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Phil. I mean all the pleasures of sense. The good of man cannot consist in the mere pleasures of sense; because, when any one of those objects which you love is absent, or cannot be come at, you are certainly miserable; and if the faculty be impaired, though the object be present, you cannot enjoy it. So that this sensual good depends upon a thousand things without and within you, and all out of your power. Can this, then, be the good of man? Say, Horatio, what think you, is not this a checkered, fleeting, fantastical
Can that, in any propriety of speech, be called the good of man, in which even, while he is tasting, he may be miserable, and in which, when he cannot taste, he is necessarily so?
Can that be our good which costs us a great deal of pains to obtain, which cloys in possessing, for which we must wait the return of appetite before we can enjoy again? Or, is that our good which we can come at without difficulty, which is heightened by possession, which never ends in weariness and disappointment, and which, the more we enjoy, the better qualified we are to enjoy on?
Hor. The latter, I think; but why do you torment me thus? Philocles, show me this good immediately.
Phil. I have showed you what it is not; it is not sensual, but it is rational and moral good. It is doing all the good we can to others, by acts of humanity, friendship, generosity, and benevolence : this is that constant and durable good, which will afford contentment and satisfaction always alike, without variation or diminution. I speak to your experience now, Horatio: Did you ever find yourself weary of relieving the miserable? Or of raising the distressed into life or happiness ? Or rather, do not you find the pleasure grow upon you by repetition; and that it is greater in reflection than in the act itself? Is there a pleasure upon earth to be compared with that which arises from the sense of making others happy? Can this pleasure ever be absent, or ever end but with your being? Does it not always accompany you ? Doth it not lie down and rise with you, live as long as you live, give you consolation in the article of death, and remain with you in that gloomy hour, when all things are going to forsake
Hor. How glowingly you paint, Philocles! Methinks Horatio is among the enthusiasts. I feel the passion; I am enchantingly convinced; but I know not why: overborne by something stronger than reason: sure, some divinity speaks within me. But prithee, Philocles, give me coolly the cause
or you them?
why this rational and moral good so infinitely excels the mere natural or sensual.
Phil. I think, Horatio, that I have clearly shown you the difference between the merely natural or sensual good, and rational or moral good. Natural or sensual pleasure con tinues no longer than the action itself; but this divine or moral pleasure continues when the action is over, and swells and grows upon your hand by reflection: the one is incon stant, unsatisfying, of short duration, and attended with numberless ills; the other is constant, yields full satisfaction, is durable, and no evils preceding, accompanying, or follow. ing it. But if you inquire farther into the cause of this dif- i ference, and would know why the moral pleasures are greater than the sensual, perhaps the reason is the same as in all other creatures, that their happiness or chief good consists o in acting up to their chief faculty, or that faculty which distinguishes them from all creatures of a different species. The ha chief faculty in man is his reason; and consequently, his chief good; or, that which may justly be called his good, consists not merely in action, but in reasonable action.
But in reasonable actions, we understand those actions, which are preservative of the human kind; and naturally tend to produce real and unmixed happiness; and these actions, by way of distinction, we call actions morally good.
Hor. You speak very clearly, Philocles, but, that no difficulty may remain upon my mind, pray, tell me, what is the real difference between natural good and evil, and moral good lo and evil; for I know several people who use the terms without ideas.
Phil. That may be: the difference lies only in this, that natu. ral good and evil, are pleasure and pain: moral good and evil, are pleasure or pain produced with intention and design. For, it is the intention only that makes the agent morally good or bad.
Hor. But may not a man, with a very good intention, do an evil action ?
Phil. Yes; but then he errs in his judgment, though his design be good: if his error is invincible, or such as, all things considered, he could not help, he is inculpable: but, if it arose from want of diligence in forming his judgment about the nature of human actions, he is immoral and culpable.
Hor. I find then, that in order to please ourselves rightly, or to do good to others morally, we should take great care of our opinions.
Phil. Nothing concerns you more ; for as the happiness or
excel real good of man consists in right action; and right action can
2ot be produced without right opinion; it behoves us, above wo ye ul things in this world, to take care that our opinions of things
good be according to the nature of things. The foundation of all easure yirtue and happiness is thinking rightly. He who sees an acs division is right, that is, naturally tending to good, and does it beand pause of that tendency, he only is a moral man; and he alone te is tus capable of that constant, durable, and invariable good, ended which has been the subject of this conversation. satisi Hor. How, my dear philosophical guide, shall I be able or iced
o know, and determine certainly, what is right and wrong of this in life? are yo Phil. As easily as you distinguish a circle from a square, e as tur light from darkness. Look, Horatio, into the sacred book od cospf Nature; read your own nature, and view the relation, thick which other men stand in to you, and you to them, and you cies will immediately see what constitutes human happiness, and
his consequently what is right. 5, con Hor. We are just coming into town, and can say no more ut in at present. You are my good genius, Philocles, you have
are showed me what is good; you have redeemed me from the proslavery and misery of folly and vice; and made me a free away and happy being.
Phil. Then am I the happiest man in the world; be you no dateady, Horatio, never depart from reason and virtue. at it Hor. Sooner will I lose my existence. Good night, Phiraledocles. 15 W Phil. Adieu, dear Horatio!
For THE WAY TO WEALTH, AS POINTED OUT IN THE SAYINGS OF or bal POOR RICHARD ; PUBLISHED BY DR. FRANKLIN IN 1757, on, & AND IN HIS ESSAYS ON INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY.
But for one end, one much neglected use, are riches worth your care: h his This noble end is to show the virtues in their fairest light;
To make humainny the minister of bounteous Providence,
1 I have heard, that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge,
* See page 196. 1
then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you. I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchant's goods.
2 The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean old man, with white locks, “Pray, father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to do ?”
3 Father Abraham stood up, and replied, " If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short ; 'for a word to the wise is enough,' as Poor Richard says. They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he proceeded as follows:
4“ Friends, says he, the taxes are, indeed, very heavy; and if those laid on by the government, were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves,' as Poor Richard says.
5 “It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright,' as Poor Richard says.
6 “But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of,' as Poor Richard says.
How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that • The sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as Poor Richard says.
7“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be, as Poor Richard says, the greatest prodigality; since, as he elsewhere tells us, Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough always proves little enough:' Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity.
8 “Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy: and, he that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce
overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slow7 ly, that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let
not that drive thee; and early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,' as Poor Richard says.
9 “So that what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We may make these times better if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without pains : then, help hands for I have no lands,' or if I have they are smartly taxed. “He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honor,' as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes.
10 “. If we are industrious, we will never starve; for at the working man's house, hunger looks in, but dares not enter.' Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.' What, though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy, Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry.
11 “Then plow deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.' Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. One to-day is worth two to-morrows,' as Poor
and farther, Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.'
12 “If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you
your own master? be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your relations, and your country.
13 “ Handle your tools without mittens: remember, that “The cat in gloves catches no mice,' as Poor Richard says. It is true, there is much to be done, and, perhaps, you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.'
14 “ Methinks I hear some of you say, 'must a man afford himself no leisure?' I will tell thee my friend what Poor Richard says; Employ thy time.well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is time for doing something use