The Colloquies of Erasmus. Translated by Nathan Bailey. Edited with Notes, by the Rev. E. Johnson, M.A. (London: Reeves and Turner, 1878). Vol. 1. https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/549,
In the guise of a school textbook on sound Latin prose Erasmus is able to mix sound language teaching, homilies on Christian ethics, and social criticism of some of the injustices and follies of his day.
The text is in the public domain.
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This Colloquy teaches Courtesy and Civility in Saluting, who, when, and by what Title we ought to Salute.
A Certain Person teaches, and not without Reason, that we should Salute freely. For a courteous and kind Salutation oftentimes engages Friendship, and reconciles Persons at Variance, and does undoubtedly nourish and increase a mutual Benevolence. There are indeed some Persons that are such Churls, and of so clownish a Disposition, that if you salute them, they will scarcely salute you again. But this Vice is in some Persons rather the Effect of their Education, than their natural Disposition.
It is a Piece of Civility to salute those that come in your Way; either such as come to us, or those that we go to Edition: current; Page:  : 22p. 22 speak with. And in like Manner such as are about any Sort of Work, either at Supper, or that yawn, or hiccop, or sneeze, or cough. But it is the Part of a Man that is civil even to an Extreme, to salute one that belches, or breaks Wind backward. But he is uncivilly civil that salutes one that is making Water, or easing Nature.
God save you Father, God save you little Mother, God save you Brother, God save you my worthy Master, God save you heartily Uncle, God save you sweet Cousin.
It is courteous to make Use of a Title of Relation or Affinity, unless when it carries something of a Reflection along with it, then indeed it is better not to use such Titles, tho’ proper; but rather some that are more engaging, as when we call a Mother in Law, Mother; a Son in Law, Son; a Father in Law, Father; a Sister’s Husband, Brother; a Brother’s Wife, Sister: And the same we should do in Titles, either of Age or Office. For it will be more acceptable to salute an antient Man by the Name of Father, or venerable Sir, than by the Sirname of Age; altho’ in antient Times they used to make use of ὠˆ γέρον, as an honourable Title. God save you Lieutenant, God save you Captain; but not God save you Hosier or Shoe–maker. God save you Youth, or young Man. Old Men salute young Men that are Strangers to them by the Name of Sons, and young Men again salute them by the Name of Fathers or Sirs.
God save you my little Cornelia, my Life, my Light, my Delight, my Sweet–heart, my Honey, my only Pleasure, my little Heart, my Hope, my Comfort, my Glory.
Sal. O Master, God bless ye.
Ans. Oh! Good Sir, I wish you the same.
Sal. God bless you most accomplish’d, and most famous Edition: current; Page:  Sir. God bless you again and again thou Glory of Learning. God save you heartily my very good Friend. God save you my Mæcenas.
Ans. God save you my Singular Patron. God save you most approv’d Sir. God save you, the only Ornament of this Age. God bless you, the Delight of Germany.
Sal. God bless you all together. God bless you all alike.
Ans. God bless you my brave Boys.
Sal. God save you merry Companion. God bless you Destroyer of Wine.
Ans. God bless you Glutton, and unmerciful Devourer of Cakes.
Sal. God bless you heartily President of all Virtue.
Ans. God bless you in like Manner, Pattern of universal Honesty.
Sal. God save you little old Woman of Fifteen Years of Age.
Ans. God save you Girl, eighty Years old.
Sal. Much good may it do you with your bald Pate.
Ans. And much good may it do you with your slit Nose. As you salute, so you shall be saluted again. If you say that which is ill, you shall hear that which is worse.
Sal. God save you again and again.
Ans. God save you for ever and ever.
Sal. God save you more than a thousand Times.
Ans. In truth I had rather be well once for all.
Sal. God bless you as much as you can desire.
Ans. And you as much as you deserve.
Sal. I wish you well.
Ans. But what if I won’t be so? In truth I had rather be sick, than to enjoy the Health that you want.
God bless your Holiness, Your Greatness, Your Highness, Your Majesty, Your Beatitude, Your High Mightiness, are Salutations rather us’d by the Vulgar, than approv’d by the Learned.
Sapidus wishes Health to his Erasmus.
Sapidus salutes his Beatus, wishing him much Health.
Sal. God bless you Crito, I wish you well good Sir.
Ans. And I wish you better. Peace be to thee Brother, is indeed a Christian Salutation, borrow’d from the Jews: but yet not to be rejected. And of the like Kind is, A happy Life to you.
Sal. Hail Master.
Ans. In truth I had rather have than crave.
Ans. Remember you are at Basil, and not at Athens.
Sal. How do you then dare to speak Latin when you are not at Rome?
And to wish well is a Sort of Salutation.
God send you a good Delivery, and that you may make your Husband Father of a fine Child. May the Virgin Mother make you a happy Mother. I wish that this swell’d Belly may asswage happily. Heaven grant that this Burthen you carry, whatsoever it is, may have as easy an out–coming as it had an in–going. God give you a good Time.
Happy be this Feast. Much good may it do all the Company. I wish all Happiness to you all. God give you a happy Banquet.
May it be lucky and happy to you. God keep you. May it be for your Health. God bless it to you.
May it prove happy and prosperous for the Publick Good. May that you are going about be an universal Good. God prosper what you are about. God bless your Labours. God bless your Endeavours. I pray that by God’s Assistance you may happily finish what you have begun. May Christ in Heaven prosper what is under your Hand. May what you have begun end happily. May what you are set about end happily. You are about a good Work, I wish you a good End of it, and that propitious Heaven may favour your pious Undertakings. Christ give Prosperity to your Enterprise. May what you have undertaken prosper. I heartily beg of Almighty God that this Design may be as successful as it is honourable. May the Affair so happily begun, more happily end. I wish you a good Journey to Italy, and a better Return. I wish you a happy Voyage, and a more happy Return. I pray God that, this Journey being happily perform’d, we may in a short Time have the Opportunity of congratulating you upon your happy Return. May it be your good Fortune to make a good Voyage thither and back again. May your Journey be pleasant, but your Return more pleasant. I wish this Journey may succeed according to your Heart’s Desire. I wish this Journey may be as pleasant to you, as the want of your good Company in the mean Time will be troublesome to us. May you set Sail with promising Presages. I wish this Journey may succeed according to both our Wishes. I wish this Bargain may be for the Good and Advantage of us both. I wish this may be a happy Match to us all. The blessed Jesus God keep thee. Kind Heaven return you safe. God keep thee who art one Half of my Life. I wish you a safe Return. I wish that this New–Year may begin Edition: current; Page:  : 26p. 26 happily, go on more happily, and end most happily to you, and that you may have many of them, and every Year happier than other.
Ans. And I again wish you many happy Ages, that you mayn’t wish well to me gratis.
Sal. I wish you a glorious Day to Day. May this Sunrising be a happy one to you.
Ans. I wish you the same. May this be a happy and a prosperous Morning to both of us.
Sal. Father, I wish you a good Night. I wish you good Repose to Night. May you sleep sweetly. God give you good Rest. May you sleep without dreaming. God send you may either sleep sweetly or dream pleasantly. A good Night to you.
Ans. Since you always love to be on the getting Hand, I wish you a thousand Happinesses to one you wish to me.
Fare ye all well. Farewell. Take care of your Health. Take a great Care of your Health. I bid you good by, Time calls me away, fare ye well. I wish you as well as may be. Farewell mightily, or if you had rather have it so, lustily. Fare you well as you are worthy. Fare you as well as you deserve. Farewell for these two Days. If you send me away, farewell till to–morrow. Would you have any Thing with me? Have you any Thing else to say to me?
Ans. Nothing but to wish you well.
Sal. Take Care to preserve your Health. Take Care of your Health. Look well to your Health. See that at the next Meeting we see you merry and hearty. I charge you make much of your self. See that you have a sound Mind in a healthful Body. Take Care you be universally well both in Body and Mind.
Ans. I’ll promise you I will do my Endeavour. Fare you well also; and I again wish you prosperous Health.
Remember my hearty Love to Frobenius. Be sure to remember my Love to little Erasmus. Remember me to Gertrude’s Mother with all imaginable Respect; tell them I wish ’em all well. Remember me to my old Companions. Remember me to my Friends. Give my Love to my Wife. Remember me to your Brother in your Letter. Remember my Love to my Kinsman. Have you any Service to command by me to your Friends?
Ans. Tell them I wish them all heartily well.
Sal. Have you any Recommendations to send by me to your Friends?
Ans. Much Health to them all, but especially to my Father.
Sal. Are there any Persons to whom you would command me any Service?
Ans. To all that ask how I do. The Health you have brought from my Friends to me, carry back again with much Interest. Carry my hearty Service to all them that have sent their Service to me. Pray do so much as be my Representative in saluting my Friends. I would have written to my Son in Law, but you will serve me instead of a Letter to him.
Sal. Soho, soho, whither are you going so fast?
Ans. Strait to Louvain.
Sal. Stay a little, I have something to send by you.
Ans. But it is inconvenient for a Footman to carry a Fardel? What is it?
Sal. That you recommend me to Goclenius, Rutgerus, John Campensis, and all the Society of Trilinguists.
Ans. If you put nothing into my Snapsack but Healths, I shall carry them with Ease.
Sal. And that you may not do that for nothing, I pray that Health may be your Companion both going and coming back.
We are glad you are come well Home. It is a Pleasure that you are come Home safe. It is a Pleasure to us that you are come well Home. We congratulate your happy Return. We give God Thanks that you are come safe Home to us. The more uneasy we were at the Want of you, the more glad we are to see you again. We congratulate you and ourselves too that you are come Home to us alive and well. Your Return is the more pleasant by how much it was less expected.
Ans. I am glad too that as I am well myself I find you so. I am very glad to find you in good Health. I should not have thought myself well come Home if I had not found you well; but now I think myself safe, in that I see you safe and in good Health.
This Colloquy teaches Forms of enquiring at the first meeting. Whence come you? What News bring you? How do you do? &c.
Out of what Hen–Coop or Cave came you?
Why do you ask me such a Question?
Because you have been so poorly fed; you are so thin a Body may see thro’ you, and as dry as a Kecks. Whence came you from?
From Montacute College.
Then sure you are come loaden with Letters for us.
Not so, but with Lice I am.
Well then you had Company enough.
In truth it is not safe for a Traveller now a Days to go without Company.
I know well enough a Louse is a Scholar’s Companion. Well but do you bring any News from Paris?
Ay, I do, and that in the first Place that I know you won’t believe. At Paris a Bete is wise, and an Oak preaches.
What’s that you tell me?
That which you hear.
What is it I hear?
That which I tell you.
O monstrous! Sure Mushrooms and Stones must be the Hearers where there are such Preachers.
Well, but it is even so as I tell you, nor do I speak only by hear say, but what I know to be true.
Sure Men must needs be very wise there where Betes and Oaks are so.
You are in the right on’t.
Are you well?
Look in my Face.
Why do you not rather bid me cast your Water? Do you take me for a Doctor? I don’t ask you if you are in Health, for your Face bespeaks you so to be; but I ask you how you like your own Condition?
I am very well in my Body, but sick in my Mind.
He’s not well indeed that is sick in that Part.
This is my Case, I’m well in my Body, but sick in my Pocket.
Your Mother will easily cure that Distemper. How have you done for this long Time?
Sometimes better, and sometimes worse, as human Affairs commonly go.
Are you very well in health? Are your Affairs in a Edition: current; Page:  good Condition? Are your Circumstances as you would have them? Have you always had your Health well?
Very well, I thank God. By God’s Goodness I have always had my Health very well. I have always been very well hitherto. I have been in very good, favourable, secure, happy, prosperous, successful, perfect Health, like a Prince, like a Champion, fit for any Thing.
God send you may always enjoy the same. I am glad to hear it. You give me a Pleasure in saying so. It is very pleasant to me to hear that. I am glad at my Heart to hear this from you. This is no bad News to me. I am exceeding glad to hear you say so. I wish you may be so always. I wish you may enjoy the same Health as long as you live. In congratulating you, I joy myself, Thanks to Heaven for it.
Indeed I am very well if you are so.
Well, but have you met with no Trouble all this while?
None but the Want of your good Company.
Well, but how do you do though?
Well enough, finely, bravely, very well as may be, very well indeed, happily, commodiously, no Way amiss. I enjoy rather what Health I wish, than what I deserved, Princely, Herculean, Champion–like.
I was expecting when you would say Bull–like too.
Are you in good Health?
I wish I were. Not altogether so well as I would be. Indeed I am so, so. Pretty well. I am as well as I can be, since I can’t be so well as I would be. As I use to be. So as it pleases God. Truly not very well. Never worse in all my Life. As I am wont to be. I am as they use to be who have to do with the Doctor.
How do you do?
Not as I would do.
Why truly not well, ill, very ill, in an unhappy, unprosperous, unfavourable, bad, adverse, unlucky, feeble, dubious, indifferent, State of Health, not at all as I would, a tolerable, such as I would not wish even to my Enemies.
You tell me a melancholy Story. Heavens forbid it. God forbid. No more of that I pray. I wish what you say were not true. But you must be of good Chear, you must pluck up a good Heart. A good Heart is a good Help in bad Circumstances. You must bear up your Mind with the Hope of better Fortune. What Distemper is it? What Sort of Disease is it? What Distemper is it that afflicts you? What Distemper are you troubled with?
I can’t tell, and in that my Condition is the more dangerous.
That’s true, for when the Disease is known, it is half cured. Have you had the Advice of any Doctor?
Ay, of a great many.
What do they say to your Case?
What the Lawyers of Demiphon (in the Play) said to him. One says one Thing, another he says another, and the third he’ll consider of it. But they all agree in this, that I am in a sad Condition.
How long have you been taken with this Illness? How long have you been ill of this Distemper? How long has this Illness seiz’d you?
About twenty Days more or less, almost a Month. It’s now near three Months. It seems an Age to me since I was first taken ill.
But I think you ought to take care that the Distemper don’t grow upon you.
It has grown too much upon me already.
Is it a Dropsy?
They say it is not.
Is it a Dissentery?
I think not.
Is it a Fever?
I believe it is a Kind of Fever; but a new one, as Edition: current; Page:  : 32p. 32 ever and anon new ones spring up that were unknown before.
There were more old ones than enough before.
Thus it pleases Nature to deal with us, which is a little too severe.
How often does the Fit come?
How often do you say? Every Day, nay every Hour indeed.
O wonderful! It is a sad Affliction. How did you get this Distemper? How do you think you came by it?
By Reason of Want.
Why you don’t use to be so superstitious as to starve yourself with Fasting.
It is not Bigotry but Penury.
What do you mean by Penury?
I mean I could get no Victuals, I believe it came by a Cold. I fancy I got the Distemper by eating rotten Eggs. By drinking too much Water in my Wine. This Crudity in my Stomach came by eating green Apples.
But consider whether you han’t contracted this Distemper by long and late Studying, by hard Drinking, or immoderate use of Venery? Why don’t you send for a Doctor?
I am afraid he should do me more Harm than good. I am afraid he should poison me instead of curing me.
You ought to chuse one that you can confide in.
If I must dye, I had rather dye once for all, than to be tormented with so many Slops.
Well then, be your own Doctor. If you can’t trust to a Doctor, pray God be your Physician. There have been some that have recover’d their Health, by putting on a Dominican or a Franciscan Fryars Cowl.
And perhaps it had been the same Thing, if they had put on a Whore–master’s Cloak. These things have no Effect upon those that have no Faith in ’em.
Why then, believe that you may recover. Some have been cur’d by making Vows to a Saint.
But I have no Dealings with Saints.
Then pray to Christ that you may have Faith, and that he would be pleased to bestow the Blessing of Health upon you.
I can’t tell whether it would be a Blessing or no.
Why, is it not a Blessing to be freed from a Distemper?
Sometimes it is better to dye. I ask nothing of him, but only that he’d give me what would be best for me.
Take something to purge you.
I am laxative enough already.
Take something to make you go to Stool. You must take a Purge.
I ought to take something that is binding rather, for I am too laxative.
Of interrogating a Person returning from a Journey, concerning War, private Affairs, a Disappointment, great Promises, a Wife Lying–in, Dangers, Losses, &c.
Have you had a good and prosperous Journey?
Pretty good; but that there is such Robbing every where.
This is the Effect of War.
It is so, but it is a wicked one.
Did you come on Foot or on Horse–back?
Part of the Way a Foot, Part in a Coach, Part on Horse–back, and Part by Sea.
How go Matters in France?
All’s in Confusion, there’s nothing but War talk’d of. What Mischiefs they may bring upon their Enemies I know not; but this I’m sure of, the French themselves are afflicted with unexpressible Calamities.
Whence come all these tumultuary Wars?
Whence should they come but from the Ambition of Monarchs?
But it would be more their Prudence to appease these Storms of human Affairs.
Appease ’em! Ay, so they do, as the South Wind does the Sea. They fancy themselves to be Gods, and that the World was made for their Sakes.
Nay, rather a Prince was made for the Good of the Commonwealth, and not the Commonwealth for the Sake of the Prince.
Nay, there are Clergymen too, who blow up the Coals, and sound an Alarm to these Tumults.
I’d have them set in the Front of the Battel.
Ay, ay, but they take Care to keep out of Harm’s Way.
But let us leave these publick Affairs to Providence. How go your own Matters?
Very well, happily, indifferently well, tolerably.
How goes it with your own Business? As you would have it?
Nay, better than I could have wish’d for, better than I deserve, beyond what I could have hop’d for.
Are all Things according to your Mind? Is all well? Has every Thing succeeded?
It can’t be worse. It is impossible it should be worse than it is.
What then, han’t you got what you sought for? Han’t you caught the Game you hunted?
Hunt! Ay, I did hunt indeed, but with very ill Success.
But is there no Hope then?
Hope enough, but nothing else.
Did the Bishop give you no Hopes?
Yes, whole Cart Loads, and whole Ship Loads of Hope; but nothing else.
Has he sent you nothing yet?
He promis’d me largely, but he has never sent me a Farthing.
Then you must live in Hopes.
Ay, but that won’t fill the Belly; they that feed upon Hope may be said to hang, but not to live.
But however then, you were the lighter for travelling, not having your Pockets loaded.
I confess that, nay, and safer too; for an empty Pocket is the best Defence in the World against Thieves; but for all that, I had rather have the Burthen and the Danger too.
You was not robb’d of any Thing by the Way, I hope?
Robb’d! What can you rob a Man of that has nothing? There was more Reason for other Folks to be afraid of me, than I of them, having never a Penny in my Pocket. I might sing and be starved all the Way I went. Have you anything more to say?
Where are you going now?
Strait Home, to see how all do there, whom I han’t seen this long Time.
I wish you may find all well at Home.
I pray God I may. Has any Thing new happen’d at our House since I went away?
Nothing but only you’ll find your Family bigger than it was; for your Catulla has brought you a little Catulus since you have been gone. Your Hen has laid you an Egg.
That’s good News, I like your News, and I’ll promise to give you a Gospel for it.
What Gospel? The Gospel according to St. Matthew?
No, but according to Homer. Here take it.
Keep your Gospel to yourself, I have Stones enough at Home.
Don’t slight my Present, it is the Eagle’s Stone; It is good for Women with Child; it is good to bring on their Labour.
Say you so? Then it is a very acceptable Present to me, and I’ll endeavour to make you Amends.
The Amends is made already by your kind Acceptance.
Nay, nothing in the World could come more seasonably, for my Wife’s Belly is up to her Mouth almost.
Then I’ll make this Bargain with you; that if she has a Boy, you will let me be the Godfather.
Well I’ll promise you that, and that you shall name it too.
I wish it may be for both our Good.
Nay, for all our Good.
You are come back fatter than you used to be: You are returned taller.
But in Truth I had rather it had been wiser, or more learned.
You had no Beard when you went away; but you have brought a little one back with you. You are grown somewhat oldish since you went away. What makes you look so pale, so lean, so wrinkled?
As is my Fortune, so is the Habit of my Body.
Has it been but bad then?
She never is otherwise to me, but never worse in my Life than now.
I am sorry for that. I am sorry for your Misfortune. But pray, what is this Mischance?
I have lost all my Money.
What in the Sea?
No, on Shore, before I went abroad.
Upon the English Coast.
It is well you scap’d with your Life; it is better to lose your Money, than that; the loss of ones good Name, is worse than the Loss of Money.
My Life and Reputation are safe; but my Money is lost.
The Loss of Life never can be repair’d; the Loss of Reputation very hardly; but the Loss of Money may easily be made up one Way or another. But how came it about?
I can’t tell, unless it was my Destiny. So it pleas’d God. As the Devil would have it.
Now you see that Learning and Virtue are the safest Riches; for as they can’t be taken from a Man, so neither are they burthensome to him that carries them.
Indeed you Philosophize very well; but in the mean Time I’m in Perplexity.
I am glad to see you well come Home Balbus.
And I to see you alive Claudius.
You are welcome Home into your own Country again.
You should rather congratulate me as a Fugitive from France.
Because they are all up in Arms there.
But what have Scholars to do with Arms?
But there they don’t spare even Scholars.
It is well you’re got off safe.
But I did not get off without Danger neither.
You are come back quite another Man than you went away.
Why, of a Dutch Man, you are become a French Man.
Why, was I a Capon when I went away?
Your Dress shows that you’re turn’d from a Dutch Man into a French Man.
I had rather suffer this Metamorphosis, than be turn’d into a Hen. But as a Cowl does not make a Monk, so neither does a Garment a French Man.
Have you learn’d to speak French?
How did you learn it?
Of Teachers that were no dumb ones I assure you.
Of little Women, more full of Tongue, than Turtle Doves.
It is easy to learn to speak in such a School. Do you pronounce the French well?
Yes, that I do, and I pronounce Latin after the French Mode.
Then you will never write good Verses.
Because you’ll make false Quantities.
The Quality is enough for me.
Is Paris clear of the Plague?
Not quite, but it is not continual, sometimes it abates, and anon it returns again; sometimes it slackens, and then rages again.
Is not War itself Plague enough?
It is so, unless God thought otherwise.
Sure Bread must be very dear there.
There is a great Scarcity of it. There is a great Want of every Thing but wicked Soldiers. Good Men are wonderful cheap there.
What is in the Mind of the French to go to War with the Germans?
They have a Mind to imitate the Beetle, that won’t give Place to the Eagle. Every one thinks himself an Hercules in War.
I won’t detain you any longer, at some other Time we’ll divert ourselves more largely, when we can both spare Time. At present I have a little Business that calls me to another Place.
This Colloquy presents us with the Sayings and Jokes of intimate Acquaintance, and the Repartees and Behaviour of familiar Friends one with another. 1. Of walking abroad, and calling Companions. 2. Of seldom visiting, of asking concerning a Wife, Daughter, Sons. 3. Concerning Leisure, the tingling of the Ear, the Description of a homely Maid. Invitation to a Wedding. 4. Of Studying too hard, &c.
PETER, Soho, soho, Boy! does no Body come to the Door?
I think this Fellow will beat the Door down. Sure he must needs be some intimate Acquaintance or other. O old Friend Peter, what hast brought?
In Truth then you have brought that which is not much worth.
But I’m sure I cost my Father a great deal.
I believe so, more than you can be sold for again.
But is Jodocus at Home?
I can’t tell, but I’ll go see.
Go in first, and ask him if he pleases to be at Home now.
Go yourself, and be your own Errand Boy.
Soho! Jodocus, are you at Home?
No, I am not.
Oh! You impudent Fellow! don’t I hear you speak?
Nay, you are more impudent, for I took your Maid’s Word for it lately, that you were not at Home, and you won’t believe me myself.
You’re in the Right on’t, you’ve serv’d me in my own Kind.
As I sleep not for every Body, so I am not at Home to every Body, but for Time to come shall always be at Home to you.
Methinks you live the Life of a Snail.
Because you keep always at Home and never stir abroad, just like a lame Cobler always in his Stall. You sit at Home till your Breech grows to your Seat.
At Home I have something to do, but I have no Business abroad, and if I had, the Weather we have had for several Days past, would have kept me from going abroad.
But now it is fair, and would tempt a Body to walk out; see how charming pleasant it is.
If you have a Mind to walk I won’t be against it.
In Truth, I think we ought to take the Opportunity of this fine Weather.
But we ought to get a merry Companion or two, to go along with us.
So we will; but tell me who you’d have then.
What if we should get Hugh?
There is no great Difference between Hugo and Nugo.
Come on then, I like it mighty well.
What if we should call Alardus?
He’s no dumb Man I’ll assure you, what he wants in Hearing he’ll make up in Talking.
If you will, we’ll get Nævius along with us too.
If we have but him, we shall never want merry Stories. I like the Company mainly, the next Thing is to pitch upon a pleasant Place.
I’ll show you a Place where you shall neither want Edition: current; Page:  : 41p. 41 the Shade of a Grove, nor the pleasant Verdure of Meadows, nor the purling Streams of Fountains, you’ll say it is a Place worthy of the Muses themselves.
You promise nobly.
You are too intent upon your Books; you sit too close to your Books; you make yourself lean with immoderate Study.
I had rather grow lean with Study than with Love.
We don’t live to study, but we therefore study that we may live pleasantly.
Indeed I could live and dye in my Study.
I approve well enough of studying hard, but not to study myself to Death.
Has this Walk pleas’d you?
It has been a charming pleasant one.
Where is our Leonard a going?
I was coming to you.
That you do but seldom.
Because you han’t been to see me this twelve Months.
I had rather err on that Hand to be wanted, than to be tiresome.
I am never tired with the Company of a good Friend: Nay, the oftner you come the more welcome you are.
But by the Way, how goes Matters at your House.
Why truly not many Things as I would have them.
I don’t wonder at that, but is your Wife brought to Bed yet?
Ay, a great While ago, and had two at a Birth too.
How, two at once!
’Tis as I tell you, and more than that she’s with Child again.
That’s the Way to increase your Family.
Ay, but I wish Fortune would increase my Money as much as my Wife does my Family.
Have you disposed of your Daughter yet?
No, not yet.
I would have you consider if it be not hazardous to keep such a great Maid as she at Home, you should look out for a Husband for her.
There’s no Need of that, for she has Sweet–hearts enough already.
But why then don’t you single out one for her, him that you like the best of them?
They are all so good that I can’t tell which to chuse: But my Daughter won’t hear of marrying.
How say you! If I am not mistaken, she has been marriageable for some Time. She has been fit for a Husband a great While, ripe for Wedlock, ready for a Husband this great While.
Why not, she is above seventeen, she’s above two and twenty, she’s in her nineteenth Year, she’s above eighteen Years old.
But why is she averse to Marriage?
She says she has a Mind to be married to Christ.
In Truth he has a great many Brides. But is she married to an evil Genius that lives chastly with a Husband?
I don’t think so.
How came that Whimsey into her Head?
I can’t tell, but there’s no persuading her out of it by all that can be said to her.
You should take Care that there be no Tricksters that inveagle or draw her away.
I know these Kidnappers well enough, and I drive this Kind of Cattel as far from my House as I can.
But what do you intend to do then? Do you intend to let her have her Humour?
No, I’ll prevent it if possible; I’ll try every Method to alter her Mind; but if she persists in it, I’ll not force her against her Will, lest I should be found to fight against God, or rather to fight against the Monks.
Indeed you speak very religiously; but take Care to try her Constancy throughly, lest she should afterwards repent it, when it is too late.
I’ll do my utmost Endeavours.
What Employment do your Sons follow?
The eldest has been married this good While, and will be a Father in a little Time; I have sent the youngest away to Paris, for he did nothing but play while he was here.
Why did you send him thither?
That he might come back a greater Fool than he went.
Don’t talk so.
The middlemost has lately enter’d into holy Orders.
I wish ’em all well.
How is it? What are you doing Dromo?
I’m sitting still.
I see that; but how do Matters go with you?
As they use to do with unfortunate Persons.
God forbid that that should be your Case. But what are you doing?
I am idling, as you see; doing just nothing at all.
It is better to be idle than doing of nothing; it may be I interrupt you, being employ’d in some Matters of Consequence?
No, really, entirely at Leisure; I just began to be tir’d of being alone, and was wishing for a merry Companion.
It may be I hinder, interrupt, disturb you, being about some Business?
No, you divert me, being tired with being idle.
Pray pardon me if I have interrupted you unseasonably.
Nay, you came very seasonably; you are come in the Nick of Time; I was just now wishing for you; I am extreme glad of your Company.
It may be you are about some serious Business, that I would by no means interrupt or hinder?
Nay, rather it is according to the old Proverb, Talk of the Devil and he’ll appear; for we were just now speaking of you.
In short, I believe you were, for my Ear tingled mightily as I came along.
Which Ear was it?
My left, from which I guess there was no Good said of me.
Nay, I’ll assure you there was nothing but Good said.
Then the old Proverb is not true. But what good News have you?
They say you are become a Huntsman.
Nay, more than that, I have gotten the Game now in my Nets that I have been hunting after.
What Game is it?
A pretty Girl, that I am to marry in a Day or two; and I intreat you to honour me with your good Company at my Wedding.
Pray, who is your Bride?
Alice, the Daughter of Chremes.
You are a rare Fellow to chuse a Beauty for one! Can you fancy that Black–a–top, Snub–nos’d, Sparrow–mouth’d, Paunch–belly’d Creature.
Prithee hold thy Tongue, I marry her to please myself, and not you. Pray, is it not enough that I like her? The less she pleases you, the more she’ll please me.
I wish you much Happiness.
And I wish you double what you wish me.
What are you doing?
I am talking.
What! By yourself?
As you see.
It may be you are talking to yourself, and then you ought to see to it that you talk to an honest Man.
Nay, I am conversing with a very facetious Companion.
That I think you are always doing, but the Muses love Intermission; you study continually.
I am never tired with Study.
It may be so, but yet you ought to set Bounds; though Study ought not to be omitted, yet it ought sometimes to be intermitted; Studies are not to be quite thrown aside, yet they ought for a While to be laid aside; there is nothing pleasant that wants Variety; the seldomer Pleasures are made use of the pleasanter they are. You do nothing else but study. You are always studying. You are continually at your Books. You read incessantly. You study Night and Day. You never are but a studying. You are continually at your Study. You are always intent upon your Books. You know no End of, nor set no Bound to Study. You give yourself no Rest from your Studies. You allow yourself no Intermission in, nor ever give over studying.
Very well! This is like you. You banter me as you use to do. You make a Game of me. You joke upon me. You satyrize me. You treat me with a Sneer. I see how you jeer me well enough. You only jest with me. I am your Laughing–stock. I am laugh’d at by you. You make yourself merry with me. You make a meer Game and Sport of me. Why don’t you put me on Asses Ears too? My Books, that are all over dusty and mouldy, shew how hard a Studier I am.
Let me die if I don’t speak my Mind. Let me perish Edition: current; Page:  if I don’t speak as I think. Let me not live if I dissemble. I speak what I think. I speak the Truth. I speak seriously. I speak from my Heart. I speak nothing but what I think.
What’s the Matter you ha’n’t come to see me all this While? What’s the Matter you visit me so seldom? What has happen’d to you that you never have come at me for so long Time? Why are you so seldom a Visitor? What is the Meaning that you never come near one for so long Time? What has hinder’d you that you have come to see me no oftner? What has prevented you that you have never let me have the Opportunity of seeing you for this long Time?
I had not Leisure. I would have come, but I could not for my Business. Business would not permit me hitherto to come to see you. These Floods of Business that I have been plung’d in would not permit me to pay my Respects to you. I have been so busy I could not come. I have been harass’d with so many vexatious Matters that I could not get an Opportunity. I have been so taken up with a troublesome Business that I could never have so much Command of myself. You must impute it to my Business, and not to me. It was not for Want of Will, but Opportunity. I could not get Time till now. I have had no Time till now. I never have had any Leisure till this Time. I have been so ill I could not come. I could not come, the Weather has been so bad.
Indeed I accept of your Excuse, but upon this Condition, that you don’t make use of it often. If Sickness has been the Occasion of your Absence, your Excuse is Edition: current; Page:  : 47p. 47 juster than I wish it had been; I’ll excuse you upon this Condition, that you make Amends for your Omission by Kindness, if you make up your past Neglect by your future frequent Visits.
You don’t esteem these common Formalities. Our Friendship is more firm than to need to be supported by such vulgar Ceremonies. He visits often enough that loves constantly.
A Mischief take those Incumbrances that have depriv’d us of your Company. I can’t tell what to wish for bad enough to those Affairs that have envy’d us the Company of so good a Friend. A Mischief take that Fever that hath tormented us so long with the Want of you. I wish that Fever may perish, so thou thyself wert but safe.
I pray you take a special Care of this Matter. I earnestly intreat you to take Care of this Affair. If you have any Respect for me, pray manage this Affair diligently. Pray be very careful in this Affair. Pray take a great Deal of Care about this Business for my Sake. If you are indeed the Man I always took you to be, let me see in this Concern what Esteem you have for me.
Say no more, I’ll dispatch this Affair for you, and that very shortly too. I can’t indeed warrant you what the Event shall be, but this I promise you, that neither Fidelity nor Industry shall be wanting in me. I will take more Care of it than if it were mine own Affair; tho’ indeed that which is my Friend’s I account as my own. I will so manage the Affair, that whatever is wanting, Care and Diligence shall not be wanting. Take you no Care about the Matter, I’ll do it for you. Do you be easy, I’ll take the Management of it upon myself. I am glad to have an Opportunity put Edition: current; Page:  : 48p. 48 into my Hand of shewing you my Respect. I do not promise you in Words, but I will in Reality perform whatsoever is to be expected from a real Friend, and one that heartily wishes you well. I won’t bring you into a Fool’s Paradise. I’ll do that which shall give you Occasion to say you trusted the Affair to a Friend.
The Matter succeeded better than I could have expected. Fortune has favour’d both our Wishes. If Fortune had been your Wife she could not have been more observant to you. Your Affair went on bravely with Wind and Tide. Fortune has out–done our very Wishes. You must needs be a Favourite of Fortune, to whom all Things fall out just as you would have them. I have obtain’d more than I could presume to wish for. This Journey has been perform’d from Beginning to End with all the fortunate Circumstances imaginable. The whole Affair has fallen out according to our Wish. This Chance fell out happily for us. I think we have been lucky to Admiration, that what has been so imprudently enterpriz’d, has so happily succeeded.
Indeed I thank you, and shall thank you heartily as long as I live for that good Service you have done me. I can scarce give you the Thanks you deserve, and shall never be able to make you Amends. I see how much I am oblig’d to you for your Kindness to me. Indeed I don’t wonder at it, for it is no new Thing, and in that I am the more oblig’d to you. My Sapidus I do, and it is my Duty to love you heartily for your Kindness to me. In as much as in this Affair you have not acted the Part of a Courtier, I do, and Edition: current; Page:  : 49p. 49 always shall thank you. I respect you, and thank you, that you made my Affair your Care. You have oblig’d me very much by that Kindness of yours. It is a great Obligation upon me that you have manag’d my Concern with Fidelity. Of all your Kindnesses, which are indeed a great many, you have shew’d me none has oblig’d me more than this. I cannot possibly make you a Return according to your Merit. Too much Ceremony between you and I is unnecessary, but that which is in my Power I’ll do. I’ll be thankful as long as I live. I confess myself highly oblig’d to you for your good Service. For this Kindness I owe you more than I am able to pay. By this good Office you have attach’d me to you so firmly, that I can never be able to disengage myself. You have laid me under so many and great Obligations, that I shall never be able to get out of your Debt. No Slave was ever so engag’d in Duty to his Master as you have engag’d me by this Office. You have by this good Turn brought me more into your Debt than ever I shall be able to pay. I am oblig’d to you upon many Accounts, but upon none more than upon this. Thanks are due for common Kindness, but this is beyond the Power of Thanks to retaliate.
Forbear these Compliments, the Friendship between you and I is greater than that we should thank one another for any Service done. I have not bestow’d this Kindness upon you, but only made a Return of it to you. I think the Amends is sufficiently made, if my most sedulous Endeavours are acceptable to you. There is no Reason you should thank me for repaying this small Kindness, for those uncommon Kindnesses I have so often receiv’d from you. Indeed I merit no Praise, but should have been the most ungrateful Man in the World if I had been wanting to my Friend. Whatsoever I have, and whatsoever I can Edition: current; Page:  do, you may call as much your own as any Thing that you have the best Title to. I look upon it as a Favour that you take my Service kindly. You pay so great an Acknowledgment to me for so small a Kindness, as tho’ I did not owe you much greater. He serves himself that serves his Friend. He that serves a Friend does not give away his Service, but puts it out to Interest. If you approve of my Service, pray make frequent Use of it; then I shall think my Service is acceptable, if as often as you have Occasion for it you would not request but command it.
This Colloquy treats chiefly of three Things. 1. Of the superstitious Pilgrimages of some Persons to Jerusalem, and other holy Places, under Pretence of Devotion. 2. That Vows are not to be made rashly over a Pot of Ale: but that Time, Expence and Pains ought to be employ’d otherwise, in such Matters as have a real Tendency to promote true Piety. 3. Of the Insignificancy and Absurdity of Popish Indulgencies.
O! Cornelius, well met heartily, you have been lost this hundred Years.
What my old Companion Arnoldus, the Man I long’d to see most of any Man in the World! God save you.
We all gave thee over for lost. But prithee where hast been rambling all this While?
In t’other World.
Why truly a Body would think so by thy slovenly Dress, lean Carcase, and ghastly Phyz.
Well, but I am just come from Jerusalem, not from the Stygian Shades.
What Wind blew thee thither?
What Wind blows a great many other Folks thither?
Why Folly, or else I am mistaken.
However, I am not the only Fool in the World.
What did you hunt after there?
You might have found that nearer Home. But did you meet with any Thing worth seeing there?
Why truly, to speak ingenuously, little or nothing. They shew us some certain Monuments of Antiquity, which I look upon to be most of ’em Counterfeits, and meer Contrivances to bubble the Simple and Credulous. I don’t think they know precisely the Place that Jerusalem anciently stood in.
What did you see then?
A great deal of Barbarity every where.
But I hope you are come back more holy than you went.
No indeed, rather ten Times worse.
Well, but then you are richer?
Nay, rather poorer than Job.
But don’t you repent you have taken so long a Journey to so little Purpose?
No, nor I am not asham’d neither, I have so many Companions of my Folly to keep me in Countenance; and as for Repentance, it’s too late now.
What! do you get no Good then by so dangerous a Voyage?
Yes, a great Deal.
What is it?
Why, I shall live more pleasantly for it for Time to come.
What, because you’ll have the Pleasure of telling old Stories when the Danger is over?
That is something indeed, but that is not all.
Is there any other Advantage in it besides that?
Yes, there is.
What is it? Pray tell me.
Why, I can divert myself and Company, as oft as I have a Mind to it, in romancing upon my Adventures over a Pot of Ale, or a good Dinner.
Why, truly that is something, as you say.
And besides, I shall take as much Pleasure myself when I hear others romancing about Things they never heard nor saw; nay, and that they do with that Assurance, that when they are telling the most ridiculous and impossible Things in Nature, they persuade themselves they are speaking Truth all the While.
This is a wonderful Pleasure. Well then, you have not lost all your Cost and Labour, as the Saying is.
Nay, I think this is something better still than what they do, who, for the sake of little Advance–money, list themselves for Soldiers in the Army, which is the Nursery of all Impiety.
But it is an ungentleman–like Thing to take Delight in telling Lies.
But it is a little more like a Gentleman than either to delight others, or be delighted in slandering other Persons, or lavishing away a Man’s Time or Substance in Gaming.
Indeed I must be of your Mind in that.
But then there is another Advantage.
What is that?
If there shall be any Friend that I love very well, who shall happen to be tainted with this Phrensy, I will advise him to stay at Home; as your Mariners that have been cast away, advise them that are going to Sea, to steer clear of the Place where they miscarried.
I wish you had been my Moniter in Time.
What Man! Have you been infected with this Disease too?
Yes, I have been at Rome and Compostella.
Good God! how I am pleas’d that you have been as great a Fool as I! What Pallas put that into your Head?
No Pallas, but Moria rather, especially when I left at Home a handsome young Wife, several Children, and a Family, who had nothing in the World to depend upon for a Maintenance but my daily Labour.
Sure it must be some important Reason that drew Edition: current; Page:  : 54p. 54 you away from all these engaging Relations. Prithee tell me what it was.
I am asham’d to tell it.
You need not be asham’d to tell me, who, you know, have been sick of the same Distemper.
There was a Knot of Neighbours of us drinking together, and when the Wine began to work in our Noddles, one said he had a Mind to make a Visit to St. James, and another to St. Peter; presently there was one or two that promis’d to go with them, till at last it was concluded upon to go all together; and I, that I might not seem a disagreeable Companion, rather than break good Company, promised to go too. The next Question was, whether we should go to Rome or Compostella? Upon the Debate it was determin’d that we should all, God willing, set out the next Day for both Places.
A grave Decree, fitter to be writ in Wine than engrav’d in Brass.
Presently a Bumper was put about to our good Journey, which when every Man had taken off in his Turn, the Vote passed into an Act, and became inviolable.
A new Religion! But did you all come safe back?
All but three, one dy’d by the Way, and gave us in Charge to give his humble Service to Peter and James; another dy’d at Rome, who bad us remember him to his Wife and Children; and the third we left at Florence dangerously ill, and I believe he is in Heaven before now.
Was he so good a Man then?
The veriest Droll in Nature.
Why do you think he is in Heaven then?
Because he had a whole Satchel full of large Indulgencies.
I understand you, but it is a long Way to Heaven, and a very dangerous one too, as I am told, by reason of the little Thieves that infest the middle Region of the Air.
That’s true, but he was well fortify’d with Bulls.
What Language were they written in?
And will they secure him?
Yes, unless he should happen upon some Spirit that does not understand Latin, in that Case he must go back to Rome, and get a new Passport.
Do they sell Bulls there to dead Men too?
But by the Way, let me advise you to have a Care what you say, for now there are a great many Spies abroad.
I don’t speak slightingly of Indulgencies themselves, but I laugh at the Folly of my fuddling Companion, who tho’ he was the greatest Trifler that ever was born, yet chose rather to venture the whole Stress of his Salvation upon a Skin of Parchment than upon the Amendment of his Life. But when shall we have that merry Bout you spoke of just now?
When Opportunity offers we’ll set a Time for a small Collation, and invite some of our Comrades, there we will tell Lies, who can lye fastest, and divert one another with Lies till we have our Bellies full.
Come on, a Match.
In this Colloquy those Persons are reprehended that run to and again to Rome hunting after Benefices, and that oftentimes with the Hazard of the Corruption of their Morals, and the Loss of their Money. The Clergy are admonished to divert themselves with reading of good Books, rather than with a Concubine. Jocular Discourse concerning a long Nose.
Either my Sight fails me, or this is my old Pot–Companion Cocles.
No, no, your Eyes don’t deceive you at all, you see a Companion that is yours heartily. Nobody ever thought to have seen you again, you have been gone so many Years, and no Body knew what was become of you. But whence come you from? Prithee tell me.
From the Antipodes.
Nay, but I believe you are come from the fortunate Islands.
I am glad you know your old Companion, I was afraid I should come home as Ulysses did.
Why pray? After what Manner did he come Home?
His own Wife did not know him; only his Dog, being grown very old, acknowledg’d his Master, by wagging his Tail.
How many Years was he from Home?
You have been absent more than twenty Years, and Edition: current; Page:  yet I knew your Face again. But who tells that Story of Ulysses?
He? They say he’s the Father of all fabulous Stories. It may be his Wife had gotten herself a Gallant in the mean time, and therefore did not know her own Ulysses.
No, nothing of that, she was one of the chastest Women in the World. But Pallas had made Ulysses look old, that he might not be known.
How came he to be known at last?
By a little Wart that he had upon one of his Toes. His Nurse, who was now a very old Woman, took Notice of that as she was washing his Feet.
A curious old Hagg. Well then, do you admire that I know you that have so remarkable a Nose.
I am not at all sorry for this Nose.
No, nor have you any Occasion to be sorry for having a Thing that is fit for so many Uses.
For what Uses?
First of all, it will serve instead of an Extinguisher, to put out Candles.
Again, if you want to draw any Thing out of a deep Pit, it will serve instead of an Elephant’s Trunk.
If your Hands be employ’d, it will serve instead of a Pin.
Is it good for any Thing else?
If you have no Bellows, it will serve to blow the Fire.
This is very pretty; have you any more of it?
If the Light offends you when you are writing, it will serve for an Umbrella.
Ha, ha, ha! Have you any Thing more to say?
In a Sea–fight it will serve for a Grappling–hook.
What will it serve for in a Land–fight?
Instead of a Shield.
And what else?
It will serve for a Wedge to cleave Wood withal.
If you act the Part of a Herald, it will be for a Trumpet; if you sound an Alarm, a Horn; if you dig, a Spade; if you reap, a Sickle; if you go to Sea, an Anchor; in the Kitchen it will serve for a Flesh–hook; and in Fishing a Fish–hook.
I am a happy Fellow indeed, I did not know I carry’d about me a Piece of Houshold Stuff that would serve for so many Uses.
But in the mean Time, in what Corner of the Earth have you hid yourself all this While?
But is it possible that in so publick a Place no Body should know you were alive?
Good Men are no where in the World so much incognito as there, so that in the brightest Day you shall scarce see one in a throng’d Market.
Well, but then you’re come home loaden with Benefices.
Indeed I hunted after them diligently, but I had no Success; for the Way of Fishing there is according to the Proverb, with a golden Hook.
That’s a foolish Way of Fishing.
No Matter for that, some Folks find it a very good Way.
Are they not the greatest Fools in Nature that change Gold for Lead?
But don’t you know that there are Veins of Gold in holy Lead?
What then! Are you come back nothing but a Pamphagus?
What then, pray?
A ravenous Wolf.
But they make a better Voyage of it, that return laden Edition: current; Page:  with Budgets full of Benefices. Why had you rather have a Benefice than a Wife?
Because I love to live at Ease. I love to live a pleasant Life.
But in my Opinion they live the most pleasant Life that have at Home a pretty Girl, that they may embrace as often as they have a Mind to it.
And you may add this to it, sometimes when they have no Mind to it. I love a continual Pleasure; he that marries a Wife is happy for a Month, but he that gets a fat Benefice lives merrily all his Life.
But Solitude is so melancholy a Life, that Adam in Paradise could not have liv’d happily unless God had given him an Eve.
He’ll ne’er need to want an Eve that has gotten a good Benefice.
But that Pleasure can’t really be call’d Pleasure that carries an ill Name and bad Conscience with it.
You say true, and therefore I design to divert the Tediousness of Solitude by a Conversation with Books.
They are the pleasantest Companions in the World. But do you intend to return to your Fishing again?
Yes, I would, if I could get a fresh Bait.
Would you have a golden one or a silver one?
Either of them.
Be of good Cheer, your Father will supply you.
He’ll part with nothing; and especially he’ll not trust me again, when he comes to understand I have spent what I had to no Purpose.
That’s the Chance of the Dice.
But he don’t like those Dice.
If he shall absolutely deny you, I’ll shew you where you may have as much as you please.
You tell me good News indeed, come shew it me, my Heart leaps for Joy.
It is here hard by.
Why, have you gotten a Treasure?
If I had, I would have it for myself, not for you.
If I could but get together 100 Ducats I should be in Hopes again.
I’ll shew you where you may have 100,000.
Prithee put me out of my Pain then, and do not teaze me to Death. Tell me where I may have it.
From the Asse Budæi, there you may find a great many Ten Thousands, whether you’d have it Gold or Silver.
Go and be hang’d with your Banter, I’ll pay you what I owe you out of that Bank.
Ay, so you shall, but it shall be what I lend you out of it.
I know your waggish Tricks well enough.
I’m not to be compar’d to you for that.
Nay, you are the veriest Wag in Nature, you are nothing but Waggery; you make a Jest of a serious Matter. In this Affair it is far easier Matter to teaze me than it is to please me. The Matter is of too great a Consequence to be made a Jest on. If you were in my Case you would not be so gamesome; you make a mere Game of me; you game and banter me. You joke upon me in a Thing that is not a joking Matter.
I don’t jeer you, I speak what I think. Indeed I do not laugh, I speak my Mind. I speak seriously. I speak from my Heart. I speak sincerely. I speak the Truth.
So may your Cap stand always upon your Head, as you speak sincerely. But do I stand loitering here, and make no haste Home to see how all Things go there?
You’ll find a great many Things new.
I believe I shall; but I wish I may find all Things as I would have them.
We may all wish so if we will, but never any Body found it so yet.
Our Rambles will do us both this Good, that we shall like Home the better for Time to come.
I can’t tell that, for I have seen some that have play’d the same Game over and over again; if once this Infection seizes a Person he seldom gets rid of it.
The wicked Life of Soldiers is here reprehended, and shewn to be very miserable: That War is Confusion, and a Sink of all manner of Vices, in as much as in it there is no Distinction made betwixt Things sacred and profane. The Hope of Plunder allures many to become Soldiers. The Impieties of a Military Life are here laid open, by this Confession of a Soldier, that Youth may be put out of Conceit of going into the Army.
How comes it about that you that went away a Mercury, come back a Vulcan?
What do you talk to me of your Mercuries and your Vulcans for?
Because you seem’d to be ready to fly when you went away, but you’re come limping Home.
I’m come back like a Soldier then.
You a Soldier, that would out–run a Stag if an Enemy were at your Heels.
The Hope of Booty made me valiant.
Well, have you brought Home a good Deal of Plunder then?
Then you were the lighter for travelling.
But I was heavy loaden with Sin.
That’s heavy Luggage indeed, if the Prophet says right, who calls Sin Lead.
I have seen and had a Hand in more Villanies this Campaign than in the whole Course of my Life before.
How do you like a Soldier’s Life?
There is no Course of Life in the World more wicked or more wretched.
What then must be in the Minds of those People, that for the Sake of a little Money, and some out of Curiosity, make as much Haste to a Battel as to a Banquet?
In Truth, I can think no other but they are possess’d; for if the Devil were not in them they would never anticipate their Fate.
So one would think, for if you’d put ’em upon any honest Business, they’ll scarce stir a Foot in it for any Money. But tell me, how went the Battel? Who got the better on’t?
There was such a Hallooing, Hurly–burly, Noise of Guns, Trumpets and Drums, Neighing of Horses, and Shouting of Men, that I was so far from knowing what others were a doing, that I scarcely knew where I was myself.
How comes it about then that others, after a Fight is over, do paint you out every Circumstance so to the Life, and tell you what such an Officer said, and what t’other did, as tho’ they had been nothing but Lookers on all the Time, and had been every where at the same Time?
It is my Opinion that they lye confoundedly. I can tell you what was done in my own Tent, but as to what was done in the Battel, I know nothing at all of that.
Don’t you know how you came to be lame neither?
Scarce that upon my Honour, but I suppose my Knee was hurt by a Stone, or a Horse–heel, or so.
Well, but I can tell you.
You tell me? Why, has any Body told you?
No, but I guess.
Tell me then.
When you were running away in a Fright, you fell down and hit it against a Stone.
Let me die if you han’t hit the Nail on the Head.
Go, get you Home, and tell your Wife of your Exploits.
She’ll read me a Juniper–Lecture for coming Home in such a Pickle.
But what Restitution will you make for what you have stolen?
That’s made already.
Why, to Whores, Sutlers, and Gamesters.
That’s like a Soldier for all the World, it’s but just that what’s got over the Devil’s Back should be spent under his Belly.
But I hope you have kept your Fingers all this While from Sacrilege?
There’s nothing sacred in Hostility, there we neither spare private Houses nor Churches.
How will you make Satisfaction?
They say there is no Satisfaction to be made for what is done in War, for all Things are lawful there.
You mean by the Law of Arms, I suppose?
You are right.
But that Law is the highest Injustice. It was not the Love of your Country, but the Love of Booty that made you a Soldier.
I confess so, and I believe very few go into the Army with any better Design.
It is indeed some Excuse to be mad with the greater Part of Mankind.
I have heard a Parson say in his Pulpit that War was lawful.
Pulpits indeed are the Oracles of Truth. But War may be lawful for a Prince, and yet not so for you.
I have heard that every Man must live by his Trade.
A very honourable Trade indeed to burn Houses, rob Churches, ravish Nuns, plunder the Poor, and murder the Innocent!
Butchers are hired to kill Beasts; and why is our Trade found Fault with who are hired to kill Men?
But was you never thoughtful what should become of your Soul if you happen’d to be kill’d in the Battel?
Not very much; I was very well satisfied in my Mind, having once for all commended myself to St. Barbara.
And did she take you under her Protection?
I fancied so, for methought she gave me a little Nod.
What Time was it? In the Morning?
No, no, ’twas after Supper.
And by that Time I suppose the Trees seem’d to walk too?
How this Man guesses every Thing! But St. Christopher was the Saint I most depended on, whose Picture I had always in my Eye.
What in your Tent?
We had drawn him with Charcoal upon our Sailcloth.
Then to be sure that Christopher the Collier was a sure Card to trust to? But without jesting, I don’t see how you can expect to be forgiven all these Villanies, unless you go to Rome.
Yes, I can, I know a shorter Way than that.
What Way is that?
I’ll go to the Dominicans, and there I can do my Business with the Commissaries for a Trifle.
What, for Sacrilege?
Ay, if I had robb’d Christ himself, and cut off his Head afterwards, they have Pardons would reach it, and Commissions large enough to compound for it.
That is well indeed, if God should ratify your Composition.
Nay, I am rather afraid the Devil should not ratify it; God is of a forgiving Nature.
What Priest will you get you?
One that I know has but little Modesty or Honesty.
Like to like. And when that’s over, you’ll go strait away to the Communion, like a good Christian, will you not?
Why should I not? For after I have once discharg’d the Jakes of my Sins into his Cowl, and unburden’d myself of my Luggage, let him look to it that absolv’d me.
But how can you be sure that he does absolve you?
I know that well enough.
How do you know it?
Because he lays his Hand upon my Head and mutters over something, I don’t know what.
What if he should give you all your Sins again when he lays his Hand upon your Head, and these should be the Words he mutters to himself? I absolve thee from all thy good Deeds, of which I find few or none in thee; I restore thee to thy wonted Manners, and leave thee just as I found thee.
Let him look to what he says, it is enough for me that I believe I am absolv’d.
But you run a great Hazard by that Belief, for perhaps that will not be Satisfaction to God, to whom thou art indebted.
Who a Mischief put you in my Way to disturb my Conscience, which was very quiet before?
Nay, I think it is a very happy Encounter to meet a Friend that gives good Advice.
I can’t tell how good it is, but I am sure it is not very pleasant.
: 67p. 67This Colloquy treats of the Commands of a Master, and the Business of a Servant. 1. The Master calls up his sleepy Servant, commands him to set the House to rights; the Servant answers again, that he speaks not a Word about Dinner, &c. 2. Of sending him on various Errands. 3. Concerning Riding.
Soho, soho, Rascal, I am hoarse a bawling to you, and you lye snoring still, you’ll sleep for ever I think in my Conscience; either get up presently or I’ll rouze you with a good Cudgel. When will you have slept out your Yesterday’s Debauch? Are you not asham’d, you sleepy Sot, to lye a–bed till this time of Day? Good Servants rise as soon as it is Day, and take Care to get every Thing in order before their Master rises. How loth this Drone is to leave his warm Nest! he is a whole Hour a scratching, and stretching, and yawning.
It is scarce Day yet.
I believe not to you; it is Midnight yet to your Eyes.
What do you want me to do?
Make the Fire burn, brush my Cap and Cloke, clean my Shoes and Galloshoes, take my Stockings and Edition: current; Page:  : 68p. 68 turn them inside out, and brush them well, first within, and then without, burn a little Perfume to sweeten the Air, light a Candle, give me a clean Shirt, air it well before a clear Fire.
It shall be done Sir.
But make Haste then, all this ought to have been done before now.
I do make Haste Sir.
I see what Haste you make, you are never the forwarder, you go a Snail’s Gallop.
Sir, I cannot do two Things at once.
You Scoundrel, do you speak Sentences too? Take away the Chamber–Pot, lay the Bed–Clothes to Rights, draw back the Curtains, sweep the House, sweep the Chamber–floor, fetch me some Water to wash my Hands. What are you a sliving about you Drone? You are a Year a lighting a Candle.
I can’t find a Spark of Fire.
Is it so you rak’d it up last Night?
I have no Bellows.
How the Knave thwarts me, as if he that has you can want Bellows.
What an imperious Master have I gotten! Ten of the nimblest Fellows in the World are scarce sufficient to perform his Orders.
What’s that you say you slow–Back?
Nothing at all, Sir.
No, Sirrah, did I not hear you mutter?
I was saying my Prayers.
Ay, I believe so, but it was the Lord’s–Prayer backwards then. Pray, what was that you were chattering about Imperiousness?
I was wishing you might be an Emperor.
And I wish you may be made a Man of a Stump of a Tree. Wait upon me to Church, and then run Home and make the Bed, and put every Thing in its Place; let the House be set to Rights from Top to Bottom, rub the Chamber–Pot, Edition: current; Page:  put these foul Things out of Sight, perhaps I may have some Gentry come to pay me a Visit; if I find any Thing out of Order I’ll thresh you soundly.
I know your good Humour well enough in that Matter.
Then it behoves you to look about you, if you are wise.
But all this while here is not one Word about Dinner.
Out you Villain, one may see what your Mind runs on. I don’t dine at Home, therefore come to me a little before Ten a–Clock, that you may wait upon me where I am to go to Dinner.
You have taken Care of yourself, but there is not a Bit of Bread for me to put into my Head.
If you have nothing to eat, you have something to hunger after.
But Fasting won’t fill the Belly.
There is Bread for you.
There is so, but it is as black as my Hat, and as coarse as the Bran itself.
You dainty chap’d Fellow, you ought to be fed with Hay, if you had such Commons as you deserve. What, I warrant you, Mr. Ass, you must be fed with Plumb Cakes, must you? If you can’t eat dry Bread, take a Leek to eat with it, or an Onion, if you like that better.
You must go to Market.
What, so far?
It is not a Stone’s Throw off, but it seems two Miles to such an idle Fellow as you; but however, I’ll save you as much Labour as I can, you shall dispatch several Businesses in one Errand; count ’em upon your Fingers, that you mayn’t forget any of ’em: First of all step to the Salesman, Edition: current; Page:  : 70p. 70 and bring my water’d Camblet Doublet if it be done; then go and enquire for Cornelius the Waggoner, he’s commonly at the Sign of the Roe–buck, he uses that House, ask him if he has any Letters for me, and what Day he sets out on his Journey; then go to the Woollen Draper, and tell him from me, not to be uneasy, that I have not sent him the Money at the Time appointed, for he shall have it in a very little Time.
When? To morrow come never?
Do you grin you Pimp? Yes, before the first of March: And as you come back, turn on the Left–hand, and go to the Bookseller, and enquire of him, if there be any new Books come out of Germany, learn what they are, and the Price of them; then desire Goclenius, to do me the Honour to come to Supper with me, tell him I must sup by myself if he don’t.
What do you invite Guests too? You han’t Victuals enough in the House to give a Mouse a Meal.
And when you have done all these, go to the Market, and buy a Shoulder of Mutton, and get it nicely roasted: Do you hear this?
I hear more than I like to hear.
But take you Care you remember ’em all.
I shall scarce be able to remember half of ’em.
What do you stand loytering here, you idle Knave? You might have been back before now.
What one Person in the World can do all these? Truly I must wait upon him out, and attend upon him home; I’m his Swabber, his Chamberlain, his Footman, his Clerk, his Butler, his Book–keeper, his Brawl, his Errand–boy, and last of all he does not think I have Business enough upon my Hands, unless I am his Cook too.
Bring me my Boots, I am to ride out.
Here they are, Sir.
You have look’d after them bravely, they are all over mouldy with lying by; I believe they han’t been clean’d nor greased this twelve Months Day; they are so dry, they chap again; wipe them with a wet Cloth, and liquor them well before the Fire, and chafe them till they grow soft.
It shall be done, Sir.
Where are my Spurs?
Here they are.
Ay, here they are indeed, but all eaten up with Rust. Where is my Bridle and Saddle?
They are just by.
See that nothing is wanting or broken, or ready to break, that nothing may be a Hinderance to us, when we are upon our Journey. Run to the Sadlers, and get him to mend that Rein: When you come back, look upon the Horses Feet, and Shoes, and see if there be any Nails wanting, or loose. How lean and rough these Horses are! How often do you rub ’em down, or kemb them in a Year?
I’m sure I do it every Day?
That may be seen, I believe they have not had a bit of Victuals for three Days together.
Indeed they have, Sir.
You say so, but the Horses would tell me another Tale, if they could but speak: Though indeed their Leanness speaks loud enough.
Indeed I take all the Care in the World of ’em.
How comes it about then, that they don’t look as well as you do?
Because I don’t eat Hay.
You have this to do still; make ready my Portmanteau quickly.
It shall be done.
The School–master’s Instructions teach a Boy Modesty, Civility, and Manners becoming his Age, in what Posture he ought to stand while he talks to his Superiors; concerning Habit, Discourse, and Behaviour at Table and in School.
You seem not to have been bred at Court, but in a Cow–stall; you behave yourself so clownishly. A Gentleman ought to behave himself like a Gentleman. As often or whenever any one that is your Superior speaks to you, stand strait, pull off your Hat, and look neither doggedly, surlily, saucily, malapertly, nor unsettledly, but with a staid, modest, pleasant Air in your Countenance, and a bashful Look fix’d upon the Person who speaks to you; your Feet set close one by t’other; your Hands without Action: Don’t stand titter, totter, first standing upon one Foot, and then upon another, nor playing with your Fingers, biting your Lip, scratching your Head, or picking your Ears: Let your Cloaths be put on tight and neat, that your whole Dress, Air, Motion and Habit, may bespeak a modest and bashful Temper.
What if I shall try, Sir?
Is this right?
Must I do so?
That’s pretty well.
Must I stand so?
Ay, that’s very well, remember that Posture; don’t Edition: current; Page:  be a Prittle prattle, nor Prate apace, nor be a minding any Thing but what is said to you. If you are to make an Answer, do it in few Words, and to the Purpose, every now and then prefacing with some Title of Respect, and sometimes use a Title of Honour, and now and then make a Bow, especially when you have done speaking: Nor do you go away without asking Leave, or being bid to go: Now come let me see how you can practise this. How long have you been from Home?
Almost six Months.
You should have said, Sir.
Almost six Months, Sir.
Don’t you long to see your Mother?
Have you a Mind to go to see her?
Yes, with your Leave, Sir.
Now you should have made a Bow; that’s very well, remember to do so; when you speak, don’t speak fast, stammer, or speak in your Throat, but use yourself to pronounce your Words distinctly and clearly. If you pass by any ancient Person, a Magistrate, a Minister, or Doctor, or any Person of Figure, be sure to pull off your Hat, and make your Reverence: Do the same when you pass by any sacred Place, or the Image of the Cross. When you are at a Feast, behave yourself chearfully, but always so as to remember what becomes your Age: Serve yourself last; and if any nice Bit be offer’d you, refuse it modestly; but if they press it upon you, take it, and thank the Person, and cutting off a Bit of it, offer the rest either to him that gave it you, or to him that sits next to you. If any Body drinks to you merrily, thank him, and drink moderately. If you don’t care to drink, however, kiss the Cup. Look pleasantly upon him that speaks to you; and be sure not to speak till you are spoken to. If any Thing that is obscene be said, don’t laugh at it, but keep your Countenance, as though you did not understand it; don’t reflect on any Body, nor take place of any Body, nor boast Edition: current; Page:  of any Thing of your own, nor undervalue any Thing of another Bodies. Be courteous to your Companions that are your Inferiors; traduce no Body; don’t be a Blab with your Tongue, and by this Means you’ll get a good Character, and gain Friends without Envy. If the Entertainment shall be long, desire to be excus’d, bid much good may it do the Guests, and withdraw from Table: See that you remember these Things.
I’ll do my Endeavour, Sir. Is there any Thing else you’d have me do?
Now go to your Books.
The Boys sending Cocles their Messenger to their Master, get Leave to go to Play; who shews that moderate Recreations are very necessary both for Mind and Body. The Master admonishes them that they keep together at Play, &c. 1. Of playing at Stool–ball: Of chusing Partners. 2. Of playing at Bowls, the Orders of the Bowling–Green. 3. Of playing at striking a Ball through an Iron Ring. 4. Of Dancing, that they should not dance presently after Dinner: Of playing at Leap–frog: Of Running: Of Swimming.
I have had a great Mind a good While, and this fine Weather is a great Invitation to go to Play.
These indeed invite you, but the Master don’t.
We must get some Spokesman that may extort a Holiday from him.
You did very well to say extort, for you may sooner wrest Hercules’s Club out of his Hands than get a Play–day from him; but Time was when Nobody lov’d Play better than he did.
That is true, but he has forgot a great While ago since he was a Boy himself; he is as ready and free at whipping as any Body, but as sparing and backward at this as any Body in the World.
We must pick out a Messenger that is not very bashful, that won’t be presently dashed out of Countenance by his surly Words.
Let who will go for me, I had rather go without Play than ask him for it.
There is Nobody fitter for this Business than Cocles.
Nobody in the World, he has a good bold Face of his own, and Tongue enough; and besides, he knows his Humour too.
Go, Cocles, you will highly oblige us all.
Well, I’ll try; but if I do not succeed, do not lay the Fault on your Spokesman.
You promise well for it, I am out in my Opinion if you don’t get Leave. Go on Intreater, and return an Obtainer.
I’ll go, may Mercury send me good Luck of my Errand. God save you, Sir.
What does this idle Pack want?
Your Servant, Reverend Master.
This is a treacherous Civility! I am well enough already. Tell me what ’tis you came for.
Your whole School beg a Play–day.
You do nothing else but play, even without Leave.
Your Wisdom knows that moderate Play quickens the Wit, as you have taught us out of Quintilian.
Very well, how well you can remember what’s to your purpose? They that labour hard, had need of some Relaxation: But you that study idly, and play laboriously, had more need of a Curb, than a Snaffle.
If any Thing has been wanting in Times past, we’ll labour to make it up by future Diligence.
O rare Makers up! who will be Sureties for the performing this Promise?
I’ll venture my Head upon it.
Nay, rather venture your Tail. I know there is but little Dependance upon your Word; but however, I’ll try this Time what Credit may be given to you; if you deceive me now, you shall never obtain any Thing from me again. Let ’em play; but let them keep together in the Field, don’t let them go a tippling or worse Exercises, and see they come Home betimes, before Sun set.
We will, Sir. I have gotten Leave, but with much a do.
O brave Lad! we all love you dearly.
But we must be sure not to transgress our Orders, for if we do, it will be all laid upon my Back; I have engaged for ye all, and if ye do, I’ll never be your Spokesman again.
We’ll take Care: But what Play do you like best?
We’ll talk of that when we come into the Fields.
No Play is better to exercise all Parts of the Body than Stool–ball; but that’s fitter for Winter than Summer.
There is no Time of the Year with us, but what’s fit to play in.
We shall sweat less, if we play at Tennis.
Let’s let Nets alone to Fishermen; it’s prettier to catch it in our Hands.
Well, come on, I don’t much Matter; but how much shall we play for?
For a Fill–up, and then we shan’t lose much Money.
But I had rather spare my Corps than my Money.
And I value my Corps more than my Money: We must play for something, or we shall never play our best.
You say true.
Which Hand soever shall get the first three Games, shall pay the sixth Part of a Groat to the other; but upon Condition that what’s won shall be spent among all the Company alike.
Well, I like the Proposal; come done, let’s chuse Hands; but we are all so equally match’d, that it’s no great Matter who and who’s together.
You play a great Deal better than I.
But for all that, you have the better Luck.
Has Fortune anything to do at this Play?
She has to do everywhere.
Well, come let’s toss up. O Boys, very well indeed. I have got the Partners I would have.
And we like our Partners very well.
Come on, now for’t, he that will win, must look to his Game. let every one stand to his Place bravely. Do you stand behind me ready to catch the Ball, if it goes beyond me; do you mind there, and beat it back when it comes from our Adversaries.
I’ll warrant ye, I’ll hit it if it comes near me.
Go on and prosper, throw up the Ball upon the House. He that throws and do’s not speak first shall lose his Cast.
Well, take it then.
Do you toss it; if you throw it beyond the Bounds, or short, or over the House, it shall go for nothing, and we won’t be cheated: And truly you throw nastily. As you toss it, I’ll give it you again; I’ll give you a Rowland for an Oliver; but it is better to play fairly and honestly.
It is best at Diversion, to beat by fair Play.
It is so, and in War too; these Arts have each their respective Laws: There are some Arts that are very unfair ones.
I believe so too, and more than seven too. Mark the Bounds with a Shell, or Brick–bat, or with your Hat if you will.
I’d rather do it with yours.
Take the Ball again.
Throw it; score it up.
We have two good wide Goals.
Pretty wide, but they are not out of Reach.
They may be reach’d if no Body hinders it.
O brave, I have gone beyond the first Goal. We are fifteen. Play stoutly, we had got this too, if you had stood in your Place. Well, now we are equal.
But you shan’t be so long. Well, we are thirty; we are forty five.
What signifies Numbers, if you have nothing to pay?
We have gotten this Game.
You are a little too hasty; you reckon your Chickens before they are hatch’d. I have seen those lose the Game that have had so many for Love. War and Play is a meer Lottery. We have got thirty, now we are equal again.
This is the Game Stroke. O brave! we have got the better of you.
Well, but you shan’t have it long; did I not say so? We are equally fortunate.
Fortune inclines first to one side, and then to t’other, as if she could not tell which to give the Victory to. Fortune, be but on our Side, and we’ll help thee to a Husband. O rare! She has answer’d her Desire, we have got this Game, set it up, that we mayn’t forget.
It is almost Night, and we have play’d enough, we had better leave off, too much of one Thing is good for nothing, let us reckon our Winnings.
We have won three Groats, and you have won two; then there is one to be spent. But who must pay for the Balls?
All alike, every one his Part. For there is so little won, we can’t take any Thing from that.
You have been often bragging what a mighty Gamester you were at Bowls. Come now, I have a Mind to try what a one you are.
I’ll answer you, if you have a Mind to that Sport. Now you’ll find according to the Proverb; You have met with your Match.
Well, and you shall find I am a Match for you too.
Shall we play single Hands or double Hands?
I had rather play single, that another may not come in with me for a Share of the Victory.
And I had rather have it so too, that the Victory may be entirely my own.
They shall look on, and be Judges.
I take you up; But what shall he that beats get, or he that is beaten lose?
What if he that beats shall have a Piece of his Ear cut off.
Nay, rather let one of his Stones be cut out. It is a mean Thing to play for Money; you are a Frenchman, and I a German, we’ll both play for the Honour of his Country.
If I shall beat you, you shall cry out thrice, let France flourish; If I shall be beat (which I hope I shan’t) I’ll in the same Words celebrate your Germany.
Well, a Match. Now for good Luck; since two great Nations are at Stake in this Game, let the Bowls be both alike.
Do you see that Stone that lies by the Port there.
Yes I do.
That shall be the Jack.
Very well, let it be so; but I say let the Bowls be alike.
They are as like as two Peas. Take which you please, it’s all one to me.
Hey–day, you whirl your Bowl as if your Arm was a Sling.
You have bit your Lip, and whirled your Bowl long enough: Come bowl away. A strong Bowl indeed, but I am best.
If it had not been for that mischievous Bit of a Brick–bat there, that lay in my Way, I had beat you off.
I won’t cheat: I intend to beat you by Art, and not to cheat ye, since we contend for the Prize of Honour: Rub, rub.
A great Cast in Troth.
Nay, don’t laugh before you’ve won. We are equal yet.
This is who shall: He that first hits the Jack is up. I have beat you, sing.
Stay, you should have said how many you’d make up, for my Hand is not come in yet.
Well, what do you say now? Are you beat or no?
You have had better Luck than I, but yet I won’t vail to you, as to Strength and Art; I’ll stand to what the Company says.
The German has beat, and the Victory is the more glorious, that he has beat so good a Gamester.
Now Cock, crow.
I am hoarse.
That’s no new Thing to Cocks; but if you can’t crow like an old Cock, crow like a Cockeril.
Let Germany flourish thrice.
You ought to have said so thrice. I am a–dry; let us drink somewhere, I’ll make an end of the Song there.
I won’t stand upon that, if the Company likes it.
That will be the best, the Cock will crow clearer when his Throat is gargled.
Come, let’s begin, Marcolphus shall come in, in the Losers Place.
But what shall we play for?
He that is beat shall make and repeat extempore a Distich, in Praise of him that beat him.
With all my Heart.
Shall we toss up who shall go first?
Do you go first if you will, I had rather go last.
You have the better of me, because you know the Ground.
You’re upon your own Ground.
Indeed I am better acquainted with the Ground, than I am with my Books; but that’s but a small Commendation.
You that are so good a Gamester ought to give me Odds.
Nay, you should rather give me Odds; but there’s no great Honour in getting a Victory, when Odds is taken: He only can properly be said to get the Game, that gets it by his own Art; we are as well match’d as can be.
Yours is a better Ball than mine.
And yours is beyond me.
Play fair, without cheating and cozening.
You shall say you have had to do with a fair Gamester.
But I would first know the Orders of the Bowlingalley.
We make 4 up; whoever bowls beyond this Line it goes for nothing; if you can go beyond those other Bounds, do it fairly and welcome: Whoever hits a Bowl out of his Place loses his Cast.
I understand these Things.
I have shut you out.
But I’ll give you a Remove.
If you do that I’ll give you the Game.
Will you upon your Word?
Yes, upon my Word: You have no other Way for it, but to bank your Bowl so as to make it rebound on mine.
I’ll try: Well, what say you now Friend? Are not you beaten away? (Have I not struck you away?)
I am, I confess it; I wish you were but as wise as you are lucky; you can scarce do so once in a hundred Times.
I’ll lay you, if you will, that I do it once in three Times. But come pay me what I have won.
Why, a Distich.
Well, I’ll pay it now.
And an extempore one too. Why do you bite your Nails?
I have it.
Recite it out.
As loud as you will.
Han’t you a Distich now?
I have, and I’ll give you as good as you bring.
Have you a Mind to jump with me?
That Play is not good presently after Dinner.
Because that a Fulness of Belly makes the Body heavy.
Not very much to those that live upon Scholars Commons, for these oftentimes are ready for a Supper before they have done Dinner.
What Sort of leaping is it that you like best?
Let us first begin with that which is the plainest, as that of Grasshoppers; or Leap–frog, if you like that better, both Feet at once, and close to one another; and when we have play’d enough at this, then we’ll try other Sorts.
I’ll play at any Sort, where there is no Danger of breaking ones Legs; I have no Mind to make Work for the Surgeon.
What if we should play at hopping?
That the Ghosts play, I am not for that.
It’s the cleverest Way to leap with a Pole.
Running is a more noble Exercise; for Æneas in Virgil proposed this Exercise.
Very true, and he also propos’d the fighting with Whirly–bats too, and I don’t like that Sport.
Mark the Course, let this be the Starting–place, and yonder Oak the Goal.
I wish Æneas was here, that he might propose what should be the Conqueror’s Prize.
Glory is a Reward sufficient for Victory.
You should rather give a Reward to him that is beat, to comfort him.
Then let the Victor’s Reward be to go into the Town crowned with a Bur.
Well, ’tis done, provided you’ll go before playing upon a Pipe.
It is very hot.
That is not strange when it is Midsummer.
Swimming is better.
I don’t love to live like a Frog, I am a Land Animal, not an amphibious one.
But in old Time this was look’d upon to be one of the most noble Exercises.
Nay, and a very useful one too.
If Men are forc’d to fly in Battel, they are in the best Condition that can run and swim best.
The Art you speak of is not to be set light by; it is as Praise–worthy sometimes to run away nimbly as it is to fight stoutly.
I can’t swim at all, and it is dangerous to converse with an unaccustomed Element.
You ought to learn then, for no Body was born an Artist.
But I have heard of a great many of these Artists that have swum in, but never swam out again.
First try with Corks.
I can’t trust more to a Cork than to my Feet; if you have a Mind to swim, I had rather be a Spectator than an Actor.
: 86p. 86This Discourse furnishes a childish Mind with pious Instructions of Religion, in what it consists. What is to be done in the Morning in Bed, at getting up, at Home, at School, before Meat, after Meat, before going to Sleep. Of beginning the Day, of praying, of behaving themselves studiously at School, Thriftiness of Time: Age flies. What is to be done after Supper. How we ought to sleep. Of Behaviour at holy Worship. All Things to be applied to ourselves. The Meditation of a pious Soul at Church. What Preachers are chiefly to be heard. Fasting is prejudicial to Children. Confession is to be made to Christ. The Society of wicked Persons is to be avoided. Of the prudent chusing a Way of Living. Holy Orders and Matrimony are not to be entred into before the Age of Twenty–two. What Poets are fit to be read, and how.
Whence came you from? Out of some Alehouse?
What from a Bowling Green?
No, nor from thence neither.
What from the Tavern then?
Well, since I can’t guess, tell me.
From St. Mary’s Church.
What Business had you there?
I saluted some Persons.
Christ, and some of the Saints.
You have more Religion than is common to one of your Age.
Religion is becoming to every Age.
If I had a Mind to be religious, I’d become a Monk.
And so would I too, if a Monk’s Hood carried in it as much Piety as it does Warmth.
There is an old Saying, a young Saint and an old Devil.
But I believe that old Saying came from old Satan: I can hardly think an old Man to be truly religious, that has not been so in his young Days. Nothing is learn’d to greater Advantage, than what we learn in our youngest Years.
What is that which is call’d Religion?
It is the pure Worship of God, and Observation of his Commandments.
What are they?
It is too long to relate all; but I’ll tell you in short, it consists in four Things.
What are they?
In the first Place, that we have a true and pious Apprehension of God himself, and the Holy Scriptures; and that we not only stand in Awe of him as a Lord, but that we love him with all our Heart, as a most beneficent Father. 2. That we take the greatest Care to keep ourselves blameless; that is, that we do no Injury to any one. 3. That we exercise Charity, i. e. to deserve well of all Persons (as much as in us lyes). 4. That we practise Patience, i. e. to bear patiently Injuries that are offered us, when we can’t prevent them, not revenging them, nor requiting Evil for Evil.
You hold forth finely; but do you practise what you teach?
I endeavour it manfully.
How can you do it like a Man, when you are but a Boy?
I meditate according to my Ability, and call myself to an Account every Day; and correct myself for what I have done amiss: That was unhandsomely done this saucily said, this was uncautiously acted; in that it were better to have held my Peace, that was neglected.
When do you come to this Reckoning?
Most commonly at Night; or at any Time that I am most at Leisure.
But tell me, in what Studies do you spend the Day?
I will hide nothing from so intimate a Companion: In the Morning, as soon as I am awake, (and that is commonly about six a Clock, or sometimes at five) I sign myself with my Finger in the Forehead and Breast with the Sign of the Cross.
I begin the Day in the Name of the Father, Son, and holy Spirit.
Indeed that is very piously done.
By and by I put up a short Ejaculation to Christ.
What dost thou say to him?
I give him Thanks that he has been pleased to bless me that Night; and I pray him that he would in like Manner prosper me the whole of that Day, so as may be for his Glory, and my Soul’s Good; and that he who is the true Light that never sets, the eternal Sun, that enlivens, nourishes and exhilarates all Things, would vouchsafe to enlighten my Soul, that I mayn’t fall into Sin; but by his Guidance, may attain everlasting Life.
A very good Beginning of the Day indeed.
And then having bid my Parents good Morrow, to whom next to God, I owe the greatest Reverence, when it is Time I go to School; but so that I may pass by some Church, if I can conveniently.
What do you do there?
I salute Jesus again in three Words, and all the Saints, either Men or Women; but the Virgin Mary by Name, and especially that I account most peculiarly my own.
Indeed you seem to have read that Sentence of Cato, Saluta libenter, to good Purpose; was it not enough to have saluted Christ in the Morning, without saluting him again presently? Are you not afraid lest you should be troublesome by your over Officiousness?
Christ loves to be often called upon.
But it seems to be ridiculous to speak to one you don’t see.
No more do I see that Part of me that speaks to him.
What Part is that?
But it seems to be Labour lost, to salute one that does not salute you again.
He frequently salutes again by his secret Inspiration; and he answers sufficiently that gives what is ask’d of him.
What is it you ask of him? For I perceive your Salutations are petitionary, like those of Beggars.
Indeed you are very right; for I pray that he, who, when he was a Boy of about twelve Years of Age, sitting in the Temple, taught the Doctors themselves, and to whom the heavenly Father, by a Voice from Heaven, gave Authority to teach Mankind, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him; and who is the eternal Wisdom of the most high Father, would vouchsafe to enlighten my Understanding, to receive wholesome Learning, that I may use it to his Glory.
Who are those Saints that you call peculiarly yours?
Of the Apostles, St. Paul; of the Martyrs, St. Cyprian; of the Doctors, St. Jerome; of the Virgins, St. Agnes.
How came these to be yours, more than the rest. Was it by Choice or by Chance?
They fell to me by Lot.
But you only salute them I suppose; do you beg any Thing of them?
I pray, that by their Suffrages they would recommend Edition: current; Page:  me to Christ, and procure that by his Assistance it may in Time come to pass that I be made one of their Company.
Indeed what you ask for is no ordinary Thing: But what do you do then?
I go to School, and do what is to be done there with my utmost Endeavour; I so implore Christ’s Assistance, as if my Study without it would signify nothing; and I study as if he offered no Help but to him that labours industriously; and I do my utmost not to deserve to be beaten, nor to offend my Master either in Word or Deed, nor any of my Companions.
You are a good Boy to mind these Things.
When School is done I make haste Home, and if I can I take a Church in my Way, and in three Words, I salute Jesus again; and I pay my Respects to my Parents; and if I have any Time, I repeat, either by myself, or with one of my School–fellows, what was dictated in School.
Indeed you are a very good Husband of Time.
No wonder I am of that, which is the most precious Thing in the World, and when past is irrecoverable.
And Hesiod teaches, that good Husbandry ought to be in the Middle, it is too soon in the Beginning, and too late in the End.
Hesiod spoke right enough concerning Wine, but of Time no good Husbandry is unseasonable. If you let a Hogshead of Wine alone it won’t empty itself; but Time is always a flying, sleeping or waking.
I confess so, but what do you do after that?
When my Parents sit down to Dinner I say Grace, and then wait at Table till I am bid to take my own Dinner; and having returned Thanks, if I have any Time left I divert myself with my Companions with some lawful Recreation till the Time comes to go to School again.
Do you salute Jesus again?
Yes, if I have an Opportunity; but if it so happen that I have not an Opportunity, or it be not seasonable, as Edition: current; Page:  I pass by the Church I salute him mentally; and then I do what is to be done at School with all my Might; and when I go Home again I do what I did before Dinner: After Supper I divert myself with some pleasant Stories; and afterwards bidding my Parents and the Family good Night, I go to Bed betimes, and there kneeling down by the Bedside, as I have said, I say over those Things I have been learning that Day at School; if I have committed any great Fault, I implore Christ’s Clemency, that he would pardon me, and I promise Amendment: and if I have committed no Fault, I thank him for his Goodness in preserving me from all Vice, and then I recommend myself to him with all my Soul, that he would preserve me from the Attempts of my evil Genius and filthy Dreams. When this is done, and I am got into Bed, I cross my Forehead and Breast, and compose myself to Rest.
In what Posture do you compose yourself?
I don’t lye upon my Face or my Back, but first leaning upon my Right–Side, I fold my Arms a–cross, so that they may defend my Breast, as it were with the Figure of a Cross, with my Right–hand upon my Left Shoulder, and my Left upon my Right, and so I sleep sweetly, either till I awake of myself, or am called up.
You are a little Saint that can do thus.
You are a little Fool for saying so.
I praise your Method, and I would I could practise it.
Give your Mind to it and you will do it, for when once you have accustom’d yourself to it for a few Months, these Things will be pleasant, and become natural.
But I want to hear concerning divine Service.
I don’t neglect that, especially upon holy Days.
How do you manage yourself on holy Days?
In the first place I examine myself if my Mind be polluted by any Stain of Sin.
And if you find it is, what do you do then? Do you refrain from the Altar?
Not by my bodily Presence, but I withdraw myself, Edition: current; Page:  as to my Mind, and standing as it were afar off, as tho’ not daring to lift up my Eyes to God the Father, whom I have offended, I strike upon my Breast, crying out with the Publican in the Gospel, Lord, be merciful to me a Sinner. And then if I know I have offended any Man, I take Care to make him Satisfaction if I can presently; but if I cannot do that, I resolve in my Mind to reconcile my Neighbour as soon as possible. If any Body has offended me, I forbear Revenge, and endeavour to bring it about, that he that has offended me may be made sensible of his Fault, and be sorry for it; but if there be no Hope of that, I leave all Vengeance to God.
That’s a hard Task.
Is it hard to forgive a small Offence to your Brother, whose mutual Forgiveness thou wilt stand in frequent need of, when Christ has at once forgiven us all our Offences, and is every Day forgiving us? Nay, this seems to me not to be Liberality to our Neighbour, but putting to Interest to God; just as tho’ one Fellow–Servant should agree with another to forgive him three Groats, that his Lord might forgive him ten Talents.
You indeed argue very rationally, if what you say be true.
Can you desire any Thing truer than the Gospel?
That is unreasonable; but there are some who can’t believe themselves to be Christians unless they hear Mass (as they call it) every Day.
Indeed I don’t condemn the Practise in those that have Time enough, and spend whole Days in profane Exercises; but I only disapprove of those who superstitiously fancy that that Day must needs be unfortunate to them that they have not begun with the Mass; and presently after divine Service is over they go either to Trading, Gaming, or the Court, where whatsoever succeeds, though done justly or unjustly, they attribute to the Mass.
Are there any Persons that are so absurd?
The greatest part of Mankind.
But return to divine Service.
If I can, I get to stand so close by the Holy Altar, that I can hear what the Priest reads, especially the Epistle and the Gospel; from these I endeavour to pick something, which I fix in my Mind, and this I ruminate upon for some Time.
Don’t you pray at all in the mean Time?
I do pray, but rather mentally than vocally. From the Things the Priest reads I take occasion of Prayer.
Explain that a little more, I don’t well take in what you mean.
I’ll tell you; suppose this Epistle was read, Purge out the old Leaven, that ye may be a new Lump, as ye are unleavened. On occasion of these Words I thus address myself to Christ, “I wish I were the unleavened Bread, pure from all Leaven of Malice; but do thou, O Lord Jesus, who alone art pure, and free from all Malice, grant that I may every Day more and more purge out the old Leaven.” Again, if the Gospel chance to be read concerning the Sower sowing his Seed, I thus pray with my self, “Happy is he that deserves to be that good Ground, and I pray that of barren Ground, he of his great Goodness would make me good Ground, without whose Blessing nothing at all is good.” These for Example Sake, for it would be tedious to mention every Thing. But if I happen to meet with a dumb Priest, (such as there are many in Germany) or that I can’t get near the Altar, I commonly get a little Book that has the Gospel of that Day and Epistle, and this I either say out aloud, or run it over with my Eye.
I understand; but with what Contemplations chiefly dost thou pass away the Time?
I give Thanks to Jesus Christ for his unspeakable Love, in condescending to redeem Mankind by his Death; I pray that he would not suffer his most holy Blood to be shed in vain for me, but that with his Body he would always feed my Soul, and that with his Blood he would Edition: current; Page:  quicken my Spirit, that growing by little and little in the Increase of Graces, I may be made a fit Member of his mystical Body, which is the Church; nor may ever fall from that holy Covenant that he made with his elect Disciples at the last Supper, when he distributed the Bread, and gave the Cup; and through these, with all who are engraffed into his Society by Baptism. And if I find my Thoughts to wander, I read some Psalms, or some pious Matter, that may keep my Mind from wandring.
Have you any particular Psalms for this Purpose?
I have; but I have not so tyed myself up to them, but that I can omit them, if any Meditation comes into my Mind that is more refreshing, than the Recitation of those Psalms.
What do you do as to Fasting?
I have nothing to do with Fasting, for so Jerome has taught me; that Health is not to be impair’d by fasting, until the Body is arrived at its full Strength. I am not quite 17 Years old; but yet if I find Occasion, I dine and sup sparingly, that I may be more lively for Spiritual Exercises on holy Days.
Since I have begun, I will go through with my Enquiries. How do you find yourself affected towards Sermons?
Very well, I go to them as devoutly as if I was a going to a holy Assembly; and yet I pick and chuse whom to hear, for there are some, one had better not hear than hear; and if such an one happens to preach, or if it happen that no Body preaches, I pass this Time in reading the Scriptures, I read the Gospel or Epistle with Chrysostom’s or Jerome’s Interpretation, or any other pious and learned Interpreter that I meet with.
But Word of Mouth is more affecting.
I confess it is. I had rather hear if I can but meet with a tolerable Preacher; but I don’t seem to be wholly destitute of a Sermon if I hear Chrysostom or Jerome speaking by their Writings.
I am of your Mind; but how do you stand affected as to Confession?
Very well; for I confess daily.
Then you ought to keep a Priest to yourself.
But I confess to him who only truly remits Sins, to whom all the Power is given.
And do you think that’s sufficient?
It would be enough for me, if it were enough for the Rulers of the Church, and receiv’d Custom.
Who do you call the Rulers of the Church?
The Popes, Bishops and Apostles.
And do you put Christ into this Number?
He is without Controversy the chief Head of e’m all.
And was he the Author of this Confession in use?
He is indeed the Author of all good; but whether he appointed Confession as it is now us’d in the Church, I leave to be disputed by Divines. The Authority of my Betters is enough for me that am but a Lad and a private Person. This is certainly the principal Confession; nor is it an easy Matter to confess to Christ; no Body confesses to him, but he that is angry with his Sin. If I have committed any great Offence, I lay it open, and bewail it to him, and implore his Mercy; I cry out, weep and lament, nor do I give over before I feel the Love of Sin throughly purged from the Bottom of my Heart, and some Tranquility and Chearfulness of Mind follow upon it, which is an Argument of the Sin being pardoned. And when the Time requires to go to the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ; then I make Confession to a Priest too, but in few Words, and nothing but what I am well satisfy’d are Faults, or such that carry in them a very great Suspicion that they are such; neither do I always take it to be a capital or enormous Crime, every Thing that is done contrary to Edition: current; Page:  human Constitutions, unless a wicked Contemptuousness shall go along with it: Nay, I scarce believe any Crime to be Capital, that has not Malice join’d with it, that is, a perverse Will.
I commend you, that you are so religious, and yet not superstitious: Here I think the old Proverb takes place: Nec omnia, nec passim, nec quibuslibet, That a Person should neither speak all, nor every where, nor to all Persons.
I chuse me a Priest, that I can trust with the Secrets of my Heart.
That’s wisely done: For there are a great many, as is found by Experience, do blab out what in Confessions is discovered to them. And there are some vile impudent Fellows that enquire of the Person confessing, those Things, that it were better if they were conceal’d; and there are some unlearned and foolish Fellows, who for the Sake of filthy Gain, lend their Ear, but apply not their Mind, who can’t distinguish between a Fault and a good Deed, nor can neither teach, comfort nor advise. These Things I have heard from many, and in Part have experienced my self.
And I too much; therefore I chuse me one that is learn’d, grave, of approv’d Integrity, and one that keeps his Tongue within his Teeth.
Truly you are happy that can make a Judgment of Things so early.
But above all, I take Care of doing any Thing that I can’t safely trust a Priest with.
That’s the best Thing in the World, if you can but do so.
Indeed it is hard to us of ourselves, but by the Help of Christ it is easy; the greatest Matter is, that there be a Will to it. I often renew my Resolution, especially upon Sundays: And besides that, I endeavour as much as I can to keep out of evil Company, and associate myself with good Company, by whose Conversation I may be better’d.
Indeed you manage yourself rightly: For evil Conversations corrupt good Manners.
I shun Idleness as the Plague.
You are very right, for Idleness is the Root of all Evil; but as the World goes now, he must live by himself that would keep out of bad Company.
What you say is very true, for as the Greek wise Men said the bad are the greatest Number. But I chuse the best out of a few, and sometimes a good Companion makes his Companion better. I avoid those Diversions that incite to Naughtiness, and use those that are innocent. I behave myself courteous to all; but familiarly with none but those that are good. If I happen at any Time to fall into bad Company, I either correct them by a soft Admonition, or wink at and bear with them, if I can do them no good; but I be sure to get out of their Company as soon as I can.
Had you never an itching Mind to become a Monk?
Never; but I have been often solicited to it by some, that call you into a Monastery, as into a Port from a Shipwreck.
Say you so? Were they in Hopes of a Prey?
They set upon both me and my Parents with a great many crafty Persuasions; but I have taken a Resolution not to give my Mind either to Matrimony or Priesthood, nor to be a Monk, nor to any Kind of Life out of which I can’t extricate myself, before I know myself very well.
When will that be?
Perhaps never. But before the 28th Year of ones Age, nothing should be resolved on.
Because I hear every where, so many Priests, Monks and married Men lamenting that they hurried themselves rashly into Servitude.
You are very cautious not to be catch’d.
In the mean Time I take a special Care of three Things.
What are they?
First of all to make a good Progress in Morality, and if I can’t do that, I am resolv’d to maintain an unspotted Edition: current; Page:  Innocence and good Name; and last of all I furnish myself with Languages and Sciences that will be of Use in any Kind of Life.
But do you neglect the Poets?
Not wholly, but I read generally the chastest of them, and if I meet with any Thing that is not modest, I pass that by, as Ulysses passed by the Sirens, stopping his Ears.
To what Kind of Study do you chiefly addict your self? To Physic, the Common or Civil Law, or to Divinity? For Languages, the Sciences and Philosophy are all conducive to any Profession whatsoever.
I have not yet thoroughly betaken myself to any one particularly, but I take a Taste of all, that I be not wholly ignorant of any; and the rather, that having tasted of all I may the better chuse that I am fittest for. Medicine is a certain Portion in whatsoever Land a Man is; the Law is the Way to Preferment: But I like Divinity the best, saving that the Manners of some of the Professors of it, and the bitter Contentions that are among them, displease me.
He won’t be very apt to fall that goes so warily along. Many in these Days are frighted from Divinity, because they are afraid they should not be found in the Catholick Faith, because they see no Principle of Religion, but what is called in Question.
I believe firmly what I read in the holy Scriptures, and the Creed, called the Apostles, and I don’t trouble my Head any farther: I leave the rest to be disputed and defined by the Clergy, if they please; and if any Thing is in common Use with Christians that is not repugnant to the holy Scriptures, I observe it for this Reason, that I may not offend other People.
What Thales taught you that Philosophy?
When I was a Boy and very young, I happen’d to live in the House with that honestest of Men, John Colet, do you know him?
Know him, ay, as well as I do you.
He instructed me when I was young in these Precepts.
You won’t envy me, I hope, if I endeavour to imitate you?
Nay, by that Means you will be much dearer to me. For you know, Familiarity and good Will, are closer ty’d by Similitude of Manners.
True, but not among Candidates for the same Office, when they are both sick of the same Disease.
No, nor between two Sweet–hearts of the same Mistress, when they are both sick of the same Love.
But without jesting, I’ll try to imitate that Course of Life.
I wish you as good Success as may be.
It may be I shall overtake thee.
I wish you might get before me; but in the mean Time I won’t stay for you; but I will every Day endeavour to out–go myself, and do you endeavour to out–go me if you can.
: 100p. 100This Colloquy presents you with the Art of Hunting, Fishing, of bringing Earth–Worms out of the Ground, of sticking Frogs.
Every one to his Mind. I love Hunting.
And so do I too, but where are the Dogs? The hunting Poles? And the hunting Nets?
Farewell Boars, Bears, Bucks, and Foxes, we’ll lay Snares for Rabbets.
But I’ll set Gins for Locusts and Crickets.
But I’ll catch Frogs.
I’ll hunt Butterflies.
’Tis difficult to follow flying Creatures.
It is difficult, but ’tis fine Sport; unless you think it finer Sport to hunt after Earth–Worms, Snails or Cockles, because they have no Wings.
Indeed I had rather go a Fishing; I have a neat Hook.
But where will you get Baits?
There are Earth–Worms enough every where to be had.
So there is, if they would but creep out of the Ground to you.
But I’ll make a great many thousand jump out presently.
How? By Witch–Craft?
You shall see the Art. Fill this Bucket with Water, break these green Peels of Walnuts to Pieces and put into it: Wet the Ground with the Water. Now mind a little, do you see them coming out?
I see a Miracle. I believe the armed Men started out of the Earth after this Manner from the Serpents Teeth that were sown: But a great many Fish are of too fine and delicate a Palate to be catch’d by such a vulgar Bait.
I know a certain Sort of an Insect that I us’d to catch such with.
See if you can impose upon the Fishes so, I’ll make work with the Frogs.
How, with a Net?
No, with a Bow.
That’s a new Way of Fishing!
But ’tis a pleasant one; you’ll say so, when you see it.
What if we two should play at holding up our Fingers?
That’s an idle, clownish Play indeed, fitter for them that are sitting in a Chimney Corner, than those that are ranging in the Field.
What if we should play at Cob–Nut?
Let us let Nuts alone for little Chits, we are great Boys.
And yet we are but Boys for all that.
But they that are fit to play at Cob–Nut, are fit to ride upon a Hobby–Horse.
Well then, do you say what we shall play at; and I’ll play at what you will.
And I’ll be conformable.
: 102p. 102This Colloquy treats of scholastic Studies, and School Plays. 1. The Boys going into the School. The striking of a Clock. A whipping Master. Of saying a Lesson. Fear hurts the Memory. 2. Of Writing, the Paper sinks. Of making a Pen. Of a hard Nip. A soft Nip. Of writing quick, well.
What makes you run so, John?
What makes a Hare run before the Dogs, as they use to say?
What Proverb is this?
Because unless I am there in Time, before the Bill is called over, I am sure to be whipp’d.
You need not be afraid of that, it is but a little past five: Look upon the Clock, the Hand is not come to the half Hour Point yet.
Ay, but I can scarce trust to Clocks, they go wrong sometimes.
But trust me then, I heard the Clock strike.
What did that strike?
But there is something else that I am more afraid of than that, I must say by Heart a good long Lesson for Yesterday, and I am afraid I can’t say it.
I am in the same Case with you; for I myself have hardly got mine as it should be.
And you know the Master’s Severity. Every Fault is Edition: current; Page:  : 103p. 103 a Capital one with him: He has no more Mercy of our Breeches, than if they were made of a Bull’s Hide.
But he won’t be in the School.
Who has he appointed in his Place?
That squint–ey’d Fellow! Wo to our Back–Sides, he’s a greater Whip–Master than Busby himself.
You say very true, and for that Reason I have often wish’d he had a Palsy in his Arm.
It is not pious to wish ill to ones Master: it is our Business rather to take Care not to fall under the Tyrant’s Hands.
Let us say one to another, one repeating and the other looking in the Book.
That’s well thought on.
Come, be of good Heart; for Fear spoils the Memory.
I could easily lay aside Fear, if I were out of Danger; but who can be at Ease in his Mind, that is in so much Danger.
I confess so; but we are not in Danger of our Heads, but of our Tails.
You write finely, but your Paper sinks. Your Paper is damp, and the Ink sinks through it.
Pray make me a Pen of this.
I have not a Pen–knife.
Here is one for you.
Out on’t, how blunt it is!
Take the Hoan.
Do you love to write with a hard–nip’d Pen, or a soft?
Make it fit for your own Hand.
I use to write with a soft Nip.
Pray write me out the Alphabet.
Greek or Latin?
Write me the Latin first; I’ll try to imitate it.
Give me some Paper then.
But my Ink is too thin, by often pouring in of Water.
But my Cotton is quite dry.
Squeeze it, or else piss in it.
I had rather get some Body to give me some.
It is better to have of one’s own, than to borrow.
What’s a Scholar without Pen and Ink?
The same that a Soldier is without Shield or Sword.
I wish my Fingers were so nimble, I can’t write as fast as another speaks.
Let it be your first chief Care to write well, and your next to write quick: No more Haste than good Speed.
Very well; say to the Master when he dictates, no more Haste than good Speed.
You have oblig’d me, in that you have written to me sometimes. I thank you for writing to me often. I love you, that you have not thought much to send me now and then a Letter. I give you Thanks that you have visited me with frequent Letters. I thank you for loading of me with Packets of Letters. I thank you heartily that you have now and then provoked me with Letters. You have oblig’d me very much that you have honour’d me with your Letters. I am much beholden to you for your most obliging Letters to me. I take it as a great Favour, that you have not thought much to write to me.
Indeed I ought to beg Pardon for my Presumption, who dar’d presume to trouble a Man of so much Business, and so much Learning with my unlearned Letters. I acknowledge your usual Humanity, who have taken my Boldness in good Part. I was afraid my Letters had given you some Offence, that you sent me no Answer. There is no Reason that you should thank me, it is more than enough for me, if you have taken my Industry in good Part.
Is there no News come from our Country? Have you had any News from our Countrymen? What News? Do you bring any News? Is there any News come to Town? Is there any News abroad from our Country?
There is much News; but nothing of Truth. News enough indeed; but nothing certain. A great deal of News; but nothing to be depended upon. Not a little News; but not much Truth. There is no News come. I have had no News at all. Something of News; but nothing certain. There are a great many Reports come to Town; but they are all doubtful. There is a great deal of Talk; but nothing true, nothing certain. If Lies please, I have brought you a whole Cart–Load of them. I bring you whole Bushels of Tales. I bring you as many Lies as a good Ship will carry.
Then unlade yourself as fast as you can, for fear you should sink, being so over–freighted.
I have nothing but what’s the Chat of Barbers Shops, Coaches and Boats.
Have you had no Letters? Have you had any Letters out of your own Country? Have no Letters been brought to you? Have you receiv’d any Letters? Have you had any Letters? Have you receiv’d any Letters from your Friends? Are there no Letters come from France?
I have received no Letters. I han’t had so much as a Letter. I han’t had the least Bit of a Letter. No Body has sent me any Letter. There is not the least Word come from any Body. I have received no more Letters for this long Time, than what you see in my Eye. Indeed I had rather have Money than Letters. I had rather receive Money than Letters. I don’t matter Letters, so the Money does but come. I had rather be paid, than be written to.
I easily believe you. That is not hard to be believ’d. It is a very easy Thing to believe that. Who would not believe you in that? He will be very incredulous, that won’t believe you in that Matter. In Truth I do believe you. You will easily make me believe that. I can believe you without swearing. What you say is very likely. But for all that, Letters bring some Comfort. I had rather have either of them, than neither.
What signifies Letters without Money? What signifies empty Letters? What do empty Letters avail? What good do they do, what do they profit, advantage? To whom Edition: current; Page:  : 107p. 107 are Letters grateful or acceptable without Money? What Advantage do empty Letters bring? What are idle Letters good for? What do they do? What use are they of? What are they good for? What do they bring with them of Moment? What Use are empty Letters of?
They are useful, fit, proper, to wipe your Breech with. They are good to wipe your Backside with. If you don’t know the Use of them, they are good to wipe your Arse with. To wipe your Breech with. To wipe your Backside with. They are good to cleanse that Part of the Body that often fouls itself. They are good to wrap Mackrel in. Good to make up Grocery Ware in.
What? are our little Friends well? How does your Wife do?
Very well, I left her with her Mother, and with Child.
I wish it may be well for you, and her too: To you, because you’re shortly to be a Father, and she a Mother. God be with you. I pray and desire that it may be prosperous and happy to you both. I pray, I beg of God that she, having a safe Delivery, may bear a Child worthy of you both; and may make you a Father of a fine Child. I commend you that you have shewed yourself to be a Man. I am glad you have prov’d yourself to be a Man. You have shew’d yourself to be a Gallus, but not Cybele’s. Now you may go, I believe you are a Man.
You joke upon me, as you are used to do. Well, go on, you may say what you please to me.
I hear, you have lately been in your own Country.
I have so, I had been out of it a pretty While. I could not bear to be out of it long. I could not bear to be out of my Parents Sight any longer. I thought it long till I enjoy’d my Friends Company.
You have acted very piously. You are very good Humour’d, to think of those Matters. We have all a strange Affection for the Country that hath bred us, and brought us forth.
As Ovid says:
Pray tell me how did you find all Things there.
Nothing but what was new. All Things changed, all Things become new. See how soon Time changes all human Affairs. Methought I came into another World. I had scarce been absent ten Years, and yet I admired at every Thing, as much as Epimenides the Prince of Sleepers, when he first wak’d out of his Sleep.
What Story is that? What Fable is that?
I’ll tell you if you are at Leisure.
There is nothing more pleasant.
Then order me a Chair and a Cushion.
That’s very well thought on, for you will tell Lyes the better, sitting at Ease.
Historians tell us a Story, of one Epimenides a Man of Crete, who taking a Walk alone by himself without the City, being caught in a hasty Shower of Rain, went for Shelter into a Cave, and there fell asleep, and slept on for seven and forty Years together.
What a Story you tell? ’Tis incredible. What you say is not very likely. You tell me a Fiction. I don’t think ’tis true. You tell me a monstrous Story. Are you not asham’d to be guilty of so wicked a Lye? This is a Fable fit to be put among Lucian’s Legends.
Nay, I tell you what is related by Authors of Credit, unless you think Aulus Gellius is not an Author of approv’d Credit.
Nay, whatsoever he has written are Oracles to me.
Do you think that a Divine dream’d so many Years? For it is storied that he was a Divine.
I am with Child to hear.
What is it more than what Scotus and the School–men did afterwards? But Epimenides, he came off pretty well, he came to himself again at last; but a great many Divines never wake out of their Dreams.
Well go on, you do like a Poet; But go on with your Lye.
Epimenides waking out of his Sleep, goes out of his Cave, and looks about him, and sees all Things chang’d, the Woods, the Banks, the Rivers, the Trees, the Fields; and, in short, there was nothing but was new: He goes to the City, and enquires; he stays there a little While, but knows no Body, nor did any Body know him: the Men were dress’d after another Fashion, than what they were before; they had not the same Countenances; their Speech was alter’d, and their Manners quite different: Nor do I wonder it was so with Epimenides, after so many Years, when it was almost so with me, when I had been absent but a few Years.
But how do your Father and Mother do? Are they living?
They are both alive and well; but pretty much worn Edition: current; Page:  out with old Age, Diseases, and lastly, with the Calamities of War.
This is the Comedy of human Life. This is the inevitable Law of Destiny.
Will you sup at Home to Day?
I am to sup abroad: I must go out to Supper.
With my Father in Law; with my Son in Law; at my Daughter’s in Law; with my Kinsman. They are call’d, Affines, Kinsmen, who are ally’d not by Blood, but Marriage.
What are the usual Names of Affinity?
A Husband and Wife are noted Names. Socer, Is my Wife’s Father. Gener, My Daughter’s Husband. Socrus, My Wife’s Mother. Nurus, My Son’s Wife. Levir, A Husband’s Brother. Levir is call’d by the Wife, as Helen calls Hector, Levir, because she was married to Paris. Fratria, My Brother’s Wife. Glos, A Husband’s Sister. Vitricus, My Mother’s Husband. Noverca, My Father’s Wife. Privignus, The Son of my Wife or Husband. Privigna, The Daughter of either of them. Rivalis, He that loves the same Woman another does. Pellex, She that loves the same Man another does; as Thraso is the Rival of Phrædria, and Europa the Pellex of Juno.
I give you Thanks, I commend you, I invite you to Supper against to Morrow. I entreat your Company at Supper to Morrow. I desire you’d come to Dinner with Edition: current; Page:  me to Morrow. I would have your Company at Dinner to Morrow.
I fear I can’t. I am afraid I can’t. I will come if I can; but I am afraid I can’t.
Why can’t you? How so? Why so? Wherefore? For what Reason? For what Cause? What hinders you that you can’t.
Indeed I must be at Home at that Time. I must needs be at Home at Night. I must not be abroad at that Time. I shall not have an Opportunity to go out any where to Morrow. I must not be absent at Dinner. I expect some Guests myself upon that Day. Some Friends have made an Appointment to sup at our House that Night. I have some Guests to entertain that Night, or else I would come with all my Heart. Unless it were so, I would not be unwilling to come. If it were not so, I should not want much entreating. I would make no Excuse if I could come. If I could come, I would not be ask’d twice. If I could by any Means come, I would come with a very little, or without any Invitation at all. If I could, I would obey your Command very readily. It is in vain to ask one that is not at his own Disposal: And there would be no need to ask me if I could come: But at present, though I had never so much Mind, I can’t; and it would be altogether unnecessary to ask one that is willing.
Then pray let me have your Company the next Day after: However, I must needs have your Company at Supper the next Day after to Morrow. You must not deny me your Company four Days hence. You must make no Excuse as to coming next Thursday.
I can’t promise. I cannot positively promise you. I can’t certainly promise you. I will come when it shall be most convenient for us both.
I would have you appoint a Day when you will come to sup with me. You must assign a Day. You must set the Day. I desire a certain Day may be prefix’d, prescrib’d, appointed, set; but set a certain Day. I would have you tell me the Day.
Indeed I don’t use to set a Day for my Friends. I am used to set a Day for those I’m at Law with. I would not have you know before Hand. I’ll take you at unawares. I’ll come unexpectedly. I will catch you when you don’t think on me. I shall take you when you don’t think on me. I’ll come unlooked for. I’ll come upon you before you are aware. I’ll come an uninvited and unexpected Guest.
I would know two Days before Hand. Give me Notice two Days before you come. Make me acquainted two Days before.
If you will have me, I’ll make a Sybaritical Appointment, that you may have Time enough to provide afore Hand.
What Appointment is that?
The Sybarites invited their Guests against the next Year, that they might both have Time to be prepar’d.
Away with the Sybarites, and their troublesome Entertainments: I invite an old Chrony, and not a Courtier.
Indeed ’tis to your Detriment. Indeed ’tis to your own Harm. To your own Loss. You wish for it. You pray for that to your own Ill–convenience.
Why so? Wherefore.
I’ll come provided. I’ll come prepar’d. I’ll set upon you accoutred. I’ll come furnish’d with a sharp Stomach; do you take Care that you have enough to satisfy a Vulture. I’ll prepare my Belly and whet my Teeth; do you look to it, to get enough to satisfy a Wolf.
Come and welcome, I dare you to it. Come on, if you can do any Thing, do it to your utmost, with all your Might.
I’ll come, but I won’t come alone.
You shall be the more welcome for that; but who will you bring with you?
You can’t do otherwise if you come in the Day Time.
Ay, but I’ll bring one Umbra or two that have got Teeth, that you shan’t have invited me for nothing.
Well, do as you will, so you don’t bring any Ghosts along with you. But if you please explain what is the Meaning of the Word Umbra.
Among the Learned they are call’d Umbræ, who being uninvited, bear another Person, that is invited, Company to a Feast.
Well, bring such Ghosts along with you as many as you will.
Well, I will come, but upon this Condition, that you shall come to Supper with me the next Day. I will do it upon this Condition that you shall be my Guest afterwards. Upon that Condition I promise to come to Supper, that Edition: current; Page:  you again shall be my Guest. I promise I will, but upon these Terms, that you in the like Manner shall be my Guest the next Day. I promise I will, I give you my Word I will, upon this Consideration, that you dine with me the next Day.
Come on, let it be done, let it be so. It shall be as you would have it. If you command me, I’ll do it. I know the French Ambition, You won’t sup with me, but you’ll make me Amends for it. And so by this Means Feasts use to go round. From hence it comes to pass, that it is a long Time before we have done feasting one with another. By this Interchangeableness Feasts become reciprocal without End.
It is the pleasantest Way of Living in the World, if no more Provision be made, but what is used to be made daily. But, I detain you, it may be, when you are going some whither.
Nay, I believe, I do you. But we’ll talk more largely and more freely to Morrow. But we’ll divert ourselves to Morrow more plentifully. In the mean Time take Care of your Health. In the mean Time take Care to keep yourself in good Health. Farewell till then.
Where are you a going now? Whither are you going so fast? Where are you a going in such great Haste. Whither go you? What’s your Way?
I go Home. I return Home. I go to see what they are a doing at Home. I go to call a Doctor. I am going into the Country. I made an Appointment just at this Time to go to speak with a certain great Man. I made an Appointment to meet a great Man at this Time.
I wish you Mercury’s Assistance.
What need of Mercury’s Assistance?
Because you have to do with a Man of Words.
Then it were more proper to wish the Assistance of the Goddess Memoria.
Because you’ll have more Occasion for patient Ears, than a strenuous Tongue. And the Ear is dedicated to the Goddess Memoria.
Whither are you going? Whither will you go?
This Way, to the left Hand. This Way, that Way, through the Market.
Then I’ll bear you Company as far as the next Turning.
I won’t let you go about. You shan’t put yourself to so much Trouble on my Account. Save that Trouble till it shall be of Use, it is altogether unnecessary at this Time. Don’t go out of your Way upon my Account.
I reckon I save my Time while I enjoy the Company of so good a Friend. I have nothing else to do, and I am not so lazy, if my Company won’t be troublesome.
No Body is a more pleasant Companion. But I won’t suffer you to go on my left Hand. I won’t let you walk on my left Hand. Here I bid God be with you. I shall not bear you Company any longer. You shan’t go further with me.
Recommend me kindly to Curio. Recommend me as kindly as may be to talkative Curio. Take Care to recommend me heartily to Curio. I desire you have me recommended to him. I recommend myself to him by you. I recommend myself to you again and again. I recommend myself to your Favour with all the Earnestness possible. Leave recommendo instead of commendo to Barbarians. See Edition: current; Page:  that you don’t be sparing of your Speech with one that is full of Tongue. See that you be not of few Words with him that is a Man of many Words.
Would you have me obey you? Would you have me be obedient? Shall I obey you? Then you command me to imitate you. Since you would have it so, I’ll do it with all my Heart. Don’t hinder me any longer; don’t let us hinder one another.
But before you go, I intreat you not to think much to teach me how I must use these Sentences, in morâ, in causâ, in culpâ; you use to be studious of Elegancy. Wherefore come on, I entreat you teach me; explain it to me, I love you dearly.
I must do as you would have me. The Fault is not in me. It is not in thee. The Delay is in thee. Thou art the Cause, is indeed grammatically spoken; these are more elegant.
I am not in the Fault. The Fault is not mine. I am without Fault. Your Idleness has been the Cause, that you have made no Proficiency, not your Master nor your Father. You are all in Fault. You are both in Fault. You are both to be blam’d. Ye are both to be accus’d. You have gotten this Distemper by your own ill Management. In like Manner they are said to be in vitio, to whom the Fault is to be imputed; and in crimine, they who are to be blam’d; and in damno, who are Losers. This sort of Phrase is not to be inverted commonly; Damnum in illo est. Vitium in illo est.
Sickness has been the Occasion that I have not written to you. My Affairs have been the Cause that I have written to you so seldom, and not Neglect. What was the Cause? What Cause was there? I was not the Cause. The Post–Man was in the Fault that you have had no Letters from me. Love and not Study is the Cause of your being so lean. This is the Cause.
I won’t hinder you. What has hinder’d you? You have hindred us. You are always a Hindrance. What hindred you? Who has hindred you? You have what you ask’d for. It is your Duty to remember it. You have the Reward of your Respect. Farewell, my Christian.
And fare you well till to Morrow, my Peter.
God save you heartily, sweet Austin.
I wish the same to you, most kind Christian. Good Morrow to you. I wish you a good Day; but how do you do?
Very well as Things go, and I wish you what you wish for.
I love you deservedly. I love thee. Thou deservest to be lov’d heartily. Thou speakest kindly. Thou art courteous. I give thee Thanks.
But I am something angry with you. But I am a little angry with you. But I am a little provok’d at you. I have something to be angry with you for.
I pray what is it? Why so? But why, I beseech you? What Crime have I committed? What have I done? Promereor bona, I deserve Good; Commereor mala, I deserve Ill, or Punishment: The one is used in a good Sense, and the other in an ill. Demeremur eum, is said of him that we have attach’d to us by Kindness.
Because you take no Care of me. Because you don’t regard me. Because you come to see us so seldom. Because you wholly neglect us. Because you quite neglect me. Because you seem to have cast off all Care of us.
But there is no Cause for you to be angry. But you are angry without my Desert, and undeservedly; for it has not been my Fault, that I have come to see you but seldom: Forgive my Hurry of Business that has hindered me from seeing you, as often as I would have done.
I will pardon you upon this Condition, if you’ll come to Supper with me to Night. I’ll quit you upon that Condition, if you come to Supper with me in the Evening.
Christian, you prescribe no hard Articles of Peace, and therefore I’ll come with all my Heart. Indeed I will do it willingly. Indeed I would do that with all Readiness in the World. I shan’t do that unwillingly. I won’t want much Courting to that. There is nothing in the World that I would do with more Readiness. I will do it with a willing Mind.
I commend your obliging Temper in this, and in all other Things.
I use always to be thus obsequious to my Friends, especially when they require nothing but what’s reasonable. O ridiculous! Do you think I would refuse when offer’d me, that which I should have ask’d for of my own Accord?
Well, but take Care you don’t delude me. See you don’t deceive me. Take Care you don’t make me feed a vain Hope. See you don’t fail my Expectation. See you don’t disappoint me. See you don’t lull me on with a vain Hope.
There is no Need to swear. In other Things, in other Matters you may be afraid of Perfidy. In this I won’t deceive you. But hark you, see that you provide nothing but what you do daily: I would have no holy Day made upon my Account. You know that I am a Guest that am no great Trencher Man, but a very merry Man.
I’ll be sure to take Care. I will entertain you with Scholars Commons, if not with slenderer Fare.
Nay, if you’d please me, let it be with Diogenes’s Fare.
You may depend upon it, I will treat you with a Platonick Supper, in which you shall have a great many learned Stories, and but a little Meat, the Pleasure of which shall last till the next Day: whereas they that have been nobly entertain’d, enjoy perhaps a little Pleasure that Day, but the next are troubled with the Head–ach, and Sickness at the Stomach. He that supp’d with Plato, had one Pleasure from the easy Preparation, and Philosopher’s Stories; and another the next Day, that his Head did not ach, and that his Stomach was not sick, and so had a good Dinner of the sauce of last Night’s Supper.
I like it very well, let it be as you have said.
Do you see that you leave all your Cares and melancholy Airs at Home, and bring nothing hither but Jokes and Merriment; and as Juvenal says,
What? Would you have me bring no Learning along with me? I will bring my Muses with me, unless you think it not convenient.
Shut up your ill–natured Muses at Home with your Business, but bring your good–natured Muses, all your witty Jests, your By–words, your Banters, your Pleasantries, your pretty Sayings, and all your Ridiculosities along with you.
I’ll do as you bid me; put on all my best Looks. We’ll be merry Fellows. We’ll laugh our Bellies full. We’ll make much of ourselves. We’ll feast jovially. We’ll play the Epicureans. We’ll set a good Face on’t, and be boon Blades. These are fine Phrases of clownish Fellows that have a peculiar Way of speaking to themselves.
Where are you going so fast?
To my Son’s in Law.
What do you do there? Why thither? What do you with him?
I hear there is Disturbance among them; I am going to make them Friends again, to bring them to an Agreement; to make Peace among them.
You do very well, though I believe they don’t want you; for they will make the Matter up better among themselves.
Perhaps there is a Cessation of Arms, and the Peace is to be concluded at Night. But have you any Thing else to say to me?
I will send my Boy to call you.
When you please. I shall be at Home. Farewell.
I wish you well. See that you be here by five a–Clock. Soho Peter, call Austin to Supper, who you know promised to come to Supper with me to Day.
Soho! Poet, God bless you, Supper has been ready this good While, and my Master stays for you at Home, you may come when you will.
I come this Minute.
Our Erasmus most elegantly proposes all the Furniture of this Feast; the Discourses and Behaviour of the Entertainer and the Guests, &c. Water and a Bason before Dinner. The Stoics, the Epicureans; the Form of the Grace at Table. It is good Wine that pleases four Senses. Why Bacchus is the Poets God; why he is painted a Boy. Mutton very wholsome. That a Man does not live by Bread and Wine only. Sleep makes some Persons fat. Venison is dear. Concerning Deers, Hares, and Geese: They of old defended the Capitol at Rome. Of Cocks, Capons and Fishes. Here is discoursed of by the by, Fasting. Of the Choice of Meats. Some Persons Superstition in that Matter. The Cruelty of those Persons that require these Things of those Persons they are hurtful to; when the eating of Fish is neither necessary, nor commanded by Christ. The eating of Fish is condemned by Physicians. The chief Luxury of old Time consisted in Fishes. We should always live a sober Life. What Number of Guests there should be at an Entertainment. The Bill of Fare of the second Course. The Magnificence of the French. The ancient Law of Feasts. Either drink, or begone. A Variation of Phrases. Thanksgiving after Meat.
O, my Christian, God bless you.
It is very well that you are come. I am glad you’re come. I congratulate myself that you are come. I believe it has not struck five yet.
Yes, it is a good While past five. It is not far from six. It is almost six. You’ll hear it strike six presently.
It is no great Matter whether I come before five or after five, as long as I am not come after Supper; for that is a miserable Thing, to come after a Feast is over. What’s all this great Preparation for? What means all this Provision? What, do you think I’m a Wolf? Do you take me for a Wolf? Do you think I’m a Vulture?
Not a Vulture, nor yet do I think you a Grashopper, to live upon Dew. Here is nothing of Extravagancy, I always lov’d Neatness, and abhor Slovenliness. I am for being neither luxurious nor niggardly. We had better leave than lack. If I dress’d but one Dish of Peas, and the Soot should chance to fall in the Pot and spoil it, what should we have to eat then? Nor does every Body love one Thing; therefore I love a moderate Variety.
An’t you afraid of the sumptuary Laws?
Nay, I most commonly offend on the contrary Side. There is no need of the Fannian Law at our House. The Slenderness of my Income teaches me Frugality sufficiently.
This is contrary to our Agreement. You promised me quite otherwise.
Well, Mr. Fool, you don’t stand to your Agreement. For it was agreed upon that you should bring nothing but merry Tales. But let us have done with these Matters, and wash, and sit down to Supper. Soho, Boy, bring a little Water and a Bason; hang a Towel over your Shoulder, pour out some Water. What do you loiter for? Wash, Austin.
Do you wash first.
Pray excuse me. I had rather eat my Supper with unwashen Hands this twelve Months.
O ridiculous! ’Tis not he that is the most honourable, but he that is the dirtiest that should wash first; then do you wash as the dirtiest.
You are too complaisant. You are more complaisant than enough; than is fitting. But to what Purpose is all this Ceremony? Let us leave these trifling Ceremonies to Women, they are quite kick’d out of the Court already, although they came from thence at first. Wash three or four at a Time. Don’t let us spend the Time in these Delays. I won’t place any Body, let every one take what Place he likes best. He that loves to sit by the Fire, will sit best here. He that can’t bear the Light let him take this Corner. He that loves to look about him, let him sit here. Come, here has been Delays enough. Sit down. I am at Home, I’ll take my Supper standing, or walking about, which I like best. Why don’t you sit down, Supper will be spoiled.
Now let us enjoy ourselves, and eat heartily. Now let us be Epicures. We have nothing to do with Superciliousness. Farewell Care, let all Ill–will and Detraction be banished. Let us be merry, pleasant, and facetious.
Austin, pray who are those Stoics and Epicures?
The Stoics are a certain melancholy, rigid, parcimonious Sect of Philosophers, who make the Summum bonum of Mankind, to consist in a certain, I can’t tell what, honestum. The Epicures are the Reverse of these, and they make the Felicity of a Man to consist in Pleasure.
Pray what Sect are you of, a Stoic or an Epicure?
I recommend Zeno’s Rules; but I follow Epicurus’s Practice.
Austin, what you speak in Jest, a great many do in Earnest, and are only Philosophers by their Cloaks and Beards.
Nay, indeed they out–live the Asots in Luxury.
Dromo, come hither. Do your Office, say Grace.
“May he that feeds all Things by his Bounty, command his Blessing upon what is or shall be set upon this Table. Amen.”
Set the Victuals on the Table. Why do we delay to eat up this Capon? Why are we afraid to carve this Cock?
I’ll be Hercules, and slay this Beast. Which had you rather have, a Wing or a Leg?
Which you will, I don’t matter which.
In this Sort of Fowls the Wing is look’d upon the best; in other Fowls the Leg is commonly esteemed the greater dainty Bit.
I put you to a great Deal of Trouble. You take a great Deal of Trouble upon you, upon my Account. You help every Body else, and eat nothing yourself. I’ll help you to this Wing; but upon this Condition, that you shall give me Half of it back.
Say you so, that is serving yourself and not me; keep it for yourself. I am not so bashful as to want any Body to help me.
You do very well.
Do you carve for a Wolf? Have you invited a Vulture?
You fast. You don’t eat.
I eat more than any Body.
Nay, rather, you lye more than any Body. Pray be as free as if you were at your own House.
I take myself to be there. I do so. I am resolv’d so to do. I design to do so.
How does this Wine please you? Does this Wine please your Palate?
Indeed it pleases me very well. Indeed it pleases mightily. It pleases me well enough. It pleases me very well.
Which had you rather have, Red or White?
Indeed I like both alike. It is no Matter what Colour ’tis, so the Taste be pleasing. I don’t much mind how the Wine pleases the Eye, so it do but please the Palate. I Edition: current; Page:  : 125p. 125 an’t much mov’d at the Sight of it, if the Taste be but grateful. It is no great Matter what Colour it is of, or what Colour it has, if it does but taste well. I don’t desire to please my Eyes if I can but please my Taste. If it do but please the Palate, I don’t regard the Colour, if it be well relish’d.
I believe so: But there are some Persons that are mighty deeply read in Table Philosophy, who deny that the Wine can be good, unless it pleases four Senses: The Eye, with its Colour; the Nose, with its Smell; the Palate, with its Taste; the Ears, by its Fame and Name.
O ridiculous! What signifies Fame to Drink?
As much as many that have a good Palate mightily approve of Lovain Wine, when they believe it to be Bern Wine.
It may be, they had spoiled their Palate by much Drinking.
No, before they had drank one Drop. But I have a Mind to hear your Opinion, who are a Man of great Skill in these Matters.
Our Countrymen prefer White before Red, because the Red is a little more upon the Acid, and the White a smaller Wine; but that is the milder, and in my Opinion the more wholsome.
We have a pale red Wine, and a yellow Wine, and a purple Colour Wine. This is new Wine, this Year’s Wine. This is two Years old, if any Body is for an old Wine. We have some four Years old, but it is grown flat and dead with Age. The Strength is gone with Age.
Why, you’re as rich as Lucullus.
Soho, Boy, where are you a loitering? You give us no Attendance; don’t you see we have no Wine here? What if a Fire should happen now? How should we put it out? Give every one a full Glass. Austin, What’s the matter that you are not merry? What makes you sit so Melancholy? What’s the Matter with you, that you an’t chearful? You are either troubled at something, or you’re making Edition: current; Page:  Verses. You play the Crysippus now, you want a Melissa to feed you.
What Story is this you are telling me of?
Crysippus is reported to have been so intent upon his logical Subtilties, that he would have been starved at Table, unless his Maid Melissa had put the Meat into his Mouth.
He did not deserve to have his Life sav’d; but if Silence is an Offence to you, and you love a noisy Feast, you have gotten that will make one.
I remember I have. That’s very well minded: We must drink more freely, we ought to drink more largely, more Wine and less Water.
You have hit the Nail on the Head. You are in the Right. You have hit the Mark. For,
Fœcundi calices quem non fecere disertum?
That is very learnedly spoken, Austin, and so indeed is all that comes from you; but since we are fallen into a Discourse concerning Wine, since we have happen’d to make mention of Wine, I have a mind to ask you, for what Reason the Ancients, who will have Bacchus the Inventor of Wine, call him the God of the Poets? What has that drunken God to do with Poets, who are the Votaries of the Virgin Muses?
By Bacchus, this is a Question fit to be put over a Bottle. But I see very well, what your Question drives at.
You very cunningly put a Question about Wine, by a French Trick, which I believe you learn’d at Paris, that you may save your Wine by that Means. Ah, go your Way, I see you’re a Sophister; you have made a good Proficiency in that School.
Well, I take all your Jokes; I’ll return the like to Edition: current; Page:  : 127p. 127 you, when Opportunity shall offer. But to the Matter in Hand.
I’ll go on, but I’ll drink first, for it is absurd to dispute about a tippling Question with a dry Throat. Here’s to you Christian. Half this Cup to you.
I thank you kindly. God bless it to you, much good may it do you.
Now I’m ready, at your Service. I’ll do it as well as I can after my Manner. That they have given a Boy’s Face to Bacchus, has this Mystery in it; that Wine being drank, takes away Cares and Vexations from our Minds, and adds a Sort of a Chearfulness to them. And for this Reason, it adds a Sort of Youthfulness even to old Men, in that it makes them more chearful, and of a better Complexion. The same thing Horace in many Places, and particularly testifies in these Verses:
For that they have assign’d the Poets to this Deity, I believe by it they design’d to intimate this, that Wine both stirs up Wit and administers Eloquence; which two Things are very fit for Poets. Whence it comes to pass, that your Water Drinkers make poor Verses. For Bacchus is of a fiery Constitution naturally, but he is made more temperate, being united with the Nymphs. Have you been answer’d to your Satisfaction?
I never heard any Thing more to the Purpose from a Poet. You deserve to drink out of a Cup set with Jewels. Boy, take away this Dish, and set on another.
You have got a very clownish Boy.
He is the unluckiest Knave in the World.
Why don’t you teach him better Manners?
He is too old to learn. It is a hard matter to mend the Manners of an old Sinner. An old Dog won’t be easily brought to wear the Collar. He’s well enough for me. Like Master like Man.
I would cut you a Slice, if I knew what would please you. I would help you, if I knew your Palate. I would help you, if I knew what you lik’d best. If I knew the Disposition of your Palate, I would be your Carver. Indeed my Palate is like my Judgment.
You have a very nice Palate. No Body has a nicer Palate than you have. I don’t think you come behind him of whose exquisite Skill the Satyrist says,
And you, my Christian, that I may return the Compliment, seem to have been Scholar to Epicurus, or brought up in the Catian School. For what’s more delicate or nice than your Palate?
If I understood Oratory so well as I do Cookery, I’d challenge Cicero himself.
Indeed if I must be without one, I had rather want Oratory than Cookery.
I am entirely of your Mind, you judge gravely, wisely, and truly. For what is the Prattle of Orators good for, but to tickle idle Ears with a vain Pleasure? But Cookery feeds and repairs the Palate, the Belly, and the whole Man, let him be as big as he will. Cicero says, Concedat laurea linguæ; but both of them must give place to Cookery. I never very well liked those Stoicks, who referring all things to their (I can’t tell what) honestum, thought we ought to have no regard to our Persons and our Palates. Aristippus was wiser than Diogenes beyond Expression in my Opinion.
I despise the Stoicks with all their Fasts. But I praise and approve Epicurus more than that Cynic Diogenes, who lived upon raw Herbs and Water; and therefore I don’t wonder that Alexander, that fortunate King, had rather be Alexander than Diogenes.
Nor indeed would I myself, who am but an ordinary Man, change my Philosophy for Diogenes’s; and I believe Edition: current; Page:  : 129p. 129 your Catius would refuse to do it too. The Philosophers of our Time are wiser, who are content to dispute like Stoicks, but in living out–do even Epicurus himself. And yet for all that, I look upon Philosophy to be one of the most excellent Things in Nature, if used moderately. I don’t approve of philosophising too much, for it is a very jejune, barren, and melancholy Thing. When I fall into any Calamity or Sickness, then I betake myself to Philosophy, as to a Physician; but when I am well again, I bid it farewell.
I like your Method. You do philosophize very well. Your humble Servant, Mr. Philosopher; not of the Stoick School, but the Kitchen.
What is the Matter with you, Erasmus, that you are so melancholy? What makes you look so frowningly? What makes you so silent? Are you angry with me because I have entertained you with such a slender Supper?
Nay, I am angry with you that you have put your self to so much Charge upon my Account. Austin laid a strict Charge upon you that you would provide nothing extraordinary upon his Account. I believe you have a Mind we should never come to see you again; for they give such a Supper as this that intended to make but one. What sort of Guests did you expect? You seem to have provided not for Friends, but for Princes. Do you think we are Gluttons? This is not to entertain one with a Supper, but victualling one for three Days together.
You will be ill–humour’d. Dispute about that Matter to–Morrow; pray be good humour’d to–Day. We’ll talk about the Charge to–Morrow; I have no Mind to hear any Thing but what is merry at this time.
Christian, whether had you rather have, Beef or Mutton?
I like Beef best, but I think Mutton is the most wholsome. It is the Disposition of Mankind to be most desirous of those Things that are the most hurtful.
The French are wonderful Admirers of Pork.
The French love that most that costs least.
I am a Jew in this one Thing, there is nothing I hate so much as Swine’s Flesh.
Nor without Reason, for what is more unwholsome? In this I am not of the French Man’s but of the Jew’s Mind.
But I love both Mutton and Pork, but for a different Reason; for I eat freely of Mutton, because I love it; but Hogs Flesh I don’t touch, by Reason of Love, that I may not give Offence.
You are a clever Man, Erasmus, and a very merry one too. Indeed I am apt to admire from whence it comes to pass that there is such a great Diversity in Mens Palates, for if I may make use of this Verse of Horace,
Although as the Comedian says, So many Men, so many Minds, and every Man has his own Way; yet no Body can make me believe, there is more Variety in Mens Dispositions, than there is in their Palates: So that you can scarce find two that love the same Things. I have seen a great many, that can’t bear so much as the Smell of Butter and Cheese: Some loath Flesh; one will not eat roast Meat, and another won’t eat boil’d. There are many that prefer Water before Wine. And more than this, which you’ll hardly believe; I have seen a Man who would neither eat Bread, nor drink Wine.
What did that poor Man live on?
There was nothing else but what he could eat; Meat, Fish, Herbs and Fruit.
Would you have me believe you?
Yes, if you will.
I will believe you; but upon this Condition, that you shall believe me when I tell a Lye.
Well, I will do it, so that you lye modestly.
As if any Thing could be more impudent than your Lye.
What would your Confidence say, if I should shew you the Man?
He must needs be a starveling Fellow, a meer Shadow.
You’d say he was a Champion.
Nay, rather a Polyphemus.
I wonder this should seem so strange to you, when there are a great many that eat dry’d Fish instead of Bread: And some that the Roots of Herbs serve for the same Use that Bread does us.
I believe you; lye on.
I remember, I saw a Man when I was in Italy, that grew fat with Sleep, without the Assistance either of Meat or Drink.
Fie for Shame; I can’t forbear making Use of that Expression of the Satyrist,
Tunc immensa cavi spirant mendacia folles.
Thou poeticisest. You play the Part of a Poet. I am loath to give you the Lye.
I am the greatest Lyar in the World, if Pliny, an Author of undoubted Credit, has not written, that a Bear in fourteen Days Time will grow wonderfully fat with nothing but Sleep: And that he will sleep so sound, that you can scarce wake him, by wounding him: Nay, to make you admire the more, I will add what Theophrastus writes, that during that Time, if the Flesh of the Bear be boil’d, and kept some Time, it will come to Life again.
I am afraid that Parmeno in Terence will hardly be able to comprehend these Things. I believe it readily. I would help you to some Venison, if I were well enough accomplished.
Where have you any Hunting now? How came you by Venison?
Midas, the most generous spirited Man living, and a very good Friend of mine, sent it me for a Present; but so, that I oftentimes buy it for less.
Because I am obliged to give more to his Servants, than I could buy it for in the Market.
Who obliges you to that?
The most violent Tyrant in the World.
Who is he?
Indeed, that Tyrant does frequently impose the most unjust Laws upon Mankind.
The same Tyrant hunted this Stag, but the Day before Yesterday. What did you do, who used to be a very great Lover of that Sport?
Indeed I have left off that Sport, and now I hunt after nothing but Learning.
In my Opinion, Learning is fleeter than any Stag.
But I hunt chiefly with two Dogs, that is to say, with Love and Industry: For Love affords a great Deal of Eagerness to learn, and as the most elegant Poet says,
—Labor improbus omnia vincit.
Austin, you admonish after a friendly Manner, as you use to do; and therefore, I won’t give over, nor rest, nor tire, till I attain.
Venison is now in the Prime. Pliny tells us a very admirable Story concerning this Animal.
What is it, I pray you?
That as often as they prick up their Ears, they are very quick of Hearing; but on the contrary, when they let them down, they are deaf.
That very often happens to myself; for if I happen to hear a Word spoken of receiving Guineas, there is no Body quicker of Hearing than I; for then with Pamphilus in Terence, I prick up my Ears; but when there is any Mention made of paying them away, I let them down, and am presently hard of Hearing.
Well, I commend you; you do as you should do.
Would you have some of the Leg of this Hare?
Take it yourself.
Or had you rather have some of the Back?
This Creature has nothing good but its Flank and hind Legs.
Did you ever see a white Hare?
Oftentimes. Pliny writes, that on the Alps there are white Hares; and that it is believed in the Winter Time they feed upon Snow: Whether it be true or no, let Pliny see to that: For if Snow makes a Hare’s Skin white, it must make his Stomach white too.
I don’t know but it may be true.
I have something for you that is stranger than that; but it may be you have heard of it. The same Man testifies that there is the same Nature in all of them; that is, of Males and Females, and that the Females do as commonly breed without the Use of the Male, as with it. And many Persons assert the same, and especially your skilful Hunters.
You say right; but if you please, let us try these Rabbets, for they are fat and tender. I would help that pretty Lady if I sat nigher to her. Austin, pray take Care of that Lady that sits by you, for you know how to please the fair Sex.
I know what you mean, you Joker.
Do you love Goose?
Ay, I love ’em mightily, and I an’t very nice. I don’t know what’s the Matter, but this Goose don’t please me; I never saw any Thing dryer in all my Life; it is dryer than a Pumice–Stone, or Furius’s Mother in Law, upon whom Catullus breaks so many Jests. I believe it is made of Wood; And in Troth I believe ’tis an old Soldier, that has worn itself out with being upon the Guard. They say a Goose is the most wakeful Creature living. In Truth, if I am not out in my Guess, this Goose was one of them, who when the Watch and their Dogs were fast asleep, in old Time defended the Roman Capitol.
As I hope to live I believe it was, for I believe it liv’d in that Age.
And this Hen was either half starv’d, or else was in love, or was jealous; for this Sort of Creatures are much troubled with that Distemper. This Capon fatten’d much better; see what Cares will do. If we were to geld our Theodoricus, he would grow fat much the sooner.
I an’t a Cock.
I confess you are not Gallus Cybeles, nor a Dunghil–Cock; but it may be you are Gallus Gallaceus.
What Word is that?
I leave that Word to be unriddled by you: I am Sphinx, and you shall be Oedipus.
Austin, tell me truly, have you had no Conversation with French Men, have you had no Affinity with them? Had you nothing to do with them?
None at all, indeed.
Then you are so much the worse.
But perhaps I have had to do with French Women.
Will you have any of this Goose’s Liver? This was look’d upon as a great Delicacy by the Ancients.
I will refuse nothing that comes from your Hand.
You must not expect Roman Dainties.
What are they?
Thistles, Cockles, Tortoises, Conger–Eels, Mushrooms, Truffles, &c.
I had rather have a Turnip than any of them. You are liberal and bountiful, Christian.
No Body touches these Partridges nor the Pigeons, to–Morrow is a Fast–Day appointed by the Church; prepare against that Hunger; Ballast your Ship against the impending Storm. War is a coming, furnish your Belly with Provision.
I wish you had kept that Word in, we should have risen from Supper more merrily. You torment us before the Time.
Because I hate Fish worse than I do a Snake.
You are not alone.
Who brought in this troublesome Custom?
Who order’d you to take Aloes, Wormwood and Scammony in Physick?
But these Things are given to Folks that are sick.
So these Things are given to them that are too well. It is better sometimes to be sick, than to be too well.
In my Opinion the Jews themselves did not labour under such a Burden. Indeed I could easily refrain from Eels and Swines Flesh, if I might fill my Belly with Capons and Partridges.
In a great many Circumstances it is not the Thing, but the Mind that distinguishes us from Jews; they held their Hands from certain Meats, as from unclean Things, that would pollute the Mind; but we, understanding that to the Pure, all Things are pure, yet take away Food from the wanton Flesh, as we do Hay from a pamper’d Horse, that it may be more ready to hearken to the Spirit. We sometimes chastise the immoderate Use of pleasant Things, by the Pain of Abstinence.
I hear you; but by the same Argument, Circumcision of the Flesh may be defended; for that moderates the Itch of Coition, and brings Pain. If all hated Fish as bad as I do, I would scarce put a Parricide to so much Torture.
Some Palates are better pleas’d with Fish than Flesh.
Then they like those Things that please their Gluttony, but don’t make for their Health.
I have heard of some of the Æsops and Apitius’s, that have look’d upon Fish as the greatest Delicacy.
How then do Dainties agree with Punishment?
Every Body han’t Lampreys, Scares, and Sturgeons.
Then it is only the poor Folks that are tormented, with whom it is bad enough, if they were permitted to eat Flesh; and it often happens, that when they may eat Flesh for the Church, they can’t for their Purse.
Indeed, a very hard Injunction!
And if the Prohibition of Flesh be turned to delicious Living to the Rich; and if the Poor can’t eat Flesh many Times, when otherwise they might, nor can’t eat Fish, because they are commonly the dearer; to whom does the Injunction do good?
To all; for poor Folks may eat Cockles or Frogs, or may gnaw upon Onions or Leeks. The middle Sort of People will make some Abatement in their usual Provision; Edition: current; Page:  : 136p. 136 and though the Rich do make it an Occasion of living deliciously, they ought to impute that to their Gluttony, and not blame the Constitution of the Church.
You have said very well; but for all that, to require Abstinence from Flesh of poor Folks, who feed their Families by the Sweat of their Brows, and live a great Way from Rivers and Lakes, is the same Thing as to command a Famine, or rather a Bulimia. And if we believe Homer, it is the miserablest Death in the World to be starv’d to Death.
So it seem’d to blind Homer; but with Christians, he is not miserable that dies well.
Let that be so; yet it is a very hard Thing to require any Body to die.
The Popes don’t prohibit the eating of Flesh with that Design, to kill Men, but that they may be moderately afflicted if they have transgress’d; or that taking away their pleasant Food, their Bodies may be less fierce against the Spirit.
The moderate Use of Flesh would effect that.
But in so great a Variety of Bodies certain Bounds of Flesh can’t be prescrib’d, a Kind of Food may.
There are Fishes that yield much Aliment, and there are Sorts of Flesh that yield but little.
But in general Flesh is most nourishing.
Pray tell me, if you were to go a Journey any whither, would you chuse a lively Horse that was a little wanton, or a diseased Horse, who would often stumble and throw his Rider?
What do you mean by that?
Because Fish–eating, by its corrupt Humours, renders the Body liable to a great many Diseases, that it can’t subserve the Spirit as it should do.
To what Diseases?
Gouts, Fevers, Leprosies, the King’s–Evil.
How do you know?
I believe Physicians. I had rather do so than try the Experiment.
Perhaps that happens to a few.
Indeed I believe to a great many; besides, in as much as the Mind acts by the material Organs of the Body, which are affected with good or bad Humours, the Instruments being vitiated, it can’t exert its Power as it would.
I know Doctors do very much find Fault with the eating of Fish; but our Ancestors thought otherwise, and it is our Duty to obey them.
It was a Piece of Religion formerly not to break the Sabbath; but for all that, it was more eligible to save a Man on the Sabbath–Day.
Every one consults his own Health.
If we will obey St. Paul, Let no Body mind his own Things, but every one the Things of another.
How come we by this new Divine at our Table? Whence comes this new upstart Master of ours?
Because I don’t like Fishes.
What, then won’t you abstain from Flesh?
I do abstain, but grumblingly, and to my great Detriment too.
Charity suffers all Things.
It is true; but then the same requires but little. If it suffers all Things, why won’t it suffer us to eat those Meats the Gospel has given us a Liberty to eat? Why do those Persons, from whom Christ has so often required the Love of himself, suffer so many Bodies of Men to be endanger’d by capital Diseases, and their Souls to be in Danger of eternal Damnation, because of a Thing neither forbidden by Christ, nor necessary in itself?
When Necessity requires it, the Force of a human Constitution ceases, and the Will of the Lawgiver ceases.
But the Offence of the Weak does not cease. The Scruple of a tender Conscience does not cease. And lastly, it is uncertain with what Limits that Necessity shall be bounded; shall it be when the Fish–eater shall be a giving up the Ghost? It is too late to give Flesh to a Man when he is dying; or shall it be when his Body becomes all Edition: current; Page:  : 138p. 138 feverish? The Choice of Meats is not of so much Consequence.
What would you have prescrib’d then?
I can tell well enough, if I might be allow’d to be a Dictator in Ecclesiastical Affairs.
What do you mean by that?
If I were Pope I would exhort all Persons to a perpetual Sobriety of Life, but especially before an holy–Day; and moreover, I would give every one leave to eat what he would, for the Health of his Body, so he did it moderately, and with Thanksgiving; and I would endeavour that what was abated of these Observations should be made up in the Study of true Piety.
That in my Opinion is of so great Weight, that we ought to make you Pope.
For all your laughing, this Neck could bear a triple Crown.
But in the mean Time take Care that these Things be not enter’d down in the Sorbon at Paris.
Nay, rather let what is said be written in Wine, as it is fit those Things should that are said over our Cups; but we have had Divinity enough for a Feast. We are at Supper, not at the Sorbon.
Why mayn’t that be call’d Sorbon where we sup plentifully?
Well, let us sup then, and not dispute, lest the Sorbon be called after us from Sorbis, and not from Sorbendo.
Well, come my kind Guests, I pray you that you would take this little Supper in good Part, though it be but a slender one. Be merry and good humour’d, though the Supper be but mean and slender. I, relying upon your Edition: current; Page:  Familiarity, made bold to invite you; and I will assure you, your Company and Presence is not only very grateful to me, but very pleasant.
We do assure you, good Christian, that we esteem your Supper to have been very pretty and noble; and we have nothing to find Fault with, but that you make Excuses for it, for that it was very magnificent; for indeed I look upon the Entertainment to be splendid to the greatest degree, that in the first Place consisted of Courses agreeable to Nature, and was season’d with Mirth, Laughter, Jokes and Witticisms, none of which have been wanting in our Entertainment. But here is something comes into my Mind, as to the Number of the Guests, which Varro writes, should not be fewer than three, nor more than nine. For the Graces, who are the Presidents of Humanity and Benevolence, are three; and the Muses, that are the Guides of commendable Studies, are nine; and I see here we have ten Guests besides the Virgins.
Nothing could happen more agreeably; we are in that something wiser than Varro, for we have gotten here three pretty Maids for the three Graces; and as it is not to be thought that Apollo is ever absent from the Chorus of the Muses, we have very much à propos added the tenth Guest.
You have spoken very much like a Poet. If I had a Laurel here I would crown you with it, and you should be Poet Laureat.
If I were crown’d with Mallows, I should be Poet Maleat; I do not arrogate that Honour to myself. This is an Honour that I don’t deserve.
—Haud equidem tali me dignor honore.
Will you, every one of you, do as much for me as I will do for you?
Ay, that we will with all our Hearts.
Then let every one drink off his Cup round as I do. Here’s to you first, Midas.
I thank you heartily. I pledge you heartily; for Edition: current; Page:  : 140p. 140 which the Vulgar says Præstolor. Indeed I won’t refuse. I won’t refuse any Thing for your Sake.
Now do you drink to the rest.
Erasmus, Half this Cup to you.
I pray it may do you good. May it do you good. Much good may it do you. Proficiat is an out of the Way Word.
Why does the Cup stand still? Why does it not go about? Is our Wine gone? Where are your Eyes, you Rascal? Run quickly, fetch two Quarts of the same Wine.
Erasmus, your humble Servant, there is one wants to speak with you at the Door.
Who is it?
He says he is one Mr. More’s Man, his Master is come out of Britain, and he desires you would make him a Visit, because he sets out for Germany to–Morrow by Break of Day.
Christian, gather the Reckoning, for I must be going.
The Reckoning, most learned Erasmus, of this Supper, I will discharge that. You have no Need to put your Hand in your Pocket. I thank you that you honour’d me with your Company; but I am sorry you are called away before the Comedy is ended.
Have I any Thing more to do but to bid you Farewell and be merry?
Farewell, we can’t take it amiss, because you don’t leave a Shoulder of Mutton for a Sheep’s–Head, but go from Friends to a better Friend.
And I in like Manner return you my Thanks, that you have been so kind as to invite me to this most pleasant Entertainment. My very good Friends, fare ye well. Drink heartily, and live merrily.
Soho, Dromo. You, all of you, have sitten still a good While. Does any Body please to have any Thing else?
Nothing at all. We have eat very plentifully.
Then take away these Things, and set on the Desert. Change the Trenchers and the Plates. Take up my Knife Edition: current; Page:  : 141p. 141 that is fallen down. Pour some Wine over the Pears. Here are some early ripe Mulberries that grew in my own Garden.
They will be the better for being of your own Growth.
Here are some wheaten Plumbs: See, here are Damascens, a rare Sight with us: See, here are mellow Apples; and here is a new Sort of an Apple, the Stock of which I set with my own Hands; and Chestnuts, and all Kinds of Delicacies, which our Gardens produce plentifully.
But here are no Flowers.
They are French Entertainments, who love that Sort of Splendor most that costs least; but that is not my Humour.
’Tis not only among Frenchmen that you will find those that love what is of little Cost.
But hark you, Austin, do you think to come off so? What, won’t you pledge me when I drink to you? You ought to have taken off Half the Cup of him that drank to you.
He excused me for that a great While ago. He discharg’d me of that Obligation.
Pray who gave him that Power? The Pope himself can hardly dispense with this Obligation. You know the ancient Law of Drinking, Either drink or go your Way.
He that an Oath is made to has Power to suspend it, and especially he, whose Concern it was to have it kept.
But it is the Duty of all Guests to observe Laws inviolably.
Well, come on, since this is the German Custom, I’ll drink what is left. But what Business have you with me?
You must pay for all. Why do you look pale? Don’t be afraid, you may do it very easily, do as you have often done, that by some Elegancy we may rise from Table more learned; nor are you ignorant that the Ancients over the second Course used to dispute of some more diverting Subjects. Come on then, by what, and after how many Ways may this Sentence be vary’d, Indignum auditu?
You have very fitly made Use of the latter Supine. It is not worth hearing. It is unworthy to be heard. It is not worthy to be heard. It is so light it ought not to be heard. It is scarce worth While to relate. It is not of such Value as to be heard. It is too silly to be heard. It is not worth While to tell it.
How many Ways may this Sentence be turn’d, Magno mihi constat?
By these Words, impendo, insumo, impertio, constat, as: I have taken Pains much in teaching you. I have taken much Pains in that Matter. I have not spent less Money than I have Care upon that Matter. I have not spent a littlee Money, but much Time, and very much Labour, and some Study. I have spent much Study. This Thing has cost me many a Night’s Sleep, much Sweat, much Endeavour, very much Labour, a great Expence, a great Deal of Money. It has cost me more than you believe. My Wife stands me in less than my Horse.
But what is the meaning, Austin, that you put sometimes an Ablative, and sometimes a Genitive Case to the Verb constat?
You have stated a very useful and very copious Question. But that I may not be troublesome to the Company by my too much Talk, I will dispatch it in a few Words. But I desire to hear every Man’s Opinion, that I may not be troublesome to any Man, as I have said.
But why may not the Damsels desire the same?
Indeed they do nothing else but hear. I’ll attempt it with Grammatica’s Assistance. “You know that Verbs of buying and selling, and some others, are of a like Signification, Edition: current; Page:  to which these Genitives are put alone, without Substantives, tanti, quanti, pluris, minoris, tantidem, quantivis, quanticunque: But in Case Substantives be not added, which, if they happen to be put, they are both turned into the Ablative Case; so that if a certain Price be set down, you put it in the Ablative Case; if by an Adjective put substantively, you put it in the Ablative Case, unless you had rather make Use of an Adverb.”
What are those Verbs that you speak of?
“They are commonly emo, mereor; redimo, (that is a Thing either taken or lost) vendo, venundo; revendo, that is, I sell again that which was sold to me) veneo, (that is, I am sold) whose Præter Tense is venivi, or venii, the Supine venum; hence comes venalis; and from that, i. e. vendo, comes vendibilis; mereo, for inservio et stipendium facio, i. e. to serve under (as a Soldier). Comparo, that is, to buy, or commit. Computo, I change, I exchange with. Cambire is wholly barbarous in this Sense. Æstimo, to tax. Indico, for I estimate, rate. Liceor, liceris; licitor, licitaris, to cheapen, to bid. Distrahor, i. e. I am carried about to be sold. Metior, for I estimate or rate. Constat, for it is bought. Conducere, to let to hire. Fœnero, I put to Interest. Fœneror, I take at Interest (to Usury.) Paciscor, pactus sum pango, pepigi, i. e. I make a Bargain.”
Give an Example.
How much do you lett that Field for by the Year. We will answer. For twenty French Pounds. Whoo! You lett it too dear. Nay, I have lett it for more before now. But I would not give so much for it. If you hire it for less I’ll be hang’d. Nay, your Neighbour Chremes offer’d me a Field, and asks for it—How much? Just Edition: current; Page:  : 144p. 144 as much as you ask for yours. But it is much better. That’s a Lye. I do as they use to do who cheapen a Thing. Do you keep it yourself at that Price. What, do you cheapen, ask the Price, when you won’t buy any Thing. Whatsoever you shall lett it me for shall be paid you very honestly.
How much do you sell that Conger Eel for?
For five Pence. That’s too much, you nasty Jade. Nay, ’tis too little, no Body will sell you for less. Upon my Life it cost me as much within a Trifle. You Witch, you tell a Lie, that you may sell it for twice or three Times as much as it cost you. Ay, I’ll sell it for a hundred Times as much if I can, but I can’t find such Fools. What if I should ask the Price of yourself? What do you value yourself at? According as I like the Person. What do you prize yourself at? What Price do you set upon yourself? Tell me, what Price do you rate yourself at? Ten Shillings. Whoo, so much? O strange! Do you value me at less? Time was when I have had as much for one Night. I believe you may, but I believe you an’t now worth so much as a Fish by a great Deal. Go hang yourself, you Pimp. I value you as little as you do me. He that shall give a Farthing for you buys you too dear. But I’ll be sold for more, or I won’t be sold at all. If you would be sold at a great Rate you must get you a Mask, for those Wrinkles in your Forehead won’t let you be sold for much. He that won’t give so much for me shan’t have me. I would not give a Straw for you. I cost more.
I have been at an Auction to–Day. Say you so? I bid Money for a Share in the Customs. But how much? Ten Edition: current; Page:  Thousand Pound. Whoo! what, so much? There were those that bid a great Deal more; very few that offer’d less. Well, and who had the Place at last? Chremes. your Wife’s great Friend. But guess what it was sold for. Ten. Nay, fifteen. O good God! I would not give Half so much for him and all his Family together. But he would give twice as much for your Wife. “Do you take Notice, that in all these, wheresoever there is a Substantive of the Price, that is put in the Ablative Case; but that the rest are either put in the Genitive Case, or are changed into Adverbs. You have never heard a Comparative without a Substantive, except in these two, pluris, and minoris. There are some other Verbs, of which we have spoken, that are not very much unlike these, sum, facio, habeo, duco, æstimo, pendo, which signify (in a Manner) the same Thing; likewise fio, and they are for the most Part join’d with these Genitives, multi, parvi, magni, pluris, plurimi, minoris, minimi, maximi, tanti, quanti, flocci, pili, nihili, nauci, hujus, and any other like them.”
Do you know how much I have always valu’d you? You will always be made of such Account by Men as you make Account of Virtue. Gold is valued at a great Rate now a–Days, Learning is valued at a very little, or just nothing at all. I value Gold less than you think for. I don’t value your Threats of a Rush. I make a very little Account of your Promises. I don’t value you of a Hair. If Wisdom were but valued at so great a Rate as Money, no Body would want Gold. With us, Gold without Wisdom is esteem’d to be of more Worth than Wisdom without Gold. I esteem you at a greater Rate, because you are learned. You will be the less esteem’d on here because you don’t know how to lye. Here are a great many that will Edition: current; Page:  persuade you that Black is White. I set the greater Value upon you because you love Learning. So much as you have, so much you shall be esteem’d by all Men; so much as you have, so much you shall be accounted of every where. It is no Matter what you are accounted, but what you are. I value my Christian above any Man else in the World. “There are some other Verbs found with these Genitives and Ablatives, which in their own Nature don’t signify buying, or anything like it.” Peter bought a Kiss of the Maid for a Shilling. Much good may it do him. I would not kiss at that Rate. How much do you play for? What did you pay for Supper? We read of some that have spent Six hundred Sesterces for a Supper. But the French often sup for a Half–penny. What Price does Faustus teach for? A very small Matter. But for more than Delius. For how much then? For nineteen Guineas. I won’t learn to lye at so dear a Rate. Phædria in Terence lost both his Substance and himself. But I would not love at that Rate. Some Persons pay a great Price for sleeping. Demosthenes had more for holding his Tongue than others had for speaking. I pray you to take it in good Part. “There is another Sort of Verbs, that require an Accusative Case, with a Genitive or Ablative, which are, accuso, i. e. I object a Crime, or culpo, also one that’s absent; Incuso, i. e. I blame without Judgment; arguo, I reprehend, insimulo, i. e. I throw in a Suspicion of a Fault. Postulo, i. e. I require you to answer at Law, accerso, I impeach, damno, I condemn, I pronounce him to be in Fault. Admoneo, I admonish.
For Example Sake?
Scipio is accused of courting the Populace. Thou who art the most impudent, accusest me of Impudence. Lepidus is accused of Bribery. You are accus’d of a capital Edition: current; Page:  : 147p. 147 Crime. If you shall slily insinuate a Man to be guilty of Covetousness, you shall hear that which is worse again. Put him in Mind of his former Fortune. Men are put in Mind of their Condition, by that very Word. Put Lepidus in Mind of his Promise. “There are many that admit of a double Accusative Case. I teach thee Letters. He entreats you to pardon him. I will unteach thee those Manners.”
“Here I must put you in Mind of that Matter, that in these the Passives also obtain a second Accusative Case. The others will have a Genitive.” You are taught Letters by me. They accuse me of Theft. I am accused of Theft. Thou accusest me of Sacrilege. I am accused of Sacrilege. I know you are not satisfied yet. I know you are not satisfied in Mind. For when will so great a Glutton of Elegancies be satisfy’d? But I must have Regard to the Company, who are not all equally diverted with these Matters. After Supper, as we walk, we will finish what is behind, unless you shall rather chuse to have it omitted.
Let it be as you say. Let us return Thanks to divine Bounty and afterwards we’ll take a little Walk.
You say very well, for nothing can be more pleasant, nor wholsome than this Evening Air.
Peter, come hither, and take the Things away in Order, one after the other, and fill the Glasses with Wine.
Do you bid me return Thanks?
Had you rather it should be done in Greek, or in Latin.
Gratias agimus tibi, pater coelestis, qui tua ineffabili potentia condidisti omnia, tua inscrutabili sapientia gubernas universa, tua inexhausta bonitate cuncta pascis ac vegetas: largire filiis tuis, ut aliquando tecum bibant in regno tuo nectar illud immortalitatis, quod promisisti ac praeparasti vere diligentibus te, per Iesum Christum. Amen.
We thank thee, heavenly Father, who by thy unspeakable Edition: current; Page:  : 148p. 148 Power, hast created all Things, and by thy inexhaustible Wisdom governest all Things, and by thy inexhaustible Goodness feedest and nourishest all Things: Grant to thy Children, that they may in due Time drink with thee in thy Kingdom, that Nectar of Immortality; which thou hast promis’d and prepar’d for those that truly love thee, through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Say in Greek too, that the rest mayn’t understand what thou sayest.
Ἐυχαριστονˆμέν σοι, πάτερ οὐράνιε, ὁ τῃ̑ ἀῤῥήτῳ σου δυνάμει κτίσας τὰ πάντα, ὁ τῃ̑ ἀνεξερευνήτῳ σου σοϕίᾳ κυβερνωˆν ἁπαξάπαντα, ὁ τῃ̑ ἀνεξαντλήτῳ σου χρηστότητι ἕκαστα τρεϕόμενός τε καὶ αὐξάνων. Χαρίζου τοɩ̂ς υἱοɩ̂ς σου τὸ μετὰ σονˆ ποτὲ πιεɩ̂ν τὸ τη̂ς ἀθανασίας νέκταρ, ὃ ὑπέχου καὶ ἡτοίμασας τοɩ̂ς ἀληθωˆς ἀγαπωˆσί σε, διὰ Ἰησονˆ Χριστονˆ, τονˆ υἱονˆ σου, τονˆ κυρίου ἡμωˆν, τονˆ μετά σου ζωˆντος και βασιλεύοντος ἐν ἑνότητι τονˆ πνεύματος ἁγίου, εἰς τοὺς αἰωˆνας. Ἀμήν.
My most welcome Guests, I give you Thanks that you have honour’d my little Entertainment with your Company. I intreat you to accept it kindly.
And we would not only have, but return our Thanks to you. Don’t let us be over ceremonious in thanking, but rather let us rise from Table, and walk out a little.
Let us take these Virgins along with us, so our Walk will be more pleasant.
You propose very well. We’ll not want Flowers, if the Place we walk in don’t afford any. Had you rather take a Turn in our Garden, in a poetical Manner, or walk out abroad by the River–Side.
Indeed, your Gardens are very pleasant, but keep that Pleasure for Morning Walks. When the Sun is towards setting, Rivers afford wonderful pleasant Prospects.
Austin, do you walk foremost as a Poet should do, and I’ll walk by your Side.
O good God, what a jolly Company we have, what a Retinue have I! Christian, I can’t utter the Pleasure I take, I seem to be some Nobleman.
Now be as good as your Word. Perform the Task you have taken upon you.
What is it you’d have me speak of chiefly?
I us’d formerly to admire many Things in Pollio’s Orations; but chiefly this, that he us’d so easily, so frequently and beautifully to turn a Sentence, which seemed not only a great Piece of Wit, but of great Use.
You were much in the Right on’t, Christian, to admire that in Pollio. For he seems, in this Matter, to have had a certain divine Faculty, which I believe, was peculiar to him, by a certain Dexterity of Art, and by much Use of Speaking, Reading and Writing, rather than by any Rules or Instructions.
But I would fain have some Rule for it, if there be any to be given.
You say very well; and since I see you are very desirous of it, I’ll endeavour it as much as I can: And I will give those Rules, as well as I can, which I have taken Notice of in Pollio’s Orations.
Do, I should be very glad to hear ’em.
I am ready to do it.
A short Rule concerning this Copia, it teaches how to vary a Sentence pleasantly, copiously, easily, frequently, and elegantly; by short Rules given, and by a Praxis upon these Rules, in an elegant Turning of one Phrase.
1. IN the first Place, it is to be set forth in pure and choice Latin Words; which to do is no mean Piece of Art: For there are a great many, who do, I don’t know after what Manner, affect the Copia and Variation of Phrase, when they don’t know how to express it once right. It is Edition: current; Page:  : 150p. 150 not enough for them to have babbled once, but they must render the Babble much more babbling, by first one, and then by another turning of it; as if they were resolv’d to try the Experiment, how barbarously they were able to speak: And therefore, they heap together, certain simple synonymous Words, that are so contrary one to the other, that they may admire themselves how they do agree together. For what is more absurd, than that a ragged old Fellow, that has not a Coat to his Back, but what is so ragged that he may be ashamed to put it on, should every now and then change his Rags, as though he design’d to shew his Beggary by Way of Ostentation: And those Affectators of Variety seem equally ridiculous, who, when they have spoken barbarously once, repeat the same Thing much more barbarously; and then over and over again much more unlearnedly. This is not to abound with Sentences, but Solæcisms: Therefore, in the first Place, as I have said, the Thing is to be express’d in apt and chosen Words. 2. And then we must use Variety of Words, if there are any to be found, that will express the same Thing; and there are a great many. 3. And where proper Words are wanting, then we must use borrow’d Words, so the Way of borrowing them be modest. 4. Where there is a Scarcity of Words, you must have Recourse to Passives, to express what you have said by Actives; which will afford as many Ways of Variation, as there were in the Actives. 5. And after that, if you please, you may turn them again by verbal Nouns and Participles. 6. And last of all, when we have chang’d Adverbs into Nouns, and Nouns sometimes into one Part of Speech, and sometimes into another; then we may speak by contraries. 7. We may either change affirmative Sentences into negative, or the contrary. 8. Or, at least, what we have spoken indicatively, we may speak interrogatively. Now for Example Sake, let us take this Sentence.
Literæ tuæ magnopere me delectârunt.
Your Letters have delighted me very much.
Epistle, little Epistles, Writings, Sheets, Letters.
After a wonderful Manner, wonderfully, in a greater, or great Manner, in a wonderful Manner, above Measure, very much, not indifferently (not a little) mightily, highly, very greatly.
My Mind, my Breast, my Eyes, my Heart, Christian.
They have affected, recreated, exhilarated with Pleasure, have been a Pleasure, have delighted, have bath’d me with Pleasure; have been very sweet, very pleasant, &c.
Now you have Matter, it is your Business to put it together: Let us try.
Thy Letters have very greatly delighted me. Thy Epistle has wonderfully chear’d me.
Turn the Active into a Passive, then it will look with another Face. As, It can’t be said how much I have been chear’d by thy Writings.
I have received an incredible Pleasure from thy Writings. I have receiv’d very much Pleasure from your Highness’s Letter. Your Writings have brought me not an indifferent Joy. Your Writings have overwhelmed me all over with Joy. “But here you can’t turn these into Passives, only in the last, perfusus gaudio, as is commonly said, Pleasure was taken by me, Joy was brought, is not so commonly used, or you must not use so frequently.”
Thy Letter hath affected me with a singular Pleasure.
I am affected with an incredible Pleasure by thy Letter. Thy little Epistle has brought not a little Joy.
Thy Letters have been most pleasant to me many Ways. That Epistle of thine was, indeed, as acceptable, as any Thing in the World.
Thy Letter was to us an unspeakable Pleasure. Your Letter was an incredible Pleasure to us.
Thy Letter was no small Joy. Nothing in Life could happen more delightful than thy Letters. “Although I have sometimes already made Use of this Way, which is not to be pass’d over negligently. For when we would use multum, plurimum, to signify, singulariter, we do it by a contrary Verb.” As, Henry loves you mightily: He loves you with no common Love. Wine pleases me very much: It pleases me not a little. He is a Man of a singular Wit: A Man of no ordinary Wit. He is a Man of admirable Learning: He is a Man not of contemptible Learning. Thomas was born in the highest Place of his Family: Not in the lowest Place. Austin was a most eloquent Man: He was not ineloquent. Carneades the Orator was noble: Not an ignoble, not an obscure Man. “And the like, which are very frequently used.” But the Mention of a Thing so plain is enough: Nor are you ignorant, that we make Use of a two–fold Manner of Speech, of this Kind: For Modesty Sake, especially, if we speak of our selves; also for Amplification Sake. For we use rightly and elegantly, not ungrateful, for very grateful; not vulgarly for singularly.
I have by my Letters gain’d some Reputation of Learning. I have always made it my Business not to have the last Place in the Glory of Learning. The Examples of Amplification are mention’d before: Now let us return to our own. Nothing ever fell out to me more gratefully, acceptably, than thy Letter. Nothing ever was a greater Pleasure than your Letter. I never took so much Pleasure in any Thing, as in thy most loving Letters. “After this Manner all the before–mention’d Sentences may be vary’d by an Interrogation.” What in Life could be more pleasant than thy Letters? What has happened to me more sweet, than thy Letter? What has ever delighted me like your last Letter? And after this Manner you may vary almost any Sentence.
What shall we do now?
We will now turn the whole Sentence a little more at large, that we may express one Sentence, by a Circumlocution of many Words.
“That which was sometimes express’d by the Noun incredibile, and then again, by the Adverb incredibiliter, we will change the Sentence in some Words.” I can’t express how much I was delighted with your Letters. It is very hard for me to write, and you to believe how much Pleasure your Letter was to me. I am wholly unable to express how I rejoic’d at your Letter. “And so in infinitum: Again, after another Manner. For hitherto we have varied the Sentences by Negations and Interrogations, and in the last Place by Infinitives. Now we will vary by Substantives or Conditionals, after this Manner. Let me die if any Thing ever was more desired and more pleasant than thy Letters. Let me perish if any Thing ever was more desired, and more pleasant than thy Letter. As God shall judge me, nothing in my whole Life ever happen’d more pleasant than thy Letters. “And also a great many more you may contrive after this Manner.”
What is to be done now?
Now we must proceed to Translations, Similitudes and Examples.
I have received your Letters, which were sweet as Honey. Your Writings seem to be nothing but meer Delight. Your Letters are a meer Pleasure; and a great many of the like Kinds. “But Care is to be taken not to make Use of harder Translations; such as this that follows,
Jupiter hybernas canâ nive conspuit Alpes.
such as this is.” The Suppers of thy Writings have refreshed me with most delicious Banquets.
Thy Writings have been sweeter than either Ambrosia or Nectar. Thy Letters have been sweeter to me than any Honey. Your kind Letter has excell’d even Liquorish, Locusts, and Attic Honey, and Sugar; nay, even the Nectar and Ambrosia of the Gods. “And here, whatsoever is ennobled with Sweetness, may be brought into the Comparison.”
I will never be induc’d to believe, that Hero receiv’d the Letters of her Leander, either with greater Pleasure, or more Kisses, than I received yours. I can scarce believe that Scipio, for the Overthrow of Carthage, or Paulus Æmylius, for the taking of Perseus, ever triumphed more magnificently than I did, when the Post–man gave me your most charming Letter. “There are a thousand Things of this Nature, that may be found in Poets and Historians. Likewise Similitudes are borrow’d from Natural Philosophy; the Nature of a great many of which, it is necessary to keep in Memory. Now if you please, we will try in another Sentence.”
I will always remember you, as long as I live. Forgetfulness of you, shall never seize me as long as I live. I will leave off to live, before I will to remember you.
If the Body can get rid of its Shadow, then this Mind of mine may forget you. The River Lethe itself shall never be able to wash away your Memory.
“Besides, by an Impossibility, or after the Manner of Poets by contraries.
which is no hard Matter to invent.” But lest I should seem tedious, at the present let these suffice: At another Time, if you please, we will talk more copiously of this Matter.
I thought, Austin, you had been quite exhausted by this Time. But thou hast shewn me a new Treasure beyond what I expected, which if you shall pursue, I perceive you’ll sooner want Time than Words.
If I can perform this with my little Learning, and indifferent Genius, what do you think Cicero himself could do, who is storied to have vy’d with Roscius the Player? But the Sun is going to leave us; and the Dew rises; it is best to imitate the Birds, to go Home, and hide ourselves in Bed. Therefore, sweet Christian, farewell till to Morrow.
Fare you well likewise, most learned Austin.
This religious Treat teaches what ought to be the Table–Talk of Christians. The Nature of Things is not dumb, but very loquacious, affording Matter of Contemplation. The Description of a neat Garden, where there is a Variety of Discourse concerning Herbs. Of Marjoram, Celandine, Wolfs–Bane, Hellebore. Of Beasts, Scorpions, the Chamœleon, the Basilisk; of Sows, Indian Ants, Dolphins, and of the Gardens of Alcinous. Tables were esteemed sacred by the very Heathens themselves. Of washing Hands before Meat. A Grace before Meat out of Chrysostom. Age is to be honoured, and for what Reason. The Reading of the Scriptures very useful at Meals. That Lay Persons may Discourse concerning the Scriptures. The 21st of Prov. and 1st Ver. illustrated. How God hates Sacrifices, in Comparison of Mercy, Hos. 6. No Body is hurt but by himself. That Persons in Wine speak true. That it was unlawful for the Ægyptian Priests to drink Wine. The 1 Cor. 6. opened. All Things are lawful for me. The Spirit of Christ was in the Heathens and Poets. Scotus is slighted in Comparison of Cicero and Plutarch. A Place is cited out of Cicero and Cato Major, and commended; dare omni petenti, give to every one that asketh, how it is to be understood. We ought Edition: current; Page:  : 157p. 157 to give to Christ’s Poor, and not to Monasteries. The Custom of burying in Churches blam’d. That we ought to give by Choice, how much, to whom, and to what End. We ought to deny ourselves of something that we may give it to the Poor. No Body can serve two Masters, is explained. A Grace after Meat out of St. Chrysostom.
I admire that any Body can delight to live in smoaky Cities, when every Thing is so fresh and pleasant in the Country.
All are not pleased with the Sight of Flowers, springing Meadows, Fountains, or Rivers: Or, if they do take a Pleasure in ’em, there is something else, in which they take more. For ’tis with Pleasure, as it is with Wedges, one drives out another.
You speak perhaps of Usurers, or covetous Traders; which, indeed, are all one.
I do speak of them; but not of them only, I assure you; but of a thousand other Sorts of People, even to the very Priests and Monks, who for the Sake of Gain, make Choice of the most populous Cities for their Habitation, not following the Opinion of Plato or Pythagoras in this Practice; but rather that of a certain blind Beggar, who loved to be where he was crowded; because, as he said, the more People, the more Profit.
Prithee let’s leave the blind Beggar and his Gain: We are Philosophers.
So was Socrates a Philosopher, and yet he preferr’d a Town Life before a Country one; because, he being desirous of Knowledge, had there the Opportunity of improving it. In the Country, ’tis true, there are Woods, Gardens, Fountains Edition: current; Page:  : 158p. 158 and Brooks, that entertain the Sight, but they are all mute, and therefore teach a Man nothing.
I know Socrates puts the Case of a Man’s walking alone in the Fields; although, in my Opinion, there Nature is not dumb, but talkative enough, and speaks to the Instruction of a Man that has but a good Will, and a Capacity to learn. What does the beautiful Face of the Spring do, but proclaim the equal Wisdom and Goodness of the Creator? And how many excellent Things did Socrates in his Retirement, both teach his Phœdrus, and learn from him?
If a Man could have such pleasant Company, I confess, no life in the World could be pleasanter than a Country Life.
Have you a Mind to make Tryal of it? If you have, come take a Dinner with me to Morrow: I have a pretty neat little Country House, a little Way out of Town.
We are too many of us; we shall eat you out of House and Home.
Never fear that, you’re to expect only a Garden Treat, of such Chear as I need not go to Market for. The Wine is of my own Growth; the Pompions, the Melons, the Figs, the Pears, the Apples and Nuts, are offered to you by the Trees themselves; you need but gape, and they’ll fall into your Mouth, as it is in the fortunate Islands, if we may give Credit to Lucian. Or, it may be, we may get a Pullet out of the Hen–roost, or so.
Upon these Terms we’ll be your Guests.
And let every Man bring his Friend along with him, and then, as you now are four, we shall be the just Number of the Muses.
And take Notice, that I shall only find Meat, you are to bring your own Sauce.
What Sauce do you mean, Pepper, or Sugar?
No, no, something that’s cheaper, but more savoury.
A good Stomach. A light Supper to Night, and a Edition: current; Page:  : 159p. 159 little Walk to Morrow Morning, and that you may thank my Country House for. But at what Hour do you please to dine at?
At ten a Clock. Before it grows too hot.
I’ll give Order accordingly.
Sir, the Gentlemen are come.
You are welcome, Gentlemen, that you are come according to your Words; but you’re twice as welcome for coming so early, and bringing the best of Company along with you. There are some Persons who are guilty of an unmannerly Civility, in making their Host wait for them.
We came the earlier, that we might have Time enough to view all the Curiosities of your Palace; for we have heard that it is so admirably contrived every where, as that it speaks who’s the Master of it.
And you will see a Palace worthy of such a Prince. This little Nest is to me more than a Court, and if he may be said to reign that lives at Liberty according to his Mind, I reign here. But I think it will be best, while the Wench in the Kitchen provides us a Salad, and it is the cool of the Morning, to take a Walk to see the Gardens.
Have you any other beside this? For truly this is a wonderful neat one, and with a pleasing Aspect salutes a Man at his entring in, and bids him welcome.
Let every Man gather a Nosegay, that may put by any worse Scent he may meet with within Doors. Every one likes not the same Scent, therefore let every one take what he likes. Don’t be sparing, for this Place lies in a Manner common; I never shut it up but a–Nights.
St. Peter keeps the Gates, I perceive.
I like this Porter better than the Mercuries, Centaurs, and other fictitious Monsters, that some paint upon their Doors.
And ’tis more suitable to a Christian too.
Nor is my Porter dumb, for he speaks to you in Three Languages.
What does he say?
Read it yourself.
It is too far off for my Eyes.
Here’s a reading Glass, that will make you another Lynceus.
I see the Latin. Si vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata, Mat. 19, 17. If thou wilt enter into Life, keep the Commandments.
Now read the Greek.
I see the Greek, but I don’t well know what to make on’t; I’ll refer that to Theophilus, who’s never without Greek in his Mouth.
Μετανοήσατε καὶ ἐπιστρέψατε. Πράξεων τῳ̑ τρίτῳ. Repent and be converted. Acts 3. 19.
I’ll take the Hebrew upon myself, רתבומאכ קידצר חיחי And the Just shall live by Faithfulness.
Does he seem to be an unmannerly Porter, who at first Dash, bids us turn from our Iniquities, and apply our selves to Godliness, and then tells us, that Salvation comes not from the Works of the Law; but from the Faith of the Gospel; and last of all, that the Way to eternal Life, is by the Observance of evangelical Precepts.
And see the Chapel there on the right Hand that he directs us to, it is a very fine one. Upon the Altar there’s Jesus Christ looking up to Heaven, and pointing with his right Hand towards God the Father, and the holy Spirit; and with his Left, he seems to court and invite all Comers.
Nor is he mute: You see the Latin; Ego sum via, veritas, et vita; I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Ἐγὼ εἰμι τὸ ἂλϕα καὶ τὸ ὠμέγα. In Hebrew, םינב רבל םכרסלא חיחי תארי יל רעמש Come, ye Children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Truly the Lord Jesus salutes us with a good Omen.
But that we may not seem uncivil, it is meet that we pay back an Acknowledgment, and pray that since we can do nothing of ourselves, he would vouchsafe of his infinite Goodness to keep us from ever straying out of the Path of Life; but that we casting away Jewish Ceremonies, and Edition: current; Page:  : 161p. 161 the Delusions of the World, he would guide us by the Truth of the Gospel to everlasting Life, drawing us of himself to himself.
It is most reasonable that we should pray, and the Place invites us to it.
The Pleasantness of the Garden draws a great many Persons to it; and ’tis a rare Thing that any Passes by Jesus without an Ejaculation. I have made him Keeper, not only of my Garden, but of all my Possessions, and of both Body and Mind, instead of filthy Priapus. Here is you see a little Fountain pleasantly bubbling with wholsome Waters, this in some Measure represents that only Fountain of Life, that by its divine Streams, refreshes all that are weary and heavy laden; which the Soul, tired with the Evils of this World, pants after, just as the Hart in the Psalmist does after the Water Brooks, having tasted of the Flesh of Serpents. From this Fountain, whoever thirsts, may drink gratis. Some make it a Matter of Religion to sprinkle themselves with it; and others for the Sake of Religion, and not of Thirst, drink of it. You are loath, I perceive, to leave this Place: But it is Time to go to see this little square Garden that is wall’d in, ’tis a neater one than the other. What is to be seen within Doors, you shall see after Dinner, when the Heat of the Sun keeps us at Home for some Hours like Snails.
Bless me! What a delightful Prospect is here.
All this Place was designed for a Pleasure Garden, but for honest Pleasure; for the Entertainment of the Sight, the recreating the Nostrils, and refreshing the Mind; nothing grows here but sweet Herbs, nor every Sort of them, but only choice ones, and every Kind has its Bed by itself.
I am now convinced that Plants are not mute with you.
You are in the Right; others have magnificent Houses, but mine is made for Conversation, so that I can never be alone in it, and so you’ll say, when you have seen it all. As the several Plants are as it were form’d into several Edition: current; Page:  Troops, so every Troop has its Standard to itself, with a peculiar Motto, as this Marjoram’s is, Abstine, sus, non tibi spiro: Keep off, Sow, I don’t breathe my Perfume for thee; for though it be of a very fragrant Scent, yet Sows have a natural Aversion to it: And so every Sort has its Title, denoting the peculiar Virtue of the Plant.
I have seen nothing yet more delightful than this little Fountain, which being in the midst of them, does as it were smile upon all the Plants, and promises them Refreshment against the scorching Heat of the Sun. But this little Channel which shews the Water to the Eye so advantageously, and divides the Garden every where at such equal Distances, that it shews all the Flowers over on both Sides again, as in a Looking–glass, is it made of Marble?
Marble, quoth thee, how should Marble come hither? It is a counterfeit Marble, made of a sort of Loam, and a whitish Colour given it in the Glasing.
But where does this delicious Rivulet discharge itself at last?
Just as it is with human Obligations, when we have served our own Turns: After this has pleasured our Eyes, it washes our Kitchen, and passes through the Sink into the common Shore.
That’s very hard–hearted, as I am a Christian.
It had been hard–hearted, if the divine Bounty of Providence had not appointed it for this Use. We are then hard–hearted, when we pollute the Fountain of divine Truth, that is much more pleasant than this, and was given us for the refreshing and purging our Minds from our Lusts and vicious Appetites, abusing the unspeakable Bounty of God: For we make no bad Use of the Water, if we put it to the several Uses for which he appointed it, who supplies every Thing abundantly for human Use.
You say right: But how comes it about, that all your artificial Hedges are green too?
Because I would have every Thing green here. Some are for a Mixture of Red, because that sets off Edition: current; Page:  Green: But I like this best, as every Man has his Fancy, though it be but in a Garden.
The Garden is very fine of itself; but methinks these three Walks take off very much from the Lightsomeness and Pleasantness of it.
Here I either study or walk alone, or talk with a Friend, or eat, as the Humour takes me.
Those speckled, wonderful, pretty party–coloured Pillars, that at equal Distances support that Edifice, are they Marble?
Of the same Marble that this Channel is made of.
In Truth, a pretty Cheat, I should have sworn they had been Marble.
For this Reason then, take Care that you neither believe, nor swear any Thing rashly: You see how a Man may be mistaken. What I want in Wealth, I supply by Invention.
Could you not be content with so neat, and well furnished a Garden in Substance, without other Gardens in Picture besides?
In the first Place, one Garden will not hold all Sorts of Plants; and in the second, ’tis a double Pleasure, to see a painted Flower vie with the Life; and in one we contemplate the Artifice of Nature, in the other the Skill of the Painter; and in both, the Goodness of God, who gives all Things for our Use, in every Thing equally admirable and amiable: And in the last Place, a Garden is not always green; nor the Flowers always fresh; but this Garden is fresh and green all the Winter.
But it is not fragrant.
But then on the other Hand it wants no dressing.
It only delights the Eye.
But then it does that always.
Pictures themselves grow old.
They do so; but yet they out–live us; and besides, whereas we are the worse for Age, they are the better for it.
That’s too true, if it could be otherwise.
In this Walk that looks toward the West, I take the Benefit of the Morning Sun; in that which looks toward the East, I take the Cool of the Evening; in that which looks toward the South, but lies open to the North, I take Sanctuary against the Heats of the Meridian Sun; but we’ll walk ’em over, if you please, and take a nearer View of them: See how green ’tis under Foot, and you have the Beauty of painted Flowers in the very Chequers of the Pavement. This Wood, that you see painted upon this Wall, affords me a great Variety of Prospect: For in the first Place, as many Trees as you see, so many Sorts of Trees you see; and all express’d to the Life. As many Birds as you see, so many Kinds you see; especially if there be any scarce Ones, and remarkable upon any Account. For as for Geese, Hens, and Ducks, it is not worth While to draw them. Underneath are four–footed Creatures, or such Birds as live upon the Ground, after the Manner of Quadrupedes.
The Variety indeed is wonderful, and every Thing is in Action, either doing or saying something. There’s an Owl sits peeping through the Leaves, what says she?
She speaks Greek; she says, Σωϕρόνει, ὀυ πα̂σιν ἵπτημι, she commands us to act advisedly; I do not fly to all; because an inconsiderate Rashness does not fall out happily to all Persons. There is an Eagle quarrying upon a Hare, and a Beetle interceding to no Purpose; there is a Wren stands by the Beetle, and she is a mortal Enemy to the Eagle.
What has this Swallow got in her Mouth?
The Herb Celandine; don’t you know the Plant? with it, she restores Sight to her blind young Ones.
What odd Sort of Lizard is this?
It is not a Lizard, but a Chamæleon.
Is this the Chamæleon, there is so much Talk of? I thought it had been a Beast twice as big as a Lion, and the Name is twice as long too.
This Chamæleon is always gaping, and always hungry. This is a wild Fig–Tree, and that is his Aversion. He is otherwise harmless; and yet the little gaping Creature has Poison in him too, that you mayn’t contemn him.
But I don’t see him change his Colour.
True; because he does not change his Place; when he changes his Place, you will see him change his Colour too.
What’s the Meaning of that Piper?
Don’t you see a Camel there dancing hard by?
I see a very pleasant Fancy; the Ape pipes, and the Camel dances.
But it would require at least three Days to run through the Particulars one by one; it will be enough at present to take a cursory View of them. You have in the first Spot, all Sorts of famous Plants painted to the Life: And to increase the Wonder, here are the strongest Poisons in the World, which you may not only look upon, but handle too without Danger.
Look ye, here is a Scorpion, an Animal very seldom seen in this Country; but very frequent in Italy, and very mischievous too: But the Colour in the Picture seems not to be natural.
It seems too pale methinks; for those in Italy are blacker.
Dont you know the Herb it has fallen upon?
Not very well.
That’s no Wonder, for it does not grow in these Parts: It is Wolf’s–bane, so deadly a Poison, that upon the very touch of it, a Scorpion is stupified, grows pale, and yields himself overcome; but when he is hurt with one Poison, he seeks his Remedy with another. Do you see the two Sorts of Hellebore hard by; if the Scorpion can but get himself clear of the Wolf’s–bane, and get to the white Hellebore, he recovers his former Vigour, by the very Touch of a different Poison.
Then the Scorpion is undone, for he is never like to get off from the Wolfs’–bane. But do Scorpions speak here?
Yes, they do, and speak Greek too.
What does he say?
Εὑ̑ρε θεὸς τὸν ἀλιτρόν, God hath found out the Guilty. Here besides the Grass, you see all Sorts of Serpents. Here is the Basilisk, that is not only formidable for his Poison; but the very Flash of his Eyes is also mortal.
And he says something too.
Yes, he says, Oderint, dum metuant; Let them hate me, so they fear me.
Spoken like a King entirely.
Like a Tyrant rather, not at all like a King. Here a Lizard fights with a Viper, and here lies the Dipsas Serpent upon the Catch, hid under the Shell of an Estridge Egg. Here you see the whole Policy of the Ant, which we are call’d upon to imitate by Solomon and Horace. Here are Indian Ants that carry Gold, and hoard it up.
O good God! how is it possible for a Man to be weary of this Entertainment.
And yet at some other Time you shall see I’ll give you your Belly full of it. Now look before you at a Distance, there is a third Wall, where you have Lakes, Rivers, and Seas, and all Sorts of rare Fishes. This is the River Nile, in which you see the Dolphin, that natural Friend to Mankind, fighting with a Crocodile, Man’s deadly Enemy. Upon the Banks and Shores you see several amphibious Creatures, as Crabs, Seals, Beavers. Here is a Polypus, a Catcher catch’d by an Oyster.
What does he say? αἰρωˆν αἱρονˆμαι; The Taker taken. The Painter has made the Water wonderfully transparent.
If he had not done so, we should have wanted other Eyes. Just by there’s another Polypus playing upon the Face of the Sea like a little Cock–Boat; and there you see a Torpedo lying along upon the Sands, both of a Colour, you may touch them here with your Hand without any Danger. But we must go to something else, for these Things feed the Eye, but not the Belly.
Have you any more to be seen then?
You shall see what the Back–side affords us by and by. Here’s an indifferent large Garden parted: The one a Kitchen Garden, that is my Wife’s and the Family’s; the other is a Physick Garden, containing the choicest physical Herbs. At the left Hand there is an open Meadow, that is only a green Plot enclos’d with a quick–set Hedge. There sometimes I take the Air, and divert myself with good Company. Upon the right Hand there’s an Orchard, where, when you have Leisure, you shall see a great Variety of foreign Trees, that I have brought by Degrees to endure this Climate.
O wonderful! the King himself has not such a Seat.
At the End of the upper Walk there’s an Aviary, which I’ll shew you after Dinner, and there you’ll see various Forms, and hear various Tongues, and their Humours are as various. Among some of them there is an Agreeableness and mutual Love, and among others an irreconcilable Aversion: And then they are so tame and familiar, that when I’m at Supper, they’ll come flying in at the Window to me, even to the Table, and take the Meat out of my Hands. If at any Time I am upon the Draw–Bridge you see there, talking, perhaps with a Friend, they’ll some of them sit hearkening, others of them will perch upon my Shoulders or Arms, without any Sort of Fear, for they find that no Body hurts them. At the further End of the Orchard I have my Bees, which is a Sight worth seeing. But I must not show you any more now, that I may have something to entertain you with by and by. I’ll shew you the rest after Dinner.
Sir, my Mistress and Maid say that the Dinner will be spoil’d.
Bid her have a little Patience, and we’ll come presently. My friends, let us wash, that we may come to the Table with clean Hands as well as Hearts. The very Pagans us’d a Kind of Reverence in this Case; how much more then should Christians do it; if it were but in Edition: current; Page:  Imitation of that sacred Solemnity of our Saviour with his Disciples at his last Supper: And thence comes the Custom of washing of Hands, that if any Thing of Hatred, Ill–Will, or any Pollution should remain in the Mind of any one, he might purge it out, before he sits down at the Table. For it is my Opinion, that the Food is the wholesomer for the Body, if taken with a purified Mind.
We believe that it is a certain Truth.
Christ himself gave us this Example, that we should sit down to the Table with a Hymn; and I take it from this, that we frequently read in the Evangelists, that he bless’d or gave Thanks to his Father before he broke Bread, and that he concluded with giving of Thanks: And if you please, I’ll say you a Grace that St. Chrysostom commends to the Skies in one of his Homilies, which he himself interpreted.
We desire you would.
Blessed be thou, O God, who has fed me from my Youth up, and providest Food for all Flesh: Fill thou our Hearts with Joy and Gladness, that partaking plentifully of thy Bounty, we may abound to every good Work, through Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom, to thee and the Holy Ghost, be Glory, Honour, and Power, World without End. Amen.
Now sit down, and let every Man take his Friend next him: The first Place is yours, Timothy, in Right of your Grey Hairs.
The only Thing in the World that gives a Title to it.
We can only judge of what we see, and must leave the rest to God. Sophronius, keep you close to your Principal. Theophilus and Eulalius, do you take the right Side of the Table; Chrysoglottus and Theodidactus they shall have the left. Uranius and Nephalius must make a Shift with what is left. I’ll keep this Corner.
This must not be, the Master of the House ought to take the first Place.
The House is as much yours as mine, Gentlemen; Edition: current; Page:  however, if I may rule within my own Jurisdiction, I’ll sit where I please, and I have made my Choice already. Now may Christ, the Enlivener of all, and without whom nothing can be pleasant, vouchsafe to be with us, and exhilarate our Minds by his Presence.
I hope he will be pleased so to do; but where shall he sit, for the Places are all taken up?
I would have him in every Morsel and Drop that we eat and drink; but especially, in our Minds. And the better to fit us for the Reception of so divine a Guest, if you will, you shall have some Portion of Scripture read in the Interim; but so that you shall not let that hinder you from eating your Dinner heartily.
We will eat heartily, and attend diligently.
This Entertainment pleases me so much the better, because it diverts vain and frivolous Discourse, and affords Matter of profitable Conversation: I am not of their Mind, who think no Entertainment diverting, that does not abound with foolish wanton Stories, and bawdy Songs. There is pure Joy springs from a clear and pure Conscience; and those are the happy Conversations, where such Things are mentioned, that we can reflect upon afterwards with Satisfaction and Delight; and not such as we shall afterwards be ashamed of, and have Occasion to repent of.
It were well if we were all as careful to consider those Things as we are sure they are true.
And besides, these Things have not only a certain and valuable Profit in them, but one Month’s Use of them, would make them become pleasant too.
And therefore it is the best Course we can take to accustom ourselves to that which is best.
Read us something, Boy, and speak out distinctly.
Prov. xxi. The King’s Heart is in the Hand of the Lord; as the Rivers of Waters, he turneth it whither soever he will: Every Man is right in his own Eyes, but the Lord pondereth the Hearts. To do Justice and Judgment, is more acceptable to the Lord than Sacrifice, ver. 1, 2, 3.
Hold there, that’s enough; for it is better to take down a little with an Appetite, than to devour more than a Man can digest.
’Tis better, I must confess, in more Cases than this: Pliny would have one never have Tully’s Offices out of ones Hand; and in my Opinion, it were well if all Persons, but especially Statesmen, had him every Word by Heart: And as for this little Book of Proverbs, I have always look’d upon it the best Manual we can carry about with us.
I knew our Dinner would be unsavoury, and therefore I procured this Sauce.
Here is nothing but what is very good; but if you had given us this Lecture to a Dish of Beets only, without either Pepper, Wine or Vinegar, it would have been a delicious Treat.
I could commend it with a better Grace, if I did but perfectly understand what I have heard. And I would we had some able Divine among us, that did not only understand it, but would thoroughly expound it. But I don’t know how far it may be lawful for us Laymen to descant upon these Matters.
Indeed, I see no Hurt in’t, even for a Tarpawlin to do it, abating the Rashness of passing Sentence in the Case. And who knows but that Christ himself (who has promis’d to be present, where two or three are gathered together in his Name) may vouchsafe his Assistance to us, that are a much larger Congregation.
What if we should take these three Verses, and divide ’em among us nine Guests?
We like it well, provided the Master of the Feast lead the Way.
I would not refuse it; but that I am afraid I shall entertain you worse in my Exposition, than I do in my Dinner: But however, Ceremony apart, that I may not seem to want much Persuasion, omitting other Meanings that Interpreters put upon the Place: This seems to me to be the moral Sense; “That private Men may be wrought upon Edition: current; Page:  : 171p. 171 by Admonition, Reproofs, Laws and Menaces; but Kings who are above Fear, the more they are opposed, the fiercer their Displeasure; and therefore Kings, as often as they are resolutely bent upon any, should be left to themselves: Not in respect of any Confidence of the Goodness of their Inclinations; but because God many Times makes Use of their Follies and Wickedness, as the Instruments for the Punishment of the Wicked.” As he forbad that Nebuchodonosor should be resisted, because he had determin’d to chastise his People by him, as an Instrument. And peradventure, that which Job says, looks this Way: Who maketh the Hypocrite reign for the Sins of his People. And perhaps, that which David says, bewailing his Sin, has the same Tendency: Against thee only have I sinned, and done this Evil in thy Sight: Not as if the Iniquity of Kings were not fatal to the People; but because there is none that has Authority to condemn them, but God, from whose Judgment there is indeed no Appeal, be the Person never so great.
I like the Interpretation well enough thus far; but what is meant by the Rivers of Waters?
There is a Similitude made Use of that explains it. The Wrath of a King is impetuous and unruly, and not to be led this Way or that Way, but presses forward with a restless Fury: As the Sea spreads itself over the Land, and flows sometimes this Way, and sometimes that Way, not sparing Pastures nor Palaces, and sometimes buries in its own Bowels all that stands in its Way; and if you should attempt to stop its Course, or to turn it another Way, you may e’en as well let it alone: Whereas, let it but alone, and it will sink of itself, as it happens in many great Rivers, as is storied of Achelous. There is less Injury done by quietly yielding, than by violently resisting.
Is there no Remedy then against the Unruliness of wicked Kings?
The first will be, not to receive a Lion into the City: The second, is to tie him up by parliamentary and municipal Edition: current; Page:  Laws, that he can’t easily break out into Tyranny: But the best of all would be, to train him up from his Childhood, in the Principles of Piety and Virtue, and to form his Will, before he understands his Power. Good Counsels and Persuasions go a great Way, provided they be seasonable and gentle. But the last Resort must be to beg of God, to incline the King’s Heart to those Things that are becoming a Christian King.
Do you excuse yourself, because you are a Layman? If I were a Batchelor in Divinity, I should value myself upon this Interpretation.
I can’t tell whether it is right or wrong, it is enough for me if it were not impious or heretical. However, I have done what you required of me; and now, according to the Rules of Conversation, ’tis my Turn to hear your Opinion.
The Compliment you pass’d upon my grey Hairs, gives me some kind of Title to speak next to the Text, which will bear yet a more mysterious Meaning.
I believe it may, and I should be glad to hear it.
“By the Word King, may be meant, a Man so perfected, as to have wholly subdued his Lusts, and to be led by the Impulse of the Divine Spirit only. Now perhaps it may not be proper to tie up such a Person to the Conditions of human Laws; but to leave him to his Master, by whom he is govern’d: Nor is he to be judg’d according to the Measures by which the Frailty of imperfect Men advances towards true Holiness; but if he steers another Course, we ought to say with St. Paul, God hath accepted him, and to his own Master he stands or falls. He that is spiritual, judgeth of all Things, but he himself is judged of no Man.” To such, therefore, let no Man prescribe; for the Lord, who hath appointed Bounds to the Seas and Rivers, hath the Heart of the King in his Hand, and inclines it which Way soever it pleases him: What need is there to prescribe to him, that does of his own accord better Things than human Laws oblige him to? Or, how great a Rashness were it, to bind that Person by human Constitutions, Edition: current; Page:  : 173p. 173 who, it is manifest, by evident Tokens, is directed by the Inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
O Timothy, thou hast not only got grey Hairs on this Head, but you have likewise a Mind venerable for experimental Knowledge. And I would to God, that we had more such Kings as this King of yours among Christians, who, indeed, all of them ought to be such. But we have dwelt long enough upon our Eggs and Herbs; let them be taken away, and something else set in their Room.
We have done so well already on this Ovation, that there is no Need of any more, either of Supplication or Triumph.
But since, by God’s Assistance, we have succeeded so well in the first Verse, I wish your Umbra would explain the other, which seems to me a little more obscure.
If you’ll put a good Construction upon what I shall say, I will give you my Thoughts upon it. How else can a Shadow pretend to give Light to any Thing?
I undertake that for all the Company; such Shadows as you give as much Light as our Eyes will well bear.
The same Thing seems to be meant here, that Paul says: That there are several Ways of Life, that lead to Holiness. Some affect the Ministry, some Celibacy, others a married State; some a retired Life, others publick Administrations of the Government, according to the various Dispositions of their Bodies and Minds: Again, to one Man all Meats are indifferent, another puts a Difference betwixt this Meat and that; another he makes a Difference of Days, another thinks every Day alike. In these Things St. Paul would have every one enjoy his own Freedom of Mind, without reproaching another; nor should we censure any Man in those Cases, but leave him to be judg’d by him that weigheth the Heart. It oftentimes happens, that he that eats may be more acceptable to God, than he that forbears; and he that breaks a Holy–day, than he that seems to observe it; and he that marries, is more acceptable to God, than a great many that live single. I who am but a Shadow, have spoken my Mind.
I wish I could have Conversation with such Shadows often. I think you have hit the Nail on the Head: But here is one that has lived a Batchelor, and not of the Number of Saints, who have made themselves Eunuchs for the Sake of the Kingdom of God but was made so by force, to gratify our Bellies, till God shall destroy both them and Meats. It is a Capon of my own feeding. I am a great Lover of boil’d Meats. This is a very good Soop, and these are choice Lettuces that are in it. Pray every one help himself to what he likes best. But that you may not be deceiv’d, I tell you, that we have a Course of Roast a coming, and after that some small Desert, and so conclude.
But we exclude your Wife from Table.
When you bring your own Wives, mine shall keep them Company. She would, if she were here, be nothing but a Mute in our Company. She talks with more Freedom among the Women, and we are more at Liberty to philosophise. And besides that, there would be Danger, lest we should be serv’d as Socrates was, when he had several Philosophers at Table with him, who took more Pleasure in talking than they did in eating, and held a long Dispute, had all their Meat thrown on the Floor by Xantippe, who in a Rage overturn’d the Table.
I believe you have nothing of that to be afraid of: She’s one of the best–humour’d Women in the World.
She is such a one indeed, that I should be loath to change her if I might; and I look upon myself to be very happy upon that Account. Nor do I like their Opinion, who think a Man happy, because he never had a Wife; I approve rather what the Hebrew Sage said, He that has a good Wife has a good Lot.
It is commonly our own Fault, if our Wives be bad, either for loving such as are bad, or making them so; or else for not teaching them better.
You say very right, but all this While I want to hear the third Verse expounded: And methinks the divine Theophilus looks as if he had a Mind to do it.
Truly my Mind was upon my Belly; but however, I’ll speak my Mind, since I may do it without Offence.
Nay, it will be a Favour to us if you should happen to be in any Error, because by that Means you will give us Occasion of finding the Truth.
The Sentence seems to be of the same Importance with that the Lord expresses by the Prophet Hosea, Chap. vi. I desire Mercy and not Sacrifice, and the Knowledge of God more than Burnt–Offerings. This is fully explain’d, and to the Life, by the Lord Jesus, in St. Matthew, Chap. ix. who being at Table in the House of Levi the Publican, with several others of the same Stamp and Profession, the Pharisees, who were puff’d up with their external Observance of the Law, without any Regard to the Precepts of it, whereupon the whole Law and Prophets depend, (with a Design to alienate the Affections of his Disciples from him) ask’d them, why their Master sat at the Table of Publicans and Sinners. From whose Conversation those Jews, that would be accounted the more holy, abstain’d; to that Degree, that if any of the stricter Sort had met any of them by Chance, as soon as they came Home they would wash themselves. And when the Disciples, being yet but raw, could give no Answer; the Lord answer’d both for himself and them: They (says he) who are whole need not a Physician, but they that are sick; but go you and learn what that meaneth, I will have Mercy and not Sacrifice; for I came not to call the Righteous but Sinners.
Indeed you have very handsomely explain’d the Matter, by the comparing of Texts, which is the best Way of expounding Scripture. But I would fain know what it is he calls Sacrifice, and what Mercy. For how can we reconcile it, that God should be against Sacrifices, who had commanded so many to be offered?
How far God is against Sacrifices, he himself teaches us in the first Chapter of the Prophecy of Isaiah. There were certain legal Obligations among the Jews, which were rather Significations of Holiness, than of the Edition: current; Page:  Essence of it; of this Sort are Holy–Days, Sabbatisms, Fasts, Sacrifices; and there were certain other Obligations of perpetual Force, being good in their own Nature, and not meerly by being commanded. Now God was displeased with the Jews, not because they did observe the Rites and Ceremonies, but because being vainly puffed up with these, they neglected those Things which God does in a more especial Manner require of us; and wallowing in Avarice, Pride, Rapines, Hatred, Envy, and other Iniquities, they thought they merited Heaven, because that upon Holy–Days, they visited the Temple, offered Sacrifices, abstained from forbidden Meats, and frequently fasted; embracing the Shadow of Religion, and neglecting the Substance. But in that, he says, I will have Mercy, and not Sacrifice; I take it to be said according to the Idiom of the Hebrew Tongue; that is to say, Mercy rather than Sacrifices, as Solomon interprets it in this Text, to do Mercy and Judgment, is more acceptable to the Lord than Sacrifices. And again, the Scripture expresses all the charitable Offices to our Neighbour, under the Terms of Mercy, and eleemosynary Tenderness, which takes its Name from Pity. By Sacrifices, I suppose is intended, whatsoever respects corporal Ceremonies, and has any Affinity with Judaism, such as are the choice of Meats, appointed Garments, Fasting, Sacrifices, the saying over of Prayers, as a Boy says his Lesson: resting upon Holy–Days. These Things, as they are not to be neglected in their due Season, so they become displeasing to God, if a Man relying too much upon these Observances, shall neglect to do Acts of Mercy, as often as his Brother’s Necessity requires it. And it has some Appearance of Holiness in it, to avoid the Conversation of wicked Men: But this ought to give Place as oft as there is an Opportunity offer’d of shewing Charity to our Neighbour. It is a Point of Obedience to rest upon Holy Days: But it would be very impious to make such a Conscience of a Day as to suffer a Brother to perish upon it. Therefore to keep the Lord’s Day is a Kind of Sacrifice: But to be reconcil’d Edition: current; Page:  : 177p. 177 to my Brother is a Point of Mercy. And then, as for Judgment, though that may seem to respect Persons in Power; who oftentimes oppress the weak therewith, yet it seems reasonable enough in my Opinion that the poor Man should remind him of that in Hosea, And the Knowledge of God more than burnt Offerings. No Man can be said to keep the Law of God, but he that keeps it according to the Mind of God. The Jews could lift up an Ass upon the Sabbath that was fallen into a Pit, and yet calumniated our Saviour for preserving a Man upon that Day. This was a preposterous Judgment, and not according to the Knowledge of God; for they did not consider that these Things were made for Man, and not Man for them. But I should have esteem’d it Presumption in me to have said these Things, if you had not commanded it; and I had rather learn of others Things more à propos.
This is so far from being a Presumption, that it looks rather like an Inspiration. But while we are thus plentifully feeding our Souls, we must not neglect their Companions.
Who are those?
Our Bodies; are not they the Soul’s Companions? I had rather call them so, than Instruments, Habitations or Sepulchres.
This is certainly to be plentifully refresh’d when the whole Man is refresh’d.
I see you are very backward to help yourselves; therefore, if you please, I’ll order the Roast–Meat to be brought us, lest instead of a good Entertainment I should treat you with a long one. Now you see your Ordinary. Here is a Shoulder of Mutton, but it is a very fine one, a Capon and two Brace of Partridges. These indeed I had from the Market, this little Farm supply’d me with the rest.
It is a noble Dinner, fit for a Prince.
For a Carmelite, you mean. But such as it is you are welcome to it. If the Provision be not very dainty you have it very freely.
Your House is so full of Talk, that not only the Walls but the very Cup speaks.
What does it say?
No Man is hurt but by himself.
The Cup pleads for the Cause of the Wine. For it is a common Thing, if Persons get a Fever or the Headach by over drinking, to lay it upon the Wine, when they have brought it upon themselves by their Excess.
Mine speaks Greek. Ἐν ὄινῳ ἀληθεία. In Wine there’s Truth (when Wine is in the Wit is out.)
This gives us to understand that it is not safe for Priests or Privy–Counsellors to give themselves so to Wine, because Wine commonly brings that to the Mouth that lay conceal’d in the Heart.
In old Time among the Egyptians it was unlawful for their Priests to drink any Wine at all, and yet in those Days there was no auricular Confession.
It is now become lawful for all Persons to drink Wine, but how expedient it is I know not. What Book is that, Eulalius, you take out of your Pocket? It seems to be a very neat one, it is all over gilded.
It is more valuable for the Inside than the Out. It is St. Paul’s Epistles, that I always carry about me, as my beloved Entertainment, which I take out now upon the Occasion of something you said, which minds me of a Place that I have beat my Brains about a long Time, and I am not come to a full Satisfaction in yet. It is in the 6th Chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, All Things are lawful for me, but all Things are not expedient; all Things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the Power of any. In the first Place (if we will believe the Stoicks) nothing can be profitable to us, that is not honest: How comes Paul then to distinguish betwixt that which is lawful, and that which is expedient? It is not lawful to whore, or get drunk, how then are all Things lawful? But if Paul speaks of some particular Things only, which he would have to be lawful, I can’t guess by the Tenor of the Edition: current; Page:  Place, which those particular Things are. From that which follows, it may be gather’d, that he there speaks of the Choice of Meats. For some abstain from Things offer’d to Idols, and others from Meats forbidden by Moses’s Law. In the 8th Chapter he treats of Things offer’d to Idols, and in the 10th Chapter explaining the Meaning of this Place, says, All Things are lawful for me, but all Things are not expedient; all Things are lawful for me, but all Things edify not. Let no Man seek his own, but every Man the Things of another. Whatsoever is sold in the Shambles, eat ye. And that which St. Paul subjoins, agrees with what he said before: Meats for the Belly, and the Belly for Meats; but God shall destroy both it and them. Now that which has Respect to the Judaical Choice of Meats, is in the Close of the 10th Chapter. Give none Offence, neither to the Jews nor the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God; even as I please all Men in all Things, not seeking my own Profit, but the Profit of many, that they may be sav’d. Where in that he saith to the Gentiles, he seems to have Respect to Things offer’d to Idols; and where he speaketh to the Jews he seems to refer to the Choice of Meats; what he says to the Church of God appertains to the Weak, collected out of both Sorts. It was lawful, it seems, to eat of all Meats whatsoever, and all Things that are Clean to the Clean. But the Question remaining is, Whether it be expedient or no? The Liberty of the Gospel makes all Things lawful; but Charity has always a Regard to my Neighbour’s Good, and therefore often abstains from Things lawful, rather chusing to condescend to what is for another’s Advantage, than to make Use of its own Liberty. But now here arises a double Difficulty; first, that here is nothing that either precedes or follows in the Context that agrees with this Sense. For he chides the Corinthians for being Seditious, Fornicators, Adulterers, and given to go to Law before wicked Judges. Now what Coherence is there with this to say, All Things are lawful for me, but all Things are not expedient? And in the following Matter, he returns to the Case of Incontinence, which Edition: current; Page:  he had also repeated before, only leaving out the Charge of Contention: But the Body, says he, is not for Fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the Body. But however, this Scruple may be solv’d too, because a little before, in the Catalogue of Sins, he had made Mention of Idolatry. Be not deceived, neither Fornicators, nor Idolaters, nor Adulterers; now the Eating of Things offer’d to Idols is a certain Kind of Idolatry, and therefore he immediately subjoins, Meat is for the Belly, and the Belly for Meat. Intimating, that in a Case of Necessity, and for a Season, a Man may eat any Thing, unless Charity towards his Neighbour shall dissuade it: But that Uncleanness is in all Persons, and at all Times to be detested. It is Matter of Necessity that we eat, but that Necessity shall be taken away at the Resurrection of the Dead. But if we are lustful, that proceeds from Wickedness. But there is another Scruple that I can’t tell how to solve, or how to reconcile to that Passage: But I will not be brought under the Power of any. For he says, he has the Power of all Things, and yet he will not be brought under the Power of any one. If he may be said to be under another Man’s Power, that abstains for Fear of offending, it is what he speaks of himself in the ninth Chapter, For though I be free from all Men, yet have made myself Servant to all, that I may gain all. St. Ambrose stumbling, I suppose, at this Scruple, takes this to be the Apostle’s genuine Sense for the better Understanding of what he says in the 9th Chapter, where he claims to himself the Power of doing that which the rest of the Apostles (either true or false) did, of receiving a Maintenance from them to whom he preach’d the Gospel. But he forbore this, although he might have done it, as a Thing expedient among the Corinthians, whom he reprov’d for so many and enormous Iniquities. And moreover, he that receives, is in some Degree in the Power of him from whom he receives, and suffers some Kind of Abatement in his Authority. For he that takes, cannot so freely reprove his Benefactor; and he that gives will not so easily take a Reprehension from him that he has obliged. Edition: current; Page:  And in this did the Apostle Paul abstain from that which was lawful, for the Credit of his apostolical Liberty, which in this Case he would not have to be rendered obnoxious to any one, that he might with the greater Freedom and Authority reprehend their Vices. Indeed, I like this Explication of St. Ambrose very well. But yet, if any Body had rather apply this Passage to Meats, St. Paul’s Saying, but I will not be brought under the Power of any, may be taken in this Sense: Although I may sometimes abstain from Meats offered to Idols, or forbidden by the Mosaical Law, out of Regard to the Salvation of my Brothers Souls, and the Furtherance of the Gospel; yet my Mind is free, well knowing that it is lawful to eat all Manner of Meats, according to the Necessity of the Body. But there were some false Apostles, who went about to persuade them, that some Meats, were in themselves, by their own Nature unclean, and were to be forborn, not upon Occasion only, but at all Times; and that as strict as Adultery or Murder. Now those that were thus misled, were reduced under another’s Power, and fell from their Gospel Liberty. Theophylact (as I remember) is the only Man that advances an Opinion different from all these. It is lawful, says he, to eat all Sorts of Meats; but it is not expedient to eat to Excess; for from Luxury comes Lust. There is no Impiety, indeed, in this Sense; but it does not seem to me to be the genuine Sense of the Place. I have acquainted you with my Scruples, it will become your Charity to set me to Rights.
Your Discourse is, indeed, answerable to your Name, and one that knows how to propound Questions as you do, has no Need of any Body to answer them but himself. For you have so proposed your Doubts, as to put one quite out of doubt, altho’ St. Paul, in that Epistle, (proposing to handle many Things at once) passes often from one Argument to another, repeating what he had intermitted.
If I were not afraid, that by my Loquacity I should divert you from eating your Dinners, and did think it were lawful to intermix any Thing out of profane Authors Edition: current; Page:  : 182p. 182 with sacred Discourses, I would venture to propose something that I read to Day; not so much with Perplexity, as with a singular Delight.
Whatsoever is pious, and conduces to good Manners, ought not to be called profane. The first Place must indeed be given to the Authority of the Scriptures; but nevertheless, I sometimes find some Things said or written by the Antients; nay, even by the Heathens; nay, by the Poets themselves, so chastly, so holily, and so divinely, that I cannot persuade myself, but that when they wrote them, they were divinely inspired; and perhaps the Spirit of Christ diffuses itself farther than we imagine; and that there are more Saints than we have in our Catalogue. To confess freely among Friends, I can’t read Tully of Old Age, of Friendship, his Offices, or his Tusculan Questions, without kissing the Book, and Veneration for that divine Soul. And on the contrary, when I read some of our modern Authors, treating of Politics, Oeconomics and Ethics, good God! how cold they are in Comparison of these? Nay, how do they seem to be insensible of what they write themselves? So that I had rather lose Scotus, and twenty more such as he, than one Cicero or Plutarch. Not that I am wholly against them neither; but because, by the reading of the one, I find myself become better; whereas, I rise from the other, I know not how coldly affected to Virtue, but most violently inclin’d to Cavil and Contention; therefore never fear to propose it, whatsoever it is.
Although all Tully’s Books of Philosophy seem to breathe out something divine; yet that Treatise of Old Age, that he wrote in old Age, seems to me to be according to the Greek Proverb; the Song of the dying Swan. I was reading it to Day, and these Words pleasing me above the rest, I got ’em by Heart: Should it please God to give me a Grant to begin my Life again from my very Cradle, and once more to run over the Course of my Years I have lived, I would not upon any Terms accept of it: Nor would I, having in a Manner finished my Race, run it over again from the starting Edition: current; Page:  Place to the Goal: For what Pleasure has this Life in it? nay, rather, what Pain has it not? But if there were not, there would be undoubtedly in it Satiety or Trouble. I am not for bewailing my past Life as a great many, and learned Men too, have done, nor do I repent that I have liv’d; because, I have liv’d so, that I am satisfy’d I have not liv’d in vain. And when I leave this Life, I leave it as an Inn, and not as a Place of Abode. For Nature has given us our Bodies as an Inn to lodge in, and not to dwell in. O! glorious Day will that be, when I shall leave this Rabble–rout and Defilements of the World behind me, to go to that Society and World of Spirits! Thus far out of Cato. What could be spoken more divinely by a Christian? I wish all the Discourses of our Monks, even with their holy Virgins, were such as the Dialogue of this aged Pagan, with the Pagan Youths of his Time.
It may be objected, that this Colloquy of Tully’s was but a Fiction.
It is all one to me, whether the Honour of these Expressions be given to Cato, who thought and spoke them, or to Cicero, whose Mind could form such divine Things in Contemplation, and whose Pen could represent such excellent Matter in Words so answerable to it; though indeed I am apt to think that Cato, if he did not speak these very Words, yet that in his familiar Conversation he us’d Words of the very same Import. For indeed, M. Tully was not a Man of that Impudence, to draw Cato otherwise than he was. Beside, that such an Unlikeness in a Dialogue would have been a great Indecorum, which is the thing chiefly to be avoided in this Sort of Discourse; and especially, at a Time when his Character was fresh in the Memories of all Men.
That which you say is very likely: But I’ll tell you what came into my Mind upon your Recital. I have often admired with myself, that considering that all Men wish for long Life, and are afraid of Death; that yet, I have scarce found any Man so happy, (I don’t speak of old, but of Edition: current; Page:  middle–aged Men); but that if the Question were put to him, whether or no, if it should be granted him to grow young again, and run over the same good and ill Fortune that he had before, he would not make the same Answer that Cato did; especially passing a true Reflection upon the Mixture of Good and Ill of his past Life. For the Remembrance even of the pleasantest Part of it is commonly attended with Shame, and Sting of Conscience, insomuch that the Memory of past Delights is more painful to us, than that of past Misfortunes. Therefore it was wisely done of the ancient Poets in the Fable of Lethe, to represent the Dead drinking largely of the Waters of Forgetfulness, before their Souls were affected with any Desire of the Bodies they had left behind them.
It is a Thing well worthy of our Admiration, and what I myself have observ’d in some Persons. But that in Cato that pleases me the most is his Declaration. Neither am I sorry that I have liv’d. Where is the Christian, that has so led his Life, as to be able to say as much as this old Man? It is a common Thing for Men, who have scrap’d great Estates together by Hook or by Crook, when they are upon their Death Beds, and about to leave them, then to think they have not liv’d in vain. But Cato therefore thought, that he had not liv’d in vain, upon the Conscience of his having discharg’d all the Parts of an honest and useful Citizen, and an uncorrupted Magistrate; and that he should leave to Posterity, Monuments of his Virtue and Industry. And what could be spoken more divinely than this, I depart as from an Inn, and not an Habitation. So long we may stay in an Inn till the Host bids us be gone, but a Man will not easily be forc’d from his own House. And yet from hence the Fall of the House, or Fire, or some Accident drives us. Or if nothing of these happen, the Structure falls to Pieces with old Age, thereby admonishing us that we must change our Quarters.
That Expression of Socrates in Plato is not less elegant: Methinks, says he, the Soul of a Man is in the Edition: current; Page:  Body as in a Garrison, there is no quitting of it without the Leave of the Generals, nor no staying any longer in it, than during the Pleasure of him that plac’d him there. This Allusion of Plato’s, of a Garrison instead of a House, is the more significant of the two. For in a House is only imply’d Abode, in a Garrison we are appointed to some Duty by our Governor. And much to the same Purpose is it, that in Holy Writ the Life of Man is sometimes call’d a Warfare, and at other times a Race.
But Cato’s Speech, methinks, seems to agree very well with that of St. Paul, who writing to the Corinthians, calls that heavenly Mansion, which we look for after this Life in one Place ὀικίαν a House, in another ὀικητήριον a Mansion, and moreover (besides that) he calls the Body σκη̂νος a Tabernacle. For we also, (says he) who are in this Tabernacle, groan, being burthened.
Much after this Manner says St. Peter; And I think it meet (says he) as long as I am in this Tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in Mind, being assured that I shall shortly put off this Tabernacle. And what else does Christ himself say to us, but that we should live and watch, as if we were presently to die: And so apply ourselves to honest Things, as if we were to live for ever? And when we hear these excellent Words of Cato, O that glorious Day, do we not seem to hear St. Paul himself saying, I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ?
How happy are they that wait for Death with such a Frame of Mind? But as for Cato’s Speech, altho’ it be an excellent one, methinks there is more Boldness and Arrogance in it, than becomes a Christian. Indeed, I never read anything in a Heathen, that comes nearer to a Christian, than what Socrates said to Crito, a little before he drank his Poison; Whether I shall be approv’d or not in the Sight of God, I cannot tell; but this I am certain of, that I have most affectionately endeavoured to please him; and I have a good Hope, that he will accept of my Endeavours. This great Man was diffident of his own Performances; but so, that being Edition: current; Page:  : 186p. 186 conscious to himself of the Propensity of his Inclination to obey the divine Will, he conceived a good Hope, that God, of his Goodness, would accept him for the Honesty of his Intentions.
Indeed, it was a wonderful Elevation of Mind in a Man, that knew not Christ, nor the holy Scriptures: And therefore, I can scarce forbear, when I read such Things of such Men, but cry out, Sancte Socrates, ora pro nobis; Saint Socrates, pray for us.
And I have much ado sometimes to keep myself from entertaining good Hopes of the Souls of Virgil and Horace.
But how unwillingly have I seen many Christians die? Some put their Trust in Things not to be confided in; others breathe out their Souls in Desperation, either out of a Consciousness of their lewd Lives, or by Reason of Scruples that have been injected into their Minds, even in their dying Hours, by some indiscreet Men.
It is no wonder to find them die so, who have spent their Time in philosophizing about Ceremonies all their Lives.
What do you mean by Ceremonies?
I’ll tell you, but with Protestation over and over beforehand, that I don’t find Fault with the Sacraments and Rites of the Church, but rather highly approve of them; but I blame a wicked and superstitious Sort of People, or (to put it in the softest Term) the simple and unlearned Persons, who teach People to put their Confidence in these Things, omitting those Things which make them truly Christians.
I don’t yet clearly understand what it is you aim at.
I’ll be plainer then. If you look into Christians in common, don’t you find they live as if the whole Sum of Religion consisted in Ceremonies? With how much Pomp are the antient Rites of the Church set forth in Baptism? The Infant waits without the Church Door, the Exorcism is performed, the Catechizing is performed, Vows are made, Edition: current; Page:  Satan is abjured, with all his Pomps and Pleasures; then the Child is anointed, sign’d, season’d with Salt, dipt, a Charge given to his Sureties to see it well brought up; and the Oblation–Money being paid, they are discharged, and by this Time the Child passes for a Christian, and in some Sense is so. A little Time after, it is anointed again, and in Time learns to confess, receives the Sacrament, is accustom’d to rest upon Holy–Days, to hear Divine Service, to fast sometimes, to abstain from Flesh; and if he observes all these, he passes for an absolute Christian. He marries a Wife, and then comes on another Sacrament; he enters into Holy Orders, is anointed again, and consecrated, his Habit is chang’d, and then to Prayers. Now I approve of the doing of all this well enough; but the doing of them more out of Custom than Conscience, I don’t approve; but to think that nothing else is requisite for the making a Christian, I absolutely disapprove: For the greatest Part of Men in the World trust to these Things, and think they have nothing else to do, but get Wealth by Right or Wrong, to gratify their Passions of Rage, Lust, Malice, Ambition: And this they do till they come upon their Death Bed; and then there follows more Ceremonies; Confession upon Confession, more Unction still, the Eucharist is administred; Tapers, the Cross, holy Water are brought in; Indulgencies are procured, if they are to be had for Love or Money; Orders are given for a magnificent Funeral; and then comes on another solemn Contract: When the Man is in the Agony of Death, there’s one stands by bawling in his Ear, and now and then dispatches him before his Time, if he chance to be a little in Drink, or have better Lungs than ordinary. Now although these Things may be well enough, as they are done in Conformity to ecclesiastical Customs; yet there are some more internal Impressions, which have an Efficacy to fortify us against the Assaults of Death, by filling our Hearts with Joy, and helping us to go out of the World with a Christian Assurance.
You speak very piously and truly; but in the mean Edition: current; Page:  : 188p. 188 Time here is no Body eats; I told you before, that you must expect nothing after the second Course, and that a Country one too, lest any Body should look for Pheasants, Moorhens, and fine Kickshaws. Here, Boy! take away these Things, and bring up the rest. You see, not the Affluence, but the Straitness of my Fortune. This is the Product of my Gardens you have seen; don’t spare, if you like any Thing.
There’s so great a Variety, it does a Man good to look upon it.
That you mayn’t altogether despise my Thriftiness, this Dish would have chear’d up the Heart of old Hilarion, the evangelical Monk, with a hundred more of his Fellows, the Monks of that Age. But Paul and Anthony would have lived a Month upon it.
Yes, and Prince Peter too, I fancy would have leap’d at it, when he lodg’d at Simon the Tanner’s.
Yes; and Paul too, I believe, when by Reason of Poverty he sat up a–Nights to make Tents.
How much do we owe to the Goodness of God! But yet, I had rather suffer Hunger with Peter and Paul, upon Condition, that what I wanted for my Body, might be made up by the Satisfaction of my Mind.
Let us learn of St. Paul, both how to abound, and how to suffer Want. When we want, let us praise God, that he has afforded us Matter to exercise our Frugality and Patience upon: When we abound, let us be thankful for his Munificence, who by his Liberality, invites and provokes us to love him; and using those Things the divine Bounty has plentifully bestowed upon us, with Moderation and Temperance; let us be mindful of the Poor, whom God has been pleas’d to suffer to want what he has made abound to us, that neither Side may want an Occasion of exercising Virtue: For he bestows upon us sufficient for the Relief of our Brother’s Necessity, that we may obtain his Mercy, and that the Poor on the other Hand, being refresh’d by our Liberality, may give him Thanks for putting it into our Hearts, Edition: current; Page:  : 189p. 189 and recommend us to him in their Prayers; and, very well remember’d! Come hither, Boy; bid my Wife send Gudula some of the roast Meat that’s left, ’tis a very good poor Woman in the Neighbourhood big with Child, her Husband is lately dead, a profuse, lazy Fellow, that has left nothing but a Stock of Children.
Christ has commanded to give to every one that asks; but if I should do so, I should go a begging myself in a Month’s Time.
I suppose Christ means only such as ask for Necessaries: For to them who ask, nay, who importune, or rather extort great Sums from People to furnish voluptuous Entertainments, or, which is worse, to feed Luxury and Lust, it is Charity to deny; nay, it is a Kind of Rapine to bestow that which we owe to the present Necessity of our Neighbours, upon those that will abuse it; upon this Consideration it is, that it seems to me, that they can scarcely be excus’d from being guilty of a mortal Sin, who at a prodigious Expence, either build or beautify Monasteries or Churches, when in the mean Time so many living Temples of Christ are ready to starve for Want of Food and Clothing, and are sadly afflicted with the Want of other Necessaries. When I was in England, I saw St. Thomas’s Tomb all over bedeck’d with a vast Number of Jewels of an immense Price, besides other rich Furniture, even to Admiration; I had rather that these Superfluities should be apply’d to charitable Uses, than to be reserv’d for Princes, that shall one Time or other make a Booty of them. The holy Man, I am confident, would have been better pleas’d, to have his Tomb adorn’d with Leaves and Flowers. When I was in Lombardy, I saw a Cloyster of the Carthusians, not far from Pavia; the Chapel is built from Top to Bottom, within and without, of white Marble, and almost all that is in it, as Altars, Pillars, and Tombs, are all Marble. To what Purpose was it to be at such a vast Expence upon a Marble Temple, for a few solitary Monks to sing in? And ’tis more Burthen to them than Use too, for they are perpetually troubled with Strangers, Edition: current; Page:  that come thither, only out of mere Curiosity, to see the Marble Temple. And that, which is yet more ridiculous, I was told there, that there is an Endowment of three thousand Ducats a Year for keeping the Monastery in Repair. And there are some that think that it is Sacrilege, to convert a Penny of that Money to any other pious Uses, contrary to the Intention of the Testator; they had rather pull down, that they may rebuild, than not go on with building. I thought meet to mention these, being something more remarkable than ordinary; tho’ we have a World of Instances of this Kind up and down in our Churches. This, in my Opinion, is rather Ambition than Charity. Rich Men now–a–Days will have their Monuments in Churches, whereas in Times past they could hardly get Room for the Saints there: They must have their Images there, and their Pictures, forsooth, with their Names at length, their Titles, and the Inscription of their Donation; and this takes up a considerable Part of the Church; and I believe in Time they’ll be for having their Corpse laid even in the very Altars themselves. But perhaps, some will say, would you have their Munificence be discourag’d? I say no, by no Means, provided what they offer to the Temple of God be worthy of it. But if I were a Priest or a Bishop, I would put it into the Heads of those thick–scull’d Courtiers or Merchants, that if they would atone for their Sins to Almighty God, they should privately bestow their Liberality upon the Relief of the Poor. But they reckon all as lost, that goes out so by Piece–meal, and is privily distributed toward the Succour of the Needy, that the next Age shall have no Memorial of the Bounty. But I think no Money can be better bestow’d, than that which Christ himself would have put to his Account, and makes himself Debtor for.
Don’t you take that Bounty to be well plac’d that is bestow’d upon Monasteries?
Yes, and I would be a Benefactor myself, if I had an Estate that would allow it; but it should be such a Provision for Necessaries, as should not reach to Luxury. And Edition: current; Page:  I would give something too, wheresoever I found a religious Man that wanted it.
Many are of Opinion, that what is given to common Beggars, is not well bestowed.
I would do something that Way too; but with Discretion: But in my Opinion, it were better if every City were to maintain their own Poor; and Vagabonds and sturdy Beggars were not suffer’d to strole about, who want Work more than Money.
To whom then would you in an especial Manner give? How much? And to what Purposes?
It is a hard Matter for me to answer to all these Points exactly: First of all, there should be an Inclination to be helpful to all, and after that, the Proportion must be according to my Ability, as Opportunity should offer; and especially to those whom I know to be poor and honest; and when my own Purse fail’d me, I would exhort others to Charity.
But will you give us Leave now to discourse freely in your Dominions?
As freely as if you were at Home at your own Houses.
You don’t love vast Expences upon Churches, you say, and this House might have been built for less than it was.
Indeed, I think this House of mine to be within the Compass of cleanly and convenient, far from Luxury, or I am mistaken. Some that live by begging, have built with more State; and yet, these Gardens of Mine, such as they are, pay a Tribute to the Poor; and I daily lessen my Expence, and am the more frugal in Expence upon myself and Family, that I may contribute the more plentifully to them.
If all Men were of your Mind, it would be better than it is with a good many People who deserve better, that are now in extreme Want; and on the other Hand, many of those pamper’d Carcases would be brought down, who deserve to be taught Sobriety and Modesty by Penury.
It may be so: but shall I mend your mean Entertainment now, with the best Bit at last?
We have had more than enough of Delicacies already.
That which I am now about to give you, let your Bellies be never so full, won’t over–charge your Stomachs.
What is it?
The Book of the four Evangelists, that I may treat you with the best at last. Read, Boy, from the Place where you left off last.
No Man can serve two Masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other: You cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your Life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink: Nor yet for your Body, what you shall put on. Is not the Life more than Meat, and the Body than Raiment?
Give me the Book. In this Place Jesus Christ seems to me, to have said the same Thing twice: For instead of what he had said in the first Place, i. e. he will hate; he says immediately, he will despise. And for what he had said before, he will love, he by and by turns it, he will hold to. The Sense is the same, tho’ the Persons are chang’d.
I do not very well apprehend what you mean.
Let me, if you please, demonstrate it mathematically. In the first Part, put A for the one, and B for the other. In the latter Part, put B for one, and A for the other, inverting the Order; for either A will hate, and B will love, or B will hold to, and A will despise. Is it not plain now, that A is twice hated, and B twice beloved?
’Tis very clear.
This Conjunction, or, especially repeated, has the Emphasis of a contrary, or at least, a different Meaning. Would it not be otherwise absurd to say, Either Peter shall overcome me, and I’ll yield; or I’ll yield, and Peter shall overcome me?
A pretty Sophism, as I’m an honest Man.
I shall think it so when you have made it out, not before.
I have something runs in my Mind, and I’m with Child to have it out: I can’t tell what to make on’t, but let it be what it will, you shall have it if you please; if it be a Dream, you shall be the Interpreters, or midwife it into the World.
Although it is looked upon to be unlucky to talk of Dreams at Table, and it is immodest to bring forth before so many Men; but this Dream, or this Conception of thy Mind, be it what it will, let us have it.
In my Judgment it is rather the Thing than the Person that is chang’d in this Text. And the Words one and one do not refer to A and B; but either Part of them, to which of the other you please; so that chuse which you will, it must be opposed to that, which is signified by the other; as if you should say, you shall either exclude A and admit B, or you shall admit A and exclude B. Here’s the Thing chang’d, and the Person the same: And it is so spoken of A, that it is the same Case, if you should say the same Thing of B; as thus, either you shall exclude B or admit A, or admit B or exclude A.
In Truth, you have very artificially solv’d this Problem: No Mathematician could have demonstrated it better upon a Slate.
That which is the greatest Difficulty to me is this; that we are forbidden to take Thought for to Morrow; when yet, Paul himself wrought with his own Hands for Bread, and sharply rebukes lazy People, and those that live upon other Men’s Labour, exhorting them to take Pains, and get their Living by their Fingers Ends, that they may have wherewith to relieve others in their Necessities. Are not they holy and warrantable Labours, by which a poor Husband provides for his dear Wife and Children?
This is a Question, which, in my Opinion, may be resolv’d several Ways. First of all, This Text had a particular Respect to those Times. The Apostles being dispers’d far and wide for the Preaching of the Gospel, all sollicitous Care for a Maintenance was to be thrown aside, it being to Edition: current; Page:  be supply’d otherwise, having not Leisure to get their Living by their Labour; and especially, they having no Way of getting it, but by Fishing. But now the World is come to another Pass, and we all love to live at Ease, and shun Pains–taking. Another Way of expounding it may be this; Christ had not forbid Industry, but Anxiety of Thought, and this Anxiety of Thought is to be understood according to the Temper of Men in common, who are anxious for nothing more than getting a Livelihood; that setting all other Things aside, this is the only Thing they mind. And our Saviour does in a Manner intimate the same himself, when he says, that one Man cannot serve two Masters. For he that wholly gives himself up to any Thing, is a Servant to it. Now he would have the Propagation of the Gospel be our chief, but yet, not our only Care. For he says, Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and these Things shall be added unto you. He does not say, seek only; but seek first. And besides, I take the Word to Morrow, to be hyperbolical, and in that, signifies a Time to come, a great While hence, it being the Custom of the Misers of this World, to be anxiously scraping together, and laying up for Posterity.
We allow of your Interpretation; but what does he mean, when he says, Be not sollicitous for your Life, what you shall eat? The Body is cloth’d, but the Soul does not eat.
By Anima, is meant Life, which can’t subsist without Meat (or is in Danger, if you take away its Food): But it is not so, if you take away the Garment, which is more for Modesty than Necessity. If a Person is forc’d to go naked, he does not die presently; but Want of Food is certain Death.
I do not well understand how this Sentence agrees with that which follows; Is not the Life more than Meat, and the Body than Raiment? For if Life be so precious, we ought to take the more Care of it.
This Argument does rather increase our Sollicitousness than lessen it.
But this is none of our Saviour’s Meaning; who, by this Argument, creates in us a stronger Confidence in the Edition: current; Page:  Father: For if a bountiful Father hath given us gratis that which is the more valuable, he will also bestow upon us what is less valuable: He that has given us Life, will not deny us Food: And he that has given us Bodies, will by some Means or other give us Cloaths too: Therefore, relying upon his Bounty, we have no Reason to disquiet ourselves with Anxiety of Thought, for Things of smaller Moment. What remains then, but using this World, as though we used it not, we transfer our whole Study and Application to the Love of heavenly Things, and rejecting the World and the Devil universally, with all his crafty Delusions, we chearfully serve God alone, who will never forsake his Children? But all this While, here’s no Body touches the Fruits. Certainly you may eat this with Joy, for this is the Product of my own Farm, and did not cost much Care to provide it.
We have very plentifully satisfied our Bodies.
I should be glad if you had satisfied your Minds too.
Our Minds have been satisfy’d more plentifully than our Bodies.
Boy, take away, and bring some Water; now, my Friends, let us wash, that if we have in eating contracted any Guilt, being cleansed, we may conclude with a Hymn: If you please, I’ll conclude with what I begun out of St. Chrysostom.
We entreat you that you would do it.
Glory to thee, O Lord; Glory to thee, O holy One; Glory to thee, O King; as thou hast given us Meat for our Bodies, so replenish our Souls with Joy and Gladness in thy holy Spirit, that we may be found acceptable in thy Sight, and may not be made asham’d, when thou shalt render to every one according to his Works.
In Truth, it is a pious and elegant Hymn.
Of St. Chrysostom’s Translation too.
Where is it to be found?
In his 56th Homily on St. Matthew.
I’ll be sure to read it to Day: But I have a Mind to be informed of one Thing, why we thrice wish Glory to Christ under these three Denominations, of Lord, Holy, and King.
Because all Honour is due to him, and especially in these three Respects. We call him Lord, because he hath redeem’d us by his holy Blood from the Tyranny of the Devil, and hath taken us to himself. Secondly, We stile him Holy, because he being the Sanctifier of all Men, not being content alone to have freely pardoned us all our Sins gratis by his holy Spirit, hath bestow’d upon us his Righteousness, that we might follow Holiness. Lastly, We call him King, because we hope for the Reward of a heavenly Kingdom, from him who sits at the Right–Hand of God the Father. And all this Felicity we owe to his gratuitous Bounty, that we have Jesus Christ for our Lord, rather than the Devil to be a Tyrant over us; that we have Innocence and Sanctity, instead of the Filth and Uncleanness of our Sins; and instead of the Torments of Hell, the Joys of Life everlasting.
Indeed it is a very pious Sentence.
This is your first Visit, Gentlemen, and I must not dismiss you without Presents; but plain ones, such as your Entertainment has been. Boy, bring out the Presents: It is all one to me, whether you will draw Lots, or every one chuse for himself, they are all of a Price; that is to say, of no Value. You will not find Heliogabalus’s Lottery, a hundred Horses for one, and as many Flies for another. Here are four little Books, two Dials, a Lamp, and a Pen–Case: These I suppose will be more agreeable to you than Balsams, Dentrifices, or Looking–Glasses.
They are all so good, that it is a hard Matter to chuse; but do you distribute them according to your own Mind, and they’ll come the welcomer where they fall.
This little Book contains Solomon’s Proverbs in Parchment, it teaches Wisdom, and it is gilded, because Gold is a Symbol of Wisdom. This shall be given to our Edition: current; Page:  grey–headed Timothy; that according to the Doctrine of the Gospel, to him that has Wisdom, Wisdom shall be given and abound.
I will be sure to make it my Study, to stand in less Need of it.
Sophronius, this Dial will suit you very well, whom I know to be so good a Husband of your Time, that you won’t let a Moment of that precious Thing be lost. It came out of the furthest Part of Dalmatia, and that’s all the Commendation I shall give it.
You indeed admonish a Sluggard to be diligent.
You have in this little Book the Gospel written on Vellum; it deserv’d to be set with Diamonds, except that the Heart of a Man were a fitter Repository for it. Lay it up there, Theophilus, that you may be more and more like to your Name.
I will do my Endeavour, that you may not think your Present ill bestow’d.
There are St. Paul’s Epistles; your constant Companions, Eulalius, are in this Book; you use to have Paul constantly in your Mouth, and he would not be there, if he were not in your Heart too: And now for the Time to come, you may more conveniently have him in your Hand, and in your Eye. This is a Gift with good Counsel into the Bargain. And there is no Present more precious than good Counsel.
This Lamp is very fit for Chrysoglottus, who is an insatiable Reader; and as M. Tully says, a Glutton of Books.
I give you double Thanks; first, for so choice a Present, and in the next Place, for admonishing a drowsy Person of Vigilance.
Theodidactus must have this Pen–Case, who writes much, and to excellent Purposes; and I dare pronounce these Pens to be happy, by which the Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ shall be celebrated, and that by such an Artist.
I would you could as well have supply’d me with Abilities, as you have with Instruments.
This contains some of the choicest of Plutarch’s Books of Morals, and very fairly written by one very well skill’d in the Greek; I find in them so much Purity of Thought, that it is my Amazement, how such evangelical Notions should come into the Heart of a Heathen. This I will present to young Uranius, that is a Lover of the Greek Language. Here is one Dial left, and that falls to our Nephalius, as a thrifty Dispenser of his Time.
We give you Thanks, not only for your Presents, but your Compliments too. For this is not so much a making of Presents, as Panegyricks.
I give you double Thanks, Gentlemen: First for taking these small Matters in so good Part; and secondly, for the Comfort I have receiv’d by your learned and pious Discourses. What Effect my Entertainment may have upon you I know not; but this I am sure of, you’ll leave me wiser and better for it. I know you take no Pleasure in Fiddles or Fools, and much less in Dice: Wherefore, if you please, we will pass away an Hour in seeing the rest of the Curiosities of my little Palace.
That’s the very Thing we were about to desire of you.
There is no Need of entreating a Man of his Word. I believe you have seen enough of this Summer Hall. It looks three Ways, you see; and which Way soever you turn your Eye, you have a most delicate Green before you. If we please, we can keep out the Air or Rain, by putting down the Sashes, if either of them be troublesome; and if the Sun is incommodious, we have thick folding Shutters on the out–Side, and thin ones within, to prevent that. When I dine here, I seem to dine in my Garden, not in my House, for the very Walls have their Greens and their Flowers intermix’d; and ’tis no ill Painting neither. Here’s our Saviour celebrating his last Supper with his elect Disciples. Here’s Herod a keeping his Birth–Day with a bloody Banquet. Here’s Dives, mention’d in the Gospel, in the Height of his Luxury, by and by sinking into Hell. And here is Lazarus, driven away from his Doors, by and by to be receiv’d into Abraham’s Bosom.
We don’t very well know this Story.
It is Cleopatra contending with Anthony, which should be most luxurious; she has drunk down the first Pearl, and now reaches forth her Hand for the other. Here is the Battel of the Centaurs; and here Alexander the Great thrusts his Launce through the Body of Clytus. These Examples preach Sobriety to us at Table, and deter a Man from Gluttony and Excess. Now let us go into my Library, it is not furnish’d with very many Books, but those I have, are very good ones.
This Place carries a Sort of Divinity in it, every Thing is so shining.
You have now before you my chiefest Treasure: You see nothing at the Table but Glass and Tin, and I have in my whole House but one Piece of Plate, and that is a gilt Cup, which I preserve very carefully for the Sake of him that gave it me. This hanging Globe gives you a Prospect of the whole World. And here upon the Wall, are the several Regions of it describ’d more at large. Upon those other Walls, you have the Pictures of the most eminent Authors: There would be no End of Painting them all. In the first Place, here is Christ sitting on the Mount, and stretching forth his Hand over his Head; the Father sends a Voice, saying, Hear ye him: the Holy Ghost, with outstretch’d Wings, and in a Glory, embracing him.
As God shall bless me, a Piece of Work worthy of Apelles.
Adjoining to the Library, there is a little Study, but a very neat one; and ’tis but removing a Picture, and there is a Chimney behind it, if the Cold be troublesome. In Summer–Time it passes for solid Wall.
Every Thing here looks like Jewels; and here’s a wonderful pretty Scent.
Above all Things, I love to have my House neat and sweet, and both these may be with little Cost. My Library has a little Gallery that looks into the Garden, and there is a Chapel adjoining to it.
The Place itself deserves a Deity.
Let us go now to those three Walks above the other that you have seen, that look into the Kitchen Garden. These upper Walks have a Prospect into both Gardens; but only by Windows with Shutters; especially, in the Walls that have no Prospect into the inner Garden, and that’s for the Safety of the House. Here upon the Left–Hand, because there is more Light, and fewer Windows, is painted the whole Life of Jesus, out of the History of the four Evangelists, as far as to the Mission of the Holy Ghost, and the first Preaching of the Apostles out of the Acts; and there are Notes upon the Places, that the Spectator may see near what Lake, or upon what Mountain such or such a Thing was done. There are also Titles to every Story, with an Abstract of the Contents, as that of our Saviour, I will, Be thou clean. Over against it you have the Types and Prophecies of the Old Testament; especially, out of the Prophets and Psalms, which are little else but the Life of Christ and Apostles related another Way. Here I sometimes walk, discoursing with myself, and meditating upon the unspeakable Counsel of God, in giving his Son for the Redemption of Mankind. Sometimes my Wife bears me Company, or sometimes a Friend that takes Delight in pious Things.
Who could be tired with this House?
No Body that has learn’d to live by himself. Upon the upper Border (as though not fit to be among the rest) are all the Popes Heads with their Titles, and over against them the Heads of the Cæsars, for the better taking in the Order of History. At each Corner, there is a Lodging Room, where I can repose myself, and have a Prospect of my Orchard, and my little Birds. Here, in the farthest Nook of the Meadow, is a little Banquetting House; there I sup sometimes in Summer, and I make Use of it, as an Infirmary, if any of my Family be taken ill, with any infectious Disease.
Some People are of Opinion, that those Diseases are not to be avoided.
Why then do Men shun a Pit or Poison? Or do Edition: current; Page:  : 201p. 201 they fear this the less, because they don’t see it? No more is the Poison seen, that a Basilisk darts from his Eyes. When Necessity calls for it, I would not stick to venture my Life: But to do it without any Necessity, is Rashness. There are some other Things worth your seeing; but my Wife shall shew you them: Stay here this three Days if you please, and make my House your Home; entertain your Eyes and your Minds, I have a little Business abroad: I must ride out to some of the Neighbouring Towns.
What, a Money Business?
I would not leave such Friends for the Sake of receiving a little Money.
Perhaps you have appointed a hunting Match.
It is a Kind of Hunting indeed, but it is something else I hunt, than either Boars or Stags.
What is it then?
I’ll tell you: I have a Friend in one Town lies dangerously ill; the Physician fears his Life, but I am afraid of his Soul: For I don’t think he’s so well prepar’d for his End as a Christian should be: I’ll go and give him some pious Admonitions that he may be the better for, whether he lives or dies. In another Town there are two Men bitterly at odds, they are no ill Men neither, but Men of a very obstinate Temper. If the Matter should rise to a greater Height, I am afraid it would be of ill Consequence to more than themselves: I will do all I can in the World, to reconcile them; they are both my Kinsmen. This is my hunting Match, and if I shall have good Success in it, we’ll drink their Healths.
A very pious Hunting, indeed; we pray heartily, that not Delia but Christ would give you good Success.
I had rather obtain this Prey, than have two thousand Ducats left me for a Legacy.
Will you come back quickly?
Not till I have try’d every Thing; therefore, I can’t set a Time. In the mean Time, be as free with any Thing of mine, as though it were your own, and enjoy yourselves.
God be with you, forward and backward.
: 202p. 202Canonizing, or entring the incomparable Man, John Reuclin, into the Number of the Saints, teaches how much Honour is due to famous Men, who have by their Industry improv’d the liberal Sciences.
None that has liv’d Well, dies Ill.
Where have you been, with your Spatter–Lashes? Br. At Tubinga.
Is there no News there?
I can’t but admire, that the World should run so strangely a gadding after News. I heard a Camel preach at Lovain, that we should have nothing to do with any Thing that is new.
Indeed, it is a Conceit fit for a Camel. That Man, (if he be a Man,) ought never to change his old Shoes, or his Shirt, and always to feed upon stale Eggs, and drink nothing but sour Wine.
But for all this, you must know, the good Man does not love old Things so well, but that he had rather have his Porridge fresh than stale.
No more of the Camel; but prithee tell me, what News have you?
Nay, I have News in my Budget too; but News which he says is naught.
But that which is new, will be old in Time. Now if all old Things be good, and all new Things be bad, then it Edition: current; Page:  follows of Consequence, that that which is good at present, has been bad heretofore, and that which is now bad, will in Time come to be good.
According to the Doctrine of the Camel, it must be so; and therefore, hence it follows, that he that was a young wicked Fool in Time past, because he was new, will come to be a good One, because he is grown old.
But prithee, let’s have the News, be it what it will.
The famous triple–tongu’d Phœnix of Learning, John Reuclin, is departed this Life.
Nay, it is too certain.
Why, pray, what Harm is that, for a Man to leave an immortal Memory of a good Name and Reputation behind him, and to pass out of this miserable World, into the Society of the Blessed?
How do you know that to be the Case?
It is plain, for he can’t die otherwise, who has liv’d as he did.
You would say so, indeed, if you knew what I know.
What’s that, I pray?
No, no, I must not tell you.
Because he that entrusted me with the Secret, made me promise Silence.
Do you entrust me with it upon the same Condition, and, upon my honest Word, I’ll keep Counsel.
That honest Word has often deceived me; but however, I’ll venture; especially, it being a Matter of that Kind, that it is fit all honest Men should know it. There is at Tubinge, a certain Franciscan, a Man accounted of singular Holiness in every Bodies Opinion but his own.
That you mention, is the greatest Argument in the World of true Piety.
If I should tell you his Name, you’d say as much, for you know the Man.
What if I shall guess at him?
Do, if you will.
Hold your Ear then.
What needs that, when here’s no Body within Hearing?
But however, for Fashion Sake.
’Tis the very same.
He is a Man of undoubted Credit. If he says a Thing, it is to me, as true as the Gospel.
Mind me then, and I’ll give you the naked Truth of the Story. My Friend Reuclin was sick, indeed very dangerously; but yet, there was some Hopes of his Recovery; he was a Man worthy never to grow old, be sick, or die. One Morning I went to visit my Franciscan, that he might ease my Mind of my Trouble by his Discourse. For when my Friend was sick, I was sick too, for I lov’d him as my own Father.
Phoo! There’s no Body but lov’d him, except he were a very bad Man indeed.
My Franciscan says to me, Brassicanus, leave off grieving, our Reuclin is well. What, said I, Is he well all on a sudden then? For but two Days ago, the Doctors gave but little Hopes of him. Then, says he, he is so well recover’d, that he will never be sick again. Don’t weep, says he, (for he saw the Tears standing in my Eyes) before you have heard the Matter out. I have not indeed seen the Man this six Days, but I pray for him constantly every Day that goes over my Head. This Morning after Mattins, I laid myself upon my Couch, and fell into a gentle pleasant Slumber.
My Mind presages some joyful Thing.
You have no bad Guess with you. Methought, says he, I was standing by a little Bridge, that leads into a wonderful pleasant Meadow; the emerald Verdure of the Grass and Leaves affording such a charming Prospect; the infinite Beauty, and Variety of the Flowers, like little Stars, were so delightful, and every Thing so fragrant, that all the Fields on this Side the River, by which that blessed Field Edition: current; Page:  : 205p. 205 was divided from the rest, seem’d neither to grow, nor to be green; but look’d dead, blasted, and withered. And in the Interim, while I was wholly taken up with the Prospect, Reuclin, as good Luck would have it, came by; and as he past by, gave me his Blessing in Hebrew. He was gotten half Way over the Bridge before I perceived him, and as I was about to run to him, he look’d back, and bid me keep off. You must not come yet, says he, but five Years hence, you shall follow me. In the mean Time, do you stand by a Spectator, and a Witness of what is done. Here I put in a Word, says I, was Reuclin naked, or had he Cloaths on; was he alone, or had he Company? He had, says he, but one Garment, and that was a very white one; you would have said, it had been a Damask, of a wonderful shining White, and a very pretty Boy with Wings followed him, which I took to be his good Genius.
But had he no evil Genius with him?
Yes, the Franciscan told me he thought he had. For there followed him a great Way off, some Birds, that were all over Black, except, that when they spread their Wings, they seem’d to have Feathers, of a Mixture of White and Carnation. He said, that by their Colour and Cry, one might have taken them for Magpies, but that they were sixteen Times as big; about the size of Vultures, having Combs upon their Heads, with crooked Beaks and Gorbellies. If there had been but three of them, one would have taken them for Harpyes.
And what did these Devils attempt to do?
They kept at a Distance, chattering and squalling at the Hero Reuclin, and were ready to set upon him, if they durst.
What hindred them?
Turning upon them, and making the Sign of the Cross with his Hand at them, he said, Be gone, ye cursed Fiends to a Place that’s fitter for you. You have Work enough to do among Mortals, your Madness has no Power over me, that am now lifted in the Roll of Immortality. The Edition: current; Page:  : 206p. 206 Words were no sooner out of his Mouth, says the Franciscan, but these filthy Birds took their Flight, but left such a Stink behind them, that a House of Office would have seem’d Oyl of sweet Marjoram, or Ointment of Spikenard to it. He swore, he had rather go to Hell, than snuff up such a Perfume again.
A Curse upon these Pests.
But, hear what the Franciscan told me besides: While I was intent upon these Things, says he, St. Jerome was come close to the Bridge, and saluted Reuclin in these Words, God save thee, my most holy Companion, I am ordered to conduct thee to the Mansions of the blessed Souls above, which the divine Bounty has appointed thee as a Reward for thy most pious Labours. With that he took out a Garment, and put it upon Reuclin. Then, said I, tell me in what Habit or Form St. Jerome appear’d, was he so old as they paint him? Did he wear a Cowl or a Hat, or the Garb of a Cardinal? Or had he a Lion by his Side? Nothing of all these, said he; but his Person was comely, which made his Age appear such as carried in it much Comeliness, but no Deformity. What Need had he to have a Lion by his Side, as he is commonly painted? His Gown came down to his Heels, as transparent as Crystal, and of the same Fashion of that he gave to Reuclin. It was all over painted with Tongues of three several Colours; some imitated Rubies, some Emeralds, and others Sapphires; and beside the Clearness of it, the Order set it off very much.
An Intimation, I suppose, of the three Tongues that he profess’d.
Without doubt: For he said, that upon the very Borders of the Garments were the Characters of these three Languages inscrib’d in their different Colours.
Had Jerome no Company with him?
No Company, do you say? The whole Field swarm’d with Myriads of Angels, that fill’d the Air as thick, as those little Corpuscles they call Atoms, fly in the Sun Beams; pardon the Meanness of the Comparison. If they had not Edition: current; Page:  been as transparent as Glass, there would have been no Heaven nor Earth to have been seen.
O brave, I am glad with all my Heart, for Reuclin’s Sake; but what follow’d?
Jerome, (says he) for Honour’s Sake, giving Reuclin the Right–Hand, and embracing him, conducts him into the Meadow, and up a Hill that was in the middle of it, where they kiss’d and embrac’d one another again: In the mean Time, the Heavens open’d over their Heads to a prodigious Wideness, and there appear’d a Glory so unutterable, as made every Thing else, that pass’d for wonderful before, to look mean and sordid.
Can’t you give us some Representation of it?
No, how should I, that did not see it? He who did see it, says, that he was not able to express the very Dream of it. He said, he would die a thousand Deaths to see it over again, if it were but for one Moment.
Out of this Overture of the Heavens, there was let down a great Pillar of Fire that was transparent, and of a very pleasant Form: By this the two holy Souls were carried into Heaven, in one anothers Embraces; a Choir of Angels all the While accompanying them, with so charming a Melody, that the Franciscan says, he is never able to think of the Delight of it without weeping. And after this there follow’d a wonderful fragrant Smell. When he waked out of his Dream, if you will call it a Dream, he was just like a mad Man. He would not believe he was in his Cell; he called for his Bridge and his Meadow; he could not speak or think of any Thing else but them. The Seniors of the Convent, when they found the Story to be no Fable, for it is certain that Reuclin dy’d at the very Instant that the holy Man had this Vision, they unanimously gave Thanks to God, that abundantly rewards good Men for their good Deeds.
What have we to do, but to set down this holy Man’s Name in the Calendar of Saints?
I should have done that if the Franciscan had seen nothing at all of this, and in Gold Letters too, I’ll assure you, next to St. Jerome himself.
And let me die if I don’t put him down in my Book so too.
And besides that, I’ll set him in Gold in my little Chapel, among the choicest of my Saints.
And if I had a Fortune to my Mind, I’d have him in Diamonds.
He shall stand in my Library, the very next to St. Jerome.
And I’ll have him in mine too.
If they were grateful, every one who loves Learning and Languages, especially, the holy Tongues, would do so too.
Truly it is no more than he deserves. But han’t you some Scruple upon your Mind, in as much as he is not yet canoniz’d by the Authority of the Bishop of Rome?
Why, pray, who canoniz’d (for that’s the Word) St. Jerome? Who canoniz’d St. Paul, or the Virgin Mary? Pray tell me whose Memory is most sacred among all good Men? Those that by their eminent Piety, and the Monuments of their Learning and good Life, have entitled themselves to the Veneration of all Men; or Catherine of Sien, that was sainted by Pius the Second, in favour of the Order and the City?
You say true: That’s the right Worship, that by the Will of Heaven, is paid to the Merits of the Dead, whose Benefits are always sensibly felt.
And can you then deplore the Death of this Man? If long Life be a Blessing, he enjoyed it. He has left behind him immortal Monuments of his Vertue, and by his good Works, consecrated his Name to Immortality. He is now in Heaven, out of the Reach of Misfortunes, conversing with St. Jerome himself.
But he suffer’d a great Deal tho’ in his Life.
But yet St. Jerome suffered more. It is a Blessing to be persecuted by wicked Men for being good.
I confess so, and St. Jerome suffer’d many unworthy Things from the worst of Men, for the best of Deeds.
That which Satan did formerly by the Scribes and Pharisees against the Lord Jesus, he continues still to do by pharisaical Men, against good Men, who have deserved well from the World by their Studies. He now reaps the blessed Harvest of the Seed he has been sowing. In the mean Time, it will be our Duty, to preserve his Memory sacred; to honour his Name, and to address him often in some such Manner as follows. O holy Soul, be thou propitious to Languages, and to those that cultivate them: Favour the holy Tongues, and destroy evil Tongues that are infected with the Poison of Hell.
I’ll do’t myself, and earnestly persuade all my Friends to do it. I make no Question but there will be those that will desire to have some little Form of Prayer, according to Custom, to celebrate the Memory of this most holy Hero.
Do you mean that which they call a Collect?
I have one ready, that I provided before his Death.
I pray let’s hear it.
O God, that art the Lover of Mankind, that hast by thy chosen Servant John Reuclin, renew’d to Mankind the Gift of Tongues, by which thy holy Spirit from above, did formerly furnish thy Apostles for their Preaching the Gospel; grant that all thy People may every where, in all Languages, preach the Glory of thy Son Jesus Christ, to the confounding of the Tongues of false Apostles; who being in a Confederacy to uphold the impious Tower of Babel, endeavour to obscure thy Glory, and to advance their own, when to thee alone, together with thy only Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and the holy Spirit, is due all Glory to eternal Ages. Amen.
A most elegant and holy Prayer. As I live, it shall be mine daily. And I account this a happy Opportunity, that has brought me to the Knowledge of so joyful a Story.
Mayst thou long enjoy that Comfort, and so farewell.
Fare you well too.
I will fare well, but not be a Cook.
This Colloquy presents you with a very chaste Wooing, mingling many philosophical Notions with pleasant Jokes. Of not being hasty in marrying; of chusing, not only for the Sake of the outward Person, but the inward Endowments of the Mind; of the Firmness of Wedlock; of not contracting Matrimony without the Consent of Parents; of living chastly in Matrimony; of bringing up Children piously; that the Soul is not where it animates, but where it loves. The Description of a deformed Man. That Wedlock is to be preferr’d before a single Life, and is not, as it is vulgarly called, a Halter. That we must not consult our Affections so much as Reason.
Good Morrow, Madam, cruel, hard Heart, inflexible.
Good Morrow to you too, Mr. Pamphilus, as often, and as much, and by what Names you please: But you seem to have forgotten my Name, ’tis Mary.
It should rather have been Martia.
Why so, pray, what is Mars to me?
Because just as Mars makes a Sport of killing Men, so do you; saving that you do it the more cruelly of the two, because you kill one that loves you.
Say you so! pray where’s the great Slaughter of Men that I have made? Where’s the Blood of the Slain?
You may see one dead Corpse before your Face, if you look upon me.
What strange Story is this? Does a dead Man talk and walk? I wish I may never meet with more frightful Ghosts than you are.
Ay, indeed, you make a Jest of it; but for all that, you kill poor me, and more cruelly too, than if you stuck a Dagger in my Breast. For now I, poor Wretch as I am, die a lingering Death.
Prithee tell me, how many Women with Child have miscarried at the Sight of thee?
My Paleness shews I have no more Blood in my Body than a Ghost.
Indeed you are as pale as a Violet; You are as pale as a ripe Cherry, or purple Grape.
You coquet it with my Misery.
If you can’t believe me, look in the Glass.
I would never desire a better Glass, nor do I believe there is a better in the World than I am a looking in already.
What Looking–Glass do you mean?
You Banterer! that’s like you. But how do you prove yourself to be dead? Do dead Folks eat?
Yes, they do; but Things that have no Relish, as I do.
What do they feed upon?
Mallows, Leeks, and Lupines.
But you feed upon Capons and Partridges.
If I do, I relish them no more than Beets without Pepper or Vinegar.
Poor Creature! but yet you’re in pretty good Case, for all that. And do dead Folks talk too?
Just as I do, with a weak Voice.
But when I heard you rallying your Rival a little While ago, your Voice was not very low then. But, prithee, do Ghosts walk, wear Cloaths, and sleep?
Yes, and enjoy one another too, after their Manner.
Thou art a merry Fellow.
But what will you say, if I prove it by undeniable Arguments, that I am dead, and that you have kill’d me too.
God forbid, Pamphilus; but let’s hear your Arguments, however.
In the first Place, I think you will grant me this, that Death is only a Separation of Soul and Body.
I grant it.
But you must grant it so as not to eat your Words.
No, I will not.
You will not deny, I suppose, that the Person that takes away another’s Life, is a Murtherer.
I grant that too.
I suppose you will grant that which has been allow’d by the greatest Men of many Ages, that the Soul of a Man is not really where it animates, but where it loves.
Make that a little plainer, I can’t well understand it then.
You might as well bid me make an Adamant sensible of it.
I am a Maid, not a Stone.
’Tis true, but harder than an Adamant Stone.
Go on with your Inferences.
Those that are in a Trance, do neither hear, nor see, nor smell, nor feel, if you kill them outright.
Indeed I have heard so.
What do you think is the Reason?
Do you, Philosopher, tell that.
Because their Mind is in Heaven, where it enjoys what it dearly loves; and therefore is absent from the Body.
Well, what then?
What then, hard–hearted Creature? Then it follows, that I am dead, and you have killed me.
Where is your Soul then?
Where it loves.
Who took this Soul of yours away? What do you Sigh for? Tell me freely: There’s no Hurt in it.
A cruel Maid, that I could not be angry with if she kill’d me outright.
You’re very good–humour’d; but why don’t you take her Soul from her too, and pay her in her own Coin, according to the old Proverb.
I should be the happiest Man in the World, if I could make that Exchange, that her Heart would pass as wholly into my Breast, as mine has into hers.
But may I play the Sophister with you now?
Can one and the same Body be both alive and dead?
Not at the same Time.
Is the Body dead, when the Soul is out of it?
Nor does it animate it, but when it is in it?
No, it does not.
How comes it to pass then, that when it is there where it loves, it yet animates the Body it is gone out of? And if it animates when it loves any where, how is that called a dead Body which it animates?
Indeed, you argue very cunningly, but you shan’t catch me there. That Soul, which after some Sort governs the Body of the Lover, is but improperly call’d a Soul, when it is but some small Remains of the Soul; just as the Smell of a Rose remains in the Hand, when the Rose is gone.
I see it is a hard Matter to catch a Fox in a Trap. But answer me this Question, does not the Person that kills, act?
And does not he suffer who is kill’d?
And how comes it about then, that when he that loves, acts, and she that is lov’d, suffers, she that is lov’d should be said to kill, when he that loves, rather kills himself?
Nay, on the Contrary, ’tis he that loves that suffers, and she is lov’d, that acts.
You will never prove that by all your Grammar.
Well, I’ll prove it by Logic then.
But do so much as answer me this one Question, do you love voluntarily, or against your Will?
Then since a Person is at Liberty, whether he will love or no; he that does love, is guilty of Felo de se, and accuses a Maid wrongfully.
A Maid does not kill in being lov’d, but in not loving again. He is guilty of killing, that can save and don’t save.
What if a young Man should fall into an unlawful Love, as suppose with another Man’s Wife, or a Vestal Virgin? Must she love him again, to save the Lover?
But the young Man, meaning myself, loves one whom he ought to love, and by Right and good Reason, and yet am murthered. If Murther be a light Matter, I could indict you for Witchcraft too.
God forbid, do you make a Circe of me?
You are more barbarous than Circe herself, I had rather be a Hog or a Bear, than as I now am, half dead.
By what Sort of Enchantments do I kill Men?
By the Witchcraft of your Eyes.
Would you have me take my noxious Eyes off of you then.
No, by no Means, rather look more upon me.
If my Eyes are so infectious, how comes it about they don’t throw others I look upon into a Consumption too? I therefore rather believe the Infection is in your own Eyes than mine.
Is it not enough for you to kill poor Pamphilus, but you must insult him too.
O pretty dead Creature! but when must I come to your Funeral?
Sooner than you think for, if you don’t relieve me.
Can I perform such a wonderful Cure?
You can raise a dead Man to Life again with the greatest Ease imaginable.
Ay, if I had the Grand–Elixir.
You have no Need of any Medicine, do but love me again. And what’s easier than that? Nay, what’s more just? You can no other Way in the World get clear of the Crime of Murther.
In what Court must I be try’d? In the Court of Chancery?
No, in the Court of Venus.
They say, she is a very merciful Goddess.
Nay, the most severe in the World.
Has she any Thunderbolts?
Has she got a Trident?
Has she got a Spear?
No; but she is the Goddess of the Sea.
But I don’t go to Sea.
But she has a Son.
Youth is not very formidable.
But he is very revengeful and resolute.
What will he do to me?
What will he do? That which I can’t wish to be done to one I wish so well to. God forbid I should.
Tell me what it is, for I an’t afraid to hear it.
Well, I’ll tell you then; if you slight me that love you, and am no Way unworthy of your Love; I shall be much mistaken if he don’t by his Mother’s Order shoot you with a venomous Dart, and make you fall deeply in Love with some sorry Fellow or other, that would not love you again.
That’s a most horrid Punishment indeed. I had rather die a thousand Deaths than to be so bitterly in Love with an ugly Man, and one that won’t love me neither.
But we had a notable Example of this not long since upon a certain Maid.
Where did she live?
How many Years ago was it?
How many Years! not ten Months.
What was her Name? What do you stick at?
Nothing at all. I know her as well as I know you.
Why don’t you tell me her Name then?
Because I am afraid it is ominous. I wish she had been of some other Name. She was your own Namesake.
Who was her Father?
Her Father is alive at this Time, and is a topping Lawyer, and a rich Man.
Tell me his Name.
Is her Mother alive?
No, she died lately.
What did she die of, say you?
Why of Grief, and it had like to have cost her Father his Life too, for all he was a Man of a strong Constitution.
Mayn’t a Body know her Mother’s Name.
Yes, Sophrona, every Body knows her Name. What do you mean by that Question? Do you think I invent a Lye?
Why should I think so of you? Our Sex is most to be suspected for that. But tell me what became of the Maid?
The Maid, as I told you before, came of very honest Parents, had a good Fortune, was very handsome, and in few Words, was a Match for a Prince; a certain Gentleman of an equal Fortune courted her.
What was his Name?
Ah me, I can’t bear the Thoughts of it, his Name was Pamphilus as well as mine. He try’d all the Ways in the World to gain her good Will; but she slighted all his Offers. The young Man pines away with Grief. Presently Edition: current; Page:  : 217p. 217 after she fell deep in Love with one more like an Ape than a Man.
Ay, so wretchedly in Love, that ’tis impossible to relate it.
Such a pretty Maid to fall in Love with such an ugly Fellow?
Ay, with a long–visag’d, scald–headed, bald–pated, hollow–ey’d, snub–nos’d, wide–mouth’d, rotton–tooth’d, stuttering, scabby–bearded, hump–back’d, gor–belly’d, bandy–legg’d Fellow.
You tell me of a mere Thersites.
Nay, they said he had but one Ear, neither.
It may be he had lost the other in the War.
No, he lost it in Peace.
Who dar’d to cut it off?
It may be his Riches made Amends.
Over Head and Ears in Debt. And with this Husband this charming Girl now spends her Days, and is now and then drubb’d into the Bargain.
That is a miserable Story indeed.
But it is a true one. It is a just Retaliation upon her, for slighting the young Gentleman.
I should rather chuse to be thunder–struck than ty’d to endure such a Husband.
Then don’t provoke Justice, but love him that loves you.
Well, if that will do, I do love you again.
Ay, But I would have that Love constant as mine own. I court a Wife, not a Mistress.
I suppose so, but yet we ought to be very deliberate in that which being once done, can never be undone again.
I have been deliberating too long already.
Love is none of the best Advisers; see that he han’t impos’d upon you, for they say he is blind.
But that Love has Eyes in his Head, that proceeds Edition: current; Page:  : 218p. 218 from Judgment; you don’t appear so amiable, only because I love you, but you are really so, and therefore I love you.
But perhaps you don’t know me thoroughly. When once a Shoe is on, then you’ll know where it pinches.
I’ll venture it, but I gather from many Conjectures, that it will be happy for me.
What, are you an Augur then?
Yes, I am.
Pray by what Auguries do you prognosticate all this? What, hath the Night Owl appear’d luckily?
She flies for Fools.
Did you see a pair of Pigeons on your right Hand?
Nothing of all this. But have for some Years been satisfy’d of the Honesty of your Father and Mother; and in the first Place, that’s no bad Sign. Nor am I ignorant how modestly and religiously you have been brought up by them, and it is a greater Advantage to be honestly educated, than honourably born. And then there’s another good Circumstance besides, that as my Parents are none of the worst, so yours and mine have been very intimate for many Years, and you and I have known one another from our very Childhood, as they use to say; and besides all this, our Humours agree very well together. Our Age, Fortunes, Quality, and Parentage are pretty equal. And last of all, that which is the chief Thing in Friendship, your Temper seems to agree very well with mine. There are some Things that may be very good in themselves that may not agree with others. How acceptable my Temper may be to yours, I don’t know. These are the Auguries, my Dear, that make me prognosticate that a Marriage between you and me would be happy, lasting, comfortable and pleasant, unless you shall prevent it by a Denial.
What would you have me say?
I will sing I am thine first, and you shall sing I am thine after me.
That indeed is but a short Song, but it has a long Chorus.
What signifies it how long it is, so it be a merry one.
I have that Respect for you, I would not have you do what you should repent of when done.
Leave off teasing me.
Perhaps I shall not appear so amiable in your Eye, when Age or Sickness have spoil’d my Beauty.
No more, my Dear, shall I myself be always so young and lusty. I don’t only look at that blooming, lovely Body of yours, but it is your Guest within it I am most in Love with.
What Guest do you mean?
This Soul of yours, whose Beauty will grow as Years increase.
In Truth you have a very penetrating Sight, if you can see that through so many Coverings.
It is with the Eyes of my Mind that I see your Mind, and then besides we shall be ever and anon renewing our Age by our Children.
But then I shall lose my Maidenhead.
Right enough; but prithee tell me, if you had a fine Orchard, would you rather chuse never to have nothing but Blossoms on the Trees; or would you rather, that the Blossoms should fall off, and see the Boughs laden with ripe Apples?
Oh, how cunningly you can argue!
Answer me but this one Question, which is the finest Sight, a Vine lying along upon the Ground and rotting, or twining round a Stake or an Elm–Tree, loaden with ripe Grapes of a curious purple Colour?
And pray do you answer me this Question; which is the most pleasant Sight, a Rose fresh and fair upon the Tree, or one gathered and withering in the Hand?
I look upon that the happier Rose that dies in a Man’s Hand; there delighting the Sight and Smell, than that which withers away upon the Bush, for it would die there, if it were let alone. As that Wine has the most Honour done it; that is drank before it grows dead: Though this Edition: current; Page:  is to be said, that the Flower of a Maid does not presently fade, as soon as she is married: Nay, I have seen a great many, that before Marriage look’d pale and languid, and just as if they were dropping into the Ground: but having been in the Embraces of a Husband, they have brightened up, just as if they just then began to bloom.
But for all that, a Maidenhead is accounted a fine Thing.
A young Virgin is indeed a pretty Thing: But what’s more monstrous than an old Maid? If your Mother had not shed that Blossom, we should never have had this fine Flower, yourself. And if we don’t make a barren Match, as I hope we shan’t, there will be never a Maid the less for us.
But they say Chastity is very well pleasing to God.
And for that Reason I would marry a chaste Maid, that I may live chastly with her. The Union of Minds will be more than that of Bodies. We’ll get Subjects for the King, and Servants for Christ, and where will the Unchastity of this Matrimony be? And who can tell but we may live together like Joseph and Mary? And in the mean Time, we’ll learn to be Virgins, we don’t arrive at Perfection all at once.
What do you talk of? Is Virginity to be violated, that it may be learned?
Why not? As by little and little drinking Wine sparingly, we learn to be abstemious. Which do you think is the most temperate Person, he that is sitting at a Table full of Delicacies, and abstains from them, or he who is out of the Reach of those Things that incite Intemperance?
I think he is the most temperate Person, that the greatest Plenty can’t debauch.
Which is the most laudable for Chastity, he that castrates himself, or he that having his Members entire, forbears Venery?
The latter, in my Opinion: I should call the former a Madman.
Don’t they in a Manner castrate themselves, that abjure Matrimony?
I think they do.
Then it is no Virtue to forbear Coition.
Is it not?
I prove it thus; if it were of itself a Virtue not to copulate, it were a Sin to do it: so that it follows of Consequence, it is a Fault not to copulate, and a Virtue to do it.
When does this Case happen?
As often as the Husband requires his due of his Wife; especially if he would embrace her for the Sake of Procreation.
But if it be out of Wantonness? Is it not lawful to deny him?
He may be admonish’d or dissuaded by soft Language to forbear; but if he insists upon it, he ought not to be refus’d. But I hear very few Husbands complain of their Wives upon this Account.
But Liberty is a very sweet Thing.
Virginity is rather a greater Burthen. I will be your King, and you shall be my Queen, and we’ll govern the Family according to our Pleasure: And do you think that a Bondage?
Marriage is called a Halter.
They deserve a Halter that call it so. Pray tell me, is not your Soul and Body bound together?
Yes, I think they are.
Just like a Bird in a Cage; and yet, ask it if it would be freed from it, I believe it will say, no: And what’s the Reason of that? Because it is bound by its own Consent.
But we have neither of us got much of Portion.
We are the safer for that, you shall add to it at Home by good Housewifery, and that is not without good Reason said to be a great Revenue, and I’ll increase it abroad by my Industry.
But Children bring a great many Cares along with them.
And they bring a great many Comforts too, and oftentimes repay their Parents Tenderness with much Interest.
It is a grievous thing to bury one’s Children.
Why, you have none now, have you? What need is there of troubling ourselves with that we don’t know will be or not? Pray, tell me, had you rather not be born at all, or to be born mortal?
Why, indeed, I had rather be born mortal, than not to be born at all.
And so that Destituteness is the most miserable, that never has had Children, nor ever will have; as those are happier that have liv’d, than those that have not, nor ever will.
Who are they that never have been, nor ever shall be born?
Although he that refuses to bear the Chance of Fortune, which all are equally liable to, whether we be Kings or Commoners, must go out of the World; yet, whatsoever shall happen, you shall bear but Half of it, I’ll take the greatest Half upon myself; and if any Thing happen of Felicity, the Pleasure will be double; if any Infelicity, Society will take away one Half of the Uneasiness of it: And as for me, if it should be my Fate, it would be a Pleasure to me, to die in your Embraces.
Men can bear the Misfortunes that happen according to the common Course of Nature better than Women; but I see what a great Deal of Grief Children bring to some Parents by their Manners, more than following them to the Grave.
To prevent that, lies pretty much in our own Power.
Because as to Disposition, good Parents commonly have good Children. For Doves don’t bring Kites: Therefore, we will do our Endeavour to be good ourselves, and then take Care to instruct our Children in Religion and Piety from the very Cradle. It is of great Moment what Edition: current; Page:  is first infused into them; and besides, we will take Care that at Home they may have good Examples of Life to imitate.
That you talk of, is very hard to be done.
It is hard because it is good, and for the same Reason, you are hard to be got; but then we’ll endeavour the more industriously.
You will find me easy to be wrought upon: Do you see that you form and model me.
But only say three Words.
That is a very easy Matter; but Words when they are once out, can’t be called in again. I’ll give you Counsel, that shall be better than that for both of us. Do you treat with both our Parents, that it may be done with their Consent.
You bid me go a great Way about, and you may satisfy me in three Words.
I can’t tell whether I can or no; I an’t at my own Disposal. It was the Custom in old Time to have the Consent of Parents. The Match in my Opinion is like to be the more happy, if we have our Parents Consent to it. It is your Business to Court, it is not handsome for us to do it. We Maids love to be forc’d, though sometimes we love with the strongest Passion.
I shan’t think much to court, if you yourself won’t frustrate my Endeavours.
I promise you, I won’t, my Pamphilus; don’t be discourag’d.
I wish you were not so scrupulous.
Do you first endeavour to know your own Mind thoroughly, and don’t be govern’d by your Passion, but by Reason. The Passion of Love is but temporary; but what proceeds from Reason is lasting.
In Truth, you play the Philosopher very prettily, and therefore I’ll follow your Advice.
You won’t repent of your Condescention. But, hark ye though, here’s one Scruple comes into my Mind, that I can’t well get over.
Have done with Scruples.
Would you have me marry a dead Man?
No, but I shall come to Life again then.
Well, you have removed my Objection. My Pamphilus, farewell.
Do you take Care of that.
I wish you a good Night. Why do you sigh?
A good Night, say you, I wish you would give me what you wish me.
Soft and fair, you are a little too hasty.
Must I not carry nothing of you along with me?
This sweet Ball; it will cheer your Heart.
But give me a Kiss too.
No, I have a Mind to keep my Maidenhead for you entire and untouch’d.
Will a Kiss take any Thing from your Virginity?
Will you give me leave to kiss other Folks?
No, by no Means, I’d have my Kisses kept for myself.
Well, I’ll keep ’em for you: But there is another Reason why I dare not give you a Kiss, as Things are at present.
What is that?
You say your Soul is gone out of your Body into mine, so that there is but very little left. I am afraid that in Kissing, the little that is left in you, should jump out of you into me, and so you should be quite dead. Shake Hands as a Pledge of my Love, and so farewell. Do you see that you manage the Matter vigorously, and I’ll pray to God in the mean Time, that whatsoever be done, may be for both our good.
: 225p. 225A Virgin averse to Matrimony, will needs be a Nun. She is dissuaded from it, and persuaded to moderate her Inclination in that Matter, and to do nothing against her Parents Consent, but rather to marry. That Virginity may be maintain’d in a conjugal Life. The Monks Way of living in Celibacy is rally’d. Children, why so call’d. He abhors those Plagiaries who entice young Men and Maids into Monasteries, as though Salvation was to be had no other Way; whence it comes to pass, that many great Wits are as it were buried alive.
I am glad with all my Heart, that Supper is over at last, that we may have an Opportunity to take a Walk, which is the greatest Diversion in the World.
And I was quite tir’d of sitting so long at Table.
How green and charming does every Thing in the World look! surely this is its Youth.
Ay, so it is.
But why is it not Spring with you too?
What do you mean?
Because you look a little dull.
Why, don’t I look as I use to do?
Shall I show you how you look?
With all my Heart.
Do you see this Rose, how it contracts itself, now towards Night?
Yes, I do see it: And what then?
Why, just so you look.
A very fine Comparison.
If you won’t believe me, see your own Face in this Fountain here. What was the Meaning you sat sighing at Supper so?
Pray don’t ask Questions about that which don’t concern you.
But it does very much concern me, since I can’t be chearful myself, without you be so too. See now, there’s another Sigh, and a deep one too!
There is indeed something that troubles my Mind. But I must not tell it.
What, won’t you tell it me, that love you more dearly than I do my own Sister: My Katy, don’t be afraid to speak; be it what it will you are safe.
If I should be safe enough, yet I’m afraid I shall be never the better in telling my Tale to one that can do me no good.
How do you know that? If I can’t serve you in the Thing itself, perhaps I may in Counsel or Consolation.
I can’t speak it out.
What is the Matter? Do you hate me?
I love you more dearly than my own Brother, and yet for all that my Heart won’t let me divulge it.
Will you tell me, if I guess it? Why do you quibble now? Give me your Word, or I’ll never let you alone till I have it out.
Well then, I do give you my Word.
Upon the whole of the Matter, I can’t imagine what you should want of being compleatly happy.
I would I were so.
You are in the very Flower of your Age: If I’m not mistaken, you are now in your seventeenth Year.
So that in my Opinion the Fear of old Age can’t yet be any Part of your Trouble.
Nothing less, I assure you.
And you are every Way lovely, and that is the singular Gift of God.
Of my Person, such as it is, I neither glory nor complain.
And besides the Habit of your Body and your Complexion bespeak you to be in perfect Health, unless you have some hidden Distemper.
Nothing of that, I thank God.
And besides, your Credit is fair.
I trust it is.
And you are endow’d with a good Understanding suitable to the Perfections of your Body, and such a one as I could wish to myself, in order to my Attainment of the liberal Sciences.
If I have, I thank God for it.
And again, you are of a good agreeable Humour, which is rarely met with in great Beauties, they are not wanting neither.
I wish they were such as they should be.
Some People are uneasy at the Meanness of their Extraction, but your Parents are both of them well descended, and virtuous, of plentiful Fortunes, and very kind to you.
I have nothing to complain of upon that Account.
What Need of many Words? Of all the young Women in the Country you are the Person I would chuse for a Wife, if I were in Condition to pretend to’t.
And I would chuse none but you for a Husband, if I were dispos’d to marry.
It must needs be some extraordinary Matter that troubles your Mind so.
It is no light Matter, you may depend upon it.
You won’t take it ill I hope if I guess at it.
I have promis’d you I won’t.
I know by Experience what a Torment Love is. Come, confess now, is that it? You promis’d to tell me.
There’s Love in the Case, but not that Sort of Love that you imagine.
What Sort of Love is it that you mean?
I have guess’d all the Guesses I can guess; but I’m resolv’d I’ll never let go this Hand till I have gotten it out of you.
How violent you are.
Whatever your Care is, repose it in my Breast.
Since you are so urgent, I will tell you. From my very Infancy I have had a very strong Inclination.
To what, I beseech you?
To put myself into a Cloyster.
What, to be a Nun?
Ho! I find I was out in my Notion; to leave a Shoulder of Mutton for a Sheep’s Head.
What’s that you say, Eubulus?
Nothing, my Dear, I did but cough. But, go on, tell me it out.
This was my Inclination; but my Parents were violently set against it.
I hear ye.
On the other Hand, I strove by Intreaties, fair Words, and Tears, to overcome that pious Aversion of my Parents.
At Length when they saw I persisted in Intreaties, Prayers, and Tears, they promis’d me that if I continu’d in the same Mind till I was seventeen Years of Age, they would leave me to my own Liberty: The Time is now come, I continue still in the same Mind, and they go from their Words. This is that which troubles my Mind. I have told you my Distemper, do you be my Physician, and cure me, if you can.
In the first Place, my sweet Creature, I would advise you to moderate your Affections; and if you can’t do all you would, do all that you can.
It will certainly be the Death of me, if I han’t my Desire.
What was it that gave the first Rise to this fatal Resolution?
Formerly, when I was a little Girl, they carried me into one of those Cloysters of Virgins, carry’d me all about it, and shew’d me the whole College. I was mightily taken with the Virgins, they look’d so charming pretty, just like Angels; the Chapels were so neat, and smelt so sweet, the Gardens look’d so delicately well order’d, that in short which Way soever I turn’d my Eye every Thing seem’d delightful. And then I had the prettiest Discourse with the Nuns. And I found two or three that had been my Play–Fellows when I was a Child, and I have had a strange Passion for that Sort of Life ever since.
I have no Dislike to the Nunneries themselves, though the same Thing can never agree with all Persons: But considering your Genius, as far as I can gather from your Complexion and Manners, I should rather advise you to an agreeable Husband, and set up a College in your own House, of which he should be the Abbot and you the Abbess.
I will rather die than quit my Resolution of Virginity.
Nay, it is indeed an admirable Thing to be a pure Virgin, but you may keep yourself so without running yourself into a Cloyster, from which you never can come out. You may keep your Maidenhead at Home with your Parents.
Yes, I may, but it is not so safe there.
Much safer truly in my Judgment there, than with those brawny, swill–belly’d Monks. They are no Capons, I’ll assure you, whatever you may think of them. They are call’d Fathers, and they commonly make good their Calling to the very Letter. Time was when Maids liv’d no Edition: current; Page:  : 230p. 230 where honester than at home with their Parents, when the only spiritual Father they had was the Bishop. But, prithee, tell me, what Cloyster hast thou made Choice of among ’em all, to be a Slave in?
Oh! I know it, it is a little Way from your Father’s House.
I am very well acquainted with the whole Gang. A sweet Fellowship to renounce Father and Mother, Friends, and a worthy Family for! For the Patriarch himself, what with Age, Wine, and a certain natural Drowsiness, has been mop’d this many a Day, he can’t now relish any Thing but Wine; and he has two Companions, John and Jodocus, that match him to a Hair. And as for John, indeed I can’t say he is an ill Man, for he has nothing at all of a Man about him but his Beard, not a Grain of Learning in him, and not much more common Prudence. And Jodocus he’s so arrant a Sot, that if he were not ty’d up to the Habit of his Order, he would walk the Streets in a Fool’s Cap with Ears and Bells at it.
Truly they seem to me to be very good Men.
But, my Kitty, I know ’em better than you do. They will do good Offices perhaps between you and your Parents, that they may gain a Proselyte.
Jodocus is very civil to me.
A great Favour indeed. But suppose ’em good and learned Men to Day, you’ll find ’em the contrary perhaps to Morrow; and let them be what they will then, you must bear with them.
I am troubled to see so many Entertainments at my Father’s House, and marry’d Folks are so given to talk smutty; I’m put to’t sometimes when Men come to kiss me, and you know one can’t well deny a Kiss.
He that would avoid every Thing that offends him, must go out of the World; we must accustom our Ears to hear every Thing, but let nothing enter the Mind but what Edition: current; Page:  is good. I suppose your Parents allow you a Chamber to yourself.
Yes, they do.
Then you may retire thither, if you find the Company grow troublesome; and while they are drinking and joking, you may entertain yourself with Christ your Spouse, praying, singing, and giving Thanks: Your Father’s House will not defile you, and you will make it the more pure.
But it is a great Deal safer to be in Virgins Company.
I do not disapprove of a chaste Society: Yet I would not have you delude yourself with false Imaginations. When once you come to be throughly acquainted there, and see Things nearer Hand, perhaps Things won’t look with so good a Face as they did once. They are not all Virgins that wear Vails; believe me.
Good Words, I beseech you.
Those are good Words that are true Words. I never read of but one Virgin that was a Mother, i. e. the Virgin Mary, unless the Eulogy we appropriate to the Virgin be transferr’d to a great many to be call’d Virgins after Child–bearing.
I abhor the Thoughts on’t.
Nay, and more than that, those Maids, I’ll assure you, do more than becomes Maids to do.
Ay! why so, pray?
Because there are more among ’em that imitate Sappho in Manners, than are like her in Wit.
I don’t very well understand you.
My dear Kitty, I therefore speak in Cypher that you may not understand me.
But my Mind runs strangely upon this Course of Life, and I have a strong Opinion that this Disposition comes from God, because it hath continu’d with me so many Years, and grows every Day stronger and stronger.
Your good Parents being so violently set against it, makes me suspect it. If what you attempt were good, God would have inclined your Parents to favour the Motion. Edition: current; Page:  : 232p. 232 But you have contracted this Affection from the gay Things you saw when you were a Child; the Tittle–tattles of the Nuns, and the Hankering you have after your old Companions, the external Pomp and specious Ceremonies, and the Importunities of the senseless Monks which hunt you to make a Proselyte of you, that they may tipple more largely. They know your Father to be liberal and bountiful, and they’ll either give him an Invitation to them, because they know he’ll bring Wine enough with him to serve for ten lusty Soaks, or else they’ll come to him. Therefore let me advise you to do nothing without your Parents Consent, whom God has appointed your Guardians. God would have inspired their Minds too, if the Thing you were attempting were a religious Matter.
In this Matter it is Piety to contemn Father and Mother.
It is, I grant, sometimes a Piece of Piety to contemn Father or Mother for the Sake of Christ; but for all that, he would not act piously, that being a Christian, and had a Pagan to his Father, who had nothing but his Son’s Charity to support him, should forsake him, and leave him to starve. If you had not to this Day profess’d Christ by Baptism, and your Parents should forbid you to be baptis’d, you would indeed then do piously to prefer Christ before your impious Parents; or if your Parents should offer to force you to do some impious, scandalous Thing, their Authority in that Case were to be contemned. But what is this to the Case of a Nunnery? You have Christ at home. You have the Dictates of Nature, the Approbation of Heaven, the Exhortation of St. Paul, and the Obligation of human Laws, for your Obedience to Parents; and will you now withdraw yourself from under the Authority of good and natural Parents, to give yourself up a Slave to a fictitious Father, rather than to your real Father, and a strange Mother instead of your true Mother, and to severe Masters and Mistresses rather than Parents? For you are so under your Parents Direction, that they would have you be at Liberty Edition: current; Page:  : 233p. 233 wholly. And therefore Sons and Daughters are call’d [liberi] Children, because they are free from the Condition of Servants. You are now of a free Woman about to make yourself voluntarily a Slave. The Clemency of the Christian Religion has in a great Measure cast out of the World the old Bondage, saving only some obscure Foot–Steps in some few Places. But there is now a Days found out under pretence of Religion a new Sort of Servitude, as they now live indeed in many Monasteries. You must do nothing there but by a Rule, and then all that you lose they get. If you offer to step but one Step out of the Door, you’re lugg’d back again just like a Criminal that had poison’d her Father. And to make the Slavery yet the more evident, they change the Habit your Parents gave you, and after the Manner of those Slaves in old Time, bought and sold in the Market, they change the very Name that was given you in Baptism, and Peter or John are call’d Francis, or Dominic, or Thomas. Peter first gives his Name up to Christ, and being to be enter’d into Dominic’s Order, he’s called Thomas. If a military Servant casts off the Garment his Master gave him, is he not look’d upon to have renounc’d his Master? And do we applaud him that takes upon him a Habit that Christ the Master of us all never gave him? He is punish’d more severely for the changing it again, than if he had a hundred Times thrown away the Livery of his Lord and Emperor, which is the Innocency of his Mind.
But they say, it is a meritorious Work to enter into this voluntary Confinement.
That is a pharisaical Doctrine. St. Paul teacheth us otherwise, and will not have him that is called free, make himself a Servant, but rather endeavour that he may be more free: And this makes the Servitude the worse, that you must serve many Masters, and those most commonly Fools too, and Debauchees; and besides that, they are uncertain, being every now and then new. But answer me this one Thing, I beseech you, do any Laws discharge you from your Duty to your Parents?
Can you buy or sell an Estate against your Parents Consent?
No, I can’t.
What Right have you then to give away yourself to I know not whom, against your Parents Consent? Are you not their Child, the dearest and most appropriate Part of their Possession?
In the Business of Religion, the Laws of Nature give Place.
The great Point of our Religion lies in our Baptism: But the Matter in Question here is, only the changing of a Habit, or of such a Course of Life, which in itself is neither Good nor Evil. And now consider but this one Thing, how many valuable Privileges you lose, together with your Liberty. Now, if you have a Mind to read, pray, or sing, you may go into your own Chamber, as much and as often as you please. When you have enough of Retirement, you may go to Church, hear Anthems, Prayers and Sermons; and if you see any Matron or Virgin remarkable for Piety, in whose Company you may get good; if you see any Man that is endow’d with singular Probity, from whom you may learn what will make for your bettering, you may have their Conversation; and you may chuse that Preacher that preaches Christ most purely. When once you come into a Cloyster, all these Things, that are the greatest Assistances in the Promotion of true Piety, you lose at once.
But in the mean Time I shall not be a Nun.
What signifies the Name? Consider the Thing itself. They make their boast of Obedience, and won’t you be praise–worthy, in being obedient to your Parents, your Bishop and your Pastor, whom God has commanded you to obey? Do you profess Poverty? And may not you too, when all is in your Parents Hands? Although the Virgins of former Times were in an especial Manner commended by holy Men, for their Liberality towards the Poor; but they could never have given any Thing, if they had possessed Edition: current; Page:  nothing. Nor will your Charity be ever the less for living with your Parents. And what is there more in a Convent than these? A Vail, a Linnen–Shift turned into a Stole, and certain Ceremonies, which of themselves signify nothing to the Advancement of Piety, and make no Body more acceptable in the Eyes of Christ, who only regards the Purity of the Mind.
This is News to me.
But it is true News. When you, not being discharg’d from the Government of your Parents, can’t dispose of, or sell so much as a Rag, or an Inch of Ground, what Right can you pretend to for disposing of yourself into the Service of a Stranger?
They say, that the Authority of a Parent does not hinder a Child from entering into a religious Life.
Did you not make Profession of Religion in your Baptism?
And are not they religious Persons that conform to the Precepts of Christ?
They are so.
What new Religion is that then, which makes that void, that the Law of Nature had establish’d? What the old Law hath taught, and the Gospel approv’d, and the Apostles confirm’d? That is an Ordinance that never came from Heaven, but was hatch’d by a Company of Monks in their Cells. And after this Manner, some of them undertake to justify a Marriage between a Boy and a Girl, though without the Privity, and against the Consent of their Parents; if the Contract be (as they phrase it) in Words of the present Tense. And yet that Position is neither according to the Dictate of Nature, the Law of Moses, or the Doctrine of Christ or his Apostles.
Do you think then, that I may not espouse myself to Christ without my Parents Consent?
I say, you have espous’d him already, and so we have all. Where is the Woman that marries the same Man Edition: current; Page:  : 236p. 236 twice? The Question is here only about Places, Garments and Ceremonies. I don’t think Duty to Parents is to be abandon’d for the Sake of these Things; and you ought to look to it, that instead of espousing Christ, you don’t espouse some Body else.
But I am told, that in this Case it is a Piece of the highest Sanctity, even to contemn ones Parents.
Pray, require these Doctors to shew you a Text for it, out of the holy Scriptures, that teach this Doctrine; but if they can’t do this, bid them drink off a good large Bumper of Burgundian Wine: That they can do bravely. It is indeed a Piece of Piety to fly from wicked Parents to Christ: But to fly from pious Parents to a Monkery, that is (as it too often proves) to fly from ought to stark naught. What Pity is that I pray? Although in old Time, he that was converted from Paganism to Christianity, paid yet as great a Reverence to his idolatrous Parents, as it was possible to do without prejudice to Religion itself.
Are you then against the main Institution of a monastick Life?
No, by no Means: But as I will not persuade any Body against it, that is already engag’d in this Sort of Life, to endeavour to get out of it, so I would most undoubtedly caution all young Women; especially those of generous Tempers, not to precipitate themselves unadvisedly into that State from whence there is no getting out afterwards: And the rather, because their Chastity is more in Danger in a Cloyster than out of it; and beside that, you may do whatsoever is done there as well at Home.
You have indeed urg’d many, and very considerable Arguments; yet this Affection of mine can’t be removed.
If I can’t dissuade you from it, as I wish heartily I could, however, remember this one Thing, that Eubulus told you before Hand. In the mean Time, out of the Love I bear you, I wish your Inclinations may succeed better than my Counsel.
: 237p. 237A Virgin repenting before she had profess’d herself, goes Home again to her Parents. The crafty Tricks of the Monks are detected, who terrify and frighten unexperienced Minds into their Cloysters, by feign’d Apparitions and Visions.
I could always wish to have such a Porter.
And I to have such Visitors.
But fare you well, Kitty.
What’s the Matter, do you take Leave before you salute?
I did not come hither to see you cry: What’s the Matter, that as soon as ever you see me, the Tears stand in your Eyes?
Why in such Haste? Stay a little; pray stay. I’ll put on my better Looks, and we’ll be merry together.
What Sort of Cattle have we got here?
’Tis the Patriarch of the College: Don’t go away, they have had their Dose of Fuddle: Stay but a little While, and as soon as he is gone, we will discourse as we use to do.
Well, I’ll be so good natur’d as to hearken to you, though you would not to me. Now we are alone, you must tell me the whole Story, I would fain have it from your Mouth.
Now I have found by Experience, of all my Friends, which I took to be very wise Men too, that no Body gave more wise and grave Advice than you, that are the youngest of ’em all.
Tell me, how did you get your Parents Consent at last?
First, by the restless Sollicitations of the Monks and Nuns, and then by my own Importunities and Tears, my Mother was at length brought over; but my Father stood out stiffly still: But at last being ply’d by several Engines, he was prevail’d upon to yield; but yet, rather like one that was forced, than that consented. The Matter was concluded in their Cups, and they preach’d Damnation to him, if he refus’d to let Christ have his Spouse.
O the Villany of Fools! But what then?
I was kept close at Home for three Days; but in the mean Time there were always with me some Women of the College that they call Convertites, mightily encouraging me to persist in my holy Resolution, and watching me narrowly, lest any of my Friends or Kindred should come at me, and make me alter my Mind. In the mean While, my Habit was making ready, and the Provision for the Feast.
How did you find yourself? Did not your Mind misgive you yet?
No, not at all; and yet I was so horridly frighted, that I had rather die ten Times over, than suffer the same again.
What was that, pray?
It is not to be uttered.
Come, tell me freely, you know I’m your Friend.
Will you keep Counsel?
I should do that without promising, and I hope you know me better than to doubt of it.
I had a most dreadful Apparition.
Perhaps it was your evil Genius that push’d you on to this.
I am fully persuaded it was an evil Spirit.
Tell me what Shape it was in. Was it such as we use to paint with a crooked Beak, long Horns, Harpies Claws, and swinging Tail?
You make a Game of it, but I had rather sink into the Earth, than see such another.
And were your Women Sollicitresses with you then?
No, nor I would not so much as open my Lips of it to them, though they sifted me most particularly about it, when they found me almost dead with the Surprise.
Shall I tell you what it was?
Do if you can.
Those Women had certainly bewitch’d you, or conjur’d your Brain out of your Head rather. But did you persist in your Resolution still, for all this?
Yes, for they told me, that many were thus troubled upon their first consecrating themselves to Christ; but if they got the better of the Devil that Bout, he’d let them alone for ever after.
Well, what Pomp were you carried out with?
They put on all my Finery, let down my Hair, and dress’d me just as if it had been for my Wedding.
To a fat Monk, perhaps; Hem! a Mischief take this Cough.
I was carried from my Father’s House to the College by broad Day–Light, and a World of People staring at me.
O these Scaramouches, how they know to wheedle the poor People! How many Days did you continue in that holy College of Virgins, forsooth?
Till Part of the twelfth Day.
But what was it that changed your Mind, that had been so resolutely bent upon it?
I must not tell you what it was, but it was something very considerable. When I had been there six Days, I sent for my Mother; I begged of her, and besought her, as she lov’d my Life, to get me out of the College again. She would not hear on’t, but bad me hold to my Resolution. Upon that I sent for my Father, but he chid me too, telling me, that I had made him master his Affections, and that now he’d make me master mine, and not disgrace him, by starting from my Purpose. At last, when I saw that I could do no good with them this Way, I told my Father and Mother both, that to please them, I would submit to Edition: current; Page:  : 240p. 240 die, and that would certainly be my Fate, if they did not take me out, and that very quickly too; and upon this, they took me Home.
It was very well that you recanted before you had profess’d yourself for good and all: But still, I don’t hear what it was changed your Mind so suddenly.
I never told any Mortal yet, nor shall.
What if I should guess?
I’m sure you can’t guess it; and if you do, I won’t tell you.
Well, for all that, I guess what it was. But in the mean Time, you have been at a great Charge.
Above 400 Crowns.
O these guttling Nuptials! Well, but I am glad though the Money is gone, that you’re safe: For the Time to come, hearken to good Counsel when it is given you.
So I will. The burnt Child dreads the Fire.
: 241p. 241This Colloquy, entitled, The uneasy Wife: Or, Uxor Μεμψίγαμος, treats of many Things that relate to the mutual Nourishment of conjugal Affection. Concerning the concealing a Husband’s Faults; of not interrupting conjugal Benevolence; of making up Differences; of mending a Husband’s Manners; of a Woman’s Condescention to her Husband. What is the Beauty of a Woman; she disgraces herself, that disgraces her Husband; that the Wife ought to submit to the Husband; that the Husband ought not to be out of Humour when the Wife is; and on the Contrary; that they ought to study mutual Concord, since there is no Room for Advice; that they ought to conceal one another’s Faults, and not expose one another; that it is in the Power of the Wife to mend her Husband; that she ought to carry herself engagingly, learn his Humour, what provokes him or appeases him; that all Things be in Order at Home; that he have what he likes best to eat; that if the Husband be vext, the Wife don’t laugh; if he be angry, that she should speak pleasantly to him, or hold her Tongue; that what she blames him for, should be betwixt themselves; the Method of admonishing; that she ought to make her Complaint to no Body but her Husband’s Parents; Edition: current; Page:  : 242p. 242 or to some peculiar Friends that have an Influence upon him. The Example of a prudent Man, excellently managing a young morose Wife, by making his Complaint to her Father. Another of a prudent Wife, that by her good Carriage reformed a Husband that frequented leud Company. Another of a Man that had beaten his Wife in his angry Fit; that Husbands are to be overcome, brought into Temper by Mildness, Sweetness, and Kindness; that there should be no Contention in the Chamber or in the Bed; but that Care should be taken, that nothing but Pleasantness and Engagingness be there. The Girdle of Venus is Agreeableness of Manners. Children make a mutual Amity. That a Woman separated from her Husband, is nothing: Let her always be mindful of the Respect that is due to a Husband.
Most welcome Xantippe, a good Morning to you.
I wish you the same, my dear Eulalia. Methinks you look prettier than you use to do.
What, do you begin to banter me already?
No, upon my Word, for you seem so to me.
Perhaps then my new Cloaths may set me off to Advantage.
You guess right, it is one of the prettiest Suits I ever beheld in all my Life. It is English Cloth, I suppose.
It is indeed of English Wool, but it is a Venetian Dye.
It is as soft as Silk, and ’tis a charming Purple. Who gave you this fine Present?
My Husband. From whom should a virtuous Wife receive Presents but from him?
Well, you are a happy Woman, that you are, to have Edition: current; Page:  : 243p. 243 such a good Husband. For my Part, I wish I had been married to a Mushroom when I was married to my Nick.
Why so, pray? What! is it come to an open Rupture between you already?
There is no Possibility of agreeing with such a one as I have got. You see what a ragged Condition I am in; so he lets me go like a Dowdy! May I never stir, if I an’t asham’d to go out of Doors any whither, when I see how fine other Women are, whose Husbands are nothing nigh so rich as mine is.
The Ornament of a Matron does not consist in fine Cloaths or other Deckings of the Body, as the Apostle Peter teaches, for I heard that lately in a Sermon; but in chaste and modest Behaviour, and the Ornaments of the Mind. Whores are trick’d up to take the Eyes of many, but we are well enough drest, if we do but please our own Husbands.
But mean while this worthy Tool of mine, that is so sparing toward his Wife, lavishly squanders away the Portion I brought along with me, which by the Way was not a mean one.
Why, as the Maggot bites, sometimes at the Tavern, sometimes upon his Whores, sometimes a gaming.
O fie, you should never say so of your Husband.
But I’m sure ’tis too true; and then when he comes Home, after I have been waiting for him till I don’t know what Time at Night, as drunk as David’s Sow, he does nothing but lye snoring all Night long by my Side, and sometimes bespues the Bed too, to say nothing more.
Hold your Tongue: You disgrace yourself in disgracing your Husband.
Let me dye, if I had not rather lye with a Swine than such a Husband as I have got.
Don’t you scold at him then?
Yes, indeed, I use him as he deserves. He finds I have got a Tongue in my Head.
Well, and what does he say to you again?
At first he used to hector at me lustily, thinking to fright me with his big Words.
Well, and did your Words never come to downright Blows?
Once, and but once, and then the Quarrel rose to that Height on both Sides, that we were within an Ace of going to Fisty–Cuffs.
How, Woman! say you so?
He held up his Stick at me, swearing and cursing like a Foot–Soldier, and threatening me dreadfully.
Were not you afraid then?
Nay, I snatch’d up a three legg’d Stool, and if he had but touch’d me with his Finger, he should have known he had to do with a Woman of Spirit.
Ah! my Xantippe, that was not becoming.
What becoming? If he does not use me like a Wife, I won’t use him like a Husband.
But St. Paul teaches, that Wives ought to be subject to their own Husbands with all Reverence. And St. Peter proposes the Example of Sarah to us, who call’d her Husband Abraham Lord.
I have heard those Things, but the same Paul likewise teaches that Men should love their Wives as Christ lov’d his Spouse the Church. Let him remember his Duty and I’ll remember mine.
But nevertheless when Things are come to that Pass that one must submit to the other, it is but reasonable that the Wife submit to her Husband.
Yes indeed, if he deserves the Name of a Husband who uses me like a Kitchen Wench.
But tell me, Xantippe, did he leave off threatening after this?
He did leave off, and it was his Wisdom so to do, or else he would have been thresh’d.
But did not you leave off Scolding at him?
No, nor never will.
But what does he do in the mean Time?
What! Why sometimes he pretends himself to be fast asleep, and sometimes does nothing in the World but laugh at me; sometimes he catches up his Fiddle that has but three Strings, scraping upon it with all his Might, and drowns the Noise of my Bawling.
And does not that vex you to the Heart?
Ay, so that it is impossible to be express’d, so that sometimes I can scarce keep my Hands off of him.
Well, my Xantippe, give me Leave to talk a little freely with you.
I do give you Leave.
Nay, you shall use the same Freedom with me. Our Intimacy, which has been in a Manner from our very Cradles, requires this.
You say true, nor was there any of my Playfellows that I more dearly lov’d than you.
Let your Husband be as bad as bad can be, think upon this, That there is no changing. Heretofore, indeed, Divorce was a Remedy for irreconcilable Disagreements, but now this is entirely taken away: He must be your Husband and you his Wife to the very last Day of Life.
The Gods did very wrong that depriv’d us of this Privilege.
Have a Care what you say. It was the Will of Christ.
I can scarce believe it.
It is as I tell you. Now you have nothing left to do but to study to suit your Tempers and Dispositions one to another, and agree together.
Do you think, I can be able to new–make him?
It does not a little depend upon the Wives, what Men Husbands shall be.
Do you and your Husband agree very well together?
All is quiet with us now.
Well then, you had some Difference at first.
Never any Thing of a Storm; but yet, as it is common Edition: current; Page:  : 246p. 246 with human Kind, sometimes a few small Clouds would rise, which might have produc’d a Storm, if it had not been prevented by Condescention. Every one has his Humours, and every one their Fancies, and if we would honestly speak the Truth, every one his Faults, more or less, which if in any State, certainly in Matrimony we ought to connive at, and not to hate.
You speak very right.
It frequently happens that that mutual Love that ought to be between the Husband and Wife is cooled before they come to be throughly acquainted one with another. This is the first Thing that ought to be provided against; for when a Spirit of Dissention is once sprung up, it is a difficult Matter to bring them to a Reconciliation, especially if it ever proceeded so far as to come to reproachful Reflections. Those Things that are joined together with Glue, are easily pull’d one from another if they be handled roughly as soon as done, but when once they have been fast united together, and the Glue is dry, there is nothing more firm. For this Reason, all the Care possible is to be taken that good Will between Man and Wife be cultivated and confirmed even in the Infancy of Matrimony. This is principally effected by Obsequiousness, and an Agreeableness of Tempers. For that Love that is founded only upon Beauty, is for the most part but short–liv’d.
But prithee tell me by what Arts you brought your Husband to your Humour.
I’ll tell you for this End, that you may copy after me.
Well, I will, if I can.
It will be very easy to do, if you will; nor is it too late yet; for he is in the Flower of his Youth, and you are but a Girl; and as I take it, have not been married this Twelve Months yet.
You are very right.
Then I’ll tell you; but upon Condition, that you’ll not speak of it.
Well, I will not.
It was my first Care that I might please my Husband in every Respect, that nothing might give him Offence. I diligently observed his Inclinations and Temper, and also observed what were his easiest Moments, what Things pleas’d him, and what vex’d him, as they use to do who tame Elephants and Lions, or such Sort of Creatures, that can’t be master’d by downright Strength.
And such an Animal have I at Home.
Those that go near Elephants, wear no Garment that is white; nor those who manage Bulls, red; because it is found by Experience, that these Creatures are made fierce by these Colours, just as Tygers are made so raging mad by the Sound of a Drum, that they will tear their own selves; and Jockies have particular Sounds, and Whistles, and Stroakings, and other Methods to sooth Horses that are mettlesome: How much more does it become us to use these Acts towards our Husbands, with whom, whether we will or no, we must live all our Lives at Bed and Board?
Well, go on with what you have begun.
Having found out his Humour, I accommodated myself to him, taking Care that nothing should offend him.
How could you do that?
I was very diligent in the Care of my Family, which is the peculiar Province of Women, that nothing was neglected, and that every Thing should be suitable to his Temper, altho’ it were in the most minute Things.
Suppose my Husband peculiarly fancied such a Dish of Meat, or liked it dress’d after such a Manner; or if he lik’d his Bed made after such or such a Manner.
But how could you humour one who was never at Home, or was drunk?
Have Patience, I was coming to that Point. If at any Time my Husband seem’d to be melancholy, and did not much care for talking, I did not laugh, and put on a gay Humour, as some Women are us’d to do; but I put on a Edition: current; Page:  : 248p. 248 grave demure Countenance, as well as he. For as a Looking–glass, if it be a true one, represents the Face of the Person that looks into it, so a Wife ought to frame herself to the Temper of her Husband, not to be chearful when he is melancholy, nor be merry when he is in a Passion. And if at any Time he was in a Passion, I either endeavoured to sooth him with fair Words, or held my Tongue till his Passion was over; and having had Time to cool, Opportunity offered, either of clearing myself, or of admonishing him. I took the same Method, if at any Time he came Home fuddled, and at such a Time never gave him any Thing but tender Language, that by kind Expressions, I might get him to go to Bed.
That is indeed a very unhappy Portion for Wives, if they must only humour their Husbands, when they are in a Passion, and doing every Thing that they have a Mind to do.
As tho’ this Duty were not reciprocal, and that our Husbands are not forc’d to bear with many of our Humours: However, there is a Time, when a Wife may take the Freedom in a Matter of some Importance to advise her Husband; but as for small Faults, it is better to wink at them.
But what Time is that?
When his Mind is serene; when he’s neither in a Passion, nor in the Hippo, nor in Liquor; then being in private, you may kindly advise him, but rather intreat him, that he would act more prudently in this or that Matter, relating either to his Estate, Reputation, or Health. And this very Advice is to be season’d with witty Jests and Pleasantries. Sometimes by Way of Preface, I make a Bargain with him before–Hand, that he shall not be angry with me, if being a foolish Woman, I take upon me to advise him in any Thing, that might seem to concern his Honour, Health, or Preservation. When I have said what I had a Mind to say, I break off that Discourse, and turn it into some other more entertaining Subject. For, my Xantippe, this is the Fault of us Women, that when once we have begun, we don’t know when to make an End.
Why, so they say, indeed.
This chiefly I observed as a Rule, never to chide my Husband before Company, nor to carry any Complaints out of Doors. What passes between two People, is more easily made up, than when once it has taken Air. Now if any Thing of that kind shall happen, that cannot be born with, and that the Husband can’t be cur’d by the Admonition of his Wife, it is more prudent for the Wife to carry her Complaints to her Husband’s Parents and Kindred, than to her own; and so to soften her Complaint, that she mayn’t seem to hate her Husband, but her Husband’s Vices: And not to blab out all neither, that her Husband may tacitly own and love his Wife for her Civility.
A Woman must needs be a Philosopher, who can be able to do this.
By this Deportment we invite our Husbands to return the Civility.
But there are some Brutes in the World, whom you cannot amend, by the utmost good Carriage.
In Truth, I don’t think it: But put the Case there are: First, consider this; a Husband must be born with, let him be as bad as he will. It is better therefore to bear with him as he is, or made a little better by our courteous Temper, than by our Outrageousness to make him grow every Day worse and worse. What if I should give Instances of Husbands, who by the like civil Treatment have altered their Spouses much for the better? How much more does it become us to use our Husbands after this Manner?
You will give an Instance then of a Man, that is as unlike my Husband, as black is from white.
I have the Honour to be acquainted with a Gentleman of a noble Family; Learned, and of singular Address and Dexterity; he married a young Lady, a Virgin of seventeen Years of Age, that had been educated all along in the Country in her Father’s House, as Men of Quality love to reside in the Country, for the Sake of Hunting and Edition: current; Page:  Fowling: He had a Mind to have a raw unexperienc’d Maid, that he might the more easily form her Manners to his own Humour. He began to instruct her in Literature and Musick, and to use her by Degrees to repeat the Heads of Sermons, which she heard, and to accomplish her with other Things, which would afterwards be of Use to her. Now these Things being wholly new to the Girl, which had been brought up at Home, to do nothing but gossip and play, she soon grew weary of this Life, she absolutely refus’d to submit to what her Husband requir’d of her; and when her Husband press’d her about it, she would cry continually, sometimes she would throw herself flat on the Ground, and beat her Head against the Ground, as tho’ she wish’d for Death. Her Husband finding there was no End of this, conceal’d his Resentment, gave his Wife an Invitation to go along with him into the Country to his Father–in–Law’s House, for the Sake of a little Diversion. His Wife very readily obey’d him in this Matter. When they came there, the Husband left his Wife with her Mother and Sisters, and went a Hunting with his Father–in–Law; there having taken him aside privately, he tells his Father–in–law, that whereas he was in good Hopes to have had an agreeable Companion of his Daughter, he now had one that was always a crying, and fretting herself; nor could she be cured by any Admonitions, and intreats him to lend a helping Hand to cure his Daughter’s Disorder. His Father–in–Law made him answer, that he had once put his Daughter into his Hand, and if she did not obey him, he might use his Authority, and cudgel her into a due Submission. The Son–in–Law replies, I know my own Power, but I had much rather she should be reform’d by your Art or Authority, than to come to these Extremities. The Father–in–Law promis’d him to take some Care about the Matter: So a Day or two after, he takes a proper Time and Place, when he was alone with his Daughter, and looking austerely upon her, begins in telling her how homely she was, and how disagreeable as to her Disposition, and how often he had Edition: current; Page:  been in Fear that he should never be able to get her a Husband: But after much Pains, says he, I found you such a one, that the best Lady of the Land would have been glad of; and yet, you not being sensible what I have done for you, nor considering that you have such a Husband, who if he were not the best natur’d Man in the World, would scarce do you the Honour to take you for one of his Maid Servants, you are disobedient to him: To make short of my Story, the Father grew so hot in his Discourse, that he seem’d to be scarce able to keep his Hands off her; for he was so wonderful cunning a Man, that he would act any Part, as well as any Comedian. The young Lady, partly for Fear, and partly convinc’d by the Truth of what was told her, fell down at her Father’s Feet, beseeching him to forget past Faults, and for the Time to come, she would be mindful of her Duty. Her Father freely forgave her, and also promised, that he would be to her a very indulgent Father, provided she perform’d what she promis’d.
Well, what happened after that?
The young Lady going away, after her Father s Discourse was ended, went directly into her Chamber, and finding her Husband alone, she fell down on her Knees, and said, Husband, till this very Moment, I neither knew you nor myself; but from this Time forward, you shall find me another Sort of Person; only, I intreat you to forget what is past. The Husband receiv’d this Speech with a Kiss, and promised to do every Thing she could desire, if she did but continue in that Resolution.
What! Did she continue in it?
Even to her dying Day; nor was any Thing so mean, but she readily and chearfully went about it, if her Husband would have it so. So great a Love grew, and was confirm’d between them. Some Years after, the young Lady would often congratulate herself, that she had happen’d to marry such a Husband, which had it not happen’d, said she, I had been the most wretched Woman alive.
Such Husbands are as scarce now a Days as white Crows.
Now if it will not be tedious to you, I’ll tell you a Story, that lately happen’d in this City, of a Husband that was reclaimed by the good Management of his Wife.
I have nothing to do at present, and your Conversation is very diverting.
There is a certain Gentleman of no mean Descent; he, like the rest of his Quality, used often to go a Hunting: Being in the Country, he happen’d to see a young Damsel, the Daughter of a poor old Woman, and began to fall desperately in love with her. He was a Man pretty well in Years; and for the Sake of this young Maid, he often lay out a Nights, and his Pretence for it was Hunting. His Wife, a Woman of an admirable Temper, suspecting something more than ordinary, went in search to find out her Husband’s Intrigues, and having discover’d them, by I can’t tell what Method, she goes to the Country Cottage, and learnt all the Particulars where he lay, what he drank, and what Manner of Entertainment he had at Table. There was no Furniture in the House, nothing but naked Walls. The Gentlewoman goes Home, and quickly after goes back again, carrying with her a handsome Bed and Furniture, some Plate and Money, bidding them to treat him with more Respect, if at any Time he came there again. A few Days after, her Husband steals an Opportunity to go thither, and sees the Furniture increas’d, and finds his Entertainment more delicate than it us’d to be; he enquir’d from whence this unaccustomed Finery came: They said, that a certain honest Gentlewoman of his Acquaintance, brought these Things; and gave them in Charge, that he should be treated with more Respect for the future. He presently suspected that this was done by his Wife. When he came Home, he ask’d her if she had been there. She did not deny it. Then he ask’d her for what Reason she had sent thither that household Furniture? My Dear, says she, you are us’d to a handsomer Way of Living: I found that you far’d hardly there, I thought it my Duty, since you took a Fancy to the Place, that your Reception should be more agreeable.
A Wife good even to an Excess. I should sooner have sent him a Bundle of Nettles and Thorns, than furnish’d him with a fine Bed.
But hear the Conclusion of my Story; the Gentleman was so touch’d, seeing so much good Nature and Temper in his Wife, that he never after that violated her Bed, but solaced himself with her at Home. I know you know Gilbert the Dutchman.
I know him.
He, you know, in the prime of his Age, marry’d a Gentlewoman well stricken in Years, and in a declining Age.
It may be he marry’d the Portion, and not the Woman.
So it was. He having an Aversion to his Wife, was over Head and Ears in Love with a young Woman, with whom he us’d ever and anon to divert himself abroad. He very seldom either din’d or supp’d at home. What would you have done, if this had been your Case, Xantippe?
Why I would have torn his beloved Strumpet’s Headcloths off, and I would have wash’d him well with a Chamber–Pot, when he was going to her, that he might have gone thus perfum’d to his Entertainment.
But how much more prudently did this Gentlewoman behave herself. She invited his Mistress home to her House, and treated her with all the Civility imaginable. So she kept her Husband without any magical Charms. And if at any Time he supp’d abroad with her, she sent them thither some Nicety or other, desiring them to be merry together.
As for me, I would sooner chuse to lose my Life than to be Bawd to my own Husband.
But in the mean Time, pray consider the Matter soberly and coolly. Was not this much better, than if she had by her ill Temper totally alienated her Husband’s Affections from her, and spent her whole Life in quarrelling and brawling.
I believe, that of two Evils it was the least, but I could never have submitted to it.
I will add one more, and then I’ll have done with Examples. A next Door Neighbour of ours is a very honest, good Man, but a little too subject to Passion. One Day he beat his Wife, a Woman of commendable Prudence. She immediately withdrew into a private Room, and there gave Vent to her Grief by Tears and Sighs. Soon after upon some Occasion her Husband came into the Room, and found his Wife all in Tears. What’s the Matter, says he, that you’re crying and sobbing like a Child? To which she prudently reply’d, Why, says she, is it not much better to lament my Misfortune here, than if I should make a Bawling in the Street, as other Women do? The Man’s Mind was so overcome and mollified by this Answer, so like a Wife, that giving her his Hand, he made a solemn Promise to his Wife, he would never lay his Hand upon her after, as long as he liv’d. Nor did he ever do it.
I have obtain’d as much from my Husband, but by a different Conduct.
But in the mean Time there are perpetual Wars between you.
What then would you have me to do?
If your Husband offers you any Affront, you must take no Notice of it, but endeavour to gain his good Will by all good Offices, courteous Carriage, and Meekness of Spirit, and by these Methods, you will in Time, either wholly reclaim him, or at least you will live with him much more easy than now you do.
Ay, but he’s too ill–natur’d to be wrought upon by all the kind Offices in the World.
Hold, don’t say so, there is no Beast that is so savage but he may be tam’d by good Management; therefore don’t despair of it as to a Man. Do but make the Experiment for a few Months, and if you do not find that this Advice has been of Benefit to you, blame me. And there are also some Faults that you must wink at; but above all Things, it is my Opinion, you ought to avoid ever to begin any Quarrel either in the Bed–Chamber, or in Bed, and to take a Edition: current; Page:  : 255p. 255 special Care that every Thing there be chearful and pleasant. For if that Place which is consecrated for the wiping out old Miscarriages and the cementing of Love, comes to be unhallowed by Contention and Sourness of Temper, all Remedy for the Reconcilement is taken away. For there are some Women of so morose Tempers that they will be querulous, and scold even while the Rites of Love are performing, and will by the Uneasiness of their Tempers render that Fruition itself disagreeable which is wont to discharge the Minds of Men from any Heart–burning, that they may have had; and by this Means they spoil that Cordial, by which Misunderstandings in Matrimony might be cured.
That has been often my Case.
And tho’ it ought always to be the Care of a Wife, not to make her Husband uneasy in any Thing; yet that ought to be especially her Care to study, in conjugal Embraces to render herself by all ways possible, agreeable and delightful to her Husband.
To a Man, indeed! But I have to do with an untractable Beast.
Come, come, leave off Railing. For the most part Husbands are made bad, by our bad Conduct. But to return to our Argument, those that are conversant in the antient Fables of the Poets, tell you that Venus, (whom they make a Goddess, that presides over Matrimony) had a Girdle or Cestus which was made for her by Vulcan’s Art, in which were interwoven all bewitching Ingredients of an amorous Medicament, and that she put this on whenever she went to bed to her Husband.
I hear a Fable.
It is true: But hear the Moral of it.
Tell it me.
That teaches that a Wife ought to use all the Care imaginable to be so engaging to her Husband in conjugal Embraces, that matrimonial Affection may be retain’d and renew’d, and if there has been any Distaste or Aversion, it may be expell’d the Mind.
But where can a Body get this Girdle?
There is no Need of Witchcrafts and Spells to procure one. There is no Enchantment so effectual as Virtue, join’d with a Sweetness of Disposition.
I can’t be able to bring myself to humour such a Husband as I have got.
But this is for your Interest, that he would leave off to be such a bad Husband. If you could by Circe’s Art transform your Husband into a Swine or a Bear, would you do it?
I can’t tell, whether I should or no.
Which had you rather have, a Swine to your Husband, or a Man?
In Truth, I had rather have a Man.
Well, come on. What if you could by Circe’s Arts make him a sober Man of a Drunkard, a frugal Man of a Spendthrift, a diligent Man of an idle Fellow, would you not do it?
To be sure, I would do it. But how shall I attain the Art?
You have the Art in yourself, if you would but make Use of it. Whether you will or no he must be your Husband, and the better Man you make him, the more you consult your own Advantage. You only keep your Eyes fix’d upon his Faults, and those aggravate your Aversion to him; and only hold him by this Handle, which is such a one that he cannot be held by; but rather take Notice of what good Qualities he has, and hold him by this Handle, which is a Handle he may be held by: Before you married him, you had Time of considering what his Defects were. A Husband is not to be chosen by the Eyes only, but by the Ears too. Now ’tis your Time to cure him, and not to find Fault with him.
What Woman ever made Choice of a Husband by her Ears?
She chuses a Husband by her Eyes, which looks at nothing else but his Person and bare Outside: She chuses Edition: current; Page:  : 257p. 257 him by her Ears, who carefully observes what Reputation he has in the World.
This is good Advice, but it is too late.
But it is not too late to endeavour to amend your Husband. It will contribute something to the Matter, if you could have any Children by him.
I have had one.
A long Time ago.
How many Months?
Why, about Seven.
What do I hear! You put me in Mind of the Joke of the three Months Lying in.
By no Means.
It must be so, if you reckon from the Day of Marriage.
But I had some private Discourse with him before Marriage.
Are Children got by Talking?
He having by Chance got me into a Room by myself, began to play with me, tickling me about the Arm–pits and Sides, to make me laugh, and I not being able to bear being tickled any longer, threw myself flat upon the Bed, and he lying upon me, kiss’d me, and I don’t know what he did to me besides; but this is certain, within a few Days after, my Belly began to swell.
Get you gone now, and slight a Husband, who if he can get Children jesting, what will he do if he sets about it in earnest?
I suspect that I am now with Child by him again.
O brave! to a good Soil, here’s a good Ploughman to till it.
As to this Affair, he’s better than I wish he was.
Very few Wives have this Complaint to make: But, I suppose, the Marriage Contract was made between you, before this happened.
It was made.
Then the Sin was so much the less. Is your Child a Boy?
That will reconcile you both, if you will but qualify yourself a little for it. What Sort of Character do your Husband’s Companions give him? And what Company does he keep when he is abroad?
They give him the Character of an exceeding good–humour’d, courteous, generous Man, and a true Friend to his Friend.
These Things give me great Hopes, that he will become such as we would have him be.
But I am the only Person he is not so to.
Do you but be to him what I have told you, and if he does not begin to be so to you, instead of Eulalia (a good Speaker), call me Pseudolalia (a prating Liar); and besides, consider this, that he’s but a young Man yet, I believe not above twenty–four Years of Age, and does not yet know what it is to be the Master of a Family. You must never think of a Divorce now.
But I have thought on it a great many Times.
But if ever that Thought comes into your Mind again, first of all consider with yourself, what an insignificant Figure a Woman makes when she is parted from her Husband. It is the greatest Glory of a Matron, to be obedient to her Husband. This Nature dictates, and it is the Will of God, that the Woman should wholly depend upon her Husband: Only think, as it really is, he is your Husband, you cannot have another. Then call to Mind that the little Boy belongs to you both. What would you do with him? Would you take him away with you? Then will you defraud your Husband of his own. Will you leave him to him? Then you will deprive yourself of that, than which nothing is more dear. Last of all, tell me, is there any Body that wishes you ill?
I have a Step–Mother, and a Mother–in–Law, as like her as may be.
And they wish you ill, do they?
They wish me in my Grave.
Then think of them likewise. What can you be able to do, that would be more grateful to them, than if they should see you divorc’d from your Husband; a Widow, nay, to live, a Widow bewitcht, worse than a Widow? For Widows may marry again.
I approve of your Advice; but can’t bear the Thoughts of being always a Slave.
Recount what Pains you took before you could teach that Parrot to prattle.
A great Deal indeed.
And yet you think much to bestow a little Pains to mould your Husband, with whom you may live a pleasant Life all your Days. What a Deal of Pains do Men take to render a Horse tractable to them: And shall we think much to take a little Pains to render our Husbands more agreeable?
What must I do?
I have told you already, take Care that all Things be neat, and in Order at Home, that there be nothing discomposing, to make him go out of Doors; behave yourself easy and free to him, always remembring that Respect which is due from a Wife to a Husband. Let all Melancholy and ill–tim’d Gaiety be banished out of Doors; be not morose nor frolicksome. Let your Table be handsomely provided. You know your Husband’s Palate, dress that which he likes best. Behave yourself courteously and affably to those of his Acquaintance he respects. Invite them frequently to Dinner; let all Things be pleasant and chearful at Table. Lastly, if at any Time he happens to come Home a little merry with Wine, and shall fall to playing on his Fiddle, do you sing to him, so you will gradually inure your Husband to keep at Home, and also lessen his Expences: For he will thus reason with himself; was not I mad with a Witness, who live abroad with a nasty Harlot, to the apparent Prejudice of my Estate and Reputation, when I have at Home a Edition: current; Page:  : 260p. 260 Wife much more entertaining and affectionate to me, with whom I may be entertained more handsomely and more plentifully?
Do you think I shall succeed, if I try?
Look to me for that. I engage that you will: In the mean Time I’ll talk to your Husband, and put him in Mind of his Duty.
I approve of your Design; but take Care that he mayn’t discover any Thing of what has past between us two, for he would throw the House out of the Windows.
Don’t fear, I’ll order my Discourse so by Turnings and Windings, that he shall tell me himself, what Quarrels have happened between you. When I have brought this about, I’ll treat him after my Way, as engagingly as can be, and I hope, shall render him to you better temper’d: I’ll likewise take Occasion to tell a Lie or two in your Favour, how lovingly and respectfully you spoke of him.
Heaven prosper both our Undertakings.
It will, I doubt not, if you are not wanting to yourself.
: 261p. 261This Colloquy sets out to the Life, the Madness of young Men that run into the Wars, and the Life of a pious Carthusian, which without the love of Study, can’t but be melancholy and unpleasant. The Manners of Soldiers, the Manners and Diet of Carthusians. Advice in chusing a Way of getting a Livelihood. The Conveniency of a single Life, to be at Leisure for Reading and Meditation. Wicked Soldiers oftentimes butcher Men for a pitiful Reward. The daily Danger of a Soldier’s Life.
Good Morrow, my Brother.
Good Morrow to you, dear Cousin.
I scarce knew you.
Am I grown so old in two Years Time?
No; but your bald Crown, and your new Dress, make you look to me like another Sort of Creature.
It may be you would not know your own Wife, if she should meet you in a new Gown.
No; not if she was in such a one as yours.
But I know you very well, who are not altered as to your Dress; but your Face, and the whole Habit of your Body: Why, how many Colours are you painted with? No Bird had ever such a Variety of Feathers. How all is cut and slash’d! Nothing according to Nature or Fashion! your cut Hair, your half–shav’d Beard, and that Wood upon Edition: current; Page:  : 262p. 262 your upper Lip, entangled and standing out straggling like the Whiskers of a Cat. Nor is it one single Scar that has disfigured your Face, that you may very well be taken for one of the Samian literati, [q. d. burnt in the Cheek] concerning whom there is a joking Proverb.
Thus it becomes a Man to come back from the Wars. But, pray, tell me, was there so great a Scarcity of good Physicians in this Quarter of the World?
Why do you ask?
Because you did not get the Distemper of your Brain cur’d, before you plung’d yourself into this Slavery.
Why, do you think I was mad then?
Yes, I do. What Occasion was there for you to be buried here, before your Time, when you had enough in the World to have lived handsomely upon?
What, don’t you think I live in the World now?
No, by Jove.
Tell me why.
Because you can’t go where you list. You are confin’d in this Place as in a Coop. Besides, your bald Pate, and your prodigious strange Dress, your Lonesomeness, your eating Fish perpetually, so that I admire you are not turn’d into a Fish.
If Men were turn’d into what they eat, you had long ago been turn’d into a Hog, for you us’d to be a mighty Lover of Pork.
I don’t doubt but you have repented of what you have done, long enough before now, for I find very few that don’t repent of it.
This usually happens to those who plunge themselves headlong into this Kind of Life, as if they threw themselves into a Well; but I have enter’d into it warily and considerately, having first made Trial of myself, and having duly examined the whole Ratio of this Way of Living, being twenty–eight Years of Age, at which Time, every one may be suppos’d to know himself. And as for the Place, you are confined in a small Compass as well as I, if you Edition: current; Page:  compare it to the Extent of the whole World. Nor does it signify any Thing how large the Place is, as long as it wants nothing of the Conveniences of Life. There are many that seldom stir out of the City in which they were born, which if they were prohibited from going out, would be very uneasy, and would be wonderfully desirous to do it. This is a common Humour, that I am not troubled with. I fancy this Place to be the whole World to me, and this Map represents the whole Globe of the Earth, which I can travel over in Thought with more Delight and Security than he that sails to the new–found Islands.
What you say as to this, comes pretty near the Truth.
You can’t blame me for shaving my Head, who voluntarily have your own Hair clipp’d, for Conveniency Sake. Shaving, to me, if it does nothing else, certainly keeps my Head more clean, and perhaps more healthful too. How many Noblemen at Venice shave their Heads all over? What has my Garment in it that is monstrous? Does it not cover my Body? Our Garments are for two Uses, to defend us from the Inclemency of the Weather, and to cover our Nakedness. Does not this Garment answer both these Ends? But perhaps the Colour offends you. What Colour is more becoming Christians than that which was given to all in Baptism? It has been said also, Take a white Garment; so that this Garment puts me in Mind of what I promised in Baptism, that is, the perpetual Study of Innocency. And besides, if you call that Solitude which is only a retiring from the Crowd, we have for this the Example, not only of our own, but of the ancient Prophets, the Ethnick Philosophers, and all that had any Regard to the keeping a good Conscience. Nay, Poets, Astrologers, and Persons devoted to such–like Arts, whensoever they take in Hand any Thing that’s great and beyond the Sphere of the common People, commonly betake themselves to a Retreat. But why should you call this Kind of Life Solitude? The Conversation of one single Friend drives away the Tædium of Solitude. I have here more than sixteen Companions, fit for all Manner Edition: current; Page:  : 264p. 264 of Conversation. And besides, I have Friends who come to visit me oftner than I would have them, or is convenient. Do I then, in your Opinion, live melancholy?
But you cannot always have these to talk with.
Nor is it always expedient: For Conversation is the pleasanter, for being something interrupted.
You don’t think amiss; for even to me myself, Flesh relishes much better after Lent.
And more than that, when I seem to be most alone, I don’t want Companions, which are by far more delightful and entertaining than those common Jesters.
Where are they?
Look you, here are the four Evangelists. In this Book he that so pleasantly commun’d with the two Disciples in the Way going to Emaus, and who by his heavenly Discourse caus’d them not to be sensible of the Fatigue of their Journey, but made their Hearts burn within them with a divine Ardour of hearing his sweet Words, holds Conversation with me. In this I converse with Paul, with Isaiah, and the rest of the Prophets. Here the most sweet Chrysostom converses with me, and Basil, and Austin, and Jerome, and Cyprian, and the rest of the Doctors that are both learned and eloquent. Do you know any such pleasant Companions abroad in the World, that you can have Conversation with? Do you think I can be weary of Retirement, in such Society as this? And I am never without it.
But they would speak to me to no Purpose, who do not understand them.
Now for our Diet, what signifies it with what Food this Body of ours is fed which is satisfied with very little, if we live according to Nature? Which of us two is in the best Plight? You who live upon Partridges, Pheasants and Capons; or I who live upon Fish?
If you had a Wife as I have, you would not be so lusty.
And for that Reason, any Food serves us, let it be never so little.
But in the mean Time, you live the Life of a Jew.
Forbear Reflections: If we cannot come up to Christianity, at least we follow after it.
You put too much Confidence in Habits, Meats, Forms of Prayer, and outward Ceremonies, and neglect the Study of Gospel Religion.
It is none of my Business to judge what others do: As to myself, I place no Confidence in these Things, I attribute nothing to them; but I put my Confidence in Purity of Mind, and in Christ himself.
Why do you observe these Things then?
That I may be at Peace with my Brethren, and give no Body Offence. I would give no Offence to any one for the Sake of these trivial Things, which it is but a very little Trouble to observe. As we are Men, let us wear what Cloaths we will. Men are so humoursome, the Agreement or Disagreement in the most minute Matters, either procures or destroys Concord. The shaving of the Head, or Colour of the Habit does not indeed, of themselves, recommend me to God: But what would the People say, if I should let my Hair grow, or put on your Habit? I have given you my Reasons for my Way of Life; now, pray, in your Turn, give me your Reasons for yours, and tell me, were there no good Physicians in your Quarter, when you listed yourself for a Soldier, leaving a young Wife and Children at Home, and was hired for a pitiful Pay to cut Men’s Throats, and that with the Hazard of your own Life too? For your Business did not lie among Mushrooms and Poppies, but armed Men. What do you think is a more unhappy Way of living, for a poor Pay, to murder a Fellow Christian, who never did you Harm, and to run yourself Body and Soul into eternal Damnation?
Why, it is lawful to kill an Enemy.
Perhaps it may be so, if he invades your native Country: Nay, and it is pious too, to fight for your Wife, Children, your Parents and Friends, your Religion and Liberties, and the publick Peace. But what is all that to your fighting for Edition: current; Page:  : 266p. 266 Money? If you had been knocked on the Head, I would not have given a rotten Nut to redeem the very Soul of you.
No, by Christ, I would not. Now which do you think is the harder Task, to be obedient to a good Man, which we call Prior, who calls us to Prayers, and holy Lectures, the Hearing of the saving Doctrine, and to sing to the Glory of God: Or, to be under the Command of some barbarous Officer, who often calls you out to fatiguing Marches at Midnight, and sends you out, and commands you back at his Pleasure, exposes you to the Shot of great Guns, assigns you a Station where you must either kill or be killed?
There are more Evils than you have mentioned yet.
If I shall happen to deviate from the Discipline of my Order, my Punishment is only Admonition, or some such slight Matter: But in War, if you do any Thing contrary to the General’s Orders, you must either be hang’d for it, or run the Gantlope; for it would be a Favour to have your Head cut off.
I can’t deny what you say to be true.
And now your Habit bespeaks, that you han’t brought much Money Home, after all your brave Adventures.
As for Money, I have not had a Farthing this good While; nay, I have gotten a good Deal into Debt, and for that Reason I come hither out of my Way, that you might furnish me with some Money to bear my Charges.
I wish you had come out of your Way hither, when you hurried yourself into that wicked Life of a Soldier. But how come you so bare?
Do you ask that? Why, whatsoever I got of Pay, Plunder, Sacrilege, Rapine and Theft, was spent in Wine, Whores and Gaming.
O miserable Creature! And all this While your Wife, for whose Sake God commanded you to leave Father and Mother, being forsaken by you, sat grieving at Home with her young Children. And do you think this is Living, to be involved in so many Miseries, and to wallow in so great Iniquities?
The having so many Companions of my Wickedness, made me insensible of my Evil.
But I’m afraid your Wife won’t know you again.
Because your Scars have made you the Picture of quite another Man. What a Trench have you got here in your Forehead? It looks as if you had had a Horn cut out.
Nay, if you did but know the Matter, you would congratulate me upon this Scar.
I was within a Hair’s Breadth of losing my Life.
Why, what Mischief was there?
As one was drawing a Steel Cross–bow, it broke, and a Splinter of it hit me in the Forehead.
You have got a Scar upon your Cheek that is above a Span long.
I got this Wound in a Battel.
In what Battel, in the Field?
No, but in a Quarrel that arose at Dice.
And I see I can’t tell what Sort of Rubies on your Chin.
O they are nothing.
I suspect that you have had the Pox.
You guess very right, Brother. It was the third Time I had that Distemper, and it had like to have cost me my Life.
But how came it, that you walk so stooping, as if you were ninety Years of Age; or like a Mower, or as if your Back was broke?
The Disease has contracted my Nerves to that Degree.
In Truth you have undergone a wonderful Metamorphosis: Formerly you were a Horseman, and now of a Centaur, you are become a Kind of semi–reptile Animal.
This is the Fortune of War.
Nay, ’tis the Madness of your own Mind. But what Spoils will you carry Home to your Wife and Children? The Leprosy? for that Scab is only a Species of the Edition: current; Page:  : 268p. 268 Leprosy; and it is only not accounted so, because it is the Disease in Fashion, and especially among Noblemen: And for this very Reason, it should be the more carefully avoided. And now you will infect with it those that ought to be the dearest to you of any in the World, and you yourself will all your Days carry about a rotten Carcass.
Prithee, Brother, have done chiding me. I have enough upon me without Chiding.
As to those Calamities, I have hitherto taken Notice of, they only relate to the Body: But what a Sort of a Soul do you bring back with you? How putrid and ulcered? With how many Wounds is that sore?
Just as clean as a Paris common Shore in Maburtus’s Road, or a common House of Office.
I am afraid it stinks worse in the Nostrils of God and his Angels.
Well, but I have had Chiding enough, now speak to the Matter, of something to bear my Charges.
I have nothing to give you, but I’ll go and try what the Prior will do.
If any Thing was to be given, your Hands would be ready to receive it; but now there are a great many Difficulties in the Way, when something is to be paid.
As to what others do, let them look to that, I have no Hands, either to give or take Money: But we’ll talk more of these Matters after Dinner, for it is now Time to sit down at Table.
This Colloquy sets forth the Disposition and Nature of a Liar, who seems to be born to lie for crafty Gain. A Liar is a Thief. Gain got by Lying, is baser than that which is got by a Tax upon Urine. An egregious Method of deceiving is laid open. Cheating Tradesmen live better than honest ones.
From what Fountain does this Flood of Lies flow?
From whence do Spiders Webs proceed?
Then it is not the Product of Art, but of Nature.
The Seeds indeed proceed from Nature; but Art and Use have enlarg’d the Faculty.
Why, are you not asham’d of it?
No more than a Cuckow is of her Singing.
But you can alter your Note upon every Occasion. The Tongue of Man was given him to speak the Truth.
Ay, to speak those Things that tend to his Profit: The Truth is not to be spoken at all Times.
It is sometimes for a Man’s Advantage to have pilfering Hands; and the old Proverb is a Witness, that that is a Vice that is Cousin–German to yours of Lying.
Both these Vices are supported by good Authorities: One has Ulysses, so much commended by Homer, and the other has Mercury, that was a God, for its Example, if we believe the Poets.
Why then do People in common curse Liars, and hang Thieves?
Not because they lie or steal, but because they do it bunglingly or unnaturally, not rightly understanding the Art.
Is there any Author that teaches the Art of Lying?
Your Rhetoricians have instructed in the best Part of the Art.
These indeed present us with the Art of well speaking.
True: and the good Part of speaking well, is to lie cleverly.
What is clever Lying?
Would you have me define it?
I would have you do it.
It is to lie so, that you may get Profit by it, and not be caught in a Lie.
But a great many are caught in lying every Day.
That’s because they are not perfect Masters of the Art.
Are you a perfect Master in it?
In a Manner.
See, if you can tell me a Lie, so as to deceive me.
Yes, best of Men, I can deceive you yourself, if I have a Mind to it.
Well, tell me some Lie or other then.
Why, I have told one already, and did you not catch me in it?
Come on, listen attentively; now I’ll begin to lie then.
I do listen attentively; tell one.
Why, I have told another Lie, and you have not caught me.
In Truth, I hear no Lie yet.
You would have heard some, if you understood the Art.
Do you shew it me then.
First of all, I call’d you the best of Men, is not Edition: current; Page:  : 271p. 271 that a swinging Lie, when you are not so much as good? And if you were good, you could not be said to be the best, there are a thousand others better than you.
Here, indeed, you have deceiv’d me.
Well, now try if you can catch me again in another Lie.
I want to have you shew that Sharpness of Wit, that you do in other Things.
I confess, I am deficient. Shew me.
When I said, now I will begin to lie, did I not tell you a swinging Lie then, when I had been accustomed to lie for so many Years, and I had also told a Lie, just the Moment before.
An admirable Piece of Witchcraft.
Well, but now you have been forewarn’d, prick up your Ears, listen attentively, and see if you can catch me in a Lie.
I do prick them up; say on.
I have said already, and you have imitated me in lying.
Why, you’ll persuade me I have neither Ears nor Eyes by and by.
When Mens Ears are immoveable, and can neither be prick’d up nor let down, I told a Lie in bidding you prick up your Ears.
The whole Life of Man is full of such Lies.
Not only such as these, O good Man, for these are but Jokes: But there are those that bring Profit.
The Gain that is got by Lying, is more sordid, than that which is got by laying a Tax on Urine.
That is true, I own; but then ’tis to those that han’t the Art of lying.
What Art is this that you understand?
It is not fit I should teach you for nothing; pay me, and you shall hear it.
I will not pay for bad Arts.
Then will you give away your Estate?
I am not so mad neither.
But my Gain by this Art is more certain than yours from your Estate.
Well, keep your Art to yourself, only give me a Specimen that I may understand that what you say is not all Pretence.
Here’s a Specimen for you: I concern myself in all Manner of Business, I buy, I sell, I receive, I borrow, I take Pawns.
Well, what then?
And in these Affairs I entrap those by whom I cannot easily be caught.
Who are those?
The soft–headed, the forgetful, the unthinking, those that live a great Way off, and those that are dead.
The Dead, to be sure, tell no Tales.
If I sell any Thing upon Credit, I set it down carefully in my Book of Accounts.
And what then?
When the Money is to be paid, I charge the Buyer with more than he had. If he is unthinking or forgetful, my Gain is certain.
But what if he catches you?
I produce my Book of Accounts.
What if he informs you, and proves to your Face he has not had the Goods you charge him with?
I stand to it stiffly; for Bashfulness is altogether an unprofitable Qualification in this Art. My last Shift is, I frame some Excuse or other.
But when you are caught openly?
Nothing’s more easy, I pretend my Servant has made a Mistake, or I myself have a treacherous Memory: It is a very pretty Way to jumble the Accounts together, and this is an easy Way to impose on a Person: As for Example, some are cross’d out, the Money being paid, and others have not been paid; these I mingle one with another Edition: current; Page:  at the latter End of the Book, nothing being cross’d out. When the Sum is cast up, we contend about it, and I for the most Part get the better, tho’ it be by forswearing myself. Then besides, I have this Trick, I make up my Account with a Person when he is just going a Journey, and not prepared for the Settling it. For as for me, I am always ready. If any Thing be left with me, I conceal it, and restore it not again. It is a long Time before he can come to the Knowledge of it, to whom it is sent; and, after all, if I can’t deny the receiving of a Thing, I say it is lost, or else affirm I have sent that which I have not sent, and charge it upon the Carrier. And lastly, if I can no Way avoid restoring it, I restore but Part of it.
A very fine Art.
Sometimes I receive Money twice over, if I can: First at Home, afterwards there where I have gone, and I am every where. Sometimes Length of Time puts Things out of Remembrance: The Accounts are perplexed, one dies, or goes a long Journey: And if nothing else will hit, in the mean Time I make Use of other People’s Money. I bring some over to my Interest, by a Shew of Generosity, that they may help me out in lying; but it is always at other People’s Cost; of my own, I would not give my own Mother a Doit. And tho’ the Gain in each Particular may be but small; but being many put together, makes a good round Sum; for as I said, I concern myself in a great many Affairs; and besides all, that I may not be catch’d, as there are many Tricks, this is one of the chief. I intercept all the Letters I can, open them, and read them. If any Thing in them makes against me, I destroy them, or keep them a long Time before I deliver them: And besides all this, I sow Discord between those that live at a great Distance one from another.
What do you get by that?
There is a double Advantage in it. First of all, if that is not performed that I have promised in another Person’s Name, or in whose Name I have received any Present, I lay it to this or that Man’s Door, that it was not performed, Edition: current; Page:  : 274p. 274 and so these Forgeries I make turn to a considerable Account.
But what if he denies it?
He’s a great Way off, as suppose at Basil; and I promise to give it in England. And so it is brought about, that both being incensed, neither will believe the one the other, if I accuse them of any Thing. Now you have a Specimen of my Art.
But this Art is what we Dullards call Theft; who call a Fig a Fig, and a Spade a Spade.
O Ignoramus in the Law! Can you bring an Action of Theft for Trover or Conversion, or for one that having borrow’d a Thing forswears it, that puts a Trick upon one, by some such Artifice?
He ought to be sued for Theft.
Do but then see the Prudence of Artists. From these Methods there is more Gain, or at least as much, and less Danger.
A Mischief take you, with your cheating Tricks and Lies, for I han’t a Mind to learn ’em. Good by to ye.
You may go on, and be plagu’d with your ragged Truth. In the mean Time, I’ll live merrily upon my thieving, lying Tricks, with Slight of Hand.
: 275p. 275Naufragium exposes the Dangers of those that go to Sea; the various and foolish Superstition of Mariners. An elegant Description of a Storm. They indeed run a Risque that throw their valuable Commodities into the Sea. Mariners impiously invoke the Virgin Mary, St. Christopher, and the Sea itself. Saints are not to be pray’d to, but God alone.
You tell dreadful Stories: Is this going to Sea? God forbid that ever any such Thing should come into my Mind.
That which I have related, is but a Diversion, in Comparison to what you’ll hear presently.
I have heard Calamities enough already, my Flesh trembles to hear you relate them, as if I were in Danger myself.
But Dangers that are past, are pleasant to be thought on. One thing happen’d that Night, that almost put the Pilot out of all Hopes of Safety.
Pray what was that?
The Night was something lightish, and one of the Sailors was got into the Skuttle (so I think they call it) at the Main–Top–Mast, looking out if he could see any Land; a certain Ball of Fire began to stand by him, which is the worst Sign in the World to Sailors, if it be single; but a very good one, if double. The Antients believed these to be Castor and Pollux.
What have they to do with Sailors, one of which was a Horseman, and the other a Prize–Fighter?
It was the Pleasure of Poets, so to feign. The Steersman who sat at the Helm, calls to him, Mate, says he, (for so Sailors call one another) don’t you see what a Companion you have by your Side? I do see, says he, and I pray that he may be a lucky one. By and by this fiery Ball glides down the Ropes, and rolls itself over and over close to the Pilot.
And was not he frighted out of his Wits?
Sailors are us’d to terrible Sights. It stopp’d a little there, then roll’d itself all round the Sides of the Ship; after that, slipping through the Hatches, it vanished away. About Noon the Storm began to increase. Did you ever see the Alps?
I have seen them.
Those Mountains are Mole Hills, if they be compar’d to the Waves of the Sea. As oft as we were toss’d up, one might have touch’d the Moon with his Finger; and as oft as we were let fall down into the Sea, we seem’d to be going directly down to Hell, the Earth gaping to receive us.
O mad Folks, that trust themselves to the Sea!
The Mariners striving in Vain with the Storm, at length the Pilot, all pale as Death comes to us.
That Paleness presages some great Evil.
My Friends, says he, I am no longer Master of my Ship, the Wind has got the better of me; all that we have now to do is to place our Hope in God, and every one to prepare himself for Death.
This was cold Comfort.
But in the first Place, says he, we must lighten the Ship; Necessity requires it, tho’ ’tis a hard Portion. It is better to endeavour to save our Lives with the Loss of our Goods, than to perish with them. The Truth persuaded, and a great many Casks of rich Merchandize were thrown over–Board.
This was casting away, according to the Letter.
There was in the Company, a certain Italian, that had been upon an Embassy to the King of Scotland. He had a whole Cabinet full of Plate, Rings, Cloth, and rich wearing Apparel.
And he, I warrant ye, was unwilling to come to a Composition with the Sea.
No, he would not; he had a Mind either to sink or swim with his beloved Riches.
What said the Pilot to this?
If you and your Trinkets were to drown by yourselves, says he, here’s no Body would hinder you; but it is not fit that we should run the Risque of our Lives, for the Sake of your Cabinet: If you won’t consent, we’ll throw you and your Cabinet into the Sea together.
Spoken like a Tarpawlin.
So the Italian submitted, and threw his Goods over–Board, with many a bitter Curse to the Gods both above and below, that he had committed his Life to so barbarous an Element.
I know the Italian Humour.
The Winds were nothing the less boisterous for our Presents, but by and by burst our Cordage, and threw down our Sails.
Then the Pilot comes to us again.
What, with another Preachment?
He gives us a Salute; my Friends, says he, the Time exhorts us that every one of us should recommend himself to God, and prepare for Death. Being ask’d by some that were not ignorant in Sea Affairs, how long he thought the Ship might be kept above Water, he said, he could promise nothing, but that it could not be done above three Hours.
This was yet a harder Chapter than the former.
When he had said this, he orders to cut the Shrouds and the Mast down by the Board, and to throw them, Sails and all, into the Sea.
Why was this done?
Because, the Sail either being gone or torn, it would only be a Burden, but not of Use; all our Hope was in the Helm.
What did the Passengers do in the mean Time?
There you might have seen a wretched Face of Things; the Mariners, they were singing their Salve Regina, imploring the Virgin Mother, calling her the Star of the Sea, the Queen of Heaven, the Lady of the World, the Haven of Health, and many other flattering Titles, which the sacred Scriptures never attributed to her.
What has she to do with the Sea, who, as I believe, never went a Voyage in her Life?
In ancient Times, Venus took Care of Mariners, because she was believ’d to be born of the Sea and because she left off to take Care of them, the Virgin Mother was put in her Place, that was a Mother, but not a Virgin.
Some were lying along upon the Boards, worshipping the Sea, pouring all they had into it, and flattering it, as if it had been some incensed Prince.
What did they say?
O most merciful Sea! O most generous Sea! O most rich Sea! O most beautiful Sea, be pacified, save us; and a Deal of such Stuff they sung to the deaf Ocean.
Ridiculous Superstition! What did the rest do?
Some did nothing but spew, and some made Vows. There was an Englishman there, that promis’d golden Mountains to our Lady of Walsingham, so he did but get ashore alive. Others promis’d a great many Things to the Wood of the Cross, which was in such a Place; others again, to that which was in such a Place; and the same was done by the Virgin Mary, which reigns in a great many Places, and they think the Vow is of no Effect, unless the Place be mentioned.
Ridiculous! As if the Saints did not dwell in Heaven.
Some made Promises to become Carthusians. There was one who promised he would go a Pilgrimage to St. James at Compostella, bare Foot and bare Head, cloth’d in a Coat of Mail, and begging his Bread all the Way.
Did no Body make any Mention of St. Christopher?
Yes, I heard one, and I could not forbear laughing, who bawling out aloud, lest St. Christopher should not hear him, promised him, who is at the Top of a Church at Paris, rather a Mountain than a Statue, a wax Taper as big as he was himself: When he had bawl’d out this over and over as loud as he could, an Acquaintance of his jogg’d him on the Elbow, and caution’d him: Have a Care what you promise, for if you should sell all you have in the World, you will not be able to pay for it. He answer’d him softly, lest St. Christopher should hear him, you Fool, says he, do you think I mean as I speak, if I once got safe to Shore, I would not give him so much as a tallow Candle.
O Blockhead! I fancy he was a Hollander.
No, he was a Zealander.
I wonder no Body thought of St. Paul, who has been at Sea, and having suffered Shipwreck, leapt on Shore. For he being not unacquainted with the Distress, knows how to pity those that are in it.
He was not so much as named.
Were they at their Prayers all the While?
Ay, as if it had been for a Wager. One sung his Hail Queen; another, I believe in God. There were some who had certain particular Prayers not unlike magical Charms against Dangers.
How Affliction makes Men religious! In Prosperity we neither think of God nor Saint. But what did you do all this While? Did you not make Vows to some Saints?
No, none at all.
I make no Bargains with Saints. For what is this but a Bargain in Form? I’ll give you, if you do so and so; or I will do so and so, if you do so and so: I’ll give you a Edition: current; Page:  wax Taper, if I swim out alive; I’ll go to Rome, if you save me.
But did you call upon none of the Saints for Help?
No, not so much as that neither.
Because Heaven is a large Place, and if I should recommend my Safety to any Saint, as suppose, to St. Peter, who perhaps, would hear soonest, because he stands at the Door; before he can come to God Almighty, or before he could tell him my Condition, I may be lost.
What did you do then?
I e’en went the next Way to God the Father, saying, Our Father which art in Heaven. There’s none of the Saints hears sooner than he does, or more readily gives what is ask’d for.
But in the mean Time did not your Conscience check you? Was you not afraid to call him Father, whom you had offended with so many Wickednesses?
To speak ingenuously, my Conscience did a little terrify me at first, but I presently took Heart again, thus reasoning with myself; There is no Father so angry with his Son, but if he sees him in Danger of being drowned in a River or Pond, he will take him, tho’ it be by the Hair of the Head, and throw him out upon a Bank. There was no Body among them all behaved herself more composed than a Woman, who had a Child sucking at her Breast.
What did she do?
She only neither bawl’d, nor wept, nor made Vows, but hugging her little Boy, pray’d softly. In the mean Time the Ship dashing ever and anon against the Ground, the Pilot being afraid she would be beat all to Pieces, undergirded her with Cables from Head to Stern.
That was a sad Shift!
Upon this, up starts an old Priest about threescore Years of Age, his Name was Adam. He strips himself to his Shirt, throws away his Boots and Shoes, and bids us all in like Manner to prepare ourselves for swimming. Then Edition: current; Page:  standing in the middle of the Ship, he preach’d a Sermon to us, upon the five Truths of the Benefit of Confession, and exhorted every Man to prepare himself, for either Life or Death. There was a Dominican there too, and they confess’d those that had a Mind to it.
What did you do?
I seeing that every thing was in a Hurry, confess’d privately to God, condemning before him my Iniquity, and imploring his Mercy.
And whither should you have gone, do you think, if you had perished?
I left that to God, who is my Judge; I would not be my own Judge. But I was not without comfortable Hopes neither. While these Things were transacting, the Steersman comes to us again all in Tears; Prepare your selves every one of you, says he, for the Ship will be of no Service to us for a quarter of an Hour. For now she leak’d in several Places. Presently after this he brings us Word that he saw a Steeple a good Way off, and exhorts us to implore the Aid of that Saint, whoever it was, who had the protection of that Temple. They all fall down and pray to the unknown Saint.
Perhaps he would have heard ye, if ye had call’d upon him by his Name.
But that we did not know. In the mean Time the Pilate steers the Ship, torn and leaking every where, and ready to fall in Pieces, if she had not been undergirt with Cables, as much as he could toward that Place.
A miserable Condition.
We were now come so near the Shoar, that the Inhabitants of the Place could see us in Distress, and ran down in Throngs to the utmost Edge of the Shoar, and holding up Gowns and Hats upon Spears, invited us to make towards them, and stretching out their Arms towards Heaven, signified to us that they pitied our Misfortune.
I long to know what happened.
The Ship was now every where full of Water, that we were no safer in the Ship than if we had been in the Sea.
Now was your Time to betake yourself to divine Help.
Ay, to a wretched one. The Sailors emptied the Ship’s Boat of Water, and let it down into the Sea. Every Body was for getting into it, the Mariners cry’d out amain, they’ll sink the Boat, it will not hold so many; that every one should take what he could get, and swim for it. There was no Time now for long Deliberation. One gets an Oar, another a Pole, another a Gutter, another a Bucket, another a Plank, and every one relying upon their Security, they commit themselves to the Billows.
But what became of the Woman that was the only Person that made no Bawling?
She got to Shoar the first of them all.
How could she do that?
We set her upon a broad Plank, and ty’d her on so fast that she could not easily fall off, and we gave her a Board in her Hand to make Use of instead of an Oar, and wishing her good Success, we set her afloat, thrusting her off from the Ship with Poles, that she might be clear of it, whence was the greatest Danger. And she held her Child in her left Hand, and row’d with her right Hand.
Now when there was nothing else left, one pull’d up a wooden Image of the Virgin Mary, rotten, and rateaten, and embracing it in his Arms, try’d to swim upon it.
Did the Boat get safe to Land?
None perish’d sooner than they that were in that, and there were above thirty that had got into it.
By what bad Accident was that brought about?
It was overset by the rolling of the Ship, before they could get clear of it.
A sad Accident: But how then?
While I was taking Care for others, I had like to have been lost myself.
Because there was nothing left that was fit for swimming.
There Corks would have been of good Use.
In that Condition I would rather have had a sorry Cork than a gold Candlestick. I look’d round about me, at Length I bethought myself of the Stump of the Mast, and because I could not get it out alone, I took a Partner; upon this we both plac’d ourselves, and committed ourselves to the Sea. I held the right End, and my Companion the left End. While we lay tumbling and tossing, the old preaching Sea–Priest threw himself upon our Shoulders. He was a huge Fellow. We cry out, who’s that third Person? He’ll drown us all. But he very calmly bids us be easy, for there was Room enough, God will be with us.
How came he to be so late?
He was to have been in the Boat with the Dominican. For they all paid him this Deference. But tho’ they had confess’d themselves in the Ship, yet having forgotten I know not what Circumstances, they confess’d over again at the Ship–Side, and each lays his Hand upon the other, and while this was doing the Boat was over–turn’d. This I had from Adam himself.
What became of the Dominican?
As the same Man told me, having implor’d the Help of his Saints, and stript himself, he threw himself naked into the Sea.
What Saints did he call upon?
St. Dominick, St. Thomas, St. Vincent, and one of the Peters, but I can’t tell which: But his chief Reliance was upon Catherina Senensis.
Did he not remember Christ?
Not, as the old Priest told me.
He would have swam better if he had thrown off his sanctified Coul: But if that had been laid aside, how should Catherine of Siena have known him? But go on and tell me about yourself.
While we were yet tumbling and tossing near the Ship, which roll’d hither and thither at the Mercy of the Waves, the Thigh of him that held the left End of the Edition: current; Page:  Stump of the Mast was broken by a great Spike, and so that made him let go his Hold. The old Priest wishing him everlasting Rest, took his Place, encouraging me to maintain my Post on the right Hand resolutely, and to strike out my Feet stoutly. In the mean Time we drank in abundance of salt Water. For Neptune had provided us not only a salt Bath, but a salt Potion too, altho’ the old Priest prescribed a Remedy for it.
What was that?
Why, as often as a Billow met us, he turn’d his Head and shut his Mouth.
You tell me of a brave old Fellow.
When we had been some Time swimming at this Rate, and had made some Way, the old Priest being a very tall Man, cries out, Be of good Heart, I feel Ground; but I durst not hope for such a Blessing. No, no, says I, we are too far from Shoar to hope to feel Ground. Nay, says he, I feel the Ground with my Feet. Said I, perhaps it is some of the Chests that have been roll’d thither by the Sea. Nay, says he, I am sure I feel Ground by the Scratching of my Toes. Having floated thus a little longer, and he had felt the Bottom again, Do you do what you please, says he, I’ll leave you the whole Mast, and wade for it. And so he took his Opportunity, at the Ebbing of the Billows, he made what Haste he could on his Feet, and when the Billows came again, he took Hold of his Knees with his Hands, and bore up against the Billows, hiding himself under them as Sea Gulls and Ducks do, and at the Ebbing of the Wave, he would start up and run for it. I seeing that this succeeded so well to him, followed his Example. There stood upon the Shoar Men, who had long Pikes handed from one to another, which kept them firm against the Force of the Waves, strong bodied Men, and accustom’d to the Waves, and he that was last of them held out a Pike to the Person swimming towards him. All that came to Shoar, and laying hold of that, were drawn safely to dry Land. Some were sav’d this Way.
Seven. But two of these fainted away being brought to the Fire.
How many were in the Ship?
O cruel Sea. At least it might have been content with the Tithes, which are enough for Priests. Did it restore so few out of so great a Number?
There we had Experience of the wonderful Humanity of the Nation, that supply’d us with all Necessaries with exceeding Chearfulness; as Lodging, Fire, Victuals, Cloaths, and Money to bear our Charges when we went away.
What Country was it?
There’s no Nation more human, altho’ they are encompass’d with such fierce Nations. I fancy you won’t be for going to Sea again.
No, unless God shall please to deprive me of my Reason.
I would rather hear such Stories than feel them.
: 286p. 286This Colloquy shews the various Customs of Nations and their Civility in treating Strangers. An Inn at Leyden where are nothing but Women. The Manners of the French Inns, who are us’d to tell Stories, and break Jests. The Germans, far more uncivil in treating Travellers, being rude, and wholly inhospitable: The Guests look after their own Horses: The Method of receiving them into the Stove: They provide no Supper, till they know how many Guests they shall have: All that come that Night, sit down to Supper together: All pay alike, tho’ one drinks twice as much Wine as another does.
I wonder what is the Fancy of a great many, for staying two or three Days at Lyons? When I have once set out on a Journey, I an’t at Rest till I come to my Journey’s End.
Nay, I wonder as much, that any Body can get away from thence.
But why so?
Because that’s a Place the Companions of Ulysses could not have got away from. There are Sirens. No Body is better entertain’d at his own House, than he is there at an Inn.
What is done there?
There’s a Woman always waiting at Table, which Edition: current; Page:  : 287p. 287 makes the Entertainment pleasant with Railleries, and pleasant Jests. And the Women are very handsome there. First the Mistress of the House came and bad us Welcome, and to accept kindly what Fare we should have; after her, comes her Daughter, a very fine Woman, of so handsome a Carriage, and so pleasant in Discourse, that she would make even Cato himself merry, were he there: And they don’t talk to you as if you were perfect Strangers, but as those they have been a long Time acquainted with, and familiar Friends.
O, I know the French Way of Civility very well.
And because they can’t be always with you, by Reason of the other Affairs of the House, and the welcoming of other Guests, there comes a Lass, that supplies the Place of the Daughter, till she is at Leisure to return again. This Lass is so well instructed in the Knack of Repartees, that she has a Word ready for every Body, and no Conceit comes amiss to her. The Mother, you must know, was somewhat in Years.
But what was your Table furnish’d with? For Stories fill no Bellies.
Truly, so splendid, that I was amaz’d that they could afford to entertain their Guests so, for so small a Price. And then after Dinner, they entertain a Man with such facetious Discourse, that one cannot be tired; that I seemed to be at my own House, and not in a strange Place.
And how went Matters in your Chambers?
Why, there was every where some pretty Lass or other, giggling and playing wanton Tricks? They ask’d us if we had any foul Linnen to wash; which they wash and bring to us again: In a word, we saw nothing there but young Lasses and Women, except in the Stable, and they would every now and then run in there too. When you go away, they embrace ye, and part with you with as much Affection, as if you were their own Brothers, or near Kinsfolks.
This Mode perhaps may become the French, but Edition: current; Page:  : 288p. 288 methinks the Way of the Germans pleases me better, which is more manly.
I never have seen Germany; therefore, pray don’t think much to tell how they entertain a Traveller.
I can’t tell whether the Method of entertaining be the same every where; but I’ll tell you what I saw there. No Body bids a Guest welcome, lest he should seem to court his Guests to come to him, for that they look upon to be sordid and mean, and not becoming the German Gravity. When you have called a good While at the Gate, at Length one puts his Head out of the Stove Window (for they commonly live in Stoves till Midsummer) like a Tortoise from under his Shell: Him you must ask if you can have any Lodging there; if he does not say no, you may take it for granted, that there is Room for you. When you ask where the Stable is, he points to it; there you may curry your Horse as you please yourself, for there is no Servant will put a Hand to it. If it be a noted Inn, there is a Servant shews you the Stable, and a Place for your Horse, but incommodious enough; for they keep the best Places for those that shall come afterwards; especially for Noblemen. If you find Fault with any Thing, they tell you presently, if you don’t like, look for another Inn. In their Cities, they allow Hay, but very unwillingly and sparingly, and that is almost as dear as Oats. When you have taken Care of your Horse, you come whole into the Stove, Boots, Baggage, Dirt and all, for that is a common Room for all Comers.
In France, they appoint you a separate Chamber, where you may change your Cloaths, clean and warm your self, or take Rest if you have a Mind to it.
There’s nothing of that here. In the Stove, you pull off your Boots, put on your Shoes, and if you will, change your Shirt, hang up your wet Cloths near the Stove Iron, and get near it to dry yourself. There’s Water provided for you to wash your Hands, if you will; but as for the Cleanness of it, it is for the most Part such that you will want another Water to wash that off.
I commend this Sort of People, that have nothing of Effeminacy in them.
If you come in at four a–Clock in the Afternoon, you must not go to Supper till nine, and sometimes not till ten.
They never make any Thing ready till they see all their Company together, that one Trouble may serve for all.
They are for taking the shortest Way.
You are right; so that oftentimes, there come all together into the same Stove, eighty or ninety Foot–Men, Horse–Men, Merchants, Marriners, Waggoners, Husband–Men, Children, Women, sick and sound.
This is having all Things in common.
There one combs his Head, another wipes off his Sweat, another cleans his Spatterdashes or Boots, another belches Garlick; and in short, there is as great a Confusion of Tongues and Persons, as there was at the Building the Tower of Babel. And if they see any Body of another Country, who by his Habit looks like a Man of Quality, they all stare at him so wistfully, as if he was a Sort of strange Animal brought out of Africa. And when they are set at Table, and he behind them, they will be still looking back at him, and be staring him in the Face, till they have forgot their Suppers.
At Rome, Paris or Venice, there’s no Body thinks any Thing strange.
In the mean Time, ’tis a Crime for you to call for any Thing. When it is grown pretty late, and they don’t expect any more Guests, out comes an old grey–bearded Servant, with his Hair cut short, and a crabbed Look, and a slovenly Dress.
Such Fellows ought to be Cup–Bearers to the Cardinals at Rome.
He having cast his Eyes about, counts to himself, how many there are in the Stove; the more he sees there, the more Fire he makes in the Stove although it be at a Edition: current; Page:  : 290p. 290 Time when the very Heat of the Sun would be troublesome; and this with them, is accounted a principal Part of good Entertainment, to make them all sweat till they drop again. If any one who is not used to the Steam, shall presume to open the Window never so little, that he be not stifled, presently they cry out to shut it again: If you answer you are not able to bear it, you’ll presently hear, get you another Inn then.
But in my Opinion, nothing is more dangerous, than for so many to draw in the same Vapour; especially when their Bodies are opened with the Heat; and to eat in the same Place, and to stay there so many Hours, not to mention the belching of Garlick, the Farting, the stinking Breaths, for many have secret Distempers, and every Distemper has its Contagion; and without doubt, many have the Spanish, or as it is call’d, the French Pox, although it is common to all Nations. And it is my Opinion, there is as much Danger from such Persons, as there is from those that have the Leprosy. Tell me now, what is this short of a Pestilence?
They are Persons of a strong Constitution, and laugh at, and disregard those Niceties.
But in the mean Time, they are bold at the Perils of other Men.
What would you do in this Case? ’Tis what they have been used to, and it is a Part of a constant Mind, not to depart from a Custom.
And yet, within these five and twenty Years, nothing was more in Vogue in Brabant, than hot Baths, but now they are every where grown out of Use; but the new Scabbado has taught us to lay them down.
Well, but hear the rest: By and by, in comes our bearded Ganymede again, and lays on the Table as many Napkins as there are Guests: But, good God! not Damask ones, but such as you’d take to have been made out of old Sails. There are at least eight Guests allotted to every Table. Now those that know the Way of the Country, take Edition: current; Page:  : 291p. 291 their Places, every one as he pleases, for there’s no Difference between Poor or Rich, between the Master and Servant.
This was that ancient Equality which now the Tyrant Custom has driven quite out of the World. I suppose Christ liv’d after this Manner with his Disciples.
After they are all plac’d, out comes the sour–look’d Ganymede again, and counts his Company over again; by and by he comes in again, and brings every Man a Wooden Dish, and a Spoon of the same Silver, and then a Glass; and then a little after he brings Bread, which the Guests may chip every one for themselves at Leisure, while the Porridge is boiling. For sometimes they sit thus for near an Hour.
Do none of the Guests call for Meat in the mean Time?
None who knows the Way of the Country. At last the Wine is set upon the Table: Good God! how far from being tasteless? So thin and sharp, that Sophisters ought to drink no other. And if any of the Guests should privately offer a Piece of Money to get a little better Wine some where else; at first they’ll say nothing to you, but give you a Look, as if they were going to murder you; and if you press it farther, they answer you, there have been so many Counts and Marquisses that have lodg’d here, and none of them ever found fault with this Wine: If you don’t like it, get you another Inn. They account only the Noblemen of their own Nation to be Men, and where–ever you come, they are shewing you their Arms. By this time, comes a Morsel to pacify a barking Stomach: And by and by follow the Dishes in great Pomp; commonly the first has Sippits of Bread in Flesh Broth, or if it be a Fish Day, in a Soup of Pulse. After that comes in another Soup, and then a Service of Butcher’s Meat, that has been twice boil’d, or salt Meats warm’d again, and then Pulse again, and by and by something of more solid Food, until their Stomachs being pretty well staid, they bring roast Meat or stewed Fish, which is not to be at all contemn’d; but this they are sparing of, and take it away Edition: current; Page:  again quickly. This is the Manner they order the Entertainment, as Comedians do, who intermingle Dances among their Scenes, so do they their Chops and Soups by Turns: But they take Care that the last Act shall be the best.
This is the Part of a good Poet.
And it would be a heinous Offence, if in the mean Time any Body should say, Take away this Dish, there’s no Body eats. You must sit your Time appointed, which I think they measure by the Hour–Glass. At length, out comes that bearded Fellow, or the Landlord himself, in a Habit but little differing from his Servants, and asks how cheer you? And by and by some better Wine is brought. And they like those best that drink most, tho’ he that drinks most pays no more than he that drinks least.
A strange Temper of the Nation!
There are some of them that drink twice as much Wine as they pay for their Ordinary. But before I leave this Entertainment, it is wonderful what a Noise and Chattering there is, when once they come to be warm with Wine. In short, it deafens a Man. They oftentimes bring in a Mixture of Mimicks, which these People very much delight in, tho’ they are a detestable Sort of Men. There’s such a singing, prating, bawling, jumping, and knocking, that you would think the Stove were falling upon your Head, and one Man can’t hear another speak. And this they think is a pleasant Way of living, and there you must sit in Spight of your Heart till near Midnight.
Make an End of your Meal now, for I myself am tir’d with such a tedious one.
Well, I will. At length the Cheese is taken away, which scarcely pleases them, except it be rotten and full of Maggots. Then the old bearded Fellow comes again with a Trencher, and a many Circles and semi–Circles drawn upon it with Chalk, this he lays down upon the Table, with a grim Countenance, and without speaking. You would say he was some Charon. They that understand the Meaning of this lay down their Money one after another till the Trencher Edition: current; Page:  is fill’d. Having taken Notice of those who lay down, he reckons it up himself, and if all is paid, he gives you a Nod.
But what if there should be any Thing over and above?
Perhaps he’ll give it you again, and they oftentimes do so.
Does no Body find fault with the Reckoning?
No Body that is wise. For they will say, what Sort of a Fellow are you? You pay no more than the rest.
This is a frank Sort of Men, you are speaking of.
If any one is weary with his Journey, and desires to go to Bed as soon as he has supp’d, he is bid to stay till the rest go too.
This seems to me to be Plato’s City.
Then every one is shew’d to his Chamber, and truly ’tis nothing else but a Chamber, there is only a Bed there, and nothing else that you can either make Use of or steal.
Are Things very clean there?
As clean as they were at the Table. Sheets wash’d perhaps six Months ago.
What becomes of your Horses all this While?
They are treated after the Manner that the Men are.
But is there the same Treatment every where.
It is a little more civil in some Places, and worse in others, than I have told you; but in general it is thus.
What if I should now tell you how they treat their Guests in that Part of Italy call’d Lombardy, and in Spain, and in England, and in Wales, for the English have the Manners both of the French and the Germans, being a Mixture of those two Nations. The Welsh boast themselves to be the original English.
Pray relate it. I never had the Opportunity of travelling in them.
I have not Leisure now, and the Master of the Ship bid me be on board by three a Clock, unless I would lose my Passage. Another Time we shall have an Opportunity of prating our Bellies full.
This is certainly a divine Colloquy, that makes even a Bawdy–House a chaste Place! God can’t be deceiv’d, his Eyes penetrate into the most secret Places. That young Persons ought in an especial Manner to take Care of their Chastity. A young Woman, who made herself common to get a Livelihood, is recovered from that Course of Life, as wretched as it is scandalous.
O brave! My pretty Sophronius, have I gotten you again? It is an Age methinks since I saw you. I did not know you at first Sight.
Why so, my Lucretia?
Because you had no Beard when you went away, but you’re come back with something of a Beard. What’s the Matter, my little Heart, you look duller than you use to do?
I want to have a little Talk with you in private.
Ah, ah, are we not by ourselves already, my Cocky?
Let us go out of the Way somewhere, into a more private Place.
Come on then, we’ll go into my inner Bed–Chamber, if you have a Mind to do any Thing.
I don’t think this Place is private enough yet.
How comes it about you’re so bashful all on a sudden? Well, come, I have a Closet where I lay up my Cloaths, a Place so dark, that we can scarce see one another there.
See if there be no Chink.
There is not so much as a Chink.
Is there no Body near to hear us?
Not so much as a Fly, my Dear; Why do you lose Time?
Can we escape the Eye of God here?
No, he sees all Things clearly.
And of the Angels?
No, we cannot escape their Sight.
How comes it about then, that Men are not asham’d to do that in the Sight of God, and before the Face of the holy Angels, that they would be ashamed to do before Men?
What Sort of an Alteration is this? Did you come hither to preach a Sermon? Prithee put on a Franciscan’s Hood, and get up into a Pulpit, and then we’ll hear you hold forth, my little bearded Rogue.
I should not think much to do that, if I could but reclaim you from this Kind of Life, that is the most shameful and miserable Life in the World.
Why so, good Man? I am born, and I must be kept; every one must live by his Calling. This is my Business; this is all I have to live on.
I wish with all my Heart, my Lucretia, that setting aside for a While that Infatuation of Mind, you would seriously weigh the Matter.
Keep your Preachment till another Time; now let us enjoy one another, my Sophronius.
You do what you do for the Sake of Gain.
You are much about the Matter.
Thou shalt lose nothing by it, do but hearken to me, and I’ll pay you four Times over.
Well, say what you have a Mind to say.
Answer me this Question in the first Place: Are there any Persons that owe you any ill Will?
Is there any Body that you have a Spleen against?
According as they deserve.
And if you could do any Thing that would gratify them, would you do it?
I would poison ’em sooner.
But then do but consider with yourself; is there any Thing that you can do that gratifies them more than to let them see you live this shameful and wretched Life? And what is there thou canst do that would be more afflicting to them that wish thee well?
It is my Destiny.
Now that which uses to be the greatest Hardship to such as are transported, or banish’d into the most remote Parts of the World, this you undergo voluntarily.
What is that?
Hast thou not of thy own Accord renounc’d all thy Affections to Father, Mother, Brother, Sisters, Aunts, (by Father’s and Mother’s Side) and all thy Relations? For thou makest them all asham’d to own thee, and thyself asham’d to come into their Sight.
Nay, I have made a very happy Exchange of Affections; for instead of a few, now I have a great many, of which you are one, and whom I have always esteem’d as a Brother.
Leave off Jesting, and consider the Matter seriously, as it really is. Believe me, my Lucretia, she who has so many Friends, has never a one, for they that follow thee do it not as a Friend, but as a House of Office rather. Do but consider, poor Thing, into what a Condition thou hast brought thyself. Christ lov’d thee so dearly as to redeem thee with his own Blood, and would have thee be a Partaker with him in an heavenly Inheritance, and thou makest thyself a common Sewer, into which all the base, nasty, pocky Fellows resort, and empty their Filthiness. And if that leprous Infection they call the French Pox han’t yet seiz’d thee, thou wilt not escape it long. And if once thou gettest it, how miserable wilt thou be, though all things should go favourably on thy Side? I mean thy Substance and Reputation. Thou wouldest be nothing but a living Carcase. Edition: current; Page:  Thou thoughtest much to obey thy Mother, and now thou art a mere Slave to a filthy Bawd. You could not endure to hear your Parents Instructions; and here you are often beaten by drunken Fellows and mad Whoremasters. It was irksome to thee to do any Work at Home, to get a Living; but here, how many Quarrels art thou forc’d to endure, and how late a Nights art thou oblig’d to sit up?
How came you to be a Preacher?
And do but seriously consider, this Flower of thy Beauty that now brings thee so many Gallants, will soon fade: And then, poor Creature, what wilt thou do? Thou wilt be piss’d upon by every Body. It may be, thou thinkest, instead of a Mistress, I’ll then be a Bawd. All Whores can’t attain to that, and if thou shouldst, what Employment is more impious, and more like the Devil himself?
Why, indeed, my Sophronius, almost all you say is very true. But how came you to be so religious all of a sudden? Thou usedst to be the greatest Rake in the World, one of ’em. No Body used to come hither more frequently, nor at more unseasonable Hours than you did. I hear you have been at Rome.
I have so.
Well, but other People use to come from thence worse than they went: How comes it about, it is otherwise with you?
I’ll tell you, because I did not go to Rome with the same Intent, and after the same Manner that others do. Others commonly go to Rome, on purpose to come Home worse, and there they meet with a great many Opportunities of becoming so. I went along with an honest Man, by whose Advice, I took along with me a Book instead of a Bottle: The New Testament with Erasmus’s Paraphrase.
Erasmus’s? They say that he’s Half a Heretick.
Has his Name reached to this Place too?
There’s no Name more noted among us.
Did you ever see him?
No, I never saw him; but I should be glad to see him; I have heard so many bad Reports of him.
It may be you have heard ’em, from them that are bad themselves.
Nay, from Men of the Gown.
Who are they?
It is not convenient to name Names.
Because if you should blab it out, and it should come to their Ears, I should lose a great many good Cullies.
Don’t be afraid, I won’t speak a Word of it.
I will whisper then.
You foolish Girl, what Need is there to whisper, when there is no Body but ourselves? What, lest God should hear? Ah, good God! I perceive you’re a religious Whore, that relievest Mendicants.
I get more by them Beggars than by you rich Men.
They rob honest Women, to lavish it away upon naughty Strumpets.
But go on, as to your Book.
So I will, and that’s best. In that Book, Paul, that can’t lie, told me, that neither Whores nor Whore–mongers shall obtain the Kingdom of Heaven. When I read this, I began thus to think with myself: It is but a small Matter that I look for from my Father’s Inheritance, and yet I can renounce all the Whores in the World, rather than be disinherited by my Father; how much more then ought I to take Care, lest my heavenly Father should disinherit me? And human Laws do afford some Relief in the Case of a Father’s disinheriting or discarding a Son: But here is no Provision at all made, in case of God’s disinheriting; and upon that, I immediately ty’d myself up from all Conversation with lewd Women.
It will be well if you can hold it.
It is a good Step towards Continence, to desire to be so. And last of all, there is one Remedy left, and that is a Wife. When I was at Rome, I empty’d the whole Jakes of my Sins into the Bosom of a Confessor. And he exhorted me very earnestly to Purity, both of Mind and Body, and to Edition: current; Page:  the reading of the holy Scripture, to frequent Prayer, and Sobriety of Life, and enjoin’d me no other Penance, but that I should upon my bended Knees before the high Altar say this Psalm, Have Mercy upon me, O God: And that if I had any Money, I should give one Penny to some poor Body. And I wondring that for so many whoring Tricks he enjoin’d me so small a Penance, he answer’d me very pleasantly, My Son, says he, if you truly repent and change your Life, I don’t lay much Stress upon the Penance; but if thou shalt go on in it, the very Lust itself will at last punish thee very severely, although the Priest impose none upon thee. Look upon me, I am blear–ey’d, troubled with the Palsy, and go stooping: Time was I was such a one as you say you have been heretofore. And thus I repented.
Then as far as I perceive, I have lost my Sophronius.
Nay, you have rather gain’d him, for he was lost before, and was neither his own Friend nor thine: Now he loves thee in Reality, and longs for the Salvation of thy Soul.
What would you have me to do then, my Sophronius?
To leave off that Course of Life out of Hand: Thou art but a Girl yet, and that Stain that you have contracted may be wip’d off in Time. Either marry, and I’ll give you something toward a Portion, or go into some Cloyster, that takes in crakt Maids, or go into some strange Place and get into some honest Family, I’ll lend you my Assistance to any of these.
My Sophronius, I love thee dearly, look out for one for me, I’ll follow thy Advice.
But in the mean Time get away from hence.
Whoo! what so suddenly!
Why not to Day rather than to Morrow, if Delays are dangerous?
Whither shall I go?
Get all your Things together, give ’em to me in the Evening, my Servant shall carry ’em privately to a faithful Matron: And I’ll come a little after and take you out as if it were to take a little Walk; you shall live with her some Edition: current; Page:  Time upon my Cost till I can provide for you, and that shall be very quickly.
Well, my Sophronius, I commit myself wholly to thy Management.
In Time to come you’ll be glad you have done so.
: 301p. 301The Poetical Feast teaches the Studious how to banquet. That Thriftiness with Jocoseness, Chearfulness without Obscenity, and learned Stories, ought to season their Feasts. Iambics are bloody. Poets are Men of no great Judgment. The three chief Properties of a good Maid Servant. Fidelity, Deformity, and a high Spirit. A Place out of the Prologue of Terence’s Eunuchus is illustrated. Also Horace’s Epode to Canidia. A Place out of Seneca. Aliud agere, nihil agere, male agere. A Place out of the Elenchi of Aristotle is explain’d. A Theme poetically varied, and in a different Metre. Sentences are taken from Flowers and Trees in the Garden. Also some Verses are compos’d in Greek.
Levis apparatus, animus est lautissimus.
Cænam sinistro es auspicatus omine.
Imo absit omen triste. Sed cur hoc putas?
Cruenti Iambi haud congruunt convivio.
I have but slender Fare, but a very liberal Mind.
You have begun the Banquet with a bad Omen.
Away with bad Presages. But why do you think so?
Bloody Iambics are not fit for a Feast.
O brave! I am sure the Muses are amongst us, Verses flow so from us, when we don’t think of ’em.
If you had rather have whirling Trochees, lo, here they are for you: Here is but mean Provision, but I have a liberal Mind.
Although Iambics in old Time were made for Contentions and Quarrels, they were afterwards made to serve any Subject whatsoever. O Melons! Here you have Melons that grew in my own Garden. These are creeping Lettuces of a very milky Juice, like their Name. What Man in his Wits would not prefer these Delicacies before Brawn, Lampreys, and Moor–Hens?
If a Man may be allow’d to speak Truth at a Poetic Banquet, those you call Lettuces are Beets.
It is as I tell you. See the Shape of ’em, and besides where is the milky Juice? Where are their soft Prickles?
Truly you make me doubt. Soho, call the Wench. Margaret, you Hag, what did you mean to give us Beets instead of Lettuces?
I did it on Purpose.
What do you say, you Witch?
I had a Mind to try among so many Poets if any could know a Lettuce from a Beet. For I know you don’t tell me truly who ’twas that discover’d ’em to be Beets.
I thought it was no Poet who did it.
If ever you serve me so again, I’ll call you Blitea instead of Margarita.
Ha, ha, ha.
Your calling me will neither make me fatter nor leaner. He calls me by twenty Names in a Day’s Time: When he has a Mind to wheedle me, then I’m call’d Galatea, Euterpe, Calliope, Callirhoe, Melissa, Venus, Minerva, and Edition: current; Page:  : 303p. 303 what not? When he’s out of Humour at any Thing, then presently I’m Tisiphone, Megaera, Alecto, Medusa, Baucis, and whatsoever comes into his Head in his mad Mood.
Get you gone with your Beets, Blitea.
I wonder what you call’d me for.
That you may go whence you came.
’Tis an old Saying and a true, ’tis an easier Matter to raise the Devil, than ’tis to lay him.
Ha, ha, ha: Very well said. As the Matter is, Hilary, you stand in Need of some magic Verse to lay her with.
I have got one ready.
ϕεύγετε, κανθάριδες· λύκος ἄγριος ὔμμε διώκει.
Be gone ye Beetles, for the cruel Wolf pursues you.
What says Æsop?
Have a Care, Hilary, she’ll hit you a Slap on the Face: This is your laying her with your Greek Verse. A notable Conjurer indeed!
Crato, What do you think of this Jade? I could have laid ten great Devils with such a Verse as this.
I don’t care a Straw for your Greek Verses.
Well then, I must make use of a magical Spell, or, if that won’t do, Mercury’s Mace.
My Margaret, you know we Poets are a Sort of Enthusiasts, I won’t say Mad–Men; prithee let me intreat you to let alone this Contention ’till another Time, and treat us with good Humour at this Supper for my Sake.
What does he trouble me with his Verses for? Often when I am to go to Market he has never a Penny of Money to give me, and yet he’s a humming of Verses.
Poets are such Sort of Men. But however, prithee do as I say.
Indeed I will do it for your Sake, because I know you are an honest Gentleman, that never beat your Brain about such Fooleries. I wonder how you came to fall into such Company.
How come you to think so?
Because you have a full Nose, sparkling Eyes, and a plump Body. Now do but see how he leers and sneers at me.
But prithee, Sweet–Heart, keep your Temper for my Sake.
Well, I will go, and ’tis for your Sake and no Body’s else.
Is she gone?
Not so far but she can hear you.
She is in the Kitchen, now, muttering something to herself I can’t tell what.
I’ll assure you your Maid is not dumb.
They say a good Maid Servant ought especially to have three Qualifications; to be honest, ugly, and high–spirited, which the Vulgar call evil. An honest Servant won’t waste, an ugly one Sweet–Hearts won’t woo, and one that is high–spirited will defend her Master’s Right; for sometimes there is Occasion for Hands as well as a Tongue. This Maid of mine has two of these Qualifications, she’s as ugly as she’s surly; as to her Honesty I can’t tell what to say to that.
We have heard her Tongue, we were afraid of her Hands upon your Account.
Take some of these Pompions: We have done with the Lettuces. For I know if I should bid her bring any Lettuces, she would bring Thistles. Here are Melons too, if any Body likes them better. Here are new Figs too just gather’d, as you may see by the Milk in the Stalks. It is customary to drink Water after Figs, lest they clog the Stomach. Here is very cool clear Spring Water that runs out of this Fountain, that is good to mix with Wine.
But I can’t tell whether I had best to mix Water with my Wine, or Wine with Water; this Wine seems to me so likely to have been drawn out of the Muses Fountain.
Such Wine as this is good for Poets to sharpen their Wits. You dull Fellows love heavy Liquors.
I wish I was that happy Crassus.
I had rather be Codrus or Ennius. And seeing I Edition: current; Page:  : 305p. 305 happen to have the Company of so many learned Guests at my Table, I won’t let ’em go away without learning something of ’em. There is a Place in the Prologue of Eunuchus that puzzles many. For most Copies have it thus:
Let him so esteem or know, that it is an Answer, not a common Saying; because he first did the Injury, who by well translating and ill describing them, &c.
In these Words I want a witty Sense, and such as is worthy of Terence. For he did not therefore do the Wrong first, because he translated the Greek Comedies badly, but because he had found Fault with Terence’s.
According to the old Proverb, He that sings worst let him begin first. When I was at London in Thomas Linacre’s House, who is a Man tho’ well skill’d in all Manner of Philosophy, yet he is very ready in all Criticisms in Grammar, he shew’d me a Book of great Antiquity which had it thus:
The Sentence is so to be ordered, that quale sit may shew that an Example of that which is spoken before is to be subjoin’d. He threatened that he would again find Fault with something in his Comedies who had found Fault with him, and he here denies that it ought to seem a Reproach but an Answer. He that provokes begins the Quarrel; he that being provok’d, replies, only makes his Defence or Answer. He promises to give an Example thereof, quale sit, being the same with οἱ̑ον in Greek, and quod genus, veluti, or videlicet, or puta in Latin. Then afterwards he brings a reproof, wherein the Adverb prius hath Relation to another Adverb, as it were a contrary one, which follows, viz. nuper Edition: current; Page:  : 306p. 306 even as the Pronoun qui answers to the Word idem. For he altogether explodes the old Comedies of Lavinius, because they were now lost out of the Memory of Men. In those which he had lately published, he sets down the certain Places. I think that this is the proper Reading, and the true Sense of the Comedian: If the chief and ordinary Poets dissent not from it.
We are all entirely of your Opinion.
But I again desire to be inform’d by you of one small and very easy Thing, how this Verse is to be scann’d.
Scan it upon your Fingers.
I think that according to the Custom of the Antients s is to be cut off, so that there be an Anapaestus in the second Place.
I should agree to it, but that the Ablative Case ends in is, and is long by Nature. Therefore though the Consonant should be taken away, yet nevertheless a long Vowel remains.
You say right.
If any unlearned Person or Stranger should come in, he would certainly think we were bringing up again among ourselves the Countrymens Play of holding up our Fingers (dimicatione digitorum, i. e. the Play of Love).
As far as I see, we scan it upon our Fingers to no Purpose. Do you help us out if you can.
To see how small a Matter sometimes puzzles Men, though they be good Scholars! The Preposition ex belongs to the End of the foregoing Verse.
Thus there is no Scruple.
It is so, by the Muses. Since we have begun to scan upon our Fingers, I desire that somebody would put this Verse out of Andria into its Feet.
For I have often tri’d and could do no good on’t.
Sine in is an Iambic, vidia an Anapæstus, Laudem in is a Spondee, venias an Anapæstus, et ami another Anapæstus.
You have five Feet already, and there are three Syllables yet behind, the first of which is long; so that thou canst neither make it an Iambic nor a Tribrach.
Indeed you say true. We are aground; who shall help us off?
No Body can do it better than he that brought us into it. Well, Carinus, if thou canst say any Thing to the Matter, don’t conceal it from your poor sincere Friends.
If my Memory does not fail me, I think I have read something of this Nature in Priscian, who says, that among the Latin Comedians v Consonant is cut off as well as the Vowel, as oftentimes in this Word enimvero; so that the part enime makes an Anapæstus.
Then scan it for us.
I’ll do it. Sine inidi is a proseleusmatic Foot, unless you had rather have it cut off i by Syneresis, as when Virgil puts aureo at the End of an heroick Verse for auro. But if you please let there be a Tribrach in the first Place, a lau is a Spondee, d’ inveni a Dactyl, as et a a Dactyl, micos a Spondee, pares an Iambic.
Carinus hath indeed got us out of these Briars. But in the same Scene there is a Place, which I can’t tell whether any Body has taken Notice of or not.
Prithee, let us have it.
There Simo speaks after this Manner.
Suppose it happen, as I desire, that there be no delay in Pamphilus; Chremes remains.
What is it that troubles you in these Words?
Sine being a Term of Threatning, there is nothing follows in this Place that makes for a Threatning. Therefore it is my Opinion that the Poet wrote it,Edition: current; Page: 
that Sin may answer to the Si that went before.
For the old Man propounds two Parts differing from one another: Si, &c. If Pamphilus for the Love of Glycerie refuseth to marry, I shall have some Cause to chide him; but if he shall not refuse, then it remains that I must intreat Chremes. Moreover the Interruption of Sosia, and Simo’s Anger against Davus made too long a Transposition of the Words.
Mouse, reach me that Book.
Do you commit your Book to a Mouse?
More safely than my Wine. Let me never stir, if Sbrulius has not spoken the Truth.
Give me the Book, I’ll shew you another doubtful Place. This Verse is not found in the Prologue of Eunuchus:
Although the Latin Comedians especially take great Liberty to themselves in this Kind of Verse, yet I don’t remember that they any where conclude a Trimetre with a Spondee, unless it be read Condonabitur impersonally, or Condonabimus, changing the Number of the Person.
Oh, this is like Poets Manners indeed! As soon as ever they are set down to Dinner they are at Play, holding up their Fingers, and poring upon their Books. It were better to reserve your Plays and your Scholarship for the second Course.
Margaret gives us no bad Counsel, we’ll humour her; when we have fill’d our Bellies, we’ll go to our Play again; now we’ll play with our Fingers in the Dish.
Take Notice of Poetick Luxury. You have three Sorts of Eggs, boil’d, roasted, and fry’d; they are all very new, laid within these two Days.
I can’t abide to eat Butter; if they are fry’d with Oil, I shall like ’em very well.
Boy, go ask Margaret what they are fry’d in.
She says they are fry’d in neither.
What! neither in Butter nor Oil. In what then?
She says they are fry’d in Lye.
She has given you an Answer like your Question. What a great Difficulty ’tis to distinguish Butter from Oil.
Especially for those that can so easily know a Lettuce from a Beet.
Well, you have had the Ovation, the Triumph will follow in Time. Soho, Boy, look about you, do you perceive nothing to be wanting?
Yes, a great many Things.
These Eggs lack Sauce to allay their Heat.
What Sauce would you have?
Bid her send us some Juice of the Tendrels of a Vine pounded.
I’ll tell her, Sir.
What, do you come back empty–handed?
She says, Juice is not used to be squeez’d out of Vine Tendrels.
A fine Maid Servant, indeed!
Well, we’ll season our Eggs with pleasant Stories. I found a Place in the Epodes of Horace, not corrupted as to the Writing, but wrong interpreted, and not only by Mancinellus, and other later Writers; but by Porphyry himself. The Place is in the Poem, where he sings a Recantation to the Witch Canidia.
For they all take exilis to be a Noun in this Place, when it is a Verb. I’ll write down Porphyry’s Words, if we can believe ’em to be his: She is exilis, says he, under that Form, as though she were become deform’d by Travel; by Slenderness of Body, he means a natural Leanness. A shameful Mistake, if so great a Man did not perceive that the Law of Edition: current; Page:  the Metre did contradict this Sense. Nor does the fourth Place admit of a Spondee: but the Poet makes a Jest of it; that she did indeed bear a Child, though she was not long weak, nor kept her Bed long after her Delivery; but presently jumpt out of Bed, as some lusty lying–in Women used to do.
We thank you Sbrulius, for giving us such fine Sauce to our Eggs.
There is another Thing in the first Book of Odes that is not much unlike this. The Ode begins thus: Tu ne quæ sieris. Now the common Reading is thus, Neu Babylonios Tentaris numeros, ut melius quicquid erit pati. The antient Interpreters pass this Place over, as if there were no Difficulty in it. Only Mancinellus thinking the Sentence imperfect, bids us add possis.
Have you any Thing more that is certain about this Matter?
I don’t know whether I have or no; but in my Opinion, Horace seems here to have made Use of the Greek Idiom; and this he does more than any other of the Poets. For it is a very common Thing with the Greeks, to join an infinitive Mood with the Word ὡς and ὥστε. And so Horace uses ut pati, for ut patiaris: Although what Mancinellus guesses, is not altogether absurd.
I like what you say very well. Run, Mouse, and bring what is to come, if there be any Thing.
What new dainty Dish is this?
This is a Cucumber sliced; this is the Broth of the Pulp of a Gourd boil’d, it is good to make the Belly loose.
Truly a medical feast.
Take it in good Part. There’s a Fowl to come out of our Hen–Coop.
We will change thy Name, and call thee Apicius, instead of Hilary.
Well, laugh now as much as you will, it may be you’ll highly commend this Supper to Morrow.
When you find that your Dinner has been well season’d.
What, with a good Stomach?
Hilary, do you know what Task I would have you take upon you?
I shall know when you have told me.
The Choir sings some Hymns, that are indeed learned ones; but are corrupted in many Places by unlearned Persons. I desire that you would mend ’em; and to give you an Example, we sing thus:
The mis–placing of one Word spoils the Verse two Ways. For the Word hostis, making a Trochee, has no Place in an Iambick Verse, and Hero being a Spondee won’t stand in the second Place. Nor is there any doubt but the Verse at first was thus written,
For the Epithete impie better agrees with Hostis than with Herod. Besides Herodes being a Greek Word η is turned into ε in the vocative; as Σωκράτης, ὠˆ Σώκρατες; and so Ἀγαμέμνων in the nominative Case is turned into ο. So again we sing the Hymn,
There is no Doubt but the Word should be pronounc’d concipit. For the Change of the Tense sets off a Word. And Edition: current; Page:  : 312p. 312 it is ridiculous for us to find Fault with concipit when parturit follows.
Truly I have been puzzled at a great many such Things; nor will it be amiss, if hereafter we bestow a little Time upon this Matter. For methinks Ambrose has not a little Grace in this Kind of Verse, for he does commonly end a Verse of four Feet with a Word of three Syllables, and commonly places a cæsura in the End of a Word. It is so common with him that it cannot seem to have been by Chance. If you would have an Example, Deus Creator. Here is a Penthemimeris, it follows, omnium; Polique rector, then follows, vestiens; diem decoro, and then lumine; noctem soporis, then follows gratia.
But here’s a good fat Hen that has laid me Eggs, and hatch’d me Chickens for ten Years together.
It is Pity that she should have been kill’d.
If it were fit to intermingle any Thing of graver Studies, I have something to propose.
Yes, if it be not too crabbed.
That it is not. I lately began to read Seneca’s Epistles, and stumbled, as they say, at the very Threshold. The Place is in the first Epistle; And if, says he, thou wilt but observe it, great Part of our Life passes away while we are doing what is ill; the greatest Part, while we are doing nothing, and the whole of it while we are doing that which is to no Purpose. In this Sentence, he seems to affect I can’t tell what Sort of Witticism, which I do not well understand.
I’ll guess, if you will.
No Man offends continually. But, nevertheless, a great Part of one’s Life is lost in Excess, Lust, Ambition, and other Vices; but a much greater Part is lost in doing of nothing. Moreover they are said to do nothing, not who live in Idleness, but they who are busied about frivolous Things which conduce nothing at all to our Happiness: And thence comes the Proverb, It is better to be idle, than to be doing, but to no Purpose. But the whole Life is spent Edition: current; Page:  in doing another Thing. He is said, aliud agere, who does not mind what he is about. So that the whole of Life is lost: Because when we are vitiously employ’d we are doing what we should not do; when we are employ’d about frivolous Matters we do that we should not do; and when we study Philosophy, in that we do it negligently and carelesly, we do something to no Purpose. If this Interpretation don’t please you, let this Sentence of Seneca be set down among those Things of this Author that Aulus Gellius condemns in this Writer as frivolously witty.
Indeed I like it very well. But in the mean Time, let us fall manfully upon the Hen. I would not have you mistaken, I have no more Provision for you. It agrees with what went before. That is the basest Loss that comes by Negligence, and he shews it by this Sentence consisting of three Parts. But methinks I see a Fault a little after: We foresee not Death, a great Part of it is past already. It is my Opinion it ought to be read; We foresee Death. For we foresee those Things which are a great Way off from us, when Death for the most Part is gone by us.
If Philosophers do sometimes give themselves Leave to go aside into the Meadows of the Muses, perhaps it will not be amiss for us, if we, to gratify our Fancy, take a Turn into their Territories.
As I was lately reading over again Aristotle’s Book that he entitles Περὶ τωˆν ἐλέγχων, the Argument of which is for the most Part common both to Rhetoricians and Philosophers, I happen’d to fall upon some egregious Mistakes of the Interpreters. And there is no Doubt but that they that are unskill’d in the Greek have often miss’d it in many Places. For Aristotle proposes a Sort of such Kind of Ambiguity as arises from a Word of a contrary Signification. ὅ τι μανθάνουσιν οἱ ἐπιστάμενοι· τὰ γὰρ ἀποστοματιζόμενα μανθάνουσιν οἱ γραμματικοί· τὸ γὰρ μανθάνειν ὁμώνυμον, τό τε ξυνιέναι χρώμενον τῃ̑ ἐπιστήμῃ, καὶ τὸ λαμβάνειν τὴν ἐπιστήμην. And they turn it thus. Because intelligent Edition: current; Page:  Persons learn; for Grammarians are only tongue–learn’d; for to learn is an equivocal Word, proper both to him that exerciseth and to him that receiveth Knowledge.
Methinks you speak Hebrew, and not English.
Have any of you heard any equivocal Word?
What then can be more foolish than to desire to turn that which cannot possibly be turn’d. For although the Greek Word μανθάνειν, signifies as much as μαθεɩ̂ν and μαθητεύειν, so among the Latins, discere, to learn, signifies as much as doctrinam accipere, or doctrinam tradere. But whether this be true or no I can’t tell. I rather think μανθάνειν, is of doubtful Signification with the Greeks, as cognoscere is among the Latins. For he that informs, and the Judge that learns, both of them know the Cause. And so I think among the Greeks the Master is said μανθάνειν whilst he hears his Scholars, as also the Scholars who learn of him. But how gracefully hath he turn’d that τὰ γὰρ ἀποστοματιζόμενα μανθάνουσιν οἱ γραμματικοί, nam secundum os grammatici discunt: For the Grammarians are tongue–learn’d; since it ought to be translated, Nam grammatici, quæ dictitant, docent: Grammarians teach what they dictate. Here the Interpreters ought to have given another Expression, which might not express the same Words, but the same Kind of Thing. Tho’ I am apt to suspect here is some Error in the Greek Copy, and that it ought to be written ὁμώνυμον τῳ̑ τε ξυνιέναι καὶ τῳ̑ λαμβάνειν. And a little after he subjoins another Example of Ambiguity, which arises not from the Diversity of the Signification of the same Word, but from a different Connection. τὸ βούλεσθαι λαβεɩ̂ν με τοὺς πολεμίους, velle me accipere pugnantes. To be willing that I should receive the fighting Men: For so he translates it, instead of velle me capere hostes, to be willing that I take the Enemies; and if one should read βούλεσθε, it is more perspicuous. Vultis ut ego capiam hostes? Will ye that I take the Enemies? For the Pronoun may both go before and follow the Verb capere. If it go before it, the Sense will be this, Will Edition: current; Page:  ye, that I take the Enemies? If it follows, then this will be the Sense, Are ye willing that the Enemies should take me? He adds also another Example of the same Kind, ἀ̑ρα ὅ τις γινώσκει, τονˆτο γινώσκει. i. e. An quod quis novit hoc novit. The Ambiguity lies in τονˆτο. If it should be taken in the accusative Case, the Sense will be this; Whatsoever it is that any Body knows, that Thing he knows to be. But if in the nominative Case, the Sense will be this, That Thing which any Body knows, it knows; as though that could not be known that knows not again by Course. Again he adds another Example. ἀ̑ρα ὅ τις ὁρᾳ̑, τονˆτο ὁρᾳ̑; ὁρᾳ̑ δὲ τὸν κίονα· ὥστε ὁρᾳ̑ ὁ κίων. That which any one sees, does that Thing see; but he sees a Post, does the Post therefore see? The Ambiguity lies again in τονˆτο, as we shew’d before. But these Sentences may be render’d into Latin well enough; but that which follows cannot possibly by any Means be render’d, [Editor: illegible character]ρα ὅ σὺ ϕῂς εἰ̂ναι, τονˆτο σὺ ϕὴς εἰ̂ναι; ϕῂς δὲ λίθον εἰ̂ναι· σὺ ἀ̑ρα ϕῄς λίθος εἰ̂ναι. Which they thus render, putas quod tu dicis esse, hoc tu dicis esse: dicis autem lapidem esse, tu ergo lapis dicis esse. Pray tell me what Sense can be made of these Words? For the Ambiguity lies partly in the Idiom of the Greek Phrase, which is in the major and minor. Although in the major there is another Ambiguity in the two Words ὅ and τονˆτο, which if they be taken in the nominative Case, the Sense will be, That which thou sayest thou art, that thou art. But if in the accusative Case the Sense will be, Whatsoever thou sayst is, that thou sayst is; and to this Sense he subjoins λίθον ϕῂς εἰ̂ναι, but to the former Sense he subjoins σὺ ἀ̑ρα ϕῂς λίθος εἰ̂ναι. Catullus once attempted to imitate the Propriety of the Greek Tongue:
For so was this Verse in the old Edition. Those who write Edition: current; Page:  Commentaries on these Places being ignorant of this, must of Necessity err many Ways. Neither indeed can that which immediately follows be perspicuous in the Latin. Καὶ ἀ̑ρα ἔστι σιγωˆντα λέγειν; δίττον γὰρ ἐστι τὸ σιγωˆντα λέγειν, τό τε τὸν λέγοντα σιγᾳ̑ν, καὶ τὸ τὰ λεγόμενα. That they have render’d thus; Et putas, est tacentem dicere? Duplex enim est, tacentem dicere; et hunc dicere tacentem, et quæ dicuntur. Are not these Words more obscure than the Books of the Sibyls?
I am not satisfy’d with the Greek.
I’ll interpret it as well as I can. Is it possible for a Man to speak while he is silent? This Interrogation has a two–Fold Sense, the one of which is false and absurd, and the other may be true; for it cannot possibly be that he who speaks, should not speak what he does speak; that is, that he should be silent while he is speaking; but it is possible, that he who speaks may be silent of him who speaks. Although this Example falls into another Form that he adds a little after. And again, I admire, that a little after, in that kind of Ambiguity that arises from more Words conjoin’d, the Greeks have chang’d the Word Seculum into the Letters, ἐπίστασθαι τὰ γράμματα, seeing that the Latin Copies have it, scire seculum. For here arises a double Sense, either that the Age itself might know something, or that somebody might know the Age. But this is an easier Translation of it into αἰωˆνα or κόσμον, than into γράμματα. For it is absurd to say that Letters know any Thing; but it is no absurdity to say, something is known to our Age, or that any one knows his Age. And a little after, where he propounds an Ambiguity in the Accent, the Translator does not stick to put Virgil’s Words instead of Homer’s, when there was the same Necessity in that Example, quicquid dicis esse, hoc est, What thou sayst is, it is. Aristotle out of Homer says, οὐ καταπύθεται ὄμβρῳ, if οὑ̑ should be aspirated and circumflected, it sounds in Latin thus; Cujus computrescit pluviâ; by whose Rain it putrifies; but if οὔ be acuted and exile, it sounds, Non computrescit Edition: current; Page:  pluviâ; it does not putrify with Rain; and this indeed is taken out of the Iliad ψ. Another is, διδόμεν δέ οἱ εὐ̑χος ἀρέσθαι: the Accent being placed upon the last Syllable but one, signifies, grant to him; but plac’d upon the first Syllable δίδομεν, signifies, we grant. But the Poet did not think Jupiter said, we grant to him; but commands the Dream itself to grant him, to whom it is sent to obtain his Desire. For διδόμεν, is used for διδόναι. For these two of Homer, these two are added out of our Poets; as that out of the Odes of Horace.
For if the Accent be on me being short, and tu be pronounc’d short, it is one Word metuo; that is, timeo, I am afraid: Although this Ambiguity lies not in the Accent only, but also arises from the Composition.
They have brought another Example out of Virgil:
Although here also the Ambiguity lies in the Composition.
Leonard, These Things are indeed Niceties, worthy to be known; but in the mean Time, I’m afraid our Entertainment should seem rather a Sophistical one, than a Poetical one: At another Time, if you please, we’ll hunt Niceties and Criticisms for a whole Day together.
That is as much as to say, we’ll hunt for Wood in a Grove, or seek for Water in the Sea.
Where is my Mouse?
Here he is.
Bid Margaret bring up the Sweet–Meats.
I go, Sir.
What! do you come again empty–handed?
She says, she never thought of any Sweet–Meats, and that you have sat long enough already.
I am afraid, if we should philosophize any longer, she’ll come and overthrow the Table, as Xantippe did to Socrates; therefore it is better for us to take our Sweet–Meats Edition: current; Page:  in the Garden; and there we may walk and talk freely; and let every one gather what Fruit he likes best off of the Trees.
We like your Motion very well.
There is a little Spring sweeter than any Wine.
How comes it about, that your Garden is neater than your Hall?
Because I spend most of my Time here. If you like any Thing that is here, don’t spare whatever you find. And now if you think you have walk’d enough, what if we should sit down together under this Teil Tree, and rouze up our Muses.
Come on then, let us do so.
The Garden itself will afford us a Theme.
If you lead the Way, we will follow you.
Well, I’ll do so. He acts very preposterously, who has a Garden neatly trimm’d up, and furnish’d with various Delicacies, and at the same Time, has a Mind adorn’d with no Sciences nor Virtues.
We shall believe the Muses themselves are amongst us, if thou shalt give us the same Sentence in Verse.
That’s a great Deal more easy to me to turn Prose into Verse, than it is to turn Silver into Gold.
Let us have it then:
Here’s Verses for you, without the Muses or Apollo; but it will be very entertaining, if every one of you will render this Sentence into several different Kinds of Verse.
What shall be his Prize that gets the Victory?
This Basket full, either of Apples, or Plumbs, or Cherries, or Medlars, or Pears, or of any Thing else he likes better.
Who should be the Umpire of the Trial of Skill?
Who shall but Crato? And therefore he shall be excused from versifying, that he may attend the more diligently.
I’m afraid you’ll have such a Kind of Judge, as the Cuckoo and Nightingal once had, when they vy’d one with the other, who should sing best.
I like him if the rest do.
We like our Umpire. Begin, Leonard.
I have said.
Carinus bites his Nails, we look for something elaborate from him.
I’m out of the poetical Vein.
You han’t bit your Nails for nothing.
Well, since my Turn is next, that I may do something,
We have no Need to spur Sbrulius on, for he is so fluent at Verses, that he oftentimes tumbles ’em out, before he is aware.
Now let us try to which of us the Garden will afford the most Sentences.
How can so rich a Garden but do that? even this Rose–Bed will furnish me with what to say. As the Beauty of a Rose is fading, so is Youth soon gone; you make haste to gather your Rose before it withers; you ought more earnestly to endeavour that your Youth pass not away without Fruit.
It is a Theme very fit for a Verse.
As among Trees, every one hath its Fruits: So among Men, every one hath his natural Gift.
As the Earth, if it be till’d, brings forth various Things for human Use; and being neglected, is cover’d with Thorns and Briars: So the Genius of a Man, if it be accomplish’d with honest Studies, yields a great many Virtues; but if it be neglected, is over–run with various Vices.
A Garden ought to be drest every Year, that it may look handsome: The Mind being once furnish’d with good Learning, does always flourish and spring forth.
As the Pleasantness of Gardens does not draw the Mind off from honest Studies, but rather invites it to them: So we ought to seek for such Recreations and Divertisements, as are not contrary to Learning.<