« 上一頁繼續 »
ty impoverishes me, as it does them. I will | Do you within the bounds of nature live, conclude this odious subject with part of Ho- And to auginent your own you need not strive; race's first satire, which take in his own familiar One hundred acres will no less for you style:
Your life's whole business, than ten thousand, do.
But pleasant 'tis to take from a great store, I admire, Mæcenas, how it comes to pass, What, man ! though you 're resolvid to take no That no man ever yet contented was,
more Nor is, nor perhaps will be, with that state Than I do from a small one? If your will In which his own choice plants him, or his fate. Be but a pitcher or a pot to fill, Happy the merchant, the old soldier cries : To some great river for it must you go, The merchant, beaten with tempestuous skies, When a clear spring just at your feet does now! Happy the soldier! one half-hour to thee Give me the spring, which does to human use Gives speedy death, or glorious victory :
Safe, easy, and untroubled stores produce; The lawyer, knockt up early from his rest He who scorns these, and needs will drink at Nile, By restless clients, calls the peasant blest : Must run the danger of the crocodile, The peasant, when iis labours ill succeed, And of the rapid stream itself, which may, Envies the mouth, which only talk does feed. At unawares, bear him perhaps away. "Tis not (I think you 'll say) that I want store In a full food Tantalus stands, his skin Of instances, if here I add no more;
Wash'd o'er in vain, for ever dry within : They are enough to reach, at least a mile, He catches at the stream with greedy lips, Beyond long orator Fabius's style.
From his toucht mouth the wanton torrent slips : But hold, ye, whom no fortune e'er endears, You laugh now, and expand your careful brow; Gentlemen, malecontents, and mutineers, 'Tis finely said, but what's all this to you? W'ho bounteous Jove so often cruel call,
Change but the name, this fable is thy story, Behold, Jove's now resolv'd to please you all. Thou in a floud of useless wealth dost glory, Thou soldier, be a merchant: merchant, thoa Which thou canst only touch, but never taste; A soldier be: and lawyer, to the plough. Th' abundance still, and still the want, does last. Change all your stations straight: why do they stay? The treasures of the gods thou would'st not spare : The devil a man will change, now when he may. But when they're made thine own, they sacred Were I in general Jove's abused case,
are, By Jove I'd cudgel this rebellious race:
And must be kept with reverence; as if thou But he's too good; be all, then, as ye were ; No other use of precious gold didst know, However, make the best of what ye are,
But that of curious pictures, to delight, And in that state be cheerful and rejoice, With the fair stamp, thy virtuoso sight. Which either was your fate, or was your choice. The only true and genuine use is this, No, they must labour yet, and sweat, and toil, To buy the things, which nature cannot miss And very miserable be awhile;
Without discomfort ; oil and vital bread, But 'tis rith a design only to gain
And wine, by which the life of life is fed, Wlrat may their age with plenteous ease main- And all those few things else by which we live : tain.
All that remains, is giv'n for thee to give. The prudent pismire does this lesson teach, If cares and troubles, envy, grief, and fear, And industry to lazy mankind preach:
The bitter fruits be, which fair riches bear; The little drudge does trot about and sweat, If a new poverty grow out of store; Nor does he straight devour ali le can get; The old plain way, ye gods ! let me be poor. But in his temperate inouth carries it home A stock for winter, which he knows must come. And, when the rolling world to creatures here
the detorin'd wrong-side of the year, and shuts him in, with storms, and cold, and
Paraphrase on Horace, B. III. Od. xvi. wet, He cheerfully does his past labours eat:
A tower of brass, one would have said. 0, does he so ? your wise example, th' ant,
And lucks, and bolts, and iron bars, Does not, at all tiines, rest and plenty want; And guards, as strict as in the heat of wars, But, weighing justly a mortal ant's condition, Might have preserv'd one innocent maidenhead. Divides his life 'twixt labour and fruition. The jealous father thought he well might spare Thee, neither heat, nor storms, nor wet, nor cold,
All further jealous care; From thy unnatural diligence can withhold: And, as he walk'd, t himself alone he smil'd, To th' Indies thou would'st run, rather than see To think how Venus' arts he liad beguild; Another, though a friend, richer than thee.
And, wben he slept, his rest was deep i Fond man ! what good or beauty can be found But Venus laugh’d to see and bear hiin sleep. In heaps of treasure, buried under ground ?
She taught the amorous Jove Which rather than diminish'd e'er to see,
A magical receipt in love, Thou would'st thyself, too, buried with them be: Which arm'd bim stronger, and which help'd him And what's the difference is 't not quite as bad
more, Nerer to use, as never to have had ?
Than all his thunder did, and his almighty-ship In thy vast barns millions of quarters store;
before. Thy belly, for all that, will hold no more
She taught him love's elixir, by which art Than mine does. Every baker makes much bread: His godhead into gold he did conrert: What then? He's with no more, than others, No guards did then his passage stay, fed.
He pass'd with ease ; gold was the word;
Subtle as lightning, bright, and quick, and fierce, and draw up all bridges against so numerous an
Gold through doors and walls did pierce. enemy.
The truth of it is, that a man in much business To blow up towns, a golden mine did spring, must either make himself a knave, or else the
He broke through gates with his petar; world will make him a fool: and, if the injury 'Tis the great art of peace, the engine 'tis of war; went no farther than the being laught at, a wise And fleets and armies follow it afar:
man would content himself with the revenge of The ensign 'tis at land, and 'tis the seaman's star. retaliation ; but the case is much worse, for these
civil cannibals too, as well as the wild ones, not Let all the world slave to this tyrant be,
only dance about such a taken stranger, but at Creature to this disguised deity,
last devour him. A sober man cannot get too Yet it shall never conquer me.
soon out of drunken company, though they be A guard of virtues will not let it pass.
never so kind and merry among themselves; it is And wisdom is a tower of stronger brass.
not unpleasant only, but dangerous, to him. The Muses' laurel, round my temples spread, Do ye wonder that a virtuous man should love Does from this lightning's force secure my head : to be alone? It is hard for him to be otherwise ; Nor will I lift it up so high,
he is so, when he is among ten thousand : neither As in the violent meteor's way to lie.
is the solitude so uncomfortable to be alone withWealth for its power do we honour and adore ? out any other creature, as it is to be alone in the The things we hate, ill-fate and death, have midst of wild beasts. Man is to man all kind of more.
beasts; a fawning dog, a roaring lion, a thieving
fox, a robbing wolf, a dissembling crocodile, a From towns and courts, camps of the rich and treacherous decoy, and a rapacious vulture. The great,
civilist, methinks, of all nations, are those whom The vast Xerxean army, I retreat;
we account the most barbarous ; there is some And to the small Laconic forces Ay,
moderation and good-nature in the ToupinamWhich holds the straits of poverty.
baltians, who eat no men but their enemies, whilst Cellars and granaries in vain we fill,
we learned and polite and Christian Europeans, With all the bounteous Summer's store, like so many pikes and sharks, prey upon every If the mind thirst and hunger still :
thing that we can swallow. It is the great boast The poor rich man's emphatically poor. of eloquence and philosophy, that they first con
Slaves to the things we too much prize, gregated men dispersed, united them into socieWe masters grow of all that we despise.
ties, and built up the houses and the walls of cities.
I wish they could unravel all they had woven; A field of corn, a fountain, and a wood,
that we might have our woods and our innocence Is all the wealth by nature understood.
again, instead of our castles and our policies. They The monarch, on whom fertile Nile bestows have assembled many thousands of scattered peo
All which that grateful earth can bear, ple into one body: it is true, they have done so ; Deceives himself, if he suppose
they have brought them together into cities to That more than this falls to bis share. cozen, and into armies to murder, one another : Whatever an estate does beyond this afford, they found them hunters and fishers of wild creaIs not a rent paid to the lord :
tures : they have made them hunters and fishers But is a tax illegal and unjust,
of their bretheren : they boast to have reduced Exacted from it by the tyrant Lust.
them to a state of peace, when the truth is, they Much will always wanting be,
have only taught them an art of war: they have To bim who much desires. Thrice happy he framed, I must confess, wholesome laws for the To whom the wise indulgency of Heaven, restraint of vice, but they raised first that devil, With sparing hand, but just enough has given. which now they conjure and cannot bind : though
there were before po punishments for wickedness, yet there was less committed, because there were
no rewards for it. VIII.
But the men, who praise philosophy from this
topic, are much deceived : let oratory answer THE DANGERS OF AN HONEST MAN for itself, the tinkling perhaps of that may unite
a swarm; it never was the work of philosophy to IN MUCH COMPANY.
asseinble multitudes, but to regulate only, and
govern them, when they were assembled; to make Is twenty thousand naked Americans were not the best of an evil, and bring them, as much able to resist the assaults of but twenty well-armed as is possible, to unity again. Avarice and amSpaniards, I see little possibility for one honest bition only were the first builders of towns, and man to defend himself against twenty thousand founders of empire; they said, “ Go to, let us knaves who are all fumished cap à pé, with the build us a city and a tower whose top may reach defensive arms of worldy prudence, and the offen- unto Heaven, and let us make us a name, lest sive too of craft and malice. He will find no less we be scattered abroad upon the face of the odds than this against him, if he have much to do earth 9.” What was the beginning of Rome, the in human affairs. The only advice therefore which metropolis of all the world? What was it, but a I can give him is, to be sure not to venture his concourse of thieves, and a sanctuary of crimiperson any longer in the open campaign, to reSreat and entrench himself, to stop up all avenues,
Gen. xi. 4. VOL. Vii.
nals? It was justly named by the augury of no the cleanly; the sight of folly and impiety, less than twelve vultures, and the founder cement- vexatious to the wise and pious. ed his walls with the blood of his brother. Not Lucretius ', by his frvour, though a good poet, unlike to this was the beginning even of the first was but an ill-natured man, when he said, it was town too in the world, and such is the original delightful to see other men in a great storm: and sin of most cities: their actual increase daily no less ill-natured should I think Democritus, with their age and growth; the more people, the who laughed at all the world, but that he retired more wicked all of them; every one brings in his himself so much out of it, that we may perceive part to inflame the contagion: which becomes he took no great pleasure in that kind of nirth. at last so universal and so strong, that no pre- | I have been drawn twice or thrice by company cepts can be sufficient preservatives, nor any to go to Bedlam, and have seen others very much thing secure our safety, but flight from among delighted with the fantastical extravagancy of the infected.
so many various madnesses; which upon me We ought, in the choice of a situation, to re-wrought so contrary an effect, that I always gard above all things the healthfulness of the returned, not only melancholy, but even sick place, and the healthfulness of it for the mind, with the sight. My compassion there was perrather than for the body. But suppose (which haps 100 tender, for I meet a thousand madmen is hardly to be supposed) we had antidote enough abroad, without any perturbation ; tbo', to weigh against this poison; nay, suppose further, we the matter justly, the total loss of reason is less were always and at all points armed and provid-deplorable than the total depravation of it. An ed, both against the assaults of hostility, and exact judge of human blessings, of riches, hothe mines of treachery, it will yet be but an un- nours, beauty, even of wit itself, should pity the comfortable life to be ever in alarms; though abuse of them, more than the want. we were compassed round with fire, to defend Briefly, though a wise man could pass never ourselves from wild beasts, the lodging would be so securely through the great roads of human unpleasant, because we must always be obliged life, yet he will meet perpetually with so many to watch that fire, and to fear no less the defects objects and occasions of compassion, grief, shame, of our guard, than the diligences of our enemy. anger, hatred, indignation, and all passions but The sum of this is, that a virtuous man is in dan- envy (for he will find nothing to deserve that), ger to be trod upon and destroyed in the crowd that he had better strike into some private path ; of his contraries, nay, which is worse, to be chan- nay, go so far, if he could, out of the common ged and corrupted by them; and that it is im- | way, ut nec facta audiat Pelopidarum ; that possible to escape both these inconveniencies, he might not so much as hear of the actions of without so much caution as will take away the the sons of Adam. But, whither shall we fly whole quiet, that is the happiness, of his life. then ? into the deserts, like the ancient hermits?
Ye see then, what he may lose; but, I pray, what can he get there?
-Quà terra patet, fera regnat Erinnys,
In facinus jurâsse pules_3
One would tbink that all mankind had bound What should a man of truth and honesty do at themselves by an oath to do all the wickedness Rome? he can neither understand nor speak the they can; that they had all (as the scripture Janguage of the place; a naked man may swim speaks) “sold themselves to sin :" the difference in the sea, but it is not the way to catch fish only is, that some are a little more crafty (and there; they are likelier to devour him, than he but a little, God knows) jo making of the bargain. them, if he bring no nets, and use no deceits. II thought, wben I first went to dwell in the counthink therefore it was wise and friendly advice, try, that without doubt I should have met there which Martial gave to Fabian, when he met him with the simplicity of the old poetical gulden age; newly arrived at Rome:
I thought to bave found no inhabitants there,
but such as the shepherds of sir Phil. Sydney Honest and poor, faithful in word and thought; in Arcadia, or of Monsieur d'Urfé upon the banks What has thee, Fabian, to the city brought? of Lignon; and began to consider with myself, Thou neither the buffoon nor bawd canst which way I might recommend no less to posteplay,
rity the happiness and innocence of the men of Nor with false whispers th’innocent betray: Chertsea : but to confess the truth, I perceived Nor corrupt wives, nor from rich beldams get quickly, by infallible demonstrations, that I was A living by thy industry and sweat;
still in Old England, and not in Arcadia or La Nor with vain proinises and projects cheat, Forrest; that, if I could not content myself with Nor bribe or flatter any of the great.
any thing less than exact fidelity in human cona But you 're a man of learning, prudent, just; versation, I had almost as good go back and seek A map of courage, firm, and fit for trust. for it ia the Court, or the Exchange, or WestWhy you may stay and live unenvie: here; minster-hall. I ask again, then, whither shall we But (faith) go back, and keep you where you fly, or what shall we do? The world may so come
in a man's way, that he cannot choose but salute
it; he must take heed, though, not to go a whorNay, if nothing of all these were in the case, ing after it. If, by any lawful vocation, or just yet the very sight of uncleanness is loathsome to
? Lucr. lib. ii. 1 Juv. Sat, üi. 41.
Ovid. Metam. i. 241.
necessity, men happen to be married to it, I can coxcomb ? A man, who is excessive in his pains only give them St. Paul's advice: “ Brethren, and diligence, and who consumes the greatest the time is short; it remains, that they, that part of his time in furnishing the remainder have wives, be as though they bad none. But
with all conveniences and even superfluities, is I would that all men were even as I myself4.” to angels and wise men no less ridiculous; he does
In all cases, they must be sure, that they do as little consider the shortness of his passage, that mundum ducere, and not mundo nubere. They he might proportion his cares accordingly. It is, must retain the superiority and headship over it: alas, so narrow a strait betwixt the womb and happy are they, who can get out of the sight of the grave, that it might be called the Pas de Vie, this deceitful beanty, that they may not be led
as well as that the Pas de Calais. so much as into temptation ; who have not only We are all épíuegos (as Pindar calls us), creaquitted the metropolis, but can abstain from ever tures of a day, and therefore our Saviour bounds seeking the next market-town in their country.
our desires to that little space: as if it were very probable that every day should be our last, we are taught to demand even bread for no longer a
time. The Sun ought not to set upon our coveCLAUDÍAN'SOLD MAN OF VEROVA. tousness, no more than upon our anger ; but, as
to God Almighty a thousand years are as one day, DE SENE VERONENSI, QUI SUBURBIUM NUNQUAM
so, in direct opposition, one day to the covetous man is as a thousand years; tam brevi fortis
jaculatur ævo multa, so far he shoots beyond FELIX, qui patriis, &c.
his butt: one would think, he were of the opinion
of the Millenaries, and hoped for so long a reign HAPPY the man, who his whole time doth bound upon Earth. The patriarchs before the food, Within th' enclosure of his little ground.
who enjoyed almost such a life, made, we are
sure, less stores for the maintaining of it; they, Happy the man, whom the same humble place
who lived nine hundred years, scarcely provided (Th' hereditary cottage of his race) From his first rising infancy has known,
for a few days; we, who live but a few days,
provide at least for nine hundred years. What And by degrees sees gently bending down, With natural propension, to that earth
a strange alteration is this of human life and Which both preserv'd his life, and gave him birth.
manners ! and yet we see an imitation of it in Hiin no false distant lights, by fortune set,
every man's particular experience; for we begin Could ever into foolish wanderings get.
not the cares of life, till it be half spent, and
still increase them, as that decreases. He never dangers either saw or fear'd: The dreadful storms at sea he uever heard.
What is there among the actions of beasts so He never heard the shrill alarms of war,
illogical and repugnant to reason? When they Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar.
do any thing, which seems to proceed from that
which we call reason, we disdain to allow them No change of consuls marks to him the year,
that perfection, and attribute it only to a natural The change of seasons is his calendar. The cold and heat, winter and summer shows;
instinct: and are not we fools, too, by the same
kind of instinct? If we could but learn to“ num. Autumn by fruits, and spring by flowers, he knows He measures time by land-marks, and has found ber our days” (as we are taught to pray that we For the whole day the dial of his ground.
might), we should adjust much better our other
accounts; but, whilst we never consider an end A neighbouring wood, born with bimself, he sees,
of them, it is no wonder if our cares for them be And loves his old contemporary trees.
without end, too. He'as only heard of near Verona's name,
Horace advises very wisely,
and in excellent good words,
from a short life cut off all hopes that grow too The voyage, life, is longest made at home. long. They must be pruned away like suckers,
that choak the mother-plant, and hinder it from
bearing fruit. And in another place, to the same IX.
sense, THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE, AND UN. Vitæ summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare CERTAINTY OF RICHES.
which Seneca does not mend, when he says If you should see a man, who were to cross from Oh! quanta dementia est spes longas inchoanDover to Calais, run about very busy and soli- tium ! but he gives an example there of an ac. citous, and trouble bimself many weeks before in quaintance of his, named Senecio, who, from a making provisions for his voyage, would you com- very mean beginning, by great industry in turnmend him for a cautious and discreet person, | ing about of money through all ways of gain, had or laugh at him for a timorous and impertinent attained to extraordinary riches, but died on a
* 1 Cor. vii. 29. 7.
si Carm, xi. 6.
6 Ibid. iv, 15.
sudden, after having supped merrily, in ipso | Thou dost thyself wise and industrious deem; actu benè cedentium rerum, in ipso procurrentis A mighty husband thou would’st seem; fortunæ impetu, in the full course of his good fond man ! like a bought slave, thou all the while fortune, when she had a high tide, and a stiff Dost but for others sweat and toil. gale, and all her sails on; upon which occasion he cries, out of Virgil?,
Officious fool! that needs must meddling be
In business, that concerns not thee! Insere nunc, Melibæe, pyros; pone ordine for when to future years thou’extend'st thy vites !
Thou deal'st in other men's affairs.
Children again, for age prepare;
Provisions for long travel they design, For this Senecio I have no compassion, because In the last point of their short line. he was taken, as we say, in ipso facto, still labouring in the work of avarice; but the poor rich man Wisely the ant against poor winter hoards in St Luke (whose case was not like this) I could The stock, which summer's wealth affords : pity, methinks if the Scripture would permit In grasshoppers, that must at autumn die, me; for he seems to have been satisfied at last, How vain were such an industry ! he confesses he had enough for many years, he bids his soul take its ease; and yet for all that, Of power and honour the deceitful light God says to him, “ Thou fool, this night thy Might half excuse our cheated sight, soul shall be required of thee; and the things If it of life the whole small time would stay thou hast laid up, who shall they belong to 8” And be our sunshine all the day ; Where shall we find the causes of this bitter reproach and terrible judgment? We may find, I Like lightning, that, begot but in a cloud think, two; and God, perhaps, saw more. First, (Though shining 'bright, and speaking that he did not intend true rest to his soul, but loud) only to change the employments of it from ava- Whilst it begins, concludes its violent race, rice to luxury; his design is, to eat, and to drink, And where it gilds, it wounds the place. and to be merry. Secondly, that he went on too long before he thought of resting ; the fullness Oh scene of fortune, which dost fair appear of his old barns had not sufficed him, he would Only to men that stand not near ! stay till he was forced to build new ones: and Proud poverty, that tinsel bravery wears ! God meted out to him in the same measure ; since And, like a rainbow, painted tears ! he would have more riches than his life could contain, God destroyed his life, and gave the Be prudent, and the shore in prospect keep i fruits of it to another.
In a weak boat trust not the deep; Thus God takes away sometimes the man from Plac'd beneath envy, above envying rise; his riches, and no less frequently riches from the Pity great men, great things despise. man : what hope can there be of such a marriage, where both parties are so fickle and uncertain : The wise example of the heavenly lark, by what bonds can such a couple be kept long Thy fellow-poet, Cowley, mark ; together?
Above the clouds let thy proud music sound,
Thy humble nest build on the ground. Why dost thou heap up wealth, which thou must
Or, what is worse, be left by it? [quit, Why dost thou load thyself, when thou 'rt to fly, Oh man, ordain'd to die?
THE DANGER OF PROCRASTINA
Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high,
Thou who art under ground to lie ?
For Death, alas! is sowing thee,
A Letter to Mr. S. L.
Suppose, thou Fortune couldst to tameness bring,
And clip or pinion her wing;
As not to cut off thy entail ;
Yet Death at all that subtilty will laugh ;
Death will that foolish gardener mock, Who does a slight and annual plant engraff
Upon a lasting stock,
I am glad that you approve and applaud my design of withdrawing myself from all tumult and business of the world, and consecrating the little rest of my time to those studies, to which Nature had so motherly inclined me,and from which Portune, like a step-mother, has so long detained
But nevertheless (you say, which but is ærugo mera, a rust which spoils the good metal it grows upon. But you say) you would ad vise me not to precipitate that resolution, but to stay a while longer with patience and complaisance,
till I had gotten such an estate as might afford me (according to the saying of that pero
7 Buc. i. 4.
* Luke xii. 20.