ticular talents, to teach others the firll rudiments of an imperfeft and barbarous language, than was af- terwards needful to compafs the ellablizhments of fome fociety. There are fome whole nations who have never been able to form a re- gular language and a dillinfl: pro- nunciation. Such were even the Troglodites, according to Pliny. Such are llill thofe who inhabit toward the Cape 0F Good Hope. But what a {pace {till remains be- tween this barbarous jargon, and the art of painting one’s ideas! the dillance is immenle.

That {late of brutes, in which human-kind remained a long time, mull needs have rendered the {pe- cies infinitely fcarce in all climates. Men could hardly fupply their wants, and not underfianding each other, they could communicate no inutual alliltance. Carnivorous bealls, having a Ilronger inftinft than they, mull have covered the earth, and devoured part 0F the human fpecies.

Man could not defend himfelf againft ferocious animals, but by throwing ltones, and arming him- {elf with thick branches of trees; and from thence, perhaps, arofe (mat confuled notion of antiquity, that the firfl heroes combated lions and wild bears with clubs.

The molt populous countries were doubtlels in hot climates. where man ealily found a plentiful fublillence in cocoa, dates, pine- apples, and rice, which grow fpon- taneoully. It is very probable, that India, China, the banks of the Euphrates, and the Tigris, were very populous, when the other regions were almoll defolate. On the other hand, in our northern


climates, it was more eafy to meet with a herd of wolves than a fociety of men.

- Of the cujiom: and opinion: qf almofl

all tbe axcient nations.

ATQRE being every where the fame, men mull necelTa- rily have adopted the fame truths, and fallen into ‘the fame errors, in regard to thofe things which are the immediate objeéts of fenfe, and the mofl llriking to the imagina- tion. They mult have attributed the noife and eilects of thunder to fome fuperior being inhabiting the air. The people bordering upon the ocean, feeing great tides inun- date their coafis at the time offal-l moon, mull naturally have im- puted to the moon, the various eflefts which attended her difierent phafes. " "

Among ‘animals, the ferpent

mul’: have appeared to them en-

dowed with iuperior intelligence; becaufe feeing it fometimes cafi its (kin, they had reafon to think it became young again. It might, then, by repeating this change, always remain youthful, and it was therefore believed immortal; fo was it in Egypt and Greece the fymbol ofimmortality. The larger ferpents, which were found near fountains, terrified the timorous from approaching them ; and hence they were foon imagined to be the guardians of hidden treafures. Thus a ferpent was the fabled guard of the golden apples of the Hefperides : another watched over the golden fleece; and in cele-