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PLEASURE AND PAIN.
HERE were two families which, from the beginning of the world, were as opposite to each other as light and darkness. The one of them lived in Heaven, and the other in Hell. The youngest descendant of the firf family was Pleasure, who was the daughter of Happiness, who was the child of Virtue, who was the offspring of the Gods. These, as I said before, had their habitation in Heaven. The youngest of the opposite family was Pain, who was the son of Mifery, 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 opposite extremes was the earth, which was inhabited by creatures of a middle kind, neither so virtuous as the one, nor so vicicus as the other, but partaking of the good and bad qualities of these two opposite families. Jupiter confidering that this species, commonly called man, was too virtuous to be mise. rable, and too vicious to be happy ; that he might make a distinction between the good and the bad, ordered the two youngest of ihe above-mentioned families, Pleasure, who was the daughter of Happiness, and Pain, who was the fon of Misery, to meet one another upon
of nature which lay in the half-way between them, having promised to settle it upon them both, provided they could agree upun 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 poffeffion of the virtuous, and Pain of the vicious 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 him ; for that, contrary to what they had seen in their old places of residence, there was no person fo vicious who had not some good in him, nor any person fo virtuous who had not in him fome evil. The truth of it is, they generally found upon search, that in the most vi. cious man, Pleasure might lay claim to a hundredih part; and that in the most virtuous man, Pain might come in for at least two thirds. This they saw would occasion endless disputes between then, unless they could come to some accommodation. 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 conftant yokefellows, and that they either make their visits together, or are never far afonder. If Pain comes into a heart, he is quickly followed by Pleasure ; and if Pleafure 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 remedy therefore this inconvenience, it was ftipulated between them by article, and confirmed by the confent of each family, that, notwithstanding they have poffefled the species indif. ferently, upon the death of every single person, if he was found to have in him a certain proportion of evil, he should be dispatched into the infernal regions by a passport from Pain, there to duell with Misery, Vice, and the Furies. Or on the contrary, if he had in him a certain proportion of good, he should be dispatched into Heaven by a passport from Pleasure, there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue, and the Gods.
Labour, the offspring of Want, and the mother of Health and Contentment, lived with her two daughters in a little cottage, by the fide 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 defire 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 and joy, softened the toils of the way; while Contentment went smiling on the left, fupporting the steps of her mother, and by her perpetual good humour increasing the vivacity of her lifter.
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 lofe fight of her; for it was the will of Jupiter, the faid, that their feparation Thould be attended with the utter ruin of all three. But Health was of too gay a difpofition to regard the counsels of Labour: the suffered herself to be debauched by Intemperance, and at last died in child.birth of Disease. Contentment, in the absence of her fifter,
herself enticements of Sloth, and was never heard of after: while Labour, who could have no enjoyment without her daughters, weat every where in search of them, till Me was at laft seized by Laffitude in her way, and died in mivery.
up to the CHAP. VÌ.
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 (fays a man upon the road), to be trudging it on foot with his son, that his a's may go light! The old man, hearing this, fet his boy upon the ass, and went whilling by the fide of hin, Why, firral! (cries a second man to the boy), is it fit for you to be riding, while your poor old father 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 ipon his beast, while his poor little boy is almost crippled with walking! The ald man no sooner heard this, than he took up his fon behind him. Pray, honest friend, (says a fourth,) is that ass your own? Yes, says the inan. One would not have thought fo, replied the other, by your loading him so unmercifully. You and your son are better able to carry the poor beast, than he you. Any thing to please, says the owner; and alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the ass together, and by the he p of a pole endeavoured to carry him upon their houlders over the bridge that led to the town. This was fo en ertaining a fight, that the people ran in crowds to laugh at it ; till ihe afs, conceiving a difike to the over. coniplaisance of his master, burst asunder the cords that tied him, Nipped from the pole, and tumbled into the river. The poor
old man made the beft of his way home, alhamed and vexed, that by endeavouring to please every body, he had pleased nobody, and lost his ass into the bargain.
THE CHOICE OF HERCULES.
When Hercules was in that part of his youth, in which it was natural for him to consider what course of life he ought to pursue, he one day retired into a defert, where the filence and folitude 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 Atature than ordinary approaching towards 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 towards 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 he 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 confi. dence and affurance 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 herself, then turned them on those that were present, to see how they liked her, and often looked on the figure the made in her shadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, se stepped before the other lady, who came forward with a regular composed carriage, and running up to him, accosted him after the following manner :
My dear Hercules, says Me, 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 poffeffion of pleasure, and out of the reach of с