— 356 —
Its Inforcements, Commendation, and Discredit.       §12. If any one shall imagine, that I have forgot my own Notion
of a Law, when I make the Law, whereby Men judge of Vertue and
Vice, to be nothing else, but the Consent of private Men, who have
not Authority enough to make a Law: Especially wanting that,
which is so necessary and essential to a Law, a Power to inforce it:
I think, I may say, that he, who imagines Commendation and
Disgrace, not to be strong Motives on Men, to accommodate
themselves to the Opinions and Rules of those, with whom they
— 357 —
converse, seems little skill’d in the Nature, or History of Mankind:
the greatest part whereof he shall find to govern themselves chiefly,
if not solely, by this Law of Fashion; and so they do that, which
keeps them in Reputation with their Company, little regard the
Laws of God, or the Magistrate. The Penalties that attend the
breach of God’s Laws, some, nay, perhaps, most Men seldom
seriously reflect on: and amongst those that do, many, whilst they
break the Law, entertain Thoughts of future reconciliation, and
making their Peace for such Breaches. And as to the Punishments,
due from the Laws of the Commonwealth, they frequently flatter
themselves with the hopes of Impunity. But no Man scapes the
Punishment of their Censure and Dislike, who offends against the
Fashion and Opinion of the Company he keeps, and would recom-
mend himself to. Nor is there one of ten thousand, who is stiff and
insensible enough, to bear up under the constant Dislike, and
Condemnation of his own Club. He must be of a strange, and un-
usual Constitution, who can content himself, to live in constant
Disgrace and Disrepute with his own particular Society. Solitude
many Men have sought, and been reconciled to: But no Body, that
has the least Thought, or Sense of a Man about him, can live in
Society, under the constant Dislike, and ill Opinion of his Familiars,
and those he converses with. This is a Burthen too heavy for
humane Sufferance: And he must be made up of irreconcilable
Contradictions, who can take Pleasure in Company, and yet be
insensible of Contempt and Disgrace from his Companions.
Locke Hum II, 28, §12, pp. 356-357