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Est brevitate opus, ut currat fententia, neu se
Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham.
Of the Knowledge and Characters of MEN.
THAT it is not fufficient for this knowledge to confider Man in the Abstract: Books will not ferve the purpose, nor yet our own Experience fingly, Ver. 1. Ge= neral maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, Ver. 10. Some Peculiarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet varying from himfelf, Ver. 15. Difficulties arifing from our own Paffions, Fancies, Faculties, &c. Ver. 31. The shortness of Life, to obferve in, and the uncertainty of the Principles of action in men, to obferve by, Ver. 37, &c. Our own Principle of action often bid from our felves, Ver. 41. Some few characters plain, but in general confounded, diffembled, or inconfiftent, Ver. 51. fame man utterly different in different places and feafons, Ver. 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greateft, Ver. 77, &c. Nothing conftant and certain but
God and Nature, Ver. 95. No judging of the Motives from the actions; the fame actions proceeding from contrary Motives, and the fame Motives influencing contrary actions, Ver. 100. II. Yet to form Characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree: The utter uncertainty of this, from Nature itself, and from Policy, Ver. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, Ver. 135. And fome reafon for it, Ver. 141. Education alters the Nature, or at leaft Character of many, Ver. 149. Actions, Paffions, Opinions, Manners, Humours, or Principles, all Subject to change. No judging by Nature, from Ver. 158 to 174. III. It only remains to find (if we can). bis RULING PASSION: That will certainly influence · all the rest, and can reconcile the feeming or real inconfiftency of all his actions, Ver. 175. Inftanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, Ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for firft, which will deftroy all poffibility of the knowledge of mankind, Ver. 210. Examples of the ftrength of the Ruling Paffion, and its continuation to the last breath, Ver. 222, &c.