תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

find this Precepc in the Text of the utmost Weight and Importance; a Precept, which every Man ought for ever to have upon his Mind, and continually to form his Conduct by. Let Love be without Disimulation.

From these Words I shall proceed to consider the several Kinds and Degrees of dissembled and real Love, enter into their moral Characters, and thew you

their Tendencies and Consequences, how they affect our own Happiness, and the Happiness of other Persons.

The first Kind of dissembled Love, I shall take notice of, is that of general Complaisance, without any Meaning. This is a Compound of Good-nature, Good-breeding, no small Degree of Vanity, and but a weak Understanding; and if we would give it any Figure in the World, we must add, a considerable Fortune. Where these Characters unite in one Person, we

find

O 3

find him exceeding gracious, full of Expressions of great Regard, and uncommon Tenders of Friendship to almost every one he meets, without any Distinction or Judgment; which are all forgot, as soon as the Person's Back is turn'd. Pressing Invitations, a violent Concern for your Interest, Acknowledgements of Favours never received, Offers of those that never were intended, an Affectation of great Power and Influence, Admissions of all Kinds and Degrees of Flattery, and an equally profuse Return of them, are the principal Branches in this Character. The Mischicfs and Evils that follow from it are many, tho' they are not generally of the worst Sort. As a very little Sagacity will suffice to see through this Conduct, so it rather yields Men of tolerable Sense a Diverfion, than threatens them with any Danger: But as there are a Multitude of Persons as eager to court a Patron,

[merged small][ocr errors]

as these sort of Patrons are to create Dependants, so it is often found to draw many Persons into false Expectations, from whence real Disappointments and Injuries follow. When we are once weak enough to attend to false Protestations of Friendship, and to be charm’d with falle Displays of Power, and to build on them, tho' our Foundation often fails us, we are still apt to build on. Plausible Excuses are made; the next Opportunity is beautify'd to our View; we are tenacious of our Hopes, and credulous in our Wishes; we ourselves assist the Deceit; we outgo the Treachery of our pretended Friend; we forge Promises far beyond his Meaning; support our Belief to avoid the Ridicule of others. Thus we waste our Time, neglect better Opportunities, and spend our Lives in the Pursuit of Shadows: a Chace not only vain and idle, but often expensive and

dangerous. Where Men of this Character happen to be in high Stations, and to have real Power and Influence, the Consequences are proportionably worse. Such Men must have many Dependants; the more they have, as they are in their several Ways their Agents, so the more extensive must the Patron's Interest and Influence be; and the more Dependants there are, the more still must be disappointed. Here we see thousands led into vain Hopes, and sacrificing their Lives and Fortunes to the most foolish Expectations. As the Affectation of Power and Influence, and the ostentatious Profissions of Friendhip from the Vain, are frequently depended on by the Weak and Simple; so this Dependance will often bring the Patron himself into Difficulties and Inconveniences: And perhaps the whole World cannot exhibic a more ridiculous and absurd Scene, than the Struggle which

arises

arises betwixt pompous Invitations, and the low Tricks and mean Artifices made use of to get quit of them. That great

Man is indeed a great Man, whose Word in those Circumstances is facred, whose Promise is inviolable,who can deal plainly and honestly with those, whom he has either no Power or Inclination to serve.

The next Kind of dissembled Love, I shall take notice of, is that of the Self-interested, who are perpetually laying Schemes, and contracting Friendfhips, and doing Services to others, with no other View but their own Advancement. The Men of this Character generally pursue their Ends very closely; they are wise in their Géneration : Hence, as soon as their Turn is served, or if they can find a more proper Person to serve it by their Zeal cools, and the same Professions are made and Services offered to any Person whatsoever, that is likely

to

« הקודםהמשך »