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cherish in his thoughts, will banish from us all that fecret heavinefs of heart which unthinking men are fubject to when they lie under no real affliction; all that anguish which we may feel from any evil that actually oppreffes us; to which I may likewife add thofe little cracklings of mirth and folly that are apter to betray virtue than fupport it ; 1 and establish in us fuch an even and cheerful temper, as
makes us pleasing to ourselves, to those with whom we converfe, and to him whom we were made to please.
CHA P. III.
RUTH and fincerity have all the advantages of appearance, and many more. If the fhew of any thing be good for any thing, I am fure the reality is better; for why does any man diffemble, or feem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have the qualities he pretends to? For to counterfeit and diffemble, is to put on the appearance of fome real excellency. Now the best way for a man to seem to be any thing, is really to be what he would feem to be. Befides, it is often as troublesome to fupport the pretence of a good quality, as to have it; and if a man have it not, it is most likely he will be discovered to want it, and then all his labour to feem to have it is loft. There is fomething unnatural in painting, which a skilful eye will easily discern from native beauty and complexion.
Ir is hard to perfonate and act a part long; for where truth is not at the bottom, nature will always be endeavouring to return, and will betray herself at one time or other.
Therefore if any man think it convenient to feem good, let him be fo indeed, and then his goodnefs will appear to every one's fatisfaction; for truth is convincing, and carries its own light and evidence along with it, and will not only commend us to every man's confcience, but, which is much more, to God, who fearcheth our hearts. So that upon all accounts fincerity is true wifdom. Particularly as to the affairs of this world, integrity hath many advantages over all the artificial modes of diffimulation and deceit. It is much the plainer and eafier, much the fafer and more fecure way of dealing in the world: it hath lefs of trouble and difficulty, of entanglement and perplexity, of danger and hazard in it: it is the shortest and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line, and will hold out and laft longeft. The arts of deceit and cunning continually grow weaker and lefs effectual and ferviceable to those that practise them; whereas integrity gains ftrength by use, and the more and longer any man practifeth it, the greater fervice it does him, by confirming his reputation, and encouraging those with whom he hath to do, to repose the greatest confidence in him, which is an unspeakable advantage in business and the affairs of life.
A DISSEMBLER must always be upon his guard, and watch himself carefully, that he do not contradict his own pretenfions; for he acts an unnatural part, and therefore muft put a continual force and restraint upon himself. Whereas he that acts fincerely hath the easiest task in the world; because he follows nature, and fo is put to no trouble and care about his words and actions; he needs not invent any pretences before-hand, nor make excufes afterwards, for any thing he hath faid or done.
BUT infincerity 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 faid at another; but truth is always confiftent 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 fincerity is the moft compendious wisdom, and an excellent inftrument 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 lofe themfelves. In a word, whatsoever convenience may be thought to be in falfhood and diffimulation, it is foon over; but the inconvenience of it is perpetual, because it brings a man under an everlafting jealoufy and fufpicion, fo that he is not believed when he speaks truth, nor trufted when perhaps he means honeftly. When a man hath once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, nothing will then ferve his turn, neither truth nor falfhood.
'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 refpects 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 whilft he is in it, let him make ufe of truth and fincerity 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 laft.
EVERY principle that is a motive to good actions ought
to be encouraged, fince men are of fo different a make, that the fame principle does not work equally upon all minds. What fome men are prompted to by conscience, duty or religion, which are only different names for the fame thing, others are prompted to by honour..
THE fense of honour is of fo fine and delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, or in fuch as have been cultivated by great examples, or a refined education. This effay therefore is chiefly defigned for those who by means of any of these advantages are, or ought to be actuated by this glorious principle.
BUT as nothing is more pernicious than a principle of action, when it is misunderstood, I fhall confider 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 miftaken 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 fame 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 fomething that is beneath him, the other as fomething that is offenfive to the Divine Being, The one as what is unbecoming, the other as what is forbidden. Thus Seneca fpeaks in the natural and genuine language of a man of honour, when he declares, that were there no God to fee or punish vice, he would not commit it, becaufe it is of fo mean, fo bafe, and fo vile a nature.
I SHALL conclude this head with the defcription of honour in the parting of young Juba,
Honour's a facred tie, the law of kings,
The noble mind's distinguishing perfection,
That aids and strengthens virtue when it meets her,
It ought not to be fported with.
IN the fecond place, we are to confider those who have mistaken notions of honour. And these are fuch as establish any thing to themselves for a point of honour which is contrary 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 fcruple of telling a lie, but would put any man to death that accufes them of it; who are more careful to guard their reputation by their courage than by their virtue. True fortitude is indeed fo becoming in human nature, that he who wants it fcarce deferves the name of a man; but we find several who fo much abuse this notion, that they place the whole idea of honour in a kind of brutal courage; by which means we have had many among us who