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which is the provision for the birds, all that can keep us alive; and if we consider that of the beasts and birds, for whom nature hath provided but one dish, it may be flesh or fish, or herbs or flies, and these also we secure with guards from them, and drive away birds and beasts from that provi. sion which nature made for them, yet seldom can we find that any of these perish with hunger: much rather shall we find that we are secured by the securities proper for the more noble creatures by that Providence that disposes all things, by that mercy that gives us all things, which to other creatures are ministered singly; by that labour, that can procure what we need ; by that wisdom, that can consider concerning future necessities; by that power, that can force it from inferior creatures; and by that temperance, which can fit our meat to our necessities. For if we go beyond what is needful, as we find sometimes more than was promised, and very often more than we need, so we disorder the certainty of our felicity, by putting that to hazard which nature hath secured. For it is not certain, that if we desire to have the wealth of Susa, or garments stained with the blood of the Tyrian fish, that if we desire to feed like Philoxenus, or to have tables loaden like the boards of Vitellius, that we shall never want. It is not nature that desires these things, but lust and violence; and by a disease we entered into the passion and the necessity, and in that state of trouble it is likely we may dwell for ever, unless we reduce our appetites to nature's measures.
Si ventri bene, si lateri est pedibusque tuis, nil
Divitiæ poterunt regales addere majus, * And therefore it is, that plenty and pleasures are not the proper instruments of felicity. Because felicity is not a jewel that can be locked in one man's cabinet. God intended that all men should be made happy, and he, that gave to all men the same natural desires, and to all men provision of satisfactions by the same meats and drinks, intended, that it should not go beyond that measure of good things, which corresponds to those desires, which all men naturally have.
He that cannot be satisfied with common provision, hath a bigger need than he that can; it is harder, and more contingent, and more difficult, and more troublesome, for him to be satisfied; βρυάζω τα κατά το σωμάτιον ηδεί, υδατι και
# Horace. Ep. 1. 12. 5.
άρτα χρώμενος, προσπτύω ταϊς εκ πολυτελείας ήδοναίς, said Epicurus; “ I feed sweetly upon bread and water, those sweet and easy provisions of the body, and I defy the pleasures of costly provisions;" and the man was so confident that he had the advantage over wealthy tables, that he thought himself happy as the immortal gods, έτοιμος έρχεσθαι τα Διλ υπέρ ευδαιμονίας διαγωνίζεσθαι, μάζαν έχων και ύδωρ : for these provisions are easy, they are to be gotten without amazing cares; no man needs to flatter if he can live as nature did intend :
Magna pars libertatis est bene moratus venter;"* he need not swell his accounts, and intricate his spirit with arts of subtilty and contrivance; he can be free from fears, and the chances of the world cannot concern him. And this is true, not only in those severe and anchoretical and philosophical persons, who lived meanly as a sheep, and without variety as the Baptist, but in the same proportion it is also true in every man, that can be contented with that which is honestly sufficient. Maximus Tyrius considers concerning the felicity of Diogenes, a poor Sinopean, having not so much nobility as to be born in the better parts of Greece: but he saw that he was compelled by no tytant to speak or do ignobly; he had no fields to till, and therefore took no care to buy cattle, and to hire servants; he was not distracted when a rent-day came, and feared not when the wise Greeks played the fool and fought who should be lord of that field that lay between Thebes and Athens; he laughed to see men scramble for dirty silver, and spend ten thousand Attick talents for the getting the revenues of two hundred phillippics; he went with his staff and bag into the camp of the Phocenses, and the soldiers reverenced his person and despised his poverty, and it was truce with him whosoever had wars; and the diadem of kings, and the purple of the emperors, the mitre of high-priests, and the divining staff of soothsayers, were things of envy and ambition, the purchase of danger, and the rewards of a mighty passion; and men entered into them by trouble and extreme difficulty, and dwelt under them as a man under a falling roof, or as Damocles under the tyrant's sword,
Nunc lateri incumbens mox deinde supinus,
sleeping like a condemned man; and let there be what pleasure men can dream of in such broken slumbers, yet the fear of waking from this illusion, and parting from this fantastic pleasure, is a pain and torment which the imaginary felicity cannot
for.. “ Cui cum paupertate bene convenit, dives est :non qui parum habet, sed qui plus cupit, pauper est.” All our trouble is from within us; and if a dish of lettuce and a clear fountain can cool all my heats, so that I shall have neither thirst nor pride, lust nor revenge, envy nor ambition, I am lodged in the bosom of felicity; and, indeed, no men sleep so soundly, as they that lay their head upon nature's lap. For a single dish, and a clear chalice lifted from the springs, can cure my hunger and thirst: but the meat of Ahasuerus's feast cannot satisfy my ambition and my pride. “ Nulla re egere, Dei proprium; quàm paucissimis autem, Deo proximum,” said Socrates. He, therefore, that hath the fewest desires and the most quiet passions, whose wants are soon provided for, and whose possessions cannot be disturbed with violent fears, he that dwells next door to satisfaction, and can carry his needs and lay them down where he please,—this man is the happy man; and this is not to be done in great designs, and swelling fortunes.
“ Dives jam factus desiit gaudere lente; cariùs edit et bibit, et lætatur dives, quàm pauper, qui in quolibet, in parato, inempto gaudet, et facile epulari potest; dives nunquam.” For as it is in plants which nature thrusts forth from her navel, she makes regular provisions, and dresses them with strength and ornament, with easiness and full stature; but if you thrust a jessamine there where she would have had a daisy grow, or bring the tall fir from dwelling in his own country, and transport the orange or the almond-tree near the fringes of the north--star, nature is displeased, and becomes unnatural, and starves her sucklings, and renders you a return less than your charge and expectation : so it is in all our appetites; when they are natural and proper, nature feeds them and makes them healthful and lusty, as the coarse issue of the Scythian clown; she feeds them and makes them easy without cares and costly passion; but if you thrust an appetite into her, which she intended not, she gives you sickly and uneasy banquets, you must struggle with her for every drop of milk she gives beyond her own needs; you may get gold
from her entrails, and at a great charge provide ornaments for your queens and princely women : but our lives are spent in the purchase : and when you have got them, you must have more: for these cannot content you, nor nourish the spirit. • Ad supervacua sudatur;' ' A man must labour infinitely to get more than he needs;' but to drive away thirst and hunger, a man needs not sit in the fields of the oppressed poor, nor lead armies, nor break his sleep, et contumeliosam humanitatem pati' and to suffer shame,' and danger, and envy, and affront, and all the retinue of infelicity.
-Quis non Epicurum Suspicit, exigui lætum plantaribus horti? Juv. 13. 122. If men did but know, what felicity dwells in the cottage of a virtuous poor man, how sound his sleeps, how quiet his breast, how composed his mind, how free from care, how easy his provision, how healthful his morning, how sober his night, how moist his mouth, how joyful his heart, they would never admire the noises, and the diseases, the throng of passions, and the violence of unnatural appetites, that fill the houses of the luxurious and the heart of the ambitious. Nam
neque divitibus contingunt gaudia solis. Hor. Ep. 1. 17. 9. These which you call pleasures, are but the imagery and fantastic appearances, and such appearances even poor men may have. It is like felicity, that the king of Persia should come to Babylon in the winter, and to Susa in the summer; and be attended with all the servants of one hundred and twentyseven provinces, and with all the princes of Asia. It is like this, that Diogenes went to Corinth in the time of vintage, and to Athens when winter came; and instead of courts, visited the temples and the schools, and was pleased in the society of scholars and learned men, and conversed with the students of all Asia and Europe. If a man loves privacy, the poor fortune can have that when princes cannot; if he loves noises, he can go to markets and to courts, and may glut himself with strange faces, and strange voices, and stranger manners, and the wild designs of all the world: and when that day comes in which we shall die, nothing of the eating anddrinking remains, nothing of the pomp and luxury, but the sorrow to part with it, and shameto have dwelt there where wisdom and virtue seldom come, unless it be to call
men to sober counsels, to a plain, and a severe, and a more natural way of living; and when Lucian derides the dead princes and generals, and says that in hell they go up and down selling salt meats and crying muscles, or begging; and he brings in Philip of Macedon, έν γωνιδίω τινι μισθού ακούμενον rà oudgà são imoồnátwv, mending of shoes in a little stall;' he intended to represent, that in the shades below, and in the state of the grave, the princes and voluptuous have a being different from their present plenty ; but that their condition is made contemptible and miserable by its disproportion to their lost and perishing voluptuousness. The result is this, that Tiresias (Nsx. 21.) told the ghost of Menippus, inquiring what state of life was nearest to felicity, “Ο των ιδιωτών άριστος Bios, tad owPgovéoregos, The private life, that which is freest from tumult and vanity,' noise and luxury, business and ambition, nearest to nature and a just entertainment to our necessities; that life is nearest to felicity. Tosūta añçox ryna σάμενος, τούτο μόνον εξ άπαντος θηράση, όπως, το παρόν εύ θεμενος, παραδράμης γελών τα πολλά και περί μηδέν εσπουδακώς: therefore despise the swellings and the diseases of a disordered life, and a proud vanity ; be troubled for no outward thing beyond its merit, enjoy the present temperately, and you cannot choose but be pleased to see, , that you have so little share in the follies and miseries of the intemperate world.
2. Intemperance in eating and drinking is the most contrary course to the Epicure's design in the world; and the voluptuous man hath the least of pleasure; and upon this proposition, the consideration is more material and more immediately reducible to practice, because in eating and drinking, men please themselves so much, and have the necessities of nature to usher in the inordination of gluttony and drunkenness, and our need leads in vice by the hand, that we know not how to distinguish our friend from our enemy: and St. Austin is sad upon this point; “ Thou, O Lord, hast taught me that I should take my meat as I take my physic; but while I pass from the trouble of hunger to the quietness of satisfaction, in the very passage I am enshared by the cords of my own concupiscence. Necessity bids me pass, but I have no way to pass from hunger to fulness, but over the bridge of pleasure; and although health