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MANDEVILLE, GEGFFREY DE—MANDEVILLE, SIR JOHN

The work by which he is known is the Fable of the Bees, published first in 1705 under the title of The Grurnbling Hive, or Knaves T urn'd Honest (two hundred doggerel couplets). In 1 714 it was republished anonymously with Remarks and An Enquiry into the Origin of Moral Virtue. In 1723 a later edition appeared, including An Essay on Charity and Charity Schools, and A Search into the Nature of Society. The book was primarily written as a political satire on the state of England in 1705, when the Tories were accusing Marlborough and the ministry of advocating the Trench War for personal reasons. The edition of 1723 was presented as a nuisance by the Grand Iury of Middlesex, was denounced in the London Journal by “ Theophilus Philo-Britannus, ” and attacked by many writers, notably by Archibald Campbell (1691-1756) in his Aretelogia (published as his own by Alexander Innes in 1728; afterwards by Campbell, under his own name, in 1733, as Enquiry into the Original of Moral Virtue). The Fable was reprinted in 1729, a ninth edition appeared in I7 5 5, and it has often been reprinted in more recent times. Berkeley attacked it in the second dialogue of the Alciphron (1732) and John Brown criticized him in his Essay upon Sha ftesbury's Characteristics (17 51).

Mandeville's philosophy gave great offence at the time, and has always been stigmatized as false, cynical and degrading. His main thesis is that the actions of men cannot be divided into lower and higher. The higher life of man is merely a fiction introduced by philosophers and rulers to simplify government and the relations of society. In fact, virtue (which he defined as “every performance by which man, contrary to the impulse of nature, should endeavour the benefit of others, or the conquest of his own passions, out of a rational ambition of being good ”) is actually detrimental to the state in its commercial and intellectual progress, for it is the vices (i.e. the self-regarding actions of men) which alone, by means of inventions and the circulation of capital in connexion with luxurious living, stimulate society into action and progress. In the Fable he shows a society possessed of all the virtues “ blest with content and honesty, ” falling into apathy and utterly paralyzed. The absence of selflove (cf. Hobbes) is the death of progress. The so-called higher virtues are mere hypocrisy, and arise from the selfish desire to be superior to the brutes. “ The moral virtues are the political offspring which Battery begot upon pride.” Similarly he arrives at the great paradox that “ private vices are public benehts.” But his best work and that in which he approximates most nearly to modern views is his account of the origin of society. His a priori theories should be compared with Maine's historical inquiries (Ancient Law, c. V.). He endeavours to show that all social laws are the crystallized results of selfish aggrandizement and protective alliances among the weak. Denying any form of moral sense or conscience, he regards all the social virtues as evolved from the instinct for self-preservation, the give-and-take arrangements between the partners in a defensive and offensive alliance, and the feelings of pride and vanity artificially fed by politicians, as an antidote to dissension and chaos. Mandeville's ironical paradoxes are interesting mainly as a criticism of the “ amiable ” idealism of Shaftesbury, and in comparison with the serious egoistic systems of Hobbes and Helvetius. It is mere prejudice to deny that Mandeville had considerable philosophic insight; at the same time he was mainly negative or critical, and, as he himself said, he was writing for “ the entertainment of people of knowledge and education.” He may be said to have cleared the ground for the coming utilitarianism. WORKS.-Typhon: a Burlesque Poern (1704); Aesop Dress'd, or a Collection of Fables writ in Familiar Verse (1704); The Planter's Charity(1704); The Virgin Unmasked (1709, 1724, 1731, 1742), awork in which the coarser side of his nature is prominent; Treatise of the Hypochondriack and Hysterick Passions (1711, 1715, 1730) admired by Johnson (Mandeville here protests against merely speculative therapeutics, and advances fanciful theories of his own about animal spirits in connexion with “ stoma chic ferment ”: he shows a knowledge of Locke's methods, and an admiration for Sydenham); Free Thoughts on Religion (1720); A Conference about Whoring (1725); An Enquiry into the Causes of the Frequent Executions at Tyburn (1725); The Origin of Honour and the Usefulness of Christianity in War (1732). Other works attributed, wrongly, to him are A Modest Defence of Public Stews (1724); The World Unrnasked (1736) and Zoologia rnedicinalis hibernica (1744). See Hill's Boswell, iii. 291-293; L. Stephen's English Thought in the Eighteenth Century; A. Bain's Moral Science (593-598); Windelband's History of Ethics (Eng. trans. Tufts);]. M. Robertson, Pioneer Humanists (1907); P. Sakmann, Bernard de Mandeville und die Bienenfabel-Controverse (Freiburg i/Br., 1897), and compare articles Ernrcs, SHAFTESBURY, HOBBES. A (J. M. M.).


MANDEVILLE, GEOFFREY DE (d. 1144), earl of Essex, succeeded his father, William, as constable of the Tower of London in or shortly before II 3o. Though a great Essex landowner, he played no conspicuous part in history till 1140, when Stephen created him earl of Essex in reward for his services against the empress Matilda. After the defeat and capture of Stephen at Lincoln (1 141) the earl deserted to Matilda, but before the end of the year, learning that Stephen's release was imminent, returned to his original allegiance. 'In 1142 he was again intriguing with the empress; but before he could openly join her cause he was detected and deprived of his castles by the king. In 1143-1 144 Geoffrey maintained himself as a rebel and a bandit in the fen-country, using the Isle of Ely and Ramsey Abbey as his headquarters., He was besieged by Stephen in the fens, and met his death in September 1144 in consequence of a wound received in a skirmish. His career is interesting for two reasons. The charters which he extorted from Stephen and Matilda illustrate the peculiar form taken by the ambitions of English feudatories. The most important concessions are grants of offices and jurisdictions which had the effect of making Mandeville a Viceroy with full powers in "Essex, Middlesex and London, and Hertfordshire. His career as an outlaw exemplifies the worst excesses of the anarchy which prevailed in some parts of England during the civil wars of 1140-1147, and it is probable that the deeds of Mandeville inspired the rhetorical description, in the Peterborough Chronicle of this period, when “ men said openly that Christ and his saints were asleep.” See ]. H. Round, Geojrey de Mandeville, a Study of the Anarchy (London, 1892). (H. w.~c. D.)


MANDEVILLE, JEHAN DE (“Sir John Mandeville”), the name claimed by the compiler of a singular book of travels, written in French, and published between 1357 and 1371. By aid of translations into many other languages it acquired extraordinary popularity, while a few interpolated words in a particular edition of an English version gained for Mandeville in modern times the spurious credit of being “the father of English prose.”

In his preface the compiler calls himself a knight, and states that he was born and bred in England, of the town of St Albans; had crossed the sea on Michaelmas Day 1322; had travelled by way of Turkey (Asia Minor), Armenia the little (Cilicia) and the great, Tartary, Persia, Syria, Arabia, Egypt upper and lower, Libya, great part of Ethiopia, Chaldaea, Amazonia, India the less, the greater and the middle, and many countries about India; had often been to Jerusalem, and had written in Romance as more generally understood than Latin. In the body of the work we hear that he had been at Paris and Constantinople; had served the sultan of Egypt a long time in his wars against the Bedawin, had been vainly offered by him a princely marriage and a great estate on condition of renouncing Christianity, and had left Egypt under sultan Melech Madabron, i.e. Muzaffar or Mudhaffar[1] (who reigned in 1346-1347); had been at Mount Sinai, and had visited the Holy Land with letters under the great seal of the sultan, which gave him extraordinary facilities; had been in Russia, Livonia, Cracow, Lithuania, “en roialme daresten” (? de Daresten or Silistria), and many other parts near Tartary, but not in Tartary itself; had drunk of the well of youth at Polombe (Quilon on the Malabar coast), and still seemed to feel the better; had taken astronomical observations on the way to Lamory (Sumatra), as well as in Brabant, Germany, Bohemia and still farther north; had been at an isle called Pathen in the Indian Ocean; had been at Cansay (Hangchow-fu)

in China, and had served the emperor of China fifteen months

  1. The on in Madabron apparently represents the Arabic nunation, though its use in such a case is very odd.