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tic, where the fovereign is limited by a great council, the members of which are independent of him. As little reafon hast he to term Peru defpotic. An abfolute monarchy it was, but the fartheft in the world from being defpotic: on the contrary, we find not in history any government fo well contrived for the good of the people. An Agrarian law, firmly rooted, was a firm bar against fuch inequality of rank and riches, as lead to luxury and diffolution of manners: a commonwealth is naturally the refult of fuch a conftitution; but in Peru it was prevented by a theocratical government under a family fent from heaven to make them happy. This wild opinion, fupported by ignorance and fuperftition, proved an effectual bar against tyranny in the monarch; a most exemplary conduct on his part being neceffary for fupporting the opinion of his divinity. Upon the whole, comprehending king and fubject, there perhaps never existed more virtue in any other go vernment, whether monarchical or republican.
In Peru there are traces of fome diftinction of ranks, arifing probably from office merely,
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, confidering the tools they had to work with in Peru, they had made no progrefs; every man, as among mere favages, providing the neceffaries of life for himfelf. As the world goes at prefent, our multiplied wants require fuch numbers, that not above one of a hundred can be fpared for war. In ancient times, when thefe wants were few and not much enlarged beyond nature, it is computed that an eighth part could be fpared 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 ftill farther it was poffible to arm the whole males capable of fervice: leaving the women to fupply the few neceffaries that might be wanted during a fhort campaign; and accordingly we find that the Incas were great conquerors.
The religion of the Peruvians, confidered in a political light, was excellent. veneration they paid their fovereign upon a falfe religious principle, was their only fuperftition; and that fuperftition 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 feem to have been carried higher than in Mexico: and, bating their religion, there never was a country deftitute of writing, where government feems to have been more perfect. I except not the government of Peru, which, not being founded on political principles, but on fuperftition, might be more mild, but was far from being fo folidly founded.
HISTORY OF MAN.
Progrefs of SCIENCES.
Morality, Theology, and the Art of Reafoning, are three great branches of a learned education; and justly held to be fo, being our only fure guides in paffing through the intricate paths of life. They are indeed not effential to thofe termed men of the world: the most profound philofopher makes but an inSipid figure in fashionable company; would be fomewhat ridiculous at a court-ball; and an abfolute abfurdity among the gamefters at Ar
thur's, or jockeys at Newmarket. But, thefe cogent objections notwithstanding, I venture to pronounce fuch fludies to be not altogether unfuitable to a gentleman. Man is a creature full of curiofity; and to gratify that appetite, many roam through the world, fubmitting to heat and cold, nay to hunger and thirst, without a figh. Could indeed that troublesome guest be expelled, we might hug ourfelves in ignorance; and, like true men of the world, undervalue knowledge that cannot procure money, nor a new fenfual pleasure. But, alas! the expulfion is not in the power of every one; and those who must give vent to their curiofity, will naturally employ it upon ftudies that make them good members of fociety, and endear them to every person of
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 defigning? and does not the art of reasoning guard many an honest man from being misled by fubtile fophifms? With respect to right and wrong, not even paffion is more dangerous than error. And as to religion, better it were to fettle in a conviction that there is no God, than to be in