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Eft brevitate opus, ut currat fententia, neu se
Impediat verbis laffis onerantibus aures :
Et sermone opus est modo tristi, fæpe jocoso,
Defendente vicem modo Rhetoris atque Poetæ,
Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque
Extenuantis eas confultò.

HOR.

MORAL ESSAY S.

Ε Ρ Ι S T L Ε Ι.

TO

Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham.

A R G U M E N T. Of the Knowledge and Characters of MEN. THAT it is not sufficient for this knowledge to con

sider Man in the Abstract: Books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own Experience singly, w 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, ý 10. Some Peculiarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet, varying from himself, x_15. Dificulties arising from our own Pasions, Fancies, Faculties, &c. Ý 31. The shortness of Life, to observe in, and the uncertainty of the Principles of action in men, to observe by, $ 37, &c. Our own Principle of action often hid from ourselves, 41. Some few Characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconfiftent,

The same man utterly different in different places and seasons, x 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greatest, ý 70, &c. Nothing constant and certain but God and Nature, 95. No judging of

x 51.

ý the Motives from the actions; the same actions proceeding from contrary Motives, and the fame Motives influencing contrary actions, Ý 100. II, Yet to form Characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree : The utter uncertainty of this, from Nature itself, and from Policy, ý 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, 135. And some reason for it, x 140. Education alters the Nature, or at least Character of many, ý 149. Actions, Passions, Opinions, Manners, Humours, or Principles all subječt to change. No judging by Nature, from x 158 to 178. III. It only remains to find (if we can) his RULING Passion : That will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, x 175 Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, ☆ 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all posibility of the knowledge of mankind, y 210. Examples of the strength

x of the Ruling Paffion, and its continuation to the last breath, 222, &c.

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