Why therefore, O wretched
Mortals, do ye ſo induſtriouſly ſeek abroad for
that Felicity which is placed at home within
your ſelves? Error and Ignorance miſlead and
confound you.But I, in ſhort, will ſhew you
the very Hinge upon which the trueſt Happineſs
doth turn. Is there any thing more pretious
and eſtimable to thee than thy ſelf? No,
thou wilt ſay. Then if thou wilt weigh things
well, and gain the Command over thy ſelf,
thou wilt poſſeſs that which thou wouldſt never
loſe, and which Fortune can never take
from thee.And that thou mayſt ſee that Beatitude
cannot conſiſt in thoſe things which are in
the Power of Fortune, only conſider thus ;If
Happineſs be the Sovereign Good of Nature,
living and ſubſiſting by Reaſon, then that thing
cannot be it, which can by any means be withdrawn
from us, becauſe that which cannot be
taken away is worthily eſteemed the moſt excellent.
Hence it appears that Inſtability of
Fortune is not ſuſceptive of true Happineſs.
Add to this, that he who is carried away by
fading Felicity, doth either know that it is mutable,
or he doth not.If he knows it not,
what Happineſs can he take in the Blindneſs of
his Ignorance?If he knows it, he muſt neceſſarily
be afraid leſt he ſhould loſe that which he
knows is eaſily to be loſt; and in that caſe his
continual Fear will not ſuffer him to be happy.
Perhaps he cares not if he ſhould loſe it, and he
would not be much troubled at its Loſs.Even
truly the Good is but very ſmall and inconſiderable,
the Loſs of which a Man can bear with
ſuch Equanimity and Unconcernedneſs.