Kings. Old man, take heed! her smiles will murder thee.
The others. Old man, she 'll crown thee with felicity.
Fort. Oh, whither am I wrapt beyond myself?
More violent conflicts fight in every thought,
Than his, whose fatal choice Troy's downfall wrought.
Shall I contract myself to wisdom's love?
Then I lose riches; and a wise man, poor,
Is like a sacred book that's never read,

To himself he lives, and to all else seems dead:
This age thinks better of a gilded fool,

Than of a threadbare saint in wisdom's school.
I will be strong: then I refuse long life;

And though mine arm should conquer twenty worlds,
There's a lean fellow beats all conquerors:

The greatest strength expires with loss of breath,
The mightiest (in one minute) stoop to death.
Then take long life, or health; should I do so,
I might grow ugly; and that tedious scroll
Of months and years much misery may inrol;
Therefore I'll beg for beauty; yet I will not:
The fairest cheek hath oftentimes a soul
Leprous as sin itself, than hell more foul.
The wisdom of this world is idiotism;
Strength a weak reed; health sickness' enemy,
(And it at length will have the victory ;)
Beauty is but a painting; and long life
Is a long journey in December gone,
Tedious, and full of tribulation,
Therefore, dread sacred empress, make me rich;

My choice is store of gold; the rich are wise :
He that upon his back rich garments wears
Is wise, though on his head grow Midas' ears:
Gold is the strength, the sinews of the world;
The health, the soul, the beauty most divine;
A mask of gold hides all deformities;
Gold is heaven's physic, life's restorative;
Oh, therefore make me rich! not as the wretch

[Kneels down.

That only serves lean banquets to his eye,
Has gold, yet starves; is famished in his store;
No, let me ever spend, be never poor.

For. Thy latest words confine thy destiny;
Thou shalt spend ever, and be never poor:
For proof receive this purse; with it this virtue;
Still when thou thrust'st thy hand into the same,
Thou shalt draw forth ten pieces of bright gold,
Current in any realm where then thou breathest;
If thou canst dribble out the sea by drops,

Then shalt thou want; but that can ne'er be done,
Nor this grow empty.

Fort. Thanks, great deity!

For. The virtue ends when thou and thy sons end.
This path leads thee to Cyprus, get thee hence:
Farewell, vain covetous fool, thou wilt repent
That for the love of dross thou hast despised
Wisdom's divine embrace; she would have borne thee
On the rich wings of immortality;

But now go dwell with cares, and quickly die.

85.-To all Readers.


I GRANT brevity, where it is neither obscure nor defective, is very pleasing, even to the daintiest judgments. No marvel, therefore, if most men desire much good counsel in a narrow room; as some affect to have great personages drawn in little tablets, or as we see worlds of countries described in the compass of small maps. Neither do I unwillingly yield to follow them; for both the powers of good advice are the stronger when they are thus united, and brevity makes counsel more portable for memory and readier for use. Take these therefore

for more; which as I would fain practise, so am I willing to commend. Let us begin with him who is the first and last; inform yourself aright concerning God; without whom, in vain do we know all things: be acquainted with that Saviour of yours, which paid so much for you on earth, and now sues for you in heaven; without whom we have nothing

to do with God, nor he with us. Adore him in your thoughts, trust him with yourself: renew your sight of him every day, and his of you. Overlook these earthly things; and, when you do at any time cast your eyes upon heaven, think there dwells my Saviour, there I shall be. Call yourself to often reckonings; cast up your debts, payments, graces, wants, expenses, employments; yield not to think your set devotions troublesome; take not easy denials from yourself; yea, give peremptory denials to yourself: he can never be good that flatters himself: hold nature to her allowance; and let your will stand at courtesy happy is that man which hath obtained to be the master of his own heart. Think all God's outward favours and provisions the best for you your own ability and actions the meanest. Suffer not your mind to be either a drudge or a wanton; exercise it ever, but overlay it not in all your businesses, look, through the world, at God; whatsoever is your level, let him be your scope: every day take a view of your last; and think either it is this or may be: offer not yourself either to honour or labour, let them both seek you: care you only to be worthy, and you cannot hide you from God. So frame yourself to the time and company, that you may neither serve it nor sullenly neglect it; and yield so far as you may neither betray goodness nor countenance evil. Let your words be few and digested; it is a shame for the tongue to cry the heart mercy, much more to cast itself upon the uncertain pardon of others' ears. There are but two things which a Christian is charged to buy, and not to sell, Time and Truth; both so precious, that we must purchase them at any rate. So use your friends, as those which should be perpetual, may be changeable. While you are within yourself, there is no danger: but thoughts once uttered must stand to hazard. Do not hear from yourself what you would be loth to hear from others. In all good things, give the eye and ear the full of scope, for they let into the mind: restrain the tongue, for it is a spender. Few men have repented them of silence. In all serious matters take counsel of days, and nights, and friends; and let leisure ripen your purposes: neither hope to gain aught by suddenness. The first thoughts may be confident, the second are wiser. Serve honesty ever, though without apparent wages: she will pay sure, if slow. As in apparel, so in actions, know not what is good, but what becomes you. How many warrantable acts have misshapen the authors? Excuse not your own ill, aggravate not others :

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and if you love peace, avoid censures, comparisons, contradictions. Out of good men choose acquaintance; of acquaintance; friends; of friends, familiars; after probation admit them; and after admittance, change them not. Age commendeth friendship. Do not always your best it is neither wise nor safe for a man ever to stand upon the top of his strength. If you would be above the expectation of others, be ever below yourself. Expend after your purse, not after your mind: take not where you may deny, except upon conscience of desert, or hope to requite. Either frequent suits or complaints are wearisome to a friend. Rather smother your griefs and wants as you may, than be either querulous or importunate. Let not your face belie your heart, nor always tell tales out of it: he is fit to live amongst friends or enemies that can ingenuously close. Give freely, sell thriftily: change seldom your place, never your state: either amend inconveniences or swallow them, rather than you should run from yourself to avoid them.

In all your reckonings for the world cast up some crosses that appear not; either those will come or may. Let your suspicions be charitable; your trust fearful; your censures sure. Give way to the anger of the great. The thunder and cannon will abide no fence. As in throngs we are afraid of loss, so, while the world comes upon you, look well to your soul; there is more danger in good than in evil: I fear the number of these my rules; for precepts are wont (as nails) to drive out one another: but these I intended to scatter amongst many; and I was loth that any guest should complain of a niggardly hand; dainty dishes are wont to be sparingly served out: homely ones supply in their bigness what they want in their worth.


WE give the Spectator,' No. 335, without abridgment.



It is by

My friend Sir Roger de Coverley, when we last met together at the club, told me that he had a great mind to see the new tragedy (The Distressed Mother') with me, assuring me that he had not been at a play these twenty years.

at the same time 'The last I saw,'

said Sir Roger, was the Committee, which I should not have gone to neither had not I been told beforehand that it was a good Church of England comedy.' He then proceeded to inquire of me who this distressed mother was; and upon hearing that she was Hector's widow, he told me that her husband was a brave man, and that when he was a school-boy he had read his life at the end of the dictionary. My friend asked me in the next place if there would not be some danger in coming home late, in case the Mohocks should be abroad. I assure you,' says he, I thought I had fallen into their hands last night; for I observed two or three lusty black men that followed me half way up Fleet Street, and mended their pace behind me in proportion as I put on to get away from them. You must know,' continued the knight with a smile, ‘Į fancied they had a mind to hunt me; for I remember an honest gentleman in my neighbourhood who was served such a trick in King Charles the Second's time, for which reason he has not ventured himself in town ever since. I might have shown them very good sport had this been their design; for, as I am an old fox-hunter, I should have turned and dodged, and have played them a thousand tricks they had never seen in their lives before.' Sir Roger added, that if these gentlemen had any such intention, they did not succeed very well in it; for I threw them out,' says he, at the end of Norfolk Street, where I doubled the corner, and got shelter in my lodgings before they could imagine what was become of me. However,' says the knight, if Captain Sentry will make one with us to-morrow night, and you will both of you call upon me about four o'clock, that we may be at the house before it is full, I will have my own coach in readiness to attend you, for John tells me he has got the fore-wheels mended.'

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"The captain, who did not fail to meet me there at the appointed hour, bid Sir Roger fear nothing, for that he had put on the same sword which he made use of at the battle of Steenkirk. Sir Roger's servants, and among the rest my old friend the butler, had, I found, provided themselves with good oaken plants, to attend their master upon this occasion. When we had placed him in his coach, with myself at his left hand, the captain before him, and his butler at the head of his footmen in the rear, we conveyed him in safety to the playhouse, where, after having marched up the entry in good order, the captain and I went in with him, and seated him betwixt us in the pit. As

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