BECK index

Wesley, Hume, Johnson, Smith & Pope

by Sanderson Beck

John Wesley and Methodism
Law, Hutcheson, Butler, and Richard Price
Hume’s Moral Principles
Samuel Johnson to 1749
Johnson’s Essays, Dictionary and Rasselas
Adam Smith on Morals and Wealth
Alexander Pope and His Essay on Man

John Wesley and Methodism

      John Wesley was born on June 17 (28 NS), 1703 and his brother Charles on December 18 (OS), 1707. They were the 15th and 18th children of their father Samuel, who was a rector at the Anglican church in the small town of Epworth. John got a bachelor degree from Christ Church at Oxford in 1724 and began keeping a private diary in April 1725. He was ordained a deacon in September, earned his master of arts in 1727, and was ordained a priest in 1728. He won a fellowship which gave him an income that averaged £30 a year until he forfeited it by marrying in 1751. He studied The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Jeremy Taylor’s Holy Living and Dying, and Fénelon. In 1729 John read William Law’s Christian Perfection and Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, and he began to study the Bible more seriously. He returned to Oxford where in November he and Charles started a religious study group known as the Holy Club, and others called them “Methodists.” They fasted twice a week and visited and helped prisoners, workhouses, and the poor. Their father Samuel died in 1735, and they left the Holy Club which then broke up.
      John persuaded Charles to be ordained, and on October 14, 1735 John began his public journal on the day they left to go to Georgia with 700 colonists. They were influenced by peaceful Moravian emigrants and reached Savannah in February 1736. John ministered mostly to the settlers and in the spring formed a society to “reprove, instruct, and exhort one another” every Sunday afternoon. Charles suffered illness and emotional turmoil and left for England in July. John was attracted to Sophia Hopkey; but she married William Williamson, and John was criticized for rejecting her from communion.
      John Wesley returned to England on February 1, 1738, the day after Whitefield left to preach in Georgia. On the 7th John met in London the Moravian Peter Böhler who warmed his heart and converted him to the belief that “true living faith in Christ is inseparable from a sense of pardon for all past and freedom from all present sins.” On May 24 John at Aldersgate Street was listening to Martin Luther’s preface to Paul’s Epistle to the Romans when his heart opened to trusting Christ. He decided to dedicate his life to preaching salvation by faith, but English churches often rejected him because of his emotional enthusiasm. He formed religious bands like the Moravians, and in December he devised Rules of the Band-Societies.
      John had met George Whitefield in the Holy Club and in Georgia, and he convinced John to preach outside at Bristol to 3,000 people on Sunday April 1, 1739. In London later that year John organized the first United Society of Methodists with the General Rules to avoid evil, do good, and employ the means of grace. In 1740 John started Kingswood School for the children of coal miners. Charles Wesley went to Wales in November, followed by John in October 1741. They covered the Midlands in 1741 and moved north to Newcastle by May 1742 and Cornwall in 1743. For more than a half century John Wesley would travel and preach, often several times a day, to large groups. In the British Isles he rode 250,000 miles and preached more than 40,000 sermons. John would beg for money, clothes, and food for the poor and gave away £30,000. He encouraged laymen to be itinerant preachers also, and in 1743 he published Rules for Methodist societies which by then had 2,200 members in London, 800 in Newcastle, and 700 in Bristol. Wesley went to Dublin in August 1747, the first of his 42 trips to Ireland. He published his Plain Account of the People Called Methodists in 1748.
      John Wesley and the widow Grace Murray became engaged in 1749, but Charles persuaded Grace to marry the preacher John Bennet in October. In February 1751 John Wesley married the widow Mary Vazeille; but she became jealous of young women in the Methodist societies, and John spent most of his time traveling. He visited Scotland in 1751 and made 22 journeys there. He usually slept six hours each night from ten to four. He warned against desiring anything but God. From 1749 to 1755 he edited and abridged the English works of others to publish A Christian Library in fifty volumes. In his Plain Account of Genuine Christianity in 1753 he wrote,

Above all, remembering that God is love,
he is conformed to the same likeness.
He is full of love to his neighbor:
of universal love, not confined to one sect or party,
not restrained to those who agree with him in opinions,
or in outward modes of worship,
or to those who are allied to him by blood
or recommended by nearness of place.
Neither does he love those only that love him,
or that are endeared to him by intimacy of acquaintance.
But his love resembles that of him
whose mercy is over all his works.
It soars above all these scanty bounds,
embracing neighbors and strangers, friends, and enemies;
yes, not only the good and gentle
but also the froward, the evil and unthankful.
For he loves every soul that God has made,
every child of man, of whatever place or nation.
And yet this universal benevolence does in nowise
interfere with a peculiar regard for his relations,
friends and benefactors; a fervent love for his country:
and the most endeared affection to all men of integrity,
of clear and generous virtue.1

      At conferences in 1758 and 1759 the Methodists discussed Wesley’s concept of Christian perfection which he emphasized is “pure love to God and neighbor.” In 1763 a Preachers’ Fund was established to provide for retired preachers and their families. They had called 200 preachers by 1765 when 80 were still working. Although criticized for his enthusiasm, Wesley agreed with Samuel Johnson who defined enthusiasm as “a vain belief of private revelation; a warm confidence of divine favour or communication.” John thought enthusiasts were “those who think themselves inspired by God and are not.”2
         Wesley’s A Plain Account of Christian Perfection was published in 1767 and warned against pride, enthusiasm, Antinomianism (lawlessness), sins of omission, desiring anything but God, and schism. He noted that humility unites patience with love to draw profit from suffering, and he wrote, “In souls filled with love, the desire to please God is a continual prayer.”3 On sins of omission he wrote,

Lose no opportunity of doing good in any kind.
Be zealous of good works,
willingly omit no work, neither of piety or mercy.
Do all the good you possibly can
to the bodies and souls of men.4

      By 1767 the Methodists had 22,410 converts in England, 232 in Wales, 468 in Scotland, and 2,801 in Ireland. In 1769 he sent the first Methodist missionaries to America. Occasionally mobs attacked the Methodists, often because they felt the moral preaching threatened their alehouses and entertainment.
      In his later years John Wesley expanded his writing to aid public education. In 1773 to help the poor he wrote Thoughts on the Present Scarcity of Provisions which he blamed on the greed and waste of the rich and on diverting grain into alcohol. In 1774 he condemned the slave trade in his Thoughts on Slavery, and he also opposed war, saying “Whenever war breaks out, God is forgotten.” In 1775 he included natural philosophy in his Survey of the Wisdom of God in Creation in five volumes. In 1776 he wrote Some Observations on Liberty to criticize the views of Richard Price on the American revolution because he believed that scripture obliged him to obey the powers-that-be, and he agreed with Dr. Johnson that the British Parliament had the right to tax the colonies without representation.
      To counter the Calvinist belief in predestination of the elect in their magazines, in 1778 he began publishing the Arminian Magazine. In 1779 his Thoughts on Salvation by Faith warned that no one would be saved without good works. He noted that the religious revival in England had been going for more than fifty years even though Luther had observed that revivals seldom lasted more than thirty years. In 1781 Wesley abridged the work of Johann Lorenz Mosheim in his 4-volume Concise Ecclesiastical History. In 1783 Wesley published his Thoughts on the Manner of Educating Children because he objected to strict discipline and forcing religion on children. He urged mildness or “kind severity” if necessary. He hoped the poor would be educated, and he supported the charity school movement as well as Sunday schools. He asked preachers to distribute his Instructions for Children. He criticized schools for being too near the corrupting influence of large towns, for having masters who knew little about religion, for letting Latin and Greek dominate, and for not using a rational development from easier to more difficult works. He did not think children should play at school.
      Wesley had been publishing his Primitive Physic, Or, An Easy and Natural Method of Curing Most Diseases since 1747, borrowing many remedies from George Cheyne’s Essay of Health and Long Life and Natural Method of Curing Most Diseases. The 23rd edition completed by Wesley in 1791 included 288 diseases and 824 remedies. He advised regulating diet, sleep, exercise, air quality, bowel movements, and the passions to use preventive strategies for good health more than the medicines prescribed by contemporary physicians. He especially advised avoiding extremes in food, drink, and the passions.
      John visited Holland in 1783 and 1786. The Bishop of London would not ordain all his preachers, and the Methodist societies were independent of the Anglican Church. In 1785 Wesley began consecrating ministers for Scotland, and finally in 1788 he approved the ordination of ministers in England. He left behind nearly 75,000 Methodists in the British Isles. John Wesley wrote most of his estimated 17,650 letters after 1770, and more than 3,530 are extant.
      Charles Wesley found peace on May 21, 1738 and began preaching, but he is best known for writing the lyrics to popular hymns such as “Love divine, all loves excelling,” “Hark, the herald angels sing,” “Christ the Lord is risen today,” “Soldiers of Christ, arise,” “Rejoice, the Lord is king,” and “Jesu, lover of my soul.” A collection of Methodist hymns was published in 1780. Both brothers became well respected in their later years. Charles married in 1749 and died in 1788. John’s last entry in his Journal was on October 24, 1790. He always gave away all but what he needed for expenses and left behind only four silver spoons when he passed on March 2, 1791. On his deathbed he said, “The best of all is, God is with us,” and his last words were repeating, “I’ll praise.”

Law, Hutcheson, Butler, and Richard Price

      William Law (1686-1761) in 1705 earned his degree at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. That year he formulated his “Rules for My Future Conduct” to dedicate his abilities to the “Judge of the whole world,” to avoid idleness and excess in eating and drinking, to pray and examine himself, and to follow the pattern of the life of Christ. In 1711 the college elected him a fellow, and he was ordained an Anglican priest. In 1714 he refused to take the oath of allegiance to George I and lost his fellowship. He published his Practical Treatise Upon Christian Perfection in 1726 and in 1728 A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life: Adapted to the State and Condition of All Orders of Christians which had six editions in his lifetime. Law believed in devoting one’s life to God and aligning one’s will to the will of God to serve God in everything. He contrasted the passions of the character Flavia to the devoted Miranda. A woman who loves clothes and spares no expense to adorn her person goes on to other follies that shape her life, business, conversation, hopes, fears, tastes, pleasures, and diversions. Virtuous Miranda shares her fortune with poor people and does not indulge in needless and vain expenses. Her clothes are kept clean and are the cheapest, and her work is devoted to what is necessary for herself and others.
      Law also wrote The Spirit of Prayer and The Way to Divine Knowledge, and he translated Jakob Boehme’s The Way to Christ into English. Law published The Spirit of Love in 1752 and 1754, and in the first part he wrote,

There is no peace, nor ever can be for the soul of man
but in the purity and perfection of its first created nature;
nor can it have its purity and perfection in any other way
than in and by the spirit of love.
For as love is the God that created all things, so love is
the purity, the perfection, and blessing of all created things;
and nothing can live in God but as it lives in love.
Look at every vice, pain, and disorder in human nature;
it is in itself nothing else but the spirit of the creature
turned from the universality of love
to some self-seeking or own will in created things.
So that love alone is, and only can be, the cure of every evil,
and he that lives in the purity of love is risen
out of the power of evil
into the freedom of the one spirit of heaven.5

      Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746) was born in Ulster, where his father was a Scottish Presbyterian minister. Francis went to school at Killyleagh and studied philosophy, classics, and theology for six years at the University of Glasgow. In 1719 he was licensed to preach by Irish Presbyterians and founded a private academy in Dublin. He taught there for ten years before returning in 1730 to Glasgow where he was a professor of moral philosophy for the rest of his life. He was an exemplar of moral virtue as well as a scholar, had a positive influence on his students, and was one of the first to lecture in English.
      Hutcheson opposed the more selfish philosophies expressed by Thomas Hobbes and Bernard Mandeville who published The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Public Benefits in 1714 and as revised in 1723. Mandeville had reacted to Puritan ethics by arguing that usually people pursuing private interests are also contributing to civilization and the economy and that therefore not all selfishness is vicious. Mandeville warned that a society with too many virtues would be stagnant while luxurious living helps circulate capital. He believed that exalting virtues too much allowed people to feel superior to other animals as politicians appealed to their pride with flattery. Bishop George Berkeley also criticized the ideas of Mandeville and other free-thinkers as he defended Christian ethics in his Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher in 1732. In that work he noted that in drawing rooms, coffee houses, chocolate houses, and taverns it became fashionable and customary for “polite persons to speak freely on all subjects, religious, moral, and political.”
      Hutcheson translated the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. He was influenced by the ethics of Shaftesbury and published An Inquiry concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony and Design, and An Inquiry concerning Moral Good and Evil, in 1725. In the second Inquiry he began by defining “moral goodness” as “our idea of some quality apprehended in actions, which procures approbation, attended with desire of the agent’s happiness.”6 Hutcheson called this perception the “moral sense” and argued that it is the motive of virtuous actions. This feeling of benevolence may join with self-love to impel a person to an action. A person of strong benevolence will treat oneself with equal merit as one would another person. Benevolence combined with ability produces public good while selfishness with ability achieves a private good. He believed that universal benevolence is like gravity because it affects everyone. Compassion also motivates one to study the interests of others. From a sense of obligation we develop our ideas of rights.
      In his Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections with Illustrations upon the Moral Sense in 1728 Hutcheson described six internal senses beyond the five physical senses. These are a sense of self-consciousness, a sense of beauty and imagination, a public sense as to what pleases others, a moral sense which perceives virtue and vice, a sense of honor which praises and blames, and a sense of humor.
      Hutcheson’s longest work, A System of Moral Philosophy was published after his death by his son in 1755. Here he defined the moral sense as the kind affections of the will that approve of a particular action. He did not consider self-love bad unless actions motivated by it injure others. He was perhaps the first to devise the utilitarian principle that considers the best action that which produces the greatest happiness for the most people and the worst action as what causes the most misery.

      In response to the rational approach to religion of the Deists, in 1736 Joseph Butler published The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature. He argued that the government of God is shown in nature by analogy because acts have consequences which may be foreseen. Virtuous actions bring happy results, and bad actions that cause harm expose the need for moral discipline. The example and teachings of Jesus offer Christians guidance in making moral decisions. Appended to his Analogy Butler included the short essay “Of the Nature of Virtue” in which he asserted that reason and conscience enable humans to discern the difference between morally good and evil actions. He held that people can see beyond their own self-interest to consider what is good or harmful to others and that conscience is what enables us to do this. Butler considered veracity and justice the essential rules of life. Deism continued to be popular, and John Leland published in four volumes his View of the Principal Deistical Writers 1754-56.

      Richard Price was born on February 23, 1723 in Glamorgan, Wales. His father was a dissenting minister and rector, and Richard studied at a dissenting academy in London until 1744 when he became a chaplain. In 1758 he published his Review of the Principal Questions and Difficulties in Morals. He criticized the limitations of the empiricism of Locke, Hutcheson, and Hume and was influenced by the rational intuition of Plato and Ralph Cudworth. Price believed that people have six duties to God, self, goodness, gratitude, truth, and justice, and he considered liberty, intelligence, and rectitude necessary to virtue. He was primarily concerned with the perception of right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, and what actions deserve. Instead of using the term “moral sense” he suggested that the power which perceives and distinguishes right and wrong is the understanding. This faculty discerns truth, reasons, judges, and creates new ideas. A sense only receives impressions and relates only to particulars, but the understanding is concerned with universal principles and expresses the soul’s ability to examine and judge all things in order to intuit the truth. He recognized that instincts influence our desires and affections, and these may limit our desire to our own happiness. Virtue gives one merit or moral worth and makes one esteemed, loved, and happy. This is how virtue is its own reward. Price analyzed belief as combining feeling, intuition, and deduction or reasoning. Moral obligation is based on virtue and what is right and becomes a rule or a law that directs behavior. Some argue that self-love obligates us to act morally, others that God or divine will so directs us. The branches of virtue he considered to be duty to God, ourselves, and others, gratitude, veracity, and justice. The practice of virtue presupposes that we are free to choose how we act using intelligence to determine what is right.
      Price also worked on probability and was elected to the Royal Society in 1765. In 1769 his research into population and life expectancy showed that insurance and benefit societies made inadequate calculations. He developed a scientific system for determining life insurance and old-age pensions. In 1771 he published his Observations on Reversionary Payments and the next year An Appeal to the Public on the Subject of the National Debt which persuaded the elder William Pitt to establish a sinking fund to pay down Britain’s national debt. Price corresponded with Benjamin Franklin, and they became friends.
      On February 8, 1776 Price published his Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, the Principles of Government and the Justice and Policy of the War with America. He argued that the war against America was unjust, dishonorable, impolitic, a violation of the British constitution, and that it was likely to fail. This pamphlet sold more than a thousand copies in two days and more than 60,000 in six months. It was printed in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Charleston and was translated into German, French, and Dutch. Price explained the value of physical liberty, moral liberty, religious liberty, and civil liberty, and all of them involve self-direction or self-government. Civil government that is free originates from the people and is conducted for their happiness. They direct their own affairs to secure and enjoy their rights. Thus he wrote,

All taxes are free gifts for public services.
All laws are particular provisions or regulations established
by common consent for gaining protection and safety.
And all magistrates are trustees or deputies
for carrying these regulations into execution.7

He argued that one nation can govern another country only by using military force, and that will lack weight and efficiency. The British Parliament claimed the right to make laws to bind the colonies of America in all cases, and Price considered that slavery. He wrote that the Quebec Act made the British king a despot there and that the same thing was being attempted in the Massachusetts Bay colony.

Hume’s Moral Principles

      David Hume was born on May 7 (NS), 1711 in Edinburgh. His father died during his infancy, and he was brought up and educated by his mother. David attended the University of Edinburgh from 1723 for about three years. His family tried to get him to study law, but he was only interested in philosophy and general learning. Hoping that he could apply a more rigorous analysis to Frances Hutcheson’s theory of moral sense as Galileo and Newton had for natural science, he had a mental breakdown for about nine months in 1729. He took herbs, pills to reduce hysteria, drank wine, and in 1731 gained weight from eating more. In 1734 he worked in a merchant’s office in Bristol briefly before going to France for three years. There he worked on his Treatise of Human Nature. He returned to London in 1737 and had it published in three books in 1739-40. He said it “fell dead-born from the press,” and he considered his later works more mature. In that precocious work Hume argued that reason is and should be the tool of the passions (emotions), serving and obeying them. In 1741-42 his Essays, Moral and Political were successful. Yet in 1744 he failed to obtain the chair of moral philosophy at Edinburgh, probably because he was accused of atheism. After failing in an attempt to tutor the insane Marquis of Annandale, Hume got a job working for General St. Clair in the war against France and with his military embassy at Vienna and Turin. By 1748 he had saved £1,000 and returned to Scotland.
      Hume published his famous Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding in 1748 and as revised in 1758. In 1751 he took a position as a librarian that enabled him to continue his literary work. The publication of his Political Discourses in 1752 improved his reputation. From 1753 to 1761 Hume wrote a History of England in six volumes that covers up to 1688. In 1763 he went to France with the British ambassador, the Earl of Hertford, and served as secretary in the embassy. In 1765 Hume brought back Rousseau with him, but they soon parted. Hume worked as an undersecretary in the Foreign Office 1767-68 before settling down in Scotland for the rest of his life that ended on August 25, 1776. Before his death he expressed the view that they should part as friends of the Americans and put aside anger except against themselves for their past folly.
      Hume believed that An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals published in 1751 was his best work, but he admitted it was unnoticed by the world. His Natural History of Religion published in 1757 and 1772 was also neglected, and he later arranged for its revision as Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion to be published after his death.
      An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals was also revised, and the final edition was printed in 1772. In that work Hume noted that a current controversy debated whether morals are based on reason or sentiment. He acknowledged that moral distinctions are discernible by pure reason but also that what every person feels within oneself is the “standard of sentiment.” Proofs can appeal to authorities and use analogies, detect fallacies, and draw inferences. Truth he found to be more disputable than taste by which Hume meant the judgment of moral beauty, virtue and vice. He wrote that the purpose of moral speculation is to teach us our duty and to differentiate between the deformity of vice and the beauty of virtue in order to develop good habits. Usually both reason and sentiment concur in moral conclusions. As a skeptical empiricist Hume believed that people learn from experience, and any system of ethics not based on fact and observation must be rejected. He described his first principle of benevolence as “sociable, good-natured, humane, merciful, grateful, friendly, generous, beneficent,” and they lead to the happiness and satisfaction of society. What is useful to people is another moral principle. Hume wrote, “That public utility is the sole origin of justice.”7 He hoped that the entire human race would form one family where all would be used freely with regard to the necessities of each individual. Yet he noted,

The community of goods has frequently been attempted;
and nothing but experience of its inconveniences,
from the returning or disguised selfishness of men,
could make the imprudent fanatics adopt anew
the ideas of justice and of separate property.8

Thus virtue and the rules of justice depend on the social condition of humanity. He observed that people are born in a family-society and are trained by their parents with rules of conduct.

History, experience, reason sufficiently instruct us
in this natural progress of human sentiments,
and in the gradual enlargement of our regards to justice,
in proportion as we become acquainted
with the extensive utility of that virtue.9

The purpose of laws and regulations are for the good of mankind. Hume believed that the virtue of justice should have “the strongest energy and most entire command over our sentiments along with fidelity, veracity, integrity, and other useful principles.
      Hume, like James Madison, believed that if people always acted wisely, government may not be needed. Yet because they do not, he found that the duty of allegiance is advantageous in helping to preserve peace and order in society. He noted that nations are finding it useful to follow certain laws even during wars such as the sacredness of ambassadors and abstaining from use of poisons. Unlike individuals, nations can survive without other nations. Yet they sometimes ignore the rules of justice and break treaties. He noted that the confederated commonwealths of the Swiss Cantons and the United Provinces of the Netherlands have found it useful to maintain their unions. Hume exposed the current sexism when he assumed that infidelity is “much more pernicious in women than in men.”
      The social virtues recognize that the public interest may outweigh self-interest and gain approval and good-will. No one can be completely indifferent to the happiness and misery of others as can be seen in how audiences respond in a theater. Communication helps people become aware of the interests of society as does the study of history. Caring about humanity awakens moral distinctions as one resents injuries done to people while approving what is for their welfare. Thus the principles of humanity gain authority over our feelings, approving what is useful to society and blaming what is harmful. These things are learned and taught wherever people gather as well as in churches, theaters, and schools. Hume’s social virtues include justice, fidelity, honor, allegiance, chastity, humanity, generosity, bravery, charity, affability, kindness, mercy, and moderation. He believed the influence of these is more universal and extensive than self-interest. What promotes the interests of society gives people pleasure, and the opposite makes them uneasy.
      Hume considered useful to ourselves the virtues of discretion, industry, frugality, chastity, magnanimity, caution, enterprise, economy, good-sense, discernment, temperance, sobriety, patience, constancy, perseverance, forethought, consideration, presence of mind, quickness of conception, and facility of expression. The qualities of honesty, fidelity, and truth he considered valuable for ourselves and others. He noted that some passions such as fear, anger, dejection, grief, melancholy, and anxiety are disagreeable. The qualities he found agreeable to ourselves include cheerfulness, dignity, courage, tranquility, and the serenity exemplified by Socrates and Epictetus. The qualities Hume found agreeable to others are politeness, wit, ingenuity, being good-natured and companionable, sensibility, modesty, decency, cleanliness, and gentility.
      Hume rejected the monkish “virtues” of celibacy, fasting, penance, mortification, self-denial, humility, silence, and solitude as doing nothing to advance one’s fortune nor to benefit society. The skeptical Hume may be considered one of the main founders of secular ethics that used no theological arguments. He also castigated excesses of self-love such as avarice, ambition, vanity, and naming people enemies or odious. Hume concluded that to express the universal sentiments of censure or approval morals are recognized with virtues and vices in order to frame general rules of behavior with universal principles that can control and limit selfishness for the sake of social sentiments. Every honest person who understands and cultivates these principles which guide one’s conduct may find the peace of mind and integrity that produce happiness.
      In “Concerning Moral Sentiment” in the Appendix to An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals Hume emphasized the importance of reason as the only faculty that can instruct us on the beneficial consequences of the qualities and actions to society and the person. Sentiment prefers the useful and is “a feeling for the happiness of mankind and a resentment of their misery,”10 the ends which virtue and vice promote. Reason instructs on the tendencies of actions, and humanity distinguishes which are useful and beneficial. He defined virtue as “whatever mental action or quality gives to a spectator the pleasing sentiment of approbation.”11 In deliberating on personal conduct one must consider personal relations, circumstances, and situations to determine one’s duty and obligation. He emphasized the great difference between a mistake of fact and one of right or judgment. The ultimate ends of human action are never determined by reason but by values or what Hume called “taste.” In the section “Of Self-Love” Hume responded to the cynical theory that all moral sentiments can be reduced to private interests. From this viewpoint benevolence is mere hypocrisy, friendship a cheat, public spirit a farce, fidelity a snare to procure trust and confidence,”12 but he dismisses this as “a malignant philosophy.” In further commenting on justice he noted that the sentences of judges should be “equal to every member of society.”

Samuel Johnson to 1749

      Samuel Johnson was born at Lichfield in Staffordshire on September 18, 1709 (NS). His father Michael was a sheriff and bookseller but had difficulties with money. His mother Sarah was forty when she gave birth to Samuel and sent him to a wet nurse whose tubercular milk gave the infant scrofula (swollen glands in the neck). The belief that a royal touch could cure this condition was still applied until the end of Queen Anne’s reign. In March 1712 she touched Samuel and put a ribbon with a gold amulet around his neck that he wore most of his life. Surgery left scars on his neck and lower face. He had poor vision and was deaf in one ear, and he had smallpox as a child. He admitted he was usually in pain and often said that it is difficult for the sick not to be scoundrels. By the age of four he was in a class for infants. Sarah was a devout Calvinist and raised him with the Book of Common Prayer and promises of heaven and threats of hell. Shortly before his death Johnson tore out 38 pages from the “Annals” of his childhood that may have had critical views of religion. His father went into debt to buy a library of over 2,900 books. Samuel was a precocious child but tried to avoid his father’s efforts to show off his talent. He liked to read fairy tales and believed that children prefer them to insipid stories often chosen by parents. At the age of six he was sent to be taught by Thomas Browne who had dedicated a spelling-book to the universe.
      In January 1717 Samuel began studying Latin at the grammar school and soon showed his skill by memorizing 119 lines of Latin on the rules of nouns. They read Aesop’s Fables in Latin as well as Cicero, Ovid, Virgil, Horace, Pliny, Juvenal, Plautus, and Livy. He claimed he read Hamlet at the age of nine at home. In May 1719 he was promoted to the upper school. Later he recalled that whipping by the headmaster helped him learn Latin, but his friend Edmund Hector said that he was punished for distracting other students. Hector also noted that Johnson learned by intuition and could remember whatever he read or heard. He learned Greek by reading the New Testament, then Xenophon, and Hesiod. On Sundays he often skipped church to read in the fields. In September 1725 he visited his 31-year-old cousin Cornelius Ford, whom he called “Neely,” who enhanced his intellectual development. Samuel would often take the wrong side of a debate so that he could make new arguments. Returning to Lichfield in June 1726 he was not allowed back in school, but Cornelius arranged for him to live and study at Stourbridge with the Oxford graduate John Wentworth. After six months he returned to Lichfield and worked in his father’s bookshop which gave him access to books. Samuel was influenced by the lawyer Gilbert Walmseley who was skilled in argument, knew much about books, and could tell him where to find things.
      In November 1728 Samuel entered Pembroke College at Oxford but could only afford to stay for thirteen months. As a Christmas exercise he translated in one day Alexander Pope’s poem “Messiah” into 119 lines of Latin verse. He read William Law’s A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life and was surprised to find it awakened an interest in religion. After his father died in 1731, Samuel taught grammar school briefly before getting a job translating from French into English A Voyage to Abyssinia by the Jesuit missionary Jerónimo Lobo. In his preface he wrote that a diligent and impartial inquirer will always discover

that wherever human nature is to be found,
there is a mixture of Vice and Virtue,
a contest of Passion and Reason;
and that the Creator doth not appear partial in his distributions,
but has balanced in most countries
their particular inconveniences by particular favors.

      In 1735 Johnson married the 45-year-old widow Elizabeth Porter who found him to be the “most sensible man.” She had three children and gave him a dowry of £700 that he used to set up a boarding school to teach Latin and Greek. The school had few students and failed after two years, but the pupil David Garrick became his friend and a famous actor. In March 1737 the two men went to London. Later that year Johnson returned to Lichfield and completed his tragedy Irene, based on The General History of the Turks by Richard Knowlles, about a beautiful Christian who becomes the mistress of Sultan Mehmed II after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. In May 1738 Johnson published anonymously his satirical poem “London,” describing his own plight when he wrote,

This mournful truth is ev’ry where confess’d,
Slow rises worth, by poverty depress’d.

In November he published a life of Paolo Sarpi, and he earned £50 for translating into English The History of the Council of Trent by Sarpi in two volumes.
      Samuel Johnson was a Tory; but at this time the Tories were mostly small landowners and country clergy while Whigs were dominated by great landowners and wealthy merchants. In 1739 he satirized Whig policies of the first Prime Minister Robert Walpole in the ironic pamphlets Marmor Norfolciense (Norfolk Marble) and A Compleat Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage which defended Henry Brooke’s banned play Gustavus Vasa. In 1740 Johnson wrote biographies of the British admirals Robert Blake and Francis Drake. Although publishing the proceedings of the House of Commons was prohibited, without being able to witness them directly Johnson wrote accounts of the debates for the Gentleman’s Magazine from 1740 to 1743.
      Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, had been Prime Minister under Queen Anne, and he collected a library of about 50,000 books, 350,000 pamphlets, and more than 7,000 volumes of manuscripts. Harley’s son Edward died in 1741, and Johnson wrote a “General Account” of this library in December 1742. The library was sold to Parliament in 1753 and four years later was put in the British Museum.
      After his friend Richard Savage was put in debtors’ prison and died in 1743, Johnson wrote his Account of the Life of Mr Richard Savage and published it anonymously the next year. Praise for this by Henry Fielding and others brought Johnson his first public recognition. In October 1741 Garrick began performing Shakespeare’s Richard III, and the next year his salary was 500 guineas. Johnson was still struggling with his finances. In September 1747 he wrote a prologue for the celebration of Garrick’s becoming the manager of the Drury Lane Theatre. Garrick produced Johnson’s Irene in February 1749, and Johnson received nearly £200 from the profits of nine performances. In the fall of 1748 he wrote his most famous poem, “The Vanity of Human Wishes,” and in January 1749 it was the first work published under his name. The poem begins,

Let Observation with extensive View,
Survey Mankind, from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious Toil, each eager Strife,
And watch the busy Scenes of crowded Life;
Then say how Hope and Fear, Desire and Hate,
O’er spread with Snares the clouded Maze of Fate,
Where wav’ring Man, betray’d by vent’rous Pride,
To tread the dreary Paths without a Guide;
As treach’rous Phantoms in the Mist delude,
Shuns fancied Ills, or chases airy Good.
How rarely Reason guides the stubborn Choice,
Rules the bold Hand, or prompts the suppliant Voice,
How Nations sink, by darling Schemes oppres’d,
When Vengeance listens to the Fool's Request.
Fate wings with ev’ry Wish th’ afflictive Dart,
Each Gift of Nature, and each Grace of Art,
With fatal Heat impetuous Courage glows,
With fatal Sweetness Elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the Speaker's pow’rful Breath,
And restless Fire precipitates on Death.
He described the British thus:

But will not Britain hear the last Appeal,
Sign her Foes Doom, or guard her Fav’rites Zeal;
Through Freedom’s Sons no more Remonstrance rings,
Degrading Nobles and controlling Kings;
Our supple Tribes repress their Patriot Throats,
And ask no Questions but the Price of Votes;
With Weekly Libels and Septennial Ale,
Their Wish is full to riot and to rail.

“The Vanity of Human Wishes” concludes,

Where then shall Hope and Fear their Objects find?
Must dull Suspence corrupt the stagnant Mind?
Must helpless Man, in Ignorance sedate,
Swim darkling down the Current of his Fate?
Must no Dislike alarm, no Wishes rise,
No Cries attempt the Mercies of the Skies?
Enquirer, cease, Petitions yet remain,
Which Heav’n may hear, nor deem Religion vain.
Still raise for Good the supplicating Voice,
But leave to Heav’n the Measure and the Choice.
Safe in his Pow’r, whose Eyes discern afar
The secret Ambush of a specious Pray’r.
Implore his Aid, in his Decisions rest,
Secure whate’er he gives, he gives the best.
Yet with the Sense of sacred Presence prest,
When strong Devotion fills thy glowing Breast,
Pour forth thy Fervours for a healthful Mind,
Obedient Passions, and a Will resign’d;
For Love, which scarce collective Man can fill;
For Patience sov’reign o’er transmuted Ill;
For Faith, that panting for a happier Seat,
Thinks Death kind Nature’s Signal of Retreat:
These Goods for Man the Laws of Heav’n ordain,
These Goods he grants, who grants the Pow’r to gain;
With these celestial Wisdom calms the Mind,
And makes the Happiness she does not find.

Johnson’s Essays, Dictionary and Rasselas

      Johnson wrote didactically to convey moral lessons. From 1750 to 1752 he wrote all but four of the 208 articles which appeared twice a week for The Rambler. They were published all together in twelve editions during Johnson’s lifetime. Here are some highlights:

It is therefore to be steadily inculcated,
that virtue is the highest proof of understanding,
and the only solid basis of greatness;
and that vice is the natural consequence of narrow thoughts;
that it begins in mistake, and ends in ignominy. (4)

The great art therefore of piety, and the end for which
all the rites of religion seem to be instituted,
is the perpetual renovation of the motives to virtue,
by a voluntary employment of our mind
in the contemplation of its excellence, its importance,
and its necessity, which, in proportion
as they are more frequently and more willingly revolved,
gain a more forcible and permanent influence,
till in time they become the reigning ideas,
the standing principles of action,
and the test by which everything proposed to the judgment
is rejected or approved. (7)

Pride is undoubtedly the original of anger; but pride,
like every other passion, if it once breaks loose from reason,
counteracts its own purposes.
A passionate man, upon the review of his day,
will have very few gratifications to offer to his pride,
when he has considered how his outrages were caused,
why they were borne,
and in what they are likely to end at last. (11)

All envy is proportionate to desire. (17)

The great remedy which heaven has put in our hands
is patience, by which,
though we cannot lessen the torments of the body,
we can in a great measure preserve the peace of the mind,
and shall suffer only the natural and genuine force of an evil,
without heightening its acrimony, or prolonging its effects….
Patience and submission are very carefully
to be distinguished from cowardice and indolence.
We are not to repine, but we may lawfully struggle;
for the calamities of life, like the necessities of nature,
are calls to labour and exercises of diligence. (32)

Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul,
which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away.
It is the putrefaction of stagnant life
and is remedied by exercise and motion. (47)

As the love of money has been, in all ages,
one of the passions that have given great disturbance
to the tranquility of the world,
there is no topic more copiously treated
by the ancient moralists than the folly
of devoting the heart to the accumulation of riches….
When therefore the desire of wealth is taking hold of the heart,
let us look round and see how it operates upon those
whose industry or fortune has obtained it.
When we find them oppressed with their own abundance,
luxurious without pleasure, idle without ease,
impatient and querulous in themselves,
and despised or hated by the rest of mankind,
we shall soon be convinced,
that if the real wants of our condition are satisfied,
there remains little to be sought with solicitude,
or desired with eagerness. (58)

Men seldom give pleasure,
where they are not pleased themselves;
it is necessary, therefore, to cultivate
an habitual alacrity and cheerfulness,
that in whatever state we may be placed by Providence,
whether we are appointed to confer or receive benefits,
to implore or to afford protection,
we may secure the love of those with whom we transact. (74)

The frequency of capital punishments,
therefore, rarely hinders the commission of a crime,
but naturally and commonly prevents its detection,
and is, if we proceed only upon prudential principles,
chiefly for that reason to be avoided. (114)

To raise esteem we must benefit others.
To procure love we must please them. (160)

      Johnson’s wife struggled with alcohol and drugs and died in March 1752. In his grief he wrote an eloquent prayer. He worked on his Dictionary of the English Language for nine years before publishing it in two huge volumes on April 15, 1755, defining 42,773 words and including about 116,000 quotes after examining some 240,000. The words often have several definitions, and for the word “take” he found 134 different meanings. The Dictionary was used as a basis for Noah Webster’s Dictionary in 1828. Work on a New English Dictionary began in 1858 and was compiled by 2,300 scholars before it was completed as the Oxford English Dictionary in 1928.
      In the Literary Magazine No. 1 in April-May 1756 Johnson published An Introduction to the Political State of Great Britain in which he reviewed English foreign policy from the reign of Elizabeth up to the war that began in America between France and Britain with Indians fighting on both sides. He noted that their agents and traders used European counting-houses to defraud the hunters of their furs. He observed that the British farmers quarreled with their governors whom they trusted less than the French while the traders alienated the Indians with their tricks and oppression. His essay continued in No. 4 in July-August as Observations on the Present State of Affairs. The French and English were fighting over the boundaries of their settlements which both usurped dispossessing the original inhabitants who wanted to be free of both sides.
      Johnson wrote many prefaces such as to Thomas Browne’s Christian Morals (1756) and a review of Soame Jenyns’ Free Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil (1757). In Payne’s Universal Chronicle he did more journalistic work and was perhaps the first to write so concisely about those challenges and responsibilities as he did in “Of the Duty of a Journalist” in 1758.

A Journalist is an Historian, not indeed of the highest Class,
nor of the number of those whose works
bestow immortality upon others or themselves;
yet, like other Historians,
he distributes for a time Reputation or Infamy,
regulates the opinion of the weak, raises hopes and terrors,
inflames or allays the violence of the people.
He ought therefore to consider himself as subject
at least to the first law of History, the Obligation to tell Truth.
The Journalist, indeed, however honest, will frequently deceive,
because he will frequently be deceived himself.
He is obliged to transmit the earliest intelligence
before he knows how far it may be credited;
he relates transactions yet fluctuating in uncertainty;
he delivers reports of which he knows not the Authors.
It cannot be expected that
he should know more than he is told,
or that he should not sometimes
be hurried down the current of a popular clamour.
All that he can do is to consider attentively,
and determine impartially, to admit no falsehoods by design,
and to retract those which he shall have adopted by mistake.

His essays appeared weekly in that Chronicle as “The Idler” from April 1758 to April 1760, and he wrote 92 of 104. In Number 38 “Debtors’ Prisons” he estimated that more than 20,000 people were imprisoned for debt, and because of bad conditions about 5,000 die each year. The article concludes with the following comment on the creditors who insist these people be sent to prison until they pay:

Surely, he whose debtor has perished in prison,
although he may acquit himself of deliberate murder,
must at least have his mind clouded with discontent,
when he considers how much another has suffered from him;
when he thinks on the wife bewailing her husband,
or the children begging the bread
which their father would have earned.
If there are any made so obdurate by avarice or cruelty,
as to revolve these consequences without dread or pity,
I must leave them to be awakened by some other power,
for I write only to human beings.

In Number 81 “European Oppression in America” a native chief speaks the following to his people:

Others pretend to have purchased
a right of residence and tyranny;
but surely the insolence of such bargains is more offensive
than the avowed and open dominion of force.
What reward can induce the possessor of a country
to admit a stranger more powerful than himself?
Fraud or terror must operate in such contracts;
either they promised protection
which they never have afforded,
or instruction which they never imparted.
We hoped to be secured by their favour from some other evil,
or to learn the arts of Europe,
by which we might be able to secure ourselves.
Their power they never have exerted in our defence,
and their arts they have studiously concealed from us.
Their treaties are only to deceive,
and their traffic only to defraud us.
They have a written law among them, of which they boast,
as derived from Him who made the earth and sea,
and by which they profess to believe
that man will be made happy when life shall forsake him.
Why is not this law communicated to us?
It is concealed because it is violated.
For how can they preach it to an Indian nation,
when I am told that one of its first precepts
forbids them to do to others
what they would not that others should do to them?

      In April 1759 Johnson published his most popular work, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, and it was translated into French and Dutch in 1760, into German in 1762, into Italian in 1764, and later into Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, Greek, Danish, Armenian, Bengali, Japanese, and Arabic. Voltaire wrote the comparable Candide the same year and praised Rasselas.
      Prince Rasselas of Abyssinia, his sister Nekayah, and her maid Pekuah are confined in a “happy valley” waiting to see when they might be called to court to rule. After a while the prince has too much of this happiness and desires to see the misery of the outer world, but his attempt to escape by flying with wings fails. He meets the poet Imlac who tells them about his experiences in the world. His father gave him money and sent him off to make his way. He went to Mughal India but found the Persians more social. Arabians were pastoral but violent. Everywhere ancient poetry was respected. In Europe he found more knowledge and power which enables them to govern as humans do over other creatures; but he found that Europeans are not happy. Imlac decided that he would not injure anyone; but he would relieve distress and enjoy gratitude, choosing his friends from the best and a wife from the virtuous. He opened a school but was banned from teaching and could not marry because her father rejected him for being a merchant. Imlac says diligence and skill will help them escape by using perseverance. Nekayah appears and is allowed to join them with Pekuah. They take jewels for trading.
      After crossing the mountains they go to Cairo where Imlac says they will see all humanity. In two years they learn the language. Rasselas is wisely seeking a life with the least evil but finds everyone envying their neighbors. He becomes disgusted with the pleasures of the young and finds that such a life ends in ignorance and intemperance. He suggests they should live knowing they will grow old. Others laugh at him, but he keeps searching. He finds a sage lecturing that reason is like the sun and advising how to conquer passions with patience. Rasselas gives him gold, but Imlac warns that such teachers speak like angels but live like men. The sage is devastated by the death of his daughter, and Rasselas cannot comfort him. They find a wealthy man, but he is afraid of the Bassa of Egypt.
      They meet a hermit who removes evil by staying away from people, but he lacks the counsel of the good. A philosopher says that happiness comes from living according to nature, which he says is cooperating with the present system. Rasselas sets out to observe the courts while Nekayah visits the poor; but neither finds contentment. She sees discord in families as children rival their parents. Elders get angry at the audacity of youth while the young feel contempt for the old. Marriage has much pain, and celibacy lacks pleasure. Even those who appear to be virtuous are not happy. They debate the happiness of marriage, and Nekayah argues that many disputes cannot be solved by reason. Imlac comes in and says that example works better than precepts.
      They visit the pyramids, and Arabs abduct Pekuah, but Nekayah eventually ransoms her. They meet an astronomer who realizes he spent his time studying without experience something that is too remote to help mankind. They discuss a monastic life; but Imlac believes that living in the world is better, though the weak and timid may feel secure and happy sheltered. Finally he discusses whether the consciousness of the soul is immortal after it separates from imperishable and unconscious matter. Nekayah decides that knowledge is best and plans to study science and found a college for women. In this novella Johnson portrayed the quest for the things he valued.
      In his Journal on October 15, 1759 John Wesley wrote how he preached to 1,100 French prisoners he observed confined in miserable conditions where “they died like rotten sheep.” On December 18 some Londoners formed a committee to gather and disperse charitable contributions to relieve those prisoners, and on June 4 1760 they published a report and asked Johnson to write the introduction which they published with the Proceedings of the Committee on French Prisoners in August. He noted that the only argument used against such activity was that many Englishmen may remain unrelieved while charity went to their enemies. His Introduction was translated into French and was published by the International Red Cross in its Revue Internationale in 1951. Here are his last two paragraphs:

   That charity is best of which
the consequences are most extensive:
the relief of enemies has a tendency
to unite mankind in fraternal affection;
to soften the acrimony of adverse nations,
and dispose them to peace and amity:
in the meantime, it alleviates captivity,
and takes away something from the miseries of war.
The rage of war, however mitigated,
will always fill the world with calamity and horror:
let it not then be unnecessarily extended;
let animosity and hostility cease together;
and no man be longer deemed an enemy
than while his sword is drawn against us.
   The effects of these contributions
may, perhaps, reach still further.
Truth is best supported by virtue:
we may hope from those who feel or who see our charity
that they shall no longer detest as heresy
that religion which makes its professors the followers of Him
who has commanded us to do good to them that hate us.13

      In 1762 young George III granted Johnson a pension of £300 a year. His Dictionary had defined pension as “pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country;” but he accepted after Reynolds assured him it was for his past work, not for what he might do. In his home Johnson provided a refuge for the blind Anna Williams, and he hired the former African slave Francis Barber and left him a legacy in his will.
      On May 16, 1763 in a bookshop Johnson met 22-year-old James Boswell and soon urged him to keep a diary that would help him write and publish the most famous literary biography in history. Johnson enjoyed company, and in 1764 they formed the dining Club that included the painter Joshua Reynolds, Edmund Burke, and Oliver Goldsmith. After studying Shakespeare for many years Johnson in 1765 finally published in eight volumes The Plays of Shakespeare with his textual corrections, obscure words explained, and the sources examined. Johnson collaborated with George Steevens in revised editions in ten volumes that were published in 1773 and 1778.
      In 1771 Johnson wrote Transactions respecting Falkland’s Islands, and Adam Smith commended his forceful writing against “the madness of modern wars.” From August to November 1773 Johnson accompanied Boswell on a visit to the western islands of Scotland. In 1774 “The Patriot” was “Addressed to the Electors of Great Britain.” In 1775 he published Taxation no Tyranny against the American rebels and an account of his Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. He wrote biographical and critical prefaces to the works of 52 English poets which were published as Lives of the English Poets in 1779 and 1781. In his later years Johnson experienced asthma and edema, and he gradually recovered from a stroke he had on June 17, 1783. In his last days he declined to take opiates so that he could deliver his soul lucidly to God; he died on December 18, 1784. Boswell published his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson in 1785 and in 1791 his Life of Samuel Johnson in six volumes.

Adam Smith on Morals and Wealth

      Adam Smith was baptized on June 5, 1723. His father had been a Judge Advocate and a controller of customs but died five months before Adam was born. His mother devoted herself to her son for the next 61 years. Adam was kidnapped by gypsies when he was three and was rescued by his uncle. He went to grammar school in Kirkcaldy near Edinburgh and in 1737 entered the University of Glasgow where he was strongly influenced by the moral philosophy of Francis Hutcheson. He went to Balliol College in Oxford in 1740 but left in 1746 before completing his fellowship. The University had confiscated his copy of Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature.
      In 1748 Smith began giving lectures on civil law for the Philosophical Society in Edinburgh, including the ideas of Grotius and Pufendorf. Based on surviving lecture notes we find that Smith taught that justice is the basis of civil government which can provide security from injury. Government requires revenue which it collects from taxes and duties, and it uses this to provide police, militia, and armies. Government is based on the principles of authority and utility. In a warlike society authority comes from superior strength and in a more sophisticated one from mental ability. Age has authority because of experience and wisdom, and wealth also brings power and authority. People cooperate with civil magistrates because it is useful to do so. In primitive cultures of hunting and gathering they live by the laws of nature without organized government. Acquiring herds brought unequal fortune by this property, and government developed to secure wealth and protect the rich from the poor. As societies became organized, labor could be divided, increasing the countries’ wealth. Much of the surplus was acquired by merchants and the owners of property. Using animals such as horses improved work, and then machines were invented to make work more efficient. Trade and bartering were used to make the division of labor more effective, and gold and silver were used as money and a medium of exchange. Prices of commodities varied according to circumstances. The natural price of labor was what was needed to maintain the worker, and market prices depended on demand for the commodity, its abundance or scarcity, and the money of the buyers. Smith noted that in violent societies private property is less secure, and wealth is diminished.
      In 1751 the University of Glasgow hired Smith to teach logic, and a few months later he was promoted to Professor of Moral Philosophy. He lectured eight times a week on natural theology, ethics, jurisprudence, and political economy, and he influenced the historian William Robertson. Andrew Cochrane founded the Political Economy Club, and Smith spoke there on economic liberty in 1755. That year he also wrote articles for the Edinburgh Review on the Encyclopédie, Rousseau, and Johnson’s Dictionary.
      In 1759 Adam Smith published his Theory of Moral Sentiments, or An Essay towards an Analysis of the Principles by which Men naturally judge concerning the Conduct and Character, first of their Neighbours, and afterwards of themselves. The sixth edition in 1790 is most complete, and it was also translated into French and German. To explain his main ethical concept of propriety Smith began by discussing the sympathy people feel for the fortunes of others. He found that everyone to some extent feels sorrow for the sorrow of others. We use imagination to place ourselves in the situation of others and through compassion experience how we would react. Grief and joy inspire similar emotions in others. Sympathy intensifies joy and alleviates sorrow. Love springs from agreement with others, and resentment results from disagreement. From these come the moral judgments of approval and disapproval. Everyone judges others by their own faculties. The emotions of the spectator are less intense than those of the one suffering.
      By feeling for others and restraining our selfish instincts we may become benevolent, which Smith called “the perfection of human nature.” The virtue of humanity requires sensibility, and magnanimity depends on self-command. Humans sympathize with decent passions but disapprove of what Smith called “unsocial passions.” People feel strongly about the injuries done to another. Social passions are based on the sentiment of love. Joys and sorrows based on one’s own fortunes are the selfish passions. Ambition is often rooted in a desire for more money or success. Smith believed that moral sentiments are corrupted by the disposition to admire the rich and to despise and neglect the poor.
      Whatever awakens a feeling of gratitude merits a reward, and what provokes resentment deserves punishment. Smith compared the virtues of justice and benevolence. Acts of benevolence are approved and appear to merit a reward, and harmful actions are disapproved and seem to deserve punishment. Kindness and benevolence cannot be extorted by force but are given freely. Smith argued there is no proper motive for hurting one’s neighbor, and unjust actions should bring about a feeling of remorse. He added more about conscience in the sixth edition. He found that rules of general conduct help correct the misrepresentations of self-love, and he believed that they are correctly regarded as the laws of God. A sense of duty is helpful to guide conduct, but in most cases other motives concur. He warned that the virtues of prudence, charity, generosity, gratitude, and friendship may require modifications, but justice is the most basic rule.
      Smith wrote that utility is beautiful in all human actions and that it awakens the sentiment of approval. He wrote that humanity is the virtue of women, and generosity is characteristic of men. Yet in his time few women had control over resources that would enable them to be generous, and men’s domination of those resources may be one reason why they were less humane. Smith noted that custom and fashion influence the sentiments of approval and disapproval. In the last part of his Theory of Moral Sentiments he discussed stoicism and other systems of moral philosophy. He observed that casuists were most concerned about breaches of moral duty in regard to rules of justice, rules of chastity, and rules of veracity.
      Charles Townshend hired Smith to tutor his step-son Henry Scott, Duke of Buccleuch, and gave him a lifetime pension of £300 a year. From 1764 to 1766 they toured France, and Smith met Voltaire in Geneva before attending salons of the physiocrats in Paris. In Toulouse he met Pierre Rousseau who published the Journal encyclopédique which reviewed the Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) andworks banned by the French and would help produce the Encyclopédie économique in 16 volumes starting in 1778. Hume informed Smith that Baron d’Holbach was supervising the French translation of his TMS. Smith was also influenced by the physiocratic economist François Quesnay. After the Duke’s younger brother was assassinated in the streets, Smith returned to London where he worked with Chancellor of the Exchequer Townshend. Smith returned to Kirkcaldy for seven years and worked on his Wealth of Nations. In 1773 Smith went back to London to see his friend David Hume and was elected to the Royal Society. He associated with Edward Gibbon, Edmund Burke, Samuel Johnson, and Joshua Reynolds for five years. To Benjamin Franklin he suggested a plan for imperial federation to solve colonial problems.
      On March 9, 1776 Smith published An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations which sold out in six months and had five editions by 1789. This work influenced the British government through such Prime Ministers as the elder Pitt and North. In 1778 Smith became commissioner of customs and of salt duties in Scotland, giving him £600 a year in addition to his pension. That year he wrote a letter to the Solicitor-General advising a separation from the colonies. He gave away money to help others secretly and never married. He lived with his mother and a cousin in Edinburgh until his mother’s death in 1784. After that his health declined, and he died on July 17, 1790.
      Adam Smith began the introduction to his Wealth of Nations by emphasizing the value of human labor:

The annual labour of every nation is the fund
which originally supplies it with all the necessaries
and conveniences of life which it annually consumes,
and which consist always either
in the immediate produce of that labour,
or in what is purchased with that produce from other nations.
According therefore, as this produce,
or what is purchased with it, bears a greater or smaller
proportion to the number of those who are to consume it,
the nation will be better or worse supplied with all
the necessaries and conveniences for which it has occasion.
But this proportion must in every nation
be regulated by two different circumstances;
first by the skill, dexterity, and judgment
with which its labour is generally applied;
and, secondly, by the proportion between the number of those
who are employed in useful labour,
and that of those who are not so employed.

He goes on to write that the number of laborers is proportional to the quantity of capital stock which is used to employ them. He noted that in recent centuries Europe has been more favorable to arts, manufactures, commerce, and industry in towns than to agriculture and industry in the country.
      In Book 1 he explained how the division of labor has brought about the greatest improvement in production and the skill and judgment of work. He found that whereas one person could only make a few pins in a day working alone, ten employees working together could produce 48,000. By using specialized labor the textile industry improved production immensely. Each worker has better dexterity and saves time not having to move from one task to another. Workers and others have invented machines to make the work even more efficient. Humans have adopted these methods because they are in their self-interest, and they learned first how to barter and then to purchase what they need with money. How much labor can be divided depends on the extent of the market, and Smith noted that water-carriage by sea and rivers enabled produce to be more widely distributed. Money was invented in ancient times by using iron, copper, silver, and gold, and the trouble of weighing was eliminated by minting coins.
      Smith considered labor the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities, and labor also has a real price. He considered the natural price of commodities wages, profit, and rent, and the market price is determined by the quantity brought to the market and the demand by the buyers. A monopoly has the same effect as a secret in trade or manufacturing and enables the selling of products above the natural price because of greater demand. Free competition, however, brings the lowest natural price. Wages are the natural recompense for labor. Landowners get a share of the produce by collecting rent. Smith noted that Britain had no laws against combining to lower wages but many to keep them from being raised. In disputes masters could hold out much longer than workers. A man must have wages that enable him to maintain himself and his family. Wages can be raised if the national wealth is increasing. In his century he found that compensation for labor had increased while the price of grain and potatoes decreased. He believed that no society can flourish or be happy if the majority of the people are poor and miserable. He realized that poverty does not prevent the generation of children, and the wealthy usually had fewer children. The liberal reward of labor provides better for families and increases the wealth of the people. Employment is affected by its agreeableness, cost of training, constancy of work, trust, and probable success. Increasing stock raises wages but lowers profit. Smith noted that in the great countries most of the land is cultivated to produce food for people and cattle. He pointed out that the desire for food is limited by the size of the stomach but that the desire for material things has no limit. At the end of Book 1 he issued this warning:

To widen the market and to narrow the competition,
is always the interest of the dealers.
To widen the market may frequently be
agreeable enough to the interest of the public;
but to narrow the competition must always be against it,
and can serve only to enable the dealers,
by raising their profits above what they naturally would be,
to levy, for their own benefit,
an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens.
The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce
which comes from this order,
ought always to be listened to with great precaution,
and ought never to be adopted
till after having been long and carefully examined,
not only with the most scrupulous,
but with the most suspicious attention.
It comes from an order of men, whose interest is
never exactly the same with that of the public,
who have generally an interest
to deceive and even oppress the public,
and who accordingly have, upon many occasions,
both deceived and oppressed it.

      In Book 2 Smith discussed the division of stock. Capital can be used to raise, manufacture, or purchase goods or to improve land, purchase machines and means of trade, and for distribution. He defined productive labor as what creates valuable products and brings profit to the master, and he cited a menial servant as an example of unproductive labor. Government officials and the army and navy are also unproductive, though they serve the public. Book 3 compares the wealth of different nations. The rise and progress of cities and towns after the fall of the Roman Empire coincided with the development of industry and commerce, and they provided more wealth which benefited the country also.
      In Book 4 of Wealth of Nations he described systems of political economy. In the commercial or mercantile system money is used as an instrument of trade and measure of value. European nations tried to accumulate gold and silver, and Spain and Portugal were supplied by their American colonies. Britain and France made laws to prohibit the taking of gold or silver out of their kingdoms; but Smith argued that exporting these metals to purchase foreign goods that could then be re-exported to other countries would bring in more to the treasury. A nation that exports more than it imports creates a favorable balance of trade and more wealth. The abundance of gold and silver coming from American mines made those metals cheaper. He noted that the recent war against France cost Britain upwards of £90 million and increased the national debt by £76 million. Smith criticized unreasonable restraints on the commercial system. Cheap wines from France and linens from Germany could be re-exported for British profit. He believed that unconstrained trade naturally and regularly exchanged between two places is always advantageous, though not equally to both. Merchants and manufacturers desire to sell their goods to foreigners and ask that exports be encouraged by drawbacks such as remittances on excise or import duties on goods that are re-exported. They also petition for bounties to facilitate and increase exports. Nations make commercial treaties that advantage merchants and manufacturers who are favored.
      Smith found that colonies in lands where natives easily give way to settlers provide more wealth than any other societies. Surplus produce imported from America provided Europeans with many commodities they could not otherwise get. England gets cheap tobacco from Maryland and Virginia and makes a profit selling it to the French. Britain imposed the Navigation Act to gain a monopoly on the colonial trade and thereby greatly increased its wealth. He observed that the leading men of America, like others, want to preserve their own importance. Smith believed that the discovery of America and the passage to the East Indies were the two greatest events in human history. Mercantilism discourages the export of manufacturing materials with high duties in order to give their workers an advantage so they can undersell other nations in foreign markets, and the export of trading instruments is prohibited. Agriculture is the main source of wealth in every country. Smith argued that a landed nation, which uses high duties to limit foreign trade and gives local manufacturers a monopoly, hurts their own people by raising the price of foreign goods. He favored a system of natural liberty whereby every person who does not violate just laws is free to pursue their own interests and may bring industry and capital to compete with others. The sovereign government has the three duties of protecting people from violence and invasion, administering justice from oppression, and maintaining public works and institutions that benefit society.
      Book 5 explains how governments can gain the revenues needed to fulfill the duties of defense, justice, and public services. National defense requires military force. Justice needs a civil government, but this is usually designed by the wealthy to protect their property. In regard to justice he warned that wherever there is great wealth there is great inequality. Smith suggested that superior power comes from ability, age, fortune, and family or birth, and he considered the latter two most important in his time. Public works include roads, bridges, canals, and harbors. As educational institutions he discussed schools for youths and churches for adults. In his era public schools did not include universities, and thus wealth and family tradition greatly aided the latter. He described the changes in Christianity in the past few centuries and noticed that in his time Dissenters and Methodists cultivated learning the most. Governments can rent public land. Some republics have gained revenue from the profit of mercantilism, and the post office is such a project. Government can also collect taxes on rented land and its produce, houses, livestock, and other profits. The wages of workers can be taxed directly, and he recommended that capitation taxes be proportioned according to fortune rather than to rank. Commodities can be taxed, but those on necessities are as bad as taxing wages. Taxing luxuries, such as tobacco, tea, sugar, chocolate, alcohol, and meat, has several advantages, but they are more oppressive. Smith found that excise taxes disrupt smugglers more than customs duties. He observed that most public debt is caused by the financing of wars, and he concluded his master work with the following words:

If any of the provinces of the British empire cannot be
made to contribute towards the support of the whole empire,
it is surely time that Great Britain should free herself
from the expense of defending those provinces in time of war,
and of supporting any part of their civil
or military establishments in time of peace,
and endeavour to accommodate her future view and designs
to the real mediocrity of her circumstances.

Alexander Pope and His Essay on Man

      Born into a Catholic family on May 22, 1688 Alexander Pope’s father retired that year from being a linen merchant. At age eight he went to school for a while until he was whipped for satirizing his master. His Aunt Elizabeth taught the boy to read, and about the time they moved to Windsor Forest in 1700 Alexander was trampled by a cow and was seriously deformed; he also began learning Latin and Greek. Three years later he went to London to learn French and Italian. His pastoral poems were published in 1709, and his Essay on Criticism appeared in 1711 in rhymed couplets. He wrote how people look for their own values in others:

Some valuing those of their own, Side or Mind,
Still make themselves the measure of Mankind;
Fondly we think we honor Merit then,
When we but praise Ourselves in Other Men.
Parties in Wit attend on those of State,
And public Faction doubles private Hate. (451-7)

He gave this advice to critics.

Learn then what Morals Critics ought to show,
For ‘tis but half a Judge’s Task, to Know.
‘Tis not enough, Taste, Judgment, Learning, join;
In all you speak, let Truth and Candor shine:
That not alone what to your Sense is due,
All may allow; but seek your Friendship too. (560-5)

      His friend John Caryll told how two Catholic families were feuding because Robert Petre clipped some of Arabella Fermor’s hair. Pope wrote the mock-epic, The Rape of the Lock, hoping to resolve the conflict with laughter. The poem was published in two cantos in 1712 and expanded to five in 1714. Here is a passage from Canto V:

But since, alas! frail beauty must decay,
Curled or uncurled, since Locks will turn to grey;
Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade,
And she who scorns a man, must die a maid;
What then remains but well our pow’r to use,
And keep good-humor still whate'er we lose?
And trust me, dear! good-humor can prevail,
When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul. (25-34)

      As a persecuted Catholic, Pope became friends with Tories such as Jonathan Swift, Queen Anne’s physician John Arbuthnot, chief minister Robert Harley, Secretary of State Bolingbroke, and the poets John Gay and Thomas Parnell who, thrown out of power, decided to use satire. Pope made a fortune translating Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, though it took him about ten years.
      Pope’s poem Eloisa and Abelard was published in 1717. Abelard (1079-1142) and Héloise loved each other passionately and were secretly married; but her uncle had ruffians castrate him. They were separated by religious lives but stayed connected by their letters. This poem represents her response to his first letter and includes these lines:

When love is liberty, and nature, law:
All then is full, possessing, and possessed,
No craving Void left aching in the breast:
Ev’n thought meets thought ere from the lips it part,
And each warm wish springs mutual from the heart.
This sure is bliss (if bliss on earth there be)
And once the lot of Abelard and me. (92-98)
Full in my view set all the bright abode,
And make my soul quit Abelard for God. (127-8)

      Pope wrote about human life and nature in his often-quoted Essay on Man in four epistles. In August 1731 Viscount Bolingbroke wrote to Swift that Pope had written the first three epistles and was working on the fourth. They were published anonymously and individually in February, March, and May of 1733 and in January 1734 before being printed together in April. An Essay on Man was revised as late as February 1744 three months before his death. Pope’s authorship became known by 1735, and the poem was greatly admired by Voltaire. In 1762 the poem was published at Strasburg in English, French, German, Italian, and Latin, and versions also existed in Danish, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, and other languages. I recommend especially these passages:

Laugh where we must, be candid where we can;
But vindicate the ways of God to Man.
Say first, of God above, or Man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of Man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Through worlds unnumbered though the God be known,
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied Being peoples every star,
May tell why Heav’n has made us as we are. (I:15-28)
So Man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
‘Tis but a part we see, and not a whole. (57-60)
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come. (95-8)
The pow’rs of all subdued by thee alone,
Is not thy Reason all these pow’rs in one? (231-2)
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul. (267-8)
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever Is, Is Right. (289-94)
   Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man. (II:1-2)
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurled:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! (17-8)
Alas, what wonder! Man’s superior part
Unchecked may rise, and climb from art to art;
But when his own great work is but begun,
What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. (39-42)
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason’s comparing balance rules the whole. (59-60)
Attention, habit and experience gains;
Each strengthens Reason, and Self-love restrains. (79-80)
Love, Hope, and Joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train,
Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of pain,
These mixed with art, and to due bounds confined,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind;
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and color of our life. (117-22)
This light and darkness in our chaos joined,
What shall divide? The God within the mind. (203-4)
’Tis but by parts we follow good or ill;
For, Vice or Virtue, Self directs it still;
Each individual seeks a several goal;
But Heaven’s great view is One, and that the Whole. (235-8)
Even mean Self-love becomes, by force divine,
The scale to measure others’ wants by thine.
See! and confess, one comfort still must rise,
’Tis this, though Man’s a fool, yet God is wise. (291-4)
   And just as short of Reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all. (III:47-8)
See then the acting and comparing powers
One in their nature, which are two in ours;
And Reason raise o’er Instinct as you can,
In this ’tis God directs, in that ’tis Man. (95-8)
God in the nature of each being founds
Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds:
But as He framed a Whole, the Whole to bless,
On mutual Wants built mutual Happiness:
So from the first, eternal Order ran,
And creature linked to creature, man to man. (109-14)
Nor think, in Nature’s state they blindly trod;
The state of nature was the reign of God:
Self-love and Social at her birth began,
Union the bond of all things, and of Man. (147-50)
Heaven’s attribute was Universal Care,
And man’s prerogative to rule, but spare. (159-60)
Mark what unvaried laws preserve each state,
Laws wise as Nature, and as fixed as Fate.
In vain thy Reason finer webs shall draw,
Entangle Justice in her net of Law,
And right, too rigid, harden into wrong;
Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong.
Yet go! and thus o’er all the creatures sway,
Thus let the wiser make the rest obey. (189-96)
His safety must his liberty restrain:
All join to guard what each desires to gain.
Forced into virtue thus by Self-defence,
Ev’n Kings learned justice and benevolence:
Self-love forsook the path it first pursued,
And found the private in the public good. (277-82)
In Faith and Hope the world will disagree,
But all Mankind’s concern is Charity:
All must be false that thwart this One great End;
And all of God, that bless Mankind or mend. (307-10)
Thus God and Nature linked the general frame,
And bade Self-love and Social be the same. (317-8)
   Remember, Man, “the Universal Cause
Acts not by partial, but by general laws;”
And makes what Happiness we justly call
Subsist not in the good of one, but all. (IV:35-8)
Know, all the good that Individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind,
Reason’s whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence. (77-80)
To whom can Riches give Repute or Trust,
Content, or Pleasure, but the Good and Just?
Judges and Senates have been bought for gold,
Esteem and Love were never to be sold. (185-8)
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates, that Man is great indeed. (233-6)
A Wit’s a feather, and a Chief a rod;
An honest Man’s the noblest work of God. (247-8)
Know, then, this truth (enough for Man to know)
“Virtue alone is Happiness below.”
The only point where human bliss stands still,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only merit constant pay receives,
Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives. (309-14)
Good, from each object, from each place acquired
For ever exercised, yet never tired;
Never elated, while one man’s oppressed;
Never dejected while another’s blessed;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more Virtue, is to gain.
See the sole bliss Heav’n could on all bestow!
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know:
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will find;
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through Nature up to Nature’s God;
Pursues that Chain which links the immense design,
Joins heav’n and earth, and mortal and divine;
Sees, that no being any bliss can know,
But touches some above, and some below;
Learns, from this union of the rising Whole,
The first, last purpose of the human soul;
And knows, where Faith, Law, Morals, all began,
All end, in Love of God, and Love of Man. (321-40)
Self-love thus pushed to social, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbor’s blessing thine.
Is this too little for the boundless heart?
Extend it, let thy enemies have part:
Grasp the whole worlds of Reason, Life, and Sense,
In one close system of Benevolence:
Happier as kinder, in whate’er degree,
And height of Bliss but height of Charity.
   God loves from Whole to Parts: but human soul
Must rise from Individual to the Whole.
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake!
The center moved, a circle straight succeeds,
Another still, and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbor, first it will embrace;
His country next; and next all human race;
Wide and more wide, the o’erflowings of the mind
Take every creature in, of every kind;
Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty blest,
And Heaven beholds its image in his breast. (353-72)
From Wit’s false mirror held up Nature’s light;
Showed erring Pride, whatever is, is right;
That Reason, Passion, answer one great aim;
That true Self-love and Social are the same;
That Virtue only makes our Bliss below;
And all our Knowledge is, ourselves to know. (393-8)

      Pope wrote “The Universal Prayer” in 1715, and in 1738 William Warburton added it to his edition of An Essay on Man. Here it is:

Father of all! in every age,
    In every clime adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
    Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou Great First Cause, least understood:
    Who all my sense confined
To know but this—that thou art good,
    And that myself am blind:
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
    To see the good from ill;
And binding Nature fast in fate,
    Left free the human will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
    Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to shun,
    That, more than Heaven pursue.
What blessings thy free bounty gives,
    Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when man receives,
    To enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to earth’s contracted span,
    Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think thee Lord alone of man,
    When thousand worlds are round:
Let not this weak, unknowing hand
    Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,
    On each I judge thy foe.
If I am right, thy grace impart,
    Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
    To find a better way.
Save me alike from foolish pride,
    Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has denied,
    Or aught thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another’s woe,
    To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
    That mercy show to me.
Mean though I am, not wholly so
    Since quickened by thy breath;
Oh lead me wheresoe’er I go,
    Through this day’s life or death.
This day, be bread and peace my lot:
    All else beneath the sun,
Thou know’st if best bestowed or not,
    And let thy will be done.
To thee, whose temple is all space,
    Whose altar, earth, sea, skies!
One chorus let all being raise!
    All Nature’s incense rise!


1. John and Charles Wesley: Selected Prayers, Hymns, Journal Notes, Sermons, Letters and Treatises ed. Frank Whaling, p. 122.
2. Quoted in Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism by Henry D. Rack, p. 276.
3. John and Charles Wesley ed. Frank Whaling, p. 370.
4. Ibid., p. 364.
5. The Spirit of Love by William Law ed. Paul G. Stanwood, p. 360.
6. An Inquiry concerning Moral Good and Evil by Francis Hutcheson in British Moralists 1650-1800, Volume 1, p. 262.
7. Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, the Principles of Government and the Justice and Policy of the War with America Part I, Section II by Richard Price in Richard Price and the Ethical Foundation of the American Revolution ed. Bernard Peach, p. 69.
8. An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume ed. Tom L. Beauchamp, p. 13.
9. Ibid., p. 15.
10. Ibid., p. 84.
11. Ibid., p. 85.
12. Ibid., p. 90.
13. Political Writings by Samuel Johnson ed. Donald J. Greene, p. 288-289.

Copyright © 2017 by Sanderson Beck

EUROPE & REASON 1715-1788 has been published as a book.
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Britain of Georges I-III 1714-88
Wesley, Hume, Johnson, Smith & Pope
British Novels and Plays 1715-88
France of Louis XV and XVI
Montesquieu, Voltaire & Rousseau
French Literature and Theatre 1715-88
Spain, Portugal & Italy 1715-88
Austrian Empire and German States 1715-88
Lessing, Kant, Goethe and Schiller
Netherlands and Scandinavia 1715-88
Poland-Lithuania and Russia 1715-88
Summary and Evaluating Europe 1715-88


Chronology of Europe 1716-1830
World Chronology 1715-1817

BECK index