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      §55. The Mind has a different relish, as well as the Palate; and
you will as fruitlesly endeavour to delight all Men with Riches or
Glory, (which yet some Men place their Happiness in,) as you
would to satisfy all Men’s Hunger with Cheese or Lobsters; which,
though very agreeable and delicious fare to some, are to others
extremely nauseous and offensive: And many People would with
Reason preferr the griping of an hungry Belly, to those Dishes,
which are a Feast to others. Hence it was, I think, that the Philo-
sophers of old did in vain enquire, whether Summum bonum consisted
in Riches, or bodily Delights, or Virtue, or Contemplation: And
they might have as reasonably disputed, whether the best Relish
were to be found in Apples, Plumbs, or Nuts; and have divided
themselves into Sects upon it. For as pleasant Tastes depend not
on the things themselves, but their agreeableness to this or that
particular Palate, wherein there is great variety: So the greatest
Happiness consists, in the having those things, which produce the
greatest Pleasure; and in the absence of those, which cause any
disturbance, any pain. Now these, to different Men, are very
different things. If therefore Men in this Life only have hope; if in
this Life they can only enjoy, ’tis not strange, nor unreasonable,
that they should seek their Happiness by avoiding all things, that
disease them here, and by pursuing all that delight them; wherein
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it will be no wonder to find variety and difference. For if there be no
Prospect beyond the Grave, the inference is certainly right, Let us
eat and drink, let us enjoy what we delight in, for to morrow we shall
die. Isa. 22: 13; 1 Cor. 15: 32. This, I think, may serve to shew us the Reason, why, though
all Men’s desires tend to Happiness, yet they are not moved by the
same Object. Men may chuse different things, and yet all chuse
right, supposing them only like a Company of poor Insects, whereof
some are Bees, delighted with Flowers, and their sweetness; others,
Beetles, delighted with other kind of Viands; which having
enjoyed for a season, they should cease to be, and exist no more
for ever.
Locke Hum II, 21, §55, pp. 269-270