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Vice, and the Furies: or, on the contrary, if he had in him a certain proportion of good, he fhould be dispatched into heaven, by a paffport from Pleafure; there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue, and the Gods.
O vices are fo incurable, as thofe which men are apt to glory in. One would wonder, how drukenness should have the good luck to be of this number. Anacharfis, being invited to a match of drinking at Corinth, demanded the prize very humorously, because he was drunk before the reft of the company; for, fays he, when we run a race, he who arrives at the goal firft, is entitled to the reward. On the contrary, in this thirfty generation, the honour falls upon him who carries off the greatest quantity of liquor, and knocks down the rest of the company.
I was, the other day, along with honest Will Funnell, the Weft-Saxon, who was reckoning up how much liquor had paffed through him in the last twenty years of his life; which, according to his computation, amounted to twenty-three hogfheads of October, four tons of port, half a kilderkin of fmall-beer, nineteen barrels of cyder, and three glaffes of champagne: befides which, he had affifted, at four hundred bowls of punch; not to mention fips, drams, and whets, withcut number. I question not, but every reader's memory will fuggeft to him
feveral ambitious young men, who are as vain in this particular as Will Funnell, and can boast of as glorious exploits.
BUT however highly this tribe of people may think of themselves, a drunken man is a greater monfter, than any that is to be found among all the creatures which God has made; and, indeed, there is no character which appears more defpicable and deformed, in the eyes of all reasonable perfons, than that of a drunkard. Bonofus; one of our own counmen, who was addicted to this vice, having set up for a fhare in the Roman empire, and being defeated in a great battle, hanged himself. When he was feen by the army in this melancholy fituation, notwithstanding he had behaved himself very bravely, the common jest was, that the thing they faw hanging upon the tree before them, was not a man, but a bottle.
TRUTH AND INTEGRITY.
RUTH and integrity have all the advantages
of appearance, and many more. If the fhew of any thing, be good for any thing, I am fure the reality is better; for, why does any man diffemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have the qualities he pretends to? for, to counterfeit and diffemble, is to put on the appearance of fome real excellency. Now, the best way for a man to seem to be any thing, is really to be what he would feem to be. Befides, it is often
as troublesome to fupport the pretence of a good quality as to have it; and if a man have it not, it is most likely he will be difcovered to want it; and then, all his labour, to feem to have it, is loft. There is fomething unnatural in painting, which a fkilful eye will eafily difcern from native beauty and complexion.
IT is hard to perfonate and act a part long; for, where truth is not at the bottom, nature will always be endeavouring to return, and will betray herself at one time or other. Therefore, if any man think it convenient to feem good, let him be fo indeed; and then, his goodness will appear to every one's fatisfaction; for truth is convincing, and carries its own light and evidence along with it; and will not only commend us to every man's confcience, but, which is much more, to God, who fearcheth our hearts. So that, upon all accounts, fincerity is true wisdom. Particularly, as to the affairs of this world, integrity hath many advantages over all the artificial modes of diffimulation and deceit. It is much the plainer and eafier, much the fafer and more fecure way of dealing in the world: It hath lefs of trouble and difficulty, of entanglement and perplexity, of danger and hazard in it: it is the fhorteft and nearest way to our own end, carrying us thither in a straight line; and will hold out, and last longeft. The arts of deceit and cunning, continually grow weaker, and lefs effectual and ferviceable to thofe that practife them whereas integrity gains ftrength by use; and the more and longer any man practiseth it, the greater fervice it does him, by confirming his rep utation, and encouraging thofe with whom he hath to do, to repofe the greatest confidence in him; which is an unfpeakable advantage in business, and the affairs of life.
A diffembler must always be upon his guard, and watch himself carefully, that he do not contradic his own pretenfions: for he acts an unnatural part; and, therefore, muft put a continual force and reftraint upon himself. Whereas, he that acts fincerely, hath the easiest task in the world, because he follows nature, and fo is put to no trouble and care about his words and actions: he needs not invent any pretences beforehand, nor make excufes afterwards, for any thing he hath faid or done.
BUT infincerity is very troublesome to manage. A hypocrite hath fo many things to attend to, as make his life a very perplexed and intricate thing. A liar hath need of a good memory, left he contradict, at one time, what he said at another. But truth is always confiftent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, and fits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware; whereas, a lie is troublesome, and needs a great many more to make it good.
ADD to all this, that fincerity is the most compendious wifdom, and an excellent inftrument for the speedy dispatch of bufinefs. It creates confidence in those we have to deal with, faves the labour of many enquiries, and brings things to an iffue in a few words. It is like travelling in a plain beaten road, which commonly brings a man fooner to his journey's end, than by-ways, in which men often lose themselves. In a word, whatever convenience may be thought to be in falfehood and diffimulation, it is foon over: but the inconvenience of it is perpetual; because it brings a man under an everlasting jealousy and fufpicion; fo that he is not believed, when he speaks truth; nor trufted, when perhaps, he means honeftly. When a man hath
once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, nothing will then ferve his turn, neither truth nor falfehood.
INDEED, if a man were only to deal in the world for a day, and fhould never have occafion to converfe more with mankind, never more need their good opinion, or good word, it were then no great matter (as far as refpects the affairs of this world) if he spent his reputation all at once, and ventured it at one throw. But if he be to continue in the world, and would have the advantage of reputation whilst he is in it, let him make use of fincerity in all his words and actions; for nothing but this will hold out to the end. All other arts will fail; but truth and integrity will carry a man through, and bear him out to the last.
ABSURD OR UNSEASONABLE BEHAVIOUR.
HIS kind of behaviour, is an ill-timing of a man's words and actions.
ONE of this character, when he fees his friend in the hurry of bufinefs, faftens upon him, communicates to him an affair of difficulty, and begs his advice in it. When his mistrefs lies fick of a fever, he fends her word, that he will come and fup with her. He defires a man to be bound for him, who is but just come out of jail, for having been fecurity for another. If he is witnefs in a caufe, he comes to give his evidence, when the whole trial is over.