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cisions of the ancient Moralifs, are grown into Proverbs in most of the lis ving Languages in this part of the World. And that more of them may become so in ours, is the Design of publishing this Collection.
The Italians, Spaniards, and French, as well as we of these Nations, have enriched their store with many of the most considerable Sayings and Observations of the Greeks and Romans; which are here inserted for their fakes chiefly who are Strangers to those learned Tongues.
For they who are acquainted with Euripides, Sophocles, and those valuable Fragments of Menander, and the other Greek Dramatick Poets and Sages, happily preferu'd to us by Stobæus, and some of the more ancient Chriflian Writers, will easily trace up
many of the very best and wisest of these Proverbs to those great Originals.
I mention this out of a juft Indignation, and to the eternal Shame of our wretched Poetasters, the modern Scriblers to the English Stage; who, either to get Bread by Jo vile and mean a Trade, or to gain the Applause of the empty and gay Things, and loose Debauchees of a degenerate Age, and with. all to Patronize their own lewd and fcandalous. Lives, have taken as much pains to varnish and set of Profaneness
, and all kinds of brutish Senfuality and Wickedness, and to ridicule true Wildom and Virtue, and even common Honesty, as those much wifer and better Men, the Heathen Poets, did to discredit Vice and Følly, and to raise Soþriety, Justice, Humanity, and even Piety, to that Esteem and true Value with all Men, which they ever had, and will
ever have with the most discerning and unbyassed Judges, even. Pagans as well as Christians.
These Jacula Prudentum, these Goads or Nails of the Wise, may probably make a deeper Impression, and stick fafter in fome Mens minds than large Discourses and accurate and close Reasonings.
Some fingle Proverb may, either by its own. Weight and clear Evidence of Truth, or by its agreeable Turn of Expression, so luckily hit some Persons in Fome Circumstances, and may give them such a seasonable Hint, as may be worth twenty times more to them upon that one Occasion, than the whole Book cost them.
Fly the Pleasure that will bite to: morrow.
"Tis better to please a Fool than
:> anger him.
Lay your Hand often upon your
own Heart, and you will not speak
ill of others. Never Speak, or Do that thing which
Anger prompts you to. Giving much to the Poor increaseth
our store. GC
Some one of these, I say, or the like, may come so patly into that Man's Head which is furnisþed with such Materials, as to prevent his doing some Il or Folly which he would afterwards repent of; or to put him upon what be might not otherwise have thought to do at that time, or in that manner..
Some plain, irresistible, and useful Truths, are inserted here and there a
mong the rest, that if they are not yet common enough to pass for Proverbs, or ftated Maxims and Rules of Life, they may be fo for the future to all who will give themselves the leisure duly to confider, and then to apply them to their
ho If there needs any Apology, it is for some fem, which are either Matters of Fact and common Observation, or which Shew fomewhat of the Genius of those Nations whence they at first came. And thefe, as Sea-marks, may serve to warn us what is to be avoided, as well as difapprov'd, by all who have a true, taste and fenfe of their Duty and Intereft. Some too of the French Proverbs are in such an old Drefs, as that they will scarce be owned by their Country.men; the Reason of which is, that they were copied from Books printed before the modern Refinements of that Tongue, which