« السابقةمتابعة »
be very good friends, were it not for the instigations of Po verty, that pernicious counsellor, who made an ill use of his ear, and filled him with groundless apprehensions and prejudices. To this Avarice replied, that he looked upon Plenty (the first minister of his antagonist) to be a much more destructive counsellor than Poverty, for that he was perpetually suggesting pleasures, banishing all the necessary cautions against want, and consequently undermining those principles, on which the government of Avarice was founded. At last, in order to an accommodation, they agreed upon this preliminary, that each of them should immediately dismiss his privy counsellor. When things were thus far adjusted towards a peace, all other differences were soon accommodat ed, insomuch that for the future they resolved to live as good friends and confederates, and to share between them whatever conquests were made on either side. For this reason we now find Luxury and Avarice taking possession of the same heart, and dividing the same person between them. To which I shall only add, that since the discarding of the counsellors above mentioned, Avarice supplies Luxury in the room of Plenty, as Luxury prompts Avarice in the place of Poverty. SPECTATOR.
PLEASURE AND PAIN.
THERE were two families, which, from the beginning of the world, were as opposite to each other as light and darkness. The one of them lived in Heaven, and the other in Hell. The youngest descendant of the first family was Pleasure, who was the daughter of Happiness, who was the child of Virtue, who was the offspring of the Gods. These, as I said before, had their habitation in Heaven. The youngest of the opposite family was Pain, who was the son of Misery, who was the child of Vice, who was the offspring of the Furies. The habitation of this race of beings was in Hell.
The middle station of nature between these two opposite extremes was the earth, which was inhabited by creatures of a middle kind, neither so virtuous as the one, nor so vicious
as the other, but partaking of the good and bad qualities of these two opposite families. Jupiter, considering that this species, commonly called man, was too virtuous to be miserable, and too vicious to be happy; that he might make a distinction between the good and the bad, ordered the two youngest of the above-mentioned families, Pleasure, who was the daughter of Happiness, and Pain, who was the son of Misery, to meet one another upon this part of nature which lay in the half-way between them; having promised to settle it upon them both, provided they could agree upon the division of it, so as to share mankind between them.
Pleasure and Pain were no sooner met in their new habitation, but they immediately agreed upon this point, that Pleasure should take possession of the virtuous, and Pain of the vicious part of that species which was given up to them. But upon examining to which of them any individual they met with belonged, they found each of them had a right to him: for that, contrary to what they had seen in their old places of residence, there was no person so vicious who had not some good in him, nor any person so virtuous who had not in him some evil. The truth of it is, they generally found upon search, that in the most vicious man, Pleasure might lay claim to a hundredth part; and that in the most virtuous man, Pain might come in for at least two thirds. This they saw would occasion endless disputes between them, unless they could come to some accommodation. To this end there was a marriage proposed between them, and at length concluded: by this means it is that we find Pleasure and Pain are such constant yoke-fellows, and that they either make their visits together, or are never far asunder. If Pain comes into a heart, he is quickly followed by Pleasure; and if Pleasure enters, you may be sure Pain is not far off.
But, notwithstanding this marriage was very convenient for the two parties, it did not seem to answer the intention of Jupiter in sending them among mankind. To remedy therefore this inconvenience, it was stipulated between them by article, and confirmed by the consent of each family, that, notwithstanding they have possessed the species indifferently, upon the death of every single person, if he was found to have in him a certain proportion of evil, he should be dispatched into the infernal regions by a passport from Pain,
there to dwell with Misery, Vice, and the Furies. Or, on the contrary, if he had in him a certain proportion of good, he should be dispatched into Heaven by a passport from Pleasure, there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue, and the Gods. SPECTATOR.
LABOUR, the offspring of Want, and the mother of Health and Contentment, lived with her two daughters in a little cottage, by the side of a hill, at a great distance from town. They were totally unacquainted with the great, and kept no better company than the neighbouring villagers: but having a desire of seeing the world, they forsook their companions and habitation, and determined to travel. Labour went soberly along the road with Health on the right hand, who, by the sprightliness of her conversation, and songs of cheerfulness and joy, softened the toils of the way; while Contentment went smiling on the left, supporting the steps of her mother, and by her perpetual good humour increasing the vivacity of her sister.
In this manner they travelled over forests and through towns and villages, till at last they arrived at the capital of the kingdom. At their entrance into the great city, the mother conjured her daughters never to lose sight of her; for it was the will of Jupiter, she said, that their separation should be attended with the utter ruin of all three. But Health was of too gay a disposition to regard the counsels of Labour; she suffered herself to be debauched by Intemperance, and at last died in childbirth of Disease. Contentment, in the absence of her sister, gave herself up to the enticements of Sloth, and was never heard of after : while Labour, who could have no enjoyment without her daughters, went every where in search of them, till she was at last seized by Lassitude in her way, and died in misery.
THE OLD MAN AND HIS ASS.
An old man and a little boy were driving an ass to the next market to sell. What a fool is this fellow, says a man upon the road, to be trudging it on foot with his son, that his ass may go light! The old man, hearing this, set his boy upon the ass, and went whistling by the side of him. Why, sirrah! cries a second man to the boy, is it fit for you to be riding, while your poor old father is walking on foot? The father, upon this rebuke, took down his boy from the ass, and mounted himself. Do you see, says a third, how the lazy old knave rides along upon his beast, while his poor little boy is almost crippled with walking! The old man no sooner heard this, than he took up his son behind him. Pray, honest friend, says a fourth, is that ass your own? Yes, says the man. One would not have thought so, replied the other, by your loading him so unmercifully. You and your son are better able to carry the poor beast, than he you. Any thing to please, says the owner; and alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the ass together, and by the help of a pole endeavoured to carry him upon their shoulders over the bridge that led to the town. This was so entertaining a sight, that the people ran in crowds to laugh at it; till the ass, conceiving a dislike to the over-complaisance of his master, burst asunder the cords that tied him, slipped from the pole, and tumbled into the river. The poor old man made the best of his way home, ashamed and vexed, that by endeavouring to please every body, he had pleased nobody, and lost his ass into the bargain. WORLD.
THE CHOICE OF HERCULES.
WHEN Hercules was in that part of his youth, in which
it was natural for him to consider what course of life he
ought to pursue, he one day retired into a desert, where the silence and solitude of the place very much favoured his meditations. As he was musing on his present condition, and very much perplexed in himself on the state of life he should choose, he saw two women of a larger stature than ordinary approaching toward him. One of them had a very noble air, and graceful deportment: her beauty was natural and easy, hier person clean and unspotted, her eyes cast toward the ground with an agreeable reserve, her motion and behaviour full of modesty, and her raiment as white as snow. The other had a great deal of health and floridness in her countenance, which she had helped with an artificial white. and red; and endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her mien, by a mixture of affectation in all her gestures. She had a wonderful confidence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her dress, that she thought were the most proper to show her complexion to advantage. She cast her eyes upon herself, then turned them on those that were present, to see how they liked her, and often looked on the figure she made in her shadow." Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, she stepped before, the other lady, who came forward with a regular composed carriage, and running up to him, accosted him after the following manner:
My dear Hercules, says she, I find you are very much divided in your own thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to choose: be my friend, and follow me; I will lead you into the possession of pleasure, and out of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noise and disquietude of business. The affairs of either war or peace shall have no power to disturb you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and to entertain every sense with it's proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfumes, concerts of music, crowds of beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into this region of delights, this world of pleasure, and bid farewel for ever to care, to pain, to business.
Hercules hearing the lady talk after this manner, desired to know her name; to which she answered, my friends, and those who are well acquainted with me, call me Happiness;