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denieth himself the practice of virtues whose reward is it his hand; whose end is no other than his own happiness.

13 When thou hast taught thyself to bear the seeming good of men without repining, thou wilt hear of their real happiness with pleasure. If thou seest good things fall to one who deserveth them, thou wilt rejoice in it; for virtue is happy in the prosperity of the virtuous. He who rejoiceth in the happiness of another, increaseth by it his own.

14 He that is truly virtuous, loveth virtue for herself; he disdaineth the applause which ambition aimeth after. How pitiable were the state of virtue, if she could not be happy but from another's praise! Pursue that which is honorable, do that which is right; and the applause of thine own conscience will be more joy to thee, than the shouts of millions who know not that thou deservest them.

15 The noblest employment of the mind of man is the study of the works of his Creator. To him whom the science of nature delighteth, every object bringeth a proof of his God; every thing that proveth it, giveth cause of adoration. His mind is lifted up to heaven every moment; his life is one continued act of devotion.

16 Casteth he his eye towards the clouds, findeth he not the heavens full of his wonders? Looketh he down to the earth, doth not the worm proclaim to him, Less than Omnipotence could not have formed me?

17 While the planets perform their courses; while the sun remaineth in his place; while the comet wandereth through the liquid air, and returneth to its destined road again; who but thy God, O man! could have formed them? what but infinite wisdom could have appointed them their laws?

18 Behold, how awful their splendor! yet do they not diminish: Lo! how rapid their motions! yet one runneth not in the way of another. Look down upon the earth, and see her produce; examine her bowels, and behold what they contain! Hath not wisdom and power ordained the whole?

19 Who biddeth the grass to spring up? who watereth it at its due seasons? Behold! the ox croppeth it; the horse and the sheep, feed they not upon it? Who is he that provideth it for them? Who giveth increase to the corn which thou sowest? Who returneth it to thee a thousand fold?

20 What is the study of words compared with this? In what science is knowledge, but in the study of nature? Who is wise then, but he that knoweth it? Who hath understanding, but he that contemplateth it? For the rest, what

ever science hath most utility, whatever knowledge hath least vanity, prefer these unto the others; and profit of them for the sake of thy neighbor.

21 Piety to thy God, and benevolence to thy fellow creatures, are they not thy great duties? What shall teach thee the one, like the study of his works? what shall inform thee of the other like understanding thy dependencies?

22 Wouldst thou learn to die nobly? let thy vices die before thee. Happy is he who endeth the business of his life before his death: who, when the hour of it cometh, hath nothing to do but to die; who wisheth not delay, because he hath no longer use for time.






1 IT is admirable to consider how many millions of people come into and go out of the world, ignorant of themselves, and of the world they have lived in. We are in pain to make our youth scholars, but not men; to talk, rather than to know; which is true canting. The first thing obvious to children is what is sensible; and that, we make no part of their rudiments.

2 We press their memory too soon, and puzzle, strain, and load them with words and rules to know grammar and rhetoric, and a strange tongue or two, that it is ten to one may never be useful to them; leaving their natural genius to mechanical and physical or natural knowledge uncultivated and neglected; which would be of exceeding use and pleasure to them through the whole course of their lives. To be sure, languages are not to be despised or neglected; but, things are still to be preferred.

3 Lend not beyond thy ability, nor refuse to lend out of thy ability: especially when it will help others more than it can hurt thee. If thy debtor be honest and capable, thou hast thy money again, if not with increase, with praise. If he prove insolvent, do not ruin him to get that which it will not ruin thee to lose.

4 Frugality is good, if liberality be joined with it. The first is leaving off superfluous expenses; the last bestowing them to the benefit of others that need. The first, without the last, begins covetousness; the last, without the first, begins prodigality. Both together make an excellent temper. Happy the place where that is found.

5 Were it universal, we should be cured of two extremes,


want and excess: and the one would supply the other, and se bring both nearer to a mean; the just degree of earthly happiness. It is a reproach to religion and government, to suffer so much poverty and excess.

6 Were the superfluities of a nation valued, and made a perpetual tax for benevolence, there would be more almshouses than poor, schools than scholars, and enough to spare for government besides.

7 Love labor: for if thou dost not want it for food, thou mayst for physic. It is wholesome for thy body, and good for thy mind.

8 Neither urge another to that thou wouldst be unwilling to do thyself: nor do thyself what looks to thee unseemly, and intemperate in another.

9 The very trimming of the vain world would clothe all the naked one. If thou art clean and warm, it is sufficient; for more doth but rob the poor, and please the wanton.

10 If thou hast done an injury to another, rather own it than defend it. One way thou gainest forgiveness; the other, thou doublest the wrong and reckoning. Some oppose honor to submission; but it can be no honor to maintain what it is dishonorable to do. True honor will pay treble damages, rather than justify one wrong by another.


11 In such controversies, it is but too common for some say, "Both are to blame," to excuse their own unconcernedness; which is a base neutrality. Others will cry, "They are both alike;" thereby involving the injured with the guilty, to mince the matter for the faulty, or cover their own injustice to the wronged party. Fear and gain are great perverters of mankind: and where either prevails, the judgment is violated.

12 If thou thinkest twice before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it. Better say nothing, than not to the purpose. And to speak pertinently, consider both what is fit, and when it is fit, to speak. In all debates, let truth be thy aim; not victory, or an unjust interest: and endeavor to gain, rather than to expose, thy antagonist.

13 Believe nothing against another, but upon good authority: nor report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to others to conceal it.

14 Never assent merely to please others; for that is, besides flattery, oftentimes untruth, and discovers a mind to be servile and base: nor contradict to vex others; for that shows an ill temper, and provokes, but profits nobody.

15 Do not accuse others to excuse thyself; for that is neither generous nor just. But let sincerity and ingenuousness be thy refuge, rather than craft and falsehood: for cunning borders very near upon knavery. Wisdom never uses nor wants it. Cunning to the wise, is as an ape to a man.

16 A man in business must put up with many affronts, if he loves his own quiet. We must not pretend to see all that we see, if we would be easy. It were endless to dispute upon every thing that is disputable. A vindictive temper not only uneasy to others, but to them that have it.

17 Avoid, all thou canst, being entrusted; but do thy utmost to discharge the trust thou undertakest; for carelessness is injurious, if not unjust. The glory of a servant is fidelity, which cannot be without diligence, as well as truth.

18 Mix kindness with authority; and rule more by discretion than rigor. If thy servant be faulty, strive rather to convince him of his error, than to discover thy passion: and when he is sensible, forgive him. Let not thy children domineer over thy servants; nor suffer them to slight thy children.


1 We are too careless of posterity; not considering that as they are, so the next generation will be. If we would amend the world, we should mend ourselves; and teach our children to be, not what we are, but what they should be. The country is both the philosopher's garden and library, in which he reads and contemplates the power, wisdom, and goodness of God. It is his food, as well as study; and gives him life, as well as learning.

2 The generality are the worse for their plenty. The voluptuous consumes it, the miser hides it; it is the good man that uses it, and to good purposes.

3 Act not the shark upon thy neighbor; nor take advantage of the ignorance, prodigality, or necessity of any one; for that is next door to a fraud, and, at best, makes but an unblessed gain.

4 Never esteem any man, or thyself, the more for money; nor think the meaner of thyself, or another, for want of it; virtue being the just reason of respecting, and the want of it of slighting, any one. A man, like a watch, is to be valued for his goings.

5 They that show more than they are, raise an expectation they cannot answer; and so lose their credit, as soon as they are found out. He that does good for good's sake, seeks


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