The characters, or, The manners of the age by Monsieur de la Bruyere ... made English by several hands ; with the characters of Theophrastus, translated from the Greek, and a prefatory discourse to them, by Monsieur de la Bruyere ; to which is added, a key to his Characters.
La Bruyère, Jean de, 1645-1696., Theophrastus. Characters. English.
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THE CHARACTERS, OR THE Manners of the Age.

BY Monsieur DE LA BRVYERE, of the French Academy. Made English by several hands.

WITH THE Characters of Theophrastus, Translated from the Greek.

AND A Prefatory Discourse to them, by Monsieur de la Bruyere.

To which is added, A Key to his Characters.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Bullord, and Sold by Matt. Gilliflower in Westminster-Hall; Ben. Tooke, next the Temple Gate; Christopher Bateman, at the Bible in Pater-noster-Row; and Richard Parker at the Unicorn, on the Royal Exchange, Booksellers, MDC LXXXXIX.

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AFter so many Editions of Mon∣sieur de la Bruyere in his own Language, as Paris and Brussels have produc'd, and the approbation of as many as have read him, 'twou'd be impertinent to say much of him.

His design was to make his Rea∣der a Wise, a Good man, and a fine Gentleman and his manner of pro∣secuting it is entirely new: No Au∣thor on his subject has come up to his Force and Delicacy, nor has any so agreeably varied his Stile. He very well knew, that tho Arts and Page  [unnumbered] Sciences daily improve, yet Vice and Folly get footing in the World: that men will hardly be corrected, unless they are entertain'd at the same time, and therefore has often Brib'd their Spleen to rid them of their Immoralities and Indecencies, that so being pleas'd to see those of others severely lash'd, they might be perswaded to go a little farther, and find themselves under Correction.

He is an Author, so very diffi∣cult, that several who are familiar∣ly acquainted with the French Tongue, can't easily understand him, and perhaps want leisure or appli∣cation to study him; and indeed nothing but his extraordinary merit cou'd have induc'd the Translators to undertake him: they thought our English World had better take up with an indifferent Translation of such an Author, than want one; and Page  [unnumbered] were encourag'd to hope, that the Readers would find something even in such an one, which would a∣tone for their faults in the perfor∣mance, especially if they would be so kind as to believe, that a great many seeming obscurities in the fol∣lowing Sheets, are owing to the short turns, and curt manner of writing, very frequent in our Author.

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A KEY to the Cha∣racters or Manners of the Age.

  • PAge 6. line 16. A Certain Magistrate. Mr Poncel.
  • 8 1. There never was seen any piece, &c. This is a reflection on the Dictionary of the French Academy.
  • 9. 20. A Modern Wit. Mr. Perault of the Academy.
  • —29. Some Learned Men. Ms Racine and Boileau, who writ in favour of the Anti∣ents, against Perault.
  • 13. 15. Arsenes. Mr de Treville.
  • 14. 17. Theocrines. Mr L'abbe Dangeau.
  • 16. 4 & 7. Capys and Damys. Ms Bourfault and Boileau.
  • —11. News-Monger. The Author of the Journal des Scavans at Paris.
  • 20. 5. Two Writers. La Mothe le Vayer and Malebranche.
  • 21. 12. Amphion. Seigneur Baptiste Lulle.
  • Page  [unnumbered]32. 17. A man born a Christian. Mr Boi∣leau, who the Author commonly calls Despre∣aux.
  • —24. Dorila and Handburg. Varillas and Mainbourg.
  • 38. 25. A man of Merit. Mr Pelletier.
  • 40. 8. Your Son lisps. Mr de Harlay, .... General.
  • — 12. Xanthus. The Marq. of Coustanvaue.
  • — 21. Crassus. The Marq. de Louvois
  • 41. 32. One that hath not all the Learning. The Archbishop of Rheims.
  • 42. 4. Trophimus. Cardinal Le Camus
  • — 6. Philemon. Son to the late L Viscount Stafford.
  • 43. 19. Another is humble. Father Mabillon.
  • 44. 10. Aemilius. The late Prince of Conde.
  • 45. 19. The Race of the Gods. The Sons of Princes.
  • 46. 31. Mopsus. The Abbot of St. Pierre.
  • 47. 26. Celsus. The Baron of Bretueil, Rea∣der to the King, Envoy to Mantua.
  • 49. 1. Menippus. The Marshal of Villeroy.
  • 59. 22. Roscius. Baron, a Player.
  • — 33. Claudia. The Dutchess of Bouillon.
  • — 34. Messalina. The Mareshale de la Ferte.
  • — 34. Bahyllus. Precourt, the Dancing-waster.
  • 60. 7. Cobus. Beauchamp.
  • — 13. Draco. Philbert.
  • 61. 14. Some Women. The Dutchess of Au∣mont.
  • 68. 28. A Woman with Learning. Madam Scudery.
  • Page  [unnumbered]72. 30. 'Tis certain that a Woman, &c. Madame de Villedieu.
  • 75. 16. There are those Women, &c. The President of Boquemar's Lady.
  • 76. 5. Madam L— The President Am∣bray's Lady.
  • 93. 9. Drances. The Count de Tonnerre, first Gentleman of the Bed-chamber to the Duke of Orleans.
  • 100. 30. Theodectas. Mr D' Aubigne, Bro∣ther to Madam de Maintenon.
  • 106. 21. Theodemus. The Abbot Robbe.
  • 107. 13. I know a man, &c. The Abbot de Rubec.
  • 110. 20. Two men liv'd, &c. Messieurs Courtin and St. Romain, Counsellors of State.
  • 112. 16 G— and H— Messieurs Herve and Vedeau, Councellors in the Parliament of Paris.
  • 118. 31. Hermagoras. 'Tis thought the Author reflects in this place upon Isaac Vosius; others think 'tis upon Mr Chevreaux, who writ he History of the World; and others think it was levell'd at Father Pezron, Author of the Book entituled, The Antiquity of Times restor'd.
  • 124. 23. A man is ugly, &c. The Duke of Vanladour.
  • — 31. N— Monsieur de St. Pouange, Secretary to Monsieur Louvois.
  • 125. 15. S. T. P. The Partisans and Financiers.
  • — 30. Arsurea, Madam Belizani.
  • 126. 12. Cresus. Monsieur Monteron.
  • — 22. Champagne. Mr Monneot.
  • Page  [unnumbered]— 31. Silvanus. Mr George, a Partisan, or Farmer of the Kings Revenue, call'd now Mr Dantaigne, Son-in-Law to the Marquis of Valance.
  • 127. 11. Periander. Mr de L' anglee.
  • 129. 19. This Youth, &c. The Arch-bishop of Rheims.
  • — 31. Chrysippus. Mr L' anglois, one of the Kings Farmers, Father-in-Law to the Marshal Tourville.
  • 130. 14. Ergastus. The Baron de Beauvais.
  • 131. 1. Brontin. Mr de Berrier, a Partisan.
  • —9. S. T. P. Partisans.
  • —14. The man, &c. Mr Fouquet.
  • 137. 26. Fauconets. Messieurs Berthelot, who have enrich'd themselves in the Kings Farms un∣der that name.
  • 138. 33. Orontes. Mr Melaravoye, one of the Farmers of the Revenue.
  • 142. 6. We can't perceive in those persons, &c. Mr Morin, a famous Gamester, very well known in England.
  • 143. 7. How many thousands, &c. The President Robert.
  • 150. 24. In the City, &c. The Advocates and Officers.
  • 151. 31. There are a certain number, &c. The President de Meme, and others.
  • 152. 20. The Crispins. Messieurs Malo, Offi∣cers of the Robe.
  • — 30. The Sannions. Monsieur Le Clerc de Lesseville, whose Grandfather was a Tanner at Meulan.
  • Page  [unnumbered]154. 13. Another of them, &c. Mr de Nouveau, Governour of the Post Office.
  • 156. 19. There is a man, &c. The lte Prince of Meckelburg.
  • 170. 12. A Courtier. The Duke of Bouillon.
  • 177 31. Artemon The Marquis of Vades, who put in to be Governour to the Duke of Bur∣gundy.
  • 181. 26. Timantes. The late Duke of Luxem∣bourgh.
  • 183. 2. Tibur. Meudon.
  • — 4. Plancus. Mr de Louvoy.
  • — 28. Theodotus. The Abbot of Chorsy of the French Academy, Author of the Lives of Phi∣lip de Valois, and some of his Successors.
  • 187. 6. Xanthippus. Mr Bontemps, Gover∣nour of Versailles.
  • 188. 7. I have heard talk of a Country, &c. V••sailles.
  • 194. 16. Aristides. Mr de Pomponne, Mi∣nister of State.
  • 195. 8. Straton. Mr de Lauzun, whose A∣mours with Mademoiselle de Montpen••er made so great a noise in the World. He was several yeas close Prisoner in the Cittadel of Pignerol, and afterwards sent into Ireland to command the French Forces under the late King James.
  • 200. 30. Theophilus. The Bishop of Autu.
  • 201. 26. A Person of Quality. The late King James.
  • 203. 4. Antiphon. Mr de la Feuillade.
  • 204 24. Of Hannibal, Caesar, &c. The Au∣thor Page  [unnumbered] characterizes certain Noblemen, who assume the names of Gods and Demigods.
  • 213. 13. Theognis. The late Archbishop of Pa∣ris, Francis de Harlay.
  • 214. 7. Pamphilus. The Marquis of Dangeau.
  • 223. 12. Demophilus. The Abbot of St. Helen, who was dissatisfied with the Ministers of State.
  • 224. 20. Basilidius. Councellour Aubray.
  • 225. 26. That such a Prince, &c. The Duke of Savoy.
  • — 27. A second. The King of Spain.
  • — 29. A third. The present King of Eng∣land.
  • 239. 23. A good Monarch. The King of France.
  • 245. 12. Menalcas. The Count de Brancas, Chevalier d' Honneur to the Queen Mother.
  • 165. 32. A man dy'd at Paris, &c. The late Prince of Conde.
  • 276. 20 Some men. Mr de Feuillade.
  • 277. 24. 'Tis easier for some men, &c. The late Archbishop of Paris, Francis de Har∣lay.
  • 278. 5. Some men, &c. The Cardinal de Bouillon and the Bishop of Noyon.
  • — 12. Others begin their lives, &c. The Counts of Guiche and Bussy Rabutin.
  • 284. 1. Phidippus. The Abbot Dance.
  • — 15. Gnathon. The Marquis de Sable.
  • 285. 20. Cliton. Ms D' Olonne and du Broussin.
  • 298. 11. Adrastus. Mr. Derbarreau.
  • 308. 9. Antisthene. Mr de la Bruyere, Au∣thor of this Book.
  • Page  [unnumbered]—16. Berylle. The Abbot Rubec.
  • —27. A Lacuey is made, &c. Mr Ber∣rier, who had been a Footman.
  • —31. One enriches himself. Benoist.
  • — 32. The Mountebank. Barbereau the Empirick.
  • 309. 28. If the Ambassadors, &c. Those of Siam.
  • 310. 28. When the Bishop, &c. Cardinal le Camus.
  • 314. 12. Gravity too much affected. The first President of the Parliament of Paris.
  • 320. 24. There is a thing, &c. Mr de la Fontaine.
  • — 32. Another is foolish, timerous, &c. Mr Corneille, Senior.
  • 321. 24. Theodas. Mr Santeuil de St Victor, one of the best Latin Poets alive.
  • 322. 15. Such an one, &c. Mr Peletier de Soucy and his Brother the Minister of State.
  • 325. 5. Socrates. The Author speaks of himself and of his Book in the three following Para∣graphs.
  • 328. 23. What surprizing success, &c. The late Chancellor of France, Mr Le Tellier.
  • 357. 12. When a Courtier becomes humble. The Duke of Beauvilliers, President of the Kings Councel, and Governour to the Duke of Burgundy.
  • 369. 4. Some men, &c. Mr de L'Anglois de Rieux.
  • 372. 20. A Brisk Jolly Priest. Mr Hameau Curate of S. Pauls.
  • 386. 8. Titius. Monsieu Hennequin.
  • 389. 13. Hermippus. Mr Dasserville.
  • Page  [unnumbered]397. 15. Till such time, &c. Mr Le Tour∣ner, deceas'd some years ago.
  • 398. 4. Apostolick Man. Father Seraphin, a Capuchin.
  • 401. 7. The man must have some Wit. The Abbot Bavyn, and others.
  • 402. 13. A soft Effeminate Morality. The Abbot Flechier, Bishop of Nismes.
  • — 26. The Heroick Virtue. The Abbot Roquerre, Nephew to the Bishop of Authun.
  • 405. 24. A man starts up, &c. Pontier, Author of the Cabinet of Princes.


〈◊〉 183. l. . for at iburs read the Tyber l. 3. for with 〈…〉 there: for the blank l. 19. r. Hurn: and for 〈…〉 l. 20. r Iroquois: p. 231. l. 16. dele not: p. 265. 〈…〉waking r. watching: p. 272. l. 12. for she r. be.

Page  1

THE CHARACTERS, OR, Manners of the Age.

I Borrow'd the subject matter of this Book from the Publick, and I now restore it what it lent me. Indeed having finish'd the whold Work, with the utmost regard to truth, that I was capable of, 'tis but just I should make it this restitution. The world may view here the Picture I have drawn of it from Nature, and if I have hit on any defects, which it agrees with me to be such, it may at leisure correct them. This is what a man ought chiefly to pro∣pose to himself in writing, tho he can't al∣ways be sure of success. However, as long as men distaste Vice so little as they do, we should never give over reproaching them They would perhaps be worse were it not: for censure and reproof, which makes wri∣ting and preaching of absolute necessity. The Orator and Writer can't stifle the Joy they feel when they are applauded, but they ought to blush in themselves if they aim at nothing more than praise, by their discourses or writings. Besides, that the most certain and least equivocal approba∣tion is the change of Manners in their Readers or Hearers, we should neither write nor speak but for Instruction; yet we may lawfully rejoyce, if we at the same time please those to whom we address, and Page  [unnumbered] by this means make the truths we should advance, the more insinuating and the bet∣ter receiv'd, when any thoughts or reflections slide into a Book which have neither fire, nor turn, or vivacity agreea∣ble to the rest, tho they seem at first to be set there for variety, to divert our minds, and render them more attentive on what is to follow, but otherwise are not proper, sensible, or accommodated to the capacity of the people, whom we must by no means neglect, both the Reader and Author ought to condemn 'em This is one rule which I desire every one to remember. There's another which my particular Interest ob∣liges me to request, may not be forgot, that is, always to have my Title in view, and to think as often as this Book is read, that I describe the Characters, or Manners of the Age; for though I frequently take 'em from the Court of France, and men of my own Na∣tion, et they cannot be confind to any one Court or Country, without losing a great deal of the compass and usefulness of my Book, and destroying the design of the work, which is to paint Mankind in ge∣neral, as the reasons of every Chap∣ter, and the connexion which insensibly the reflections that compose them have one with another plainly demonstrate. After this so necessary a precaution, the consequences of which 'tis easie enough for any body to penetrate, I must protest against all chagrin complaint, all malicious inter∣pretation, Page  3 prejudice and scandal. Men must know how to read and hold their Tongues, or say nothing more or less than they have really read, but this caution will not sometimes be sufficient, unless the Rea∣ders are willing themselves to judge favoura∣bly. Without these conditions, which an exact and scrupulous Author is in the right to require of some people, as the on∣ly Recompence of his Labour, I que∣stion whether he ought to continue writing, if he prefers his private satisfaction to the publick good, and a zeal for promoting Truth. I confess about the year 1690 I was divided between an impatience, to give my Book another Figure, and a better form by new Characters; and a fear lest some people should say, will the Characters never be finisht? shall we never see any thing else from this Author? On one side several men of good sense told me the matter is solid, useful, pleasant, inexhaustible, live a long while, and treat on't without inter∣ruption as long as you live? What can you do better? The follies of Mankind will every year furnish you with a Volume. While o∣thers with a great deal of reason made me apprehend the capriciousness of the multi∣tude, and the levity of the people, (with whom however I have good cause to be content). These were always suggesting to me, that for these 30 years past, few have read with any other intent than for the sake of reading and that to amuse the world Page  4 there should be Chapters and a new Title that this humour of indifference had fill'd the Shops, and stockt the Age with Piles of dull and tedious Books without stile or meaning, rules or order, contrary to de∣cency or manners, written in haste, read with precipitation, and taking a while only for their Novelty. They added further, if I could not enlarge a sensible Book, I had best sit quiet and do nothing I in some mea∣sure took both their Advices, as opposite as they seem to be, and observ'd a medium which disagrees with neither. I don't pre∣tend to have added any new Remarks to those which already had doubled the bulk of the first Edition of my Book, but that the publick might not be oblig'd to read over what was done before, to come at what has been added since, and that they may imme∣diately find out what they would only read, I have taken care to distinguish the 2d aug∣mentation by a greater mark, and the first by a less, as well to shew the progress of my Characters, as to guide the Reader in the choice, he might be willing to make. And lest they should be afraid I shall never have done with these additions, I add to all my ex∣actness, the sincere promise to venture on no∣thing more of this kind. If any one accuses me with breaking my word, by adding in the sixth Edition a few remarks, I confess inge∣nuously I had not the power to suppress 'em. He may perceive, by mingling what was new with what was old, without any mark of di∣stinction, Page  5 I did not so much endeavour to entertain the world with novelties, as to deliver down to posterity a Book of Manners more pure, regular and compleat. To con∣clude, what I have written are not design'd for Maxims; those are like Laws in Morality, and I have neither Genius nor Authority sufficient to qualifie me for a Legislator. I know well enough I have offended against the customs of Maxims, which are deliver'd in short and concise terms, like the manner of Oracles. Some of my remarks are of this kind, others are more extended. We think things differently one from another, and we express 'em in a turn altogether as different By a Sentence, an Argument, a Metaphor, or some other Figure, a Parallel, a simple Comparison, by one continud in all parts, or in a single passage, by a Description or a Picture, from whence proceeds the length or shortness of my Reflexions. Those who write Maxims would be thought infallible; on the contrary, I allow any body to say of me, my Remarks are not always good, provided he will himself make better.

Page  6

OF Polite Learning.

WE are come too late, after above seven thousand years that there have been men, and men have thought, to say any thing which has not been said already. The finst and most beautiful thoughts concerning man∣ners are carry'd away before us, and we can do nothing now, but glean after the An∣cients, and the most ingenious of the Mo∣derns.

* We must only endeavour to think and speak justly our selves, without aiming to bring others over to our taste and sentiment; We shall find that too great an enterprize.

* To make a Book, is like making a Pendulum, a Man must have Experience, as well as Wit to succeed in it.* A certain Magistrate arri∣ving by his merit to the first dignities of the Gown, thought himself qualifyd for every thing; He printed a Treatise of Morality, and publish'd himself a Coxcomb.

* Tis not so easie to raise a reputation by a compleat work, as to make an indif∣ferent Page  7 one valu'd by a reputation already ac∣quir'd.

* A Satire or a Libel, when 'tis handed pri∣vately from one to another with strict charge of secrecy, if 'tis but mean in it self, passes for wonderful; the printing it would ruin its rputation.

* Take away from most of our Moral Es∣says, the Advertisement to the Reader, the Epistle Dedicatory, the Preface, the Table and the Commendatory Verses, there will seldom be enough left to deserve the name of a Book.

* Several things are insupportable if they are but indifferent, as Poetry, Music, Paint∣ing and Public Speeches.

'Tis the worst punishment in the world to hear a dull Declamation deliver'd with Pomp and Solemnity, and bad Verses rehears'd with the Emphasis of a wretched Poet.

* Some Poets in their Dramatic pieces are fond of big Words and ounding Verses, which seem strong, elevated and sublime; The peo∣ple stare, gape, and hear 'em greedily; They are transported at what they fancy is rare, and where they understand leat, are sure to amire most They scarce allow themselves time to breathe, and are loth to be interrupt∣ed by Claps or Applauses: When I was young I imagin'd these places were clear and intelli∣gible to the Author, the Pit, Boxes and Gal∣leries; that the Actors understood 'em, and that I was in the wrong to know nothing of the matter after much attention: But I am now undeceiv'd.

Page  8* There never was seen any piece excellent in its kind, that was the joint labour of seve∣ral men: Homer writ his Iliads, Virgil his Ene∣idsLivy his Decades, and Cicero his Orations.

* As there is in Nature, so there is in rt, a point of Perfection. He who is sensible of it, and is toucht with it has a good taste: He who is not sensible of it, but is wavering, has a vi∣cious taste. Since then there is a good and a bad taste, we may with reason dispute the difference.

* Every one has more fire than judgment, or rather there are few men of Wit, who are good Criticks.

The Lives of Heroes have enrich'd History, and History has adorn'd the Actions of Heroes: And thus 'tis difficult to tell who are most in∣debted, the Historians to those who furnish'd 'em with such noble materials, or the Great Men to their Historians.

* 'Tis a sorry commendation that is made up of a heap of Epithetes; 'tis actions and the manner of relating 'em, which speak a mans praise.

* The chief Art of an Author consists in making good definitions, good pictures. Moses, Homer, Plato, Virgil and Horace, excel other Writers mostly in their Expressions and I∣mages. Truth is the best guide to make a man write forcibly, naturally and delicately.

* We should do by Stile, as we have done by Architecture, banish entirely the Gothick order, which the Barbarians introduc'd in their Palaces and Temples, and recall the Dorick, Page  9 Ionick and Corinthian. Let what we see in the Ruines of ancient Rome and old Greece shine in our Porticoes and Peristils, and become Mo∣dern: Since we cannot arrive to perfection, or, if possible, surpass the Ancients in Building or Writing, but by imitating them.

How many Ages were lost in Ignorance before men could come back to the taste of the Ancients in the Arts and Sciences, or re∣cover at last the Simple and the Natural.

We nourish our selves by the Ancients and ingenious Moderns; we draw from 'em as much as we can, and at their expence in the end become Authors: Then we quickly think we can walk alone, and without help: We oppose our benefactors, and treat 'em like those Children, who grown pert and strong with the Milk they have suckt, turn themselves against their Nurses.

'Tis the practice of a Modern Wit to prove the Ancients inferiour to us by two ways,* Reason and Example. He takes the Reason from his particular Opinion, and the Example from his Writings.

He confesses the Ancients, as unequal and incorrect as they are, have a great many good lines; he cites them, and they appear so fine, that they ruine his Criticisms.

Some learned Men declare in favour of the Ancients against the Moderns: But we are afraid they judge in their own Cause; and so many of their Works are made after the Mo∣del of Antiquity, that we except against their Authority.

Page  10* An Author should be fond of reading his Works to those who know how to correct and esteem em.

He that will not be corrected, nor advis'd in his Writings is a Pednt.

An Author ought to receive with equal Modesty the Praises and the Criticisms, which are past on his productions.

* Amongst all the different expressions which can render any one of our thoughts, there is but one good; we are not always so fortunate as to hit upon't in writing or speak∣ing. However, 'tis true that it exists, That all the rest are weak, and will not satisfie a man of sense, who would make himself understood.

A good Author who writes with care, when he meets with the Expression he has searcht after for some time without knowing it, finds it at last the most simple and the most natu∣ral, and fancies it ought to have presented it self to him at first without search or en∣quiry.

Those who write by Humour, are frequent∣ly subject to revise their Works, and give 'em new touches: And as their Humours are never fix'd, but vary on every slight occasion, they quickly spoil their Writings by new ex∣pressions and terms which they like better than the former.

* The same true sense which makes an Au∣thor write a great many good things, tells him that there are not enough to deserve reading.

Page  11A Man of little sense is ravish'd with him∣self, and thinks his Writings divine; a Man of good sense is harder to be pleas'd, and would only be reasonable.

* One, says Aristus, engagd me to read my Book to Zoilus: I read it; he was satisfy'd, and before he had leisure to dislike it, he com∣mended it coldly in my presence; since that, he takes no notice ont, nor says a word in its favour; however I excuse him; I desire no more of an Author, and even pity him the hearing so many fine things, which were not his own making.

Such, as by their circumstances are free from the Jealousies of an Author, have other cares and passions to distract 'em, and make 'em cold towards another Man's conceptions: 'Tis difficult to find a person whose fortune and good humour put him in a condition, to taste all the pleasure a compleat pice can give him.

* The pleasure of Criticising takes away the pleasure of being sensibly charm'd with very fine productions.

* Many Men who perceive the Beauies of a Manuscript, when they hear it read, will not declare themselves in its favour, till they see what success it has in the world when 'tis printed, and what Character the Ingeni∣ous give it: They will not hazard their Votes before its Fortune is made, and they are car∣ry'd away with the Croud, or engagd by the Multitude. Then they are very forward to publish how early they were in their appro∣bation, Page  12 and how glad they are to find the World is of their opinion.

These men lose a fair opportunity to con∣vince us they are persons of capacity and in∣sight, that they make a true judgment, and distinguish an excellent thing from one that is good. A fine piece falls into their hands, the Authors first work, before he has got a name, or they are yet prepossest in his behalf; he has not endeavour'd to make his court to the great men by flattering their Writings; nei∣ther is it requird that they should proclaim to please some man of Quality or Topping Wit, who has declar'd himself in its favour, This is a Master-piece: Humane Wit never went so far: We will judge of no bodies opinion, but in propor∣tion to what thoughts he has of this Book. Extra∣vagant and offensive expressions, which smell of the Pension or the Abbey, and are injuri∣ous to what is really commendable. Why did they not profess it by themselves, when they might have been alone in their praises, why did they not then commend it? 'Tis true, at last they cry aloud, tis an admirable Book, when the whole Kingdom has approvd it; when foreigners as well as their own Coun∣rymen are fond of it; when 'tis printed all over Europe, translated into all Languages; in short, when tis too late, and the Author is not oblig'd to em for their Applauses.

* Some of 'em read a Book, collect certain lines which they don't understand, and rob 'em of their value by what they put in of their own: yet these lines so broken and disguis'd, Page  13 that they are indeed their proper stile and thoughts, they expose to censure, maintain 'em to be bad, and as they cite 'em the World readily agree with them: But the passage they pretend to quote is never the worse for their Injustice.

* Well, says one, what's your opinion of Hermedorus's Book? That tis bad, replys An∣thimus; That 'tis bad, What d ye mean, Sir? That 'tis bad, continues he, at least it deserves not the Character people give it. Have you read it? No, says Anthimus, but Fulvia and Melania have condemn'd it without reading, and I am a Friend to Fulvia and Melania.

* Arsenes from the Altitudes of his Under∣standing contemplates Mankind,* and at the distance from whence he beholds them, seems affrighted at their Littleness: He is com∣mended, exalted, and mounted to the Skies, by certain persons who have reciprocally co∣venanted to admire one another: Contented with his own Merit, he fancies he has as much Wit as he wants, and more than he ever will have: Thus employd by his high thoughts, and full of sublime Ideas, he scarcely finds time to pronounce the sacred Oracles: He is elevated by his Character above humane Judg∣ments, and leaves it for common Souls to va∣lue a common and uniform Life, being an∣swerable for his inconstancy to none, but his particular friends who have resolvd to Idolize him: for this reason, They only know how to judge or think: They only know how to write, and 'tis only in Them a duty. As for Page  14 other Pieces, however receiv'd in the World, or universally lik'd by Men of Honour and Worth, he is so far from approving 'em, that he never condescends to read 'em, and is in∣capable of being corrected by this Picture, which will not be so happy, as to reach him.

** Theocrines is very well acquainted with what is trivial and unprofitable: He is less profound, than methodical: He is the Ab∣stract of Disdain, and seems continually laugh∣ing in himself at such, as he thinks despise him. By chance I once read him something of mine, he heard it out with impatience, he cry'd pre∣sently, is it done? And then talkt of his own. But what said he of yours, say you? I have told you already, Sir, he talkt of his Own.

* The most accomplisht piece, which the Age has produc'd would fail under the hands of the Criticks and Censurers, if the Author would hearken to their Objections, and allow 'em to throw out what is not to their satis∣faction.

* Experience tells us, if there are ten per∣sons, who would blot a thought, or an ex∣pression out of a Book, there are a like num∣ber who would oppose it: These will alledge, for what would you suppress that thought? 'tis new, fine, and handsomely exprest. Those on the contrary, affirm it should be omitted, at least they would have given it another turn. In your work, says one, there is a term ex∣ceeding witty, it points out your meaning very naturally. Methinks, says another, that word is too bold, and yet does not signifie so Page  15 much as you would have it. 'Tis the same word, and the same line these Criticks differ so much about, and yet they are all Judges, or pass for such amongst their Acquaintance. What then shall an Author do, but follow the advice of those, who approve it?

* A serious Author is not oblig'd to trouble his Head with all the extravagant Banters and bad Jests which are thrown on him, or to be concern'd at the impertinent Constructions, which a sort of Men may make on some pas∣ages of his Writings, neither ought he to give himself the trouble to suppress 'em. He is con∣vinc'd, that if a Man is never so exact in his manner of writing, the dull Railery and wretched Buffooniry of certain worthless People are unavoidable; since they make use of the best things only to turn 'em into ridi∣cule.

* There is a prodigious difference between a Fine piece, and one that's Regular and Per∣fect. I question if there is any thing to be found in the last kind, it being less difficult for a rare Genius to hit upon the Great and Sublime, than to avoid all Errors. The Cid at its first appearance was universally admir'd. It liv'd in spite of Policy or Power, which at∣tempted in vain to destroy it. The Wits, who were otherwise divided in their senti∣ments, united in favour of this Tragedy. The Persons of Quality, and the common People, agreed to keep it in their memory; they were beforehand with the Actors in rehearsing it at the Theatre. The Cid in short is one of the Page  16inest Poems which can be made; and one of the best Critiques, which ever was written on any Subject, is that on the Cid.

* Capys sets up for a Judge of Stile, and fan∣cys he writes like Bouhours or Rabutin; he op∣poses himself to the Voice of the People, and says all alone Damis is not a good Author: however, Damis gives way to the Multitude, and affirms ingenuously with the publick, that Capys is a dull Writer.

* Tis the business of a News-monger to in∣form us when a Book is to be publisht, for whom 'tis printed, for Cramoisy, or for whom else, in what Character, how bound, and what Paper, how many of 'em are gone off, and at what Sign the Bookseller lives. This is his Duty; 'tis foolish in him to pretend to be a Critick.

The highest reach of a News-monger is an empty Reasoning on Policy, and vain Con∣jectures on the publick Management.

Boevius lies down at night in great Tran∣quility at some false News, which dies before morning, and he is oblig'd to abandon it as∣soon as he awakes.

* The Philosopher wastes his Life in ob∣serving Men, and exposing Foppery and Vice; he gives his thoughts no other turn than what serves to set a Truth he has found out in a proper Light, that it may make the Impressi∣on he designs. He has little of the Vanity of an Author, and yet some Readers think they do very well by him, if they say with a Magisterial Air, They have read his Book, Page  17 and there is some Sense in it. But he returns them their Praises, having other ends than bare Applause in his Sweating so much, and breaking his Rest: he has higher Aims, and acts by a more elevated Policy he requires from Mankind a greater and more extraor∣dinary Success than Commendation, or even Rewards. He expects Amendment and Re∣formation.

* A Fool reads a Book and understands no∣thing in it; a Little Wit reads it, and is pre∣sently master of all without exception; a Man of Sense sometimes does not compre∣hend it entirely, he distinguishes what is clear from what is obscure, whilst the Beaux Esprits will have those passages dark which are not, and can't understand what is really intelli∣gible.

* An Author indeavours in vain to make himself admir'd by his productions. A fool may sometimes admire him but then he is a fool: And a Man of Sense has in him the Seeds of all Truth and Opinions; nothing is new to him. He admires little, it being his Province chiefly to approve.

* I question if 'tis possible to find in Letters of Wit a better manner, more agreeableness, and a finer Stile than we see in Balzac's and Voiture's. Tis true, they are void of those sen∣timents which have since taken amongst us, and were invented by the Ladies. That Sex excels ours in this kind of writing. Those Expressions and Graces flow from 'em, which are in us the effect of tedious Labour, and Page  18 troublesome Enquiry. They are happy in their terms, and place them so justly, that every one presently lights upon their meaning: As familiar as they are, yet they have the Charm of Novel∣ty; and seem only design'd for the use they put 'em to. They only can express a whole sentence in a single word, and render a delicate thought in a turn altogether as delicate. We find in all their Letters an inimitable connexion con∣tinud thro the whole, very naturally, and always bounded by good sene. If the Ladies were more correct, I might affirm, that they have producd some Letters, the best written of any thing in our Language.

* Terence wanted nothing but Warmth: with what Purity, Exactness, Politeness, Ele∣gance, and Characters are his Plays adorn'd? Moliere wanted nothing but to avoid Jargon, and to write purely. What Fire? What Nai∣vete? What a sourse of good Pleasantry? What Imitation of Manners? What Images? What a Flail of Ridicule are in his Come∣dies? What a Man could we make of these two Comedians?

* I have read Malherbe and Theophile: they both understood Nature, with this difference, The first in a plain, uniform Stile, discoverd at once something noble, fine, simple, and natural like a good Painter, or a True Hi∣storian. The other without Choice, or Exact∣ness, with a free and uneven Pen, sometimes loaden with Descriptions, grows heavy in particulars, and gives you an Anatomy, and sometimes he feigns, exaggerates, and goes so Page  19 much beyond the natural truth, that he makes a Romance.

* Ronsard and Balzac have each in their kind good and bad things, enough to form after 'em very great Men in Verse or Prose.

* Marot by his turn and stile seems to have written since Ronsard. There is little diffe∣rence between the first and us, but the altera∣tion of a few words.

* Ronsard and his Contemporaries were more prejudicial than serviceable to Stile. They kept it back in the way to perfection, and expos'd it to the danger of being always defective. Tis surprizing that Marot's Works, which are so easy and natural, had not taught Ronsard, otherwise full of Rapture and Enthu∣siasm, to make a greater Poet than Marot, or himself; and that on the contrary, Belleau, Iodelle, and St. Gelais, were so soon follow'd by a Racan, and a Malherbe; or that our Lan∣guage e're it was scarce corrupted, should be so quickly recover'd.

* Marot and Rabelais are inexcusable for scat∣tering so much Ribaldry in their Writings, they had both Genius and Wit enough to have omitted it, without striving to please such as would rather meet matter of Laugh∣ter, than Admiration in an Author. Rabe∣lais is incomprehensible: his Book is an inex∣plicable Enigma, a meer Chimea it has a Womans face, with the feet and tail of a Ser∣pent, or some Beast more deformd: Tis a monstrous collection of Political and ingeni∣ous Morality, with a mixture of Beastliness: Page  [unnumbered] Where 'tis bad 'tis abominable, and fit for the diversion of the Rabble; and where 'tis good 'tis exquisite, and may entertain the most de∣licate.

* Two Writers in their Works have con∣demn'd Montagne: I confess he sometimes ex∣poses himself to censure, but neither of these Gentlemen will allow him to have any thing valuable. One of em thinks too little to taste an Author who thinks a great deal, and the other thinks too subtilely to be pleasd with what is Natural.

A grave, serious and scrupulous stile will live a long while: Amyot and Coeffeteau are read, and who else of their Contempo∣raries? Balzac for his phrase and expres∣sion is less old than Voiture. But if the Wit, Genius and Manner of the last is not Modern, nor so conformable to our present Writers, 'tis because they can more easily neg∣lect than imitate him, and that the few who follow'd could never overtake him.

* The Mercure Gallant is a trifle, next to no∣thing, and there are many labours of the same importance; however the Author has had the good luck to live well by his Inventi∣on, and there have been Fops always ready to take off an Impression of his foolish Book: Whence we may perceive 'tis the Ignorance of the peoples judgment which makes men sometimes fearful to venture abroad a great many dull pieces.

* An Opera is the Sketch of some magni∣ficent shew, of which it serves to give one an Idea.

Page  21I wonder how an Opera, with all its Charge and Musick, should yet so suddenly tire me.

There are some places in an Opera which make us desire more, and others that dispose us to wish it all over, according as we are pleas'd or offended with the Scenes, the Acti∣on, and the things represented.

An Opera is not now adays, a Poem, 'tis Verses; nor a Shew, since Machines have disappeard, by the dextrous management of *Amphion and his race. 'Tis a consort of Voices assisted by Instruments. We are cheated by those, who tell us, Machines are the amuse∣ments of Children, and proper only for Pup∣pet-plays. It encreases and embellishes the Fiction, and keeps the Spectators in that sweet Illusion, which is the highest pleasure of the Theatre, especially where it has a mixture of the Marvellous. There is no need of Wings, or Carrs, or Metamorphoses: But 'tis however the design of an Opera, and its representation, to hold the Mind, the Eye and the Ear in an equal Inchantment.

* The Criticks, or such as would be thought so, will ever have the decisive voice at all publick sights: They canton and divide them∣selves into parties, pushd on of both sides by a particular interest, opposite to that of the Publick, or Equity, admiring only such a Poem, or such a piece of Musick, and con∣demning all the rest. They are sometimes so warm in their prejudices, that they are at a loss how to defend 'em; and injure the repu∣tation Page  22 of their Cabal by their visible injustice and partiality. These men discourage the Poets and Musicians by a thousand contra∣dictions, retarding the progress of the Arts and Sciences, depriving several masters of the fuit they would draw from emulation, and the World of many excellent performances.

* What's the reason that we laugh so freely, and are asham'd to weep at the Theatre? Is Nature less subjects to be soften'd by pity, than to burst forth at what is Comical? Is it the alteration of our looks that prevents us? Tis as great in an extraordinary Laughter, as in the most bitter Weeping; and we turn away our faces to laugh as well as to weep, in the presence of people of Quality, or such as we respect. It is our backwardness to be thought tender, or to shew any emotion at a false subject, where we fancy we are made Cullies? Without naming some grave men, or persons of sound judgments, who think there is as much weakness shewn in Laughing excessively, as in Weeping? What is it that we look for at a Tragedy, Is it to Laugh? Does not truth reign there as lively by its Images, as in a Comedy? And does not the Soul imagine things true in either kind before it suffers itself to be mov'd? Or is it so easie to be pleas'd, that verisimility is not necessary towards it? If not, we must suppose 'tis the natural effect of a good Tragedy, to make us Weep freely in sight of the whole Audience, without any other trouble than drying our Eyes, and wiping our Faces. It being no Page  23 more ridiculous to be seen Weeping, than to be heard to Laugh by the whole Theatre: On the contrary, we then conclude there was something acted very pleasantly, and to the life; and the restraint a man puts on him∣self to hide his tears, by an affected Grimace, plainly demonstrates that he ought not to re∣sist the main design of a Tragedy, but give way to his Passions, and discover em as open∣ly, and with as much confidence, as at a Co∣medy: Besides, when we have been so pati∣ent as to sit out a whole Play, we should be less asham'd to weep at the Theatre, than to it there three hours for nothing.

* A Tragedy engages the Soul in the be∣ginning, and gives it no time afterwards to wander from what 'tis employd about. If a man gets a little release, tis only to be plung'd in new abysses, and to be involvd in fresh cares: It conducts him by Terror to Pity, and reciprocally by Pity to Terror. It leads him tho Tears, Sighs, Incertitudes, Hopes, Fears, Horrors and Surprizes, to the Catastrophe: tis not then a collection of pretty thoughts, tender declarations, gallant discourses, agreeable pictures, soft words, or sometimes pleasant jests, follow'd indeed at last with a seene of Mutineers, who right or wrong knock some unfortunate man on the head, and so maks a clear Stage.

* 'Tis not sufficient that the Manners of the Theatre ought not to be bad, they should be decent and instructive. Some things are so low, so mean, so dull and insignificant in Page  24 themselves, that the Poet is not permitted to write, nor the Audience to be diverted by 'em. The Peasant or the Drunkard may fur∣nish out some Scenes for a Farce-maker; they must never enter into true Comedy, for since such Characters cannot answer the main end, they should not be the main action of the Play. Perhaps you will say they are na∣tural; so is a whistling Lacquey, or a sick man on his Close-stool; by the same rule you may bring them on the Stage; or the Drunkard snoaring and vomiting; Is there any thing more natural? Tis the property of a Beau to rise late, to pass the best part of the day at his Toilet, to adjust himself at his Glass, to be perfum'd and powderd, to put on his Patches to receive and answer his Bil∣lets: When this part is brought on the Stage, if tis continu'd two or three Acts it may be the more natural, and conformable to the original, but tis the more dull and insipid.

* Plays and Romances, in my opinion, may be made as useful as they are prejudicial to such as read em: There are so many great examples of Constancy, Vertue, Tenderness, and Disinterest; so many fine and perfect Cha∣racters, that when a young person turns his prospect thence on every thing about him, and finds nothing but unworthy objects, very much below what he came from admiring, I won∣der how he can be guilty of the least weak∣ness to possess them.

* Corneille cannot be equall'd where he is Excellent, he is then an Original and unimi∣table, Page  25 but he is unequal; his first Plays are dry and languishing, and gave us no reason to hope he would afterwards rise to such a height, and his last Plays make us wonder he could fall from it. In some of his best pieces there are unpardonable faults against the Manners, the Action is embarrast with the declamatory stile, there are such negligences in the Verse and Expression, that we can hardly comprehend how so great a man cou'd be guilty of em. The most eminent thing in him is his sublime Wit: tho he is very happy sometimes in his Verses, and generally in the conduct of his Plays, where he often ven∣tures against the rules of the Ancients: He is admirable in unravelling his Plots, and in this does not always subject himself to the judgment of the Greeks, or their great simpli∣city: On the contrary, he loads the Scene with events, and most commonly comes off with success. He is above all to be admir'd for his great variety, and the little agreement we find in his designs, amongst the great number of Poems, he compos'd. In Racine's Plays there are more likeness, they lead more to the same thing: But he is even and every where supported, as well in the design and conduct of his pieces, which are just, regu∣lar, full of good sense, and natural; as for the Versification, which is rich in Rhimes, elegant, numerous, harmonious, and cor∣rect. He is an exact Imitator of the Ancients, whom he follows religiously in the Simpli∣city of Action. He wants not the Sublime and Page  26 the Marvellous; and where 'tis proper he is ever Master of the Moving and the Pathe∣tick, as well as his Predecessor Corneille. Where can we find greater tenderness than is diffus'd thro the Cid, Polieucte, and Horace? What Greatness of Soul is there in Mithradates, Po∣rus, and Burrhus? They were both well ac∣quainted with Horror and Pity, the favourite Passions of the Ancients, which the Poets are ond of exciting on the Theatre. As Orestes in the Andromache of Racine, the Phedra of the same Author, and the Oedipus and the Hrace of Corneille sufficiently prove. If I may be allow'd to make a comparison, or to shew the talent of both the One and the Other, as 'tis to be discover'd in their Writings, I should probably say; That Corneille reigns over us by his Characters and Ideas; Racine's are more conformable to our own: The One paints men as they ought to be; the Other describes 'em as they are. There is in the first more of what we admire, and ought to imitate; and in the second more of what we know in others, and approve in our selves. Corneille elevates, surprizes, triumphs, and instructs. Racine pleases, affects, moves, and penetrates. The former works on us by what is ine, no∣ble, and commanding. The latter insinuates himself into us by the delicacy of his passions. One is full of Maxims, Rules, and Precepts: The other of Opinions and Judgments: we are engag'd more at Corneilles pieces, at Racine's more soften'd and concern'd. Corneille is more Moral, Racine more Natural. The one seems Page  27 to imitate Sophocles, the other Euripides.

Some persons have a faculty of speaking a∣lone, and a long time, joind with extrava∣gant Gestures, a loud Voice, and strong Lungs: This the People call Eloquence. Pe∣dants ne're admit it but in publick Orati∣ons, and can't distinguish a heap of figures from the use of good words, and the round∣ness of periods.

Logick is the art to make Truth prevalent; and Eloquence a gift of the Soul that renders one master of the sense and hearts of other men, by which we perswade and inspire 'em with what we please.

Eloquence may be found in all discourses, and all kind of Writings, 'tis rarely where we seek it, and sometimes where tis least ex∣pected.

Eloquence is to the Sublime, what the whole is to its part.

What is the Sublime? We talk much about it, but no body pretends to define it. Is it in its self a figure? Is it composd of one or more figures? Does the Sublime enter into all sorts of Writing? Or are great subjects only capable of it? Is it not in Eclogues, a fine Wit and a natural simplicity; in familiar Letters and Conversation a great delicacy; or rather is not Wit and Delicacy the Sublime of those Works where they make the Perfection? What is this Sublime, and in what does it consist?

Synonyma's are several Dictions or Phrases that signifie the same thing. An Antithesis is Page  28 the opposition of two Truths, which give light to each other. A Metaphor, or comparison, borrows from a Strange thing, the natural and sensible Image of a True one. An Hyperbole expresses things above Truth, to reclaim the mind, that it may the better understand it. The Sublime paints nothing but the Truth, only in a noble subject it paints it all entire in its causes and effects: 'Tis the Expression or Image most worthy the dignity of the Truth it treats of. Little Wits cannot find the sim∣ple Expression, and use Synonyma's. Young Men are dazled with the Lustre of an Anti∣thesis, and generally make use of 'em. True Wits, who would be exact in their images, are for Metaphors and Comparisons. Quick Wits, full of fire and vast imagination, carry themselves above Rules or Justice; and are never satisfyd without an Hyperbole. As for the Sublime, 'tis only in the greatest Ge∣nius's the highest Elevation they can attain.

* Every one who would write purely, should put himself in the place of his Readers, examine his own work as a thing that is new to him, which he never read before, where he is not at all concern'd, and the Author must submit to the Critick. He should not suppose another Man will understand his Writings, because he understands 'em him∣self, but forasmuch as they are in themselves really intelligible.

An Author should not only endeavour to make himself understood; he must strive to inform us of such things as deserve it. He Page  29 ought, 'tis true, to have pure Language and a chast Expression; but they ought also to express lively, noble, and solid thoughts, full of good Sense and sound Reason. He prosti∣tutes Chastity and Clearness of Stile, who wastes it on some frivolous, puerile, dull and common subject; having neither Spirit, Fire, nor Novelty. Where the Reader may perhaps easily find out the meaning of the Author; but he is much more certain to be tir'd with his productions.

If we aim to be profound in certain Wri∣tings: if we affect a polite Turn, and some∣times too much Delicacy, 'tis meerly for the good opinion we have of our Readers.

* We have this disadvantage in reading Books written by Men of Party and Cabal: We seldom meet with the Truth in 'em; Actions are there disguisd, the reasons of both sides are not alledg'd with all their force, nor with an entire exactness. He who has the greatest patience must read abundance of hard, injurious reflexions on the gravest men, with whom the Writer has some personal quarrel about a point of Doctrine, or matter of Controversie. These Books are particular in this, that they deserve not the prodigious Sale they find at their first appearance, nor the profound Oblivion that attends 'em after∣wards: When the fury and division of these Authors cease, they are forgotten, like an Almanack out of date.

'Tis the Glory and Merit of some men to write well, and of others not to write at all.

Page  30* For this last twenty years we have been regular in our Writings: We have faithfully observ'd Construction, and enricht our Lan∣guage with new Words, thrown off the yoke of Latinism, and reduc'd our stile to a pure French phrase: We have almost found again the num∣bers which Malherbe and Balza hit upon first, and so many Authors after 'em suffer'd to be lost. We have, in short, brought into our discourses all the order and clearness they are capable of, and this will insensibly lead us at last to add Wit.

* There are some Artists and skilful men, whose Genius is as vast as the Art or Science they profess: They restore with Interest, by their Contrivance and Invention, what they borrow from its Principals: They frequently break through the rules of Art to ennoble it, and thwart the common roads, if they don't conduct 'em to what is great and extraordi∣nary. They go alone; they leave their com∣pany a long way behind, whilst they are by themselves mounting high, and penetrating far into the secrets of their profession: Em∣bolden'd by their success, and encourag'd by the advantages they draw from their irregu∣larity. Whilst men of ordinary, soft and moderate parts, as they can never reach 'em, so they never admire 'em; they can't com∣prehend, and much less imitate 'em. They live peaceably within the compass of their own sphere, aiming at a certain point, which makes the bounds of their insight and capa∣city. They go no farther, because they see Page  31 nothing beyond it: They are at best but the first of a second Class, and excellent in me∣diocrity.

* I may venture to call certain Wits Inferi∣our or Subaltern, they seem as if they were born only to collect, register and raise Maga∣zines out of the productions of other Geniuss. They are Plagiaries, Translators, or Compi∣lers. They ne're think, but tell you what other men have thought: And as the good choice of thoughts proceeds from Invention, having none of their own, they are seldom just in their Collections, but choose rather to make 'em large than excellent. They know nothing of what they learn, and learn what the rest of the World are unwilling to know, a vain and useless Science, neither agreeable or profitable in commerce or conversation: Like false Money, it has no currency, for we are at once surpriz'd with these Coxcombs reading, and tir'd with their company and writings: However, the Great ones and the Vulgar mistake 'em for men of Learning; but Wise men know very well what they are, and rank 'em with the Pedants.

* Criticism is commonly a Trade, not a Science; it require more Health than Wit, more Labour than Capacity, and Habit than Genius. If a person pretends to it who has less discernment than reading, he will be at a loss where to exercise himself, and corrupt his own judgment as well as his Readers.

* I advise an Author born only to Copy, who in extream Modesty works after another Page  32 Man, to chuse for his patterns such Writings as are full of Wit, Imagination, and even good Learning: If he does not understand his Originals, he may at least come at 'em and read 'em. He ought on the contrary to a∣void, as he would Destruction, any desire to imitate those who write by humour, who speak from their hearts, which inspires 'em with figures and terms, and draw, if I may say it, from their very Entrails, what they express on their paper. These are dangerous Models, and will infallibly make him write meanly, dully, and ridiculously. Besides, I should laugh at a Man who would seriously en∣deavour to speak in my tone of voice, or be like me in the face.

* A Man born a Christian and a Frenchman, is confin'd in Satire: Some Subjects are for∣bidden him by the greatness of their quality; others are too low, but he is oblig'd frequent∣ly to fall on 'em to ease him of his resentment; and by this means he raises 'em in the beauties of his Stile and Genius.

* Every one should avoid imitating a Dori∣las or a Handburg: in a vain Puerile Stile, a Man may be sometimes bold in his Expressi∣ons, use transpositions, and any thing which paints his Subject to the Life; pitying those who are not sensible of the pleasure there is in this Liberty to such as understand it.

* He who regards nothing more in his Works than the taste of the Age, has a great∣er value for his Person than his Writings: He should always aim at Perfection; and tho his Page  33 Contemporaries refuse him Justice, Posterity will give it him.

* We must never put a Jest in the wrong place: It ffends instead of pleasing, and viti∣ates our own Judgments as well as other Mens. The Ridicule is only proper when it comes in with a good Grace, and in a manner which both pleases and instructs.

* Horace and Boileau have said such a thing before you. I take your word for't, but I said it as my own, and may not I think a just thought after them, as others may do the same after me?

Page  34

OF Personal Merit.

* WHO is there that is not convinc'd, he is but a useless Person, tho he has never so many good Qualities, and never such an Extraordinary Merit; when he con∣iders that at his Death, he leaves a World which is not likely to miss him, and where there are such Numbers to supply his Place?

* All the Worth of some People lyes in their mighty Names; Look but near 'em, and that, which we took for Merit disappears. 'Twas only the distance, which impos'd on us before.

* Tho I have a great Opinion of their Judg∣ment, who choose to employ such as are ei∣ther led by their Genius, or Profession, to the Affairs in which they engage 'em; yet I shall venture to say, that there are in the world a great many Persons, known or unknown, who are out of Employ, that would manage themselves in Publick Stations very happily. And this I'm inclin'd to think from the strange Page  35 Success of some People whom Fortune only has thrown into Posts, and from whom, till then, no great Matters were expected.

How many great Men and extraordinary Genius's are dead without ever being talkt of? And how many are there living that neither are now, nor ever will be talkt of?

* He that takes no indirect Courses to pro∣cure Reputation; he that is not ingag'd in any Cabal where they make it their business to proclaim one another's Panegyricks; but stands alone, and has no body to cry him up: whose Merit is his only Recommendation, how extream difficult will he find it, to make his way thro his Obscurity, and come to stand upon a Level with a Coxcomb in great Reputation!

* 'Tis seldom that one Man of himself, finds out the Merit of another.

Men are so employ'd about themselves, that they have not the Leisure to distinguish and penetrate into others; which is the Cause that a great Merit join'd to a great Modesty, may be a long time before it is discoverd.

* A Genius and great abilities are some∣times wanting, sometimes only opportuni∣ties. Some deserve Praise for what they have done, and others for what they coud have done.

* 'Tis not so hard to meet with Wit, as with those who make use of what they have or those who put a just Value on the Wit of others.

Page  36* There are more Tools than Workmen, and of the last more bad than good: What think you of him that took up his Plain to Saw with it, and wou'd needs Plain his Work with his Saw?

* There is not in the World so toilsome a Trade, as that of pursuing Fame: Life con∣cludes before you have gone thro with the rough part of your Labour.

* What's to be done with this Egisippus who sollicits for an Employment? Shall he have a Post in the Exchequer or in the Army? 'Tis indeed perfectly indifferent, which of 'em he has; nor can any thing but Interest decide it. For he's ev'n as good an Accomptant, as he is a Soldier. Oh! but his Friends say, he's ca∣pable of any thing, that is, He has a Talent for no one thing more than another, and that is in other terms, he's capable of nothing.

Thus 'tis with most Men. They bestow their Youth entirely upon themselves. They debauch themselves with Idleness and Plea∣sure, and then falsly think when they are Old or Poor, the Commonwealth is bound to re∣lieve 'em; never regarding that important Maxim, which says, That Men ought to em∣ploy the first Years of Life to become so qua∣lify'd, that the Commonwealth may have occasion for their Knowledge or Industry. That they ought to resemble those Materials in a Building, which are of absolute Necessity, and which being set there to advantage, give a grace to the whole Fabrick.

Page  37'Tis our Duty to render our selves perfectly well qualify'd for any Employment: the rest does not concern us. 'Tis the business of others.

* To owe our Merit to our selves alone, without any dependance on others, or to re∣nounce our pretensions to Merit, is an in∣estimable Maxim, and of infinite advantage in the World. 'Tis favourable to the Insuf∣ficient, the Vertuous and the Witty, whom it either renders Masters of their Fortune, or their Ease: but pernicious to the Great, whom it would abridge of their Attendants, or rather of the number of their Slaves; wou'd mortify their Pride with the Loss of some share of their Authority, and woud reduce 'em al∣most to their own Equipage. This wou'd deprive 'em of the Pleasure of being courted, prest, sollicited, of the satisfaction of being attended, or of refusing, of promising, and not performing. This wou'd thwart em in the humour they have sometimes of bringing Coxcombs into Play, and extenuating Me∣rit when they chance to discern it. This wou'd banish, from Courts Intrigues, Cabal∣lings, ill Offices, Flattery, Corruption and Deceit. This wou'd, of a tempestuous Court, full of Plots and Contrivances, make it to resemble one of the ordinary Representations of the Theatre, where the wise are never but Spectators: This wou'd restore Dignity to the several conditions of Men, and Serenity to their Looks, enlarge their Liberty, and revive in 'em together with the natural Talents, the Page  [unnumbered] habit of Labour and Exercise. This wou'd excite 'em to Emulation, to a Desire of Glo∣ry, to a Love of Vertue; and instead of vile, unquiet, or lazy Courtiers, burthensome of∣ten to the Commonwealth, wou'd teach 'em Prudence in the Conduct of their Families, or in the Management of their Estates, or make 'em upright Judges, or good Officers, or great Commanders, or Orators, or Philo∣sophers; and all the Inconvenience of this to any of 'em wou'd be perhaps to leave their Heirs not so vast an Estate as an excellent Example.

* There is occasion for a great deal of Re∣solution as well as Greatness of Soul to refuse Posts and Employments, and to rest content with retirement and doing nothing.

There are few who have Merit enough to play this part well, or know how to pass their leisure hours, without that which the vulgar call business. The Idleness of a Wise Man suffers by that Name. His Meditation, Dis∣course, Reading, and Repose, deserve rather to be call'd Employment.

* A Man of Merit and in Place is never out of humour thro Vanity. The Post that he is in, renders him not so uneasy, as a greater which he thinks he deserves, and which he has not, makes him humble. He may ap∣pear sometimes disturb'd, but never haughty or disdainful, who judges of all People by himself.

* 'Tis a great deal of trouble for a Man of Merit to make his Court assiduously; but not Page  39 for the reason which some may presently ima∣gine. He has more Modesty than to think, that he does the least Pleasure to a Prince, to stand constantly in his passage, to post him∣self just before him, and make himself taken notice of. He is more apt to fear that he's importunate, and all the Reasons drawn from Custom, and Duty are hardly sufficient to perswade him to make his appearance. While on the contrary, another who has a good opi∣nion of himself, and one, whom the vulgar cry up for a Brisk man, takes a Pride to shew himself, and makes his Court with the great∣er confidence, because it cannot enter into his head, that the Great, of whom he is seen every day, shou'd think otherwise of him, than he does of himself.

* The Pleasure, which a Man of Honour takes in being conscious to himself of having perform'd his Duty, is a reward which he pays himself for all his pains, and makes him the less to regret the applause, esteem and acknowledgments, which he is sometimes depriv'd of.

* If I durst make a Comparison between two conditions of Life vastly different, I wou'd say, that a Man of Courage applys himself to the Execution of his Duty, almost in the same manner, as a Tyler goes about his Work: Neither the one nor the other seeks to expose his Life, so neither of 'em is diverted by Danger. Death is an Inconveni∣ence that happens in both their Callings, yet is never an Obstacle. The first is not Page  40 more vain for having appear'd in the Trenches, mounted a Breach, or forc'd a Retrench∣ment; than the other is, for having climb'd to some desperate height, or to the top of some Steeple. 'Twas the endeavour of both these to do well, while the Coward only en∣deavours to get it said that he did so.

* Your Son lisps, therefore do not think of making him mount the Tribunal; your Daughter too looks as if she were made for the World, never confine her among the Vestals.Xanthus your Feeed-man is timerous and feeble, therefore make no delay, but take him out of the Legions presently. You say, you wou'd advance him. Heap Benefits on him then, load him with Lands, Titles, and Possessions. Make use of your Time, for now we live in such an Age, when they will do him more Credit than Vertue. But this will cost me too much, you reply. Ah *Crassus! do you now speak seriously? Do you think with a drop of Water, which you cou'd have from the Tyber, to enrich Xanthus, Xanthus whom you love, or to save him from the ruine, which must certainly attend him by your engaging him in what he is absolutely unfit for?

* 'Tis Virtue which shou'd determine us in the choice of our Friends, so 'tis that alone, which we shou'd always regard in 'em, with∣out enquiring into their good or ill fortune; and when we find we have Resolution enough to follow 'em in adversity, then we ought boldly, and with assurance to cultivate their Page  41 Friendship in their greatest Prosperity.

* If 'tis common to be Toucht with things Rare, how comes it that we are so little toucht with Virtue?

* If 'tis a happiness to be nobly Descended, 'tis no less to have so much Merit, that our Birth is the least thing considerd in us.

* There has appear'd in the World from time to time, some admirable, extraordinary Men, whose Virtue and Eminent Qualities have cast a prodigious Lustre: Like those un∣usual Stars in the Heavens, the causes of which we are ignorant of, and what becomes of them after their disappearance, we know as little. These Men neither have Ancestors, nor Posterity: Themselves alone compose their whole Race.

* Right Reason discovers to us our Duty, and the Obligation we lye under to perform it. If Danger attends it, to perform it in spight of Danger. It either inspires us with Courage, or serves us instead of it.

* The Man that is single and free in the World, if he has any Wit, may raise himself above his Fortune, make a Figure, and keep the best Company: Which is not so easily done, if he's confin'd to a Wife. Marriage seems a Hindrance to all Advancement.

* Next to Personal Merit, it must be own'd, that Eminent Dignities and Titles give the greatest Distinction and Lustre to Men, and one that has not all the Learning of Erasmus, may hope to be made a Bishop. We know some that heap Dignity on Dignity, one Ho∣nour Page  42 on another, are created Peers, Knights of the Order, Primates, Cardinals: These now want nothing but the Triple Crown; but why shou'd Trophimus want to be made a Cardinal?

* You tell me, that the Gold in Philemon's rich Cloaths makes a Glittering show, but does it not do the same thing at the Lace∣mans? His Clothes are made of the finest Stuffs, but are those same Stuffs less fine in the Shops, or in the whole piece? But then the Embroidery and other Trimming make 'em still more magnificent. Do they so? I think for that his Taylors fancy is to be com∣mended. Ask him what a Clock 'tis, he pulls out a Watch, which for the workmanship is a Master-piece. He has an Agate for the Handle of his Sword, and on his Finger he wears so large and bright a Diamond, that it dazzles your Eyes to look on't. He wants none of all those curious Toys, which are worn more out of Ostentation than Service; and is as Extravagant in his Dress, as a young fellow that has marry'd a rich Widow. Well! at last you have given me a Curiosity to see at least all this Finery; but, do you hear, send me hither the Cloaths and Jewels, and I'll excuse you for Philemon's Person.

Thou art mightily mistaken, Philemon, with that glittering Coach, that number of Rascals behind it, and before it, and those six Horses to draw thee in state, if thou thinkst to be esteem'd a whit the more: No, we make our way thro all that Train, which is not proper∣ly Page  43 Thine, to come directly to thy Self, whom we find to be a Coxcomb.

Not but sometimes such an one, who with rich Coaches, Clothes and Splendid Equi∣page, values himself on his Quality, and more on his Wit, may be spar'd in Conver∣sation, but then he may read it in the faces and eyes of those that he talks with.

* You have seen at Court, and often in the City, one with a long Silk Cloak, or a very fine Cloath one, a large Surcingle ty'd high upon his Breast, Shoes of the finest Tur∣key Leather, and a little Cap of the same, a starcht Band, and Hair most nicely curl'd, and set in great order, with a fair, ruddy complexion, who has talkt of Metaphysical Distinctions, of the Light of Glory and Visi∣bility of God, &c. This thing is call'd a Doctor in the Sciences; Another is humble, has been bury'd alive in his Closet, has study'd, searcht, enquir'd, disputed, read, or writ all his Life time. This is the true Man of Learning.

* 'Tis with us the business of the Soldier to be brave, and for one of the Long Robe to be learned; we proceed no farther. With the Romans tho, the Gown-man was brave, and the Soldier learned. A Roman in one person united both these professions.

* The Hero seems to be only a Soldier, while the great man is of all Professions, a Scholar, a Soldier, a Statesman and a Cour∣tier: Take the one and the other and put 'em together; they are not both worth one honest Man.

Page  44* In War the distinction between the Hero and the great Man is very nice. All the mi∣litary Vertues go to the making up of both their Characters. The first tho seems to be young, daring, bold, venturesome and daunt∣less. The other excels him in a profound Sense, a vast Foresight, a great Capacity, and a long Experience. Perhaps Alexander was but a Hero, and Caesar was the Great Man.

Emilius receivd all those Qualities at his Birth, to which, the greatest Men do not arrive, without abundance of Rules, Study, and Application. He had no more to do in his tender years, but to give up himself en∣tirely to the conduct of his own happy Ge∣nius. He did, he acted several things before he knew 'em, or rather he knew those things which he had never been taught. Shall I say it? Several Victories that he gain'd, were the Plays and Diversions of his Infancy. It wou'd make a Life which had been attended with long Success and Experience, illustrious only to have perform'd the Actions of his Youth. All the Occasions which have since offer'd, he has embrac'd, and has come off victorious. His Vertue and his Stars have created Occasions on purpose for him. He was admir'd for what he could have done, as well as for what he had done. The People look'd on him as a Man, for whom it was impossible, to yeild to the Enemy, to give ground either for Numbers or Difficulty. They regarded him, as one having a Soul of a Superiour Order, which by its Light and Page  45 Knowlede saw further than ever any Man did before. To behold him at the head of the Legions was a sure Presage of Victory, and his single Person accounted more valuable than many Legions. He was great in Prospe∣rity, greater by the Opposition of Fortune. The raising a Siege, a Retreat, have gaind him more Honour than a Triumph. They were esteem'd next to Battels won, and Towns taken. He was at once full of Glory and Modesty. He has been heard to say, I fled, with the same Grace that he has said, We fought. He was devoted to the State and his Family, sincere to God and Man, as passio∣nate an Admirer of Merit, as if he had not been so well acquainted with it himself. Faith∣ful, honest, magnanimous; one in whom none of all the Vertues were wanting, but those which were not Extraordinary.

* The Race of the Gods,* if I may express my self so, are exempt from the Rules of Nature. They are like the Exceptions from a General Rule: they wait not for Time or Age. Merit in them prevents Years. They are instructed assoon as born, and arrive at the perfect State of Manhood, before ordi∣nary Men get out of their Infancy.

* Short-sighted People, I mean such who have but streight Imaginations, which never extend beyond their own little Sphere, can∣not comprehend that Universality of Ta∣lents which is observeable in some persons. They exclude Solidity from any thing that's agreeable; or when they discover in any one Page  46 the Graces of the Body, Activity, Dexterity, Address; they will not allow them the En∣dowments of the Mind, Judgment, Prudence, Wisdom. Let History say what it will, they will not believe that Socrates ever danc'd.

* There are few men so Accomplisht, or so Necessary, but have some failings or other, which will make their friends bear the loss of 'em with the greater patience.

* 'Tis not impossible for a Man of Wit, but of a Character free from Trick and Artifice, to fall into a Snare. He thinks no body wou'd lay one for him, or pick him out of all man∣kind to make a Bubble of. This confidenc of his makes him less cautious, and the Bouffons are very smart in their Raillery upon his Se∣curity. They who attempt him a second time will certainly pay for all. He may be once, but is not often cheated.

I wou'd, as it is but Justice, carefully avoid the offending any person, but above all, a Man of Wit, if I had no regard in the World but to my own Interest.

* There are those manners and peculiar ways in men which will appear, and discover what they are, let them be never so close, or let 'em use never so much cunning, or care to conceal 'em. A Blockhead neither comes, nor goes, nor sits, nor rises, nor is silent, nor stands upon his Legs, like a Man of Sense.

* I came to know Mopsus from a visit he made me once, tho he had no acquaintance with me before: But 'tis common with him to desire some whom he does not know, to Page  47 bring him acquainted with others to whom he's equally unknown; and to write to a Woman, whom he only knows by sight. He introduces himself into a conversation of Peo∣ple of Quality, that deserve the last distincti∣on and respect, tho he is a perfect stranger to every one of 'em; and there, without waiting till he's askt, or without perceiving that he's troublesome, he falls a talking after his manner, that is, both a great deal, and ridiculously. At another time, he comes in∣to a publick Assembly, and sits down any where, without any regard to others or him∣self. He is removd out of a place which was reserv'd for some Minister of State, and he goes and seats himself in one that belongs to a Duke. He is the Diversion of the Croud, yet so grave himself, that he is the only per∣son there who does not laugh. He is like the Dog, drive him out of the Kings Chair, up he jumps in the Preachers Desk. He looks on the reflexions of the world without any manner of concern or blushing. For Mo∣desty, the Blockhead and he may very well go together.

Celsus is but of mean condition, yet those of the best Quality entertain him. He has no Learning, yet he has business with the Learned. He has little Merit himself, yet he is acquainted with those who have a great deal. He has no abilities, but a tongue that serves just to make him understood, and feet that carry him from one place to ano∣ther. He is a fellow made to run forwards Page  48 and backwards on Errands, to hear Proposals and report 'em, to thrust himself into the Office, to exceed his Commission and then to be disown'd in it, to reconcile People that fall out the first time time they see one ano∣ther, to succeed in one affair and fail in a thousand, to attribute all the honour of a Success to himself, and to cast all the Odium of a Miscarriage on others. He is inform'd of all the News and little Stories about Town. He acts nothing himself, but only hears and repeats what others do. He is acquainted with the Secrets of Families, and concern'd in the deepest Mysteries. He tells you the reason why such a one was banisht, and ano∣ther recall'd and in favour. He knows the ground and causes of the difference between those two Brothers, and of the rupture of those two Ministers. Did not he foretel at first what wou'd be the sad consequence of their misunderstanding? Did not he say that their Intimacy wou'd not last long? Was not he present when such and such words were spoken? Did not he Negotiate that affair? Wou'd they believe him? Was it minded what he said? To whom do you talk at this rate? Who has had a greater hand in all the Intrigues of the Court than Celsus? and if it were not so, if he had not thought on't, and consider'd it very well, wou'd he offer to make you believe it? Or else, how do ye think he shou'd come by that grave and poli∣tick air, which makes him look so like one newly return'd from an Embassy.

Page  49* Menippus is the Crow that is made fine with other Birds Feathers: He neither speaks, nor thinks himself, but repeats other peoples Thoughts and Discourse. 'Tis so natural for him to make use of their Wit, that he is the first himself that's deceiv'd by it; for thinking to give his own Judgment, or express his own conception, he does but Eccho the last man he parted with. He's pretty tolerable for a quarter of an hour, but then immedi∣ately he flags, and when his shallow memory begins to fail him, grows downright insipid. He is himself the only person that's Ignorant how far he is from being Sublime and Heroick, as he affects, and is very unfit to judge of the Ex∣tent of Wit, since he very innocently believes, that he has himself, as much, as 'tis possible for any Man to have, and accordingly as∣sumes the air and management of one that neither desires any more, nor envies others. He is often in Soliloquy, which he so little endeavours to conceal, that you may meet him gabbling, and arguing to himself, as if some great matter were under his Delibera∣tion. If you salute him at such a time, you put him into a strange Perplexity, to know whither he shall return your Salutation or no, and before he's come to a Resolution, you are got quite out of sight. 'Tis his Vanity that has elevated him, and made him the Man of Honour which he is not naturally. To observe him you wou'd conclude it was his whole Employment to consider his own Person, Dress an Motions, Page  50 That he fancy'd all Peoples Eyes were fixt on him, and if they chancd to stop, that 'twas only to admire him.

* He that has a Palace of his own with his two Apartments; One for the Summer, and the Other for the Winter: yet takes up with an uneasy Lodging in the Louvre, does not do this out of Modesty. Another, who, to pre∣serve his fine Shape, abstains from Wine, and eats but one Meal a day, is neither Sober nor Temperate. A Third, who at the Importu∣nity of his poor Friend, gives him some Re∣lief, may be said to buy his Quiet; but by no means to be Liberal. 'Tis the Motive, the Inducement, that makes your Actions Meri∣torious, and they are then perfectly so, when we do 'em without Interest or Design.

* False Greatness is unsociable, inaccessible, as if 'twere sensible of its weakness, and strove to conceal it. 'Twill not be seen, ex∣cept just so much, as may carry on the De∣ceit, but dares not shew its Face for fear of being discover'd: Discover'd how really lit∣tle and mean it is. True Greatness, on the contrary, is free, complaisant, familiar, po∣pular, suffers it self to be touch'd and handl'd, loses nothing by being view'd near at hand, is rather more known and admir'd fort. It stoops out of Goodness to its Inferiours, and returns without Constraint to it self again. Sometimes 'tis all loose and negligent, lays aside all its advantages, yet never loses the power of resuming 'em, and commanding Reverence. It preserves Dignity in the greatest Page  51 Liberties of Laughing, Playing, Trifling. We approach it at once with freedom and awe. Its Character is Noble and Humane, inspiring respect and assurance. This makes us to consider Princes, as exalted to the heighth of Greatness, without making us to reflect with Mortification, on the lowness of our own Condition.

The Wise Man is cur'd of Ambition by Ambition; he aims at such great things, that Riches, Preferment, Fortune, and Favour cannot satisfy him. He sees nothing good and solid enough in such poor advantages to engage his Heart, to deserve his care, or his desire. He uses some violence with himself not to despise 'em too much. The only good that is of Temptation to him, is that kind of Honour, which is deriv'd from pure and unmixt Vertue; but that Men will very rarely afford, and so hes content to go with∣out it.

* He is good that does good to others. If he suffers for the good he does, he's better still; and if he suffers from them, to whom he did good, he is arrivd to that height of Goodness, that nothing but an Increase of his Sufferings can add to it. If it proves his Death, 'tis certain that no Vertue cou'd as∣cend higher. 'Tis Heroism compleat.

Page  52


*'TIs seldom that the Merit of a Woman is universally agreed on by both Sexes, because their Interests are extreamly different. The Women are Displeas'd with those very same Beauties in one another, which render them agreeable to the Men. A thousand Charms, which inflame us with the most vio∣lent and tender Love, move in them quite contrary passions, Aversion and Malice.

* The Greatness of some Women is all ar∣tificial: It consists in the Motions of their Eyes, the Toss of their Head, a Stately Mien, and a Superficial Wit, that passes on those who understand no better. There is in others an easie, natural Greatness, nothing beholden to Motions, Looks or Gesture, but springs from the Heart, and is the happy consequence of their noble Extraction: Their Merit is not Noisy or Ostentatious, but Solid, accompa∣nyd with a thousand Vertues, which, in spight of all their Modesty, break out and Page  53 shine to all who have but Eyes to dis∣cern 'em.

* I cou'd wish to be a Woman, that is, a Fair and Beautiful Woman, from Thirteen to Two and Twenty; but after that Age, to be a Man again.

* Nature has been very kind to some young Ladies, but they are not sensible of the Hap∣piness: They Spoil by Affectation, those Gifts which they enjoy by the distinguishing favour of Heaven. The Tone of their Voice, their Mien is not their own: They study, they consult their Glasses, how to Dress themselves as much out of Nature as they can; and 'tis not without a great deal of Trouble, that they are able o make them∣selves less Agreeable.

* If 'tis the Ambition of Women only to appear Handsome in their own Eyes, they are in the right without doubt, to take what course they please to Beautify themselves, and in the choice of their Dress and Ornaments, to follow their own caprice and fancy. But if 'tis the Men whom they wou'd charm, if 'tis for them they Wash and Paint; I have told their votes in that case, and I do assure them from all the Men, or from the great∣est part, that, the White and Red they use, make 'em look hideous and frightful; that they hate as much to see Women with Paint on their Faces, as with false Teeth in their Mouths, or Balls to plump out their Cheeks, that they solemnly protest against all Art; which indeed does but make 'em ugly, and Page  54 is the last and infallible means that Heav'n takes to reclaim Men from their Love.

If Women were form'd by Nature what they make themselves by Art; if they were to lose in a Minute all the freshness of their their Complexion, and were to have their Faces as thick with Red and Paint, as they lay 'em on, they woud look on themselves as the most wretched Creatures in the World.

* A Coquet is one that is never to be per∣swaded out of her Inclination, for appearing always agreeable, nor out of the good Opinion she has of her own Beauty. Time and Years she regards as things that wrinkle and decay other Women, but forgets that Age is writ in the Face, and that the same Dress which be∣came her when she was young, does but make her look the older now. Affectation attends her evn sickness and pain. She dies in a High-head and colour'd Ribbonds.

* Lyce hears that anothe Coquet laughs at her pretending to Youth, and her wearing those Dresses which do not agree with a Wo∣man of Forty. Lyce is no less 'tis true; but Years with her have not twelve Months, nor do they add to her Age, that is, she thinks so, and when she looks in the Glass and lays on the Paint on her own Face, and sticks on the Patches, she confesses there is an Age, when 'tis not decent to affect to appear youthful, and that Clarice indeed with her Paint and Patches is very ridiculous.

* Women when they expect their Lovers, make great preparation in their Dress; but if Page  55 they are surpriz'd by them in it, they imme∣diately vanish and are seen no more. In the presence of indifferent Persons, what disor∣der they're sensible of, they rectify with ease, and before them make no scruple to adjust themselves, or else disappear for a moment and return drest.

* A fine Face is the finest of all Sights, and the sweetest Musick is the Sound of her Voice whom we love.

* That a Woman is agreeable depends on Fancy, but Beauty is something more real and independant on inclination and opinion.

* There are Women of such perfect Beau∣ty, and such transcendant Merit, that tho 'tis impossible for us not to love 'em, yet we dare not encourage our passion to hope for any greater favour, than that of seeing 'em and conversing with em.

* A Beautiful Woman that has the qualities of a Man of Honour, is of all the Conversa∣tion in the World the most delicious. In her alone is to be found all the Merit of both Sexes.

* Every little, kind accidental thing, that comes from the Fair, is strangely moving and perswasive to the Persons in whose favour 'tis intended. 'Tis not so with the Men; their Caresses, their Words, their Actions, are sin∣cere, and soft and transported, yet are not half so perswading.

* Caprice from Women is inseparable, and is the Counter-poison of their Beauty. It prevents the damage which their Beauty Page  56 wou'd otherwise do the Men, and cures 'em when no other Remedy will take effect.

* Women are engag'd to Men by the Fa∣vours they grant 'em. Men are disingag'd by the same Favours.

* When a Woman no longer loves a Man, she forgets him so much, as not to remember the favours he has receiv'd from her.

* A Woman that has but one Gallant thinks she is no Coquet: She that has more thinks her self but a Coquet.

* A Woman may avoid the Reputation of being a Coquet, by a firm engagement to one particular Person, who yet passes for a Fool for having made a bad choice.

* An old Gallant is of so little considera∣tion, that he must give way to a new Hus∣band, and a Husband is of so short duration, that a new Gallant justles him out of place.

* An old Gallant either fears or despises a new Rival, according to the Character of the Person he serves.

An old Gallant often wants nothing, but the name, to be a very Husband. He is ob∣lig'd to that circumstance, or else he wou'd have been discarded a thousand times.

* Few Intreigues are secret; a great many Women are not better known by their Hus∣bands names, than by the names of their Gallants.

* A Woman of Gallantry is Ambitious of being belovd; tis enough for a Coquet, that she's thought lovely and desirable. The bu∣siness of one is to make an engagement, of Page  57 the other to make a Coquest. The first passes successively from one Engagement to another, the second has a great many Amusements on her hands at once. Passion and Pleasure are predominant in one, Vanity and Levity in the other. The gallantry of this proceeds from a weakness in the Heart, or perhaps a vice in Complexion; that the other is a Co∣quet proceeds from an irregularity of the Mind. The Gallant Lady is fear'd, the Coquet hated. From these two Characters might be form'd a third, which wou'd be the worst in the World.

* A weak Woman is one that being guilty of a Fault, reproaches herself more than she's reproacht: Her Heart is in a perpetual War with her Reason. She wou'd fain be cur'd of her folly, but is hardly ever cur'd; at least 'tis very long first.

* An Inconstant Woman, is one, that is no longer in Love, a False Woman is one, that is already in Love with another Person. She's Fickle, that neither knows whom she loves, nor whether she loves or no; and she's In∣different who does not love at all.

* Treachery in Women is an Art of Dis∣posing ev'ry Word and Action, of Managing Oaths and Promises in the best manner to de∣ceive; the last of which it costs 'em no more to break, than it did at first to make 'em.

* A Faithless Woman, if known for such by the Person concern'd, is but Faithless still: She is Treacherous who when she is most con∣fided in, proves False.

Page  58This Good we get from the Perfidious∣ness of Women, that it cures us of our Jea∣lousy.

* Some Women in their Course of Life have a double Engagement to maintain, which to break, or to dissemble is equally difficult; In one there's nothing wanting but the Ceremony of the Church, and in the other nothing but the Heart.

* To judge of that Lady by her Beauty, her Youth, her Severity, and her Pride, you wou'd swear none but a Hero cou'd one day succeed with her. At last, she has made her Choice; and what is it? A little Monster, that has not one Grain of Sense.

* Women that are past their Prime, seem Naturally to be the Refuge of Young Fel∣lows who have no great Estates. 'Tis their Character at least, if 'tis not their Disposition, tho for my part, I can't tell whose Misfor∣tune is most to be lamented; That of a Wo∣man advanc'd in Years who stands in need of a Spark; or that of a Spark who stands in need of an Old Woman.

* One, that is the Refuse of the Court, in the City is receiv'd into the With-drawing Room. There he triumphs; the Magistrate he routs, tho he's drest like a Beau; and the Citizen, tho he's got his long Perruque and his Sword on: He beats 'em all out of the Field, and possesses himself of the place. He alone is regarded and belov'd. There's no holding out against a Gold Scarf and a White Plume, no resisting a Man that talks Page  59 to the King, and visits the Ministers. The Men and Women are jealous of him. He is admir'd and envy'd: four Leagues off, he is despis'd and pityd.

* A Citizen appears to a Woman that was never out of the Country, what a Courtier does to another of the Sex, that never had but City-breeding.

* A Man that is vain, indiscreet, a great Talker, and a Bouffon, one who speaks im∣pudently of himself, and contemptibly of o∣thers; who is extravagant, haughty, imper∣tinent, without Morality, Honesty, or Sense, and a Libertine in Imagination; such a Man, I say, wants nothing to be ador'd by abundance of Women, but a few tolerable Features and a good Shape.

* Is it for Secrecy, or from what strange Distraction, that such a Lady loves her Foot∣man, another a Monk, and Dorinna her Physician?

* Rofcis treads the Stage with admirable Grace. Yes, |Lelia, so he does: I'll tell you too, his Legs are well made, he acts well, and has very long parts. He declaims with so much Ease, that as they say, 'tis only for him to open his Mouth to do it to Perfection. But is he the only Person of his Profession that is agreeable; or is his Profession indeed the noblest and most honorable in the World? However, Roscius is not for you: He is anothers, on if he were not, he's re∣tain'd. Claudia waits for him till he's dis∣gusted with Messalina. Take Bathyllus then, Page  60Lelia; bu where shall you find him? I'll not promise you amongst the best quality, but you'll not miss of him amongst the Comedi∣ans. He's a young man of great hopes; there's none that in Dancing can rise so high, or cut a Caper to compare with him. Or what think you of Cobus the Tumbler, who turns himself quite round in the Air, before he lights upon the ground? but perhaps you know that he is old; and for Bathyllus you say, the Croud about him is still too great. He refuses more Women than he can gratify. Well, then you shall have Draco the Fiddler, none of all his profession swells a pair of Cheeks with so much decency as he does, when he gives breath either to the Flute, the Haut-bois or the Flagelet, for 'tis an infinite number of Instruments that he has skill in. So pleasant and good humour'd he is too, that he condescends to play with the little Boys and Girls: Who eats or drinks more at a Feast, than Draco? He drinks down the whole Company, and is the last. Man that falls. You sigh Lelia: Is it because Draco is fixt in his choice, or that, you are unfortu∣nately prevented in him? Is he at last en∣gag'd to *Cesonia, who has so long pursu'd him, and for whom she has sacrific'd such a train of Lovers, I may safely say, all the flower of Rome? to Cesonia, who is her self of a Patrician family, is Young, Beautiful and Grave. Well, I pity your misfortune, since you, I see, are toucht with that Contagion which reigns in our Roman Ladies, of doating on Page  61 these publick men, as they're call'd; whose condition of life exposes 'em to the common view; what will you do now since the best of that kind are taken up? There's Brontes left still, the Executioner, every body talks of his Strength and Dexterity: He's black 'tis true, a Negro, but the Fellow is young, has broad Shoulders and a brawny Back.

* The Women of the world look on a Gar∣diner as a Gardiner, and a Mason as a Ma∣son: Your Recluse Ladies look on a Mason as a Man, and a Gardiner as a Man: Every thing is a Temptation to them who fear it.

* Some Women divide themselves between the Church and their Lovers: They are Gallant and Devout: They have their places within the Rails of the Altar, where they read their Billets Doux, and where for any thing you see of 'em, you woud think 'em at their Prayers to Heaven.

* How is a Woman the better for being Directed? Is she more Dutiful to her Hus∣band, kinder to her Servants, more careful of her Family, and her concerns, more zealous and sincere to serve her friends? Is she less a Slave to her Humour, less govern'd by Inte∣rest, and less in love with the Conveniencies of life? I do not ask if she makes large Pre∣sents to her Children that have no need of 'em, but if having Wealth enough and to spare, she furnishes 'em with what is necessa∣ry, and gives 'em what's their due. Is she more exempt from the love of her self, or further from loving others, or freer from all Page  63 worldly engagements? No, say you, none of all these things. I insist upon it then, and I ask you how is a Woman the better for being directed? Oh! I understand you, she had got a Director but thats all.

* If the Confessor and the Director can∣not agree about the Rule of Conduct, what third Person shall a Woman chose to be Arbi∣trator in that case?

* 'Tis not so much a Woman's Business to provide her self with a Director, as to live so discreetly as not to need one.

* If a Woman wou'd tell her Confessor, among the rest of her weaknesses, That which she has for her Director, and what Time she mis-spends in his Company, perhaps her Director might be injoin'd leaving her, for a Pennance.

* If I had the Liberty, which I cou'd wish, I wou'd certainly cry out, as loud as I were able, to some of those Holy Men who have been made Martyrs by Women, Fly Wo∣men. Do not you direct 'em, but let others, that will, a Gods Name, take care of their Salvation.

* 'Tis too much for a Man to have a Wife, both a Coquet, and a Bigot, one of these Qualities at once is enough in Conscience.

* I have defer'd a long Time, saying some∣thing, which, for all my struggling to suppress it must out at last, and I hope my freedom may be of some Service to those Ladies, who not having enough of a Confessor to instruct 'em, use no manner of Judgment in the choice of their Directors.

Page  62I admire, I stand amaz'd to behold some People that shall b nameless. I gaze, I look fixtly on 'em; They speak, I listen, I am all Ears; They tell me some matters, I take particular notice; yet after all, cannot I com∣prehend for my Life, how these People, whom I think in all things to he diametrical∣ly opposite to right Reason, good Sense, all Experience of the World, Knowledge of Mankind, Religion and Morality; how, I say, they can presume that Heaven shoud in their Persons renew in our Days the Miracles of the Apostleship, in making them, poor, mean, ignorant Wretches, capable of the Ministry of Souls; which of all Offices, is the Noblest and most Sublime. But if on the contrary, they fancy themselves born fit for so high and difficult a Function, that few are Qualify'd for it, and perswade themselves that in undertaking it, they do but exercise their Natural Gifts, and follow it like some Ordi∣nary Calling, I confess, I comprehend it still less.

I see very well, 'tis the Satisfaction of being privy to the Secrets of Families, of be∣ing necessary in making Reconciliations, procuring Employment, or helping 'em to Servants; 'tis the pleasure of finding all the Doors open to 'em at Noble-mens Houses, of eating frequently at good Tables, of being carry'd up and down the Town in a Coach, of making a delicious Retreat in the Country, of seeing Persons of great Rank and Quality concern themselves in their Life and Health, and of managing for others and themselves all Page  64 worldly Interests: I see very well, that 'tis for the sake of these things only, which makes 'em take up the laudable and specious pretence of the Care of Souls, and has propagated in the World that incredible Swarm of Di∣rectors.

* Devotion comes upon some People, but especially upon the Women, either as a Pas∣sion, or as one of the Infirmities of Age, or as a Fashion which they are oblig'd to follow. They reckon the Week by the Employments of the several Days. There are their Days of Gaming, of going to the Play, the Con∣cert, the Masquerade and to Church. On Mon∣days, they throw away their Money at Isme∣na's; on Tuesdays they throw away their Time at Climene's, and on Wednesdays their Reputa∣tion at elimene's. They know over-night what's to be done the next morning. They enjoy at once the present Pleasure and the future. They only wish that 'twas but possi∣ble to unite 'em both in one day. For no∣thing troubles 'em, nothing grieves 'em, but that when they are at the Opera, they can∣not be the same moment at the Play. At other Times, they have other Manners. Their Austerity and Retirement are altoge∣ther as Extravagant. They hardly open their Eyes, they're so Demure, or make any use of their Senses, and what is indeed Incredi∣ble, they speak little. They think tho, and that very well of themselves, and ill enough of others. They Envy one anothers Vertue and Reformation, as before they were Jea∣lous Page  65 upon a different account. The Pride of outvying one another, continues still in this new course of Life, which reign'd in that which they lately quitted, either out of Po∣licy or Disgust. Their Intreaguing, Luxury and Sloth Damn'd them before very gayly; now their Presumption and Envy will Damn them as surely, tho not so merrily.

* What, Hermas, if I shoud marry a Cove∣tous Woman, she will be sure not to ruine me: or if I shou'd marry one that Games, she may inrich me: or a Woman of Learning, she will know how to instruct me; or one that's Precise, she will not be Passionate; or one that's Passionate, she will exercise my Pati∣ence; or a Woman of Gallantry, she will perhaps be so Gallant as to love me in my turn; or suppose one of your Devout Ladies. But then tell me, Hermas, what ought I to expect from her, who wou'd deceive ev'n Heaven, and who really deceives herself?

* A Woman is easily Govern'd, provided a Man gives himself the Trouble. One Man often Governs a great may: He cultivates their Wit and Memory, fixes and determines them in their Religion, and undertakes to regu∣late their very Hearts: They neither approve nor disapprove, commend or condemn, till they have consulted his face and eyes: He is the Confident of their Joys, their Griefs, their Desires, their Jealousies, their Aversions and their Amours: He makes 'em break with their Gallants, embroils and reconciles 'em to their Husbands, and then makes his ad∣vantage Page  66 of the Intervals: He takes care of their concerns, sollicits their Law-suits, and visits the Judges for 'em: He recommends to 'em their Physician, their Tradesmen and Workmen: He takes upon him to provide 'em Lodgings, to furnish 'em and order their Equipage: He is to be seen with 'em in their Coaches, in the Streets and Walks, as well as in their Pew at Church, and their Box at the Play: He makes the same visits with em, waits on 'em to the Bath, the Waters, and in their Journeys: He has the best Apartment at their Houses in the Country: He grows old without falling from his Authority: having a little Wit and a great deal of Leisure; he wants nothing more to preserve it. The Children, Heirs, the Daughter-in-law, the Niece, the Servants all depend on him. He began by making himself esteem'd, and ends by making himself feard. This old and necessary Friend dyes without being regretted, and ten or a do∣zen Women, over whom he was a very Tyrant, come to Inherit their Liberty by his Death.

* Some Wom•• have endeavour'd to con∣ceal their Conduct, under an exteriour form of Modesty, but the best Character they have got by the closest and most constant Dissimu∣lation, has been to have it said, One wou'd in∣eed have taken her for a Vestal.

* 'Tis a strong proof that a Woman has a fair and establisht Reputation, when 'tis not blemisht by the familiarity of those who do not resemble her; and when, for all the propensity of people to make ill constructions, Page  67 they are forc't to have recourse to some other reason for this intimacy, than that of agree∣ment of Manners.

* An Actor exceeds Nature in the parts he plays; a Poet exaggerates in his descripti∣ons. A Painter who draws after the life, heightens the Passion, the Contrast and the Postures, and he that copies him, unless he measures exactly the sizes and proportions, will make his Figures too big, and give more scope to all the parts, thro the disposition of the whole piece, than they have in the Ori∣ginal. 'Tis the same with the Precise or Formal, they are but the imitators of the Wise.

There is a false Modesty, which is Vanity; a false Glory, which is Folly; a false Gran∣deur, which is Meanness; a false Vertue, which is Hypocrisy; and a false Wisdom, which is Formality.

The formal Lady is all show and words; the Conduct of the Wise Woman is better than her words. One follows her Humour and Fancy, the other her Reason and Affecti∣on. This is precise and austere, the other is on all occasions exactly what she ought to be. The first hides her Failings under a plausible outside: The second covers a rich Treasure of Vertues, under a free and care∣less Air. Formality puts a constraint on the Wit, neither does it hide Age or Wrinkles; it gives cause to suspect 'em often; Wisdom on the contrary palliates the Defects of the Body, and ennobles the Mind. It renders Page  68 Youth more charming, and Beauty more dangerous.

* Why should Men be blamd because Women have not Learning? What Laws, what Edicts have they publishd, to prohi∣bit 'em rom opening their Eyes, Rading, Remembring, or making their advantage of what theyve read, when the write, or when they converse? Is not this ignorance of theirs owing to a custom they have intro∣ducd themselves; or to the weakness of their Nature; or to laziness, that they will not use their Wit; or to an inconstancy, that will not let 'em prosecute any long Study; or to a Genius and Talent which they have only to employ their Fingers; or to a natural aversion for all things serious and difficult; or to a Curiosity very far from that which gratifies the Mind; or to a quite different pleasure than that of exercising the Memory. But whatever cause it is, to which Men are obligd for this Ignorance of the Women; 'tis certain they are happy, that the Women who have such Pre-eminence over 'em in so many things, shou'd even have this advantage too, which they do not intend to grudge 'em.

A VVoman with Learning, we look on, as we do on a fine Gun: the workmanship of it is rare, 'tis engrav'd most curiously, and kept wonderfully bright, but then 'tis only fit to adorn a Closet, to be shown them who admire such things. 'Tis of no more use or service, either for the Camp, or for hunting Page  69 than a Manag'd Horse, let him be never so well taught.

VVhere I find Learning and Wisdom uni∣ted in any one Person, I never stand to enquire the Sex, I admire 'em: And if you tell me that a Wise VVoman is seldom Learned, or a Learned VVoman seldom Wise; 'tis a sign you have forgot what you read just before, that the reason why VVomen were diverted from Science, was upon the account of certain Defects. Now do you judge your self, if they who have fewest Defects are not the most likely to be the wisest; and so consequently a Wise VVoman bids fairest for Learning, and a Learned Woman cou'd never be such, without having overcome a great many Defects, which is an infallible proof of her Wisdom.

* 'Tis a difficult point to maintain a Neutrality, when two Women who are equally our friends, fall out upon Interests, in which we are not at all concern'd: we must be often oblig'd to take one side or the other, or we loose 'em both.

* There are those Women in the world who love their Money above their Friends, yet will part with their Money to their Lovers.

* 'Tis strange to see Passions in some VVomen, stronger and more violent than that of their love to Men: I mean Ambition and Play. Such VVomen make the Men chaste, and have nothing of their own Sex but the Cloaths they wear.

Page  70* VVomen are all in extreams: They ar either better or worse than Men.

* Most VVomen have no Principles. They are led by their Passions, and those whom they love form their Manners.

* Women exceed the generality of Men in love, but in friendship we have infinitely the advantage.

The Men are the occasion, that Women do not love one another.

* Mocking is of ill consequence. Lyce who is something in years, to make a young Woman appear ridiculous, makes her self so deform'd that she is frightful. To imitate her, she uses such Grimaces, and puts her self in such distorted Figures, that now she's grown so horribly ugly, that the Person whom she mocks, cannot have a better Foil.

* In the City, they will have it, that there are Idiots, both Men and Women, who have some Wit: At Court they will have it, that there are abundance of People who really have Wit, yet want a great deal more. These last Criticks will hardly allow a Beautiful Woman to have as much Wit as the rest of her Sex.

* A Man is sooner to be trusted with ano∣ther Persons secret, than his own. A Woman on the contrary, keeps her own Secret, tho she keeps no bodies else.

* Let Love seem never so violently and so entirely to possess the Heart of a young Woman, there's room enough still left for Ambition and Interest.

Page  71* There is a time when the richest Wo∣men ought to Marry. They seldom let slip an opportunity at first, but it costs 'em a long Repentance. The Reputation of a Fortune, decays as well as Beauty.

On the contrary, every thing is favourable to the young of that Sex, even the Mens opinion, who are fond of giving 'em all the advantages possible to render 'em still more Desirable.

* To how many Women has a great Beau∣ty been of no service at all, but to make em hope for a great Fortune?

* Lovers, who have been ill us'd, have their revenge at last. They commonly see their Mistresses, tho Beautiful, throw away themselves on ugly, old, or undeserving Husbands.

* Most Women judge of the Merit and good Mein of a Person, by what impression they make on them, and very rarely allow him either, if they are not sensibly toucht themselves.

* He that is in doubt to know what alte∣ration his Age has made in him, needs only to consult the Eyes of the Fair One he ad∣dresses to, and the tone of her Voice as she talks with him, and he will learn there what he fears to know! But oh how hard a Lesson!

* The Woman that has her Eyes con∣stantly fixt on one particular Person, or whose Eyes you may observe constantly to avoid him; tho they are two different Page  72 Motions, they make us conclude but one and the same thing of her.

* The Women are not at so little trouble to express what they never feel, as the Men are to Express the real Sentiments of their Heart.

* Sometimes it happens that a Woman conceals from a Man the Passion she has for him, while he only feigns the Passion he professes for her.

* Is a man suspected of indifference? He returns presently, wou'd any one offer to perswade a Person that he loves her, whom he has no Concernment for? But what an∣swer can he make to this Question? Is it not easier to deceive the Woman who loves you, than her that does not?

* A Man by feigning an Inclination may deceive a Woman, but then he must have no real Engagement elsewhere.

* A Man for the present rails and curses at a Woman whom he no longer cares for, and quickly forgets the loss of her. A Wo∣man is not so outragious for being left, but the Regret lasts a long time.

* Idleness is never cur'd in Women but by Vanity or Love. Tho on the contrary in Women of a brisk and sprightly Temper, 'tis the Presage of Love.

* 'Tis cartain that a Woman who writes with warmth is agitated, tho 'tis not so cer∣tain that she's truly sensible. A Passion that is sincere and tender, is more likely to be pensive and silent, and for a Woman who is no Page  73 longer at Liberty, it seems to be more her Interest to be well assur'd of her Gallants affection, than to be too forward to con∣vince him of her own.

* Glycera does not love her own Sex; she hates their Conversation and their Visits; she orders her self to be deny'd to 'em, often to her very Friends, who are not many: She's reserv'd to 'em, allows of nothing but bare Friendship from 'em, is uneasy with 'em, answers 'em in Monosyllables, and seems to seek all occasions to get rid of 'em. She affects to be alone, and retir'd at her own House. Her Gate is more strictly Guarded, and her Chamber more inaccessible than a Minister of States. Yet there is One that is expected, admitted at all Hours, Corinna, who is embrac'd a thousand times, Carest and Whisper'd with, tho they're alone in the Closet, there's such attention given to all she says, that both Ears are hardly suffi∣cient to hear her discourse. She is assur'd again and again, that every body else is Troublesome, and is inform'd of all Pas∣sages, tho she learns no News, for she is the Confident of both Parties. However Glycra is to be seen abroad in Company, at the Ball, the Theatre, the Walks, on the Road to Ve∣nouse, where they eat Fruit early in the Season, sometimes alone in a Chair on the way to the Grand Faubourg, where she has a delicious Orchard: Or at Canidia's Door, who pro∣fesses so many rare secrets, who promises second Husbands to young Wives, and tells Page  74em the time when, and all the Circum∣stances. She appears commonly in Night∣cloaths, loose and negligent, in a plain Disha∣bille, without Stays and in Slippers. She is Charming in this Dress, and wants nothing but a little Colour. 'Tis observable tho, that she wears about her a very curious Jewel, which she takes special care to conceal from her Husbands Eyes. Him she Caresses, is fond of, and every day invents some new, pretty Name for him, has no other Bed, but that of her dear Husbands, and wou'd not lye from him for the world. The morning she spends at her Toilette, and in writing some necessary Billets. A Servant enters and speaks to her in private: 'Tis Parmeno, her Favorite whom she supports in spight of his Masters aversion, and his fellow-servants envy. He deserves it indeed; for who takes a hint sooner, or does a message better? who has a greater Gift of secrecy in those things which are not to be spoken of? who understands how to open a Door with less noise? who is a better Guide up a back pair of Stairs, or who has a more cleaver con∣veyance down again the same way?

* I cannot understand how a Husband who gives himself up to his own ill humour, and temper, who conceals none of his ill qualities, but on the contrary exposes them all; is covetous, slovenly, surly, rude, neg∣lectful and sullen; I cannot conceive, I say, how such a Man can hope to Defend the heart of a young Woman from her Gallants Page  75 attempts who uses Dressing, Magnificence, Complaisance, Care, Assiduity, Presents and Flattery, to win her

* A Husband seldom has a Rival whom he does not make himself; and whom he does not, as it were, make a Present of to his Wife. He is always praising him before her for his handsomeness, for his fine Teeth. He receives his visits, and encourages his assidui∣ty, and next to what comes off his own ground, nothing relishes better with him, than the Fowl and Fruit his friend sends him. He makes a Treat, and bids his Guests fall to on such a thing: 'Tis Leander's, says he, and does not cost me any thing but thanks.

* There are those Wives, who bury their Husbands before their time: That is, a Hus∣band with one of those Ladies is not so much as mention'd in the world, 'tis doubted whe∣ther such a man is alive or no. In the Family he is a Cypher, of no use, except it be to show an example of perfect Submission, Fear and Silence. He has nothing to do with Por∣tion and Settlement: If 'twere not that he does not lye in, one wou'd almost take him for the Wife, and her for the Husband. They may be a quarter of a year in the house together, without any danger of meeting one another. They live as if they were only Neighbours. He pays the Butcher and Cook, but 'tis my Lady that gives the Treat. They have nothing in common, neither Bed nor Table. They have not so much as the same name: They live after Page  [unnumbered] the Roman and Greek manner. She has her name, and he his, and 'tis a long time, and not before one is well acquainted with the Language of the Town, that one comes to know at last, that Mr B. and Madam L. have been Man and Wife this twenty years.

* There are some Wives, who if they brought no other Plagues with 'em, are vexa∣tious enongh to their Husbands upon the account of their great Birth, and Alliances and Fortune; upon the account of their Beauty and Merit, and of that, which some People call Vertue.

* There are few Wives so perfect, who do not give their Husbands cause once a day to repent of their Marriage, or at least to envy a Man that is unmarry'd.

* Silent, stupid Grief is out of Fashion. Women now adays are very talkative in their Sorrow. They are so toucht with their Husbands Death, that they do not forget to tell you, and repeat to you every circum∣stance of it.

* Is it impossible for a Man to discover the art of making his Wife to love him?

* The Woman that is Insensible, is one that has not yet seen the person whom she ought to Love.

In Smyrna there liv'd a young Lady of ex∣traordinary Beauty call'd Emira; who yet was not more famous for her Beauty, than for the severity of her Manners; and above all, for a strange Indifference that she had for all Men, whom, as she said, she beheld Page  77 without any danger, and without any other concernment, than what she felt for her Friends, or her Brothers. She cou'd not be∣lieve the thousandth part of all the follies, which, she was told, Love had been the cause of; and those which she saw herself, she cou'd not comprehend. Friendship was the only thing she had any notion of, and that she made the first experiment of, in a young and beautiful person of her own Sex: She found in her friendship, something so very soft and pleasing, that her only Study was how to continue it; never imagining that any other Inclination cou'd arise, which shoud make her less to cherish that esteem and confidence which she prizd so much then. Her discourse was only of Euphrosina, which was the name of that faithful friend, and the discourse of all Smyrna, was only of Euphrosina and her. Their Friendship became a Proverb. Emira had two Brothers, both so young and so handsome, that all the Wo∣men of that City were in love with 'em, and whom she lov'd herself, as became a Sister. One of the Priests of Iupiter had access to her Fathers house, and being ravisht with her Beauty, ventur'd to declare his Passion to her, but came off only with Scorn and Con∣tempt. An old man, who relying on his great Birth and Estate, had the same assu∣rance, met with the same success. She Tri∣umphs on this; she was surrounded by her Brothers, a Priest, and an Old Man, and cou'd boast herself Insensible; but these were Page  78 not the greatest Tryals that Heaven had re∣serv'd or her; yet they too, had no other ef∣fect but to render her still more Vain, and to confirm her in the reputation of being a per∣son that was not to be toucht with Love. Of three Lovers, whom her Charms had gain'd her, one after another, and all whose Passions she was not afraid to see and to slight, the first in an Amorous Transport stabb'd himself at her feet, the second in Despair of ever succeeding, wen to seek his Death in the Wars of Crete; and the third ended his days in a Miserable Languishment and Di∣straction. The man that was to revenge all these, had not yet appear'd. The old Spark, who was so unfortunate in his Amours, was cur'd at length, by reflecting on his Age, and on the character of the person, to whom he had made his Addresses. However, he was desirous to visit her sometimes, and had her Permission. One day, he carry'd along with him his Son, a Youth of a most agreeable Aspect, and of a noble Mein: She be∣held him with some Interest more than ordi∣nary, but observing him very silent, as he was, in the presence of his Father, she made a judgment of his Wit from thence not much to his advantage. She cou'd have wisht he had had more. He saw her afterwards alone, and then he talkt to her sufficiently, and wittily too; but when he regarded her less, and talkt to her less about her self and her Beauty, than she expected, she was surpriz'd, and had, as it were, some indignation, that Page  79 a Man who was so well made, and had so much Wit, shou'd be so little Gallant. Her Friend had exprest a Desire to see him, and was in company when she entertain'd him; that was the reason. 'Twas for Euphrosina alone that he had Eyes, and her Beauty alone which he commended. This made Emira, from being Indifferent, to become Jealous; and then she perceivd, that Ctesiphon was sen∣sible of what he said; and that he not only was capable of Gallantry, but of Tenderness. From that time she is more reserv'd to her friend, yet desirous to see 'em together once more. The second Interview more than sa∣tisfy'd her in all her fears, her doubt was turn'd into certainty. She now flyes from Euphrosina, no longer knows that Merit which charm'd her before, she loses all relish of her conversation, she loves her no longer; and this alteration made her sensible that 'twas Love, which in her heart, had sup∣ply'd the place of friendship. Ctesiphon and Euphrosina see one another every day. They love mutually; they agree to marry: They are marryd. The news is spread about the Town, and People publish it the more for the rarity of it, that two persons who Love so well, shou'd be blest in Enjoyment. Emira hears of it, and is all enrag'd, she feels then to what height her Passion was grown. She seeks out Euphrosina again, only for the pleasure of one sight of Ctesiphon, but that young Husband has not yet quitted the Lover: in a new Wife he finds all the Charms of a Page  80 Mistriss, which makes him that he cannot look on Emira, but as on the friend of her that's dear to him. This compleats the poor Lady's misfortune. She can take no rest, refuses all sustenance, her Body grows weak, and her Mind disturb'd. She mistakes her Brother for Ctesiphon, and speaks to him as to a Lover. She recollects her self, and blushes for her Distraction, yet relapses into greater, which she does not blush for. She knows not what she does. Then is she apprehensive of Men, when 'tis too late. 'Tis her Folly now. She has her Intervals of Reason; but 'tis of Reason that she most complains. In this condition she lyes so sad and miserable, that the Youth of Smyrna, who before had seen her so proud and insensible, now think Heaven has punisht her but too severely.

Page  81

Of the Heart.

* PUre Friendship is something, which none can attain to the taste of, but those who are well Born.

* There may be a Friendship between per∣sons of different Sexes, which may subsist without Enjoyment; yet a Woman will al∣ways look upon a Man as a Man, and so will a Man still look upon a Woman as a Woman. This Engagement is neither Love, nor pure Friendship. 'Tis something of another kind.

* Love seizes on us suddenly, without gi∣ving us time to consider, and our Disposition, or our Weakness favours the Surprize. One Look, one Glance from the Fair fixes and de∣termins us. Friendship on the contrary is a long time in forming, and that by degrees, by a long Acquaintance and Familiarity. How much Wit, good Nature, Affection? how many good Offices and Civilities are there among Friends to do that in many years, which sometimes a fair Face, or a fair Hand does in a minute?

* Friendship the older it grows, is the stronger; Love is the weaker for its Age.

Page  82* Love, as long as it does last, subsists of itself; and sometimes subsists by those very means, which shou'd seem rather to extinguish it; Severity, Cruelty, Absence, Jealousy. Friendship, on the contrary, stands in need of all helps, Care, Confidence, and Complai∣sance. If 'tis not supply'd with these it ex∣pires.

*'Tis not so hard to meet with Love in Ex∣cess, as with perfect Friendship.

* Love and Friendship exclude one ano∣ther.

* He that has had Experience of a great and violent Love neglects Friendship; and he that has consum'd all his Passion upon Friend∣ship is nothing advanc'd towards Love.

* Love alone begets Love. We commence but languishing Lovers, when we have but just quitted the dearest and most affectionate Friendship.

* Nothing more resembles the strongest Friendship, than those Engagements which we make for the Interest and Security of our Love.

* We never Love heartily but once, and that's the first time we love. The Inclina∣tions that succeed are more at our Com∣mand.

* Sudden Love is longest to be cur'd.

* Love, that grows slowly and leisurely, is too like Friendship ever to be a violent Passion.

* He who loves to that degree, that he wishes he were able to love a thousand times Page  83 more than he does, yields in Love to None, but to Him, who loves more than he wishes for.

* If I shou'd grant, that 'tis possible for those who are transported with a great and violent Passion, to love one another better than themselves. Who shou'd I most oblige? They that love, or they that are belov'd?

* Men are sometimes inclinable enough to be in Love, but can't succeed in their Desire. They seek all Occasions of being conquer'd, but escape still, for which reason 'tis, if I may be allow'd the Expression, that they are bound to continue free.

* The couple who love too violently at first, contribute each of 'em, to their loving one another less in a short time, and at length to their hating one another. Who has the greatest share in this Rupture, the Man or the Woman, is not easily to be decided. The Women accuse the Men of being wild and roving; and the Men say, they are false and inconstant.

* As nice as we are in Love, we pardon more Faults in Love, than in Friendship.

* 'Tis a Revenge sweet to a Man that loves passionately, by all his Conduct and Carriage to an ungrateful Mistris, to make her appear extreamly ungrateful.

'Tis but an unpleasant thing to Love, when we have not a Fortune great enough to ren∣der those we love, as happy as they themselves can desire.

Page  84* The Woman that makes no Return to our present Passion, whatever important services she may afterwards do us in the resi∣due of our Life, will hardly meet with any thing from us but Ingratitude.

* When we are very grateful, 'tis a sign that we have a great Inclination and Affection for the person that has oblig'd us.

* To be but in the company of those we love, satisfies us: it does not signify whe∣ther we speak to 'em or not, whether we think on them or on indifferent things. To be near 'em is all.

* Hatred is not so remote from Friendship as Antipathy.

* 'Tis more common to see People pass from Antipathy to Love, than from that to Friendship.

* We make a Confidence of our secret in Friendship, but in Love it escapes from us.

'Tis possible to have some People's Confi∣dence, and yet not to have their Hearts. But he who has the Heart has no need of Confi∣dence, every thing is open to him.

In Friendship we only see those Faults which may be prejudicial to our Friends. In those we love we see no Faults, but those by which we suffer our selves.

'Tis the first Disgust in Love only, as well as the first Fault in Friendship, which we are able to make a good use of.

* If a Suspicion that is unjust, fantastical and groundless, has been call'd Jealousy, me∣thinks that Jealousy, which is a sentiment Page  85 just, natural, founded on Reason and Expe∣rience, shou'd deserve some other Name.

'Tis not always a great passion that is the cause of Jealousy, our natural temper has some share in it, yet 'tis a Paradox for a violent Love to be without Delicacy.

Our Delicacy often disturbs none but our selvesealousy makes us not only uneasy our selves, but disturbs others.

Those Women, who while they are not at the pains of dissembling with us, are not sparing to give us all occasions of Jealousy, don't indeed deserve our Jealousy, if we had the power to regulate our selves, more by their Sentiments and Conduct, than by our own Affections.

* The coldnesses and disorders which hap∣pen in Friendship, have their causes. In Love there's hardly any other reason for our ceasing to love, but that we are too well be∣lov'd.

* 'Tis no more in our power to love always, than 'tis not to love sometimes.

* Love receives its Deaths Wound from Disgust, and is bury'd by Oblivion.

* We are sensible of the Beginning and Decline of Love, by the Impatience we have to be alone.

* To cease from loving, is a sensible proof, that Man is limited, and that the Heart has its bounds.

'Tis a Weakness to love. 'Tis sometimes another Weakness to attempt the cure of it.

Page  86We are cur'd of that, just as we are com∣forted for our afflictions. 'Tis impossible in Nature always to grieve, or always to love.

* There ought to be in the Heart inex∣haustible sourses of Grief for some Losses. Tis seldom that either by our vertue o force of mind we overcome a great afflictio•• We weep bitterly, and are sensibly toucht, but at length, we are either so weak, or so incon∣stant, that we take up and are comforted.

* When an ugly Woman is belov'd, it must certainly be very deperately; for either it must proceed from a strange weakness in her Lover, or from some more secret and invin∣cible charms, than those of her Beauty.

* Visits amongst Lovers are made for a good while out of custom and ceremony, to profess they love, by words, when 't has been a long time that their Actions and Manners have declar'd the contrary.

* Wou'd you endeavour to forget any one, 'tis the certain course to think on nothing else. Love has this in common with Scru∣ples, that 'tis exasperated by the Reflections, which are us'd to free us from it. If 'twere Practicable there's nothing necessary to weaken our Passion, but never to think on't.

* We wou'd have it in our power, that those whom we love might receive all their good, or else all their ill fortune from our Hands.

* 'Tis a greater happiness in comparison to regret the loss of a person we love, than to ive with one we hate.

Page  87* How disinterested soever we may be in respect of those we love, we must some∣times constrain our selves for their sakes, and have the generosity to accept of what they present us.

He's fit to receive, who is toucht with as delicate a pleasure in accepting, as his friend is sensible of in giving.

* To give is to act. We are not to be passive in the case, to have our benefits ex∣torted from us, by the importunity or ne∣cessity of our Petitioners.

* If at any time we have been liberal to those we love, whatever happens afterwards, we ought by no means to reflect on our benefits.

* It has been said in Latin, that is costs less to hate than to love, or if you will, that friendship is more chargeable than hatred. 'Tis true, we are excus'd from liberality to our Enemies, but is a man at no cost to re∣venge himself? Or if 'tis so sweet and natu∣ral to do ill to those we hate, is it less pleasing or less natural to do good to those we love? Wou'd it not be difficult and disa∣greeable to us not to do so?

* There is a pleasure to meet the Eyes of a person that we have lately obligd.

* I do not know whether a benefit, which falls on an ungrateful person, and so conse∣quently on one thats unworthy, does not change its name, or whether it deserves ac∣knowledgment.

* Liberality consists not so much in giving a great deal, as in giving prudently.

Page  88* If 'tis true, that in our pity and compas∣sion we have a regard to our selves, as we are apprehensive of being some time or other in the same circumstances with the miserable, how comes it about then, that in their mise∣ry we so seldom relieve 'em?

* Tis better to expose our selves to Ingra∣titude, than to be wanting to the miserable.

* Experience confirms it every Day. That our indulgence to our selves, and hard-heart∣edness to others, are but one and the same vice.

The churlish, moyling, laborious man, that shews no mercy to himself, is not to be made indulgent to others, but by an excess of reason.

* Tho the charge of maintaining an indi∣gent person, may be very burthensom to us; yet we cannot heartily relish the new ad∣vantages which put him out of our prote∣ction. In the same manner the pleasure which we take in the exaltation of our friend, is something abated, by a little sort of a trou∣ble we have, to see him mounted above us, or in an equal condition with us. Thus we agree but ill with our selves. We wou'd have others dependant on us, but to cost us no∣thing. We wou'd have our friends prosperous in the World, yet when their good fortune comes, perhaps we're the last to rejoyce at it.

'Tis nothing for people to make invita∣tions to their House and Table, to make liberal offers of their fortune and services. To be as good as their word is all.

Page  89* One faithful friend is enough for ones self, and 'tis much to meet with such an one, yet we can't have too many for the sake of others.

* When we have done all that's possible to gain some sort of people, and we find it in vain, there's one Reserve still left, which is, ev'n to let 'em alone for the future.

* To live with our Enemies in such man∣ner, as if they shou'd one day be our Friends, and to live with our Friends as if they shou'd some time or other become our Enemies, is at once against the nature of Hatred, and the rules of Friendship. It may be a good Maxim in Politicks, but 'tis a very bad one in Morality.

* We ought not to make those our Ene∣mies, who being better known, we may be glad to have in the number of our Friends. We ought to make choice of persons of such Honour for our Friends, as if they shou'd ever cease to be so, will not abuse our Con∣fidence, nor give us cause to fear 'em for Enemies.

* 'Tis extremely pleasant to frequent our Friends, when we do it from Inclination and Esteem, but 'tis painful and troublesome to cultivate Friendship out of Interest. 'Tis solliciting.

* 'Tis more allowable to use Artiice to gain their affections whom we design to oblige, than 'tis to gain their favour, from whom we have expectations of advantage.

Page  90* We do not pursue our Settlement in the World with the same eagerness, that we do the frivolous things we fancy. Our Imagi∣nation suggests to us a kind of Liberty in fol∣lowing our Whimseys, and on the contrary a kind of Slavery in labouring how to make our fortune. 'Tis natural to desire it very much, but to take little pains to procure it: To think, in short, we deserve it without seeking for it.

* He that knows how to wait for what he desires, takes the course not to be excessively griev'd, if he chances to go without it. He, on the contrary, who desires a thing too im∣patiently, thinks the success, when it comes, cannot recompence him for all the pains he has been at about it.

* There are those People, who so ardently and passionately desire a thing, that for fear they shall lose it, they leave nothing undone that may surely make 'em lose it.

* Those things, which are most desir'd, either never are attain'd, or are attain'd with so much difficulty, after so many delays, and attended with such circumstances, as quite spoil the enjoyment of 'em.

* We must laugh before we are happy, or else we may die before we have cause to laugh.

* If we cannot be accounted to live, but at such times as we enjoy our selves, I'm a∣fraid Life will be found to be very short; since if w were only to reckon the hours which we pass agreeably, a great number Page  91 of years wou'd not make up a Life of a few months.

* How difficult is it to be perfectly satisfy'd with any one?

'Tis imppssble to suppress all sense of joy, when we behold the ruine of a bad man. Then it is that we enjoy the fruit of our ha∣tred, and that pleasure is all the satisfaction we we can expect. His Death happens at last, but then 'tis at such a conjuncture perhaps, that our Interests will not permit us to re∣joyce; for which he dies either too soon or too late.

* It goes to the Heart of a haughty and proud Man, to forgive one that has taken him in a fault, and whom he knows has reason on his side. His Pride is never satisfy'd, till he has regain'd the Advantage he has lost, and made the other acknowledge himself in the wrong.

Just in the same manner, as we grow more and more endearing to the persons that oblige us, so do we more and more violent∣ly hate those whom we have extreamly of∣fended.

* 'Tis as difficult to stifle the Resentment of an Injury at first, as 'tis to preserve it for a great many years.

* 'Tis Weakness which makes us hate an Enemy and sek Revenge, and 'tis Laziness that pacifies us, and makes us not to prose∣cute it.

Page  92* It proceeds from Laziness as much as from Weakness, that we suffer our selves to be Rul'd and Manag'd.

There's no thinking of managing a man all at once, and without some preparation, in an affair, which perhaps may be of the last importance to him or his. He wou'd feel you then presently, and the Ascendant you de∣sign'd to gain over him, and wou'd throw off the yoak for Shame. No, let him at first be drawn to little things, so will you be certain not to fail when you shall attempt him in greater.

There have been those in the World who at first have had no greater influence over a Man, than that, perhaps, of making him leave the Town or Country a day or two be∣fore his time, who at length have arriv'd to that power, as to prescribe him what he shou'd do in his Will, make him disinherit his only Son.

To govern any one absolutely, and for a long time, 'tis necessary to carry a light hand, and to let him perceive, as little as possible, his Dependance.

Some People suffer themselves to be go∣vern'd just so far and no farther. Beyond that they are intractable. 'Tis impossible to move their Hearts or their Minds. Neither rough nor gentle means, force nor industry can reduce 'em. 'Tis with this difference, tho, that some are thus made by reason and judgment, and others by humour and dis∣position.

Page  93There are those men who will not hear∣ken to reason, or good council, but deviate of their own Heads, purely for fear of being govern'd.

There are others who yield to be govern'd by their friends in indifferent things, who in things serious and of moment, will have the management of themselves.

*Drances would fain pass for one that rules his Master, tho his Master is no more sensible of it than the World. For a Ser∣vant, to talk to a Man of Quality incessant∣ly, at such times and places as are least convenient; to be always whispering, or speaking to him in mysterious terms; to laugh aloud in his presence, to interrupt him, to interfere in his discourse with others: to treat with contempt, those that come to make their Court to his Master, to express an impatience, till they are gone. To seat himself next him, and in a posture of too great freedom, to pluck him by the Sleeve, to tread upon his Heals: in fine, to affect to be thus familiar, and to take these sorts of liberties with him, are signs of a Cox∣comb rather than a Favourite.

A Wise Man neither suffers himself to be govern'd, nor attempts to govern others. 'Tis his reason alone which always governs him.

If I had a friend who was a Man of Rea∣son, and whom I might confide in, I shou'd not be against delivering up my self entirely to his conduct. I shou'd then be sure to do Page  94 well, without being at the pains of delibe∣ration, and shou'd enjoy all the tranquility of a person that governs himself by reason.

* All our Passions are deceitful and as much disguis'd as possible. We do not only strive to conceal 'em from other peoples Eyes, but our own. There is no Vice which has not some resemblance of some Virtue, or other, and which does not make its advan∣tage of it.

* We open a Book of Devotion, and it touches us. We open a Book of Gallantry, and that too makes its impression. Shall I say it? 'Tis the Heart alone that reconciles Contrarieties, and admits of things incom∣patible.

* Men don't so much blush for their Crimes, as for their Weaknesses and Vanity. Such a one makes no scruple openly, and with a bold face to be unjust, cruel, perfidious, a slanderer; yet he conceals his Love or his Ambition upon no other account, but purely to conceal it.

* It rarely happens, that a man is brought to own that he is ambitious, or that he has been, or that he continues so; yet 'tis common for most People to confess they have lov'd.

* Love begins and Ambition ends with us; so that we are often never freed from Passion till we die.

* 'Tis nothing for our passion to get the better of our reason. Its greatest Triumph is, when it makes our interest to submit.

Page  95* The best Conversation is that, in which the Heart has a greater share than the Head.

* There are certain sublime Sentiments, certain noble and elevated Actions, which we own more to the goodness of our Na∣ture, than to the force of our Mind.

* There's no excess in the World so com∣mendable as an excess of gratitude.

* He must be a dull fellow indeed, whom neither Love, Malice, nor Necessity, can inspire with Wit.

* There are some places which we admire: Others which we love.

For my part, I believe, our Wit, Humour, Passion, Taste, and Sentiments, depend on the places where we live.

* Those who are good, wou'd be the only persons to be envy'd, if there were not a bet∣ter course to be taken, which is to excel 'em. That is a revenge which is to be permitted, and which our Jealousy ought to prompt us to pursue.

* Some stand upon their Guard against Loving and Rhiming, as two weaknesses, which they dare not own; the one of the Heart, and the other of the Head.

* There are some pleasures to be met with∣al in the course of our Life, which are so dear to us, and some engagements so soft and tender, that tho they are forbid, 'tis but na∣tural to desire at least that they were allowable. Nothing can be more charming than they are, except it be the pleasure of knowing how to renounce 'em by our Vertue.

Page  [unnumbered]

OF Society and Conversation.

'TIS a silly Character to have none at all.

*'Tis a Fool's part to be troublesome. A Wise man knows when he is agreeable or vexatious, and will not tarry long enough to make any one weary of him.

* Buffoons are a sort of Insects which breed in all Countries; we can scarce step for fear of treading on 'em. A pleasant man is rarely to be met with; and a person tho he is born so, must have a great deal of Delicacy to maintain the character a long time: But com∣monly he that makes one laugh is not sure to be esteem'd.

* There are abundance of obscene, a great many more railing and satyrical Wits, but very few delicate. A Man must have manners and politeness to trifle with a good grace, and a copious fancy to play handsomely on little things, to create matter of raillery, and make something out of nothing.

* If we were to listen with attention to every thing that is said in common Conver∣sation, Page  97 we should be asham'd to speak or to hear. We shou'd perhaps condemn our selves to a perpetual silence, which is more injurious to Commerce than unprofitable discourses: we must therefore accommodate our selves to every Mans capacity; we must suffer as ne∣cessary Evils, false News, rambling Reflexi∣ons on the Government, or the Interest of Princes: we must hear with patience the fine notions some men are continually repeating; and permit Aronce to speak Proverbs, and Melinda to talk of herself, her Vapours, Me∣grims, and Want of Rest.

* In the company we keep, we shall often meet with persons who offend us with their ridiculous Jargon, the Novelty and Impro∣priety of their Terms and their quaint Ex∣pressions, which come from no bodys mouth but their own, and were not design'd by the first Inventors to signifie what they use 'em for. They observe neither reason nor cu∣stom, but speak according to their foolish Whimsies, are always fond of Pleasantry, and affect to distinguish themselves by a parti∣cular Cant, which becomes at length their Natural Idiom: They speak in a counterfeit tone, and accompany their words with odd gestures and grimaces. However, they are well contended with themselves, and their Wit, which they imagine very diverting. In∣deed we can't say they are entirely destitute; but we pity 'em for what little Wit they have, and believe if they had none at all, they woud be less insufferable.

Page  98* Prithee Acis, for the satisfaction of your friends, endeavour to speak as they may un∣derstand you, for my part I do but guess at your meaning: If you would tell 'em 'tis cold, that it rains and snows; say 'tis cold, it rains, and it snows. If you see 'em in good health, and would congratulate 'em upon it, tell 'em they look well: Oh! but say you, that is so plain, and so conspicuous, any one might have said as much. 'Tis true, and what does that signify? besides, what harm is there, Sir, in being intelligible, or speaking like your Neighbours. There is one thing Acis, which you and some Gentlemen of your Complexion want very much; I know I shall surprize you, but there's certainly one thing wanting in you, which is Wit: tho this is not all, there is something too abounding in you, and that is the good opinion you have of your self, above other Men. This is the Fountain of all your pompous fustian, your big words, and your perplext phrases. The next time I find you do so, I shall pluck you by your Sleeve, and tell you in your Ear: Don't fancy you have Wit; 'tis a mi∣stake: your part is inconsistent with it; ra∣ther, if you can, learn some plain unaffected Language, such as those speak who you fan∣cy have no Wit, and then, perhaps, we may think you have some your self.

* Who that keeps much company can pro∣mise himself to avoid meeting certain vain Blockheads, who are light, familiar and posi∣tive. These are the Speaking Men in all Page  99 Conversation, and they compel every one else to hear them. They are heard in the Antichamber. They enter without Inter∣ruption: They continue their Tales with∣out any consideration for such as come in, or go out, or for the rank or quality of the peo∣ple who make up the Company. They silence him that dares to begin a piece of News, that they may tell it after thei own fashion, which to be sure is the best. They had it of Zamet, Raccelay, or Conchini, whom they name fami∣liarly without their Title, tho they never knew 'em, or spoke to 'em in their Lives: They get themselves up sometimes to the best Man in the Company, to gratify him with some∣thing new, which no body else knows. They whisper it, and for a world will suffer none but him to partake ont. They hide Names to disguise the Story, and prevent Application. There are some things they must not tell, and some persons whom they cannot name: Their words are engag'd to the contrary, 'tis a mystery, a secret of the last importance. Shou'd you ask it, you wou'd demand an impossibility; for what∣ever you imagine, they are equally ignorant of both persons and actions.

* As we ought not to be backward in speaking, or to abstract our minds from the subject of the conversation we are in, let it causes us to ask a great many untimely que∣stions, and return as unseasonable answers; o we ought not also to give an over-curious Page  100 attention to the least trifles, that are said in company, to improve 'em, to banter 'em, to discover in 'em a mystery which the rest could not perceive, to make 'em subtle and politick, only that we may have an opportu∣nity to shew our own policy and subtilty.

* Some Men think thy are extraordinary persons, and are fond of their own merit, tho they have indeed but very little, or none at all; he is truly unhappy who is oblig'd to be much in their company; what a parcel of whimsical phrases must he endure? how many bold words, which come out suddenly, live a moment, then dye, and are forgotten. If they tell a piece of News, 'tis meerly for the honour of telling it, and to shew they can come off handsomly. It grows a Romance under their management: they make their men think after their own manner; put their own trivial expressions in their mouths, and they are all like themselves very talkative. They fall at last into Parentheses, which may pass for Epicodes, but that they have no relation to the story; and by this means the Speakers and their Hearers forget what they were about. What a terrible confusion must then attend 'em, shou'd not some body come in luckily to break up the Company, and put an end to the Narration.

* *Theodectus is heard in the Anticham∣ber, the nearer he approaches he heightens his voice; he enters, he laughs, he stretches his mouth up to his ears, he makes a noise; he is a meer Thunderer, and no less remark∣able Page  101 for what he says, than the tone he speaks with. He is never out of an extream hurry, but to stutter out some of his own follies and vanities. He has so little consideration for the time, the persons, or decency, that each has his share of his Entertainment, tho he gives no attention to what he says. In short, he never sits down beore the whole compa∣ny is disoblig'd by his disturbances; and he is ever so well pleas'd with himself, that he cannot perceive it. The Table spread he is the first in his place, and always at the upper end. The Ladies at his right and left, he eats, he drinks, talks, and interrupts; he has no respect for the Master or his Guests; but abuses the toleration they give him. Whoever makes the Feast, he has all the Au∣thority of the Table: and 'tis more conve∣nient to give him his way, than to di∣spute it with him. Eating and drinking add nothing to his Character. If he plays he wins, and banters the unfortunate, till they are offended. The langhable Men are conti∣nually on his side, and there is no sort of fol∣ly which escapes 'em. I must confess I am surfeited with his company, and despair of being able to endure Theodectus above a minute, or those who suffer him.

Troilus is very useful to such as have too much Riches: He eases them of the trouble of their superfluities; and saves 'em the labour of hoarding up Money, making Contracts, locking Coffers, carrying the Keys, or fear∣ing a Domestick Thief. He assists them in Page  102 their pleasures, and in time becomes service∣able to 'em in their passions. He is the Ora∣cle of the house, he triumphs in his manage∣ment, he sets every one his task, he hears and decides. He says to this Slave he shall be punish'd, and he is whipt; to another he shall be freed, and he is set at liberty. His Creatures are very demure in his presence, they dare not Laugh for fear of offending him, and then they are dismist: And it goes well with the Master of the House if he leaves him his Wife and Children. If he is at the Table, and says such a dish is excel∣lent, the Master and his Guests govern them∣selves by his Palat, are of his opinion, and fall to heartily. If he says on the contrary of other Meats they are Insipid, whoever were eating it spit it out, and dare not swal∣low it without Troilus approbation. Every Eye is on him, observing his looks and car∣riage, before he pronounces sentence on the Wine or Victuals before him. He seldom stirs out of the Family where he is Director; there he eats, drinks, sleeps and digests, quarrels with the Grooms and Valets, ac∣counts with the Work-men, and sends back the Creditors. He swells and domineers in the Great Hall, receives there the Homages of those Servants who are more subtle than their fellows, and by his mediation alone come at their Master. If a person enters whose mis∣fortune 'tis to have a complexion disagreeable to his humour, he frowns, turns away his Head; if he comes up to him he sits still; if Page  103 he sits down, he removes himself farther off; if he talks, he is mute; if he continues to talk, Troilus gets up into his Chamber: if he follows, he makes to the Stair-case, leaps down Stairs, or gets out at a Window, rather than associate with a Man whose face or voice he dislikes. He is himself happy in both, and they serve to insinuate, and win upon such as he has occasion of. Every thing at last is below him, and he scorns to preserve his favour, by the little ways he acquir'd it. He sometimes sallies out of his Meditation and Silence to contradict, and to shew his Wit condescends to be a Critick. Instead of expecting he shou'd hearken to you in his turn, or be complaisant, and commend your Judg∣ment. You are not always sure he will per∣mit your approbation, o suffer your com∣placency.

* There is a certain Spark who never fails to be at all Cavalcades, publick Feasts and Sights; he is careful to make himself known and where-ever he stands seldom gives himself the trouble to inquire if the company have heard of him, but presently acquaints them with his Name, his Seat, his Country, his Estate, his Offices, his own and his Mo∣thers Family, his Relations, and the Arms of his House: They must understand that he is Noble, that he has a Castle, fine Furniture, Retinue and a Coach.

Some Men speak before they think, others study heavily on every thing they say; we must stay for these till they are deliver'd of Page  104 their Notions, and assist at the Travail of their minds:* They invent Phrases and little turns of Expression, conformable to their ge∣sture and carriage. They call themselves Puriets, and will not venture the least word where it has not all the fine effect imaginable; yet nothing comes from them easy or happy: they talk properly perhaps, but they are very tiresome.

* The Wit of conversation consists more in finding it in others than shewing a great deal your self. He who goes out of your com∣pany pleas'd with his own facetiousness and ingenuity, will the sooner come into it again. Most men had rather please than admire you, and seek less to be instructed and diverted, than approv'd and applauded; and 'tis cer∣tainly the most delicate sort of pleasure to please another.

* Too much fancy is not necessary in our conversation or writings; it begets vain and puerile Ideas which tend neither to make us wiser or better. Our thoughts shou'd be produc'd by good sense and right reason, and ought always to be the effect of our judg∣ment.

* 'Tis a sad thing when Men have neither Wit enough to speak well, nor Sense enough to hold their tongues: this is the foundation of all impertinence.

* To speak modestly on a good or bad sub∣ject, and to give the true reason for its being so requires good sense, and a happy expression. 'Tis a much more ready way to pronounce Page  105 in the decisive tone, that this thing is execra∣ble or that wonderful.

* There is nothing more displeasing to God or Man, than confirming the least things that are said in common conversation by horrid Oaths and Imprecations. An honest Man, who says Yes or No, deserves sooner to be believed; his reputation swears for him, gets him credit, and draws him all manner of confidence.

* He who says boldly he is a Man of Truth and Honour, that he wrongs no Man, but wishes the Ills he has done others may fall upon himself, and swears that it may be believed; does not know even how to coun∣terfeit an Honest Man.

An honest Man with all his sincerity can∣not hinder some People saying of him, what a dishonest Man cou'd say of himself.

* Cleon talks uncivilly or unjustly, I am sure 'tis one or the other; but he says he can't help it, he was born so, and speaks as he thinks.

* Some men talk well, easily, justly, and to the purpose: those offend in the last kind, who speak of the Banqnets they are to be at, before such as are reduc'd to spare their Bread; of sound Limbs, before the Inirm; of Demesnes and Revenues, before the Poor and Needy; of fine Houses and Furniture, before such as have neither Dwelling or Moveables: in a word, who speak of Prospe∣rity, before the Miserable. This conversa∣tion is too strong for 'em, and the comparison Page  106 you make between their condition and yours is odious.

* As for you, says Entiphron, you are rich, or ought to be so, ten thousand Livres a year good Lands: Ah! this is fine, lovely, and you are certainly happy. In the mean time, the person who talks at this rate, has fifty thousand Livres a year Rent, and thinks he has not half what he deserves; he taxes you, prizes you, settles your Expence; and if he judges you worthy of a better fortune, or even what he himself aspires to, he cant yet forbear coveting what you have. However, he is not the only man that makes such wretched estimations and odious comparisons. The world is full of Entiphrons.

* A peson who was naturally a Flatterer, and besides fond of being in the fashion, which obliges us to praise any one who has rais'd himself to Honour and Riches, congratu∣lated Theodemus on a Book which he had not heard of, and no body had yet given it any character to him. The man however still talks of his Genius, his Manner, and above all, the Fidelity of his Memory, till Theodemus was confounded and put to a Nonplus.

* Baevius never speaks, but he offends; his Disposition is sharp and bitter, his Language mingled with Gall and Wormwood: Rail∣ing, Injury, and Insolence, run from his Lips like Spittle. It had been well for him, had he been born stupid or mute; what little quickness and wit he has prejudices him more ••en another mans dulness. He is not al∣ways Page  107 satisfy'd with giving sharp answers, he attacks frequently with arrogance. He strikes whenever he speaks, and wounds the present and absent, at least in their Reputations. He bristles his forehead, and runs at all like a Ram: And since Impudence is as natural to him, as Horns to a Ram, why should we hope by this Picture to reform a Sot, so rough, wild, and untractable. We had better, as soon as we see him afar of, run from him with all our might, without looking behind us.

* I know a Man of such a Make and Cha∣racter, that some People shou'd be careful how they trust themselves with him: they must complain of him as little as possible, and against him 'tis not permitted for 'em to hope for Justice.

* When two persons have had a violent quarrel, one with reason, the other with none; 'tis the custom of the Arbitrators, who are to make up the difference, to condemn both, either fearing to make a perfect deci∣sion on one side, or out of a temperament, which methinks is very ill plac'd: But they observe this Lesson, that 'tis good to get from the weak party as far as possible, lest they should partake with him in his wrongs.

* I hate a man who will not let me accost him,* nor salute him, before he salutes me, without growing less in his esteem, or par∣taking in the good opinion he has of himself. Montaign would have said,

I will have El∣bow-room: I will be courteous and affable, Page  108 according to my fancy, without fear or remorse. I can't strive against my inclina∣tions, nor go contrary to my humour, which leads me to address my self to every one that makes towards me, if he is my Equal, and not my Enemy, I anticipate his Re∣ception, I question him of his Health and Disposition, I offer him my Service with∣out any more ado, or trading and haggling for them, like some People who set a price on their Favours. He displeases me, who by his Customs or Whimsies would rob me of this Freedom and Liberty. I remember him assoon as I see him afar off settling a grave and important countenance; and if I may make a comparison, putting me in mind of my own good qualities and condi∣tions, and his bad ones; I am too much put to it to deal with such a person, I am not fit for such a stiff and unlookt for a re∣spect; I hate Ceremony, tho for the first time I may allow it, yet at the second I will take care to prevent him, since I can't put a force on my self, nor be constrain'd to be proud for any man.

* A man may have vertue, capacity, and good conduct, and yet be insupportable. Manners, which we neglect as little things, are frequently what the world judge us by, and decide for or against us. A little ma∣nagement, to be obliging and polite before men, will prevent their bad judgments, but we must on no account be proud, uncivil, disdainful, and disobliging; and we ought Page  109 less to be the contrary, if we wou'd be esteem'd.

* Politeness does not always inspire Gene∣rosity, Equity, Complaisance, and Grati∣tude: it gives a man the appearances of those Vertues, and makes him seem that without, which he ought to be within.

* We may deine Politeness, tho we can't tell where to fix it in practice. It observes receivd Uses and Customs, 'tis bound to times and places, and is not the same thing in the two Sexes, or in different conditions. Wit alone cannot attain it: tis acquird and compleated by Imitation. Some Dispositions are only Susceptive of Politeness. Others make use of great Talents and solid Vertue 'Tis true Politeness puts Merit forward, and renders it agreeable; and a man must have eminent qualifications to support himself without it.

The Politeness of the Mind is a certain care to make us pleasing by our discourses and manners to our selves and others.

* He offends against Politeness, who praises another Singing and Playing on the Musick; before such as he has oblig'd to Sing or Play for his Diversion; or to commend another Poet, in presence of one who reads him his Verses.

* In all the Feasts and Entertainments we give, in all the Presents we make, in all the Pleasures we procure for others, there is a way of doing it well, and of doing it accod∣ing to their inclinations; the last is the best method.

Page  110* 'Tis rude to refuse indifferently all sorts of Praises: We ought to be sensible of those which come from good men; who praise sin∣cerely those things in us which are really commendable.

* A Man of Wit, who is born proud, loses nothing of his pride or stiffness for being poor; on the contrary, if any thing will soften him and render him more sweet and sociable, 'tis a little Prosperity.

* We must bear with some peoples bad Characters, as we do with bad Money, for the benefit of Commerce.

* To live with those Men, who are con∣tinually embroyl'd, and make you hear reci∣procally the complaints of each side, is like living in a Court of Justice, and being oblig'd from morning to night to hear Pleadings and Declarations.

** Two Men liv'd in a strict union, their goods were in common, they had but one dwelling, and were never out of one ano∣thers presence: After fourscore years they saw 'twas time to part, and finish their socie∣ty; they had then but one day to live, and durst not attempt passing it together, they were in haste to break before death, and had not complacence enough to last till that hour. They liv'd too long for a good Exam∣ple; a moment sooner they had dy'd good friends, and left behind them a rare model of perseverance in Friendship.

* Families are within often disturb'd by mistrusts, jealousies and antipathy, while Page  111 without they seem content, peaceable and pleasant; and we suppose they enjoy a quiet, which they seldom possess: There being ve∣ry few who cou'd bear an Examination. The visit you make may give a cessation to the domestick quarrel, but your absence re∣vives it.

* In all Society Reason yields first, and the Wise man is led by the most foolish and capricious: He studies their tempers and weakness, and accommodates himself to their whimseys: He avoids running against them as much as possible, and gives 'em their way, that he may not be always insupportable. When they are the least chearful, he com∣mends their good humour, and to make him∣self easie, fears, manages, obeys, and some∣times loves them.

* Cleantes is a very worthy Person, he chose a Wife who is the best and the most reasona∣ble Woman in the World: They both in their several parts made all the pleasure and agreeableness of the Company they kept: One cou'd seldom meet more Politness or greater Probity. They parted on the sud∣den, and the Deed of their Separation was presently drawn up at the Notaries. There are, in short, some certain Incompatible Ver∣tues and Merits, which are not made to be together.

* A Man may be sure in his accounts of the Portion, Joynture and Settlement, but is very uncertain as to the Wives disposition, how she has been bred, and in what manner Page  112 she will live with him: they depend upon the frail agreement between the Mother-in-law and the Daughter-in-law, and he is of∣ten deceived in it the first year of his Mar∣riage.

* A Father-in-law loves his Daughter-in-law, a Mother-in-law her Son-in-law, so both are reciprocal.

* A Cruel Step-mother hates her Husbands Children, and the more she loves her Husband, the more she hates them.

* Step-mothers have made whole Towns and Villages desert, and peopled the Country of Beggars, Vagabonds, Servants and Slaves, more than Poverty.

** G. and H. are Neighbours, their Lands are contiguous, they inhabit a desart and so∣litary Country, far from Towns or Com∣merce: Methinks Solitude and the love Men have for Society, should force 'em to a mutual correspondence: But they are perpetually at variance, and 'tis hard to express the trifle that causes the difference which renders 'em implacable, and continues their hatred in their descendants. Relations nor even Brothers never differ'd about a thing of less moment.

Suppose there were but two men on the whole Earth, who possest it entirely to them∣selves, and parted it between them, I am perswaded there would be quickly some cause of rupture created, tho it were only for the limits of their Divisions.

* 'Tis commonly easier to make peace amongst other men, than to keep it ourselves.

Page  113* I am now approaching a little Town, I am already on an ascent where I discover it seated in a pleasant Valley, 'tis shaded by Woods and Hills, which cover it from cold Blasts and Northern Winds; I see it in so fair a day, that I view its Tower, Steeple and Turrets; it seems on the declension of a Hill, and has a fine River running through it into lovely Meadows; I am so pleas'd with the prospect that I burst forth into this Exclama∣tion, How pleasant must it be to live under so clear a Sky in so delicious an Abode: I de∣scend into the Town, and have not lain there above two or three nights, associating with the Inhabitants, before I long to get out of it.

* There is a certain thing which never was seen under the Heavens, and in all likeli∣hood never will be. 'Tis a little City with∣out Faction and Parties, where the Families are united; The Relations see one another with confidence; Where a Marriage does not raise a Civil War; Where there are not every moment Disputes and Quarrels about Prece∣dency; Where Lying, Scolding, Prating, and Gossiping, are banisht; Where the Mayor and the Sheriffs, the Assessors and the People have a good Understanding; Where the Bishop lives well with the Dean, the Dean with the Cannons, The Cannons with the Parsons, and the Parsons with their Clerks.

* Countrymen and Fools are apt to be an∣gry, and fancy you despise 'em if you are Page  114 the least merry at their imperfections. You must never venture the most innocent and in offensive Railery or Pleasantry, unless it be amongst polite Men, and Men of Wit.

* Merit discerns and finds it self out recipro∣cally: he that would be esteem'd must converse with persons who are themselves esteem∣able.

* He who thinks he is by his dignity above a Jest, and will not take a Repartee, ought not to give one.

* We are not angry at being rallied for some little defects, and we should make choice of faults of the same kind when we rally others.

* 'Tis the Blockheads priviledge to laugh at a Man of Wit, but he is in the World, what the Fool is at Court: of no conse∣quence.

* Buffoonry is an Indigence of Wit.

* You believe a Man your Bubble when he feigns himself to be so, who then is the great∣est Bubble, He or You?

* Observ those People who never com∣mend any oe, are always railing, are con∣ent with no body, and you will find them persons with whom no body is content.

* The Poud and Disdainful will find the contrary of what they expect, if by their Carriage they look for Esteem.

* The pleasure of Society amongst Friends is cultivated by a likeness of Inclinations, as to Manners; and a difference in Opinion, as to Sciences: the one confirms and humours Page  115 us in our sentiments; the ohr exercises and instructs us by disputation.

* Two persons will not be friends a long time, if they cant forgive each other little failings.

* How many fine unprofitable reasons are laid before one in great Adversity to put him into a state of Tranquility. Outward things, which we call Events, are sometimes too strong for Reason o Nature. Eat, Drink, don't kill your self with Melancholy, are in∣significant admonitions, which are mpossible to be put in practice when a Man is master'd by his Sorrows. Are you a ••se man to put your self to such trouble? Is it not to say, Are you not a Fool to be unfortunate?

* There are some necessary counels which are frequently hurtful to those wo give them and unprofitable to the persons they are addrest to. You observe perhaps defects in Manners, which are either not confest, or esteem'd as Vertues. You blot out a passage in an Author's Writings which pleases him most, where he thought he surpast himself, and by this means you lose the confidece of your friends, without makig them better or more ingenious.

* Not long since certain persons of both Sexes leagued themselves together for Con∣versation and Witty Commerce. They left talking intelligibly to the vulgar: a thing said amongst them with a little clearness, dew af∣ter it another more obscure which they en∣richt with bad Enigma', and crwn'd with Page  116 long Applauses. What they call'd delicacy, thought, turn, and fine expression, was a faculty they had to be unintelligible to others and themselves. Good sense, judgment, me∣mory, or the least capacity was not necessary to furnish out their discourse, some wit was proper, tho not the best sort, but that which is false, where fancy has too great a share.

* I know Theobaldus you are old, but would you have me think you decline? That you are no longer a Wit or a Lover, or as bad a Critick in all kind of Writings as you are an Author? That you have nothing new, easy, natural and delicate in your Conversation? No, Sir, your free and arrogant Mien per∣swade and assure me of the contrary. You are the ame to day as you were fifty years ago, and perhaps better; for if you are so furious and lively at this Age, how could you be more brisk and airy in your Yo•••? You who at these years infatuate the 〈◊〉nd make 'em of your Party? Wh can prevail on 'em to swear on•• for yu, and upon your Credit, that as ofen as you speak they presently cry out. That' delicate, What did he say?

* We frequently talk hastily in Company through Vanity and Humour, rarely with the necessary Caution. Every one is desirous to reply, before he has heard out the Questi∣on demanded of him; he then follows his own Notions, and explains 'em without the least Regard for another Man's Reasons. We are far from finding the Truth while we are not agreed upon what 'tis we seek after. Page  117 Could a Man hear and write down these Conversations, he would see a great many good things spoken with little Consideration, and no Coherency.

* There was a sort of silly Puerile Conver∣sation lately in fashion, which turn'd all on trivial Questions concerning Tenderness and Passion: The reading of Romances first intro∣duced it amongst the Well-bred People in Town and Court. But it was there soon dis∣carded, and the Citizens now entertain it with their Puns, Points, and Quibbles.

* Some City-Ladies are so nice, that they will by no means learn or speak the Names of Streets Lanes, or publick Places, which they fancy are not noble enough to be known. They say nothing plainly but the Court and the Palace. They use Terms and Phrases for what is below it, and make a whole Sentence of Cheapside; or if by chance they let such a word slip, they will excuse it so well, that it renders it the less criminal. In this they are much more unnatural than the Court-Ladies, who having occasion to speak of the Exchange or Guildhall, say the Exchange and Guildhall, without being afraid of Prejudice or Scan∣dal.

* If we pretend sometimes to forget cer∣tain Names which we think obscure, and break 'em in their Pronunciation, 'tis through the good opinion we have of ur own.

* You speak often in a good Humour, or the Liberty of Conversation several silly things which you deliver as such, and recom∣mend Page  118 only for their extream Ridiculousness This is mean Pleasantry: It belongs to the People, and was derived from 'em by the Youth of the Court, whom it begins to infect; but we need not fear 'twill go very far there; 'tis too rude and insipid a Diversion to make any Progress in a Country which is the Cen∣ter of Politeness and good Sense. However, it should be expos'd as much as possible, and rendred odious to those who practice it; for though they are never serious when they speak it, yet it accustoms them to remember Trifles, and withholds their Minds from some∣thing better, and more decent.

* Between Speaking bad things, and such good things which every Body knows; and yet some People would put off for new, there is so little Difference that 'tis difficult which to prefer.

* Lucan has said a pretty thing, There's a fine Expression in Claudian, such a place may be found in Seneca. Thus you are continually quoting Latin to Men, who though they pretend to understand it, are ignorant of every word you cite. The Secret lies in having a great deal of Wit and good Sense, that after you have read the Antients with care, and have enough of them, you may distinguish the good places from the bad; make choice of the best, and quote nothing but what is to the purpose

* Hermagoras knows not who is King of Hungary, and wonders to hear any one talk of the King of Bohemia. You must not say a word to him of the Wars in Holland or Flan∣ders,Page  119 at least you must excuse him from an∣swering the Questions you ask concerning them. He knows not when they began or ended, Battles and Sieges are all new to him. But he is very well informd of the Giants Wars, he can relate 'em to the least Circumstances, and omits not the least particular. He dis∣perses as easily the horrid Chaos of the Baby∣lonian and Assyrian Monarchies. He is ac∣quainted with the Original of the Egyptians and their Dynasties. He never saw Versailles, and never will see it; but he has almost seen the Tower of Babel, he has counted the Steps, he has found out how many Artificers were employed about that Building, and if requir'd can call 'em over by their Names. Does he be∣lieve Henry IV. the Son of Henry the III? 'Tis no matter: He neglects to inform himself of the Houses of France and Austria: He can however recite from his Memory the List of the Kings of Medea and Babylon, with the Names of Apronal, Herigebal, Noesnemordach, Mardakemdad; which are as familiar to him, as those of Valois and Bourbon are to us. He is to learn if the Emperor be married; but no body can teach him that Ninus had two Wives. You say the King is in good health; he re∣members then that Thetmosis a King of Egypt, was healthy, and that he derivd his good Complexion from his Grand-father Aliphar Matosis. What does he not know? Is there any thing in all Venerable Antiquity hid from him? He assures you Semiramis, or as some will have Serimaris, talk'd so much like her Page  120 Son Ninyas, that they were not to be distin∣guished by their Voices. But he dares not decide if it were, because the Mother had so manly a Tone as her Son, or the Son so effeminate a Voice as his Mother. He re∣veals that Nimbrot was left-handed, and Se∣sostris ambidextre: That 'tis an Error to ima∣gine one of the Artaxerxes was call'd Longema∣nus, because his Arms reach'd down to his Knees, only that one of his Hands was lon∣ger than the other. He adds, there are some grave Authors who affirm 'twas his right Arm: But he believes he may with good ground maintain, that 'twas his left.

* Profound Ignorance makes a Man dog∣matick. If he knows nothing, he thinks he can teach others what he is to learn himself: Whilst he who knows a great deal, can scarce imagine any one should be unacquainted with what he says, and speaks for this reason with more Modesty.

* Great things should be spoken simply, they are spoil'd by Emphasis; Little things must be said nobly, they can't be supported without the Expression, Tone, and Manner of Delivery.

* We speak things generally more wittily than we write them.

* An honourable Birth, and a good Educa∣tion, are not little helps to render a Man ca∣pable of keeping a Secret.

* All Trust is dangerous if 'tis not entire; we ought on most occasions to speak all, or conceal all. We shall presently tell him too Page  121 much from whom we thnk it convenient to hide the least Circumstance.

* Nicander entertained Elisa on the sweet and complaisant manner he lived in with his Wife, from the day of their Marriage to the hour of her Death. He said before, he was sorry he had no Children by her, and now he repeats it. He talks one while of his Houses in Town, at another of his Lands in the Country; he calculates the Revenue they bring him in; he lays down the Plan of his Buildings, he describes the Situation of his Seat; he amplifies on the Conveniency of the Apartments, as well as the Richness and Neatness of the Furniture. He assures her he loves Good Chear and fine Equipages, and complains that his late Wife was too much averse to Play and Society. You are so rich, says one of his Friends who is placd for the purpose, why don't you buy such an Office, or make such an Addition to your Income? Oh! Lord, Sir, replies Nicander, indeed you believe me richer than I am. In the mean time, he forgets not to talk of his Extraction and Matches: Mr. Treasurer is my Covsin, the Chancellors Lady is my near Kinswoman. This is commonly his Stile. He tells her afterwards how he became discontented with his nearest Relations, and offended with his Heirs. Ah Elisa, saye he, am I not wronged? Have I any great reason to do well for them? and he de∣sires her to be the Umpire. He then insi∣nuates that he is in a feeble and languishing state of Health, and speaks of the Vault Page  122 where he will be interred. He fawns, flat∣ters, and is very officious to all those who have any Interest on the Lady he courts. But Elisa had not Courage enough to grow rich at the price of being his Wife. She de∣clares her self the minute he talks to her, in favour of a Gentleman; who with his Pre∣sence alone dismounts the Batteries raised by this Citizen; he gets up melancholly and dis∣appointed, and is now saying the same things somewhere else, which he said to Elisa.

* Wise men sometimes avoid the World, that they may not be surfeited with it.

Page  123

OF THE Goods of Fortune.

A Rich Man may eat Dainties, paint his Ceiling and Alcoves, regale himself at a Palace in the Country, and keep a∣nother in Town, marry his Daughter to a Duke, and buy a Title for his Son. This he may aspire to lawfully, but 'tis for other Men perhaps to live content.

* A high Birth, or a great Fortune set off Merit, and make it the sooner to be distin∣guished.

* Some Excuse to an Ambitious Coxcomb for his Ambition, is the care he takes after he has raised his Fortune, to find out some Merit which he never had before, to render him as worthy in our Opinions as he is in his own.

* When Riches and Favour forsake a Man, we see presently he was a Fool, but no body could find it out in his Prosperity.

* If it was not what we experience every day, we could not imagine the strange Dis∣proportion a few, or a great many pieces of Money, set between Men.

Page  124Every one now disposes himself to the Sword, the Gown, or the Church, there is scarce any other Vocation.

* Two Merchants who were Neighbours, and drove the same Trade, had in the end a quite different Fortune. They had each an only Daughter: They were nurst together, and lived in a Familiarity suitable to Persons of the same Age and Condition. One of them, at last, to deliver her self from ex∣tream misery, endeavoured to place her self a∣broad; she entred into the Service of a great Lady, one of the first at Court, and she who was once her Companion, is now her Mi∣stress.

* If the Treasurer misses his aim, the Courtier says of him, he's a Citizen, worth nothing, a meer Scoundrel. If he succeeds they demand of him his Daughter.

* Some Men in their Youth serve an Ap∣prenticeship to a Trade, and exercise another very different one the rest of their Lives.

* A Man is ugly, ill-shap'd, a Fool, one whispers, and tells me he has 50000 livres a year. What's that to me? I am weak indeed; if I begin to look on him with other eyes, and cannot e master of my own Reason.

* 'Tis in vain to pretend to turn a rich Blockhead into ridicule, the Laughers are still on his side.

* N .... with a clownish rude Porter, with a Porch and an Antichamber, obliges People to wait and tire themselves with at∣tendance on him for the most trivial Affairs. Page  125 He appears afterwards with a grave mien and a regular step: He says two or three words, and sends 'em going, without conducting 'em to the Door, or shewing them the least Civility; and whatever little Fellow he ap∣pears elsewhere, at home he will be thought a Person of some Consideration.

* Let us not envy some Men their great Riches; their Burthens would be too heavy for us; we cou'd not Sacrifice, as they do, Health, Quiet, Honour and Conscience, to obtain 'em: 'Tis to pay so dear for them that there is nothing to be got by the Bar∣gain.

* The S. T. P. move in us all the Passions successively. We first dispise 'em for their Obscurity, we then envy 'em, and afterwards fear, hate, and sometimes esteem and respect them; we often live long enough to finish our concern for them by Compassion.

* Sosias from a Livery got into a small Col∣lection, and then to be an Unde-farmer by Extortion, Violence, and abusing his Trust, he is now advanced to a high post, on the ruines of several Families. He is ennobled by his Station, and wants nothing now but Ho∣nesty. This Prodigy, though at present so monstrous, grew up from a Church-war∣den.

* Arsurea used formerly to walk alone, unat∣tended, and a-foot to the Cathedral, heard the Sermon from a corner of the Church, where she lost half the words, and saw but one side of the Preacher. Her Vertue was Page  126 obscure, but her Devotion, as well known as her Person. Her Husband on a sudden past all Offices, and is now the ruling Man in the Parish. She never comes to Church but in a Chair: Her long Train is born up; the Parson stops while she places her self: She looks him in the Face, not a Word or Mo∣tion escapes her. The Fathers quarrel who shall Confess her; every one strives to give her Absolution, but the Curate is the Favo∣rite.

* Cresus is carry'd to the Church-yard, and of all the Riches which he acquired by Ra∣pin and Extortion, and spent in Riot and Luxury, there is nothing left to get him a decent Interment. He died insolvable, with∣out Goods, and consequently without Suc∣cour. Jallops, Cordials, Medicines, were not to be seen at his House, nor the least Doctor who had promised him Health and Long-life.

* Champagne rising from an extravagant Dinner, his Stomach charg'd, and his Head full of sweet fumes of delicious Wine, sign'd an Order which was presented him, that would have carry'd all the Bread out of the Province, if it had not otherwise been pre∣vented. He is yet excusable, for how could a man in the first hour of digestion compre∣hend that any one could dye with hunger.

* Silvanus with his Money has acquir'd Birth and another Name, he is Lord of the Mannor where his Grandfathers were Vas∣sals; he was not formerly good enough to be Page  127Cleobulus's Page, but he is now his Son-in-law.

* Dorus wa carry'd in a Litter along the Appian way his reemen and Slaves ran be∣fore him to turn off the People, and make way for im. He wated nothing but Lictors He enters Rome with a Train of Coaches, where he seems to triumph over the Mean∣ness and Poverty of his Father Sanga.

* No one can put his Fortune to a better use than Periander. It brings him Precedence, Cre∣dit, and Authority; his Friendship is no longer Desir'd; but his Protection implor'd, he be∣gins to say of himself, A Man of my Condition. 'Tis true he omits saying, A Man of my Qua∣lity, though he passes for such. And there are none who borrow Money of him, or eat at his Table, which is very delicate, that dare dispute it. His Seat is stately, the out-side is entirely Dorick. There is no Gate, but a Portico; and the People are at a loss whether 'tis a private House or a Temple. He is Lord Paramount of all the Precinct. His Neighbours envy him, and would gladly see his fall; and his Wives Diamond Necklace makes the La∣dies his Enemies. Every thing agrees in him: he acts like himself in the Grandeur he has acquired, and whatever Obligations he lies under by obtaining it, he resolves never to discharge them. Did not his feeble old Fa∣ther die twenty Years ago, before any men∣tion was made of Periander? How can he en∣dure those odious Registers which declare Mens Qualities, and frequently make the Wi∣dow Page  128 or the Heir asham'd, and blush at their Pretences? Would he hide 'em from the Eyes of a Jealous, Malicious, Clear-sighted Town, at the expence of a thousand People, who will be absolute in their Precedence at all Funerals and Publick Processions? Or would he have us make his Father a Nobleman, while he is himself but a Master.

* How many Men are like those Trees, which being already tall and well grown, are transplanted into Gardens, where they sur∣prize those who see 'em in fine places, without perceiving them in the time of their growth, and without knowing either their beginning or advances.

* If some Dead men were to rise up again, and see their Arms born, their Lands, Ca∣stles, ancient Seats and Titles possest by those very persons wko were once their Tenants, what opinion cou'd they have of our Age?

* Nothing makes us better comprehend what little things God thinks he bestows on Mankind, when he suffers 'em to abound in Riches, Gold, Settlements, Stations, and o∣ther advantages, than the dispensations he makes of them, and the sort of men who are best provided.

* If you enter into a Kitchin where they have turned it into Art and Method, to flat∣ter the Taste, and eat above what is neces∣sary: If you were to examine the Particulars of all the Dishes which are prepared for you at a Feast: If you observe how many hands they go through, or what different Forms Page  129 they pss before they become exquisite Meats, and arrive at that Neatess and Elegance which charm your Eyes, puzzle your Choice, and force you to taste all. If you were to see at once all the Variety that comes to a well∣spread Table, how would you be disgusted and offended? If you go behind the Scenes and number the Weights, the Wheels, the Ropes, which make the Flights and Machines at the Theatre: If you consider how many Men are employed in the Execution of their Motions; how they stretch their Arms, and extend their Nerves: You would exclaim, Are these the Springs the Movements of so fine a Shew, which seems animated and act∣ed only by itself? You would cry out, What Efforts, what Violence? and not enquire much into the Fortune of the Actors.

* This Youth so fresh, so flourishing and healthy, is Lord of an Abby, and ten other Benefices; they bring him in all together, one hundred and twenty thousand Livres a year, which are paid him constantly in Gold. There are elsewhere One hundred and twen∣ty Indigent Families, who have no Fire to warm 'em in the Winter, no Cloaths to co∣ver their Nakedness, nor Bread to eat; their Poverty is extream and shameful: Where then is the Division? Does not this clearly demonstrate a Futurity?

* Chrysippus, a new, and the first Noble∣man of his Race, wish'd thirty years ago for two thousand Livres a year, and this he aid should content him; this bounded his De∣sires, Page  130 this was the top of his Ambition; he spake in this manner, and there are many who rmember it. Some time after he rose high enough, I know not by what means, to give as much for a Portion to his Daughter as he desired for himself during his Life; a like sum is counted in his Coffers for each of his Children, and he has many to be provi∣ded for. This is only something for the pre∣sent, there are more good things to be ex∣pected at his Death. He is still alive, advan∣ced to a great Age, and employs the rest of his time in labouring to be richer.

* Let Ergastus alone, and he will demand a Right over every thing that dwells in the Water, or marches on dry Land; he knows how to convert Reeds, Rushes and Nettles, into Gold; he hears all Advices, and propo∣ses every thing he hears. The Prince gives nothing to any one but at his Expence, parts with no Favours but what are his due, he has an insatiable Hunger to have and to hold.

* Have nothing to do with Criton, who ne∣ver regards any Person's Interest when his own is to be promoted. The Snare is always ready for those who deal with him. If you have a desire for his Lands, or what else is his, he will impose on you extravagant Con∣ditions. There is no fair Dealing or Compo∣sition to be expected from a Man so full of his own Interest: Avoid him; he will cer∣tainly be too hard for you.

Page  131* Brontin, they say, retires and locks him∣self up eight hours a day with the Saints; they have their Meditations, and he has his.

* The People have very often the pleasure of a Tragedy; and see on the Theatre of the World the most odious, infamous, and mis∣chievous Actors come to wretched ends.

* If we divide the Lives of the S.T.P. in two parts, the first is lively and active, busied in afflicting the People. The second border∣ing on Death, is spent in detecting and de∣stroying one another.

* The Man who has made your Fortune, and several more, has not been able to main∣tain his own, or secure his Wife and Chil∣dren's after his Death; and though you are well inform'd of the Misery of their Condi∣tion, you have no thoughts of sweetning it: at least you have no time for it, being too much concerned in building and keeping a good House of your own; yet in Gratitude you keep your Benefactor's Picture, which from the Closet is removed to the Anticham∣ber, and thence without any respect, into the Wardrobe.

* There is a Hardness of Temper, and ano∣ther of Estate and Condition, from whence as much as from the first we learn to be in∣flexible to the Miseries of others: I may say without Injustice, to the Misfortunes of our Family: A good Treasurer weeps not for his Friends, his Wife, or his Children.

Page  132* Fly, Retire; You are not far enough: —How? say you, I am under the other Tro∣pick, — get under the Pole in the other Hemisphere; — Mount to the Stars if possible, and you may be in safety: — Look down you will discover a Man covetous, inexorable, and insatiable, who will sacrifice every thing he meets in his way, whatever it costs his Neigh∣bours, to provide for himself, enlarge his For∣tunes, and abound in Riches.

* To make one's Fortune is so fine a Phrase, and so very significant, that tis universally us'd; it past from the Court to the City, broke its way into the Cloysters, scal'd the Walls of the Abbyes of both Sexes. There is no place sacred or prophane, where it has not penetrated; it pleases Strangers, and Barbari∣ans; 'tis met with in all Languages, and there is scarce any one now who can speak, but has learnt to make use on't.

* He who has cunning enough to make Contracts, and fill his Coffers, thinks pre∣sently he has a Head fit for Government.

* To make one's Fortune, a Man ought to have some sort of Wit; but neither the good nor the fine, the great nor the sublime, the strong nor the delicate, I cannot exactly tell which it is, and am yet to be inform'd.

Custom and Experience are more useful in making one's Fortune than Wit. We think of it too late; and when at last we resolve ont, we begin by those Faults which we have not always time, to repair: Whence perhaps it proceeds, that Fortunes are so rare∣ly acquired.

Page  133A Man of a little Genius may be fond of advancing himself, and in such case neglecting all things else, he will think on't from morning till night, and then break his Rest with contriving how to effect it. He begins early, and sets out in his youth in the way to Preferment: If he finds any thing op∣pose his passage, he naturally turns his byass, and goes on the right-hand or left according as he sees it most convenient. If new Ob∣stacles arise here, he returns into the old path he quitted, and disposes himself by the nature of the Difficulties sometimes to surmount 'em, sometimes to avoid em, or take other measures, as Use, Interest, and Opportunity direct him. Is so good a Head, and such great Talents, necessary for a Traveller to follow at first sight the great Road; and if that is full or crowded, to cross the Fields, and con∣tinue in a bye and a nearer way, till by this means he gets again at last into the former Road, and finishes his Journey? Is so much Sense requisite in an ambitious Man to attain his Ends? Is he then a Wonder, or only a Coxcomb, who by his Riches purchases him∣self Favour and Advancement?

There are some stupid and weak Men who place themselves in fine Stations, and die rich, yet we ought not to suppose they have con∣tributed to it by the least Industry or Labour: Some body has directed em to the fountain-head, or perhaps chance only led 'em to it. They have been then askt, Would you have water? Draw,—and they have drawn it.

Page  134* Whn w ar young w ar often poor; we hav neither made Acquisitions, nor are our Inheritances fallen yet into our hands: We become rich and old at the same time; thus tis rare that Men can unite all their Advantages. And if perhaps any Person is so fortunate, he deserves not our Envy, since he may by Death be so great a Loser; ra∣ther when we consider his Circumstances, and the Shortness of their Continuance, we ought to pity him.

* A Man should be thirty years old before he thinks of his Fortune: Tis seldom com∣pleated before fifty; he goes to Building in his old Age, and dies amongst the Painters and Glasiers.

* What is the fruit of a great Fortune? Unless it be to possess the Vanity, Industry, Labour and Expence of those who went be∣fore us, and to work our selves in Planting, Building, and Inlarging for our Poste∣rity?

* Men open their Shops, and set out their Wares every Morning to cheat their Custo∣mers, and lock 'em up at night after having cheated all day.

* In all Conditions the poorest Man is the nearest Neighbour to Honesty, and the rich as little distant from Knavery; Ability and Cunning seldom get a Man excessive Riches.

A shew of Honesty is in all Trades the surest way to grow rich.

Page  135* The shortest and best way to make your Fortune, is to convince People 'tis their Inte∣rest to serve you.

* Men tempted by the Cares of Life, or a desire to acquire Riches and Glory incourage themselves in their Deceit, and cultivate wicked Talents, and Knavish Practices, for∣getting the Danger and Consequence till they Quit 'em afterwards for a discreet De∣votion, which was never seen in 'em before their Harvests were gathered, and they were in Possession of a well-establishd For∣tune.

* There are Miseries which make People Cowards. some who want Food, dread the Winter, and are afraid of living; whilst others elsewhere are eating early fruits, forcing the Earth and the Seasons, to furnish 'em with Delicates. I have known meer Ci∣tizens have the Impudence to swallow at a Morsel the Nourishment of a hundred Fami∣lies, let who will set themselves against such Extremities: Ill render my self as little ob∣noxious to the World as possible; and if I can will neither be happy or unhappy, but hide and secure my self in the Littleness of my Condition.

* The Poor are troubled that they want all things, and no body comforts them. The Rich are angry that they can want the least thing, or that any one would resist them.

* He is rich whose Receipt is more than his Expences, and he is poor whose Ex∣pences Page  136 are more than his Receipt.

There is nothing keeps longer than a little Fortune, and nothing is sooner done than a great one.

Great Riches are near Neighbours to Po∣verty.

If he is only rich who wants nothing, a very wise Man is a very rich Man.

If he is only poor who desires much, and is always in want; the Ambitious and the Covetous languish in extream Poverty.

* The Passions tyrannize over Mankind, Ambition reigns over the rest, and gives them a little while the Appearance of all the Vertues. I once believ'd Tryphon, who com∣mits every vice, sober, chaste, liberal, humble, and even devout; and I might have believ'd it still, if he had not made his Fortune.

* There is no end to a Man's desire of grow∣ing rich and great; when the Cough seizes him, when Death approaches, his Face shrivel'd, and his Legs weak, he cries, My Fortune, my Establishment.

* There is but two ways of rising in the World, by your own Industry, and anothers Weakness.

* Features discover Complexion and Man∣ners, and an Air the Goods of Fortune; you may see by a Man's Countenance if he has great or small Revenues.

* Crysantes, a wealthy impertinent Man, would not be seen with Eugeneus, who is a Man of Wit, but poor, lest he should disho∣nour him. Eugeneus has the same Dispositions Page  137 for Crysantes; and there's no great fear they will often run against one another.

* If good Thoughts, good Books, and their Authors, depended on Riches, or such as have acquir'd 'em; What a hard Fate would the Learn'd lie under? What a Power would then be assum'd over them? With what Authority would they treat those poor Wretches whose Merit has not advanc'd, or enrich'd them? And for this reason they would therefore not be allow'd to think or write Judiciously. We must confess, the pre∣sent time is for Riches, Futurity, for the Ver∣tuous and Ingenious Homer Lives still, and will ever flourish, whilst a thousand Treasu∣rers and Collectors are no more: They are forgot, and we may now ask if they ever have been? Are their Names, or their Coun∣try known? Were there no Pensioners in Greece? What is become of all those who despised Homer, who were careful to avoid him, who never saluted him, or saluted him bluntly, who disdained to see him at their Tables, who lookt on him as one who was not rich, and had writ a Book? What is be∣come of the Fauconets? Will they go as far in Posterity as Descartes? Born a Frenchman, and dead in Sweden?

* The same Pride which makes a Man mount himself haughtily over his Inferiours, forces him to crawl vilely before those who are above him. The Property of this Vice, founded on Riches, Posts, Credit and useless Sciences, without personal Merit or solid Ver∣tue, Page  138 obliges one equally to despise those who are below us in Fortune, and to over-value those whose Circumstances exceed our own.

* There are some filthy Souls fed by Na∣stiness and Ordure, who are inflam'd by In∣terest and Gain, as great Souls are fir'd by Glory and Vertue. They taste no pleasure in any thing but getting and never losing; are covetous and nice even to the last penny, busied wholly about their Debtors, restless in making Abatements, or in railing against the Money, lost and immerg'd in Writings, Parchments, Titles and Covenants. These People are neither Relations, Friends, Citi∣zens, Christians, or perhaps Men, but they have Silver and Gold in abundance.

* Let us first except those noble and cou∣rageous Souls, if there are any of this kind in being, who are helpful to such as are in want, who make use only of their Ingenuity to grow rich, whom no Cares, Disproportions, or Malice can separate from those they once chose for their Friends: And let us after this pronounce a Truth, sad and doleful to be imagin'd. There's not a Man in the World whom Love, Inclination, and a long Society, have engaged to us; who has offered us a thou∣sand Services, and sometimes given us a part of 'em that has not yet in himself by the ties of his Interest a Disposition to break with us, and become our Enemy.

* Whilst Orontes was increasing his years, his Wealth, and his Revenue, a Girl was Page  139 born in a certain Family; she grew up, flou∣rish'd, and enter'd into her sixteenth year: He begg'd this witty, young, and fair Creature to marry him; and she preferr'd him without Birth, or the least Merit to all his Rivals.

* Marriage, which ought to be the fountain of all good things, is often by the Disposition of Mens Fortunes, a heavy Load that sup∣presses 'em with its weight. When their Wives and Children tempt 'em to Violence, Falshood, and unlawful Gains for Mainte∣nance, When they find themselves strangely situated between Indigence and Knavery.

To marry a Widow, is in plain English to make one's Fortune, though it does not al∣ways prove as it signifies.

* He whose Portion with his Brethren, would only maintain him like a tolerable Lawyer, is presently for being a Sergeant. The Sergeant would be a Judge, and the Judge a Chancellor; and thus he goes from one Condition to another, tempt∣ing his Fortune, forcing his Destiny, and giving himself neither Leisure or Opportuni∣ty to grow rich, but languishes in an honou∣rable Indigence.

* Dine well Clearcus, make a good Supper, sit by large Fires, buy you a Lac'd Cloak, hang your Chamber with Tapestry; what need you care who is to come after you? You have either no Heir, or you don't know him, or what is worse, you have no love for him.

Page  140* When we are young, we keep for old Age; when we are old, we save for Death; a Prodigal Heir makes a pompous Funeral, and devours the rest.

* The Miser spends more the day of his Death, than he did in ten years; and his Heir in ten months more than he could part with in all his Life.

* The Prodigal robs his Heir, the sordid Miser robs himself, the middle way be∣tween both is Justice to our selves and o∣thers.

* Children perhaps would be dearer to their Parents, and Parents to their Children, were it not for the title of Heirs.

* 'Tis a bad Condition, and it makes Life distasteful, to watch, sweat, submit, and de∣pend for a little Fortune, which we expect after the last Pangs of our nearest Relations: He who masters himself so far that he does not wish his Father's Death, is an honest Man.

* The Character of one who would be an Heir, is to be found amongst the Complaisant; we are never better flatter'd, better obey'd, more follow'd, more courted, more attended, and more carest, than by the Persons who hope to get by our Deaths, and wish they may happen quickly.

* All Men by different Posts, Titles and Successions, look on themselves as one ano∣thers Heirs: And for this reason are ever breeding a Secret desire for each others Deaths. He is the happiest Man in each Page  141 Condition who has more to leave to his Suc∣cessor by his Death, than he can expect by the Decease of another.

* 'Tis said of Play that it equals all Quali∣ties; but there is often such strange Dispro∣portions, and the distance between this and that Condition, is so vast and boundless that the eye is weary in reaching to such Extre∣mities. 'Tis like Discord in Musick, like Colours ill sorted, like Oaths that offend the Ear, or Sounds and Noises, which Jar, and are ungrateful. In a word, 'tis overturning all Order and Decency. If any one tells me 'tis the practice of all the West, I answer, 'tis perhaps one of those things which render us Barbarous to the other part of the World: What the Eastern People, who come this way, remark of us in their Journals; and I question not but they are as much disgusted with this excess of Familiarity, as we are shock'd with their Zombaye*, and their other Prostrations.

* A Room of State, or a Chamber of Ju∣stice in capital Cases, shews nothing so serious and grave as a Table of Gamesters playing for high Stakes: A melancholly Severity reigns in their Looks, implacable towards one another, and irreconcilable Enemies, while the Meeting lasts. They consider neither Friendship, Alliances, Birth nor Distinctions: Chance alone, that blind and wild Divinity, presides over the Circle, and desides Sove∣raignly there on all Occasions. They all adore her by a profound Silence and an At∣tention Page  142 they can never observe elsewhere: all the passions seem suspended a while to give place to one of them; the Courtier is at this time neither sweet, flattering, complaisant, nor even devout.

* We can't perceive in those persons who have risen by Play and Gain the least trace of their former condition by their conversa∣tion, they lose sight of their Equals, and asso∣ciate with persons of the first quality: 'Tis tue the fortune of the Dye, or Lansque∣net, often sets 'em down where it took em up.

* I am not surpriz'd that there are so many publick Gaming-Houses, which are like as many Snares to betray Mens Avarice, like Whirlpools where some private Mens Money is sunk without hopes of return; like frightful Rocks, where such as play are lost, and dasht in pieces. The Rooks have continually their Emissaries abroad to learn who comes laden from the Country with the price of an Estate lately sold; who has got a Suit at Law which has brought him in a great Sum; who has been successful at play; what Heir has leapt into a large Inheritance; what Officer will venture his whole Cash on the turn of a Card. 'Tis true 'tis a filthy rascally Trade, and eve∣ry one that deals with them are sure to be cheated; but 'tis a Trade, well known, very antient, and a long while practic'd by the Men we call Gamesters. The Sign they set up at their Doors should have this Inscription, We cheat here in an honest way; for I suppose they Page  143 will not pretend to be unblameable. Every one knows that to enter, and lose in these Houses is the same thing, they have always Cullies enough ready for their subsistence; but these Tricks are out of my way, and 'tis time to have done with 'em.

* How many thousands have been ruind by Gaming, and yet you say foolishly you can't live without it, what excuse is this? Is there any violent and shameful passion which may not use the same Language? Would we admit one to say, he can't live without Mur∣ders, Rapes and Robberies? Is playing with∣out bounds, without consideration or inter∣mission, to the total ruin of your Adversary, whilst you are transported with a lawless De∣sire of Gain, made outragious by Losses, and wasted by Avarice, while you expose on a Card, or the Chance of a Dye, your own, your Wives, and your Childrens Fortune; is this allowable? Is this a Sport to be admir'd, or what a Man ought to be diverted with? And yet are there not often worse conse∣quences than these at Play? when push on to a universal overthrow, you are obliged to sa∣crifice your Cloaths, your Food, and the Provisions of your Family for this unreasonable diversion.

I allow no body to be a Knave, but I allow a Knave to be a Gamester I forbid it to a Man of Honour; there is too much folly and puerility in exposing ones self to a great loss.

Page  144* There is but one affliction which is last∣ing, and that is the loss of an Estate; Time which sweetens all others sharpens this: we feel it every moment during the course of our Lives, while we are in want of the good things we lost.

* A man who spends his Estate without marrying his Daughters, paying his Debts, or laying it out to advantage, may be well enough approv'd by every one but his Wife and Children.

* This Palace, this Furniture, these Gar∣dens, these rare Water-works charm you, and force you to exclaim at first sight on so delicious a House, and the extream felicity of him who possesses it, Alas! He is no more, he never liv'd so peaceably and agreeably as your self: he never knew a serene day or a quiet night, he sunk beneath the Debts he contracted in adorning this Structure with the Beauties which transport you; his Creditors drove him away from it, he turn'd back the last time to give it the final view, he parted from it for ever, and dy'd in a Halter.

* We see frequently in certain Families what we call the Caprice of Fortune: for a hundred years they are never talkt on, as if they were not in being, till Heaven at once opens it self in their favour, and showres down on 'em from all quarters Honours, Dignities, and Stations, and they swim in prosperity.

Eumolpas, one of those men that ne'r heard of their Grandfathers, had a Father who was elevated so high, that every thing he desired, Page  145 during the course of a long life, if obtainable he possest it. Did this proceed from an emi∣nent wit, or a profound capacity, either in the Father or the Son? or was it only from opportunity? But Fortune at last smil'd on them no longer, she went to sport it else∣where, and treated their Posterity as she did their Ancestors.

* What immediately causes the Ruin and Overthrow of Men of the Long Robe and the Sword, is that their Professions alone, and not their Estates, govern their Expences.

If you have forgot nothing towards ma∣king your Fortune, how great was your La∣bour? If the least thing, how long your Re∣pentance?

* Giton has a fresh complexion, a smooth face, a steady and resolute look, large shoul∣ders, a full crest, a firm and deliberate step; he speaks boldly, and must have every word repeated that is spoken to him, and is but indifferently pleas'd with any thing: he ex∣tends his Handerchief, he puts it to his Nose, he blows hard enough for all to hear him, he spits about the Room, and sneezes aloud; he sleeps by day, he sleeps by night soundly, he snores in company, he takes up more room than any one else in walking, or at Table; he takes the Wall of his equals, he stops, they stop; he goes forward, they go forward; all are govern'd by his motions, he interrupts, he informs. Let him talk as long as he thinks fit, he is never interrupted, the Company is of his opinion, and his News is constantly the Page  146 truest: If he sits down you see him in an El∣bow-chair, he crosses his Legs, wrinkles his Brows, pulls his Hat over his Eyes, and will be seen by no body; he raises himself after∣wards, and discovers a proud and confident Forehead: He is merry, very laughable, im∣patient, cholerick, a Libertine and a Politici∣an; he believes himself a great Wit and a great Genius, but 'tis certain he is Rich.

Phedon has hollow Eyes, a red Face, a lean Body, and a meagre Look, his sleep is little, and his slumbers light; he is a great Dreamer, with the sense he has the air of a Blockhead, he for∣gets speaking what he knows, or talking of those accidents with which he is acquainted; when he sometimes speaks he is foolish and concise in his relations; he is never hearken'd to, or taken notice of. He praises, he laughs at others jests, he is of their opini∣ons; he runs, he flyes to do 'em little services; he is a flatterer, complaisant, busy, myste∣rious in his affairs, superstitious, scrupulous, a Coward, and sometimes a Lyar; he steps light and softly, he seems afraid to tread the ground, he walks with his Eyes downward, he dares not raise 'em on those who pass by him; he never makes one of a company for discoursing on affairs of general concern; he puts himself behind him who speaks, he steals away with what he has heard without being observ'd; he uses no place, he takes up no room, he pulls his Hat over his Eyes that he may not be seen, he folds and shuts himself up in his Cloak; there is no Street Page  147 or Gallery so crouded or throng'd but he finds a way to sneak thro without justling, and creeps along and no one perceives him; if he is desir'd to sit, he puts himself on the brink of the Seat, he talks low in conver∣sation, and has a bad accent; however, he is free with the Public, angry with the Age, and but indifferently pleas'd with the Mini∣sters and Ministry; he seldom opens his mouth but to reply, he blows his Nose under his Hat, he spits in his Handerchief, he gets into a corner to sneeze, and the Company must never know it, he costs no body a compliment or a salutation. In short he is very poor.

Page  148

Of the City.

AT Paris we meet as exactly without Ap∣pointment, as if it were some publick Assignation; we are punctual every E∣vening at the Park; and the Walks to ob∣serve all Faces there, and to like none.

We can't forbear even the Company of those Persons whom we hate and deride.

We wait for one another at these Meet∣ings; and as we pass by are curious in exa∣mining Coaches, Horses, and Liveries, no∣thing escapes our Eyes, which are in these cases very nice and malicious. We respect or disdain the People we meet, according to the Greatness or Smallness of their Equipage.

* We all know the Long Bank which bor∣ders the River Seine, on that side where it receives the Marue at its entry into Paris. At the foot of this Bank the Men delight to bath themselves during the Heats of the Dog∣days; we can see 'em at a little distance throw themselves into the Water, and return out of it: And 'tis observable, that the City-women never walk that way till this Season comes, and when 'tis past they go on t'other side of the Water.

Page  149* In these Places of general concourse, where the Ladies assemble only to shew their fine Silks, and reap the fruit of their Toi∣lets, People don't walk with a Company for the Benefit of Conversation, but cou∣ple together, to get a little Confidence, and be embolden'd against the common Re∣flections that are made there. They talk here, and say nothing, or rather talk to be taken notice of by such as pass by them, for whose sake they raie their Voices, cringe, bow negligently, and make several turns.

* The Town is divided into several Socie∣ties, which like so many little Republicks, have their particular Laws, Customs, Jargon and Jests; and as long as they last, they will allow nothing to be well said or done, which they had no hand in, and contemn those who have not been initiated in their own My∣steries. A Man of Wit, who knows the World, and ventures to put himself amongst them, finds himself in a strange Country, where he is ignorant of the Roads, Language, Man∣ners and Customs. He sees here a sort of People who sometimes make a Noise, some∣times Whisper, sometimes Laugh aloud, and presently fall again into a doleful Silence. He loses himself here, and can hardly tell how to put his words in any tolerable Order, or get himself to be heard. Here is alway some forward Coxcomb, who with bad Jests, and wretched Buffoonry, makes himself the He∣ro of the Society. This Man is the Director Page  150 of the others Merriment, and they always laugh at his Jests before he breaks them. If at any time a Woman comes amongst them, who is not a Companion in their Pleasures, the jolly Club refuses to receive her, because she refuses to laugh at what she does not un∣derstand, and appears insensible at the Tri∣fles which they would not be pleased with if they were not their own. They will nei∣ther forgive her, her Speech, her Silence, her Shape, or her Complexion, her Dress, nor the manner of her coming in, or going out. The same Club however never lives two years successfully; in the fist there are always sown those Seeds of Division which break it the next, by Quarrels about some Beauty, Disputes at Play, extravagant Feasts, which though modest in the beginning, soon degenerate into Pyramids of Victuals, and costly Banquets, to the utter overthrow of the Commonwealth. And thus in a little while there is no more talk of this People, than of the last year's Flies.

* In the City there is the greater Robe and the less: The first of these revenge them∣selves on the other, for the Contempt and the Mortifications they meet with at Court. 'Tis not easily known where the Greater end, or where the Less begin, there being a conside∣rable body of those who refuse to be of the Second Order, and who contest even for the first: They will not always give place to the other: On the contrary, they endeavour by their Gravity and Expence to equal 'em Page  151 in the Magistracy, and will not yield it 'em without dificulty. We hear 'em often say, that the Nobleness of their Employs, the In∣dependency of their Professions, their Talent at speaking, and their Personal Merit, bal∣lance at least the Baggs of Money which the Sons of the Farmers or Goldsmiths, paid for their Offices.

* You are unwise to study in your Coach, or it may be to sleep there: Make haste, take your Briefs and your Papers, read out, sa∣lute no body, take but little notice of your Clients, who are waiting on you to the Courts: They will believe you a Person of the more business. This Man, say they, is laborious and indefatigable; he reads, he works in the Street, and on the Road: Ob∣serve the least Attorney, he would be thought overladen with his Affairs; he wrin∣kles his Forehead, studies most profoundly, as if he had something to do, and pretends o much business, that he can't find time for Eating and Drinking: He is seldom seen a∣bout his House; he vanishes presently, and is lost in the Darkness of his Closet; he hides himself from the Publick, avoids the Thea∣tres, and never shews himself where there is danger of being discover'd, though with much ado he finds leisure for the Gomons, and the Dehamels.

* There are a certain number of young Magistrates, whom Pleasure and good E∣states have associated to some of those we call at Court, My little Masters. They imi∣tate Page  152 them in all their Actions, and carry themselves much below the Gravity of their Robe. They believe themselves dispenc'd by their Age and their Fortune, from being dis∣creet or moderate: They borrow from the Court what is worst there, and appropriate to themselves their Vanity, Luxury, Intempe∣rance and Libertinism, as if all those Vices belonged to 'em. They affect a Character far distant from what they ought to maintain, and in the end, according to their desires, they become, the true Copies of most Wicked Originals.

* A Man of the Robe in the City, when he appears at Court, looks like another Per∣son; but when he comes home, he resumes the Manners, the Complexion, the Look and the Gesture, he left there. He is not so honest, nor in so much confusion.

* The Crispins join and club together in their Families for the six Horses which leng∣then their Equipage, and with a swarm of Men in Liveries, for which each furnishes his part, they triumph at the Park or at Vin∣cenne, with as much Splendour as a new Bridegroom, or as Iason, who has ruin'd himself by his Vanity, or Thrason, who has dispos'd of his Estate, and now sets up for a For∣tune.

* I have heard talk of the Sannions, the same Name, the same Arms: The elder House; The younger House, and the youngest Branch of the youngest House: The first bear their Arms plain, the second with a La∣bel, Page  153 and the third with a Label Indented. They blazon the same Colours with the Bourbons and the same Mettal, they carry as well as they, two and one: 'Tis true, they are not Flouer de Luces, but they are satisied, and perhaps believe in their Hearts, their Bearings as honourable. They have 'em in common with Persons of the first Quality; we see 'em in their Windows, in their Chap∣pels, on the Gates of their Castle, on the Pil∣lars of their Seat of Justice, where many a Man is condemned to be hang'd, who only deserv'd Banishment. You see 'em on their Moveables and Immoveables; they are sown up and down on their Coaches, and their Liveries are as remarkable as their Arms. But to be plain, with the Sannions, they should have had a little Patience to have tarry'd till the next Age, for in this their Folly appears too palpable, and in a few years those who knew their Grand-father must follow him to the Grave: They are old, they can't live long, and who then would be able to say, There he kept his Stall, and sold his Goods very dear.

The Sannions and the Crispins had rather be thought extravagant than covetous: They tell you a long Story of a Feast or Collation they made at one time; the Money they lost at Play at another, and are very angry at any one who they suppose have not had the same ill Success. They speak in their mysterious Jargon of the Ladies of their Ac∣quaintance; they have ever a thousand plea∣sant Page  154 things to tell each other, and are always making new Discoveries, passing amongst themselves for Men of very much Intrigue. One of 'em coming late from the Country, goes to Bed, gets up in the Morning, puts on his riding Accoutrements, adorns himself with Ribbons, ties back his Hair, takes his Fuzee, and passes for a Sports-man. He re∣turns at night wet and weary, without find∣ing the Game, tries again on the Morrow, and in this manner passes every day in mis∣sing the Thrushes and Partridges.

Another of them with two or three Cou∣ple of bad Dogs, takes a pride in telling one this is My Pack: When they are to hunt he is sure to be inform'd of the place of Rendez∣vous; he is ready at the time appointed, and one of the first that begins the Chace; he beats the Bushes, has a Horn by his side, mingles himself with the Huntsman, and does not like, Menalippa, say, Where's the Pleasure on't? but is really transported: He is in short, a meer Hippolitus, and forgets Pleadings and Declarations; Menander, who saw him yester∣day on account of a Suit he had in his hands, to day does not know his Advocate, but to morrow you may see him again at his Chamber, where he Judges in weighty and capital Cases, encompass'd round with his Brethren, whom he informs that 'twas not his Hounds which lost the Stag, that he is hoarse with hallowing after the Dogs, who were in a fault, and after the Hunter, who dislodg'd him, and that he was in with Page  155 the Dogs at the Death of the Game. But the Clock strikes, and he has no more time to talk of his Hounds, or the Fallow Deer: He must then to his Seat, where with the rest, he is to administer Justice.

* How great is the Madness of some par∣ticular Men, who being possest of great E∣states which their Fathers got for them by Trade and Industry, form themselves after the manner of Princes, have their Wardrobe, their Equipage, and by excessive Expences, and ridiculous Stateliness, provoke the Laugh∣ter of the whole Town, which they awhile fancy is dazled with their Lustre, till they ruin themselves in the end, with striving to make themselves ridiculous: Some of 'em have not had the advantage to spread their Follies beyond the Street they live in, or to be talkt of out of the Neighbourhood, which is alone the Theatre of their Vanity. We scarce know in the Isle that Andreus makes a figure, and scatters his Patrimony in the Marais. If it were at least known in the City and Suburbs, perhaps amongst so great a number of Citizens, who are seldom in the right, there might one of them be mistaken in his Extravagance, and tell a∣broad that he is Magnificent, or give an ac∣count of the Banquets he made for Xantus and Ariston, or the feasts he gave Elemira; but he ruins himself obscurely, and hastens to Poverty for the sake of two or three Persons, who have not the least esteem for him; and though he rides at present in a Coach, in six Page  156 months you'll see he will not have Means enough left to go handsomly afoot.

* Narcissus rises in the Morning to lye down at Night, is six hours in his Dressing∣room, and as regular as the Ladies in going every day to Morning and Evening-Prayer. He is good company, and serves to make a third man at Ombre. He sits four hours together at Aricia's, and loses five or six Pi∣stoles anight. He reads exactly the Dutch Gazzette, Barbin's Novels, and the Mercure Ga∣lant. He has read Bergerac, Du Marets Lescla∣ches, and some Collections of Poetry; he walks with the Ladies in the Park or Mea∣dows. He is religiously punctual in his Visits: He will do the same to morrow, which he has done to day, and did yesterday. Thus he lives, and in this manner he will die.

* There is a Man, say you, I have seen somewhere, and though I have forget where, I remember very well his Face. There are a great many others who do so too; and if possible, I'll in this assist your Memory. Was it on the Drawbridge, or on the Bastion, in the Park, or in a Box at the Play-house? Was it at a Sermon, at a Ball, or at Ram∣bouillets, or can you tell where you mist him? Where is he not to be met with? At a pub∣lick Execution, or Fireworks, he appears in a Balcony; if there is a magnificent Caval∣cade, you see him on a Scaffold; if the King receives an Ambassador, he sees the Proces∣sion, assists at the Audience, ranges himself with the Masters of the Ceremonies, and his Page  157 presence is as essential at administring the Oaths to the Swiss Allies, as that of the Lord-Chancellor or Plenipotentiaries. 'Tis his Picture that in the Almanacks represents the People, and their Assemblies. He is at every Hunting Match; at every Review you see him on Horseback amongst the Officers; he has a great Passion for War, Troops and Militia. He has been as far as the Fort of Bernardi, to make a Campaign. Chanley understands Marches, Iacquier, Provisions, Du Meitz the Artillery. He is the Spectator of their Professions, he has seen 'em all, and is grown old with seeing. He does nothing that a Man ought to do; he knows nothing that a Man ought to know. But he boasts he has seen every thing that was to be seen, and now he shall die in Peace: Who then will like him inform us that the Park-Gates are shut, that the Meads are marshy, and one can no longer walk there? Who will pro∣claim when there is a Consort, where a good Lecture, or a great Fair? Who will tell us Beaumevielle is dead, that Rochois has a Cold, and cannot sing this eight days? Who will distinguish so well an Alderman by his Arms and Liveries? Who will acquaint us that Scapin bears the Flower de Luces; or who, in short, will be more edifying? Who will pro∣nounce with greater Vanity and Affectation the Names and Titles of some new dignify'd Citizen, or be better furnish'd with Ballads and Madrigals? Who will then lend the La∣dies the Gentleman's Journals, and the year∣ly Page  158 Miscellanies? Who will sing at their Tables a whole Dialogue of an Opera, or the Deeds of Roland in one of their Apartments? To con∣clude, since there is in the City as well as else∣where, a great many dull, lazy, ignorant, neg∣ligent Blockheads, why should we so readily agree with them in every thing?

* Theramenes was rich, and had Merit; he was afterwards an Heir, and had then more Riches, and a great deal more Merit. The Women of the City courted him for a Gal∣lant, and their Daughters for a Husband. He here oppos'd himself to the Cap of Authori∣ty, and there disputed with the Knights and Gentlemen, who would force 'em from his Interests. A gay, a lively and witty young Man could not be more passionately lov'd, nor better receiv'd. His Chariot waited at their Doors, he entred with them into the Park; every thing was free for him, to the entire Defeat of a thousand Rivals. How many hopeful Matches has he ruin'd? And how could he satisfy so many People who were obliged to make him account for his Actions? He was not only the Terror of the Husbands, but the Dread of all such as desir'd to be so, and who expected from Marriage to make up their broken Fortunes. A Man so happy, and so full of Money, ought to be banish'd from a well-govern'd City; and the fair Sex should be forbidden, on pain of Folly and In∣dignity, to treat him better than if he were a Person who had nothing but Merit to com∣mend him.

Page  159* The weakness of some City Women, in their wretched imitations of those of the Court, is more scandalous than the courseness of ordinary Women, and the rudeness of Villagers; since to the Vices of both these, you must add Affectation.

* Oh what a subtle invention 'tis to make rich Presents in your Courtship which are not paid for, but after Marriage are to be re∣turn'd.

* Oh the advantageous and laudable pra∣ctice, to spend on the day of your Marriage a third part of your Wifes Dowry. To be∣gin with impoverishing your selves by con∣sent, and when you have heapt up abun∣dance of superfluous things, to take from the main stock to pay the Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer.

* Oh what a handsom and judicious custom 'tis for a Man, who preferring an impudent Ceremony before Modesty and Decency, to expose his Wife a whole night on a Bed as on a Theatre, where she lyes a spectacle for the whole Town, friends or foes have the priviledge of viewing her in this posture till morning. There is nothing wanting to make this practice entirely whimsical and incre∣dible, but to print it in a relation of Min∣grelia.

* 'Tis a troublesome and unprofitable way of living for persons to be sollicitous to come together, and impatiently bear a disappoint∣ment: yet when they are thus met to have nothing but trifles for their entertainment, Page  160 and to say those things alone which both were equally acquainted with, or are of no importance to know. To enter into a Cham∣ber purely to go out on't, and to go out after dinner only to come home at night, very well satisfy'd with seeing three or four Swissers in an afternoon; to have seen one Woman whom we don't know, and another whom we don't love. Whoever will rightly consi∣der the value of his time, and how far its loss is irreparable, would mourn bitterly over such misfortunes.

* They value themselves in the City on their rude indifference for Rural and Country affairs. They can scarce distinguish Linseed from Hemp, Wheat from Rye, and neither of 'em from Barly. They content themselves with eating and drinking, and putting on their cloaths: You must not talk to 'em of Fallow Ground, Copses, Vinesprigs, or After-grass, if you design to be understood they will not take it for their Mother Tongue. To some of 'em you should dis∣course of Weights, Scales, Books of Rates and Measures: to others of Appeals, Peti∣tions, Decrees and Injunctions. They pre∣tend to know the world, and tho 'tis more safe and commendable, are ignorant of Na∣ture, her Beginnings, Growths, Gifts, and Bounties. This Ignorance is frequently voluntary, and founded on the conceit they have of ther own Callings and Professions; there is never a vile Pettifogger, who dreams and smoaks in the corner of his Study, with Page  161 his head full of pernicious shifts and litigious suits, but prefers himself to the Husband∣man, who praises God, cultivates the Earth, sows in Season, and gathers his rich Har∣vests. If at any time he hears talk of the first Men, or the Patriarchs, of their Coun∣try Lives and good order, he blesses himself that they could live in those days without Officers and Commissioners, Presidents or Sollicitors, and can't comprehend how they could then subsist without Registers, or Courts of Judicature, Coffee-houses, and Ordinaries.

* The Roman Emperors never triumph'd so luxuriously, so commodiously, nor so securely over the Wind, the Rain, the Dirt, and the Sun, as the Citizens of Paris when they rattle in their Coaches from one end of the Town to the other: What difference alas! is there between this custom and that of their Ancestors? they never knew how to deprive themselves of Necessaries, to get Superfluities; their Houses were never illu∣minated with Wax Candles, which were on∣ly to be seen at the Altar or the Louvre; they could warm themselves by a little fire; they ne∣ver rose from a bad Dinner to get into a Coach, but were convinc'd that Men had Legs given 'em to walk on, and they us'd 'em: In dry weather they kept themselves clean, in wet they damnify'd their Shoes and Stockings, and were as ready to cross a street or a passage, as a Sportsman to skip over the plough'd Ground, or a Soldier to dirt Page  162 himself in the Trenches. They had not then invented to harness two Men and put 'em to a Chair; there was then even Magi∣strates who walkt to the Chambers of Justice and Courts of Inquests, with as good a grace as Augustus us'd to foot it to the Capitol. The Pewter and Brass in those days shone on their Shelves and Cupboards, the Copper and Iron in their Chimnies, whilst the Silver and Gold lay safe in their Coffers. Women were then serv'd by Women, they had such to do their Offices even in their Kitchens. The fine Names of Governor and Governante were unknown to our Forefathers; they knew to whom the Children of great Princes were confided, but they divided the service of their Domesticks with their Children, and were content to be themselves their imme∣diate Tutors. Every thing they did agreed with their circumstances, their Expences were proportion'd to their Receipt, their Liveries, their Equipages, their Houshold Goods, their Tables, their City and Country Houses, were all measur'd by their Revenues and their Condition. They had however those outward distinctions amongst themselves that 'twas easy to distinguish the Wife of an Attorny from that of a Judge, and a Plebeian or Valet from a Gentleman. They were less studious to spend or enlarge their Patri∣mony than to keep it, they left it entire to their Heirs, and past from a moderate Life to a peaceable Death: there was no com∣plaint then, 'Tis a hard Age. The Misery is Page  163 great. Money is scarce. They had less than we have, and yet they had enough. Richer by their OEconomy and Modesty than their Revenues or Demesnes. To conclude, in former days they observ'd this Maxim, that what is Splendor, Sumptuousness and Magni∣ficence in people of quality, is in private men Extravagance, Folly, and Impertinence.

Page  164

Of the Court.

'TIS in one sense the most honourable Reproach we can lay on any Man, to say, he knows not the Court, for there is scarce a Vertue which we do not im∣ply by giving him that Character.

* A Man who frequents the Court, is ma∣ster of his Gestures, his Looks and Complexi∣on; he is profound and inpenetrable. He dissembles when he does ill Offices, smiles on his Enemies, puts a constraint on his Natural Disposition, disguises his Passions, acts against his Inclinations, speaks against his Opinion: And after all, this great Refinedness is no∣thing more than the Vice we call Falshood, which is sometimes as unprofitable even for a Courtier, as Openness, Sincerity and Ver∣tue.

* The Court is like certain Colours which change their kind, and seem of different sorts, according to the Lights they are expos'd in.

* The Man who leaves the Court for a minute, renounces it for ever: The Courtier who saw him in the Morning, must see him Page  165 at Nig••, to know him the next Day; or in short, to be known himself.

* A Man must be content to seem little at Court; and let him be never so vain, tis impossible to prevent it, but his comfort is, the evil is common to all, and the great ones themselves are but little when they appear there.

* The Court appears afar off to the Coun∣try, as an admirable thing; but if we ap∣proach it, its Beauties diminish, like a fair Prospect which we view at too little a di∣stance.

* 'Twould be difficult for a great many Persons to pass their Lives in an Anti-chamber, a Court-yard, or a Stair-case.

* The Court cannot give a Man content, but it hinders him from inding it else∣where.

* 'Tis fit a Gentleman should make a trial of the Court; but he will discover as soon as he enters there, that he is in a new World which is wholly unknown to him; Where Politeness and Vice divide the Government, and where Good and Evil are equally useful for his Advancement.

* The Court is like a Marble Structure, I mean 'tis compos'd of Men very hard, but very polite.

* A great many P••ple go to Court only to come back again, and at their return to be taken notice of by the Nobility of their Pro∣vince, or the Bishop of the Diocess.

Page  166* The Embroiderers and Confe••ioners, wou'd be superfluous if we were modest and temperate; Courts would be Dearts, and Kings left alone if we were void of Vanity and Interest. Men are willing to be Slaves at Court, to Lord it in the Country. It seems as if they delivered out there by the Great, that proud, stately, and commanding Air, which our Rulers retail in their Pro∣vinces.

They do exactly what they see done be∣fore them, and are the True Apes of Royalty.

* There is nothing disorders a Courtier more than the presence of his Prince: We can then scarce know him by his Features; his Looks alter, and he appears perfectly con∣temptible: The prouder and the haughtier he is, the more he is mortify'd, because he is at the greater loss, whilst a civil and mo∣dest Man supports himself very well, having nothing to reform.

* The Air of the Court is contagious, it takes at V .... as the Norman Accent pre∣vails at R•••n and Falaise, we find it amongst the Farriers, Controllers and Excisemen. A Man with a very little share of Wit, may make a great progress towards obtaining it. But one of an elevated Genius and solid Worth, does nt esteem this sort o Accom∣plishment o n•••••ary as to employ much time in studying it; however, to be in the fashion, he gets it without reflection, or put∣ting himself to any pains towards acquiring it.

Page  167* N .... arrives at Court with a great noise, turns the People aside, forces 'em to make way, pats some, strikes others, and tells his name; but they take breath awhile, and at last oblige him to enter with the Croud.

* There are at Court the Apparitions of bold and adventurous Men of a free and fa∣miliar Character, which they discover them∣selves, assuring you their Cunning is prefera∣ble to all others, and are trusted on their own Affirmations. In the mean while, they make their advantage of the publick Error, or the Love which Men have for Novelty: They break through the Croud, get up to the ear of the Prince, with whom the Courtier sees 'em talking, and is glad to be seen himself; being for this so useful to the great ones, that they are allow'd, or at least sufferd without Molestation. In a short time they disappear, at once rich and out of favour, and the Men who just came from being deceiv'd by them, are ready to be deceiv'd by others.

* Here you will see some Men who as they pass by you, give you a light Salute, stretch out their Shoulders, and thrust out their Breasts, like Women ask you a Question. and look another way, speak in a high tone and think themselves above every one in thei presence. They stop, and the Company come about them: They are the Presidents of th Circle, have all the Discourse, persisting in their ridiculous and counterfeit Stateliness, till there comes by a great Officer, whose pre∣sence Page  168 throws 'em quickly down from their affected Elevation, and reduces 'em to their Native Condition, which is less wretched.

* Courts cannot subsist without a certain sort of Courtiers; such as can flatter, are com∣plaisant, insinuating, and devoted to the La∣dies. Whose Pleasures they manage, study their Weaknesses, and sooth their Passions; from them we receive all Modes and Fashi∣ons: They refine Luxury and Extravagance: They teach the Ladies to consume immense Sums in Cloaths, Furnitures and Equipages: They wear nothing but what is rich and shining, and will not live in an old Palace unless it be new built and embellisht. They eat delicately, and with reflection, There is no Voluptuousness but they are experiencd in. They owe their Fortunes to themselves, and they keep it with the same address as they rais'd it. Their Pride makes them scorn their Equals, they will have no converse with them, and scarce give em common Civility. 〈◊〉 speak when every one else is silent: En∣••r boldly, and thrust themselves into places where the greatest Lords dare not be seen. Some Men who have liv'd long, have their Bodies cover'd with Wounds; who have fine Employs, and high Dignities, can't shew such absur'd Countenances and forward Faces. How many Men have the ears of the geat∣est Princes, are partakers in their Pleasures and Debauches, who never stir out of the Tower or Castle, and manage themselves there as if they were at home, or amongst Page  169 their own Domesticks? They seem to mul∣tiply themselves in a thousand places, and are always the first Faces that are seen by the new Comers to Court: They embrace, and are embrac'd; laugh, talk loud, tell Tales, are pleasant, convenient, agreeable, rich, but of no importance.

* Would one not believe that Cimon and Clitamder, are charg'd with the whole con∣cerns of the State, and that they are only ac∣countable for 'em? That one has at least the Management of the Land Affairs, and the o∣ther the Maritime? Whoever shall prtend to represent them, may express their Hasti∣ness, Inquietude, Curiosity and Activity, but cannot paint their Motion; we never see em sitting, never fixd or steady, hardly ever on the march; they are always running: They ask Questions runnig, speak running, and never stay for an Answer: They never go to, or come rom any place; they are always passing an re-passing, do not stop 'em in their 〈…〉 course, you will dis∣mount 〈◊〉achines; never enquire any thing 〈◊〉 or give 'em time to breathe or remembe〈◊〉 have nothing to do, lest they stay ith you too long, and follow you at ls where-eer you please to lead them. The do not, like Iupiter's Stars, pass about, and •••round their Prince: But they go be∣fore ••m, and declare when he is coming: They rush in impetuously on a crowd of Courtiers, and all they meet with are in dan∣ger. 'Tis their Profession to see and be seen, Page  170 and they never go to bed without acquitting themselves of an Employ so serious, and so beneficial to the Commonwealth. They are in short, acquainted with the rise of all in∣different Accidents, and know every thing at Court which one ought to be ignorant of, having all the necessary Qualifications for a mean Advancement; they are very brisk and quick-sighted about any thing they think for their advantage, but in the main a little too bold, light, and inconsiderate.

* A Courtier who has not a name good e∣nough for his Quality, must hide himself un∣der a better; but if 'tis one which he dares own, he must then insinuate that his name is the most illustrious, and his House the most ancient of all others; he ought to be de∣scended from the Princes of Lorrain, the Ro∣hans, the Chatillions, or the Montmerencies; and if possible from the Princes of the Blood: He should talk of nothing but Cardinals, Dukes and First Ministers: He must usher his Grandfathers by Father and Mothers side, in∣to all Discourses, and place em amongst the Standard-bearers in the Crusadoes: His Hall should be adorn'd with Genealogies, Suppor∣ters with Escutcheons of six Quarters: The Pictures of his Ancestors, and their Allies; he must value himself on their ancient Ca∣stles, the Seat of their Family, set out with Fanes, Towers and Battlements. He should be always speaking of his Race, his Branch, his Name, and his Arms: He must say of him, He is no Gentleman; of her, She is no Gentle∣woman.Page  171 When any one happens to tell him, Hyacynthus has a great Portion left, he demands if he is a Gentleman: If Persons laugh at his unseasonable Questions, he lets 'em laugh on: If they tell him a Story, he permits 'em to continue; but at the same time, acquaints them he goes after the Royal Family, and by dint of words will always be believ'd.

* Tis a great Folly to carry the least Vil∣lenage to Court, to be in a place where one is sure to be contemn'd for not being a Gen∣tleman.

* At Court we go to bed, and rise up on∣ly for our Interest: 'Tis that which employs us Morning and Evening, Night and Day: 'tis that which makes us think or speak, keeps us silent, or puts us on action: 'Tis for this end we speak to some, and neglect others; that we mount or descend: By this rule we measure all our Cares, Complacency, E∣steem, Indifference or Contempt. Whatever progress any Persons make by Vertue towards Wisdom and Moderation: The first ambiti∣ous Temptation carries 'em away with the most covetous, who are the most ambitious, and the most violent in their desires. Can they stand still when every one is on the march, and putting themselves forward? Can they forbear following such as run before them? All Men believe they are accountable to themselves for their Advancement, and making their Fortunes; and he who has not rais'd it at Court, is enragd that 'tis not ac∣complish'd. He has not been taken notice Page  172 of perhaps, but will he leave it without ma∣king an advantage by his abode there, or will he still abide without favour or reward? A Question so crabbed and hard to be deci∣ded, that an infinite number of Courtiers have grown old between saying yes or no, and have at last dy'd in suspence.

* There is nothing at Court so contemp∣tible and unworthy, as a Man who can con∣tribute nothing to our Welfare; I wonder how such a Person dares appear there.

* He who sees a Man far behind him, who was one of his own standing and condition, who made his first appearance at Court at the same time with himself, believes there is some substantial Reasons for his getting be∣fore him, and that he ought to think better of himself than of this other Person who stopt by the way, forgetting what he thought of those that went beyond him before his Advancement.

* If he who is in favour makes advantage of it before 'tis too late: If he takes hold of the Good Wind that blows fair for him to make his way: If he gapes after all Vacan∣cies, Posts, Abbeys, and does but demand and receive: If he is stor'd with Pensi∣ons, Grants and Survivances, you will then complain that every thing tempts him, that all is his own, his Friends or Creatures, and that by the number of the various Favours bestow'd on him, he has made a great many Mens Fortunes. In the mean time, what shall he do to please you? Were I to judge less by Page  173 your Talk, and more by the Course you would take in the same place, 'tis to do exact∣ly what he has done already.

We blame those who have made use of the Opportunities put in their hands to raise their Fortunes, whilst we despair by the Meanness of our own to be ever in the same Circumstances, and to be expos'd to such a reproach. But if we are like to succeed, we begin to think they have done less Injury than we imagin'd, and are more wary in condemn∣ing them.

* We must never exaggerate things, nor lay Crimes to the charge of the Court, which are not there. We can attempt no∣thing worse against true Merit, than to hin∣der it from being rewarded. We shall not always despise it when we can better discern it: Though 'tis indeed at Court where 'tis most neglected, and where they do nothing, or very little, for those whom they very much esteem.

* 'Tis rare if amongst all the Instruments a Man uses in the Structure of his Fortune at Court, some of 'em don't miscarry. One of my Friends, who promis'd to speak for me, says not a word; another speaks very faintly, a third mistakes my Interest and his own Intentions, and does me more harm than good. One wants the Will, another the Wisdom and Cunning; neither of them would take pleasure enough in seeing me happy to contribute with all their Might to∣wards making me so. Every one remembers Page  174 what his Establishment cost him, and the helps that clear'd the way to his Settlement. And we should be always for justifying the Services we receive from some Men, by those which on the like occasions we render to o∣thers, if 'twas not our chief and only care af∣ter our Fortunes are made to think of our selves.

* Courtiers never employ their Wit, Ad∣dress or Policy to serve their Friends, when they desire it; but only to find out Evasions and Pretences, that 'tis not in their power, and by that think themselves acquitted on their side from all the Duties of Friendship and Gratitude.

People at Court are unwilling to make use of others who offer to assist them; and judg∣ing every body by themselves, expect no one will pretend to any Services from them, and that they are by this means excus'd for refu∣sing their Assistance. A soft and polite way of denying their Credit, Offices and Media∣tion to such as may need them.

* How many Men almost stifle you with their Caresses, in private pretend to love and esteem you, and yet are perplex'd when they meet you in publick. At the Levee or Mass, they turn away their Eyes from you, and do all they can to avoid you. There is but a small number of Courtiers whose Greatness of Soul, or Confidence in themselves, quali∣fy them to do Justice to a Man of Merit, who is alone, and destitute of Employments.

Page  175* I see a Man surrounded and follow'd, but he is in Office; another whom every one courts, but he is in Favour: One is embrac'd and carest even by Persons of the First rank, but he is rich; another is gaz'd and pointed at, but he is learned and eloquent: I per∣ceive one whom no body misses saluting, but he is a Knave. I would be a Man who would be always good, who would be nothing more, and who is at all times willing to give an ac∣count of his Actions.

* When a Man is advan'd to a new Post, we break in upon him like an Inundation with our Praises. The Court and Chappel are full of them: The Stair-case, the Hall, the Gallery, and the Withdrawing Room, resound with his Elogies. He gets presently out of sight, and mounts so high we can hard∣ly keep him in view. There are not two different Voices in forming his Character; Envy and Jealousy speak now like Flattery: Every one is carry'd away by the torrent which forces 'em to say sometimes what they think, and sometimes what they do not be∣lieve, and often to commend a Man of whom they have no knowledge. If he has a little Wit, Merit or Valour, he is in an instant a Genius of the first Size, a Hero, a Demi-God; he is so much flatter'd in the Pictures that are made for him, that were he to be set by ei∣ther of them, he would appear deform'd. 'Tis impossible for him to countenance those things which Baseness and Complisance would tempt him to. He even blushes at his Page  176 own Reputation: But let him stagger never so little in the post to which he was advanc'd, the World easily change their Opinion, and he entirely loses his credit. The Machines which lifted him so high by Applause and Encomiums, were built so as to throw him down into extreamest contempt: And there are none then who disdain him more, are sharper in their Censures, and say worse things of him than those who were most furi∣ous in their Praises when his Fortune smil'd on him.

* It my be said with reason of an eminent and delicate Post, that 'tis got with more ease than 'tis maintain'd.

* We see a great many Men fall from a high Fortune, by the same Defects which rais'd them.

* At Court they speak well of a Man for two reasons: The first that he may know they have commended him, and the second that he may do them the same favour.

* 'Tis as dangerous at Court to make any Advances, as 'tis troublesome to be preven∣ted.

If a Man does not know the Face or Name of a Person, 'tis a good subject for a great many Men to laugh at, or despise him. They ask you if such a one is not Rousseau, Fabry, or La Couture, and would not for a world be una∣ble to distinguish them.

* A certain Person told me so many ill things of another, and I saw so few in him, that I began to suspect his Merit would never do any one an Injury.

Page  177* You are an honest Man, and do not make it your business neither to please nor dis∣please the Favourites; only are loyal to your Master, and true to your Duty; yet let me tell you after all, you are a lost Man.

* None are impudent by choice, but by Constitution; 'tis a Vice to be so, but 'tis natural. He who is not born so, is modest; and 'tis not easy to go from this Extremity to the other, though 'twould be for his ad∣vantage to learn this Lesson, Be impudent and succeed; A bad Imitation will not profit him, he will by this means be quickly baf∣fled; A Man ought to have at least at Court a real and native Impudence to be successful.

* We seek, we are busy, we intrigue, we torment our selves, we demand, are refus'd, we demand again, and obtain. But is there any one will tell me he got any thing with∣out asking at a time when he thought no∣thing of the matter, or was thinking of some∣thing else? 'Tis an old Pretence, an innocent Deceit, yet now a-days so little specious that no body will be deceiv'd by it.

* A Man sets up for an eminent Station, prepares his Machines, takes the right mea∣sures, and to be well serv'd, some pull a littl back whilst others push apace forward: The Snare at last laid, and the Mine ready to play, the Candidate withdraws from Court. Who dar'd suspect that Artemon thought to get himself into so fine a Post, when they took him from his Lands or his Government, to settle him in't? A course Artifice, and com∣mon Page  178 Policy, which the Courtiers have so often made use of, that if I would chang the whole method of our Publick Manage∣ment, and spare my Ambition, I would set my self before the eye of my Prince, and re∣ceive from his own hand the Favours I should acquire otherwise with so much Ap∣plication. Men are not willing we should discover the Prospects they have of their Ad∣vancement, nor find out that they think of the Dignity they aim at; perswading them∣selves, if they don't obtain it 'tis a shame to be refus'd, and if they do 'tis greater Glory to be thought worthy by him that gives it them, than to shew they think themselves worthy by their Intrigues and Cabals. Thus they would at once appear adorn'd with Dig∣nity and Modesty.

Which is the greater shame to be refus'd a Post that we deserve, or to be put into one we do not deserve?

'Tis much more difficult to be worthy of a place at Court, than 'tis hard to get one.

A Man had better ask himself for what did he obtain such a Post, than why was it refus'd?

A Person presents himself as fit for a place in the City, he stands for one in the Acade∣my, or petitions for a Consulship, he would have little reason to labour the first years of his Life to render himself capable of a great Employ, if he were to demand it without Mystery and Cabal, but openly and with Confidence to serve his Country, his Prince, and the Common-wealth.

Page  179I never saw a Courtier to whom a Prince has given a good Government, a fine Post, or a large Pension, who by Vanity, or to shew his Dis-interest, has not said he was less pleas'd with the Gift than the Manner with which twas given him. However, there is no∣thing on't certain and indubitable, but that he says it.

'Tis clownish to give with a bad Grace 'Tis hard and difficult to give with a Smile: There are many Men who refuse more handsomly than others know how to give; and some who make us pray so long, give so coldly, and accompany it with a manner, which forces from us such disagreeable Conditions, that the greatest favour they could do us, is to dispence with us from receiving it.

* Some there are at Court who are so co∣vetous that they will put on any shape to promote their Interest. Governments, Com∣mands, Benefices, every thing agrees with them. They adjst themselves so well that they become qualified for all sorts of Favours. They are amphibuous Creatures, living by the Church and by the Sword, and are dex∣trous enough to join the long Robe to both of 'em. If you ask who these Men are, they are those who receive and envy every one to whom any thing is given.

* Menophilus borrows his Manners from one Profession, his Habit from another; he masks himself every year, though his Face is disco∣ver'd. He appears at Court, in the City, and elsewhere, always under a certain name, and Page  180 the same disguise. We find him out, and on∣ly know what he is by his countenance.

* There is a great and beaten road in the way to Dignity and Honour, and there is a bye path which is much the shortest.

* We run to see Malefactors, we stare 'em in the face, we make Lanes for 'em to pass by, we croud to Windows on pur∣pose to observe the Features, Looks, and Behaviour of a condemn'd Man: Who knows he is going to die? An odious, vain, and in∣humane Curiosity. If Men were wise, the places of Execution would be abandon'd, and 'twould be an establish'd Maxim, That 'tis ignominious to see such Sights. If you are so very curious, exercise your Curiosity on a noble Subject. Behold the happy Man, con∣template him in the day of his Advancement to a new Station, when he is receiving his congraulations, read in his Eyes an af∣fected Calm and feign'd Modesty. Observe how much he is contented and pleas'd with himself; what Serenity the Accomplishment of his Desires spreads over his Heart and Countenance: How he thinks now of nothing more than Health and Long-life. How at last his Joy bursts forth, and can be no longer dissembled: How he bends be∣neath the weight of his own Honour: What a serious and negligent Air he preserves for uch as are not now his Equals: He makes 'em no Answers; he turns away his Head, and seems not to see them: The Em∣races and Caresses of the Great ones, whom Page  181 he views now no more at a distance, begin to offend him. He studies how to disappoint and puzzle them in their Affairs, and it looks already like a Court of Alienation: You would be happy, and you desire favour, which is then the very thing you should avoid.

* A Man when once got into a place, makes no use of his Reason or Understand∣ing, to guide him in his Duty and Conduct towards others: He borrows his measures from his Quality and Station, and thence takes his Forgetfulness, Pride, Arrogance, Stubbornness and Ingratitude.

* There must be Knaves at Court: The Great Men must have 'em always at hand. Those who are best inclin'd cannot be with∣out them: 'Tis a very nice thing to know when to set 'em at work. At certain Times and Seasons others can't do the business. Honour Vertue, Conscience, are respectible Qualities, but frequently unprofitable, and sometimes you can hardly tell me what an honest Man is good for.

* The Minority of a Prince makes abun∣dance of good Fortunes.

* Timantes is still the same, and losing no∣thing of that Merit which at first got him Re∣putation and Rewards, he would not grow less in the favour of the Courtiers: But they are weary of esteeming him; they salute him coldly, they forbear smiling on him, they no more join with him, they neither embrace him, nor take him into a corner to talk my∣steriously of trivial and indifferent things; Page  182 they have in short nothing to say to him, he wants a new Pension or Post to distinguish him, and revive his Vertues, almost dead in their Memories, and to refresh their Idea of him which is strangely decaying. They make him the same he was in the beginning, or but little better.

* How many Friends, how many Rela∣tions, are born to a new Minister in one night? Some value themselves on their for∣mer Acquaintance, their being fellow Colle∣giates or Neighbours; others turn over their Genealogy, going back to their Great Great Grandfathers, raking 'em together by Father and Mothers side. One holds such Lands of him, and another is very willing to be his Tenant. A third cries very readily, 'Tis my Friend, I am very glad at his Promotion, I ought to take part in't, he is my near Kinsman. Vain Men! True votaries of Fortune! Inconside∣rate Courtiers! Did you talk thus eight days ago? Is he since become an honester Man, or more deserving of the Favours his Prince has conferr'd on him? Or did you want this Circumstance to know him better?

* What Comforts and Supports me against the little Slights I suffer sometimes from my Betters and my Equals, is what I say to my self. These Men don't despise me; 'tis my Fortune, and they have reason, it being ve∣ry little: They would without doubt adore me if I were a Minister; were I suddenly to be advanc'd, they would with much fore∣sight tell me they saw I was design'd for't, Page  183 be civil before-hand, and salute me.

He who says, I din'd yesterday at Tibur's, I sup with him to night, and repeats it very often; who shuffles in the name of Plancus on the least occasions, and says Plancus askt me, I told Plancus; even this man, shou'd he in that very moment understand Plancus was snatcht away by an extraordinary death, wou'd hold up his hands, gather the people in the Porches and Piazza's, accuse the dead, rail at his conduct, blacken his administrati∣on, deny him the knowledge of those little things, which the Publick allow'd him to be Master of, and not vouchsafe him a happy Memory; refuse him the Encomium of a Sober, Laborious Person, and not do him the honour to believe him, amongst all the Ene∣mies of the Empire, one who had Sense e∣nough to prejudice it.

'Tis a pleasant sight for a man of merit to see the same place at a publick shew, or an assembly, which was refus'd him, gi∣ven before his face to one who has not eyes to see, nor ears to hear, nor sense to make a Judgment; who has nothing to recommend him but a few Liveries, which he has bor∣rowed only for that day.

* Theodotus wears a Grave Habit, and Co∣mical Countenance, like a man making his entry upon a Stage. His Voice, his Pace, his Carriage, his Posture, agree with his Countenance. He is Wise, Cunning, Amo∣rous, and very Politick; he comes up to you, and whispers you in the Ear, 'Tis fin Weather, Page  184 'tis a great Thaw: if he has not great Qualifi∣cations, he has all the little ones, even those which only become a young Coxcomb. Imagine the application of a Child, building a Castle of Cards, or making a Butterfly, 'tis like Theodotus in his affairs of no consequence, and good for nothing but to keep him in mo∣tion; however he treats them seriously, as if they were concerns of Importance: He walks hard, is busie and successful; he takes breath and reposes himself, and 'tis but reasonable, for it puts him to a great deal of trouble. There are some people who are besotted to the favour of great men, they think on't all day, and study on't all night; are always running up and down stairs in a Ministers apartment, going in or coming out of an Antichamber: Whatever they pretend, they have nothing to say to him; they speak once or twice, and are content that they have spo∣ken: If you press or croud 'em, they are of∣fended at your pride, arrogance and pre∣sumption; speak to 'em, they shall make you no answer; they know you not, their eyes are dazled, and their minds alienated: It belongs to their Relations to take care of them, and lock them up, lest their folly in time shou'd grow to madness, and the world be no longer able to endure them. Theodo∣tus has a soft way with him, he passionately loves to be in favour, but his passion is more private, he pays it his vows secret, there he cultivates it, and keeps it a Mystery: He is ever on the watch to discover what Foot∣man Page  185 has occasion of his Inrerest, for them he sacrifices merit, alliances, friendship, engage∣ments and gratitude. If the place of a Cssini were vacant, and the Swiss or Postilion of a Favourite advis'd him to demand it, he would assist them in their pretences, and judge them worthy of the place; he would think 'em capable to make Observations, Calculations, Paralyes and Paralaxies. If you enquire concerning Theodotus, if he is an Author or a Plagiary, an Original or a Copyer, I must give you his Works, and bid you read and judge them: But whether he is a Devotee or a Courtier, who could suppose it from the Picture I have made: I should declare with more assurance what his Stars design him for: Hear, O Theodotus, I have calculated your Nativity, your advancement will be very sudden, be no more solicitous about it, print no more of your Writings, the Publick demands Quarter.

* There is a Country where their Joys are visible, but false; and their Griefs hidden, but real. Who would imagine that the rap∣tures at the Opera, the Claps and Applauses at Molier's Comedies and Harlequin's Farces, the Feasts, Chaces, Balls and Banquets which we hear of, cover'd so many inquietudes, so many cares and different Interests, so many hopes and fears, so many lively passions, and seri∣ous businesses.

* The Court life is a serious melancholy game, whoever applys himself to it must range his Pieces, order his movements, have a de∣sign Page  186 follow it, thwart his Adversaries, ven∣ture sometimes and play capriciously; yet after all his measures and contrivances, they will often be ineffectual. When he thought he had manag'd his Men well, and was in a fair way to succeed, one more cunning or more happy gets the Game.

* The Wheels, the Springs, the Move∣ments of a Watch are hidden, nothing ap∣pears but its Hand, which insensibly goes forward and finishes its Circuit. The true image of a Courtier, who, after having gone a great way about, comes at last frequently to the same point from whence he set out.

* Two thirds of a man's Life is lost in Childhood and Doatage; why then should I perplex my self so much for what remains? The most shining Fortune deserves neither the torment I put my self to, nor the meannesses I must be guilty of, nor the humiliations nor shame which I am forced to endure to acquire it. Thirty years will destroy those mighty Co∣losses, that raise themselves so high above our Heads, and reach almost out of our Sight. I who am so little a thing, and those from whom I expect my Greatness must in a short time disappear. The best of all good things, if there is any thing good in this world, is a soft repose, and quiet retreat, free from want and dependances. M. . . . . was of this opi∣nion in his disgrace, and forgot it in his pro∣sperity.

Page  187* A Nobleman who resides at home in his own Province lives free, but without pro∣tection: If he lives at Court he is Protected, but is then a Slave, which makes amends for't.

* Xanthippus, in the corner of his Province, under an old roof, in an old bed, dreamt one night that he saw his Prince, that he spoke to him, and felt an extreme joy: When he awoke he was melancholy, told his dream, and said, What strange Chimaera's a man may have in his sleep! Xanthippus liv'd a while after this, went to Court, saw the Prince, spoke to him, and went farther than his dream, he was made a Favourite.

* No body is more a Slave than an assiduous Courtier, unless it be a Courtier more assi∣duous.

* A Slave has but one Master, an ambitious Man a great many, all those who are useful to him in making his fortune.

* A thousand men who are scarce known croud every day to be seen by their Prince, who can't see a thousand at a time; and if he sees none to day but those he saw yesterday, and will see to morrow, how many will be unhappy.

* Of all those who crowd about Great men, and make their court to 'em, a few ho∣nour 'em in their hearts, a greater number seek 'em out of Ambition or Interest, but the greatest of all through a ridiculous vanity, or a foolish impatience, to make themselves to be taken notice of.

Page  188* There are certain Families, that by the Laws of the World, which we call Decency, ought to be irreconcileable; but they now find ways to re-unite themselves, and when Religion has broken 'em to pieces, Interest without much ado joyns 'em together.

* I have heard talk of a Country, where the old men are Gallant, Polite and Civil: the young men, on the contrary, Stubborn, Wild, without either manners or civi∣lity: They are free from Passion for Women in the Age when others begin to feel it, and prefer Feasts, Victuals, and ridiculous amours before 'em. Amongst these people he is sober who is never drunk with any thing but Wine, and the too frequent use of this bad custom has render'd them stupid: They endeavour to quicken their taste, already extinguishd by Brandy, or other strong Liquors, and no∣thing will debauch 'em at last but Aqua Fortis. The Women of this Country hasten the de∣cay of their Beauty, by their Artifices to pre∣serve it: They paint their Cheeks, Eye-brows and Shoulders, which they lay open, with their Breasts, Arms and Ears, as if they were afraid to hide those places which they think will please, and never think they shew enough of 'em. The Physiognomies of the people of the Country are not at all neat, but confus'd and embarrass'd with a bundle of strange Hair, which they prefer before their natural; with this they weave something to cover their Heads, which descends down half way their bodies, hides their features, and hinders 'em Page  189 from knowing men by their faces. This Nation has besides this their God and their King. The Grandees go every day at a cer∣tain hour to a Temple they call a Church, at the upper end of the Temple there stands an Altar consecrated to their God, where the Preacher celebrates the Mysteries which they call holy, sacred and dreadful. The Great men make a vast circle at the foot of the Altar, standing with their backs turn'd to the Preacher and the Holy Mysteries, and their faces erected towards their King, who is seen on his Knees upon a Throne, to whom they seem to apply all their hearts and all their devotion. We see in this custom a new sort of subordination, for the people appear adoring their Prince, and their Prince ado∣ring God. The Inhabitants of this Region are call'd . . . . . 'Tis some forty eight degrees in Longitude, and more than eleven hundred leagues from the . . . . Seas.

* Whoever will consider that the presence of a King is the whole Happiness of a Cour∣tier, that he busies himself, and is satisfy'd during the whole course of his life to see and be seen by him, will a little comprehend how the Beatifick vision can make all the glory and felicity of the Saints.

* The Great Lords are full of respect for their Princes, 'tis their business: They have also their Inferiours. The little Courtiers ease themselves of these Duties, make 'em familiar, and live like men who have no ex∣amples to shew to any one.

Page  191* What is there wanting to make our Youth perfect? It has capacity and knowledge, at least if it does not know so much as a man may, 'tis always contented with what it does.

* Poor deceiv'd Creatures! a great man said of your friend Timagenes he is a Fool; I would not have you say he is a man of Wit, but do us the favour to think that he is not a Blockhead.

* 'Tis said also that Iphicrates is a Coward; you have seen him do a brave Action, hold your tongues, I'll dispence with your pub∣lishing it, provided that after what a Prince has said of him you will still remember that you saw him do it.

* There are very few who know how to speak to their Prince; in this all the pru∣dence and skill of the Courtier terminates: a word may escape which strikes his ears, takes root in his memory, and sometimes reaches his heart: All his care and address will be too little to weaken its remembrance; to explain his meaning serves only to engrave it the deeper thre, and enforce it the more: If he has talk'd against no body but himself, as this misfortune is not very common, so it may cure him of his levity, by making him smart for't, and instruct him by this fault to know better hereafter. But if 'tis against a∣nother, how great is his Shame! how much his Repentance! There it no better rule a∣gainst this dangerous inconvenience, than to talk of others to our Soveraign, of their per∣sons, Page  191 their actions, works, manners or con∣duct, with the same care, precaution and management, that we talk of our selves.

* You know a man who breaks a Jest well, a wretched Character, I would tell him so, if he had not heard it before: Those who Injure the reputation or fortune of another for the sake of a Jest, deserve an infamous punishment. That has not been said already, and I dare say it.

* There are certain names and phrases in the World which we lay up as in a Magazine, and take them thence to use them as we have occasion in conversation: Tho they are of∣ten spoken without any affection, and heard without thanks: Yet we must not be unpro∣vided with 'em. They are at least the Image of the best thing in the world, which is Friendship, and since men can't depend on one another for the reality, they seem to agree amongst themselves to be contented with its appearances.

* With five or six terms of art, and seldom more, we set up for Masters in Musick, Painting, Building, and Good Chear: We fancy presently we have more pleasure than others, in hearing, seeing, or ating: We impose it on such as are like us, and are so cunning to deceive our selves.

* The Court is never destitute o a sor of people, with whom fashion, politen••s and fortune, serve instead of sense, and upply the place of meit They think thy ar too good for conversation, and th world are ve∣ry Page  192 well pleas'd with their indifference. They would have us believe 'em persons of some importance; by their long affected silence, which is never broken but for a few mono∣syllables: They are ridiculous in their mein, their voices, their gestures and smiles: Their understandings, if I may venture to express my felf, are not two inches deep, fathom 'em you will soon find the Mud and the Gra∣vel.

* There are some whom favour overtakes as an accident: They durst not hope for't, are the first it surprizes, and puts into a con∣sternation: But in the end they recollect themselves, and find their Stars have done nothing for them which they did not de∣serve: As if stupidity and fortune were in∣compatible, or that it were impossible to be at once a happy man and a fool. They grow bold, I should say impudent enough to speak on all occasious, on whatever subject offers, and without any respect to the persons who are to hear them: I may add, that they be∣come at last terrible, and disgust every one with their dullness and folly, rendering themselves an irreparable dishonour to all those who were by chance instrumental to their advancement.

What shall I call those who are only poli∣tick in the opinion of fools? I know the cun∣ning men rank 'em with the people they im∣pose on.

He is far gone in politicks, who begins to find he is but indifferently politick.

Page  193Policy is neither too good nor too bad a quality, it floats between Vertue and Vice, and there is scarce any opportunity where 'tis necessary, but it ought to be supply'd with Prudence.

Policy is the near neighbour to Cheating, the way from one to t'other is very slippery. Lying only makes the difference, add that to Policy and 'tis then a Cheat.

Amongst such as out of Policy hear all and talk little, do you say less; or if you will talk a great deal, speak little to the purpose.

* You have a just and important affair de∣pending on the consent of two persons; says one of 'em, I give you my hand ont, if such a one will agree to't: This done, you want nothing more than to be satisfyd of the in∣tentions of the other. In the mean time nothing comes on't. Months and Years rowl on unprofitably; I am lost say you, and can't perceive what they mean by't: There is nothing to do now, but that they should a∣gree together, and discourse about it. Let me tell you, friend, I who see clear and perceive their meaning, they have already talkt as much as they design.

* It seems to me, that he who sollicits for others, has the confidence of one that demands Justice; and he who speaks for himself, the confusion and bashfulness of him that implores mercy.

* If a man is not careful at Court of fal∣ling into the snares which are laid for him, to make him ridiculous, he will with all his wit, be amazed to find himself Cully'd by greater fools than himself.

Page  194* In the course of ones Life, there are some opportunities where Truth and Sim∣plicity are the best managers.

* If you are in favour, all you do is well done; you commit no fault, and every step you take leads you to the right end. Other∣wise all is faulty, nothing profitable, and there's no path but sets you out of the Road.

* A man ought to have Wit to be a per∣son of Intreague and Cabal. He may have so much as to be above them, and can't sub∣ject himself to trick and artifice, finding bet∣ter ways to make his fortune and acquire Reputation.

* Are you not afraid, O Aristides, that your sublime Wit, your universal Learning, your Experience, Probity, and most accompish'd Merit, will ruine you at Court, an lose you the favour of the great Men at one time or other, when they shall stand in need of your fall.

* When a Favourite watches himself very narrowly, when he makes me attend in his Antichamber, not so long as usual, when his Looks are free, his Fore-head less wrinkled with frowns, when he hears me willingly, and waits on me back a little fur∣ther than formerly; I think he begins to fall, and I am seldom mistaken.

A man has very few Remedies in himself, since he wants disgraces and mortifications, to make him more humane, more tractable, less rude, and more civil.

Page  195* If we reflect on a great many persons at Court, we shall find by their discourses and their whole conduct, that they think nei∣ther of their Grand-fathers nor Grand-chil∣dren. The present is what employs their thoughts, and they don't enjoy, but abuse it.

Straton is born under two Stars, being hap∣py and unhappy in the same degree; his Life is a Romance in every thing but the probability, he has had no adventures but good and bad Dreams in abundance, or ra∣ther, 'tis impossible to dream as he has liv'd. No body has been more obliged to destiny than himself, he's acquainted with the mean and the extream; he has made a figure and has been in sufferings, nothing has escap'd him. He's valu'd for the Virtues which he assures us very seriously are in him: He says in his praise, I have Wit, I have Courage, and every one has said after him, he has Wit, he has Courage. In both fortunes he has behav'd himself like a true Courtier, and has said of himself more good, and perhaps more ill things than he ever committed. The Pretty, the Lovely, the Wonderful, the Heroick, have been employed in his Elogy; and on the contrary, in their turns have serv'd to lessen him. His Character is equivocal, mixt, and co•••s'd; hes an Enigma, a question which 'tis almost impossible to decide.

* Favour puts a man above his Equals, and the loss of it below 'em.

Page  196* He who knows how in good time to re∣nounce with resolution a great name, a great authority, or a great fortune, delivers himself at once from a great many broken Slumbers, and sometimes from a great many Crimes.

* The World will be the same a hun∣dred year hence as 'tis now; here will be the same Theatre and Decoration, tho not the same Actors. All those that rejoyc'd at a favour receiv'd, or were sorry and dis∣paird for one refus'd, are gone behind the Scenes; and there are others enter'd on the Stage, who act the same parts in the same Play: They vanish too in their turn, and those who were seen yesterday, and perhaps may be to day, disappear to morrow, that others may take their places: How much then should we rely on an Actor in a Play.

* Whoever has seen the Court, has seen all that is fine, charming or glorious in the World; and he that despises the Court, after having seen it, despises the World.

A sound Mind gets at Court a true taste of Solitude and Retirement.

Page  197

Of the Great

THe People are so blindly prepossest in fa∣vour of the Great, so naturally taken with their behaviour and looks, their tone of voice and manners, that if they could con∣descend to be good, it would grow to Ido∣latry.

* If you are born vicious, Oh Theagenes, I pi∣ty you; if you are become so out of a weak∣ness, for some whose Interest it is that you should be debaucht, who have sworn pri∣vately to corrupt you, and boast already of their success; excuse me if I dispise you: If you are wise, temperate, modest, civil, ge∣nerous, grateful, industrious, and besides of a Rank that ought to give examples rather than take 'em, and make rules for others ra∣ther than receive them; agree with those sort of Fellows to act out of complaisance their disorders, vices, and follies, when the respect they owe you, shall oblige them to imitate your Vertues. 'Tis an odd, but a useful Iro∣ny, very proper to secure your Manners, ruine all their Projects, and put em on a ne∣cessity of continuing what they are, and leaving you master of your own actions.

Page  198The Great have in one thing a prodigious ad∣vantage over others. I don't envy 'em their good Chear, Riches, Dogs, Horses, Equipages, Fools and Flatterers; but I envy them the happiness of having in their service men of as good Souls and Sense, and sometimes better than their own.

* The Great delight in opening Walks in a Forest, supporting Trees by long Walls, gild∣ing their Cielings, in Water-works and Oran∣geries; but to get a quiet Mind and a glad Soul, to prevent extream cares, or remedy them, their Curiosity never reaches so far.

* One asks, if in comparing the different conditions of men together, their sufferings and advantages, we can't observe an equal mixture, and a like sortment of good and evil, which settles them on an equality, or at least makes one as desirable as the other; the rich and powerful man who wants nothing may make the question, but a poor man must answer it.

There is however a Charm in each diffe∣rent condition, of which nothing but mi∣sery can deprive it; the Great please them∣selves in excess, the Little in moderation. These delight in lording and command∣ing, those find a pleasure, and even a vanity, in serving and obeying: The Great are sur∣rounded, saluted and respected; the Little surround, salute and cringe, yet both are content.

* Good words cost the great ones so little, and their quality dispences them so much with keeping the fairest promises they make, Page  199 that 'tis modesty in them to be as sparing of 'em as they are.

* Such a man, say the Great, is grown old, and almost worn out with attendance; what shall we do with him Another more young and active raises his hopes, and obtains the Post which was refus'd to this unfortunate man, for no other reason than that he too well deservd it.

* I do not know how it comes to pass, say you, with a cold, and disdainful awe, Phi∣lantus has merit, wit, good humour, is in∣dustrious, sincere, and faithful to his Master, but he is not valued; he can't please, he is not at all liked. Explain your self? Do you blame Plilantus, or the great man he serves.

* Tis frequently more profitable to quit the Great, than to complain of them.

* Who can give me any reason, why some men are lucky at play, or others fortunate in the favour of the Great.

* The Great are so happy, that in the whole course of their Lives, they are never put to the trouble of lamenting the loss of their best Servants, or persons fa∣mous in several capacities, by whom they have been pleas'd and instructed. Their Flatterers are presently ready to find fault with the deceas'd, and to expos their weakness, from which they preted their Successors are entirely free; they as∣sure them, that with the capacity and know∣ledge of the former, they have none f their defects; and this is the Language which Page  200 comforts Princes in the loss of the most ex∣cellent and worthy, and makes 'em satisfy'd with the indifferent.

* The Great scorn the men of Wit, who have nothing but Wit to recommend 'em, and the men of Wit despise the Great, who have nothing but their Grandeur: And the honest man pitties 'em both, if they are not Vertuous, as well as Great and Witty.

* When on the one side, I see some brisk, busie, intreaguing, bold, dangerous, and scandalous persons, at the Table, and often in the familiarity of the Great; and on the other hand, I consider with what difficulty a man of Merit approaches 'em, I don't al∣ways believe the wicked re suffer'd out of interest, or good men lookt on as unprofita∣ble, but I chuse rather to confirm my self in this thought, that grandeur and discernment are two different things, and the Love of Vertue and the Vertuous a third.

* Lucilius spends his life in rendering himself sufferable to the Great, and chuses this before being reduc'd to live familiarly with his e∣quals.

A man ought to set bounds to his desire of seeing such as are above him, for sometimes extraordinary Talents are accessary to put it in practice.

* Oh the incurable Distemper of Theophilus! it has hung on him this thirty years, and now we despair of his recovery: He was, is, and will be always willing to govern the Great: Death only can quench his thirst of Page  021 Empire, and with his Life deprive him of the ascendant over mens minds. Is it in him a zeal for his Neighbour, custom, or an excessive opinion of himself. By his insinua∣tions he gets admittance every where, no Pallace escapes him. He never stops in the middle of a Chamber, he goes on to the Window or Closet, and we must wait to be seen, or have audience, till he has finished his tedious discourses He makes himself a confident to all Families; he concerns himself in their misfortunes, and ad∣vantages; he offers himself to 'em on all oc∣casions; they make a Feast, and he will be admitted. The care of a thousand Souls, which he must be accountable for, as much as for his own, is not enough to employ his time, and satisfie his ambition of directing. There are others of a higher rank and more consideration, whom he voluntariy takes charge on, without being oblig'd to account for them. He looks out, enquires, and watches for any thing, that may nourish his intreaguing humour, and his desire of meddling with and managing other mens concerns: A Person of Quality can scarce set foot on shore, but he catches, seizes him, and says immediately, I govern him, before one would think he had so much as thought on't.

* A coldness or neglect from our betters, makes us hate 'em, but a salutation or a smile soon reconciles us.

Page  202* There are some proud men, whom the elevation of thei Rivals humbles and mor∣tifies and this disgrace sometimes ••••nes 'em even to be civil but time which sweetens all things, resores them at last 〈…〉 for∣mer disposition.

* The contempt which the 〈◊〉 hve fo the people, render em 〈◊〉 to 〈◊〉 flattery and praise they receive, and 〈◊〉 their vanity; thus Princes who are 〈◊〉 flatter'd by the great without measure, wo••d be more vain, if they had a better opinion of those who praise them.

* The Great believe themselves to be the only compleat persons, and will but seldom allow a right Judgment, Ability, or Delicacy in any of a meaner rank, they seize on the riches of the mind, as things due to their Birth. 'Tis however a gross error in 'em to nou∣rish such false prejudices; the best thoughts, the best discourses, the best writings, and perhaps the nicest conduct, do not always come from them. They have large Houses, and a long train of Ancestors; this must not be disputed with em.

* Have you Wit, Quality, Civility, a good taste and discernment; shall I believe prejudice and flattery, which so boldly pro∣claim your merit: No, Sir, I suspect and refuse to hear 'em. I'le not be dazled with the Air of Quality and Dignity, which set you a∣bove all words, actions, and writings, which make you seem so insensible of applause, that Page  203 we can't fasten the least Encomium on you; from whence I draw a more natural conclu∣sion, that you are fiery, rich, and in reputation. How can one describe you Antiphon? We cannot approach you, but as we do the flames, at a certain distance. To discover what you are, to make a sound and rational judgment of you, we must confront you with your Companions, your confident, your most pe∣culiar friend, with whom you laugh, and who laughs louder than your self. Davus, in short, I know very well, and that should be enough to give me your Character.

* There are some, who, did they know their inferiours and themselves, they would be asham'd to be above 'em.

* If there are few excellent Orators, are there many that would understand 'em? If there are not enough good Writers, where are those who know how to read? We are always complaining of the small number of persons qualifyd to counsel Kings, and assist them in the administration of their affairs. But, if at last these able and intelligent men are born, if they act according to their knowledge, are they belov'd or esteem'd as much as they deserve; are they commended for what they think and do for their Coun∣try. They live, that's all, and 'tis thought sufficient; they are censured if they mis∣carry, and envy'd when they prosper. Let us then blame the people, whom indeed twould be ridiculous to excuse. The Great Page  204 look on their discontent and jealousy as ine∣vitable things; for this reason, they matter not their opinions, but even reckon it a rule in Politicks to neglect them.

The common people hate one another for the injury they reciprocally do themselves; the Great are odious to them, for the ill they do and the good they do not; they think 'em responsible for their poverty and ob∣scurity.

* The Great scorn to have the same God, or Religion with the people, or to be called Peter, Iohn, and Iames, names only fit for Tradesmen and Labourers: Let us avoid, say they, having any thing in common with the Multitude; let us affect, on the contrary, any distinction that may separate us from them; let the Mob appropriate to 'em the twelve A∣postles, their Disciples, and the Martyrs, (like to like); let them with pleasure spend every year, such a particular day which each celebrates as his Festival. For us, let us have re∣course to prophane names, and baptize our Children under those of Hannibal, Caesar, and Pompey: They were indeed great men under that of Lucretia, an illustrious Roman Lady under those of Rinaldo, Rugero, or Olivier: They wear Palladins, and Romance cannot shew more wonderful Heroes, under those of Hector, Achillis, or Hercules; all Demi∣gods, under even those of Phoebus and Diana, and what should hinder us from calling 'em Iupiter, or Mercury, Venus or Adonis.

Page  205* While the Great neglect to know any thing, not only of the inteest of their Prince and publick affairs, but of their own pri∣vate concerns; while they are ignorant of the OEconomy and Government of a Fami∣ly, and value themselves on this ignorance they are impoverisht and ruin'd by their Ser∣vants; while they are contented to be Cul∣lies to their Stewards, to be always eating and drinking while they sit idly at Thais's or Phyr∣nia's, talking of Dogs and Horses, to tell how many Stages there are between Paris and Be∣sancon, or Phillipsburg; The Citizens in∣struct themselves in every thing that belongs to their Country, study the art of Govern∣ment, become subtile and politick, know the strength and weakness of a State, think of advancing and placing themselves, are plac'd and advanc'd, become powerful, and ease their Prince of part of the publick cares: The Great, who disdain'd, respect them, and think themselves happy if they can be ac∣cepted for their Sons-in-law.

* If I compare the two most opposite con∣ditions of men together, I mean the Great with the people, the last appear content if they have but necessaries, and the former un∣quiet and poor with superfluities. The mean person can do no harm, the Great would do no good, and is capable of the contrary; the mean exercise themselves only about things profitable, the other on what is pernicious: Here rusticity and freedom are ingenuously discover'd: There a malign and corrupted Page  206 disposition is hid under an Air of politeness; if the people have no Wit, the Great have no Souls. These have a good bottom and no outside, those have nothing but outside and a simple superficies. Were I to chuse who I would be for, without further weighing the matter, it should be the people.

* As profound as the Great at Court are, and whatever art they have to appear what they are not, and not to appear what they are, they cant't hide their malice and extream inclination to laugh at anothers ex∣pence, and to render that ridiculous which is not really so. These fine Talents are dis∣covered in them at first sight, admirable with∣out doubt to puzzle a bubble, and make a fool of one who was no better before: But yet more proper, to take away from them the pleasure they might receive by a man of Wit, who knows how to turn and wind himself a thousand agreeable and pleasant ways, if the dangerous Character of a Courtier does not engage him to be too reserv'd. They oppose him with their Gravity, which he is forc'd to dissemble, and does it so well, that the Ral∣lyers, as ill disposed as they are, can find no pretence to laugh at him.

* A lazy life, abundance, and the calm of a great prosperity, are the reasons why Princes of all others take delight in laughing at a Dwarf, a Monkey, a Natural, or a wretched Tale; Men less happy, never laugh but to the purpose.

Page  207* At first, it seems that what pleasant to a Prince would not be so to others, but we are deceived; Princes like men, think of themselves, follow their own Taste, Passions and Conveniency; this is natural.

* One would think 'twas the first rule of such as are in office, power, or societies, to give such as depend on em for the care of their affairs, all the obstacles they are afraid of.

* I can't imagin in what a great man is happier than others, if 'tis not that he has it often in his power to please them, and when such 〈◊〉 opportunity offers, it seems to me he ought to take hold on't: If tis in favour of an honest man, he should be afraid to let it slip; but as tis for a just thing, he ought to prevent solicitation, and not be seen before tis to be thankd; and if tis easy, he should not set too great a value upon't. If he refuses him, I pity 'em both.

* There are some men born inaccessible, these are precisely such as others 〈◊〉 in need of, and on whom they depend. They are never but on one foot, and moveable as Mercury. They are always noisy, and in Action, like the Paper Figures, which we see at publick Festivals. They scatter Fire and Flame. They Thunder and ••ghten, we dare not approach them; when t last they decline by their fall they became useless and affable.

* The Swiss, the Valet de Chambre the man in a Livery, tho they have no more Wit Page  208 than is necessary for their condition, make no Judgment of themselves from their own baseness, but the elavation and favour of the people they serve, and think all that enter at their Gate or mount their Stair-case, be∣low either themselves or their Masters; so true it is, that a man must suffer any thing from the Great, or what belongs to 'em.

* A man in a Post ought to love his Prince, his Wife, his Children, and after them the men of Wit; he ought to adopt them to be always furnish'd with, and never to want them: He cannot pay, I will not say with too large pensions, or benefits, but with too much familiarity and caresses, the service they do him when he least thinks on't. What little tales don't they dissipate? how many stories they by their Address reduce to fable and fiction. Don't they know how to justify ill success by good intentions, and to prove the goodness of a design, and the justness of measures by a prosperous e∣vent, to raise themselves against Malice and Envy, to bring the best motives to good en∣terprizes, to put favourable constructions on wretched appearances, to turn off little de∣fects, and show nothing but Vertues; which they set in the best light, to scatter on a thousand occasions, advantageous actions and particulars, and make a jest of such as dare doubt the contrary. I know the great have a maxim to leave speaking and continue acting. But I know also that in many con∣junctures which they met with, to leave speaking hinders 'em from doing.

Page  209* To distinguish Merit, and when 'tis known to treat it well, are too great steps to be made one after another, which few Great men are capable of.

* You are Great and Potent: This is not enough to make you worthy my esteem, that I may be sorry to lose your good Graces, or that I never could obtain 'em.

* You say of a Great man, or person in a high station, he is very obliging, officious, and loves to be serviceable, and you confirm this by a long tale of what he has done in an affair, wherein he knew you were concern'd. I understand you, you are in Credit, the Mini∣sters know you, you are well with the powerful. What else, Sir, would you have me know by it.

A person told you; I complain of such a one, he is proud, since his advancement, he disdains me, he will not know me. Say you, I have no reason to complain of him, on the contrary, I must commend him; he seems to me to be very civil, I believe I understand you still Sir. You would acquaint us that a man in a place has a regard for you, that he picks you in the Antichamber out of a thousand consi∣derable persons, from whom he turns aside, that he may not fall into the inconvenience of saluting or granting them a whisper.

To value ones self by another, or by the favour of the Great, is a delicate phrase in the Original, and without doubt signifies proper∣ly to value ones self, in saying of the Great all the good they have done us, or never thought to do us.

Page  210We praise the Great to show we are inti∣mate with 'em, rarely out of esteem or grati∣tude, we know not often those we praise, vanity and levity sometimes carry us to resentment; we are displeas'd, and yet we praise them.

* If 'tis dangerous to be concern'd in a suspicious affair, tis much more to be an ac∣complice with the Great, they will draw themselves out, and leave you to pay both for your self and them.

* A Prince has not fortune enough to pay a man for a base complacency, if he considers what it costs the man who gives it, nor too much power to punish him, if he measures his vengeance by the wrong done him.

* The Nobility expose their lives for the safety of the State, and the glory of their Soveraign; the Magistrate discharges his Prince from the care of judging his people. Both of 'em are sublime functions, of won∣derful use, men are not capable of greater things, and I can't guess whence the men of the Robe and Sord can draw matter for their reciprocal contempt.

* If 'tis true, that the Great run more risque in hazarding their lives, design'd to be spent in laughing, pleasure, and abundance, than a private man who ventures only his mi∣serable days; it must also be confest, that they have a larger recompence; glory, and a high reputation. The Soldier has no thoughts of being known, he dies obscure and in a croud, he lives indeed after the same rate, but he Page  211 lives, and this is the chief cause of want of courage in low and servile conditions. On the contrary, those whose Birth distinguishes 'em from the people, and exposes 'em to the Eyes of men; to their censure and praise exert themselves as much by the force of their natural temper, as by true valor; and this disposition of Heart and Mind, which they derive from their Fore-fathers, is the bravery so familiar to the Nobility, and perhaps No∣bility it self.

Throw me amongst the Troops as a com∣mon Soldier, I am Thersites: put me at the head of an Army, for which I must answer to all Europe, I am Achilles.

* Princes without rules or methods are qualify'd to make a judgment. They are born elevated amidst, and in the center of the best things, and to which they apply what they read, see, or hear, and all that does not come near enough to Lully, Racine, and Le Brun, they condemn.

* To talk to young Princes of nothing but the care of their rank is an excess of precaution, while the whole Court reckon it their duty, and a part of their po∣liteness to respect them; and that they are less apt to be ignorant of the regard due to their Birth, than to confound persons, and treat indifferently, or without distinction all sorts of titles and conditions. They have a native haughtiness which they find on all occa∣sions, and want no Lessons, but how to go∣vernit, and to inspire 'em with goodness, ho∣nour, and a spirit of discernment.

Page  212* 'Tis pure hypocrisie in a man newly ad∣vanc'd, at first not to take notice of the rank which is due to him, and every body is rea∣dy to grant him. It costs him nothing to be modest, to mingle with the Multitude, that would open to make way for him, to take the lowest seat at a publick meeting, that every one may see him there, and run to set him high∣er. Modesty in men of ordinary conditions, is a more bitter practice, if they throw them∣selves into a Croud, we justle and punch 'em, if they chuse an incommodious Seat, they stay there.

* Aristarchus conveys himself into the Mar∣ket-place, with an Herauld and Trumpeter. The Trumpeter sounds, and the Mob get round him. Hear O ye people, says the Herald; Silence, Silence, be attentive. This very Aristarchus you see before you, to morrow is to do a good Action; I would say in a word, such a one does well and would do better; 'tis true, he did not tell it me, neither do I suspect that he design'd it should be told.

* The best actions are chang'd and wea∣ken'd by the manner of doing them, and sometimes make us question the sincerity of a mans intentions. He who protects and com∣mends Virtue for the sake of Virtue, or con∣demns and blames Vice for Vices sake, acts with∣out design, singularity, pride, or affectation. He neither reproves demurely and sententiously, nor yet sharply nor satyrically. He never makes his correction a Scene to divert the publick, but shews a good example, and ac∣quits Page  213 himself of his duty. He could furnish little for the Ladies Visits or the withdrawing Room. He gives the merry man no matter for a pleasant tale. The good he does is in∣deed but little known, yet he does good, and what would he do more?

* The Great ought not to love their first years, they are not at all favourable to em. They are mortify'd to see that the rest of the world have any relation to 'em. Mankind compose together but one Family, all the dif∣ference is, we are more or less related.

* Theoguis is very nice in adjusting himself, and as spruce as a Lady, while he's t his Glass he settles his Eyes and Countenance as he is to appear abroad; he comes out eve∣ry way compleat, and those who pass by him, meet the smiles and kind looks which he had before prepar'd, that nothing may escape him. He marches into the Hall, he turns himself to the right where there are many, and to the left where there is no body to observe him; he salutes those who are there, and those who are not; he embraces the first man he encounters, runs his Head in∣to his Bosom, ad then asks his name. A person wants his help in an affair, he finds him and begs it. Theoguis hears him favourably, is ravish'd that he can be serviceable to him, and makes him promise to use him on all oc∣casions: But when the business comes before him, he tells him he will not do it, he prays him to get into his place, he judges it, and the Client goes out, waited on, carest, com∣plimented, Page  214 and almost content with his being refus'd.

* A man must have a very bad opinion of men, and yet know 'em well to believe he can impose on 'em, with study'd caresses, and long and barren embraces.

* Pamphilus never entertains himself with the people he meets in the Hall, or at the Court. By his gravity and the high tone he uses, one would think he was formally receiving them, giving 'em audience, and taking a set leave. He has a parcel of terms at once, civil and haughty, a Gentleman-like sort of carriage, very im∣perious, and manag'd without discernment; a false grandeur which abases him, and is very troublesom to his friends, who are loath to despise him.

Pamphilus is full of his own Merit, and keeps himself always in view, he never forgets the idea he has of his grandeur, matches, posts and quality; he jumbles 'em all together and con∣founds them, when he endeavours to shew 'em to his advantage; hes always talking of his Order, and his Blue Riband; exposes or hides it out of ostentation. In short, Pamphi∣lus would be great, he believes he is so. He is not. But hes next to it. If at any time he smiles on one of a lower order, or a man of Wit, he chuses his time so justly, that he will never be catcht in the least familiari∣ty with a person who is not rich, nor power∣ful, nor a prime Ministers Friend, Relation, nor Domestick, he blushes and is asham'd when he's so surprizd: He is severe and inexo∣rable Page  215 to him who has not made his fortune.

One day he sees you in a Gallery and flys you, and the next finds you in a place less publick; or if publick, in the company of a great man, he takes courage, comes up to you, and says yesterday you would not see me. Sometimes he will leave you bluntly, to joyn himself with a Lord, or a firs Com∣missioner; and sometimes if he finds you with them, he will jog and carry you away: Met him another time, he shall not stop; you must run after him, talk loud, and expose your self to all that pass by you. Thus the Pamphi∣lus's live always as if they were in a Play: People bred up in falshood, who hate nothing more than to be natural real actors of a Come∣dy, true Floridors and Mndoris's.

We can never say enough of the Pamphilus's; they are mean and fearful before Princes and their Ministers, proud and confident before such as have nothing but Virtue to recom∣mend them; dumb and confounded before the Learned; lively, forward, and positive, be∣fore the Ignorant: They talk of War to a Law∣yer, of Politeness to a Banker, History among Women, among Doctors Poetry, and Geo∣metry among Poets. They don't trou∣ble themselves with Maxims, and less with Principles: They live at a venture, pushd and driven on by the wind of favour. They have no sentiments which are properly their own, they borrow them, according as they want 'em, and he to whom they apply them∣selv•• is neither wise, cunning, nor vertuous, 〈…〉 of the fashion.

Page  216* Men promise to keep your secret, but reveal it soon after: Perhaps they open not their lips, but we read it on their foreheads, in their breasts, which are transparent. They may not say exactly the same thing they were intrusted with: But yet talk in such a man∣ner as discovers it. Some despise your secret, be it of what consequence it will; laugh and say, 'Tis a Mystery, such a one imparted it to them, forbad them telling it, and then they tell it.

* We have a fruitless jealousie, and an im∣potent hatred for the great, which cannot re∣venge us for their splendour and elevation; but only adds to our own misery the insup∣portable weight of anothers happiness: What is to be done against so contagious and inve∣terate a disease of the Soul? Let us be centent∣ed with little, and if possible with less: Let us learn to bear the losses that may befall us. The receipt is infallible, and I resolve to try it. By this means I avoid running against a Swiss, or justling a Commissioner; to be pusht back from a Gate by an innumerable number of Clients that wait on a Courtier, of whom a Ministers house disgorges itself several times a day. To languish in a Hall of audience: To demand of him, trembling and stammering, a just thing: To wipe off his Gravity and La∣conism: Then I envy nor hate 'em no more: They beg nothing of me, nor I of them, we are equal, unless perhaps they are never at peace, and I am.

Page  217* If the Great have frequent opportunities to do us good, they have seldom the will; and if they would injure us, tis not always in their power: Thus we may be deceiv'd in the worship we pay them, if 'tis from no other motions than hope or fear. A man may live a long while without depending on them out of he least Interest, or being indebted to 'em for his good or bad fortune; we ought to honour 'em since they are great, and we are little; and since there are others less than our selves, who honour us.

* The same passions, the same weak∣nesses, the same meannesses, the same contrary dispositions, the same quar∣rels in Families, and among Relations. The same envies and antipathies reign at Court and in the City: You find every where bad Fathers-in-law, Mothers-in-law, Hus∣bands and Wives; divorces, ruptures, mis∣understandings; every where different hu∣mours, heats and partialities, false reports and scandals. With good eyes one may easily see St. Dennis street at Versailles, and Fontainbleau: Here they hate with more fierceness and haughtiness, and perhaps more like quality; they destroy one another more politely and cunningly: their heats are more eloquent; they speak injuriously with more elegance, and in better terms: They don't injure the purity of the language, they only offend men or their reputations; all the outside of Vice is here specious: But at the bottom 'tis the same as in the most abject conditions. You meet Page  218 here all their baseness, weakness and unwor∣thiness. These men, so great by their Birth, Favour or Dignity, these strong and cunning head-pieces; these women so witty and po∣lite, are themselves the People, yet they all despise them.

Whoever talks of the People, says several things in one; 'tis a vast expression, and we may be surpriz'd to see what it contains, and how far it extends. There is the People, in oppo∣sition to the Great: This is the Populace and the Multitude. There is also the People, op∣pos'd to the Wise, Able and Vertuous, which includes as well the Great as the Little.

* The Great govern themselves by fancy; lazy Souls, on whom the first impression takes; a thing happens, they talk on't too much, soon after a little, and then no more; actions, conduct, execution event, all are forgot. You must not expect from them correction, re∣flection, prevention, gratitude or reward.

* We are carry'd to two opposite extreams with respect to certain persons: Satire after they are dead flies about among the People, while the Pulpits resound with their praise. Sometimes they deserve neither Libels nor Funeral Orations, and sometimes both.

* The less we talk of the powerful, the better; what we say good of them, is often flattery: 'Tis dangerous to speak ill of 'em while they live, and villanous when they are dead.

Page  219

Of the Soveraign or Commonwealth.

WHen we have run through all forms of Government, without partiality to that we were born under, we can't tell which to conclude for; there's good and ill in 'em all: 'Tis therefore most reasonable and secure to value that of our Country above all others, and submit to it.

* There's no occasion for Arts and Sciences in the exercise of Tyranny; for the Politicks which consist only in bloodshed are very shal∣low and gross: To murder all that are obsta∣cles to our Ambition is what they urge us to; and this a man naturally cruel does with ease. And is indeed the most barbarous and detesta∣ble way to support or aggrandize our selves.

* Tis a certain and ancient maxim in Poli∣ticks, that to suffer the people to stupifie them∣selves with pleasures and feasts, with shews and luxury, with vanity and delicacy, to dispos∣sess them of all things solid and valuable, and leave them fond of ridiculous trifles, is to make the greatest advances to a despotick power.

Page  220* Under an arbitrary Government, Inte∣rest, Honour, and the service of the Prince, supply the place of a natural affection to our Country.

* To innovate, or introduce any alterati∣ons in a State, the time is rather to be consi∣der'd than the action it self; there are con∣junctures when nothing is to be attempted on the people, so there are others when nothing is too gross to pass upon 'em: To day you may subvert all their rights, franchizes and priviledges; but to morrow you must not so much as think of altering the Signs at their doors.

* In publick Commotions we can't conceive how they should ever be appeas'd; nor when quiet, imagine what may disturb us.

* A Government connives at some evils, because they prevent greater. There are o∣thers purely so by their establishment, which tho originally an abuse or ill use, are less per∣nicious in their practice and consequence, than the justest law or most reasonable custom. There's a sort of evil curable by novelty and change, which indeed is a very dangerous one. Others there are hid and sunk under∣ground, like ordure in a Privy; they are se∣cret and obscure, bury'd in disgrace; these you cannot closely search into without exha∣ling their poison and infamy: and 'tis often a question amongst the wisest men, which is to be preferr'd, the knowledge or the ignorance of them. The State sometimes tolerates one great evil, to keep out millions of less mis∣chiefs Page  221 and inconveniences, which would be inevitable, and without remedy. Some there are, tho injurious to particular persons, which become the good of the Publick, though the Publick is nothing else but a body of those very particulars. So there are personal ills, which turn to the good and advantage of the family. Also those which afflict, ruin and dishonour Families, tend to the conservation and advantage of the State or Government. Some others there are which subvert Govern∣ments, and found new ones upon their ruins; and we can't but observe that vast Empires have been utterly extirpated and destroy'd, to change and renew the face of the Uni∣verse.

That Ergastus is rich, that he has a good pack of Hounds, that he has been the inventer of a great many new fashions, and a regulater of Equipages, that he abounds in superfluitses. What signifies all this to the State? Is a particular Interest to be considered when the publick is in question? 'Tis some comfort for the People, when they find themselves prest a little, to know that 'tis for the service of their Prince, and to enrich him, that they put themselves to some inconveniency. 'Tis not to Ergastus, that they think themselves oblig'd, for having got a vast Estate.

* War pleads its antiquity from all ages, it has always stor'd the World with Widows and Orphans, drain'd families of their Heirs, and destroy'd several Brothers in one Battel. Young Soyecour! how do I mourn thy loss, thy vertue Page  222 and modesty, thy wit just ripe, sagacious, lofty and conversible. I must bemoan that untimely death which transported thee to thy magnanimous Brother, and snatcht thee from a Court, where thou hadst only time to shew thy self. Oh misfortune too deplorable and yet common! For Men in all ages for a little spot of Earth have agreed to destroy, burn and murther one another: which to accom∣plish with the greater certainty and ingenuity, they've invented exquisite rules of destruction, which they call the Art of War. The practice of which they reward with Glory, and the most lasting Honour, and every age improves in the art of mutual destruction. The In∣justice of the first men made Souldiers neces∣sary to the establishment of their right and pretensions; and doubtless was the primary source of War; for could they have been content with their own, and not violated the rights of their neighbours, the World would have enjoyed an uninterrupted peace and li∣berty.

* Those who sit under their own Vines, and enjoy the goods of fortune in a secure part of the Town, where there is no danger of their lives or estates, are the Men that ge∣nerally breathe Fire and Sword: They are taken up with Wars and Ruins, Conflagrati∣ons and Massacres: 'Tis with a great deal of impatience that they can bear two Armies being in the field and not meeting; or if they're in sight, that they don't engage; when they're engag'd, that the fight was not Page  223 more bloody; that there was scarce ten thou∣sand kill'd on the spot. These are sometimes so far transported, that they would quit their darling interest, their repose and security, out of a passionate desire of change, and ex∣travagant relish of novelty; nay, some of 'em go so far, theyd be content to see the E∣nemy at the very Gates of the City, and make Barricadoes, draw the Chains cross the streets in apprehension of his Assault, for the bare itch of hearing and telling the News.

* Demophilus here on my right hand laments and cries, all's lost, we're just on the brink of ruin, how can we resist so strong and so general a Confederacy? Which way can we, I dare not say overcome, but hold out against so many and so potent enemies? 'tis unpresi∣dented in our Monarchy, an Achilles, a Hero must succumb. Besides, we've been guilty of many gross errors in our management. I know it particularly: I've been a Souldier my self: Ive seen some Battels, and improv'd very much by Reading. Then he admires Olivier de Daim and Iacques Caeur: Those were men, says he, those were Ministers indeed. He disperses his News, which is the most dis∣advantageous and melancholy that can be feign'd: Now a party is faln into the Ene∣mies Ambuscade, and are cut in pieces; pre∣sently some of our Troops shut up in a Castle, surrender upon discretion, and are all put to the Sword; and if you tell him this report is false, and wants confirmation, he will not hear you; but adds, that such a General's Page  224 killd, tho you truly assure him, that he has but a slight wound; he deplores his death, he mourns for his Widow and Children, and be∣moans his own loss; he has lost a good friend, and a potent patronage: He tells us, the Dutch Horse are invincible, and turns pale if you name the Imperial Cuirassiers: If we attack that place, continues he, we shall be oblig'd to raise the Siege: If we stand on the defensive, and avoid fighting, we shall have the worst on't: or if we joyn Battel, we shall lose it; and if we are beaten, look, he crys, the Enemy's upon the Frontiers, and, accord∣ing to Demophilus, will be presently in the heart of the Kingdom. He fancies the Bells ring an Alarm, hes in pain for his Estate, he's considering whither he shall remove his Mo∣ney, his Moveables and Family; whether he shall fly to the Swiss Cantons, or Venice.

But on my left Basilidius raises an Army of 300000 men in a minute, he won't abate ye a single Brigade, but has a list of the Squa∣drons, Batallions, Generals and Officers, not omitting the Artillery and Baggage: These Forces he absolutely disposes, some into Ger∣many, others into Flanders, and reserves a cer∣tain number for the Alps, a lesser for the Pyre∣nees, and transports the rest beyond the Seas. He knows their marches, he can tell you what they have, and what they have not done; you'd think he had the Kings Ear, or were the only confident to his chief Minister. If the Enemies are beaten, and lose ten thou∣sand, he positively avers 'twas thirty, not one Page  225 more or less; for his numbers are always as fixt and certain as if he had the best Intelli∣gence: Tell him in the morning weve lost a paultry Village, he not only sends to excuse himself to the Guests he has invited to Din∣ner, but fasts himself; and if he Sups, 'tis without appetite. If we besiege a place natu∣rally strong, regularly fortified and well stor'd with Ammunition and Provision, be∣sides a good Garrison, commanded by a Hero; he tells you, the Town has its weak places, is very ill fortify'd, wants Powder, and its Governour Experience; and that 'twill capi∣tulate in 8 days after the opening the Tren∣ches. At another time, he runs himself out of breath, and after he's recover'd a little, he opens, I have News, great News to tell you, They are beaten, totally routed, the General and Chief Officers, at least a great part of them are kill'd: There's a very great slaughter, Fortune's on our side, and we've much the best of the Game. Then he sits down and rests, after this extraordinary News, which wants this only circumstance, 'Tis certain there has not been a Battle. He assures us further, That such a Prince has renounc'd the League, and quitted the Confederacy; a second is inclin'd to follow him: He believes firmly, with the Populace, a third is dead, and names you the place of his Interment; and even, when the whole Town is undeceiv'd, he alone offers to lay Wagers on it. He has unquestio∣nable Intelligence, that Teckeley is very suc∣cessful against the Emperor; that the Grand Page  226 Seignior is making great peparations, and will not hear of a Peace, and the Vizier will once more sit down before Vienna. He's in an ex∣tasie, as much transported as if there were not the least doubt of it. The triple Alliance is a Cerberus with him, and the Enemies so ma∣ny Monsters to be knock'd down. He talks of nothing but Lawrels, Triumphs and Tro∣phies; his familiar expressions run thus: Our August Hero, our Mighty Potentate, our Invincible Monarch. He's not to be perswaded to such mean expressions as these, The King has a great many Enemies, they're very Potent, they're United and Exasperated; he has overcome them, and I hope will always be Victorious. This Stile, as 'tis too bold and decisive for Demophilus, so 'tis not ex∣aggerated, nor pompous enough for Basilidius, his Head's full of oftier thoughts, he's taking care of Inscriptions, Triumphal Arches and Pyramids, to adorn the Capital City against the Victor's entrance; and as soon as he hears that the Armies are in sight of each other, or a Town's Invested, he's preparing to sing T Deum in the Cathedral.

* A principal Affair left to the decision of Publick Ministers and Plenipotentiaries, re∣quires a very deliberate and nice discussion; but the Preliminaries, the ordering Prece∣dencies and Ceremonies, commonly spend most time.

A Publick Minister, or Plenipotentiary, is a Camelion, a Protheus; sometimes like a cun∣ning Gamester, he dissembles his very hu∣mour and temper, as well to avoid the con∣jectures Page  227 and penetration of others, as to pre∣vent any secret escaping thro' passion and weakness; he's always ready to put on that shape his designs or occasions require, and very artificially appears what 'tis his Interest to be thought. So when he pretends his Master is very formidable, or very low, he's resolute and inflexible, to prevent any large Demands; or easie and complacent, to give others occasion to make them, that he may be sure of the same liberty. At another time he's profound and subtil, he dissembles a truth in the speaking, because 'tis advantageous to tell it, and not to be believ'd; or else he's free and open, the better to disguise what he conceals, and gain a belief, that he has made his last Overtures. At the same time, he's violent and very verbose, to excite others to talk, or hinder their speaking what he desires not to hear, or acquainting him with what he would be ignorant of. He talks of indiffe∣rent things, which soften or destroy one ano∣ther, and leave them confounded betwixt Confidence and Distrust, that he may make amends for a lost opportunity, by dextrously gaining another; or he's cool and silent, to engage others to talk: he hears patiently a tedious while, to obtain the same favour him∣self; his Discourse is lofty and weighty, his Promises and Menaces carry a great stroak with them, and are sure to shock his Anta∣gonists. Sometimes he speaks first, the better to discover the Oppositions and Contradictions, Intrigues and Cabals of the Ministers, upon Page  228 the propositions he has advanc'd, and to take his Measures from their Answers. At another Meeting he stays till the last, that he may be sure not to lose his labour; he can then be more exact, having nicely observ'd every thing that may be serviceable to his Master or his Allies. He knows what to ask, and what he can obtain. He knows how to be clear and expressive, or obscure and ambi∣guous; he can use equivocal words and turns, which he can render more or less forcible, as his interest or occasions require. He asks lit∣tle because he won't grant much, or his re∣quests are large that he may be sure of a little. He desires small things, which he pretends to be of no value, that they may not hinder him of greater. He avoids the gaining of an im∣portant point at first, if it's like to hinder him of several, which tho' in themselves of less value, yet united surmount the other. His Demands are extravagant, with design to be denied, that he may be furnish'd with a just excuse for refusing those he knows will be made. He very assiduously aggravates the enormity of these, and warmly urges the reasons why he cannot hearken to them, and as earnestly endeavours to enervate those which they pretend for their denial. He's equally concern'd to aggrandize those trifles he offers, as to slight openly the little they're willing to grant. He feigns extraordinary proffers, which beget a distrust, and oblige them to reject what indeed accepted would be useless; this serves to colour his exorbitant Page  229 demands, and throw the blame of the refusal on them: He grants more than they can ask, to get yet more of them. He's very impor∣tunate, and presses very hard for trivial things, and rather than fail, will suffer himself to be perswaded out of them, that he may quash all hopes and expectations of better from him. If he's perswaded to part with any thing, 'tis on condition that he may share the advantage of it. He directly, or indirectly, espouses the Interest of an Ally as he finds it profitable, or tends to advance his pretensions. He talks of nothing but Peace and Alliances, the Pub∣lick Good and Tranquility; in all which, he means only his Masters interest. Sometimes he reconciles disagreeing Parties, at other times he separates those he found united; he terrifies the strong and potent, and encou∣rages the weak: He cements several feeble Interests against a more powerful one, to ren∣der the Balance equal; he joins with the former, that they may desire his Alliance and Protection, which he sells them at a dear rate. He knows how to interest the Ministers in his Affairs, and by a dextrous management by fine and subtil turns, he makes them sensible of their private Advantage, the Riches and Honours they may hope for by a little easi∣ness, which will not in the least clash with their Commissions, nor the Intentions of their Masters: And that he may not be thought impregnable on this side, he betrays some small concern for his own fortune. By this he discovers their most secret Intentions, their Page  230 most profound Designs, and last Efforts; which he turns to his own advantage. If he's injur'd in any considerable Article he is very loud, but if he finds 'tis not so, he's yet louder, and throws the injur'd on their Justi∣fication and Defence. All his measures are order'd, his steps are pointed out, and his least advances prescrib'd by the Court; yet he appears as complacent and free, in the most difficult contests, as if all his compliances were Extempore, and purely owing to his conde∣scending temper. He adventures to promise the Assembly, That their Proposals shall not be rejected, but approv'd of. By his Emissa∣ries, he spreads false rumours concerning those things which he alone is entrusted with; he closely reserves some particular Instructions, these he never discloses, but at such extremi∣ties, as to neglect the use of them would be very pernicious. All his Intrigues tend to so∣lid and substantial ends, for which he willing∣ly sacrifices Punctilio's, and imaginary points of Honour. He has a great deal of Mode∣ration, and is arm'd with Resolution and Patience; he fatigues and discourages others, but is himself unwearied. He's forewarn'd and fortified against all tedious delays and af∣fronts, jealousies and suspicions, difficulties and obstacles. He's fully perswaded that patience, and a happy conjuncture, will in∣fluence their Minds, and accomplish his desi∣red ends. He feigns a secret Interest to break off the Negotiation, tho' he passionately de∣sires its continuance. On the contrary, tho' Page  231 he has strict Orders to use his last endeavours to break it off, yet he thinks the best way to effect it is to press its continuation. After a very great Success, he's very stiff or vey easie, according as 'tis advantageous or prejudicial; and if by a vast prudence he can foresee any thing advantageous to the State he follows it close, temporizes and manages himself accord∣ing to the hopes, fears and necessities of his Master: He takes his Measures from Time, Place and Occasion, his own strength or weakness, the Genius of the Nations he Treats with, and the particular Temper and Cha∣racter of their Ministes; all his Maxims, Designs, and most refin'd Politicks, tend only to prevent being deceiv'd, and not to deceive others.

* The Character of the French Nation re∣quires gravity in their Soveraign.

* 'Tis one of the Misfortunes of a Prince to be over-burthen'd with secrets, the dico∣very of which would prove dangerous; ut he's happy if he can meet with a faithful Confident to discharge himself.

* A Prince wants only a private Life to compleat his happiness, a loss that nothing can render supportable, but the charms of Friendship, and the fidelity of his Friends.

* A Monarch that deservedly fills a Throne, finds it extreamly pleasant to debase himself sometimes, to leave the Theatre, quit the Buskins, and Act a more familiar Part with a Confident.

Page  232* Nothing conduces more to the Honour of a Prince than the Modesty of his Favourite.

* No Ties of Friendship or Consanguinity affect a Favourite; tho' he's crouded with Re∣lations and Creatures, they've no place in his esteem; he disengages himself, and stands alone like a huge Colossus.

* Certainly the Favourite who has an ex∣alted Genius and a strong Reason, must be disorder'd and confounded at the sordid and base Flatteries, and frivolous and impertinent Applications of those who make their Court to him, and hang upon him like Slaves and Spaniels, that stick so close to him he cannot get rid of them even by Scorn and Derision.

* You who are in great Posts, Publick Mi∣nisters or Favourites, give me leave to advise you: Don't intrust the care of your Memory with your Progeny, don't expect they'll pre∣serve the lustre of your Name; great Titles fly away, the Princes Favour vanishes, Ho∣nours leave their Possesors, Riches disperse themselves, and Merit degenerates. 'Tis true you have Children worthy your selves, and capable of maintaining the Character you leave them, but can you promise to be as for∣tunate in your Grand-Children? Won't you believe me? Cast your Eyes for once on some Men, whom you cannot look on without scorn and disdain; they're descended from the very Men (great as you are) which you succeed. Be Vertuous and Affable, and if you ask what more is necessary, in answer I must tell you, Vertue and Humanity command a lasting Page  233 Fame, and are independant on your Posterity; by these your Name is sure to live as long as the Monarchy endures; and when future Ge∣nerations shall walk over the Ruins of your strongest Castles, and noblest Edifices, the Idea of your great Actions will still remain fresh in their Minds, they'll greedily collect your Medals and Pourtraicts: This, say hey, is the Effigies of a Man that dar'd to speak to his Prince with force and freedom, and was more afraid of injuring than displeasing him; he endeavour'd to make him a generous and good Prince, the Father of his Country, and tender of his People. The Person you see painted there with a bold Countenance, an austere and majestick Ar, advances in Repu∣tation faster than he did in Years, the great∣est Politicians allow him amongst their num∣ber, his great design was to establish the Au∣thority of the Prince, and the Safety of the People, by the suppression of the Nobility, from which neither the oppositions of strong Parties, Conspiracies, Treasons, the danger of Death, nor his own infirmities, were able to divert him, and yet he had time enough to have attempted and begun a more noble Enterprize, since pursu'd and accomplish'd by one of the best and greatest Princes in the World.

* The most specious and the least suspected Snare, that ever was laid for great Men by their Servants, or for Kings by their Mini∣sters, has been the Advice, above all things, to enrich themselves. An admirable Maxim, Page  234 Counsel which is worth a Treasure, a Mine of Gold, or a Peru, to those who have the Address to instil it into their Masters.

* That Nation is extream happy, whose Prince chooses the very same Persons for his Confidents and Ministers, whom they would have chosen themselves, if the Choice had been in their power.

* The knowledge of the more particular Affairs, and a diligent application to even the more Minute cares of the Commonwealth, are essential to a good Government, tho' too much neglected by Kings and their Ministers in these last Ages: 'Tis a knowledge we can∣not too earnestly desire in the Prince that's ignorant of it, nor value too highly in him that's throughly acquainted with it. It con∣tributes to the ease and pleasure of the Sub∣jects, that their Prince extends the Bounds of his Empire beyond his Enemies Territories, that he makes their Soveraignties become Provinces of his Kingdom; that he is Victo∣rious in Sieges and Battels, that the best for∣tified Camps and Bastions afford no security against him; That the neighbouring Nations ask Aid of one another, and enter into Leagues, to defend themselves, and put a stop to his Conquests: That their Confederacies are vain; that he's continually advancing, and still victorious; that their last hopes are frustrated by such a vigorous Constitution of the State, which will afford the Monarch the pleasure of seeing the young Princes, his Grand-Children, support and increase their Page  235 Soveraignties in Reversion; of seeing them lead an Army into the Field, destroy the strongest Fortresses, conquer new Estates, and command old and experienc'd Officers, rather by their Wisdom and Merit, than by their high Quality and Royal Birth; of see∣ing them tread in the steps of their Victorious Father, imitating his Goodness, Docility, Justice, Vigilance and Magnanimity. In a word, let my Soveraign be never so Success∣ful, let the prudent Management of his Mi∣nisters, nay, let his Personal Merits exalt him to the highest pitch of Glory, let my Country be never so Powerful, let it be the Terror of all the Neighbouring Nations; what should I, or any of my fellow Subjects, be the better for all these things, if I wer forc'd to Labour under the dismal and melan∣choly burden of Poverty and Oppression? If, while I were secur'd against the Sallies from without of a cruel Enemy, I was expos'd within the Walls of our Cities to the Barba∣rity of a treacherous Assassin? If Rapine and Violence were less to be fear'd in the darkest Nights, and in the wildest Desarts, than at Mid-day in our Streets? If Safety, Cleanliness, and good Order, had not ren∣der'd the Sojourning in our Cities so delight∣ful, and had not added, to true Plenty, the means of our conversing with so much ease one with another? Or, if being weak and defenceless, I was encroach'd upon in the Country by every neighbouring great Man? If there was not a Provision made to protect Page  236 me against his Injustice? If I had not at hand so many Masters, and those eminent Masters too, to breed up my Children in those Arts and Sciences, which will one day raise their Fortunes? If the promotion of Trade had not made good substantial Stuffs for my Cloathing, and wholesom Food for my Nourishment both plenty and cheap? If, to conclude, the care of my Soveraign had not given me so much reason, to be as well contented with my fortune, as his extraor∣dinary Vertues must needs make him with his own?

* Eight or ten thousand Men are like Money to the Prince; with their Lives he buys a Town or a Victory: but if he's very sparing of them, if he can purchase either at a cheaper rate; he's like a Merchant who best knows the value of Coin.

* All things succeed happily in a Monarchy, where the Interests of the Soveraign and Subjects are inseparable.

* To say a Prince is the Father of his People, is no more an Encomium to him than to call him by his Name, or define what he is.

* There's a sort of Commerce, or reci∣procal return of the Duties of the Soveraign to his Subjects, and of theirs to him, which are most strongly oblig'd, or most difficult in the performance, I won't determine; and 'tis not, indeed, very easie to judge between the strict Engagements of Reverence, Assi∣stance, Service, Obedience and Depen∣dance, on the one side, and the indispensa∣ble Page  237 obligations to Goodness, Jstice, and Pro∣tection, on the other: To say the Prince is the Supream Disposer of the Lives of the People, is to tell us only that the Vices of Mankind have entail'd on them a natural Subjection to Justice and the Laws, of which the Prince is the sole Repository. To add further, That he is absolute Master of all his Subjects Goods, without any Reason, or legal Process, is the Language of Flattery, or the distorted Opinion of a Favourite.

* When on a fine Evening you observe a numerous Flock of Sheep spread over a little Hill, quietly Grazing on the fragrant Thyme, and other Productions of the Earth; or in a Meadow, nibbling the short and tender Grass, which has escap'd the Scythe, the diligent and careful Shepherd, always amongst them, he will not suffer them out of his sight, he leads them, he follows them, he changes their Pasture, if they disperse he gathers them to∣gether, if the greedy Wolf approach, he sets his Dog on to beat him off, he nourishes and preserves them; the Morning finds him in the open Field, in which the Sun left him. Oh! what Care, what Vigilance and Slavery is absolutely necessary. Which Condition appears the most delicious and free, that of the Sheep or of the Shepherd? Was the Flock made for the Shepherd, or the Shepherd for the Sheep? This is a happy representation of a good Prince and his People.

* A Luxurious and proud Monarch, is like a Shepherd adorn'd with Gold and Jew∣els, Page  238 a Golden Crook in his Hand, a Collar of Gold about his Dogs Neck, and a Golden String to lead him; but what's his Flock the better for all this? Or what avails it against the Wolves?

* How happy is that Post, which every minute furnishes opportunities of doing good to thousands! But how dangerous is that, which every moment exposes to the injuring of Millions!

* If Men are not capable of a felicity on Earth more natural, sensible, and sublime, than to know they are tenderly belov'd; and if Kings are Men, can they purchase the Hearts of their people at too dear a rate?

* There are very few general, or certain Rules of well Governing; they depend on Times and Conjunctures, the Prudence and Designs of the Governors tho' perfect Go∣vernment is the Master-piece of the Soul, perhaps 'tis impossible, if the Subjects don't contribute one moiety by a habitual depen∣dance and submission.

* Those, who under some great Monarch are possess'd of the first Posts of Honour and Profit, have very easie places, they are offi∣ciated without any trouble, all their Affairs run smooth, the Authority and Genius of the Prince plains their way, rids them of all diffi∣culties, and renders them prosperous: 'Tis they are rewarded for the Merit of their Subalterns.

Page  239* If the Care of a single Family be so bur∣thensom, if a Man has enough to do to an∣swer for himself; what a weight, what a load is the Charge of a whole Realm? Is the Soveraign recompenc'd for all his anxious Cares by the prosternations of his Courtiers, or the pleasures an Absolute Power seems to afford? When I think on the troublesom, ha∣zardous and dangerous paths they're forc'd to tread to arrive at a publick Tranquility; when I reflect on the extream difficult, tho necessary Methods, they are frequently oblig'd to use to compass a good end, that they are accountable to God himself for the good of their people; that Good and Evil are in their hands, and that Ignorance is no excuse for them, I can't forbear asking my self this question, Would'st thou Reign? Would a Man but meanly happy in a private condi∣tion, quit it for a Throne? Is it even sup∣portable to be born a Monarch?

* Are not all the Coelestial Gifts necessary to a good Monarch? A Royal Birth, an August and Commanding Air? A presence to satisfie the curiosity of those who crowd to see him, and to command respect from his Courtiers? His temper must be perfectly even, he must be very averse to ill-natur'd Raillery, or at least discountenance it: He must neither threaten, reproach, nor give way to his passion, and yet oblige an intire Obedience to all his Commands: His Hu∣mour must be complacent and engaging; his Heart so sincere and open, that all may think Page  240 they sound the bottom of it: this will qualifie him to gain Friends, Creatures and Allies. He must be always Secret, Profound and Impenetrable, in his Ends and Designs: He must be very Grave and Serious in Publick: When in Councel, or giving Answers to Am∣bassadors, his expressions must be brief, join'd with a great deal of Justness and Grandeur He must chuse fit Objects to bestow his Fa∣vours on, and confer them with such a grace as doubles the benefit: He must be very Sa∣gacious to penetrate into the Mind, Qualifi∣cations, and Tempers of Men, for the de∣stribution of Places and Employments, and the choice of Generals and Ministers: He must have such a strong, solid, and decisive Judgment in Affairs, as immediately to dis∣cern the Best and most Just: A Mind so Sin∣cere and Just, as to declare against himself in favour of his Subjects, Allies and Enemies: Such a happy Memory, as continually pre∣sents to him the Names, Faces, Petitions, and Occasions of his Subjects: A vast Capa∣city, that extends not only to extraneous Af∣fairs, to Commerce, State Maxims, Poli∣tical Designs, New Conquests, and the de∣fence of them by numerous and unaccessible Forts, but knows how to confine himself at home, to consider the particular wants of the Realm, to banish all false Worship he meets with prejudicial to Soveraignty, to abolish all impious and cruel Customs, to re∣form the Laws and Usages if they're fill'd with Abuses, to make his Cities rich and easie Page  241 by an exact Polity, and render them Noble and Magnificent by the addition of sumptu∣ous Edifices: To punish scandalous Vices se∣verely: To advance the Honour of Reigion and Vertue by his Authority and Example: To Protect the Church and Clergy, their Rights and Liberties: To Govern with the tenderness of a Father, always contriving the Ease of his Subjects: To lighten their Taxes and Subsidies, that they may not be Impo∣verish'd. He must be enrich'd with several great endowments for War: He must be vigi∣lant, sedulous, and unwearied: He must be able to Command numerous Armies in Per∣son, and be sedate and composd in the midst of danger. His sole Design ought to be the Safety and Honour of his Kingdom wich he must always prefer to his own Life. His Power must be of such an extent as to leave no room for under-hand Solicitations private Intrigues and Cabals, and sometimes to lessen the vast distance betwixt the Nobless and the Populace, that they may all agree to be equally subject: His Knowledge so extensive, as to enable him to see every thing with his own Eyes and act immediatey and by him∣self: That his Generals are but his Lieute∣nants, and his Ministers are but his Ministers. A profound Wisdom to know when to de∣clare War, how to overcome and to make the best use of a Victory: To know when to make Peace, and when to break it, to force his Enemies to accept it according to their se∣veral Interests: To set bounds to a vast Am∣bition Page  242 and to know how far to extend his Conquests: To have leisure for Plays, Feasts and Shews: To Cultivate Arts and Sciences: To design and erect magnificent Structures, even when surrounded with private and de∣clar'd Enemies. To conclude; A vigorous and commanding Genius, that renders him belov'd by his Subjects, and fear'd by Stran∣gers; and that reduces his Court and all his Realm, to that Union and good Intelligence, that they're like a single Family, perfectly united under one Head. These admirable Vertues seem to be compriz'd in the Idea of a Soveraign: 'Tis true, we rarely see them all meet in one Subject, several of them are ow∣ing to the Soul and Temper, others to Con∣junctures and extraneous Things; yet I must tell you, it appears to me, that the Prince that unites all these in his single Person very well deserves the Name of Great.

Page  243


LET us not be angry with Men, when we see them stubborn, ungrateful, un∣just, proud, Lovers of themselves and for∣getful of others; they are made so, 'tis their Nature, they an no more prevent it than a Stone from falling to the Ground, or Fire from flying upwards.

* In one sense Men are not Light, or but in little things: They change their Habits, Language, Fashions, Decorums, and some∣times their Taste; but they always preserve their bad Manners, are firm and constant to what is Ill, and to an indifference for Vertue.

* Stoicism is a sport of the Mind, an Idea, something like Plato's Republick. Stoicks feign that a Man may laugh at his Poverty, be in∣sensible of Injuries, Ingratitude, or the loss of his Estate, Parents and Friends, look coolly on Death, and regard it as an indiffe∣rent thing, which ought not to make him merry or melancholy: Never to let Pleasure or Pain master him: To undergo the tor∣ments of Fire or Sword without the least sigh, or a single tear. And this Phantom of Page  244 Vertue, and imaginary Constancy, they are pleas'd to call Wisdom. They have left Mankind full of the same defects they found them, and not cur'd them of the least weak∣ness. Instead of painting Vice in its most frightful and ridiculous forms, to correct their Minds, they have form'd an Idea of Perfection and Heroicism, of which they are not capa∣ble, and exhorted them to what is impossible. Thus this Wise Man that is to be, or will ne∣ver be, but in Imagination, finds himself na∣turally above all Ills and Events; the most painful Fit of the Gout, or the most sharp Fit of the Cholick, can't extort from him the least complaint. Heaven and Earth may be turn'd up and down without concerning him in their fall; he would stand firm on the Ruins of the Universe, while another Man grows almost distracted, cries, despairs, looks fiery, and is out of breath, for a Dog lost, or a Porringer broke in pieces.

* Restlesness of Mind, an inequality of Humour, an inconstancy of Heart, and an uncertainty of Conduct, are all Vices of the Soul, but different, and as like as they appear, are not always found in one Subject.

* 'Tis difficult to decide, Whether irreso∣lution makes a Man more unfortunate or contemptible, or even if there is not always more conveniency in being of the wrong side than of none at all.

* A Man unequal in his temper is several Men in one, he multiplies himself as often as he changes his Taste and Manners: He is Page  245 not this Minute what he was the last, and will not be the next what he is now; he is his own Successor, ask not of what Com∣plexion he is, but what are his Complexions; nor of what Humour, but how many sorts of Humours has he. Don't deceive your self, is it Eutichrates whom you meet? How cold is he to Day? Yesterday he would have sought you, caress'd you and made his Friends jealous of you. Does he remember you? Tell him your Name.

Menalcas goes down Stairs, opens the Door to go out, shuts it, and perceives that his Night-Cap is still on, and examining himself a little better, finds but one half of his face Shav'd, his Sword on the Right-side, his Stockings hanging over his Heels, and his Shirt out of his Breeches. If he walks into the Street, he feels something strikes him on his face, or stomach; he can't suppose what 'tis, till waking, and opening his Eyes, he sees himself by a Cart-wheel, or under a Joiners Pent-house with the Coffins about his Ears. Sometimes you may see him run against a Blind Man, push him backwards, and aftewards fall over him. Sometimes he happens to come up Forehead to Forehead with a Prince, and obstruct his passage; with much ado he recollects himself, and has but just time to squeeze himself into a Wall, to make room for him. He seeks, quarrels, and brawls, puts himself into a heat, calls to his Servants, and tells them, one after another, every thing is lost, or out of the way, and Page  246 demands his Gloves, which he has in his hands; like the Woman who ask'd for her Mask, when she had it on her Face. He en∣ters an Apartment, passes under a Sconce, where his Periwig hitches, and is left hanging. The Courtiers look on him and laugh: Me∣naclas looks also, laughs louder than any of them, and turns his Eyes round the Company to see the Man, who shews his Ears, and has lost his Wig. If he goes into the City, after having gone pretty far, he believes himself out of his way, stands still, and asks of such as pass by, where he is. They tell him, the Street he lives in; he enters his own House, runs out in haste, fancying himself deceivd. He comes out of the Hall, and finding a Coach at the Stair-foot, takes it to be his own, puts himself into it: The Coach-man whips, and thinks he is driving his Master home. Menalcas jumps out, crosses the Court-Yard, mounts the Stair-Case, runs into the Anti-Chamber, Chamber, and Closet; all is familiar to him, nothing new, he sits down and reposes himself as at his own House. The Master comes in, he rises up to receive him, treats him very civilly, pras him to sit, and believes he's paying him the same Honour he uses to give such as Visit him at his own Chamber. He talks, reflects, talks again: The Master of the House is tir'd and asto∣nish'd, and Menalcas as much as he. He will not say what he thinks, but supposes the other to be some very impertinent lazy Fel∣low, who will at last retire; this he hopes, Page  247 and is patient. The Night comes, when with some difficulty he is undeceiv'd. At another time he pays a Visit to a Lady, and perswading himself that she is visiting him, he sits down in her Elbow-Chair, and thinks not of going. He perceives afterwards the Lady makes long Visits, expects every moment when she will rise, and leave him at liberty, but she tarries yet longer, he grows hungry: Night comes on, and he intreats her to Sup with him; she laughs, and so loud, that at last it wakes him. He Marries in the Morn∣ing, forgets it at Night and lies abroad. Some time after his Wife dies in his Arms, he assists at her Funeral; and the next day, when his Servants come to acquaint him that Dinner is on the Table, he demands if his Wife is ready, and they have given her notice on't. This is he who enters a Church, and ta∣king the Blind Man who is set at the Door for a Pillar, and his Dish for a Font, he plunges in his Hand and crosses his Forehead. When he hears of a sudden the Pillar speak, and offer him his Petitions, he turns towards the Quire, he fancies he sees a Desk and a Cushion, he throws himself rudely on him; the Machine bend, pushes him off, and strives to cry out. Menalcas is surpriz'd to see himself kneeling on the Legs of a very little Man, resting on his Back, his two Arms over his Shoulders his Hands taking him by the Nose, and stop∣ping his Mouth; he then retires confus'd and kneels elsewhere. He takes up a Book for Devotion, puts his Slipper into his Pocket in∣stead Page  248 of a Prayer Book; he is hardly got out of the Church but a Foot-man runs after him, pulls him by the Sleeve, and asks him, laughing, If he has not got my Lords Slipper? Menalcas shews him his, and tells him, This is all the Slippers I have about me. The Foot-man, however, searches him, and gets the Bishops Slipper whom he just left, whom he found sick by his Fire-side, and from whom taking leave, he snatch'd it instead of a Glove, which was fallen to the Ground. Thus Menalcas goes home with a Slipper less than he came out; he plays at Tric-Trac, and calls for Drink, 'tis brought him, he is to play, and holds the Box in one Hand, and the Glass in the other, and being a very great Oaf, swal∣lows the Dice and almost the Box, throws the Water on the Tables, and drowns the Man he play'd with. He walks by the Water∣side, asks whats a Clock; they shew him a Watch, he scarce looks on it before he forgets both the Hour and the Watch, and throws it into the River as a thing which troubles him. He writes a long Letter, sands the Paper, and then throws it into the Ink-horn. He writes a second, makes up both, and mistakes the Superscription; one of them is sent to a Duke and Peer; and when he opens it, he reads, Mr. Oliver, Pray don't fail to send me my Quarters Rent, that was due at Lady-day, as soon as possible. His Tenant opens the other, and finds in it, My Lord, I receive, with a blind submission, the Orders which your Grace was pleased. He writes another at Night, and after he has Page  249 made it up puts out the Candle; he is sur∣priz'd to be in the dark, and can hardly re∣member how it happen'd. Coming down Stairs from the Louvre, he meets another co∣ming up; says Menalcas, You are the Man I look'd for, takes him by the Hand, hauls him along with him, they cross several Courts, enter the Halls, go out and come in; he looks more narrowly on the Man he drew after him, he wonders who it should be, has nothing to say to him, lets him go, and turns another way. He often asks you a Question, and is almost out of sight before you can an∣swer him. He finds you at another time in his way. He is ravish'd to meet you, he just came from your House, where he would have discours'd you about a certain Affair. He contemplates your Fingers; You have, says he, a fine Stone, had it you of Balcis? He leaves you, and continues his March; and this is the important Affair he was so earnest to discourse you about. If he is in company, he begins a Story, which he forgets to end; he laughs in himself, he discovers what he was thinking of, and gives answers to his thoughts. He sings through his Teeth, whistles, rouls up and down in his Chair, makes his moan, is hush'd and believes hes alone. When he is at a Feast, he scrapes insensibly all the Bread on his own Plate; his Neighbours, indeed, want it, as well as Knives and Forks, which he a long while plays with. There are large Spoons invented to serve them the more com∣modiously; he takes one of them up, plunges Page  250 it into the Dish, fills it, puts it to his Mouth, and is extreamly surpriz'd to see the Porrage on his Cloaths and Linnen, which he thought had been in his Belly. He forgets to drink at Dinner; or if he remembers it, and thinks there's too much Wine fill'd for him, he flings half on't in the Man's face who sits next him, drinks the rest with a great deal of compo∣sure, and can't comprehend why the People laugh, who saw him throw away the Wine he was not willing to drink; he keeps his Bed a day or two, for some light Sickness, he is visited, the Men and Women make a Circle round his Bed; he opens the Quilt be∣fore them, and drivles in his Sheets. He is carried to the Chartreux; he is shewn a Cloy∣ster painted by an excellent Hand. The Re∣ligious, who explain the Figures, talk of St. Bruno, the Adventure of the Canon, make a long Tale on't, and shew the Story in the Picture. Menalcas, who was all the time out of the Cloyster, returns and asks the good Father, if 'tis the Canon or St. Bruno who is Damn'd. By chance he finds himself with a young Widow, he talks to her of her de∣ceas'd Husband, and asks how he died. The Woman, in whom this discourse renew'd her late sorrows, weeps, sighs, and acquaints him with all the particulars of her Husbands distemper, from the Night before the Fever took him, till his last Agonies: Madam, says Menalcas, who had heard her relation very attentively, Have you never another? He bids Dinner be got presently ready, rises before Page  251 the Fruit is serv'd up, takes his leave of the Company, and you are sure to see him that day in all the noted places of the City, that excepted, where he had made an appointment about the Affair which made him in such haste, and would not suffer him to tarry till his Horses were put to his Coach, but oblig'd him to trudge out a-foot: You may fre∣quently hear him Scold, Chide, and be in a passion with his Domesticks for being out of the way. Where are they, says he? What can they be doing? What is become of 'em? When I want them, I can never find them; I'll this Minute give them Warning. While he is speaking they come in; he asks them, in a fury, Whence they came? They answer, From the place he sent them to, and give him a faithful account of their Errand. You are very often mistaken in him and take him for what he is not: For Stupid, because he hears little, and speaks less: For a Fool, be∣cause he talks alone, and is subject to a Set of Grimaces, and careless Motions with his Head: For Proud and Uncivil, because when you salute him he takes no notice of you, passes by and neglects it: For an In∣considerate Man, because he talks of Statutes in a Family that has a Bankrupt belonging to it; of Executions and Scaffolds before a Person whose Father was Beheaded; of Ho∣mages before rich Farmers who would pass for Gentleman. He even brings a Bastard into his Family, and pretends to let him live like his Valet; but tho' he would have his Page  252 Wife and Children know nothing of the Matter, he can't forbear calling him his Son ten times a day. He resolves to marry his Son to a Tradesman's Daughter, and from time to time boasts of his House and An∣cestors, and tells him the Menaloas's never us'd to Match below themselves. In short, he seems as if he were not present, nor heard what the Company discours'd of, when he is himself the subject of their Conversation. He thinks and talks of a sudden, but what he talks is seldom the thing he thinks on; by which means, there is little coherence in any thing he says. He says Yes, commonly instead of No; and when he says No, you must suppose he would say Yes; when he answers you, per∣haps his Eyes are fix'd on yours, but it does not follow that he sees you, he minds neither you, nor any one else, nor any thing in the World. All that you can draw from him, even when he is most sociable, are some such words as these: Yes, indeed, 'tis true, good, all's well, sincerely, I believe so, certainly: Ah! O Hea∣ven! And some other Monosyllables, which are never spoken in the right place. He ne∣ver is among those whom he appears to be with; he calls his Footman very seriously, Sir, and his Friend Robin. He says your Reverence to a Prince of the Blood, and your Highness to a Jesuit; he hears Mass. The Priest sneezes, and he cries out, God bless you. He is in com∣pany with a Judge, grave by his Character, and venerable by his Age and Dignity; he asks him if such a thing is so, and MenalcasPage  253 replies, Yes Madam. He came once from the Country, his Lackies attempted to Rob him and succeeded; they make him Deliver, he gives them his Purse, comes home, tells the Adventure to his Friends, who ask him the circumstances, and he turns them to his Ser∣vants: Enquire of my People, says he, they were there.

* Incivility is not a Vice of the Soul but the effect of several Vices; of Vanity, Igno∣rance of Duty, Laziness, Stupidity, Di∣straction, Contempt of others and Jealousie. If it discovers it self all at the outside of a Man, 'tis the more odious, because 'tis a visible and manifest defect; however, 'tis more or less Offensive, according to the effects it produces.

* If we say of a cholerick, unsteady, quar∣relsom, melancholy, formal, capricious Per∣son, 'tis his humour, we shall not excuse him, whatever we fancy; but when we acknow∣ledge he is so without thinking on't, and that these great Erros are not to be remedy'd, it mitigates the matter.

* What we call Humour, is a thing too much neglected among Men: They should understand 'tis not enough to be good, unless they also appear so, at least if they would endeavour to be Sociable, qualify'd for Union and Friendship; that is, if they would be Men. We don't expect the Malicious to be tender and complaisant, but they never want com∣placency and tenderness when they serve to ensnare the Simple, and set a price on their Artifices.

Page  254* The Generality of Men, when they are cholerick, are afterwards injurious; others are injurious, and then cholerick: The sur∣prize that we are in at such proceedings, will not always give us time for resentment.

* Men don't apply themselves enough to embrace all opportunities wherein they could promote each others satisfaction; when a per∣son takes an Employment on him, it seems as if his design was to have it in his power to oblige and do nothing. The most ready thing in the World is Denial; we never grant but with reflection.

* Every Man ought to know exactly, what he is to expect from Mankind in gene∣ral, and from each of them in particular, before he ventures to throw himself into the World.

* If Poverty is the Mother of Crimes, the defect of the Mind is the Father.

* Tis difficult for a Man to have Sense and be a Knave. A true and sharp Genius, Conducts to Order, Truth and Vertue. 'Tis want of Sense and Penetration, which makes a Man obstinate in Evil, as in Error: We strive in vain to correct a Blockhead by Satyr, which describes him to others, while he will himself not know his own Picture, 'tis like railing to a deaf Man; 'twould be well for the pleasure of Men of Wit and Honour, and for publick Vengeance, if a Rogue had some feeling, and were sensible when he is corrected.

Page  255* There are some Vices, for which we are indebted to no body, they were born with us and from time to time are fortify'd by Custom. There are others which we contract and were before Strangers to us; Men are some∣times born with easie Dispositions, Compla∣cency, a desire to please, but by the treat∣ment they meet from those they live with, or on whom they depend, they are suddenly oblig'd to change their Measures and even their Nature; they grow melancholy and flegmatick, humours with which they were before unacquainted: They have another Complexion, and are astonish'd to find them∣selves petulant and stubborn.

* Some may ask why Mankind in Gene∣ral don't compose but one Nation, and have not a proneness to speak one Language; to live under the same Laws, to agree amongst themselves in the same Customs and Worship: for my part, seeing the contrariety of their Inclinations, Taste and Sentiments, I won∣der to see seven or eight Persons live under the same Roof, within the same Walls, and make a single Family.

* There are some strange Fathers, who seem, during the whole course of their Lives, to be preparing Reasons for their Children to be comforted with their Deaths.

* Every thing is strange in the Humours, Morals, and Manners of Men; one lives Sowre, Passionate, Covetous, Furious, Sub∣missive, Laborious and full of his own Inte∣rests, who was born Gay, Peaceable, Idle, Page  256 Magnificent, of a noble Courage, and far from any thing Base or Pitiful: The Cares of Life, the Situation they find themselves in and the Law of Necessity, force Nature and cause such great Changes. Thus at the bottom, such a Man cant tell what to make of himself, his Outside changes so often; has so many Alterations and Revolutions, that he is really, neither what he thinks he is himself, nor what he appears to be.

* Life is short and tiresom, it has always something to do; we adjourn our Joy and Repose to the time to come, often the Age, when our best blessings, Youth and Health are already disappear'd. The time comes, and we are still surpriz'd with new desires: The Fever seizes or suppresses us; or, if we are cur'd, 'tis only to desire more time.

* When a Man desires a favour of a Per∣son, he renders himself to him on Discretion; when he's sure it cannot be deny'd him, he watches his Opportunities, Parleys and Ca∣pitulates

* 'Tis so common for Men not to be Hap∣py, and so essential to all Good to be acquir'd with Trouble, that what is come at easily is suspected. We can hardly comprehend how any thing can be for our advantage, which costs us so little, or how we could reach the ends we propos'd by such just Measures: We think we deserve Good Fortune, but ought not to have it very often.

* The Man who says, He was not born Happy, may at least become so, if he would Page  257 make use of his Friends and Relations good fortune, and did not envy rob him of this advantage.

* Tho perhaps I have said somewhere or other that the afflicted are wrong'd, yet men seem to be born for Misfortune, Grief and Poverty few escape, and since all sorts of disgraces may befal them, they ought to be prepar'd for all sorts of disgrace.

* Men meet one another about their affairs with so much difficulty, are so sharp where the least interest is concern'd, so apt to be intangl'd with the least intricacies, are so willing to deceive and so unwilling to be de∣ceiv'd, set so great a value on what belongs to themselves, and so mean a price on what belongs to others; that I protest I know not how or which way they can conclude Mar∣riages, Contracts, Acquisitions, Peace, Truces, Treaties, and Alliances.

* Among some people Arrogance supplies the place of Greatness, Inhumanity of Sted∣fastness, and Cheating of Wit.

Cheats easily believe others as bad as them∣selves. They cannot be deceived, and then will not deceive a long while.

I would willingly purchase the Character of a Cheat, if it were only by being stupid, or passing for such.

We are never honestly deceiv'd, for Ma∣lice and Lying always attend Cheating.

* We hear nothing in the Streets of great Cities, and out of the mouths of those that pass by us, but such words as these; Writs, Page  258 Executions, Interrogatories, Bonds and Plead∣ing: Is it thus because the least equity ought not to be seen in the world, or should it be on the con••ary fill'd with persons who are al∣ways demanding what is not their due, or re∣fusing very plainly to pay what they owe.

* The Invention of Parchments is a scandal to Humanity; what a shame 'tis that men can't keep their words without being forc'd to it.

If you carry away Passion, Interest and In∣justice, what a Calm would there be in the greatest Cities subsistance? and the cares of Life would not make a third part of the confusion.

* Nothing helps a man more to bear quiet∣ly the injuries he receives from Parents and Friends, than a reflection on the vices of hu∣manity; and how costly 'tis for persons to be constant, generous and faithful, or to love any thing better than their own Interests. He knows their capacity, and does not re∣quire them to penetrate a solid, fly in the Air, or be equitable. He hates Mankind in gene∣ral, for having no greater respect for Vertue. But he excuses it in particulars, he even is tempted by the highest motives to love 'em, and studies as much as possible to deserve the same indulgence.

* There are certain Goods which we most passionately desire, and the Idaea of them only moves and transports us. If we happen to obtain 'em, we enjoy them more peaceably than we thought we should, and are less bu∣sie in rejoycing over them, than in aspiing after greater.

Page  259* There are some evils, some frightful and horrible misfortunes, which we dare not think on, the prospect of 'em only makes us trem∣ble. If they chance to fall on us, we find more succour than we could imagine, arm our selves against our fortune, and do better than our hopes.

* Sometimes a pleasant House falling to us, a fine Horse, or a pretty Dog presented us, a Suit of Tapestry, or a Watch, will mittigate a vast loss.

* I often suppose that men were to live for ever in this world: And reflect afterwards whether 'tis possible for them to do more to∣wards their establishment, than they do now.

* If Life is miserable 'tis painful to live; if happy, 'tis dreadful to dye; one comes from t'other.

* Theres nothing Men are o fond to pre∣serve, and less careful about it than Life.

* We are afraid of old age, but we ae not sure we can attain it.

* Death never happens but once, yet we feel it every moment of our Lives. 'Tis worse to apprehend than to suffer.

* Irene is with difficulty convey'd to the Temple of Aesculapius, to consult the God a∣bout all her Ills. She complains fist that she's weary and fatigu'd. The God pronounces 'tis occasion'd by the length of her Journey. She says she has no stomach to her Supper; the Oracle bids her eat the less at Dinne. She adds, she's troubled a nights with broken Slum••rs; he bids her never lye a Bed by day. Page  260 She asks how her grossness may be prevent∣ed; the Oracle replies, she ought to rise be∣fore noon, and now and then make use of her Legs a little. She declares that Wine dis∣agrees with her; the Oracle bids her drink Water. That she has a bad digestion; he tells her she must go into a Diet. My sight, says she, fails. Use Spectacles, says Aescula∣pius. I grow weak, I am't half so strong and healthy as I have been. You grow old, says the God. But how, says she, shall I cure this Languishing? Why you must dye like your Grandfather and Grandmother, if youll get rid ont quickly. What advice dost thou give me, thou Son of Apollo, crys Irene? Is this the mighty Skill which men praise and worship you for? What hast thou told me rare or mysterious? Did not I know thus much before? The God answers, Why did you not put it in practice then, without com∣ing so far out of your way to seek me, and shortning your days by a tedious Voyage to no purpose?

* Let us think, when we are sighing for the loss of our past youth, which will no more return; Dotage will come, then we shall re∣gret the age of our full strength, which we now enjoy, and don't enough esteem.

* Inquietude, fear and dejection cannot keep Death far from us, yet I question if ex∣cessive laughter becomes men who are mor∣tal.

* What there is in Death uncertain, is a little sweeten'd by what there is certain. Page  261 There's something indefinite in time, which looks like infinite, and is thence called Eter∣nity.

* We hope to grow old, and we fear old age; that is, we are willing to live, and a∣fraid to dye.

* One had better give way to Nature, and fear Death, than be always striving against it, arming our selves with Reasons, and be our own Slaves, that we may not fear it.

* If some men dyd, and others did not, Death would indeed be a terrible affliction.

* A long Sickness seems to be placd be∣tween Life and Death, that Death itself may be a comfort to those who dye, and those who survive them.

* To speak lie Men, Death is in one thing very good: It puts an end to old age.

The Death which prevents Dotage, comes more seasonable, than that which ends it.

* The regret men have for the time they have ill spent, does not always induce them to spend what remains better.

* Life is a kind of Sleep, old men sleep longest: They never begin to wake, but when they are to dye. If then they run over the whole course of their lives year by year, they find frequently neither Vertues nor com∣mendable actions enough to distinguish them one from another. They confound their different ages. They see nothing sufficient∣ly remarkable to measure the time they have livd by. They have had confus'd Dreams, without any form or coherence. However, Page  262 they fancy, like those who awake, that they have slept a long while.

* There are but three events which happen to Mankind; Birth, Life, and Death. They know nothing of their Birth, suffer Death, and forget Life.

* There is a time, which precedes Reason, when we live like other Animals by instinct, of which we can't trace the least footsteps. There's a second time, when Reason disco∣vers itself when 'tis form'd, and might act, if it were not obscur'd, and almost extinguisht by the vices of Constitution, and a Chain of Passions, which succeed one another, and lead to the third and last age. Reason then is in its force, and might bring forth, but 'tis soon lessen'd and weaken'd by years, sickness and sorrow; render'd useless by the disorder of the Machine, which is now declining; yet these years, imperfect as they are, make the Life of a Man.

* Children are haughty, disdainful, chole∣rick, envious, inquisitive, self-interested, la∣zy, light, fearful, intemperate, lyers, dissem∣blers, laugh easily, and are soon pleas'd, have immoderate joys and afflictions on the least subjects; would not have ill done 'em, but love to do ill. In this they are men long before they are one and twenty.

* Children think not of what's past, nor whats to come; but rejoyce o're the present time, which few of us do.

* There seems to be but one character of Childhood: The Manners at that age is in Page  263 all much the same, and it must be with a ve∣ry nice observation, that you can perceive a difference. It augments with Reason, be∣cause with it the Passions and Vices increase, which make men so unlike one another, and so contrary to themselves.

* Children have in their childhood what old men lose, Imagination and Memory, which are very useful to them in their little sports and amusements; by these helps they repeat what they have heard, and mimick what they see done. By these they work af∣ter others, or invent themselves a thousand little things to divert them Make Feasts, and entertain themselves with good chear, are transported into Inchanted Palaces and Ca∣stles, have rich equipages, and a train of fol∣lowers, lead Armies, give Battel, and rejoyce in the pleasure of Victory, talk of Kings and greatest Princes, are themselves Kings, have Subjects, possess Treasures, which they make of Leaves, Boughs, Shells or Sand; and what they are ignorant of in the following part of their lives. They know at this Age how to be arbiters of their fortune, and masters of their own happiness.

* There are no exterior vices, or bodily defects, which are not perceiv'd by Children. They strike 'em at first sight, and they know how to express 'em in agreeable words. Men could not be more happy in their terms; but when they become men, they are loaded in their turn with the same imperfections, and are themselves mock'd.

Page  264* 'Tis the only care of Children to find out their Masters weakness, and the weakness of those to whom they must be subject; when they have found it, they get above 'em, and usurp an Ascendant over them, which they never part with; for what depriv'd them of their Superiority, will keep them from reco∣vering it.

* Idleness, Negligence, and Laziness, Vices so natural to Children, are not to be seen in 'em while they are at play: They are then lively, heedful, exact, lovers of rule and or∣der, never pardon one another the least faults: Begin again several times if but one thing is wanting. Certain presages that they may hereafter neglect their duty, but will forget nothing that can promote their plea∣sure.

* To Children, Gardens, Houses, Furni∣ture, Men and Beasts appear great. To Men, the things of the world, and I dare say, for the same reason, because they are little.

* Children begin among themselves with a popular state, where every one is master, and what is very natural, can't agree so long before they go on to a Monarchy. One of 'em distinguishes himself from the rest, either by a greater vivacity, strength, or a more exact knowledge of their little sports and laws; some differ from him, and then they form an absolute Government, which is gui∣ded only by pleasure.

* Who doubts but Children conceive, judge, and reason to the purpose? If 'tis on Page  [unnumbered] small things. Consider they are Children, and without much experience. If in bad phrases, 'tis less their fault than their Parents and Masters.

* It balks the minds of Children to punish them for Crimes they have not really com∣mitted, or to be severe with them for light offences. They know exactly, and better than any one, what they deserve, and de∣serve what they fear, they know when they are chastisd. If 'tis with or without reason and unjust, sufferings do 'em more harm than Impunity.

* No Man lives long enough to profit him∣self by his faults, he is committing 'em du∣ring the whole course of his life, and as much as he can do at last, is to dye corrected.

Nothing pleases a man more than to know he has avoided a foolish action.

* Men are loath to confess their faults: They hide them, or change their quality; 'tis this gives the Director an advantage over the Confessor.

* Blockheads faults are sometimes so odd, and so difficult to foresee, that wise men are at a loss to know how they could commit 'em, and fools only can be profited by them.

* A spirit of party and faction sets the Great men and the Mob on an equal foot.

* Vanity and Decency make us do the same things in the same manner, which we should do by inclination and duty: A man dy'd at Paris of a Fever, which he got by waking with his Wife, whom he hated.

Page  266* All men in their hearts covet esteem, yet are loath any one should discover they are willing to be esteem'd. Thus men pass for Vertuous, that they may draw some other advantages from it, besides Vertue itself, I would say Esteem and Praise. This should no longer be thought Vertue, but a love for Praise and Esteem, and Vanity: Men are very vain Creatures, and of all things hate to be thought so.

* A vain man finds his account in speaking good or evil of himself, a modest man never talks of himself. We cant better compr∣hend the ridiculousness of Vanity, and what a scandalous Vice 'tis, than by observing how much 'tis afraid to be seen, and how it often hides itself under the appearance of Modesty.

False Modesty is the most cunning sort of Vanity: By this a man never appears what he is; on the contrary, raises a reputation by the Vertue, quite opposite to the Vice, which forms his Character: This is a Lye; false Glory is the Rock of Vanity; it tempts men to acquire esteem by things which they indeed possess, but are frivolous, and not fit for a man to value himself on; this is an Error.

* Men speak of themselves in such a man∣ner, that if they grant they are sometimes guilty of a few little faults, or have some small defects; these very faults and defects imply fine Talents and great Qualifications. Thus they complain of a bad memory, well Page  267 enough contented, otherwise in their good sense and judgment; forgive people when they reproach them, for being distracted or whimsical, imagining it the sign of Wit; ac∣knowledge they are awkard, and can do no∣thing with their hands, comforting themselves in the loss of these little qualities, for those of their Minds, and the gifts of their Souls, which every one allow them. Talk of their negligence in phrases which denote their dis∣interest, and their being void of ambition. They are not asham'd of being Slovens, which shews only that they are heedless a∣bout little things, and seems to suppose in them an application for things solid and es∣sential. A Souldier affects to say, 'twas too much rashness and curiosity ingag'd him in the Trenches, or at such a dangerous post, without being on duty, or commanded there. And adds, that the General chid him for't. Thus a good hand, and a solid genius, born with all the prudence which other men en∣deavour in vain to acquire; who has streng∣then'd the temper of his mind by great ex∣perience; whom the number, weight, va∣riety, difficulty, and importance of affairs employ without incumbering; who by his large insight and penetration makes himself maste of all events: who, very far from consulting the notions and reflections writ∣ten on Government and Politicks, is perhaps one of those sublime Souls born to rule o∣thers, and from whose examples those rules were made; who is led aside by the great Page  268 things he does, from the pleasant and agree∣able things he might read, and needs only to turn over his own life and actions; a man thus form'd may say safely, without doing himself any prejudice, that he knows nothing of Books, and never reads.

* Men would sometimes hide their imper∣fections, or lessen the opinion we have of 'em, by confessing them freely. A Block∣head laughs and says, I am a very ignorant fel∣low. A man above threescore says, Im old and doating. And one in want, that he is wretched poor.

* There is either no such thing as Modesty, or 'tis confounded with something in it self quite different. If we take it for an interior sentiment, which makes a man seem mean in his own eyes, this is a supernatural Vertue, and we call it Humility. Man naturally thinks proudly and haughtily of himself, and thinks thus of no body but himself. Modesty only tends to qualifie this disposition; 'tis an exteriour Vertue, which governs our eyes, conduct, words, tone, and obliges a man to act with others to outward appearance, as if is was not true, that he counted them for nothing.

* The world is full of people, who making by custom and outward appearance, a com∣parison of themselves with others, always de∣cide in favour of their own merit, and act accordingly.

* You say, men must be modest. All per∣sons well born say the same in return; then Page  269 do you take care that such as give way by their modesty, may not be too much tyran∣niz'd over, and that when they bend, they be not broken to pieces.

Thus some say, people should be modest in their Dress. Men of merit desire nothing more: But the world are for Ornament: We give it them. They are covetous of su∣perfluity, and we shew it. Some value o∣thers for their fine Linnen; or rich silks, and we cannot always refuse esteem, even on these terms. There are some places where a full or a thin Sword-knot will get or hin∣der a man admittance.

* Vanity, and the great value we have for our selves, make us imagin, that others carry it very proudly towards us, which is some∣times true, and often false. A modest man has not this kind of delicacy.

* As we ought to deny our selves the vani∣ty of thinking, others regard us with so much curiosity and esteem, that they are always talking of our Merit, and in our commenda∣tion. So we should have so much confidence in our selves, that we should not fancy when any whisper, 'tis to speak ill of us, and that they never laugh, but to mock us.

* Whence come it that Aleippus salutes me to day, smiles, and throws himself almost out of the Coach, to take notice of me. I am not rich, and am a fool, according to the Rules, he should not have seen me. Oh now I have hit on't, 'twas that I might see him in the same seat with a person of the first quali∣ty.

Page  270* Men are so full of themselves that every thing they do partakes on't. They love to be seen, to be shewn, to be saluted, even by such as don't know 'em; if they forget them, they are presently haughty. They would have people conjure to find out who they are.

* We never seek happiness in our selves, but in the opinion of men, whom we know to be flatterers, unsincere, unjust, envious, suspicious and prepossest: Unaccountable folly!

* One would think men could not laugh, but at what is really ridiculous, there are some people who laugh as well at what is not so, as at what is. If you are a fool, and inconsiderate, and something imper∣tinent escapes you, they laugh at you. If you are wise, and say nothing but reasonable things in a proper accent, they however laugh at you.

* Those who ravish our Wealth from us, by violence and injustice, or rob us of our honour by calumnies, shew that they hate us, but 'tis not at all an argument, that they have lost all manner of esteem for us; by which means we are not render'd incapable of forgiving them, and being one time or other friends with 'em. Mocking on the contrary, is, of all injuries, the least pardo∣nable. 'Tis the language of contempt, and the best way by which it makes itself under∣stood, it attacks a man in his innermost in∣trenchment: The good opinion he has of Page  271 himself; it aims at making him ridiculous in his own eyes; and thus convincing him, that the person who mocks him, cannot have a worse disposition towards him, renders him irreconcileable.

'Tis monstrous to consider how easie and pleas'd we are, when we rally, play upon, and despise others, and how angry and cho∣lerick when we are ourselves rally'd, play'd upon, and despis'd.

* Sickness and Poverty once felt, harden men against others Afflictions, but while they are themselves afflicted they are very com∣passionate.

* In Souls well born, Feasts, Sights and Musick have so strange an Operation, that they comfort them for the misfortunes of their Friends and nearest Relations.

* A great Soul is above injury, injustice, grief or rallery, and would be invulnerable, were it not sensible of compassion.

* There is a kind of shame, in being hap∣py at the sight of certain miseries.

* Men are readily acquainted with their least advantages, and backward enough to examine their defects. They are never ig∣norant of their fine Eye-brows and handsom Nails, but loath to know they have lost an Eye, and will not at all be perswaded, that they want understanding. Ronilius puts off his Glove to shew his white Hand, remem∣bers very punctually to talk of his little Shoes, that he may be supposed to have a little Foot. He laughs at things pleasant or Page  272 serious, to shew his fine set of Teeth, throws back his Wig, that every one may see his Ears are well made. If he does not dance, 'tis because he is not well satisfied with his Shapes, which are somewhat too square; he knows perfectly well what is for his Interest, one thing only excepted, he wants Wit, and is always talking.

* Men reckon the virtues of the heart worth nothing, and idolize their Wit and bodily endowments. He who says coldly of himself, and she thinks without hurting mo∣desty, that he is good, constant, faithful sincere, just, and grateful, durst not say he is brisk, has fine Teeth, and a soft hand, he's not so vain, that would be too much for him. 'Tis true, there are two virtues which men ad∣mire; Bravery and Liberality, because there are two things which they very much esteem, and these virtues always neglect Life and Money, yet no body boasts of himself, that hes Brave or Liberal. No body says of him∣self, at least without Reason, that he is beau∣tiful, generous, or sublime. Men value those qualifications at too high a Price, they are contented with thinking so.

* Whatever likeness appears between Jea∣lousy and Emulation, there is as vast a dif∣ference as between Vice and Virtue: Jealousy and Emulation operate on the same object, anothers Wealth or Merit with this diffe∣rence; the last is a Sentiment, voluntary, bold, sincere, which renders the Soul fruit∣ful, and profits by great examples, so far as Page  273 often to excel what it admires. The former on the other hand is a violent motion, and a forc'd confession of the Merit it does not possess, which goes so far as even to deny the virtue of the Objects where it exists; or if 'tis compelld to confess it, refuses to commend 'em, and envies their reward. A barren pas∣sion which leaves a man in the same state it found him, fills him with high Idaeas of himself and his reputation, and renders him cold and sullen on another man's Actions or Works, which makes him astonished to see any Qualifications in the world better than his own, or other men enjoy Talents that offend him. A shameful Vice which grows by its excess to vanity and presumption, and does not so much perswade him who is in∣fected with it, that he has more Sense and Merit than others, as that he alone has Sense and Merit.

Emulation and Jealousy are always found in persons of the same Art, the same Ta∣lents and Conditions. The vilest Artificers, are most subject to Jealousy. Those who profess the liberal Arts, or the Belles Lettres as Painters, Musicians, Orators, Poets, and all those who pretend to write, ought not to be capable of any thing but emulati∣on.

Jealousy is never free from some sort of envy. These two passions often destroy one another. On the contrary, envy is some∣times separated from jealousy, as when it ex∣ercises it self on conditions, very much above Page  274 our own on Prodigious Fortunes, Favour or Employs.

Envy and hatred are ever united, they strengthen one another in the same object, and without being known to each other. One fixes on the Person, the other settles on his State and Condition.

A man of Sense is not jealous of a Cuttler that works up a good Sword, or a Statuary who makes a good Figure, he's sure there are in these Arts Rules and Methods, which he does not apprehend, and Tools to be ma∣nagd, whose use, names, and forms he does not know, and he satisfies himsef with not being Master of a Trade, when he consi∣ders he has not serv'd an Apprenticeship to it; he may be on the contrary expos'd to envy, and even jealousy toward a Minister of State, and those who govern, as if Reason and good Sense, which are common to both of them, were the only instruments that are made use of, in ruling a Nation and presiding over publick Affairs, and that they could supply the place of Rules, Precepts, and Ex∣perience.

* We meet with few very dull and stupid Souls, and fewer sublime and transcendant. The generality of Mankind sails between these two extreams. The interval is fill'd with a great number of ordinary Genius's, which are very useful, and serve to support a Commonwealth. It contains what is a∣greeable and profitable, Commerce, Business, War, Navigation, Arts, Trades, Memo∣ry, Page  275 Intrigue, Society, and Conversati∣on.

* All the Sense in the world is useless to him that has none; he has no sight, and can't be profited by another mans.

* To feel the want of Reason, is next to having it, a fool is not capable of this know∣ledge. The best thing we can have after Sense, is to apprehend that we need it, with∣out Sense a man might then know how to behave himself so, as not to be a Sot, a Cox∣comb, or Impertinent.

* A man who has but a little Sense, is se∣rious and of an even frame, he never laughs, banters, and makes any thing of a trifle, as incapable of rising higher, as of accommoda∣ting himself to what he thinks below him; he can hardly condescend to toy with his Children.

* Every one says of a Coxcomb, that he's a Coxcomb. No body dares tell him so to his face; he dyes without knowing it, and no body is revengd on him.

* What a strange misunderstanding there is between the Heart and the Mind. Philosophers live wickedly with all their Maxims, and Politicians full of their notions and re∣flections, can't govern themselves.

* Wit wears like other things. Sciences like food nourish us, and consume.

* Ordinary men are sometimes blest with a thousand unprofitable virtues, having no occasion to make use of them.

Page  276* We meet some men who support easily the weight of favour and power, who make their Greatness familiar to them, and are not giddy on the high Posts they are ad∣vancd to. On the contrary, those whom fortune, without choice or discernment, has blindly almost overwhelm'd with Blessings, act proudly, and without moderation. Their Eyes, their Conduct, their Tone, and diffi∣culty of access declare a long while the ad∣miration they are in themselves, to see they are grown so eminent. They become in the end so wild, that their fall only can tame them.

* A stout robust Fellow, with a broad pair of Shoulders, carries heavy burdens, with a good grace, and keeps one hand at liberty, while a Dwarf would be crush'd with half on't. Thus eminent Stations make great men yet more great, and little ones less.

* Some Men, who become extraordinary Persons, skud along with full Sail in a Sea, where others are lost and broken in pieces, are advanc'd and promoted, by ways quite opposite to those which seem most sure for promotion or advancement; they draw from their irregularity and folly all the advantage of a consummate Wisdom. They are devo∣ted to others, particularly to the Great, on whom they depend, and in their favour repose all their hopes. They don't serve, but they amuse them. Men of Merit and Capacity are useful to the Great; these are necessary, they are always ready with their Jests, which Page  277 are as meritorious in them, as the most va∣luable Actions are in others. And by being comical obtain the most grave Posts, and the most serious Dignities by continual grima∣ces. They have done in time, and before they are aware, find themselves in a condi∣tion, which they neither hop'd nor fear'd; all that remains of them in the end is the example of their Fortune, which is danger∣ous for any one to follow.

* 'Tis expected of some persons, who were once capable of a noble heroick Action, that without being spent by such vast efforts as were requir'd to produce it, they should at least be as Wise and Judicious as commonly men are, that they should not be guilty of any little meanness unbecoming the reputa∣tion they acquir'd, that by mingling with the people, giving 'em an opportunity to view them at too little a distance, they should not suffer them to let their curiosity and ad∣miration grow to indifference, and per∣haps to contempt.

'Tis easier for some men to enrich them∣selves with a thousand virtues, than to cor∣rect one single defect. They are even so un∣fortunate, that this Vice often agrees least with their condition, and makes em most ridiculous. It lessens the Splendor of their great Qualifications, hinders 'em from being perfect, and prevents 'em of a compleat re∣putation; a greater knowledge and higher degrees of morality are not exacted of them, nor that they should be more fond of order Page  278 or discipline, more faithful to their Duty, more zealous for the publick good, or more labourious; we would only desire them to be less amorous.

* Some men in the course of their lives, differ so much from themselves as to their inclinations, that we shall certainly mistake them, if we judge of them only by what ap∣pear'd in them in their youth Some were pious, wise, and learned, who by the inse∣parable softness of a smiling fortune too long continu'd, are so no more: others begin their lives, by applying all their thoughts to promote their pleasures, whom at last mis∣fortunes have render'd religious, just, and temperate. It must indeed be very great causes which work these effects, and they are generally so, when men are prevaild on to make such changes. They get then an experienc'd sincerity, learn'd by patience and adversity. They owe their politeness, con∣templation, and the high capacity they some∣times acquire, to their commerce with wo∣men, a confinement at home, and the lei∣sure of a bad fortune.

All mens misfortunes proceed from their inability to be alone from Gaming, Riot, Extravagance, Wine, Women, Ignorance, Railing, Envy, and forgetting their duty to∣wards God and themselves.

* Men are sometimes insufferable to them∣selves, shades and solitude trouble them, cre∣ating in them fears and vain terrors. The least evil that can befal 'em i to give way to trouble.

Page  279* Lazyness begets trouble, and the applica∣tion which some men have for pleasure, is never free from it; Gaming, and keeping much company, has its share; but he who works hard, has enough to do with himself otherwise.

* The greatest part of mankind employ their first years to make their last miseable.

* There are some works which begin at one end of the Alphabet and end at the o∣ther; good, bad, and worst, all find room in 'em, nothing of whatever nature is forgot; after a great deal of pains, and much affecta∣tion, we call them the sport of the mind; and there is the same sport in mens conduct; when they have begun a thing they must end it, and try all ways to effect it; perhaps it might be better to change their design, or to let it quite alone, but the difficulty and oddness of the thing temp 'em to proceed, they go on, and are encourag'd by a spirit of contradiction and vanity, which serves instead of Reason, that gives 'em over, and desists being con∣cern'd with them. This way of manage∣ment is found, even in the most vertuous actions, and often in Religion itself.

* Duty is that which costs us most, be∣cause in practising it, we do only what we are strictly obligd to, and we are seldom praisd fort. Paise is of all things the great∣est excitement to commendable Actions and supports us in our enterprizes. Nicius loves a pompous Charity, which gets him the Go∣vernment over the necessities of the poor, Page  280 makes him the Depository of their Income, and his house an Hospital to distribute it in; his Gates are open for any Man or Woman that has a blue Gown and a Badge. Every one sees and talks of him thus, and who is there that dare suspect his honesty besides his Creditors.

* Gerontes dy'd of meer old Age, without signing the Will that had lain by him thirty years: His Estate fell among several Relations, though he had been kept alive purely by the care of his Wife Asteria, who, young as she was, stood always near him, comforted his old Age, and at last clos'd his Eyes. But he has not left her money enough to get her a∣nother old Husband.

* When people are loath to sell their Of∣fices in their doatage or to resign 'em to o∣thers; they perswade themselves that they are immortal, and hope certainly that death has nothing to do with them, or if they be∣lieve death may one time or other over∣take 'em, yet their loving themselves and no body else, forces 'em to keep what they have.

* Faustus is a Rake, a Prodigal, a Liber∣tine, Ungrateful and Cholerick, yet his Un∣kle Aurelius can't hate him, nor disinherit him.

Frontin, his other Nephew, after twenty years known honesty, and a blind complai∣sence for this old man, could never gain his favour, nor get any thing at his Death, but a small pension, which Faustus, his Unkles Exe∣utor, is to pay him.

Page  281* Hatred is so durable and so obstinate, that reconciliation on a sick Bed is the great∣est sign of death.

* We insinuate our selves into the favour of others, either by flattering their passions or pittying their afflictions. These are the only ways we have to shew our concern for 'em, whence it proceeds, that the rich are least tractable.

* Softness and voluptuousness are innate, they are born with men and die with them, happy, or unhappy accidents never cure 'em, good and bad fortune equally produce them.

* The worst sight in the world is an old man in Love.

* Few people remember that they have been young, and how hard it was then to live chaste and temperate. The first thing men do, when they have renounc'd pleasure, either out of decency, surfeit, or conviction, is to condemn it in others.

This sort of management is however sel∣dom free from a particular affection for those very things they left off, but they would have no body enjoy the pleasure they can no longer enjoy themselves, which pro∣ceeds more from Jealousie than any thing else.

* 'Tis not that old men apprehend that they shall want money one time or other, which makes them covetous; for some of them have such prodigious heaps, that 'tis impossible for those fears to prevail over Page  282 them. Besides, how can they fear in their doatage that they shall want necessaries, when they voluntarily deny themselves of 'em, to satisfie their Avarice? Neither is it a desire to leave vast summs to their Children, for they naturally love no body but themselves, and supposing otherwise, there are many Mi∣sers who have no Heirs. This Vice is rather the effect of Age and Constitution in old men, who as naturally abandon themselves to it, then, as they did to their pleasures in their youth, or their ambition in their Man∣hood.

* There's no need of vigor, youth, or Health to be covetous, nor is there any oc∣casion for a mans being always scraping up Money, or giving himself the least disquiet to save it: Such deprive themselves of riches only to lock 'em up in their Coffers. This agrees with their years, 'tis a passion incident to every one that's old; and they would be more than men if it never touch'd them.

There are some people who are badly lodg'd, lye hard, wear wretched Cloaths, and eat the worst meat, who deprive themselves of the society of men, and live in a continual solitude; who are in pain for the time pre∣sent, past, and to come; whose Lives are a perpetual pennance, who have cunningly found out the most troublesom way to Perdi∣tion. I mean the covetous.

* Old men please themselves in remember∣ing their youth: They love the places where they past it. The persons with whom they Page  283 then began an acquaintance are dear to them. They affect certain words which they usd to speak when they were young. They keep up the old manner of singing and dancing, boast of the fashions in use former∣ly, in cloaths, furniture, and equipages. They can't yet disapprove the things which serv'd their passions, but are always calling 'em to mind. How can one imagin they should prefer new Customs and Modes which they have no share in, from which they have nothing to hope, which young men have invented, and in their turn get by them such great advantages over the old.

* Too much negligence, as well as too much nicety in dressing, encreases old mens wrinckles, and makes em look older.

* An old man is proud, disdainful and troublesom, if he has not a great deal of sense.

* An old man who has liv'd at Court has good sense, and a faithful memory, is an in∣estimable treasure, he is full of deeds and maxims. One may find in him the history of the Age, adornd with a great many cu∣rious circumstances, which we never met with in our reading; from him we may learn such rules for our conduct and manners, that are to be depended on, being founded on experience.

* Young men are incapacited by their passions, for accommodating themselves to soitude, as well as the old can.

Page  284* Phidippus, old as he is, is very nice and ef∣feminate, even to little delicacies, he eats, drinks, sleeps, and plays by art; he scrupu∣lously observes the least Rules he has prescrib'd himself, which tend to the ease of his person; and if, according to his usual measures, he ought not to break 'em, a Mistress would not tempt him to do it. He is almost o'rewhelm'd with superfluities, which custom has at last render'd necessary for him; he does all he can to keep himself alive, and employs the remains of his life in making its loss more grievous: Imagine then if he is not enough afraid of dying.

* Gnathon lives for no body but himself: The rest of the world are to him as if they were not in being; not satisfyd in taking the first seat at a board, he alone fills the place of two other men; he forgets the Din∣ner is provided for him and all the company, he makes himself master of the Dish, and looks on each Service as his own; he never fixes himself to one sort of Meat, he trys all, tasts all, no hands are seen on the Table but his, he turns about the Dishes, manages the Meat, tears it to pieces, and if the Guests will dine, it must be on his leavings. He never spares any of his nasty customs, enough to spoyl the stomachs of such as are most hun∣gry. You see the Gravy and the Sauce run over his Beard and Chin, if he takes part of a Ragou out of a Dish, he spills it by the way on other Dishes, on the Cloath, and you may distinguish his Plate by the tracts he makes to Page  285 it; he eats with a great deal of bustle and noise, rouls his eyes, and uses the Table as if it were a Manger, picks his teeth, and con∣tinues eating; he thinks himself always at home, and behaves himself at a Play, as if he were in his Bed-chamber; when he rides in the Coach it must be always forward, he grows pale and swoons if he's set backward; when he travels, he gets first to the Inn, chuses the best Chamber and Bed for himself: His own and other mens Servants run about his occasions, baggage and equipage, every thing is his he lays his hands on, he troubles every one, troubles himself for none, pities none, knows no evils but his own, his Spleen and Choler, weeps for no body's death, and fears no body's but his own, and to save him∣self would willingly consent to the extirpati∣on of mankind.

* Cliton never had but two things to do in his life, to dine at noon, and sup at night; he seem'd only born for digestion, his whole life was but one entertainment, he was al∣ways talking of the Courses which were serv'd up at his last Meal, how many Soupes there were, what sort, what Roast-meat, what dainties; and he never forgot the Dishes that made the first Course; he remem∣ber'd the several Fruits and different kinds of Sweetmeats, all the Wines, and every sort of Liquor that was drank; he was perfectly well verst in the language of the Kitchin, and 'twould have been difficult to have din'd at a good Table where he was not known; he Page  286 had however a certain Palace, which he sel∣dom chang'd, and was never expos'd to the dismal inconveniency of making a bad Din∣ner,, eating a bad Ragou, or drinking indif∣ferent Wine. He was, in short, a person admirable in his way, he brought the art of feeding one self well, to the highest perfecti∣on, and 'tis to be fear'd we shall never see his fellow, who will eat so much, and so nicely as h did; he was the judge of good Bits, and it had been criminal to like any, which he did not approve. But he is no more, he was to the last gasp born to the Table, he eat in his last minutes he eats where ever he is, and should he rise again from the Grave, 'twou'd be only to eat.

* Ruffinus begins to turn grey, but he's healthy; his Colour and his quick Eye, pro∣mise him at least twenty years more. He is gay, jolly, familiar, and indifferent; he laughs heartily aloud and fears nothing; he is content with himself and what belongs to him; he's satisfy'd with his little fortune, and calls himself happy. Some time since his only Son dy'd, who was the hopes of the Family, and might have been its honour; he resign'd his tears to others, he said, My Son is dead, 'twill be the death of his Mother, and was comforted. He has no passions, no friends nor enemies; no body troubles him; all the world agrees with him, every thing suits him, he talks to those he never saw before, with the same liberty and confidence, as to those he Page  287 calls his old friends; he tells them presently all his Stories and Puns He is accosted, for∣saken; he takes no notice on't, but the tale he begun to one person, he finishes to ano∣ther that comes afrer him.

* N .... is less worn out with age than disease, the poor Gentleman is but threescore and eight, but alas he has the Gout and the Gravel, looks meagre, and has all the sym∣ptoms of decay, he marles his Lands, and reckons that he must not dung 'em this fif∣teen years; he plants a young Wood, and hopes that in less than twenty years 'twill be a good shade for him. He builds him a Stone House, makes its corners firm with Iron plates, and assures you, coughing in a weak languishing tone, that he shall never see the end on't. He walks into his Laboratory, support∣ed by his Valets; he shews his friends what he has done and tells them, what he desgns to do: He does not build for his Children, for he has none, nor for his Heirs, they are mean persons, and he long since quarrelled with them. 'Tis for himself only who must expire to morrow.

* Antagoras has a trivial and popular Phiz: 'Tis as well known to the Mob, as the Gyants at Guild-hall. Every morning he runs up and down the Courts of Justice, and every even∣ing walks the Streets and Squares, as if he had every where a Cause on foot: He has been a Pettyfogger these 40 years, always nearer the end of his life than his business. There has not been a troublesome Suit de∣pending Page  288 since he put on the Gown, but he has had a hand in't. His name becomes the Sollicitors mouth, and agrees as well with Plaintiff and Defendant, as the substantive with the adjective. He's every bodys Kins∣man, and every one's Enemy. There's scarce a Family but has some quarrel with him, or he with them. He is perpetually in Commis∣sions of Bankrupt and Statutes, always putting Judgments in Execution, and scattering Writs. He finds some leisure minutes for a few private visits, where he talks of Briefs, Tryals, and false News. You leave him one hour at one end of the Town, and find him the next at another. If perhaps he has been there before you, you'll hear of him by the lyes he has left behind him. His fellow Lawyers meet him frequently at a Judge's Chamber, where his affairs must be first ex∣pedited, or neither they nor the Judge will have any peace with him.

* Men live a great while, opposing some, and injuring others, and dye at last, worn out with age, after having causd as many evils, as they suffer'd.

* There must, I confess, be Judgments, Seizures, Prison, and Executions. But Ju∣stice and Law apart, 'tis always strange to me, when I consider with what violence and fury men act towards one another.

* We meet with certain wild Animals, male and female, spread over the Country. They are black and tann'd, united to the Earth, which they are always digging and Page  291 turning up and down with an unweary'd re∣solution. They have something like an arti∣culate voice, when they stand on their feet they discover a manlike face, and indeed are men, at night they retire into their Burries, where they live on black Bread, Water and Raysons. They spare other men the trouble of sowing, labouring, and reaping for their maintainance, and deserve, one would think, that they should not want the Bread they themselves sow.

* Don Fernando in his Province lives lazy, is ignorant, quarrelsom, knavish, intempe∣rate, and impertinent, draws his Sword a∣gainst his Neighbours, and exposes his Life for nothing, he kills men for trifles, and must expect to be himself kill'd for as little rea∣son.

* A Country Nobleman, useless to his na∣tion, family, or himself, oftentimes without house, cloaths, or the least merit, tells you ten times a day, that hes a Gentleman, despises Citizens, and Tradesmen, spends his time among Parchments and old Deeds, which he would not part with for a Chancellours Mace.

* Power, favours, genius, riches dignity, nobility, force, industy, capacity, vertue, love, weakness, stupidity, poverty, impotence, vilenage and servility, mingle one with ano∣ther in a thousand various manners, and compound one for the other in several sub∣jects, and this agreement makes the harmony we find in different qualities and conditions. Page  292 When people know each others strength and weaknesses, they act reciprocally as they be∣lieve it their duty. They know their equals, understand the respect they owe their supe∣riours, and what others owe them, from whence proceed familiarity, deference, pride and contempt. This is the reason which in∣duces men in places of concourse and publick meeting, to be willing to avoid some, and court others; that they are proud of some, and ashamd of others. This is the reason why the very person who Complemented you, with whom you are desirous to converse, thinks you troublesom and quits you; the same perhaps finds the next step the treat∣ment he gave. The same person that blushes to meet a man, another blushes to meet him. The same person who disdains here, is disdain'd there. 'Tis common enough too for people to despise such as dispise them. Miserable disposition! since then tis certain that what we gain on one side, we lose on another; should not us do better, if we e∣ven renouncd all manner of Pride and Haughtiness, which so little agree with hu∣mane frailties, and resolvd among our selves to treat each other with mutual goodness, by which means we should at once gain these two mighty advantages, never to be morti∣fy'd our selves, and never to mortify o∣thers.

* Instead of being frighted or asham'd at the Title of Philosophers, every body ought to have a good knowledge in Philosophy: it Page  293 agrees with every one; its practice is useful to people of all Ages, Sexes, and Conditions. It comforts us for others happinesses, and for the advancement of such as we think did not deserve it, for our own misfortunes, the declension of our Estate or Beauty; it arms us against Poverty, Age, Sickness and Death, against Fools and Buffoons. 'Twill help us to live well without a Wise, or to make her tolerable if we have one.

* Men are one hour overjoy'd with little accidents, and overcome with grief the next for the least disappointments. Nothing is more unequal and incoherent than such sud∣den revolutions in mens hearts and minds. This would be prevented, if we set a true value on the things of this world

* Tis as difficult to find a vain man who believes himself too happy, as a modest man who believes he's too unhappy.

* When I look on Princes or their Mini∣sters Fortune, I always am prevented from thinking my self unhappy, by considering at the same time the fate of the Plowman, Sol∣dier and Mason.

* There's but one real misfortune which can befal a man, and that is to find himself in a fault, or have any thing to reproach himself with.

* Men are generally more capable of great endeavours to obtain their ends, than of a long perseverance. Their laziness and in∣constancy rob them of the fruits of the best beginnings: They are overtaken by such as Page  294 they left behind them, such as marcht per∣haps slowly, but with a constant resolution.

* I dare affirm, that men know better how to take good measures, than how to pursue 'em; or to resolve on what they must say and do, than to do and say what they ought. A man promises himself that in such an af∣fair, which he is to negotiate, he will keep a certain secret, and afterwards either thro passion, intemperance of Tongue, or a warmth of Conversation, tis the first thing escapes him.

* Men act very negligently in what is their duty, but they think it meritorious, or rather please their vanity to busy themselves about such things as dont belong to them, nor suit with their Condition and Cha∣racter.

* When a man puts on a Character which he's a stranger to, theres as much difference between what he appears, and what he is really in himself as there is between a per∣sons Vizad and his Face.

Telephas has Wit, but ten times less if 'tis rightly cast up then he presumes he has. 'Tis necessary then in every thing he says, does, meditates, and projects, that he should have ten times as much Wit as he has: Thus he never acts according to the tue measure of his parts and capacity. And this reasoning Im sure is just. He is limitted within cer∣tain bounds which he ought not to pass, but he leaps over 'em, gets out of hi sphere, and tho he perceives his own weakness, always Page  295 discovers it by pretending most to what he least understands: he talks most about what he knows nothing or but very little of, attempts things above his power, and aims at what is too much for him: If he does something, of what kind soever, to a degree of perfection, he judges of himself by that; what he has in him good and commendable, is obscurd by his affecting something great and wonderful; we can easiy see what he is not, but we must strive to find out what he is. Hes a man who never measures his ability, who knows nothing of himself, cannot tell his own Cha∣racter but always takes on him one which does not belong to him

* The greatest Wit have their ebbings and flowings, they are sometimes capricious, but are not so long. If they are wise, they will then talk little and case writing, they will not then endeavour to invent or please; should a man sing, when he has a cold? should he not rather wait till his voice is restor'd him?

A Blockhead is a meer Machine; he moves by springs and weights, which turn him about alwas in one manner, and keep him in an equality; he is uniform, he never alters his figure, if you have seen him once, you have seen him as he eve was: The Ox meughs, the Black-bird whistles, and he is fixt and setled by nature. I may venture to say 'tis his spe∣cies to be so, what you see least is his Soul, she never acts, is never exercis'd, but always at rest.

* A Blockhead never dies, or, if ac∣cording to our manner of speaking, Page  296 he must once dye, I may lawfully say, he gets by't, and that in the moment when others dye, he begins to live; his Soul then thinks, reasons, infers, concludes, judges, foresees, and does every thing she never did before; she finds her self disingag'd from a lump of Flesh, where she seemd to be bury'd without function, motion, or any thing becoming her dignity. She blushd to see her self lodgd in such a Body, and so long confin'd to such brutish and imperfect Organs; asham'd that she could produce nothing better than a Blockhead or a Fool. She now goes equal with the greatest Souls; those who made the strongest heads, and inform'd the men of wit. And Baeviuss Soul does not then avoid the Great Conde's Richlieu's, Paschal's, or Linginde's.

* A false delicacy in familiar actions, in manners or conduct, is not so call'd, because 'tis feign'd, b•• because 'tis exercisd in little things which does not deserve it. On the contrary, a false delicacy in a mans taste or constitution, is only so when tis feign'd and affected. Emilia crys out with all her strength if her Coach jerks, she screams at the least danger, which could not hurt her; another nicely turns pale at a smile; a third is fond of Violets, and swoons at a Tulip.

* Who can promise himself to content Mankind: Princes, as great and powerful as they are, should not pretend to it. What is it they would try? Should they concern themselves about their pleasures, should they serve them as well as they are serv'd at home, Page  297 and instead of being a sight themselves, only shew 'em a thousand other sights to divert 'em, set their inventions at work, order consorts and feasts, and allow them all the liberty they could desire; should they associ∣ate with 'em in their amusements, should the great man become loving, or the Hero hu∣man and free, it would not be enough. Men are tyrd in the end, with the very things that charm'd tem in the beginning, they would forsake the Table of Gods. Nectar would in time become insipid. Vanity, and a wretched delicacy would tempt 'em to criti∣cize on the most perfect thing. Their taste, if we will believe them, is above all that we can do to satisfy it; a Royal expence would be unsuccessful, malice prompts them to do what they can to lessen the joy, which others may have in contenting them. These very people, who are commonly so civil and com∣plaisant, can sometimes forget themselves, and one would not think they were the same persons, for we then see a true man, even in a Courtier.

* Affectation in gesture, speech or man∣ners, is frequently the consequence of idle∣ness or indifference; much business and an application to serious affairs oblige a man to keep to nature.

* Men have no certain Characters; or if they have any, 'tis that they have none which they always pursue, which never change, and by which they may be known. They are impatient in being always the Page  298 same, in persevereing either in Virtue or Vice. If they sometimes leave one Virtue for another, they are more often disgusted with one Vice for the sake of another. They have several contrary passions and weaknesses. Extreams are more easie to them, than regular and natural Conduct, E∣nemies of moderation, outragious in all things, in good as well as evil, and when they can∣not support, they ease themselves by chang∣ing Adrastus was so great a Libertine and so debauch'd, that it had been difficult for him to have appear'd devout, and have fol∣low'd the fashion; but 'twould have cost him much more to have been honest.

* Whence comes it, that some flegmatick people bear the greatest disasters, with scorn and indifference, and are always so cholerick on the least inconveniences. Certainly this sort of management is not Virtue; for Virtue is equal, and never does any thing that it ought not to do. 'Tis a Vice then, and no∣thing else but Vanity, that never awakens and rouzes her self, but at those events which make a noise in the world, and such as she cannot get much by she neglects.

* We seldom repent talking too little, but very often talking too much, a common and trivial mxim which every body knows, and no body practices.

* We are reveng'd on our selves, and give our Enemies too much advantage over us, when we say things of them which are not rue, and lye to reproach 'em.

Page  299* If men could blush at their own actions, how many sins, publick and private, would they save byt.

* If some men are not so honest as they might have been, the fault is in their Edu∣cation.

* Some men have just Sense enough to make them prudent.

* Ferulas and Rods are for Children, for Men Crowns, Scepters, Furrs, Swords, Maces, Caps and Hoods. Reason and Justice without their Ornaments, would neither per∣swade nor deter. Men are more led by their Eyes and Ears, than their Understandings.

Timon, the Misantropes Soul may be wild and Austere, but he is outwardly civil and ceremonious, he seldom shuns, or frowns on any man: On the contrary, he treats them decently and honourably, but he takes care not to give them any cause to be familiar; he would know them as little as possible, and like a Lady in her visits, is very cautious not to make any one his friend.

* Reason is ever allyd to Truth, we come at it but by one way, and have a thousand to miss. Wise men have less to study than Cox∣combs, or the impertinent. He who has seen none but polite and reasonable men, who knows not Mankind, or knows them by halves, whatever Vaviety he finds in consti∣tution or manners, Conversation and po∣liteness have the same appearances: The outside of each resemble one another. The same thing seems common to both, and perswade Page  300 us that there is nothing else belonging to 'em. He, on the contrary, who mingles himself with the people, or retires into the Country, if he has Eyes, makes presently strange disco∣veries, sees things perfectly new to him, which he never thought the least of before; he increases his knowledge of humanity by continual experiences, and calculates how ma∣ny different ways men may be intolerable.

* After having morally considerd Man∣kind, and found out their false thoughts, opinions, inclinations and affections, we are forc'd to own, that obstinacy is more preju∣dicial to 'em than inconstancy.

* How many weak, effeminate, indifferent Souls are there, who have not very great de∣fects, and yet are good Subjects for Satir. What variety of ridiculousness is spread over the whole human Race, yet by its singularity, is of no consequence, and useless for instru∣ction or morality. These are particular Vices which are not contagious, and are more personal than human.

Page  301

Of Judgment.

NOthing nearer resembles a lively Con∣viction than an obstinate Conceit; whence proceed Parties, Cabals and Heresies.

We are soon weary of thinking on a thing if we dont think right, for disgust is always the consequence of ill opinion.

* Great things astonish us, and small dis∣hearten: Custom makes both familiar.

* Two contrarieties equally affect us, Cu∣stom and Novelty.

* There's nothing so mean, and so like the Mob, as to talk much in the praise of those very persons, of whom we thought indiffe∣rently before their promotion.

* A Princes favour neither excludes, nor includes merit.

* 'Tis to be admir'd, that with all the Pride which puffs us up, and the vast opinion we have of our own judgment, we neglect to make use of it when we speak of other peo∣ples merit: the common vogue, popular fa∣vour, or the Princes fancy, bear us down like a torrent, we extol what is praisd, more than what deserves it.

* I doubt whether any thing is approv'd and prais'd with so much difficulty, as what deserves most to be prais'd and approvd. And if ver∣tue, Page  302 Merit, Beauty, Good Actions, and the best Writings, have a more natural and sure effect, than Envy, Jealousie, or Antipathy: 'tis not of a Saint that a Hypocrite speaks well of, but of a brother Hypocrite: if a handsom Woman allows anothers beauty, you may ra∣tionally conclude she excels in what she ap∣proves: or if a Poet praise anothers Verses, 'tis an even wager they are slight and frivo∣lous.

* Men have much ado to like one another, they have but a weak inclination to approve reciprocally of the actions, conduct, thoughts, and expressions of others; nothing pleases, nothing contents, they put in ballance to what others either recite, speak or write what they should have done in such a conjuncture, what they think or have written upon such a sub∣ject, and are so full of their own Ideas, that they have no room for anothers.

* The generality of men are so inclin'd to ir∣regularity and trifling, and the world is so full of examples, either pernicious or ridiculous, that I should be apt to believe Singularity, could it keep its bounds, would come very near to right reason, and a just conduct. We must do like other men; a dangerous Maxim, and for the most part signifies we must do ill; if you speak not of things purely exteriour, and of no consequence, but what depends on Custome, Fashion, or Decency.

* If men were not more like Bears and Pan∣thers than Men, if they were more equitable, if they were just to themselves and others, Page  303 what would become of Law, and the prodigi∣ous flourishes are made on it? where would you find the Plaintiff and Defendant, and all that you call Justice? to what would even they be reducd, who owe all their livelihood and grandeur to the Authority that they have given the Laws? If men were honest and im∣partial, whither would the quarrels of the Schools and Bar vanish? If they were tempe∣rate, chaste and moderate, the unintelligible jargon of the Physicians, that Golden Mine of wods to the Practitioner, as profitable as 'tis to em, would then be useless. O Law∣yers, Doctors and Apothecaries, what a fall would you have, could we all become wise?

How many great men in the different ex∣ercises of Peace and ar, ought we to have lost? to what point of refin'd perfection are several Arts and Sciences brought, which ought not to be necessary, and were introduc'd into the world only as remedies to those evils to which Malice gave the Original?

How many things are there since Varro, of which Varro was ignorant? what will no less knowledge than that of Plato and Socrates suf∣fice us?

To hear praise and dispraise on a Sermon, a piece of Musick, or a Picture; and upon the very same subject to be entertain'd with quite opposite sentiments, is what makes me freely conclude we may safely publish any thing, good or bad, for the good pleases some, the bad others, and the worst has its admirers.

Page  304* The Phaenix of Poetry, Chantantes, rose out of his ashes, and in one and the same day saw both the dissolution and resurrection of his Re∣putation; and that same infallible Judge, who is ever so obstinate (I mean the Publick) changed upon his account, and either did deceive, or was deceived. He that should now say Quinaut is an ill Poet, would speak almost as bad as he that formerly said he was a good one.

* Chapelain was rich, Corneille was not; La Pucelle and Rodogune merited each a different fate; so it has always been a question, why in this or that profession, one has made his fortune, and another mist; for this mankind must enquire the reason of their capricious∣ness, which in the pressing conjuncture of their affairs, either of their pleasure, health, or life, makes them often leave the best, and chuse the worst.

* The condition of a Comedian was infa∣mous amongst the Romans, but with the Greeks honourable; what is our opinion? Why we think of them like the Romans, and live with them like the Greeks.

* Twas sufficient for Bathyllus to be a univer∣sal Mimic, to be courted by the Roman Ladies; for Rhius to Dance on the Theatre, or for Roscis and Terines to Sing in a Chorus, to en∣gage a crowd of Lovers. Vanity and Impu∣dence, follow'd by too strong a desire, made the Romans lose the gust there is in secrecy in their pleasures; they were fond of acting their loves upon the publick Stage; they had no Page  305 jealousie of the Amphitheatre, nor of sharing the charms of their Mistresses with the multi∣tude; their satisfaction lay in shewing they lov'd not the Beauty, or the good Actress, but the Actress.

* Nothing discovers better what disposition men have to Knowledge and Learning, and how profitable they are esteem'd to the Pub∣lick, than the price which is set on them, and the Idea they have formd of those who have taken the pains to improve them; there is no Art so mechanic nor so mean, that has not a quicker and surer way to Riches; the Come∣dian lolling in his Coach, bespatters the very face of Corneille walking afoot: with many peo∣ple Knowledge and Pedantry are synonimous.

Often when the Rich man speaks, the man of Learning must be silent, listen, and applaud; at least if he would not pass for nothing but Learned.

* There is a sort of Courage to be used a∣mongst men of some humours, to support the scandal of being Learned; you find there an establisht opinion against knowledge; they know not the world, say they, nor how to live, neither have they any genius for society; and so despoil'd they retun them to their Books. Ignorance is an easie condition, and costs but little pains; and let us take the Ignorant, one with another, they form such a numerous party, in Court, City, and Country, that the Learned can't bear head against them; if they alledge in their fa∣vour the names of Estree, Harley, Bossuet, Se∣guier, Page  306 Montausier, Wardes, Chevreuse, Novion, L Moignon, Scudery, Pelisson, and of many other persons equally learned and polite; nay, if you dare cite the great names of Chartres, Conde, Bourbon, Maine, Vandome, as Princes that knew how to joyn the highest knowledge to the Grecian niceness, and Roman civility, they'll not fail to tell you these are singular examples if then you have recourse to solid reasons, alas they are too feeble to stand against the publick vote; however, it seems just, that they should be somewhat more wary in giving a decisive judgment, and let them take the pains only to question whether that mind that has made so great a progress in knowledge as to be capable of thinking, judging, speaking, and writing well, could not, if it gave itself the trouble, be when it pleasd Polite.

A man with a little trouble may perfectly refine his manners, but there's much more requir'd to polite his mind.

* Such a one is Learned, says the Politician, he is therefore no man of business, Id not trust him with the management of my Ward∣rope; and hes to be sure in the right: Ossat, Ximenes, Richelieu were learned, were they men of ability? did they pass for good Mini∣sters? He understands Greek, says the Rich man, he's a Philosopher; at that rate an Athe∣nian Fruiterer was a Philosopher, for he un∣derstood Greek: what whimsey, what contra∣diction is this to the wise and judicious Anto∣nin, who says, that the people would then be happy, when the Emperor philosophied, or a Philosopher came to the Empire.

Page  307Languages are no more than the keys of the Sciences. He that despises the one slights the other: 'tis of no Importance, whither the Languages are antient or modern, dead or living; but whither they are barbarous or polite; whither the Books they afford us are good or bad. Suppose the French should meet with the fortune of the Greek and Roman Tongues, some Ages after it ceasd to be commonly spoken; shou'd he be thought a pedant that would then read Moliere or La Fontaine?

* If I talk of Euripilus, you say he's a Wit; you also call him a Carpenter that lays a Floor, and he that builds a Wall a Bricklayer: but I would ask you, where does this Trades-man follow his Trade, what Sign has his Shop, and by what marks shall we know him, what are his Tools, a Hatchet, or a Chissel? where does he finish his Work, where does he ex∣pose it to Sale? An Artificer pretends to be an Artificer; Does Euripilus set up for a Wit? If he does, he's a Coxcomb, a vile Mechanick wretch, who has nei∣ther Wit nor any thing that's agreeable, and is uncapable of a serious thought; but if he pretends to nothing I'le take him for a wise and ingenious Man: Why therefore should you call this Pedant or that ill Poet a polite Man? do you be∣lieve of your self that you have no Genius, or if you have any, thing it fine and agree∣able, and shou'd a man call you a Wit, wou'd Page  308 you not take it for an affront: however I'le give you leave to call Euripilus so, let the Irony pass upon Fools and Men of no Judgment, as Ignorant wretches pride them∣selves in those defects, which they find in others, and cannot discover in themselves.

Speak no more to me of Pen, Ink or Pa∣per; no more of Style, Printe or the Press, do not venture to tell me Antisthene you write well, continue it, what shall we never see a piece of yours in Folio; treat of all the Ver∣tues and Vices in one work, well pursu'd, methodical, (and they should add) without end or order. I renounce every thing that looks like a Book; the sight of a Cat throws Berylla into a swoon, and a Book me; am I better Fed, or finer Cloath'd, has my Chamber a pleasing Situation, and do I en∣joy my ease after having been expos'd to Sale these twenty Years; you say I have a great Name and much Glory, say rather I'm stockt with unprofitable wind; have I one grain of that Metal that produces all things, the old Practitioner reimburses him∣self for those charges which he never ex∣pended and has for his Son-in-Law, a Count or a Judge; a Lacquey is made a Commissio∣ner, and in a little time becomes richer than his Master, then soon tir'd of his mean Cha∣racter, by Money becomes a Knight; one inriches himself by a Puppet-show; another by selling of water; the Mountebank foots it to Town with his Wallet at his back, not able to defray his Charges; but goes from Page  309 thence in his Coach and Six: Mercury is Mercury, and nothing more, and when they can't pay you for your meditation and inven∣tion, they give you favour and distinction; not to speak but of lawful gains, you pay a Gard∣ner for his Skill, and the Workman for his time and labour: do you pay an Author for his thoughts and writing? if his Sense is good, do you pay him largely? does he inrich or ennoble himself by thinking or writing well? Men most be cloath'd and shav'd, have Houses that must have doors to shut close; but do they want any Instruction? twere a Folly, Simplicity and Weakness (continues Antisthenes) to set up again for an Author or Philosopher; could I have a profitable Im∣ployment, which would enable me to lend my Friend, and give to those that can ne're return, to write for sport or idleness, as Tyterus play'd or whistl'd upon his Flute; (this or nothing) I would write on these terms, and easily give way to the violence of those who throtel me, crying out will you write, they should then read for the Title of my new Book; of things Beautiful and Good, of Truth, of Ideas, of first Principles by Anti∣sthene the Fishmonger.

* If the Ambassadors of Foreign Princes were Apes, who had learnt to walk on their hind Legs, and to make themselves un∣derstood by Interpreters; we could not have a greater surprize than what the justness of the Answers of such as are sent us, and the ingenuity which sometimes appears Page  310 in their discourse give us, the opinion of our Country joyn'd to the Pride of our Nation, makes us forget that reason belongs to all Climates, and reasonable thoughts to all places where there are men; we don't love to be so treated by those we call Barbarians; if amongst us their is any Barbarity, 'tis in being frighted to hear other People reason like us.

All Strangers are not Barbarians, nor are our Country men all Civiliz'd, in like man∣ner all the Country is not Pasture, nor all the City Polite; there is in Europe a certain place, part of a Sea Province in a great Kingdom, whose Husbandmen are soft and insinuating, and their Burgesses and Magistrates rude and of an hereditary rusticity.

* With a Language so pure, such nicety of Habit, Manners so cultivated, such good Laws, and white complections, we are Bar∣barians to some sort of People.

* If we should talk of the Eastern People, how they ordinarily drink a Liquor that takes the head, makes them mad, and forces them to vomit, we should be apt to say 'tis Bar∣barous.

* When the Bishop comes no more to Court, lives retir'd, is no more to be seen with Women, Plays not, makes not one at Feasts and Shews, is no man of Cabal, nor has the Spirit of Intrigue, but is always in his Diocess; where he makes his continual residence, and thinks of nothing but Instructing his People Page  311 by discourse, and edifying them by his Ex∣ample, consumes his Riches in Charity and his Body in Pennance, and is an Imitator both of the Zeal and Piety of the Apostles; the times will be changed, and he may then be threatn'd with a more eminent Title.

Can't we insinuate to people of a certain Character and serious Profession, (to say no more of them) that they are not obliged to make the world talk of their Gaming or Singing, that they play the Buffoon like o∣ther men, and that to see them so pleasant and agreeable, one would not believe they were elsewhere so regular and severe; dare we urge that they digress from themselves, by that manner of politeness which they pretend to; that on the contrary, they ought to suit and conform their outward Actions to their Conditions, and avoid do∣ing as Painters in a contrast Figure, and shew the same man under such different shapes, as make the pieces entire Fantastical and Grotesque.

* We ought not to judge of men as of a Picture or Statue, upon sight; there is a Mind and Heart to be searcht: the vail of Modesty covers Merit, and the Masque of Hypocrisy disguises Malice. There are but few Judges that have knowledge to discern aright to pass Sentence, 'tis but by little and little, and perhaps even by time and oc∣casion, that compleat vertue or perfect vice come at last to shew themselves.

Page  312Pyrocles says of a certain Lady, that her Soul is like a Jewel, set to the best advan∣tage, that all who talk to her, find some∣thing in her so reasonable and agreeable, that they can hardly distinguish their admi∣ration from Love. She is equally qualify'd to make a compleat Friend, or to oblige you to proceed beyond Friendship: Too young and too beautiful not to please, and too modest to design it. She esteems men for nothing but their Merit, and believes none of 'em are any thing more than her Friends Her vivacity and sentiments sur∣prize every body, and are so insinuating, that they engage them to be on her side. She knows perectly well the delicacies and nice∣ties of Conversation, but sometimes makes such happy excursions, as, among many pleasant qualities, put always the Company into the same good humour. She talks to you like one who is not learn'd, who seems to be in the dark, and wants to be enlight∣ned: but she hearkens to you like one who knows a great deal, can set a true value on what you say, and will not let you lose by her Conversation. Very far from affecting to shew her Wit by contradicting, or imita∣ting Elvira, who had rather be thought brisk than a Woman of good sense and sound judgment: She appropriates your thoughts to her self, believes 'em to be her own, ex∣tends them, embellishes 'em, and makes you contented that you thought so well, or per∣haps better than you your self believed you Page  313 did. She's always above Vanity, and in speaking or writing never uses Ornament instead of Reason, supposing Eloquence con∣sists in Simplicicy. If she undertakes to serve any one, and to engage you in the same interest, she leaves raillery and polite∣ness to Elvira, who makes use of them in all cases, and employs only sincerity, warmth, earnestness and perswasion; what is most predominant in her, is the pleasure she takes to read before persons of worth and reputation, that she may profit by their taste, not so much to be known to them, as to know them. We may prophetically commend her for the wisdom she will one day certainly have, and the merit she pre∣pares for her riper years. Since with a just conduct she has juster designs, and some sure maxims, which are very useful to those, who, like her, are expos'd to care and flat∣tery. She is singular enough in her hu∣mour, without the least wildness, a little too much inclin'd to Retirement. Since she wants nothing but opportunity, or as some would call it, a large Theatre to make all her Vertues appear with Glory.

* A handsome Woman, the more natural she is, the more beautiful; she loses nothing by being careless, and without any Orna∣ment, but what she draws from her beauty and youth; an innocent Grace shines on her Face, animates every little Action so much, that there would be less danger to Page  314 see her adorn'd with all the advantag of Dress and Fashion. Thus an honest man is respected independant from all those outward Actions, by which he would end eavour to make his person more grave, and his vertue more specious, and reserv'd; since too great a modesty, a singularity in Habit, or the State with which some walk, add nothing to sincerity, nor does it raise Merit, but hurts, and often makes it look less pure and more suspected.

Gravity too much affected becomes co∣mical, 'tis like Extremities that touch, whose middle is Dignity; you cannot call this being grave, but acting the part of a grave man; he that studies to be so shall ne∣ver obtain it: either Gravity is natural, or there is no such thing, and 'tis easier to de∣scend than ascend.

* A man of parts and reputation, if he is sowr and austere, he frightens youth, en∣creases an ill opinion of Vertue, makes one suspect the reformation he pretends to, and think its practice too troublesom; if on the contrary, he is free in conversation, he is then a profitable Lesson, he shews men may live in pleasure and yet in business, be seri∣ous without renouncing honest diversions, and becomes an Example they can fol∣low.

* Physiogmony is not given us for a rule to judge men by, it may serve us to give a guess of 'em.

Page  315An ingenious Air in men, is the same with regular features among Women, and this kind of Beauty the most vain may aspire to.

* A man that has much Merit and Inge∣nuity, and is known to have it, is not ugly, with the most deform'd features; or if there is a deformity it makes no impression.

* How much Art is there in imitating Nature? how much time, what rules, at∣tention and labour, to dance with the same Freedom and Grace you walk with? To sing as you speak? To speak and express your self as you think? To give the same life and force, the same passion and per∣swasion to discourses you are to declare publickly, which we sometimes naturally and without meditation entertain our inti∣mates with.

* Those that without knowing us enough think ill of us, do us no wrong, they at∣tack not us, but the fantome of their own imagination.

* There are some little Rules and Duties of good manners, which belong to place, time, and persons, which are not attainable by the force of ingenuity, and which cu∣stom teaches us without any trouble; to judge of men by the faults which they com∣mit in this kind, before they are well in∣structed, is to pass judgment by the Nails, or the turn of the Hair; that is, to make a judgment which will at one time or other deceive them.

Page  316* I know not if 'tis permitted to judge men by a single fault, if an extreme ne∣cessity, a violent passion, or a natural im∣pulse occasion'd it.

* The contrary to the report, either of Affairs or Persons, is often the truth.

* Without a great regard and continual attention to what we speak, we are exposed to say Yes and No, to the same thing, or on the same person in an hours time, pusht on only by a spirit of Society and Company, that naturally obliges one not to contradict this man, or that, tho they talk of things quite different in themselves.

* A partial man is perpetually expos'd to little mortifications, for 'tis equally impossi∣ble that his favourite can be always happy and wise, or such as he declares himself a∣gainst, be always in fault or unhappy. This puts him frequently out of Countenance, and makes him blush at his friends misfor∣tunes, or the new Glory which those ac∣quire to whom he wish'd ill.

A man that is subject to be prepossest, i he dares accept a place of Authority, either Ecclesiastical or Secular, is like a blind man that would paint, a dumb man that would preach, a deaf man that judges of Sympho∣ny; these are but weak resemblances, and which express imperfectly the misery of prepossession. We should add, that 'tis a desperate malady, incurable and infectious, to all that approach the sick person, it makes us desert our Equals, Inferiours, Relations, Page  317 and Friends, even our Physitian; they are far from being cur'd, if they can't be made to understand neither their Disease nor Remedy, which are to hear, doubt, to inform them∣selves, & to see into things, Flatterers, Cheats, and Backbiters: they that never open their Mouths but to lye, or for their own in∣terest, are the Knaves in whom they con∣fide, who make 'em swallow all they please; 'tis they also that poyson and kill them. Descartes rule never to decide on the least truth, before 'tis clearly and distinctly known, is convenient and just in the judg∣ment we give of persons.

* Nothing revenges better the ill judg∣ment men make of our Wit, Actions, or Manners, than the base and poor Characters of those they approve of.

* On the same account you neglect a man of Merit, you admire a Blockhead.

* A Blockhead is one that has not wit enough to be a Coxcomb.

* The Coxcomb is the Blockheads man of merit. The impertinent is a forward Coxcomb.

* A Blockhead wearies and tires, distastes, and is easily repulst. The Impertinent repulses, irritates, and offends: he begins where the other left off: The Coxcomb is betwixt the Impertinent and the Blockhead, and is compos'd of one and t'other.

* Vices come from the corruption of the heart, the defects of Vice from constitution, Page  318 and ridiculousness from its want of Sense.

The ridiculous man is one, that whilst he is so, has the appearance of a Blockhead.

The Blockhead always is ridiculous, 'tis his Character. A wise man may sometimes be ridiculous, but will not be so long.

An error committed makes a wise man ridiculous. Dulness belongs to the Block∣head, Vanity to the Coxcomb, Imperti∣nence to the Impertiet: Ridiculousness seems to reside sometimes in those that are really ridiculous, and sometimes in the ima∣gination of those that believe they see ri∣diculousness, where it neither is nor can be.

* Rudeness, clownishness, and Brutality, may be the vices of a man of Sense.

A stupid man is a silent Blockhead, and in that more supportable than a Blockhead, who is always prating.

* What is oftentimes a jest from a man of Sense, is a blunder in a Blockhead.

* If a Coxcomb could believe he speaks ill, he would lose his Character.

* One sign of Mediocrity of Sense is to be always telling stories.

* The Blockhead is perplex'd with him∣self, the Coxcomb has an Air of freedom and assurance; the Impertinent carries it off with impudence, but modesty belongs to Merit.

* A few small concerns dignify'd with the name of Affairs, and joyn'd with a little Page  319 sense, is enough to make some men haugh∣ty.

A grain or two of sense, and an oune of Business more, makes 'em important per∣sons.

While you only laugh at 'em perhaps they stop there, if you complain of 'em they grow arrogant.

* The character of a Man of Honour is equaliberial between that of the cunning man and the honest man, tho in an unequal distance with respect to those two extreams. The distance from the man of honour and the cunning man grows daily less and less, and is upon the point of disappearance. The cunning man is one that hides his Pas∣sions, understands his Interest, and has ei∣ther acquir'd wealth, or knows how to keep it. The man of honour is one that robs not on the Road, commits no murders, and in fine, a person whose Vices does not make him scandalous. We know very well that an honest man is a man of honour; but 'tis pleasant to think that every man of honour is not an honest man. An honest man is one that is neither Saint nor Hypocrite, and whose designs are only limited by ver∣tue.

* Natural Genius, Endowments, Judgment, Wit, and Sense, are things different, but not imcompatible.

There is as much difference between good sense and a good taste, as between the Cause and the Effect. Genius is to Wit as Page  320 in proportion, the whole is to its part. Shall I call a man confin'd and circumscrib'd to any one Art, a man of Sense, tho he has any one Science in perfection, but out of that shews neither Judgment, Memory, Vi∣vacity, Manners nor Conduct, that under∣stands me not, is thought less, and expresses himself ill; a Musician for example, that after he has, as it were, bewitch'd me with his harmony, seems to be shut up with his Lute in the same case, and when he is with∣out his Instrument he is like a dismounted Machine, we perceive quickly something wanting in him, and his Company is no longer supportable. Again, what shall I say of Play, who can define it to me? is there no occasion of forecast, cunning, or skill, to play at Ombre or Chess; or if there is, how comes it that we see men of weak parts excellent, and others of great ingenuity that can't attain to an indifferency, whom a piece of Card in their hands per∣plexes and puts out of Countenance.

There is a thing in the world, if 'tis pos∣sible, incomprehensible, a person that appears dull, sottish, and stupid, knows neither how to speak, or relate what he has seen, but if he sets to write no man does it better; he makes Animals, Trees, and Stones talk; and his works are full of Elegance, Natural, Sense and Delicacy.

Another is foolish, timorous, and of a troublesome conversation; he takes one word for another, and judges not of the Page  321 Goodness of his own Writing, but by the mony they bring him, he neither knows how to recite nor read what he has writ; but in his Books you find him as great as Augustus, Pom∣pey, Nicomed, and Hercules; he talks like a King, is a Politician, and a Philosopher; he undertakes to make Heroes speak and act, he describes the Romans, and they are greater, and more Romans in his Verse than in their History.

Would you have another prodigy? ima∣gin a man easie, soft, complaisant, and tractable, on a sudden violent, cholerick, furious and capricious, conceive a man simple, ingenious, credulous: a trifler, and giddy, an infant with grey hairs; but per∣mit him to retire into himself, or rather to give himself up to a certain Genius that ope∣rates within him, perhaps without his being concern'd, and it may be without his knowledge. What rapture, what elevation, what figures, what Language, d'ye ask if I speak of one and the same man? Yes, of the same Theodas, and of him alone: he crys, labours, rolls on the ground, rises, thunders, and roars, and from the midst of this Tempest comes a Lustre which warms delights us.

Without a figure he talks like a fool, and thinks like a wise man, speaks truth in ri∣dicule, and in folly shews sense and reason. What shall I say further, he talks and acts better than he understands, they are in him like two Souls that are not acquainted, Page  322 have no dependance one on the other, and have each their turns or distinct functions. This Picture would want one surprizing stroke, should I omit to tell you, that he is at all times covetous, and insatiable of Praise, ready to expose himself to his Criticks, and in the main plyable enough to profit by their censure. I begin to think my self, that I have made the Picture of two different per∣sons, and 'tis not impossible to find a third in Theodas, for he is a good, pleasant and excellent man.

* After a good Judgment, Diamonds and Pearls are the rarest things to be met with.

Such a one is known in the world for his great Capacity, and whereever he goes is honour'd and cherish'd, but is slighted at home, and can't create an esteem in his Re∣lations; another on the contrary is a Pro∣phet in his own Country, amongst his Ser∣vants enjoys a good name, and is ap∣plauded by all that live with him, for his singular merit, his whole Family concur in it, he is their Idol; but this Character he leaves at home, it travels not with him.

The world mutiny against a man that begins to be reputed, those he esteems his Friends hardly pardon a growing merit, nor the first report that seems to give him a share of the Glory they possest, they hold out to extremity, till the Prince has declar'd himself by recompences, then they imme∣diately congratulate him, and from that Page  323 day he is accounted a man of Merit.

* We often affect to praie some men im∣moderately, who little enough deserve it; we Elevate 'em, and if we could, would advance them above such as are really Ex∣cellent.

This proceeds either from our being weary of applauding always the same per∣sons; or, because their Glory thus divided becomes more supportable, and we can then look on it without being so much offended as before.

We see that the wind of Favours carries men away with full sail, in a mo∣ment they lose sight of Land, and continue their course. All things smile upon 'em and succeed with them, their words and actions are all attended with Elogies and Rewards, they appear not but to be complemented and carest, they are like an immovable Rock on the Coast, against which all the waves split; all the winds of Power, Riches, Violence, Flattery, Authority and Favour stir them not, 'tis against the Publick that these suffer Shipwrack.

'Tis Common and Natural to judge of o∣thers labours by the agreement they have to our own. The Poet fill'd with great and sublime Ideas, makes small account of the Orators discourse, that is often exercis'd on mean objects; and the Historian can't comprehend how a reasonable Soul can im∣ploy his time in contriving Fictions, or find∣ing out a Rhime. Thus the Divine thinks Page  324 all other learning or knowledge dull, vain and unprofitable, whilst he perhaps is as much despis'd by the Geometrician.

One may have Sense enough to excel in a particular thing, and in that to give instru∣ctions, that wants Sense to know that he ought to be silent upon another subject, of which he has but a slight knowledge; he comes off handsomly whilst he keeps with∣in the limits of his Genius, but when he wanders he makes the man of sense talk like a blockhead.

Heriles, whether he speaks, declaims, or writes, is continually citing; he makes the Prince of Philosophers tell you, that Wine will make you drunk, and the Roman Ora∣tor, that water tempers it; he discourses of Morals; 'tis not he but the Divine Plato, that assures you Vertue is amiable, and Vice odious, or that one and t'other will turn in∣to habit: things the most common and tri∣vial, and which he is capable of thinking himself he will owe to the Antient Latins and Greeks, not to give authority to what he says, nor to gain it for what he knows; but purely for the sak of Citation.

* You often hazard, and sometimes spoil a Jest, by owning it, 'tis dull and loses its force with the men of Wit, or those that think themselves so, who perhaps would never have said any thing so well: on the contrary it would meet with better recep∣tion if told as anothers. It is like a matter of fact, which no body has any extraordi∣nary Page  325 concern for; it is more insinuating and gives less Jealousie; it offends no body, if it is diverting 'tis laugh'd at, if it's admi∣rable it is admired.

It is said of Socrates, that he was delirious and a Fool with abundance of Wit; but those Greeks who so freely Characterized that great man may not unjustly pass for Fools themselves; what whimsical Images, say they, does this Philosopher represent unto us? what strange and particular man∣ners does he describe? whence had he, or how could he collect these extraordinary Ideas? what Colours, what Pencil, did he make use of? they are all meer Chymera's. They deceive themselves, they are Mon∣sters, they are Vices; but all so painted to the Life, that the very sight of them terrifies. Socrates is far from a Cynick, he spares their Persons, but lashes their debaucheries.

A Man of extraordinary good sense un∣derstands a Philosopher, is throughly ac∣quainted with his Precepts, Morals and Conduct; and does not imagin that man∣kind has any other end in their actions, than what he has all his life proposed to himself; but to himself he complains and believes this Maxim too strict, but he's in the wrong, has mist his way, this wind will never carry him to the prosperous port of preferment, and according to these Principles he ar∣gues justly.

I pardon, says Antisthius, those I have prais'd in my Works, if they forget me; what I Page  326 have done for them, they deserv'd it, at least I will pardon those whose Vices I have at∣tackt without touching their persons; if they oblige me so much as to admit of my Correction: but as this is a success that never happens, it follows that neither are obliged to make me any return.

They may, says the same Philosopher, deny my writings their due merit; but they are not able to diminish their Reputation, if they pretend to it, why should not I scorn them?

It is an happy thing to be a Philosopher, but a very unhappy thing to wear that Cha∣racter, to give him that stile, is an affront, till the suffrage of most men declare him so, and in restoring to that August name its proper Idea, you attribute to him all due esteem.

* There is a Philosophy which raises us above Ambition and Fortune, that equals us to (what shall I say?) places us above the Rich, the Great and the Powerful; that prompts us to contemn preferments and those that procure them: that ex∣empts us from the fatigu of cringing, petitioning, and importunate solicitati∣ons, and even prevents those excessive transports of Joy, which are the usual com∣panions of great promotions.

There is another Philosophy which dis∣poses and subjects us to all these things, for the sake of our Neighbours and Friends: This is the better of the two.

Page  327* It will shorten and rid us of a thousand tedious discussions, to take it for granted, that some persons are not capable of talking well; and to condemn all that they have, do, or will say.

* We only approve of others for the re∣semblance we imagin they bear to our selves, and so it seems, to esteem any one is to equal him to our selves.

* The same vices which are deformed and insupportable in others, we don't feel in our selves, they are not burthensom to us; but seem to rest without weight, as in their proper centers. Such an one, speaking of another, draws a dismal Picture of him, not in the least imagining that at the same time he is Painting himself.

There is nothing would make us correct our own faults so readily, as to be able to observe them in others; 'tis at this just di∣stance, that they appear what they are, and raise in us an indignation equal to their de∣merit.

Wise conduct turns upon two Centers, the past and the future; he that hath a faith∣ful memory and a vast foresight, is out of danger of censuring in others those faults he may have been guilty of himself, or con∣demning an action which in a parallel case, and in like circustances, it will be impossible for him to avoid.

* The Souldier and the Politician, like cunning Gamesters, trust nothing to chance but they advise, they prepare themselves, and Page  328 seem ready to determine; they don't only know what the Fool and the Coward are ignorant of, I mean to make use of the first opportunity; but by their measures and pre∣caution they know how to serve themselves of this or that accident, or of several of them together: If this happens, they get by it; if that comes to pass, they also get by it; and the same accident is advantageous several different ways. These wise men ought to be commended for their good fortune, as well as wise conduct, and chance ought to be recompenc'd as vertue in them.

* I place nothing above a great Polititian but he that despises him, and is more and more perswaded that the World does not de∣serve his thoughts.

* There is in the best Counsels something, that displeases; 'tis not our own thought, and therefore presumption and caprice fur∣nish pretences enough to reject it at first sight, and reflection only forces its reception.

* What surprizing success accompanies some Favourites, during the whole course of their lives; what better fortune could support them, without interruption, with∣out the least disgrace. They have the first Posts, the Princes Ear, vast Treasures, a perfect Health and an easie Death; but what a strange account have they to give for their past life, for the Counsels they have given, for those they have neglected to give or fol∣low, for the good deeds they have not done, and on the contrary, for the evil ones they Page  329 have done, either by themselves or others; in a word, for all their Prosperity.

We gain by our Death the praises of our Survivors, frequently without any other merit than that of ceasing to be; the same Elogies serve at present for Cato and Piso.

The Report runs that Piso is dead, 'tis a a great loss, he was a good Man, and de∣serv'd a longer life; he was an agreeable Man, had Wit, Resolution and Courage, he was Generous and Trusty; (Add only that he's dead.)

* That we cry up those that distinguish themselves by their honesty, disinterest and probity, is not so much their Elogy, as a disgrace to the rest of mankind.

* Such an one relieves the necessitous who neglects his own Family, and leaves his Son a beggar; another builds a new House, tho' he has not paid for the Lead of that which was finishd ten years before; a third makes presents and largesses, and ruins his Creditors. I would fain know whether Pity, Liberality and Magnificence can be the Vertues of an unjust Man; or whether Humour and Vanity, are not rather the causes of this Injustjce.

* Dispatch is an essential Circumstance of that Justice we owe to others, to occasion attendance is unjust.

The first do well, they do what they ought, but to say of him that in all his ma∣nagement protracts time, that he does well, is to do very ill.

Page  330* 'Tis said of a great Man who had two set meals a day, and spent the rest of his time to cause digestion, that he dyed of hunger; to say that he is not rich, or that his affairs are in ill Circumstances, this is figurative, it might be more literally said of his Cre∣ditors.

* The Honesty, Respect and Politeness of those advanced in years, give me a good opinion of what we call Antient time.

* 'Tis an over-confidence in Parents, to have too great Expectation from the good Education of their Children, and a great Error to expect nothing and neglect it.

* Were it true, what several affirm, that Education doth not change the Soul and Constitution, and that the alterations that it makes were not substantial, but meerly superficial, I would yet forbear saying that it would be unprofitable.

* He that speaks little, is sure of advan∣tage, 'tis presum'd he has Wit; and if in∣deed he does not want it, 'tis presum'd he is Excellent.

* To think only of our selves, and the present time, is the source of Error in Poli∣ticks.

* The greatest misfortune next to that of being Convicted of a Crime, is often that of being able to justify our selves; such a proceeding discharges and acquits us, tho we still remain Criminal in the mouths of the People.

Page  331* A Man is just to some practical rules of Religion, we see him nicely observe them; no Man commends or discommends him, he is not thought of, another reclaims after ten Years neglect of all Religious duties, he is cried up and applauded for it; every Mans judgment is free, for my part I blame his long forgetfulness of his duty, and think him happy in his Reformation.

* The Flatterer has too weak an opinion both of himself and others.

* Some persons are forgot in the distribu∣tion of Favours, which puts us upon inquiry why they were forgot? and if they were pre∣ferred we should be apt to ask Why were they remembred? Whence proceeds this contra∣riety, is it from the Characters of the Per∣sons, or the incertitude of our Judgments, or rather from both?

* 'Tis a common way of talking; after such an one, Who shall be Chancelour? Archbishop? or Pope? We proceed further, and every one makes the Promotion accord∣ing to his wishes, or caprice, which is often of persons more aged and infirm, than those that at present enjoy those places; as there is no reason why dignity should kill the pre∣sent possessors, which serves on the contrary to make them young again, and gives the Body and Soul fresh vigour; so 'tis no un∣usual thing for such to bury their Suc∣cessors.

* Disgrace extinguishes Hatred and Jea∣lousie, and it may very well do so. He that Page  332 is not geat enough to raise our Envy, we think he has no merit. There is no Vertue so sublime, but we can pardon in him. 'Tis no Crime in him to be an Hero.

There is nothing appears well in a Man out of Favour; Vertue and Merit are slight∣ed, misinterpreted or miscall'd Vice; if he has so much Courage that he fears nei∣ther Fire nor Sword, or does he face the Enemy with as much bravery as Bayard and Montrevel: * He is rash and Fool-hardy, and has nothing of the Hero in him.

I contradict my self (I confess) in accu∣sing men, of whom I only relate their judg∣ments: I speak not of different persons, but of those very same persons that judge so differently.

* We need not tarry twenty years to see Men change their Opinion about the most serious things, or those that appear most certain and true. I shall not attempt to maintain that Fire in its own nature, and independant from our Senses, is void of heat, that is to say, nothing like what we feel in our selves at its approaching, for fear lest some time or other it become as hot again as ever. Nor shall I assert that one right Line falling on another makes two right Angles, or equal to two, for fear something more or less may be discovered, and I may be rallied for my Proposition; neither shall I say with all France, that Vauban is infallible; when in a Siege, which is his peculiar Ex∣cellency, and where he decides Arbitrarily Page  333 he positively assures me, we shall get the place, tho he errs oft-times, and is lyable to mistakes as well as Antiphilus.

* If you believe People exasperated a∣gainst one another, over whom passion has the ascendancy; the Learned Man is a Pedant, the Magistrate a Boor or Mechanick, the Officer of the Revenue an oppressor, the Gentleman an Upstart; but it is strange that these scurrilous Names, which choler and hatred have invented, should become so fa∣miliar to us, and that disdain, as cold and peaceable as it is, should dare to use them.

* You heat your self, and give your self up to the transports of Passion, especially when the Enemies begin to fly, and the Victory is no longer doubtful, or before a Town that has Capitulated. You mightily affect in a Fight, or during a Siege, to seem to be in an hundred places at once; that is to be no where; to prevent the orders of the General, for fear of obeying them, and to seek occasions rather to avoid than receive them; can you call this true Courage.

* Place your men to maintain a Post where they may be kill'd, and nevertheless where they do escape: they love both Ho∣nour and Life.

* To see how men love Life, can it be imagined that they love any thing more than it, and that Glory which they prefer to Life, is often an opinion of themselves, established in minds of a thousand People, who either don't understand or don't esteem it,

Page  334* Some, who are neither Souldiers nor Courtiers, make Campaigns, and follow the Court; they don't form a Siege, but they assist in it; they soon satisfy their curi∣osity in the seat of War, how inquisitive so∣ever it may be, concerning the Trenches, the effects of Bombs and Cannon, the Car∣casses, the Order and Successes of an Attack, as it occurs; they observe the opposition continues, the Rains fall, the fatigues in∣crease, they wade thro blood, and encoun∣ter both the Enemy and the Elements; per∣haps their Lines are forc't, and they're en∣closed between a Town and an Army: what extremities are these? Their courage fails, they murmuring cry out, Will the raising this Siege be of so fatal consequence? Does the safety of the State depend upon one Cittadel? The Heavens themselves de∣clare against us, and shan't we submit to them, and defer the Enterprize till another Season? Then they lose all their resolution, and if they durst would rail at the obstinacy of the General, who withstands all obstacles, and is animated even by the difficulties of the Enterprize; he exposes and fatigues him∣self night and day to accomplish his design. But as soon as the Enemy capitulate, these dispirited wretches cry up the importance of the Conquest, by anticipating the con∣sequences, and exaggerating the necessity he lay under of doing it, and the danger and shame which would have attended the de∣sisting; they endeavour to prove that the Page  335 Army that covered them from the Enemy was invincible; they return with the Court, as they pass thro the Towns and Villages, are proud to be gazed at by the Inhabitants from their Windows; and they triumph on the Road, as if they were the men that took the place, imagining themselves very brave. When come home, they deafen you with Flanks, Curtains, Ravelins, Bastions, Half-moons, and Covert-ways: They give you an account of those places where curiosity led them, the unavoidable hazards they were in, and the danger they ran of being kill'd, or taken by the Enemy; they are only silent concerning their fears.

It's the least inconvenience in the World to be short in a Sermon or Oration; it leaves the Orator all that he has of Wit, good Sense, Fancy, good Manners and Instructi∣on; and robs him of nothing; but it is very surprising that men should affect a sort of Shame and Ridicule, by exposing themselves in tedious and often unprofitable Discourse; and so run a risque of their Reputation.

* Those that make the worst use of their time are the first that complain of its short∣ness; such as waste it in Dressing, Eating, Sleeping and Impertinent talk,, and in con∣triving what to do, and generally doing no∣thing at all; they want it for their business or pleasure; on the contrary, those that make the best use of it have some to spare.

There is no States-man so thronged with business, but trifles away two hours every Page  336 day, which amounts to a great deal in a long Life; and if the evil is much greater in o∣ther stations, what an infinite waste is there made of this precious thing, which you complain you want.

* There are a sort of Gods Creatures which are call'd Men, who have a Soul which is a Spirit; whose whole Life is imploy'd in, and whose most vigorous attention is taken up in sawing of Marble; this is very foolish and trivial. But there are others more astonish∣ing, for they are intirely useless, and spend their days in doing nothing: this is yet less than sawing Marble.

* The major part of Mankind so far for∣get that they have a Soul, and launch out into such Actions and Exercises, that we ap∣pear in the wrong, if we believe we speak advantageously of any Man when we say he thinks; this is become a common Elogy, and yet it raises a Man only above a Dog or an Horse.

* How do you divert your self? how do you spend your time? Is the Question asked both by Fools and Men of Sense: if I answer, 'tis to open my Eyes, and to see, to prepare my Ears to hear, to enjoy Health, Ease and Liberty; 'tis to say nothing, the solid, the great, and the only good is slighted, makes no impression. The Answer should be, Do you Game, do you Dance?

Is it good for Man to have a liberty (if it were possible) so large and extensive, Page  337 that it would only prompt him to desire one thing else, that is, to have less liberty.

Liberty is not Idleness, it is a free use of time to choose our Labour and our Exercise; in one word, to be free is not to do nothing, but to be the sole Arbiter of what we do, and what we leave undone? In this Sense what good so great as Liberty.

* Caesar not being old enough to think of the Conquest of the Universe, * had no other happiness to endeavour after, than a brave course of Life, and a great Name after Death; he was born fierce and ambitious, enjoy'd a vigorous health, he could not bet∣ter imploy his time, than in the Worlds Conquest. Alexander being too young for so serious a design, 'tis stupendious that in his juvenile years, Women and Wine had not confounded his Enterprize.

* A young Prince of an August Race, the love and hope of his People, given by Heaven to prolong the felicity of the Earth, greater than his Progenitors, the Son of an Hero, who was his Pattern, hath now told the Universe by his divine qualities, and anticipated Vertues, that the Sons of Hero's are nearer being so than other men. *

* If the World should continue an hun∣dred millions of years, it is still in its Spring, and is but now beginning; we our selves are not far from the first Men and the Pa∣triarchs; and who could distinguish us from them in Ages so distant: but if we may judge of what is to come, by what is past, how Page  338 many things are there unknown to us in Arts and Sciences, in Nature, nay, I durst say in History too? What vast discoveries would then be made, what different Revo∣lutions would then happen in the States and Empires of the whole World? How great would our Ignorance appear, and how slender our Experience, that is not of above six or seven thousand years standing?

* There is no way too tedious for him that Travels gently and without hurry: and there are no advantages too remote from those that prepare themselves with Pa∣tience.

* To make Court to none, and not to expect Courtship from any, is an happy condition, a Golden Age, and the most Natural State of Man.

* The World is for those that follow the Court or people Cities; but Nature is theirs who inhabit the Country; they only live, or at least only know that they live.

* Why do you treat me with this cold∣ness? and why do you complain on me for some Expressions of mine, in relation to some of our young Courtiers? You are not Vicious, Thrasyllus, are you? for my part I know it not, but you inform me so your self; that which I know is, that you are not Young.

And, you that are personally offended at what I said of some great people, don't cry out of a wound intended for another: Are you Haughty, Malicious, a Buffoon, a Flat∣terer, Page  339 a Hypocrite? I was ignorant of it indeed, and did not think of you; but was speaking of some Great men.

* Moderation and Prudence in Conduct leave men obscure. To be known and admir'd, 'tis necessary to have great Virtues, or whats perhaps equal, great Vices.

* Men are pre-engag'd, prejudic'd and charmd indifferently, with the conduct of great and mean persons; a fortunate Cime wants little of being commended, as much as a real Virtue, and success supplies the place of all Virtues: 'Tis a black action, a horrid odious attempt indeed, that Success cannot justify.

* Men, seduc'd by fair appearances, and specious pretences, are easily inducd to like, and approve an ambitious design of some great man's contrivance. They speak of it with concern; the boldness, or the novelty pleases 'em; it becomes familiar to 'em al∣ready, and they expect nothing but the suc∣cess: when on the contrary it happens to miscarry, they confidently, and with∣out any regard to their former judgmet, decide of the action, that it was rash, and cou'd never take.

* There ae some designs, which are of that vast consequence, and make so great a figure; which have imployd the Tongues of Men so long; which have caus'd so much hope or fear to several People engag'd in 'em; according to their different InterestsPage  340 in which all the Honour and Fortunes of a man are concern'd; these have made too much shew to be withdrawn, without be∣ing executed. How dreadful soever the danger may be, that a man begins to foresee will be the consequence of his undertaking: He must on, tho it overwhelms him; the least evil he is to expect, is the miscarriage.

* In a ill man, there is not wherewithal to make a great man. You may commend his Insight, and his Contrivance, admire his Conduct, extol his Address, to make use of the properest and shortest means to attain his ends: if his ends are bad, Prudence has no share in them; and where Prudence is want∣ing, find Greatness if you can.

Page  341

Of the Fashion.

'TIS a very foolish thing, and very much betrays our weakness, to be subject to the fashion in our Diet, way of Living, Health and Conscience. Brown Meat is out of fashion, and therefore 'tis in∣sipid; and twoud be an offence against good manners, to cure a Fever otherwise than by bleeding: It has been out of fa∣shion this great while, to die by the hands of Theotymus; none but the populace are now sav'd by his Pious Exhortations; he has outliv'd himself.

* Curiosity is not an inclination to what is good and beautiful; but to what is rare and singular, for those things which ano∣ther can't match. 'Tis not an affection for those things which are best, but for those which are most in the fashion 'Tis not an amusement, but a passion (often so violent) that it yields to Love and Ambition, only in the meanness of its object: 'Tis not a passion for every thing that is scarce and in vogue, but only for some particular, that is rare and yet in fashion.

Page  342The Florist has a Garden at his Country-house, where he spends his time, from Sn-rising to Sun-setting; you'd think him plant∣ed there, that he had taken root in the midst of his Tulips, and at his Solitaire; * he rubs his hands, he stares, stoops down, and looks nearer at it, he never saw it look so fine before; hes in an extasie of Joy, he leaves that for the Orientale; then goes to the Veuve; from thence to the Drap d'r; so to the Agath, at last returns to his Solitaire, where he tires himself, sits down and fogets his Dinner, observes all its par∣ticuar excellencies; its fine pod, delicate top, he contemplates and admires; but is not ouchd ith the thoughts of God and Nature; he goes no farther than the Root of his Tulip, which he won't part with for a Thousand Crowns; tho he'll give it you for nothing when the Tulips are out, and the Cornation comes in. This reasonable Creature, that has a Soul, a divine Worship, and Religion, returns tired and famisht; but infinitly pleas'd with his Journey: he has seen a parcel of Tulips.

Talk to another of the Farmer's wealth, of a plentiful Harvest, or a good Vintage, he is only nice in Fruit, he understands not a word you say; discourse him of Figs and Meons, tell him that the Pear-Trees breaks with their weight of Fruit this year; that there are abundance of Peaches; this is all out of his way; he is curious in nothing but Plumbs: talk to him of them, he makes Page  343 you no answer; he is only fond of a certain species of them too, and laughs at all others; he leads you to the Tree, and artificially ga∣thers this exquisite Plumb, divides it, gives you one half, keeps the other himself; how de∣licious is this (says he?) Taste it, Is it not divine? the whole World cant match it; at this his nose swells, and 'tis with a great deal of pains, that he veils his joy and vani∣ty, under an appearance of modesty. O! exquisite man! never enough to be prais'd and admired! a man to be talkt of in all Ages! Methinks I see his mein and shape, while he liv'd, I remember the features of this great man, who only amongst mortals was the happy possessor of such a Plumb.

Visit a third, and he talks of his curious acquaintance; but especially of Diognetes; I admire him, says he, and understand him less than ever; do you imagin he endeavours to instruct himself by his Medals, that he esteems them, the speaking evidences of past transactions, or sixt unquestionable monu∣ments of antient History: Nothing less, perhaps you'll guess that all the pains he takes to recover an Head proceeds from the plea∣sure he enjoys in seeing an uninterrupted series of the Emperours; 'tis yet less, Diog∣netes knows nicely all parts of a Medal, he has a Case full, except one place; 'tis this vacuity is so uneasy to him; and truly and literally to i•• this, he spends his Estate and Life.

Page  344Will you see my Prints, adds Democedes? and presently he draws them out, and shews them you; there you fid one that is neither finey Printed, neatly Graved, or well Designed, and therefore no worth the p••seving; he found it hanging up in the Hoidays against the wall in the most publick places of the City; he allows it to be ill Gra∣ved, and worse Design'd; but he assures you, 'twas done by an Italian, of whom there's little extant; that 'tis the only one in France of his hand, he bought it very dear, and would not part with it for a much better. He goes on, I labour under a sensible affliction, which will oblige me to leave off troubling my self with Prints, the rest of my Life. I have all Calt's Works, except one Print, indeed 'tis so far from being the best, that 'tis the worst that ever he did; but how shall I compleat my Sett. I have hunted after this Print these twenty years, and now I despair of ever getting it: this is very hard.

Another Satyr is those who make long Voyages, either through uneasiness, or cu∣riosity; because they keep no Journal, or furnish us with no Relations or Memoirs; they go to see, and don't see any thing, or at best forget what they have seen; they desire only to remember new Roads, and new Steeples, to pass insignificant, unknown Rivers; they go out of their Country pure∣ly to return again; they love to be absent, that they may one day come from afar; this Satyrist talks well, and forces attention.

Page  345But, when he adds, that Books are more instructive than Travelling, and gives me to understand that he he has a Library, I de∣sire to see it, I visit this Gentleman, he re∣ceives me into his House, and at the bottom of the Stairs, I am struck down with the scent of the Russia Leather, that covers all his Books; in vain he encourages me, by tel∣ling me they are gilt on the Backs and Leaves, that they are of the best Editions, and by naming some of the best of them; he tells me, his Gallery is full of them, except one place that is painted so like Books, the falla∣cy is not to be discern'd; he adds, that he never reads, and rarely sets foot in this Gal∣lery, and that he did it now to oblige me; I thank him for his complaisance, but wou'd as soon visit a Tan-Pit as his Library.

Some people by an intemperate desire of knowledge, and an unwillingness to be ig∣norant of any thing, are greedy of all sorts of Learning, and masters of none, they are fonder of knowing much, than knowing well; and had rather be supericial smatterers in several Sciences, than to dive profoundly into any one alone; they every where meet with Masters to reclaim 'em, they are bubbles to their own vain Curiosity, and often by very painful efforts cannot extricate themselves from their gross Ignorance.

Others keep the Key of Knowledge, but never enter themselves, they spend their lives in Learning the Eastern and Northern Languages, those of both Indies, those of Page  346 the two Poles, nay that of the World in the Moon it self: The most useless Idioms, the most ridiculous, and Magical Characters, employ their Souls, and excite their industry; they are very angry with those who content themselves with their own Language, or at most with the Greek, and Latin. These men read all the Historians, and know nothing of History; they run thro all Books, but are not the wiser for any; their defect is a barren ignorance of things, and principles; and indeed their best Collection, their greatest Riches, consist in abundance of words, and phrases, which they huddle to∣gether, and load their Memory withal, whilst their Souls are empty.

A Citizen loves building, he builds him∣self a House, so fine and noble, that he's asham'd to live in it, and is unwilling to let it to a Nobleman, or a States-man; he retires into the Garret, where he spends his life, whilst the Walls and Boards are worn out by Travellers; there's a continual knock∣ing at the Gate, all desire to see the House, but none the Master.

There are others, who have Daughters, and are not able to give them a Groat; nay, which is less, can hardly cloath and feed them; they are so poor, that they are forc't to deny themselves a Bed and clean Linnen; the source of their misery is very obvious, 'tis a Repository of rare Statues, which in∣deed would sell at a great rate; but they cannot prevail with themselves to part with them.

Page  347Dyphilus is a lover of Birds, he began with one, and ends with a thousand; his House is so far from being the more plea∣sant, that 'tis pestered with them; the Hall, the Parlour, the Stair cases, the Porch, the Chamber and Closets are so many Aviaries; nothing is heard but discord and wild notes; the Autumnal winds, and most rapid Ca∣taracts, do not make a noise so shrill and piercing; you cannot hear one another speak, but in those Chambers that are set apart for receiving visits, where you are plagued with his little yelping Curs; 'tis no longer an agreeable amusement to Dyphilus; but a toil∣some fatigue; which his body can hardly un∣dergo, he spends his days (those days that pass away and never return) in feeding his Birds and clearing their dung; he gives a man a Salary for no other service, but to teach them with a Flagelet, and take care that his Canary-birds tread one another; 'tis true, what he spends on one hand, he spares on the other; his Children have nei∣ther Tutors, nor Education. In the Evening, tir'd with his own pleasure, he shuts himself up without being able to enjoy the least re∣pose, till his Birds are at roost, and those little Creatures that he only dotes on for their Song, cease their Notes; he dreams of them in his sleep, he is himself, metamor∣phos'd into a Bird, he is copple-crown'd, he chirps, he perches, he fancies in the night that he moltes, that he is brooding.

Page  348Who can describe all the different kinds of trivial curiosity; imagin you hear one talk of his Leopard, of his Plume, of his Musick, he brags that they are the most choice and rare in the World: Why does he not sell them? they cost him very dear.

There's another an admirer of Insects, he augments his Collection every day; he is the greatest Critick in Europe, at a Butterfly; he has them of all sizes and colours.* What time can you find to pay him a visit? he's afflicted with bitter sorrow; is in a sowr Chagrin temper, to the plague of his whole Family; he has had an irreparable loss: go near him, observe what he shews you on his Finger, 'tis a Canker-worm, just dying and expiring: but 'twas such Canker-worm!

* Duel is the triumph of fashion, and the place where her Tyranny reigns with the greatest splendour. 'Tis a custom not to per∣mit a Coward to live; this obliges him to go to be kill'd by a man of more bravery than himself, and so passes undistinguished from a man of courage; it hath entail'd honour and renown on an action full of folly and extravagance, it has obtain'd re∣putation by the presence of Kings; and sometimes hath had a sort of Religion to countenance its practice; it decided the In∣nocence of men, and whether accusations in capital Crimes were true or false, it was so deeply rooted in the opinion of the World, and got such an intire possession of the minds of men, that it has been one of the Page  349 most glorious actions of the Life of a most potent Monarch, to cure them of this folly.

* The antient manner us'd in disciplining Armies, in Negotiations, or in the Eloquence of the Chair, and in Poetry, s now grown ob∣solete. Men are degenerate from what they formerly were, is it their merit which is out of date, or have we lost the taste we had of them?

* A man of mode is not so long: Fashions are very transitory. But if perchance he is a man of merit, he cannot suffer annihila∣tion; but by something or other will still subsist, always equally worthy of estimation, tho he is less esteem'd.

Virtue has that happiness in her that she can self-subsist, she knows how to treat Admi∣rers, Party-men and Patriots: the want of assistance and approbation doth not only not afflict her, but purifies and renders her more perfect; whether she be in fashion or out of fashion, she is still Virtue.

* If you tell men, and especially the great ones, that such a man has Virtue, theyll tell you, let him keep it then; that he has a great deal of Wit, and above all, that he is very pleasant and diverting; they'll answer you, so much the better for him; that he has a Wit well cultivated, and is very knowing; they'll ask you what's a Clock, what weather it is; but if you give them to understand there's a Juggler, one that turns Aqua Vitae black; 'Tis wonderful! tho they Page  350 often see it at Feasts: Thn they cry out, where is he? bring him to me this evening, to morrow, or as soon as you can possibly find him; he is brought, and the wretch who is only fit to be shown in Fairs, or at private Entertainments for Money, presently becomes their familiar.

* There's nothing brings a Man sooner in fashion than playing high; it passes from the Peer to the Bully: I wou'd fain see a polite gallant, and witty man, were he a Catullus, or one of his disciples, dare to com∣pare himself with him that loses eight hundred Pistoles at a sitting.

* A fashionable man is like a certain Blue Flower, that grows spontaneously in plough'd grounds; indeed it chokes the weeds, but spoils the crop, and takes up the room of something thats better; it has no beauty nor value, but what's owing to a slender caprice, which is born and dead in the same instant. To day he is in vogue and admir'd by the Ladies, to morrow he is neglected and left to the scorn of the Mob.

On the contrary, a man of merit is a Flower, which is not valued for its colour only, we call it by its name; 'tis cultivated for its odoriferous scent and beauty; 'tis one of the graces of nature, one of those things which beautify the Creation; it has been admir'd by all men in all ages, our Fathers set a high value on it, and we in imitation of them have as great an opinion of it; nor can the disgust and antipathy of any particular per∣sons Page  351 injure its reputation. 'Tis a Lilly, 'tis a Rose.

* We see Eustrates plac'd in his small Boat, bless'd with a pure Air, and a serene Sky, he sets sail with a fair wind, which in all pro∣bability is like to continue; but all of a sud∣den it changes, the Heavens are clouded, and the Tempest appears, a wave oversets the Boat, and he is sunk to the bottom; Eustrates rises to the surface of the Waters, endeavours to swim, and we hope at least that he will reach the shoar, and save his life; but another wave sinks him, and we give him over for lost, he appears above wa∣tr a second time, and our hopes revive, when a foaming billow drives him to the bottom, from whence he never rises; he is drown'd.

* Voiture and Sarazin wee born for the Age they livd in, and they appear'd in a time which seem'd to expect them; if they had not made such haste, they had come too late, and I question whether at this time they woud have been what they were then: Airy and diverting conversation, gallant and familiar Letters, and the select companies, where wit only wou'd recommend, are all vanish'd, and there is no talk of reviving them: All that I can say in favour of their Genius's is, that perhaps they might have excell'd in another way. But the Ladies of this Age are either Hypocrites, Coquetts, Gamesters or Ambitious; and some of them all together; Luxury, Gaming, their Para∣mours, and their Waiting-women, have possess'd themselves of the Fort, and defend it against the Men of Wit.

Page  532* The Fops and Coxcombs are singular in their dress, their Hats are broad, their Sleeves are larger, and their Coats of clear another cut than those of other Men; they frequent all publick places, that they may be taken notice of: whilst the man of sense leaves the fashion of his Cloaths to his Taylor: 'Tis as great a weakness to be out of fashion as to be in it.

* We blame a fashion that divides the stature of a man into two equal parts, which takes one entire to the waste, and leaves the other for the rest of the body: we condemn those dresses which make the Ladies heads look like the base of an edifice, with nu∣merous stories above 'em; the order and structure whereof alter with their whimsies; that separate the hair from that part of the face Nature design'd it for, and raise it in the manner of Bacchanals, as if they in∣tended the fair sex shou'd exchange the tender and modest air of their faces, for one much more fierce and bold: We exclaim against this or that mode, which, ridiculous as 'tis, helps and embellishes Nature, as long as it lasts, and from which we reap all the ad∣vantage we could expect, which is to please; when we ought only to be surpriz'd at the levity, and inconstancy of Men; who suc∣cessively call agreeable and decorous, those things so directly opposite to each other; who use those habits in their Comedies and Masquerades, which lately were the most grave and solemn; and that so small a tim shou'd make such a difference.

Page  353* N— is rich, she eats well and lyes well but her Commode grows out of wear, when she thinks least on't, and when she believes her self happy, she's out of the fashion.

* Iphis at Church sees a new-fashion'd Shoe, he looks upon his own, and bluses, and can no longer believe himself drest; he comes to Prayers only to shew himself, but now he hides himself, and you may see him held by the foot in his Chamber all the rest of the day. He has a soft hand, with which he gives you a gentle pat; he is sure to laugh often, to shew his white Teeth; he sets his mouth in order, and is in a perpetual smile: he looks upon his Legs, he views him∣self in the Glass, and no body can have so good an opinion of another, as he has of himself: He has acquir'd a delicate and clear Voice, and is happy in a free way of talking; he has a turn of his Head, and a sort of sweetness in his Eyes, which he never for∣gets to make use of, as graces to set him off. His gate is slow, but the most diverting that you can imagin; he sometimes makes use of a little red, but 'tis very seldom, he does not make a custom of it: 'Tis true, he wears Breeches and a Hat; he has neither Ear-rings nor a Necklace, therefore I han't put him into the Chapter of Women.

* Those very fashions which men so willingly follow in their persons, they won' endure in their pourtraictures, as if they re∣ally foresaw how indecent and ridiculous they will appear, when they have lost what Page  354 we call the flower of a fashion, its agreeable novelty: they rather take up with the most extravagant ornaments, the most indifferent Drapery; nay, the fancy of the Painter, which is neither agreeable to the air of the face, nor the character of the person they affect forc'd and indecent postures, a rough brutish and strange manner; they make a Captain of a young Abbot, a Harle∣quin of a Man of the long Robe; a Diana of a City Dame, an Amazon, or a Pallas, of a silly timorous Girl, a Lais of a Woman of Honour, and an Attila, of a just and mag∣nanimous Prince.

One fashion has hardly destroy'd another, but 'tis justled out by a newer, which must it∣self make way for its successor; and that for a following, which will not be the last, such is our levity; during these revolutions an Age is spun out, and then all these things are rank'd amongst things past, which ne∣ver return: The finest mode, and which charms the eye the most, is the most an∣tient; which is advancd in respect by ages and years, and appears as agreeable in our Pictures, as the *Sagum and the Roman Habit on the Theatres; as the *Mantle, the *Veil, or the *Tiara in our Tapestries, and Paintings.

Our Fathers have transmitted to us with the knowledge of their Persons, that of their Habits, their * Arms, and all the Orna∣ments which they were fond of during their lives: A benefit we can make no other re∣turn Page  355 for, than by doing our Posterity the same service.

* Formerly the Courtier wore his own Hair, half Silk-stockings, and his Habit was loose and easie: but now he has a full Wig, a close Habit, whole stockings, and is Reli∣gious, all which he accommodates to the fashion.

* He who after some considerable resi∣dence at Court was Religious, and therefore contrary to all reason, has narrowly escap being ridicul'd, can he ever hope to come in fashion?

* What will not a Courtier do that has his Fortune in view; if rather than not make it, he will turn religious.

* The Colours are all prepar'd and the Pallet is ready; but how shall I fix this rest∣less, light and inconstant man, who changes himself into a thousand and a thousand fi∣gures? I paint him devout, and fancy I have hit him, but he has deceiv'd me, and is just now a Libertine: I at least expect that he continue in this ill posture, and know very well how to hit that irregularity of heart and soul, by which he would be known; but the fashion obliges, and he is devout.

* To neglect going to Vespersas a thing ob∣solete and out of fashion, to know all the ave∣nues of the Chapel, where he may be seen, and where he may be unobserv'd, to be in∣tent at Church on God and his own business, to receive Visits, to give out Orders and Commissions, and at the same time to at∣tend Page  356 the Responses, to chuse a Director, and rely on him more than the Gospel itself, to derive all his sanctity from the reputation of his Director, to despise all those that he has a slender opinion of, and scarce allow them to be in a state of Salvation; to be fond of the word of God only from the mouth of his Director, to prefer Mass of his celebra∣tion, and the Sacraments from his hands, before all others; to make his spiritual Repast only Books of Devotion, as if there were nei∣ther Gospels, Epistles of the Apostles, or Morals of the Fathers; to read and talk a Jargon unknown to the first ages; to be very exact to confess the sins of others, and palliate his own; to cry out of his suf∣ferings and his patience; to talk of his small progress in Gallantry, as of a sin; to be in a secret alliance with some persons against others, to have no value for any but those of his own side and cabal, and to suspect even Virtue herself, to taste and relish prosperity and favour, to wish no body well but himself, never to assist merit, to make piety subser∣vient to his Ambition, to go to heaven by the way of Fortune and Dignity, this is now adays the greatest effort of Devotion.

* An Hyprocrite is one that will be an Atheist under a Ring that is so.

Hypocrites esteem nothing a crime but in∣continence, or, to speak more exactly, the reputation and appearance of it. If Phere∣cides passes for one that is cured of his fondness for women, and Pherenice for Page  357 a chaste wife, 'ts enough, for then let them play a destructive game to ruin their credit, or to rejoice at the misfortunes of another; and to advantage themselves by it, to idolize the great, and contemn the mean∣er sort, to be intoxicated with their own me∣rit, to be dried up with envy, to lye, to calumniate, to cabal, to blacken; this is their way: would you that they should usurp a place amongst good men, who with all their vices avoid pride and injustice?

* When a Courtier becomes humble, is cured of pride and ambition, when he ceases to raise his Fortune on the ruin of his Com∣panions; when he shall be just, indulgent to his Vassals, and pay his Creditors; when he shall be neither Knave nor Calumniator; when he shall leave off luxurious Feasting and unlawful Love; when he shall pray o∣therwise than with his Lips, and out of his Prince's presence; when he shall not be morose, and difficult of access to others; when he shall have no austerity in his coun∣tenance, or sowreness in his mein; when he shall be no more negligent and contem∣plative; when by his scrupulous application to business, he shall render different affairs very compatible; when he shall harass him∣self, and be willing to bend his mind to vast cares and laborious imployments, to those of the greatest consquence, for the good of the state and people; when his Character shall make me afraid to mention him in this place, and his modesty prevent it: If I do Page  358 not name him, yet when I think of him I shall say he is Religious, or rather that he is a man given to the age, for a model of sincere virtue, and for the detection of the Hypocrite.

* Onuphrius has nothing for his Bed but a Coverlet of grey Serge, but he lies upon Cotton and Down; he is plainly, but de∣cently habited; I would say he wears a slight Stuff in the Summer, and a very good Cloath in the Winter; he wears extraordi∣nary fine Shirts, but takes a great deal of care to hide them; he does not brag of his course Garment, his strict Discipline; on the contrary, he passes for what he is, an Hypocrite, and would pass for what he is not in the least, a devout man: 'Tis true, he makes us in a sort believe, without telling us that he wears a course Under-garment, and that he disciplines himself severely: he has several Books that are indifferently disperst about his Chamber; this is the Spi∣ritual Combat, that the Interiour Christian, the other the Holy Year; his other Books are un∣der Lock and Key; if he is going along the Streets and observes a man to whom 'tis ne∣cessary he should seem devout, down-cast Eyes, a slow and modest Gate, a devout Air, are familiar to him, he plays his part: if he enters a Church, he observes whose eyes are upon him, and according to the discovery he makes, he falls upon his knees and goes to prayer, or else never thinks of kneeling or praying; if he sees a good man Page  359 or a man of anthority approach, that observes him, he not only prays but meditates too, lets drop tears and sighs; but this good man is hardly gone, but he is silent and can scarce be perceiv'd to breathe: another time he goes to an holy place, rushes thro the croud, and chooses a place for his De∣votion, where all the world may see how he humbles himself; if he perceives any Courtiers who laugh and talk in the Chapel louder than in the Anti-chamber, he makes a greater noise than they, on purpose to silence them, and returns to his meditation, which is always the comparison he makes between those persons and himself, in which he finds his account of all things; he avoids an empty Church, where he may hear two Masses one after another, a Sermon and Vespers only between God and himself without any other witness; he loves that Parish, and frequents the Churches where there is the greatest concourse, for there he does not lose his labour, he is observd by the Con∣gregation; he chooses two or three days to fast in without any occasion; towards the end of the Winter he has a Cough, his Sto∣mach is out of order, he has the Vapours and a Fever, he begs and presses with all the earnestness in the world, to break Lent as soon as it is begun, and it is granted him in complaisance. If Onuphrius is named Abitrator amongst Relations, or in a Family ase, he is for the strongest, I would say the richest side, and cannot be perswaded that Page  360 he that has a plentiful Estate can ever be to blame. If he finds a rich man which he can impose upon and make his advantage of, he is his Parasite; he never cajoles his Wife, nor makes the least advances that way, but rather flies her, and will leave her a part of his Garment to be gone, unless he is as sure of her as himself; he never at∣tempts to seduce or debauch her by his hy∣pocritical Jargon. He never talks, because it is customary so to do, but out of design, which is always advantageous to him, and is always silent where his discourse would render him very ridiculous. He knows where to find Ladies more sociable and agreeable than his Friends Wife, which he very seldom absents himself from, unless it be to give occasion to a publick report that he retires from the world; and how indeed should they doubt it, when they see his face faln away, as if he never indulged himself in the least. He is like those Wo∣men who carry on their intrigues success∣fully under the veil of Devotion, with this difference only, that he slights those which are old, and addresses himself only to the young, and amongst them 'tis those only who are the most beautiful can please him: they go and he goes, they return and he returns, they stay and he stays; he has the happiness to see them in all places and at all hours; and who in his place but would be edified? they are Religious, and so is he: H is sure to make the best use he can of his Page  361 friends, stupidity and prepossession in his fa∣vour; sometimes he borrows money of him, at other times he manages him so dextrously, that he offers to lend it himself, and is very angry with him that he does not make use of his friends when he has occasion. Sometimes he will not receive a half penny without giving a note, when he's sure 'twon't be accepted: at another time he says he wants nothing but an inconsiderable summ: at other times he publickly extols the gene∣rosity of this man, on purpose to excite and oblige him in honour to bestow an extrava∣gant largess on him. He does not expect any thing from his hereditary estate, nor does he imagine all his personal a Legacy: But above all things he endeavours to set aside the lawful Heir. A devout man is nei∣ther covetous, violent, unjust, nor self-in∣terested: Onuphrius is not a devout man, but he would appear so; and by a perfect, tho a false, imitation of piety, he tacitly ma∣nages his interests: he never aims at the di∣rct line of a Family, nor insinuates himself where there's a Daughter to provide for, or a Son to settle; he knows they have a right too strong and inviolable to be shaken with∣out a great deal of noise, which may per∣haps reach the ears of his Prince, from whom he runs with all the fear in the world that he shall be discover'd, and appear what really he is. He chooses the collateral line, which he can attack with greater safety; he is the terror of all the first and second Page  362 Cousins, the flatterer and profess'd friend of all the rich Unkles; he pushes to be the heir of every rich old man that dies without is∣sue, but if he's disappointed, if the relations succeed in the Estate, and Onuphrius can't quite throw them out of it, he will at least wrest good part on't from them: a slender calumny, a trifling slander is sufficient for that, and indeed is the talent he possesses in the highest degree of perfection, and he makes this management very often conduce to his profit; and (according to him) there are men, who he is oblig'd in conscience to decry, and they are those which he does not in the least affect, which he designs to injure, and impatiently desires their ruin: He acquires his ends without so much as opening his mouth. If you talk to him of Eudoxis he laughs or he weeps; ask him any thing again and again, he makes you no an∣swer, and he has reason to be silent, he has said enough.

* Laugh Zelie, be foolish and wanton, as you us'd to be: Whence proceeds this im∣moderate joy? I am rich (say you) don't you see I live at large, and now begin to have room to breathe in. Laugh louder, burst your self, what's a great estate good for, if it brings seriousness and melancholy along with it? Imitate the great ones, who are born in the bosom of riches, they laugh sometimes, and give themselves up to their inclinations; do you therefore follow your own, le it not be said of you, that a new Page  363 place, or some thousand Livres of Rent, more or less, shou'd make you pass from one extremity to the other. I am (say you) brought into favour by my place: I doubt it. But Zelie believe me, don't leave off laugh∣ing, nor laughing at me, (as several times you have done) don't fear any thing, I shan't be the more free nor familiar with you, I shan't have a less opinion of you and your post, I shall equally believe that you are rich and in favour: I am religious (you add) 'tis enough Zelie, and I cant but re∣member that 'tis not the serenity and joy which a good conscience imprints on the face that you enjoy, when melancholy and anxious thoughts have taken up the best place in the soul, and disperst themselves about; I am, indeed, astonish'd, to find that a false Devotion should sooner be able to make a woman proud and disdainful, than Youth or Beauty.

* Arts and Sciences have been vastly im∣prov'd in an age, and are all now refin'd in the highest degree, even that of Salvati∣on is reduc'd to rule and method, and aug∣mented with all that's fine and ublime which human understanding could invent. * De∣votion and Geometry have their manners of speaking, which are called terms of Art; and he that is ignorant of them is neither devout nor a Geometrician: the first Reli∣gious, who were directed by the Apostles, were ignorant of them; those simple people had only Faith and Works, which they re∣duc'd to believing and living well.

Page  364* 'Tis a very nice thing for a Prince to reform his Court and set up Piety in it: He instructs the Courtier how he may please him, and lets him know at whose expence he must make his fortune; he manages him with pru∣dence, he tolerates him, and conceals his dislike of him, for fear he shou'd plunge himself into Hypocrisie or Sacrilege: He expects better success in his reformation from God and Time, than from his own Zeal and Industry.

* 'Tis an old custom in Courts to give Pen∣sions, and distribute favours to Fidlers, Dancing-masters, Players, Flatterers and cringing wretches: their merit is fix'd, and their excellencies certain and known, who amuse and recreate the great ones: They know that Favier dances well, and that Lo∣renzane composes fine Anthems. If a Religi∣ous virtuous man comes there, nothing can be spar'd for him, nor is it reasonable there shou'd; 'tis a profession very daily counter∣feited, and if he shoud be rewarded, wou'd expose the Prince to honour dissimulation and villany, and pay a pension to a Hypo∣crite.

* 'Tis to be hop'd that the piety of a Court wou'd not hinder the residence of its Courtiers.

* I doubt not but true Devotion is the true source of Repose; that it supports us in life, and sweetens death, but these can't be drawn from Hypocrisie.

* Every hour in its self, as it respects us in particular, when once 'tis past 'tis entirely Page  365 lost, millions of ages can't retrieve it, several Days, Months and Years are fled away and irretrievably lost, in the abyss of time and time itself shall be destroy'd; 'tis but one point in the immense space of eternity, and it shall be rac'd out. There are several light and frivolous circumstances of time which are unstable and pass away, which I cll Fashions, Grandeur, Favour, Riches, Power, Authority, Dependance, Pleasure, Joy and Superfluities; what will become of these when time itself shall disappear? 'Tis Virtue alone, tho least in fashion, can survive time.

Page  366

OF Certain Custom

THere are some men who want an Estate to make them Gentlemen.

There are others, who if they could have put off their Creditors but one half year longer, had descended from some most an∣cient family.

Others again rise up Gentlemen, of as old a date, who when they lay down thought of nothing less than Gentility.

How many of these Gentlemen are there, whose fathers and eldest brothers never pre∣tended to that title.

* Many a man will disown his Father, that is known to keep such a Farm, or such an Ale-house, and will brag of his Grand-father, who is dead, and might, for ought one knows, be a better man. He has per∣haps a large income, some great place, and a Lord for his Son-in-law, and had he but a title too, would be as good a man as the best Peer in the Land.

Page  367* A Gentleman was formerly said to have a grant from the King for his Title:* This was thought a very proper expression, but now 'tis old and obsolete. Rehabilitation is the term which has supply'd its place in all our Courts of Judicature, such a one who has laid up an Estate is rehabilited in his Gentility. This intimates that he was originally a Gentleman, that it is most fit∣ting he should still be so, that however his father may have abdicated his title by driv∣ing the Plough, digging the Earth, carry∣ing a Pedlars Pack, or wearing a Livery, he is now restor'd to the right of his An∣cestors. And that what is now to be done is only to continue him the possession of the same Coat of Arms they always had, tho it is perhaps one of his own invention, and quite different from that he had before on his Pewter. In a word, it implies that a Grant of this title is unfit for him, and pro∣per only for one who never was a Gentle∣man, and whom the meanness of his birth still makes desirous of getting money.

* As one man, by often affirming he has seen some miraculous sight, perswades him∣self he really has. As another, by hiding his age from others, comes to believe at last, he is as young as he would be thought. So the man, who, though meanly born, has taken a habit of talking of his Grand-father that ownd this or that great Seat, or of his Great Grandfather, that was Lord of this or that Mannor, which they perhaps never Page  368 heard of. This man, I say, has the plea∣sure of fancying himself at length to be de∣scended from some considerable Family.

* What man is there that's never so meanly born, who having got an Estate can want a Coat of Arms, and to this Coat a Crest, Supporters and Motto. What is be∣come of the distinction of Casks and Hel∣mets, the name and use of 'em are abolisht; 'tis no longer in dispute whither they shou'd be born in front or side ways, close or open, or about the number of bars: 'Tis to Coronets that they aspire, that they lay claim to. There are some Citizens that have a little modesty still left, and use not the Ducal Coronet, being content with an Earls; and some go not far in quest of it, but take it from their Signs to clap it on their Coach.

* A Citizen is a despicable Creature: but as for one who is born in the corner of a thatch'd House, or perhaps in the ruins of an old Tower, which stands in the middle of a Bog, and which he qualifies with the name of Castle, let him but stile himself a Gentleman, and he is one.

** A Gentleman strives to be respected as a Nobleman, and lives so high that none can tell but he is one. A Nobleman can be satisfied with no less than the title of Prince, changing his Coat of Arms, and producing a new Genealogy as doubtful as his pre∣tences; he sets so many Engines to work, arrogates to himself so many great Titles, Page  369 has so many disputes about ranks and pre∣cedency, that at last he really becomes a little Prince.

* Some men are so fond of titles that they give themselves three rather than fail; one they use in the City, another in the Coun∣try, and a third elsewhere. Others are con∣tented with one name, adding du or de to it, to make it sound genteel, as soon as their circumstances are any thing tolerable; others again, by suppressing one syllable of their name, transfer themselves from one of the meanest Families into one of the most an∣cient in the Kingdom. Many will suppress their whole names, which had nothing shameful in them, to adopt others that sound greater, and by which they get nothing but the being compar'd to a disadvantage with the great men from whom we borrow them. And as many who are born within the Walls of Paris, will feign themselves to be Flemish or Italians, as if a mean extraction could not be drawn from any Country, will lengthen their names and give them another termination to make them sound outlaudish, fancying that a name is much better for be∣ing far fetch'd.

* The want of Money has taken off the inconsistence of gentility with a mean ex∣traction, and saves many a dispute about the quartering of Scutcheons.

* How many would be gainers by a Law that should make gentility to be drawn from the Mother's side, and how many more Page  370 would be losers by it. There are few Fa∣milies, but what are as near related to the greatest Princes as the meanest Peasant.

* I here declare it openly, and desire all men to take notice of it, that none may wonder hereafter. If ever any great man thinks me worthy of his care, if ever I hap∣pen to make my fortune, there is one God∣frey de la Bruyere, whom all the Chronicles of France place among the men of the highest rank, that follow'd Godfrey of Bouillon in his conquest of the Holy Land: And this Godfrey shall then be the man from whom I am de∣scended in a direct line.

* If Gentility be a virtue, that man loses his title that is not virtuous. If it is not a virtue it is hardly worth his care.

* There are things, which consider'd in their principle and in their first institution are wonderful and incomprehensible: Who could imagine, for example, that this Ab∣bot, who makes his dress his whole study, who wants nothing of the effeminacy or of the vanity that is observ'd in either Sex, and in the highest quality; who has as good a talent to insinuate himself in the Ladies fa∣vour as the greatest Beau, or the richest Banker: Nay, who outdoes them both. Who, I say, could imagine that such a man was originally, and still bears the name of the Head and Father of a Society of hum∣ble and holy men, who have devoted them∣selves to solitude, and to whom he should be a pattern and an example? How power∣ful, Page  371 how absolute, how tyrannical is cu∣stom? And not to speak of greater disor∣ders, how great a cause have we to fear it will bring one day our Abbots to wear grey flowerd Velvet, like a certain Cardinal, or to paint and patch, like Women?

* Whether the obscenities of the Gods? whether the Venus, the Ganimede, and all the other Nudities of Caraccio, are Pictures that have been drawn for the Fathers of the Church, and for men who stile themselves the successors of the Apostles, I leave you to judge from the Palace Farnese?

* There is no fine thing but what loses of its grace by being misplac'd; no perfection without an agreeableness; no agreeableness but what is grounded on reason. A Jig in a Church, or the affected tone of a Player in a Pulpit would but offend our ears. Tem∣ples are not adorn'd with prophane Images. A Crucifix, for example, and the Judgment of Paris were never seen in the same Sanctu∣ary. The Equipage and the Retinue of a man of the Sword, is unbecoming of a Di∣vine.

* We hear of no Vows nor Pilgrimages made to any Saint, in order to attain to a higher degree of benignity, gratitude, or equity, to cure us of our malignity, vanity, spleen, and uneasiness of temper.

* What can be more extravagant, than for Christians to have their constant meet∣ings, design'd on purpose for the applauding a company of excommunicated persons, Page  372 whom they at once reward and excommu∣nicate for the pleasure they receive from them. Methinks all Theatres should be shut up, or a less severe sentence pass'd against Players.

* Parish Duties amount to more for a Christning than for a Confession, and are larger for a Marriage than for a Christning. One would think there was a Tax laid up∣on Sacraments, by this which seems to be rated as a sort of Merchandize; yet when all is done, nothing like it can reasonably be inferr'd from this custom. They that receive those Duties pretend as little to sell the Sa∣craments, as those that pay them think to buy 'em. Such an appearance of evil, might indeed as well be laid aside, to avoid offend∣ing the weak, and being censur'd by the wicked.

* A brisk jolly Priest, who is as healthy as he can wish himself, is Rector of such a Parish, and sits in his lac'd Surplis amongst the Judges and Magistrates, in the best place in the Church, where he ends the digestion of a plentiful Dinner, while a Monk or a Fryer laves his Desert or his Cell, which decency and his vow should confine him to, and comes to preach before him and his flock, and is paid for his Sermon as for a piece of Stuff. The novelty and unexpectedness of such a censure startles you; you wonder at the impertinence of it, and are ready to ask me, whether I would deprive this Priest and his whole Parish from hearing the Word of Page  373 God, and receiving the bread of Life. No, by no means, I would have him preach that Word, and deal that Bread to them himself, at all times, and at all places, in publick and in private, in the Churches, in the Markets, and on the House tops. And I would have none to pretend to so great and so laborious an office, but with an intent and a capacity of deserving the large offerings and the great retributions that are belonging to it. I am forc'd, 'tis true, to excuse him for do∣ing so. 'Tis a custom which he finds establish'd, and he will leave after him to his Successors. But it is this odd, ill-grounded and unrea∣sonable custom which I blame, and which I can approve as little as that of his being paid four times for the same Funeral, once for himself, a second time for his dues, a third for his presence, and a fourth for his assistance.

* Titus has serv'd the Church for these twenty years in a small Living, and is not yet worthy of a better Benefice that fall's vacant: Neither his parts, the solidity of his Doctrine, his exemplary life, nor the desire of the Parishioners, are sufficient to bring him in. Another man starts up, as it were from under ground, and is preferr'd before him. Titus has no reason to complain, Custom would have it so.

* Who says the Chanter should pretend to make me rise to Mattins? Am not I Master of the Quire? My Predecessors never went there; sure I am no worse a man Page  374 than he was? Should I suffer my Dignity to be undervalu'd while I am in possession of it, or should I leave it to my Successor such as I found it? 'Tis not, says the Pre∣bendary, my own Interest but my Prebends that I regard. It would be very hard that I should be tyd to hear the service, whilst the Treasure, the Arch deacon, and the Grand-Vicar, think themselves exempt from it. I have a great deal of reaso, says the Dean, to demand my Dues, though I never come to Prayers. Have not I slept all night for these twenty years without being disturb'd? I will go on in my old way, and my car∣riage shall always be answerable to my dig∣nity: Else what should I get by being chief in the Chapter? My example can be of no consequence. Thus every one strives to be exempt from praising God, and to shew by a long and a continu'd course, that he is under no obligation of doing it. There cannot be a greater nor a more fervent emu∣lation, than there is betwixt 'em, for ab∣senting themselves from Divine Service. The Bells are heard in a still night, and the same Harmony which awakes the Singing-men and Choristers, serves to ui the Canons into 〈…〉 and pleasant sleep, which pro∣du••s no dreams, but what are delightful. They ise up ••e, they go to Church and receive their Salary for taking their eae.

Page  375* Who would ever imagin, did not ex∣perience daily lay it before our eyes, how difficult a thing it is to perswade man to be happy? Or who would think that there should be occasion for an order of men de∣sign'd for that purpose, to prepare long Speeches, to make use of all the soft and eloquent expressions they can think of, to study the very tone with which they deiver 'em, to use such gestures and such violent motions, that they put themselves in a sweat and spend all their Spirits; who, I say, could imagin that all these things were need∣ful for the bringing of a Christian, that is endow'd with reason, and labours under a desperate fit of sickness, to chuse rather to be eternally happy, than to lose his own Soul?

* Aristipus's Daughter lies dangerously ill; she sends for her Father, would be recon∣cil'd to him, and would die in his favour: Shall so wise a man, and one whom the whole Town respects for his prudence, grant her so reasonable a request of his own ac∣cord? Shall he perswade his Wife to the same? No! Neither of them can be mov'd but by the engine of a spiritual Guide.

* A Mother who makes a Nun of her Daughter, without any regard to her incli∣nations, takes upon herself the charge of another Soul, besides her own, and tands bound for such a Soul of God himself That this Mother may escape eternal Death, the Daughter must obtain eternal Life.

Page  376* A broken Gamester marries his Daugh∣ter, and gives her all that he has left for her portion. The youngest is upon making her self a Nun, and all the Call she has is her Father's gaming.

* There has been virtuous, healthy, zea∣lous Maids, and who had a good and law∣ful Call; but who wanted money to devote themselves to Poverty in a rich Abbey.

* That man is blinded by his passion, and guilty of the highest piece of folly, that mar∣ries Melita, a pretty, young, virtuous, and prudent woman, who is of a saving temper, and has as great a kindness for him as he has for her, but less money than Acgina, who is offerd to him with an extraordinary good portion, and extraordinary qualificati∣ons to squander it all away, and his own estate along with it.

* Marrying formerly was a nice thing: It was a settlement for life, a serious piece of business, and which deserv'd a great deal of consideration. A man was formerly to take his wife for better for worse, the same House, the same Table, and the same Bed were in common to 'em both: he was to be a husband all his life time. There was no coming off with a separate maintenance, no reconciling of a wife and family with the outward appearance and the delights of a single life.

* Should a man be afraid of being seen with a woman that is not his Wife, I should commend his modesty. Were he loth to Page  377 frequent the company of such persons whose reputation is not altogether untainted, I should never wonder at him. But what im∣pertinent whimsey can make him blush at his own Wife? What makes him be asham'd of being seen in publick, with one whom he has chosen for an inseparable Companion? one from whom he should expect all the satisfaction and delight that can be reap'd from human Society? One whom he loves and admires, who is his chief Ornament, who credits him no less by her extraction, than by her wit, her merit, her extraordinary virtue. And why did he not begin by blushing at his marriage?

* I am not unacquainted with the prevailing power of Custom, with its ruling over the minds of men; its tyrannizing over their manners, even without ground or reason yet I should have impudence enough to walk openly in the Maill, and to let who will see me there with one that was my Wife.

* A young man deserves no blame for marrying an old woman: He rather shews his prudence in preventing a greater evil. The disparagement lies in misusing of ones Benefactriss, and in using her so as to let her perceive, that she has been imposd upon by a hypocritical and an ungrateful man. If any fiction be excusable it is that of friend∣ship. And if deceit be allowable, it is on such an occasion as would make sincerity a a piece of cruelty. Ay, but she lives longer Page  378 than was expected: Had you then computed the time she was to live, to be no longer than just what would suffice, for her to sign the Deed that clears your debts and raises your fortune: And as soon as this great work is done, is she to breathe no longer? Is a dose of Opium a necessary thing for her? Is it a crime in her to live? And if you should dye before her, whose Funeral you had so well contriv'd, and for whom you had design'd the finest Pall, and the ringing of the biggest Bell in the Pari'sh, must she be accountable for your disappointment?

** There is a method of improving ones Estate, which for these many ages have been practicd by some of the best of men, and blam'd by some of the best Divines.

* The Commonwealth was ever burden'd with certain Offices, which seem to have been erected with no other design than to enrich one man at the expence of many, which cause a constant and a perpetual ebb in the Estates of private men, and shall I say it, from which any advantage is seldom or never reap'd. Each of them is a Gulph, a Sea that receives the waters of many Rivers, but parts with none, at least disgoges itself through secret and subterranean Conduits in an imperceptible manner, and which lessens nothing of the extreme heighth to which it is swell'd. 'Tis a lake that never overflows, but after it has enjoy'd those Waters long, and when it can keep them no longer.

Page  379* Have you a piece of Silver? That's not sufficient. No, nor a piece of Gold neither. 'Tis a quantity that must do the business: Add others to it if you can. Improve 'em to a heap of many bags, and leave the rest to me. You have neither birth nor wit; neither natural parts, nor any experience of the world. No matter; only keep up your heap, and I'll place you so high, that you shall stand on a level with your Master, if you have one. And he must be very eminent indeed, if with the help of your increasing metal, I raise you not even many degrees above him.

* Oranta has been at Law for these ten years, about determining in what Court her Cause is to be heard. Her pretensions are just, of the highest consequence, and on them depends all her fortune. About five years hence she is like to know who her Judges are to be, and at what Bar she is to plead during the remaining part of her life.

* That custom is receiv'd with applause, which has introduced itself in our Courts of Judicature, of interrupting the Council at the Bar in the middle of his discourse, of hindering his being eloquent or witty, of making him return to the matter of fact, and confining him to the bare proofs on which his Client grounds his right, and by which the justness of his cause may be de∣monstrated. And so severe a practice, which exposes an Orator to the regret of having left out the finest part of his discourse, Page  380 which banishes eloquence from its natural place, and which is ready to fill our Courts with mutes. This practice, I say, is au∣thorizd by a substantial reason, against which there is no exception. And that is the dispatch of business: I could wish this reason was less forgot elsewhere, that it were as much regarded in all Offices belong∣ing to each respective Court, as it is in the Court itself. That our Lawyers were obli∣ged to aim at a conclusion in their writing as they are in their speaking.

* The Duty of a Judge consists in the ad∣ministration of Justice, and his Trade in delaying it. Some Judges understand their duty, and follow their Trade.

* Whoever becomes a sollicitor to his Judge shews him no respect at all: He que∣stions his understanding or his honesty, he endeavours to give him a prejudice against his Adversary, or else he desires of him a down∣right injustice.

* The temper of some Judges is such, that interest, authority, intimacy, or relation, render a just Cause obnoxious to 'em; their affectation of appearing not to be corrupted causing them to be unjust.

* The love of women is of a worse con∣sequence in a Magistrate, tho he has but a few private intrigues, than in one that is a profest Whore-master. The first is so close, that it is impossible to discover thro whose means one may make an interest with him. The other has a thousand weak sides, on Page  381 which he may be assaulted, and is wrought upon by every woman he converses with.

* The administration of Justice is very near as much respected in the Common∣wealth, as the dispensation of holy Mysteries. And the character of a Magistrate is in a manner as sacred, as that of a Priest. A man of the Gown can hardly dance at a publick Ball, be seen at a Play, or forget plainness and modesty in his Apparel, with∣out bringing contempt upon himself. And one would wonder that a Law should be necessary to regulate his carriage and his garb, and to force him at once to be grave and respected.

* There is no Trade but what requires a Prenticeship: And if one considers the diffe∣rent stations of men, one may observe there is none, from the highest to the lowest, but has had a time in which he has qualified him∣self by practice and experience for his pro∣fession, in which the faults he has commit∣ted have been without consequence: nay, in which those faults have been like so many steps to perfection. War itself, which seems to be the production of confusion and dis∣order, is not without some rules belonging to it. Men must learn how to flock in the open Field together, to murther one another;* and there are proper methods of killing and destroying. The Soldier has his School: Why must the Magistrate have none? There are establish'd practices, there are laws and customs, and why no time for enquiring Page  382 after them, or why not enough for a man to digest them in his mind, and to make himself master of them? The prenticeship and the first essay of a youth, who is brought from School to mont the Tribunal, and whom his Bags have made a Judge, is the soveraign Arbiter of such causes, on which no less than our lives and fortunes depend.

* The chief thing which makes an Orator is Probity: Without it he degenerates into a Declaimer, he disguises and exaggerates matter of fact, he is deceitful in his citations, his mouth is full of calumnies, he espouses not so much the cause as the passion, and the animosity of his Client, and may be rank'd among those Advocates, of whom the Proverb says, that they are hir'd to be injurious.

* 'Tis true, say one, this summ is due to him he has a lawful right to it, but know w•••e to have him. There is a certain piece of formality where in if he fais, he can neve retrieve his fault and consequently he oses his debt, he has undeniaby abdi∣cated his right. Now he hall cetai••y for∣get this piece of formality. Such a cosciece as this makes an accomplih'd awyer.

* An ecellent and useful, a prudent just and easnable Maxim, for all Cou••s of Judicaure, would be the direct contrary of that, which prefers formality to equity.

Page  383* The Wrack is an admirable invention, and an infallible method, for taking off the innocent that is of a weak constitution, and for saving the guilty, whom nature has endow'd with greater strength.

* The punishment of a Rascal is an exam∣ple for his fellows. The condemning of an innocent person, is the concern of all good men.

I shall go near to say, because I am not a Thief nor a Murtherer, I shall never be punishd as such. A very bold inference!

A deplorable condition is that of an in∣nocent person, who, by too great a precipi∣tation in his tryal, has been found guilty. Can even that of his Judge be more dis∣mal?

* Should I read, that in former ages one of those Magistrates, who are appointed for the apprehending and extirpation of Pick∣pockets and Thieves, had been long acquaint∣ed with all those Rascals: That he knew their names and faces, had an account of their walks, and of every particular act of theirs; could tell how many pockets had been picked, and what had been stolen out of each; could penetrate so far into the depth of their mysteries, and had so great a share in their abominable actions, that to prevent the noise that some great man was ready to make about a Jewel that was taken from him in a croud, when coming out of a publick meeting, he knew how to restore it to him; and that this Magistrate had been Page  384 try'd and condemn'd for this villainous be∣haviour; I should place such a relation in the same rank with those we find in History, which time has made incredible. How then should I believe that it may now most rea∣sonably be inferr'd from fresh and notorious circumstances, that there is still such a per∣nicious connivance; and that it is look'd upon as a customary thing, and hardly taken notice of.

* How many men oppose strength to weakness; cannot be mov'd by compassion, stand buff against all the sollicitations of the poor, have no regard for the common sort of people, shew themselves rigid and severe in things of no moment, will not accept of the least gratification, nor be perswaded by their dearest friends and their nearest relati∣ons, and are byass'd only by women.

* 'Tis not altogether impossible for a man in great favour to lose a cause.

* A dying man, who speaks in his last Will may expect to be heard like an Oracle. His words will certainly create many dis∣putes. Men will put their own constructions upon them, such constructions I mean, as will suit their interest and their inclinations best.

* There are some men of whom one may truly say, that Death fixes not so much their Wills, as it puts a period to their unsteadiness, and their inconstancy. An angry fit while they live, moves 'em to prepare a Will. Their passion wears off, and 'tis either torn Page  385 or burnt. Their Closet is no less stock'd with Wills, than it is with Almanacks, and every year at least produces a new one. The second is disanull'd by a third, which is made as insignificant by another more exact. And the validity of this also is destroyed by a fifth. Yet the last must stand, if opportu∣nity, power or malignity is wanting in the person whose interest it is to suppress it. For what can more clearly shew the inten∣tion of the most inconstant man, than a last Deed of his under his own hand, which has been made so late, that at least he has not had time to will the contrary?

* Were there no Wills to regulate the rights Heirs and Successors, I question whe∣ther men would need any Tribunal, to adjust their differences and disputes, the function of a Judge would almost be reduc'd to that dismal part of it, the sending of Thieves and Murderers to the Gallows. Who are those, that are continualy solliciting our Magistrates, that make such a stir before their doors and in their Halls? Heirs at Law? No! Their rights are fix'd of course. They are none but Legatees who are jarring about the meaning of a word or a clause in a last Will; or disinherited persons who find fault with a Testament that has been made leisurely, after mature deliberation, by a grave, a wise, and conscientious man, and not without the help of good Counsel: With a Deed in which a cunning Lawyer has dis∣play'd all his skill to make it firm and irre∣vocable, Page  386 and has omitted none of the cramp words, and of the subtilities that are us'd by those of his profession. A Deed which is sign'd by the Testator, which is witnessd with all the necessary formalities, and which a Judge, notwithstanding all this, thinks fit to disanul and to make void.

* Titius is hearing of a last Will read with tears in his Eyes. He is oppress'd with grief for the loss of a Friend, by whose Death he is like to raise his fortune. By one clause he makes him his Successor in a good office; by another he bestows on him all his Tene∣ments in the City; by a third a fine seat in the Country; and by a fourth he makes him master of a house richly furnish'd, and seated in the best part of the Town, with all its appurtenances. His grief increases, tears run down his Cheeks: How is it possible he should refrain? He is now one of his Maje∣stys chief Officers; he has his City and his Country-house, his furniture is answerable: He is to keep his Coach and a noble Table. Was there ever an honester, a better humour'd man than the deceased. But hold! Here is a sort of a Schedule belonging to this Will, which must be read. This Schedule gives Moevius all these things, and sends Titius back to his Garret. He has now neither honours nor money, and must be contented to walk on foot as before. Titius wipes off his tears, 'tis Moevius's business to weep.

* Does not the Law which forbids to kill, include poisoning as well as stabbing, Page  387 drowning as well as burning, private assaults as well as open violence, and whatever may contribute to the destruction of men? Did the Law, which restrains Husbands and Wives from giving any thing one to another, relate only to direct and immediate ways of giving? Has it made no provision against those that are indirect? Was it design'd for the introduction of Trustees? Does it so much as tolerate such an evasion, even when the dearest of Wives out-lives her Husband? But does a man bequeath his Estate to a trusty friend as an acknowledgement of his friendship, or is it not rather as a mark of his reliance upon him, and of the confidence he has, that he will make a good use of what he is entrusted with? Will a man intrust his Estate to one whom he has the least ground to suspect will not restore it to the per∣son it is really intended for? Does he need a contract or an oath from him? Must he so much as instruct him in what he is to do? And does not every man feel within his breast what he may expect from another in such a case? And if on the contrary the pro∣perty of this Estate is fallen to this trusty friend, why does he lose his reputation by keeping it? What grounds does he give for a Satyr or Lampoon? Would you compar him to a Trustee that betrays his trust, or to a Servant, who robs his Master of a summ of Money he had sent by him to some other person? I see no reason for it. Where lies the shame of not performing a piece of ge∣nerosity, Page  388 and of a man's keeping for his own use what is lawfully his? How great is the perplexity, how intolerable the bur∣den, that such a trust draws along with it? If a man, out of reverence to the Laws of his Country, appropriates to himself such a deposite, he can no longer be thought an honest man. If out of respect for a deceas'd friend he acts according to his intentions, and restores such a deposite to his Widow, he must make use of deceitful practices, and trangress the Law. The Law then must dif∣fer strangely from the opinions of men. Per∣haps it may be, and 'tis not fit for me to tax either with an error.

* Typho finds a certain Nobleman, with Horses, Dogs, and what not. His protection makes him insolent: He is what he pleases in his Country, without the fear of punish∣ment, a murderer, perjur'd and perfidious: He burns and destroys his Neighbours, and needs no Sanctuary. The King is oblig'd at last to take upon himself the care of chastizing him.

* A Ragout, a Fricacee, and all the vari∣ous names of your Dainties and Kick shaw's,re words which should be new and unintel∣ligible to us. And if these are not fit to be so much as mention'd in time of Peace, as serving only to promote luxury and gluttony, how come they to be so well understood in time of War and publick calamities, at the besieging of a Town, the very night be∣fore a Battle. Where do we find any men∣tion Page  389 made of Scipio's, or of Marius's Table? Do we read in any Book that Miltiades, Epa∣minondas, or Agesilaus, were ever nice or costly in their Diet. I would have no man to commend a General for the goodness, the neatness, or the magnificence of his Table, till he had so exhausted himself on the subject of a victory, on the taking of a Town, or some other great Action, that he had nothing left to mention in his praise. Nay, I could be glad to see a General desirous to avoid such a commendation.

* Hermippus makes himself a slave to what he calls his little conveniencies. All com∣mon practices, all establish'd customs, all fashions, nay decency itself, must fall a sacrifice to them. He will find some in every thing: A less makes room for a greater, and not one is neglected of which the attain∣ment is practicable. He makes them his whole study, and there is not a day but what produces some new contrivance of this kind. He leaves it for others to have set Dinners and Suppers; as for his part, the very name of 'em is loathsome to him; he eats when he is hungry, and of such meats only that suits best with his Appetite. He stands by at the making of his Bed; what hand is so skilful or so happy as to make him sleep according to his mind? He seldom goes abroad. He loves to keep his Chamber, where he is neither idle nor busie, where, (in the garb of a man that has took Physick) he does nothing, and yet is continually em∣ploy'd. Page  390 Others, like slaves, must wait the leisure of a Smith or a Joyner, according to their occasions. As for him, he keeps a File by him, if any thing is to be smooth'd; a Saw if it must be cut, and Pincers if it must be pluckt out. Imagin if you can, any Tools that he has not, or that he has, and which are not better and more convenient, according to his fancy, than even those that Workmen use. He hath some that are new and unknown; that have no name, that are the contrivances of his own brain, and which he has almost forgot the use of. There is no man to be compar'd to him for the quick performance of a useless labour. He was forc'd to walk ten steps, to go from his Bed to his Wardrobe; he has now so contriv'd his Chamber, as to reduce these ten to nine: What abundance of steps here are sav'd du∣ring the whole course of his life? With others it is usual to turn the Key, to thrust backward or to pull forward, and the Door opens; what a fatigue is this! Here is one unnecessary motion which he knows how to spare; by what means? 'Tis a mystery which he keeps to himself: He indeed un∣derstands extremely well the use of Springs, and is a great master of Mechanick, such Mechanicks at least, as the world can be without. Hermippus brings light to his Lodg∣ing another way than than through the Window; he has already met with the secret of going up and down the house otherwise than by the stairs; and he is now studying how to go in and out with more convenieney than thro the Door.

Page  391* It is a long while since Physicians have been rally'd, and yet made use of; the keen∣ness of Satyr, and the wit of the Stage n∣ver reach their fees; they give portions to their Daughters, they place their Sons upon the Bench, and make Bishops of 'em, and they that laugh at 'em do themselves supply 'em with the money for it. Those that are well fall sick, and then they want a man whose trade it is, to assure em that they shan't dye; as long as men may dye, and are desirous to live, the Physician will still be laught at, and well paid.

* A good Physician is he that has Speci∣ficks; or if he wants 'em himslf, allows those that have 'em to cure his Patient.

* The rashness of Quacks, together with the dismal accidents that are occasion'd by it, is that which gives a vogue to the Phy∣sician and his art: if these let you dye, the others kill you.

* Astrologers and Fortune-tellers are suf∣fered in the Commonwealth; such as make Schemes and draw Horoscopes, such as guess at things past by the motion of a Seive, such as shew the truth in a Looking-glass, or in a glass of fair water; and these men are indeed of some use; they promise pre∣ferment to the Men, and to the Maids they promise they shall have their Sweethearts, they comfort those Children whose Fathers are too long a dying; they lull asleep the cares of those young Wives that are troubled with old Husbands: in a word, they cheat Page  392 at a very easie rate those that have a mind to be cheated.

* What can one think of Magick and Sor∣cery? The Theory of it is dark and intri∣cate; its principles are wide and uncertain, and there seems to be a great deal of illusion in it: But there are some puzzling matters of fact affirm'd by men of credit and repu∣tation, who either saw 'em, or learnt 'em from others as fit to be rely'd on as them∣selves. To admit 'em all, or to deny 'em all, seems equally inconvenient; and I dare say, that in this, as well as in all other ex∣traordinary things, that go beyond the common rules, there is a medium to be found between too easie a perswasion, and too stubborn an unbelief.

* Infancy can never be over-burthen'd with too many languages; and methinks that the utmost care should be taken to teach 'em to children: There is no condition of a mans life in which these are not useful to him, and lead him equally to the depths of learning, or the easier and more agreeable parts of knowledge. If this kind of study, which is so painful and so laborious, is put off till men are somewhat older, and they come to that age which is stil'd by the name of youth, either they cannot make it the object of their choice, or if they do, they find it impossible to persevere in it; 'tis to consume that time in the quest of lan∣guages, which is set apart for the use that ought to be made of 'em: This is to confine Page  393 to the knowledge of words, an age that wants already to go further, and seek for things; and it is at the best to have lost the finest and the most valuable years of ones life. So great and so necessary a foundation can never rightly be laid, unless it be when the soul naturally receives every thing, and is capable of deep impressions, when the me∣mory is fresh, quick, and steady; when the mind and the heart are void of passions, cares and desires; and when those that have a right to dispose of us, design us for long and painful labours. I am perswaded that the small number of true Scholars and the great number of superficial ones, comes from the neglect of this practice.

* The study of Texts can never be sufficiently recommended; it is the shortest, the surest, and the pleasantest way to all kind of learning: take things at the best hand go to the very root, handle the Text over and over, get it by heart, quote it upon occasions; remember above all to reach the sense of it in its full latitude, and in all its circum∣stances; reconcile an original Author, adjust his principles, draw your self the conse∣quences from 'em: Th first Commentators were in the case in which I would have you to be; never offer to borrow their light, or to make use of their notions, unless it be when your own fail you; their interpreta∣tions are not yours, and they easily slip out of your memory; your observations, on the contrary, are born in your mind, and they Page  394 abide with you; you will more frequently meet with 'em again in conversation; they will more readily occur to you in disputes and consultations: take a pleasure to see that you are not gravell'd in your reading, by any other difficulties, but such as cannot be overcome, and where Commentators and Scholiasts themselves are at a stand, men that are otherwise so fruitful, so copious, and so overloaded with a vain shew of learning, where things are plain and easie, and where neither they nor others are at any trouble to understand what they ex∣pound. Thus let this method of studying quite convince you that mens laziness is the thing that hath encourag'd Pedantism to encrease the bulk of Libraries, rather than the worth of 'em, to sink the Text under the weight of Comment; and that it has in this done itself wrong, and acted contrary to its own interest, inasmuch as it hath encreas'd that reading, those enquiries, and that la∣bour, which it endeavour'd to avoid.

* What is it that rules men in their way of living, and in their diet? is it health and so∣briety? that's doubtful; there are whole Nations that eat the Fruit first, and Meat afterwards; others do quite contrary: some begin their meal with one kind of Fruit, and end it with another. Does this proceed from use or from reason? Is it for healths sake that men wear their Cloaths up to their Chin, that they put on a Ruff or a Band, when they have heretofore for so many ages Page  395 gone with their Breast open? Is it decency that obliges 'em to do this, especially in a time where they have found a way to appear naked with all their Cloaths upon 'em? And on the other side, women that shew their Breasts and their Shoulders, are they of a less tender complexion than men, or less subject to decency? What kind of mo∣desty is this, which engages these to hide their Legs and their Feet, and at the same time gives 'em leave to let their Arms go naked up to the Elbow? How came men to think heretofore that either assaulting or defending themselves was the end of going to War? And who advised 'em to wear such Arms as were both offensive and defensive? What is it that obliges 'em now to lay these aside? And whilst they put on Boots to go to a Ball, to stand without Armour and in their Doublet, by them that dig the Trenches, expos'd to all the fire of a Coun∣terscarp?

Page  396

OF The Pulpit.

PReaching is now adays become a meer shew: That Gravity, which under the Gospel is so much the life of Preaching, is absolutely laid aside; and an advantageous mien, a pretty tone of the voice, exactness of gesture, choice of expression and long repetitions, are thought to supply its place very well. To attend seriously on the dis∣pensation of the Holy Word is no longer customary. Going to Church is an amuse∣ment among a thousand others, and Preach∣ing a diversion. The Peachers play the Prize, and their hearers bett upon their Heads.

* Prophane Eloquence is transferr'd from the Bar, where it formerly reign'd, to the Pulpit, where it never ought to come.

* The Altar, nor the respect that's due to holy mysteries, are not able to protect Elo∣quence from being attackt. Every hearer thinks himself capable to judge of the Ser∣mon, and accordingly censures or applauds Page  397 it, but is no more converted by the Sermon which he admires, than that which he con∣demns. The Orator pleases some and offends others, but agrees with all in this: That as he does not endeavour to render them better, so they never trouble their heads about becoming so.

* The Prentice that's docible, is attentive to his Master, profits by his instructions, and becomes himself a Master of his profession; whereas a person that is indocible, while he only censures the Preachers discourses, and the Philosophers works, improves himself neither in Religion nor Sense.

* Till such time as there arises a Man, who in a stile form'd on the Holy Scriptures, by long Study and converse with 'em, shall explain to the People the Word of God ge∣nuinely and familiarly, till then I say 'tis to be expected, that Orators and Declaimers will be follow'd.

* Quotations from profane Authors, cold similies, lifeless exaggerations, Antitheses and Hyperboles, are out of doors. Elaborate descriptions are in a fair way of following 'em, and of making room for the plain expo∣sition of the Gospel, joyn'd to the other means that effect Conversion.

* The man for whom I have so impati∣ently wisht, but whom I durst not hope for in our age, is at last arriv'd. The Courtiers, whose good taste and knowledge in decen∣cies cou'd best distinguish him, have applaud∣ed him up to the Skies; and what is a thing Page  398 almost incredible, have left the King's Cha∣pel to mix themselves with the croud, and hear the Word of God preach'd by this truly Apostolick man. The City was not of the same opinion with the Court. In what∣ever Church he preach'd there, not one of the Parishioners was to be found; the very Clerk and Sexton deserted. However, their own and the neighbouring Ministers stuck to him and supply'd their vacant places. This is no more than what I ought to have foreseen, who knew before the invincible power of custom, or else indeed I might have been apt to say, that such a man had no more to do but to shew himself and to be follow'd, to speak and to be heard. 'Tis about these thirty years that your Rhetori∣cians, Declaimers, &c. have been the only Preachers in request, and such especially, like Painters, who can at pleasure draw in great or little. 'Tis not long since the Points and Witticisms that were us'd in Sermons, were so smart and so ingenious, that they might have serv'd for Epigrams. Now, I confess, they are something soften'd, but I fancy that they can't pass still in any thing but Madrigals. There are three things which these men never fail to cry are absolutely necessary and infinitely worhy your at∣tention: One thing they prove in the first part of their discourse, another in the se∣cond, and another in the third. So that you are to be convincd of one truth, and that's their first point of Doctrine; of Page  399 another truth, and that's their second point; and then of a third truth, and that is their third point In this manner the first reflection will instruct you in one of the fundamental principles of your Religion: The second in another principle which is not less funda∣mental: And the last reflection, in a third and last principle, which is the most impor∣tant of 'em all, but which for want of leisure is reserv'd for another opportunity. In fine, to recollect what has been said, to abridge this division, and so form a Scheme of — What still, cry you, new matter, new pre∣parations for a discourse of an hour longer. 'Tis in vain, the more these Gentlemen strive to digest and clear it to me, the less I shall understand it. I believe you indeed very easily, for 'tis the most natural effect of such a mass and confusion of Idea's, which come all to one and the same thing, but with which they unmercifully burthen the memories of their hearers. To see 'em tho affect and persist in this custom, one would almost think that the Grace of Con∣version was ty'd up to such enormous divi∣visions. But how is it possible we shou'd be converted by such Apostles, whom we can∣not follow, reach or comprehend. For my part, I wou'd beg 'em in the midst of their impetuous course to stop, to give their au∣dience and themselves a little time to breathe. Oh the vain unprofitable Sermons now adays! The time of the Homilies is no more, nor are there the Basiles or the Chrysostom••Page  400 to restore it: To get out of the reach of such Preachers, one wou'd be glad to fly into any other Diocess. The generality of men love fine phrases and handsome periods, admire what they do not undrstand, take themselves to be instructed upon trust, and content themselves with deciding between the first and second Doctrine, or between the last Sermon, or the last but one.

* 'Tis not an Age ago since most of our Books were nothing but collections of Latin Quotations, there was not above a line or two of French in a page. Nor did this humour of citing stop here. Ovid and Catullus at the Bar decided Soveraignly in cases of Mar∣riages and Wills, and were as serviceable to the Widows and Orphans as the Pandects. The Sacred and Profane Authors were inse∣parable, and hand in hand jumpt into the Pulpit. St. Cyrill and Horace, St. Cyprian and Lucretius, spoke by turns. The Poets were positively of the same opinion with St. Austin, and the rest of the Fathers. Latin was the Language that was chose to entertain the Women with, and Greek the Clerk and Sexton. To preach so very ill was impossible, with∣out a great deal of Learning. The times are chang'd, and that custom alter'd. The Text still continues in Latin, but the Sermon is in French, and that in the greatest purity. The Scripture is not so much as once quoted, so little learning is there requisite now adays to Preach very well.

Page  401* School Divinity is at last banisht the Pulpits of all the great Towns in the King∣dom, but 'tis only banisht into the Country Villages, where it still resides, for the in∣struction and edification of the Plow-men and Labourers.

* The man must have some Wit who can charm the people in a florid discourse, who makes Morality to divert 'em, and can please 'em with figures, beautiful passages and descriptions. But after all, he has not so much Wit as he shou'd have. One that has more, neglects these foreign ornaments, un∣worthy of the Gospel, and preaches natu∣rally, strenuously, and like a Christian.

* The Orator draws some Sins in such charming and alluring colours, and repre∣sents the sinner in the commission of 'em to have so much wit, air, address and delica∣cy, that for my part, if I have no inclination to resemble his Pictures, I have, at least, occasion to betake my self to some Apostle, who in a more Christian style may give me some disgust for the Vices, of which the other had made me so beautiful a de∣scription.

* What they call a fine Sermon, is a piece of Oratory most exactly conformable to the rules and precepts of humane eloquence, and adorn'd with all the ornaments of Rhe∣torick. To those that judge nicely, there is not a passage or a thought lost. They follow the Orator in all his long ennumera∣tions, and in all his towring flight, but to Page  402 the common people it must needs be a meer Riddle.

* What a judicious and admirable dis∣course is this, cry all that hears it, and 'tis true, for the most essential points of Re∣ligion, as well as the strongest motives to Conversion, were copiously handl'd in it. What effect does it produce in the minds and spirits of the Audience? They are con∣vinc'd, they are mov'd and toucht to that degree, that they confess from their Souls— What? Tht this Sermon of Theodorus ex∣cels even his last.

* A soft effeminate morality has no effect, nor is the Preacher ever the more respected for it. It neither awakens nor excites the curiosity of the men of the world, who are not so terrifyd with a severe Doctrine as some people think, but on the contrary, love it in the person, whose duty 'tis to preach it. The Church seems therefore to be divided into two sorts of men, one sort declares the whole truth, without disguise or respect of persons: The other hears it with pleasure, with satisfaction, with admiration, with applause, but never practices a word of it.

* The Heroick Virtue of great men may be reproach'd with this, that it has cor∣rupted Eloquence, or at least enervated the style of most Preachers, who instead of joyning with the people in their praises to Heaven for its extraordinary gifts on those persons, have associated themselves with Page  403 the Authors and Poets, and become profest Panegyrists; have even out-flatter'd their Verses and Dedications. The word of God they have turn'd into one connexion of praises, which, tho just, yet are ill plac'd, partial, unexpected, and disagreeable to their Character. 'Tis very fortunate in∣deed, if they make mention of God or Religion, which they ought to preach at the same time that they celebrate their Heroes in the Church. There have been those, who have restrain'd the Gospel, which ought to be common to all, to the presence of a single Auditor, have been seen out of hu∣mour when hes coming, has been prevented by some accident, and have not been able to pronounce a Christian discourse before an assembly of Christians, because 'twas not made for 'em, but have been supply'd by other Orators, who, from the little leisure they had to study, have been forc'd to be∣stow their extempore praises upon God Al∣mighty.

* Theodulus has succeeded less than some of his hearers fear'd: His discourse has gra∣tify'd them. He has pleas'd them infinitely more than he cou'd have done, if he had charm'd their ears or their minds. He has flatter'd their jealousy.

* The men of the Gown and of the Sword are alike in this particular. They run a greater risque, but then they make their fortune sooner than those of another pro∣fession.

Page  404* If you are but of some tolerable rank in the world, tho you are sensible that ex∣pression is not your Talent, turn Preacher, no matter for expression. You can never rise, if you're utterly unknown; consider too for your comfort, Theodates has got a good Estate by his Sermons, which are no∣thing but one eternal strain of Cant and Nonsense.

* Some for their merits have been pre∣ferr'd to great Bishopricks, but then the Re∣venues of 'em do not now exceed that of an ordinary Parsonage.

* There is a Panegyrist that groans under a load of Titles: The weight of 'em serves to oppress him, they are hardly all to be crouded into a single Page. Examin but the man, hear him but a little, and you'll find that in the list of all his qualifications, there's one still omitted, which is, that of a very dull Preacher.

* That the women have nothing to do, and that the men are sure to flock to the Churches, to which they resort, is the rea∣son that gives some Preachers the reputation they never desir'd, and supports the credit of others, which wou'd otherwise sink.

* Are greatness and power the only Qua∣lities, which entitle a Man to praise at his Funeral; and that before the Holy Altar, and from the Pulpit the seat of truth? Or is there no other greatness, but what is deriv'd from Authority or Birth? Why is it not rather thought fit that the Person, who excell'd Page  405n his life time in Goodness, Probity, Cha∣rity, Fidelity, and Piety, shou'd at his In∣terrment, be honour'd with a publick Pane∣gyrick? What is call'd a Funeral Sermon, is now adays but coldly receiv'd by most of the Hearers, if not very different and re∣mote from a Christian discourse, or as I may otherwise say, if it does not very nearly ap∣proach to a Prophane Elogium.

* The Orator preaches to gain a Bishoprick. The Apostle to gain Souls. The latter deserves what the other generally goes away with.

* We have seen some of our Clergy∣men come up to Town out of the Country, where they have made no long residence, big with the Vanity of having made those Converts, who were either made to their hands, or never will be s•• we have seen 'em, I say, compare themselves to the Vin∣cents and the Xavieres, fancy themselves Apo∣stles, and for such labours and pains in the Ministry, think themselves scarce paid with the Government of an Abby.

* A man starts up on a sudden, takes Pen, Ink, and Paper, and without ever having had a thought of it before, resolves with himself, that he will write a Book. He has no Talent at writing, but he wants fifty Guineas. In vain, I cry to disswade him, Dioscores, take a Saw, or some other Tool in your hand, work at some handycraft Trade, you may get to be Journey man to some Carpenter or Joyner, and be paid your Wa∣ges: but he has never serv'd an Apprenticeship Page  406 to either. Why then copy, transcribe, cor∣rect the Press, but whatever you do, don't write: yet still he will write, and get it Printed too, and because he must not send blank Paper to the Press, he blots and scrib∣bles a quire or two with such stuff as this; That the River Seine runs thro the City of Paris; that there are 7 days in the week; that it rains and is bad weather, or some other things of the like importance, and this Treatie containing nothing contrary to Religion or the Government, nor being ca∣pable of doing any harm to the publick, but in vitiating their taste, and using 'em to dull insipid things, passes the Licencer; is printed, and to the shame of the age, and the mortification of all good Authors, is in a short time reprinted. Just in this manner another man resolves in his heart that he will preach, and he preaches, whereas he has neither Talent nor Call to mount the Pulpit, but that he wants a good Benefice.

* An Irreligious, profane Clergyman, does but declaim when he preaches.

On the contrary, there are some holy men, whose Character seems to prevent their perswasion. They appear, and all the people who attend to hear 'em are mov'd, and are, as it were, already perswaded by their presence. Their Discourse afterwards does the rest.

* The Bishop of Meaux, and Father Bour∣deloue, recall to my mind Demosthenes and Ci∣cero: Both of 'em, as they are absolute Page  407 Masters of the Eloquence of the Pulpit, have had the fate of other great Models; one of 'em has made a great many ill censurers, the other a great many ill imitators.

* The eloquence of the Pulpit, with respect to what is meerly humane, and what depends on the genius of the Orator, is conceal'd, and its difficulty known but to very few. How much art must there be, to please at the same time that you perswade! You are oblig'd to walk in none but beaten paths, to say what has been said, and what is foreseen that you wou'd say. The subjects are great, but they are worn and stale. The principles are certain, but every one of the Auditory perceives the inference at the first glance. Others of the subjects are sublime, but who can treat of the sublime? There are mysteries to be explain'd, but they are better explain'd by the plainest instruction, than the most rhetorical Harangue. The Morals too of the Pulpit, though they comprehend mat∣ter as vast and as diversify'd as the manners of men, yet all turn upon the same hinge, return all to the same Image, and are ex∣tremely more confin'd than Satire. After the common invective against Honours, Riches, and Pleasures, there remains no more for the Orator to do, but to close up his discourse, and to dismiss the Congrega∣tion. If sometimes there are tears shed, or any one by a serious attention is mov'd, tis not attributed to the genius or character of the Preacher, but to the subject that preaches Page  408 itself, or to self-interest, that gives the chief concernment. 'Tis not own'd that it was so much the force of eloquence, as the stea∣dy resoluteness of the Missionary, that shook us, and gave us these emotions. In short, the Divine is not furnish't as the Lawyer, with matters of fact always new, with diffe∣rent events and unheard of adventures. His business is not to start doubtful questions, to improve probable conjectures. All noble subjects that elevate the Genius, tho they give him force and compass, yet they rather put a constraint on his Eloquence, than fix and direct it. He must, on the contrary, draw his discourse from a Spring common to all. If he deserts his common places, he ceases to be popular. He is either too ab∣stracted, or he declaims: He no longer preaches the Gospel: A noble simplicity is all that he has occasion for, but 'twill cost him dear to attain it. 'Tis a Talent rare, and above the reach of ordinary men. Ge∣nius, Fancy, Learning, and Memory, are so far from helping, that they often hinder the attaining it.

The profession of a Lawyer is laborious, toylsome, and requires in the Person that undertakes it, a rich fund and stock of his own. He is not like the Preacher provided with a number of Harangues compos'd at leisure, got by heart, and repeated with au∣thority, without contradiction, and which being alter'd a little here and there, do him service and credit more than once. His Page  409 Pleadings are grave, spoke before those Judges, who may command him silence, and against adversaries who are sure to inter∣rupt him. This obliges him to be sharp and ready at repartee. In one and the same day he pleads in several Courts and about different matters. His house neither affords him shelter nor rest. 'Tis open to all that come to per∣plex him, with their difficult and doubtful cases. He is not put to Bed, rubb'd down, nor is supported with Cordials. His Cham∣ber is not a Rendezvous of people of all Qua∣lities and Sexes, to congratulate him upon the beauty and politeness of his Language. All the repose he has after a large discourse, is immediately to set to work upon Writings still longer. His trouble continues, he only varies his fatigues, I may venture to say, he is in his way what the first Apostoli•• Men were in theirs.

After this distinction of the Eloquence of the Bar, the profession of a Lawyer, and the eloquence of the Pulpit, and the office of a Preacher, 'twill be granted, that 'tis easier to preach, than to plead, but more difficult to preach well, than to plead well.

* What a vast advantage has a discourse that's spoken over one that's written! Men are bubbl'd by tone and action; if there be but never so little pre-engagement in favour of the person that speaks, they admire him, and set themselves to comprehend him; they commend his performance before he has begun, the Sermon time they sleep, and only Page  410 wake to applaud him. There are none who so warmly engage in behalf of an Author. His works are Read ither in the leisure of a retirement, or in the silence of a Closet. There are not publick meetings to cry him up; no party zealous to prefer him to all his Rivals, and to advance him to the Prelacy. His Book, how excellent soever it may be, is read, but with an intention to find it indif∣ferent. Every leaf is folded down and con∣vast. 'Tis not like sounds, lost in the Air and forgotten, what is printed remains so. Some∣times 'tis expected a month or two before it comes out, with an impatience to damn it. The greatest pleasure that some find in it, is to Criticize on it. 'Tis a Vexation to 'em to meet with passages in every Page, which ought to please, nay, often they are afraid of being, diverted and quit a Book only be∣cause 'tis good. Every body do's not pretend to be a Preacher. The Phrases, Figures, Memory and Gown of a Divine, are things all people are not fond of appropriating to themselves; whereas every one imagines that he thinks well, and that he can express himself still better than he thinks, which makes him less favourable, to one that thinks and writes as well as himself. In a word, the Parson is advanc'd to a Bishoprick, sooner than the most judicious Writer is to a small Priory. New Favours still are heap'd on him, while the more deserving Author is content to take up with his refuse.

Page  411* If it happens that the wicked hate and persecute you, good men advise you to hum∣ble your self before God, and to watch against the Vanity which may arise in you, from having displeas'd people of that Character; so when some certain men, subject to exclaim against all things as indifferent, disapprove your works, or your discourse, whether spoken at the Bar or in the Pulpit, humble your self, for you can't be expos'd to a greater temptation to pride.

* A Preacher methinks ought in every one of his Sermons, to make choice of one prin∣cipal truth, whether it be to move terror, or to yield instruction, and to handle that alone largely and fully, omitting all those foreign divisions and subdivisions, which are so intricate and perplext. I wou'd not have him presuppose a thing that's really fale, which is, that great Men understand the Religion they profess, and so be afraid to instruct persons of their Wit and Breeding in their Catechism, let him employ the long time he's a composing a set formal discourse, in making himself master of his subject, that so the turn and expression may of course flow easily from him. Let him, after some necessary preparation, yield himself up to his own Genius, and to the emotions with which a great subject will inspire him. Let him spare that prodigious expence of me∣mory, which looks more like reciting for a Wager, that any thing else, and which de∣stroys all graceful action. Let him, on the Page  412 contrary, by a noble Enthusiasm, dart con∣viction into their Souls, and alarm their Con∣sciences. Let him, in fine, touch the Hearts of his hearers, with another fear than that of seeing him make some blunder or mistake in his Sermon.

*Let not him who is not yet arriv'd to that perfection as to forget himself in the dispen∣sation of the holy word: Let him not, I say, be discourag'd by the austere rules that are prescrib'd him, as if they robb'd him of the means of shewing his Wit, and of attaining to the Honours to which he aspires: What greater or more noble Talent can there be, than to preach like an Apostle, or which de∣serves a Bishoprick better? Was Feneton un∣worthy of that Dignity? or was it possible he shou'd have avoided his Princes choice, if it had not been for another choice of his own?

Page  413

OF The Wits of the Age.

HAve they who value themselves so much upon the title of Wits, have they, I say, wit enough to perceive that they are only call'd so by Irony? What greater want of wisdom can there be, than to be doubtful of the principle of ones own being, life, sence, knowledge, and of what will be the end of them? What can more lessen any man than his questioning whither his Soul is not material, like a Stone or a Worm, or subject to corruption, like the vilest Creatures? And is it not a much more real and a nobler sort of wit that raises our minds to the Idea of a being superiour to all others, by whom and for whom all things were made, who is perfect and pure, who never had a beginning, nor will never have an end, of whom our Soul is the image: nay, of whom, if I may so speak, it makes a part, being Spiritual and Immortal?

* A tractable and a foolish Mind are both susceptible of impressions; but good impressi∣ons Page  414 are the lot of the one, and ill ones of the other: That is, the first suffers himself to be persuaded, and then sticks to his per∣suasion, the other is conceited and corrupt∣ed. So that the tractable mind admits of true Religion, the foolish of a false one, or of none at all. Now the modish Wit either has no Religion at all, or has one of his own invention. Therefore a Wit and a Fool are muh the same thng.

* By a worldly, earthly or brutish man, I mean one whose heart and mind is wholly fix'd on this small part of the Universe he is plac'd in, the Earth. One who sets a value upon nothing, nor loves any thing beyond it. Whose narrow soul is as much confin'd as that spot of ground he calls his Estate. The extent of which is easily measur'd, the acres are all number'd, and the utmost bounds are limited. 'Tis no wonder that such one, who leans as it were on an Atome, should stumble at the first step in his search after Truth. That with so short a sight he should not reach beyond the Heavens and the Stars, to behold God himself. That not being able to perceive the excellence of what is Spiri∣tual, or the dignity of the Soul, he should feel as little how difficult it is to satisfie its appetites: How much the whole world is insufficient for it: How indispencably this makes it want an all perfect being, which is God: And how absolutely it needs a Religion to find out that God, and to be assur'd of his reality. And any one, on the contrary, may Page  415 soon be perswaded that incredulity and in∣differency is but natural to such a man: That he will make use of God and Religion as a piece of Policy only; that is, as far as it may give a fair outside; or keep in some order the things relating to his worldly concerns, which alone, in his opinion, deserve to have any thoughts bestow'd on them.

* Some men, by travelling give the last stroke to the corrupting of their Judgment and their Manners, and extinguish wholly that spark of Religion they had left: Meet∣ing daily with new ways of Worship, new Manners, new Rites and Ceremonies, they imitate those who wander about the shops before they have resolv'd what kind of stuff to buy. Variety of choice disables them from choosing. Each piece hath something which pleases their fancy; yet unable to fix upon any, they always come out without pur∣chacing.

* The practice of Religion and Devotion is deferr`d by some till lewdness and impiety are profess'd by all. It being then like the vul∣gar, they will avoid following the crowd. They are delighted with singularity in so se∣rious and so important a subject. They would only follow the mode in things of no moment, and which have no consequence; nay, they have, for ought I know, already placd a sort of undauntedness and bravery in running the risque of a future state. The truth is, a mans circumstances, as well as his share of ingenuity, and his private designs Page  416 may be such, that one would scorn to believe like the learned, much more the ignorant.

* A man in health questions whether there is a God, as he does whether Fornicati∣on be a sin. If he's sick and given over, his Miss is laid aside, and the dread of his Ma∣ker leaves no room for his doubts.

* Your modish Wits or Libertines should examin themselves thoroughly before they set up for such, that at least, and indeed ac∣cording to their own principles, they might dye as they have liv'd. Or if they find their stock of wit is like to fail at the approaches of death, that they might be contented to live as they must dye.

* A Jest in a dying man is very unseaso∣nable. If apply'd to certain subjects it is dreadful. To bequeath to others matter of laughter, at the expence of one's own eter∣nal happiness, is extreamly dismal.

Let prejudice make you fancy what you please of a future state, dying is still a most serious work, which becomes constancy bet∣ter than jest or raillery.

* There have been in all ages many of those learned and ingenious persons, who, embracing like Slaves the loose principles of some great men, have groan'd under their yoak, against the dictates of their own minds and consciences all their life time: who never liv'd but for other men, the humouring of whom, one would think they had look'd upon to be the chief end of their Creation. Who have been ashamed to be seen by them Page  417 to work out their own Salvation, and to appear outwardly such as they were perhaps within their hearts. Who have run head∣long into their own ruin, out of weakness and complaisance. Shall we then imagine that this world can bestow so much greatness and power on any mortal man, as he shou'd deserve, that his will, his humour, or his fancy shou'd be the rule of our belief and of our lives? Nay, that we shou'd be such Courtiers, at our very deaths, as to make such an exit, not as we think is like to be safest for our own Souls, but as we hope will be most pleasing to him?

* One would expect from those who act contrary to all the world besides, and contra∣dict such principles as are receiv'd by all, that they knew more than other men, that their reasons were plain, and their arguments convincing.

* Shoud a just, chaste, moderate, and sober man affirm there is no God, self-interest certainly wou'd have no hand in such an assertion. But where is this man to be found?

* Shou'd a just, chaste, moderate, and so∣ber man affirm there is no God, I wou'd think such an assertion was Impartial: But where is this man to be found?

* Cou'd I but see that man who was really perswaded that there is no God, I shou'd hear at least by what strange convincing ar∣guments he had found it out.

Page  418* The impossibility I find my self under of proving there is no God, is a demonstration to me that there is one.

* God condemns and punishes those who trespass against him. And is the only Judge in this cause. Which were contrary to rea∣son, but that his Being is the spring of all Justice and Truth. That i, tha he is God.

* Some secret Instinct whispers me that there is a God, and it never does that there is none. I need no further proof. And argu∣ments, to me, are needless. I conclude from thence that he is, and this conclusion is grounded in my nature. I took up with this principle too readily from my childhood, and my sticking close to it afterwards, hath been too natural, for me ever to have the least jealousie of any falshood in it. Ay, but there are some men who make a shift to forsake this principle. I question whether there are or no. But if there be, it argues that there are Monsters.

* There is no such thing as an Atheist. Your Great men who we are most apt to suspect of being given that way, are too lazy to determine in their own minds whether there is a God or no. And they indulge that temper so far, that they are utterly careless and in∣different upon this so weighty a matter, as well as upon the nature of their own Souls, and the consequences of true Religion. They neither deny nor grant any of these things, for they bestow no thoughts upon 'em.

Page  419* A Great man falls only in a swoon, as we think, but dyes in a moment. Another, in a Consumption, sees death daily creeping upon him, till he sinks under the weight of a lingering distemper. These are dreadful, but useless presidents. These circumstances, tho so remarkable, and so opposite to each other, are not taken notice of, affect no body, 〈◊〉 no more regarded than the fall of a 〈◊〉, or the fading of a Flower. We are inquisitive only about their vacant imploy∣ments; How such and such a place was dis∣pos'd of; and envy those that succeed 'em.

* Is there so much goodness, fidelity and equity among men, that we shou'd place such a confidence in them, as not to desire, at least, that there was a God, to whom we might appeal from their Injustice, and who might protect us against their persecutions and treacheries?

* If the Wits find so much grandeur and sublimity in Religion, that it dazles and con∣founds their understandings; they deviate from their character, and must acknowledge their own dulness and stupidity. If, on the other hand, they are offended at the meanness and simplicity of it, we must allow them to be Wits indeed, and greater Wits than so ma∣ny great men who have gone before them, than the Leos, the Bazils, the Ieroms, Austins, and others, who notwithstanding all their learning and their extraordinary wisdom, glory'd in a compleat profession of Christi∣anity.

Page  420* Some, who never read the Fathers, are frighted at their very names: How dull, how rough, how insipid, how pedantick do they fancy 'em in their discourses, their ex∣pessions and their arguments. But how wou'd these men wonder at the strangeness of such a notion, if they perus'd their writings, and found in 'em a more exa•••••quence, a smoother style, a more ingen••us, more expressive, and more convincing way of argu∣ing, adorn'd with greater vigour of expressi∣on, and more natural graces than most of those modern books which ae read with ap∣plause, and give the greatest reputation to their authors? With what satisfaction, if they had any love for Religion, wou'd they see it explain'd, and its truth believ'd and assert∣ed by men who were masters of so much wit, ingenuity and activity of judgment? Especially since any one who will but ob∣serve the vastness of their knowledge, the depth of their penetration, the true grounds of their Philosophy, their unweary'd dili∣gence, and their capacity in unfolding holy Mysteries, the reasonableness of their infe∣rences, the nobleness of their expressions, the purity of their principles and morals, cannot compare, for example, any author to St. Austin but Plato or Cicero.

* Man being born a lyar, cannot relish the plainness and simplicity of truth. He is altogether for pomp and ornament. Truth is not his own. 'Tis made, as it were, to his hands; and descends to him from heaven Page  421 with all its perfections. But self-conceited man is fond of nothing but his own producti∣ons, of fables and inventions. Observe the ge∣nerality of men, they will invent a tale, they'll add to it, and load it with a thousand silly and incredible particularities. And even the wisest of them are not altogether exempt from doing thus; sometimes their pride and vanity draw 'em in to disguise the truth; and to make a story pass current they will often set it off with false circumstances. If an accident happens, now, in your neighbour∣hood, and as it were under your eye, you may hear it related by a hundred persons a hundred different ways, and whoever comes after them will make a new story of it. How then shall we believe the relation of things, that were done so many ages before this? What relyance shall we have upon the gravest of Historians? and what must become of History? was Caesar murder'd in the Senate? was there ever such one as Caesar? you laugh at the impertinence of such questions: Such doubts and inferences, you think not worth your answer. And indeed I can't but com∣mend you for doing so. But should I suppose, that the book which gives us an account of Cae∣sar is not a profane History; that it was not writ by a man who is given to lying, that is, was not found by chance, and promiscu∣ously amongst other manuscripts, of which some are true and others more doubtful. That on the contrary it was inspir'd by God; That it bears the marks of Holiness and Di∣vinity; Page  422 that it hath been kept for above these two thousand years by an innumerable ociety of men, who all this while would not allow the least alteration to be made in it, and have made a part of their Religion to preserve it in all its purity; nay, that these men are by their own principles in∣dispencably oblig'd to believe all the trans∣actions contain'd in that Hisory, where Caesar and all his greatness is mention'd: Own it, Lucilius, wou'd you then question whe∣ther there ever was such a man as Caesar?

* All sorts of Musick are not fit for the praises of God, and become not the Sanctu∣ary. As all kinds of Philosophy are not fit for the discoursing worthily of his Godhead, his Power, the principles of his Operations, or his holy Mysteries. The more abstracted and notional, the more vain and useless it is, in explaining these things, which require no more than a sound judgment to be un∣derstood to a certain pitch; and which can∣not be explain'd at all beyond it. To pre∣tend to give an exact account of the Es∣sence of God, of his Perfections, and, if I dare to speak, of his Actions, is indeed more than the ancient Philosophers, than the A∣postles themselves, or the first Teachers of the Gospel ever did. But the choice of such a task is less prudent than theirs. Such pre∣tenders may dig long and dig deep, but will never be the nearer to the Springs of truth. If they once set aside the words, Goodness, Mercy, Justice and Omnipotence, which Page  423 are apt to form in our minds so lovely and so majestick an idea of Divinity, let them afterwards strain their Imaginations ever so much, they will find nothing but dry, barren, and nonsensical expressions to make use of: They must admit of wide and empty notions, must be singular in their fancies, or at least, must attain to a sort of ingenious subtilty, which by degrees will make them lose their Religion, as fast as they improve in the knowledge of their own new Metaphysicks.

* What excesses will not men be trans∣ported to by their zeal for Religion, which yet they are as far from believing, as they are from practicing.

* That same Religion which men will defend so zealously, and with so much heat and animosity, against those who are of a quite different perswasion, is incroach'd up∣on by themselves, who, fond of their own peculiar notions, add or diminish from it in their minds a thousand things, sometimes most material, according as it suits best with their conveniencies. And having thus whol∣ly alter'd the frame of it, remain stedfast and unmoveable in these their perswasions. So that one may say with the vulgar, of a Nation, that it hath but one manner of Worship and one Religion: but properly speaking it really hath many, and almost every individual man in it hath one of is own.

* If Religion be nothing but a respectful fear of God, what shall we think of those Page  424 who dare affront him in his representatives on earth, Kings and Princes?

Were we assur'd that the secret intent of the Ambassadors, who came lately from Siam, was to perswade the most Christian King to renounce Christianity, to admit their Priests in his Kingdom, to creep into Houses, in order to allure by their discourses, our Wives, our Children, and our selves in∣to the principles of their Religion; to suffer them to build Temples amongst us, for the worshipping their Golden Images; with what scorn and derision should we hear the relation of such a ridiculous enterprize? Yet we think little of sailing a thousand leagues through the vast Ocean, in order to bring over to Christianity the Kingdoms of India, Siam, China, or Iapan; that is, with an intent, which in the eyes of all these Na∣tions, is full as ridiculous and impertinent. And they protect our Priests and other Re∣ligious men; they give attention sometimes to their discourses; they suffer them to build Churches, and to perform all the Duties of their Mission. From whence proceeds such a temper both in them and us? Would not one think it came from that secret impulse, which truth generally carries along with it?

* 'Tis not becoming for all men to set up for hospitality, as to have all the common beggars of the Parish daily crouding at their door, and not to suffer one to go home empty. But what man is there who is not Page  425 sensible of the more secret wants of some body or other, which he is able to relieve by his intercession to others, at least, if not im∣mediately out of his own pocket? Neither are all men qualified for the Pulpit, or fit publickly to deliver their Doctrine and Ex∣hortations. But what man is there, who, at some time or other, doth not meet with some Sinner whom he may attempt to reclaim by his private discourses, and his friendly admonitions? should a man make but one Convert through the whole course of his Life, he could not be said to have bestow'd his time in vain, or to have been a useless burden upon Earth.

* There are two worlds, one we already dwell in, but must leave it so as never to re∣turn. The other we must shortly be tran∣sported to, there to abide for ever. Interest, Dominion, Friends, Reputation and Riches are most useful in the first. The despising of all these things is most useful for the next. Now which of them had a man best to choose?

* Who has liv'd one day hath liv'd a thou∣sand, still the same Sun, the same Earth, the same World, the same Enjoyments. No∣thing more like this day than to morrow. Death only would be new to us. Which is but an exchange of this Bodily state, for one tha is all Spiritual. But man, though so greedy of novelties, hath no curiosity for this. Tho unsettl'd in his mind, and still growing weary of whatever he enjoys, he Page  426 never thinks his Life too long, and would perhaps consent to live for ever. What he sees of Death makes a deeper impression on his mind than what he knows of it. The fear of pain and sickness, the horror of the Grave make him lose the desire of knowing another World. And the strongest motives of Reli∣gion can but just bring him to receive his doom with submission.

* Had God left it to our choice to dye, or to live for ever: And did we consider how dismal it is for a man to see no end of his Poverty, Subjection, Sickness or Sorrow; or at best, to enjoy Riches, Greatness, Health, and Pleasure, with an absolute necessity of exchanging them shortly for their contraries, by the continual vicisitude of times; and thus to be tost to and fro by the wheel of Fortune, betwixt Happiness and Misery: It wou'd pose any one to make a choice. Na∣ture having ty'd us to the former, saves us the labour of choosing. And the necessity of dying is made easy by Religion.

* If my Religion be false, it is a snare at least which you must own to be laid with such temptations that I could not avoid rush∣ing into it, and being intangl'd by it. What Majesty, what Glory in its Mysteries! what a connexion in all the several parts of its Doctrine! How very rational is it? how candid and innocent in its Moras? and who can stand against the strength of so ma∣ny millions of witnesses, the most moderate and the wisest of men, who, during three Page  427 whole ages have succeeded each other? and whom the sense of the same truth, so constantly supported in their Exiles, in the darkest Dungeons, and even in death itself, and the most painful torments? Set open the Books of History, run it over through all its parts; take it from the beginning of the world, and even from before that, if you can; was there ever any thing like this? Could all the power of God himself have laid a fitter plot to seduce me? How then shall I escape? Whether shall I run? And how shall I find any thing that's better? nay, tha is but half so good? Since I must be led into ruin, this shall be my way to it. Denying the Being of a God would indeed suit my inclinations much better, than suf∣fering my self to be deluded, though by so plausible and so specious a pretence. But I have examin'd thoroughly, have endea∣vour'd all I could, and still want the power of being an Atheist. This then must be my doom, and I am forc'd again to stick to my Religion.

* The grounds on which Religion is founded, are either true or false. If false, the Religious man, and the strictest observer of all the precepts of Self-denial ventures no more than just the loss of threescore years, which I'll allow to be foolishly bestow'd. But if true, the vicious man is of all men most miserable: And I tremble at the ve∣ry thoughts of what unutterable and in∣comprehensible torments I see him daily heaping upon himself

Page  428Tho the truth of Religion was much less demonstrated than it really is, certainly there is no prudent man but would choose to be virtuous.

* Those who dare presume to deny the Being of a God, hardly deserve that one should strive to demonstrate it to them, or at least that one should argue with them with more seriousness than I have done hi∣therto. They are for the generality so ig∣norant, that it makes them unqualify'd for the understanding of the clearest principles, and of the truest and most natural inferences. Yet I am willing to offer this to their reading, provided they don't fancy that it is all that can be said upon the subject of so noble and so perspicuous a truth.

Forty years ago I was not, neither was it in my power ever to be, any more than now that I am, it is in my power to cease from being. My existence therefore hath had its beginning, and is now continu'd thro the influence of somethig which is with∣out me, which will subsist after me, which is better and more powerful than I. Now if that something is not God, let me but know what it is.

I exist: But this existence of mine pro∣ceeds, perhap, you'll say, from the power only of an universal nature, which has been such as we see it now, from all Eternity. But this nature is either only spiritual, and then tis God; or only material, and conse∣quently could not create that part of my Page  429 Being which is spiritual, my Soul; or else it is a compound of Spirit and Matter, and then that part of it, which you say is a Spirit, is that which I call God.

Again: Perhaps you'll add, that what I call my Soul, is nothing but a part of Matter which subsists through the power of an uni∣versal Nature, which also is material, which always was and ever will be such as we see it now: and which is not God. But at least you must grant, that what I call my Soul, let it be what it will, is something which thinks: That if it is made up of Matter, it is such a Matter as thinks, for you can never beat it into me, that at the time I am thus arguing, there is not something within me that thinks. Now this something, since you will have it to owe its being and its preservation to an universal Nature, which always was and every will be as to the first cause of both, it necessarily follows, that this universal Nature either thinks, or is nobler and more perfect than that which thinks. And if nature thus describ'd is Mat∣ter, then it must be an universal Matter that thinks, or which is nobler and more perfect than that which does think.

I proceed further, and I say, that such an universal Matter, if it be not a Chimerical but a real being, may be perceiv'd by some of our sences; and that if it cannot be dis∣cover'd in it self, it may be known at least through the various order of its different parts which forms all Bodies, and makes the diffe∣rence Page  430 betwixt them. Matter, then, is it self all these different Bodies; now since, ac∣cording to the supposition, Matter is a being which thinks, or is better than that which thinks, it follows, that it is such in some of these bodies, at least, and conse∣quently in the Stones, in Minerals, in the Earth, in the Sea, in my self, who am but a Body, as well as in all its other parts. I am then beholden for this something, which thinks within me, and which I call my Soul, to all these gross, earthy and bodily parts, which being laid together make up this Universal Matter, or this visible World. Which is absur'd.

If, on the contrary, this Universal Nature, let it be what it will, is not all those Bodies, it follows that it is not Matter, and cannot be perceiv'd by any of our sences. And if, notwithstanding this, it has the faculty of thinking, or is more perfect than that which has the faculty of thinking, I still conclude that it is a Spirit, or something better and more perfect than a Spirit. Now if that which thinks within me, and which I call my Soul, not finding its Principle in it self, and much less in Matter, as has been just now demon∣strated, is forced to acknowledge this uni∣versal Nature to be the first Cause, and the only Spring, from whence it derives its being; I'll not dispute about words. But this original Spring, of all its spiritual beings, which is it self a Spirit, or which is better than a Spirit, is that which I call God.

Page  431In a word I think, therefore there is a God. For that which thinks within me is not a gift, which I can pretend to have bestow'd on my self, since it was no more in my power to be the Author of it at first, than it is now, to be the preserver of it for one minute. And I re∣ceiv'd it not from a Being which is supe∣rior to me and which is not material, since it's impossi∣ble for Matter to be superior to that which thinks. From whence it follows, that I must have receiv'd it from a being which is supe∣rior to me, and which is not material. And that superior Being is God.

* From the inconsistence of an universal Nature, which has the faculty of thinking, with any thing that's material, must necessarily be inferr'd, that any particular being, which has the faculty of thinking is also and equally inconsistent with any thing that is material. For though the Idea of an universal being, which hath the faculty of thinking, includes infinitely more Power, Independance, and Capacity, than that of a particular being, which hath the faculty of thinking, yet it does not imply a greater inconsistance with Matter, it being impossible for this incon∣sistance to be greatest in either, because it is, as it were, infinite in both. And it is as impossible, that what thinks within me, should be Matter, as it is inconceivable that God should be Matter. As God therefore is a Spirit, so my Soul also is a Spirit.

* I cannot positively know whether a Dog is Master of memory, love, fear, ima∣gination or thought, of the faculty of choo∣sing, Page  432&c. When therefore I am told that those actions in a Dog, which seem'd to be the effect of either passion or sentiment, proceed naturally and without choice from the disposition of the material parts of its Body, which like Clock-work, put it under an absolute necessity of moving thus, I may perhaps acquiesce in this Doctrine: but as for me, I think, and I certainly know that I think. Now if one considers this or that disposition of material parts, which altoge∣ther make up what body you please, that is, an extent which wants no dimensions, which has its length, breadth, and depth, which may be divided in all these respects; pray what proportion is there betwixt such an extent and that which thinks?

* If all things are Matter, and if thinking in me, as well as in all other men, is an effect only of the disposition of the parts of Matter, what brought into the world a notion abso∣lutely foreign from the Idea of any thing that is material? Can Matter produce so pure, so simple, so immaterial an Idea, as that we have of a Spirit? Can Matter be the principal of that which denies and ex∣cludes itself from its own Being? How is it in man that which thinks; that is, that which is a conviction to man that he is not material?

* There are Beings which last not long, because they are made up of things which differ much in their nature, and are de∣structive to each other. There are others Page  433 more lasting, because they are more simple, but they perish at last, being made up of se∣veral parts, into which they may be divi∣ded. That which thinks within me must needs last very long, since it is a very pure being, free from all mixture and compositi∣on. There is no occasion why it shou'd pe∣rish, for what can corrupt or divide a simple being, which has no parts?

* The Soul sees colours through the Or∣gan of the Eye, and hears sounds thro the Or∣gan of the Ear, but it may cease either from seeing or hearing, when those sences on those objects are remov'd, and yet not cease from being, because the Soul is not proper∣ly that which sees or hears, it is only that which thinks. Now how can it cease from being such? Not through the want of Or∣gans, since it has been prov'd that it is not material. Nor through the want of objects, as long as there is a God and eternal Truths, so fit for its contemplation: It is then in∣corruptible.

* I cant conceive that a Soul which God has filled with the Idea of his infinite and all-perfect Being, must be annihilated.

* Observe, Lucilius, this spot of ground, which for neatness and ornament, exceeds the other Lands about it. Here the finest Fountains and the most curious Water-works you ever saw, there endless Walks, shelter'd from all cold winds, and lin'd with fruitful Palissadoes, on this side a thick and shady Grove, on the other an admirable prospect. Page  434 A little lower a Rivulet, whose stream run∣ning amongst the Willows and Poplars, was once hardly taken notice of, is now become a famous Canal, and its Banks supported with Free-stone. And elsewhere long shady Visto's, the ends of which no eyes can reach, lead you to a noble Seat, surrounded with water. Will you say this is the effect of chance? Will you suppose that all these things met together accidentally? No cer∣tainly. You'll rather commend the order, the disposition of them, the judgment and skill of the ingenious Contriver. My thoughts will be the same with yours, and I'll suppose this must be the dwelling of one of those men who, from the very minute, they get into place, think on nothing but on the laying the Foundation of some great and sumptuous Palace. Yet what is this piece of ground so order'd, and on the beautifying of which, all the art of the most skilful Workmen have been employ'd, if the whole Earth is but an Atome hanging in the air, and if you'll but hear what I am going to say?

You are plac'd, Lucilius, on some part of this Atome; you must needs be very little, since you hold there is so little room. Yet you have eyes imperceptible like two points: Open them however towards heaven. What is sometimes the object of your observations there? Is it the Moon, when at the full? 'Tis radiant then and very beautiful, tho all its light be but the reflections of the Sun's. Page  435 It appears as large as the Sun itself, larger than the other Planets, than any of the Stars. But be not deceivd by outward appear∣ance; nothing in Heaven is so little as the Moon: The extent of its superficies exceeds not the thirteenth part, its solidity not the eight and fortieth part, and its Diameter, which is two thousand two hundred and fif∣ty miles, not a quarter part of that of the Earth. And the truth is, that what makes it so great in appearance, is its proximity only: Its distance from us being no more than thirty times the Diameter of the Earth, or three hundred thousand miles Nay, and its course is nothing, in comparison of the prodigious long race of the Sun, thro the spacious Firmament. For it is certain it runs not above sixteen hundred and twenty thousand miles a day, which is not above sixty seven thousand five hundred miles an hour, or one thousand one hundred and five and twenty miles a minute. And yet to compleat this Course, it must run five thousand six hundred times faster than a Race-Horse, that goes twelve miles an hour. It must be eighty times swifter than the sound, than the noise, for example, of a Cannon, or of the Thunder, which flies eight hundred and one and thirty miles an hour.

But if you'll oppose the Moon to the Sun, with respect to its greatness, its distance, or its course, you shall find there is no com∣parison to be made betwixt 'em. Remem∣ber Page  436 only that the Diameter of the Earth is nine thousand miles: That of the Sun's is a hundred times as large, which is nine hun∣dred thousand miles. Now if this be the breadth of it every way, judge you what its superficies, what its solidity must be. Do you apprehend the vastness of this extent, and that a million of such Globes as the Earth being laid together, would not ex∣ceed the Sun in bigness. How great will you cry must then the distance of it be, if one may judge of it by its smallness in ap∣pearance. 'Tis true, it is prodigious great; it is demonstrated that the Sun's distance from the Earth, can be no less than ten thousand times the Diameter of the Earth. Or, which is all one, than ninety millions of miles: Nay, and it may be four times, per∣haps six times, perhaps ten times as much, for ought we know. There is no method found out for the computing of it.

Now, for the help of your apprehension, let us suppose a Mill-stone falling from the Sun upon the Earth, let it come down with all the swiftness imaginable, and even swift∣er than the heaviest body's falling from ne∣ver so high; let us also suppose that it pre∣serves always the same swiftness, without acquiring a greater, or losing from that it already has; that it advances forty yards e∣very second, which is half the heighth of the highet Steeple, and consequently two thousand four hundred yards in a minute. But to facilitate this computation, allow it Page  437 be two thousand six hundred and forty yards, which is a mile and an half, its fall will be three miles in two minutes, ninety miles in an hour, and two thousand one hundred and sixty miles in a day. Now it must fall ninety millions of miles before it comes down to the Earth, so that it can't be less than forty one thousand six hundred and sixty six days, which is above one hun∣dred and forty years in performing this journey. Let not all this fright you, Lucili∣us, I'll tell you more. The distance of Sa∣turn from the Earth, is at least ten times as much as the Sun's, so that it is no less than nine hundred thousand millions of miles, and that this Stone would be above eleven hundred and forty years in falling down from Saturn to the Earth.

Now by this elevation of Saturn's, raise your imagination so high, if you can, as to conceive the immensity of its daily course. The Circle which Saturn describes, has above eighteen hundred millions of miles Diameter, and consequently above five thousand four hundred millions of miles circumference: So that a Race-Horse, which I'll suppose to run thirty miles an hour, must be twenty thousand five hundred and forty eight years in taking this round.

I have not said all, Lucilius, that can be said on the miracle of this visible world: Or, to speak more like your self, on the won∣ders of Chance, which alone you will al∣low to be the first cause of all things. It is Page  438 still more wonderful in its operations than you imagin. Learn what Chance is: Or, rather be instructed in the knowledge of all the power of your God. Do you know that this distance of the Sun from the Earth, which is ninety millions of miles, and that of Saturn, which is nine hundred millions of miles, are so inconsiderable, if oppos'd to that of the other Stars, that no compari∣son can express the true measure of the latter. For indeed, what proportion is there betwixt any thing that can be measur'd, let its extent be what it will, and that which it is impossible to measure? The heighth of a Star cannot be known, it is, if I may so speak, immensurable. All Angles, Sinuses, and Paralaxes become useless, if one goes about to compute it. And should one man observe a fixed Star from Paris, and another from Iapan, the two lines that should reach fom their Eyes to that Star, should make no Angle at all: And should be confounded together and make up one and the same line, so inconsiderable is the space of the whole Earth, in comparison of that distance. But tho Stars have this in common with Saturn and the Sun, and I should express something more. If then two Astronomers should stand, the one on the Earth, and the other in the Sun, and from thence should observe one Star at the same time, the two visual rays of these two Astronomers should not in appearance form an Angle. But that you may conceive the same thing another way, Page  439 should a man be plac'd on one of the Stars; this Sun, this Earth, and the ninety millions of miles that are betwixt em, would seem to him but as one point. There are de∣monstrations given for it.

'Tis for this reason that the distance there is betwixt any two Stars, tho they appear never so near one another, is not to be measur'd. You would think, if you judg'd by your eye, the Plyades almost touch'd one another. There is a Star seems to be plac'd on one of those which make the Tail of the Great Bear; your sight can hardly perceive that part of the Heavens which divides 'em, they make together as it were but one double Star: Yet if the most skilful Astronomers cannot with all their Art find out their distance from each other, how far asunder must two Stars be which appear remote from one another? And how much farther yet the two Polar Stars? How pro∣digious the length of that line, which reaches from one to the other? How immense the Circle which this line is the Diameter of? How unfathomable the solidity of the Globe, which this Circle is but a Section of? Shall we still wonder that these Stars, though so exceeding great, seem no larger to us than so many Sparks? Shall we not rather ad∣mire that from so vast a heighth they should peserve the least appearance of bodies, and that they should be seen at all? And indeed, the quantity of them that is unseen is innu∣merable? 'Tis true, we limit the number of Page  440 the Stars, but that is only of such Stars as are visible to us; for how should we num∣ber those we cannot see? Those, for exam∣ple, which make up the Via Lactea, that trace of light, which on a clear night, you may observe from North to South in the Sky. Those, I say, which being by their extraordinary heighth so far out of the reach of our eyes, that we cannot distinguish every individual Star amongst 'em, give a white cast only to that part of the Heavens they are plac'd in?

Behold then the Earth on which we tread, it hangs loose like a grain of Sand in the air. A multitude of fiery Globes, the vastness of whose bulk confounds my imagination, and whose heighth exceeds the reach of my conceptions, all perpetually rowling round this grain of Sand, has been for above these six thousand years, and are still daily, cros∣sing the wide, the immense spaces of the Heavens. Or if you desire an other, and yet as wonderful a system; the Earth itself is turning round the Sun, which is the center of the Universe, with a swiftness that sur∣passes my imagination. Methinks I see the motion of all these Globes, the orderly march of these prodigious bodies; they never dis∣order, never hit, never touch one another, should but the least of them happen to start aside, and to run against the Earth, what must become of the Earth? But on the con∣trary all keep their respective stations, re∣main in the order prescrib'd to them, fol∣low Page  441 the tracts which are laid before them. And this, at least, with respect to us, is done with so little noise, that the vulgar knows not that there are such Bodies. What a strange and wonderful effect of chance! Could intelligence itself have done any thing beyond this? One only thing I cannot understand, Lucilius. These vast bodies are so exact and so constant in thei courses, in their revolutions, and their relations to each other, that a little Animal, being confin'd in a corner of that wide space, which is call'd the world, having made their obser∣vations on them, has contriv'd an exact and an infallible method of foretelling in what degree of their respective Courses every one of these Stars will be two thousand; four thousand, nay, twenty thousand years hence. Here lyes my scruple, Lucilius: If it be by chance that they observe such constant rules; what is order, and what are rules?

Nay, I'll ask you what is chance? is it a Body, is it a Spirit, is it a Being which you distinguish from all other Beings, which has a particular existence, or which resides in any place? Or rather, is it not a mode or a fashion of Being? When a Bowl runs against a Stone, we are apt to say it is a chance: but is it any thing more than the accidental hitting of these bodies one against the other? If by this chance, or this hitting the Bowl, it changes its strait course into an oblique one, if its direct motion becomes more contract∣ed, if ceasing from rowling on its Axis, iPage  442 winds and whirls like a top, shall I from thence infer, that motion in general pro∣ceeds in this Bowl from the same chance? Shall I not rather suspect that the Bowl owe it to itself, or to the impulse of the arm that threw it? Or because the circular motions of the wheels of a Clock are li∣mited, the one by the other in their degrees of swiftness, shall I be less curious in exa∣mining what may be the cause of all these motions? Whether it lyes in the wheels themselves, or is derived from the moving faculty of a weight that gives 'em the swing? But neither these Wheels nor this Bowl could produce this motion in themselves. And it does not lye in their own nature, if they can be depriv'd of it without changing this nature. It is therefor likely that they are mov'd some other way, and through a foreign power: And as for the Coelestial Bodies, if they should be depriv'd of their motion, should therefore their nature be al∣ter'd? Should they cease from being bodies? I can't believe they should: Yet they move; and since they move not of themselves, nor by their own nature, one would examine, Lucilius, whether there is not some principle without 'em that causes this motion. What∣ever you find it, I call it God.

Shou'd we suppose these great bodies to be without motion indeed, I could not ask who moves 'em. But I should still be al∣low'd to inquire who made them, as I may examine who made these Wheels or this Page  443 Bowl. And though each of these Bodies was suppo'd to be but a heap of Atomes, which have accidentally knit themselves together through the figure and conformity of their parts, I should take one of those Atomes, and should say, who created this Atome? is it Matter, is it a Spirit; had it any Idea of itself before it made itself? If so, then it existed a minute before it did exist. It was and it was not at the same time. And if it be the Author of its own being, and of its manner of being, why made it itself a Body rather than a Spirit?

Or else had this Atome no beginning? Is it Eternal? Is it Infinite? Will you make a God of this Atome?

* The mite has eyes, and turns away if it meets with such objects as may be hurtful to it; place it on any thing that is black, for the help of your observation, and if, while it is walking, you lay but the least bit of Straw in its way, you'll see it alter its course immediately. And can you think that the Cristalline humour, te retina, and the op∣tick nerve, all which convey sight to this little animal, are the product of chance?

One may observe in a drop of Water, that a little Pepper which has been steep'd in it, has excited the thirst of an infinite number of small Animals, whose figure may be per∣ceiv'd with the help of a Magnifying-glass, and who are moving to and fro, with an in∣credible swiftness, like so many Monsters in the wide Ocean. Each of these small Ani∣mals Page  444 is a thousand times less than a Mite, and yet is a body that lives, which receives nourishment, which grows, which must not only have Muscles, but such Vessels also as are equivalent to Veins, Nerves, and Arte∣ries, and a Brain to make a distribution of its Animal Spirits.

A bit of any thing that is mouldy, tho it be no bigger than a grain of Sand, appears thro a Microscope like a heap of many Plants, of which some are plainly seen to bear Flowers, and other Fruits, some have buds only, and others are wither'd. How extreamly small must be the Roots and Fi∣bers through which these little plants receive their nourishment. And if one considers that these plants bear their own Seed as well as Oaks or Pines, or that these small Ani∣mals are multiply'd by generation, as well as Elephants and Whales, whether will not such observations lead one? Who could work all these things, which are so fine, so exceeding small, that no eye can perceive 'em, and that they, s well as the Heavens, border upon infinity it self, tho in the other extream? Would not one think it was the same Being who made, and who moves with so much ease, the Heavens and the Stars, those vast Bodies which are so wonderful in their bigness, their elevation, the swift∣ness and the prodigious extent of their Courses?

* Man enjoys the Sun, the Stars, the Heavens and their influences, as much as he Page  445 does the Air he breathes, and the Earth on which he treads and by which he is support∣ed. This is Matter of Fact, and if, besides the fact, I were to prove the probability of the thing, and that it is fitting he should do so, I might easily make it out, since the Heavens and all that is contain'd in them are not to be compar'd, in nobleness and dignity, with one of the meanest men on Earth. And since there can be no other porportion betwixt them, than what there is betwixt Matter, which is destitute of Sen∣timent, and is only an extent according to three dimensions; and a spiritual, a reason∣able, or an intelligent Being. And if any one says that all these things might have serv'd for the preservation of Man, I answer, that less could not have serv'd for the Glory of God, and for the magnifying of his power, his goodness, and his magnificence, since let his works be never so great and wonderful, they might still have been infinitely greater.

The whole universe, if it be made for man, is, in a literal sense, the least thing that God has done for man, the proof of which may be drawn from Religion. Man is therefore neither presumptuous nor vain, when, submitting to the evidence of Truth, he owns the advantages he has receiv'd, and might be tax'd with blindness and stu∣pidity, did he refuse to yield himself con∣vinc'd thro the multitude of proofs which Religion lays before him; to shew him the Page  446 greatness of his prerogatives, the certainty of his refuge, the reasonableness of his hopes, and to teach him what he is, and what he may be. Ay, but the Moon is inhabited, at least we don't know but it may. What, and to how little purpose is it you talk of the Moon, Lucilius. If you own there is a God, nothing indeed is impossible. But do you design to ask whether it is on us alone that God has bestow'd such great blessings? Wheher there are not other Men, or other Creatures in the Moon, whom also he has mad the objects of his Bounty. To so vain a curiosity, to so frivolous a question, let me answer, Lucilius, that the Earth is inhabited, we are the Inhabitants of it, and we know that we are so, we have proofs, demonstra∣tions, and convictions, for all that we are to believe of God and of our selves. Let the Nations who inhabit the Celestial Globes, whatever those Nations are, be mindful of their own concerns. They have their cares, and we have ours. You have observ'd the Moon, Lucilius; you have found its spots, its deeps, its ruggedness, its eleva∣tion, its extent, its course, and its eclipses, no Astronomer has yet done more. Now contrive some new and more exact Instru∣ments, observe it again, and see whether it is inhabited, what are its Inhabitants, whe∣ther they are like men, or whether they are really men, let me look after you, and let us both be convinc'd that there are men who inhabit he Moon, and then, Lucilius,Page  447 we'll consider, whether those men are Chri∣stians or no, and whether God has made 'em to share his favours with us.

* Many millions of years, nay, many thousand millions of years; in a word, as many as can be comprehended within the limits of time, are but an instant, being com∣par'd with the duration of God, who is E∣ternal. The spaces of the whole universe are but a point of an Atome, being com∣par'd with his Immensity. If it be so, as I affirm it is; for what proportion can there be between what is finite and what is infi∣nite; I ask what is a man's life, or the ex∣tent of a grain of Sand, which is calld the Earth; nay, of a small part of that Earth which man inhabits and enjoys? The wick∣ed are prosperous while they live: Yes, some of them are, I own. Virtue is opprest, and Vice remains unpunish'd: It happens so sometimes, 'tis true. This is then an in∣justice: No, not at all. You should have prov'd, to draw this conclusion, the wicked absolutely happy, the virtuous absolutely depriv'd of happiness, and vice absolutely and always remaining unpunish'd. That short time in which the good are opprest, and the wicked are prosperous, should, at least, have a duration. What we call pro∣sperity and good fortune, should be some∣thing more than a false appearance, or a vain shadow which vanishes away. This Atome, the Earth, in which Virtue and Vice so seldom meet with their deserts, should be Page  448 the only stage on which they are to receive their puishments or their rewards.

I can't infer more clearly, from my thinking that I am a Spirit, than I conclude from what I do or do not, according as I please, that I am free. Now freedom is the power of choosing, or of taking a volun∣tary determination towards good or evil, so that the doing of good or evil is what is call'd Virtue or Vice For Vice to remain absolutely unpunish'd would be an injustice, 'tis true. For Vice to remain unpunish'd on Earth is a mystery only; yet, let us, with the Atheist, suppose that an injustice too. All injustice is a negation or a privation of justice, therefore all injustice supposes a ju∣stice: All justice is a conformity to a sove∣raign reason. I'll ask you then, whether it has not ever been just that Vice should be punish'd: Yes certainly, and the denying of it would be as ridiculous, as if one should pretend to say, that a Triangle has not three Angles. Now all conformity to reason is a truth: This conformity, as I said just now, always was. It may then be included in the number of what we call eternal truths: but this truth either is, not and cannot be, or else it is the object of a knowledge. This knowledge therefore is eternal, and this eternal knowledge is God.

The most secret crimes are discover'd so easily, notwithstanding all the care that has been taken to prevent their being brought to light: And such discoveries seem to re∣sult Page  449 so naturally, even from the darkest plots that the Authors of those crimes could invent to hide their guilt, that one would think no∣thing but God could have produc'd those unexpected events. The number of these discoveries is so great, that those who are pleas'd to attribute them to chance, must own at least, that from all ages the effects of chance have been most wonderful.

* If you suppose that every man on Earth, without exception, is rich, and wants no∣thing, I'll infer from thence, that there is never a man on Earth but what is poor, and wants every thing. There are but two sorts of riches, which comprehend all the rest, Money and Land. If all were rich, who would be a Husbandman to cultivate the Earth; or who would dig and rip up its Bowels to find out Gold or Silver. Those who live remote from any place where Gold and Silver lies, could not dig for Gold and Silver: And those who inhabit barren Lands, which produce nothing but Minerals, should hardly reap any Fruits. Ay, but Trade, it is to be suppos'd, would supply both the one and the other. But should all men abound in riches, so that none were under a neces∣sity of living by his labour, who would be troubl'd with transporting from one place to another, your Gold, your Silver, or any thing that were bought or barter'd? Who would fit out your Ships? Who would take care of conducting of them to their respective ports? Who wou'd travel in Caravannes? Page  450 Even necessaries and the most useful things would then be wanted by every one. To banish necessity from the Earth, were to bid an adieu to all Arts and Sciences, all Inven∣tions and Handicrafts; besides, such an equa∣lity amongst men, as to their riches and pos∣sessions, would occasion the like, as to their ranks in the World; would banish all sub∣ordination, and would reduce men to have no Servants but themselves, to receive no help nor succour from each other, would make Laws frivolous and useless, would draw after it an uiversal Anarchy, would produce violence, injuries, murders and im∣punity.

If on the other hand, you suppose all men to be poor and indigent, in vain the Sun enlightens our Horizon; in vain it warms the Earth and renders it fruitful; in vain the Heavens pour out their influences on it; in vain the Rivers water it with their streams; in vain the Fields abound with Fruits; in vain the Sea, the Rocks, and the Mountains are ransack'd and rifl'd of their Treasures. But if you grant that, of all the men who are scatter'd throughout the world, some are rich and others poor, necessity then must reconcile, unite, and bind them together. Some must serve and obey, some must labour and cultivate the Earth, some must con∣trive and invent, some improve and bring their inventions to perfection; others must rule, protect, assist, communicate and en∣joy. Order is restor'd, and providence ap∣pears.

Page  451* Should you suppose Power, Idleness and Pleasure to be the share of some men only and Subjection, Care, and Misery the lot of all the rest, either the malice of men must have remov'd all these things from their natural place, or else Divinity itself must want Pru∣dence.

Some inequality in the conditions of men, for order and subordinations sake, is the work of God, and demonstrates a providence: oo great a disproportion, and such as is ge∣nerally seen amongst them, is their own work, and an incroachment of theirs upon one another.

All extreams are vicious, and proceed from Men, compensation is just, and proceeds from God.

* If these Characters don't take, I wonder they should not; but if they take, I wonder they should.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

THE Moral Characters OF THEOPHRASTUS Made English from the Greek.

WITH A Prefatory Discourse Concerning THEOPHRASTVS, From the French of Monsr De La Bruyere.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1698.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

A Prefatory Discourse Concerning THEOPHRASTUS.

I Cannot conceive that Man is capable of entertaining a more vain and ridicu∣lous thought, than to imagine that in Writing of any Art or Science, he shall be able to escape all sort of Critick, and obtain the good opinion of all his Readers.

For without observing the differences of the Genius of Men, as strange as that of their Faces, which makes some relish speculation, others things that are practical, inclines some to turn over Books to exercise their fancy, others to form their Judgment; and a∣mongst Readers, these love the force of de∣monstration, those to understand nicely, or form ratiocinations and conjectures. I con∣fine my self only to that Science which de∣scribes Manners, examines men, and discovers Page  [unnumbered] their Characters; and I dare say, that works of this kind, which touch so near, and whose subject is Men themelves, will not easily meet with a favourable re∣ception.

Some of the Learned taste nothing but the Apothegms of the Ancients, and exam∣ples drawn from the Romans, Grecians, Persi∣ans and Egyptians; the History of the pre∣sent time is insipid to them, they are not at all toucht with the Men that are about them, and with whom they live, they make no observations on their Manners.

The Ladies and Courtiers, on the con∣trary, and all those that have abundance of Wit without Learning, are very indifferent towards those things that preceded them, and very eager after those that pass before their Eyes, and are as it were under their hands; these they pry into, these they ap∣prehend; they continually observe the per∣sons that surround them, are charm'd with the descriptions and representations that are made of their contemporaries and fellow Citizens in short, of those that resemble themselves, to whom yet they think they do not bear the least similitude; as those that instruct us from the Pulpit, often judge it expedient to neglect Preaching solid Divi∣nity to gain Men by their own weakness, and reduce them to their duty by things that please their palate, and are within their comprehension.

Page  [unnumbered]The Court is ignorant of the affairs of the City, or by reason of the con∣temptible opinion it has of it, does not en∣deavour to remove the prejudice, and is not in the least toucht with the images it might furnish it with; so on the contrary, the Court is represented, as it always is, full of intreagues and designs; the City does not draw enough from this description, to sa∣tisfie its curiosity, and to form a just Idea of a Place, which can no otherwise be known but by living there; on the other side, it is not very natural for men to agree about the Beauty or Delicacy of a Moral Treatise, which designs and paints themselves, and where they cannot avoid seeing their own faces, they fly into passion in condemning it, such no longer approve the Satyre, than whilst it bites severely, keeps at a distance from them, and fixes its Teeth on some body else.

What probability is there to please all the so different tastes of Men, by one single tract of Morality? Some search for Definitios, Divisions, Tables and Method, these are desi∣rous to have explain'd to 'em, what Vertue is in general, and then every Vertue in particu∣lar, what difference there is between Valour, Fortitude and Magnanimity; the extream Vices, either in defect or excess, between whom each vertue is placed; and of which of these two extreams it most participates: other sort of Doctrine does not at all please them. Others are atisfied to have Page  [unnumbered] manners reduced to the Passions, and that these be explain'd by the motion of the Blood, by the Fibres and Arteries, they'll excuse an Author all the rest.

Thee re a third Class, who are of opi∣nio, 〈◊〉he whole Doctrine of manners ought o tend to their Reformation; to di∣stinguish the good from the bad, and to discover amongst men what is vain, weak and ridiculous, from what they have that is good, solid and commendable.

They infinitely solace themselves in the reading of Books, which supposing the prin∣ciples of Natural and Moral Philosophy left in a controversial suspence by the Antients and Moderns, immediately apply themselves to the Manners of the times, and correct men by one another, by the Images of things that are Familiar to them, and from whence nevertheless they do not deduce instructive inferences.

Such is the Treatise of the Characters of Manners, which Theophrastus has left us; he collected them from the Ethicks, and great Morals of Aristotle, whose Scholar he was; the excellent definitions, that are at the beginning of each Chapter, are esta∣blished on the Ideas and Principles of this great Philosopher, and the oundation of the Characters which are there described, is taken from the sme original; it is true he makes them moe particular, by the scope he gives them, and by his ingenious Satyrizing the Greeks, but especially the Atheni∣ans

Page  [unnumbered]This Book cannot be thought other than the beginning of a much longer work, which Theophrastus had undertaken. The design of this Philosopher, as you may observe in his Preface, was to treat of all Virtues and Vices; and as he himself assures you, h un∣dertook this great work, at Ninety Nine Years of Age; it is probable that the shortness of his remaining Life hindred him from perfecting it. I own that the common opi∣nion is, that he lived above an hundred years, and St Ierome in one of his Letters, which he wrote to Nepotianus, asserts that he died full an hundred and seven years old; so that I doubt not in the least, that it was an An∣tient error either of the Grek Numerical Letters, which guided Diogenes Laertius, who reckoned him to have lived but Ninety five years, or in the first Manuscripts of this Hi∣storian; if that be true in others that the Ninety Nine years, which the Author as∣cribes to himself in the Preface, are exactly the same in four Manuscripts in the Palatine Library; where are also the five last Chap∣ters of the Characters of Theophrastus, which are wanting in the old Editions; and where are also two Titles, the one, The opinion the World has of the Vicious; the other, Of Sordid gain; which are found alone, without any Chapters belonging to them.

This work is nothing but a fragment, yet notwithstanding a precious remain of Anti∣quity, and a Monument of the vivacity of the mind, and of the firm and solid Judg∣ment Page  [unnumbered] of this Philosopher at so great an Age; it will always be a Master piece in its kind, there is nothing extant wherein the Attick taste is more remarkable, or the Grecian Elo∣quence more conspicuous; so that it may deserve the name of a Golden Book, the Learned are intent on the Diversity of man∣ners there treated of, and the natural way of expressing the Characters; and compare them besides with that of the Poet Menander a Scholar of Theophrastus, who served after∣wards for a Model for Terence, who in our days being so happily imitated, I cannot forbear to hint in this little work, the origi∣nal of all Comedy; I mean that void of Quibbles, Obscenities and Puns, which is taken from nature, and diverts both the wise and vertuous.

But to enhance the value of these Cha∣racters, and inspire the Reader, perhaps it may not be improper, to say something of their Author. He was of Eresus, a City of Lesbos, a Fullers Son; his first Master in his own Country was *Leucippus of the same C with himself, from thence he went to Plato's School, afterwards settled at Ari∣stotles; where he distinguisht himself from all the rest of his Scholars. This new Master, charm'd with the readiness of his Wit, and Sweetness of his elocution, chang'd his name, which was Tyrtamus, to that of uphra∣stus, which signifies one that talks well, but this name not answering the great estimation he had for the beauty of his genius and ex∣pressions, Page  [unnumbered] called him Theophrastus, that is to say a Man whose Language is Divine. Which is like what Cicro says amongst his sen∣timents of this Philosopher, in his Book inti∣tuled Brutus, or De Claris Oratoribus; who is more fertile and copious than Plato, more solid and firm than Aristotle, more agreeable and smooth than Theoprastus; he calls him his friend, and says, that his works were familiar to him, and the reading of them had afforded him abundance of pleasure.

Aristotle says of him and Calisthenes another of his Scholars, what Plato before had said of Aristotle himself and Xenocrates; that Calisthenes was dull of invention, and had a sluggish Fancy, and that Theophrastus on the contrary was so vivacious, piercing and pe∣netrating, that he would comprehend all that was to be known of a thing, that the one wanted Spurs to prick him forward, the other Reins to hold him in.

He had an especial esteem for a Character of sweetness, which equally reigned in his Style and Manners. It is said that Aristotle's Scholars seeing their Master growing in years, and of a weak constitution, begged of him to name his Successor, and as he had only two persons in his School on whom the choice could fall, Menedemus the *Rhodian and Theophrastus the Eresian; by a dexterous management towards him, that he designed to exclude, he declares himself after this manner. He pretending, a little time after his Disciples had made this re¦quest Page  [unnumbered] to him, and in their presence, that the Wine he commonly used was prejudicial to him, ordered Wine to be brought him both of Rhodes and Lesbos, he drinks of both of them, and says they did not in the least conceal their Country, and that each in its kind was excellent, the first was very strong, but that of Lesbos more pleasant, and to that it was he gave the preference. Whatsoever we read of this Story in Aulus Gellius, 'tis certain, that when Aristotle was accused by Eurimedon a Priest of Ceres, of having spoken ill of the Gods, fearing the fate of Socrates, left Athens and retired to Chalis a City of Euboea; and left his School to a Lesbian, whom he intrusted with his Writings, on condition he should conceal them; and 'tis to this Theophrastus, that we are obliged for the works of that great Man.

His name became so famous thro all Greece, being successor to Aristotle, that he could reckon soon after in the School that was left him near two thousand Scholars. He was envied by Sophocles,* Son to Amphiclides, and who at that time was chief Magistrate, who out of Enmity to him, but under a pretext of an exact polity, and to hinder publick as••mblies, made a Law which prohibited under pain of Death, any Philo∣sopher to teach in Schools. They all sub∣mitted to it, but the following year Philo succeeding Sophocles, who was discharged his Office, the Athenians repealed this de∣testable Law, that the other had made; and Page  [unnumbered]aying a fine of five Talents upon him, re∣established Theophrastus and the rest of the Philosophers.

He was in this more fortunate than Ari∣stotle, who was forced to submit to Eurimedon. He had like to have seen one Agnonides pu∣nished by the Athenians as impious, only because he durst accuse him of Impiety; so great was the opinion this People had of him, and which he merited by his Vertue.

They gave him the Character of a man of singular prudence, zealous for the publick good, Laborious, Officious, Affable, Libe∣ral. Plutarch reports that when Eresus was opprest with Tyrants, who usurped the Go∣vernment of the Country, he joyned Phydius his Countryman, and out of his own Estate contributed with him to arm the banished men, who entring into their City expelled the Traytors, and restored the whole Isle of Lesbos to its liberty.

His many and excellent accomplishments, did not only acquire him the good will of the People, but the esteem and familiarity of Kings: he was a friend of Cassander's, who succeeded Arideus Brother to Alexander the Great, in the Kingdom of Macedon; and Ptolomy Son of Lagus, and first King of Egypt kept a constant correspondence with this Philosopher At last he died, worn out with Age and Fatigues, and ceased at the same time both to Labour and Live, all Grece lamented him, and all the Athenians assisted at his Fu∣neral.

Page  [unnumbered]It is said that in his extream old age, not being able longer to go on Foot, he caused himself to be carried on a Litter thro the City, that he might be seen by the people to whom he was so dear. Its reported also, that his Scholars that stood about his Bed before his Death, asking him if he had no∣thing to recommend to them, he addrest himself to them after this manner.

Life deceives us, it promises us great pleasure in the possession of Honour, but Life and Misery begin together, which end in Death; there is often no∣thing more unprofitable than the love of reputation. Therefore my Disciples be content: if you contemn the esteem of men, you'll save your selves a great deal of trouble; if it abate not your courage it may come to pass that Honour may be your reward: remember only that in Life are many useless things, and but few that tend to a solid end, I have now no leisure to determine what Sect I ought to espouse, but for you my Survivors you cannot too seriously consider what you ought to do. These were his last words.

Cicero in the third Book of his Tusculan Questions says, that Theophrastus dying com∣plained of nature, that she had given Harts and Crows so long a Life, which was altoge∣ther useless; and had alotted Man too short a time, in regard it was of such consequence for them to live long, that if the age of men were extended to a greater number of years, their Life would be cultivated by an univer∣sal knowledge, and all Arts and Sciences might be brought to perfection. And St. Page  [unnumbered]Ierome concerning the matter before cited assures us, that Theophrastus at one hundred and seven years old, taken ill of that distem∣per of which he died, lamented that he was obliged to quit Life, at a time when he just began to be wise.

He used to say, we ought not to love Friends to try them, but to try them to love them: That Friends ought to be common amongst brethren, as all things are common amongst Friends. That you ought as soon to trust to a Horse without a Bridle as to a Man that speaks without Judgment. The greatest ex∣pence that a man can be at, is that of his time. He said once to a person that sate silent at Table during the entertainment, If you are a Man of sense you are to blame to say nothing, but if otherwise, you do very well. These were some of his Maxims.

But if we speak of his works, they are infi∣nities, and we cannot find that any of the Antients wrote more than Theophrastus: Dio∣gones Laertius reckoned up more than two hundred different Tracts, and the suctjects of which they treated: the greatest part of which are lost by the injuries of time, and the other remaining parts he reduces to twenty Tracts which are collected out of the Volumes of his works: there are Nine Books of the History of Plants, Six Books of their causes, he wrote of Winds, of Fire, of Stones, of Honey, of the signs of fair Wea∣ther, the signs of Tempests, of the signs of Page  [unnumbered] Rain, of Smells, of Sweat, of the Vertigo, of Weariness, of the Relaxations of the Nerves, of Swooning, of Fish that live out of the Water, of Animals that change their colour, of Animals that are suddenly born, of Animals subject to envy, the Characters of Manners: these are what remain of his Writings, amongst which this last only which I translate is not inferiour in beauty to any of those which are preserved, but may be uperior in merit to any of those which are lost.

But if any one should coldly receive this moral Treatise, on the account of those things they may observe there, which are only applicable to the times in which they were wrote, and are not suitable to their Manners; what can they do more advan∣tageous and obliging to themselves, than to get loose from that prepossession in fa∣vour of their own Customs and Manners, which they not only take up on trust without any deliberation, but peremptorily pro∣nounce all others contemptible, which are not conformable to them, and thereby de∣prive themselves of that pleasure and in∣struction, which the reading of the Ancients would afford them.

We who are now Modern shall be An∣cient in a few days; then the History of our times will make Posterity relish the selling of places of Honour or Trust, that is to say, that no man can have the power to protect Innocence, to punish Guilt, and Page  [unnumbered] of doing Justice to all the world, except he buys it with ready Money, just as he does his Farm. It will also reconcile them to the gawdy splendour of the heads of factious parties; a sort of men, treated with the last contempt amongst the Hebrews and Greeks. They'll hear of the Capital City of a Great Kingdom, which hath neither Publick places, Baths, Fountains, Amphitheatres, Galleries, Porticues, nor Publick Walks, which was notwithstanding a prodigious City; of some persons whose life is spent in going from one House to another; Ladies who keep neither Shops nor Inns, yet have their Houses open for those that will pay for their admission; there you may have Cards and Dice, or play at what sort of Game you please, you may eat in these Houses, and they are fit for all sort of Commerce. They'll be inform'd that some pass up and down the Street only to seem to be in haste; there is no familiarity or conversation there, but all is confused, and as it were an alarm of the noise of Coaches which to avoid one must run into the middle of the Street, as fast as if he wre running a Race. They'll believe without wonder, that the Inhabitants go to Church, visit the Ladies and Friends, with offensive arms, and that there is no person but car∣ries at his side, wherewith at one push to murder another.

Now if our posterity, astonisht at Cu∣stoms so strange and different from theirs, Page  [unnumbered] should therefore dislike our Memoirs, our Poetry, our Comedy and Satyrs, might not we complain that by this false delicacy they deprive themselves of the reading such excellent Works, so elaborate and so regular, and of the knowledge of the most glorious Nation that ever yet adorn'd Hi∣story.

Having then the same tender regard for the Books of the Ancients, which we our selves hope for from posterity, being per∣swaded no Uses or Customs continue in all ages, but vary with the times, and that we are too remote from those that are past, and too near those now in vogue, to be at that due distance that is requisite to make a just observation of either. Nor will that which we call the politeness of our Man∣ners, nor the Decorum of our Customs, or our State and Magnificence, afford us mor advantage over the Athnians plain way of living, than against that of the first Men, great by themselves, and indepen∣dant on a thousand exteriour things, which afterwards wee invented perhaps to supply that true Grandeur, which is now no more.

Nature shews itself in them, in all its purity and dignity; and was not yet in the least suled by Vanity, Luxury, and foolish Ambition. No man was honoured but on account of his Strength or Virtue; none were enriched by Places or Pensions, but by their Land and Flocks, their Children and Page  [unnumbered] Servants; their food was wholesome and natural, the Fruits of the Earth, and the Milk of their Beasts; their Raiment plain and uniform, made of their Wool and Fleeces; their pleasures innocent; a great Crop; the marriage of their Children; a good understanding with their Neighbours; peace in their Family. Nothing can be more opposite to our Manners than all these things, but the distance of time makes us relish them, as the distance of place occa∣sions us to receive all that the different relations, or Books of Travels inform us of remote places and strange Countrys. They tell us of one Religion, one Policy, one way of feeding, habiting, building and ma∣king War; there was no part of manners that they were ignorant of, those that approach nearest ours affect us, those that are more distant fill us with admiration, but all amuse us, less surprized at the barbarity of Manners and Customes of People so remote, which instruct and at the same time please us by their Novelty, it suffices us that those concerning whom we have the account, are Siamites, Chinese, Negroes or Abyssines.

Now those whose Manners Theophrastus paints were Athenians, and we are French, and if we add to the diversity of Place and Climate, the long interval of time and con∣sidering that this Book was wrote the last year of the CXV Olympiad, three hundred and fourteen years before the Christian Era, and Page  [unnumbered] also that it is above two thousand years since the People of Athens lived of whom he draws the Picture, we may admire to know our selves there, our friends, our enemies, those whom we live with, and that being di∣distant from each other so many ages, the resemblance should be so great. In short, Mens Souls and Passions change not, they are yet the same still as they were, and as they are described by Theophrastus, Vain, Dissem∣blers, Flatterers, Selfish, Impudent, Impor∣tunate, Distrustful, Backbiters, Quarrelsome, and Superstitios.

Its true, Athens was a free City, it was the center of the Republick, its Citizens were qual one with another, they walked by themselves and on foot, in a neat peaceable and spacious City, going into the Shops and Markets to buy what necessaries they wanted themselves. Court emulation did not in the least incline them to leave this common way of Life: they kept their Slaves for the Baths, for their Repasts, for their Domestick service, and for travelling, they spent one part of their time in the publick places, the Temples, the Amphitheatres, on the Bridge, or under the Portico's, and in the middle of a City of which they were equally Masters. There the people met together to deliberate of the publick affairs, there they treated with Strangers. In other places the Philosophers sometimes delivered their Doctrine, sometimes conversed with their Scolas.

Page  [unnumbered]These places were at the same time the Scene of pleasure and business; there was some thing in their manners which was plain and popular, which I acknowledge little re∣sembles ours; yet notwithstanding what such men as the Athenians in general! and what City like Athens! what Laws! what Policy! what Va∣lour! what Discipline! what perfection in all Arts and Sciences! nay, what Politeness in their common Conversation and Language! Theo∣phrastus, the same Theophrastus of whom so great things have been said, this agreeable Talker, this man that expresses himself Di∣vinely, was known to be a Foreigner, and called so by an ignorant Woman, of whom he bought Herbs in the Market, who knew by a sort of Atticks nicety which he wanted (which the Romans afterwards called Urba∣nity) that he was no Athenia; and Cicero relates, that this great man was amazed, that having lived to old Age in Athens, and being so perfect a Master of the Attick Language, and having habituated himself to the accent so many years, that yet he could not do that, which the common people naturally, and without any difficulty do. But if we read in this Treatise the Characters of certain manners which we can't excuse, and appear ridiculous to us, we ought to remember, that Theophra∣stus had the same thought of them, that he lookt upon them as vices, which he had drawn so to the Life, that the Picture would serve to shame and correct the Athe∣nins.

Page  [unnumbered]But being desirous to please those, who coldly receive whatsoever concerns strangers and the Antients, and value none but their own Manners, we have added them to this Work: It may be thought hazardous to follow the design of this Philosopher, as well because it is always pernicious to imitate the works of another, and especially if he be an Antient, or an Author of great reputation; as also be∣cause every figure which is called a descrip∣tion or ennumeration, employ'd with so great success, in these twenty eight Chapters of Characters, will now seem abundantly less, if managed by a Genius much inferior to Theophrastus.

On the contrary, remembering that amongst the great number of Tracts of this Philosopher related, by Diogenes Laertius, there is one under the Title of Proverbs, that is to say independant pieces, as reflections or remarks; the first and greatest Book of Morality that ever was made, bears the same name in Sacred Writ; I found my self excited, by so great models, to follow ac∣cording to my abilities the same method, to write of manners, and I am not at all dis∣couraged from the undertaking, by two works of Morality which are in every ones hands; and either for want of attention or hro a Spirit of Criticism, some may think these remarks are imitations.

One by the engagement of his Author makes Metaphysicks subservient to Religion, explains the nature of the Soul, its Pas∣sions, Page  [unnumbered] its Vices, discusses the most serious motives that lead to Vertue, and will make a Man a Christian: the other, which is the production of a Soul, furnished by conversa∣tion in the World, and in which delicacy was equal to penetration, observing that self-love in Man is the cause of all his errors, he attacks without intermission every part where he finds it; and this one thought, when multiplied in a thousand different ways by choice of words and variety of expressions, hath always the grace of No∣vety.

I shall not follow either of these two ways in the work, which is joined to the Translation of these Characters, it is quite different from the other two, which I spoke of, less sublime than the first, and less delicate than the second, its sole design is to render man reasonable, by plain and common ways, and examining indiffe∣rently without any great regard to method, and according as the several Chapters there are directed by the Ages, Sexes and conditions, by the Vices, the foibles and ridicules which are there attackt.

I have mostly applied my self to the Vices of the mind, the secrets of the heart, and to all the interiour part of Man, which Theophrastus has not done, and I may say tht as his Characters, by a thousand exterior things, which are observed of Man, by his Actions, his Words, his Gate, shew what is their foundation, and lead us to the very source Page  [unnumbered] of their disorder; on the quite contrary, these new Characters imploy'd about the thoughts, sentiments and inclinations of Men, discover the principle of their Villany and Follies, making us easily foresee all that they are capable to say or do; and abate our wonder at a thousand Vicious and Frivolous actions, of which their Life is full.

It must be acknowledged, that in the Titles of these two works, the difficulty is found near equal, for those who are not pleased with the latter may make themselves amends with the former. But with relation to the Title of the Characters of Theophrastus, the same Liberty cannot be allowed, because we are not Masters of another mans goods, but must follow the Spirit of the Author, and to render him according to the nearest sense of the Greek words, and at the same time ac∣cording to the most exact conformity to their Chapters, which will be found very difficult; because very often the signification of a Greek Term translated word for word, is quite another thing in our Language; for example, Irony which with us is a raillery in conversatron or Rhetorical Trope; with Theophrastus it signifies somewhat between cheating and dissembling, which altogether is neither the one nor the other, but that very particular Vice which is described in his first Chapter.

And in other places, the Greek have some∣times two or three terms very different to express those things that are so, which we Page  [unnumbered] cannot render but only by one single word; this poverty of our Language doth much embarrass us.

You may observe in this Greek work, thee orts of troublesome persons. Flatterers of two orts, and as many of great Talkers, the Characters to which persons resemble, ine∣fere one with the other, to the prejudice of the Titles; they are not always so exactly followed and perfectly conformed to, because Theophrastus, diverted by a design which he had to make his pourtraicts, found himself obliged to these alterations by reason of the Cha∣racters and Manners of the persons he paints or Satyrizes.

The definitions that are at the beginning of each Chapter are very difficult, they are short and concise in Theophrastus, according to the force of the Greek, and the Style of Aristotle, who furnished him with the first Ideas; I was obliged to enlarge them in the Translation to make them intelligible: there are also in this Tract some unfinisht Phrases, which make but imperfect sense, but it is easy to supply the true one. You'll find in the various readings some things very abrupt, which may admit of diverse explications; and to avoid wan∣dering amongst these Ambiguities, I have followed the best interpreters

To conclude, as this work is nothing but a plain instruction, concerning the Manners of Men, by which 'tis rather designed to make them Wise than Learned, I think my Page  [unnumbered] self exempt, from the trouble of long and curious observations, or of Learned Commen∣tators, who give an exact accompt of An∣tiquity; I have only added some small notes in the Margin, to some things I thought required them, to the end that none of those who have justness and vivacity, and are pretty well read, should blame this small fault, and that they may not be obstructed in reading these Characters, or doubt one mo∣ment about the sense of Theophrastus.

Page  [unnumbered]

THE Moral Characters OF THEOPHRASTUS, Done from the Greek.

BEfore I particularly applied my self to the Study of this subject, I have often wondered, (nor can I yet forbear so to do) how it comes to pass, that all Greece being scituated under the same Air, and all the Grecians alike educated, yet there should be so great a disparity of Manners amongst them. I therefore (dear Policles) having for a long time studied Men, being now ninety nine years old, during which time, I have been conversant with persons of all sorts of Tempers, Humours, and Inclinations, and observing with great nicety both the Good and Bad, comparing one with the other, thought fit to describe what method each

Page  [unnumbered]If you ask to borrow Money of him, or come to receive the publick Taxes, he'll tell you I am no Trader: at another time you shall hear him talk of his great dealings tho he has had nothing at all to do.

When he has been listening attentively to peoples discourse, he affects to seem as if he had not concerned himself about it. What he sees, he shall deny that he has ever seen, pretends forgetfulness to all his promises. Talk to him of some things, he says he'll consider of them; of others, that he knows nothing of them, he's strangely struck with admiration, concerning some other matters he was before of the sentiment with your self. According as occasion re∣quires these are his common expressions. I believe not a word of it. — It can never enter into me to conceive it — It amazes me—Sure I am not my own self. He always represented matters otherwise to me— This is an incredible thing, and exceeds all belief. Pray tell it some body else — shall I believe you, and think that he has imposed upon me? Be ex∣tream cautious how you give credit to such deceitful and insinuating Harangues, than which there is nothing more pernicious. These Persons actions proceeding from ly and insnaring Principles, ought more indu∣striously to be avoided than the Venom of Vipers.

Page  [unnumbered]

OF Flattery.

FLattery is a sordid way of conversation, advantageous only to the Flatterer.

When the Flatterer walks abroad with any one, observe, says he, how the Eyes of all men are fixt on you; there is no person in the whole City so honoured be∣sides yourself; you had an extraordinary character yesterday on the Change, there were above 30 of us together, and the discourse happening who had the best repu∣tation in the City, you were the first in nomination, and the whole Company una∣nimously declared you the Man. He tells him a thousand such things as these, then falls to brushing the Lint off his Cloaths, and if the Wind chance to blow a little Chaff or a Straw into his Hair, he takes it out, and laughing says, because I have not seen you these two days, see how grey your Beard is grown, sure a man of your age may have as black hair as any Body. When the person begins to speak, the Flatterer en∣joyns

Page  10

Of Villany.

A Villain is a Fellow regardless of hone∣sty or decency in his Words and Acti∣ons. This Profligate person prone to all wickedness, is often taking Oaths, but has no regard to reputation, and values not whatever the world says of him. He is Impudent, Crafty, and Tricking, and will perpetrate any thing. He is not asham'd when he is sober to go and dance the most obsene postur'd dances amongst the publick Actors without a Mask. When the * shows are to be seen he thrusts himself in to be Re∣ceiver of the Money, and runs about de∣manding it of every Spectator, but if any produce him a Ticket to see gratis, he picks a quarrel with them. He's a meer Jack of all Trades: Sometimes he keeps an Ale∣house, at other times he's a Cock-bawd, a Ferry man, and sometimes he's a Tax-ga∣therer, and because there is nothing so sor∣did, but he will undertake, he serves for a publick Cryer; then again he's a Cook, after turns Gamester; nothing comes amiss to him. He suffers his own Mother to perish for want of common subsistance. He is an arrant Thief, and is every now and then dragg'd to Goal, which is his place of Residence more than his own House. He Page  11 is one of those that gather a croud about them in the Street, and make a doleful com∣plaint, in a loud and lamentable tone, abuse and rail at all those that oppose them. Some croud to see him, others go on their way without hearing the story whilst he tells some the beginning, some the middle, others the end of his Tale: You may also observe that he chooses that time when there is the greatest concourse of people,* that there may be the more Witnesses of his Rascality. He is always in Law, either su∣ing some body, or others suing him, some suits he keeps off by perjry, to others he appears. He is never without a Box in his bosom, and has a load of Papers relating to Law-matters in his hands, and as a singular argument of his impudence is always a Ring-leader amongst Litigious Pettifoggers.

What money he lends at Interest he de∣mands three *Semiobolis a day for the use of each Drachma. He is a constant Tavern haunter, and walks up and down in those places,* where Fresh and Salt fish are to be sold, and so spends in luxurious living, what he has got by his base practises. These are troublesome fellows, whose mouths are continually open to revile, and so much given to it, that the Exchange and all the Taverns, are continually disturbed by their noise and clamour.

Page  12

Of Loquacity.

IF we would define Loquacity, it is an ex∣cessive affluence of words. This Prater will not suffer any person in company to tell his own story, but let it be what it will tells you, you mistake the matter, but I understand the thing very well, and if you please to hear me, I will make it very clear to you if the person make any reply he suddenly interrupts him. Saying, why Sir, you forget what you were talking about, its very well you begin to recollect your self, see what it is for People to inform one another; Then presently says, but what was it, I was going to say? Why truly you soon take the thing right. I was waiting to see if you would be of my sentiment in this matter, always taking such occasions as these not to permit the person he talks with the liberty of breathing: and after he has thus murdered all that will hear him, he is so rude to intrude into the Company of persons, met together upon important affairs, and drives them away by his troublesome imper∣tinence. Thence he goes into the publick * Schools an places of * Exercise, where he interrupts the Masters by his foolish pra∣ting, and hinders the Scholars rom improv∣ing by their instructions; if any person dis∣cover Page  13 an inclination to go away, he will fol∣low him, and not part from him till he comes to his very door. If he hear of any thing transacted in the publick assemblies of the Citizens, he runs up and down to tell it to every body. He tells you a very long story of the famous Battel, that was fought when *Aristophontes the Oratour was Governour; and of that of the *Lacedemonians, under the Command of Lysander. Then tells you with what general applause he made a Speech in publick, re∣peating a great deal of it fill'd with invectives against the common people, which are so tiresom to those that hear him, that some forget what he says as soon as 'tis out of his Mouth, others fall asleep, and others leave him in the midst of his Harrangue. If this Talker be sitting on the Bench, the Judge shall not be able to determine Matters. If he's at the Theatre, he'll neither let you see or hear any thing, or permit him that sits next to him at the Table to eat his Meat. He declares it is very hard for him to be silent, his Tongue being so well hung, that he'd rather be accounted more garrulous than a Swallow, than have his Tongue lye still, and patiently bears all ridicules, even those of his own Children, who when they want to go to rest, desire him to talk to them, that they may the sooner fall asleep.

Page  14

The News-monger.

HE is a person that falsely relates words and actions, according to his own hu∣mour and caprice. If he meet with any of his Friends with a formal look or grave nod, asks whence come you? what good news have you? have you nothing but this? and goes on to ask him, is there no more news in the Town. I assure you there is won∣derful good news, and without giving him time to answer, continues what was it you said? I perceive that you know nothing, and therefore will entertain you with some noble matters, and this relation is ei∣ther from some Souldier or Asteus the Pipers on, or Lycon the Prince, who is lately come from the Army, from whom he heard what he tells you, he always produces such Authors as these for his Stories, who no body can find to contra∣dict. They also told him, that the * King and *Polysperchontes have got the day and that Cassander was fallen into their hands alive.* But if any body ask him, do you believe these things your self, he says the thing is beyond all dispute, and the news of the whole Town; that it was continually con∣firmed, every body agreed in the same story concerning the Fight, that there was a very Page  15 great Slaughter made, which might easily be read in the countenances of all, that were concerned in managing the publick affairs, which now seemed to be quite altered. He says, he heard that a person who came from Macedonia, who was present at all the trans∣actions, has lain hid this five days in the Magistrates House. When he has told all this, he adds some compassionate condoling expressions, what think you Gentlemen of this success? Poor Cassander! unhappy Prince! most miserable man! see what For∣tune can do! for Cassander was very brave, and had a stout Army. But pray (says he) keep this to your self, for 'tis a great secret; and presently runs up and down the City to tell it. I must confess my self much amazed, what these raisers and spreaders of false news and reports, propose to them∣selves for without mentioning the sordid baseness, that always attends a lye, it often turns to their prejudice; for it often happen that they have their Cloaths stolen away from them in the Bath, while the people crowd about them, to hear their Romanc••• Others after they have been victorious both by Sea and Land, on the Exchange are severely fined, for neglecting to attend their business in the Courts of Justic; and others, who by their hundering words most valiantly con∣quer Cities, often are disappointed where to find a Dinner. There is nothing can be more miserable than these Folks circum∣cumstances, for what Porticue, what Shop, Page  16 what part of the Exchange, do they not spend whole days in, to the great uneasiness of their hearers, whom they deafen with their lying Stories.

Of Impudence occasioned by Coveteousness.

THis vice may be defined a neglect of reputation, upon the account of sor∣did gain. A person influenced by this prin∣ciple, will ask to borrow money of one whom he has already openly cheated. The very day that he sacrifices to the Gods, he salts his consecrated flesh and keeps it for another time (instead of * devoutly eating it) going to Supper with some body else, and there calling in his Footboy before the whole Company, takes a great piece of Meat and Bread off the Table, gives it him, and in all their hearings bids him eat heartily; when he goes himself to the Butchers, to buy the cheaper, tells him that he did him a kindness at such a time; when his meat is weighed, standing by the Scales) he will (if it be possible) put more in than is his due weight, if he be hindered from that, he will throw a Bone into the Scale, which if he can but carry off he is mightily pleased, but if he cannot he'll snatch some of the off all off the Stall, and go away laughing, Page  17 When he has any Strangers with him, that desire to see a Play, and give him money to pay for their places, he always contracts for himself to come in on freecost, and have his Chidren and their Tutor in the next day after. What ever he sees another have that cost very cheap, he'll beg earnestly to let him have part of it. And when he comes to ano∣thers house, he'll be borrowing even Barley, or Chaff it self; and make them that he borrowed it of, send it home to his own House. He goes into the Bath, and makes use of all the bathing Vesels, and con∣veniencies, and servants * bathes himself, whilst the Master of the Bath makes great complaints to no purpose, who going away tells him, I have Bathed but no thanks to you.

Of sordid Frugality.

THis Vice is a contriving to be saving be∣yond what is decent and commenda∣ble. A person of this temper will publickly dun his friends that he receives Money of every month,* for a single Farthing the bal∣lance of the last account, and keeps reckon∣ing how many Glasses each man drinks at his Table. His offering to Diana is the meanest of all the Guests. Whatsoever is bought for him, tho never so good a penny∣worth, he always says it is very dear. If his poor Footboy lets a pot fall, or by mischance Page  18 breaks an Earthen Dish, he'll save the price of it out of his allowance. And if his Wife happen to lose but a penny, he'll remove all his Houshold stuff, have all the Beds ta∣ken down, turn the Trunks and Boxes out of their places, and have every Nook and Corner where the old lumber lies searcht. Whatever he sells the buyer is sure to have a hard bargain of it. Hell never let any per∣son gather so much as a Fig out of his Garden, or go over his Field, or take up an Olive or a little branch of Palm that is fal∣len from his Trees. He goes over the bounds of his ground every day to see if any thing be missing, or if all things are in the same places they were. If any of his Debtors does not punctually pay him on the day when the Money is due, he'll be well paid for his forbearance, and reckon Interest upon Interest. When he invites his friends to Dinner he gives them but one little pittiful dish: going out to Market comes home empty, every thing being too dear for him. He orders his Wife that she should not lend a Neighbour a little Salt, or a bit of Candle, a little Cummin, Pen∣nyroyal, an handful of Flower, a little Garland, or a small * Cake; for says he, these small matters amount to a vast deal in a year. In short, this miserable Wretches Money-chest is covered all over with mould, and his Keys all rusty. He wears cloaths too short and strait for him, the least drop of Oyl suffices to anoint him, his head is Page  19 close shav'd; at *Noon he pulls off his Shoes to save them, and goes to the Fullers earnestly begging them to use a great deal of their * Earth upon his Cloaths, that they may not be soon dirty again.

A brazen fac'd Fellow.

THis sort of Impudence is not hard to define: It is professing Villanous Tricks and Shams in an affected way of Railery. When this Brute meets a Lady of the best Quality, he offers her all manner of rudeness and indecency even to exposing her Modesty. At the Play-House when every body is silent he claps; and hisses those things, which the rest of the Audience hear with great satisfactions when all per∣sons are intent upon the Play, he lyes down upon his back, and sordidly falls a belching, interrupting every body, making them turn back to look upon him. He goes in a full Market to all the Stalls, where Nuts, Ap∣ples, and all sorts of Fruit are sold, and there standing eats of them all, talking all the while with those that sell them, scrapes ac∣quaintance with every one that passes by and calls them by their names; tho he never was acquainted with them, if he sees any one in haste, he'll stop him to know what he's going Page  20 about. He'll go to a person that has just lost a great suit at Law, and congratulate him. When he has bought his Supper, and hired the Minstrels to play before him, he shows every body he meets what he has provided, and invites them to take part with him. You may see him standing at the * Barbers or Perfumers Shops, there telling what an en∣tertainment he is to be at that night, and that he intends to be very drunk there. If he sells Wine, he'll cheat his Friends, with what is base and sophiscated: His Children are not suffered to go and see Plays, till the * time they may go in gratis. When he's is sent on an Embassy with some of his fellow Citizens, he leaves at home what was al∣lowed him by the Publick, to defray his charges, and borrows of his Associates. It is usual for him to load his Servant, that Travels with him, with as much as he can possible carry, and yet not allow him ne∣cessary subsistance. When the Ambassadors have received their presents, he immedia∣tely demands his part, that he may sell it. When he bathes he calls the Boy that attends, and swears at him for buying such faetid Oyl, that he cannot endure to smell it, and takes that occasion to make use of another Persons. If his Servants find but the least piece of Money in the way, he demands his part of it, making use of this expression *Mercury is common. Also he has these tricks, if he measure any thing or distribute to his Servants their allowances, uses a measure Page  21 whose bottom is rais'd up inwards, which, when he has fill'd, he is very careful to strike as close as he can. And if he is to pay thirty pounds, he'll take care that it shall want four *Drachma's of weight. When he makes a publick entertainment, he orders his own Servants to give him a par∣ticular account of the remainder of the Provision; and if there be but half a Rad∣dish missing, he carefully looks after it, lest those that wait at Table should have it.

Of Unseasonable Conversa∣tion.

THe ill timing of Conversation is that which makes it uneasie and trouble∣som to all persons. When a man is entirely taken up with affairs of his own, which are of the greatest consequence to him, an importunate troublesome fellow intrudes up∣on him, to communicate some of his little trifles, and desires to consult him about them. He'll also go sup with his Mistress when she is in a raging Fever. At the very mo∣ment he sees a person cast in Court for be∣ing bound for another, he desires him to do him the same favour. If he is summoned as a witness, he comes to give in his Evi∣dence after the trial is over; if he is invited to a Wedding, then is the time he thinks Page  22 fit to shew his wit in railing against the Fe∣male Sex. He earnestly begs his friend that is very weary, being just come off a long and tiresome Journey, to take a walk with him. When a thing is already sold, he'll bring a Chapman that would give more for it. Sometimes you will have him rise up in the midst of a great Company and make a relation from beginning to end of what has passed there, which every body has seen, heard and known as well as himself. He will officiously thrust himself into the management of another per∣sons affairs, who is extremely averse to it but yet does not know how to deny him. When the Sacrifices are to be performed, and a Feast made by any person, he goes to him, and asks to have a part of what is provided. If any Gentleman corrects his Servant in his sight, says he, I beat one of mine upon the same occasion, and he pre∣sently went and hanged himself. Being chosen Umpire by two persons that have been long at Law, and desire to have the matter accommodated, he leaves it to themselves to agree it. At an entertain∣ment he takes that * person out to dance with him, whom the Wine has not yet in the least exhilerated.

Page  23

A Busie-body.

THis over-officiousness, (which is the Character of a Busie-body) is an af∣fecting to shew extraordinary kindness to others, both by Words and Actions. This person shall attribute to himself the success of an affair that was far beyond his power to perform, he'll insist a long time to prove that a thing which every body is thoroughly satisfy'd of, was rational and beyond contradiction; he makes the Ser∣vant fill out more Wine than what the Company are able to drink. If he be where two persons are quarrelling, he effectually sets them together by the Ears. He offers his service to shew you the way he himself is ignorant of, and knows not whether it will carry you. He goes to the General of the Army, and asks him when he draws up his men in Batallia to engage the Enemy, and enquires if he have no orders for him to morrow. Coming to his Father, asks him if his Mother is asleep still, and not come out of her Chamber yet; when he is order∣ed to keep his Chamber for a distemper, for which his Physicians think fit to forbid him the use of Wine, he will drink it on purpose to try the experiment, whe∣ther it will do him good or harm. When Page  24 a Woman dies in the Neighbourhood, he is the only person to write the Epitaph, where he inscribes her Husband's name, her Fa∣thers, her Mothers, and her own, with an account of what Country she was, and her descent, with this famous Elogy, THEY WERE ALL PERSONS OF EMINENT VIRTUE. If at any time he is obliged to make Oath in a Court of Judicature turning himself about to the standers by, says, This is not the first time by many that I have been sworn.

Of Stupidity.

STupidity may be defined a dulness of thought in speaking and acting. This Blockhead, when he himself has cast up the summ, will ask him that sits next to him what the total amounts to. When he has a suit depending, and knows the very day when the same will come to an hearing, he quite forgets it, and takes a Journey into the Country; when he is at the Theatre to see a Play, he falls asleep and wakes not till the est of the Spectators are gone; when he hath glutted himself, at midnight, being cropsick, he'll get up and walk abroad for digestion, and so have his Neighbours Page  25 Dogs fall upon him; when he has receiv'd any thing from another, and laid it up himself, he enquires where that very thing is, not being able to find it; when he is told of the death of one of his Friends, and is invited to his Funeral, putting on a countenance full of Grief and Sorrow, and shedding tears, and then thinking of something else, says it happen'd very well; he carries witnesses with him when he * re∣ceives Money, and falls out with his Ser∣vant, for not buying him Cucumbers in the midst of Winter. When his Sons are fencing or running, he'll not let them leave off till are quite spent; when he is in the Field boyling Lentules, he forgets that he has seasoned them before, and throws Salt again into the Pot, making them so briny, that no body can eat them; in a time of excessive Rain, when every one wishes for dry weather, he says, methinks this rain Water is very pleasant; if he be asked how many were carried thro the * Sacred Gate to be interrd, (supposing the person talkt of Money) I wish you and I were worth as much.

Page  26


THis brutishness is a rudeness ac∣companying Words and Actions. If a rude Fellow be asked where is such a person? he answers pray don't trouble me; if you compliment him, he takes no notice of it; when he has any thing to sell, if you ask him the price of it, he won't tell you, but rather angily asks you what fault can you find wi•• it; he is used to say of those devou persons, who at soemn times send the usual offerings to the Temples of the Gods, that if their Prayers are herd and they have but what they desire, they are very well requited and paid for their presents. If any one casu∣ally jostle him, or chance to tread on his toe, he'll never forgive them; when he has denied a Friend that desired to borrow Money of him, and told him that he hath none to lend, he will afterwards bring it, and disdainfully say, he has a mind to throw this away also to what he has lost before; if he stumble against a Stone in the Street he cures it bitterly; he will not stay one moment beyond the time appointed for any person, tho it be on the account of business of great importance to himself; he has an Page  27 affected singularity not to sing at a Feast, or * repeat in his turn, nor dance with the other Company: in fine, he neither regards the Gods, nor takes any care to offer up his Vows and Sacrifices.

Of Superstition.

WE may define Superstition to be a timerous worshipping of the Deity. The superstitious Man, after he has washed his hands and purified himself with Holy Water, taking a Lawrel-leaf out of the Temple and putting it in his Mouth, shall walk about a whole day so: if a Weasil cross the way he goes, he'll stir no further till some body else has gone before him, or he has thrown three stones cross the way; in what part soever of the house he sees a Serpent there he builds an Altar; He pours Oyl out o his Essence bottle all over the Consecrated Stones, that are in places where three ways meet, and afterwards falls down upon his Knees, and most de∣voutly adores them. When a Mouse has gnaw'd a hole in his Sack of Meal, he goes to the Sooth-sayers, and gravely enquires what he must do in the matter, and if the Soothsayers tell him he must send his Sack to be mended, he cannot in the least rest satisfy'd with this Answer: but imagining Page  28 some mighty Religious consequence in thi accident, empties the Sack, and never af∣terwards makes use of it. He's con∣tinually purifying his House, will never sit down on a Grave, go to the Funeral of any one, or into the Chamber of a Ly∣ing in Woman. When he has dreamt some extraordinay Dream, he immediately runs to the Interpreters of Dreams, the Sooth∣sayers and Augurs, to know of them, to what God or Goddess, he ought to make Vows and offer Sacrifice. He's very punctual to go every month to the Priests of Orpheus, to be instructed in their mysteries, and if his Wife be not detained by business, he takes her along with him, if not his Nurse and little Children: as he goes by the Conduits he washes his head all over with water; sometimes he gets the * Priestesses to purify him with little Dogs, or Squils. To conclude, if he sees a Lu∣natick or a person taken ill of the Falling Sickness, being struck with extreme hor∣ror, he pues in his own bosom.

A Splenatick Man.

THis restless uneasie temper of mind, whereever it obtains, makes the per∣son always complaining, without any just Page  29 reason. When any of his Friends make a Feast, and send him some part of what was there, he will never return him thanks, but say to him that brought it, your Master thought me not worthy to dine at his Ta∣ble, and drink of his Wine. He suspects even the caresses of his Mistress, and tells her I am very jealous whether you are sin∣cere in your affections, and these en∣dearments proceed from your heart. After a time of great drought, when at last it begins to rain, and he cannot then complain of the weather, that still he may continue to rail, he finds fault with Heaven that it rain'd not sooner. If going along by chance he find a Purse of Money in the way, he'll grumbling say, some Folks have the good fortune to find Treasures, I, for my part, could never find any thing in my life. Likewise when he has bought a Slave very cheap, having tired the seller by his im∣portunity in beating down the price, he im∣mediately repents that he bought him, and says, it's a geat wonder if I am not cheated, it was impossible to buy that which is good for any thing so cheap. When any one compliments him upon the birth of a Son, as an addition to his Family, he immedi∣ately cries I am now half as poor again as I was before. If he has a suit at Law de∣pending, he will complain that his Lawyers omitted doing, or saying a great many things that were very mterial for him, notwith∣standing the cause has gone for him. When Page  30 his Frieds have collected a summ of Mo∣ney amongst them, for the relieving him under his present necessities, and one of them says to him, pray now be brisk and chearful; alas, says he, how can I pretend to be merry when I consider that I have all this Money to repay to every particular person that lent it me, and shall never be quit of the obligation, but must pay a perpetual acknowledgment.

Of Distrust.

A Distrustful Man is of opinion, that every one cheats and imposes on him. When he has sent his man to Market to buy Provision, he orders another to go after to enquire and bring him an exact account what every thing cost; if he go abroad with any Money in his pocket, he tells it over every quarter of a mile; as he lies in Bed he asks his Wife if his Chest be close shut, his Trunk well lockt, and care taken to make the Porch door fast, and though she assure him that all these things are secure, nevertheless he gets out of Bed, goes naked and bare-footed, and lights a Candle, to search all over the House to see that all things are safe, and notwithstanding all this he can hardly compose himself to rest; when he goes to get in Money he carries Page  31 Witnesses along with him, that the persons may not be able at another time to deny their debts. He makes use of that Fuller to scowr his Cloaths, that will give him sufficient se∣curity to return them again, never consider∣ing whether he is a good Workman or not. If any one ask to borrow any Cups, &c. of him, he usually denies them, but if perchance he do lend them, he's always sending for them till he has them home again. He makes his Footboy go before him, that he may be sure he does not run away from him. If those that buy any thing of him, bid him cast up what it comes to, and set it down to their account, he says, pray lay me down the Money, for I han't time to spare to run up and down to receive it.

A Sloven.

THis Vice is a lazy and beastly negligence of a Mans person, whereby he becomes so sordid, as to be offensive to those about him. You'll see him come into company when he is covered all over with a Leprosie and Scurf, and with very long Nails, and says that those Distempers were hereditary, that his Father and Grand father had them Page  32 before him; he has Ulcers in his Thighs and Boyls upon his Hands, which he takes no care to have cured, but lets them run on till they are gone beyond remedy; his Arm∣pits are all hairy, and most part of his bo∣dy like a wild Beast; his Teeth are black and rotten, which makes his breath stink so that you cannot endure him to come nigh you; he will also snuff up his Nose and spit it out as he eats, and uses to speak with his Mouth cramm'd full, and let his Victuals come out at both corners; he belches in the Cup as he is drinking, and uses nasty stinking Oyl in the Bath; he will intrude into the best company in nasty ragged Cloaths; if he go with his Mother to the Soothsayers, he cannot then re∣frain from wicked and profane expressions.* When he is making his oblations at the Temple, he will let the Dish drop out of his hands and fall a laughing, as if he had done some brave exploit; at the finest Con∣sort of Musick, he cannot forbear clapping his hands, and making a rude noise, will pretend to sing along with them, and fall a railing that they have not done playing sooner. Sitting at Table, he spits full upon the Servant that waited there.

Page  33

A Troublesome Fellow.

A Troublesome person is one whose con∣versation is very fatiguing and unea∣sie, though otherwise not prejudicial. He comes into his Friends Chamber, when he is just fallen asleep, and wakes him to tell him a few impertinent idle stories; he'll desire one that is going aboard a Ship, just ready to set sail, to spend some time with him first, and so hinder him from his Voyage to no purpose. Taking the Child out of the Nurse's arms, he will feed it himself dandle it in his arms, and talk foolish gibberish to it. He chooses at Meal time, and when the Victuals is upon the Table, to tell that t'other day he took Phy∣sick, which workt upwards and downwards with him, and that he voided a great deal of nasty black Choler. He asks his Mother before a great company of people what day he was born on; he says the Water in his Cistern is cold, that he has a great many very good Pot-herbs in his Garden, that his house is as free for all sorts of comers and goers, as if it were a publick Inn; and when he entertains any strangers has a * fellow ready to talk very great things con∣cerning him to all the Guests, whom he also keeps to divert the company and make them merry.

Page  34

Vain Glory.

THis sort of Vain Glory which is exer∣cised about minute and frivolous matters, may be called a sordid desire of honour. A person affected with this Vice when he is invited to a Feast, strives to sit next to him that makes the Treat. He carries his Son to *Delphos, where he cuts off his hair, and consecrates it to some God. He loves to have a Black for his Foot∣man. When he pays a summ it is all in new Money. When he has sacrificed an Ox, he takes the fore part of the Head, and adorn∣ing it with Ribbons and Flowers, fixes it without doors just at the entrance to his House, that every one may see and know what he hath sacrificed. When he is re∣turned off a Cavalcade that he and some other Citizens have made, he sends all his Equipage home but his Robe of State, in which he struts about all the rest of the day in all the publick places of the City. When his little Dog dies he makes a formal bu∣rial, and erects a Tomb for it, with this E∣pitaph; He was of the* Malta breed. He consecrates a Brass Ring to Aesculapius, to which he hangs Garlands of all sorts of Flowers. He perfumes himself all over every day. During the time of his Magi∣stracy, Page  35 he uses a great deal of cauion and circumspection, and when he goes out of his Office, he gives the people an account of his management of affairs, and how many and of what sort his sacrifices were. Being clad in a white Robe, and having a garland of Flowers on his Head, he goes out and makes a Speech to the people. Oh! Athe∣nians! We Magistrates have sacrificed to the Mother of the Gods, and paid her all the solemn worship that is due to her, there∣fore you may justly expect that all things will succeed very prosperously with you; this done he goes home, and tells his Wife he has come off with great applause and approbation.

A Niggard.

THis Vice is a base and sneaking temper in a Man, to save his Money at the expence of his reputation. The Niggard when he has won the prize of * Tragedy, he'll consecrate to Bacchus Garlands made of the Rind of Trees, and have his name writ on this sumptuous present. In times when the necessity of the publick affairs requires the Citizens to raise extraordinary contributions that may be sufficient to sup∣ply Page  36 the present exigences, he rises up and is * silent, or retires as soon as he can. When he marries his Daughter, and sacrifices according to custom, he sells all the flesh of the slain Victim, besides what belongs to the Priests, and hires Servants to attend during the time of the Wedding, but makes them find themselves Victuals. Being Captain of a Vessel that he built, he lets his own Cabbin to Passengers, and lies a∣mongst the common Sailors. He goes to Market and buys Meat and Herbs, and carries them home himself in the lappet of his Coat. VVhen he has sent his Cloaths to the Scowrers to be cleaned, he is oblig'd to keep at home for want of others. He shuns a poor Friend of his that has fallen into misfortunes, and desires to raise some Money amongst his acquaintance; if he sees him at a distance, he turns back and makes all the haste home he can. He never keeps his Wife any Maids, but when she has occasion to go abroad hires some to wait on her through the City. As soon as he's got up in the morning, he washes his own House, and makes the Beds, and is forced to turn his old Thread-bare Cloak, when he goes into publick com∣pany.

Page  37

Of Ostentation.

OStentation is a vain humour of vaunt∣ing of those things which we are not Masters of. This Braggadochio standing on the Keys where the Ships unlade, and where there are a great many strangers, will talk of vast summs of Money that he has owing him beyond Sea, makes a long discourse concerning lending Money at Interest, telling you what a great man he is, and what great advantages he hopes to reap by it. If he can pick up a person to keep him company on the Road, he tells him that he serv'd under Alexander, and how deserving he was in a great expedition, and that he brought away a great many rich drinking Cups set with precious stones; he affirms, contrary to the opinion of all others, that the Asians are better Artificers than the Europeans. He also shews a Letter from An∣tipater, which says, that he was the third person that enter'd into Macedonia; he takes occasion to tell him, that tho the Magistrates, as a reward for his singular good services, had granted him a liberty of exporting what Commodity soever he pleased, Custom-fee, yet he scorn'd to make use of it, that Page  38 he might not incur the peoples ill will. He sy 〈◊〉 de••ime of Corn, he laid out a∣bov〈◊〉 Talents and di••ributed it amongst the poor Citizens. If he be in company with those that don't know him, he desires them to take their Book and set down the number of hose he has been so liberal to, which hell make amount to above six hun∣dred, and has fictitious names ready for them all, to make the thing appea more formal; then adding the particular summs distributed to each, he makes it come to a∣bove ten Talents, all which he said he laid out fo to relieve the poor; and yet, says he, I don't reckon here the Ships I built and commanded, and a great many other very chargeable things I did on the pub∣lick account, for which I expect no recom∣pence. He goes to the Jockeys that sell the finest Horses, and makes them shew him some of the best. In the Fairs he goes to those Shops that sell rich Cloaths, and bids them shew him a Suit worth two Ta∣lents, and falls in a passion with his * Ser∣vant for following him without Money about him: and tho he pays Rent for the house he lives in, yet if the person he talks to don't know it, he shall tell him that this house was left him by his Father, but being too little for the accommodation of that great number his hospitality continu∣ally drew thither, he design'd to sell it.

Page  39

Of Pride.

PRide is a contemptible opinion a man has of every one besides himself. A Proud man, tho you meet him very opportunely, at his most leisure time, and only walking for his diversion, yet then will he not stay to talk with you about business, though it be of importance and requires great expedition, but defers it till he has supped. If he has done any person a kindness, he makes him pub∣lickly acknowledge it. He's one that scorns to make the first proposal, notwithstanding it it is about an affair that concerns himself only.

If you would buy any thing of him, or have occasion to transact, or any other business with him, he bids you call upon him early next morning; he has an affected way in going along the Streets hanging his head down, and neither sees nor speaks to any person he meets. When he conde∣scends to entertain any of his friends, he frames excuses for not sitting down at Ta∣ble, but orders some of his principal Ser∣vants to take care that his Guests want nothing; he never pays a visit before he has sent word of his coming; when he Page  40 dresses and perfumes, or eats, he permits no body to be present; he will not undergo the fatigue of adjusting his own accounts, but orders his Servants to do it. His stile is always lofty and commanding, and cannot write, Sir, you'll much oblige me if — but 'tis my pleasure it should be done; I have sent one to receive it of you, take care it be according to my order and no otherwise, and that as soon as may be.

Of Cowardice.

COwardice is a timorous dejection of the Soul, creating imaginary dangers. When this fint-hearted Wretch is at Sea, he fancies all the Promontories are so many huks of Ships that suffered wreck on the Coast; the last agitation of the Water puts him in a pannick fear, and makes him iquire whether all that are aboard are * in∣itiaed. When he observes the Pilot to stop the Ships way, he anxiously asks whe∣ther she keeps the ight course, and whe∣ther the Gods seem to be propitious or not; he tells him that sits next him a terrible story of a dismal dream he had last night, which he takes to be an ominous pre∣fage; then plucks off his Cloaths to make ready for swimming, and heartily begs the Sailors to set him ashoar as soon as possiblePage  41 If he be in the Land service, getting his fellow Soldiers about him, he tells them it is hard to discern whether those they discover afar off are the Enemy or not, but when the great∣ness of the noise gives them to understand the Armies on both sides are engag'd, and he sees men fall on each sid him, he says to those that are next him, that he took the Field in such hurry and precipitation, that he forgot to bring his Sword along with him, and presently runs into his Tent to fetch it, then sends his Servant out to observe the motion of the Enemy, and in the mean time hides his Sword under the Pillow, and is imploy'd in looking for it till the Battle is over. When he sees any of his friends brought wounded from the Camp, he runs to meet them, encourages them to have a good heart, stops their blood, and dresses their wounds, and drives away the Flies that are troublesom to them; he takes all imaginable care of them, and this or any thing else he'll do rather than fight. When he sits in the Tent with a wounded person, if he hear the Trumpeters sounding a charge, he bitterly curses them, saying, they continu∣ally make such an horrid noise that the poor man cannot take one minutes rest; he walks about besmeared all over with the blood that proceeded from the Wounds of others, and make those that lately came from the sight believe, that he ran a great risque of his own life to save one of his friends, and brings his Towns folks and Country∣men Page  42 to see the very man, to each of whom he gives a particular relation, how he car∣ried him into his Tent in his own arms.

Of an Oligarchical Govern∣ment, and the Grandees thereof

THe principle which actuates these men, is an ambitious desire of honour and fame, without regard to the advancement of their private Estates. When the Citi∣zens are met to choose a fit person to be an assistant to the supream Magistrate, in managing the publick shews and triumphs, one of these persons immediately stands up and peremptorily demands the honour of that employment, as the most qualified in the whole world for it. Of all the Verses in Hmer he only remembers this.

* It is not good to have many Rulers,
Let the Government be in a single person.
His usual discourse is; ••is we our selves ought to retire and consult what Laws are fit to be made for the Government of the Commonwealth, and take care to suppress these tumultuous and popular assemblies, and totlly exclude the common people from the Magistracy. When he has receiv'd an affront from any one, he says it is impossible Page  43 for the same City to hold us both. At noon he goes abroad new trimm'd, and his Nails close par'd, having every thing about him in most exact order, and strutting about, tells every one he meets, he cannot endure to live any longer in the Town, but is quite tired, and his Spirits almost spent in hearing and determining litigious suits and controversies, and that he is very much ashamed that persons should be admitted to sit near him, so meanly and sordidly ha∣bited. He has a mortal aversion for the Advocates that plead the cause of the com∣mon people, and blames *Theseus for being the first occasion of these mischiefs in the Commonwealth; with such sort of discourse as this he entertains both Strangers and the Citizens of his own Party.

Of those that begin to learn in old age.

AMongst those that squander and mis∣spend the precious moments of thei youthful and more docil years, there are some who are still desirous of improving the remaining part of their life in Arts and Sciences, which very seldom proves suc∣cessful. Thus must an old fellow of three∣score learn the Poets by heart, and when Page  44 he is either to * sing or recite them in his turn t a Feast, as soon as he has begun his memory fails him, and the old dotard forgets whereabouts he was, and so ends abrupty. He gets his own Son to teach hi Military discipline, and how to turn to the Right and Left. He borrows an Horse to ride out of Town, and when he is mounted, afecting to be complaisant to all that pass by, losens his Saddle and tum∣bles down and bruises his Head. You'll id him often darting at the * Statue, and sometimes he makes a match with his Footboy to shoot with Bow and Arrow. When he is taught any thing, he'll be pre∣tending to instruct his Tutor, as if e were the best accomplisht of the two, and in the very Bath he'll be practising wrestling, and is full of very fantastical and ridiculous gesticulations and postues.

Of Slander.

A Slanderer is a person of a base temper, thinking ill of all men, and after∣wards venting himself in scandalous xpressions. If you sk him who such a one is, he presently gives you an account of his pedigree from his very original, as if he were an Herald; saying, his Father was at first call'd *SOSA, but afterwards Page  45 serving in the Army, he took upon him the name of SOSISTRATUS, after that he was made free, and register'd amongst the Citizens. His Mother indeed was a * no∣ble Thracian, because those women value them∣selves on the account of their great families; and yet this man, tho so nobly and ho∣nourably descended, is a meer Villain and Rascal. Then (talking again of his Mother) these are those * Women, says he, that entice young men upon the Road, and draw them into their houses, and debauch them. If there be any person in the Com∣pany that speaks ill of another that's absent, he joyns with him and says, he is indeed an intollerable fellow, I could never endure him in all my life, observe but the counte∣nance of him, he looks so like a very Rogue, that I always hated him, but if you examin his life and conversation, there is nothing more lewd and infamous in the whole world; nay, this hard hearted wretch al∣lows his Wife but three half pence to buy her a Dinner, and makes her wash in cold water in an hard frost in the middle of De∣cember. It is usual for him to abuse some body or other in all companies where ever he comes, he spares neither Friend nor Re∣lation, nor can the Grave it self secure the dead from his malicious detractions.

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THE CONTENTS OF Monsieur de la Bruyere's CHARACTERS.

OF Polite Learning
Page 6
Of Personal Merit
Of Women
Of the Heart
Of Society and Conversation
Of the Goods of Fortune
Of the City
Of the Court
Of the Great
Of the Sovereign or Commonwealth
Of Man
Of Iudgment
Of the Fashion
Of Certain Customs
Of the Pulpit
Of the Wits of the Age
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The Contents of the Characters of Theo∣phrastus.

THe Proem
Page 1
Of Dissimulation
Of Flattery
Of Impertinence
Of VVheedling
Of Villany
Of Loquacity
The Newsmonger
Of Impudence occasiond by Covetuousness
Of sordid Frugality
A brazen-fac'd Fellow
Of Unseasonable Conversation
A Busie body
Of Stupidity
Of Superstition
A splenatick Man
A Sloven
A Troublesome Fellow
Vain Glory
A Niggard
Of Ostentation
Of Pride
Of Cowardice
Of an Oligarchical Gvernment, &c.
Of those that begin to learn in old Ag
Of Slander.
Page  [unnumbered]