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THERE were two families which, from the beginning of the world, were as oppofite to each other as light and darkness. The one of them lived in Heaven, and the other in Hell. The youngest descendant of the firft family was Pleasure, who was the daughter of Happiness, who was the child of Virtue, who was the offspring of the Gods. Thefe, as I faid before, had their habitation in Heaven. The youngest of the oppofite family was Pain, who was the fon of Mifery, who was the child of Vice, who was the offspring of the Furies. The habitation of this race

of beings was in Hell.

THE middle ftation of nature between these two oppofite extremes was the earth, which was inhabited by creatures of a middle kind, neither fo virtuous as the one, nor fo vicious as the other, but partaking of the good and bad qualities of thefe two oppofite families. Jupiter confidering that this fpecies, commonly called man, was too virtuous to be miferable, and too vicious to be happy; that he might make a distinction between the good and the bad, ordered the two youngest of the above-mentioned families, Pleafure, who was the daughter of Happinefs, and Pain, who was the fon of Mifery, to meet one another upon this part of nature which lay in the half-way between them, having promifed to settle it upon them both, provided they could agree upon the divifion of it, fo as to fhare mankind between them.

PLEASURE and PAIN were no fooner met in their new habitation, but they immediately agreed upon this point, that Pleasure should take poffeffion of the virtuous, and Pain of the vicious part of that fpecies which was given up to them: But upon examining to which of them any individual

dividual they met with belonged, they found each of them had a right to him; for that, contrary to what they had feen in their old places of refidence, there was no perfon fo vicious who had not some good in him, nor any person fo virtuous who had not in him fome evil. The truth of it is, they generally found upon fearch, that in the most vicious man, Pleasure might lay claim to a hundredth part; and that in the most virtuous man, Pain might come in for at least two thirds. This they faw would occafion endless difputes between them, unlefs they could come to fome accommodation. To this end there was a marriage propofed between them, and at length concluded: by this means it is that we find Pleasure and Pain are fuch conftant yoke. fellows, and that they either make their vifits together, or are never far afunder. If Pain comes into a heart, he is quickly followed by Pleasure; and if Pleafure enters, you may be fure Pain is not far off.

BUT, notwithstanding this marriage was very convenient for the two parties, it did not seem to answer the intention of Jupiter in fending them among mankind. To remedy therefore this inconvenience, it was ftipulated between them by article, and confirmed by the confent of each family, that, notwithstanding they have poffeffed the species indifferently, upon the death of every single perfon, if he was found to have in him a certain proportion of evil, he fhould be dispatched into the infernal regions by a paffport from Pain, there to dwell with Mifery, Vice, and the Furies. Or on the contrary, if he had in him a certain proportion of good, he fhould be difpatched into Heaven by a passport from Pleafute, there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue, and the Gods.




LABOUR, the offspring of Want, and the mother of Health and Contentment, lived with her two daughters in a little cottage, by the fide of a hill, at a great diftance from town. They were totally unacquainted with the great, and kept no better company than the neighbouring villagers but having a defire of feeing the world, they forfook their companions and habitation, and determined to travel. Labour went foberly along the road with Health on the right hand, who, by the fprightlinefs of her converfation, and fongs of cheerfulness and joy, foftened the toils of the way; while Contentment went fmiling on the left, fupporting the steps of her mother, and by her perpetual good humour increafing the vivacity of her fifter.

In this manner they travelled over forefts and through towns and villages, till at last they arrived at the capital of the kingdom. At their entrance into the great city, the mother conjured her daughters never to lofe fight of her; for it was the will of Jupiter, she said, that their feparation fhould be attended with the utter ruin of all three. But Health was of too gay a difpofition to regard the counfels of Labour: the fuffered herfelf to be debauched by Interperance, and at last died in child-birth of Disease. Contentment, in the abfence of her fifter, gave herself up to the enticements of Sloth, and was never heard of after: while Labour, who could have no enjoyment without her daughters, went every where in fearch of them, till fhe was at laft feized by Laffitude in her way, and died in misery.




An old man and a little boy were driving an ass to the next market to fell. What a fool is this fellow (fays a man upon the road), to be trudging it on foot with his fon, that his a's may go light! The old man, hearing this, fet his boy upon the afs, and went whistling by the fide of him. Why, firrah! (cries a fecond man to the boy), is it fit for you to be riding, while your poor old father is walking on foot? The father, upon this rebuke, took down his boy from the afs, and mounted himself. Do you fee (fays a third) how the lazy old knave rides along upon his beast, while his poor little boy is almoft crippled with walking! The old man no fooner heard this, than he took up his fon behind him. Pray, honeft friend, (fays a fourth,) is that afs your own? Yes, fays the inan. One would not have thought fo, replied the other, by your loading him fo unmercifully. the You and your fon are better able to carry beaft, poor than he you. Any thing to please, fays the owner; and alighting with his fon, they tied the legs of the afs together, and by the help of a pole endeavoured to carry him upon their fhoulders over the bridge that led to the town. was fo en ertaining a fight, that the people ran in crowds to laugh at it; till the afs, conceiving a diflike to the overcomplaifance of his mafter, burft afunder the cords that tied him, flipped from the pole, and tumbled into the river. The poor old man made the best of his way home, afhamed and vexed, that by endeavouring to please every body, he had pleafed nobody, and loft his afs into the bargain.



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WHEN Hercules was in that part of his youth, in

which it was natural for him to confider what courfe of life he ought to purfue, he one day retired into a defert, where the filence and folitude of the place very much favoured his meditations. As he was mufing on his present condition, and very much perplexed in himself on the ftate of life he should choofe, he saw two women of a larger ftature than ordinary approaching towards him. One of them had a very noble air, and graceful deportment: her beauty was natural and eafy, her perfon clean and unfpotted, her eyes caft towards the ground with an agreeable reserve, her motion and behaviour full of modesty, and her raiment as white as fnow. The other had a great deal of health and floridness in her countenance, which he had helped with an artificial white and red; and endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her mien, by a mixture of affectation in all her geftures. She had a wonderful confidence and affurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her drefs, that fhe thought were the moft proper to show her complexion to advantage. She caft her eyes upon herself, then turned them on thofe that were prefent, to fee how they liked her, and often looked on the figure the made in her fhadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, she stepped before the other lady, who came forward with a regular compofed carriage, and running up to him, accofted him after the following manner :

My dear Hercules, fays fhe, I find you are very much divided in your own thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to choose be my friend, and follow me; I will lead you into the poffeffion of pleasure, and out of the reach of




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