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3. Remedies against Covetousness, the third Enemy
1. Coverousness makes a Man miserable ; because
Porticibus, quanta nemoriin viitetur in
Nemo malus felix. Juv. Sat. 4.
2. Riches are useless and unprofitable: For beyond
he must learn and take Pains : Much less can he buy Constancy, or Chastity, or Courage ; nay, not to much as the Contempt of Riches : And by possessing more than we need, we cannot obtain so much Power over our Souls as not to require more. And certainly Riches must deliver me from no Evil, if the Posseifion of them cannot take away the longing for them. If any Man be thirsty, Drink cools him; if he be hungry, eating Meat fatisfies him: And when a Man is cold, and calls for a warm Cloak, he is pleafed if you give it him, but you trouble him if you load him with fix or eight Cloaks. Nature rests and fits still when she hath her Portion ; but that which exceeds it is a Trouble and a Burthen; and therefore in true Philofophy, no Man is rich but he that is poor, according to the common Account : For when God hath satisfied those Needs which he made, that is, all that is natural, whatsoever is beyond it is Thirst and a Difeafe, and unless it be sent back again in Charity or Religion, can serve 110 End but Vice or Vanity : It can increase the Appetite, to represent the Man poorer, and full of a new and artificial, unnatural Need; but it never satisfies the • Need it makes, or makes the Man richer. No Wealth can satisfy the covetons Defire of Wealth. 3. Riches are troublesome ; but the Satisfaction of
those Appetites which God and Ergò follicitee tu causa, pecunia, vitæ es. Per te inmaturum morțis adimus iter, and easie: For whoever paid
Nature have made are cheap Propert.
Use-Money for Bread and Onions and Water to keep him alive? But when we covet after Houses of the Frame and Design of Italy, or long for Jewels, or for our next Neighbour's Field, or Horses from Barbary, or the richest Perfumes of Arabia, or Galatian Mules, or fat Eunuchs for our Slaves from Tunis, or rich Coaches from Naples, then we can never be satisfied till we have the best Thing that is fancied, and all that can be had, and all that can be desired, and that we can lust no more : But before we come to the one half of our first wild Defires, we are the Bondmen of Usurers, and of our worfe Tyrant
Appetites, and the Tortures of Envy and Impatience. But I contider that those who drink on still when their Thirst is quenched, or eat after they have well dined, are forced to vomit not only their Superfluity, but ęven that which at first was neceffary : So those that cover more than they can temperately use, are oftentimes forced to part even with that Patrimony which would have supported their persons in Freedom and Honour, and have satisfied all their reafinable Defirę.
4. Contentedness is therefore Health, because Covetou fnefs is a direct Sickness : And it was well faid of Aristippus, (as Plutarch reports him,) If any Man after much eating and drinking be ftill unsatisfied, he hath no Need of more Meat or more Drink, but of a Physician; he more needs to be purged than to be filled : And therefore fince Covetouiness cannot be satisfied, it must be cured by Emptiness and Evacuation. The Man is without Remedy, unless he be reduced to the scantling of Nature, and the Measures of his personal Neceflity. Give to a poor Man a House and a few Cows, pay his little Debt, and fet him on Work, and he is provided for and quiet: But when a Man enlarges beyond a fair Poffesfion, and defires another Lordship, you spite him if you let him have it: For by that he is one Degree the farther off from Rest in his Defires and Satisfaction; and now he sees himself in a bigger Capacity to a larger Fortune ; and he shall never find his period, till
be gin to take away something of what he hath ; for then he will begin to be glad to keep that which is left: But reduce him to Nature's Measures, and there he shall be sure to find Rest : For there no Man can defire beyond his Belly-full, and when he wants that, any one Friend or charitable Man can cure his Poverty; but all the World cannot satisfie his Covetousness.
5. Covetousness is the most phantastical and contradiétory Disease in the whole World: It must therefore be incurable, because it strives against its own Cure. No Man therefore abftains from Meat, because he is hungry; nor from Wine, because he loves it and needs it: But the coyerous Man does so; for he desires it paf
fionately, because he says he needs it, and when he hath it, he will need it still, because he dares not use it. He gets Cloaths because he cannot be without them; but when he hath them then he can: As if he needed Corn for his Granary, and Cloaths for his Wardrobe, more than for his Back and Belly. For Covetousness pretends to heap much together for fear of Want; and yet after all his Pains and Purchase, he fuffers that really which at first he feared vainly; and by not using what he gets, he makes that Suffering to be actual, present and necessary, which in his lowest Condition was but future, contingent and possible. It ftirs up the Defire, and takes away the Pleasure of being satisfied. It increases the Appetite, and will not content it. It swells the Principal to no Purpose, and leffens the Vse to all Purposes; disturbing the Order of Nature, and the Designs of God; making Money not to be the Instrument of Exchange or Charity, nor Corn to feed himself or the Poor, nor Wool to cloach himself or his Brother, nor Wine to refresh the Sadness of the Afflicted, nor his Oil to make his own Countenance chearful; but all these to look upon, and to tell over, and to take Accounts by, and make himfelf confiderable, and wonder'd at by Fools, that while he lives he may be called rich, and when he dies may be accounted miserable, and like the Dish-makers of China, may leave a greater Heap of Dirt for his Nephews, while he himself hath a new Lot fallen to him in the Portion of Dives. But thus the Ass carried Wood and sweet Herbs to the Baths, but was never washed or perfumed himself: He heaped up Sweets for others, while himself was filthy with Smoak and Ashes. And yet it is considerable; if the Man can be content to feed hardly, and labour extreamly, and watch carefully, and fuffer Affronts and Disgrace, that he may get Money more than he uses in his Temperance and just Needs, with how much Ease might this Man be happy? And with how great Uneasiness and Trouble does he make himself miferable ? For he takes Pains to get Content, and when he might have it, he lets it go. He might better be
content with a virtuous and quiet Poverty, than with an artificial, troublesome and vicious. The fame Dieť and a lefs Labour would at first make him happy, and for ever after rewardable.
6. The Suin of all is that which the Apostle says, Covetoufness is Idolatry ; that is, it is an admiring Money for itself, not for its Ule; it relies upon Money, and loves it more than it loves God and Religion. And it is the Root of all Evil; it teaches Men to be cruel and crafty, industrious and evil, full of Care and Malice; it devours young Heirs, and grinds the Face of the Poor, and undoes those who specially be. long to God's Protection, helpless, craftless and innocent People ; it inquires into our Parents Age, and longs for the Death of our Friends; it makes Friendship an Art of Rapine, and changes a Partner into a Vulture, and a Companion into a Thief: And after a'l this it is for no Good to itself, for it dares not spend those Heaps of Treasure which it snatched : And Men hate Serpents and Basilisks worse than Lions and Bears; for these kill because they need the Prey ; but they sting to Death and eat not. * And if they pretend all this Care, and heap for their Heirs, (like the Mice of Africa hiding the Golden Ore in their Bowels, and refusing to give back the indigest. ed Gold till their Guts be out they may remember, that what was unnecessary for themselves, is as unnecessary for their Sons; and why cannot they be without it as well as their Fathers, who did not ufe it : And it often happens that to the Sons it becomes an Inftrument to serve fome Luft or other; that as the Gold was useless to their Fathers, so may the Sons be to the publick, Fools or Prodigals, Loads to their Country, and the Curse and Punishment of their Father's Avarice : And yet all that Wealth is short
* Η φιλοχρημοσύνη μήτηρ κακότG επίσης Xpuois de so bai rý spoupo di Opércio Χρυσή κακών αρχηγέ, βιοφθόρε, πάνlα χαλέπτων, Είθε σε μη θνητοία γενέθς πωμα ποθεινόν. Σε ο εκητι μάγει τε, λεηλασίαι το, φόι οι τε, 'Εχθες και τέχνα ονεύσιν, αδελφeιοί τε, συναίμοις. Phocylid.