An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War

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

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Title: An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of

Christianity in War
Author: Bernard Mandeville
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By the Author of the FABLE of the BEES. [Bernard Mandeville]
I take it for granted, that a Christian is not bound to believe any Thing
to have been of Divine Institution, that has not been declared to be such
in Holy Writ. Yet great Offence has been taken at an Essay, in the First
Part of the Fable of the _Bees_, call'd An Enquiry into the Origin of
Moral Virtue; notwithstanding the great Caution it is wrote with. Since
then, it is thought Criminal to surmise, that even Heathen Virtue was of
Human Invention, and the Reader, in the following Dialogues, will find
me to persist in the Opinion, that it was; I beg his Patience to peruse
what I have to say for my self on this Head, which is all I shall trouble
him with here.
The Word Morality is either synonimous with Virtue, or signifies that
Part of Philosophy, which treats of it, and teaches the Regulation of
Manners; and by the Words Moral Virtue, I mean the same Thing
which I believe Every body else does. I am likewise fully persuaded

that to govern our selves according to the Dictates of Reason, is far
better than to indulge the Passions without Stop or Controul, and
consequently that Virtue is more beneficial than Vice, not only for the
Peace and real Happiness of Society in general, but likewise for the
Temporal Felicity of every individual Member of it, abstract from thee
Consideration of a future State, I am moreover convinced, that all wise
Men ever were and ever will be of this Opinion; and I shall never
oppose Any body, who shall be pleased to call this an Eternal Truth.
Having allow'd and own'd thus much, I beg Leave to make a short
Grammatical Reflection on the Sounds or Letters we make use of to
express this rational Management of ourselves: For tho' the Truth of its
Excellency is Eternal, the Words Moral Virtue themselves are not so,
any more than Speech or Man himself. Permit me therefore to enquire
which Way it is most probably, they must have come into the World.
The Word _Moral_, without Doubt, comes from _Mos_, and signifies
every Thing that relates to Manners: The Word Ethick is synonimous
with _Moral_, and is derived from [Greek: ithik], which is exactly the
same in _Greek_, that Mos is in Latin. The Greek for Virtu, is [Greek:
arete], which is derived from [Greek: ares], the God of War and
properly signifies Martial Virtue. The same Word in _Latin_, if we
believe _Cicero_, comes from _Vir_; and the genuine Signification
likewise of the Word Virtus is Fortitude. It is hardly to be conceived,
but that in the first Forming of all Societies, there must have been
Struggles for Superiority; and therefore it is reasonable to imagine, that
in all the Beginnings of Civil Government, and the Infancy of Nations,
Strength and Courage must have been the most valuable Qualifications
for some Time. This makes me think, that _Virtus_, in its first
Acceptation, might, with great Justice and Propriety, be in English
render'd _Manliness_; which fully expresses the Original
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