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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
concessum propter duritiem cordis ; he look'd
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
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 ;
Of sense to use, what is his lot :
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
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.
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.