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De re eo
WHEN a Man observes the Choice of Ladies now a-days in the Difpenfing of their Favours, can he forbear paying some Veneration to the Memory of those Mares mentioned by Xenopbon, who while their Manes were on, that is, while they were in their Beauqueftri, ty, would never admit the Embraces of an Ass.
'Tis à miserable thing to live in Suspence ; it is the Life of a Spider. Vive quidem, pende tamen, improba dixit. Ovid. Metam.
The Stoical Scheme of Supplying our Wants by lopping of our Defires, is like cutting off our Feet, when we want Shoes,
Physicians ought not to give their Judg. ment of Religion, for the faine reason that Butchers are not admitted to be Jurors upon Life and Death.
The Reason why so few Marriages are Happy, is because young Ladies spend their Time in making Nets, not in making Cages.
If a Man will observe as he walks the Streets, I believe he will find the Merriest Countenances in Mourning Coaches,
NOTHING more unqualifies a Man to act with Prudence, than a Misfortune that is attended with Shame and Guilt.
The Power of Fortune is confest only by the Miserable ; for the Happy impute all their Success to Prudence or Merit.
AMBITION often puts Men upon doing the meanest Offices; fo Climbing is performed in the same posture with Creeping.
Il Company is like a Dog, who dirts those 'moft, whom he loves best.
CENSURL is the Tax a man pays to the Publick for being eminent. FINIS:
EING fo great a Lover of Antiquities, it was teisonable to suppose you would be very much obliged with any thing that was new. í bave been of late offended with many Writers of Efays and
Moral Discourses, for running into State Topicks and Thread-bare Quotations, and not bandling their Subje&t fully and closely: All which Errors I have carefully Avoided in the following Efay, which I have proposed as a Pattern for young Writers to imitate, the Thoughts and Observations being entirely new, the Quotations nntaught by others, the Subje&t of mighty Importance, and treated with mucb Order and Perspicuity; it has toff me a great deal of Time: and I defire you will atcept end confider it as the utmoft Efort of my Genius.
Tritical Elay, &c. P
HILOSOPHERS say, that Man is a Microcosm or little World, resembling in Miniatute every part of the great : And, in
my Opinion the Body Natural may be compared with the Body Politick: And if this be to, how can the Epicureans Opinion be true, that the Universe was formed by a fortuitous Concourse of Atoms, which I will no more believe, than that the accidental Jumbling of the Letters in the Alphabet would fall by chance into a moft ingenious and learned Treatise of Philosophy, Risum teneatis amici, Hor. This falle Opinion must needs create many more; 'tis like an Error in the first Concoction, which cannot be corrected in the second ; the Foundation is weak, and whatever Superstructure you raise upon it must of necessity fall to the Ground, Thus Men are led from one Error to another, till with Ixion they embrace a Cloud instead of Juno; or, like the Dog in the Fable, lose the Substance in gaping at the Shadow. For such Opinions cannot cohére; but like the Iron and Clay in the Toes of Nebuchadnezzar's Image, must separate and break in pieces. I have read in a certain Author, that Alexander wepe, because he
had no more Worlds to Conquer; which he need not have done, if the fortuitous Concourse of Atoms could create one; But this is an Opinion fitter for that many-headed Beast the Vul. gar to entertain, than for so Wise a Man as Epicurus; the Corrupt part of his Sect only borrowed bis Name, as the Monkey did the Cat's Claw
. However, the first step to the Cure is to know the Disease; and though Truth may be difficult to find, because, as the Philosopher observes, She lives in the bottom of a Well; yet we need not, 'like Blind Men grope in open Day-light. I hope, I may be allowed among so many far more learned Men, to offer my Mite; fince a Stander by may sometimes perhaps fee more of the Game than he that plays it. 'But I do not think a Philofopher obliged to account for every Phænomenon in Nature, or Drown himself with Ariftotle for not being able to folve the Ebbing and Flowing of the Tide, in that fatal Sentence he pass d upon himself, Quia te mon capio, tu capies me.
WHEREIN he was at once the Judge and the Criminal, the Accuser and Executioner. Socrates on the other hand, who said, he knew now thing, was pronounced by the Oracle to be the Wifeít Man in the World.
But, to return from this Digreflion, I think it as clear as any Demonstration in Euclid, that Nature does nothing in vain , if we were able to dive into her secret Reccffes, we should find that the smallest Blade of Grafs, or most contemptible Weed, has its particular Use, but the is chiefly admirable in her minutest Compofitions, the least and most contemptible Insect
moft discovers the Art of Nature, if I may so call it, tho' Nature, which delights in Variety, will always triumph over Art: And as the Poec observes, Naturam expellas furcâ licet, ufque recurret. Hor.
But the various Opinions of Philosophers have scattered through the World as many Plagues of the Mind, as Pandora's Box did thoso of the Body, only with this difference, that they have not left Hope at the bottom. And it Truth be not fled with Area, she is certain ly as hidden as the Source of Nile, can be found only in Utopia. : Not that I would reflect on those wise Sages, which would be a sort of Ingratitude, and he that calls a Man Ungrateful, sums up all the Evil that a Man can be guilty of,
Ingratum fi dixeris, omnia dicis.
But What I blame the Philosophers for ( tho' some may think it a Paradox ) is chiefly their Pride; nothing less than an ipfe dixit, and you must pin your Faith on their Sleeve. And tho' Diogenes lived in a Tub, there might be, for ought I know, as much Pride : under his Rags, as in the fine spun Garment of the Divine Pla to. It is reported of this Diogenes, that when Alexander came to see him, and promised to give him whatever he would afk; the Cynick only answered, Take not from me what thou canst not give ime, but ftand from between me and the Light; which was almost as 'extravagant as the Philosopher that flung his Money into the Sea, with this remarkable Saying:
How different was this Man from the Usurer, who being told his Son would spend all he had