A Philosophical Dictionary Volume 7

A Philosophical Dictionary Volume 7

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Excerpt: ...Pederasty is rare among us, and would be unknown, but for the defects of public education. Montesquieu pretends that it prevails in certain Mahometan nations, in consequence of the facility of possessing women. In our opinion, for "facility" we should read difficulty. LUXURY. SECTION I. In a country where all the inhabitants went bare-footed, could luxury be imputed to the first man who made a pair of shoes for himself? Or rather, was he not a man of sense and industry? Is it not just the same with him who procured the first shirt? With respect to the man who had it washed and ironed, I consider him as an absolute genius, abundant in resources, and qualified to govern a state. Those however who were not used to wear clean shirts, considered him as a rich, effeminate coxcomb who was likely to corrupt the nation. "Beware of luxury," said Cato to the Romans; "you have conquered the province of Phasis, but never eat any pheasants. You have subjugated the country in which cotton grows; still however continue to sleep on the bare ground. You have plundered the gold, and silver, and jewels of innumerable nations, but never become such fools as to use them. After taking everything, remain destitute of everything. Highway robbers should be virtuous and free." Lucullus replied, "You should rather wish, my good friend, that Crassus, and Pompey, and Caesar, and myself should spend all that we have taken in luxury. Great robbers must fight about the division of the spoil; but Rome will inevitably be enslaved, and it will be enslaved by one or other of us much more speedily, and much more securely, if we place that value upon money that you do, than if we spend it in superfluities and pleasures. Wish that Pompey and Caesar may so far impoverish themselves as not to have money enough to pay the armies." Not long since a Norwegian was upbraiding a Dutchman with luxury. "Where now," says he, "are the happy times when a merchant, quitting Amsterdam for the great.show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 145g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236707877
  • 9781236707871