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prefent hath produced Spirits afpiring to this high Perfection; that have courted Poverty in the midft of Plenty; renounced Eafe, when they were born to Luxury ; and harrafled their Conftitutions to effect Defigns, which the reft of Mankind, wholly blinded by Prejudice, are fure to confider as infamous and deteftable.
Having mentioned Philofophers, I cannot find in my Heart to proceed, without confidering from what Sect among the Ancients, the Principles and Tenets of our modern Gentlemen feem to be derived; and upon mature Reflexion, I find they are built upon the Ruins of the Cyrenaic, the Founder of which was Ariftippus, the fineft Gentleman of his Age; and no doubt a Gamefter. And whoever has turned his Thoughts to examine the Conduct and Opinions of that Philofopher, as they are delivered to us by the moft authentic Writers, will find the Parallel ftriking enough to juftify a longer Digreffion than I at prefent defign to make.
And firft, Ariftippus was celebrated for his uncommon Contempt of Money; for being on a Journey, and finding his Attendants lag behind, too heavy laden with Treafure, he ordered them to leave it in the Defart, and purfued his Way without it.
Servos projicere aurum h media jufflt Libya
—— The Slaves at his Command Scatter'J his Gold on Libya's barren Sand.
In Imitation of which Proceeding, his Followers .among us fhew the utmoft Forwardnefs to diveft themfelves of that Incumbrance as fail as poffible.
Some Perfons have been furprifed, how our modern Gentlemen can fuftain that Character under the ftrange Variety of Drefs that Fajhion prefcribes. What a different Appearance is made by the fame Individual, when you fee him fauntring in the Mall, and lounging in the Play-houfe? Yet ftill the Gentleman appears through all. All which is directly traced from the Pattern of /iriftippus: Sometimes he made a Figure in purple Robes; and often, as [b] Diogenes Laertius obferves, he would walk about with a Newmarket Switch in his Hand, his Hair in Papers, and his Hat in the Ancajler Cock:
^uidlilet indutus celelerrima per loca 'uadet,
Ariftippus had a wonderful Penchant toward the Fair Sex: He would ride Poft at any Time, rather than baulk his Affignations: And once it is recorded he made a long Voyage, for the Pleafure of converfing with the celebrated Lais, the F—nay M—rry of her Age. But here the Scholars have far outftripped their Mafter, if we except the Sailing Expedition, which Fortune hath put out of the Queftiom by providing them with Miftrefles, as well as Surgeons, in every Street.
[*] In Vit. Ariftippi.
It will not appear ftrange, after what was faid in the laft Paragraph,' that Arijlippus had feveral natural Children; but there being no Foundling Hofpital in thofe Days, he told their Mothers in his eafy Way, Procreation was not what he .defired or intended; that for his Part, he confidered Children as mere bodily Secretions: However, if the Parijh chofe to provide for them, he had no Objection. Our Proceeding, till of late, was the exact Counterpart of this: Now indeed the Cafe is altered; and Gentlemen commit Fornication in the Spirit of Patriotifm, in order to raife Supplies for the Herring Fijhery.
However, there is one thing which it would be unfair in me to fupprefs: Horace introduces Arijlippus holding a Converfation with Diogenes the Cynicy wherein he fays of himfelf, what Hiftory hath likewife confirmed;
, Equus ut me portet, alat rex. Off.dum facia
I fell my Flattery for Gain,
And fafum for Luxury which Kings maintain.
The Philofopher, it feems, not being born to an independent Fortune, condefcended to accept certain Gratuities from the Princes and Great Men of his Time; and, far fear of lofmg bis Penfion, was their very obfequious and devoted humble Servant; which is the only material Point, wherein his Character
differs from that of our Nobility, to whom nothing of this Sort can, with any Colour, be objected.
But to return to my Argument, (which I do with the fame Pleafure that a Gentleman who has cut out, returns to a Rubber) another Advantage of Gaming is, that it clears the Mind of many uneafy Paffions. Tally has left us a Treatife againft Perturbations; but, in my Opinion, Mr. Hoyle has publifhed a much better for Ufe and Practice: For whoever has ftudied the Works of this Philofopher, enjoys a State of moft blefled Infenfibility: He is in ,perfec t Charity with all Mankind, forgiving Injuries, and forgetting Benefits: He has a Wife and Children, Relations and Friends; but he has neither Fears for their Welfare, nor Tears for their Diftrefs: He bears their Afflictions with the nioft Chriftian Patience, and kifles the Rod with which Providence hath chaftifed them: Conforming precifely to that Divine and Stoical Precept of Epifittus, "If thy "Friend be in Extremity, thou mayeft fay thou "haft Pity on him; but be fure not to feel any, "becaufe that is an Infirmity beneath the Dignity "of Man."
A third Advantage refulting from this Practice is, the Influence it hath upon the Military Eftablifhment. It muft give Pleafure to every Lover of his Country, to obferve us exactly tracing the Plan, which Horace prefcribes in that folemn Ode addrefied to his Friends, for the reftoring warlike
Difcipline Difcipline among the Roman Youth: Speaking of whom he fays;
Anguftam, amid, pauperiem pati
Let the brave Youths, whofe Souls for Glory pant,
Horace appears to have been very fond of this Doctrine; for, in another Part of his Works, he tells a Story of a Soldier in Lucullus'i Army, who had been robbed of all bis Money by Thieves. The Fellow was in a violent Rage, fwore like a Trooper; and, fully determined neither to give nor take Quarter, runs to the Head of the Forlorn-hope, ftorms a Caftle, and fhielded by his Defpair, came off without Lofs of Life or Limb; but when he had reimburfed himfelf by Plunder, his Courage by no means feconded the Motion his General made to him foon after, to go upon fuch another Expedition; for he very cooly afked him,
D'ye think me, Noble General, fuch a Sot?
From whence we may collect, that Men in eafy Circum/lances are not the fitteft to go upon defperate Adventures; and that thofe who have charged