Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bernard Mandeville:
A Modest Defence of Publick Stews (1724)

[Dedication, Preface and First
Paragraph only--I'll try to get the
rest of this satirical classic, long
cherished by me, in later.]

[Transcribed from its reprint by
The Augustan Reprint Society,
Publication Number 162, 1973.]

[The long "s" is indicated by "f",
italics by framing underscores,
small capitals by spaces between
letters, and foot-notes appended to
paragraphs in square brackets.



Modeft D e f e n c e

o f

_Publick Stews_, &c.

Written by a Layman

Price 1 _s_. 6 _d_.



Modeft D e f e n c e


_Publick STEWS:_

o r, a n


u p o n

_W H O R I N G_

As it is now practis'd in thefe Kingdoms.


_Nimirum Propter Continentiam incontinentia ne-
   ceffaria eft, incendium ut ignibus extinguitur._

_Omne adeo genus in terris, hominumq; ferarumq;
Et genus aquoreum, pecudes, pictaq; volucres,
In furia, ignemq; ruunt._  Virg. Georg. 3.

Written by a L a y m a n.

_L O N D O N_;
Printed by A. M o o r e near St. P a u l ' s.


T o  t h e


o f  t h e

S O C I E T I E S.


T h e great Pains and Diligence
You have employ'd in the
Defence of Modefty and Vir-
tue, give You an undifputed Title
to the Addrefs of this Treatife; tho'
it is with the utmoft Concern that
I find myfelf under a Neceffity of
writing it, and that after fo much Re-
forming, there fhould be any Thing
left to fay upon the Subject, befides
congratulating You upon Your hap-
py Succefs. It is no fmall Addition
to my Grief to obferve, that Your
Endeavors to fupprefs Lewdnefs
have only ferv'd to promote it; and
that this _Branch_ of Immorality has
grown under Your Hands, as if it
was _prun'd_ inftead of being _lopp'd_.
But however Your ill Succefs may
grieve, it cannot aftonifh me: What
elfe could we hope for, from Your
perfecuting of poor ftrolling Damfels?
From Your stopping up thofe _Drains_
and _Sluices_ we had to let out Lewd-
nefs? From Your demolifhing thofe
_Horn-works_ and _Breaft-works_ of Mo-
defty? Thofe _Ramparts_ and _Ditches_
within which the Virtue of our Wives
and Daughters lay fo conveniently
_intrench'd_? An Intrenchment fo
much the fafer, by how much the
Ditches were harder to be fill'd up.
Or what better could we expect from
Your Carting of Bawds, than that
the Great Leviathan of Leachery, for
Want of thefe Tubs to play with,
fhould, with one Whisk of his Tail,
overfet the _Veffel_ of Modesty? Which,
in her beft Trim, we know to be
fomewhat _leaky_, and to have a very
unfteady _Helm_.

An ancient Philofopher compares
Lewdnefs to a wild, fiery and head-
ftrong young Colt, which can never
be broke till he is rid into a Bog:
And _Plato_, on the fame Subject, has
thefe words ;  _The Gods_, fays he, _have
given us one difobedient and unruly
Member, which, like a greedy and ra-
venous Animal that wants Food, grows
wild and furious, till having imbib'd
the Fruit of the common Thirft, he has
plentifully befprinkled and bedewed the
Bottom of the Womb_.

And now I have mention'd the Phi-
lofophers, I muft beg Your Patience
for a Moment, to hear a fhort Ac-
count of their Amours: For nothing
will convince us of the irrefiftible
Force of Love, and the Folly of ho-
ping to fupprefs it, fooner than re-
flecting that thofe venerable _Sages_,
thofe Standards of Morality, thofe
great _Reformers_ of the World, were
fo fenfibly touch'd with this tender

_Socrates_ confefs'd, that, in his old
Age, he felt a ftrange tickling all o-
ver him for five Days, only by a
Girl's touching his Shoulder.

_Xenophon_ made open Profeffion of
his paffionate Love to _Clineas_.

_Ariftippus_, of _Cyrene_, writ a lewd
Book of antient Delights; he compar'd
a Woman to a Houfe or a Ship, that
was the better for being ufed:  He
afferted, that there was no Crime in
Pleafure, but only in being a Slave
to it : And often ufed to fay, _I enjoy_
Lais, _but_ Lais _does not enjoy me_.

_Theodorus_ openly maintain'd, that
a wife Man might, without Shame or
Scandal, keep Company with common

_Plato_, our great Pattern for chafte
Love, propofes, as the greateft Re-
ward for publick Service, that he who
has perform'd a fignal Exploit, fhould
not be deny'd any amorous Favour.
He writ a Defcription of the Loves of
his Time, and feveral amorous Son-
nets upon his own Minions : His chief
Favourites were _Afterus, Dio, Phaedrus_,
and _Agatho_ ; but he had, for Variety,
his Female Darling _Archeanaffa_ ; and
was fo noted for Wantonnefs, that
_Antifthenes_ gave him the Nick-name
of _Satho_, i.e. _Well-Furnish'd_.

_Polemo_ was profecuted by his Wife
for Male Venery.

_Crantor_ made no Secret of his Love
to his Pupil _Arcefilaus_.

_Arcefilaus_ made Love to _Demetrius_
and _Leocharus_ ; the laft, he faid, he
would fain have open'd : Befides, he
openly frequented the two _Elean_
Courtezans, _Theodota_ and _Philaeta, and
was himfelf enjoy'd by _Demochares_
and _Pythocles_ : He fuffer'd the laft,
he faid, for Patience-fake.

_Bion_ was noted for debauching his
own _Scholars_.

_Ariftotle_, the firft _Peripatetick_, had
a Son call'd _Nichomacus_, by his Con-
cubine _Herpilis_ : He lov'd her fo well,
that he left her in his Will a Talent
of Silver, and the Choice of his
Country-Houfes ; that, as he fays, the
Damfel might have no Reafon to
complain : He enjoy'd, befide the Eu-
nuch _Hermias_, others fay only his
Concubine _Pythais_, upon whom he
writ a Hymn, call'd, _The Infide_.

_Demetrius Phalereus_, who had 360
Statues in _Athens_, kept _Lamia_ for his
Concubine, and at the fame time was
himfelf enjoy'd by _Cleo_ : He writ a
Treatife, call'd, _The Lover_, and was
nick-nam'd by the Courtezans, _Chari-
to Blefpharus_, i.e. _A Charmer of La-
dies_ ; and _Lampetes_, i.e. _A great
Boaster of his Abilities_.

_Diogenes_, the _Cynick_, us'd to fay,
that Women ought to be in common,
and that Marriage was nothing but a
Man's getting a Woman in the Mind
to be lain with : He often us'd Manual
Venery in the Publick Market-place,
with this Saying. _Oh ! that I could
affuage my Hunger thus with rubbing
of my Stomach !_

But what Wonder if the old _Aca-
demicks_, the _Cyrenaicks_, and _Peripate-
ticks_, were fo lewdly Wanton, when
the very _Stoicks_, who prided them-
felves in the Conqueft of all their
other Paffions, were forc'd to fubmit
to this?

_Zeno_, indeed, the Founder of that
Sect, was remarkable for his Modefty,
becaufe he rarely made Ufe of Boys,
and took but once an ordinary Maid-
Servant to Bed, that he might not be
thought to hate the Sex ; yet, in
his _Commonwealth_, he was for a Com-
munity of Women ; and writ a Trea-
tife, wherein he regulated the Mo-
tions of getting a Maidenhead, and
philofophically prov'd Action and Re-
action to be equal.

_Chryfippus_ and _Apollodorus_ agree
with _Zeno_ in a Community of Women,
and fay, that a wife Man may be in
Love with handfome Boys.

_Erillus_, a Scholar of _Zeno_'s, was
a notorious Debauchee.

I need not mention the _Epicureans_
that were remarkable for their Ob-

_Epicurus_ ufed to make a Pander of
his own Brother ; and his Scholar,
the great _Metrodorus_, vifited all the
noted Courtezans in _Athens_, and pub-
lickly kept the famous _Leontium_, his
Mafter's _Quondam_ Miftrefs.  Yet, if
you will believe _Laertius_ he was eve-
ry Way a good Man.

But what fhall we fay of our Fa-
vourite _Seneca_, who, with all his Mo-
rals, could never acquire the Reputa-
tion of Chaftity? He was indeed
fomewhat Nice in his Amours, like
the famous _Flora_, who was never
enjoy'd by any Thing lefs than a Di-
ctator or a Conful ; for he fcorn'd to
intrigue with any Thing lefs than the

Now, if those Reverend School-
Mafters of Antiquity, were fo Loofe
in their Seminals, fhall we, of this
Age, fet up for Chaftity? Have our
_Oxford Students_ more Command of
their Paffions than the _Stoicks?_ Are
our young _Templars_ lefs Amorous
than _Plato ?_ Or, is an _Officer_ of the
Army lefs Ticklifh in the Shoulder
than _Socrates ?_

But I need not wafte any Rhetorick
upon fo evident a Truth ; for plain
and clear Propofitions, like Windows
painted, are only the more Obfcure
the more they are adorn'd.

I will now fuppofe, that you have
given up the Men as Incorrigible ;
fince You are convinc'd, by Exper-
ence, that even Matrimony is not able
to reclaim them. Marriage, indeed, is
juft fuch a Cure for Lewdnefs, as
a Surfeit is for Gluttony ; it gives a
Man's Fancy a Diftafte to the par-
ticular Difh, but leaves his Palate as
Luxurious as ever : for this Reafon
we find fo many marry'd Men, that,
like _Sampfon'_s Foxes, only do more
Mifchief for having their Tails ty'd.
But the Women, you fay, are weaker
Veffels, and You are refolv'd to
make them fubmit ; rightly judging,
that if You cou'd make all the Females
Modeft, it would put a confidera-
ble Stop to Fornication. It is great
Pity, no doubt, fo Fine a Project
fhould Mifcarry : And I would wil-
lingly entertain Hopes of feeing one
of these _Bridewell_ Converts. In the
mean Time it would not be amifs,
if You chang'd fomewhat your pre-
fent Method of Conversion, efpe-
cially in the Article of Whipping. It
is very poffible, indeed, that leaving
a Poor Girl Penny-lefs, may put her
in a Way of living Honeftly, tho' the
want of Money was the only Reafon
of her living otherwife ; and the
Stripping of her Naked, may, for
aught I know, contribute to Her
Modefty, and put Her in a State of
Innocence ; but furely, _Gentlemen_,
You muft all know, that Flogging
has a quite contrary Effect. This
Project of pulling down Bawdy-
houfes to prevent Uncleannefs, puts
me in Mind of a certain Over-nice
Gentleman, who cou'd never Fancy
his Garden look'd Sweet, till he had
demolifh'd a Bog-houfe that offend-
ed his Eye in one Corner of it ; but
it was not long before every Nofe
in the Family was convinc'd of his
Miftake. If Reafon fails to Con-
vince, let us profit by Example : Ob-
ferve the Policy of a Modern Butcher,
perfecuted with a Swarm of Carnivo-
rous Flies; when all his Engines and
Fly-Flaps have prov'd ineffectual to
defend his Stall againft the Greedy
Affiduity of thofe Carnal Infects, he
very Judicioufly cuts off a Fragment,
already blown, which ferves to hang
up for a Cure ; and thus, by Sacrifi-
cing a Small Part, already Tainted,
and not worth Keeping, he wifely
fecures the safety of the Reft. Or,
let us go higher for Inftruction, and
take Example by the Grazier, who far
from deny'g his Herd the Accuftom'd
Privilege of Rubbing, when their
Sides are Stimulated with sharp Hu-
mours, very induftriously fixes a Stake
in the Center of the Field, not fo
much, you may imagine, to Regale
the Salacious Hides of his Cattle, as
to preferve his Young Trees from
Suffering by the Violence of their

I could give You more Examples of
this Kind, equally full of Inftruction,
but that I'm loth to detain You from
the Perufal of the following Treatife;
and at the fame Time Impatient to
have the Honour of Subfcribing My-

      _Your Fellow Reformer,

         and Devoted Servant,_

            P h i l - P o r n e y .


T h e


_L e f t any inquifitive Reader fhould
puzzle his Brains to find out why
this_ Foundling _is thus clandeftinely
dropt at his Door, let it fuffice
him, that the_ Midwife _of a Printer was
unwilling to help bring it into the World,
but upon that Condition, or a much harder,
that of my openly_ Fathering _it. I could make
many other reafonable Apologies, if requifite :
For, befides my having followed the modeft
Example of feveral other pious_ Authors,
_fuch as that of_ Eikon Basilike, _of the_ Whole
Duty of Man, _&c., who have ftudied ra-
ther their Country's Publick Good, than
their own Private Fame ; I think, I have,
alfo play'd the Politick Part : for fhould my_
Off-fpring _be defective, why let it fall up-
on the Parifh. On the other hand, if acci-
dentally it prove hopeful, 'tis certain I need
be at no further Trouble : There will then
be_ Parents _enough ready to own the_ Babe,
_and to take it upon themfelves. Adoption a-
mongft the_ Machiavellian _Laws of the_ Mufes,
_is ftrictly kept up, and every day put in
Practice : How few of our now bright_ No-
blemen _would otherwife have_ Wit? _How
many of our prefent thriving_ Poets _would
elfe want a_ Dinner? _'Tis a vulgar Error
to imagine Men live upon their own Wits,
when generally it is upon others Follies ;
a fund that carries by much the beft Inte-
reft, and is by far upon the moft certain Se-
curity of any : The_ Exchequer _has been fhut
up, the_ Bank _has ftopt Payment,_ South-Sea
_has been demolifh'd, but_ White's _was ne-
ver known to fail; and indeed how fhould it,
when almoft every Wind blows to_ Dover, _or_
Holyhead, _fome frefh_ Proprietor _amply quali-
fied with fufficient_ Stock.

_I am in fome pain for the Event of this_
Scheme, _hoping the_ Wicked _will find it too
Grave, and fearing the_ Godly _will fcarce
venture beyond the Title-Page : And fhould
they even, I know they'll object, 'tis here and
there interwoven with too ludicrous Expref-
fions, not confidering that a dry Argument
has occafion for the larding of Gaiety to
make it the better relifh and go down. Be-
fides, finding by the exact Account tack'd to
that moft edifying_ Anti-Heidegger _Difcourfe,
that eighty fix Thoufand Offenders have
been lately punifh'd, and that four hundred
Thoufand religious Books have been diftri-
buted about_ Gratis _(not to mention the num-
berlefs Three-penny Jobs daily publifh'd to
no Ends, or Purpofe, but the_ Author's ; ) _I
fay, finding all thefe Meafures have been
taken, and that Lewdnefs ftill fo much
prevails ; I thought it highly proper to try
this Experiment, being fully convinc'd that
oppofite Methods often take place. Own,_
Preferment-Hunter ! _when failing on with
the Tide avails nothing, does not tacking
about fteer you fometimes into that fnug
Harbour, an Employment ? Speak_ Hibernian
Stallion ! _when a meek fawning Adoration
turns to no Account, does not a pert affuming
Arrogance frequently forward, nay, gain
the critical Minute ? and fay,_ * Mefobin !
_where a Purge fails, is not a Vomit an in-
fallible_ Recipe _for a Loofenefs ?_
[ * An able Member of the College of
Phyficians. ]

_To conclude ; when my Arguments are im-
partially examin'd, I doubt not but my Rea-
ders will join with me, that as long as it is
the Nature of Man (and_ Naturam expellas
furca licet ufque recurret) _to have a Salt_
Itch _in the Breeches, the_ Brimstone _under
the Petticoat will be a neceffary Remedy to_
lay _it ; and let him be ever fo fly in the Ap-
plication, it will ftill be found out : What
avails it then to affect to conceal that
which cannot be concealed, and that which
if carried on openly and above-board, would
become only lefs detrimental, and of confe-
quence more juftifiable?_

_Be the Succefs of this Treatife as it hap-
pens, the Good of Mankind is my only Aim ;
nor am I lefs hearty or zealous in the Pub-
lick Welfare of my Country, than that No-
ble * Pattern of Sincerity, who finifhes his
Preface with the following paragraph._
And now, O my G--, the G-- of my Life,
and of all my Mercies, I offer this Work to
Thee, to whofe Honour it is chiefly intended ;
that thereby I may awaken the World to juft
Reflections on their own Errors and Follies,
and call on them to acknowledge thy Pro-
vidence, to adore it, and ever to depend
on it.
[ * B----p B-----t. ]



Modeft Defence, _&c._

T h e r e is nothing more idle, or
fhows a greater Affectation of Wit,
than the modern Cuftom of treat-
ing the moft grave Subjects with
Burlefque and Ridicule. The prefent Subject
of _Whoring_, was I difpos'd, would furnifh me
fufficiently in this kind, and might poffibly,
if fo handled, excite Mirth in thofe who are
only capable of fuch low Impreffions . . . .

Keywords: Augustan Reprints, Fable of the Bees, Mandeville, philosophy, prostitution, satire, sex


Post a Comment

<< Home