CHAPTER IV. PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTIONS ON THE FOLLY OF BEING HAPPY IN TIMES OF PROSPERITY -- SUNDRY TROUBLES ON THE SOUTHERN FRONTIERS -- HOW WILLIAM THE TESTY HAD WELL NIGH RUINED THE PROVINCE THROUGH A CABALISTIC WORD -- AS ALSO THE SECRET EXPEDITION OF JAN JANSEN ALPENDAM, AND HIS ASTONISHING REWARD.

IF we could but get a peep at the tally of dame Fortune, where, like a notable landlady, she regularly chalks up the debtor and creditor accounts of mankind, we should find that, upon the whole, good and evil are pretty near balanced in this world; and that though we may for a long while revel in the very lap of prosperity, the time will at length come when we must ruefully pay off the reckoning. Fortune, in fact, is a pestilent shrew, and withal a most inexorable creditor; for though she may indulge her favourites in king credits, and overwhelm them with her favours, yet sooner or later she brings up her arrears with the rigour of an experienced publican, and washes out her scores with their tears. "Since," said good old Boetius, "no man can retain her at his pleasure, and since her flight is so deeply lamented, what are her favours but sure prognostications of approaching trouble and calamity?"

There is nothing that more moves my contempt at the stupidity and want of reflection of my fellow-men, than to behold them rejoicing, and indulging in security and self-confidence, in times of prosperity. To a wise man, who is blessed with the light of reason, those are the very moments of anxiety and apprehension; well knowing that according to the system of things, happiness is at best but transient -- and that the higher he is elevated by the capricious breath of fortune, the lower must be his proportionate depression. Whereas, he who is overwhelmed by calamity, has the less chance of encountering fresh disasters, as a man at the bottom of a ladder runs very little risk of breaking his neck by tumbling to the top.

This is the very essence of true wisdom, which consists in knowing when we ought to be miserable; and was discovered much about the same time with that invaluable secret, that "every thing is vanity and vexation of spirit;" in consequence of which maxim, your wise men have ever been the unhappi-

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