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port this bold Saying of Pliny'', Solum certum nibil est certi, et homine nibil miserius aut superbius. That it is only certain there is nothing certain, and that nothing is more miserable or proud than Man.
CH A P. XV.
That 'our Defires are augmented by the Dificulty of
obtaining them. HERE is no Reason that has not its contrary, T
say the Wiseft of Philosophers. I sometimes ruminate on the excellent Saying urged by one of the Ancients for the Contempt of Life ; No Good can bring
Pleasure, unless it be That for the. Loss of which we
are prepared :' In æquo est dolor amise rei, et timor amittende"; The Grief of having lost a Thing, and the Fear of losing it, are equal. Meaning, by that, that the Fruition of Life cannot be truly pleasant to us, if we are in Fear of losing it.
It might, however, be said, on the contrary, that we grasp and embrace this Good the more closely and affectionately, the less assured we are of holding it, and the more we fear to have it taken from us ; for it is evident, that as Fire burns with greater Fury when Cold comes to mix with it, so our Wills are more sharpened by being opposed :
Si nunquam Danaen babuisset abenea turris,
A brazen Tow'r if Danae had not had,
She ne'er by Jove had been a Mother made.
culty. - Plin. lib. ii. c. 7.
· Senec. Ep. 98.
i Ovid. Am. lib. ii - 19. V. 27.
"Omnium rerum voluptas ipso quo debet fugare periculo crescit. The Pleasure of every Thing increases by the very Danger that should deter us from it.
Galla nega, satiatur amor nisi gaudia torquent ".
Galla deny, be not too eas'ly gain’d,
To keep Love in Breath, Lycurgus made a Decree, that the married People of Lacedemonia should never enjoy one another, but by Stealth ; and that it should be as great a Shame for them to be taken in Bed together, as with others. The Difficulty of Assignations, the Danger of Surprise, and the Shame of the next Day.
Et languor, et filentium,
The Languor, Silence, and the far-fetch'd Sighs.
* Hor. Epod. Ode xi v. 13. y Plutarch in the Life of Pomper, c. 1.
z Lucr. lib. iv. v. 1072, &c.
And so it is in every Thing : Difficulty gives all Things their Valuation. The People of the Marquisate of Ancona, most chearfully make their Vows to St. James de Compostella, and those of Galicia to our Lady of Loretto; they make wonderful Boafts, at Liege, of the Baths of Lucca, and in Tuscany of those of the Spa: There are few Romans seen in the Fencing-School at Rome, which is full of French: The great Cato also, like we, was out of Conceit with his Wife while she was his, and longed for her when in the Poffeflion of another. I turned out an old Stallion into the Paddock, because he was not to be governed when he smelt a Mare; the Facility presently sated him, with Regard to his own, but on the Sight of strange Mares, and of the first that passed by his Pasture, he would again fall to his importunate Neighings, and his furious Heats, as before. . Our Appetite contemns, and passes by what it has in Poffession, to run after what it has not.
Tranfvolat in medio pofita, et fugientia captat".
Thou scorn'it that Lass thou may'st with Ease enjoy,
An easy Prey, but follows when it fies.
nisi tu fervare puellam
To give it wholly up to us, is to beget a Contempt of it in us : Want, and Abundance, relapse into the same Inconvenience.
Tibi quod fupereft, mihi quod defit, dolet".
a Horat. lib. i. Sat. 2. v. 108. o Mr. Francis. c Ovid. Amor lib, ii. El. 19. V. 47•
d Terent. Phormio, Act i. Sc. 3. V. g
Thy Superfluities do trouble thee,
Desire and Fruition do equally afflict us : The Rigours
The Lady that would keep her Servant still,
Why did Poppea invent the Use of a Malk to hide her beautiful Face, but to enhance it to her Lovers? Why have they veiled, even below the Heels, those Beauties that every one desires to Thew, and every one defires to see? Why do they cover, with so many Hindrances, one over another, the Parts where our Desires, and their own, have their principal Seat ? And to what End are those great hooped Bastions, with which our Ladies fortify their Haunches, but to allure our Appetite, and to draw us the nearer to them, by removing us the farther from them, Et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri 8,
• Ovid. Amor. lib. ii. El. 19. v. 33. V. 19, 20.
Virg. Eclog. 3. v. 65.
* Propert. lib. ii. Eleg. 14. Propert. lib. ii. Eleg. 13. v. 6.
The Greek Histories make Mention of the Agrippians', Neighbours to Scythia, who live either without Rod or Stick to offend ; that not only have lived
People who no one attempts to attack them, but who- contentedly and ever can fly thither is safe, by reason of their securely withVirtue and Sanctity of Life, and no one is so out offenfive
Arms. bold as there to lay Hands upon them ;
them; and they have Applications made to them, to determine the Controversies that arise betwixt Men of other Countries. There is a certain Nation, where the Inclosures of Gardens and Fields, which they would preserve, is made only of a String of Cotton-yarn ; and, io fenced, is more firm and secure than our Hedges and Ditches.
Furem fignata folicitant : Aperta effractarius præterit. Things sealed up, invite a Thief: House-breakers pass by open Doors.
Peradventure, the Facility of entering my House, amongst other Things, has been a Means to
Montaigne preserve it from the Violence of our Civil Safe, in a deWars : Defence allures an Attempt, and De- fencelefs House, fiance provokes an Attack. I enervated the during the Ci
vil Wars. Soldiers Design, by depriving the Exploit of all Danger, and all Matter of Military Glory, which is wont to serve them for Pretence and Excuse. Whatever is done courageously, is ever done honourably, at a Time when the Laws are filent. I render the Conquest of my House cowardly and base to them ; it is never shut to any one that knocks. My Gate has no other Guard than a Porter, by ancient Custom and Ceremony; who does not fo much ferve to defend it, as to offer it with more Decency, and the better Grace. I have no other Guard or Centinel than the Stars. A Gentleman would be in the Wrong to make a Shew of Defence, if he be not really in a Condition to defend himself. He that lies open on one Side, is every-where so. Our Ancestors did not think of building Frontier Garrisons. The Methods of Assaulting, I mean, without Battery and Army, and of surprising our Houfes, increase every Day, above the Means to guard them. Mens Wits are generally sharp set that Way: Invasion every one is concerned in, none but the Rich in
Defence. i Herodot. lib. iv. p. 263. * Senec. Ep. 68.