Priests, and
saw plainly, that a Religion, which would not allow its Votaries to
assist at Courts or Armies, and comply with the vain World, could
never be made National; consequently, the Clergy of it could never
acquire any considerable Power upon Earth. In Spirituals they were the
Successors of the Apostles, but in Temporals they wanted to succeed
the Pagan Priests, whose Possessions they look'd upon with wishful
Eyes; and Worldly Strength and Authority being absolutely necessary to
establish Dominion, it was agreed, that Christians might be Soldiers,
and in a just War fight with the Enemies of their Country. But
Experience soon taught them, that those Christians, whose Consciences
would suffer them to be Soldiers, and to act contrary to the Doctrine
of Peace, were not more strict Observers of other Duties; that Pride,
Avarice and Revenge ranged among them as they did among the Heathens,
and that many of them were guilty of Drunkenness and Incontinence,
Fraud and Injustice, at the same Time that they pretended to great
Zeal, and were great Sticklers for their Religion. This made it
evident, that there could be no Religion so strict, no System of
Morality so refin'd, nor Theory so well meaning, but some People might
pretend to profess and follow it, and yet be loose Livers, and wicked
in their Practice.

Hor. Those who profess to be of a Theory, which they contradict by
their Practice, are, without Doubt, hypocrites.

Cleo. I have more Charity than to think so. There are real Believers
that lead Wicked Lives; and Many stick not at Crimes, which they never
would have dared to commit, if the Terrors of the Divine Justice, and
the Flames of Hell, had struck their Imagination, and been before them
in the same Manner as they really believe they shall be; or if at that
Time their Fears had made the same Impression upon them, which they do
at others, when the Evil dreaded seems to be near. Things at a
Distance, tho' we are sure that they are to come, make little
Impression upon us in Comparison with those that are present and
immediately before us. This is evident in the Affair of Death: There
is No Body who does not believe, that he must die, Mr. _Asgil_ perhaps
excepted; yet it hardly ever employs People's Thoughts, even of Those
who are most terribly afraid of it whilst they are in perfect Health,
and have every Thing they like. Man is never better pleas'd than when
he is employ'd in procuring Ease and Pleasure, in thinking on his own
Worth, and mending his Condition upon Earth. Whether This is laid on
the Devil or our Attachment to the World, it is plain to me, that it
flows from Man's Nature, always to mind to Flatter, Love, and take
Delight in himself; and that he cares as little as possible ever to be
interupted in this grand Employment. As every organ, and every part of
Man, seems to be made and wisely contriv'd for the Functions of this
Life only, so his Nature prompts him, not to have any Sollicitude for
Things beyond this World. The Care of Self-Preservation we are born
with, does not extend it self beyond this Life; therefore every
Creature dreads Death as the Dissolution of its Being, the Term not to
be exceeded, the End of All. How various and unreasonable soever our
Wishes may be, and how enormous the Multiplicity of our Desires, they
terminate in Life, and all the Objects of them are on this Side the

Hor. Has not a Man Desires beyond the Grave, who buys an Estate, not
to be enjoy'd but by his Heirs, and enters into Agreements that shall
be binding for a Thousand Years.

Cleo. All the Pleasure and Satisfaction that can arise from the
Reflection on our Heirs, is enjoy'd in this Life: And the Benefits and
Advantages we wish to our Posterity are of the same Nature with those
which we would wish to our Selves if we were to live; and what we take
Care of is, that they shall be Rich, keep their Possessions, and that
their Estates, Authority and Prerogatives shall never diminish, but
rather encrease. We look upon Posterity as the Effect of which we are
the Cause, and we reckon our Selves as it were to continue in them.

Hor. But the Ambitious that are in Pursuit of Glory, and sacrifise
their Lives to Fame and a lasting Reputation, sure they have Wishes
beyond the Grave.

Cleo. Tho' a Man should stretch and carry his Ambition to the End of
the World, and desire not to be forgot as long as that stood, yet the
Pleasure that arises from the Reflection on what shall be said of him
Thousands and Thousand of Years after, can only be enjoy'd in this
Life. If a vain Coxcomb, whose Memory shall die with him, can be but
firmly persuaded, that he shall leave an eternal Name, the Reflection
may give him as much Pleasure as the greatest Hero can receive from
reflecting on what shall really render him immortal. A Man, who is not
regenerated, can have no Notion of another World, or future happiness;
therefore his Longing after it cannot be very strong. Nothing can
affect us forcibly but what strikes the Senses, or such Things which
we are conscious of within. By the Light of Nature only, we are
capable of demonstrating to our Selves the necessity of a First Cause,
a Supreme Being; but the Existence of a Deity cannot be render'd more
manifest to our Reason, than his Essence is unknown and
incomprehensible to our Understanding.

Hor. I don't see what you drive at.

Cleo. I am endeavouring to account for the small Effect and little
Force, which Religion, and the Belief of future Punishments, may be of
to mere Man, unassisted with the Divine Grace. The Practice of nominal
Christians is perpetually clashing with the Theory they profess.
Innumerable Sins are committed in private, which the Presence of a
Child, or the most insignificant Person, might have hinder'd, by Men
who believe God to be omniscient, and never question'd his Ubiquity.

Hor. But pray, come to the Point, the Origin of Honour.

Cleo. If we consider, that men are always endeavouring to mend their
Condition and render Society more happy as to this World we may easily
conceive, when it was evident that Nothing could be a Check upon Man
that was absent, or at least appear'd not to be present, how Moralists
and Politicians came to look for Something in Man himself, to keep him
in Awe. The more they examin'd into Human Nature, the more they must
have been convinced, that Man is so Selfish a Creature, that, whilst
he is at Liberty, the greatest Part of his Time will always be
bestow'd upon himself; and that whatever Fear or Revenerence he might
have for an invisible Cause, that Thought was often jostled out by
others, more nearly relating to himself. It is obvious likewise, that
he neither loves nor esteems any Thing so well as he does his own
Individual; and that here is Nothing, which he has so constantly
before his Eyes, as his own dear Self. It is highly probable, that
skilful Rulers, having made these observations for some Time, would be
tempted to try if Man could not be made an Object of Reverence to

Hor. You have only named Love and Esteem; they alone cannot produce
Reverence by your own Maxim; how could they make a man afraid of

Cleo. By improving upon his Dread of Shame; and this, I am persuaded,
was the Case: For as soon as it was found out, that many vicious,
quarrelsome, and undaunted Men, that fear'd neither God nor Devil,
were yet often curb'd and visibly with-held by the Fear of Shame; and
likewise that this Fear of Shame might be greatly encreas'd by an
artful Education, and be made superiour even to that of Death, they
had made a Discovery of a real Tie, that would serve many noble
Purposes in the Society. This I take to have been the Origin of
Honour, the Principle of which has its Foundation in Self-liking; and
no Art could ever have fix'd or rais'd it in any Breast, if that
Passion had not pre-existed and been predominant there.

Hor. But, how are you sure, that this was the Work of Moralists and
Politicians, as you seem to insinuate?

Cleo. I give those Names promiscuously to All that, having studied
Human Nature, have endeavour'd to civilize Men, and render them more
and more tractable, either for the Ease of Governours and Magistrates,
or else for the Temporal Happiness of Society in general. I think of
all Inventions of this Sort, the same which told [4] you of
Politeness, that they are the joint Labour of Many, Human Wisdom is
the Child of Time. It was not the Contrivance of one Man, nor could it
have been the Business of a few Years, to establish a Notion, by which
a rational Creature is kept in Awe for Fear of it Self, and an Idol is
set up, that shall be its own Worshiper.

[Footnote 4: Fable of the Bees, Part. II. page 132.]

Hor. But I deny, that in the Fear of Shame we are afraid of our
Selves. What we fear, is the judgment of others, and the ill Opinion
they will justly have of us.

Cleo. Examine this thoroughly, and you'll find, that when we covet
Glory, or dread Infamy, it is not the good or bad Opinion of others
that affects us with Joy or Sorrow, Pleasure or Pain; but it is the
Notion we form of that Opinion of theirs, and must proceed from the
Regard and Value we have for it. If it was otherwise, the most
Shameless Fellow would suffer as much in his Mind from publick
Disgrace and Infamy, as a Man that values his Reputation. Therefore it
is the Notion we have of Things, our own Thought and Something within
our Selves, that creates the Fear of Shame: For if I have a Reason,
why I forbear to do a Thing to Day, which it is impossible should be
known before to Morrow, I must be with-held by Something that exists
already; for Nothing can act upon me the Day before it has its Being.

Hor. The Upshot is I find, that Honour is of the same Origin with

Cleo. But the Invention of Honour, as a Principle, is of a much later
Date; and I look upon it as the greater Atchievement by far. It was an
Improvement in the Art of Flattery, by which the Excellency of our
Species is raised to such a Height, that it becomes the Object of our
own Adoration, and Man is taught in good Earnest to worship himself.

Hor. But granting you, that both Virtue and Honour are of Human
Contrivance, why do you look upon the Invention of the One to be a
greater Atchievement than that of the other?

Cleo. Because the One is more skilfully adapted to our inward Make.
Men are better paid for their Adherence to Honour, than they are for
their Adherence to Virtue: The First requires less Self-denial; and
the Rewards they receive for that Little are not imaginary but real
and palpable. But Experience confirms what I say: The Invention of
Honour has been far more beneficial to the Civil Society than that of
Virtue, and much better answer'd the End for which they were invented.
For ever since the Notion of Honour has been receiv'd among
Christians, there have always been, in the same Number of People,
Twenty Men of real Honour, to One of real Virtue. The Reason is
obvious. The Persuasions to Virtue make no Allowances, nor have any
Allurements that are clashing with the Principle of it; whereas the
Men of Pleasure, the Passionate and the Malicious, may all in their
Turns meet with Opportunities of indulging their darling Appetites
without trespassing against the Principle of Honour. A virtuous Man
thinks himself obliged to obey the Laws of his Country; but a Man of
Honour acts from a Principle which he is bound to believe Superiour to
all Laws. Do but consider the Instinct of Sovereignty that all Men are
born with, and you'll find, that in the closest Attachment to the
Principle of Honour there are Enjoyments that are ravishing to Human
Nature. A virtuous Man expects no Acknowledgments from others; and if
they won't believe him to be virtuous, his Business is not to force
them to it; but a Man of Honour has the Liberty openly to proclaim
himself to be such, and call to an Account Every body who dares to
doubt of it: Nay, such is the inestimable Value he sets upon himself,
that he often endeavours to punish with Death the most insignificant
Trespass that's committed against him, the least Word, Look, or
Motion, if he can find but any far-fetch'd reason to suspect a Design
in it to under-value him; and of this No body is allow'd to be a Judge
but himself. The Enjoyments that arise from being virtuous are of that
Nicety, that every ordinary Capacity cannot relish them: As, without
Doubt, there is a noble Pleasure in forgiving of Injuries, to
Speculative Men that have refin'd Notions of Virtue; but it is more
Natural to resent them; and in revenging one's self, there is a
Pleasure which the meanest Understanding is capable of tasting. It is
manifest then, that there are Allurements in the Principle of Honour,
to draw in Men of the lowest Capacity, and even the vicious, which
Virtue has not.

Hor. I can't see, how a Man can be really virtuous, who is not
likewise a Man of Honour. A Person may desire to be Honest, and have
an Aversion to Injustice, but unless he has Courage, he will not
always dare to be just, and may on many Occasions be afraid to do his
Duty. There is no Dependance to be had on a Coward, who may be bully'd
into vicious Actions, and every Moment be frighten'd from his

Cleo. It never was pretended, that a Man could be Virtuous and a
Coward at the same Time, since Fortitude is the very First of the Four
Cardinal Virtues. As much Courage and Intrepidity as you please; but a
virtuous Man will never display his Valour with Ostentation, where the
Laws of God and Men forbid him to make Use of it. What I would
demonstrate, is, that there are many Allowances, gross Indulgences to
Human Nature in the Principle of Honour, especially of modern Honour,
that are always exclaim'd against by the Voice of Virtue, and
diametrically opposite to the Doctrine of _Christ._

Hor. Yet the further we look back for these Seven or Eight Hundred
years, the more we shall find Honour and Religion blended together.

Cleo. When Ignorance, for several Ages, had been successfully
encouraged and was designedly introduced to make Way for Credulity,
the Simplicity of the Gospel and the Doctrine of _Christ_ were turn'd
into Gaudy Foppery and vile Superstition. It was then, that the Church
of _Rome_ began openly to execute her deep-laid Plot for enslaving the
Laity. Knowing, that no Power or Authority can be established or long
maintain'd upon Earth without real Strength and Force of Arms, she
very early coax'd the Soldiery, and made all Men of Valour her Tools
by Three Maxims, that, if skilfully follow'd, will never fail of
engaging Mankind in our Favour.

Hor. What are those, pray.

Cleo. Indulging Some in their Vices, Humouring Others in their Folly,
and Flattering the Pride of All. The various Orders of Knighthood were
so many Bulwarks to defend the Temporals of the Church, as well
against the Encroachments of her Friends, as the Invasions of her
Enemies. It was in the Institutions of these Orders, that Pains were
taken by the grand Architects of the Church, to reconcile, in outward
Shew, the Principle of Honour with that of the Christian Religion, and
make Men stupidly believe, that the Height of Pride is not
inconsistent with the greatest Humility. In these Solemnities the
jugling Priests resolved to be kept out no where; had commonly the
greatest Share; continually blending Rites seemingly Sacred with the
Emblems of vain Glory, which made all of them an eternal Mixture of
Pomp and Superstition.

Hor. I don't believe, that ever Any body set those Things in such a
Light besides your Self; but I see no Design, and the Priests gave
themselves a great Deal of Trouble for Nothing.

Cleo. Yet it is certain, that, by this and other Arts, they made
themselves sure of the most dangerous Men; for by this Means the
boldest and even the most wicked became Bigots. The less Religion they
had, the more they stood in Need of the Church; and the farther they
went from God, the more closely they stuck to the Priests, whose Power
over the Laity was then the most absolute and uncontroul'd when the
Crimes of These were most flagrant and enormous.

Hor. I believe, that among the Men of Honour Many were tainted with
Pride and Superstition at the same Time; but there were others in whom
superlative Bravery was united with the strictest Virtue.

Cleo. All Ages have had Men of Courage, and all Ages have had Men of
Virtue; but the Examples of Those you speak of, in whom superlative
Bravery was united with the strictest Virtue, were always extremely
scarce, and are rarely to be met with, but in Legends and Romances,
the Writers of both which I take to have been the greatest Enemies to
Truth and sober Sense the World ever produc'd. I don't deny, that by
perusing them Some might have fallen in Love with Courage and Heroism,
others with Chastity and Temperance, but the Design of both was to
serve the Church of _Rome_, and with wonderful Stories to gain the
Attention of the Readers, whilst they taught Bigotry, and inured them
to believe Impossibilities. But what I intended was to point at the
People that had the greatest Hand in reconciling, to outward
Appearance, the Principle of Honour with that of the Christian
Religion, the Ages This was done in, and the Reasons for which it was
attempted. For it is certain, that by the Maxims I named, the Church
made her self sure of Those who were most to be fear'd. Do but cast
your Eyes on the childish Farces, some Popes have made great Men the
chief Actors in, and the apish Tricks they made them play, when they
found them intoxicated with Pride, and that at the same Time they were
Believers without Reserve. What Impertinence of tedious Ceremonies
have they made the greatest Princes submit to, even such as were noted
for being cholerick and impatient! What Absurdities in Dress have they
made them swallow for Ornaments and Marks of Dignity! If in all these
the Passion of Self-liking had not been highly gratify'd as well as
play'd upon, Men of Sense could never have been fond of them, nor
could they have been of that Duration; for many of them are still
remaining even in Protestant Countries, where all the Frauds of Popery
have been detected long ago; and such Veneration is paid to some of
them, that it would hardly be safe to ridicule them. It is amazing to
think, what immense Multitudes of Badges of Honour have been invented
by Popery, that are all distinct from the Rest, and yet have Something
or other to shew, that they have a Relation to Christianity. What a
vast Variety of Shapes, not resembling the Original, has the poor
Cross Cross been tortur'd into! How differently has it been placed and
represented on the Garments of Men and Women, from Head to Foot! How
inconsiderable are all other Frauds that Lay-Rogues now and then have
been secretly guilty of, if you compare them to the bare-fac'd Cheats
and impudent Forgeries, with which the Church of _Rome_ has constantly
imposed upon Mankind in a triumphant Manner! What contemptible Baubles
has that Holy Toy-shop put off in the Face of the Sun for the richest
Merchandize! She has bribed the most Selfish and penetrating
Statesmen, with empty Sounds, and Titles without Meaning. The most
resolute Warriours She has forced to desist from their Purposes, and
do her dirty Work against their own Interest. I shall say Nothing of
the Holy War; how often the Church has kindled and renew'd it, or what
a Handle She made of it to raise and establish her own Power, and to
weaken and undermine that of the Temporal Princes in Christendom. The
Authority of the Church has made the greatest Princes and most haughty
Sovereigns fall prostrate before, and pay Adoration to the vilest
Trumpery, and accept of, as Presents of inestimable Worth, despicable
Trifles, that had no Value at all but what was set upon them by the
Gigantick Impudence of the donors, and the childish Credulity of the
Receivers. the Church misled the Vulgar, and then made Money of their
Errors. There is not an Attribute of God, and hardly a Word in the
Bible, to which she gave not some Turn or other, to serve her Worldly
Interest. The Relief of Witch-craft was the Fore-runner of Exorcisms;
and the Priests forged Apparitions to shew the Power they pretended
to, of laying Spirits, and casting out Devils. To make accused
Persons, sometimes by Ordeal, at others by single Combat, try the
Justice of their Cause, were both Arrows out of her Quiver; and it is
from the latter, that the Fashion of Duelling took its Rise. But those
single Combats at first were only fought by Persons of great Quality,
and on some considerable Quarrel, when they ask'd Leave of the
Sovereign to decide the Difference between them by Feats of Arms;
which being obtain'd, Judges of the Combat were appointed, and the
Champions enter'd the List with great Pomp, and in a very solemn
Manner. But as the Principle of Honour came to be very useful, the
Notions of it, by Degrees, were industriously spread among the
Multitude, till at last all Swords-men took it in their Heads, that
they had a right to decide their own Quarrels, without asking any
Body's Leave. Two Hundred Years ago----

Hor. Pardon my Rudeness, I cannot stay one Moment. An Affair of
Importance requires my Presence. It is an Appointment which I had
entirely forgot when I came hither. I am sure I have been staid for
this Half Hour.

Cleo. Pray, _Horatio_, make no Apologies. There is no Company I love
better than I do yours when you are at Leisure; but----

Hor. You don't stir out I know; I shall be back again in Two Hours

Cleo. And I shall be at Home for No body but your Self.

The Second Dialogue Between _Horatio_ and _Cleomenes_.

Horatio. I Believe I am within my Time.

Cleo. By above Ten Minutes.

Hor. When I came back in the Chair, I was thinking how artfully, all
this Afternoon, you avoided saying any Thing of Honour, as it relates
to the Fair Sex. Their Honour, you know, consists in their Chastity,
which is a real Virtue in your own Sense, not to be practis'd without
palpable Self-denial. To make a Vow of perpetual Virginity, and to be
resolute enough, never to break it, is a Task not to be perform'd
without the utmost Mortification to Flesh and Blood, especially in
handsome clever Women that seem to be made for Love, as you and I have
seen a great many in the Nunneries in _Flanders_. Self-liking or Pride
have Nothing to do there; for the more powerfully that Passion
operates in either Men or Women, the less Inclination they'll shew to
be mew'd up in a Cloyster, where they can have None but their own Sex
to converse with.

Cleo. The Reason why I said Nothing of Honour as it relates to the
fair Sex, was because we had spoke of it already in a former
Conversation; by the same Token, that I told you then, that [5] _the
Word Honour, I mean, the Sence of it, was very whimsical, and the
Difference in the Signification so prodigious, according as the
Attribute was either applied to a Man, or to a Woman, that neither
shall forfeit their Honour, tho' each should be guilty, and openly
boast of what would be the other's greatest Shame._

[Footnote 5: Fable of the Bees, part II. page 128.]

Hor. I remember it, and it is true. Gallantry with Women, is no
Discredit to the Men, any more than Want of Courage is a Reproach to
the Ladies. But do you think this is an Answer to what I said?

Cleo. It is an Answer to your Charge against me of making Use of an
Artifice, which, I declare to you, never enter'd into my Head. That
the Honour of Women in general, is allow'd to consist in their
Chastity, is very true; the Words themselves have been made Use of as
Synonimous even among the Ancients: But this, strictly speaking, ought
only to be understood of Worldly Women, who act from Political Views,
and at best from a Principle of Heathen Virtue. But the Women you
speak of among the Christians, who, having vow'd a perpetual
Virginity, debar themselves from sensual Pleasures, must be set on,
and animated by a higher Principle than that of Honour. Those who can
voluntarily make this Vow in good Humour and Prosperity, as well as
Health and Vigour, and keep it with Strictness, tho' it is in their
Power to break it, have, I own with you, a Task to perform, than which
Nothing can be more mortifying to Flesh and Blood. Self-liking or
Pride, as you say, have Nothing to do there. But where are these Women
to be found?

Hor. I told you; in the Religious Houses.

Cleo. I don't believe there is one in a Thousand that answers the
Character you gave of them. Most Nuns are made whilst they are very
young, and under the Tuition of others; and oftner by Compulsion than
their own Choice.

Hor. But there are Women grown, who take the Veil voluntarily, when
they are at their own Disposal.

Cleo. Not many, who have not some substantial Reason or other for it,
that has no Relation to Piety or Devotion; such as the Want of a
Portion suitable to their Quality; Disappointments or other
Misfortunes in the World. But to come to the Point. There are but two
Things which, in Celibacy, can make Men or Women, in Youth and Health,
strictly comply with the Rules of Chastity; and these are Religion,
and the Fear of Shame. Good Christians, that are wholly sway'd by the
Sense of a Religious Duty, must be supernaturally assisted, and are
Proof against all Temptations. But These have always been very scarce,
and there are no Numbers of them any where, that one can readily go
to. It would perhaps be an odious Disquisition, whether, among all the
young and middle-aged Women who lead a Monastick Life, and are
secluded from the World, there are Any that have, abstract from all
other Motives, Religion enough to secure them from the Frailty of the
Flesh, if they had an Opportunity to gratify it to their Liking with
Impunity. This is certain, that their Superiors, and Those under whose
Care these Nuns are, seem not to entertain that Opinion of the
Generality of them. They always keep them lock'd up and barr'd; suffer
no Men to converse with them even in Publick, but where there are
Grates between them, and not even then within Reach of one another:
And tho' hardly a Male Creature of any Kind is allow'd to come near
them, yet they are ever suspicious of them, pry into their most Secret
Thoughts, and keep constantly a watchful Eye over them.

Hor. Don't you think this must be a great Mortification to young

Cleo. Yes, a forc'd one; but there is no voluntary Self-denial, which
was the Thing you spoke of. The Mortifitation which they feel is like
that of Vagabonds in a Work-House: There is no Virtue in the
Confinement of either. Both are dissatisfied, without Doubt, but it is
because they are not employ'd to their Liking; and what they grieve
at, is, that they can't help themselves. But there are Thousands of
vain Women, whom no Thoughts of Futurity ever made any Impression
upon, that lead single Lives by Choice, and are at the same Time
careful of their Honour to the greatest Nicety, in the Midst of
Temptations, gay sprightly Women, of amorous Complexions, that can
deny a passionate, deserving Lover, whose Person they approve of and
admire, when they are alone with him in the dark; and all this from no
better Principle than the Fear of Shame, which has its Foundation in
Self-liking, and is so manifesty derived from that and no other
Passion. You and I are acquainted with Women, that have refused
Honourable Matches with the Men they loved, and with whom they might
have been Happy, if they themselves had been less intoxicated with

Hor. But when a Woman can marry, and be maintain'd suitably to her
Quality, and she refuses a Man upon no other Score, than that his
Fortune, or his Estate, are not equal to her unreasonable Desires, the
Passion she acts from is Covetousness.

Cleo. Would you call a Woman covetous, who visibly takes Delight in
Lavishness, and never shew'd any Value for Money when She had it: One
that would not have a Shilling left at the Year's End, tho' she had
Fifty Thousand Pounds coming in? All Women consult not what is
befitting their Quality: What many of them want is to be maintain'd
suitably to their Merit, their own Worth, which with great Sincerity
they think inestimable and which consequently no Price can be equal
to. The Motive therefore of these Women is no other, than what I have
call'd it, their Vanity, the undoubted Offspring of Self-liking, a
palpable Excess, an extravagant Degree of the Passion, that is able to
stifle the loudest Calls of Nature, and with a high Hand triumphs over
all other Appetites and Inclinations. What Sort of Education now do
you think the fittest to furnish and fill young Ladies with this high
Esteem for themselves and their Reputation, which, whilst it subsists
and reigns in them, is an ever-watchful and incorruptible Guardian of
their Honour? Would you mortify or flatter; lessen or increase in them
the Passion of Self-liking, in order to preserve their Chastity? In
short, which of the Two is it, you would stir up and cultivate in them
if you could, Humility or Pride?

Hor. I should not try to make them Humble, I own: And now I remember,
that in our Third Conversation, speaking of raising the Principle
Honour in both Sexes, you gave some plausible Reasons why [6] Pride
should be more encourag'd in Women than in Men. So much for the
Ladies. I shall now be glad to hear what you have to add further
concerning Honour, as it relates to Men only, and requires Courage.
When I took the Freedom to interupt you, you was saying Something of
Two Hundred Years ago.

[Footnote 6: Fable of the Bees part II. p. 126.]

Cleo. I was then going to put you in Mind, that Two Hundred Years ago
and upward, as all Gentlemen were train'd up to Arms, the Notions of
Honour were of great Use to them; and it was manifest, that never any
Thing had been invented before, that was half so effectual to create
artificial Courage among Military Men. For which Reason it was the
Interest of all politicians, among the Clergy, as well as the Laity,
to cultivate these Notions of Honour with the utmost Care, and leave
no stone unturn'd to make Every body believe the Existence and Reality
of such a Principle; not among Mechanicks, or any of the Vulgar, but
in Persons of high Birth, Knights, and others of Heroick Spirit and
exalted Nature. I can easily imagine, how, in a credulous, ignorant
Age, this might be swallow'd and generally receiv'd for Truth; nor is
it more difficult to conceive, how illiterate Men and rude Warriours,
altogether unacquainted with Human Nature, should be so far imposed
upon by such Assertions, as to be fully persuaded, that they were
really posses'd of; and actually animated by such a Principle,
constantly ascribing to the Force and Influence of it every Effort and
Suggestion they felt from the Passion of Self-liking. The Idol it self
was finely dress'd up, made a beautiful Figure, and the Worship of it
seem'd to require Nothing, that was not highly commendable and most
beneficial to Society. Those who pretended to pay their Adoration to
it, and to be true Votaries of Honour, had a hard Task to perform.
They were to be Brave and yet Courteous, Just, Loyal, and the
Protectors of Innocence against Malice and Oppression. They were to be
the profess'd Guardians of the Fair; and chaste, as well as profound
Admirers of the Sex: But above all, they were to be Stanch to the
Church, implicite Believers, zealous Champions of the Christian Faith,
and implacable Enemies to all Infidels and Hereticks.

Hor. I believe, that between Two and Three Hundred Years ago, Bigotry
was at the greatest Height.

Cleo. The Church of _Rome_ had, long before that Time, gain'd such an
Ascendant over the Laity, that Men of the highest Quality stood in Awe
of the least Parish-Priest. This made Superstition fashionable; and
the most resolute Heroes were not ashamed to pay a blind Veneration to
every Thing which the Clergy was pleased to call Sacred. Men had an
entire Confidence in the Pope's Power; his blessing of Swords,
Armours, Colours and Standards; and No body doubted of the Influence,
which Saints and Angels had upon Earth, the miraculous Virtue of
Relicks, the Reality of Witches and Enchantments, the Black Art, or
that Men might be made invulnerable.

Hor. But the Ignorance of those Days notwithstanding, you believe,
that there were Men of that strict Honour, you have been speaking of.

Cleo. Men of Honour, I told you, were required and supposed to be
possess'd of those Qualities; and I believe, that several endeavour'd
to be, and some actually were such, as far as Human Frailty would let
them; but I believe likewise, that there were others, who gain'd the
Title, by their Undauntedness only, and had but a small Stock of any
other Virtue besides; and that the Number of these was always far the
greatest. Courage and Intrepidity always were, and ever will be the
grand Characteristick of a Man of Honour: It is this Part of the
Character only, which it is always in our Power to demonstrate. The
best Friend a King has, may want an Opportunity to shew his Loyalty:
So a Man may be just and chaste, and yet not be able to convince the
World that he is so; but he may pick a Quarrel, and shew, that he
dares to Fight when he pleases, especially if he converses with Men of
the Sword. Where the Principle of Honour was in high Esteem, Vanity
and Impatience must have always prompted the most proud and forward to
seek after Opportunities of Signalizing themselves, in order to be
stiled Men of Honour. This would naturally occasion Quarrelling and
Fighting, as it did and had frequently done before the Time I speak
of. As Duelling was made a Fashion, the Point of Honour became, of
Course, a common Topick of Discourse among the best bred Men: By this
Means the Rules for Quarrelling and Ponctilio in Behaviour, which at
first were very uncertain and precarious, came to be better
understood, and refin'd upon from Time to Time, till, in the Beginning
of the last Century, the Sence of Honour was arrived to such a Degree
of Nicety all over _Europe_, especially in _France_, that barely looking
upon a Man was often taken for an Affront. The Custom of Duelling, by
this, was become to universal in that Kingdom, that the Judges
themselves thought it dishonourable to refuse a Challenge. _Henry_ IVth.
seeing the best Blood of France so often sacrific'd to this Idol,
endeavour'd to put a Stop to it, but was not able; and the several
Edicts made in 1602 and 1609 were fruitless. The Resolutions of
Parliament likewise, made in the Reign of _Lewis_ XIIIth. were as
ineffectual: the First Check that was given to Duelling, was in the
Minority of _Lewis_ XIVth, and from the Method by which it was prevented
at last, it is evident, that Honour is an Idol, by Human Contrivance,
rais'd on the Basis of Human Pride.

Hor. The Method by which a Stop was put to it, was strictly to punish
and never to pardon Any that either sent or accepted of Challenges,
whether they fought or not.

Cleo. This was not trusted to only. An Edict was publish'd in the Year
1651, by which Courts of Honour were erected throughout the Kingdom,
with Gentlemen Commissioners in every Bailiwick, that were to have
Advice of, and immediately to interpose in all Differences that might
arise between Gentlemen. The Difficulty they labour'd under was, that
they would abolish the Custom of Duelling without parting with the
Notions of Honour; destroying of which must have been certain Ruin to
a warlike Nation, that once had received them; and therefore they
never design'd, that the Worship of the Idol should cease, but they
only try'd, whether it was not to be satisfied with less valuable
Victims, and other Sacrifices besides human Blood. In the Year 1653,
_Lewis_ XIV. set forth another Declaration against Duels; in which
having made some Additions to his former Edict, he commands the
Marshals of _France_ to draw up a Regulation touching the Satisfactions
and Reparations of Honour, which they should think necessary for the
several Sorts of Offences. This Order was immediately obey'd, and
nineteen Articles were drawn up and publish'd accordingly. In these,
calling a Man Fool, Coward, or the Like, was punish'd with a Month's
Imprisonment; and after being released, the Offender was to declare to
the Party so offended, that he had wrongfully and impertinently
injur'd him by outragious Words, which he own'd to be false, and ask'd
him to forgive. Giving one the Lie, or threatning to beat him, was two
Month's Imprisonment, and the Submission to be made afterwards yet
more humble than the foregoing. For Blows, as striking with the Hand,
and other Injuries of the same Nature, the Offender was to lye in
Prison Six Months, unless, at the Request of the offended, half of
that Time was chang'd into a pecuniary Mulct, that might not be under
Fifteen Hundred Livres, to be paid before he was set at Liberty, for
the Use of the Nearest Hospital to the Abode of the offended; after
which, the Offender was to submit to the same Blows from the offended,
and to declare by Word of Mouth, and in Writing, that he had struck
him in a Brutish Manner, and beg'd him to pardon and forget that

Hor. What Mortal could submit to such Condescensions?

Cleo. For Caning, or Blows given with a Stick, the Punishment was
still more severe; and the Offender was to beg pardon upon his Knees.

Hor. I should have no great Opinion of a Man's Honour, who would not
chuse to Die rather than comply with such Demands.

Cleo. Several thought as you do, and were hang'd for their Pains. But
what Need a Man come to those Extremes, when he could have
Satisfaction for any real Offence that might provoke him? For the
Articles took Notice of, and made ample Provisions against all Manner
of Injuries, from the most trifling Offences to the highest Outrages,
and were very severe against all those that should refuse to submit to
the Penalties imposed. The Marshals of _France_ remain'd the Supreme
Judges in all these Matters; and under them acted the Governours and
Lieutenants General of Provinces, in whose Absence the Gentlemen
Commissioners in every Bailiwick, having Power to call the Officers of
Justice to their Assistance, were to take all provisional Care
imaginable; so that no Lawyers or Mechanicks had a Hand in composing
any Differences concerning the Point of Honour.

Hor. All these Things, we'll say, are wisely contriv'd; but in
complaining first there is a meanness which a Man of Honour cannot
stoop to.

Cleo. That the Instinct of Sovereignty will always bid Men revenge
their own Wrongs, and do Justice to themselves, is certain. But I
wanted, to shew you the Equivalent, that wise Men substituted in the
Room of Dueling, and which Men of unqueston'd Honour took up with. The
Scheme was contrived by Men of tried Valour, whose Example is always
of great Weight: Besides, from the Nature of the Remedies that were
applied to the Evil, it must always follow, that those who had given
the greatest Proofs of their Courage, would be the most ready to
subscribe to those Articles.

Hor. In our last Conversation but one you told me, that [7] all Laws
pointed at, and tally'd with some Frailty or Passion in our Nature;
pray, what is it that these Laws of Honour tally with?

[Footnote 7: Fable of the Bees, part II. page 318.]

Cleo. It is self-evident, that they point at Self-liking and the
Instinct of Sovereignty. But what is singular in these Laws is, that
in their Operation they are the reverse of all others.

Hor. I don't understand you.

Cleo. All other Precepts and Commandments are visibly labouring to
restrain the Passions, and cure the Imperfections of our Nature; but
these Regulations of Honour are endeavouring to prevent Mischief, by
soothing and flattering the Frailties they point at. In Offences
against a Man's Honour, Pardon is not ask'd of God or the King, but of
him who receiv'd the Affront. It is he, therefore, whom all the
Address and Homage are paid to: He is the Idol that is kneel'd to, and
the only Sovereign that can forgive the Trespasses committed against
himself. The Punishment of the first Aggressor, you see, is altogether
a Compliment to the Person offended, whose Wrath the Law is so far
from blaming, that it justifies it, and gives him an Opportunity of
indulging it by the Indignity it puts upon the Offender. The real
Mischief is not apprehended from the Offender, but the Person
offended; and therefore it is him, whom the Law coaxes and wheedles
into good Humour, by offering him a Reparation that shall be equally
honourable with what he would chuse, tho' less prejudicial to the
Society. What the Law promises is a Tribute to the same Passion which
he wants to gratify, a Sacrifice to the Idol which he himself adores.
Should Any one personate these Laws, and, representing the Sentiments
on those who made them, speak to a Man of Honour, who had receiv'd an
Affront, an Officer of the Guards, we'll say, who had been call'd Fool
by his Equal, the Purport of the Discourse would be this: You are very
much in the Right, Sir, to be highly incensed against the Man who
dared to call you Fool, you that are a Man of Honour, to whom, as
such, the whole World ought to pay the highest Esteem. You have not
only an undoubted Right to do your Self justice, and revenge the
Affront that has been given you; but there is likewise such a
Necessity of your resenting it, that if you could tamely put up the
Injury you have receiv'd, and neglect demanding Satisfaction, you
would deserve to be branded with Ignominy, and all Men of Honour would
justly refuse ever to converse with you for the future. But the
Person, whom you have this Affair with, being likewise a Man of
Honour, it is greatly to be fear'd, that upon your demanding
Satisfaction of him, a Battle will ensue, which, between two Persons
who value their Honours a Thousand Times more than their Lives, will
probably be fatal to one, if not to both; you are therefore earnestly
desired by the King himself, that for his Sake you would make some
Alteration in the Manner of taking that Satisfaction which you ought
to receive; and the Marshals of _France_ have not only given it under
their Hands, that the Equivalents, which they have proposed for
Fighting, will be as entire a Reparation to your Honour as can be
obtain'd by Arms; but moreover they have promised and engaged their
Honours, that in Cases of Affronts they will take up and content
themselves with the same Equivalents, and on all Occasions submit to
the same Regulations, which you are now desired to follow. And that it
may appear, how highly reasonable this Request is; you are likewise
desired to take the following Remonstrance into your Consideration:
That the Valour and Steadiness of Men of Honour: are the grand Support
of all States and Kingdoms, is a Truth not to be denied; and that not
only the Peace and Tranquility, and all the Blessings we enjoy, but
likewise the King's Crown and Safety would be precarious without them,
is as unquestionable. For this Reason all wise Princes, Magistrates
and Governours, will ever take all imaginable Care, on the one Hand,
to cultivate and encourage the most noble Principle of Honour, and, on
the other, to encrease the Numbers of the worthy Posessors of it, by
favouring and on all Occasions shewing them the most tender Affection,
as well as highest Esteem. It is easy then to be imagin'd, that a
Monarch, who loves his People, and has the Interest of his Nation at
Heart, must be sensibly afflicted to see it become a common Practice
for such valuable Men to destroy one another, and behold that Bravery
and Spirit, which should only be made Use of against the Enemies of
the Country, hourly employ'd and lavish'd away in private Quarrels,
that can have no other Tendency that the weakening of the Kingdom, and
which, if suffer'd to go on, must compleat its Ruin.

Hor. You make these Laws speak very notably.

Cleo. I have said Nothing but what is certainly imply'd in them. Every
Man in _France_ knew, that the chief Motive of all those Edicts against
Duelling, was the Loss of the brave Men that was sustain'd by that
Custom. The Sinfulness of it was the least Consideration.

Hor. There, I believe, you wrong them, for I have seen some of these
Edicts, where Duelling is call'd an Antichristian Practice, which God
was highly offended at.

Cleo. In wording of the Edicts, indeed, some such Thing was put in for
Form's Sake; but the Regulations themselves, by which the Men of
Honour were to walk, were openly Antichristian; and in some Cases,
instead of Teaching Men to forgive those that had trespas'd against
them, they obliged and forced the Offended to shew their Resentment,
tho' they would rather not, and desired to be excused.

Hor. Where the Affront was very heinous, I know what you say is true.
But you set these Things in a strange Light. I can make the same
Glosses upon our Laws, which oblige me to prosecute a Man that has
robb'd me, if I can catch him, whether I will or not; and he shall be
hang'd, tho' I forgive him the Injury, and even would beg his Life.

Cleo. There is a vast Difference between the two Cases, a Robbery, and
an Affront: No body hinders you from forgiving a Man that robb'd you;
but notwithstanding your pardoning him, he is punish'd for acting
against the Laws; therefore his Offence is against the King, who is
the Guardian and Superintendant of them. And No body but the King can
pardon the Trespasses that are committed against his Crown and
Dignity. Whoever robs you, must be hang'd, because he robb'd, not
because he robb'd YOU in particular: Tho' you are bound to prosecute
him for Robbing you, yet the Injury is reckon'd as done to the
Publick; and you become a Criminal your Self, if you connive at his
Escape, tho' he restor'd to you what he had robb'd you of. But in the
Case of an Affront the Injury is reckon'd to be done to him only who
receiv'd it. His Anger, as I said before, is thought to be just, and
his Resentment reasonable, till an ample Satisfaction be made him;
therefore it is He who is to be appeas'd, and He only who is to be
applied to. The Laws that were compiled by the Marshals of _France_,
don't pretend to mend the Heart, and lay no greater Restraint on the
Spirit of Revenge, than Matrimony does on the Desire of Procreation;
on the Contrary, they flatter the Frailty, and are administring to the
Haughtiness of the offended: They are so far from denying him his
Demands, or refusing to give him Satisfaction for the Affront, that
they appoint it by Authority; in the ordering of which they make such

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