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Hefiod corrects' Plato's Affertion that Panillment fablows close at the Heets of Sin; for, he says, it is Punishment born at the same Instant with Sin. Whofo- connate suitb
Sin ever expects Punishment already suffers it; and whosoever has deserved it expects it. Wickedness contrives Tortures for itself: Malum confilium consultori peffimum *.
i. e. ! He that gives bad Counsel suffers most by it. As the Wasp (tings and hurts another, but most of all itfelf; for it thereby loses its Sting and its Strength fos
And do their own Lives stake
* The Spanish Fly, or.Cantharides, has in itself fome Particle which, by the Contrariety of its Nature, serves as an Antidote to its own Poison. In like Manner, at the same Instant that a Man feels a Pleasure in Vice, there is a Sting at the Tail of it in the Conscience, which tortures us fleeping and waking with many racking Thoughts :
Quippe ubi se multi per fomnia fæpe loquentes,
Apollodorus dreamed that he saw himself fea’d by the
* Aul. Ġell. lib. iv. c. 5. i Virg. Georg. lib. iv. ver. 238.
Montaigne asserts this more positively than Plutarch, the Author from whom he took it, ch. 9. of Plutarch's Tract abovenientioned.
i Lucret. lib. v. ver. 1157, &c.
Heart muttered these Words: I am the Cause of all these Evils”. Epicurus said, No Lurking-hole could hide the Wicked, because they could not assure themselves of being concealed, whilst their Consciences discovered them to themselves.
Prima ejt bæc ultio, quod, se Judice, nemo nocens absolvitur
'Tis the first Punishment of Sin, That no bad Man abfolves himself within.
As an evil Conscience poffeffes us with Fear, a good The Confidence one gives us Assurance and Confidence. And resulting from a I can truly say, I have faced several Dangood Conscience.
gers with the more Boldness, in Consideration of the secret Knowledge I had of my own Will, and of the Innocency of my Intentions: Conscia mens ut cuique sua est, ita concipit intra Pestora pro facto, spemque metumque fuo o.
Of this there are a thousand Examples, of which it The confident may suffice to produce three of one and the Innocency of same Person. Scipio, having a heavy AccusaScipio.
tion laid against him one Day before the People of Rome, instead of excusing himself, or soothing his Judges, It will well become you, said he to them, to fit in Judgment upon the Man from whom you derive the Power you have to judge all the World. And, another Time, all the Answer he gave to some Impeachments brought againft him by a Tribune of the People, instead of pleading his Cause, · Let us go, said be, my Fellow-Citizens, • and give Thanks to the Gods for the Victory which they granted me over the Carthaginians, as on this Day
And, m This is also taken from Plutarch's beforementioned Treatise of the Delay of the Divine Justice, ch. 9. This Apollodorus, who reigned like a true 'Tyrant, was King of Casandria, in Macedonia. n Juv. Sat. xiii. ver. 2, 3.
Ovid. Faft. lib. i. ver. 25, 26. Plutarch, in his Treatise, intitled, How far a Man is allowed to praise bimself, &c. ch. 5. 9 Valer. Maxim. lib. 3. cap. 7.
And, advancing first towards the Temple himself, the whole Assembly, not excepting his Accuser, followed in his Train. And, 'Petilius having been instigated by Cato to demand an Account of the Money which had passed through his Hands in the Province of Antioch, Scipio, who came to the Senate for this Purpose, produced a Book from under his Robe, wherein, he told them, was an exact Account of his Receipts and Disbursements; but, being required to deliver it to the Register, he refused it, saying, he would not so far difgrace himself; and he tore the Book to Pieces with his own Hands in the Prefence of the Senate. I cannot suppose that the most feared Conscience could have counterfeited fuch an Aflurance. • He had naturally too high a Spirit, says Livy', and was • accustomed to too great Fortune to know how to be cri• minal, and to descend to the Meanness of defending his own Innocence."
The Rack is a pernicious Invention, and seems to be rather a Proof of a Man's Patience than of
The Inconvenia the Truth, which indeed is concealed both encies of the by him who can bear it, and by him who Rack.
For why should Pain sooner make me confess what is the real Truth, than force me to say what is not ? And, on the contrary, if he who is nor guilty of that whereof he is accused, has the Patience to undergo those Torments, why should not he who is guilty have as much, when so fair a Reward as his Lite is set before him? I imagine that this Invention owes its Rise to the Consideration of the Power of Conscience, which seems to be aflifting to the Rack to make the guilty Person confess his Fault, and to weaken his Resolution; while, on the other Hand, it fortifies the Innocent against the Torture. To fay the Truth, 'tis a Remedy full of Uncertainty and Danger. What will not a Man fay, what will he not do, rather than suffer such a painful Torture ? Etiam innocentes cogit mentiri dolor': Vol. II.
i. - Tit. Liv. lib. xxxviii . cap. 54, 554
· Lib. xxxviii. cap. 52. • Ex Mimis Publianis,
i. e. Pain compels even the innocent to lye. From hence it comes to pass, that he whom the Judge has put to the Rack, with a view that he may not die innocent, makes him die both innocent and racked. Thousands have burthened their Confciences by it with falfe Confessions; in the Number of whom I place Philotas ", considering the Circumstances of the Process that Alexander commenced against him, and the Progress of his Torture. But so it is (say they) that 'tis the least Evil human Weakness could have invented; yet, in my Opinion, the Invention was very inhuman, and to very little Purpose.
Several Nations, not fo barbarous in this Respect as the The Use of the Greeks and Romans, by whom they were called Rack condemn- Barbarians, think it horrible and cruel to ed by several torment and pull a Man to Pieces for a Nations, and
Fault of which you are as yet in Doubt. Is why.
he to blame for your Ignorance? Are not you unjust, that, because you would not kill him without a Cause, you do worse than kill him? And, that this is the Case, do but observe how often Men chufe to die without Reason, rather than to pass through this Inquisition more painful than Execution, and so acute that it often dispatches them before it. I know not where I had this Story * ; but 'tis an exact Representation of the Conscience of our Justice : A Country-woman accused a Soldier to the General of the Army (who was a Grand Justiciary, and therefore determined all civil and criminal Causes in his Precinct) of having taken from her Children the little boiled Meat she had left to keep them
from u Q. Curtius, lib. vi. ch. 7. to che End of the Book.
* The Story is in Froifurt, and there, no Doubt, Montaigne had read it ; though, when he wrote thës Chapter, he seems to have forgot his Autho
y Bajazet I, whom Froilart calls Amorabaguir. I was lately given to understand, by the ingenious Commentator on Rabelais, Tom. V, p. 217, that 'Bajazet was so called, because he was the Son of Amurath; which I observe for the Sake of those who might be as ignorant of this Particular as I was, before I happened to cast my Eye upon the Page where 'tis mere rioned, in Bordefiu's Rabelais, printed at Amsterdam in 1711.
rity for it.
from Starving, the Army having pillaged every thing they could find. There was no Proof of this Fact; therefore the General ? cautioned the Woman to take good Heed of what the said, forasmuch as she would incur the Guilt of her own Accusation, if she was found in a Lye; but, dhe persisting in her Charge, he caused the Soldier's Belly to be ripped open, in order to be fure of the Truth of the Fact; and it appeared that the Woman was in the Right. An instructive Sentence this!
C H A P. VI.
cannot make us virtuous.
Exercise and Habit makes Things familiar to us.
tion, though we are ever so ready to affent thereto, should be powerful enough to lead us on to Reason and InAction, if we do not moreover exercise and struction, with form our Minds by Experience to the Course 0:ut Practice, which we are desirous they should take ; or elfe, when the Effects are in their Power, they will undoubtedly be embarrassed. This is the Reason why those of the Philosophers, who have aimed at the Attainment of any fuperior Excelleney, did not indulge themselves in Eafe and Security, and indolently wait for the Cruelties of Fortune to attack them in their Retirement; but, for Fear she should surprize them in the State of unexperienced and raw Soldiers, undisciplined for the Battle, they fallied out to meet her, and put themselves purposely upon the Proof of Hardships. Some abandoned their Riches, to exercise themselves in a voluntary Poverty; others fought for Labour, and the Austerity of a painful Life, to inure themselves to Misfortune and
• The whole Story is at large, and well attested, in Froissart's History, Vol. iv. ch. 87. : * If she had been convicted of a false Accusation, the General would have been in the same Cafe as the Judge who caused a Man to be hanged, after the Rack had extorted a Confession from him of a Crime, of which it appeared afterwards he was altogether innocent.