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Egypt, and in all other nations that have admitted the innumerable wants of polished life, they hold them in the greatest detestation, as the inventions of vanity and voluptuousness.
“When they are told of nations who have the art of erecting superb buildings, and of making splendid furniture of silver and gold, stuffs adorned with embroidery and jewels, exquisite perfumery, delicious meats, and instruments of music; they reply, that the people of such nations are extremely unhappy, to have employed so much ingenuity and labour to render themselves at once corrupt and wretched. These superfluities, say they, effeminate, intoxicate, and torment those who possess them : and tempt those who possess them not, to acquire them by fraud and violence. Can that superfluity be good, which tends only to make men evil ? Are the people of these countries more healthy or more robust than we are? Do they live longer, or agree better with each other? Do they enjoy more liberty, tranquillity, and cheerfulness ? On the contrary, are they not jealous of each other? Are not their hearts corroded with envy, and agitated by ambition, avarice, and terror ? Are they not incapable of pleasures that are pure and simple ? and is not this incapacity, the unavoidable consequence of the innumerable artificial wants to which they are enslaved, and upon which they make all their bappiness depend ? .
"Such,” said Adoam, “ are the sentiments of this sagacious people, who have acquired wisdom only by the study of nature. They consider our refinements with abhorrence; and it must be confessed, that, in their simplicity, there is something not only amiable, but great. They live in common, without any partition of lands. The head of every family is its king: this patriarchal monarch has a right to punish his children, or his grandchildren, if they are guilty of a fault; but he first takes the advice of his family: punishment, indeed, is very rare among them: for innocence of manners, sincerity of heart, and hatred of vice, seem to be the natural productions of country. Astrea, who is said to have quitted the earth, and ascended to heaven, seems still to be hidden among these happy people: they have no need of judges, for every man submits to the jurisdiction of conscience. They possess all things in common; for the cattle produce milk, and the fields and orchards fruit and grain of every kind in such abundance, that a people so frugul and temperate have no need of property. They have no fixed place of abode ; but when they have consumed the fruits, and exhausted the pasturage, of one part of the paradise which they inhabit, they remove their tents to another : they have, therefore, no opposition of interest, but are connected by a fraternal affection which there is nothing to interrupt. This peace, this union, this liberty, they preserve, by rejecting superfluous wealth, and deceitful pleasure ; they are all free, and they are all equal.
“Superior wisdom, the result either of long experience or uncommon abilities, is the only mark of distinction among them; the sophistry of fraud, the cry of violence, the contention of the bar, and the tumult of battle, are never heard in this sacred region, which the gods have taken under their immediate protection : this soil has never been distained with human blood; and even that of a lamb has rarely been shed upon it.When the inbabitants are told of bloody battles, rapid couquests, and the subversion of empires, which happen in other countries, they stand aghast with astonishment:What, say they, do not nen die fast enough, without being destroyed by each other? Can any man be insensible of the brevity of life ; and can he who knows it, think life too long? Is it possible to suppose, that mankind came into the world, merely to propagate misery, and to harass and destroy one another ?-Neither can the inhabitants of Boetica comprehend, how those, who, by subjugating great empires, obtain the name of conquerors, came to be so much the object of admiration.To place happiness in the government of others, say they, is madness, since to govern well is a painful task; but a desire to govern others against their will, is madness in a still greater degree; a wise man cannot, without violence to himself, submit to take upon him the government of a willing people, whom the gods have committed to his charge, or who apply to him for guidance and protection; to govern people against their will, is to become miserable, for the false honor of holding others in slavery. A conqueror is one whom the gods, provoked by the wickedness of mankind, send, in their wrath, upon the earth, to ravage kingdoms: to spread round them in a vast circle, terror, misery, and despair; to destroy the brave, and enslave the free : bas not he, who is ambitious of glory, sufficient opportunities of acquiring it, by managing with wisdom what the gods have entrusted to his care ? can it be imagined, that praise is merited only by arrogance and injustice, by usurpation and tyranny ? War should never be thought of, but in the defence of liberty: happy is he, who not being the slave of another, is free from the frantic ambition of making another a slave to him! These conquerors, who are represented as encircled with glory, resemble rivers that have overflowed their banks, which appear majestic, indeed, but which desolate the countries they ought to fertilize."
After Adoam had given this description of Botica, Telemachus, who had listened to it with great delight, asked him several questions, which would not have been suggested by common curiosity. “Do the inhabitants of Bætica," said he, “ drink wine ?"_" They are so far from drinking wine,” said Adoam, “ that they make none; not because they are without grapes, for no country in the world produces them in geater plenty or perfection; but they content themselves with eating them as they do other fruit, and are afraid of wine as the corrupter of mankind :-Wine, they say, is a species of poison, which produces madness : which does not kill men, indeed, but degrades them into brutes. Men may preserve their health, and their vigour, without wine; but with wine, not their health only, but their virtue is in danger."
Telemachus then inquired, what laws were established in Boetica, relating to marriage. “No man,” said Adoam, " is allowed to have more than one wife; and every man is obliged to keep his wife as long as she lives : in this country a man's reputation depends as much upon his fidelity to his wife, as a woman's reputation, in otber countries, depends upon her fidelity to her husband. No people ever practised so scrupulous a decorum, or were so jealous of their chastity. Their women are beautiful, and have that sweet and tender sensibility, which is more than beauty; but they borrow no advantages from art; there is all the simplicity of nature, both in their manners, and their dress; and they take their share of the labour of the day. Their marriages are peaceable, fruitful, and undefiled : the husband and wife seem to be two bodies animated by one soul; the husband manages affairs without, and the wife within; she provides for his refreshment at his return, and seems to live only to
please him; she gains his confidence : and as she charms him yet more by her virtue than ber beauty, their bappiness is such as death only can destroy. From this temperance, sobriety, and simplicity of manners, they derive longevity and health ; and it is common to see among them, men of an hundred, or an hundred and twenty years old, who have all the cheerfulness and vigour that make life desirable.”
“But how," said Telemachus, “do they escape the calamities of war ? are they never invaded by other nations ?”—“Nature,” says Adoam,“ has separated them from other nations, by the sea, on one side, and by mountains almost inaccessible on the other; besides, their virtue has impressed foreign powers with reverence and awe. When any contest arises among the neighbouring states, they frequently make a common deposit of the territory in question, in the hands of the Bæticans, and appoint them arbitrators of the dispute. As these wise people are guilty of no violence, they are never mistrusted ; and they laugh when they hear of kings who disagree about the boundaries of their country :- Are they afraid, said they, that the earth should not have room for its inbabitants ? there will always be much more land than can be cultivated ; and while any remains unappropriated by cultivation, we should think it folly to defend even our own against those who would invade it. These people are, indeed, wholly free from pride, fraud, and ambition; they do no injury, they violate no compact, they covet no territory; their neighbours, therefore, having nothing to fear from them, nor any hope of making themselves feared by them, give them no disturbance. They would sooner abandon their country, or die upon the spot, than submit to a state of slavery; so that the same qualities that render them in