At one time the benevolent affections embrace merely the family, soon the circle expanding includes first a class, then a nation, then a coalition of nations, then all humanity, and finally, its influence is felt in the dealings of man with the animal world. In each of these stages a standard is formed, different from that of the preceding stage, but in each case the same tendency is recognised as virtue.
W. E. H. Lecky (1869) A History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne 2nd edition, Vol. 1, London: Longmans, p. 103).
Lecky on the development of morality (with echoes of Edmund Burke).