was sometimes curtailed. But the fact that such a restriction should have been noticed, suggests that it was exceptional. One good effect followed, let us admit. The virtuousness of continence was not treated as a superstition by those who vindicated it as Turgot did, but discussed like any other virtue; and was defended not as an intuition of faith, but as a reasoned conclusion of the judgment. It was permitted to occupy no solitary and mysterious throne, apart and away from other conditions and parts of human excellence and social wellbeing. There is intrinsically no harm in any virtue being accepted in the firm shape of a simple prejudice. On the contrary, there is a multitude of practical advantages in such a consolidated and spontaneously working order. But in considering conduct and character, and forming an opinion upon infractions of a virtue, we cannot be just unless we have analysed its conditions, and this is what the eighteenth century did defectively with regard to that particular virtue which
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