Why, therefore, O
mortals! do ye ſearch abroad for happineſs?
when it is only to be found at home in your
own breaſts.You are the dupes of error and of
ignorance.I will ſhew you in a few words in
what the chief happineſs conſiſts. - Is there any
thing more precious to you than yourſelf? Nothing,
you will ſay.Aſſume then the government
of yourſelf, and you will poſſeſs what you can
never loſe, and what Fortune cannot take from
    But to be fully convinced that happineſs conſiſts
not in things which are in the power of Fortune,
attend to the following reaſoning: - If happineſs
is the chief good of a reaſonable being,
that cannot be his chief good, which is in its nature
fluctuating, and of which he may be deprived;
for there is ſome good more excellent than
this tranſitory felicity, namely, what is permanent,
and which cannot be taken away: it is therefore
evident, that Fortune, the moſt variable thing in
the world, cannot beſtow the ſovereign good upon
mankind.Beſides, whoever is captivated with
the favours of the capricious dame, either knows,
or does not know her inconſtancy.If he does
not know it, what happineſs can a perſon enjoy,
who is immerſed in the groſſeſt ignorance? If he
knows it, he muſt be afraid of loſing her gifts,
as he is ſure they may be loſt; and the fear of
this will keep him in conſtant terror, and bereave
him of repoſe.But perhaps he may think the
favours of Fortune deſpicable, and if he ſhould be
deprived of them, unworthy of his concern: if
this is the caſe, it muſt be a very inconſiderable
good, the loſs whereof can be ſupported without