The ART of Living In …

The ART of Living Incognito.

BEING A Thousand LETTERS On as Many Uncommon Subjects.

Written by IOHN DUNTON, During his Retreat from the World.

And sent to that HONOURABLE LADY To whom he Address'd His Conversation in Ireland: With her Answer to each Letter.

PART I.

To be continued till the whole Correspondent, is finished.

Then if One Mortal Two such Grants might have,
From Private Life, I'd steal into my Grave.—Cowley.

London, Printed (for the Author) and are to be Sold by A. Baldwin' near the Oxford Arms in Warwick-Lane. 1700. Price Stitch [...] 1 s.

The Dedication. To that Honourable Lady to whom the following Letters were directed.

MADAM,

T [...]O I know you take no great Pleasure in Addresses of this Nature, yet, by an happy Experience I can say it, Pardoning of Faults is not uneasie to you; especially those that can't be avoided: This is of that Nature: for what Man could forbear writing a Thousand Letters, after you had engag'd your self to answer 'em? And where could I think to find so Illustrious a Patron, to give 'em Credit and Esteem, in such an Age as this, so over-charg'd with Wit and Sense? What if the World's a Stranger to your Rank and Person? It knows in your Thoughts what sufficiently declares your strict Alliance to Vertue; and nothing can take your Title to support it, but must have some Pretensions to instru­cting in the Laws of Vertue.

I confess you are a Lady of a particular Genius: for those that see you, know little of your Mind; and the World you communicate your Thoughts to, neither see nor know your Person: Nay, some believe you have no real Being but in my Brain. I am oblig'd to 'em for think­ing me such a Man of Art, that can divide my Principles; for 'tis apparent those I act by, are very different from those I make use of to cor­rect and reprove my Actions; Yet all this while (say these Men) the Title of Honourable Lady is but a Fiction I amuse the World with. I know your Ladyship is unconcern'd what is thought of it; I am not: but would be thought a Man of Truth; and, if I knew how, would fain convince 'em of their Mistake; but if only Seeing is Believing with 'em, I can never do it; that sort of Conviction I shall never have in my power; and if they will not believe upon the Credit of an Honest Man, I can go no farther.

Thus you see, Madam, how much I value Truth; what else cou'd make me decline the Glory of owning your Thoughts, which I have ever had in Admiration, since I had the Honour to know 'em. 'Twas in your Thoughts I discern'd the Charms of Solitude, which soon inspir'd me with the Resolution of Living Incognito, pro­posing [Page] to my self the most intimate pleasure this World can give; but now, by an unhappy Fate, must make it my Retreat, and both live and die so.

'Tis to you, Madam, I must be indebted for all the Pleasures I shall find in Retirement, and shall never be weary of presenting you with Uariety of Thoughts: Your Reflections will give 'em such Beau'ty and Lustre, none will be able to resist the Wi [...]e Instru­ctions they carry in 'em, how mean so ever the thoughts are that gave 'em their first Rise

I shall only add, This Whole Correspondence will be contain­ed in about 200 Parts (at 12 d. each) In which I solemnly declare, I'll have no Assistance (by Writing, whatever I have from Books) from any one of my former Authors; For seeing I have a Thousand Ma­gots swarming in my Brain (for this Art of Incognito will consist just of that Number of Subjects) I'm willing now that the World may see the Magots of my own begetting: for, as Randolph says,—If I a Poem leave, that Poem is my Son—which I don't speak out of Ostentation, but that the World may see, after Print­ing so many Magots of others writing, I'm now (by Imitation) become one my self. And as these Thousand Magots (or the Art of Living Incognito, for they are Synonimous Terms) will be publisht in 200 Parts, (and at so easy a Price, that the Poorest may purchase 'em): So Ten of 'em will be finisht by Lady-day, and the rest with what speed I can; which I hint as a Piece of [...]ews to my Honest Printers, and my other Friends that I use to employ. But, Madam, tho in this Under­taking I fall upon Subjects, that (by reason of their Uncommonness) may be thought Magotty, yet if I insert any thing not agreeable to Sound Doctrine, 'tis your Province to find it out; and tho your Good Nature is as ready to forgive Faults, as your Wit is able to find 'em, yet pray (Madam) tell me my Errors, Mistakes and Omissions, not with the Tongue of a Courtier, but with the Severity of a True Friend: And since the Art of Living Incognito is your own, by so many Titles to it, refuse it not the Honour of your Protection, but suf­fer this Oblation from,

MADAM,
Your Ladyships most Humble, and most Obedient Servant, Iohn Dunton.

The Art of Living Incognito.

LETTER 1.

Of Living Incognito.

Madam,

I Acquainted you p. 433. in the account I sent of my Conversati­on, in Ireland, that I was contriving a Correspondence with your Ladiship which I'd call the The Art of Living In­cognito; for, as others Squander away their Time in Publick Hurries, and in rambling from one Vanity to another; I chuse rather to retire to a Solitary Village (Blest with a Neighbouring Grove, a Purling-Stream, two Cuckoos, and one Nightingale) and here under the Covert of a spreading Tree, I intend to devote the re­maining part of my Time, To study my self; (for as Cowley says, The Voyage Life is longest made at home) but more especially the works of Creation and Providence, &c. And this on purpose to Correct, and Confess the Errors of my past Life; which if I do, 'twill evi­dently appear, Bene qui latuit bene vixit, he hath liv'd well, who hath lain well (or so) hidden; and therefore I call this Retreat the Art of living Incognito, so few Persons devoting the latter part of their Time to write and publish the Errors of the former.

But let others Act as they please, I ever thought it dangerous for a Man to Dye in a hurry; Men involved in Trade cannot so soon prepare for a better State, as Men retired from the World may▪ I have ever pitied those Men, whose necess [...]ous Employment, and Fortune hath put them under an obligation of making even See the Guardians Instruction. P. 5. at one time, the Accounts of this World and the next; I there­fore resolve to narrow my thoughts, and take the advan­tage which Exp [...]rience gives, of thinking strictly, and reviewing my Life, and being freed from fancy (which cheated me in my Young­er Years) to consider how far the Rules I have gone by, how speci­ous soever to others, and pleasant to my self, may be consistent with a severe expectation of an Account above, where Pleasure, Interest, and Passion must disappear. For this reason I'm now retir'd to a pri­vate Cell, for 'tis only here, I can shape a true measure of my self; [Page 2] learn the contempt of what hitherto I have admired; humble my Soul for my many failings, and warm my Devotions by the expecta­tion of a wiser and better State.

Madam, This is a large Province I'm entring upon, yet I shall tye my self to no method, any further than making every Letter a distinct Subject; but shall be very glad if now and then you'll propose a Subject your self: For the Character you writ of your self, your Essay on Friendship, and on the Miseries of Human Life, &c. are so very instructive, that I desire they may come into our first Part (for the Project will be 200 in all) and I'll Answer 'em as so many Letters; and if Variety has a Charm in it, I hope we shall please some Body. I know an Undertaking of this Nature, is liable to Cavils, and there are a sort of Men in the World, who love to shew their wit in making Exception against every thing but the Product of their own Brain, and therefore their Objections are not to be regarded; how­ever I'll endeavour to Treat of Subjects that are most Surprizing; and what I Write, shall be still submited to your Censure, and Publisht with this Title, viz.

The Art of Living Incognito: Being a thousand Letters (on as many uncommon Subjects) Written by John Dunton during his Retreat from the World, and sent to that Honourable Lady to whom he address'd his Conversation in Ireland, with her Answer to each Letter.

Madam,

I have here given ye a clear Idea of my Art of Living Incognito, and what I design by it, and if the Subjects I intend to chuse, have Magick enough in 'em to procure your Remarks, I shall think my self highly Honour'd, not only as I shall thereby think I am con­tinued in your, Friendship, but as you're able to rectifye all my Er­rors, which doubtless (in so large an Undertaking) will be very ma­ny; however I'll venture to tell ye my Naked Thoughts on ev'ry Subject I Treat of. And my first shall be,

Of Living Incognito.

The Art of Living Incognito is of great Antiquity; 'twas first Practic'd in Paradice; Adam and Eve even there hid themselves amongst the Trees Gen. 3. 8. of the Garden: And if we look further into Scripture, we see Moses in the Mount, and with the People, with a different face; open to God, veil'd to them. God wou'd not always have us shew our brightness to the world, in some Cases he loves our Talent in a Napkin, lapt up, and hid; and therefore, tho' Iohn Dunton (in Anagram) is Hid unto none, yet I'll attempt to live [Page 3] hid unto all; and my comfort is, tho' I live ne'er so Private, he knows me, that will (if I serve him) bring me Heaven; others, if they commend me, there's all; and it may be to my cost: So I'll fly all Company, for, why shou'd I lose Heaven for good words? So much for the Old Testament; (as to living Incognito.) And if we [...] [...]ok into the New, we shall find the End of all our Saviours Miracles, for the most part was, See you tell no Man: It is one Lesson, even in Religi­on it self, not to be seen; and yet not precisely, not to be seen, but not therefore to do well, to be seen; our commendations must be to do, and not say; or if we say any thing, say we are unprofitable Servants; so that living Incognito, is not only a Duty (in some Cases) but has many Blessings attend it. And further to recommend it to our Practice, Dr. Fuller tells us 'twas an ART learnt, in the first Century; Retirement was in the Primitive Church, to save themselves from the heat of Persecution; they were now, (says Dr. Fuller) always alone, yet always in the Company of good Thoughts. King Agis one Day requested the Oracle of Apollo, to tell him who was the happiest Man in the World, who answer'd, One Aglaion, beknown of the Gods, and unknown of Men; and making search for him throughout all Greece, found at length that it was a poor Man in Ar­cadia, who 60 Years Old never went from home, keeping himself, with his only Labour in his Garden. Livy. Had King Agis asked me the same Question, I had answer'd to the same purpose; and therefore 'tis part of my Character, See the Account of my Conversation in Ireland P. 433. To love to be guess'd at, not known; and to see the World, unseen. Then

Come,
For so I'll pre­sume to call you throughout our whole Corre­spondence.
Sabina, come away,
Don't your Ioy and mine delay;
But to make 'em both compleat,
Come and taste of my Retreat.

To Invite ye to it consider, nothing can carry ye so near to God and Heaven, as a voluntary Retreat from the World: The mind of Man, when disintangled from Riches, &c. can walk beyond the sight of the Eye, and tho' in a Cloud can lift us into Heaven while we live (tho' we liv'd in in a Dungeon) I know the hurry of Farewell to Dublin, p 119. Business is apt to ingross our thoughts: And therefore 'tis I'm come from behind the Counter. Instead of losing Time in a Shop, I do now in a Quiet Retreat, learn to despise the World. I think 'tis a Great Madness to be laying new foundations of Life, when I'm half way through it.

And they, methinks, deserve my Pity,
Who for it can indure the Stings,
The Crowd and Buz, and Murmurings,
Of this Great Hive the City—Cowley

[Page 4] By living private, we shun a world of unfortunate Ingagements.—We have nothing to resist in a Cell, but a few wandring thoughts; nor nothing to seek after, but to be happy. There we are free from publick [...]ders and private Makebates, unenvy'd in every thing but happiness: And 'tis impossible to steal that from us, when we have nothing else to do, but to keep it. So that methinks in my Cell, I'm learning to live for my self as well as for other Peo­ple. A learned Divine cou'd say to a Lady that asked him what Life was, That to live, is still to live with her, so I may say, That to live is ever to live Incognito. Methinks I had scarce a being till my Raven went to Roost; I mean, 'till it left the Hurries of Stocks-Market, for the solitude of [...]ewen street; and this was but the first step to Happiness neither; for tho' 'twas private, yet 'twas still in the Ci­ty of London, which I've now left, that by living still more Incog­nito, I might live indeed; and having in this last Retreat met with a good Land Lady, we live like Adam and Eve in Paradice; She im­ploying her self in her Garden, and I in admiring where l've bin wandring all my Days; for I was never Great, nor Happy 'till now: Most Princes are of this opinion, or they'd never study to conceal themselves,—We see, even Ambassadors that represent the Persons of Kings, d'spatch their affairs Incognito. Nay, Empe­rors themselves think it makes 'em greater sometimes to appear unknown—The Great Czar of Muscovy first appeared in Eng­land in that manner: scarce a Gazet but tells of s [...]e Prince ar­riv'd Incognito: The Savoy Ambassador arriv'd so [...]sterday.

King Henry the Second, after his return fr [...] Conquering Ire­land, both out of fondness, and for securing [...] Succession, he caus'd his Eldest Son Henry and his Wife Margaret, Daughter of the French King, to be solemnly Crown'd in his presence, at two seve­ral times; in the last of which, he for that Day liv'd Incognito; I mean for that Day he conceal'd his being King of England, by waiting as a Servant upon his Son, while he sate at the Table; which young Henry did litle regard, boasting, That his Father did not hereby disho­n [...]ur himself, since he was only the Son of an Empress, whereas himself was Son both of a King and Queen: which Proud Speech mightily dis­pleas'd his Father, who thought he had done his Son no small Honour by waiting on him, as a King Incognito.

The Story of King Iames the First, Riding to his Nobles behind a Miller, (who took him for a poor Farmer) is sufficiently known—Neither was Charles the 2d. less frequent in these Adventures: How often, drest in a mean habit, wou'd he straggle to a poor Cottage, to inquire, if the owner ever saw the King, and what he thought of his Goverment? (Madam) I suppose you have heard how his [Page 5] winding up the Iack, in a dirty Frock, saved his Life; and those that consider his preservation in an Oaken Tree, will own there is (if in any thing) An Art in living Incognito—And therefore I am so far from envying even Kings and Princes in their Pomp and Grandeur, that I pity 'em as Royal Slaves, or as Men that are ne­ver easy, but when now and then they retreat from the World, and conceal themselves for a Glimps of Happiness. So that I'm much happier in my present obscurity, than he that sits on a Throne, or that's galloping after the World, for these have scarce an hour they can call their own, (and that hour is fill'd with cares.) But,

Nothing looks in my Retreat,
Discontented, or Unsweet;
True 'tis Private, and you know,
Love and Friendship shou'd be so;
Solitude dissolves the Mind,
Makes it pleasant, free, and kind.
But the Pleasures you have known,
I mean those in London Town,
These, Sabina, you'll Confess,
Fears and Dangers, make 'em less;
Crouds, Diseases, Feuds, and Noise,
Render 'em imperfect Joys.
But in Shades and Silence given,
Ev'ry Extacy is Heaven.

Whoever (in this Retreat) sees my Rural Pipe, my Shady Grove, Hedge of Hony-Suckles. Fruitful Garden, Hive of Bees, and little-Cell, with my Contempt of Honours, Riches, Pleasures, &c. will own 'tis impossible I shou'd be Happier, except in Heaven, or in the Company of a kind Wife; and that my Retreat might want no Perfection,

Nature makes Arbours here, and ev'ry Tree,
Disposes all it's Boughs to favour me—
Here warbling Birds in Airy Raptures Sing
Their glad Pindaricks to the welcome Spring,
The Valleys too, here Eccho's do repeat,
Here gentle Winds, do moderate Summers Heat;
Clear is the Air, and Verdant is the Grass,
My Couch of Flowers, the Streams my Looking-Glass.

If you ask me how I spend my time, in a Place where I'm seldom seen, and scarce known to a Dog or a Cat? I answer,—I begin the rising Day with Prayer, and spend the rest of the time either in wri­ting tee ye, or reading the Port Royal (the Book you so [...] com­mend,) when I'm weary with this Exercise (for a little Change) [Page 6] I walk to St. Vincent's Rocks; here I sit for an Hour or so, bles­sing my self, that I'm clear of London; having left Honour to Mad-Men, and Riches to Knaves and Fools, I fall to laughing at both. But if I happen to be griev'd at any thing, (for Iris and Daphne can ne're be forgot) I tune my Distresses to the Widow'd Turtle, and she Records my Woes with her own; or if this fails to give me relief, I call to some Kind Eccho to help me to grieve the faster; or if I find no comfort in Tears, I need but think of you, and then be my sorrows what they will, I sit like Patience smiling at Grief, and fancy I am still Happy—So that if I live Incognito (and have but the use of my thoughts) I can ne're be wretched. I'm sure I reap more pleasure in my Retreat from the World, than the French Ladies do in the Streets of Paris. Or if it happens that I am wea­ry of being alone (if he can be so, that enjoys himself) 'tis but Riding a Mile or two or at furthest to Southborrow-Grove, and I'm strait in the Meadows, 'mongst wholsom Girls making of Hay, and that's enjoyment enough for one that's afraid of Peticoats. When I'm tir'd with these sights, Itye my Horse to a Tree, and take a Nap under the Shade of it, and when the Cuckcoo awakes me (if I'm thirsty,)

For wholesom Drink, I don't go far to look,
Each Spring's my Tap, my Barrel is each Brook,
Where I do quaff and too't again by fits,
And yet (Dear Madam) never hurt my Witts;
For why 'tis Beer of Grandam Natures Brewing,
And very seldom sets her guests a Spewing;
To which sweet Bubb I'm kindly welcom still;
Good Entertainment, tho' the Cheer were Ill.

In this manner do I spend my Solitude; and If I ben't want­ing to my self, thus living Incognito might soon sit me for Heaven; for those Stars, which have least Circuit, are nearest the Pole; and Men who are least perplexed with Business, are commonly near­est to God; which sufficiently recommends a Life of retirement. Besides this, to live Incognito, is to follow the Example both of learned and Great Men. Lotharius the Emperor resign'd his Crown, and spent the remainder of his Life in a Solitary place. This way of living is so much esteemed by the Witts, that we find the Gardens of Adonis, Alcinous Hesperides, were Subjects for the finest Poets. The Pleasure Lucanus had in this World, was nothing else but a little Garden, and when he dyed he commanded his Grave to be made in it; and [Page 7] Dioclesian left his Empire to turn Gardiner, Even the Poet Cowley As I hint­ed in my Con­versation in Ireland p. 365 that had known what Cities, Universities and Courts cou'd afford, broke through all the Intanglements of it, and which was harder, a vast Praise, and retired to a Solitary Cottage near Barn▪ Elms; where his Garden was his Pleasure, and he his own Gardiner—Timon of Athens was so given to solitariness, that he hated the company of all Men, and therefore was call'd Misanthropos; he used and employed all his skill to perswade his Country-men to shorten their Lives having set up Gibbets in a Field, which he bought for them that were dispos'd to Hang themselves. Plutarch. Fabius the Con­sul was so little for being known, that in 70 Years which he lived, departed not once from his Village of Regio to go to Mes­sana, which was but two Miles off, by Water; and Apollonius Tra­vel'd o'er three parts of the World to conser with ingenions Men, and being returned, he gave his Riches to his poor Kindred, and lived ever after a Solitary Life—Democritus plucked out his Eyes because the pleasures of this World shou'd not draw him from Contemplation.—St. Bernard got all his knowledge in the Woods and Fields.—Ierom forsook all the World to live In­cognito;—Croesus after the Death of his Son, did the same, and so did Hiero a Tyrant of Syracuse.

Among Even the Mahometans there are many Vetaries they call D [...]rveeses, who relinquish the World, and spend all their Days fol­lowing in solitude and retiredness, expecting a Recompence (as they say, and are very well content to suffer and wait for it) in that better Life. Those very sharp and very strict Penances, which many of this People for the present voluntarily undergo, far exceed all those the Romanists boast of; for instance, there are some who live alone upon the tops of Hills (which are clothed or covered with Trees, and stand remote from any Company) and there spend the whole time of their following lives in Contem­plation, stirring not at all from the places they first six on, but ad requisita naturae, crying out continually in these or the like Ex­pressions, Alla Achabar, &c. that is, God Almighty look upon me, I love thee, I love not the World, but I love thee, and I do all this for thy sake, look upon me, God Almighty.

These, after they thus retire, never suffer the Razor or Scissars to come again upon their Heads, and they let their Nails grow like unto Birds Claws, as it was written of Nebuchadnezzar. Dan. 4. When he was driven out from the society of men.

This People after their retirement, will chuse rather to famish, than to stir from their Cells: and therefore they are relieved by the Charity of others, who take care to send them some very [Page 8] mean Covering for their Bodies (for it must be such, otherwise they will not accept of it) when they stand in need thereof; and something for their bodily sustenance, which must be of their courser Food, otherwise they will not take it; and no more of that at one time, than what is sufficient for the present support of nature.

Neither is the Incognito Life of the famous Nostedamus less re­markable, than the affected solitude of the Derveeses, of which take the following account. Some Leagues from Aix (says the Author of the Historical Voyages) stands a Burrough, call'd Sallon where Nostredamus so Famous for his Predictions, was Born, and interr'd in the Church of the Francis [...]an Grey-Fryers, his Tomb being half withithe Church, and half without. The Monk that shewed it us (says, this Author) told us that Nostredamus himself had ordered it to be Erected after that manner: for that finding the World to be so corrupt as it is, he was desirous to leave it in singular manner. For that having rais'd his Tomb to Mans height, he caused himself to be enclos'd therein while he was living, after he had made Provision of Oil for his Lamp, Pens, Ink and Paper, and pronounced a Curse upon him, that shou'd open it before such a time, which by the Calculation of the Fryar, was to expire at the beginning of the Eighteenth Age. I cannot tell (says this Voyager) whether Nostredamus repented or no; but I am sure he was in an Ill con­dition, if he let his Lamp goe out before he had finished what he had to write. We also read that Hyginus, after he was made Bishop; took such a Fancy to Live Incognito, that he retir'd to a Cave, where he hid himself; 'twas here he writ an Epistle, touching God, and the Inearation of the Son of God.

But the Men are not Singular in their Love to a Private life, for we find some Ladies too, as well as the Men, have delighted to live Incognito—Elizabeth (commonly called Ioan-Cromwel) the Wife of Oliver Cromwel, chose rather to be a great Per­son Incognito (if you'l believe the Author of her Life) then to live in that State and Degree, which her Husbands Grandeur allow'd of. 'Tis true (says this Author) she kept one Coach, but to avoid Pomp, her Coachman served her for Caterer, Butler, Cup Bearer and Gentleman Usher—Her Daughter and She often went alone into the Country, and there See a further Account of her private Life in the Book called Elizabeth the Wife of the late Usurper. wou'd spend whole Days in riding in a Sequest­red Caroach, so that she seem'd to affect the Sey­thian Fashion, who dwelt in Carts and Wa­gons, and have no other Habitations.—She was also the same Recluse in her Habit, rather Harnessing her [Page 9] self in the Defence of her Cloaths, than allowing her self the loose and open Bravery thereof; and her Hood, till her Face was seen in her Highnesses Glass, was [...]apt on like a Head Piece, without the Arr of [...]nsconcing and entrenching it double and single in Re­doubts, and Horn works—In sine, she was Cap-a-pe like a Bag­gage Lady, and was out of her Element in her Vieinity to the Court and City: She never ca [...]'d to be seen, and was never easy but when she liv'd Inoogni'o And even of Animals, Some live a Soli­litary Life, as the Hare the Pelican, and the Swan; the last of which is Merry at her Death.—So [...] the wisest both of Men and Bruits have still preferr'd a Private Life to a Publick; and the rea­son See my Irish Conversation. P. 365. why, a Private Life is preferable to all others, is, because the first Minister of State hath not so much Business in Publick, as a Wise Man hath in Pri­vate; the one hath but part of the affairs of one Nati­on, the other all the Works of God and Nature, under his conside­ration. And therefore 'twas, Scipio was never less alone, than when he had no Company. Tully when he was thought to be Idle, Stu­died most—And Mison the Philosopher (that he might Study himself) lived altogether a Solitary Life; when one by chance met him laughing to himself, and demanding the cause why he laughed having no Company? Answer'd. Even therefore do I laugh, because I have no Company with me. I might heap up Instances of this Nature, but here's enough to shew I ben't singular in desiring to live un­known; certainly, Madam, the pleasantest and most profitable condi­ition of Life is to live Incognito. This we find further verified in Charles V. Emperor of Germany; for after conquering Four King­doms, he resign'd up all his Pomp to other Hands, and betook himself to his Retirement; leaving this Testimony behind him, concerning the Life he spent in the little time of his retreat from the World, That the sincere study of the Christian Religion, had in it such Ioys and Sweetness as Courts were Strangers to. And to shew to the World that his resigning his Crown, was the result of Mature Thoughts, upon transferring his Kingdoms to his Son, he made this following Speech: Other Princes (says he) leave their Crowns to their Children only at the in­stantSee a Book call'd Curia Politiae, p. 1.when they Dye; that is, when they are not fit to wear the Diadem any longer; but as for me, I was never willing that Death shoa'd make this Present to my Son, but rather that he shou'd receive and hold this Blessing from me; and as I was a means to make him live, so (before I Dyed) I wou'd be a means to make him reign, and thereby oblige him to me, more entirely. This Speech was no sooner ended, but he [Page 10] Retreated to a Private House at Bruxelles, and thence he descend­ed to an humble Hermitage, where he liv'd about 3 Years, and died. Certainly 'tis as brave a thing to quit Crowns and Scepters as to gain and conquer'em; Tho' of the Two, I shou'd think 'tis easier to resign a Crown than to wear it; and therefore Queen Elizabeth was us'd to say, If any Man knew the weight of a Crown, hee'd not take it up, if it lay in his way. Certainly a Private Life is the most happy, as 'tis free'd from all Noise and Nonsence, from all envying, or being envyed. Besides, my Senses, in my Private Retreat, are feasted with the clear and genuine taste of their Objects, which are all Sophisticated in Courts and Cities. I now live where I can safely think my Hours away, and I am heartily sorry I did not Retreat sooner, for I'm weary of this Villanous World, and the Foolish Impertinences of my own Sex; a wretched Circle they move in of Vanity and Hurry. But now I am free'd from all, and nothing but the Smiles of Valeria my pre­sent Wife. (whose Sense as well as Sex, affords a more reasonable and Calmer Joy,) cou'd ever Reconcile me again to London. But why shou'd I de­spair of seeing her here? Fo [...] she is only for a Spiritual Friendship: And I do ass [...]re her, the Grove where I daily walk, is prophan'd by no unholy Love; and so very private, that 'tis hardly seen in a Year.

Then 'twere Sweet, 'twere wondrous Sweet,
Cou'd I and Dear Valeria meet,
In this Lonesome Shady Grove,
Full of Friendship, full of Love.
Oh! what Tender things wee'd say,
Whilst the Minutes flew away.

But I talk of Impossibilities! However; I'll Carve her Name on ev'ry Tree, and Dream of her ev'ry Night; yes, I will, Sabina; for Conjugal Love may be very Passionatè: Besides I don't re­tire from the World that my Thoughts might be idle, (for the Mind of Man is ever thinking) and if I must think of something, can it be better employed, then in thinking of her who shou'd Study to make me Good, and keep me Innocent?

Besides (Madam) a Private Retreat from the World is the only place, where to Practice your Good Advice, and to live to learn well how to Dye; so that I am better pleas'd with living Incognito, (if it does not abate your Friendship) than they that glitter in the Courts of Kings.—Thus (Sabina) have I bid the World good night, before my time to go to Bed; as 'twere on purpose to make a Tryal, of [Page 11] your Friendship; for all Men adore the Rising Sun, but few, or scarce any, have any Love for his Setting; however, this is my present Case, and I'm so well pleased with it,

That if one Mortall. Two such Grants might have,
From Private Life, I'd Steal into my Grave;
I'd Live unthought of, and unheard of, Dye;
And grudge Mankind my very Memory,—Cowley.

But after all I can Write of a Private Life, perhaps you'll say, That Solitariness is a Trespass against the Nature of Man; and God, when he made all things, saw it was not good for Man to be alone.

Then he who Lives, and makes no Man partaker,
Usurps himself, and closely Robs his Maker.

To this I Answer,——cou'd Man have liv'd still in Innocence, and Women wou'd cease tempting, surely nothing had bin so good as a Female Companion, (for as to the Men, I have nothing to say to 'em,) but since Women have prov'd the Devil too, or rather worse, I think 'tis better to fly 'em all (all save the Dear Ve­ria) as Ioseph did his tempting Mistess: Had our Grand-Mother Eve done so at first, She had not bin the Mother of so much Sin and Misery as she hath bin to her Posterity.—

I cou'd say more for Living Incognito (which is the Art I am now learning) but have tir'd you and my self too; so shall only add, Your Answer to this Letter is impatiently desired by,

Your Ladyships most Humble and most Obedient Servant, JOHN DUNTON.

The LADY's Answer to my first LETTER.

SIR,

IF Living Incognito is an Art, 'tis of Nature's teaching; for 'tis ve­ry natural for those that are neither pleas'd with the World, nor the World with them, to retire from it; which was the case with the Primi­tive Christians: They liv'd amongst the Heathen, that had a very diffe­rent sense of things from them; they could not speak their Thoughts, they were so generally disapproved and condemned; and being sensible their Habits of Vertue were yet but weak, not throughly confirm'd by Time and Experience, their Love and Zeal was only strong, which made 'em fly from the contagion of ill Example and Temptation, as well as from the fury of Persecution; which was made the easier, by that con­tempt they had for Riches, Honour and Pleasure: For I believe at first, neither Pride, Ambition, or Vain-glory, had the least share in so sin­gular and remarkable a way of Living, as in Caves and Desarts, what­ever it may have had since: But to prevent the imputing our safety to any care and contrivance of our own, we have seen that which was so innocently designed at first, in tract of time became the source of all the Superstition, with which the World hath since that time so much abound­ed. Could they have secured to themselves good Thoughts, as Dr. Fuller presum'd they always had, their Retreat must needs have been happy: But St. Jerome found it not so well; for in the midst of his macerating Mortifications, his Imagination brought him a Troop of beautiful Maids in a Dance, as he himself relates. Then what can stop the current of evil Thoughts, that follows us in solitude, notwithstand­ing all our care to get out of their reach?

That Man the Oracle pronounc'd happy, had that advantage of ha­ving always been a poor Gardiner, honestly imployed in getting his Li­ving; so that he had no temptation to contest with, from without or with­in; and all the World is agreed upon the innocent pleasure a Garden gives; he was therefore certainly happy: But whether the happiest in the World, is a great question; since 'twas impossible for him to taste and un­derstand his happiness so perfectly, as one that had experienc'd another way of Living, and whose Repentance for his pass'd Follies might equal his Innocence, and so exceed his Happiness.

[Page 13] I am no stranger to the Pleasures of the retired Life you invite to; I know and taste it to the full, 'tis what I have always courted ever since I was at my own dispose, and which I now am perfectly possessed of, and find in it all those advantages you mention of subliming ones Thoughts, and setting them above the World; sure all thinking Persons will study to disintangle themselves from those ensnaring Delights, as well as from the Cares and Troubles that attend 'em; to which Design, no Age ever gave so fair Advantage: For to love Pleasure and Conversa­tion, at this time, and in this Town, is to dote upon Crimes and Folly and if a retreat from it, is Life, according to your estimation; 'tis Death to stay in it, according to mine. I wonder whether that Learned Divine you speak of, has the Art of answering all hard Questions, with the same Ease he answered that Lady; I wish I knew how she understood him; he seemed to me to question what is Life, to make answer a young Lady, by which I understand he meant his own Chief Good; he ought to have added, what was Life to the Lady.

I take the love of Liberty to be taught by Nature, and is that which occasions the Sallies Kings and Men of Quality make sometimes, for a little ease of the burthen their Place and Quality condemns to, whilst Incognito they taste the pleasure of Liberty, and may perceive all the Power, Honour and Riches, and all the Pleasures, the World studies for 'em, and heaps upon 'em; makes up a very imperfect Happiness; whilst all their Words and Actions are under such restraint; nay, their very Thoughts and Affections are tied to Rules and Reasons of State, not meerly for the discharge of their Place and Dignity, but to please others, that others may be pleased with their Greatness; all which is a violence to Nature, and could never be supported by any that had leisure to think; unles [...] by some great Mind, like our present King, that willingly sacri­fice themselves and all that is dear to 'em, for the Blessing and Happi­ness of more Kingdoms than their own.

But 'tis enough for such ordinary Minds as yours and mine, to put our selves into a safe retreat, and after the Example of the finest Poets, the wisest Philosophers, the greatest Saints and Holy Fathers, learn to live with, and endure ones self; and to shew our selves as wise as those, that willingly undergo any thing for the purchase of Riches; we for the purchase of Time, as precious to the full, chuse to live Incog­nito, where Time is our own, and none either borrows or robs us of it; and the only place where we can redeem that Time we have lost or mispent. This were enough, bating the pleasure, to justifie the choice of Soli­tude; but the Testimony of a great and wise Emperor must not be slight­ed; his Mind look'd great, that could think nothing less than an [Page 14] Imperial Crown, a fit Present for his Son; yet could support it self without it: And what could look more nise, than in his Retirement, to set himself to the study of the Christian Religion, and so truly and expe­rimentally declare the pleasure he found in it, to be that which Courts, and the great Pretenders to Pleasure, were strangers to; and if there needs any thing more to recommend it, 'tis that the Body may share in the Pleasures of this Retirement; while the Fancy and Imagination, and all other Senses, are entertain'd in Fields and Gardens, with more In­nocent Objects, than in Courts and Cities.

I know not how your Living in a Private Retreat, to learn well how to Die, should lessen my Friendship; it rather qualifies you better to be my Friend: I have no other business in the World but to die, and 'tis only for that end I value Friendship, that one may mutually assist each other in this great [...]ork: Your Retirement from the World, does not lessen you in my esteem, therefore in no trial of my Friendship, but makes you more worthy of it.

Nor can I object against Solitude, because Man was at first made for Society: Since Man is now so fallen from his first Perfection, he is scarce a reasonable Creature, or sit Company for Brutes; and for Women, tho' aspiring to the excellency of Angels, are arrived no higher than to the state of Evil Spirits, to prove Tempters, the cause and occa­sion of all the wickedness the World abounds with, all which may well acquit us from the Laws of Society, and give us leave to make the best of so sad a Condition, and learn the Art of Living Incognito. I am,

Your &c.

LETTER II.

In Praise of Poverty.

Madam,

MY Art of Living Incognito, having been honour'd with your Approbation, I am encourag'd to pursue my Pro­ject of writing on a Thousand Subjects; for this is to Live Incognito to good purpose, and to shew to the World how Soli­tude may be Improv'd. In this Undertaking (as I hinted in my first Letter) I shall tye my self to no Method, so think it needless to make an Apology that my Second Letter is a brief Essay

In Praise of Poverty.

Sir Walter Ranleigh, in a Letter to his Wife, after his Con­demna [...]ion, hath these words, ‘If you can Live free from Want, care for no more, for the rest is but a Vanity.’ A little Meat suffi­ceth to nourish us, a poor Bed (without Rich Curtains) will serve to repose us, and a little Cottage may well defend us, both from the extremity of Heat, and bitterness of Cold. I cou'd wish with all my heart, that ev'ry man would set before the Eyes of his Understanding, the Two Principal Extremities of this Life, and that he would likewise consider, in what Poverty we are born, and depart again out of this World. Naked we first en­tred into this vain world, and naked must we again leave it: Is it not then a Stupendius Folly, knowing for certain that we are born very poor, and must also die without carrying any thing with us; to torment our selves so much for the Loss of our Goods? It is observed that there is this noble and magnanimous Spirit in the Eagle, that when she is in want, and greatly suffers hunger, that she scorns to pout, and make a noise, and a clamour, as o­ther Birds will do, but rests her self satisfied, If I have it not now, I shall have it hereafter—

[Page 16]
And none can be unhappy, who,
'Mongst all his [...]lls, a Time does know,
Tho ne'er so ill, when he shall not be so.—

‘The greatest Misfortunes become tolerable in Time: the Sentiment we have of them is lost, and vanishes away. Poverty, Shame, Diseases, the Moral Essays Vol. 1. p. 27. loss of our being abandon'd by Friends, Parents, Children, gives us Blows whose smart lasts not long; the Agitation they give us, by degrees grows less, till it quite [...]ases:’ Nay, Zeno was wont to say, That the goods of the World did more hurt then good; which was the cause that made Crates the Thebane, passing one day from his countrey of Athens, to follow the studie of Philosophy, to throw all the Gold and Silver he had about him into the Sea, imagining, that Vertue and Riches could never consist together: Men of the Greatest Sence have generally dyed Poor: Valerius, Agrippa, &c. as also the good Aris [...]ides, dyed so poor, that they were fain by Alms to be buried.

Great Butler's Muse the same ill Treatment had,
Whose Verse shall Live for ever to upbraid
Th' ungrateful World that left such Worth unpaid.
The Bard at summing up his mis spent days,
Found nothing left but Poverty and Praise;
Of all his Gain by Verse, he could not save
Enough to purchase Flannel and a Grave.
Reduc'd to want, he in due time fell sick,
Was fain to die, and be interr'd on Tick.

I might also instance in Epaminondas, King of The [...]es, in whose Rich House and Palace was found but one poor Straw-bed, or base Mat­tress to put in his Inventory.

What, (says St. Chrysostom,) doth distinguish Angels from Men, but that they are not needy, as we are? And 'tis ever observ'd, that Mens Desires encrease with their Riches; and conse­quently, they that have most, are the most needy; and there­fore the Poor, who have the least in the World, come nearest to Angels, and those are the furthest off, who need the most.—He who needs (says this Father in another place) many things, is a Slave to many things, is himself the Servant of his Servants, and depends more on them, than they on him—So that the encrease [Page 17] of worldly Goods and Honours, being but the Increase of our sla­very and dependance, reduces us to a more real and effective mi­sery.—What hath the Bravest of Mortals to glory in? Is it Greatness? Who can be Great on so small a Round as this Earth, and bounded with so short a course of Time? How like is that to Castles built in the Air, or to Giants, Model'd (for a Sport of Snow) which at the better Looks of the Sun, do melt away? But for all this (says the ambitious man) were I to chuse my Stati­on, I'd be a King at least. ‘How full of Charms is it to imi­tate the Divine Original of Beings, to see whole Kingdoms Croutch­ing to me, to be encompassed with bare Heads, where e're I go; to have the power of Exalting one, and Debasing another, of disposing of Life and Death; and, in short, to be an Earthly God?’

To this I answer, There appears to me a greater happiness in an unenvyed Cottage, than in the Noisy Crowds of Flatterers. Little does the Plebcian know how heavy a Crown weighs, how great the Trust is, and how hard to be managed; 'Tis the Court that's full of Ambition. Bribes, Treachery, &c. The Watch must be kept so strictly, that there's no time to act Vertuously. But in the retired Solitudes of Poverty, one Fourth of our Temptations are lost; the uneasiness of the Flesh, causes a search after the Qui­et of the Mind. I mention'd in my last, Charles V. Dioclesian, and several others, who laid by their Scepters for Spades; and I might here tell you how happy the change was—

But 'twill be again objected, That the Rich have many Friends, but few (if any) caress the Poor. I shall therefore be thought to be half mad, to write thus in Praise of Poverty, which is Uni­versally despised, but without any good Reason; for abundance of this World is a Clog to the Christian Pilgrim: With what dif­ficulty do those that have Riches enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?—I hear Israel praying in Egypt, quarrelling in the Wilderness; when they were at their Brick-Kilns, they would be at their Devotion; and no sooner are they at ease, but they are wrangling for their Flesh Pots. I dare say, many a man had not been so wicked, if he had but been Poor. It is the saying of a Great Divine, That Solomon's Riches did him more hurt than his Wis­dom did him good. Affliction and Want do that many times, which fair means cannot; Wealth, like Knowledge, puffs up, when Poverty makes men flock to Christ. 'Tis the Poor receive the Gospel; then how much better is Poverty than Riches, if it carries me to Heaven? Who wou'd not be a Lazarus for a Day, that he might sit in Abraham's Bosom for ever? Poverty is de­spis'd, but 'tis the best Physick: I know not whether Prosperity [Page 18] have lost, or Adversity recovered more: None prays so hearti­ly for his daily Bread as he that wants it: Misery, like Ionah's Fish, sends them to their Prayers, that never thought of God under their Gourd. It is pity fair Weather shou'd do any harm: Yet it is often seen Riches makes many forget those Friends which Want wou'd make cro [...]h to.—But Man cannot be so much a­bove Man, as that the difference should Legitimate his Scorn (Di­ogenes Tub was a poor House, and yet Alexander would come thither to talk with him.) Then how welcome should that State be which keeps us humble, and brings us acquainted with God? Who wou'd pursue the World, when Poverty makes us happy? Alas! Madam, This World is a Lyar, and he will find it so, that (like you and Philaret) does not retreat from it. But tho Men wou'd come to Heaven, yet they do not like this way; they like well of Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom, but not at Dives Door. But alas! Riches, like the Rose, are sweet, but prickly; the Honey doth not counter vail the Sting, they end in Vexation; and, like Iudas, while they Kiss, they Petray. Riches, like their Master, are full of Deceit, promise what they have not. How many have I seen in London, that by much Toil have gotten a vast Estate, that at last have envied the Quiet Rest and Merry Meals of their La­bourers? Diogenes laying his money at his head, a Thief was ve­ry busie to steal it from him, which troubled him so much, that he could take no rest; so at last, rather than he would deprive him­self of his sweet sleep, he threw it to him, saying, Take it to thee, thou Wretch, that I may take my Rest. And I think he was much in the right: My Companion in my present So­litude is much of Diogenes Temper, for he has parted with all he has, and is now (being P [...]or) happy in no bodies Opinion but his own. There is no True Rich Man but the Contented, nor truly Poor but the Cov [...]tous. If we can but make the best of our own, and think our selves well, even when others think not so, we are happy persons. Socrates passing through the Market, cries out, How much is here I do not need? Nature is content with little, Grace with less. Poverty lies in Opinion. The Characterizer of Mr. Pym, p. 4. tells us of a Noble Man, who once acted the Beggar's part in a Comedy, and ever after perswaded himself to be in his whole Life what he had Personated on the Stage for one hour.—So that 'tis clear, Opinion is the Rate of things. What is needful, is soon provided; and Enough is as good as a Feast. I am worth what I do not want. My Occasions being suppli­ed with but 500. l. what could I do with more? I will not look at what I have, but what I deserve; and I shall never think my own [...]another's too much.

[Page 19] It is a greater Misery to desire Much, than to have No [...]ing. The Rich are ever envied, but (tho 'tis hard) 'tis safe to be con­tented with a little. Nay, were we so contented, we are happy with Nothing, or with a small Pitrance.

Content is all we aim at, with our Store;
And having that, with Little, what needs more?—

The Poor of B—r Village (where I now live) are as well pleased with their Hempen S [...]cks (for the Parish allows no better) as your fine Ladies, whose delicate Skins are covered with Lawn.—Contentation is a Blessing, not Wealth. True Ri­ches consist not in having much, but in not desiring more. Some think they have not enough, if they have not all. Thus have I seen some Beasts, not knowing when they were well, burst with feeding.

Did not Diogenes well perceive this, being not illuminated with any other knowledge, than only that which Nature taught him: When he chose such a kind of life, which (I think) is unknown to no man, whereby he made himself equal, and fellow (as it were) with Fortune? Surely, his Estate was most happy, and yet had he neither Money, Possessions, Medows, Gardens, or Houses; neither would he that Alexander should bestow any on him. For, as the History noteth, Alexander came one day to behold him as a wonder, and said unto him, Diogenes, behold, I am ready to supply thy need, because I see thee Poor. Diogenes thus boldly answered him: I pray thee which of us two seemeth to be most indigent or needy? I, who have nothing but my Mantle and my Wallet, nei­ther do desire any more; or thou, who not contented with thy Fathers Kingdom, dost offer thy self to so many dangers, only through desire thou hast to rule; and that desire is so great, as it seemeth the whole World will scarce content it? Certainly, who­soever judgeth the state of Diogenes unhappy; by like reason may repute himself most unhappy: perceiving the poor man to be pleas­ed, and himself never satisfied: The things of this World, are in a manner but Apparitions; not so indeed: why then do we so labour to abound, and not rather to be content? But some Men are in such haste to be Rich, that they do not climb, but vault into Preferment at a Leap: I know not their sleight, I mistrust their quickness; few Men were ever Great and Good in an Instant; all the harm I wish these is, that their early ri­sing do them no harm; but what does their Wealth signifie, seeing Earth is but our Road to Heaven, and Riches such mean [Page 20] things, that like High way Fruit, they are common to all—Besides, what will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his Soul? I will grudge no Man Riches, if he has 'em (as most have) upon those Terms. It shall suffice me there is another World to come, and that mine (if I follow Sabina's Advice) shall begin when this is ended.—I will be content to want this for a while, that I may enjoy that other for ever. What is Di­ves the better to out shine Lazarus, and at last die and be damn'd? The good Man takes his God as he doth his Wife, for Richer for Poorer, in sickness and in health: We may not always judge of God's Favour by his Bounty; I am but a Novice in Religion, if I think I can be God's Son, and miserable. A Rich Court is a good­ly sight, but he that looks up to Heaven, will not care for the World. All the Afflictions of this World cannot answer the Joys of that other. Then where is the Damage in being poor? For as Fortune is not my Landlady, so I fear not her displeasure; and, which still adds to the Happiness of a Poor Condition, if I posses nothing, my Account is the less. But to the Disgrace of Riches, 'tis hard in Prosperity for Men to remember themselves, and what they have received of God; we are apt to forget what we have been, when we are changed for the better. Pharoah's Butler hath forgot he was a Prisoner. It is too true that too many love God for their own sakes, either they are poor, and would be rais'd, or they are sick and wou'd be heal'd; and like Beggars, no soon­er are they serv'd, but they are gone—I could tell ye (Ma­dam) of a Miser worth Hundreds, that never did a Generous Act, but promis'd mighty things if he arriv'd to such an Estate. If I had his Wealth (as I am Heir to it) and do no more good, I shall add to my Condemnation, together with my Store: I will therefore study rather to use my little well, than to encrease it—God is therefore bountiful to us, that we might be so to others: He alone hath the true use of Wealth, that receives it only to disburse it.

Dionysius the Elder, entering into his Son's Lodging, and be­holding there great store of Rich Jewels and Gold, said unto him, My Son, I did not give thee these Riches to use in this sort, but to impart them to thy Friends. But so few spend their Riches as they ought, that I think Poverty preferrable to Wealth; and the rather, as Poverty comes not from the East, nor from the West, but from God himself. He hath said to every Man, Rule thou hare, or work thou there, be this, or thus: Then why do Men grudge at their Wants, when it is not Chance, but Providence? It is less praise to be Rich, than to be able to despise the world; the less I [Page 21] have here, the more I have to come. No Lazarus would change states with that Dives, who if he might but live again, would be Lazarus to chuse: Then who'd make haste to be Rich? I hear Israel child, not for eating, but for laying up their Manna.—If Prosperity make me fond of Life, or afraid of dying, it had been better for me, if it had not been so well. 'Tis true, when Fortune smiles upon a Man, his Relations that shunn'd his Company when it frown'd upon him, flock to him again, as if he were come from a strange Country, to welcome him home; they now offer their Services, with a thousand Protestations of the sincerest Friendship to him, whom a little before they denied to have a drop of their Blood in his Veins. But tho the only thing Men are valued for, is their Money, yet a Moderate Fortune is the only thing to be wish'd and pray'd for in this World, lest we be either tempted to Wantonness, thro a too great Plenty; or pres­sed into Despair by the Sting of a pinching Necessity. I will pray therefore with Agur, Lord, give me neither Wealth nor Poverty, but a Mean; or if Wealth, Grace to employ it; If Po­verty, Patience to endure it: If I'm Poor and Honest, I can ne [...]e be unhappy; for then God is my Father, the Angels are my fel­lows, Heaven is my Inheritance, and what can I ask more, save to be in that blessed place, where Riches have no Wings, and every Lazarut wears a Crown.—And as in Heaven the Poor­est Man is a King, so on Earth they are so dear to God, that Solo­mon tells us, He that mocketh the Poor, reproacheth his Maker; and, which wou'd make one in love with Poverty, they that have least, are freest from Cares. The Poor are in no danger from Plots, or robbing—The moneyless Traveller can sing before a Thief; Neither is he that's as poor as Iob, in any danger of stary­ing; for in most Churches they have that Respect for the Nee­dy, that 'tis writ in Capital Letters, (as in Cripplegate Church)—Pray remember the Poor—And Heaven it self has taken that care of 'em, that in Cases of Wrong, Restitution must be made to the Poor, where the right Owner is dead; and to encourage the Rich to be Kind, nothing makes their Names shine so much as Charity.

Salvian saith, that Christ himself is Mendicorum maximus, the greatest Beggar in the world, as one that shareth in all his Saints necessities, and will never forget the charitable person. Cicero could say, That to be rich, is not to possess much, but to use much. And Seneca could rebuke them that so studied, to increase their wealth; that they forgot to use it. I have read of one Evagrius a rich man, that lying upon his Death-bed, being importuned by Syne­sius [Page 22] a pious Bishop; to give somthing to charitable uses, he yield­ed at last to give three hundred Pounds; but first took Bond of the Bishop that it should be repayed him in another world before he had been one day dead. He is said to have appeared to the Bishop, delivering in the Bond cancelled, as thereby acknow­ledging what was promised was made good, according to that promise.

What we give to the Poor, we secure from the Thief; but what we with hold from his Necessity, a Thief possesses. God's Exchequer is the Poor Man's Box; when we strike a Tally, he be­comes our Debtor. Faelix the Fifth, being demanded, whe­ther he kept any Hounds? he brought them that asked him to a place where a great company of poor people sate down together at Dinner, saying, Behold, these are my Hounds, which I feed daily, with the which I hope to hunt for the Kingdom of Heaven. St. Chrysostom was a rare Spokes-man for the Almighty's Box (such are the Poor) when he said, That God commanded Alms, not so much for the Poors sake, as the good of the Rich:—Ano­ther calls Charity to the Poor, An Art the most thriving of all Arts. Nay, the Almighty often maketh present payment (know­ing how hardly he can get Credit from our Insidelity) and even in Temporals. Thy bread cast upon the Waters, maketh better than Fast India Voyages.—But if the Rich should be hard hearted, the Poor have Law on their side, and can force the Pa­rish (where they were born) to keep 'em.—And if they hap­pen to be Kin to Estates, and han't Moneys to claim their Right, yet they can sue in Forma-Pauperis; and if the Lawyers were ho­nest, I don't see but the Poor are the most likely to carry the Day, as their Necessities plead, as well as the Lawyer, and the Justice of their Cause—Or if they are bauk'd in a Just Suit, the worst that can be said, is,—There goes a Poor (injur'd) Honest Man, which is more Honourable than to have it said,—There goes a Rich Knave. But suppose they had no Advocate, yet at worst they can beg for their daily Bread, and then when they sleep, Heaven is their Canopy, and Mother Earth their Pillow. Beggars, more than others, seem to be the peculiar Care of Pro­vidence. Then who'd be a King, when a Beggar Lives so well? or if all support for their bodies fail, to stand their ground, and look to Heaven for a handful of supply, speaks their Faith: At a Li­ons Den, or a fiery Furnace, not to turn our back, is a Commen­dation worthy a Prophet.—When our Saviour wou'd put to silence the distrusters of his Time, he points them to the Lillies of the Field, (not of the Garden; which are digg'd and dung'd) [Page 23] but of the Field, which have no Gardiner but the Sun, no water­ing Pots but the Clouds; and your Heavenly Father (says he) cloaths these.—Then who'd be afraid of Poverty, that has such a merciful Father to go to?—'Tis true, the Poor are Slaves to the Rich, and their words little regarded. We read of a Poor Wise Man, that by his Wisdom deliver'd a City; yet no Man remember'd that Poor Man. Yet this Text adds to the Ho­nour of Poverty, as it makes it the Touchstone to try a Friend.—A Friend in need is a Friend indeed.—And there be some (tho very few) that have Souls brave enough to own a Friend in a Prison. A Friend loveth at all times, and Prov. 17. 17. a Brother is born for Adversity.——For my own share, (for I'le speak the Truth, tho to my own praise) I never lov'd a Friend the worse for being either poor, miserable, or See more to this effect in my Irish Conversa­tion, p. despised.

Thus have I made it out, (to the praise of Poverty) that Earth is a place of Penance, and that Brown Bread and the Gospel is 'Twas a say­ing of Pious Dod. good Fare. Earth is a place of Toil and Labour, and men go not to work in their best Cloaths. Men shou'd do well to furnish their Insides a little better, and let the Body shift. I never heard any man blamed for his Rags, but I hear it upbraided to one, that he went in Purple.—I might further add, to the Honour of Poverty, That the Saviour of the World was born in a Stable; and tho the Foxes had Holes, and the Birds of the Air had Nests, yet the Son of Man had not where to lay his Head. In the Poor we Moral Es­says, Vol. 1, p. 145. Honour the Poverty of Iesus Christ, his Humili­mility in those that are Humble, and his sufferances in the Afflicted.

Thus (Madam) have I sent ye my Thoughts of Poverty which tho writ in a solitary Grove, yet have something in 'em that I hope will please ye; and if they do (tho my Notions are some of 'em New) no man will ever censure 'em; or if any presume to dislike what you approve of, I shall not value it, whilst you permit me the Honour of subscribing my self,

Your most Devoted Friend and Servant JOHN DUNTON.

The LADY's Answer to my Second LETTER.

SIR,

I Confess I have, as well as you, observed, that Poverty is much despised: I have known some Persons, tho Pretenders to Religion, speak with more Contempt of those they knew to be Poor, than of those that were by all detested for their Vices; yet I can't but think it worth ones w [...]le to be poor, were it only for the advantage of knowing ones self and others. A Friend is not known in Prosperi­ty, nor can an Enemy be hid in Adversity. I never fail to set a mark upon those despisers of Poverty, as very blind and ignorant of the Blessings of the Gospel; Even many of them that are Teachers of it, have seem'd to over-look that great Lesson our Saviour teaches of de­pendance upon God, and the danger of Riches, upon the sole account of trusting to 'em. I own 'tis the best thing this World can pretend to, yet like it self as full of Cares, Troubles, and Vexations, and is given to the Children of this World as their Proper Portion; for they are capable of no better; and because God will be Debtor to none, those Corrupt and Imperfect Services they render him, shall be rewarded with such Corruptable and Imperfect Blessings as Riches can procure 'em.

There's hardly any instance can be given of their ever making any person more Religious and Devout, more indifferent, and wean'd from the World, more humble and resigned to God, both in o­beying and suffering his Will. These are the Vertues attending Po­verty, which are carefully entertain'd by all such as aspire to those Per­fections.

All the Vertue Riches pretends to, is the making choice of some Per­sons, to bless, as they believe, with their Riches, when they die, and perhaps impart some of their Superfluity, while they Live, to some miserable people, whom they esteem so for being Poor, with intent to make 'em their slaves.

But whatever Usage the World gives one for being Poor, it mat­ters not, nor lessens the Blessing at all: We set a greater value up­on the World than it deserves, to rate ones happiness by their Esteem. But whether they will allow it or no, to bear Poverty as one ought, de­serves Honour, and 'tis better to deserve it than to have it.

[Page 25] Not to be dejected with Poverty, and the Contempt it lies under, shews a Right Iudgment of the World, and the things of it, and speaks a Great Mind, supported with Nobler Objects; not so weak or Childish, to be uneasie in the want of Toys and Trifles; for so one may call all those Superfluities that are thought necessary to purchase E­steem and Respect in this vain world. God knows our True and Real Necessities, and never fails to furnish such as rely upon him; his Li­beral hand makes all Rich whom he blesses: Even in Poverty, when he gives us Grace to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, that one Blessing adds all the rest; and what can give us better Means and Opportunity for that, then Poverty? For by cuting off all Excess, it makes us Wise, Moderate, and Sober; it brings us to Thinking and Consideration, &c. And then concludes in Humilation and Thankfulness, which God will do us the Honour to accept, and that Crowns all.

But such Advantages are rarely found in Riches, 'tis possible with God sometimes to make 'em Blessings; but with Men 'tis impossible, es­pecially to those that seeks and desires 'em. But compare 'em both together in their worst Capacity, Riches does more mischief than Poverty; and 'tis only for the Love of Riches when Poverty does any mischief at all. So that I perfectly agree with you in your thoughts of Poverty, which I prefer much before Riches, both in their best and worst use And after Death, pray tell me what has the Rich to boast of more than the Poor? For Alexander seeing Diogenes tumbling among dead Bones, ask'd him what he sought? To whom the other answer'd, that which I cannot find, the difference between the Rich and the Poor. I am,

Your, &c.

LETTER III.

Of the (Athenian) Itch.

Madam,

I Might inform you how studious I have been from my Youth, and how curious to know more than's Reveal'd: But when I read what mighty things some men promise themselves, and what braggings and boastings when they have discover'd any thing; it makes me conclude, that God will never give a Blessing to such a violent pursuit after Knowledge, that will not keep within its bounds: Even Cutting for the Stone in the Kidneys, was once practic'd with good success, but is now, and ever since Gallen's [Page 26] Time, lost and forgotten; and the same thing we may say of other Curious Discoveries. But as fruitless as our Curiosity is, 'tis now become a general Distemper. For Dr. Wilde See his Poem on the New Parlia­ment. says, ‘We all are seiz'd with the Athenian Itch.’ And in the Book call'd, The Visions of the Soul, P. 118. you have these words, ‘Mr. Dunton, and Mr. Smith, the Coffee-man, desire to know, whether there be any Cure for the Athenian Itch. I quote this Passage and Book, to shew there is such a Distemper (tho 'twas never mention'd by any Physitian.) Athenian Mer­cury, Vol. 1. Numb. 1. All Ages (as if Athens had been the Original) have been Curieus in their Enquiries; Curiosity it self is so much a part of Nature, that 'tis seldom laid aside till the whole Frame is dis­solv'd: Yet some few recover; (of which I'm one Instance); for my Living Incognito has quite cur'd my Athenian Itch.

I mean that vain desire of knowing more then's reveal'd, which Saint Paul blames in the Athenians of old.)—Thou bringest Acts. 16. V. 20, 21, 22. certain strange things to our Ears, (said these Athenians to Paul,). We wou'd know therefore what these things mean.—These Athenians spent their Time in nothing else but in vain Disquisitions.—Paul seeing this, stood up in the midst of Mars-hill, and said, Ye Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too Superstitious, &c. I need say little to prove I'm cur'd of this Itch; my forsaking London, and all Company, plainly shews it.—Or if I was ne'er so curious, where cou'd I be Resolv'd? If now I'd be asking Questions, it must be of Solitary Groves, of speechless Birds, and a Poor Landlady, that scarce knows her Right Hand from her Left.—But it matters not; for when Athens had done an­swering Questions, there was a stop put to my Curiosity, and my Cell has so finish'd my Cure, that I now Itch after Nothing: I am well contented with knowing no more (relating either to this World, or the next) but what I can learn from—The Ho­ly Bible,—The Port Royal,—and your Ingenious Letters. And seeing these limit my Curiosity, I may boldly write—

Of the Athenian Itch.—

The Athenian Itch is a catching Distemper; it is not only in one or two Houses, but it spreads every where. And 'tis observ­ed, that as the bodily. Itch chiefly lies in the hands, (and there­fore we usually say, our fingers itch to do such a thing) so the A­thenian Itch chiefly affects the Ear; and 'tis no small Misfortune [Page 27] that this Mental Itch shou'd lie more in the Ears than in any o­ther part of the Body.—For the Ears are the Doors of the Soul; without these we were but Artificial Creatures, Men only in shew: Hence we know, we discourse, we believe, we learn to speak to God, and hear God speak to us; without these we cou'd not speak, nor know, nor understand. In a word, by these (un­der God) we are what we are—Then e'nt it pity such use­ful Organs shou'd be defil'd with the Athenian Distemper? But so, it is, and I scarce know a Man but has itching Ears: I was pester'd with this Itch for 5 years my self, (witness the Athenian Mercury, which continued for that time); but being cured, I wou'd do my best to cure others, more especially those Nice Querists that my Athe­nian Mercury has any ways infected. But I undertake the Cure of these Men with small hopes of Success; for tho with common things Men are little affected, (while Moses doth only what the Magicians can, he is slighted), yet Men are taken with something that is not ordinary. All Samaria will run out to see a Man can tell them all that ever they did; and I doubt whether the Apostles drew not more after their Miracles, than their Do­ctrine; when they begin to heal, and cast out Devils once, Simon Magus will be one too: But this Athenian Itch is Destructive to Soul and Body; when Adam wou'd better his knowledge, he lost his dwelling in Paradise; and when those Builders of Babel wou'd mend their Dwelling they lost their knowledg. The Itch of finding the Philosophers Stone, or of being great, or pointed at, how many hath it undone? For my share, I will never more care to be, or to know that which I know shall repent me: What Honour is it to Iames the Second that he was once King? or to me (in my Private Cell) that I ha' once been Some-body? 'Tis clear that in some Cases, and some things, a Man may know too much. It is not good to be prying into the Privy Councels of God, St. Austin being asked what God did before he made the World, Answered, He was making a Hell for such Curious Inquirers.—Thus dealt Demaratus with a Curious and Importunate Fellow that had oftentimes asked of him, Who was the honestest man in Sparta? He that resembleth thee least, quoth he unto him.—The Answer also of an Egyptian was not unsitly made to one that sk'd him, What he carryed there folded? It is wrapt up (quoth he) because thou shouldest not know what it is? A vain Curiosity is hateful and greatly to be blamed in every one.—The Example of Socrates is very memorable, and to be imitated, who being demanded, What the World was? Answered, That since be had any Judgment, he gave himself to seek out the True Know­ledge [Page 28] of Himself, which yet he cou'd never find—But so soon as he had attained thereunto, then he wou'd seek for other things that wou'd do him no Service or Pleasure.—And Aristotle burn'd with such a desire of Curiosity, in understanding the Causes of Natural Things, that because he cou'd not know and conceive the Cause and Nature of the Flowing and Ebbing of the Sea, flung himself into it. And I liny the Elder, whilst he was over­curious in searching out the Cause of the Burning Aetna, was burned therein—

There are others also no less hurtful, who have been such Curious Inquisitors of the Causes of all Natural Things, that through frivolous and unprofitable Questions, they have fallen into that Impiety, as to seek for another beginning of all things than God; whereupon this Proverb arose—Of Three Physicians, one Atheist.

Neither are they less to be blamed, who hearken and enquire so curiously after other mens Faults and Imperfections. This Cariosi­ty (says Plutarch) is commonly joyned wich Envy and Evil-speak­ing, and is by that Excellent Philosopher compared to Adultery, which may be called a Curious Enquiry after another Bodies pleasure. If there be any One Imperfection in a Stock or Kindred; if a­ny Infamy, Fault, Error, or Evil Government in a House, it is the Delight of Curious Folks to learn that throughly, that they may sport themselves, and tell long Stories of them; by that means using their Memory for a Loathsome Register of other Mens Vices; and yet neither see or know any Fault of their own. And therefore Diogenes beholding one of his Scholars in a publick place, talking very earnestly with a Young Man that was thought to be Le [...]d, demanded what Talk they had? To whom the Scho­lar answered, That the other rehearsed unto him a Notable Trick of Youth, which his Brother had played the Night before. Then Diogenes said to them both, My will and pleasure is, that each of you have 40 Stripes with a Whip, within the Amphitheatre; thou (quoth he to his Scholar) for giving Ear unto him, and he for the Folly related; because a Philosopher deserves as much for hearkening to Folly recited, as doth the Vagabond that rehearseth it.—And certainly to shun all Curious Enquiry into others Imperfections, is the way more diligently to look into our own; but this is little consider'd; for as fatal as a Vain Curiosity has prov'd to Several, (as you'll hear anon).

Yet still methinks we fain wou'd be
Catching at the Forbidden Tree;
We wou'd be like the Deity.—Cowley.

There's nothing the Nature of Man is more desirous of, than Knowledge; he pursues it to a Fault, and will fly even to Hell it self to advance it.—I doubt whether some mens over­boldness with the hidden things of God, have not made them an accursed thing to them; and pressing before their Time, or Leave, into the Holy of Holies, have barr'd themselves from ever coming thither at all. 'Tis true, God Almighty cou'd send one frow the Dead, to reveal to us those things we are so Curious to Know: But from God's Power, to argue 'tis his Will, is no good Logick in the School of Heaven: He does what e'r he pleases both in Heaven above, and in the Earth below; and what he pleases to reveal to us, we know; and what he has not so reveal'd, are Se­crets lock'd up in his own Eternal Counsel, which 'tis a bold and pre­sumptuous Curiosity for any Creature to Enquire into.—There is no doubt but he can make as many Worlds as there are Stars in Hea­ven, if it pleases him; but that he has done so, he has not yet re­veal'd, nor is it therefore our Duty to enquire.—Why shou'd we call for Light, where God will have none, and make Windows into Heaven? I will admire God in Himself, and be content to know him no farther than in his Word. Where this Light leaves me, I will leave enquiring, and boast of my Igno­rance. To be wise unto Sobriety, is an Excellent Rule, prescribed us by the Apostle; and the Reason (says (a) Mr. Tur­ner) ‘is obvious enough to any Man of com­petent In his Hi­story of Pro­vidence. Sense and Brains; For Adam, by an affe­ctation of Knowing more than was necessary, came to know more than was comfortable; and an insatiate Desire of Wisdom (adds this Author) is certainly a Symptom of the hereditary Disease derived to us from him.’

The First of Men from hence deriv'd his Fall,
He sought for Secrets, and found Death withal.
Secrets are unfit Objects for our Eyes,
They blind, us in beholding; he that tries.
To handle water, the more hard he strains,
And gripes his Hand, the Less his Hand retains.
[Page 30] That Mind that's troubled with the pleasing Itch,
Of knowing Secrets, having flown a pitch
Beyond it self, the higher it ascends,
And strives to know, the Less it apprehends. [...]

God hath set us bounds to all our Disquisitions, and if we do not keep within compass, we forfeit our Faculties, and expose our selves to all the Dangers; that are out of ken; whatever we do let us do prudently, and have a Regard to some good end: For whatsoever is more than this, is more than is Needful, Safe, or Ho­nourable.—Surely no Man will doubt this, that observes what Divine Iudgments have faln upon some that wou'd ha' known more then they shou'd; I cou'd heap up Instances of this Nature, but shall only Relate the Judgments that befell the Curiosity of an Offi­cer, that came to Mr. Perreauds▪ house.—Dr. Dee.—Mr. Kelly.—Iohn Faustus,—and a young man in London.

I begin with the Officer—who was a Papist belonging to a Court of Justice.—This Man came out of Curiosity to Mr. Perreauds House, and hearing that the Devil fore-told future things there, and some Secrets, he wou'd needs Question him about many Matters; but Mr. Perreaud desired him to forbear, Representing to him both the Sin and the Danger of it: The Lawyer rejected his Counsel with Scorn, bidding him Teach his own Flock, and let him have the Government of himself; and so proceeded to pro­pound several Questions to the Devil, as about absent Friends, Pri­vate Business, News, and State Affairs; unto all which the Devil answered him; and then added, Now, Sir, I have told you all that you have desired of me, I must tell you next what you de­manded not, That at this very time, you are propounding these Questions to the Devil, such a Man, (whom he Named) is Debauching your Wife; and then he further disovered many secret and foul Practi­ces of the Lawyer. Neither was this all; for in conclusion, the Devil told him, Now, Sir, let me correct you for being so bold as to Question with the Devil; you shou'd have taken the Ministers safe Counsel.—Then upon a sudden the whole Company saw the Lawyer drawn by the Arm into the midst of the Room, where the Devil whirled him about, and gave him many Turns, with great swiftness, touching the ground only with his Toe, and then threw him down upon the Floor with great vi­olence; and being taken up, and carry'd to his house, he lay sick and distracted a long Ses the Nar­rative of the De­vil of Mascon. time.

[Page 31] The Curiosity of Dr. Dee was also severely punish'd, This man was an Excellent Scholar, and Mathematician, of the University of Oxford; he was desirous of a great deal of Knowledge; (which was commendable enough) but making it his Prayer to God to make him wiser than the rest of Mankind, he was, by the Divine Judgment, given over to strong Delusions, and sadly impos'd up­on by the Apparition of Evil Spirits, under the disguise of good Angels, who promis'd to help him to the Philosophers Stone; but never left him till they had drein'd him of what Wealth he had; so that he died very poor, and every way miserable. AllMen (adds my Author) may take warning by this Example, how they put themselves out of the protection of Almighty God, either by unlawful Wishes, or by seeking to Devils, Witches, Conjurers, Astrologers, Fortune-tellers, and Dr. M. Casaubon's Relat. of Dr. Dee's A­ctions with Spirits. Pr. the like.—

I shou'd next relate the Judgment that fell upon Edward Kelly, for prying too far. Secret things belong to God; and there­fore (said one of the Fathers) where the Scripture has not a mouth to speak, we shou'd not have an Ear to hear; but this Curious Wretch forgetting this, Consults with the Devil; he'd rather go to Hell for Knowledge, than be ignorant of any thing.

But see the Event of this Vain-Curiosity; for (Dr. Casaubon tells us, that) clambering over a Wall in his own house, in Prague, (which bears his Name to this day) he fell down from the Battle­ments, broke his Legs, and so bruised his Body, that he dyed in a few days.—

Then again there was Iohn Faustus must needs study the Black-Art, that he might Know more than others; and that he might ne'er be puzled with Nice Questions, 'tis said, he led about with him an Evil Spirit, in the likeness of a Dog, to consult with, as occasion offer'd. But for all his Familiar Devil, Divine Vengeance followed his Curiosity; for coming into an Inn in the Dukedome of Wittenburg, he sat very sad, and when his host de­manded the cause thereof, he answered, that he wou'd not have him affrighted, if he heard a Noise, and shaking of the house that Night; which hapned according to his own Prediction; for in the Morning he was found dead by his bed-side, with his Neck wrung behind him, and the house where he lay beaten down VVanly, Hist. Man. to the ground.

[Page 32] Neither must I forget to mention the Bold Curiosity of that Young Man Mr. Baxter mentions.—There is (saith Mr. Baxter) now in London, a Youth, the Son of a very Godly Con­forming Minister, who reading a Book of that Art called Conjura­tion, coming to the Words and Actions which that Book said wou'd cause the Devil to appear, was presently desirous to see him. He came (saith he) to me in Terror, having before open­ed his Case to a Parish Minister, and affirmed to me that the De­vil had appeared to him, and solicited him with a Knife to cut his Throat; and told him he must do it suddenly, for he wou'd stay no longer. Mr. Baxter told him how safe he was, if he re­pented (of his Vain Curiosity), but never heard of him more.—

[...] might enlarge, but here be Instances enough to check our Vain Curiosity, and to shew how ill those Men succeed, that to be cured of the Athenian Itch, go to the Devil for Brimstone.—Sure I am, to give way to Vain Curiosities, will disquiet our Minds, but will never amend 'em.—Yet we have a wicked Custom in London, of Gentlemens studying the Controversies for Ornament, not taking them to Heart, nor handling them with that Reve­rence they ought; but Nice Points have never been my study: I ne'er put my Sickle into the Divines Harvest, but leave Disputations to those whom God hath marked for his Ministry: Or, suppose (which was never known) I shou'd Itch but Once to try how plea­sing Sin wou'd be, yet at Adam's Price I shou'd buy this Painted Apple, and thereby lose that Paradice of Innocence, and sweet Se­renity of Mind which before I enjoy'd; and therefore, that I may check this Curious Temper in others, as well as my self, when ever I meet with those that are too inquisitive, I never answer One of their Questions; for I have observed, that your Open Ears are Open Mouth'd, and they that are craving to hear, are apt to tell.

The Ambassadors of the King of Persia were at Athens invited to a Feast, whereat also Plutarch's Morals, p. 506. were present divers Philosophers, who to im­prove the Conversation, discoursed of many things both for and against; amongst whom was Zeno, who be­ing observed to to sit Silent all the while, the Ambassadors pleasantly demanded what they should say of him to the King their Master: Nothing (said he) farther than this, That you saw at Athens an Old Man who knew how to hold his Tongue.—And Metellus, the Roman General, being once asked by a Young Centurion, what Design he had now in hand? He told him, That if [Page 33] he thought his own Shirt was privy to any part of his Counsel, he wou'd immediately pluck it off, and burn it.—That I may imitate these Grave Examples, I never desire to know much of another Man's Estate, nor impart much of my own.—Never any Man repented him of (being satisfied with plain Truths, and of) saying nothing.—

Then Sabina, weary not your self with Scruples, and Empty Ni­ceties in Divinity, but leave them to the Learned Dens; for I have shewn, (in the Instance of Dr. Dee and others) that these would not be Ignorant of God's Secrets; as if it were a matter of nothing to be sav'd, unless we also know what God will have un­known.—For my own share, I think that sufficient which God hath thought enough for me to know▪ and do only seek to know what is just necessary to salvation, what that is, is couch't in a few words; Eccl. 12. v. 13. Fear God, and keep his Commandments, is the whole Du y of Man; and there­fore King Iames was much in the right, when he told us, Dis­putations were the Scab of the Church: 'Tis Practical Divinity that must bring us to Heaven. When Dr. S—h and Dr. S—k have vented, and banded all their subti [...]ty, each against other, many Pious Men will judge it no other than a Witty Scold­ing.—

As Curious as our Wits are, which of 'em can tell me what my Soul is (except in Terms more dark than those by which I know it already) and how it acts in a separate State? Where's the Divine can unriddle the Doctrine o [...] the Trinity, Resurre­ction and Incarnation of the Son of God? He that is Just in his Dealings, and practices those plain Truths delivered by a Dod or a Preston, lives as if he out-knew our greatest Disputants.—The Iews proceeding this way, infinitely taketh me who as often as they fell upon any difficult place in Scripture, wou'd say,—We know that Elias will come, and tell us all things. But Dr. Brown has a better way of Resolving Doubts, and therefore I make his Religio Medici my Pocket-Companion.—The Phy­sick he prescribes for the Athenian Itch, is a certain Cure, and which shews him a good Christian, (tho Physician to Charles 2.) he does not make the way to Heaven more difficult than it really is. But when I meet with Doubts, that neither he, nor the Divine, can decide I have recourse to this sure Decider of all Differen­ces,—Dominus Dixit,—and that makes me easie; for my Cell has cur'd my Vain Curiosity, and I am satisfied with a Plain Trath.

[Page 34] But these Busie Wits that Itch to propound Acute Questions, are fitly compared to the Sun in March, who then exhales Hu­mours, but dissolves them not. Were their Positions only frivo­lous, they were more tolerable; but they commonly end in hor­rid Blasphemy.—Laurentius Valla hearing a Cardinal dis­pute sublimely of God. and his Subordinate Spirits, said to his. Companion, And I could produce too, such Keen Arguments against my Christ; but I spare so Great a Majesty.—And some of late years, whose Curiosity and Wit has not led to such Blasphemy, yet have been so Fool-hardy, as to presume to be more of the Cabinet Counsel of God Almighty, than the Angels themselves (by whose Ministry, some say, he created the World). These have pointed at the precise Time of the World's Dissolution; others have been so curious as to find out the Antient Place of Paradice, (there was lately a Book publisht on that Subject) and what sort of Fruit that was which Eve gave to her Husband. But these Cu­rious Observations, like our small Watches, not one in an hundred goes true. And how shou'd they? for Man's proper place is the Earth; if he's raised up into the Air, he's disordered; in the Water he drowns, in the Fire he burns; the Spirit's place is the Body, which soaring above the Matter, afflicts and destroys it self.—When a Soul shall proceed in Matters of Religion by Politick Ways, and suffer it self to be pleased with Curiosi­ty, which incessantly moveth it to draw the Curtain of Holy My­steries, to see what passes in Heaven; such Spirits are Weak and Ignorant, since they fail in the first Rule of VVisdom, which dis­covereth to us, that it is an absolute Folly to be desirous to mea­sure things Divine by the Rule of Sence and Humane Experi­ence.—The Wit and Mind of Man, if it worketh upon Matter (which is the Contemplation of the Creatures of God) it worketh according to the Stuff, and is limited thereby: but if it worketh upon it self, as the Spider worketh upon his Web, then it is endless, and brings forth indeed Gobwebs of Learn­ing, admirable for the fineness of the Thread, but of no sub­stance nor profit.—Oh, Athenian Itch, to what daring Height does thy Disease carry Men! But, Uain Curiose, (with Sabina's leave) a word in thy Ear:

Like Prometheus, filch no Sacred Fire,
Lest Eagles gripe thee; let thy proud desire
Suit with thy Fortunes. Curious Minds that shall
Mount up with Phaeton, shall have Phaeton's Fall.

[Page 35] He that knows enough for Practice, and yet spends his time in search after more Knowledge; 'tis a labour and search like unto his, who not contented with a known and safe Ford, will pre­sume to pass over the greatest River, in all parts, where he is ig­norant of the depths; for so doth the one lose his Life, and the other his Understanding; even as that man, who not contenting himself with the abundant Light of the Sun-Beams, but seeking with his Eyes to pierce through the Brightness thereof, even un­to the midst of the Circle of the Body, must questionless become blind; so falleth it out for the most part to those who go about too curiously to enquire after that which is not lawful to be known. We behold the Sun, and enjoy its Light as long as we look to­wards it but tenderly and circumspectly;—We warm our selves safely whilst we stand near the Fire, but if we seek to out­face the one, or enter into the other, we forthwith become blind or burnt.

——So odorous Flowèrs,
Being held too near the Censor of our Sense,
Render not pure, nor so sincere their Powers,
As being held a little distance thence.—

In a word, 'tis ill dancing for Nimble Wits on the Precipices of Dangerous Doctrines; for tho they escape by their Agility, o­thers (encouraged by their Examples) may be brought to destru­ction.—

To leave the Curiosity of our Town Wits and Conjurers, (those Iu­nior Devils, that wear the Impostor's Badge) I'le next visit the Philosopher; and his Curiosity is such, that he has no sooner read a Leaf in Seneca. but he'd be a Privy Counsellor to the Stars, a Member of the Athenian Society, a Resolver of all Questions. And now, Physicks and Metaphysicks, have at ye. Oh, how he loves to search into the Secrets of Nature! But which of 'em all can tell me the Longitude at Sea, or the Reason of the Flux and Reflux of that unquiet Element?—'Tis true, Cowley tells us, Philosophers are so very curious, that

Nature's great Works no distance can obscure,
No smallness her near Objects can secure;
They've taught the Curious Sight to press
Into th [...] privatest Recess
Of her Interceptable Littleness;
[Page 36] They've learn'd to read her smallest Hand,
And have begun her deepest sense to understand.

Fye! fie! Cowley! Why do you bauter these Philosophers thus? For you're very sensible the more they know, the more Ignorant they know they are.—But now I think on't, Dissimulation is State Policy, and Poets set out themselves as Aristotle did his Books, not to be understood at first sight.—You must own, Mr. Cowley (tho you flat er these Virtuoso's) that even Dioge­nes, Crates, peer'd not far into the Secrets of Nature, and that our Modern Philosophers, such as Discartes, Legrand, &c. knew as little as they. Nay, there's the Royal Society (tho compos'd of the best, and most Knowing Men in the World) can't tell us why the Loadstone always turns to the North? Why a Lyon trembles at the sight of a Cock? Even the great Basil was puzled about the Body of a little Pismire. No, Madam, as Curious as the Philosophers are, they have not yet attained a perfect Understanding of the smallest Flow­er, See my Essay on knowing our friends in Heaven, p. 34. and why the Grass should rather be Green than Red? They'll affirm, That an Ague is Witchcraft, that Air is but Water rarified, that there's another World of Men and Creatures, with Cities and Towns in the Moon; That the Sun is lost; for it is but a Cleft in the Lower Heavens, through which the Light of the Highest shines.—Oh senseless Curiosity for Men to waste their Time in such i [...]lle Dreams: Or cou'd these Magi prove what they say, yet still they Live in the Dark; For what is all they know (by their most curious Searches) compar'd with what they know not?—They have, perhaps, Artificial Cunning, but how many Curiosi­ties be framed by the least Creatures in Nature, unto which the Industry of the most Curious Virtuoso's doth not attain? But I'le leave 'em in a fond Pursuit of they know not what.

And next, step to the Chymist, to see how modest I shall find him.—Modest! he's more curious than the former, and to as little purpose.—He hath already melted many a fair Man­nor, in Crucibles, and turn'd them into Smoak, and all to cure the Itch in his working Brain; he has near ruin'd himself and Family, yet grows more Curious at every new disappointment; he can't rest with the Wit he has so dearly bought.—No!—he will make Nature asham'd of her long Sleep; when Art, who is but a Step Dame, shall do more th [...] she, in her best Love to Mankind ever could. Oh brave Chymist! Well, sure Self-con­ceitedness [Page 37] is the Sin in Fashion: 'tis a hard matter not to think well of our selves: For He, (yes He!) can extract the Souls of all things by his Art, call all the Vertues and Miracles of the Sun into a Temperate Furnace, teach Dull Nature what her own Forces are.—He's sure there i [...] the Rich Peru,—the Gol­den Mines,—Great Solomon's Ophir.—But Solomon was sailing to it Three Years, yet he'll reach it in Three Months, ay, in Three Days; for he'll ne'er sleep till he has this Art of An­gels, this Divine Secret (the Philosophers Stone); for he thinks it Tradition, comes not from Men, but Spirits. What a Mess of Vain Curiosity, (I might add) of utter Impossibility, i [...] this?. But no more than Ev'ry Chymia in London pretends to.—Yet surely to Alchimy this Right is due,—that it may be com­pared to the Husbandman, whereof Aesop makes the Fable, that when he died, told unto his Sons, that he had left unto them Gold buried under Ground in his Vineyard; and they digged all the Ground, and Gold they found none; but by reason of digging and stirring the Mold about the Ro [...]ts of their Vines, they had a good Vintage the Year following: So assuredly the search and stir to make Gold, hath brought to light a great num­ber of good and useful Experiments, if Men cou'd be contented with 'em; but they are not; but wou'd still know more, that's their Sin: And it still finds 'em out, as is evident by the Pu­nishment they always have in being disappointed of that Pearl they sold all they had to purchase.—Oh, Egregious Folly! for Men to spend their Moneys in such Idle Disquisitions. But some Men think nothing out of their Reach. I shall instance in those that built, or would have built, the Tower of Babel, whose Top might reach to Heaven: It is not likely they could be so simple, as to think really they should reach to Heaven by it; they might think they should be s [...]me what nearer perchance; and however, get a name among men in after Ages, that they that built such a Tower, were somewhat above men. But confusion was their reward.

And as to the Art of flying, I have no reason to be against it, if discoverable by humane industry; I have reap'd the pleasures of it in my dreams more then once; and I thought no pleasure comparable to it, though but in a dream. Yet I doubt it may have somewhat of the Babylonish presumption in the eyes of God; and that such high curiosities are so far from being useful, that they may be dangerous.—

Madam, I might go on in quest after Longitude, Diving Engines, the Perpetual Motion, and all Projectors, by what Name or Title soever dignifi'd or distinguish'd, but their Number's endless; so I'le search [Page 38] no longer, nor spend any more Time in such Vain Speculations, les [...] unawares I shou'd be guilty of that Vain Curiosity, which my Cell has cured; and that I ha'been all this while reprehending. Not but amongst the vast Numbers of Projectors, some of their Maggots have taken, yet I do say, the only valuable Projection that ever I met with, was that of the Penny-Post, invented by that Worthy and Ingenious Citizen Mr. Dockwra; and this I own, is of that use to the City of London, that he ought to be had in Everlasting Remembrance.

Thus have I briefly open'd the Nature of the Athenian Itch, (an Itch much worse than that of the Body) and prescri­bed the best Physick I know to cure it; and by the Blessing of God it may prove effectual. The only Men I dispair to cure, are the Poor Chymists, and the London-Projectors; and these will reap no benefit by these Prescriptions; but if they'll forsake their Idle Whimseys for Two Days, and come to my Private Cell; (yes, Gentlemen, a Private Cell; for 'twas my Cure) I'le direct 'em to something (a strong Gibbet, or a place in Bedlam) that may abate their Distemper; but a thorough Cure can't be expected; for their Athenian Itch is different from others; and is so much a part of their Souls, that 'tis odds if it does not follow 'em to the other World. Or if there be a possibility of their Cure on Earth, it must be by never leaving my Cell when they come to it, or by proving to 'em there's nothing New; f [...]r whilst they think there is, they'll be itching after it.—However, it has been a Blessing to me. But (to end with Cowley):

Whilst this hard Truth I teach, methinks I see
The Monster London, laugh at me.
'I shou'd at thee too, Foolish City,
'If it were fit to laugh at Misery;
'But thy Estate I pity!
'Let but the wicked Men from out thee go,
'And all the Fools that crow'd thee so;
'Even thou who dost thy Millions boast,
'A Village less than Islington will grow;
'A Solitude almost.

Madam—you see, be my Subject what it will, my Letters still, begin and end with my Private Cell; and indeed I'm so charm'd with Solitude, that I shall ne'er think my self Private enough till I'm said in my Grave, and covered with that Tomb-stone I've design'd for it, and shall describe hereafter. Besides, I came hi­ther to learn—The Art of Living Incognito; and can I come [Page 39] to Perfection (in this Art) without making a daily progress, and catching at ev'ry thing that may forward me in it? By this you see how much I am,

Your most Obedient Friend, and very Humble Servant, JOHN DUNTON.

The LADY's Answer to my Third LETTER.

SIR,

'TIS very wellcome News to hear you have got so much good by your Living Incognito, as the Cure of such a Dangerous and Epidemical Disease. 'Twas a very proper Means you chose to seek your Cure in Retirement. We carry in our Natures the Cause of our Disease, and all we meet with in the World, serves to inflame it; for many things are the Cause of much Evil, but Pride is the cause of all, with which human nature is sufficiently furnish'd to produce Cu­riosity in Women, no less than Men; but because Beauty is the Perfection of Women, and gives 'em that Charming, Proud Title of the Fair Sex, their tkoughts are generally employ'd to maintain that Glory, with perpetual Recourse to Art, where Nature fails 'em. This is the ordininary Effect of Pride in Women, but a vain Curiosity very often carries 'em beyond the proper Glorys of their own Sex, they can undergo all the Fatigues of a strong robust Body in Military Employ­ments, and any Masculine Exercises, meerly for the pleasure of send­ing Fame to her Trumpet, and making them the Subject of Dis­course: But when they apply to Learning, 'tis purely the Pride of Curiosity inspires 'em; [...]or of what use is it to 'em, when they have i [...]? They charge themselves with an unnecessary Burthen they ought to be asham'd of, according to the Port Royal. But this shews they can think two thoughts, but not three: They think 'tis good to know what that Learning is Men make such boast of, and value themselves so much upon, and that the way must be by entering into such Studies as may inform 'em, and there they stop; for their thoughts reach not so [Page 40] far as the Consequence: They le [...] that shi [...] or it self; whatever it is. It can [...]'t fail to make 'em talk'd on, and that's enough

But Pride works Curiosity, as Naturally in Men, and with more advantage, because all Human Knowledge leads to it, and is support­ed by it: for more Studies are undertaken upon account of Curio­sity, than or the usefulness of Knowledge, as appears in their deep search for Notions [...]nd Speculations, so New and Wbimsical, which are every day brought [...]o Ligh [...], with design to strike all the World with [...] of the [...]r great [...]bilities; and so it does, for som [...] admire 'em as Men of great Parts; and others aamire how Pride and Curiosity could find the way to ma [...]e such Fools of 'em. Religion re­ceives no better usage from these Men of deep and curious Learning; they make it all Human Knowledge, and know no other use of it, but to distinguish 'em from the more illiterate and Heathenish part of the Wor [...]d, or to shew their Part, in Controversie against a [...]l Opinions in Re­ligion, but their own. Nay, so [...]e are so kind as to make us a New Model of Religion, so plain and easie, there needs no Controversie at all about it. But this is to have Religion in the Head, not in the Heart; for there Humility lays the first Foundation: Knowledge puffeth up, but Charity edifieth, and teacheth us Humility: we are never right till then. Religion is not Knowledge, but Experience, the greatest Abaser of high thoughts. They mistake themselves that think by any Discourses, never so Acute, to inspire us with Religion; they may as well pretend to teach us, to hear, taste, or see. No: we shall all be taught of God, if we keep to his Order, and humbly submit to the Laws he has set us; his ways of teaching are Infinite, like him­self. 'Tis he that teaches us in the Example of Doctor Dee, There's no reaching to Heaven by a Ladder of Pride, and that the deepest and most refined Human Learning brings us not to the true Knowledge of God, as he seem'd to insinuate in his Preface to Euclide: I pity him, and hope God found another way to teach him, then what he chose for himself when Transported with so great a Love to Know­ledge.

The other Three were great Examples of Apostacy, and also those that seek to such to know their Fortunes, or use Charms, may be esteem'd so in a lower degree, because they do it with more ignorance and simplicity; it being a depraved and wicked Custom the World connives at, one can't imagin why. But the Constancy of the Poor Chy­mist's is much to be pity'd, who make themselves Martyrs to their own Conceitedness: We are taught Moderation by their example; for 'tis either excess of Riches, or excess of Glory, they pursue; and are no­bly rewarded with excess of Poverty, and Contempt.

[Page 41] These are all dreadful Effects of that unhappy Disease, the Curio­sity of our first Parents contracted and Transmitted to all their Posterity. If living Incognito, has taken away the Cause or the Ef­fect, you have Reason to rejoyce in your own Happiness, and charitably to recommend it to others.

But tho Curiosity was never my Discease, as is seen in the Picture I make of my Self, (and which perhaps I may send you here­after) I have had many of another sort; I can reckon up Seven: But by Living Incognito, they are much lessen'd if not quite c [...]ed. I am willing to take your charitable Example, discovering the Nature of the Diseases and their Remedies, which I can give you more at large if you know any Persons they may be useful to.

I had a quality of repenting of every thing I did that answer'd not my Expectation; but now I find to be happy, one must repent of no­thing but sin.

I was troubled with an Importunate desire, of having all the Useless [...]nd Impertinent things that are thought necessary for our comfort and [...]upport in this Life; but now I know there's nothing can support and [...]omfort us, or is worth desiring but Gods Favour.

I us'd to have recourse in all my Disappointments to vain hopes; [...]nd when one design fell, I raised another, and still prop'd 'em up with [...]pe; which in the end I found so deceitful, I now renounce 'em all, [...]d hope for nothing but Heaven.

I have been often Transported with Ioy at what happen'd to my [...]lf and Friends, supposing it for our good; when the event has proved [...]ite contrary: This has shew'd me how weak our [...]ight and Judg­ [...]ents are; and to be sure to be in the right, is to rejoyce in nothing but [...]ods Glory.

I was much carried to the Love of Pleasure, tho it never gave me [...]ue Satisfaction; I never found the Pleasure I proposed so certain as [...]e pains that went to procuring it; so that I found it surest to take [...]leasure in nothing but the good success of ones Labour.

I have had very busie thoughts, and been much taken up, with study­ [...]g ways of exalting my self, and making a considerable figure in [...]e World, and now find by Experience they only are truly Conside­ [...]able, that study nothing but the good of others.

My want of Courage has Subjected me to many vain fears, which [...]ade me uneasie, but prevented no mischiefs; But I perceive a deceitful [...]eart the Source of all Evils, that now I fear nothing but my own [...]eceitful heart: Thus you see what is got by Living Incognito, 'tis there one finds both Health and Pleasure. I am,

Your, &c

LETTER IV.

Proving—There is nothing New under the Sun.

Madam,

SInce you honour me so much to permit me to entertain you weekly, (or oftner) with Accounts of what Progress I make in—The Art of Living Incognito.—I shall be so free as to tell ye, I suppose you expect that part of this Art shou'd be disco­veries of something New.—For Nature is so much pleased with diversity (as it seems a kind of Novelty,) that she hath imprinted a desire of it in all things here below. This I prov­ed in my Essay on the Athenian Itch, which will never be quite cured till Men are possess'd There is nothing New; for whilst there is, they'l be Itching after it. Then seeing I told your La­dyship that my Art of Living Incognito wou'd consist of a Thousand uncommon (which looks as if my meaning was NEW Subjects); for fear you shou'd apprehend me in that sence, 'tis time now, that I tell ye that by Uncommon, I did not mean NEW, but only Subjects that were Curious, or very rarely handled.—No Madam, it had been a great Presumption in me to have pretended to any thing New, when Solomon tells us.—

There is nothing NEW under the Sun.
Eccl. 1. 9.

And Dr. Winter adds, Nor in the Moon neither, (a Picture of this Mutable World) of whose encrease, tho we have every Year NEW Ones a full dozen, Yet all is but the Old One over and over. Even that which we call the New Year, is no more than the old one run out, and turn'd up again like an hour glass to run out, the same Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Months and Days, as before.

The Sun returneth every morning to the same place he came from, with like form, and self-same substance—The Days and Nights pass by course, and ever continue of like Essence.—The Fields are every year deek'd with the same Flowers, like [Page] pleasant Herbs, and the very same Accidents yearly. Nothing is the Object of our Senses, but what is ordinary and familiar: We see nothing strange and New: what we do to day, that we do to morrow, and every day. What Men call a Discovery is a meer Banter upon our Understanding: For my Lord Bacon in his Book of Aphorisms proves, that which we call New and Up­start, to be the truest Antiquity.—And the Sage Common-wealth of the Lycians heretofore ordained, That all those who should propose any Novelty in matter of Law, should deliver it in publick with an Halter about their Necks, to the end, that if their Propositions were not found to be good and profitable, the Authors thereof should be strangled in the place.—The Anti­ents held it ominous to pretend to any New Form, even of Mat­ters of Indifferency. When Darius had altered the Fashion of his Sword, which used to be Persian, into the form of Macedoni­an, (in the year immediately before the fought with Alexander) the Chaldees, or South-sayers, prophesied, That into what Fashion Darius had altered his Sword, so Time wou'd reduce his State; and that the Persian Glory was drawing unto her last Period, by subjecting her self unto the Soveraign of Macedon: Which Pre­diction was soon confirm'd by the next years Conquest.—And as the Ancients held it ominous to pretend to any New Form, so 'tis as clear in the Instance I gave in the Sun, Moon, &c. and other parts of the Creation. That Thnigs here below seem NEW to many; and are so miscall'd; which in themselves are Old, and known so, to sounder Judgments.

'Tis true Mr. T——tells us (in his Treatise of Pre­existence) that Philosophy it self had never been improved, had it not been for NEW Opinions. Nay, the very Mob (since the War with France) are turn'd Athenians too, and you can scarce meet a Porter in the Street, but he'll question ye,—What NEWS? And some take as much pleasure to spread (what they call) News, as others do to hear it. R. B. in his book of Extraordinary Adventures, tells us of a Barber, who kept Shop at the end of the Suburbs, call'd, Pyreum in Athens, he had no sooner heard of the great discomfiture of the Athenians in Sici­ly, from a certain Slave fled from thence out of the Field, but lea­ving his Shop at six and sevens, he ran directly into the City to carry the Tydings fresh and new,

For fear some other might the Honour win,
And he too late, or second shou'd come in.

Now upon reporting these unwellcome Tydings, there was a great stir within the City; the People assembled to the Market [Page 44] Place, search was made for the Author of this Rumor. Hereupon the Barber was haled before the Body of the People, and being examined hereof, he knew not so much as the Name of the Par­ty from whom he had heard the News: Upon which, the whole Assembly were so moved to Anger, that they cryed, Away with the Villain, set the Rascal upon the Rack; have him to the Wheel, who had devised this Story of his own fingers ends.—The Wheel of Torture was brought, and the Barber was tormented upon it. In the mean while, there came certain News of that Defeat, and thereupon the Assembly broke up, leaving the Barber racked out at length upon the Wheel, till it was late in the Evening, at which time he was let loose; yet was no sooner at liberty, but he must enquire. News of the Executioner, what he had heard abroad of the General Nicias, and in what manner he was slain.—

So that Men have such a hankering after Novelties, that they'd e­ven die to see something New; and this Itch after News, is be­come as General as 'tis Fallacious.—The Poor Taylor, that works in a Carret, can scarce forbear leaving his Goose, to run to a Coffee-house, to ask if the Pope be recovered? A con­stant Companion to this House, going in all haste for a Mid­wife, or to save the Life of a Friend was dying, must call in, and drink at least two Dishes of Coffee, and smoak his Pipe, that he may know how the World goes abroad, let it go how it will at home.—Oh what precious Time do the London Coffee-houses de­vour? and therefore, 'tis Dr. Wilde tells us,

News and New Things do the whole World bewitch.

But, by your leave Dr. you may be mistaken; for all are not born, or live in Athens, tho, (to their shame) most are sick of the Athenian Dise [...]se, in a desire to hear and seek News; which they never find: For, Doctor, I shall prove anon, there is no such thing; neither do they reflect upon what they hear; for they seek only News, for News sake, and make it their business to go to the Wits By Covent-Garden C ffee-house, to Dicks, to Ionathan's to Bridge's, to Ioe's, to Smith's, to pick up News, and then to report it to the next they meet, and to be sure it loses nothing by carrying.—But there are some that were never tainted with this Athenian Itch.—I have heard my Father often say, he never was at a Coffee-house in his whole Life. But he's the only Instance of that kind that I ever knew; yet I cant think him a New Instance; for doubtless there be Men of the same Principle. There be no Hu­mane [Page] Actions that we see now a days, but what have been pra­ctised in times past: Yet I must own, that before the War, the Coffee-house was a place whither people only came, after Toping all day, to purchase at the expence of their last Penny, the Re­pute of Sober Companions (for Coffee is a Sober Liquor); but now they are the Congress of Rome, Venice, Spain, Geneva, Amsterdam, and are flockt to by all, as the Mint of Intelligence.

Hither the Idle Vulgar come and go,
Carrying a Thousand Rumors to and fro;
With stale Reports some list'ning Ea s do fill;
Some coyn fresh Tales, in words that vary still;
Lies mixt with Truth, all in the Telling grows,
And each Relator adds to what he knows.
All Acts of Heav'n and Earth it boldly views,
And thro the spacious World enquires for NEWS.

The Coffee-house (where News is so much enquir'd for) is no better than a Nursery for training up the smaller Fry of Virtuosi, in confident tatling. But en't it strange that any shou'd be so mad as to run from Coffee house to Coffee-house, to pick up News, when in reality there is no such thing? For what has the Name of News, which (like the Athenians of old) they so Itch after, is no other (as my Poem shews) than newly augmented Lyes; Relations so [...]nd diversly, as the Air of Affection carries them, and sometimes in a whole Volley of News, we shall not find one true Report; and therefore 'twas the Advice of a Father to his Son, Let the greatest part of the News thou hearest, be the least part of what thou believest, lest the greatest part of what thou believest, be the least part of what is true: And where Lies are admitted for News, the Father of Lies will not easily be excluded.—Perhaps what they miscall News, may have some Ground of Truth for its beginning; but being tost from one to another, it is buried and lost in the multitude of New Additi­ons, and there's nothing we can warrant for Pure News.——

But then you'll object, Those Additions are New. No: Ma­dam, Terrence tells ye the contrary, by saying, Nihil est jam Di­ctum quod non Dictum sit Prius: Nothing is spoken now, but what has been said in former times: And that Philosopher Renaudots tells us—our very thoughts, tho they be innumerable yet if they were Registered, would be all found ancient.—Thento what pur­pose do we hunt for News? Tis'true those Papers that pretend to News, tell us sometimes of a Kings being beheaded (and what is King [Page 46] Iames's Abdication, but a Parallel Case?)—of an Earl's Cutting his own Throat, and then flinging the Razor out of the Win­dow;—of the penitent Death of some great Lord;—of a Bloody Fight;—of a Lover hanging himself;—of a Virgin Ravisht;—of a Wise Alderman;—and now and then of a Woman C—ding her Husband, &c. But these (tho Real Truths) are no New Things, but what we have seen over and over.—Not but I must own, if there were a New Thing un­der the Sun, the Author of the Flying Post wou'd find it out: But he's an honest Gentleman, and writes nothing but Truth; and Truth is always the same; and if his Papers be always the same, what News can there be in them?—Or say, his Pa­pers were all Invention (which comes neare [...]l to News, of any thing that is not so) yet still they were void of News; for Invention is nothing else (for the most part) but a Simple Imitation in Deeds or Words.—So that the Flying Post,—Post-Man—and Post-Boy, do Weekly labour in vain; for all their Pre­tence to News, is no better than an Old Design, to enrich the Bookseller, which I don't tell as a Piece of News; but as a thing acknowledg'd by ev'ry Hawker.——But tho we are disappoint­ed of News where we most expect it, yet whoever is troubled with Impertinent Fancies, or wou'd hear ridiculous Storie, [...]e need but step to the Coffee-house, and here the several Humors of the pretended News-mongers, is worth Remark.

One begins ye the Story of a Sea-Fight; and tho he never was so far as Wapping, yet having Pyrated the Names of Ships and Cap­tains, he tells you Wonders; that he waded up to the middle in Blood on the Quarter-Deck, and never thought Serenade to his Mistress so charming as the Bullets Whistling; how he stopt a Man of War of the Enemies, under full Sail, till she was boarded with his Single Arm, instead of Grapling Irons; and then concludes with railing at the Conduct of some Great Officers (which he never heard of till last Week) and protests, had they taken his Ad­vice, not a Soul had 'scap'd 'em.

He has no sooner done, but another begins Remarks—upon the London Gazette;—and here he nick-names the Spanish—Towns, &c. and enquires, whether Madrid and Barcelona be Turks or Saracens?—Stilo Novo; he interprets some Warlike En­gin invented by the Duke of Savoy to confound Catinat;—and for Hungary, &c- he believes it to be a place where people are ready to starve.—Neither is any thing more common than to see one of these News Hunters spend half an hour in searching the Map for Counterscarp, and Brigadeer,—not [Page 47] doubting but to find them there, as well as Venice, Rome and Am­sterdam, &c.

Another relates t'ye all the Counsels of the French Court; the German Diet, the Roman Conclave; and those of Portugal, Spain and China, are as well known to him as his right hand; and this Gibberish is list'ned to with as great attention as Orpheus's Beasts did to his charming Musick.—

Then a Fourth stands up, and (he pretending to be a Travel­ler) tells the Company, That in his late Voyage to Ophir (tho no body knows where 'tis) the Master of his Vessel, fill'd his Ship; with 300 Tun of Gold, in one night—This tickles the Audi­tors! so on he goes to tell 'em, that from thence he went to the Iubilee, from whence, (after Kissing the Pope's Toe) he went to Venice, to see the Carnival; and here he met with the Har­lot Tom-Coryat Tom-Coryat gives a Pleasant Character of her in his Book, he entitles Crudities. marry'd, lay with her one Night, and Swares he thinks her a very demure peice of Impudence.—Being weary of Italy, (Perhaps) he tells us in the next Place he Travel'd to the Indies, (I have a Brother there, I hope he did not meet him) where he view'd the Chambers of the Rising Sun, learnt the number of his Horses, and their several Names—His Eyes being not yet satisfi­ed, he Rambles next to Persia where he shook Hands with the Great Mogul, Prester Iohn, and lay 3 Nights with the King of Bantam—From thence (being resolv'd to out-Ramble Drake) he took Shipping for the Holy Land, but that being now over­grown with Superstition, he staid there but two Nights, and then Embark'd for New England, where he fairly kiss'd an Indian Queen (a mighty matter! and so did I in the year 86) and din'd with 200 Sachems. At length As is hinted in my American Rambles, which I'll Publish when I return for London. being quite tyr'd he Embarqu'd for England, but took Tartary in his way home, where he got a Hair from the Great Chams Beard, and to Convince ye, Gentlemen all, this is no Lye, here 'tis.

The Traveller having told 'em all that he saw (and a great deal more,) an Old Beef Eater falls to rubbing their Itching Ears. He pre­tends to discover all the Secrets of the Cabinet Counsel; He knows all the affairs of White-Hall to a Cows-Thumb, and (which is a thing I never minded) which Lady is Painted, and which not

Before his Discourse is ended, perhaps comes in a Fresh News-Hunter—Begins, Gentlemen have you heard any thing of a [Page 48] strange Whale now at Greenwich? Have any of ye seen the Great [...]zar of Muscovy, who they say is Landed Incognito? Or which of ye have seen the Second Sampson that carrys 20 Hundred weight on his Shoulders, out draws all the Horses in Town, and will Snap a sunder a Cable Rope as if 'twere Sewing-Thread? If these Queries are slighted, his next words are—What do ye think Gentlemen of the New Design (or an Act of Parliament) to make Usurers Charitable, and Misses forsake their Gallants?

By this time an Old-Toast that had been fast asleep with his Hat over his Face (For there's (a) always some shame in being Burden'd with an useless Knowledge) Moral Essays Vol. 2. p. 178. a wakes, and having 500 Inventions dancing in his Noddle, resolves he won't be out-lyed, so tells 'em their News is nothing to his—He has an Advice-Boat on the Stocks that shall go to Riga and come back again in Three Hours. A Trick to march under Water, by which hee'll Sink all the French Fleet as it lies at Anchor, and which (Gentlemen) is beyond this, I've just now found a way to catch Sun Beams for making the Ladys New Fashion'd Towers, that Poets may no more be Damn'd for telling Lyes about their Curles and Tresses.

Thus (Madam) you see there is nothing New at the Coffee-House (and I shall prove anon, nor any where else) and what stuff that is which they tell for N [...]ws. Men come to Coffee-houses purely to vent their strange and wild Conceits, and an Opinion how Foolish or fond soever, here receives Entertainment. You'll believe this, when I tell your Ladyship that in the time of Mon­mouths Invasion, I stept to a Coffee-House, where I found several ask­ing for News? Gentlemen, said I, I can tell you what's very Sur­prising:—Come, let's have it, said one:—Nay, tell it, said another.—Why, 'tis this, The West is strangely Victori­ous, and I am told but an hour ago,—The Duke of Monmouth is to be made Prince George. Oh strange! said one 'Tis no more than I expected, said another. Nay, said a third, I did not doubt but he'd be our Deliverer.—And, to add to the Jest, 'tis no New Thing to the West Countreymen, to say, the Duke of Monmouth is yet alive. One wou'd ha' thought this Report, That the Duke of Monmouth was to be made Prince George, had been News; for tho Dr. Burnet tells us of In his Travels to Italy, p. 246. Two Nuns being changed into Men; yet I ne­ver before heard of one Man's being trans­form'd to another: Tho had it been true, it had been no News; for I doubt not but those skill'd in Natural [Page 49] History can give Instances of it. But this was a Fable, and the Mo­ral to it is this.

That there is no News, nor New Thing, and that the News we so Itch after, is nothing but Satan's Policy to abuse our Ears in hearing, our Tongues in speaking, and our Hearts in believing Lies, to disable us from discerning the Truth.—So much for News in Prose; and King Iames the First said, he'd never believe any News in Verse, since the hear­ing See his Apo­thegms, p. 14. of a Ballad made of the Bp. of Spala­ta, touching his being a Martyr, &c.

But perhaps you'll say, Tho the Coffee house, Weekly Papers, and Mens Humors, have nothing New, yet search further, and you'll find Novelties.—What think ye of the Athenian Mercury? Was n't that a New Project? Was n't a Pre­tence to Answer all Nice Questions, and Cases of Conscience, (yet so as the Querist might never be known) a New Attempt? Was it e­ver practic'd in England, Holland, France, Germany, &c.) till you set it a Foot under the Title of the Athenian Mercury? If not, 'twas a New Project, and (being yours) will ye disown a Brat of your own begetting?—

To this I answer,—Tho the Athenian Society had their first Meeting in my Brain, and the First Athenian Mercury was Partly my own Composure, yet I en't so vain as to think the Athenian Mercury was a New Project. 'Tis true, the answering any Reason­able Question, which shou'd be propos'd, was a thing of such a Na­ture as all the Ingenious appear'd highly pleas'd with; nor has the Esteem and Success it met in the world, given me much Reason to repent of this Undertaking; for 'twas a Whim that pleas'd the Ladies (who honour'd it with several Poems), and was continued to Twenty Volumes: but is far from being a New Project; for don't we read some thing like it in the Queen of She­bah, who 1 Kings c. 10. v. 1, 3. hearing of the Fame of Solomon, came to prove him with hard Questions; and her Questions, however Nice and Curious, (to use the Phrase in my Athenian Title) were all told her by Solomon; Neither was there any thing hid from the King, which he told her not.—And as I took the Subject from the Queen of Shebah, so I took the Title from the Old Athenians St. Paul speaks of, who spent Acts 17. 21. their time in nothing else, but in asking of Questions, and reporting what they thought was New.—And if Arts and Inventions flourisht at A­thens, whilst they were unknown in England, yet you see (in that One Instance of the Athenian Mercury) they were afterwards to [Page 50] appear in their Time, yea, the Mysteries of Salvation were always—in Intellectu Divino ('tis an Affront to English it to a Lady of your Sense) which made our Saviour say—That A­braham had seen him. And this is the Sense wherein it is true—

There is nothing New under the Sun.——

Then en't it odd, that the Athenians (being Men of Learning) shou'd tax. St. Paul for being a setter forth of strange Acts 17. v. 18, 19. Gods, and a Broacher of New Doctrine; when Solomon, who was many Hundred Years before St. Paul, pronounces of his own Times, That there was not then, nor shou'd ever be, any New Thing? How much more then is it true in our Time, being so many years after him?—Thus have I proved there is Nothing New. Or (Madam) if ye think I han't, I might further consi­der the Formae Substantialis, as Renaudots calls 'em, and we shall find there is not One of that sort New, not only in its Species, but even in its Individual Qualities, which indeed appear New to our Senses, but yet are not so for all that: as the Shape of a Marble Statue was in the Stone, not only in possibility, but also in Act, before the Graver made it appear to our Eyes, by taking away that which was superfluous, and hindered us from seeing it. 'Tis a saying, there is but One Good Wife in the World, and ev'ry Man enjoys her (or, in other words, if he that's marry'd cou'd see ano­ther Good Wife besides his own, he'd see something wou'd be thought New) but it is not because it is so, but because it seems so; other Wives, as good, or better than ours, never coming to our Knowledge.—Much less likely is it that New Diseases shou'd be produced, as some have believed, imagining that the Ancients were not Curious enough to describe all those of their Times, or their Successors diligent enough to examine their Wri­tings, to find them there. That Diseases, some Hundred years ago, were the very same as they are now, is evident in that One Distemper the French Pox,—which tho charged to Monsieur's Account, as a New Disease of his own begetting, yet 'tis easily proved, by Sennerius, and other Authors, that 'twas found at Naples many hundred years before 'twas call'd the French Disease; and I cou'd as easily prove it had not its Rise at Naples, but was frequent in other Places, before it was heard of there.—So that (as I said before) many things appear New which are not so, if we look into 'em.—Thus Printing, and Guns, which we believe were invented within these 200 years, are found to have [Page 51] been in use among the Chineses above a Thousand Years ago.—A like Instance we have in the London-Lotteries (and that establi­shed by Act of Parliament) which some will tell ye were never heard of till the English Wits set 'em on foot; tho 'tis not a month since I heard an Italian say, these Lotteries were practis'd in Ue­nice many years before they were mention'd in London.

And so again for the Penny-Post: some assert 'twas a New In­vention of W—s, when he never once dream't of such a thing, till that Ingenious and Industrious Citizen Mr.—Dockwra, As I hinted in my last Letter. had first propos'd it to the World: and I shall ever think the Citizens of London owe him a signal Mark of their Favour, for the Service he has done to them and their Childrens Children, on that account: For my own part, whenever the present Chamberlain Dies, had I a Thousand Hands he shou'd have 'em all for his Advancement to that Honour, and that out of a sence of the Great Service he has done, (even we, as a Member of that City) in bringing the Penny-Post to Per­fection.—But yet (Madam) to keep to my Text, I don't think the Penny-Post is a New Project. For what can the Man do that cometh after the King, but that which hath been alrea­dy done? And I don't doubt but the Penny-Post is practic'd in some far Country, but I must own (to Mr. Dockwra's Honour) I cou'd never learn when nor where.

Finding nothing New amongst the Men, I'le next Visit the Ladys, for they Love to be gaz'd upon, and for that Reason, if there's any­thing-New to be sure they have it, but if you'l believe a Poet,—

—They've nothing New (not scarce their Faces,)
Every Woman is the same.—

Tho' I'm the softest Creature in Nature, yet am I bad Compa­ny for Ladys, for they'll sit a whole day in talking of nothing but the Newest-Fashions, (and how much they're admired by this Bean and t'other Bea [...])—How can I ha' patience to hear this, when I'm positive there's nothing New. And when they ask me when I saw any New Play, I bluntly tell 'em, There's [...] such thing; For you know Madam (and so wou'd they, if they [...]d look into Old Authors) that D—n stole from Shakespear, and Shakespear from Ben-Iohnson, and they all so steal from one another, that there's no Wit in any Play, but what we had 50 Years ago—But tho' there's nothing New in Play [...], yet one wou'd think there were Something-New in [...]a ys Dresses, (they dress in such a Towering manner) but if you Examine their Wardrobe, you'l find what [Page 52] they call New-Fashions, are but Old Fashions revived, for Fashion brought in Silks and Velvets at one Time, and Fashion brought in Russets and Grays at another.—Fashion brought in d [...]ep Ruffes and Shallow-Ruffs, Thick Ruffs and Thin Ruffs, Double-Ruffs and no Ruffs. Fashion brought in the Tunick and Vest, the Broad kneed Breeches, the Narrow brim'd Hat, the Shoulder knot, the Top knot, &c. But these are so far from being N [...]w, that they are Fashions that have been several times out and in, and in and out, and so will succeed each other (per­haps) to the End of Time.—This we see verified in the Vardingale; for Fashion brought in the Vardingale and carri­ed out the Vardingale, and hath again reviv'd the Vardingale from Death, and placed it behind, like a Rudder or Stern, to the body; in some so big, that the Vessel is scarce able to bear it.—So much as the wearing of Top-knots, which is thought to be a New-Fashion, was practic'd of old; this Monumental Pride, or High-Building of Head-Gear is not of a New Invention, as Men take it to be, but of an old Edition; for Iuvenal in his Sixth Satyr, makes mention of them.—Tot premit ordinibus, &c.

Such Rows of Curls press'd on each other lie,
She builds her Head so many stories high,
That look on her before, and you wou'd swear
Hectors Tall-Wife Andromache, she were;
Behind a Pigmey, so that not her Waste,
But Head seems in the middle to be plac'd:

And as Top-knots are an Old Fashion, so is Womens wearing the Breeches, (as much as 'tis wonder'd at) a custom as old as the fall of Man, 'tis no new thing to see Women Fight, and Rave, and to forget Obedience to their tender Husbands; not but there was a Time in England when Men wore the Breeches, and debarr'd Women of that gadding Liberty which they now take; but Eve got the Start of Adam in sinning, and ever since for a Woman to wear the Breeches is no new thing. If you won't believe it on my words, read Mr. Turners History of Providence, and there you'll find (in Chap. 51.) ‘That the first Man Adam, the Righte­ous Lot, the Faithful Abraham, the Meek Moses, the strong Samp­son, the Wise Solomon, the Zealous Peter, the Philosopher Socrates, the Orator Cicero, were all either over-reached or over-power'd with Wo­men.—So that 'tis no New-thing for Women to wear the Bree­chees. And tho one wou'd think it a New Thing, 'tis none, to find some of the Fair Sex First at making of Love; or (as you [Page 53] express In your Re­marks on my Con versation in Ire land, p. 514. it, taking upon 'em the part that once belong'd to Men. Neither are She-Wi [...]s any New Thing. I know one can Resolve the Nicest Points in Divinity (you must pardon me if I mean your Ladyship) another that understands and teaches Algebra, (and is a Young Midwife into the Bargain) a Third that under­stands Latin—and a Fourth, called Phi­lomela, ‘who has taken the Name See the Pre­face to my Wi [...]e's Fu­neral Sermon. of the Nightingale, and her Notes are as sweet as the Voice of that is Musical:’ And for the Dear D—ne (that's dead and gone) she was an Angel dre [...] in Flesh and Blood; yet she stoop'd so low as to honour me with a constant Friendship; and I may say her Witty Letters were the only thing that kept me alive in Ireland. But She Wits Flourish't in former Ages as well as now. So that I visit the Ladies to as little purpose as I do the Men, for there's nothing new in Petticoats, and I think (Madam) 'tis as clear as the Sun, There's nothing New under it. And since I believ'd this, I've laid aside my Grand Ramble, for to what purpose shou'd I Travel, when the whole World has nothing to shew me, can be calld New. And you have heard this was Solomon's opinion, who was one of the Wisest of meer Men; and well hath he said. There is nothing New under the Sun, because (as Dr. Winter observes) Things Subject to Mutation are every Minute growing old: Until at last they be no more. The State of Glory and Blest Eternity is above the Brightness of the Sun. But the Starry Heavens come far short of it; They wax old as doth Psal. 102. 26. 2 Pet. 3. 10. a Garment, and they shall pass away.—There is indeed a Day of Renovation coming; When he who of old made out of nothing all New things in the World; shall out of a ruin'd old World, worse than nothing, make Rev. 21. 5. all things New. But this will be a work above the Sun: And till then, There is nothing New. Yet we see nothing pleases the deluded World but the Name and thought of Novelties.—The Devil and his Vile Instruments cry up their deluding Trash for New, as Women do their Oysters, when as they stink of Age. Custom is a Great Matter.—New-England, New-York, and New-Market, (which has been built this Hundred Year) is like to be so call'd to the Worlds end.—Cunning Salesmen give a sudden Turn to an old Coat, and then sell it for a New Garment, and thus we are trick'd out of our Money. Thus old forsaken Errors are become new cryed up [Page 54] Lights; and the Quakers thee and thou, and way of Cheating by selling Goods—at a word—is no more then we find in the Gnostici and Carpocratists, and the Enthusiasts of former Ages.—Impostors are no New thing. Theudas the Sorcerer made himself a Second Moses; neither is it any New thing for these false Prophets to lead Silly-Women Captive.—Montanas who call'd himself the Holy Ghost, had two such the Angels; Priscilla and Maximilla; and so dearly did they Love, that he and Madam Maximilla both hang'd themselves. Or if we look amongst the Iacobites, (we shall still despair of any thing New,) for 'tis no new-thing for Men to pack Iuries to serve a Turn, to deliver up Char­ters, to fell their Country, to Murmur after a Great Delive­rance, or to refuse taking the Oaths till a good Deanery Greases the Passage.—All this is no New-thing, Diverse Hundred of Years since, The Christian Governour of the Castle of Turk Histo. Abydus, was himself and Castle betrayed into the hands of the Turks by his own Daughter; and an Hundred and Forty Years before that, Aleppo, the strongest City of the Christians in those parts, was betrayed to the Turk by the Governour.—To swear and forswear, and to play at fast and loose with a Crown (as a late Author observes) is no New-thing. Neither is it any new thing for Men to Cheat, Slander, Duel, Whore; and to pick a Poc­ket under the Gallows, is a Custom as old as Tyburn.—Neither is it a New thing to see a Man accuse himself (for a Guilty Conscience e'nt easy without it,) or for Men of a mean Birth to grow Proud, if they grow Rich, and to forget their Duty both to God and Man. This is but Shakespear, and Ben Iohnson brought again upon the Stage: And now I talk of Poets, I may venture to say 'tis no new thing to see Poets Starve.—(Oldham cou'd scarce pay for his Garret and a Sundays Dinner,) and for the Famous Butler (as I hinted in my Second Letter,) he was kept so Poor, that he was fore't to dye and be interr'd on Tick—But 'tis no new-thing to see Poets build Castles, in the Air; and I'm sure 'tis no new thing to see a Chimist * As is hinted in my last Letter. spend his Estate in searching after the Philosophers Stone.—

And lastly, to see Men of Piety and Sence slighted, and Fools and Idle Persons regarded, is no New Thing—For Merits and good Service to be starv'd in the Poor, for high Crimes to be Pardoned and Dignified in the Rich; and in a word, for plain­hearted Men neither to be Patiently heard, nor at all believ'd, [Page 55] is no New Thing—Madam shall I stop here? For you see the further I search, the less hopes I have of finding any Thing New?

But perhaps you'll say—Here's a long Harangue to prove there is nothing New, when at the same time your retreat from London disproves all ye ha▪ said—Surely this is a New Thing; that I. D.—shou'd leave a House surrounded with 3 Gardens, (Gardens, the things he so much delights in) a Flourishing Trade, a Re­ligious Wife (and one that he doats upon) a rich Mother in Law, tender Relations, and abundance of Loving Friends for no o'her end then to live in a Poor Cell to learn the Art of Living Incognito.—Madam, this is neither new nor strange; han't I prov'd in my first Letter, that by retreating, thus, I do but follow the exam­ple of several great Men?—But that which makes me the most in Love with Living Incognito, is your own Example; for (in your Answer to my first Letter), you say you know and taste it to the full, and that 'tis a Life you ha' courted e're since ye were at your own dispose.

When you consider this, you'll own my leaving of London for a poor Cell is no new thing; nor a jot, to be wondered at—But still you'l be ready to say, tho▪ there's nothing New in this pri­vate adventure, yet surely 'tis a New thing for a Bookseller to turn Author!—To this I answer, My Raven As was for­merly hinted in the Athenian Mercury. is gone to Roost, and I write purely for my own di­version, so can't properly be call'd an Author, the word being generally taken in a Mercenary Sence and therefore don't wonder to find your Ladyship so angry with me at my offering to make you a Present. Were Bishop such a one—and Dr. such a one, of your Noble Temper, you'd scarce find a Bookseller that was not an Alderman—However, let me write for what end I please, there's nothing New in my leaving the Counter to turn Author—han't we Bookseller-Authors glit­tering in the Term. Catalogue.—I cou'd name several.—As first there's D. N. he's not only a Great Casuist, but I'm told has been Author of several Books, amongst which—The Protestants Resolution, shewing his Reasons why he will not be a Pa­pist—is said to be one—and I wish your Ladiship had the Book, for I don't doubt but you'd like it so well as to give several Thousands away.

Not far from hence lives a Bookseller-Poet, (which is no Novelty neither, for there's Poet Larkin—Poet Kirkman, Poet Harris, and many other Bookselle-rPoet;) this Bard is a Poet Born—He's too Modest to, let me name him, but I've read his Poems, and [Page 56] (If I e'nt Partial to my Brother-Author;) wou'd he Print 'em, you'd think him Cowley reviv'd—But I don't wonder that an humble Man shou'd avoid Praise; but I do admire that I.-S-y; (that wou'd-be-Wit) never turn'd Author; for he had the most conceit, and the least Reason for it, of any Man I ever knew in my Life—And 'twou'd be no New Thing to hear Patrick-Campbell say as much of me for writing—The Dublin Scuffle, and my Essay on Knowing our Friends in Hea­ven. However some Men of Great Quality and Wit have given these Books the Reading, and 'tis no new Thing for an Author, whose Books sell, to Print on 'till he ruins the Bookseller, and therefore (Madam,) provide your self with a Hogs-Head of Ink, and a Million of Pens, for my Art of Living Incognito shall be continu'd to a Thousand Letters (as is hinted in my Dedioation to your La­diship) and by that time they are all Printed, I hope I shall have the Honour to see your Ladyship (if it be but half an Hour) to talk 'ore the Virtues of that Dear Friend who was the first occasion of our Correspondence—

And thus you see my turning Author is no more a Novelty then all the rest, and that there is nothing New, let us go East, West, North or South; and I'm sure you'l own 'tis no new Thing for me to be tedious, so I'll stop here, having satisfied my self there's nothing New; but I believe, not your Ladiship, for there's an Expres­sion in your Remarks on my Conversation in Ireland, that proves you of another Opinion. In p. 544 you say—Tis the Fate of No­velty to please or displease extreamly—And again in p. 525. you have this Expression—But the Novelty once over, there's an end of the Enjoyment—Which plainly intimates—you think there is something New; If that's your Opinion, I must ex­pect to be disprov'd in all I have said on this Subject; but 'till then, I shall retain my Opinion that the Art of living Incognito can't consist of anything New, and that if you expect Novelties, you'l be disappointed; so I shan't Apologize for entertaining ye with old Thoughts and old Expressions, for (I have proved) there is no­thing new under the Sun. If there be any thing New, 'tis Valeria; and she is or may be so if she prefers my Esteem to the World: But loving at this rate my self, I shall ever think that an Old Love that Flames not so high as mine; but except Valeria, there is nothing New; and as there's nothing new, I have in that proved my self to to be,

Your Old Friend and Servant, JOHN DUNTON.

The LADY's Answer to my Fourth LETTER.

SIR,

YOU do me a great Favour in giving me a right apprehension of what I must expect in those Thousand, not New but Uncom­mon Subjects you have chosen to write upon, and have taken some Pains to free me from the Vulgar Error of expecting new things, which Solomon Affirms the World can never shew, which yet Experience seems to contradict, and shall be my Business to reconcile, since you have given me that Libert; and I think may be done without much diffi­culty, if we consider, when Solomon says there's nothing new under the Sun, he meant it only with respect to the Sinful and deprav'd Tem­pers and Inclinations of Men, which would be always the same, producing the same Mischiefs and Calamities in the World; this Experience has a­bundantly confirm'd, for instance, the Fine Houses and Palaces every where Built, with such Magnificent Pride to make them­selves a Name, is but the same design that set to Work the Build­ers of Babel; nor do these find any New Success; the Fate of their Posterity, for all their great design, is the same with those of Ba­bel, to be scatter'd abroad upon the Face of the Earth.

And before that, when Men were distinguish'd and call'd the Sons of God, because they began to call on the Name of the Lord, yet when they saw the Daughters of the Men of the World that they were Fair, they took 'em Wives of all, whom they Chose, which provoked God, (foreseeing the wickedness it wou'd engage 'em in, and that the 'thoughts and Imaginations of their Hearts were only Evil continually) to bring a deluge upon the Earth to destroy 'em.

Now the same Corruption of Nature works in this Generation, they take those Women that please 'em, and have no more regard then those of old to any thing else; and one sees all the World over the sad and dreadful effects of the Evil Thoughts and Imaginations of their Hearts, which will improve continually, 'till the great Conslagration, unless God in his Wisdom have prepar'd some other Cure for 'em.

And now that we find all our Cities abound in Wickedness, we must not look for any new or strange cause of it; 'tis the same that caus'd the Sin of Sodom; Pride; fullness of Bread, and abundance of Idleness was in her and in her Daughters, says the Prophet Ezekiel, So we see there's nothing new in Sin, or the Fruits and Effects of it, nor any new Device for Building Happiness upon the weak and frail foundation [Page 58] of Corrupt Nature, which Solomon at that time was Essaying to do and upon the fullest Tryal that ever was or could be made, he pronounced, that all the Experience he had goten, served only to convince him that Happiness could never spring from Sinful Nature, which never did, nor ever could, produce any thing but Vanity and Vexation of Spirit.

But I see not how Solomon in saying there was nothing New un­der the Sun, could possibly extend it so far as to Arts and Sciences; for there were some Generations pass'd (as Scripture testifies) before there were Harps and Organs, or those that could handle 'em, or any that could work in Brass and Iron, 'till Lamech's two Wives brought him two Sons, who instructed in those Arts; and for the work of the Ta­ber nacle, God is said to inspire two Men with Wisdom, Understand­ing and Knowledge, to Devise cunning Works in Silver, and Gold, and Brass; those things must needs have been New that were never known 'till th [...]t Generation; and who could say there was no­thing new, with respect to Arts and Sciences with less reason then So­lomon, who sat himself upon a Throne of so new an Invention; the Scripture affirming there was none like it in any Kingdom: And that which is said to dispirit the Queen of Sheba, was the won­derful Novelty she observed in the Oeconomy of that Great and Wise King, who can't be thought, after all this, to deny that Arts and Sciences may be New, else what must become of the Founda­tion the Port Royal has laid, upon the supposit on of new Arts and Inventions, to p [...]ove the existence of God, and that the World is not Eternal? They say, and with great reason too, there are some Inventions so beneficial to the World, that 'tis impossible that being once known, they could ever be lost or laid aside, as the Invention of Printing, of the Sea Card, Guns and Mills, which for certain some Ages past the World was Ignorant of, and therefore must be the new I [...]ventions of later Ages; and by this they prove the World it self was New some Thousand years since; for had it been from Eternity, things so obvious and easie must needs have been found out long before; it binders not but that many things are thought New, only for having been so long dis­us'd that they are out of remembrance; and 'tis Happy for us, in some respect, because thereby it gives us all that can be call'd Pleasure in the whole Universe; for we see the defects of what we are throughly acquainted with, but we are pleasingly deluded with great Expectations from every thing that's New: and I am sorry you should ever give the World so just an occasion to quarrel with you for taking away their Soul, their Life, their all; yet if you can make good your promise, and present 'em with new Subjects, such as are curious and very rarely hand­led, you'll make 'em ample aménds; for a thing so much beyond [Page 59] their expectation will be esteem'd equal to a Novelty, and as to all those Projects and Inventions from which you have been so studi­ous to take off the dear reputation of new, that perhaps chiefly recom­mended them at first, but since found so necessary for the gratif [...]ing of their sinful and depraved Appetites, they are too considerable for you to blast, yet are they the Fruits and Effects of Sin, so nothing new accord­ing to Solomon; but many things not new to all, are so to those who are strangers to the World, and have but little experience, which i [...] my Case.

For Booksellers to turn Authors, is News to me, but no surprize; 'tis hard to think how they should forbear writing, having fill'd their Heads with so much reading; and of all Men they may best be allow'd to be Poets, which is the readiest vent for abundance of thoughts; so that, 'twere strange if Booksellers were not more learned then other Traders, for they have all the Utensils of Learning about them, living by Learning; though 'tis often seen, it's worth runs more into their Pockets then Heads; however 'tis certain, that Men of this Profession have greater opportunities then others for improving their Understand­ings in Languages, History, Divinity, &c.

The Book you mention, I should once have thought it great Chari­ty to disperse, but now I think there's little danger of the Papists making many Proselites any where; I expect that Church should lose every day and not gain.

But what can be said to your retirement from so many advanta­ges to a lonely Cell, living Incognito, in order to writing, purely for your own Diversion? If you have proved by many Examples 'tis no new thing, which should I grant you, I can't allow it not a Jot to be wonder'd at, for nothing can be more surprizing then such a sudden and unaccountable change, as from having your Head and Fancy running to the farthest part of the Earth, and your Eyes never satisfied with seeing, you should like a Moroco Mounted upon a Barb, give a sudden check to your Passionate Love to Rambleng, in its highest career, and confine your self to a lonely Cell: Sure Hope has represen [...]ed to your Fancy some excessive fine Prospect of learning the Art of Living Incognito, which must be New, for I believe you never was before under such an Inchantment; I'll go no farther, therefore, for an Instance then your Self, to find a proof of some­thing new, after all the Pains you take to prove the contrary, and yet the method you take to procure this mighty Happiness you expect, is to me more new and strange, that knowing as you do, how easy it is for an Authorwhose Book sells to write on till he ruins the Bookseller, you should lay such a Project of writing so many Letters, and chuse a Per­son to help you so proper for such a purpose of ruining the Bookseller, e­specially [Page 60] if I must bepaid too for doing mischief; which plainly shews you have some new and Ill design against the World. But I'll take no Pay for such Services, and this again is something new; so that there needs no more to convince you of your mistaking the sence of Solomon, I shall add no more, but conclude.

Your, &c.

LETTER V.

Being a Defence of Speedy Marrying after the Death of a good Wife.

Madam,

I Have now made so great a Progress in the Art of Living Incognito, as that I Live so now whether I will or no; not that I like it the better, that I must now do that for my Safety, which at first I design'd for my Pleasure; but this Neces­sity, added to my Natural Inclination to a Private Life, will have that good Ef­fect as to perfect me in the Art of Living Incognito; seeing 'tis likely Now to be my Daily Study to the End of my Life, But for what Reasons I Refer you to my Printed Case; and as Dismal as that is, seeing I Marryed a Second Time in hopes to be as happy as I was at first, the Subject of this Letter shall be

Defence of Speedy Marrying after the Death of a good Wife.

One wou'd think (Madam) my being Banish'd to a Private Cell shou'd raise in my Breast an Aversion to your Sex, (by Reason my Dear wou'd not prevent it) yet I see nothing can change my nature; for the Thoughts of the good Wife I lately Buryed, and that kind one, I yet hope to find in Valeria, fills me with an Ex­traordinary Opinion of Marriage, and truly (Madam) your Displeasure at this, has strangely Mis-lead your Friendship, if it makes you angry with me for being such a Loving-Creature.—Sure, Sabina, you were not in Earnest when (after the Death of my first Wife) you reflected on my design of speedy Marrying again—That Widdower only loved at first as he ought, who Marries again as soon as (decently) he can; 'tis a known Truth, those love their first Wives best, who Mar­ry soonest (there's a Remarkable instance of this now at Hackney) neither is it ra­tional to think they'd run Head-long into a State of Life, wherein they had been unfortunate; alas, Madam, a good Wife at first does but whet ones Appetite the more for another, and make; one e'en languish for a second part to the same Tune—A good Wife is but Woman in Body alone, and a Woman with a [Page 61] wise Soul is the fittest Companion for Man, otherwise God wou'd ha' given him a Friend rather than a Wife; but we find even in Paradice twon't good for Man to be alone, and that even then a she-Companion was the meetest helper. If Man in Innocency needed a Help, Solace, and Comfort, and Marriage was all these, how deficient were our (now miserable) Lives without it? For besides that it doubles Ioys and divides Griefs, it creates new and unthought-of Contenments. So that I admire Marriage is so unfashionable, and that you and others are so backwards to't, for it not only includes all the Sweets of Life, but he that hath a Wife which Loves him, hath two Selfs, and possesses all his Faculties double, his Hands, his Eyes, and Mind, he can at once leave Faithful at home, and carry Faithful abroad—Cato was so taken with Marriage, that he'd have no Widower live a month single; and he did not stick to maintain that it was more Honoura­ble to be a good Husband then a great Senator—Madam, when you're blaming of hasty Matches, you quite forget, that when Ieptha's Daughter Dyed, they mourned for that she Dyed a Maid; and the truth is, tho' we we find many Enemies to speedy Marriage, yet 'tis rare to find an Enemy to the use on't, and I don't wonder at this, for both Sexes made but Man at first, so that Marriage perfects Creation by restoring our lost Rib. Surely He, (I won't say she) was made Imperfect that is not tending to Propagation—Now all are concern'd here (even Sabina herself, if she's Flesh and Bloood) and consequently shou'd Mar­ry as soon as they can; for to have an honest Remedy at Hand, and yet to seek out forbidden Cures, is a Phrensy that deserves more then a Chain and a Dark Room. But tho' speedy Marriage be often a Duty, yet let generous minds beware in their haste of Marrying Poor, for tho' they care the least for Wealth, yet they'l be most gall'd with the want of it; for my own share, my Flesh is not over Malicious towards sweet meats, yet (shou'd I lose Valeria) I'd soon Marry again, for the defence of a good Custom, a great deal of Love, and a little Money—Nay, Madam, think what you please (of this speedy Marrying,) to something I must dedicate my self: for my Dear in her parting with me, seems to take away even the substance of my Soul along with her, and certainly I laid up my chief Treasure (whatever you may think of my Marrying so hastily) in the Frail and Sickly Life of that Tender Wife—But now shee's gone, I must not weep as one without hope; for she's as happy as Heaven can make her, and I as Earth can make me; if Valeria for my sake, and her own good, wou'd despise the World.—

These were the Reasons why I Marryed so soon after the Death of my first Wife, and made me think Time lost 'till I went about it; for (Madam) the Soul is framed of such an active Nature, that 'tis impossible, but it must assume some­thing to it self to delight in; we seldom find any without Peculiar Delight in some Peculiar thing; and mine consists in carressing a Vertuous Wife. But tho' something I must Like and Love, yet nothing so Violently as to undo my self with wanting it; yet will never love a Wife so little (shou'd I Marry 50) as that she shall not Command the All of an honest Man; and what wou'd they have more?—Confess, Sabina, shou'd not these considerations weigh down all the Formalities that a Customary Practice can possibly impose? Besides, Gather your Rose-Buds whilst you may, is an old Song, and Nature having denyed me Chil­dren (those tender Pledges of conjugal Love) it cou'd be no Crime in me to prevent the work of Time, and Marry as soon as I cou'd, for fear of Staying 'till Time were past——'Tis true, Children are the poorest way of Immortalizing as may be, and as Natural to a Beggar as a Prince: yet for all that, I shall be very Proud of getting an Heir to Sampsill (when 'tis consistent with doing Justice,) and of being a Father, tho 'twere but for one Day. Not that I'm in Post-haste; but if pure Love can make a Woman Kind, I hope (with Valeria's leave) to be happy a second time in a Marryed State, and can never be so in any other. But Valeria sure is [Page 62] Dead, (for I han't receiv'd a Line from her since we parted in Iewen-street) or were she not, had I all the World it shou'd be hers; for tho I'm treated with the greatest Indifference, methinks I can n'ere be kind enough to those I Love.—(But to digress no longer) So much I was pleas'd with my first Marriage, and so unlikely to forget that Dear Half that's Dead, that I may truly say all the time I lived without her I was as 'twere in a Dream; and I don't doubt, shou'd I Marry a third time, but I shall (as I did at first) find more Pleasure in Possession, than I now do in expecta­tion—Then can you blame my hasty Marrying, seeing when I Marryed, my own Venus was suppos'd (and so shee'l prove at length) all that's excellent in Woman kind; for what has the whole Sex more then in one alon [...] that is kind and loving? and so I'le think the Person I Marry, were she made of Adamant—Then Sabina, ac­knowledge your Errour in Censuring my hasty Marriage; You know▪not what—Charms there are in a Virtuous Spouse, what a Mine of pleasure, what sprightly Life and Vigor did Iris give to all my Thoughts, Looks and Actions, how many new satisfactions in every thing she did! How did I even live in her Dying Breath! If you doubt this, read her LIFE, and you'l find it so—Now (whilst I was a Widdower) thought I with my self, why might not some of these Vertues revive in a second Wife? how ever, Hit or Miss; Luck's all; and who'd not hastily venture for such a Prize, except (as some have thought) all Female Excellence is fled with Iris; and I shou'd think so too, were Valeria Dead, who has Charms enough, but her Bags hide 'em—

I might urge mo [...]e in defence of a hasty Marriage, as the Inclination of Black Men—the Benefit in a Wives going to Market, (for I never knew, nor cou'd Buy a Ioint of Meat)—The want of a Mistress to rule the Kitchin (for I ne're presume to direct there) to order about Tarts, Puddings, Wines and Kickshaws, and I had al­most forgot the Cream o'th' Iest, the pleasure of a warm Bedfellow; but I'le not en­large as not doubting but what's said [...] has fairly proved that every Wid­dowerought to Wed as soon as he can, and that my Marrying again (five Months after my Wife dyed) was no slight to her Memory: SLIGHT! no I assure your Ladyship, 'twas to fulfill her DYING REQUEST; 'twas the desire of my Dear her self, that after her Death I'd speedily Marry again (such regard had she to my future happiness) and I cou'd not deny such a Wife any thing, especially her last Request on her Death—Bed; that was utter'd with a tenderness that will n'ere be equal'd; to sl [...]ght this Request, wou'd be to forget h [...]r, which is the Crime you charge me wi [...]h, and of which you'l ever acquit me when you read the following EPITAPH (now Ingra [...]'d on the Tomb erected to her Dear Memory,) (viz.)

Here Lies all that was Mortal of ELIZABETH, first Wife of JOHN DUNTON, Citizen and Stationer of London, who departed this Life, May 28th, 1697.

Sacred Urn, with whom we Trust!
This Dear Pile of Sacred Dust;
Know thy Charge, and safely Guard,
'Till Death's Brazen Gate's Unbarr'd;
'Till the Angel bi [...]s it Rise,
And Remove to Paradise.
A Wife Obliging, Tender, Wise,
A Friend to comfort and Advise;
Vertue Mild as Zephirs Breath,
Piety which smil'd in Death;
Such a Wife and such a Friend,
All Lament and all Commend.
[Page 63] But with EATING CARES opprest,
He who knew and loved her best,
Who her LOYAL HEART did share,
He who reign'd unrival'd there,
And no Truce to Sighs will give,
'Till he Dye with her to Live.
I have de­sired in my Will to be Bu­ri [...]d in the same Grave.
Or if more we wou'd comprize,
The Name I call'd her, by before our Marriage.
Here int [...]rr'd Fair Iris lyes.

Thus (Madam) you see I'm so far from slighting the Memory of my Dear Iris (by my hasty Marrying) that to her very Ashes I keep a Body pure and Troth inviolable, and that Separation can have no place in our Union, which is too great to be exampled; and as I owe this respect to the Memory of my first Wife, so 'tis no more (when she proves as kind,) than I'll pay to this, or if possible, a greater Tenderness; for I ever thought he never lov'd who ever makes retreat.—Sabina are you yet reconcil'd to my HASTY MARRIAGE? If not, I must be forc'd to 'tell ye, that no other Amusement but Marriage cou'd ha' sav'd my Life, and you 'ent my Friend if you'd have me, dye when there were Reme­dies at hand!—Alas I no sooner thought of my Dear Departed (and I hardly thought of any thing else 'till I had a NEW Wife to divert the Melancholy,) but I e'en pind aw'ay; but (thought I) shou'd I get HER LIKENESS AGAIN, that then Iris wou'd live with me still, tho' but in Effigie; and such a RESEMBLANCE of her must save my Life, or nothing; truly Madam, 'twas thus with me, and I MUST BE SHACKLED AGAIN, OR DYE FOR'T—What the success has been, you'l see in my PRINTED CASE, but how happy I am yet to be, time must discover: However shou'd Wife, Mother, and all my Friends either continue or grow unkind, yet I have this comfort left, that by A SELF-ABNEGATION, and dis-sociation from the World, I shall be United to Him, who is so much above all I ever had, or the World can give, as he is all I can wish to have; and certainly he only is the DIVINE HERMIT, who by not loving the World, leaves it whilst he lives in it; excluding himself as well from the S [...]n, as the Society of Men, and by Acting thus, he CONQUERS BY RETREATING, and thereby shews he is not altogether beholding to Solitude for the Glory of his Vertue—I have only to add, That your speedy Answer, will be Impatiently desired by,

Your Obedient Friend, and very Humble Servant, JOHN DUNTON.

The LADY's Answer to my Fifth Letter.

SIR,

I AM very sorry so Unhappy a Necessity should come to take from you the Glory of Constancy; for I am perswaded you would have perfected your Art of Living Incognito, without Constraint, and shew'd your self as constant to what you first chose for your Pleasure, and the Improvement of your Thoughts, as you [Page 64] do now to Marriage, in your defence of it, after all the Ill Treatment you have so lately received from it, which, as you well observe, might have created an A­version to the whole Sex, in a Man of a Less Loving Temper: but you still dream of finding out some way of making Valeria a Kind and Loving Wife.

Small hopes, 'tis true, attends your mighty Care;
But of all Passions, Love does last dispair.

And indeed I should be very defective in my Friendship, were I resolv'd to blame your Loving Temper since 'tis that alone enables you to bear your Misfortunes with any Tolerable Fase, hoping still to Charm Valeria with your Love, and at last rival the Bags I wish it may ever do you so much good. I confess what I observe in those Loving Tempers, can never bring me to Ambition such a happiness as they possess with all their Injoyments, in a World so full of changes and uncertainties, and in one of the frailest things in the World, a Woman, so Compos'd of Vanity and Incon­stancy. Yet notwithstanding I must own (what will partly Iustifie your Extraor­dinary Opinion of Marriage); That Friendship never is in that Perfection as between Man and Wife; and that a Woman with a Wise Soul, is the fittest Companion for a Man: Nay if there be but one WISE SOUL between 'em, so it be but known to 'em which it is that has it, 'tis well enough; the very Union makes 'em happy, and useful to each other. CALO was much in the right to say, It was more Honourable to be a Good Husband than a Great Senator? For 'tis always better to be Good than Great; but was not so extreamly rig't in not allow­wing A MONTHS TIME for single Liberty. The Man that can obtain the Repu­tation of a good Husband in such an Age as this, is worthy of double honour; for he must have a strange Art of Conduct, not only for the Governing his Wife, but of what ever Governs her; and 'tis twenty to one he gets the Reputation of an ill Husband for his pains, rather than a good one, let him deal never so gently, unless the vertue lie in some Measure on the Womans side, of chearfully submiting to his Government; therefore by Cato's good leave, there's no doing any thing well in haste, the World is not so mightily stock'd with Women of that Vertue, that a Man can't chuse but light on 'em in a Months time; they were more scarce than so in Solomon's time, much more in this Corrupt Age; yet so far I yield, as to allow it a great Argument of Love to your first Wife, your Impatience to be yoak'd again; but must beg your par­don if I deal plainly with you, and tell you such a suddain Engagment after her Death, look'd as if you had not the Exact Estimate of her Singulr Vertue; you did not impute the Sole cause of your Felicity to a thing so rarely found in Wo­men, as Solomon affirms, but thought it went in common with the fair Sex. I also fear you imputed a little too much to your self, and thought your Love and Tenderness, most needs indear you to any Woman. Some such Mistake made you so fearless in such a Hazzardous Attempt. but tho I blam'd your hasty Mar­riage, when I was a stranger to your many reasons for it, yet am I far from thinking i [...] any slight to the Memory of your first Wife; I really believe you esteem'd it the only means to comfort you for the loss of her, and am very Glad whatever has happen'd since, it proved at that time, such a Cordial as sav'd your Life. But in all this, I see no cause to applaud your LOVING TEMPER, that forces you to dedicate your self to something, when there's nothing Permanent under Hea­ven, and must therefore leave you, and carry away the very Substance of your Soul, that can't be easie without it's peculiar delight, which consists in caressing a Vertuous Wife that's hardly to be found: So that your Felicity is Compos'd of so many difficulties, it must come samewhat near a Miracle that makes you happy; and all owing to your being such a Loving Creature.

[Page 65] But be it as it will, when SPEEDY MARRIAGE becomes a duty (for then God calls us to that state of Life) we have nothing to consider, but how to make a ver­tue of Necessity, and chuse, as near as we can, for Piety and Goodness, rather then trouble our selves with the fears of Poverty. A Man is not the less Generous for having little to give; but shews his Generosity as much in envying no Body, but being satisfied with his Portion in this Life: For the greater the Mind is, with the less it is content; and whatever the World may think, the Poor serve the Publick in Marrying, as much as the Rich. Should none Marry but the Wealthy, with what a Race of Pride and insolence would it fill the World? All Arts and Ingenu­ity Spring from Necessity; and Poverty may be truly said to be the source of all Vertue; and those that make so ill use of it as to commit such Outrages, as brings 'em often to untimely ends, would have made no better use of Riches, if they had had 'em; and 'tis only our corrupt Nature turns Soveraign Medicines into Poison.

And now I shall Freely own, I am convinced of my Error, in censuring your hasty Marriage; tho I can't admit of all your Arguments for Marriage in general. I am convinced some Persons Tempers and Inclinations are so perfectly opposite, as plainly shews Providence never design'd ' [...]m for it; and for such to marry, meerly to please the World, and avoid Reproach, would be the greatest Sin and Folly imaginable, in despising the highest Gift and Priviledge Heaven could bestow on Mortalls, while here on Earth; which is enough to justifie those that neither seek nor desire Mar­riage: yet ought they to think it their Duty to serve the Publick, and not live only for themselves; Nay they are oblig'd to do the more, as having the Liberty of chusing so many several ways of doing it.

It had been happy for the World, if so great a Patron and Votary to Marriage, as you, had not met with such a discouragement; a little time will discover for whom to chastisement was designed. I hope it will never come to that, of Mother, Wife, and all your Friends forsaking yoo. I can answer for one; tho in the way you propose to your self, you may perhaps find more comfort then in the greatest kindnes [...] any Friend can shew you; and this is past a Doubt with me; for I really believe it, who am,

Your, &c.

LETTER VI.

Proving 'tis a Happiness to be in Debt.

Madam,

IN my last Letter I acquainted your Ladiship that I had made a considerable Progress in the Art of Living incognito, and that I was now oblig'd to live s [...] whether I would o [...] no: I was ever in love wi [...] A PRIVATE LIFE; [...] ' [...]is my mis­fortune now, (and the only thing in the World that [...]bles me) that my obl [...]gati­ons [Page 66] to some People, drive me as much as my own inclinations, to a lonesome-Cell Madam, you'l admire at this, for you see by my See my Print­ed Case. p. 7. PRINTED CASE, that all I owe in the World is scarce 250 Pounds; which I must think is a TRIFLING SUM, as 'tis not the 15th part Lands are worth (if you take in present Possessions and Reversions) and of what my [...] scarce the tenth part of what my Wife, (an only Child) has a Title to, at her Mothers Death, and which she cannot injoy without me; for I wish I cou'd see that Man that dares keep her from me, when I send for her. which I shall at Midsum­mer, if not Sooner But for all this Plenty on both sides, at present I have a little occasion for Money; yet neither she nor her Mother will permit me to take up the Small SUM I want. So that 'tis clear tho' we Solemnly took each other for RICHER FOR See the Re­flectione on my Printed Case. p. 2. POORER, that nothing but Money parts us; and this is evi­dent by her saying, (as I can prove by a dozen Witnesses,) that she had been a miserable Woman, had she Married any Man but my self. But I had only such fair words, whilst they cost her no­thing: however, my comfort is, a little Time will work my Deliverance without her; but in the mean time I am pinch'd (as I'm forc'd to trespass on my, ge­nerous Friends,) but seeing ev'ry Man is willing to make his present Circum­stance as easie as he o [...]n (that I may make a Vertue of Necessity, as well as others) this Subject of this Letter shall be,

An Essay proving 'tis a Happiness to be in Debt.

You see, Madam, by this Assertion, 'tis a very strange case, which can find no Advocate what is it that fancy cannot put a varnish on? A porson'd Pill may be gilded over, as well as that which is wholesome. Favorinus long ago wrote in the commendation of a Quartan Ague; the soul Disease hath not wanted a Pen to excuse and commend it: others have made a very bad Wise the Subject of their Commendation, because (they say) She brings a Man to Repentance. But, of all barren Subjects that have been yet writ upon, this of proving 'tis a Happiness to be in Debt, I judge will be most surprizing. I own at present I Live Incognito that I may be rendered uncapable of contracting any more Debts: yet I shall endeavour to prove 'tis a Happiness to be in Debt. 'Tis true for my own part, I'd rather sell my Coat from my Back, than owe any thing; and therefore in 15 YEARS TRADING, I never set any Man call twice for Mo­ney: and 'tis my Advice to ev'ry Citizen, (that is in Debt) that he pays ev'ry Man his own, the he [...]ares himself not worth a G [...]eat; or it he compounds to pay a patt. nevertheless let him resolve to satisfy all to the full, if his endea­vours, and God's Blessing, ever again inables him. If our Citizen Acts thus—By suffering he shall Conquer. The Romans overcame sitting still, 'tis a comfort to remember Iob's beginning and ending: Tribulation refines the Under­standing. Hannibal deservedly boasted of himself, Age, Prosperity, and Adversity have so Instructed me, that I had rather follow Reason than Fortune. He had never attdin'd this pitch of discomment, [...]ad for his decliming Fortines obliged him to surmount all difficulties by his Conduct. The Rich Chabot wou'd be Symbo­liz'd by a Ball with this Inscription—Being Smitten, I Rise higher—Men in prospe­rity are seldom Religious. But no Whip is more likely to reform the unfortu­nate, or gives a shrewder Las [...], than the Labells of a Bond, or Obligation with a Noverint Universi. He therefore, and only he gets by his breaking, who is more humble, pitiful, mortified, given to Pryer, &c. Thus Madam, having first told you my Noti [...]s of [...]ustice. I hope I may now, without offence to those few I'm engaged to——Prove, 'tis a Happiness to be in Debt, and most live as if they belseved as much—For to run in Debt ouw adays, is the Fashion, from the Lord to the Cobler: 'tis become a saying, he [Page 67] Pays like Quality: that is, he is Dun-Proof; and thinks it a mean thing to pay his Debts: and this is not only the Practice of some Rich Men, (for the greatest part are of a Nobler Principle,) but also of the poorer Gentry. Mr. Marshal of B—mer told me yesterday of a Gentleman that drop'd 25. 6d. as he was mounting his Horse, the Hostler stoop'd for it, and wou'd sain have given it him, Prithee (Friend) take it, said the Gentleman, for 'twan't worth my stooping for, when at the same time he owed more then he was worth; sure such as these think 'tis a Happiness to be in Debt, or th [...]y'd never be thus Prodigal! But I wonder how they can sleep in quiet that are thus injurious to others; and I find Augustus Caesar of the same mind, for hearing it talk'd in his Court what a huge Sum of Money a certain Knight in Rome ov [...]ed at his Death, and that all his Goods were to be Sold to make Payment of his D [...]bts; Commanded the Master of his WAR­DROBE to buy for him that BED wherein this Knight used to lye, for (says he) if I cannot Sleep soundly in that Bed wherein he cou'd Sleep, that owed so much, then surely I shall Sleep in none—But some han't been so forward to run in Debt, but others have been as forward to punish their Injustice—The Debt being confessed (amongst the Romans) Thirty Days were allowed the Debtor for the pay­ment of the Money. The Money not paid, the Debtor was delivered up as a Ser­vant to his Creditor; he was sometimes cast into Prison, and unless the Credi­tor were in the mean time compounded with; he remained Threescore Days in Prison, and Three Market Days being brought before the Judge, the Debt was So­lemnly proclaimed, and upon the third Market Day, he was either Sold to Foreigners for a Slave, or else was Punished by Death, each Ceditor being suf­fered if he wou'd, to cut a piece of his Dead Body instead of pay­ment Roman An­tiquities.——Asychis made as odd a Law against bad Deb­tors as this, 'twas that the Dead Bodies shou'd be in the Credi­tors keeping, 'till the Debt were paid; and I'm told, 'tis com­mon in England to Arrest the Corps of a Debtor as 'tis carrying to the Grave.

But one wou'd admire that Men (that stand in need of mercy themselves) shou'd be thus sharp upon their poor Debtors. For in the whole Course and Frame of Nature, we see that nothing is made for it self, but each hath a Bond of Duty, of Use, or of Service, by which it is Indebted to others. The SUN by his splendor to enlighten all the World, by his warmth, and heat i [...] cherish and comfort each living and vegetable Creature—Yea, even Man (the Lord of the Creation) is so framed of God, that not only his Country, his Parents, and his Friends, claim a share in him, but he is also indebted to his Hound and to his Ox, the one for Hunting for his pleasure, and the other for labour­ing for his profit; and therefore a good Man is merciful to his Beast. His Iudg­ment, Wit, Discretion, he hath them for others as much as for himself; and as to his WEALTH he han't a Penny but what he's accountable for. But such is the mystery of this Stewardship (where even GOD himself is Debtor, and Mail Creditor; for is it not said, He that hath pity on the Poor lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given will be pay him again, Prov. 19. 17.) That present payment is the least and worst, the Lender oweth more then the Receiver; the Poor (whose Prayers are he [...]rd) bestowing more then he receiveth; and his Box is more the Rich Mans Treasury than his own! Then wou'd we have a Policy on Heaven (of our uncertain Riches) we must make the Poor our Insurers? Sure I am, ev [...]ry Man stands in need of this Advice; seeing had he the Riches of Solomon (whose Wealth was so Great that it wou'd puzzle our Accomplants to find New Names for Sums) of all we may say as he said of the Ax Head that fell off to Elijah the Prophet (2. Kings 6. 5.) Alas Master, it is but borrowed. ‘Do [...]ou Oua [...] such a one rich (saith Seneca) because of his, [...]ich Sumpter Horse, or becausehe has a Plow going in ev'ry Province, or for his large Account-Book, o [...] s [...]ch large [Page 68] Possessions near, the City? When you have said all, he is Poor: But you will say why? Why because [...]e oweth all; unless you make a difference between borrowing from Men and from Providence.

Then let not him that has lost an Estate Mourn, for another lost it before he had it: perchance if he had not lost it now, it had lost him for ever, and there­fore in such a Case as this, let us rather think what we have escaped then lost—And what we Owe, rather than what we are

Even Kings owe Protection to their Loyal Subjects and their Subjects of all Ranks, owe Allegiance to their Sovereign Lord—Our Lands and Lives (if we are Loyal) are the Kings, and nothing can we call our own but Death.

Then again let us look into our selves and see how our constitutive parts are Debtors each to other—The Soul doth quicken and give Life to the Body, and the Body like an Automaton (as one expresses it) doth move and carry it self and the Soul.

Again if we Survey Man in his parts, the Eye sees for the Foot, the Foot stand­eth for the Hand, the Hand toucheth for the Mouth, the Mouth tasteth for the Sto­mach, the Stomach eateth for the whole Body, the Body repayeth again that Nutriment, which it hath received to all the parts, discharging the Retriments by the Port Esquiline, and all this (as an Eminent Physician observes) in so comely an Order and by a Law so certain, and in so due a time, as if Nature had rather Man shou'd not have been at all, then not to be a Debtor in every part of him.

The ALCHIMISIS who promise to themselves to turn Tin into Silver, and Copper into Gold, how will they be transported out of themselves with Joy, if they shou'd but see a happy issue of their attempt? How much more a Creditor when he shall recover a desperate Debt? It is like the Joy of a Father that receives his lost Child.

Again, He that is in Debt, hath this great Priviledge above other Men, that his Creditors pour out Hearty Prayers for him; they wish that he may Live, Thrive, Prosper and grow Rich; and all for their own Advantage; They seem to be careful for their Debtors, that they may not lose the many Hun­dreds they owe them. Witness those usurers of Rochel, who when they heard that the Interest of Money was fallen, went and hang'd themselves for Grief, and truly (Madam,) I can't altogether blame 'em, for most Men owe not only there Learning to their Plenty, but likewise their Vertue and their Honesty: For how many Thousands live now in the World in great Reputation for their Honest and Just Dealings with all Mankind, who if they were put to their Shifts, as o­thers as Honestly inclin'd are, wou'd soon lose their Reputation, [...]ea, turn Rogues and Knaves too, as the Vulgar think and generally calt such as are not able to pay their Debts? I question not but Want and self Preservation, (for Hunger will break through Stone Walls) wou'd put some of them upon those very hard Shifts, they now blame so much in others: But for all they are so often put to their Shifts, I must say this, to the HONOUR OF DEBTORS, that they have a great Influ­ence over their Creditors, they become in a manner, their Land-Lords, to whom they Cringe, Kneel, as if they did owe them all Imaginable Services; and are as Ambitious of their Debtors Favours, as they who in King Charles's Reign did carress the Royal-Misses to attain the Lives of their Condemn'd Friends, or some Place at Court.—

Without DEBT, AND LOAN, the Fabrick of the World will be dis-jointed and fall asunder into its first Chaos: I might first Instance, in what it owes for Drink: For (as Cowly tells us)

The Thirsty Earth soaks up the Rain,
And Drinks, and gapes for Drink again;
The Plants such in the Earth, and are
[...]
[Page 69] The Sea it self, which one wou'd think
Shou'd have but little need of Drink,
Drinks Ten Thousand Rivers up,
So fill'd that they o'er flow the Cup.
The busie Sun (and one wou'd guess
By's Drunken fiery Face no less)
Drinks up the Sea; and when h'as done,
The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun.
They drink, and dance by their own Light,
They drink, and Revel all the Night.
Nothing in Nature's sober found;
But an ETERNAL HEALTH goes Round.

And if the World Runs thus in Debt for Bubb, what does it owe for its other Supports? Or rather, what does it not owe? For, first, the Beauty of the Stars, what wou'd it be but Vastness, and Deformity, if the Sun did not lend 'em Light? The Earth wou'd remain unfruitful, if it did not borrow Refreshing Dews from the Watery Signs and Planets. The Summer is pleasant, and pro­miseth great hopes of Plenty; but it is, because it taketh up much upon Trust from the Friendly and Seasonable Temperament of the Elements. And, to say the Truth, there is NOTHING GOOD, or GREAT in the World, but that it BORROWETH something from others, to make it Great, or lendeth to another to make it Good.—

The ELEMENTS, who are linked together by a League of Association, and by their symbolizing Qualities, do Barter, and Truck, Borrow and Lend one to another, as being (as 'twere) the ROYAL EXCHANGE OF NATURE; They are by this Traffick and Intercourse, the very LIFE AND NOURISH­MENT of all Sublunary Bodies.

Well, If it be such A HAPPINESS TO BE IN DEBT, and every thing lives under a Necessity of owing something,—Then farewel Diogenes, thou SURLY CLOWN; for who ever liv'd more like a Souc'd Mackarel, amongst Men, barrelling up thy self in a Tub like a Kegg of Sturgeon, and this because thou hadst not Soul enough to treat thy Friends, or to live in Debt.

I also bid farewell to Coke, Littleton, Shephard, &c. and other Lawyers, and Molestors of Causes, who accounted as their (surviving Brethren do to this day) being in Debt a very great Evil.—

I also pity Zem's Weakness, who blush'd to borrow:—Crates Pride, for scorning to be Trusted;—and do as much despise that POET LAU­REAT, who forfeited his WREATH OF BAYS (rather than owe a Farth­ing) and afterwards made Prayers to his Purse to supply his Wants; tho (as I've prov'd) 'TIS A HAPPINESS TO BE IN DEBT.—But let Men that either will not, or cannot be Trusted, a [...] as they please: for my own share, whilst I live, I am willing to live in Debt.—IN DEBT to the Creator of all things, for his so Curiously framing me in my Mothers Womb Psal. 139. 13. 15. In Debt to Christ, for hopes of a blessed Resurrection; and as I owe, so I will be ever ready to lose my Life for my Countries Service.—I wil owe Duty and Respect to my Wife's Mother, and shall pay it when she an swers my Just Request.—And for my FEW CREDITORS, when I've paid them (and they may depend on what I promise in my Printed Case) yet I shall ever owe them my hearty Prayers, and a Thankful Acknowledgment for their Kind Forbearance. They are so generous to consider that he that oweth Money, and cannot pay it, is an Agent for Sorrow: and 'tis my Duty to re­member that he that hath it and will not pay▪ it, is a Steward for the Devil.—Then I don't see why any Man shou'd be uneasy, for I've promis'd (after I see the [Page 70] Issue of this Year) to sell even my self to the skin, rather than any Man shall lose a [...], which they will not, (If they can have Patience) but will be paid their Principal, and Interest upon Interest, if demanded. I will also owe, and be ever paying Love and Tenderness to my present Wife, and a Hearty Reconciliation when ever she Desires it.—And ere long I shall pay my GREAT DEBT UNTO NA­TURE which is the most Difficult Debt I have left to pay, and for that Reason I'm still Learning THE ART OF LIVING INCOGNITO; For as Philo­sitratus liv'd Seven Years in his Tomb to acquaint himself with Death; So I shall pray that my Private Life may have the same Effect.—But wherever I end my Days, whether in a Cell or in a Publick Station, I shall there render my Spirit in­to the Hands of God, and bequeath my Body to be bury'd (by those I shall make my Heirs) in the New-Burying place, and in the same Grave with my first Wife, where we shall both pay THAT DEBT WE OWE TO THE WORMES (and be still happy together, if a senceless happyness can be call'd so,) and after the Wormes are satisfyed. I hope (at the General R [...]ection,) we shall both Rise together, and know and Love one another for ever, in the presence of that God, to whom we owe all we have and [...]e.—Neither has my Living in a Cell banish't the Remembrance of what I owe your Ladyship for your Ingenious Remarks on the Letters, I send ye ('tis to you, Madam, I'm Indebted for all the Pleasures I shall find in Retirement); Which I here Acknowledge with this Assurance, that the Respect Iowe your Ladyship, shall be as Immortal as the Soul of,

Your most Indebted Friend And Servant, JOHN DUNTON.

The LADY'S Answer to my Sixth Letter.

SIR,

I Am apt to think the World must needs be surprized that any Person should have the Courage to advance any thing in favour of Debtors, the most abject Creatures in the World; that very few, while they pity and relieve 'em, but at the same [...]me, have a great de [...] of contempt for 'em. So little reflection is made upon the wise disposal of Providence, who has made us all Debtors, not having the least right to the [...]rest Blessing upon Earth; for what was given at our Cre­ation, was forfeited by Rebellion; and we are therefore indebted to God's infinite Mercy, for all we have, Especially when we have received an ample Portion in this Life, and never suffer'd want: such Persons are so deeply indebted, that if they pay no part to those God has constituted to be his Receivers, they may Perhaps be paying it to all Eternity; but such Debtors command respect, wheree [...]er they come; for their Money is every ones Aim; it answer [...] all things; yet I see not why the Poor Debtor may not find something in his condition to be esteem'd for; since God, who permits it, has a good design in it for the teaching us many necessary Truths; tis the only Glass that shews us the true Image of our selves, and the Vain Delusions of the World.

How long do we live in the Mistake, that we are Born only for our selves▪ and what do we study more than to be, or to seem to be great, and considerable; that so we may obtain Friends, respect, and applycation, and all that flatters our Imaginations: but at last meeting with disapointments, we then perceive theres no Living with out dependance, being forc'd to seek the help and assistance of others. But miserable is their case, who applye [...] to the rich, who's tender mercies are not unlike the Ancient ROMANS, [...]ou mention: Those Laws must needs have an admirable effect of promoting Sordidness and Self-interest; for the basest crime could not be more severely punish'd, no [...] meet with a more fatal mischief then to find any one so Cruelly unkind, at [Page 71] tolay the Foundation of a Mans Misfortune and Slavery, by lending him Money: 'twere much kinder to [...]ave him to Starve in his necessity. The Makers of such Laws we may be sure would stick at nothing, that might secure 'em from those s [...]re Penalties; by which one may guess at their integrity, in Aiming so exactly at the Poor, who perhaps bears an honester mind to Pay their Debts, were it in their Power, than many of the Rich, who are of [...]n so puffed up with Pride and in­solence, they frequently neglect to Pay their D [...]BTS, thinking all the World depends vpon 'em and are their Slaves. Sure no Laws could be severe enough for such, if there could be found men of sufficient Courage and Integrits to put 'em in execution

There are so many innocent ways of contracting Debts, 'tis much to be admir'd Men could be so Ignorant of the Condition of Human Life, as to insult over the misfor­tunes of others, and not think 'emselves as liable to 'em. But this is the priviledge Adver­sity carries with it, to give in Experience of our own Imbecility, and the many changes we are subjected to in this Life; which brings us to the pursuit of a more lassing Happi­ness in another World, and to Retirement from this, in which we find full leisure for usefull Thoughts and Reflections upon our pass'd mis [...]es: The Debtor now sees plainly there's not a weaker Threatner, nor stronger Flatterer then Fortune, while the World was his Friend, he had the same Partial Affection for it as most persons usually have for those that loves 'em, but the Treatment Debtors receive from it, soon opens their Eyes to see the change their Fortune makes in it; and can with Hannibal, resolve to follow a better Guide, that will deal more truly with 'em, and convince 'em of the HAPPY­NESS OF POOR DEBTORS that can't Pay: For the World takes so many ways of pay­ment by exposing 'em to the Publick in all ma [...]r of ill reflections, will they have given their Pride and Malice more then full Satisfaction for the want of their Money, that at last they make themselves their Debtors no less, tho' in another kind, which such an Adversity will teach 'em that Humlity to bear, and the Charity to forgive, and t [...]'s a blessed condition that brings 'em acquainted with two such Graces. And this con­dition is no les [...] Friend to true. Mortification, which till we have attain'd, our Soul is not in a right State, for 'tis like a Man Hen-Peck'd by his Wife, the Body domi­neers over the Soul, and [...]gages it in all the Follies that Cha [...]m its Br [...]ish Senses, and so ranverses all Peace and Order, till the Soul assumes its Authority by Sub­jecting the Body, which is so hard to do, tho' the Happiness of this Life and the Next depends upon it, One may well esteem it, the heighth of Felicity to be many condi­tion that facilitates it; And in this consists the Debtors Priviledge, the World accounts all Favo [...] lost upon him, and so with [...]raws all Temptations, and his necessitous Fortune ours off all E [...]ess from his dep [...]ed Appetites, and the Devil will then leave him as he did Iob, [...] he had no Accomplices left to assist him▪ and so a Debtor see [...] his Th [...] Great Enemies Conquered by his Patient Suffering.

This may be every Debtors Case that Studies to gain by his Afflictions the Im­provement of his Vertues, rather than give up himself to base and wicked compliance with the Rich and Powerful, or r [...]ing into vain Presumptuous Projects, in hopes of a more speedy relief; when by waiting upon God, and using only such meane as he appoints, he may expect a Blessed End of his troubles in this Life▪ or if he patiently submits to Gods Will, [...] full as [...]appy for [...] is uneasy to think others should suffer upon his ac­c [...]unt; yet if he spares what's possible from himself, using all the means in his power, God will not be wanting either to assist him to pay, or to support his Creditors under the loss.

This in general may be said of the Happiness of being in Debt; nor does the oddness of your CASE, exclude you from any of the Priviledges that poor Debtors enjoy, tho your Prospect is not so desperate as theirs; but no DEPENDANCE can be fix'd on in this [...] certain World, therefore must wait the issue. In the mean time, I perceive you study to pay with thanks and grateful acknowledgments, what ever you owe, or think you owe and your mistake GIVES ME A SHARE, tho' I know nothing of any such [...]retence I can have: therefore to own it, would be very unconscionable and unbecoming▪

Your, &c.

POSTSCRIPT.

WHilst I was finishing the last Sheet of this Book, my Ingenious Friend Mr. GEORGE LARKIN Senjor, sent me the following Lines, Intituled

An Acrostick to his Worthy and much Esteemed Friend, Mr. JOHN DUNTON Upon his Art of Living Incognito.

J [...]ognito to Live's an ART indeed:
O Happy's he that can therein succeed!
H e only knows how to Command his Fate;
N othing can make that Man Unfortunate.
D oing to A [...] what you'd have done to You,
U sing the World, yet bidding it Adieu:
N ot to be Seen, yet ev'ry thing to See:
T his sure to Live Incognito: must be!
O Happy Life! of which I only know,
[...]can live [...]er than Incognito.
[...] [...]d if thou do'st this A [...] Pursue,
[...] thy [...]cholar be, and learn it too.
FINIS.

[...] Written by JOHN DUNTON.

1. THE Second Part of the Art of living Incognito, will speedily go to the Press, (if this First meets with Encouragement) and contains the following Letters, viz. [...] [...]. Of every Thing. Letter 8. Dun [...] represented as Dead and Buried, on an Essay upon his own Funeral. Letter 9. A Morning's thought, on these Words. The time of Singing of Birds is come Latter. 10. [...]d to my Summer Friends, Letter 11. In Praise of Sore-Eyes. Letter 12. On the Riding made for Women that beat their Husbands. Letter 13. An Essay upon dead Mens Shoes. Letter 14. On the Royal Sport of Co [...] Fighting. Letter 15. In Praise of the Tooth. Ach. Letter 16. The Character of that HONOURABLE LADY to whom these Let­ters were sent. 17. Of Bargaining for a Wife, or an Essay upon Jointure [...]. Letter 18. Of being ask'd in the Church, with the Answers that have been given to this Question, Do any of you know cause or [...]st Impediment why these two Persons shou'd not be joyn'd together in Holy [...] Letter [...]9. [...] the doing Penance in a White Sheet. [...] other Uncom [...] [...] To each of these Letters (which are all written [...] [...] LAD [...] has return'd a particular Answer, which is [...] to each Letter. Price. Stitch'd [...].

2. An Essay proving we shall know our Frie [...] in [...], occasioned by the Death of my First Wife and dedicated to her [...] S [...] in a [...] to a Reveren [...] Divine. The [...] Edition is ready for the [...] [...] 6 [...].

3. The Dublin [...], with some account of my [...] In seve­ral Letters to the Spectators Price bo [...] [...].

4. The Case of Iohn [...] Citizen of [...] with respect to his Mother in Law M [...] [...] Nichol [...] of [...] [...]ans, and her only Child Sa­rah Dunton; with the just Reasons [...] leaving her. In a Letter [...] Mr. Georgee Larkin Senior. To which [...] his Letter to his Wife Price [...] 3 [...]

Reflections on Mr. Duntons leaving his Wife, in a Letter to himself, [...] [...] ☞ All (5) sold by A. Baldwin, near the Oxford [...] in Warwick Lane.

[Page] THE SECOND PART Of the ART of Living Incognito.

OR, DUNTON Represented as Dead and Buried, In an ESSAY upon his own FUNERAL.

To which is added, His Essay upon every Thing.

Being a Continuation of the Thousand Letters on as many Uncommon Subjects, Written by IOHN DUN­TON, during his Retreat from the World; and sent to that Honourable Lady, to whom he address'd His Con­versation in Ireland. With her Ladyships Answer to each Letter.

To be continued 'till the whole Correspondence is finish'd.

Man, ere he is aware,
Hath put together a Solemnity;
And drest his Hearse while he hath Breath,
As yet to spare:
Yet, Lord, instruct us so to die,
That all these Dyings may be Life in Death—Herbert.

LONDON, Printed (for the Author) and are to be sold by A. [...] the Ox­ford Arms in Warwick-Lane; of whom is to be had the First and Second Parts Price of each 1s.

THE SECOND PART Of the ART of Living Incognito.

LETTER VII.

Of every Thing.

Madam,

MY First Part of the Art of living Incognito, ha­ving met with a kind Reception (except from FOPPS, who to shew their Wat, See my First Part of the Art of living Incognito. p. 2. rail at every thing but the Product of their own Brain) This has incourag'd me to Publish a Second Part: For, seeing 'was Sabina that first inspir [...]d me with the Resolution of living Incognito: I now intend to proceed to the writing the Thousand Letters that must go to the perfecting of this ART, except your La­dy-ship should grow weary of the Correspondence; or if you should, my Project would be still Incognito; for I'm not so vain as to think that any thing but your Ladyships Remarks cou'd have given my Letters a Reputation in the World; and without that, tho I shou'd still have studied, yet should no longer have Printed—the Art of living Incognito—But cou'd I [Page 74] doubt of that kind Reception it has met with, when your Ladyship was pleased to say In your Letter da­red Ap. 10. ‘That the World is much deluded with Appearances; but if you are the Person that has raised their Expectation, they'l not grudge a Shilling to satisfie it; but if their Envy is only raised, they'l content themselves with laughing at your presumptuous pretension (of writing on a Thousand uncommon Subjects) without ever reading it, and spend some Wit upon the Lady concerned in it: But whoever buyes it with indifference, and so reads it, will, I believe, find what's worth his Mo­ney, and commend it.’

Soul of my Muse, I thank thee; and in that,
A short Po­em dedica­ted to the Honourable Lady.
I pay the humble Tribute of my Fate:
How hast thou Crown'd my Head? O what Divine
Raptures inspir'd, beyond the powerful Nine?
I will not call Rome's Caesars back again,
To shew their Triumphs; one is in my Brain
Great as all theirs; and circl'd with thy BAYS,
My thoughts take Empire or'e all Land, and Seas;
'Gainst subtle Light'ning and fierce Thunder stroke,
I shall be safer than Augustus OKE,
With double Guard of Laurel, and made free
From Age, look fresh still as my Daphnian-Tree,
And Printing still my Son and Heir shall be.
Criticks shall dread my Looks, no Slander dare
To approach my Books; whilst your Idea's there.
Great Patroness of Cells, I could create
New Worlds methinks for thee; and in a State
As Free as Innocence, shame all Poets Wit,
Could climb no higher than Elyzium; yet,
Where they but build cool Arbors Shades and Groves,
Teach Brooks to murmur Songs, [...] please their Loves:
We will have other Flights, erect new Things,
To call the Envy up of Queens and Kings.
Museus, Homer, and the sacred rest,
VVhom the VVorld thinks in their own Ashes blest,
Shall live again, and only having wrot
Our Friendship, wish their other Songs forgot;
[Page 75] And themselves too, but that our LETTERS must,
In spight of Time and Death, quicken their Dust:
What cannot I command? VVhat can a Thought
Be ambitious of, thus wreath'd, but shall be brought?
By Virtue of your Charms, I will undo
The Year, and at our pleasure make one New.
All Spring is Blooming Paradise, but when
You List, shall with one Frown wither agen.
Astrologers leave poreing in the Skies,
Expect all Fate from fair Sabina's Eyes.
Thus ex [...]asy'd with me, scorn other Starr,
Admire, and think it Heaven where we two are.
For he that learns to live Incognito,
Now lives in Heaven, if quitting Earth be so.

Madam, I have dedicated this short Poem to your Ladiship as a Poor Acknowledgment for your gene­rous Remarks on my First Part of the Art of Living Incognito, and as a Defiance to all Criticks, I was wil­ling the World should know your Opinion of what I A defiance to all Crit­ticks. Publish, as believing none will presume to dislike what you approve of; or if they do, I shall not value it, so [...] prefer your single Judgment to all others; and therefore 'tis the Honour of your Friendship, is one of those things that I value my self most upon—Then see­ing the Art of Living Incognito, has such an Ingeni­ous and Honourable Lady to Protect and Defend it, I shan't doubt but this Second Bart will be as well receiv'd as the FIRST; however, your consenting to my Printing of it, is a sufficient Warrant for its Publication. And I don't doubt, after treating of every Ching in this Letter, but to say something in my next, (which will be an Essay [...] my own Funeral) which shall justifie my Resolution to Live and Die in a private Cell. M [...] Resolu­tion to live and die in a private Cell,

Whilst all the World is in an hurry, busied here and there with Vanity and Vexation, whilst few or none al­most are looking after their Future State; whilst most thus mistake their Happiness, I shall endeavour to find [Page 76] it in a lonesome Cell which (in my next) I shall prove an Emblem of Death, and I must needs love it as 'tis a Place where I have nothing to do but to pre­pare for Heaven.

But tho' I live Incognito, as I'm charm'd with a qui­et Life (and partly as I am oblig'd to Privacy) For the Reasons tention'd [...] my last [...]. Yet I have no such Pique to the World, (I mean that GREAT WORLD, through which I am passing) but that I'm willing to give your Ladyship an Account what I formerly I observ'd in it; and I shall think I'm still advancing in the Art of living Incognito, if in this Let­ter I treat—Of every thing—I mean—every thing, that affected me in my Cursory View of the GREAT [...]ections [...] every [...]ing that [...]fected me [...] my cur­ [...] view of [...]e Word. WORLD. I call it a Cursory View as I hurry'd so fast through it, to that private Cell where I now live.

Perhaps you'll admire (Sabina) that the World should now take up my Thoughts, when 'tis my Happiness and Wish to be freed from it. To this I Answer, it must be confest, That to avoid the Noise and Turbu­lency of the World (the more quietly and undisturb'd to look into our selves) has been the Practice of the most Dis­creet and Eminent Men; even the famous Virgil com­pos'd his Matchless Georgicks in a Grot or Cave. But tho' a Hermit's Life be the most desirable, yet I shall now prove that something may be learnt even from Courts and Cities, and every thing we see in Publick.

Before I begin my Remarks on the World, I shall give this Description of it. The World is the per­fect and entire composition of all Things, and the true Image and admirable workman-ship of the God­head, the greatness whereof is Incomprehensible; andWhat the World is.yet limited, being also adorn'd with all Bodies, and kinds of Creatures which are in Nature.

The Great God having made this Great World, he was pleas'd to draw a Map of it in the Dast; and so he [...] Crea­ [...]on of [...] and [...]. formed ADAM, and out of him EVE, the Work of the sixth Day, and a Compendium of the Labours of the o­ther Five.

More Servants wait on Man,
Than he'll take notice of; in every Path,
He treads down that which doth befriend him;
When Sickness makes him pale and VVan.
Oh mighty Love! Man is one World, and hath
Another to attend him.
Since then my God thou hast
So brave a Palace built; Oh dwell in it,
That it may dwell with thee at last,
'Till then, afford us so much Wit;
That as the World serves us, we may serve thee,
And both thy Servants be.—Herbert.

But my Subject now is only of every Thing in the Great World, for I reserve the little walking WORLD to be consider'd hereafter. 'Tis the Great World What Hea­ven is. I'm now to behold. And the first Thing I shall observe in it is, the Heaven and the Stars. Oh what a fine Book is Heaven for mortal Man to Study! By Heavens I mean not the Supream Imperial part, not the Seat of the Blessed, which is out of sight, but the outward and visible Parts of the heavenly Orbs.

Here all th' extended Sky.
Is but one Galaxie;
'Tis all so bright, and gay
And the Joint-Eyes of Night make up a perfect Day.

Every Star is a fair Letter of the Almighty's Power, and is a firm Essence in Heaven, giving Light. If you What a Star is. ask what this Heaven is. I answer, 'Tis as it were a vaulted Body made of water thin like a Skin and movable—And here I must own that when I view the whirling-Heavens, and revolve their natural and violent moti­ons—when I observe the wandering Stars not fail to accomplish a certain course, to keep such exactness in their Irregularities, that a Prognosticator will give us [Page 78] a Prediction of the most Shadowed Eccypses in the clearest Sun-shine,—when I see the [...]ble Spheres The Har­ [...] of the [...]pheres. Dancing their unerring Rounds, I easily assent to their Harmony so much disputed. Blessed Lord, when I consider thy Heavens, the work of thy Fingers, the Moon and the Stars which thou hast ordained; I must say with David, What is Man that thou art mindfull of him, and the Son of Man that thou visitest him? If it be ask'd how David (a) Ps. 83. 4. in surveying the Heavens cometh to mention the Moon and Stars and omit the Sun, the other being but his [...]; shining with that exhibition of Light, which the Bounty of the Sun alots them—To this I answer; This was Davids Night Meditation, when the Sun departing to the other World, left the lesser Lights only visible in Heaven, and as the Sky is best beheld by Day in the Glory there­of, so it is best survey'd by, Night, in the variety of the same—Night was made for Man to rest in; but when I cannot sleep, may I with this Psamist entertain my waking with good thoughts; not to use them as Optum, to invite my corrupt Nature to Slumber, but to bolt out bad Thoughts, which otherwise wou'd possess my Soul.

Again when I view the Firmament (the Orb of the movable What the Firmament i [...]. Heaven) while mine Eye is terminared with it, I ad­mire without a limit, when I behold the curious Colours in it, and the variety of Blazon; and then a­gain, consider my self a Poor Creature, and yet in Chief to the rest; By observing this I have wondred to Extacy, and conclude that my Tongue was made for nothing more then to dwell on the Praises of that Glory that owns this Coat-Armor.

The Sun is the Spring of Light, an always burning What the Sun is. Torch, or a Universal Candle that serves the whole World to Work and Walk by.

Then twinkling Tapors of the Night,
That poorly Satisfie our Eyes,
More by your Number then your Light;
Like common People of the Skies;
What are ye, when the SUN does rise!

[Page 79] When with a dazled-Eye I look upon this Radiant-Sun (the brightest of all Wandring Stars, and the Fountain of Light and Heat) when I view this Enlivening Flanet, and find him roll in the [...]odiack as in a Wheel, when I note how he screws the Heavens in the Ecliptic, how well he knows his Regresses; having touched either [...], I assure my self there is a HAND that w [...]elds this use­full Instrument, and trims this Lamp unto the World: The Psalmist tells us expresly, He appointed the Moon for Seasons, and the Sun knoweth his going downPs. 104. 19

Slight those who say amidst their sickly Healths,
Thou liv'st by Rule; what doth not so, but Man?
Houses are built by Rule, and Common-wealths;
Entice the trusty Sun if that you can,
From his Ecliptick line, beck'n the Sky;
Who lives by Rule then, keeps good Company.—Herbert.

Again, When I consider the Circuit of the Earth, that The Earth small if compar'd with the Aetherial Orbs. 'tis more then one and Twenty Thousand Miles, yet of no Moment in respect of the Heavens, this constrains me to acknowledge the great Immensity of the Artherial Orbs—Great Immeensity, did I say? why the Sun alone is much bigger then the Earth; Nay, we have more then probable conjectures from its Paralax, and the Earths Piramidal-Shadow, that it exceeds it in Magnitude aboue one Hundred and Sixty Times; when I consider this, and that Sol-Apogeus is distant from me more then Eleven Hundred Semi-diameters of the [...]erestial Globe, yet no higher then the midst of the Planets; when I consider this, and what small proportion it bears to the expanded Skies, I am lost in the wideness of the 8th Sphere, and will say, Certainly, If a Creature cou'd sill our Capacious Spirit, I had found it—Were I meerly Ethnick, the beholding the Sun alone wou'd drive me to a Metaphy­sicall-Search; the Power, and Glory evident in this wou'd sorce me to proclaime an Athiest the greatest Dunce in Na­ture; Advice to th [...]se that are or w [...]u'd be A [...]sts. for he is one who denies the Light, and upon the [Page 80] first assent of his Irrational thoughts, [...] all his Senses—Then you that are, or wou'd be Atheists, often view the Bright Eye of the World (the Glorious Sun for by the Light hereof (if you on't blind) you may see The being of a God; for what is the whole World but the Explanation of a Deity? But if nothing reforms you, but you'l still be Atheists, (that you may sin securely) you run your selves into Premunire, out of Protection and will be undeceived by the Flames of Hell; and perhaps sooner, for the Atheist dreads that Deity he does deny. We see this verified in that Great Commander (Mr. Terry speaks See Terry's Voyage to the East-Indies. p. 414. of,) who was a profest Atheist, yet a Man of approved Valour: But upon a time he sitting in dalliance with one of his Women, she pluckt an Hair from his Breast (which grew about his Nipple) in Wantonness, without the least thought of doing him hurt. But the little wound, that small Instrument of Death made, presently be­gan to Fester, and in short-time after, became a Canker incurable; when he saw that he must dye, he uttered these words viz.

Who wou'd not have thought but that I, who have The dying Sp [...]ch of an Atheistbeen so long bred a Souldier, shou'd have dyed in the Face of mine Enemy, either by a Sword, or a Launce, or an Arrow, or a Bullet, or by some such Instrument of Death: But now (tho too late) I am forc'd to confess that there is a Great God above, whose Majesty I have ever despis'd, that needs no bigger Launce than an Hair to Kill an Atheist, or a despiser of his Majesty; and so (desiring that those his last Words might be told unto the King his Master) died—

Till Sin, into the World had made a Breach,
Death was not heard of: Ever since in Each
Poor Human Mortal it doth Couchant lie,
The Kernel of a Grape, kills one; a Fly
Another choaks; by a corrupted Breath
of Air one dyes; and others have▪ found Death
In a small bit of Meat; or by a Corn,
Too closely cut, or by a Prick of Thorn
[Page 81] When Death comes arm'd with God's Imperial Word,
An Hair can pierce as deep as sharpest Sword.

Such Reflections as these I made upon viewing the Sun, [...], and [...]tars, &c. and when I was weary [...] looking upwards (as he soon is that lives in a Hurry) I would [...] a Walk into my Garden, to visit Madg; I have writ an Es­sarupon this Owl, of near twenty Sheets, to which is annext the Eleg [...] I writ in Ire­land, upon the News of his Death. ('tis the Bird of Athens) or to please my senses with the curiousness of the Knots, [...]or variety of Flowers that were in it.

God the first Garden made, and the first City, Cain. And indeed where does the VVisdom and Power of God shine in a more bright and sweet Reflexion than in a Garden? which Cowly was so in love with, that he tells us; A small House and a large Garden (with moderate Conveniencies join'd to them) is all he desires in this VVorld.

Nor does this Happy Place only dispense,
Such various Pleasures to the Sense;
Here Health it sel [...] does live,
That Salt of Life, which does to all a Relish give;
Here fragrant Beauties still are seen;
'Tis only here an Ever-Green.

No Man possesses more private Happiness in a Gar­den than I have done; for I was once such a Lover of Gardens, that when I cou'd steal time from behind the Counter, I made it my business to be well acquainted The Plea­sures of a Garden. with all the variegated Capes [...]ry of Nature in the seve­ral Seasons of the Year. But I find no Pleasure is of long continuance with me, for I had not applied my self to the Study of Gardens above five Years, but I was banisht my little Eden, and the Flowers that cost me a great deal, are now expos'd to the mercy of Catorpillars.

Farewell dear Flowers; sweetly your Time ye spent,
Fit, while ye liv'd, for Smell or Ornament;
And after Death for Cures.
[Page 82] I follow streight without Complaint or Grief,
Since if my Scent be good, I care not if
It be as short as yours.—Herbert.

How uncertain are Worldly Comforts? for being banish'd from the Black-Raven, (the most pleasant House How un­certain are worldly Comforts. I ever dwelt in) I am now so far from taking Plea­sure in GARDENS, &c. That I'm like a Man fallen out with the World. Fortune has deny'd me some­thing, I am fallin out with the World. and I take pet and will be miserable in spight—In plainer English, I've sent for my Dear Spouse, and I shan't be so Rich as my Honou­red Mother, 'till I have Publish'd the whole Art of Li­ving In­cognito. she refuses to come 'till I'm as Rich as her Mother, which will scarce be 'till I have publisht the whole Art of liv­ing Incognito. So that nothing pleases me now, ex­cept some deep Tragedy. A Charnel-House cover'd with Sculls—A gloomy Vale wrapt with unpleasant Yews—Or some dark Cell cut out by Nature's skill, and whose Entrance is inviron'd with thick Trees (like to that where I now live) In a Word, I'm so peevish grown, since Nothing pleases me no, but some deep Tragedy, &c. I find I can't Out-rival the Baggs, that I can scarce bear to see my own Brother Merry; and wonder what Men can find to laugh at; for my own share, I think I shall never more draw my Lips to a Smile, but I en't so I shall never Out-Rival the Baggs. morose neither, but still I can love a Garden, but none pleases me NOW, but what's the v [...]ry Picture of Melan­choly. My First Garden. was a little Eden. my Second, the very Picture of Melancho­ly.

1.
Fain wou'd I have a Plat of Ground,
Which the Sun shou'd never see,
Nor by wanton Lover found;
That alone my Garden be.
2
No Curious Flowers would I crave,
To tempt my smelling or my Eye:
A little Hearts Ease, if I have
Place a fa [...]ing TULIP by.
3.
My Counterfeit will best appear
In the Violets drooping Head,
On which a Melancholy Tear,
The Discontented Morn hath shed.
4.
MY TIME be wither'd, let no ROSE
Her perfumed Bosom show;
And the Sweet-Brier when it blows,
No imbracing Wood-bine know.
5.
Weave a pretty Roof of Willow,
On each side the Black-Thorn Spring;
Raise a Bank, where for my Pillow,
Wormwood, Rue, and Poppies bring.
6.
No Bird sing here unless my Soul;
Would Hear sad Phy [...]omels Disgrace;
The TURTLE shall awake the OWL,
To join her Melancholy BASE.
7.
Here let no Man find me out;
Or if CHANCE shall bring out hither,
I'll be secure, when round about
I mote it, with my Eyes foul Weather.
8.
Thus let me Sigh my Heart away,
At last to one as sad as I.
I'll give my GARDEN that he may
By my Example, Love and Die.

And so much for my little EDEN—and that Me­lancholy-Garden where Valeria's Jointure has sent me to digg—I shall now proceed to the Observations I made in my cursory view of the Word. After I was tyr'd with my Two Gardens (except 'twas Post-Night, or I had some Author to visit) I wou'd next take a Turn to Step­ney, (a) Obser­vations in a Walk to Stepney, &c. Hackney, or my beloved Hamstead; and now as I went along, I wou'd conceive the World a Building, [Page 84] the Earth a Floor, spread wi [...] a Green Carpet-Co­ [...]g, the [...] a Roo [...] [...] with exquisite Ornam [...]nts; such Thoughts as the [...]e d [...]d m [...]ke me re­vere the Wisdom of the [...] Arch [...]t. When (in these [...] [...]ks) I obser [...]'d such magni [...]ence in the Outward Court, I presently concluded the [...]tum [...] was beyond description. A [...], Madam! we live here in the very bottom o [...] Nature, and think little who or what are on the Top o [...] the Context; methinks I have something of it by [...]ting glances, but it vanishes, and I ne're catch it!

Thu [...] you see (Madam) what Meditations the World affords, when I consider it as a B [...]g, the Earth as a Floor, and the [...]ns as [...]he [...] [...]o it.

When in longer Walks, I have considerd the World as a Cable spread; I have ob [...]erv'd satisfaction [...]or eve­ry [...] fo [...] [...] [...]se. Sense, dished out in Proper-Objects.

For us the Winds do blow,
The Earth doth rest, H [...]aven-move, and Fountains flow;
Nothing we see but m [...]ans our good,
As our Delight, or as our Treasure:
The wh [...]le is either our Cupboard of Fo [...]d,
Or Cabinet of Pleasure.—Herber [...].

What Orient Colours are brought in to please the EYE; to delight the EAR; what Melody is inclosed in The Musick [...] be found in Grove [...]. the Breasts of Birds, so well instructed in Song, that every Grove becomes a Quire? What silken sof [...]ness have we for the touch—What Cates and tasteful Viands for the dantiest Palats? What Odoriferous Scents? What per­fumed Airs to seast the other Sense? What abundance of sweetness is bound up in the small Volume of a Flow­er? I read no less then a Deity in the Few Folios of a Damask Rose—Thus Ble [...]ed Lord, thy VVorld is a Table spread! and every thing in it looks up to thee for their daily Food.

Thy Cupha [...]rd serves the [...]; the Meat is se [...],
VVhere all may reach, no Beast but knows his Feed:
Birds teach us hawking, Fishes have their Net:
The great prey on the less, they on some Weed.
Nothing ingender'd doth prevent his Meat;
[...]es have their Cable spread, e're they appear:
Some Creatures have in VVinter what to eat;
Others do sleep, and envy not their Chear.
And as thy House is full, so I adore
Thy curious Art in Marshalling thy Goods:
The Hills with Health abound, the Vales with store;
The South with Marble; North with Furrs and VVoods.
(Herbert.

By the many Sights, [...] observe in these several Walks, I conclude that Nature hath not left my Soul Objectless, but there is somewhere a Truth for my Understanding, and Goodness for my Will.

Again, my Heart it Elated above the ordinary Level of Admiration; when I perceive this Sublunary-world top full of Things; as contrary as Fire and Water, Earth This sub­lunary. World is top full of Things as contrary as Fire and Water, &c. and Air, yet to subsist by one another; when I see this, (and which is yet stranger, when I see them peaceably cohabit in the same Subject) I cannot but attribute their ACCORD to a Sovereign Arm and Guidance.

VVhen on a Promontory I fix my Foot on firm Earth, while mine Eye lancheth out into the Main, and see the Billows come wallowing one in the Neck of another, as if they naturally encouraged themselves to an uni­versal Deluge, yet when they foam and make a noise as unkennel'd: I may soon observe them at the end of their Chain; or if the Tempest shou'd rage so long, A Storm describ'd. that the tossing Seas shou'd touch the Sky, and every Puff shou'd blow up a Grave, yet as these Storms are of Nah. 1. 3, 4. Ps. 148. 8. Gods sending, so they are subject to his Government. The Lord hath his way in the whirl-wind; and the stormy Wind fulfils his word.

Tempests are calm to thee, they know thy Hand,
And hold it fast, as Children do their Fathers,
Which cry and follow. Thou hast made poor Sand
Check the Proud Sea, even when it [...]wells and gathers?
(Herbert.

VVhile the Ocean swells it self into Alps of Water, and the Brow of it is so surrow'd with Rage, that eve­ry VVave threatens to write me among the Dead, sud­denly all is cut off with a dash: VVhen I behold this diffusive Element stand upon an Heap, sure there is some Hitherto and no further; that it hears in its loud­est Roarings, and this is Gates and Bars to it. VVhen The Reci­procation of the Water [...]. I look upon the R [...]ciprocation of the VVaters, I feel a Spring-Tide of Thoughts at the highest flow within me, and go beyond the MOON to find a Cause.

'Tis true, some attribute the Ebbing and Flowing of the S [...]a, to certain subterranean Fires, whose Matter is near a kin to the Matter of the MOON; and therefore ac­cording to her Motion, there continue their Times of burning; and burning they make the Sea so to boil, as that it is a Tide or High-water, but going out, the [...]es in the bottom of [...] Sea. Sea sinks again; but these Fires in the bottom of the Sea are but meer Conjecture; for the Flux and Re flux of the Sea is a great Secret of Nature, and gives us there­fore principal occasion to magnifie the Power of God, whose Name only is excellent, and whose Power above Heaven and Earth: VVith what amazement have I view'd the swelling Main! They that go down to the Sea in Ships, that do B [...]siness in great Waters—These see Psal. 107. 23. the Works of the Lord, and his Wonders in the Deep. Who can enough admire the Providence of God to Sea men!

The Sea, which seems to stop the Traveller,
Is by a Ship the speed [...]er Passage made;
The Winds, who think they rule the Marener,
Are rul'd by him, and taught to serve his Trade.

Again when I look upon the Use of the Sea; I con­ceive great Mercy and Wisdom, in placing of it:—Those Heavenly-Buckets that pour out refreshing Refres [...]ing Showers. whence they come. Showers on the parched Soil, are dipp'd in this Cister [...], and it is as the Liver to the Body, fil [...]s the Ground with irriguous Veins; thus we see—

Each thing is full of Duty.
Waters united, are our Navigation;
Distinguished, our Habitation
Below, our Drink; above, our [...]eat:
Both are our Cleanliness. Hath one such Beauty,
Then how are all things neat.

Again, when I see the Earth once every Day mu [...]e The Night describ'd it self in 'its own Shadow, and that the Dark may not be Irksome our busy Eyes are as often clos'd by a Law of Rest which upon Pain of Death we may not long infringe, and how orderly do we go to sleep?

The Stars have us to bed;
Night draws the Curtain, which the Sun withdraws:
Musick and Light attendour Head.
All things unto our Fleshare kind
In their Descent and Being; to our Mind
In their Assent and cause—Herbert

That Sleep (which refreshes Nature) may be thus defin'd—'Tis the resting of the feeling Faculty: the Sleep how caused. Cause is a cooling of the Brain by a pleasant abounding Vapour, breathing forth of the Stomach, and ascending to the Brain—when that Vapour is conco [...] and turned into Spirits the Heat returneth, and the Senses reco­vering W [...]ing [...] ▪ how caused. their former Function, cause waking.

[Page 89] The Affections of Sleep are Dreams—If 'tis asked Drea [...]s. what they are, I answer—A Dream is an inward Act of the Mind, the Body sleeping: and the quieter that Sleep What they be. is, the easier be Dreams; but if Sleep be unquier, then the Minde is troubled—

The U [...]iety of Dreams is according to the divers con­stitution There va­riety. of the Body—the clear and pleasant Dreams are when the Spirits of the Brain, which the Soul useth to imagine with, are most pure and thin, as towards Morning, when Concoction is perfected. But Trouble­some Dreams are when the Spirits be thick and impure. All Natural Dreams are by Images, either before proffer­ed to Memory, or conceived by Temperature alone, or by some Influence from the Stars, as some think. But I shall say no more upon this head, designing my 40th Let­ter shall treat of the Sentiments of the Soul in Infancy. Dreams, Trances, Dotage &c.

Thus we see NIGHT serves us for a Curtain; and Halfe our Life runs out in a Sleepy Va­cation of Senses. that whether we Sleep, Wake, or Dream, the half of the Term of our Life runs out in a Sleepy-Uacation of Senses; and is most pleasureable, tho least delightsome Blessed Lord!

How finely dost thou Times, and Seasons Spin,
And make a Twist checker'd with Night and Day!
Which a [...] it lengthens, Winds, and Winds us in,
As Bowls go on; but turning all the way.—Herbert.

In this I adore a S [...]pream Wisdom! The withering Grass likewise is no less beholding to the Night then The Hea­venly L [...] ­beck [...] the [...] [...] their may be a Growth in Vegta­bles. our heavy Heads; for now the Heavenly-Limb [...]ks do distill the [...]r chearing Influences, that there may be a Growth in Uegetables; the Nightly Moisture [...]gles it self with the Heat by Day; But while I stand admiring thus. C [...]thius Aurem Velli [...], here is one within tells me, I need not go fish for Wonders in the Deep, or camb the height of Heaven, for Heaven; for my self is a [...] a­mazing wonder.

[Page 90] Indeed when I reflect on the Structure of my Body, Meditati­ons on the structure of my own body. I see it is not ordinary; I see it is erect, when other Creatures Grovel; I have a Priviledge of looking up, when the rest stand motto'd by the Poet with. A Pro­naque cum sp [...]ant &c. Os Homini sublime dedit &c.

Is there a more exact Work then our Head? here all The S [...] keep their Rendivouz in the Head the Senses keep their Rende [...]ouz, lie Leaguer to give Intelligence; if an Object that carrys any Colour with it comes; the Eye notes it immediately; If it makes a noise, the Ear catches it, and so of the rest.

Man is all Symmetry,
Full of Proportions, one Limb to another,
And all to all the VVorld besides:
Each part may call the [...]arthest Brother:
For Head with Foot hath private Amity,
And both with Moons, and Tides.

We see MAN is a Creature that hath Reason, and What Man is and the manner of his Genera­tion. as he is most excellent, so hath he a more perfect shape in Body than others. Physitians tell us, His Members are formed, and begin to appear distinctly, about the Six and twentieth Day. And they are all perfect in Males at 30 Days, and in Females at 36 Days. About this time, the Child beginneth to live, and to feel. The Male is moved in the Third Month, but the Females in the Fourth Month: then 'tis nourish'd and encreased till the Ninth Month when it is Grown great, it is brought forth. This is the forming, and procreating of Man, for whose sake all other Creatures were made. Then what a wonder in Nature is Man! and where ever we Ramble, we find the Wonder the greater by the diversity of Faces we see in Publick, in Ten Millions of Faces there are not two alike, or not so alike but they are easily known one from to'ther; and their [...]aices are different as their Faces.

'Tho the Face of the Creation hath 'its variations of Senses o [...] ­ward. Prospect and Beauty, by the alternate Intermixtures of Land and Waters; of Woods, and Feilds, Meadows and [Page 90] Pastures; God here mounting a Hill, and there sinking a Vale, and yonder levelling a pleasant Plain; designedly to render the whole more delectable. and ravishing to the Eyes of Men ( [...] they see his wonders in the Land of the Living)—ye [...] hath he no where given us more admi­rable expre [...]ons of his infinite Power and Wisdom, than in the [...] [...]brick of Mans Body, wherein he hath con­triv [...]d to Sum up all the Perfections of the Greater, t [...]at lye here and there scattered about; nor, is it possi­ble for the Heart of Man to adore enough the Tran­ [...] of his Divine hand in the Perfections that he bears about him. But amongst them all, (omitting the curtous Contexture of the whole Frame) to survey only the A Breif Survey of Glories of the Face and of the Admirable Graces that God has lodged in [...] Fea­ture of it. Glories of the Face, and the admirable Graces that God has [...]odged in each Feature of it; and then to re­member how many Millions of them have passed through his Hands already, flourished out with a perfect diversity of appearance; every one (as I hinted before) discernably varying from all the rest in different Feature and [...]ein; and yet every one excellently agreeing with all, in the same Identity of Aspect. All this varie­gated-Work miracusously performed within the compass of a Span, to let us see what a God can do, when (as the Wise Potter) he turneth his Wheel, and molds Nature into infinite Ideas and Formes.

The several Sences in Man are also Matter of Won­der, Sences Out­ward. These are Outward or Inward. The Outward only perceiving. Things persent: And every one of these have their Proper Subject.

The Sense in the whole Body is TOUCHING; This Touching is a Sence by means of Flesh, full of Sinews, apprehending Tactil Qualities. His Instrument is Flesh, full of Sinews, or rather a Nerve, like a Hair, disperst thoughout the whole Body

Sences of certain parts are more or less Noble. The Seeing Nobler are Seeing and Hearing whose means are the Water and A [...] Sight, by the Eye, perceiveth bright and coloured Things: the Subject where of is [Page 91] Light, &c, his Instrument is the Nerv-Optick, which from the Brain cometh to the Eyes.

Hearing is a Sense perceiving Sounds; his Instru­ment, is a little Skin in the lowest winding or turning of the Ear, dry and full of Holes: The Skin is double, one Hearing. below which covereth a little Bone, like an Anvile; ano­ther above, containing a little Bone, as it were a small Mallet. The upper stricken by the Sounds, striketh the Lower, and stirreth up the Spirits in the Nerves to perceive the sound.

The more Ignoble Senses are Casting and Smelling; Tasting apprehendeth Tastes. His Instrument is—a Nerve stretched like a Net, upon the Flesh of the Tongue, which is full of little Pores. His means is a Temperate Tasting. Salt Humor, which if it do exceed the just quantity, it doth not exactly perceive Tastes; but if it be altogether consum'd, no Tastes are perceiv'd—

Smelling judgeth qualities fit for Smell: His Instrument is the Entrance into the first Ventricle, cover'd with a Smelling. small Skin; the dryer it is, the quicker of Smell, as in Dogs and Vultures; but Man, for the moistness of his Brain, hath but a dull Smell.

Were there no more in MAN then these five outward Sen­ses to be wonder'd at; well might David say he was won­derfully Senses in­ward. made, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the Earth Ps. 139. 15. But besides these Five outward Senses, (to raise our Wonder yet a little higher) there are inward Senses, which, beside Things presently offered, do know Forms of many absent Things—By these, the Creature doth not only perceive, but also understandeth that which he doth perceive. These have their Seat in the Brain; they are either Conceiving or Preserving; Conceiving ex­erciseth Conceiv­ing. his Faculty by discerning, or more fully judging; it is called common Sense, and the other is Phantasie. Common Sense more fully distinguisheth sensible Things; his instrument is the former Ventricle of the Brain, made by dryness fit to receive. Thantasie is an inward Sense more diligently examining the Forms of Things: This is the Thought and Iudgment of Creatures; his Place is the mid­dle [Page 92] part of the Brain, being, through dryness, apt to re­tain—

The preserving Sense is Memory, which according to the Constitution of the Brain, is better or worse. It is weaker in a moist Brain than in a dry Brain. [...]is Instru­ment Preserving. is the hinder part of the Brain.

Memory calling back Images preserved in former time, is called Remembrance; but this is not without the Use Remem­brance. of Reason, and therefore is only attributed to Man.

I wou'd next say something of the Wonders found in the Brain, whence Tears proceed by the Angles of the Eyes, (and Tears pro­ceed from the Brain. the greater the Flesh of those Angles be, so much more plentiful be Tears) but (Sabina) shou'd I inlarge you'll take me for some Quick-Doctor, who confounds his Auditors with his learned Nonsense. However, the Structure of Man's Body, &c. being what took up much of my Thoughts when I liv'd in publick: I can't leave this Sub­ject 'till I have said something of his breathing Parts, which (next to the EYE) I take to be one of the greatest Wonders in the Body of Man.

The Principal Parts of breathing are in the Breast; be­ing either Lights o Heart; wherefore these being touch­ed, The breath­ing Parts. breathing is immediately hurt; and such Wounds be deadly: The Lungs are a spongious and thin Part, soft, and like Foam of congeal'd Blood, declining something to the Right-side. Breath is brought into the Lights by a rough Artery k [...]it to the Root of the Tongue: This Artery is a long Channel made of many Gristle-Rings on a Row, which endeth in the Lights. If any thing falls into the hollow­ness of this, the Breath is hindred, and there is danger to be Choaked; but this is a Nice Subject, I shall therefore treat of it more at large in an Essay upon my own Death.

Thus having told your Ladyship what I discover'd in the Celestial Bodies, and likewise what I observ'd under the Sun (but more especially) with respect to the Wonders [...]f the Beasts, Fishes and Birds, but just men­tioned, and why. Deep. The Tapestry of Nature—And the curious Frame of the Body of Man, &c. I shou'd next proceed (if I' [...]e treat of every thing) to what Remarks I made upon Beast [...], Fishes, and Birds, [Page 93] (more especially on the OWL, on whom I have written As is hinted before. a large Essay) but I am forc'd to drop these Subjects with just naming of 'em; for when I remember THAT where­by I observe all this, I am so nonpluss'd I can go no further. If you ask me any Question about it? I will say it is some strange Divine Thing, but what, I well know not; it is The Soul is some strange Divine Thing. call'd a SOUL; a most active Being, I'm sure it is; it is ever grinding; if you rake it up in the Ashes of a Sleep, it will glow in a Dream: It is fixed in the Orb of the Body, but raiseth it self further then the Sun: It will pierce the most solid Substance; rests not in a few Objects, tho a sin­gle one sometimes may, like a Glass, collect its Beams to a Flame. O the Soul that can drag the past and future Times to the Bar of present Consideration! that will in the most retir'd Cell, discourse to me of various Matters: This Cosmographical Spirit that can shew me the Heavens and the Earth as in Landskip, in the darkest Room! Oh It can shew me the Hea­ven and the Earth, as in Land [...]ip. in t [...]e dark­est Room. the swiftness of its motion! it will beat against East and West (like a Bean in a Bladder) with less noise and more nimbleness, which made Randolph say,

And when I walk abroad, Fancy shall be,
My skil [...]ful Coachman, and shall hurry me
Through Heaven and Earth, and Neptune's watry Plain,
And in a Moment bring me back again.

This nimble Soul forgets (sometimes) 'tis espoused to It forgts s [...]metimes that 'tis es­poused to Flesh and Blood. Flesh and Blood; it now leans so far without my Win­dows (by Reason of the STONE, and other Distempers) that another Blast will puff it out, and freeze up the Case­ments.

Oh! i [...] thou stayest still; why must I stay?
My God, what is this World to me?
This World of Wo? Hence all ye Clouds away,
Away; I must get up and see—
Then l [...]se this Frame, this Knot of Man unty,
[...] f [...]ee Soul may use her Wing,
Which now is pinion'd with Mortality;
As an entangl'd hamper'd thing.
What have I left. that I should s [...]ay and Groan?
T [...]e most of [...]e to clean' [...] is fled:
My Thoughts and [...]ys are all packt up and gone.
And so t [...]ir old Acquaintance [...]lead.

By musing on the Nature and Excellency of my own Soul it leads me to consider the SWAY I bear in the World; and here I observe all the visible Creation to bow down to me. The Sun, Moon, and Stars—wait The Nature and Excel­lency of [...]e Soul, lea [...]s me to con­sider the sway I bear in the World upon me, but what shall all this fill my Life with Pride, as my Mind with Wonder? Neither can any thing I have heard or seen in my Fellow-Creatures, (who are proud of being Rational tho' their Reason is but the Per­spective Glass, through which they behold their Misery) warrant my giving them Black Characters—No (Sabina) I find too much in my own Breast, to damp my censu­ring others, and have as little Reason to be pust up with Conceit: With Conceit! of what shou'd I be proud of, for my Head is as full of Whimseys as if it kept open House for all the Maggots in Nature—yet excuse me too! for I don't see but others (only they have more Wit to conceal 'em) have as many Maggots as Iohn Dunton: And there­fore Maggots in every Brain. 'tis Mr. Herbert tells us—.

Man builds a House, which quickly down must go,
As if a Whirl-wind blew,
And crush'd the Buildings: And its partly true,
His Mind is so.
O what a sight were Man, if his Attires
Did alter with his Mind!
And like a Dolphin's Skin, his Cloaths combin'd
With his Desires!
Surely, if each one saw anothers Heart,
There wou'd be no Commerce,
No Sale or Bargain pass: All wou'd disperse,
Andliv apart.

But suppose I cou'd see nothing greater (or more Mag­gotty) then my self to arrogate my Service, yet were I far [Page 95] from being Absolute; nor dare I think my self mine own Man; My Hands and Shoul­ders tell [...]e I was born to labour. for my Hands and Shoulders, and other parts, are a Le­cture to me for the labour of my Body—And my station here minds me, that I must be busied in Contemplation; for I look on the Earth as a Green Bank recover'd from the Waters for me to stand on unmovedly, while I behold the tossing Seas and turning Spheres, and all things else in agitation. Now to be tasked in this manner, denotes my condition to be that of a Servant. I further know my sub­jection My great Ignorance. by my Ignorance, I cannot so much as give an Account of my own Being; how I was brought hither, I have it not in my own knowledge; if those about me had combined, it had been more easie to have made me be­lieve an Eternity of my self, a parte ante, than the Atheist a parte post—That I had a Beginning is but deliver'd me I was ligh­ted I know not how no [...] when. by Tradition, confirm'd by the Motions of accretion and diminution in my self, and Example in others, for I was LIGHTED I know not how, nor when.

Again, In the Administration of Things, their Order is not from any Law of mine, and I might well be call'd Esop's foolish Fly; should I think my self able to make the very Bsop's foo­lish Fly. Dust that made me; now while I ponder on these Things, and a thousand more that I see in the World, I look for something greater than it. It seems to me unreasonable, That a Work so Absolute and Uniform, should want an Efficient; I dare not with Empedocles, sit shuffling in a du­sty The wise Admini­stration of Things, lead us to the Conside­ration of an Immense Being. CELL, 'till I have made a World of Atoms. But I will resolvedly say, such wise Position and Administration of Things here, was never Casual, so I search, and wonder, and tremble; for I find my-self not far from that Immense Being that I thus grope after; and (sure I am) if a Light was brought into the Room, I shou'd see my self in the everlasting Arms of a Father or an Enemy.

These things I read by the Hierogliphicks of the Crea­tures in the A. B. C. of Nature, for so I'll call the Book of Morks, compar'd to that of the Word of later Edition, and of more Perfection: This is the unmasking of the o­thers Frontispiece; this leads me, and refers them, to an [Page 96] ALMIGHTY GOD, here manifested in his several Sub­sistences and Attributes; I have it here in plain Words, What was but pointed at in the other.

Behold this little Uolume here enrold,
'Tis the Almighty's Present to the World.
Hearken Earth, Earth, Each senseless thing can hear
His Maker's Thunder, tho' it want an Ear.
Gods Word▪ is senior to his Work, [...]y rather,
If rightly weighd, the World may call it Father;
God spake, 'twas done: This great Foundation,
Was but the Makers Exhalation,
Breath'd out in speaking. The least work of Man,
Is better then his Word; but if we scan
God's Word aright, his Works far short do fall:
The Word is God, the Works are; Creature's all:
The sundry pieces of this general Frame,
Are dimmer Letters, all which spell the same
Eternal Word. But these cannot express,
His Greatness with such easie Readiness,
And therefore yield. For Heaven shall pass away,
The Sun, the Moon, the Starrs, shall all obey.
To light one general Boon-Fire; but his WORD,
His Builder up, his all destroying Sword;
Yet still survives, no jot of that can die,
Each Tittle measures Immortality.
Once more, this mighty Word his People greets,
Thus lapp'd, and thus swath'd up in Paper-sheets.
Read here Gods Image with a Zealous Eye,
The Legihle and Written Deity.

But I'll not undertake to unfold its Excellency; for to speak of every Thing in this Book, requires a better Why the Holy Bible is the chief Book we shou'd study. Pen than mine; however, this I shall say of it, He that Questions its Worth, instead of an Answer, shall be deser­vedly blam'd, as neglectful of reading the Holy Scripture.

When I have weighed the Premises, I am troubled My Resolu­tions to read it of­ten. that I have so truanted formerly, and cannot but now re­solve to put my self with more diligence upon this Spiri­tual Literature▪

Thus having mentioned the Characters of SUN, MOON, HEAVEN, and EARTH, (and the other Creatures) I shall be able to put them together, and make them spell Infinite [Page 97] Wisdom and Power, as much as boundless Mercy. From the Earth, I learn to contemplate, from the Heavens, I learn to add Motion and Practice to my Speculation—When I see how the dead Earth and Water serve the Ve­getive, and they the Sensitive, and they the Rational Crea­tures: What spiri­tual use we should make of every Thing we see in the World. And when I see how this subordination keeps eve­ry thing entire, let me hence also learn Duty, let me re­member, tho' I am exalted above all these, yet there is a higher than the highest, to whom I am in all humbleness to stoop, as they to me. And if my Ox knows his Owner, and my Ass his Masters Crib, let them teach me to know him from whom I have receiv'd All, and to whom I owe all. And Lastly, When I see the largeness and capacity of my own Soul; I will learn to decline the small and narrow Creature, and search after an Object able to better it, able to fill it.

And as I shou'd make this spiritual use of every thing I see in the World, which I call the Book of Works; so like­wise, that I may be more skill'd in God's other Book, I shall desire to meditate in it Day and Night; to use it on all occasions, as a Medicine for every Disease.

If I am in doubt, I will make it my Counsellor; if in Affliction, I will make this sure and tryed Word my sup­port; if I am in Darkness, and see no Light, here I'll stay my self; when I see my Ignorance, I will esteem A Cure for every Dis­ease both of Soul and Body. this able to give Understanding to the Simple; when I would lance my Soul, I will make use of this Two edged Sword; when it is fit to be heal'd again, why this is Balm from Gilead: If I am Poor, I will take pains for this Treasure, more worth than much fine Gold; Pearls and Rubies are not to be compar'd with it; by this I may learn Godliness, which is great Gain. If I am Rich, this Book will plentifully shew me, that a Man's Wealth doth not consist in the Abundance which he possesseth, and that Riches have Wings: If Sorrow takes hold of me, the sweet Consolations here are as Health to the Navel, and as Marrow to the Bones. If Trouble be general; I have here direction where to rest at Noon.

Oh Book, infinite sweetness! let my Heart,
Suck every Letter, and a hony gain;
Precious for any grief in any part,
To clear the Breast, to molifie all Pain.
Thou art all Health, Health, thriving 'till it make
A full Eternity; thou art a Mass
Of strange Delights, where we may wish and take:
Ladies, look here; this is the Only Glass
That mends the Lookers Eyes; this is the Well
That washes what it shews; who can endear
Thy praise too much? thou art Heav'ns Leiger here,
Working against the States of Death and Hell.
Thou art Ioys handsel; Heaven lies flat in thee,
The way to be happy, when the wholeworld is dissolv'd.
Subject to every Mounters bended Knee.—Herbert.

In a Word, If I wou'd leave that which I feel slipping away and perishing, and repose my self upon My treating of every Thing has been a Wild-goose chase through Heaven, Earth and Seas, &c. what is firm and lasting, Let me relinquish each worldly Confidence, and rest upon this Word, which shall stand un­shaken upon the Ruines of Heaven and Earth.

Thus (Madam) have I led you a Wild Goose-Chase, through Heaven, Earth, and Seas, &c. I wou'd rummage the World further, but that I observe he that has the O­stentation or Vanity to be too much known to the World, is in great danger of being unacquainted with himself; and The danger of being un­acquainted with our selves. therefore having consider'd every Thing I saw in Publick, (which was wont to employ my Thoughts) I shall retreat again from this Great World, to my quiet Cell, where I'll dissect my Breast, and write an Essay of the Lesser My Retreat from this great World to my pri­vate Cell. World, my self; and when I have so well survey'd this little piece of Earth, that I have left no part undiscover'd, I shall next represent my self as Dead and Buried, in an My own Grave to be the Sub­ject of the next Letter. Essay upon my own Grave, &c. Where I shall lie In­cognito, 'till the Resurrection. And when the Dead a­wake, I shall then be

Your known Friend, and Servant, IOHN DVNTON.

The LADY's Answer to my Seventh LETTER.

SIR,

IF instead of living, you were buried Incognito, I could expect no account of your observations; but if you live, you must needs think; and the obscurity of your Cell, can be no impediment to your contemplating the great and busy World at such a distance, tho only, upon what your memory furnishes; for from thence those thoughts may be produced in order and method, which were at first obtruded on you in hur­ry and confusion: 'Tis now, and not till now, you are in capacity to prove that something may be learnt even from Courts and Cities; and every thing▪ we see in Publick: For the noise and turmoile of the World, is no Friend to reflection. Virgil found it so, and so do all thinking Men; in so much that Retire­ment from the World, seems to stamp a Character of Wisdom upon those that can bear any Inconvenience better than the in­terruption of their Thoughts. Yet the very aspect of thinking, is so unacceptable to the gay World; that according to Mon­sieur Scuderie, Those that have better things to think of, than what they intend to speak, ought to remain in their Closets, and not to trouble the company with their silence; and yet perhaps their best Thoughts might be lost, should they venture to impart 'em so at random, as the Company shall be disposed to take 'em; but when composed in Solitude, and after Printed, tho' they are designed for none but those that like and ap­prove 'em; they may with great pleasure satisfy the passions and malignant humours of such as dislike 'em; that all must own themselves mutually obliged; those that present the Subject for remarks; and those, who like the Bees in their Cells, con­vert 'em into useful Reflections.

The great and little World, as they are the Noblest Objects you could chuse for Contemplation, so your Esteem and Love of this Exercise appears by the Exactness of your Observations [Page 100] upon them; for besides Man, the epitomy of the great World, the visible Heavens and Earth, alone, are full of the Majesty of Gods Glory, and might sufficiently convince an Atheist; for as you well observe, the whole World is but the Explanation of a Deity; 'tis possible a Man with some defect of Mind, like that of Blindness in the Body, may have but weak Conjectures of what appeares a perfect Demonstration to others; but should such a one take upon him to Dispute against a Deity, 'twould be a presumption like that of a Blind-mans going about to prove there's neither Light nor Sun, because he can't see 'em; for the same Reason the Atheist therefore may well be silent; for he that does not conclude there is a God by Contemplation of the Universe, one must conclude has some defect in his Un­derstanding or Will,▪ that spoils his Iudgment; for without Speech or Language, the Heavens declare the Glory of God; their sound is gone out into all Lands, and their words unto the ends of the World. Then who can pretend they have not heard enough to convince their Understanding? The fault must needs lie in the Will. A Fool may say in his Heart there is no God, when at the same time his Understanding tells him there is; he speaks as he would have it, but thinks as he fears; and truly Atheism is one of those stupendious Wonders which would astonish much, but that it Ioses the Horror by being so common; Nay, tis so Familiar to us, it passes un­observed: We little perceive the Practical Atheism we are all Guilty of, when we are so solicitous to please the World, and never ask our selves the question whether we can serve God and Mammon; in that case we say in our Hearts, There is no God; that is, our sinful Affections and Appetites perswades us to think there it none; or at least not such a one as deserves our highest Love and Care to please; As also in any temptation of Profit, or Advantage, shall easily put a stop to our Proceedings: But all the Threatnings of the Great God of Heaven can't stop us in any sinful Action that is attended with Credit and Applause, as too many are; which is an Establish'd Atheism, set up by Custom, if we can't say by Law; But you have taken the properest way to Destroy this Monster by penetrating, with such exactness all the Uarious and Wonderful Works [Page 101] of God; both the Pleasure and Advantage of such Contempla­tions are unspeakable; therefore 'tis as much for our Benefit as for Gods Glory, the Scriptures were given us, that by them we might learn to observe & acknowledge his mighty Acts, and di­stinguish his Divine Providence from the Actions of sinful Man, who never fails to shew his Sin and Frailty on all occa­sions, where God leaves him to Act alone; and certainly there is a kind of Atheism in that general disrespect to Gods Providence, observable in the World; so few are sensible from whom they must expect the success of their Enterprises; they Esteem some Persons very Lucky, others they term Un­fortunate, according to what befalls 'em, adverse or prosperous; Nay, even great and remarkable Providences are Esteem'd Accidents; or if any cause assigned them, 'tis such as is purely humane, without the least relation to God.

Thus we live without God in the World, and if we have but either Riches, Friends in Power, or our own Wits to trust to, we say in our hearts, there is no God; that is, we are not concern'd whether there is or no; we think we can enjoy the World without him. But how much happier are those who are the great Observers of Gods Providence, so that all That comes to pass in the World, serves for their Instruction? For as they acknowledg them to proceed from Gods Order and Determina­tion, they are of the same Use to us with the Holy Scriptures, to perfect and incourage us in all Good Works, when we are certain of the Truth of them, which may be discover'd by their agreement with the Written Word; for were they as infallibly true, and we could have the same certainty of what is reported of Things done, and Acted in the World, nothing could excuse us from the same Reverence and Respect for 'em; for we know we shall be all taught of God, and we know his Providence has been of Old, and is still, his most usual way of teaching, as it falls under the Observation of the meanest Capacities; and great effects may be seen of a true sence of Gods Power, Mercy, and Goodness; amongst such Persons as have had neither Time nor Opportunity of other Instructions: I can speak it of my own knowledge, I have seen more sighs of true Faith, Hope, and Charity, and a reverent sence of God, in the Discourse and Actions of the Vulgar, such as Farmers and Day-Labourers [Page] in the Country, whose outward teaching has chiefly been the Experience and Observation of the Providence of God to themselves and Neighbours; tho' by the Learned so despised, as if for want of Knowledge, they were little better than Brutes: I wish I could see 'em mightily surpass'd by the Lives and Discourses of those from whom we have reason to expect much more, as living under the means of Instruction, from their daily attendance at Church, of which the greatest part are WOMEN; but of too many of 'em, so little Virtue appears in their Conduct, one might take 'em for the silly Women St. Paul describes, laden with Sin; led away with divers Lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the know­ledge of the Truth: 'Tis to be feared they trust too much to teaching, and think themselves Religious and Devout, for only using the Means of being so; 'twere good if those People could be taught, that the faithful discharge of their Duty and Calling, would be a better Service to God; and then from a strict observation of his Providence, great Lessons might be learnt of Patience, Humility and Charity, and every Chri­stian Virtue they shall need to be adorned with.

But those Men that have the advantage of natural and ac­quir'd Parts, are accountable for the Glory they owe to God, from the Contemplation of his WORKS, which are great, sought out of all those that take pleasure therein: His Works are worthy to be praised and had in Honour; even so much a [...] Man is able to comprehend of 'em is enough to discover, by the invisible Things of God, his eternal Power and God­head; this was manifest to the very Heathen, besides his in­finite Love and Bounty to us Christians; from which Foun­tain springs all the Wonders you present me, whereof you make such pious Uses; and indeed I cannot enough admire, how it is possible so many Naturalists should ever be able to make such Advances in this Study, and not learn from the un­certainty and difficulties they find in 'em, to set the highest va­lue upon the next Life, where the desire of Knowledge shall be fully satisfied; for as God in his Wisdom and Good­ness, has given to all our Senses suitable Objects; our thirst after Knowledge and Happiness must necessarily from the same Goodness, [Page 103] meet with the fullest satisfaction in Heaven; for on Earth we are far from any Capacity of injoying such Blessings as Truth and Goodness in its full Perfection. Every Days Experience, convinces us of the Mistakes those curious Minds continually make by an unsuccessful and presumptious search into Nature, which they can never fathom; but for the present they are f [...]d to appease their eager and unquiet Thoughts, with Dreams and Shadows, while they quite lose the true end of Contemplation, which should lead us to our own chief good, the Knowledge and Love of the Divine Per­fections; therefore an humble and modest Enquiry into the nature of God's wonderful Works, might, by this means, prove useful Spectacles, always ready at hand, through which his glory would reflect, to keep us in perpetual Praise and Admiration of his Wisdom, Power and Goodness, to us poor sin­ful Mortals in this life; and make us sigh after that more full and perfect measure of intellectual Knowledge we shall find in Heaven, where we shall then read all those Riddles we are now so puzl'd with. That strange divine Thing, the Soul, you so pleasantly describe, will have the happiness to know, and be known, both which it wants now; for did we but know the Dignity of that Divine Guest, we would treat it with more Respect, than to employ all our Care and Thoughts to serve and content the Body, to the Injury and Disparagement of the Soul; for 't [...]s certain, that Soul which knows its true rank, keeps the Body in subjection, and suffers none to rule and govern it, but God who made it; nor is it of the Bodies childish Appetite, to take Delight in sensual Pleasures, it values only Heavenly Food, of which 'tis amply furnished in the Holy Scriptures, and of a far more delightful Relish than can be found in any Humane Science. The Royal Prophet David found it so, which fill'd his Psalms with such high Elogiums of the Law of God, where he found his Hearts Desire; and as it was his chiefest Business and Concern, not only by continual Exercise in it Day and Night, to perfect his own Delight, so he earnestly recommends [Page 104] it to others, as that which would give 'em the Wisdom of the Aged, and make them wiser than their Enemies; and never rests 'till he has made it plain, that the Word of God is the only Remedy for all the Miseries of Humane Life; consider therefore what a Treasure you have got in your Resolution of putting your self with more diligence upon this Spiritual Literature, where you will not only See, but Taste the Divine Goodness; after which, the study of the Great World, and your self, the Little World, or what­ever serves for Matter of Contemplation, will all be refer'd to the glory of God, as its ultimate end; which will en­crease your Joy and Happiness, in that Day when you shall awake from the Dead, and may perhaps be KNOWN, amongst the rest, to

Your &c.

Dunton Represented AS DEAD and BURIED, IN An Essay upon his own Funeral.

LETTER VIII.

Madam,

IN my Sixth Letter, I acquainted your Ladyship, That tho' God had blest me with a competent Fortune, yet that I was A Cell the best place to resine our Thoughts. streightned at present; and that as long as I continued so, a Private Cell was the best Place to resine my Thoughts, and to preserve my Liberty:—But can I doubt my Liberty, when I am only a Prisoner to my Wifes Iointure? That Minute she pulls off the Shackles, I'll receive her as a Dutiful Wife; but can she be so whilst she refuses to make me easie? When all that's desir'd is but 500 Pound (out 'Tis an Em­blem of Death. of 6000 l.) and that to pay off a Debt which she knew of before Marriage. She tells me In the Letters she sent me since we parted. indeed, That she loves me as her own Soul; and that she and I are one; and if so, (to use her own Ex­pression) she shou'd not let her Member suffer in the midst of a good Estate, in which she has but her bare Life, and that neither, 'till I am Dead and Buried (not in Effigie, but) in good Earnest. But Valeria (like some other Wives) thinking all the Duty lies on the [Page 106] MANs side, won't release a Foot of her Jointure; so that at present I do as 'twere want what I possess; however I the less ad­mire [...]me Wives [...]ink all [...]e Duty [...]es on the [...]an's side. at my Change of Fortune, when I consider the Divine Pro­vidence useth Men, here below, as Counters in a Reckoning, which now stand for Pence, and straightways for Crowns: Some all the time of their Lives are buryed in a deep Night; we neither know their Entrance into the World, nor their Passage out (ex­cept by a Sprig of Rosemary, if their Estate will bear it) and if we know them by a Title, 'tis by that of their Miseries. But if the World be such a perfect Lottery,

Give me the pliant Mind, whose gentle measure
Complies and suits with all Estates;
Which can let loose to a Crown, and yet with Pleasure;
Take up within a Cloyster's Gates.—Herbert.

This is my Case 'till Valeria smiles; till then, I'm confin'd to my little Cell, where turning over in my Remembrance, all that cou'd further afflict or torment me; I was brought at last to think on the last of all dreadful Terrible Things, DEATH. And [...]hy I [...]hou'd not [...]dmire at [...]y change [...]f Fortune. seeing my present Dwelling and Circumstance, is so very private, as to be an Emblem of Death: I think I can't make a better Advance in the Art of living Incognito, then by making this Subject—An Essay on my own Funeral, &c.—

Whilst I liv'd in Ireland, my Friend Mr. Larkin brought me acquainted with a Gentleman, who in his perfect Health sent for Of an Irish Gentleman, who in his perfect Health, sent for a Sex­ton to ring his Knell. the Sexton to ring his Knell, being ask'd the Reason, he re­ply'd, because he was DEAD; that is, (said he) in a Civil Sense, I am Dead (tho' I walk about) for my Mony is gone, and I were as good be out of the World; this seems to be my Case, yet 'tis not this DEATH I'm writing of; but tho' 'tis not, yet we see by this Man, who wou'd have his Knell rung whilst he was living, that some Men have more Brains than they can be quiet with, and the Death of such, if not a Triumph, yet (as Feltham observes) is a repose to themselves, and to those who were their Acquaintance.

Those also that grudge themselves the Conveniencies of Life, may be said to be DEAD (whilst they are yet breathing) as much as Every Mi­ser is a dead Man. the 'foresaid Gentleman; for the one is starv'd for the want of Money, and the other is starv'd with his Abundance; and in this Sense each Miser is Dead; like a Dog in a Wheel, he toils to roast Meat for others eating, and therefore might properly write an Essay on his own Funeral. Tho if he shou'd, he now makes his Will against his Will; settles his Estate, assures all for the World; and at last, sends for a Preacher, who finds him un­fitting [Page 107] for God or the World. Sickness and Death I see are Bold and Impartial Serjeants; the World and Wealth are but poor Bail upon Deaths Arrests; all Means are nothing when God strikes.

Yet when a Rich Man is sick, what resorting is there to his House, by Kindred, Friends and Neighbours? He wants not for Company, Counsel, or Help; when as an honest Poor Man may lye long enough under a tedious Sickness, and have no such Visitants—

But my Funeral Essay is intended for neither of these Per­sons; My desig [...] in wri [...]ting an Essay on my own Funeral. for what I design is only an Essay on my Dead Body, (and what will happen to it) and I wou'd here, by laying my self out for Dead, learn to dye at my own Funeral.

I can't find this Subject was ever handled before; for 'tho some have seen themselves buryed in Pomp, as I shall shew anon, 'Tis a Sub­ject that was never writ of be­fore. yet no Man ('till now) 'ere writ An Essay on his own Funeral; nei­ther has—

Any courteous Ghosts told this great Secrecy.
What 'tis they are, and we must be—Mr. Norris.

I have never met any one of those Milions of Souls, that have past into the other World, to learn from 'em what Death is; and there­fore pnthe re­resenting my self Dead and buryed no­thing can be expected but meer con­jecture. in the representing my self Dead and Buryed when I am yet alive you can expect nothing but meer Conjecture; However I'll close my Eyes on this vain World, and dress out my Hearse in the best manner I can: I went Yesterday to Stepny-Church to to view the Graves of others, the better to prepare my Mind to write this Essay on my own Funeral; I spent about Five Hours a­mong the Tombs; which tho' it be a Melancholy sight, yet has something in it proper to instruct the Living; In walking through What we may learn, by walking through a Church-yard, and by Viewing of Dead Mens Sculls. a Church-yard (especially that of Stepny and Chiswick) we see a great number of Dead-mens-Sculls arranged one in Pile upon another, which puts us in mind of the Vanity and Arro­gance wherewith other while they have bin fill'd. We need but walk through a Church yard to see what is this Foolish Animal, Man. Here we see what we Magnify; what we call a King, a Duke, a Lord, even a little Warm and Walking Earth, that will be Ashes soon; we came into the World crying and squalling and We consume our Lives in drivling In­fancy, in Ig­norance Sleep, &c. so much of our Time's consum'd in drivling Infancy, in Ignorance, Sleep, Disease, Trouble, that the remainder is not worth the being rear'd to; we see in walking through a Church yard how Time laughs us out of Greatness, and shuts up our wide designs in a Dark Narrow Room. Then what Midness is the Pomp, the Noise, Time shuts up our wids designs in a Dark Nar­row-Room. the Splendour the Frantick Glory of this Foolish Life; we makeour selves Fools, to disport our selves, and vary a Thousand antick ugly shapes of [Page 108] Folly and Madness; These fill up the Scenes and Empty Spaces of our Lives. Folly and Madness fill up the Em­pty Spaces of our Lives. The Thoughts of this, one wou'd think, shou'd abate our Pride and sensual Affections, for why shou'd I be so Vain to Pride my selfe in outward Pomp, and Bravery; who within a few Hours may be a Dead Corpse carryed in Procession—Methinks the Sight of a Funeral shou'd humble the Proudest Man; or Proud Man, that thou maist be humbled, The Sight of a Funeral shou'd hum­ble the Proudest­man.

Go to the dull Church-yard and see,
Those Hillocks of Mortality?
Where Proudest Man is only Found;
By a small swelling of the Ground,
Here Crowds of Rich Bodyes are made
Slaves to the Pick Ax and the Spade;
Dig but a Foot or two to make
A cold Bed for thy Dead Friends sake,
'Tis odds, but in that Scantling Boom,
Thou robbst some Great Man of his Tomb
And in thy Delving Smit'st upon
His Shin-Bone, or his Cranion
Some make a huge Noise in the World to have the Honour to fill out a more Splen­did Epi­taph.

Such Lessons as these we may learn by viewing the Tombs of those who make a huge Noise in the World, that they may have the Honour to fill out a more Splendid Epitaph—And as a walk through a Church yard shews us the Uanity and End of all Worldly Grandeur, so it also shews us That Death is as Common as 'tis Ingrateful. Infants, as well as Men, dayly can direct us in it; Witness every Church-yard, where are to be seen Graves of all Sizes. In ev'ry Church­yard are to be seen Graves of all Sizes.

This Treasury of Death Survey.
Where Young and Old like Tribute pay.
See what Acquaintance thou canst Spy
Amongst those Skulls; I prithee try:
Man of Science, prithee shew:
Thy Darling Child, or Aged Foe.
Mankind by thee alone are read:
And know'st thou nothing of the Dead?

No surely, nothing at all! for Alexander seeing Diogenes tumbling among Dead Bones, ask'd him what he sought? To whom the other Diogenes Tumbling among Dead-Bones. Answered, that which I cannot find. The difference between the Rich and the Poor—And as there be Graves of all Qualities and Sizes, so who can see 'em covered with Green Turf and withering Grass and forget he must die?

[Page 109] Before we come into the Church we are presented with these Sights; A 7th part of our Time is set a part to put us in mind of dy­ing. as if unfit to hear Gods Word, untill we are put in mind of Death; and this we are injoyn'd once in Seven Dayes, as if it 7th part of our Time were to be set apart, to put us in mind of dying—And happy are those Christians whom the sight of Funerals and Graves Rings a Peal in their Ears, of their own Dissolution, which (by most) is so little remembred, that 'tis become a saying, I thought no more on't then of my Dying Day; which tho' a wicked Expression, yet I fear there's a great deal of Truth in't, for my self must Confess,—That Living in a Country Uillage, where a Burial was a Rarity, I never thought of Death, it was so seldom presented unto me; coming to London, where there is plenty of Funeralls (so that Coffins and Corpse in the GraveObservati­ons upon the Funerals in Country Villages, and upon those in London.justle for Elbow-Room, for so they do both at Stepney and Chiswick, and ev'ry Church-yard in this Populous Town) I Slighted and neglected Death, because grown an Object so constant, and Common—How soul is my Stomach to turn all Food into bad Humours? Funerals neither few nor frequent, work effectually on me; London is a Library of Mortality: Volumes of all Sorts and sizes, Rich and Poor, Infants, Children, Youth &c. dayly dye—I see there is more required to make a good Schollar, than only the having of many Books. Lord, I therefore wish, that thou wilt be my School-Master, and teach me to Number my Days, that I may apply my Heart unto Wisdom:

Thus Madam have I shewn, what we may learn in a Church-yard (where you'l see me buryed 'ete my Letter is finisht) It teaches us the Vanity and End of all Worldly Grandeur.—What little A Church­yard gives me hints about my own Death, and fair warning to prepare for it. reason (such Worms as I) have to be Proud?—That Death is the Fate of all that come into this World (from the Man of 60 to the Infant that is just born) And in this Particular it reminds me of my own Death and the consequence of it, and therefore A walk to [...]a Church-yard, I thought the most likely thing to prepare my Mind to write an Essay on my own Funeral—And as a Church-yard gives me hints about my own Death, (and fair warning to prepare for it) so it also shews us the Folly of murmuring; that we are Mortal Creatures; for shou'd I complain, that there shall be a Time, in the which I shall not be, I may as well repent that there was a Time in the which I was not; and so be greived that I am We have to Reason to murmur that we are mortal Cre­atures no [...] Old as Adam had bin had he liv'd to this present Year 1700; for not to have been 4000 Years before this Moment, is as much to be de­plored as not to be 4000 Years after it: we know (something) what Death is by the Thought of that Time and Estate of our selves which was 'ere we were; our Nephews haue the same Reason to [...]ex [...] yes that, they [...] not [...]ung in our Dayes, which we have [...], that we shall not be old in theirs; they who so re-went [Page 110] us, did give place unto us, and shall we grieve to give room to them who come after us? And I'm apt to think, there's nothing in Death it self that can afright us; 'tis only Fancy gives Death those hidious Shapes we think him in; 'tis the Saying of one, I fear not to be dead, yet am afraid to dye; 'tho I don't see why we should be afraid of Death, (but as 'tis the inlet to What Life is.— Eternity) for Death is no more than a soft and easy Nothing.—Shou [...]d you ask me then what is Life? I'd answer with Crates, who being asked this Question, said nothing, but turned him round and vanish'd, and 'twas judged a proper Answer Life's nothing but a dull repetition, What Death is.—a vain fantastick Dream, and there's an end on't—But what ever 'tis to live, sure I am (if you credit Seneca) 'tis no more to dye Tis only Fancygives Death those hideous Shapes we think him in.—— than to be born; we felt no pain coming into the World, nor shall we in the Act of leaving it.

Death is but a ceasing to be what we were before we were, we are kind­led and put out, to cease to be, and not to begin to be, is the same thing. I have met with one arguing thus. Death which is accounted the most dreadful of all Evils, is nothing to us, (saith he) because while we are in being, Death is not yet present; so that it neither concerns us as living nor dead; Epicurus in Gassend. Synt. for while we are alive, it hath not toucht us, when we are dead, we are not. So that we look upon Death with our Eyes, not with our Reason, or we shou'd find a certain Sweetness in Mortality, for that Essay on knowing our Friends in Heaven p. 87. can be no loss which can never be mist or desired again. But let Death be what it will, 'tis certain 'tis less troublesome than Sleep, for in Sleep, I may, have disquieting Pains, or Dreams, and yet I fear not going to bed. For Sleep gives us a sip of Joy, but Death the full draught. This is my Notion what DEATH is, but I can't be sure I 'ent mistaken, for my writing of my own Funeral shews I'm yet alive, or were I laid in my Grave, I shou'd know as little what Death is as I do now, for dying deprives us of knowing what we are doing or what other state we are commenceing. Tis a leap in the dark, not knowing where we shall light, as Mr. Hobbs told his inquisitive Friend when he was going to dye. But 'tho I know so little what Death is, there have been Men, that have tried even in Death it self to relish and taste it, but (as I said before) there are none of them come back to tell us the News—Canius Ju­lius endea­voured to make Tri­al what Death was that he might come again to ac­quaint his Friends with it.—

—No one was ever, known to make,
Who once in Death's cold Arms a Nap did take. Lucret. Lib. 3.

Canius Iulius being condemn'd by that Beast Caligula, as he was go­ing to receive the stroke of the Executioner, was ask'd by a Philoso­pher well Canius (said he) where about is your Soul now? what is she doing? what are you thinking of? Iwas thinking ( [...] [Page 111] and the faculties of my mind setled and fixt, to try if in this short and quick instant of Death I cou'd perceive the motion of the Soul when she starts from the Body, and what this passage is, and whether she has any resentment of the separation, that I may afterwards come again to acquaint my Fr [...]ends with it. But we don't read that Canius, after he was put to death, ever came to life again to acquaint his Friends what Death was. But 'tho he did not there be those that have, for my s [...]lf had once the Curiosity to vi­sit two certain Persons, one had been hang'd, & the other drown'd, and both of them very miraculously brought to Life again. I ask­ed Of two men that came to Life a­gain after they had bin hang'd and drown'd, with an account of what they felt in their dying. what Thoughts they had, and what Pains they were sensible of? The Person that was hang'd, said, He expected some sort of a strange change, but knew not what; but the pangs of Death were not so intolerable as some sharp Diseases; nay he cou'd not be positive whether he felt any other pain than what his fears exacted: He added, that he grew senseless by little and lit­tle, and at the first his Eyes represented a brisk shining red sort of Fire, which grew paler and paler, till at length it turn'd into a black; after which he thought no more, but insensibly acted the part of one that falls asleep, not knowing how, nor when. The other gave me almost the same Account, and both were dead (apparently) for a considerable Time. These Instances are very satisfactory in cases of violent Death; and for a natural Death, I can­not but think it much easier; diseases make a conquest of Life by Essay on knowing our Friends in Heaven p. 88. little and little, therefore the strife must be less where the in equa­lity of power is greater.

However, by these instances we see there is a certain way by which some Men make tryal what Death is; but I never ex­pect to know it, 'till I make the Experiment. But I do believe, if there be any evil in Death, it wou'd appear to be for that Pain and Torment which we apprehend to arise on the breaking of those straight-bands which keep the Soul and Body together. But that the S [...]ght, Hearing, Smell [...]ng, Taste, leave us without Pain, and unawares, we know most certainly; and why should we not The Sight, Hearing, Sm [...]lling, Taste, leave us without Pain, and why should we not be­lieve the same of Feeling.— believe the same of Feeling? But 'tho we can have no perfect Notion of Death, yet this we are sure, that Death is a pro­found sleep in which Nature lets it self fail insensibly, when she is tyr'd with the disquiets of this Life. It is a Cessation of all those Services which the Soul renders to the Flesh. This is Death (as near as I can judge of it) And if Death be no more then this, I shan't shed one Tear at the Thoughts of my own Death, tho' I have shed many at the Death of o­thers. I think the Thracians were much in the right, to weep when a Child was born, and to rejoyce when it dyed. We also read that Lodowick Co [...]tusius, a Lawyer of Padua, forbid to his Relations [Page 112] Tears and Lamentations by his Will, and desired that he might have Harpers Pipers, and all sorts of Musick at his Funeral, who should partly go before partly follow the Corps, leaving to every one of them a small sum of Mony. His Bier he or­dered to be carried by 12 Virgins that being clad in Green were to sing all t [...] way such songs as Mirth brought to their remembrance; leaving to each a cer­tain sum of Money instead of a Dowry. Thus was he buryed in the Church of St. So­phia in Padua, accompanied with a hundred Attendants, together with all the A Lawyers merry Fu­neral. Clergy of the City (excepting those that wore Black) for such by his Will, he forbid his Funeral; as it were, turning his Funeral Rites into a Marriage-Ceremony. I can't say how far such rejoycing as this is proper for a Funeral occasion, but this I de­clare, when I am once dead, I wou'd not have my Friends lay it to heart. But how­ever they may carry it towards my Dead-body, 'tis a comfort to me that I have no slavish Fears of Death.—

I can be contented (when I'm fairly dead) to undergo the tedious conversation of Worms and Serpents, those greedy Tenants of the Grave, who will never be satisfyed, till they have eat up the Ground-Landlord. By which it appears that The end of all other Creatures is less deform'd than that of Man.——We must not live in Sin, if we would not be afraid of Death. Plants, in their Death, retain some pleasing smell of their Bodies—The little Rose buryes her self in her natural sweetness and Carnation Colour; only mans dead-Carkass is good for nothing but to feed Wormes, and the Worms ( [...]re long) will feed sweetly on me.—But tho' [...]fter my Skin, Worms destroy this Body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; so that I am not solicitous how, or when I shall make my Exit, provided my Soul be happy, and my Body buried in that manner I shall anon describe, and therefore 'tis I'm writing—An Essay on my own FuneralThe Worms will feed sweetly on me, Job. 24. 20. J b. 19. 26. why I am not terrifi­ed with the dismal knels the Blocks and Herses that attend Funerals. that I may bid farwell to the World before I leave it, that being in it, the World may see I wou'd not be of it.—I wou'd willingly set all things in order before Death comes; for the' I am not much terrified with the Solitude and Darkness of Graves, (as they resemble my present Cell) nor with the Dismal Knell [...], the Blacks and Hearses, &c. that attends Funerals; yet I must acknowledge, Death is a serious thing; for when a Man dyes, he takes his solemn Leave of one World and g [...]es into another, where he never was yet, to receive his final Doom. The Dread of this made Oldham cry out in his last Sickness, ‘Even I, who thought I cou'd have been merry, in sight of my Coffin, and drunk a Health with the Se [...]ton in my own Grave, now tremble at the least Envoy of the King of Terrors; to see but the shaking of my Glass, makes me turn pale, and fear is like to prevent, and do the Work of my Distemper.’ 'Tis strange to see Men of such great Curiosity, so afraid of dying, ‘for who wou'd not be content to be a kind of No­thing for a Moment, to be within one Instant of a Spirit, and soaring through Oldham's Sunday-Thought in sickness p. 59. Regions he never saw, and yet is curious to behold.—But Conscience makes Cowards of us all; This made Lewis 2. so afraid of Death, that when he was sick, he forbid any Man to speak of Death in his Court.’—The wicked Liver ventures Eternity upon his last breath, and therefore Death (which lets him into it,) appears so gastly.—But the Rays of the setting Sun are the fairest; and I desire to live in such a constant preparation for Death, that my life may not set Reflections on a Death­ [...]ed Repen­tance. in a Cloud, as they generally do, that croud up Repentance into so narrow a room as a sick-bed. Solomon saith, Man goeth to his long bome; short preparation will not fit so long a Journey.’ O let me not have my Oil to buy, when I am to burn it; they dreadfully mistake themselves that think a Man can live a Life of Holiness, when he is just a dying; and therefore when I come to d [...]e, I wou'd have nothing to do but to dye. For now I discover a Falacy whereby I have long d [...]eived my self, which is this, II desired to begin my Repentance from my Birth-day.have desired to begin my amendment from my Birth-Day, or from the first Day of [...] Year, or from some eminent Festival, that so my Repentance might bear some remarkable Date; but when those days were come, I have adjourned my Amendment to some o­ther [Page 113] time. Thus whilst I [...]on'd not agree with my self when to start, I have almostI a [...]journ­ed my a­mendment to some o­ther timelost the running of the Race. I am resolved thus to befool my self no longer, I see no time like to day. Grant, O Lord, that to day I may hear thy Voice. And if this day be obscure in the Calendar, and remarkable in it self for nothing else, give me to make it memorable in my Soul, by now beginning the Refor­mation of my Life. Not that I allow my self in any known sin (none but an Atheist can do that) But Bishop [...]her tells us, the best Man living does enough in the day to bring I'le delay [...] no longer. [...]im on his K [...]s at Night; and therefore I'de now be more concern'd for my Soul then eye [...], for having, loyter'd too much in my way to Heaven, I have no [...] a long Race to run by a s [...] B [...]h, a great way to go by a s [...]ing Sun. Yet I hope I shou'd [...] wholly des­pair if I [...] but one moment left to repen [...]. I shou'd not wholly despair, if I had but one moment left to repent in; for tho our Lord says 'tis harder for a Rich-man [...]o enter into Heaven then for a Camel to pass through a Needles Eye; but yet he tells us, 'tis not Impossible for all that, and 'tis as hard for an old [...]inner to enter into Heaven a for a Rich-man, and doubt­less very hard for a Death bed, or momentary Repentance to obtain Salvation; because 'tis extreamly dubious whether it can be real but yet, 'tis not Impossible; for, we see the Thief on the Cross was sav'd with one single act of it, exerted a mo­ment 'Iis as hard for an old sinner to enter into Heaven as a Rich-man before he dyed; that Example indeed is but one; but yet it shews us there may be, and is sometimes more, or else that Example wou'd be to no purpose; and as it evidences on one side, that Continuation in sin is extream dangerous, so on the other, it demonstrates that Dispair is still more so, and never to be entertain'd even at our latest Breath, for our Lord has declared at whatsoever time a sinner shall repent, he will receive him. But I would have no Man put off his Repentance, From this Minute I bid s [...]rewel to Cove­tousness, Pride, Am­bition, &c. because God is merciful; for he that puts off his Re [...]entance to another Day, as he has one day the less to repent in, so he has the loss Inclination for such a work; he that defers Repentance to a Death bed, 'tis a Thousand to one if he repents at all: for besides, his aversion to such a work, his distemper may seize his Brain, or he may dye suddenly, and for that Reason I [...] not run the hazard of a Death-bed Repen­tance, but do from this Minute bid farewell, to [...], Pride, Ambiti­on. &c. and all my beloved Sins, that so I may die with a good Conscience, and My Reason for making my Will. have nothing to trouble me when I'm leaving the World. And in order to this, I have made my Will, bequeathed my Soul into the hands of a Merciful God: And have (as you'l bear anon) given orders about my Funeral.

And thus your Lady [...] s [...]s, what a Melancholy thing it is for a Man to I'm here burying my self in Ef­figie.— Write of his own Death, especially if he [...] in Health, and strength; for methinks now I'm as 'twere Burying my self in [...], I mean attending my own Corpse to the Grave.—'Tis the last Office of love [...] a Friend: and sure I am, I can follow the Corpse of none (except Valeria) that I love better. I live now where the The week­ly Bill of Mortality never less than 200. in the most Healthful-Times—Bells can scarce solemnize the Funeral of any Person, but that I knew him, or knew that he was my Neighbour; and when these Bells tell me, that now one, and now another is buryed, must not I acknowledge, that they have the Cor­rection due to me, and paid [...] Debt that I owe. In the most healthful Times, Two hundred and upwards w [...] [...] constant weekly Tribute paid to Mortality in London. A large Bill [...] it must be dis [...]ged: Can one City spend according to this weekly rate, and not be Bank [...] of People? At leastwise must not my Shot be call'd for to make up the Reckoning? Seven Young Men yearly taken out of Athens to be devour'd by the Mon­ster Mino­taur.

When only Seven young [...], and those chosen by [...], were but yearly taken out of Athens, to be devoured by the Monster Minotaur, the whole City was in a constant fright; Children for themselves, and Parents for their Children; yea, their escaping of the first, was but an introduction to the next Tears Lottery.

[Page 114] Were the Dwellers and Lodgers in London-weekly to cast Lots, who shou'd make up this 200, how wou'd every one be afrighted? Now None regard it, my security concludes the afore said Number will consist of Infants and Old-Folk; Few Men of middle-Age, and amidst them surely not my self: But oh is not this putting the Evil-day far from me, the ready way to bring it the nearest to me? The Lot is Weekly drawn (tho not by me) for me; I am therefore con­cern'd seriously to provide, left that Death's Prize prove my Blank; for theWere the Dwellers. in London weekly to cast Lotts who shou'd makeup the Bill of Mor­tality, they wou'd be all afright­ed.Bells tell me (as I hinted-before) that now one, and now another is buried; and must not I acknowledge, that they have the Correction due to me, and paid the Debt that I owe?—

1.
Hark! how chimes the Passing-Bell!
There's no Musick to a Knell;
All the other Sounds we hear,
Flatter, and but Cheat our Ear
2.
This doth put us still in mind,
That our Flesh must be resign'd;
And a general silence made,
The World be Tenant to a Shade.
3.
This Bell calls our Holy Grone.
A loud Eccho to this Tone;
He that on his Pillow lies,
Half Embalm'd before he Dies;
Carries (like a Sheep) his Life
To meet the Sacrificers Knife.
And for Eternity is prest,
Sad Bell-weather to the rest.
But is this Sound a Passing-Bell?
Then to Eternity farewell!
Poor Soul, whose doom one Hour shall show,
Eternal Bliss, or Endless Woe!
If Virtues Laws thou hast despis'd,
How wou'd that Virtue now be priz'd!
Or say, thou didst in our loose Age,
On her forsaken side engage;
Wouldst thou the dear Remembrance now,
For the Worlds Monarchy fore-go?
What other Medicine canst thou [...],
T'asswage the FEVER in thy Mind?
Now, 'waken'd Conscience speaks at large,
And Envious Fiends enhance the Charge!
Let the Bold Atheist now draw near,
And try thy drooping Heart to chear:
His briskest Wine and Wit to thee,
Will now alike insipid be.
In Deaths arrest, the Hector's Sword,
As little Service can afford;
Who hopes for rescue here, will fail,
And the grim Sergeant takes no Bail.

[Page 115] Once hearing one of these Passing-Bells Ring, I pray'd that the Sick-man might have, through Christ. [...] safe Voyage to his long Home. AfterwardsThe Tolling of the Bell has, through mistake, made me Pray for Persons that were departed this life.I understood that the Party was Dead some Hours before; and it seems in some Places of London, the tolling of the Bell is but a Preface of course to the ringing it out.

Bells are better silent than thus telling Lies. What is this, but giving a false Alarm to Mens Devotions, to make them to be ready armed with their Prayers, for the assistance of such who have already fought the good fight, and gotten the Conquest? Not to say, that Mens Charity herein may be sus­pected of Superstition in praying for the Dead; However my Heart thus pour­ed out, was not spilt on the Ground. My Prayers too late [...]o do him good, came soon enough to speak my good will. What I freely tendered, God took according to the Integrity of my Intention. The Party I hope is in Abraham's,Mens Cha­rity herein may be su­spected of Superstiti­on in pray­ing for the Dead.Bosom, and my Prayers are returned into my own—But 'tho sometimes the Bells mis [...]ad my Devotion, and I may pray perhaps for a Dead-Neighbour, yet Passing-Bells are of great use; for—

The PASSING-BELL ringing, calls me into God's Church, to hear and learn, and to pray for the departing Soul; the Grave being digged, warns me to prepare for Sickness and Death; and passing by the Tombs of my dead Friends; puts me in mind that e're long I must come to 'em. Ha­ving these frequent warnings of my own Death, I often think with my self,What Use we should make of the Passing-Bell.what Disease I wou'd be best contented to die of; none please me. The Stone, the Cholick, terrible as expected, intollerable when felt. The Palsey is Death before Death. The Consumption a flattering Disease, cozening Men into hope of long life at the last Gasp. Some Sicknesses besot, others enrage Men, some are too swift, and others too slow.

If I could as easily decline Diseases as I could dislike 'em, I should be Im­mortal. But away with these Thoughts. The Mark must not chuse what Arrow will be shot against it. What God sends, I must receive.—May I not be so curious to know what Weapon shall wound me, as careful to provide the Plaister of Patience against it! And surely I shall need Patience on a Sick Bed; for if I'm seized with a Feaver, I fear I shall rave and rage, Oh whitherWhat Dis­ease I woud be best con­tented to die of.will my Mind sail, when Distempers shall steer it? Whither will my Fancy run, when Diseases shall ride it? My Tongue, which of it self is a Fire, (Jam. 3. 6.) sure will be a Wild-Fire, when the Furnace of my Mouth is made seven times hotter with a burning Feaver. But Lord, 'tho I should talk idly to my own shame, let me not talk wickedly to thy Dishonour. Teach me the Art of Patience whilst I am well, and give me the use of it when I am sick.Commonly that Sicknes seizes Men which they least suspect.In that day, either lighten my Burden, or strengthen my Back: Make me, who so often in my Health have discovered my Weakness, presuming on my own strength, to be strong in sickness when▪ I solely rely on thy assistance—But tho I mention a Feaver, at 'tis a Distemper I most dread, yet 'tis a great Question whether that Disease be to end [...] Days. For 'tis commonly seen, That Sickness seizeth on Men, which they least suspect. He that expects to be burnt with a Feaver may be drown'd with a Dropsie; and she that fears to beSeing there, be many. Ways out of the, World, I bless God that I can die but once.swell'd with a Tympany, may be [...]el'd with a Consumption. I might menti­on a thousand other Diseases, which unexpectedly may seize upon us. Then seeing there be so many Ways out of the World, and but one into it; I bless my God that [...] die but once, and once I must know what that CHANGE means—

For in vain we take Momp [...]er-Air
In hopes to leave the Thoughts of [...] there.

[Page] And as I must die, so, If I don't mistake the Disease, I shall die of, (for I ex­pect to die of the Stone) my weary Pilgrimage on Earth is almost finished; so that my own Funeral is a proper Subject to employ my Thoughts, and Men of a strong­er My own Funeral is a proper Subject to Employ my Thoughts Body then I ( [...]till they get a Lease of their Lives) will do well to consider, That they have no continuing City here.

Then, Heal [...]hful Man, why should'st thou take such care!
To lengthen out thy Live's short Calendar;
Each Dropping Season, and each Flower doth cry,
Fool, as I fade and wither, thou must die.
The beating of thy Pulse, when thou art well,
Is but the tolling of thy Passing-Bell.
Night is thy Hearse, whose Sable-Canopy,
Covers alike Deceased Day and thee:
And all those weeping Dews which nightly fall,
Are but as Tears shed for thy Funeral.

Thus you see, (Madam) that Death no more spares the Strong and Heath­ful, then he that is always sickl [...], but that we are all Pilgrims and Strangers o [...] Earth, as our Fathers were bef [...]re us—On this Condition came we into the World, that we should leave it again, and therefore Anaxagoras having word Bona's saying upon the hearing of a Clock strike. brought him his only Son was dead, his Answer was, I know he was born to die. And BONA every time he heard the Clock strike, would say, Now I have one Hour less to live: I can't say Death is so often in my thoughts, that I shou'd cry every Hour, I am so much nearer the Grave; yet I may say a [...] often as I view the Hour-Glass, and consider the swiftness of Time, that I desire to [...]ie Tears with her Grains of Sands, that I might daily lament, that I've lived to no better purpose, and am so little affected with the Death of others. And as the conside­ration of the Death of others should remind me of my own, so I hope a sight of my GRAVE will make Riches (and what else I have doted on) to appear in their own Nature as things of nothing, in comparison of those above; and as I go still Riches, Plays, Beauty, &c. have their value from our estima­tion of 'em. nearer, the nearer, they seem unpleasanter; (the Fashion of this World [...] a­way [...]) And I now perceive that Riches, Paintings, Iewels, Songs, Plays, Beauty, &c. had their value to me, meerly from mine own Estimation, which now I begin to take off, and look more intently on them. They begin to vanish like Castles in the Clouds, which are not there indeed, but in our Imagination only—

And, as the Thoughts of my Death, shou'd wean me from this World: so I perceive that the Egyptians found that the Sight of a Funeral was of great effica­cy to this purpose, and therefore at Rich-Mens-Banquets, one went round about A piece of Timber wrought like the Carcass of a dead Man, at­tended with a Train of Mourners. the Table with a piece of Timber, wrought like the Carcass of a dead Man, attended with a Train of Mourners, and he spake thus. Oh [...] that eat so [...]avour­ly, behold this Image, for even so shall ye shortly become. 'Till we have thus con­quer'd the fear of Death, every spectacle of Mortality terrifies us; into what a Dump did the sight of Cyrus [...] Tomb strike the Mind of the great Alexander: But thus to fear Death, is always to live in the pangs of Death; for most true it is, Fear is more Pain than Pain; there is no [...] in Death it self, like those in the Way, or Prologue to it. Then considering the Miseries of Humane Life, I wonder any shou'd be afraid of Death▪ 'tis said of [...], a Man of great Inte­grity, that he gave one the option of Life or Death, who told him he had [...] The sight of Cyrus his Tomb ter­rify'd the Mind of the great Alex­ander. die again than live again, and certainly (as Frederick the Emperour was wont to say) The best thing in the World cou'd happen to a Man, is to have a good going out of it. I believe he spake as he thought, for the wearied Man desires the Bed, the lan­guishing Man [...]he Grave both wou'd fain be at rest. I find this verified in my own Person: for being always followed with one Disease or other, I am so Zea­lous for a Passage out of this World, that I now take my leave of every Place I depart [Page 117] from, and think of nothing but dying: I have already purchased a Grave, where I in­tend to be buried, and took upon it the only sure Possession I have in this World: Of one who being put to his choice, would rather die than live. World, All that I [...] of thee living, is a Grave when I'm dead; neither wou'd I ( [...] ' [...]is the Bed where my Iris Sleeps) exchange it for the Mannor of Sampsil. In this I follow the Example of Father Abraham, for see how he beginneth to pos­sess the World, by no Land, [...]asture, or Arable Lordship; the First Thing is a Grave; he was so far from coveting this World, that he minded nothing but the purchase of a Burying-place, and that he might not be disappointed of it, he paid down the Money demanded of the Seller, currant Money among the Mer­chants. Why I pur­chased a Grave. and woud not ex­change it for the Man­nor of Sampsil. Of an Irish Bp. that woud be bu­ried near the Gal­lows. Most Men (says Dr Fuller) have been careful for the decent Interment of their [...]; few are of the Mind of Arbagastus an Irish Saint, and Bishop of Spires, who wou'd be buried near the Gallows, in imitation of our Saviour, whose Grave was on Mount Calvary, near the place of Execution. Yet after all, it must be confest, to want a Grave is the Cruelty of the Livine, not the Misery of the Dead. An English Gentleman not long since did lie on his Death-bed in Spain, and the Jesuits did flock about him to pervert him to their Religion; all was in vain, their last Argument was, If you will not turn Roman Catholick, then your Body shall be unburied; then (Answer'd he) I'll stink, and so turned his Head and died. Thus Love, if not to the Dead, to the Living, will make him, if not a Grave, a Hole, and it was the Beggars Epitaph.

Naked I liv'd, but being Dead,
Now behold I'm covered.

Let us be careful to provide rest for our Souls, for our Bodies (when Dead) A Gentle­man threat­ned to be un­buried if he woud not turn Ro­man Ca­tholick. The Beggars Epitaph. will provide Rest for themselves.

Having proceeded so far towards my own Funeral, as to secure six foot of Ground (if the Grave-maker don't cheat me) and having shaken Hands with my Friends and this v [...]in World.

Being approacht thus near towards my End, methinks now all my Worldly Cares are drawing to their Period, and 'twont be long before I shall reach that happy Shore where Iris is already landed. Seing then I am falling towards mine Harbour (and for a sight of her who died praying for my Eternal Welfare) methinks I e'en long 'till Death has wafted me to those bright Regions▪ where she is. If I e [...]t mistaken, I cou'd rejoice to see the Bearers that must carry me to her Grave, and shou'd triumph (cou'd the Dead speak) when I'm tumbled into it. It even now sweetens the Thoughts of Heaven to me, to think I shall one day see her there; which if I do, ‘With what Ardours shall we then caress one a­nother! with what Transports of Divine Affection shall we mutually embrace, Essay on knowning our Friends. in Heaven. p. 16. and vent those Innocent Flames which had so long lain smoothering in the Grave! How passionately Rhetorical and Elegant, will our Expressions be, when our tender Sentiments, which Death had frozen up, when he congeal'd our Blood, shall now be thaw'd again in the warm Airs of Paradise. Like Men that have escaped a common Ship wreck, and swim safe to the Shoar, shall we there congratulate each other with Joy and Wonder.’ What Exta­fies I shou'd be in, upon seeing Iris again.

Then how pleas'd am I to think my Ashes will shortly be mingled with her [...], who loved me more than her own Life! For it reioiced Iris to think she shou'd die fi [...]st, and that she shou'd live in me so long as I liv'd. And when we dyed, 'twas our mutual de [...]te to sleep together in the same Grave, where (as she exprest it) we shall be still happy together, if a senseless Happiness can be call'd so.—My Body can't Death, the Journy to her, is dark and melan. choly. fail of being Happy, if it sleeps with Iris!

And for my [...], I wish it no other Felicity, when she hath shaken off these Raggs of Flesh, than to ascend to her, and to enjoy the same Bliss. Then cast off [Page 118] this ROBE of CLAY, my Soul, and fly to overtake her; 'tis true, DEATH, the Journy to her, is. Dark and Melancholy, but 'tis a Comfort to think that the He forgets that he can die who complains of misery. first Day of our Jubilee is DEATH: He forgets that, he can die, who complains of Misery. And therefore one petitioning NERO that he might be executed, his Answer was, Man, why art thou not dead already, when Death is in thy own Power? We are in the Power of no Calamity while Death is in our own. Death is the Cure of all Diseases—Thus (Madam) you see what Improvement I make of my DEATH and FUNERAL, and that I do what I can to secure a GRAVE; for why shou'd I be unwilling to go to that Bed which my Blessed Lord hath perfumed with his own Body, and is now become the Dor­mitories of the Saints.

1.
Then thou-that hast convers'd with God and Death,
In Speculation, shall thy Breath
Unwillingly expire into his Hand,
That comes to fetch it by Command
From God that made thee? Art thou loth to be
Possess'd of thy Felicity,
Because thy Guide looks pale, and must
Convey thy Flesh to Dust?
Though that to Worms converted be,
What is all this to thee?
2.
Thou shalt not Feel Death's Sting, but instant have
Full Ioys and Triumph o're the Grave:
Where thy long-lov'd Companion flesh, shall rest,
Until it [...]e refin'd, new drest
For thy next Wearing in that Holy Place,
That Heaven, where thou shalt Face to Face,
With Saints and Angels, daily see
Thy God, and ever be
Replenish'd with Celestial Bliss:
Oh my Soul, think still on this.—

when I am in my Grave, my own Worms, like the false Servants of The Grave is the Dor­mitories of the Saints. some great Men, shall devour me; yet when my poor Corpse is mixt with com­mon Dust, it shall sleep safely with the Dear Eliza. Then grant, O Lord, that as I am thus laid in my Grave by thy Serjeant Death, so I may be raised again by the quickning Power of thy Sons Resurrection, and be conducted by one of thy glorious Messengers to the Gates of Heaven.

In this manner do I ponder on my Death and FUNERAL. But whether I consider Why I ought to prepare for a speedy death. my own Funeral, or the Funeral of others, I have Reason to prepare for a speedy DEATH, and the Consequence of it: 'Twas Plato's Opinion, That the Wise-man's Life was the Meditation of Death. But Man, in his Travails often measures his Grave, yet is forgetful of His End; seven Foot is his Demension, yet most Men live in that security, as if that small scantling had a perpetual ex­tention: But that my DEATH may not seem further off than-indeed it is, I will daily expect it; 'it were madness to think I shou'd never arrive at that to which I am every minute going. Every Thought I have is a Sand running out of the Glass of Life. Then surely he is dead already that does not look for Death. How stupid are we to think so little of DYING, when not only the DEATH of men, but every thing else dies, to shew us the Way.

Sweet Day so cool, so calm, so bright,
The [...]ridal of the Earth and Skie,
The Dew shall weep thy fall to Night;
For thou must die.
Sweet Rose, whose hue angry and brave,
Bids the rash Gazer wipe his Bye.
Thy Root is ever in its Grave,
And thou must die.
Sweet Spring, full of sweet Days and Roses,
A Box where Sweets compacted lye,
My Musick shews ye have your Closes,
And all must die.
There may be News of my Fune­ral before I can finish my Essay upon it.
Only a sweet and Virtuous Soul,
Like season'd Timber never gives;
But tho the whole World turn to Coal,
Then chiefly lives.—Herbert.

Besides the warning I have of my own DEATH, in the death of every thing I meet abroad; that I might want no warning when I go to SLEEP (which is a Death in Scripture is compared to Sleep. kind of dying too): What is my BED, but as it were a Passing-bell to remem­ber me every four and twenty Hours of my Mortality, and that the Grave must speedily be my Bed, a Clod my Pillow, and the Mold and Worms my Covering.

When I put off my Shirt, it puts me in mind of my Winding-sheet and last My Night-Prayer, &c may be re­sembl'd to making my Will. Shroud, that must cover me when I sleep under ground. Death in Scripture is compared to Sleep. Well then may my Night Prayer be resembled to making my Will. I will be careful not to die intestate; as also not to defer my Will-ma­king, 'till I am not compos mentis, 'till the Lethargy of drowsiness seizes upon me; but being in perfect Memory, I bequeath my Soul to God; the rather, because I am sure the Devil will accuse me when sleeping. Oh the advantage of Spi­rits above Bodies! If our Clay Cottage be not cooled with Rest, the Roof falls The Devil will accuse me when sleeping. a Fire. Satan hath no such need: The Night is his fittest time, Rev. 12. 10. Thus Mans Vacation is the Terms for the Beasts of the Forest, they move most whilst he lies quiet in his Bed. Lest therefore, whilst sleeping, I be Out-lawed for want of appearance to Satans Charge, I commit my Cause to him, who An Appea­rance to Sa­tan's Charge. Lying a­long is an improper Posture for Piety. neither slumbers nor sleeps: Answer for me, oh my God. I wou'd not by this Expression be so understood as if I might defer my Night Prayer 'till I'm in Bed. This lying along is an improper posture for Piety Indeed there is no Con­trivance of our Body, but some good Man in Scripture hath hanfel'd it with Prayer, The Publican standing, Iob sitting, Hezekiah lying on his Bed, Elijah, with his Face between his Legs; but of all Postures, give me St. Paul's. For this cause I bow my Knees to the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. Knees when they may, they must be hended. I have read a Copy of a grant of liberty from Queen Mary to Henry Ratcliff Earl of Sussex, giving him leave to wear a Night Cap or Coif in her Majesties presence, counted a great Favour because of his Infirmi­ty: Job. 18. 1 Kings 28. 42. Eph. 3. 14. Weav­ers Fun. Mon. p. 63. I know in case of necessity, God would graciously accept my Devotion, bound down in a sick-dressing; but now whilst I am in perfect Health, it is inexcusable; Christ commanded some to take up their Bed, in token of their full Recovery; my Laziness may suspect least thus my Bed taking me up, prove a presage of my ensuing Sickness. Then Blessed Lord, pardon the former [Page 120] Idleness of my Night-Devotion, and I will never more offend thee in the same kind. In case of Necessity, God will accept my Devotion bound down in a Sick-Dressing. And thus my Bed, my Sleep, and every thing else, proclaims Death is on his March towards me. And, seeing my Sand runs faster than my Ink, your Ladyship may have News of my Funeral before I can finish this Essay upon it.—

How soon doth Man decay!
When Clothes are taken from a Chest of Sweets,
To swadle Infants, whose young Breath,
Scarce knows the way:
Those Clouts are little Winding-sheets,
Which do consign and send them unto Death.
When Boys go first to Bed,
They step into their voluntary Graves;
Sleep binds them fast, only their Breath
Makes them not dead:
Successive Nights like rolling Waves,
Convey them quickly, who are bound for Death.
When Youth is frank and free,
And calls for Musick, while his Veins do swell,
All Day exchanging Mirth and Breath,
In Company;
That Musick summons to the Knel,
Which shall befriend him at the House of Death.
When Man grows staid and wise,
Getting a House and Home, where he may move,
Within the Circle of his Breath,
Schooling his Eyes;
That dumb Inclosure maketh Love,
Unto the COFFIN that attends his death.
When Age grows lo [...] and weak,
Marking his Grave, and thawing ev'ry Year,
'Till all do melt and drown his Breath,
When he wou'd speak:
A Chair or Litter shews the Bier,
Which shall convey him to the House of Death.
Man, e're he is aware,
Hath put together a Solemnity,
And drest his Herse, while he hath Breath,
I'm here ringing my own Pas­sing-Bell. That 'Tis impossible for a man to write of his own Fune­ral whilst he's living.
As yet to spare:
Yet Lord, instruct us so to die,
That all these Dyings may be life in Death.——Herbert.

Or had I not these Warnings of Death (in the several Stages of Life) yet I have such a Crazy Body, as daily puts me in mind of my Grave; and I'm now (by writing an Essay upon my own Funeral) as 'twere ringing my own Passing-Bell.

But perhaps you'll say, How can you write of your own Funeral when you are yet alive? And were you dead, you'd be less able to handle your Pen, as much at you love scribling.—

[Page 121] Why, Madam, I am dead; but don't be frighted that I appear again in this White Sheet: For tho I'm dead—'Tis thus dead; I was born seemingly dead I was born seem­ingly dead. (twas thought I was lugg'd out of my natural CELL into my Grave) and I could have been content had I had no more than the Register or Sexton, to tell the World that I had ever been. However I may venture to say that from the first lay­ing of these Mudd-Walls in my conception, they have moldred away, and the whole course of Life is but an active Death; nay, every Meal we eat, is as it were a Ransom from one Death, and lays up for another; and while we think The whole Course of Life is but an active Death. a Thought, we die, for the Clock strikes, and reckons on our Portion of Eterni­ty; nay, we even form our Words with the Breath of our Nostrils, and we have the less time to live (wan't we dead already) Eor ev'ry word we speak: I say it again, wa n't we dead already, for Anaxagoras undertook to prove what [...] we call Life is actual Death, and that what we call Death is Life—

And as I am dead, (as dead as I've here described) so if I take a view of my My Father, Mother, &c. and most of my Friends are dead. Generation and Friends about me (tho I enjoy them a while) I find at last they fol­low the necessity of their Generation, and are finally removed, some by Age, some by Sickness, and some by casualty; what, a Bubble! what, a nothing! What a wink of Life is Man! Most of my Friends are gone, and all by Death: My Father is gone in one Friend my Mother in another, Dear Ben in another Daph­ne, (the MATCHLESS DAPHNE) in another; Harris in another Showden in another, and S. Darker in another, the Delight of mine Eyes, the pleasure of my Ears, the Fel­low of my Bed.—The Servants of my House, my old School-fellows, are either all gone, or much impair'd.

Time was their Race, but newly was begun,
Whose Glass is run.
They on the Troubled Sea were heretofore,
'Tho now on Shore.
And 'tis not long before it will be said,
Of me as 'tis of them, Alas he's dead.—

Now when I consider the Diminution I daily suffer in this kind, methinks I stand (as Aaron once did in the Camp) betwixt the Living and the Dead; and while I reflect on my self, I find I so participate of both, that I am indeed but half alive and half dead, for half my Body (by reason▪ of the Stone, &c) is dead, and hath already taken Seizin of the Grave for me: And (as I hinted before) I'm half a­live and half dead. Five Parts of my Relations are dead the Companion also, and Fellows of my Apprentiship, are gone before: So that if I wou'd adhere to the greater num­ber (as Many so in Factions) I must repair to the Dead, if I en't with 'em already; for my Habitation (My own Body) moulders apace, and the very top and Co­ver (my THATCH above) turns Colour, grows Gray, and withers. But tho' my Friends are dead, (and I'm dying apace my self) yet I am so much My Body moulders. apace. the same with my Reverend Father (which I dare not say of the other Persons I have here mention'd) that he cannot die whilst I am alive.

THE youthful Blood that beat the winding Maze
Within your Veins, gave length unto my Days;
The active Heat distil'd a crimson Dew
Through those warm Limbecks, and made Me of you:
That to such full proportion I am grown,
People do still Me for Your Figure own:
Then since I have deriv'd a part from Thee.
Thou canst not dye, whilst Thou hast part in Me.

Thus Sabina, having given you some general thoughts on my Death and Fu­neral, I shall next, lay my self out for Dead (for I'm now supposing what will I'm now laying my self out for Dead. happen one time or other)—And now when my Breath is gone, my Eyes closed, the Bell toll'd, and my Body coffin'd up for the Grave, where wou'd I have my Soul, whether in Heaven, or in Hell?—Sure not in Hell, least I shou'd want Lazarus to cool my Tongue, but in Heaven where there be Rivers of Pleasures, &c.—

I thus descend to a particular Application of Death to my self, for the common No fight so ter [...]ible as to see a man breathing his last. sounds of Death-post's through our Ears without any stop, whereas the seeing a Dead Friend, the Spectacle thereof by a self Application Inns even in our Hearts. Much more then shou'd the Representation of our own Deaths affect us, for there's no sight more Terrible then to see a Man breathing his last, but—

It must be done (my Soul) tho' 'tis a strange
A dismal and mysterious change,
When thou shalt leave this Tenement of Clay,
And to an unknown Some-where wing away;
When Time shall be Eternity, and thou (how.
Shalt be thou know'st not what, and live thou know'st not
When Life's close Knot, by Writ from Destiny,
Disease shall cut, or Age untye;
When after some delays, some dying strife,
The Soul stands shivering on the ridge of Life;
With what a dreadful curiosity
Does she lanch out into the Sea of vast Eternity.—Norris

My Soul and Body (Two old Friends) being now parting, methinks I see how The parting of Soul and Body. my Mind wou'd fain utter it self and cannot, for Respiration, or Breathing, is thus perform'd—The outward Air is drawn in by the vocal Artery, and sent by the mediation of the Midriffe to the Lungs, which dilating themselves as a pair of Bellows, reciprocally fetch it in, and send it out to the Heart to cool it: and from thence, now being ho [...], convey it again, still taking in fresh; but How the Body is en­coldned to a Fashion­able Clay. these Organs being now quite disabled, the Spirits shrink inward, and retire to the vanquish't Heart, as if like Sons prest from an Indulgent-Father, they wou'd come for a sad Farewell, while that in the mean time pants with afrighting pangs, and the hands and feet, being the most remote from it, are by degrees encoldned to a Fashionable Clay, as if Death crept in at the Nails and by an insensible sur­prize suffocated the invirond Heart. Curiously didst thou make me (saith David) in the lowest parts of the Earth; but now to see those Elements which compounded made the Body, to see them thus divided, and the Man dissolved, is a rueful fight—

And now methinks I see all my Friends like conduits dropping Teares about me, while I neither know my wants, nor they my cure.—Nay now my very [Page 132] Doctor (tho' the most able Physitian I know in London) stands as one that ga­ [...]es at a Comet, which he can reach with nothing but his Eye alone.—To see The Doctor knows not what to pre­scribe. all this happen to one whose Conversation has endear'd him to us, is very dread­full:—Oh the Pangs I felt when Iris was breathing her last! for even then she lay uttering such Expressions as these. I'll love thee as long as I live—Thou art a dear Child to me—I pray God bless my Dear Yok-fellow, and give him Grace—I pray thoe give him grace to live so here, as he may live What's meant by a Light­ning before Death.with thee hereafter.— And all this she utter'd at the Time when she was actualy dying—Which we found to be a Lightning before Death; tis ob­served of sick Persons, that a little before they die their Pains leave them, and their Understanding and Memory retuns to them; as a Candle just before it goes out, gives a great Blaze. This is what is call'd a Lightning before Death, Iris had a kind of Draught presented to her of those He [...] ­venly j [...] she was go­ing to pos­sess. And this was Iris Case; for tho' she was now within a few Minutes of breathing her last; yet 'tis clear by the Prayer she then made, that she was very sensible of what she said, even so sensible, that she was now in joyful Raptures, and exprest a kind of impatience till she was dissolv'd. And why, because she spiritually saw what she could not utter; doubtless she had a kind of Draught presented to her by her Guardian Angel, of those Heavenly Joys she was almost ready to enter in possession of, and therefore she now prayd more earnestly than ever, and even longs 'till she's convey'd by Angels into Abraham's Bosom, which was now in a little time; for she had no sooner ended her Prayer, but DEATH seizes upon her: Thus—

DEATH that on Humane Flesh doth use to feed,
With Time and Sickness, two bold Thieves, agreed
To rob a House, and e're the Break of Day,
To steal the Treasure of POOR JOHN, away;
Siekness took foot, but time went on apace.
DEATH came behind; all come unto the Place.
TIME stays without, Sickness would fain begin;
DEATH watcht a time, and after was let in,
For Sickness faint, when he shou'd stop her Breath,
DEATH stole upon her, Sickness suffer'd Death:
DEATH had no sooner fixt his Dart into her,
But Hue and Cries pursue the Murderer;
The Noise was heard, and TIME ran fast away,
Sickness no longer had the Heart to stay.
Death cou'd not surprize I­ris.
DEATH, with his Prey strait hid him under-ground,
Not since by any living Creature found.

And now the PALE Murderer has done his worst, but tis my Comfort to think, he cou'd not surprize Iris, as Theevishly as he stole upon her, for she She had as­surance of Heaven. Iris lov'd me and not my For­tunes, and God blest our mar­riage. We took each other for Richer for Poorer. was Ripe for Heaven, and had long expected him, which made her often say, Were my Work now to do, I were undone forever—Madam you may think me tedious on this Head; but I cann't think so my self, for Iris lov'd me, and thought her Heart not enough to give me, and as she loved me and not my Fortunes, so God blest our Marriage accordingly; for there was an even Thread of Endear­ment run through all we said or did, for the Fifteen Years we livd together, there never past one angry Word—No disappointments (tho we met with many) did ever lessen this growing Affection. Iris could not bear to see me dejected, and heard of my Losses with only saying, God will provide. She never rail'd at Providence, as they do who abuse their Friends for not being suc­cessful. We took each other—For Richer for Poorer; and therefore all our di­stresses of Body and Mind were so equally divided, that all hers were mine and all mine were hers; and tho Death has now stole her from me, yet such a [Page 124] kind and generous Wife can die but half, Whilst I'm preserv'd—And as for my present Spouse, tho she has been so Hungry as to fall in Love with her Join­ture, Ir [...]s can die but half whilst I am preservd. yet I still think, cou'd she love as I do, she'd have no other Wish but me; I inser this from my former Experience, for when Iris and I were throughly Indear'd by a mutual confidence, compliance, and long Experience of each others Love, No Jointure cou'd part us; and had we lost all the World (but one another) Had we lost all but one ano­ther we had still bin happy we had still been happy. I'm sure had she enjoy'd 'em, (or my occasions requir'd 'em) she'd have dealt out Kingdoms to me without tiring—Her Sympathy with me in all the Distresses of my Life, makes her Virtues shine with the greater Lustre, as Starrs in the darkest Night—Like the Gloe-Worm (the Emblem of true Friend­ship) she still shin'd to me in the Dark; and tho' this concern for me was no more than her Duty, yet to requite her Love I made her my sole Executrix, that I might give at the rate I lov'd her, and was scarce contented with giving all—I made I­ris my sole Executrix, and shall be as kind to Valeria when she grows ob­lieging. Valeria falls in love with her Jointure. Iris leads me from the Description of my own Death. I'm loth to give her the last Beck'n of Farewell. And I'll be as kind to Valeria (when like Iris) she thinks my Ease and Credit prefe­rable to House and Land. But whether does Iris lead me from the description of my own Death? But, Madam, you can excuse it, for 'tis to shew how loth I am to give her the last beck'n of Farewell. The best of Wives, and my truest Friend is but part of her Character, and I can't part with such a Treasure in post-haste—Part! bless me! how it sounds? The very Word is as Dagger thrust into my Heart; and now it comes to the push, I can't bear the Thoughts on't.

That very Voice that did her Sickness tell,
Strook like a Midnight Chime or Knell:
At every Sound,
I took into my Sense a Wound.

'Tis true, we first came together to help and prepare one another for Death, but now Death has snatch'd her from me; I am fainting away, methinks I feel already the Terments to which a Heart is exposed that loses what it loves. Thus the loving Hota followed her Husband to the Grave, laid him in a s [...]ately Tomb, and then for Nine Days together, she wou'd neither Eat nor Drink, whereof she dyed, and was buried (as she had order'd in her last Will) by the side of her beloved Hus­band.

He first deceas'd; she for a few Days try'd
To live without him; lik d it not, and dy'd.
1.
Thus let me weep, weep out mine Eyes
Upon the Tomb where Iris lies
Embalmed and enshrin'd.
Let not my Senses lead me home,
And leave dear Iris in the Tomb.
Why should I stay behind?
We came together to prepare one another for Death. The sight of her, Dead Body makes me faint away. Iris as hap­py as Hea­ven can make her.
2.
What Hope have I of Life or Bliss,
Under so dire a Fate as this?
What's Man without a Heart?
There was but one 'twixt she and
And that away from me did flee, (me,
When hence she did depart.
3.
And though the life of Sense I kept,
'Twere better in the Urn I slept;
For sleeping there, I rest.
And then my Heart and I should be
Cemented in tranquility;
And both for ever blest.

But tho I've Reason thus to grieve for my Dear Iris (except Valeria wou'd make me happy by despising the World). Yet I wou'd not weep as one without hope. For the time is short, and therefore it remaineth that they that have Wives be as though they had none. And they that Weep as though they wept not—For the Fa­shion of this World passeth away—David fasted and Prayed for his Sick Son, that his Life might be prolonged. But when he was dead, this Consideration comfor­ted him. I shall goe to him, but he shall not return to me, 2 Sam. 12 13. And this likewise shou'd comfort me under the loss of Iris, to think she is gone to Heaven [Page 125] and that if I die in Christ, I shall goe to her, but this she cou'd not do but by dying, which makes me the easier forgive Death for the Treasure he has stole from me, and my next comfort to her being in Heaven, is to think in what a triumphant Iris Tri­umphant Death is like the putting out of a pre­fum'd Can­dle. manner she went thither—. In a painful Sickness of near Forty Weeks, she never once repin'd at it, but wou'd still say God had dealt tenderly with her, and that she was wholly resign'd to his Will. Then certainly the Death of such a Good Wife is like the putting out of a Wax-perfum'd Candle, she in some mea­sure) recompenses the loss of Life with the sweet Odour she leaves behind her.

All must to their cold Graves;
But the Religious Actions of the Just
Smell sweet, in Death, and Blossom in the Dust.

In a Word, Iris both in her Life and Death was like a Rose in June, which (tho dead and dry) preserves a pleasing Sweetness, and for that Reason Her Life was a con­tinued Act of Piety. was strewed by the Antients upon their Kindred's Graves—'Twas but reasonable to think that a Life which was one continu'd Act of Piety shou'd have a joyful and happy ending.—

And as Iris dyed in this Triumphant manner, and with uttering such Expressions as I have here mention'd, So I desire I may expire with these Words:

ETernal and everliving God, I'm now drawing near the Gates of Death, and which is infinitely more terrible, the Bar of thy Judgment; oh Lord when I consider this, my My last Prayer. Flesh trembleth for fear of thee and my Heart is wounded within me. But one deep calleth upon another, the depth of my misery upon the depth of thy mercy, Lord save now, or I perish eternally.—Lord one day is with thee as a Thousand Years, oh let thy mighty Spirit work in me, now in this my last Hour, whatsoever thou seest wanting to fit me for thy Mercy and Acceptance; and then tho' I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I will fear no Evil.—There is but one step between me and Eternity; then blessed Jesus have Mercy on me, Pardon the Sins of my whole Life, O let not my Sun go down upon thy Wrath, but seal my Pardon before I go hence and be seen no more.—Dear Lord I neither desire, nor expect of thee Life or Death, may it be done unto me according to thy Will: But since Death is my passage into thy Presence, suffer not the Thoughts of it to be terrible unto me.—I can't without some Reluctance think of leaving my Friends and Relations, and forever shut­ting my Eyes upon that World where I now live (To go into a World where I never was) but tho' the Light is pleasant, and a joyful thing it is to behold the Sun, yet let it abundantly content me, oh Lord, that whether waking or Sleeping, dead or alive I shall be always thine, tho' thou shouldst break all my Bones and from Day even till Night with pining Sickness and Aches make an end of me, yet let me be dumb and not open my Mouth, because it is thy doing; suffer me not to whisper to my self what's the reason the Lord will deal thus with me; help me rather to consider what my Sins have deserved, and what a poor Derivative thing I am.—What a meer dependant upon thee—Lord I came into the World on thy Errand, and I live only upon thy allowance. Then let the consideration of thy Majesty and Glory swallow up all those petty Interests of my own which I create to my self, and help me oh Lord in every Passage of my Life and Death to say thy will be done.—If it be thy will I shall dye now, receive my Spirit; and altho' I come In the Evening, at the very last of all, grant unto me that I may receive Eternal-Rest. Blessed Lord as soon as ever the Chain of my mor­tality is broke, let me take Wing and fly to thee.—Grant that sincerely reahing my Hands to thee from that Moment which is the upper Step of the Ladder of my Life, next to Heaven, thou mayest reach forth thy hand and receive me.—And when my Breath is gone, grant oh Lord, that I may see and know her again, who dyed pray­ing for my Everlasting-Happiness, Into thy hand, Lord, I resign my Body and Soul.—Blessed Saviour receive my Spirit—even so come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen. I shall go to Iris, but she shall not re­turn to me

I wou'd have these words be my last breath 'till my Lips fail, and my Tongue cleaveth to the roof of my Mouth for as the Sun shines brightest at his setting, so shou'd Man at his departing.—It is the evening crowns the day.

And now the Fatal Hour is come in which I must
Resign to Dust,
This borrow'd Flesh, whose Burden tires,
My Soul as it aspires;
Oh what a frail and undone Thing
Is Man, when his best Part is taking Wing?
But quake not, Oh my Soul! for Rest; thoul't find
This Pisgah Mount! thy Canaan lies behind:
Look back and see the Worlds thin gaudy-Toys!
Look on, and see the Crown of all thy Joys!
For such a Place is worthy to be sought,
Or were there none, yet Heaven's a pleasant Thought.
Nor for my bright Conductors will I stay,
But lead Heavens flaming Ministers the way,
In their known Passage to Eternal Day.
Where the blest CLIMES of Light will not seem fair,
Unless I meet my dear Redeemer there;
Unless I see my shining Saviours Face,
And grasp all Heaven in his sweet Embrace.
When the trembling Soul has Heav'n thus in sight
Oh with what Joy and ravishing Delight!—
She spreads her Wings, and bids this World good Night.

Thus have I represented in what manner my Soul will leave that Body where it now dwells.—And have also considered in the Death of Iris, with what tran­quility, and peace of conscience a Soul sequested from the World, taketh her farewell of Earth.

Whilst thus I musing lay, to my Bed side
(Attir'd in all his Mourning Pride)
The King of Terrors came.
Awful his Looks, But not deform'd and grim;
(He's no such Goblin as we fancy him)
Scarce we our selves so civiliz'd and tame!
Unknown the Doom assign'd me in this change,
'Tho justly I might fear Heavens worse Revenge;
Yet with my present Griefs redrest,
With curious Thoughts of unknown Worlds possest,
Enflam'd with Thirst of Liberty,
Long lovd, but ne'er enjoy'd by me,
I su'd for leave the fatal Gulf to pass.
My vital Sand is almost run,
The Peace of Conscience with which a Soul (se­questred from the-World) ta kes her Farewell of Earth. A medita­tion upon the fight of a Dead­man.
And Death (said I) will strike anon.
Then to dull Life I bid a long Farewell;
And stretcht for flight—But as the last grains fell
Death fail'd my flatter'd hopes, and turn'd the Glass.

But tho' my Soul and Body en't yet parted, yet I have convers'd too long with the World already, so that now I'll suppose my self a dead Man: At the Sight whereof (were I living) I wou'd thus meditate:

Teach me (O Lord) so to number my Days, that, I may apply my Heart unto Wisdom, for I see by this dead Friend here lying before me, we soon pass away and are gone— All Flesh I see (in this Instance) is Grass, and the Beauty of it as the flower of the Field—Thou (oh God) hast determined the number of my Days which I cannot pass.—And I see here in my dead Friend, what will follow the Separation of my Soul and Body.—As long as this Taber­nacle lodged the Soul of my Friend, it was sensible, active, cou'd hear, [...]ee, speak or move; but now that Guest is driven forth, there is nothing in it but breeds my abhorence, so [Page 201] that I now see all Confidence in Man is vain, and that I shall soon become I've said no­thing of the manner of my Dying, but what I've observ­ed in the Death of o­thers. as Pale and Wan, at this Dead-Corpse, which I here behold with Terrour and Amazement—And Lord help me to consider, that as this Body is dead without the Soul, so both Soul and Body without Grace—

So much for the supposed manner of my Dying, and for those useful Thoughts, that a Sight of my Dead-Corpse might afford; in which I've advanc'd nothing but what I've observ'd in the Death of others, (especially of my dear Iris)

My Breath being gone, I'll next suppose my self. Laid out for [...]eadI'm now Stript and Dress'd in a Shroud. and now the Cry of the House is—Bury the Dead out of my Sight

Being now Stript and Drest in a Shroud, great Care is taken by my Exe­cutor, (for I know he'll be punctual to observe my Will) that my Body be kept veiled and secret, and not exposed to curious Eyes; neither shou'd Cyrus wou'd have no Man stare in his Face af­ter his Death. the Dishonours wrought upon the Face by the Changes of Death, be star'd upon by imperti [...]ent Persons—When Cyrus was Dying, he called his Sons and Friends to take their leave of him, to touch his Hand, to see him the last time, and gave in Charge, that when he had put his Veil over his Face, No Man spou'd uncover it—And Epiphanius's Body was res [...]d from inquisitive Eyes by a Miracle—But nothing A sight of my Dead-Body shou'd affect my Relations. of this will disturb the Dead, but a sight of my Dead-Body shou'd affect the Living—Then now all my Friends, (if you ben't d [...]wn'd in Tears) come and observe what a Change is here—What a Change indeed! For my trembling Soul being fled, Lo how the Succes­sors Valeria makes a shift to cry for my Death. of Sin do trample upon these Mud-walls, and demolish my House of Clay!—This dismal sight, one would think, shou'd squeeze out a few Tears, if not from my Heir, (who has Sign'd, Seal'd, and deliver'd, and is hasty to Bury me) yet surely it will from the Dear Valeria, for tho some Wives Bury their Husbands only with a sow'r Visage, Mask'd over with Dis­simulation, contracting (like the Ephesian Matron) second Marriages, be­fore they have worn out their Mourning Garments. But Valeria may pass for a better Wife: For—

When her dear Spouse's last Departure's nigh,
See where this Fubbs has made a shift to cry;
But I'm Box'd up (the Parli'ment be thanked,
Whose Act has made my Rime) in Woollen Blanket.

Being laid in my Coffin, come hither Valeria, and view me a little. The Chinesses always before they Bury their Dead, (if he was a Marryed Man) bring him to his Wife, that so she might first Kiss him, and bid him Farewel; when you have done this, prithee Valeria gaze upon me, see in A good Ioin­ture signifies nothing to a Dead Wife. my Dead Phiz, what Comfort you will have of your Iointure, (which you once kept to my Ruin) when you come to this? For prid [...]ee try the Expe­riment—If you shou'd put a B [...]g of Guineas into my Hand, I shou'd let it fall—or cou'd you give me Samp [...], 'twoud be too heavy to carry to the other World, for don't you see that my Eyes are closed, and I observe nothing?—Then Valeria, view me well, u [...]ver my Face again; (for A Dead Husband is worth ob­serving. a dead Husband is worth observing) and you'll find the Luminaries of my Body, which us'd to shine with a living Brightness, like the Gelly of a sl [...]g Meteor, lie now [...]tombed in Darkness; and that ruddy Hue which gave the [Page 202] Name of Flesh to this whited Earth, hath either chang'd its Colour or its Place—In a Word—my Head, Arms, Body, Legs, &c. have now left their Motion, and lie as still as a Wife could wish, who loves no­thing of her Husband, but the Iointure he has left her. No wonder then, she refused to come when I sent for her, but has reserv'd all her Love for my dead Body; which perhaps she'll wash with a Tear or two, as it looks kind, and will cost her nothing; neither need she make any use of an Onion, for 'tis observ'd of Widows, they have Tears at command—.

——See where
The Treasure of my Bosom doth appear,
Now coming to my Corpse with her drow'd Eyes,
For Iointure brings her where her Husband dies,
To whose pale Relick she devoutly Payes
Obedience, real as her Love, and Brays
With many Tears, till quite dissolv'd in them,
She SEEMS contriv'd into a Walking-Sream,
As Destiny had meant her to descend
From Rivers only, but to serve this end.
Next, let my Sisters drop their pious-Rain,
Larkin and Kenswell too, will Weep in vain;
For none can soften my stiff Clay ag [...]in,

Whilst my Eye thus amazedly wonders o'er my Dead Body, methinks I In the sup­posed View of my dead Bo­dy, I behold other Mens Fate as well as my own. view in it other Mens Fate as well as my own—Then blessed Lord, let me Die daily, that when Death shall be swallowed up in Victory, and the numberless Atoms of my Dust shall by thy Almighty Power be new moulded into a Body, my Soul may make a re-entry, and be both glorified to­gether.

Death we do now behold thee gay and glad
As at Dooms-day,
When Souls shall wear their new Aray,
And all thy Bones with Beauty shall be clad.
Therefore we can go Die as Sleep, and trust
Half that we have,
Unto an an honest faithful Grave;
Making our Pillows either Down or Dust—Herbert.
My Corrup­tion belongs to the main­taining of of the Order of the Uni­verse.

I lie merrily down in my Bed, tho' I expect to rise again to resume the Burthen of all my Frears, Hopes and Griefs, (the constant Attendants of my Life) and yet look Sadly and mournfully upon the Grave, (tho' my Corruption belongs to the maintaining of the Order of the Universe) but why should I be afraid of Corruption, seeing at my next Rising, much 'Tis a great wonder how a little Dustresolv'd into Ele­ments, shou'd be­come a liv­ing Body, but I no ways doubt of the Resur­rection. My Soul & Body now seem at once laid out. [...]ayer clad than before, I shall awake to Immortality and endless Joy? With the Eye of Reason I can look through the Glory of the World, and behold Vanity and Oblivion; with the Eye of faith I can look through Oblivi­on and Corruption it self, and behold Glory and Eternity. 'Tis indeed a Wonder how a little Dust resolv'd into Elements, should become a living Bo­dy again. But I no ways doubt of the Resurrection, for I'm sure that my Redeemer liveth, and tho' after my skin Worms destroy this Body, yet in my F [...]esh shall I see God—Then let the Body rise in what manner it will, I'm ravisht to think what a bright and serene Morning the Resurrection [Page 203] will prove, after the long Night of Death, and the languishing Slumbers of the Grave—.

My Soul being fled (I know not how nor where) and my Body left as a ghastly Spectacle to my Wife and Friends—Methinks now my Soul and Body too seem at once laid out—. Some think they shall Die present­ly if they make their Will.

So that having proceeded so far towards my Funeral as—To purchase a Grave—To suppose the manner of my Dying—And to describe what a frightful Spectacle Death will make me—'twill be proper next to give some Account of my UUill—For I never was of their Opinion, who think they must Die presently if their UUill be made, and so neglect it till it Why I made my Will in a time of Health. be too late.

A Sick-Bed is no proper place to disturb our Brains about Worldly Mat­ters, I therefore made my Will when I was best able——A Scotch Laird having sent for a Clerk to make his Will, began to him thus, (after Of a Will made by a Scotch Laird We shou'd avoid all un­just Partiali­ties in the making our Wills. the common Preface) Imprimis, I bequeath my Soul to God—To which his Clerk made Answer very seriously—But what if he wonnot take it, mon?——With what temper of Spirit this was spoken I know not, but sure I am, 'tis a point that deserves a serious Thoughtfulness and Gravity of Mind—And particularly we should avoid all unjust Parti­alities, which are oftentimes very ill Grounded.

But to proceed in the Account of my Will—My Nurse and Uisi­tan [...]s having declared me Dead, methinks I see my Executor, (whose Cha­racter My Execu­tor sending in all haste to the Per­sons con­cern'd in my Will. you shall have anon) sending in all haste to the Persons concern'd in [...] W [...]ll; for the Will of the Dead should be punctually observ'd, fòr to these we owe a nobler Justice than to other Men, as they are unable to right them­selves It is the bravest thing in the World, to do an Act of Kindness to him whom we shall never see again, but yet hath deserved it of us, and to whom we wou'd do it if he were present; and unless we do so, our Charity To fulfil the Request of the Dead, is the noblest Friendship we canshew is Mercenary, and our Friendships are direct Merchandize; but what we do to the Dead, (or to the Living for their sakes) is Gratitude and Vertue for Vertue's sake, and the Noblest Friendship we can shew: Such a Generous Person I have made my Executor, so that all concern'd, will have speedy no­tice of my Death—

And now methinks I see all my Friends assembled about me, some to weep, News being sent of my Death, my Relations come to my Cell in Hopes of a good Lega­cy. but most rejoicing in Hopes of a good Legacy; but because they may see the Vanity in waiting for Dead-mens-Shoes, I'll now suppose my Executor Reading to them the following Lines, which are,

—A Breviate of my last Will—

IN the Name of God, Amen—I Iohn Dunton, Citizen and Stationer of London, and late of St. Giles Cripplegate Parish, in the County of Middlesex, being through Mercy, in Health of Body and Mind, do make this my last Will and Testament—. A Breviate of my last will.

And first out of Choice, (and not as 'tis matter of Form) I commit my Soul into the Hands of God, trusting through the Merits of Jesus Christ to be accepted with him—I commit my Soul in­to the Hands of God.

My Body I Bequeath to the Dust, in hopes of a Glorious Resurrection; but with this Charge to my Executor, that he sees it Buried in the same Grave with my first Wife, for there (as she exprest it) we shall be still Happy to­gether, if a senseless Happiness can be [...]

As to the World, tho' I never loved it, yet I have taken that Care in the I Bequeath my Body to the Dust. disposing of what I have, as to give it to one that will keep open House for [Page 204] God and his poor Servants; I mean to one that has Sense enough to enjoy I have made a person heir to my Estate that has sense enough to enjoy it, and Piety e­nough to be Charitable, it, and Piety enough to be Charitable, and for that Reason I thought my self oblig'd in Conscience to give it all from the presumprive Heir and his scraping Friend, finding by sad Experience the more he has, the more he cove [...]s; so that if his Wealth encreases at the rate it has done hitherto, he'll starve himself and his whole Family; and therefore to add my Estate to his, would be (in some sort) to hasten his Death; but that they might not think I forget 'em, I bequeath to 'em that Text,—And the Covetous which the Lord abhors—to reflect on as long as they live—. I'm My pre­sumtive heir wou'd starve himself shou'd his Wealth en­crease. very Cordial in this Advice, for Men in their last Wills appear open and plain Hearted, they dare not dye revenging of Injuries, no! when they think they shall dye, their Eyes are open, and their Judgments unbiast. In some sense Peath's the truest Friend, for Death will not flatter, but deals plainly with us, and as Men dare not dye with a Lye in their Mouths (nor in Malice with any) so they should be careful that they do not leave their Death's the truest friend. Friends quarrelling for their Estates, but take such care in their Wills that their Lands and Possessions may know their Owners after their Deaths; We shou'd take care not to leave our Friends quarreling for our E­states when we are Dead. and that mine may do so, of what I shall leave behind me, I make this fol­lowing Disposal, all my just Debts being first paid, (and-by Debts, I mean whatever shall be prov'd to be so after my Decease, or whatever my Executor, hereafter nam'd, can by diligent searching find out that I owe) I bequeath the following Legacies to Graffham, Frome, Chesham, Aston, Missenden, Iver, New-street—. And here I presume so far as to give your Ladyship Mourn­ing, and a Ring with this Inscription, In remembrance of Daphne and Philaret. What I mean by my debts To my most esteem'd and eternal Friend, Mr. George Larkin, Sen. who I am sure will be a True Mourner at my Funeral, I give not only Mourn­ing Legacies be­queath'd to Graffham, Frome, &c. (which will soon wear out) but also a Ring with this Motto, Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the Love of Women; I also give him, as a far­ther Testimony of our Inviolable Friendship, what is not here express'd—. To that Generous and Uirtous Person whose tender care of me in my To the ho­nourable Lady. Sickness has (through the Divine Blessing) more than once sav'd my Life, I give, &c. as a grateful Token of that seasonable Care, wherewith I was as­sisted in my greatest Extremity—. I have also remembred my obliging To George Larkin, Sen. and diligent Friends Mr. George Kenswel and his Wife, for that great Fidelity and Readiness to serve me, which they have exprest upon all To the Per­son that took care of me in my Sick­ness. occasions—. Neither have I forgot my Cousin Elizabeth Iohnson for that matchless Tenderness she shew'd to my first Wife, during her Sickness of near 40 Weeks continuance—. To my only Brother Mr. Lake Dun­ton, and to my Sisters Sarah, Mary, and Elizabeth, I have been more To George Kenswel and his Wife. kind than perhaps they expect—. I next bequeath to the generous Lutwich, (and to my two Sisters D—ld and I—th) such a Legacy as shews I have been oblig'd—. To the Reverend S—T—I give Twenty Pounds to To Elizab. Iohnson. Preach my funeral Sermon that Day, I am Buried, upon this Text, They shall lye down alike in the Dust, and the Worms shall cover them—. To my To my only Brother and my; Sisters. faithful Friend Mr. Richard Wild, the sole manager of all the Auctions I made in Dublin, I bequeath, &c. as an acknowledgment of the extraordinary Ser­vices he did me in that Kingdom. To my ancient Landlord Mr. Wilkins of Diversother Legacies. Boston in New England, I also be queath, &c. as a requital for his great Civi­lities to me and my Servant Palmer. I also give to my try'd Friends the Book­sellers, Printers and Stationers of London, 105. each, to buy 'em a Ring with this Inscription, Speak evil of no Man. And to my Summer Friends [Page 205] I give all my Gratitude, Mention'd in my Prin­ted Case p. 1. for I find they need it, and that they may here­after do as they'd be done by, I bequeath to 'em all that Readiness with which I serv'd 'em, both with my Person and Cash, when no body else wou'd; but least their change of Fortune (for they keep their Coach) shou'd make 'em My Legacy to my Sum­mer Friends. forget this, 'tis my desire that the Letters they formerly sent me be return'd to 'em, that they may see how Black Ingratitude is, for they now deny to have re­ceiv'd those Favours which (in these Letters) they declare they could never requite. When I meet 'em they scarce know me. The Re­membrance of old Fa­vours shou'd live even in the blows of Injury. One of these is so Haughty that if I meet him by accident, (for Summer Friends never visit but when the Sun shines) he scarce knows me, or if he stoops so low as to give me a Nod, he does it in such a manner as shews he forgets how deeply I engaged for him at a time when SOME BODY wou'd not, and his other Friends made too small a Figure to serve him.—'Tis true, to a generous mind the Remembrance of old Favours wou'd live even in the blows of Injury, but do an ungrateful Person 99 Kindnesses, and refuse him the Hundreth (for so I did, being provok'd to it) and he thinks you cancel all your former Obligations; such Monsters, when they are oblig'd beyond a pos­sibility of Requital, their way is to unmake, (or to lessen) those Favours they can't requite, and to abuse their very Benefactors—such Friends as these My Summer Friends compar'd to a fawning Spaniel. act like a fawning Spanniel, who when he gets out of the River shakes off that very Water (alias Magots) which supported him—. And I don't doubt but others of this mean Spirit have been ready to blame me for publishing my private Case; but their dislike of my Conduct makes me the more ap­prove I could ne­ver creep for Interest. on't. I cou'd never creep for Interest, and Men of greater Sence and Honesty both advised to it, and judged it the best thing I could do for my quiet; and I have found it so, and therefore I shall never repent of any thing I did in that Publication, but for ever own my Obligations to those that pro­moted Page 2. We shou'd requite the least courte­sy we re­ceive. it; then if the Reflecter on my Case says true, that I'm a Man of so grateful a Temper that I study to requite the least Courtesy from meer Strangers, &c. surely I can't leave a better Legacy to my Summer Friends then to bequeath my Gratitude amongst 'em. To that worthy and In­genious Gentleman Mr. G—R—, I give, &c. or in case of his Death, I give this sum to his Wife; or if she dies, to his Son; or in case of his Death, to his nearest of Kin, for the generous Favours Mr. R—has done me shall ne'er be forgot whilst I have a Penny in the World, or he has a Relation alive. To the Members of the Athenian Society (as 'twas my darling Project) I bequeath Mourning—. To the Nightingale I give my Constancy, Pla­tonick Letters, and contempt of Grandeur—. I next give to the Poor where I was born the sum of—. And to the Parish where I dye as much—. I My Legacy to the reve­rend Divine that mar­ried me. also give to that Reverend Divine that Married me 10 [...]. to Preach (and af­terwards Print) a Sermon against Covetousness—. To the sweet Town of St. Albans I bequeath all my Printed Cases that shall be left unsold at the time of my Death; I bequeath 'em to this Town, as herein is a true State of my Case, with respect to Madam Iane Nicholas and her only Child Sa­rah To the sweet Town of St. Albans. Dunton, with an Answer to all the Lies that either Revenge, Malice or Coverousness can spit at me (in any of the three Kingdoms) neither is there one Line in this Printed Case but what I'd assert to be true were I More Lega­cies. now dying; and therefore I can't understand Valeria's Policy in not sparing 500 l. out of 6000 l. seeing I do resolve, if she will be happy, it shall only be with her Husband, for I marry'd her for Richer for Poorer, and as we embark'd in the same COURT-SHIP, so I do assure her we'll Sink or Swim together. But Solomon tell us there's a time to embrace, and a time [Page 206] to refrain from embracing, and therefore tho' the Law is Eloquent, and There's a time to em­brace, and a time to re­frain from­embracing. will perswade her to Live with me, yet till I see a fair opportunity, I shan't turn my Addresses into a Legal-Courtship, for I had rather that kind me­thods should melt her into Love and Tenderness. However my Wife is my proper Goods, and I'll Pound that Man (whoever he is) that offers to steal her from me, or that endeavours by any Device (or by flattering her Mo­ther) My Wife is my proper Goods. to defraud me of that which she solemnly promis'd me before mar­riage, for as 'tis a Promise in Writing, 'tis as much a Debt in the Court of Conscience (and in the Court of Chancery too) as if I had a Bond or Mort­gage A promise in writing is a debt in the Court of Conscience, and in the Court of Chancery too. to secure it to me. And as I am able to prove such a Promise in Writing, so I can also prove (by a letter under her Artornies Hands) that she was fully satisfied with my Estate. But why shou'd we give Mo­ney to promote the La [...]? It wou'd be more like Christians to give it to pro­mote the Gospel. Besides if I had Ualeria's Company (and a small matter to make me easy) I have all I desire, and when she sends me the same Message, yil run to meet her with open Arms; she shall then even Rule me (and all I have) by her voluntary and ready obedience. But the Bags The Attor­neys Letter gave satis­faction a­bout my E­state. lie so high in her way at present, that she can't get over 'em; but when she falls to dispersing this gilded Rubbish, all misunderstanding will be then remov'd; and the same Hour I hear the News, the Bells of St. Albans shall Ring as loud for our Reconciliation, as ever they did for our first Marriage; neither shall the Poor of that Town be forgot, that so Heaven may Valeria's Company is all I desire. continue us a happy Couple. But this is News that I don't expect, and therefore I bequeath all my Printed Cases (except the Case should be alte [...]'d) to my old Friends of St. Albans, that by comparing the Truth with those many The Bags lie so high in her way that she can't get over 'em. Lyes they have heard, they may defend the Cause of an inju [...]'d Stranger, who did not come till he was sent for, and therefore 'tis fit he should have civil Treatment——

And in the last Place, I give to the Dear Valeria, (my present Wife) A Ring with this Inscription—Set your Affections on things above; The Bells of St. Albans shall ring as loud for our Reconcilia­tion, as ever they did for our first Marriage. for seeing she talks so much of going to her God, (instead of giving her Money to Adore and Worship) I freely bequeath her to God who gave her. 'Tis true she has a Rich Mother, and I might justly bequeath her to her, (for the Reasons mentioned in my Printed Case) and I have a President for the leaving her Mother such a Legacy as this, for we read Endamidas dying Poor, left his Aged Mother to Aretaeus, and his young Daughter to Cha­rixenus, two Rich Friends of his; the one to be maintain'd 'till she dyed, and the other 'till she Marryed; and the Heirs as soon as they heard of this Will, came forth, and accepted those things that were given in Charge. But suppose I had no such President as this to bestow her Daughter upon her, yet one wou'd think I cou'd not leave her a better Legacy than her own Child; but seeing she won't part with her Bags now, she'll less do it when I am Dead, and therefore (out of pure Love) I chuse rather to bequeath her to God who gave her; and tho' I en't like to be Buryed with [...]er Le­gacies. her—her precious Dust being to Feast the St. Al [...]ns worms, (in the Abby Church where her Father hes) and not the Phanatick-worms, of the New-Burying-place, yet I hope she'll there rest in Peace, and hear­after meet me in Heaven—But if she grows so obliging, as to deliver me from my Present Grievance, that I may (HONESTLY) have Issue by her, to it I wou'd leave 1 Chron. 28. 9. and I pray God see it executed according to my Will—And for her self, were she thus kind, I wou'd [Page 207] turn her Iointure into a Deed of Gift, (which would double the value of it) and make it the Study of my whole Life to please her.

Having in these Legacies endeavour'd to satisfie my self, my Friends, and my dear Spouse. It is farther my Will, That for the Payment of these Debts and Legacies, (If my present Wife happen to survive me) that The growth of my Woods will Pay all I owe in 5 Years time. my Executor Sell my Woods, and the Reversion of my Estate, as soon as ever I am Buryed; but in case I survive her, I'll pay 'em my self in a Weeks time. But if neither of our Deaths happen, let no Man que­stion his Money; for the Growth of my Woods in about five Years Time will pay all I owe, (what I owe not being the fifteenth Part of what my Estate is worth)No Debts in my Shop-Books to be receiv'd, &c.

'Tis farther my VVill, that no Debts in any of my Shop-books be receiv'd from any Person that is not fully satisfied he owes me what he is charged with; I insert this, that no neglects of crossing Accounts (tho' I hope there's none) may be an Injury to any Man—

'Tis also my Will, that all the Promises I ever made (provided they are My Promi­ses to be all perform'd fully proved) be as punctually perform'd by my Executor, as if the Persons to whom they were made, had 'em under my Hand and Seal—So much for my Debts and LegaciesMy Body not to be Buried till the 7th day after my De­cease.

As to my Funeral and Grave, &c. 'Tis my Will that the 7th Day af­ter my Decease, (and not before, my own Mother coming to Life that Day she was to be Buried) my Executor see me nail'd down in an Elm-Coffin, such a one as was made for my first Wife—My Reverend Fa­ther (Mr. Iohn Dunton) in his last VVill, speaking concerning his Fu­neral, My Father's Funeral. says, 'Tis his Desire that his Funeral might not be perform'd 'till seven Days after his Decease; which Request was occasion'd, (as I hinted before) by his first Wives lying seemingly Dead for 3 Days, and afterwards com­ing My Mothers seeming Death. to Life again, to the Admiration of all that saw her—This was also a Custom among the Romans, to keep the Body 7 Days unburyed, Washing the Corpse every Day with hot Vinegar, and sometimes with Oil, that if the Body were only in a Slumber, and not quite [...]ead, it might by these hot Causes be revived—

After being kept Seven-Days unburyed, 'tis my desire that my Body be conveyed in a decent Manner to—where I desire Mr.—shou'd Preach my Funeral Sermon for the Benefit of my surviv­ing Friends—The Custom of Preach­ing Funeral Sermons ve­ry Ancient.

This Custom of Preaching Funeral-Sermons is very old, and of great use, for Dr. Taylor tells us, that antiently the Friends of the Dead used to make Funeral-Orations, and the Custom descended, but in the Chan­nel of Time it mingled it self in the Veins of the Earth through which it passed, And now a Days Men that Die are commended at a Price, and the Measure of their Legacy is the degree of their Vertue—But these things I'd have no­thing said of me at my Funeral, but my Abhor­rence of Co­vetousness and Back­biting. ought not to be, and therefore 'tis my Desire, that nothing be said of me, (so many are my Sins and Infirmities) save my Abhorrence of Covetous­ness—and of Backbiting; as for Covetousness, I ever thought it a Beg­garly-Vice, and I find 'tis its own Tormentor, For the Miser having all things, yet has nothing

And I'm as great an Enemy to Backbiting; not one Report in 40 is true, and therefore in Cases of Slander, I believe no Man's Eves nor Ears but my own: If I find any Man Censorious, I have done with him, for 'tis my way, to judge of all Mens Religion by their Charity—I observe [Page 208] that Prejudice and Mis-information has Murdered the Reputation of many Innocent Persons, and for that Reason, I never judge any Man unheard; I never Judg any man un­heard. and those that do, I think 'em worse than the Man they'd Blacken; as will appear by some late Instances, which shall be mention'd in my Funeral Sermon, or else be inserted in my History of those modern-Divines, that have been branded with Crimes of which they have been wholly I'm writing a History of those Modern Divines that have been brand­ed with Crimes of which they have been wholly In­nocent. Innocent; and as I'll Publish nothing (in this History) but what I'll prove, So Grant, Oh Lord! that no Man may turn that to an occasion of unchari­tableness towards me, which I design'd for his good, or was necessary for my own. Neither let any Man Censure me for anything but what be sees in me; and Lord thou knowest I have not the least Cause to be proud of that- I speak not this as I value the Praises of any Man—No! I wou'd willingly come again from the other World to give any one the Lye, that reported me otherwise than I was, tho' he did it to honour me—And as I abominate Flattery, so I as little fear the worst Enemies I have; for tho' they may strike me in the Dark (and then like a Serpent creep into their hole again, for want of Courage to abet their Actions) yet I challenge them all to prove black is my Eye, with respect to I challenge my worst E­nemies to prove me guilty of any immo­ral Practice. UUomen, A varice, Drunkenness Injustice, or any other immoral Practices; not but that single Life I'm forc'd to will make People the more Censorious, and some (that have been in the Oven) will be raising Lies of me perhaps, as well as of better Men; but by the Grace of God, I shall endeavour to live so, as I may have a Conscience void of Offence, both towards God and towards Man: 'Tis a comfort that Accusations make no Man a Criminal; or if they Accusations make no man a Cri­minal. did, an innocent Life would make me easy under all Aspersions, for they are generally rais'd by the leuder sort. A Backbiting Tongue is a sure sign of a Whore-master. I cou'd tell you of one that Stole his Wife. (the worst sort of Theft) and of others that have had Bastards, that have been the first in slander­ing A Backbit­ing Tongue is a sign of a whore-ma­ster. their Neighbour; and I observe, that most Slanderes owe their rise to the fair Se [...], but this is none of their Fault, but the Fault of the Men, who make it their Sport to abuse that Vertue they can't Debauch. Lampoons and Li­bels, so much in Fashion in this witty Age, are a ready way to murder any Most Slan­ders owe their rise to the FairSex. Persons Reputation; and indeed, (as a late Author observes) The Nature of true Vertue is commonly such, that as the Flame ever has its Smoke, and the Body its Shadow, so the Brightness of Vertue never shines, but hath Dis­dain or Envy waiting upon it

Some Men are so vile, that when no merit of Fortune can make 'em hope Some men are so vile that when they can't enjoy the Bodies of those Beau­ties they are charm'd with, will yet lye with their Repu­tations. to enjoy the Bodies of those Beauties they are Charm'd with; they will yet lie with their Reputations. and make their Fames suffer—And tho' to such Women, Innocence is the safest Armour, (for just Heaven will ne'er for sake the Innocent) yet this Ieud Revenge is a double Uillany, for certainly UUomen are necessary Evils; from our Cradle to our Grave we are wrapt in a Circle of Obligations to 'em. (my Divine Pylades was of this Opinion, or had never sent so often to his Doctress) And I am sure, such a Mortal as I (who am helpless at best) and often so afllicted with the Store, &c. that I can neither go nor stand, can't, Live without their Assistance; which if they are Uertuous they'll ne­ver deny me; for I'm so great an Enemy to running astray, that I hear­tily Women are necessary Evils. wish Adultery were Death. But whether does Covetousness and a Slan­dering Tongue lead me? But they are two Ui [...]es that my Soul loaths (as will be thewn to my Funeral Sermon) so that my Zeal against them is the more excuseable—.

[Page 209] After this Funeral Sermon (or rather Sermon against Slandering) is My Body next to be carryed to the New bu­rying-place. Preach'd, 'tis my request that my Body be carried to the New Bu [...]ying Place, there to lie in the same Grave with my first Wife, and upon her Coffin, if it can be found; and 'tis my Will, that no others be Buryed with us, save my Executor, and that Dissenting Minister who is to Preach my Fune­ral Sermon—For [...] 'tis good to enjoy the Godly while they Live, so 'tis not amiss to be Buryed with them after Death. The old Prophet's Bones escaped a Burning, by being Buryed with the other Prophets; and the My Soul is fled where I shall know Iris again. Man that was tumbled into the Grave of Elisha, was rovived by Vertue of his Bones.

As my Body will now Sleep in the same Grave with my first Wife, &c. So I hope through the Merits of my blessed Saviour, my Soul will be now fled, where I shall find, and know her again, for I don't question but This is larg­ly proved in my Essay on knowing our Friends in Heaven. we shall know our Friends in Heaven, (Wise and Learned Men of all Ages, and several Scriptures plainly shew it) And as we are to be Buryed toge­ther, so 'tis my Desire that my, Executor purchase a marble Tomb, (for when Valeria Dies he may well afford it) not exceeding 50 l. and cause the following Superscription to be Engraved upon it.

Here lies (Sleeping together) Iohn Dunton, Citizen, and Stationer of London, and Elizabeth his first Wife—She departed this Life, Friday, May 28th 1697—And he, &c. And being the last that Dyed, his Will was (as they had promis'd each o­ther in their Life time) to be Buryed with her in the same Grave, and that on this Tomb-stone. shou'd be Engrav'd the following Lines.

I'm come to Bed, having lost my Pen and Sight,
To Sleep with Iris in her Cell this Night;
And leaving all for her, will never take
Another Farewel, 'till our Ashes wake.

Dr. Brown indeed tells us at his Death, He intends to take a total Remarks on my Tomb­stone. Adieu of the World, not caring for a Monument, History, or Epitaph, not so much as the bare Memory of his Name to be found any where, but in the universal Register of God— This Superscription on my Diogenes de­sired to be Buryed with a Staff in his Hand to fright away the Crows. Tomb shews I'ent for taking such a Farewell as this—Nor am I so Cinical as to approve the Testament of Diogenes, who willed his Friend to Bury him with a Staff in his Hand to Fright away the Crows. No! I am for an Epitaph, and such an Epitaph as may shew to my Friends, how much I can value a Wife that loves me; and indeed the Driginal of E­pitaphs is owing to this Loving Temper—For the first Epitaph The first E­pitaph which was put upon Tombs, was that of the Fair Rachel. which was put upon Tombs, was that of the Fair Rachel, as is partly re­markt from Scripture, (for 'tis said, Rachel dyed, and was Buryed in the way to Ephrath, and Iacob set a Pillar upon her Grave) and Boohartus assures us it was a Pyramid which Iacob erected, sustained upon a dozen precious Stones, with this Inscription—

Here lies Fair Rachel
It shews the great Care Iacob took to preserve her Memo­ry.
Composed of nothing but
Beauty and Love.

A Grave is but a plain Suit, but a Rich Monument is one Embroider'd, and therefore in the erecting such a noble Pillar as this, we see the great care Iacob [Page 210] had to preserve the Memory of his dear Rachel; and I hope none will think me either Vain or Prodigal, if I endeavour (so far as I am able) to imi­tate such a kind Husband; however a Marble Tomb is the only Legacy I bequeath to my self, and my ground Bedfellow; and I expect we ha' A Marble Tomb is the Legacy I be­queath to my self. Justice done us. Not that I so much insist upon the Epitaph of my own Writing; for if my Friends please, they may scratch it out, and Grave in the room of it these Words, viz.

To these whom Death again did Wed,
Their Grave's their second Marriage-Bed;
For tho' the Hand of Fate cou'd Force
'Twixt Soul and Body a Divorce,
It cou'd not sunder Man and Wife
When they both lived but one Life.
Peace good Reader, do not Weep;
Peace, the Lovers are asleep.
They, sweet Turtles, folded lye
In the last knot Love cou'd tye;
And tho' they lye as they were Dead,
Their Pillow Stone, their Sheets of Lead;
Pillow hard, and Sheets not warm,
Love made the Bed, they'll take no harm;
Let them Sleep, let them Sleep on,
'Till this Stormy Night be gone,
And th'Eternal Morrow dawn,
Then the Curtains will be drawn,
And they wake into that Light
Whose Day shall never end in Night.

I'm so desirous of having this Tomb (and Epitaph) erected as a Memorial of our happy Marriage, that had I Moneys to spare, I'd see it done in my Life time, A good Me­mory the best Monu­ment. hereby to prevent the negligence of Heirs, and to remind me of my own Morta­lity—But after all the care we can take to preserve the Ashes of our Dead Friends; it must be acknowledged, That a good Memory is the best Monu­ment; My Debts & Legacies be­ing first paid the rest of my Estate I give to my Executor. others are subject to casualty, and we know that the Pyramids them­selves, doting with Age, have forgotten the names of their Founders—.

Thus having given instructions about my Funeral and Grave, &c. and be­queath'd what Legacies I think sit, all the rest of my Estate, both Personal and Real, (my Debts and Funeral Expences being first paid) I do hereby give, to my Executor, who your Ladyship will know by the following Character, He's a Person truly Religious—, sincere in his Conversation—, wise in his own The Chara­cter of my Executor. Business—, loving to my Relations—, very Charitable—, and I'm sure will accomplish the whole intent of my Testament—. These are the Legacies I have bequeath'd to my Friends, which some that have mist of their Expectation may perhaps say are like those in the Spanish Friar, where Sir Flash, having left many Legacies, and his Executor asking where Of a Man who be­queath'd more than he was worth. he should have 'em to pay, he answer'd, E'en where he pleas'd, for he was better able to find 'em than himself—. But whoever thinks so with respect to me, will find themselves mistaken, for as great a strait, as Valeria's Jointure has put me to, my Death will soon open a way to an Estate, (besides the Reversions, which in time may double what I now enjoy, (that will not only satisfie my few Creditors, [Page 211] but more than pay all the Lega [...]ies I have here bequeath'd—. And therefore—But I shall tire you with the Repetition of an odd Will, which I had not in­serted but to humble those that desire my Death. This is my last Will till I make ano­ther.

Having given your Ladiship a Breviate of my last Will, I'll return again to my dead Body (for I'm still supposing my self unbury'd.)

My Will being read to my friends, and all things agreed upon in order to my Funeral, next see the greedy Nurses sighting for my Shirt and Cloaths, My greedy Nurses fight­ing for my Shirt and Cloths, and Relations scuffling for what's left. and my hasty Relations scuffling for what's left.

Keep the King's Peace! as soon as Phil. is Dead
They for his Money quarrel round his Bed.
Fight Nurse, fight Lads, Sirs make a Ring about,
E'en let 'em have fair Play, and Cuff it out.

Having lain the time I desir'd, there's no fear of my living again (as my There's no fear of my living again. My Friends have now leave to bu­ry me. Mother did) then honest GEORGE, Nail me down, and bury me, for the Mourners are come (the Claret is drunk) and here stands Azariah Reynholds ready to dress out the funeral Procession; and that nothing may be want­ing on this sad occasion, here's Weeping Dev'ral (my old Servant) coming with the Pall, the Bier and the six Bearers to carry me to Church, and from thence to the Grave. Azariah Reynholds stands ready to dress out the Funeral.

See where my Friends surround my private Urne,
Where all my kind Relations fondly Mourn,
And When the solemn Bell does sadly call,
Weeping Dev'ral comes with the Fall, Bier, and Bearers.
The drooping Pomp attends my Funeral.
Now I from Fortunes store can only have
A narrow Coffin, and a scanty Grave.

However, I am as Rich in my Coffin as a dead Monarch—, Death I'am as Rich in my Coffin as a dead Monarch. A small par­cel of Earth will contain th [...]se who asp [...]re to the po [...]ession of the whole World. makes us equal with Kings—. In the Grave the Spade may challenge e­quality with the Scepter—A winding Sheet, Coffin and Grave, is all that the Greatest Possess when they leave the World—Philip King of Mace­don walking by the Sea-side, got a fall, and after he was risen, perceiving the Impression of his Body upon the Sand—Good God! said he, what a small par­cel of Earth will contain us, who aspire to the possession of the whole World—. This great Monarch, after many and great Victories, at length he fell not only into his Bed, but into his Tomb, contented with a small Cossin; Peter Alphonsus reports that several Philosophers flock'd together, and variously discanted upon the King's Death, one there was that said, Behold now four Yards of Ground is enough for him whom the spatious Earth could not comprehend before—. Several Phi­losophers discanting upon the Death of the great Alex­ander. Another added, Yesterday cou'd Alexander save whom he pleas'd from Death, to Day he cannot free himself—. Another viewing the Golden Coffin; Yester­day, said he, Alexander heap'd up a Treasure of Gold; now Gold makes a Treasure of Alexander—. Thus miserable and wretched is Man (the very greatest of Men) in their last Exit—; I might prove it by more Instances; but for Brevity sake I'll name no more than the Bier of Ablavius, Constantines Speech to Ablavius concerning his Riches. who being an insatiable devourer of Gold, Constantine the Great, takes him by the Hand, and said, Ablavius, Tho' thou hadst all the Riches in the World, yet after thou art dead, a Place, or Chest no bigger than this which I have here mark'd out, must contain thee; if so large a piece of Ground do come to thy [Page 212] Lot—. Constantine was a Prophet; for Ablavius being cut in bits (the Saladine had nothing but a black Shirt to at­tend him to the Grave. next Hour) had not a piece left big enough to be bury'd: The great Sala­dine observing this, order'd that before his Corps a Black Cloth shou'd be carry'd on the top of a Spear, and this proclaimed (with sound of Trum­pet, in the midst of his Army) Saladine Conquerour of the East had nothing left him but this black Shirt to attend him to the Grave.

The Brags of Life are but a Nine Days Wonder;
And after Death the Fumes that spring
From private Bodies make as big a Thunder,
As those which rise from a huge King.
Only the Chronicle is lost; and yet
Better by Worms be all once spent,
Than to have Hellish Moths still gnaw and fret,
Most Kings have Died a violent Death.
Thy Name in Books which may not rent.—Herbert.

The highest place is most obnoxious to Variation, the Sun is never so near Caesars chair of State was his Death­bed. a declension as in the Vertical Meridian. May I not say many, yea most that have been Scepter'd in the World, have been wrapt out of it violent­ly, as if they perish'd by Fassination from the many ambitious Eyes that dart Crassus cou'd scarce obtain a Shrow'd to cover his Nakedness. upon 'em—. Iulius Caesar, that he may be wofully miserable, his Chair of State shall be his Death-Bed; where he feels no fewer than 23 Wounds, and sees Brutus among the Conspirators—. Crassus, for all his Bags, shall be slain, and scarce obtain a Shrowd to cover his Nakedness; and so shall the valiant Pompey, Sirnam'd the Great, who tho' he got an old Shirt for a winding-Sheet, Deaths of Roman Em­perours. yet he cou'd not be supply'd with Funeral-fire enough to consume his Body—. Lamentable was the Death of Mark Anthony, and many other Emperours among the Romans—. Lewis the gentle, afflicted with Amurath's Grave. 3 Rebel Sons, grieves to Death, and has now no more to possess than just his length and breadth in the Earth; and we find Charles the Great, Bajazet had scarce a Cof­fin to bury him. without Love or Honour, House or Bread, at his End—. I might name many others; if you peruse Turky a little, you shall find the mighty Amurath thrown down from the top of Victory, and a Grave is now all his Riches—. You may see the renowned Bajazet, who had hover­ed aloft like a Royal Eagle, mewed up in an Iron Cage; and the way to Darius and Alexander were both snatch'd a­way by un­natural Deaths. go out of the World was so block'd up to him, that he was forc'd to beat out his Brains against the Grates, to invent a Death which was followed with so mean a Funeral, that he had scarce a Coffin to bury him, and but two Persons to carry him to his Grave—. And what better Fate had Darius, and Alexander, (Heads of the Second and Third Monarchy) for see how they knock'd one against another, and both snatch'd away unnaturally; I. Dunton is as frail and mortal as the greatest King alive. and how little do they now possess, of those many Kingdoms they were striving for?—I abound too much in these Examples, yet I must not pass by the Monarchs of the World, without their due Observance; for tho' Kings be no Examples for private Men, as they be Kings; yet (as they are Men) they be, especially as they are mortal Men, and must dye like others; Whilst I'm viewing the Graves of Rich Men, I forget that I'm carry­ing to my own. and therefore I hold it no Presumption to say, I am as frail and mortal as the greatest King alive. Thus have I prov'd that Death makes us equal with Kings, and that I'm as Rich in my Coffin as a dead Monarch—. But whilst I'm viewing the Graves of these great Men, I shall forget I'm going to my own; so 'tis time now (the Sermon being ended) to suppose me [Page] carrying to the new Burying-place, where being brought to my Grave, (I I'm now brought to my own Grave. call it mine as I have paid for it) the Parson declares,

Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, of his great Mercy, to take un­to himself the Soul of our dear Brother, here departed, we therefore commit his Body to the Ground; Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, in sure The words used at the Burial of the Dead. and certain Hope of the Resurrection to Eternal Life—.

The Church in her Funerals of the Dead, us'd to sing Psalms, and to give Thanks for the delivery of the Soul from the Evils of this Life. I think The Church in her Fune­rals of the Dead, used to Sing Psalms, and to give Thanks for the Deli­very of the Soul from the Evils of this Life. this a seasonable Devotion; for Phil. now is cur'd of all Diseases, and lies loving­ly in the Bosom of his Mother Earth, where my divided Parts (in a few Years) will revel in their loosned Motions, which had before been crowded together in my sickly Composure; and thus you see (in my fleeting Life and Burial) that

Our Entrance and our Exit seem to meet,
Our Swadling Bands almost our Winding-Sheet;
Poor Man! from Mother Earth does just arise,
Then looks abroad, returns again, and Dies.
Some Sixty Years, perhaps, with much ado,
Phil. lies lovingly in the Bosom of his Mo­ther Earth.
He has prolong'd his tedious Life unto;
Then under Griefs, and Cares, he sinks away,
His Carcass mouldring into native Clay.

And now (methinks) I see the Bearers laying my Corpse as near to The Bearers laying my Corpse as near to the Bones of Iris as possi­ble. the Bones of Iris as possible; and I suppose your Ladyship won't blame me for this part of my Will, for Dr. Brown applauds those Tempers that de­sire to Sleep in the Urns of their Fathers, and strive to go the nearest way to Corruption—'Twas the late Request of a great Divine, to lie by his Wife in Shore-ditch, and for that Reason he was Bu [...]yed there—Sr. Nathaniel Barnardiston in his last Will, desires his Executors, that the See knowing our Friends in Heaven. p. 54. Bones of his father might be digged out of the Earth (where they were Buryed) and laid by his own Body in a new Vault he order'd them to Erect for the same purpose; that tho' he cou'd not Live with his Father as Sir Natha­niel Barnar­diston and the Lady I.—de­sire both to be Buried with their Father. long as he wou'd have desir'd, yet he design'd their Bodies shou'd lie to­gether 'till the Resurrection—The Lady I.—made the same Request, with respect to her Worthy Father; and her Funeral Sermon tells us, They lay down alike in the Dust. Neither is this fond Love any great Rari­ty, for we read, that in some Part of the Indies, a Father of a Family being Dead, the Law of the Country ordains, that he be put in an Equi­page for the other World; and that such things as had been most dear un­to him shou'd be Burned with him. The best beloved of his Wives Dresseth In the Indies the Wives will be Burnt with their Hus­bands. her self more Richly, and with more care for Death, than she had done for her Wedding-Feast, the whole Kindred in Festival Garments, Conduct her So­lemnly to the Flaming-Pile, and there she suffers her self to be Burnt with Cere­mony with her Husband—I am more desirous to be Buryed with Iris, than these Indians were to be Burnt with their Husbands, and I hope we shall rest in the same Grave 'till the Resurrection—

Here we must rest; and where else shou'd we rest?
Is not a Mans own House (to Sleep in) best?
[Page 214] If this be all our House; they are to blame,
That Brag of the Great Houses whence they came.
What is my Father's House? And what am I?
My Father's House is Earth, where I must lie:
And I, a Worm; no Man, that fit no Room,
'Till (like a Worm) I crawl into my Tomb:
This is my dwelling, this is my truest Home,
A House of Clay, best sits a Guest of Lome;
Nay, 'tis my House, for I perceive, I have
In all my Life, ne'er dwelt out of a Grave.
The Womb was (first) my Grave; whence since I rose,
My Body (Grave like) doth my Soul enclose.
That Body (like a Corps with Sheets o'er spread)
Dying each Night, lies Buried in my Bed;
O'er which, my spreading Testers large extent,
Born with Carv'd Antiques makes my Monument,
And o'er my Head (perchance) such things may stand,
When I am quite run out in Dust and Sand.
My close-low-Builded Chamber, to my Eye,
Shews like a little Chappel; where I lie.
While at my Window, pretty Birds do Ring
My Knell, and with their Notes, my Obiits Sing.
Thus when the Day's vain Toil, my Soul hath wearied,
I, in my Body, Bed, and House, lie Buried.
Then have I little cause to fear my Tomb,
When this (wherein I live) my Grave's become.

So that a Grave, and six Foot of Ground, is all I can call my own; some [...]ome Athe­nian-Friend [...]ay per­haps scatter [...]me Lines [...]n my Hearse, and Mourning [...]ay attend [...]y Funeral, [...]ut nothing will tarry with me [...]t my Grave. Athenian-Friend perhaps on my Hearse will scatter some Lines, and strew the Cloth with Rime, Painting (perchance) may Guild some Flag or Banner, and Stick it on my Coffin, Musick may Sing my Dirge, and tell the Mourners I lov'd that Art, but when all is over, nothing will tarry with me but my Grave——

And 'tis most just; for here I did receive them,
I found them when I came, and here I leave them.
Neither the Things I want, and others have
Accompany their Owners to the Grave,
Will Beauty go? Will Strength in Death appear?
Will Honour or Proud Riches tarry there?
They all say no; for let grim Death draw near,
Beauty looks Pale, and Strength doth faint for Fear.
There's little Wealth or Pride in naked Bones,
And Honour sits on Cushions, not cold Stones.
Nay ask our Friends, that when we are in Health,
Wou'd Die for Love of us (or for our Wealth)
Mark what they set their Hands to; view it well,
[Your Friend till Death] but once dead, Fare you well.

So that we are scarce sure of a Grave, or were we sure of that, 'tis all [...] Grave is [...]ll that we [...]an call our [...]wn. we can call our own, for observe of a Man new Dead; this was his Wife [Page] (says one) that was his Land—This was his Brother—That was He is a Wretch that won't part with the world when it lies in his way to Heaven. his Building—This was his Garden—And thus they talk a­while of what WAS HIS—but if we go to the Church-yard, where his Body lies, 'tis said, this IS HIS GRAVE, and not his Friends; so that when we are Dead, we are sure of something, but 'tis only a Grave. Then what a Wretch is he, that won't part with the World, when it lies in his way to Heaven, for he can neither carry it with him, or use above six foot on't when he is Dead, or scarce so much, for the Chimistry of Car­dan Misers gripe at all the World, but it slips thro' their Fin­gers, and leaves no­thing but Dust. found but six Dunces of Dust in the Ashes of a Calcin'd Body—We brought nothing into this World, and can carry nothing out; but World­lings ne'er consider this, and therefore like Men that clasp at Spirits, they catch nothing but Air; they gripe at all the World to satisfie their Ava­rice, but it slips through their Fingers, and leaves nothing but Dust. But as great a Vanity as this is, we find Covetousness to be the only Sin, grows young, as Men grow old. Old Men have their Coverousness natural to 'em, their Blood is cak'd and cold, and Nature as it grows again toward Old Men have their Covetous­ness Natu­ral to 'em Earth, is fashion'd for the Iourney, dull and heavy—The nearer Death we grow in Years, the more scraping we are; and this Sneaking-Vice Drowns not till we Sink; and I don't wonder at it, for Dying-men will grasp at all they see; while they see any thing, but when their Senses fail, Covetous­ness is the only Sin grows Young as Men grow Old. then Farewell Riches, the World's too heavy, then they let it fall. Tho' we were misery all our Days, yet when we expire, we spread our Palms, and let the World slip by; but when ev'ry thing else is gone, the Grave remains: And in this Cell I shall lie hid (with Iris) till the Resur­rection.

Lie still where thou art John, for th' quiet o'th'Nation,
Nor can'st thou stir more, without slat Conjuration.

Being now laid to sleep with my Dear,—a Marble-Tomb was to be our Blankets, (for Tombs are the Cloaths of the Dead) but we shall get Iris and Phil. being laid to sleep, they want the Marble for their Blankets. no Cold if we wait for 'em. However, as I lived and died in a Cell, so to shew I'd be still Incognito, I'll here Write my Epitaph, and then, (as one expresses it) If no Man goes to Bed 'till he Dies, nor 'wakes 'till the Resurrection—Good-night t'ye here, and Good-morrow hereafter.

Dunton's Epitaph on himself.
HEre lies his Dust, who chiefly aim'd to know
Dunton's E­pitaph on himself.
Himself; and chose to Live Incognito:
He was so great a Master of that Art,
He understands it now in ev'ry Part;
But tho' 'twas Solitude he did so prize,
He has it least, whil'st in this Cell he lies;
For whil'st depriv'd, my dearest Life, of thee,
The World was all an Hermitage to me;
But mixt with Iris, nought can lonesome be
My Name inquire not, for thou must not know,
For Phil. desired, when he from hence did go,
That he might allways lie Incognito.

[Page 216] Thus Man goeth to his long home, and the Mourners go about the Man goes to his long home. streets—

Ring the Bells,—for Dunton is Dead and Buryed, that is, as Mr. Uincent's Friends make a PULPIT of his Grave, (for on his Tomb-stone are Ring the Bells for Dunton is Dead and Buried. these Words,

Immortal Souls to benefit and save,
I thus have made a Pulpit of my Grave.

So I have endeavour'd to make An Essay on my own Funeral, which I have been only bury­ing my self in Effigie. being a Representation of what will be done when I'm Dead, (whereas I'm yet alive) 'tis excusable if I have follow'd their Examples who fill their Maps with Fancies of their own Brains—, But tho' I have been only burying my self in Effigie; yet having a longing desire to be happy with Iris (which When I dye in earnest, I hope the thoughts of my Death & Funeral will be no more terrible to me than 'tis now in Spe­culation. I can't be but by dying) 'tis no matter how soon my Dying Solemnity were over; and when I come to dye in earnest, I hope the thoughts of my Death and Funeral will be no more terrible to me then 'tis now in Spe­culation. 'Twas said Philostratus liv'd Seven Years in his own Tomb, that he might be acquainted with it. That Death may become thus Familiar to me, I'll walk every Day with Ioseph a turn or two in my Garden with Death, and (with Herbet) as often dress out my own Hearse—. I wou'd be so well acquainted with Death as (impatiently) to desire it; not that I wou'd dye of an Appoplexy, by a private Stab, or any sudden Death—. From sudden Philostratus liv'd 7 Years in his Tomb. Death good Lord deliver me; for whenever I dye, I wou'd have so much notice, that I may leave nothing behind me that I shou'd take to Heaven with me; not that I wou'd be deliver'd from sudden Death, in respect of it self; Of sudden Death. for I care not how short my passage be, so it be safe. Never any weary Traveller complain'd that he came too soon to his Journies end; but I wou'd not have a sudden Death, so as to be surpriz'd beforo I'm summon'd: How­ever The Divine Herbert drest out his own Hearse. dye I wou'd, and as pleasant a sight as Valeria may think my funeral, I did not care how soon she saw it as here describ'd, for then she'll have more (I can't say enough) of the World, and I'm sick on't, and wou'd fain change I wou'd leave nothing be­hind me that I shou'd take to Hea­ven with me. it for Heaven—. 'Tis true the Mannour of Sampsil is a fine sight, but he that looks up to Heaven will not care for the World—. Oh how amiable are thy Tabernacles O Lord of Hosts! One Day in thy Courts is better than a Thousand; I had rather be a Door-keeper in the House of God, than live any longer in this vile World; there's nothing in it but Vanity, Disappointments, and black Ingratitude; then oh that I was stript into a naked Spirit; and set My Passion­ate Desire to be stript in­to a naked Spirit. ashore in a better World!—

Why lingrest thou, bright Lamp of Heaven? Why
Do thy Steeds tread so slowly on? must I
Be forc'd to live, when I desire to dye?
Lash thou those lasie Iades, drive with full speed,
And end my slow pac'd Days, that I may feed
With Ioy on him, for whom my Heart doth Bleed.
Post, blessed Iesus! Come Lord, flee away,
And turn this Night into the brightest Day,
By thine approach; come, Lord, and do not stay.
Take thou Doves Wings, or give Doves Wings to me,
That I may leave this World, and come to thee,
And ever in thy glorious Presence be.
I like not this bile World, it is meer Dross;
Thou only art pure Gold, then sure 'tis loss,
To be without the Throne t'enjoy a Cross.
What tho' I must pass through the Gates of Death?
It is to come to thee that gav'st me Breath;
And thou art better (Lord) than Dunghil Earth.
When shall I come? Lord, tell me, tell me when;
What must I tarry Threestore Years and Ten?
My thirsty Soul cannot hold out till then.
Come, dearest Saviour, come, unlock this Cage
Of sinful Flesh, lovingly stop the Rage
Of my Desires; and thou my Pilgrimage.

Thus have I finish'd the Essay on my own Funeral, and have prov'd (to I have now finish'd the Essay on my Funeral. your Ladyship) that my Cell being an Emblem of Death, is the fittest place to prepare for Heaven. To get ready for Death and the Grave, is a matter of great Consequence, and no place so fit for it as a Cell, where there's no inter­ruption—. I don't wonder that ev'ry Man commends Timon for his No place so fit to pre­pare for Death as a Cell. hating of Men; for we find so much danger in being in Company, that even Adam cou'd not live one Day in it, and live Innocent; the first News we hear of him, after Eve was Associate to him, was that he had forfeited his Native Purity; for having met with a Female, she strait seduc'd him; Adam cou'd not live one day in Com­pany & live innocent. And what follows? Why now, he must return to that ground out of which he was taken—. Then being born to dye— I love my Cell, as 'twill transmit me to the Darkness, and Oblivion of the Grave, and remind me of my own Funeral.—. Neither is this describing my own Funeral without a President; for we read of several that have Bury'd themselves in Ef­figie, Being born to dye I love my Cell. and have learn'd to dye at their own Funerals. The Emperour Adrian entr'd into his Empire by the Port of his Tomb, he Celebrates himself his own Funerals, and is led in Triumph to his Sepuchre. Several that have bury'd themselves in Effigie.

Now w [...] the Peoples Expectation high,
For wonted Pomp, and glittering Chivalry:
But lo! their Emp'rour doth invite 'em all,
Not to a Shew, but to his Funeral.
This was self Victory, and deserveth more
Than all the Conquests he had won before.
The Empe­rour Adrian Celebrates himself his own Fun'ral.

Proud Spirits, be ye Spectators of this Funeral Pomp, which this great Mo­narch Adrian Celebrates to Day: He invites the Heaven and the Earth to his Exequies, since in their view he accompanies his Portraid Skeleton unto the Tomb, his Body conducts thither its Shadow, the Original the painted Figure, Charles the 5th, Maxi­milian, the Emperour of the East, and several others have done the like. till a Metamorphosis be made both of one and the other—Oh glorious Action! where Garlands of Cypress dispute the Preheminence with Laurel and Palm! But Adrian is not the only Person that has been buried in Essigie, for Charles the Fifth, long before the Resignation of his Empire, caus'd a Se­pulchre to be made him, with all its funeral Furniture, which was privately carryed about with him wherever he went. Maximilian the [Page 218] Emperour did the same, and wou'd often follow his Coffin to the Grave in a Solemn Manner. We also read that Iohn Patriarch of Alexandria, while he was Living, and in Health, caus'd his Monument to be Built. but not to be Finisht, for this Reason, that upon solemn Days, when he performed Divine-Service, he might be put in mind by some of the Clergy in these Words—Sir your Monument is yet unfinish'd, command it to be finisht, for to Morrow you're to Celebrate your own Funeral. When the Emper­rour of the East was newly chosen, no Person had Liberty to speak to him before the Stone-Cutter had shew'd him several sorts of Marble, Genebald, Bp of Laudan­um, lay in a Bed made like a Cof­fin. The Study of Vertue is the best Pre­paration for Death. and ask'd him of which his Majesty wou'd be pleas'd to have his Monument made. And many others in perfect Health, have thus attended their own Fu­nerals—Genebald, Bp. of Laudanum, lay in a Bed made like a Coffin, for 7 Years together; and [...]da, a Woman of great Piety, long before her Death, caus'd her Coffin to be made, which twice a Day she filled with Bread and Meat, and gave to the Poor. And certainly the Study of Vertue is the best Preparation for Death. But we need not look into Ancient Times for Persons that have pro­vided for their own funerals, when our present Age abounds with so many In­stances of this Nature—I shall first Instance in the Reverend Mr. Bax­ter, (who Dates most of his Books from the Brink of the Grave). Being in Mr. Baxter drew up his own Funer­al Sermon. my Quarters, (says this Pious Divine) far from home, but so extreme Lan­guishing, by the sudden loss of about a Gallon of Blood, and having no Ac­quaintance about me, nor any Book but my Bible, and Living in continual Expectation of Death, I bent my Thoughts on my everlasting Rest; and because my Memory through extreme Weakness was imperfect, I took my Pen In his Book called The Saints ever­lasting Rest. and began to draw up my own funeral Sermon, or some Helps for my own Meditations of Heaven, to sweeten both the rest of my Life, and my Death—I cou'd next tell your Ladyship of a Gentleman, who Markt all his Plate with a Death's-head—My own Mother would often visit that Grave where she desir'd to the Buried—Mr. Thorp being in Debt, Other late Instances of Pious-men, who have kept their Coffins by 'em. retreats to the Mint, where he falls to Writing a Poem on himself, which he calls a Living-Clegy, and invites all his Creditors to his Funeral, to lament his Death. I have no Reason to do this, for I have taken that care, that if any come to my Funeral that I'm oblig'd to, they may have Cause rather to lament the loss of my Life, than any thing they can lose by me—Mr. Stephens of Lothbury, kept his Coffin by him several Years—Mrs. Parry of Monmouth, did the same—and so did Mrs. Collins, 'till Mr. Thorp's Living-Ese­gy. her Husband was Buryed in it—I don't pretend to live up to these Examples, but I've already purchast a [...]rave, and in these Sheets I'm following my Hearse to it, and I hope this Essay on my Funeral, will re­mind Mr. Stephens kept a Me­mento of Death in his own House. me of Death, when I'm most Tempted to forget it; but that I may not, I shall ev'ry Day my self make funeral Processions, I mean, visit in Meditation every Hour my Grave. There is no fooling with Life when 'tis once turn'd beyond Thirty, and therefore I wou'd now D [...]lly Celebrate my own Funeral, and invite to my Exequies Ambition, Avarice, and all o­ther I would now daily Celebrate my own Fu­neral. Passions wherewith I may be attainted, to the end that I may be a Conquerour even by my own proper Defeat: For when a Man yields to the Meditation of Death; then Reason commands Sense; all obey to this Apprehension of Frailty. Pleasures by little and little abandon us, the Sweets of Life seem Sowr, and we can find no other quiet, but in the Hope Before Death and the Funeral, no Man is Happy. of that glorious Life to come. 'Twas the Saying of a great Man, Before Death and the funeral, no Man is happy. But that I may Die in Peace, 'tis requisite that I Die daily. Philip of Macedon, gave a Boy a Pension [Page 219] ev'ry Morning, to say to him—. Philip remember thou art a Man. My Purse won't allow of a Daily Monitor, but I hope this Essay on my Why God wou'd have me ignorant of my last Hour. funeral will serve me as well to bear Death in Mind, as if Philp's-Deaths-Dead were set before me—But God wou'd have me ignorant of my last Hour, that suspecting it always, I might always be ready; and where can I get ready, if not in a Cell, where are few Temptations to Sin and Vanity? And therefore I'll never leave it, but like the silly-Grashopper, Live and Die, (and perhaps be Buried) in the same Ground—But however my Body is dispos'd of, I shall still be

Your Friend INCOGNITO.

The Ladys Answer to my Eight Letter.

Sir,

I Can easily believe you are the First that ever Writ an Essay upon their own Funeral, for our Dissolution is no inviting Subject; it has but a Me­lancholy Aspect, even when 'tis look'd upon as the only Remedy of the Af­flicted. But, How bitter are the Thoughts of Death to those that Live at Ease? Which if you Consider, you may well conclude, had Valeria's Kind­ness been such as you would have had it, you had ne'er enjoyed the Blessing you do now, of Contemplating the Miseries of this Life; till in Ran­sacking your Memory for all that could possibly any more afflict or torment you, you light upon Death as the last and most dreadful of all terrible Things; which being once fix'd in your Mind, sets you out of the reach of all Temptations. In this she makes it appear, she loves you as well at least, if not better, than her own Soul, that she affords you a Happiness she denies her self; and chuses to leave you to the full Enjoyment of it, without robbing you of the least Share. But if you are Serious in the Thoughts of Death, 'twill do you more good than all her Smiles, how­ever you may prize 'em.

The Gentleman that thought he was as good as Dead when his Mo­ney was gone, might have some cause to think himself really Dead, tho he walk'd about, perceiving the Fear every ones Countenance discover'd at the sight of him, the Case of most Persons in his Circumstance; therefore never be surpriz'd at his having more Brains than he could be quiet with, for were your Case his in one respect, it might be so perhaps in the o­ther; every one is not able to hear the Contempt of the World. Tho' if well consider'd, when we answer the Designs of Providence, it should be all one to us, whether we stand for a Penny or a Crown; for in God's Account we are equally as useful and acceptable: And I am perswaded, there has been many great Saints, very little seen or known in the World, and whose on­ly Share in it has been but Obscurity and Contempt; and truly speaking, what are we the better for so large a share of earthly Enjoyments, that shall both disorder our Minds and Bodies that we can't discern our true Interest, but place our Happiness in catching at departing shadows, while we forget we are all born subjects of Death, and begin to die from the first moment of our Life. And 'tis no matter how soon one is discharg'd of a Debt one must certainly pay. And were our Life never so long, to think in time we should have enough of living, is a great mistake; for at Fourscore Years and we shall [Page 220] think our lives short, and our past Enjoyments extremely imperfect; and any one that dies at Twenty can do no more: That in general, Death is saluted with the same shy Air, whenever he claims the debt they are not willing to pay; as well those he has long forborn, as those he deals with more severely. Yet methinks aged. Person's Experience, and some sort of good Nature and Compassion, might prevail with 'em willingly to make room for others; that by their Deaths young Persons, to whom they leave their Places, may have the opportunity of making the same Experiment they have done of the Emp­tiness of all humane Ioys, which is best known and believed by dear bought Experience, and never till then can they be freed from the Tyranny of Vain­hopes and wild Ambition, the Disease of Youth.

I confess I can't but wonder at the vain curiosity of the Philosophers, who set themselves so much to know exactly, in the last Minute of their Life, what Being Death has, which is none at all. The most that can be seen of Death is by its Operation on our Bodies in this Life; our total Dissolution is but the last stroke, not much differing from the rest, nor perhaps the most painful; we know enough of it to make us hate the thoughts of it, as of a Molancholy Subject; and if ever we are brought to love it, 'tis certain it must be by looking beyond it.

For 'tis to the consideration of that happy change of Life, to which Death brings us, that we are obliged for all our Ease and Comfort in this Life, and from the hopes that in Death, the Soul shall be set at Liberty, and be triumphant over that Enemy which had so long insulted, and with the sight and feeling of his Tyranny kept it in bondage and slavish fear. There's nothing in this World that is not under his Dominion; his Character is stampt on every thing, which makes 'em change, corrupt, and die, that we are tir'd with such perpetual Alterations; tho'it shou'd sometimes supply the place of a comfort to one that has no better; for if a meer change will mend their Condition, they are sure of that Relief, since nothing remains in the same state, all tends to a Dissolution; the Heavens wax old as doth a Garment, and shall be changed; nay, Death it self must shortly yield to Destruction; and till then, the worst it can do is but to change us for the better.

'Tis much to be admir'd, there should be any Pretenders to the making a Divorce between Death and Sin, that the same Persons that abhor the Sight o [...] Thoughts of Death, shou'd take Sin into their Embraces; for what's so sure to let in Death as Sin? For 'tis not only the Wages of Sin but it's natural Issue; and one may say, 'tis the only good thing Sin ever brought forth; for we have many Advantages by Death, since every degree of Death, in the Body, adds to the Life and Vigour of any Soul that is not already dead in Sin; and in the to­tal Dissolution of the Body, the Soul is freed from any more sinning, and all the sufferings of this Life; a Condition much to be desir'd, by all but those that are so blind to take their Misery for their Happiness, and dore upon this present Life; and such there are, and ever was, of whom St. Austin in amazement speaks, when he says, At what cost and labour do Men endeavour to prolong their Labours, and by how many frights to fly Death, to the end they may be able to fear it for the longer time.

'Tis true, since Death was at first laid on Man as a penalty, it must be allow'd to be that which Nature in it self abhors; but God, whose very Punish­ments are the effects of his Mercy and Goodness, has ordain'd it to be the means to procure our Happiness, both to wean our Affections from too much love of this Life, and also to bring us to the possession of a better; which if tru­ly understood, would more than overcome our natural aversion; it wou'd make us long to be dissolv'd, at least willing to die at our appointed time; [Page] for those that believe, and hope for a glorious Resurrection, should they re­gret in Death the loss of their Bodies, 'twould look like the impertinent Fol­ly of one that shou'd lament the loss of the Egg that was become a Chicken; for sure it is, for us to desire to be always what we are, is to oppose the per­fection of our Natures, and speaks us degenerated to the lowest degree of Bruta­lity. Could we obtain a true Judgment of our selves, we should (like the Man you mention) think it more Eligible to end than begin our Life again; and 'tis a great sign we have never labour'd for Heaven and Happiness, when we are not weary enough to wish for Rest, but like Children that pass their Day in trifling Follies are never weary, but must be forced to Bed, or else deluded to it by a false hope; some such deceits are found for cheating Men as much as Children, and often sends 'em to rest before they think on't; tho' were they not as insensible as Death it self can make 'em, they cou'd scarce think of any thing else amongst the many Monitors the World affords us; but yet I wonder how you can think it an easie matter to humble the preposterous Pride of Man; 'tis not the sight of a Funeral can do it, nor yet your humbling Uerses; he carefully secures his Pride from all Assaults while he lives, and charges it to carry it to his Grave, so dearly he loves it as his best Companion, without which, all worldly Enjoyments would be insipid, and give him more pain than pleasure, for Pride is the chief Ingredient in all our Pleasures to make 'em desirable; and for that reason they do well to keep the thoughts of Death at an humble distance from their Pride, for Death's the greatest Enemy it can encounter, which first or last will get the Victory; for how many Persons are in Mourning half their Life time for the Death of Pride? Those who lament the loss of Youth, the loss of Beauty, or of Grandeur, 'tis all but Funeral sorrow for the loss of Pride, the dear Companion of Beauty, Youth and Grandeur, which is gone before 'em; but if that will satisfie 'em, they shall soon follow. This we must needs observe in the Death of our Friends and Relations, who once enjoy'd this Life as much as we do, yet cou'd not baffle Death, but were forc'd to yield to his Sum­mons, which are so Arbitrary, we have no Rule to take our Measures by to prevent surprize; 'tis therefore best to be always ready to entertain Death's Harbingers, and make every thing our Monitor, and almost all we see and converse with, are naturally dispos'd to do us that courtesie, wou'd we give leave; for there is so much truth in what you call an Active Death, that more of Death than Life appears in the imperfection of all humane Actions.

For Example, Your ringing your Passing-Bell—, your laying your self out—, speaking your last Words—, describing your Looks—, and your Spouses Sentiments upon your Death and sight of you—are very like the Dream of those that are under the Image and Similitude of Death, and probably like Dreams may come to pass by contrarys: For the Circumstances of your Death may differ so much from what you make account of, that it may not permit you to Pray that Prayer you have prepared for obtaining the blessing to see and know again your Spouse in Heaven; but let not this fright you, for you may yet have this comfort, If it is none of the Joys that belongs to Heaven, you'll be happy without it; but if it is the common Blessing belongs to all beatified Spirits, you'll not want it. Nor can I see the least reason to count our Death, because 'tis strange, a dismal and mysterious Change; for what shou'd we fear, since there's no being un­happy in God's Hands? Had he never discover'd to us the Joys of another Life, we have tasted so much of his Goodness in this, as may well as­sure [Page 222] us there is nothing to expect but Happiness wherever he sends us, for Death, Sin and Misery, was no portion of his providing, 'twas of our own procuring by Rebelion; therefore 'tis no matter what we are, nor whe­ther we go, if we can leave Sin behind us.

How Beautiful were we made at first, to enjoy an earthly Paradice, till Re­bellion and Sin changed all into misery and deformity? But now how glorious shall we be made at the Resurrection, to fit us for a heavenly Life, where we are out of all possibility of any change, for we are in no danger to forfeit that Life, since all the Conditions we hold it by are already fulfilled for us? You may well think what a bright and serene Morning the Resurrection will make, and long for it at a great rate, therefore to be provided for your happy Change is your chief care; when you are once about to die, you won't stay to be ask'd the least Question about your Funeral, or disposing your Estate, for you have not only made your Will, but order'd every Circumstance of your funeral. The Care and Fondness you shew for your Epitaph, and the rich Monument you bequeath your self, may very justly be imputed to your loving temper; for had Iris been still alive, you had never had such hot Thoughts and Concern for your cold Grave, where you are laid in your Imagina­tion with a Pleasure not inferiour to Kings; and to assert your title to that Priviledge, can prove your self as frail and mortal as the greatest Monarch alive.

But tho' you might think it necessary to make some Friendship and Acquain­tance with Death before you fall into his Hands, I can't see so much use of the Contemplation of your Funeral; for to me 'tis a care I shall never charge my Thoughts with, but as I live and die Incognito, so I wou'd be buried; and so wou'd you, I'm perswaded, were it not to shew your Friends how much you valu'd a Wife that lov'd you; but having such a President as Iacob, you can't be thought vain or prodigal, if like him you erect a Monument in Memory of your fair Wife and happy Marriage; for 'tis an imperfect Felicity, according to the World, that is but little known or talk'd of.

I am secured from mistaking the Person of your Executor by the Character you give him, there are so few comes near that resemblance; from whom you may well promise your self a speedy performance of your Will. But how slug­gish must that Vertue be, that such an Encomium as you have made upon the Fidelity of a Friend in that occasion, cou'd not animate with Life and Spirits to put every thing in execution for the Love and Honour of his deceased Friend?

I can't disapprove your Sentiment, that 'tis the truest Charity to your Pre­sumptive Heir, rather to leave him a necessary Instruction to Reflect upon and do him good, than your Estate, that will do him harm; and the Character you give the Person you leave it to, will extremely justifie your choice. Your other Legacies are very generous; and in particular to me, who have done nothing for you equal to so kind a Concern; but it seems to be your design to exceed all Persons Deserts.

I wish that be all; for your leaving the Athenians and me Mourning, looks as if you were resolv'd to engross to your self the sole advantage of living and dying Incognito; and had sound out the way to discover us to the World; for now we are not known but guess'd at; for wherever Wit and Modesty appears in one Person, he is presently suspected for one of the Athenians, and perhaps some Woman may be supposed to be the honourable Lady, if she is once discover'd to abound in her own Sense, which are marks so near the Truth, there needs no more than putting on Mourning for a Friend, when all the Town knows you are dead, to make a perfect discovery of those Persons who had liv'd till then unknown; but I'm more enclin'd to impute [Page] it to the great [...]aste you made to have all your Business and dying Solemnity over, tha [...] you might the sooner satisfie your longing desire to be happy with I [...]is; which may very well excuse your oversight of the danger your Kind­ness expos'd us to.

But I am to seek for the Reason of your giving so much for the Preach­ing your Funeral Sermon, when you have but two Vertues to be com­mended, and which in reality are none; for what Vertue is there in abhorring Covetousness and Backbiting, when all your Sufferings are owing to those two Vices? 'Tis but too Natural, and far from a Vertue, to hate your Enemies, which they both are, for the one keeps you from paying your Debts, the other makes you pass for a Hypocrite: However the Mi­nister is not to deserve his Legacy for the Commendations he gives you, but you are satisfied if a Sermon is Preach'd for the Benefit of your surviving Friends, which is all it can pretend to, when 'tis the best perform'd; nor is any thing more design'd in the Highest Elogiums that are given to any Persons Vertues, 'tis but to recommend 'em to our Imitation with the more advantage; and as Humble and Modest as it looks in many Persons that decline the having funeral Sermons for fear there should be some mistaken Honour paid to their reputed Vertues, I see but little Reason for it: If in our Life-time We must let our Light shine, that Men may see our good Works, notwithstanding the Danger it may prove to our [...]ail­ty, then why at our Funerals may not God have the Glory of our good Works, and our Friends the Benefit of having our Vertue proposed to their Imitation, with all the just Praise it deserves, for the better prevailing? And as it is the most proper occasion for Instruction, 'tis pity any Consi­deration shou'd disappoint it.

I am of Opinion you might have spar'd your Ring and Inscription to Valeria, for should she follow your Counsel, it would deprive her of all the Satisfaction she should take in her Iointure, when it fell to her, for at pre­sent 'tis only the Hopes of it that makes her cheerfully undergo all the Misfortunes relating to herself, and her Dear Spouse, whose Absence she is forced to bear, having no means to redress this Ill but by a greater, for she likes her Iointure just as it is, and had rather endure any Misery, than ever consent to make it better or worse.

Knowing this as you do, let me tell you 'tis a little unkind, to order the cutting down the Woods, which will not only alter but deform the Beauty of it, and she may come to repent all the Sorrows she has endu­red for the Love of it. But perhaps you'll say, you are as scrupulous of pay­ing your Debts, a [...] she of not breaking her Vow, and she can't in Conscience but commend you for it; all this alleged of both sides, it seems to put it more in her Power than yours to procure a Remedy, and 'tis a little strange; since, She adheres so strictly to her Church, as not willing to have a Grave out of their Bosom, she should not have the Benefit of their Counsel in that difficult Affair, but is left to her self to suffer so much Misery, for want of a right Iudgment, in the Case of a rash and unlawful Vow; therefore you need take no more concern, if things remain in the same State they are now, till you Die; you can't oblige her more, than to leave her to her Iointure.

You are very kind to your Summer friends, and give 'em great Gifts, were they not accompany'd with so many Reproaches; all thing consider'd, you have no such Reason, 'tis possible to make so good a use of their Ingratitude [Page 224] as may turn more [...] Advantage, than all the Services of your tried Friends; for they are [...] only Persons can teach us to abhor in our selves, what we see so odious [...] them; for to reflect upon our own Ingratitude to God, how humble and modest should it make us in exacting Gratitude to us poor sinful Mor [...], who never think how much we are indebted to God's Favour and Goo [...], for all the means he gives us of helping others; and we ought to estee [...] the Services we do 'em, as special Blessings Heaven bestows upon us, and rec [...]on 'em as good Offices which those Persons have done us, in procuring us those Favours; nor can their want of Ackowledgment do us the least Injury, for if you look into your self, to see with what Mind you serv'd 'em, and find you had no Worldly respects in it, but was carried to it by a Ch [...]itable sense of their Wants, and respect to your Du­ty, they then by there Ingratitude, turn you over to God for your Re­ward; and how much better is that then the best of their Acknowledg­ments; but if your sole aim had been to [...] 'em to you, that they might repay you in the same Coin▪ how well you deserve to lose so vain a Reward; but should it have been a fawning and pretended Affection that deluded you, (a Misfortune Men of your Loving and Charitable Temper are most liable [...]) you have ample amends made you, by shewing you the World is [...]l'd with false Appearance [...], and 'tis a Folly to rely on humane Com­ [...]ts, for Change of fortune changes friends, for the most part: All you ha [...]e to regret is, that your Pains and Cost should be so far lost, as that the Kind­ness you intended should be turn'd to an Injury, by making 'em Guilty of so black a Crime; yet could you once put 'em into possession of the good Qualities you Bequeath 'em, many might have cause to thank you, and none will ever after be troubled with your [...].

But what ever your Thoughts are, in my Opinion you have less rea­son to expect all should approve, than to be surpriz'd that some should blame the Publishing your private Case; who ever appeals to the World, must resolve to stand the shock of many a harsh Judgment; and tho' it looks like Vindicating our selves, the Event makes it quite another thing; 't [...]s much more like a Design to find out an infallible way to be truly humbled for all our Faults and Fra [...]lties, they will find so many Chastilers amongst the Rash, the Envious, and the Impertinent, as will make 'em know themselves; but if you your self judge you have done well in Publishing your Case, as also your Friends who know your Reasons for so doing, what need you heed the Judgment of those who can only judge by the Success, not know­ing, but guessing at your Motives for it.

But if some Persons shall declaim against the Pains you▪ have taken to Bury your self, and say, 'tis a meet Whim, they must then look upon the Presidents you have brought of so many great and good Men, that have thought it necessary to fortifie 'em against the Fear of Death, which the soft Pleasures of their Condition is apt to represent as the greatest of all E­vils. But this is not your Case, you are sick of this Life, and are impatient for a Change; but for all that▪ in this treacherous and deceitful World, you think 'tis good to be provided of a funeral Essay, to remind you of Death, least some t [...]e or other▪ you may be T [...]mpted to forget it; as you see others, who are so taken up with observing your Faults after you are Dead and Bu­ried in your Cell, which in Charity they ought to cover, but true Mortifi­cation is insensible, which Happiness I wish yo [...]Wh [...] a [...] your &c.

FINIS.

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