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Thus, if I
ing and purport of what we think ourselves. happen, by an unusual and awkward combination of words and phrases, to exprefs my meaning and sentiments upon a subject to a third person, provided I am really understood, and my sentiments are admitted, I do not see upon what other ground, than that of grammar or syntax, a dispute can be instituted. And in the subject under our present consideration, if any other term had been used to express the natural rights of man, or the state of nature, the whole animosity of the adverse disputants would have subsided, under the conviction that neither differed in opinion substantially from the other. I have read over most of the late publications upon the subject, and I do not find one of any note or consequence, that does not in fact and substance admit this state of nature, to which they annex or attribute these indefeasible rights of man, to be a mere imaginary state of speculation. Much ill blood would have been avoided, much labour and pain have been spared, and many lives have been preserved, if any other than the epithet natural had been applied to these rights and this
The bulk of mankind are little.able, and lefs habituated, to analise the import and tendency of words and phrases; and few amongst them will separate the idea, which they conceive the word natural conveys, from the state of their physical existence. They will plainly argue, that such as God hath made them, such they are; nor do they think of, nor demand any other rights, than such as God hath given them, for the purpose for which in his goodness he created them. The practical doctrine from such argument will be what I before quoted from Mr Locke : having made man such a creature, that, in his own judgement, it was not good for him to be alone, put him under strong obligations of necefsity, convenience, and inclination, to drive him into society, as well as fitted him with
understanding and language to continue and enjoy it.' Thus, perhaps, more properly, though lefs technically speaking, we come to consider man in his real natural state, which is that of society. For Buchanan says truly *: "First of all, then, we agree, that men by nature are made to live in society together, and for a communion of life."
"Hæret lateri lethalis arundo."
AGAINST slander there is no defence. Hell cannot boast so foul a fiend; nor man deplore so fell a foe. It stabs with a word,-with a nod,-with a fhrug,-with a look, with a smile. It is the pestilence walking in darkness, spreading contagion far and wide, which the most wary traveller cannot avoid;it is the heartsearching dagger of the afsafsin ;-it is the poisoned arrow whose wound is incurable; it is the mortal sting
of the deadly adder. Murder is its employment,-innocence its prey, and ruin its sport.Maria was a
fatal instance. Her head was a little raised from the pillow, supported by her hand, and her countenance was exceeding sorrowful,-the glowing blush of eighteen vanished from her cheeks, and fever rioted in luxury upon her damask skin.It is even so ;-a bursting sigh laboured from her bosom ;-virtue is no protection while. detraction breathes malignity,-while envy searches for faults and tortures truth. I might have been happy!but Oh! ye busy thoughts, recal not to my memory these joyful hours! She struggled,-but in vain. The invisible power of darkness closed her eyes, and her heaving breast panted with the last throbbings of a broken heart. She
is now no more,—scandal triumphed over the lovely maid. Superior qualifications made her the dupe of envy, and a fever followed.-She fell a sacrifice to exquisite feelings!
*Buchanan of the due privilege of the Scots government, p. 189..
LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13. 1792.
AN ACCOUNT OF THE SOCIETY OF ARCADIA AT ROME, WITH A SKETCH OF THE STATE OF LITERATURE IN ITALY FOR THESE
LAST THREE CENTURIES. BY ABBE TOURNER, TEacher of LANGUAGES, EDINBURGH, AUTHOR OF THE ANECDOTES OF POPE GANGANELLI,
Revolutions in the opinions of mankind often take their rise from very small beginnings; and these opinions, when once established, produce wonderful changes in the situation of men and things in this universe. No species of history therefore could be more interesting than that which should trace, with perspicuity, the revolutions of literature, and explain the causes of these changes. The Editor has been favoured with the following sketch of the changes that have taken place in the taste for literary compositions in Italy for two hundred years past, by a gentleman who has had good opportunities of observing them; and who pofsefses a natural talent of research in matters of this sort that few can boast of. Every step we advance in our researches into the history of man, tends to prove, in the most decided manner, that those accidental distinctions which weak writers have delighted to hold up to view, as permanent characteristics of nations, are merely casual incidents, being occasioned by local circumstances, that tend to call into ac tion, or to lull asleep, the active powers of the mind at the time; and that when these overruling causes are removed, man fhows himself to be, in every country, radically and efsentially the same. Let us then set aside those silly prejudices that have so long tended to estrange naSUOL. VOL. ix.
June 13, tions from each other. All mankind are brethren, and ought to be friends and fellow labourers in one common cause. They all ought to embrace each other cordially as brothers, and as friends. The time approaches when nations, it is hoped, will be emulous only to try who shall be most forward in promoting the welfare of one another, from a firm conviction, that they will thus best promote their own happiness and dearest interests. This slight essay will convince every intelligent reader, that an Englishman and a Roman, think nearly in the same way, in all those great and leading principles which influence the conduct of man, in regard to religion, morals, and sound politics.
late conversation with me, to have an account of the society in Rome, distinguished by the name of Arcadia, which is so little known in this country, I now send the inclosed account of that institution, which I hope will not prove unacceptable to your readers at the present time.
As the original intention of this society was to correct a false taste in literary compositions, which had long prevailed in Italy, I found it necessary to give a brief account of the state of Italian literature for some centuries backward. The English reader will probably not be displeased to see by what gradual steps a few private persons, by the silent operation of reason, alone, have imperceptibly effected a total change in the taste of the nation; they will also remark with pleasure the beneficial effects of mental enlargement in this case as well as in others. We are not at this day in Italy ignorant of the benefits that have been derived from the reformation effected by protestants, and are no strangers to the influence that the free mode of reasoning, introduced by that
event, has had upon many other subjects, literary and political. A similar effect is now experienced at Rome, from the influence of the doctrines of the society of Arcadia. For though the persons who formed that institution had no other object in view at the beginning, but to correct the errors of a false taste, by setting aside all deference to every authority in literature, that was not supported by sound reason, and common sense; yet it has been found that those who disregard mere authority in one case, will naturally suspect it ought not to be blindly submitted to in another. The empire of reason is thus gradually extended; and there can be no doubt but that that blind ignorance, which so long established the reign of bigotry in Europe, will in time be banished from the earth; and that men will soon reason with as much freedom in Rome on every subject, as they now do in Britain..
The inhabitants of Arcadia, a province of the Peloponnesus, have always been considered as affording. the purest pattern of the pastoral life. The temperature of the climate, the multiplicity of mountains, of woods, of rivers; the richness of their pastures, the abundance of cattle and flocks, the tranquil disposition of the people, their abhorrence of war, and their love of music and poetry, to which they were accustomed from their youth; their manners, customs, and even their laws,. have all contributed to render them supremely eminent in this respect. Polybius gives us a most pleas