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and cull his thoughts for conversation. by suppressing some, and communicating others, whereas the other lets them all ind.fferently fly out in words. This sort of discretion, however, has rio place in private conver: sation, between intimate friends. On such occasions the wisest men very often talk like the weakest ; for indeed the talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.
2. Tully has therefore very justly exposed a precept delivered by some ancient writers, that a man should live with his enemy in such a manner, as might leave him room to becure his friend ; and with his frienil in such a manner, that if he became his enemy, it should not be in his power to hurt him. The first part of this sule, which regards our behaviour towards an enemy, is indeed very reasonable as well as prudential; but the latter part of it, which regards our behaviour to. wards a friend, favours more of cunning than of discre. tien, and would cut a man off from the greatest plea. sures of life, which are the freedoms of conversation with a bosom friend. Besides, that when a friend is turned into an enemy, and (as the son of Siracb calls bim) a betrayer of secrets, the world is just enough to excuse the perfidiousness of the friend, rather than the indiscretion of the person who corifided in hiin.'
3. Discretion dues not only shei itseif in words, but in all the circumstances of action; and is like an under: agent of Providence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary concerns of life.
4. Tirere are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion; it is this indeed which gives a value to all the rest, which sets them at work in their proper'times and places, and turns them to the ads antage of the person wlio is possessed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness: the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice,
5. Nor does discretiod only make a man the master of bais own parts, but of other men's. The discreet man finds out the talents of those he converses with, and knows how to apply them to proper uses. According ly, if we look into particular cominunities and divisions
of men, we may observe, that it is the disereet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to the society. А man with great talents, but void of discretion, is like Polyhemus in the fable, strong and blind, and endured with an irresistible force, which, for want of sight, is of no use to him,
6. Though a man has all other perfections, and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world; but it he has this single talent in perfection, and but a common share of others,' he may do what he pleases in his station of life.
7. At the same that I tak discretion the most useful talent that a man can be master of, I look upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds. Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper and laudable methods of obtaining them : cunning has only private selfish aims, and sticks at nothing which may make them succeed.
8. Discretion has large and extended views, and like a well-formed eye, commands a whole horizon : cun
ning is a kind of short-sightedness, that discovers the : minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance. Discretion, the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who possesses it : cunning, when it is once detected, loses its furce, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done, had he passed only for a plain man. Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life : cunning is a kind of instinct that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare.
9. Discretion is only found in men of strong sense and good understandings : cunning is often to be met with in brutes themselves, and in persons who are but the fewest removes from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men in the same manner as vivacity is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.
10. The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and con
sider what will be his condition millions of ages hetice, as well as what it is at present.
11. He knows, that the misery or happiness which are rezerve for hin in another world, lose nothing of the reality by being placed at so great a distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because they are remote. He considers that those pleasures and pains which lie hid in e:ernity, approach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full weight and meas: se, as much as those pains and pleasures which he feels at this very instant. For this reason he is careful to secure to himself that which is the proper happiness of his nature, and the ultimate design of his being
12. He carries his thouglits to the end of every aetion, and considers the most distant as well as the most immediate effects of it. He supercedes every little prospect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his views of an bereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality,' his schemes are large and glorious, and his.conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods.
13: I have in this essay upon discretion, considered it both as an accomplishment and as a virtue, and have therefore described it in its full extent;, not only as it is conversant about wordly affairs, but as it regards one whole existence ; not only as it is ithe guide of a mosa tal creature, but as it is in general the director of a reasonable being. It is in this light that discretion is represen:ed by the wise man, who sometimes mentions. it under the name of discretion, and sometimes. under that of wisdom
14. It is indeed (as described in the latter part of this. paper) the greatest wisdom, but at the same time in the power of every one to attaith Its advantages are infinite, but its acquisition easy; or, to speak of her in the words of the apocryphal writer, “ Wisdom is glorious, "aud never fadeth away, yet she is easily seen of.them: " that love her, and fount of such as seek her.
5. "She preventetl them that define ber, in reaking
Wherself first known unto them. He that seeketh her "early shall have no great travel : for he shall find her
sitting at his doors. To think therefore upon her in
perfection of wisdom, and whoro watcheth for her "shall quickly be without care. For she goeth about i“ seeking fuch as are worthy of her, the weth herself fa“ vourable unto them in the ways, and meeteth them "in every thought."
Spectator, No. 631,
town, tome days-Ance; in a fage coach, where I had for my fellow travellers, a dirty beau; and a pretty young Quaker woman. - Háving no inclination to talk minch at that time, I placed myself backward, with a design to survey thera, and pick a fpeculation oot of my two companions, Their different figures were sufficient of theinfelves to drawr my attention.
2. The gentleman was dreted in a fuit, the ground whereof had been black, as I perceived from fome' few fpaces that had efcapeil the powder which was incorporated with the greatest part of his coat; his perriwig, which coft po fmall fom, was after fo Dovenly a manner' cást over his Ahoulders, that it seemed not to have been combed fince the year 1711; his linen; which was not much concealed; was diubed with plain Spanish from the chin to the lowest buttort, and the diamond upon his finger (which natarally dreaded the wearer) put me in mind how it sparkled amidst the rubbith of the mine where it was fira difcovered.
3. On the other hand, the pretty Quaker appeared in all the elegance of cleanliness. Not a fpeck was to be found on her. A clear, clean, oval face, joftredged about with Irrle this plaits of the purest.cambric, rèceived great advantages from the shade of her black hood; as did the whiteness of her arms from that fober-coloured ftaffia which hite had cloathed hemself: The phinnefs of her dress was very well suited to the fimplicity of her phrases; all whiên put together, though they could not give me a great opiston of her religion, they did of her inocencét .
4. This adventure occafioned my throwing together a - few hot ngen aninofs, whiclv I shall confrder as one of
the half virtues, as Aristotle calls them, and shalt recim. mend it under the three following heads : As it is a mark of politeness; as it produceth love ; and as it bears analogy to purity of mind.
S. First, it is a mark of politenefs. It is universally agiced upon, that no one, unadorned with this virtue, s can go into compiny without giving a manifest offence.
The easier or higher any one's fortune is, this duty rifes proportionably. The different nations of the world are
as much distinguished by their cleanliness; as by their • arts and sciences. The more any country is "civilized,
the more they confult this part of politenes. We need but compare our ideas of a female Hottentot with an Erige Lisb beauty, to be satisfied of the truth of what has been ud. vanced.
6. In the next place, cleanliness may be said to be the foster-mother of love. Beauty, indeed, most cominonly produces that passion in the mind, but cleanliness preserves it. : An indifferent face and person, kept in perpetual neatne is,
hath won many a heart from a pretty flattern. Age itfelf is not unamiable, while it is preferved clean and unfullied : like a piece of metal constantly kept (mooth and bright, we look on it with more pleasure than ou á new vefel that is cankered with rust.
7. I might observe further, that as cleanliness renders us agreeable to others, so it makes us cafy to ourselves; that it is an excellent preservative of health: and that several vices destructive, both to mind and hody, are inconsistent with the habit of it. But these rekections I shall leave to the leisure of my readers, and shall obferve in the third place ; that it bears a great analogy with purity of mind, and namurally inspires refined sentiments and passions,
8. We find, from experience, that through the prevalence of custom, the most vicious actions lose their horror, by being made familiar to us. On the contrary, those who live in the neighbourhood of good examples, fly from the Srst appearance of what is shocking. It tares with us much after the fame manner as our ideas. Our senfes, which are the inlets to all the images conveyed to the niind, can only transmit the impreffion of fuch things as usually surroand
em; so that pure and unsullied thoughts are naturally