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

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11
Æſop's FABLES.

Sport before; but ſhe made a Shift however for the preſent, to ſlink into a Corner, where ſhe lay Trembling and Panting till the Company went their Way. So ſoon as ever the Houſe was Quiet again, Well: My Court Siſter, ſays ſhe, If This be the Way of Your Town-Gamboles, I'll e'en back to my Cottage, and my Mouldy Cheeſe again; for I had much rather lie Knabbing of Cruſts, without either Fear or Danger, in my Own Little Hole, than be Miſtreſs of the Whole World with Perpetual Cares and Alarums.

The Moral.

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

REFLEXION.

The Deſign of This Fable is to ſet forth the Advantages of a Private Life, above Thoſe of a Publick; which are certainly very Great, if the Bleſſings 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 Diverſion of All Healthful Exerciſes for the Body; The Entertainment of the Place, and of the Rivers, without any Baſe 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 Proſperity. His Doors are not Troubled with either Dunns, or Fools, and he has the Sages of All Times in his Cabinet for his Companions. He lives to Himſelf as well as to the World, without Brawles or Quarrels, of any ſort whatſoever. He ſees No Bloody Murders; He hears No Blaſphemous Execrations ; He lives free from the Plagues of Jealouſie and Envy : And This is the Life in fine, that the Greateſt, and the Wiſeſt Men in the World, Have, or would have made Choice of, if Cares and Buſineſs had not Hinder'd them from ſo Great a Bleſſing.

'Tis againſt Common Juſtice to paſs Sentence without hearing Both ſides : And the Only way to come to a True Eſtimate 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 Intereſt, Fancy, Senſe, or Ornament : Wherefore Æſop has done Wiſely to caſt the Iſsue of the Queſtion upon the Experiment, Far from Jupiter ( fays the Adage ) far from the Thunder. What ſignifies the Splendor, and the Luxury of Courts, conſidering the Slaviſh Attendances, the Invidious Competitions, and the Mortal Diſappointments that go along with it. The Frowns of Princes, and the Envy of thoſe that Judge by Hearſay, or Appearance; without either Reaſon or Truth ! To ſay nothing of the Innumerable Temptations, Vices, and Exceſſes, of a Life of Pomp, and Pleaſure. Let a man but ſet the Pleaſing of his Palate againſt the Surfeits of Gluttony and Exceſs, The Starving of his Mind againſt a Pamper'd Carcaſs ; The Reſtleſs Importunities of Tale-bearers and Back Friends, againſt Fair Words and Profeſſions only from
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