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gave his Adversaries Opportunity to imprison, and put him to Death their own Way. And that great Leader Demosthenes, after his Rout in Sicily, did the same; and C. Pembria', having struck himself too weakly, intreated his Servant to kill him outright. On the contrary, . Oftorius, who could not make Use of his own Arm, disdained to imploy that of his Servant to any other Use, but only to hold the Poniard straight and firm, whilft he run his Neck full drive against it, so that it pierced thro' his Throat. 'Tis, in Truth, a Morsel that is to be swallowed without chewing, and requires the Palate of an Oftridge ; and yet Adrian, the Emperor, made his Physician mark and incircle, in his Pap, the very Place wherein the Man he had ordered to kill him, was to give the Stab. For this Reafon it was, that Cafar, being asked, " What Death he
thought to be the most desired ?' Made Answer, “The
least premeditated, and the shortest ".' If Casar dared to say it, it is no Cowardice in me to believe it. A short • Death, says Pliny, is the Sovereign Happiness of Hu• man Life.' They do not much care to own it : No one can say, that he is resolved for Death, who boggles at it, and cannot undergo it with his Eyes open. They that we see, in exemplary Punishments, run to their Death, haften and press their Execution, do it not out of Resolution, but they will not give themselves Leisure to consider it; it does not trouble them to be dead, but to die. * Emori nolo, fed me effe mortuum nibili æftimo '.
į. e. To be dead is nothing to me; but I fear to die. 'Tis a Degree of Constancy, to which I know, by Experience, that I could arrive, like those who plunge themfelves into Dangers, as into the Sea, with their Eyes shut.
There f Plutarch in the Life of Nicias, c. 10. & Tacit. Annal. lib. xvi. h Suet. in J. Cæsare, sect. 87. i vii
* Epicharmus, the Greek Philosopher, was the Author of the Verse, here translated, by Cicero, into Latin Profe.
| Cic. Tusc. lib. i. c. 8.
There is nothing, in my opinion, more illustrious, in
covery, to be in vain, and that all he did to prolong his
Life, did also prolong and augment his Pain ; he was
not to lose their Labour in endeavouring to diffuade
his Physicians advised him to great Absti- Resolution to
« so m Corn. Nepos, in the Life of Atticus.
Diog. Laert. in the Life of Cleanthes, lib. viji. sect. 176.
so much, that they pronounced him cured, and permitted him to return to his ordinary Course of Diet : * He, on the contrary, already tasting fome Sweetness in
this Faintness of his, would not be persuaded to go back, but resolved to proceed, and to finish the Course he had so far advanced in.'
Tullius Marcellinus °, a young Man of Rome, having a The resolute
mind to anticipate the Hour of his Destiny, Death of a
in order to be rid of a Disease that was more
Trouble to him, than he was willing to endure ; tho' his Physicians assured him of a certain, tho' not sudden Cure, called a Council of his Friends, to confult about it: 'Some, says Seneca, gave him the Coun
fel, which, from Pufillanimity, they would have taken themselves; others, out of Flattery, prescribed what they thought he would best like : ' But a Stoic faid thus to him : ? Do not teaze thyself, Marcellinus, as if thou didft deliberate of a Thing of Importance ; 'tis
no great Matter to live; thy Servants and Beasts live ; " but it is a great Thing to die handsomely, wisely, and ' with Fortigude: Do but think how long thou hast done " the fame Thing; eat, drink, and sleep; drink, sleep,
and eat. We are incessantly wheeled round in one and
the fame Circle ; not only ill and insupportable Acci* dents, but even the Satiety of living, inclines a Man to
defire to die.' Marcellinus did not stand in Need of a Man to advise, but of a Man to affitt him ; his Servants were afraid to meddle in the Business : But this Philofopher gave them to understand, « That Domestics are fuf
pected, even when it is in Doubt, whether the Death of + the Master were voluntary, or no; otherwise, that it
would be of as ill Example to hinder him, as to kill * him ;' forasmuch as,
Invitum qui fervat, idem facit occidenti 9.
Who makes a Man to live against his Will,
o Senec. Ep. 77.
p Idem, ib.
9 Horat. in Art. Poet. 5. 467.
The Stoic afterwards told Marcellinus, "That it would not
be indecent, as what is left on our Tables, when we have
dined, is given to the Waiters, so, Life being ended, to • distribute something to those who have been our Ser• vants.' Now Marcellinus was of a free and liberal Spirit ; he therefore divided a certain Sum of Money among his Attendants, and made them easy. As to the rest, he had no Need of Steel, nor of Blood : He was resolved to go out of this Life, and not to run out of it ; not to efcape from Death, but to try it : And, to give himself Leisure to parly with it, having forsaken all manner of Nourishment, the third Day following, when he had caused himself to be sprinkled with warm Water, he fainted by Degrees, and not without some kind of Pleasure, as he himself declared. In Earnest, such as have been acquainted with these Faintings, proceeding from Weakness, do say, that they are therein sensible of no manner of Pain, but rather feel a kind of Delight, as in a Pafsage to Sleep and Reft: These are Deachs studied and digested.
But, to the End that Cato only may furnish out the whole Example of Virtue, it seems as if his Deatb bravely good Destiny had put his ill one into his confronted by
Cato. Hand, with which he gave himself the Blow; seeing he had the Leisure to confront and struggle with Death, reinforcing his Courage in the highest Danger, instead of Nackening it. And, if I had been to represent him in his loftiest Station, I should have done it in the Posture of one tearing out his bloody Bowels, rather than with his Sword in his Hand, as did the Statuaries of his Time : For this second Murder would have been much more furious than the first.
CH A P." XIV.
How the Mind bampers itself.
PTIS a pleasant Imagination, to fancy a Mind exact
ly balanced betwixt two equal Desires : For,
doubtless, it can never pitch upon either, How the Mind forasmuch as the Choice and Application is determined in its Choice would manifest an Inequality of Value ; and
were we fet betwixt the Bottle and the Ham, Things..indiffe- with an equal Appetite to Drink and to Eat,
there would, doubtless, be no Remedy, but to die for Thirst and Hunger. To provide against this Inconvenience, the Steics, when they are asked, . Whence this Election in the Soul, of two indifferent Things,
does proceed, (so as, out of a great Number of Crowns, * rather to take one than another, there being no Rea•fon to incline us to such a Preference)' make Answer, 5. That this Movement of the Soul is extraordinary and
irregular ; that it enters into us by a strange, acciden
tal, and fortuitous Impulse.' It might rather, methinks, be faid, that nothing presents itself to us wherein there is not some Difference, how little foever ; and that, either by the Sight or Touch, there is always some Choice, which, tho it be impereeptibly, tempts and attracts us. Whoever likewise, shall presuppose a Packthread equally ftrong throughout, it is utterly impossible it should break; for, where will you have the Fracture to begin ? And that it should break all together is not in Nature. Whoever also should hereunto join the Geometrical Propositions, that, by the Certainty of their Demonstrations
, conclude the Contained to be greater than the Contain, ing, the Center to be as great as the Circumference, and that should find out two Lines incessantly approaching each other, with no Possibility of their ever meeting ; and the Philosopher's Stone, and the Quadrature of the Circle, where Reason and the Effect are so oppofite, might
, peradventure, draw fome Argument to prove it, to fup.