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shadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules , she stepped before the other lady, who came forward with a regular composed carriage, and running up to him, accosted him after the following manner :
My dear Hercules , says she , I find you are very much divided in your own thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to chuse : be my friend, and follow me; I will lead you into the possession of pleasure, and out of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noise and disquietude of business. The affairs of either war or peace shall have no power to disturb you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and to entertain every sense with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfumes, concerts of music , crowds of beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into this region of delights , this world of pleasure, and bid farewell for ever to care, to pain, to business
Hercules hearing the lady talk after this manner, desired to know her name; to which she answered; My friends, and those who are well acquainted with me,
call me Happiness; but my enemies , and those who would injure my reputation , have given me the name of Pleasure.
By this time the other lady was come up, who addressed herself to the young hero in a very different manner.
Hercules, says she , I offer myself to you, because I know you are descended from the Gods, and give proofs of that descent by your love to virtue, and application to the studies proper for your age. This makes me hope you will gain both for yourself and me an immortal reputation. But , before I invite you into my society and friendship, I will be open and sincere with you, and must lay down this as an established truth, that there is nothing truly valuable which can be purchased without pains and labour. The Gods have set a price upon every real and noble pleasure. If you would gain the favour of the Deity, you must be at the pains of worshipping him; if the friendship of good men, you must study to oblige them; if you would be honoured by your country, you must take care to serve it. In short, if you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become master of all the qualifications
that can make you so. These are the only terms and conditions upon which I can propose happiness. The Goddess of Pleasure here broke in upon her discourse : You see, said she, Hercules, by her own confession , the way to her pleasures is long and difficult, whereas that which I propose is short and easy. Alas! said ilie other lady, whose visage glowed with passion made up of scorn and pity, what are the pleasures, you propose ? To eat before you are hungry, drink before you are athirst, sleep before you are tired; to gratify appetites before they are raised, and raise such appetites as nature never planted. You never heard the most delicious music, which is the praise of one's self; nor saw the most beautiful object, which is the work of one's own hands. Your votaries pass away their youth in a dream of mistaken pleasures, while they are hoarding up anguish , torinent"; and remorse, for old age.
As for me, I am the friend of Gods and of good men, an agreeable companion to the artisan, an household guardian to the fathers of families, a patron and protector of servants, an associate in all true and
generous friendships. The banquets of my votaries are never costly, but always delicious; for none eat or drink at them who are not invited by hunger and thirst. Their slumbers are sound, and their wakings cheerfu'. My young men have the pleasure of hearing themselves praised by those who are in years; and those who are in years, of being honoured by those who are young. In a word, my followers are favoured by the Gods, beloved by their country, and, after the close of their labours , honoured by posterity.
We know, by the life of this memorable hero , to which of these two ladies he gave up his heart ; and I believe, every one who reads this, will do him the justice to approve his choiee.
TO BEGIN NOTHING, OF WHICH
YOU HAVE NOT WELL CONSIDERED THE END,
A certain Cham of Tartary going a progress with his nobles, was met by a Dervise , who cried with a loud voice, Whoever
will give me a hundred pieces of gold, I will give him a piece of advice. The Cham ordered him tlie sum': Upon which the Dervise said , « Begin nothing of which thou hast not well considered the end ».
The courtiers, upon hearing this plain sentence, smiled, and said with a sneer : « The Dervise is well paid for his maxim ». But the king was so well satisfied with the answer, that he ordered it to be written in golden letters in several places of his palace, and engraved on all his plate. Not long after, the king's surgeon was bribed to kill him with a poisoned lancet at the time he let him blood. One day, when the king's arm was bound, and the fatal lancet in the surgeon's hand, he read on the bason, « Begin nothing of which thou hast not » well considered the end. » He immediately started , and let the lancet fall out of his hand. The King observed his confusion , and enquired the reason : The surgeon fell prostrate, confessed the whole affair , and was pardoned, and the conspirators died.
The Cham, turning to his courtiers who heard the advice with contempt, told them, « That counsel could not be too much » valued, which had saved a king's life. »