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and being conscious of its sovereignty. Thus, by frequent resistance and generous thinking, the forbearance is as great as the enjoyment, and that which was at first too mighty for opposition, becomes at last too little for notice.
Pleasure, of what kind soever, is nothing but an agreement between the object and the faculty. This description, well applied, will give us the true height of ourselves, and tell us our size. If little things please us, we may conlude that we have no greatness of mind: children are, as well known by their diversions as by their stature. Those satisfactions which require capacity and understanding to relish them, which either require improvement or promote it, are of the better sort. On the other side, to be pleased with gaudiness in habit, with gingles and false ornament in discourse, with antic motions and gestures, is a sign that the inclinations are trifling, and the judgment vulgar and unpolished. There should be somewhat of greatness and proportion, and curiosity in things, to justify our appetite; to be gained by every little pretending entertainment does but shew our mean
The existence of pleasure, as things stand at present, is very precarious; not to mention any other inconvenience, pleasure is dangerously ex
posed to the incursious of pain; and when those two parties happen to meet, the enemy always gains the advantage. Pain is a strange domineering perception; it forces us into an acknowledgment of its superiority, it keeps off satisfactions when we have them not, and destroys them when we have. The prick of a pin is enough to make an empire insipid for the time. In a word, the end of pleasure is to support the offices of life, to relieve the fatigues of business, to reward a regular action, and encourage the continuance in well doing.
UNIVERSALITY OF KNOWLEDGE.
UNIVERSALITY of Knowledge, is certainly very useful, and necessary to form the mind, but then it must be done not for talk and vanity, to fill a man's head with shreds of discourses of all he
shall meet with, as if nothing could come amiss to him; and his head was so well stored a magazine, that nothing could be proposed of which he was not master. This is an excellency indeed, and a great one too, to have a real and true knowledge in all or most of the objects of contemplation. But it is what the mind of one and the same man can hardly attain; and the instances are so few of those who have in some measure approached towards it, that I know not whether they are to be proposed as examples in the ordinary conduct of the understanding. To understand fully the business of his particular calling in the common-wealth, and of religion, which is his calling as he is a man in the world, is usually enough to take up his whole time; and there are few that inform themselves in these, which is every one's proper and peculiar business, so deeply as they should do.
But, though this be so, and there are few that extend their thoughts towards universal knowledge, yet I do not doubt, if the right way were taken, and the methods of enquiry were ordered as they should be, men of little business, and great leisure, might go a great deal farther in it than is usually done.
The end and use of a little insight in those parts of knowledge, which are not one's proper
business is, to accustom our minds to all sorts of ideas, and the proper ways of examining our habitudes and relations. This gives the mind a freedom; and the exercise of the understanding in the several ways of enquiry and reasoning, which the most skilful have used, teaches sagacity and wariness, and a suppleness to apply more closely and dexterously to the bends and turns of the matter in all its researches.
Besides, this universal taste of all the sciences, with an indifferency before the mind is possessed with any in particular, and grown into love and admiration of what it made its darling, will prevent another evil commonly to be observed in those who have from the beginning been seasoned only by one part of knowledge. If we give ourselves up to the contemplation of one sort of knowledge, that will become every thing. The mind will take such a tincture from a familiarity with that object, that every thing else, how remote soever, will be brought under the same view.
A metaphysician will bring ploughing and gardening immediately to abstract notions, the history of nature shall signify nothing to him. An alchymist, on the contrary, shall reduce diviuity to the maxims of his laboratory, explain .norality by sal, sulphur, and mercury, and allego
rise the scripture itself, and its sacred mysteries, into the philosopher's stone. And I heard once, a man, who had a more than ordinary excellency in music, seriously accommodate Moses's seven days of the week, to the notes of music, as if from thence had been taken the measure and method of the creation. It is of no small consequence to keep the mind from such a possession, which I think is best done by giving it a fair and equal view of the whole intellectual world, wherein it may see the order, rank, and beauty of the whole, and give a just allowance to the distinct provinces of the several sciences in the due order and usefulness of each.
If this be that which old men will not think necessary, nor be easily brought to, it is fit at least that it should be practised in the breeding of the young. The business of education is not, I think, to make them perfect in any one of the sciences, but so to open and dispose their minds as may best make them capable of any, when they shall apply themselves to it. If men are', for a long time accustomed only to one sort or method of thoughts, their minds grow stiff in it, and do not readily turn to another. Therefore, to give them this freedom, they should be made to look into all sorts of knowledge, and exercise their understandings in so wide a variety and