תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

squeamish Stomach to be tasting every Thing. Read those that are approved. And if thou wouldst turn aside from one to another, return to the first again, by which thou hast profited. And be sure, faith he, to provide thy self of fome Thing every Day, which will serve as a Remedy against Poverty, against the Fear of Death, against the Rest of the Plagues of humane Life. And when thou runnest over many Things, Unum excerpe, quod illo die concoquas, Pick out some one Thing, to digest and concoct that Day. But I intend not to insist long upon these Advices, there being many of them, and therefore let us pass to the next. Which is this,

II.

2

Peireskii.

Let us never attempt any Thing in our Enterprizes, but what is of good Report, and Praiseworthy. This I find recorded in the Life of a famous Person, that he was wont constantly to comfort himself in Gassend, in vita this, Quod nihil tentalset, non laudabile, that he had never assayed any Thing, but what was laudable. In this, if a Man inilcarry, yet it is some Comfort to have endeavoured it. And he may again renew his Endeavours, according as the same Person was wont to fay; Let us resume our Work, and not Despair. Fishermen do not break their Nets, because they sometimes cast them in vain, and catch nothing.

[blocks in formation]

III.

The Third is, to Do nothing of consequence pithout Deliberation and good Ădvice. I do not mean only of our own, but of our Friends also. For if any Thing fall out ill, they will help to béar a part of it.

IV.

The next is, to Repent of nothing, that we bave done advisedly : For we could not tell then how to do it better. These two are joined together by the wise

Son of Syrach, from whom I borrowed them, Ecclus. xxxii

. 19. Do nothing withou:t Advice ; and when thou hast once done it, repent not.

V.

Another Rule is, to Be of a stable and fixed Resolution ; and not to be ftill changing of our Purposé. No Man's Life can be quiet and orderly, who hath not a settled Judgment and Intention. And especially to run after a new Thing, before we have finished the former ; is the way never to be at rest.' But as we fhould hot be uncertain in our Designs and Defires, always fickle arid given to Change, So ,

8.

VI, We ought not to fear those Changes which will come unavoidably. Let us accustom our Thoughts and reconcile our Affections to them, by confidering that every Thing in this world is effected by Changes. It is Antoninus's Observation, TË dai cazhecy, exc. What I beseech you is more friendly and familiar to uni- L. 7. Se&. versal Nature, than Changes ? Thou canst not go into a Bath, unless the Wood be changed whereby it is heated. Nor canst thou be nourished, without the Change and Alteration of thy Food. No profitable Thing can be produced, but by the Change of something or other. Methinks then that thou shouldest discern, that Changes in thy self are no less necefsary and good too, in order to some useful and excellent End.

But since there will be Changes in our Condition, it makes the next Advice necessary, which is,

[ocr errors]

VII.

To order Things so, as Not to be taken unprovided. For which End we must think before-hand of all that may come, even of the worst. That which we look for, will be less troublesome to us. It was the wife Observation of Carneades, that the greatest Griefs of our Life come from hence, that the Tempest arose unexpected. It is just as if a great many

Guests

Guests should come in upon us when we are wholly unprovided, and there is neither Meat, nor Fire, nor Servants, nor any Thing else in the House, Then it is, that we run up and down, and keep a ftir, and make a noise, and all is in a great Confusion. Whereas, if we had known of it before, all Things would have been done in quiet, and we should have given them Entertainment with Ease and Pleasure.

The old Story was, that if the Wolf faw a Man before he saw him, the Man was struck dumb: but the same hapned to the Wolf, if he was first espied. The Tale may be thus interpreted; that if Dangers surprise us before we are aware of them, they are wont to bereave us of our Succours, otherwise we can defend our selves, well enough, or receive them without harm. Sudden Frights commonly astonish us, and take away our Voice, and extreamly trouble us; but that which we are prepared for, can make no such terrible Assault nor frightful Noise, but filently falls upon us. If we foresee what may come, it will not give us such a Shock, as it will if we have no Thoughts of it. Fore-fight will put us upon the Use of -all thofe Means, which I have formerly dif-coursed of, and therefore we are not to fuffer

our felves to be without it. Take Advice of athe Son of Syrach, Ecclus. xviii. 25, 26.. When -- thou hast enough remember the Time of Hunger; Iand when thou art rich think upon Poverty and Need. From the Morning unto the Evening Time is changed, and all Things are foon done

before

before the Lord. This you will find he con-'. demns in another Chapter as a great Folly, Ecclus. xi. 25. That, in the Day of Prosperity there is a Forgetfulnefs of Afliction, and in the Day of Affliction there is no Remembrance of Prosperity, If we will be wise and happy we ought to ballance one of these with the other, that is, In the Day of good things to remember Evil, and in the evil Day to remember Good. But enough of that.

[ocr errors]

VI.

[ocr errors]

It will add also much to our Tranquillity if we take care to Contend with no Man unnecessarily; no not with those of whom we are like to get the Victory. It is better, a great deal, to sleep in the Quiet of Peace, than to be awakned from our Repose by all the Trumpets of Conquest, and the loudest Shouts and Acclamations of Praise. Suppose a Man will say that which you know not to be true, let it pass, rather than dispute it with lim, if he be a captious, proud, and quarrelsome Person.

IX.

Another is, Not to scoff at any Body. For few can endure to hear themselves abufed ; or pass it by without an Endeavour of severe Revenge. The Mention of this is sufficient, and the Reason of it apparent.

« הקודםהמשך »