Collected from the WORKS of the Learn'd GASSENDI, By Monsieur Bernier.

Translated out of French.

LONDON: Printed for Awnsham and John Churchil, at the Black Swan in Pater-Noster-Row, MDCXCIX.


THE Epicurean Philosophers placing the Happiness of Man in the Satisfaction of the Mind, and Health of the Body, assure us that those two are no otherwise to be pro­cured than by a constant Practice of Virtue: And because they have had the hard Fate to be misrepresented by most of the other Sects, as well Anci­ent as Modern, and their Principles traduced as favouring the most brutal Sensuality; the Learned Gassendi, who had either examined their Do­ctrin with more Diligence, or inter­preted their Sentiments with more Candour and Justice, thought he could not employ his Time better, than to vindicate the Morals of Epicurus [Page] and his Followers, from the Slanders of Mistake and Malice, and to shew that their principal Design was, to lead Men by smooth and easie Paths to a just, sober, wise and virtuous Be­haviour, as the only way to true Hap­piness. This he proved at large, and illustrated with the Sentiments of many great and excellent Men among the Greeks and Romans. But because these Things were diffused through the voluminous Works of that Great Man, Monsieur Bernier, whose Name is a sufficient Commendation in the Common-wealth of Learning, took the Pains to put them together, and to form them into several intire Discourses; which on account of their great im­portance to Mankind, are here pre­sented to the Publick.

OF Moral Philosophy IN GENERAL

MAnkind having a natural Inclination to be happy, the main bent and design of all his Actions and Endeavours tend chiefly that way. It is therefore an un­deniable Truth, that Happiness, or a Life free from Pain and Misery, are such things as influence and di­rect all our Actions and Purposes to the obtaining of them. And tho' several Persons, who neither want the Necessities nor Conveniences of Life, possessing great Riches, promoted to Dignites and Honours, blessed with a beautiful and hopeful Off-spring in a word, who want nothing, that may seem requisite to compleat their present Happiness; tho' I say, we find many, who have all these Advantages, yet they lead an anxious and uneasy Life, disquieted with Cares, Troubles and perpetual Disturbances. From whence the wiser sort of Mankind have concluded, That the Source of this Evil proceeds from the Igno­rance of the Cause, wherein our true Happiness con­sists, and of the last end, which every one should pro­pose to himself in all his Actions, which being neglect­ed we are led blind-fold by our Passions, and forsake Honesty, Vertue and good Manners, without which it is impossible to live happily. For this Reason they have therefore undertaken to instruct us wherein true [Page 2] Happiness consists; and to propose such useful Precepts for the due regulation of our Passions, whereby our Minds may be less liable to be disturb'd. This Colle­ction of Precepts, Reflections and Reasonings, they name The Art of Living; or, The Art of leading an happy Life. And which they commonly call, Moral Philosophy; because it comprehends such Doctrins as relate to the Manners of Men; that is to say, the accustomed and habitual Actions of Life.

From hence we may understand, That this part of Philosophy is not only speculative, and rests in the bare Contemplation of its Object, but proceeds to Action, and that it is, as we usually say, active and practical; for it directs and governs our Manners, rendring them regular, and agreeable with the Rules of Justice and Honesty. So that in this respect, it may be said to be The Science, or if this Term be scrupled at, we may call it, The Art of doing well. I only make this Supposition; for let it be stiled Art or Science, 'tis a difference only in Name, which depends upon the manner of under­standing those two Words, and therefore requires no further Scrutiny into the matter.

We will rather take notice, that Democritus, Epi­curus, and divers others of no small Eminency, have had so high an esteem for Moral Philosophy, that they have judged the Natural to be no further regarded, than only as it was found useful in freeing us from certain Errors and Mistakes in our Understanding, which might disturb the Repose and Tranquility of our Life, and wherein it might be serviceable to Mo­ral Philosophy, or to the better obtaining of that Knowledge, which teaches us to live happily and com­fortably. I shall not mention the Followers of Socra­tes, Aristippius, Anthistenes, with the Cyrenaicks and Cynicks, who altogether neglecting the Natural, gave themselves entirely over to the study of Moral Philosophy, considering with Socrates, what might make [Page 3] for the Good or Ill of Families, and what might con­tribute to the Grief and Disturbance of Man's Life.

Quid siet in domibus fortasse malumve bonumve.

We may also here observe, That tho' Socrates is supposed to be the Inventer of Moral Philosophy, this is only to be understood, so far as he did cul­tivate and improve a new and considerable part, not that he laid the first and Original Precepts of it; for it is certain that before him, Pythagoras had much improved this sort of Knowledge. And 'tis well known, that he commonly asserted, That the Discourser of a Philosopher, that cures not the Mind of some Passion, is vain and useless; as the Physick that drives not away the Distemper from the Body, is insignificant. It is likewise very certain, That the wise Men of Greece, who liv­ed a little before Pythagoras, were named wise, only because they addicted themselves to the Study of Mo­ral Wisdom. Therefore at this present time, their famous Sentences, that relate to Mens Manners, are generally known all over the World. We might add, if we would make farther search into the Anti­quity of the Heroes, that we shall find Orpheus, by this same Study of Moral Philosophy, drawing the Men of his time off from their barbarous and savage way of Living; which gave occasion of that Saying of him, That he tamed the Tygers and the Lions, as Horace de­scribes;

Orpheus inspir'd by more than human Power,
Did not (as Poets feign) tame savage Beasts,
But Men as lawless and as wild as they,
And first disswaded them from Rage and Blood.
Thus when Amphion built the Theban Wall,
They feign'd the Stones obey'd his Magick Lute.

[Page 4] In a word, it was Morality that first set a Mark of Distinction between publick and private Good, set­led our Rights and Authority, and gave Laws and Rules for regulating Societies; as the same Poet ex­presses:

—When Man yet new,
No Rule but uncorrupted Reason knew;
And with a native bent did Good pursue,
Ʋnforc'd by Punishment, unaw'd by Fear,
His Words were simple, and his Soul sincere.
No suppliant Crowds before the Judge appear'd,
No Court erected yet, no Cause was heard;
But all was safe, for Conscience was their Guard.

However, we must acknowledge our selves much indebted to Socrates, as to Moral Philosophy, since by his applying himself to the study thereof, it hath given us Opportunity of great Improvement, by reducing it to a more distinct and easy method than formerly; and we find, that the Disciples of the great Plato, and of Xenophon also, have left behind them curious and excellent Monuments; nor have those who suc­ceeded them, as Aristotle, and the Stoicks, come short of handling it more methodically, and at large.


CHAP. I. What Happiness is.

THo' Felicity or Happiness be properly the enjoyment of the Sovereign or Chief Good; and therefore the most blessed Estate that can be desired; yet because this Estate of Enjoyment comprehends this Sovereign Good, it is for that Reason called by this Name. It is also termed the Chief or the Ultimate Happiness, the End of all Ends, or The End, for its Excellency, be­cause all other things are desired and sought after for it's sake. And lastly, that it is desired alone for it's own sake. To this purpose Aristotle tells us, That amongst the things that are desirable, there must be [Page 6] something at last which is most desirable, that so we might avoid an Infinity. But here we may make two considerable Remarks.

The First is, That we don't concern our selves here with that Happiness mentioned by the Sacred Pen-Men, when they tell us how happy that Man is, who being assisted with the Divine Influences, betakes himself entirely to the Service of God; and being filled with Faith and Hope, and inflamed with Cha­rity, spends his Life in Peace and Tranquility. Nor shall we Treat of that which may be called Natural Happiness, because it may be obtained by the strength of Nature, being such as the ancient Philo­sophers did not doubt but to enjoy here on Earth.

The Second is, That by this Natural Felicity that we here Treat of, is not to be understood such a state of Life as we can't imagin a better, a more pleasant, and more desirable; in the which we can­not apprehend any evil, nor think of any good thing which we shall not possess; nor of any thing that we have a desire to do, but we shall be able to accom­plish it, and that it shall remain fix'd and unchange­able. But we understand such a certain state of Life, in which we may be as happy as is possible; in which there are abundance of good things, and very few of any sort of evil; and in which consequently we may lead as easie, quiet and undisturbed a Life as the Con­dition of the Country, the Society we Converse with, the Constitution of our Bodies, the manner of our Life, our Age and other Circumstances will permit: For to propose to our selves more than this, or to affect during the Course of our Natural Life the highest Felicity, is not to acknowledge, but rather forget our selves to be Men; that is to say, weak and feeble Animals, who by the Laws of Nature are subject to an infinite number of Mischiefs and Evils.

And in this sense it is that we usually say, a Wise Man, tho' tormented with exquisite Pains, may never­theless be happy; not in a perfect and compleat sense, but he may attain to that degree that we call Human Happiness, which the Wise Man always enjoys in that measure that the Circumstances will permit, be­cause he don't increase his Misery, either by Impa­tience, or Despair, but rather abates it by his Con­stancy. And by this means he is happier, or to speak more properly, he is less miserable than if he suffered himself to be dejected, as others in like Ca­ses, who bear not their Misfortunes with the same patience and constancy of Mind, and who besides are not supplied with the same Encouragements from Wisdom as he hath; such I mean as an innocent Life, and a good Conscience void of offence, which always afford great quiet and satisfaction to the Mind.

Wherefore 'tis improper to use this kind of Ex­pression; That it is the same thing for a Wise Man to be burning in Phalaris's Bull, as to be solacing himself upon a Bed of Roses; for it is of such things as Fire and Torments that he desires to be exempt, and wishes much rather that they were not, or that he might not suffer by them; but when they come upon him, he considers them as unavoidable Evils, and suf­fers them with Courage; so that he may say, Ʋror, sed invictus; I burn, it is true, and suffer, and some­times I sigh and weep, but for all this I am not van­quish'd, nor overcome, nor do I suffer my self to be transported with Despair, which would render my Condition much more miserable.

Several Opinions concerning the efficient Cause of Happiness.

AT our first entring upon this Discourse, we may observe, that the efficient Causes of Hap­piness being nothing else but the Goods of the Soul, of the Body, or of Fortune, some of the Philoso­phers have highly extolled the first, some the second, and others have included them all. Those who chiefly recommend the Riches of the Mind, as Anax­agoras, propose for the obtaining of Happiness, A Contemplative Life, together with such a kind of Freedom which proceeds from profound Knowledge. Pos­sidonius requires Contemplation, with a Dominion over the irrational part of Man. Herillus, generally and simply, Learning, or Knowledge. Apollodorus and Lycus generally, the Pleasures of the Mind. Leucinus the Pleasures that proceed from honest things. The Stoicks, Zenon, Cleanthes, Aristus, and the rest, re­quire Vertue. Therefore these last proceeded so far as to say, That if a Man possess'd Vertue, it matter'd not whether he were sick or well. All the rest by common Consent maintain'd, that to live happily, was nothing else but to live a Vertuous Life, or as they express it, according to Nature.

As for those who prefer the Riches and advanta­ges of the Body, and who chiefly aim at sensual Plea­sures, they were for that Reason Named the Volup­tuous, Voluptuarii Philosophi, of whom we shall have occasion to discourse hereafter, when we shall com­pare them with Epicurus.

At present we shall only take notice that they have had Aristippus for their Leader, and with him the Cyrenaicks, of whom we shall make mention after­wards; and that the Annicerians, who proceed from the Cyrenaicks, aimed at no certain end of Life, but [Page 9] at the Pleasure of every particular Action, of what kind or Nature soever.

Lastly, amongst such as prefer the Goods of For­tune, they are generally the vulgar sort of People, who look with a greedy desire, some upon Riches, some upon Honours, some upon other things: But amongst the Philosophers none are mention'd, but such as joyn to these outward Advantages the per­fections also both of the Mind and Body; for this hath given occasion to the Poets to make these ex­cellent representations of Happiness, which they have borrowed from several Opinions of the Philosophers, such as this, which requires that good Fortune might accompany Vertue.

Virtus colenda; Sors petenda a Diis bona:
Haec quippe duo cui suppetunt, is vivere
Et vir beatus, & bonus simul potest.

Another desires to enjoy perfect Health, and a sound Constitution of Body, Riches purchased with­out Fraud, and in short, to spend his Life amongst his Friends.

Fragili viro optima res bene valere,
Atque indolem bonam esse sortitum;
Tum & possidere opes dolo haud partas;
Tandem & cum amicis exigere vitam.

Another Description we find in Martial, who among many other things, desires to enjoy a Pater­nal Estate, acquir'd without Labour, to be free from the vexation of Law-Suits, &c.

Since Dearest Friend 'tis your desire to see
A true Receipt of Happiness from me;
These are the Chief Ingredients, if not all,
Take an Estate neither too great, nor small,
Which Quantum sufficit the Doctors call.
[Page 10]
Let this Estate from Parents Care descend,
The getting it too much of Life does spend.
Take such a Ground, whose gratitude may be
A fair Encouragement for Industry:
Let constant Fires the Winter's Fury tame,
And let thy Kitchins be a Vestal Flame:
Thee to the Town let never Suits at Law,
And rarely, very rarely Business draw;
Thy active Mind in equal Temper keep,
In undisturbed Peace, yet not in sleep;
Let Exercise a vigorous Health maintain,
Without which, all the Composition's vain:
In the same weight Prudence and Innocence take,
Ana of each does the just Mixture make:
But a few Friendships wear, and let them be
By Nature and by Fortune fit for thee:
Instead of Art and Luxury in Food,
Let Mirth and Freedom make thy Table good.
If any Cares into the Day-time creep,
At Night without Wine's Opium, let them sleep.
Let Rest, which Nature does to Darkness wed,
And not Lust, recommend to thee thy Bed.
Be satisfied, and pleas'd with what thou art,
Act chearfully and well th' allotted Part:
Enjoy the present hour, be thankful for the past,
And neither fear nor wish th' approaches of the last.

Here we may first observe, as Horace according to Aristotle tells us, that many are often disappointed in their search after Happiness, imagining that it con­siks chiefly in such things as they want, and which they admire in others; as the Ignorant suppose it in Knowledge, the Poor in Riches, the Sick in Health; which Horace very well expresseth, speaking of the Merchant, of the Soldier, and of the Husband­man; the one envies and admires the other's Con­dition.

[Page 11]
O happy Seamen! cries th' Old Son of War,
With batter'd Limbs, and half his Face a Scar.
The restless Seaman, when insulting Gales
Toss the light Bark, and Conquer all his Sails:
(If fear allows one distant thought, or word,)
Trembling applauds the Brother of the Sword.
The Man of Law when pondring at the Door,
His wakeful Client knocks him up at four
Wou'd leave the Bar, to lie securely warm,
And part with all his Practice for a Farm.
The clumsy Peasant, if when Harvest's done,
A kind Subpoena call's him up to Town;
'Tis odds, but ravish'd with the gaudy Scene,
He sells his Team, sets up for Citizen.

Secondly, To admire nothing, as Horace again says, is almost the only thing capable of rendring a Man happy, and continuing him so.

Not to admire, as most are wont to do,
It is the only Method that I know,
To make Men happy, and to keep them so.

And this does not only shew the Tranquility of mind unto which he hath attained; who perceiving the Vanity of all Human things, does not admire nor any way seek after, but rather despises the Glory of Power, Honours, and Riches, which generally dazle Mens Eyes; but it also shews that other sort of Tran­quility, which he hath attained, who hath arrived to the knowledge of Natural Causes; so that he neither wonders, nor fears, nor is any way disquieted, as the Vulgar usually are.

Happy the Man who studying Nature's Laws,
Thro' known Effects can trace the secret Cause;
[Page 12]
His Mind possessing in a quiet State,
Fearless of Fortune, and resign'd to Fate.

Thirdly, That the sweet Repose and Quiet which we meet with in a retired state, void of the Incum­brances of the World, contributes not a little to our Happiness; for he that aspires to the true Felicity of Life, which consists chiefly in the Tranquility of Mind, must not, as Democritus tells us, incumber himself in much Business, either Private, or Publick. And it is generally known, that the Oracle esteem'd not the Great King Gyges so Happy as the Old Fa­ther Aglaus Psophidius, who in a little Corner of Ar­cadia, Husbanded a small Estate, from which he reapt plentifully the Necessaries of Life, and never de­parting thence, spent his time comfortably, free from Ambition, and without the least sense of the Evils which torment the greatest part of Mankind.

'Tis this sweet Retirement that Horace hath so much commended in his Praise of a Country Life.

Happy the Man, whom bounteous Gods allow,
With his own hands Paternal Grounds to Plough!
Like the first Golden Mortal happy he
From Business and the Cares of Mony free!
No Human Storms break off at Land his Sleep,
No loud Alarms of Nature on the Deep.
From all the Cheats of Law, he lives secure,
Nor do's th' Affronts of Palaces endure.

The same state Virgil describes in his 2d Georgic.

O Happy (if his Happiness he knows)
The Country Swain! on whom kind Heav'n bestows,
At home all Riches, that wise Nature needs,
Whom the just Earth with Ease and Plenty feeds.
'Tis true, no Morning Tide of Clients comes,
And fills the Painted Channels of his Rooms;
[Page 13]
Adoring the rich Figures as they pass;
In Tapestry wrought, or cut in living Brass;
Nor is his Wool superfluously dy'd
With the dear Poison of Assyrian Pride;
Nor do Arabian Perfumes vainly spoil
The native Ʋse and Sweetness of his Oyl;
Instead of these his calm and harmless Life,
Free from th' Alarms of Fear and Storm of Strife
Do's with substantial Blessedness abound,
And the soft Wings of Peace cover him round.
Through Artless Grates the murmuring Waters glide,
Thick Trees both against Heat and Cold provide,
From whence the Birds salute him, and his Ground
With lowing Herds and bleating Sheep do's sound;
And all the Rivers and the Forests nigh,
Do Food and Game and Exercise supply.

As to Epicurus we shall speak more at large, that he makes Happiness to consist in the Ease of the Body, and the Tranquility of the Mind, teaching at the same time, and maintaining, That the efficient Causes of this Felicity, are neither the delicious Wines, nor the delicate Meats, nor any such thing; but a sound, just and enlightned Reason assisted by Vertue, from which it is not to be separated, and which duly weighs and examines the Causes and Motives that in­duce us, either to embrace or shun any thing. There­fore designing to treat afterwards of Happiness, he earnestly exhorts, to consider throughly of the things that conduce to it; and because amongst those things the chief is, That the Mind may be disengaged from certain Mistakes, which cause continual Disturbances and vain Fears, he mentions several Particulars, which he believes to be of that Importance, that when well examin'd, will settle the Mind, and pro­cure to it a real and solid Happiness.

Some Particulars needful to be examin'd, and con­sider'd, which will contribute very much to the Repose and Happiness of the Mind.

THE First Particular, is the Knowledge and Fear of God. And certainly this Philosopher had good Reason to recommend to us in the first place, the right Ideas that we are to entertain of this Sovereign Being; because he that hath a right Notion of him, is so much inflamed with Love and Affection for God, that he constantly endeavours to please him by an honest and a vertuous Life, always trusting in his infinite Goodness, and expecting all things from him, who is the Fountain of all good: By this means he spends his Life sweetly, peaceably, and pleasantly. We shall not concern our selves here to shew the Existence of this Being, seeing we have already done it elsewhere: But shall only take no­tice, that tho' Epicurus delivers some Notions that are very just and reasonable, yet he hath others that are not to be entertained by pious Men, tho' he inter­prets 'em after his own Fashion; such are to be look'd upon as impious; for he believes, That God hath a Being, as Lucretius makes him acknowledge in his first Book.

For whatsoe'er's Divine must live in Peace,
In undisturb'd and everlasting Ease;
Not care for us; from Fears and Dangers free,
Sufficient to it's own Felicity:
Nought here below, nought in our Power it needs,
Ne'er smiles at good, ne'er frowns at wicked deeds.

Now I say, to believe such a supreme Being, that exists to all Eternity, is immortal and infinitely hap­py in it's own Nature, enjoying all things within it [Page 15] self, and stands in no need of us, nor hath any Cause to fear; that is not subject to Pain, Anger, nor other Passions, are undeniable Truths, and an Opinion that is Praise-worthy, especially in a Heathen Philoso­pher; but when he denies Providence, as these Ver­ses do intimate, and when he thinks that it is not consisting with the highest Felicity, as if God had no particular Care of Men; That the Just are to ex­pect nothing from his Goodness, nor the Wicked are not to dread his Justice, are such Opinions, that our Reason and Religion will not permit us to enter­tain.

The second Particular relates to Death. For as Aristotle observes, Death is look'd upon as the most dreadful Evil, because none is exempted, being una­voidable. Therefore Epicurus judges, That we ought to accustom our selves to think upon it, that we might learn by that means as much as is possible to free our selves from such Fears of Death, as might disturb our Tranquility, and consequently the Hap­piness of our Life; and for that Reason, he endea­vours to perswade us, that it is so far from being the most dreadful of all Evils, that in it self it is no Evil at all: And thus he argues; Death, saith he, don't affect us, and by consequence in respect of us, is not to be judged an Evil; for what affects us is attended by some but, now Death is the privation of Sense. He tells us also, with Anaxagoras, That as before we were capable of Sense, it was not grievous to us to have no Sense; so likewise when we shall have lost it, we shall not be troubled at the want of it. As when we are asleep, we are not concerned, because we are not awake: So when we shall be dead, it will not trouble us, that we are not living. He concludes with Archesilas, That Death, which is said to be an Evil, hath this belonging to it, that when it hath been present, it hath never troubled any body. And that it is through the Weakness of the Mind, and the dismal Apprehensions that we have of Death, that [Page 16] makes it seem so terrible to us when absent, insomuch that some are struck dead with the very Fear of dying.

We may very well acknowledge, That Death is the Privation of our External Sense, or of Sense, properly so called. And Epicurus hath very good Reason to say, That in Death there is nothing to be feared, that may injure the Sight, the Hearing, the Smell, the Tast, or the Sense of Feeling; for all these Senses cannot be without the Body, and then the Body ceases to be, or is dissolved. But that which we are not to allow is, what he affirms elsewhere, That Death is also the Privation or Extinction of the Spirit, or Understanding, which is an internal Sense; a Sense according to his Notion. Therefore, that we may not be hindred, by this Impiety, which has been sufficiently refuted in treating of the Im­mortality of the Soul; let us proceed to give a Check to the extraordinary Apprehensions of Death, and to those Fears that frequently disturb all the Peace and Quiet of our Life, and with a sullen Blackness infect and poison all our most innocent Pleasures, as Lucretius saith,

— Those idle Fears,
That spoil our Lives with Jealousies and Cares,
Disturb our Joys with dread of Pains beneath,
And sully them with the black Fears of Death.

Let us therefore in the first place, remember to give a Check to that fond Desire of prolonging our days without bounds. Let us, I say, so remember this frail and infirm Condition of our Nature, as not to desire any thing above it's Reach and Capacity. Let us calmly and quietly, without repining, enjoy this Gift of Life, whether it be bestowed upon us for a longer or a shorter time. It is certain, that our Ma­ker may deprive us of it without doing us any wrong. Let us thankfully acknowledge his Liberality, from [Page 17] whom we have received it, and add this to the num­ber of those Benefits, which we daily draw from his Bounty.

Nature favours us for a while with the use of the Prospect of those Enjoyments: Be not angry, that we must withdraw when the time is expired; for we were admitted upon no other Terms, but to yield our places to others, as our Ancestors have done to us. Our Bodies are naturally inclinable to Corruption, and the manner of our Nativity renders our Death unavoidable. If to be Born is pleasant, let not our Dissolution be grievous to us, to make use of Seneca's Words. If the striving against this Fatality could any ways advantage us, we should then perhaps ap­prove of the Endeavours that are made, but all our Strugglings are to no purpose, we do but add to our pain.

The number of our Days is so appointed, that the time of our Life slides away, and is not to be reco­vered; and we run our Race in such a manner, that whether we will or not, we are brought at last to the end.

As many Days as we pass over, so many are cut off from that Life that Nature hath alotted to us. So that Death being the Privation of Life, we are dy­ing continually, as long as we live, and that by a Death that carries not all at once, but by degrees one step after another, tho' the last is that unto which the Name of Death is assigned. So true it is, that the end of our Life depends upon the first Mo­ment.

Let us therefore moderate our Desires according to the Rule that Nature hath prescribed; and if the De­stinies (to speak according to the ancient Poets) can­not be prevail'd upon, so that against our Wills, we are hurried away; let us at least alleviate our Trouble by suffering our selves to be carried off willingly.

The best and only Remedy to pass our Life free and void of Trouble, is to suit our selves to our Nature, to desire nothing but what it requires, and to esteem the last Moment of our Life as a free Gift of Providence, and to dispose and prepare our selves in such a manner, that when Death approaches, we may say, I have lived, and I have finished the Race that Nature hath appointed me.

Vixi & quem dederas cursum Natura peregi.

She calls away, but I come of mine own accord. Nature requires of me what I am intrusted with, I yield it willingly: I am commanded to die, I expire without Regret. We might also very well make use of the Advice of Lucretius, and speak thus to our selves. The greatest and most mighty Monarchs of the World are dead; and Scipio, that Thunderbolt of War, and Terror of Carthage, hath left his Bones in the Earth, like as the vilest Slave: Anchises, the most Religious of all men, and Homer the Prince of the Poets, are dead; and shall we murmur to die?

But more to comfort thee—
Consider, Ancus perish'd long ago;
Ancus, a better Man by much than thou.
Consider, mighty Kings in pamper'd State
Fall, and ingloriously submit to Fate.
Scipio that Scourge of Carthage, now the Grave
Keeps Prisoner like the meanest common Slave;
Nay, the great Wits and Poets too, that give
Eternity to others, cease to live.
Homer their Prince, the Darling of the Nine
(What Troy would at a second fall repine
To be thus sung?) is nothing now but Fame,
A lasting, far diffus'd, but empty Name.

Let us say moreover, Gassendus himself is dead, and that great Man hath finished his Course like other Mortals; he who in profound Learning and Wisdom excell'd the rest of Mankind, and who rising like a Sun, darkned the Light of all the Stars.

Nay Great Gassendi's Race of Life is run,
That Man of Wit, who other Men out-shone,
As far as meaner Stars the mid-day Sun.

And can'st not thou, O Wretch, resolve to die?

Then how dar'st thou repine to die and grieve,
Thou meaner Soul, thou dead ev'n whilst alive?
That sleep'st and dream'st the most of Life away,
Thy Night is full as rational as thy Day.
Still vext with Cares, who never understood
The Principles of ill, nor use of good,
Nor whence thy Cares proceed, but reel'st about,
In vain unsettled Thoughts, condemn'd to doubt.

Thou whose Life is as half dead; thou who spend­est above half thy time in Sleep; who snorest, (as I may say) waking and feedest upon Fancies, and who livest in the midst of Fears and continual Troubles. It is what our famous Malherbe had in his Thoughts, when he bewails the unhappy Fate of great Men, who are subject to the same Laws of Death as the mean­est Beggars.

Yet these are turn'd to Dust, and Fate
Rules with such Arbitrary Sway,
So binds its Laws on every State,
That all their Equal's Doom Obey.
With none e'er yet Impartial Destiny
Of all it's num'rous Subjects wou'd dispense,
Hear this ye Vulgar Souls, and hence
Ʋnrepining Learn to Die.

But here some will object, we shall be depriv'd of all the Blessings of Life, as Lucretius Elegantly Ex­presses it, Lib. 3.

Ay, but he now is snatcht from all his Joys;
No more shall his Chast Wife, and Pratling Boys
Run to their Dad, with eager hast, and strive
Which shall have the first Kiss, as when alive.
Ay, but he now no more from Wars shall come,
Bring Peace and Safety to his Friends at home;
Wretched, O Wretched Man! one Fatal Day
Has snatch'd the vast Delights of Life away.

It is true, that this is commonly objected, but they seldom Consider that this supposed Unhappy Man shall then have no desire at all for such things; and that when he shall be really Dead, he shall not see any like himself standing near his Tomb, beating the Breast, and languishing with Grief, as the same Au­thor Describes.

Thus they bewail, but go no further on,
And add, that his Desires and Wants are gone.
But the fond Fool n'er thinks, that when kind Death
Shall close his Eyes in Night, and stop his Breath;
Then nothing of this thinking thing remains,
To mourn his Fate, and feel sharp Grief and Pains.

May not we likewise thus Argue, as Plutarch Ob­serves, and which often occurs in our Thoughts? If our Life, which we esteem very long, when it extends to an Hundred Years, were naturally but of one Days continuance, as some Animals mention'd by Aristo­tle, in the Kingdom of Pontus are; And if like them in the Morning we were in our Youth, at Noon in our Strength and full Growth, and at Night in our Old Age; It is certain, in this Case we should be as well pleas'd to live one Day till Night, as we are now to live an hundred years. And on the con­trary, [Page 21] if our Life did now extend to a thousand years, as did that of our first Fathers, in that Case it would grieve us as much to Die at the end of six hundred years, as to depart now at the expiration of three­score. It is the same in respect of those, who first came into the World, if they had continued till this present time, it would trouble them as much to Die now, as it does us.

These Considerations therefore ought to teach us, that our Life of what sort soever, is to be computed, not by its length, but by the good Qualifications and Pleasures that attend it. In the same manner (saith Seneca) As the Perfection of a Circle ought to be compu­ted, not by the Greatness, but by the exact Roundness of the Figure. O Vain and Indiscreet Diligence, saith Pliny, Men compute the number of their Days, where they should only seek their true Worth.

Heu vana, & imprudens diligentia, numerus dierum
Computatur ubi quaeritur pondus!

We don't Consider, that as the Mass of this Earth, and all the World beside, and a thousand other such Worlds, if you please, are but as a Point, if compa­red with the vast extended space of the Heavens: Thus the longest Life of Man, were it as long as that of the Hamadryades, or a thousand thousand times more, is but a Moment, if compared with Eter­nity. This Life, saith Seneca, is but a Point, How can we extend this Point?

In hoc punctum conjectus es,
Quod ut extendas, quousque extendes?

Know, saith Lucretius, That by the prolonging of our Days we diminish nothing from the time and long conti­nuance of Death; and that he who dies to day, shall not be dead a less time than he who died a thousand years ago.

[Page 22]
What tho' a thousand years prolong thy breath,
How can this shorten the long state of Death?
For tho' thy Life shall numerous Ages fill,
The State of Death shall be Eternal still;
And he that dies to day, shall be no more,
As long as those who perish'd long before.

If Nature, saith he again, should in anger speak to us in this manner? ‘What Cause hast thou, O Mor­tal to Weep, and to Complain of Death? If thy former Life hath been easie and pleasant, and if thou hast known how to make use of the good things and delights that I have afforded thee, why dost thou not as a Guest, depart when thou art full, and satisfied with Life? and why dost thou not accept, fond Creature, of the agreeable Repose that is offered thee? But if otherwise, thy Life hath been to thee a burthen, and if thou hast suf­fered my Bounties to perish, why desirst thou more to mispend them after the same manner? for I can give thee no new thing. And if thou shouldst live thousands of years, thou wilt but still see the same things repeated over again.’ If Nature should speak to us in this Language, should we not have reason to approve of this Discourse, and own that it hath cause to Reproach us in this manner?

Fond Mortal, what's the matter thou dost sigh?
Why all these Tears, because thou once must die,
And once submit to strong Necessity?
For if the Race thou hast already run
Was pleasant, if with joy thou saws't the Sun:
If all thy Pleasures did not pass thy Mind,
As thro' a Sieve, but left some Sweets behind;
Why dost thou not then like a thankful Guest,
Rise cheerfully from Life's abundant Feast,
And with a quiet Mind go take thy Rest?
[Page 23]
But if all those Delights are lost and gone,
Spent idly all, and Life a burthen grown;
Then why, fond Mortal, dost thou ask for more?
Why still desire t'increase thy wretched store?
And wish for what must wast like those before?
Not rather free thy self from Pains and Fear,
And end thy Life, and necessary care?
My Pleasures always in a Circle run,
The same returning with the yearly Sun:
And thus, tho' thou dost still enjoy thy Prime,
And tho' thy Limbs feel not the rage of Time;
Yet I can find no new, no fresh Delight,
The same dull Joys must vex thy Appetite:
Altho' thou coud'st prolong thy wretched Breath
For numerous Years; much more if free from Death.

At least we must acknowledge that a Wise Man who hath lived long enough to consider the World, ought of his own accord to submit himself to the Course of Nature, when he perceives that his time is come, and cannot but suppose that his Race is Run, and that the Circle that he hath finish'd is compleat; and if this Circle is not to be compared to Eternity, it is however with the continuance of the World.

As to what relates to the whole Prospect of Na­ture, he hath often beheld the Heavens, the Earth, and other things included in the World; He hath often seen the rising and the setting of the Coelestial Bodies; He hath taken notice of several Eclipses, and many other Phaenomenas or unusual Appearances in the Skye, the constant succession of the Seasons, and in a word, many particular Generations, many Cor­ruptions and Transmutations. And as to those things which relate to Mankind, he hath seen, or at least hath heard and understood from History the Transactions that have happen'd from the beginning; of Peace, and of War, of Faith kept, and violated; of a Polite Life, and of a rude and barbarous Beha­viour; [Page 24] of Laws Establish'd, and Abolish'd, of King­doms and Commonwealths in their first Birth and Declension, and generally all other things that he hath any knowledge of, or which have been told him, and with which he is in any wise acquainted, as if he had been present when they first happen'd. So that he ought to consider, that all the time that is gone before him relates to him, as if his Life were begun with the things themselves. And because we must judge of the future by the time past, he ought also to think that all the subsequent time relates to him in the same manner; and that there shall be no­thing hereafter, but what hath been already; that there is nothing but the Circumstances of things that alter, and that all things in general steer the same common Course, and make the like appearances; so that Holy Writ hath reason to say, The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be, and that which is done, is that which shall be done again, and there is no new thing under the Sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, see this is new? From whence we may conclude, that a Wise Man ought not to fancy his Life short; for by casting his eye upon the time past, and foreseeing the time to come, he may ex­tend it to as great a length as the duration of the Universe.

Moreover, tho' Epicurus had cause to say, That it is ridiculous to assert that there is no evil in Death when it is present, and yet to dread it, and be troubled when it must come; as if there were any reason to be disturbed for that which is absent, which when present never gives us the least sorrow: Nevertheless, because other Considerati­ons represent Death dreadful, as the Evils and Pains that Usher it, and those that we think will be its neces­sary Attendants; Seneca therefore makes it his busi­ness to recommend divers Considerations, wherein he shews, that tho' Death in it self is no Evil, yet it appears so much in that Notion, that it ought not [Page 25] to be lookt upon as an indifferent thing; for as he expresseth himself; Death is not indifferent in the same manner as it is indifferent whether the Hairs of my head be of one length, or not; for Death is to be reckon'd amongst those things, which tho' they be no real Evils, yet they appear to be so; for we love our selves; and na­turally desire to subsist and preserve our selves, and we have an innate aversion from a dissolution, because it seems to deprive us of many advantages, and draws us away from that plenty of Enjoyments unto which we are accustomed. There is yet one thing more which cau­seth us to dread Death. We know the things present, but we are altogether Strangers to those unto which we are a going; and therefore we fear that which is un­known. Besides, we have a natural dread of Darkness, into which we imagin that Death is leading us: So that tho' Death is indifferent, yet it is not of the number of those things that are easily to be despised; we ought to inure and harden our Minds by a long accustomed Habit, to enable us the more willingly to undergo and encounter with the dismal approaches of Death.

The Third Particular relates to the abominable Opinion of the Stoicks, who were perswaded that in some Cases Men had the liberty to kill themselves; for thus you see Seneca represents them arguing. It is certainly a great affliction to live in want; but there is nothing that obliges us absolutely to continue in it; for which way soever we glance our eyes, we may see the end of our Sufferings, and our Deliverance, either in a Precipice, in a River, by a Dagger, by a Tree, by open­ing a Vein, or by Abstinence. We ought to give God thanks that none of us is detained against his Will in this present Life. The Eternal Decree hath admirably well appointed that there should be but one kind of en­trance into the World, but many out of it. Death, say they, is to be met with in every place; God hath very wisely contrived, that there is none but may take away [Page 26] our Life, but no Man can take away our Death, tho' it hath a thousand Passages open to it.

Ubique Mors est; optime hoc cavit Deus:
Eripere vitam nemo non homini potest;
At nemo mortem; mille ad hanc exitus patent.

He that knows how to die, can free himself, and he hath always the Door of his Prison open. True it is, there is a Chain that holds us fast, name­ly the Love of Life; and this Love, though we ought not absolutely to reject it, yet we should at least mitigate it, that if sometimes Accidents re­quire, it may not keep us back, nor hinder us from being ready to perform at present, that which we must one day do or suffer. These following Tenets proceed from the same School. The Wise Man lives as long as he ought, tho' not so long as he may; He knows where he ought to live, with whom, and how, and what he ought to do. He considers the manner of his Life, and not the length. If he meets with Crosses, and Misfortunes, he frees him­self, and don't stay for the last necessity to set him at liberty; but as soon as Fortune begins to frown upon him, he seriously considers, if he ought not at that time to end his days. He believes that if he himself hastens his end, or expects it from ano­ther hand, it is the same thing; or whether it be brought to pass sooner or later, it grieves him not. Nevertheless sometimes though his Death is certain and appointed, and that he knows himself set apart for Execution, yet he won't lend his helping hand, nor will he be overwhelm'd with Sorrow. It is a folly to die for fear of Death. If he that is to kill thee is coming, wait for him, Why wilt thou pre­vent him? and why wilt thou undertake to execute upon thy self another's Cruelty? Dost thou covet the Office of an Executioner? or wilt thou save [Page 27] him the labour? Socrates ought to have ended his Days by Abstinence, and die by Hunger, rather than by Poison, yet he continued thirty days in Prison, in expectation of Death; not because du­ring this time he had hopes of a Reprieve, but to shew himself Obedient to the Laws, and to give his Friends the Pleasure of enjoying the Conversation of Socrates, when he was ready to Die. When therefore an outward Violence threatens us with Death, we can't give any general or absolute Di­rections, whether we are to prevent it, or to ex­pect it with Patience, for there are many Circum­stances to be considered. But if there be two kinds of Death, the one full of grievous Torments, the other sudden and easie, why may not we chuse the latter?

This was the Opinion of Hyeronimus, of all the Stoicks, and namely of Pliny, who stiles the Earth a good Mother, because it hath compassion of us, and hath appointed the Poisons for our use. It seems to be like­wise the Opinion of Plato; for tho' Cicero makes him say, That we ought to preserve the Soul inclosed in the Body, and without the command of him who gave it, we must not depart out of this Life, that we might not thereby seem to despise this gift that God hath bestowed upon Man: Yet in his Book of Laws, he declares, That he who kills himself is not to be blamed, but when he doth the act, without being thereunto forced by the Sentence of the Judge, or by some unsufferable and unavoidable accident of Fortune, or by Misery and Publick shame. Not to mention Cicero, who in a certain place commends the Opinion of Pythagoras, because he forbids to depart out of our Fortress, or to quit our Station of Life without the appointment of the General, that is to say, of God. Yet elsewhere he teaches, That in our Life we ought to observe the same Rule, that is in the Banquetings of the Greeks, that is to say, either to Drink, or to Depart; so that if we [Page 28] can't bear the injuries and affronts of Fortune, we must undergo them, by flying from them. To speak no­thing of Cato, who seems not to have sought Death so much to avoid the sight of Caesar, as to obey the Decrees, and follow the Dictates of the Stoicks, esteeming it his Glory to observe them, and to leave his Name Famous to Posterity, by some Great and Notable Action; for Lactantius saith, Cato was du­ring his Life a Follower of the Vanity of the Stoicks.

What relates to Democritus, Truly his Opinion, as the same Lactantius informs us, was different from that of the Stoicks; yet he suffered himself to die by ab­stinence, when he found in his very great Age, that the strength of his Body, and the abilities of his Mind began to fail.

Sponte sua letho Caput obvius obtulit ipse.

Which we may say, is altogether Criminal; for if a Murderer is an Offender, because he kills a Man, he that murders himself is guilty of the same Crime, because he also kills a Man. It is very probable that this is the greatest Crime, whereof the Vengeance is reserved to God alone; for as we do not enter upon Life of our own accord, so neither are we to depart out of it of our own heads, but by his Order, who hath placed us in the Body to inhabit there. And if any violence or injury be done us, we must bear it patiently, because the Life of a guitless Person that is destroyed, cannot be unreven­ged; for we have a Powerful God, unto whom Vengeance always belongs.

Finally, As for Epicurus, it is thought that he was not of the same Judgment with the Stoicks; not only because he saith, That the Wise Man is easie under his Torments, but also because that he himself being grie­vously tormented with the Stone and Gravel, he ne­ver hasten'd his Death, but waited for it patiently. Besides, Seneca assures us, that Epicurus does as much [Page 29] blame those that desire Death, as those that fear it; and that there is a great indiscretion, nay folly, in advancing our Death, for fear of Death.

Yet this happens very often, as Lucretius tells us, not only because that the extraordinary fear that Death begets in us, casts us sometimes into a dismal Melancholy, which renders all things uneasie to us, and proceeds so far as to make Life it self to become a troublesome, incommodious, and an intolerable thing; and at last to seek out the strangest means to deliver our selves from it, and to procure our Death:

Et saepe usque adeo mortis formidine, vitae
Percipit ingratos odium, lucis (que) videnda
Ʋt sibi conciscant moerenti pectore lethum.

But this extraordinary Fear causeth by degrees a certain kind of Melancholy, which depresseth the Heart, enfeebles the Spirits, and obstructs all the operations of Life. It stops Digestion, and draws upon us many Diseases, that are the immediate Cau­ses of Death.

However, the Opinion of the Stoicks is not only contrary to the Sacred Precepts of our Religion, but is also contrary to Nature, and right Reason. We must except some certain Persons, who being di­rected by a Particular and Divine Instinct, have been instrumental in procuring their own Deaths, as Samson, and others in the Old-Testament, and So­phronia and Pelagia since the New; for Nature fur­nishes all sorts of Animals with a Natural love of Life, and there is none besides Man, let them be tormented with never so grievous pain, but labours to preserve Life as much as they can, and to avoid Death. This is a sign that none but Man doth by his mistaken Opinions corrupt the Institution of Na­ture, when he refuseth the benefit of Life, and ad­vanceth [Page 30] his Death; he acts then by a wickedness pe­culiar to himself; for the true state of Nature is to be consider'd in the general body of the Creatures, and not in some few individuals of one single Species, that hasten their own destruction, and cast away themselves before the time appointed by Nature. From hence we may conclude, that such are injurious to God, and Nature, who being design'd and order'd to perform a certain Race, stop in the middle of their Course of their own accord, and who being ap­pointed to watch, forsake and abandon their Post, without waiting for Orders from their Superiors.

Besides, Reason forbids us to be Cruel against the Innocent, who never did us any harm; and by con­sequence it don't allow that we should act inhumanly upon our selves, from whom we never experienced any Hatred, but rather too much Love.

Moreover, upon what occasion can our Vertue ap­pear more conspicuous, than in suffering Courageously the Evils that our hard Fortune imposes upon us? To die, saith Aristotle, because of our Poverty, or for Love, or for some other mischievous accident, is not the act of a Man of Spirit and Courage, but of a mean and timorous Soul, for it is the part of a weak Mind to shun and flye from things hard to be endured. Stout Men, saith Curtius, are wont to despise Death, rather than to hate Life. 'Tis the trouble and impatience of Suffering that carries the Cowards to base Actions, that makes them despised, and scorned. Vertue leaves no­thing unattempted, and Death is the last thing with which we must Encounter, but not as timerous, lazy, and unwilling Souls.

I shall not here stay to examin the Opinion of those, who imagining, saith Lactantius, that the Souls are Eternal, have therefore kill'd themselves, as Clean­thes, Chrysippus, and Zeno, expecting to be trans­ported at the same time to Heaven; or as Empedocles, who cast himself in the Night into the Flames of Mount-Aetna, [Page 31] that by disappearing so suddenly, the World might think that he was gone to the Gods; or, as Cato, who was during his Life-time a Follower of the vanity of the Stoicks; who before he kill'd himself, as it is Reported, had read Plato's Book of the Eternity of the Soul; or finally, as Cleombrotus, who after he had read the same Book, cast himself down a Precipice. This is a Cursed and Abominable Doctrin, that drives Men out of their Lives.

Neither shall I trouble my self with that Cyrenaick of Hegesius, who Disputed so Elegantly concerning the Miseries of Life, and the Blessed Place of the Souls after Death, that King Ptolomy was forced to forbid him to speak in Publick, because so many of his Disciples after they had heard him, destroyed themselves, as Cicero Re­ports, and some others. For the Evils that we in­dure in this Life may happen to be so great, and in­crease in such a manner, that when the time of Death is come, the loss of Life may not be unpleasant, and that in such a Case, Death may be esteem'd as the Haven that shelters us from the Miseries and Tor­ments of Life. But to aggravate our Afflictions so far, as to beget in us a scorn and hatred of Life, is to be injurious and unthankful to Nature, as if the Gift of Life that hath been bestowed upon us for our use, were to be rashly cast away; or as if we were not to accept of it any longer, nor honestly and quietly to enjoy it, as long as is possible.

'Tis true, what Theognis said formerly, ‘That it were much better for Men not to be Born, or to Die as soon as they are Born, is a Celebrated Saying.’

Non nasci res est mortalibus optima longe,
Nec Solis radiis acre videre Jubar,
Aut natum Ditis quamprimum lumen adire.

This is confirmed by the Example of Cleobis, of Biton, of Agamedes, of Pindarus, and of some others, who having Petitioned the Gods to grant to them the thing which was best and most desirable, were admitted to this great favour, To die in a short time. Answerable to this is the Custom of the Thracians, who wept at the Birth of their Children, but Con­gratulated the Happiness of such as Died. Not to mention Menander, who wish'd a young Man dead, because he was well beloved by the Gods.

Quem diligunt Dii, Juvenis ipse interit.

Nor to say any thing of that Famous Sentence; ‘Vitam nemo acciperet, si daretur scientibus,’

That no body would accept of Life willingly, if it were given to them that knew what it were. But pray who will believe that Theognis, and the rest, have spoken seriously, and without any Restriction? I say without any Restriction; for if they would have it, that it is better for such only, who are to be miserable all their Lives, that they had not been Born, or to have Died at the very moment of their Birth, the Saying might be tolerable, and allowable; but to speak this in relation to all Men, is to affront Nature, the Mistriss both of our Life and Death, that hath orde­red and appointed our Birth, and our Dissolution, as she hath all other things for the preservation of the Universe. It were to expose our selves to be con­tradicted, if not by all, yet by the most part of Men, who are not weary of Life, but seek to pre­serve it as carefully as they can. For Life, as we have already observed, hath something in it very pleasing and lovely; therefore he that speaks in this manner, shall feel himself bound and held fast; and I am apt to believe, that he may be like the Old Man [Page 33] in Aesop, who sent Death back again, tho' he had often called for it before; or like another, who re­fused to make use of the Dagger that he had desired to be brought, to free himself, as he pretended, from the Misery that he could no longer endure. Certainly that Person was in jest, who said, That to Live, or to Die, were Acts of Indifferency. And when one ask'd him, Why then don't you Die? his Answer was, Because it was indifferent to him. But I am perswaded, if any had assaulted him with a Naked Sword in his hand, he would have chosen rather to Live than to Die. Another answered more ingenuously, who when some Re­proached him, that he having made profession of Wisdom, acted not accordingly, when he trembled at the approach of Danger, said, For your part you have no reason to be afraid, because your Soul is of small value; but I am afraid for the Precious Soul of Aristippus. And another, when some told him, that he had no reason to have such a desire of li­ving to be Old; Well, quoth he, I but just now arriv'd to the Knowledge of Wisdom, and I desire therefore a little time to enjoy it; as they who enter into Matrimony well stricken in years wish for long Life to breed up their Children. But there is no­thing more remarkable than what Cicero relates of Leontinus Gorgias, who having attain'd to the Age of one hundred and seven years, without any in­terruption by his Labours, and ordinary Occupa­tions, answered, to those, who desired to know from him why he had a mind to live so long?

Nihil habeo quod incusem Senectutem.

I have, says he, no reason to complain of my Old Age.

The Fourth Particular relates to the time to come, and forbids either impatiently to expect, or totally to despair; that so we may not feed our selves with vain Hopes, nor depend upon that, which neither is, nor it may be ever shall happen. For Fortune being of it's own Nature changeable and inconstant, nothing that is within her Power can be foreseen, or relied upon with so much cer­tainty, but it may often deceive him who expects it. So that it is much our surer way, not absolute­ly to despair of the things that we foresee, nor yet to be too much assured of them as Infallible; and in the mean while to prepare our selves in such a manner for all Events, that in case it happens o­therwise than we expect, we may not think our selves deprived of a thing which is of absolute necessity to us. This kind of Sentence, Ni trop esperer, ni trop desperer, Neither too much Hope, nor too much Despair, tends to the same Purpose: For as to Hope and Expect with too great Reliance makes Men neglect other things, and the Mind wanders else­where; so to have no Hopes, causeth Men to be altogether careless, and to forsake all things. Whereas he that hath a Mind moderated in respect of both Passions, finds himself in an admirable Tem­per, and is not forced to Exclaim,

O Jupiter venerande, quale Spes malum est.
O what a miserable thing is Hope!

'Tis what Torquatus expresseth very well in Ci­cero, when he saith, That the Wise Man lives in expectation of Future Events, as if they might chance to be; but nevertheless he depends not upon them, be­cause it may so happen, that they may not be; in the mean while he enjoys the things present, and remem­bers [Page 35] with satisfaction the things past. 'Tis to the same purpose that he speaks also in another place; That we ought not rashly to Despair in a mean, abject and cowardly manner, nor to be too confidently transported by an immoderate Desire. This is the Reason, that when Epicurus speaks of a Fool, in opposition to a Wise Man, he saith, That the Life of the Fool is uneasie, full of Fears, and altogether depending on the time to come.

Stulti vita ingrata est, trepida est, tota in futurum fertur.

A Fool's Life is troublesome and uneasie, always transported with the thoughts of what may happen hereafter.

The Fifth Particular is but a Disgrace or Re­proach to Mankind; for by deferring from Day to Day, their Life passeth away without any profit, always depending upon the time to come. Con­sider, saith Seneca, according to Epicurus, how plea­sant it is to desire nothing, and what a greatness of Mind it is to be always full, and not to depend upon For­tune! Take hold of, and secure the present time, whereby you will have less occasion of dependance on the future. By deferring the enjoyment of Life our Life vanisheth insensibly. Dum differtur, vita trans­currit. To the same purpose he says in Plutarch; He that needs not to Morrow, nor wishes for it, comes to it insensibly; as if he should say, That the Wise Man ought so to reckon, as if he consider'd every Day of his Life as the last, and as that which was to Compleat the Circle; for by this means he will not put off the Pleasure of the Enjoyment 'till the Morrow; and if he arrives to To Morrow, that Day will be so much the more Pleasant, it being the less expected, and being added as an overplus to [Page 36] the rest; it will be look'd upon as an Advantage, and esteem'd as pure Gain.

Pacuvius, a Vice-Roy of Syria, having spent a whole Day in Feasting, and Drinking, was wont when they carried him home from the Table to his Bed, to cause these words to be sung to him, Vixit, Vixit; he hath Lived, he hath Lived. What this Glutton did, saith Seneca, out of a Spirit of Debauchery, let us Practise in Reality; and when we shall have Seriously and Virtuously spent the Day, and are retiring to our Rest, let us say with Joy and Contentment, ‘Vixi, & quem dederas cursum Fortuna peregi.’

I have Lived, and have accomplish'd the Race that Providence hath appointed me; if God adds another Day, let us receive it with Joy and Thank­fulness. He is certainly Happy, and enjoys him­self most, who expects the Morrow without anxiety of thought. And whosoever after this manner can say, I have Lived, arrives every Day to a new Advantage.

Horace gives almost the same Advice. We must, saith he, suppose every Day to be the last of our Life. Thus the time which we don't expect will become grateful to us.

Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum,
Grata superveniet, quae non sperabitur hora.

Let us quietly make use of this present time, ne­ver reckoning upon that which is to come.

Be not inquisitive what shall happen to Morrow; but as if you were to Die this very Day, look upon it as an advantage, if Providence grants you any longer continuance.

[Page 37]
Quid sit futurum cras fuge quaerere, et
Quam Sors dierum cumque ferat, lucro

Accept with thankfulness the time that God be­stows on you, and do not deferr the Enjoyment of the Comforts and Pleasures of Life 'till the next Year.

Tu, quamcunque Deus tibi fortunaverit horam,
Grata sume manu, nec dulcia differ in annum.

The best of our Days are those that past first.

Optima quaeque Dies miseris mortalibus aevi
Prima fugit—

As if every Day we drew nearer to the Dregs of our Life. And as if the purest Pleasures that we delay, could never be recover'd again, and those that follow, were not to be compared with the Pleasures that are past. From hence proceed the frequent Complaints of the time ill spent.

The Years I once have spent, could Heaven restore! And nevertheless, we don't endeavour so to Hus­band the present time, that if God did restore the former, we might say, Now I understand how I might better employ it. We fancy always that our time of living Happily is not yet come; that the good things we expect, are far above those that we have already enjoy'd, or could enjoy. So that what is past we esteem as nothing, but have always in our eye and thoughts the time to come, being now as desirous of Life as ever.

[Page 38]
Sed dum abest quod avemus, id exsuperare videtur
Coetera, post aliud cum contigit, illud avemus,
Et sitis aequa tenet vitai semper hiantes.

As if we were not to reckon the Time past as any way acceptable or pleasing, but at the same time to rejoyce, that it is as it were put out of danger; and the rather, because many expect the same For­tune, and are deceived in their expectations. We must do this piece of Justice to Epicurus, saith Se­neca, That he continually complains of our being un­grateful for the time past, that we call not to mind the good things that we have enjoy'd, nor so much as reckon them amongst the real Advantages and solid Pleasures of Life, because there is no Delight more certain than that, which we cannot be deprived of. Praesentia bona nondum tota in solido sunt, potest illa casus aliquis incidere, futura pendent, & incerta sunt; quod praeteriit inter tuta sepositum est.

Therefore Plutarch concludes, That the Nature of Good consists not only in shunning the Evil, but also in the Remembrance, and in pleasing our selves with the thoughts that the thing is thus come to pass. But to instance once more in these ridiculous delays, and deferring of things 'till the Morrow.

'Tis a strange thing, saith Epicurus, that consider­ing we are Born but once, that our Days are to have an end, and that the Morrow being out of our Power, nevertheless we always put off 'till the next day to Live: So that our Life is spent miserably in these continual delays, and there are none but die busied in such Af­fairs as concern not their real Happiness; for we occupy our selves in every thing else, but to Live. From hence proceeds that other just Complaint of Seneca, Amongst other Evils, this also attends Folly, That it is always a beginning to Live. And Martial saith, [Page 39] Thou art for Living to Morrow: Alas! consider, it is already late to Live to Day; he is a Wise Man who knew how to Live Yesterday.

Cras vives? hodie jam vivere, Postume, serum est.
Ille sapit quisquis, Postume, vixit heri.

To the same purpose are those Verses of Manilius.

Quid tam sollicitis vitam consumimus annis,
Torquemurque metu, caecaque cupidine rerum,
Aeternisque senes curis, dum quaerimus aevum
Perdimus, & nullo votorum fine beati,
Victuros agimus semper, nec vivimus unquam?

Wherefore do we spend our Days in continual Cares and Troubles, tormented with vain Fears, and greedy Desires? We grow old in endless Vex­ation, we lose our Life in seeking it, and without enjoying the end of our Desires; we are always la­bouring to Live, and never really Live.

The Sixth Particular relates to our Lusts or De­sires, the Knowledge whereof is of that import­ance, that our Skill ought chiefly to be employ'd in distinguishing between such as are really to be ter­med Natural and Necessary, and such as are Vain and Superfluous; for the Happiness of Life depends upon the denial of the latter, and our being con­tent with the enjoyment of the former. But as we shall have occasion to speak of this in other places, we shall here rest satisfied only to have mention'd 'em.

The last Particular that Epicurus recommends to our Consideration, is properly an Exhortation to Study Philosophy, it being the best Physick for the Soul; for Philosophy, if we rightly consider the Etymology of the word, is The Study of Wisdom; and Wisdom to the Mind, is not only as Physick, [Page 40] by which our Health is procured and preserved, but is as the very Health it self. In truth, as the Health of the Body consists in a convenient Temper and Disposition of the Humours and Qualities, so the Health of the Mind consists in a moderation of the Passions, We need but listen to Cicero to un­derstand the Reason of this Comparison. All Passions, says he, are adjudg'd by the Philosophers the Distempers of the Mind; and they deny, that amongst such as are Fools, there are any that are exempt from these Distempers. Now such as are Distemper'd, saith he, are not Healthy; therefore every one that is a Fool is really Sick. For according to the Judgment of the Philosophers, the Health of the Mind consists in a certain Tranquility, and fix'd Constancy; and such as are not in that Disposition, they esteem'd to be Sick, or Distemper'd. Now we must suppose with Epicurus, and the rest, that usually there is nothing dearer and more valuable than the Health of the Body, which plainly demon­strates how dear and precious the Health of the Mind ought to be, seeing, as we shall take notice hereafter, that the Goods and Evils of the Mind are of far great­er and more considerable value than those of the Body, and consequently the end of a Happy Life, consisting in the Tranquility of the Mind, and the Health of the Body (as shall hereafter be made appear) the former is much more valuable than the latter; for he that hath a sedate Mind, composed according to the Rules of Wisdom, earnestly stu­dies Temperance and Sobriety, which are the most solid and best supporters of Bodily Health. We must then, quoth Epicurus, act the part of a Philoso­pher, not in appearance, or out of Ostentation, but ef­fectually, and seriously, because it concerns us not only to seem to be in Health, but to be really so. Old Men as well as Young must apply themselves to this [Page 41] Study, because it is the interest of both to be sound in Mind, as well as in Body. So that none may reproach us, with Horace, that if we have any thing in our Eye that hurts us, we are very earnest to take it out quickly, nevertheless we spend many Years, and not once think of Curing our Minds.

Quae laedunt oculos festinas demere, si quid,
Est Animum, differs curandi tempus in annum.

We ought to deal otherwise with Philosophy, than Thales did with Marriage. When his Mother perswaded him to Marry, he had still some pretence to offer, that it was yet time enough, but after­wards, he said it was too late. And as it is ridiculous to say that it is not yet time, or that the time to Heal or Cure the Body is over, so it is as ridiculous to say, that the time to play the Philosopher, that is to heal the Mind, is not yet come, or that the time is past to be Happy. 'Tis strange that we should thus miserably wast and con­sume our time, and should not apply our selves to that which will be as useful to the Rich, as to the Poor, and which being neglected, is as prejudicial to the Young as to the Old. 'Tis a Reproach that Horace applies to himself.

—Fluunt mihi tarda
—Ingrataque tempora, quae spem
Consiliumque morantur agendi gnaviter id quod
Aeque pauperibus prodest, locupletibus aeque,
Aeque neglectum pueris, senibusque nocebit.

Take from hence, both Young and Old, take from hence with you the Viaticum, the Enter­tainment, [Page 42] and the Consolation of poor Old Age.

—Petite hinc
Juvenesque, senesque miseris viatica canis,

For 'tis of the Study of Philosophy that the Poet speaks, according to Biantes, Aristippus, Antisthenes, Aristotle, and other Philosophers, stiling it the Via­ticum of Old Age. But to mention that chiefly which ought to perswade young Men to Study Phi­losophy, is that there is nothing more Excellent and Commendable, than to accustom our selves be­times to good things, and to adorn the Beauty of Youth with the sweetness of Wisdom, which com­monly is the Blessing of a more mature Age. Nor is there any thing more agreeable than to prepare and make our selves fit to meet and receive Old Age, which besides it's proper Blessings of Matu­rity, may also shine forth with the lustre of those Vertues, which were Splendid and Remarkable in our Youth. So that by the frequent remembrance of the Vertuous Actions of our Youth, we may in our Elder Years seem to grow young again. More­over, Wisdom is not only a proper and true Orna­ment, but a very useful Prop and assistance against the Inconveniencies and Infirmities of Age. 'Tis that which animates Old Men with the same Vigour as it doth the young. Here we again ought to li­sten to Seneca, who when he was very Old, was wont to hear the Lessons of Sextus the Philosopher. The same was practis'd in imitation of him, by the Emperor Antoninus. ‘Behold, says he, this is the fifth Day that I frequent the Schools, and that I listen to a Philosopher, who Disputes from Eight a Clock. You may perhaps say, 'tis time indeed to Study in our younger years. And why not in [Page 43] this Age? Is there any thing more ridiculous than to refuse Learning, because we have not Learn'd a long while before? Shall I be asham'd to go and meet a Philosopher? We ought to Learn while we are Ignorant, and according to the Pro­verb, As long as we Live. Go, Lucillus, and make hast, for fear that it should happen to you, as to me, to be oblig'd to Study in your declining years; and make what speed you can, the rather because you have undertaken that which you will scarce Learn when you come to be Decrepit. But what advantage shall I gather, may you say? As much as you will endeavour for: What do you expect? No Man becomes Wise by Chance. Riches may come to us of themselves, Honours may be of­fered to us, and we may be advanc'd to Employ­ments and Dignities, but Vertue won't come and seek us; we must endeavour to find her, for she ne­ver bestows her Blessings, but upon such as take Labour and Pains.’ These are the Particulars which the Ancient Philosophers, and chiefly Epicu­rus, have recommended to our serious Consideration, as the best means, not only to discover to us the surest way to true Happiness, but also to render it easie and pleasant.

CHAP. II. What sort of Pleasure it is that Epicurus Re­commends as the End of a Happy Life.

TIS strange that the Word Pleasure should have blasted the Reputation of Epicurus, or, to make use of the Words of Seneca, That it hath given occasion for a Fiction; for it is certain that this word comprehends the honest Pleasures, as well as the loose and debauch'd. I say it is certain; for Plato, Aristotle, and all the other Ancient Philosophers, as well as their Disciples, speak in express words, that amongst the Pleasures, some are Innocent, others Impure; some are of the Mind, others are of the Body; some true, others false. ‘We Be­lieve, saith Aristotle, that Pleasure ought to ac­company Happiness. And as it is confess'd, that amongst the operations that are agreeable with Vertue, such as proceed from Wisdom are more Pleasant than the rest, therefore Wisdom seems to contain Pleasures that are pure, admirable, and fix'd. There is a Delight, saith Cicero, in seek­ing after great and hidden things, and when there appears something of resemblance, the Mind is fill'd with a sweet Pleasure. In the Discoveries of Nature there is an unsatiable Pleasure, and those who delight in pursuit hereof, neither regard oft-times their Health, nor their Fortune; they suf­fer all things, being Captivated with the love of Knowledge and Understanding, and with great labour they pay for the Pleasure they acquire by Learning. We read also in the Holy Scriptures, that God himself in the beginning Planted a Gar­den or Paradise of Pleasure; that the Blessed shall [Page 45] be filled with the Fatness of his House, and drink of the Rivers of his Pleasures.’ I mention this, only because some imagin that this word Pleasure cannot nor ought not to be taken but in an ill sense. There­fore when Epicurus saith that Pleasure is the chief End, they fancy that he cannot and ought not to be un­derstood but of sordid and forbidden Pleasures. So that when we say, or when they read that there have been some Philosophers who were called Vo­luptuous, they presently take Epicurus for their Chieftain, or Leader.

But let us examine this Business from the bottom, and first let us begin with the Accusation which they bring against him. And as amongst those who allow other Pleasures than of the Body, there are some that will have what he saith to be under­stood only of Bodily Pleasures; let us weigh his own words as they are found in Laertius, for there he expresseth his Mind, and declares plainly what that Pleasure is which ought to be the End of our Life, and the Chief Good. The End of an Hap­py Life, saith he, is nothing else but the Health of the Body, and the Tranquility of the Soul, [...]. Because all our Actions aim and tend to this End, that we may be free from Pain and Trouble, [...]. And because this End he stiles by the Name of Pleasure, some took occasion from thence to scandalize him, saying, that hereby he understood the mean and sordid Plea­sures of the Body. Therefore he makes his own Apology, and clears himself from this Calumny, by declaring plainly what kind of Pleasure he means, and what not; for after having made it his main business to recommend a Sober Life, which is sa­tisfied with plain Food, and easie to be got, you shall hear what he saith next. When we say that [Page 46] Pleasure is the main End, we mean neither the Plea­sures of Debauchery, nor the other sensual Delights, which terminate in the very moment of enjoyment, and by which the Senses are only gratified and pleased; as some ignorant Persons, and who are not of our Opinion, or who being enviously bent against us do thus Interpret. But we only understand this [...], To feel no pain in the Body, and to have no trouble in the Soul; for 'tis not the Pleasure of continual Eating and Drinking, nor the Pleasure of Love, nor that of Rare Dainties, and de­licious Bits of large and well-furnish'd Tables, that make a Pleasant Life; but a sound Judgment, assisted by Sobriety, and consequently by a serenity and tranquility of Mind, which throughly enquires into the Causes why we ought to embrace or avoid any thing; and that drives away all mistaken Opinions, or false Notions of things, which might raise much perplexity in the Soul. I might add another Passage which I shall only men­tion, Venereorum usus nunquam prodest, praeclareque agitur nisi etiam noceat. That the Delights of Venus are not only unprofitable, but it is very rare if they be not mischievous. But this ingenuous and plain Declaration of his meaning is suf­ficient to justifie him from the slanderous Accusa­tions of his Enemies. Let us nevertheless take no­tice of the difference and contrariety, that Laertius puts between Epicurus, and Aristippus; for this difference or antithesis shews clearly that Epicu­rus believed no other Pleasure to be the End, but that which consists in a constant Repose, namely a freedom from pain of Body, and trouble of Mind. But Aristippus would have it consist in that Pleasure of the Body, which is chiefly Communicated to us by action, or by which our Senses are actually plea­sed and gratified. This contrariety, I say, disco­vers Epicurus's Opinion to have been misrepresented, [Page 47] and taken in a wrong sense, such as Aristippus's deserved. So that all the Reproaches that were due to Aristippus, have been cast by this mistake upon Epicurus, and the other hath escap'd un­blemish'd.

The Famous Dispute of Torquatus in Cicero, plain­ly discovers this Truth; Hear his words. ‘I will explain, saith Torquatus, what that Pleasure is, that I may prevent all cause of mistake in them, who understand not the matter, and that I may make them apprehend that this Doctrin which they fancy to be loose and debauch'd, is Grave, Chast, and Regular. We do not pursue that Pleasure, which gratifies Nature with a little seeming sweetness, and that is relish'd by the Senses with a haut-gust. But we esteem that to be the chief Pleasure, that is taken without any sense of Pain; for as Thirst and Hunger are al­layed by Eating and Drinking, this deliverance, freedom or privation from that, which is trouble­som and uneasie, causeth Pleasure; so in all other things a deliverance from Pain begets Pleasure. Epicurus therefore admits of no Medium between Pain and Pleasure; for he maintained, that what appear'd to some to be a Medium, namely, the privation from all Pain, was not only a Pleasure, but the chief Pleasure. In truth, he that rightly understands himself, and knows what ails him, or what Condition he is in, he must needs be either in Pleasure, or in Pain. Now Epicurus was of Opinion, that the chief Pleasure consisted in a privation from all Pain, and by Consequence, that Pleasure may be diversified and distinguished, but not augmented, and encreas'd.’

We might here produce some Witnesses of this matter. Certainly Seneca may be heard and cre­dited before all others, as being without doubt a [Page 48] Person of great worth, unspotted Reputation, of an Exemplary Life and Manners, and addicted to a Sect which had chiefly drawn upon Epicurus all the shame and disgrace that is commonly cast upon him instead of Aristippus, being thereunto encou­raged by the evil sense and meaning that they have given to his words. ‘According to Epicurus, saith Seneca, there are two Advantages required to the compleating the Sovereign Good, or Chief Happiness of Man. The First is, That the Body may be without Pain. The Second, That the Mind may be calm and sedate: These advan­tages don't increase, if they be compleat; for how can that which is full increase? When the Body is free from Pain, what can be added to that Freedom? when the Mind enjoys it self, and is quiet, what may be added to this Tranquility? Like as the Serenity of the Heavens is perfect, and can't admit of any other new degrees of Light, when it is absolutely clear, and without the least shadow or mist: Thus the Condition of Man is perfect, when he hath taken care of his Body and Soul, making his chief Happiness to consist in the advantages of both together in a Freedom from all trouble of Mind, and from all pain of Body; for we may then say, that such a Man is arrived to the full accomplishment of all his Desires. And if beside all this, there happens to him an additional Repose, it don't increase his chief Good, but it only seasons it; for this compleat Happiness, the perfection of the Human Nature, is comprehended in the quiet of the Body, and the Mind.’ In which words we may take notice, that Seneca expresseth clearly and plainly Epicurus's Opinion, as it is related by La­ertius.

Moreover, because that Epicurus gave the Name of Chief Good, or Compleat Happiness to a free­dom from Bodily Pain, and a perfect Tranquili­ty of Mind, the loose and Debauched Persons of his time took incouragement from thence, mista­king the word Pleasure, and boasting, that they had a Philosopher to countenance their Debauche­ries. For this Reason Seneca argues with them in this manner in his Book of a Happy-Life. 'Tis not Epicurus that forces or perswades them to Luxury and Debauchery, but being accustomed to these Vices, they endeavour to conceal their Vices under the Covert of Philosophy, and they flock together when they hear Plea­sure mentioned with Praise. Non ab Epicuro impulsi luxuriantur, sed vitiis dediti luxuriam suam in Phi­losophiae sinu abscondunt, & eo concurrunt ubi au­diunt laudari Voluptatem.

Without doubt it is not the Pleasure of Epicurus which is esteem'd and sought after; I know how sober and in­nocent that Pleasure is. But they skip at the Name of Pleasure, seeking some protection and veil from their Lasciviousness, and filthy Delights. Nec aestimatur Voluptas illa Epicuri (ita enim me Hercules sentio quam sobria ac sicca sit) sed ad nomen ipsum ad­volant, quaerentes libidinibus suis patrocinium ali­quod ac velamentum. My Opinion, saith he again, is, (for I will speak it in despight of the Vulgar) The things that Epicurus teacheth are fair and just, and have something of solid, and serious, if we consider them exactly; for his Pleasure is reduc'd to very few things. He prescribes to it the very same Rules that we do to Vertue, and appoints it to be Obedient to Na­ture, which is easily contented. Mea quidem senten­tia (invitis hoc nostris popularibus dicam) Sancta Epicurum & recta praecipere, & si propius accesse­ris, tristia. Voluptatibus enim illa ad parvum & [Page 50] exile revocatur, & quam nos Virtuti Legem dicimus, eam ille dicit Voluptati. Jubet illam parere Naturae; Parum autem est Luxuriae quod Naturae satis est.

Will you then understand what it is? He that saith that the Happiness of Life consists in Idleness, in Good Cheer, in Ease and Wanton Pleasures, and calls that Happiness, seeks a good Excuse to an evil Cause, and when he comes flattering himself with the softness of the Name, he follows not that Pleasure which he hears Praised, but that which he brings with him; and when once he begins to believe his Vices to be consistent with the Doctrines professed, he freely adheres to them, no longer disguising and acting them in secret, but boldly and openly proclaiming them to the World.

Thus he concludes, I don't say what many don't scruple to affirm; That the Sect of Epicurus is the en­courager of infamous Crimes, and lewd Debaucheries. But this is what I say, it is ill spoken of I confess, but without Cause, and this cannot easily be discovered, but by more narrowly prying into the very first grounds of their Opinions. The meer name of Pleasure occasions the mistake, and casts an odium upon it. Itaque non dico, quod plerique nostrum, Sectam Epicuri flagi­tiorum Magistram esse, sed illud dico, male audit, infamis est & immerito; neque hoc scire quisquam potest nisi interius fuerit admissus; Frons ipsa dat lo­cum Fabulae, & ad malam spem invitat.

We may after the Testimony of Seneca, bring that of Plutarch, who tho' he was an Enemy of Epi­curus, yet he hath done him so much right, as to say, That the things that were objected against him ra­ther proceeded from vulgar Mistakes, than from the Truth of the matter. Besides, in another place he merrily cries out upon the Pleasure of Epicurus, and his Disciples, O the vast Pleasure and Felicity [Page 51] that there is in being insensible either of Sorrow or Pain! Elsewhere he saith, Tho' Epicurus placeth the Sove­reign Happiness in a perfect Rest, and as it were in a Center of Quiet, &c. And in another place, That young Persons will learn from Epicurus, that Death doth not so much affect us, that the Riches of Nature are limited, that Felicity and a Happy-Life don't con­sist in abundance of Silver, or in Large Possessions, in Dominion, or in Power, but in a freedom from Pain, in the Government of our Passions, and in that Dispo­sition of the Mind, which confines all things within the limits of Nature. From hence it is evident that the chief Happiness of Epicurus is not that Pleasure which is in Motion, or in the pleasing of our Sen­ses, but rather that which is and appears in Rest, in a freedom from trouble.

We might here farther add the Testimonies of Tertullian, of St. Gregory Nazianzen, of Ammonius, of Stobeus, of Suidas, of Lactantius, and of many others amongst the Ancients, who tho' being no entire Friends of Epicurus, yet some of them have declared, that the Pleasure that Epicurus recommends was nothing else, but a peaceable State agreeing with Nature, and not a mean and sordid Pleasure. Others have said, That between Epicurus and Aristippus there was this difference; that Aristippus placed the chief Happiness in the Pleasure of the Body, but Epicu­rus in that of the Mind. Others, That the Pleasure which the Disciples of Epicurus propose to themselves for their End, certainly is not a sensual and a Bodily Pleasure, but a quiet Temper of the Soul, which is in­separable from a Vertuous and an Honest Life. Others, as Lactantius, after he had abated of the warmth of his Stile, he saith, That Epicurus maintains the chief Happiness to be in the Pleasures of the Mind, and Ari­stippus in that of the Body.

I speak of the Ancients within these two hun­dred years; that is to say, towards the end of the ignorant Ages; we have amongst others John Ger­son, and Gemistus Pletho, that speak and verifie the same. The first having mentioned divers Opinions concerning Happiness, declares, that some are of Opinion that Man's Happiness consists in the Pleasures of the Mind, or in a peaceable Tranquility of Spirit, such as was that of Epicurus, mentioned often by Sene­ca, in his Epistles, with very much respect. But, as to the other Epicurus, quoth he, Aristippus, Sardanapa­lus, and Mahomet, who placed it in the Pleasures of the Body, they were no Philosophers. Here we must pardon the ignorance of that Age, and the common vogue, if he hath imagined that there have been two of that Name. The second Named Ge­mistus Pletho, Treating of the Delight of Contem­plation, shews, That Aristotle, never taught any other Doctrin than that of Epicurus, who placed the Chief Happiness in the Pleasures of the Mind. Now it is not without Reason that I have insinuated, that since these Men, there hath sprung up an Happier and a more Learned Age, that have revived Learn­ing, that lay almost Languishing; for since that time an infinite number of knowing Men are risen up, who have entertained better thoughts of that Philosopher, as Philelphus, Alexander ab Alexandro, Volateranus, Johannes Franciscus Picus, and many more.

What shall we say then to those who Charge him with a contrary Opinion? Nothing else but what hath been spoken in the Apology of his Life, namely, that the Stoicks who very much hated him for Reasons there expressed at large, have not only misunderstood his Opinion, but they have also for­ged and publish'd in his Name scandalous Books, whereof they themselves were the Authors, that [Page 53] they might the more easily gain credit to their Ma­licious Insinuations, and fasten upon him their Ca­lumnies without suspicion. Now one of the Causes of their hatred against him was, that Zenon their Principal Leader was naturally melancholy, austere, rude, and severe, and his Disciples following their Guide, affected the same Air, and a severe Meen. This hath caused the Vertue of the Stoicks or their Wisdom to be represented as some very austere and reserved thing; and in regard that caused them to be admired and respected by the Common-Peo­ple, and that we suffer our selves willingly to be carried away to vain-glory, and to be puft up with Pride, if we don't take great heed to prevent it, they fancied themselves to be the only possessors of Wisdom; and therefore they boasted that he alone was the Wiseman, whose Soul was strengthned and fortified with the Vertue of the Stoicks, that he alone was fit to be a King, a Captain, a Magi­strate, a Citizen, (for such were their Expressions) an Orator, a Friend, Beautiful, Noble, and Rich. And that such a one never repents, is not touch'd with Remorse, cannot receive Affronts, is ignorant of nothing, never doubts of any thing, is free from Passion, is always at Liberty, full of Joy and Con­tent, like God himself, and several other qualities they ascribe to him; which caused Plutarch to re­proach them in these words. The Stoicks have taught some things far more ridiculous than the Poets. But Epicurus on the contrary was of a sweeter and more candid Temper, and as he acted with sincerity and plain-dealing, he could not endure this vanity and ostentation. So that when he consider'd be­sides the weakness of our Human Nature, and what it was capable of undergoing, and what not, he quickly understood that all those great boastings which made such noise in the Schools of the Stoicks, [Page 54] were but vain Fictions, when the Glory and the Pride of their words were removed; therefore he proposed to himself a Vertue that he knew our Human Nature capable of. And because he observ'd that Men in all their Proceedings were naturally carried to some Pleasure, and after he had well in­quired into all the several kinds of Pleasure, there was none more Universal, more firm, more con­stant, and more desirable, than that which consists in the Health of the Body, and the Tranquility of the Mind; he therefore declared, that to be the chief End of all Delights, and that Vertue alone was the best means to obtain it, and consequently, that a Wise or a Vertuous Man, did by his Sobriety and Chastity, that is to say, by the Vertue of Tem­perance, preserve the health of his Body, as far as his Natural Constitution would permit; and that being assisted by Moral Vertues, by which he appeaseth the Passions of Lust, Gluttony, Covetous­ness, and Ambition, he endeavours chiefly to pre­serve likewise as much as he is able the Tranquility of his Thoughts. At the same time he also maintain'd, that true Pleasure was not to be found in the Act, or in the Motion, as Aristippus imagin'd, but in statu, in a state or manner of existing, without Pain in the Body, and disquiet in the Mind, as we have al­ready often declared heretofore. And this was his plain and simple manner of acting; he cared not to obtain the reputation of the Vulgar by a glossy Rhetorick, or by a Majestick Deportment, that express'd a great deal of Vanity in Manners, as Ze­non did, nor did he deceive the People, as the other did with a vain ostentation of things, which takes much with them, tho' they neither understand them, nor can practise them.

Now Zenon and the Stoicks understanding this simplicity of Manners and Doctrin, and seeing that [Page 55] many Men of Parts were undeceived, and made no account of their great and glorious words and pro­mises, conceived so great a prejudice against him, that they sought always how to defame him, taking occasion from the word Pleasure, and affirming that he thereby understood sensual and debauch'd Plea­sure and Excess.

We are not therefore too easily to assent to what they say, nor too readily give credit to the Report of others, who being imposed upon by their Mi­stakes, have exclaim'd against him. But if some honest Men have been guilty of this Error, it is to be supposed, as Seneca observes, that they never knew the inside of this Sect, but had only some for­ged Books, or believed the Stoicks, his Enemies; or perhaps tho' they understood his Opinion, they believ'd nevertheless that it was not easie to unde­ceive the People, as it was convenient to continue their Clamours against this Philosopher, that they might declare thereby their hatred to Vice, and Sensual Pleasures, by exclaiming against their sup­posed Protector and Incourager.

For the Holy Fathers of the Church as they de­sign'd nothing but Piety and good Manners; they have furiously declaim'd not only against all filthy and bruitish Pleasures, but also against their Patrons and Protectors. And because the Report was al­ready spread abroad, that Epicurus was the Chief, they have treated him according to the common mistake. So that it is not their fault, that he has been Scandaliz'd, for he was so before, and what they did, was only, as we have already hinted, to give a greater abhorrence of Vice, and of sordid and sensual Pleasures. This is so certainly true, that some, such as Lactantius, who being otherwise provok'd against Epicurus, have nevertheless retract­ed their former Opinion. And St. Jerom amongst [Page 56] the rest, writing against Jovinian, places not Epicurus amongst them, who commonly say, Let us Eat and Drink, &c. but looks upon him in another manner, than the common Report. It is wonderful, saith this great Saint, that Epicurus, the great Pa­tron of Pleasure, fills his Books with nothing but Herbs and Fruits, affirming that the plainest Food is the best, because Flesh, and other dainty Dishes require a great deal of care and trouble to be fitted for our use, and that there is more Pains in seeking them, than Pleasure in abusing them; that our Bodies have no need but of plain Meats and Drinks, that where there is Bread and Water, and such like Necessaries, we may thereby ea­sily satisfie Nature, but what is over and above is need­less, and tends to gratify our Lust; that our Eating and Drinking is not for Delight, but to expel Hunger and Thirst; that Wisdom is inconsistent with the labo­rious toil of procuring good Chear; that Nature's De­sires are soon satisfied, and that by moderate Diet and plain Apparel we expel Cold and Hunger.

There is but one passage more that may seem to create some difficulty. It is that which Cicero ob­jects, as being taken out of the Book wherein Epi­curus's Ends and Designs are described; for he makes him say, That if we take away Bodily and Sen­sual Pleasures, he knows no other good. But why may we not easily suppose that the Stoicks, who have been so bold to forge whole Books, and make Epi­curus their Author, have maliciously put this Passage in his Book, and it being thus abused and falsified, it is come into the hands of Cicero, and Atheneus? That which makes us suspect this is, First, That Laertius, who hath left us a Catalogue of Epicurus's Books, and consequently ought to know what was in them, when he relates a passage out of his Book of The End, and others of the same, saith, That they are Fools that impose such things upon Epicurus, [Page 57] for they are not to be found in the true Copies. And Hesichius assures us that they are gross Lyars, that assert any such thing of him. Secondly, Epicurus himself complains of their making him speak those words which were against his Judgment, and his Disciples would never acknowledge that passage; but they have rather always complain'd of it, and exclaim'd against it. Thirdly, These words are expresly contrary to those, which are known to be of Epicurus, Res Venereae nunquam prosunt, & multum est ni noceant, as we have already observ'd. Fourth­ly, That Cicero amongst these Objections that he makes, cannot but propose this Question, as if Truth himself had forced him to it; What, do you believe that Epicurus was of this Perswasion, and that his Opinions were dishonest, sensual, and lewd? For my part I can't believe it; for I find, that he declares a great many excellent things, and very vertuous. Fifthly, That Cicero acknowledges, as he was a very Popular Man, that he did not tie up himself to speak according to the strict Opinions of the Philosophers, but agreeable with the Notions of the People. Verum ego non quaero nunc quae sit Phi­losophia verissima, sed quae Oratori conjuncta maxime: Not to say that he could not bar himself from speaking well of Epicurus, as being a Man without Malice, or rather a right honest Man. Venit Epicu­rus Vir minime malus, vel potius Vir optimus. And when he speaks of the Epicureans, he saith, that they are very good Men, that he hath never met with a sort of Persons less malicious; that the Epicureans complain of his endeavouring to speak ill of Epicurus; that whole Crowds of Epicureans came frequently to visit him, but that nevertheless he doth not despise them. Quos tamen non aspernor; These are his own words.

Wherein Epicurus, and Aristippus differ.

NOW that we may see exactly in what Epicu­rus differs from Aristippus, we need but Ex­amin Laertius. They differ, saith he, First, in Re­lation to the word Pleasure, in that Epicurus ascribes it not only to that which proceeds from present action, and the immediate gratification of the Senses, but like­wise to that, which he saith is settled firm and abiding, and is found in that sweet Repose which he Names [...], Tranquility, and a freedom from Pain; whereas Aristippus ascribes it to that only which proceeds from action, laughing at that Tranquility, and Exemption from Pain of Epicurus, which is like the Condition of a Sleeping or a Dead Man. They differ therefore in this, that Epicurus hath placed the End or the Happiness of Man in that Pleasure that is in a continuing state, in statu, or in duration; but Aristippus in that which is in motion, in motu, transient. Epicurus places it in that of the Mind, but Aristippus in that of the Body. Epicurus amongst our Pleasures reckons the remem­brance of past advantages, and the expectation of those which are to come; but Aristippus values them as nothing. But as we have before mention'd, these Particulars, so we shall at present hint but two things to you. First, That when Atheneus declares that not only Aristippus, but also Epicurus and his Disciples declared for the Pleasure that is transient and flitting; this relates to that Scandal, which hath caused some to believe that Epicurus was of the same Opinion as Aristippus, and which according to the Expressions of Atheneus, belong to Aristippus properly. These are his words, Aristippus, saith he, [Page 59] being wholly addicted to the Pleasures of the Senses, judges those Pleasures to be the End and Happiness of Life, and making no account of former Enjoyments, nor of the expectation of any to come; he knows no ad­vantages, but such as are present, as the most Debauched Persons do; and as those, who are immerged in De­lights. And his Life was answerable to his Doctrin, for he spent it wholly in Luxury, and the great ex­pences that he was at for that purpose; he never dissembled, nor offered to excuse, but answer'd in a pleasant manner jesting, I enjoy Lais, but she don't enjoy me; I live Sumptuously, but if that were Crimi­nal, it would not be so much practised in the Festivals of the Gods. I give fifty Drachms for a Partridge, for which thou wouldst not spare a Half-penny: I buy a Dainty Bit dear, for which thou would'st grudge to bestow three half-pence. I have not therefore so great a fancy for Pleasure, as thou hast for thy Mony.

The Second thing that we must here take notice of, is, that these words of Seneca, I shall never call an exemption from Pain Happiness, which a Worm, a Bird, or a Flea enjoys, &c. cannot nor ought to be understood of an exemption from Pain, or the Plea­sure that Epicurus places in a setled Rest, for that thereby he never understood a Lazy Life, or a Rest like that of a Drone, or of a Worm, but such a Life as Seneca himself praiseth, and highly esteems, when he saith, why may not that Rest in which he will dispose and settle the Ages to come, and will give Instructions to all Men, as well to them that are as shall be, be convenient for an Honest Man? or when speaking particularly of Epicurus, he saith, Nor is that Person, of whom we are wont to speak hard­ly, for maintaining a soft and idle Pleasure, but for such as is consistent with Reason. As if he should describe it like that which Aristotle represents proceeding [Page 60] from a Life of Contemplation, or that State of Rest and Tranquility which is employ'd in Specu­lation, and Meditation, and therefore ought not to be call'd Idleness, and Laziness; for Contemplation is such an action, which alone does compleat the Divine Felicity. Besides, the same Aristotle de­clares, action is not in motion, but that there is some in Repose, and that Pleasure consists rather in a Repose, than in Motion.

And what Seneca asserts speaking of Pleasure, that it chiefly consists in action is much to the pur­pose. This Pleasure, saith he, is extinguish'd when the Delight appears in its greatest strength; it is soon accomplish'd, it soon passeth over, and becomes te­dious after its first impress. Now that which comes and passeth away so speedily, and perisheth in the use, and in the very act, hath neither substance, solidity, nor duration, but ceaseth the same moment that it ap­pears, and in the very beginning it looks to the end, and perisheth.

'Tis true, what Plato speaking of this Concern maintains, that it may as well be stiled Pain as Pleasure, because as it is a Pleasure to pass from Pain to this; so it is Pain and Grief to fall from Pleasure into the same. Nor is it near so grievous, to cease from the enjoyment of Pleasure in case no Pain succeeds, as it is grateful to cease from being tor­mented with Pain, tho' no Delight follows; there­fore this State is reckon'd to be a State of Plea­sure, rather than of Grief. This is the meaning of Torquatus in Cicero. I suppose that when Pleasure is removed, nothing immediately succeeds that is uneasie, unless by accident Pain follows after that Delight. On the contrary, we rejoyce to be deliver'd from Pain, tho' none of those Pleasures which gratifie the Senses succeed; from whence we may inferr, what a great Pleasure it is to be free from Pain.

But let us listen to Seneca, who esteems this State of Life to be not only a Pleasure, but even the chief Happiness of Man.

The Condition and Satisfaction of a Wise Man, ac­cording to Epicurus's Opinion.

‘THE Wise-Man, saith Seneca, is he, who like the Gods lives pleasant and easie, with­out trouble or discontent. Now examin your selves, if you are not often dejected, froward, and at some times transported with too violent Expectations, and earnest Desires, which render you uneasie. If your Mind continues always Day and Night in the same even temper, equal in re­spect of it self, always exalted and content; If so, you may then say, that you are arrived to the most accomplish'd pitch of Happiness that Men are capable of. But if you are still in pursuit of all sorts of Pleasures, and seek them every where, know that in such a case you want as much Wis­dom as content. You desire to attain this Chief Happiness, but you are deceived, if you expect to procure it by the means of Riches; if you seek Delight amongst Honours, 'tis to seek it amongst Cares and Troubles. That which you fancy will give you Pleasure, is the Origin and Cause of a thousand Torments. Pleasure and Content are the Universal desire of all Men; but they gene­rally are ignorant of the Methods how to obtain such Content as may be fix'd and permanent. Some seek it in Feastings and Luxury, others in Riches and Great Offices and Dominion; others in the Favors and Smiles of their Dalilah's, others in a vain ostentation of their Learning and Parts, [Page 62] which oftentimes stand the Soul in little stead. Their short-liv'd and deceitful Pastimes delude them, such as Ebriety, which for the seeming Pleasure of an hour, causeth many Months of real Sorrow and Trouble: Or the Applauses and Accla­mations of the People, which we have already purchased by much unquietness, and which will not fail to draw upon us as much more. Remem­ber therefore that a Wise-Man ought to procure to himself such a satisfaction of Mind as is always firm, constant, and equal. His Soul ought to be like that part of the World above the Moon, where a continual Serenity reigns. You have reason therefore to endeavour to be Wise, seeing the Wise-Man is always full of Content. This satisfaction proceeds from his own Conscience, and from his knowledge of being a vertuous Man. It is impossible to enjoy this quiet, unless we be Just, Magnanimous, and Temperate. But what, will you say, Don't Fools and Wicked Men re­joyce? No more than Lyons, when they have found a Prey. When such have spent the Night in Debauchery, when they have gorged them­selves with Wine, and consumed their strength in the Converse of Women, and that their Sto­machs can no longer contain the quantity of Meats they have devoured, they may then well cry out, What miserable Wretches are we? We now plainly perceive that this Night hath been spent in vain and deceitful Pleasures.’

Nám (que) ut supremam falsa inter gaudia noctem
Egerimus, nosti—

‘The Joys and Pleasures of the Gods, and of those that imitate 'em, are never interrupted, and [Page 63] never have an end. Their satisfaction would fail, if it came from without. That which Fortune ne­ver gave, it can never take from us.’

That the Pains and Pleasures of the Mind are greater than those of the Body.

THE last difference that Laertius puts be­tween Epicurus and Aristippus is, that as Ari­stippus esteems the Pains of the Body greater and more troublesom than those of the Mind, he suppo­ses likewise the Pleasures of the Body much greater and more considerable than those of the Mind; whereas Epicurus is of a contrary Opinion. ‘In the Body, saith he, we can feel only things present, but the Mind can be sensible of things past, and to come. 'Tis manifest, that a great degree of Pleasure, or an extream Affliction of the Mind con­tributes more to an happy or to an unhappy Life, than much Pleasure, or much Pain of the Body. If the painful Diseases of the Body imbitter the sweetness of our Lives, those of the Mind ought to render it much more unhappy. Now the Prin­cipal Distempers of the Mind, are the greedy ex­travagant Desires of Riches, of Glory, of Domi­nion, of Sordid and Unlawful Pleasures: More­over the Disturbances, Gripings and Sorrows that overwhelm the Mind, those anxious Cares that consume it, &c.

This seems to be what Ovid thought, when he upbraids us, because we can readily undergo the scorching heat of the Fire, the sharpnesess of Iron, and the trouble of Thirst, to free our selves from some Distempers of the Body, but to heal the Mind, which is of a far greater value, we scruple to suffer any thing.

[Page 64]
Ʋt Corpus redimas, ferrum patieris & ignes,
Arida nec sitiens ora lavabis aqua
Ʋt valeas Animo quicquam tolerare negabis;
At pretium pars haec Corpore majus habet.

And I suppose Horace had the same Fancy in the forementioned Passage.

—Nam cur
Quae feriant oculos festinas demere, si quid
Est animum differs curandi tempus in annum?

Truly as the Soul is infinitely more Noble than the Body, and according to the Opinion of Aristo­tle, it alone makes up almost the entire Man; it must therefore necessarily be much more susceptible as well of the impressions of Good, of Pleasure and Delight, as of Evil, Trouble, and Disquietness. Besides, the Diseases of the Mind are so much the more dangerous than the Diseases of the Body, be­cause these have signs to make us understand them, but the other are often concealed from us; for our Reason that ought to ponder them is disturb'd, and cannot make a right estimation. Therefore such as are Sick in Body seek a Remedy from Physick, but such as are Distemper'd in Mind, from Philosophy, yet will not obey its Directions. Again, amongst the Diseases of the Body, those are the greatest and the most dangerous of all, which cast us into a slumber, and are not felt by the Patient, as a Le­thargy, the Falling-Sickness, and that burning Fever which causeth a Dilirium. Now there is scarce any Distemper of the Mind, but ought to be reckon'd of as dangerous a Consequence; and the rather, because they are not known to be what they are, and oftimes are covered over with a fair [Page 65] shew and pretence of contrary Vertues; for Exam­ple, Fury and Wrath, are stiled Courage; Fear and Cowardise, usurp the name of Prudence. In short, Discontent, which is a grief of the Mind, and a Di­stemper which generally causeth the other Diseases to be more unpleasant, sad and troublesom, affects nothing more, than to seem to be taken and caused not without great Provocation and just Resentments. Neither are we to pretend with Aristippus, That Criminals are commonly punished with Pains and bodily Torments, as being more severe and uneasy to be undergone. For as the Legislator or the Judge, hath not the same power over the Mind, as over the Body, so it is as true, that he cannot appoint, that the Offender should be tortured in his Mind, but in his Body, that so a visible Punishment might be inflicted upon the Offender, whereby the People might be kept in stricter awe from Offending: But it follows not from thence, that there is no greater pain than that, or, that the pain of the Mind may not be a more grievous Torment.

Besides, when a Man is really under the actual sufferings of the Body, or when he supposes that he shall shortly be so, he fancies in his Mind, that he shall be tied to the Rack, or perhaps, that his Head shall be cut off; that he shall be broken upon the Wheel, or burnt at the Stake; that he shall lose his Life in sight of the World with publick Shame, and be accounted a perpetual Ignominy and Reproach to his Family and dearest Friends; and who cannot but be troubled at this? And can you imagin any torture of the Body (supposing it to be separa­ted from all this) that can stand in competition with this inward kind of Grief and cruel Vexation of the Mind? And for this reason it is, that I have as­serted, that the Pains and Torments are not direct­ly appointed by the Judge, but are thereby indi­rectly [Page 66] [...] [Page 67] [...] [Page 66] designed, to the end they might increase the former, and render the punishment more grievous. To this purpose, have we not seen, that the Threats and terrible apprehensions of Death, have changed the Hair of the Head into a hoary colour in one Night; have dried up the moisture of the Body, and have Killed several? This plainly shews, that the last and greatest Torment, is not that of the Body, but that of the Mind, &c.

I don't here recount the grief and disturbance of Mind, which Envy, Ambition, and the remorse of Conscience causeth in an evil Man, a Tyrant, or a­mbitious Wretch; I will at present only insert what Juvenal, Horace, and Persius mention of it, as a greater Torment, than ever Caeditius, or Rhadaman­tus ever invented.

Juv. Sat. XIII.
Not sharp Revenge, nor Hell it self can find
A fiercer Torment, than a guilty Mind,
Which day and night do's dreadfully accuse,
Condemns the Wretch, and still the Charge renews.
And Horace, Epist. 2. Lib. I.
The fiercest Tyrants never yet could find
A greater Rack, than Envy to the Mind.
And Persius, Sat. III.
Great Father of the Gods, when for our Crimes,
Thou send'st some heavy Judgment on the Times,
Some Tyrant King, the Terror of his Age,
The Type and true Vice-gerent of thy Rage;
Thus punish him; set Vertue in his sight,
With all her Charms, adorn'd with all her Graces bright.
But set her distant, make her pale to see
His Gains outvi'd by lost Felicity.

And, tho some pretend, that a wicked Varlet by his repeated Crimes and long accustomed habit in Villany, may attain at last to such an insensibility, as to have none of those ordinary Remorses, which rack the Minds of the cruellest Tyrant, and by that means may become Happy: And, besides, that the freedom from Remorse, makes not a Man Happy, I will farther add, That in the ordinary course of Life, this supposition is not only scarce to be found, as is easy to be proved, but altogether impossible; and, that there is no man, tho' never so much hardened in Wickedness, that can banish, or expel out of his Mind, this inward Executioner. Again, such a Wretch cannot be reckoned in the number of Men, but of Monsters, that are to be Strangled; and not only so, but in the number of Fools, because he hath lost his Sense and Reason, by brutishly expo­sing himself to the Rage, if I may so say, and to the Fury of all Men, who abominate him, and look upon him as a Beast of Prey, or as a Tyrant, that deserves to be cut off.

Wherein Epicurus differs from the Stoicks.

LAertius takes also notice, in what Particulars Epicu­rus differs in Opinion from the Stoicks, upon ac­count of that irreconcilable hatred they bore him. He says, that Epicurus having declar'd, That Vertue is desirable for Pleasure's sake, they took this pretence to exclaim against him, as if he had spoken of sor­did and sensual Pleasures; saying, That it is unwor­thily spoken, and scandalous to maintain, That Vertue was not to be sought for it self, but for this sort of Pleasure. Amongst others, there was one named Cleanthes, who to heighten the matter, and render Epicurus more Odious, made this Picture, which Cicero objects to Torquatus. ‘Fancy to your selves, [Page 68] (said he to his Disciples) Pleasure finely drawn, sitting upon a Royal Throne, shining in very splendid and magnificent Attire, attended by all the Vertues, standing about her as so many Ser­vants, yet acting nothing else, nor performing any other Office, but to Advise and Whisper her in the Ear; Take heed that you commit nothing im­prudently, and that might offend the Minds of Men, or from whence some Reluctance and Displeasure may proceed: We are the Vertues, born for to tender you this Service, and our Office is only to admonish you.’

This is the Picture that the Envy and Jealousie of Cleanthes made of Epicurus's Pleasure. There want­ed but one thing more, the saying of a certain Per­son. ‘That Epicurus had imitated Paris, who of the three Goddesses, selected Venus, upon whom he be­stow'd the Golden Apple. That Epicurus by Plea­sure, had nothing else in prospect but mean and low Pleasures, such as a beautiful Face, Hair loosly spread, with Perfumes, gaudy Attire, and a wan­ton Carriage and Behaviour, tending to all Soft­liness and Effiminacy, to Lust, Lasciviousness and Debauchery,’

Altera Achaemenium spirabat vertice odorem,
Ambrosias diffusa comas, & veste refulgens
Ostrum, quam fulvo Tyrium suffuderat auro;
Fronte decor quaesitus acu, lasciva (que) crebras
Ancipiti motu jaciebant lumina flammas.

Whereas, he ought to have imitated Hercules, who meeting with Pleasure and Vertue together, gave the preference to the latter, tho' Vertue appear'd to him with an austere Countenance, in a careless Undress, making her approach with a Masculine Aspect, accompanied with a becoming Modesty, as the Poet saith;

[Page 69]
— Frons hirta, nec unquam
Composita mutata coma, stans vultus & ore
Incessu (que) viro propior, laetique pudoris.

That Vertue, (according to Epicurus) is essentially re­lated to Pleasure, as it tends to the main end and de­sign of an happy Life.

BUt there is no need that we should stop here to deface this Picture of Cleanthes, or busy our selves in discovering what Malice and Detraction have in­vented. What hath been already spoken, may suf­fice for that purpose; and the rather, because we have plainly made it appear, that the Pleasure meant by Epicurus, is not that soft, sensual, and debauch'd Pleasure represented in this Picture, but that which he intends, is quite contrary, Pure and Undefiled, viz. An Indolency of the Body, and the Tranqui­lity of the Mind, but chiefly the latter. So that this kind of Pleasure cannot hinder any from seeking after Vertue, seeing that it is in this only that Felicity or Happiness of Life consists; and that Epicurus proposes no more than the Stoicks them­selves do, who affirm, That Vertue is sufficient to pro­cure a pleasant and a happy Life.

And truly this Maxim alone does sufficiently evince, That what Shift or Excuse soever they may seem to frame, yet they suppose Vertue designed for no other end, but to live well and happily. So, that an happy Life is desirable for it self; but Ver­tue is not so much desirable for itself, as for an happy Life. Now, when I mention this nice Di­stinction, I include Seneca himself, who makes Plea­sure an accidental Companion only, or something that is casually incident to Vertue; like as a small Weed, which grows and flourisheth amongst Wheat. This [Page 70] seems Popular and Taking. And we may truly compare Vertue to the Wheat; but as we seek and covet the Wheat, not simply for the sake of Wheat, nor for that small Weed that grows amongst it, but for the uses of Life that we expect from it: So Vertue is not sought after simply for it self, or for its own sake, or for any slight thing that may in­tervene, but chiefly in order to Happiness, or which amounts to the same, for this kind of Pleasure that we now treat of. Therefore, when he adds, Thou art mistaken when thou askest, what that thing is which moveth us to seek after Vertue, for it is to ask for some­thing above that which is the highest of all; I seek and desire Vertue it self; I desire it for it self; there is no­thing better; it carries with it a sufficient Reward. It is manifest, that this Question is full and to the Purpose; and we may say, That when we desire something beyond Vertue, we don't desire a trivial thing, but something that is above the highest and Supream. It is true, that in order to all the means which are used to render Life happy, it is impossi­ble to find any more conducive thereunto than Ver­tue. Nevertheless, we are to esteem an happy Life above Vertue; for Vertue only relates to Happi­ness, or an happy Life, as to its proper End.

And therefore Aristotle seems to be very exact in this point, when he speaks of that Happiness which Vertue above all things can procure. ‘Is is, saith he, evident, That the recompence or reward of Vertue, is something very Excellent, something Divine and Happy. And elsewhere, That Feli­city is not a thing that happens to us by a Divine appointment alone, but is to be obtain'd by Ver­tue, or by Learning, or by our Endeavours; there is nothing can be more Excellent, nothing more Happy. Besides, he makes this distinction with Plato and Architas. There are some things saith he, That are desirable for themselves, and not for [Page 71] any thing else, as Felicity; and others are desired for something else, and not for themselves, as Riches; and other things, are desired for themselves, and for others, as Vertue.’ This I instance on purpose that one may see what sort of Men may be opposed to Seneca, when he is so confident, that Vertue can­not nor ought not to be desired for any thing else but it self. By this Opinion, we offer no wrong to Vertue; for just as much as we value Pleasure, Fe­licity, and the chief Good, so much do we praise and esteem Vertue, which leads us to, and is the proper means of obtaining them.

But not to busy our selves any longer about this matter, it sufficeth to relate here what Cicero makes Torquatus speak according to the Sentiments of Epi­curus. The Text is long, but excellent, and it explains and decides, as I may say, the whole Mat­ter. When therefore after a long Dispute, it was concluded, That whatsoever is Right, Just, and Praise-worthy, tends to live Pleasantly, and with Delight, Torquatus continues thus to speak; ‘In regard therefore that this is the chief and supream Good, which the Greeks have called by the name of End, because it tends to no other thing, and that all things center in it; We ought to confess, that to live with delight and Pleasure, is the chief Good or Happiness. They who place it in Vertue alone, and whose Understandings are dazled with the glory of the Name, not rightly comprehending what Nature requires, may be freed from a gross Mistake, if they please to hearken to Epicurus; for to instance in all your laudable and excellent Vertues, and First, of Wisdom, Who can believe them to be Praise-worthy or desirable, if they pro­cured no Pleasure? Truly, as we don't esteem the Art of a Physician for the Art sake, but for the Preservation of Health; so we should never [Page 72] desire Wisdom, which is the Art of Living, if it were Insignificant and Useless: But as it drives us in the search, and helps us in the obtaining true and real Pleasure, we earnestly desire and pursue after it. You understand now what Pleasure I speak of; and lest the ambiguous acceptation of words should render our Discourse untelligible or doubtful, I must explain my self, That it is Wis­dom alone that banisheth Sorrow and all uneasi­ness of Mind, that supports us under our anxious Fears, that curbs the fury of our Lusts and Ap­petites, and causeth us to live Peaceably and Easy. These are the unsatiable Appetites, that ruin not only every particular Person, but also Families, and oft-times the whole Common-wealth. From these Appetites proceed Hatred, Quarrels, Discords, Seditions, Wars. And these Passions break not only outwardly upon other Persons with a blind Fury, but struggle inwardly, and War within themselves in our Minds. It is this that must needs cause our anxi­ous and uneasy Life. So that the Wise Man alone having banish'd all boundless and irregular Desires, confines himself, and is satisfied within the limits of Nature, and by that means may spend his time without Grief, Sorrow, or Fear. If therefore we see all our Life disturb'd by Error and Ignorance, and that it is Wisdom only which delivers from the Af­fronts of our vain Desires, and groundless Fears, and that adviseth us to bear with Patience the in­juries of Fortune, and teaches the ways that lead to Rest and Tranquility, ought we not to say, that Wisdom is desirable, because of Pleasure; and that we are to shun Folly, because of the Mischief which attends it, by bringing Trouble and Di­sturbance to our Minds?’

‘By the same Reason we will say, that Tempe­rance is not desirable for it self, but because it [Page 73] brings Peace into our Minds; it sweetens and pre­serves them in quiet. Because 'tis Temperance that directs us to follow Reason, either in things that we ought to desire and follow, or things that we are to shun and avoid; for it is not sufficient to judge what ought to be, and what ought not to be, but we must likewise continue constant and resolved, in what we have so judged. Now, there are many who cannot remain firm in what they have resolved, but being overcome by a seeming and mistaken Pleasure, give themselves over to the slavery of their Lusts, without foreseeing what will from thence ensue; and from hence it hap­pens, that for a small and trivial Pleasure, which might be otherwise obtain'd, and which we might easily want without Pain, they fall into great Sicknesses, into Loss, into Shame, and incur many times the penalty of the Laws and Courts of Judicature. But such as will so enjoy their Pleasures, that no inconveniency nor trouble may thereby ensue, and who continue constant in their well-grounded Resolutions, for fear of being overcome by false Pleasures, and lest they should be perswaded to do what they understand ought not to be done; such I say, find a great pleasure in denying themselves these seeming Delights. They oftentimes easily undergo small Pains and Troubles, lest by shunning of these, they might fall into greater. From hence we may learn, that Debauchery is not to be shunn'd for its own sake, nor Sobriety to be desired because it declines some Pleasures, but because it procureth greater and more substantial ones.’

‘We shall find the same Arguments for Forti­tude; for it is neither Labour, nor Pain, nor Pa­tience, nor Constancy, nor Industry, nor Courage, nor Watchfulness, that draw us of themselves; [Page 74] but we are perswaded by these actions, that we may live without Trouble or Fear, and that we might free our selves as much as is possible from that which incommodes either the Mind or the Body; for oftentimes the Calm of our Life is di­sturb'd with the extraordinary fear of Death; and it is a miserable thing to be oppress'd with Pain, and to bear it with a mean and feeble Courage; insomuch, that by this weakness of Spirit, many have lost their Parents, many their Friends, and many their Native Country, nay, have altogether lost themselves. But a generous, stout and coura­gious Spirit, is free from such Cares and Troubles, because it despiseth Death, and is so provided to receive Grief and Pain, that it knows the greatest are cur'd by Death, and the least have divers in­tervals of Rest; and that as for moderate Griefs, we are Masters of them. Besides, a noble Spirit considers, that if the Pains be not extraordinary, they are easily suffered; but if they be very grie­vous, we shall then willingly surrender and quit our Life, which in such a case, becomes unpleasant to us; so that we leave it in the same manner as we go off a Theatre. From hence we may con­clude, that Fear and Cowardise are not in them­selves blame-worthy; neither do Courage and Pa­tience of themselves, merit Praise. But the first are slighted, because they increase Pain and Sor­row, and the other are desired, because they pro­cure real Pleasure.’

‘There remains nothing else to be examin'd but Justice, of which we may almost say the same. For as I have already demonstrated, that Wisdom, Temperance and Fortitude, are so joyned with Pleasure, that they cannot be separated from it, we ought to say the same of Justice, which is not only inoffensive to all Men, but does also constant­ly [Page 75] bring with it such advantages, as by the strength of its own nature, does quiet and settle the Thoughts, by affording continual hopes of never wanting those things which an honest Mind may desire. And as Timerousness, Covetousness, and Cowardise do perpetually torment the Mind, and are continually vexing and disturbing its quiet: So where Injustice bears sway in the Soul, it be­gets much Trouble and Vexation; and if it hath committed any evil action, tho' never so secretly, yet it can never be assured that it shall always re­main undiscover'd. Jealousy and fear of being found out, do commonly attend evil Actions, and we suppose every one to be our Accuser, and rea­dy to Inform against us. Nay, some out of fear of being Discovered, have been their own Accu­sers. If some think their Riches a sufficient shel­ter, and capable of quieting their Conscience, yet they have such a dread of the Justice of God in punishing their Crimes, that upon a due resent­ment of this, their Thoughts labour under a per­petual Agony and Disturbance. Now, their wick­ed Actions can never be able so much to lessen the anxiety of their Life, as the gripings of a Wounded Conscience, or the Laws of the Coun­try, and the hatred of their Acquaintance, have to increase it. Nevertheless, such is the unsatiable desire of some Men after Riches, Luxury, Honour, Dominion, &c. that in the obtaining of them, they will stick at no indirect Means; so that nothing but a severe Punishment inflicted on them by the Laws, is able to stop their Career. True Reason therefore directs all Men of sound Judgment to observe the Rules of Justice, Equity and Fidelity, which are the best means to procure to our selves the good Esteem and Love of others, and which is abso­lutely necessary to render our Lives Pleasant and Se­date: [Page 76] And the rather because hereby we have no temptation to do what is ill, because that the de­sires which proceed from Nature may easily be appeased without doing wrong to any Person; and as for other vain Desires, we are not to re­gard them; for they prompt us to nothing that is really worthy seeking after; and Injustice it self brings a greater damage to us than the recompence it can be able to make us, by the seeming good things it brings along with it. Therefore we cannot say, That Justice is of it self desirable, but only because it is attended with a great deal of Pleasure and Content; for we are not a little pleased with the esteem and good will of others, which renders our Life Comfortable and Pleasant. Thus we don't believe that we ought to shun Vice only because of the inconveniencies that fall upon the Wicked, but chiefly because it never suffers the Mind to be at rest, where it hath once taken pos­session.’

I might here mention the Objections that are brought against this Opinion, but they relate to no­thing but sensual and dishonest Pleasures, which Epi­curus abhors in express words. I will only take no­tice, that the Pleasure that is here understood, is such true real and natural Pleasure, in which our Happiness consists. We therefore say, That Vertue is inseparably accompanied with it, being the real and genuine cause of it; for where that is suppo­sed, Happiness immediately attends, and when that is removed, Pleasure it self must needs decay. In the same manner as the Sun is said to be inseparable from the Day, because it alone is the true and ne­cessary cause thereof; for as soon as the Sun appears over our Horizon, the Day must needs be, and when it withdraws, the Day dis-appears. Now, the rea­son [Page 77] why Epicurus supposes Vertue to be the efficient cause of Happiness, is because he thinks that Pru­dence doth as it were contain all other Vertues; for all the rest proceed from this, and have in a great measure a dependence upon her.

CHAP. III. Wherein an Happy Life doth consist.

WHat we have already discours'd of, tends to little else than to make a plain discovery of Epicurus's Opinion. But now we must come closer to the Matter, and strictly examin whether he had sufficient ground to say, That Pleasure is the main End.

Here we must weigh two of his chief Maxims, First, That all Pleasure is of it self and of its own nature a real Good; and on the contrary, That all Grief and Pain, is an Evil. The Second is, That notwithstanding sometimes we must prefer some sort of Pains before some sort of Pleasures.

Whether all Pleasure be good of it self?

IN respect of the first Maxim; It is not without ground, that Epicurus asserts, That all Pleasure is of it self good, tho' by accident it happens sometimes otherwise, for all Creatures are of themselves so in­clinable to Pleasure and Delight, that it is the first and chief thing that they naturally covet; nor do they willingly reject any Pleasure that is offered them, unless it chance to be accompanied by some Evil that may after procure a Pain, and so cause us to repent of its first acceptance. And truly, as [Page 78] it is the nature of Good, to invite and perswade the Appetite to love and embrace it, so we can give no Reason why all Pleasure should not be of it self Lovely, and to be desired, seeing there is none but in it self is pleasing and desirable, and which does of it self incline our Appetites. So that if we refuse any, we refuse them not as Plea­sures, but because of some inconveniences that are annexed, and will infallibly attend them.

Now, to illustrate this more plainly by an Exam­ple, There is no Person but will allow Hony to be naturally sweet; yet if Poyson happens to mixed with it, whereby the Poyson it self doth also be­come sweet, we shall then have a real aversion for the sweetness of the Hony; but this is by acci­dent; for the Hony of it self is naturally sweet and pleasing to our Taste. So that if we have any dis­like, we may say it is not really for the sweetness of the Hony, but for the Poison that is mixt with it, and for the Mischief that Poyson will bring; for if it were separated from the Hony, we should then willingly taste of it. Now, adjust any Pleasure what­soever to this Example, and you will easily per­ceive it to be never otherwise; for we shall always eschew the Evil, but not the Pleasure it self, when distinct and separated from the Evil: For either it is the thing from whence it is taken, or the action that is joined to it, or the damage that ensue either from the thing, or from the action, or the pain and grief that will attend it, which proceed from the Thing, from the Action, or from the Damage.

And to make the matter still appear more obvi­ous and intelligible. Suppose that the same Pleasure is to be drawn from a Thing or Action, that neither Law nor Custom, nor Honesty prohibit; suppose that from this Action or thing, no damage or pre­judice will happen, either to our Health, Reputa­tion, [Page 79] or Estate: Suppose in a word, that no Punish­ment will attend it, nor Grief, nor Repentance, neither in this Life nor the next: And you will plainly understand that nothing can hinder it to be esteem'd a real Good, and real Advantage; and if at present it is not so reputed, this proceeds not from the nature of the Thing, but from the Circum­stances that I have mentioned.

Aristotle also proves the thing by an Argument taken from Pain, which is opposite to Pleasure: All the World (saith he) are agreed, that Pain is an Evil, and to be avoided. Now, that which is con­trary to a thing that is to be avoided, and a real Evil, is good; therefore Pleasure is a real Good. Now; to inlarge upon this Reason of Aristotle; Is it not manifest, That all Pain in general, is of it self Evil and Hurtful, and by consequence every Ani­mal hath naturally an aversion against it? So that if at any time it is called Good, it is only by acci­dent, in regard it hath some good thing that is join­ed to it, which obliges us to love and desire it. But if you remove from Pain all hopes or expectation of obtaining any good thing, either Honest, Profi­table, or Pleasant, there is no Man so foolish as to wish for it, or seek after it. As this is undeniable, so it is apparent that if all Pain be of it self Evil, and not good but by accident, all Pleasure being contrary to Pain, is of it self good and an evil by Accident.

Some object, That a Temperate Man flies from Pleasures, and that he that is Wise, seeks rather a freedom from Pain. That there are some Pleasures which are impediments to Wisdom, and the rather because they are Violent and Furious, as all Vene­real Pleasures generally are: That there are others which are not only hurtful, because they dull the Understanding, beget Diseases, and cause Poverty, [Page 80] but are also filthy and infamous. But, First, The Temperate and Prudent Man, flies not from all Pleasures; for it is plain, That he seeks after such as are pure and honest; and if he avoids some, it is not because they are only Pleasures, but because inseparable from actions which are certainly at­tended with Destruction, which a Prudent Tempe­rate Man ought not to be guilty of for the enjoy­ment of a present Pleasure. In the same manner as we fly from Poison sweetned, not because it is sweet, but because it is deadly, and brings a Mis­chief with it, which undoubtedly ought not to be bought at so dear a rate. Besides, it is plain, That Pleasures alone are no impediments of Wisdom or Prudence, but rather the Actions that accompany them; such actions I mean by which the Spirits are too much spent, whereby the strength of the Mind is weakned, and the Judgment blinded. So, that when these Mischiefs are charged upon Pleasure, it is a Paralogism or deceitful way of Arguing, called by Aristotle, Non causae ut causae; when that which is not the Cause, is taken for the Cause; as if the Evil which ought to be ascrib'd to the Poison, be attributed to the Hony, or to the Sweetness. Thus by consequence, that which may be said in respect of Diseases and Poverty, and other inconveniences which commonly succeed, is that Pleasure simply consider'd as it is Pleasure, is not the cause of these Evils, but rather Gluttony, or the excess of Wine and Meats prepared with Sawces, which tempt us to exceed the Bounds of Moderation, whence pro­ceed Fevers and other grievous Distempers. So also from the excess of Venery proceed the Disease of the Gout and other shameful Maladies, ac­companied with a numerous Train of other Mis­chiefs. Thus the same may be said in respect of the Infamy which we commonly ascribe to Pleasures; [Page 81] for it rather regards the actions that accompany them, which are of themselves contrary to good Manners, and therefore are reputed Vicious and Dishonest for this reason; for Instance, The Laws prohibit not the pleasure in Adultery, but the acti­on of Adultery it self, which being forbidden and infamous in it self, causeth the pleasure that it pro­cures, to be esteem'd also filthy and infamous. But suppose in this case there were no prohibition, as in the Estate of pure Nature: Or, suppose that it happen'd, that the Wife of this Man, had been the Wife of the present Adulterer, here he had enjoyed the same Pleasure, which in that case had not been reckoned of ill Repute, because that action which accompanies it, had not been then forbidden nor dishonest. From whence we may conclude, That Pleasure is not blame-worthy in it self, but for the Circumstances that accompany it. Some answer, That tho' Pleasure be no Evil, yet it is necessary to place it in the number of the Evils, because of the Common People, who being inclin'd to Pleasure, ought like crooked Trees to be bent a contrary way, and by that means to be made strait. But Aristotle answers, That it is not convenient to en­tertain them with these kind of Discourses, because when it concerns us, as in the case of the Passions and Actions, we give not so much credit to the Words as to the Thing it self. From whence it happens, that when the Words agree not with what the Sen­ses apprehend, they are despised; and tho' they com­prehend something that is good, yet they are there­by baffled. Therefore Aristotle seems to intimate, That it is more reasonable not to place the Pleasures amongst the Evils, seeing the Senses are of a con­trary persuasion; and when they are barely look'd upon as Pleasures, they approve of them, and judge them good; but it is more reasonable to discover [Page 82] and lay open the Evils that frequently accompany such Pleasures, which cause a prudent and consider­ing Man to abstain from them, lest he being tempt­ed thereby, should be drawn into so great Mis­chiefs.

If these Answers of Aristotle will not satisfie, no­thing can hinder us from exclaiming against Plea­sure it self, supposing those to be Pleasures which cause much more Evil, than they procure Good. For when it concerns us to persuade, it is the same thing, to say, That Pleasure, or the Action that ac­companies the Pleasure, is Wicked, to conclude that we are therefore to shun it, by reason of the Evils which infallibly attend and proceed from both.

Whether the Opinion of the Stoicks in respect of Good and Evil, be Justifiable.

WE might here enter into a large Field of Di­spute with the Stoicks, who pretend, That there is nothing Good, but that which is Honest; and nothing Evil, but that which is Dishonest. But hereby we should only trifle away our time in un­necessary Disputes; for in short, it is manifest, that they have rais'd a Dispute about the bare Name, when at the same time they have limited and confi­ned the thing it self, (viz. the Notion of Good) ac­cording to their own Fancy, which all Mankind besides, take in a large Sense: For whereas, other Men place several things besides Vertues, in the number of good things, as Health, Pleasure, Glory, Riches, Friends, &c. And besides Vices, they reckon several other things amongst Evils, as Sickness, Pain, Shame, Poverty, Enemies, &c. The Stoicks have rather named these things Indifferent, or neither Good nor Evil. But this seems very ab­surd [Page 83] and contradictory, to take Health and Sickness, Pleasure and Pain, for the same things, &c. They have endeavoured to feign new Words, and call Health, Pleasure, Glory, and other things [...], Promota, Assistants: As if they should say, that they were not really Good, but such things as did approach the nearest to Vertue, and lead us to that which is the chief and only Good. The same Fan­cy they have had of Diseases and Pain; they have named them [...], Abducta, remota: As if they should say, that they were things less Noble, and separated from Vertue; for when it concerns us to make a Choice, those are preferred, and these are forsaken. This is their way of Discourse, which I think not worth Answering any otherwise than as Cicero doth, when he cries out, ‘O the great strength of Mind, and the brave Subject, to raise a new Doctrin!’ O magnam vim ingenii causam (que) ju­stam cur nova existeret disciplina! The Stoicks argue, and with their weak Reasonings, would maintain, That Pain is no Evil; Concludunt ratiunculis Stoici cur dolor non sit malum, &c. As if Men were only troubled about the Word, and not the Thing. Wherefore must you Zeno, deceive me with your subtil Niceties, and new coin'd Words [...] and [...]; for when you tell me that what looks grievous, is no Evil, you put me at a stand. I would desire to know how that which seems to me most prejudicial and hurtful, is no Evil in it self. Nothing is Evil, as you pretend, but that which is Dishonest and Vicious. These are but Words, neither can you hereby remove the diffi­culty. I understand very well, that Pain and Grief are not criminal Evils. You need not trouble your self to tell me that; but shew me whether it be an indifferent thing to suffer Pain, or to be free from it. You say, That it is indifferent, as to the [Page 84] Happiness of Life, seeing that consists in Vertue a­lone: But in the mean while, what you call Pain, is to be reckoned amongst those things that you are to avoid, and by consequence is an Evil. When you pretend that Pain is no real Evil, but only some­thing uneasie to be suffered, &c. It is to speak at large what all the World besides name in one word, Evil. And when you say, That there is nothing Good, but what is Honest, and nothing Evil, but what is Dishonest, it is to vanquish in Words, but not in Sense; it is to express Desires, and prove Nothing. Doubtless, this is an undeniable Truth; All that Nature hates, ought to be esteem'd in the number of Evils; and all that is grateful to it, is to be reck­oned on the contrary.

Whether at any time Pain ought to be preferr'd before Pleasure.

THE Second thing to be Examin'd, before we conclude about Epicurus's Opinion, is, Whether we should sometimes avoid Pleasure to embrace Pain. This Question depends very much upon the former; for if any Pleasure offers it self of that sort which Plato calls Pure, and disengaged from any mix­ture of Grief and Trouble; that is to say, such as is never to be succeeded by any future Pain, neither in this Life, nor in that which is to come; or if any Pain offers it self, such as may be stiled Pure, and free from any Pleasure, that is, such as can ne­ver be supposed to yield any Satisfaction: No Man can give any reason why such a Pleasure ought not to be accepted, and such a Pain avoided. But if any Pleasure offer it self, which might hinder us from obtaining a greater, or which will be attended [Page 85] by a Pain that may cause us to repent the suffering our selves to be drawn away to it; or if a Pain offers it self, which may turn away a greater, or which may be followed by a Pleasure very great, there is no Reason can persuade us the shunning such a Pleasure, and embracing such a Pain. There­fore Aristotle observes, That Pleasure and Pain are the Criteria or distinguishing Marks by which we ought to judge, whether any thing is to be accepted or avoided. Now, any Wise Man will decline Pleasure, and embrace Pain, if he sees that Repen­tance will follow, or that by admitting a little Pain, he may avoid a greater. But Torquatus plain­ly clears the Doubt. And to the end we may easily see from whence the Mistake arises among those who accuse Pleasure, and approve of Pain, I will briefly tell you how it is, and expound unto you what that Author of Truth, and Encourager of an happy Life, hath said. No Man despises, hates, or shuns Pleasure, because it is Pleasure, but because that such as know not how to pursue Pleasure, and keep it within its due bounds, fall into great Mischiefs. Nay, there is none that loves and seeks after Pain, because it is Pain, but because it happens sometimes, that by Labour and Pain we procure to our selves some great Pleasure: As to instance in some Particulars; Does ever any Man undertake any laborious Exercise or Task of the Body, unless he expects to reap some Advantage by it? Now, can any body reasonably blame him who embraces a Plea­sure that is not accompanied with any Inconveniency, or him that flees from a Pain that can procure no Ad­vantage? But we justly blame and condemn those, who being enticed by the allurements of present Pleasures, blinded by their Passions, foresee not the Mischiefs and Inconveniences that will from thence arise: And those are in the like Error who are governed by a weakness of Mind, that is to say, for fear of Labour and Pain, [Page 86] abandon their Duty and Station. But it is no difficult matter herein to distinguish aright; for in a time of li­berty, when it is in our power to chuse, and that nothing hinders us from acting what pleaseth us best, all Plea­sure is to be embrac'd, and all Pain to be avoided. But it happens, that at some times and upon certain junctures of Affairs, that we ought to decline Pleasure, and accept of things that are Ʋneasie. The Wise-Man therefore makes a prudent and discreet Determination in this Affair, viz. To reject such Pleasures by the absence of which, we may enjoy greater; and to suffer those Ills, by undergoing of which, we may avoid more Mischie­vous.

Let us add to this, the general Consent of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, who make use of the same Rule to distinguish by. Let us not forget the Opi­nion of Cicero, who would have us proceed as if all the Pleasures, and all the Delights present and to come were set before us, and poised in a Ba­lance, for saith he, If you weigh the present Pleasures with the future, we are always to chuse the greatest and the most numerous; but if we weigh Evils with Evils, we are to chuse the least and the fewest. But if you weigh the present Pleasures with the future Evils, or the present Evils with the future Pleasures, in such a case, you must chuse the Pleasures if they out ballance, but on the contrary, if they be Evils.

Of the first Good that Nature has in it's View.

THat we may come at last to Epicurus's Opini­on, That Pleasure is our main End, we must consider, that the Reason that induc'd him to this Opinion was, That he consider'd Pleasure general­ly and simply in its own Nature, or else as it is [Page 87] manag'd and directed by Prudence and Wisdom: for it is in this manner also, that Alexander ob­serves, That we are to distinguish the Matter, when he saith, That Pleasure according to the Judgment of Epicurus, is the first Good that Nature pursues, or the first Good unto which we are Naturally bent and inclin'd; but afterwards this Pleasure is regulated and directed by Wisdom and Prudence. Esse quidem Voluptatem ex men­te Epicuri primum familiare, primum, & congenitum bonum, primum aptum accomodatumque Naturae; verum deinceps quasi in ordinem redigi talem Vo­luptatem. Wherefore, as we shall speak hereafter of this last, which with Epicurus, is nothing else but a freedom from Pain, and a Tranquility of Mind, let us at present say something of the First, and let us examin if this Pleasure understood in a gene­ral sense be really this Primum Naturae familiare, or the first and chief Good that Nature goes in quest of; for, it remains a great Question among the Philo­sophers. And it seems as in the order of good things that are desirable, there is one thing that is the ul­timate and chief, so ought there to be one thing first, which may be the beginning of all our Desires. Some, saith Cicero, Conceive Pleasure or Delight, to be the first Good, others an exemption, or a freedom from Pain; for as soon as any Creature is born, it na­turally desires and labours after an indolence or freedom from Pain. Others place the first good things of Nature, amongst those which they call our Being, Life, Perfection, the preservation of all our Mem­bers intire and in Health, our Senses, Strength, Beauty, and such like.

Now, among these Opinions, the first and se­cond is included in that of Epicurus, for he places our exemption from Pain among those things we call Pleasure. The third Opinion being that of the Stoicks, is less probable; for tho' we may say, that [Page 88] every Creature desires to have its Being, Life, Health, Perfection and Preservation of its several Parts, &c. Nevertheless, we must observe, that all these things are desired, because it is pleasant to enjoy them. And therefore, if these things are de­sirable for being Pleasant, doubtless Pleasure is the first good thing, or holds the chief place among those things that are desired. And this is probably what Aristotle meant when he said, That Pleasure is common to all living Creatures, and the inseparable Companion of our free and voluntary Actions; for we perceive, that what is Honest, is Pleasurable, as well as what is Ʋseful. Besides, Pleasure is born and bred up with us from our very Cradle. Therefore it is to no purpose to endeavour to wean our selves from this Incli­nation, with which our Natures are naturally tinctured. This plainly discovers to us two things; First, That tho' we commonly reckon three sorts of good things, viz. The Honest, the Profitable, and the Pleasant: The Pleasant or Pleasurable, which is no­thing else but Pleasure it self, is so intermixt with the rest, that it don't seem to be a distinct Species of it self, but part of the common Stock, which renders the others Good and Desirable; as if that which is Honest and Useful, were only to be desi­red because it is Pleasing and agreeable. Se­condly, That Pleasure being common unto all sen­sible Creatures, and so fixt and setled in our very first Desires, that we have not a liberty of refusing it, seems verily that this should be the first Good that we wish for or desire, Primum expetibile, primum fa­miliare; for these are the ordinary Terms, Primum expetitum accomodatum (que) Naturae.

Epicurus therefore seems to have dealt more can­didly and sincerely, than all the rest, when he de­clared, That Pleasure, Est primum Naturae accomo­modatum; and that it is that, In quam tandem defini­mus, [Page 89] quatenus Animalia omnia simul ac nata sunt, sponte ipsa Natura & citra ullum ratiocinium ipsam comple­ctantur & dolorem refugiant. Let us but hearken to Torquatus in Cicero. Epicurus, saith he, teacheth, That every Animal as soon as it is born, desires Plea­sure, as its chief Good, and delights in the enjoyment of it, but hates Pain, as its great Evil; shuns it, and flees from it as much as it is able; this it practiseth while it is not corrupted, then Nature judgeth aright and with­out mistake. There is no need of Reasoning and Disputing in these Cases, or to seek for Causes, why Pleasure is desirable, and Pain to be avoided, we our selves can as easily judge of this matter, as of the Fire, that it is Hot, the Snow White, and the Hony Sweet.

Maximus of Tyre teacheth the same Doctrin; Pleasure, says he, more ancient than Reason or Art, goes before Experience, and stays not for Time. But that violent desire we have for it, and which is coaeval with our Bodies, is as the foundation of the Creature's well-being; so that if we renounce it, all that shall be born, must immediately Perish. Man after he comes to years, may by Experience and Industry, arrive to a competent degree of Knowledge, Reason, and Ʋnder­standing, (which is so much Extoll'd) naturally and of his own accord; but from his Infancy he loves Plea­sure, and avoids Pain, without any help or Instruction, for it is Pleasure that delighst him, and Pain that annoys him. If Pleasure were a thing of no value, we should not bring it so early into the World with us, nor would it be the first thing necessary for our Preservation. But it is not necessary, from what we have here said, that you should conclude, That Pleasure is Man's chief Good or Happiness; for as Eudoxius says in Aristotle, As in all things, that which is desired, is Good, so that which is chiefly desired, ought to be the chief Good, or that which every thing [Page 90] desires, is chiefly desirable; therefore what every thing desires, must be the chief Good; but that is Pleasure; therefore Pleasure is that chief Good. Let us here now admire the Wisdom and Fore-sight of the Great Creator and Author of Nature, That in re­gard all our Actions and Operations are of them­selves painful and troublesom, and these also, as Aristotle terms them, being Natural, as Seeing, Hearing, &c. He hath caused them all to be sweet­ned with Pleasure; and the more necessary these Operations are for the preservation of our Species, the greater Pleasure Nature hath allotted them; otherwise all Creatures would neglect or forget not only the act of Generation, but even Eating and Drinking it self, if there were not certain na­tural Instigations that stir and move us, and by causing some kind of Pain and Uneasiness, minds us of the Action, which the Pleasure that ought to appease this Pain and Uneasiness, doth promote and encourage, which is a manifest Proof, that these sorts of Pleasures, are not of themselves Evil, tho' Men abuse them afterwards by Intemperance, contrary to other Animals.

Neither is it requisite here to hint again, that by the name of Pleasure, we don't mean those gross sensual Pleasures of Luxury, Effeminacy, delicious Meats, Revellings, and the Debauchery of Women: In short, such as the Sages, as (Maximus observes) exclaimed against, styling them, Sardanapali scili­cet Luxus, Medica mollities, Ionicae deliciae, Siculae mensae, Sybariticae saltationes, Corinthiae meretrices, &c. but ge­nerally all that we can call and is generally stiled by the name of Joy, Pleasure, Contentment, Satis­faction, Delight, Sweetness, Pleasantness, a peacable State, Quietude of Thought, secure Tranquility, &c. which are nothing else but synonymous Names for Pleasure. We must only here remember, That [Page 91] what we have already observed, is one of Aristotle's Principles; That whatsoever we make choice of, is always accompanied whith Pleasure: And seeing there are three sorts of things named Good, according to Vulgar Distinction, the Honest, the Useful, and the Pleasant; The latter is common to the rest, for the Honest and the Useful seem to be also Pleasant and Grateful. From hence therefore we may infer, that Good and Pleasant, are but different Names for the same thing; and that Good is Good, and de­scribed to be what all Creatures desire, only be­cause it is grateful and pleasing; and by consequence that that Good which is pleasing, is desired for the Pleasure it affords. It remains, that we next prove, That the good things which are Honest and Useful, are also desired for the Pleasure they yield.

That things Profitable and Ʋseful, are sought after for the sake of Pleasure.

NOw, there is no difficulty to prove that things Profitable and Useful, relate to what is grate­ful, or to the Pleasure which we receive from them. For it is manifest, That things Useful are not desired meerly because they are Useful, but for something else, which is either Pleasure it self, or which relates to Pleasure. As first in respect to Eating or Drinking, soft Musick, or sweet Perfumes, and the like, it is plain that we value them in respect of the Pleasure that attends them, which may likewise be understood of divers Arts and Sciences, as of Cookery, Hunting, Painting, Physick, Chirurgery, &c. which tend to free us from several Distempers, from which to be delivered, is very pleasing. The same thing may be said of Navigation, of Merchan­dise, [Page 92] of War; all which center in the getting of Mony, or something like, whereby we may at­tain to some Pleasure that we promise to our selves. So when any one by hard Labour has ac­quired sufficient to purchase an Habitation, Cloaths, Medicines, Books, and the like Conveniences, does not he promise to himself the Pleasure he shall en­joy when he shall have obtain'd these things, and shall be able to subsist in Ease and Quiet for the fu­ture, without any further Pains or Trouble; to eat when he shall be an Hungred, and drink when he is Thirsty, or warm himself when Cold, to be at leisure, and satisfie his Curiosity when he shall desire it; in short, when he shall be in a condition to spend his days Comfortably, Securely, Honestly, Honourably? This is generally the aim of all the World, of the Husband-man, of the cheating Tradesman, (as Horace stiles him) of the Soldier, Merchant and Seaman.

The Soldier Fights, the busy Tradesman Cheats,
And finds a thousand Tricks and choice Deceits:
The heavy Plough contents the labouring Hind,
The Merchant strives with ev'ry Tide and Wind;
And all this Toil to get vast heaps of Gold,
That they may live at Ease when they are Old.

This is the design of the Courtiers, and of such as busy themselves in obtaining great Employments and high Offices; they undergo many Labours, make great Courtships, suffer many Hardships, and all for no other purpose, but that they might at last, as they pretend, retreat in Peace, and spend the remainder of their Lives to their own Content, quietly and peaceably. The most sordid and most covetous Misers, propose to themselves the plea­sure [Page 93] to look upon their Coffers full of Gold and Silver.

A sordid Churl, the Jest of all the Place,
Thus comforted himself for his Disgrace:
The Lowsy Rabble Hiss me at the Play,
And Grin and make the greatest Farce of me.
But what care I, when I can hug at home
My strutting Bags, and give my self an Humm.

Not to mention those, who not understanding, That Nature is satisfied with a little, delight in De­bauchery and Excess, who by Rapine and all indi­rect means, strive to acquire Riches, that they might have the pleasure of wasting them in Prodi­gality, Rioting and Luxury. This hath given oc­casion to Manilius too justly to Complain;

For Heaven is kind, with bounteous hand it grants
A fit supply for Nature's sober Wants.
She asks not much, yet Men press blindly on,
And heap up more, to be the more Ʋndone:
By Luxury they Rapine's force maintain,
What that scrapes up, flows out in Luxury again,
And to be Squander'd, or to raise Debate,
Is the great Only use of an Estate.

That those good things which we call Honest, have the nearest relation to Pleasure.

THis seems a little more difficult to be made out: Bonum honestum, or honest Good, seems to carry its own intrinsick worth, and to be desir'd only for it self. Cicero amongst others, appears very much in­cens'd against Epicurus, after he had proposed a [Page 94] Form of Honesty, such an one as he would have us understand; he applies himself to Torquatus. Thy Epicurus saith, That he knows not what they mean who compute Man's chief Happiness only by Honesty; who say, that all things are to be referr'd to that, and that there is nothing of Pleasure to be intermix'd with it. These are idle. Discourses which he can't understand, and that he cannot conceive what they mean by this word Honesty; for to speak according to the usual Dialect, we stile that Honest, which the People by their general Vogue, term Glorious and Honourable. And tho' that, saith he, be oftentimes more pleasing than divers other Pleasures, still it is desired for Pleasure sake. See here, saith he, this great Dispute! A famous Philoso­pher, who hath made so much noise in the World, and hath spread his Fame not only over Greece and Italy, but over the Barbarous Nations, saith, That he under­stands not what that Honesty means that is so much talk'd of, if there be no Pleasure intermixt with it. In this manner Cicero proposeth the Opinion of Epi­curus, in relation to these remarkable Words, That nothing is called Honest, but what the General Vogue of Men recommend. Aristotle explains the Matter in these Terms, [...], Either that there is nothing Honest, or it is that which is so esteem'd in the Opinion of Men.

Now, to speak first, as in reference to the Notion or description of Honesty, What harm is there if we consider it with a respect to Man, from whom it receives Praise and Recommendation? The word Honest amongst the Latins, is said to be so from the Honour that Action deserves, and amongst the Greeks, [...], seems to have no other Significa­tion; for if you please, you may interpret it not only Honest, but also Beautiful, Honourable, and Praise-worthy, &c. And you will find, that it is not so in respect of it self, but in respect of Men, who [Page 95] allow of it to be so, and consequently it appears to them Beautiful and Honourable, and of whom it is, and ought to be Praised. The same ought to be understood of the word [...], which is contrary to [...]: for when we interpret it Ignoble, Shame­ful, and Detestable, we mean always in reference to Men, to whom it seems to be so. And that it is really so, we will appeal to Cicero himself, who gives this description of Honesty; That when it is divested of all Profit and Applause, it still re­mains desirable and commendable for its own sake, without any regard to a Reward. Now, as I say, is it not true, that in this sense, Honesty is that which may be approved of and desired, which shews a re­lation to them, who Praise it, or as Epicurus saith, To the common Esteem of the People? But by this word People or Multitude, who can think, that Epicurus hath a design to exclude Men of Wisdom and Un­derstanding; and that he means not generally all the Men that make up a City or People? It were Ridiculous and Foolish to have such a Fancy. Now, in reference to what Cicero saith, That all Profit is removed, Epicurus will agree with him; That Honest Men don't propose to themselves any Profit or Advan­tage, such as Mony and the like low, mean things; but they propose to themselves some other Benefits, as Praise, Glory, Honour, Renown, &c. which Cicero himself Acknowledges; for in his Oration for Milo, having supposed, That there are divers Recompen­ces offered to Men of Honour, he saith, That of all the Rewards of Vertue, Glory is the greatest. And in another Place he declares, That Vertue desires no other recompence for all its Labours and Dangers, but Praise and Glory; which being removed, saith he, what is there in the course of this Life of so short a con­tinuance, for which we ought to be at so much Labour?

Epicurus therefore seems to have given a good description of what is Honest, viz. That which is Glorious and Honourable, by the Vogue and universal Consent of all Mankind. For if at any time People account that to be Commendable and Glorious, which is esteem'd Mean and Dishonourable amongst some People or Nations, who have different Laws and Customs, according to which, the Notion of Honest and Dishonest differs, but not in respect of the same People, amongst whom that thing may be esteem'd Honest and agreeable with their Laws and Customs. For this Reason therefore, Cicero some­times gives this general description of Honour; A reward of Vertue, granted to some Body by the Judg­ment and Approbation of his Fellow Citizens, Praemium Virtutis judicio studio (que) Civium delatum ad aliquem. As if he should say, That Honour and by conse­quence Honesty, or that which is Glorious and Ho­nourable by Reputation, depends upon the Judg­ment of the Citizens, or of the People who make use of their own Laws and Customs.

But in conclusion, to speak one word to the Pur­pose in reference to that Honesty which relates to Pleasure, we must observe, That this Relation hin­ders not, but that Honesty in one sense, may be said to be desired for it self, or for its own sake, because it is desired nulla contingente sive supervenien­te re, as Aristotle Teaches; that is to say, as Cicero Interprets it, All Profit being laid aside, and without any Reward, Recompence, or Advantage, such as Mony and the like can produce. For some may desire, Honour, Learning and Vertue, not because they may there­by advance Gain, or increase Wealth, but for the Renown and Satisfaction that will arise from the enjoyment of a clear and enlightned Understanding, whereby we may the better rule and Govern our Passions, and all this nevertheless, because it is plea­sant [Page 97] to be Honoured, Learned and Vertuous, and to enjoy a Soul Calm and Serene.

Whether the desire of Honour be Blame-worthy.

WE must here observe, that tho a too eager and violent pursuit of Honour, under a colour of Vertue, be not to be allowed, yet we must not to­tally condemn the Desire of it, as some have done, especially if we seek after it with a just and lawful Moderation. It is not without Reason, that this Desire is Judg'd to be Natural, for we may see it appear very early in Children; and the very Bruits themselves are governed by it: Nay, tho' some may seem to neglect and despise, yet there is no body that can absolutely and altogether free them­selves from the desire of it. 'Tis also very requi­site, that it should be so highly esteem'd, for it is commonly proposed as the reward of Vertue; and that there is neither Kingdom nor Common-wealth, but encourages their Subjects to Noble Actions, by the expectation of it. There is like­wise this difference between a Noble Generous Mind, and a base and mean Spirit; that whereas the latter seeks nothing but Gain and Profit in the Undertakings; the former desires nothing but Glo­ry and Renown. Besides, Experience teacheth us, and all Ages can Witness, That where we remove from the minds of Men, the desire of Honour and Glory, there is never any mention made of those great Exploits by which Kingdoms are obtain'd. Now this being supposed, we may here take notice of two sorts of Pleasure, for which Honour is desi­rable. The First, is that extraordinary Satisfaction that a Man expects to receive when his Fame shall [Page 98] be spread abroad, and he shall become Renowned in the World. The Story of Damocles, is not un­known, and the hopes that he proposed to himself of an unexpressible Joy for the Royal Honours they would bestow upon him. And that of Demosthenes is no less Remarkable. This Great Man confesseth ingenuously, That he was well pleased to hear a mean Woman coming from a Fountain, whisper softly to her Friend, There is Demosthenes, pointing at him with her Finger. And we may without any wrong to Ver­tue, believe the same of other Illustrious Men, when in their Walks they hear themselves named, and the People say of them publickly, There is Chap­pellus, the finest Wit of the Kingdom. Here is Des­preaux, the Horace of our Age, the everlasting speak­er of Truths. There is that famous Racinus, who by the charming efficacy of his Verses, knows, when he Pleases, how to force us to Weep. Here is the Learn­ed and unparallel'd Lady, Sabbiere. How pleasant is it to be thus taken Notice of in the World for some Perfection, and pointed at by eminent Per­sons!

At pulchrum est digito monstrari & dicier hic est.

And we know what is reported of Themistocles, when after a notable Victory, he observed, That all the Spectators neglecting the publick Pomp, had their Eyes wholly fixed upon him, which transport­ed him with so great Joy, that he could not for­bear thus to express himself: This day, says he, I receive sufficient recompence for all the Toils that I have undergone for Greece.

The other sort of Pleasure that carries Men to the desire of Honour, is that great Security that attends us; the enjoyment of which is so pleasant, and the rather, because he that lives in a perfect and entire [Page 99] Security, finds himself in power to act what seem­eth him good, and to enjoy all the Pleasures that he fancies without any controll. Now, we easily believe, that Security is obtained by Honour, be­cause Honour is bestowed for Vertue's sake, or be­cause of Offices and Performances that suppose Ver­tue to be there. If it be for Vertue's sake, then it is certainly free from Contempt, and the Reveren­ced Person can by no means sink into that Estate which is exposed to Injuries and Affronts. If it be for the sake of Offices or Dignities, and consequent­ly for some Advantage expected, or some Evil that we dread, even for that cause, we look upon them commonly as a great and strong Support. But herein we may find this difference, That the Ho­nour that is rendred for the sake of Dignities, is more Splendid and taking with the Common Peo­ple; therefore we see a great many very desirous of Dignities and noble Employments, and very few look after Vertue. As if those who are promo­ted to Dignities, had wherewith they may Injure some, and Pleasure others; and therefore can se­cure themselves from the Power of some by Hope, and of others by Fear.

CHAP. IV. What Advantage Moral Vertue procures.

NOw to mention something of Vertue it self. Aristotle and Cicero declare Wonders about the delights and pleasures of Knowledge and Learn­ing, which make the first part of Moral Vertue. Nature, saith Aristotle, the common Parent, stirs up and gives unspeakable Pleasures to such as can attain to understand the Causes of things, and study Philosophy truly and to purpose. If we cannot without Delight, look upon the bare Images of Nature, because in casting our Eyes upon them, we behold the ingenuity and skill of the Painter or the Graver that made them; How much more ought the Contemplation of Nature it self, and of its admirable Wisdom and Contrivances, to fill our Minds with Joy and Satisfaction? Cicero also speaks of it to no less Advantage. The Consideration, saith he, and Contemplation of Nature, is the real and na­tural Food of the Soul: It is that which raiseth and ele­vates our Thoughts; for when we think upon the Coele­stial things, which are so Great, Large and of such a vast Extent, we despise these here below, as Mean and of no Value. Seneca's Expressions are no less Remarkable; O! how Contemptible is Man, saith he, if he raiseth not himself above Human things! We may say, That then the Spirit of Man hath attain'd to its greatest Happiness that its Nature is capable of, when it hath trampled up­on all Vice, and raiseth it self to sublime Matters, and searches into the Secrets of Nature. 'Tis then, that walking among the Coelestial Orbs, it disdains the green Fields, and all the Gold that the Earth produces for our covetous Posterity. There are above us, spacious Hea­vens, which our Souls take then Possession of. When it [Page 101] is there arrived, it is nourish'd and increases, and being free'd from its Earthly Prison, it returns to its first Principle; for, it is a certain sign of its being of a Divine Nature, that the Divine Objects are pleasing to it, which it looks upon not as belonging to others, but as its own.

Here it will not be amiss to mention the Pleasures and Transports of Joy that the Mathematical Sciences cause. Plutarch relates, That Eudoxius would have been willing to have been Burnt as Phaeton was, if he could first have been admitted to approach so near the Sun, as to have a full inspection of its Figure, Greatness and Beauty. The same Author tells us, That Pytha­goras was so ravish'd with Joy when he had found that famous Theorem, (which is the Forty seventh of Euclid's Book) that immediately he offered a so­lemn Sacrifice. He writes also of Archimedes, That many times they have been forced to divert him from his deep Contemplations: Nay, so great a Pleasure he found in them, that his excess of Joy, was like to have cost him his Life, when by labori­ous and tedious Study, he had arrived to discover, how much Brass might be mingled in that Crown of Gold which the King had Dedicated to the Gods. He thereupon (as he was going out of the Bath) transporred with Joy, cried out, [...] There is nothing, saith Cicero, more Pleasant, than the sweet repose of a Learned Old Age. We see Gallus, your Fa­ther's Friend, dying for Joy, in the Speculation of the Stars, and measuring the Heavens and the Earth. How many times hath he Surpriz'd him from Morn­ing, until the Evening, when he had undertaken to describe something of the Stars? And how many a Night hath he found him in the Evening, when he had begun from the Morning? O what Pleasure did he take to foretell the Eclipses of the Sun and Moon?

For the other Liberal Arts, it is known what Re­creation the Knowledg of History and Antiquity, the Beauty of Poetry, and the Grace of Rhetorick give. These Studies, saith Cicero, are delightful Em­ployments for Youth, are pleasing to Old Age, are Or­naments in Prosperity, and a grateful security in Ad­versity. Haec studia Adolescentiam alunt, Senectutem oblectant, secundas res ornant, adversis perfugium & solatium praebent; delectant domi, non impudiunt foris, pernoctant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusti­cantur. They afford Pleasure at Home; they are not Troublesom to us Abroad; they continue with us Sleep­ing; they accompany us in our Travels; they go along with us in the Fields. How mean are the delights of Banquetting, of Plays, of Women, when compared with these Pleasures? Men freely spend whole days and nights in pursuit of Learning, and think no pains too great to be bestowed in obtaining it; so great and exqui­sit is the Pleasure thereof, when acquired. Omnia pre­petiuntur ipsa cognitione & scientia capti, & cum maximis curis, & laboribus compensant eam quam ex discendo capiunt voluptatem.

For the other part of Vertue, which is common­ly called Moral Vertue, we shall be obliged hereaf­ter to treat of it more at large, where we shall speak of its four Kinds, viz. Prudence, Forti­tude, Temperance and Justice. Only supposing at present, that 'tis an undoubted Truth, That there is nothing more Pleasant, than to lead a Life not liable to Reproach; a Life that's Innocent and void of Offence, free from the Checks and Re­morses of a guilty Conscience; and so to govern all our Actions according to the Rules of Honesty and Prudence, as not to fail in any of the Duties of Life; to wrong no Body; to do good to every one as much as is possible. Suppose I say, such Maxims [Page 103] to be True, which we shall have hereafter occasion to mention; I shall here take notice of three things. First; That it is not without great Reason, that we compare Vertue to a Plant, whose Root is Bit­ter, but the Fruit very Sweet; and that Plato, Xeno­phon, and several others, have highly commended those Verses of Hesiod, that inform us, That Ver­tue is not to be attain'd without Labour and Sweat; and that the way that leads to it, is truly Long and Difficult, and of an uneasie access in the begin­ning, but when e'er mounted to the top, there is nothing Sweeter, nor more Pleasant.

The Gods through Sweat and Pains to Vertue lead,
But long and arduous is the Path we tread:
Rugged and steep when first you venture on,
But at the top arriv'd, with easy speed you run.

Unto which we ought to add that Sentence of Epi­charmus, That the Gods afford to us no good things, but for our Labours and Pains.

Labore nobis cuncta,
Dii vendunt bona.

Which gives us to understand, that we ought freely to endure the Labours that occur in the way to Vertue, because they are attended with wonder­ful Pleasure and Satisfaction.

Nor is that Story without Ground; Where Plea­sure and Vertue are supposed to meet in a double Way, and each of them to use the strongest Motives to encline Hercules to follow them in their different Paths; for that confirms the truth of those Rules that are before alledged, when we took notice, That we ought to shun that Pleasure which is at­tended with a greater Mischief; as we ought to [Page 104] embrace those Labours and Toils which will pro­cure us greater Advantages and Delights. I know very well how they have represented Hercules reje­cting Pleasure, that is to say, an easie and Effeminate Life, to pursue Vertue, which is a Life full of La­bour and Difficulty. Nevertheless, Maximus of Tyre, saith very well; That when he was under the greatest Labours, he felt, or had a prospect of wonderful Pleasures. You see, saith he, in Hercules extraordi­nary Labours, but you see not the incredible Pleasures that either attend or succeed them. Whosoever takes away Pleasure from Vertue, takes from it all Strength and Efficacy; for were it not for Pleasure, Men would never undertake any great Matter: And he who out of Zeal for Vertue, willingly un­dergoes any Trouble, this is purely for the sake of some Pleasure he feels or expects: For as in hoard­ing up of Treasure, no Man will prefer a Pebble before a Ruby, nor Brass before Gold, unless he be utterly destitute of all Reason and Understand­ing: So in respect of Labour and Trouble, no Man labours meerly and purely for Labour's sake; this would turn to a very sorry account; but we wil­lingly exchange the present Labours for Vertue; that is, in plain English, as the Stoicks term it, for Pleasure; for, who speaks of Vertue, speaks of De­light; and Vertue it self would be much neglected, if at the same time it were not attended with De­light. For my part, I must declare, that I run quite counter to the common Vogue, for I look up­on Pleasure to be the most Beautiful, the most De­sirable thing in the World, and that which we ought the most strictly to pursue; and for its sake it is, I believe, that Men so frequently expose themselves to all Hazards and Dangers, and even encounter Death it self; for tho' we are apt to give divers Names to the Cause that first moves us [Page 105] to undertake such great things; as for Instance, That which put Achilles upon dying voluntarily for Patrocles, we call Friendship; that which enclined Agamemnon to enter into and carry on a War with so much Care and Fatigue, was the care of preser­ving his Kingdom; that of Hector's so frequent Encamping and defeating his Enemies, was the de­sire to preserve his Country. All these several Terms are but other Names for Pleasure. And as in the Distempers of the Body, the Patient for want of Health, not only freely submits himself to Hunger and Thirst, but also willingly undergoes the most virulent Pains and Torments of Surgeons Instruments; but if it were not for this hope, he would never endure such Tortures. So in the acti­ons of Life, there is a compensation for the Trou­bles that we undergo with Pleasure, which you truly term Vertue, and which I allow so to be. But at the same time I demand, Whether your Mind does embrace Vertue, without any love for it? And if you yield to this, that you have such a Love, ought you not to agree also that you have a Pleasure in it? Vary the Terms as much as you please, call it nei­ther Pleasure nor Delight, but Joy or Satisfaction, I shall not differ about Names; I look only to the thing it self, and I find that Pleasure or Satisfaction, put Hercules on Action.

The second Observation that I make, is, That the Philosophers themselves who have declared open War with Pleasure, whereby to advance their Vertue, and so to become more Remarkable, don't differ so much from Epicurus in the thing, as in the Term. I might here with Lucian, mention their Ways and Manners, who tell them, That if they had the Ring of Gyges, and the Helmet of Pluto, so that they might become invisible to the World, they would soon forsake their beloved Labours, [Page 106] their Pains and Toils, and hunt after those Plea­sures and Delights that they seem to slight and con­demn. Maximus of Tyre, compares them with Aesop's Sheperd, who being ask'd by a Lion in pursuit of a Buck, whether he had seen it; answered No, but with his Finger pointed at the Place where it fled. Thus these pretenders to Ver­tue, when they disclaim against Pleasure, 'tis only in Word and in Shew. But to pass by their Man­ners, which don't any ways correspond with their Words, 'tis sufficient to let you know, That Epicu­rus as well as they, embraces and esteems Vertue very highly, and that when they storm so much against him, 'tis because he maintains, That Ver­tue is only a means very proper to attain our End or chief Good; whereas, they assert, That Vertue it self is the last End and chief Good. So that in effect, they declare the very same thing as he doth, tho' in different Words.

And truly these are their own Expressions, so often celebrated among them; That Vertue is suffi­cient of it self to make us Happy. Or as Cicero says, That to live happily, we need only be Vertuous. Now, if we rightly understand this Maxim, we must ne­cessarily perceive thereby that Vertue it self is not the chief Good, but a means that contributes in such a manner to obtain it, that it is alone suffici­ent for that purpose, without having need of the assistance of any thing else; And consequently we may thereby perceive, that a happy Life, or true Felicity, which is obtained by Vertue, is the chief Good, or the last End, because this Good, or this End, is for it self, and tends not to obtain after­wards any thing else.

And, now to live Happily, is nothing else, but to live agreeably, contentedly, and with Delight; and if we may be permitted, to add the other Word, [Page 107] which offends so much, with Pleasure. Certainly tho' the Stoicks deal not so plainly as Aristotle, who holds, That Pleasure is mixed with Happiness, and that by Pleasure, the contemplation or operation of Hap­piness is increased: Yet I doubt not but if an happy Life could be fancied to be really void of Delight and Pleasure, they would render it so barren and desolate, that in ascending their steep and craggy Mountain of Vertue, they would never endure so many Hardships and Dangers, if they were not en­couraged with the hopes of Happiness, when they arrive at the top. And Socrates himself, whose Resolutions and Courage they desire; Hath he not plainly described Happiness to be a Pleasure which is not attended with Repentance? And Antisthenes, the Father of the Cynicks, and the Author of that fa­mous Maxim of the Stoicks; That he would rather become an Ideot, than seek after Pleasure. Doth he not yield to this in the Writings of Stobeus? Venan­das esse eas voluptates, non quae labores aut molestias praecedunt, sed quae consequuntur. That we ought not to seek after those Pleasures which go before our Labours and Difficulties, but such as follow.

But to shew still more plainly how Pleasure ac­companies a Cynical Life, which the Stoicks them­selves, tho' they look upon it as Austere and Grie­vous, yet nevertheless Happy: We need but heark­en once more to Maximus of Tyre, who the best of any, hath represented this Life, speaking of Dio­genes: What, saith he, made Diogenes to retire into his Tub? Was it not Pleasure? For tho' it was also Vertue that made him abide there, Why must we separate his Pleasure from his Reason? Diogenes was as well pleased in his Tub, as Xerxes in the City of Babylon; and in feeding upon his boiled Barley and dried Bread, as Smindrides upon his dainty Dishes and exquisit Fare. He was as [Page 108] well satisfied in the Sun, as Sardanapalus was in the Purple Garments; with his Staff in his hand, as Alexander with his Lance; with his Wallet at his Back, as Cresus in the midst of his Treasures. And if you please to compare the Pleasures of the one with those of the others, you shall find the Pleasures of Diogenes to be prefer'd; because Pain and Trou­ble have always from every side, come to disturb the Pleasures of those Men who seem'd to be Hap­py. When Xerxes was Overcome, he Wept; Cambises being Wounded, fell into Sorrow; Sarda­napalus groaned in the Flames. When Smyndrides was Banished, he was Troubled. When Croesus was Prisoner, he shed Tears: And Alexander being stopt in his Wars, Complains. But the Pleasures of Diogenes were free from Complaints, Cries, Tears and Displeasure. You may call Labours and troublesom Actions, those sort of Pleasures, if you should put your self in Diogenes's Place: But this is not fair; for if you should do what he did, you might be Grieved with what Diogenes made his Pleasure. And yet I dare affirm, That never any Man had a more earnest desire for Pleasure than Diogenes had. He had no House; the care of a Fa­mily is Troublesom: He was never concerned in the Government; it is an Employment full of Sor­rows: He shun'd Matrimony, for he had hear'd the Fame of Xantippe: He never brought up Children; He understood well the Difficulties. But having banish'd from himself all Sorrow, being altogether Free, void of Care, Fear, or Grief; He alone a­mong Men, enjoyed all the Earth as a single and common House, fully possessing the Pleasures which are not to be circumscribed, and which are free and open to all the World, and which are to be found plentifully in every Place. Verum depulsa om­ni molestia, plenus libertate, expers solicitudinis, absque [Page 109] metu, citra dolorem habebat unus hominum universam rerum quasi unam domum, voluptatibus passim fruens in­custoditis, patentibus, cópiosis.

The third Observation is, That notwithstanding some do so much talk and glory of acting by Prin­ciples out of love to Vertue, yet upon a strict En­quiry, we we shall find, that Pleasure is their chief Motive; for they that expose themselves to Haz­ards and Dangers for the sake of a Friend, or for the deliverance of their Country, and that defy even Death it self, which they know to be una­voidable, do all this in Expectation of some Plea­sure or Satisfaction, which they shall enjoy after Death: But still it is present Pleasure which ex­cites and animates them, when they think that the Actions which they are going about, shall procure Liberty to their Relations, Friends, or Country­men, or perpetuate their Memory, and make their Generations Famous in after Ages: It is, I say, the thoughts of being rendered Famous to Poste­rity, that thus Animates and Transports them.

This is to be understood of him who goes to a certain Death; for when there remains any hopes of Escaping, we need but see what Torquatus re­lates of one of his Predecessors. It is true, saith he, that he wrested the Lance out of his Enemies hands, but he endeavour'd as much as was able, to secure him­self from being Kill'd. He run a great hazard, but it was in the view of the whole Army. What Advan­tage did he receive? The Praises and Love of all the World, which are very strong Supports to us to bear our Dangers without fear. See likewise what Seneca saith, Ʋpon the performance of any great and glorious Action, there immediately arises an extra­ordinary Joy and Delight; and tho' we reap no Advan­tage after Death, yet the very thoughts of the Action that we are about to commit, please us; for when a ge­nerous [Page 110] Man represents to himself the reward of his Death, namely, the Liberty of his Country, the deli­verance of those for whom he sacrifices his Life, he re­ceives from thence a great deal of Pleasure, and enjoys the recompence of the Hazard: And he who feels that Joy, which happens at the last moment of the Action, runs on to Death without any Demur, content and satisfied in the Goodness, Piety and Holiness of the Action.

The same may be said of those severe Fathers, who have punished with Death their own Children, tho' they seem to deprive themselves of great Plea­sures. 'Tis what Cicero continues to object to the same Torquatus, who by giving a blow with his Ax to his Son, prefer'd the Right of the Empire, to that of Nature and Fatherly Affection; for those who proceed to that Extremity, understand the temper of their Children to be such, that it is bet­ter for themselves and for their Children, rather to Die than Live, because they are likely to receive nothing from them, but continual Sorrows, and that their perpetual Shame would retort upon them. Therefore when they consider that it is more grateful and desirable to them to prevent their future dissatisfaction and infamy, by a present Grief, and to expiate (if I may so say) that Disgrace that hath been committed, by some Noble and illustrious Action, rather than to sink them­selves by a mean Baseness, and a deceitful Weak­ness, into an Abyss of Calamity. This is the Plea­sure which such relish, who desire to free themselves from this Abyss. Take notice also what the same Torquatus Answers; He condemned his Son to Death; but if it be without Cause, I would not desire to be the Son of such an unnatural Father. If he did it to se­cure and establish the Military Discipline, to keep the Army within the bounds of their Duty, by the [Page 111] fear of punishment, during a moct dangerous War, had an eye to the Preservation of his Country-men, in whose Safety his own was included and comprehended.

Of Self-Love.

BUt that which is generally spoken of Vertue may be also said of Piety towards God, seeing that it is not likely, that there can be any sincere Piety if God be not purely and intirely lov'd for himself, or because he is infinitely Good, or because he is infinitely Excellent. So that he who loves and honours God, hath no respect to himself, neither doth he consider his own Profit or Pleasure. For my part, God forbid, that I should undervalue the Piety of any Person. As there are some who don't only per­suade that we ought to love God in this manner, and consequently don't only suppose, that this is possible, but to give Authority to this Doctrin, and prevent the Objection, boast and believe they perform all this: Truly I don't envy, nor shall I contradict them; but far from that, I approve and applaud their Happiness, and that special favour of Heaven, granted to them; for we must believe, that it is a Gift of God and Supernatural, that any Man can prevail upon himself to love and honour God in such a manner. But we are treating here of Piety, and generally of Vertue, which is sutable to Nature, according to which, Man performs all that he doth with some respect to himself. May not we therefore say, that God hath in such a manner com­plied with the infirmity of our Nature; That as there is scarce any Passage in Holy Writ that al­lows or expresseth their Doctrin, there are a great many that approve of loving God greatly, because he hath pardoned them their many Sins; or because [Page 112] he hath granted them many Favours; or of loving him for the hopes of the promises of Heaven; and who perform divers offices of Charity, suffer Per­secution, keep the Faith, &c. because of that King­dom prepared for them from the beginning of the World, because of the extraordinary Rewards that wait for them in Heaven, because of the Crown of Righteousness, which God hath promised to them that love him? May we not, I say, be of this Opi­nion, and conclude from these Passages, That there is nothing to hinder us from having in view those everlasting Delights which such are to enjoy who have loved and honoured God? I will not appeal to the Consciences of any Person, nor do I ask what they would do, if after God had been Honoured and Loved, if he took no care of those who had loved and honoured him; and if in such a case, he neither granted them any Advantage, nor gave them hopes of any to be expected to all Eternity: I do not ask them, I say, What they would do? Whether they would Love or Honour him less? I only desire them to take in good part this Questi­on, Whether they don't Love and Honour him, because it is very pleasant to Love and serve him in this manner? And whether they believe it not consequently very Pleasant and very Grateful to be thus disposed towards God, purely and absolutely for his sake, and without any regard to our selves? Seeing he tells us, That his Yoak is easie, whereby to encline us to love him with all our Heart, with all our Soul, with all our Understanding, and all our Strength; certainly he excludes not this Sweet­ness and Pleasure. But let this be hinted by the by, the better to strengthen and confirm the Reason by which we prove, according to the Judgment of Epicurus, That Pleasure is the chief Good, or the last End, being desired in such a manner for it self; [Page 113] that all other things are desirable for its sake. Let us now say something of that other Reason, which is deriv'd from a Comparison between Pleasure and Pain, which is its contrary. Let us suppose, saith Torquatus, a Man enjoying many great and continued Pleasures both of Body and Mind, without any interrup­tion or disturbance by any Grief, either present or to come, What State, in short, can we say is better and more de­sirable than that? Is it not certain, that a Man in that condition, is in an unshaken Tranquility of Mind; That he will not foolishly and childishly fret at the sight of Death, but will consider, that it is unavoidable? On the contrary, Suppose another Man tormented with the most exquisite Tortures both of Body and of Mind, that a Human Nature is capable of, without any hopes of Relief, or ease, or of any Pleasure either present or to come, How can we represent any more Ʋnhappy than such a one? Now, if a Life full of Pain, is chiefly to be avoided, and consequently to live in Pain, is without any question, the chief of Evils, it follows by the Rule of Contraries, That to live in Pleasure, is the chief Good; for there is nothing beyond it, where our Mind stops and rests satisfied, as there is nothing beyond the pain either of the Body, or of the Mind, which can shake our Nature, or under­mine her Settlement. I dare not declare, saith Ci­cero, whom I should prefer to your pretended Happy Man; Vertue shall decide the Controversy, and will, no doubt, prefer Marcus Regulus before him, who of his own ac­cord, without any Constraint, and contrary to the Faith that he had given to the Enemy, returned back to his own Country to Carthage. Vertue, I say, shall prefer this famous Man; and when he shall be tired and tor­mented with Watchings and Hunger, it will declare, that he is happier than Thorius, who was drinking deliciously, and stretching himself upon a Bed of Roses. Regulus had wag'd great War; he had been twice [Page 114] Consul, and carried in Triumph. Yet he looked not upon all this so Great and Glorious, As this last Enter­prise, to which his Faith and Constancy oblig'd him. This condition when we hear it describ'd, seems to be Miserable to us, but to him it was a State of Pleasure and Happiness; for it is not always Pleasure, De­light, Laughter and Sports that cause Happiness, but oft times Resolution and Constancy, render those Persons Happy who are in the midst of Sufferings and Sor­row.

Of the deceitful Vertue and deceitful Happiness of Regulus.

BUt to speak a word of the Examples instanc'd by way of Comparison, before we yield to the Eloquence of Cicero. Tho we ought not in all re­spects to approve of Thorius, and of his too delici­ous manner of Living, which Epicurus himself would never have allowed; Nevertheless, it is not easy to conceive, how Regulus was really happier than Tho­rius. In truth, I perceive a specious Shew and a fine sound of Words, by which it is usual to extol this so famous Vertue of Regulus; yet, if we will seriously examin his Story, and weigh sincerely the several Circumstances, we shall not find it so Plau­sible. Polybius informs us, That Regulus having for­tunately Commanded in the War against the Car­thaginians, and fearing lest another Consul being sent from Rome in his stead, should bear away the honour of his brave Exploits, he advised the Car­thaginians to a Peace. But the Conditions that he proposed to their Deputies, were so hard, that they resolved rather to hazard all. They therefore chu­sing for their General Xantippus the Lacedemonian, Encounter'd with Regulus in a Battel, got the Vi­ctory, [Page 115] and took him Prisoner with Five Hundred more, with whom he was Flying. An undoubted Sign, saith the same Polybius, of Fortune's Inconstancy, and of the little trust we are to put in her flattering Smiles, seeing that he, who but a little before, could not be moved to Pity, and had no Compassion of the Affli­cted, was soon after oblig'd to cast himself at their Feet, and to beg his Life. Polyaenus adds further; That Regulus Swore to the Carthaginians, That if they would suffer him to depart, he would persuade the Romans to make Peace with them, and if he could not, he would return back to Carthage. But that he advis'd the Senate to the Contrary, discovering the Weakness of the Enemy, the Means whereby they might Destroy them; and that the Prisoners of the Carthaginians, were Young, and stout Cap­tains, whereas, he was Decrepid and Old. This he Whisper'd, saith Appian, to the Chief of the Romans. His Opinion, saith Cicero, so much prevailed, that they kept back the Prisoners; there was no Peace made, and he returned to Carthage. 'Tis true, that his Depar­ture was attended with Mournful Circumstances; for Horace tells us; That at his Return, he fix'd his Eyes upon the Ground, like a Criminal, with a de­jected Countenance, rudely putting aside his Wife and Children, as they were approaching to embrace him with Tears.

His Wife's chast Kiss, his prattling Boys,
The former Partners of his Joys:
Now grown a Slave, thrown down by Fate,
And lessen'd from his former State;
He shunn'd with manly Modesty,
And on the Earth he cast his stubborn Eye:
Whilst thus by strange Advice, he sought
And fix'd the wavering Senate's Vote.
[Page 116]
Then through his Weeping Friends he ran
In haste, a glorious Banish'd Man.
What Cords and Wheels, what Racks and Chains,
What lingring Tortures for his Pains,
The barbarous Hang-men made, he knew,
And hightning Fame told more than true.
Yet he his Wife and Boys remov'd,
His hindring Friends, and all he Lov'd,
And through the Crowd he made his way,
That wept and begg'd a longer stay,
As free as if when Term was done
And Suit's at end, he left the Town;
And did from Business and Cares retreat,
To the cool Pleasures of a Country Seat.

Nevertheless, we must observe what Tuditanus Relates, That when he advis'd 'em to make no Exchange of the Prisoners, he inform'd 'em, That the Carthaginians had given him such a slow Poison, that he could only live until the Exchange was made, afterwards he was to pine away and Die.

We may also take notice of that which is to be found among the Fragments of Diodorus Siculus. Now, Who will not disapprove the Pride and Vain-glory of Attilius Regulus, who not being able to support him­self under so great Prosperity, which seem'd to him as an heavy Burthen, deprived himself of the advantage of a general Applause, and brought his own Country into eminent Danger? For, when he might have concluded an Honourable and Advantageous Peace to the People of Rome, and obtain'd the Glory of a remarkable Clem­ency and Renown, he proudly insulted over the Afflicted, and required such harsh and unreasonable Terms of Peace, that he not only drew upon himself God's Displea­sure, but mov'd the Conquered to such an implacable Hatred, whereby to renew their Courage, and venture to fight afresh. By his fault, the Affairs were chang'd [Page 117] in such a manner, that he and his whole Army were Routed; Thirty Thousand of 'em being slain in the Field, and Fifteen Thousand taken Prisoners with him, &c.

From whence we may surmise, That when Regu­lus considered, he could never make sufficient a­mends for the Fault he had committed, and that he would be always look'd upon in Rome as a Rash and Proud Man, he chose rather to return to Carthage, and prefer'd an apparent Danger (tho' he thought it not to be so great, because of the Carthaginian Prisoners in the hands of the Romans) to an un­doubted Infamy, and to a Life which he saw was Languishing and very short, because of the Poison which the Carthaginians had given him.

However, when Regulus had done nothing at Rome, but having return'd back to Carthage, that he kept his Word, doubtless he cannot be too much esteem'd and applauded. But when he dissuaded the Senate from what he had promised to persuade them to, How can that be judg'd as a commendable thing, seeing it was a manifest Perjury? If he had contented him­self with the plain delivery of his Message, without persuading or dissuading any thing, his proceeding might then admit of some colourable Excuse: But thus openly to violate the Sacred Laws of Oaths, how can this be Palliated? And when he did it in Se­cret, for fear saith Appian, lest the Ambassadors that came along with him, might come to understand it, that also increaseth the Suspicion, and aggravates the Crime. Pretend not the Welfare and Glory of his Country to ex­cuse him. Truly, our Country is to be secured by good Advice, by Strength and Courage, but not by wicked Artifices, and by perfidious Dealing: And we ought not to approve our selves Citizens, whereby to become good Men.

You may perhaps alledge what we find in Euri­pides, That he swore with the Tongue, but not with the Heart. Illum jurasse Lingua, Mentem gessisse inju­ratam. But this is only to seek a Cloak for Perjury; for as Cicero saith, 'Tis not Perjury to Swear falsly, but not to perform what the Oath signifies, according to the common intention of the Words.

Truly, if it were lawful without wounding the Conscience, to mean one thing and speak another, it were to permit Lying in reality, and to deceive him who hears us speak, and with whom we con­verse. This would cause the Faith of every one to be suspected, and consequently would introduce a great Confusion in the Transactions and Affairs of Mankind. You may also say, that this was lawful, because the Carthaginians themselves had broke the Faith they had given him. But if you be a Wick­ed Person, I ought not therefore to be less Honest; otherwise, What difference would there be between you and me? We ought to deal with perfidious Persons, either with a great deal of Precaution or with open Force; but it is not lawful upon any account whatever, to violate our Faith. It is an old Maxim, That either we ought not to Promise at all, or else to keep it. But it seems, the Carthagi­nians put him to grievous Tortures, for no other end, but because contrary to the Faith he had gi­ven them, he had dissuaded the Romans from con­cluding a Peace, and the Exchange of the Prisoners. It is true, as Tubero saith, That the Noblest Priso­ners were delivered into the hands of Regulus's Chil­dren, who put 'em to Death with the same Torments that Regulus suffered. But pray consider, whether Regulus had any reason to prefer the Destruction of those Prisoners, to the Lives of five Hundred Roman Soldiers, who had been taken with him, and who [Page 119] for the sake of his Vertue, cruelly perished in the same manner with him at Carthage.

But to return to our present purpose in relation to Happiness; I would fain be resolved, how the Hap­piness of Regulus was greater than that of Thorius, when he was Tortured in the manner that the fore­mentioned Tubero relates? They kept him a long time, says he, in dismal dark Dungeons; then they cut off his Eye­lids, and when the Sun shone brightest, they brought him forth and exposed him to the Sun-beams, forcing him to hold his Eyes that way, knowing it was not possible for him to shut them. Cicero informs us, that he was bound in an Engin, and that after they had cut off his Eye­lids, they destroyed him by Watching. Seneca terms this Engin a Tub stuck through with Nails, in which he was Inclosed. Sylvius presents us with this Description.

With desp'rate Rows they arm'd the sloping Wood,
And tor'tring Nails at equal distance stood:
Thus robb'd of Sleep, by never sleeping pain,
He grows his own Tormentor, and in vain
Attempts his Limbs, by turning to relieve,
While only varied Wounds the varied Postures give.

But possibly you'll say, That Thorius embrac'd Pleasure in an Effminate manner, whereas, Regulus, for the good of his Country, prefer'd these Tor­tures, and suffer'd them Courageously. First, Tho­rius was not so soft and Effeminate, but that when the Well-fare of his Country required, he did not decline the Wars, but at last died fighting in de­fence of it, as Cicero himself testifies.

And tho' it be a great support in the midst of our Sufferings, to preserve our Conscience Pure and Unstained, considering that we suffer in an honest Cause, and for the Well-fare of many, yet it don't [Page 120] thereby appear, that we are therefore more Happy, than we should be by living Vertuously, Wronging no body, but endeavouring to do all the good we can, and every way discharging the Duty of a good Man, and an honest Subject, spending our lives in this manner in a great deal of Pleasure, and little Pain.

In short, suppose a Man of the greatest Resolu­tion and Courage, who would not upon a good ac­count, be daunted at the greatest Difficulties or Dangers; I say, if it were offered to such a one, without any prejudice either to his Duty or Repu­tation, to take his choice of the two kinds of Life mentioned by Torquatus, Where is the Man, I beseech you, among all those, that thus exclaim against Pleasure, and extol Vertue and Sufferings, that would give the preference to the latter, and wil­lingly embrace it?

But to confirm what hath been said before, That Pain is the greatest Evil; for that hath been as the Antecedent, from whence we may conclude, by the Rule of Contraries, That Pleasure is the chief Good. By the same Reason by which we have proved, That Pleasure is the sovereign Good, which Natu­rally we seek, Primum familiare seu accommodatum. And consequently the chief Good; By the same Reason, it hath been proved, That Pain is the chief Evil, which Naturally we avoid. Primum ali­enum se incommodans, And consequently the chief Evil. For Nature hath not only given to all Crea­tures a natural love for Pleasure, but hath also fix'd in 'em a natural hatred of Pain. Let us now take notice of two or three Particulars. First, By the word Pain, we are not to understand only those that we call the Pains of the Body, but also those which we term the Pains or Inquietudes of the Mind, and which are far more anxious and insupportable, [Page 121] than those of the Body, as we have already said. Secondly, That as we have before observ'd, Ver­tue and Goodness have something within them which naturally afford Pleasure and Delight; so likewise we may now affirm, that Vice, or that which is In­famous and Dishonest, hath that in it which causes great Pain and Uneasiness. From whence it is, that as Vertue and Goodness is attended by many and great Advantages, so Vice or Wickedness, is suc­ceeded by many and great Evils. So, that in short, among the things which are to be desired, in order to obtaining our chief Good, Vertue is that which we are chiefly to aim at; and among the things that we are to shun, in order the better to avoid the greatest Evils, Vice and Wickedness, is that which we are chiefly to fly from. Lastly, This Doctrin seems to be very conformable to the Sacred Rules of Faith: By which, as we believe that our chief Good or Happiness, consists in enjoying the ever­lasting Delights and Joys in Heaven: So we be­lieve, That our greatest Unhappiness or Misery, consists in being tormented in Hell, with uspeakable Tortures in everlasting Flames.

CHAP V. That a Wise Man is only capable of enjoying Moral Vertue.

WE have hitherto treated of Pleasure, as it is ge­nerally understood: We shall now speak of that particular specifick Pleasure unto which a Wise Man confines himself, as being in its own Nature not only very easie to be obtain'd, but also most lasting and free from Repentance. In a word, that Plea­sure that we before called the Tranquility of the Mind, and the exemption of the Body from Pain, now we have great Reason to call it most Natural; for at this sort of Pleasure Nature seems chiefly to aim, as not having regard to other Pleasures, which are always shifting and in a constant Motion, any otherwise than to make them useful in the obtain­ing this; as for Instance; It hath appointed the Pleasure of Tasting, to make the action of Eating more grateful, and by that means to oblige us to the Act, whereby to satisfie our Hunger, which is that pain we feel, and caused by the cravings of an empty Stomach. But in reference to the satis­faction and tranquility of Mind which we enjoy when Hunger is appeas'd. This Nature hath re­serv'd as her last End, and designed it as her chief Good: We have great reason to say, that it is ve­ry easie to be obtain'd, because it is in every one's Power to moderate his Desires, by supplying him­self with things necessary for his Body, whereby to free it from Pain, and thereby render his Mind calm and easy. I say, That it is very lasting, be­cause other Pleasures pass away in a Moment, and [Page 123] free from us, whereas this continues the same, un­less it be interrupted and perish by our own Mis­carriages. Lastly, I describe it to be very free from Repentance; for all other Pleasures may be attend­ed by some Evil, whereas, this is altogether inno­cent, and draws upon us no such Mischief.

I know that Cicero at first quarrels very much with Epicurus, because he gives the Term of Plea­sure, to this Tranquility and freedom from Pain, which he pretends to be proper to nothing but that which consists in Motion, or to those things which please the Senses. But methinks Cicero should not dif­fer with him about a bare Word; for suppose accord­ing to common Custom, we did not call this Tran­quility of Mind and freedom from Bodily Pain, Plea­sure, Why should we hinder Epicurus the giving it that Name, and esteeming it so great a Pleasure, that among all others that bear that name, none is to be compared with it? This hath been, and al­ways will be allowed in cases of Opinion, especi­ally here, where Pleasure and that which is Good and Desirable, are the same thing. Therefore this State or Condition of Life, which of all other seems most desirable, may be very well esteem'd and cal­led Pleasure. Besides, we may not only bring Ari­stotle here to controll him in express words, That there is a greater Pleasure in Repose, than in Action; but also St. Chrysostom, who thus expresseth himself, For what is Pleasure, but to be free from Inquietude, Trouble, Fear, and Despair, and generally to be exempt from such kind of Passions? Pray, which of these two may be said truly to enjoy Pleasure, He who is fu­riously distracted by Passions, and so continually overcome with vicious Lusts, that he hath no com­mand of himself; or He who is free from all these Disturbances, and rests in Philosophy as a quiet Ha­ven? I may truly call that Pleasure, when the Soul [Page 124] is in such a State, that it is in no wise disquieted nor disturbed by any bodily Passion. That which Cicero objects concerning Children and Brutes, which are as the Looking-glasses of uncorrupted Nature, and yet desire not that Pleasure which is in Rest, of which we have been speaking, but only that which is in Motion, seems to make most against us. But let his Judgment of the Brutes, and the Nature of Animals, be what it will, tho' they came into the World uncorrupted, and are well instructed for the obtaining their End, after they have satisfied their Pain, which is caused by some Want, naturally they tend to Rest; contrary to several Men, who being corrupted in their Imagi­nation, constantly cut out and make to themselves Work, by provoking the Appetite; and never stop at any thing. Whatever be the case of the Beasts, we shall speak only of Men, of whom it is certain, whatever is Objected, is easily Answer'd, by what we have already mentioned. For in the first Place, Nature hath appointed a fix'd Pleasure for the chief End. And tho' Action be design'd as a necessary Means to obtain it, it makes use of the Pleasure which is in Motion, that the Action might pass with more Delight and Satisfaction. From whence it happens, That tho' Man, or any other Creature, seems to be more apparently and ex­presly stir'd up and inclin'd to active Pleasure, nevertheless, this hinders not, but at the same time he really and secretly tends to that which is stable, and that by the Instinct or Bent of Nature, who looks upon it as her chief Aim and principal End. Besides, because Man's Understanding in process of time is corrupted, vitiated, apt to make divers gross Mistakes, and as we commonly say, [...], to make that Principal, which is but Ac­cessory, he sets up a fleeting moving Pleasure for his [Page 125] principal Mark, and by abusing this Pleasure by his Intemperance, he draws upon himself a Mischief, when he loseth that Pleasure which is more fix'd and solid, and which Nature hath made the First and Principal; and this is succeeded by Sorrow and Repentance. For this cause it is, that Epicurus adviseth, That Wisdom should interpose, which teach­eth Man to govern his Pleasure; that is to say, to consider and look upon the Assistant as Assistant, and the Principal, as Principal.

In the mean while, we need not concern our selves much about what the Cyrenaicks Object in Cicero; That this Pleasure of Epicurus, is like the con­dition of a sleeping Person: For he hath declared, That his Tranquility and freedom from Pain, is not to be Stupified, but to be in such a State, that all the actions of our Life might be done calmly and sedately, as we have already said. As he allows not that the Life of a Wise Man should be as a Tor­rent, so he don't approve that it should be like a still and stinking Pool, but rather like the Water of a River, that glides along quietly and without Noise. This is one of his Maxims; That when Pain is removed, Pleasure is not increas'd, but only diversi­fied and altered. As if he would have said, That when we have attain'd to this quiet State, free from Pain, there is truly nothing to be desired greater, or to be compared to it; but in the mean while, there remain several pure and innocent Pleasures, wherewith this State, if not abused, is Embelished in the manner of a Field, which becoming Fruitful, affords divers Fruits; or in the manner of a Mea­dow, which we see covered over with an admira­ble diversity of Flowers, when the Earth is brought to be in a good Temper: For this State is like a Spring, out of which all the Pleasures that are Pure and Sincere, are drawn. For this cause therefore, [Page 126] it ought to be esteem'd as the chief Pleasure, in re­gard it is an universal Relish, by which all the Actions of our Life are seasoned, and by which con­sequently all our Pleasures are sweetned, and become grateful. And to speak all in a Word, Without which, no Pleasure can be Pleasure.

In reality, What Satisfaction can there be, if the Mind be troubled or the Body tormented with Pain? It is a Proverb, That if the Vessel be not clean, it Sowers whatever is put into it.

Sincerum est nisi vas, quodcum (que) infundis acescit.

Whoever therefore is desirous of pure sincere Pleasures, he must prepare himself to receive them without any Mixture or Alloy; that is, By attain­ing as much as is possible to this State of Rest and Tranquility that we have described. I add the words as much as is possible; for, As we have ob­served already, The frailty of our human Nature, wont suffer us to be absolutely and perfectly Happy; for so compleat a Felicity, altogether free from Trouble and Pain, and crowned with all manner of Delights, belongs to God alone, and to them whom he calls to a better Life. So that in this present World, some have a greater, some a less share of Afflictions and Pains. He that will deal wisely, ought to endeavour as much as the weakness of his Nature will permit, to settle himself in that condi­tion in which he may be as little sensible of Grief and Pain as is possible; for by this means he will obtain these two Advantages, which chiefly contri­bute to his present Happiness, and which Wise Men have acknowledged, to be almost the only solid and desirable Advantages of Life, The Health of the Body and of the Mind.

[Page 127]
Sunt Sanitas & Mens gemina vitae bona.
Optandum est ut sit Mens sana in Corpore sano.

And that Epicurus never designed that his Plea­sure should extend to a Sottishness, or a privation of Sense and Action, may be proved by what he was pleased with in his Retirements, either in Me­ditating, or in Teaching, or in taking care of his Friends. But let it suffice us here to say, That from that state and condition of Life, did arise cer­tain Thoughts, which of all things in the World, were the most pleasing and delightful: Namely, when any shall call to mind the Storms that he hath couragiously weather'd, in which some are yet tos­sed up and down; he fancies himself as it were in a safe Haven, possessing a calm and a serene Tran­quility; which Lucretius in his Second Book plea­santly sets forth.

'Tis pleasant when the Seas are rough, to stand
And view another's Danger safe at Land;
Not 'cause he's Troubled, but 'tis sweet to see
Those Cares and Fears, from which our selves are free.

He tells us also, That it is very pleasant to look from a high Tower upon two great Armies drawn up in Battel, without being concerned in the Dan­ger.

'Tis also Pleasant to behold from far
How Troops Engage, secure our selves from War.

But there is nothing so pleasant, as to see our selves by the help of Learning and Knowledge, ad­vanc'd to the Top of Wisdom's Temple, from whence, as from an high Station, serene and quiet, [Page 128] we may see Men involved in a thousand Miseries, without being concern'd.

But above all, 'Tis pleasantest to get
The top of high Philosophy, and sit
On the calm peaceful flourishing Head of it:
Whence we may view, deep, wond'rous deep below,
How poor forsaken Mortals Wandring go,
Seeking the path to Happiness; some aim
At Learning, Wit, Nobility, or Fame.
Others with Cares and Dangers vex each Hour,
To reach the Top of Wealth and Sovereign Power;
Whilst frugal Nature seeks for only Ease,
A Body free from Pains, free from Disease,
A Mind from Cares and Jealousies at Peace.

Of the Tranquility of the Mind in particular.

BUt to say something more particularly of the Tranquility of the Mind; let us again repeat, That by this Expression, we don't understand a slow and lazy Temper, nor a sluggish and languish­ing Idleness. But as Cicero Explains it out of Py­thagoras and Plato; Placida quieta (que) constantia in ani­mi parte rationis principe: A sweet and peaceable Constacy of Mind. Or as Democritus says; An ex­cellent equal and sweet Constitution and Temper of Mind; which makes the Man settl'd and unshaken in such a manner, and to such a degree, that whe­ther he be Employed or at Leisure; whether Pro­sperity favour him, or Adversity frowns upon him, he continues always Equal, always like Himself, and will not suffer himself to be Transported by an excess of Joy, nor dejected by Grief and Sorrow. In a Word, he is at no time disturbed by such-like Passions: Therefore this Tranquility of Mind was [Page 129] called [...], which signifies freedom from Trouble and Disquietness, for in the same manner as a Ship is said to be in quiet not only when it is becalm'd in the middle of the Sea, but likewise chiefly when it is dri­ven by a favourable Gale, which indeed causeth it to sail swift, but nevertheless quietly and steddily: Thus the Mind is said to be in Tranquility, not only when it is at rest, but more especially when it undertakes great and excellent Things without being disturb'd inwardly, and without losing any part of its Steddi­ness. On the contrary, as a Ship is said to be disturb'd not only when it is carried away with the contrary Winds, but when it is beaten by those that rise out of the very Waters; thus the Mind is said to be disquieted, not only when in its proceedings it is carried away with divers Passions, but likewise when in the midst of Rest, Care Grief and Fear are con­tinually gnawing and fretting it, and rendring it uneasy. These therefore, and such like, are the Passions which by disturbing our Tranquility, in­terrupt the Happiness of our Lives. Cicero Speaks of them in this manner, The turbulent Motions and the Disquietness of the Mind, which proceed from an unconsiderate rashness, and oppose all Reason, leave no room for an happy Life; For how can it possibly be but that he who always stands in fear of Death or Pain, the one being often at Hand, the other always threatned, must needs be miserable? Thus in the same manner, if he dreads Poverty, Shame or Infamy, if he apprehends Infirmity or Blindness; in a Word, if he fears that which may happen, not only to every Person in particular, but also to the most powerful People, I mean Slavery, Can such a one be happy who is continually fearing such Things? Can he enjoy the least shadow of Happiness? In what unhappy condition is that Mind, that not only dreads Calamities, Banishment, the loss of Goods, the Death of Children, but foreseing and apprehending them [Page 130] as already present, Dies overwhelmed with Grief and Sorrow? Can we suppose that he who suffers himself to be born down by so many tragical Thoughts and Appre­hensions, can be any otherwise than unspeakably Mise­rable? Again, when you see a Man furiously transport­ed with a violent Passion, coveting every thing with a greedy and immoderate Desire, and still as he arrives to a higher and fuller degree of enjoyment of Pleasure, the more eagerly he hunts after and pursues 'em: Have you not great Reason to judg this Man very Miserable? What think ye likewise of another, who is always fluctu­ating, and suffers himself to be transported by a foolish and immoderate Joy? Dont such a one appear to you the more Miserable the more he thinks himself Happy? As such therefore are Miserable, these are on the contrary Happy, who are not frighted with Fears, who suffer not themselves to be overcome with Sadness, who are not in­flamed with Lusts, nor moved by immoderate Joys; and on whom the powerful Charms and Allurements of these soft and effeminate Pleasures have no powerful Influences. Hearken to Torquatus: Epicurus, whom you say, was too much addicted to his Pleasures, declares, That it is impossible to live Pleasantly, if we live not Wisely, Honestly and Justly; and that we cannot live Wisely, Honestly and Justly, but we must of necessity live with Delight: For as the Inhabitants of a City cannot be easy during a Storm, nor a Family when the Masters are at odds, much less can a Soul be happy when it agrees not with it self, or is hurried about by divers contrary Passions. It is not capable of any pure and free Pleasure, and sees nothing but in a hurry and in a confusion. If the Distempers of the Body interrupt the felicity of Life, how much more do the Diseases of the Mind? Now the Diseases of the Mind are the vain and immoderate De­sires of Riches, Glory, Dominion, and of mean and sor­did Pleasures. You may add to these, Discontent, Fret­fulness and Frowardness, which gall and fret the Minds [Page 131] of Men, who will not consider that we should not afflict our selves for that which causeth no present Pain to the Body, nor it may be never will. You may add Death, which threatens us continually, and hangs always over our Heads, as the Rock did over that of Tantalus: You may add Superstition, which never suffers the Per­son to be at quiet who is infected with it. Such never think upon the good Things past, they enjoy not the pre­sent, and when they consider that what they are in ex­pectation of, is uncertain, Grief and Despair afflict them: But they are exceedingly tormented when they think that they have begun too late to seek after great Offices, Riches and Glory; finding themselves deprived of those Plea­sures which they had hopes of enjoying, and for which they have undergone so much Pain and Trouble. Others have mean and low Spirits, always in despair of every thing; others Dream of nothing, but how to do Mis­chief, are Envious, Fretful, Pensive, Slanderers and Angry; others are unconstant and changeable in their Love; others are Hasty, Cowards, Impudent, Intem­perate, Wavering, never continuing in the same Mind. This is the Cause, that during their Lives, their Pas­sions are in a continual Warfare without Cessation.

And therefore we cannot but mention the sincere Pleasure and Delight which he must needs enjoy, who being freed from these Passions that tormented him, understands his own happy State, and finds himself, as we have said before, in Rest in a safe Haven, after he has been tost and beaten with the Winds and Waves of the Sea. But we shall have another occasion to speak of this particular Plea­sure, when we shall treat of the Vertues that are fit to calm the Passions, and by that means to cause a sedate and peceable Temper of Mind: Besides, that Sweetness and Pleasure may easily be understood by that esteem which such a one hath, who longs for it when he finds himself in Trouble or in actual [Page 132] Disturbance. Like as that Person who is in the midst of a Tempest at Sea, longs for a Calm, and a favourable Gale; or as he that is seized with a violent Distemper, wishes earnestly for Health; for none knows so well how to value these things, as he who looks upon them in a contrary State, and hath the Impressions still remaining: Therefore I shall the rather speak a Word of that which I have already mentioned, That we may the better preserve this Tranquility of Mind, and by that means live Happily, not only when at rest and out of the in­cumbrance of Business, but also in the midst of the greatest and most important Employments.

Of Life, and of Active Felicity.

AS this supposes that there are two kinds of Life, and likewise two kinds of Felicities, the one in Contemplation, the other in Action, wise Men have still preferred a contemplative before an active Life: However, this does not hinder those whom either their Birth, Genius or necessity of Af­fairs have ingaged in Business, from being altoge­ther incapable of enjoying a Tranquility of Mind; for whosoever undertakes this, goes not Blindfold to Work, but after he hath for some time seriously consider'd, and taken a due prospect of the state of human Affairs, not as from the midst of the Crowd, but as from a higher Station; and understands, that in the active course of Life there may happen many Accidents, that all the Wisdom of Man cannot fore­see; provides, if not against each particular, yet against the general Difficulties that may occur: Such a one is always upon his Guard, ready to take Ad­vice upon all suddain Emergencies; he knows that he can command what is in himself, but cannot govern what depends not upon his free Will; he [Page 133] acts according to his Power, and does what becomes the Duty of an honest Man; and afterwards, what­ever happens, he thinks that he ought to be Con­tent and Satisfied; he dont flatter himself with the certainty of a happy success of all his Undertakings, but thinks that matters may sometimes happen con­trary to his Desires and Endeavours, and therefore prepares himself in such a manner, that tho he may experience Adversity, he may nevertheless bear it with Constancy and Patience. Such a one, I say, thus resolved and prepared, if he be ingaged in a busy Life, may govern himself, that in the midst of the hurry and incumbrance of Affairs he may main­tain in himself an inward repose and calmness of Mind: 'Tis what Claudian so truly relates of Theodo­sius the Great, and which we, without Flattery, may duly apply to our present Monarch, the true Model of a wise Prince.

— Nec Te tot limina rerum,
Aut tantum turbavit onus, sed ut altus Olympi
Vertex qui spatio Ventos, Hyemes (que) relinquit
Perpetuum nulla temeratus Nube serenum,
Celsior exsurgit pluviis, auditque ruentes
Sub pedibus nimbos, & rauca tonitrua calcat;
Sic patiens Animus per tanta negotia liber
Emergit, similisque sui, &c.

Neither the projecting Thoughts of deep Designs, nor the heavy Burthen of the Kingdom, which he supports, can disturb the Peace of his Mind; but like the high top of Mount Olympus, his Soul is al­ways clear and serene, hovering above the misty Clouds and storms of Thunder, and always free and undisturb'd like it self.

[Page 134]
Servat inoffensam Divina modestia vocem,
Temperiem servant oculi, nec lumina fervor
Asperat, aut rabidas diffundit sanguine venas.
Quinetiam sontes expulsa corrigis ira,
Et placidus delicta domas, nec dentibus unquam
Instrepis horrendum, fremitu nec verbera poscis.

A divine Modesty graces his Voice, no offensive Words drop from his Lips, his Eyes are never seen to sparkle with Anger, nor his Veins distended with boyling Blood; he knows how to Reprove without being Transported, and calmly to correct the Failings of others.

Nile softly glides along without vaunting of its Strength or breaking its Bounds, and yet it is one of the most useful of all the Rivers of the World: The Danube, which is yet larger and more rapid, keeps within its Banks, moving without Noise: Yea, the Ganges, that vast River, passes along silently, rowling its Waves into the Depths of the Ocean.

Lente fluit Nilus, sed cunctis Amnibus extat
Ʋtilior, nullas confessus murmure vires.
Acrior at rapidus tacitas praetermeat ingens
Danubius ripas: Eadem clementia saevi
Gurgitis immensum deducit ad ostia Gangen.

Let the Torrents roar among the Rocks, let them threaten and overturn Bridges, and pursuing their Rage, let them overwhelm or carry before 'em whole Forests; 'tis Peace and Tranquility that have a commanding Power and Effect, far greater than Violence and Fury, to force Obedience.

Torrentes immane fremant, lapsisque minentur
Pontibus, involvant spumoso vortice Sylvas;
[Page 135]
Pax majora decet; peragit tranquilla potestas
Quod violenta nequit, mandataque fortius urget
Imperiosa quies—

Besides, when things are over and accomplish'd, a wise Man doth not Vaunt and Applaud himself if they succeed well, nor is he disturb'd or dejected if they happen amiss: He doth not repent of the Measures he hath taken, because every thing being well ex­amined and duly considered, it was most probable they should succeed; and therefore he would take the same Course if the same Circumstances did again occur. The Answer of Photion is remarkable, who when he had dissuaded them from a War, which nevertheless afterward proved very successful: Tho' I am very glad, said he, that the Event happen'd so Prosperous; yet I don't at all repent of the Advice I have given. It comes very near that of Cicero's. It becomes a wise Man, saith he, to do nothing against his Will, or what may cause him to Repent; to do all things sedately and deliberately, with a grave Steddi­ness and constancy of Mind, neither supposing things to happen by an unforeseen Necessity, nor to admire any thing as new and unexpected, but to abide firm and stedfast in his Judgment. A wise Man ought not to despise the Advices of other Men, and to trust too rashly to his own Opinion; but having well weigh­ed Matters, he ought not, out of too mean Appre­hensions or Diffidence of himself, to suffer the O­pinion of the Vulgar to sway with him. For this Reason, that Roman Temporizer deserves to be ap­plauded, who preferr'd the Safety of his Country before the Exclamations of the Populace. Photion was of the same Temper; who because he could not be prevail'd upon to rely on the Strength of his Soldiers and their Courage, and head them on to Battle, they accused him of Cowardise. But he [Page 136] made them this prudent Answer; My brave Com­panions, you cannot make me Courageous, and I will not make you Cowards; it is sufficient that every one should understand his own Business.

Whether a Contemplative Happiness is to be preferr'd before an Active.

BUt after all that can be said in Commendation of an Active Felicity; Aristotle had Reason to prefer a Speculative: For Contemplation ex­erts the most Excellent and Divine Part of our Selves; and besides, this sort of Action is the most noble, innocent, and lasting, and the most easily set on Work. We shall not here repeat what hath been before said upon the first Part of Vertue, to shew wherein the Happiness of a wise Man consists, or the Satisfaction he receives in a Contemplative Life; it will be sufficient to recite what Cicero very learnedly observes: What Pleasures, saith he, don't a thinking Mind enjoy, who is employ'd Night and Day in Contemplation and Study? What extraordinary De­light is it to observe the Motions and Circumference of the World, the infinite number of Stars that shine in the Heavens; those seven Planets, which being more or less distant the one from the other, according as they are higher or lower, wandering and uncertain in their Motions, and yet never fail to fulfill their Course in their appointed time? The Sight and Consideration of so many excellent Things, persuaded the antient Phi­losophers to proceed to new Inquiries, to examine into the cause and beginning of the World, from whence all things proceed, from whence they are engender'd, what differing Qualities are crept into their Composition, from whence Life and Death happen, how the Alterations and Changes of one [Page 137] thing into another came to pass, by what weight the Earth is supported, and how ballanc'd, into what Concavities the Waters are confin'd, and how every thing press'd by its own weight, naturally tends to its own Center. Thus by discerning and continually meditating on these wonderful Things, we at last arrive to that Knowledge which God heretofore recommended to Delphos, namely, That the pure Soul having shaken off all Vice, should know it self, and find it self united to the Divine Understanding or Being. This procures it an ever­lasting and unspeakable Delight; for the Contem­plations upon the Power and Nature of the Gods, cause it to have a strong Inclination for Eternity; and when it once perceives the necessary Conse­quence of Causes guided and govern'd by an eter­nal Wisdom, it believes not it self confin'd to the narrow Limits of this Life: Therefore it considers human Affairs with a wonderful Tranquility, it in­clines to the Practice of Vertue, it inquires where­in consists the chief Good, and the chief Evil, whither all our Actions ought to tend, and what is the Rule of Life we ought to steer by.

Moreover, he who shall have consider'd the strong Revolutions of Things since the beginning of the World, the Rise, Progress, Consistency, De­clension and Over-throw of Kingdoms, Common-wealths, Religions, Opinions, Laws, Customs, Manners, and the present Ways and Methods of Living, now in Vogue, which our Fore-fathers would have rejected, such as our Ancestors seri­ously followed, and which we now laugh at, and such possibly as will hereafter please our Posterity, yet could we but at present see them, we should laugh at and deride: These Fashions and Customs tho' they change in some particular things, may in gene­ral be said to be the same, and are only a Sign of the [Page 138] Frailty, Lightness, and Inconstancy of Mankind. And thus it always happens, that Men by their Lightness live continually miserable, being carried away by Ambition or Covetousness, or some o­ther Passion: They don't see how much it is their Concern to free themselves from such Cares, to be content with little, to live within themselves, and to spend their Life peaceably, without so much noise. He, I say, who shall have employ'd his Mind in such Contemplations, will, doubtless, feel extraordinary Delight, and will be very happy in his Thoughts, especially if he considers all things as from that high and sacred Tower, from whence, as we said, Vertue looks down upon the several Actions and Affairs of Men, their Ambition, their Pride, their Vanity, their sordid Covetousness, and the rest before hinted.

Of Freedom from Pain in particular.

NOw to speak something concerning Freedom from Pain: It seems not so much in our Power to free our selves from Pain in our Bodies, as to ease our selves of Troubles in our Minds; for tho' it is difficult to stop the Passions in their full Career, and check their exorbitant Motions, yet if we except such as have a Conjunction with Pain, such as are, particularly, Hunger and Thirst, which create a desire of Eating and Drinking, it seems in respect of the others, as they arise in us from Opinion; so they may, (if we keep our selves from the Influence of that Opinion,) be check'd and curb'd. But in relation to the Pains of the Body, tho' we may take care not to draw them upon our selves outwardly, nor stir them up inwardly; yet it often happens that the Temper which we derive [Page 139] from our Mother's Womb is such, that upon that very account we are liable to many Pains during the course of our Lives. 'Tis not without Reason therefore, that Esop feigned, that when Prometheus was to temper the Clay, with which he was to make Man, made use of no Water but of Tears; for by that he had a design to teach us that the Nature of our Bodies is such, that it is partly sub­ject to outward, and partly to inward Mischiefs; and seeing it is impossible but some will often be­fal us, of necessity we must suffer some Pain. I should be endless to enumerate the Particulars of this kind, that may befal us, either from Tyrants, from Fools, from all sorts of Animals, from Heat, from Cold, from Fevers, Gout, Defluctions, &c. I shall only observe, that such who have been some­times tormented with them, may tell with what earnestness they wished to be freed, and how much they would have given to be delivered. Certainly there is no Person that labours under an acute Di­stemper, and is grievously tormented with Pain, but when he considers such as are in Health, e­steems them very happy, and wonders that they don't acknowledge the greatness of the Advantage they enjoy, it being so considerable, that no world­ly Enjoyments can stand in competition with, or be accounted a valuable Exchange for Health. Where­fore in all Ages, Men have highly extoll'd it. But as every Book is full of its own Praises, I shall only take notice what an antient Poet saith, That the greatest Benefit that can befall frail Man, is to enjoy Health.

Fragili viro optima res bene valere.

And as another says, Nothing can be more advan­tageous to us, than to be free from Pain and Disea­ses.

Si ventri bene est, si lateri est, pedibusque tuis, nil
Divitiae poterunt Regales addere majus.

Now what I have here observ'd is to prove, that it is not without ground what I have asserted, That to be free from Sickness or bodily Pain, is part of our Happiness. Truly, tho' light Pains and such as are of a short continuance may be easi­ly supported; and tho' we willingly undergo great ones, when they are in order either to avoid greater Evils, or for the obtaining of greater Pleasures; yet there is no Man so fond of Pain for Pain's sake, but would willingly be quit of it, if it were not in order to the obtaining something better, which could not be acquir'd without it.

Men commonly extol Zenon and Anaxarcas, for the constancy they express'd against the Tyrants in their greatest Tortures: And Calanus also and Peregrinus are much celebrated for freely offering themselves to the Flames. But supposing it had been in their Power to have purchased as much Glory by any other Means, I refer it to your self, whether they would have made this Choice. Ci­cero likewise very much extolleth Possidonius, for that being grievously tormented with the Gout, when Pompey visited him at Rhodes, he told him, That he was very sorry that he could not hear him; to which Possidonius answer'd, You may if you please, and I will not suffer so great a Person to come to me in vain. He tells us that he began to dis­course to him excellently, viz. That there is nothing Good, but that which is honest. And when his Pains [Page 141] assaulted him often during the Interview, he as of­ten said, Thou wilt never prevail upon me, O Pain, tho' never so grievous, to make me confess thee to be an Evil. But tho' Possidonius patiently endured the Pains that he could not avoid; yet you can't but imagine that he would rather have been free from 'em, and been able to discourse without 'em.

We may here add, That if, as we have already said, Pain is the chief Evil; it necessarily fol­lows, that a freedom from Pain should be the chief Good; and the rather, because Nature seems to have bestowed upon us an inclination for nothing else, but for this freedom: For when any Pain happens to us, whether by Hunger, or by any other Desire, we are naturally carried to that Action, by which we may remove that Pain; and if any Pleasure intervenes, we have observed that Na­ture adds it as an Encouragement to the Action needful to obtain that freedom from Pain: And probably we may consequently add, by what Means we may obtain so great an Advantage. But, besides the divers Remedies which may be taken from the convenient Precautions, and from the Medicinal Art, which relate not to Moral Phi­losophy, we may say, That the most general and easie Means to procure this freedom from Pain, is Temperance and an exquisite Sobriety: For by this Means we may, if not altogether remove, at least very much correct the hereditary Diseases, avoid such as we contract by our own Miscarriages, and free our selves from such as are already contract­ed. Let us observe only, That he who enjoys a freedom from Pain, may without any bitterness possess the different kinds of Pleasures, as well those of the Body, as of the Mind and Health. As Plutarch very well compares Health to the Tran­quility of the Sea, in regard the Sea gives an Op­portunity [Page 142] to its Inhabitants to breed, and conveni­ently to bring up their young; so Health affords to all Men a Means to perform all the Functions of Life conveniently, and without Pain. Therefore, saith he, tho' Prodicus maintains, and hath elegantly de­scrib'd, That Fire is the greatest Seasoning of our Life: Nevertheless, some may correct his Fancy, and inlarge upon it by saying, That Health gives a supernatural Relish, seeing that neither boiled nor rost nor any other Meat, whatever Haut Goust they have, can give any Relish to such as are sick, or to such whom some distemper hath put out of order; where­as in a healthful Constitution, every Morsel is plea­sant and grateful to the Appetite. Now the same may be said of the Pleasures, that relate to the other Senses; for to a sick Body, the Delights which otherwise are lawful and honest, displease; the Smelling is not refresh'd with Sweet Odours, the Ear cares not for Musick, nor does the Sight rejoyce in beautiful Objects. Nay, our Enter­tainments, Publick Shews, our Recreations in Walking, Hunting, and other such like Diver­tisements cannot please, and are of no service for want of this Seasoning; and without which, Plea­sure it self, as we have said, is no Pleasure: As all this is most certain, in regard of these Pleasures of the Body, it is doubtless much more in respect of that of the Mind; for it is apparent, that neither in Sickness, or under any grievous Pain, no Man can study, read or meditate; for while the Soul is united to this crasy and mortal Body, there is such a Union between these two Parties, that the Body cannot suffer, but the Soul must feel it, and be drawn, tho' against its will, from its most plea­sing Objects; for the afflicting Pain employs all the Thoughts and Attention of the Mind.

Happy therefore are they who by their natural Constitution enjoy a sound Health, free from Pain, and consequently more capable in taking Pleasure in the study of Wisdom. Happy are likewise such, who tho they have an infirm Body, yet govern it with so much Prudence, and correct it with that Temperance, that if they dont altogether avoid all Pain, yet they make it so light and easy to be born, that it proves a small Impediment to the full enjoy­ment of the Pleasures of the Mind. Therefore the First ought to take heed, how they disturb or by their Intemperance weaken the sound Constitution of their Bodies, and the other ought to amend theirs, and to bring it as much as is possible to this State of Indolency. And both of 'em, should take care of their Bodies, if it were only for the sake of the Soul, which cannot be well while the Body is sick: Here we must truly acknowledg, that tho the chief part of Happiness consists in the Tranquility of the Mind, yet we must not despise the other part, which consists in the freedom from bodily Pain.

I confess there be some who believe, that it is a crime, when it concerns the chief good or the business of Man, to joyn the advantages of the Body to them of the Mind; and consequently believe, That it is an unworthy Deed to joyn that freedom from bodily Pain, with the Tranquility of the Mind. But as these are Stoicks, or such as affect to follow them, I cannot but mention here, what Cicero him­self says against them, when addressing himself to Cato, he begins with this Principle of the Stoicks; ‘That we are recommended to our selves, and that the first Inclination, that Nature hath bestowed on us, is Self-preservation; that we may pre­serve our selves such as we ought to be; that we are Men made up of Soul and Body; and there­fore, according to our original and natural Incli­nation, [Page 144] we must love these Things, and make them the end of that chief Happiness, which con­sists in the acquisition of such Things as are accord­ing to Nature. Now, saith he, seeing these are our Opinions, and that you assign that to be the End, to live according to Nature, shew us now, how you can maintain, That to live honestly is bare­ly and absolutely the chief Good? How have you so soon forsaken the Body and all those Things, that are according to Nature? If we sought for the chief Happiness, not of Man, but of some other Creature, which were all Spirit, that End that you speak of would not be the only End of that Spirit, for it would desire Health, and to be free from Pain; it would desire also its own Preservation, and whatsoever might tend to it; and it would propose to it self to live according to Nature, which is, as we have said, to possess all things agreable with Nature, at least in some measure, if not in the most considerable part. Vertue alone, say they, is sufficient to render us happy, and the Goods of the Body are but as it were small Appendages, which are not capable of rendring Life more happy. But truly a Man in grievous Pain would be very much obliged to him, who would free him from it. And if a wise Man were condemned by some Tyrant to en­counter with Pain, his mortal Foe, he would muster up all his rational Faculties to assist and support him in so difficult and dangerous a Com­bat. And then goes on, Every Creature of what­soever Nature, loves it self, for where is that Creature, which forsakes it self, or any part of it self, or the use of that part, or any of the things, which are according to Nature, and its state and frame? Certainly no Person hath for­gotten his first Constitution, but retains his first [Page 145] Faculty from the beginning to the end. How can it therefore be, that only Man's Nature should suffer Man to forget his Body, and should place his chief Happiness, not in the whole, but in one part of himself? Wisdom hath not begot Man, but hath found him begun by Nature. If there were nothing to be perfected in Man, but some Motions of the Soul, that is to say, of Reason; Wisdom ought to have no other aim but Vertue, which is the perfection of Reason. So also if there were nothing to be perfected but the Body, its chief end would be Health, a freedom from Pain, Beauty, &c. But here is a Question concerning the chief good of Man, who is composed of Soul and Body; Why dont we therefore seek his chief good, in relation to his whole Nature? They who place it in one or t'other part, act in the same manner as if they had only a great care of the right Hand and neglected the Left: Because Vertue, as all the World acknowledges, holds the first and chief Place in Man, and we esteem those who are Wise to have attain'd a great degree of Perfection; will you admire nothing but Vertue, dazle your Eyes only with its Splendor and Glory? Truly Vertue is the best and most excellent thing in Man, but you dont seem to consider your self enough; we dont desire that Vertue should for­sake Nature, but that it should keep and preserve it. But according to your direction, it preserves one part, and leaves the other. If the first Insti­tution of Man could speak, it would tell us, that the first beginnings of its Desire, were to preserve it self in that State, that it appear'd in at the be­ginning, &c.

Besides we are not ignorant of what we are wont to say, when we declaim against Pleasure, That it is the capital Plague of Man, the mortal Enemy of [Page 146] Reason, that it puts out the Eyes of the Understand­ing, and that it hath no correspondency with Ver­tue, that it is the source of Treasons, the ruine of Common-wealths, the origin of all Crimes, that it wasts our paternal Estates, blasteth our Reputation, weakens the Body and makes it subject to Diseases, and that in short it hastens old Age and Death.

Not Heaven's high Rage, nor Swords or Flames combind;
Can bring such Plagues as Pleasure to the Mind:
On's mad with Dice, one melts in vicious Love,
But when the knotty Gout forbids his Joynts to move;
How sweet an evil Luxury appears,
Which drown'd in Flesh, and deaf to Heavenly Cares,
The sluggish Senses of their Force disarms,
And worse transforms the Limbs than Circe's Charms,
Without it chears the Man, within destroys,
Bears Serpents in its Gold, and Torments in its Joys.

But as we have often explain'd our selves con­cerning Pleasure, and as often declar'd, that when we say Pleasure is the End, the Happiness and the chief Good, we mean not hereby brutish and sor­did Pleasures, but only a calm and sedate Temper of the Mind, and the freedom of the Body from Pain. It is plain therefore, that these Objections do not affect us.

CHAP VI. What Vertue and Advantage accrues by being contented with a little.

IT is not without Cause, that we have already declared, That the true and most general means to obtain and preserve that Pleasure which makes an happy Life, is to incourage Temperance, by which we may so moderate our Desires, as to resist and cut off all unnecessary and useless Things, and may reduce our selves only to such as are needful and natural, whereby we may accustom our selves to be content with a little; for by this means, we may preserve that Tranquility of Mind, which makes up the principal part of our Happiness; there be­ing no need that he who hath reduced himself only to the things necessary for Nature, should disquiet and torment himself so much as is usual; for such things are to be found every where, and are easily to be obtain'd. Whereas the cares and disturbances of the Mind torment only such as are not content with things necessary, but are always so eager in the pursuit of things superfluous, that if they meet with Disappointment in obtaining of 'em, they are very much disquieted: If they have acquir'd 'em, they fear losing 'em: When they lose 'em, they pine away with Grief; and if they continue with them, they are still dissatisfied. So that they deal with their Mind, as with the Tunn of the Danaids, they never give it any rest, but being provoked by some fresh Appetite, as by some kind of Fury, they al­ways seem to undertake new Labour.

This is also the sure way of obtaining and pre­serving that grateful Repose, which makes up the second part of our Happiness; for he who is con­tent with things necessary, will never trouble him­self with those unnecessary Pains and Fatigues, which such are obliged to undergo, who eagerly, tho vainly, pursue Things superfluous; he acts nothing to undermine his Health, he draws not upon him­self those incumbrances, which usually attend a vo­luptuous Life; for such as live Frugally and on plain Diet, are rarely subject to Distempers, but rather such who either Eat to excess, or else feed upon Meats, which are not natural, or else corrupted by provoking Sauces or other Artifices of the Cooks. Epicurus, no doubt, had a true Sense of the necessity and excellency of this Vertue of Moderation, when he cried out; That the way to be truly Rich, is to be satisfied with Things necessary. That Poverty, propor­tioned to the Law of Nature, is a great Fund or Trea­sury of Riches. Now if you would be rightly inform'd what those just Bounds and Limits are, which this Law of Nature prescribes, they are these, viz. Not to Hun­ger, not to Thirst, not to be Cold; Non Esurire, non Sitire, non Algere: 'Tis what he had experienced in himself, if we will refer our selves to the Testi­mony of Juvenal.

If any ask me what would satisfy,
To make Life easy, thus I would reply;
As much as keeps out Hunger, Thirst and Cold;
As much as made wise Epicurus bless't,
Who in small Gardens spacious Realms possess't.

This is a commendable Thing, saith he in Seneca, viz. a pleasant and contented Poverty; but if it be Pleasant 'tis not Poverty, for whosoever is satisfied with Poverty, is Rich; for he is not Poor, who enjoys but little, but he [Page 149] who desires more. In short, as Riches are to be valued for the sake of their End, which is nothing else but Contentment and Pleasure; so on the con­trary, Poverty appears by the want of this End. It is certain, that a pleasant Poverty is no Pover­ty, but great Riches; and sorrowful Riches, are not Riches but great Poverty. The Traveller, who sings on the Road, is in effect Rich, and he really Poor, who being loaden with Wealth, dreads the Pistol or the Sword, and shakes for fear at the meer shadow of a Reed, which he perceives to move in a moon-shiny Night. The Tradesman, while he is without Mony, yet pleaseth his Neighbourhood with his musical Ditties; but stumbling on a Purse of Gold, at the same time that he becomes Rich he becomes dumb, being possess'd with the fear of losing it. In short, I pray tell me which of these two dies the Richer, who depart this World at the same time; he who never had those things, which we usually term Riches, and nevertheless hath lived very contentedly; or he who being loaden with 'em, hath led a life full of Vexation and Discon­tent?

Cicero seems to be much delighted with this Vertue and Moderation of Temper, which obliges us to live and be content with little; for after he had instanced, in the Examples of Socrates and Dio­genes, That the Burden of Poverty may be made more easie, he alludes to the Words of Epicurus; O, what a little doth Nature desire, what a small mat­ter suffices it! And Asserts, That Wisdom is often discover'd under mean Apparel. Nay, as if he had undertaken to write the Praises of this Philosopher, he continues his Discourse in this manner, ‘What then? Those glorious Orators are they more Couragious and more Generous than Epicurus in encountering Poverty, which troubles Mankind [Page 150] so much? Other Philosophers seem to be as well prepared as he was against all Evils, yet there is none whom Poverty does not terrify; but for his part, a very little satisfies him, and none hath ever better treated of Frugality than he: For as he was altogether averse from whatever might cause the desire either of Riches, of Lust, Ambition, of sumptuous Expences or Delights, &c. Why should he take care to obtain 'em, or be eager in the pursuit of 'em? What! shall Anacharsis the Scythian be able to despise Riches, &c. and shall not our Philosophers be able to do the like?’ See here the Contents of one of this Scythian's Let­ters.

Anacharsis to Hanno, Health,

‘INstead of rich and glorious Apparel, I use the simple Habit of our Country; for Shoes, the bottoms of my Feet well hardened. The Ground is my Bed; Hunger is my Sawce. I live upon Milk, Cheese and Flesh. Therefore if you come to see me, you will find a Man very quiet; and as for the Presents which you have been pleased to honour me, give them to your Fellow-Citizens, or offer them to the immortal Gods.’

‘All the Philosophers of what Sect soever, ex­cepting those, whom a vicious Nature hath turn­ed aside from right Reason, have been of this Persuasion. When Socrates, at a publick Re­joycing, saw much Gold and Silver carried about, and exposed to publick View; cried aloud, How many things are there, which I don't at all de­sire? When Xenocrates understood, that the Em­bassadors of Alexander had brought him fifty Ta­lents, which was a considerable Sum of Mony at [Page 151] that time in Athens, he invited the Embassadors to Supper in the Academy, and caus'd 'em to be entertain'd with things moderate and conve­nient, free from Luxury and Excess. The next day they desired him to tell them on whom they should bestow that Mony they had brought to him? What, said he, did you not take notice yesterday by the Supper that I gave you, that I have no need of Mony? But when he perceived that his Refusal gave them Offence, he accepted of Thirty Minae; that he might not seem to de­spise the King's Liberality. As for Diogenes the Cynick, he treated him more freely; for when Alexander ask'd him, what he stood in need of? answer'd, At present I need nothing, but that you would not interpose between me and the Sun­shine. This Cynick was wont to prefer his own Happiness to that of the King of Persia; and to boast how much his Life and his Fortune was more blessed than this Monarchs; he for his part wanting nothing, whereas the other could never have enough: That he desired none of those Plea­sures, of which the King could never be satisfied, but that he was content with his own, which the King could never be.’

This that I have mentioned concerning Dioge­nes, minds me, what Seneca and Maximus of Tyre have written; for the first having shewn, ‘That great Estates are often troublesome and the cause of Sorrow and Mischief; That the Rich suffer not more easily the loss of Goods than the Poor; That it is far more tolerable not to acquire than to lose. So that those whom Fortune never fa­voured seem to be more happy, than those whom it hath forsaken. After he had manifested this at large, thus he proceeds: 'This is what Diogenes, that great Soul, understood, when he put himself [Page 152] into that Condition, that nothing could be taken from him. 'Call this Poverty, Want, or give whatever disdainful Title you please to this Tranquility, I shall believe that Diogenes is not happy, if you can find any body else, from who [...] nothing can be taken. Truly if any question the Felicity of Diogenes, he may as well question the Condition of the immortal Gods, and whether they are less happy, because they have not Pos­sessions subject to the capricious Changes of For­tune, and which can be taken away.’

As for Maximus of Tyre, he speaks to us in this manner, upon a subject of Dispute, that happened about the Cynical Life, whether it was to be pre­ferr'd to any other. Diogenes, saith he, was nei­ther an Attick nor a Dorian, nor tutor'd in the Schools of Salon or Lycurgus, for neither Places nor Laws communicate Vertue; but he was born in the Town of Synope, in the botton of Pontus Euxinus. When he had consulted Apollo, he for­sook all the Occasions of Grief and Trouble, he delivered himself from his Fetters, and like a wise and free Bird, pass'd thro' the World with­out fearing the Tyrants, without binding him­self to any particular Laws, without applying himself to the Administration of publick Affairs, without being troubled in the Education of Chil­dren, without being clogg'd by Matrimony, with­out turmoiling himself in the Manuring of the Ground, without ingaging himself in the Manage­ment of War, without Trafficking by Sea or Land; for he laught at all these sorts of Men, and at their several stations of Life. As we common­ly laugh at those Children, which we see so in­tent to play with Trifles, till they often fall to­gether by the Ears, and hurt one another. He led the Life of an Independent, being free from [Page 153] Fears and Disquietudes. In Winter Seasons he did not by long fatiguing Journies approach the Babylonians, nor in the Summer the Medes; but his usual Stages were from Attica to the Isthmus, according to the Season, and from the Isthmus to Attica again. His Royal Palaces were the Tem­ples, the Colleges, and the sacred Woods: His Riches very large and secure, and which not being circumscrib'd, were not easily to be sur­prized by Ambushes, being the whole Earth with all the Fruits it bore, and the Fountains that it affords, more excellent than the Wines of Les­bos and Chios. He used himself also to every sort of Air as the Lions do, and would not avoid the changings of the Seasons, appointed by Jupiter; neither did he study any Contrivance to secure himself from them; but accustomed himself in such a manner to all Seasons, by this kind of Living, that he secured his Health and Strength, without any assistance from Physick, without ex­periencing the sharpness of the Iron, or the Fire; without imploring the Help of Chiron, or of Esculapius or Asclepiades, and without submit­ting to the Predictions of Soothsayers, or to magical and superstitious Purifications, or to the Vanity of Conjurations: At the same time that all Greece was in Arms and Uproar, and all the neighbouring Nations were in War one against another, he alone enjoys as it were a Truce with all the Earth, and as having subdued Fighting, was without Arms in the midst of armed Men. Nay, even the basest of Men, the Tyrants, and his ve­ry Slanderers had a Respect for him, and would not in the least hurt him, tho' he reproved them, objecting and representing before their Eyes their own Actions, which is a very safe and very con­venient [Page 154] way of Reproving, proper to re-call the Minds of Men to Peace and Reason.’

We may upon this occasion mention Seneca's Ex­pression, as proceeding from the School of Epicu­rus. ‘That those Persons live the most agreeable and pleasant Lives, who make Pleasure the least of their Care. And they enjoy the greatest Riches, who stand least in need of 'em.’ For a magnificent way of Living consists chiefly in the ostentation of Riches; he who thinks, that he doth not stand in need of 'em, and therefore fears not the loss of 'em, may without 'em make a very plea­sant Use of 'em; and the rather because he, who supposes he cannot live happily without 'em, fears the loss of 'em, and while that Fear possesses him, he cannot quietly enjoy 'em; it being impossible to enjoy any thing we call Good, which brings Trou­ble and Disquietude along with it. ‘The misera­rable Wretch, saith he immediately after, pas­sionately desires to increase his Stores more and more, and while he is blinded with that Passion, he forgets to enjoy 'em; he examins his Receipts, makes up his Accounts, goes to the Exchange, turns over his Kalendar, and of a rich Man he becomes a Factor. We shall be Rich with much greater Satisfaction, when we shall understand, that to be Poor is not so mischievous as we sup­pose.’ But let us rest satisfied with this Instance at present. As it was a pleasant Remark of Socra­tes, when seeing the great quantity and variety of the Wares that were expos'd to Sale, to be able to say, How many things are there, that I have no occasion for? So likewise if any Person perhaps sees himself in Possession of all those things, and at the same time, when he considers his Houses, his Moveables, his Attendants, his Table, his Cloath­ing, and all other his Enjoyments, he finds himself [Page 155] inwardly in a Temper and Ability to say, I have, indeed, all these things, but I can live very well with­out 'em. I have not an absolute need of 'em, I could live at ease in a House less Magnificent, and mean­lier furnished; I could well be without that great num­ber of Attendants, these rare and exquisite Dishes, this rich Attire. If any, I say, is in that happy Disposition of Mind, he may doubtless enjoy with pleasure his Plenty and Glory: For he will under­stand, that he may with ease want a great num­ber of things, for which, when we have a too ear­nest love and longing, they do rather disturb the Peace of our Lives. And by this means he will be the more ready patiently to bear the loss of 'em, upon any Misfortune hapning; and the rather because he will find that they are not absolutely necessary for him. Neither will he take so much Pains nor undergo so many Fatigues and Troubles, as is usual to increase 'em, when he shall consider that he can enjoy more of true and solid Pleasure in a larger Measure, than he now possesseth, when he enjoys less. That what he may gather up more, will not be for his own advan­tage, but either for his Heirs, or it may be for some ungrateful Wretches, or for Prodigals, or for Flatterers, or for Thieves, and nevertheless that he must disturb his Quiet, and cast himself in­to a Sea of Trouble, Pain and Sorrow, to procure 'em for them.

And here we may also observe that Seneca had very good Reason to make use of this Sentence of Epicurus, That if any Man having all the Neces­saries requisite for Life, and thinks himself not Rich enough, tho' he were the Lord of all the World, he would still be miserable. For if any Man who is in a moderate State, fancies that he cannot live as happily as others, who are in a higher and more [Page 156] eminent Station, truly tho' this Man should not only equal, but out-do them in their Splendour and Grandeur, he would not hereby become more happy, but would still remain miserable, and ne­ver be satisfied; because of the restless Nature of his Passions, which when they have once pass'd the Bounds appointed by Nature, keep no measures and can never be satiated. As for that other ce­lebrated Maxim, That whatsoever is necessary for Nature, may easily be obtained, and, that what is hard to be got, is not needful. This is a Sentence that Stobeus and others have borrowed out of Epi­curus; and which they mention in other Terms: Let Thanks be returned to kind Nature, which hath so ordered every thing, that what is needful is easie to be obtained, and what is difficult, is not of necessi­ty. Cicero is of the same Opinion, when he makes Epicurus say; That he judged, that Nature alone was sufficient to make a wise Man Rich, and that na­tural Riches are easie to be got, for Nature is con­tent with little. And Seneca saith, That according to the Opinion of Epicurus, Not Hunger, not Thirst, not to feel Cold, are the Limits that Nature prescribes to it self; That to satisfy Hunger and Thirst, there is no need of dwelling in sumptuous Palaces, nor to lay any Restraint upon our selves, with that supercilious and sullen Gravity; nor to venture on the Ocean, nor to follow Armies. That which Nature requires is easily to be obtain'd, and obvious to all the World. That Sweat is the Price of Superfluities, such as make the Magistrates attend the Courts, the Captains their Tents, and the Pilots their Ships in the midst of the dange­rous and tempestuous Seas.

'Tis the greatest Wealth to live content,
With little, such the greatest Joy resent;
[Page 157]
And bounteous Fortune still affords supply,
Sufficient for a thrifty Luxury.

I confess, through the Tyranny and Cruelty of some Men, innocent Persons may sometimes want the necessities of Life, and others by Accident, or by their own Folly, may fall into that Condition, that things needful may be wanting to them. But as for Dame Nature, certainly she is no niggard to Men, she who is the common Nurse of all Crea­tures: If she hath made them subject to Hunger, she hath likewise bestowed upon 'em her Fruits, her Corn and her Herbs, to appease it. If she suffers them to Thirst, she affords them plenty of Springs in every Place. If the Air be either Cold or Hot, Nature allows them a Skin thick and hard enough to bear these Inconveniences, as it is experienced in the Skin of the Face; and if the other parts of the Body are more tender and sensible, it affords us the Shades of the Trees, of the Caves, and other cool Places, or the Warmth of the Sun-shine, the Fire, the Sheeps Wool, to preserve and defend us against other Enormities.

It hath also given us as much Foresight and Cau­tion as the Ants, to provide things needful for the time to come; tho' many times we despise the Providence of that little Creature, that after the Winters approach, never ventures out of its pri­vate retreat, but in a prudent and wise manner, enjoys quietly in Winter, what it industriously ga­thered in Summer, as Horace observes.

Quae simul inversum contristat Aquarius annum,
Non usquam prorepit, et illis utitur ante,
Quaesitis Sapiens —

For when we behold the greatest part of Mankind labouring continually to gain Riches, one would think, that we had forgot to use them, and that we were born and designed for no other end, but to heap 'em up.

And if we consider Men in a Civil Society; you will scarce find any who uses never so little Care and Industry, but is able to find enough to satisfy his Hunger and Thirst, and to secure himself from the Inconveniences and Mischiefs of the open Air. And if he hath a plentiful Table, delicious Wines, rich Cloathing, a glorious Palace, Servants well cloathed, and so of the rest; these are Things, for which we are not to return thanks to kind Nature, as being absolutely necessary. The use of those Things that are easily to be obtained, is certainly no less pleasing than of those that are difficultly come at; and it is a mistake to think, that none but rich Men can truly relish Joy and Pleasure.

Nam neque divitibus contingunt gaudia solis.

But we shall speak of this hereafter; it will be sufficient in the mean while to take notice of that excellent Passage of Seneca, which makes very much for this purpose.

‘Whatsoever is subservient to our good, God, saith he, the common Father of Mankind hath put it into our Hands. He hath not expected, that we should desire it, he hath freely bestowed it upon us, and of his own accord; and the things that are able to hurt as, he hath hid away far from us: So that we can complain of none but our selves, because in spight of Nature, we are endeavouring to fetch them out of the very Bow­els of the Earth. We have cast our selves blind­fold into sensual Pleasures, which are the source of all Evils: We have suffered our selves to be [Page 159] carried away with Ambition, Glory and Vanity. What Advice therefore can I now give you? No­thing new; for they be not new only, for which we seek a Remedy. The first thing that we should do, is to look into our selves, and to distinguish well between Things necessary, and Things super­fluous. Necessary offer themselves in every place, there is nothing but what is Superfluous, which gives Trouble and Vexation in the procuring it. Dont think that you have any great cause to value your selves, if you have despised soft Couches, rich Jewels and costly and stately Furniture. You will wonder at your selves, when you shall have contemned things necessary. It is no great mat­ter to be able to subsist, without this great and Royal State, without being repasted with the Brains of Peacocks, or the Wings of Phea­sants, nor for the other extravagancies of Luxu­ry, which put us upon chusing some certain Mem­bers of Animals, and despising the rest. I shall value you when you will not despise a piece of dry Bread, when you shall be persuaded, That the Herbs grow not only in time of need, for the benefit of the Beasts, but for Men also; and when you shall have learned, That the Fruits of the Trees are sufficient to satisfy you.’

O the miserable blindness of Mankind, says Lucre­tius! Dont we see plainly, that Nature adviseth us nothing but that we our selves should aim at, a freedom from Pain and a Tranquility of Mind; That we should be content with little, and that without these needless Dainties, we should spend our Lives quietly and pleasantly.

O Miseras Hominum mentes, &c.
Qualibus in tenebris vitae quantis (que) periclis,
Degitur hoc aevi, quodcumque'st. Nonne videre
[Page 160]
Nil aliud sibi Naturam latrare, nisi ut, cum
Corpore sejunctus dolor absit, mente fruatur,
Jucundo sensu cura semota metu (que)
Ergo corpoream ad naturam pauca videmus,
Esse opus omnino, quae demant quem (que) dolorem,
Delicias quoque uti nullus substernere possint,
Gratius interdum neque Natura ipsa requirit.

‘That Diet, saith Epicurus, in Cicero, which is the most Natural, such as Broth, Bread, Cheese, pure Water, affords as much Pleasure, and more Health to the Body, than the most costly Dishes, and richest Wines.' And in Stobaeus he speaks in this manner; 'My Body is abundantly delighted with Bread and Water, and I renounce the Plea­sures, that proceed from magnificent Tables.’ Elian saith, ‘If I may have wholsome Bread and clear Water, I think my self as happy as Jupiter himself.’ And in Seneca, he speaks thus, ‘We must return to the Law of Nature; her Riches are ready provided, and offered to all the World; for whatsoever we stand in need of, is either free­ly exposed, or very easily obtain'd. Nature re­quires Bread and Water, no Person becomes here­by the poorer, and he who confines his Desires within these Limits, may secure his own Happi­ness. Look to the true Riches, learn to be satis­fied with little, and speak out courageously: Let us have Water, let us have Bread, which are the necessary supports of Life, and then we may vye with the Gods for Happiness.’

If in your Night Revels your Chambers are not adorn'd and perfum'd, nor entertain'd with soft charming Musick, yet you may upon the brink of a purling Stream, under a shady Grove sweetly re­pose your self upon the Grass, and without all this Noise, there take your small Repast, pleasantly di­verting [Page 161] your selves, with what variety Nature hath deckt the Earth.

Si non aurea sunt juvenum simulacra per aedes,
Lampadas igniferas manibus retinentia dextris,
Lumina nocturnis epulis, ut suppeditentur;
Nec domus argento fulget, auro (que) renidet,
Nec citharis reboant laqueata, aurata (que) Templa:
Attamen inter se prostrati in gramine molli,
Propter aquae rivum sub ramis arboris altae,
Non magnis opibus jucunde corpora curant;
Praesertim cum tempestas arridet, & anni
Tempora conspergunt viridantes floribus herbas.

Are you sooner cur'd of a Fever by reposing your self on a Down-Bed, in a Chamber curiously Painted over, and richly Gilt, than by lying on a plain Bed, with a convenient Coverlid?

Truly we must take heed of entertaining any such Fancy, That an Apricius takes more Pleasure in his rare and exquisite Dainties, than a labouring Man in his plain and ordinary Fair; for such a one be­ing always full, finds his Appetite continually pall'd, whereas the Labourer daily renews his Appetite, and relishes the sweetness of every thing that he Eats: So that when the former despises his Pheasant and his Mullet, the latter finds a savouriness in his Nuts and his Onions. Truly, he scarce seems to have well experienced Hunger and Thirst, who can't be persuaded, that an ordinary Person may eat with as much Pleasure and Delight as a Prince, only that he defers to sit at his little plain Table an Hour later, than the Prince at his magnificent Entertain­ment. If men could but once understand these Truths, they would quickly perceive that there is no need to endeavour so much to get great and ex­cessive Riches, to indulge their Gluttony; seeing [Page 162] that they may without so much Toil obtain the same Pleasures, and that these Pleasures are more Pure and Innocent. It seems the Poet had this Fancy, when he advises to shun Grandeur; for it is certain, That one may live more contentedly in a small Cot­tage, than Kings and Princes in their Royal Pal­laces.

—fuge magna, licet sub paupere tecto
Reges, & Regum vita praecurrere Amicos.

But let us understand from Porphyry, how far Epicurus hath advanc'd a plain and abstemious Life, even so far as to suppose it to extend to a total ab­stinence from Flesh. Thus he says,

We have found what the common People will not be­lieve, that the Epicureans themselves, who hold Plea­sure to be the End, for the most part are content since the Days of their Chieftain, with Fruits, Pulse and Broth; and that the chief of their Discourses tend to Teach nothing more, but that Nature is satisfied with a little; that the plainest Food and the easiest attain'd to, satisfies plentifully our Wants, and that what is over and above is only to gratify our unsatiated Appetites, which is nei­ther in it self needful, nor can be occasioned by the use­fulness of that, which being wanting, might cause the ruin of the whole, but that it proceeds from vain and foolish Mistakes, with which we are prejudiced.

They say also, That a Philosopher ought to have this Persuasion, That nothing shall be wanting to him the re­mainder of his Days. Now there is nothing better able to beget that Opinion in him, than to believe, by his own Experience, that he hath need but of very little, and that these things are common and easy to be got; and what is over and above is needless, relating to nothing but Lux­ury and Excess; and that such things are acquired with a great deal of Pains and Difficulty. So that all the [Page 163] Benefit and Pleasure that might redound from thence' don't compensate the Labour and Toil we must undergo in the obtaining of 'em, and our continual Care to pre­serve 'em. Besides, when the Thoughts of Death ap­proach, we easily forsake little things, or such as are of a mean value and common.

They say moreover, That the use of Flesh prejudices our Health, more than it benefits; because our Health is preserved by those very things, by which it is recovered, when we have lost it. Now it is recovered by a light Diet, and abstinence from Flesh; it is therefore pre­served by the same means. But it is no wonder if the Vulgar believe, That the use of Flesh is necessary for our Health, for they are persuaded that all the Pleasures which are in Motion and Flattering, are assisting to it; the Pleasures of Love not excepted, which are never good for any thing, but commonly very mischievous.

Horace also seems to have understood the Advan­tages, that a frugal and sober Life procures, when he tell us; That there is nothing that contributes so much to our Health as to Eat and Drink sparing­ly, and to be content with the plainest Diet; and that to be persuaded of these Truths, we need but remember a little sober and frugal Meal that we have formerly made; whereas when we glut our selves with all manner of Varieties, part turns into Choler, Flegm and Humours, which causeth Fla­tus's and Indigestion in the Stomach.

Acippe nunc victus tenuis quae quantaque secum
—imprimis valeas bene; nam variae res
Ʋt noceant homini, credas memor illius escae
Quae simplex olim tibi cesserit: At simul assis
Miscueris elixa, simul conchylia turdis;
Dulcia se in bilem vertent, Stomachoque tumultum
Lenta feret pituita. Vides ut pallidus omnis
Caena desurgat dubia—

Truly we have cause to wonder, that Men who in all other actions are Rational and Discreet, have so little regard to the manner of their Eating and Drinking, heeding this the least of all other Things.

For First, we ought to stay for the most neces­sary or convenient time of Eating, for the which we need nothing but an Appetite to direct us; and as Hunger is the most innocent, so it is the most relishing and pleasant Sawce.

Secondly, a plain and frugal Meal recovers the Strength of the Body, and adds Vigour to the Spi­rits, which seldom happens when we are accosted with great plenty and variety of Meals, which we generally meet with at rich Mens Tables: And these Persons who thus indulge their sensual Ap­petites, their Pleasures are commonly but of a short continuance, they thereby dulling their Spirits and weakning their Bodies; and if at the same moment no Fevers, Gouts, or other Distempers attend them, yet the Seeds of these Mischiess are hereby laid in the Body, and afterwards conveyed to the several Members by a corrupted Mass of Blood, first occa­sion'd by a superfluous indigested Diet.

Thirdly, That when our Hunger is satisfied, and the Table withdrawn, there remains to him who hath Eaten and Drunk moderately, this pleasant Thought, That he hath done nothing to prejudice his Health, his Moderation being his Preservative and Safeguard. Neither is he dissatisfied not to have enjoyed that Pleasure, wherewith a Glutton seems delighted, because such Pleasure is of short continuance, leaving nothing behind, but cause for Repentance, unto which he is not so subject as he who thus gormandizes and overcharges his Stomach with variety of rich Dainties. Such a one repents soon, or thinks he shall ere long have cause to re­pent; nay, he is sure at last to pay dear for his De­bauchery.

Fourthly, That it is a great piece of Wisdom to take heed, how and what we swallow, for the sake of a little short-liv'd Pleasure, the Causes of so many Diseases, so cruel and so tedious; which Causes we cannot be afterwards freed from, but by nauseus Potions and a tedious continued Course of Physick, which weakens the Body, and might easily be prevented meerly by Abstinence. So that we should not be oblig'd to say as Lysima­chus did, after he had surrendred himself into the Hands of, the Getae, to allay the Thirst that troub­led him and his whole Army, O ye Gods! what a great Advantage have I now lost for a little Pleasure of a short continuance?

Fifthly, If we except some few hereditary Di­stempers, and which may, if not be perfectly cured, at least much alleviated, the Grounds of all other Diseases are frequently occasion'd by Irregularities, or Excess in our Eating or Drinking: For tho' vio­lent Exercise, Heats, Colds, and other such things, may incline us to Diseases, yet this commonly hap­pens, because they set afloat the superfluous Humours which were before ingendred in our Bodies by ex­cess of Wine and good Chear.

Therefore it was observed during that great Plague, that spread all over Attica, that none but Socrates by his extraordinary Sobriety escaped the Infection: And we are not unacquainted with one in our days, who by the like Method was se­cured from a great Pestilence. I might mention also a Person of great Eminency, who was severely tormented with the Gout, but by my Advice, yield­ing to live one Year very abstemiously, and scarce to Eat any Flesh (according to the Custom of the Indians, who nevertheless are very healthy and strong, and are rarely troubled with such Distem­pers) was perfectly cured. Thus it happened hereto­fore [Page 166] to the Senator Rogatianus, mentioned by Porphyry, in the Life of Plotinus. So real a truth it is, that Sobriety is an excellent Remedy to avoid and free us from Diseases.

Sixthly, That for one Person who is sick by Fa­sting, there are twenty Distempers occasion'd by too much Eating. So that Theognides had Reason to say, That Gluttony destroys many more than Hun­ger.

Perplures quam dira fames, satias male perdit,
Qui justo cupiunt amplius esse sibi.

And Horace, according to Epicurus, tells us, That a sober Man who Eats and Drinks but little, is always strong and ready to perform the Duties of his Function; whereas Wine makes the Body heavy, and clouds the Ʋnderstanding, and sinks down the Soul, that part of the Divine Being, to the very Earth.

—quin corpus onustum
Hesternis vitiis, animum quoque praegravat una,
Atque affigit humo divinae particulam aura:
Alter ubi dicto citius curata sopori
Membra dedit, vegetus praescripta ad munera surgit.

Besides, we might add this Consideration, That he who endeavours to indulge his Palate in the midst of good Cheer, loses that very Pleasure he would promote, which is easilier obtain'd by a plain and sober Diet for a constancy; sometimes, tho' rarely, admitting of a more plentiful Repast, which at particular times may be allowed by the best of Men, when as the Poet saith, a solemn Fe­stival invites us to chear our Spirits, and repair weak Nature, decay'd too much by Abstinence or Old Age.

[Page 167]
Sive diem festum rediens advexerit annus,
Sive recreare volet tenuatum Corpus; ubique
Accedent anni, & tractari mollius aetas
Imbecilla volet—

In such Cases we are not to make the pleasing of our Palates our main Business, but only by the By; for we shall find that a sober and frugal Life, is better to most Purposes. Besides, it is most cer­tain, that a wise Man ought rather, as much as his State and Condition of life may permit him, al­ways to observe the same Manner, Rule and Course of Living; I say, as much as the State and Con­dition of his Life will allow him: For tho' the manner of Living, in which we are ingaged, may sometimes so intangle us, as that it is no easie Task to keep exactly to the Rule and Manner of Living, that we have prescribed; yet there is no difficulty to keep pretty near to this Rule, if a Man hath so much Constancy and Resolution of Mind, as a truly wise and vertuous Man ought to have. But if he be so weak and fickle, as at the first Temp­tation to suffer himself to be overcome by his irre­gular Appetite, it is apparent that Wisdom and Vertue have not taken Root deep enough in his Soul.

If we are perhaps sometimes obliged to be at well spread Tables, where we may seem to be some-what uncivil in not complying with the earn­est Intreaties and Sollicitations that we meet with; 'tis at this time chiefly that we must shew our Re­solution and Constancy; and if a Civil and Modest Excuse will not suffice, we must free our selves from that Dusopia, or childish Bashfulness so much condemned among the Greeks, and according to Plutarch's Advice, speak plainly and boldly to any [Page 168] Friend, what Creon saith in one of his Tragedies; It is better that you should be now angry with me, than that I should be to morrow distemper'd, for having complied with you.

Te praestat infesum, Hospes, esse nunc mihi,
Quam si obsequutus deinde graviter ingemam.

For to cast our selves, saith he, into a Fit of the Colick, or into some extream Agony, meerly to avoid being look'd upon as a Clown, or Ʋncivil, is to become both a Clown and a mad Man, and not to understand how we are to behave our selves with Men, in relation to Eating and Drinking.

We must not here forget that excellent Expres­sion of Epicurus; That a sober and frugal Life, unto which we have by long use habituated our selves, makes us undaunted against the Assaults of Fortune. For as Horace elsewhere says, Which of the two may bet­ter trust to himself and to his own strength, in re­lation to the Casualties and Mischances that may happen, He who hath indulg'd his Mind with vast Desires, and us'd his Body to a soft and rich At­tire; Or, he who being content with a little, and fore-seeing the time to come, shall in a time of Peace, as a wise Man ought, make Provision of such things as are needful for War? Let Fortune vex such a one, and take from him all that she can, how much can she diminish of that which is necessary?

Ad casus dubios fidet sibi certius, hic qui
Pluribus assuerit mentem, corpusque superbum,
An qui contentus parvo, metuensque futuri,
In pace, ut Sapiens aptarit idonea bello?
[Page 169]
Soeviat, atque novos moveat fortunna tumultus,
Quantum heinc imminuet? &c.

Nor are we to forget what Epicurus boasts of; That his daily Food did not quite amount to one pound, and that of Metrodorus weighed but just a pound. Nor must we omit that excellent Advice which Seneca hath so well deliver'd; Thou dost not perhaps believe, saith he, that in a spare quantity of Food there is sufficient to satisfy Nature? There is, and to spare; for there is Pleasure, not a light and transitory Pleasure, which we must recruit every Moment, but a more fixt and lasting Pleasure without Interruption: For a Draught of Water and a Piece of Barley Bread, are things not very pleasant to the Gust; but then it is a great Pleasure that we can confine our selves to that, which an adverse Fortune cannot deprive us of. The Allowance of a Prison is more Sumptuous and Plenti­ful, and a Malefactor who is kept in Chains, condemn­ed to Death, subsists with a small Pittance. What an honour is it to condescend of our own accord to that, which is not to be feared by them, who are reduc'd to the lowest State? By this means we shall prevent the Treachery of Fortune, and stop all her Avenues: For what Power can Fortune have over him, who reckons not as his own, that which she glories in giving and taking away, and is satisfied with that which depends not upon her, thinking it too mean to stoop to her proud Empire?

I'le here cite what Xenophon tells us of Socrates; That he lived upon so small a Pittance, that there was no Handicraftsman, if he took never so little Pains, but might get more than was needful to nourish him. That which hath been already said of Anacharsis, That he sent back the Mony offer'd him, because he needed it not to supply his slender Expences. And it is reported of Epaminondas, that he sent back the [Page 170] King's Embassadors with the Gold they had brought; and when he had entertain'd them at a plain Din­ner, he told them, Go and give an account to your Master of this Dinner, that he may understand that a Man content with this, is not to be bought with Mony. I might mention these and other Instances of the like nature, to shew that he who is sufficed with so little, that even Poverty it self will afford, hath no cause to fear the Frowns of Fortune, or the Necessities of Want. But the better to prevent the dread of Poverty, let us take care of what Bion saith in the Writings of Theletes the Pythagorian. These are his Expressions; If things could discourse as we do, would they not, as I may so say, accost us to this purpose? Why dost thou dispute against me, O Man? Art thou for my sake deprived of any advan­tage of Temperance, of Justice, of Fortitude? Art thou afraid that things needful will be wanting to thee? What, are not the High-ways full of Herbs, and the Fountains running over with Water? Don't I afford thee all over the Earth Beds to lie down upon, and Leaves to cover thee? What, can'st thou not rejoyce with me? See'st thou not Gradiaphyrtus a Beggar, Singing pleasantly, when he takes his Repast? Have not I provided Sawce for thee without the least Expence or Care, namely, Hunger? And doth not he who is hungry relish his Meal savourly without the help of any Arti­ficial Provocation, just as he who is thirsty drinks large draughts of pure Water with great Desire and Plea­sure? Think'st thou that Men are hungry for a Cake or thirsty for Snow? And are not these the things, that the Luxury and the Debaucheries of corrupt Men require?

A Description of the Indian Diogenes.

IN relation to this Topick, I think I ought not here to omit, what I know concerning the man­ner of the Eastern Indians Living, if it were only to shew that all these fine things that we have spoken of, are not only bare Philosophical Speculations, but that there are whole Nations, who lead as spa­ring a Life, and are satisfied with as little, either for Eating or Drinking, or for Cloathing, as all the Cynicks, Stoicks, or Epicureans ever were. In In­dia there be many Fakirs, or Religious Idolaters, who as well as Diogenes walk all Naked, and have no other Shooes to their Feet, but their brawny Soles, no other Covering for their Heads but their long Hair, oiled, tressed up, and wreathed upon the top of their Heads, no other Ornaments to their Fingers but long Nails, turned like Claws, and sometimes as long as half the little Finger; their Houses are the Galleries of their Temples, their Beds are three Inches thick of Ashes, and when they go in Pilgrimage, they have the Skin of a Tyger, of a Lion, or of a Leopard, dried in the Sun, which they spread upon the Ground only to sit upon; their Drink is pure Water, and their Food, when they are supplied by way of Alms, a pound of Kichery, which is a certain mixture of Rice, with two or three sorts of Lentills, all boiled together in Water, with Salt, upon which they put a little sorry Butter.

The manner of Living of the Brahmens, or Brag­manes, differs in nothing from that of the Fakirs, either in Quantity or Quality; for their chief and most substantial Eating, is always Kichery, never [Page 172] any Flesh; never any Drink but Water. The most part of the Merchants, whom we name Banyans, if they be never so Rich, live in the same manner. Their Food is neither more Plentiful, nor more Delicious than that of the Brahmens, and never­theless they live as contented, as quiet, and plea­sant as we do, and far more Healthy, at least full as strong and lusty as we are.


CHAP. I. Of Virtue in General.

IN the first Place we must take notice, that Ari­stotle, Plutarch, and others, have observ'd three things in the Mind or Soul of Man, Faculties, Actions, and Habits: The Faculties are the Abi­lities, from whence proceed the Actions; as of Anger, for example, or Pity: The Actions are the Deeds or Acts themselves, as to be actually Angry, to be actually Afflicted, or to have an actual Compassion: The Habits, or the Facility of [Page 174] the Soul to produce such Acts, or the natural In­clination or Tendency of the Soul to that pur­pose.

Secondly, As there are some Actions which are Vicious and Evil, as when we are excessively Angry; some Just and Good, as when we keep within the Bounds of Moderation; so likewise there are some Habits which are Vicious, and some Good.

Thirdly, That Virtue is neither a Faculty nor a bare Act, but an Habit, viz. a virtuous Habit, that inclines and directs us to just and honourable Things.

Fourthly, As Aristotle divides the Soul into two Parts, viz. the one the Reasonable, which we term the Understanding, the other the Sensitive Appe­tite, which we call the Will; so he admitteth in the one and the other Part, Faculties, Actions, and Habits, that both being capable of Habits, might also be capable of Virtues.

Fifthly, That there is this difference between the first and the second Part, that the Virtues of the first relate to what is true, or proposes Truth for their End; but the Virtues of the Appetite or Will, look upon what is Good, or have Goodness for their End.

Sixthly, That the Virtues of the first Part are five, Prudence, Wisdom, Understanding, Science, and Art; and of the second three, Fortitude, Tem­perance, and Justice.

Seventhly, And because some may not think it strange that Aristotle should rank Virtue in the se­cond Part; to obviate their Objection, he says, That this part indeed hath no Reason, yet it may be said to have it, because it hearkens to it, and is in respect of the Reasonable part, as a Son in re­spect of his Father, who governs him by his Instru­ctions.

Eighthly, That the Virtues which are in the rea­sonable Part being named Intellectual, because they relate to the Mind; but the others which are in the Will, being stiled Moral, in respect of the Manners of Men; we are not to be concerned precisely with the first, but with the latter; I say precisely, where­by to separate Prudence, which is the Guide of all Moral Virtues, and which is so interwoven with our Manners, that it is not only reckoned among the Moral Virtues, but the First and Chief of all the rest: For Aristotle saith very judiciously, That as Sagacity (he means that Faculty of Ability dex­trously to find out the means whereby to come to the End we propose) is accomplish'd by Prudence. So natural Virtue, that is to say, a natural Pro­pensity or Disposition to Virtue, is made perfect by Wisdom or by right Reason, which cannot be without Prudence. Therefore he terms all Vir­tues Prudence, not properly, but because they can­not be attain'd without Prudence: For that Rea­son also when the Philosophers give the Definition of Virtue, they say it is an Habit conformable to right Reason, or rather that it is assisted by right Reason; now right Reason is guided by Prudence, or it is indeed Prudence it self. And therefore the Definition that Aristotle gives of Virtue, compre­hends in it right Reason or Prudence; for he saith, that Virtue is an elective Habit which consists in a certain Mediocrity, directed by Reason or Pru­dence; Virtus est habitus electivus in mediocritate quae ad nos est consistens, ratione definitus, aut prout vir pru­dens definierit.

Upon which we may observe, That all the Phi­losophers agree very well with Aristotle, That Vir­tue is an Habit prescrib'd or regulated by Reason or by Prudence. Therefore Cicero calls it a con­stant and even Temper of Mind, which makes [Page 176] them deservedly praised in whom it abides, or rather a constant and regular Reason. Seeing that a Man is accounted virtuous, or said to be adorned with Virtue, not when casually, or out of Dissimulation, or unwillingly and contrary to his Inclination, he does an Action worthy of Praise, but when he is dis­posed in such a manner, that what he does proceeds from a strong Inclination and constant Resolution of doing well; grounded upon serious deliberation, and continued with a Delight and Satisfaction. They agree also, that we should name it an elective Habit, because hereby it is distinguished from the Habits of the Understanding, which don't require that the Acts should be produced by the choice of the Appetite, as the moral Habits do, which indeed would not be moral if our Acts were not in our choice, and done freely. But as to what they say, That Virtue consists in a Medium, this hath given occasion to several, and chiefly to the Stoicks, to contend and exclaim that he hath lessen'd Virtue, by placing it in the middle between Two contrary Vices, and by making it in that manner to partake of both Extremes. And tho we have already men­tioned this matter, yet it is of that great Impor­tance, that it deserves to be treated of more at large.

In what sense Virtue is said to consist in a Medium, or to be placed in a Mediocrity.

ARistotle observes, That in the object of Virtue one may distinguish two Mediums, one he names the Medium of the Thing, Medium rei, which is from one side to the other, equally distant from the Extremes; and this is the same in the Judg­ment of all Men; as for Example, the number of Six between Two and Ten; for it is distant from [Page 177] one and the other five Unites; therefore he calls that a middle in Arithmetick, which is termed an Arithmetical Proportion. The other he stiles a Medium in respect of our selves, Medium quoad nos, or which is neither above nor beneath what is con­venient for us: From hence it is, that it cannot be the same in respect of all Men, because the same thing is not equally convenient to all; for Example, if to Eat six Pounds weight is too much, and Two too little, the Rule therefore of the Athletes pre­scribes not six Pounds to all, for it is too little for a Milo and too much for a Tiro. Wherefore this Middle or Medium is commonly stiled, the Middle according to Reason, Medium Rationis, because it is appointed by right Reason, and because it consists in that Reason or Proportion, which Aristotle ought to have named of Geometry, and which belongs on­ly to the wise Man to understand.

Aristotle therefore shews, that Virtue consists not in the Medium of the Thing, but in the Medium in respect of us, Geometrically consider'd, with rela­tion to Reason; for as Virtue hath the Passions and Actions for Objects, for Example, such as are these, to Fear, to be Confident, to Desire, to have an Aversion, to be Angry, to have Pity, and in short, to be affected with Pleasure or Grief; I say, Virtue having for its Object the Passions and Actions, in which there may happen to be Excess, Deficiency, or a due Medium between both; here it belongs to Virtue to point out a Middle, which may be most proper and convenient, both in respect of Time, Person and Place, or any other Circumstance that may attend us.

He farther demonstrates, That whereas Virtue consists in prescribing a Middle between two Ex­tremes, it is it self that Medium or middle Habit between two vicious Extremes, the one inclining [Page 178] to Excess, and the other defective, either in the thing or in the Object. So that Virtue in its Es­sence and Nature, in that it prescribes a Middle, is really it self also a kind of Medium; but in rela­tion to Excellency and Perfection, it is something elevated above all. This causeth them to make this common Distinction, The Middle in respect of the Object, and the Middle in respect of the Essence; be­cause the Middle in relation to the Object, is nothing else but the Middle in relation to our selves, or in re­spect to Reason, and which is placed or considered between two Extremes: According to what Horace says, when he tells us, That there is a just Medio­crity to be kept in things, and that there are due Limits and Bounds which we must neither come short of nor exceed.

Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines,
Quos ultra citra (que) nequit consistere rectum.

The Medium, in respect of the Essence, is no­thing else but Virtue it self between two Vices; or as the same Author expresses it, the Middle of two Vices, in respect of both Ends.

Virtus est medium vitiorum et utrin (que) reductum.

He does afterward illustrate and prove the Mat­ter; for Fortitude is a Middle between Cowardise and Presumption; Temperance, between Intempe­rance and a total Neglect; Liberality, between Pro­digality and Covetousness; Magnificence, between Niggardliness and Gaudiness; Magnanimity, between Pusilanimity and a foolish Ostentation; Modesty, be­tween having a due regard to our Honour and Am­bition; Clemency and an easy and tractable Con­versation, [Page 179] between a base Compliance and a cholerick Temper; Truth and Veracity, between Dissimula­tion and vain Boasting; a pleasant Humour, between Rusticity or a clownish Temper; Amity, between Flattery and a thwarting Temper; Moderation, be­tween Stupidity and Impudence; a just Indignation, between Envy and Jealousy, and Malevolence or Ill-will; Prudence, between Folly or Stupidity, and cunning Craft or Knavery. For Justice, though it is not properly between two Extremes, because there is nothing opposite to it but Injustice; never­theless, it seems to acknowledge a Medium in its Object, because Justice being a Virtue that relates to others, or is between two Persons, it belongs to it so to reduce the thing to Equity or Equality, that the one may not have more, nor the other less than is due; so that Injustice stands in stead of Ex­cess in respect of one, and of Defect in respect of the other.

He maintains also, That there are certain Vices that will not admit of any Mediums, as Adultery, Theft and Murder, because there is always a Sin in the very Act, and no Virtue can be found in it: For Example, to prescribe with what Woman, at what time and how Adultery ought to be commit­ted; for to seek for a Medium there, is the same as to seek for one in Debauchery, in Cowardise, and in the extremities of other Vices.

Lastly, he affirms, That the Extremities are not only contrary to one another, but also to the Me­diums; insomuch, that the Valiant and Courageous appears to the Coward Bold and Presumptuous, and to the Audacious Mean and Cowardly; The Liberal seems to be Prodigal to the Covetous Wretch, and to the Prodigal Covetous, and so of the rest. Ne­vertheless, there are some Extremes that seem to be more contrary and opposite to the middle than [Page 180] the other, and for that reason sometimes one Vir­tue seems to incline more to Excess than to Defect, as Fortitude seems to be more like Audacity than Cowardise, and sometimes nearer to Defect than Ex­cess, as Temperance seems to incline more to a pri­vation from Pleasure than to Intemperance. From hence he concludes, That there is a difficulty to be­come truly Virtuous, because it is hard to find the Medium that might be convenient in all respects; and therefore he advises them who propose that Medium, to avoid chiefly that extremity, which is most contrary, and to take heed of that Vice unto which we have most tendency, and to act as those who labouring to make a crooked Stick strait, bend it in such a manner on the contrary side, that at last they may reduce it to a perfect strait, which is that of Right and Equity.

Of the Apathy, or the Insensibility of Stoicks.

NOW as the Stoicks differ from the Peripate­ticks in particular, that the Stoicks in the first place would have a wise Man be [...], with­out Passion, whereas the Peripateticks distinguish the Passions or Affections into vain and useless, and into natural and necessary. They say well, that a wise Man ought to be free from the first sort, but that the latter should be kept in and bridled in such a manner, that we may observe a convenient Mean and a just Mediocrity. Secondly, whereas the Sto­icks will never allow a wise Man either to complain or grieve, nay, in the midst of Pain he should keep up to such a severe and rigid Austerity as may be­speak him almost insensible; but the Peripateticks think that this was spoken out of an Excess of Vani­ty and Ambition, and that it is more convenient [Page 181] to be moved with Tenderness, to let fall a few Tears, Sighs and Groans, than to be wise after such a man­ner, to be inwardly tormented, as saith Crantor, by such a kind of Inhumanity and Insensibility. As there is this difference, I say between the Stoicks and the Peripateticks, let us examin in few Words what Cicero saith, who seems to be a Defender of this Insensibility in answer to the Peripateticks. After he had given such a description of a wise Man as we have already seen, thus he goes on. Therefore we ought to look upon the Judgment of the Peripateticks, as weak and contemptible, when they say, That it is necessa­ry that the Minds of Men should be tossed up and down and disturbed; but yet they appoint a certain Moderation beyond which it is not lawful to pass: What, saith he, wilt thou assign a Moderation to Vice? Is it not Vice to disobey Reason? To desire any thing passionately, and after we have obtained it to behave our selves Proudly and Insolently; to be easily dejected, or for the very fear of Oppression to grow furious, and deprive our selves of the use of our Judgment? Is it not a great Fault and Error to be either too much Dejected or Exalted? Thus Cicero argues. But to speak the Truth, the Peripa­teticks never had any such Fancy, that Vice ought to be moderated in such a manner that it should still remain in any respect a Vice; they held Vir­tue to be a Medium, not that it was such as partici­pating of the Extremes, as Lukewarm doth of Heat and Cold; but that it is between two Extremes, as the Center is between the extremities of a Diame­ter, the strait Line between two crooked. Neither did they pretend that it was no Vice to disobey Rea­son, for they would have Reason to prescribe a Moderation: Nor did they allow a too eager or passionate Desire of Things, or when obtained, to be too much exalted or puff'd up; for they were persuaded, that the power of Reason ought to give [Page 182] a check to all Fury and Insolence, and to confine them within due Bounds: So that they denied not that it was evil to be too much Dejected and Affli­cted, or for fear of being so, to fall into such De­sparation and Fury, as to lose all, and be deprived of the use of their Judgment; for they still thought that we ought to rouse up our selves, and keep us free from Despair, and in a due and moderate Tem­per. Neither did they believe that it was no Error in our Actions to express too much Grief or too much Joy; for they taught, That we ought so to correct our Error, that there might not appear either too much or too little in any thing.

He goes further on, and says, That he who seeks a Moderation in Vice, acts as he who casting himself down headlong from a steep Mountain, endeavours to stop himself in his Fall, but in vain; and to as little pur­pose, as it is for a Man whose Thoughts are Distracted, and his Passions Predominant, on a suddain to appease 'em and make a Calm. But they will deny perhaps, that where Mediocrity or Moderation, in which Virtue consists, being observed, there should remain any thing of Vice; nor will they allow of that Com­parison, that where a Man hath once cast himself down headlong, that its not in his Power to retrieve himself from Falling, to hold good in this Case; for he who is fallen into a Passion hath some Rea­son in him still remaining, which is able to repress or check it, especially if he hath the fewest Grains of Wisdom remaining, or the least Inclination for Virtue, as such a one may have that we now instance in.

At last he concludes in this manner, Therefore if they approve of a Moderation in Trouble, 'tis the same as if they allowed of a Moderation in Injustice, a Mo­deration in Cowardise, a Moderation in Intemperance; for to apportion a Moderation in Vice, is to approve of [Page 183] some part of the Vice. But Cicero insists upon that which they will not allow; for he looks upon Vir­tue not as a Medium between two Vices, but as a Vice moderated, which is quite contrary to the Judgment of Aristotle; for he saith, For to seek a Mediocrity in Adultery, or any such like Vice, 'tis the same as to admit of a Mediocrity, Excess, or a Defi­ciency in Ʋnjustice, in Cowardise, and in Intempe­rance.

Cicero afterwards more at large mentions the Reasonings and Arguments of the Peripateticks, with a design to oppose 'em, That according to their Judgment, the inward Disturbances and Passions are not only Natural, but that they have been allowed by Nature for good Ʋses; That they allow of Anger as a Whet-stone to Courage, because the Assault of an angry Person, against a publick Enemy, or a treache­rous Subject, is more Powerful than if he opposed him in cold Blood; That severe Injunctions are not without a Mixture of Anger; That if an Orator is not angry, he ought at least to pretend to be so; That a Man is not a Man, if he cannot be angry, and that what Men call Calmness is a kind of stupid Insensibility; That it is impossible to perform any great thing without some Transport, witness Themistocles and Demosthenes; That without this Incentive, the great Philosophers had never made so large a Progress in the Sciences, and that without such an earnest desire, Pythagoras, De­mocritus, and Plato had never travelled as they did about the World; That it is not without some great ad­vantage that Nature hath appointed Displeasure and Grief, that Men might be vexed and grieved for their Crimes, and troubled for their Punishments, Reproofs, and Shame; That Mercy is useful to oblige us to assist the afflicted, and that to be emulous is not altogether useless; And lastly, That he who will take away Fear, takes away all Diligence, &c. He adds many other [Page 184] Particulars which he seems to answer when he saith, Nevertheless, they confess when they Dispute of these Matters, that they ought to be cut off in part, but that they cannot, nor ought not to be totally rooted out. So that they esteem Mediocrity or Moderation to be requisite almost in every thing. And truly in rela­tion to what he objects; for Example, That it be­longs not to a stout and generous Spirit to be angry, but to a Fencer; that without this Anger of a Fencer, Ajax will encounter Hector, and that Torquatus Marcellus the African, was free from it, &c. They will answer, That it may be proper for a Fencer to be furiously angry and beyond Reason, but the Anger of a generous Person is more Temperate and hearkens to Reason.

And as to what he says concerning Mercy. Can­not we be Liberal but we must be touched with Com­passion and Pity? Seeing we ought not to afflict our selves for others, but to strive, if it be possible, to raise them out of their Afflictions. They will answer, That Mercy will cause us to be more inclined to Liberality; and that the wise Man suffers not him­self to be vexed and afflicted for others, in such a manner as to be disturbed in himself, but it is a kind sense of Humanity that obliges him to lend Assistance to others.

In relation to Jealousie or Emulation, they will answer, That the Jealousie of a wise Man is no­thing but a certain Motion or Desire that ingages him to strive to attain to a degree of Glory, equal or greater than that of another.

As to what concerns Fear, they will willingly agree, That Timerousness or too great Fear is to be condemned; and they will shew, that this Life cannot be without Fear, which causeth us to pro­vide before-hand against several Casualties which we fore-see.

Finally, in relation to what he saith of Anger and Desire, they will prove that it is natural to be angry, and have an Ambition: But to be angry without measure, or to aim at any thing with too much eagerness, this proceeds from an Error that we ought to correct; so that when they advise us to avoid or abstain from all Excess, they advise us to extirpate and destroy whatsoever proceeds from Error, but not so that what is natural or naturally planted in us, either can or ought to be rooted out and totally defaced.

Of the mutual Connection of Moral Virtues.

NOw to speak something concerning the Con­nection or mutual Relation of Moral Virtues, it is to be collected from two Particulars; First, That they are all united with Prudence, as all the Members with the Body, the Streams of Water with the Fountain from whence they run. Second­ly, That Prudence and all the rest are unseparable from a pleasant Life, for Life cannot be pleasant without Virtue; and where-ever Virtue resides, there Life must needs be pleasant. From hence it appears, that the consequence of this mutual Con­junction of Virtues, is grounded upon this Maxim, That things that are united in any third thing, are united among themselves. Now 'tis not needful to speak any thing of the second Particular, for we shall understand this Matter sufficiently hereafter, when we shall consider the saying of Epicurus, That Virtue is not desirable for its own sake, but for the sake of Pleasure. This hath caused some to exclaim against him. We shall be here satisfied by alledg­ing a Passage out of Aristotle, by which it appears, that he was in this Matter of the same Opinion as [Page 186] Epicurus: As, saith he, the thing beloved is pleasing to the Lover; the Horse, for example, to him who loves Horses, the Theatre and Shews to him who loves them; so to him who loves Justice, the things that are just are grateful, and generally to him who loves Virtue, the Actions that are Virtuous. I confess, that the things that please the common People don't agree together, be­cause they are not so really of their own Nature: But such as are pleasing to them who love honesty, are of themselves, and of their own Nature, grateful and agreeable. Such are the Actions of Virtue, which are by consequence pleasing, because they are of themselves so; their Life therefore hath no need of Pleasure, as of an addition, but it possesseth in it self an inward Plea­sure. Nay, to go yet farther, he who delights not in honest Actions, is no just and honest Man, nor can we denominate such an one a just and liberal Person to whom just and liberal Actions give no Pleasure: And the like is to be understood of the other Virtues. From hence therefore we conclude, That virtuous Actions are of themselves, and of their own Nature, Pleasant and De­lightful.

In relation to the first Particular, the Judgment of Aristotle is yet more plain, for he gives this De­finition of Virtue; An Habit that relates to Medio­crity; Or, a Medium which Prudence hath prescribed and directed. This shews, that no Virtue can be without Prudence, and by consequence all Virtues being united with Prudence, they have a mutual Correspondency: This answers the Objection which some might make by saying, That sure Men are not fit for all Virtues, and therefore he may be in­clinable to one before he hath attained another; for he distinguisheth and teacheth, that this may happen in respect of the natural Virtues, or of the Seeds of natural Virtue; For, saith he, as soon as we are born, we are qualified for Justice, for Temperance, [Page 187] Fortitude, and other Virtues. But this cannot be so, in relation to such Virtues by which a Man is sti­led a good and virtuous Man, because all the rest accompany Prudence; and to speak properly, a good Man cannot be without Prudence, and a pru­dent Man can't be without Virtue.

Now we must observe, that this distinction may serve to resolve the Opinion, that Laertius ascribes to him, That he was perswaded that all the Vir­tues had not a mutual Connection, for it might happen that a Man might be Prudent and Just, and yet might be Intemperate and Debauch'd; for he will reply, That those who seem to be adorned with some certain Virtues, if they have not the rest, have 'em in Appearance and Imperfect, be­cause their seeming Actions of Virtue are not in­livened with that inward Passion and general Incli­nation for Honesty, whereby the Soul is influ­enc'd to act nothing without the direction of Rea­son. 'Tis the same as if we should say, That they have a material Virtue, but not a formal; for the Form or Perfection and Completion of all Virtue, is this Affection and general Disposition of the Mind, by which a Man does nothing but in a just manner, and out of a principle of Virtue; for ac­cording to the Judgment of Aristotle, nothing but this Disposition can qualifie Men to be Honest and Just: So that he who is not rich, and consequently not in a Condition to shew his Liberality or Mag­nificence, yet may have a Soul so qualified, that if his Estate increased he would do nothing but what is Just, Honourable, and Magnificent; for tho' he hath not the Habit of bestowing large Gifts, yet he hath a Propension of giving according to his Abilities, and is not sparing of that which is in his small Power to give. Therefore the Libe­rality of that poor Country-man, who having no­thing [Page 188] else, presented Water to the King which he had drawn out of the River, was as acceptable, as the Gifts of Princes in rich and costly Vessels.

I shall not here mention the several Reasons that Alexander hath collected, nor with him stay to tell you, for instance, That it is impossible for a Man to be just, unless at the same time he hath all other Virtues; for if he be intemperate, or fearful, or covetous, he will cease to be just, when an Op­portunity offers of Pleasure, Danger, or Hopes of Gain; and so it is with other Vices, there is not any but is able to cause us to Violate and Corrupt some part of Justice. I shall only take notice, that this Doctrin of the Connection and Correspon­dency of Virtues together, is common not only to Epicurus, Aristotle, Plato, St. Ambrose, and St. Gre­gory, but chiefly to the Stoicks, tho' these last add this Paradox, That Virtues are all equal. I add the word chiefly, for among them these Opinions pass for Current; That a wicked Man hath no Vir­tue, and a just Man no Vice; That the first sins in every thing, and the latter acts nothing ill; That what­soever a wise Man doth, he doth it assisted by all the Virtues, and if he did but wag his Finger without the direction of Reason, he would commit a Sin.

Ni tibi concessit ratio digitum exsere peccas.

A General Division of Virtue.

BUt as we are now to speak of the several kinds of Virtue, we ought here first to lay down the common Division thereof. Not to mention here what Zeno taught, that there were divers sorts of Virtues, (which yet the Megarians would not al­low of, supposing 'em to be but one, under several [Page 189] Names:) Nor what Apollophanes asserts, viz. That of Prudence only: That celebrated Division of Vir­tue into four parts is sufficiently known, viz. of Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice. Nevertheless, Aristotle in his Morals, treats of these four Virtues in the same manner as he treats also of Gentleness, of Liberality, of the greatness of the Mind, of Magnificence, of Moderation, of just Indignation, of Modesty, of Gravity, of Truth or Veracity, of Civility, and of the rest, as distinct kinds of Virtue, not tying himself to any limited Number; And so begins to discourse of Fortitude.

For the Stoicks, tho' they have variously divided Virtue, nevertheless, Possidonius, among the rest, holds to these four kinds; and therefore Cicero seems to have taken this from the Stoicks; Whatsoever is just and honest, proceeds from one of these four Species; for either it relates to the discerning of Truth and Fal­shood; or the Preservation of the Society which consists in the faith of Contracts, and in giving to every one what appertains to him; or the strength and greatness of the Soul; or else in the Moderation in all that we say or do: By which Words the four sorts of Vir­tue are described. Now we must observe, that if since the days of St. Ambrose, and St. Jerom, these four Virtues have been stiled Cardinal Virtues, be­cause they are look'd upon as the Hinges upon which the rest turn; it is doubtless in imitation of the Stoicks, who affirm, That among the Virtues some are Primitive or Principal, the others subject and depending on the former; and that the first are Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance and Justice; and the latter a greatness of Mind, Continency, Patience, quickness of Apprehension, or liveliness of Spirit, Subtilty, and sound Judgment, all which Cicero terms Companions, and Seneca branches of the first Stock.

The Schoolmen call 'em Parts, and divide 'em into three kinds, that they might refer all the Vir­tues called Moral to one of the four chief. Thus Thomas Aquinas hath dealt. Now these three Parts are, First, Such as are properly called Sub­jects or Species. Secondly, The Integral Parts, or which have in some respect the Parts which com­pose the whole, and ought necessarily to assist to the perfect Act of a certain Virtue. Thirdly, The Potential, which like the Powers of the Soul, are accompanying, but have not the Efficacy of a a principal Virtue.

Thus the Virtues subject to Prudence, are the Private, the Oeconomick, the Politick, the Military, and the Royal: The Integral, are Memory, Docility, Sagacity, Reason, Providence, Circumspection, and Precaution or Fore-sight: The Potential, which bear their ancient Greek names, are Ebulia, that is, Wisdom in Counsel; Synesis, sharpness of Ap­prehension; Gnome, a prudent Elocution.

Thus the Subject Parts of Justice, are the Gene­ral, the Legal, and the Special, which have for Species, the commutative and distributive Justice: The Integral, are the Precepts of the Law, as To do wrong to no Body; To give to every one what belongs to him; and if we may make use of the words of Holy Writ, To fly from Evil and to do Good: The Potential, are Religion, Holiness, Piety, Charity, Obedience, Truth, Gratitude, Li­berality, Affability, and Amity or Friendship.

In like manner, the Subject Parts of Tempe­rance, are Abstinence and Sobriety; first in relation to Eating, the latter in respect of Drinking, Cha­stity and Modesty; The Integral, are Bashfulness and Honesty; The Potential, are Clemency, Hu­mility, Modesty, Mildness, Mercy, Moderation, Decency, Gratefulness, and Urbanity.

For Fortitude, as it is not usual to ascribe to it any subject Parts, because of that chief Matter about which it is employed, so only four Parts are assigned to it, which are reckoned to be Integral, when they are lookt upon as being employed about a difficult Matter; or Potential, if the Matter hath less diffi­culty. These parts are Confidence, Magnanimity or greatness of Courage; Magnificence, Patience or long Forbearance; Constancy or Perseverance. The two first are for an Aggress or Assault, the two latter for Defence and Support.

CHAP II. Of Prudence in General.

NOW to say something to the purpose con­cerning the four principal Virtues, and about some of their chief Species: And we will begin with Prudence, which Aristotle, Epicurus, and all the other Philosophers, not without Reason, call the Head, the Fountain, the Mistress, the Queen of all other Virtues. But to lay aside all Equivocation, tho' Prudence and Wisdom are often used Promiscu­ously and to the same Sense, nevertheless, Aristotle distinguishes them in such a manner, that he takes Wisdom for the knowledge of Things honourable and worthy; but Prudence for a particular Virtue, which respects the Things useful and convenient for the Life of Man. From hence it is, saith he, that Anaxagoras, Thales, and some others, may very well be accounted Wise, but not Prudent; because we find that they were Ignorant of the Things that were need­ful, [Page 192] and yet they understood several excellent, admi­rable, difficult and divine Things; but useless for the good and happiness of Life. Now 'tis certain, that we are not to speak of Prudence as it is taken for that high and speculative Wisdom, but as it is a moral Virtue, which is to rule and govern all the Actions of our Life; and which by distinguishing the good from the evil, the useful things from such as are hurtful, points out that which we are to Em­brace, and that which we are to Avoid; and by that means leads and directs Man to live well and Hap­pily.

Therefore Cicero gives this definition of Prudence, The knowledge of the Things that we are to desire or avoid. And Aristotle saith, 'Tis an habit of Acting according to right Reason, in the Things that are good or evil to Mankind. Now we must observe, in re­lation to what he saith, that it is an Habit of Acting according to right Reason; that he don't under­stand but that a prudent Man may sometimes be im­pos'd upon by a colourable Reason, and which does not exactly answer the event of Things; yet he ought to perform nothing but with due Conside­ration; and after he hath well examined every thing, and hath had a regard to the Place and Time of his Deliberation, he perceives no Reason truer or more probable, than that which he resolves to embrace and follow; but still at the same time, notwithstand­ing his serious Deliberation, if a Reason more like­ly or probable comes into his Thought, he is more ready to embrace it, and be led by it. This makes Prudence to be a very uncertain Habit, full of Con­jectures, by which it differs from Science, as Ari­stotle understands it; for Science hath necessary Things for its Objects, Things necessary, and which cannot be otherwise; but Prudence looks upon Things that are contingent and casual, that may happen or not, may fall out this way or t'other.

We must likewise observe, That Aristotle under­stands by good or evil Things, chiefly the Means, which are said to be good, as they are useful and convenient for the purposes of Virtue, and evil as they are hurtful and prejudicial to such purposes: For tho we deliberate about an End, it is not abso­lutely an End, but it is really a Means to obtain another at a distance, and which also may be lookt upon as a further Means, until we arrive at the last of all, which is Happiness, about which there is no deliberation, for there is no Body but would be Happy, and we trouble our selves about nothing else but how to attain to it. Therefore we have given this Definition of Prudence in general, That it di­rects a Man to a good and happy Life; not but that it respects particular Cases also, seeing it is the Duty of Prudence to dictate what we ought, and what we ought not to do, on every particular occasion: But because it appears chiefly in a certain prospect of a general Life that we propose to our selves, and which may be such, that all our particular Actions mutually agree among themselves, and tend all, without any opposition, to Happiness; or, as we have said, to live Well and Happily; for that Rea­son, Prudence is usually term'd the Art of Living; and Plato calls it, the Knowledge which procures Happiness. And Aristotle saith, That it is the part of a Prudent Man, not only to consult and mature­ly to deliberate upon particular Matters, such as Health, &c. but generally about all things which may contribute to our living Well and Happily.

Of the general Offices or Duties of Prudence.

WE commonly divide the general Offices or Duties of Prudence into these three Parts, viz. To Consult or Advise well, to Understand and Com­prehend [Page 194] aright, to Command and Prescribe. 'Tis what is usually express'd by these Words, [...], which are term'd in the Schools the potential parts of Prudence, tho' they are really, and rather the acts of Prudence. The first then is to advise well, the Particle [well] being here added be­cause this belongs peculiarly to a prudent Man; for rash and inconsidering People run headlong with­out ever examining the Matter: But Deliberation, which regards Prudence, ought to be good, as Aristotle saith, and tend to a good End. So that if any by taking wrong Measures suceeds, that cannot be said to be a good Deliberation; for tho he obtains what he seeks to obtain, yet 'tis not by such Means as he ought to make use of. Therefore Cunning or Subtilty that cares not what Methods it takes to ac­complish its Ends, whether Good or Evil, is placed as one of the Extremes of Prudence. And there­fore a subtil and cunning Man, having no respect to Honesty, is lookt upon by a prudent Man, just as a wicked Person is by a good Man. For Malice, saith Cicero, will often imitate Prudence.

The second Duty is to apprehend well, and un­derstand the ways and means that we are to make use of, after we have soberly and seriously deliberated and advised. Aristotle, by this word Ʋnderstand, seems to mean nothing else but an easy Apprehen­sion, or an Understanding quick and nimble; there­fore he opposeth this Understanding to Stupidity, or a slowness of Apprehension. So that according to his Opinion, a prudent Man being between the Subtil and Knavish, and the Dull and Stupid, may be judged to be placed a Man between the evil Spi­rit and a Brute; they are his own Words.

The Third is to command or prescribe the per­formance of the Things that have been formerly judged or resolved on; or, which is in effect the [Page 195] same, to order that the Means that have been thus resolved on, may actually be put in Execution: For Prudence, saith Aristotle, is of its own Nature [...], Imperatoria, born and designed to Com­mand; so that instead of [...], which, according to Aristotle, signifies no other thing but a right Judg­ment, we ought to have used the Word [...], which imports Commanding.

Of the Dispositions or Qualities needful for performing the Duties of Prudence.

THE Duties or the Acts of Prudence being such as we have already mentioned, it is cer­tain that some Dispositions, Qualities or Faculties, are requisite in the Soul for their due Execution. These are properly the Faculties which are called Partes Integrantes, and which are commonly com­prehended under these general Terms, of the recol­lecting of Things past, the right understanding of Things present, and the foresight or providing against Things to come. For first it is plain, that Prudence makes it absolutely necessary to call to Mind Things past; for in the sequel of Affairs the Things that ought to be done hereafter, have such a relation with what hath been already done, that if we forget that which hath been done, in the man­ner as it hath been done, that accordingly we may effect what remains to be done, it often happens either that that which is already done comes to nothing, or that which is to be performed rarely succeeds, but crosses our Expectation. Besides, our Judgments are to reason and judge according to our Know­ledge, neither can they conclude upon more cer­tain Grounds than this, That from like Causes, pro­bably may follow like Effects. Now it is certain, that [Page 196] to be able to make this Comparison of one Cause with another, it is absolutely necessary to remem­ber Things past: Besides, as it seldom or never happens that one thing is intirely like to another in all Circumstances, we ought to have in our Mind and Memory several Occurrences which are truly alike in most Things, and yet may be different as to other Circumstances, that so in our Resolution we may have a regard to those Circumstances. This caused Aristotle to say, That young Men may pro­pably attain the Art of Geometry, and become Ma­sters of such like Sciences; but they cannot so easi­ly attain to Prudence, because this respects parti­cular Things, whereof the Knowledge is obtained only by Experience and Observation. Wherefore Afranius says of Wisdom, that Use had begotten her, and Memory was her Mother.

Ʋsus me genuit Mater peperit Memoria:
[...] vocant me Graij, vos Sapientiam.

But this may properly be understood of Prudence, as Ovid seems to imitate in these Verses, where he brings in Pallas in the Habit of a grave Matron, saying, That Youth and even riper Years are igno­rant of most Things which we ought to avoid, and that a good and judicious Choice is not to be made, but by a long tried and well season'd Experience.

—non omnia grandior aetas
Quae fugiamus habet; seris venit usus ab annis.

It is likewise manifest that the understanding and knowledge of present Things is absolutely requisite, and that to act prudently we must very well under­stand the nature, the qualities and circumstances of our present Affairs. For if it happens that, for [Page 197] Example, any be obliged to take a Resolution, as we say, upon a sudden, How can that well be done, if he knows not perfectly all the Circumstances of the Business, so that he may run them over in a moment in his Thoughts, if he sees not the Cor­respondency and Opposition that this Business hath with others, and if he knows not what will follow from this rather than from that? Suppose that he hath time to consider, yet if he understands not the Nature, the State and Circumstances of the thing he is considering of, the Will or Ability of those who may be Assisting or Prejudicial to the executing of it, what dependence it may have with Matters that may either retard or hinder it, or if he knows not his own Strength, or what he is able or not able to perform, what good can such a one do, and which way will he propose to succeed? Let us therefore take it for granted, that a Man is so much the more Prudent and more able to deli­berate, to judge well, and execute accordingly, the greater and more exact his Memory is of the time past, for by that the greater and more exact will likewise his Knowledge be of things present.

Lastly, All the World will acknowledge, that the Fore-sight of things to come, as far as we can search into and apprehend 'em, is very requisite, that if any Evil is impendent, we may endeavour to avoid it; and if any Good, we may the better secure it, and may so adapt the means to its proper end, that all things may succeed well. I say, as far as Men are able to fore-see and apprehend; for sometimes things so fall out that all human Art and Contrivance can no wise fore-see, so that all our Imaginations have been deceiv'd and impos'd, things falling out quite otherwise than we have supposed, or our Reason could fore-see: From hence we may conclude, that our Prudence depends [Page 198] much upon Conjectures, and admonishes us at the same time to remember our natural Weakness, and to acknowledge that God only knows certainly what is to happen: And here by the way, we ought to take heed of being impos'd upon by Jug­lers and Fortune-tellers, who take upon 'em to predict things to come. Yet, notwithstanding Pru­dence hath these three considerable Advantages, First, That tho' sometimes it is mistaken, as namely, when an Accident intervenes, which it was not possible to fore-see, yet it often attains its End; whereas Imprudence is often deceiv'd, and seldom or very rarely compasses its End, except by Accident. Secondly, That a prudent Man, consi­dering the uncertainty of all things, he proposes nothing so certain to himself, as if it ought infal­libly to fall out; so that hereby he prepares against all Casualties that may happen contrary to his Ex­pectation, and by this means fore-sees as it were the Event, by being fore-warned. Thirdly, Tho' Matters succeed to him contrary to his Contrivance and Fore-sight, yet he never has just Cause to re­pent, because he squares his Actions by the Rules of right Reason, and therefore without some Casu­alty intervening (which is out of the reach of hu­man Fore-sight to prevent) he could not rationally expect to be disappointed. But on the other hand, an imprudent Man is always wrack'd with Repen­tance, because he finds that he hath neither fore­seen nor prevented what he might have done, but suffered such things to befall him which a cautious and timely Fore-sight in all likelihood might have prevented.

CHAP. III. Of private Prudence.

NOW to descend to the several Species or di­stinct Parts of Prudence; we have already mentioned the ordinary Division of the Schoolmen who name five; the Private, which they also call Monastic or Solitary, by which every one Governs and Rules his own proper Manners; the Oecono­mic, by which every one Governs his Family; the Politic, which they ascribe to Subjects when they behave themselves conformable to the Laws of the Society; the Military, by which an Army is Governed; the Regal, by which a whole Nation is ruled. But Aristotle, whose Method and Con­ception seems to be more reasonable in the Di­vision of Prudence, makes no mention of the Mili­tary, because it belongs to the Politic, nor of the Regal, as being also a part of the Politic; but af­ter the Private and the Oeconomic, he acknow­ledgeth none but the Politic, which he supposeth to be not in the Subjects but in the Governours. Therefore we shall follow the Division of Aristotle, as the most reasonable and the most convenient. I shall only take notice of the first Species, that it is named Private, Monastic, and Solitary, not be­cause it is precisely designed to Moderate and Rule the Manners of one who leads a private Life, and in­termeddles not with public Affairs, or who living in a solitary Place, separates himself from the Society of Men, as the Hermits; but we make use of this Appellation to signifie that every Person of what Condition soever, ought to be endowed with a cer­tain Prudence which belongs to him alone, and re­gards [Page 200] his particular Person. So that tho' he may Govern others, he must also Govern himself chief­ly, according to the Dictates of Reason, and so provide for himself that he may become an honest Man; that is to say, a Man of good and laudable Manners. Therefore this kind of Prudence is ne­cessary as well for a Prince as a Master of a Family, for both are bound not only to Rule others, but more­over to know how to Rule themselves, and not only to be good Governours, but also to be honest and good Men. From hence it is therefore, that this kind of Prudence is not only named Private or Solitary, but also Ethic and Moral; for it ought to prescribe and appoint the Manners of every par­ticular Person, and adjust them to the Rules of Reason. For according to the Opinion of Aristotle and his Followers, it belongs to Morality, or to Moral Discipline, to look after every ones manner of living, thereby to render his life better: So that by obeying its Precepts, a Man may become a just and honest Man, viz. by living prudently, by sub­duing Anger and his other Passions to his own Reason, by regulating their disorderly Motions, and not suffering 'em to act extravagantly; so that if he performs any thing, he may be always ready to give a good Reason why he hath thus proceed­ed, tho' none requires it of him, and to give a check to himself, by examining his own Manners and Actions, and inquiring of himself as Phocilides did, By what Course have I steer'd? What have I been doing? What good have I performed or omitted?

Quanam transilii, quid feci, quid boni omisi?

Rejoycing when he perceiv'd that he had judged aright, that he had acted according to Reason and done wisely, and grieving when he found the con­trary.

Of the Offices of private Prudence.

THe Offices of a private Prudence, are gene­rally reckon'd two; The first, is to fix upon a certain course of Life, wherein to spend the rest of our days; The second, to govern and direct all our Actions in that condition of Life, according to the Laws of Reason and Virtue. It is evident, that the first concerns us very much, and is not easily to be effected, especially if we will not venture up­on it without advising with our best Friends, and duly consulting our Reason. For such is the Con­dition of our Life and of all human Affairs, that upon what State soever we cast our Eyes, we shall perceive presently several inconveniences attend it, which are so much the more troublesome, because we can't well discover their Events; for they ap­pear to us as in a kind of a Chaos, and their first Beginnings and Consequences are covered over with a kind of thick Mist not penetrable to our Under­standing.

The ancient Greeks have often painted out to us this Incumbrance or troublesome Confusion; and Ausonius, after them, hath left us an excellent Pi­cture in his Poem, where he tells us, That he knows not what to resolve, nor what kind of life to chuse; That the Bar is full of trouble; That the care of a Family is uneasie; That a Traveller is always thinking of what is doing at home; That a Merchant is continually subject to fresh Losses; That the fear of Poverty hinders us from quietly enjoying what we have; That daily Labour oppres­seth and wearies the Workman; That the Seas are dreadful because of the many Ship-wracks; That a single Life hath its Inconveniences; That the idle [Page 202] Suspicion of a jealous Husband is intollerable; That the War is subject to Wounds, Blood, and Slaugh­ter.

Quod vitae sectabor iter? Si plena tumultu
Sunt fora; si curis domus anxia; si peregrinos
Cura domus sequitur; mercantem si nova semper
Damna manent; cessare vetat si turpis Egestas;
Si vexat labor Agricolam; Mare naufragus horror
Infamat; poenaeque graves in coelibe vita;
Et gravior cautis custodia vana Maritis;
Sanguineum si Martis opus, &c.

Now as there is nothing more unhappy than to be always wavering in Uncertainty, which we see to be the Condition of many, and to spend all our Life in considering how we should spend it, and in what Condition it concerns us most to exert to the utmost of our Power, all our Faculties in consider­ing and deliberately chusing such a State and Condi­tion of Life, as may be least subject to Mischiefs and Inconveniences. Neither are we in this Case to slight the Counsel and Advice of wise experi­enc'd Friends, Persons of a clear Repute, and who aiming not at their own private Gain, may afford us sound and profitable Advice. But every one ought chiefly to consult his own Nature, and un­derstand what his own Strength can perform or not; for we ought to be best known to our selves; and we may discover in our selves, for the most part, something which is hid to all the World besides: But we ought to know the unsetledness of human Affairs, and the obscurity of the time to come to be such, that we must in all things allow something to Chance, and hope that every thing will succeed well. And because some things may happen which may make us uneasie, we ought to fortifie our Spi­rits [Page 203] against such Accidents, in such a manner that we may slight them, bear them easily, and pass over them quietly.

What has been spoken is in respect to that State and Condition which our Laws will not allow us to change, such as Marriage, a Monastical Life, or of that State which we cannot change but for a worse, and with great disgrace: For as for that which we may quit when we will to embrace ano­ther, there is no need of so great Caution and Cir­cumspection, tho' still we ought to engage in such an one, as if we always did intend to abide in it. Otherwise the very Thought of changing, will frequently disturb our Minds with various Imagi­nations, and which being fixed to nothing but al­tering every moment, as we say from white to black, we shall never remain fix'd and resolv'd, ac­cording to that Expression of the Poet; ‘Aestuat, & vitae disconvenit ordine toto.’

So that we ought not to change, except for some very weighty Causes; for if we alter upon every light Occasion, the same mischief will attend us in all our succeeding Conditions.

As for the last Office of private Prudence, as it is not distinct from the Offices of other Virtues, we shall not trouble our selves to treat of it par­ticularly in this Place, and the rather because this Matter would be too tedious; and it is as differing as there are differing Affairs and Actions of Life, which are to be directed by Prudence: Therefore it seems there remains for us nothing else to do but to mention this General Rule, To undertake no­thing rashly; or, as Cicero expresses it, of which we cannot render a probable Reason. Now this Rule hath divers excellent Particulars belonging to it.

First, That we ought to understand the Nature and Qualities of the Business that we undertake: Because if we have not a clear insight into that, it will be impossible to discover all the convenient Expedients, and consequently all our Care and Di­ligence will be vain and useless; and therefore here we must chiefly take heed that our Mind be not blinded with Passion, and so mistake Error for Truth, but that we may give to every thing its due estimate.

Secondly, It is requisite that the Nature and Con­dition of those with whom we are concerned be not concealed from us, for if we don't understand whether they be honest Men or deceitful, wary or rash, powerful or weak, &c. we can undertake no­thing with any assurance, neither can we reaso­nably expect it. And here it is, that we must keep to a certain Medium between Confidence and a too great distrust, because as it is often hurtful to have too great Confidence, so it is no less and as often to be too distrustful.

The Third, Is to consider our own Strength; because if we know not what we can do of our selves, or by our Friends, or by our Riches, we cannot promise to our selves to compass any thing. I confess we must yield something to Chance and Destiny, but in the mean while, we must be enabled with Industry and Strength to drive on to a Per­formance, or to divert the Casualties that oppose us.

Fourthly, We must have the Means and Instru­ments ready at hand, for there is nothing more ri­diculous than to undertake a Business and not know where to begin it. And here the Circumstances, in relation to the Thing, or in relation to the Agent, which may either further or hinder the execution, are chiefly to be inquired into.

Fifthly, That we take care to make use of a fit Time and Occasion, for fear if we be too hasty, we over-throw all, or by too long delay all our Coun­sels become useless.

Sixthly, That when the Business hath been be­gun, after a serious Deliberation, we ought to proceed vigorously, for fear that if the Mind stops in the execution, or wavers in considering and me­ditating upon the Resolution, it will effect nothing. This hath given occasion for that famous Sentence of Bias, Aggredere tarde agenda, sed aggressus age constanter. Undertake deliberately, but when you have begun, proceed with Vigour and Resolution.

Lastly, That we keep our selves steady and fixt in the Resolution we have taken, never to deviate out of the Paths of Virtue and Honesty. What­ever Temptation may be offer'd, we must never prefer Profit before Honesty, nor Injustice before Justice, but we are to observe constantly this ge­neral and excellent Rule of Morality, That it is better never to succeed in any Business, by keeping our Conscience blameless and undefiled, than to succeed by polluting it; for he that cannot tax himself with any Guilt, is not to be deemed mise­rable, and he that is conscious of any Evil, cannot be counted happy.

That it is dangerous to undertake any thing against our natural Inclination.

WE ought here, upon the occasion of the first Particular, to examine if Lactantius had any Cause to upbraid Epicurus with this supposed Crime, That he adviseth in general, to follow Nature; and the rather because if this Saying be rightly under­stood, and taken in a good sense, it seems very [Page 206] reasonable; for seeing that Nature and Inclination differ in several Persons, what Rule more general and more secure could be given, than to advise with our selves, and to provide our selves a settlement in a certain condition and state of Life, accord­ing as we find our selves either fit or otherwise? Should any Man in a Business of so great Moment forget himself, I mean not remember his own Tem­per and Abilities, and by that means cast himself into a necessity to be always labouring in vain, as Sisyphus, or as the Gyants, contend with the Gods to no purpose. This Cicero calls striving against Nature. It is, without doubt, a very dangerous Ambition to pretend to excel in any thing, out of a meer Fancy, that by the same means others have been made Famous, tho' we are often destitute of the same advantages of Mind and Fortune which others had. 'Tis by this means that Parents make their Children Miserable, by putting them upon Em­ployments, without considering their Nature, Tem­per, and fit Qualifications, but out of a foolish Ambi­tion to raise them in the World, higher than their Circumstances will permit. Wee need but hearken to Seneca upon this occasion. Before all other Things, we ought to make a right Judgment of our selves, and put a just and true value upon our Abilities; for com­monly we fancy to have more Strength and Merit than really we have. Some lose themselves by trusting too much upon their Eloquence. Others spend more than their Estates will allow; and some who have but infirm Bodies, have lain oppressed under too weighty Employ­ments. The Modesty of some will not suit with publick Functions, that require a bold and daring Countenance; and others have too much Pride, or too little Complacen­cy, to obtain any Suit at Court. Some can never be moved, and others at the least distast, are provoked to a high degree. Some cannot behave themselves with any [Page 207] Decency and Civility, nor refrain themselves from offer­ing sharp Jests, whatever danger they incur. To all these kind of People it is more convenient for them to live a private Life, than to be admitted to the manage­ment of publick Affairs; for a proud and hasty Temper ought to avoid all occasions that might interrupt or ob­struct its own Freedom. Cicero speaks almost to the same purpose, when he saith, We must behave our selves in such a manner, that we may not act against our Nature in general, but follow our own Disposition; for we must not oppose nor force Nature, or proceed in any thing, as we say, Invita Minerva, that is, against the Grain. If there be any thing Commendable, it is doubtless the equality and evenness of our Life and Actions, which you can't possibly observe, if you imitate the Tem­pers of others, and neglect your own. Let every one therefore consult his own Genius, and judge exactly of himself, of his Vices, and of his good Disposition, that the Stage-Players may not seem to excel us in Prudence: For they chuse to represent not always the most excellent Persons, but such as best becomes them. Now let us hear what Lactantius objects.

The Doctrin of Epicurus, saith he, hath always been more famous than the rest, not because it is more agre­able with Truth, but because he speaks more agreable with the Inclinations of every one; and by that means, he hath drawn the common People to his side. To him who is Slothful, he forbids Study; to the Covetous, he admonishes to forbear Grieving; to the Effeminate and Slothful, to enter into the managment of publick Affairs; the Coward, he advises not to go to the Wars; to him who hates Company, he praiseth a solitary Life. If any delights not in Marriage or hath unruly Children, his directions to him is to keep to a single Life. He who is Stout and Courageous, shall be told that the wise Man is Happy even under Pain. If any Fancies Honour and Preferments, he will counsel him to be acquainted with [Page 208] Kings; but another who cant bear a repulse, he'le admo­nish to depart from the Court. These are the Objecti­ons of Lactantius.

In the mean while, if we may take the Words of Epicurus, in a plain Sense, without any such Gloss, in my Judgment they will not seem so unreasonable: For first, for the advice he offers to a lazy Fellow not to ingage himself in Study, he don't hereby blame Study absolutely, but rather he esteems and values it highly; for he exhorts both Young and Old to the Study of Philosophy; and for the sake of those who would apply themselves to it, he took the Pains to make Abridgments of his own Works. But because Arts and Sciences are not to be obtain'd without a resolute and continued Labour, if there be any that either cannot or will not endure the Fa­tigue of this Labour, what harm is there to forbid him to ingage himself in it, seeing thereby he would do himself no good? We have before cited this Sentence of Epicharmus.

Labor nobis cuncta Dij vendunt bona.

But if this be true, in respect of other Things, how much more in relation to the Sciences; which as they cannot be bought with all the Gold of the World, they cannot be obtained but by a vast La­bour and Industry. And if in another place he ad­vises the Covetous to be sparing in his Bounty, he don't thereby condemn Liberality, or those Ex­pences which are made for good and lawful Uses; but he means plainly, that if any fears to fall into Want, that he should not be too lavish of his Estate, and cast it away in such Liberalness, as belongs only to Princes, and such as abound in Wealth. If he forbids them that are naturally Slow and Lazy to engage themselves in publick Affairs, it [Page 209] was not without great Reason, as we shall see here­after.

He forwarns a timerous Man to go to the Wars. But why should we not approve of his Advice? As if we ought not to make choise of Men for the Wars, or as if we should desire such to go thither who tremble and are affraid of the least Noise, and whose Sword falls to the Ground at the sight of Dan­ger: Are we not sensible, that in an Ingagement one Coward does more mischief with his idle Fears, than a great many brave Men may do good with their Courage? And don't pretend that we should rather encourage a fearful Spirit, and make him Courageous; for if he be so of his own Nature, we know the common Saying, It is not an easy matter to turn an Hare into a Lion; Or, of a slender Reed to make a Lance.

He advises a wise Man to do all for himself. But we have already discovered how that is to be un­derstood, and that the wise Man acts for himself, tho he puts himself upon Inconveniences, or even Dies for the sake of his Friend; and yet what is there more dear and precious than Life?

He praiseth Solitariness, to him who naturally cares not for Company. How can we blame this, with­out blaming the Retreat of many great Men, and the Rules of Living of several Societies or Frater­nities of ancient Philosophers and religious Persons, who purposely shun the throngs of Men, for the bet­ter improving of their Minds?

If he praiseth the single Life to such as decline Women, and the Happiness of having no Children, to such as are troubled with Disobedient ones: He means not that he who hath a wicked Wife or per­verse Children should shake them off; but he would have him who thinks of Marriage, consider how he would endure his uneasiness, if he had a troublesome [Page 210] Wife, or Children of corrupt Manners; so that by apprehending the Mischiefs that may proceed from thence, he may the better understand, that it is not convenient to have either.

CHAP IV. Of Oeconomick Prudence.

AS to Oeconomick Prudence, which consist in the due ordering of a Family, and wha belongs to it, I shall not insist on it; for let us b [...] suppose private Prudence, and it is easy from then [...] to learn what belongs to Oeconomick, if we w [...] but mind such as do generally exercise themselv [...] in it, or prescribe Rules for it: Nevertheless, th [...] we may not seem totally to neglect this Matter, it is necessary to observe; First, what we meet with in Aristotle, That the Oeconomick Dominion is a kind of Monarchy or Principality, because every House is governed by the command of one single Person. Secondly, That he who governs in a Fa­mily is called Father, or Father of a Family, in re­spect of the Children; Husband, in respect of the Wife; Master, in respect of the Slaves and Ser­vants; Owner, in respect of the Goods and Estate. Thirdly, That the Houshold or Family, in respect of the Relation between Husband and Wife, Parents and Children, is called Natural, and first instituted by Nature; for there can be none more agreeable with Nature. Fourthly, That for the Government between Master and Servant, it is also agreeable with Nature, for among Men some seem to be born [Page 211] to Command, and others to Obey; so that besides that Slavery that the Laws or Rights of Nations have introduced, in respect of those who have been taken Prisoners in War, or have been Sold; there is another certain natural Slavery, by which, as the Soul commands the Body, and Men Brutes, so he who excells in the Abilities of the Mind, commands over him who excels only in Strength of Body, and the rather, because it is needful for the latter to be ruled by another, as it is useful for Brutes to be tamed by Men. Fifthly, in respect to the Right that we have over certain Things which we possess to our selves; for tho according to the primitive Right of Nature, one thing is no more mine than thine, nor thine more than mine; nevertheless, it seems agreeable with Nature, That every one should have and possess to himself something which is not law­ful for another to take away, because there is no­thing more agreeable with Nature, than to preserve our selves safe and secure, which would be impossi­ble among the Quarrels and Violences, unto which Men would be continually subject and liable, if all Things did so belong to all Men, that every one might have Right over his Neighbour's Goods, and might lawfully take them away at his Pleasure. Sixthly, That our Housholds, chiefly those of Princes and great Persons, are far from the plainness of our Ancestors, when Men reckoned among the principal Possessions of a Family, the Wife and the Ox.

—Ʋxorem (que) Bovem (que) jugalem.

When a cold Cave was all the House which con­tained the Fire; the domestick Gods, the Houshold-Goods, and all the Stock under the same Roof.

[Page 212]
—Cum frigida parvas
Praeberet spelunca domos, ignemque laremque
Et pecus, & dominos communi clauderet umbra.

Lastly, That the Oeconomick Prudence is divi­ded into four Parts; The Nuptial, or that of a married State, in relation to the Wife; The Pa­ternal, in respect of the Children; The Lordly or Magisterial, which relates to the Servants and Slaves; The Possessions, which respects the Goods, Possessions, and other Enjoyments of the Family.

Of the Nuptial Prudence and its several Duties.

AS for what concerns, among other things, the Nuptial Prudence, it is most certain that the first and principal Duty, is to chuse a good Wife; for he who endeavours to marry with Beauty, No­bility, or Riches, rather than Virtue, is striving doubtless to load himself with a tedious and trouble­some Cross. When the Election is made, and the Marriage consummated, the Husband ought in such a manner to labour to gain the Love of his Spouse by all the Expressions of Affection and Respect, that she may easily see her own Happiness, and be persuaded that she could never meet with a better Husband, a more honest Man, nor a more suita­ble and more pleasant Companion. Yet this ought to be managed with so much Moderation and Dis­cretion, that no occasion may be given to her to become Insolent; and that with the Love she bears to her Husband, she may not forget the Respect that she owes him: For tho' there is an Equality be­tween the Husband and the Wife, there are a great many things in which the Husband ought to have [Page 213] the Pre-eminence; and if in such Cases he yields by chance to the Ambition of the Woman, he will quickly find himself under a most intolerable Yoke, and with the loss of his Authority, he will lose al­so his Peace and Quiet.

He ought likewise to train her up and instruct her in such a manner, in the Management of Domestick Affairs, that he may leave to her the ordinary Care and Command of the Family, and may him­self be better able to look after the Concerns abroad. By this means she will share in the Government, and ease her Husband of those Cares which are of less Moment, and within the reach and capacity of the Female Sex.

He must also acquaint her with such of his De­signs which he knows do not exceed the capacity of her Understanding, and which he believes she will keep secret if there be any need of Conceal­ment; that she may thereby understand that she is not slighted, and that her Husband desires that she may have a share in his Affairs; and that if she is to be concerned in doing any thing, she may per­form it more satisfactorily and with greater affe­ction. Besides, as she is admitted to be a Fellow-labourer, she will add to his Joy upon good success, and lessen his Grief upon ill.

I need not mention, that he ought not to vio­late his conjugal Faith that he has plighted to her; for this were to do her a great Injustice, and to incline her to return him the like; besides, this is apt to beget a certain Indignation and Aversion in her, with a domestick Hatred never to be re­conciled, attended with perpetual Quarrels; not to mention something else which too commonly at­tends the furious Jealousie of a Woman, Quid non possit foemina furens?

Lastly, if she hath neither Modesty nor Manners, and after that the Husband hath applyed all possi­ble industry to make her better, if she remains still untractable, it is not lawful doubtless to destroy her, as it was among the Romans, the Greeks, and the Gauls, according to thee too cruel Laws of their Country; but in such a case it is convenient either to separate, or to resolve to submit with Courage, and to alleviate with Patience the Evil that we can­not Remedy, especially if there be Children, that so the Follies and Infamy of the Mother, and the Discredit of the Family may not be divulged.

But we must here acknowledge the Truth, That the brutish Temper and ill Conduct of Men, oftner make Marriages unhappy, than the Lightness, Un­constancy, Vanity, and Ambition of Wives. There­fore the modern Persians have a common Proverb, That the Husband who hath an ill Wife, don't deserve to be married. They mean thereby, That a Man who dares venture upon Marriage, ought, besides the certain knowledge of his bodily Strength, to know at the first beginning, how to manage and order the Mind and Temper of his Wife, so as to make her become good. Now if he be defective in this, it will be accounted his Fault, his want of skill or complacency of Temper, and consequently his incapacity of rendring Matrimony so easie and agreeable as it ought to be.

Of paternal Prudence, and its several Duties.

THE principal Office of paternal Prudence, seems chiefly to have regard to the begetting of Children; because from hence proceeds the Tem­per of the Body, and consequently the Disposition and Inclination, either to Good or Evil Manners. [Page 215] It is not therefore without Reason, that this Re­proach is so common, Genuit te Parens ebrius cum foret. Thy Father was Drunk when he begot thee. But if we should advise Men what Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, and others have taught concerning the Age, the Season, the Manners of Living, the pre­ceding Continency and other things requisite, they would but little regard it, being carried to the Act by a blind and lustful Fury; so that it is a hazard if the Off-spring thus engendred prove vir­tuous or otherwise; and Children thus casually be­gotten, are educated such as they are born.

Therefore if we consider this Duty, the First thing will be to look carefully to Children in their Infancy; to take a principal care that if the Mother hath not the Patience to suckle her Infant, and to give it the Breast, and that Milk which Na­ture hath bestowed upon her for that purpose, to make choice of a Nurse of a good Disposition, sound Constitution, and good Temper; for cer­tainly this first Nourishment hath a great influence upon the remaing part of our Life, upon the health of our Bodies, and the disposition of our Minds.

The Second thing is to train 'em up in good Manners, and give 'em prudent Instructions, which is of so great importance, that we cannot be too careful and solicitous in providing 'em able and discreet Tutors. And here by the way, I cannot but admire at the niggardly Thrift of some Parents in this particular; not considering that this lays the foundation of their Childrens future Happiness or Ruin. And if a Child shall perceive, when he comes to Age, that any thing in that respect hath been wanting to him, he will scarce ever forgive them.

The Third, is to design 'em to a certain man­ner of Life, always with a regard to their Condi­tion, [Page 216] Abilities, and chiefly to their Genius and Na­tural Inclination, for fear that we should engage them in an Employment which they are not able to discharge with Credit, or to reap much Advantage or Pleasure by.

The last Duty is to admit them in such a man­ner into their Counsels, that they may understand betimes the Business of the Family, and how it is like to go for time to come, for fear that they should be altogether ignorant of it, and be unable to bear the Burthen, if the Father should happen to fail. It is doubtless, a foolish and ridiculous kind of Envy in Fathers and Mothers, to be unwilling to com­municate their Concerns to their Children, as if it did not behove them to be acquainted therewith; for if thereby they imagin the better to support their Authority, they are very much deceived, not considering that by this Concealment they lessen the Love that Children would have had for them, and offer 'em Motives, if not to desire their death, at least to bear it with less Concern. 'Tis true, a Father ought always to preserve himself in the Esteem and Veneration of his Children, and as we commonly say, Command over his Family till Death. But this Respect must be obtained in such a manner, as he ought not to lose his Childrens Love, which cannot be better preserv'd than by such Actions as may convince them they love them sincerely, and that they labour only for their good. They ought to behave themselves after such a man­ner, and with so much Prudence, that they may esteem themselves happy to be the Children of such a Father, who is one of the best of Parents and faithfullest of Friends that they could ever desire. These Expressions of Affection are so much the more needful for Fathers and Mothers, because as it hath been always observed, Love never ascends [Page 217] as it doth descend. The love of Children to Pa­rents, is commonly much less than that of Fathers and Mothers to their Children, the latter seeming as it were much more natural than the former.

Of the Prudence of Superiors, and their several Duties.

ARistotle teacheth, That the Prudence of a Lord hath in it nothing great and sublime, be­cause it sufficeth, that the Master knows how to Command what the Slave should perform. Yet according to his Opinion, there is a particular Knowledge that regards the Government of Slaves: The First Office is to distinguish and understand the Ability and Capacity of each Servant or Slave, lest by a mistake we should employ one who is by birth fit to be an Overseer, in mean and labo­rious Drudgeries, or on the contrary we should advance one who is less capable, to a more consi­derable Post.

Secondly, so to behave our selves with our Ser­vants, that they may not grow Insolent, nor be cast down, or too much discouraged; for this purpose we must shew some Respect to such as are the best qualified, the most polished and most civilized, and supply the meanest with a competent Subsistence; for that little Respect that we render to the first, and the necessary Allowance that we give to the latter, is instead of a Reward and Incouragement to them for their Labour.

And tho' what we have said be commonly un­derstood only as to Slaves, yet it may also be meant of those whom we call Servants, in whose place many would willingly have Slaves restored, for Reasons that are sufficiently known: However, whether we use Slaves or Servants, we ought al­ways [Page 218] so to behave our selves towards them, that they may be inclined to perform their Duty with Respect and Willingness, which may easily be ob­tained, unless it be sometimes in Servants, because they have the liberty to leave and depart, and sel­dom will endure Correction. But it is not sufficient that they serve with Respect, but we should endea­vour that Affection may accompany it, which can never be expected, unless we make them sensible that we love them our selves, that we have a care of them, and that whiles they perform their Duty, we shall never be wanting in our care of their Wel­fare; and that at the appointed time, some shall have their Freedom, others their Reward: At last, whe­ther we promise them any Reward, or whether they have any Reason to expect any, we must not suffer them to be disappointed of their Expectation, not only because Equity requires it, but also be­cause Prudence is concerned, that other Servants and Slaves may serve so much the more willingly, because they will expect to be treated in the same manner, and will thereby understand that they have to do with a good Master, and a very honest Man.

Of Possessory Prudence and its Offices.

LAstly, As to this sort of Prudence, its main Office it seems is to take care that nothing ne­cessary be wanting to the Family; for a Father of a Family commands over all its Members, to the end that by his Prudence and Diligence, he may mind that nothing be deficient, which they are to have with respect to the Condition of the Person: For tho' absolutely, and according to the Prescript of Nature, nothing is necessary but that which ex­pels [Page 219] Hunger, Thirst, Cold, and such like Incon­veniences; nevertheless, civil Society makes seve­ral other things needful, which are suitable to the Rank and Degree that we bear in that Society. A consequence of this Duty is to take heed that our Expences do not exceed our Incomes, because the Debts contracted by degrees, will drain the Fund and bring the Family to Penury and Want. We don't speak of idle and ridiculous Expences, which are never to be suffered, but such as Prudence will permit, and which are to be regulated according to our Abilities and the clear Rents and Incomes of our Estates; which cannot well be expected with­out this second Duty, that seems to be of a greater Concernment than all the rest, That the Master himself should understand his own Business; and if he cannot think upon every particular thing, he ought not to trust so much to his Agents and Ste­wards, but that he should well know in what his Estate consists, and be perfectly acquainted with the state of his Incomes and Expences. We commonly see that all things go to wrack in great Houses when the Master understands not his Affairs, but leaves 'em to the Management of Servants and Stewards, in such a manner that they think they may do what they please without being called to an account or controlled. It is known what Socrates and Aristotle relate of a certain Persian, who being asked what it was chiefly that made his Horse so fat, answer'd, The Eye of his Master. And we have likewise heard the answer of that African, from whom they inquired, What was the best means to improve Land and make the Fields fertile, answer'd, The Foot-steps of the Landlord. From whence we may con­clude, that commonly a Business is never better ma­nag'd, than when those who are chiefly concerned, take care of it themselves.

Now because some would have the preservation and increase of an Estate patrimonial, or an Estate otherwise obtained, to belong to this kind of Pru­dence; this doubtless is to be understood, where our Estate is not so large as to spend our Days in Ease and Leasure, and have sufficient to leave to our Posterity. In such a Case, 'tis not only Honorable, but also needful to employ our Cares to increase our Estate. But to think upon nothing else but how to heap Riches, and to purchase Lands, to add Houses to Houses and Fields to Fields, is to run into that Covetousness and unsatiable greedy Desire, of which we have been Discoursing before.

But as there are Three expedients of gathering Wealth, Husbandry, Industry, or honest Labour and Usury; Cicero tells us, that of all those means by which we get an Estate, there is none better, more pleasant, and more suitable, and worthy of a Free­man, than Husbandry. He Speaks of Merchandise, that if the Traffick and Gain be small, it is Sordid and Base; but if great and large, and gives an Op­portunity of being Bountiful without Vanity or Pre­sumption, it is not to be slighted. But for Usury, saith Aristotle and Cicero, 'tis hated not without cause, but chiefly when it is excessive. For as the Poet observes, constant Usury destroys the Poor.

—Velox inopes usura trucidat.

I know there are other Means to grow Rich; as the Service of great Men, Flattery, &c. But it is not requisite that we should speak of those that take these Courses; nor of such as purchase Offices, and make Parties by Bribery; nor of such as going to the Wars, not contented with their Pay, plunder and take the Goods of other Men; seeing such kind of Men differ in nothing from those who make them­selves [Page 221] Rich by Cheating, by Perjury and Robbing: But not to stay too long upon this Master, let us examin Two great Complaints that are made against Epicurus.

The First because he saith, That a wise Man ought not to be Married, nor trouble himself in the Education of Children; which seems not only to overthrow the very Foundations of Families, but even of Common-wealths. The Second is, they seem to charge him with having said, That there is no natural communi­cation among Men, and that the great Affection of Parents toward their Children, is not the effect of Na­ture.

As to the First, it is certain that he never intended this as a general direction to all Mankind, but only to a few wise Men; neither hath he prescribed, that wise Men may not nor ought not to Marry, if the good of the Common-wealth, or some other weighty Consideration require it. Now how can this be to overthrow the Foundation of the Com­monwealth? Is not this, I pray, more Holy and Religious than the practice of Aristotle, who pro­mulg'd a Law, That such Children as were defici­ent in their Members, should be destroyed, that the number of such as should be brought up might be limited, and that as many as should happen to be Born beyond that Number, should be expos'd; but if any Constitution of the Country prohibits such Practices, they should cause the Fruit of the Womb to perish, before it comes to have Life or Feeling: And as to the Reason or Excuse he pretends, of the privation or want of Sense and Life in the Foetus, it is but a meer Mockery, for he cannot prove that when a Woman Miscarries, the Fruit or Foetus hath neither Sense nor Life; and that to destroy any such Fruit, which would be alive in a very short time, if it be not already, is the same thing as to [Page 222] destroy a Corps or a Body, altogether incapable of Life.

For the Second, 'tis true, Epictetus represents Epi­curus exclaiming against that vulgar Error, That there is a natural Communication between Men, and that the Affection of Parents to their Children, is Natural or Born with them. Be not deceived, as he represents him Speaking: Ne decipiamini O Mor­tales! Non est ratione praeditis ulla inter se naturalis Communicatio; Amor Parentum erga Liberos non est Naturalis. Mihi credite, qui secus loquuntur in errorem inducunt vos, ac rationibus falsis circumveniunt vos. But doubtless the Envy and Hatred against Epicurus hath caused many to make him say things that he never imagined: For certain it is, that he allows a natu­ral Communication between Nations, and among Men who live under the same Laws. Now if this be granted, 'tis plain that there is more reason to allow a natural Communication between those of the same Blood, and between Parents and Children who are immediately united together by Blood and Na­ture. Epictetus himself acknowledges that Epicurus was of Opinion, That we are naturally inclined to Communication, and that when we have a Child Born, 'tis not in our Power not to Love it, or to Slight and Disregard it. It seems they will have him maintain this Doctrin.

Nevertheless, I will say, That if they will abso­lutely make him hold this, that the Love of Parents to their Children is not Natural, they should at least give him liberty to interpret his own Words. His Meaning is, That this Affection is begot in us, and increases by degrees, not so much by a certain blind instinct of Nature, as by a persuasion of the Father that it is his Child, and a part of himself; and by the Hopes that he shall be Beloved and Honoured, or Relieved and Supported by him; or because he [Page 223] judges his Name to be eternized and conveyed to Posterity by this means, and that the plain and in­genuous Conversation of a Child that promiseth much, rejoyceth his Heart.

Epicurus seems to have very good Reasons to be of that Opinion; First, because we see many that have equal Affection for Children that are none of their own, but Bastards, as they have for their own, if they believe them to be lawfully begotten. Se­condly, we find not that Love in those whose Chil­dren are lawfully Begotten, if they are otherwise persuaded. Thirdly, we find as great a Love in those who have adopted Children, when the Reso­lution or Will supplies the defects of the Persuasion. Fourthly, That if the Fruit is Abortive, the Father and the Mother are not so much afflicted, as if it had continued with them a longer time, and been conversant with 'em; not so much when it dies a young Infant, as when it departs in a more advanc'd Age; when it hath many Brethren, as when it is the only Child; if he hath had already any Children, as if he hath none left behind; if he be Debaucht and Untractable, as if he were Wise and Vertu­ous.

CHAP. V. Of politick or civil Prudence.

WE shall now speak of Politick Prudence, which Aristotle calls not only Science or Ability, but supposes it to be the Lady and Queen of all the rest, the knowledge of Morality being subject to it as a part of it; for he tells us, That it belongs to a Politician to understand what may make for the Happiness of the People, that he is proper­ly the Master and chief Contriver of their Welfare, and that consequently it belongs to him to take cog­nizance of Pleasure and Pain, and of Virtue and Vice, which are the Springs of Pleasure and Pain. Now the politick Prudence, is like the Oeconono­mick; for as the latter is to regulate a Family, com­posed of several particular Persons; so the Politick or Civil is to govern a City or Town composed of divers Families. We ought therefore, first to exa­mine in whom this Prudence resides, or ought to re­side, as in its proper Subject: This appears not difficult to resolve, for it is plain that it ought to reside in none more than in him who hath the so­vereign Power, the chief Authority, or the abso­lute Right to Command, which Right may be dis­covered chiefly by certain particulars, which Ari­stotle mentions: As to be able to conclude Peace or War; to make Alliances, and dissolve them; to establish and disannul Laws; to determin about Life, Death, Banishment, confiscation of Goods or Resti­tution.

Of the first Origin of Sovereign Power, according to the Opinion of the Ancients.

THIS Power is supposed by the Vulgar, to have first taken its beginning, when Men, like Beasts, wandred up and down the Fields without any subjection, each enjoying his full Liberty accord­ing to his own Will and Pleasure. Hereupon they contrived to make up Societies, in which every one renouncing, in some measure, his own Liberty, yeilded to the Will of the Multitude, which by this means claimed a Right and Authority over each in­dividual Person; and provided not only for their Safety and quiet way of Living, by giving a check to the most Powerful and Robust, by hindering them from insulting over their weaker and more peacable Neighbours, but also hereby they made a more equal Distribution of the Products of the Earth, and likewise communicated to each other the effects of their Arts and Labours, wherein any ex­celled another: For that lawless freedom which they pretended to enjoy in those early Days, must doubt­less cost them dear, because every one having an equal Right over every Thing, and no Man being able to appropriate any thing to his own use, which another was able to take from him; they must needs be continually Warring and Contending with one another. So that such a way of Living being full of Quarrels, cannot be properly called a Freedom, be­cause of the many Inconveniences and Mischiefs that attend it. Therefore true and natural Liberty is easier to be found in a Society, where Men being obedient to the Laws of that Society, I mean those Laws that were enacted and approved for their Be­nefit and Advantage, act in all other things as they [Page 226] please, and have a Right to their proper Goods, so that no other can take them away, because of the publick Authority and Power that protects 'em.

For this Reason, Aristotle seems to disapprove of Plato's Common-wealth, in which Women, Children, Estates, and all other Things were to be common: For if we take away Mine and Thine, the Common-wealth is so far from being at Unity thereby, and consequently more perfect and compleat, that it is the only way to introduce again that primitive Bar­barity and brutish manner of Living; for what we Fancy to be common to every one, belongs properly to no Body. This made Colotes, a Disciple of Epicurus, to say, That they who have made the Laws, and have settled the Government and the Magistracy in Cities, have thereby secured Mens Lives, and settled them in a peaceable State; and that if we offer to abolish them, we must return to live like Beasts, and devour one another. There may perhaps be found some who in considera­tion to Virtue, and out of their own good Inclination, may Rule and Govern themselves: But truly they seem Strangers to the generality of Mankind, who Fancy that they will restrain from Acts of Injustice by the Principles of Reason or of Honesty, rather than by the Terror of the Magistrates or of the Laws.

But to return to our Matter in hand, I omit to speak of the sovereign Power or sovereign Authori­ty, translated by common Consent from particular Persons to all the People. Now the People meeting together to deliberate and resolve upon any Busi­ness, what was resolved by all, or by the greatest part, was taken to be the Resolution of the whole Society. And because it is inconvenient that all the People should meet, and that every private Person should declare his Sentiment, it happened that all the People, of their own accord, made over this Power to a certain number of Persons, or to one [Page 227] single Person, or it may be that this one Person, or a greater Number, by Force or by Cunning have taken it upon them. I observe only, that we un­derstand from thence, why we commonly di­stinguish according to the saying of Tacitus, Cunctas Nationes et Ʋrbes Populus, aut Primores, aut Singuli re­gunt; Three kinds of Common-wealths, or of poli­tical Governments, namely, Monarchy or the Do­minion of a single Person, when the sovereign Pow­er resides in one who Commands all the People, and is Commanded by no Body: Oligarchy or the Do­minion of a few particular Persons, when the sove­reign Power is in a small Number: Poliarchy or the Dominion of many, it may be of all the People, when the sovereign Power resides in every private Person. Moreover, tho from these three Sorts we may observe and distinguish two Kinds, one Good, Lawful and Praise-worthy, the other Vicious, Un­lawful and deserving Blame; yet common Expe­rience hath Taught us to call the good sort of the first kind Kingdom, and the evil, Tyranny; but the good sort of the second Aristocracy, or the Dominion of the Chieftains, and of the best; the evil ought to be called Kyristocracy, or the Dominion of many wicked Persons, but it retains the Name of Oligar­chy. Besides, Plato, Xenophon, and several others Teach, That the third kind is called Democracy, or Dominion of the People: Aristotle nevertheless tells us, That the word Democracy is ascribed to the vicious Species of that kind of Government, and that the best is named Common-wealth; but accord­ing to the present Use and Practice, the Three sorts or forms of Government are called Monarchy, Ari­stocracy and Democracy.

Now 'tis not necessary that we should busy our selves in giving the Character or Marks of each sort of Government, they are sufficiently known; I shall [Page 228] only here observe Two or Three particulars: First, That to the two kinds of Monarchy, namely, King­ly and Tyrannical, they commonly add a Third, which they name Despotick; for the Kingly is when the Monarch Rules his Subjects, as a Father his Children; and that as his Subjects are Obedient to his Commands and Laws, he himself is Obedient to the Laws of Nature, suffering his Subjects to enjoy as well their natural Liberty, as the propriety of their Goods. But the Tyrannical is that where the Monarch commands his Subjects as Slaves or Brutes, and trampling under Foot all the Laws of Nature, he deprives them of all Liberty and Propriety, which he Usurps and claims to himself as his own. The Despotical, they say, is where the Monarch Com­mands his Subjects, which have been overcome by War, as a good Master of a Family doth his Slaves. Secondly, I shall observe, That 'tis not without Cause that the regal and tyrannical Dominions are said to be contrary; for as the Regal aims at the common good of the Society, and designs for its End the Security, the Tranquility, the Plenty, and in a Word, the publick Happiness: So the Tyrannical aims at nothing but its own private Advantage, and fills all Places with Fear, Trouble, Poverty and Ca­lamity. And as in the regal Government, not on­ly the Subjects are Happy, but also and chiefly the Prince, because of that Respect and Love which he knows that his Subjects have for him, when he shews them that he fears God, that he is Obedient to the Laws of Nature, and that he looks upon the wel­fare of his People, as his greatest Interest; that he is wise in his Deliberations, courageous in his Actions, moderate in Prosperity, constant in Adversity, re­solved in the Execution of Justice, faithful to his Promises, mild to good Men, severe to the Wicked, supporting his Friends, terrible to his Enemies, in a [Page 229] Word, that he is the Father of his Country, and a true Shepherd of his People: Thus in the tyrannical Government all kind of Mischiefs, Griefs and Anxi­eties oppress not only the Subjects, but more par­ticularly the Tyrant himself, who is not insensible of the secret Contempt they bear him, and the im­placable Hatred that his Subjects harbour in their Breasts against him, when he makes them sensible, and feel by his tyrannical Proceedings, that he va­lues neither God, Nature, nor the safety of his Peo­ple; for every one sees that he acts nothing but by Subtilty and Violence; that good Success renders him Insolent and Proud, as the Evil causeth him to be Cruel; that he is full of Injustice, Perfidiousness and Barbarity; that he hates good Men, that he fa­vours Wicked, in short, That he is not the Father of his Country, but a publick Enemy; not a Shep­herd, but a Wolf to his People. Therefore being feared and dreaded by all the World, he is himself in continual Fear and Dread, which suffer him at no time to be at rest. For he fears both Friends and Foes, and trembles at the shaking of a Leaf, yea, at his very Shadow. Therefore Cicero and Seneca have very well remarkt, according to Epicurus, that it must needs be, That he whom many fear, should stand in fear of many, which Seneca brings in Labe­ricus thus expressing, ‘Necesse est multos timeat, quem multi timent.’

Whether Monarchial Government is the best.

THe third thing that I have thought fit to ob­serve, is, That of the several approved sorts of Government, the Monarchical seems to be the best: For tho' they have all of 'em their Incon­veniences [Page 230] and Advantages; yet the Advantages of the Monarchical are above the rest, and the Incon­veniences fewer. For as in the Monarchical, all Or­ders proceed from one Person, and relate to one; the state of Affairs is more settled and constant; the necessary Orders upon all occasions more easie to be given; the Resolutions more secret; the Exe­cution quicker, and all opportunities of Factions and Seditions prevented. Liberty likewise and Security, which other Forms of Government pretend to, is greater and larger, and so of other Advantages which are very well known. This is sufficiently proved by the Government of a Family, which re­quires but one Master or Father of the Family; or by that of an Army, which ought to have but one General; and by the Government of the World that acknowledgeth but one Sovereign Lord. Be­sides, the Annals inform us, That when the Affairs of a Common-wealth have been reduced to the last Extremity, they have set up a Dictator as the only Remedy. And tho' Aristotle in his Politicks, seems to prefer Aristocracy before Monarchy, he desires that we would consult the Genius of the People; for some are more fit and inclinable to one Govern­ment than to another; nevertheless, in his Meta­physicks, he concludes without any Exception, That Government by many is inconvenient.

Of the Duties of a Monarch in General.

BUt as we should be too tedious, and it is not convenient to treat here, what belongs to the several Forms of Government, it shall suffice to mention something of the Monarchical, which may be applied to the rest. Now as the Duty of a So­vereign hath chiefly respect to two times, viz. that [Page 231] of War and that of Peace; there are certain things among others, which he ought principally to mind. First, To understand well, and to imprint in his Thoughts this Persuasion, That the Welfare, the Security and Advantage of his People; or as Cicero calls it, the Happiness of his Subjects, should be the great Design and End of his Government: That for this purpose he Rules, and upon this account it is that he is respected and obeyed. For as the Pilate, saith Cicero, designs a happy and safe Navigation, the Phy­sician the Health of the Patient, the General of an Ar­my Victory, so the Governour of a Common-wealth de­signs the Happiness of his Subjects, which is secured by Riches, by Military Forces, by Glory, Virtue and Ho­nesty.

Secondly, To propose to himself no other Re­ward of his Cares and Labours, but the Glory of Governing well, the Gratitude, the Respect and Affections of his Subjects. How well was Trojan rewarded, when he heard the Applauses of all the People, who cried out with a loud Voice, May the Gods love thee as thou lovest us; for who can be happier than we, who need not wish that our Prince should love us, but only that the Gods should bear us equal Affection as our Prince doth? Timoleon also own'd himself suffi­ciently requited, when walking abroad, he heard the like Acclamations of the People, full of Love and Veneration. Therefore Princes act with little wisdom, or rather very imprudently, who being desirous of Glory, endeavour to purchase it by any other Means than by doing good to their People, and by deserving their Affections: For the Ap­plause gained by other Methods, is accompanied with Contempt, Hatred, and Execrations of the Common People, and deserves to be called Infamy. Excellent and Admirable was the Speech of Xunus Emperor of China to his Son Yaiis, who according [Page 232] to the Relation of Martinius, lived Two Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Eight Years before the Birth of Christ. Take, said he, when he was dy­ing, this Scepter due to your Virtue and Merits. Re­member that you are the Father of your People, that you are to deal with them as with your Children, that the People are not born to serve you, but that you are born and designed to serve them; and that a King is alone raised up above all the rest, that he might alone be able to serve all. Seneca's Expression is likewise very admirable; The greatness of a Prince, saith he, is settled, firmly grounded and unshaken, when all the People understand that he is as much for them as he is above them; and find by experience that he watcheth daily, and takes care as well of the Welfare of every particular Person, as of the general Safety of the State▪ They look upon him then not as a wild and dangerous Beast that comes out of his Den, but as a beautiful Star full of Divine Influence; they all strive to turn towards him, ready to hazard themselves in a thousand Dan­gers, and sacrifice their Lives to save his Life.

Thirdly, To excel all others in Virtue, as he excells them in Dignity: For doubtless, 'tis not without Reason, that Cyrus in Xenophon, judgeth, That it is not proper that he who is not more Virtuous than those over whom he is to Command, should have Power to Command them. Truly he is obliged to encourage Virtue for his Peoples sake, for it is cer­tain that the Example of Kings is the Pattern and Rule of the whole Kingdom.

—Componitur Orbis,
Regis ad exemplum.

And the Condition of Princes, in the Opinion of Quintilian, Seneca and Cicero, is such, that being in view of all the World, they can no more be [Page 233] concealed than the Sun; they therefore, if they are vicious, expose their Vices to publick View, and do more Mischief by their Examples, than by their wicked Actions. Now as he is bound to en­courage Virtue for his Peoples sake, so likewise for his own, that so he may gain the Esteem and Ve­neration of the World, which he can never obtain if he be reputed Vicious: And among all the other Virtues, he ought chiefly to encourage Piety and Religion, as well that he may be blessed with Rewards from Heaven, and Abilities necessary to bear up the weight of so heavy a Burthen as the Go­vernment of the State is, as also to make his Subjects the more Faithful, more Respectful and Obedient to him; for they believe that he whom they see addicted to Piety and Religion, is beloved and favoured of God; and that when they are govern'd by such a one who is beloved of God, they are go­verned by the very Spirit of God.

He must also have a special regard to the exe­cution of Justice, for this purpose, as it hath been observed since the days of Hesiod, Kings were first appointed; namely, for the Chastisement of the Wicked, and for the Rewarding of those who de­serve it, and to end the Differences that arise among his Subjects, by causing every Man to re­ceive his own. Therefore when a Prince devests himself of this Virtue, he seems to profane the true and natural Duty of a Prince; for of all the Titles of Honour, the most glorious and splendid doubt­less is to be stiled Just.

There is also nothing that he ought more to heed than the keeping of his Word which he hath once given; and to observe punctually his Promises and the plighting of his Faith; for the violation of this is more unworthy in him, because he hath the Power in his own Hand, so that there is nothing [Page 235] that can easily excuse his breach of Promise; nay further, he is obliged as far as in him lies, to hin­der others from doing so. This quality is so much the more excellent, because it is rare among Men, and requires a firm Resolution, Constancy, and a greatness of Mind, chiefly when the Concerns are weighty and considerable; we shall pass over Dis­simulation in silence, which is too common. I know some Politicians do permit of some kinds of De­ceits in a Prince, if they tend to the Advancement of the Publick good. Plato, among others, main­tains, That they who Rule, are often obliged to lie and deceive for the Advantage of their Subjects. But this is a difficult Question, which we shall examin here­after.

Fortitude and Clemency are also Regal Virtues, and every one knows that a Prince cannot be ex­cused from practising them; for as Fortitude is needful to strike an Awe and prevent any suddain Rebellion or Disturbance of the publick Peace: So Clemency is proper to beget in us a Love for the Prince, because of his Readiness to pardon Offen­ders: This also creates an opinion of his Good­ness in us, when we find him naturally inclinable to observe that excellent Rule which advises a Prince to be merciful to the Submissive, but to cor­rect the Stubborn.

Parcere Subjectis & debellare superbos.

As to what relates to Modesty, it highly concerns him to know how to temper it with Majesty; for fear that forgetting his human Condition, and be­ing puff'd up with Glory and Pride, he should be­come Insolent, and should draw upon himself una­voidably the hatred of his People; or on the con­trary, by abasing himself below his Dignity, he should fall into Contempt.

There is no need that we should speak of Libe­rality, every one knows that it is a Virtue which ought to be familiar to Princes, and the rather be­cause there is nothing that procures more the good Will and Approbation of the World, than liberal and bountiful Actions. To this end the great abundance of Riches seems to arise from all Parts, and at last to Center in the Treasury of the Prince, and thence to issue forth again as from a plentiful Fountain. But these Liberalities are to be bestow­ed prudently, with a regard to the Quality and Merit of the Persons whom he intends to gratify; and also to his own Treasure, lest by stirring up Emulation and Envy, he give too great opportunity to abusive Tongues. As for Continency, Sobriety, and other Virtues, the more he is endowed with them and practises 'em, the more glorious they will certainly render him.

The fourth particular that a Monarch ought to apply himself to, is to understand well the Nature and State of the Kingdom, if he comes to it by Ele­ction or by Succession, if it be Ancient or Modern; what are the Fundamental Laws of the State, what Evils and Mischiefs have happened either from the Observance or not Observance of those Laws; what relation it hath with the Aristocratical or Demo­cratical Governments; what Power the Grandees have; what is able to stir up or to move the com­mon People, and consequently what are the Man­ners and Customs of both. He ought not to be ig­norant of the Extent of his Dominion, of its Con­fines, Situation and Riches, and whether the Traf­fick be within or without his Realm. He must al­so know his Castles and Fortifications, and the Neighbours who are able to break in upon him, or incourage Factions. This will oblige him to be ac­quainted with Chronology, with Geography, and [Page 236] with History, which derives its Beauty and Perfe­ction from the two former Sciences, and which is so needful to him, that without the Knowledge of this he can never expect to become a perfect and an accomplished Politician.

Fifthly, He must be always furnished with those things, without which a Kingdom cannot safely subsist; namely, a wise and prudent Counsel, that when he himself cannot well understand, fore-see and determin all things, he may make use of such Counsellors, whose Diligence, Experience, Wis­dom, Integrity and Faithfulness have recommended 'em to him; for he must remember what Cicero saith according to Hesiod, That he is truly very wise who knows of himself what ought or what ought not to be done; but his Wisdom is next a kin, who knows how to make use of good Advice, and to submit to it. Sapientissimum esse dicunt eum cui quod opus sit veniat in mentem, proxime vero ac­cedere illum qui alterius bene inventis obtemperet, which is comprehended in these two Verses,

Ille quidem eximius qui per se ipse omnia novit,
Sed praestans etiam, qui paret recta monenti.

Therefore he ought always to keep himself in that disposition of Mind, that Truth may never of­fend him; that loving Uprightness and Sincerity, he may hate all Flattery, which is the chief Plague and Bane of great Men; For fear, saith the same Author, that having tender Ears, he should be the last who should understand the dishonour of his Kingdom, and that his Ruin should befal him be­fore he could become sensible of it.

He ought likewise to be furnished with worthy Of­ficers; for as he alone is not able to do all things, the several Offices of State ought to be possess'd by such [Page 237] as are able to support them; such are the Gover­nours of Cities and Provinces, the Generals of Ar­mies, the Captains, Judges, Magistrates, and such like, who are to be of Ability and known Inte­grity, otherwise there will be a continual and un­avoidable sequel of Mistakes, Wickedness and Mis­chiefs that will attend.

There is no need to advise, that as Mony is the Strength of all Affairs, his Coffers ought never to be empty; that the Forces of the Kingdom may always continue on foot, and that when a War happens or some other Occasion of great Expences, he may not be obliged to levy suddain, violent and extraordinary Taxes. Neither is it needful to men­tion the General Deficiences of the State, such as are the Fortresses and Castles, which ought to be well provided, especially on the Borders, and on that side which the Enemy is to be feared: The Military Forces ought to be in a constant readiness, that he may never be surprized, but always able to repel a Foreign Invasion, and pacify a home-bred Sedition: As to Alliances, and chiefly such as are made with those People, who, as Aristotle would have them, are Neighbours and Powerful, there ought to be frequent and true Intelligence of all Things that happen, and of all the Designs that are on foot among the Subjects, Neighbours or Ene­mies; for fear of being ignorant herein, there might be some Contrivance against him unexpected, whereby he himself may be oppressed or ruined. This will cause him to venture something, as Plato saith, or rather, spare nothing for the Maintenance of Spies.

Of the great Concerns of Meum and Tuum, or of the Property of the Subject.

THe sixth Particular, which a long Experience in Travelling over Europe and Asia, hath dis­covered to me, is of no mean importance to a So­vereign Prince to cause his Kingdom to flourish, viz. Not to make himself absolute Lord or Pro­prietor of all the Lands of his Realm, as the Grand Segnior, the King of Persia, the Great Mogul, are in the greatest part of their Dominions; but to establish a Propriety, not only as in Poland, among the Nobility, but generally among all his Subjects: For if we take away this great Foundation, we de­prive every private Person from all hopes of ad­vancing themselves, or of securing what at present they enjoy. In such a Case none is in a Condition to say, If I labour 'tis for my self and my Posterity; I shall be the Owner of this little Portion of Land that I intend to purchase; and I will leave it to my Children after me, whereby common People become so negligent and lazy, that they scarce la­bour but by constraint; and they are so careless of Husbandry, that the best Lands are covered with Sand and Gravel, as in Egypt, by the over-flowing of the Nile; the most beautiful Hills are full of Brambles and Thistles, as in Palestine, and those admirable Vallies of Alexandretta and Antioch, which are become noisom Marshes and infectious Lakes; nay, all those excellent Plains, rare Portions of Land and fruitful Hills of Asia Minor, are become Places covered over with high and useless Grass and Woods; the wonderful Country of Mesopotamia, that true Land of Promise, lies unmanur'd and to­tally forsaken: In short, all Turky, which is capa­ble [Page 239] of being made the most fertile Soil in the World, and stock'd with the greatest number of Inhabitants, at present lies desolate and neglect­ed.

Besides, in a Government where Propriety is not regarded, there are no Ministers of Justice, of sufficient Power to redress the Grievances of the People at a distance from the Imperial Court, be­cause all Governours in their Provinces have an absolute Power and Authority, which inclines them to Tyranny; and the more, because they are all Per­sons who have risen from nothing, or miserable Slaves taken out of a Seraglio, and who have bor­rowed from those who possess the Treasure of the Kingdom, as the Jews in Turky, vast Sums of Mony to purchase their Governments, not to mention the Presents they are obliged to make every Year to be continued in their Posts. So that all things being at the disposal of the Governours and Jews, there is no Country-man, Handycrafts-man nor Merchant, that can be secure, but lives in a continual dread and apprehension of some Mischief befalling him, by some pretended Quarrel or Design against him. From hence it is, that Arts which procure the Riches of a Kingdom, are slighted in those Countries; and Sciences, which are the Glory and Accomplish­ment of a Nation, are totally banished: For no bo­dy there hath either Courage or Hopes to rise to any thing considerable. Neither are there any Offi­ces or Places that require Learning, nothing but some pitiful Towns, that is to say, certain Villages appointed for the Maintenance and Pension of Sol­diers, who draw out of them all that they can, without expending any thing, either for the Re­pair of the Dwellings, or for Cleansing and Drain­ing of the Ditches, or for any other purpose; for they are never assured of any thing, and they know [Page 240] not to Day, but that they may be absolutely dis­possess'd to Morrow, or at least their Lands changed by their Masters.

For this Reason, I have sometimes given this De­finition of a Turk; An Animal Born for the De­struction of all that is Beautiful and Good in the World, and even of Human Race it self. Not but that the true Turks are often of a kind and good Disposition; but because their mistaken Policy, their Ignorance and Negligence tend to take away and banish all Property; from whence proceeds, as I have said, the Laziness of the People, the neglect of Husbandry, Tyranny, and the desolation of their Provinces. All this is a certain Truth, and not the Dreams of a fantastical Traveller, all those Countries not being now what they formerly were: Above half the Land lies Unmanured; a Man may often Travel a whole Day without meeting one Man; great Towns are generally half demolished and forsaken; nay, the best and most populous Cities, as Grand Cairo, Alexandria, Babilon, and several others, lie the third part at least in Ruins. And there is no doubt that those Princes, tho very considerable, be­cause of the vast extent of their Dominions, are therefore the less Wealthy, and less Powerful, than they would be if it were otherwise; for they don't see, that in grasping at all, they have nothing, and by making themselves the only Proprietors of all the Lands of their Empire, they make them­selves Kings of Wildernesses, of Beggars and de­spicable Wretches. So that if they daily get Ground, and grow greater, 'tis through the Weak­ness and Discord of their Neighbours; and because their Empire is, as I have said, of such a vast ex­tent in comparison of others, and because the Tar­tars (besides those who are taken from the Breasts of their Mothers) supply them with Slaves from se­veral [Page 241] Parts, as from Russia, Circassia, Mingrelia, Ar­menia, and other Countries.

Of the Duties of a Sovereign in times of Peaee.

BUT to return to our Author, and to say some­thing in a few Words, concerning that which in some respect relates chiefly to the times of Peace, and that kind of Prudence which the Latins named Togata.

The First and chief Duty is to have a Care that Religion and Piety towards God, be inviolably ob­served in all parts of the Kingdom, that Heaven may be propitious to him, and that his Subjects be­ing awed with the respect and dread of the Almigh­ty Power of God, who is every where, and sees all Things, may more readily abstain from those Crimes which he cannot hinder by his Laws. Now the Ex­perience of our latter Days hath sufficiently disco­vered to us the Importance and Truth of that Coun­sel that Mecaenas gave to Augustus, concerning Re­ligion, and the Divine Worship. You are, said he, to oppose and never let go unpunished the Innovators and Authors of new Religions; not only because that the Gods will not permit such as despise them, to perform any great Actions, but because those who introduce some new Di­vinity, generally persuade the People to alterations in Go­vernment, from whence proceed Conspiracies, Seditions and secret Associations, which are doubtless very dange­rous to a Monarchy.

Secondly, To have a care that Arts be en­couraged; not only those that we term Liberal from which the Kingdom receives a particular Ac­complishment, but also such as we call Mechanick, from which we reap great Advantage and Profit; chiefly to have a particular regard to Husbandry and [Page 242] Navigation, because the First is to supply us plen­tifully with the Necessities of Life, and the Second encourages Traffick, by which we communicate to Strangers the Things that they want, as they return to us the Things that we stand in need of.

Thirdly, To endeavour that the Kingdom may increase in Virtue and Riches, that is to say, in all Things needful to make our Lives Innocent and Happy. And as Debauchery does easily and insen­sibly insinuate it self, he ought to give a Check to it by severe Edicts; and in the mean while, he ought to give order, that such as abound in Wealth, may not suffer the Poor at their Gates to pine away for Want: In short, he ought to provide in such a man­ner, for the several Indigences of his Kingdom, that Happiness and Plenty may spread over all his Domi­nions in every Corner.

Fourthly, He ought to provide for the security of the Peace, that the Happiness of the Kingdom, which ought to be the first and chief Aim of Kings and Governours, may be more fixt and permanent; to which purpose, the particulars, before mention'd, will contribute; namely, To take care to prevent all Invasions of Strangers, of home Factions and Se­ditions of his Subjects; about making Alliances and Leagues, and to observe and preserve them as much as is possible; nevertheless, to make the Allies pri­vately sensible, that it will be in vain for them to break them: For we must always suppose of Stran­gers, that Force and Power is rather wanting to them, than a desire or a pretence to Invade our Realm, and Conquering of it either in part or all. Therefore he ought to keep his Garrisons well fur­nished, and to be as careful of secret Ambuscades, and private Treacheries, as of open Assaults. He ought likewise in the same manner, to have a con­venient Number of Troops and Soldiers ready in [Page 243] Pay; and as for his Recruits and new raised Re­giments, he ought to cause them to be trained up with care and exactness in all Military Exercises, that the old Soldiers teaching the new, they may be all ready to do Service when occasion requires.

The Fifth respects the Subjects, That is, to pre­vent the Conspiraces and Factions of the Grandees, not only by a just and prudent Distribution of Offices, but also by particular Expressions of Kind­ness, that they may have no cause to complain; nevertheless, he must make them know that he is their Lord and Master, and that he is quick-sight­ed enough to see into their Designs and most secret Intentions: I shall not speak here of the Advice of Periander, who, as Aristotle relates, gave no An­swer by word of Mouth to the Embassadors of Thra­sibulus, but only by signs; for he cut off the Tops of the highest Poppies before their Faces.

Sixthly, He ought, as we have already hinted, to prevent the Mutinies and Seditions of the Peo­ple, not only by respect and fear; for there is no­thing that more inclines popular Spirits to Insolen­cy, than when they see the Prince fallen into Con­tempt, and that they are secure from all Punish­ment, but also by an exact and regular Justice, which may free the weakest from the Oppression of the most Powerful, and by easing the People, either by reducing their Taxes to a small Propor­tion, or by taking them quite away; for there is nothing that more stirs up the Peoples hatred, and makes them more impatient, than extraordinary Taxes. But if the pressing Necessities of the State obliges him to great Expences, and consequently to raise large Sums of Mony, he ought to let his Subjects understand that such Levies are for the ne­cessary support of the publick Security. So that if they desire their own Welfare, saith Cicero, they [Page 244] are to comply with Necessity: And besides, this is to be ordered with a great equality, and with a respect to the Condition and Abilities of every one. I shall not speak concerning that Advice, of sending abroad Colonies and Parties out of the Kingdom when the People grow too numerous; nor of that other Advice, of impoverishing the People, and making them grow lean, when there is danger, by too great a Plenty, of growing over-fat, and so are apt to become Insolent.

Seventhly, If there be any Factions begun, or any Seditions raised, he ought speedily to pacify them by the Mediation of some Persons, whose Virtue, Merit and Abilities have rendred them fa­mous and acceptable: But if the Advices, Reproofs and Counsels of those Persons don't prevail, he must have recourse to Force and Arms, that he may extinguish an Evil in the beginning, which in time might gather Strength, and become at last remediless: He must not be unmindful in the mean while, if he hath not time to raise Forces, and that the Case seems dangerous, that it is the surest Method to yield and grant something of that which gave the occasion to the Sedition.

Eighthly, If the Evil cannot suddenly be stopp'd, neither by Wisdom nor by Arms; but if that pro­ceeds to a Civil War, which is the great Plague of a Kingdom: Let him in such a Case make use of these Remedies, either to yield in some things, and to agree upon certain Terms, or to put an end to the War by Victory, if there be any hopes, taking a good Courage, and saying resolutely to himself in the Language of Aeneas, Nunc animis opus, Aenea, nunc pectore firmo. He must also remember, after he hath obtained Victory, or restored every thing by his Authority, to punish none but the chief Au­thors of the Tumult, and the most seditious Per­sons, [Page 245] and to Pardon the rest of his Subjects; that in striking a Terror by Executions, he may prevent the like Disorders for the future, and by his Mild­ness and Clemency, he may declare, That he acts as the Father of his Country.

But here may arise a Question; If a Person of Quality, in a Civil War, may withdraw himself, or keep himself private and retired, as we say, out of harms way, without declaring for either side; or if he ought, according to that Law of Solon, so remarkable in Aristotle, Plutarch and Agellus, de­clare for one side or other. I answer, If he be a Per­son of Note and Figure in the Realm, and if he be in some great Post, he ought not to leave his Station and stand idle, but as a wise Pilot, he should go­vern the same Helm in the Storm which he held in the Calm. But if he be a private Person, who seldom medled with publick Affairs, he may seem to be excus'd from siding with any Party, but live quietly and retire at his own Home, without af­fronting either Party. But if the Realm be threat­ned with a Foreign War, he ought not to delibe­rate, but declare for his Prince and Country.

Of the Offices of a Sovereign in times of War.

NOw that we may also speak as to what chief­ly concerns the time of War, and conse­quently of Military Prudence, which shews it self by undertaking, managing and finishing a War. A wise Prince will never take up Arms rashly, whe­ther he acts as an Assailant or Defendant; but will first examin his own Forces, so that if he finds them not sufficient, he will never adventure to make an Assault, for fear of not being able to save himself upon this first Attempt; and to prevent drawing [Page 246] all the Forces of the Enemy upon him, he will not expect their coming, but endeavour to prevent them by sending Embassadors of great worth, and by yield­ing rather something of his own, than to draw upon himself so considerable a Detriment. But if nothing can prevail upon the Enemy, whom he finds too powerful, his only Remedy will be to gather toge­ther his own Forces, and those of his Confederates; and placing his Confidence in the Divine Assistance, and in the Justice of his Cause, arm himself with Courage and resolve to undergo all Events, either stoutly to over-come with less Force, which often happens, or as we often say, sell his Destruction at a dear rate. Neither ought he to undertake any War but upon a just account, for a just and reasonable End; as for Example, To oppose the Enemy that would not fail to invade him; To re­take something that the Enemy hath wrongfully usurped, and would never restore, tho' often soli­cited; To succour his Allies unjustly oppressed, or to assist some other Nation, who being too weak and unjustly assaulted, have requested his Assistance. The War will also be deemed just, tho undertaken or maintained wrongfully, after that the Prince hath made reasonable Offers, and that the Enemy hath rejected them. In all Cases, he is to look up­on War as a Sea of Calamity and Mischiefs, which is easily disturb'd but not so easily calm'd, because of many unexpected Accidents hapning; so that only Necessity can be a lawful Excuse or Pretence to cover and secure the Prince from those direful Imprecations which the People, oppressed by the Mischiefs of the War, are wont to Vomit out against the Authors of it.

Now that he may sufficiently and prudently car­ry on the War, when it is once resolved and con­cluded, he ought to take care that four things be [Page 247] not wanting to him; Men fit and able for the Em­ployment; convenient Arms; sufficient Provisions, and as much Mony as is requisite for his Men. It is certain also, that he ought first to make choice of good Officers, and chiefly of a General; and this General ought to be but one; for it hath been observed in all Ages, as Thucidides takes notice, That nothing is more pernicious than many Commanders in chief. He ought to be of a tried Experience and a sharp Understanding, that he may be able to resolve sud­denly and with advantage; He ought to know the Situation of the Country where he makes War, be­cause the Victory or the Loss of a Battel, often de­pends upon a very trivial thing, upon a narrow Lane, a stream of Water, a Wood, or some rising Grounds, &c. Aristotle is of Opinion, That he ought to be an honest Man; but that more respect is to be had of his Ability than of his Manners. Besides, he must have Authority, and the Reputa­tion of a great Warrier; and ought to be success­ful, not only because that is a great Encouragement to an Army, but because that makes the Soldiers ready, bold and resolute, and strikes a Terror in­to the Enemy. The Qualifications necessary for a General of an Army, which Cicero requires, speak­ing of Pompey, are sufficiently known; He must be indefatigable in Labour, undaunted in Danger, indu­strious in Re-encounters, quick in Execution, and a Man of an excellent Fore-sight, Laboris in ne­gatio, fortitudinis in periculo, industriae in agendo, ce­lertatis in conficiendo, concilij in providendo. A Prince must also look to his Soldiers, that they be of a competent Age, strong of Body, for they are design­ed for Labour and Fatigue; That they be of the same Country, rather than Strangers, for such will be more faithful and less inclinable to Sedition; That they be well Exercised and Disciplined, for [Page 248] otherwise they will stand in little stead: We all know what success a rigid Discipline, strictly ob­served, had antiently among the Romans. Now tho' the Infantry and Cavalry be both needful, yet the Infantry are generally more useful in hilly Coun­tries, and in besieging of Towns; and often so in Battels, when well instructed and disciplined: For Tacitus observes, That as the Horse fall on with speed, so they often as speedily surrender their Victory. As for their Weapons, every one knows that they must be fit and convenient both for Of­fence and Defence; and as for their Ammunitions and Provisions, 'tis sufficiently known of what im­portance they are, the want of which having caused many Armies to Perish, and their Fortifications to be surrendred up without a stroke. And lastly, as for Mony, 'tis plain, that as it is the Sinews of a State, so it is likewise of War; That Army that is not paid, becomes mutinous, and a company of Rob­bers rather than Soldiers; That great things are accomplished by Mony as well as by Force and Counsel; and finally, that which Cicero relates of Philip is true, That there is no Fortitification impregna­ble where a Horse loaden with Gold can enter.

But some may expect that we should here treat of several Accomplishments and Duties of a General, in marching of an Army, in Incamping, in Draw­ing it up for Battel, in an Engagement, or in a Siege, or in the Defence of a City, &c. But this depends upon his Ability, Capacity, Presence of Mind, Time, Place, and many other Circumstan­ces; that which may be said in general Terms is this, That there is nothing more useful and more important for a General of an Army, than to know well the Condition of his Enemy, to observe and understand perfectly how to prevent them, and never to lose the Opportunity of an Advantage.

We might also here speak of Stratagems, but it will be sufficient to say, That they have been approved of in all Ages, and judged to belong to War, and that they tend to preserve an Army, and that we are always in danger of being circumvented if we be not before-hand. Therefore Cyrus admired, among his Friends, at the strange Qualifications re­quisite to make a compleat General; He ought to be Cunning, Subtil, a Dissembler, a Cheat, &c. Debere esse insidiatorem, dissimulatorem, dolosum, de­ceptorem, furem, raptorem, ac omni in re hostibus prae­valentem. But we may easily understand St. Austin's Opinion in the Case, who saith, That the Orders that God gave to Joshua to lay Ambushes, shews us that 'tis no Injustice to make use of them in a just War; That a righteous Prince ought principally to take heed that the War be not unjust, and if so, then it matters not whether we over-come by Subtilty or by plain Force and Fighting.

Let us add one thing more in relation to the End and Issue of the War. If the Prince becomes Victorious, he ought to neglect nothing, to hinder the Enemy from gathering together his Forces, and putting himself in a posture of doing farther Mis­chief: But he ought not to insult over him and his Misfortune, for that is unworthy of a generous Soul; neither should he drive him to a Necessity, lest being reduced to despair, he should make an extraordinary Attempt and Ravish away the Vi­ctory already obtained. But if there be no fear of Indulgence, it is certain that Moderation, Mercy, Kindness and Clemency to an Enemy, shall always be recommended and esteemed. But if he be so unhappy as to lose the Victory, it will be expe­dient for him to bear his Loss courageously, and to look upon it as a Misfortune unto which our hu­man Condition is subject: But in the mean while [Page 250] he ought not to neglect his scattered Forces, but gather them together; and complying quietly with the Times, never to despair, but expect that Pro­vidence at another time and in another juncture may become more favourable to him.

This Observation that I have mentioned before, That Conquerors ought not to insult over the Van­quished, calls to mind the Reproaches that Bajazet offered to Tamerlan, when he visited him in his Chains, and began to Smile on him: Laugh not at my Calamity, said Bajazet to him, with a haughty Tone, insult not over my Misfortune; understand that God is the Lord, and the giver of the Empires of the World; and if now thou art raised up to the top Spoke of the Wheel, thou may'st be to morrow cast down to the bottom. I know, answer'd Tamerlan as well as thou dost, that God is the Lord, and giver of Crowns and Empires; if I laugh, 'tis not that I insult over thy Calamity, but when I consider that these great Empires of the World must be very mean things, and that this Sovereign Lord must esteem them of no great Value, seeing he hath given them to Persons so ill-favour'd; to a wicked and squint-ey'd Fellow as thou art, and to a wretched lame Person as I am. For Timur-leng, which by Corruption we call Tamerlan, signifies a lame Prince, and Bajazet was ugly in Face and squint-ey'd. But this by the by.

If a wise Man ought to intermeddle with publick Affairs.

IN this place we might answer several Objections which by means of this kind of Prudence, seem to make against those unto whom this Rule of Epi­curus, (That a wise Man ought not to intermeddle with the Affairs of Government,) seems not un­pleasing. [Page 251] But we have already proved by the Te­stimony of Seneca, that this is not to be understood absolutely without Exception, but only upon this Condition, If nothing happens that does oblige him. He designs to advise us plainly, that a wise Man ought to concern himself with the Affairs of Go­vernment only when an occasion shall be offered, where his Wisdom and Counsil are required and needful, but otherwise he need not engage himself; and that Ambition, the desire of Riches, Offices and Dignities, should not draw him out of his private Station. And if Epicurus would never take up­on him any publick Employ, doubtless, it was not out of the Persuasion of Theodorus, and some others, that Wisdom is too precious, and of too great a Value, to expose it self to Toils, Labours and Dan­gers, for our Country sake, which commonly com­prehends so many Fools and ungrateful Wretches; but it was out of pure Modesty, as Laertius hath observed, and because he thought it not just to thrust himself of his own accord into Business, unto which he knew that he was not called; or to follow the practice of the Ambitious, who at last under­stand, too late, that which Theophrastus complain'd of in his latter Days, when he told his Disciples, That he had not any thing more to say to them, but only, That the Life of Man suffered foolishly many Pleasures to escape, through Vain-glory and Ambition. That as soon as we begin to Live, we begin to Die; and that there was nothing so inconvenient to Mankind, as Am­bition, and the excessive desire of Glory. An excellent Doctrin! which may make us understand, that we ought not to defer the enjoyment of this happy Phi­losophical Repose to a decrepit Age. We need but cast an Eye upon the Condition of Courtiers, or such as are raised to high Places and Dignities, and incumber'd with Business: There is scarce any but [Page 252] is wearied with his manner of Living, and wishes for the quiet repose of those whom he sees escaping as it were from out of a troubled Sea, swelling with Storms and Tempests, to a secure and peaceable Haven. Who is there that don't often think of re­treating from the hurry of Business, and endeavour to arrive to that retiredness from the World, where­in he may compose his distracted Thoughts, and render the remainder of his Days easy and happy? Pray tell me, should not we act much more Pru­dently, did we never hazzard our selves in this tem­pestuous Sea of Business, but withdraw our selves as soon as we can from it, and begin to live happily from our very Youth forward? Were not this a much wiser Design, than to allot to our old Age, (the very Dregs of our Life, commonly accompanied with various Infirmities, and which oftentimes we never arrive to) the Pleasure of living Happily. Doubtless they are happy who have taken a firm Resolution to spend all their Life in such a quiet State, in which others esteem themselves happy if they can spend but a short, and the worst part of their Lives. Admirable was that Advice of Cy­neas to Pyrrhus, and worthy to be written in Letters of Gold; who when he was designing to make War against the Romans: Well Sir, said Cyneas, And what shall we do when we have overcome the Romans, conquered Italy, Sicily, Lybia, Macedonia, and all the World besides? We will then live in Pleasure and Ease, answered Pyrrhus, We will Feast and Rejoyce, and spend the rest of our Days in Peace and Pleasure. But I beseech you great Sir, replyed Cyneas, What hin­ders us at present, but that we may take the same Repose and Ease, Feast and enjoy our selves, and live with as much Content and Happiness? We are in present possessi­on of what we could not otherwise attain, but by great Labour, Bloodshed and Rapine, besides a Thousand ways [Page 253] of exposing our Selves and our People, to infinite Ha­zards and Dangers.

I shall not here any longer insist upon this Sub­ject, viz. The Advantage that a wise Man reaps from his Tranquility and Retirement, having been often mentioned already. I will only mention, that Damocles had good reason to say, That those who so earnestly seek after great Honors and Preferments, commonly mind nothing but the outward Splendor, which dazles the Eyes of the Vulgar, but never heed the griping Cares, I may say Furies, which torment those who are already exalted to those high Places. Aristotle cites the Verses of Euripides, in which he accuseth himself of Folly, because that when he was able to live happily as a private Man, indiscreetly made himself miserable by intangling and incumber­ing himself with Business. Am I Wise, quoth he, to thrust my self upon Trouble, when I could have easily been without it? But the ordinary Labors that we com­monly undergo in the management of our necessary Affairs, seem not worthy to be taken notice of, if compared with the continual dread and terror of Mind, which attends those who see themselves al­ways walking upon Brinks and Precipices in continu­al danger of falling so much the lower, by how much the higher they have raised themselves. Sejanus, saith the Satyr, knew not what he desired, when he greedily long'd for, and earnestly sought after the great Honors and boundless Riches, which at length he was possess'd of. For they were as so many De­grees, by which he ascended to the top of that Pi­nacle, from whence he was to be miserably cast down. What ruined Crassus and Pompey? Was it not that high Station for which they had so earnestly en­deavour'd, that nothing of Labour or Difficulty could hinder them in their Attempt; Such earnest Peti­tions as these the Gods grant us in their Wrath.

[Page 254]
Ergo quid optandum foret ignorasse videris
Sejanum? Nam qui nimios optabat honores,
Et nimias poscebat opes, numerosa parabat,
Excelsae Turris tabulata, unde altior esset
Casus, & impulsae praeceps immane ruinae.
Quid Crassos? Quid Pompeios evertit & illum
Ad sua qui domitos deduxit flagra Quirites?
Summus nempe locus nulla non arte petitus,
Magna (que) Numinibus vota exaudita malignis.

CHAP. VI. Of Fortitude.

TO treat of the several Virtues in their Order, we ought, next to Prudence, to speak of For­titude, which is as the first part of Honesty, as Tem­perance is the Second. Not that other Virtues do not participate of Honesty, but because those who behave themselves according to the Rules of Forti­tude and Temperance are principally and more espe­cially said to act Honestly and Honourably. Now Fortitude, in the Sense that it is here taken, is not ill described by Cicero, viz. A considerable firmness and resolution of Mind, able to encounter Danger and submit to Labour. Because this Definition points at the two chief acts of Fortitude, the one undertakes, the other sustains and teaches to shun the two vici­ous Extremeties, namely, Audacity and Timidity, into which we may run for want of a mature Consi­deration. This Virtue seems also to be well defin'd by Aristotle, A Medium, or Mediocrity between Fear [Page 255] and too great Confidence: And Seneca saith, It is the Knowledge how to repel, submit to and encounter Dan­gers.

However, tho Fortitude as it is a particular Vir­tue be such as we have represented it, yet sometimes Men give to it too large a Compass, sometimes too Narrow; too Large is allowed it, when they extend it as far as any Virtue reaches, as St. Ambrose doth, and before him St. Clement, when he saith, The Du­ty of Fortitude is not only to bear patiently human Casual­ties and Misfortunes, but also to resist Lust, Debauche­ry, Pain and Wrath. They allow too narrow a Com­pass, when they take it only for a Military Virtue, as if scarce any were to be allowed Valiant, but such as shew their Courage in War, or Dye Fighting, and by this means become Illustrious, and ob [...]in ever­lasting Renown: But we see those who express no less Fortitude and Courage, either under Distem­pers, or in Dangers at Sea, and on other Occasions, and Dye with as much Resolution. However, Ari­stotle will have him to be termed properly Coura­geous, who sees with an undaunted Spirit, an honest Death, and the preparations to it, such as are prin­cipally those that we meet with in War. This made Cicero say, That the great and noble Actions per­formed in War have this belonging to them, that they are I know not how, more Praised and Extolled than others. Nevertheless, he proves at large, by many Ex­amples, and without forgetting his own, That though Men put a higher esteem upon military Actions than up­on Civil, yet we must except against this Opinion; for if we will Judge according to Truth, there are many civil Actions far greater and nobler than the Military: From whence we may conclude, that tho those who be­have themselves with Courage in War may be esteem­ed Brave and Excellent, yet this Virtue of Fortitude resides not in them alone, nor do they only deserve the Titles of Brave and Stout.

Now to treat of Fortitude contained within its just Limits, two Things seem generally requisit. The First, That it be an invincible strength of Mind, against all Things that may be difficult, that is to say, against such Evils as are difficult either to overcome or to undergo. The Second, That it be not rash or unadvised, that it tends to a good End, namely, to the support of Honesty and Equity.

In relation to the First, when I say that Fortitude is a certain strength of Mind; doubtless we ought not hereby to understand, that this Virtue consists, as some vulgar People may imagine, in the meer Strength and Vigour of Body; for a Man of a weak and infirm Body may deserve the name of Brave, if he designs the Justice of the Cause he undertakes, and continues resolute and unshaken in his purpose, not knowing how to yield; nay, tho he meet with ill Fortune, if his Courage never fails, but he proceeds on with the same Bravery and Resolution of Thought. Much less do we suppose it consistent with a boast­ing and vain-glorious Humour, too much incident to some Persons; for if you remove this Ostenta­tion which puts them in pursuit after a dim Light of Glory, you will find them Mean, Contemptible Cowards; nay, when it most concerns them to en­counter with real Dangers, they'l draw back, their Courage failing 'em, and very often seek to save themselves by a shameful Flight.

Again, when I say, that it is a firm, inflexible re­solution of Mind, I hereby observe that it ought to be such a firmness as ought never to yield, but to continue so, not only in respect of the greatness of the Labour and Danger, but also in respect of its long continuance and repeated Endeavours.

I say that this strength or firmness of Mind is to encounter all Evils; because this Virtue of its own Nature, is as a Bulwark against all that is or ap­pears [Page 257] to be Evil in our Life, and that it properly hath no other Post assign'd but this.

I say moreover, That the Evils that Fortitude de­signs to overcome, are to be difficult; for tho this Virtue may extend to light, easy and common Ills, yet it is very profitable to accustom our selves to encounter 'em and support our selves under 'em, that we may thereby also the better begin to form an Habit; for just as the Virtue of Temperance is not required that one should abstain from doating on an old wither'd Hag, as it was objected to Cry­sippus, so Fortitude appears not in little Evils, but only in great and difficult; such as is Death, Pain, Ignominy, the loss of Friends or of Children, Po­verty, Imprisonment, Banishment, and others, that are able to terrify us at a distance, or ready to over­whelm us when they draw near.

As to the Second thing requisite: Fortitude would not be a Virtue, if it were foolish and unconsiderate, but it would be Rashness, and as Aristotle terms it, a certain Brutality, or a brutish Effort, opposite to this Virtue which is call'd Heroick and Divine, which is nothing else but a kind of noble Courage and Bravery, which gave the very Name to Heroes, and caused their Deeds to be stiled Heroick. Such there­fore ought not to be esteemed Brave or Courageous, who being carried by a blind Fury, and trusting chiefly to their bodily Strength, run head [...]ong up­on any Undertaking, and as if they had bid defiance to Dangers, seem to fear nothing so much as to ap­pear fearful of any thing. But those are truly Brave who understanding Dangers, neither loving them nor provoking them Indiscreetly, behave themselves nevertheless with Courage, as often as they ought, and in that manner that they ought; for Aristotle makes this Remark, That a stout and brave Man, is not he who fears nothing, or is resolved to [Page 258] bear all Things, or to undertake all Things; but he who acts thus where he ought, for the end and pur­pose that he ought, when he ought, and in that man­ner that he ought. Qui quod oportet, & cujus causa, & quando, & quo modo oportet.

As therefore on the one Hand, he opposeth to a brave Spirit the timerous Soul, who for Fear under­takes not the thing that he should; so on the other the Audacious and Rash, for want of Fear, or out of too much Confidence in himself, undertakes what he ought not. Not to say, that according to his Opi­nion, such may be termed Fools and mad Men, who fear nothing, neither Earthquakes nor Storms, such as the Celtae were: For there are some Things that are truly to be feared; as Shame, and Infamy which at­tends it; for as he saith, 'tis Impudence not to fear them, because Shame is an Evil. And as Seneca ob­serves, Fortitude is no inconsiderate Rashness, nor a Love of Dangers, but it is the knowledge how to distinguish what is or what is not Evil. It is always Watchful, Constant, Patient, &c. Neither would it be a Virtue, as it is manifest, if it did not pro­pose Honesty and Justice for its End: For that cause Aristotle will have a brave Man to be undaunted, but still with an honest Intent. And for the same Reason, after he hath condemned those for Cowards, and far from Brave, who destroy themselves for fear of Poverty, or for Love, or Grief; and after he hath declared that those may be esteemed Brave, who being tempted by Rewards, or frighted by Torments, yet behave themselves resolutely, (which in some respect may be said of Soldiers, who are reduced to the necessity of Fighting) he saith, That he who is truly Brave, ought not to be obliged by Necessity, but moved by Honesty.

We add particularly this word Equity, because those who are commonly reputed Brave, often abuse [Page 259] their Strength against the dictates of Justice, and speak according this barbarous Dialect, Power is above all Things; the Right is in the Conqueror. Hence it is that Plato judges Fortitude to be a kind of a Flux or Torrent against the endeavours of Unjustice; and therefore blames Protagoras, who esteemed those Men brave, who were most Profane, most Unjust, most Intemperate, and the greatest Fools; because, saith he, we are not to judge of Fortitude by the Strength of the Body, but by the Constancy of the Mind, and by an end that is Honest and Praise­worthy, in which Justice and Equity principally appear. 'Tis also to be observed, That the Heroes have always been the Protectors of the Innocent, and Enemies of the Wicked, of unjust Men and Ty­rants. And Agesilaus well deserved Praise, when being asked, If Justice was better than Fortitude, answered, That if all Men were Just, there would be no need of Fortitude. And because it is An­ger that commonly carries those who are thought to be Brave, to Unjustice, Aristotle advises us to stand upon our Guard, and to have an Eye to that Passion, for fear that what is as the Stone to sharpen Forti­tude, should become as a Sword, to cut the knot of Justice. He saith moreover, That tho there is no greater Provocation and Encouragement to encounter Danger than Anger, yet there is no true Fortitude in it, unless it be directed by Counsel, and by the consideration of a just End. It was this that made Taurus say, in the Writings of Agellus, The brave Man is not he who out of a brutish Humour, Insensibility or Custom, Fights as a kind of Monster against Nature, and goes beyond his just Limits; such as was Caesar's Gladiator, who laughed at the Chirurgeons who cut his Wounds wi­der; but true Fortitude or Bravery, is that which the Antients have duly styled the Knowledge of that which is, and of that which is not to be supported, which dis­covers [Page 260] to us, that there are certain things unsufferable, and which Men truly brave ought to abominate.

From all this, and what I have mentioned else­where, we may observe that we have the Seeds of Fortitude truly springing in us; but that they may grow up and become Virtues, Exercise and Learn­ing are absolutely necessary.

Of the several kinds of Fortitude.

BY what has been here said, we may observe, that commonly Men do not reckon several kinds of Fortitude, because they make this Virtue to be employ'd about a very particular matter. But if it be true, that it respects all that may be judg­ed Evil in this Life, how much rather should this matter be General, and why shall not we reckon as many sorts or kinds, as there are kinds of Evil in our Life? And as there are some who bear patient­ly the loss of Riches, but not the loss of Honour; and who suffer death bravely in War, but not on a Bed of Sickness, and so of the like; why should it not be necessary for such diversity of things to form to our selves divers Habits, and so to distin­guish several kinds of Fortitude?

For as to what concerns those which some would have to be sometimes Integral parts in difficult Mat­ters, and sometimes Potential in less difficult, name­ly, Magnificence, Magnanimity, Constancy and Pa­tience; It is certain, first, for Magnificence, that it belongs not to this Virtue, but to Liberality; be­cause as Aristotle tells us, it regulates the Expen­ces of Mony, and chiefly the Expences needful in great things, as are the publick Shews and Stages, the building of Ships to defend the Common-wealth; and in short, all other things which have [Page 261] something of Grandeur, and commonly strike the People with Admiration. And therefore agreably with this Opinion of Aristotle, Cicero recommends to us this excellent Definition, Magnificientia est rerum magnarum, & excelsarum cum animi ampla quadam, & splendida propositione, agitatio atque admi­nistratio. We ought also to take notice, that as Magnificence is a Virtue and consequently a Medio­crity, Aristotle names the two contrary Vices, viz. On the one hand, Proud, Extravagant and Super­fluous Expences; and on the other, doing things niggardly and mean; parting with nothing but what is drawn from us by force, against our free Consent; always grudging and repining at what goes from us.

As for what concers Magnanimy, or as we term it Generosity, it is likewise manifest that it belongs not to this Virtue, or if it doth, 'tis nothing else but Fortitude it self under another Name. In­deed, as Fortitude is properly concerned with dif­ficult things, it is certain, that to undertake and endure such things, we must have a great and ge­nerous Soul, or as Cicero saith, We must have a mind highly elevated and assured of it self, with a certain hope, having a regard to things good and honest. Be­sides, when Aristotle saith, That Magnanimity or greatness of Mind consists in a Persuasion that we deserve much, when really our Merits answer our Persuasion; 'tis evident that this opinion of Honour that we deserve, relates to Justice, or to the con­veniency of Temperance, and not to Fortitude, which consists in encountering Dangers, and cou­rageously undergoing Labours.

As for Constancy, or as the Holy Scriptures stile it, long Forbearance or Longanimity, 'tis nothing else but Fortitude it self, when it discovers it self by a sequel of many repeated Acts, and by a long [Page 262] continuance of Time. For a Man cannot be said to be brave, but rather weak and feeble, if he con­tinues not resolute in what he hath undertaken, but after he hath a while supported himself, his Heart at last begins to faint and fail him. From hence it is, that Constancy and Perseverance being synonimous, Cicero tells us, That Perseverance con­sists in a continuing resolute a long time, and constant in the things that we have proposed, after that we have maturely considered upon 'em.

Lastly, As for Patience, it seems to be scarce any thing else but Constancy, unless it be that it con­sists in suffering, as the word imports, rather than in attacquing. Therefore Cicero saith, That it con­sists in suffering willingly and a long time, difficult things, for the sake of Honesty or Profit.

Therefore not to insist any longer upon this Point, let us observe with Epicurus, That a mean Soul becomes insolent in Prosperity, and dejected in Ad­versity. Let us then conclude from hence, by the Rule of Contraries, That it is the property of a no­ble and generous Temper, not to be insolent, lifted up by good Success, nor to suffer it self to be aba­sed in a low Estate, but to bear and suffer the good and evil Fortune with an equal Mind, and in the same manner. And because when all things pro­sper, it plainly belongs to that part of Temperance which we name Moderation, to moderate and go­vern our Thoughts, and to hinder 'em from rising too high; it follows, that when Crosses happen, it belongs to Fortitude, to keep our Minds in a con­stant and even Temper. Now as Calamities are nothing else but external Evils, we must remem­ber that they are not really Evils, but only as they are accompanied by Pain which they cause in the Body, or by Grief which they produce in the Mind by the means of Opinion; so that only this [Page 263] Pain and this Grief are the real Evils: Now it be­longs to Fortitude to hinder these from causing Pain, or at least obliges us to bear it patiently when it comes, and to hinder it from oppressing and over-whelming the Mind with a vain Grief; all which is to be effected by curing our Judgment of vulgar Opinions or false Persuasions, without which it would have little or no Power upon the Soul.

Whether Evils fore-seen make the least impression upon us.

FRom hence it is, that we must observe in the second place, that there are as it were two ge­neral Bulwarks against these sorts of external Evils: The first is a good Conscience; for as Crantor saith, 'Tis a great support under Afflictions, to be free from Guilt: The second is to fore-see, and to lay before our Eyes the Mischiefs and Evils that may happen; for he who fore-sees the blow, and is prepared to receive it, is not so easily beaten down, as when he is struck unprovided; when he is armed with Resolution and Courage, as with a kind of Breast-plate, he is not so soon wounded as when he is naked and unguarded. Therefore a wise Man never trusts so much to his good For­tune, but he thinks also upon his Evil; for Fortune hath nothing fix'd, neither is there any thing cer­tain or of a long continuance in human Affairs: He always represents before his Eyes some Exam­ples of the Vicissitudes of good and evil Things, and knows that there is no Mischief that happens to any Body but that the same may befal him. Therefore he don't wait till the time of War, then to furnish himself with Arms to support it, nor till a Storm happens, then to prepare to resist it. [Page 264] If a wise Man begets a Son, saith Cicero, he knows that he hath begotten a Mortal, and brings him up in that Persuasion: If he sends him to Troy to de­fend Greece, he knows that he don't send him to a Feast, but to a dangerous War. This Considera­tion, saith he, and this Meditation upon the Evils to come, before they happen, qualifies and al­lays the Mischiefs that befal afterwards. So that I think Theseus cannot be too much commended for saying in Euripides, I thought before upon the Ca­lamities to come; upon Death, Banishment, &c. that I might be the better enabled to encounter with adverse Fortune.

'Tis an undoubted Truth, that the Evils that are not fore-seen, are much more grievous; and that the Fore-sight and Preparation of the Mind, hath a great Efficacy to lessen the Pain. Let Mankind set always before his Eyes the Casualties of the World; for this excellent and divine Wisdom consists in having a long while perfectly known and considered human Affairs, and meditated upon them; not wondering at any thing that happens, nor believe before a thing happens, that such a thing cannot come to pass. He afterwards commends the Advice of Terence, That a Man in Prosperity should think with himself how he should be able to endure Adversity, Dangers, Losses, and Banish­ment, the Miscarriages of a Son, the Death of a Wife, the Sickness of a Daughter; that all these things are common; that they may happen so; that nothing new ought to surprise us; and what­ever good befalls us beyond our Expectation, it should be look'd upon as so much Profit and pure Gain.

It was this kind of Meditation and Fore-sight that caused that Constancy of Mind in Socrates, ap­pearing always with a serene and pleasant Coun­tenance; [Page 265] truly, how could his Looks be otherwise, seeing his Soul was never moved nor disturbed? Agrippinus proceeded yet farther, for he was wont to make a Panegyrick of all the Evils that befell him; of Diseases, when they seis'd upon him; of Infamy, when Men slander'd him; of Banishment, when he was driven away. And when at a certain time he was going to sit at Table, a Message was brought him from Nero, to command him imme­diately to be gone and to depart; he answered no­thing else but, Well, we shall then dine at the Town of Aricia. Ariciae ergo prandebimus.

How we ought to support external and publick Evils.

AS Evils are usually distinguished into pub­lick, such as is War, Tyranny, the Ruin of our Country, Plague, Famine, and such like; and into private, as Banishment, Imprisonment, Slavery, Ignominy, &c. It is not needful to speak much of the publick Evils, because they don't real­ly concern us so much as they are Publick, but as they are Private, and come home to us in Particu­lars. 'Tis true, when Publick Calamities involve a great many Persons, this must needs create much Noise, and they are reckoned so much the more unsufferable, because our common Mother, namely, our Country is wrong'd and injur'd; but if we take more particular notice, we may perceive that the Evil concerns every one no otherwise than it strikes at them in particular.

And to demonstrate that this is no Paradox; That the Evil that is common to many, on whom we have Compassion, is not more uneasie to be born; it would be sufficient to instance in that [Page 266] which is in the Mouth of every one, and what our Experience sufficiently verifies, That it is the com­fort of the afflicted to have Fellow-Sufferers. But we need take notice but of one thing, and consider that when a Neighbour's House is on Fire, none but the Neighbours run to extinguish it; those who live in the same City, at a distance, are not at all concered at it; for tho' they be all Fellow-Citi­zens, yet the Calamity don't touch them so much as it doth the others. So if the War be begun in Persia, or if the Plague be hot in India, and makes there a great destruction, that don't concern us, tho' they be Fellow-Citizens of the same World; because the Evil is too far off to injure us: And tho' it may infect the Borders of our Kingdom, ei­ther it moves us not; or if it doth, 'tis by acci­dent, in that it reaches as far as us, and makes us sensible of the Evil.

But that I may not stop here: If it happens that we are involved in any common Calamity, there are two things chiefly to be weighed: First, That such is the Condition and natural Course of things which we cannot hinder; That 'tis the Sovereign Lord of the World who hath appointed such Alte­rations and Changes, and he being most Wise, his Designs, tho' unknown to Men, may be, and are most excellent; That it belongs not to us to quar­rel at, or alter that Order that he has establish'd, but that we ought willingly to yield and follow the Paths that his Providence hath prescribed to us; And that seeing 'tis not in our power to change Destinies, or rather the Decrees of the Divine Pro­vidence, it would better become us to mitigate the Harshness and Trouble, by our own free Con­sent, than to increase the Mischief by fruitless Op­position; That Common-wealths have their na­tural Revolutions, and that it is needful that some­times [Page 267] they should be govern'd by Princes, and become Monarchies, sometimes by the People, and devolve into Democracies, and sometimes by the Chieftains and principal Men, and be changed into Aristo­cracies. This Cicero tells us, which he had taken out of Plato, unto which he adds this excellent Pas­sage, which shews the Nobility of his Mind, and the extraordinary Greatness and Resolution of his Soul, when he describes the lamentable State of the Common-wealth; I have not hid my self, I have not cowardly forsaken, neither have I extraordi­narily afflicted my self, I have not behaved my self like a Misanthropus, a Man provoked against the Times.

Secondly, If a wise Man escapes, with Health of Body and Mind, from a publick Calamity, he hath no cause to complain against the ill Usage of For­tune, as if it had treated him amiss, and stript him of those things that really belong to him. The excellent Saying of Bias is well known; after a general Conflagration, he declared, That he car­ried with him all the Goods that he ever possessed. And we may mention Stilpon, who having been driven away from his Country, lost his Wife, Children, and all his other Goods of Fortune, gave this answer to Demetrius, who had taken the City, and had asked him, If he had lost nothing? answer'd, All my Goods are with me. He under­stood, saith Seneca, Justice, Virtue, Temperance, Prudence; and he reckoned not among his Goods, that which could be taken from him. The wise Man accustoms himself to the Evils to come by thinking upon them often, as others do by suffer­ing them long. I knew not, says the Fool; that I had so many Troubles to undergo. The wise Man understands that all Evils remain yet behind, and saith, I knew before, all that has happen'd, and [Page 268] was prepared and provided for all that is come to pass.

Of external and private Evils; and first of Ba­nishment.

AS for what concerns particular and private Evils, we shall at present mention but few things, because we have spoken of them elsewhere: I shall only add that of Banishment, that 'tis no real but a fantastical Evil, that depends upon Opinion; for 'tis nothing else but a change of Place or Habi­tation, which many of their own accord often desire and covet for their private Satisfaction. The wise Man carries with him into a Foreign Country all his real and substantial Goods, his Virtues, the Goods of his Mind, which he can always happily enjoy, and by which he may make to himself Friends instead of them whom he hath left behind in his own Coun­try: He hath not so narrow a Soul as to fancy him­self a Citizen of one single Town, or of one Re­gion; he thinks himself rather to be a Citizen of all the World, and into what place soever he comes he thinks himself to be as well as in his own Country. A Man of Courage finds every where his Country, as a Fish in every part of the Sea, or a Beast in every corner of the Earth: He still beholds Nature every where in the same Dress, the same Majesty: He sees the same Sun, the same Moon, and the same number of Stars sparkling in the Heavens: He finds every where the same Face of Things, Mountains, Plains, Rivers, Trees, Towns, and all sorts of Animals, almost the same; and if perhaps he sometimes meets with any Va­riety, 'tis not unpleasing to him, nor is he satis­fied till he hath arrived to the full Knowledge of [Page 269] it; and this is that which intices Travellers abroad, and gives them opportunity of much Knowledge and Experience. Nor is he to place this among his Misfortunes, that he is Banish'd by his Fellow-Citizens; for that has been the Case of many an honest and good Man, such as Aristides, Thucidides, Demosthenes, and an infinite Number besides, who may give the same answer as Diogenes did to one who reproached him, That the Inhabitants of Synope had condemned him to be banished. No, said he, you are mistaken, I have condemned them to remain and live for ever in the bottom of Pont Euxinus.

He might consider that Banishment hath been of­ten the occasion of raising Men to an high Station of Honour, which caused that Expression of The­mistocles to be so famous; I should have been un­done if I had not been undone, perieram nisi periissem. He might likewise remember that sometimes upon better considering of things, an honest Man is cal­led back from Exile with much Honour, as it hap­pened to Evagoras, Pelopid [...]s, Alcibiades, Camillus, Cicero, and several others. And it often falls out that we live with more Content and Repose out of our Native Soil than we can in it. This caused Marcellus and Rutilius to say, That they ne­ver lived really, but during the time of their Ba­nishment out of their own Country. Finally, he will return Thanks to Providence, because his Con­dition is become like that of Plato, Gallen, Zeno, Crantor, and divers other famous Travellers, who of their own accord had banished themselves a long time from their own Country, and yet never re­pented of it; because by viewing other parts of the World, they had furnished themselves with the Knowledge of many things; and that by consider­ing the differing Customs of Foreign Nations, they were freed from many Prejudices, and become [Page 270] quite other Men than they should have been had they continually liv'd at Home.

Of Imprisonment.

IMprisonment looks like a thing more grievous; but a wise Man thinks it not so; for his Mind cannot be confined within any Walls, nor Bound with any Chains. How can a Soul, which is always at liberty, and always enjoys it self, be limited within a Prison, seeing it is not to be bounded by the limits of the World? It can run over the spa­cious large compass of the Earth, and in it self ex­amine the Passages of every Age, and by that means search into Eternity it self. His Body being con­fined and at Rest, gives greater Liberty to his Thoughts, not being distracted with that variety of new Objects. 'Tis well known that Anaxagoras, while in Prison, writ a most excellent Treatise of the Quadrature of the Circle; That Socrates did not only act the Philosopher, while confin'd, but com­posed also excellent Verses; that Boetius never writ with a stronger Stile, nor more Elegantly than when in Chains, for this requires a Mind free from Hur­ry, Calm and Serene.

Moreover, some for the more exact composing of an excellent Treatise, have confin'd themselves to their Houses, from whence they could not easily be drawn out. A wise Man makes no great difference whether his Confinement be voluntary or compulsive. Do but consider the multitude of Artizans and Scribes, who are Daily confin'd to their Shops, and tied as it were to their Seats, seem not in the least troubled or concerned, because they look not upon the place where they are thus fixt as a Prison, but as their Dwelling and Abode. This Consideration [Page 271] will cause a Man to undergo his Confinement more easily, because he will look upon the Prison as his Dwelling, and not as a Prison. Besides, when he reflects upon the many Religious who voluntarily confine themselves in a Cloister, and there spend their Days very pleasantly, he will begin to consi­der that a Confinement in it self is not so unsup­portable as we Fancy. And thus when he sees Men shut up in Prison against their Wills, who at first are full of Complaints, and ready to be drown'd with Tears, yet after a few Days rejoice and take delight, sporting with the rest of their Companions; he would think it very strange, that Wisdom should not have as great an influence on a Man of Under­standing, as Custom hath over a Man of meaner Parts. I need not mention here, that it is no new or extraordinary thing for good Men to be clapt up in Prison; that there are many whose Virtue never appears more glorious than in Fetters and under Confinement, and when they are freed they return with so much Splendor and Advantage, that their very Confinement seems to be desired.

Of Slavery.

THE same may be said of Slavery. The Mind of a wise Man is too great to be brought un­der the Dominion of a Master. His Body, the meanest part may indeed be enslaved, but for his Soul this noble and excellent part 'tis too much at liberty, and soars so high, that its out of the reach of any Fellow-Creature to catch at, to subject it to his Dominion. Every one knows how much Cou­rage and Constancy of Mind Epictetus manifested, when he was obliged to be a Servant. And none can be Ignorant what answer Diogenes gave to those [Page 272] who came to Buy him, and asked him what he could do? Said, That he knew how to command Men: And turning himself immediately to the Crier, he bid him cry out, If any would buy a Master: Afterwards, when he came to Xeniades, who was the Buyer, he spoke to him in this manner, Take heed what you do, for tho I am your Slave, you must hereafter obey me, as the Patient obeys the Physician, the Child its Go­vernor; tho the Physician be Slave to the Patient, and the Governor to the Child.

Moreover, whereas the wise Man having long since considered and meditated upon the state of Human Affairs, finds that he has not the Command of For­tune, but as Unhappiness befals others, it may also light upon him. He understands likewise, that being Born a Man, he is subject to [...]ll Human Casualties, and therefore stands always ready and prepared to receive all the Shocks of Fortune, so that there is none but he can with Patience submit to, and there­by render it not only tolerable, but in some measure Easy and Pleasant. If the Master commands, he obeys willingly; and as if he had undertaken the Task of his own accord, it is much at one to him if he does it by another's Command or out of his own Choice. He is glad he has Strength sufficient to undergo what is commanded him, and an Oppor­tunity offered of exercising a Faculty, which other­wise might become benumm'd and useless. He thinks himself happier than his Master, being only in sub­jection to his Will, and having nothing else to do but obey his Commands; whereas his Master re­mains under the Tyranny of many Masters, more Cruel and Troublesome, his Ambition, Envy, An­ger and other Passions; so that in short, he must needs be much the happier, being freed from a thousand Cares and Distractions, which the other is daily liable to.

I shall not mention how many have met with ve­ry good and favourable Masters, under whom at last they have not only obtain'd their Freedom, and got great Preferments, but have been made Heirs of their Estates; and how many having fallen into the Hands of Masters who were wise and learned Men, have had cause to desire their Slavery, as the Servant of Epicurus, named Mus, and Cicero's Slave, called Tyro, and several others.

Of Shame and Disgrace.

A Wise Man will still more willingly bear Shame and Disgrace, when it is thrown upon him, if he be satisfied of his own Innocence, and that he has no way justly deserv'd it. For whether it con­sists in being depriv'd of some publick Office, Ho­nour or Imployment, even for this he may congra­tulate his good Fortune, in having an opportunity of retiring and leading a private and quiet Life, which otherwise he could not easily have obtain'd, tho perhaps he earnestly desir'd it. Or if it consists in the Whisperings and Reports that arise from among the People, he hath too great and noble a Soul to value such Rumours. He knows the Temper of the Populace to be very mutable, that they will this Day applaud, what they will to Morrow decry, be­ing never long pleased, but as we say, more fickle and unconstant than the Moon. His Conscience stands him instead of a thousand Witnesses; his sa­tisfaction is, that he cannot justly charge himself with any Crime, with any Guilt.

In short, if it consists in the Calumnies and Slan­ders of envio [...] [...]d malicious Men, or in opprobri­ous and injurious Language; he is not of so mean a Spirit, as to be cast down and discouraged; for [Page 274] he does not take them as Injuries done to himself, but gives them only the hearing, as if they con­cerned him not, as if they were related of some other, or of him who was the first Inventer. There­fore he who first unjustly rais'd em, has more rea­son to be concerned for falsly accusing the Innocent; nor will he be a little dissatisfied when he finds his mischievous Intention thus disappointed.

A wise Man further considers the great number of Fools there are in the World; and if he should once think himself offended hereat, he would be deemed one of that Number, which must in no small measure disturb the quiet of his Mind. Therefore he Arms himself before-hand, against all such kind of Affronts, by overlooking them; and thinks that he ought no more to be moved at the Revilings of evil Men, than the Moon is at the barking of the Dogs.

Of the loss of Children and Friends.

BUT what shall we say of the loss of Children and Friends, and in one Word, of all that is dear to us? A wise Man will the less afflict him­self, because he knows that our Complaints, our Sighs, our Tears, and our Lamentations are use­less; and that it is in vain to deal thus with Death, who is not to be prevailed upon, and never restores to us the Friends which it once snatches from us. Therefore he prepares himself early for such Acci­dents which he knows may happen, that when they do, he may bear them with Courage, and not be afflicted in vain.

Besides, he observes, That when w [...] are thus griev'd for the loss of our Children or Friends, 'tis not for their sakes, but for our own, that we thus lament [Page 275] and are troubled: For to be grieved because they are safely arrived into the Haven, and are no more vexed with the Evils and Miseries, unto which this Life is subject, this savours of Envy and Cruelty; and to be troubled because they don't enjoy certain Pleasures of this Life, is Weak and Ridiculous, be­cause they don't desire or stand in the least need of 'em, and therefore are not at all displeased, or so much as sensible, of being deprived of 'em. It makes therefore a very specious shew, but at the same time is but a feigned and dissembling sort of Pity, with which we adorn our Grief when we declare that we are grieved for their sakes, seeing that in reality 'tis for our own, because for the time to come we shall be deprived of their Company; because we shall receive no more kind Offices as formerly, no more Honour and Respect, but be deprived of every thing that might render them dear and acceptable unto us. Therefore a wise Man will think it unbecoming him to grieve in this manner for his own Interest, as if he would have had them live only for his pri­vate Ends, and so long only as they might be use­ful and serviceable to him; and not so long as the wise Disposer of all Things had thought good and convenient for them to be.

Besides, He may remember the time that he had no Children, and if it was not grievous then to be without them, so he ought not to think it so now he is deprived of 'em, seeing in respect of him, they are as when they were not. And if we grieve more for the privation of what we once possess'd, than to be without what we never had, this seems to sa­vour a little of the Ingratitude of the Vulgar, who instead of being thankful for what they once enjoy­ed, are still murmuring and repining because they can enjoy it no longer. And he whom Death de­prives of his Son, may with more comfort support [Page 276] it, considering that he hath not lost his Son, but yielded him back to the Author of Nature, who had lent him to him for a time and intrusted him with his Custody; not for ever, but for a limited time. And if it be a Father who is dead, a wise Son will consider, that he hath left him enough to make his Life easy, and preserve him from want, if he hath left him only a Soul that can be content with little. And if it be a Friend, he will suppose that he hath still so much Virtue as to procure ano­ther; so that he may think that he hath not so much lost, as chang'd his Friend.

Of the loss of an Estate.

WHat shall we say likewise of the loss of Riches? A wise Man will certainly so much the less concern himself, for that he will consider, as we have elsewhere observed, That no Man becomes so Poor as to be deprived of the absolute Necessaries of Life, seeing Nature places them within our reach in all parts of the World; and certainly he were much to be blamed that should torment himself, for the loss of that which is not absolutely necessary to his well-being, and which he may live very well and happily without. Let what we have remaining be never so small, we may always find a great number of Persons, who have not so much, or perhaps no more, and yet without troubling themselves, lead more contented Lives than rich Men generally do. Let them be never so Poor they Laugh and Re­joyce, and their Pleasure is so much the greater, in that they are freed from those Cares and Troubles which are inseparable from Riches.

But suppose a Man's Fortune be changed to the greatest disadvantage, so that instead of a Palace, there remains nothing to him but a Cottage; in­stead [Page 277] of a Silk Garment, one of Wool; instead of Partridges, nothing but black Bread; instead of Wine, cold Water; instead of a Coach or Sedan, a Traveller's Staff; instead of a Golden or Silver Cup, nothing but an Earthen Vessel, or the Palm of his Hand, and so of the rest. Suppose I say all this, how many Examples can we produce of those who have been satisfied with these mean Things, have laugh'd and despis'd that deceitful Splendor, and have spent their Days with more Pleasure and Con­tent, than those who abounded with 'em?

And how many are there at present who live ve­ry contentedly and happily, after such a change; nay, who willingly part with their Riches, to en­joy a more retir'd and contented way of Life? We need not therefore here enumerate those primitive Philosophers, who out of an Affection to Learning, and the Pleasure of a free and contemplative Life, forsook their Riches, and embraced Poverty. For we have of late discovered whole Nations, who having no need of those Goods that we call Riches, lead an innocent Life, like to that of our first Fa­thers, whose Times were stiled the Golden Age, and supposed to be the happiest of all Ages.

But if you Fancy that it is more grievous to fall from a great and high Fortune, than to have always remained in a low Condition, 'tis easy to perceive that this is nothing but an Opinion; for in respect of the thing it self, there is no difference if you have been Poor a long time, or if you are become so of late; unless perhaps you suppose that we are to think as Apicius did, who as Seneca reports, hav­ing amass'd a vast Estate together, alotted some Thousands of Pounds for his Kitchen; but when upon making up his Accounts, he found that he had not above an Hundred thousand Pounds remaining, poyson'd himself to prevent Starving.

Of Pain and of Death.

IN the next Place let us treat about Pain and Death, those two Particulars, which in Cicero's Opinion, require an extraordinary courage of Mind to be able to overcome them. For Pain, as it is almost the sole and only substantial Evil, or which depends not as the rest, upon meer Fancy, no doubt there is much Fortitude and a Greatness of Soul re­quired, patiently to undergo it. A wise Man there­fore will here seriously consider, that he is born sub­ject to many Inconveniences of Life, and among the rest to Pain; that it is the Property of Nature to be sensible of Evil, but it is the Property of Vir­tue to bear it with Courage; and that when the Evil is not to be avoided, we ought rather to allay it, by a patient quiet submitting to it, than to ag­gravate and incense it by uneasy and vain Struglings. Also that Pain is not a thing altogether intolerable, seeing so many famous Examples prove the contra­ry, not only among great Hero's and Philosophers, such as Zeno and Anaxarches, but even among the very Slaves themselves, witness him whom the greatest Tortures could not hinder from expressing a joy upon his Countenance, for having reveng'd the Death of his Master, by killing Asdrubal, who had Murdered him. Nay, whole Nations can te­stify the like, as for Instance, the Lacedemonians, whose Children were wont to whip one another al­most to Death, and yet never shewed any sign of Pain either in their Countenance or Speech, that so they might be rendred more capable of undergoing any thing for their Countries sake. I shall not name that other Person, who knowing that it was reputed no Shame among his Country-men to Steal, [Page 279] but to be caught in the Theft, suffered his Bowels to be devoured by a little Fox that he had Stole and hid in his Bosom, without expressing any sign of Pain, for fear of discovering the Theft.

He will also consider, That if the Pain be light, it is easy to be born; if great, that it is so much the more Glorious and Honourable to endure it with Courage, and that by frequent Custom it will be­come more supportable, or that being of no long continuance, it will speedily put an end either to him or his Suffering. If it ceaseth, the Pleasure of being delivered from it, and the health of Body that suc­ceeds, with a perfect Indolency, are so pleasing and delightsome, that we seem to be well satisfied with the Pain we have undergone, from the Pleasure we enjoy of being freed from it. And if it takes away the Sufferer, it brings him to the end of all Suffer­ings. So that this Suffering brings at least this Ad­vantage with it, that it makes our Life, which we must needs part with, less pleasing, and Death less terrible; wherefore many care not how soon they Dye, expecting thereby to be delivered from their Pains, so that every Day they talk after this man­ner, ‘Nor is Death Grievous, whilst it ends my Pains.’

Now as for Death, we have already alledged so many things to shew that we ought to expect it, and bear it patiently, that it is needless to insist any longer upon this Particular. Let us therefore con­clude with that kind of general Consolation which Horace in few Words expresseth:

With equal Foot impartial Fate,
Knocks at the Cottage and the Palace Gate.

And the French Poet Malherbius imitates him.

The Beggar in Straw,
Keeps the general Law;
And when Death gives the Word, must advance.
And the Guards that each Hour,
Take their Place at the Louvre,
Can't defend the great Monarchs of France.

CHAP. VII. Of Temperance.

CIcero tells us, That Temperance makes up the second principal Part of Morality. The Greeks style it [...], that is to say, the Prote­ctrice of Prudence, or as Plato terms it, the safety of Prudence; from hence a temperate Man is called [...], that is, one who preserves Wisdom, or one who keeps his Senses entire and sound; and herein he is opposed to [...], an Imprudent Man, or a Fool; for he who is Intemperate seems to have lost all Prudence, to have no due use either of his Sense or his Reason. This Virtue also is sometimes taken in too large an extent, sometimes too narrow, and sometimes in a mediocrity; and in this last Sense we shall now treat of it. Now that it is taken some­times in too large a Sense, as generally comprehend­ing all Virtues, or for all that is excellent and com­mendable in any other Virtue, even the Word it self seems to import, for Temperance expresseth a Mediocrity; and all Virtue is a Mediocrity. Be­sides, [Page 281] it is, as we have said, the Protectrice of Pru­dence, without which no Virtue can subsist, and ac­cording to the Opinion of Pythagoras, 'tis the Life and Vigour of the Soul: Socrates names it the Foun­dation of Virtue; Plato the Ornament of all good Things; and Iamblicus the Breast-plate of all the most excellent Habits. That 'tis sometimes taken in too narrow a signification, may appear when 'tis understood only for that Virtue that gives a check to the Pleasures of Tasting and Feeling, and com­prehends only Sobriety and Chastity.

Lastly, It seems to be taken in a moderate Lati­tude and Extent, when we understand not only here­by the regulation of the particular Appetites of Tasting and Feeling, &c. but likewise such as puff up the Mind, and carry it beyond the bounds of De­cency and Honesty. So that we may say that a tem­perate Man is not only such a one who lives Sober­ly and Chastly, but he also who neither Speaks nor Acts any thing but agreeable with Justice and Mo­deration, and which is accepted and approved of by all good and wise Men.

Of Modesty and Decency.

WHerefore among the several species of Tem­perance, Sobriety and Chastity are not on­ly to be reckoned, which we have before mentioned, but also many of those which we name Potential, as are Gentleness or Mildness, Clemency, Modesty, and some others. So that Modesty and Decency, which are said to be the integral Parts, are of a larger Signification, as being too general Means, the one to draw us from Intemperance, and the other to incline us to it: For Modesty, tho Aristotle pre­tends that 'tis no Virtue, but rather a bashful di­sturbance, [Page 282] as being nothing else but a certain fear of Infamy; nevertheless, this disturbance tends to oppose that sort of Pleasure which we may take in too great Confidence, which produces a great Dis­pleasure, namely, that which proceeds from Infa­my and Disgrace. And Decency at least, as it is here taken, is nothing else but a certain Convenien­cy, [...], approved of, which prevailing upon us by its Beauty, causeth us to give a check to that daring Impudence, so that thereby our good Reputation being preserved safe and sound, it pro­cures a certain Pleasure, much greater and more sin­cere.

Now tho it is commendable to shun Intemperance and to follow Temperance, because of Decency alone and good Manners, 'tis likewise commendable for Modesty's sake, or for fear of Shame, which would otherwise ensue. For as we cannot hate Darkness but we must love the Light, so we can­not hate Shame and Dishonour, but we must have a love for a good Reputation, and for an honest Name. Therefore when Aristotle, in his Book to Nicomachus, seems to disallow Modesty, he does not mean that Shamefacedness which appears in the blushing Countenance of young Persons, who are apt to be too far transported by a juvenile Heat; but he allows it not in aged Persons, who ought ne­ver to commit any thing whereof they may be ashamed; for elsewhere in his great Treatises of Mo­rality, he placeth Modesty among the other Virtues, and gives to it this Definition, A Mediocrity between Impudence and Insensibility; as if he should say, That Modesty is a certain kind of Shame, occasioned not by the commission of any base and dishonest Action, but proceeds to advise and hinder us from the committing of it.

Of Sobriety and Chastity in general.

THese two Virtues seem to deserve a particular Tract at large, for they constitue two princi­pal kinds of Temperance; but we can scarce add any thing to what hath been formerly said, when we have mentioned the great advantages of a sober Life, and when we have instanced that noble and celebrated Maxim of Epicurus, Sapientem non esse amaturum; nunquam prodesse venerea. Therefore I shall here only observe some things in general, and then more particularly. In general, that the Praise and Advantage of these two Virtues seem for the most part to consist not in the withdrawing our selves from living after the manner of Brutes, in respect of Lusts and Pleasure, but rather to ap­proach nearer to 'em. This will not seem so great a Paradox, if we do but consider that we are very frequently more intemperate and worse than those Creatures that follow the meer dictates of Nature, whereas we debauch and abuse Nature. For there is no doubt but that that strong Inclination and De­sire which we have for Eating and Drinking is na­tural, seeing we find it equally in all Animals, and proceeds from the institution of Nature, who has ordain'd, that by Food the Life of every individual Creature might be preserved and lengthned, and by the use of venereal Acts every Species of Creatures might by a succession of Propagations be continued, and as it were eternised. Now this being certain, The Question is, Whether Men or other Animals, which of them contain themselves most within the bounds of Nature.

We see that the Beasts live upon very plain Food, provided for them by Nature; whereas the Drink [Page 284] and Food of Men is changed, mingled and sophisti­cated in divers manners. We see also that when the Beasts and other Animals are once satisfied, they neither Eat nor Drink any more, but stop till the next Hunger and Thirst invites 'em; whereas Men are not satisfied to have filled themselves with all the variety of Meats and Drinks, but still farther provoke their Appetites by pinant Sauses and relish­ing Morsels, after Nature is satisfied. We find al­so that other Animals have a set time for Copulati­on, and after Conception they abstain; whereas Men have no time appointed for that purpose; nay after that the Female hath conceived they remain still in­clinable to the same Act, and with as much heat as before. Besides, none but Men are guilty of the shameful and base abusing their own Sex against Na­ture. Are not therefore Men in such Actions rather Brutes, and Brutes such as Men ought to be; and consequently are not Men, in respect of the desire of Eating and Drinking and of veneral Acts, to be sent to be instructed by the Brutes, that they might be taught to live Temperately? Truly if to live according to the Rules of Virtue, is to live ac­cording to the dictates of Nature, no Man will say, that to live as Men do, is to live after the Rules of Virtue, but rather that we should imitate the Beasts and other Creatures. 'Tis therefore a high Dis­grace, not that Men should be advised to live after the manner of Brutes, but when they live worse than they, that they must be sent to be instructed by their Examples.

But to not insist any longer upon this particular, we will proceed to examin that excellent Descrip­tion of a temperate Man, recommended by Aristotle. After he had Taught, That Temperance is a Medi­ocrity between Intemperance and the want of Sense or Stupidity, and had proved, that Intemperance [Page 285] covets in such a manner the things that bring De­light, that it suffers and is pained, not only when it cannot enjoy them, but also while it desires them, and that the insensible Person who is not moved with any Pleasure, is so far from all Humanity, that such an one is scarce to be found; He proceeds to tell us, The temperate Person keeps himself in a certain Me­dium, for he is not delighted in such things wherein an intemperate Man places his Pleasure, but he is rather offended at and abominates 'em. He takes no delight in that which is not Honest and fit to be delighted in; and there is nothing that transports him so much, but if he be disappointed in obtaining it, doth any ways vex and torment him. He desires nothing after so absolute a Manner, but his Affections are moderate, never ex­ceeding their just Bounds under all Circumstances. All that procures Pleasure, and which at the same time tends to the Health of the Body, he desires with Moderation, and as it is convenient; as also the other things that are grateful so far as they are no Impediment to what we have mentioned, nor are contrary to Honesty, nor above our Abilities: For he who is otherwise affected, and de­sires these things with more earnestness than he ought, is not Temperate, but he who desires and seeks them ac­cording to the Rules of Reason. In which Passage of Aristotle you see, the temperate Man is not he who abstains absolutely from all Pleasures, but from such as are not honestly to be attained; such as those are that are contrary to Nature, that are prohibited by the Laws, that prejudice Health, that blemish our Reputation or ruin our Family; but he scruples not to enjoy moderately the Pleasures that have none of these inconveniences attending. For in such there is nothing but what suits with his Humanity, and according to Nature, who hath not given us an Inclination to them in vain.


This is the Picture that this Philosopher hath drawn us of a temperate Person. Therefore he re­proves the Censoriousness of those who exclaim against the Pleasures with which themselves are taken; it seeming in it self a Contradiction; as if every one did not always carry his own Nature about with him, which by word he may seem to deny, but in effect cannot.

Likewise, saith he, for that reason 'tis no wonder, tho to live according to Nature be to live Virtuously, and notwithstanding 'tis so easy to follow Nature, there be nevertheless so few that pursue after Virtue, because the Virtue that they praise is rather against Nature, than agreable with its Rules. 'Tis not but that there is a Virtue to deny our selves and abstain from such Pleasures altogether, but this Virtue is not natural, but of another kind; it may, for Instance, belong to Religion, that commands Nature, and constrains it, being more excellent, and forces Nature to submit to it.

Of Sobriety in particular.

NOW to say something particularly of these two Virtues, Sobriety and Chastity, let us observe only this difference between them, That we may so order and govern our Life, that we may lessen the first Motives, and consequently may be less inclinable to those lustful Desires, and in this State we may spend our Life. But as it is not possi­ble to hinder the natural Heat from consuming con­tinually the radical Moisture, so we cannot live but we must from time to time recruit that loss by Eat­ing and Drinking moderately. Now tho this Mo­deration may have divers respects, for Example, in reference to the Age, to the state of Life, to the con­ [...]titution [Page 287] of the Body, to the Manners of the Coun­ [...]ry, &c. Nevertheless it consists generally to have [...] regard to our Health, and therefore in relation to Eating and Drinking, we must take care that we [...]ransgress not either in the quantity, which often [...]appens, when we eat and drink without Hunger [...]nd Thirst, or in the Quality, which is when we [...]ake any thing that either naturally or by art or mixture is too hot or too cold; and not being fit [...]or Digestion becomes a kind of Poison, causeth Belchings, Winds and Collicks; makes the Head [...]eavy, disturbs our Sleep, attended with many more [...]uch inconveniences.

As to what relates to the Quantity in particular, we must take a special care that we do not exceed what our Hunger and Thirst prompt us to; for as Nature hath given us an Appetite of Eating and Drinking, it hath also given us Hunger and Thirst, as the measure of what is needful to be taken, and what to be refused. But because in the most part of the Meats, in Bread it self, and in Wine, there is something Artificial, from whence proceeds that which provokes Appetite, and makes it become greater than it would be naturally: Therefore wise Men have fancied that it makes for our Health to give a check to our Appetite, and stop betime. And because some might object that other Animals that follow Nature, and consequently never do ought in prejudice of their Health, Eat and Drink till they be fully satisfied; They answer, That the Animals live upon Food purely natural, and which never stirs up Hunger nor Thirst, as that doth which Men make use of. This is plain in Drink, the most na­tural, which is Water, and that we drink with great Pleasure, but as soon as the Thirst is allayed we have no more Inclination to it. However, 'tis certain that no Person repents to have risen from [Page 288] Table without being fully satisfied, but we have often been sorry to have filled our Stomachs so full, that we were able to eat no more. And doubtless it is not without Cause that Diogenes won­ders that Men will eat for Pleasure, and that they will not forbear Eating for the same Reason, seeing there is so much Pleasure in being Healthy and free from Diseases, and by this means will be ready the sooner to repeat the same Pleasure with the more delight and Satisfaction.

In relation to the Quality, it seems also that then we have a regard to our Health, when we shall nourish our selves with plain Food, easy to be di­gested, and which we know to be proper and con­venient. For this reason we see some Country-people who live upon nothing but Bread, Fruits and Water, and yet enjoy a perfect Health, without any need of a Physitian: Whereas those who feed at plentiful Tables have but a weak Body, and are often forced to seek the assistance of the Physitian. Therefore there have always been some Sects of wise Men, such as Pythagoras, who abstained from Eating the Flesh of living Creatures, and contented themselves with the plain Products of Nature, and have spent their Life in Health and Pleasure. I shall not here repeat what we have said elsewhere, that Flesh seems to be no natural Food for Mankind, but as Custom hath made it so; we should consider at least that the use of Flesh is so much the more Healthy, the more plainly 'tis prepared. And that the Arts of Cooks, of Confectioners and others, who by their different Mixtures and Sauces do as it were change our very Food, seem to have been intended for the de­struction of the Health of Mankind. Therefore we cannot but wonder why we should with so much earnestness prosecute such as Poison, and yet hire and entertain the Contrivers of our dainty Dishes, [Page 289] who by a deceitful Art destroy no less their Life and Health. But how few are there that are not car­ried away by the deceitful Charms of a liquorish Tast, and being bewitched with the present Plea­sure, never take heed nor apprehend the Mischiefs that follow? What great Reason had Democritus to Laugh at those who make Vows to the Gods for their Health, and yet by their debaucht and disor­derly living, undertake to ruin it daily? 'Tis a won­derful thing, saith Diogenes, That Men have so much care to cause their Bodies to be Embalmed after their Death, and yet all their endeavours during Life is to be­come rotten.

Of Chastity in particular.

FInally, in relation to Chastity, I will only ob­serve, that whereas this Virtue is to struggle with the most violent of all the Passions, unto which there is scarce any Body but submits; I shall here mention Two or Three principal means that may serve as Bulworks to defend us from danger.

The First is a great Sobriety; for it will be in vain to attempt to give a check to this unruly and imperious Appetite, unless you carefully cherish this Virtue which tho encourged, it you will still have great difficulty to overcome this Lust. Long before Terence was heard of, it hath been said, That without Wine and good Cheer Love grows Cold. Which is easily to be made out; for that which encourages Love and stirs up Lust, is the increase of natural Seed, which swells and moves in the Vessels, excites Nature, and obliges it to free it self from that which is troublesome to it. Now as this increase pro­ceeds from the quantity or quality of the Food, if any Person be very temperate in his living, and if [Page 290] he takes care to use no Meats that are too hot, or fit to augment the Seed, he will take away the Few­el and the Oil, as I may so say, which serves to in­crease and add Flame to this Fire. Therefore those who profess a chast and continent Life, ought not ful­ly to satisfy themselves, but as we have said before, retain always a Stomach for more, Citra satietatem vesci. Their Virtue will not want a sufficient Re­ward, for they will become stronger and more lu­sty, because the ejection of the Seed diminishes the Strength and Spirits, which is the cause why other Animals, and even the very Trees, the more fruit­ful they are, the sooner they grow Old.

The Second Means is some honest Employ, which may entertain and spend some of the Spirits that make the Seed to boil up, and so give a diversion to the Thoughts: For the Imagination, which fixes up­on the beloved Object, and is not otherwise divert­ed, is easily heated, and from a little Spark kindles and becomes a great Flame. Therefore we ought to take a strong Resolution to resist all base and dishonest Thoughts, to avoid all occasions which might cause them to rise, whether by the Sight, or too intimate and private Discourses, or by Reading, or Touching, or otherwise; and if casu­ally any doth arise, not to give it time to take any deep root, but to banish it at first; and in so doing we discover our Manhood; for the more you give way, the greater will be the difficulty to stop your self in so slippery a Path: So that there is no­thing can be a greater Truth than what is common­ly said, That it is a kind of Combat, where the Victory is not to be obtained, but by flying away.

The Third is the custom of resisting and overcom­ing; for as we become so much the more inclinable to Love, the more easy and the more often we yield and submit to it, so we become so much the [Page 291] more Continent, the more courageously we resist, and the less we are overcome by it.

I confess the violence of this Passion is great, but it often happens that the weakness of our Spirit is such, that at the first Assault we suffer our selves to be overcome. You yield upon the first Assault, with­out making any effort, or exercising your Resolu­tion in trying whether you might not have Strength enough to withstand the Temptation, and so no wonder that the Passion triumphs and gets the Vi­ctory over your Reason. But perhaps you will say, I have already contracted an Habit. Well, Why don't you endeavour by forbearance to destroy this Habit, and to bring in a contrary? For the thing is not impossible, if you will strive with all your Courage. Learn by degrees to be Continent, and if you cannot abstain one Day of two, at least ab­stain one in a Week; for by this means it will happen that in a little while you will attain three Days of Abstinence, afterwards Six, and after that you will be Conqueror during whole Weeks and Months. But above all things remember, that as it is almost impossible but that many things must in­tervene, which may divert you from your Design, so you ought to keep steady and fixt to your Reso­lution. You must break through all Obstacles; You must proceed still on, and be continually going for­ward; You must consider with your self, that it is a great weakness to express so early a Repentance, and being a Man as you are, to shew nothing less than your Manhood. Consider what a satisfaction you will have when the Fatigue will be over, and that you shall find that you have got the Victory; whereas if you suffer your self to be meanly over­come, a troublesome and uneasy Repentance will attend you; but otherwise you will applaud and ap­prove of your Happiness when you shall have brave­ly [Page 292] obtained the Conquest. You will also from thence receive new Strength to help you to overcome again in a like Temptation, and if you continue, you will find that by degrees you will alter the evil Habit, that you will draw your self out of a cruel Bondage, deliver your self from a base Tyranny; and instead of a dark and clouded Spirit it will become clear and Serene; instead of a feeble and diseased Body it will become strong and vigorous; and instead of a languishing and short Life it will become healthy and long. Not to mention here the loss of Repu­tation and Goods, neither shall I instance in those other odious Mischiefs which are known to all the World.

I shall not here trouble my self to inform you, That it is usual to subdivide these two kinds of Temperance each into two Parts; so that they assign four parts commonly subject to Temperance, where­of Two of them relate to the Tast, namely, Absti­nence and Sobriety; the First concerns our Eating, the Second our Drinking; and the other Two re­late to Venery, namely, Chastity and Modesty: The First concerns the Act it self, and the Latter some Circumstances, such as are Kisses, Approaches, Em­braces, Looks and Discourses, &c. I shall not insist here to prove that Modesty is either Chastity it self, and principally that of Virginity, which being once lost, as the Poet saith, can never be retrieved.

—Nulla reparabilis arte,
Laesa Pudicitia est; deperit illa semel.

Or if it be understood for that Virtue that gives a check to the Circumstances that we have named, it ought not to be esteemed so much a part subject to Prudence, as a potential part of Chastity. I will only observe in relation to Modesty, (which is so [Page 293] called from the word Modest, being a kind of a Guard to Chastity,) that tho Nature produces no­thing whereof we ought to be ashamed as an obscene Thing; (and therefore among Nations who own no Obscenity, neither in the Members of the Body, nor in the Language or Names that are given to them; for as to this we are to refer our selves to common Usage,) nevertheless among those People who do own any such thing, we are to refrain from them, and we are not to banish Modesty, which obligeth us to forbear them; for let it be either Na­ture, or Law, or Custom, which makes things to be esteemed Brave, Good or Honest, 'tis always Nature that commands them to be observed, which is to be obeyed for the common Good, in which the Happiness and Welfare of every private Per­son, as due to him of common right, is comprised. Therefore Cicero discourses excellently well upon this Point. We are not to hearken to the Cynicks, who Laugh at us because we esteem things to be filthy and undecent in Words, which are not really so indeed; and on the contrary, Things that are really Wicked and Dishonest we don't stick to mention by their proper Names: As to Steal, to Cheat, to commit Whoredom, which indeed is Ʋnjust and Dishonest, and yet is spoken without any Ob­scenity; To beget Children is an honest Act, but yet to use the proper Term is Obscene and Immodest. For our part let us follow the dictates of Nature, and let us ab­stain from all that our Eyes or Ears cannot honestly en­dure; let our Carriage, our Gate, our Sitting, our Lying down, our Countenance, our Eyes and our Hands, ob­serve the Rules of Modesty. And hear what he says in another Place: After he had shewn that there is nothing more indecent and unbecoming, than in se­rious and weighty Matters to mix loose and light Ex­pressions; Says he, Thus Pericles treated the Poet So­phocles very wisely, who while sitting upon the Bench [Page 294] with him in open Court, espied a beautiful young Damsel pass by; and not being able to contain himself, cried out, What a Beauty is there before us! Pericles answered, O Sophocles, 'tis becoming a Judge upon the Bench to be Modest and Grave, not only in respect to his Hands, but in respect to his Eyes also.

Of Mildness and Gentleness.

WE shall now speak something as to the other parts of Temperance, which some name Subject Parts, others Potential. But Mildness seems truly to belong rather to Fortitude than to Temperance, in that it relates to Truth, which ariseth because of Pain, and because it resides in that part of the Appetite which derives its name from Wrath, namely, in the irascible part, there­fore it seems to deserve to be plac'd under Forti­tude: Nevertheless, as it is the property of Forti­tude to raise and encourage; and of Temperance to check and depress; and that in respect of Wrath the Mind hath not so much need to be incited and stir'd up as to be curb'd and kept in, for this rea­son it is commonly placed under Temperance. However, Aristotle teacheth, That Mildness or Gentleness ought to be reckoned among the Vir­tues, because 'tis a Mediocrity or a Medium be­tween two Extremes; the one a Temper inclina­ble to Wrath, as when a Man is either sooner or in a higher degree enraged, than he ought against one who deserves it not, or for some frivolous Cau­ses: The other a simple Meekness or want of Anger, as when a Man is not angry, when, and against whom, and for such Reasons as he ought to be angry; for he declares that under certain Cir­cumstances, [Page 295] 'tis not only lawful, but also requisite and needful to be so, and that because Nature it seems hath not only given Man an Inclination to Anger, but also because that this Passion is as a Spur that stirs us up and encourages us to repel, not only private Injuries, but likewise puts us upon securing our selves against such publick Dangers and Cala­mities as may affect our Country, Parents, Rela­tions, &c. and all good Men. By this means our private and publick Welfare is secured and main­tained, and a Way is open to great and generous Actions.

Nevertheless, the Stoicks, not without some Co­lour of Reason, seem to require a total Suppression of Anger; and because 'tis impossible to be al­together free from it, we shall therefore at least be so much the happier the less we are subject to this cruel and troublesome Passion: I say, if it be not possible to be altogether freed from it; for there is scarce any hopes that a wise Man should be altogether free from Anger, as Seneca very well observes by this discourse which he ascribes to So­crates, who yet was esteem'd the wisest of Men: I would beat thee if I were not in Anger. And by another Saying which he assigns to Plato: Speu­sippus, Chastise for me that Slave, for I am now angry. He tells us, That when Plato held up his Hand as if he were going to beat his Slave, and that his Friend ask'd him what he ailed, and what he was doing, Plato returned this excellent answer, Exigo poenas ab homine iracundo; I punish an angry Man. Now that there is nothing more desirable than to be seldom or never angry is plain and ma­nifest, because there is no Passion that disturbs all parts of the Body more, the Blood, the Heart, the Eyes, the Mouth, &c. nor is the Mind less quiet. For that Reason Epicurus hath very well ex­press'd [Page 296] it, That an extraordinary Anger turns a Man into a Fool. And Seneca saith, That a short Anger is a short Madness. And Philemon, That we all play the Fool while we are angry, Desipimus omnes donec irati sumus. Therefore we cannot endeavour too much to root out this brutish Passion; which is not to be thought requisite to defend us from, and revenge Injuries, seeing that a calm and quiet Spirit may do it much better, and without fear of Repentance, were it only to keep Servants within the Bounds of their Duty; for in such a Case, a feigned and seeming Anger is sufficient either to Punish their Crimes or to Chastise their Failings; for we are not to be more angry than the Law it self; or than a Physician, who without any discom­posure orders his Burnings and Incisions: We have already mentioned those excellent Verses of Clau­dian, who requires a wise Man to be always Ma­ster of himself, and to punish Offenders without Wrath.

But as the Fancy that we have of being offended, is that which stirs up Anger; we have already ob­served, (speaking of Fortitude,) That a wise Man ought to be above all Affronts, and that he can­not revenge himself more honourably than by de­spising 'em. I will here only add, That we ought to moderate and over-come this eagerness of Re­venge, and reduce it to a mild and meek Tem­per, which of all other Virtues is most becoming a Man, and makes him beloved; for every one hath Affection for such as are naturally mild and full of Humanity, who are easily appeased, and apt and in­clinable to forgive. We receive thereby a great Advantage; for by this means we free our selves from that Fretfulness which consumes a revenge­ful Spirit, troubles our Mind, spends our Strength; and not being satisfied with the Evil already re­ceived, [Page 297] he draws often upon himself a greater Mis­chief, by endeavouring to take Vengeance. Can there be a greater blindness or madness than that of some Men, who being affronted, challenge the Offender in Duel, where it often happens that he who suffered the former wrong, loseth also his Life, and sacrifices it, if I may so say, to him whose Affront he could not slight and pass by? Let us with due Thanks and Praises own the steddy and unshaken Justice of a neighbouring Prince, who by his severe Edicts hath freed his Nation from this barbarous and inhuman Custom.

Of Clemency.

AS for Clemency, it differs from Mildness, in that the latter relates generally to all Men; but Clemency only to Inferiours. Therefore Se­neca saith, That it is not only a Moderation of Spirit in that Power that we leave to revenge our selves; but also a gentleness in a Superiour, in Punishing and Cha­stising of Inferiours. It is likewise known, that as Meekness or Mildness leans and inclines rather to the defect than the excess of Anger, so also Clemen­cy inclines more to the want than to the excess of Punishment: So that Indulgence is not so much opposite to it as Cruelty of Mind, or that kind of Inhumanity that appears in the extraordinary Pu­nishment of Offenders. 'Tis not without Reason that this Virtue is esteem'd proper to generous and noble Minds. It becomes all Men in general, who have Authority over those who ask Pardon for their Faults; but 'tis more particularly the Orna­ment and Glory of Kings and Princes. Therefore Cicero calls it a Royal Virtue: For as 'tis incident to a weak, cowardly, and savage Nature, to shew [Page 298] Cruelty to those who are over-come, nay, tho' they have given no particular Provocation; so it be­longs to a noble and generous Mind to express Cle­mency to the Conquered. And as Cruelty renders Men hateful and odious, so Clemency, procures them love, affection, and respect; for as the same Author saith, As 'tis a brutish Inclination to de­stroy by Cruelty, so 'tis a Divine Temper to save by Pardoning.. In some Cases indeed, we cannot well Pardon without bringing danger upon our selves, and this is more properly term'd Severity than Cru­elty; but when there is no inconveniency to be feared, but on the contrary there appears a likeli­hood of purchasing to our selves the Kindness of others, and to make them more subject and obe­dient by the Sense of Gratitude, 'tis not only glo­rious to save such as you may destroy, but profit­able and pleasant to deserve or experience the Kindness, either of those who are obliged, or of others who will find by that means a disposition full of Goodness and Love. 'Tis strange to consider, how great Affection we have for those whom we read of in History to have shewn themselves very kind and merciful, and how we abominate those who have been barbarous and cruel. This shews sufficiently what great difference there is in the Reputation of those Princes who strive to de­serve and purchase to themselves the glorious and august Title of Fathers of their Country, and of those who fancy this Motto which Seneca calls odi­ous, Let 'em hate me so they fear me.

Of Mercy.

SEneca tells us, that after Clemency we ought to inquire what Mercy is, because this Virtue seems to be near a kin, and much resembles Cle­mency; nay, is sometimes taken for Clemency it self: For tho' Mercy seems to be nothing else but a certain grief or concern that we have for ano­thers Calamity; yet it resembles Clemency, be­cause the Misery of him who is fallen, even forces it from us. Therefore sometimes it seems to be Clemency it self; and that in the Judgment of the sacred Writers, who highly recommended it, as also among the Philosophers; as Cicero, who making his Address to Caesar, tells him, Of all the Virtues that attend you, the most esteemed of Men, and the most admirable, is Mercy; for nothing makes us so like the Gods, as to give Life to Men: Your Fortune hath nothing greater than to be able, and your Soul and Dis­position, nothing better than to be willing to preserve many. And tho' Seneca saith, That Mercy is the weakness of a mean Spirit, that 'tis common to the most wicked; and that we see none but old Women, and ge­nerally the Female Sex who are moved, and pity the Tears of the greatest Villains, who if not strongly guard­ed, would break their Prisons; Yet he confesseth, That many extol this Virtue, and name an honest Man a merciful Man. But he understands the matter as the Stoicks do, who pretend, That a wise Man is never moved with Compassion, nor Pardons any.

But tho' the Stoicks will have the Mind of a wise Man not subject to Displeasure, and consequently ought not to be moved with the Calamities of o­thers; nevertheless, the Peripateticks and all o­thers, maintan, That he may be moved moderate­ly, [Page 300] that so he may thereby be excited to succour and assist such as are in Misery. I confess it is no ad­vantage to a Man in Misery, that others should be moved or afflicted for his Calamity, for that is only so far serviceable as to incline us to assist him, and therefore we are not to be blamed for keeping our selves from an affliction which is hurtful and brings no profit; however yet it tends to excite and fur­ther our assistance. Moreover, 'tis also Hu­man and Natural to be afflicted with those that suf­fer; nay 'tis to be suspected that our assistance will be but slender and backward, if it be not encou­raged by an inward Motion: For that Reason we are not altogether to condemn this inward Inclina­tion, because we may have it in such a manner, as it may not be a torment to us, but rather the natu­ral effect of a free and generous Propensity to acts of Humanity and Charity.

Of Modesty and Humility.

WE shall next speak of Modesty, which tho' it is of a large extent, yet chiefly consists in moderating our Passions in the pursuit of Honour and Glory. Now 'tis manifest that this Virtue draws nearer to a defect than to an excess, in that Pride is rather opposite to it, than the contempt of Honour. I confess, Aristotle calls him Modest only who deserves but little, and in reality Fancies ac­cording to his Deserts; but the name of Modest seems likewise applicable to him, who tho he may deserve much, nevertheless hath no overwean'd Opinion of himself, nor does he strictly exact all the Honour and Respect due to him; for knowing the weak­ness of human Nature, and remembring his frail Condition, begins to suspect that the Opinion that [Page 301] he entertains of his own Merit may deceive him. And truly that Magnanimity so much extoll'd by Aristotle, seems rather to consist in prompting us to aim at and attempt great Things, than believe that we merit or deserve 'em. Besides, it seems not to be puffed up nor boast of its deserts, by declining Honours, but at least admits and receives them with Modesty: In a Word, our expressing our Modesty in our Actions and Behaviour, is as the crowning and completion of our great and noble Deeds. There­fore 'tis not without cause that the Antients have compared a Man of Merit and Virtue, to an Ear of Wheat, which the fuller it is, the more it stoops. And Demosthenes observes, That a Man who is so­lidly learned, is so far from boasting of it, that he blushes when any one seems to Extol and Praise him.

But we must not therefore think that this Mode­sty is the same which we call Pusillanimity, which he supposes to be when any one believes that he de­serves less than really he doth; for this Pusillanimity or Bashfulness consists also in having rather an ap­prehension and fear of undertaking great Things, than in believing that we deserve 'em. Now as in a Man of great worth, Ostentation lessens the Glory of his Merits, and darkens it very much; so 'tis an odious and vain-glorious Thing in a Man of no Merit to be puffed up with the over-wean'd con­ceit of himself and his own Actions. Vain-Glory hath this Evil attending, that it is approved by none, but hated of all the World; whereas Modesty hath this advantage, that there is no Body but de­lights in it and loves it.

From whence we may here observe, That this Modesty is not such a contempt of Honour, as if there were no difference between Things honorary and Things blame-worthy; but only a contempt of [Page 302] Honour without Merit, or meerly in Affectation, and which differs much from that which is real in the Opinion of good Men, and which we duly obtain, when we are judged worthy of it; which seems to be so much the more agreeable with Truth, that it is manifest that an honest Man undertakes great Things to deserve this Opinion; neverthelss he ob­serves the Rules of Modesty, to avoid the Shame and Disgrace that Vain-Glory draws upon us. So that we may truly say, That the less we seek after Honour, the easilier and the sooner we obtain it; it being more glorious, as an ancient Author observes, to ask why a Statue hath not been erected for such an one, than why it hath.

We may likewise understand, That Modesty hin­ders not those who are advanced to a Dignity, to maintain the Honour of that Post; for it is the Inte­rest of a Commonwealth or Kingdom, that those who Govern should be Honoured; for fear if Con­tempt should creep in, the Government would suf­fer by it, and that the preservation of the Honour of our Dignity is no vain Glory, but a real Act of Justice, as the neglect of it seems not so much to be a private Modesty, as a publick Injury.

Now all that has been spoken of Modesty, may be said of Humility, as it is a religious Virtue: For tho heathen Authors look upon it as proceeding from a mean abject Spirit, nevertheless, 'tis with great Reason that the Holy Pen-men look upon it as a very great degree of Modesty, and it is to be judg­ed so much the more perfect, because it comes from a love of Piety, and supposing it be true and sincere, and not feigned nor hypocritical, it removes and banishes all Vain-Glory. For tho the Modesty of the Philosophers seems outwardly to despise Honour, yet it excludes not all the other Passions, but this Religious Humility ascribes to God all Honour and [Page 303] Glory. I say upon condition that it be sincere, for there is sometimes Hypocrisy mingled with it. Therefore we need not wonder that some have ex­claimed against Diogenes and some other of the Phi­losophers, That they had conquer'd one kind of Vanity by exalting another.

But 'tis not without ground what we said before, that this Modesty is of a large extent, because it ap­pears in all the things which we desire to draw from Honour or Praise. And in Virtue it self, which doubtless can have no excess, and in which there is nothing that might make us ashamed: I say in Virtue it self this Modesty appears when there is no Ostentation of it, but we embrace and practise it si­lently, without making it appear but when it is convenient, and always free from Pride. Which is also to be said proportionably of Science or Know­ledg, unless it be that there is moreover a certain kind of Distemper, commonly called Curiosity, to desire to know those Things which are not lawfully to be pried into, or which are useless when known. This Modesty appears also in our Discourse in se­veral respects; for First, as there is nothing so trou­blesome as a pratling Loquacity, so there is no­thing more commendable than a prudent Silence, or that Forbearance which makes us speak only to those to whom we ought, and of such Things and at such times as we ought. So that that Saying of Simonides is become a kind of Proverb; That no Man did ever repent of being Silent; but very often off too much Speaking. And Epaminondas, was commen­ded because no Man knew more than he, and yet no Man Spoke less. Wherefore, as Speech hath been given to Man to unfold and express his Thoughts, it will suffice to take heed that this be not used in­discreetly, as it happens, when any speaks out of Sea­son, or without being required, or more than comes [Page 304] to his share, uttering all that comes uppermost, and scarce permitting any Body else to put in a Word; when he Speaks, as we say, at random, and that he utters all that comes first; in short, when he hath such an impatience of Speaking, that when he is forc'd to hearken to others, it is very uneasy to him, never reflecting upon that wise Saying of Pythagoras, Either let your Discourse be more profitable than your Silence, or else hold your Peace. And as there are some who magnify Things too much, and others who too much lessen 'em, so there is nothing more commen­dable than to speak plainly and sincerely: For you may observe with Aristotle, That there is often a great deal of Arrogancy and Vain-Glory in thinking too meanly of our selves; as well as in thinking too highly, and that we may hereby fall into a Folly like that of the Lacedemonians, who gloried in their Garments of a low and mean Price.

Lastly, as there are Two sorts of Jesting, accord­ing to Cicero, the one Insolent, Sawcy and Malici­ous; the other Civil, Ingenious and Pleasant: 'Tis known that this last hath been always as well ac­cepted, and as he tells us, That it is becoming a Gentleman; whereas the other is very ill received, and not judged fit for any Man.

There are many other Things in which Modesty discovers it self, as in the decency and plainness of our Habits, in our Meen and Behaviour, &c. for in all these Things there is a certain Mediocrity to be observed. These are Cicero's own Words, Ad­hibenda est praeterea mundities non odiosa, neque exqui­sita nimis, tanquam quae fugiat agrestem & inhumanam negligentiam. Eadem ratio est habenda Vestitus, in quo sicut in pleris (que) rebus Mediocritas optmia est. Eadem gestus & gressus. Nam & palestrici motus saepe sunt odiosiores, & histrionum nonnulli gestus ineptiis non va­ [...]ant, & in utro (que) genere quae sunt recta & simplicia lau­dantur. [Page 305] I think Horace hath borrowed from this Passage what he saith of Tigellus, when he tells us, That he was a Man made up of Extremes; That some­times one might see him running as if he had fled from an Enemy, and sometimes walking gravely and demurely, as if he were carrying the Image of Juno; one Day he would have two Hundred Ser­vants attending him, the next Day scarce One; sometimes he would talk like a King uttering no­thing but what savour'd of Greatness and Magnifi­cence, at other times he would play the Philosopher and be contented with little.

Nil aequale homini fuit illi, &c.

Cicero says moreover, That Modesty is concern'd in the Ornament of a House and all its Furniture, and that where there is any Superfluity or Excess, it turns to the discredit of the Owner, because 'tis above his Ability; for 'tis not the House that ought to Grace the Master, but the Master ought to be an Or­nament to his House. Eadem denique de ornatu domus totaque supellectile, in quo si quid modum excedat, dede­cori est, quasi possessori incongruum; neque enim domo dominus, sed domino honestanda domus. Lastly, he will have Modesty concerned even with the Goods of Nature and Fortune, in the which 'tis very com­mendable to observe a convenient Temper, so that they may be rather the Instruments of Virtue and Moderation, than of Debauchery, Pride and Arro­gancy. Tractanda etiam in laudationibus haec sunt na­turae, & fortunae bona, in quibus est summa laus non extulisse se in potestate, non fuisse insolentem in pecunia, non se praetulisse aliis propter abundantiam fortunae, ut opes, & copiae non superbiae videantur, ac libidini, sed boni­tati, ac moderationi facultatem, & materiam dedisse.

CHAP. VIII. Of Justice, Equity and the Laws.

THere remains yet the fourth Virtue for us to Discourse of, namely Justice, which consists in rendring to every one that which belongs to him; therefore 'tis of a very large Extent, and esteemed as the source and root of all other Duties. 'Tis Justice, saith Cicero, which gives the name of Good as well as that of Just; for Justice is a kind of Good­ness, or an Inclination full of Sincerity and Desire of doing right to all the World; for that reason there is nothing that Men respect, reverence and love more than Justice. Aristotle tells us in express Words, That Justice is the most excellent of all the Virtues, that it excels the Morning and the Evening Star in Glory. For this Cause Men have always gi­ven to it the name of a most precious Possession, and in all times it is acknowledged to be the ligament of Societies, as Cicero calls it, that is to say, That Tie without which Society cannot possibly Sub­sist; insomuch, saith he, that the very worst of Men, and they who delight in Wickedness cannot live without some kind of Justice; for if one Thief open­ly Robs another, or privately Steals any thing from him, he is not suffered to continue in the Company of Thieves; or if a Captain of a Pyrate distributes not the Prey equally, his Companions will either kill him or forsake him.

But this Virtue is sometimes taken more general­ly, sometimes more strictly; for there be many that look upon it as the Complexion of all the other Virtues, because there is no Virtue but Justice pre­scribes [Page 307] its Functions and Offices; as for Instance, in the practice of Fortitude, when we are in a Fight it orders us to keep our Rank, and forbids us to run away, or throw away our Weapons: In the practice of Temperance it prohibits Adultery; in that of Gentleness it Commands us to strike no Bo­dy, nor so much as to speak Evil of 'em; and so of the rest.

But not to insist too long upon this; it is not to be question'd but that the two chief Offices or gene­ral Duties of Justice consist in hurting or doing wrong to no Body, and in giving or rendring to every one that which he may lawfully claim, which is commonly expressed in Holy Writ by these Words, Declina a malo, & fac bonum, fly from E­vil and do Good: This hath given occasion to the Lawyers to define Justice, A constant and perpetual Will or Resolution to give or restore to every one his Right; that is to say, what justly belongs to him. This Definition causeth us to make two Observati­ons, First, That 'tis not without Reason that it is named a Will or Resolution; for tho this Word may signify the action of the Will or the Faculty it self; nevertheless, as they add further, that it ought to be a constant and perpetual Willingness, they hereby understand the Habit it self of Willing, which ex­presseth the nature and true praise of Justice. For to deserve commendation for this Virtue, 'tis not sufficient to perform some just Acts, seeing that he who may do them without Knowledge, or for Fear, or for a Friends sake, or for Gain, or for some other such consideration, cannot therefore be Just, nor be said to do Justly, because the End ceasing, he would act otherwise; but to be Just he must pro­ceed willingly of his own accord for the sake of Ju­stice. Therefore Aristotle puts a difference between a just Action and an Action done Justly; because [Page 308] 'tis the Will alone that makes the Deed to be Just­ly or Unjustly done, and that he who only does no Wrong is not esteemed Just, but he who notwith­standing his Capacity to act unjustly, yet will by no means do it, as Philemon saith, ‘Sed qui facere licet potis, non vult tamen.’

And he who aims at no private Glory, but de­sires rather to be truly Just than to appear so.

Vult esse justus, quam viderier magis.

Secondly, That 'tis not also without Reason that they add, To render to every one his Right: Be­cause these Words comprehend the Function and the proper Act of Justice; and besides, signify from whence this Mediocrity is to be taken, which Ari­stotle requires, to place Justice in the Number of the Virtues. For Justice is not as the other Virtues, be­tween two Opposite Vices, for there is but one only contrary to it, namely Injustice. But nevertheless 'tis employed in rendring that which is Right, which is to be reduc'd to a Mediocrity or Equality, upon which Aristotle observes in the first place,

Of Retaliation.

THat Retaliation, or as the Latins term it, Per­pessio reciproca, a mutual Suffering, is no Right or Equity, simply so taken, whatever Pythagoras's Disciples pretend to, who seem to approve of the Justice that is ascribed to Radamanthus, Aequum jus fuerit, si quae egit, quis patiatur; To make a Man suffer the same Evil which he hath committed. [Page 309] The Reason of this is, because Retaliation cannot be found in distributive Justice, where a respect is to be had to the Worth and to the Person. For Ex­ample, if a Magistrate strikes any Body, he ought not therefore to be struck in the same manner; and it would not be sufficient that he who should give a box on the Ear to a Magistate should only receive such another for it, but he ought to be punished more severely. I shall not here mention that a re­gard ought to be had chiefly to that which is done willingly, and that which is acted against our Will. Neither hath it any room in that part of Commuta­tive Justice, which respects the Actions, and which is properly called Corrective; for if for a Tooth pull'd out we only pull out a Tooth, or an Eye for an Eye, we don't hereby do Right, because there is no amends made for the Injury or Wrong done; but we must as much as is possible recompense the mischief done, either by Mony, or some other ex­pedient which the Judge shall think convenient. Therefore it may have place in the other part of Commutative Justice, which respects the Things, or the exchange made in recompence of it,

Aristotle observes in the second Place, That for this kind of Justice there is nothing could be invent­ed more convenient than Gold, Silver, or some­thing of like Value; for as human Society subsists by a necessary supply of one anothers Wants, we cannot otherwise redress this defect than by ex­change or commutation, and that this is to be done by some equality that is to be found out. Now what equality can we find between two Things so diffe­rent (for Example) as a Horse and Box on the Ear. As therefore we cannot find any equality as to the Thing, nevertheless, as by Custom we have made Mony an equivalent to every thing else, by [Page 310] this as by a common Measure we may adjust to every Man his due Right.

Thirdly, A Judge ought sometimeis to do Right, not strictly as the Law prescribes, but as we usual­ly say, according to Equity, Ex aequo & bono. For as the Law orders nothing but under general Terms, and that often there happens particular Ca­ses, in which, because of certain Circumstances none can judge according to the strict Letter of the Law without great Unjustice; For that Reason, saith he, If a Legislator hath omitted or failed in any thing which he hath absolutely enjoyn'd, here we must supply what was defective in this Law-giver, and what he himself would have ordain'd by this Law if he had been now present, or had known of it before. Nay, the Interpreters of the Laws go yet farther, and say; If the Law had commanded that no Strangers should walk upon the Bulwarks, we must not therefore put to death one who is gone thither to defend the Town, and repulse the Enemy; for if the Law-giver had foreseen such a Case, he doubtless had made such an Exception. For this Reason 'tis commonly said, That under strict and severe Laws we ought to implore the Assistance of the Judge, to make a rea­sonable and equitable Construction.

Judicis auxilium sub iniqua lege rogato:
Ipsae etenim leges cupiunt ut jure regantur.

But to return to the Definition of Justice. As this part of the Definition, viz. To render to eve­ry one his Right, obliges us to understand and seek more at large what this Right is, and from whence it derives its Original: Let us consider, first, that this word being taken in several senses, its primi­tive Signification is, that Right is a Faculty to do something, to have something, to enjoy, and to do [Page 311] ones self Right in something; from thence we say, to keep, to retain, to recover, to pursue ones Right, to yield, to abate and surrender ones Right, to enjoy ones Right, or to be at our own Com­mand, Esse sui juris, &c. 'Tis also from hence that the Law, by a Metaphor, is called Right, be­cause it declares and prescribes what belongs to every one as his Right, what Authority, Power and Command every one hath over any thing. And this by a like Metaphor, That we call Right the Court or Tribunal where Right is done; that is to say, where the Party injured hath his Right re­stor'd or Justice done him.

Nay, we may go yet farther, and say, That Right seems by consequence to be originally more ancient than Justice; for as Justice is the same thing with that Affection or habitual Desire or In­clination which we have to wrong no body, and that every one may enjoy their Right as we enjoy ours; 'tis certain, that this Justice supposeth that there is in other Men a Right, not depending upon it, and which nevertheless would be, tho' it self were not in Being. Therefore it seems in the first place, we ought to acknowledge the Right that every one hath, tho' it be different from what Na­ture gives, or tho' it be by Contract or by Law. Secondly, That the Injury is nothing else but a Violation of this Right it self. Thirdly, Justice, or the Will to render unto every one his own, which repairs the Wrong, restores Right, and gives the Title of Just to him who possesseth it. Fourthly, The Proceedings or Work of Justice, or the Right restored, which is also called Just, or that which is Just; Justice giving it that Denomi­nation. But because Epicurus, whom, both many of the ancient and modern Authors have follow­ed, hath derived the very beginning of Right and [Page 312] whatever is agreeable with Equity, from Utility or Profit; let us listen to what he says in the four fol­lowing Paragraphs. 'Tis in this manner that he discourses of Justice in general Terms.

Of Justice in General, according to Epicurus.

‘AS Justice is a Virtue by which we render unto every one that which is his due, and by which we take heed not to wrong any body; 'tis certain, that in this respect it relates to, and respects other Men, and that it is convenient for Man as he is a Member, and lives in Society, it being the common Tie, without which 'tis im­possible a Society should subsist.’

‘It hath this also in common with other Vir­tues, viz. Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude, that 'tis not to be separated from Pleasure; not only because it injures no body, but also because it settles the Mind at Rest, either by its own na­tural Influence, or by the Assurance that nothing shall be wanting to us, which our Nature, not corrupted, can desire.’

‘And as Rashness, Luxury and Cowardise di­sturb and trouble the Mind, so from that very in­stant that Injustice hath taken Possession of the Soul of a Man, he cannot be otherwise but troub­led and uneasie: Insomuch, that if he hath under­taken any evil Action, tho' he hath done it never so secretly, yet he can never be assured that it will always remain so. And if there be any who by reason of their great Riches, fancy themselves sufficiently secur'd from the Inquisition and Justice of Men, yet they are always afraid of a divine Vengeance; and they believe that this Uneasiness which Torments them Day and Night, is a Pu­nishment [Page 313] that proceeds from the Appointment of the immortal Gods, who are offended and dis­pleased with them.’

And afterwards, says he, ‘As to the Advantage which we receive from evil Actions, how inconsi­derable are they to lessen our Griefs, or to sup­port us under the Troubles of our Life? Do they not rather increase 'em by the remorse of Con­science, by the fear of the Laws, and by the ha­tred of our Neighbours? Nevertheless, some are unsatiable as to Mony, Honour, Authority, and prescribe no limits to their Luxury, Debauchery and other Extravagancies, which the ill-gotten Goods do augment and increase more and more, rather than lessen and appease. Therefore it seems that all Rules and Precepts are useless to such Men, and that there is nothing but Severity and Punishment that can restrain them.’

‘Reason therefore invites them who are of sound Sense and Understanding, to the observation of Justice, Equity and Fidelity. Wicked Deeds are useful to no body, and Riches are convenient for none but for honest Men, and such as have a Mind tending to Liberality; for they know there­by how to gain Mens Affections, and to make themselves beloved, which tends very much to the security and quiet of our Lives; besides, there is nothing that ought to oblige us to unjust Actions. The Desires that proceed from Nature are easily to be satisfied; and for such as are vain, foolish and needless, we should not obey 'em. These De­sires procure nothing worthy of our Affections, and the Wrong done to others, causes more Mis­chief than we obtain Advantage by doing that In­jury. Therefore if Justice of it self, and by it self is not desirable, 'tis at least desirable for the sake of the great Pleasure and Satisfaction that it [Page 314] procures; for there is nothing more Pleasant than to be beloved; because that makes up the Society, and consequently the Delights of Life. So that Wickedness is not only to be avoided, because of the Punishments and the Mischiefs that fall upon the Wicked; but chiefly also because it never suf­fers our Minds to be at ease, but Poisons all our Delights, and renders our Life miserable. What I have here said, may seem to be sufficient; but I think I shall not do amiss to add something con­cerning that which we call Right or Just, from whence Justice derives its Name, that we may the better discover what the Origin of Right is, among what Nations it hath been received, and what are the Advantages that proceed from thence.’

Of Right or Just, from whence Justice derives its Name.

‘AS Justice hath been contrived and appoint­ed for the Publick Good, it must needs follow that the Right and Equity which it chief­ly respects, is Good for each individual Person that constitutes a Society: And because every one desires naturally that which is Good for himself, it must needs be, that what is Right or Just, is according to Nature, and by consequence must be stiled Natural.’

‘Now 'tis not without Reason that I mention this, because it sometimes happens that in the Government of Societies, some things are order'd as Right and Just, which nevertheless are not Good, nor the true Interest of a Society; and consequently being not natural, but against Na­ture, ought not to be reputed Just, but only nomi­nally [Page 315] so, or by mistake; that which is truly Right and naturally Just being such as 'tis ordained, that is to say, effectively Useful and Good. There­fore to speak properly, Right or natural Equity is nothing else but what is mark'd out by Utility or Profit, or that Utility which, by common A­greement, hath been appointed that Men might not injure one another, nor receive any wrong, but live in security, which is a real Good, and therefore naturally desired of every one.’

‘I suppose therefore, that which is Profitable and that which is Good, to be but one and the same thing; and therefore to the making up of what is Just and Right, two things are prerequisite: The First, That it be Useful, or that it hath Use­fulness on its side. The Second, That it be pre­scribed and ordained by the common Consent of the Society; for there is nothing perfectly Just but what the Society by common Agreement or Approbation hath thought fit to be observed.’

‘'Tis true, some are of Opinion, That what things are Just, are of their own Nature and un­changably so; and that the Laws do not make 'em Just, but that they only declare 'em and or­dain 'em to be according to what they were na­turally before: Nevertheless 'tis not so, but here­in 'tis as in other things which are useful, such as are those that concern our Health, and a great many more such like, wich are useful to some and hurtful to others, and consequently vary from the End both in general and particular. And truly, as every thing ought always every where, and to every one appear such as 'tis by Nature, because Nature never changes and is unalterable in all Occurrences; pray tell me if the things that some name Just, be every where, at all times and in respect of all Persons, really Just? Are [Page 316] we not to consider that what is ordained and esta­blished by Laws, and what is consequently Law­ful and Just, is not ordained nor admitted among all Nations, but that some look upon 'em as indifferent, and others reject 'em as prejudicial and unjust? Are there not some who hold gene­rally for useful that which nevertheless is not so; and thus receive things which are not generally convenient, only because that they seem so to them, or to their Society, and appear to have some general Utility or Advantage belonging to 'em?’

‘We may then say, for the most part, that that is universally Just or agreeable with the Nature of Just, which is useful or conformable to the No­tion of Just that we have now given. For to speak more particularly, as Utility is otherwise, and differing among the several Nations, so like­wise what is Just differs in the same manner; so that what we fancy to be Just, others look up­on it as Unjust. This being so, when we enquire whether Just and Right is the same among all Na­tions, I answer, that universally 'tis so; that is, something that is useful in the mutual Society; but if we look to Particulars, and consider the several sorts of People, and the diversity of Cir­cumstances, we shall find that 'tis not the same every where.’

‘In a word, a thing is and ought to be reputed Just, or to have the Qualities of Just in a Society, if its Usefulness respects all the Individuals asso­ciated; but if it be not so, 'tis not properly to be called Just, nor deserves to be so esteemed. So that if a Thing or an Action having been useful in a Society, if by any Accident or by any Altera­tion this Usefulness begins to cease, that thing will also cease from being Just, it being no longer [Page 317] so than only while it continues useful and profi­table to Society. And thus I suppose every one will judge, who suffers not himself to be misled and blinded by vain and frivolous Discourses, but has a general Respect to all things.’

Of the Origin of Right and of Justice.

‘BUt to begin the Matter a little higher, and trace it from its first Source. Right, Equity or Justice seem to be as ancient among Men, even as mutual Societies are.’

‘For in the beginning, when Men were Vaga­bonds, wandering up and down like Brutes, and suffered many Inconveniences from those salvage Creatures, and the Rigour of the Seasons, some natural Inclination which they had for one ano­ther, by reason of the similitude and mutual Re­semblance of Bodies as well as Souls or Manners, inclined 'em to unite together in small Societies, the better to prevent in some measure such like Inconveniences, by Building Cottages, and so thereby strengthning themselves against the Cruelty of wild Beasts and the Severity of the Weather. But because every one more regarded his own private Benefit than that of another, this begot many Quarrels in reference to Eating and Drink­ing, and upon the account of Women, and other Conveniences of Life, which they daily robb'd and forcibly depriv'd one another of, until such time as they began to consider that they could not subsist quietly, or live securely and conveniently, unless they made some Contracts, and agreed among themselves to do no Injury one to ano­ther; so that if any wrong'd his Neighbours, the rest were to punish him for it.’

‘This then was the first Knot or Tie of Socie­ties, which as it supposed that every Person might have something belonging to him, or what he might call his own, either because he was the first pos­sessor of it, or because it was given him, or because he had it by way of exchange, or because he ac­quir'd it by his Industry; I say, this was the first Knot which confirmed to every private Person the possession of that which he thus challeng'd as his own. Now this Knot or Agreement was nothing else but a common Law which all were bound to observe, and which was to secure to every one his Right or Power to make use of that which thus ap­pertained to him. And thus upon this account the Law became the common Right of Societies. I shall not here mention how a whole Society at length transfer'd their power of punishing to a certain se­lect number of the wisest and honestest Men, or it may be to one Person, who was look'd upon as the wisest of all the rest. I shall observe only two or three Things. First, That such in the Society were esteemed Just or observers of Justice, who contenting themselves with their own Rights, ne­ver invaded the Goods of others, and by this means wronged no Body. And such were deemed Unjust or doers of Wrong, who being not satisfied with what was their own, usurp'd the Rights of others, and thus wronged 'em either by Robbing of 'em, Beating, or by Killing 'em, or the like.’

‘The Second relates to the preservation of Life, as the thing that was the dearest to 'em of all, and the strong confirmation of their Agreements, or of their common Laws; for the wise Legislators taking a particular Care of what best secur'd their Lives, and minding also what usually happen'd among Societies, declared, That it was an horrible and abominable Crime to kill a Man, and that a [Page 319] Murderer should be look'd upon as a most infa­mous Person, and be shamefully put to Death; for there was nothing more unreasonable than to kill his Fellow Creature; for which Act we ought to have the greatest aversion, and the rather, because thereby accrued no advantage to Life, and that this Deed could not proceed but from a Wickedness in Nature.’

‘Thirdly, That those who at first took care to promote the Utility of the Laws, had truly no need of any other Ground but to hinder them from doing Evil, or from Transgressing: But those who had not so much Ingenuity as to take notice of the importance hereof, desisted from Murdering one another, meerly out of the fear and appre­hension of the grievous Punishments to be inflicted on Offenders, which we see still at present to be our Case.’

Between whom Right and Justice takes place.

‘AS after all that hath been said, it may be questioned among whom Right and the vi­olation of Right, and consequently Justice and Injustice, which are Opposites, take place: This, in my Judgment, is to be understood by compa­ring Men with other Animals.’

‘Therefore as there is no kind of Right and In­jury, of Just or Unjust between the rest of Ani­mals, because it was not possible to make any agreement between them, that they should do no Mischief to one another: So there ought not to be between the Nations which could not or would not make any such Compact, to do no wrong one to another.’

‘For Just or Right, the observance whereof is named Justice, is only in a mutual Society, there­fore Justice is the Tie of that Society; so that every one of its Members might live in Security, and free from the apprehensions of Dangers and Disturbances that a continual fear of being Assault­ed or recieving damage may raise in us. So that all Animals, whether Men or others, who can­not or will not enter into a Society, and conse­quently be concerned in such Agreements, are de­prived of this advantage, and have not among them­selves any obligation of Right and Justice, to make them live in Security. So that there remains to them no other means of Security than to prevent one another, and to treat them so hardly, that they may not have Power to do them any Mis­chief.’

‘For this Cause, as among those Animals that have agreed upon nothing among themselves, if it happens that one injures another, one may say that he who does the Evil to the other is Mischie­vous, or hurts the other who is injured, but not that it is unjust in this respect, or that it does wrong, because there is no manner of Right, no Agreement, no Law precedent to restrain 'em from doing Mischief; so among Men who have made no Compact, nor are not enter'd into any Society, if any treats another rudely or barbarously, one may say that he doth him Damage, or doth him Mis­chief, but not that he is unjust to him, or that he wrongs or injures him, because there is no Law to bind him to do no Mischief to such an one.’

‘But between Men and other Animals can there be any Justice? None at all. 'Tis true, That if Men could with other Animals, as with Men, make Agreements and Contracts not to kill one another, we could then between them and us demand Ju­stice, [Page 321] for that would tend to a mutual Security; but because it cannot be, that Animals that are without Reason should be obliged or tied to us by any common Laws, therefore we cannot take any more security from the other Animals, than from the inanimate Creatures. So that to secure our selves, there remains for us no other means than to make use of that Power that we have, either to kill them, or to force them to obey us.’

‘You may perhaps here by the by ask why we kill those Creatures also, which we have no rea­son to fear? I confess we may do this sometimes through Intemperance and Cruelty, as by Inhu­manity and Barbarity we often abuse such some­times who are out of our Society, and of whom 'tis not possible that we should apprehend any dan­ger of Evil. But 'tis one thing to offend against Temperance, or any of its Species, viz. such as Sobriety, Gentleness, or Humanity and a natural Goodness, and another to offend against Justice, which supposeth Agreements and Laws. Besides, of all Animals which are not injurious to humane Race, there is no kind but may be so if we suffer 'em to increase and multiply beyond measure.’

As to what at present concerns the pretended savage Life of the first Men, 'tis not Epicurus who was the first Broacher of this Fancy, for the most ancient Poets make mention of it, and say, That it was Orpheus, that sacred Interpreter of the Gods, and Amphion, the Founder of the City of Thebes, who by their sage and eloquent Discourses, with­drew those Men from their unsettled and wandring way of Living, changing their cruel and barbarous Customs and Manners.

[Page 322]
Orpheus, inspir'd by more than Human Power,
Did not (as Poets feign) tame savage Beasts;
But Men as Lawless and as Wild as they,
And first dissuaded them from Rage and Blood.
Thus when Amphion Built the Theban Wall,
They feign'd the Stones obey'd his Magick Lute.

Cicero himself, as if having almost forgotten that he had so highly exalted the dignity of the human Nature, declaring it to be altogether Celestial and Divine, yet acknowledges, That there was a time when Men were wandring like Vagabonds about the Fields, in some manner resembling the Brutes; That nei­ther Reason, Religion, Piety nor Humanity were then known among them; That they were Strangers to Wed­lock and a lawful Issue; That they neither used natural nor civil Right; That they were in a gross Ignorance, and that their unbridled Lust put 'em upon exerting the Powers and Abilities of their Bodies, to satiate it self, every one possessing more or less, according as he was able to take away and keep from another. But, says he, afterward some Men were found to be of a better Tem­per and more Judgment and Reason than the rest, who reflecting on this miserable way of Living, and withal considering the tractableness of Mankind, were resolved to represent to their Companions how advan­tageous it would be to joyn together in Societies. And by this means, by degrees, they reclaimed them from their first barbarous manner of Living, and re­duc'd them to a civil Behaviour; who inventing both divine and humane Rights, gathered Men into Com­panies, erected Towns and Cities, made Laws, and af­terwards constituted Kings and Governours to check the Insolent and to protect the Feeble and Week against the Stronger.

Others are of Opinion that the first Age began with the famous Golden Age, which was so happy, that Men were not then bound up by any Laws, nor frighted with the fear of Punishment, but lived to­gether innocently, having regard to Piety, Justice and Equity.

—When Man yet new,
No Rule, but uncorrupted Reason knew;
And with a native bent did good pursue,
Ʋnforc'd by Punishment, unaw'd by Fear,
His Words were simple and his Soul sincere.
No suppliant Crowds before the Judge appear'd,
No Court erected yet, no Cause was heard,
But all was safe, for Conscience was their Guard.

Seneca renders it thus, according to Posidonius, They were not yet Corrupted nor Debauched in their Prin­ciples, but followed the dictates of Nature, which di­rected and awed them from doing ill. In the Choice of their Governour they neither respected his Strength nor outward appearance, but his Temper and Goodness. O happy Nations! where none but the honestest Man was to bear sway, for he can do what he pleaseth, who doth no­thing but what he thinks he ought to do; 'Twas there­fore in this Golden Age that the Government was com­mitted to the Wisest. They prevented Quarrels, pro­tected the Weak against the oppression of the Stronger; they advised, dissuaded and represented what was most useful, and what not. Their Prudence provided for the necessities of those who were under their Conduct, their Valour drove away all Dangers, and their good Deeds purchased daily new Subjects. To Command was more a Burden than a Profit, and the greatest threatning that a King could then offer to such as were not Obedient, was to forsake them and depart the Kingdom. But since Vice and Corruption had changed Rulers into Tyrants, [Page 324] hence sprung the necessity of having Laws, and wise Men were the first contrivers of them.

But without standing to examin these several Opinions which Lactantius looks upon as frivolous. O ingenia hominum indigna quae has ineptias protulerunt! Miseros at (que) miserabiles, qui stultitiam suam literis me­moriae (que) mandaverunt: Let us rather consider, That the Laws according to Epicurus's Judgment being established for the publick benefit of Mankind, that every one might enjoy his Right, might live peace­ably and securely; and seeing there is nothing more agreable to Nature than this, I think none has reason to upbraid him, quod Leges & Jura a Natura sejunxerit, That he separated from Nature the Laws and Right, seeing that he had rather join'd them in­separably together, by the Tie of common Interest, which is the firmest Bond, according to the Rules of Nature. Nor does there seem any reason to blame him because he hath rather derived the Laws and Right from Profit than from Nature, seeing he could never have derived them from Profit, but at the same time he must needs derive them from Na­ture. Nay, let us go further, What cause have we to reprove him, seeing there is no Person but will allow that both the primitive and modern Legisla­tors had always this thing of Profit or publick Ad­vantage still in their Eye, and that no Laws can be just and useful but what tend to the publick Bene­fit and Advantage? Civil Societies, saith Aristotle, seem to have not only their Rise, but their Continuance also, in this Foundation of Profit; the Law-givers still aimed at this End, and generally termed that Right, which was found to be useful. Cicero retain'd the same Opinion, We must, saith he, intend all our Laws for the publick Good, not interpreting them according to the strict Letter, but what suits best with the publick Good and common Benefit. For our Ancestors always [Page 325] used this Wisdom and Prudence, that in making their Laws they still chiefly proposed to themselves nothing more than the Safety, Welfare and Advantage of the Pub­lick. The Safety of the People, saith he in another Place, is the supreme Law, Salus populi suprema lex. He saith further, That all Magistrates and Rulers ought to stick close to these two Maxims of Plato; the First, To be so careful of the benefit of their Subjects, that they ought chiefly to aim at it in all their Proceedings, for­getting even their own private Profit and Advantage, when it comes in Competition. Secondly, To take heed in their Governments, that they lose not one part, by en­deavouring to preserve the other.

Truly Cujas acknowledges that the civil Right, or the Right of every particular Government, is de­rived from the common Benefit; but he denies it to be so in relation to the Right of Nations, or of all Mankind in general, for he supposeth that pro­ceeds from Nature. But since he owns that this Right, which is common to particular Places, pro­ceeds from Interest, which also is common to them all, why may not he admit that the Right which is common to all Men, is derived also from that Pro­fit which is common to all Men? So that natural Right is as it were the Genus Generalissimum, of which the Right of Nations or of Men is an inferior Species, and likewise this Right of Nations, as a Genus more contracted, whereof the civil Right or the Right of every City is a Species.

As to what Epicurus says, That a true Law supposeth a mutual Compact, or every Law is a kind of an Agree­ment, 'tis no more than what Plato, Aristotle, De­mosthenes, Aristides and several others assert. Nay, the divine Law it self (so far as it concerns our Fel­low Subjects, may be reputed the noblest part of the civil Right) is nothing else but a Covenant be­tween God and Man. There is nothing more com­mon [Page 326] in Holy Writ, than to hear them speak of the First and Second Law, both the Old and the New, as of a Covenant and an Agreement. There is no­thing more frequent in the Holy Scriptures, than to read that God makes a Covenant, as with Noah, Abraham and Jacob, who likewise engage recipro­cally to God who had made this Promise to him; I will be with thee and keep thee wheresoever thou goest, and I will bring thee back into thine own Country, &c. Unto which Jacob answered, If the Lord be with me, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me Bread to Eat, and Raiment to put on, so that I come again to my Father's House in Peace, then shall the Lord be my God, Erit mihi Dominus in Deum.

We need but mention the mutual Compact and Agreement between God and the People of Israel, when God was pleased by the Mediation of Moses, to proclaim the antient Law. Thus God speaks, If you hear my Voice and keep my Covenant, I will look upon you as my peculiar Treasure, and will have more care of you than of all other People. And the People answered, We will do all that the Lord hath command­ed. In relation to the new Law, this is the Prophe­sy of Jeremiah, The Days shall come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new Covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah; not according to the Co­venant that I made with their Fathers, in the Day that I took them by the Hand to bring them out of the Land of Egypt, which my Covenant they brake, &c. But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those Days, saith the Lord, I will put my Law in their inward Parts, and write it in their Hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my People. But not to insist longer on this, let us only observe, That tho from what hath been said we may conclude, that to speak properly, There is no Law of Nations, and consequently no Right of Nations, because there [Page 327] never hath been any Covenant or Agreement be­tween all Nations; nevertheless we may say that this common Precept, Thou shalt not do to another, what thou wilt not that another should do to thee, ought to be esteemed as the first natural Law, or accord­ing to Nature; not only because there is nothing more Natural, or more according to Nature than Society, and Society being not able to subsist with­out this Precept, it ought also to be esteemed Natural: But also because God seems to have imprinted it in the Hearts of all Men, and that this Law contains in such a full manner all the other Laws of Society, that no Man can invade the Right of another, but he must violate this Law; Therefore this Law alone ought to be look'd upon as the Rule of all our Actions that concern our Neighbour.

And truly as every one desires that his Right may be Religiously preserved to him, so that no Man may attempt upon it, he need but think the same thing of others, and to put himself in their Place and Condition, to understand what he ought or what he ought not to do.

Therefore as there is nothing nearer at Hand, and more ready nor more infallible than our own Con­science, every one may consult himself, and he a­lone may be his own proper and true Casuist. So that he who seeks for others, seems not so much dis­posed to be willing to do to another, what he would not have done to himself, as to not dare to do it if he hath not some Body upon whom he may cast the Blame. And upon this Point Cicero treats very well in his Offices, That those who prohibit any thing to be done, whereof there is a Question whe­ther it be Just or Unjust, cannot prescribe any Rule nor Precept more useful and reasonable, because Equity here appears and is plainly discoverable, and that our doubting is a sign that we think or design [Page 328] to do Evil. Bene praecipiunt qui vetant quidquam agere quod dubites aequum sit an iniquum; aequitas enim lucet ip­sa per se, dubitatio autem cogitationem significat injuriae. Upon this Subject I remember what Monsieur de la Moignon, first President of the Parliament of Paris, a wise and learned Judge, said to us one Day as we were walking in his shady Retirement, in the Wood de Baville, That that Maxim of Cicero, if it were du­ly practis'd among Men, would be of a wonderful use, and that for what concerns those who have such sort of doubts, and trouble themselves to seek for Casuists to support them, he had read an excellent Saying in a Spa­nish Author, That such Persons seek to pick a Quarrel or to play the Cheat with the Law of God. Quieren pley tear contra la lay de Dios.

Let us observe more-over that the Holy Scrip­tures have said very well, That the Law was not made for the Just; because he who is truly Just observes it, not out of fear of the Punishments that the Law threatens, but out of a love for Ju­stice it self, and out of a respect for it; so that if there were no Law nor Magistrates, he would not­withstanding still live in Obedience to Law and Ju­stice. Therefore that excellent Expression of Me­nander is thought praise-worthy, If you be Just, your Manners will be to you instead of Laws. And the Answer of Aristotle is remarkable when he was questioned, what Profit he had found and received from the study of Philosophy? To do, said he, of my own accord and without constraint, what others do for fear of the Laws. This obliged Horace to say, That we ought not to do any thing for fear of Punish­ment. Nihil esse faciendum formidine poenae. From whence we may remark, that Corrections and Punish­ments are not only ordained for the Wicked and Criminals, that they may perish and be extinct, but that by their Destruction, they may also terrify [Page 329] and restrain others, as Seneca observes; and accord­ing to Lactantius, who brings in Plato, saying, That a wise and prudent Man punishes not because 'tis a Crime, for he cannot make that which is already done to be undone, but that others may not commit the same Crimes. But let us hearken to Epicurus, discoursing of the great Advantages that there are in observing Justice.

That there is great Reason to live up to Justice.

JƲstice having been established by a common Agree­ment, every one ought to think that he is born and admitted into the Society whereof he is a Member, upon this Condition, either express or understood, That he shall do wrong to no Man, nor no Man to him; and thus we must either keep to this Agreement, or depart out of the Society, seeing that he is suffered there but upon the same Condition that he was admitted: From whence it follows, that as naturally he don't desire to be evilly dealt withal, he ought not to deal ill with others, nor do to others what he would not that others should do to him.

This being granted, we may say, that the Laws have been established in favour, and for the sake of wise Men, not to hinder them from committing Injustice, but to prevent others from doing them wrong; for of their own accord they are so inclined, that if there were no Laws they would injure no body; for they have limited their Desires, and confined them to the necessities of Nature; to supply which there is no need of doing In­justice, for there is no Pleasure Nature allows of which will cause us to wrong any body; for those exor­bitances and irregular Desires which proceed from our vain and unruly Passions and Lusts, are the only Causes of Mischief.

The Truth is, the Products of the Earth, such as Corn, Fruits, Water, &c. are to be obtain'd without any great difficulty, and the enjoyment of these as of­ten as Hunger and Thirst excite us, afford us no small Pleasure and Satisfaction, without being hereby tempted to Riot and Excess, or to commit Robberies or other enormous Crimes upon our Neighbours, which Men are more apt to become liable to and guilty of, when they indulge their extravagant Lusts in living splendidly and sumptuously, and by unjustly heaping up of Riches to maintain such their Extravagances. Nor shall I here stand to take notice of Particulars, such who are not satisfied with decent Habits, with one Habitation, nor one Wife, and so of the like, who passing the Bounds that Nature hath appointed, are daily hurried away by their Passions and endless Desires beyond all Limits.

Moreover, as the wise Man acts all things for him­self, and for his own Good and Satisfaction, there is nothing that will contribute more to this purpose than in carefully observing the Rules of Justice; for when he renders unto every one what belongs to him, and that he does wrong to no Man; he preserves and supports as much as in him lies the Society in which his own Safety is involved; he provokes no body to do him Injury, nei­ther doth he fear the Penalties and Punishments which the Publick Laws threaten: So that his Conscience be­ing free from Guilt, he is at quiet and ease within him­self, without any private Checks or Gripes, which is one main design of Justice to procure, and the most excel­lent and greatest Advantage that we can reap from it.

But we must not fancy that he who hath secretly bro­ken the Laws, unknown to Men, may enjoy as much Peace and quiet of Mind as he who is truly Just. For, as I have already said, tho' he hath acted in the dark, yet he cannot be assured that the Fact shall always re­main concealed. Tho' Crimes may indeed be done se­cretly, [Page 331] yet this is no Security; neither doth it advan­tage a Man who commits a wicked Deed, to conceal him­self, for tho' he has had the good fortune of keeping the Fact conceal'd hitherto, yet he hath no Assurance that it shall always so continue.

Tho' a wicked Act may at present seem to be quite forgot, and as it were buried out of sight; yet it is uncertain whether it will remain so till death; few Wick­ednesses are so secretly acted, but they give some cause of Suspicion; for tho' at first they are only privately whisper'd, yet soon after they are publickly talk'd of, and then Fame spreads them, and then a Process is begun and the Sentence suddainly follows: Nay, many there have been who have discovered themselves, either in a Dream or in a Frenzy, or in Drink, or by letting fall an unadvised Word by the by. So that tho' a wicked Man deceives (as we say) both the Gods and Men, yet he must always remain uneasie and in a fear that his Wickednesses will at one time or another be detected.

From hence it is, that tho' Injustice of it self, and in its own Nature, be no Evil, because what is Just here is reputed Ʋnjust elsewhere; nevertheless, 'tis an Evil because of that Fear that it stirs up in us, which cau­seth a wicked Man to be continually tormented with re­morse of Conscience; so that he is still suspicious of something, and apprehensive that his Wickednesses will come to the Knowledge of those who are appointed to pu­nish them. Wherefore there is nothing more conducive to our Security and our living Happily, than to live ho­nestly and observe inviolably those Contracts which we have entred into for the Preservation of the publick Peace.

Therefore a just Man seems to stand in Opposition to an unjust; for as the one is free from Troubles and Apprehensions of Evils, so the other on the contrary is continually allarm'd by 'em. What is it therefore that can be more convenient and profitable to us than Justice, [Page 332] and more hurtful than Injustice? Can constant Trou­bles and perplexing Fears be pleasant and diverting to any Man?

Since therefore that Justice is so great a Good, and Injustice so great an Evil, let us sincerely love and em­brace the former, and altogether abominate the latter. And if by chance our Mind should happen to be some­times in an even Balance and doubtful what to do, let us have always before our Eyes, and in our Thoughts the Example of some good Man whom we may propose to imitate, as a Pattern, and so live as if he were a constant Inspector of our Actions, and Privy to our most intimate Designs.

This Advice will be of use to us, not only to keep us from committing Injustice, but also from doing any thing in secret inconsistent with honest Dealing. This just Man that we plac'd before us, will serve to keep us in some awe, and make us more watchful over our Actions; we shall continually have some regard to him, and say to our selves, I would not do so if he saw it, and why should I dare to do so in his absence; he would blame me for it as a wicked thing, why should I not fly from Evil of my own accord? Do then every thing as if some body still look'd upon you; for if you have this Venera­tion for any Person else, you will quickly have it for your self.

Cicero treats excellently upon this Subject: If every one, saith he, for his own particular Advantage, should be always ready and prepared to intrench upon his Neighbour's Right, and strip him of his Goods, we should quickly perceive the ruin of human Society, which is so agreeable to Nature, just as if each particu­lar Member should fancy that by attracting the Blood and Spirits from its Member, it would be the better able to support it self; but hereby we should find our selves much disappointed; for certainly this would at length much weaken and decay the whole Body. And [Page 333] thus all Societies and Communities of Men must needs be destroyed, if every one, the better to support his own Interest, should violently take from, and strip his Neigh­bour of what is his.

Indeed, this may be said to be lawful, and no ways to infringe the Bonds of Society, viz. to be more careful and industrious in acquiring the things necessary and useful for the conveniency of Life; but to use Fraud or Vio­lence, to dispossess another, and endeavour to enrich our selves by our Neighbours miseries, is more contrary to the Laws of Nature, even than Death it self, than Poverty, than Pain, than all the most dreadful things that may befal us.

There is nothing truly useful but what is Just and Honest, and nothing Just and Honest but what is tru­ly useful; these are reciprocal, and whosoever endea­vours to separate 'em offers at the most pernicious thing that can befal human Life; for from thence spring Murders, false Witnesses, Thieveries, and innumerable other Mischiefs. They judge of the usefulness of things by a wrong Medium, and tho' they escape the Penalties of the Laws which they break, yet they escape not the Disgrace and Infamy which, to a generous Mind, is far more grievous and intolerable. They consider not that of all other worldly Goods, the most important and considerable is the Reputation of an honest, of a just and of a good Man, and that there is no Profit or Ad­vantage that can recompence this loss.

The Life of an unjust Man is full of Troubles, Jea­lousies and Fears, Gripings of Conscience and Anxiety of Mind; and what Good, what Profit can there be in such a Way, that if he were depriv'd of it, he would be honoured and respected by all the World? 'Tis therefore impossible that true and real Profit should be separated from Justice, and that it should accompany or be join­ed to Injustice. Now as Justice and Injustice are con­trary, the first being free from Trouble, the other al­ways [Page 334] encompass'd with it, what greater Advantage can an honest and good Man desire to attain to than that which Justice affords him? And what greater Mischiefs can a wicked Man dread than that which Injustice is attended with? For what Profit or Satisfaction is to be had from Cares, Fears and perpetual Inquietudes?

Whether we may wrong any Man without doing him an injury.

AS 'tis one thing to do an unjust Act, another to do an injury, seeing that a Man may do an unjust Act, and not believe it, or perhaps fancy­ing it to be Just: So it is most certain, that we can do no injury but when we have a design to do it, and so he who doth it hurts wilfully; that is to say, knowing to whom, in what manner, and how he injures. From whence it follows, that because 'tis one thing to suffer an unjust Act, or to receive Damage, and another to suffer an injury, a Man may willingly suffer an unjust Act but not suffer an injury. For that Reason Aristotle observes that we define a Man who doth an injury; He who hurts, knowing to whom, in what manner, and how he hurts; yet that is not sufficient, but we must add this particular, Against the Will of him whom he hurts. This being supposed in the first place, 'tis impossi­ble that we should do injury to our selves, or that a Man should receive an injury from himself; for a Man may do a damage to himself and act against his own advantage, but not do an injury, because the same Person is both Agent and Patient, he acts and suffers willingly. But we must nevertheless re­member what we have already said, and shall have occasion to mention again hereafter, That he who wishes Evil to himself, as he who desires his own [Page 335] death or kills himself, wishes for it not as an Evil; he desires not death, as it is the destruction of Life, but as it is some Advantage; that is to say, as 'tis the end of the Evils from which he desires to be delivered, and so he looks upon it as a considerable Benefit. It is likewise certain, according to that kind of Maxim, Volenti non fit injuria, that no in­jury can be done to him who consents and approves of it. For as we have already said, no man can suffer an injury but against his Will, because as the injury is in it self an Evil, it cannot be look'd up­on as Good or the cause of any Good. 'Tis true, it may be a Crime in him who takes the Goods of another, though this other by mistake may seem to be consenting to it; as for Example, If he be frightned into a Consent under some pretence, if he be deluded into it by fair Promises, if he be flat­ter'd into it by Craft, if he works upon his Weak­ness or the easiness of his Temper, or if he con­ceals from him the true Value of the thing, with­out afterward informing him of his Error, and so of the rest; but as for him who knowingly and wil­lingly gives away his Goods, consents that they may be taken; this Man cannot be judged to receive an injury, but a damage.

But since both doing and suffering injury is an Evil, if you inquire which of the two is the worst, Aristotle will readily resolve you, that it is in do­ing an injury, for that cannot be done without In­justice. Therefore Plato gives us this Advice, That we should be more careful to avoid doing an injury than suffering it. Besides, tho' he who receives any damage, tho' he receives it not against his Will, he who doth the mischief or wrong, if he designs to do an injury, is not in such a case excusable, be­cause it was not for want of his Will that the da­mage did not prove an injury. Seneca explains [Page 336] this matter very well: ‘It may happen, saith he, that a Man may offer me an injury, and that I may not receive it; as if any one should put in­to my House what he had taken out of my Farm, he had been guilty of a Theft, and yet I may have lost nothing thereby. If any one lies with his own Wife, and believes her to be the Wife of another, he is an Adulterer though the Woman be not. Some body hath given me Poison, but as it happens to be mixed with other Ingredients, it hath lost its Operation; he who hath administred the Poison is a Murderer, though no mischief is done by it. All designed Crimes are in respect of the Sin, done and effected before the act is accomplished.’

CHAP. IX. Of the Virtues which accompany Justice, namely, of Religion, of Piety, of Observance, Love, Bounty, Liberality, Gratitude: And first of Religion.

THere are two main Causes or Reasons why God ought to be Worship'd and Ador'd; the First is the supreme excellency of his Nature; the Second his Bounty to us: First, they who stile him most Good and most Great, Optimum, Maximum, had doubtless these two Reasons in view, because as he is most Good, he is the most liberal and sovereign Benefactor; and as he is most Great, he is supremly Excellent. So that we may very well approve of Epicurus's Maxim, and say, That God ought to be Ho­noured purely for himself without any further Expectati­on, but only because of his supreme Majesty, and of his sovereign Nature; for that that is most Excellent de­serves to be Reverenced and Honoured. But yet with him to acknowledge no other Cause, and notwith­standing to disown his Bounty, is what cannot be too much blamed; for as Seneca tells him very well, ‘Thou dost not acknowledge the Favours and Bles­sings of God, but supposest that as it were at a far Distance and out of the noise of the Affairs of the World, he enjoys a profound Rest and interrupt­ed Felicity, without being concerned for the good Deeds of Men any more than for the evil. He who teacheth this Doctrin, does not consider the Sighs and ardent Desires of those who pray from all parts of the World, and with Hands lifted up [Page 338] towards Heaven, make Vows either publick or private, which certainly would not easily be, nor is it easily to be suppos'd, that the generality of Mankind would of their own accord fall into such a stupid Madness, as to address themselves to deaf and senseless Divinities, to no purpose. They ought to have understood that the Gods sometimes deny and sometimes grant our Requests out of their bountiful Goodness; and that often they as­sist us so powerfully and so seasonably, that they divert the great Mischiefs and Calamities that threatned us: Where is that Man so miserable, so forsaken and under such unhappy Circumstances, who hath not at some time experienced this great Bounty and Liberality of the Gods? If you look upon them who lament and grieve for their ill Fortune, and tire themselves in complaining, you will meet with none but Heaven hath bestowed upon him some Favours, some Drops of that large Fountain of Goodness have fallen upon him. Ay but, God, saith he, does us no Good. From whence then comes all those things that thou possessest, that thou bestowest, that thou refusest, that thou keep­est, and that thou receivest? From whence pro­ceed that vast number of grateful Objects that de­light thine Eyes, thine Ears, and thy Mind? He hath not only provided things needful, his Love hath proceeded farther, to furnish us with things Pleasant and Delightful; with many pleasant Fruits, wholesome Herbs and nourishing Meats for Food, which succeed one another, according to their Seasons. The most careless ever and anon stumble upon some of 'em, without labour or toil. 'Tis God who hath created for us all the several sorts of Creatures, either upon the Earth or in the Waters, or in the Air, that all parts of the Creation might yield and pay to us a Tribute. [Page 339] 'Tis by his Appointment that Rivers, like Ser­pents, do sometimes wind and turn about the fruitful Vallies, for the more easie Transportation of things necessary for our Life; and that others, by an unaccountable wonder, swell suddenly, but regularly, in the height of Summer to water the Grounds, which otherwise would be subject to be parch'd up by the scorching Beams of the Sun. What shall we say of all those Medicinal Springs, both Hot and Cold, which issue from out of the Bowels of the Earth; in such a manner, that the Hot seem sometimes to proceed from the very Bo­som of Coldness it self?’

‘If any Friend should bestow upon you some Parcel of Land, or a Sum of Mony, you would presently call this a liberal Act, and think your self oblig'd; And cannot you acknowledge that these vast extents of Earth, and all the Mines of Gold and Silver, are also Liberalities and good Deeds? O ungrateful Wretch! From whence comes to thee this Air that thou breathest in, this Light which serves to guide thee, this Blood which runs in thy Veins and contains the vital and animal Spirits, these exquisite Favours, and this Rest, without which thou would'st perish? If thou had'st the least sense of Gratitude, would'st thou not say, That 'tis God who is the Author of this thy Rest and Ease?’

—Deus nobis haec otia fecit.

‘We have within us the Seeds of all Ages, and of all Arts, and God the Sovereign Lord, draws them out secretly, and produceth them as he plea­seth. You'll pretend 'tis Nature that gives you all these things; alas, don't you perceive that this is only changing of Names, viz. that of God in­to [Page 340] that of Nature. For what can you imagin this Nature to be, if not God himself, and the di­vine Understanding which is infused and spread over all the World and in every Part? You may give him what other Name you please, Jupiter most Good, Jupiter most Great, Thundering, Lightning, &c. You may if you please give him the Name of Destiny or Fortune, seeing that De­stiny is nothing else but a Concatenation of Cau­ses that succeed one another, and that God is the first cause upon which all the other depend. You get nothing thefore by saying, That you are not indebted to God for any thing, but to Nature, seeing that Nature cannot be without God, nor God without Nature, and that God and Nature are the same thing, the very same Being; for these different Names are only different Titles of the same God, who exerts his Power after several manners.’

But here let us leave Epicurus, and withal let us suppose the Existence of God, his Providence, and all his Attributes, which are the Foundation of the highest Acts of religious Worship; here it seems to be proper and seasonable to demonstrate, that the Holy Religion that we profess, is the only true and lawful Religion. But as this is a particular Subject which ought to be handled solidly and to the purpose, we shall leave it to the Divines, who are best able to manage it in its due Circumstances, suitable to the Dignity that it requires. It shall suffice here to mention only what the Light of Nature discovers: ‘God, saith Lactantius, hath made the Nature of Man to be such, that he hath an Inclination and a Love for two things, which are, Religion and Wisdom. But Men are deceiv'd, either because they embrace Religion, leaving Wisdom, or be­cause they study Wisdom alone and leave Religion. [Page 341] Whereas the one cannot be true without the o­ther. They follow divers Religions, but which are false, because they have forsaken Wisdom, which might direct and teach them, that 'tis im­possible that there should be many Gods; or they apply themselves to Wisdom, which is false and mistaken, because they have left the Religion of the Sovereign God, which would have instructed 'em in true Wisdom. Thus they who embrace one or t'other simply, err from the right way and run on in that which is full of grievous Errors, because the Duty of Man, and all Truth is inse­parably shut up in these two Heads.’ After that Lactantius hath thus explained himself, and after­wards taught in what manner, and with what Sa­crifices we must honour God; he continues to tell us, ‘This Holy and Sovereign Majesty requires from Man nothing else but Innocency; he who who presents it to God, offers a Sacrifice Pious and Religious enough.’ And after he hath disap­proved of divers superstitious Ceremonies, he adds, ‘The Celestial Religion consists not in things cor­ruptible, but in the Virtues of the Mind, which proceed from Heaven. The true Worship is that in which a clean Soul, without blemish, offers it self in Sacrifice; whosoever is obedient to his hea­venly Precepts, he honours God truly, whose Sa­crifices are Meekness, Innocency and good Works: And as often as he does good and pious Acts, so often does he perform his Sacrifices to God; for God requires no Offerings of Beasts, their Death and Blood, but he will have the Heart and Life of Man for an Offering. This Sacrifice is to be performed without Herbs, without the Fat and Sinews of Beasts; vain and foolish things; but with Expressions that proceed from a sincere Heart. God's Altar is not to be adorn'd with [Page 342] Man's Blood, but the Heart of Man is to be a­dorned with Justice, Patience, Faith, Innocency, Chastity and Abstinence. This is the true Wor­ship, this is the Law of God, as Cicero hath said, that excellent and divine Law which never Com­mands any thing but Just and Honest, and Prohi­bits what-ever is Wicked and Dishonest. The chief Worship of God is the Praise that is offered to him by the Mouth of a just Man; but that this Praise may be pleasing to him, it ought to be accompanied with Humility, with Fear and with a great Devotion, lest Man should rely upon his own Integrity and Innocency, and fall by that means into Vain-glory and Pride, and so lose the Reward of Virtue. If he will be favoured of God, he must have a Conscience clear from all Guilt, he must implore continually his Mercy, and must ask of him nothing but the pardon of his Sins. If any Good befals him, let him return God thanks; if any Evil, let him bear it patiently, acknow­ledging that it happens because of his Sins. In Calamities let him not fail to be thankful, and in Prosperity humble and contented; that so he may have always the same settled and unshaken Mind. Neither is it sufficient to perform this in the Church, let him remember to do it in his House, in his Chamber, in his most secret Retirements. By this means he will always have God consecrat­ed in his Heart, for he himself is the Temple of God. If in this manner he serves God, his Fa­ther and Sovereign Lord constantly and devoutly, he will attain to an entire and compleat Perfe­ction of Justice, for he who remains unshaken in Justice, hath obeyed God and followed the Rules of Religion and fulfilled his Duty.’

Cicero also discourses admirably upon this subject, thus, ‘Right Reason doubtless is a true Law agree­able [Page 343] with Nature, and bestowed upon all Men; a constant, immutable, eternal Guide, inclining us by an inward impulse to our Duty, and by se­cret Prohibitions turns us out of the way of that which is evil and deceitful. 'Tis a Law that needs not be proclaimed, nothing can be retrench'd from it, nor can it be abolished. Neither the Se­nate nor the People can free us from our Obedi­ence to this Law, nor need we any other Inter­preter but our selves: It varies not at Rome from that at Athens, nor does it differ at present from that which shall be hereafter, but shall always be constantly and unchangably the same amongst all Nations and in all Times, and God alone shall be the common Lord and chief Commander of all Men: He is the Contriver and Maker of this Law, the Interpreter and Law-giver. He who will not be obedient to this Law, must act against him­self, and despise the Nature of Man; and tho' he may escape outward Punishments, yet shall be grievously tormented inwardly.’

Seneca speaks no less excellently well, ‘There is, saith he, something greater which we cannot con­ceive. There is a Divinity that we acknowledge by our living; let us obey his Will and Command­ments. A secret and reserv'd Conscience is of no use, all things are open before God. Will you, saith he afterwards, represent to your selves God great, as he is full of Majesty, and withal kind, tender and affectionate, and always ready to suc­cour you? 'Tis not with the bloody Sacrifices of Beasts, and with the abundance of Blood that you must honour him, for what pleasure can there be in cutting the Throats of innocent Creatures? but by a pure Conscience, which hath always a respect to what is Good and Honest. The Sacrifice that every one performs in his Heart, is more accep­table [Page 344] to him than all these glorious Temples and large Edifices of Stones heaped one upon another.’ After this manner he speaks in another place; ‘The first Worship of the Gods is to believe that they are, and that they have one Existence. We must next acknowledge their Sovereign Majesty, and ascribe unto them the Attribute of Goodness, without which there would be no Majesty: We must believe that they Govern the World, that by their Power they rule and dispose of all things; take care of Human Race; insomuch, that some­times they concern themselves with the Affairs of particular Persons: That they do no Evil; that they have no Evil in them, but that they chastise and punish Mankind under an appearance of Good. Would you have the Gods propitious to you? study to be good: He honours them suffi­ciently who imitates them.’ As for what concerns Prayers, Seneca truly is not of the number of those who believe that we ought not to pray to God: But he will have us pray to him in such a manner, as if all the World heard what we said, and that no body but would approve of our Prayers; ‘Know, saith he, that you shall be free from all vain and idle Desires. When you shall come about this, ask nothing of God but what you may ask before all the World: This is what you ought to pray for, that he would bestow upon you the Health of the Mind with that of the Body.’

‘To what does not the Fury and Folly of Men proceed! They secretly offer up to God such fil­thy and corrupt Prayers, that if they should per­ceive any to listen to, or understand 'em, they would stop and be silent, filled with Shame and Confusion. They have the impudence to ask of God, what they are asham'd that Men should know. Follow therefore this wholsome Advice, [Page 345] Live with Men as if God saw you, and speak unto God as if Men understood you.’ 'Tis sufficiently known how Satyrically the Poets have expressed themselves against these Whisperers and secret De­sirers of others harms.

In private thus he Prays,—When wilt thou Jove,
My wealthy Ʋncle from this World remove?
Or—O thou Thunderer's Son, great Hercules,
That once thy bounteous Deity would please
To guide my Rake upon that chinking Sound,
Of some vast Treasure, hidden under Ground!
O were my Pupil fairly knock'd 'oth' Head!
I shou'd possess th' Estate if he were Dead.

The famous Satyrist of our time could not but mention them in that learned Epistle which he di­rects to his spiritual Friend, Monsieur Guilleragues.

Que si cet hyver, un rhume salutaire,
Guerissant de tans maux mon avare Beaupere, &c.
O would some Rhume from these kind Winter Rains,
Cure my good Father-in-Law of all his Pains;
Wrap him in Lead well shriev'd and full of Prayers,
And grace the Miser's House with welcome Tears!
How gladly my last Gifts would I bestow,
Nor grudge the Charges of the pompous Wo!
This some Months since was all the Talk and Care,
Of the King's Farmer's honest, humble Heir;
Who plagu'd with Hunger and unkind delay,
Spent Forty wretched Years in hastning one good Day.

As concerning these unworthy and ridiculous Pray­ers, the Answer that Socrates made when some in­quired why the Oracle was more favourable to the Lacedemonians than to the Athenians, is not to be [Page 346] omitted. ‘Because, said he, the Prayers of the Lace­demonians are more pleasing to the Oracle than those of the Athenians; and they are more pleasing, be­cause they desire nothing else from the Gods, nei­ther in publick nor private, but that they would grant them what is Good, Honest and Just.’ Last­ly, 'tis well known what Epicurus said to this pur­pose, ‘That If God granted all the Prayers that were made to him, Mankind would quickly Pe­rish, because they are continually asking Things which are useful to some, but pernicious to others.’

As for Superstition, Cicero adviseth us to distin­guish it from true Religion. ‘For we must not, saith he, imagine that by taking away Superstiti­on we take away Religion. It belongs to a wise Man to keep to the Institutions, to the Mysteries and Ceremonies of his Ancestors, and to acknow­ledge this excellent, everlasting and wonderful Nature, which the beautiful Fabrick of the World, and the order and regulation of celestial Things force us to own. Therefore as we ought to en­deavour to increase Religion, which is unseparable from the knowledge of Nature; so ought we to root out Superstition, and to cast away all its Re­licks, for it followeth and pursues us every where, and to what side soever you turn, you will always meet with it; whether you hearken to a Diviner, or to a Discoverer of Things to come, or whether you sacrifice a Beast, or whether you observe the flying of a Bird, or whether you look upon a For­tuneteller, a Chaldean, or those who Prophesy by the inspection of the Intrails of Animals, or whe­ther it Lightens or Thunders, or the Thunderbolt falls from Heaven, or whether some Monstrous Creature is born, or whether some thing hath been done, or happned, which commonly and ne­cessarily ought to come to pass. So that we can [Page 347] never have our Mind well at Rest. Our very Sleep the usual retreat of all the Labours of the Mind, by its extravagant Visions and Dreams Frights us with terrible Apprehensions and Inquietudes.’

What we have now mentioned of Superstition, minds me of a Scruple of some of the Antients, who blamed the old Philosophers of their time, who countenanced the superstitious Ceremonies of Reli­gion, tho in their Heart and Mind they did not ap­prove of them, which practice of theirs seems to be contrary to the sincerity and uprightness of the Pro­fession of a Philosopher. ‘'Tis true, saith our Author, speaking of Epicurus, and endeavouring in some respect to excuse him upon that Account, That Sincerity in Actions as well as in Words is commendable; but what shall we say if we consider a Man out of the true Religion, in which we ought to have a perfect Conformity in Thoughts, Words and Deeds? At that time it seems to be the Duty of Wisdom and of Philosophy not to think as the common People, but yet to speak and act as they do.’ Epicurus was present at the super­stitious Ceremonies, because the civil Right and the publick Tranquility oblig'd him to it. He approved not of them, because there is nothing that can con­strain the Mind of a wise Man to believe whatever the Vulgar believes. Inwardly he was free, but out­wardly bound to the Laws of humane Society. By this means he acquitted himself at the same time of that Duty he owed to others, and of that which he owed to himself.

Of Piety.

WE must next speak of Piety, which relates to our Parents, as Religion relates to the worship of God: For as God is said to be the Father of all Things, because he hath made all Things, so Children ought to consider their Parents as the In­struments of God to bring them into the World. And truly next to that Obligation that we owe to God, there can be none greater, or of more force, than that which unites us to our Parents: As to other Persons, we may be indebted to them for some sorts of Benefits, but to our Fathers and Mo­thers we are indebted for our selves, and for what we are. And if it be so agreeable with Nature to love our selves, how agreeable ought it to be with the same Nature to love those by whom we, who thus love our selves, subsist, and from whom we have received that which we love, namely our selves? If it be suitable to the Rules of Nature to love those who love us, can there be a more fervent Love than that of Parents to their Children? And can pro­voked Nature consequently produce a more abomi­nable Monster, than a Son who loveth not his Fa­ther or Mother, or is ungrateful to 'em? Truly, if such there be, what quiet of Conscience can they en­joy? Nay they must certainly be very uneasy and tor­ment themselves Day and Night for such a Crime. Whereas on the contrary, how much Satisfaction doth a dutiful and affectionate Child enjoy, who from his Heart sincerely Honours his Father and Mother, and is not transported with any thing so much as to shew to them his Gratitude, by all man­ner of good Deeds, either by expressing to them his Respect, or by evidencing to them his Love, [Page 349] and who enjoys no greater Content, than to give them some Satisfaction, and principally in this, to be glad of having begotten such a Son. O how De­lightful and valuable was the Burthen of him, who in a publick Conflagration, despising all other Things in comparison of his Father's Life, carried him away safe and unhurt upon his Shoulders through all the Flames and Darts of the Enemy!

For Him a thousand Dangers have I sought,
And rushing where the thickest Grecians fought,
Safe on my Back the sacred Burthen brought.

Which the Poets have related of Aeneas. And Elian tells us of two Brothers of Catania, who in the furious Burning of Mount Aetna, saved their Fa­ther from the scorching Flames, which casually, or by a divine Appointment, open'd a way, as they say, to let them pass through. 'Tis with great rea­son that Solon judged Cleobis and Biton happy, not only because of the happy end of their Life, but chiefly because of that great Joy, that they felt when for want of Oxen they freely Yoak'd them­selves, and drew the Chariot where their Mother was sitting.

I cannot but make here a little Digression, and wish with Martinus (who hath left us a rare and excellent History of the Kings of China) that the Piety of Christians to their Fathers and Mothers, were equal to that of the idolatrous Chineses to theirs. ‘This Piety, saith he, is yet observed among the Chineses with an incredible Respect, and most won­derful Expressions of Grief. Three Years com­pleat Children lament the Death of their Fathers. They first begin by retiring from those publick Employments which at other times they follow; they never go out of their Dwellings; they change [Page 350] their Apartments, their Food and Furniture, to make use of some plainer; they never sit but upon some low Form; they drink no Wine, nor eat any delicious Meats, but confine themselves to feed upon certain Herbs; their Cloathing is very course, of some thin Linnen Cloath of a white Colour, (for that is the Colour they mourn in) their Bed is ve­ry uneasy; nay they change their very Tone and manner of Speaking, the better expressing thereby their Grief and Affliction. He who thus Mourns takes no other name but wretched and ungrateful Son, as if he had neglected by his good Offices and Care to prolong the Life of his dear Father, or as if he had hasten'd his Departure by his negligent and undutiful Behaviour. If he writes 'tis only upon Yellew or Blew Paper, both which among them are Colours betokening Sadness. But this we cannot too much commend, that this wonderful Piety of the Chineses appears not only in their Mourning thus after the Decease of their Pa­rents, but also in the Reverence, Obedience and good Deeds which they perform to them during their Lives. Insomuch that many seeing them de­crepit with old Age, leave all to afford them their personal assistance; they resign their Employments to the Emperor; who seldom refuseth to accept of 'em, and grant them this Favour, for they know that in such a Piety there is nothing of Ambition, Pride or vain Glory.’ But this by the by: Let us now return to our Author, and to the indispen­sable Duties of Children to their Parents.

The First is to have not only a great esteem for them, and to look upon them as the Authors or Instruments of their Being, and supplying God's stead in relation to them; but also to shew that Esteem and inward Veneration which they have for them by outward signs of Honour and Respect, and [Page 351] evidence to all the World that they really respect them, and consider them as infinitely above them. 'Tis in this manner that pious Cimon behaved him­self, who, when he had not wherewithal to obtain leave to bury his Father, sold himself, purchasing that Liberty with the loss of his own.

The Second Duty is to comply with their Wills and be obedient to their Commands, for that is the chief part of the Respect and Reverence that we owe them; and on the contrary, to be Disobedient is a sign of Disrespect and Contempt. I confess, we are not bound to obey them when they command any thing against God, against the welfare of our Country, and contrary to Right and Justice; but 'tis very seldom that Fathers or Mothers lay any such Commands on their Children: Nor ought a Child rashly and inconsiderately to make an uncha­ritable Construction of his Father's Commands; but if for plain and convincing Reasons he finds himself forced to disobey him, this ought to be done with such respect and Deference as becomes him. From hence it follows that Children should undertake no­thing of moment against their Wills, but in all Mat­ters of the greatest Concern, such as Matrimony, &c. they should be directed by 'em; for as it is supposed they best understand, so likewise they most desire their Childrens Welfare and Happiness. We must also conclude from hence, that if there be any thing in the Behaviour of Parents to their Children that savours of Austerity or hard Usage, they ought to undergo it patiently, and to be so far from aggra­vating or complaining of it, as not to endure their Names to be reproached or ill spoken of by others.

The Third Duty is, to help them in all their Ne­cessities, and to remember the Cares, Pains and Trouble which we gave them in our Infancy, and in the following course of our Life, and not to for­get [Page 352] that excellent Sentence of Aristotle, That there is more Honour and greatness of Mind to think upon the Authors of our Being, than upon our selves; and that we are bound to Honour them, as we do the immortal Gods. Let us remember the Divine Commandment, which promiseth a long and happy Life to Children who shall Honour their Fathers and Mothers. Ho­nora Patrem & Matrem si vis esse longaevus super ter­ram: Which we may call a Commandment, and a moral Precept proper to all Ages.

Senes Parentes nutriens diu vives.

'Tis not improper here to mention a Word of that Piety and Love we owe to our Country, which doubtless ought to be yet dearer to us than our Pa­rents themselves: We cannot excuse our selves from speaking of it, and the rather, because we have al­ready taken notice, that it is even lawful to accuse our Parents themselves, where they have been found guilty of betraying our Country, or endeavouring to invade it and become Conquerours of it; when all our Prayers and Intreaties to desist from such a wicked Purpose prove ineffectual, and we cannot persuade them to right Reason. 'Tis not without just Cause doubtless that we have mentioned and maintain this Opinion, for as the Love that we bear for our Country is named Piety, because our Coun­try is as the common Mother that brings us forth, nourisheth and maintains us, 'tis plain that our Coun­try, which is as the Parent of our Fathers and Mo­thers, of all our Relations and Friends, ought to be dearer to us than all the rest. 'Tis what Cicero proves very well; ‘Can there be any Parentage nearer to us than our Country, in which all Pa­rents are comprehended? If our Fathers, our Mo­thers, our Children, our Relations and Friends [Page 353] are dear to us, how much more should our Coun­try be dearer, which contains them all? Is there any honest Man that ought not to venture his Life for his Country, if he can render to it thereby any Service? Is there any Evil more abominable than to destroy it, or to endeavour to ruin it, as some have attempted to do?’

Of Observance, or Respect.

THE Third Virtue that belongs to Justice, is that which Cicero calls Observance, by which we are inclined to reverence and respect those who are raised above us in Dignity, exceed us in Age, or excel us in Wisdom. For as Dignity or Bene­ficence are the occasion of Reverence and Honour, and that those who are promoted to Dignities are deemed worthy, and seem as it were born and de­signed for the publick Good, either by governing or conducting the People, or by composing their Differences and Sutes, or by defending them from the Enemy, or by procuring the publick Safety or Plenty; by this 'tis certain that we ought to Honour and Respect them, and the rather, because if this were not performed, there would be no body to take upon 'em the necessary Cares and Troubles of managing the publick Concerns, which would be at length the cause of confusion and disorder, which in this case by paying a due deference and respect, may in a great measure be prevented.

'Tis unquestionable also that old Age is of it self Venerable, because it hath the experience of Things, and consequently hath that Prudence, that it is able to advise young People, and direct 'em for their good. Young Folk, saith Sopater in Stobaeus, ought to Honour them who are their Elders, make choice of the [Page 354] honestest and most experienced, follow their Counsel and rely upon their Authority. 'Tis for this Cause that the great Captain of the Greeks had always a greater re­spect for Nestor than for the rest, and rather wish­ed to find out Ten like Nestor than like Ajax. But old Age will be so much the more worthy of Ho­nour and Veneration, when it shall not only be adorn'd with gray Hairs, but with Wisdom and Prudence; when it is able to afford good Advice, and that it is become commendable by its Virtues, and by its good Deeds.

Lastly, It is manifest that we ought to have Re­spect and Veneration for those who are Wise or Virtuous, seeing that Wisdom or Virtue is the true and solid Foundation of all Honour that is render­ed. Indeed Virtue alone, as they say, is its own sufficient Reward: But tho those who are Virtuous seek not to draw from thence Honour and Respect, yet they who know them to be such, are obliged to pay this Deference to 'em, otherwise they would not do Right and Justice to their Merits, and give a due estimate to that which of all Things in the World is the most valuable, Potior est illa Argento Auro (que) purissimo. This the wise Man ascribes to Vir­tue; 'tis of more worth than Gold and the finest Silver; 'tis more precious than all the Pearls and Jew­els; yea, than all that is desirable: There is nothing to be compared with it.

Of Friendship.

WE cannot but say something of Friendship, unto which such are obliged who are reci­procally beloved. Of all the things, saith Cicero, ac­cording to Epicurus, which tend toward the making our Lives happy, there is nothing more considerable and advantageous than Friendship: For indeed there is nothing in the Life of a wise Man more pleasing, than when, like a Philosopher, he may say to a Friend, of whose Sincerity he is fully persuaded, as Cicero in another case spoke one day to his Bro­ther Quintius, We are alone; we may without Envy go on in pursuit of Truth: Or that which Lelius relates of the Friendship he enjoy'd with Scipio, Of all the things that Fortune or Nature hath bestowed upon me, I have nothing that I can compare with the Friendship of Scipio; we can freely unbosom to each other our most intimate Thoughts and secret Designs: I never offended him, that I know, in the least, neither did I ever hear him speak any thing to displease me; we lived un­der the same Roof, we eat and drank together, and we enjoyed all the Sweets and Pleasures of Life: For what shall I say of that common Passion of always desiring to know and understand things? What shall I say of those retir'd Studies, where, at a distance from the troublesom Crowd, we spent many pleasant Hours in search after Truth? If the remembrance of all our Discoveries and Discourses had perish'd with him, I could not easily undergo the loss of so dear a Friend; but these things are so far from being dead, that on the contrary they revive and daily increase in my Mind.

Epicurus speaks excellently well to this Point, and I think none goes beyond him: ‘Friendship, saith he, is a very great Support, a secure Bul­wark against Injuries and Affronts, and is that which gives the greatest Pleasure and Satisfaction of our Life; for as Hatred, Envy and Contempt are very Offensive, and interrupt the course of our Pleasures, so Friendship raises the Pleasures of Life, and causes us every day to find something new and pleasing. Indeed, Solitariness, or one who lives without Friends, is subject and exposed to a great many private and unforeseen Dangers, and is never free from Fears: Reason it self ad­viseth us to procure such Friends as may settle our Mind, confirm our Hopes, banish from us all Fear, and establish in us Joy and Quiet.’

And because some pretend that Friendships are contracted for the Advantages that we receive from them, as we usually sow the Ground in hopes of a Crop or Harvest; he therefore thus proceeds, ‘'Tis true, that the first beginnings of Friendships are made in consideration of the Advantage and Benefit that are expected from them; but after a long setled Acquaintance and Familiarity, there is nothing but Love that prompts us on; so that tho' there be no farther Advantage, Friends nevertheless still love one another for their own sakes. In truth, if we love and affect certain Pla­ces, Temples, Towers, Colleges, a Country-House, Dogs, Horses, &c. For having been long acquainted with or accustomed to these things, how much more will this Use and Costom work upon us and prevail with us in relation to Man­kind?’

‘But, saith he, we ought to make a discreet and wise Choice of Friends; for according to the Proverb, We ought to take more care with [Page 357] whom, than what we Eat: And tho' eating and filling our Paunch alone, is, if I may so say, to live like a Lion or a Wolf, or some other Beast of Prey; nevertheless, we ought not to yield or admit of the next that comes, but we ought to chuse such a Friend whose Discourse and Conver­sation is pleasing; one, who esteems nothing more than Sincerity, Integrity and Fidelity; who is not of a morose and uneasie Temper, always full of Complaints, but such a one whose sweetness and easiness of Conversation, whose pleasant and agreeable Temper of Mind hightens our Expecta­tions, and adds to the Pleasures of our Life.’

Now tho' Friendship consists in a mutual Parti­cipation of Pleasure, and of such Goods which we are permitted to enjoy while we live; neverthe­less, it is requisite that the Riches of Friends should be deposited in Common, as he imagin'd who said, ‘That all the Goods of Friends are Common, be­cause that excludes all Jealousie; for such as are Jealous can never be Friends; they ought there­fore to have a confidence in each other, so that either may take what his Occasions require, being persuaded that what they have thus in Common, is not less theirs than if they were each in Posses­sion of the whole.’

‘I confess, that mean Souls are apt to wonder at this; but we must not trouble our selves with such, for there is neither Assurance nor Constan­cy in the Friendship of this sort of People; they are not at all capable of these things, nor of any part of Wisdom which deserves Praise; they un­derstand not what is useful either to themselves, in particular, or to the generality of Mankind; they cannot well distinguish between good and evil Actions: We here therefore speak only of wise and honest Men, among whom there is a [Page 358] kind of an Agreement to love their Friends, no less than they themselves, which we know to be feasable and practicable in the course of our lives. So that it is plain, that if we intend to live plea­santly, there is nothing more conducible to to it than this Union: We are therefore to conclude from hence, that not only Reason is not contra­ry to Friendship, if we place the sovereign and chief Happiness in Pleasure, but that without Friendship it self this chief Happiness is not to be attained.’

‘The reason of this is, that without Friendship we cannot at all times keep up a constant plea­santness of Life, nor preserve Friendship if we love not our Friends as much as our selves: Friendship indeed is inseparable from Pleasure, and we rejoyce at the Welfare of our Friends as much as at our own, and are as much grieved at their Afflictions.’

‘Therefore the wise Man will treat his Friend after the same manner as he would himself, and the Labours that he would undergo for his own Pleasure, he will undertake for the Pleasure of his Friend. And as when he is sick, he would be glad to have some body present to help him, and when in Prison or under Poverty, to have some good body to relieve and assist him; so he will re­joyce when he hath some body that he may afford help to when sick, and relieve when cast into Pri­son, or become indigent: Nay, he will go be­yond all this, for he will be ready to endure very great Extremities, and perhaps Death it self, if occasion should require it.’

And here we must observe, that 'tis not with­out reason that Aristotle will have Friendship re­late to Justice; for Friendship is a kind of Equality; for where there is a true Love and Friendship, can [Page 359] there be a greater Equality, seeing that the Affe­ctions of Friends are alike amongst themselves; and that Friendship, as Cicero saith, is a participa­tion or Community of all things, of Counsels, Studies, Opinions, Wills, &c. 'Tis true, there are some Friendships, where one of the Friends may be of a higher Rank and Degree than the other; but either these are not true Friendships, or if they be, he who is above the other in Power and Dignity, will out of a generous and virtuous instinct humble himself to make some Equality. Scipio, in our time, saith Lelius, how high soever he was in Power and Authority, and exalted in Dignity, would never presume upon that account to take place above Philus, Raphilus, Mummius, and other his Friends of a meaner Degree. But as Aristotle ob­serves, It is a rare thing to find such kind of Souls. Nevertheless, saith Cicero, we are to consider that as Superiors among real Friends ought to equalize themselves with their Inferiours; so Inferiours ought not to be troubled or concern'd that they are exceeded in Riches, Fortune, Wisdom or Dig­nity by their Friends; I say, where there is a real Friendship; for there are certain false and deceit­ful Friendships, or as Aristotle says, such as cannot properly be termed Friendships, but rather resem­blances or likenesses of Friendship: For true Friend­ship depends not upon a sordid Gain, or upon fil­thy and dishonest Pleasures, but is grounded upon Justice and Virtue.

We must likewise observe, that Friendship be­ing only truly found among virtuous Men, 'tis not without reason that Aristotle does hence infer, that the firmness and constancy of Friendship does con­sist in this, That they never act nor desire any thing that may be prejudicial or inconvenient to each other, but on the contrary they prohibit and op­pose [Page 360] it; for it is the part of a truly honest and good Man not only to do no ill himself, but also not to suffer his Friend to do any. Let the first Rule of Friendship, saith Cicero, be to require nothing base nor dishonest from his Friend, and likewise never to perform any such thing if his Friend require it. The Second, To do for a Friend all that honesty can require, and not to stay till he be desired and intreated. The Third, That there be no Hypocrisie nor Dissimulation between Friends, because there is more ingenuity in an open hatred than in a feigned Friendship. The Fourth, That we should not only slight and reject all evil Reports of our Friends as false and malicious, but also should not fo much as entertain the least Suspicion of their being guilty of so much baseness and unworthiness. The Fifth is, That there be a moderation and sweetness of Temper among Friends, which does very much promote and encourage Friendship; and let all Sadness and Se­verity be totally banished, The Sixth, That we take heed that there be not too much reservedness in our Friendship, for that is apt to hinder that freedom and pleasantness which is, as it were, the chief Tie. The Last is, That Friends may sometimes reprove one ano­ther, and mutually bear with each others Reproof, be­cause this proceeds only from a fervency of Affection. Nevertheless, we must take notice of what Cicero remarks upon this Saying of Terence, ‘Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit.’ That Complacency begets Friends, but Truth be­gets Enemies. ‘Truth, saith he, is uneasie and displeasing; for from hence ariseth Hatred, which is the Poison of Friendship; but yet such Com­placency, as by winking at his Friend's Faults, suffers him to fall into a Pit, is much more intollerable. Therefore in this case it behoves [Page 361] us to behave our selves with a great deal of Can­dour and Circumspection, and take care that our Advice be moderate and discreet, and that our Reproof be not too sharp and cholerick. As to what concerns Complacency in Friendship, there ought to be a goodness and sweetness of Temper, but no Flattery, which nourishes and encourages Vice; for we must not treat or deal with a Friend as with a Tyrant. But there is no longer any Hopes of him whose Ears are stop'd to Truth, when it proceeds from a true Friend.’

Why might not we here make use of the Counsel that a famous Author among the Persians thought of great moment to preserve Friendship? ‘We are commonly, saith this Author, unjust to our Friends; we usually desire from a Friend more than, according to the Laws of Human Nature, we ought; we will have him in all things, at all times, and on all occasions, that he should be what we our selves are not; that he should be firm and faithful, and never alter in the least▪ as if we were not all naturally moulded up with Weak­nesses and Imperfections, and equally subject to changes. There is no Diamond, saith he, with­out its Flaws, and there is no Man but hath his Infirmities: Let us be indulgent and favourable to our Friends; in a word, let us purchase a Friend with all his Failings.’ However, let us not here omit a Question which hath been much controvert­ed among the Ancients.

The Philosophers have made it a doubt, whether in favour of a Friend, we may not sometimes for­sake or recede from Right and Justice, and in what Cases, in what Circumstances, and how far? Cicero in his Offices, saith, ‘That if a mischance should happen, whereby we should be oblig'd to yield Assistance to the unjust Desires of a Friend, we [Page 362] may in such a Case swerve from the Rules of Right, where a great Shame or Loss is like to ensue upon it; and this the Laws of Friendship ought to pardon.’ But Agellius is of Opinion, that Cicero passeth over this Matter too hastily, and that Pericles speaks more fully and to the purpose; Who, when he was desired by a Friend to take a false Oath for his sake; he answered him, That he ought to serve his Friend as far as the Gods, or, as we say, as far as the Altars. Opitulari me Amicos oportet, sed ad usque Deos, sed usque ad Aras. He adds, that Theophrastus speaks plainer, ‘That we may in­cur a high Shame or Infamy if any great Advan­tage will thereby accrue to a Friend, because the inconsiderable Loss of the wronged Justice is recompenced by a greater and a more important Act of Justice, which is to give Assistance to a Friend. That when the Advantage of a Friend, and our Honesty and Justice stand upon a Level, in such and the like Cases, doubtless, Honesty and Justice ought to be preferr'd; but if the Ad­vantage of a Friend be very great, and that which concerns our Honesty, be about a thing of small importance, that which is useful and advantageous to a Friend ought then to incline us.’

There is another Question that is commonly pro­posed, which Agellius saith is somewhat difficult. If new Friends, which are otherwise worthy of our Friendship, are sometimes to be preferr'd to our ancient Friends, as we prefer usually a young Horse before an old? Agellius answers in a word, That 'tis a scruple or a question unworthy of an honest Man. That we are not to be tired with Friendship as with other Things; for 'tis with Friendship as with Wine, the older the better: And tho' Novelties give fair Hopes of some Advantages, yet we ought not to slight our old Friends, but still respect 'em.

Of Beneficence and Liberality.

BEneficence is usually and generally taken for tha [...] goodness of Nature which is employed in gi­ving assistance to others, either by our Care, or by our particular good Offices, or by our Estate and Wealth; whereas Liberality is understood in a stricter Sense, and more especially for that which consists in bestowing particular Gifts of Goods and Mony. We have already seen before, that Aristotle understands Liberality in that Sense, and Cicero seems also to restrain it commonly to the free and liberal Gifts of Mony and Riches; but nevertheless he sometimes joins Beneficence and Liberality together, so that he takes them for one and the same thing, But, saith he, he who hath a double intent of assisting the Necessitous, either by good Offices or by Mony; the latter, saith he, is the easier for such as are Rich, but the first is more commendable, more glorious and worthy of a generous Mind. For tho in both there is a free and liberal Disposition to gratify or do good, neverthe­less there is this difference, that the one is taken out of the Coffer, and the other proceeds from Virtue; that the Gifts that are made out of a private Estate, drains the very source or Fountain of Beneficence, so that the oftner we practise it, the less we are capable of continuing it. Whereas such as are liberal of their Cares, and do Ser­vice by their Virtues and by their Industry, the more they bestow upon others, the more they have still in Stock. Besides, by often giving they get an Habit, and are more ready and prepared to oblige all the World.

Now Aristotle is of Opinion, That there is nothing to hinder us from taking Liberality to be a Medium between Covetousness and Prodigality, tho he sup­poses Covetousness to be much more contrary to [Page 364] Liberality than Prodigality. Therefore he Esteems a prodigal Person to be little better than a Cove­tous one, not only because the Prodigal does good to many, and the Covetous to none, no, not to himself; but because the Prodigal may be easily persuaded to Reason, either by Age or Time that may cor­rect him, or the necessity unto which he may be reduced may constrain him, whereas the Covetous is so far from being cured by Time, that with his Years his Distemper increases; like a Dropsy, which instead of extinguishing his Thirst, increaseth it. So that 'tis not without cause that Aristotle saith, That a covetous Man is Sordid, Base, &c. Parcus, Te­nax, Sordidus, Turpis, Lucri Cupidus, Parvas impensas faciens, Deceptor, Depilator.

I shall not concern my self about what Aristotle holds, That the property of Virtue is rather to do good than to receive, and generally to do Things just and honest, than to avoid the doing Things vile and dishonest. I shall only take notice of the three Cau­tions or Conditions which Cicero requires in Benefi­cence and Liberality. The First is, That our Bene­ficence be neither hurtful to those whom we seem to gratify, nor to any other: For to do a Pleasure which may be prejudicial to the Party, this belongs not to the part of a Man who really designs to do good, but rather of a dangerous Flatterer. And to hurt some to gratify others, which very often hap­pens, that is as unjust as if you took another Man's Goods to appropriate them to your self. The Se­cond is, That our Beneficence must not exceed our Abilities; for otherwise the Fountain of our Good­ness may be soon exhausted; an Injury may be done to our Parents, whom we are rather bound by Ju­stice to assist, or to whom we have a greater rea­son to leave our Goods; and often Men are there­by provoked to grasp at all Things by indirect [Page 365] means, that they may have wherewith to supply and furnish their extraordinary Bounties. The Third is, That their good Deeds be according to Discre­tion conferred on due Objects, for if they be bestow­ed on the wicked and undeserving, then, that which Ennius said may here hold true, That good Deeds misplaced, will become evil Deeds, as he expresses it, Benefacta male locata, malefacta arbitror. And as 'tis better to do good to honest and good Men, who are under scanty Circumstances, than to those who have Plenty; Beneficence doubtless ought rather to look upon those who are in necessity, than those who do abound, and whose plenty has no need of a further supply. 'Tis chiefly the Duty a generous Per­son, saith Cicero, to help him who stands most in need. Yet most Men act otherwise, for the more they expect from a Man the more they will endeavour to oblige him, and shew themselves most officious, tho he stands in no need. I will add what Seneca very judiciously expresseth, That there is a great difference between the matter of the good Deed, and the good Deed it self. For the good Deed is neither the Gold nor the Silver nor any such like Thing, but it consists in the Will of the Giver; for if any, as Aristotle ob­serves, gives by chance, or by constraint, or in hopes of receiving thereby some advantage, or if he pre­vents not the indigent, or if being desired he per­forms not the Deed willingly, speedily and without hesitation, without Witnesses to report it abroad, which rather lessens than amplifies a good Deed; how can such a Man be said to be Bountiful, and a doer of Good? ‘We meet, saith Seneca, with a great many ungrateful Persons, and make many more, because we upraid and require back again our good Deeds in a rude manner; sometimes we are so inconsiderate, that we have no sooner done a good Act but we are ready to repent of it, and [Page 366] sometimes we complain of, and exclaim against Things of the least Moment. So that we not on­ly spoil all our Kindness in doing a good Deed, but likewise after it is done; for which of you, I be­seech you, is satisfied by a slender or single intrea­ty? Who is there, who when suspecting a Courtesy to be asked of him, hath not shewed a displeas'd Countenance, turned aside his Head, pretending some other weighty Business? Is it possible that you can be grateful to a Man who in a disdainful manner hath made you stoop to take up his Cour­tesy, or colerickly thrown it at your Head; or who being tired by your Intreaties hath yeilded to your Importunities?’

Of Gratitude.

NOW, let us say something in the last Place of Gratitude: 'Tis not without cause that Cicero insinuates, that it alone comprehends Religion, and the other Virtues that we have mentioned; for this Passage we read in his Oration for Plantius, ‘Truly, saith he, I would willingly be endowed with all the Virtues, but there is none that I would more earnestly desire than to be Thankful. This Vir­tue is not only the principal, but also the Mother of all other Virtues; for what is Piety but a kind and grateful Inclination towards our Parents? Who are the good and generous Citizens, who in times of War and Peace offer themselves for their Country's sake, but they who are mindful of the Obligations they owe to their Country? Who are the true and real Saints, the observers of the Laws and Religion, but those who never forgetting [Page 367] the favours of the immortal Gods, yeild to them the Worship and Honours due to 'em? What Pleasure can there be in Life when Friendship is banished, and what Friendship can there be among the Ungrateful?’ This being granted, we must consequently suppose Gratitude to be our chief Duty: For tho he who gives pretends to nothing else than giving, nevertheless he seems to expect that he who is thereby obliged should acknowledge the Favour; and if he don't, he will be unjust. In Truth, tho the Donor expects no reward, yet he who receives the Kindness is not therefore free from the Ingagement that lies upon him to recompense his Benefactor by all good Offices. Certainly if He­siod will have us return, as we say, with Usury, the Things that have only been lent us for a time, ‘With how much greater Reason, saith Cicero, ought we to be thankful when we have received more signal Obligations? Ought we not to imi­tate those fruitful Fields, that return much more than they receive? And if we are Officious to them from whom we expect good Deeds, how much more ought we to be to them who have already been kind to us and obliged us? There are two sorts of Liberality, the one is to give, the other to restore; 'tis in our Power to give or not to give; but not to restore, is a thing not to be allowed of in an honest Man.’ But suppose a Per­son is incapable you'l say: Seneca answers, ‘That he who is willing to return a good Deed, does in effect do it, for his good Will is a sufficient dis­charge of his Obligation. He saith moreover, That they who are obliged, may not only equal but also surpass in good Will and Generosity, those who give; we may reward also the greatest Princes, Lords and Kings; either by affording to them faithful Counsel, or by a constant attendance, and [Page 368] by a pleasing Converse free from Flattery, and yet delightful, or by a serious Attention to what they propose when they consult about difficult Affairs, or by a constant Fidelity when they intrust any Secret. Propose the richest and the happi­est Man in the World, I will tell you what he wants, viz. a cordial Friend to whom he may im­part his most secret Thoughts. Don't you per­ceive how great Men by confining the liberty of those who attend 'em, and limiting their Trust to certain slavish Offices, lose and cast themselves away, because no Body about 'em dares freely impart their Thoughts, either to incline them to what is for their advantage, or to persuade them from what tends to their hurt. There is no Mis­chief nor Calamity but they are liable to, from the very Moment that they are barr'd from hear­ing the Truth. You may ask, What good you can do to a prosperous Person? Persuade him not to trust to his Prosperity. Will it not be a good Office that you do him, when you shall cause him to quit this foolish Confidence, and let him see that this Power that he has, may not always continue the same. And that the Things that Fortune be­stows are flitting and inconstant, oftner flying away faster than they come. You don't under­stand the value and true worth of Friendship, if you don't perceive that in bestowing a Friend, you bestow the most excellent Gift the World can af­ford, and who is never more useful and necessary than where all Things are in great plenty and abundance.’

But not to insist longer upon this: Aristotle offers two or three Questions upon this Point. First, Whether Beneficence is to be esteemed or valued accord­ing to the advantage of him who receives, or according to the Liberality of him who bestows it. He Answers, [Page 369] That in the Kindnesses that are done for advantage, and which are grounded upon Profit, these are to be valued by the advantage of him who re­ceives 'em, because he is in want, and he who does them performs 'em but upon Condition to have the same returned. But in Friendships and Kindnesses that are established upon Virtue, we must measure or compute the good Deed by the good Will of the Donor, because where Virtue is concerned, the intention is chiefly to be consider­ed; therefore whether any gives much or little, the Gift or Kindness is to be esteem'd great, for the great Affection or extraordinary good Will of the Party giving.

The Second Question, Why those who give, have a greater affection for the Party they give to, than the other hath for the giver. To this he Answers, That the cause is not as some suppose, for that the Donor is as the Creditor, and the other as the Deb­tor, and because the Debtor wishes for the Death of the Creditor, but the Creditor the Life and Health of the Debtor; but because the Benefactor is as the Artificer, who loves more his own Works than they should be otherwise beloved again if they were alive, which is to be seen among Poets, who love the Offspring of their Brain as tenderly as the Offspring of their Body. And they who receive a good Deed, are as it were, the handy Work of him who gives.

The Third, Why there is no Law to indite an un­grateful Person? This Crime, says he, which is universal, is truly punished by none, tho disap­proved by all. But as the valuation of an uncer­tain Thing would be very difficult, we have only condemned it to an universal dislike and hatred, [Page 370] leaving it among those Things which we have re­ferred to the Justice and Vengeance of the Gods. Besides, 'tis not convenient that all ungrateful Per­sons should be known, lest the vast number of those who are stained with this Vice, should lessen the Shame of the Crime; and lastly, 'tis no small Pu­nishment, that an ungrateful Person dares not de­sire a good turn from another whom he has diso­bliged, and that he is taken notice of, and con­demn'd by all the World.

As to what remains to be treated of here concern­ing Affability, sweetness of Temper, Civility and such like Virtues, they may be sufficiently under­stood by what hath been mentioned already about Gentleness and Mildness. We shall finish this Trea­tise with a Passage out of Seneca, which contains the Sum of all moral Duties. ‘What do we do, saith he, what Precepts do we enjoyn? What a small matter is this, not to hurt him whom we ought to serve! This is a worthy business indeed, for a Man to be kind and loving to his Fellow-Creature! Shall we make Laws for a Man to hold out his helping Hand to one Shipwreckt and ready to sink; or to direct him that is wandring and hath lost his Way; or to divide our Bread to him that perisheth for Hunger? To what purpose is it to reckon at large what is to be done, seeing I can comprehend the whole Duties of Mankind in few Words? This great All which thou seest, and which contains all Things divine and human is but One; we are the Members of this great Bo­dy. Nature hath made us all Related and a Kin, by bringing us forth from the same Principles and of the same Elements. 'Tis Nature hath given us a mutual Affection and Love, and for the same Ends. 'Tis Nature hath established what is right, [Page 371] just and equitable to its Law. 'Tis a greater Evil to be the cause of Wrong than to suffer it. Na­ture commands that our Hands should be always ready to afford assistance. Let this be always in our Heart, and at our Lips, Homo sum, huma­ni nihil à me alienum puto. I am a Man, and think my self obliged to all the Duties of Hu­manity’

THE Third BOOK OF Liberty, Fortune, Destiny and Divination.

CHAP. I. What Liberty or Free-Will is.

AFter we have examined the moral Virtues, we must speak something of Destiny, Fortune and of Free-will, which some esteem to be Causes, others to be Modes or manner how certain Causes act, and others to be nothing but empty Names, vain and imaginary Notions; we must, I say, speak some­thing, and the rather, because according as they are received or rejected, Virtues and Vices will be allow­ed or not allowed, and consequently our Actions may deserve praise or blame, rewards or punish­ments; for 'tis most certain that there is nothing either commendable or blame-worthy, but what is [Page 373] done freely and with deliberation; and that what ever is done by Chance or out of Necessity, is neither to be commended nor condemned. This being unquestionable, the first thing that we have to do, is to examin wherein Liberty or Free-will consists, what is Fortune and Destiny, that so we may the better understand how Fortune and Li­berty either contradict, or may agree with De­stiny.

To begin therefore with Liberty: And here 'tis to be understood, that we mean not precisely such a Liberty as is taken in opposition to Slavery, that which relates properly to the Body, and is describ­ed a power of living as we please; but we mean that which the Greeks were wont to name [...], id quod in nobis, seu penes nos, nostrove in arbitrio potestateque situm est, that which is in us, within our Power or Free-will; namely, something which is in the Soul, and is not under Bondage to any ex­ternal Master; or if I may make use of the words of Epictetus, That which cannot by any means be hin­dered, [...], as if we should say, A full and en­tire Power or Liberty to do any thing. The Latins, and chiefly the Divines, call it commonly liberum aribitrium, Free-will, and sometimes liberale arbi­trium.

Upon which we must observe, First, That this is given to Reason, or which is the same thing, to the Understanding; because Reason is look'd upon as an Arbitrator between Parties, or as a Judge, to examin, to consult and deliberate, and at last to decide as the Judgment is sway'd, upon what we ought or ought not to do in a doubtful Case.

Secondly, That as soon as the Consultation and Deliberation are concluded, Reason hath indeed elected and chosen one thing preferrable before another, which she hath conceived or believed to [Page 374] be the best; the Appetite or the Function of the Appetite, will immediatly follow.

Thirdly, That by this word Appetite, I under­stand the reasonable Appetite, and that which is peculiar and proper to Man alone, as Reason is, be­cause we shall hereafter indifferently make use of these Terms, Will and Appetite, meaning the rea­sonable Appetite.

Fourthly, That because the Action of the moving Faculty, which is properly the pursuit of that which is good, follows the Appetite, or as we commonly speak, the Will, the Faculty being ta­ken for the Action; that Action of the moving Faculty is for that reason termed Voluntary, as if one should say, willingly undertaken; that is, with Deliberation and Consultation.

Fifthly, That Reason or Free-will is supposed in Man to be so free, that of the several things which come under his Deliberation, there is nothing he chuseth but he hath at the same time an equal li­berty of refusing it and making choice of something else.

Truly, we usually ascribe this Liberty to the Will, or to the reasonable Appetite, which signi­fies the same thing; for we all agree, that the Ori­ginal of Liberty is in Reason, which we common­ly call Understanding, that is to say, in the intel­lective Power; for we usually hold, that the Will is a Faculty or Power of it self blind, which can­not incline to any thing till the Understanding goes before and holds forth, if I may so say, a Light be­fore it: So that 'tis the Property of the Under­standing to precede and enlighten, and of the Will to follow. So that it cannot easily be turned out of the Path it hath taken, until the Under­standing first turns the Light, which directs it, that way. Liberty therefore seems by consequence to [Page 375] be first and primarily in the Understanding, and se­cundarily or dependantly in the Will.

To open the Matter a little more clearly. The Nature of Liberty seems, first, to consist in an in­differency, by which the Faculty which is named Free may incline or not incline to any thing; and this is called Liberty of Contradiction; or incline in such a manner to any thing, as it may equally incline it self to the contrary; and this is called Liberty of Contrariety: And in truth, as we can­not imagin any Liberty without a Faculty, free to chuse, 'tis certain that there neither is nor can be any Choice but where there is an indifferency, be­cause where there is but one thing proposed, or where the Faculty is resolved and determinated to act or to pursue any certain thing, there can be no Choice nor Election; which supposeth at least two things, whereof the one is to be preferr'd be­fore the other.

I know some are of Opinion, that the Will is then principally and altogether free, when it is so fixed and resolved on any certain thing, suppose, for Example, the sovereign or chief Good and Happiness, that it cannot be bent or diverted to any other thing, that is to say, to Evil; because, say they, the actual love, the pursuance, the enjoy­ment of this Good or Happiness is altogether Vo­luntary, and by consequence altogether Free. But I know not whether they take notice enough, that there is this difference between a willing Action and a free Action; for a willing or spontaneous A­ction is nothing else but a certain propensity or im­pulse of Nature, which impulse may be effected without any Reasoning; whereas the free Action supposeth and depends upon some Reasoning, Exa­mination, Judgment or Choice preceding.

And to prove that a spontaneous Action is a certain impulse or propensity of Nature, they in­stance in Children and Brutes, unto whom they never attribute the use of Reason or Liberty, yet they perform many things sponte; and this is said also of things inanimate, as of a Stone, that it falls down sponte, of its own accord; or of Fire, that it ascends sponte; so that fiery sponte and fieri natura seem to be the same thing.

Thus as the Appetite inclines of its own Nature to Good, 'tis no wonder that we should say that 'tis carried sponte of its own accord: For as a Stone, because it falls sponte, or of its own Nature down­ward, cannot of it self rise upwards: So because the Appetite is carried of its own Nature to Good, it cannot of it self incline nor lean to Evil: Be­sides, as the Stone, because 'tis settled to a Motion downwards hath not an indifferency for such a Mo­tion, or for a Motion upwards: So the Appetite, because 'tis fixed on Good, is not indifferent to what is Good, nor indifferent to what is Evil. Lastly, as the Stone, for want of that indifferency to either of the Motions, is truly said to move sponte, of its own accord, but not freely or with liberty down­ward: So the Appetite, for want of this indiffer­ency to Good or Evil, is truly said to move sponte, of its own accord, but not with liberty to what is Good in General.

Therefore if you suppose that the Will is in such a manner fixed, for Example, on the Sove­reign Good or Happiness, that it cannot by for­saking it, be turned aside to follow another Object, it will be truly reputed to be inclined to it sponte, but not freely, because 'tis not indifferent to that Good or to another; and that 'tis not in its Power to incline to another and forsake that.

'Tis certain, that it inclines willingly, volens and without Reluctancy and Opposition; but this kind of Will which we might name Volentia, if it were lawful to make use of this word, bespeaks not Li­berty, but Propensity, Complacency, libentiam, collu­bescentiam, and consequently an exclusion of all Constraint, Violence, Repugnancy or Opposition. So that if the Pursuit or actual Love and Affection for this Good is said to be altogether Voluntary, we must not therefore infer, that it is altogether free, but only that 'tis summè libitus, if I may be permitted to make use of this Term, or libens al­together willing, because libentia may be without any indifferency, but not libertas.

Now it behoves us to consider that what is usu­ally spoken among the Divines, That 'tis impossible that the Will, such as is that of the glorified Saints, which enjoys fully and knowingly the Sovereign Happiness, should forsake that Good to embrace another; it concerns us, I say, to make this Ob­servation, because it seems this may discover to us what that indifferency is, in which the Nature of the Liberty or Free-will of this mortal Life con­sists.

We took notice before, that the Understanding bears the Light before the Will; and it is certain, that this Torch or Light is nothing else but the Judgment that the Understanding makes upon things that are Good or Evil, declaring that this is Good and that Evil; that of these two Good or Evil things, this is the greater, that the less. So that when the Will is said to be diverted from the one and inclined to the other, this happens because the Judgment is sometimes for one and sometimes for th' other, and that the Flection of the Will is conformable to that of the Understanding.

Thus, because the Understanding is often un­constant in its Judgment, the Will is often unset­led and wavers in its Inclination or Appetite; so that as the Understanding judges to day that one thing is Good and to morrow Evil, the Will to day loves this thing and to morrow hates it: And as it judges to day that we ought to embrace a certain thing because it is Good, and to morrow it esteems that we ought rather to embrace another, because that other appears to it better; thus the Will is inclined to day to one thing and to morrow to ano­ther. In a word, it seems that according to the Notions that the Understanding hath of things, or according to the Judgment that it makes of them; so the Will either pursues or avoids the same.

In the same manner, because among the Good things, as among the Evil, some are true and real, others seeming or apparent, Good is sometimes dis­guis'd with the Appearance of Evil, and Evil with that of Good. By this means the Understanding often makes a wrong Judgment; for being moved with the Appearance of Good, it judges Evil to be Good; or being moved with the Appearance of Evil, it judges Good to be Evil. In the same man­ner, the Will often mistakes its End, because in aiming at Good and pursuing after it, it happens upon Evil; and in flying from Evil, it is disap­pointed of some Good. Thus also the Understand­ing mistakes the lesser Good for the greater, and the greater for the lesser; the Will by following after the greatest Good gets the less, and in flying from the lesser Evil falls into the greater.

Seeing then the Will is thus bound to follow the Understanding or its Judgment, there is no que­stion but that the indifferency which appears in the Will, proceeds meerly and absolutely in the same manner as the indifferency of the Understanding. [Page 379] Now the indifferency of the Understanding seems to consist in this, That it is not so much tied up to any Judgment that it has made of a thing which hath appeared to it true, but that it may leave it and incline to make another Judgment of the same thing if there appears in it a greater likelihood of Truth: For the Understanding is not of the num­ber of those Faculties that are fixed to a thing, as weight in things without Life, the Faculty of Ge­neration in the living Creatures, and so of the rest, but is naturally so flexible, that having nothing else for its Object but Truth, it may judge of things now in this manner, anon in another; and according to the Judgment it makes, may some­times take this, sometimes that for Truth.

Therefore the Understanding may be look'd up­on as a Balance; for as a Balance is indifferent to incline either of the Scales, and bends towards that which is most loaden; so that where there is the greater Addition of weight, it still inclines that way; thus the Understanding is indifferently in­clined to one or other of these contrary Opinions, but is still overpoised according to the greater or less apparency of Truth. This Comparison is borrowed from Cicero, where he says, That in the same manner as the Scale of a Balance is weighed down by the weight that is put into it, thus the Mind yields to things that are plain; we cannot approve of a thing that is not plain nor manifest.

This is designed to make us comprehend that the Understanding being indifferent to follow one Judg­ment or another, it is not nevertheless indifferent to leave a plain manifest Truth to follow after another less manifest, or to leave the Judgment that seems the truest, to embrace that which hath the less likelihood of Truth; because as a Scale weighed down by a greater weight, can never be raised by a [Page 380] less weight put into the other Scale, but only by a heavier, which weighing down this, shall cause the other to be lifted up: Thus 'tis not possible that when some evident and experienc'd Truth hath prevail'd upon the Understanding to consent, that it should alter its Judgment unless upon some more weighty Reason succeeding. This chiefly appears in that we sometimes remain in suspence, pondering in doubt and in uncertainty; for this happens only because on both sides there seems to us as it were an equal weight of Truth, the equal Balance of th' one Scale hindring the rising or falling of th' other, which causeth that the Understanding leans no more to the one side than the other.

Thus if it seems to bend sometimes more to one side and sometimes to the other, this is caused by the greater Attention that it gives sometimes to one weight and sometimes to the other; and that the one draws to it as long time as the other ap­pears not the same, but this other nevertheless draws in the same manner when it appears more strong; just as when we have pois'd a Balance even with equal weights, if you now add to one and anon take away from the other some little weights. So if the Understanding leans at last more to one side than the other, this must needs be, because something hath moved it more of that side than of the other, or rather because the Attention alone, more constant, assisted by impatience, may have procured a greater weight.

'Tis true, that sometimes the Understanding leaving the Judgment, which of it self is the truest, or absolutely true, embraces that which of it self is not so true, but absolutely false; yet that which moves the Understanding, is always the Appear­ance of Truth which it considers in every thing; and because this Appearance may be either true or [Page 381] false, it happens that what is true in it self is capa­ble of being disguised by the Appearance of Fals­hood, or not so true, and that which is false of it self may be covered over with an Appearance of Truth, or not so false: It happens, I say, that the Understanding may be also carried to Falshood or to that which is not so true, whiles the Falshood is veiled over with an Appearance of Truth, or of not so false, where the Truth is covered over with an Appearance of Falshood, or not so true. There­fore as often as the Understanding being tied to a true Judgment, leaves this Judgment to follow a false one, there must have interven'd something which hath taken from the Truth its true and na­tural Guise, and which hath given to the false a counterfeit Lustre, which hath caused the alteration in the Judgment.

And if it be generally so, it is certain that this confirms what hath been particularly spoken of the alteration of our Consent or of our Judgments, whether in respect of the Good or in respect of the Evil; and consequently that the Judgment that we make that a thing is good or better, remains in the Understanding as long as the Appearance either true or false, which causeth the thing to be reputed so, is in being and admitted, and that it is altered as soon as this Appearance is changed.

'Tis Likewise certain, that there being a neces­sity that the Understanding should precede the Will, 'tis in vain to endeavour that the Will should change its Inclination, unless we first endea­vour to oblige the Understanding to alter its Judg­ment; as we labour in vain that the Will should continue in its Inclination or Appetition, if we take no care that the Understanding should persist in the same Judgment.

Also 'tis for this cause that he who designs to em­brace Virtue and prefer it before all other Excellen­cies, ought to take heed that no Deceit creeps in, which imposing upon the Understanding may make him imagin there is something more excellent than Virtue. And as he shall have esteemed the highest Virtue to consist in causing his Will to be agreeable with the Divine Will, he ought to imprint deeply in his Mind that he cannot desire any thing more excellent than what God will have. Saying to him­self with Epictetus; I have brought my Desires in sub­jection to the Will of God; if he will have me Sick, I am content; if he will have me undertake any Thing, I will undertake it freely; if he will have me accomplish any Thing, I will effect it accordingly; wont he have it so, neither will I; will he have me to Dye, I am wil­ling.

Finally 'tis certain that while we live here below, we are very Feeble and very Weak, and that we cannot promise to our selves a constancy, either of Judgment or of Will, and of Resolution; because of that Indifferency by which the Understanding and the Will may pass from a Thing that is true, to another that may appear more true; from a Thing that is good, to another that may appear better. 'Tis certain that only in the Life to come this Indifferency shall have an end, because in our fu­ture State the highest and most perfect Truth, and the sovereign Good are easily known without mi­stake; and because nothing truer will offer it self to the Understanding, nor nothing better to the Will towards which it might bend, 'tis impossible but that we must continue fixed most constantly, unchangeably, most necessarily, and most willingly; Summa cum libentia. And this is what we have un­dertaken to explain.

Now that we may not seem to insist too long up­on Things supernatural, let us return to our Mat­ter in Hand, and say again, That Liberty or Free-Will is in Man no longer than this Indifferen­cy that we have mentioned continues in him. For he is Free or at Liberty, First, That when Good or Evil be offered to him he may chuse either the Good by that appearance which inclines him, or the Evil if it be disguised and covered over with the ap­pearance of Good, which seems more inviting, and consequently draws and moves him more powerfully than the appearance of real Good. Secondly, That when two Advantages are offered to him, he may follow the greater, if its appearance moves him, or the less if its appearance be more attractive and tempting than that of the greater. Thirdly, When he hath two Evils before his Eyes, he may avoid the greater, being dissuaded from it by its appea­rance, or the lesser, if its appearance seems more troublesome and grievous.

This being supposed, this Passage out of Plato makes very much for our purpose, ‘That no Per­son of his own accord is inclined to Evil, and that it is not in the power of Man's Nature to be wil­ling to incline towards that which he judges to be Evil, and decline that which he judges Good. So that if of two Evils it be needful to chuse one, there is no Person when he may chuse the least will take the greatest.’

But because what Ovid makes Medea speak seems to be an Objection, viz. I see what is better, and ap­prove of it, yet I embrace what's worse.

—Video meliora proboque,
Deteriora sequor.

For this Reason we must observe the Question that Aristotle makes when he inquires whether it is possible, that he who knows Things well and hath a just estimate for them, such as they may deserve, can­not forbear; Qui fieri possit ut qui de rebus recte aesti­mat, incontinens sit [...]? For 'tis not without cause that Socrates said, ‘That it is not possible that in him who hath Knowledge, any other thing should bear sway contrary to that Knowledge; and so it is im­possible but that he who knows and values Things as he ought, should do that which is best to be done, because if he acts otherwise, this proceeds from Ignorance.’ From whence it seems that that common Saying is taken and used in answer to the Words of Medea, viz. Every Man that Sins is Igno­rant. Omnis peccans est Ignorans.

To resolve the Doubt, and answer the Question Aristotle makes a good distinction. ‘For, saith he, we may know Things either habitually or actually, Habitu aut actu; For a Man may have a Know­ledge that he makes no use of, as when his Mind is employed about other Things than what he knows, if he be asleep, in a Passion, or in Drink, and he may have such a Knowledge which he exerci­seth, as when his Mind is busy about what he un­derstands. Now if a Man, saith he, knows a Thing actually, and hath his Mind fixed on the Thing he knows, and that his Thoughts are not other­wise at that time diverted, it is impossible that he should act any thing contrary to his Know­ledge, and consequently when he percieves the excellency of Virtue, for example, and the folly of Vice, that he should forsake Virtue and follow Vice. But if he knows any Thing only habitual­ly, or if he makes no use of his Knowledge, in such a case he is in the same Condition as if he had no Knowledge at all, or were Ignorant of the [Page 385] Thing; and then he may do Things contrary to his Knowledge, and thus tho he knows habitually how beautiful Virtue is, and how abominable and fil­thy Vice, yet that hinders him not from neglecting Virtue and embracing Vice.’

But you may say, Doth it not often happen, that he who Sins, really sees and considers the beauty of that Virtue which he slights, and the filthiness of that Vice which he pursues? Aristotle answers, ‘That such a Man is like one full of Wine, who by a certain Custom repeats some Verses out of Em­pedocles; or like Children that read what they un­derstand not, or but very little; or like Stage-Players that represent Persons unto whom they are not like; for in every one that Sins there a­riseth a Passion either of Lust, or Anger, or Am­bition, or Covetousness, that disturbs and disorders the Mind and Knowledge in such a manner, that all the good that there is in Virtue, and all the evil that is in Vice is obscured and covered over with a kind of Mist, so that 'tis hid or scarce ap­pears; whereas all that is Evil, that is to say, Pain­ful in Virtue, and all that is Good, that is to say, Grateful in Vice, is discovered, and appears clear as at noon Day.’ By this means what is good in Virtue works but feebly upon him who is viciously inclined, and the evil which is in Vice does but faint­ly displease him who is virtuous. Thus a Man that Sins may very truly say, that he perceives and sees the Things that he quits are better, and what he chuses are worse, for that at another time accord­ing to the Habit which makes him remember but confusedly and lightly, yet he was sometimes of another Opinion. But yet at that very time that he Sins he cannot say so, for then he holds for best what he embraces, and that for worse which he leaves. So that if he should say that he approves [Page 386] then as best the Things that he had formerly ap­proved of, he would tell an apparent untruth, and would contradict himself, for he certainly approves and allows as best the Things that he then pursues.

And tho he does this not without some kind of remorse and displeasure, yet that proceeds doubt­less from a Sense of the loss of some advantage there­by, or of drawing upon himself some Evil. But that which nevertheless shews that this displeasure is inconsiderable in comparison of the pleasure that prevails upon him, is that he does not seriously, but only lightly consider the loss of the Good, and the purchase of the Evil. This is so much the more easily to be understood, if the Punishment, the Pain, the Shame, and the other Evils, which he neither sees, nor perceives, nor fears, but only lightly and confusedly, were more seriously and plainly consi­dered; not as at a distance, or absent, or to come, or doubtful, but ready to fall upon his Head present and certain, and as if they were immediately to succeed and follow the wicked Action at the Heels; he would certainly then forbear and desist from do­ing it, and would not perish in the Vice.

Again, tho he that Sins and chuses the worst, should say, that he sees and approves the best, ne­vertheless the want of consideration, or his inadver­tency which hinders him from seeing or considering all the Circumstances that are in the Thing, or from seeing them as they ought to be, and should be, is Ignorance. For this Reason, he that Sins is said to be Ignorant, for he would not Sin if he were not so, and acted in that manner.

We must nevertheless consider, that he ought not therefore to think himself excusable when he acts ignorantly, because he follows after that which ap­pears to him Good, and because 'tis not in his Pow­er to hinder it from appearing in that manner to [Page 387] him, under a pretence, that we are not the causes of the appearance of Things. For tho among the common excuses for Sins, Men are wont to reckon Ignorance, yet that Ignorance is, or ought to be a simple, absolute and invincible Ignorance, such as was for Example that of Cephalus when he kill'd Procris, who was lurking among Brambles and Thorns; I say, when he kill'd Procris, whom he took for a wild Beast, and could not imagin that it was his dear Wife. Whereas that Ignorance that is here pretended, proceeds from neglect and a want of due Care and Consideration, as Aristotle tells us, Per incuriam negligentiamve paritur, and for that reason is named a gross and willful Ignorance, Affectata, supina: For he that Sins is ignorant, either because he is himself the real cause of his Ig­norance, or because he never troubles himself, nor endeavours to know more; that is to say, because he does not take sufficient care to consider every thing as he ought.

‘A drunken Man, saith Aristotle, is Ignorant ac­cording to the first Case; for he himself is the cause of his Ignorance, and of his Drunkenness, and 'twas in his Power not to be Drunk, and so not to be Ignorant of what he doth; therefore, saith he, this Ignorance dont excuse him, but on the contrary it deserves a double Punishment. First, Because he made himself Drunk. Secondly, For Sinning when he was Drunk. The same Thing may be said of him who from the beginning makes no resistance to a light Passion, but suffers it to gather Strength, so that it prevails more violently:’ And generally so it is of those who suffer things to come to an Habit, which at the beginning they might easily have overcome, but afterwards 'tis beyond their Pow­er to resist 'em. ‘'Tis in this Case, saith Aristotle, as with him who casts a Stone which he cannot re­call [Page 388] nor cause to come back, but 'twas in his Power not to cast it; or, as with him, who living like a Glutton, becomes unavoidably sick, yet 'twas in his Power also to have lived more abstemiously.’

Again, a Man who is hurried and transported by his Passions, may also say, Video meliora, proboque; because 'tis then likewise in his Power to mind the Evils, or to consider seriously what and how great Mischiefs will attend; which if he did, he would not be guilty of 'em: I say, that it is in his Power, for it often happens that when he is just go­ing to commit an Evil, and there comes a Person of Wisdom or Note, or one of Authority, in whose Power it is to revenge and punish this evil Action; upon this he presently forbears; nay, there are some who stop in the midst of their Passion, and have so much Power over themselves, as not to suffer them­selves to be over-come. Besides, the use of the Laws, of Precepts and Exhortations, are not in vain. We may take heed, and if the Mind be attentive, it may over-come the appearances of Things, and proceed in such a manner that they will appear really such as they ought to appear.

Truly, every time that we may say, Video meliora, proboque, 'tis manifest that the Action is not done without Deliberation, and that consequently 'tis in our Power; for we cannot say so when 'tis done rashly and unadvisedly, as when at the first moving of Anger, we are carried away with Revenge; from whence proceeds the ordinary Excuse, That the first Motions are not in our Power.

And we cannot say as the Hegesiacks in Laer­tius, That Sins ought to be pardoned, because no Man sins but he is forced thereunto by some Passion which disturbs his Mind, Neque enim quemquam vo­lentem, sed pertubatione aliqua coactum peccare: For [Page 389] at least it is certain that till we give an occasion of the Disturbance, there is no constraint nor force.

Nevertheless, because there are certain natural Disturbances, and certain Desires which proceed from our selves, and arise against our Wills, Ari­stotle holds that they are so much the more pardo­nable, because they are commonly incident to all Men: And to shew that there are some Passions that are born in us, and that we derive from our Ancestors; he cites the Example of him that ex­cused himself for beating his Father; For my Father, saith he, beat his before me, and his Father beat his, and here is my Son will beat me when he comes to be of Age. He alledgeth again the Example of him who being drag'd by his Son, commanded him when he was come to the Door to drag him no far­ther, because, said he, I never drag'd my Father be­yond this place.

But here I find my self obliged to take notice, that whatsoever hath been hitherto said concerning the great Inclination of the Will to follow the di­rection of the Understanding, ought to be under­stood with some Caution and Circumscriptions: For tho' it be certain that we never desire what is unknown, ignoti nulla cupido; and so the Will never acts until the Understanding inclines it before­hand; and as we commonly say, holds a Torch before it to enlighten it: And tho' it is also no less certain, that the Will is so depending upon the Understanding, in following it, that of two un­equal Advantages proposed, it usually takes the most beneficial; yet, nevertheless, when 'tis just ready to act, it may notwithstanding this direction, and without the intervention of any other, leave that which is more, and embrace or follow that which is less profitable.

It seems also that the Will does sometimes exer­cise this Power; for if we will consult our selves, we shall find it true, that there are some Moments wherein we mind and take notice of the goodness and excellency of Virtue; that we discover it plainly, and agree, that it is to be preferred be­fore the Pleasures and Delights that Vice can afford us: So that if we did really drive at our own In­terest, we should decline Vice and embrace Virtue: Do we not experience, I say, that sometimes not­withstanding we have these Notions and Considera­tions, yet still we cling to Vice and forsake Virtue, forego the greater and make choice of the less good? In a word, we see what is better, but take up with what is worse, as Medea saith, ‘Video meliora, proboque; deteriora sequor.’

Now this being so, it seems we should give more scope to the Power of the Will, and that we ought not to suppose it so bound up or enslaved to the directions of the Understanding, but that it may forsake them; and that if we will save our Liberty without suffering any scruple to remain, we ought not to make it so much to consist in the indifferency of the Understanding, that limits the Will, as in the indifferency of the Will that limits it self: So that when all things needful to act are supposed, it may either act or not act, follow what is good or not follow it, embrace that which appears more or less advantageous: So that 'tis not with the Will as with a Balance or Beam, which is forced to lean on that side where there is the greatest weight; but like a Balance that determines and inclines it self by its own Strength, sometimes on that side where there is the least weight, where there is the least reason, and least appearance of advantage.

Let no Man object, that a lesser advantage, in comparison of a greater, is reputed an Evil; and as the Will cannot incline to Evil as Evil, it can­not by consequence incline to a less advantage: For we may absolutely deny that a less advantage is an Evil, in comparison of greater; for let it be never so little, 'tis always an advantage: Besides, we may answer and say, That when the Will leaving a greater Good inclines to a less, it inclines not to Evil as Evil, because it looks not upon it as Evil but truly as Good, tho' by chance it may be found to be a less Good; certainly if when two advanta­ges are proposed to the Will, it hath Power to re­fuse 'em both; it will doubtless have the same Power to take th' one or th' other, and conse­quently to chuse the less.

However, it is certain that tho' we should ap­peal to the Judgment of Plato and Aristotle (which is what our Author seems to have the greatest esteem for) so that we should make Liberty to consist in the first place and originally in the indifferency of the Understanding; yet, I say, it is certain, that in this Supposition, we may still save our Liberty, in that, when we are ready to act and prepared, 'tis always in our Power to stop and desist from acting, and to consider seriously of things; so that if we distinguish the real advantages from those that are counterfeit, we should cause the false Rea­sonings in the Understanding to be rectified; and by that means cause this Propensity that is in the Will to be inlightned, and so consequently not to seek after an apparent good instead of what is real, Vice instead of Virtue.

CHAP. II. Of Fortune and Destiny.

THO' according to the Opinion of Cicero, Folly, Mistake, Error, Blindness and Ignorance of Things seem to have introduced and brought in fa­shion the Names of Nature and Fortune, and that therefore Fortune cannot be without Ignorance: Nevertheless, 'tis not generally agreed upon, that this is only a foolish, vain and imaginary Name, seeing there are many that hold that 'tis not only a Cause, but a Divine Cause; which occasioned these Verses of Juvenal.

Fortune was never Worship'd by the Wise;
But, set aloft by Fools, usurp'd the Skies.

That it is not really so, Plutarch, according to Plato, holds, That it is a Cause by accident, which unexpectedly follows things acted according to Counsel. And agreeable with this is Aristotle's Opinion, That it is a Cause by accident in things done for a certain End, and that this Cause is un­certain and changable. For this example is alledged as a common Instance; he who digging in the Ground with an intent to Plant a Tree, found a Treasure which he never thought of; now, the Dis­covery of the Treasure is an Effect by accident, that is to say, that it happen'd beyond the Expecta­tion and Intention of him that acted: So that he who digged being the cause of the Pit made in the Earth, is also the cause by accident of the Discove­ry of the Treasure.

'Tis in this manner that the Notion of Fortune is commonly explained. Nevertheless it may seem by this Name that something else, I know not what, is understood, and that they call not pro­prerly Fortune, either him who digs, or his action. Therefore often we call a casual thing by the name of Fortune, or that which happens unexpectedly. And it seems by this Name of Fortune, we are to understand, ‘The concurrence of several Causes that happen without any mutual dependence or advice; so that from them proceeds an event or an effect called Casual, which all the Causes, or some of them, or at least he to whom it happens, had never in his Mind and Intention.’ So as by the casual Discovery of the Treasure, 'tis not only requisite that some should dig in the Earth, but that some other body should first hide the Mony: 'Tis manifest, that Fortune or the cause of the Dis­covery, is the concurrence of the hiding of the Mony and of the diging in the Earth in that place.

I say, without any mutual dependence or advice, and beyond or besides the Intention of all or some of the Causes: Because, tho' one or many of the Causes may have designed it and intended it, 'tis no less Fortune in respect of that Cause that never was thought upon: As if one hides a Treasure, with a design that he whom he foresees will dig in the Earth, should find it. In this Case, the Event is not truly Casual, in regard of him who hid the Trea­sure; but it will be nevertheless in regard of him who was ignorant that any thing had been there concealed. Thus that which happened at the opening of the Sepulcher of Nitocris was not abso­lutely a Hazard or Casual, in respect to Nitocris; for he imagined that some King would come to open it, being induced by this Inscription; If any [Page 394] of the Kings of Babylon that shall come after me be in want of Mony, let him open this Sepulcher, and let him take as much as he please; but let him not open it un­less he hath need, for in such a Case it will avail him nothing. But the Event was a Hazard or Casual, in relation to Darius, because instead of Mony he found this written within. If thou wert not unsatia­ble of Mony, thou would'st not have opened the Sepul­chers of the Dead. We must nevertheless acknow­ledge, that we call that properly Fortune, that of all the Causes which concur together, not one of them foresees what will happen from thence. An emi­nent Example of this is instanced in delaying the death of Socrates, after Sentence had been pro­nounced: For the cause of this delay hapned thus; ‘The day before the Sentence was given, it hap­ned, according to the yearly Custom, a Ship was Crowned in order to be sent to Delos; and in the mean while, till its return, it was not lawful to execute any Person. But here, neither, the Priest in Crowning of the Ship, nor the Judge in Pro­nouncing the Sentence ever thought, by this ac­cident, to delay the death of Socrates.

Now 'tis not without cause, that Epicurus per­suades us so much, that we should not acknowledge Fortune as a Goddess; for the weakness of Men is such, that they don't only admire that which they understand not, but they fancy it also as some di­vine Thing, and above Nature: So that when they had perceived that sometimes Fortune was fa­vourable and sometimes adverse and contrary; they adored it under several Shapes, and erected Tem­ples to it under these several Titles, Fortunae Bonae, Malae, Blandae, Averruncae, Calvae, Equestri, &c. This hath given occasion to the Complaints of Pliny, ‘That all over the World, and at all times, Men address themselves to Fortune; so that she alone [Page 395] is called upon, she alone accused and condemned; she alone is praised and blamed; that she alone is worshiped with Scoffs. Many fancy her uncer­tain, unconstant, blind, favouring those who de­serve it not, &c. From hence is that common Expression; The May-game, or Sport of Fortune. And this hath caused the life of Man to be likened to playing at Dice or Cards, which is equally ha­zardous to the Gamester, whether he understand the Game or not.

'Tis true, that as the Play and the Life of Man are managed by Industry, a skilful Gamester and a a wise Man commonly succeed best; but this hap­pens not always, for often the ignorant Gamester, is more fortunate than the skilful, and the weak Man more successful than the wise; and very fre­quently Fortune hath as much or more a hand in things than Wisdom. This caused Plutarch to say, That Fortune and Wisdom, tho' very much differing, often bring forth very unlike Effects. And as there are but few Men who make Profession of Wisdom, that know well how to manage and govern the Pro­ceedings of Fortune, Theophrastus hath been so bold as to say, That 'tis Fortune, and not Wisdom that governs our Life.

Vitam regit Fortuna, non Sapienta.

And Lucretius speaking according to the Vulgar, saith, That Fortune often attends those who do not greatly seek it, and as often flies from those who eagerly pursue and hunt after it: So true is it, saith he further, That there is some secret hidden Power that over-rules human Affairs, and seems to delight and sport it self with over-turning Crowns and Dignities, and trampling 'em under Feet.

[Page 396]
Ʋsque adeo res humanas vis abdita quaedam
Obterit, & pulchros fasces, saevasque secures
Proculcare, & ludibrio sibi habere videtur!

Of Destiny.

AS to what concerns Destiny, Homer speaks more plainly of it than of Fortune; for he makes Hector say, That if the Destinies don't ap­point nor order it, nothing is able to take away his Life beside; but no Man can avoid his De­stiny.

Nam nisi Fata vocent, nemo me mittat ad Orcum:
At Fatum vitat nemo, mihi crede, virorum.

Now tho' Cicero fancies that Fate and Destiny is but a foolish, idle, and superstitious Name, Anilis plenum superstitionis fati nomen; and Epicurus, That 'tis only a fantastical Name, and that nothing is done by Destiny: Nevertheless, as there have always been Maintainers of Destiny, some taking it in one sense, others in another, we must here endeavour to understand the several Opinions into which they have been divided.

Among these Opinions there are two Principal; for some will have Destiny to be Divine, others a meer Natural thing. The First, were the Disci­ples of Plato, and the Stoicks; according to whose Opinion, Plutarch, Chalcidius, and some others, look upon Destiny or Fate in two manners; First, As a Substance, which they took for God himself, or for that eternal Reason, which from all Eternity hath ordered all things, and hath so joined all Cau­ses, both Superior and Inferior together, that [Page 397] all that happens, either Good or Evil, happens persuant to these Causes. They bestowed several Names upon this Divine Substance or Reason; for sometimes they termed it, as Plato, The Soul of the World; The Reason and the eternal Law of the Nature of the Ʋniverse. And sometimes, as Zeno and Chry­sippus, The moving Virtue of Matter, a spiritual Vir­tue, and the Reason of the Order that Governs and Rules all Things. Sometimes God, Jupiter, Under­standing or Intellect, as Aristotle and Seneca; And sometimes with Heraclitus, The Reason that pene­trates into all Things; And sometimes, as Pythagoras, The governing and ruling Cause of all Things, both Ʋniversal and Particular.

Secondly, As an Act; namely, in part for the Decree it self, or for the Command by which God hath established and ordained all things, and partly for the Order it self; that Consequence and Con­catenation of Causes at first appointed, in which it pursues its course without varying in the least from the Rules and Methods at first prescribed: For thus they spoke of it when they called Destiny, The Law of Nature, The Companion of the Whole, The Daugh­ter of Necessity, The Order that includes and compre­hends all other Orders; Or, as Chrysippus saith, A certain eternal and immutable sequel of Things, &c. Sempiterna quaedam & indeclinabilis series rerum, & catena volvens semetipsa sese, & implicans per aeter­nos consequentiae ordines in quibus apta, connexaque est. To which Lucan seems to allude in these two Ver­ses,

At simul à prima descendit origine Mundi
Causarum series, atque omnia Fata laborant.

And Hesiod, when he speaks distinctly of the three Parcae which Spin the Life of Man, the first [Page 398] is named Atropos, because the Time past is irrecove­rable, which is as the Thread spun and wound in the Spindle: The second is called Clotho, because of the Time present that runs, which is as the Thread in the hand of her who Spins: The third is Lachesis, because of the Time to come, or the ha­zard, which is as the Wool or Flax that is not yet twisted. Lachesis, in Plato, is said to govern the Time past, Clotho the present, Atropos the future: That which is added of Lachesis, that she receives the celestial Actions of the two other Sisters, that she joyns them together, and that she distributes them here below upon the Earth; shews the Opi­nion of the Astrologers, who bind the Fate of Man­kind to the Stars, and make it to depend upon them, and come from them, according to Mani­lius; ‘Fata quoque & vitas hominum suspendit ab Astris.’

An Opinion among the Astrologers more cer­tain than that of the Sybils, and the Oracles which were said to utter forth the Destinies: For to hear them speak, they seem to be no less acquainted with the Designs and Decrees of Heaven, than the Oaks, which Plato tells us came forth from Voices of the Enchantresses, as Virgil observes, ‘Quam comitabantur fatalia carmina quercus.’

Moreover, as the Disciples of Plato, the Stoicks, and the other Patrons of Destiny, seem consequent­ly to defend Necessity, which Seneca stiles a Ne­cessity of all Things, and of every Action, which no Violence can break or alter: ‘For the Destinies, saith he, exercise their Right and their absolute and uncontrolable Power, without favouring any, [Page 399] and without being moved either with Prayers or Compassion, they observe their fatal course ap­pointed and irrevocable; like as the swift and fu­rious downfal of the Waters from some steep Places which neither go back nor stop for those Waters which follow, but continually thrust down the first; thus the constant sequel of Destiny makes the order of Things under this first and eternal Law, to submit to the irrevocable Decree.’ As therefore they seem to maintain, I say, a Necessity, which altogether destroys the Liberty of human Actions, and leaves nothing in our Free-will; for that reason these Objections are opposed, proceed­ing from the Inconveniences that will ensue.

The Chief of these Inconveniences, is, That if our Souls, as they are placed and ranked in the sequel of Things, be governed by the Destinies, and being deprived of all Libery, they act always out of an immutable and unavoidable Necessity; the Liberty and ordinary Conduct of the Affairs of hu­man Life fails, and all Consultations are useless; for whatever you resolve upon, there shall nothing happen but what hath been decreed by the Desti­nies, Thus Prudence will become idle and need­less, the study of Wisdom frivolous, Legislators and Tyrants will be equally ridiculous; because they command things that we must unavoidably do, or what we can by no means perform: So that there will be neither Vice nor Virtue, nor any thing that will deserve either Praise or Blame, seeing that they alone are reputed worthy of Praise who might do ill but behave themselves well, and those worthy of Blame who might do well but be­have themselves ill. In this case, no body will de­serve Reward for any good Deeds, as no body will deserve Punishment for any bad, because the first cannot but act well, and the latter hath not the [Page 400] Power to forbear and abstain from what is ill: Fi­nally, if all things proceeded from an unavoidable Necessity, in vain should we offer up our Prayers, our Vows and Sacrifices, &c.

'Tis therefore upon occasion of this Doctrin of the Stoicks, that Lucian brings in Cyniscus very plea­santly, upbraiding Jupiter: ‘That he dreads not his Thunder-bolts, if the Destinies have not de­signed that he should perish in that manner, see­ing that Jupiter himself, and the other Gods, are bound and subject to Destiny: So that both Gods and Men are but the Servants and Ministers of the Parcae, or rather meer Tools or Instruments, as an Ax or a Sythe; insomuch, that Jupiter with his great Power was not able to deliver his own Son from Death, his beloved Son Sarpedon.

Tot nati cecidere Deûm, quin occidit unà
Sarpedon mea Progenies.

This Doctrin of the Stoicks made Seneca to say, That God truly prescribed the Destinies, but that he himself is bound to obey them: Ille ipse omnium Conditor & Rector scripsit quidem fata, sed sequitur; semper paret, semel jussit.

That we are carried away by the force of De­stiny, unto which we must willingly yield; That nothing is able to prevail upon the inexorable La­chesis, or to make her unwind her Spindle; That all that the Mortals do or suffer comes from above; That all things proceed in a certain setled and appointed Course, and that each Day presses on the former.

Fatis agimur; cedite fatis.
Non sollicitae possunt curae
Mutare rati stamina fusi
[Page 401]
Quidquid patitur mortale genus;
Quidquid facimus venit ex alto;
Servat (que) suae decreta colus.
Lachesis dura revoluta manu,
Omnia certo tramite vadunt,
Primus (que) dies dedit extremum.

Manilius speaks almost the same Things, and saith plainly, That the Destinies govern the World, that we Dye as soon as we are Born, and that our End takes its date from our first Beginning.

Fata regunt orbem, certa stant omnia lege,
Larga (que) per certos signantur tempora cursus;
Nascentes morimur, finisque ab origine pendet.

Lastly, Those Philosophers who hold that De­stiny is a thing altogether natural, and that it de­pends not upon any Decree, are divided into two Sects; The first have supposed a sequel of natural Causes, linked and tied together in such a manner, that the last always is depending upon the first, and so successively each by th'other, so that they cannot but do what they do; and from hence follows that Necessity which can by no means be avoided, and which is altogether agreeable with that which is de­duced from the first Opinion, or at least differs not much, but only in this, that in the first Opinion the sequel of Things runs and proceeds from an eternal Decree of God, but according to this latter Opinion, they run of themselves, and of their own accord. The others truly suppose a sequel of natural Causes, tied and joined together, but yet in such a manner, that the last Causes depend not in such a manner upon the First, or are not moved by them so much, but that they may be hindred from doing that which they would otherwise do. I say that they may [Page 402] be interrupted either by Things casual, or by Things that act freely.

Among the First are reckoned Heraclitus, Em­pedocles, Parmenides, Leucippus, Democritus and some others; but I shall only mention Democritus, because he was the most famous of 'em all. This Philoso­pher maintains, That Nature cannot act otherwise than it doth, because the first Principles, or as he calls 'em Atoms, from whence all Things have their Beings, and are made, have a natural and an unal­terable Motion by which they must of necessity be carried and moved. The compounded Beings that are all made of Atoms, cannot but be moved by the same Motions that move the Atoms. And from thence he gathers this supposed Necessity, by which he will have all Things done, and by which the World it self is made in that manner that it now subsists; because the Atoms, as he saith, which ca­sually have here met together, have had such and such Motions, that they could not gather together in any other manner, nor make any other Form or Shape; and that when this Form was once laid, they cannot but proceed in that Motion that they are in, and by these Motions all Things are accomplished: So that this Necessity, in his Opinion, is nothing else but the motion, the percussion and repercussion of the Matter, that is to say of Atoms, out of which all Things are form'd.

Thus 'tis easy to see what he means when he says, The necessity by which all Things are made, is the De­stiny, the Justice, the Providence and the Contriver of the World, &c. For he supposeth that the sequel of Things, in which the nature of Destiny consists, cannot be otherwise than it is, and that it depends upon this sequel that such a thing should be, or should be thought Just, and another Unjust; that the World should be governed in the manner that [Page 403] it is, and that in the beginning it was so made, &c. He refers all Things to the natural Motion of Atoms. And upon this Supposition he believed, First, That the Soul it self, which he fancies to consist chiefly of globular Atoms and well polished, moves seve­ral ways of its own accord, because of their differ­ing Motions, for Example in the Sad and Mournful in one manner, in the Cholerick in another, and otherwise in those who have a good and mild Tem­per. Secondly, That it is diversly moved and carri­ed by the different movement of these Atoms; where­of the Images or sensible and intellectual Shapes are joined and intermingled. So that it cannot but be attracted if these Shapes be agreeing, and can­not but be repelled if they be disagreeing. Third­ly, That if at some time it is not drawn by some alluring Shape, this proceeds from that there are others on the same side more powerful that resist; likewise if it be not driven by some that naturally resist, 'tis because on the same side there arise and move some more powerful that draw at the same mo­ment towards the same Place. Fourthly, That con­sequently he cannot but be inclined to Good, or to that which intices, and flatters, and attracts, while he perceives it not mingled with any Evil, nor can­not but fly from Evil, or that which hurts and be­gets an Aversion, while he sees no Good mingled with it. Fifthly, That of two Advantages proposed, he cannot but be carried to the greater, because he is drawn to it more powerfully, and of two Evils he cannot but fly from the greater, because he is the more strongly driven away. Lastly, That through the Ignorance and Blindness of the Spirit of Man, he sees not often all the Evil that is consequent to the Good, nor all the Good is consequent to the Evil, he is really deceived, and often carried to an Object from which it were to be wished that he [Page 404] were diverted, and flies from that which is really to be wished that he should follow after; but in the mean while Things happening in this manner, and not otherwise, he cannot but be carried whither he is carried, nor cannot but be driven from what he is driven. So that there remains nothing else for him to desire, but that the Shapes of Things might come to him such as they ought, to make them ap­pear as really they are, and that the Evil might not impose upon him under the disguise of Good, nor the Good under that of Evil.

He fancies further, that certain Things seem tru­ly to be in our Power, seeing that we try, that we advise, and consult, and that we freely chuse without constraint one thing before another: But nevertheless that is nothing in reality, because the occasion of the Consultation or the representation of several Things, which make us almost, equal, and keep the Ballance steddy, holding our Spirit in sus­pence, cannot but be made to us, because of the sequel of Things which proceeds from a higher Principle; the Mind remaining in an uncertainty until the usefulness of the one appears to exceed that of the other, and then the first usefulness draws and fixes it. As if election were no other thing but a pur­suance of what is best, or of that which seems best, and which is done without Constraint or without Aversion, because we naturally love Good of our own accord, and willingly seek after it. So that in his Opinion Liberty is nothing else but Libentia.

Moreover he holds, as all others do, who are De­fenders of this Doctrin of Fatality, and namely Manilius, viz. That to treat now of Fate or Desti­ny, and to examine its Laws and Nature as we here at present do, that this is according to the Laws and Course of Destiny.

[Page 405]
Hoc quoque fatorum est legem perdiscere fati,
Hoc quoque fatale est sic ipsum expendere fatum.

Because if you suppose any kind of human Action, he will have its nearest cause to have been so moved by some other going before, and this by another, and that other by one preceeding that, and so on to Infinity; that such a Series of Causes hath been appointed, and that such and such Actions could not but follow. Such as is, saith Cicero, the Desire of Ennius; Would to God that never any Ax had out down those unhappy Trees of Pelion. He might have taken his Rise a little higher in this manner, Would to God that never any Trees had grown upon Mount Pelion; nay, further yet, Would to God that Mount Pelion had never been; and so by ascending still high­er to wish, That the Ship had never been made, and that Medea had never departed from her own House.

Among those who have truly allowed of a natu­ral Necessity, but nevertheless not absolute and un­avoidable, the chief are Aristotle and Epicurus. In respect of Aristotle, he will have Destiny or fatal Necessity to be nothing else but Nature it self, or if you please, every Cause as it acts according to Nature, or according to its natural Course.

As for Epicurus, he was of the same Opinion as Aristotle, and accordingly he took away the abso­lute and unavoidable necessity of Things, but he hath this Conceit particularly to himself, that he hath invented for that purpose another Hypothesis, and hath fancied this long series of Causes, or this mixture of Atoms mentioned before, that there might be something to break off the necessity of Destiny, and might preserve the liberty of the Will, which he saith is free and not subject to the Fates.

—Et fatis avolsa voluntas.

That is to say, out of that sequel or series of Move­ments, which according to Democritus follow one another by an absolute, everlasting and unavoidable Necessity, as if Experience and Reason had drawn this Truth from the Mouth of Epicurus, contrary to his own Principles.

Besides, did all Things move in a direct Line,
Did still one Motion to another joyn,
In certain order, and no Seeds decline,
And make a Motion fit to dissipate,
The well-wrought Chain of Causes and strong Fate;
Whence comes that perfect freedom of the Mind,
Whence comes the Will so free, so unconfin'd,
Above the power of Fate, by which we go,
When ere we please, and what we will we do?

But Democritus, as Cicero hath afterwards done, would but make a Jest of that Hypothesis or Sup­position, not only because 'tis a meer Imagination, but also because 'tis of no use to Epicurus nor to his design; for saith he, ‘This declining Motion of Atoms being as natural as the perpendicular, all Things will be done always in the same manner as by Destiny, seeing that which will happen will happen always by the same necessity according to the difference and diversity of the Causes of these Motions which follow one another, as in a kind of Chain by a certain continued Series; be­cause he supposing the Spirit of Man to be corpo­real, or composed of Atoms as other Things are he draws it not out of that everlasting Chain of Motions, which are of themselves natural and necessary, as he makes all the Atoms generally to be.’

It can never be, saith Democritus to Epicurus, That the Mind of Man can shew or exercise this Li­berty, by which he desires, as suppose, for instance an Apple: He ought first to have the Idea or visible Shape of the Apple in his Imagination, which Idea passing through his Eyes, moves his Understanding to know the Apple: And that the Apple may be able to transmit that Idea to the Eye, it ought to be put into such a place by one who hath gathered it from the Tree, or that he hath had elsewhere. Now the Tree, besides the Sun-beams, the Moi­sture and the Earth, which have made it grow, ought to have had a Grain of Seed from whence it had its beginning: This Grain must have proceeded from another Apple, that Apple from another Tree, which Tree was set in that place and in that time, and not in another; and thus going back to the very beginning of the World, in which time the Earth and all Earthly Seeds were generated, as he says from a general Meeting or Concourse of these Atoms, which that they might be able to meet or gather together in such a place, and in that manner ought to come from thence and not from any other place, from that World and not from another, and so of all the foregoing Eternity. Besides, if, as he pretends, the Spirit is made up of Atoms, these Atoms ought to have been con­tinued in the Seed of the Parents; they ought to gather there together, from certain Food, from a certain Air, from a certain Sun: Such and such Food ought to have been taken and no other, their Causes and all other Causes ought to have been so, and to proceed from such Causes and from no other, and so from all Eternity. So that these Causes have from all Eternity been so bound to the other Cau­ses, that when these last have met together; the [Page 408] Mind could not but desire and wish for this Ap­ple.

This is what Cicero seems to have in his Fancy, when he laughs at this Declension of Atoms, as a thing altogether whymsical and fantastical, and of no use to save our Freedom and remove the abso­lute Necessity of Things; for if the right and per­pendicular Motion of the Atoms proceeds from a Necessity of Nature, that of the Declension will al­so be of the same Necessity. So that tho' we may say that Epicurus deserves to be commend­ed for having endeavoured to preserve human Liberty, we may also say, that he hath not suc­ceeded well in it, and that he could never do it by continuing in his own Principles and Doctrin: Therefore we shall take our leave here of Epicurvs, with his Clinamen Principiorum, and endeavour to explain it by some other Means.

CHAP. III. How Destiny may be reconciled, or consist with Fortune and Liberty.

HAving explained the several Opinions of the Philosophers, concerning Destiny, we must now examin whether we are to allow it or not, and in what manner, and how we may reconcile it with Liberty. First, The Opinion of Democritus ought to be rejected, because he takes from God the Creation and Government of the World; nor is it consistent with the Doctrin of our Faith: Be­sides, it is repugnant to the Light of Nature, which shews us by our own experience, that we are Free and at Liberty. That of Aristotle and Epi­curus may be allowed, as to this, That it makes Destiny and Nature, or natural Causes to be the same thing, and that it endeavours to preserve our Liberty; but it ought also to be laid aside as to this, That it allows not in God the Knowledge of Things, and that it supposeth that there is neither Creation nor Providence: So that there remains none but Plato's Opinion, and that of the Stoicks, unto which we may adhere; and the rather, be­cause they hold, that it is God who hath created and disposes, and governs the World.

But now as the chief Difficulty, which appears here, is to reconcile Destiny with Liberty, it will not be very needful that we should reconcile it with Fortune; for in a word, we may say, that Destiny and Fortune may be allowed, upon Condi­tion that we agree that Destiny is the Decree of the Divine Will, without which nothing is done; [Page 410] and Fortune, the Concourse or the Event, which, tho' it is not foreseen by Men, hath been neverthe­less foreseen by God and placed among the Series of Causes. We shall not therefore so much busie our selves to reconcile Fortune, as to make Free­will agree with Destiny: It seems that we cannot better proceed, than by supposing, with St. Tho­mas, That Destiny, in respect of Men, is nothing else but that part of Providence that the Divines term Predestination; for by this means we shall reconcile both Predestination and Destiny with Li­berty. We shall say, That God hath created ne­cessary Causes and free Causes, and that both are so subject to the Divine Providence, that they all act after their own manner; the necessary in a ne­cessary manner, and the free freely: But we meet here with two great Difficulties.

The first Difficulty, is that which proceeds from the Fore-knowledge or the Divine Prescience, which Ammonius saith is so obscure, that it hath obliged many learned Men to reject that which we name Contingency: For 'tis not only among the Divines, that this way of Argument is in Vogue, viz. ‘Ei­ther God knows infallibly and certainly that Pe­ter will deny him, or he knows it not: We can­not say, that he knows it not, for he foretold it, and is no Liar; and if he knows it not, he would not know all things, and consequently he would not be God; he therefore knew it infallibly and certainly. It could not therefore otherwise hap­pen, but Peter must deny him; for if it could have otherwise been, and that making use of his Liberty, he had not really denied him; we might then say, that God's Fore-knowledge had been deceitful, and his Prediction false. But if that cannot be, he was not free either to deny or not to deny; he had therefore no Free-will.’ I say, [Page 411] 'tis not only among the Divines alone, that this way of Reasoning is usual; we have the like among the Philosophers: In this manner they speak in the Writings of Ammonius; ‘Either the Gods know infallibly the Event or Justice of things that are contingent; that is to say, which of the things shall happen, or they know not:’ We cannot say, &c.

Know then that the Divines solve this Difficulty by distinguishing two sorts of Necessities, the one absolute, the other conditional or upon supposition; for Example, it is absolutely necessary that two times two should make four, or that Winter should be past; but yet 'tis not necessary that you shall lay the Foundation of a Building, or that you should depart out of Town; however if you will suppose that you are to Build, or that you should be in the Country, then 'tis required that you shall lay Foundations, or that you should go out of Town; but this Necessity is still a Necessity upon Suppo­sition, which takes not away our Liberty; because he who lays Foundations, might chuse whether he would lay them or no, as he who goes out of Town might not go out if he pleased. So in re­spect of Peter, 'tis true, say they, the denyal of Pe­ter which God foresaw, shall be infallible; but it shall only be through a Necessity upon Supposition, which, as we have said, injures not our Freedom. And 'tis doubtless no wonder, say they, that this Necessity is not repugnant to Liberty, because it don't precede or go before it, but follows after, and that it is not so much in the Thing as in the Cir­cumstance of the Time: For when we say, that it is necessary that Peter should have denied, we don't understand that there was any thing in Peter antecedently, to constrain him to act so, but only that now there is something in the Time which [Page 412] hath caused him to act in the time; I say, which as it is past and cannot but be past: So the thing that hath been done, in what time, in what man­ner soever it hath been done, cannot but be done: So that all the Necessity falls upon the Time past. Now as God knows all things, he truly foresees that Peter would deny him; but the foreseeing of this Denyal, follows the foreseeing of the free De­termination: So that he only foresees plainly that Peter would deny him, because he foresees that Pe­ter would determin himself, or freely resolve to deny him: From whence it is, that we commonly say, That Peter will not deny; because God fore­saw, but God foresaw because Peter will deny.

In truth, all Knowledge is outward and exterior to the thing known, and that a thing borrows not what it hath from that Knowledge, but it hath it of it self, or from its Cause. As the Snow is not white, because 'tis known to be white, but it is known to be white because 'tis white.

I confess, that there is this difference between the Divine Knowledge and Ours, that ours can­not extend to things that are contingent, but only to the things that are present or past; whereas the Divine Knowledge reaches to the time to come: Nevertheless, as the things that are now past were formerly to come, and in the same Condition as those that are now to come; and that we under­stand that the things that are now to come shall hereafter be past, and in the same Condition as those that are now past; so 'tis certain, that as the Knowledge either of God or of Men makes not the things which heretofore have been, to be past, be­cause they are known to be past, but they are known to be past because they are now past; and thus those that are to come are not to come, be­cause God knows them, but because they are to come.

Thus, for Instance, If Peter could have not de­nied, and that upon using his Liberty, he had not denied; there would then have been in God's Fore­knowledge and Fore-telling a deceit. This we deny; for at the same time we don't agree, that God would foreknow or foretel that Peter should deny: For if it had been so, he had foreseen and foretold that he would not have denied; because in this Case there would be a Supposition contrary, namely, that Peter would freely resolve to not deny: Now we agree, that Peter will deny, and that God foresees and foretels that truly because Peter being able to resolve either to deny or not to deny, he will resolve rather to deny than not.

The second Difficulty is taken from that kind of Question or Sophistical Argument which is called the Slothful Reason, because if we obeyed and fol­lowed it, saith Cicero, we should remain always with folded Elbows, and never attempt or endea­vour any thing in our Life; ‘Either I am prede­stinated, or I am not, that is to say, either I am elected from all Eternity to an everlasting Glory, or reprobated and designed for perpetual Tor­ments. If I am predestinated, then whatsoever I do, I cannot be damned; but if I am a reprobate, then whatsoever means I use, and whatsoever pain I suffer, I cannot be saved; now one or the other must necessarily be true: Therefore whatso­ever I do, seeing I cannot advantage my self, what need is there that I should take care about any thing?’ From thence some draw this Conclusion, That they may boldly go on in a course of Vice and Wickedness; for we often hear People reason­ing in this manner; ‘If I am predestinated, neither my Crimes nor my evil Deeds can damn me; If I am a reprobate, my Piety and Sanctity will profit me nothing, but I am one of them: Therefore I [Page 414] need not trouble my self, I may do what I please.’

In the same manner, in the Works of Cicero, we find certain Philosophers of his time arguing thus; ‘If it be your Fate that you should be cured of this Distemper, whether you desire the Physician's Assistance or no you will be cured. And if your Destiny be that you shall not be cured, call the Physician or call him not, you cannot be cured; but one of these two must be; therefore it pro­fiteth nothing to call for the Physician's Assist­ance: We may also, without using the word Destiny or Fate, alter the words in this manner, and say thus, If from all Eternity this hath been true, That you shall be cured of that Disease, call for the Physician or call not for him, you shall be cured. And so if from all Eternity this hath been true, You shall not be cured of that Disease; whe­ther you have a Physician or no, you shall not be cured.’

This Difficulty hath caused among the Divines two famous Opinions; in either of which there is always this to be noted, that after they have been both well examined, we are still forced to confess, of what Persuasion soever we are, That this My­stery is above the reach of human Judgment; and to say with the Apostle, That the depth of the Riches of the Wisdom and Knowledge of God is great, his Judgments incomprehensible, and his Ways past finding out: O altitudo divitiarum sap­entiae & scientiae, Dei; quam incomprehensibilia sunt ju­dicia ejus & investigabiles viae ejus!

The first Opinion maintains, That God from all Eternity hath predestinated and chosen out from among the Generations of Mankind a certain num­ber of People, to whom out of his meer Bounty, and without any consideration of their Merits, nor [Page 415] any foresight of their good Actions, he hath de­creed their everlasting Happiness, and that he hath reprobated or condemned all the rest to everlasting Torments, considering nevertheless, and foreseeing their wicked Actions.

The second holds, That God hath also prede­stinated some to Glory, but with a respect to their good Deeds foreseen, as he hath reprobated all the rest, with a respect to their evil Deeds foreseen: For in this manner the Matter being conceived ac­cording to Man's Judgment, may be thus explained.

God from all Eternity hath decreed to create the World; and in this World, Men, who being left to the use of their Reason and Liberty, might be capable of Rewards and Punishments. He hath al­so decreed to grant to all Men a supernatural As­sistance, that is to say, a sufficient Grace, to the end that those who according to their Liberty should make use of this Grace to do well, should be destinated or designed for Glory; and that those who should abuse and neglect it, by doing Evil, should be designed for Torments. Lastly, because he hath foreseen that some would make a good use of his Grace, and should die in that State; whereas all the rest would make but a bad use of it, and would never reform, not even at the very hour of Death; for that Reason, he hath de­creed to the first Glory everlasting, and to the last everlasting Punishments.

Now either of these Opinions answer and con­tradict the slothful Arguments or way of Reason­ing; the last hath this advantage, that it may an­swer it more easily than the first; for truly 'tis very difficult for the first Opinion to preserve Liberty or Free-will in those who, by an efficacious decree of God, without any regard had to their good Works foreseen, have been predestinated to Glory; for as [Page 416] this Decree preceeds all the Motions of the Will foreseen, how can the Will be free to do any thing from whence may ensue everlasting Damnation? For if it should do it, then the Decree of Election would be void and frustrated, neither is it less difficult to preserve it in the reprobate; for if we suppose them not to be elected, they cannot, what­ever they do, be admitted among the Elect.

I know there are some who offer here a seeming difference, when they allow to God a certain con­ditional Knowlede and that of Means. And they require good Works in such a manner, if not for the Decree of Election, at least for the Execution; so that no Body arrives to this Glory without Works and without Merits preceeding, at least without the Merits of a Saviour; but as the difficulty is not thereby removed, the Truth is, that they acknow­ledge no other Liberty but that which we under­stand commonly by this Word Libentia.

Nevertheless they bring this reason against them who would make use of this slothful reasoning, That there is a very good cause why a Man should endea­vour to do Good rather than Evil, because tho the Decree is unknown to us, nevertheless 'tis certain that no Man shall ever be promoted to Glory if he hath not done good Works; neither shall he be banished into Torments if he hath never done Evil.

They say moreover, that it concerns us very much to attain as much as we are able to a certain­ty of our Election by good Works, rather than of Reprobation by Evil, that so we may be able to allay the Fears and apprehensions in which we must otherwise spend our Lives, and that we may act and proceed on with this assurance, that while we do well we have no reason to dread any Evil from God, who is most Good and most Just.

But in the mean while that no Person might glo­ry that he ought to be elected because of his good Works, and that none should complain because he was not comprehended in the Election, and that it was none of his; Fault against him that boasts they make use of this Expression, O Man! What is it that distinguishes thee? If any one happen to complain; They tell him; Who art thou that darest contend with thy God? Shall the Earthen-Vessel say to the Potter, Why hast thou made me thus? Is it not lawful for the Potter to make one Vessel of Honour and another of Dishonour? And to them who are too curious to seek after the Secrets of God, they make use of the Words of the Holy Doctor; Judge not why he draws this Man and not that Man, if thou wilt not err; Noli judicare quare hunc trahat, &c.

As for the other Opinion; its Defenders seem to be better able to refute him who makes use of the unactive Argument. Either I am Predestinated, say you, and elected for Glory, or reprobated and con­demned to Torments. This is what must be grant­ed; but we must at the same time add, That now 'tis in your Power either to be Predestinated or Re­probated, for now you are in that Condition in which God hath foreseen that you should be inabled with a sufficient Grace, and this depends upon your Free­will, whether he hath foreseen you a good Man or an Evil. So that in consideration of this fore­sight he hath either Predestinated or Reprobated you. Thus you see that it belongs to you and con­cerns you to do good now, and to crave assistance of the Divine Grace, that God foreseeing from all Eternity this assistance that you should crave may have Predestinated you; for if you act otherwise, in consideration of these very wicked Actions, God will have reprobated you.

Pretend not that God knows from all Eternity, if you be Predestinated or not, and therefore you must needs unavoidably be what you are or ought to [...] be, seeing that the Divine Knowledge cannot be deceived nor changed; for God hath truly known it from all Eternity, but consequently to his Decree, and he hath not made his Decree, but by foreseeing what you would do. Therefore this Action of your Will preceeds God's Foresight, both the Di­vine Decree of your Predestination or Reprobation, and the Divine Knowledge of your everlasting Hap­piness or Misery; not that these antecedent and con­sequential Decrees still relate to time; but ac­cording to our humane way of Speaking, we con­ceive and declare them to be so, when we consider the Nature of Free-Will and the Nature of God, who is Just, and cannot but act justly.

And although we might hence infer that there is here no antecedent Will which might hinder our Will from being free, nor do what it pleaseth, nor be able to carry its Hand either to the Fire or Wa­ter, yet you cannot therefore pretend that 'tis in your Power to frustrate the Divine Decree, because that Decree was made but upon this Supposition of what you were to do, and its unchangeableness pro­ceeds from a necessity of Supposition, which does not in the least deprive Man of his Liberty of act­ing freely.

But possibly you may say, if God in consideration of the good Works that I perform at present, hath Predestinated me, I shall be beholding to none for my distinction, but to my self. This dont follow: For 'tis not of your selves by the power of your own Virtues and Strength, that you are thus distinguish'd, but the Grace of God, without which you cannot do these good Works. Thus it will not be difficult to say, why this Vessel hath been thus fashioned, [Page 419] this a Vessel of Honour that of Dishonour; why this Man should be drawn, and that Man not; seeing that sufficient Grace being allowed to all in general, the Resolution and Determination pursuant to that Grace is the Cause.

I confess this may seem to look a little hard when we consider how God hath made some Men for Honour, and others for Dishonour; and that all suffer not themselves to be freely and willingly drawn, nor Co-operate with the Divine Grace, see­ing that he might have made them all in such a man­ner, that they might have been all designed for Honour, and none for Dishonour and Contempt, and that all might have Co-operated with the Grace of God. And truly as the Choice of Virtue and Vice that we embrace, and that God hath foreseen in Predesti­nating or Reprobating Men, depends upon the No­tions and Representations of Things which appear to us, we have always a great Cause to cry out as we before did, O the Depths, &c. because it dont depend upon us that such or such Objects appear so to us, and consequently that we should be possessed with such or such Notions or Imaginations; but from the Series, the Concatenation and disposition of Things, which God hath established according to the adorable and unsearchable course of his Wis­dom. 'Tis therefore also that tho this Opinion seems to be the easiest, it seems nevertheless to leave always some difficulty or doubt behind, and we cannot so plainly discover all Things here, but we are obliged again to recur to the Saying of the Apostle, O Altitudo divitiarum Sapientiae, &c.

But having Travelled through many Nations where People have been strongly possessed with the Opinion of Predestination, I shall freely speak my Thoughts, as to what I have seen and known, That the first Opinion hath strong Consequences, and that [Page 420] it appears to me very dangerous and pernicious to publick Society; for it is either able to oblige Men to all manner of Vices, or to cast them into De­spair. But not to insist upon the Reasons of Divines, nor to listen to that Persian Author, who suppo­sing that by destroying Liberty or Free-Will, you at the same time destroy all Religion, for this is The Spunge, as he calls it, to blot out all Religions. How think ye that a Turk, for example, will excuse his Vices when a Dervise undertakes to admonish him, How now Dervise, saith he, dost thou not know as well as I, that all is written above, and that these are Characters not to be blotted out, but everlasting and irre­vocable Decrees? Doest thou not agree with me, that this supposed Liberty, this pretended Power, either to act or not to act, to do Good or to do Evil, is a foolish Fancy of the Jahours or Infidels, and that consequently we have in us nothing but the Will, but the Inclination and Propensity, which is very much differing from that we call Free-Will and Liberty? Are not these thy Do­ctrins as well as mine, and dost thou yet tell us that God doth Predestinate us, and Save us without the conside­ration of our good Works, without any regard to our Merits; but that he doth nevertheless Damn us with a respect to our Crimes and our Demerits? As if this were not a plain Contradiction: As if thou wouldest make us believe that we are free to one, but that we are not free nor at liberty to the other: Or as if we could deserve an everlasting Punishment, but cannot merit the least Re­ward. Forbear Dervise, forbear then to speak in this manner; if thou wilt discourse after thine own Principles and mine, God Damns us as he Saveth us. I tell thee again, All Things are written above, and according to thy Doctrin these Names of Choice and Liberty are but foolish Fancies and Chimeras. If I do Well, 'tis because I cannot do Evil; if I do Evil, 'tis because I cannot Well; If I am designed for Happiness, I shall by a meer [Page 421] necessity die a Saint, as Ali; If thou art designed for Misery, Necessity will force thee to hang thy self in de­spair, as Yahoud.

Horrid blasphemous Expressions! which shews a wilfull blindness and despair, a hardness of Heart like that of Pharoah. Now these being the Dis­courses and Opinions, or rather the Blasphemies of these Mahometans, which have often made me tremble when I have either read their Books or heard it from their Mouths; Pray tell me what Wickednesses are not such Men capable of, who argue in this manner; chiefly if they are in Power or of a Temper that inclines them to Cruelty, to Revenge, or any other Vice? Is there any Crime or any act of Tyranny that can offend them? Their poor Subjects and People under them are made too sensible of it: And is there any debauch­ed or filthy Pleasures in which they are not ready to plunge themselves? 'Tis easily to be observed by those who have lived but a little while among them.

Besides, is there any thing more dreadful and terrible than this Doctrin, and these ways of Wor­ship, to a Man who is naturally tender, and not as yet altogether hardned in a wicked Course of life? For according to this Belief, he cannot look upon God any longer but as a powerful and unmerciful Tyrant; he will have no longer any hopes in his Bounty and Mercy, no longer hopes to prevail upon him by Prayers, by Alms-Deeds, or by Re­pentance; he will have always before his Eyes Hell open to devour him, and if he runs not headlong into Destruction, he will lead but a miserable life, distracted by a multitude of dreadful dismal Thoughts, because he will be deprived of that sweet Cordial and chief Consolation that I have just now mentioned, viz. of the Assurance that he [Page 422] may have in the Bounty and infinite Mercy of God. I have therefore many times spoken it, and say it again, This Opinion seems to me to be so dange­rous because of its Consequences, that if it were impossible to be true, I know not whether, for the Welfare and Safety of Mankind, it were not convenient to suppress, it, or at least to forbid it to be spoken among Men. 'Tis not but that we must press upon the Minds of the People the fear of God, and to make them sensible of his Judgments; but we must take great heed not to cast them into despair, by taking from them what I cannot too often repeat, viz. the Assurance that we have upon God's divine Goodness and Mercy, which is the only Relief and Consolation of the poor, sick and afflicted Sinner, who is sensible of his former Sins and Miscarriages, and resolves un­feignedly to repent and return to the right way: Besides, if we would awe the People and keep them within the Bounds of Duty, it is the highest Con­cernment to instruct them that they have a liberty of acting freely. That God's Foreseeing forces no more than Man's foresight would do, or that of an Angel, which we might suppose to be as certain as that of God's; that they are predestinated or re­probated only in respect of their good or evil Actions, and that they have all the Means and As­sistances needful to do well, and that consequently they only are in fault if they live otherwise: So that if they act wickedly and damn themselves, they ought not to complain of God but against themselves, against their Wills, of their own wil­ful Neglect or Obstinacy.

From what we have said, judge whether I have any Reason to believe this Doctrin so destructive to human Society: Certainly when we consider that they be chiefly the Mahometan Nations who [Page 423] are infected with it, and that it is principally a­mong them, that it is now entertained and encou­raged; I might very well imagin that it was the Contrivance of some of those Tyrants of Asia, as Mahomet, Enguis-Kan, Tamarlane or Bajazet, or some of those other Plagues of the World; who, to satisfie their restless Ambition, endeavoured to possess their Souldiers with this Opinion of Prede­stination, that they might more freely encounter the greatest Dangers, run boldly headlong, on oc­casion, into the Breaches of a besieged Town or City, and so serve as a Bridge for the rest to pass over into it.

I know very well that some may perhaps say, That this Opinion is mistaken, and not well un­derstood by the Mahometans, and that they have not the true Considerations of the Corruption of our Nature by original Sin, such as we should have. But however, what can we reasonably expect from a Doctrin which may be so easily mistaken and ill understood, and that may either by mistake or otherwise have such pernicious Consequences?

For my part, if I could prevail, we should men­tion it but very seldom, or not at all, not busying our selves to stir up those Difficulties which are of no use, but to intangle the Minds of Men; and which the Apostle himself esteems too deep to be search'd into and discover'd by our human Under­standings, but truly to acknowledge our own Igno­rance, and be contended to say with him, O infi­nite and unfathomable Depth of Wisdom and Knowledge, how incomprehensible are thy Judg­ments, and thy Ways past discovery to Mankind! Quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus & investiga­biles viae ejus!

CHAP. IV. Of Divination, or the foretelling of future Contingencies.

AS Epicurus could not understand how two contrary Propositions, which regard a fu­ture Contingency, the one could be certainly true and the other infallibly false, and that notwith­standing Man could continue his Free-will and be at liberty to make his Choice; and of two Things proposed to do one or t' other, tho' there could be but one determined to be done; he therefore was of Opinion, that there could be no Divination or certain Prediction, in relation to things to come, which were of themselves contingent: And that therefore there was no Art to Divine, nor any true Divination; and if there were, the things that were foretold and should come to pass would not be in our Power: For if what were predicted were absolutely true and unquestionable, it could not be otherwise but it must happen accordingly, and con­sequently the contrary could not: So that there would be a necessity for the doing one, and no li­berty left for the other. But we have already proved that the Fore-knowledge and Fore-sight of God may very well agree with the Free-will of Man, and therefore the Truth of the things which have been foretold by the Prophets, inspired from above and contained in the Holy Scriptures, re­mains entire.

Therefore we shall only mention that Divination which was so famous among the ancient Heathens. Cicero saith, that of all the Philosophers, there is [Page 425] none that hath more despised and ridicul'd it than Epicurus, Nihil tam ridet Epicurus quam praedictiones rerum futurarum. And when he speaks of the Sto­icks, who were addicted to, and protectors of this Opinion, he says, that he was sorry that those who were of his Sect had given occasion to the Epicu­reans to laugh at them; Doleo Stoicos nostros Epicu­reis deridendi sui facultatem dedisse; non enim ignoraes quam ista derideant. And elsewhere he saith, if we should give heed to those Discourses, we should commit an Act of Superstition, we should adore all those Sooth-sayers and Fortune-tellers, Tanta im­bueremur superstitione, ut Haruspices, Augures, Harioli & Conjectores nobis essent colendi. Epicurus, saith he again, delivered us from all those Fears, and set us at Liberty; His terroribus ab Epicuro soluti fuerimus & in libertatem vindicati, &c.

Epicurus gave no Credit to Dreams, as Eumolpus saith in Petronius, This gives us to understand, saith he, that Epicurus was an excellent Man, for he ri­diculed all those sorts of Fooleries. And Tertullian, Vana in totum somnia Epicurus judicavit. Cicero, In­solenter credo ab Epicureo aliquo inductus disputat som­niis credi non oportere.

He laughs in Lucretius for the Interpretation that was made of those Prodigies.

But not by reading Tuscan Books enquire
The Gods Design by this celestial Fire.

He had no greater Opinion of the Oracles; if we may credit Origen and Eusebius, who inform us that Epicurus and all his Disciples laughed at 'em. And Plutarch brings in a certain Boethian, an Epi­curean, who found fault with the Verses of the Sy­bils, as weak, simple and senseless, without, quan­tity or measure, and as having nothing Divine in [Page 426] them, Tanquam principio truncos, medio elumbes, fine claudicantes, &c. and that the Style was so flat that there was no Poet that would offer to imitate them. Besides, the same Plutarch observes, that Colotes sus­pected the Oracle of Apollo concerning Socrates. And Lucretius commends Empedocles, and other Phi­losophers, for having given Answers savouring more of Sanctity and Certainty, than those of the Delphick Oracle.

— For some rare Inventions justly fam'd
Which they have left as Oracles more sure
Than from the Tripod spoke, and less obscure
Than those the Ancients from the Pythia heard.

And because Epicurus saw that commonly Men suffered themselves to be carried away with a per­suasion, that this kind of Divination was effected by the means of the Gods or of the Demons; and that those who made Profession of this Art, were as it were inspir'd with a Divine Fury when they were ready to prophecy or foretel future Events, as may appear by these Verses:

Now to the Mouth they come; Aloud she cries
This is the time, enquire your Destinies
He comes; behold the God! —
Greater than Human Kind she seem'd to look
And with an Accent more than Mortal spoke
When all the Gods came rushing on her Soul, &c.

And as may be seen in that Passage of Apuleius, where one may see the Relation of all those Fop­peries of Antiquity, which the common People re­ceived for Truths, and the wiser for Cheats. ‘Among the Demons, every one hath his distinct Office, some have the care to adjust and interpret [Page 427] Dreams; others to make certain Remarks on the Bowels of Beasts; others to govern the flying of Birds, and to teach them the augurial Notes or Chirpings; others to inspire their Prophets; o­thers to manage the Thunderbolts, and cause the Lightning to burst out of the Clouds;’ and thus of other Circumstances, by which we under­stand the things to come, which depend only upon the Will and Power of the Celestial Divinities; but are discovered to us by the Means, Media­tion, and care of the Demons. Thus by a Dream Hannibal was advertised of the loss of an Eye. The Soothsayers were Impowered to foretel Flaminius the danger he was in of losing a Battle; Accius might by a Miracle cut asunder a Whetstone with a Raizor that there might appear the signs of the alteration in the Royalty; that an Eagle should continue over the Head of Tarquin to shadow him; and that the Countenance of Servius Tullius should look as if inraged: In a Word, that all the Pre­dictions of the Soothsayers, the appearances of Lightnings, and the Verses of the Sybils, &c. Be­cause I say Epicurus saw that Men suffered themselves to be commonly imposed upon by these things which he look'd upon as childish and as most un­reasonable; he therefore denied the being of Spirits, and fancied that all those Events were to be ascribed rather to Fortune or Chance than to any unknown Cause; and the rather because if we should agree that there were any Demons, we ought not therefore to believe that their Under­standing is so large as to penetrate into things to come, or to foresee and foretel the certainty of future Events.

By the same Reason he denied that Divination which they commonly proved by the things that [Page 428] these Spirits foretold, when they appeared to Men; for after that Brutus had discerned that famous Ap­parition of his Genius or Ghost to Cassius, a Dis­ciple of Epicurus, answered him plainly, You are deceived; 'tis not to be believed that there are any Spirits, and if there were, they cannot have any hu­man Shape or Voice, nor any thing answerable to our Senses: Yet I would to God that these things were true, that so we might not only rely upon our Arms, our Troops and our strong Fleets at Sea, but also upon the Succours and Supports of these Demons and Spirits, we who are the Generals of so Holy and Religious a Party! Now this Opinion of Epicurus ought not to be condemn'd, because he laughed at that too great Credulity and Superstition of the Hea­thens, as well in Relation to Divination as in Rela­tion to the Demons; but it is to be blamed, in that at least he hath not believed in general the being of Spirits; seeing that not only Religion, but Rea­son assures us of their Existence, as it did really perswade those Philosophers, amongst whom Plu­tarch reckons principally Thales, Pythagoras, Plato, the Stoicks, besides Empedocles and some others, who affirmed that there were Demons who are living Substances; and there are also Heroes, who are Souls either Good or Evil, freed from their Bodies: For tho' they have erred as well in Rela­tion to their Substance as to the Qualities that they attributed to their Demons, yet however they judged aright when they believed that there were such. But seeing we are to discourse of Divination, per­haps it will not be amiss to speak first something of the Demons, unto whom it was commonly as­cribed.

Of Demons or Spirits, according to the Opinion of Antiquity.

LET us suppose that they are those unto whom the Holy Writ gives usually the Titles of An­gels, and sometimes Demons, Devils or Satan, when it speaks of the Apostate Angels. The Hea­thens call them not only Demons, but also Genii; tho' amongst them they were reputed to be of a Divine Nature, or of a Nature little lower than the Divine. They were also named Gods and Demi-Gods, and Sons of Gods, but yet Bastards, as be­ing born of Nymphs, &c. Not to insist upon the saying of Aristotle, that they were separated Sub­stances, because not Corporeal, and according to his Disciples, Intelligences, because they have Under­standings, Intelligences in Latin signifying the same as [...] in Greek, if what Lactantius and Macro­bius, after Plato, have taught us, is really true.

This being premised, now that we may the bet­ter understand what notion Pythagoras, Plato, and the rest of 'em had of Demons, we must call to Mind what hath been said of the Soul of the World: For they who have received this Opinion have fancied that these Demons as well as our Souls, were nothing else but Particles or small parcels of the Soul of the World. And because they believed also that the Soul of the World was the same as God, they imagin'd that the Demons were Parti­cles of the Divine Nature; and from them seve­veral Heretick have taken occasion to discourse of Angels in the same manner, in the infancy of the Christian Church, for they fancy them to be taken out of the Divine Substance.

These Philosophers therefore thought the Soul of the World to be like a vast and bottomless Ocean, from whence proceeds Angels and the Souls of Men, upon Condition to return back again, and reunite at last, after a time, as so many little Streams that run into the Sea. Plotinus seems to compare them to the Body of a Tree, whereof Demons and Souls were as the Branches, the little Twigs, the Leaves, the Flowers and the Fruits: Thus they fancied that in the same manner as the Water that runs through the Earth carries with it something of the Substance of the Minerals through which it passeth, so the Particles of the Soul of the World clothed it often with the Substance of the most subtil Bodies, unto which they remained chiefly fixed and tied.

And as they judged that this Soul though it is dif­fused through all the World, it resided neverthe­less more particularly in the upper Region, and consequently amongst the Stars, and chiefly in the Sun; So they believed that when the Celestial Bodies spread abroad their Influences to revive and entertain the earthly Beings, that they proceed from Heaven as so many Beams from this Soul that revives all things, and that they Incorporate or be­come Bodies in a differing manner in their Passage, clothing themselves with a kind of Airy Habit, and remaining afterwards some in the Air, and the others proceeding as far as the Earth: So that they have believed that these kind of Substances which are thus composed of a thin Body, such as is the Air, and of a Particle of the Soul of the World, are the Demons and the Souls: Demons when they con­tinue free from any mixture of the grosser Bodies of this Earth.

I shall not examin their other Fancy, That if the thin Body with which the Particles of the Soul of the [Page 431] World is clothed, be found to be of a sweet kind and favourable Composure, then in their Opinion they happen to be good Demons or Spirits; but evil when it is sharp and malicious. Neither shall I take notice of their other Imagination, That when our Souls are departed out of our Bodies, they become again Demons, not immediately, nor equally, because retaining some Relicks of the Hu­man Body, they could not be Demons until they were entirely stript, but only Heroes or demi-Gods. Let these be mention'd only in reference to the Opinion of those who chiefly follow Hesiod, who as Plutarch relates, hath made mention of four sorts of Beings that are endowed with Reason, the Gods, the Demons, the Heroes and Men; I say those who follow Hesiod, for Plato, Pythagoras and o­thers, who believe these last to be the greatest Pro­tectors of Demons, have divided Rational Beings into three sorts, namely Gods, Demons and Men.

Moreover we may shew by several Passages that they fancied these Demons to be of a certain middle Nature, between the Gods and Men, or as they speak, upon the Confines of Immortals and Mortals: But no Man better explained this Opinion than Apuleius; for after that he had said that 'tis by their Means and Mediation that there is a Correspon­dence between the Gods and Men; and as the other Regions of the World have their Beings to inhabit and live there; so the Superiour Region hath the Stars; the Fire the small Animals mentioned by Aristotle; the Sea Fish; the Earth all our Terrestrial Animals: So the Air ought not to be without its Inhabi­tants, which are the Demons. In this manner he explains himself, ‘The Bodies of the Demons, saith he, have very little weight which hinder them from ascending to the highest Regions; nor are [Page 432] they so light as to fall down to the lowest. They are Creatures of a third Nature, suitable to the middle Region, where they dwell. They are between the Gods and Men, being immortal as the Gods, but subject to Passions as Men; for as they are, as we, subject to Anger and to Mercy; and like us suffer themselves to be overcome by Pray­ers and Intreaties, by Gifts and Honours; so they are like us stir'd up to Wrath by Injuries and Con­tempt. In a Word saith he, Daemones sunt genere animalia, ingenio rationabilia, animo passiva, corpore ae­ria, tempore aeterna.

Where you may observe what he saith of Eternity, cannot agree with the Opinion of others, who make them subject to Generation and Corruption, unless we understand a long time for Eternity: For as these last say; Man is said to be Mortal because of the Dissolution of that part by which the Soul is tied and joyned to the Body, tho the Soul by that means ne­ver perisheth; so the Demons ought to be reputed Mortal, because tho that Beam of the Divinity which makes up the principal and intelligent part of their Being never perisheth, yet this part is separated from the thin Body, unto which when it is united, it is reputed a Demon. This is likely to have given occasion to what we have before spoken of their Opinion, That the Demons did sometimes become Gods, as heretofore the Egyptians believed concern­ing Isis and Osiris, Hercules, Liber and others, as Plutarch observes. And by that we may under­stand what Jupiter speaks in Ovid, That he hath Demi-Gods;

Their dwells below a Race of Demi-Gods,
Of Nymphs in Waters and of Fauns in Woods;
Who, tho not worthy yet in Heaven to live,
Let them at least enjoy that Earth we give.

But tho all this be full of fabulous Inventions, however we may thereby perceive that the antient Philosophers allowed the existence of Demons, and that several have treated about 'em, and declared them to be of a Nature differing from the Divine Nature. But if they have fancied them to have Bodies, this Opinion is to be excused among those Philosophers, because 'tis but of later Ages that we have been better instructed, that God alone was a Spirit without Body, they being persuaded that An­gels and the Souls of Men were made of a very fine and thin Substance, and for that reason there is no­thing to hinder the assigning to them Images, tho they are persuaded also, that they are Immortal by the special favour of God.

The Reason that induced these antient Philoso­phers to believe that there are Demons, seems to be grounded upon the Notion they had of the Di­vine Providence; for tho they believed that God takes care of all Things, yet they fancied never­theless that it did not become his glorious Majesty to extend his Care to every particular Person by himself, and without some Ministers that might ex­ecute his Orders. They therefore imagin'd that God keeps his Court in Heaven, is attended by Mi­nisters and Servants always ready to obey him, by whose means he provides for all the World, but especially for this inferior World: They called these Ministers (whom they acknowledged to be very nimble and active Beings, and to us invisible) De­mons; but they assigned the name of Genii to those whose chief office is to take care of Men.

Now tho we cannot but acknowledge that they have hit upon a real Truth, seeing 'tis certain that there are Spirits and Angels in the World who are God's Ministers, and who give their assistance espe­cially to Men; nevertheless this Opinion is to be [Page 434] understood with caution; for to speak absolutely, 'tis not unbecoming the Majesty of God to do all Things, and provide for all Things of himself; for 'tis from him that all his Ministers have received all their Strength and Power, and 'tis he who is pre­sent at the doing of every Thing, and assists every particular Action by his Divine Influence. So that God makes use of Ministers, not because 'tis below him not to make use of 'em, or because he is not able to govern otherwise: But because, we sup­pose the State of the World to be such as he will have it, and that he hath thought it convenient thus to order it.

But let this be as it will, their Fancy appears not only conformable to this distinction of the Hierar­chies and celestial Orders taken out of the Holy Scriptures, but to those Doctors also and learned Di­vines, who hold, That God hath ordained parti­cular Angels to watch for the preservation of di­vers kinds of Beings, of several sorts of Animals and Plants, &c. And who judge that there is no Absurdity, that there should be sometimes in the Air Demons or Spirits, who by the permission or command of God do wonderful Things; as to cause Showers of Blood, of Stones, Thunder and Storms, or extraordinary Earthquakes. And truly if we may believe Philo, Those which the Philosophers call Demons, are the same with those whom Moses names Angels, namely Souls that fly about the Air, that the Air might have its Creatures, as well as the Earth, the Water and the Fire have theirs. Besides in Holy Writ we read of certain Powers of the Air: Nay, some use Inchantments against Demons, who mix themselves in the black and thick Clouds, from whence we usually apprehend the coming of Thun­ders, Hail and Storms.

That which these same Philosophers speak of Ge­nii, namely that there is one Chief who governs a whole Nation, and therefore called the Genius of the People or Nation, and a particular Genius for every Man, which is chiefly and properly stiled his Genius, is also agreable with what we say in other Words, The protecting Angel of a whole Nation, and the Guardian Angel of every private and par­ticular Person; For God, saith Epictetus, hath given to every Man a tutelar Genius that watches continually, that never Slumbers, and cannot be deceived; O Mor­tals! when you have shut your Doors upon you, and closed your Windows, and that you are buried in Darkness, never fancy your selves to be alone, and take heed of acting any thing unjust. You are not then alone, God is in your Chamber, and your Angel is there; they have no need of Light to see what you are doing and contri­ving. Plato speaks almost the very same Thing, and is of Opinion, That every one of us have our Guardian, from whom we can conceal nothing, and who is a con­stant Witness of every thing that we do, whether it be Good or Evil, and for whom we are to have a particu­lar Respect. These Philosophers also were persua­ded that there were good and evil Genuii, whom we name good and evil Angels; for they thought that the good Things came from the Good, and the Evil from the mischievous Angels. Now that God suffers evil Angels or Demons to be the Ene­mies of Men, and to endeavour to destroy them, this relates to the general Providence of God, who hath done nothing but for just and reasonable Ends, tho not known nor discoverable to Men. And we may say in a Word, that God suffers them, as well that good Men might be exercised, and that by their Sufferings and Patience they might deserve more, as that the Wicked by their means might be Pu­nished.

That which we ought here to add is, That tho we are sometimes tempted by the Devil, that we are not therefore to pretend that to be a sufficient Excuse for the Evil committed, as if it were only the Work of the Devil, for the Holy Scripture de­clares, That every one is rather tempted and drawn by his own Lusts. Hereby we ought to understand, that we have no reason to fear so much the Devil as our selves, and that we ought to accustom our selves to allay the Fire of our Concupiscence and Lust, by Temperance, that so we might the easier frustrate all the Devils endeavours.

—Or do the Gods inspire,
This Warmth, or make we Gods of our Desire?

They have also been acquainted with that abo­minable Art of Inchantment and Conjuration, which is acquired and practised by a familiarity with the Devils. I suppose there may be and are fabulous Relations in this Matter, especially when the Poets Hyperbolize and are upon their high Flights, as when Horace makes Canidia say in Anger that she can at her Command make the Images of Wax to walk, pull the Moon out of the Heavens, and make the Ashes of the Dead to revive.

An quae movere cereas imagines,
Ʋt ipse nosti curiosus, & Polo,
Deripere lunam vocibus possim meis,
Possim crematos excitare murtuos? &c.

As when Ovid introduces Medea, imploring the assistance of Diana, of the Gods of the Forests, and of the Night, by whose help she made the Rivers to turn back to their Spring Heads, scattered the [Page 437] Winds, made the Vipers to burst, the Forests and Trees to walk, &c.

Thou Night, my Spells too faithful to betray,
Ye Golden Fires, whose Reign succeeds the Day;
Thou triple Hecate with all thy Forms,
The Witness and the Partner of my Charms.
Ye secret Arts, Ye magick Lays we sing,
Ye Potent Herbs, Ye Countries where they spring;
Ye Mountains, Lakes and Streams, Ye Winds and Airs,
Ye Gods of Woods and Night, come all and aid my Cares.
By your Assistance, to their Fountain's Head,
Oft from their wondring Banks have Waters fled.
Winds at my Will and Clouds, I raise or lay,
And move the smooth, and smooth the moving Sea.
My Verse seals up the Vipers poisonous Jaws,
And living Rocks, and Earth's wide Entrails draws,
And Forests at my Call, the groaning Ground,
Improves the Voice, and trembling Hills resound.
The frighted Ghosts forsake their dark Abode,
And thou, O Moon, forget'st thy Heavenly Road.

The same thing may be said of a great many Sto­ries that we continually here concerning the like Matters. If you remove the Cheats and Cosenages of Impostors, the Mischiefs caused by Poysonings, and the Tales and Dreams of old Women, and the easy credulity of the common People, you'll scarce find any Truth remaining.

And here it seems we might speak in like man­ner of that abominable Magick, by which some wick­ed Wretches fancy themselves to be carried about the Air upon Goats, or transported by flying Ser­pents, after that they have anointed themselves with Narcotick Ointments, and thus by a strong Imagi­nation, have thought themselves conveighed to, and [Page 438] present at the wicked and dreadful Assemblies of Devils and Witches.

Thus 'tis with them who fancy themselves turn­ed into Hobgoblins. When the melancholy Hu­mour is Predominant, and works upon them, they become fanciful and froward, and are possess'd with divers foolish Fancies of the like nature.

As for those who are said to be really tormented or possess'd by the Devil, we must acknowledge that there are some such, seeing that Holy Writ testifies as much, and that the Practice of the Ex­orcists proves the same: But we know also what Caution we must use to distinguish between a real Possession and a deluded Imagination; what may proceed from Weakness or the Malice of the Sex, the Effects of a Disease or a design'd Cosenage among Men, who commonly understand one ano­ther, &c.

But now let us return again to Divination, whereof we must speak somewhat.

The Gentiles believed that sometimes there was a Divination by the assistance of the Demons. Truly, tho' in this particular, there hath been a great deal of Superstition and Cosenage; neverthe­less, there must needs have been sometimes some­thing of Truth to have obtained Credit, and given Birth to so general a Belief; for as Cicero saith, ‘I find no Nation whatever, whether Learned or Ig­norant, Civil or Barbarous, but hath been per­suaded that there are some Signs and Prognosticks of future Events; and that some Men have been able to understand and interpret them.’ The Difficulty consists in this only, when the Prediction hath been performed by the means of the Devil, or by the cunning and subtilty of the Sooth-sayers, or by the credulity of those who make the Inqui­ries: For as God hath foretold many things by the [Page 439] Angels, which are contain'd in the Holy Scrip­tures; likewise he hath suffer'd that many things should be foretold among the Heathens by the means of the Devil: This hath caused the Fathers and the holy Doctors to exclaim against the Hea­thens, because they suffer'd themselves to be per­suaded and cheated by the Devils. And Historians as well as Poets, tell us, That some of these De­vils were become Dumb, and were forced to be silent, as well at the appearance of Christ in the World, as at the Presence and Command of cer­tain holy and religious Persons. But sometimes these things were only meer Fancies, Dreams, De­lusions and Impostures, which were ascribed to the Demons. But let us insist upon this no longer.

Let us rather observe, that when it concerns Di­vination or the Fore-knowledge of things to come, we understand not that Divination, by which we foresee and foretel things; whereof the Causes are natural necessary and not to be hindered, as are the Eclipses, the rising of the Stars, and such like Phaenomena that depend upon a certain disposition and a constant Motion of the Celestial Bodies. Neither do we understand that which is taken for a simple Conjecture grounded upon likely Causes, that every one according to his Capacity, and ac­cording to his Cunning or happens in guessing well to foretel. In this sense Euripides, and after him Cicero have said, That he is the best Prophet whose Conjectures come to pass.

Qui conjicit bene, ille V [...]tes optimus.

Thus Thales might have been look'd upon as a Prophet, when he foretold the great quantity of Olives, by natural Prognosticks, which we have mentioned before. In the same manner Pherecides, [Page 440] when he saw the Water that was newly taken out of the Well, declared that an Earthquake would speedily ensue: And generally whosoever is expert in his Art may be esteem'd for a Pro­phet; for we may say with Cicero, ‘No Man can better tell by what Tempest the City is threatned than the Governour, nor what is the Nature of the Disease than the Physician, nor how we must behave our selves in the War than the General of an Army.’ We mean not therefore that kind of conjectural Divination, but such as relate to things meerly casual, that is to say, those kind of Events that have no Causes that may be seen, and that are such that their dependence upon their Causes is not known; as that Eschylus shall be kil­led by the fall of a Tortoise, which an Eagle shall cast upon his Head, and such like Events.

This being pre-supposed, it follows, that all Di­vination is performed either artificially or natural­ly. The artificial is that which glories to have taken its rise from Experience and long Observa­tion, tho it can give no Reason, nor tell the Cau­ses of those things that are foretold; such is that unto which the Augures, among the Romans pre­tended, who predicted by the flight or chirping of Birds; The Haruspices by looking into the Bowels of Animals; The Sortilegi by Lot; The Interpre­ters of Dreams that were dubious and obscure; The Interpreters of Thunders, Monsters and Pro­digies; Those skill'd in Physiognomy and Palmestry, and such as pretend by the Lines of the Hand to foretel certain particular Events, attended with the Circumstances of Places, of Times, of Persons and Things. As to what concerns the Temper and natural Inclinations, no doubt but there are signs of them in the Body; but yet these signifie not, that such and such things shall come to pass at such [Page 441] and such a time, and that in such and such a man­ner.

As to that other sort of Divination, which is not performed by Art or by the help of Signs or long Observation, this is effected by some Appari­tion, or a discourse with Ghosts or Spirits, or by a certain Agitation or Fury of Mind, either super­natural or caused by the Devil: Such is that which we believe to have been in the Sybils, and such as have been in an Extasie, of those whose Under­standing, sometimes when they have been awake and other times in their sleep, hath been so moved and exalted beyond its ordinary Station, that it sees many things that in a natural and peaceable Temper it sees not.

As for artificial Divination, 'tis not needful that we should busie our selves to refute it, seeing by that what we have said concerning judicial Astrology, 'tis certain, that if this Art, which among all the Arts of Divination is the Chief, and yet is but vain and fantastical; the rest ought not to be otherwise esteem'd: And truly if there were any reality in these Arts, why at present, since they are of no use in any Religion, should they be looked upon as of worth, seeing that heretofore when their Re­ligion ordered them to be taken notice of, the learned and most intelligible Men of those Times slighted them? For we know what Advice Thales gave to Periander, when a Monster, half Man and half Beast was born of a Mare, from whence the Chief Priest concluded that there would be a dan­gerous Sedition that would follow: 'Tis also known what Cato, as Cicero tells, used merrily to say, That he wondered that when a Fortune-teller or Cunning Man met with another of the same Trade, that is to say, one Cheat met with another, how he could contain himself from smiling; Mira­ri [Page 442] se quod non rideret Haruspex Haruspicem cum vi­disset. 'Tis the same thing which was said upon the occasion of a Serpent that had wound it self about a Lever; that it had been indeed a wonder if the Lever had been wound about the Serpent. Thus Hannibal spoke to King Prusias, who was loath to fight, because the Bowels of the Beasts were not favourable; Had you rather give Credit to the Entrails of a Calf, than to an able and expe­rienced General of an Army, as Hannibal? Such ano­ther Story is related of Claudius Pulcher, who was resolved to ingage in a Sea-Fight, tho' the Chickens would not come out of their Coup: Well, said he, to the Keeper who told him that it was but an ill Sign, cast them into the Sea; for seeing they will not eat they shall drink, Quia esse nolunt, bibant. Marcellus also said pleasantly, That when he would perform any thing he was willing to, the better not to be hindered by these Men of Art, was wont to march with his Litter shut. And Mosamac, who kill'd a Bird that hindered a whole Caravan from marching on their Journey, because they saw it flying sometimes this way sometimes that, spoke thus to 'em; ‘Are you such Fools as to believe that this Bird that knew not how to preserve its own life, should know any thing of our Journey?’

We may alledge our daily Experience; certainly when Experience is constant, there is nothing but ought to yield to it. But how often do things hap­pen contrary to what is foretold? Flavinius, saith Cicero, obeyed the Sooth-sayers, and perished with his Army. A year after Paulus, who was also persuaded by them, was also killed with all his Army at the Battel of Cannae. What shall we say of the Answers of the Augures? I know of a great many that have had no Events, or such as were contrary to their Predictions. These Di­viners, [Page 443] forbid Cesar to pass over into Africa before Winter; yet he passed over and Conquered.’ If what we Dream of happens sometimes, how often doth it never come to Pass? and because some­times it never happens, ought we not to con­clude, that if it happens 'tis Chance, rather than to think that there is any Art in it? Who is it that shoots every Day with a Bow, and will not sometimes hit the Mark? We sleep every Night, and there is scarce any of us but Dream, and we seem surprised when what we have dreamt of sometimes comes to pass: You will say 'tis an effect of the Providence of the Gods to intimate to us before hand by Signs, the things that may befall us; for there is nothing more useful to us. But to what end should the Gods give us Signs of the Mischiefs that must fall upon us? Why should they give us such Signs that we cannot un­derstand without Interpreters? Why should they signify to us what we cannot avoid? and if the Signs are of a Divine Original, why are they so obscure? Is it probable that the Immortal Gods those Divine and Excellent Beings, should busy themselves to buz about the Beds and mean Re­tirements of poor Mortals, in what part of the World soever they be; and that when they find any of them snoring, they should present them with troublesome, dubious and obscure Visions to fright them, and to oblige them the next Morning to run and consult the Soothsayer? Is not this a natural Effect that our active Spirits having been lately disturb'd should fancy to see sleeping what they had seen when awake? Which of these is most becoming a Philosopher, to In­terpret things by the Superstion of Fortune-tellers and Conjurers, or by the Explication of Na­tural [Page 444] Causes; and the less we are to heed them, because they who exercise this Profession, are Fel­lows made up of the Dregs of the People, and very Ignorant. ‘One that was to run in the Olypick Games dreamt as he was a sleeping, that he was carried away upon a Chariot with four Horses. In the Morning he went and consulted the Soothsayers; they told him you will infallibly carry away the Prize, the swiftness and the strength of the Horses intimate as much. The same Per­son went to advise with Antiphon, who assured him that of Necessity he would be overcome; Don't you see that four ran before you? A married Wo­man that desires to have a Child, and questions whether she is Pregnant; and fancies that her Womb is shut up: The Soothsayer that she went to advise with in the Morning, told her that she could not possibly Conceive, because her Womb was closed up: Another tells her that doubtless she was with Child; because nothing is sealed or closed up in vain, and without cause. What ought we to think of that Conjectural Art which is to no other end but to delude and deceive us by the subtilty of Wit? Is it that the great number of Observations and Precepts that the Stoicks have gathered con­cerning this matter, signifies any thing else but a little Cunning and Subtilty, which from some like­lyhood carries its Conjecture, now this way, than a­nother? Suppose one should now find a Serpent twin'd about the young Roscius yet in his Cradle, which perhaps was false; but if there should be found one in the Cradle, there is no great won­der, because the Serpents are very common and numerous at Celoin, they being often found by the Fire-side.’

I know that these Soothsayers pretend that there is nothing more Illustrious; nothing more Noble, more Excellent, than their Art. I wonder why the Immortal Gods should be willing to shew such strange and miraculous Thing, in favour of a Charlatan, and that they would never shew so much Favour to a Scipio Africanus.

For as to that Divination which is without Art, we might justly take for Fabulous; such as that re­lated amongst the Heathens of certain Spirits that appeared openly, and familiarly discoursed and foretold things that were to come: For to mention something of that of Brutus that told him that he should lose the Day at the Battel in the Fields of Philippi, and that he would there ap­pear to him: We must observe that Brutus having revealed this Apparition the foregoing Night to Cassius, the next Morning Cassius told him that this supposed Apparition or Spirit was but a Mist before his Eyes, or of his deluded Imagina­tion: And that this was the more probable because Brutus was of a Melancholy Temper, as Plutarch observes, that the troubles of his Mind so oppressed him that he seldom slept; and when he considered in what danger the Common-wealth was, and re­membred that Pompey had been unhappy in a like cause, he pondred what Resolution he might take if things succeeded not well; and that which is considerable, ruminating and thinking upon these and such like things, when the Night was well spent all his Camp very silent, all their Lights out, and he half asleep, 'tis no wonder that he then thought he had seen and heard his Genius or Spirit, because he was perswaded by the Doctrines of his Sect, be­ing a Stoick, that there were good and evil Spirits; besides there are four Circumstances that discover [Page 446] in what disturbance his Mind was then in, and that we may suppose him to have been but in a Slumber, or as we say Dreaming, or half asleep: The first is that he enquired of his Servants if they had heard nothing: This shews that he him­self was doubtful whether this had happened to him awake or asleep. The second, that the Do­mesticks answered him that they had neither seen nor heard any thing; nevertheless if it had been so, they could not but have seen that monstrous Image or Appearance, at least to have heard its Voice, which Brutus declared to be to this effect; I am, O Brutus! thy evil Genius, thou shalt see me a­gain at the Fields of Philippi: The third, that his Servants should have heard the Speech of Brutus to the Spirit, when he askt it whether it was a God or Man, and what it would have? Ecquis tu Deo­rum aut hominum es? Ecquid tibi vis qui ad nos venisti? And that Word which he spake without being daunted, after the Spirit had discoursed with him, Videbo: The fourth, is that Brutus according to the Relation of Plutarch, was settled in his Mind after that he had heard and advised with Cassius, by whose reasoning he understood that all this was but a meer Dream.

But what shall we say of that famous Genius or Demon of Socrates? 'Tis true Socrates himself speaks of it diversly in several Places; but as this Philosopher was altogether employed about pre­scribing Precepts of good Manners; he may per­haps make use of this cunning to add a greater weight to his wholsome Admonitions; for we may know well enough with what authority he speaks who is supposed to be divinely Inspired: Besides, when Simias in Plutarch made it his business to in­quire of Socrates himself what this Genius was; [Page 447] Socrates never answered him a Word: This shews sufficiently that Socrates would not tell a lie by confirming it, nor would deny it by answering, for fear that his wholsome and good Councils should lose thereby their Authority and Influence.

So that we may suppose that the Genius of Soc­rates was nothing else but his Reason, his Wis­dom, and Natural Prudence, which had been em­powered by a constant and continual Study of Philosophy, and which discover'd to him what was best to be done, and furnished him with those good Counsels which he imparted to his Auditors; and this is so much the more probable because Xeno­crates, one of the Disciples and Successors of Plato, and who consequently ought to know the Thoughts of Plato and of Socrates, saith, That he is happy who is inriched with a good Soul, and that such a Soul is to every one of us a Genius or advising Spirit. And Plato speaks in this manner of that most excellent part, our Soul, That God hath bestowed it upon us to be as our Demon that inhabits in the highest and loftiest Fortress of our Bodies; and that he who takes care of that divine Spark within him, and who emproves well his familiar Spirit, becomes extraordinary Happy. Clemens Alexandrius speaks almost to the same Purpose, when he teaches, That Happiness is nothing else but to emprove well our Spirit or Genius, and that the prin­cipal part of our Souls is called by the name of Demon.

As to what concerns that supposed Agitation by which the Spirit being as it were out of it self, and seperated from all Matter, foretold things to come; this supposeth that the Spirit is a Particle of God, or of the Soul of the World, and by that means knows all things, as being of the same Na­ture with God, who is present in all Actions, and every where, and therefore is ignorant of nothing. [Page 448] Now the Disciples of Plato, and generally all those who are perswaded that our Soul is part of the Soul of the World, fancy that when the Soul is ingaged in the Body, it sees not plainly all things as that Soul doth whereof it is a Particle; but nevertheless, that it is in a possibility to see and know them; first when it is stirred up by the strength of certain Diseases; for Aristotle acknow­ledgeth, that in those Persons who are troubled with Melancholy, there seems something Divine, which predicts the time to come.

Secondly, when it withdraws its self in its own Being, and is in a perfect Tranquility, and Se­questring it self at the same moment from the Thoughts and Incumbrances of Corporeal Matters; and is if we may so say, altogether in its own Power, which happens as they say, chiefly in Dreams, or when we are ready to die, and when it begins to free it self from the Clog of the Body; for these be the very Words of Plato, cited by Cicero. Plato therefore appoints us to pre­pare and dispose in such a manner our Bodies for sleep, that there may be nothing to cause a mistake or distur­bance; for this cause the Disciples of Pythagoras were forbidden to eat Beans, because this Food causeth the the Stomach to swell, and begets Wind and Vapors that disturb the Tranquility of the Mind; when therefore in our sleep the Spirit is disengaged from these hindrances of the Body, it calls to Mind the time past, sees the pre­sent, and foresees the time to come; for the Body of a sleeping Person is like that of a dead Man; but his Spirit is living, and in its full Vigour.

But not to stay here to refute this Persuasion; because 'tis a meer Fable to say that our Souls are the Particles of the Divine Substance, and that there are some who can Prophecy in their Madness, in [Page 449] their Melancholy, or in their Sleep: Let us only conclude with Cicero's Words, That 'tis very ab­surd to believe that God sends Dreams; for that they are incident not only to Men of Sense and Ho­nour and Wisdom, but even to Men of meanest and lowest Degree.

Of the Oracles.

LAstly, for the Oracles and those Predictions that are ascribed to the Sybils and to the Prophets, when they were possess'd with a divine Fury that disturb'd them, caused their Colour and Counte­nance to change, their Head and Breast to swell in such a manner that they were quite out of breath, and as it were ready to expire, as Virgil excellently represents it:

—Thus while she laid,
And shivering at the sacred Entrance staid,
Her Colour chang'd, her Face was not the same
And hollow Groans from her deep Spirit came:
Her Hair stood up; convulsive Rage possess'd
Her trembling Limbs, and heav'd her labouring Breast;
Greater than Human Kind she seem'd to look,
And with an Accent more than Mortal spoke:
Her staring Eyes with sparkling Fury roul,
When all the Gods came rushing on her Soul.

I shall not say that this kind of Fury seems not becoming the Divine Majesty, and therefore Cicero hath great cause to speak of it in these words; What Reason or Authority can you produce for this Divine Fury? Can it be suppos'd, that what a wise Man cannot foresee, a Fool or a Man de­priv'd of his Senses should be able to discover? I shall only observe some Particulars that will dis­cover to us the Vanity and Folly of the thing: The first is the affectation of delivering their Ora­cles in Verse and not in Prose. We have already observed that the Disciples of Epicurus made but a [Page 450] sport of those Verses, as being ridiculous and un­worthy of the Divinity: In this manner Cicero speaks of them, ‘These Verses which they say the Sybil in her fury made and pronouc'd, savour more of Cunning and Subtilty, than of Transport and Disturbance of Mind; for the Author who compos'd them, hath artificially contrived, that whatsoever happen'd, it will seem to be thereby foretold, for they express nothing precisely nor plainly, neither of Men nor Times; but have de­signedly made them obscure, that they might seem at another time to be fit for other purposes; all which does not denote a Person in furious Transports, but one who is sensible and cautious of what he doth or saith.’

The Second particular is this Amphibologia, or manner of delivering these Oracles with a double Signification, which Savours of a Subtilty that is no greater than what belongs to Man. Besides among many of those who are most Famous, there are se­veral that are forged and invented meerly for Plea­sure. For Example in relation to these.

Craesus, the Halys passing, shall destroy,
A mighty Mass of Wealth—
Pyrrhus, thy Force the Romans shall destroy.

Cicero informs us that the First was never given to Croesus, and that Herodotus may have invented it of his own Head, as Ennius contrived the latter. And especially as to the latter, for that it was cer­tainly forged at pleasure, and that it was never de­livered to Pyrrhus, because Apollo never spoke in Latin, and that in the Days of Pyrrhus, Apollo had left off making Verses.

The third particular is the Juggling or Forge­ries related at large by Eusebius, which prove that the Oracles were never delivered by the Gods or by the Demons, but that they were contrived by cunning Knaves, Cheats and Impostors; as Lucian very well observed, when he tells us by what means [Page 451] he himself discovered all the Subtilty by which the false Prophet, Alexander, had made himself so fa­mous in the Oracle. He saith moreover, that this false Prophet hated very much the Christians and the Epicureans, because they maintained, that the Oracles were nothing but meer Lies. In this man­ner Eusebius speaks of them; ‘They have among them Promoters and Ministers of their Cheats and Tricks, who walk up and down and round about to inquire diligently, and ask those who came, for what purpose and upon what occasion every one comes to consult the Oracle: They have in their Temples a great many dark Corners and Places to retreat and hide, where the People are not to enter, and where they place themselves to hear what is spoken, without being seen. So that the Darkness of the place, the Precaution, the Superstition of those that come, and the Au­thority of the Ancients who have believed in these Oracles, are of great use to 'em: We might add also the Folly and Stupidity of the People, who never try nor examin things, and the Dex­terity, the Cunning and Subtilty of those who manage the Business, and who promise to every one pleasing Things, and entertain all the World with fair Hopes, &c.

He relates afterwards their ambiguous manner of speaking, their unusual and barbarous Words, and the affected composure of their Expressions, how often the Oracles have been proved guilty of Fals­hood, and how often those who by their Advice have undertaken Wars, and have met with very ill Success; how many Persons they have deluded, unto whom they promised Health and Prosperity: And after his Conclusion from hence, that they were no Gods but Impostors, who uttered these Oracles, he continues and goes on thus, ‘But why do you think it is that they thus court Strangers, and give them such great Encouragments, more [Page 452] than the Inhabitants of the Place, who are their Friends or Fellow-Citizens, unto whom they should consequently endeavour to render the Gods more Propitious than to others who are no ways related to them? The Reason is plain; for it is much more easy to deceive Strangers, who understand not their Jugglings, than Neighbours who are ac­quainted with all their slights and cunning. This shews sufficiently that there is nothing here Di­vine, nothing that is above the Reach and Con­trivance of Man.’

Afterwards he reckons up several Oracles that have faltred, and divers of their Temples that have been burned; and then argues from thence, ‘If these wonderful Utterers of Oracles are not able to protect their own Temples nor defend them­selves in time of Danger, how can they defend others? But the strongest Reason of all is, that many of these Diviners, Sooth-sayers and For­tune-tellers having been by the Ancients examin­ed, and more lately by the Romans, have plainly discovered the Truth, and declared that the Mi­stake proceeded from the too easie credulity of Men, and that all was nothing but Subtilty and Cheat.’ We are not here to forget, that after Eusebius had made mention of the Disciples of Ari­stotle, and of the Cynicks, says as to the Epicu­reans, ‘That he wonder'd at them, because being bred from their Cradle, after the manner of the Greeks, and instructed by their Parents in the Belief and Doctrins of the Gods; they neverthe­less would not suffer themselves to be cheated by Mistakes, but have boldly declared their Senti­ments against such Oracles, tho' they were then very famous and much frequented from all parts of the World, protesting that they were meer Cheats and Impostures, and making it appear that they were not only foolish, idle, and vain, but also wicked.’


  • OF Moral Philosophy in General, Page 1.
  • CHAP. I. What Happiness is, Page 5.
  • Several Opinions concerning the efficient Cause of Happi­ness, Page 8.
  • Some Particulars needful to be examined and considered which will contribute very much to the Repose and Happiness of Mankind, Page 14.
  • CHAP. II. What sort of Pleasure it is that Epicurus recommends as the End of a happy Life, Page 44.
  • Wherein Epicurus and Aristippus differ, Page 58.
  • The Condition and Satisfaction of a wise Man, accord­ing to Epicurus's Opinion, Page 61.
  • That the Pains and Pleasures of the Mind are greater than those of the Body, Page 63.
  • Wherein Epicurus differs from the Stoicks, Page 67.
  • That Virtue, according to Epicurus, is essentially relat­ed to Pleasure, as it tends to the main End and De­sign of an happy Life, Page 69.
  • CHAP. III. Wherein an happy Life doth consist, Page 77.
  • Whether all Pleasure be good of it self, Page ibid.
  • Whether the Opinion of the Stoicks, in respect of Good and Evil, be justyfiable, Page 82.
  • Whether at any time Pain ought to be preferr'd before Pleasure, Page 84.
  • [Page]Of the first Good that Nature has in its view, Page 86.
  • That things profitable and useful are sought after for the sake of Pleasure, Page 91.
  • That those good things which we call honest, have the nearest relation to Pleasure, Page 93.
  • Whether the desire of Honour be blame-worthy, Page 97.
  • CHAP. IV. What advantage moral Virtue procures, Page 100.
  • Of Self-love, Page 111.
  • Of the deceitful Virtue and deceitful Happiness of Regu­lus, Page 114.
  • CHAP. V. That a wise Man is only capable of enjoy­ing moral Virtues, Page 122.
  • Of the Tranquility of the Mind in particular, Page 128.
  • Of Life and of Active Felicity, Page 132.
  • Whether a Contemplative Happiness is to be preferr'd before an Active, Page 136.
  • Of freedom from Pain in particular, Page 138.
  • CHAP. VI. What Virtue and Advantage accrues by being contented with a little. Page 147.
  • A description of the Indian Diogenes. Page 171
  • CHAP. I. Of Virtue in General, Page 173.
  • In what sense Virtue is said to consist, in a Medium, or to be placed in a Mediocrity, Page 176.
  • Of the Apathy or Insensibility of the Stoicks, Page 180.
  • Of the mutual Connection of moral Virtues, Page 185.
  • A general division of Virtue, Page 188.
  • CHAP. II. Of Prudence in general, Page 191.
  • Of the general Offices or Duties of Prudence, Page 193.
  • Of the Dispositions or Qualities needful for the perform­ing the Duties of Prudence, Page 195.
  • CHAP. III. Of private Prudence, Page 199.
  • Of the Offices of private Prudence, Page 201.
  • That 'tis dangerous to undertake any thing against our Natural Inclination, Page 205.
  • [Page]CHAP. IV. Of Oeconomick Prudence, Page 210.
  • Of the Nuptial Prudence, and its several Duties, Page 212.
  • Of Paternal Prudence, and its several Duties, Page 214.
  • Of Prudence of Superiors, and their several Duties, Page 217.
  • Of Possessory Prudence and its Offices, Page 218.
  • CHAP. V. Of Politick or Civil Prudence. Page 224.
  • Of the first Original of Soveraign Power, according to the Opinion of the Ancients, Page 225.
  • Whether Monarchical Government is the best, Page 229.
  • Of the Duties of a Monarch in General, Page 230.
  • Of the great concerns of Meum and Tuum, or of the Property of the Subject. Page 238.
  • Of the Duties of a Sovereign in times of Peace, Page 241.
  • Of the Offices of a Sovereign in times of War, Page 245.
  • If a wise Man ought to intermeddle with publick Affairs, Page 250.
  • CHAP. VI. Of Fortitude, Page 254.
  • Of the several kinds of Fortitude, Page 260.
  • Whether the Evils foreseen make the least Impression up­on us, Page 263.
  • How we ought to support External and Publick Evils, Page 265.
  • Of External and private Evils, and first of Banishment, Page 268.
  • Of Imprisonment, Page 270.
  • Of Slavery, Page 271.
  • Of Shame and Disgrace, Page 273.
  • Of the loss of Children and Friends, Page 274.
  • Of the loss of an Estate. Page 276.
  • Of Pain and of Death, Page 278.
  • CHAP. VII. Of Temperance, Page 280.
  • Of Modesty and Decency, Page 281.
  • Of Sobriety and Chastity in general, Page 283.
  • Of Sobriety in particular, Page 286.
  • Of Chastity in particular, Page 289.
  • Of Mildness and Gentleness. Page 294.
  • Of Clemency. Page 297.
  • Of Mercy, Page 299.
  • [Page]Of Modesty, Page 300.
  • CHAP. VIII. Of Justice, Equity, and the Laws, Page 306.
  • Of Retaliation, Page 308.
  • Of Justice in general, according to Epicurus, Page 312.
  • Of Right or Just; from whence Justice derives its name, Page 314.
  • Of the Origin of Right and of Justice, Page 317.
  • Between whom Right or Justice takes Place, Page 319.
  • That there is great Reason to live up to Justice, Page 328.
  • Whether we may wrong any Man without doing him an Injury, Page 334.
  • CHAP. IX. Of the Virtues which accompany Justice, namely, of Religion, of Piety, of Observance, Love, Bounty, Liberality, Gratitude: And first of Reli­gion, Page 337.
  • Of Piety, Page 348.
  • Of Observance or Respect, Page 353.
  • Of Friendship, Page 355.
  • Of Beneficence and Liberality, Page 363.
  • Of Gratitude, Page 366.
BOOK. III. Of Liberty, Fortune, Destiny, and Divination.
  • CHAP. I. What Liberty or Free-Will is, Page 372.
  • CHAP. II. Of Fortune and Destiny, Page 392.
  • Of Destiny, Page 396.
  • CHAP. III. How Destiny may be reconciled or consist with Fortune, and Liberty, Page 409.
  • CHAP. IV. Of Divination, or the foretelling of future Contingencies, Page 424.
  • Of Demons or Spirits, according to the Opinion of An­tiquity, Page 429.
  • Of the Oracles, Page 449.



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