Letter Addressed to Sir Hans Sloane
Sloane MS. 4076, f. 110 (British Museum)
The date of this letter must be later than 3 April 1716 for Sloane was not made a baronet till then
‘I read Mandeville forty, or, I believe, fifty years ago. . . . he opened my views into real life very much.’
Johnson, in Boswell’s Life, ed. Hill, 1887, iii. 292.
‘The wickedest cleverest book in the English language.’
Crabb Robinson, Diary, ed. Sadler, 1869, i. 392.
‘If Shakespeare had written a book on the motives of human actions, it is. . . . extremely improbable that it would have contained half so much able reasoning on the subject as is to be found in the Fable of the Bees.’
Macaulay, in the essay on Milton (Works, ed. 1866, v. 5).
‘I like Mandeville better [than La Rochefoucauld]. He goes more into his subject.’
Hazlitt, Collected Works, ed. Waller and Glover, vi. 387.
‘Ay, this same midnight, by this chair of mine,
Come and review thy counsels: art thou still
Staunch to their teaching? — not as fools opine
Its purport might be, but as subtler skill
Could, through turbidity, the loaded line
Of logic casting, sound deep, deeper, till
It touched a quietude and reached a shrine
And recognized harmoniously combine
Evil with good, and hailed truth’s triumph — thine,
Sage dead long since, Bernard de Mandeville!’
Browning, Parleyings with Certain People (1887), p. 31.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:11