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Tho' crows and ravens do the same,
Cedat uti conviva satur
our young gentry, in this degenerate age, I have oft observed in you an honest heart, whose lives thus run to utter waste, without and a mind strongly bent towards virtue. I the least tendency to usefulness.
wish, from my soul, I could assist you in actWhen I meet with persons of such a worth- ing steadily the part of a reasonable creature: Jess character as this, it brings to my mind for, if you would not think it a paradox, I some scraps of Horace,
should tell you I love you better than you do Nos numerus sumus, et fruges consumere nati. yourself. -Alcinoique Juventus
Hor. A paradox indeed! better than I do Cui pulchrum fuit in Medios dormire dies, &c.
myself! when I love my dear self so well, PARAPHRASE.
that I love every thing else for my own sake. There are a number of us creep
Phil. He only loves himself well, who right-
ly and judiciously loves himself.
Hor. What do you mean by that, Philocles?
You men of reason and virtue are always deal
ing in mysteries, though you laugh at them Unlucky birds of hateful name;
when the church makes them. I think he Ravens or crows might fill their places, And swallow corn and carcasses.
loves himself very well and very judiciously Then, if their tomb-stone when they die, too; as you call it, who allows himself to do Ben't taught to flatter and to lie,
whatever he pleases.
Phil. What, though it be to the ruin and Drank up all their drink and gone to bed. destruction of that very self which he loves so There are other fragments of that heathen well! That man alone loves himself rightly, poet, which occur on such occasions ; one in who procures the greatest possible good to the first of his satires, the other in the last of himself through the whole of his existence; his epistles, which seem to represent life only and so pursues pleasure as not to give for it as a season of luxury.
more than it is worth. Exacto contentus tempore vitæ
Hor. That depends all upon opinion. Who
shall judge what the pleasure is worth? SupLusisti satus, edisti satis atque bibisti ; Tempus abire tibi.
pose a pleasing form of the fair kind strikes Which may be thus put into English.
me so much, that I can enjoy nothing without
the enjoyment of that one object. Or, that Life's but a feast; and when we die Horace would say, if he were by,
pleasure in general is so favourite a mistress, Friend, thou hast eat and drank enough, that I will take her as men do their wives, for "Tis time now to be inarching off :
better, for worse; minding no consequences, Then like a well-fed guest depart, With cheerful looks, and ease at heart,
nor regarding what is to come. Why should Bid all your friends good night, and say,
I not do it?
Phil. Suppose, Horatio! that a friend of
yours entered into the world, about two and DIALOGUE I.
twenty, with a healthful vigorous body, and
a fair plentiful estate of about five hundred Between Philocles and Horatio meeting ac- pounds a year; and yet, before he had reach
cidentally in the fields, concerning Virtue ed thirty, should, by following his pleasures, and Pleasure.-From the Pennsylvania Ga- and not, as you say, duly regarding consezette, No. 84, June 23, 1730.
quences, have run out of his estate, and disPhilocles. My friend Horatio! I am very abled his body to that degree, that he had neiglad to see you; prithee how came such a ther the means nor capacity of enjoyment left; man as you alone? and musing too? What nor any thing else to do but wisely shoot himmisfortune in your pleasures has sent you to self through the head to be at rest: what philosophy for relief.
would you say to this unfortunate man's conHoratio. You guess very right, my dear duct ? Is it wrong by opinion or fancy only? Philocles : we pleasure-hunters are never Or is there really a right and wrong in the without them; and yet, so enchanting is the case ? Is not one opinion of life and action game, we cannot quit the chace. How calm juster than another? Or one sort of conduct and undisturbed is your life, how.fun fionr, preferable to another ? Or, does that miserapresent embarrassments and future cares; I ble son of pleasure appear as reasonable and know you love me, and look with compassion lovely a being in your eyes, as a man, who by upon my conduct: show me then the path prudently and rightly gratifying his natural which leads up to that constant and invaria- passions, had preserved his body in full health ble good, which I have heard you so beauti- and his estate entire, and enjoyed both to a fully describe, and which you seem so fully to good old age, and then died with a thankfu! possess.
heart for the good things he had received, and Phil. There are few men in the world I with an entire submission to the will of Him value more than you, Horatio ! for amidst all who first called him into being. Say, Horayour foibles, and painful pursuits of pleasure, tio! are these men equally wise and happy? VOL. II. ...30
you take it, as understood by philosop.
Wiel Cocou strongly desire; because it is in
And is every thing to be measured by mere, in truth, the kindest and most beautiful mistress
Hor. Prithee, Philocles, do not wrap your.
is created must, in its own nature, be subject Phil. I find, Horatio, my two characters to error, irregularity, excess, and imperfecthave frighted you; so that you decline the ness. All intelligent rational agents find in trial of what is good, by reason: and had ra- themselves a power of judging what kind of ther make a bold attack upon Providence; beings they are: what actions are proper to the usual way of you gentlemen of fashion, preserve them; and what consequences will who, when, by living in defiance of the eter- generally attend them; what pleasures they nal rules of reason, you have plunged your are formed for, and to what degree their naselves into a thousand difficulties, endeavour tures are capable of receiving them. All we to make yourselves easy, by throwing the bur- have to do then, Horatio, is to consider, when den upon nature; you are, Horatio, in a very we are surprised with a new object, and miserable condition indeed; for you say, you passionately desire to enjoy it, whether the cannot be happy if you control your passions; gratifying that passion be consistent with the and you feel yourself miserable by an unre- gratifying other passion and appetites equal, strained gratification of them; so that here is if not more necessary to us. And whether evil, irremediable evil either way.
it consists with our happiness to-morrow, Hor. That is very true, at least it appears next week, or next year; for, as we all wish 80 to me; pray what have you to say, Philo- to live, we are obliged, by reason, to take as cles, in honour of nature or Providence; me- much care for our future, as our present hapthinks, I am in pain for her; How do you res- piness, and not build one upon the ruins of cue her? poor lady!
the other : but, if through the strength and Phil. This, my dear Horatio, I have to say power of a present passion, and through want that what you find fault with and clamour of attending to consequences, we have erred against, as the most terrible evil in the world, and exceeded the bounds which nature or self-denial, is really the greatest good, and reason have set us; we are then, for our own the highest self-gratification. If indeed you sakes, to refrain, or deny ourselves a present use the word in the sense of some weak sour momentary pleasure, for a future, constant, moralists, and much weaker divines; you and durable one; so that this philosophical will have just reason to laugh at it; but, if self-denial is only refusing to do an action,
which and men of sense, you will presently see
Lut with your health, conveniefice, or charms, and fly to her embraces, notwith- circumstances in the world; or, in other standing her demure looks, as absolutely ne- words, because it would cost you more than it cessary to produce even your own darling was worth. You would lose by it, as a man sole good, pleasure; for, self denial is never a of pleasure. Thus you see, Horatio, that duty, or a reasonable action, but as it is a natu- self-denial is not only the most reasonable, but ral means of procuring more pleasure than the most pleasant thing in the world. you can taste without it, so that this grave Hor. We are just coming into town, so that saint-like guide to happiness, as rough and we cannot pursue this argument any farther dreadful as she has been made to appear, is at present; you have said a great deal for na
ture, Providence and reason : happy are they Hor. You have shown, Philocles, that selfwho can follow such divine guides.
denial, which weak or interested men have Phil. Horatio, good night: I wish you wise rendered the most forbidding, is really the in your pleasures.
most delightful and amiable, the most reasonHor. I wish, Philocles, I could be as wise able and pleasant thing in the world. In a in my pleasures, as you are pleasantly wise; word, if I understand you aright, self-denial your wisdom is agreeable; your virtue is is, in truth, self-recognizing, self-acknowledge amiable; and your philosophy the highest ing, or self-owning. But now, my friend, luxury. Adieu! thou enchanting reasoner. you are to perform another promise; and,
show me the path which leads up to that conDIALOGUE II.
stant, durable, and invariable good, which I Between Philocles and Horatio, concerning have heard you so beautifully describe, and
Virtue and Pleasure. From the Pennsyl- which you seem so fully to possess. Is not vania Gazette, No. 86, July 9, 1730. this good of yours a mere chimera ? Can any
Philocles.-Dear Horatio, where hast thou thing be constant in a world which is eterbeen these three or four months ? What new nally changing ! and which appears to exist adventures have you fallen upon since I met by an everlasting revolution of one thing into you in these delightful all-inspiring fields, and another, and where every thing without us, wondered how such a pleasure-hunter as you and every thing within us, is in perpetual could bear being alone?
motion. What is this constant durable good, Horatio. O Philocles ! thou best of friends, then, of yours? Prithee satisfy my soul, for because a friend to reason and virtue! I am I am all on fire, and impatient to enjoy her. very glad to see you: do not you remember, Produce this eternal blooming goddess, with I told you then, that some misfortunes in my never fading charms; and see, whether I will pleasures had sent me to philosophy for relief; not embrace her with as much eagerness and but now I do assure you, I can, without a rapture as you. sigh, leave other pleasures for those of philo Phil. You seem enthusiastically warm, Hosophy: I can hear the word reason mentioned, ratio ; I will wait till you are cool enough to and virtue praised, without laughing. Do not attend to the sober dispassionate voice of reaI bid fair for conversion, think you?
Phil. Very fair, Horatio; for I remember Hor. You mistake me, my dear Philocles, the time when reason, virtue, and pleasure my warmth is not so great as to run away were the same thing with you : when you with my reason : it is only just raised enough counted nothing good but what pleased ; nor to open my faculties, and fit them to receive any thing reasonable but what you gained by : those eternal truths, and that durable_good when you made a jest of a mind, and the plea- which you so triumphantly boast of. Begin sures of reflection; and elegantly placed your then, I am prepared. sole happiness, like the rest of the animal cre Phil. I will, I believe; Horatio, with all ation, in the gratification of sense.
your scepticism about you, you will allow that Hor. Idid so; but in our last conversation, good to be constant which is never absent from when walking upon the brow of this hill, and you, and that to be durable, which never ends looking down on that broad rapid river, and but with your being. yon widely extended, beautifully varied plain,
Hor. Yes, go on. you taught me another doctrine: you showed Phil. That can never be the good of a me, that self-denial, which above all things I creature, which when present, the creature abhorred, was really the greatest good, and may be miserable, and when absent, is certhe highest self-gratification, and absolutely tainly so. necessary to produce even my own darling Hor. I think not; but pray explain what sole good, pleasure.
you mean: for I am not much used to this Phil. True: I told you, that self-denial was abstract way of reasoning. never a duty, but when it was a natural means Phil. I mean, all the pleasures of sense. of procuring more pleasure, than we could The good of man cannot consist in the mere taste without it: that as we all strongly de- pleasures of sense ; because, when any one of sire to live, and to live only to enjoy, we those objects which you love is absent, or should take as much care about our future as cannot be come at, you are certainly miseraour present happiness ; and not build one upon ble: and if the faculty be impaired, though the ruins of the other : that we should look the object be present, you cannot enjoy it. to the end, and regard consequences : and if, So that this sensual good depends upon a through want of attention, we had erred, and thousand things without and within you, and exceeded the bounds which nature had set us, all out of your power. Can this then be the we were then obliged, for our own sakes, to good of man? Say, Horatio, what think you, is refrain, or deny ourselves a present momen- not this a chequered, fleeting, fantastical good? tary pleasure, for a future, constant, and du- Can that, in any propriety of speech, be call. rable good.
ed the good of man, which even, while he is
tasting, he may be miserable ; and which, consists in acting up to their chief faculty, or when he cannot taste, he is necessarily so that faculty which distinguishes them from all Can that be our good, which costs us a great creatures of a different species. The chief deal of pains to obtain ; which cloys in pos- faculty in man is his reason; and consequentsessing; for which we must wait the return ly, his chief good; or, that which may be justly of appetite, before we can enjoy again? Or, called his good consists not merely in action, is that our good which we can come at without but in reasonable action. By reasonable acdifficulty; which is heightened by possession ; tions, we understand those actions, which are which never ends in weariness and disappoint preservative of the human kind, and naturally ment; and which, the more we enjoy, the bet- tend to produce real and unmixed happiness ; ter qualified we are to enjoy on?
and these actions, by way of distinction, we Hor. The latter, I think; but why do you call actions morally good. torment me thus ? Philocles, show me this Hor. You speak very clearly, Philocles ; good immediately.
but, that no difficulty may remain upon your Phil. I have showed you what it is not; it mind, pray tell me, what is the real difference is not sensual, but it is rational and moral between natural good and evil, and moral good good. It is doing all the good we can to and evil; for I know several people who use others, by acts of humanity, friendship, gene- the terms without ideas. rosity, and benevolence: this is that constant Phil. That may be: the difference lies only and durable good, which will afford content- in this, that natural good and evil, are pleasure ment and satisfaction always alike, without and pain : moral good and evil, are pleasure variation or diminution. I speak to your ex. or pain produced with intention and design. perience now, Horatio. Did you ever find For, it is the intention only that makes the yourself weary of relieving the miserable ? agent morally good or bad. Or of raising the distressed into life or happi Hor. But may not a man, with a very good ness ? Or rather, do not you find the pleasure intention, do an evil action? grow upon you by repetition; and that it is Phil. Yes; but then he errs in his judgment, greater in reflection that in the act itself? though his design be good: if his error is inIs there a pleasure upon earth to be compared vincible, or such as, all things considered, he with that which arises from the sense of could not help, he is inculpable; but, if it making others happy? Can this pleasure ever arose through want of diligence in forming his be absent, or ever end but with your being ? judgment about the nature of huinan actions, Does it not always accompany you? Doth he is immoral and culpable. not it lie down and rise with you, live as long Hor. I find, then, that in order to please as you live, give you consolation in the arti- ourselves rightly, or to do good to others mo cle of death, and remain with you in that rally, we should take great care of our opigloomy hour, when all other things are going nions. to forsake you, or you them?
Phil. Nothing concerns you more ; for, as Hor. How glowingly you paint, Philocles; the happiness or real good of men consists in methinks Horatio is amongst the enthusiasts. right action; and right action cannot be proI feel the passion: I am enchantingly con- duced without right opinion; it behoves us, vinced ; but I do not know why: overborn above all things in this world, to take care by something stronger than reason. Sure, that our own opinions of things be according some divinity speaks within me; but prithee, to the nature of things. The foundation of Philocles, give me coolly the cause, why this all virtue and happiness is thinking rightly. rational and moral good so infinitely excels He who sees an action is right, that is, matuthe mere natural or sensual.
rally tending to good, and does it because of Phil. I think, Horatio, that I have clearly that tendency, he only is a moral man; and he shown you the difference between merely na- alorie is capable of that constant, durable, and tural or sensual good, and rational or moral invariable good, which has been the subject good. Natural or sensual pleasure continues of this conversation. no longer than the action itself; but this di Hor. How, my dear philosophical guide, vine or moral pleasure continues when the ac- shall be able to know, and determine certainly, tion is over, and swells and grows upon your what is right and wrong in life? hand by reflection: the one is inconstant, un Phil. As easily as you distinguish a circle satisfying, of short duration, and attended with from a square, or light from darkness. Look, numberless ills; the other is constant, yields Horatio, into the sacred book of nature ; read full satisfaction, is durable, and no evils pre- your own nature, and view the relation which ceding, accompanying, or following it. But other men stand in to you, and you to them, if you inquire farther into the cause of this and you will immediately see what constitutes difference, and would know why the moral human happiness, and consequently, what is pleasures are greater than the sensual ; per-right, haps the reason is the same, as in all other Hor. We are just coming into town, and creatures, that their happiness or chief good can say no more at present. You are my good
genius, Philocles, you have showed me what | by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens is good; you have redeemed me from the life. “ Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than slavery and misery of folly and vice; and made labour wears, while the used key is always me a free and happy being.
bright," as poor Richard says. “But dost thou Phil. Then am I the happiest man in the love life, then do not squander time, for that
be you steady, Horatio, never depart is the stuff life is made of," as poor Richard from reason and virtue.
says. How much more than is necessary do Hor. Sooner will I lose my existence. we spend in sleep! forgetting, that "the Good night, Philocles.
sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there Phil. Adieu, dear Horatio.
will be sleeping enough in the grave," as poor Richard says.
““If time be of all things the most precious, POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC. wasting time must be,” as poor Richard says, The Way to Wealth, as clearly shown in the “ the greatest prodigality ;" since, as he else
Preface of an old Pennsylvania Almanac, where tells us, “lost time is never found intitled, Poor Richard Improved.* again; and what we call time enough always
Courteous READER,—I have heard, that proves little enough:” let us then up and be nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as
doing, and doing to the purpose; so by dilito find his works respectfully quoted” by gence shall we do more with less perplexity. others. Judge, then, how much I must have
“ Sloth makes all things difficult, but indusbeen gratified by an incident I am going to try all easy; and he that riseth late, must trot relate to you. I stopped my horse lately, at night; while laziness travels so slowly, where a great number of people were col that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy lected, at an auction of merchant's goods. business, let not that drive thee; and early The hour of the sale not being come, they to bed,' and early to rise, makes a man were conversing on the badness of the times; healthy, wealthy, and wise,” as poor Richard and one of the company called to a plain clean old man, with white locks, “ Pray, Father sayo Abraham, what think you of the times ? Will better times? We may make these times bet
So what signifies, wishing and hoping for not these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How
ter, if we bestir ourselves. Industry need we ever be able to pay them ? What would you advise us to do?"-Father not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die Abraham stood up, and replied, "If you would fasting. There are no gains without pains; have my advice, I will give it to you, in short, I have, they are smartly taxed.
then help hands, for I have no lands," or, if " for a word to the wise is enough,” as Poor hath a trade, hath an estate; and, he that hath
“ He, that Richard says.' They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he a calling, hath an office of profit and honour,” proceeded as follows:
as poor Richard says; but then the trade • Friends," says he," the taxes are, indeed, lowed, or neither the estate nor the office
must be worked at, and the calling well fol. very heavy, and, if those laid on by the go will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are vernment were the only ones we had to pay: industrious, we shall never starve; for," at we might more easily discharge them; but the working man's house, hunger looks in, we have many others, and much more but dares not enter." Nor will the bailiff grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much debts, while despair increaseth them.
or the constable enter, for “ industry pays by our pride, and four times as much by our What though you have found no treasure, nor folly; and from these taxes the commission- has any rich relation left you a legacy, "diers cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good ligence is the mother of good luck, and God advice, and something may be done for us; while sluggards sleep, and you shall have
gives all things to industry. Then plow deep, “ God helps them that help themselves," as poor Richard says.
corn to sell and to keep.” Work while it is • 1. It would be thought a hard
called to-day, for you know not how much you
government that should tax its people one tenth part of may be hindered to-morrow. "One to-day is
worth two to-morrows," as poor Richard says; their time, to be employed in its service: but and farther, “ never leave that till to-morrow, idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, which you can do to-day.” If you were a
* Dr. Franklin for many years published the Penn. servant, would you not be ashamed that a sylvania Almanac, called Poor Richard (Saunders,]and good master should catch you idle ? Are you furnished it with various sentences and proverbs, then your own master ? Be ashamed to catch attention to one's own business, and frugality." These yourself idle, when there is so much to be sentences and proverbs he collected and digested in the done for yourself, your family, your country, above preface, which were read with much avidity, and and your king. Handle your tools without perhaps tended more to the formation of national cha. racter in America, than any other cause.
mittens; remember, that, "the cat in gloves