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fuch rugged Senfations; why the Quiet of Thought is made fo precarious and dependent, fo liable to the Incurfions of Violence, and fo fubject to the Fate of ftupid and infenfible Matter?
In answer to this Question, it may be returned, that the Soul is made thus unwillingly fenfible and paffive, that her Intereft may prompt her to a due Care of the Body's Prefervation, that the may fence off Decays, and guard the better against Injury; befides, the Body is often the worfe for the Negligences and Disorders of the Mind. 'Tis Intempérance and Covetoufnefs, 'tis Pride and Paffion, which oftentimes throws the Conftitution off the Hinges, and makes the Senfes fuffer. For inftance, a Man of Choler and Conceit takes fire at an infignificant Affront, rufhes into a Quarrel, has his Head broke, and it may be his Limbs racked, into the Bargain; now when a Wound is thus impertinently made, ought it not to put the Patient to fome Trouble? He that's thus prodigal of his Perfon, and makes his Limbs ferve in an ill Caufe, ought to meet with a Mortification: The Punishment is but a juft Return for the Pride, and the Smart, it may be, the beft Cure for the Folly. Indeed, Pain
is oftentimes the juft Confequence of Misbehaviour: People run themselves out of Breath with their Fancies, and chop too eagerly at the Bait of Pleasure. Their Averfions and Defires are generally much too strong, and when the Hand is over-grafp'd, 'tis apt to ake. Thus Men groan under the Oppreffion of their Vice; fet their own Limbs upon the rack, and may frequently thank themfelves for the Penance of their Senfes. Sometimes they think their Merit ill entertain'd, and that Providence overlooks their Condition; thefe Reflections overcaft and fettle into Melancholy and Spleen, for that's the English of this wife Difeafe; thus the Mind raifes a Battery against the Body, the Thoughts are play'd upon the Health, and the Conftitution batter'd to pieces. And whence comes all this Misfortune, but from over-rating our Pretenfions; forgetting our Failings, and not confidering the Courfe and Temper of the World? 'Tis true, Pain is not fo peculiarly ty'd to Mifmanagement, as not to be met with elfewhere: Efforts of Virtue are sometimes troublesome, and a Wound will fmart tho' receiv'd in Defence of our Prince and Countrey. Pain therefore in fuch cafes feems permitted
to take hold of us, to try our Integrity, and raife the Merit of a good Action. 'Tis granted, 'twould be a great Convenience if we could parry against Pain, and put by a Pafs at Pleafure. If the Senfe of Feeling could fleep, or flip out of the way, till a Wound was cured, and the Caufes of Anguifh removed; if the Soul, I fay, could difengage a little from the Body, and not be at home upon fuch an Occasion, it would be a confiderable Privilege But Matters are ordered otherwife, and we must not expect to be impregnable in this World.
However we have no reason to complain of the Rigours of Providence, for Life has generally an apparent Overbalance of Advantage. And upon a Computation we fhall find the Total of Satisfaction much greater than that of Inconvenience: Which confidering the defenceless State of our Senfes, and how ftrangely they lie open to Pain, is a wonderful Bleffing: I fay, a wonderful Bleffing; for the Poffibility of Pain hangs almost upon every Atome, we may be hit at all Quarters, and ftung and stabb'd in every Pore. Now tho' 'tis impoffible to be Proof against Pain, the Question is, Whether all People are equally paffive, and feel the fame deB 3 grees
grees of it upon the fame Occafion: May not a difference in Age, Bulk, or Conftitution, make a Change in the Senfation? One fhould think when the Senfes are most affected with delightful Perceptions, they fhould be moft expos'd to the contrary: And that when they are capable of being beft pleas'd, they fhould likewife be capable of being most perfecuted In this cafe, their Keenness and Vigour feems to make them more liable to be difobliged. And may we not from hence conclude, that the Edge of Pain must be somewhat turn'd in old Age? The Sight and Hearing, the Tafte, and the Smelling, dwindle and decay by the length of Time, and why then fhould we fuppofe the Touch continues entire and undifabled? Are we only lafting in the Faculties that punish us? To proceed to a Reply to the rest of the Question? 'Tis not the Brawn of a Man's Arm, nor the Robuftness of his Limbs that can protect him from feeling a Blow A Giant's Wound smarts no less than a Dwarf's, tho' it may be the firft may not think it fo decent to complain. And yet feveral of Homer's Heroes make a lamentable Business of a Flesh Wound: But without doubt a great deal of the Anguish may be fenc'd off
off by the Force of the Mind, by a strong Senfe of Honour and Shame, by a Confcioufnefs of Innocence and Merit, and above all, by the comfortable Expectations of another World.
The Stoicks were fo fanciful, as to maintain that Pain was nothing of an Evil: Let's hear how they go to work: Nothing, fay they, but what's fcandalous and immoral, ought to be reckon'd an Evil. And thus by begging a Principle, equivocating in the Terms, and chopping a little Logick, they think to difarm the Impreffions of Violence, and make the Patient infenfible of his Malady. You tell me there's no Vice and Wickedness in Pain: A mighty Difcovery! Who knows not that there's nothing of moral Turpitude in the Headach, and that the Cholick is neither Felony nor Treafon ? But that's not the Point; pray leave off your Sophiftry,
and make it out to me that Torture and Diseases are no manner of Check to Satisfaction, and that a Man may be every jot as happy with the Gout or Stone, as without them. I tell you then, replies the Stoick Philofopher, that Virtue is of it felf a fufficient Fund for Happiness; but fince you prefs me I muft add, that Pain is one of those Guests that