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script, but that the censor of books at You see what a son of earth that is, to Paris obliged him to strike it out. Vol. value books only by the profit they may taire has lately published a small work bring him ;—in that view I believe it called Candide, ou l'Optimisme.' I may prove a very good book. shall give you a detail of it. But what is • Charles Townsend, who passes for all this to my book ? say you. My the cleverest fellow in England, is so dear Mr. Smith, have patience; compose taken with the performance, that he said yourself to tranquillity: shew yourself a to Oswald, he would put the Duke of philosopher in practice as well as pro- Buccleugh under the author's care, and fession: think on the emptiness and would make it worth his while to accept rashness and futility of the common of that charge. As soon as I heard this, judgments of men; how little they are I called on him twice, with a view of regulated by reason in any subject, much talking with him about the matter, and more in philosophical subjects, which so of convincing him of the propriety of far exceed the comprehension of the sending that young nobleman to Glas. vulgar.

gow; for I could not hope that he could Non si quid turbida Roma

offer you any terms which would tempt Elevet, accedas: examenve improbum in illa

you to renounce your professorship : Castiges trutina: nec te quæsiveris extra.

but I missed him. Mr. Townsend passes A wise man's kingdom is his own breast; for being a little uncertain in his resoluor if he ever looks farther it will only be tions; so perhaps you need not build to the judgment of a select few who are much on this sally. free from prejudice, and capable of ex- recompense for so many mortifyamining his work. Nothing indeed can ing things, which nothing but truth could be a stronger presumption of falsehood have extorted from me, and which I than the approbation of the multitude; could easily have multiplied to a greater and Phocion, you know, always sus- number, I doubt not but you are so good pected himself of some blunder when he

a Christian as to return good for evil, was attended with the applauses of the and to flatter my vanity by telling me populace. Supposing, therefore, that that all the godly in Scotland abuse me you have duly prepared yourself for the for my account of John Knox and the worst of all these reflections, I proceed Reformation. I suppose you are glad to to tell you the melancholy news, that see my paper end, and that I am obliged your book has been very unfortunate; to conclude with for the public seem disposed to applaud

“ Your humble servant, it extremely. It was looked for by the

“ David HUME.” foolish people with some impatience, and the mob of literati are beginning already to be very loud in its praises. Three

Section 3.The Theory of Moral

Sentiments.bishops called yesterday at Millar's shop, in order to buy copies, and to ask ques. The question which Dr. Smith undertions about the author. The Bishop of took to investigate in the “Theory of Peterborough said he had passed the Moral Sentiments," however little reevening in a company where he heard it garded in later times, had evidently extolled above all books in the world. attracted a very considerable share of atThe Duke of Argyle is more decisive tention in the early part ofthe last century. than he uses to be in its favour; I sup- At the period when he applied himself pose he either considers it as an exotic, to that investigation, it had been preor thinks the author will be serviceable viously illustrated by some of the most to him in the Glasgow elections. Lord ingenious and profound writers in our Lyttleton says that Robertson, and language. The inquiry into the nature Smith, and Bower, are the glories of and origin of virtue, had been treated of English literature. Oswald protests he by the elegant and sublime Lord Shafdoes not know whether he has reaped tesbury, the logical and acute Bishop more instruction or entertainment from Butler, the eloquent and ingenious Dr. it. But you may easily judge what re- Hutcheson, and by Mr. Hume himself, liance can be put on his judgment, who in his celebrated treatise entitled “ An has been engaged all his life in public Inquiry concerning the Principles of business, and who never sees any faults Morals." in his friends. Millar exults and brags If it be true, as Mr. Stewart has

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said, and as Smith himself always de compassion, words appropriated to sigclared, that he owed more to the “ Politi- nify our fellow feeling with the sorrow cal discourses" of Mr. Hume, in the of others." Sympathy,'' he adds, “Wealth of Nations,” than to any other though its meaning was originally the work which had appeared prior to his same, may now, however, be made use time, it cannot be doubted that in the of to denote our fellow feeling with any work before us he was as much in- passion whatever.” And upon this prindebted to the principles unfolded in Mr. ciple he erects his system. Hume's “Inquiry.' In their results, It is not our intention, nor is it, inthe difference seems only to be this ;- deed, within the limits of the present that, whereas Hume had resolved our memoir, to attempt an analysis of this moral perceptions into a general and very beautiful production. A brief outsocial affection, Smith had taken pains line of the leading principles on which to trace them, in all cases, to an imme. it rests may be stated as follows:diate sympathy with the individual act- Upon our disposition to sympathize ing or acted upon. Upon nearly all with the passions and actions of other collateral and fundamental points they men, is founded our sense of propriety were perfectly agreed. They were equally or impropriety-upon that of sympa decided in considering the question in thizing with the motives which excite or the outset as one of fact, to be determined produce those actions and passions, is by the invariable nature and recorded founded our sense of merit or demerit; sentiments of mankind in all ages-not the disposition which prompts us to graas one in which it is competent to philo- titude or resentment, to reward or to sophers to establish a standard of vir- punish the agent. An application of tue, as was attempted by Cudworth and the sentiments thus acquired by obserClarke, without reference to those senti- vation of the actions and character of ments, upon some preconceived dogma others, to the affections and conduct of of immutable right, and the eternal fit- ourselves in the various relations of life ness of things ; or upon any deduction in which we are called upon to act, to of a remote and contingent utility, ac- judge, or to suffer, gives rise to a new cording to the system of Paley and God- perception; namely, the sense of duty, win, and others of the same school. he natural and final result of the joint Mr. Hume had dismissed, with the con- operation of those faculties of the heart tempt it deserved, the doctrine of those and the understanding, with which man who had denied the reality of any dis was endowed by his Maker, and not a tinction in morals. He had shewn by factitious principle of expediency, which the most unanswerable reasoning that it was left for him to deduce from the their origin was to be found in senti- remote and contingent consequences of ment, not in the subtleties of abstract the actions themselves. ratiocination; and has overthrown for Of the questions which are discussed ever, in the opinion of all who are capa- in the science of morals, the two prinble of reasoning on such subjects, the cipal are these :—What is the characselfish system of ethics, revived by teristic property of virtue or merit ? Hobbes in the seventeenth century, who And by what faculty or power are we had borrowed it from the school of made cognizant of its existence ? In Epicurus, and who bequeathed it as å Hume's Inquiry upon this interesting theme of everlasting cavil and epigram- subject, he involved the solution of the matic paradox to that of Helvetius and second question in investigating the

Rochefoucauld, and their followers, in first. Smith seems to have pursued a later days. Dr. Smith, though he makes different course, and to have blended little direct reference to this system the first question in his discussion of . founded on the absolute selfishness of the second. We have always consiman, may be considered as having stated dered that the scope of Mr. Hume's and pronounced upon the question in the reasoning upon this point has been opening passage of his work :-“How strangely misconceived. In shewing, as selfish soever man may be supposed,” he did conclusively to our minds, that says he," there are evidently some prin- utility was an invariable attribute of all ciples in his nature which interest him in virtue, his argument was limited, and the fortune of others, and render their he obviously meant it to be limited to happiness necessary to him, though he the simple establishment of the fact ; derives nothing from it except the plea- to proving, that by the constitution of sure of seeing it; of this kind is pity or man, and the natural economy of his

sition of the mind, no action attended of his book, exhibiting a specimen, perwith the general approbation of man- haps, of the most refined and philosokind, which would not be found in its phical disquisition which human lanresults beneficial to the species. He guage has ever embodied.

It lies so proved that nature had so constituted directly in our way, in the few observaus, that by an involuntary sympathy we tions we think it necessary to make upon are formed to approve of these qualities this production of Dr. Smith ;-it lies so even when we can have no personal in- much at the root of the main difficulty terest in the case-nay, even when our involved in the inquiry concerning the personal interest may be opposed to the foundation of morals; the most inteexercise of them. The sentiment or resting problem, perhaps, in metaphyemotion thus excited, is the effect of a sics; it comes so strongly recommended beneficent wisdom in the moral eco- in consequenee to all who can take any nomy of man; an economy which interest in such discussions,—that we proves the divine origin and government shall cite a part of it in this place, happy of the world even more cogently than if, by accident, we should be the means the most exquisite of the merely phy, in this way of introducing one of our sical arrangements so often adduced readers to an acquaintance with the for the purpose. But having shewn work in which it is to be found. this to be the fact, it never could be After having traced the growth of the intended, by that accurate and pro- emotions which arise from the spectacle found thinker, to draw or to suggest of vice as well as of virtue, and having the inference, that in pursuit of any shewn that the resentment which we imagined utility, any distant and gene- feel in the one case is the counterpart ral advantage which might present it- of the gratitude we feel in the other ; self to his narrow capacity, it was com- and that it is this emotion which, conpetent for man to tamper with the order stituting our immediate sense of deof God, and in neglect of the active im- merit, prompts us to inflict the punishpulses, the affections, and even the pre- ment which the well-being of society judices of his nature, which, by the di- requires should be inflicted; and that rection of his wisdom, were made sub- the Author of Nature did not leave it to servient to the most admirable ends the slow and uncertain deductions of to erect a new standard of morals, and our reason to find out the means of pretend to shew that that mode of ac- attaining this end, but endowed us with tion might be expedient, which his an instinctive feeling of approbation of heart told him could never be right. the very application most proper to But whatever doubts may exist as to attain it,-he proceeds to consider the the meaning of Hume, there can be utility of this constitution of nature.” none with regard to that of Dr. Smith “ In every part of the universe," he upon this vital question; and it is in says*, “ we observe means adjusted with the admirable and really philosophical the nicest artifice to the end which they spirit which pervades and animates are intended to produce; and in the meevery part of his system, and this more chanism of a plant or animal body, especially, that we conceive the great' admire how everything is contrived for excellence of his work to consist; for it advancing the two great purposes of may assuredly be said of it, that if it nature, the support of the individual, does not furnish the true “ Theory of and the propagation of the species. But Moral Sentiments," there can be no in these, and in all such objects, we still hesitation in admitting that its author distinguish the efficient from the final has, at least, pointed out the way in cause of their several motions and organiwhich that theory must be sought. zations. The digestion of the food, the Smith saw, and strictly adhered to the circulation of the blood, and the secretion distinction, as Mr. Stewart has well re- of the several juices which are drawn marked*, which has been too little ad- from it, are operations all of them neverted to by ethical inquirers--the dis- cessary for the great purposes of animal tinction betwixt the final and the efficient life ; yet we never endeavour to account cause in all our moral determinations. for them from those purposes as from The chapter in which this fundamental their efficient causes, nor imagine that point is more directly enforced must be the blood circulates, or that the food digests of its own aceord, and with a this as the sole reason why we condemn view or intention to the purposes of cir- them, or to pretend that it is merely culation or digestion. The wheels of the because we ourselves hate and detest watch are all admirably adjusted to the them. The reason, we think, would not end for which it was made—the point- appear to be conclusive.

Philos. Hum, Mind, vol. ii.

* Theory of Moral Sent. vol. i. part ii. sect. 2.

Yet why ing of the hour: all their various motions should it not; if we hate and detest conspire, in the nicest manner, to pro- them, because they are the natural and duce this effect. If they were endowed proper objects of hatred and detestawith a desire and intention to produce it, tion? But when we are asked, why we they could not do it better: yet we never should not act in such or such a manascribe any such desire or intention to ner, the very question seems to suppose, them, but to the watchmaker; and we that to those who ask it this manner of know that they are put into motion by acting does not appear to be for its own a spring which intends the effect it pro- sake the natural and proper object of duces as little as they do. But though, these sentiments. We must shew therein accounting for the operation of bo- fore, that it ought to be so for the sake of dies, we never fail to distinguish in this something else; and the consideration manner the efficient from the final which first occurs to us is the disorder cause,—in accounting for those of the and confusion of society which would mind, we are very apt to confound these result from the universal prevalence of two different things with one another. such practices. We seldom fail thereWhen by natural principles we are led fore to insist upon this topic. That it to advance those ends which a refined is not a regard, however, to the preserand enlightened reason would recom- vation of society, which originally inmend to us, we are very apt to impute terests us in the punishment of crimes to that reason, as to their efficient cause, committed against individuals, may be the sentiments and actions by which we demonstrated by many obvious consiadvance those ends, and to imagine that derations. All men, even the most to be the wisdom of man, which is in . stupid and unthinking, abhor perfidy reality the wisdom of God. Upon a and injustice, and delight to see them superficial view, this cause seems suffi- punished. But few men have reflected cient to produce the effects which are upon the necessity of justice to the existascribed to it, and the system of human ence of society, however obvious that nature seems to be more simple and necessity may appear. The concern agreeable when all its different opera- which we take in the fortune and happitions are in this manner deduced from a ness of individuals does not, in common single principle.” After distinguishing cases, arise from that which we take in in this way the efficient from the final the fortune and happiness of society. We cause of our moral impressions, our first are no more concerned for the destruction perceptions of right and wrong, -after or loss of a single man, because the man shewing that though it is absolutely is a member or part of society, and benecessary for the subsistence of society cause we should be concerned for the dethat the laws of justice should be ob- struction of society,than we are concerned served, yet that it is not from a consi- for the loss of a single guinea, because deration of this necessity that we origi- this guinea is part of a thousand guineas, nally approve of their enforcement and because we should be concerned for (though he admits that our regard for the loss of the whole sum. In neither them may often be confirmed, and may case does our regard for the individuals sometimes require to be confirmed by arise from our regard for the multitude; such consideration),-he proceeds,“We but in both cases our regard for the mulfrequently hear the young and the licen- titude is compounded, and made up of tious ridiculing the most sacred rules the particular regards which we feel for of morality, and professing, sometimes the different individuals of which it is from the corruption, but more fre- composed. As when a small sum is quently from the vanity of their hearts, unjustly taken from us, we do not so the most abominable maxims of con- much prosecute the injury from a regard duct. Our indignation rouses, and we to the preservation of our whole fortune are eager to refute and expose such as from a regard to that particular sum detestable principles. But, though it is which we have lost; so when a single their intrinsic hatefulness and detest- man is injured or destroyed, we demand ableness which originally inflame us the punishment of the wrong that has against them, we are unwilling to assign been done to him, not so much from a ciety, as from a concern for that very in- pathy as a source of morals, from dividual who has been injured.” which Smith has deduced his system,

In a subsequent part of his work, appears to have been referred to by Polywherein he treats of the “ Influence of bius, in a remarkable passage of his fortune upon our Moral Sentiments," history, for the same purpose. It is and shews that, though it is the intention rather long for a quotation; but as it is or affection of the heart, the propriety curious in itself, and as Polybius is not or impropriety, the beneficence or hurt- a writer in every one's hands, we shall fulness of the design that all praise or transcribe part of it in a note below; blame which can be bestowed upon an when possibly it may appear, after all, action must ultimately belong; yet, that the coincidence is rather in exnevertheless, the result of those actions, pression than in substance, and that it the actual consequences which often applies rather more strikingly to the proceed from them, do materially affect doctrine of sympathy with utility, (the our sentiments :-He traces, in the same theory of Hume) than to that of symadmirable spirit, the final cause of this pathy as unfolded by Smith*. inconsistency in our judgments; and remarks that—" that necessary rule of SECTION 4.- From the publication of justice, that men in this life are account- the Theory of Moral Sentiments" to able for their actions only, not for their that of the Wealth of Nations." designs or intentions, is founded upon We have seen, from the letter which this salutary and useful irregularity in Mr. Hume addressed to our author, human sentiments concerning merit and demerit

, which appears at first sight so something of the impression which was absurd and unaccountable. But," he produced by the publication of his first concludes, “every part of nature, when great work. We shall shortly perceive attentively surveyed, equally demon- that the hope therein expressed, that it strates the providential care of its

might lead to an interesting connexion Author; and we may admire the wis

with the Duke of Buccleugh was not dom and the goodness of God even in idly formed. In the meantime, howthe weakness and the folly of men."

ever, it made no change in the life and We have the greater pleasure in citing

habits of Dr. Smith. He continued his these passages, because we think that professorship in the University of Glaswe may read in them the best refuta- gow for a period of four years after this, tion of that theory of expediency, which directing his attention, and that of his nothing but the reputation of Dr. Paleyment of ethics, of which he had pre

students, somewhat less to that departcould ever have recommended to the world*—

—a theory which Mr. Stewart sented to the world his views, and has characterised in a strain of indig- treating more particularly of the subnant eloquence, that well became him jects which come within the range of on such a topic, as one which, absoly- jurisprudence, and political philosophy. ing men from the obligations imposed had devoted to this latter branch of upon them by the moral constitution of human nature, abandons every indivi- moral science, he has bequeathed an imdual to the guidance of his own narrow

perishable monument to the world in views concerning the complicated in- * “For man, who among all the various kinds of terests of society.r."

alone endowed with the faculty of reason, It may not perhaps be unworthy of titude and injustice) with indifference; but reflect

cannot, like the rest, pass over such actions (ingraobservation, before we close these few ing on what he sees, and comparing the future with remarks upon the“ Theory of Moral Sen- the present, will not fail to express his indignation

at this injurious treatment, to which, as he foresees,

he may at some time be exposed. Thus it is cer. * It may be allowed us to state in a few words tain that all men must be shocked by such ingratiwhat we have always considered to be the wide dif- tude through sympathy with the resentment of their ference upon this great point, betwixt the doc- neighbour, and from an apprehension also that the trine of Mr. Hume and that of Dr. Paley, which case may be their own. And from hence arises in it is surprising to see so often confounded.

the mind of man, a certain sense of the nature, and proved from the phenomena of human nature as a force of duty, in which consists both the beginning fact, that whatever in inoral conduct was intrinsi- and the end of justice; and thus it is that the people cally right, was useful. Paley laid it down as a begin to discern the nature of things, honourable rule, that whatever was expedient, was right; and or base, and in what consists the difference between thus converted a position of undeniable truth and them; and to perceive that the former, on account beauty into an hypothesis full of fallacy, as the of the advantage that attends them, are fit to be solution of a problem pregnant with evil in its con- admired and imitated, and the latter to be detested sequences, when considered as a precept.

and avoided."-Polybius, Hist., Book vi. Ex. 1, † Philos. Hum, Mind, vol, ii. Ch. 4, Sect. 6. Ch. i. Hampton's Translation,

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Hume

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