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when he declares, “ that were there no like a man of honour, disposed of all the
guage, his debts of honour.
chimerical, and turn it into ridicule. Men
who are professedly of no honour, are of a The noble mind's distinguishing perfection,
more profligate and abandoned nature than That aids and strengthens vutue wben it meets even ihose who are actuated by false no. her,
tions of it; as there is more hope of an And imitates her actions where she is not;
heretic than of an atheist. These sons of It ought not to be sported with. Caro.
infamy consider honour, with old Syphax
$ 85. On Modesty.
Timogenes was a lively instance of one interpretations which are put upon them,
would have scurned to have be. a sheepish, awkward fellow, who has nei-
from being confounded with that of Sheep- qualifications in a very eminent degree. ishness, and to hinder Impudence from Without assurance, he would never have passing for Assurance.
undertaken to speak before the most auIf I was put to define Modesty, I would gust assembly in the world; without mocall it, The reflection of an ingenuous desty, he would have pleaded the cause mind, either when a man has conmitted he had taken upon him, though it had apan action for which he censures himself, or peared ever so scandalous. fancies that he is exposed to the censure of From what has been said, it is plain that others.
modesty and assurance are both amiable, For this reason a man, truly modest, is and may very well meet in the same peras much so when he is alone as in com- son. When they are thus mixed and blended pany; and as subject to a blush in his together, they compose what we endeavour closet as when the eyes of the multitude to express, when we say, a modest assurare upon him.
ance; by which we understand, the just I do not remember to have met with any mean between bashfulness and impudence. instance of modesty with which I am so I shall conclude with observing, that as well pleased, as that celebrated one of the the same man may be both modest and young Prince, whose father, being a tri- assured, so it is also possible for the same butary king to the Romans, had several person to be both impudent and bashful. complaints laid against him before the se- We have frequent instances of this odd nate, as a tyrant and oppressor of his sub- kind of mixture in people of depraved jects. The Prince went to Rome to de- minds and mean education; who, though fend his father; but coming into the se- they are not able to meet a man's eyes or nate, and hearing a multitude of crimes pronounce a sentence without confusion, proved upon him, was so oppressed when can voluntarily commit the greatest villait came to his turn to speak, that he was nies or most indecent actions. unable to utter a word. The story tells Such a person seems to have made a us, that the fathers were more moved at resolution to do ill, even in spite of himthis instance of modesty and ingenuity, self, and in defiance of all those checks than they could have been by the most and restraints his temper and complexion pathetic oration; and, in short, pardoned seem to have laid in his way. the guilty father for this early promise of Upon the whole, I would endeavour to virtue in his son.
establish this maxin, That the practice of I take Assurance to be, The faculty of virtue is the most proper method to give a possessing a man's self, or of saying and do- man a becoming assurance in his words ing indifferent things without any uneasi- and actio Guilt always seeks to shelter ness or emotion in the mind. That wbich itself in one of the extremes; and is somegenerally gives a man assurance, is a mo- times attended with both. Spectator. derate knowledge of the world; but above all, a mind fixed and determined in itself
$86. On disinterested Friendship. to do nothing against the rules of honour I am informed that certain Greek writers and decency. An open and assured beha- (Philosophers, it seems, in the opinion of viour is the natural consequence of such a their countrymen) have advanced some resolution. A man thus armed, if his very extraordinary positions relating to words or actions are at any time misinter- friendship; as, indeed, what subject is preted, retires within himself, and from a there, which these subtle geniuses have consciousness of his own integrity, as- pot tortured with their sophistry? sumes force enough to despise the little The authors to whom I refer, dissuade censures of ignorance or malice.
their disciples from entering into any Every one ought to cherish and encou- strong attachments, as unavoidably creatrage in himself the modesty and assurance ing supernumerary disquietudes to those I have here mentioned.
who engage in them; and, as every man A man without assurance is liable to be has more than sufficient to call forth his made uneasy by the folly or ill nature of solicitude in the course of his own affairs, every one he converses with. A man with it is a weakness, they contend, anxiously out modesty is lost to all sense of honour to involve himself in the concerns of others. and virtue.
They recommend it also, in all connexions It is more than probable, that the Prince of this kind, to hold the bands of union above mentioned, possessed both those extremely loose; so as always to have it
in one's power to straiten or relax them, being affected with some degroe of secret as circumstances and situations shall rep. dissatisfaction? Are not the just, the brave, der most expedient. They add, as a capi- and the good, necessarily exposed to the tal article of their doctrine, that “ to live disagreeable emotions of dislike and averexempt from care is an essential ingre- sion, when they respectively meet with indient to constitute human happiness: but stances of fraud, of cowardice, or of vilan ingredient, however, which he, who lany? It is an essential property of every voluntarily distresses himself with cares well-constituted mind, to be affected with in which he has no necessary and personal pain, or pleasure, according to the nature interest, must never hope to possess.” of those moral appearances that present
I have been told likewise, that ihere is themselves to observation. another set of pretended philosophers, of If sensibility, therefore, be not incompathe same country, whose tenets, concern- tible with true wisdom (and it surely is ing this subject, are of a still more illiberal not, unless we suppose that philosophy and ungenerous cast.
deadens every finer feeling of our nature) The proposition they attempt to estab- what just reason can be assigned, why the lisb, is, that“ friendship is an affair of selfs sympathetic sufferings which may result interest entirely, and that the proper mo- from friendship, should be a sufficient intive for engaging in it, is, notin
order to gra- ducement for banishing that generous aftify the kind and benevolent affections, but fection froin the human breast ? Extinguish for the benefit of that assistance and sup- all emotions of the heart, and what differport which is to be derived from the con- ence will remain, I do not say between nexion." Accordingly they assert, that man and brute, but between man and a those persons are most disposed to have re- mere inanimate clod! Away then with course to auxiliary alliances of this kind, those austere philosophers, who represent who are least qualified, by nature or for- virtue as hardening the soul against all the tune, to depend upon their own strength softer impressions of humanity! The fact, and powers: the weaker sex, for instance, certainly, is much otherwise: a truly good being generally more inclined to engage in man is, upon many occasions, extremely friendships than the male part of our susceptible of tender sentiments; and his species; and those who are depressed by heart expands with joy, or shrinks with indigence, or labour ng under misfortunes, sorrow, as good or ill fortune accompanies than the wealthy and the prosperous. his friend. Upon the whole, then, it may
Excellent and obliging sages, these, un- fairly be concluded, that, as in the case of doubtedly! To strike out the friendly af- virtue, so in that of friendship, those painfections from the moral world, would be ful sensations, which may sometimes be like extinguishing the sun in the natural; produced by the one, as well as by the each of them being the source of the best other, are equally insufficient grounds for and most grateful satisfactions that Hea- excluding either of them from taking posven has conferred on the sons of men. session of our bosom. But I should be glad to know what the They who insist that“ utility is the first real value of this boasted exemption from and prevailing motive, which induces mancare,
which they promise their disciples, kind to enter into particular friendships," justly amounts to? an exemption flattering appear to me to divest the association of to self-love, I confess; but which, upon its most amiable and engaging principle. many occurrences in human life, should be For, to a mind rightly disposed, it is not so rejected with the utmost disdain. For much the benefits received, as the affecnothing, surely, can be more inconsistent tionate zeal from which they flow, that with a well poised and manly spirit, than gives them their best and most valuable to decline engaging in any laudable action, recommendation. It is so far indeed from or to be discouraged from persevering in being verified by fact, that a sense of our it, by an apprehension of the trouble and wants is the original cause of forming these solicitude with which it may probably be amicable alliances; that, on the contrary, attended. Virtue herself, indeed, ought it is observable, that none have been more to be totally renounced, if it be right to distinguished in their friendships than those avoid every possible means that may be whose power and opulence, but, above all, productive of uneasiness: for who, that is whose superior virtue (a much firmer supactuated by her principles, can observe the port) have raised them above every necessity conduct of an opposite character, without of having recourse to the assistance of others,
The true distinction, then, in this ques- litter of falling leaves and worm-casts.tion is, that “ although friendship is cer. If you sit down in one of her temples, to tainly productive of utility, yet utility is enjoy a delightful prospect, she observes not the primary motive of friendship.” to you, that there is too much wood, or Those selfish sensualists, therefore, who, too litile water; that the day is too sunny, fulled in the lap of luxury, presume to or 100 gloomy; that it is sultry, or windy; maintain the reverse, have surely no claim and finishes with a long harangue upon to attention; as they are neither qualified the wretchedness of our climate.- When by reflection, nor experience, to be com- you return with her to the company, in petent judges of the subject.
hope of a little cheerful conversation, she Good Gods! is there a man upon the casts a gloom over all, by giving you the face of the earth, who would deliberately history of her own bad health, or of some accept of all the wealth and all the affluence melancholy accident that has befallen one this world can bestow, if offered to him of her daughter's children. Thus she inupon the severe terms of his being uncon- sensibly sinks her own spirits, and the spinected with a single mortal whom he could rits of all around her; and, at last, discolove, or by whom he should be beloved ? vers, she knows not why, that her friends This would be to lead the wretched life of are grave. a detested tyrant, who, amidst perpetual Melissa is the reverse of all this. By suspicions and alarms, passes his iniserable constantly habituating herself to look only days a stranger to every tender sentiment, on the bright side of objects, she preserves and utterly precluded from the heart-felt a perpetual cheerfulness in herself, which, satisfactions of friendship.
by a kind of happy contagion, she comMelmoth's Translation of Cicero's Lelius. municates to all about her. If any mis
fortune has befallen her, she considers it 87. The Art of Happiness.
might have been worse, and is thankful to Almost every object that attracts our Providence for an escape. She rejoices notice has its bright and its dark side. in solitude, as it gives her an opportunity He who habituates himself to look at the of knowing herself; and in society, bedispleasing side, will sour his disposition, cause she can communicate the happiness and consequently impair his. happiness; she enjoys. She opposes every man's virwhile he, who constantly beholds it on the tue to his failings, and can find out somebright side, insensibly meliorates his tem- thing to cherish and applaud in the very
, per, and, in consequence of it, improves worst of her acquaintance. his own happiness, and the happiness of every book with a desire to be entertained all about him.
or instructed, and therefore seldom misses Arachne and Melissa are two friends, what she looks for. Walk with her, They are, both of them, women in years, though it be on a heath or a common, and and alike in birth, fortune, education, and she will discover numberless beauties, unaccomplishments. They were originally observed before, in the hills, the dales, the alike in temper too: but by different ma- blooms, brakes, and the variegated flowers nagement, are grown the reverse of each of weeds and poppies. She enjoys every other. Arachne has accustomed herself to change of weather and of season, as bringlook only on the dark side of every object. ing with it something of health or coaveIf a new poem or play makes its appear- nience. In conversation, it is a rule with ance, with a thousand brilliances, and but her, never to start a subject that leads to one or two blemishes, she slightly skims any thing gloomy or disagreeable. You over the passages that should give her plea- therefore never hear her repeating her sure, and dwells upon those only that fill own grievances or those of her neighher with dislike.--If you shew her a very bours; or (wwhat is worst of all) their faults excellent portrait, she looks at some part and imperfections. If any thing of the of the drapery which has been neglected, latter kind be mentioned in her hearing, or to a hand or finger which has been left she has the address to turn it into enterunfinished.-Her garden is a very beauti. tainment, by changing the most odious ful one, and kept with great neatness and railing into a pleasant raillery. Thus elegancy; but if you take a walk with her Melissa, like the bee, gathers honey from in it, she talks to you of nothing but blights every weed; while Arachne, like the spiand storms, of snails and caterpillars, and der, sucks poison from the fairest flowers. how impossible it is to keep it from the The consequence is, that, of two tempers
once very nearly allied, the one is ever ment; her beauty was natural and easy, sour and dissatisfied, the other always gay her person clean and unspotted, her eyes and cheerful; the one spreads an uni- cast towards the ground with an agreeable versal gloom, the other a continual sun- reserve, her motion and behaviour full of shine.
modesty, and her raiment as white as snow. There is nothing more worthy of our The other had a great deal of health and attention, than this art of happiness. In Aoridness in her countenance, which she conversation, as well as life, happiness very had helped with an artificial white and often depends upon the slightest incidents. red; and she endeavoured to appear more The taking notice of the badness of the graceful than ordinary in her mien, by a weather, a north-east wind, the approach mixture of affectation in all her gestures. of winter, or any trilling circumstance of She had a wonderful confidence and asthe disagreeable kind, shall insensibly rob surance in her looks, and all the variety of a whole company of its good humour, and colours in her dress, that she thought were fling every member of it into the vapours. the most proper to shew her complexion If, therefore, we would be happy in our- to advantage. She cast her eyes upon herselves, and are desirous of communicating self, then turned them on those that were that happiness to all about us, these minus present, to see how they liked her, and tiæ of conversation ought carefully to be often looked on the figure she made in attended to. The brightness of the sky, the ber own shadow. Upon her nearer aplengthening of the day, the increasing proach to Hercules, she stepped before the verdure of the spring, the arrival of any other lady, who came forward with a relittle piece of good news, or whatever car- gular, composed carriage, and running up ries with it the most distant glimpse of joy, to him, accosted him after the following shall frequently be the parent of a social manner : and bappy conversation. Good-manners “My dear Hercules,” says she, “I exact from us this regard to our company. find you are very much divided in your The clown may repine at the sunshine thoughts upon the way of life that you that ripens the barvest, because his turnips ought to choose: be my friend and follow are burnt up by it; but the man of refine- me; I will lead you into the possession of ment will extract pleasure from the thun- pleasure, and out of the reach of pain, der-storm to which he is exposed, by re- and remove you from all the noise and marking on the plenty and refreshment disquietude of business. The affairs of which may be expected from the succeed. either war or peace shall have no power ing shower.
to disturb you. Your whole employment Thus does politeness, as well as good shall be to make your life easy, and to sense, direct us to look at every object on entertain every sense with its proper grathe bright side; and, by thus acting, we tifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of cherish and improve both. By this prac. roses, clouds of perfumes, concerts of tice it is that Melissa is become the wisest music, crowds of beauties, are all in reaand best bred woman living; and by this diness to receive you. Come along with practice, may every person arrive at that me into this region of delights, this world agreeableness of temper, of which the of pleasure, and bid farewell for ever to natural and never-failing fruit is Happi- care, to pain, to business.” Hercules
hearing the lady talk after this mapper,
desired to know her name: to which she § 88. The Choice of Hercules.
answered, “My friends, and those who When Hercules was in that part of his are well acquainted with me, call me Hapyouth, in which it was natural for bim to piness; but my enemies, and those who consider what course of life he ought to would injure my reputation, have given me pursue, he one day retired into a desert, the name of Pleasure.” where the silence and solitude of the place By this time the other lady was come very much favoured bis meditations. As up, who addressed herself to the young he was musing on his present condition, hero in a very different manner:--Herand very much perplexed in himself on the cules,” says she, “I offer inyself to you, state of life he should choose, he saw two because I know you are descended from women, of a larger stature than ordinary, the Gods, and give proofs of that descent, approaching towards him. One of them by your love to virtue, and application to had a very poble air, and graceful deport- the studies proper for your age. This