« ПредишнаНапред »
of being too quiet to enjoy Quiet, and 'too philofophical to be a Philosopher, were it not for the Ferment Lord B. will put you into. One of his Lordship's Maxims is, that a total Abstinence from Intemperance or Business, is no more Pbilofophy, than a total Composition of the Senses is Repofe ; one must Feel enough of it's contrary to have a Relish of either. But after all, let your Temper work, and be as sedate and contemplative as you will, I'll engage you shall be fit for his Lordship when you come to Town in the Winter. Fo!ly will laugh you into all the Customs of the Company here; nothing will be able to prevent your Conversion to her, but Indisposition, which I hope will be far from you. I am telling the worst that can come of you; for as to Vice, you are safe, but Folly is many an honest Man's, nay eveJy good-humour’d Man's Lot: Nay, it is the Seasoning of Life; and Fools (in one Senfe) are the Salt of the Earth; a little is excellent, tho' indeed a whole Mouthful is juftly called the Devil.
So much for your Diversions next Winter, and for mine. I envy you much more at present, than I shall then; for 'if there be on Earth an Image of Paradise, it is in such perfect Union and Society as you all possess. I would have my innocent Envies and Wishes of your State known to you
which is far better than making you Compliments, for it is inward Approbation and Esteem. Digby has in me a fincere Servant, or would have, were there
any occafion for me to manifest it,
Vermine, that die of shooting their own Stings.
September 10, 1724, - Dear Sir, I AM glad your Travels delighted you, improve
you I am sure they could not; you are not so much a Youth as that, tho' you run about with a King of fixteen, and (what makes him ftill more 1 Child) a King, of Frenchmen. My own time has been more melancholy, spent in an attendance upon Death, which has seized one of our Family, my poor old Nurse. My Mother is something better, though at her advanced Age every Day is a Climacteric. There was joined to this an Indisposition of my own, which I ought to look upon as a flight one, compared with my Mother's (because
my Life is not of half the Consequence to any Body, that her's is to me). All these Incidents have hinder'd my more speedy Reply to your obliging Letter.
The Article you enquire of, is of as little concern to me as you desire it should ; namely the railing Papers about the Odysey. If the Book has Merit, (and since you like it, it must) it will extinguish all such nasty Scandal, as the Sun puts an end to stinks meerly by coming out.
I wish I had nothing to trouble me more ; an honest Mind is not in the power of any dishonest
To break it's Peace, there must be some Guilt or Consciousness, which is inconsistent with it's own Principles.
Not but Malice and InjuHiee have their day, like some poor short-lived
Falfhood is Folly (says Homer), and Liars and Calumniators at last hurt none but themselves, even in this World: In the next, 'tis Charity to say, God have mercy on them! They were the Devil's Vice-gerents upon Earth, who is the Father of Lies, and I fear has a Right to dispose of his Children.
I've had an Occasion to make these Reflexions of late, more justly than from any thing that concerns my Writings, for it is one that concerns my Morals, and (which I ought to be as tender of as my own) the good Character of another very innocent Person, who I'm fure shares your Friend fhip no less than 1 do: ***** No Creature has better 'natural Difpofitions, or would act more rightly, or reasonably, in every duty, did she act by herself, or from herfelf; but you know it is the Misfortune of that Family to be governed like a Ship, I mean the Head guided by the tail, and that by every Wind that blows in it.
To the fame.
December 28, 1724.
one year, and a happy beginning of another ; but both these you know how to make yourself, by only continuing such a Life as you have been long accustomed too lead. As for Good Works, they are things I dare not name, either to thofe that do them, or to thofe that do them not ;' the first are too. modeft, and the latter too selfish to bear the mention of what are become either too old fafhoned, or too private, to constitute any part of the Vanity or 'Reputation of the present Age. . However, it were to be wish'd People would now and then look upon Good Works as they do
old Wardrobes, meerly
in case any of 'em should by chance come into Fashion again ; as ancient Fardingales revive in modern hoop'd Petticoats (which may be properly compared to Charities, as they cover a Multitude of Sins).
They tell me that at certain antiquated Charities, and obsolete Devotions, are yet subsisting : that a thing called Christian Chearfulness, (not incompatible with Christmas Pyes and Plumb-broth) whereof frequent is the mention in old Sermons and Almanacks, is really kept alive and in Practice: That feeding the Hungry, and giving Alms to the Poor, do yet make a Part of good house-keeping, in a Latitude not more remote from . London than fourscore Miles : And lastly, that Prayers and Roastbeef actually make some People as happy, as a Whore and a Bottle. But here in town I assure
you, Men, Women, and Children, I have done with these things. Charity not only begins, but ends at home.
Instead of the four Cardinal" Virtues, now reign four Princely ones; we have cunning for Prudence, Rapine for Justice, Time-serving for Fortitude, and Luxury for Temperance. Whatever you may fancy where you live in a State of Ignorance, and see nothing but Quiet, Religion, and Good Humour; the cafe is just as I tell
you where people understand the World, and know how to live with Credit and Glory.
I wish that Heaven would open the eyes of Men, and make 'em fensible which of these is right: whether upon a due Conviction, we are to quit Faction, and Gaming, and High-feeding and Whoring, and take to your Country way; or you to leave Prayers, and Almsgiving, and Reading and Exercise, and come into our measures. I wish (I fay) that this Matter were as clear to all Men, as it is to