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perfect virtue, and by becoming attentive and obedient to reason, be prepared to submit to religion and faith, which command the same duties, but upon higher motives, and with the promise of far more glorious rewards.:

Lastly, I desire the reader would remember, that this work is not designed for the learned, who are already well versed in history, and may think the great number of facts I have quoted tedious, as containing nothing new to them [t]; but that my design is principally to instruct young students, who may often have scarce any other notion of history, than what they find in this; which has obliged me to be somewhat more prolix, to produce a greater number of examples, and to add more reflections than otherwise I should have done.

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[u] As Riches purchase whatever is most esteemed and sought after in life, such as honours, employments, lands, houses, ornaments, luxurious boards, and all the train of vulgar pleasures; it is by no means surprising that these should be more esteemed and sought after than all the rest. This notion, too natural to children in itself, is cherished and supported in them by every thing they see and hear. All tends to resound the praises of Riches. Gold and silver are the only or the principal object of the admiration of mankind, of their desires and labours. They are regard-ed as alone capable of making life easy and happy, and Poverty on the other hand as the cause of shame and misfortune.

[] Nos institutionem professi, non solum scientibus ista, sed etiam discentibus tradimus: ideoque paulo pluribus verbis debet haberi venia. Quint. lib. 11. cap. 1.

[u] Hæc ipsa res tot magistratus, tot judices detinet, quæ magistratus & judices facit, pecunia: quæ ex quo in honore esse cœpit, verus rerum honor cecidit.... Admirati.

onem nobis parentes auri argentique fecerunt: & teneris infusa cupiditas altiùs sedit, crevitque nobiscum. Deinde totus populus, in alia discors, in hoc convenit: hoc suspiciunt, hoc suis optant... Denique eò mores redacti sunt, ut paupertas maledicto proboque sit, contempta divitibus, invisa pauperibus. Sen. Ep. 115.


[] And yet antiquity (to our great surprise) gives us an instance of a whole nation exclaiming against such sentiments. Euripides had put an high encomium of Riches into the mouth of Bellerophon, which he concluded with these words, Riches are the sovereign happiness of mankind, and it is with reason they excite the admiration of gods and men. These last lines provoked the whole people of Athens. They rose up with one common voice against the poet, and would have iminediately banished him the city, if he had not besought them to stay till the play was done, and they should see this idolater of Riches come to a miserable end. A bad, a wretched excuse! The impression which such maxims make upon the imagination, is too strong and lively to wait for the slow remedies, which an author may bring at the conclusion of his performance.

The people of Rome were no less noble in their sentiments. Their ambition was to gain a great deal of glory and little wealth. Every one sought, [y] says an historian, not to enrich themselves, but their country; and they rather chose to be poor in a rich commonwealth, than to be rich themselves, whilst the commonwealth was poor.[2] The Camilli, the Fabricii, and the Curii, were formed, we know, in the school and bosom of Poverty, and it was usual with their greatest men not to leave wherewithal to defray the expences of their funerals, or to portion out their daughters.

Such also was the disposition of our ancient magistrates, and we read with pleasure in the history of the premier presidents of the university of Paris, that the famous "John de la Vacquenie died richer in honours "and reputation, than in the goods of fortune. For "having left behind him three daughters, the heir-. esses only of his virtues, his master king Lewis "XI. in acknowledgment of his services, took care [x] Senec. Epist. 115. perio versari malebat. Val. Max. lib. 4. cap. 4•


[] Patriæ rem unusquisque, non suam,augere properabat, pauperque in divite, quàm dives in paupere im

[z] Horat. Od. xii. lib. 1.

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"to marry them according to their condition, and 'paid their fortunes out of his own treasury.

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An expression of the emperor Valerian's shews us how much Poverty was esteemed even in the lower age of the empire. He had nominated Aurelian, who was afterwards emperor, to the consulship; and as he was poor he ordered the keeper of his treasury to supply him with all the money he should want for the expences he was to be at upon his entrance into that office, and wrote to him in these terms, [a] "You "shall give Aurelian, whom I have nominated con"sul, whatever shall be necessary to defray the charges "of the customary shews. He deserves this assist"ance by reason of his Poverty, which renders him truly great, and ranks him above all others.".

Thus we see the sentiments of the truly generous and noble, in all ages and nations. [b] Those great men were of opinion, that nothing was a surer mark of a little abject spirit than the love of Riches, and nothing on the other hand more great and generous than to despise them; and thought it the highest pitch of virtue to bear up nobly under Poverty, and to look upon it as an advantage, rather than a misfortune. According to them the second degree of virtue consisted in making a good use of Riches, when they possessed them; and they judged it most agreeable to the end for which they were designed, and most likely to draw upon the rich the esteem and love of mankind, to make them subservient to the good of the society. In a word, [c] they counted nothing really their own, but what they had given away.

Cimon the Athenian general, thought his possessions were given him by fortune for no other end than

[a] Aureliano, cui consulatum detulimus, ob paupertatem, quâ ille magnus est, cæteris major, dabis ob editionem Circenfium, &c. Vopisc. in Vita Imper. Aurel.

[6] Nihil est tam angusti animi tamque parvi, quàm amare divitias: nihil honestius magnificentiusque quàm pecuniam contemnere, si non

habeas; si habeas, ad beneficentiam liberalitatemque convertere. Cic. lib, 1 Offic. n. 68.

[c] Nihil magis possidere me credam, quàm bene donata. Senec. de Vita Beat. cap. 20.

Hoc habeo, quodcumque dedi. Lib. 6. de Benef. cap. 3.


to be distributed among his fellow-citizens, to clothe some, and to relieve the wants of others. What Philopemen gained from the enemy, he bestowed in supplying such of the citizens with arms and horses, as stood in need of them, and in ransoming such of them as had been made prisoners of war. Aratus,

general of the Achæans, made himself universally beloved, and saved his country, by applying the presents he received from the kings, in appeasing the divisions which prevailed among his countrymen, in paying the debts of some, assisting others in their necessities, and redeeming captives.

To give but one single instance among the Romans, Pliny the younger disburses considerable sums for the service of his friends. [d] He forgives one person all he owes him. [e] He pays the debts of another, which he had contracted for just reasons. [f] He increases the portion of another's daughter, that she might keep up to the dignity of the person she was about to marry. [g] He supplies another with sums to make him a Roman knight. [h] To gratify another, he sells him a piece of land below its value. [i] He gives another wherewithal to return into his own country, and end his days there in quiet. [k] He makes himself easy in the differences of his family, and voluntarily gives up his own right. [7] He bestows upon his nurse a piece of ground, large enough for her subsistance. [m] He presents his country with a library, and a revenue sufficient to maintain it. [n] He settles salaries upon professors for the instruction of youth. [o] Ile erects a school for the education of orphans and poor children, of which there are some footsteps remaining to this day. And all this he does with a moderate fortune. his frugality, as he declares himself, was a rich fund,

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[k] Lib. 4. Ep. 10. Lib. S. Ep. 2. Lib. 5. Ep. 7.

[] Lib. 6. Ep. 3.
[m] Lib. 1. Ep. 8.
[n] Lib. 4. Ep 13.
[o] Lib. 1.
Ep. 8.

which supplied whatever was wanting to his revenue, and enabled him to bestow with such liberality, as is astonishing in a private man. [p] Quod cessat ex reditu, frugalitate suppletur; ex quá, velut ex fonte, liberalitas nostra decurrit.

Let any one ask the boys what they think of such an example, after having compared this noble and amiable use of Riches with the behaviour of such unnatural persons, who live as if they were born only for themselves, who set no other value on Riches than as the means to indulge their passions, to support their luxury, and gratify their love of pleasures, a vain ostentation, or a restless curiosity; who are serviceable neither to their relations, their friends, nor their most ancient and faithful domestics; and who think themselves under no obligation by the ties of blood, friendship, gratitude, merit, or humanity, nor even to their country.

[q] When M. de Turenne undertook the command of the army in Germany, he found the troops in so bad a condition, that he sold his own plate to clothe the soldiers, and mount the horse, which he did more than once. Though his estate amounted to no more than forty [] thousand livres a-year, he never would accept of the considerable sums his friends offered him, nor take up any thing on trust from the tradesmen, for fear, he said, that if he fell, they should lose a good part of it. And I know that all the workmen, employed about his house, were ordered to bring in their bills before he set out for the campaign, and were regularly paid.

[s] Whilst he commanded in Germany, a neutral town, which thought the king's army was marching towards them, offered this general an hundred thousand crowns to engage him to take another rout, and make amends for a day or two's march, which it

[] Lib. 2. Ep. 4.

[7] Hommes Illustres de M. Perrault.

[r] When he died, he had not

fifteen hundred livres by him in ready money.

[] Lettres de Bourfault,

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