160. Hint for a new species of History.
"The very knowledge of the opinions and customs of so considerable a part of mankind as the Jews now are, and especially have been heretofore, is valuable both for pleasure and use. It is a very good piece of history, and that of the best kind, viz. of Human Nature, and of that part of it, which is most different from us, and commonly the least known to us.— And indeed the principal advantage which is to be made by the wiser sort of men of most writings, is rather to see what men think and are, than to be informed of the natures and truth of things; to observe what thoughts and passions have occupied mens' minds, what opinions and manners they are of. In this view it becomes of no mean importance to notice and record the strangest ignorance, the most putid fables, impertinent trifling, ridiculous disputes, and more ridiculous pugnacity in the defence and retention of the