ISUPPOSE my Almanack may be worth the Money thou hast paid for it, hadst thou no other Advantage from it, than to find the Day of the Month, the remarkable Days, the Changes of the Moon, the Sun and Moon’s Rising and Setting, and to foreknow the Tides and the Weather; these, with other Astronomical Curiosities, I have yearly and constantly prepared for thy Use and Entertainment, during now near two Revolutions of the Planet Jupiter. But I hope this is not all the Advantage thou hast reaped; for with a View to the Improvement of thy Mind and thy Estate, I have constantly interspers’d in every little Vacancy, Moral Hints, Wise Sayings, and Maxims of Thrift, tending to impress the Benefits arising from Honesty, Sobriety, Industry and Frugality; which if thou hast duly observed, it is highly probable thou art wiser and richer many fold more than the Pence my Labours have cost thee. Howbeit, I shall not therefore raise my Price because thou art better able to pay; but being thankful for past Favours, shall endeavour to make my little Book more worthy thy Regard, by adding to those Recipes which were intended for the Cure of the Mind, some valuable Ones regarding the Health of the Body. They are recommended by the Skilful, and by successful Practice. I wish a Blessing may attend the Use of them, and to thee all Happiness, being
ASTRONOMY, hail, Science heavenly born! Thy Schemes the Life assist, the Mind adorn. To changing Seasons give determin’d Space, And fix to Hours and Years their measur’d Race The pointing Dial, on whose figur’d Plane, Of Time’s still Flight we Notices obtain; The Pendulum, dividing lesser Parts, Their Rise acquire from thy inventive Arts. A Change of Fortune hurts a wise Man no more than a Change of the Moon.
There is no Virtue, the Honour whereof gets a Man more Envy, than that of Justice, because it procures great Authority among the common People; they only revere the Valiant, and admire the Wise, while they truly love just Men; for in these they have intire Trust and Confidence, but of the former, they always fear one, and mistrust the other. They look on Valour as a certain natural Ferment of the Mind, and Wisdom as the Effect of a line Constitution, or a happy Education; but a Man has it in his own Power to be just; and that is the Reason it is so dishonourable to be otherwise; as Waller handsomely expresses it,
Of all the Virtues, justice is the best, Valour, without it, is a common Pest; Pirates and Thieves, too oft with Courage grac’d, Shew us how ill that Virtue may be plac’d; ’Tis Constitution makes us chaste and brave, Justice from Reason and from Heav’n we have; Our other Virtues dwell but in the Blood, That in the Soul, and gives the Name of Good.
The Heart-burn is an uneasy Sensation of Heat in the Stomach, occasioned by Indigestion, which is the Mother of Gout, Rheumatism, Gravel and Stone. - - - - To prevent it, Eat no Fat, especially what is burnt or oily; and neither eat or drink any thing sour or acid. - - - - To cure it, Dissolve a Thimble-full of Salt or Wormwood in a Glass of Water, and drink it.
Th’ acute Geographer, th’ Historian sage, By thy Discov’ries clear the doubtful Page. From mark’d Eclipses, Longitude perceive, Can settle Distances, and Æra’s give. From his known Shore the Seaman distant far, Steers, safely guided, by thy Polar Star; Nor errs, when Clouds and Storms obscure its Ray, His Compass marks him as exact a Way. Does Mischief, Misconduct, & Warrings displease ye; Think there’s a Providence, ‘twill make ye easy. Mine is better than Ours.
Religion is so far from barring Men any innocent Pleasure, or Comfort of human Life, that it purifies the Pleasures of it, and renders them more grateful and generous; and besides this, it brings mighty Pleasures of its own, those of a glorious Hope, a serene Mind, a calm and undisturbed Conscience, which far out-relish the most studied artificial Luxuries. - - - - But here after,
How will the sensual Mind its Loss sustain, When its gross Objects shall be sought in vain? Incapable to act its darling Lust, Yet spurr’d and prompted by a sharper Gust; Pain’d for its Choice, would still its Choice resume, Which (by sure Want) but more augments the Doom, Made by wise Heav’n at one conjunctive Time, Its Wish and Grief, its Punishment and Crime. Nought there the destin’d Wretched e’er shall find To please the Senses, or relieve the Mind; No luscious Banquet, or delicious Bowl, To drown, in lewd Excess, th’ intemperate Soul; Nor gay Amusement more, nor jovial Throng, That to their thoughtless Hours did once belong!
Beat or scrape Irish Potatoes to a soft pulpy Mass; mix some common Salt finely powder’d; and apply it cool to the Part. When it grows warm or dry, apply a fresh Quantity.
When frequent Travels had th’ instructive Chart Supply’d, the Prize of Philosophic Art! Two curious mimic Globes, to Crown the Plan, Were form’d; by his CREATOR’S Image, Man. The first, with Heav’n’s bright Constellations vast, Rang’d on the Surface, with th’ Earth’s Climes the last. Copy of this by human Race possest, Which Lands indent, and spacious Seas invest. Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults. He that has a Trade, has an Office of Profit and Honour.
The Wit of Conversation consists more in finding it in others, than shewing a great deal yourself. He who goes out of your Company pleased with his own Facetiouness and Ingenuity, will the sooner come into it again. Most Men had rather please than admire you and seek less to be instructed and diverted, than approved and applauded; and it is certainly the most delicate Sort of Pleasure, to please another.
But that Sort of Wit, which employs itself insolently in Criticising and Censuring the Words and Sentiments of others in Conversation, is absolute Folly; for it answers none of the Ends of Conversation. He who uses it, neither improves others, is improved himself, or pleases any one. How amiably contrary is POPE’S Character of a Critic.
- - - - the Man who Counsel can bestow, Still pleas’d to teach, and yet not proud to know? Unbias’d, or by Favour, or by Spite; Not dully prepossess’d, or blindly right; Tho’ learn’d, well-bred; and tho’ well bred, sincere; Modestly bold, and humanly severe: Who to a Friend his Faults can freely show, And gladly praise the Merit of a Foe; Blest with a Taste exact, yet unconfin’d, A Knowledge both of Books and human Kind; Gen’rous Converse, a Soul exempt from Pride, And Love to praise, and Reason on its Side. Such once were Critics, such the happy Few, Athens and Rome in better Ages knew.
Fram’d on imaginary Poles to move, With Lines, and different Circles mark’d above. The pleasur’d Sense, by this Machine can tell, In what Position various Nations dwell: Round the wide Orb’s exterior Surface spread; How side-ways some the solid Convex tread: While a more sever’d Race of busy Pow’rs Project, with strange Reverse, their Feet to ours. Be civil to all; serviceable to many; familiar with few; Friend to one; Enemy to none. Vain-Glory flowereth, but beareth no Fruit.
As I spent some Weeks last Winter, in visiting my old Acquaintance in the Jerseys, great Complaints I heard for Want of Money, and that Leave to make more Paper Bills could not be obtained. Friends and Countrymen, my Advice on this Head shall cost you nothing, and if you will not be angry with me for giving it, I promise you not to be offended if you do not take it.
You spend yearly at least Two Hundred Thousand Pounds, 'tis said, in European, East-Indian, and West-Indian Commodities: Supposing one Half of this Expence to be in Things absolutely necessary, the other Half may be call’d Superfluities, or at best, Conveniences, which however you might live without for one little Year, and not suffer exceedingly. Now to save this Half, observe these few Directions.
1. When you incline to have new Cloaths, look first well over the old Ones, and see if you cannot shift with them another Year, either by Scouring, Mending, or even Patching if necessary. Remember a Patch on your Coat, and Money in your Pocket, is better and more creditable than a Writ on your Back, and no Money to take it off.
2. When you incline to buy China Ware, Chinces, India Silks, or any other of their flimsey slight Manufactures; I would not be so hard with you, as to insist on your absolutely resolving against it; all I advise, is, to put it off (as you do your Repentance) till another Year; and this, in some Respects, may prevent an Occasion of Repentance.
3. If you are now a Drinker of Punch, Wine or Tea, twice a Day; for the ensuing Year drink them but once a Day. If you now drink them but once a Day, do it but every other Day. If you do it now but once a Week, reduce the Practice to once a Fortnight. And if you do not exceed in Quantity as you lessen the Times, half your Expence in these Articles will be saved.
4thly and lastly, When you incline to drink Rum, fill the Glass half with Water.
Thus at the Year’s End, there will be An Hundred Thousand Pounds more Money in your Country.If Paper Money in ever so great a Quantity could be made, no Man could get any of it without giving something for it. But all he saves in this Way, will be his own for nothing; and his Country actually so much richer. Then the Merchants old and doubtful Debts may be honestly paid off, and Trading become surer thereafter, if not so extensive.
So on the Apple’s smooth suspended Ball, (If greater we may represent by small) The swarming Flies their reptile Tribes divide, And cling Antipodal on every side. Hence pleasant Problems may the Mind discern Of ev’ry Soil their Length of Days to learn; Can tell when round, to each fix’d Place, shall come, Faint Dawn, Meridian Light, or Midnight Gloom. Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed. Trouble springs from Idleness; Toil from Ease. Love, and be loved.
These Gifts to astronomic Art we owe, Its Use extensive, yet its Growth but slow. If back we look on ancient Sages Schemes, They seem ridiculous as Childrens Dreams; How shall the Church, that boasts unerring Truth, Blush at the Raillery of each modern Youth, When told her Pope, of Heresy arraign’d The Sage, who Earth’s Rotation once maintain’d? A wise Man will desire no more, than what he may get justly, use soberly, distribute chearfully, and leave contentedly. The diligent Spinner has a large Shift.
LEWIS CORNARO, a Venetian of Quality and Learning, wrote a Book of the Benefits of a sober Life, and produced himself as a Testimony. He says, to the fortieth Year of his Age, he was continually perplex’d with Variety of Infirmities; at last he grew so careful of his Diet, that in one Year, he was almost freed from all his Diseases, and never after used Physick: He continued thus temperate all the rest of his Life, sound, chearful and vegete, and was so entire and perfect in his Strength at fourscore Years, as to be able to walk, ride, hunt, and perform every Office of Life as well as in his Youth. At length he died in his Chair, with very little Pain or Sickness, all his Senses being entire to the last, tho’ in the 120th Year of his Age.
- - - - Mark, what Blessings flow From frugal temperate Meals; ’tis they bestow That prime of Blessings, HEALTH. All will confess That various Meats the Stomach much oppress. All may reflect how light, how well they were, When plain and simple was their chearful Fare. Who down to Sleep from a short Supper lies, Can to the next Day’s Business chearful rise, Or jovially indulge, when the round Year Brings back the festal Day to better Chear, Or when his wasted Strength he would restore When Years approach, and Age’s feeble Hour A softer Treatment claim. But if in Prime Of Youth and Health, you take, before your Time, The Luxuries of Life, where is their Aid When Age and Sickness shall your Strength invade.
Vain Epicurus, and his frantic Class, Misdeem’d our Globe a plane quadrangle Mass; A fine romantic Terras, spread in State, On central Pillars that support its Weight; Like Indian Sophs, who this terrestrial Mould, Affirm, four sturdy Elephants uphold. The Sun, new ev’ry Morn, flat, small of Size, Just what it measures to the naked Eyes. A false Friend and a Shadow, attend only while the Sun shines. To-morrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that To-morrow never comes.
It is observable that God has often called Men to Places of Dignity and Honour, when they have been busy in the honest Employment of their Vocation. Saul was seeking his Father’s Asses, and David keeping his Father’s Sheep when called to the Kingdom. The Shepherds were feeding their Flocks, when they had their glorious Revelation. God called the four Apostles from their Fishery, and Matthew from the Receipt of Custom; Amos from among the Herdsmen of Tekoah, Moses from keeping Jethro’s Sheep, Gideon from the Threshing Floor, &c. God never encourages Idleness, and despises not Persons in the meanest Employments.
Learn of the Bees, see to their Toils they run In clust’ring Swarms, and labour in the Sun: See ’em instruct in Work their buzzing Race, The Sweets to gather, and to form the Mass. The busy Nation flies from Flow’r to Flow’r, And hoards, in curious Cells, the golden Store. The little Ant (Example too, to Man Of Care and Labour) gathers all she can, And brings it to enlarge her Heap at Home, Against the Winter, which she knows will come. Man’s Understanding, dull’d by Idleness, Contracts a Rust, that makes it daily less. Unless you often plow the fruitful Field, No Grain, but mix’d with Thistles, will it yield. Ill runs the Horse, and hindmost in the Race, Who long has been unpractic’d in the Chace.
As pos’d the Stagyrite’s dark School appears, Perplex’d with Tales devis’d of Chrystal Spheres, Strange solid Orbs, and Circles oddly fram’d; Who with Philosophy their Reveries nam’d. How long did Ptolomy’s dark Riddle spread, With Doubts deep puzzling each scholastic Head, Till, like the Theban wise in Story fam’d, COPERNICUS that Sphynxian Monster sham’d; Plough deep, while Sluggards sleep; And you shall have Corn, to sell and to keep. He that sows Thorns, should never go barefoot.
Cornaro, among other Advantages arising from Temperance, mentions this as a material one, that a Man by out living his Competitors, arrives at higher Dignities, and more profitable Employments, and by keeping his Mind clear, and his Body in Health, improves his Knowledge and Abilities, and can execute those Employments with greater Reputation. He might have added, That by living long, a Man long enjoys the Reputation and Fame he may have acquired. - - - - Aristotle was much more famous after his Death than during his Life; but Newton, who lived to the Age of 85, had been 60 Years a distinguish’d Philosopher, and many Years before he dy’d was universally esteem’d and admir’d. If Praise be, as Plato said, the sweetest Kind of Music, Newton long enjoy’d a Concert of that Music; and the following Lines were by many thought not too extravagant for his Epitaph.
Approach, ye wise of Soul, with Awe divine, ’Tis Newton’s Name that consecrates this Shrine! That Sun of Knowledge, whose meridian Ray Kindled the Gloom of Nature into Day! That Soul of Science! That unbounded Mind! That Genius, which exalted human Kind! Confest supreme of Men! his Country’s Pride! And half esteem’d an Angel, till he dy’d; Who in the Eye of Heav’n like Enoch stood, And thro’ the Paths of Knowledge walk’d with GOD; Who made his Fame, a Sea without a Shore, And but forsook one World to know the Laws of more.
He the true Planetary System taught, Which the learn’d Samian first from Egypt brought; Long from the World conceal’d, in Error lost, Whose rich Recovery latest Times shall boast. Then TYCHO rose, who with incessant Pains, In their due Ranks replac’d the starry Trains, His Labours by a fresh Industry mov’d, HEVELIUS, FLAMSTEAD, HALLEY, since improv’d. Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him. Sampson with his strong Body, had a weak Head, or he would not have laid it in a Harlot’s Lap.
Simplicity, Innocence, Industry, Temperance, are Arts that lead to Tranquility, as much as Learning, Knowledge, Wisdom and Contemplation. A noble Simplicity in Discourse is a Talent rare, and above the Reach of ordinary Men. Genius, Fancy, Learning, Memory, &c. are so far from helping, that they often hinder the Attaining of it.
By the Word Simplicity, is not always meant Folly or Ignorance; but often, pure and upright Nature, free from Artifice, Craft or deceitful Ornament. In this Sense Pope uses it, in the Epitaph he made for his Friend Gay, too beautiful and instructive to be here omitted.
Of Manners gentle, of Affections mild, In Wit a Man, Simplicity a Child. Words ever pleasing, yet sincerely true, Satire still just, and Humour ever new. Above Temptation, in a low Estate, And uncorrupted, ev’n among the Great. A safe Companion, and an easy Friend, Belov’d thro’ Life, lamented in thy End: These are thy Honours; - - - - Not that here thy Bust Is mix’d with Heroes, or with Kings thy Dust; But that the Worthy, and the Good shall say, Striking their pensive Bosoms, Here lies GAY.
The Lyncean GALILEO then aspires Thro’ the rais’d Tube to mark the Stellar fires! The Galaxy with clust’ring Lights o’erspread, The new-nam’d Stars in bright Orion’s Head, The varying Phases circling Planets show, The Solar Spots, his Fame was first to know. Of Jove’s Attendants, Orbs till then unknown, Himself the big Discovery claims alone. When a Friend deals with a Friend Let the Bargain be clear and well penn’d, That they may continue Friends to the End. He that never eats too much, will never be lazy.
When an Army is to march thro’ a Wilderness, where the Conveniences of Life are scarce to be obtained even for Money, many Hardships, Wants and Difficulties must necessarily be borne by the Soldiers; which nothing tends more to make tolerable, than the Example of their Officers. If these riot in Plenty, while those suffer Hunger and Thirst, Respect and Obedience are in Danger of being lost, and Mutiny or Desertion taking their Places. Charles the XIIth of Sweden, thus still’d a growing Clamour about bad Bread in his March thro’ the Wilds of Tartary: The Soldiers complained of it, and presented him a Sample of what was daily distributed to them, mouldy as it was, and half rotten. He received it coolly, examined it, and said, ’Tis bad indeed, but it may be eaten. And to prove his Words, he immediately ate it himself. Lucan gives us a glorious Picture of Cato, leading his Army thro’ the parched Desarts of Lybia,
Foremost, on Foot, he treads the burning Sand, Bearing his Arms in his own patient Hand: Scorning another’s weary Neck to press, Or in a lazy Chariot loll at Ease. The panting Soldier to his Toil succeeds, Where no Command but great Example leads. Sparing of Sleep, still for the rest he wakes, And at the Fountain last his Thirst he slakes: Whene’er by Chance, some living Stream is found, He stands, and sees the cooling Draughts go round, Stays till the last and meanest Drudge be past, And, till his Slaves have drank, disdains to taste.
CASSINI next, and HUYGENS, like renown’d, The Moons and wondrous Ring of Saturn found. Sagacious KEPLER, still advancing saw Th’ elliptic Motion, Nature’s plainest Law, That universal acts thro’ every Part. This laid the Basis of Newtonian Art. NEWTON! vast Mind! whose piercing Pow’rs apply’d The secret Cause of Motion first descry’d; Found Gravitation was the primal Spring, That wheel’d the Planets round their central King. To be proud of Knowledge, is to be blind with Light; to be proud of Virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote. Get what you can, and what you get, hold; 'Tis the Stone that will turn all your Lead into Gold.
There is really a great Difference in Things sometimes where there seems to be but little Distinction in Names. The Man of Honour is an internal, the Person of Honour an external, the one a real, the other a fictitious, Character. A Person of Honour may be a profane Libertine, penurious, proud, may insult his Inferiors, and defraud his Creditors; but it is impossible for a Man of Honour to be guilty of any of these. The Person of Honour may flatter for Court Favours, or cringe for Popularity; he may be for or against his Country’s Good, as it suits his private Views. But the Man of Honour can do none of these. - - - - He
Upright and firm, and steady to his Trust, Inflexible to Ill, and obstinately just; The Fury of the Populace defies, And dares the Tyrant’s threatning Frown despise. Always himself, nought can his Virtue move, Unsway’d by Party, Hatred, Gain, or Love. So the tall Summit of Olympus knows, Nor raging Hurricanes, nor hoary Snows; But high, in the superior Skies, is seen, Above the Clouds, eternally serene; While at its steady Foot, the rushing Rain And rattling Thunder spend their Force in vain.
Mysterious Impulse! that more clear to know, Exceeds the finite Reach of Art below. Forbear, bold Mortal! ’tis an impious Aim; Own GOD immediate acting thro’ the Frame. 'Tis HE, unsearchable, in all resides; HE the FIRST CAUSE their Operations guides, Fear on his awful Privacy to press, But, honouring HIM, thy Ignorance confess. An honest Man will receive neither Money nor Praise, that is not his Due. Saying and Doing, have quarrel’d and parted. Tell me my Faults, and mend your own.
Well, my Friend, thou art now just entering the last Month of another Year. If thou art a Man of Business, and of prudent Care, belike thou wilt now settle thy Accounts, to satisfy thyself whether thou hast gain’d or lost in the Year past, and how much of either, the better to regulate thy future Industry or thy common Expences. This is commendable. - But it is not all. - Wilt thou not examine also thy moral Accompts, and see what Improvements thou hast made in the Conduct of Life, what Vice subdued, what Virtue acquired; how much better, and how much wiser, as well as how much richer thou art grown? What shall it profit a Man, if he gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? Without some Care in this Matter, tho’ thou may'st come to count thy Thousands, thou wilt possibly still appear poor in the Eyes of the Discerning, even here, and be really so for ever hereafter.
Of Man’s miraculous Mistakes, this bears The Palm, "That all Men are about to live," For ever on the Brink of being born. How excellent that Life they mean to lead! All Promise is poor dilatory Man, And that thro’ every Stage. When young, indeed, In full Content, we, sometimes, nobly rest, Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish As duteous Sons, our Fathers were more wise. At Thirty Man suspects himself a Fool; Knows it at Forty, and reforms his Plan; At Fifty chides his infamous Delay, Pushes his prudent Purpose to Resolve; In all the Magnanimity of Thought Resolves; and re-resolves; then dies the same.