Advise and Dissent

On the essays of Abraham Cowley (1617-1667):

The theme of his essays—on solitude, on obscurity (lack of fame), on avarice, on the dangers confronting an honest man, on the shortness of life and uncertainty of riches—is that happiness resides in the control of one’s desires, a middling state being preferable to one of poverty or extreme wealth.

As Dalrymple notes, Cowley’s message is not a new one — which perhaps implies that it has always been, and will continue to be, ignored.

Read the piece here

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