Page:Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1775).djvu/107

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by no other obligation, than that sacred and inviolable one of mutual assistance, and of gratitude for the benefits they have received; a sentiment, destroyed not so much by the wickedness of the human heart, as by a mistaken subjection, prescribed by the laws.

These contradictions between the laws of families, and the fundamental laws of a state, are the source of many others between public and private morality, which produce a perpetual conflict in the mind. Domestic morality inspires submission, and fear: the other, courage and liberty. That instructs a man to confine his beneficence to a small number of persons, not of his own choice; this, to extend it to all mankind; that commands a continual sacrifice of himself to a vain idol, called the good of the family, which is often no real good to any one of those who compose it; this teaches him to consider his own advantage without offending the laws, or excites him to sacrifice himself for the good of his country, by rewarding him beforehand with the fana-