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MAIDS FOR THE CONDUCT OF LIFE.
SELECTED FROM THE WORKS OF
SIR MATHEI HALE.
(Concluded from Page 27.)
MAXIMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF LIFE, AD “ If any person report unto you some ia
DRESSED IN LETTERS TO HIS SONS. jury done you by another, either in words or “ OBSERVE and mark, as well as yon
steeds, do not be over basty in believing it, may, what is the temper and disposition of
vor suddenly angry with the person so acthose persons, whose speeches you hear, whe
cused; for possibly it may be faise or misther they be grave, serious, sober, wise, dis- taken; and, how unseemly a thing will it be, creet prisons; if they be such, their speeches when your credulity and passion, shall per
chance commonly are like then selves, and will de- Carry you, upon a supposed injury, to
do wrong to bim that hath done you none; or, serve your attention and observation. But if
at least, when the bottom and truth of the they be light, impertinent, vain, passionate persons, their speecb is, for the most part,
accusation is known, you will be ashamed of according; and the best advantage that you
your passion ? beliere not a report till the will gain by their speech, is but thereby to
party accused be heard; and if the report be Searn their dispositions, to discern their fail.
true, yet be not transported either with pasings, and to make yourselves the more cau
sion, hasty anger, or revenge, for that will tous, both in your couservation with them,
be your own torment and perturbation; ever, and in your own speech and deportment, for,
when a person is accused, or reported to have in the unseemliness of their speech, you may
injured you, before you give yourself leave to better discern and avoid the like in yourselves.
be angry, think with yourself, why should I
be angry before I am certain it is true! or, if “ If any person, that you do not very well know iu be a person of truth, sobriety, and
it be true, bow can I tell how much I sbould
be weight, relate strange stories, be not too ready it may be, he bath done me wrong, vet possibly
angry till I know the whole matter? thoughi, or easy to believe them, nor report them after him; and yet (unless he be one of your fami
it is not so much as it is represented, or it was liar acquaintance) be not too forward to con
done by mistake, or, it may be, he is sorry tradict him; or if the necessity of the occasion
for it: I will not be angry till I know there be require you to declare your opinion of what is cause, and if there be cause, yet I will not be 80 reported, let it be modestly and gently, not
angry, till I know the whole cause, for till too bluntly or coarsely; by this means, on the
then, if I must be angry at all, yet I know pot one side, you shall avoid being abused by your
how much to be angry; it may be it is not too much credulity; on the other side, you
worth my anger, or, if it be, it may be it de. shall avoid guarrels, and distaste.
serves but a little. This will keep your mind “ If any man speuk any thing to the disad. and carriage, upon such occasious, in a due vantage or reproach of one that is absent, be
temper and order; and will disappoint malinot too ready to believe it, only observe and
cious or officious tale bearers. remember it; for it may be, it is not true, or
“If a man, whose futegrity you do not very it is not all true, or some oiber circumstances well know, makes you great and extraordinary were mingled with it, which might give the
professions and promises, give him as kind business reported a justification, or at least thanks as may be, but give not much credit to an allay, an extenuation, or a reasonable ex
it: cast about with yourself what may be the cuse: in most actions, if that which is bad reason of this wonderful kindness; it is twenty alone, or seems lo he so, be reported, omitting to one but you will fivd something that he that which is good, or the circumstances that aims at besides kindness to you : it may be accompany it, any action may be easily mis. he hath sonething to beg or buy of you, or to represented; be not too lasty therefore to be seli to yo!, or some such bargain that speaks lieve a reproach, till you kuow the truth, and out, at least, his own advantage, and not the whole truth.
yours; and if he serve his turn upon you, er
if he be disappointed, his kindness will grow " Now as concerning your own speech, and cool.
how you are to manage it; something may be “ If a man fatter and commend you to your collected out of what goes before, but I shall face, or to one that he thinks will tell you of add some things else. it, it is a thousand to one, either he bath de. “ Let your speech be true, never speak any ceived or abused you some way, or means to thing for a truth which you know, or believe, do so: remember the fable of the fox, com. to be false: it is a great sin against God, that meading the singing of the crow, when she gave you a tongue to speak your mind and had somewhat in her mouth that the fox not io speak a lie; it is a great offence against liked.
humanity itself, for where there is no truth “ If a person be choleric, passionate, and there can be no safe society between man and give you ill language, remember rather to man: and it is an injury to the speaker; for, pity him than to be moved into anger and besides the base disreputation it casts upon passion with him; for most certainly that mau bim, it doth in time bring a man to that base. is in a distemper and disorder; observe him ness of mind, that he can scarce tell how to ealmly, and you shall see him in so much per tell truth, or to avoid lying, even when he turbation and disturbance, that you will easily bath no colour of vecessity for it; and in time believe he is not a pattern to be imitated by he comes to such a pass, that as another man you; and therefore return pot choler nor an. caunot believe he tells a truth, so he himself ger, for angry words; for you do but put scarce knows when he tells a lie: and, observe yourself iuto a kind of frenzy, because you it, a lie ever returns with discovery and shame see bim so. Be sure you return not railing, | at the last. reproacbing, or reviling for reviling, for it “ As you must be careful not to lie, so you doth but kiudle inore heat, and you will find must avoid coming near it; you must not silence, or, at least, very gentle words, the equivocate, you must not speak tbat absomost exquisite revenge of reproaches that can lutely which you bave but by hearsay, or be ; for either it will cure the distemper in the relation; you must not speak that as upon other, and make him see and be sorry for his kvowledge, which you have but by conjecture passion, or it will torrent him with more per or opinion only. turbation and disturbance. But howsoever it “Let your words be few, especially wben kceps your innoceuce, gives you deserved re your betters, or strangers, or men of more putation of wisdom and moderation, and experience, or understandiug, are in place; keeps up the serenity and composure of your for you do yourself at once two great mis. mind; whereas passion and anger do make a chiefs. 1. You betray and discover your own man unfit for any thing that becomes him, as weakness and folly. 2. You rob yourself of that a mau or a Christian.
opportunity which you might otherwise have “ Some men are excellent in knowledge of to gain knowlevige, wisdom, and experience, husbandry; some of planting, some of garden- by hearing those that you silence by your iming, some in the mathematics, some in one pertinent talking. kind, some in another: in all your conver “ Be not over earnest, loud, or violent in sation, learn as near as you can, wherein the talking, for it is unseemly; and earnest and skill and excellence of any person lies, and loud talking makes you over-shoot and lose put bim upou talk of that subject, and ob- your business; when you should be considerserve it, and keep it in memory or writing; ing and pondering your thoughts, and how by this means you will glean up the worth and to express them significantly to the purpose, excellence of every person you meet with, and you are striving to keep your tongue going, at an easy rate put together that which may and to silence an opponent, not with reasou, be for your use upon all occasions.
but with noise. “ Converse not with a liar, or a swearer, or “ Be careful not to interrupt another in his a man of obscene or wanton language; for || talk, hear him out, you will understand him. either he will corrupt you, or at least it will the better, and be able to give him the better bazard your reputation to be one of the like answer; it may be, if you will give him leare, making; and, if it do neitber, yet will fill | he will say somewhat more than you have yet your memory with such discourses that will heard, or well understood, or tbat which you be troublesume to you in aftertime, and the did not expect. returns of the remembrance of the passages “ Always before you speak, especially where which you long since heard of this nature, the business is of moment, consider before will haunt you when your thoughts should be hand, weigh the sense of your mind, whicle better employed.
you intend to utter, think upon the expres. N., III. Vol. L.-N.S.
sions you intend to use, that they be siguifi condition, credil, detirmity, or natural defects caut, pertinent, and inoffensive; and whereas of any person ; for these leave a decp init is the ordinary course of inconsiderate per pressivn, and are a most apparent injustice; sons to speak their words, and then to think, , for, were you so used, you uould take it inor not to thiuk till they speak; think first, and : wardly amiss; and many times such an ilspeak aftcr, if it be in any malier of moment jury costs a man dear, when he little tbiuks or seriousness.
“ Be willing to speak well of the absent, if “ Be very careful that you give no reproach. you do not know they deserve ill: by this lful, bitter, menacing or spiteful words to aug means you shall make yourself many friends, person; nay, unt to servants, or other persons and sometimes an undeserved coomendulion of an interior condition; and that upon these is not lost to tbe party to whom it is given. considerations. ]. There is not the meanest I have knowa some inen, that bave met with
person but you may stand in need of him in an undeserved commendation, out of shame of one kind, or at some time or other; good being worse than they have been reported, words make friends, bad words make enemies; secretly to take up practices answerable to it is thic l'est prudence in the word to make as tbeir commendation, and so to make them many friends as honestly as you can, especially selves as good as tliey are reported.
when it may be done at so easy a rate as a good “ Be sure you give wot an ili report to any word; and it is the greatest fully that can be that you are not sure deserves it: and in most
to make an enemy by ill words, which do not cases, though a mau deserves ill, yet you at all any good to the party that useth them, should be very sparing to report him so; in 2. Il words provoke ill words again, and some cases indeed you are bound, in honesty commonly such ill words as are gained by such and justice, to give that account concerning a prevocation, especially of an inferior, stick the demerit or default of a person that he de closer, and wound deeper, thau such as come serves; as, namely, when you are called to unprovoked by ill language, from an equal. give testimony for the ending of a controversy, 3. Where faults are connitted, they may, or when the concealing of it may harden and and hy a superior, must be reproved; but lot encourage a person in an evil way, or bring it be done without reproaches, or bitterness, another into danger; in such cases, the very Otherwise it loseth ils due end and use, and, duty of charity biuds you to speak your know instead of reforming the offence, exasperates ledge ; nay, your probable fear or suspicion of the offender, and makes him worse, and gives such a person, so it be done for prevention of him the cudgel to strike again, because it disgreater inconvenience, and in love, and espe covers your owu weakness when you are reprecially if the discovery be made to a person heuding another, and lays you justly open to that hath a superintendence, care, or autho his reproof, and makes your own but scorned rity ever the person complained of; for this and disesteemed: I press this the rather, beis an act of love and duty. But for any per
most ordinarily ill language is the bon maliciously, busily, and with intent to
folly of children, and of weak and passionate scandalize another, to be whispering tales and people. stories to the prejudice of another, this is a “ If there be occasion for you to speak in fault: if you know any good of any person, any company, always be careful, if you speak speak it as you bare opportunity; if you know at all, to speak latest, especially if strangers any evil, speak it, if it be really and prudently are in company; for, by this means, you will douc, for the good of him, and the safety of bave the advantage of kuowing the sense, others; otherwise rather chuse to say no judgment, temper, and relations of others, thing, than to say any thing reproachfully, which may be a great light and help to you in ma iciously, or officiously, to bis prejudice. ordering your speech; and you will better “ Avoid swearing in your ordinary commu
kuow the inclination of the company, and nication, unless called 10 it by the magistrate, speak with more advantage and acceptation, and not only the grosser oaths, but the lesser; and with more security against giving of. and not only oaths, but imprecations, earnest fence. and deep protestations: as you have the com “ Be careful that you commend not your. mendable example of good men to justify a selves; it is the most unuseful and ungrateful solemo oath hefore a magistrate, so you have thing that can be; you should avoid battery the precept of our Saviour forbidding it other from others, but especially decline flattering wise.
of yourselves, it is a sign your reputation is Avoid scofling, and bitter, and bitiug jeer- small and sinking, if your own tongues must 10%, and jesting, especially at your frieod's be your flatlerers or commenders; and it is a
felsome and unpleasant thing for others to be resolute against it, and when your resoluhear it.
tion is once known, you will never be solicited · Abhor all foul, unclean, and obscene to it. The Rechabites were commanded by speeches; it is a sign that the heart is cur. their father not to drink wine, and they rupt, and such kind of speeches will make it obeyed it, and had a blessing for it; my comworse, it will taint aud corrupt yourselves, mand to you is not so strict, I allow you the and those that hear it, and brings disreputa- moderate use of wine and strong drink at your tion to those that use it.
meals, I only forbid you the excess, or the un“ Never use any prophane speeches, nor necessary use of it, and those places and make jests of scripture expressions; when companies, and artifices iliat are teniptations yon use the names of God, or of Christ, or to it. any passages or words of the holy scripture, “ Be frugal of your time, it is one of the use them with reverence and seriousness, and best jewels we have; and to that end avoid not lightly, vainly, or scurriiously, for it is idleness, it consumes your time, and lays you taking the name of God in vain.
open to worse inconveniences; let your recre“ If you bear of any uuscemly expressions ations be healthy, and creditable, and mode. used in religious exercises, you must be careful rate, without too much expence of time or to forget and not to publish them, or if you money: go not to stage.plays, they are a most at all mention them, let it be with pity and profuse wasting of time; value time by that scrrow, vot witli derision or reproach.
estimate we would have of it when we want “ Do not uphraid any, or deride any man it; what would not a sick man give for those for a pious, strict, or religious couversation ; portions of time, of healthi, that he had forfor if he be sincere, you dislinoor God and merly improvidently wasted? injure him: if he be an hypocrite, yet it is “ The Vanity of young men in loving fine more than you know, or if you know him to cloaths, and pew fashious, and valuing themhe sich, vet his external piety and strictness selves by them, is one of the most childish is not his fault, but his dissimulation and liy- pieces of fully that can be, and the occasion pocrisy, and though his hypocrisy be to be of great profuseness and mdoing of young detested, his external picty and religion is to
avoid curiosity and too mucb expensivebe commended, not derided.
ness in your apparel : let your apparel be “ I would have you always keep a habit of comely, plain, decent, cleanly, not curious or the fear of God upon your beart; consider his costly; it is the sign of a weak head-piece, to presence, order your life as in his presence; li be sick for every new fashion, or to think consider that he always sees you, beholds and himself the better in it, or the worse without takes notice of you, and especially whether it. you carry yourself auswerable to this great “ Be very careful to speak truth, and bedeliverance; it is one of those talents for ware of lying; as lying is displeasing to God, which he will expect an account from you. so it is offensive to man, and always, at the
“I would have you frequently and thauko latter end, returns to the reproach or disad. fully consider of the great love of God in Jesus vantage of him that used it; it is an eviChrist, whom he bath given to be the instruc dence of a weak and unmanly miud. Be caretor, and governor, and sacritice for the sins of ful that you believe not bastily strange news you and all mankind; through whom, upon and stories, and be much more careful that repentance, you have assurance of the remis. you do not report them, though at the second sion of sins, and eternal life; and frequently haul; for if it prove an untruth, as comconsider bow great an engagement this is upon monly strange stories prove 50, it brings an you, and all mankind, to live according to imputation of levity upon him that reports it, such a hope and such a mercy.
and possibly some disadvantage to others. “ Be very moderate in eating and drinking ; “ Run pot into debt, either for wares sold, drunkenness is the great vice of the time; and or money borrowed; be content to want tbings by drunkevness, I do mean, not only gross that are not of absolute necessity, rather than drunkenness, but also tipling, drinking ex to run upon the score; such a mau pays, at cessively, and in moderately, or more than is the latter end, a third part more than the convenient or necessary; avoid those com principal comes to, and is in perpetual serpanies that are given to it, come not into vitude to his creditors, lives uncomfortably, those places that are devoted to that beastly is necessitated to increase his debts to stop vice; namely, taverns and ale-houses ; avoid bis creditors mouths, and many times falls and refuse those devices that are used to oc into desperate courses. casion it, as drinking and pledging of healths : “ Lastiy, I shall conclude with one advice
more, without the observance whereof my || able to advise them, impatient of reproof, love labour in writing this long epistle will be pro- to be fattered, and so become incapable of bably fruitless: be not wise in your owu con- good and wise counsel, till their follies have ceit, this is the unhappy error, and many times || reduced them to extreme straits and inconve. the ruin of young men especially: they are niencies. usually rasli, giddy, and inconsiderate, and “ And thus I have, in this long epistle, yet extremely confident of that which they given you the means how you may improve have least reason to trust; namely, their own both your own sickness and recovery, to the avderstanding, which reuders them most re- ll glory of God, and your own benefit.” * served from them that are willing and best
THE MYSTERIOUS GUESTS.
ABOUT sixty years ago, two Englislımentbing else than fools. Here the matter rested. one day arrived at Calais in the Dover packet. || In this opinion Du Long was still more conThey did not take up their quarters at the formed when at the end of a few weeks one of hotel of Mons. Dessein, on whom the author his guests, an elderly man, thus addressed of the Sentimental Journey bestowed such cele-him :-“ Landlord,” said he, “
your brity, but went to an obscure inn kept by a house; and if you will acquiesce in a certain man of the name of Du Long. They desired | whim, it is probable that we might continue to have his best apartments, spent a great for a long time 10 spend our money with you.” deal of money, relished the produce of his «« Your bonours have only to give your comwretched kitchen, and thought his adulterated mands; an ionkeeper is by profession the slave wine perfectly genuine. From day to day Du | of all the whims that throng to bim from all Long supposed that they would continue their the four quarters of the globe.” journey and proceed to the capital; for that
“ You bave, to be sure,* continued the they had come merely to see Calais was an
Englishman, “had a prodigiously large beast idea tov absurd to enter any body's head. But painted on your sign ; but your house is only su far from continuing their journey and pro a fly among inus; it scarcely contains three ceeding to the capital, they did not even intolerable rooms, and unfortunately all of them spect what was worth seeing at Calais; for look into the street. We are fund of rest; we except going out now and then to shoot suipes, I want to sleep. Your watchman has a very they kept close at home, eating, drinking, and loud voice, and the coaches roll the whole doing nothing
night along the street so as to make all the “ They may be spies," thought the host, | windows rattle. We wake every quarter of an " or runaways, or fools.
No matter: what is hour to curse them, and fall asleep again to Chat to me? They pay bonestly.” When he be again awaked in another quarter of an
vas sitting in an evening over a pint of wine hour. You must admit, any dear fellow, that with his neighbour and relation, the grocer, this is enough to destroy our lealth and exthey used to rack their brains about the mys-haust our patience.” terious guests. “ They are spies," said the
The host shrugged his shoulders." How grocer; one of them squints with his left
can it be helped ?" eye.”
“ Very easily,” replied the stranger; “if “ A man may squint without being a spy,"
you are not afraid of a little expence, in which rejoined the host; “I should rather take them
we will go balves without requiring at our for runaways, for they read all my newspapers, || departure the smallest compensation.” probably for the sake of the advertisements."
Du Long, whose barren field bad, since the Hiskinsman then assured bin that all English. | arrival of the Englishmen, been daily fertilized men spend at least a twelfth part of their lives with a shower of guineas, promised to do all in reading newspapers.
The conclusion ti which they generally came was, that as the
* Many of these precepts were written to said foreigners were apparently neither spies one of his sous on his recovery from a danpor runaways, they could not possibly be