« AnteriorContinuar »
a votary of truth never hesitates for an answer, has never to rack his invention to make the sequel quadrate with the beginning of his story, nor obliged to burden his memory with minute circumstances, since truth speaks easily what it recollects, and repeats openly and frequently without varying facts, which liars cannot always even though gifted with a good memory.
NECESSARY HINTS TO THOSE THAT
WOULD BE RICH.
Written Anno 1736.
The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money:
For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.
He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.
He that wastes idly a groat's worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each day..
He that idly loses five shillings' worth of time, loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.
He that loses five shillings, not only loses that sum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which, by the time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a considerable sum of money.
Again : he that sells upon credit, asks a price for what he sells equivalent to the principal and inter
est of his money for the time he is to be kept out of it; therefore, he that buys upon credit pays interest for what he buys, and he that pays ready money might let that money out to use : so that he that possesses anything he bought, pays interest for the use of it.
Yet, in buying goods, it is best to pay ready money, because he that sells upon credit expects to lose five per cent. by bad debts; therefore he charges, on all he sells upon credit, an advance that shall make up that deficiency.
Those who pay for what they buy upon credit, pay their share of this advance.
He that pays ready money escapes, or may escape, that charge.
A penny saved is twopence clear,
THE WAY TO MAKE MONEY PLENTY
IN EVERY MAN'S POCKET.
At this time, when the general complaint is that money is scarce,” it will be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they may re-enforce their pockets. I will acquaint them with the true secret of money-catching, the certain way to fill empty purses, and how to keep them always full. Two simple rules, well observed, will do the business.
First, let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and,
Secondly, spend one penny less than thy clear
Then shall thy hidebound pocket soon begin to thrive, and will never again cry with the empty
bellyache : neither will creditors insult thee, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee. The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and pleasure spring up in every corner of thy heart. Now, therefore, embrace these rules and be happy. Banish the bleak winds of sorrow from thy mind, and live independent. Then shalt thou be a man, and not hide thy face at the approach of the rich, nor suffer the pain of feeling little when the sons of fortune walk at thy right hand: for independence, whether with little or much, is good fortune, and placeth thee on even ground with the proudest of the golden fleece. Oh, then, be wise, and let industry walk with thee in the morning, and attend thee until thou reachest the evening hour for rest. Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul, and never forget to have a penny when all thy expenses are enumerated and paid : then shalt thou reach the point of happiness, and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright, nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it wears a ring set with diamonds.
THE HANDSOME AND DEFORMED LEG.
THERE are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal degrees of health and wealth, and the other comforts of life, become, the one happy and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events, and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
In whatever situation men can be placed, they
may find conveniences and inconveniences; in whatever company, they may find persons and conversation more or less pleasing ; at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better and worse dressed ; in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather; under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad administration of those laws; in whatever poem or work of genius, they may see faults and beauties; in almost every face and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.
Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people above mentioned fix their attention, those who are disposed to be happy on the conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the welldressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather, &c., and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and by their remarks sour the pleasures of society, offend personally many people, and make themselves everywhere disagreeable. If this turn of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the disposition to criticise and to be disgusted is, perhaps, taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, though at present strong, may nevertheless be cured; when those who have it are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity, I hope this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on changing a habit which, though in the exercise it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet has serious consequences in life, as it brings on real griefs and misfortunes. For, as many are offended by, and nobody loves this sort of people, no one shows them more than the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them
out of humour, and draws them into disputes and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step or speak a word to favour their pretensions. If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious. If these people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them, which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in their quarrels.
An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy with such people. He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer to show him the heat of the weather, and a barometer to mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he for that purpose made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome, the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed. If a stranger, at the first interview, regarded his ugly leg more than his handsome one, he doubted him. If he spoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was sufficient to determine my philosopher to have no farther acquaintance with him. Everybody has not this two-legged instrument; but every one, with a little attention, may observe signs of that carping, fault-finding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected with it. I therefore advise those critical, querulous, discontented, unhappy people, that, if they wish to be respected and beloved by others and happy in themselves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.