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A Letter to Dion by Bernard Mandeville

The Augustan Reprint Society

BERNARD MANDEVILLE

_A Letter to Dion_

(1732)

With an Introduction by Jacob Viner

Publication Number 41

Los Angeles William Andrews Clark Memorial Library University of California 1953

GENERAL EDITORS

H. RICHARD ARCHER, _Clark Memorial Library_ RICHARD C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_ RALPH COHEN, _University of California, Los Angeles_ VINTON A. DEARING, _University of California, Los Angeles_

ASSISTANT EDITOR

W. EARL BRITTON, _University of Michigan_

ADVISORY EDITORS

EMMETT L. AVERY, _State College of Washington_ BENJAMIN BOYCE, _Duke University_ LOUIS BREDVOLD, _University of Michigan_ JOHN BUTT, _King's College, University of Durham_ JAMES L. CLIFFORD, _Columbia University_ ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, _University of Chicago_ EDWARD NILES HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_ LOUIS A. LANDA, _Princeton University_ SAMUEL H. MONK, _University of Minnesota_ EARNEST MOSSNER, _University of Texas_ JAMES SUTHERLAND, _University College, London_ H. T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY

EDNA C. DAVIS, _Clark Memorial Library_

INTRODUCTION

The _Letter to Dion_, Mandeville's last publication, was, in form, a reply to Bishop Berkeley's _Alciphron: or, the Minute Philosopher_. In _Alciphron_, a series of dialogues directed against "free thinkers" in general, Dion is the presiding host and Alciphron and Lysicles are the expositors of objectionable doctrines. Mandeville's _Fable of the Bees_ is attacked in the Second Dialogue, where Lysicles expounds some Mandevillian views but is theologically an atheist, politically a revolutionary, and socially a leveller. In the _Letter to Dion_, however, Mandeville assumes that Berkeley is charging him with all of these views, and accuses Berkeley of unfairness and misrepresentation.

Neither _Alciphron_ nor the _Letter to Dion_ caused much of a stir. The _Letter_ never had a second edition,[1] and is now exceedingly scarce. The significance of the _Letter_ would be minor if it were confined to its role in the exchange between Berkeley and Mandeville.[2] Berkeley had more sinners in mind than Mandeville, and Mandeville more critics than Berkeley. Berkeley, however, mere than any other critic seems to have gotten under Mandeville's skin, perhaps because Berkeley alone made effective use against him of his own weapons of satire and ridicule.[3]

[1] In its only foreign language translation, the _Letter_, somewhat abbreviated, is appended to the German translation of _The Fable of the Bees_ by Otto Bobertag, _Mandevilles Bienenfabel_, Munich, 1914, pp. 349-398.


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