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• ral medicines which ended in taking the grand remedy, • which cured both him and me of all our uneasinesses. • After his death, I could not expect to hear any • Mr Waitfort, I knew he had renounced me to all his • friends, and been very witty upon my choice, which
he affected to talk of with great indifferency ; I gave over thinking of him, being told that he was engaged with a pretty woman and a great fortune: it vexed me a little, but not enough to make me neglect the advice
my cousin Wishwell, that came to see me the day my * lord went into the country with Ruifel; she told me
experimentally, nothing put an unfaithful lover and a « dear husband so foon out of one's head, as a new one; & and, at the same time, proposed to me a kinsman of shers : you understand enough of the world (said she) to know
money is the most valuable consideration; he * is very rich, and I am sure cannot live long; he has a s.cough, that must carry him off foon. I knew afterwards • she had given the self-fame character of me to him; but however I was so much persuaded by her, I hastened
the match, for fear he should die before the time o came; he had the same fears, and was fo pressing, I « married him in a fortnight, resolving to keep it private • a fortnight longer. During this fortnight Mr Waitfort + came to make me a visit; he told me he had waited son me sooner, but had that respect for me, he would « not interrupt me in the first day of my affliction for my • dead lord; that as soon as he heard I was at liberty to s make another choice, he had broke off a match very
advantageous for his fortune just upon the point of 'conclusion, and was forty times more in love with me < than ever.
I never received more pleasure in my life • than from this declaration, but I composed my face to • a grave air, and said the news of his engagement had
touched me to the heart, that, in a raih jealous fit, " I had married a man I could never have thought on if • I had not lost all hopes of him. Good-natured Mr
Waitfort had like to have dropped down dead at hcaring this, but went from me with such an air as plainly • shewed me, he laid all the blame upon himself, and ha'ted those friends, that had advised him to the fatal application; he seemed as much touched by my misfor
• tune as his own, for he had not the least doubt I was ' ftill passionately in love with him. The truth of the
story is, my new husband gave me reason to repent I • had not staid for him; he had married me for my mo• ney, and I soon found he loved money to distraction;
there was nothing he would not do to get it, nothing • he would not suffer to preserve it; the smallest expence • kept him awake whole nights, and when he paid a bill, . it was with as many sighs, and after as many delays, • as a man that endures the loss of a limb. I heard no
thing but reproofs for extravagancy whatever I did. I • saw very well that he would have starved me, but for • losing my jointures; and he suffered agonies between *the grief of seeing me have fo good a stomach, and the • fcar that, if he made me fait, it might prejudice my • health. I did not doubt he would have broke my heart, • if I did not break his, which was allowable by the law
of self-defence. The way was very casy. I resolved 'to spend as much money as I could, and, before he
was aware of the stroke, appeared before him in a two thousand pound diamond necklace; he faid nothing, .but went quictly to his chamber, and, as it is thought, • composed himself with a dofe of opium. I. behaved
myself so well upon the occasion, that to this day I be• liere he died of an apoplexy. Mr Waitfort was re• solved not to be too late this time, and I heard from • him in two days. I am almost out of my weed at this . present writing, and very doubtful whether I'll marry « him or no.
I do not think of a seventh, for the ridii culous reason you mention, but out of pure morality, • that I think so much conítancy should be rewarded,
though I may not do it after all perhaps. I do not be• lieve all the unreasonable malice of mankind can give a pretence why I should have been constant to the memory of any of the deceased, or have spent much time in grieving for an infolent, insignificant, negligent, extravagant, splenetic, or covetous husband; my first in'sulted me, my second was nothing to me, my third dis
gusted me, the fourth would have ruined me, the fifth • tormented me, and the sixth would have starved me. • If the other ladies you name would thus give in their bulbands pictures at length, you would see they have
• had as little reason as myself to lose their hours in weep•ing and wailing.'
Friday, July 30.
Non poffidentem multa vocaveris
Muneribus sapienter uti,
Hor. Od. 9. 1. 4. V. 45.
Believe not those that land pollefs
And shining heaps of useless ori, The only lords of happiness;
But rather those that know,
For what kind fates heftow,
WAS once engaged in discourse with a Rosicrusian
about the great secret. As this kind of men (I mean those of them who are not professed cheats) are over-run with enthusiasm and philosophy, it was very amusing to hear this religious adept descanting on his pretended discovery. He
ked of the secret as of a spirit which lived within an emerald, and converted every thing that was near it to the highest perfection it is capable of. It gives a lustre, says he, to the sun, and water to the diamond. It irradiates every metal, and enriches lead with all the properties of gold. It heightens smoke into flame, flame into light, and light into glory. He further added, that a single ray of it dissipates pain, and care, and melancholy, from the person on whom it falls. In short, says he, its presence naturally changes every place into a kind of heaven. After he had gone on for some time in this unintelligible cant, I found that he jumbled natural and moral ideas together into the fame discourse, and that his great secret was nothing else bat Content.
This virtue does indeed produce, in some measure, all those effects which the alchymist usually ascribes to what he calls the philosopher's stone; and if it does not bring riches, it does the same thing, by banishing the desire of them. If it cannot remove the disquietudes arising out of a man's mind, body, or fortune, it makes him easy under them. It has indeed a kindly influence on the soul of man, in respect of every bring to whom he stands related. It extinguishes all mui mur, repining, and ingratitude towards that Being who has allotted him his part to act in this world. It destroys all inordinate ambition, and every tendency to corruption, with regard to the community wherein he is placce. It gives sweetness to his conversation, and a perpetual serenity to all his thoughts.
Among the many methods which might be made use of for the acquiring of this virtue, I fhall only mention the two following. First of all, a man should always consider how much he has more than he wants; and, thun, secondly, how much more unhappy he might be than he really is.
First of all, a man should always consider how much he has more than he wants. I am wonderfully pleased with the icply which Ariftirpis made to one who condoled nim upon
the loss of a farın : 112, said he, I have three farms fill, and y9 have but one ; so that I ought rather to le afflicted for you than you for me.
On the contrary, fooliflı men are more apt to consider what they have lost than what they poffefs; and to fix their cyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater
dilliculties. All the real pleasures and curveniencies of life lie in a narrow compass: but it is the humour of mankind to be always looking forward, and sra ning after one ulio has got the start of them in wealth and honour. Tor this reason, as there are none can be properly called rich, who have not somewhat more than they want; there are few rich men in any of the politer nations but those who are among the middle sort of people, who keep their wishes alur!''s within their fortunes, and have more wealth than t?ey know how 1:5 enjoy. Persons of a higher rank live at bes: in a kind of spiendid poverty, and are perpetually wantiny, because, inilead of acquicscing
in the folid pleasures of life, they endeavour to ourvie one another in shadows and appearances. Men of sense have at all times beheld with a great deal of mirth this filly game that is playing over their heads, and, by contracting their desires, enjoy all that secret satisfaction which others are always in quest of. The truth is, this ridiculous chase after imaginary pleafures cannot be sufficiently exposed, as it is the great source of those evils which generally undo a nation. Let a man's estate be what it will, he is a poor man if he does not live within it, and naturally sets himself to sale to any one that can give him his price. When Pittacus, after the death of his brother, who had left him a good estate, was offered a great sum of money by the king of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness, but told him he had already more by half than he knew what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, and luxury to poverty; or, to give the thought a more agreeable turn, Content is na. tural wealth, says Socrates ; to which I shall add, Lue xury is artificial poverty. I shall therefore recommend to the consideration of those who are always aiming after fuperfluous and imaginary enjoyments, and will not be at the trouble of contracting their desires, an excellent saying of Bion the philosopher, namely, “ 'That no man * has so much care, as he who endeavours after the mos * happiness.'
In the second place, every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy he might be than he really is. The former consideration took in all those who are sufficiently provided with the means to make themselves easy; this regards such as actually lie under some pressure or misfortune. These may receive great alleviation from such a comparison as the unhappy person may make between himself and others, or between the misfortune which he Tuffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befallen him.
I LIKE the story of the honest Dutchman, who, upon brcaking his leg by a fall from a mainmalt, told the standers-by, it was a great mercy that it was not his neck. To which, since I am got into quotations, give me leave to add the saying of an old philofopher, who, after having invited some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled! VOL. VIII. G