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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 natural wealth," says Socrates; to which I shall add, luxury is artificial poverty. I shall therefore recommend to the consideration of those who are always aiming at superfluous and imaginary enjoyments, and who 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 endeavors after the most 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 suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befallen him. I like the story of the honest Dutchman, who, upon breaking his leg by a fall from the main-mast, told the standers by, it was a great mercy that it was not his neck. To which, give me leave to add the saying of an old philosopher, who, after having invited some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled by a person that came into the room in a passion, and threw down the table that stood before him: "Every one," says he, "has his calamity; and he is a happy man that has no greater than this."

I cannot conclude this essay without observing, that there never was any system, besides that of Christianity, which could effectually produce in the mind of man, the virtue I have been hitherto speaking of. In order to make us contented with our condition, many of the present philosophers tell us, that our discontent only hurts ourselves, without being able to make any alteration in our circumstances; others, that whatever evil befalls us is derived to us by a fatal necessity, to which superior beings themselves are subject; while others, very gravely, tell the man who is miserable, that it is necessary he should be so, to keep up the harmony of the universe; and that the scheme of Providence would be troubled and perverted, were he otherwise.

These, and the like considerations, rather silence than satisfy a man. They may show him that his discontent is unreasonable, but they are by no means sufficient to relieve it. They rather give despair than consolation. In a word, a man might reply to one of these comforters, as Augustus did to his friend who advised him not to grieve for the death of a person whom he loved, because his grief could not fetch him back again: "It is for that very reason," said the emperor, "that I grieve." On the contrary, religion bears a more tender regard to human nature. It prescribes to every miserable man the means of bettering his condition: nay, it shows him, that bearing his afflictions as he ought to do, will naturally end in the removal of them. It makes him easy here, because it can make him happy hereafter.





FAIR guardian of domestic life!
Kind banisher of home-bred strife!
Nor sullen lip, nor trembling eye,
Deforms the scene when thou art by:
No sickening husband mourns the hour
Which bound his joys to female power;
No pining mother weeps the cares
Which parents waste on thankless heirs;
The ready daughters, pleased attend;
The brother adds the name of friend;

By thee with flowers their board is crowned;
With songs from thee their walks resound;
The morn with welcome luster shines;
And evening unperceived declines.


Content! the good, the golden mean,
The safe estate that sits between
The sordid poor and miserable great,
The humble tenant of a rural seat!


In vain we wealth and treasure heap;
He 'mid his thousand kingdoms still is poor,
That for another crown does weep;

'Tis only he is rich, that wishes for no more. ANONYMOUS.


Whom call we gay? that honor has been long
The boast of mere pretenders to the name.
The innocent are gay. The lark is gay,
That dries his feathers, saturate with dew,
Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
Of day-spring overshoot his humble nest.
The peasant, too, a witness of his song,
Himself a songster, is as gay as he.

But save me from the gayety of those,
Whose headaches nail them to a noonday bed;
And save me, too, from theirs, whose haggard eyes
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
For property stripped off by cruel chance :
From gayety, that fills the bones with pain,

The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe.


Primeval HOPE! the Aonian Muses say,


When man and nature mourned their first decay;
When every form of death, and every woe,
Shot from malignant stars to earth below;
When Murder bared her arm, and rampant war
Yoked the red dragons of her iron car;

When Peace and Mercy, banished from the plain,
Sprung on the viewless winds to heaven again;
All, all forsook the friendless, guilty mind,
But HOPE, the charmer, lingered still behind.



Be hushed, my dark spirit! for wisdom condemns
When the faint and the feeble deplore;

Be strong as the rock of the ocean, that stems
A thousand wild waves on the shore.

Through the perils of chance, and the scowl of disdain,
May thy front be unaltered, thy courage elate,

Yea, even the name I have worshiped in vain
Shall awake not the sigh of remembrance again :

To bear is to conquer our fate.



Vigor from toil, from trouble patience grows.
The weakly blossom, warm in summer bower,
Some tints of transient beauty may disclose,

But, ah! it withers in the chilling hour.
Mark yonder oaks! Superior to the power
Of all the warring winds of heaven they rise,
And from the stormy promontory tower,

And toss their giant arms amid the skies,

While each assailing blast increase of strength supplies.



THOUGH low my lot, my wish is won,

My hopes are few and staid,
All I thought life would do, is done,
The last request is made.

If I have foes, no foes I fear,
To God I live resigned;
I have a friend, I value here,
And that's a quiet mind.

I wish not it were mine to wear

Flushed honor's sunny crown;
I wish not I were Fortune's heir,
She frowns, and let her frown.
I have no taste for pomp and strife,
Which others love to find:

I only wish the bliss of life,
A meek and quiet mind.

The trumpet's taunt in battle-field,

The great man's pedigree,

What peace can all their honors yield?

And what are they to me?

Though praise and pomp, to eke the strife,

Rave like a mighty wind;

What are they to the calm of life,

A still and quiet mind?

I see the world pass heedless by,
And pride above me tower;


It costs me not a single sigh

For either wealth or power;

They are but men, and I'm a man
Of quite as great a kind,

Proud, too, that life gives all she can,
A calm and quiet mind.

And come what will of care or woe,
As some must come to all,
I'll wish not that they were not so,
Nor mourn that they befall:
If tears for sorrow start at will,

They're comforts in their kind;
And I am blest, if with me stil!
Remains a quiet mind.

When friends depart, as part we must,
And love's true joys decay,
That leave us like the summer dust,
Which whirlwinds puff away,
While life's allotted time I brave,
Though left the last behind;

A prop and friend I still shall have,
If I've a quiet mind.


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POLITENESS is the just medium between form and rudeness. It is the consequence of a benevolent nature, which shows itself to general acquaintance in an obliging, unconstrained civility, as it does to more particular ones in distinguished acts of kindness. This good nature must be directed by a justness of sense, and a quickness of discernment, that knows how to use every opportunity of exercising it, and to proportion the instances of it to every character and situation. It is a restraint laid by reason and benevolence upon every irregularity of the temper, which, in obedience to them, is forced to accommodate itself even to the fantastic cares, which custom and fashion have established, if, by these means, it can procure, in any degree, the satisfaction or good opinion of any part of man

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