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By Bernard Mandeville

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There you have perpetual Chastity, and Virgins wedded to Christ: There is Abstinence, and Fasting; there is Mortifying of the flesh, Watching, Praying, the Contempt of Money and Worldly Honour; a literal Retirement from the World, and every Thing you can ask for, relating to Self-denial, as to Carnal Enjoyments and the renouncing of Pomp and Vanity, at least to all outward Appearance. When Men see that Strictness of Morals, and that Christian Self-denial, which are so manifestly taught in the Gospel, own'd by the Clergy, and some where or other actually comply'd with, they will easily give Ear to any Thing that is said to them besides.

Tho' it is but Two Days ago that I troubled you almost a whole Afternoon, I am come again to spend the Remainder of this, and sup with you, if you are at Leisure. Cleo. This is exceeding kind. I am no Ways engaged; and you give me a vast Deal of Pleasure. Hor. The more I have thought and reflected on what you said of Honour last _Tuesday_, the more I have perceiv'd and felt the Truth of it in Spight of my Teeth. But I shall never dare to speak of so wretched an Origin. Cleo. The Beginning of all Things relating to Human Affairs was ever small and mean: Man himself was made of a Lump of Earth.

Cleo. Not so stupid as you imagine: There is Nothing in it that clashes with the common Notions of Mankind. Ceremonies are perform'd by Proxy; Men are Security for one another; and a Debt is not more effectually discharg'd, when we receive the Money from him who borrow'd it, than when it is paid by his Bail, tho' the Principal himself runs away. If there is but real Self-denial to be met with any where in a Religion, it is no difficult Matter to make Multitudes believe, that they have, or may buy, a Share in it: Besides, all Roman Catholicks are brought up in the firm Belief of the Necessity there is of Self-denial.

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An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War [with accents] by Bernard Mandeville


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