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ples and the academy, but no superfluities to be spent in groans and sickly nights: and all the world of gluttons is hugely convinced of the excellency of temperance in order to our moral felicity and health, because when themselves have left virtue, and sober diet, and counsels, and first lost their temperance, and then lost their health, they are forced to go to temperance and abstinence, for their cure. "Vilis enim tenuisque mensa (ut loquuntur pueri) sanitatis mater est," then a thin diet and an humble body, fasting and emptiness, and arts of scattering their sin and sickness, is in season; but by the same means they might preserve their health, by which they do restore it; but when they are well, if they return to their full tables and oppressing meals, their sickness was but like Vitellius' vomiting, that they might eat again; but so they may entail a fit of sickness upon every full moon, till both their virtue and themselves decrease into the corruptions and rottenness of the grave. But if they delight in sharp fevers and horrid potions, in sour palates and heaps of that which must be carried forth, they may reckon their wealthy pleasures to be very great and many, if they will but tell them one by one with their sicknesses and the multitude of those evils they shall certainly feel, before they have thrown their sorrows forth. "These men (as St. Paul's expression is) heap up wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the day of God's most righteous judgments." Strange therefore it is, that for the stomach, which is scarce a span long, there should be provided so many furnaces and ovens, huge fires and an army of cooks, cellars swimming with wine, and granaries sweating with corn; and that into one belly should enter the vintage of many nations, the spoils of distant provinces, and the shell-fishes of several seas. When the heathens feasted their gods, they gave nothing but a fat ox, a ram, or a kid; they poured a little wine upon the altar, and burned a handful of gum: but when they feasted themselves, they had many vessels filled with Campanian wine, turtles of Liguria, Sicilian beeves, and wheat from Egypt, wild boars from Illyrium, and Grecian sheep, variety, and load, and cost, and curiosity: and so do we. It is so little we spend in religion, and so very much upon ourselves, so little to the poor, and so with
out measure to make ourselves sick, that we seem to be in love with our own mischief, and so passionate for necessity and want, that we strive all the ways we can to make ourselves need more than nature intended. I end this consideration with the saying of the cynic; It is to be wondered at, that men eat so much for pleasure's sake and yet for the same pleasure should not give over eating, and betake themselves to the delights of temperance, since to be healthful and holy is so great a pleasure. However, certain it is, that no man ever repented, that he arose from the table sober, healthful, and with his wits about him; but very many have repented, that they sat so long, till their bellies swelled, and their health, and their virtue, and their God, is departed from them.
2. A CONSTANT full table is less pleasant than the temperate provisions of the virtuous, or the natural banquets of the poor. Χάρις τῇ μακαρίᾳ φύσει, ὅτι τὰ ἀναγκαῖα ἐποίησεν εὐπόριστα, τὰ δὲ δυσπόριστα οὐκ ἀναγκαῖα, said Epicurus ; "Thanks be to the God of nature, that he hath made that which is necessary,' to be ready at hand, and easy to be had; and that which cannot easily be obtained, is not necessary it should be at all;" which in effect is to say, It cannot be constantly pleasant: for necessity and want make the appetite, and the appetite makes the pleasure; and men are infinitely mistaken when they despise the poor man's table, and wonder how he can endure that life, that is maintained without the exercise of pleasure, and that he can suffer his day's labour, and recompense it with unsavoury herbs, and potent garlic, with watercresses, and bread coloured like the ashes that gave it hardness: he hath a hunger that gives it deliciousness; and we may as well wonder that a lion eats raw flesh, or that a wolf feeds upon the turf; they have an appetite proportionable to this meat; and their necessity, and their hunger, and their use, and their nature, are the cooks that dress their provisions, and make them delicate:
and yet if water and pulse, natural provisions, and the simple diet, were not pleasant, as indeed they are not to them. who have been nursed up and accustomed to the more delicious, ἔπειτα πλουτῶν οὐκ ἔθ ̓ ἥδεται φακῶν, yet it is a very great pleasure to reduce our appetites to nature, and to make our reason rule our stomach, and our desires comply with our fortunes, and our fortunes be proportionable to our persons. "Non est voluptas aqua et polenta (said a philosopher); sed summa voluptas est, posse ex his capere voluptatem," 'It is an excellent pleasure to be able to take pleasure in worts and water,' in bread and onions; for then a man can never want pleasure when it is so ready for him, that nature hath spread it over all its provisions. Fortune and art give delicacies; nature gives meat and drink; and what nature gives, fortune cannot take away; but every change can take away what only is given by the bounty of a full fortune; and if in satisfaction and freedom from care, and security and proportions to our own natural appetite, there can be pleasure, then we may know how to value the sober and natural tables of the virtuous and wise, before that state of feastings which a war can lessen, and a tyrant can take away, or the pirates may intercept, or a blast may spoil, and is always contingent, and is so far from satisfying, that either it destroys the appetite, and capacity of pleasure, or increases it beyond all the measures of good things.
He that feasts every day, feasts no day; irpúpnoev, wote μὴ πολὺν τρυφᾷν χρόνον. And however you treat yourselves, sometimes you will need to be refreshed beyond it; but what will you have for a festival, if you wear crowns every day? even a perpetual fulness will make you glad to beg pleasure from emptiness, and variety from poverty or an humble table.
Plerumque gratæ principibus vices.
Sollicitam explicuere frontem1.
But, however, of all things in the world a man may best and most easily want pleasure, which if you have enjoyed, it passes away at the present, and leaves nothing at all behind it, but sorrow and sour remembrance. No man felt a greater pleasure in a goblet of wine than Lysimachus, when he
t Hor. Od. 3. 29. 16.
fought against the Getæ, and himself and his whole army were compelled by thirst to yield themselves to bondage; but when the wine was sunk as far as his navel, the pleasure was gone, and so was his kingdom and his liberty for though the sorrow dwells with a man pertinaciously, yet the pleasure is swift as lightning, and more pernicious; but the pleasures of a sober and a temperate table are pleasures till the next day, καὶ τῇ ὑστεραίᾳ ἡδέως γίνονται, as Timotheus said of Plato's scholars; they converse sweetly, and are of perfect temper and delicacy of spirit even the next morning' whereas the intemperate man is forced to lie long in bed, and forget that there is a sun in the sky; he must not be called till he hath concocted, and slept his surfeit into a truce and a quiet respite; but whatsoever this man hath suffered, certain it is that the poor man's head did not ache, neither did he need the juice of poppies, or costly cordials, physicians or nurses, to bring him to his right shape again, like Apuleius's ass, with eating roses : and let him turn his hour-glass, he will find his head aches longer than his throat was pleased; and, which is worst, his glass runs out with joggings and violence, and every such concussion with a surfeit makes his life look nearer its end, and ten to one but it will, before its natural period, be broken in pieces. If these be the pleasures of an epicure's table, I shall pray that my friends may never feel them; but he that sinneth against his Maker, shall fall into the calamities of intemperance.
3. Intemperance is the nurse of vice; 'Appudírns yáda, 'Venus-milk,' so Aristophanes calls wine; Távтwv deivāv μnτpóroλis, the mother of all grievous things;' so Pontianus. For by the experience of all the world, it is the bawd to lust and no man must ever dare to pray to God for a pure soul in a chaste body, if himself does not live temperately, if himself "make provisions for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts of it;" for in this case he shall find "that which enters into him, shall defile him" more than he can be cleansed by those vain prayers, that come from his tongue, and not from his heart. Intemperance makes rage and choler, pride and fantastic principles; it makes the body a sea of humours, and those humours the seat of violence: by faring deliciously every day, men become senseless of the
evils of mankind, inapprehensive of the troubles of their brethren, unconcerned in the changes of the world, and the cries of the poor, the hunger of the fatherless, and the thirst of widows: οὐκ ἐκ τῶν μαζοφάγων οἱ τύραννοι, ἀλλ ̓ ἐκ τῶν Tρupwμévwv, said Diogenes; "Tyrants never come from the cottages of them that eat pulse and coarse fare, but from the delicious beds and banquets of the effeminate and rich feeders." For, to maintain plenty and luxury, sometimes wars are necessary, and oppressions and violence: but no landlord did ever grind the face of his tenants, no prince ever sucked blood from his subjects for the maintenance of a sober and a moderate proportion of good things. And this was intimated by St. James, "Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment-seat"?" For all men are passionate to live according to that state in which they were born, or to which they are devolved, or which they have framed to themselves; those therefore that love to live high and deliciously,
Et quibus in solo vivendi causa palato*,
who live not God but to their belly, not to sober counsels but to an intemperate table, have framed to themselves a manner of living, which oftentimes cannot be maintained but by injustice and violence, which coming from a man whose passions are made big with sensuality and an habitual folly, by pride and forgetfulness of the condition and miseries of mankind, are always unreasonable, and sometimes intolerable.
regustatum digito terebrare salinum Contentus perages, si vivere cum Jove tendis .
Formidable is the state of an intemperate man, whose sin begins with sensuality, and grows up in folly and weak discourses, and is fed by violence, and applauded by fools and parasites, full bellies and empty heads, servants and flatterers, whose hands are full of flesh and blood, and their hearts empty of pity and natural compassion; where religion cannot inhabit, and the love of God must needs be a stranger; whose talk is loud and trifling, injurious and impertinent;
y Pers. 5. 138.
u Jam. ii. 6.
* Juv. 11. 11.