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to his nephew INTRODUCTION

Peter Jansevoor




Obfervations tending to explain Human Nature.


Nature of Man.

ANKIND, through all ages, have 1 been the fame: The firft times beheld first the prefent vices. Yet who could imagine that there is fuch contrariety, even in the fame character? It was Nero who, figning a fentence against a criminal, wished to the Gods he could not write. A


Nothing is more common than love con


verted into hatred.


And we have feen in

ftances of hatred converted into love.

If our faces were not alike, we could not distinguish a man from a beaft. If they were altogether alike, we could not distinguish one man from another.

No affection is more deeply rooted in human nature, even among favages, than that between parent and child.

Indigence and obfcurity are the parents of industry and oeconomy: Thefe, of riches and honour: Thefe, of pride and luxury: Thefe, of fenfuality and idleness; and thefe, of indigence and obfcurity. Such are the revolutions of live.


Principle of Liberty.

So fond of liberty is man, that to restrain him from any thing, however indifferent, is fufficient to make that thing an object of defire.


Principle of Society.

It is more tolerable to be always alone, than never to be fo.

So prone is man to fociety, and fo happy in it, that, to relish perpetual folitude, one must be an angel or a brute.

In a folitary state, no creature is more ti- 5 mid than man; in fociety none more bold. Every one partakes of the honour that is bestowed upon the worthy.

The number of offenders leffens the dif grace of the crime; for a common reproach is no reproach. Hence, in populous cities, the frequency of adultery, drunkenness, robbery.

Moral Senfe.

No man ever did a designed injury to ano- 6 ther, without doing a greater to himself.

Man's chief good is an upright mind, which no earthly power can bestow, nor take from him.

If you should escape the cenfure of others, hope not to escape your own.




No man is thoroughly contemned by others, but who is firft contemned by himself.

A man is more unhappy in reproaching himself when guilty, than in being reproached by others when innocent.

The evil I bring upon myfelf is the hardest to bear.

When intereft is at variance with confcience, any diftinction to make them friends will ferve the hollow-hearted.

Seldom is a man fo wicked but he will endeavour to reconcile, if poffible, his actions with his duty. But fuch chicaning will not lay his confcience afleep: It will notwithfranding haunt him like a ghoft, and frighten him out of his wits.

In great crimes, the man's own confcience proves often to be the ftrongeft witnefs against him.

Qur powers and faculties are much limited.

It is as cer

It is a true obfervation, that no man ever excelled in two different arts. tain, there never was a man,

who might


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