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compassion there was perhaps too tender, for I meet a thousand madmen abroad, without any perturbation; though, to weigh the matter justly, the total loss of reason is less deplorable than the total depravation of it. An exact judge of human blessings, of riches, honours, beauty, even of wit itself, should pity the abuse of them, more than the want.
Briefly, though a wise man could pass never so securely through the great roads of human life, yet he will meet perpetually with so many objects and occasions of compassion, grief, shame, anger, hatred, indignation, and all passions but envy (for he will find nothing to deserve that), that he had better strike into some private path; nay, go so far, if he could, out of the common way, " ut nee facta au<liat Pelopidarum;" that he might not so much as hear of the actions of the sons of Adam. But, whither shall we fly then F into the deserts, like the ancient hermits?
— Qua terra patet, fera regnat Erinnys, In facinus jurasse putes—*.
One would think that all mankind had bound themselves by an oath to do all the wickedness they can; that they had all (as the scripture speaks) "sold themselves to sin:" the difference only is,
* Ovid. Metam. i. i41.
that some are a little more crafty (and but a little, God knows) in making of the bargain. I thought, when I first went to dwell in the country, that without doubt I should have met there with the simplicity of the old poetical golden age; I thought to have found no inhabitants there, hut such as the shepherds of Sir Philip Sydney in Arcadia, or of Monsieur d'Urfe upon the banks of Lignon; and began to consider with myself, which way I might recommend no less to posterity the happiness and innocence of the men of Chertsea: but, to confess the truth, I perceived quickly, by infallible demonr strations, that I was still in Old England, and not in Arcadia or La, Forrest; that, if I could not content myself with any thing less than exact fidelity in human conversation, I had almost as good go back and seek for it in the Court, or the Exchange, or Westminster-hall. I ask again, then, whither shall wo fly, or what shall we do? The world may so come in a man's way, that he cannot choose but salute it; he must take heed, though, not to go a-whoring after it. If, by any lawful vocation, or just necessity, men happen to be married to it, I can only give them St. Paul's advice: "Brethren, the time is short; it remains, that they, that have wives, be as though they had none.—But 1 would that all men were even as I myself *." ,
In all cases, they must be sure, that they do mvn
* 1 Cer. vii. 29. 7.
dura, ducere, and not mundo nubere. They must retain the superiority and headship over it: happy are they who can get out of the sight of this deceitful beauty, that they may not be led so much as into temptation; who have not only quitted the metropolis, but can abstain from ever seeing the next market-town in their country.
C1AUDIAKS OLD MAN OF VERONA.
De Sene Veronensi, qui suburbium nunquam egressus est.
"Felix, qui patriis" SfC.
HAPPY the man, who his whole time doth bound
Within th' inclosure of his little ground.
Happy the man, whom the same humble place
(Th' hereditary cottage of his race)
From his first rising infancy has known,
And by degrees sees gently bending down,
With natural propension, to that earth
Which both preserv'd his life, and gave him birth.
Him no false distant lights, by fortune set,
Could ever into foolish wanderings get.
He never dangers either saw or fear'd:
The dreadful storms at sea he never heard.
He never heard the shrill alarms of war,
Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar.
No change of consuls marks to him the year,
The change of seasons is his calendar.
The cold and heat, winter and summer shows;
Autumn by fruits, and spring by flowers, he knows.
He measures time by land-marks, and has found
For the whole day the dial of his ground.
A neighbouring wood, born with himself, he sees,
And loves his old contemporary trees.
He 'as only heard of near Verona's name,
And knows it, like the Indies, but by fame:
Does with a like concernment notice take
Of the Red-sea, and of Benacus' lake.
Thus health and strength he to a third age enjoys,
And sees a long posterity of boys.
About the spacious world let others roam,
The voyage, life, is longest made at home.
THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE, AND UNCERTAINTY OF RICHES.
IF you should see a man, who were to cross from Dover to Calais, run about very busy and solicitous, and trouble himself many weeks before in making provisions for his voyage, would you commend him for a cautious and discreet person, or laugh at him for a timorous and impertinent coxcomb I A man, who is excessive in his pains and diligence, and who consumes the greatest part of his time in furnishing the remainder with all conveniencies and even superfluities, is to angels and wise men no less ridiculous; he does as little consider the shortness of his passage, that he might proportion his cares accordingly. It is, alas, so narrow a straight betwixt the womb and the grave, that it might be called the Pas de Vie, as well as that the Pas de Calais.
We are all ipiipif.i (as Pindar calls us), creatures of a day, and therefore our Saviour bounds our desires to that little space ; as if it were very probable that every day should be our last, we are taught to demand even bread for no longer a time. The sun ought not to set upon our covetousness, no more than upon our anger; but as, to God Almighty, a thousand years are as one day, so, in direct opposition, one day to the covetous man is as a thousand years; "tam brevi fortis jaculatur aevo multa," so far he shoots beyond his butt: one would think, he were of the opinion of the Millenaries, and hoped for so long a reign upon earth. The patriarchs before the flood, who enjoyed almost such a life, made, we are sure, less stores for the maintaining of it; they, who lived nine hundred years, scarcely provided for a few days; we, who live but a few days, provide at least for nine hundred years. What a strange alteration is this of human life and manners! and yet we see an imitation of it in every man's particular experience; for we begin not the