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Of all passions, it endeavours most to make reason useless. 3. That it is a universal poison, of an infinite object: for no man was ever so amorous, as to love a toad; none so envious, as to repine at the condition of the miserable; no man so timorous, as to fear a dead bee; but anger is troubled at every thing, and every man, and every accident; and therefore, unless it be suppressed, it will make a man's condition restless. 4. If it proceeds from a great cause, it turns to fury; if from a small cause, it is peevishness: and so is, always, either terrible or ridiculous. 5. It makes a man's body monstrous, deformed, and contemptible; the voice horrid; the eyes cruel; the face pale or fiery; the gait fierce; the speech clamorous and loud. 6. It is neither manly nor ingenuous. 7. It proceeds from softness of spirit and pusillanimity; which makes, that women are more angry than men, sick persons more than the healthful, old men more than young, unprosperous and calamitous people than the blessed and fortunate. 8. It is a passion fitter for flies and insects, than for persons, professing nobleness and bounty. 9. It is troublesome not only to those, that suffer it, but to them, that behold it; there being no greater incivility of entertainment, than for the cook's faults or the negligence of the servants, to be cruel, or outrageous, or unpleasant in the presence of the guests. 10. It makes marriage to be a necessary and unavoidable trouble; friendships, and societies, and familiarities, to be intolerable. 11. It multiplies the evils of drunkenness, and makes the levities of wine to run into madness. 12. It makes innocent jesting to be the beginning of tragedies. 13. It turns friendship into hatred; it makes a man lose himself, and his reason, and his argument, in disputation. It turns the desires of knowledge into an itch of wrangling. It adds insolency to power. It turns justice into cruelty, and judgment into oppression. It changes discipline into tediousness and hatred of liberal institution. It makes a prosperous man to be envied, and the unfortunate to be unpitied. It is a confluence of all the irregular passions: there is in it envy and sorrow, fear and scorn, pride and prejudice, rashness and inconsideration, rejoicing in evil and a desire
Γ 'Ὁ θυμὸς φόνων αἴτιον, συμφορᾶς σύμμαχον, βλάβης σύνεργον καὶ ἀτιμίας, χρημάτων ἀπώλεια, ἔτι δὲ καὶ φθορᾶς ἀρχηγόν.-Αristot.
Dicere quid cœnâ possis ingratius istà?
to inflict it, self-love, impatience, and curiosity. And lastly, though it be very troublesome to others, yet it is most troublesome to him, that hath it.
In the use of these arguments and the former exercises, be diligent to observe, lest, in your desires to suppress anger, you be passionate and angry at yourself for being angry; like physicians", who give a bitter potion, when they intend to eject the bitterness of choler; for this will provoke the person, and increase the passion. But placidly and quietly set upon the mortification of it; and attempt it first for a day, resolving that day not at all to be angry, and to be watchful and observant; for a day is no great trouble: but then, after one day's watchfulness, it will be as easy to watch two days, as at first it was to watch one day; and so you may increase, till it becomes easy and habitual.
Only observe, that such an anger alone is criminal, which is against charity to myself or my neighbour; but anger against sin is a holy zeal, and an effect of love to God and my brother, for whose interest I am passionate, like a concerned person: and, if I take care, that my anger makes no reflection of scorn or cruelty upon the offender, or of pride and violence, or transportation to myself, anger becomes charity and duty. And when one commended Charilaus, the king of Sparta, for a gentle, a good, and a meek prince, his colleague said well, How can he be good, who is not an enemy even to vicious persons?”
3. Remedies against. Covetousness, the third enemy of Mercy.
Covetousness is also an enemy to alms, though not to all the effects of mercifulness: but this is to be cured by the proper motives to charity beforementioned, and by the proper rules of justice; which being secured, the arts of getting money are not easily made criminal. To which also we may add,
1. Covetousness makes a man miserable; because riches are not means to make a man happy and unless felicity ÞAmaram amaro bilem pharmaco qui eluunt. 1 Plutar. de odio et invidia,
* Quid refert igitur quantis jumenta fatiget
were to be bought with money, he is a vain person, who admires heaps of gold and rich possessions. For what Hippomachus said to some persons, who commended a tall man as fit to be a champion in the Olympic games," It is true (said he) if the crown hang so high, that the longest arm could reach it;" the same we may say concerning riches; they were excellent things, if the richest man were certainly the wisest and the best: but as they are, they are nothing to be wondered at, because they contribute nothing towards felicity: which appears, because some men choose to be miserable, that they may be rich, rather than be happy with the expense of money and doing noble things.
2. Riches are useless and unprofitable; for, beyond our needs and conveniences, nature knows no use of riches: and they say, that the princes of Italy, when they sup alone, eat out of a single dish, and drink in a plain glass, and the wife eats without purple; for nothing is more frugal than the back and belly, if they be used as they should: but when they would entertain the eyes of strangers, when they are vain, and would make a noise, then riches come forth to set forth the spectacle, and furnish out the comedy of wealth, of vanity'. No man can, with all the wealth in the world, buy so much skill, as to be a good lutenist; he must go the same way that poor people do, he must learn and take pains: much less can he buy constancy or chastity or courage; nay, not so much as the contempt of riches: and, by possessing more than we need, we cannot obtain so much power over our souls, as not to require more. And certainly riches must deliver me from no evil, if the possession of them cannot take away the longing for them. If any man be thirsty, drink cools him; if he be hungry, eating meat satisfies him: and when a man is cold, and calls for a warm cloak, he is pleased, if you give it him; but you trouble him, if you load him with six or eight cloaks. Nature rests, and sits still, when she hath her portion; but that, which exceeds it, is a trouble and a burden: and, therefore, in true philosophy, no man is rich, but he that is poor, according to the common account: for when God hath satisfied those needs, which he made, that is, all that is natural, whatsoever is beyond it, is thirst and a disease; and, unless it be sent back again in
charity or religion, can serve no end but vice or vanity: it can increase the appetite to represent the man poorer, and full of a new and artificial, unnatural need; but it never satisfies the need it makes, or makes the man richer. No wealth can satisfy the covetous desire of wealth.
3. Riches are troublesome; but the satisfaction of those appetites, which God and nature hath made, are cheap and easy; for who ever paid use-money for bread, and onions, and water, to keep him alive"? but when we covet after houses of the frame and design of Italy, or long for jewels, or for my next neighbour's field, or horses from Barbary, or the richest perfumes of Arabia, or Galatian mules, or fat eunuchs for our slaves from Tunis, or rich coaches from Naples, then we can never be satisfied, till we have the best thing, that is fancied, and all that can be had, and all that can be desired, and that we can lust no more: but, before we come to the one half of our first wild desires, we are the bondmen of usurers, and of our worse tyrant appetites, and the tortures of envy and impatience. But I consider, that those, who drink on still, when their thirst is quenched, or eat, after they have well dined, are forced to vomit not only their superfluity, but even that, which at first was necessary: so those, that covet more, than they can temperately use, are oftentimes forced to part even with that patrimony, which would have supported their persons in freedom and honour, and have satisfied all their reasonable desire.
4. Contentedness is therefore health, because covetousness is a direct sickness: and it was well said of Aristippus (as Plutarch reports him), if any man, after much eating and drinking, be still unsatisfied, he hath no need of more meat or more drink, but of a physician; he more needs to be purged than to be filled: and therefore, since covetousness cannot be satisfied, it must be cured by emptiness and evacuation. The man is without remedy, unless he be reduced to the scantling of nature, and the measures of his personal necessity. Give to a poor man a house, and a few cows, pay his little debt, and set him on work, and he is provided for, and quiet: but when a man enlarges beyond a fair possession, and desires another lordship, you spite him, if you let him have it; for,
m Ergo solicitæ tu causa, pecunia, vitæ es:
Per te immaturum mortis adimus iter.-Propert. 3. 7. 2.
by that, he is one degree the further off from the rest in his desires and satisfaction; and now he sees himself in a bigger capacity to a larger fortune; and he shall never find his period, till you begin to take away something of what he hath; for then he will begin to be glad to keep that, which is left but reduce him to nature's measures, and there he shall be sure to find rest: for there no man can desire beyond his belly-full; and, when he wants that, any one friend or charitable man can cure his poverty; but all the world cannot satisfy his covetousness.
5. Covetousness is the most fantastical and contradictory disease in the whole world: it must therefore be incurable; because it strives against its own cure. No man, therefore, abstains from meat, because he is hungry; nor from wine, because he loves it, and needs it: but the covetous man does so, for he desires it passionately, because he says, he needs it, and, when he hath it, he will need it still, because he dares not use it. He gets clothes, because he cannot be without them; but when he hath them, then he can: as if he needed corn for his granary, and clothes for his wardrobe, more than for his back and belly. For covetousness pretends to heap much together for fear of want; and yet, after all his pains and purchase, he suffers that really, which, at first, he feared vainly; and, by not using what he gets, he makes that suffering to be actual, present, and necessary, which, in his lowest condition, was but future, contingent, and possible. It stirs up the desire, and takes away the pleasure of being satisfied. It increases the appetite, and will not content it: it swells the principal to no purpose, and lessens the use to all purposes; disturbing the order of nature, and the designs of God; making money not to be the instrument of exchange or charity, nor corn to feed himself or the poor, nor wool to clothe himself or his brother, nor wine to refresh the sadness of the afflicted, nor his oil to make his own countenance cheerful; but all these to look upon, and to tell over, and to take accounts by, and make himself considerable, and wondered at by fools; that while he lives, he may be called rich, and when he dies, may be accounted miserable; and, like the dish-makers of China, may leave a greater heap of dirt for his nephews, while he himself hath a new lot fallen to him. in the portion of Dives. But thus the ass carried wood and