Abbildungen der Seite

Be religiously nice, even to Superstition, in keeping all thy Promises or Covenants, tho' in never so flight Matters'; and tho' afterwards thou perceivest, thou mightest have done better: Yet let not any precedent Act of thine be al tered by any After-accident. Let nothing make thee break thy Word, or Agreement; unless it be unlawful, hurtful to the Party, or impossible, And therefore, whenever thou art not very cere tain of Performance, have a care to make them conditional.

If thou refusest Dignities, Preferments, or Praises, out of a seeming Lowlineis of Mind, and Contempt of the World:, and at the same tine underhand strivest to obtain them; or to propagate thy Fame by a feigned Renunciation : Know this, that thou art guilty of an abominable Fallity, and an arrogant Humility not to be endured by Men of Sense and Probity.

If thou doit Acts of Charity, that thou may'? be seen of Men, and have the Name of a good and a charitable Person; or if thou intendest, thy Charity should be an Abfalom's Pillar, to continue thy Name to Posterity : In these Cases, thy Charity (as thou callest it) to others, is only Love to thyself, and thou haft thy Reward.

As for mendicating fithing Presents, which are given with no generous Intention ; but are Baits of a small Fly, to take a great Fish with:: These are in Truth but a cunning Sort of Begging, and no better. I hope, thou wilt take up fo generous a Mind, as to disdain, and utterly detest them.

When thou hast a Mind to buy a Thing, see that thou doft not disparage it, by putting about


Suspicions of its Goodness, or publishing Faults; which thou knoweft not to belong to it; but inventest, to the End, that thou may'st put by another Buyer, and may'st get it thyself for less than it is worth. These are most pitiful, shameful Tricks, which, 'tis to be wished, were no where to be found, but among the Poorest, Lowest, and Worst of the People.

In Bargaining and Selling any thing (let the Way of the World be what it will) do not thou deceive the Buyer; not only by direct Falsity, but even by speaking what is true, in a Sense not understood by him. Otherwise he thinks, he buyeth one Thing, and thou dishonestly deliverest another.

If thou denyest, or by any Art concealest the Faults, which thou knoweft are in thy Commodity; or if thou commendest it for good Qualities it hath not; or if thou sellest by false Measures, Weights, or Tale; or if thou exactest a Price beyond its real Worth, and present Market: In these Cases thou lettest not the Buyer have what he thought he bought of thee; and thou takest of him some part of his Money for nothing at all: And so thou art guilty of Lying, Extortion, and Thievery.

But if thou confirmeit all by Oaths and Imprecations, (as Traders very often do thou then addest Perjury to all the rest. And what a Heap of Villanies are here gathered together, enough to fink a poor Soul to Destruction, and all this, only to screw a little more Money out of his Neighbour's Pocket; and that sometimes so vesy little, that 'tis a Miracle, that any Man that

L 6

thinks. thinks he has a Soul, can set it at fo miserable and contemptible a Price.

When thou sellest, let not the Price be heightened by the Necessity, or Unskilfulnefs of the Buyer: For the first is direct Uncharitableness to the Person, and Injustice in the Thing, because the Man's Necessity could not naturally enter into the Confideration of the Value of the Commodity. And the other is downright Deceit, Oppreslion, and Extortion. Thou wouldest not willingly be served so thyself.

'Tis a very great Mistake in thee, if thou thinkest of getting a good Name, and lasting Reputation in the World, by Tricking and falle Appearances.

If Integrity do not make thee prosperous and rich; yet it will at least keep thee from being miserable. A quiet and good Conscience is a continual Comfort come what will.

There are, I believe, not many Instances of Men, who (if they understood and minded their Bufiness) have ever suffered much by their Up"rightness and Integrity in Dealing: it being very hard to imagine, that a Trader should

be a Lofer, by those Virtues which advance Credit and Reputation.

If thou employeft plain Men, and can find fuch as are commonly honest; they will work faithfully, and do thy Business according to thy Orders. But cunning Fellows will, for their own Credit, venture without Command: and from thy Bufiness try to derive Credit to themselves, without Regard to thee.

If thog truftest a known Knave, thou hast 'no other Récompence, but to be accounted a Fool


for thy Pains. And if thou trustest thyself into: Ruin, and Beggary, thou fallest unpitied, a Sacrifice to thy own Folly and Credulity. For if thou sufferest thyself to be imposed upon by a known Deceiver, thou goeft Partner in the Cheat, and deceiveft thyself; and then thou art despised, and laughed at as a soft easy Fellow; and one that is as unfit to be relyed on for thy Weakness, as the other can be for his Falsenefs.

In dealing with cunning Men thou shouldest ever consider their Ends, to interpret their Speeches. And it's good to fay little to them; and that which they least look for. : Thou art to believe a Man when he promises what may turn to his own Advantage, as well as thine.

A Man's Word that tells thee he is thy Friend, ought not to be taken for his saying so; nor ought he to take thine. Both one and the other ought to give Proof (if they have Opportunity) of what they say. And nothing can give greater Aflurance that two Men are Friends, than when Experience makes them mutually acknowledge it, whenfoever Opportunity serves; or can be found out.

If some Sort of Exigence should so bring it about, as to cause a Man of usual Honesty and something of Conscience, to diffemble, thou may'it eafily perceive it: For he will seem disturbed, and loft in himfelf, and will hesitate in his Discourse, because he feels his Heart and Tongue divided; which pulle him two different Ways at once.


[ocr errors]

- Be eper' prudent:and wary; and take heed of being caught: and presume not upon thy own Sufficiency too much. Men are every sot as easily imposed upon, as Birds, Beasts and Fishes, while the Eagerness of Appetite fufpends the Exercife, of Reason. A Treat, a Woman, a Bottle of Wine is the fame Thing, that a Worm, a-Gudgeon, a Grain of Corn, or a Bit of Flesh is to those Animals. We snap at the Bait with out ever dreaming of the Hook, and Trap, and Spare.

Let Conscience, and Honour, and good Nature, govern all thy Actions, and Dealings. Let particular Interest and Love of thyself carry thee no further than Equity and Charity will bear thee out.

In all Things preserve Integrity. The Conscience of thy own Uprightness will alleviate the Toil of Business, and foften the Harshness of ill · Success, and Disappointments, and give thee an humble Confidence before God; when the Ingratitude of Man, or the Iniquity of the Times rob thee of other due Reward.

I would have the perfectly scorn, and hate all Tricks and Cheats: And if at any Time thou makest Use of Artifice, let it be only as a Counter-poison ; never to do Evil, but to avoid it ; never to affault others, but to defend thyfelf.

Keep the Ways of Integrity and Justice; it's both more, easy and morę, safe, than to turn away into Shuffling, and unfair Dealing. Yet commonly Mens Paflions, Customs, and evil Inclinations lead them into By-paths.


« ZurückWeiter »