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As evil can never be preferred, and though on it: health of body, though so far necessary evil is often the effect of our own choice, yet that we cannot be perfectly happy without it, we never desire it, but under the appearance is not sufficient to make us happy of itself:of an imaginary good.
Happiness springs immediately from the mind: Many things we indulge ourselves in, may health is but to be considered as a condition be considered by us as evils ; and yet be de- or circumstance, without which this haj pisirable: but then, they are only considered ness cannot be tasted pure and unabated. as evils in their effects and consequences, not Virtue is the best preservative of health, as evils at present, and attended with immedi- as it prescribes temperance, and such a reguate misery.
lation of our passions as is most conducive to Reason represents things to us, not only as the well being of the animal economy. So they are at present, but as they are in their that it is at the same time the only true hapwhole nature and tendency : passion only re- piness of the mind, and the best means of pregards them in the former light; when this go- serving the health of the body. verns us, we are regardless of the future, and If our desires are for the things of this are only affected by the present.
world, they are never to be satisfied. If our It is impossible for us ever to enjoy our great view is upon those of the next, the exselves rightly, if our conduct be not such as pectation of them is an infinitely higher satisto preserve the harmony and order of our fa- faction than the enjoyment of those of the preculties, and the original frame and constitu- sent. tion of our minds : all true happiness, as all There is no true happiness then but in a that is truly beautiful, can only result from virtuous and self-approving conduct; unless order,
our actions will bear the test of our sober judg. Whilst there is a conflict betwixt the two ments and reflections upon them, they are not principles of passion and reason, we must be the actions, and consequently not the happimiserable, in proportion to the ardour of the ness of a rational being. struggle, and when the victory is gained, and reason is so far subdued, as seldom to trouble us with its remonstrances, the happiness we
On Self-Denial.- From the Pennsylvania have then attained, is not the happiness of our
Gazette, Feb. 18, 1734. rational nature, but the happiness only of the It is commonly asserted, that without selfinferior and sensual part of us; and conse- denial there is no virtue, and that the greater quenily a very low and imperfect happiness, the self-denial is, the greater is the virtue. compared with that which the other would If it were said, that he who cannot deny have afforded us.
himself any thing he inclines to, though be If we reflect upon any one passion and dis- knows it will be to his hurt, has not the virposition of mind abstracted from virtue, we tue of resolution or fortitude, it would be in. shall soon see the disconnexion between that telligible enough; but as it stands, the propo and true solid happiness; it is of the very es- sition seems obscure or erroneous. sence, for instance, of envy to be uneasy and Let us consider some of the virtues singly. disquieted: pride meets with provocations If a man has no inclination to wrong people and disturbances upon almost every occasion : in his dealings; if he feels no temptation to it, covetousness is ever attended with solicitude and therefore never does it, can it be said, that and anxiety: ambition has its disappointments he is not a just man? if he is a just man, bas to sour us, but never the good fortune lo sa- | he not the virtue of justice ? tisfy us; its appetite grows the keener by in- If to a certain man, idle diversions have no dulgence, and all we can gratify it with at thing in them that is tempting, and therefore present, serves but the more to inflame its in- he never relaxes his application to business satiable desires.
for their sake, is he not an industrious man; The passions, by being too much convers. or has he not the virtue of industry? ant with earthly objects, can never fix in us a I might in like manner instance in all the proper composure, and acquiescence of mind. rest of the virtues; but to make the thing Nothing but an indifference to the things of short, as it is certain, that the more we strive this world, an entire submission to the will of against the temptation to any vice, and prac. Providence here, and a well-grounded expec. tise the contrary virtue, the weaker will that tation of happiness hereafter, can give us a temptation be, and the stronger will be that true satisfactory enjoyment of ourselves. Vira habit; till at length the temptation hath no tue is the best guard against the many un- force, or entirely vanishes: does it follow avoidable evils incident to us; nothing better from thence, that in our endeavours to overalleviates the weight of the afflictions, or gives coine vice, we grow continually less and less a truer relish of the blessings of human life. virtuous, till at length we have no virtue at
What is without us has not the least con- all ? nexion with happiness, only so far as the pre- If self-denial be the essence of virtue, then servation of our lives and health depends up- it follows, that the man who is naturally tom.
derate, just, &c., is not virtuous, but that in , lution ; but the most perfect virtue is above order to be virtuous, he must, in spite of his all temptation; such as the virtue of the saints natural inclinations, wrong his neighbours, in heaven: and he who does any foolish, inand eat and drink, &c., to excess.
decent, or wicked thing, merely because it is But, perhaps it may be said, that by the contrary to his inclination, like some mad enword virtue, in the above assertion, is meant thusiasts I have read of, who ran about in pubmerit, and so it should stand; thus without lic naked, under the notion of taking up the self-denial there is no merit; and the greater cross, is not practising the reasonable science the self-denial the greater the merit. of virtue, but is lunatic.
The self-denial here meant must be, when Newcastle, Feb. 5. our inclinations are towards vice, or else it would still be nonsense.
By merit is understood desert; and when Rivalship in Almanac making.–From Poor we say a man merits, we mean that he de
Richard's Almanac, 1742. serves praise or reward.
COURTEOUS READER,—This is the ninth We do not pretend to merit any thing of year of my endeavours to serve thee in the caGod, for he is above our services, and the be-pacity of a calendar-writer. The encouragenefits he confers on us are the effects of his ment I have met with must be ascribed, in a goodness and bounty.
great measure, to your charity, excited by the All our merit then is with regard to one open, honest declaration I made of my poverty another, and from one to another.
at my first appearance. This my brother PhiTaking then the proposition as it stands—lomaths could, without being conjurers disIf a man does me a service, from a natu- cover; and Poor Richard's success, bas
proral benevolent inclination, does he deserve duced ye a Poor Will, and a Poor Robin ; less of me than another, who does me the like and no doubt, Poor John. &c., will follow, kindness against his inclination?
and we shall all be, in nume, what some folks If I have two journeymen, one naturally say we are already in fact, a parcel of poor industrious, the other idle, but both perform almanac makers. During the course of these a day's work equally good, ought I to give nine years, what buffetings have l not sustain. the latter the most wages?
ed! The fraternity have been all in arms. Indeed lazy workmen are commonly ob- Honest Titan, deceased, was raised, and made served to be more extravagant in their de- to abuse his old friend. Both authors and mands than the industrious; for if they have printers were angry. Jard names, and many, not more for their work, they cannot live as were bestowed on me. They denied me to well as the industrious. But though it be be the author of my oun works; declared true to a proverb, that lazy folks take the there never was any such person ; asserted most pains, does it follow that they deserve that I was dead sixty years ago; prognostithe most money? If you were to employ cated my death to happen within a twelveservants in affairs of trust
, would you pay month: with many other malicious inconsismore wages to one you knew was naturally tencies, the effects of blind passion, envy at m. honest, than for one naturally roguish, but success; anda vain hope of depriving me,dea who had lately acted honestly : for currents reader, of thy wonted countenance and favour. whose natural channels are dammed
till – Who knows him ? they cry: Where does he a new course is by time worn sufficiently live ?—But what is that to them? If I delight deep, and become natural, are apt to break in a private life, have they any right to drag their banks. If one servant is more valuable me out of my retirement? I have good reathan another, has he not more merit than the sons for concealing the place of my abode. other, and yet this is not on account of supe- It is time for an old man, as I am, to think of rior self-denial.
preparing for his great remove. Is a patriot not praiseworthy, if public spi-, tual teasing of both neighbours and strangers, rit is natural to him?
to calculate nativities, give judgments on Is a pacing horse less valuable for being a schemes, and erect figures, discover thieves, natural pacer?
detect horse-stealers, describe the route of Nor in my opinion has any man less merit runaways and strayed cattle; the crowd of for having in general naturally virtuous in- visiters with a thousand trifling questions ; clinations.
Will my ship return safe? Will my mare The truth is, that temperance, justice, cha- win the race? Will her next colt be a pacer ? rity, &c., are virtues whether practised with When will my wife die? Who shall be my or against our inclinations, and the man who husband? and HOW LONG first? When practises them, merits our love and esteem : is the best time to cut hair, trim cocks, or and self-denial is neither good nor bad, but sow salad ? These and the like impertinences as it is applied. He that denies a vicious in. I have now neither taste nor leisure for. I clination, is virtuous in proportion to his reso- I have had enough of them. All that thesc
angry folks can say, will never provoke me,ings had been made a sacrifice to support bis to tell them where I live-[ would eat my carcase, and how much corn and wine had nails first.
been mingled with those offerings. He had My last adversary is J. J- -1, philomat. not quite lost all the arithmetic that he learnwho declares and protests (in his preface, ed when he was a boy, and he set himself to 1741) that the false prophecy put in my al- compute what he had devoured since he came manac, concerning him, the year before, is to the age of man. altogether false and untrue: and that I am “ About a dozen feathered creatures, small one of Baal's false prophets. This false, and great, have one week with another (said
false prophecy he speaks of, related to his re- he) given up their lives to prolong mine, conciliation with the church of Rome ; which, which in ten years amounts to at least six notwithstanding his declaring and protesting, thousand. is, I fear, too true. Two things in his ele- • Fifty sheep have been sacrificed in a giac verses confirm me in this suspicion. year, with half a hecatomb of black cattle, He calls the first of November All-Hallows that I might have the choicest part offered day. Reader, does not this smell of popery ? weekly upon my table. Thus a thousand Does it in the least savour of the pure lan- beasts out of the rock and the herd have been guage of Friends ? But the plainest thing is, slain in ten years time to feed me, besides his adoration of saints, which he confesses to what the forest has supplied me with. Many be his practice, in these words, page 4.
hundreds of fishes have in all their varieties, When any trouble did ine befall,
been robbed of life for my repast, and of the To my dear Mary then I would call: smaller fry as many thousands. Did he think the whole world were so stupid " A measure of corn would hardly afford is not to take notice of this ? So ignorant as fine flour enough for a month's provision, and not to know, that all catholics pay the high- this arises to above six score bushels; and est regard to the Virgin Mary? "Ah! friend many hogsheads of ale and wine, and other John, we must allow you to be a poet, but liquors, have passed through this body of you are certainly no protestant.
I could mine, this wretched strainer of meat and heartily wish your religion were as good as
drink. your verses. RICHARD SAUNDERS.
“ And what have I done all this time for God or man? What a vast profusion of good
things upon an useless life, and a worthless The Waste of Life.
liver? There is not the meanest creature ANERGUS was a gentleman of a good es- among all these which I have devoured, but tate, he was bred to no business, and could hath answered the end of its creation better not contrive how to waste his hours agreea- than I. It was made to support human nably; he had no relish for any of the proper ture, and it hath done so. Every crab and works of life, nor any taste at all for the im- oyster I have eat, and every grain of corn I provements of the mind; he spent generally have devoured, hath filled up its place in the ten hours of the four-and-twenty in his bed; rank of beings with more propriety and honour he dozed away two or three more on his couch, than I have done: 0 shameful waste of life and as many were dissolved in good liquor every and time!" evening, if he met with company of his own In short, he carried on his moral reflections humour. Five or six of the rest he saunter- with so just and severe a force of reason, as ed away with much indolence: the chief busi- constrained him to change his whole course ness of them was to contrive his meals, and of life, to break off his follies at once, and to to feed his fancy before-hand, with the pro- apply himself to gain some useful knowledge, mise of a dinner and supper ; not that he was when he was more than thirty years of age; he so very a glutton, or so entirely devoted to lived many following years, with the character appetite; but chiefly because he knew not of a worthy man, and an excellent Christian ; how to employ his thoughts better, he let he performed the kind offices of a good neighthem rove about the sustenance of his body. bour at home, and made a shining figure as a Thus he had made a shift to wear off ten patriot in the senate-house, he died with a years since the paternal estate fell into his peaceful conscience, and the tears of his counhands : and yet according to the abuse of try were dropped upon his tomb. words in our day, he was called a man of vir- The world, that knew the whole series of tue, because he was scarce ever known to be his life, stood amazed at the mighty change. quite drunk, nor was his nature much inclined They beheld him as a wonder of reformation, to lewdness.
while he himself confessed and adored the di. One evening as he was musing along, his vine power and mercy, which had transformthoughts happened to take a most unusual ed him from a brute to a man. turn, for they cast a glance backward, and be- But this was a single instance; and we gan to reflect on his manner of life. He be- may almost venture to write MIRACLE upon it. thought himself what a number of living be- Are there not numbers of both sexes among
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: less 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 Cui pulchrum fuit in Medios dormire dies, &c.
Hor. A paradox indeed! better than I do
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 ihem. 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? SupLiisisti salus, edisti satis atque bibisti ; Tempus abire libi.
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 marching off:
better, for worse; minding no consequences,
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 free from preferable to another ? Or, does that miserapresent embarrassments and future cares; I ble son of pleasure appear as reasonable and Ảnow 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 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
And is every thing to be measured by mere in truth, the kindest and most beautiful mistress fancy and opinion, without considering whe- in the world. ther that fancy or opinion be right?
Hor. Prithee, Philocles, do not wrap your. Hor. Hardly so neither, I think; yet sure self in allegory and metaphor : why do you the wise and good Author of nature could teaze me thus! I long to be satisfied, what is never make us to plague us. He could never this philosophical self-denial; the necessity give us passions, on purpose to subdue and and reason of it; I am impatient, and all on conquer them; nor produce this self of mine, fire; explain, therefore, in your beautiful na. or any other self, only that it may be denied; tural easy way of reasoning, what I am to unfor, that is denying the works of the great derstand by this grave lady of yours, with so Creator himselt. Self-denial then, which is forbidding “downcast looks, and yet, so absowhat I suppose you mean by prudence, seems lutely necessary to my pleasures, I stand reato me not only absurd, but very dishonourable dy to embrace her; for you know, pleasure I to that supreme wisdom and goodness which court under all shapes and forms. is supposed to make so ridiculous and contra- Phil. Attend then, and you will see the dictory a creature, that must be always fight- reason of this philosophical self-denial. There ing with himself in order to be at rest, and can be no absolute perfection in any creature; undergo voluntary hardships in order to be because every creature is derived from somehappy : are we created sick, only to be com- thing of a superior existence, and dependant manded to be sound? Are we born under one on that source for its own existence: no crelaw, our passions, and yet bound to another, ated being can be all-wise, all-good, and allthat of reason? Answer me, Philocles, for 1 powerful, because his powers and capacities am warmly concerned for the honour of nature, are finite and limited: consequently whatever the mother of us all.
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 sind 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 so 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, you take it, as understood by philosophers, which you strongly desire; because it is inand men of sense, you will presently see her consistent with your health, convenience, 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