Page:Voyage in search of La Perouse, volume 1 (Stockdale).djvu/12

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TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

sees savage life every where diversified with a variety, which, if he reason fairly, must lead him to conclude, that what is called the state of nature, is, in truth, the state of a rational being placed in various physical circumstances, which have contracted or expanded his faculties in various degrees; but that "men always appear
"among animals a distinct and a superior race;
"that neither the possession of similar organs,
"nor the use of the hand," which nature has
"given to some species of apes, nor the continued
"intercourse with this sovereign artist, have en-
"abled any other species to blend their nature
"with his; that in his rudest state he is found
"to be above them, and in his greatest degene-
"racy never descends to their level; that he is,
"in short, a man in every condition; and that
"we can learn nothing of his nature from the
"analogy of other animals."[1] Every where adapting means to ends, and variously altering and combining those means, according to his views and wants, Man, even when pursuing the gratification of animal instincts, too often miserably depraved, shows himself to be possessed of nobler faculties, of liberty to chuse among different objects and expedients, and of reason to

direct