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superior to him. But in Political Society, a rich Alan may rob me in another way. I cannot defend myself; for Money is the only Weapon with which we are allowed to fight. And if I attempt to avenge myself, the whole Force of that Society is ready to complete my Ruin.
A good Parson once faid, that where Mystery begins, Religion ends. Cannot I fay, as truly at least,' of human Laws, that where Mystery begins, Justice ends ? It is hard to fay, whether the Doctors of Law or Divinity have made the greater Advances in the lucrative Business of Mystery. The Lawyers, as well as the Theologians, have erected another Reason besides Natural Reason; and the Result has been, another Justice besides Natural Justice. They have so bewildered the World and themselves in unmeaning Forms and Ceremonies, and so perplexed the plainest Matters with metaphysical Jargon, that it carries the highest Danger to a Man out of that Profession, to make the least Step without their Adrice and Assistance. Thus by confining to themselves the Knowledgeof the Foundation of ailMen's Lives and Properties, they have reduced all Mankind into the most abject and servile Dependance. We are Tenants at the Will of these Gentlemen foe every thing; and a metaphysical Quibble is to decide whether the greatest Villain breathing shall meet his Deserts, or escape with Impunity, or whether the best Man in the Society shall not be reduced to the lowest and most despicable Condition it affords. In a word, my Lord, the Injustice, Delay, Puerility,
Vol. II. F false
false Refinement, and affected Mystery of the Law are such, that many, who live under it, come to admire and envy the Expedition, Simplicity, and Equality of arbitrary Judgments. I need insist the less on this Article to your Lordship, as you have frequently lamented the Miseries derived to us from Artificial Law, and your Candor is the more to be admired and applauded in this, as your Lordship's noble House has derived its Wealth and its Honours from that Profession.
Before we finish our Examination of Artificial Society, I mall lead your Lordship into a closer Consideration of the Relations which it gives Birth to, and the Benefits, if such they are, which result from these Relations. The most obvious Division of Society is into Rich and Poor; and it is no less obvious that the Number of the former bear a great Disproportion to those of the latter. The whole Busineso of the Poor is to administer to the Idleness, Folly, and Luxury of the Rich; and that of the Rich, in Return, is to find the best Methods of confirming the Slavery and increasing the Burthens of the Poor. In a State of Nature," it is an invariable Law, that a Man's Acquisitions are in Proportion to his Labours. In a State of Artificial Society, it is a Law as constant and as invariable, that those who labour most, enjoy the fewest Things; and that those who labour not at all, have the greatest Number of Enjoyments. A Constitution of Things this, strange and ridiculous beyond Expression, We scarce believe lieve a Thing when we are told it, which we actually see before our Eyes every Day without being in the least surprised. I suppose that there are in GreatBritain upwards of an hundred thoufand People employed in Lead, Tin, Iron, Copper, and Coal Mines; these unhappy Wretches scarce ever see the Light of the Sun; they are buried in the Bowels of the Earth; there they work at a severe and dismal Task, without the least Prospect of being delivered from it; they subsist upon the coarsest and worst Sort of Fare; they have their Health miseraby impaired, and their Lives Cut short, by being perpetually confined in the close Vapour of these malignant Minerals. An hundred thoufand more at least are tortured without Remission by the suffocating Smoak, intense Fires, and constant Drudgery necessary in refining and managing the Products of those Mines. If any Man informed us that twd hundred thoufand innocent Persons were condemned to so intolerable Slavery, how should we pity the unhappy Sufferers ! and how great would be our just Indignation against those who inflicted so cruel and ignominious a Punishment! This is an Instance^ I could not wish a stronger, of the numberless Things which we pass by in their common Dress, yet which shock us when they are nakedly represented. But this Number, considerable as it is, and the Slavery, with all its Baseness and Horror, which we have at home, is nothing to what the rest of the World, affords of the fame Nature. Millions daily bathed in the poisonous Damps and destructive Effluvia of Lead, Silver, Copper and Arsenic. To lay nothing of F 2 those
those otherEmployments, those Stations of Wretchedness and Contempt, in which Civil Society has placed the numerous Enfans perdus of our Army. Would any rational Man submit to one of the most tolerable of these Drudgeries, for all the Artificial Enjoyments which Policy has made to result from them? By no means. And yet need I suggest to your Lordship, that those who find the Means, and those who arrive at the End, are not at all the fame Persons ? On considering the strange and unaccountable Fancies and Contrivances of artificial Reason, I have somewhere called this Earth the Bedlam of our System. Looking now upon the Effects of some of those Fancies, may we not, with equal Reason, call it likewise the Newgate, and the Bridewell of the Universe. Indeed theBlindness of one Part of Mankind co-operating with the Frenzy and Villany of the other, has been the real Builder of this respectable Fabric of Political Society: and as the Blindness of Mankind has caused their Slavery, in return their State of Slavery is made a Pretence for continuing them in a State of Blindness; for the Politician will tell you gravely, that their Life of Servitude disqualifies the greater Part of the Race of Man for a Search of Truth,and supplies them with no other than mean and insufficient Ideas. This isbuttoo true; and this is one of the Reasons for which I blame such Institutions.
In a Misery of this Sort, admitting some few Lenities, and those too but a few, nine Parts in ten of the whole Race of Mankind drudge through Life. It may be urged perhaps, in Palliation of this, that, at least, the rich Few find a considerable and real Benefit from the Wretchedness of the Many. But is this so in fact? Let us examine the Point with a little more Attention. For this Purpose the Rich in all Societies may be thro wn into two Classes. The first is of those who are Powerful as well as Rich, and conduct the Operations of the vast political Machine. The other is of those who employ their Riches wholly in the Acquisition of Pleasure. As to the first Sort, their continual Care and Anxiety, their toilsome Days and sleepless Nights, are next to proverbial. These Circumstances are sussicient almost to level their Condition to that of the unhappy Majority; but there are other Circumstances which place them in a far lower Condition. Not only their Understandings labour continually, which is the severest Labour, but their Hearts are torn by the worst, the most troublesome, and infatiable of all Passions, by Avarice, by Ambition, by Fear, and Jealousy. No Part of the Mind has Rest. Power gradually extirpates from the Mind every humane and gentle Virtue. Pity, Beneyolence, Friendship, are Things almost unknown in high Stations. Verts amicitiæ rarijfime inveniuntur in Us qui in honoribus reque publica versantur, fays Cicero. And indeed, Courts are the Schools were Cruelty, Pride, Dissimulation and Treachery are studied and taught in the most vicious Perfection. »This is a Point fa clear and acknowledged, that, if it did not make * necessary Part of my Subject, I should pass it by entirely. And this has hindred me from drawing at ftdl length, and in the most striking Colours this F 3 shocking