Page images

Ye vain Grandeurs of a Court, ye founding Titles and perifhing Riches, what do ye now fignify? What Confolation, what Relief can you give me ? I have had a fplendid Paffage to the Grave-I die in State, and languish under a gilded CanopyI am expiring on foft and downy Pillows, and am refpectfully attended by my Servants and Phyficians -my Dependants figh-my Sifters weep-my Father bends beneath a Load of Years and GriefMy lovely Wife, pale and filent, conceals her inward Grief and Anguish-My Friend, the generous Philades, who lov'd me as his own Soul, fuppreffes his Sighs, and leaves me to hide his fecret Grief; but Oh! which of them will answer my Summons at the great Tribunal? Which of them fhall bail me from the Arreft of Death? Who will defcend into the dark Prifon of the Grave for me? Here they all leave me, after having paid a few idle Ceremonies to the breathlefs Clay, which, perhaps, may lie repos'd in State, while my Soul, my only conscious Part, may ftand trembling before my Judge. My afflicted Friends, it is probable, will lay the fenfelefs Corpfe in a stately Monument, infcrib'd with, Here lies the Great but could the pale Carcase speak, it would foon reply,

Falfe Marble, where?

Nothing but poor and fordid Duft lies bere.

[ocr errors]

While fome flattering Panegyrick is pronounced at my Interment, I may, perhaps, be hearing my juft Condemnation, at a fuperior Tribunal, where an unerring Verdict may fentence me to everlafting Infamy; but I caft my felf on his abfolute Mercy, through the infinite Merits of the Redeemer of loft Mankind. Adieu, my dear Philario, till we meet in the Kingdom of Spirits.

A Letter

A Letter from a young Lady, to a Lady ber Friend, a few Days before fhe died.

My dear Lady,


Y Sands are now running low: The Springs of Life will foon ceafe: The Duft is returning to its native Duft, and the immortal Part to its great Original: The happy Day is dawning, which fhall never be fhaded with fucceeding Night. Some Glimmerings of celestial Glory break through the Gloom, and fcatter the Horrors of Darkness. I hear from far the Harps of Heaven, in foft Preludiums, call me to the Skies. I fhall fhortly mingle with the Morning Stars, and converse with the first-born Sons of Light. I fhall enter the blissful Affembly, and be number'd among the glittering Attendants of the Empyrean Courts. The fupreme Excellence will unveil himself, and fuffer me to gaze on uncreated Beauty. I fhall feel the Force, and breathe the Raptures, of immortal Love. The fmiling Moments, crown'd with Joy and ever-blooming Life, must now begin their everlasting Round. The stormy Ocean is paft the fhort Fatigue fulfill'd; the peaceful Haven is in view; I am just fetting my Foot on the blissful Coaft, the charming Land of Love. The aromatick Breezes already meet me from the fragrant Shore, and cheer me in the last Faintings of Nature.

My dear Lady Frances, adieu: Till now I never bid you a glad Farewel, nor parted without Reluctance; but we fhall meet in more ferene Climates we shall meet in the Fulnefs of Joy, in the Elevations of immutable Glory, where they fing the Song of Mofes, the Servant of God, and the Song of the Lamb, faying, Great and mar


vellous are thy Works, Lord God Almighty; juft and true are thy Ways, O thou King of Saints! Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? for thou only art holy: For all Nations fhall come and worship before thee; for thy Judgments are made manifeft.

Mine, indeed, by a juft Decree of Recompence, will be a Station far below yours: My Probation has been only the paffive Exercise of Content and Patience; but fuch Virtue as yours, which has triumph'd over all the gay Allurements of the World, will meet a glorious Distinction; the noble Army of Martyrs will receive you to their Number, grace you with the radiant Circlet and victorious Palm, and record your Conqueft in the Annals of Hea


I fpeak this to to animate your Virtue, to encourage you in the Race of Glory. I am now paft Flattery or Dependence on the greatest of Mortals; but I feel the most tender Concern for your Happiness, and fhall carry the gentle Impreffion to the Regions of exalted Blifs, the native Dominions of Love, to which I am now going. I fee, methinks, the glimmering of celeftial Light, and blefs the Dawning of everlafting Day: The Shadows are flying, and the Heavens opening their inmoft Glories before me: In a few Days I fhall enter the blissful Habitations, the dazling Receffes of the moft High; whom I fhall behold in full Perfection, exalted in Majefty, and compleat in Beauty. My Hopes are unbounded; I fet no Limits to my Expectations; for in his Prefence is Fulness of Joy, and at his Right-Hand are Pleasures for evermore. Millions of Ages of Happinefs are before me-the Profpect ftretches to an immeafurable Length-my Soul preffes forward, and calls Eternity itself her own.

[ocr errors][merged small]

When fhall the Curtain fall, and these bleft Eyes
Meet all the dazling Wonders in the Skies?
O rend the hated Veil, and take away
The dull Partition of this brittle Clay.

Come heav'nly Day, which ne'er shall see a

Come chearful Smiles, from the bright Face of

The Angels call, they call me from above,
And bid me haften to the Realms of Love:
My Soul with Transport hears the happy Doom:
I come, ye gentle Meffengers, I come.

Earth flies, with all the Charms it has in ftore,
Its Snares and gay Temptations are no more:
While Heav'n appears, and the propitious Skies
Unveil their inmoft Glories to my Eyes;
To Mortals, and their Hopes, I bid adieu,
And ask no more the rifing Sun to view;
For, Oh! the Light himself, with Rays divine
Breaks in, and God's eternal Day is mine.

Q. Into how many Parts have the Ingenious and Learned divided the Age of Man's Life.

A. The Age of Man they reckon to be threefcore Years and twelve, which they divide into (twelve Parts, according to the twelve Months of the Year, reckoning for each Month fix Years, and January is reckoned for the first fix Years, which are of no Virtue nor Strength. In this Sea fon little on the Earth groweth; fo Man, after that he is born, till he be fix Years of Age, is of little or no Wit, Strength, or Cunning, and can do little or nothing that cometh to any Profit. Then cometh February, and the Days lengthen, and the Sun gives more Heat: Then the Fields begin to wax green; fo the other fix Years, till he be twelve, the Child begins to wax bigger, and is apt to learn fuch things as are taught him.


Then cometh the Month of March, in which the Labourers fow the Earth, plant Trees, and build Houfes The Child in thefe fix Years learneth Doctrine and Science, and is fair, and pleasant, and loving; for then he is eighteen Years of Age. Then cometh April, when the Earth and the Trees are covered with green Flowers, and in all Parts Goods increase abundantly: Then cometh the young Man to gather sweet Flowers of Hardiness; but then beware that cold Winds, and Storms of Vices, beat not down the Flowers of Good-Manners that fhould bring a Man to Honour; for then he is twenty-four Years of Age. Then cometh May, that is both fair and pleasant; for then Birds fing in Woods and Forefts Night and Day; the Sun fhineth hot; then Man is most lufty, moft mighty, and of proper Strength, and feeketh Plays, Sports, and manly Paftimes; for then he is full thirty Years of Age. Then cometh June, and then the Sun is at the highest, in his Meridian, his glittering golden Beans ripen the Corn, and then Man is thirty fix Years of Age; he may ascend no more; for then Nature hath given him Courage and Strength at the full, and hath ripened the Seeds of perfect Understanding. Then cometh July, that our Fruits be fet a funning, and our Corn hardening; but then the Sun begins a little to decline downwards: So then Man goeth from Youth towards Age, and begins to acquaint him with Sadnefs; for then he is forty-two Years of Age. After this cometh Auguf, then we gather in our Corn, and alfo the Fruits of the Earth: So then Man doth his Diligence to gather, to furnish himself, and to maintain his Wife, and Children, and Houfhold, when Age cometh upon him; and thefe fix Years make him forty-eight Years of Age. Then cometh September that Wines be. made, and all the Fruits be gathered in, and therewithal doth he freshly begin to garnish his Houf


« PreviousContinue »