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322. Son. A rich Usurer, that never gave alms in

his Life, yet was as charitable to his neighbour as to himself, sat telling his fingers, as if casting up interest ; or pensive, as studying how to compass some prodigal, beggar this widow, or undo that orphan ; 'till growing drunk, he belch'd out old

Bias's problem. 323

With what art thou not weary? with getting money. What is most delectable? to gain : And

told us,

324

That he wonder'd any should fancy Usury only a

concessum propter duritiem cordis ; he look'd

upon

it as a noble exemption from the first sentence passed upon mankind, for by it he eat his bread in sudore

vultus alieni. 325. That riches were equal to merit, and wealth

alone afforded more pleasure than the possession of

parents, children, and friends. 326. That gold and silver were his idols, which he

wou'd ever hug, and hide closer than Rachel did

her father's images. 327. Then he fell a railing against the 12 Car. II.

chap. 13. 'till Mr. desired him to read the

parable in the 12th of St. Luke. 328. Father. There are a number of scarce dis

cerned faculties and customs that make men rich ; but the two most fortunate properties are, a little of the fool, and not too much of the honest; both which qualities are conspicuous enough in

your Usurer.

329. By women's longing covetousness seems to be the

first sin mankind is guilty of; and to see how old misers hug their bags, covering wealth most when they are just about to leave it, one would think it

the last. 330.

An insatiate desire to get and keep money, is a plague no Æsculapius can cure.

331. The more a man drinks of this world, the more

it intoxicates. 332. The covetous will lye with Gehazi, steal with

Achan, betray with Judas, murder with Ahab,

apostatize with Demas. 333 Agur's wish is a continual lecture of reproof to

him that covets more than a sufficiency. 334

He that has most has no more than he enjoys,

besides the trouble of keeping it. 335. Socrates passing thro' the markets, cry'd, how

much is here I do not want. 336. Covering what we need not, takes from us the

true use and fruition of what we already have. 337. 'Tis wrong that men should call him blest,

Who lands, and store of gold has got ;
He's only so who is possess'd

Of sense to use, what is his lot :
Whose noble soul, his fortune does excel

And talent is, to manage all things well.Considering a miser's fears, his starting sleeps ; that whilst he has all the anxious and distracting cares, and vexations that attend the possession of an estate, he is so bewitch'd as to undergo all the inconveniencies of poverty, his condition is so very

338.

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wretched, that one of the greatest curses a man can

wish him, is, that he may live long. 339. The prodigal robs his heir, the miser himself. 340. After all, if riches be not taken from him, as it

fared with Job,' in a short time he must, as Dives, be taken from his riches, and then the more he

leaves, the less his heirs regret his loss. 341. According to the proverb, ill got, ill spent; a

covetous, scraping, time-selling father, has commonly a prodigal son, who squanders away the estate with as little conscience as it was rak'd and

heap'd together. 342.

Nil nimium cupito. 343. Desire no greater riches than such as you may

get justly, use soberly, distribute chearfully, and

leave contentedly. 344. He is rich enough that needs neither flatter, nor

borrow, and truly rich that is satisfied ; want lies in desire.

But give me the character of the

Wiseman you mentioned.

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345. Son. His countenance was full of mildness

and courtesy, his eyes more smiling than his mouth, his discourse grave and sober, his words smooth and proper, distinctly uttered with such a due respect to time, place, and person, as did not only perswade, but ravish and transport his auditors, and produce in them a certain admiration, mixt

with astonishment and surprise. 346.

His religion was legible in the innocency of his life -exactness of his morals-integrity and truth of his words—and justice and honesty of his conversation.

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