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3. Cheerfulness bears the same friendly regard to the mind as to the body : it banishes all anxious care and discontent, sooths and composes the passions, and keeps the soul in a perpetual calm. But having already touched on this last consideration, I shall here take notice, that the world, in which we are placed, is filled with innumerable objects that are proper to raise and keep alive this happy temper of mind.

4. If we consider the world in its subserviency to man, one would think it was made for our use; but if we consider it in its natural beauty and harmony, one would be apt to conclude it was made for our pleasure. The sun, which is as the great soul of the universe, and produces all the necessaries of life, has a particular influence in cheering the mind of man, and making the heart glad.

5. Those several living creatures which are made for our service or sustenance, at the same time either fill the woods with their music, furnish us with game, or raise pleasing ideas in us by the delightfulness of their appearance. Fountains, lakes, and rivers, are as refreshing to the imagination, as to the soil through which they pass.

6. There are writers of great distinction, who have made it an argument for Providence, that the whole earth is covered with green; rather than with any other colour, being such a right mixture of light and shade, that it comforts and strengthens the eye instead of weakening or grieving it. For this reason, several painters have a green cloth hanging near them, to ease the eye upon, after too great an application to their colouring.

7. A famous modern philosopher accounts for it in the following manner; all colours that are more luminous, overpower and dissipate the animal spirits which are employed in sight; on the contrary, those that are niore obscure do not give the animal spirits a sufficient exercise; whereas the rays that produce in us the idea of green, fall upon the eye in such a due proportion, that they give the animal spirits their proper play, and, by keeping up the struggle in a just balance, excite a very pleasing and agreeable sensation. Let the cause be what it will, the effect is certain ; for which reason, the poets ascribe to this particular colour the epithet of cheerful.

8. To consider further this double end in the works of nature, and how they are, at the same time, both useful and entertaining we find that the most important parts in the vegetable world are those which are the most beautiful. These are the seeds by which the several races of plants are propagated and continued, and which are always lodged in flowers or blossoms. Nature, seems to hide her principal design, and to be industrious in making the earth gay and delightful, while she is carrying on her great work, and intent upon her own preservation. The hus. bandınan, after the same manner, is employed in laying out the whole country into a kind of garden or landscape and making every thing smile about him, whilst, in reality, he thinks of nothing but of the harvest and increase which is to arise from it.

9. We may further observe how Providence has taken care to keep up this cheerfulness in the mind of man, by having formed it after such a manner, as to make it capable of conceiving delight from several objects which seem to have very little use in them; as from the wildness of rocks and deserts, and the like grotesque parts of nature. Those who are versed in philosophy may still carry this consideration higher by observing, that if matter had appeared to us endowed only with those real qualities which it actually possesses, it would have made but a very joyless and uncomfortable figure; and why has Providence given it a power of producing in us such imaginary qualities as tastes and colours, sounds and smells, heat and cold, but that man, while he is conversant in the lower stations of nature, might have his mind cheered and delighted with agreeable sensations ? In short, the whole universe is a kind of theatre filled with objects that either raise in us pleasure, amusement, or admiration.

10. The reader's own thoughts will suggest to him the vicissitudes of day and night, the change of seasons, with all that variety of scenes which diversify the face of nature, and fill the mind with a perpetual succession of beautiful and pleasing images.

I shall not here mention the several entertainments of art, with the pleasures of frendship, books, conversation, and other accidental divertions of life, because I would only take notice of such incitements to a cheerful temper, as offer themselves to persons of all ranks and conditions, and which may sufficiently shew us, that Providence did not design this world should be filled with murmurs and repinings, or that the heart of man should be involved in gloom and melancholy.

11. I the more inculcate this cheerfulness of temper, as it is a virtue in which our countrymen are observed to be more deficient than any other nation. Melancholy is a kind of dæmon that haunts our island, and often conveys herself to us in an easterly wind. A celebrated French povelist, in opposition to those who begin their romances with a flowery season of the year, enters on his story thus: In the gloomy month of November, when the people of England hang and drown themselves, a disconsolate lover walked out into the fields, &c.

12. Every one ought to fence against the temper of his climate or constitution, and frequently to indulge in himself those considerations which may give him a serenity of mind; and enable him to bear up cheerfully against those little evils and misfortunes which are common to human nature, and which, by a right inprovement of them, will produce a satiety of joy, and an uninterrupted happiness.

13. At the same time that I would engage my reader to consider the world in its most agreeable lights, I must own there are many evils which naturally spring up amidst the entertainments that are provided for us; but these, if rightly considered, should be far from overcasting the mind with sorrow, or destroying that cheerfulness of temper which I have been recommending.

14. This interspersion of evil with good, and pain with pleasure, in the works of nature, is very truly ascribed by Mr. Locke in his Essay upon Human Understanding, to a moral reason, in the following words :

Beyond all this, we may find another reason why God hath scattered up an down several degrees of pleasure and pain in all the things that environ and effect us and blended them together, in almost all that our thoughts and senses have to do with: that we finding imperfection, dissatisfaction, and want of complete happiness in all the enjoyments which the creature can afford us, might be led to seek it in the enjoyment of him, with whom there is fullness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Discretion. 1.

I

HAVE often thought if the minds of men were laid open, man and that of the fool. There are infinite reveries, numberless extravagancies, and a perpetual train of vanities which pass through both The great difference, that the first knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for conversation, by suppressing some, and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently.fly out in words. This sort of discretion, however, has no place in private conversation between intimate friends. On such occasions the wisest men very often talk like the weakest; for indeed the talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.

2. Tully has therefore very justly exposed a precept delivered by some ancient writers, that a man should live with his enemy in such a manner, as might leave him room to become his friend; and with his friend in such a manner, that if he became his enemy, it should not be in his power to hurt him. The first part of this rule, which regards our behaviour towards an enemy, is indeed very reasonable, as well as prudential; but the latter part of it, which regards our behaviour towards a friend, savours more of cunning than of discretion, and would cut a man off from

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the greatest pleasures of life, which are the freedoms of conversation with a bosom friend. Besides, that when a friend is turned into an enemy, and (as the son of Sirach calls him) a betrayer of secrets, the world is just enough to accuse the perfidiousness of the friend rather than the indiscretion of the person who confided in him.

3. Discretion does not only show itself in words, but in all the circumstances of action; and is like an under-agent of Providence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary concerns of life.

There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none su useful as discretion; it is this indeed which gives a value to all the rest, which sets them at work in their proper times and places, and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possesed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit, impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness, the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice.

4. Nor does discretion only make a man the master of his own parts, but of other men's. The discreet man finds out the talJents of those he converses with, and knows how to apply them to proper uses. Accordingly,

if we look into particular communities and divisions of men, we may observe, that it is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to the society. A man with great talents, but void of discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fable, strong and blind, endowed with an irresistible force, which for want of sight, is of no use to him.

5. Though a man has all other perfections, and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world; but if he has this single talent in perfection, and but a common share of others, he may do what he pleases in his station of life.

At the same time that I think discretion the most useful talent a man can be master of, I look upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds. Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper and laudable methods of attaining them; cunning has only private, selfish aims, and sticks at nothing which may make them succeed.

6. Discretion has large and extended views, and, like a well formed eye, commands a whole horizon: cunning is a kind of short-sightedness, that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance. Discretion, the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who possesses it; cunning, when it is once detected, loses its force, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done, had he passed only for a plain man. Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life: cunning is a kind of instinct that - only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare.

7. Discretion is only found in men of strong sense and good understandings; cunning is often to be met with in brutes thenselves, and in persons who are but the fewest removes from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same manner as vivacity is often mista. ken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.

The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his condition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at present.

8. He knows, that the misery or happiness which are reserved for him in another world, lose nothing of their reality by being placed at so great a distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because they are remote. He considers that those pleasures and pains which lie hid in eternity, approach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in

their full weight and measure, as much as those pains and plea• sures which he feels at this very instant. For this reason he is

careful to secure to himself that which is the proper happiness of his nature, and the ultimate design of his being.

9. He carries his thoughts to the end of every action, and considers. the most distant as well as the most immediate effects of it. He supercedes every little prospect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his views of an hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality, his schemes are large and glorious, and his conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods.

10. I have, in this essay upon discretion, considered it both as an accomplishment and as a virtue, and have therefore described it in its full extent; not only as it is conversant about worldly affairs, but as it regards our whole existence; not only as it is the guide of a mortal creature, but as it is in general the director of a reasonable being. It is in this light that discretion is represented by the wise man, who sometimes mentions it under the name of discretion, and sometimes under that of wisdom.

11. It is indeed (as described in the latter part of this paper) the greatest wisdom, but at the same time in the power of every one to attain. Its advantages are infinite, but its acquisition easy; or, to speak of her in the words of the apocryphal writer, 6 Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek ber.

12. “She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them. He that seeketh her early, shall have no great travel: for he shall find her sitting at his doors. To

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