Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

6

· The third widow that was brought to this ' worldly thame, being mounted upon a vicious

ram, had the misfortune to be thrown by him; upon which the hoped to be excufed from

going through the rest of the ceremony ; but ' the steward, being well versed in the law, ob• served very wisely upon this occasion, that • the breaking of the rope does not hinder the 6 execution of the criminal.

The fourth lady upon record was the widow Ogle, a famous coquette, who had kept ? half a score young fellows off and on for the

space of two years; but having been more ļ kind to her carter John, she was introduced 6 with the huzzas of all her lovers about her.

* Mrs. Sable appearing in her weeds, which 5 were very new and fresh, and of the same co• lour with her whimsical palfrey, made a very decent figure in the solemnity,

Another, who had been summoned to make ! her appearance, was excused by the steward,

as well knowing in his heart, that the good squire himself had qualified her for the rain. • Mrs. Quick, having nothing to object against the indictment, pleaded her belly, But it was “ remembered that she made the same excuse " the year before. Upon which the steward

observed, that the might so contrive it, as never to do the service of the manor.

• The widow Fidget being cited into court, & infifted that she had done no more since the

death of her husband than what she used to do in his life-time; and withal desired Mr,

Steward

6 Steward to consider his own wife's case if he 6 should chance to die before her.

• The next in order was a dowager of a very corpulent make, who would have been excused as not finding any ram that was able to

carry her ; upon which the steward commuted • her punishment, and ordered her to make - her entry upon a black ox.

• The widow Maikwell, a woman who had long lived with a most unblemished character, having turned off her old chambermaid in a pet, was by that revengeful creature brought in upon the black ram nine times the same day. • Several widows of the neighbourhood, being brought upon their trial, shewed that they did • not hold of the manor and were discharged ac• cordingly. ' A pretty young creature who closed the

pro• cellion came ambling in, with so bewitching

an air, that the steward was observed to cast a

sheep's eye upon her, and married her within a 6 month after the death of his wife.

· N. B. Mrs. Touchwood appeared, accord• ing to summons, but had nothing laid to her

charge; having lived irreproachable since the . decease of her husband, who left her a widow • in the fixty-ninth year of her age.

· I am, SIR, &c.' Just published, a book (formerly so often mentioned in the SPECTATOR] entitled “The Ladies Library," written by a Lady. Published by Mr. Steele. Consisting of general rules for conduct in all circumstances of the life of woman. Printed for J. Tonson. Spect. in folio, No 617. Monday, Nov. 8, 1714. See Steele's “' Letters, &c." Vol. II. Let. CCCCXXXVII, &c. p. 423. & feq.

N° 624. Wednesday, November 27, 1714.

Audire, atque togam jubeo componere, quisquis
Ambitione mala, aut argenti pallet amore,
Quifquis luxuria

Hor. 2 Sat. iii. 77.
Sit still, and hear, those whom proud thoughts

do swell, • T'hose that look pale by loving coin too well: • Whom luxury corrupts.'

CREECH.

ANKIND is divided into two parts, the

busy and the idle. The busy world be divided into the virtuous and the vicious. The vicious again into the covetous, the ambitious, and the sensual. The idle part of mankind are in a state inferior to any one of these. All the other are engaged in the pursuit of happiness

, though often misplaced, and are therefore more likely to be attentive to such means as shall be proposed to them for that end. The idle, who are neither wise for this world nor the next, are emphatically called by doctor Tillotson “ fools “ at large.” They propose to themselves no end, but run adrift with every wind. Advice therefore would be but thrown away upon them, since they would scarce take the pains to read it. I shall not fatigue any of this worthless tribe with a long harangue; but will leave them with this short saying of Plato, that “ labour “ is preferable to idleness, and brightness torust."

The

The pursuits of the active part of mankind are either in the paths of religion and virtue; or, on the other hand, in the roads to wealth, honours, or pleasure. I shall, therefore, compare the pursuits of avarice, ambition, and sensual delight, with their opposite virtues ; and shall consider which of these principles engages men in a course of the greatest labour, suffering, and affiduity. Most men, in their cool reasonings, are willing to allow that a course of virtue will in the end be rewarded the most amply; but represent the way to it as rugged and narrow. If therefore it can be made appear, that men struggle through as many troubles to be miserable, as they do to be happy, my readers may perhaps be persuaded to be good when they find they Thall lose nothing by it.

First, for avarice. The miser is more industrious than the saint: the pains of getting, the fears of losing, and the inability of enjoying his wealth, have been the mark of satire in all

ages. Were his repentance upon his neglect of a good bargain, his sorrow for being over-reached, his hope of improving a sum, and his fear of falling into want, directed to their proper objects, they would make so

different Christian graces

many and virtues. He may apply to himself a great part of Saint Paul's catalogue of sufferings. In

journeying often; in perils of waters, in perils • of robbers, in perils imong false brethren. In • weariness and painfulness, in watchings often,

in hunger and thirst, in fastings often.'-- At how much less expense might ħe • lay up to

• himself

in

The am

• himself treasures in heaven?' Or, if I

may this place be allowed to add the saying of a great philosopher, he may provide such possessions

as fear neither arms, nor men, nor Jove him6 felf.'

In the second place, if we look upon the toils of ambition in the same light as we have considered those of avarice, we shall readily own that far less trouble is requisite to gain lasting glory than the power and reputation of a few years; or, in other words, we may with more ease deferve honour than obtain it. bitious man should remember Cardinal Wolsey's complaint, 'Had I served God with the same • application wherewith I served my king, he • would not have forsaken me in my old age.' The cardinal here softens his ambition by the specious pretence of serving his king :' whereas his words, in the proper construction, imply, that, if instead of being acted* by ambition he had been acted by religion, he should now have felt the comforts of it, when the whole world turned its back

upon

him. Thirdly, let us compare the pains of the sensual with those of the virtuous, and fee which are heavier in the balance. It may seem strange, at the first view, that the men of pleasure should be advised to change their course, because they lead a painful life. Yet when we see them so active and vigilant in quest of delight; under so many disquiets, and the sport of such various passions ; let them answer, as they can, if the pains they * actuated.

undergo

« ForrigeFortsett »