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tic, where the fovereign iş 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 con-
trary, we find not in history any govern-
ment 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 constitu-.
tion ; but in Peru it was prevented by a
theocratical government under a family
sent from heaven to make them happy.
This wild opinion, supported by igno-
rance and superstition, proved an effectual
bar against tyranny in the monarch; a
moft exemplary conduct on his part being
necessary for supporting the opinion of
his divinity. Upon the whole, compre-
hending king and subject, there perhaps
never existed more virtue in

any
other

government, whether monarchical or republican.

In Peru there are traces of some diftinca țion of ranks, arising probably from office

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merely, which, as in France, was a bulwark to the monarch against the peasants. The great superiority 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, considering the tools they had to work with: in Peru, they had made no progress; every man, as among mere favages, 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 spared 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 poflible 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.

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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.

VOL. III.

A a

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Morality

, Theology, and the Art of Reasoning, are three great branches of a learned education; and justly held to be so, being our only sure 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 inhipid figure in fashionable company; would be somewhat ridiculous at a court-ball; and an absolute absurdity among the gamesters at Ar

thur's,

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, fubmitting to heat and cold, nay to hunger and thirst, without a high. 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 Audies 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 régard 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 sophisms ? Witb respect to right and wrong, not even pasion is more dangerous than error. And as to religion, better it were to settle in a conviction that there is no God, than to be in

Аа 2

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