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in the paths of religion or virtue; or, on the other hand, in the roads to wealth, honours, or pleasure. I shall, therefore, compare the pursuits of avarice, ambition, and sensual delight, with their opposite virtues ; and shall consider which of these principles engages men in a course of the greatest labour, suffering, and assiduity. Most men, in their cool reasonings, are willing to allow that a course of virtne will in the end be rewarded the most amply; but represent the way to it as rugged and narrow. If therefore it can be made appear, that men struggle through as many troubles to be made miserable, as they do to be happy, my readers may perhaps be persuaded to be good, when they find they shall lose nothing by it.
First, for avarice. The miser is more industrious than the saint: the pains of getting, the fears of losing, and the inability of enjoying his wealth, have been the mark of satire in'all ages. Were his repentance upon bis veglect of a good bargain, his sorrow for being over-reached, his hope of improving a son, and his fear of falling into want, directed to their proper objects, they would make so many different christian graces and virtues. He may apply to himself a great part of St. Paul's catalogue of sufferings.
“ In journeying often; in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and pain. fulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often." At how much less expense might be “ lay up to himself treasures in heaven?” or if I may, in this place, be allowed to add the saying of a great 'philosopher, he may “ provide such possessions, as fear neither arms, nor inen, nor Jove himself.”
In the second place, if we look upon the toils of ambition, in the same light as we have considered those of avarice, we shall readily own that far less trouble is requisite to gain lasting glory, than the power and reputation of a few years; or, in other words, we may with more ease deserve honour, than obtain it. The ambitious man should remember Car
dinal Wolsey's complaint : “ Had I served God with the same application wherewith I served my king, he would not have forsaken me in my old age.” The Cardinal here softens his ambition by the specious pretence of “ serving his king;” whereas his words, in the proper construction, imply, that if, instead of being actoated by ainbition, he had been actuated by religion, he should now have felt the comforts of it, when the whole world turned its back upon him.
Thirdly, let us compare the pains of the sensual, with those of the virtuous, and see which are heavier in the balance. It may seem strange, at the first view, that the men of pleasure should be advised to change their conrse, because they lead a painful life. Yet, when we see theni so active and vigilant in quest of delight; under so many disquiets, and the sport of such various passions; let them answer, as they can, if the pains they undergo do not outweigh their enjoy.
The infidelities on the one part between the two sexes, and the caprices on the other, the debase. ment of reason, the pangs of expectation, the disap. pointments in possession, the stings of remorse, the vanities and vexations attending even the most refined delights that make up this business of life, render it so silly and uncomfortable, that no man is thought wise . until he hath got over it, or happy, but in proportion as he hath cleared himself from it.
The sum of all is this: Man is made an active being. Whether he walks in the paths of virtue or vice, he is snre to meet with many difficulties to prove his pa. tience and excite his industry. The same, if not greater labour, is required in the service of vice and folly, as of virtue and wisdom; and he hath this easy choice left him, whether, with the strength he is master of, he will parchase bappiness or repentance.
INVECTIVE AGAINST BACHELORS.
Dum potuit, solita gemitum virtute repressit.
OVID. Met. 1. ix. v. 163.
With wonted fortitude she bore the smart,
" Sir, "I AM a woman loaded with injuries, and the age
gravation of my misfortune is, that they are such which are overlooked by the generality of mankind, and though the most afflicting imaginable, not regard. ed as such in the general sense of the world. I have hid my vexation from all mankind; but have now taken pen, iuk, and paper, and am resolved to unbu. som myself to you, and lay before you what grieves me and all the sex. Why have you not in any one speculation directly pointed at the partial freedom men take, the unreasouable confinement women are obliged to, in the only circumstance in which we are ne. cessarily to have a commerce with them, that of love? The case of celibacy is the great evil of our nation; and the indulgence of the vicions conduct of men in that state, with the ridicule to which women are exposed, though ever so virtuous, if long unmarried, is the root of the greatest irregularities of this nation. To show you that I read good books of my own choosing, I shall insert on this occasion a paragraph or two out of Echard's Roman History. In the 44th page of the second volume the author observes, that Augustus, upon his return to Rome at the end of a war, received complaints that too great a number of the young men of quality were unmarried. The Emperor thereupon assembled the whole equestrian order; and baving separated the married from the single, did particular ho. VOL. II.
nours to the former, but he told the latter, that is to say, sir, he told the Bachelors, . That their lives and actions had been so peculiar, that he kvew not by what name to call them; not by that of men, for they performed nothing that was manly; not by that of ci. tizens, for the city might perish notwithstanding their care; nor by that of Romans, for they designed to extirpate the Roman pame.' Then proceeding tu show bis tender care and hearty affection for his people, he further told them,. That their course of life was of such pernicious consequence to the glory and grandeur of the Romau nation, that he could not choose but tell them, that all other crimes pnt together coulù not equalize theirs: for they were gnilty of murder, in not suffering those to be born which should proceed from them; of impiety, in causing the names and ho. nours of their ancestors to cease; and of sacrilege, in destroying their kind, which proceeded from the immortal gods, and human nature, the principal thing consecrated to them : therefore in this respect they dissolved the government, in disobeying its laws; betrayed their country, by making it barren and waste; nay, and demolished their city, in depriving it of inhabitants. And he was sensible that all this proceeded not from any kind of virtue or abstinence, but from a looseness and wantonness, which ought never to be encouraged in any civil government. There are no particulars dwelt upon that let us into the conduct of these young worthies, whom this great Emperor treated with so much justice and indignation; but any one who observes what passes in this town, may very weil frame to himself a notion of their riots and de. baucheries all night, and their apparent preparations for them all day. It is not to be doubted but these Romans never passed any of their time innocently but when they were asleep, and never slept but when they were weary and beavy with excesses, and slept only to prepare themselves for the repetition of them. I kave not patience to proceed gravely on this abomi. nable libertinism; for I cannot but reflect, as I am writing to you, upon a certain lascivious manner which all our young gentlemen use in public, and examine onr eyes with a petulancy in their own, which is a downright affront to modesty. A disdainful look on such an occasion is returned with a countenance rebuked, but by averting their eyes from the woman of honour and decency to some flippant creature, who will, as the phrase is, be kinder. I must set down things as they come into my head, without standing upon order. Ten thousand to one but the gay gentle. man who stared, at the same time is an housekeeper; for you must know they have got into a humour of late of being very regular in their sins, and a young fellow shall keep his four maids and three footmen, with the greatest gravity imaginable. There are no less than six of these venerable bousekeepers of my acquaintance. This humour among young men of conditiou is imitated by all the world below them, and a general dissolution of manners arises from this one source of libertinism, without shaine or reprehension in the male youth. It is from this one fountain that so many beautiful helpless young women are sa. crificed and given up to lewdness, shame, poverty, and disease. It is to this also that so mnany excellent young women, who might be patterns of conjugal affection, and parents of a worthy race, pine under unhappy passions for such as have not attention enough to observe, or virtne enough to prefer them to their common wenches. Now, sir, I must be free to own to you, that I myself suffer a tasteless insipid being, from a consideration I have for a man who would not, as he has said in my hearing, resign his liberty as he calls it, for all the beauty and wealth the whole sex is possessed of. Such calamities as these would not happen, if it could possibly be brought about, that by fining Bachelors as Papists convict, or the like, they were distinguished to their disadvantage from the rest