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CHAP. IX. Of Crimes and Punishments
266 X. Of Religious Establishments, and of Toleration
302 XI. Of Population and Provision ; and of
Agriculture and Commerce, as subser-
345 XII. Of War, and of Military Establishments . 410
This division of the subject is retained merely for the sake of method, by which the writer and the reader are equally assisted. To the subject itself it imports nothing; for, the obligation of all duties being fundamentally the same, it matters little under what class or title any of them are considered. In strictness, there are few duties or crimes which terminate in a man's self; and so far as others are affected by their operation, they have been treated of in some article of the preceding book. We have reserved, how+ ever, to this head the rights of self-defence ; also the consideration of drunkenness and suicide, as offences against that care of our faculties, and preservation of our persons, which we account duties, and call duties to ourselves.
THE RIGHTS OF SELF-DEFENCE.
It has been asserted, that in a state of nature we might lawfully defend the most insignificant right, provided it were a perfect determinate right, by any extremities which the obstinacy of the aggressor rendered necessary. Of this I doubt; because I doubt whether the general rule be worth sustaining at such an expense; and because, apart from the general consequence of yielding to the attempt, it cannot be contended to be for the augmentation of human happiness, that one man should lose his life, or a limb, rather than another a pennyworth of his property. Nevertheless, perfect rights can only be distinguished by their value ; and it is impossible to ascertain the value at which the liberty of using extreme violence begins. The person attacked, must balance, as well as he can, between the general consequence of yielding, and the particular effect of resistance.
However, this right, if it exist in a state of nature, is suspended by the establishment of civil society: because thereby other remedies are provided against attacks upon our pro