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An Essay on the History of Civil Society

8th edition

Cover image for


Author: Adam Ferguson
Published: 1819
Language: English
Wordcount: 108,076 / 307 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 50.6
LoC Category: D
Downloads: 1,372 2565
Genre: History

proper object, we may wish for stability of conduct; but we mistake human nature, if we wish for a termination of labour, or a scene of repose.

The occupations of men, in every condition, bespeak their freedom of choice, their various opinions, and the multiplicity of wants by which they are urged: but they enjoy, or endure, with a sensibility, or a phlegm, which are nearly the same in every situation. They possess the shores of the Caspian, or the Atlantic, by a different tenure, but with equal ease. On the one they are fixed to the soil, and seem to be formed for, settlement, and the accommodation of cities: the names they bestow on a nation, and on its territory, are the same. On the other they are mere animals of passage, prepared to roam on the face of the earth, and with their herds, in search of new pasture and favourable seasons, to fallow the sun in his annual course.

Man finds his lodgment alike in the cave, the cottage, and the palace; and his subsistence equally in the woods, in the



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