Bernard Mandeville’s “A Modest Defence of Publick Stews”: by I. Primer

By I. Primer

During this examine of Bernard Mandeville's A Modest Defence of Publick Stews , Irwin Primer breaks new flooring via arguing that during addition to being an advocation for the institution of state-regulated homes of prostitution, Mandeville's writing is usually a hugely polished paintings of literature.

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Additional resources for Bernard Mandeville’s “A Modest Defence of Publick Stews”: Prostitution and Its Discontents in Early Georgian England

Example text

This edition is so full of errors and omissions that we must conclude that it was reprinted without the author’s approval or permission. Of the three editions that unquestionably appeared in his lifetime, the 1725 is the most degraded and the least reliable. Since the 1724B edition makes a needed correction to the 1724A edition and normalizes some idiosyncratic spellings, and since 1724B is so clearly superior to the 1725 edition, it seems advisable, on the whole, to use the 1724B as the base text for this new edition because it is not only a corrected text but it is also closer to the earliest printing of this work than any later edition.

The Power and Sagacity as well as Labour and Care of the Politician in civilizing the Society, has been no where more conspicuous, than in the happy Contrivance of playing our Passions against one another. By flattering our Pride and still encreasing the good Opinion we have of ourselves on the one hand, and inspiring us on the other with a superlative Dread and mortal Aversion against Shame, the Artful Moralists have taught us chearfully to encounter our selves, and if not subdue, at least so to conceal and disguise our darling Passion, Lust, that we scarce know it when we meet with it in our own Breasts; Oh!

He may talk of hating her, and many times from his Heart wish her hang’d, but if he cannot get entirely rid of his Frailty, he can never disintangle himself from her: tho’ she is represented in the most monstrous Guilt to his Imagination, and he has resolved and swore a thousand Times never to come near her again, there is no trusting him; even when he is fully convinc’d of her Infidelity, if his Love continues, his Despair is never so lasting, but between the blackest Fits of it he relents, and finds lucid Intervals of Hope; he forms Excuses for her, thinks of pardoning, and in order to it racks his Invention for Possibilities that may make her appear less criminal.

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