Love and Virtue
In a Collection of
After a Manner intirely New, and
interſperſed with Rural Poems, deſcribing
the Innocence of a Country-Life.
near Stamford, in Lincolnſhire.
Printed for E. Curll, over againſt Catherineſtreet
in the Strand; And T. Payne, near
Stationers-Hall. 17231723. Pr. 2s. 6d.
To the Reader.
My Two former Volumes of Novels having met with a favourable Reception, (much beyond their Deſert) encourages me to perform my Promiſe in purſuing The Sequel of Galesia’s Story The laſt Novel in Mrs. Barker’s 2d. Volume.A3 But 004 A3v [iv]
But I doubt my Reader will ſay, Why ſo long about it? And why a History reduc’d into Patches? eſpecially ſince Histories at Large are ſo Faſhionable inin this Age; viz. Robinſon Cruſoe, and Moll Flanders; Colonel Jack, and Sally Salisbury; with many other Heroes and Heroines? Why, truly, as to the Firſt, I had loſt my Galesia, ſhe being gone from St. Germains, and I retir’d into an obſcure Corner of the World. As to the Second, you’ll find in the following Pages, by what Steps and Means it was framed into this Method. And now, having given you this Account, I think I ought to ſay ſomething in Favour of Patch-Work, the better to recommend it to my Female Readers, as well in their Diſcourſe, as their Needle-Work: Which I might do with Juſtice, if my Genius were capable: But indeed, I am not much of an Hiſtorian; but in the little I have read, I do not remember any thing recordedded 005 A4r [v] ded relating to Patch-Work, ſince the Patriarch Joſeph, (whoſe Garment was of ſundry Colours) by which means it has not been common in all Ages; and ’tis certain, the Uncommonneſs of any Faſhion, renders it acceptable to the Ladies.
And I do not know but this may have been the chief Reaſon why our Ladies, in this latter Age, have pleas’d themſelves with this ſort of Entertainment; for, whenever one ſees a Set of Ladies together, their Sentiments are as differently mix’d as the Patches in their Work: To wit, Whigs and Tories, High-Church and Low-Church, Jacobites and Williamites, and many more Diſtinctions, which they divide and ſub-divide, ’till at laſt they make this Diſ-union meet in an harmonious Tea-Table Entertainment. This puts me in mind of what I have heard ſome Philoſophers aſsert, about the Claſhing of Atoms, which at laſt united 006 A4v [vi] united to compoſe this glorious Fabrick of the Universe.
Forgive me, kind Reader, for carrying the Metaphor too high; by which means I am out of my Sphere, and ſo can ſay nothing of the Male Patch-Workers; for my high Flight in Favour of the Ladies, made a mere Icarus of me, melted my Wings, and tumbled me Headlong down, I know not where. Nevertheleſs my Fall was amongſt a joyful Throng of People of all Ages, Sexes, and Conditions! who were rejoycing at a wonderful Piece of Patch- Work they had in Hand; the Nature of which was ſuch, as was to compoſe (as it were) a New Creation, where all Sorts of People were to be Happy, as if they had never been the Off-ſpring of fallen Adam.
I was greatly rejoyc’d at this my Fall, when I found my ſelf amongſt theſe happy Undertakers, and hop’d to unite my-ſelf in their 007 A5r [vii] their Confraternity; but they finding ſome Manuſcript Ballads in my Pocket, rejected me as one of that Race of Mortals who live on a certain barren Mountain ’till they are turn’d into Camelions; ſo I was forc’d to get away, every one hunching and puſhing me, with Scorn and Deriſion. However, as the Sequel prov’d, I had no ſmall Reaſon to rejoice at being thus uſed; for ſoon after, their Patch-Work Scheme, by carrying the Point too high, was blown up about their Ears, and vaniſh’d into Smoke and Confuſion; to the utter Ruin of many Thouſands of the Unhappy Creatures therein concern’d.
When I was got out of this Throng into the open Field, I met with the poor Galeſia, walking to ſtretch her Legs, having been long ſitting at her Work. With her I renew’d my Old Acquaintance; and ſo came to know all this Story of her Patch- Work: Which if you like, I will get the remaining Part of the Screen; for they 008 A5v [viii] they are ſtill at Work: And, upon my Word, I am glad to find the Ladies of This Age, wiſer than Thoſe of the Former; when the working of Point and curious Embroidery, was ſo troubleſome, that they cou’d not take Snuff in Repoſe, for fear of ſoiling their Work: But in Patch- Work there is no Harm done; a ſmear’d Finger does but add a Spot to a Patch, or a Shade to a Light-Colour: Beſides, thoſe curious Works were pernicious to the Eyes; they cou’d not ſee the Danger themſelves and their Poſterity might be in, a Thouſand Years hence, about I know not what— But I will inquire againſt the next Edition; therefore, be ſure to buy theſe Patches up quickly, if you intend to know the Secret; thereby you’ll greatly oblige the Bookſeller, and, in ſome degree, the Author. Who is,
Jane Barker.Richmond, 1723-02-02Candlemas-Day, 1722-23.
When we parted from Galeſia laſt, it was in St. Germain’s Garden; See The Amours of Boſvil and Galeſia, one of Novels. Printed 1719. and now we meet with her in England, travelling in a Stage-Coach from London Northward; where ſhe had the Luck to meet with good Company, who entertained each other agreeably with Things indifferent, ſuitable to the Times; thereby beguiling the Tediouſneſs of the Way, and the tireſome Rocking of the Vehicle they were in, ’till they came where the Road extended it-ſelf between Two Woods, a Place well known for the many Robberies which had been there commited.A Here 014 A1v
Here our Paſsengers began to fear it was now their Turn to be rifled of what they had, eſpecially when they ſaw divers Horſemen, well mounted, croſsing the Way backward and forward, in and out of the Woods, whooping and hollowing to one another; ’till the Sight of a Huntſman with his Horn, and a Pack of Hounds ruſhing out of the Wood, in Purſuit of a Hare which was gone a little while before, eas’d them of their Apprehenſions, and convinc’d them, That the Horſemen they had ſeen, were only ſome of the Gentry of that Neighbourhood, diverting themſelves with their Dogs. However, this Accident put them in Mind of many criminal Adventures and Robberies, which they related, one Story bringing on another, as is uſual amongſt Company; ſome of which, perhaps, will not be diſagreeable to the Reader; and therefore I ſhall inſert them here; beginning with the following, as related by one of the Gentlemen.
A certain Robber that lived in Wales, knowing the Day of Shrewsbury-Fair, came down from the Mountains in the Night, that he might be at the Town early enough to ſlip no Opportunity that might be to his Advantage; the Graziers-Fair beginning early in moſt Places, and it being the Buſineſs of Cheats and Robbers to watch who buys, 015 A2r buys, and who ſells, who receives Money, and where they carry or depoſite it.
When he was got within Eight or Ten Miles of Shrewsbury, he ſaw grazing in a Farmer’s Ground a Yoke or two of large Fat Oxen; theſe he thought would be ready Money at the Fair, and accordingly drove them away, ’till he came to a Publick Houſe in the Road, near the Town, where he called to drink, and aſked the Landlord, If he had any Paſturage, where he might graze his Oxen a while, to plump them ſo as to make them appear better at the Fair? Hereupon the Landlord put them in a very good Paſture juſt by his Houſe; and then our Mountainier went into the Fair, amongſt the Farmers and Graziers, and met with a Chapman, who was buying from one Farmer to another, in order to make up his Droves; ſo our Thief told him, That he had ſome very good Oxen feeding juſt without the Town-Gate, where he had left them to reſt a while, they being heavy and weary. The Grazier went readily along with him, and, in few Words, bargained for the Beaſts, paid down the Money, and, finding the Paſture good, deſired the Landlord to let them reſt there, and he would ſend more to them, ’till he had compleated his Drove: So both went their Way, one about his Honeſt Calling, the other to purſue his Wicked Projects.A2 What 016 A2v
What other Advantage this Thief made at the Fair, is not come to our Knowledge: But having taken Notice of a very pretty Mare that ran in the ſame Ground with the Oxen, he thought he would not miſs that Booty, and went in the Evening to the ſame Houſe, ordering a good Supper, and treated himſelf and his Landlord very well. In the Night he got up, and having remarked where a Bridle and Saddle hung, he went into the Ground, took the Mare, and away he rode, ’till he arrived pretty near the Place where he had taken the Oxen. He there met the Owner of them, who inquir’d of him concerning his Beaſts, (as he had done all about thoſe Parts, of every one he met) deſcribing to him their Age, Shape, and Marks. To which our Thief reply’d, That in ſuch a Ground, belonging to ſuch a Man, near Shrewsbury, there were juſt ſuch Oxen as he deſcribed. The Farmer, overjoy’d to hear of his Cattle, began to lament that his Horſe was ſo ridden down, that he fear’d, he would not be able to carry him to Shrewbury. Ah me! ſaid he, if I had my good Horſe I was bid Money for t’other Day, he would have done my Buſineſs. The Mountainier preſently formed another Cheat in his Head, and ſeem’d to pity the good Man, telling him, He would lend him that Mare on which he rode, pro- 017 A3r provided he would give him ſome Mark or Token, by which he might have the Horſe he mentioned. The Farmer, much rejoyced hereat, told him, That he ſhould go to his Wife, and give her that tired Horſe, and bid her deliver the bald Horſe which was in the Stable; by the ſame Token, That he was bid Ten Guineas for him ſuch a Day, ſhe being by, making up her Butter. By theſe punctual Tokens, the Thief got the good Horſe, and away he rode to the Mountains with his Booty.
And now let us follow the Farmer; who ſoon arrived at the Place where his Oxen were grazing; and challenging them, the Landlord refus’d to deliver them, as not being put there by him; and, on the other Hand, ſeiz’d his Mare, and the Farmer for the Thief that ſtole her. This created a great deal of Trouble between the Landlord, the honeſt Farmer, and the Grazier who had bought the Beaſts; and, one may ſuppoſe, took up much Time and Money before the Right could be underſtood. But, in Concluſion, The Man had his Mare again. From whence, I ſuppoſe, ſaid the Gentleman, aroſe that Proverb.A3 The 018 A3v
The Gentleman having thus finiſh’d his Proverbial-Story, another of the Company was incited thereby to call to Mind a Proverbial-Story of later Date; but firſt aſked the Company, If they knew how ill-dreſs’d Perukes came to be called Kaxtons? To whom all anſwering No; he began his Story as follows.
There is, ſaid he, a good Farm-Houſe juſt by the Road near Kaxton; the honeſt Maſter of which, having, at ſome Market or Fair, received Money for Goods he had ſold, was telling it over on Saturday Night, and put up in a Bag as much as would pay his Half-Year’s Rent, telling his Man, That on Monday he ſhould carry it to his Landlord; and, at the ſame Time, ordered his Labourer, (who was then receiving his Wages) to be ſure to come early on Monday-Morning to take Care of the Yard, while his Man was out.
Next Day, being Sunday, the Young Man went, in the Afternoon, to viſit and divert himſelf amongſt his Friends and Companions; and coming home a little late, he found the Gates ſhut faſt, that he could not get in; and knowing that his Miſtreſs Lay-in, he would not make a Noiſe by knocking, leſt it ſhould diſturb or fright her, but went quietly away, and lay with ſome of his Companions.Next 019 A4r
Next Morning he came again, thinking to go about his Buſineſs, but found all faſt ſhut ſtill; and though he knock’d often and loud, could make No body hear: He ſaunter’d about ’till towards Noon, and ſtill it was the ſame; no Noiſe was to be heard but the Herds lowing in the Yard for Fodder. Hereupon he went to the Town, and informed ſeveral People of the Matter, who all agreed to take a Conſtable and ſome of the beſt of the Pariſh, and if they could make No-body hear by knocking, e’en to break open the Gates and Doors, and ſee what ſhould be the Matter; ſome conjecturing one thing, ſome another; but moſt concluding with the Servant, That the good Man was gone to carry his Rent, and the good Woman fallen into ſome grievous Fit, if not dead.
In ſhort, They broke open the Gates, and while ſome went to force the Houſe- Doors, others proceeded to the Barn for Straw to throw into the Cribs, and there they beheld the moſt amazing Sight imaginable; the Good Man and his Wife both murder’d on the Floor, and two Forks broken! Hereupon, they went towards the Houſe, and paſsing croſs the Yard, they ſaw the Child’s Swath dropt, and when they came into the Houſe, found the Babe in the Cradle, with its Neck wrung behind it. They proceeded then to ſearch A4 the 020 A4v the Houſe; The Goods all remain’d; but the Money, and divers Silver Things, as Spoons, Porringers, Cups, and the like, were gone.
Upon due Conſideration, they ſuſpected the Labourer, he being no where to be found; Hereupon Hue-and-Cries were ſent forth, every way deſcribing his Perſon, Age, and Cloaths: But all in vain; no News could be heard. The Manner of the Murder, they conjectur’d, was on this wiſe: That the Labourer was in the Barn, and when the good Man went to give his Beaſts Fodder, the Villain fell upon him, and he reſiſting, caus’d the two Forks to be broke. The poor Woman ſitting in the Houſe with her Child on her Lap, hearing the Noiſe in the Barn, roſe haſtily, and clapping the Child in the Cradle, with its Clouts hanging looſe about it, ran to the Barn, and dropt the Swath; which was found as aforeſaid: And ſo met her poor Huſband’s Fate.
Thus Things paſs’d without Diſcovery for Seven Years, all which Time the Villain liv’d beyond Sea. At the Seven Years End, thinking the Matter might be forgot, he came into England, and being a North-country Man, directed his Journey towards Kaxton; And calling at an Alehouſe in a Village near that Town to drink and reſt himſelf, it ſo happen’d, that 021 A5r that the Maſter of the Houſe was Conſtable at the Time he fled, when the Hue-and Cries were after him; and now, in Seven Years Time, the Office having been round the Village, was come to him again. By what Spirit or Genius this Conſtable was inſpired, cannot be gueſs’d; but ſo it was, he thought this Man anſwer’d the Character of the Hue-and-Cry which came to his Hands Seven Years before, of which, perhaps, he had the Copy by him; Wherefore, by Virtue of his Office, he ſeiz’d him, and carry’d him before a Juſtice, who examin’d and committed him: But the Crime of which he was ſuſpected being committed Southward, near Kaxton, he was conveyed thither to be Try’d; At what Time, there were many Witneſses appear’d to teſtify that he was the Labourer in that Farmyard, when this Murder was committed; all which he moſt ſtedfaſtly deny’d, proteſting, that he never was there in his Life, nor knew the Place. At laſt, the Servant of that Farm, who knew him very well by his Face and Speech, added one Circumſtantial more, ſaying, That the Man who then thraſh’d in the Barn, had a Running-Sore on his Side; which, ſaid he, I have divers times help’d him to dreſs; ſo that if the Sore ſhould be heal’d, there muſt needs be a Scar. Hereupon the Part being ſearch’d, A5 and 022 A5v and the Scar plainly appearing, he could no longer oppoſe or deny ſo manifeſt a Truth. He was hang’d in Chains by the Road-ſide near Kaxton; an Example of the moſt vile Cruelty that could be committed.
There happen’d to paſs ſome Cambridge Scholars that way to viſit ſome Friends thereabouts; and the Weather being a little turbulent, the Wind and Wet ſo diſcompos’d their Wiggs, that when they came in, they fancy’d them to look like that on the Head of the Hang’d Man. This Fancy they carry’d back with them to Cambridge, and there broach’d it amongſt the Youth of their Time; which, by Degrees, ſpread over the Nation. Afterwards, by reaſon of many of our young Gentlemen going into the Wars in divers and diſtant Countries, this Fancy was carried with them, ſo that in moſt Parts of Europe, to this Day, an ill-dreſs’d Wigg is call’d A Caxton, or Kak.
According to the uſual Proverb as aforeſaid, One Story begets another, ſo it happen’d amongſt this Company: The next Gentleman ſaid, That foraſmuch as the two former had embelliſh’d their Stories by Proverbs, he would not offer to the Company a Relation but what he knew to be Truth.
There was, ſaid he, a certain Gentleman of Diſtinction, who at his Death, left three 023 A6r three Daughters Coheireſses, under the Guardianſhip of their Uncle his Brother. The Gentleman being dead, the young Ladies, by Advice of their Uncle, broke up Houſe, and ſold their Goods, in order to put themſelves into Places of polite Education, thereby to improve themſelves before they entredentered into a Married State.
In order to which, their Family was retrench’d, Servants paid off, and Goods ſold; And every Thing being thus diſpos’d, and they ready to leave the Houſe, there came one Evening, a Gentleman that had loſt his Way, and, driven by ill Weather, begg’d Refuge at this Houſe. The young Ladies were fearful to receive him, their Family being ſmall, and the Situation diſtant from Neighbours: But Commiſeration of the Gentleman’s diſtreſt Condition moving them, at laſt they entertain’d him very kindly, made a handſome Supper, and lodg’d him in a good Room; but withal, took Care to faſten his Door, and all Paſsages that led to it, in order to ſecure themſelves from any wicked Intention he might poſsibly have to let in any Gang of Villains to deſtroy or diſturb them: And, for their better Security, they reſolv’d not to go to Bed that Night; but ſate up, often deſcanting on their Folly, in having admitted this Stranger, which was the Cauſe of their Diſ- 024 A6v Diſcompoſure. Then would they reflect on his Horſe, Piſtols, and Accoutrements, all which, they fancy’d, had more the Air of an Highway-man, than a ſolitary unfortunate Traveller. Then again, they would reflect on the Genteelneſs of his Perſon and Behaviour; the Honeſty and Integrity of his Countenance; the Agreeableneſs of his Diſcourſe, all tending to Vertue and Honeſty, and adorn’d with Wit and good Humour.
Thus, Pro and Con, they entertain’d and rejected their Fears, ’till after Midnight; and then their wavering Apprehenſions were turn’d into a ſubſtantial thorow Fright; for they heard at the Drawing-room Door, which open’d into the Garden, a Noiſe of breaking open; which made them preſently conclude it to be ſome of the Traveller’s Companions, who, becauſe he could not let ’em in, being faſt lock’d up, had betaken themſelves to this forcible Entry.
Thus being frighted, diſtreſsed, and diſtracted; they went to ſee what was become of the Traveller; but they peeping and liſtening at the Door, could perceive nothing, but that he was faſt aſleep; Whereupon they took Courage, enter’d his Chamber, awak’d him, and told him their Diſtreſs. He immediately got up, took his Sword and Piſtols, went with them to the 025 A7r the Drawing-Room, and found the Door almoſt ready to give the Villains Entrance: The Door and the Jaumb being ſhatter’d, the Gentleman had the better Opportunity to let fly at them; which he did, and with ſuch Succeſs, that one of them fell down dead, or ſore wounded; and the others had enough to do to get him away, and themſelves off clear.
We may imagine how they ſpent the reſt of the Night; the leaſt Part of which, we may ſuppoſe, paſs’d in Sleep. Next Morning, they earneſtly invited the Traveller to ſtay with them the coming Day, to prevent any farther Frights, though, we may reaſonably ſuppoſe, they provided themſelves of Aſsiſtance for the enſuing Night. The Gentleman was too Generous to refuſe their Requeſt, at leaſt for a Day, hoping their Spirits, which were greatly diſorder’d by the Night’s Diſtractions, might be reſtored in that Time.
They had ſcarce din’d, when a Meſſenger came from their Uncle, who liv’d about Four Miles off, to invite them to his Son’s Funeral the next Day. They were greatly ſurprized at this ſudden and unexpected News; and divers Queſtions they aſk’d the Meſsenger; teſtified much Grief for the Death of their dear Couſin; promis’d to go and pay that laſt Reſpect to his Memory; and with many dutiful and 026 A7v and compaſsionate Services to their Uncle, diſmiſ’d the Meſsenger.
Then they deſir’d the Traveller to go along with them on the Morrow, that they might preſent him to their Uncle, as the Author of their Safety. He was not hard to be perſuaded to defer his Journey, or ſuſpend his Buſineſs; Beauty and Fortunes being always moſt powerful Rhetoricians.
In ſhort, he went along with them; where, we will ſuppoſe, they found all the Deſolation ſuitable to ſuch an Occaſion. The Ladies deſired to ſee their Couſin, e’er he was interr’d; but he was faſten’d up before they came: This increas’d the Gentleman’s Suſpicion, who having laid many Ends together, being greatly to believe there was ſome foul Play. Wherefore, without ſaying a Word, he went to ſome Officers of Juſtice, which he brought along with him, and commanded the Coffin to be open’d, and the Corps ſearch’d: In ſo doing, they found a Wound in the Body, which had been his Death; upon which ſurprizing Spectacle, the whole Family was ſeized; And now, being in the Hands of Juſtice, the old Man’s Grief and Remorſe would not permit him to conceal any-thing; but he freely and openly own’d, That he and his Son deſign’d to murder the young Ladies, and ſo become Lords of their Inheritance.This 027 A8r
This free Confeſsion ſoon put a Period to his Afflictions, by the Help of a Shameful Death; and the young Gentleman, who was a younger Brother, made his Fortune and himſelf Happy in the Marriage of one of the Ladies. And thus, according to the Proverb, One good Turn deserves Another.
The Company having return’d the Gentleman Thanks, told Galeſia, That they hop’d ſhe had ſome Story or Adventure wherewith to oblige them. To which ſhe reply’d, That, truly, ſhe had paſs’d ſo many Years out of England, that ſhe ſhould be obliged to conduct their Attention as far as Paris. And ſo proceeded.
I ſuppoſe, ſaid ſhe, you all know there is a great Fair, in the Fauxbourgh Saint Germains at Paris, kept at a certain Time of the Year; wherein there are, beſides all ſorts of Merchandize, Shews, Games, and Raffling, &c;
Hither it was that a Gentlewoman and I were going, a little to divert ourſelves amongſt other Holy-day Fools, and paſsing through Luxembourg-Garden, we ſate down on a Bench, a-while to reſt ourſelves: Where, regarding the well-built Houſe of Luxembourg, wherein lived the Princeſs Madam- 028 A8v Madamoiſelle de Monpenſier, we began to reflect on the Folly of that Lady, for adhering to the Rebels in the King’s Minority, and how unfortunate ſhe had made herſelf in having loſt his Majeſty’s Favour for ſo doing. Whilſt we were in this Diſcourſe, a Gentleman of our own Country came to us, and aſked, If we were deſign’d for the Fair? We told him Yes. There has been, ſaid he, a great Buſtle in the Fair to Day. Whereupon we deſired him to ſit down, and tell us what was the Occaſion.
Laſt Night, ſaid he, there were Gentlemen raffled in a Booth ’till it was pretty late. At laſt, the Loſers having pretty well emptied their Pockets, departed. He that was the chief Winner, was alſo about to go; but the Maſter of the Booth diſsuaded him, telling him, That there were many Spies about the Fair, taking Notice of thoſe that were Winners; and when they went away, took Opportunity to rob, and ſometimes murder them: And you, Sir, continued he, having won conſiderable, will be in Danger; wherefore, I beg you to remain here ’till Day-light. The Gentleman found the Advice very reaſonable, and ſate himſelf down in an Eaſy- Chair, and bid them make him a Pot of Chocolate, and he would there get a little Sleep.So 029 A9r
So ſaid, ſo done; but in the Chocolate, they put a good Doſe of Opium; and when he was fallen into a ſound Sleep, they murder’d him, cut him in Pieces, and carry’d him out to a Common Shore, into which they threw him.
In the Morning, a Foot of him was ſeen by Paſsengers, who calling Officers of Juſtice, got out the Body Piece-meal as it was, as alſo the Head; and amongſt all this, a Plate, which was writ on, belonging to ſuch a Cook.
The Cook and his Family were hereupon ſeiz’d and examined, who knew nothing of the Matter, but call’d to Mind to whom they had ſent out Meat that Day, and who had, or had not return’d the Plates. At laſt the People of the foreſaid Booth were ſeiz’d and examin’d: Conſcience, which flew in their Faces, would not permit them to deny it much: The Maid own’d, that ſhe carried the Head out upon a Plate, which Plate ſlipp’d out of her Hands when ſhe threw the Head into the Common Shore. Thus Murder will out.
Thus Four of our Paſsengers told their melancholy Stories, which the Danger of the Road had firſt brought into their Memories. There was a Fifth, a young Lady Daugh- 030 A9v Daughter to one of the Gentlemen; ſo they aſk’d, If ſhe had not a Story wherewith to oblige the Company? To which ſhe reply’d, That ſhe had no Story of that kind; being but, lately come out of a Nunnery, (where her Father had plac’d her for a ſafe Education, Death having depriv’d her of her Mother); but ſhe would relate a Tranſaction which happen’d in the ſaid Convent.
There was a beautiful young Lady ſaid ſhe, and a Gentleman, ſuitable in Years, Quality, and all other Accompliſhments of Mind and Perſon, who contracted a mutual Affection for each other; but the Gifts of Fortune were not ſuch as could probably make them happy; for which Reaſon, the Parents on both Sides oppos’d their Eſpouſals.
The young Lady, finding that ſhe could not give her Perſon to him to whom ſhe had ſurrender’d her Affections, implored the Favour of her Parents, to let her enter into a Convent, where, amongſt thoſe holy Votaries, ſhe might endeavour to overcome her Paſsion. Her Friends conſented to the Propoſal, concluding that Time and perpetual Abſence might give her that Tranquility which could not be had otherwiſe.
Our young Lady being in the Convent, began to be charm’d with that devout and heavenly Way of Living: Such Regularityrity 031 A10r rity and Exactitude in their Religious Performances: Such Patience; ſuch Obedience: Such Purity of Manners; by which thoſe holy Souls climb to Heaven; that, conſidering the Difficulty, or rather, Impoſsibility of ever poſseſsing her Cavalier, ſhe reſolved to bury all Thoughts of him, together with her own Beauty, under a holy Veil: To which her Friends giving Conſent, though very unwillingly, ſhe betook herſelf to a Religious Habit, in order to perform her Time of Probation. In the mean time, our Cavalier was ingaged in the Army far diſtant, both performing their Duties according to their Stations.
And now, behold the Viciſsitude of Human Affairs: Our Cavalier, by his valiant and noble Atchievements, was advanc’d to great Honours in the Army, and at the ſame Time he had an Uncle dy’d, who left him an Eſtate that ſeem’d to put him above the Reach of adverſe Fortune; and not knowing the Fate of his Beloved Miſtreſs, he returned Home, not fearing any Obſtacle in his Addreſses, (after ſuch Acquiſitions of Glory and Fortune) either from the young Lady or her Parents.
But, alas! when he came and found his dear Miſtreſs ingaged in a Religious Order, how great his Affliction was, is hard 032 A10v hard to deſcribe. Ah! ſaid he, had ſhe been taken Priſoner by the Turk, one might hope, by Valour or Money, for her Inlargement: or had ſhe been married to ſome old unworthy Rival, Time or Death might provide her a Releaſe; or was ſhe confin’d or forbidden by the Caprice of humourſome Parents, Reſpect, Duty, and Indearments to them, might gain not only their Conſent, but their Affections. But, as it is, (O wretched as I am! unfortunate and miſerable!) I am not only deprived of all Hopes of injoying her, but of ever ſeeing her; Nor can ſo much as the leaſt Line from me reach her Hands; Nay, ſo unhappy I am, that it is ſaid to be a Crime in me even to complain to my-ſelf. Unhappy that I am! to have mov’d and acted in Showers of Bullets untouch’d, and now to ſink under the moſt incurable of all Wounds! I coveted the Glory of Conqueſt, and the Riches of Reward, for no other End, but to render me more acceptable to her, and her Parents. I have no Taſte of the Glory of Victory, or the Pleaſure of Plenty, ſince ſhe is not to be Copartner in my Glory or Abundance.
Theſe and a thouſand ſuch Lamentations he utter’d when alone, or only in the hearing of a little pretty Hugonot-Page, which he had taken whilſt in the Army, who 033 A11r who hearing his Complaints, took the Liberty to ſpeak to his Maſter, telling him, That he doubted not but by his Means he might find a way to correſpond with this his Religious Miſtreſs, and know, at leaſt, whether ſhe had thus ſequeſter’d her ſelf from him out of real Devotion, or the Perſuaſions of her Parents, or Deſpair of the Continuation of his Kindneſs; for the laſt of which he thought ſhe had no Reaſon; for though he was long abſent, and far diſtant, yet he had not fail’d to give her perpetual Aſsurances in Writing, not reflecting how difficult, if not impoſsible, it is in thoſe Places for Letters to come to the Hands of the Beloved. But to return to our Page:
The Maſter and he agreed, that he ſhould be dreſs’d like a Girl, and put into that Convent, to be educated in good Manners, and inſtructed in Religion. This they contriv’d with the utmoſt Dexterity, and executed with Succeſs. And now behold our Page-Damſel is got into the Convent with full Inſtructions from his Maſter, to the young Nun, or rather Novice; for, as Luck was, ſhe was not yet profeſs’d, though ſhe had been there above a Year; the Order of that Houſe requiring Two Years Probation.
And here the young Gentlewoman who related the Story, read to us the following Let- 034 A11v Letter, which the Cavalier intruſted to the young Hugonot, which, ſhe ſaid, ſhe had procured a Copy of.
TheLetter. Madam, I cannot tell whether Grief or Surprize have the greateſt Share in my Breaſt, to find you ingaged in a State ſo abſolutely deſtructive to my Happineſs; but both exceed all Degrees of Compariſon. Ah! my fair and dear Creature, how could you be ſo cruel to your ſelf and me! For I flatter my-ſelf, it was and is a Cruelty to You as well as to Me your fond Lover: I ſay, How could you abandon me to Deſpair? In which I would ſay (if I durſt) that you are not only Unkind, but Criminal: For you ought not thus to have given yourſelf away without my Conſent or Knowledge. Recollect, how often you have aſsured me of your Affections, and everlaſting Love; and that the only Objection you or your Parents had againſt our Eſpouſals, was Narrowneſs of Fortune. But that Objection being remov’d, you ought to be wholly Mine; You ought not to give away that which is not your own. Stollen goods are an unworthy, nay, an impious Offering to Heaven. King Saul ſav’d 035 A12r ſav’d that which was none of his, to ſacrifice to the Lord, and how unacceptable it was, I deſire you to conſider, and make the Application. Think on theſe Things, my Bright, my Fair, my Dear Charmer: And think what Injuſtice you do me, every Moment you deprive me of your Perſon. And, believe it, you are but a Murderer, as long as you ſeclude yourſelf from me, who cannot live without you: Therefore, bethink yourſelf of the Injury you do me; and repair all, by the Surrender of your Perſon to me, who have the True and Real, though not the common Legal Right to alledge. The young Lady that gives you this, will take Meaſures with you; Take Courage then, my deareſt Life! to put in Practice what is ſo well contrived; and ſo make Happy the moſt Faithful of Lovers, even Your Conſtant and Paſsionate, Chevalier.
This Letter our young Hugonot found an Opportunity, to deliver, though with great Difficulty; for in thoſe Houſes they correſpond very little, but live in Solitude and Silence, nor ever go into each other’s Cells, 036 A12v Cells, thoſe Places being the Receſses for ſolitary Meditation: But more eſpecially the Religious Dames converſe not with the young Ladies who are there for Education, except thoſe that are placed over them, as Teachers and Governeſses. Nevertheleſs, our fair Meſsenger, found ſome lucky Moment to deliver the Letter, and recount to her the Griefs her Cavalier ſuffer’d for her ſake, the many Sighs he breath’d, the many Tears he ſhed, and Groans he utter’d, with continual Languiſhing in Diſcontent and Deſpair; All which ſo touch’d our Novice, that ſhe began to regret what ſhe had done, and to wiſh ſhe could find a Way, handſomely and without Contempt, to undo what ſhe had done.
Millions of Things ſhe revolved in her Mind, diſcuſs’d the Matter between the poor State of a Religious Life, deſtitute of all Comforts, and thoſe Pleaſures which are to be found in a Plentiful Fortune, with a noble young Huſband, honour’d with Wreaths of martial Glory; In all which ſhe made her own Inclinations Arbitrator between Heaven and Earth, God and the World, &c;—After many Debates with herſelf, ſhe wrote to her Cavalier as follows.Sir, 037 [a]r
Your Letter has ſo ruffled my whole Interior, that I know not how to write common Senſe: Therefore, if my Anſwer be unintelligible, blame me not, for I am utterly loſt in an Abyſs of Confuſion: The Thoughts of breaking my holy Reſolutions on one Hand, and the Sufferings which the keeping them, makes us both undergo, on the other, diſtracts me. My dear Chevalier! change your Reproaches into Pity: I will endeavour to repair my Faults: Faults! did I ſay? Ah me! it is a Crime, to call this my Religious Enterprize a Fault! My Thoughts, Words, Writings, on this Occaſion, are Faults! The very Correſponding with the young Lady you placed here, is a Fault! Yet, a Fault ſo ſweet, ſo delicious, that I cannot refrain, becauſe ſhe recounts a thouſand tender Things of you; repeats your Sighs and Grief in ſuch ſoft and melting Words and Accents, as would ſoften the moſt obdurate Heart.
Then, what Effect, think you, muſt it have on Mine, which is prepared to be ſet on Fire by the leaſt Spark ſtruck from your dear Aſsurances, which ſhe moſt induſtriouſly blows into a Flame, not to be ſuppreſ’d by any devout Sighs, Tears, or other Religious Mortifications; by which I ſuffer a perpetual Martyrdom,[a] dom, 038 a1v dom, and ſee no Way of Delivery, but by adhering to your Advice ſent by her, and come to your Arms: Thoſe dear glorious Arms! thoſe Arms, that have honoured your Family, Friends, and Native Country! Thoſe Arms, that have crown’d the Hero with Lawrels, and the Lover with Myrtles. Thoſe Arms, that have greatly help’d to ſubdue the Enemies of France, and built Trophies in the Hearts of the Fair.
O! can I refuſe my Hero? Can I refuſe my Lover? Can I refuſe my dear Chevalier? Indeed, I cannot! No, no, I cannot! I will not! The Temptation is too great to be reſiſted by frail Mortality.
Wherefore, my beloved Chevalier, I will comply with thoſe Meaſures you and your young Hugonot have taken.
This Letter being writ, our Two young Ladies were greatly embarraſs’d how to get it to the Cavalier’s Hands: At laſt, they thought on the following Means. The Hugonot work’d a curious fine Purſe, and begg’d Leave of the Abbeſs to preſent it to her Patron the Cavalier. So between the Lining and the Out-ſide they plac’d this Letter, writ on fine Paper and in a ſmall Character, and ſo convey’d it to the Cavalier.
Now the Way, contriv’d to extricate the Fair Novice from the Convent, was thus; That 039 [a2]r That the Cavalier ſhould be preſent at the Altar, when ſhe ſhould come to take her Religious Vows; At what Time, ſhe declar’d before the whole Congregation, That all the Vow ſhe meant to take, ſhould be in Holy Marriage to that Gentleman, taking him by the Hand. This ſurpriz’d the whole Congregation; in particular, her Parents, and the Quire of Nuns. Some blam’d the Boldneſs of that Proceeding, ſaying ſhe might have gone out quietly and privately: Others prais’d the generous open Way ſhe had taken. The Clergy, which were there aſsembled, all told her Parents, That they could not refuſe their Conſent, ſince ſhe had demanded him at the Altar of God. All the Quality there (which were many, who came to aſsiſt and grace the Ceremony) ſaid the ſame. The Parents were very well content, only wiſh’d ſhe had proceeded otherwiſe, and not made herſelf the Publick Subject of a Nine Days Wonder.
In ſhort, all were pleas’d, and the Marriage was accompliſhed to every Body’s Satisfaction, except to that of the young Hugonot; Who came forth, and, on her Knees, begg’d Pardon for having deluded her Maſter; For, indeed, ſaid ſhe, I am not a Boy, as I pretended to be, but a fooliſh Girl, that took that Diſguiſe upon me to be near your Perſon; that illuſtrious[a2] ous 040 a2v ous Perſon, which not only dazled the Eyes of me, an unthinking Maid, but which, joyn’d with your Noble Actions, made all Hearts rejoice. But when I came to be Witneſs of your Grief for this Lady, Pity and Generoſity ſupplanted Affection, and made me undertake this Enterprize; for which, I humbly beg Pardon of all theſe holy Votaries; and that they will receive me a Member of their Pious Society; in which Station, I ſhall offer my daily Prayers for the Happineſs and Proſperity of this Noble Couple.
This Diſcovery was a Surprize greater than the other; But there being many of the dignified Clergy as well as Quality, all interceded ſo, that, in ſhort, the Nuns received the Hugonot; the Couple was married; and Things were brought to a happy Concluſion.
The Company return’d Thanks to the young Lady, for her diverting Story: And by this Time, the Coach was got to the Town, where the Company were all to alight, except Galeſia, who was to go alone in the Coach to the End of the Stage. It happen’d, that there was another Stage-Coach ſtopp’d at the ſame Place, and ſet out at the ſame Time with hers; and whether the Bounty of the Paſsengers had over-filled the Heads of the Coachmen,men, 041 [a3]r men, or what other Freak, is unknown; but they drove the Two Coaches full Gallop, ’till they came to a Bridge, and there one Coach joſtled the other ſo, that that in which was our Galeſia, fell, together with its Horſes, off the Bridge into the River.
By good Luck, this Bridge was at the Entry of a little Village, ſo that People haſtened to their Aſsiſtance; ſome helping the Horſes, ſome the Coach, and ſome with Difficulty getting out Galeſia; Who however, when ſhe was got out, found no Hurt, only was very wet: She was much pity’d by the good People; amongſt whom there was a poor Woman took her under the Arm, and told her, ſhe would conduct her to a Houſe, where ſhe might be accommodated with all Manner of Conveniencies.
All wet and dropping, ſhe got to this Houſe, which was a poor Village-Alehouſe; and a poor one indeed it was; It being Evening, the Woman of the Houſe was gone out a Milking, ſo that the good Man could come at no Sheets, that ſhe might have got rid of her wet Cloaths, by going to Bed; However, he laid on a large Country Faggot; ſo ſhe ſat and ſmoaked in her wet Cloaths, ’till the good Woman came; who haſten’d and got the Bed Sheeted, into which ſhe gladly laid herſelf; [a3] but 042 a3v but the pooreſt that her Bones ever felt, there being a few Flocks that ſtank; and ſo thin of the ſame, that ſhe felt the Cords cut through. The Blankets were of Thread-bare Home-ſpun Stuff, which felt and ſmelt like a Pancake fry’d in Greaſe; There were Four Curtains at the Four Corners, from whence they could no more ſtir, than Curtains in a Picture; for there were neither Rods nor Ropes for them to run upon; no Teſtern, but the Thatch of the Houſe; A Chair with a Piece of a Bottom, and a brown Chamberpot, furr’d as thick as a Crown Piece.
However, all this was a better Lodging than the Bottom of the River; and great and many Thanks were due to God for it. The good Woman was kind, and brought Galeſia a good wooden Diſh-full of boil’d Milk, well crumb’d with brown Barley- Bread; which ſhe perſuaded her to eat, to drive out the Cold. She took Care to get her Cloaths dry, and brought them to her, e’er ſhe went a Milking. And notwithſtanding all theſe Hardſhips, ſhe got no Cold, Cough or Lameneſs; but aroſe well-refreſh’d; took Leave of her Landlord and departed, directing her Steps and Intentions towards the Town were the Stage- Coach’d Inn’d.
But it ſo happen’d, in this her Journey, that ſhe loſt her Way, and got, ſhe knew not 043 a4r not how, into a fine Park, amongſt Trees, Firs, Thickets, Rabbet-burrows, and ſuch like; nor knew ſhe where ſhe was, nor which Way to go; but ſtanding ſtill a little while to conſider, ſhe heard a Tomtit ſing in a Tree, as her muſing Fancy made her imagine, Sit thee down, ſit thee down, ſit thee down, ſit.
At the ſame time looking on one Side, ſhe ſaw a handſome Seat at a very little Diſtance, to which ſhe went, and obey’d the threefold Advice. As ſhe ſat there to reſt herſelf, revolving divers Thoughts, a little Hedge-Sparrow in a Buſh, ſung, Chear-up, Chear-up; Ah! poor Bird! ſaid ſhe, thou giveſt me good Counſel; but that is all thou haſt to give; and bare Words help little to a hungry Stomach, and I know not where to fill mine, unleſs I could eat Graſs like the Four-footed Beaſts.
As ſhe was in theſe Thoughts, a Crow ſitting in a Tree, with a hoarſe Voice, ſeem’d to ſay Good-Luck, Good-Luck! If thou art a true Prophet, ſaid Galeſia, the Birds of thy Colour, ſhall no more be counted Birds of Ill Omen, but the Painters ſhall put a long Tail to you, and the Poets ſhall call you Birds of Paradiſe.
As ſhe was thus muſing on the Language of the Birds, ſhe heard a Noiſe of Hunting in 044 a4v in the Park, Horns winding, Men hollowing, and calling Ringwood, Rockwood, ho! Boman! Bloſsom, ho. She then began to reflect how neceſsary this Diverſion was: Alas! ſaid ſhe, if it was not for this, we might all lodge as bad as I did laſt Night. We are beholden to Ringwood and Jowler, for many a Dainty Morſel which Reynard would deprive us of, if it were not for this Pack of Allies, who oppoſe his Tyranny; Who otherwiſe would not only over-run the Woods, and Farmers Yards, ’till there is neither Cocks nor Hens, but would alſo ravage the Fens and Iſlands, the Habitations of Ducks and Geeſe; Then long live Ringwood, Rockwood, Boman and Jowler, by whoſe Induſtry we eat good Bits, and lie on good Beds.
Whilſt Galeſia was in theſe Cogitations, the Dogs and Hunters came very near where ſhe was ſitting; amongſt whom, was a Lady, mounted on a beautiful Steed, who beginning to grow weary of the Chace, order’d her Servants to ſtop, and help her off her Horſe, reſolving to walk home over the Park, it being a fine ſmooth Walk betwixt two Rows of Lime trees, planted and grown in exact Form, agreeable to the Eye, pleaſing to the Smell, and making a moſt delightful Shade. The Lady directing her Eyes and Steps towards this Walk, ſhe ſaw Galeſia ſitting in the diſconſolate Poſture afore- 045 a5r aforeſaid, and being not a little ſurpriz’d to ſee a Gentlewoman all alone in that deſolate Place, could not avoid interrogating her thereupon.
Galeſia, in few and reſpectful Words, inform’d the Lady of her Diſaſter of being overthrown into the River the Day before, and her bad Lodging at Night, and her loſing her Way that Morning, all which made her betake herſelf to that Seat. The Lady moſt courteouſly and charitably took her along with her to Houſe, which was a Noble Structure, ſituate in the midſt of that Park. Here ſhe entertain’d her very kindly; aſsuring her of all Aſsiſtance to convey her to the Place to which ſhe was deſign’d, when ſhe had reſted and recover’d her Fatigue. In the mean Time, ſhe diverted her, by ſhewing Galeſia her Gardens, Houſe, and glorious Appartments, adorn’d with rich Furniture of all Sorts; ſome were the Work of hers and her Huſband’s Anceſtors, who delighted to imploy poor Gentlewomen, thereby to keep them from Diſtreſs, and evil Company, ’till Time and Friends could diſpoſe Things for their better Settlement.
At laſt, the Lady ſhew’d her an Appartment embelliſh’d with Furniture of her own making, which was Patch-Work, moſt curiouſly compos’d of rich Silks, and Silver and Gold Brocades: The whole Furniture was 046 a5v was compleated excepting a Screen, which the Lady and her Maids were going about. Her Ladyſhip told Galeſia, She would take it kindly if her Affairs would permit her to ſtay with her ſome time, and aſsiſt her in her Screen. Which Invitation Galeſia moſt gladly accepted, begging the Lady to ſend to the next Stage of the Coach and Carrier, for her Trunks and Boxes, which contained her Wearing- Cloaths. The Lady forthwith ſent for the Things, hoping that therein they might find ſome Bits of one thing or other, that might be uſeful to place in the Screen. But when the Trunks and Boxes came, and were opened, alas! they found nothing but Pieces of Romances, Plays, Love-Letters, and the like: At which the good Lady ſmil’d, ſaying, She would not have her Fancy balk’d, and therefore reſolved to have theſe ranged and mixed in due Order, and thereof compoſe a Screen.
And thus it came to paſs, that the following Screen was compos’d.
A Patch-Work Screen For the Ladies.
The Continuation of the History of Galesia.
The good Lady and Galeſia being thus ſate down to their Work, and the Trunks open’d, the firſt Thing they laid their Hands on, was a Piece of a Farce, which the Lady would have put by, for another Opportunity; and deſired Galeſia to begin where Lucaſia and ſhe broke off in St. Germains-Garden: To which Galeſia readily comply’d without Heſitation. Having 048 a6v 2
Having diſingag’d my Thoughts from Boſvil, ſaid ſhe, I had nothing to diſturb my Tranquility, or hinder me from being Happy, but the Abſence of my dear Brother, who was gone a ſecond Time beyond Sea, to ſtudy at the Univerſity of Leyden, that being the Third Place where he endeavour’d to inrich his Mind; having before gathered a Treaſure of Learning from thoſe Two inexhauſtible Fountains, Oxford and Paris: thereby to inable him to perform, what he ſhortly intended to practiſe, the Cure of Human Maladies; in which he began already to be known and eſteemed.
It would be too tedious to give your Ladyſhip a Character of this excellent Man, whoſe Learning grac’d his natural Parts, and his vertuous Life was an Honour to his Learning. His Philoſophy and Medicinal Science did not ſupplant Civility, but cultivated and inrich’d his natural pleaſant Humour. He was in every thing a Gentleman and a Chriſtian, ſo that Envy herſelf could not find a feeble Side whereon to plant her Batteries, to attack or deface that Eſteem his Merits had rais’d in the Hearts of all that knew him; which ſerv’d to make me more ſenſible of his Abſence.
However, I comforted my ſelf with the Hopes of his Return; and in the mean
A Patch-Work Screen For the Ladies.
The Continuation of the History of Galesia.
The good Lady being extremely pleas’d with Galeſia’s Amours, See the Amours of Boſvil and Galeſia, one of Mrs. Barker’s Novels, Printed 1719. deſir’d her thus to proceed— Begin, ſays ſhe, where Lucaſia and you broke off in St. Germain’s Garden. I ſhall immediately obey your Commands, reply’d Galeſia, without Heſitation or Apology.B Having 050 B1v 2
Having diſingag’d my Thoughts from Boſvil, I had nothing to diſturb my Tranquility, or hinder me from being happy, but the Abſence of my dear Brother, who was gone a ſecond Time beyond Sea, to ſtudy at the Univerſity of Leyden, that being the Third Place where he endeavour’d to inrich his Mind; having before gathered a Treaſure of Learning from thoſe Two inexhauſtible Fountains, Oxford and Paris: thereby to inable him to perform, what he ſhortly intended to practiſe, the Cure of Human Maladies; in which he began already to be known and eſteemed.
It wou’d be too tedious to give your Ladyſhip a Character of this excellent Man, whoſe Learning grac’d his natural Parts, and his vertuous Life was an Honour to his Learning. His Philoſophy and Medicinal Science did not ſupplant Civility, but cultivated and inrich’d his natural pleaſant Humour. He was in every thing a Gentleman and a Chriſtian, ſo that Envy herſelf cou’d not find a feeble Side whereon to plant her Batteries, to attack or deface that Eſteem his Merits had rais’d in the Hearts of all that knew him; which ſerv’d to make me more ſenſible of his Abſence.
However, I comforted my ſelf with the Hopes of his Return; and in the mean time, 051 B2r 3 time, correſponded as often as I cou’d in Writing, paſsing the reſt of my Time in my ſhady Walks, Fields, and Rural Affairs. The Pleaſure of which was greatly improv’d by reading Mrs. Phillips. I began to emulate her Wit, and aſpir’d to imitate her Writings; in doing of which, I think, I deſerv’d Arachne’s Fate, or at leaſt to be transform’d into one of the loweſt of Mack- Fleckno’s Followers: Her noble Genius being inimitable; eſpecially in Praiſe of a Country-Life, and Contempt of human Greatneſs; all which I ſwallow’d as Draughts of rich Cordial, to enliven the Underſtanding. Her Poetry I found ſo interwoven with Vertue and Honour, that each Line was like a Ladder to climb, not only to Parnaſsus, but to Heaven: which I (poor Puzzle as I was!) had the Boldneſs to try to imitate, ’till I was dropp’d into a Labyrinth of Poetry, which has ever ſince interlac’d all the Actions of my Life. Amongſt other Fancies, I took into my Head, to draw a Landſkip in Verſe, beginning with a Grove.
Well might the Ancients deem a Grove to be
The ſacred Manſion of ſome Deity;
Its pleaſing Shades, and gloomy Terrors, move
Our Souls at once to pious Fears and Love:
Betwixt theſe Paſsions, rightly underſtood,
Lies the ſtreight Road to everlaſting Good.
Fear frights from Hell, and Love exalts to Heav’n;
Happy the Soul to whom theſe Two are giv’n!
Beſide the Pleaſure of the Preſent Time,
To walk and muſe, deſcribe its Sweets in Rhime;
Where nought but Peace and Innocence obtrude,
The worſt that can be ſaid of it, ’tis rude.
Yet Nature’s Culture is ſo well expreſs’d,
That Art herſelf would wiſh to be ſo dreſs’d.
Lo! here the Sun conſpires with ev’ry Tree,
To deck the Earth in Landskip-Tapiſtry:
Then thro’ſome Space his brighteſt Beams appear,
Erecting a bright golden Pillar there.
Here a cloſe Canopy of Boughs is made;
There a ſoft graſsy Cloth of State is ſpread;
With Gems and gayeſt Flow’rs imbroider’d o’er,
Freſh as thoſe Beauties honeſt Swains adore.
Here Nature’s Hand, for Health and Pleaſure, ſets
Cephalick Cowſlips, Cordial Violets.
The cooling Diuretick Woodbine grows,
Supported by th’ Scorbutick Canker-Roſe.Sple- 053 B3r 5
Splenetick Columbines their Heads hang down,
As if diſpleas’d their Vertue ſhould be known.
Pinks, Lillies, Daiſies, Bettony, Eye bright,
To purge the Head, ſtrengthen or clear the Sight.
Some mollify, ſome draw, ſome Ulcers clear,
Some purify, and ſome perfume the Air.
Of which ſome gentle Nymph the faireſt takes,
And for her Coridon a Garland makes:
Whilſt on her Lap the happy Youth’s Head lies,
Gazing upon the Aſpects of her Eyes;
The moſt unerring, beſt Aſtronomy,
Whereby to calculate his Deſtiny.
Whilſt o’er their Heads a Pair of Turtles coo,
Which with leſs Conſtancy and Paſsion wooe.
The Birds around, thro’ their extended Throats,
In careleſs Conſort, chant their pleaſing Notes;
Than which no ſweeter Muſick charms the Ear,
Except when Lovers Sighs each other hear;
Which are more ſoft than auſtral Breeſes bring,
Altho’ ’tis ſaid, they’re Harbingers o’th’ Spring.
Methinks, I pity much the buſy Town,
To whom theſe Rural Pleaſures are not known.
But more I pity thoſe whom Fate inthralls,
Who can’t retire when Inclination calls,
By Buſineſs, Families, and Fortune ty’d;
Beſet, beſieg’d, attack’d on ev’ry Side,
By Friends & Foes; Wit, Beauty, Mirth & Wine,
Piques, Parties, Policies, and Flatterers join
To ſtorm one’s Quiet, Vertue undermine.
’Tis hard we muſt, the World’s ſo vicious grown,
Be complaiſant in Crimes, or live alone!
For thoſe who now with Vertue are indu’d,
Do live alone, tho’ in a Multitude.
Then fly, all ye whom Fortune don’t oblige
To ſuffer the Diſtreſses of a Siege;
Fly to ſome calm Retreat, and there retrieve
Your ſquander’d Time; ’Tis ne’er too late to live.
Free from all Envy, and the tireſome Noiſe
Of prating Fools, and Wits that ne’er were wiſe:
Free from Ambition, and from baſe Deſign,
Which equally our Vertue undermine,
In Plenty here, without Exceſs, we dine.
If we in wholſome Exerciſe delight,
Our Sleep becomes more ſound & ſweet at Night;
Or if one’s Mind to Contemplation leads,
Who has the Book of God and Nature, needs
No other Object to imploy his Thought,
Since in each Leaf ſuch Myſteries are wrought,
That whoſo ſtudies moſt, ſhall never know
Why the ſtrait Elm’s ſo tall, the Moſs ſo low.
I farther cou’d inlarge upon this Theme,
But that I’m, unawares, come to the Stream,
Which at the Bottom of this Grove doth glide:
And now I’ll reſt me by its flow’ry Side.
Thus, Madam, I have given you the firſt Taſte of my Country-Poetry, which to your Ladyſhip (who is furniſh’d with all the fine Pieces that come out) muſt needs be as inſipid as Water-gruel to breakfaſt, of thoſe that are us’d to Chocolate and rich Jellies.
It will do very well, reply’d the Lady, a Landſkip in a Screen, is very agreeable; therefore let me have the reſt.
The next Madam (reply’d Galeſia) is the Rivulet at the Bottom of the Grove, which I try’d to mould into Pindarick: I ſuppoſe, out of Curioſity; for I neither love to read nor hear that kind of Verſe. Methinks, it is to the Ear like Virginal Jacks to the Eye; being all of irregular Jumps, and Starts, ſudden Diſappointments, and long-expected Periods, which deprives the Mind of that Muſick, wherewith the good Senſe would gratify it, if in other Meaſures. But ſince your Ladyſhip commands, be pleas’d to take it as it is; next to Blank Verſe diſagreeable: (at leaſt, to my Ear) one ſort ſpoils good Verſe, the other good Proſe; whereas the regular Chime of other Verſe, helps to make amends for indifferent Senſe: Wherefore, fit to be courted by me; whoſe Fingers ought to have been imploy’d rather at the Needle and the Diſtaff, than to the Pen and Standiſh, and leave theſe Enterprizes B4 to 056 B4v 8 to the Learned, who know how to compoſe all Meaſures, thereby to pleaſe all Palates. However, at preſent, I ſhall ſacrifice this Averſion to the Obedience due to your Ladyſhip’s commands.
Ah! lovely Stream, how fitly may’ſt thou be,
By thy Immutability,
Thy gentle Motion and Perennity,
To us the Emblem of Eternity?
And, to us, thou doſt no leſs
A kind of Omnipreſence, too, expreſs,
For always at the Ocean, thou
Art ever here, and at thy Fountain too;
Always thou go’ſt thy proper Courſe,
Moſt willingly, and yet by Force,
Each Wave forcing its precurſor on;
Yet each one freely runs, with equal haſte,
As if each fear’d to be the laſt;
With mutual Strife, void of Con-ten-ti-on,
In Troops they march, ’till thouſand, thouſand’s paſt,
Yet, gentle Stream, art ſtill the ſame,
Always going, never gone:
Yet do’ſt all Conſtancy diſclaim,
Wildly dancing to thine own murmuring tuneful Song,
Old as Time, as Love and Beauty young.
But chiefly thou to Unity lay’ſt claim,
For though in Thee
Innumerable Drops there be,
Yet ſtill thou art but One,
Th’ Original of which, from Heav’n came;
Whoſe pureſt Tranſcript we
I’th’ Church may wiſh, but never hope to ſee,
Whilſt each Pretender thinks himſelf alone
To be the True Church Militant:
Nay, well it is, if ſuch will grant,
That there is one elſewhere Triumphant.
Ah, gentle Stream! ah, happy we!
Cou’d we but learn of thee,
As thou doſt Nature, we our God obey;
Gently rolling on our Way:
And as we paſs, like thee do good,
Benign to all our Neighbourhood;
To God and Man, our Love and Duty pay:
Then at our Ocean we Repoſe ſhall find,
The Ocean Grave, which ſwallows all Mankind!
Thus, Madam, I trifled my Time, ’till the Return of my Brother from Leyden, which was to me like the Return of Spring to Northern Climes. His drooping Preſence rais’d my Spirits, and diſpers’d thoſe B5 Clouds 058 B5v 10 Clouds of Sorrow gather’d in my Heart by Boſvil’s Falſhood. I began to delight myſelf in Dreſsing, Viſiting, and other Entertainments, befitting a young Gentlewoman; nevertheleſs, did not omit my Study, in which my Brother continued to oblige my Fancy, and aſsiſted me in Anatomy and Simpling, in which we took many a pleaſing Walk, and gather’d many Patterns of different Plants, in order to make a large natural Herbal. I made ſuch Progreſs in Anatomy, as to underſtand Harvey’s Circulation of the Blood, and Lower’s Motion of the Heart. By theſe and the like Imployments, I began to forget and ſcorn Boſvil. If I thought on him at all, it was with Contempt; and I wonder’d how it came to paſs that I ever lov’d him, and thought myſelf ſecure the reſt of my Days from that Weakneſs.
As I thus betook myſelf to an Amuſement different from my Sex and Years, my other young Companions, began to look grave upon me; or I, perhaps, look’d ſo upon them. Our little Follies of telling our Dreams; laying Things under each other’s Heads to dream of our Amours; counting Specks on our Nails, who ſhould have the moſt Preſents from Friends or Lovers; tying Knots in the Graſs; pinning Flowers on our Breaſts, to know the Conſtancy of our Pretenders; drawing Huſbandsbands 059 B6r 11 bands in the Aſhes; St. Agnes’s Faſt; and all ſuch childiſh Auguries, were now no more any Diverſion to me; ſo that I became an uſeleſs Member in our Rural Aſſemblies. My Time and Thoughts were taken up in Harvey, Willis, and ſuch-like Authors, which my Brother help’d me to underſtand and reliſh, which otherwiſe might have ſeemed harſh or inſipid: And theſe ſerv’d to make me unfit Company for every body; for the Unlearned fear’d, and the Learned ſcorn’d my Converſation; at leaſt, I fancy’d ſo: A Learned Woman, being at beſt but like a Forc’d-Plant, that never has its due or proper Reliſh, but is wither’d by the firſt Blaſt that Envy or Tribulation blows over her Endeavours. Whereas every Thing, in its proper Place and Seaſon, is graceful, beneficial, and pleaſant. However, my dear Brother humouring my Fancy, I paſs’d my Time in great Satisfaction. His Company was my Recreation, and his wiſe Documents my Inſtruction; even his Reproofs were but as a poignant Sauce, to render his good Morals the more ſavoury, and eaſier digeſted. Thus we walk’d and talk’d; we laugh’d and delighted our-ſelves; we dreſs’d and viſited; we received our Friends kindly, and by them were generouſly treated in their turn: all which was to the Satisfaction of our endearing tender Parents. But, alas! 060 B6v 12 alas! ſhort was the Continuance of this Happineſs; for my dear Brother died. And now, Madam, forgive theſe flowing Tears, which interrupt my Diſcourſe.
Galeſia having diſcharg’d a Torrent of Tears, the uſual Effect of any Diſcourſe for ſo great a Loſs, ſhe endeavoured to compoſe her ſelf, dry’d her Eyes, and return’d to her Story.
This, Madam, was ſuch a Grief as I had never felt; for though I had ſuffer’d much in the Tranſactions of Boſvil; yet thoſe Sorrows were allay’d, in ſome degree, by the Mixture of other Paſsions, as Hope, Fear, Anger, Scorn, Revenge, &c; But this was Grief in Abſtract, Sorrow in pure Element. I griev’d without ceaſing; my Sighs alternatively blew up my Tears, and my Tears allay’d my Sighs, ’till freſh Reflections rais’d new Guſts of Sorrow. My Solitude was fill’d with perpetual Thoughts of Him; and Company was entertain’d with nothing but Diſcourſes of this my irreparable Loſs. My ſleeping, as well as waking Hours, were fill’d with Ideas of him! Sometimes I dream’d I ſaw his Ghoſt, come to viſit me from the other World; ſometimes I thought I aſsiſted him in his Sickneſs; ſometimes attending at his Funeral; then awake in a Flood of Tears; when, waking, I cou’d form no Thought or Idea, but what Grief ſuggeſted. In 061 B7r 13 In my Walks and Studies, it was ſtill the ſame, the Remembrance of ſome wiſe Documents, or witty Entertainment, rouſed up my Grief, by reflecting on my great Loſs. No Book or Paper cou’d I turn over, but I found Memorandums of his Wiſdom and Learning, which ſerved to continue and augment my Grief; and ſo far tranſported me ſometimes, that I even wiſh’d for that which is the Horror of Nature, that I might ſee his Ghoſt. I experienced what the Philoſophers aſsert, That much reflecting on Death, is the way to make it leſs terrible; and ’tis certain, I reflected ſo much on his, that I wiſh’d for nothing more; wiſh’d to be with him; wiſh’d to be in that happy State, in which I aſsur’d my ſelf his Vertues had plac’d him. But in vain I wiſh’d for Death; I was ordain’d to ſtruggle with the Difficulties of Life; which were to be many, as I have ſince experienced; Heaven having taken away from me, Him, who ſeem’d by Nature ordain’d to conduct me through the Labyrinth of this World, when the Courſe of Nature ſhould take my dear indulgent Parents from me, to their Repoſe in Elyſium. And now, inſtead of being a Comfort to them in this their great Affliction, my Griefs added Weight to theirs, ſuch as they could hardly ſuſtain.I 062 B7v 14
I read thoſe Books he had moſt ſtudied, where I often found his Hand-writing, by way of Remarks, which always caus’d a new Flux of Tears. I often call’d upon Death; but Death was deaf, or his Malice otherwiſe imploy’d on more worthy Prey; leaving me a uſeleſs Wretch; uſeleſs to the World; uſeleſs to my Friends, and a Burden to myſelf: Whilſt he that was neceſsary to his Friends, an Honour to his Profeſsion, and beneficial to Mankind, (but chiefly to me) the Tyrant Death had ſeiz’d and convey’d away for ever!— O that Word Ever! that Thought Ever! The Reflection of Ever and Never, devour’d all that cou’d be agreeable or pleaſing to me: Ever to want his wiſe Inſtructions! Never to injoy his flowing Wit! Ever to regret this my irreparable Loſs! Never to have his dear Company in my ſhady Walks! This Ever and Never, ſtar’d in my Thoughts like Things with Saucer-Eyes in the Dark, ſerving to fright me from all Hopes of Happineſs in this World.
In theſe and the like anxious and melancholy Amuſements, I paſs’d my woeful Days, ’till Length of Time, which changes and devours all Things, began a little to abate my Grief, and the Muſes began to ſteal again into my Breaſt; and having, as I ſaid before, affected to ſtudy thoſe Books, on which I had ſeen my Brother moſt intent,tent, 063 B8r 15 tent, I at laſt reſolv’d to begin with a Body of Anatomy, and between whiles, to reduce it into Verſe: Perhaps, reflecting on what is ſaid of Ovid, that he writ Law in Verſe: And Phyſick being as little reducible to that Softneſs as Law, I know not what Emulation or Fancy excited me; but thus I began:
An Invocation of her Muse.
Come, gentle Muſe! aſsiſtme now,
A double Wreath plait for my Brow,
Of Poetry and Phyſick too.
Teach me in Numbers to rehearſe
Hard Terms of Art, in ſmooth, ſoft Verſe,
And how we grow, and how decreaſe.
Teach me to ſing Apollo’s Sons,
The Ancient and the Modern-ones,
And ſing their Praiſe in gentle Tones.
But chiefly ſing thoſe Sons of Art,
Which teach the Motion of the Heart,
Nerves, Spirits, Brains, and every Part.
Now Bartholine, the firſt of all this Row,
Does to me Nature’s Architecture ſhow;
How the Foundation, firſt, of Earth is laid;
Then, how the Pillars of Strong-Bones are made.
The Walls conſiſt of Carneous-Parts within,
The Out-ſide pinguid, overlay’d with Skin;
The Fret-work, Muſcles, Arteries and Veins,
With their Implexures; and how from the Brains
The Nerves deſcend; and how ’tis they diſpenſe
To every Member Motive-Power, and Senſe.
He ſhews the Windows in this Structure fix’d,
How trebly glaz’d, The Three Humours of the Eye, with the Tunicle. and Curtains drawn betwixt
Them & Earth’s Objects: All which prove in vain
To keep out Luſt, or Innocence retain.
For ’twas the Eye, that firſt diſcern’d the Food ,
As pleaſing to itſelf, for eating good,
Then was perſuaded, that it wou’d refine
The half-wiſe Soul, and make it all Divine.
But O how dearly Wiſdom’s bought with Sin,
Which ſhuts out Grace; lets Death & Darkneſs in.
And ’cause our Sex precipitated firſt,
To Pains, and Ignorance we ſince are curs’d.
Deſire of Knowledge, coſt us very dear;
For Ignorance, e’er ſince, became our Share.But 065 B9r 17
But as I was inlarging on this Theme,
Willis and Harvey bid me follow them.
They brought me to thea Ad infimum ventrem. firſt & largeſt Court
Of all this Building, where, as to a Port,
All Neceſsaries are brought from afar,
For Suſentation, both in Peace and War.
For Warb Morbi infimo ventri Diarrhœa, &c; this Common-wealth, doth oft infeſt,
Which pillages one Part, and ſtorms the reſt.
We view’d the Kitchen call’d Ventriculus;
Then paſs’d we through the Space call’d Pylorus;
And to the Dining-Room we came at laſt,
From thence we thro’ a Drawing-room did paſs,
And came where Jecur very buſie was:
c Secundum Opinionem Galen. contra Recep. commun. Sanguificating the whole Maſs of Chyle,
And ſevering the Crural Parts from Bile:
And when ſhe’s made it tolerably good,
She pours it forth to mix with other Blood.
This & much more we ſaw; from thence we went
Into the d next Court Per Diaphragmata. by a ſmall Aſcent.
Bleſs me! ſaid I; what Rarities are here!
A e Fountain The Heart. like a Furnace did appear,
Still boiling o’er, and running out ſo faſt,
That one wou’d think its Eflux, cou’d not laſt:Yet 066 B9v 18
Yet it ſuſtain’d no Loſs, as I cou’d ſee,
Which made me think it a ſtrange Prodigy.
Come on, ſays Harvey, don’t ſtand gazing here;
But follow me, and I thy Doubts will clear.
Then we began our Journey with the Blood,
Trac’d the Meanders of its Purple Flood.
Thus we thro’ many Labyrinths did paſs,
In ſuch, I am ſure, old Dædalus ne’er was.
Sometimes ith’ Out works, ſometimes the Firſt- Court,
Sometimes i’th’ Third theſe winding Streams would ſport.
Such Rarities we found in this Third Place,
As put ev’n Comprehenſion to diſgrace.
Here’s Cavities, ſaid one; And here, ſays He,
Is th’ Seat of Fancy, Judgment, Memory.
Here, ſays another, is the fertile Womb,
From whence the Spirits-Animal do come:
Which are myſteriouſly ingender’d here,
Of Spirits, from arterial Blood and Air.
Here, ſays a third, Life made her firſt approach,
Moving the Wheels of her triumphant Coach.
But Harvey that Hypotheſis deny’d,
Say’ng ’twas the Deaf-Ear on the Dexter-ſide.
Then there aroſe a trivial ſmall Diſpute,
Which he by Fact and Reaſon did confute.
This being ended, we began again
Our former Progreſs, and forſook the Brain;
And after ſome ſmall Traverſes about,
Came to the Place where we before ſet out:Then 067 B10r 19
Then I perceiv’d, how Harvey all made good,
By th’ Circles of the Circulating Blood,
As Fountains have their Water from the Sea,
To which again they do themſelves convey.
And here we found great Lower, with much Art,
Surveying the whole Structure of the Heart.
Welcome ſaid he, dear Couſin! Are you here?
Siſter to Him, whoſe Worth we all revere:
But ah, alas! So ſhort was his Life’s Date,
As makes us ſince, almoſt, our Practice hate;
Since we cou’d find out nought in all our Art,
That cou’d prolong the Motion of his Heart.
This latter Line, Madam, was, and is, and ever will be, my great Affliction. So dear a Friend, ſhining with ſuch Brightneſs of Parts, cut off in his Bloom! Ah Me! I cannot think or ſpeak of him without weeping; which if I did not in abundance, I ſhou’d not be juſt to his Memory; I ſhou’d be unworthy of that Fraternal Love he expreſs’d to me on all Occaſions; ſo that it is fit I ſhould weep on all Occaſions; eſpecially when I reflect how much I want him in every Circumſtance of Life. The only Comfort I have, is, when I think on the Happineſs he enjoys by Divine Viſion; All Learning and Science, All Arts, and Depths of Philoſophy, without Search or Study; whilſt we in this World, with much Labour, are gropeing, as it were, in the Dark, and make Diſcoveriescoveries 068 B10v 20 coveries of our own Ignorance. Which Thoughts wou’d ſometimes fold themſelves in theſe or the like Words.
Thou know’ſt, my Dear, now, more than Art can!
Thou know’ſt the Eſsence of the Soul of Man!
And of its Maker too, whoſe powerful Breath
Gave Immortality to ſordid Earth!
What Joys, my Dear, do Thee ſurround,
As no where elſe are to be found?
Love, Muſick, Phyſick, Poetry,
Mechanicks, grave Philoſophy;
And in each Art, each Artiſt does abound;
Whilſt All’s converted to Divinity.
No drooping Autumn there,
Nor chilling Winter, does appear;
Nor ſcorching Heat, nor budding Spring,
Nor Sun does Seaſons there divide;
Yet all Things do tranſcend their native Pride;
Which fills, but does not nauſeate;
No Change nor Want of any Thing,
Which Time to Periods, or Perfections, bring.
But yet Diverſity of State,
And Soul’s Felicity There has no Date.
Shoul’dſt Thou, my Dear, look down on us below,
To ſee how buſie we
Are in Anatomy,Thou 069 B11r 21
Thou woud’ſt deſpiſe our Ignorance,
Who moſt Things miſs, and others hit by chance,
For we, at beſt, do but in Twilight go:
Whilſt Thou ſee’ſt all by moſt tranſcendant Light;
Compar’d to which, the Sun’s bright Rays are Night.
Yet ſo Celeſtial are thine Eyes,
That Light can neither dazle nor ſurprize;
For all Things There
Moſt perfect are,
And freely their bleſs’d Quality diſpenſe,
Without the Mixture of Terreſtrial Droſs,
Or without Hazard, Harm or Loſs.
O Joys eternal, ſatiating Senſe!
And yet the Senſe, the ſmalleſt Part ingroſs!
Thus, Madam, my worthleſs Muſe help’d me to diſcharge my Griefs. The writing them in this my lonely State, was like diſcourſing, or diſburthening one’s Heart to a Friend. Whether your Ladyſhip will like to have them plac’d in your Screen, you yourſelf muſt determine.
By all means, reply’d the Lady, theſe melancholy dark Patches, ſet off the light Colours; making the Mixture the more agreeable. I like them all ſo well, I will not have One lay’d aſide. Therefore, pray, go on with your Story.Madam, 070 B11v 22
Madam, ſaid Galeſia, It was at this Time, that I had a Kinſman a Student at the Univerſity; who at certain Times, frequented our Houſe; and now and then brought ſome of his young Companions with him; whoſe youthful and witty Converſation, greatly help’d to divert my Chagrin. Amongſt theſe vertuous young Gentlemen, there was one, whoſe Merit ingaged my particular Eſteem, and the Compaſsion he had for my Griefs, planted a Friendſhip, which I have ever ſince cultivated with my beſt Endeavours. When he was thus become my Friend, I unboſom’d my ſelf to him, acquainted him with the Story of Boſvil, not concealing the leaſt Weakneſs in all that Tranſaction, which was an Indiſcretion I can hardly forgive my ſelf; and I doubt not, but I ſhall ſtand condemn’d in your Ladyſhip’s Judgment: For a young Gentleman is certainly a very unfit Confidant of a young Gentlewoman’s Amours: The beſt ſhe can expect from ſuch a Diſcovery, is his Pity, which is one Step towards Contempt; and that is but a poor ſort of Conſolation, or Return of that Confidence ſhe repoſes. However, his generous Soul, gave it another Turn; and inſtead of deſpiſing my Foible, valued my Frankneſs, and abhorr’d Boſvil’s Unworthineſs, continuing to divert me with his Wit, whiſt my Kinſman and he joyn’d to 071 B12r 23 to conſolate me with repeated Proofs of their Friendſhip; all which my dear Parents approv’d; and promoted their Viſits to our Houſe by a generous and kind Reception at our Country Retreat; where they came now and then, a little to relax their College Diſcipline, and unbend the Streightneſs of their Study; bringing with them little Books, new Pamphlets, and Songs; and in their Abſence, convers’d with me by Writing; ſometimes Verſe, ſometimes Proſe, which ingaged my Replies in the ſame manner. And here, amongſt theſe Papers, appear ſeveral of them; out of which, perhaps, your Ladyſhip may chuſe ſome Patches for your Screen.
An Invitation to my Learned Friends at Cambridge.
If, Friends, you wou’d but now this Place accoſt,
E’er the Young Spring that Epithet has loſt,
And of my Rural Joys participate,
You’d change your learn’d Harangues for Country Chat,
And thus with me ſalute this lonely State:
Hail Solitude! where Peace and Vertue ſhroud
Their unvail’d Beauties, from the cenſuring Croud;
Let us but have their Company, and we
Shall never envy this World’s Gallantry.
Tho’ to few Objects here we are confin’d,
Yet we have full Inlargement of the Mind.From 072 B12v 24
From varying Modes, which oft our Minds inſlave,
Lo! here, a full Immunity we have:
For here’s no Pride, but in the Sun’s bright Beams,
Nor murmuring, but in the Cryſtal-Streams.
No Avarice, but in the hoarding Bees,
Nor is Ambition found, but in the Trees.
No Emulations ever interpoſe,
Except betwixt the Tulip and the Roſe.
No Wantonneſs, but in the frisking Lambs;
Nor Luxury, but when they ſuck their Dams.
No politick Contrivances of State,
Only each Bird contrives to pleaſe its Mate.
No Shepherd here of ſcornful Nymph complains,
Nor are the Nymphs undone by faithleſs Swains.
Narcissus only, is that ſullen He,
That can deſpiſe his amorous, talking She.
But all Things here, conſpire to make us bleſs’d;
Whilſt true Content is Muſick to the Feaſt.
Then hail ſweet Solitude! all hail again,
All hail to every Field, and Wood, and Plain;
To every beauteous Nymph, and faithful Swain.
Then join with me; come, join with me, and give
This Salutation; or at leaſt believe,
’Tis ſuch a kind of Solitude as yet
Romance ne’er found where happy Lovers met.
Yea, ſuch a kind of ſolitude it is,
Not much unlike to that of Paradiſe;
Where Nature does her choiceſt Goods diſpenſe,
And I, too, here, am plac’d in Innocence.I ſhou’d 073 C1r 25
I ſhould conclude that ſuch it really were,
But that the Tree of Knowledge won’t grow here.
Though in its Culture I have ſpent ſome Time,
Yet it diſdains to grow in our A Female Capacity. cold Clime,
Where it can neither Fruit nor Leaves produce,
Good for its Owner, or the publick Uſe.
Whilſt God and Nature for You The Men. conſtitute,
Luxurious Banquets of this dainty Fruit.
Whoſe Tree moſt freſh and flouriſhing is found,
E’er ſince ’twas planted in your fertile Ground.
Whilſt you in Wit, grow, as its Branches,high,
Deep as its Root, too, in Philoſophy.
Large as its ſpreading Arms, your Reaſons ſhow;
Cloſe as its Shade, your well-knit Judgments grow;
Freſh as its Leaves, your ſprouting Fancies are;
Your Vertues like its Fruit, are bright and fair.
This my Invitation they all accepted, plain and innocent as it was, like thoſe Cates, wherewith they were treated; for we ſearch’d not Air, Earth, and Water to gratify our Palates with Dainties, nor ravag’d Spain, France, and the Indies , for Diverſity of Liquors: Our own Product, in a cleanly wholſome manner, contented our Appetites; ſuch as ſerv’d the Conveniency of Life, not ſuperfluous Luxury. Our Correſpondence was of the ſame Piece, C ver- 074 C1v 26 vertuous and innocent: No Flear or Grimace tending to Lewdneſs, or cunning Artifice, out of the Way of Rural Simplicity: But pure and candid, ſuch as might be amongſt the Celeſtial Inhabitants. In this manner it was, that theſe vertuous Youths relieved my Solitude, and, in ſome Degree, diſsipated that Melancholy wherewith I was oppreſs’d: And in their Abſence (as I ſaid before) viſited me with Letters, and little Preſents of the neweſt Pieces of Diverſion that came to their Hands. And ſome of them having complimented me with an Epiſtle, I wrote the following Anſwer.
To my Young Lover.
Incautious Youth! why doſt thou ſo miſplace
Thy fine Encomiums, on an o’er-blown Face?
Which after all the Varniſh of thy Quill,
Defects and Wrinkles ſhew conſpicuous ſtill;
Nor is it in the Power of Youth, to move
An age-chill’d Heart, to any Strokes of Love.
Then chuſe ſome budding Beauty, which in Time,
May crown thy Wiſhes, in thy blooming Prime.
For nought can make a more prepoſt’rous Show,
Than April Flow’rs, ſtuck on St. Michael’s Bough.
To conſecrate thy firſt-born Sighs to me,
A ſuper-annuated Deity,Makes 075 C2r 27
Makes that Idolatry and deadly Sin,
Which otherwiſe had only venial been.
This, and ſome other ſuch, obtain’d of them a friendly Rebuke, for making my ſelf Old, when I was but little more than Twenty. The Truth is, I believe Grief made me think the Time tedious, every Day of Sorrow ſeeming a Year; inſomuch that, according to that Account, I was as old as the Patriarchs before the Flood. I believe it is in this as in other things; we judge according to our Paſsions, and imagine others ſhould do the ſame. The fearful Man thinks he ſees Spirits, Thieves, and Murderers: The angry Man, if he ſees a Straw lie in his Way, believes his Enemy laid it to affront him: The jealous Man miſtruſts, and miſconſtrues even his Wife’s Kindneſs and Careſses: And ſo it is on all Occaſions of Paſsion and Fancy. So that when I was out of my Teens, I thought all the Days of Youth were paſt, and thoſe that could write Twenty, ought to lay all Things youthful and gay aſide. But it ſeems theſe my young Friends were not of the ſame Sentiment; but treated me in their eloquent Letters and poetical Epiſtles, like a very young and beautiful Lady, equal in Years to themſelves. Which caus’d me to make this following Reply to one of their Epiſtles.C2 To 076 C2v 28
To praiſe, ſweet Youth, do thou forbear,
Where there is no Deſert;
For, alas! Encomiums here,
Are Jewels thrown i’th’ Dirt.
For I no more deſerve Applauſe,
Now Youth and Beauty’s fled,
Than does a Tulip or a Roſe,
When its fair Leaves are ſhed.
Howe’er, I wiſh thy Praiſes may,
Like Prayers to Heaven borne,
When holy Souls, for Sinners pray,
Upon Thy-ſelf return.
Theſe, Madam, were the little Adventures of my Country Life; not fit Entertainments for your Ladyſhip, but that your Commands ſtamp the Character, and make current the meaneſt Metal, and render that acceptable, which otherwiſe would hardly be excuſable. The Compaſsion your Ladyſhip ſeem’d to have for my Griefs, encourag’d me to let you know by what Steps I climbed out of the deepeſt Gulph of Sorrow; and how this my mournful Tragedy was chang’d into a kind of innocent Paſtoral; as appears by the Ballad I ſent to theſe my young Friends to Sturbridge- Fair.
A Ballad. By Way ofDialoguebetween Two Shepherd-Boys.
I Wonder what Alexis ails,
To ſigh and talk of Darts;
Of Charms which o’er his Soul prevails,
Of Flames and bleeding Hearts.
I ſaw him Yeſterday alone,
Walk croſsing of his Arms;
And Cuckow-like, was in a Tone,
Ah, Celia! ah, thy Charms!
Why, ſure thou’rt not ſo ignorant,
As thou wou’d’ſt ſeem to be:
Alas! the Cauſe of his Complaint,
Is all our Deſtiny.
’Tis mighty Love’s all pow’rful Bow,
Which has Alexis hit;
A powerful Shaft will hit us too,
E’er we’re aware of it.
Why, Love!— Alas! I little thought
There had been ſuch a Thing;
But that for Rhime it had been brought,
When Shepherds us’d to ſing.
And, ſure, whate’er they talk of Love,
’Tis but Conceit at moſt;
As Fear i’th’ Dark our Fancies move
To think we ſee a Ghoſt.
I know not; but the other Day,
A wanton Girl there were,
Which took my Stock-Dove’s Eggs away,
And Black-bird’s Neſt did tear.
Had it been Thee, my deareſt Boy,
Revenge I ſhould have took;
But She my Anger did deſtroy,
By the Sweetneſs of her Look.
So t’other Day, a wanton Slut,
As I ſlept on the Ground,
A Frog into my Boſom put,
My Hands and Feet ſhe bound:
She hung my Hook upon a Tree;
Then, laughing bid me wake;And 079 C4r 31
And though ſhe thus abuſed me,
Revenge I cannot take.
Let’s wiſh theſe Overtures of Fate ,
Don’t luckleſs Omens prove;
For thoſe who loſe the Power to Hate,
Are ſoon made Slaves to Love.
The young Gentlemen receiv’d it kindly, and return’d me Thanks in theſe Words.
We all return you Thanks for your Ballad; to which our FriendSam. Setwell, put a Tune, and we ſung it in a Booth merrily, ’till the Proctor had like to have ſpoil’d the Harmony. But he finding no Female amongſt us, drank the innocent Author’s Health, and departed. The whole Chorus ſalute you, with the Aſsurance of being
This Converſation, and Correſpondence, Madam, infuſed into me ſome Thoughts, befitting my Sex and Years, rendering me fit for Company, and to live like the reſt of my Fellow-Creatures; ſo that being one Day where there was a young C4 Gentle- 080 C4v 32 Gentleman, who did not think me ſo much a Stoick as I thought myſelf, he ſo far lik’d my Perſon and Humour, that altho’ he had been a very looſe Liver, he began to think he could endure to put on Shackles, and be confin’d to one: But being perfectly a Stranger, and knowing not well how to introduce himſelf into my farther Acquaintance, he took this odd Method.
There was a certain Goſsip in thoſe Parts, that uſed to go between the Ladies and Gentlewomen, with Services, and How-d’ye’s; always carrying with her the little prattling News of Tranſactions where ſhe frequented. This Woman coming to our Houſe, was receiv’d with a good Mien, and the beſt Chear our Larder would afford, which was my Office to perform. She took the Opportunity to tell me, that her coming at the Time was particularly to Me, from Mr. Bellair, who had ſeen me the other Day at ſuch a Place, ſince which time he had had no Repoſe, nor none could have, ’till I gave him Leave to make me a Viſit, which he begg’d moſt earneſtly. To which I reply’d, That though Mr. Bellair had ſeen me, he was perfectly a Stranger to me, otherwiſe he had not ſent ſuch a Meſsage; he knowing that I lived in my Father’s Houſe, not in my own; therefore had no right to invite or receive any-body unknown to my Parents,rents, 081 C5r 33 rents, much leſs young Gentlemen; that being an Irregularity miſbecoming my Sex and Station, and the Character of a dutiful Daughter: This I deſir’d her to tell him, with my Service; which Anſwer I utter’d with a little Sharpneſs, that the Woman could not but ſee her Errand was diſobliging, as it was, and ought to be; ſuch a Meſsage looking more like a diſhonourable Intrigue, than an Addreſs to a vertuous Maiden-Gentlewoman. The Truth is, I always had an Averſion to thoſe ſecret Addreſses, as all vertuous Maids ought, and was reſolved as carefully to avoid them as Mariners do Rocks; for ’tis certain, that Parents are naturally willing to promote their Childrens Happineſs; and therefore, that Lover who deſires to keep the Parents in the Dark, is conſcious to himſelf of ſomething that has need to ſhun the Light; for his Concealing his Pretenſions from the Mother, looks as if he meant an unworthy Conqueſt on the Daughter; and eſpecially thoſe of Mr. Bellair’s Character.
However, I miſtook my young Gentleman, his Intentions being more ſincere than I expected: For upon that Anſwer to my Goſsip, he took the firſt Occaſion to diſcover his Sentiments to his Father; who did not only approve, but rejoyced thereat, hoping that he was in a Diſpoſition to reclaimC5 claim 082 C5v 34 claim himſelf from his looſe Way of Living; and that the Company of a Wife, and Care of a Family, wou’d totally wean him from thoſe wild Companions, in whom he too much delighted: Not but that his Father had divers times offered, and earneſtly perſuaded him, to diſpoſe himſelf for a Married Life, having no Son but him, to inherit his Riches, and continue his Family. To which the young Man was ever averſe; counting Marriage as Fetters and Shackles, a Confinement not to be borne by the Young and the Witty; a Wife being ſuppos’d to be the Deſtruction of all Pleaſure and good Humour, and a Death to all the Felicities of Life; only good in the Declenſion of Years, when Coughs and Aches oblige a Man to his own Fire-ſide: then a Nurſe is a moſt neceſsary Utenſil in a Houſe. Theſe and the like, us’d to be the wild Notions, wherewith he oppos’d his Father’s indulgent Care, whenever he went about to provide for his happy Eſtabliſhment: So the good old Gentleman was overjoy’d at his Son’s own Propoſal, and took the firſt Opportunity with my Father, over a Bottle, to deliver his Son’s Errand. To which my Father anſwer’d, like a plain Country Gentleman, as he was (who never gilded his Actions with fraudulent Words, nor painted his Words with deceitful or double Meanings;) and told 083 C6r 35 told him, That he was very ſenſible of the Honour he did him in this Propoſal; but that he cou’d not make his Daughter a Fortune ſuitable to his Eſtate: For, continued he, that becoming Way in which we live, is more the Effect of pru dent Management, than any real Exi ſtence ſtence of Riches. To which the old Gentleman reply’d, That Riches were not what he ſought in a Wife for his Son; Fortune having been ſo propitious to him, that he needed not to make that his greateſt Care: A prudent, vertuous Woman, was what he moſt aim’d at, in his Son’s Eſpouſals, hoping that ſuch an one, would reclaim and wean him from all thoſe wild Excurſions to which Youth and Ill-Company had drawn him, to his great Affliction. But, methinks, con tinu’d tinu’d he, I ſpy a Dawn of Reformation in the Choice he has made of your Daughter; who, amongſt all the young Gentlewomen of theſe Parts, I value, ſhe having a diſtinguiſhing Character for Prudence and Vertue, capable to command Reſpect and Eſteem from all the World; as well as does her amiable Perſon ingage my Son’s Affections. Wherefore, ſaid he, I hope you will not refuſe your Concurrence, thereby to make my Son happy. My Father making him a grateful Acknowledgment, told 084 C6v 36 told him, He wou’d propoſe it to my Mother and me; and added, That his Daughter having been always dutiful and tenderly obſervant, he reſolv’d to be indulgent, and impoſe nothing contrary to her Inclinations. Her Mother alſo, continu’d he, has been a Perſon of that Prudence and Vertue, that I ſhould not render the Juſtice due to her Merit, if I did any thing of this kind, without her Approbation.
This my Father related to me, with an Air full of Kindneſs, telling me, That he wou’d leave the Affair wholly to my Determination; adding, That there was an Eſtate, full Coffers, and a brisk young Gentleman; So that I think (ſaid he) I need ſay no more to a Perſon of common Senſe, to comply with what is ſo advantageous.
To which I reply’d, That theſe or any of theſe, were above my Deſert; and your Recommendations, Sir, re double double the Value; upon whoſe Wiſdom and paternal Care I ought wholly to depend: But his particular looſe Way of Living, I hope will juſtify me, when I lay that before you, as a Cauſe of He ſitation. ſitation. To which my Mother reply’d, That it muſt be my Part, with Mildneſs and Sweetneſs, to reclaim him: That he having now ſow’d his wild Oats, (accord ing ing to the Proverb) wou’d ſee his Folly; ’“and’ 085 C7r 37 and finding there is nothing to be reap’d but Noiſe, Vanity, and Diſgrace, in all Probability, wou’d apply himſelf to an other other Way of Living; eſpecially having made the Propoſal to his Father of ſet tling tling with a Perſon of his own chooſing, where no Intereſt nor Family-Neceſsity had any Hand in the Election.
Theſe and the like Diſcourſes and Conſiderations, paſs’d among us; we having his Father’s ſerious Propoſal for our Foundation; which, join’d with the Meſsage he himſelf had ſent me by the Goſsip, we had Reaſon to believe the Superſtructure would not be defective.
Nevertheleſs, though I was but an innocent Country Girl, yet I was not ſo ignorant of the World, but to know or believe, that often thoſe Beau-Rakes, have the Cunning and Aſsurance to make Parents on both ſides, Steps to their Childrens Diſgrace, if not Ruin: For very often, good Country Ladies, who reflect not on the Vileneſs of the World, permit their Daughters to give private Audiences, to their Lovers, in ſome obſcure Arbour or diſtant Drawing room; where the Spark has Opportunity to misbehave himſelf to the Lady; which, if ſhe reſent, there is a ready Conveniency for him to beſpatter her with Scandal. And I did not know but Bellair might have ſome ſuch thing in his Thoughts, out 086 C7v 38 out of Malice for my having rejected his Intrigue by the Goſsip. For I could not fancy my-ſelf endow’d with Charms ſufficient to hold faſt ſuch a Volage; however, I knew my ſelf ſafe under my Mother’s Prudence, and my own Reſolution.
And thus I expected my pretended Lover ſome Days; But inſtead of his perſonal Appearance, News came, That he was taken in a Robbery on the High-way, and committed to the County-Gaol: And all this out of a Frolick; for tho’ he had all Things neceſsary, both for Conveniency and Diverſion, nevertheleſs, this deteſtable Frolick muſt needs be put in Practice, with ſome of his lewd Companions; for which at the next Aſsizes, he receiv’d the Reward of his Crimes at the Place of publick Execution.
I have told you this Tranſaction, that your Ladyſhip may not be ignorant of any thing that appertains to me, though this was an Affair utterly unknown to all the World; I mean his Propoſal of Marriage; nor does any of my Poems take the leaſt Notice, or give any Hint of it; for there was no Progreſs made by any perſonal Correſpondence, nor can I perſuade my-ſelf he meant any thing but Miſchief.
I cou’d recount to your Ladyſhip another Story or two of odd Diſappointments; but, they will take up too great a Place in your Screen, and render the View diſagreeable.
A Patch-Work Screen For the Ladies.
It was not long after theſe Turns of Fortune, that I had the real Affliction of loſing my dear and indulgent Father; and ſo was left the only Conſolation of my widow’d Mother. I ſhall not mention the Grief, Care, and Trouble which attended this great Change; theſe Things being natural and known to every-body: Therefore, I ſhall paſs them over in Silence, as I was forced to undergo it with Submiſsion.When 088 C8v 40
When our Griefs were a little compos’d, and our Affairs adjuſted, ſo that the World knew what Fortune I had to depend upon, and that in my own Power, there wanted not Pretenders to my Perſon; ſo that now was the Time to act the Coquet, if I had lik’d the Scene; but that never was my Inclination; for as I never affected the formal Prude, ſo I ever ſcorn’d the impertinent Coquet. Amongſt this Train of Pretenders, (ſome of which addreſs’d to my Mother, and ſome privately to me) I think there is nothing worth Remark, but what your Ladyſhip may gueſs, by a Copy or two of Verſes writ on theſe Occaſions.
To my Indifferent Lover, who complain’d of my Indifferency.
You’d little Reaſon to complain of me,
Or my Unkindneſs, or Indifferency,
Since I, by many a Circumſtance, can prove,
That Int’reſt was the Motive of your Love.
But Heav’n it-ſelf deſpiſes that Requeſt,
Whoſe ſordid Motive’s only Intereſt.
No more can honeſt Maids endure to be
The Objects of your wiſe Indifferency.
Such wary Courtſhip only ſhou’d be ſhown
To cunning, jilting Baggages o’th’ Town.’Tis 089 C9r 41
’Tis faithful Love’s the Rhetorick that perſuades,
And charms the Hearts of ſilly Country Maids.
But when we find, your Courtſhip’s but Pretence,
Love were not Love in us, but Impudence.
At beſt, I’m ſure, to us it needs muſt prove,
What e’er you think on’t, moſt injurious Love.
For had I of that gentle Nature been,
As to have lov’d your Perſon, Wit, or Mien,
How many Sighs & Tears it wou’d have coſt,
And fruitleſs Expectations by the Poſt?
Saying, He is unkind.— O no! his Letter’s loſt;
Hoping him ſick, or lame, or gone to Sea;
Hop’d any thing but his Inconſtancy.
Thus, what in other Friends, cauſe greateſt Fear,
To deſperate Maids, their only Comforts are.
This I through all your Blandiſhments did ſee,
Thanks to Ill-Nature, that inſtructed me.
Thoughts of your Sighs, ſometimes wou’d plead for you;
But Second Thoughts again wou’d let me know,
In gayeſt Serpents ſtrongeſt Poyſons are,
As ſweeteſt Roſe-trees, ſharpeſt Prickles bear.
And ſo it proves, ſince now it does appear,
That all your Flames and Sighs only for Money were.
As Beggars for their Gain, turn blind and lame,
On the ſame ſcore, a Lover you became.
Yet there’s a Kindneſs in this feign’d Amour,
It teaches me, ne’er to believe Man more:Thus 090 C9v 42
Thus blazing Comets are of good Portent,
When they excite the People to repent.
Theſe Amours affected me but little, or rather not at all; For the Troubles of the World lighting upon me, a thouſand Diſappointments attended me, when deprived of my Father. Alas! we know not the real Worth of indulgent, tender Parents, ’till the Want of them teach us by a ſad Experience: And none experienc’d this more than myſelf: deceitful Debtors, impatient Creditors, diſtreſs’d Friends, peeviſh Enemies, Law-ſuits, rotten Houſes, Eye-ſervants, ſpightful Neighbours, impertinent and intereſted Lovers, with a thouſand ſuch Things to terrify and vex me, nothing to conſolate or aſsiſt me, but Patience and God’s Providence.
When my Mother and I had accommodated our Affairs, we endeavour’d to make ourſelves eaſy, by putting off our Country Incumbrance, and ſo went to live at London.
Here I was, as if I was born again: This was a new Life to me, and very little fitted the Shape of my Rural Fancy; for I was wholly form’d to the Country in Mind and Manners; as unfit for the Town, as a Tarpaulin for a States-man; the Town to me was a Wilderneſs, where, methought, I loſt my ſelf and my Time; and 091 C10r 43 and what the World there calls Diverſion, to me was Confuſion. The Park, Plays, and Operas, were to me but as ſo much Time thrown away. I was a Stranger to every-body, and their Way of Living; and, I believe, my ſtiff Air and awkard Mien, made every-body wiſh to remain a Stranger to me. The Aſsemblèes, Ombre, and Baſset-Tables, were all Greek to me; and I believe my Country Dialect, to them, was as unintelligible; ſo that we were neither ſerviceable nor pleaſant to each other. Perhaps ſome or other of the Company, either out of Malice to expoſe me, or Complaiſance to entertain me in my own Way, would enter into the Praiſe of a Country Life, and its plentiful Way of Living, amongſt our Corn, Dairies, and Poultry, ’till by Degrees, theſe bright Angels would make the Aſs open its Mouth, and upon their Demand, tell how many Pounds of Butter a good Cow would make in a Week; or how many Buſhels of Wheat a good Acre of Land would produce; Things quite out of their Sphere or Element: And amongſt the reſt, the Decay of the Wooll-Trade is not to be omitted; and, like a true Country Block-head, grumble againſt the Parliament, for taking no better Care of the Country-Trade, by prohibiting Cane-Chairs and Wainſcot; by which means, the Turkey-work, Tapiſtry, and Kidder- 092 C10v 44 Kidderminſter Trades were quite loſt; and in them the great Manufacture of the Nation; and not only ſo, but perpetual Fires intail’d on the City of London. Thus I, one of the free-born People of England, thought I had full Privilege to rail at my Betters. Sometimes, and in ſome Places, perhaps, Part of the Company, who knew a little of my Bookiſh Inclinations, would endeavour to relieve that Silence which the Ignorance of the Town laid upon me; and enter into a Diſcourſe of Receipts, Books, and Reading. One aſk’d me, If I lik’d Mrs. Phillips, or Mrs. Behn beſt? To whom I reply’d, with a blunt Indignation, That they ought not to be nam’d together: And ſo, in an unthinking, unmannerly Way, reproach’d the Lady that endeavour’d to divert and entertain me; ſhe having that Moment been pleaſed to couple them. By this Blunder, Madam, ſaid Galeſia, you ſee how far one is ſhort, in Converſation acquired only by Reading; for the many Plays and pretty Books I had read, ſtood me in little ſtead at that Time, to my great Confuſion; for though Reading inriches the Mind, yet it is Converſation that inables us to uſe and apply thoſe Riches or Notions gracefully.
At the Toilet, I was as ignorant a Spectator as a Lady is an Auditor at an Act- Sermon in the Univerſity, which is always in 093 C11r 45 in Latin; for I was not capable to diſtinguiſh which Dreſs became which Face; or whether the Italian, Spaniſh, or Portugal Red, beſt ſuited ſuch or ſuch Features; nor had I a Catalogue of the Perſonal or Moral Defects of ſuch or ſuch Ladies, or Knowledge of their Gallantries, whereby to make my Court to the Preſent, at the Coſt of the Abſent; and ſo to go the World round, ’till I got thereby the Reputation of ingaging and agreeable Company. However, it was not often that the whole Myſtery of the Toilet, was reveal’d to my Country Capacity; but now and then ſome Aunt, or Governeſs, would call me to a Diſh of Chocolate, or ſo; whilſt the Lady and her officious Madamoiſelle, were putting on thoſe ſecret Imbelliſhments which illuſtrated her Beauties in the Eyes of moſt of the fine-bred Beholders. But ſome petulant, antiquated Tempers, deſpiſed ſuch Ornaments, as not having been uſed in good Queen Bess’s Days; nor yet in the more Modern Court of Oliver Cromwel. As to myſelf, I was like a Wild Aſs in a Foreſt, and liv’d alone in the midſt of this great Multitude, even the great and populous City of London.
When Duty and good Days call’d me to Church, I thought I might find there ſome Compeereſses, or Perſons of my own Stamp, and amongſt the Congregation behavehave 094 C11v 46 have my ſelf like others of my Sex and Years; But, alas! there were Locks and Keys, Affronts from Pew-keepers, crowding and puſhing by the Mob, and the gathering Congregation gazing upon me as a Monſter; at leaſt I fancied ſo. When patient waiting, and Pocket opening to the Pewkeeper, had got me a Place, I thought to exerciſe the Duty that call’d me thither: But, alas! the Curteſies, the Whiſpers, the Grimaces, the Pocket Glaſses, Ogling, Sighing, Flearing, Glancing, with a long &c; ſo diſcompos’d my Thoughts, that I found I was as unfit for thoſe Aſsemblies, as thoſe others before nam’d, where a verbal Converſation provided againſt thoſe mute Entertainments; which my Clowniſh Breeding made me think great Indecencies in that Sacred Place; where nothing ought to be thought on, much leſs acted, but what tended to Devotion, and God’s Glory; ſo that I was here likewiſe alone in the midſt of a great Congregation. Thus you ſee, Madam, how an Education, purely Country, renders one unfit to live in the great World, amongſt People of refin’d and nice Breeding; and though I had beſtow’d Time and Pains in Book-Acqueſts, a little more than uſual; yet is was but loſt Labour to ſay the beſt of it: However, I did not repent; for though it had ſuppreſs’d and taken Place of that nice Converſation belonginglonging 095 C12r 47 longing to the Ladies, yet it furniſh’d me with Notions above the Trifles of my Sex, wherewith to entertain my ſelf in Solitude; and likewiſe, when Age and Infirmities confin’d my dear Mother within-doors, and very much to her Chamber, I paid my Duty to her with Pleaſure, which otherwiſe might have ſeem’d a Conſtraint, if not in ſome Degree omitted, had my Thoughts been levell’d at thoſe gaudy Pleaſures of the Town, which intangle and intoxicate the greater Part of Woman-kind. Now, I believe, it was this retired Temper which pleas’d a certain Perſon a little in Years, ſo as to make his Addreſses to me, in order to an Eſpouſal. This was approv’d of by my Friends and Relations; amongſt the reſt, my young Kinſman, whom I mention’d to your Ladyſhip, a Student at the Univerſity, writ me a very fine perſuaſive Copy of Verſes on the Subject of Marriage, which I have loſt; but the Anſwer to thoſe Verſes appear here amongſt the other Paper-Rubbiſh.
To my Friend E X I L I U S, On his perſuading me to marry Old D a m o n
When Friends Advice with Lovers Forces joyn,
They conquer Hearts more fortified than mine.
Mine open lies, without the leaſt Defence;
No Guard of Art; but its own Innocence;
Under which Fort it could fierce Storms endure;
But from thy Wit I find no Fort ſecure.
Ah! why would’ſt thou aſsiſt mine Enemy,
Whoſe Merits were almoſt too ſtrong for me?
For now thy Wit makes me almoſt adore,
And ready to pronounce him Conqueror:
But that his Kindneſs then would grow, I fear,
Too weight for my weak Deſert to bear:
I fear ’twou’d even to Extreams improve;
For Jealouſy, they ſay’s th’ Extream of Love.
Even Thou, my dear Exilius, he’d ſuſpect;
If I but look on thee, I him neglect.
Not only Men, as innocent as thou,
But Females he’d miſtruſt, and Heaven too.
Thus beſt things may be turn’d to greateſt Harm,
As the Lord s Prayer ſaid backward, proves a Charm.Or 097 D1r 49
Or if not thus, I’m ſure he wou’d deſpiſe,
And under-rate the eaſy-gotten Prize,
Forgetting the Portent o’th’ willing Sacrifice. When Sacrifices went willingly to the Altar, it portended Good.
Theſe and a thouſand Fears my Soul poſseſs;
But moſt of all my own Unworthineſs:
Like dying Saints, that wiſh for coming Joys,
But humble Fears their forward Wiſh deſtroys.
What ſhall I do, then? Hazard the Event?
You ſay, old Damon’s All that’s excellent.
If I miſs him, the next ſome ’Squire may prove,
Whoſe Dogs and Horſes, ſhall have all his Love.
Or ſome debauch’d Pretender to lewd Wit,
Or covetous, conceited, unbred Cit.
As the brave Horſe, who late in Coach did neigh,
Is forc’d at laſt to tug a naſty Dray.
I ſuppoſe, I need not deſire your Ladyſhip to believe, that what ſeems here to be ſaid in Favour of Damon, is rather Reſpect to my Kinſman’s Perſuaſions, than any real Affection for him; who being a little in Years, was not much capable of raiſing a Paſsion in a Heart not hoſpitable enough to receive a Gueſt of this kind; eſpecially having found ſo much Trouble with thoſe that had lodg’d there heretofore. Wherefore this Affair paſs’d by, with IndifferencyD differency 098 D1v 50 differency on both Sides: And my Mother and I remain’d at Quiet, we not thinking of any-body; nor any-body thinking of us: And thus we liv’d alone (at leaſt in our Actions) in the midſt of Multitudes.
Our Lodging was near Weſtminſter-Abbey, for the Benefit of thoſe frequent and regular Services there performed. For my own Part, I choſe the early Prayers, as being free from that Coquettry, too much appearing at the uſual Hour: Beſides, there one has the Opportunity, to offer all the Accitions of the Day to Heaven, as the Firſtfruits, which heretofore was a moſt acceptable Sacrifice. By this, methought, all the Actions of the following Day were ſanctified; or, at leaſt, they ſeem’d to be agitated by a Direction from Heaven. The Comers thither appear’d to me to reſort really there about what they pretended; and the Service of God ſeem’d to be the true Motive of their Actions. But, good Heaven! how was I ſurpriz’d at a Tranſaction I will relate, though not appertaining to my-ſelf or my Story.
There was an elderly Man, in a graceful comely Dreſs ſuitable to his Years, who ſeem’d to perform his Devotions with Fervor and Integrity of Heart; nevertheleſs, this wicked Wight, pick’d up a young Girl in order to debauch her; which was in this manner. Immediately when they came 099 D2r 51 came out of the Chapel, he began to commend the young People he ſaw there, for leaving their Morning-Slumbers, to come and ſerve God in his Sanctuary: In particular, You, Sweet-heart, (addreſsing to one lately come out of the Country) have hardly yet any Acquaintance, to ingage you to meet upon an Intrigue or Cabal; (at leaſt I gueſs ſo by your Mien and Garb) but come hither purely for God’s Worſhip, which is extremely commendable, and ought to be encourag’d. Come, pretty Maid, come along with me, and I will give you a Breakfaſt, together with good Inſtructions how to avoid the Vices of the Town, of which I am convinced you are thoroughly ignorant. Thus this old Whorſon play’d the Devil for God’s ſake, according to the Proverb, and took this young Innocent into a Houſe of very ill Repute.
It was not long e’er this poor Wretch began to find herſelf ill and out of Order: She came to me, hearing that I had ſome Skill in Phyſick; but I perceiving her Diſtemper to be ſuch as I did not well underſtand, nor cared to meddle withal, recommended her to a Phyſician of my Acquaintance, who was more uſed to the immodeſt Harangues neceſsary on ſuch Occaſions. I calling to mind, that this was ſhe, who had been ſeduced at the early D2 Prayers, 100 D2v 52 Prayers, was a little curious to know the Manner of her Undoing.
She told me, That the Perſon who miſled her, was a Goldſmith, living in good Repute in that Quarter of the Town. He gave her a great deal of good Counſel to avoid the Beaus and Gallants of the Town; which if ſhe did, and behav’d herſelf modeſtly and diſcreetly, he ſaid, ſhe ſhould want for nothing; for he would be a Father to her: bad her meet him again on the Morrow, and he would bring a Ring, and therewith eſpouſe her. Which accordingly he did, and put the Ring on the Wedding Finger, and took her for his Left-hand Wife. By this Fallacy, was this ſilly Girl ruin’d. They continued this their Commerce for ſome time; he giving her many Treats and Preſents; ’till, by degrees, he grew weary, diminiſhed his Favours, met her but ſeldom, and at laſt took no Notice of her. Whether ſhe was lewd with any other Perſon, and got the Venereal Diſtemper, and ſo diſoblig’d him, or what other Reaſon, I know not; but ſhe being abandon’d by her Gallant, and diſabled by her Illneſs, was reduc’d to great Diſtreſs, and from Time to Time was forced to ſell what ſhe had to relieve her Neceſsities. The Ring ſhe kept ’till the laſt, that being the Pledge of his Love, and pretended Conſtancy; but then was forc’d 101 D3r 53 forc’d to ſeek to make Money of that vile Treaſure, the Snare that had intangled both Body and Soul. Now this ſilly Creature never knew directly where this her Gallant liv’d. I ſuppoſe his Cunning conceal’d that from her; whether by Sham or directly refuſing to tell her, I know not: But ſhe ignorantly ſtumbled on his Shop to ſell this Ring; where finding an elderly Matron, ſhe addreſs’d herſelf to her to buy it. The good Gentlewoman ſeeing her Huſband’s Mark on the Ring, and calling to mind, that ſhe had miſs’d ſuch a one ſome time ago, ſeiz’d the Girl, in order to carry her before a Juſtice to make her prove where, and how, ſhe came by that Ring. The poor Wretch, all trembling, told her, That a Gentleman had given it her; but indeed, ſhe did not know where he lived. Whereupon the Gentlewoman reply’d, That if ſhe could not produce the Perſon that gave it her, ſhe muſt be proſecuted as a Felon, and as ſuch, undergo what the Courſe of Law ſhould allot her; and accordingly order’d her immediately into the Hands of a Conſtable, to have her before a Juſtice. At this Moment, it ſo happen’d, that the Maſter of the Shop came in; at which the poor trembling, frighted Creature, cry’d out, O Madam! this is the Gentleman that gave me the Ring. You impudent Slut, reply’d he, I know you not; D3 get 102 D3v 54 get you gone out of my Shop! and ſo puſh’d her out. She being glad to get thus quit, haſted away, leaving the Man and his Wife to finiſh the Diſpute between themſelves.
Behold, Madam, what an odd Piece of Iniquity was here. That a Man in Years ſhou’d break his Morning’s Reſt, leave his Wife, Houſe, and Shop at Random, and expoſe himſelf to the chill Morning Air, to act the Hypocrite and Adulterer; ruin an innocent young Creature, under the Pretence of a ridiculous Sham-Marriage, and at the ſame Time exhauſt that Means which ſhould ſupport his Family and his Credit, is to me wonderful to conceive. At laſt the poor Creature was abandon’d to all Miſery, even Hunger and a nauſeous Diſeaſe; between which ſhe muſt have inevitably periſh’d, a loathſome Example of Folly and Lewdneſs; but that the Doctor to whom I had recommended her, got her into an Hoſpital, from whence, after her Cure, ſhe went away to the Plantations, thoſe great Receptacles of ſuch ſcandalous and miſerable Miſcreants.
Pardon, Madam, this long Digreſsion, which is not out of an Inclination to rake in ſuch Mud, which produces nothing but Offence to the Senſes of all vertuous Perſons; but it came into my Way to ſhew how much I was miſtaken, in the Vertue and 103 D4r 55 and Piety of ſome of thoſe early Devotees. Not that I mean by this or the like Example, to condemn all who there daily make their Addreſses to Heaven: But to ſhew you, that in all Places, and at all Times, my Country Innocence render’d me a kind of a Solitary in the midſt of Throngs and great Congregations. But though I found my ſelf thus alone in Morals, yet I no where found a perſonal Solitude; but all Places full; all Perſons in a Hurry; ſuitable to what that great Wit, Sir John Denham, ſays;
——With equal Haſte they run,
Some to undo, and ſome to be undone.
At home, at our own Lodging, there was as little Quiet, between the Noiſe of the Street, our own Houſe, with Lodgers, Viſiters, Meſsages, Howd’ye’s, Billets, and a Thouſand other Impertinencies; which, perhaps, the Beau World wou’d think Diverſion, but to my dull Capacity were mere Confuſion. Beſides which, ſeveral People came to me for Advice in divers ſorts of Maladies, and having tolerable good Luck, I began to be pretty much known. The Pleaſure I took in thus doing good, much over-balanced the Pains I had in the Performance; for which benign kind Diſpoſition, I moſt humbly bleſs my great D4 Creator 104 D4v 56 Creator (the free Diſpoſer of all Bleſsings) for having compos’d me of ſuch a Temper, as to prefer a vertuous or a charitable Action, before the Pomps or Diverſions of the World, though they ſhou’d be accompanied with Riches and Honours; which, indeed, I did not injoy, nor expect; therefore happy, that my Inclinations correſponded with my Circumſtances. The Truth is, I know not but that Pride and Vanity might, in ſome Degree, be united to this Beneficence; for I was got to ſuch a Pitch of helping the Sick, that I wrote my Bills in Latin, with the ſame manner of Cyphers and Directions as Doctors do; which Bills and Recipes the Apothecaries fil’d amongſt thoſe of the Doctors: And this being in particular one of my Sex, my Muſe wou’d needs have a Finger in the Pye; and ſo a Copy of Verſes was writ on the Subject; which, perhaps, your Ladyſhip may like ſo as to put them in your Screen. They are as follow:
On the Apothecaries Filing my Recipes amongſt the Doctors.
I Hope I ſha’n’t be blam’d, if I am proud
To be admitted in this learned Croud.
For to be proud of Fortune ſo ſublime,
Methinks, is rather Duty than a Crime.Were 105 D5r 57
Were not my Thoughts exalted in this State,
I ſhould not make thereof due Eſtimate:
And, ſure, one Cauſe of Adam’s Fall, was this,
He knew not the juſt Worth of Paradiſe.
But with this Honour I’m ſo ſatisfy ’d,
The Ancients were not more, when Deify’d.
’Tis this makes me a fam’d Phyſician grow,
As Saul ’mongſt Prophets turn’d a Prophet too.
The Sturdy Gout, which all Male-Power withſtands,
Is Having a particular Arcanura for the Gout. overcome by my ſoft Female Hands.
Not Deb’rah, Judith, or Semiramis,
Cou’d boaſt of Conqueſt half ſo great as this;
More than they ſlew, I ſave, in this Diſeaſe.
Now Bleſsings on you All, you Sons of Art,
Who what your ſelves ne’er knew, to me impart.
Thus Gold, which by th’ Sun’s Influence does grow,
Does that i’th’ Market, Phœbus cannot do.
Bleſs’d be the Time, and bleſs’d my Pains & Fate,
Which introduc’d me to a Place ſo great!
Falſe Strephon Boſvil call’d Strephon in her Verſes. too, I almoſt now cou’d bleſs,
Whoſe Crimes conduc’d to this my Happineſs.
Had he been true, I’d liv’d in ſottiſh Eaſe,
Ne’er ſtudy’d ought, but how to love and pleaſe;
No other Flame, my Virgin Breaſt had fir’d,
But Love and Life together had expir’d.
But when, falſe Wretch! he his forc ’d Kindneſs pay’d,
With leſs Devotion than e’er Sexton pray’d,D5 Fool 106 D5v 58
Fool that I was! to ſigh, weep, almoſt dye,
Little fore-thinking of this preſent Joy;
Thus happy Brides ſhed Tears, they know not why.
Vainly we praiſe this Cauſe, or laugh at that,
Whilſt the Effect, with its How, Where, & What,
Lies Embrio in the Womb of Time or Fate.
Of future Things we very little know,
And ’tis Heav’ns Kindneſs, that it ſhould be ſo;
Were not our Souls, with Ignorance ſo buoy’d,
They’d ſink with Fear, or overſet with Pride.
So much for Ignorance there may be ſaid,
That large Encomiums might thereof be made.
But I’ve digreſs’d too far; ſo muſt return,
To make the Medick-Art my whole Concern,
Since by its Aid, I’ve gain’d this honour’d Place,
Amongſt th’ immortal Æſculapian-Race:
That if my Muſe, will needs officious be,
She muſt to this become a Votary.
In all our Songs, its Attributes rehearſe,
Write Recipes, as Ovid Law, in Verſe.
To Meaſure we’ll reduce Febrific Heat,
And make the Pulſes in true Numbers beat.
Aſthma and Phthiſick chant in Lays moſt ſweet;
The Gout and Rickets too, ſhall run on Feet.
In fine, my Muſe, ſuch Wonders we will do,
That to our Art, Mankind their Eaſe ſhall owe;
Then praiſe and pleaſe our-ſelves in doing ſo.
For ſince the Learn’d exalt and own our Fame,
It is no Arrogance to do the ſame,
But due Reſpects, and Complaiſance to them.
Thus, Madam, as People before a Looking-glaſs, pleaſe themſelves with their own Shapes and Features, though, perhaps, ſuch as pleaſe no-body elſe; juſt ſo I celebrated my own Praiſe, according to the Proverb, for want of good Neighbours to do it for me; or rather, for want of Deſert to ingage thoſe good Neighbours. However, I will trouble your Ladyſhip with relating one Adventure more, which happen’d in this my Practice.
There came to me a Perſon in Quality of a Nurſe who, though in a mean ſervile Station, had ſomething in her Behaviour and Diſcourſe, that ſeem’d above her Profeſsion: For her Words, Air, and Mien, appeared more like one entertaining Ladies in a Drawing-Room, than a Perſon whoſe Thoughts were charg’d with the Care of her ſick Patients, and Hands with the Pains of adminiſtring to her own Neceſsities. As we were in Diſcourſe of the Buſineſs ſhe came about, we were interrupted by a certain Noiſe in the Street, a little more than uſual; which call’d our Curioſity to the Window; where paſs’d by a noble fine Coach, with many Foot-men running bare-headed on each ſide, with all other Equipage and Garniture ſuitable; which made a ſplendid Figure, deſerving the Regards of People the leaſt curious. The 108 D6v 60 The Coach being paſs’d, I turn’d me about, and found the good Nurſe ſunk in a fainting Fit, which was a little ſurprizing; but calling my Maid, with a little Endeavour, we brought her to herſelf; we aſk’d her the Cauſe of this ſudden Diſorder? Whether ſhe was accuſtom’d to thoſe Fits? or, Whether any ſudden Surprize or Reflection had ſeiz’d her? She reply’d, That indeed it was a ſudden Surprize: The Sight of that great Coach, had affected her Spirit, ſo as to cauſe in her that Diſorder. Whereupon I told her, I ſhould be oblig’d to her, if ſhe thought fit to inform me what Perſon or Occaſion had caus’d in her ſo violent an Effect. To which ſhe reply’d, That a Perſon of his Grandeur who was in the Coach, ought not to be nam’d with one of her mean Condition: Nevertheleſs, ſaid ſhe, you appearing to be a Gentlewoman of Prudence and Vertue, I will tell you my Story, without the leaſt Diſguiſe.
My Father, ſaid ſhe, was the younger Son of a Country Gentleman, and was a Tradeſman of Repute in the City: He gave me a Gentlewoman-like Education, as became his Family, and the Fortune he was able to beſtow upon me; for he had no Child but my ſelf, which, perhaps, was the Cauſe that I was more taken Notice of than I ſhould have been otherwiſe. Amongſt many that caſt their Eyes upon me, a cer- 109 D7r 61 a certain young Clerk of the Inns of Court, of a piercing Wit, graceful Mien, and flowing Eloquence, found Opportunity to make an Acquaintance with me, and as ſoon to make his Addreſses to me. Alas! my unguarded Heart ſoon ſubmitted to the Attacks of his Wit and ingaging Behaviour; and all this without the Knowledge of my Father; which was the eaſier accompliſh’d, I having no Mother. I will not repeat to you, continu’d ſhe, the many Meſsages, Letters, and little Preſents, which attended this ſecret Amour, there being therein no more than ordinary on ſuch an Occaſion.
Now though we had been careful and cunning enough to keep this from the Knowledge of my Father, yet Jealouſy ſoon open’d the Eyes of a Lover; for the Foreman of my Father’s Shop, deſigning me for himſelf, found out our Correſpondence, and diſcovered the ſame to my Father: At which he was very much diſpleas’d, knowing that the young Gentleman had little or no Foundation, but his own Natural Parts, and his Education, to recommend him for a Husband to a City Heireſs. Hereupon my Father forbad me his Company, charging me to have no manner of Correſpondence with him, upon pain of his utmoſt Diſpleaſure. But, alas! my Affections were too far ingag’d, to let Duty have the Regency;gency; 110 D7v 62 gency; and not only my Affections, but my faithful Word given in Promiſe of Marriage to this young Gentleman; which I kept from my Father, aſsuring him of a ready Obedience to his Commands.
Thus things paſs’d ſome time in Silence and Secrecy, ’till my Father had an Opportunity to marry me to a wealthy Citizen; wherewith he preſs’d me very earneſtly to comply. But his Trade was none of the Genteeleſt, neither his Education nor Perſon at all polite, nor was he very ſuitable in Years: Theſe Things were diſagreeable in themſelves; but worſt of all, my Word given to my young Lawyer, render’d the Difficulty almoſt unſurmountable. I had not Courage to let my Father know the Truth; which if I had, perhaps, I had been never the better; for the more I ſeem’d to diſlike this other Propoſal, the more my Father’s Averſion grew towards my young Lawyer, as ſuppoſing him to be the Obſtacle that barr’d me from my Duty, as he really was, in a great degree. But Things did not hold long in this Poſture; for my Father preſs’d on the Marriage with the utmoſt Earneſtneſs, uſing Promiſes and Threatnings, ’till at laſt my Weakneſs (for I cannot call it Obedience) made me comply. After I was married, I lived in plenty enough for ſome Years. In the mean Time, my Father married a young 111 D8r 63 young Wife, by whom he had many Children, which depriv’d me of all future Hopes of receiving any Benefit by his Bounty. But to ſhorten my Story, by ſuch time as I had liv’d a Wife about Seven Years, my Father dy’d, and my Huſband broke, by which I was reduc’d to a low Ebb of Fortune; and he being a Man of no Family, had no Friends to aſsiſt or raiſe him; and with this Fall of Fortune, his Spirit ſunk withal, ſo that he had not Courage to ſtrive or grapple, or turn any thing about, ’till he had ſpent the utmoſt Penny. Whether this Ruin proceeded from Loſses by Sea and Land, to which great Dealers are obnoxious, or from the immediate Hand of Heaven, for my Breach of Vow to my young Lawyer, I know not; but our Diſtreſs grew greater and greater, ’till I was forc’d to betake my ſelf to the Imployment of a Nurſe; and my Huſband to be Labourer at St. Paul’s, which is his preſent Occupation. In the mean time, my young Lawyer grew into Fame, by his acute Parts, which he imploy’d in ſerving the Royal-Cauſe, ’till he is become that great man you ſaw paſs by: which ſudden Sight gave me ſuch Confuſion, that I cou’d no longer ſupport my ſelf, but ſunk into the Chair next the Place where I ſtood.
Thus ended ſhe her Story; which is indeed not a little extraordinary, though ſcarcely 112 D8v 64 ſcarcely ſufficient to merit your Ladyſhip’s Attention. Nevertheleſs, the good Woman’s Humility, Patience, and Induſtry, are greatly to be commended, and ought to be an Example to many, even her Superiors as well as her Inferiors; ſhe being ſo true a Pattern of Patience, humble Condeſcenſion, and Diligence, that I think I may apply to her a Couplet I wrote on a particular Occaſion, amongſt ſome of my Poems: Where Fortune wou’d not with her Wiſh comply,She made her Wiſh bear Fortune Company.
Thus, Madam, I rubb’d on, in the midſt of Noiſe and Buſtle, which is every where to be found in London; but Quiet and Retreat ſcarce any where. At laſt I found out a Cloſet in my Landlady’s Back- Garret which I crept into, as if it had been a Cave on the Top of Parnaſsus; the Habitation of ſome unfortunate Muſe, that had inſpir’d Cowley, Butler, Otway, or Orinda, with Notions different from the reſt of Mankind; and for that Fault, were there made Priſoners. Here I thought I found my own poor deſpicable Muſe given to Orinda as her Waiting-maid; and it was, perhaps, ſome of the worſt Part of that great Lady’s Puniſhment, to be conſtrain’d to a daily Correſpondence with ſo 113 D9r 65 ſo dull a Creature. However, this Hole was to me a kind of Paradiſe; where I thought I met with my old Acquaintance as we hope to do in the other World. Here I tumbled over Harvey and Willis at Pleaſure: My impertinent Muſe here found me; and here we renew’d our old Acquaintance. Sometimes I wou’d repel her Inſinuations; and ſometimes again accept her Careſses; as appears by the following Invocation.
To my Muse.
Cease, prithee, Muſe, thus to infeſt.
The barren Region of my Breaſt,
Which never can an Harveſt yield,
Since Weeds of Noiſe o’er-run the Field.
If Intereſt wont oblige thee to it,
At leaſt let Vengeance make thee do it;
’Cauſe I thy Sweets and Charms oppoſe,
In bidding Youth become thy Foes.
But nought, I ſee, will drive thee hence,
Threats, Buſineſs, or Impertinence.
But ſtill thou doſt thy Joys obtrude
Upon a Mind ſo wholly rude,
As can’t afford to entertain
Thee, with the Welcome of one Strain.
Few Friends, like thee, wou’d be ſo kind,
To come where Intereſt does not bind;And 114 D9v 66
And fewer yet return again,
After ſuch Coldneſs and Diſdain.
But thou, kind Friend, art none of thoſe;
Thy Charms thou always do’ſt oppoſe
Againſt Inquietude of Mind;
If I’m diſpleas’d, ſtill thou art kind;
And with thy Spells driv’ſt Griefs away,
Which elſe wou’d make my Heart their Prey.
And fill’ſt their empty Places too,
With Thoughts of what we ought to do.
Thou’rt to my Mind ſo very good,
Its Conſolation, Phyſick, Food.
Thou fortify’ſt it in Diſtreſs;
In Joy augment’ſt its Happineſs:
Inſpiring me with harmleſs Rhimes,
To praiſe good Deeds, deteſt all Crimes.
Then, gentle Muſe, be ſtill my Gueſt;
Take full Poſseſsion of my Breaſt.
Thus, Madam, in my Garret-Cloſet, my Muſe again took Poſseſsion of me: Poetry being one of thoſe ſubtle Devils, that if driven out by never ſo many firm Purpoſes, good Reſolutions, Averſion to that Poverty it intails upon its Adherents; yet it will always return and find a Paſsage to the Heart, Brain, and whole Interior; as I experienced in this my exalted Study: Or, to (uſe the Phraſe of the Poets) my Cloſet in the Star-Chamber; or the Den of Parnaſsus.Out 115 D10r 67
Out of this Garret, there was a Door went out to the Leads; on which I us’d frequently to walk to take the Air, or rather the Smoke; for Air, abſtracted from Smoke, is not to be had within Five Miles of London. Here it was that I wiſh’d ſometimes to be of Don Quixote’s Sentiments, that I might take the Tops of Chimneys, for Bodies of Trees; and the riſing Smoke for Branches; the Gutters of Houſes, for Tarras-Walks; and the Roofs for ſtupendous Rocks and Mountains. However, though I could not beguile my Fancy thus, yet here I was alone, or, as the Philoſopher ſays, never leſs alone. Here I entertain’d my Thoughts, and indulg’d my ſolitary Fancy. Here I could behold the Parliament-Houſe, Weſtminſter-Hall, and the Abbey, and admir’d the Magnificence of their Structure, and ſtill more, the Greatneſs of Mind in thoſe who had been their Founders; one Place for the eſtabliſhing good Laws; another for putting them in Practice; the Third for the immediate Glory of God; a Place for the continual ſinging his Praiſe, for all the Bleſsings beſtow’d on Mankind. But with what Amazement did I reflect, how Mankind had perverted the Uſe of thoſe Places deſign’d for a general Benefit: and having been reading the Reign of King Charles the Firſt, I was amaz’d, to think how thoſe LawMakersMakers 116 D10v 68 Makers cou’d become ſuch Law-Confounders, as the Hiſtory relates. Was it Ambition, Pride or Avarice? For what other wicked Spirit entred amongſt them, we know not; but ſomething infernal ſure it was, that puſh’d or perſuaded them to bring ſo barbarous an Enterprize to ſo ſad a Concluſion. Ambition ſure it cou’d not be, for every one cou’d not be King, nor indeed cou’d any one reaſonably hope it. Neither cou’d it be Pride, becauſe in this Action they work’d their own Diſgrace. It muſt certainly therefore be Covetouſneſs; for they hop’d to inrich themſelves by the Ruins of the Church and State, as I have heard; though the Riches were of ſmall Durance. Theſe kind of Thoughts entertained me; ſome of which, I believe, are in Writing, amongſt my other Geer.
COvetouſneſs we may truly call, The Dropſie of the Mind, it being an inſatiable Thirſt of Gain: The more we get, the more we deſire, and the more we have, the leſs willing are we to part with any. It was a wiſe Remark of him that ſaid, A Poor Man wants Many things, but the Covetous Man wants All things; for a covetous Man will want Neceſsaries, rather than part with his Gold; and unleſs we do part with it, 117 D11r 69 it, it is of no uſe to us; ſince we can’t eat, drink, or warm ourſelves by it: And, as of itſelf it can neither feed, warm, nor cloath us, ſo neither can it make us Ploughſhares, Pruning-hooks, Weapons of Defence, or other Utenſils worthy the Value we ſet upon it. Yet this ſhining Earth commands this Lower Orb, and for it we often ſell our Friends, King, Country, Laws, and even our eternal Happineſs. Thus Avarice brings many to that Region where the Coveting of Thirty Pieces of Silver brought the moſt abominable of all Traitors.
Then I turn’d my Eyes on Weſtminſter- Hall, that noble Structure, which contains the ſeveral Courts of Juſtice, where thoſe good Laws, made in the other High Court, are put in practiſe. But how far this Intention is perverted, God knows, and the World daily informs us. For Truth is too often diſguiſed, and Juſtice over-ballanced, by means of falſe Witneſſes, ſlow Evidences to Truth, avaritious Lawyers, poor Clients, Perjury, Bribery, Forgery, Clamour, Party, Miſtakes, Miſapprehenſions, ill-ſtating the Caſe, Demurrs, Reverſes, and a thouſand other Shifts, Querks and Tricks, unknown to all but Lawyers.
From hence I turn’d my Eyes on the Abbey, and wondred to behold it ſtanding; when ſo many ſtately Edifices and ſtupendous Piles were demoliſhed. Whether its Revenuesvenues 118 D11v 70 venues were too ſmall to be coveted, or too large to be hop’d for, I could not tell; but I believe the Stones were neither more nor leſs Criminal than thoſe of their Fellow- Dilapidations. So I concluded theſe Conſiderations, with a Couplet of Sir John Denham’s.
Is there no temp’rate Region to be known,
Betwixt their torrid and our frigid Zone?
I return’d into my Cloſet, or rather my Den of Dulneſs, for the Retreat of ſuch a Student deſerves not the Name of a Study. Here I caſt mine Eyes on a very fine Epiſtle in Verſe from my Friends at Cambridge; whereupon I ſat me down to anſwer it, which was to diſsuade them from Poetry, notwithſtanding their great Genius towards it, expreſs’d even in that Epiſtle. Which Anſwer be pleas’d to take as follows.
To my Friends; againſt Poetry.
Dear Friends, if you’ll be rul’d by me,
Beware the Charms of Poetry;
And meddle with no fawning Muſe,
They’ll but your harmleſs Love abuſe.
Tho’ Cowley’s Mistress had a Flame,
As pure and laſting as his Fame;And 119 D12r 71
And to Orinda Mrs. Katherine Philips. they were ty’d,
That nought their Friendſhip cou’d divide;
Yet now they’re all grown Proſtitutes,
And wantonly admit the Suits
Of any Fop, that will pretend
To be their Lover, or their Friend.
Tho’ they to Wit, no Homage pay,
Nor can the Laws of Verſe obey,
But ride poor Six-foot out of Breath,
And rack a Metaphor to Death;
Yet ſtill, as little as they know,
Are Fav’rites of the Muſes now.
Then who wou’d honour ſuch a She,
Where Fools their happier Rivals be?
We ſurely may conclude there’s none,
Unleſs they’re drunk with Helicon;
Which is a Liquor that can make
A Dunce ſet up for Rhyming Quack;
A Liquor of ſo ſtrange a Temper,
As all our Faculties does hamper;
That whoſo drinks thereof is curs’d
To a continu’d Rhyming Thirſt.
Unknown to us, like Spell of Witch,
It ſtrikes the Mind into an Itch;
Which being ſcrubb’d by Praiſe, thereby
Becomes a ſpreading Leproſy;As 120 D12v 72
As hard to cure, as Dice or Whore,
And makes the Patient, too, as poor:
For Poverty as ſure attends
On Poets, as on Rich-Mens Friends:
Wherefore I’d baniſh it my Breaſt.
Rather than be to Fools a Jeſt,
I’d to old Mammon be a Bride,
Be ugly as his Ore untry’d;
Do every Thing for ſordid Ends,
Careſs my Foes, betray my Friends;
Speak fair to all; do good to none;
Not care who’s happy, who’s undone;
But run where Int’reſt puſhes one;
Do any thing to quench poetick Flame,
And beg my Learned Friends to do the ſame.
Looking over what I had wrote, I remember I did not like it; for inſtead of praiſing what they had ſent me, as it deſerv’d, giving them Thanks, begging them to continue the ſame Favour to me and the World, I, in an uncouth, diſobliging Manner, oppos’d their Ingenuity; by which I very little deſerved any more ſuch agreeable Entertainments. Moreover, caſting an Eye on the other Poem, which I had wrote but a Day or two before, in which I had kindly treated and cajol’d my Muſe; and then again on my Friends witty Epiſtle; ſo that between theſe Three, my Thoughts 121 E1r 73 Thoughts danc’d the Hay, like the Sun and Moon in the Rehearſal, and thereby made an Eclipſe in my Reſolution. But as I have heard, that in ſome Countries they go with Pans and Kettles, and therewith make a Noiſe; whether to wake the Sun out of his imagin’d Sleep, or raiſe him from the Dead, I know not: But, in like manner, a haſty Knocking at the Door of the Leads; diſappointed this my Ecliptick Dance. I ſpeedily open’d the Door, and there found a Gentlewoman of a graceful Mien and genteel Dreſs: She haſtily ruſh’d in, and begg’d me to faſten the Door, and then to introduce her to the Gentlewoman of the Houſe: To which I conſented, and ſo deſcended with her to my Landlady’s Apartment, where we found her, together with my Mother. After I had inform’d them of the Adventure of her coming over the Leads, in at the Garret-Door, they courteouſly receiv’d her, and deſir’d to know wherein they cou’d be further ſerviceable.
She told them, That although her Crimes render’d her too confus’d to relate her Story; yet, her diſtreſsed Condition obliged her to an undiſguiſed Recital.
I am, ſaid ſhe, Daughter to a worthy Country Gentleman, of an ancient Family and large Poſseſsions; who lived ſuitable to the Rank and Station in which Heaven had plac’d him. He and my Mother were eſteemed by Perſons of all Ranks, as indeed they deſerv’d; for they were beneficent to every body; Neighbours, Relations, Servants, Poor and Rich, all had a Share in their Generoſity, Kindneſs, or Charity. Their Tenants gather’d Eſtates under them; Their Servants gain’d wherewith to become Maſters in their Old Age; Their Table and Cellar were always free and open to the Freeholders, and Tradesmen, who came to pay their Reſpects to them; Their Park and Gardens were at the Service of any of the neighbouring Gentry, that were not Maſters of ſuch Conveniences: Their Perſons were amiable, and their Diſcourſe agreeable and entertaining. Thus they paſs’d their Days in Plenty and Honour, ’till their unhappy Off-ſpring gave a new Byaſs to their Bowl of Life, which had hitherto rolled on with ſuch Evenneſs, as teſtified the ſteady Hand of thoſe that gave the Caſt. My Brother being grown to Years of Maturity, liſted himſelf in all the Lewdneſs of the Age; by 123 E2r 75 by which he contracted ſo many and ſuch groſs Infirmities, that a thorough Recovery of his Health is deſpaired of.
Now my Parents, who had been always affectionate towards me, became extreamly fond, humouring me even to a Fault, eſpecially ſince I made ſuch ill Uſe of their Tenderneſs: For by means of this extraordinary Indulgence, I grew troubleſome to Servants, impertinent to my Betters, rude and diſobliging to my Equals, harſh and inſulting to my Inferiors; in ſhort, I behav’d my ſelf, as if all the World were created for me only, and my Service. In the mean Time, Fondneſs ſo blinded my Parents, that they ſaw no Fault in me, nor I in my ſelf, which was my great Miſfortune.
Now, whether this humourſome, impertinent way made me diſagreeable to Young Gentlemen, I know not; but though my Fortune was conſiderable, and my Perſon ſuch as you ſee, not contemptible, yet nobody made any Overtures of Marriage to me, or to my Parents on my behalf; at leaſt, that I know of.
Amongſt, many whom my Father’s Quality and Munificence brought to our Houſe, there was a certain fine Gentleman caſt his Eyes on me, with a Tenderneſs unbefitting my Youth, and his Circumſtances, he being a married Man; but notwithſtanding E2 that, 124 E2v 76 that, I ſuffered his Inſinuations to penetrate my Soul. His Looks and Geſtures demonſtrated a violent Paſsion; but his Words were always dreſs’d up in Vertue and Honour; and the frequent Theme of his Diſcourſe was on Platonick Love, and the happy State any Two might injoy, that lived together in ſuch a chaſte Affection. In theſe kind of Diſcourſes we paſs’d many Hours; ſometimes in Walks, ſometimes in Arbours, and oftentimes in my Chamber, ’till very late Hours. At laſt, the Maſk of Platonick Love was pull’d off, and a perſonal Injoyment concluded the Farce, compos’d of many deceitful Scenes, and wicked Contrivances. In a little Time I began to perceive my ſelf pregnant, to that degree, that I daily fear’d others ſhould take notice of it. There was no way left to eſcape the Fury of my Parents and his Wife, but by Flight, which we put in Execution, pretending to go beyond-Sea, the better to avoid Search. But inſtead thereof, he brought me to a Houſe in your Neighbourhood; and there left me. What is become of him, I know not, nor dare inquire. The Officers of the Pariſh being inform’d of my being here, in this Condition, came to inquire into the Matter; but my Landlady being aware thereof, convey’d me through her Garret over the Leads of Weſtminſter-Hall, and ſo into your Garret.And 125 E3r 77
And now, Gentlewomen, behold what a miſerable Creature is before you. I cannot bear being carried before a Juſtice on this Account; I ſhall ſooner lay violent Hands on my ſelf; which I pray God forbid. Therefore, dear Ladies, adviſe me what to do, or how to proceed.
After a little Conſideration, my Landlady, with much Goodneſs, ſent for the Officers of the Pariſh, to ingage on her behalf; that they might leave her in Repoſe, ’till Time ſhould find out the Gentleman; or get ſome Accomodation with her Parents; after which ſhe ſent her Maid with her to her Lodging; recommending her to the Care of her Landlady, with Aſſurance of Payment.
She being gone, we began to deſcant on the poor miſerable Creature’s Diſtreſs; withal much applauding the Charity of our good Landlady, to a Perſon ſo wholly a Stranger. No, indeed, reply’d the good Gentlewoman, ſhe is not quite a Stranger to me, for I was heretofore very well acquainted with her Parents, who were really worthy good People; but ſince the Birth of this Girl, her Father has chang’d his generous beneficent Temper; and as ſhe grew up in Beauty, he grew the more Niggardly; of which I could give you a particular Inſtance, but ſhall reſerve it to another Opportunity; and always wiſh, that ParentsE3 rents 126 E3v 78 rents would never ſet their Hearts ſo much on great Proviſions for their Children, as to refuſe Charity to any miſerable Object that addreſses them, as did this Gentleman; but rely on God’s Providence for their Poſterity, as well as their own Riches, Frugality or Induſtry.
This Adventure, Madam, as it prov’d a Conſolation to this diſtreſsed Creature; ſo it prov’d a Misfortune to me; for hereupon my Mother prohibited me my Garret- Cloſet, and my Walk on the Leads; leſt I ſhould encounter more Adventures, not only like this, but perhaps more pernicious: So that being depriv’d of my ſolitary Retreat, your Ladyſhip cannot expect much of Verſe or Poetick Fancies whereof to make Patches at preſent.
Methinks, reply’d the Lady, I ſhould expect ſome doleful Ditty, upon being depriv’d of this your beloved Solitude. On this Occaſion I fancy you like Ovid, when baniſh’d from all his Pleaſures and Injoyments in the glorious City of Rome; you being depriv’d of what you preferr’d before all them; which ſhews, there is no Poſsibility of making People happy againſt their Will. Some are happy in a Cottage; others can ſcarce endure Life but in a Palace. Some take great Delight in Fields, Woods, and Rural Walks: others again, in lofty Buildings, glorious Apartments, ſumptuous 127 E4r 79 ſumptuous Entertainments, Balls, Dancings, Shows, and Maſquerades.
’Tis true, Madam, reply’d Galeſia; and this makes me reflect, how uſeleſs, or rather pernicious, Books and Learning are to our Sex. They are like Oatmeal or Charcoal to the deprav’d Appetites of Girls; for by their Means we reliſh not the Diverſions or Imbelliſhments of our Sex and Station; which render us agreeable to the World, and the World to us; but live in a Stoical Dulneſs or humerſome Stupidity. However, I comply’d with my Mother, and made Inclination ſubmit to Duty; and ſo endeavour’d to make a Vertue of this Neceſsity, and live like others of my Rank, according to Time, Place and Conveniency.
My dear Mother now growing aged, began to be very deſirous to ſee me eſtabliſhed in a married State; daily inculcating to me, That we, in a manner, fruſtrate the End of our Creation, to live in that uncouth kind of Solitude, in which ſhe thought I too much delighted, and which ſhe believed would grow upon me, when God ſhould take her away: At what Time, I ſhould then have no body to conſolate, protect or aſsiſt me; urging, That I ought not to paſs my Time in idle Dreams on Parnaſsus, and fooliſh Romantick Flights, with Icarus; whoſe waxen Wings fail’d E4 him 128 E4v 80 him ſo as to let him fall into the Sea; which indeed purchas’d him a Name, but became the perpetual Record of his Folly: And ſuch a Name, ſuch a Record, I ſhould be glad, ſaid ſhe, you would avoid, by becoming a good Miſtreſs of a Family; and imploy your Parts in being an obedient Wife, a diſcreet Governeſs of your Children and Servants; a friendly Aſsiſtant to your Neighbours, Friends, and Acquaintance: This being the Buſineſs for which you came into the World, and for the Neglect of this, you muſt give an Account when you go out of it. Theſe were Truths which Reaſon would not permit me to oppoſe; but my Reflections on Boſvil’s Baſeneſs, gave me a ſecret Diſguſt againſt Matrimony. However, her often repeated Lectures, call’d for Compliance, eſpecially Fortune ſeeming at that Time to concur with my Mother’s Counſel, in the following manner.
A Patch-Work Screen For the Ladies.
The History of Lysander.
There was a certain Widow- Gentlewoman, who had but one only Son, who ſhould have been the Staff of her Age. This Son ſhe had educated to the Law, and placed him in handſome Chambers in the Temple. But the young Gentleman, inſtead of ſtudying the Laws of his Country, practis’dE5 ctis’d 130 E5v 82 ctis’d the Mode of the Times, and kept the Wife of an unhappy Citizen, made ſo partly by her Vanity and Coquettry, ’till he was forced to ſeek his Fortune in the Plantations, whilſt ſhe found hers in the wicked Embraces of this young Gentleman; who hired a very handſome Houſe for her, furniſhed it genteely, and when he pleas’d, there paſs’d his Time, making her his Study, Practice and Diverſion. In this guilty Correſpondence, they had Children; in particular one, who grew a great Girl, and was put to a Boarding-School, amongſt young Gentlewomen of Vertuous Deſcent.
Now this kind of Life was very grievous to his good Mother, and as it caus’d her to ſhed many Tears, ſo it obliged her, from Time to Time, to uſe many Reprehenſions ſuitable to her maternal Affection; ſometimes ſharp, ſometimes ſoft, ſometimes perſuaſive, ſometimes menacing: But all in vain; for he ſtill went on in the ſame Road, ſupporting this Adultreſs in all her Extravagancies, humouring her in all her Whimſies and Caprices, ’till the Diminution of his Circumſtance, began to call on him for a Retrenchment of his Expences. His Lands were mortgaged, his Houſes decay’d, his Debts increaſed, his Credit diminiſhed, Duns attack’d him in every Quarter, Writs and Bayliffs follow’d him, Vexati- 131 E6r 83 Vexations of all Sorts met and overtook him: Nevertheleſs, her Riot, Vanity, and chargeable Diverſions muſt not be abated; ſo great an Aſcendant ſhe had got over him, that (according to the Proverb) He ſcarce durſt ſay his Soul was his own.
One time, being under an Arreſt for ſome Debt contracted by means of her Extravagancy; he ſent to her to come and lay down the Money, which he knew ſhe could do with Eaſe, ſhe having Caſh by her, or at leaſt he knew ſhe could raiſe it ſpeedily, out of thoſe rich Preſents he had made her from Time to Time; but ſhe boggled, and made many frivolous Excuſes, which would not hold Water: At laſt ſhe plainly refuſed, unleſs he would grant her a Judgment of all that he had, Real and Perſonal, Body and Goods, alledging (no doubt) That it was the ſafeſt Way to ſecure to himſelf a Livelihood, and balk his Creditors. He depending on the Belief of her Affection, and the manifold Obligations ſhe lay under, comply’d with this Propoſal, thinking it a proper Blind or Sham, to ſecure himſelf, and defraud others.
This being done, the gay Serpent began to ſhew her Sting, and treated him with leſs Reſpect and Complaiſance. Thoſe Careſses and Endearments, which hitherto had ſhone in her Looks and Actions, began to be overcaſt with cold Clouds and a careleſsleſs 132 E6v 84 leſs Behaviour; and, by Degrees, to a diſdainful Neglect; ſcarce containing herſelf ſometimes within the Bounds of common Civility. This Treatment awaken’d him out of his Lethargick Slumber, opened his Eyes, and made him ſee all at once the many falſe Steps he had taken in his Life’s Travels: In particular, The Griefs he had given his Mother; the Diſgrace to his Education and Profeſsion; and, in ſhort, the total Ruin of his Family, which was like to be extinct in him; and himſelf become a miſerable Dependant on the Charity of an inſolent Strumpet. Alas! what Charity, what Kindneſs can be expected from ſuch a Creature? For when a Man’s Fortune fails, that he can no longer bribe her Pride or Luxury, there is no more Kindneſs to be hop’d for, than a poor Client, when Fees fail, can hope from an avaritious Lawyer. And now he begins to conſider how he ſhall repair or ſtave off his utter Ruin; which he concluded was no way to be done, but by cloſing with his dear Mother’s Advice, in betaking himſelf to ſome vertuous Woman in Marriage. Being thus reſolved, he took the firſt Opportunity to communicate his Thoughts to his Mother, making a Merit of this Neceſsity, by a pretended Obedience to her often-repeated Counſel; aſsuring her, that he would ſubmit his Inclinations to her wiſe Election.The 133 E7r 85
The good Gentlewoman was tranſported at this hopeful Change in her Son, and caſting about in her Thoughts, at laſt pitch’d upon this your Servant Galeſia; a Perſon not worthy ſuch Eſteem, only favour’d by the Opinion ſhe had of my Vertue and Innocence. When ſhe propos’d it to her Son, he ſeem’d as much pleas’d with his Mother’s Choice, as ſhe was at his ſeeming Reformation; and ingaged her to agree upon a Day to come along with her to make me a Viſit.
The Day appointed, he dined with his Mother, in order to wait on her to our Lodging in the Afternoon: But e’er they had well din’d, a Meſsenger came to him from a Tavern over-the-way, bringing word, that there were Gentlemen had Buſineſs of Conſequence, and deſired to ſpeak with him: Which Gentlemen were only this Adultreſs, who having got Intelligence of this deſign’d Viſit, came to diſappoint it with her alluring Cajoleries; making him ſend Word to his Mother, that he would wait on her another Day; pretending, that the Gentlemens Buſineſs ingag’d his Attendance at that Time. Behold in this Tranſaction, what Power these Creatures have over Men! Notwithſtanding thoſe Reaſons he had to abhor and deteſt this his falſe Dalilah, was he again deluded by her; ſo that one may truly ſay with the 134 E7v 86 the wiſe Man, Whoſoever is fetter’d by a lewd Woman, is led like a Beaſt to the Slaughter, never to return.
Thus Things paſs’d quietly for a while: At laſt he found an Opportunity to come along with his Mother to make me a Viſit or two; of which by the Treachery of his Man, and her Vigilance, ſhe (I mean the Harlot) got Notice, and quarrell’d with him about it very ſharply, and then again wheedled, courted and careſs’d him, and ſometimes with Smiles, ſometimes with Tears, beſought his Conſtancy, ſometimes with Fits, and melancholy Vapours, ingag’d his Pity: Then again, with opprobrious and violent Words reproach’d his Falſhood, reviling him for all his broken Vows; alledging, That her Ruine, Life and Health would all lie at his Door; That for his ſake ſhe had caſt herſelf out of the Protection of her Friends, and forfeited their Favour and Kindneſs: That for his ſake ſhe had diſgrac’d herſelf in the Face of the World, offended God, and greatly wrong’d her Huſband; in all which, ſhe had affronted Heaven and Earth, and flown in the Face of her Family, abus’d her Birth and vertuous Education, and waſted her Youth in the Embraces of a perjur’d Wretch, who now abandon’d her to Grief, Shame and Poverty; with many ſuch grating Reflections, and violent Speeches, where- 135 E8r 87 wherewith from time to time ſhe perſecuted him. Which ſometimes he endeavoured to moderate by Arguments, ſometimes alledging Religion, ſometimes Reaſon, ſometimes Neceſsity, and the Impoſsibility of doing otherwiſe: Now cajoling her with the Pretence of Sorrow and Regret, and buoying her up with Hopes that he found himſelf not able to leave her; and then again plunging her into Deſpair, by alledging his Duty to his Mother, and the Anxiety of a tormented Conſcience. Thus they argued this Way and that, from ſide to ſide, like a Ship that goes to fetch a Wind, which never fails directly to the Point.
At laſt the Gentleman reſolv’d to be thoroughly plain with her, and accordingly told her, without any Varniſh of Words or Shadow of Diſguiſe, that he was fully reſolv’d to marry; but that he would not abandon her to Miſery or Diſtreſs; but would ſettle ſuch a Penſion on her, as might ſupport her in a decent, honeſt Way of Living; and that he would likewiſe take Care to provide for her Daughter, in giving her ſuch a Portion as might marry her to ſome honeſt Tradeſman in a good Station of Life; and with this he charged her to be content, without meddling with him in his married State, but live retir’d, vertuouſly and modeſtly, and it ſhould be the better for her and her Daughter.The 136 E8v 88
The Creature being thus provoked, fell into violent Words and Actions; told him, That he ſhew’d his Falſhood and Baſeneſs too late, he having put his Perſon and Fortune out of his own Power, and into hers; wherefore ſhe would take care of herſelf, by ſecuring both to her own Advantage. Being thus ſtung to the Quick, he left her Houſe in great Vexation of Spirit: And in the midſt of his Fury, went forthwith and ſhot himſelf.
This was the fatal End which his Lewdneſs and Folly brought upon him! This was the Concluſion of his guilty Embraces! Thus a filthy Strumpet ſhewed herſelf in her Colours! And thus was he bullied out of his Eſtate, Life, and Honour; his Life loſt, his Debts unpaid, his Eſtate devour’d by a lewd Harlot! A very fatal Warning to all unwary Gentlemen.
I ſuppoſe, Madam, you cannot imagine, that his Death affected me much as a Lover, there being but little of that in the Story; but one muſt have been without Humanity, to be unconcern’d at ſuch an Accident, and not have borne ſome part in his Mother’s Affliction; eſpecially ſince the good Gentlewoman had pitch’d upon me amongſt all her Acquaintance, for ſo near an Alliance. I could not omit reflectingflecting 137 E9r 89 flecting on Job and Tobit, as if the Almighty had permitted ſome Satan, or Aſmodas to perſecute me in the Perſons of all that pretended to love or like me. Which way ſoever it was, I endeavour’d to be reſign’d; this being the Duty of a Chriſtian in all Conditions. However, it contributed to make me the more deſpiſe the World, with all its gaudy Trappings; or, perhaps, with the Fox, thought the Grapes ſowre, becauſe I could not reach them. The Truth is, I had found ſo many Diſappointments, that I began to be diſpleas’d at my-ſelf, for hoping or expecting any thing that tended to Happineſs: I thought with Mrs. Phillips,
If with ſome Pleaſure we our Griefs betray,
It coſts us dearer than we can repay:
For Time or Fortune, all Things ſo devours,
Our Hopes are croſs’d,
Or elſe the Object loſt,
E’er we can call it ours.
Which indeed was always ſo with me, not only in this, but in all other Enterprizes and Tranſactions of Life: I could hope nothing, propoſe nothing, but I was croſs’d or diſappointed therein, e’er I could arrive at Accompliſhment. Therefore, Madam, you need not think it ſtrange that 138 E9v 90 that I began to believe Providence had ordain’d for me a Single Life. Began, did I ſay? No, rather continued in that Sentiment ever ſince the Diſappointment of Boſvil. And I think here are a few Lines ſomething tending to that Subject:
A Virgin Life.
Since, O good Heavens! you have beſtow’d on me
So great a Kindneſs for Virginity,
Suffer me not to fall into the Powers
Of Man’s almoſt Omnipotent Amours.
But let me in this happy State remain,
And in chaſte Verſe my chaſter Thoughts explain;
Fearleſs of Twenty-five, and all its Rage,
When Time with Beauty laſting Wars ingage.
When once that Clock has ſtruck, all Hearts retire,
Like Elves from Day-break, or like Beaſts from Fire,
’Tis Beauty’s Paſsing-Bell; no more are ſlain;
But dying Lovers all revive again.
Then every Day ſome new Contempt we find,
As if the Scorn and Lumber of Mankind.
Theſe frightful Proſpects, oft our Sex betray;
Which to avoid, ſome fling themſelves away;
Like harmleſs Kids, who when purſu’d by Men,
For Safety, run into a Lyon’s Den.
Ah! happy State! how ſtrange it is to ſee,
What mad Conceptions ſome have had of Thee!
As if thy Being was all Wretchedneſs,
Or foul Deformity, in vileſt Dreſs:
Whereas thy Beauty’s pure Celeſtial,
Thy Thoughts Divine, thy Words Angelical:
And ſuch ought all thy Votaries to be,
Or elſe they’re ſo but for Neceſsity.
A Virgin bears the Impreſs of all Good,
Under that Name, all Vertue’s underſtood.
So equal all her Looks, her Mien, her Dreſs,
That nought but Modeſty is in Exceſs;
The Buſineſs of her Life to this extends,
To ſerve her God, her Neighbour and her Friends.
Indeed, ſaid the Lady, the Tranſactions of thy Life hitherto ſeem a perfect Chain of Diſappointments. However, the Almighty has been gracious in giving thee a Mind ſubmiſsive and reſign’d; for which thou art bound to glorify his Goodneſs, and hope for more proſperous Days for the Time to come. As they were about to proceed in their Diſcourſe, and look for more Patches to carry on their Work, the Lady’s Butler came from his Maſter, ſaying, He was about to make a Bowl of Punch, and ſent to the Stranger-Gentlewoman for her Receipt, which ſhe was talking 140 E10v 92 talking of the Night before; which Galeſia readily rehears’d:
The Czar’s Receipt to make Punch.
Take Three Bottles from Spain, and one from France,
Two from the Rhine, and one from Nance:
No Water at all, but a little from Roſes;
A red-nos’d Sea-Captain, to mingle the Doſes;
Limons, Nutmeg, and Sugar, with a Toaſt to float on it;
And a Knot of good Fellows, that will not ſhrink from it.
With theſe Inſtructions, the Butler made his Exit, making a low Bow according to the old Faſhion.
The Butler being gone, the Lady deſired Galeſia to return to her Diſcourſe: To which ſhe readily accorded, ſaying, After this unexpected Accident of the ſaid unhappy Gentleman, my Mother began to think that Heaven had deſign’d me for a Single Life, and was a little more reconcil’d to my ſtudious Way; ſaying, with the Proverb, It is in vain to ſtrive againſt the Stream; or oppoſe Providence. Sometimes ſhe regretted that ever ſhe had promoted,moted 141 E11r 93 moted, or conſented to that Propoſal, the Buſineſs having prov’d ſo fatal both to the Gentleman and his good Mother, whoſe Griefs, ſaid ſhe, methinks I feel; which Reflection would ſometimes draw Tears from her Eyes. And one Day, my Compaſsion uniting with hers, caus’d me to take out my Handkerchief, and with it fell the following Verſes.
The Neceſsity of Fate.
In vain, in vain it is, I find,
To ſtrive againſt our Fate;
We may as well command the Wind,
The Sea’s rude Waves, to gentle Manners bind,
Or to Eternity preſcribe a Date;
As fruſtrate ought that Fortune has deſign’d:
For when we think we’re Politicians grown,
And live by Methods of our own,
We then obſequiouſly obey
Fate’s Dictates, and a blindfold Homage pay.
Were it not ſo, I ſurely could not be
Still Slave to Rhime, and lazy Poetry:
I, who ſo oft have ſtrove
My Freedom to regain;And 142 E11v 94
And ſometimes too, for my Aſsiſtance took
Obedience, and ſometimes a Book;
Company, and ſometimes Love:
All which, ſtill proves in vain;
For I can only ſhake, but not caſt off my Chain.
All this, my Fate, all this thou didſt foreſhow,
Ev’n when I was a Child,
When in my Picture’s Hand,
My Mother did command,
There ſhould be drawn a Lawrel Bough.
Lo! then my Muſe ſat by, and ſmil’d,
To hear how ſome the Sentence did oppoſe,
Saying an Apple, Bird, or Roſe,
Were Objects which did more befit
My childiſh Years, and no leſs childiſh Wit.
For then my Muſe well knew, that conſtant Fate
Her Promiſe would compleat:
For Fate at my Initiation
Into the Muſes Congregation,
As my Reſponſor promis’d then for me,
I ſhould forſake thoſe Three, Referring to the Apple, Bird, or Roſe:Soar- 143 E12r 95
Soaring Honours, vain Perſuits of Pleaſure,
And vainer Fruits of worldly Treaſure,
All for the Muſes melancholy Tree,
E’er I knew ought of its great Myſtery.
Since, O my Fate! thou needs wilt have it ſo,
Let thy kind Hand exalt it to my Brow.
To which my Mother reply’d, I think, Fate would be more kind to ſet a Baſket, or a Milk-pail, on thy Head; thereby to ſuppreſs thoſe fooliſh Vapours that thus intoxicate thy Brain: But if there be a fatal Neceſsity that it muſt be ſo, e’en go on, and make thyſelf eaſy with thy fantaſtick Companions the Muſes: I remember, continued ſhe, I have been told, that one of the ancient Poets ſays: Thruſt Nature off, with Fork, by Force,She’ll ſtill return to her old Courſe: And ſo I find it in the whole Courſe of thy Life. And, as thou ſayeſt in this Poem, thou haſt tryed divers means to chaſe away this unlucky Genius that attends thee; and, I am ſenſible, out of a true de ſign’d Obedience to me: But ſince it will not do, I ſhall no more oppoſe thy Fancy, but comply and indulge ſo innocent a Diverſion. As I was about to return her my Thanks, a Gentleman that had married our Kinſwoman, came in.As 144 E12v 96
As Galeſia was about to proceed, the Lady rang for a Servant; and bad him go to her Houſe-keeper, and tell her to get a Diſh of the Welſh Flummery ready, which Galeſia had taught her laſt Night, and ſet it in an Arbour; and when ’tis cool, ſaid ſhe, to call us. And now, continued the Lady, give me the Receipt, for it ſhall make a Patch in the Screen, as well as does that of the Punch. To which Galeſia readily agreed.
The Receipt for Welſh Flummery, Made at the Caſtle of Montgomery.
Take Jelly of Harts-horn, with Eggs clarify’d,
Fine Sugar and Limons, as much as is fit
To ſuit with your Palate, that you may like it.
Three Ounces of Almonds, with Orange Flow’r- Water,
Well beaten: Then mix ’em all up in a Platter
Of China or Silver ; for that makes no matter.
The Unaccountable Wife.
This Gentleman, ſaid Galeſia, had married a young Gentlewoman of Diſtinction, againſt the Conſent of her Friends; which ſhe accompliſh’d by the Help of her Mother’s Maid-Servant. To ſay the Truth, though her Birth was very conſiderable, yet her Perſon was not at all agreeable; and her Fortune but indifferent: her Parents, I ſuppoſe, thinking, that more than juſt enough to ſupport her, would but betray her to an unhappy Marriage. In ſhort, married ſhe was to the foreſaid young Man, whoſe Perſon was truly handſome; and with Part of her Fortune he plac’d himſelf in the Army, beſtow’d another Part in furniſhing her a Houſe, and ſo liv’d very decently; and notwithſtanding her indifferent Perſon, he had Children by her, though they did not live long. Thus they made a pretty handſome Shift in the World, ’till a vile Wretch, her Servant, overturn’d all; as follows. This Servant, whether ſhe was a Creature of her Maſter’s before ſhe came to her Miſtreſs, is not F known; 146 F1v 98 known; but ſhe became very fruitful, and had every Year a Child; pretending that ſhe was privately married to an Apprentice. Whether the Wife knew the whole of the Matter, or was impos’d upon, is uncertain; but which way ſoever it was, ſhe was extremely kind to this Woman, to a Degree unheard-of; became a perfect Slave to her, and, as if ſhe was the Servant, inſtead of the Miſtreſs, did all the Houſehold-Work, made the Bed, clean’d the Houſe, waſh’d the Diſhes; nay, farther than ſo, got up in the Morning, ſcour’d the Irons, made the Fire, &c; leaving this vile Strumpet in Bed with her Huſband; for they lay all Three together every Night. All this her Friends knew, or at leaſt ſuſpected; but thought it Complaiſance, not Choice in her; and that ſhe conſider’d her own Imperfections, and Deformity; and therefore, was willing to take no Notice of her Huſband’s Fancy in the Embraces of this Woman her Servant. But the Sequel opens quite another Scene: And now I come to that Part of the Story, where he came to my Mother. His Buſineſs was, to deſire her to come to his Wife, and endeavour to perſuade her to part with this Woman; For, ſaid he, ſhe has already Three Children living, and God knows how many more ſhe may have: Which indeed, Madam, ſaid he, is a Charge 147 F2r 99 Charge my little Subſtance is not able to ſuſtain; and I have been uſing all Endeavours to perſuade my Wife to part with her, but cannot prevail: Wherefore I beg you, as a Friend, Relation, and her Senior in Years, to come, and lay before her the Reaſonableneſs of what I deſire, and the Ridiculouſneſs of her proceeding. Good Heaven! ſaid my Mother, can you think thus to bore my Noſe with a Cuſhion? Can you imagine me ſo ſtupid, as to believe your Wife can perſiſt in ſuch a Contradiction of Nature? It is impoſsible a Wife ſhoud oppoſe her Huſband’s Deſire in parting with ſuch a Woman. Madam, reply’d he, I beg you once more to be ſo good as to come to my Wife, and then condemn me if I have advanc’d a Falſhood. Well, reply’d my Mother, I will come; though I doubt not but upon due Inſpection, the whole, will prove a Farce compos’d amongſt you, in which your Wife is to act her Part juſt as you between you think fit to teach her; which ſhe, out of Fear, or ſome other Deluſion, is to perform. But he averr’d again and again, that, without Fraud or Trick, the Thing was as he ſaid. In ſhort, my Mother went; and there ſhe found the Servant ſitting in a handſome Velvet Chair, dreſs’d up in very good lac’d Linnen, having clean Gloves on her Hands, and the Wife waſhing the F2 Diſhes. 148 F2v 100 Diſhes. This Sight put my Mother into ſuch a violent Paſsion, that ſhe had much ado to refrain from laying Hands on her. However, ſhe moſt vehemently chid the Miſtreſs; telling her, That ſhe offended God, diſgrac’d her Family, ſcandaliz’d her Neighbours, and was a Shame to Woman-kind. All which ſhe return’dſhe return’d with virulent Words; amongſt other Things, ſhe ſtood Buff in Favour of that Woman; ſaying, That ſhe had been not only a faithful Servant, but the beſt of Friends, and thoſe that deſir’d to remove ſuch a Friend from her, deſerved not the Name of Friends, neither did ſhe deſire they ſhould come into her Houſe: All which ſhe utter’d with ſuch an Air of Vehemency, that there was no Room left to doubt of the Sincerity of her Words; but that all proceeded from an Interiour thoroughly degenerated. All which my Mother related to me with great Amazement: But withal, told me, that ſhe would have me go to her on the Morrow; and with calm and friendly Words, endeavour to perſuade her to Reaſon; for, ſaid ſhe, I was in a Paſsion at the diſagreeable View; but you, who have naturally more Patience than my-ſelf, pray put on the beſt Reſolutions you can to keep your Temper, whatſoever Provocations ſhall occur. Thus inſtructed, thus reſolved, I went next Day, hoping 149 F3r 101 hoping that a Night’s Repoſe would calm the Storm my Mother’s Anger might have rais’d. But when I came, I found it all the ſame: Though I took her apart, and with the utmoſt Mildneſs, perſuaded her, and us’d the beſt Reaſons I could think on to inforce thoſe Perſuaſions, yet all was in vain; and ſhe ſaid, We all join’d with her Huſband to make her miſerable, by removing from her, the only Friend ſhe had in the World; and paſsionately ſwore by Him that made her, that if we combin’d to ſend the Woman away, ſhe would go with her. I would try that, reply’d I, were I in your Huſband’s Place: At which her Paſsion redoubled; and ſhe, with violent Oaths, repeated her Reſolution; deſiring, that her Friends would meddle with their own Buſineſs, and let her alone, to remain in Quiet in her Houſe, and not come to give her Diſturbance. After theſe uncouth Compliments, I left her, carrying with me the greateſt Amazement poſsible. After this, the Huſband came to us, and aſk’d, If we did not find true what he had told us? Indeed, replied I, true, and doubly true; ſuch a Truth as I believe never was in the World before, nor never will be again. In this Caſe, ſaid he, What would you counſel me to do? Truly, ſaid my Mother, it is hard to adviſe; for to let the Woman live there ſtill, is not proper; nor can F3 your 150 F3v 102 your Circumſtances undergo the Charge: And if your Wife ſhould do as ſhe ſays, and go with her; I ſhould in ſome Degree be acceſsary to the parting Man and Wife. I would venture, ſaid I, for when it comes to the Puſh, I warrant her ſhe will not go. Hereupon the Man ſaid he would try; and accordingly, hired a Place in a Waggon to carry the Creature into her own Country; hoping, as I ſuppoſe, that his Wife would have reſted herſelf contented with him, when the Woman had been gone; but inſtead thereof, ſhe acted as ſhe ſaid, and went along with her.
This Tranſaction was ſo extraordinary, that every-body was amazed at it; and when they had been gone ſome time, there aroſe a Murmuring, amongſt Friends, Neighbours and Acquaintance, as if he had made his Wife away; and when he told them the Manner of her Departure, they would not believe him, the thing in itſelf being ſo incredible.
But we will leave him to make his Party good, as well as he can, amidſt the Cenſure of his Neighbours, the Threats of her Friends, and the Ridicule of his Acquaintance; and follow the Travellers, into the Country whither they were gone.
They arrived ſafe at the Woman’s Father’s, where they found as kind a Reception as a poor Cottage could afford; and a 151 F4r 103 a very poor one it was, there being no Light but what came in at the Door, no Food but from the Hands of Charity, nor Fewel but what they pilfer’d from their Neighbours Hedges.
Now what this unaccountable Creature thought of this kind of Being, is unknown, or what Meaſures ſhe and her Companion thought to take, or what Schemes they form’d to themſelves, is not conceivable: But whatever they were, the diſcreet Neighbourhood put a Period to their Projects; for they got a Warrant to have them before a Juſtice, in order to prevent a Pariſh Charge; there being two Children there already, which they had ſent ſome time before; and now two helpleſs Women being come, they knew not where the Charge might light, and therefore proceeded as aforeſaid. It happen’d as the Conſtable was conducting them to the Juſtice, with a Mob at their Heels, that they paſs’d by the Houſe of a Lady of Quality, who looking out of her Window, ſaw in the midſt of this Throng, this unfortunate Wife, whom ſhe immediately knew to be the Daughter of her Friend; knew to be the Child of an honourable Family. It is impoſsible to deſcribe what Amazement ſeiz’d her: She call’d out to the Conſtable and other Neighbours there, bidding them bring that Gentlewoman to her, which F4 they 152 F4v 104 they immediately did. This good Lady, out of Reſpect to her old Friends, a worthy Family, bid them diſcharge her, telling them, That her-ſelf would be bound that ſhe ſhould be no Pariſh Charge; ſo took her into her Houſe, treated her kindly, and offer’d her all ſhe could do on ſuch an Occaſion: For all which ſhe return’d the Lady but cold Thanks, and begg’d her Ladyſhip’s Aſsiſtance to convey her to London along with the other Woman, who, ſhe ſaid, was the trueſt Friend in the World. The Lady knowing nothing of her Story, with much Goodneſs provided for her Departure, together with her Companion. In this manner, loaden with Diſgrace, they came back to London, to her Huſband, from whom, no doubt, ſhe found Reproaches ſuitable to her Folly.
Long it was not, e’er Death made a true and ſubſtantial Separation, by carrying the Huſband into the other World. Now was the Time to make manifeſt, whether Promiſes, Flatteries or Threatnings had made her act the foreſaid Scene: But it appear’d all voluntary; for when he was dead, her Friends and Relations invited and perſuaded her to leave that Creature and her Children, and come to live with them, ſuitable to her Birth and Education. But all in vain; ſhe abſolutely adher’d to this Woman and her Children, to the laſt Degreegree 153 F5r 105 gree of Folly; inſomuch, that being reduc’d to Poverty, ſhe begg’d in the Streets to ſupport them. At laſt, ſome Friend of her Family told the Queen of the diſtreſsed way ſhe was in; and in ſome Degree, how it came to paſs, that neither her dead Huſband nor her Relations might be blameable. The Queen, with much Goodneſs, told her Friend, That if ſhe would leave that Woman, and go live with ſome Relation, ſhe would take Care ſhe ſhould not want; and withal ſent her Five Guineas, as an Earneſt of a Monthly Penſion; but notwithſtanding, this infatuated Creature refus’d the Queen’s Favour, rather than part with this Family: And ſo, for their Support, begg’d in the Streets, the Remainder of her Days.
Sure, ſaid the Lady, This poor Creature was under ſome Spell or Inchantment, or ſhe could never have perſiſted, in ſo ſtrange a manner, to oppoſe her Huſband, and all her neareſt Friends, and even her Sovereign. As they were deſcanting on this Subject, a Servant came and told them, that all was ready in the Arbour; and that the Gentlemen having finiſh’d their Bowl of Punch, were attending their coming, to ſhare with them in a Diſh of Tea, and Welſh Flummery.
Accordingly, the Ladies went thither, where they were ſaluted with a moſt pleaſantF5 ſant 154 F5v 106 ſant Conſort of chirping Muſicians, whoſe wild Notes, in different Strains, ſet forth the Glory of their great Creator, exciting the whole Company to certain Acts of Joy and Thankſgiving: Amongſt which Quire, none ſeem’d ſo harmonious as the ſoft Strains of the delightful Philomel, whoſe various Notes ingag’d every one’s Attention; inſomuch that the Lady call’d to her Page, to ſing that old Song, the Words of which held due Meaſure with the Tunes and different Changes of the Nightingale.
The S O N G.
It was on a Day,
When the Nymphs had leave to play,
As I walk’d unſeen,
In a Meadow green,
I heard a Maid in an angry Spleen,
Complaining to her Swain,
To leave his toiling Vein,
And come and ſport with her upon the Plain.
But the ſilly Clown
Lay delving of the Ground,
Regardleſs of her Moan,
When ſhe cry’d,
Come away, bonny Boy, come away.“ I can- 155 F6r 107
I cannot come, I will not come;
I cannot leave my Work undone.
And that was all, this ſilly Clown could ſay.
Thus vexed in her Mind,
To ſee him ſo unkind,
To Venus ſhe went,
In a Diſcontent,
To get her Boy, with his Bow ready bent,
To take a nimble Dart,
And to ſtrike him to the Heart,
For diſobeying her Commandement.
Gave the Boy ſuch a Bang,
As made him to gang
With the bonny Laſs along.
When ſhe cry’d,
Come away, bonny Boy; come hither.
I come, I come, I come.
And ſo they gang’d along together.
The Company were all pleas’d with the Lad’s Performance, in which he imitated the Nightingale to Admiration. Thus they diverted themſelves, ’till Chariots came to carry them out to take the Evening Air.
A Patch-Work Screen For the Ladies.
The Ladies having paſs’d their Evening’s Diverſion, and their Night’s Repoſe, diſpos’d themſelves in the Morning to go on with their Patch-work; the Lady ordering Galeſia to reſume her Story. Which ſhe was about to do, when the Cook came to inquire, what ſhou’d be for Dinner; telling her Ladyſhip, That Two of the South-Sea Directors had ſent his Maſter Word they wou’d dine with him to Day. They think themſelves Great-Men, ſaid the Lady, that they did not ſuppoſe we had a Dinner worth their eating, without ſending us Word. But ſince they have taken Care to 157 F7r 109 to give us this Notice, we will do the beſt we can; therefore, if you can tell my Cook how to make a very good French Soup, prithee do.
A Receipt for French Soup.
Take a large Barn-door Cock, and all his Bones break;
Of Mutton and Veal, each one a good Neck:
Of theſe, then, Two Quarts of ſtrong Broth you may make;
Next, another full Quart of good Beef Gravey take;
Of right Vermicelli, a Quartern at leaſt:
Then ſeaſon all theſe as beſt likes your Taſte:
A Fowl in the Middle, to ſwim like a Toaſt,
It matters not whether it boil’d be or roaſt.
With Bacon and Balls, then garniſh it well.
Add Toaſts fry’d in Marrow, and Sweet-breads of Veal,
And what elſe you pleaſe: for I cannot tell.
This is a chargeable Soup, ſaid the Lady, but one wou’d not ſtick at Expence to obtain the Favour of one of theſe Directors. My Huſband is about to lay a Debt upon his Eſtate, to put into this profitable Fund: He has, with much ado, got the Promiſe of a Subſcription for 10,000 l. for this Purpoſe. Madam, reply’d Galeſia, I beg you to uſe your utmoſt Endeavours to prevent this Pro- 158 F7v 110 Proceeding: I beg you for God’s Sake, your own Sake, your Childrens Sake, and for the Sake of all the Poor, that depend upon your Charity, to endeavour to diſappoint this Deſign. I know not what to ſay (reply’d the Lady) to theſe your earneſt Entreaties; but for the Sake of this your Solicitation, I ſhall conſider very well upon it, together with my Huſband. And now we are alone and quiet, turn over your Papers, and look out ſome Patches. Accordingly Galeſia went about it, and, lo! the firſt thing ſhe laid her Fingers upon, was a Propheſy, which ſhe read, after the Lady had diſcharg’d her Cook with due Orders about the Dinner.
When a Noiſe in the South
Shall fill ev’ry one’s Mouth,
Then England beware of Undoing,
Your Sins ſhall be ſcourged,
Your Pockets well purged,
And, ev’ry one ſeek his own Ruin.
I ſuppoſe, ſaid the Lady, this Propheſy gives you ſo great an Averſion to the South-Sea. I cannot deny, ſaid Galeſia, but it ſtrikes my Thoughts ſo far, that if I had never ſo much to ſpare, I wou’d not put 159 F8r 111 put a Shilling into that or any other Bubble. I will not inquire into your Reaſons, ſaid the Lady; it will but hinder our Diverſion: So pray go on with your Story.
Alas! ſaid Galeſia, the next is ſo melancholy, that I care not how long I keep from it; for now it was that the Death of King Charles II. put a Stop to the Wheel of all Joy and Happineſs in England: And it more particularly affected me, becauſe the Death of this our Gracious Sovereign, ſeiz’d my dear aged Mother with ſuch a Storm of Grief, that ſhe fell into a languiſhing State, in which ſhe continu’d for many Weeks, e’er Death releas’d her. During her Illneſs, whilſt I watch’d her Slumbers, divers Reflexions accoſted me, ſome of one kind, ſome of another; in particular, What a new Face the World had at preſent: It was but t’other Day, ſaid I to myſelf, that all the World was in Gaiety, and the Engliſh-Court in Splendor. The King reverenc’d; the Courtiers belov’d; the Nation ſeeking after them for Places and Preferments: Glittering Coaches crowding before White-hall- Gate, diſcharging out of their ſides Beaus and Belles, in the moſt ſumptuous Apparel, as if they meant to vie with Phœbus in his Meridian. And now, behold how wonderful is the Change! as if Dooms-day had diſcharg’d it ſelf of a Shower of black walking Animals; 160 F8v 112 Animals; whoſe Cheeks are bedew’d with Tears, and whoſe Breaſts are ſwollen with Sighs! Amongſt theſe, none griev’d more ſincerely than my Mother, for the Death of this her Royal Lord, for whoſe dear Sake, and that of his Father, ſo many Heroes of her Family had ſhed their deareſt Blood. Then wou’d ſhe remark upon, and recite the Villainies of thoſe Times, ’till Faintneſs call’d her Spirits to ſome reviving Slumbers. In the mean time my Pen wou’d diſcharge itſelf of one ſort of Scribble or other; and I think here is one appears:
On the Follies of Human-Life.
To trace but out the Follies of Mankind,
Whether in the Common-Maſs, or elſe diſjoyn’d,
Is an Abyſs, wherein to drown the Mind:
A Lab’rinth wild, obſcure, to loſe one’s Senſe,
A Wilderneſs of thick Impertinence.
Tho’ we pretend we’ave Reaſon for our Guide,
When Paſsions get the Reins, they drive aſide,
O’er dang’rous Ways, and Precipices run,
’Till Reaſon is by Paſsion overthrown.
No Animals ſuch Bubbles are, as Man;
They ſtrive to ſave themſelves, in all they can;
But we in our own Snares, our ſelves trapan.
We’re Heav’n’s Clock-work, too, too finely wrought,
Seldom ſtrike true, in Deed, in Word or Thought.But 161 F9r 113
But claſh and clatter, contradict and prove,
Then ſay and unſay, as our Fancies move.
Sometimes we glory of Immortal Souls,
Whilſt every Action, every Word controuls.
Above all Senſe, we of our Reaſon boaſt,
Whilſt by our Deeds, we ſhou’d think both were loſt,
Some, with Reſpect to God, their Words will place,
Whilſt ſome again, his Entity diſgrace,
And All, in Deeds, affront him to his Face.
Then to excuſe ourſelves of all theſe Crimes,
We lay the Fault on Devils or the Times.
When falſe Ideas, our frail Minds perſuade,
And Luſt or other Crimes our Wills invade,
The Devils are aſpers’d, and Panders made.
’Tis true, e’er ſince the Fall, we are his Fools,
He plots our Ruin, and make us his Tools.
For oft’ner we betray ourſelves than he
(Deforming th’ Image of the Deity);
And ſo make Brutes, much happier than we.
Than ’tis not ſtrange, if we this Being hate,
Since brutal Happineſs is more compleat.
After a little Reflection, recollecting my ſcatter’d Thoughts, I broke out into the following Contemplations:
Whither, O whither! do my Thoughts ramble!— Into what ſtrange, unfrequented Deſarts does my Imagination wander!— Deſarts, 162 F9v 114 Deſarts, never trodden but by one Wild Paſsenger. The Earl of R O C H E S T E R: He, indeed, has told the World of one Jowler, a Happy Creature. Alluding to theſe Verſes in his Satire againſt Man: Thoſe Creatures are the Wiſeſt, who attain, By ſureſt Means, the Ends at which they aim. If, therefore, Jowler finds and kills his Hare, Better than Meers ſupplies Committee-Chair; Tho’ one’s a States-Man, t’other but a Hound, Jowler, in Juſtice, wiſer will be found. But I dare ingage, if it were in Jowler’s Power, he would moſt readily change with the moſt contemptible of Human Creatures, (ſetting a happy Immortality aſide). I have heard ſay, That a Butcher’s Dog, and a Brewer’s Hog, are the Happieſt of Brute Animals: But which of us wou’d change with either of them, if Tranſmigration were in our Power? Not one I dare anſwer; no, not even of thoſe who daily make themſelves in Fact, what thoſe Animals are in Form; and by their repeated Exceſses, become of ſo deprav’d a Nature, that they are ſcarce diſtinguiſhable (at leaſt in their Actions) from thoſe poor Brutes. And tho’ theſe are Vices which all the World explode in Words, yet very few do in Acts. And what is more deteſtable, (if true) I have heard that our Women begin to be Practitioners in this Vice; which is but lately, if at all; for ’till now, their Manners never ſuffer’d the 163 F10r 115 the leaſt Blemiſh of that kind, but were as perfect, as to any ſuch Taint, as an untouch’d Plumb, or Grape, in a fair Summer’s Morning; Pride having been the only Vice imputed to the Fair Sex. And indeed at ſome Times, and on ſome Occaſions, is ſo far from being a Vice, that it is a Vertue of great Magnitude, ſhining in the Horizon of their Affairs. However, I dare ingage, there is not one of either Sex wou’d injoy the utmoſt Pleaſures, attending the Perpetration of theſe Crimes, at the Price of their Humanity.
And as to Pride,
A Crime moſt laid at the Ladies Door; ’Tis ſaid, they love Dreſsing, gaudy Apparel, Preference of Place, Title, Equipage, &c; But which of them wou’d be a Peacock for the ſake of his Plumes? a Lark for its high flying? or an Owl for the ſake of the great Equipage of Birds that fly after him? Alas! not one. The meaneſt Servant in a Family, wou’d not change her Station, to be the Happieſt of theſe Animals. Then let us value our Humanity, and endeavour to imbelliſh it with vertuous Actions; by which means we ſhall be far from ſeting our-ſelves on the Level with mere Animals, much leſs giving them the Preference. But e’er I leave this Reflection on 164 F10v 116 on Pride, we muſt remember, That there is a great Difference between the Uſe and Abuſe of thoſe Things, which ſeem the Concomitants of Pride; for Cloaths, Place, Equipage, &c; in ſome Caſes, and to ſome Perſons, are Neceſsaries almoſt to a Neceſsity; as the Goſpel teſtifies, Soft Rayment is for King’s Houſes: For God is pleas’d to place different Perſons in different Stations; and every one is to accommodate themſelves according to their Station; it wou’d as ill befit a Hedger to wear a Velvet Coat, as a Courtier to wear a Leathern one; for if over-doing our Condition, may aſcend to Pride, under-doing may deſcend to Sloth or Slovenlineſs: Therefore, with Care, we are to chuſe the Medium. I doubt not but Diogenes was as proud in his Tub, as Alexander in his Palace. To find a right Medium, is ſometimes hard; for very often Vice dreſses her ſelf in the Apparel of Vertue; and, in a ſpecial manner, Pride puts on the Maſk of Honour: And though one be a direct Vice, and the other a Vertue, yet they are not diſtinguiſhable to every Capacity, but often one paſses for the other. Lucifer, the Author of this Sin, having taken Care to gild it over double and treble, with the refulgent Brightneſs of Honour, Magnanimity, and Generoſity: Which ſo dazles our Interiour, that we are not always able to diſtinguiſh between the Crime of this Apoſtate 165 F11r 117 Apoſtate Angel, and the Vertue of Seraphims; the one by his Pride having thrown himſelf into utter Darkneſs, and eternal Miſery; the other, by their Obedience, maintaining their Seraphick Glory in the higheſt Heavens. By miſtaking theſe, we often deprive ourſelves of the Benefit of our well-form’d Intentions. Again, ſometimes, the beauteous Face of Vertue preſents her-ſelf in an obſcure Light, without the Sun-ſhine of happy Circumſtances. We then let her paſs unregarded, and ſo loſe the Opportunity of making our-ſelves happy in her Embraces. Which puts me in mind of a Diſtich or two.
If Chance or Fore-caſt, ſome ſmall Good produce,
We ſlip it by unknown, or ſpoil it in the Uſe.
When many Years in Toils and Cares are paſs’d,
To get of Happineſs ſome ſmall Repaſt,
Our Crimes or Follies always ſpoil the Taſte.
Now theſe Overſights and Miſtakes, are not only in the Caſe of Pride and its oppoſite Vertues; but in other Caſes, a falſe Light or a falſe Appearance deceives us; we miſtake Cunning for Wiſdom, and a mean Selfiſhneſs, for a diſcreet Precaution; Fury and Raſhneſs for Valour; Vain-glory for Charity; and a thouſand Things of the like Nature. But having mention’d Charity, here 166 F11v 118 here appears a little Slip of Verſe; which, I think, refers rather to the forgiving, than the giving Part of Charity. However it will make a Patch.
This Vertue does above all others climb;
To give is Noble, to forgive Sublime.
The Giving, one may call Religion’s Heart;
The Pardoning, the Animating Part.
Theſe Two conjoyn’d, make Charity complete,
By which our Souls of Heav’n participate.
A Vertue kind, ſoft, gentle, debonair,
As Guardian Angels to their Pupils are,
Or faithful Swains, to their lov’d, faithful-Fair.
To chaſt Affection, ’tis as Oyl to Fire,
But Ice and Water to all foul Deſire.
Of Friendſhip and fraternal Love the Source,
And Marriage Vows, it waters with its Courſe;
Like Aqua-fortis, graving on the Mind,
The Character of all good Deeds and kind.
But otherwiſe it does a Lethe prove,
And makes us quite forget forgiving Love.
Theſe Bleſsings are th’ Effects of Charity;
But nough tcompar’dnought compar’d to Heav’n’s unbounded Joy,
Surpaſsing Senſe! which thoſe participate,
Who ſhar’d this Virtue in their Earthly State.
Joys! not only ſurpaſsing Senſe! but too high for Humane Thought! O the tranſcendant Joys of a bleſs’d Eternity! How inconceivable to our weak Capacities, are the ineffable Pleaſures of the bright Regions of Eternity! Eternity of Time, and Infinity of Space, who can comprehend? Reaſon can climb high, and Thought can extend far; but neither Reaſon nor Thought can reach the Altitude of Heaven, nor the Extent of the Almighty’s Dominions: To ſay nothing of His Juſtice, Mercy and Wiſdom, and His Power to execute whatſoever His Wiſdom determines from and to all Eternity: Where the Righteous injoy all Happineſs, and the Wicked all Miſery. All this we riſque, for a little Shining Earth, or, what is leſs worthy, a little empty Fame; the one being the Aim of the Covetous, the other of the Ambitious Man; of which the latter is the worſt, becauſe his Vice affects whole Countries and Kingdoms; whereof we have but too pregnant an Example at this Time, in the Perſon of the Duke of Monmouth. Unhappy Young Prince! to be poſseſs’d with this Devil of Ambition, which makes him become the Phaeton of our Age; to ſet theſe Kingdoms in a Combuſtion. [For it was at this Time, Madam, added Galeſia, that the Duke of Monmouth’s Enterprize began to be talk’d of.] Whether Ambition be a Branch of Pride, or Pride a Branch 168 F12v 120 Branch of Ambition, I know not: They both partake of the ſame Quality; ſo which is Root, or which is Branch, it matters not; ſince it may be determin’d, that the Tree produces the worſt of Fruit.
As I was going on in theſe wandring Thoughts, during the Intervals of my grieved Mother’s Slumbers, I heard a little mumbling Noiſe in the next Houſe, in a Room joyning to ours; which mumbling at laſt ended in a Hymn: Then I concluded it to be the Prayer of an Old Gentlewoman who lodg’d on the ſame Floor in the next Houſe. But the Hymn being diſtinct, I cou’d hear the Words perfectly; which are theſe:
A Hymn. Sung in a Pſalm Tune.
Preſerve thy Holy Servant Monmouth, Lord,
Who carries for his Shield thy Sacred Word: It was ſaid, that a Bible was carry’d before him.
Preſerve him from the Lyon and the Bear:
From Foxes and from Wolves, who daily tear
Thy little Flock; and for him whet thy Sword,
That we may be Thy People, Thou our Lord.
Do thou the Red-Coats to Confuſion bring,
The Surplices, Lawn-Sleeves, and eke their King;
Whilſt in thy Sion we thy Praiſes ſing.
Wicked Song! ſaid I; and wicked Wretch that ſings it; in which ſhe curſes the Lord’s Anointed, and all his Adherents, the Church and all her Children. Graceleſs Woman! that dares lift up Hands, Eyes, and Voice to Heaven with ſuch Maledictions! But ſure, it is her Ignorance; Nobody can be ſo deſignedly wicked. Happy had ſuch been to have died in their Infancy, before the Baptiſmal Water was dry’d off their Face! But, ah! if I think on that, who is there ſo Righteous, but that they may wiſh they had dyed in the State of Innocency?
In theſe Reflections, a certain drouſy Summons to Sleep ſeiz’d me; and having watch’d long with my dear ſick Mother, I comply’d with my Weakneſs, and fell faſt aſleep; and having been juſt before reflecting on Baptiſmal Innocence, I fell into the following Dream.
The Childrens, or Catechumen’s Elysium.
Methought I paſs’d thro’ that Elyſian Plain,
Which to the Catechumens appertain;
And is to thoſe, likewiſe, the ſoft Abode,
Who ignorantly ſerve the Unknown God.
Lo! here the Souls live in eternal Peace,
Almoſt tir’d out with everlaſting Eaſe;
Exempt from Griefs, but no true Joys poſseſs;
Which is, at beſt, but half true Happineſs.
When in my Dream, I thought I enter’d here,
All that was charming ſtruck my Eye and Ear;
Large Walks, tall Trees, Groves, Grots, and ſhady Bow’rs,
Streams in Meanders, Graſs, and lovely Flow’rs,
Babes unbaptiz’d (like Birds from Tree to Tree)
Chirp here, and ſing in pleaſing Harmony.
Long Walks of Roſes, Lilies, Eglantines,
Pinks, Panſies, Violets and Columbines,Which 171 G2r 123
Which always keep their perfect Beauty here,
Not ſubject to the Changes of the Year.
In fine; Here’s all Things that can Fancy pleaſe,
Rooms of Repoſe, and Canopies of Eaſe;
Towers, Terraſses, arch’d Roofs, and Theatres,
Well-built Piazzas, lofty Pillaſters;
Statues, and Stories of terreſtrial Pride,
Of ſuch who follow’d Virtue for their Guide;
At laſt, againſt their Wills, were Deify’d.
Sumptuous Apparel, Muſick, Mirth and Balls,
Exceeding Londoners in Feſtivals,
The Temple-Revels; foreign Carnivals.
The Swains, too, had their Country-Wakes and Chear,
Th’ Apprentices Shrove-Tueſday all the Year,
And every one was happy in his Sphere:
That is to ſay, if Happineſs can be,
Without th’ Enjoyment of a Deity.
Small Joy can Immaterial Beings find,
’Till with their Immaterial Center joyn’d.
The Soul of Man is a Celeſtial Flame,
Without true Joy, ’till it goes whence it came.
As Fire aſcends, and Earth and Water fall,
So muſt we join with our Original.G2 This 172 G2v 124
This Truth poor mortal Lovers repreſent,
Whom nought but the lov’d Object can content.
In theſe Reflections, many a Path I trod,
And griev’d to think they ne’er muſt ſee their God.
This melancholy Reflection awaked me; when I was in Amaze to find my ſelf in my Mother’s Chamber; having had ſuch an abſolute and perfect Idea of that happy Place, where, amongſt the reſt, I thought I had ſeen my Mother; that I wonder’d to find her aſleep in her Bed, and I in a Chair by her; and ſome little Time it was, e’er I cou’d believe that I had Dream’d and was now Awake. But at laſt, convincing my-ſelf, I compos’d theſe Verſes upon the Occaſion.
ADream to me ſeems a Myſterious Thing,
Whate’er the Naturaliſts for Cauſes bring.
Whilſt Sleep’s dull Fetters, our frail Bodies tye,
The Soul, inlarg’d, finds pleaſant Company.
With Comrade-Spirits, midnight Revels make,
And ſee Things paſs’d, and Things to come foreſpeak.
Sometimes in merry Jigs and Gambols, they
Preſent th’ Events of the approaching Day:
Sometimes they mount e’en to the Place of Bliſs;
Then ſink again into the deep Abyſs;
With ſuch Agility and Eaſe they go,
The piercing Lightning ſeems to move more ſlow,
Yet as they paſs, all Things they See and Know.
But as a Country Lady, after all
The Pleaſures of th’ Exchange, Plays, Park, and Mall,
Returns again to her old Rural Seat,
T’ inſtruct her Hinds, and make ’em earn their Meat,
So comes the Soul home to her coarſe Retreat.
A coarſe Retreat indeed! Where Sin, Sorrow, and Sufferings, of all Kinds, and from all Quarters, accoſt and attack her, and from which ſhe is perpetually wiſhing to be delivered; and yet is loth to quit this her Earthly Manſion: Which Fondneſs for this tranſitory Life, and Fear to imbark for a Better in the Ocean of Eternity, muſt ſurely proceed from a Deficiency of Faith, and the Want of a firm Belief of Future Happineſs.
As I was going on with theſe Reflections, my Mother, with a moſt piercing Groan, awaked, and faintly calling me to her Bed-ſide, I had the inexpreſsible Affliction to ſee her laſt Moments drawing on:—— Pardon, ſaid Galeſia, wiping her Eyes, theſe briny Ebullitions: The next moſt ſhocking Grief was now approaching to torture my labouring Spirits.——To be ſhort—— for who can dwell on ſuch a Subject!—— My dear Mother, in the midſt of her Bleſsings poured on me, and Prayers for me, recommending her Soul to Divine Mercy, was interrupted by Death, and looking wiſtfully upon me, and graſping my Hand, expired!——Here- 175 G4r 127
Hereupon Galeſia fell into a Flood of Tears, which ſuſpended her Diſcourſe. And the good Lady, being unwilling to preſs her any farther on that melancholy Theme, took her by the Hand, ſaying, Come, my Galeſia, we will go and inquire how forward Dinner is; and whether the Gentlemen who have invited themſelves, are yet come, or not.
Accordingly, they went out together; but Galeſia riſing from her Seat, dropp’d the following Verſes; which the Lady took up, ſaying, Well! Here I ſee, is Matter for another Patch, which we will peruſe on our Return.
On the Difficulties of Religion.
O Wretched World! but Wretched above All,
Is Man; the moſt unhappy Animal!
Not knowing to what State he ſhall belong,
He tugs the heavy Chain of Life along.
So many Ages paſs, yet no Experience ſhows
From whence Man comes, nor, after, where he goes.
We are inſtructed of a Future State,
Of Juſt Rewards, and Puniſhments in That;
But ign’rant How, or Where, or When, or What.
I’m ſhew’d a Book, The Bible. in which theſe Things are writ;
And, by all Hands, aſsur’d, all’s True in it;
But in this Book, ſuch Myſteries I find,
Inſtead of Healing, oft corrode the Mind.
Sometimes our Faith muſt be our only Guide,
Our Senſes and our Reaſon laid aſide:
Again to Reaſon we our Faith ſubmit,
This ſpurs, that checks, we curvet, champ the Bit,
And make our future Hopes uneaſy ſit!
Now Faith, now Reaſon, now Good-works, does All;
Betwixt theſe Oppoſites our Virtues fall,
Each calling each, Falſe and Heretical.
And, after all; What Rule have we to ſhow,
Whether theſe Writings Sacred be, or no?
If we alledge, The Truths that we find there,
Are to themſelves a Teſtimony clear,
By the ſame Rule, ſuch all good Morals are.
Thus we by Doubts, & Hopes, & Fears, are toſt,
And in the Lab’rinth of Diſputes are loſt.
Unhappy! who with any Doubts are curſt!
But of all Doubts, Religious Doubts are worſt!
Wou’d I were dead! or wou’d I had no Soul!
Had ne’er been born! or elſe been born a Fool!
Then future Fears, wou’d not my Thoughts annoy,
I’d uſe what’s truly mine, the preſent Joy.
Ah! happy Brutes! I envy much your State,
Whom Nature, one Day, ſhall Annihilate;
Compar’d to which, wretched is Human Fate!
Dinner not being quite ready, the good Lady conducted Galeſia again into her Appartment, and they being ſeated, ſhe read the foregoing Verſes, which, ſhe ſaid, ſhould ſerve for another Patch in her Screen: And as ſhe was laying it by for that Purpoſe, ſhe caſt her Eye on the Backſide of the ſame Paper, and there found the following Lines, which ſeemed, by the Tenor of them, as well as by the Writing, to be the Product of the ſame melancholy Frame of G5 Mind 178 G5v 130 Mind with the former, as well as to be written at the ſame Time. After a ſort of Chaſm, they began thus.
But what does moſt of all my Spirit grieve,
Is, That I muſt my Dear Fidelius leave!
My Dear Fidelius! Witty, Young, and Gay,
To whoſe Embraces Virtue chalks the Way.
In loving Him, I anſwer Heaven’s Call;
For Love’s allow’d, for Virtuous Ends, to All:
And Heav’n, perhaps, has rais’d him up Expreſs,
By Force of Love, to prop my Feebleneſs,
And ſtop my Fall into this Precipice.
But how know I, he’s not ſet on by Hell,
To ſtop the Progreſs of my doing well?
Thus I’m, alas! by diff’rent Paſsions mov’d,
And hope, and fear, and love, and am belov’d.
Yet if I own I love, I ruin Him,
And to deny the Truth, is, ſure, a Crime.
My Sufferings are great: Heav’n pity me!
But whatſoe’er I bear, let him go free!
Hereupon the Lady looking over the Work, and finding there was enough to make Four Folds of a Screen, ſhe ſaid, ſhe would have it made up, and fram’d, to ſee how it would look before they proceeded any farther. And now, ſaid ſhe, the Players are come into the Country, and the Aſsembleés and Horſe-Races will begin; ſo we will defer our Work ’till thoſe Diverſions are over. But, however, continued ſhe, ſince I have received ſo many Favours from you, my dear Galeſia, in this Way, and that I may contribute a little to divert you in your melancholy Hours, when the Remembrance of ſo ſad an Occaſion as your Mother’s Death, crouds too heavily upon your Thoughts, I will ſhew you a Poem that was preſented me on New-Year’s Day laſt, by an Excellent Hand, in Commemoration of the Nativity of our Bleſsed Saviour; Which, added the good Lady, I queſtion not, but will give you as much Pleaſure and Conſolation, as it has frequently done me.
An Ode in Commemoration of the Nativity of Christ.
Well doſt thou do, my Muſe;
Ne’er envy Tuneful Bards, whoe’er they be.
That Vain and Earthly Subjects chuſe,
Yet vainly hope for Immortality.
Some ſooth with Magick Sounds, the Virgin’s Breaſt,
Which ſelf-bewitching Thoughts before poſseſt;Adore 182 G7v 134
Adore the tranſient Pageant of a Day,
And Idolize a Piece of Painted Clay.
Another lifts ſome Hero to the Skies,
And a Man-ſlaughterer Deifies,
Sent in God’s Vengeance, when, by his Command,
Tempeſts of War invade a Guilty Land.
Another tunes his Mercenary Strings,
To act that Worſt of Witchcraft, flatter Kings.
But Thou yield’ſt all thy Praiſe, and offer’ſt all thy Love,
Where it is only due, above!
Yet, O thou Virgin! O thou Veſtal-Muſe!
That won’t profane thy Voice, with Things below,
One Theme, as Low as Earth can yield, I chuſe,
And yet as High as Heav’n can e’er beſtow.
Therefore, begin from Earth: But know, Thy Flight
Shall tow’r beyond Day’s blazing Orb of Light.
The Lark ſo flickering o’er its Grounded Neſt,
Firſt ope’s its little Lungs, exerts its Breaſt,Then 183 G8r 135
Then riſing on its Saily Wings,
It meditates the Sky;
As ſtill it riſes, ſtill it ſings,
’Till its ſmall Body leaves the Eye;
And when it does near Heav’n appear,
Its fineſt Notes deſert the Human Ear.
Say, Wouldſt thou know this Happy Theme,
That thus ſhall wing thee above mortal Fame?
Sing thou the Child, that ſeem’d like Mankind’s Scorn,
At Depth of Winter in a Stable born;
Born among Beaſts, and in a Manger laid:
Yet if that Child will thee, inſpiring, aid,
The lovely Theme, exalting, ſhalt thou raiſe,
Above the Kings and Heroes others praiſe.
Let each King’s Bard reap, as he gives, Renown,
While Flatt’rers, like himſelf, with ſhortliv’d Fame,
His Lawrel hail, as he the Regal Crown,
Giving each Toy what neither Toy can claim;Myriads 184 G8v 136
Myriads of Spirits, that e’er Men were made,
E’er the Foundations of the Earth were laid,
Far brighter had, for Ages, ſhone
Than a vain Monarch on a Birth-day ſhines,
Whoſe Forms outdo the Day-beſtowing Sun,
And ſhall, when Nature, ſunk in Years, declines;
Shall, when that Sun is blotted from the Sky,
When the Blue Æther, reddning, melts in Flame;
When all Created Worlds are bid to die,
Shine on for all Eternity the ſame:
All theſe bright Spirits, whoſe each Single Voice,
Can make Spheres dance, make Heav’n and Earth rejoyce;
Theſe ſhall thy Song upon this Babe refine,
Shall All in One great Chorus join;
Humbly they too ſhall own
Him the Immortal Heir of David’s Throne,
And that to Him their Song is Low as thine.
For, know, That Infant, poorly as it lies,
In Spirit treads the Stars, and walks the whirling Skies!That 185 G9r 137
That Babe, on Earth expos’d in this Abode,
Is now in Heaven———He is the Almighty God.
Yes, Mortals, Yes, who deigns thus Mean to be,
Myſterious Change, O Man! But ’tis, ’tis He,
To whom the Thought-tranſcending Being ſaid,
The Being that his Angels Spirits made,
That made his Miniſters a Flame of Fire,
Thou art than all theſe Angels Higher,
Thou my Son, and I thy Sire:
To me a Son for Ever ſhalt thou be,
And I for Ever Sire to Thee.
Still farther, Heaven’s High King proceeded on,
And thus to his Coequal Son
The Son’s Coequal Father ſpake,
O God! for Ever is thy Throne,
Thy Foes thy Footſtool will I make:
Be ſeated here at my Right Hand;
Where’er there’s Light, Air, Sea, or Land,
Thou Always ſhalt and All Command.
This ſaid, Choirs that fill’d the bright Abode,
Worſhipp’d, at his Command, this Babe, and worſhipp’d him a God.
And is it thus, thou Mighty Helpleſs Thing!
Thou leſs than Beggar, and thou more than King!
Canſt Thou yon Starry Region term thy Throne?
Claim, as thy Footſtool, this vaſt Globe of Earth?
Call all the ſpacious Globe contains, Thy own?
Thou! Cradled in a Manger at thy Birth,
As feeble Man, can’t tow’r a God. How can
The God of Nature ſink to feeble Man?
Oh Wondrous! Oh Myſterious Change!
Yet as Eternal Truth no Wrong can know,
Strange as it ſeems, it is as true as ſtrange;
It is————It muſt be ſo.
Long e’er this World the World’s Redeemer bleſt,
Old Prophets, Sign delivering after Sign,
His Coming, and his Acts, when come, expreſt,
That all might know the Man who was Divine.When 187 G10r 139
When this was made, beyond diſputing, plain,
Then Endleſs Woes were doom’d, by God’s Award,
To be the ſtubborn Unbeliever’s Pain,
And Endleſs Joys Believers great Reward:
Theſe, by his Prophets Mouths, the Father ſwore,
That, truſting in his Son, obey’d his Lore,
Theſe He, His Sacred Oath confirming, ſaid,
Should Uncorrupted at the fatal Day,
Which ſhall the World itſelf in Aſhes lay,
From the Corrupted Regions of the Dead,
Riſe and Immortalize their Mortal Clay.
But thoſe, in Bitterneſs of Wrath, He vow’d,
Whom no Rewards could win, or Threats could awe,
To take the Paths, propounded for their Good,
But, heedleſs, ſtubbornly would ſpurn his Law,
Should be condemn’d to wander round the Earth,
And when they dy’d, be doom’d to go,
To Endleſs Gulphs of Fire below.
O Lord! who meditates what Thou haſt wrought,
That Man is God, and God is Man;
Who knows, if he believes not what You taught,
Tho’ more than bounded Reaſon e’er can ſcan,
He ſhall the Object of thy Wrath remain,
Immortal made to feel Eternal Pain.
But if, confiding in the Word
Of Truth, Itſelf’s ne’er-failing Lord,
He own’d this Wonder, he ſhould be
Heir to a bleſs’d Eternity.
O Lord! who meditates what thou haſt wrought,
Is loſt at firſt in pleaſing, dreadful Thought;
But feels a Particle within, that tells,
His Soul is laſting as his God reveals:
From thence he does the boundleſs Pow’r confeſs,
May do what he can’t think, as what he can’t expreſs;
And owns the Greater Wonder from the Leſs:Thus 189 G11r 141
Thus when he finds, that the Immortal Son
Grew Mortal, to make Men Immortal grow;
Straight does his grateful Breaſt with Ardor glow,
His Fears are vaniſh’d, and his Terrors gone.
The Man who thus conceives
Chriſt’s Goodneſs, and this Myſtery believes,
Nor menac’d Pains, nor promis’d Joys controul;
Fix’d by Affections rooted in his Soul,
He his Redeemer views, with Joy, Above,
And, ſwallow’d in the Ocean of his Love,
Needs nothing elſe his working Faith to move.
’Tis in this Light, O Saviour! that we view,
We, who are honour’d with the Chriſtians Name,
The wondrous Acts that You vouchſafe to do,
To pay our Forfeit, and redeem our Claim.
Then we recount the Wonders of that Age,
When Heav’ns High Lord trod on this Earth’s Low Stage.We 190 G11v 142
We read, How Men, quite Lame, did Chriſt purſue,
Ran, by one Miracle, to ſee a New.
When ſtraight Blind Mortals feel the viſual Ray,
And the Firſt Man they see, is Author of the Day.
The Dumb, lamenting Silence, this behold,
When ſtraight their Looſening Tongues new Miracles unfold.
Dœmoniacks foam’d and curſt to ſee the Deed,
But bleſt the Author when from Dœmons freed.
Up from the Dead a Carcaſs newly rais’d,
Join’d with the Living, and Death’s Victor prais’d.
Man’s Union hence with God ev’n Reaſon can,
Tho’ but by Conſequence and faintly, ſcan:
Enough, howe’er, to lead to Faith’s true Road,
Since this we find was done by Man,
And could not but by God:
By theſe Reflections, which thy Preachers raiſe,
Thoſe that were Dumb, ſing out aloud thy Praiſe;
Thoſe ſeek Thee that were in Devotion Lame,
Like bounding Roes, that, thirſty, ſeek the Stream.
Thoſe that were Blind, here get the Eye of Faith,
And, preſsing forward to Salvation’s Path,The 191 143
The ſtubborn Jews they, left behind, invite
To follow them from Error’s foggy Night:
Bid them from obſtinate Deluſions fly,
Who moſt are Proofs of what they moſt deny:
Curs’d by the Lord, they live on Earth by Stealth,
Thro’ the Wide World, like Vagabonds, they roam,
Princes and Lords in Wealth,
But Lords without a Home:
Tho’ ſuff’ring ſtill, they ſtill thy Laws deſpiſe,
Since Seventeen Cent’ries cannot make them wiſe:
Since from their rooted Sin they cannot part;
Melt (for Thou canſt!) the hardeſt Heart,
And open Blindeſt Eyes:
Make All on Earth, as All in Heav’n, join,
Since All in Heav’n and Earth alike are Thine.