Actuated by a like spirit of beneficence, the same person, by his interest with his friends, and in conjunction with that christian-like jew, Sampson Gideon, procured a contribution, amounting to upwards of £100 a year, for the support, during the remaining years of his life, of old Captain Coram, the original mover in the establishment of the Foundling-hospital. Upon Dr. Brocklesby's applying to the good old man, to know whether his setting on foot a subscription for his benefit would not offend him, he received this noble answer:—'I have not wasted the little wealth, of which I was formerly possessed, in self-indulgence, or vain expences, and am not ashamed to confess, that in this my old age I am poor.' —Upon the death of Coram, this pension was continued to Leveridge, a worn-out finger at the theatres, who, at the age of ninety, had scarce any other prospect than that of a parish subsistence.
Those writers on morality, such as Hobbes and Mandeville, who resolve all beneficence into self-love, would be hard put to it to reconcile such acts as these with their tenets. They would say, that the motive to them was a desire to get rid of those sensations which the distresses of others are apt to excite, and, by consequence, that the exertions of beneficence are selfish. Never considering that, before these sensations can arise, a man must be kindly affectioned to his fellow-creatures, and possess that benevolence which the objection supposes to be wanting. (Hawkins)
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