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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 opposhe extremes was the earth, which was inhabited by crea, tures of a middle kind, neither so virtuous as the one, nor so vicious as the other, but parlaking of the good and bad qualities of these two opposite families, Jupiter considering that this species, commonly called man, was 100 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, provident 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 possessiun of the virtuous, and Pain of the vicions 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 hin; for that, contrary to what they
1 had seen in their old places of residence, there was no person so vicious who had not some good in bini, nor any person so virtuous who had not in him some evil. Tlie truth of it is, they generally found upon search, that in the most vicious man, Pleasure might lay claim to an hun. dredth part ; and that in the most virtuous man, Pain night conie in for at least two-thirds. This they saw would occasion endless disputes between them, unless they could come to some accoinmodation. 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-fellow's, 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 Pleasuie 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 remely 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 despatched into the internal regions by a passport from Pain, there to well with Misery, Vice, and the Furies. Or, on the contrary, if he had in him a certain proportion of good, he should be despatched into hearen by a passport from Pleasure, there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue, and the Gods..
Labour, the offspring of Want, and the mother of Ilealth: 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 aud joy, softened the soils of the way; while Contentment went, siniling on the left, sup-porting the steps of her mother, and by her perpetual good. humour increasing the vivacity of her sisier.
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 luse sight of her, for it was ine will of Jupiter, she said, that their separations 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 child birth of Disease. Con. tentment, 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, tiil 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 fout with his his ass may go light! The old man, hearing this, set his boy upon
ass, and went whistling by the side of him. Why, sirrah! (cries a second man to the boy,) is it fit for be riding, while your poor old faiher 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 ihought so, replied the other, by your loading him so unmercifully. You and your son are better able to carry the poor beast than he yon. Any thing to please, says the ownr; and alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the ass together, and by the help of a pole endeavoured
their shoulders over the bridge that led to the town. This was so entertaining a sight, that the people ran in crow is to laugh at it; till the ass, conceiva ing 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 vesed, that by endeavouring to please every body, he had pleased nobody, and lost his ass into the bargain.
When Hercules was in that part of his youth, in which it was natural för bim to consider what course of life be 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, her 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 berself, then turned them on those that were present, to see how they liked her, and often looked on the figure she made in ber shadow. Upon her nearer apa proach to Hercules, she stepped before the other lady, who came forward with a regular composed carriage, and runming up to him, accosted hiin 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 disturh you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and to entertain every sense with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfumes, concerts of masic, crowds of beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me inio this region of delights, this world of pleasure, anii bid farewell for ever to care, to pain, to business.
Hercules hearing the lady talk after this manner, desired io know her name; to which she answered, My friends, and those who are well acquainted with me, call me Hap-. piness; but my enemies, and those who would injure my repulation, have given me the name of Pleasure.
By this time the other lady, was come up, who addressed herself to the young hero in a very different manner :
Hercules, says she, I offer myself to you, because I know you are descended from the Gods, and give proofs of that. descent by your love to virtue, and application to the stu-. dies proper
for your age. This makes me hope you will gain, both for yourself and me, an immortal reputation. But, before I invite you into my society and friendship, I will be open and sincere with you, and must lay down this as an established truth, that there is nothing truly valuable, which can be purchased without pains and labour. The Gods have set a price upon every real and noble pleasure. If you would gain the favour of the Deity, you must be.at ine pains of worshiping him; if the friendship of good men, you must study to oblige them; if you would be honoured by your country, you must take care to serve it. In short, if you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become master of all the qualifications that can make
These are the only ierms and conditions upon which I can propose happiness. The Goddess of Pleasure here broke in upon her discourse: You see, said she, Hercules, by her own confession, the way to her pleasure is. long and difficult, whereas that which I propose is short. and easy. Alas! said the other lady, whose visage glowed with passion made up of scorn and pity, what are the plea