THE Morall Philosophy OF THE STOICKS.

Written Originally in FRENCH by that Ingenious Gentleman Monsieur du Vaix, first President of the Parliament of Provence.

Englished by Charles Cotton, Esq

Ea Philosophiae vis est, ut non solum stu­dentes, sed etiam conversantes juvet. Sen. Epist.

LONDON, Printed for Henry Mortlock at the sign of the Phoenix in St. Pauls Church-yard, near the little North door. 1664.

Perlegi ingeniosum hunc Libel­lum, cui Titulus (The Moral Phi­losophy of the STOICKS,) quem non indignum censeo qui

Typis Mandetur.

Joh. Hall. R. P. D. Humf. Episc. Lond. à sac. Dom.

To my Honoured Friend and Kinsman Iohn Ferrers Esq

Honoured Cozen,

IT is so long since I writ to you, that I am now ashamed to appear before you any other way then this, where this little mark of my respect, may something pre­tend to your pardon for what is past, by shewing you, That how­ever [Page] I may have neglected, I can never forget you; and although I am sensible, that I repair an unkindness by an injury, whil'st I impose this Trifle upon your Patronage; yet I cannot much consider that, when I call to mind how kindly you have ever entertained my friendship, and how unapt you are to inter­pret your friends to their disad­vantage. This little thing that I present to you, and to the world in your name, I translated seven years ago, by my Fathers com­mand, who was a great admirer of the Author: so that what you see, was an effect of my obedi­ence, and no part of my choice; my little studies (especially at that time) lying another way: [Page] neither had I now puhlished it, but that I was unwilling to have a thing (how mean soever) turned to waste Paper, that cost me some hours pains, and which (however I may have disguised it) is no ill thing in it self.

For what concerns the Dedi­cation of it to you, I must con­fess, that besides my gratitude, to which I am ever bound, I had a collaterall design upon your protection, supposing that the censuring world would use me with more respect upon your account; and although you stand in need of no Morall precept to make you a perfect good man: yet perhaps it may not be altoge­ther unpleasant to you, to look back into your own practice, [Page] and to read over your own Ver­tues, which are such, as amongst many others, and many wor­thier have particularly obliged me to profess my self

Honoured Cozen,
Your most humble Servant, C. C.

THE Morall Philosophy OF THE STOICKS.

THERE is nothing in the world that tends not to some End; Even insensi­ble things seem to ad­vance, and adapt them­selves to their proper use, and being applyed thereto, discover a kind of consent, and seem to apprehend the Perfection of their Being. Things that are endowed with action, move of themselves, as we see; and all the [Page 2] Animals in generall, and every of them in this kind, pursues with fervency and Emulation, That for which he was born; and is apparently delighted with the fruition of his desire. What then shall man do, to whom Nature (above things without life) hath given Sence, and (above the Common Sence of other Animals) hath given discourse and Reason to know and choose, of things presented to Him the most excellent, and proper to his use? May we not conclude Him to have his proper end decreed him, as the utmost aim of all his actions? And that, as the happiness of all things is their Perfection, and Perfection the fruition of the End; so the Felicity of Man shall consist in the acquisition and atcheiv­ment of that he proposes to himself, and to which all his Actions tend? Now the End of Man, and all his thoughts and Inclinations, is Good. And in­deed, there is none amongst you that desires not good, and flyes not Ill; and who being asked, why he doth this, or [Page 3] that, will not answer, because he thinks to do well. And though in the Num­ber of our actions, the greater are found to be Ill; notwithstanding the general Purpose, by which we are led, is ever to arrive at Good. But, as he that shoots at a mark, if his aim be obstructed, either by the infirmity of the Eye, or the corruption of the Air, or if he mistake one thing for another, though he earnestly desire to hit, must err; so we, not rightly knowing in what consists our good, and often mistaking that about it, for the thing it self, dispose our particular actions wide of the general Intent. Good is not (truly) exposed here to the view of all the world, Nature hath strewed below but weak sparks of its light, which nevertheless purely apply­ed to our minds, breaks out into a glo­rious flame, and makes a true discovery of it self. We must then seek it, and we shall find it, and finding, know it: For, as truth, presenting it self to the understanding, is received with [Page 4] great Content, and satisfaction; so Good, presenting it self to the Will, shall, there, be joyfully embraced, as its natural object: I think, that, pro­perly to define Good, a man may say it is nothing but the Essence and ope­ration according to Nature; who is so wise a Mistress, as that she hath di­sposed all things to their best Estate; hath given them their first inclination to Good, and the End they ought to seek; so that who will follow, cannot fail to obtain it. By Nature Man should be so composed, that the most Excel­lent Quality should govern in him; and that, of things, presented to his Choice, his Reason should make use of such as are most decent, and most to his purpose. The Good, then, of Man consists in his healthfull Reason, that is to say, his Virtue; which is nothing but a constant Disposition of the Will to pursue things Honest, and fit. There is none but will acknowledge this for Good; but many will say, that in this, alone, the Good of man cannot consist; [Page 5] but that, withall, he must have a Body sound, and well disposed; Com­modities, without which Life cannot stand; or, at the least, be happy. But, if what we have said, in the beginning, be true, and that the end of every thing is his Good, and his Good, his End; and, that these two so weave themselves into one another, that the One cannot subsist without the other; a man may say, that neither Health, nor Body are the Good of Man, seeing they are not his End: for he possesses not them, but to serve him to a further Use: and the most part of his Age, he is miserable with all this: unless we shall approve them for happy, to whom wealth and strong Constituti­ons serve only (as to very many) to nourish their vices, and foment their Passions. But a man may say, They help us to arrive at that End, and they are Instruments, without which, Man cannot reach this principall Good: and consequently (as they are ne­cessary to the acquisition of That) [Page 6] ought themselves to be reputed Goods. To which I shall answer; That it is improper to call that good, which only serves to acquire good, and that which is the subject and matter of good: For vertue, which we have declared to be the true Good, is of such a nature, that she serves her self indifferently with contrary things, & doth good with Poverty, as well as with Riches, with Sickness as well as with health: We commend him that suffers his wants with patience, his sickness with constancy, as we do him that liberally distributes his substance, and lives virtuously in his health: So that if you will call Riches good, be­cause they are assistant to vertue, call poverty so too: for even she attends her more: But because we have no pretence for the calling two things so contrary in themselves, by one and the same name, let all such things rest indifferent, as are rendred good, or ill by the disposition of man; and without which, he may arrive at his [Page 7] End; which is, to be composed ac­cording to perfect Reason, to make good use of things presented to him, and consequently to possess the fruiti­on of his Good. If we would rightly know, in what consists our good, we must discover what, in our selves, adheres to it; (for it must be a good of that side) since nothing seeks ano­ther good, then is annext to its own. Now (without all doubt) the Be­ginners and movers of our actions, in us, are the Understanding, and the Will; the Good then, that we aim at, should be their perfection, Peace and Satisfaction. But if we there place Health, and Wealth, and esteem them our Goods, and consequently, what are their Contraries, Ills, why do we not presently declare, that we can have no Felicity in this world and that our lives are, here, no other then a perpetual Hell? For ye shall alwayes have the Images of Death, and afflicti­on before your Eyes which you esteem ills; and, of which the one is often [Page 8] present, and the other ever threat­ning, by his nearer approach. If these be ills, Fear is just, and how happy is that man, who is alwayes in fear? Let us then either conclude, that man hath no good decreed him in this world, to which he can possibly ar­rive, or, that That Good wholly de­pends upon Virtue.

The end that any one proposes to himself of things, must be proporti­oned to his power; if, otherwise it be impossible for him to obtain, instead of his good, it becomes his affliction, It were the work of Danaids to fill perforated Vessels, if among all the Sciences, there were none that designs her self an End, to which she may arrive by her own Precepts. Can we imagine that Nature, who is the Mo­ther of all Arts, and Sciences, hath ordained for Man (Her chiefest work) an End beyond his Power? The Will (we say) is that which seeks our good; and a will well governed, will nothing but what it can, nor busie it [Page 9] self with things beyond our reach; as with Health, Riches and Honour: If in these consisted our good, it were in vain to employ our Reason, and Will; we should attempt it by wishes and vows, as a thing depending upon a thousands accidents, not to be fore­seen, or withstood; and of which Fortune is the only Mistress. How likely is it (I beseech you) that Na­ture having created Man the most perfect of all her works, should ordain Him so miserable, as that his Good, which should be his perfection, not only should depend upon an­other, but upon so many things, which he must never hope can be all favourable to him; and that He should (like another Tantalus) be there perpetually gaping for his long'd for waters? Nature commands you, for good, to have the understanding disposed for the use of what is pre­sented to you, and to pass by things you cannot have: Had you rather re­ly on Fortune, and expect from her [Page 10] falacious hand your good, than to work it your selves? It is a Law di­vine, and inviolable from the begin­ning of the world, that the good we would have, we must give to our selves. Nature hath bestowed a Ma­gazine in our minds; let us there stretch forth the hand of the will, and take what Arms we please: if that will be reasonable, and moderate, it turns all things to good, as Midas turned all things to gold by his touch. We can meet no accident in our Per­sons or Estates so malicious, whence we should not extract Peace and sa­tisfaction of mind: if we can satisfie that, we have obtained our End; For though we were content so much to slacken the severity of this Sect, as to confess, that Body and Goods (which are but the instruments of life) make a part in Man, and have power, by their quality, to disturb that of the Soul; we ought, notwithstanding, ne­ver to acknowledge, that any loss which may happen either to Body or [Page 11] Goods should take away the felicity of Man, when his mind enjoyes its Good, and its delight.

Of things composed of many parts the most noble gives the name, and law to the rest; who then shall doubt the felicity of the whole Man, when the soul is happy? So we pronounce a Republick happy, after a famous victory, notwithstanding the loss of some Citizens; because her happiness proportions it self in the Person of the Prince or State, to whose good, and service, all the rest ought to apply themselves; in so much, as that every private Souldier shall glorifie himself in his wounds, love them, and boast they were received for preservation of King and Commonwealth: shall we then allow the Body another sence, or desire, than what relates to the satisfaction of the Soul? shall we so chain the Soul to the Body, as that her good shall be slave to the mem­bers, and depend upon them? that the mind shall suffer, as they are well, [Page 12] or ill disposed? If Nature would that the perfection of Man should depend in Body and Goods, she had given to all the same Body, and the same Goods: for they, making a part in their Nature, ought to be alike in all, and to pass from the Genus into the Individual; but having on the con­trary, conferred them both in a very different condition, both for body and goods; she hath given to all an indifferent power to make good use of such Bodyes and goods as they have, that so the Action of the Soul may render it self as conspicuous and honourable, by one means, as ano­ther: And indeed, her Excellence shines more bright, and merits more praise, by how much, when destitute of such instruments, she of her self ar­rives at her proper End: as in my opinion, we ought better to esteem the Pilot, who through the rage of waves and tempest, can bring a leaky Vessel, unfurnished of Sail and Tackle, safe to the Port, than he who with a [Page 13] new tight Ship, well rigg'd for service, with a savourable Sea, and right gale a-poop. Let us then make this deter­mination; that since the felicity of man depends upon his Good, that his good is to live according to his Na­ture, and that to live according to his Nature, is not to be disturbed with Passions, and to behave himself upon all occasions with moderate Reason. We must (as necessary to our happi­ness) purge the Mind from Passions, and learn how to animate our selves against whatever may happen to us. Now that which can best instruct us in this way, and teach us the inclina­tions of a right spirit, and a will, go­verned by reason, is Prudence; which is the beginning, and end of all Ver­tue: For that, making us exactly and truly to know the condition and qua­lity of things objected to us, renders us sit to distinguish what is according to Nature, what is not; what we ought to pursue, and what we ought to fly: She removes the erroneous opinions [Page 14] that afflict us, restores our natural af­fections; and in her Train follow all other Vertues, of which she is at once the Mother, Nurse, and Guardian. Oh! the life of Man were happy, if alwaies conducted by this excellent guide. But alas! by how much this Vertue is excellent, by so much is it rare; and is in our minds, like the veins of Gold in the earth, found in few places. It is in my judgement, that great, magnificent, and impene­trable Buckler, sorged by Vulcan for Achilles; in which he carried the Heavens, the Earth, the Ocean, Clouds, Stars, Thunder, Cities, Ar­mies, Assemblies and Battels, and to be short, what in this world is to be seen, thereby intimating to us, that knowledge renders the Soul of Man more invulnerable than a large seven­sold sheild can do the body. But as Achilles went to the School of Chiron to make himself sit to bear this massy sheild; so must you come to that of Philosophy to learn the use of Pru­dence; [Page 15] which will teach you, that Prudence is to be exercised two waies; one to advance us to good, the other to repell evil. But as we bring not our minds pure to Philoso­phy our Physitian, but rather prepos­sessed and contaminated with froward popular humours, we must like a skil­ful Chirurgion (who before he make any application to the wounded part, draws forth malignant humours) be­gin by purging our mind of all such rebellious Passions, as by their smoak obnubilate the eye of Reason: other­wise the Precept of good manners, and sound affections, is of no more advan­tage to the Soul, than abundance of of food to a corrupt body, which the more you endeavour to nourish, you offend. We call that Passion, which is a violent motion of the Soul in her sensitive part, and makes her either apply her self to what she thinks is good, or recede from what she takes to be ill: For though we have but one Soul, cause of life, and action [Page 16] which is all in all, and all in every part, yet hath that one Soul very dif­ferent agitations, even contrary to one another, according to the diversi­ty of Vessels where she is retained, and the variety of objects presented to her: In one she hath her Encrease, in another her Motion, in a third her Sence, in a fourth her Memory, in a sift her Discourse; as the Sun, who from one essence distributing his raies in diverse places, warms one, and illu­minates another, melts wax, and dries the earth, dissipates clouds, and ex­hausts lakes, and marshes. When the Parts where she is inclosed, only keep and imploy her to the proportion of their capacity, and the necessity of their right use, her effects are sweet, benigne and well governed; but on the contrary, when they usurp more motion and heat than they should, they change and become more dan­gerous; like the raies of the Sun, that wandering at their natural liberty, warm gently and faintly, but contra­cted [Page 17] and united in the Concave of a glass, burn and consume, what they were wont to give life to, and nourish. Now Nature hath given this force and power (borrowed from the Soul) to the Senses, to apply them­selves to things, to extract their forms, and as they are fit or unfit, harmoni­ous or dissonant to Nature, to embrace or reject them: and that for these two Reasons; One, that they should be as Centinels to the Body for its pre­servation; the other (and the chief­est) to the end they should be as Mes­sengers, and Carriers of the under­standing, and soveraign part of the Soul; and to serve as Ministers and Instruments of discourse and Reason. But in giving them this power, she hath also prescribed her Law and Command, which is to be satisfied with a careful observation and intel­ligence of what shall pass, without at­tempting to usurp the more high and eminent power, and so to put all things into alarm and confusion. For, as in [Page 18] an Army, the Centinels (oftentimes not knowing the design of their Com­mander) may be deceived, and take an enemy disguised, for a friend, or for enemies such as come to their re­lief; so the Sences, (not comprehend­ing the whole sum of Reason) are oft abused by apparence, and take for advantageous, what is wholly against us: When upon this judgement, and without expecting the command of Reason, they come to disturb the Irascible and Concupiscible powers, they raise a sedition, and tumult in the Soul, during which, Reason is no more heard nor the understanding obeyed, than is the Law or Magistrate in a troubled estate of civil discord. Now in this Commotion, the Passions which disturb the peace of the mind, and mutiny against the Soul, make their first insurrection in the Concupiscible part, that is to say, in the place where the Soul exerciseth this faculty of de­siring, or rejecting things offered to her, as they are proper, or contrary to [Page 19] her delight, or conservation. They move then according to the apparence of a Good or Ill. If it be a present good, and of which they enter into a present fruition, we call that Motion, Pleasure, or Delight: If it be of a good to come, from which we are far di­stant, we call it desire: if of a present Ill, of which we already resent the in­commodity and distast, and which we lament in other men, we call it Hate or Horrour: if of any Ill we bewail in our selves, vexation: if this vexation be occasioned by what concerns us nearly, we call it Grief; if by mis­chance in another, Pitty; if occasion­ed by an apparent Good, in which we pretend to share, Jealousie; if by good we have no part in, Envy: if oc­casioned by an Ill to come, we call it Fear.

This is the first body of Mutineers that disturb the peace of the Soul, whose effects (though very danger­ous) are nevertheless much inferiour in violence to them that sollow: For [Page 20] those first motions, formed in that part by the presented object, immediately shift thence into the irascible part, that is to say, into that part where the Soul seeks the means she hath to obtain, or shun what appears good or evil to her; and there as a wheel already moving, by a new access of force, falls into a prompter speed; so the Soul, al­ready stirred with the first apprehen­sion, and adding a second effort to the first, is hurried with more violence than before, and raises up Passions more powerful, and more difficult to tame, by how much they are doubly conjoyned to the former, implicating and corroborating one another by a mutual consent: for the first Passions, that are formed to the object of a seeming Good, falling into considera­tion of the means to atchieve it, either stir up in us Hope or Despair; and such as are formed to the object of Ill, give birth to Fear and Anger: which four Passions are strangely strong and violent, and wholly subvert that Rea­son [Page 21] they find already shaken. These (in my opinion) are the winds that create the tempests of the Soul; and the Cave whence they issue (as I have already told you) is an erring opini­on, that things presented to us, are Good, or Evil: for attributing to them the quality they have not, we fly or pursue them with violence; and thence spring our Passions. The way then to stop this Cave, is to se­cure the Peace of the Soul; and that she be not swayed otherwise than she should, let us call to mind what hath been proved in the beginning of this discourse; to wit, That the Good of man and the perfection of Nature, consist in a right disposition of his Will, to make use of things presented to him according to Rea­son; and (on the contrary) his Ill, in a vitious and unbridled disposi­tion to their abuse; for with the first he shall create his advantage, receive satisfaction from whatever can happen to him, and establish for [Page 22] himself a peace of mind, firm, and unmoved as a rock in the fury of the waves; and with the second, every accident shall be distastful to him, and turn to his loss and affli­ction. When therefore any object shall present it self unto us (that we may not trouble our selves, as with a Good or Ill that pursues us) let us examine whether it be in our power, or no; if it be in our power, it may be to us, either good or ill: But in this case, we ought by no means to be transported; for in retaining the will perfect, we render it good, and preserve it so: if out of our power, 'tis to us, neither Good, nor Ill; and consequently, we neither ought to seek nor avoid it. To approve, at­tempt, desire, and shun, and (in word) all our actions are in our own Power; for the will hath po­wer, and authority to govern, and steer them by Reason to the place where they ought to arrive for our good; and to dispose our opinions [Page 23] to consent only to what they ought, and to that which stands examined by Sence and Reason; to adhere to things evidently true, to suspend in what is doubtful, to reject what is false; and so to govern the desire, that it only pursue what is natural, and only fly the contrary. Out of our power are our Bodyes, Estates, Reputations; and (in a word) all that depend not on the Will; and these, after what manner so ever they arrive, are never contrary to Nature; because, happening either by the universal and continual order of things, and ordinary succession of Causes, we ought not to think them strange; or if they happen by a particular Providence that compels them, we ought to know, that Na­ture hath subjected us to it: More­over, that she hath given us a po­wer in the Soul to comply with, and make good use of whatever may happen to us from without, shews, that she hath not only made [Page 24] us fit for any thing, but for all: insomuch, as we ought not to co­vet, or eschew any thing; as well, because it is a foolish and vain affe­ction to will what a man cannot do, as because in what manner so­ever it can happen to us, it may turn to our good, and may be the sub­ject of worthy and honourable acti­ons. Now, if we can prevail with our selves not to desire, or fly what is out of our reach, but with a tem­perate affection, entertain what ac­cidents shall happen; we shall be clear of all perturbation, free, and happy; never frustrate in any de­sign, never resisted in any enter­prize; we shall hate no man, com­plain of no man, fear no man, be angry with no man, for, no man can do us harm: If (on the con­trary) we avoid, or pursue what is beyond our reach, we often stray from what we hope and wish, pre­cipitate our selves into what we ab­hor, and fall into trouble and affli­ction. [Page 25] There is no man so ill ad­vised as not to confess, that it is better to have, than be deprived of what he desires; to be free from passion, than to be afflicted with it: who then shall deny this Rule to be sound and natural, by which we obtain whatever we desire, desiring nothing but what we can, and by which we afflict not our selves, but placing Good, or Ill in our own power, give our selves the One, and repell the other at our own choice? In all things, then, that are presented to us, (that we be not afflicted, or transported) we must immediately consider, whether they be in our power, or no; if they be, let us preserve a moderate will to guide, and conduct them to their true and natural use, and in so doing we shall obtain our good: If they be not, let us not disturb our selves, but have this necessary caution [Page 26] about us: This thing concerns me not, that is to say, tis neither my good, nor ill; and consequently, I ought not to seek, or shun it; but however it shall happen, fit my self to it, and apply it to the best use I can: If we find our selves transported beyond this, and that some of the above named Passions mutiny within us, by the object of things out of our Power, let us weigh the Nature of the thing presented, and to what end tis gi­ven us; Then, examine what effects can derive from the passion to which we begin to encline; and, in the next place seek out the opposite Vertue, and that power Nature hath given us to rule over it. For as Passion enters into us from without, and there enters with the Image of the offered Sub­ject, so hath Nature man'd us within, against this assault, with a power to resist it, if we will use it [Page 27] to our defence: To fortifie which power, let us have some fair pre­cepts, and short sentences concern­ing every Passion, by which we may sheild our Reason, and stop (as with a Trench) the first precipitate motions of the Soul, that would storm it; To render which Pre­cepts more strong, and hard to un­dermine, let us Garrison them with the beautiful Examples of such as have generously behaved them­selves in the like Occasions; for the example of Vertue in others, en­gages our own, and their Glory provokes us to Imitation: If any subject then, for the delight of the Body, present it self; (as luxuriant and delicate meats) as soon as we perceive our selves moved, let us call to mind, that they are not of the things in our Power, and con­sequently, neither our Good, nor Ill; but things indifferent, that Nature hath given for our nourish­ment, [Page 28] and of which the moderate use supports, and renders the Body a proper and fit instrument to the mind; of which (on the Contrary) the Riot and Excess, produce great and malignat maladies, natural corrections of intemperance: If once we give reins to the Appetite, to follow plenty and delicacy, we shall be in perpetual trouble; the minde will become slave to the Bo­dy, and we shall finde that we only live to eat. We must then allay this pleasure by a moderate use; and learn to know, that so­briety preserves the Body sound, and the Intellect entire: Let us then prescribe our selves this Rule; to use our meat for the necessity of nourishment, and not to accustome our selves to delicates; least being deprived of them, our bodies be­come indisposed, and our spirits af­flicted: but (on the contrary) to make use of plain and grosser [Page 29] meats, as well because they make us more strong and healthful, as because they are easie to be found; and tis a favour, we are obliged to thank Nature for, that she hath made the things necessary for life, easie to finde; and that those which are hard to get, are not necessary to us. Truly, I admire the saying of Epicurus, (though I could wish it had come from anothers mouth, that so generous a saying might not have been soyled by the Essemina­cy of his other opinions) My heart (sayes he) is extasied with delight, and my Body springs with joy, that content with bread and water, I despise all other dainties: If Epi­curus be so exalted, what should the Stoicks do? Ought they not to honour and reverence sobriety as the foundation of all other Vertues, and that which strangles Vices in their Cradle, and suffocates them in their seed? The Curii, and Fabricii [Page 30] have obtained famous victories: but none so celebrated as their Fru­gality: well did their acts in arms, for a time, secure the Roman State from the forraign Enemy; but their sobriety hath been a Law, in which they have moulded the minds and courages of them, who since have subdued all the world: the Figs and Carrots, which they preferred above the Samnites trea­sure, have proved of a better taste to posterity, than the delicates of Apicius in his time. The same rea­sons may serve to excess in Clothes, and Buildings, and such things as only respect the Bodies use; for, if we moderate not the Content we there seek, by natural necessity, opinion will precipitate us where we shall neither find bottom nor shore: For example, we shall make our shoes of Velvet, next of Tissue, and at the last of Embroidery with Pearl and Diamonds; we shall [Page 31] build our houses of Marble, then of Jasper and Porphyry; Let us, in this, observe this Rule, that our Clothes be sufficient to defend us from heat, and cold; our Houses from winde and rain, without ex­pecting any more from them; but, if we find any thing we expect not, indifferently behave our selves. It should seem, the Reason hath more ado to defend it self from the plea­sure we take in the sight and fruiti­on of beautiful things, than of these we lately mentioned; and that what bears in the face the bounty of Nature, printed in a rare and excellent Beauty, hath some legiti­mate power over us; so that turn­ing our eyes towards it, it there (in spite of us) turns and subjects our affections: But we should also remember tis a thing without us; a Grace Nature hath bestowed on them that have it, not on us; a thing, whose use, as soon, turns to [Page 32] Ill, as Good; and, above all, that it is but a flower that daily withers, and but the Colour of a fading bo­dy: If you suffer your selves to be transported with this Passion, what will you then be? no more your selves: the body shall suffer a thou­sand pains in seeking your pleasure, and the minde a thousand hells in serving your delight, when this desire encreasing, shall become love, this love encreasing shall be­come fury: Let us then fortifie our selves against this Passion and take heed we fall not entangled with these baits: By how much this Passion wantons with us, by so much we ought to suspect her, and be, in good time, advised, that she would not embrace but to strangle us: propose licence and liberty, but to subject us; feeds us not with honey, but to glut us with gall, and present us a minutes pleasure with everlasting repentance. Let us [Page 33] therefore so compose our minds, as, that acknowledging in beauty the delicate hand of Nature, we should so prize it as we do the Sun and Moon for its Excellence: But if the Law allow us a more particular fruition, let it be to the end Nature desires, without losing the use of Reason, which should alwaies com­mand in all things: and remember, that the immoderate use of this pleasure consumes the Body, softens the Soul and debilitates the Spirits: Let us not use it, if we can abstain, before Marriage: for besides the defacing of youthful modesty, it takes way those sweets of Marri­age they find who never used it be­fore (which is the Cement of con­jugal friendship) and nourishes in us a licence to empty and unbridled lust; but, above all, let us never do any base thing to obtain this Plea­sure, but summon before us the in­conveniences many have proved [Page 34] who have surrendered themselves unto it; of which some have em­bezled their estates, others lost their lives, others their understand­ings: and (on the contrary) call to mind, how much greater a conquest it is to overcome sensuality, than possess it; and that the continency of Alexander hath proved of a bet­ter reputation to Posterity, than the beautiful and excellent faces of the wife and daughters of Darius. Cleopatra's eyes triumphed over Cae­sar, and Anthony; and those of Au­gustus over Cleopatra: and though this kind of pleasure may be accom­panied with a certain itch that takes the Body, and, in that, ap­pears something natural; Yet the thirst of Riches and Honour, and the delight we took in their posses­sion, hath no other root than Opini­on. I know not who hath thus abused us by the imposition of names, by calling that Good, which [Page 35] depends not upon us; but he hath fastened our happiness to a rotten Cable, and Anchored our felicity in a quicksand: For what is there in this world so uncertain and in­constant, as the Possession of such Goods as go and come, pass and slide away like a torrent? like a torrent they come with a rushing noise, are full of violence and trou­ble; their entrance is offensive, they asswage in a minute; and when they are fallen away, nothing but mud in the bottom, remains. O Riches! could we as well see the rust of afflictions that you breed in the hearts of men, as the beauty and splendour of your Gold and Silver, you would then be as much hated, as you are now beloved: and those that love you, have only this ver­tue, to conceal their affliction, that they may not discover their shame; but if their Saciety had leave to complain, how could fortune an­swer [Page 36] all the Objections made by so many, to whom she hath given so many mischiefs, under the title of goods? sure by no other excuse than this, she only gave them to such as were greedy of them. Let us under­stand then Riches for such as they are; for present things Fortune on­ly lends us for Goods only fami­liar with wicked men; for Goods that are only so when they have a vertuous disposer; for Goods that often pervert good, but never cor­rect ill manners; for Goods with­out which many wise men have spun out a happy life; and for Goods with which so many wicked men have fallen under an unfortu­nate Death. Now let us know what gives us this unruly desire of having. 'Tis a Gangrene in the soul, that with a poysonous heat consumes our natural affections to supply their room with virulent hu­mours; which are no sooner lodg­ed [Page 37] in the heart than that the ho­nest and natural affection we ow to our Parents, to our Friends, and to our selves, flyes from us; all things, compared to Profit, are of no value with us; and, lastly, for these Goods, we neglect our selves, our Bodies, and our minds; and, with the Proverb, Sell the horse to buy hay: Nature in the Creation of Gold seems to have presaged the misery of her Lovers, by making the place where it grows barren of hearbs, plants and flowers, or other things of use; intimating thereby, that, in the minds where the desire of this mettle shall take birth, no sparks of honour or vertue shall remain. Let us then banish far from us this furious desire, and leaving the sottish oppinion of the vulgar, (who weigh our good in a Gold­smiths ballance) follow the advice of Nature, who measures it by the Ell of Necessity: she will inform [Page 38] us, that good no more proceeds from Riches, than the warmth we feel from our clothes, which breathing from our selves is retain­ed by them; what evaporates not to them remains in our selves; and though Fortune clip the wings of Vertue, she shall suffer no decrease; but, having less motion, enjoy more repose and satisfaction. Some there are who would corrupt our peace with soft opinions, and harness our endeavours to the acquisition of wealth; perswading, that if we lay not up a stock of Riches, we shall have no power to help our friends or Country: but let us wisely An­swer, that every one ought to serve the Republick of his own Trade; that of the Philosopher, is to ren­der Citizens modest and obedient; which done, hath he not obliged his friends and Country? moreover, I will say, point me out an honest way of enriching my self, and I am sit to [Page 39] take it: for, as I am not Covetous of wealth, I abhor it not; but if you cannot so direct me, why do you press me to an unlawful Course? Let us learn to seek, without passi­on, the thing that nature desires; and we shall find that Fortune can never deprive us of it: the true and nearest way to enrich a mans self, is to despise Riches: to be rich, is not to encrease our substance, but to lessen our desires; to be Con­tent, is to be rich; and this Riches any man, that will, may give him­self: So Bias made himself rich, abandoning the Goods (which by composition with the enemy) he was permitted to carry away, and saying, he carryed all his Goods with him, which was his Vertue: so, Diogenes not only became weal­thy, but greater than Alexander, when he refused his money, and, in­stead of that, only desired him to remove from betwixt him and his [Page 40] Sun: and it is almost the same case with them that offer us the Goods of Fortune, for they take from us those of Nature; and this we evi­dently see in such as suffer them­selves to be allured by the thing we call Honour, and carried away by the wind of Ambition; who soon find, they have nothing but Clouds of smoak, instead of the Suns brightness.

True Honour is the report of a good and vertuous Action, issuing from the Conscience into the Dis­covery of the People with whom we live; and which (by a reflecti­on in our selves) gives us a testimo­ny of what others believe of us, and to the mind becomes a great satis­faction. Now this depends upon our selves: and nature hath so al­layed this Good to us, that when or how oft soever we will, we have it; which if we abandon, we embrace the shadow for the body, and tye [Page 41] the peace of our minds to vulgar opinion; we voluntarily renounce our own liberty to follow the Pas­sions of others, compell our selves ossensively to our selves, to please our lookers on; our affections are hung upon anothers Eyes, and we love vertue no longer, than she affects the vulgar: if we do good, 'tis not for the love of Vertue, but our vain-glory and honour: we are like pierced Hogsheads, whence nothing is to be drawn without vent. But what bounds this Pas­sion? doth age mature it? no; do dignities satisfie it? no; 'Tis a Gulf without bottom, or shore; the va­cuum, Philosophers have not yet found out in Nature; and a fire, augmented by the supply of fewel, Such as would flatter Ambition, would have her thought to serve as a step to vertue because (say they) for Ambition we quit the other vices; and, at the last, Am­bition [Page 42] it self, for the love of vertue: but if Ambition cloak the other vices, she will not dismiss them for that consideration, but rather rake them for a while under the decei­ving embers of a malitious dissimu­lation, in hope to fire them on a sudden when they have got autho­rity enough to make them rule in Publick, without fear of punish­ment. Serpents lose not their ve­nome by being benummed in the cold; nor ambitious men, their vices, by disguising them in a cold dissimulation; but arrived at their pitch, make themselves felt for what they are: and though Ambi­tion should quit all other vices, yet would she never forsake her self; just only in this, that she is suffici­ent for her own punishment, and commits her self to the rack. Ixion's wheel is the motion of desires, which turn and return continually from above to below, allowing no [Page 43] repose to the mind. Let us then fix our Souls against this trouble­some motion, that so disturbs our peace; and so moderate our affe­ctions, that the luster of Honour dazle not our Reason; and plant our minds with good resolutions for a breast-work against the as­saults of Ambition: Let us first sa­tisfie our selves that there is no true honour in the world, but that of Vertue; and that Vertue desires no larger, nor more eminent Thea­ter to present her self to mens Eyes upon, than her own conscience. The higher the Sun is got, the less shadow he casts; and the greater vertue is, the less glory it seeks: Glory like a shadow, pursues such as fly it, and flyes such as pursue it. Let us imagine we come into the world, as into a Comedy where we are not to choose the Person we must represent, but perform well the part that is given us. If the [Page 44] Poet present us in the person of a King, we must discharge it like a King; if of a Porter, like a Porter; for there is honour in well perform­ing the one and the other in their kind; and disgrace in doing either ill. We must use honours as we do dishes at a Feast, where we only make bold with such as are placed near unto us, without reaching over the Table and snatching them from the entertainers hands: If the te­stimony of our Vertue, the benefit of our Country, or the favour of our Friends, present us a charge of which we are capable, let us ac­cept it modestly, and exercise it saithfully, supposing, that God hath placed us Centinels, to the end that others should rest secure under our care, and expect no other recom­pence of our labours, than the con­science of well-doing; and rather desire, to have that testimony gra­ven in the hearts of our Citizens, [Page 45] than in the fronts of Publick Edi­fices. 'Tis sometimes a greater ho­nour to fail of the reward of merit, than to receive it; 'Tis more ho­nourable for me (sayes Cato) that every one should ask, why my sta­tue is not erected in the Palace, than why it is. To be short, let us take it for a Maxime that the fruit of worthy Actions, is, to have done them; and that vertue, out of her self, can find no recompence wor­thy of her; without doubt Ambi­tion is a ravishing Passion, easily gliding into the most generous minds, but making an unwilling re­treat: we think we ought to em­brace good: and amongst the things we call Good, we have the highest esteem of Honour, which makes us so violently pursue it: But assure your selves, that the other Passions, bred in us by the object of an appa­rent Ill we fly and abhor, sink deeper into the heart, and rise [Page 46] thence with more difficulty; as fear, that is, the apprehension of an ill to come, which continually possesses the brain, and fore-runs the threat­ned mishaps of Fortune. And cer­tainly, Fear is one of the rudest in­struments with which Opinion tor­ments us: for, as she can effect no­thing but by deceiving and se­ducing us, and that we better dis­cern in things present, than to come, she serves her turn by the future, there shrowds her self, as in a dark and obscure place, and chooses a season, like Thieves in the night, to assault us, without being known; then, she torments us with vizards of ills that have only a sim­ple possibility, and nothing in them­selves to hurt us, but our own ap­prehensions, which render to us ill, what is not, and extract affliction even from our Good it self. How many do we daily see, who, by fear­ing to be miserable, become so, and [Page 47] turn their vain fears into certain miseries? how many have lost their friends by diffidence, and how ma­ny fallen sick by conceit? so that we may say of Fear, 'its an over­charging weight that bows us to fall into what we avoid the most we can. Let us banish Fear, and we banish mischance, at least we feel it not before it touch us, and then it shall never be so trouble­some as to make us fear it. If it were in our choice to be proof against any one Passion, there is none (in my opinion) we ought sooner to shun than Fear; because of the rest, the affliction lasts no longer than the Cause; but Fear paints its self indifferently from what is, and from what is not; from what may be, and will not; and even from what cannot be at all: O ingenious Passion! that from an imaginary ill, extracts a true and lively Grief! like the Painter Par­rhasius, [Page 48] who tormented his hindes, the better, by them, to express the miserable and sorrowful Postures of fabulous Prometheus. Why are we so ambitious in our ills, as to forerun, and outstrip them by ima­gination! Let us have the patience to expect them, and, possibly, they may not reach us; for a thousand accidents, not to be foreseen, may divert the blow we fear: our fears are as oft deceived as our hopes. And what is it we fear? a thing within our power? no, for then we may help it; is it then a thing out of our power? and why, because it is no ill? In what then can this fear avail us, but in a voluntary afflicti­on? on the contrary, if we can con­firm our minds against this Passion, we shall remedy many things our surprize and amazement make worse, and throw upon us. Among the many dangerous effects of Fear, I esteem it the most pernicious, that [Page 49] she, commonly, makes us hate the thing we fear; and Hatred is a pee­vish Passion that strangely afflicts us. Do but observe, when we once conceive a hatred against any one thing, how this affection nourishes it self within us, how it grows up with­out planting, or watering, making us to abhor the thing we hate. And what do we hate? truly nothing we ought to hate; for if there be any thing to be hated in this world, it is Hatred it self, and such other Passi­ons as are contrary to the nature of what should govern in us. There is nothing in this world, of ill for us, but this; we hate Men, and business, either because we fear ill, or think we have received it; or because the nature of our Sences hath a kind of contrariety and anti-passion to the hated thing. What can more tor­ment us than this? by such a Passi­on, we give those we hate a power to vex and afflict us: the Sight stirs [Page 50] up our Sences, the remembrance provokes the mind, and sleeping and waking we present it to our selves, with a spite and anxiety, that put us beside our selves, tear and gall the heart; and by this means we take into our bosomes the effects of an ill we wish to another. Let us then shut the door of the soul a­gainst this tormenting Passion, and (that we may take from it all pre­tence of entring into us, by the dis­like of things presented) propose to our selves in good time a true rule; which is, that all things have two handles by which they are to be ta­ken; if we grasp them by the one, they appear to us heavy and into­lerable; if by the other, light and easie to be borne. Nature may say to us, as the Philosopher did to his Disciples, What I present you with the right hand, you receive with the left; you alwayes choose the worst; what is good you leave, and [Page 51] only take what is ill. For example, you have a neighbour with whom you are in suit; when you would think of this Neighbour, you call to mind your Process, blame and curse him upon this occasion; and this is the wrong handle; take him by the other, and remember that he is a Man as you are; that God hath linked you together in affection by the resemblance of your Nature; that he is your fellow-Citizen, free to the same Laws, the same Temples, the same Altars, the same Sacrifices; that you are Neighbours obliged by charity to help and assist one an­other; and will not then so many subjects of good will extinguish one little spark of Hatred? you have a brother hath offended you; when you think of him, you think of him as of your offender, and not as of him conceived in the same womb, nourished with the same milk, brought up under the same roof, [Page 52] and that ought to be the half of you: Take then things by the right handle, and we shall find some­thing to love in every thing we hate: For there is nothing in the world that may not be for the good of man. If there be any thing of vice in the person we hate, 'tis that vitious Persons ill and none of ours; and if Peradventure he ossend us, we have more reason to lament, than hate him, for he is the first of­fended; and receives the first and greatest disadvantage, because in this he loses the use of Reason; and what greater loss can a man sustain? Let us then in such accidents, con­vert Hatred into Pitty, and endea­vour to render such as would hate us, worthy to be beloved them­selves: So Lycurgus, when they had abandoned to his revenge him who had put out his eye, took him home, and the punishment he inflicted, was sedulous instructions to vertue; af­ter [Page 53] which, the Offender being re­stored to his People, was by them from a rash and injurious, found be­come a good, honest and modest Citizen. As we fly Hatred, so we ought to avoid Envy, Sisters of the same complexion and shape, and whose effects are equally pernitious: For Envy stirs up in us a pining at the good another doth possess; that gnaws the heart to our continual torment. Certainly a miserable Pas­sion; and such a one, whose cruelty all the Racks of the most ingenious and inventive Tyrants have never out-done: for since she turns the good of another to her own Ill, what end can she have of her affli­ction, when her ills and the good of others are together chained to her torture? Let us fly it like a Savage beast, that would gore our hearts, and rob us of the enjoyment of what Good soever may happen to us: for whilst the Envious, pining, [Page 54] look awry at the good of another, they neglect and lose the pleasure of their own. But to lessen this Envy, if we well consider what we esteem Good, and what we envy in others, we shall find, that taken all toge­ther, there is nothing we would wish our own: For I perceive, that for the most part we envy men their Wealth, Honours and Favour; when we should refuse any man that would offer us the same at the same rate: to purchase which you must flatter, submit to affronts and inju­ries, and lose your liberty; for a man hath nothing for nothing in this world. You pretend to Honour and Vertue, which are not to be pur­chased, but by the loss of such other things as are acquired by a shameful patience. Riches, Dignities and Fa­vour are only conferred upon such as comply, and conform themselves to anothers Passion: This is the law, at least the custom of the world, [Page 55] and was so before you were born; why then should it trouble you to see it observed? Such a one sells his liberty for an Estate or Office; why do you envy him? you that would not make sale of yours, could be content to have the cloth and the money, and receive the exchange he makes of his liberty, preserving your own: which is against common equity; either choose the merchan­dize or the price: and let us take heed (if we desire any peace in this life) of repining at what we esteem anothers Good: If it be a true Good befaln him, we should rejoyce, for we ought to desire the good of one another: To be pleased with ano­thers good, is to increase our own. The same Rule we ought to observe in Jealousie; for that hath a resem­blance to Envy, both in Nature and effect; only Envy seems but to con­sider Good in what befalls another, and Jealousie in what we our selves [Page 56] possess, and in which we doubt an­other hath a share. This is a fond and foolish passion; the Gall that corrupts the honey of this life; which usually crowds her self into the sweetest and most delightful actions, rendring them so sowre and bitter as nothing more; she turns Love into Hatred, respect into dis­dain, and assurance into mistrust. Therefore make accompt, that whosoever shall live jealous, shall live miserable. The only way to avoid it, is to render a mans self worthy of the thing he desires; for Jealousie is nothing but a mans dif­fidence of himself, and a testimony of little merit; It was in my opini­on a generous answer of the Em­peror Aurelius to Faustinus, who asked him what he would do, if Cassius who fought against him, should win the battail? I serve not the Gods sayes he, so ill, that they should reward me with so great a [Page 57] misfortune. Let him that fears to lose an interest in another, say the same, I honour not his friendship so little; that he should withdraw it from me. The confidence of a mans own desert, is a great engagement to anothers will; for who pursues any thing vertuously, is glad of a Com­panion in his adventure, that may serve to the relief and renown of his merit: Imbecillity only fears the en­counter; because she thinks that contending with another, her own imperfection may be sooner seen. Who would run alone to the Olym­pick games? take away Emulation, and you take away glory, and the Spur of vertue. 'Tis of great con­sequence, that all things that are in others even serve us to Good or Ill, according as we are disposed to re­ceive and use them. Anothers good gives us jealousie, and anothers ill affects us with pitty, and sometimes to such a proportion, as puts us be­side [Page 58] our selves, and deprives us of judgement: whether it be by a secret consent that we share one anothers ills, or that we fear our selves what is already happened to our Neighbour; whatsoever it is, we sigh and suffer with him; and it is good to do so upon every occasion the better to awake us to their succour and assi­stance; For the Law of Humanity commands it, but not to adopt their griefs, nor with their clouds to over­cast the serenity of our own minds. Now the necessary remedies for this offence that we take at anothers mis­hap and call Pitty, are the same for the other vexation we call Grief, which is the sence of a pretended ill in our selves. For those we call ills, being arrived, immediately (if we take not present heed) flag the Soul to a strange drooping negligence and discouragement, which take from us the use of discourse, and render us unfit for the provision of our private [Page 59] affairs. 'Tis in this condition, that we especially ought to remember our selves of what is in our power, and esteem nothing ill which is not abso­lutely contrary to the disposition of the will: for by this means we shall find that Pleasure and Grief are drawn from the same source, and that it is nothing but the manner of turning the bucket that fills it with the one or the other. We render then all things good or ill by the use; we render Riches ill, when by them we serve our selves to the execution of wicked Passions; we render Poverty good, when we accompany it with Frugality and Patience; we render ease and rest miserable when we be­come slothful and unmanly; and we make pains and labour sweet, when thereby we acquire the reputation of serving our Country. Then let us take all things as we ought, and we may make our advantage of every thing: for there is not an accident [Page 60] can happen for which Nature hath not prepared in us an Habitude to receive and turn it to our content. In all things then that usually afflict us, we must consider two things: first the Nature of the thing happened; secondly, the Nature of what we have within us: and by this means using things according to Nature, we can never be capable of any of­fence. For Vexation being a malady of the Soul, and contrary to Nature, we ought not to permit it a possession in us. That which most offends us is the novelty of the accident; which we evidently perceive in that the most adverse things are rendred sweet by custome. Slaves blubber when they first enter the Gally, but in three months sing at the Oar; and raw Sea-men are pale when they weigh Anchor though in a calm, when Saylors laugh in a storm; Custom is all. But the effects that Custom works in the Vulgar, that meditation [Page 61] supplies in the Philosopher; for by mature consideration we render things familiar and indifferent to us. Let us then exactly weigh the Nature of whatever can offend us, and re­present to our selves the ugliest face of malicious and insupportable mis­haps, as Diseases, Poverty, Banish­ment and Injuries, and examine in all these what is according or contrary to Nature. The Body is diseased, 'tis not we that are offended, but the body; for the offence lessens by the excellency of the things perfection, and Sickness may administer an oc­casion of Patience and Fortitude, much more commendable than Health it self. Where there is a greater occasion of praise, is there less of good? by how much the mind is more considerable than the body, by so much the goods of the one are greater than those of the other. If the body be but the instrument of the mind, who shall complain when the [Page 62] instrument submits it self to the ser­vice of him it is destined to? The body is sick, that's no news; since from its composition it is subject to change. I but the pains of diseases make them­selves felt, and force us to roar out in spite of the best Philosophy we have: They make themselves felt (I con­fess) but only felt as to the body, and only make us cry out if we will; for pain is only intolerable to them that think it so; and there are, who sup­port it in its most bitter pangs. Possi­donius discoursing in Pompey's pre­sence was surprized with a violent fit of the Gout, which in spite of its im­portunity he concealed, pursuing his discourse without any look or action to consess it. Pray tell me what new remedies had this Philosopher found out against this pain? what Sear­cloths? what Unguents against this Gout? only the knowledge of things and the resolution of his mind. To what purpose were the Body ordain­ed [Page 63] to serve the Soul, when if the Soul were afflicted with the bodies accidents, she would become slave to it? and if we ought not to be afflicted with what befalls the body, by how much less at what concerns our goods? For the loss of them is no­thing so sensible as the loss of health: They are both without us, but the body is the nearer of the two. Man comes naked into the world, and naked returns; can he then call any thing his, he neither brings nor can carry away? Earthly goods are like movables in an Inn, which we ought to regard no longer than there we stay. I but (some may object and say) losing them I shall perish for want of food: If this care afflict your mind, you were better desire to starve with a calmness in the Soul, than live rich in perturbation & trouble. You must make account, that the losses you sustain are the price of your peace and satisfaction: if you esteem them [Page 64] so, you can never lose them; if not, you lose both goods and mind at once. Will you know how easie these wounds are to cure? See then the honoured scars of such wounds re­ceived, and closed up by the greatest and most generous Persons, who have laught and given God thanks for such petty losses. Hear Zeno, who said, the winds were favourable that day he suffered shipwrack, for they cast him upon the shore of Philoso­phy where he past the rest of his life in peace and tranquillity, free from civil tempests and the importunate troubles that attend such as are bu­sied in publick affairs. Will you know how losses may be supported? habituate your selves to love things for what they are: if you have an Earthen Platter, esteem it as an Earthen platter that may be broken, and you will not be angry when it is broken. So pass from the least things to the greatest; from the vilest, to [Page 65] them of highest price, and do the same. If you love your Children, love them as men subject to Death; and when they come to dye, you will neither be surprized nor troubled. Opinion oft afflicts us more than the thing it self; and Opinion receives its bulk and stature from the terms we use in accidents that befall us; for we call one thing by the name of another, and fancy such a thing like such a thing: so much do Images and Ideas possess us. Let us then sweeten our terms the best we can: If one of our Children dye, let us not say we have lost, but restored a Child to God that lent him; and so of any other loss. If peradventure we meet an outrage by a wicked person that spoils us of our goods, let us immedi­ately deliberate thus in our selves, How doth that man in himself do me harm by whom God takes back what he had only lent? In the rest, observe what judgement you make [Page 66] of such losses as those you suffer, when they happen to another; and consider how much you in the same condition were moved, when not­withstanding, you should blame, and reproach their complaints: think that the sentence you have passed upon them is a prejudice against your self which you cannot renounce: The judgement we make in anothers cause is alwaies more just than that we make in our own. If our Neigh­bours boy break him a glass, you on­ly say there is a glass broken: if his Son dye, why, he was mortal: why do you not so by your own, without crying, and raging, and accusing gods and men for a thing of course? The thing you foresaw is come to pass, what should amaze you? For my part, I think we foresee as much as we ought, and may so far, as not to be astonished at any thing, princi­pally the things we call injuries; For let us lay before us what have been, [Page 67] are, and ought to be the manners and humours of persons with whom we converse in this world, and we shall soon resolve to suffer much from their indiscretion. The common race of men are so inclined that they de­light in mischief, and only by the dis­dain and oppression of others mea­sure their own greatness; so few are they that delight in well doing. Let us then make account, that which way soever we turn we shall meet some to offend us, and encounter in­juries wherever there are men: But that they surprize us not, let us stand upon our guard expecting their at­tempts. Into what place soever we go, or whatever we undertake, we must consider, how in that place, or that affair we shall be entertained: Will you go to the Baths? consider what you must there expect: One whoops, another pushes, a third da­shes water, a fourth steals a cloak; if we have foreseen, we shall but [Page 68] laugh at these inconveniences when they happen. We make an address to a great Person; expect before hand that he will make us wait; that when we would enter we shall be locked out, and find him so busie as not to be spoke with, or when he is, that we shall be scornfully received, and we shall neither wonder nor be angry when all this shall happen.

There is yet another thing that serves much for the moderation of offences; which is, when we our selves excuse the Person offending by a presumption they might casually commit them: for example, if you call your servant, and he answer not, you must suppose, he did not hear you; he hath not been where you commanded him, suppose he had not leisure and the like: but chiefly in matters of injury, we should serve our selves with the advantage they present: For injuries are like poy­sonous plants; of which none are so [Page 69] malignant, which by allayes and pro­per application may not be made of wholesome use. From injuries we have at the least two kinds of advan­tage; one that we know the offen­ders to avoid them; the other, that they discover to us our own weak­ness, where we are to be assaulted, that we may fortifie that place: in­somuch, that when you meet a Per­son that depraves you, he is to be concluded a malicious fellow unca­pable of trust: then examine whether the report he blemishes you with all be true wholly or in part, and cor­rect that fault lest you give occasion to another for the same or a worse character. What fairer revenge can a man take of his Enemy, than to con­vert his injuries to his own advan­tage? But the best protection, and securest Rampire we can have against such accidents, is this deter­mination; that we can receive no harm but by our selves; and that we [Page 70] are invulnerable whilst our Reason stands in her true condition. And therefore let us say with Socrates, Anitus and Melitus may put me to death, but they can never do me harm. Whoever is fortified against humane injuries, is prepared for ba­nishment, which usually happens to the most vertuous by the injury of malevolent men: but since it is a face of ill with which Opinion stupifies the mind, and helps to contract this acrimony of perturbation and sor­row, let us consider it apart, and ex­amine, if it be so troublesome at hand as it appears at distance. Who tells us, that we are born to live only in one place? what greater displeasure can we receive than to be so confin'd? Seek throughout all the Cities of the world, number the Inhabitants, how many are Naturals of each place, and you will find, that the greater part of men are voluntarily banished their own clime. All the world is a [Page 71] wise mans Country, or rather no one spot of earth, any mans Heaven, whi­ther he aspires, is his Country; only he takes a Pilgrimage here below, and stayes in Cities, and Provinces, as in an Inn; ten or twelve leagues of earth bound our sight; but the face of the vast Heaven illustrated with so many beautiful stars, disco­vers it self wholly to us by a continu­ed revolution. Why should we then with so much reluctancy part with the little place of our birth? it was in our Mothers choice, to lye-in else­where, and make us change our Country: therefore considering the chance of being born here, or there, the parting with this or that place should not so much concern us. Pom­pey perceiving the faint courages of his Romans at the battail of Pharsa­lia, who had their eyes and minds retreated to the walls of Rome, be­wailing their houses, and sighing, as if banished their Country; Friends, [Page 72] said he, a good mans Country is the place of his liberty. Rutilius made that appear to Sylla, who being call­ed back from exile, would never re­turn to Rome, but had rather suffer the wildness and solitude of a strange Island, than the face of a Tyrant in his native City. All Climats nourish men, all Lands bear them kindred; for Nature hath allyed us All in Charity and blood. Every soil pro­duces friends to vertue, who con­tracts them of her self. What have we then to bewail in shifting our abode? the same Heaven, the same Elements remain: by Banishment we lose nothing, if the courage be pre­served entire. If you could resolve upon what I have proposed for the eschewing these first Passions, it were enough; and I should not need a further discourse to prepare you for the rest: for if you never receive in­to you such as take birth in the Con­cupiscible, you shall never be attach­ed [Page 73] by such as are formed in the Ira­scible part; for as much as these, which are Hope and Despair, Fear and Anger, swell and move not in the Heart till after Desire and Vex­ation are formed in us; As the first we mentioned take birth by the ap­plication of the object, and the Opi­nion we have, that it is favourable to us, or adverse; so the second de­rive from the consideration, and di­ligent search the Soul makes for the means she hath to obtain, or avoid what she desires or shuns. It is no other than a motion as it were of the Soul out of her self, made by the re­inforcement of the first Passion; and therefore like a fire, which the more it is kindled is the harder to be quenched: For they immediately possess themselves of the greatest part of the Soul, and give a shrewd shock to her strongest powers. Now to secure us, let us know the most troublesome accidents by their [Page 74] Names and Liveries. For the first which is hope, sweetly fanning our fond desires, kindles in our minds a fire full of thick smoak that choaks the understanding, carryes away our thoughts, hangs them in the clouds, deprives us of judgement and makes us dream waking; whilst our hopes continue, we never part with our desires. On the contrary, when Despair is lodged within us, it doth so torment our minds with the Opi­nion that we cannot obtain what we desire, that all must give place to it, and we must lose all the rest for the love of that we think we shall never obtain. This is a Passi­on like that in little Children, who in pett when one of their Shettle­cocks is taken away, throw the rest in the fire: 'Tis a Passion angry with her self, and that from her self exacts the pennance of her own mis­fortune. The way to secure us from such Passions, is to subdue our de­sires [Page 75] in their infancy; if they be ill, not to permit them to arrive at a greater pitch; if good, to moderate and mould them into a sweet and quiet affection without expecting from the future a greater favour than the nature of the thing and the inconstancy of Fortune will permit; alwaies ballancing what we hope for with what we fear: for a wise man ought to live no more in hope than fear; nor put it into the power of Event, to take any thing from, or add any thing to his felicity. Nei­ther ought a man to despair of any thing, as well because his desires should be bounded by his power, as because the uncertainty of things equally exalts the desperate, and overthrows the hopeful.

For what concerns Fear, which is a violent alarm, that makes the Soul retire into, and war with her self, that she cannot see the means to avoid the present Perill; 'Tis a dan­gerous [Page 76] Passion, for besides the ter­rour it brings, it seizes us with such an astonishment as deprives us of our discourse, and even sence it self; our eyes are open and see not; Men speak to us, and we observe not; but would fly, and we cannot go; It is indeed begot by a certain disposition in Nature, but much advanced by the delicacy of Education: For not having from our youth been brought up to pains and labour, we appre­hend things without all reason. To arm our selves therefore against them, we must have recourse to Pru­dence, by whose instruction we shall know the nature of things, in which we shall sinde nothing that ought to amaze us. Let us pull from them the vizard of Opinion, and we shall discover Nature throughout pure and friendly to us, and withall inure our selves beforehand to what may terrifie us; present to our selves the most dreadful dangers into which [Page 77] we may fall, and out of a gayetie of heart, sometimes tempt hazards to essay our Courage. To forerun mis­adventure, is to disarm Fortune; and 'tis much more casie for us to resist, when we assault her, than when we only defend; for we have then lei­sure to occoultre our selves, we take our best advantage and provide for our retreat; whereas when she as­saults she surprizes and takes us in what posture she will. We must then in assaulting, learn to defend, and of­ten give our selves false alarms, pro­pose to our selves the dangers many Great Persons have run through; and call to mind, how some have avoided the greatest by a noble se­curity, when others have perished in the least for want of resolution. But above all, we must dispose our selves from the apprehension of Death, even when it presents it self; for that is the common object that disturbs the understanding, deprives us of [Page 78] judgement, makes us abandon all office and duty, and forget our selves. O could we make this Con­quest of our selves, Death it self would not astonish us, and we should then be happy! In this encounter, especially Opinion bandies with Reason to fright it from us with the Vizard of Death: and though there be but one death in this world, pre­sents that One in infinite shapes to our Imagination. Death certainly hath nothing of formidable in it, but we have sent forth cowardly and corrupt spies to discover it, who re­port not to us what they have seen, but what they have heard and fear: We rely upon the Vulgar inconsi­deration that delivers it in the qua­lity of a great evil; and distrust Philosophy, which informs us that it is the door of life. Let us believe So­crates and we shall no longer fear it; Let us believe Cato, and we shall pre­vent it; Let us believe Arria the [Page 79] wife of Petus dying to bear her hus­band company, that their loves being united by so sacred and chast a tye, might suffer no separation, who after the first stab in her own bosome, Petus, said she, it hurts me not, de­claring thereby to the true under­stander, that Death is no Ill, but the end of all theirs that dye. How should it be ill since it is natural, or grievous since tis common? The contempt of Death is the true and living Source of all worthy and ge­nerous actions; thence are derived the brave and free sayings of Vertue, pronounced in the voyces of so many honourable Persons. 'Twas this spi­rit that possessed Demetrius, when he answered Nero who threatned his death, Nature will do as much for thee. This was the ground work of the invincible resolution of Helvidi­us Priscus against Vespasian: Vespasian commanded him to absent himself from the Senate, who answered, [Page 80] That it was in his power to cut him off from the number of Senators; but whilst he continued one, he would appear in the Senate: He sent him then word, if he came, to hold his peace; Let no man then said he, ask my opinion: I but sayes the Em­perour, I must consult him in Ho­nour; then replyed Helvidius, I must answer in Conscience: If thou dost, I will put thee to death; Why, an­swered the other, did I ever tell you I was immortal? you may do what you will, and I will do what I ought; it is in your power to make me dye, and in mine to dye constantly. A ge­nerous saying, and worthy the ears of all such as are obliged to defend Justice and Reason against Violence and Oppression! O lively Image of Constancy! Thou art a brave and illustrious example to all that shall succeed thee. Whosoever shall set themselves to imitate the lives of such Persons, shall never have a heart [Page 81] surprized with apprehension, but rather with an unconquered spirit run through flames of fire to Vertue and Honour. But avoiding Fear we must take heed of falling into An­ger, which is opposite to it, and takes up the other extremity: For where­as Fear retires us into, Anger crowds us out of our selves, and seeking means to repell the mischance that threatens, or hath already attached us, makes the blood boil in the heart, and raises surious vapours in the mind, which hud-wink and precipi­tate us to whatsoever may satisfie the thirst of vengeance. That which most tickles us in this Passion is the seem­ing Justice, and that it seems to ex­cuse it self by the malice of another. We ought not however to entertain it; for to commit the correction of an offence to Anger, were to punish Vice by it self. Reason (which should govern) will admit no such officers as execute at their own licence with­out [Page 82] her authority: to her violence is improper, who will (like Nature) do all by the Compass: She conceives that such violent motions only pro­ceed from the imbecillity of such as have them; who like children and old men, trip and run, when they think to walk. But you will say, what! shall Vertue see the insolence of Vice without regret? will you al­low her so little liberty, as not to dare to be angry at wicked men? Vertue will entertain no undecent liberty; she must not be valiant against her self, nor kindle her own affliction at anothers Vice. A wise­man ought as well to support the in­juries of wicked men without An­ger, as their Prosperity without En­vy: He must suffer the temerity of inconsiderate men, with the same Patience that a Physitian doth the injuries of a Phrenetick Patient. There is no greater, nor more pro­fitable wisdome, than to endure ano­thers [Page 83] folly: For otherwise by not enduring it in others, we make it our own: first, we lose our judgement, then offend our selves, and stimu­lated with choler, are thrown head­long into the Ill we shun. This Pas­sion properly resembles great ruines, which break themselves upon that which arrests their fall: she so impe­tuously desires anothers harm, that she neglects the evasion of her own, and beside that she is rash, is usually unjust; for to speak truth, Injury and Revenge are no other, than the same sin under diverse excuses: they both have the same end which is an­others harm. Let us then carefully obstruct its passage into the Soul; and to that purpose, so soon as any thing pigues us, give our selves lei­sure to pause: for, if we can once discover, we shall easily stop the pro­gress of this fever of the mind: Let us consider the indecency of wrath­ful actions; and on the contrary, [Page 84] how graceful sweetness and clemen­cy are; as pleasing to others, as pro­fitable to our selves: They are the Lovers that Court, and attract unto us the hearts and inclinations of mankind. Let us accustom our selves to forgive all the world; and (least the quality of the offence detain us) take it for granted, that the greater the injury is, the more worthy to be pardoned; and that the juster ven­gance is, the more laudable is Cle­mency. But those whom fortune hath seated in a more eminent degree of honour, ought especially to pre­serve their inclinations entire and temperate; for as their actions are more important, their faults are harder to repair: The Heavens pre­sent them every day an Example, and teach them to avoid precipitati­on by Saturn, who though the high­est of all the Planets, is the slowest of motion: They say too of Jupiter that he can of himself dart favoura­ble [Page 85] and propitious bolts, but must have the Counsel & assistance of the twelve gods when he would throw those of danger and vengeance. 'Tis a great accompt, that the great­est of the gods, who of himself can benefit the whole world, can destroy none without solenm deliberation: The wisdom of Jupiter himself is so wary of mistake, that when there is a debate of vengeance, he must call a Council to stay his arm. When then we feel our selves agitated with this Passion, let us have re­course to our friends, and mature our anger by their determination; for whilst we are transported, we do nothing to purpose: Reason is of no more use to us in our Passions, than wings to a bird that is caught by the feet. Wherefore, if we would ren­der the Soul capable of good and laudable actions, we must lift her from earth into a peaccable and tranquil condition; we must con­duct [Page 86] her to a disposition, like that of the upper Region which is never ob­scured by clouds, nor shaken by thunder, but in a perpetual serenity: she must not be darkned by sorrow, nor hurried by wrath; and when she is once settled in this Estate, 'twill be very easie to conveigh her other actions to their proper end, for then she traces Nature step by step, and allies her self by a sweet and temperate affection to the other parts of the world, of which man is as it were the knot that unites Cele­stial and Terrestrial things. The effects of this temperate affection of mans toward the other things of the world are called Offices, that is to say, the duty, and the manner how in this duty he ought to behave himself. To govern which duty, and to inform us of its use, we can have no better a Mistress, than Na­ture her self, who hath established a disposition, and an order through­out [Page 87] by which she hath subjected things to one another, chaining them together by the links of the respect they owe to her, which she hath gra­ven in the foreheads of every of them as Princes, their faces upon coin to distinguish the title and law they ought to be of. Let us then in every thing consider the Order of Nature, and we shall presently know its estimation for how much we ought to take it, and what we ought to return.

Good being the Object of the will of man, where it is most pure, and most entire, ought to be of the greatest value. The chiefest then, and most firm affection ought to be that which knits him to the Author and Principal of all Good. This affection is Piety, by which man re­unites, and consolidates himself to his first cause as to his root, in which, whilst he continues firm and fixed he preserves his perfection; [Page 88] and on the contrary dyes and wi­thers when he quits it; the chief ef­fect of Piety is to teach our selves to know God: for from the knowledge of things proceeds the honour we attribute to them. We must first then believe him to be, that by his Power, Bounty and Wisdome he created the world, and governs it by the same; that his Providence watcheth over all, even the least things: That all things he hath sent us, are for our good, and that our ill proceeds from our selves; for if we call the fortune he sends us, ill, we blasphem against him; because we naturally honour such as do us good, and hate such as do us harm. We must then resolve to obey him, and thankfully receive whatsoever comes from his hand. His know­ledge being most perfect, his power most immense, and his will most cha­ritable, how can we but conclude, that he will send us nothing but [Page 89] what tends to our good? Moreover, whereas we sometimes comprehend not the consequent benefits of what he sends us, we ought ever to hope and conceive, that as the Physitian oft doth things for the bodies health, which at the first may seem harsh (as when he pricks the eye to recover the Patients sight) so God in the conduct of our lives restores us by means that appear troublesome and hurtful, and often penetrates the heart with stabbing afflictions, there­by to enlighten the mind with the radiance of his glory. Under this assurance we ought to commit and submit our selves unto him; alwaies acknowledging, that we come not into this world to command, but to obey, having here found the Laws already established, by which we ought to live: and therefore we should alwayes have in our mouths, as a Rule of wise obedi­ence to the Ordinances of God, [Page 90] these excellent verses of Cleanthes:

My God, conduct me in thy ordered way,
'Ile follow Thee: least from a bless'd Estate
Fawning temptations draw my mind astray
To lose, what I may win, pursuing that.

For what remains, we must neither address our vows or prayers for the impetration of any thing he hath not ordained. For to ask a thing against his Providence, were to cor­rupt the Judge and Governour of the World. The most acceptable prayer we can make to him, and the most profitable for our selves, is, that he will please to contain our affecti­ons pure and holy, and so govern the will, that it ever address it self to Good: the Sacrifice he expects from us, is an innocent life: He de­sires not our goods, but that we [Page 91] should render our selves worthy of His. There is no offering so mean, which to him is not acceptable if presented by hands pure and inno­cent; nor no so rich or sumptuous Sacrifice which will not offend him, if it come from polluted and con­taminated hands. Apollo being asked how he was pleased with the Sacri­fice of an hundred Oxen, made an­swer;

Of Hermion I lik'd the Corn,
Though Offer'd in a homely Urn.

As if he had said, The wise man is the only true Sacrificer of the great God, whose Spirit is his Temple, whose Soul his Image, whose affecti­ons his Offering, whose greatest and most solemn Sacrifice is his Imita­tion: not that you are not to ob­serve the ancient Ceremonies of your Country with a decent mo­deration, void of excess or avarice; [Page 92] but that you must perform them with this opinion; that God will be observed by the Spirit: And there­fore we say, to conclude this dis­course, that the holyest manner, by which we can honour and serve him, is, that after we have set him forth with all the titles, and most magni­ficent Eulogies we can imagine, we constantly believe, and publickly confess, that we have as yet present­ed him nothing worthy of him, but that the defect is in our own impo­tence and infirmity, which can aim at nothing of more dignity. Upon the honour we owe to God, depends the Opinion we ought to have that he is present at all our actions, whe­ther we be prostrate before him, or in conversation among men; where­fore we ought to speak to him as in the hearing of men, and live with men as in the sight of God. But we should (above all) be very religious, when we attest him to the witness [Page 93] o a truth: For the observation of an Oath, is the chiefest part of Piety. An Oath is no other than the image of this universal Law, flowing from the bounty of God, to hold all the parts of the world in their place, and preserve them what they ought to be: 'Tis a band that tyes men toge­ther by consent; 'tis the Guardian of Constancy and Truth; 'tis as it were the knot of civil Society, which is locked and shut by the reverence of the Almighties Sacred Name who overlooks the actions of Mankind. It were (indeed) better (if you could by the testimony of a pure and holy life, win so much belief, that your own word might assure them with whom you have to do) to spare an Oath: but if you cannot avoid it, take heed you use it sober­ly, and as feldom as you can; for the frequent use of any thing what­ever begets misprision: But especi­ally take heed you use it for no [Page 94] other end, than the assertion of a Truth, representing to your selves, that God is seated above, Protector of Faithful, and Avenger of perjur­ed men. Now from the honour due to God the first mover, we must de­scend to that of the heavenly po­wers by him constituted for the go­vernment of the world, in which we must acknowledge an excellence and constancy in Vertue; in their perfection, admire the greatness of their Creator; and respect their function, as an imployment for the conservation and protection of men. Thence we descend to the reverence we owe to them, by whose means (as by Channels selected by God for that purpose) we issue into the world. In which first Sally, we first meet our Native Country, which under a sictitious name, comprehends a true and natural Charity; and to it we reasonably owe more assection than to all other things in this lower [Page 95] world, as she impales the rest we love, and cherish; and which stand firm in her preservation, and on the contrary with her must necessarily perish. From this generous affe­ction, so many eminent actions have taken birth, of such Heroes as have gloriously exposed their lives for the preservation of their Country, forgot their private injuries, for fear of revenging them at the pub­lick expence, and undertaken a vo­luntary and miserable life for the peace and repose of their native soil. You must then daily represent to your selves, that this Clime, which hath produced and nourished you, claims from you in return the Laws of Piety, exacts from you the duty of good and faithful Citizens, and conjures you to all this, by the place of your birth, by the Laws of your City, by the faith of civil Society, and by the safety of your Fathers, Children, Friends and Selves. You [Page 96] must then be more solicitous of your Country than of the world beside, never to prefer your particular in­terest to her Good, nor repell upon her the dangers that only threaten you. Your Country thus served, Parents succeed in the claim of Du­ty: For God having chosen by their means to distribute life, and in some measure rendred them Partners of his Vertue, will also that they share a proportion in his Honour: If God have bestowed them wise and ver­tuous, we ought to esteem them as Gods upon earth, not only appoint­ed for the work of life, but also to bless that life to us by good educati­on and grave instruction; if other­wise they be perverse and wicked, they are notwithstanding our Pa­rents; we ought to bear it; and as they carry that name, serve and assist them with what we only hold of them, that is to say, with our Persons, Goods and Lives. This performed, [Page 97] we do homage to Nature, and ac­knowledge her bounty. From our Parents we descend to our Children; towards whom, although the affe­ction be not so ceremonious, 'tis not­withstanding of the same or a great­er tenderness. For God having dis­posed us together as it were upon a guard in the world, it appears that before we go hence, we ought to de­pute other Ministers of this Sove­raign Power in our place to serve him in this Common Temple. The birth of Children is but ours in part; there are many other things contri­bute to it, but their nature and pre­cept is all our own; which we owe to God, to whom we present them; to our Country, for whose service they were born; and to our selves, who from their good manners, are to expect the support and comfort of our old age. We ought then dili­gently to watch for them, and as much as in us lies solicite their future [Page 98] good. After Children, follow Wives, who united to us by the Law, and entring Society with us under the great endearment of the Posterity they bring, have an eminent and legitimate share in our affection: In their friendship we sweeten the ad­versities of this life: by their cares we lessen our own, and repose under their diligence. We must therefore return them a respect sit to entertain and nourish the respect they bring, and value their good and their peace as persons who are part of our selves. But especially, we ought to assure them that that respect and ho­nour proceeds not from any pride we take in their youth and beauty (least that exalt them to sierceness, and least the sires of our own affecti­ons lighted at such fading things, too soon burn out) but rather from the expectation we have of their sidelity, chast manners, and vertuous care of our common Children: and to esta­blish [Page 99] their assurance, let us shew them that we will admit no separate interest of goods, thoughts or affe­ctions; for in this communion, good­will and friendship have their en­crease; which on the contrary, are dispersed and lost in the diversity of inclinations and designs. This affe­ction passes from our Wives to our Kindred, to whom Nature hath ally'd us, and conveyed with the blood a secret inclination, and good will towards the Persons derived from the same stem; and as they are nearer, this affection is more lively, and obliges us to more vigilant en­deavours of service. To observe then in this (as in all other things) the order Nature hath proposed as the chief ornament of all her works, we must discover the affection we owe to our Kindred according to their place, and as they are nearest in blood, render them all the offices of assistance and service we possibly [Page 100] can. Thus far Nature with her own hand guides our affections: we must now come to the motion vertue gives them, who allies us in Friendship with wise and vertuous persons: and of all the goods that civil Society be­gets, there is none we ought more to cherish and esteem, than the friendship of honest men, as the basis and pillar of our felicity. 'Tis that friendship that sweetens what is bit­ter, and seasons what is sweet, that teaches whom in prosperity to oblige, with whom to rejoyce in our good fortune, who in our affli­ction are sit to comfort and relieve us, in our Youth to teach and in­struct us, in our old age to support us, and who in our flourishing age of man are sit to second and assist us. As the profession of this friendship is pretious, so ought we to make use of our Prudence in acquiring it, such as it ought to be: And first, amongst men we must seek out the [Page 101] most worthy; love and honour them as given by God himself to engage with us in the society of good and laudable actions. We ought to contract them by honest opportuni­ties, and once acquired to preserve them to us by industrious Offices: for all Creatures, and principally men are born with an inclination to love whatever is advantageous to them. The vertuous man notwith­standing, proportions not this bene­fit by the abundance of what we call Goods and Riches, but by the advantage he receives by his Friends, of advancing himself in vertuous qualities: and if it so hap­pen, that we have any contest with our Friends in a share of Goods, Honours, or the like, we ever ought to give place to them, since all these can never be better imployed than in the acquisition of Friends. And there is only one excuse for our withdrawing from them, which is, [Page 102] when they abandon Reason and Philosophy that unites us in that correspondence: And when we do quit them, we must do it with all modesty, not therefore becoming their enemies; but sincerely rip without tearing, and without blam­ing their actions or opinions, seek all means to restore them by Reason, to their deserted duty, fighting them with arguments, which are the sa­cred arms of friendship; and though we lose all hope so to reclaim them, we ought, notwithstanding, never to become their enemies; for though the good man forsake his friends when they forsake their vertue, and renounce his familiarity, and former intimacy, he nevertheless retains for them the charitable affection which ought to be among men, which ob­liges him to wish them well; imi­tating the bounty of God, who loves the good, and yet hates not the wicked: And 'tis a common Pro­verb, [Page 103] The Good man hath no ene­mies, for he hates no man.

These are the degrees betwixt Man and the things that are with­out him. But because it oft falls out, that they draw us to diverse ends, and consequently hold us suspended in doubt and anxiety; we must establish our selves a Rule, by which we must ever prefer the first to the last. An Oath ought to be dear unto us, but we had better vio­late an Oath, than offend God by observing it. Our Parents ought to be had in high reverence; but if their wills be contrary to Right rea­son, and to that which God hath put into us for our better government, we ought rather to abandon them than God and Reason; Our Kindred should be dear to us; but if our Kindred would provoke us to things hurtful to our Parents, we must not consent with them. Our friends have a great power over us, but after [Page 104] our Wives and Children. There are indeed certain particular offices which we owe to persons of less in­terest, rather than to others; to our Neighbours than our Friends, to our Friends than Kindred: but it is or­dinarily in matters of little conse­quence, and where civil society something usurps upon Nature, for the common necessity of Man.

I have thus far represented to you the respect that man owes to things that are without him: it is now time to make him descend into him­self, and into himself to retire his affections, as lines to their Center. The wise man no doubt payes a great respect to himself; and though it be only discovered to his own thoughts, he is nevertheless very wary of doing, or saying any unbe­coming thing. For right Reason (which ought to sway his actions) is to him the same with the severest Judge, and the most rigid Censurer. [Page 105] We must then be very circumspect, as well in publick as in private; so to compose our actions as not to blush at them; and that Nature (according to whose rule we ought to compose our selves) be not vio­lated. Nature hath given us a body as a necessary instrument of life; we must be careful of this body; but only careful as of a thing under the tuition of the mind, to which it owes a regard and not a service; and ought to entertain it as a Prince, not a Tyrant; to nourish, not to make it fat; and to shew that it lives not for it, but cannot here below subsist without it. 'Tis no little ad­dress to an Artificer, that he knows how to prepare his tools; nor no little advantage to a Philosopher, that he can so order his body, as to make it a fit instrument to the exer­cise of vertue. The Body is to be preserved in an estate of health two wayes; by moderate diet, and sea­sonable [Page 106] exercise: for the nature of sublunary things is so gliding, that if we continually repair not what time consumes, by little and little they waste to nothing: we must then assist, and support the body by the use of food; and yet so, as the excess ren­der it not drousie, and indisposed to contemplation; nor the two slender diet, weak and languishing; that neither Luxury soften it, nor negli­gence pollute it. Exercise follows nourishment, though they seem to follow and wheel about one ano­ther; for we exercise and eat; eat and exercise; the one to prepare us for meat, the other to awake Na­ture, and keep the bodies part in motion; and we should so use them, that the body may be the better, and the mind never the worse. We must not follow the exercise of wrastlers, and the like which are incumbred with measures, and observations, and of no other use than to preserve the [Page 107] body in breath, debilitating the Soul and robbing her of her true and na­tural motions; the search of exer­cise for the body, is unworthy a man, since in all places he may finde as much as is necessary for health. The Body thus nourished and exer­cised, is easily modelled to civil and becoming actions; to which we ought to have a regard, and endea­vour, that our looks and motions may by a calm gravity discover a tranquillity in the mind. We must by no means practice affected looks and gestures; neither to simper like a wanton, nor contract the brows like a Philosopher; for as a sweet composedness renders a man venera­ble, so proud and forced austerity renders him ridiculous, and trouble­some. Now, since Speech is the In­terpreter of Looks, we ought with all discreet care to govern and mo­derate that; and the best precept we have for that purpose is silence. [Page 108] To know how to be silent, is a great advantage to speaking well; and to speak well and much, is not the mastery of one and the same man. Silence is the parent of discourse, and the Fountain of Reason, and on the contrary much speaking commits many faults. They that look at any thing curiously, shut one eye, and twinckle with the other, to fit and re-enforce their sight: which teaches us that the sence being darted out­ward, by spreading, becomes weaker and less; so the mind thrown out in words, scattered, and strewed in much conference loses its force and vertue; and on the contrary being bridled, recollects, reinforces, and fits it self with Prudence and Wisdome. The use of speech ought upon occasion to be imployed for the assistance of Truth; to bear its Torch that it may be seen; and on the contrary, to discover and con­fute what is false; to praise what is [Page 109] good, and to blame what is ill. Nei­ther must it be carried on with ve­hemence or contention, for they dis­cover Passion: Neither imployed about what is done at the publick place, or upon the Theater, for that discovers a great and unprofitable leisure: Neither is it hansome to re­peat your own actions, or the for­tunes you have run through, for that discovers Vanity; others take less Pleasure in hearing, than you in telling them: and to speak of ano­ther mans is a slippery path; since it often falls out, that you either commend them without reason, or dispraise them without justice. But above all, take heed of fleering Drollery, for that savours too much of the Buffoon, and lessens our esteem with prudent men: and besides that such jestings are commonly mixed with scurrilous words (which all ought to avoid.) The licence of immodest language succeeds in ef­fects [Page 110] of the same Nature. Your dis­course, if it were possible, should al­wayes benefit the Hearers, be full of good and wise Counsels, serve to guide such as go astray, to Vertue, and turn them from Vice. You must in common discourse, avoid tender and subtle Questions; they are Cre­vices, of which, more are to be picked out than to be eaten; their conclusion is noise; and it often happens with those that love Con­troversie, as with ill stomacks which spue up what they cannot digest. As we desire to be heard when we speak our selves, so we ought to attend others when they speak, without in­terruption. Some there are who consent to every thing another sayes, and some that contradict whatever is said; of which kind, the one is ser­vile, the other indiscreet: We ought to yeild to what is evidently true; to deny what is evidently false; and in doubtful things to suspend our [Page 111] judgement, till we have found some reason to assure us.

Since language and behaviour are commonly formed by Custom and Imitation, we should not mix our selves with people, nor frequent Theaters and Publick places, Feasts, and Balls, for a man contracts much of the Vulgar in all these places: but if we be obliged in honour to be there, we must ever have the mind so fortified, that nothing escape our resolution, which is to be governed as I before have told you. And the better so to fortifie us, we must call to mind the example of wise men; Think how a Socrates or a Zeno would have behaved himself in our place, and their Vertue will prompt us with Examples of well doing. The most profitable instruction that Phi­losophy can prescribe to all your actions, is, that you carefully exa­mine what ought to be the Progress, and the issue of what you under­take, [Page 112] and to measure the proportion betwixt your power and purpose. He that wisely deliberates with himself, arrives at his intended port; but he that lives without Counsel, resembles a thing floating upon a river, which goes not, but is carried, and finally arrives at the Sea, that is to say, a vast and turbulent incertitude. In all our enterprizes, then let us have a fore­sight to what may be the end, consi­der the means we have to achieve that end, and prevent by expectati­on, whatever accident may happen. Will you offer your selves at the Olympick games? Consider first the trouble, that you must live by rule, only eat such meats, at such hours, inure your selves to heat, and cold, anoint, and powder, enter the lists, be hurt; it may be overcome and disgraced; having foreseen all these inconveniences, consider your bodies constitution what you can bear, and as you find your selves fit, engage. [Page 113] Will you profess Philosophy! you must then remember, that you are to suffer much, deny your selves many delights, and with much patience submit to the scorn and reproach of all the world. If you have the cou­rage to endure all this, undertake it; which once undertaken, you are to persevere, and pursue your resoluti­on, as an inviolable Law. For be­side that the mutability in design renders the mind waving, and un­certain, it moreover renders our Persons ridiculous; whereas Con­stancy makes us the admiration, even of them who were our first despisers. Be not therefore astonished at the judgement others make of your acti­ons; but have a care they be such as they ought; neither trouble your selves to conceal them from such as they do not please: if they be ill, you ought not do it; and if they be good, they are the more assured by being the better known: Not that I would [Page 114] have you affect to be seen in well doing and proclaim your vertue, like those who run to embrace publick Statues for a private refuge: as co­lours glitter to the light, yet go not to seek the Sun, but rather keep themselves prepared to receive his light when he shines; so vertue ought not to seek glory, but to make her self fit to receive it from the testimonies of those who sincerely judge of her merit. He that is in love with Praise and Ostentation, quits his obedience to Reason, for that of Opinion; for he chooses ra­ther to please another, than himself.

Nothing so much advances the success of any enterprize, as a present use of occasion. Time carries with him certain moments which are the seasons of business; if you lose them, your labour remains without fruit: but if to an opportunity well taken you ad diligence, you shall rarely fail of a prosperous issue: and therefore, [Page 115] whatever is naturally deliberated, must be diligently executed, without procrastination, or leaving that for to morrow which may be done to day. But whatever we do, with whatever prudence we undertake it, whatever occasion we choose, or with whatever diligence we pursue, we must know, that notwithstanding all this, Fortune hath a great share in the Event. We are only Masters of our own councils and inclinations, all the rest have another depen­dance. All that we can therefore do, is to attempt with prudence, pursue with hope, and support inter­vening accidents with Patience. If good enterprizes have ill success, the Persian Commanders answer will serve to excuse unfortunate wise men; who being asked, why (He be­ing so wise and valiant, his affairs had no better success? Because (said he) my affairs depend upon my own Councils, but the success upon the [Page 116] King and Fortune. It is enough that we secure what is meerly our own work; that we undertake nothing but to a good end, and only pursue it by honest means.

These are the chief rules, by which the Stoick thinks he should govern this life. But since Laws without judgement are unprofitable, and as dead words; we must to be the better for them, shut up every of our daies with an examination and censure of our actions; sift them every night to find out which are conformable to the rules I have pro­posed; plaining them, to find where they are rough, split, or crooked, and to close and smooth them to right Reason. If we find all things well and conform to these sacred Laws, we shall feel a secret joy in the Soul, which we gather as the sweet fruits of our innocence. This (in my opinion) will be the most har­monious, and the most acceptable [Page 117] nocturnal Hymn we can sing to Al­mighty God, who I believe, receives no greater satisfaction in this lower world, than to see men (his dearest, and most pretious work) preserve the beauty and perfection of his Creation. But since the Nature of things created, by its infirmity is apt to suffer that good (with which God hath been pleased to endow them at their birth) daily to perish, and con­sume of it self (were it not continu­ally repaired, and sustained by the ordinary flux of his bounty poured upon us, and that therefore our own force were insufficient of it self to preserve in us this Perfection) let us add to this first Canticle, an Epode and Sacred Charm to invoke his di­vine favour; and in that manner finish every day of this life, and now this present Instruction, saying;

O only Good, only wise and Om­nipotent God! who hast given us understanding to govern the course [Page 118] of this mortal life, make that life know and love the Excellence with which it is adorned; and so assist it, that when it shall come to give mo­tion to the powers of the Soul, it may find the Members, and the Sences purged from all Passions, and ready to obey. Draw from our mindes Eye the Cloudy Curtain of Lust and Ignorance, that our Reason being illuminated by the radiance of thy divine Truth, may address us to­wards that which truly is, and ever shall be our eternal Good.


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