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extent of crime may vary in different states and conditions of men, but every crime, of which man is capable, will be found in its essential character, in rude as well as cultivated and polished life. The question however at present' is not what variation a cultivated state of society may induce in the manner or in the extent of a crime, but strictly whether increasing knowledge generates new crimes. If this position be true, these new crimes ought to be specifically stated. Lax' and
declamation fascinate the understanding, as to persuade us that new and unheard of monsters are brought forward on the active stage of human life; but if you demand, that a definite body and a name be assigned to them, you will find that they are no other demons, than have played their tricks in every period and stage of society, and that in the history of vice there is nothing essentially new under the sun.
It is not necessary in this part of the reply to compare the state of crime in an ignorant and rude with that of a
learned and polished period. This has al. ready been considered at some length, and the balance appeared to be not a little in favour of the latter period. It is a topic which has divided the judgment, and interested the passions of men in every day, and therefore to guard against crude and hasty decis sions, I would add the following observations to what has been already presented to you. A cultivated state of man is always more populous than the
approaches to the rude and savage, such as Rousseau contemplates and praises. Where therefore there are more actors, supposing the moral form of the public mind to be only the same, the number of criminals must be greater, but the proportional state of crime will be equal; and may
degree be less in a polished period, if the moral influence of an enlightened mind be admitted. This admission would indeed be in direct opposition to Rousseau's theory, but it was asserted as the just claim of knowledge in the preceding part of my reply.
It is also the character of a cultivated period, that man is more active, more elicited into public view, and vice being in its very nature forward and obtruding, what vice man has will be more known, more observed, and excite more disgust and indignation. The quantity of virtue, which is modest and retired, will be almost equally unknown in every state of society, but the quantity of vice is and must be more known in that busy and active state, where man is constantly as it were on a public stage, and exposes himself to his fellow in so many new and interesting movements.
Let this suffice as a reply to Rousseau's assertion, that knowledge generates new crimes, absolutely unknown in a ruder state. There is nothing in the nature of man which gives credibility to the assertion, and of consequence the whole of this charge is dismissed with contempt. But if the position were true without any limitation, yet the inference would not follow, that in a moral view, ignorance is more desirable than
knowledge. Virtue cannot exist without the knowledge of vice, and in whatever degree vice is unknown, that is, has no correspondent idea in the mind, the virtue which is opposed thereto will be unknown also. Indeed it would appear as if through the whole of this essay, Mr. Rousseau contemplated only the paradise of fools; that blessed state, in which from pure ignorance there could be neither saint nor sinner. That Rousseau meant to insult the human understanding by obtruding this idea, that in order to be virtuous, it is enough that from ignorance we be absolutely incapable of vice, is a supposition which reflects severely on Rousseau, and yet it is almost impossible to acquit him of the imputation. If all the virtue which he contemplates were accomplished, it would be that of an idiot, not the virtue of a man. This consists not in ignorance nor imbecility, but in resistance; and its worth is estimated in
proportion to the magnitude of the resistance which is requisite, and the magnitude of the sacri
fice which is made to the virtuous suminons. Virtue is of an active and social character, and not to be found in the cell of the lazy monk, or in the apathy of the stupid savage; she delights in the haunts of awakened, civilised, and cultivated man; she shines in difficulties, dangers, and.conflicts. It is this alone, which endobles human nature, which conducts it to its proper dignity.
It hąs appeared, that the vices, to which man is prone, are known, in whatever constitutes the essence of their character, to the savage as well as to the sage; but it is allowed, that some forms of vice cannot be known to him, who has not known the very means of practising the vice in these forms; yet the vicious disposition may equally exist, and be proved to exist. The Hottentot or Siberian, to whom a fermented liquor has never been introduced, is ignorant of drunkenness; but what his conduct would be is evinced by that gluttonous excess, to which he abandons himself in his feast on a bear or a whale. It is the presence, not the