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(says he) is all mine own. He, who took away
playing at dice; and that was the main fruit of
This is the character that Seneca gives of this
The mightiest princes are glad to fly often from
for this that Rome's best blood he spilt
With nuts, and bounding-stones, and boys But we must excuse her for this meagre entertainment; she has not really wherewithal to make such feasts as we imagine. Her guests must be contented sometimes with but slender cates, and with the same cold meats served over and over again, even till they become nauseous. you have pared away all the vanity, what solid and natural contentment does there remain, which may not be had with five hundred pounds a year? Not so many servants or horses; but a few good ones, which will do all the business as well: not so many choice dishes at every meal; but at several meals all of them, which makes them both the more healthy, and the more pleasant; not so rich garments, nor so frequent changes; but as warm and as comely, and so frequent change too, as is every jot as good for the master, though not for the taylor or valet de chambre: not such a stately palace, nor gilt rooms, or the costliest sorts of tapestry; but a convenient brick house, with decent wainscot, and pretty forest-work hangings. Lastly (for I omit all other particulars, and will end with that which I love most in both conditions) not whole woods cut in walks, nor vast parks, nor fountain or cascade-gardens; but herb, and flower, and fruit gardens, which are more useful, and the water every whit as clear and wholesome, as if it darted from the breasts of a marble nymph, or the urn of a river-god.
Louis XIII.-The Duke de Luynes, the Con-
3 Beelzebub signifies the lord of flies. COWLEY.
If, for all this, you like better the substance of that former estate of life, do but consider the inseparable accidents of both: servitude, disquiet, danger, and most commonly guilt, inherent in the one; in the other liberty, tranquillity, security, and innocence. And when you have thought upon this, you will confess that to be a truth which appeared to you, before, but a ridiculous paradox, that a low fortune is better guarded and If, indeed, we look attended than an high one. only upon the flourishing head of the tree, it appears a most beautiful object,
-sed quantum vertice ad auras Ætherias, tantum radice in Tartara tendit $,
Virg. Georg. ii. 291,
As far up towards Heaven the branches grow, So far the root sinks down to Hell below.
Another horrible disgrace to greatness is, that it is for the most part in pitiful want and distress: what a wonderful thing is this! Unless it degenerate into avarice, and so cease to be greatness, it falls perpetually into such necessitics, as drive it into all the meanest and most sordid ways of borrowing, cozcnage, and robbery:
Mancipiis locuples, eget æris Cappadocum rex.
This is the case of almost all great men, as well as of the poor king of Cappadocia: they abound with slaves, but are indigent of money. The ancient Roman emperors, who had the riches of the whole world for their revenue, had wherewithal to live (one would have thought) pretty well at ease, and to have been exempt from the pressures of extreme poverty. But yet with most of them it was much otherwise; and they fell perpetually into such miserable penury, that they were forced to devour or squeeze most of their friends and servants, to cheat with infamous projects, to ransack and pillage all their provinces. This fashion of imperial grandeur is imitated by all inferior and subordinate sorts of it, as if it were a point of honour. They must be cheated of a third part of their estates, two other thirds they must expend in vanity; so that they remain debtors for all the necessary provisions of life, and have no way to satisfy those debts, but out of the succours and supplies of rapine: "as riches increase" (says Solomon) "so do the mouths that devour them 7." The master mouth has no more than before. The owner, methinks, is like Ocnus in the fable, who is perpetually winding a rope of hay, and an ass at the end perpetually eating
Out of these inconveniences arises naturally one more, which is, that no greatness can be satisfied or contented with itself: still, if it could mount up a little higher, it would be happy, if it could gain but that point, it would obtain all its desires; but yet at last, when it is got up to the very top of the Pic of Teneriff, it is in very great danger of breaking its neck downwards, but in no possibility of ascending upwards into the seat of tranquillity above the Moon. The first ambitious men in the world, the old giants, are said to have made an heroical attempt of scaling Heaven in despite of the gods: and they cast Ossa upon Olympus, and Pelion upon Ossa: two or three mountains more, they thought, would have done their business: but the thunder spoilt all the work, when they were come up to the third story:
absolute tyrant of three kingdoms, which was the third, and almost touched the Heaven which he affected, is believed to have died with grief and discontent, because he could not attain to the honest name of a king, and the old formality of a crown, though he had before exceeded the power by a wicked usurpation. If he could have compassed that, he would perhaps have wanted something else that is necessary to felicity, and pined away for want of the title of an emperor or a god. The reason of this is, that greatness has no reality in nature, being a creature of the fancy, a notion that consists only in relation and comparison: it is indeed an idol; but St. Paul teaches us, "that an idol is nothing in the world." There is in truth no rising or meridian of the Sun, but only in respect to several places: there is no right or left, no upper-hand in nature; every thing is little, and every thing is great, according as it is diversely compared. There may be perhaps some village in Scotland or Ireland, where I might be a great man: and in that case I should be like Cæsar (you would wonder how Cæsar and I should be like one another in any thing); and choose rather to be the first man of the village, than second at Rome. Our country is called Great Britany, in regard only of a lesser of the same name; it would be but a ridiculous epithet for it, when we consider it together with the kingdom of China. That, too, is but a pitiful rood of ground, in comparison of the whole Earth besides : and this whole globe of Earth, which we account so immense a body, is but one point or atom in relation to those numberless worlds that are scattered up and down in the infinite space of the sky which we behold.
The other many inconveniences of grandeur I have spoken of dispersedly in several chapters; and shall end this with an ode of Horace, not exactly copied, but truly imitated.
Lib. III. Ode I.
Odi profanum vulgus, &c.
HENCE, ye profane; I hate you all ; virgin minds, which yet their native whiteBoth the great vulgar, and the small.
Not yet discolour'd with the love of gold
We look on men, and wonder at such odds
"Twixt things that were the same by birth; We look on kings as giants of the Farth, These giants are but pigmies to the gods.
The humblest bush and proudest oak Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, aud Are but of equal proof against the thunder-stroke.
Have their short flourishing hour:
And love to see themselves, and smile, And joy in their pre-eminence awhile;
Ev'n so in the same land,
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers, together Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.
And all ye men, whom greatness does so please,
Sleep, is a god too proud to wait in palaces, And yet so humble too, as not to scorn
The meanest country cottages: "His poppy grows among the corn." The halcyon Sleep will never build his nest In any stormy breast.
'Tis not enough that he does find Clouds and darkness in their mind; Darkness but half his work will do: 'Tis not enough; he must find quiet too.
The man, who in all wishes he does make,
Whether he fortunate shall be ;
Let Mars and Saturn in the heavens conjoin, And what they please against the world design, So Jupiter within him shine.
If of your pleasures and desires no end be found,
Ye strive for more, as if ye lik'd it not.
THERE are two sorts of avarice: the one is but of a bastard kind, and that is, the rapacious appetite of gain; not for its own sake, but for the pleasure of refunding it immediately through all the channels of pride and luxury: the other is the true kind, and properly so called; which is a restless and unsatiable desire of riches, nor for any farther end or use, but only to hoard, and preserve, and perpetually increase them. The covetous man, of the first kind, is like a greedy ostrich, which devours any metal; but it is with an intent to feed upon it, and in effect, it makes a shift to digest and excern it. The
second is like the foolish chough, which loves to steal money only to hide it. The first does much harm to mankind; and a little good too, to some few: the second does good to none; no, not to himself. The first can make no excuse to God, or angels, or rational men, for his actions: the second can give no reason or colour, not to the Devil himself, for what he does; he is a slave to Mammon without wages. The first makes a shift to be beloved; ay, and envied too by some people; the second is the universal object of hatred and contempt. There is no vice has been so pelted with good sentences, and especially by the poets, who have pursued it with stories, and fables, and allegories, and allusions; and moved, as we say, every stone to fling at it: among all which I do not remember a more fine and gentleman-like correction, than that which was given it by one line of Ovid:
Desunt luxuriæ multa, avaritiæ omnia.
Much is wanting to luxury, all to avarice.
To which saying, I have a mind to add one member, and tender it thus,
Poverty wants some, luxury many, avarice all things.
Somebody says of a virtuous and wise man, "that having nothing, he has all :" this is just his antipode, who, having all things, yet has nothing. He is a guardian eunuch to his beloved gold: divi eos amatores esse maximos, sed nil potesse. They are the fondest lovers, but impotent to enjoy.
And, oh, what man's condition can be worse Than his, whom plenty starves, and blessings
The beggars but a common fate deplore, The rich poor man's emphatically poor.
I wonder how it comes to pass, that there has never been any law made against him: against him do I say? I mean, for him: as there are public provisions made for all other madmen: it is very reasonable that the king should appoint some persons (and I think the courtiers would not be against this proposition) to manage his estate during his life (for his heirs commonly need not that care): and out of it to make it their business to see, that he should not waut alimony befitting his condition, which he could never get out of his own cruel fingers. We relieve idle vagrants, and counterfeit beggars; but have no care at all of these really poor men, who are, methinks, to be respectfully treated, ių regard of their quality. I might be endless against them, but I am almost choaked with the super-abundance of the matter; too much plen
The author, well acquainted with the taste of his readers, would not disgust their delicacy by letting them know that this "somebody" was St. Paul, [2 Cor. vi. 10.]-though the sense and expression would have done honour to Plato. HURD.
ty impoverishes me, as it does them. I will conclude this odious subject with part of Horace's first satire, which take in his own familiar style:
I admire, Mæcenas, how it comes to pass,
But hold, ye, whom no fortune e'er endears,
The prudent pismire does this lesson teach,
He cheerfully does his past labours eat:
Do you within the bounds of nature live,
Than I do from a small one? If your will
And must be kept with reverence; as if thou
Paraphrase on HORACE, B. III. Od. xvi.
A TOWER of brass, one would have said, And locks, and bolts, and iron bars, And guards, as strict as in the heat of wars, Might have preserv'd one innocent maidenhead, The jealous father thought he well might spare All further jealous care; And, as he walk'd, t' himself alone he smil'd, To think how Venus' arts he had beguil'd;
And, when he slept, his rest was deep: But Venus laugh'd to see and hear him sleep. She taught the amorous Jove A magical receipt in lave,
Which arm'd him stronger, and which help'd him more,
Than all his thunder did, and his almighty-ship before.
She taught him love's elixir, by which art His godhead into gold he did convert:
No guards did then his passage stay,
and draw up all bridges against so numerous an enemy.
The truth of it is, that a man in much business must either make himself a knave, or else the world will make him a fool: and, if the injury went no farther than the being laught at, a wise man would content himself with the revenge of retaliation; but the case is much worse, for these civil cannibals too, as well as the wild ones, not only dance about such a taken stranger, but at last devour him. A sober man cannot get too soon out of drunken company, though they be never so kind and merry among themselves; it is not unpleasant only, but dangerous, to him.
Do ye wonder that a virtuous man should love to be alone? It is hard for him to be otherwise; he is so, when he is among ten thousand neither is the solitude so uncomfortable to be alone without any other creature, as it is to be alone in the midst of wild beasts. Man is to man all kind of beasts; a fawning dog, a roaring lion, a thieving fox, a robbing wolf, a dissembling crocodile, a
From towns and courts, camps of the rich and treacherous decoy, and a rapacious vulture. The
civilist, methinks, of all nations, are those whom we account the most barbarous ; there is some moderation and good-nature in the Toupinambaltians, who eat no men but their enemies, whilst we learned and polite and Christian Europeans, like so many pikes and sharks, prey upon every thing that we can swallow. It is the great boast of eloquence and philosophy, that they first congregated men dispersed, united them into societies, and built up the houses and the walls of cities. I wish they could unravel all they had woven; that we might have our woods and our innocence again, instead of our castles and our policies. They have assembled many thousands of scattered people into one body: it is true, they have done so; they have brought them together into cities to cozen, and into armies to murder, one another: they found them hunters and fishers of wild creatures: they have made them hunters and fishers of their bretheren: they boast to have reduced them to a state of peace, when the truth is, they have only taught them an art of war: they have framed, I must confess, wholesome laws for the restraint of vice, but they raised first that devil, which now they conjure and cannot bind: though there were before no punishments for wickedness, yet there was less committed, because there were no rewards for it.
Subtle as lightning, bright, and quick, and fierce,
To blow up towns, a golden mine did spring,
And fleets and armies follow it afar :
Let all the world slave to this tyrant be,
Yet it shall never conquer me.
And wisdom is a tower of stronger brass.
The vast Xerxean army, I retreat;
Which holds the straits of poverty.
With all the bounteous Summer's store,
Slaves to the things we too much prize,
A field of corn, a fountain, and a wood,
That more than this falls to his share.
To him who much desires. Thrice happy he
But the men, who praise philosophy from this topic, are much deceived: let oratory answer
THE DANGERS OF AN HONEST MAN for itself, the tinkling perhaps of that may unite
IN MUCH COMPANY.
If twenty thousand naked Americans were not able to resist the assaults of but twenty well-armed Spaniards, I see little possibility for one honest man to defend himself against twenty thousand knaves who are all furnished cap à pé, with the defensive arms of worldy prudence, and the offensive too of craft and malice. He will find no less odds than this against him,if he have much to do in human affairs. The only advice therefore which Ican give him is, to be sure not to venture his person any longer in the open campaign, to retreat and entrench himself, to stop up all avenues,
a swarm; it never was the work of philosophy to assemble multitudes, but to regulate only, and govern them, when they were assembled; to make the best of an evil, and bring them, as much as is possible, to unity again. Avarice and ambition only were the first builders of towns, and founders of empire; they said, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto Heaven, and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth 9." What was the beginning of Rome, the metropolis of all the world? What was it, but a concourse of thieves, and a sanctuary of crimi
9 Gen. xi. 4.