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Primüm Graius homo mortales tollere contra
(LUCRETIUS.) At length a mighty man of Greece began T'alert the natural liberty of man.
HERE are fo many young men of fortune
and spirit in this kingdom, who, without the trouble of resorting to the founder of their philosophy, or giving themselves any concern about the Graius homo in my motto, have nevertheless fallen upon a practice so consentaneous to the doctrines, which he laid down by system, that Vol. III.
I much question if any of his profest scholars ever did him greater credit, since the time he first ftruck out the popular project of driving all religion out of the world, and introducing pleasure and voluptuousness in its stead.
Quare religio pedibus subjecta viciffim
“ We tread religion under foot and rise
So far from meaning to oppose myself to such a host of gay and happy mortals, I wish to gain a merit with them by adding to their stock of pleasures, and suggesting some hints, of enjoyments, which may be new to them; a discovery which they well know was considered by the kings of Persia, (who practised their philosophy in very antient times) as a service of such importance to all the feet, (who had even then worn out most of their old pleasures) that a very considerable reward was offered to the inventor of any new one. How the stock at present stands with our modern voluptuaries I cannot pretend to say but I suspect from certain fymptoms, which have fallen under my observation, that it is nearly run out with some amongst them; to such in particular I Aatter myself my discoveries will prove of value, and I have for
If there is any
their use composed the following meditation, which I have put together in the form of a foli: loquy, solving it step by step as regularly as any proposition in Euclid, and I will boldly vouch it to be as mathematically true. one postulatum in the whole, which the truest voluptuary will not admit to be orthodox Epicurism, I will consent to give up my system for nonsense and myself for an impostor ; I condition only with the pupil of pleafure, that whilft he reads he will reflect, that he will deal candidly with the truth, and that he will once in his life permit a certain faculty called reason, which I hope he is possessed of, to come into use upon this occafion; a faculty, which, though he may not hitherto have employed it, is yet capable of supplying him with more true and lasting pleasures, than any his philosophy can furnish.
I now recommend him to the following men ditation, which I have entitled
" THE VOLUPTUARY'S SOLILOQUY.
"I FIND myself in possession of an eftates « which has devolved upon me without any “pains of my own: I have youth and health to
enjoy it, and I am determined so to do:: « Pleasure is my object, and I must therefore fo “ contrive as to make that object lasting and
“ satisfactory : If I throw the means away, I
can no longer compass the end; this is self6 evident; I perceive therefore that I must not
game; for though I like play, I do not like to “ lose that, which alone can purchase every “ pleasure I propose to enjoy; and I do not see " that the chance of winning other people's « money can compensate for the pain I must «C.fuffer if I lose my own: An addition to my « fortune can only give superfluities; the loss of " it may take away even necessaries; and in the « mean time I have enough for every other gra
tification but the desperate one of deep play: « It is refolved therefore that I will not be a “ gamester: There is' not common sense in the " thought, and therefore I renounce it.
6.But if I give up gaming, I will take my “ swing of pleasure, that I am determined upon. " I must therefore ask myself the question, what “ is pleasure? Is it high living and hard drink“ing? I have my own choice to make, there« fore I must take some time to consider of it. « There is nothing very elegant in it I must “confess; a glutton is but a sorry fellow, and a « drunkard is a beast: Besides I am not sure my .conftitution can stand against it: I shall get “the gout, that would be the devil ; I shall grow « out of all shape; I shall have a red face full of
« blotches, a foul breath and be loathsome to the
women: I cannot bear to think of that,, for I “ doat upon the women, and therefore adieu to « the bottle and all its concomitants; I prefer the « favours of the fair sex to the company of the
soakers, and so there is an end to all drinking ; “ I will be sober, only because I love pleasure.
« But if I give up wine for women, I will re
pay myself for the sacrifice; I will have the “ finest girls that money can purchase-Money, “ did I say? What a found has that !-- Am I to “ buy beauty with money, and cannot I buy « love too? for there is no pleasure even in
beauty without love. I find myself gravelled
by this unlucky question : Mercenary love! " that is nonsense; it is flat hypocrisy; it is dif“gusting. I should loath the fawning caresses “ of a dissembling harlot, whom I pay for false “ fondness: I find I am wrong again: I cannot « fall in love with a harlot; she must be a modest
woman; and when that befals me, what then?
Why then, if I am terribly in love indeed, " and cannot be happy without her, there is no « other choice left me; I think I must even
marry her! nay I am sure I must; for if plea“ sure leads that way, pleasure is my object, and « marriage is my lot: I am determined therefore 56 to marry, only because I love pleasure.