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Bor insincerity is very troublesome to manage; a hypocrite hath so 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 consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out ; it is always near at hand, and fits upon our lips; whereas a lie is troublesome, and needs a great many more to make it good.
Add to all this, that sincerity is the most compendioug wisdom, and an excellent instrument for the speedy dispatch of business. It creates confidence in those we have to deal with, faves the labour of many inquiries, and brings things to an issue in few words. It is like travelling in a plain beaten road, which commonly brings a man sooner to his journey's end, than by-ways, in which men often lose themfelves. In a word, whatsoever convenience may be thought to be falshood and dissimulation, it is soon but the inconvenience of it is perpetual, because it brings a man under an everlasting jealousy and suspicion, so that he is not believed when he speaks truth, nor trufted when perhaps he means honestly. When a man hath once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, nothing will then serve his turn, neither truth nor falshood.
INDEED, if a man were only to deal in the world for a day, and should never have occafion to converse more with mankind, never more need their good opinion or good word, it were then no great matter (as far as respects 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 truth and sincerity in all his words and actions, for nothing but this will hold out to the
end. All other arts may fail, but truth and integrity' will carry a man through, and bear him out to the last,
principle that is a motive to good actions ought to he encouraged, fince men are of fo different a make, that the same principle does not work equally upon all minds. What some men are prompted to by conscience, duty, or religion, which are only different names for the same thing, others are prompted to by honour.
The sense of honour is of so fine and delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, orin such as have been cultivated by great examples ør a refined education. This essay therefore is chiefly defined for those who hy means of any of these advantages .are, or ought to be actuated by this gloridus principle.
But as nothing is more pernicious than a principle of action, when it is misunderstood, I shall consider honour with respect to three forts of men. First of all, with regard to those who have a right notion of it. Secondly, with regard to those who have a mistaken notion of it. And thirdly, with regard to those who treat it as chimerical, and turn it into ridicule.
In the first place true honour, though it be a different principle from religion, is that which produces the same effects. The lines of action, though drawn from different parts, terminate in the fame point. Religion embraces virtue, as it is enjoined by the laws of God; honour, as it is graceful and ornamental to human nature. The religious man
fears, fears, the man of honour fcorns to do an ill action. The latter confiders vice as something that is beneath him, 'the other as something that is offensive to the Divine Being. The one as what is unbecoming, the other as what is forbidden. Thus Seneca speaks in the natural and genuine language of a man of honour, when he declares, that were there no God to see or punish vice, he would not commit it, be cause it is of so niean, so base, and so vile a nature.
I SHALL conclude this head with the description of honour in the parting of young Juba,
Honour's a sacred tie, the law of kings,
In the second place, we are to confider those who have mistaken notions of honour. And these are such as establish any thing to themselves for a point of honour which is con. trary either to the laws of God or of their country ; who think it more honourable to revenge than to forgive an injury ; who make no scruple of telling a lie, but would put any man to death that accuses them of it ; who are more careful to guard their reputation by their courage than by their virtue. True fortitude is indeed so becoming in human nature, that he who wants it scarce deferves the name of a man; but w find several who so much abuse this notion, that they place the whole idea of honour in a kind of brutal scourage ; by which means we have had many among us who
have called themselves men of honour, that would have been a disgrace to a gibbet. In a word, the man who facrifices any duty of a reasonable creature to a prevailing mode or fashion, who looks upon any thing as honourable that is displeasing to his Maker, or destructive to society, who thinks himself obliged by this principle to the practice of some virtues and not of others, is by no means to be reckoned among true men of honour.
Timogenes was a lively instance of one actuated by false honour. Timogenes would smile at a man's Jest who ridi. culed his Maker, and at the same time run a man through the body that spoke ill of his friend. Timogenes would have scorned to have betrayed a secret, that was intrusted with him, though the fate of his country depended upon the discovery of it. Timogenes took away the life of a
fel. low in a duel, for having spoke ill of Belinda, a lady whom he himself had seduced in her youth, and betrayed into want and ignominy. To close bis character, Timogenes, after having ruined several poor tradesmen's families who had trufted him, fold his estate to satisfy his creditors ; but, like a man of honour, disposed of all the money he could make of it, in the paying of his play-debts, or, to speak in his own language, his debts of honour.
In the third place, we are to confider those perfons, who treat this principle as chimerical, and turn it into ridicule. Men who are professedly of no honour, are of a more profligate and abandoned nature than even those who are actuated by false notions of it, as there is more hope of a heretic than of an atheist. These fons of infamy consider honour with old Syphax, in the play before mentioned, as a fine imaginary notion that leads aftray young unexperienced men, and draws them into real mischiefs, while they are engaged
in the pursuits of a shadow. These are generally persons who, in Shakspeare's phrafe, “ are worn and hackneyed in the ways of men ;" whose imaginations are grown callous, and have lost all those delicate sentiments, which are natural to minds that are innocent and undepraved. Such old battered miscreants ridicule every thing as romantic that comes in competition with present their interest, and treat those person as vifionaries, who dare stand up in a corrupt age, for what has not its immediate reward joined to it. The talents, intereft, or experience of such men, make them very often useful in all parties, and at all times. But what. ever wealth and dignities they may arrive at, they ought to consider, that every one stands as a blot in the annals of his country, who arrive at the temple of honour by any other way than through that of virtue.
CHA P. V.
ON GOOD HUMOUR.
OOD humour may be defined a habit of being pleased ;
a constant and perennial softness of manner, easiness of approach, and suavity of disposition ; like that which every man perceives in himself, when the first transports of new felicity have subsided, and his thoughts are only kept in motion by a slow succession of soft impulses, Good humour is a ftate between gaiety and unconcern; the act or emanation of a mind at leasure to regard the gratification of another.
It is imagined by many, that whenever they aspire to please, they are required to be merry, and to thew the gladness of their fouls by flights and pleasantry, and bursts of