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III. Those that subscribe for six, shall have a seventh gratis; which reduces the price to less than six shillings a volume.
IV. That the subscribers shall have their names and places of abode printed at length.
For the encouragement of so useful a work, it is thought fit the publick should be informed of the contents of the first volume, by one who has with great care perused the manuscript.
THE author, in his preface, makes some very judicious reflections upon the original of arts and sciences: that at first they consist of scattered theorems and practices, which are handed about among the masters, and only revealed to the filii artis, till such time as some great genius appears, who collects these disjointed propositions, and reduces them into a regular system. That this is the case of that noble and useful art of Political Lying, which in this last age having been enriched with several new discoveries, ought not to lie any longer in rubbish and confusion, but may justly claim a place in the Encyclopædia, especially such as serves for a model of education for an able politician. That he proposes to himself no small stock of fame in future ages, in being the first who has undertaken this design; and for the same reason he hopes the imperfection of his work will be excused. He invites all persons who have any talents that way, or any new discovery, to communicate their thoughts, assuring them that ho
nourable mention shall be made of them in his work. T 4 The
The F1RST voluntE consists of ELEve N chAPTERs.
IN the first chapter of his excellent treatise, he reasons philosophically concerning the nature of the soul of man, and those qualities which render it susceptible of lies. He supposes the soul to be of the nature of a plano-cylindrical speculum, or lookingglass; that the plain side was made by God Almighty, but that the devil afterward wrought the other side into a cylindrical figure. The plain side represents objects just as they are ; and the cylindrical side, by the rules of catoptricks, must needs represent true objects file, and file objects true: but the cylindrical side being much the larger surface, takes in a greater compass of visual rays. That upon the cylindrical side of the soul of man depends the whole art and success of political lying. The author, in this chapter, proceeds to reason upon the qualities of the mind: as its peculiar fondness of the malicious and the miraculous. The tendency of the soul toward the malicious, springs from self-love, or a pleasure to find mankind more wicked, base, or unfortunate, than ourselves. The design of the miraculous proceeds from the inactivity of the soul, or its incapacity to be moved or delighted with any thing that is vulgar or common. The author having established the qualities of the mind, upon which his art is founded,
he proceeds, In his second chapter, to treat of the nature of political lying; which he defines to be, “the art of “ convincing the people of salutary saisehoods, for “ some good end.” Ife calls it an art, to distinguish it from that of telling touch, which does not secon to Waslt want art; but then he would have this understood only as to the invention, because there is indeed more art necessary to convince the people of a salutary truth, than a salutary falsehood. Then he proceeds to prove, that there are salutary falsehoods, of which he gives a great many instances, both before and after the revolution; and demonstrates plainly, that we could not have carried on the war so long without several of those salutary falsehoods. He gives rules to calculate the value of a political lie, in pounds, shillings, and pence. By good, he does not mean that which is absolutely so, but what appears so to the artist, which is a sufficient ground for him to proceed upon ; and he distinguishes the good, as it commonly is, into lonum utile, dulce, et homestum. He shows you that there are political lies of a mixed nature, which include all the three in different respects: that the utile reigns generally about the Exchange, the dulce and homestum at the Westminster end of the town. One man spreads a lie to sell or buy stock to greater advantage; a second, because it is honourable to serve his party; and a third, because it is sweet to gratify his revenge. Having explained the several terms of his definition, he proceeds, In his third chapter, to treat of the lawfulness of political ling; which he deduces from its true and genuine principles, by inquiring into the several rights, that mankind have to truth. He shows that people have a right to private truth from their neighbours, and economical truth from their own family; that they should not be abused by their wives, children, and servants; but that they have no right at all to political truth ; that the people may as well all pretend to be lords of manors, and possess great
estates, as to have truth told them in matters of government. The author, with great judgment states the several shares of mankind in this matter of truth, according to their several capacities, dignities, and professions; and shows you, that children have hardly any share at all ; in consequence of which, they have very seldom any truth told them. It must be owned, that the author, in this chapter, has some seeming difficulties to answer, and texts of Scripture to explain. The fourth chapter is wholly employed in this question, “Whether the right of coinage of political lies “be wholly in the government?” The author, who is a true friend to English liberty, determines in the negative, and answers all the arguments of the opposite party with great acuteness: that as the government of England has a mixture of democratical in it, so the right of inventing and spreading political lies is partly in the people; and their obstinate adherence to this just privilege has been most conspicuous, and shined with great lustre, of late years: that it happens very often, that there are no other means left to the good people of England to pull down a ministry and government they are weary of, but by exercising this their undoubted right: that abundance of political lying is a sure sign of true English liberty: that as ministers do sometimes use tools to support their power, it is but rea onable that the people should employ the same weapon to defend themselves, and pull them down. In his fifth chapter, he divides political lies into several species and classes, and gives precepts about the inventing, spreading, and propagating the several sorts of them: he begins with the rumores and libelli famosi,