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therefore this inconvenience, it was ftipulated between them by article, and confirmed by the confent of each family, that, notwithstanding they here poffeffed the species indif. ferently, upon the death of every single perfon, if he was found to have in him a certain proportion of evil, he should be dispatched into the infernal regions by a passport from Pain, there to dwell with Misery, Vice, and the Furies, Or on the contrary, if he had in him a certain proportion of good, he should be dispatched into heaven by a passport from Pleasure, there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue, and the Gods.
CHA P. V.
LA BO U R.
ABOUR, the offspring of Want, and the mother of
Health and Contententment, lived with her two daughters in a little cottage, by the fide of a hill, at a great distance from town. They were totally unacquainted with the great, and kept no better company than the neighbouring villagers ; but having a desire of seeing the world, they forsook their companions and habitation, and determined to travel. Labour went soberly along the road with Health on the right hand, who by the sprightliness of her conversation, and songs of cheerfulnefs and joy, foftened the toile of the way ; while Contentment went smiling on the left, supporting the steps of her mother, and by her perpetual good-humour increasing the vivacity of her fifter.
In this manner they travelled over forests and through towns and villages, till at last they arrived at the capital of the kingdom. At their entrance into the great city, the Moс
ther conjured her daughters never to lose fight of her ; for it was the will of Jupiter, she said, that their separation should be attended with the utter ruin of all three. But Health was of too gay a difpofition to regard the counfels of Labour : lhe suffered herself to be debauched by Intemperance, and at last died in child-birth of Disease. Contentment, in the absence of her fifter, gave herself
to the enticements of Sloth, and was never heard of after ; while Labour, who could have no enjoyment without her daugh. ters, went every where in search of them, till she was at last seized by Laflitude in her way, and died in misery.
с нА Р.
THE OLD MAN AND HIS ASS.
N old man and a little boy were driving an ass to the
next market to sell. What a fool is this fellow (says a man upon the road) to be trudging it on foot with his son, that his ass may go light ! The old man, hearing this, set his boy upon the ass, and went whistling by the side of him. Why, firrah! (cries a second man to the boy) is it fit for you to be riding, while your poor old father is walking on foot ? The father, upon this rebuke, took down his boy from the ass, and mounted himself. Do you see (says a third) how the lazy old knave rides along upon his beast, while his poor little boy is almost crippled with walking ? The old man no sooner heard this, than he took up his son behind him. Pray, honest friend (says a fourth) is that ass your own? Yes, says the man. One would not have thought fo, replied the other, by your loading him so unmercifully: You and your fon are better able to carry the poor beast than
he you. Any thing to please, lays the owner ; and alighting with his fon they tied the legs of the ass together, and by the help of a pole endeavoured to carry him upon their shoulders over the bridge that led to the town. This was so entertaining a fight, that the people ran in crowds to laugh at its till the ass, conceiving a diflike to the overcomplaisance of his master, burst asunder the cords that tied him, Nipt from the pole, and tumbled into the river. The poor old man made the best of his way home, ashamed and vexed, that by endeavouring to please every body, he had pleased no body, and loft his ass into the bargain.
THEN Hercules was in that part of his youth, in
which it was natural for him to consider what course of life he ought to pursue, he one day retired into a desart, where the silence and solitude of the place very much favoured his meditations. As he was musing on his present condition, and very much perplexed in himself on the state of life he should chuse, he saw two women of a larger ftature that ordinary approaching towards him One of them had a very noble air, and graceful deportment; her beauty was natural and easy, her person clean and unfpotted, her eyes cast towards the ground with an agreeable reserve, her motion and behaviour full of modesty, and her raiment as white as snow. The other had a great deal of health and floridness in her countenance, which he had helped with an artificial white and red; and endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her mien, by a mixture of
affectation in all her gestures. She had a wonderful confi. dence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her dress, that she thought were the most proper to shew her complexion to advantage. She cast her eyes upon herself, then turned them on those that were present, to see how they liked her, and often looked on the figure she made in her own shadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, fhe stepped before the other lady, who came forward with a regular composed carriage, and running up to him, accosted him after the following manner :
My dear Hercules, says she, I find you are very much divided in your own thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to chuse : be my friend, and follow me ; I will lead you into the possession of pleasure, and out of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noise and disquietude of business. The affairs of cither war or peace shall have no power to difturb you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and to entertain every fenfe with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfumes, concerts of music, crowds of beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into this region of delights, this world of pleasure, and bid farewel for ever to care, to pain, to business.
HERCULES hearing the lady talk after this manner, defired to know her name ; to which he answered, My friends, and those who are well acquainted with me, call me Happiness; but my enemies, and those who would injure my reputation, have given me the name of Pleasure.
By this time the other lady was come up, who addressed herself to the
young hero in a very different manner. HERCULES, says she, I offer myself to you because I know you are descended from the Gods, and give proofs. of that
descent by your love to virtue, and application to the studies proper for your age. This makes me hope you will gain, both for yourself and me, an immortal reputation. But, before I invite you into my society and friendship, I will be open and sincere with you, and must lay down this as an eftablished truth, that there is nothing truly valuable which can be purchased without pains and labour. The Gods have fet a price upon every real and noble pleasure. If you would gain the favour of the Deity, you must be at the pains of worshipping him ; if the friendship of good men, you must Study to oblige them ; if you would be honoured by your country, you must take care to serve it. In short, if
you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become mafter of all the qualifications that can make you so. These are the only terms and conditions upon which I can propose happiness. The Goddess of Pleasure here broke in upon her discourse : You see, said she, Hercules, by her own confeffion, the way to her pleasures is long and difficult, whereas that which I propose is short and easy. Alas ! said the other lady, whose visage glowed with passion made up of scorn and pity, what are the pleasures you propose ? To eat before you are hungry, drink before you are athirst, Mleep before you are tired ? to gratify appetites before they are raised, and raise fuch appetites as nature never planted. You never heard the most delicious music, which is the praise of one's self ; nor saw the most beautiful object, which is the work of one's own hands. Your votaries pass away their youth in a dream of mistaken pleasures, while they are hoarding up anguish, torment, and remorse, for old age.
As for me, I am the friend of Gods and of good men, an agreeable companion to the artizan, an houshold guardian to the fathers of families, a patron and protector of servants,