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Be religiously nice, even to Superftition, in keeping all thy Promifes or Covenants, tho' in never fo flight Matters; and tho' afterwards thou perceiveft, thou mighteft 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 impoffible, And therefore, whenever thou art not very certain of Performance, have a care to make them conditional.

If thou refufeft Dignities, Preferments, or Praifes, out of a feeming Lowlinets of Mind, and Contempt of the World:, and at the fame time underhand ftriveft to obtain them; or to propagate thy Fame by a feigned Renunciation; Know this, that thou art guilty of an abominable Falfity, and an arrogant Humility-not to be endured by Men of Senfe and Probity.

If thou dost Acts of Charity, that thou may' be feen of Men, and have the Name of a good and a charitable Perfon; or if thou intendeft, thy Charity fhould be an Abfalom's Pillar, to conti nue thy Name to Pofterity: In these Cafes, thy Charity (as thou calleft it) to others, is only Love to thyfelf, and thou haft thy Reward.

As for mendicating fishing Prefents, which are given with no generous Intention; but are Baits of a fmall 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 difdain, and utterly deteft them.

When thou haft a Mind to buy a Thing, fee that thou doft not difparage it, by putting about


Sufpicions of its Goodness, or publishing Faults, which thou knoweft not to belong to it; but inventeft, to the End, that thou may'ft put by another Buyer, and may'ft get it thyfelf for less than it is worth. These are moft pitiful, fhameful Tricks, which, 'tis to be wifhed, were no where to be found, but among the Pooreft, Lowest, and Worft 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 Falfity, but even by speaking what is true, in a Sense not understood by him. Otherwife he thinks, he buyeth one Thing, and thou dishonestly deliverest another.

If thou denyeft, or by any Art concealeft the Faults, which thou knoweft are in thy Commodity; or if thou commendest it for good Qualities it hath not; or if thou felleft by falfe Meafures, Weights, or Tale; or if thou exacteft a Price beyond its real Worth, and prefent Market: In thefe Cafes thou letteft not the Buyer have what he thought he bought of thee; and thou takeft of him fome Part of his Money for nothing at all: And fo thou art guilty of Lying, Extortion, and Thievery.

But if thou confirmeft all by Oaths and Imprecations, (as Traders very often do) thou then addeft Perjury to all the reft. And what a Heap of Villanies are here gathered together, enough to fink a poor Soul to Deftruction; and all this, only to fcrew a little more Money out of his Neighbour's Pocket; and that fometimes fo very little, that 'tis a Miracle, that any Man that L 6 thinks..

thinks he has a Soul, can fet it at fo miferable and contemptible a Price.

When thou felleft, let not the Price be heightened by the Neceffity, or Unfkilfulness of the Buyer: For the first is direct Uncharitableness to the Perfon, and Injustice in the Thing, because the Man's Neceffity could not naturally enter into the Confideration of the Value of the Commodity. And the other is downright Deceit, Oppreffion, and Extortion. Thou wouldeft not willingly be ferved fo thyself.

'Tis a very great Mistake in thee, if thou thinkeft of getting a good Name, and lafting Reputation in the World, by Tricking and false Appearances.

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

There are, I believe, not many Inftances of Men, who (if they understood and minded their Bufinefs) have ever fuffered much by their Uprightness and Integrity in Dealing: it being very hard to imagine, that a Trader fhould be a Lofer, by thofe Virtues which advance Credit and Reputation.

If thou employeft plain Men, and cant find fuch as are commonly honeft; 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 Bufinefs try to derive Credit to themfelves, without Regard to thee.

If thou trufteft a known Knave, thou haft no other Récompence, but to be accounted a Fool


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for thy Pains: And if thou trufteft thyself into Ruin, and Beggary, thou falleft unpitied, a Sacrifice to thy own Folly and Credulity. For if thou fuffereft thyfelf to be impofed upon by a known Deceiver, thou goeft Partner in the Cheat, and deceiveft thyfelf; and then thou art defpifed, and laughed at as a foft eafy Fellow; and one that is as unfit to be relyed on for thy Weakness, as the other can be for his Falfenefs.

In dealing with cunning Men thou shouldest ever confider their Ends, to interpret their Speeches. And it's good to fay little to them; and that which they leaft 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 faying fo; 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 Affurance that two Men are Friends, than when Experience makes them mutually acknowledgeit, whenfoever Opportunity ferves; or can be found out.

If fome Sort of Exigence fhould fo bring it about, as to caufe a Man of usual Honesty and fomething of Confcience, to diffemble, thou may'ft eafily perceive it: For he will feem difturbed, and loft in himfelf, and will hefitate in his Difcourfe, becaufe he feels his Heart and Tongue divided; which pulls him two different Ways at once.


Be ever prudent; and wary; and take heed of being caught and prefume not upon thy own Sufficiency too much. Men are every Jot as eafily impofed upon, as Birds, Beafts and Fishes, while the Eagernefs of Appetite fufpends the Exercife of Reafon. 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 thofe Animals. We fnap at the Bait without ever dreaming of the Hook, and Trap, and Snate.

: Let Confcience, and Honour, and good Nature, govern all thy Actions, and Dealings. Let particular Intereft and Love of thy felf carry thee no further, than Equity and Charity will bear thee out...

In all Things preserve Integrity. The Confcience of thy own Uprightnefs will alleviate the Toil of Bufinefs, and foften the Harfhnefs of ill. Succefs, and Difappointments, 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 thee perfectly fcorn, and hate all Tricks and Cheats: And if at any Time thou makest Use of Artifice, let it be only as a Counter-poifon; 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 eafy and more fafe, than to turn away into. Shuffling, and unfair Dealing. Yet commonly Mens Paffions, Customs, and evil Inclinations lead them into By-paths.. Deceive

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