Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECT. I.: How Virtue and Vice, public Services, and public Crimes, may be said to bring their own Rewards. - The Works of Sallust (Gordon's Discourses, Cicero's Orations against Catiline)
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SECT. I.: How Virtue and Vice, public Services, and public Crimes, may be said to bring their own Rewards. - Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), The Works of Sallust (Gordon’s Discourses, Cicero’s Orations against Catiline) 
The Works of Sallust, translated into English with Political Discourses upon that Author. To which is added, a translation of Cicero’s Four Orations against Catiline (London: R. Ware, 1744).
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How Virtue and Vice, public Services, and public Crimes, may be said to bring their own Rewards.
IN the History of Sallust, and in other Roman Histories, as we are shocked to find so many Parricides, Enemies to their Country, it is a sensible Pleasure to find some, I wish I could say so many, Patriots. I therefore bestow the following Discourse upon these opposite Characters.
Men are so prone to comply with every Temptation to Evil, that the surest Way to escape the latter, is to avoid the former; and rather to distrust their own Virtue, than to stand the Trial. It is certainly safer to fly, than to be overcome. But, as a Man, who would shun all the Baits and Allurements of Vice and Evil, must utterly leave the World, which abounds in little else, he who would secure himself against Corruption, must arm himself with Self-denial, must consider his Innocence above all Price, his Virtue as the highest Acquisition of his Life, the Source of all true Glory, and the surest Pledge of lasting Pleasure and Fame. When all other Pleasures fail, this one is more than an Equivalent for the Loss of the rest; and it is often the Want of this, which creates such an eager Pursuit after other Pleasures, if there can be any, where this is not. These Amusements must surely be, at least, very impotent and defective, which only serve to make Men forget for awhile, that they are not Innocent, nor consequently Happy. In spight of all their Amusements, of all their Efforts to beguile themselves, they have a sore Place about them, which will be continually reviving their Memory, or their Memory the sore Place. What Recompence, what Place, or Wealth, or Power, is equal to this, or can atone for it; atone for perpetual Anguish and Self condemnation?
It will, perhaps, be alleged, that Men grow hardened, and their Hearts callous, and then feel no pungent Horrors, nor any Horror, for Iniquity and Baseness. I doubt this is not their Case. Habit may sear and deprave them in some measure, probably in a great measure; but, I believe, never beyond Feeling. I never knew a Man, nor heard of a Man, quite so abandoned, as to speak ill of Honour and Honesty; even the worst Men pretend to some Degree of it, and sometimes exercise it: All of them would be proud of a good Reputation; nor can any of them be absolutely indifferent what all others say of them. I have known Men, notoriously abandoned and decried, make great Court to Men of opposite and approved Characters, when by such Court they could propose no Advantage, but that of gaining some Esteem, by conversing with such as had a great deal.
Men therefore, the most hardened and corrupt Men, would rather be thought virtuous than wicked, honest than unjust; and, perhaps, wish themselves so; would rather chuse to hide their evil Doings than have them exposed, even where the Discovery is attended with no other Penalty than that of Censure and Dispraise. Even Nero and Tiberius had such Reserves, were anxious to conceal their secret Guilt, and mortified when it became exposed. It is, indeed, agreeable to the Idea of God and a Providence, that wicked Men should be haunted with the Terrors of their Enormities, and never taste of Happiness, though ever hunting after it; and that Innocence, however persecuted or threatened, should be attended with Pleasure(a) .
That Men become hardened and insensible to a certain Degree, is undoubtedly true; else, after the first Compunction, which, I believe, naturally follows Crimes, they would not, at least wantonly, repeat them. But even this Insensibility is a terrible Curse and Misfortune; worse than natural Stupidity, or Lunacy. Who would chuse, or rather, who would not dread, such a Turn of Spirit, as weaned him from all Good, and the Paths of Praise, and hurried him continually after Evil and Infamy? For, Infamy will ever be the Issue and Reward of Evil; and Facts will, first or last, appear through all false Colours and Disguises.
A Man would therefore love and pursue Virtue, hate and shun Vice, for his own Sake, since he is sure of a Reward, such a Reward as all the Powers, all the Acquisitions of the World, cannot bestow, even Consciousness of Innocence, and an Heart upright and easy: And the more extensive his Virtue, the more extensive his Happiness. Does he hurt none, and help some? He is a good Man, and happy. Does he assist many, and still injure none? He is more happy. Is he just to Particulars, and also serviceable to All? Does he love his Country, and pursue its Welfare, with all his Might and Zeal? Who can be more happy? He is happy, though he should miscarry; for, having done his best, and faithfully discharged his Duty, he has the Approbation of his own Conscience, with the Applause of all worthy Men. Is any Reward equal to this Reward?
I have therefore always admired, as well as reverenced, the Characters of Patriots; Men of great and good Minds, Friends to Society and to human Kind, Lovers of Liberty and their Country, Enemies to Oppressors and Oppression, and Guardians of public Virtue, and the public Weal. These are the Men who have an unquestionable Title to the Favours and Blessings of the whole Race; nor can there be a greater Reproach upon the World, than that such Men have not been always well used in it. He who loves, and studies to serve All, merits that All should love and serve him. But, as we often see Men oppose their own Good, and flight and abuse their Benefactors, the Patriot has seldom competent Encouragement or Success. Such as have different Hearts and Views, will hate and decry him; and it is likely there will be many such. These, following their natural Bent of Malignity and Falshood, and pursuing a wicked End, will not spare wicked Arts and Means to obtain it. By such Arts and Industry, they will gain Belief and Followers. Malice is more active than Innocence; the latter is apt to confide in itself, which ought, indeed, to be a sure Guard, but is not always so; whilst the former seeks all Supports, and employs every base Artifice. Hence Virtue comes to suffer, being first misrepresented, then persecuted, at last oppressed. Hence it is, that the false Patriot is often more successful and popular than the true, and often triumphs over him.
Still this hinders not, but that Virtue is ever the best Choice. Who would not rather be a Cicero, even in Exile, than a Clodius his Enemy, though triumphing over that virtuous Roman? An Algernoon Sydney, sentenced to die for the everlasting Principles of Truth and Liberty, than a Jefferies, infamously exalted to the Tribunal of Justice, and pronouncing that wicked Sentence?
[(a) ]Si recludantur Tyrannorum mentes, posse adspici laniatus & ictus.