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tic, where the sovereign is limited by a great council, the members of which are independent of him. As little reason has he to term Peru despotic. An absolute monarchy it was, but the farthest in the world from being despotic: on the contrary, we find not in history any government so well contrived for the good of the people. An Agrarian law, firmly rooted, was a firm bar against such inequality of rank and riches, as lead to luxury and diffolution of manners: a commonwealth is naturally the result of such a constitution; but in Peru it was prevented by a theocratical government under a family fent from heaven to make them happy. This wild opinion, supported by ignorance and superstition, proved an effectual bar against tyranny in the monarch ; a most exemplary conduct on his part being necessary for supporting the opinion of his divinity. Upon the whole, comprehending king and subject, there perhaps never exifted more virtue in
any vernment, whether monarchical or republican.
In Peru there are traces of some distinction of ranks, arising probably from office
other gos merely, which, 'as in France, was a bulwark to the monarch against the peasants. The great fuperiority of the Peruvian Incas, as demi-gods, did not admit a hereditary nobility
With respect to the progress of arts and manufactures, the two nations differed widely: in Mexico, arts and manufactures were carried to a surprising height, confi !ering the tools they had to work with: in Peru, they had made no progress; every man, as among mere savages, providing the necessaries of life for himfelf. As the world goes at present, our multiplied wants require such numbers, that not above one of a hundred can be fpared for war. In ancient times, when these wants were few and not much enlarged beyond nature, it is computed that an eighth part could be spared for war: and hence the numerous armies we read of in the history of ancient nations. The Peruvians had it in their power to go still farther : it was possible to arm the whole males capable of service : leaving the women to supply the few necessaries that might be wanted during a short campaign ; and accordingly we find that the Incas were great conquerors.
The religion of the Peruvians, considered in a political light, was excellent.
The veneration they paid their sovereign upon a false religious principle, was their only superstition; and that superstition contributed greatly to improve their morals and their manners : on the other hand, the religion of Mexico was execrable.
Upon the whole, there never was a country destitute of iron, where arts seem to have been carried higher than in Mexico: and, bating their religion, there never was a country destitute of writing, where government seems to have been more perfect. I except not the government of Peru, which, not being founded on political principles, but on superstition, might be more mild, but was far from being so solidly founded.
Morality, Theology, and the Art of Reason
ing, are three great branches of a learned education ; and justly held to be fo, being our only fure guides in passing through the intricate paths of life. They are indeed not essential to those termed men of the world: the most profound philosopher makes but an inJipid figure in fashionable company; would be somewhat ridiculous at a court-ball; and an absolute absurdity among the gamesters at Ar
thur's, or jockeys at Newmarket. But, these cogent objections notwithstanding, I venture to pronounce such studies to be not altogether unsuitable to a gentleman. Man is a creature full of curiosity; and to gratify that appetite, many roam through the world, submitting to heat and cold, nay to hunger and thirst, without a sigh. Could indeed that troublesome guest be expelled, we might hug ourselves in ignorance; and, like true men of the world, undervalue knowledge that cannot procure money, nor a new sensual pleasure. But, alas ! the expulsion is not in the power of every one ; and those who must give vent to their curiosity, will naturally employ it upon studies that make them good members of fociety, and endear them to every person of virtue.
And were we even men of the world in such perfection, as to regard nothing but our own interest; yet does not ignorance lay us open to the crafty and designing ? and does not the art of reasoning guard many an honest man from being misled by subtile fophisins? With respect to right and wrong, not even pasion is more dangerous than error. And as to religion, better it were to settle in e conviction that there is no God, than to be in
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