« PreviousContinue »
distinction between the good and the bad, ordered the two
of nature which lay in the half way between them, having promised to settle it upon them both, provided they could agree upon the divifion of it, so as to share mankind between them.
PLEASURE and PAIN were no fooner met in their new habitation, but they immediately agreed upon this point, that Pleasure should take possession 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 so vicious who had not some good in him, nor any person fo virtuous who had not in him some evil. The truth of it is, they generally found upon
search, that in the most vicious man Pleasure might lay claim to an hundredth 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 them, 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 constant yoke-fellows, and that they' either make their visits together, or are never far afunder. If Pain comes into a heart, he is quickly followed by Pleafure; and if Pleasure 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 fending them among mankind. To remedy
therefore this inconvenience, it was stipulated between them by article, and confirmed by the consent of each family, that, notwithstanding they here possessed the species indifferently, 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 dwell with Mifery, 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.
ABOUR, the offspring of Want, and the mother of
Health and Contentment, lived with her two daughters in a little cottage, by the side of a hill, at a great diftance from town. They were totally unacquainted with the great, and kept no better company than the neighbouring villagers; but having a desire 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 converfation, and songs of cheerfulness and joy, softened the toils of the way;
while Contentment went smiling on the left, supporting the fteps of her mother, and by her perpetual good-humour increasing the vivacity of her fifter.
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 Moс
ther conjured her daughters never to lose Gght of her; for it was the will of Jupiter, she said, that their separation Tould he attended with the utter ruin of all three, But Health was of too gay a disposition to regard the counsels of Labour : she suffered herself to be debauclied by Intemperance, and at last died in child-birth of Disease. Contentment, in.the absence of her sister, gave herself
to the enticements of Sloth, and was never heard of after: while Labour, who could have no enjoyment without her daughters, went every where in search of them, till she was at last seized by Lassitude in her way, and died in misery.
С Н А Р.
THE OLD MAN AND HIS ASS.
N old man and a little boy were driving an ass to the
next market to sell. What a fool is this fellow (says a man upon the road) to be trudging it on foot with his son, that his ass may go light! The old man, hearing this, set his boy upon the ass, and went whistling by the fide of him. Why, firrah! (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 upon his beast, while his poor little boy is almost crippled with walking? The old man no sooner heard this, than he took up his son behind him. Pray, honest friend (says a fourth) is that ass your own? Yes, says the man. One would not have thought fo, replied the other, by your loading him so unmereifully. You and your son are better able to carry the poor beast than
he you. Any thing to please, says the owner ; and alight-
old man made the best of his way home, ashamed and
CH A P. VII.
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 desert, 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 liimself on the state of life he should chase, he saw two women of a larger ftature 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 she 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 confidence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her dress, that she thought were the most proper to fhew 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 she made in her own shadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, she 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 she, I find you are very much divided in your own thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to chufe: be my friend, and follow me; I will lead you into the possession of pleasure, and out of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noise and disquietude of business. The affairs of either war or peace shall have no power to difturb you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and to entertain every sense with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfumes, concerts of music, crowds of beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into this region of delights, this world of pleasure, and bid farewel for ever to care, to pain, to business.
HERCULES hearing the lady talk after this manner, defired to know her name; to which she answered, My friends, and thofe who are well acquainted with me, call me Happiness; but my enemies, and those who would injure my reputation, have given me the name of Pleasure.
By this time the other lady was come up, who addressed herself to the
different manner. HERCULES, says she, I offer myself to you because I know you are descended from the Gods, and give proofs of that