An ESSAY on CHARITY, and Charity-Schools
In a more cynical interpretation, compares the experienced speaker of Holy Thursday with the views expressed in Bernard de Mandeville s Essay on Charity and Charity Schools (also 1723), emphasizing the speaker s penetrating eye, able to see the wrongs undetected in Innocence. His tone is bitter because his topic will not allow a lighter approach. According to Summerfield, Mandeville has similar opinions conveyed with similar disdain.
In some of his other works Mandeville shows an intelligent and open interest in controversial and, for the time, scandalous subjects, such as whoring and the execution of criminals. On some issues, however, Mandeville seems strangely callous. In "An Essay on Charity and Charity Schools" he objects to educating the poor because the acquisition of knowledge has the effect of increasing desires and thereby making it more difficult to meet the needs of the poor. Moreover, he seems to regard even wars as valuable to the economic development of a nation since by destroying houses and property laborers are provided an opportunity to replace the destroyed goods.