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Moral Essays,

IN

FOUR EPISTLES

TO

Several Persons.

Eft brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lasis onerantibus aures :
Et sermone opus eft modo tristi, fæpe jocoso,
Defendente vicem modo Rhetoris atque Poetæ,
Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque
Extenuantis eas consulcò.

Hor.

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MORAL ESSAYS.

E PIST L E I.

то Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham.

A 'RG UM É N T. Of the Knowledge and Characters of MEN.

THAT it is not fufficient for this knowledge to consider

Man in the Abstract: Books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own Experience singly, Ver. 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, Ver. 1o. Some Peculiarity in every man, chara£teristic to himself, yet varying from himfelf, Ver. 15. Difficulties arising from our own Passions, Fancies, Faculties, &c. Ver. 31. The Mortness of Life, to observe in, and the uncertainty of the Principles of action in men, to observe by, Ver. 37, &c. Our own Principle of action often hid from ourselves, Ver. 41. Some few characters plain, but in general confounded; dissembled, or inconsistent, Ver. 51. The same man utterly different in different places and feaJons, Ver. 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greateft, Ver. 77, &c. Nothing constant and certain but

God and Nature, Ver. 95. No judging of the Motives from the astions ; the same aétions proceeding from contrary Motives, and the same Motives influencing contrary actions, Ver. 100. II. Yet to form Characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree: The utter uncertainty of this, from Nature itself, and from Policy, Ver. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, Ver. 135. And some reason for it, Ver. 141. ' Educacion alters the Nature, or at least Character of many, Ver. 149. Actions, Passions, Opinions, Manners, Humours, or Principles, all subječt to change. No judging by Nature, from Ver. 158 to 174. III. It only remains to find (if we can) bis. Ruling PASSION : That will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all bis actions, Ver. 175. Infanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, Ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, Ver. 210. Examples of the strength of the Ruling Pallion, and its continuation to the last breath, Ver. 222, &c.

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