'Tis much better to expose one's self to Ingratitude, than be wanting to the relief of the Needy.

There is not any thing where Excess may be more commendable than in Gratitude.

* There's no living in this world without an exchange of Civil Offices, and the need we have one of another goes a great way toward the making of us love one another : Now this Amity and Communication is to be entertain’d by the Commerce of Giving and Receiving; and without good Nature and Gratitude Men had as good live in a Wilderness, as in a Civil Society.

Ingratitude is of all Crimes that which we account the most venial in our felves, and the mos unpardonable in others.

* Good Offices depend much upon Construction: some take themselves to be oblig'd when they are not, others will not believe it when they are : and some again take Obligations and Injuries the one for the other.

* It is a Court Humour to keep People upon the Tenters; their Injuries are quick and sudden , but their Benefits are flow. Great Ministers lore to wrack Men with attendance; and account i an Oftentation of their Power to hold their Suitors in hand and to have many Witnesses of their Interest.

* He that gives to be seen, would never relieve Man in the dark.

* 'Tis a kind of incumbrance upon the freedom of a generous Mind, to be in debt to an ill Man, even upon any score whatsoever, that does but carry the face of Good-Will, or Respect ; for Ptis a Debt that a Man's both afham'd and weary it till 'tis paid off. And there's something more in't


[ocr errors]

yet too, which is, that when all common Scores are made even, the Morality of the Obligation still remains; for there's no cancelling the Bonds of Honour and Justice. Kindnesses are to be paid in Specie as well as Money: that is to say, there must be Affection in the return as well as Justice. Now as there can be no true Friendship betwixt a Good Man and a Wicked, there should be no intercourse betwixt them that looks like Friendship; and therefore the less Commerce the better.

* We have the Common Saying ready at our Tongues end, That 'tis the Man only that we consider and not the Efate : This is a handsom flourish; but where is the Man yet that does not more willingly bestow his time and his pains upon the Service of a wealthy Person, than in the support and protection of the best Poor Man that ever was born? For we are naturally inclin’d to lay out our Services, where we may reasonably hope for the speedieft and the most certain return.

* It is customary for great Men to over-value the Services they do their King and Country; and for Princes, when they cannot duly reward an eminent Performance to turn their Gratitude into Hatred.

* Those you have oblig'd most, will certainly avoid you when you can oblige them no longer; and they take your visits like fo

Mistresses as well as Friends, are sometimes avoided for Obligations past.

* When ill Men take up a fit of Kindness all on a sudden, and appear to be better natur'd than usu. al, 'tis good Discretion to suspect Fraud, and to lay their Words and their Practices together; for there are no Snares fo dangerous as those that are laid for us under the name of Good Offices.

* Most

* Most People seek out their own Interest under colour of obliging others, and are kind to their Neighbours for their own sakes.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



ther to understand Matters; for many are perfect in Men's Humours, that are not greatly capable of the real part of Business, which is the Constitution of one that has studied Men more than Books; fuch men are fitter for Practice than Counsel; and they are good but in their own Alley, turn 'em to other Men, and they have loft their aim

* Affected Dispatch, is one of the most dangsrous things to Business that can be ; it is like that which the Physicians call Pre-digestion, which is sure to fill the Body with Crudities and secret Seeds of Diseases. Therefore measure not Dispatcb by the time of Sitting, but by the Advancement of the Business.

* He that would be sure to have his Bufiness well done, must either do it himself, or see the doing of it; Besides that, many a good Servant is spoild by a careless Master. The Morality of this Caution, is as good a Lesson to Governments as to private Families. For a Prince's leaving his Business wholly to his Ministers, without a strict Eye over them, is as dangerous an Error in Politicks, as a Master's committing all to his Servants is in Oeconomicks;

[ocr errors]

There are a fort of Impertinents, who having least to do, would appear to be loaded with At fairs. They make a Mystery of every thing, and that with the greatest Silliness Imaginable. These are Chameleons of Applause, but are heartily Laugh'd at by every Body.

The best way to know how that which is intended to be done will be received, is to let fly fome Shot in the Air, especially when they are Matters the issue and approbation whereof is doubtful. By that means we are sure to hit our Mark, and always at liberty to Retreat or Advance. Thus we pump out Men's Minds, and know where it is best to set our Foot. That Prevention is most necessary, for asking Pertinently, placing Friendship aright, and for Governing

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ļ well.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

and ju

stifies the Cheating of other people. It is as easie a matter to deceive a Man's self, and not be sensible of it, as it is hard to impose upon others, and yet for them not to be fenfible of it.

An honest Intention of imposing upon no body, lays us open to the Cheating of other people.

The most effectual way to be bubbled, is to fancy one's self wiser than one's Neighbours

. The being a Blockbead is sometimes the best security against being impos'd upon by a Man of Senses


He that fancies such a sufficiency in himself, that he can live without all the World, is mightily mistaken ; but he that imagines himself fo necessary, that other People cannot live without him, is so a great deal more.

Affected Simplicity and Plainness is but a nicer and more labourd Cheat.

Men would never live so long together in Society and good Correspondence, if they did not mutually make Fools of one another.

The common way of fome to do their Business, and rise in the World, is to use all possible means of perswading People that their Business is done already.

We are so used to dissemble with others, that in time we come to deceive and diffemble with our selves.

It is sometimes of great Use for a Man to pretend he is deceivd; for when we let a subtile Fellow see that we are sensible of his Tricks, it gives him occafion to be more refird.

It is a hard task upon Knaves to be perpetually employ’d in concealing their own want of Sincerity, and making amends for the Breaches of their Promise.

Honesty and Plain-dealing puts Knaves out of their Byass ; it breaks all their Measures by which they hop'd to compass their Ends: for Knaves commonly think that nothing can be done but by Tricks and Artifice.

* All Frauds are covered and gilded over with fpecious Pretences and Men are every jot as easily impos'd upon, as Birds, Beasts, or Fishes; while the eagerness of our Appetites suspends the Exercise of our Reason. A Treat, a Woman or a Bottle

« VorigeDoorgaan »