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he may perish: what fruit, what deliciousness, can he fancy in being weary of his prayers ? there is no pretence or colour for these things. Can any man imagine a greater evil to the body and soul of a man than madness, and furious eyes, and a distracted look, paleness with passion, and trembling hands and knees, and furiousness, and folly in the heart and head? and yet this is the pleasure of anger, and for this pleasure men choose damnation. But it is a great truth, that there are but very few sins that pretend to pleasure: although a man be weak and soon deceived, and the devil is crafty, and sin is false and impudent, and pretences are too many yet most kinds of sins are real and prime troubles to the very body, without all manner of deliciousness, even to the sensual, natural, and carnal part; and a man must put on something of a devil before he can choose such sins, and he must love mischief because it is a sin; for in most instances there is no other reason in the world. Nothing pretends to pleasure but the lust of the lower belly, ambition, and revenge; and although the catalogue of sins is numerous as the production of fishes, yet these three only can be apt to cozen us with a fair outside; and yet upon the survey of what fruits they bring, and what taste they have in the manducation, besides the filthy relish they leave behind, we shall see how miserably they are abused and fooled, that expend any thing upon such purchases.
2. For a man cannot take pleasure in lusts of the flesh, in gluttony, or drunkenness, unless he be helped forward with inconsideration and folly. For we see it evidently that grave and wise persons, men of experience and consideration, are extremely less affected with lust and loves than the harebrained boy; the young gentleman that thinks nothing in the world greater than to be free from a tutor, he indeed courts his folly, and enters into the possession of lust without abatement; consideration dwells not there: but when a sober man meets with a temptation, and is helped by his natural temper, or invited by his course of life; if he can consider, he hath so many objections and fears, so many difficulties and impediments, such sharp reasonings and sharper jealousies concerning its event, that if he does at all enter into folly, it pleases him so little, that he is forced to do it in despite of himself; and the pleasure is so allayed, that he
knows not whether it be wine or vinegar ; his very apprehension and instruments of relish are filled with fear and contradicting principles, and the deliciousness does but affricare cutem,' it went' but to the skin ;' but the allay went farther; it kept a guard within, and suffered the pleasure to pass no farther. A man must resolve to be a fool, a rash inconsiderate person, or he will feel but little satisfaction in the enjoyment of his sin: indeed, he that stops his nose, may
drink down such corrupted waters; and he understood it well who chose rather to be a fool,
Dum mea delectent mala me, vel denique fallant,
so that his sins might delight him, or deceive him, than to be wise and without pleasure in the enjoyment.' So that in effect a man must lose his discerning faculties before he discerns the little fantastic joys of his concupiscence; which demonstrates how vain, how empty of pleasure that is, that is beholden to folly and illusion, to a juggling and a plain cozenage, before it can be fancied to be pleasant. For it is a strange beauty that he that hath the best eyes, cannot perceive, and none but the blind or blear-eyed people can see; and such is the pleasure of lust, which, by every degree of wisdom that a man hath, is lessened and undervalued.
3. For the pleasures of intemperance, they are nothing but the relics and images of pleasure, after that nature hath been feasted; for so long as she needs, that is, so long as temperance waits, so long pleasure also stands there; but as temperance begins to go away, having done the ministries of nature, every morsel, and every new goblet, is still less delicious, and cannot be endured but as men force nature by violence to stay longer than she would : how have some men rejoiced when they have escaped a cup! and when they cannot escape, they pour it in, and receive it with as much pleasure as the old women have in the Lapland dances; they dance the round, but there is a horror and a harshness in the music; and they call it pleasure, because men bid them do so: but there is a devil in the company, and such as is his pleasure, such is theirs : he rejoices in the thriving sin, and the swelling fortune of his darling drunkenness, but his joys are the joys of him that knows and always remembers, that
he shall infallibly have the biggest damnation; and then let it be considered how forced a joy that is, that is at the end of an intemperate feast.
Nec bene mendaci risus componitur ore,
Nec bene sollicitis ebria verba sonant 8.
Certain it is, intemperance takes but nature's leavings; when the belly is full, and nature calls to take away, the pleasure that comes in afterward, is next to loathing : it is like the relish and taste of meats at the end of the third course, or sweetness of honey to him that hath eaten till he can endure to take no more; and in this, there is no other difference of these men from them that die upon another cause, than was observed among the Phalangia of old, tà μεν ποιεί γελώντας αποθνήσκειν, τα δε κλαίοντας, “ some of these make men die laughing, and some to die weeping:” so does the intemperate, and so does his brother that languishes of a consumption; this man dies weeping, and the other dies laughing; but they both die infallibly, and all his pleasure is nothing but the sting of a serpent,' immixto liventia mella veneno,' it wounds the heart, and he dies with a tarantula, dancing and singing till he bows his neck, and kisses his bosom with the fatal noddings and declensions of death.
4. In these pretenders to pleasure (which you see are but few, and they not very prosperous in their pretences), there is mingled so much trouble to bring them to act an enjoyment, that the appetite is above half tired before it comes; it is necessary a man should be hugely patient that is ambitious, ambulare per Britannos, Scythicas pati pruinas:' no man buys death and damnation at so dear a rate, as he that fights for it, and endures cold and hunger,
Patiens liminis et solis,' 'the heat of the sun, and the cold of the threshold;' the dangers of war, and the snares of a crafty enemy; he lies upon the ground with a severity greater than the penances of a hermit, and fasts beyond the austerity of a rare penitent; with this only difference, that the one does it for heaven, and the other for an uncertain honour, and an eternity of flames. But, however, by this time that he hath won something, he hath spent some years,
« Tibullus. 3. 6. 35. Heyne. p. 219.
and he hath not much time left him to rest in his new purchase, and he hath worn out his body, and lessened his capacity of feeling it; and although it is ten to one he cannot escape all the dangers he must venture at, that he may come near his trifle, yet, when he is arrived thither, he can never long enjoy, nor well perceive or taste it; and therefore, there are more sorrows at the gate, than there can dwell comforts in all the rooms of the houses of pride and great designs. And thus it is in revenge, which is pleasant only to a devil, or a man of the same cursed temper. He does a thing which ought to trouble him, and will move him to pity, what his own vile hands have acted; but if he does not pity, that is, be troubled with himself, and wish the things undone, he hath those affections by which the devil doth rejoice in destroying souls; which affections a man cannot have, unless he be perfectly miserable, by being contrary to God, to mercy, and to felicity; and, after all, the pleasure is false, fantastic, and violent, it can do him no good, it can do him hurt, it is odds but it will, and on him that takes revenge, revenge shall be taken, and by a real evil he shall dearly pay for the goods that are but airy and fantastical; it is like a rolling stone, which, when a man hath forced up a hill, will return upon him with a greater violence, and break those bones whose sinews gave it motion. The pleasure of revenge is like the pleasure of eating chalk and coals; a foolish disease made the appetite, and it is entertained with an evil reward ; it is like the feeding of a cancer or a wolf; the man is restless till it be done, and when it is, every man sees how infinitely he is removed from satisfaction or felicity.
5. These sins when they are entertained with the greatest fondness from without, it must have an extreme little pleasure, because there is a strong faction, and the better party against them : something that is within contests against the entertainment, and they sit uneasily upon the spirit when the man is vexed, that they are not lawful. The Persian king gave Themistocles a goodly pension, assigning Magnesia with the revenue of fifty talents for his bread, Lampsacum for his wine, and Myos for his meat; but all the while he fed high and drunk deep, he was infinitely afflicted that every thing went cross to his undertaking, and he could not bring his ends about to betray his country; and at last he
mingled poison with his wine and drank it off, having first entreated his friends to steal for him a private grave in his own country. Such are the pleasures of the most pompous and flattering sins: their meat and drink are good and pleasant at first, and it is plenteous and criminal; but its employment is base, it is so against a man's interest, and against what is, and ought to be, dearest to him, that he cannot persuade his better parts to consent, but must fight against them and all their arguments. These things are against a man's conscience, that is, against his reason and his rest : and something within makes his pleasure sit uneasily. But so do violent perfumes make the head ache, and therefore wise persons reject them; and the eye refuses to stare upon the beauties of the sun, because it makes it weep itself blind; and if a luscious dish please my palate, and turns to loathing in the stomach, I will lay aside that evil, and consider the danger and the bigger pain, not that little pleasure. So it is in sin; it pleases the senses, but diseases the spirit, and wounds that: and that it is apt to smart as the skin, and is as considerable in the provisions of pleasure and pain respectively: and the pleasure of sin to a contradicting reason, are like the joys of wine to a condemned man,
-Difficile est imitari gaudia falsa;
It will be very hard to delight freely in that which so vexes the more tender and most sensible part; so that, what Pliny said of the poppies growing in the river Caicus, έχει αντί καρTroū didov, 'it brings a stone instead of a flower or fruit:' so are the pleasures of these pretending sins; the flower at the best is stinking, but there is a stone in the bottom; it is gravel in the teeth, and a man must drink the blood of his own gums when he manducates such unwholesome, such unpleasant fruit.
-Vitiorum gaudia vulnus habent. They make a wound, and therefore are not very pleasant. Το γαρ ζην μη καλώς, μέγας πόνος, “It is a great labour and travail, to live a vicious life.' 6. The pleasure in the acts of these few sins that do
pretend to it, is a little limited nothing, confined to a single faculty, to one sense, having nothing but the skin for its organ