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as successfully as any of the polished and lettered sons of modern Europe. Instructed by mere interest, they can adopt even a seducive address, and in the very form of their natural simplicity and bluntness they can still more successfully deceive.
Uncultivated society has its virtues, it has its vices also, of which none hold a more distinguished rank than art, deceit, deliberate fr ud, and imposture. The history of the Arabians, Tartars, North-Americans, and Chinese, who are at best only managed and disciplined savages, is much more the history of lying and imposture than of plain truth and honesty. They can practise insinuating address, they can mislead with deep designs, and deceive with fatal success. In their national treaties they can shroud their intentions with as artful concealment as the most lessoned adept of our diplomatic schools. With war in their hearts, they can send an ambassador of peace, out of whose breast not the shrewdest politician of Eurepe can dig the secret. In war, they are treacherous more than brave; stratagem and
ambuscade constitute their military táctics, and they measure their triumphs, not by the manly resistance which as men they have overcome, but by the insidious violation of faith, by springing upon their destined prey
in all the confidence of security, by their merciless use of an inglorious 'victory, and the undistinguishing massacre of age and sex.
In this representation I may be supposed to exhibit the portrait only of the NorthAmerican tribes; but the history of revery rude and uncivilized nation presents, the same features; and in this very centunyathe Chinese, whom I have not excepted from the class of barbarians, have exhibited a dreadful specimen of this insidious, unmanly, and savage character. The late emperor of China, jealous of a numerous and powerful Tartar horde, and, if I. remember aright, one of the very tribe from which himself was de scended, allared them by faithless promises, till he had drawn around them a cordon of his numerous hosts. Then, in the true spi
rit of, a savage, he issued the word, and
appeased his fears by putting them all to the sword. He exterminated nearly three millions of human beings at a blow.
Such are the representatives of the native simplicity and innocence of undressed man; such are the patterns of frankness, sincerity and manliness, to whom Rousseau offers the incense of an almost idiot praise, in comparison to whom the European character is one uniform blot.
He rivals the papal power in its greatest plenitude; he blackens an angel, and whitens a devil.
But if, contrary to fact, and what the history of man in the
progress of society reports to the plain inquirer after truth, it should be allowed that politeness derives itself immediately from learning, yet learning is not therefore to be charged with that duplicity and dissimulation, which in the practice of politeness has excited the indignation of Rousseau. Politeness in its primary designation presents a fair and amiable character; but, like every blessing to man, vice may
seize the blessing, and, as far as vice can operate, may convert the blessing to a curse. Has learning taught to vice this lesson? If this: be a truth, it presents a novel idea of earning, contrary to every idea which has been entertained of her genius and spirit; for before the Genevan philosopher was pleased to undeceive man, she was supposed to bę favourable to truth, to the discovery and to the ingenuous communication of truth.
What gave to the openings of science that charm, which roused man from the indolence and torpor of savage life, but thać it ministered to this native love of truth in the mind of man, to that ardour of a rational mind, which, when awakened, pursues with avidity and with unsated gratification the discoveries which Nature unfolds to the diligent inquirer? This is the spirit and genius of learning, and most unlikely to have inspired the wily arts of polished life.
The question is not, therefore, whether politeness, and even learning, may not be H 2
seized by vicious men, and perverted to vicious purposes, but whether it be of their genius and character to favour this abuse. The question is, whether politeness be not of a virtuous origin ; whether it be not this very circumstance which recommends her to vice;' whether science, whose object is truth and the communication of truth, can intend disguise, deceit“ and perfidy. Vice exists.--Granted. Let the crimination be carried to the baser passions, which originate vice of whatever form, but not to those laudable passions of man, which contemplate truth and kindness.
How many other blessings does vice per i vert and abuse? From the Creator of man is derived the very capacity of learning, the impulse to, the delight therein, and all that is the genuine offspring of learning. If learning is to be accused, because vicé mày prostitute learning itself, and whatever is the progeny of learning, to uses which the genierous spirit of learning abhors; then 'd fortiori, the Creator is to be accused, who