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§. IX. Sir Philip SIDNEY (a subject indeed of England; but, they fay, chosen king of Poland; whom queen Elizabeth called Her Philip; the prince of Orange, His MASTER; whose friendship the lord Brooks was so proud of, that he would have it part of his epitaph, * Here lies Sir Philip Sidney's friend:” Whofe death was lamented in verse by the then kings of France and Scotland, and the two universities of England) repented so much at his death of that witty vanity of his life, his Arcadia, that to prevent the unlawful kindling of heats in others, he would have committed it to the flames himíelf; and left this farewel amongst his friends, 'Love my memory; cherish my friends; their
faith to me may assure you that they are honest : But
above all, govern your will and affections by the « Will and Word of your Creator. In me behold " the End of this World, and all its Vanities. And indeed he was not much out in saying so, since in him was to be seen the end of all natural parts, acquired learning, and civil accomplishments. His farewel seems spoken without terror, with a clear sense, and an equal judgment.
§. X. Secretary WALSINGHAM, an extraordinary man in queen
Elizabeth's time, towards the conclusion of his days, in a letter to his fellow secretary, Burleigh, then lord treasurer of England, writes thus; "We have lived enough to our Country, our Fortunes, our Sovereign: It is high time we begin to live to Ourselves, and to our God. Which giving occasion for some court-droll to visit, and try to divert him; " Ah!
(saith he)' while we Laugh, all things are serious " round about us; God is serious, when he preserveth
us; and hath patience towards us; Christ is serious, ,
when he dieth for us; the Holy Ghost is serious, & when he striveth with us; the whole creation is seri
ous, in serving God and us; they are serious in hell r and in heaven: And shall a man that hath one foot in ' his grave, Jest and Laugh?' Othat our statesmen would weigh the conviction, advice, and conclusion of this great man; and the greatest man, perhaps, that Vol. II,
has borne that character in our nation. For true it is, that none can be serious too soon, because none can be good too foon. Away then with all foolish talking and jesting, and let people mind more profitable things !
§. XI. John Mason, knight, who had been privycounsellor to four princes, and spent much time in the preferments and pleasure of the world, retired with these pathetical and regretful sayings : ' After so many
years experience, Seriousness is the greatest Wisdom; TEMPERANCE the best Physic; a Good CONSCIENCE is the best Eftare. And were I to live again, I would
change the court for a cloister, my privy-counsellor's « bustles for an hermit's retirement, and the whole life (I lived in the palace, for one hour's enjoyment of God s in the chapel. All things else forsake me, besides • my God, my Duty, and my Prayers.'
S. XII. Sir WALTER Raleigh is an eminent instance, being as extraordinary a man as our nation hath produced: In his person, well descended; of health, strength, and a masculine beauty: In understanding, quick; in judgment, sound; learned and wise, valiant and skilful: An Historian, a Philosopher, a General, a Statesman. After a long life, full of experience, he drops these excellent sayings a little before his death, to his fon, to his wife, and to the world, viz. 'Exceed (not in the humour of Rags and Bravery; for these ¢ will soon wear out of fashion: And no man is ( esteemed for Gay Garments, but by Fools and « Women. On the other side, seek not Riches bafely,
nor attain them by evil means : Destroy no man for « his Wealth, nor take any thing from the Poor ; for " the cry thereof will pierce the heavens: And it is most < deteftable before God, and most dishonourable be• fore worthy men, to wrest any thing from the needy
and labouring soul : God will never prosper thee, « if thou offendest therein; but use thy poor neighbours
and tenants well.'[Amost worthy saying! But he adds] • Have compassion on the Poor and Amicted, and God < will bless thee for it: Make not the hungry soul forrowful ; for if he curse thee in the bitterness of
his soul, his prayer shall be heard of him that made
him. Now, for the world (dear child) I know it too Swell, to persuade thee to dive into the practices of it: Rather stand upon thy own guard against all those that tempt thee to it, or may practise upon thee; whether in thy Conscience, thy Reputation, or thy Estate: Resolve, that no man is Wife or Safe, but he that is Honeft. Serve God; Let him be the author of all thy actions: Commend all thy endeavours to him, that must either wither or prosper them: Please him with prayer; left if he frown, he confound
all thy fortune and labour, like the drops of rain upon (the fandy ground. Let my experienced advice, and
fatherly instruction, sink deep into thy heart: So God direct thee in all thy ways, and fill thy heart with his grace.'
Sir WALTER RALEIGH's Letter to his WIFE,
after his Condemnation.
OU shall receive, my dear wife, my last words,
in these my last lines. My Love I send to you, • That you may keep when I am dead; and my Counsel, that you may remember it when I am no more, I would not, with my will, present you Sorrows, dear Bess; let them go to the grave with me, and be
buried in the dust: and seeing that it is not the will i of God that I shall see you any more, bear my de
struction patiently; and with an heart like yourself. • First, I send you all the thanks which my heart can
conceive, or my words express, for your many travails and cares for me: which, though they have not taken effect, as you wilhed, yet my debt to you is not the less; but pay it I never shall in this world.
Secondly, I beseech you, for the love you bear me living, that you do not hide yourself many days; but by your travails seek to help my miserable for tunes, and the right of your poor child; your mourning cannot avail me, who am but duft. Thirdly, X 2
you shall understand, that my lands were conveyed
(bona fide) to my child; the writings were drawn at • Midsummer was a twelve-month, as divers can wit' ness; and I trust my blood will quench their malice, ' who desired my Naughter, that they will not seek to 'kill you and yours with extreme poverty. To what • friend to direct you, I know not; for all mine have ' left me in the true time of trial. Most forry am I,
that being surprized by death, I can leave you no
better estate ; God hath prevented all my determina' tions, that great God which worketh all in all. If
you can live free from want, care for no more; for " the rest is but a vanity. Love God, and begin be
times ; in hiin shall you find true, everlasting, and • endless comfort: When you have travelled, and
wearied yourself with all sorts of worldly cogitations, you shall sit down by sorrow in the end. Teach your fon also to Serve and Fear God, whilst he is young, that the fear of God may grow up in him ;
then will God be an Husband to you, and a Father ' to him; an Husband and a Father, that can never be taken from you. Dear Wife, I beseech
Dear Wife, I beseech you, for my 'soul's fake, Pay all Poor Men. When I am dead, sno doubt but you will be much fought unto; for the ' world thinks I was very rich : have a care of the fair pretences of men ; for no greater misery can befal you in this life, than to become a prey unto the world, and after to be despised. As for me, I am no more yours, nor you mine : Death hath cut us
asunder; and God hath divided me from the world, " and you from me. Remember
your poor child, for his father's sake, who loved you in his happiest estate.
I sued for my life, but (God knows) it was for you ' and yours that I desired it: For know it, my dear ' wife, your child is the child of a True Man, who ' his own respect despiseth death, and his milhapen s and ugly forms. I cannot write much; God knows
how hardly I steal this time, when all are alleep: And it is also time for me to separate my thoughts from the world. Beg my dead body, which living
was denied you; and either lay' it in Sherburne, or in Exeter church, by my father and mother. I can fay no more; Time and Death call me away. The everlasting God, powerful, infinite, and inscrutable,
God Almighty, who is Goodness itself, the True Light and Life, keep you and yours, and have mercy upon Me, and forgive my persecutors, and false accusers, and send us to meet in his glorious kingdom. My dear wife, farewell; bless my boy, pray for me; and let my True God hold you both in his arms. "Yours that was, but not now my own,
Behold wisdom, resolution, nature, and grace! how strong in argument, wise in counsel, firm, affectionate, and devout. O that your heroes and politicians would make him their example in his death, as well as magnify the great actions of his life. I doubt not, had he been to live over his days again, with his experience, he had made less noise, and yet done more good to the world and himself. It is a sad thing to consider, that men hardly come to know themselves, or the world, till they are ready to leave it.
§. XIII. Henry Wotton, knight, thought it, “The * greatest happiness in this life, to be at leisure to be,
and to do, good;' as in his latter end he was wont to say, when he reflected on past times, though a man esteemed sober and learned, "How much time have I to repent of, and how little to do it in!'
H. XIV. Sir CHRISTOPHER HATTon, a little before his death advised his relations to be serious in the search after the will of God in the Holy Word:' For (faid he) 'it is deservedly accounted a piece of excellent knowledge to understand the law of the land, and the customs of a man's country; how much more to know the statutes of heaven, and the laws of eternity; those immutable and eternal laws of justice and righteousness! To know the will and pleasure of the