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which he has received from books, or advanced himfelf, he now abfolutely rejects; and every other virtue of his heart gives place to all a parent's tenderness. We fhall excufe, we fhall even approve his forrow, when we confider what he has loft. He has loft a daughter who resembled him in his manners, as well as his perfon; and exactly copied out all her father. If his friend Marcellinus fhall think proper to write to him, upon the fubject of fo reafonable a grief, let me remind him not to ufe the rougher arguments of confolation, and fuch as feem to carry a fort of reproof with them; but thofe of kind and fympathzing humanity. Time will render him more open to the dictates of reafon: for as a fresh wound flrinks back from the hand of the furgeon, but by degrees fubmits to, and even requires them eans of its cure; fo a mind, under the first imprefsions of a misfortune, fhuns and rejects all arguments of confolation; but at length, if applied with tendernefs, calmly and willingly acquiefces in them. Farewel.



On Difcretion.

I HAVE often thought, if the minds of men were laid open, we fhould fee but little difference between that of the wife man, and that of the fool.

There are infinite reveries, numberlefs extravagances, and a fuccefsion of vanities, which pafs through both. The great difference is, that the firft knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for con

verfation, by fupprefsing fome, and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently fly out in words. This fort of difcretion, however, has no place in private converfation between intimate friends. On fuch occafions, the wifeft men very often talk like the weakeft; for indeed the talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.

Tully has therefore very jufily expofed a precept, delivered by fome ancient writers, That a man fhould live with his enemy in fuch a manner, as might leave him room to become his friend; and with his friend, in fuch a manner, that, if he became his enemy, it fhould not be in his power to hurt him. The first part of this rule, which regards-our behaviour towards an enemy, is indeed very reasonable, as well as very prudential; but the latter part of it, which regards. our behaviour towards a friend, favours more of cunning than of difcretion; and would cut a man off from the greatest pleasures of life, which are the freedoms of converfation with a bofom friend. Besides that, when a friend is turned into an enemy, the world is juft enough to accufe the perfidiousness of the friend, rather than the indifcretion of the perfon who confided in him.

Difcretion does not only fhow itself in words, but: in all the circumftances of action; and is like an under-agent of Providence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary concerns of life.

There are many more fhining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none fo useful as difcretion. It is this, indeed, which gives a value to all the reft; which fets them at work in their proper times and places; and turns them to the advantage of the perfon

Without it, learning is

who is possessed of them. pedantry, and wit impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice.

Discretion does not only make a man the master of his own parts, but of other men's. The difcreet man finds out the talents of those he converfes with; and knows how to apply them to proper ufes. Accordingly, if we look into particular communities and divifions of men, we may obferve, that it is the difcreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the converfation, and gives meafures to the fociety. A man with great talents, but void of difcretion, is like Polyphemus in the fable, ftrong and blind; endued with an irresistible force, which, for want of fight, is of no use to him.

Though a man have all other perfections, and want difcretion, he will be of no great confequence in the world; but if he have this single talent in perfection, and but a common fhare of others, he may do what he pleases in his particular station of life.

At the fame time that I think difcretion the most ufeful talent a man can be mafter of, I look upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds. Difcretion points out the nobleft ends to us; and purfues the most proper and laudable methods of attaining them: cunning has only private felfifh aims; and sticks at nothing which may make them fucceed. Difcretion has large and extended views; and, like a well-formed eye, commands a whole horizon: cunning is a kind of short-fightedness, that discovers the minuteft objects which are near at

hand, but is not able to difcern things at a distance. Difcretion, the more it is difcovered, gives a greater authority to the perfon who pofsefses it: cunning, when it is once detected, lofes its force, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even thofe events which he might have done, had he passed only for a plain man. Discretion is the perfection of reason ; and a guide to us in all the duties of life: cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare. Difcretion is only found in men of ftrong fenfe and good understandings: cunning is often to be met with in brutes themfelves; and in perfons who are but the feweft removes from them. In fhort, cunning is only the mimic of difcretion; and it may pass upon weak men, in the fame manner as vivacity is often mistaken for wit, and gravity, for wisdom.

The caft of mind which is natural to a difcreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and confider what will be his condition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at prefent. He knows that the mifery or happiness which is referved for him in another world, lofes nothing of its reality by being placed at fo great a distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because they are remote. He confiders, that thofe pleasures and pains which lie hid in eternity, approach nearer to him every moment; and will be prefent with him in their full weight and measure, as much as thofe pains and pleafures which he feels at this very inftant. For this reafon, he is careful to fecure to himself that which is the proper happiness of his nature, and the ultimate defign of his being. He carries his thoughts to the

end of every action; and confiders the moft diftant, as well as the moft immediate effects of it. He fuperfèdes every little profpect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it confiftent with his views of an hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality; his fchemes are large and glorious; and his conduct fuitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods.



On the government of our Thoughts.

A MULTITUDE of cafes occur, in which we are no less accountable for what we think, than for what we do.

As, first, when the introduction of any train of thought depends upon ourfelves, and is our voluntary act; by turning our attention towards fuch objects, awakening fuch pafsions, or engaging in fuch employments, as we know must give a peculiar determination to our thoughts. Next, when thoughts, by whatever accident they may have been originally suggested, are indulged with deliberation and complacency. Though the mind has been passive in their reception, and, therefore, free from blame; yet, if it be active in their continuance, the guilt becomes its own. They may have intruded at firft, like unbidden guefts; but if, when entered, they are made welcome, and kindly entertained, the cafe is the fame as if they had been invited from the beginning. If we be thus accountable to God for thoughts either voluntarily introduced, or deliberately indulged,

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