Page:Fables of Aesop and other eminent mythologists.djvu/63

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11  Æſop’s F A B L E S.



Sport before ; but fhe made a Shift however for the prefent, to flink into a Comer, where fhe lay Trembling and Panting till the Company went their Way. So foon as ever the Houfe was Quiet again, Well : My Court Sifter, fays (he, If This be the Way of Your Town-Gamboles, I'll e'en back to my Cottage, and my Mouldy Cheefe again,- for I had much rather lie Knabbing of Crufts, without either Fear or Danger, in my Own Little Hole, than be Miftrefs of the Whole World with Perpetual Cares and Alarums.

The   M O R A L.

The Difference letwixt a Court and a Country Life. The Delights, Innocence, and Security of the One, Compar'd with the Anxiety, the Lewdnefs, and the Hazards of the Other.

R E F L E X I O N.

TH e Defign of This Fable is to fet forth the Advantages of a Private Life, aboveThofeofa Publick; which are certainly very Great, if the Bleffings of Innocence, Security, Meditation, Good Air, Health, and found Sleeps, without the Rages of Wine, and Lull, or the Contagion of Idle Examples, can make them so : For Every Thing there, is Natural and Gracious. There's the Diverfion of All Healthful Exercifes for the Body; The Entertainment of the Place, and of the Rivers, without any Bafe Interell to Corrupt, either the Virtue, or the Peace of our Lives. He that's a Slave in the Town is a kind of a Petty Prince in the Country. He loves his neighbours, without Pride, and lives in Charity with the Whole World. All that he fees is his Own, as to the Delight of it, without Envying the Profperity. His Doors are not Troubled with either Dunns, or Fools, and he has the Sages of Ail Times in his Cabinet for his Companions. He lives to Himfelf as well as to the World, without Brawles or Quarrels, of any fort whatfoever. He fees No Bloody Murders -, He hears No Blafphemous Execrations ; He lives free from the Plagues of Jealoufie and Envy : And This is the Life in fine, that the Greateft, and the Wifeft Men in the World, Have, or would have made Choice of, if Cares and Bufinefs had not Hinder'd them from fo Great a Blefiing.

'Tis againft Common Juftice to pafs Sentence without hearing Both fides : And the Only way to come to a True Eftimate upon the Odds betwixt a Publick and a Private Life, is to Try Both. Virtue is only Glorious in the Native Simplicity of it, and while it holds no Communication with Interell, Fancy, Senfe, or Ornament : Wherefore Æfop has done Wifely to caft the Ifsue of the Queftion upon the Experiment, Far from Jupiter ( fays the Adage ) far from the Thunder. What fignifies the Splendor, and the Luxury of Courts, confidering the Slavifh Attendances, the Invidious Competitions, and the Mortal Difappointments that goalong with it. The Frowns of Princes, and the Envy of thofe that Judge by Hear fay, or Appearance 5 without either Reafon.or Truth ! To fay nothing of the Innumerable Temptations,Vices, and ExcefTes, of a Life of Pomp, and Pleafure. Let a man but fet the Pleafingof his Palate againft the Surfeits of Gluttony and Excefs, The Starving of his Mind againft a Pamperd Carcafs ; The Reftlefs Importunities of Tale-bearers and Back Friends, againft Fair Words and Profeflions only from