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ate themselves for the first year to bear with one214 THE SPECTATOR. • fection than any others of the age in which they < lived.
• Good-nature is a third necessary ingredient in • the marriage-state, without which it would ine
vitably four upon a thousand occasions. When greatness of mind is joined with this amiable qua
lity, it attracts the admiration and esteem of all • who behold it. Thus Cæfar, not remark• able for his fortune and valour than for his hu
manity, stole into the hearts of the Roman people, when, breaking through the custom, he pronounced an oration at the funeral of his first " and best beloved wife.
• Good-nature is insufficient, unless it be steady . and uniform, and accompanied with an even. Dess of temper, which is, above all things, to be
preserved in this friendship contracted for life. A • man must be easy within himself, before he can ? be so to his other felf. Socrates and Marcus
Aurelius, are instances of men, who, by the • strength of philosophy, having entirely composed • their minds, and subdued their paflions, are ce·lebrated for good husbands, notwithstanding the • first was yoked with Xantippe, and the other with • Faustina. If the wedded pair would but habitu
• another's faults, the difficulty would be pretty ' well conquered. This mutual fweetness of tem
per and complacency was finely recommended ' in the nupcial, ceremonies among the hea.
thens, who, when they facrificed to Juno at 'thit folemnity, always tore out the gall from • the entrails of the victim, and cast it behind the I altar.
6. I shall conclude this letter with a paffage out. of Dr. Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire, • not only as it will serve to fill up your present pa
per, but, if I find myself in the humour, may give rise to another; I having by me an olda
register, belonging to the place here undermen. s tioned.'
Sir Philip de Somervile held the manors of Whichenovre, Scirefoot, Ridware, Netherton, and Cowley, all in Com. Stafford, of the Earls of Lancaster, by this memorable service. The faid Sir Phi. lip shall find, maintain, and fuftain, one BaconFlitch, hanging in his hall at Whichenovre, ready arrayed all times of the year, but in Lent, to be given to every man or woman married after the day and the year of their marriage be past, in form following:
Whensoever that any y one such before named will come to enquire for the bacon, in their own perfon, they shall come to the bailiff, or to the porter of the lordship of whichenovre, and shall say to thein in the manner as ensueth :
Bayliff, or porter, I do you to know, that • I am come for myself, to demand one Bacon • Flyke hanging in the hall of the Lord of * Whichenovre, after the form thereunto belonging.'
After which relation, the bailiff or porter shall assign a day to him, upon promise by his faith to return, and with him to bring twain of his neighbours. And in the mean time the faid bailiff shall take with him twain of the freeholders of the lord. fhip of Whichenovre, and they three shall go to the manor of Rudlow, belonging to Robert Knightleye, and there shall summon the aforesaid Knightleye, or his bailiff, commanding him to be ready at Whichenovre the day appointed, at prime of day with his carriage, that is to say, a horse and a faddle, a sack and a prike, for to convey the said bacon and corn a journey out of the county of Staf. ford, at his costages. And then the said bailiff shall, with the said freeholders, sunimon all the tenants of the said manor, to be ready at the day ap. pointed at Whichenovre, for to do and perform
the services which they owe to the bacon. And at the day assigned, all such as owe services to the baeon, ihall be ready at the gate of the manor of Whichenovre, from the fun-rising to noon, attending and awaiting for the coming of him who fetcheth the Bacon. And when he is come, there shall be delivered to him and his fellows, chapelets ; and to all those which shall be there, to do their services due to the bacon. And they fall lead the faid demandant with trumps and tabours, and other manner of minstrelsey to the hall door, where he thall find the Lord of Whichenovre, or his steward, ready to deliver the bacon in this manner.
He shall enquire of him which demandeth the bacon, if he have brought twain of his neighbours with him: Which must answer, They be here ready. And then the steward shall cause these two neighbours to swear, if the said demandant be a wedded man, or have been a
man wedded ; and if since his marriage one year and a day be past ; and if he be a freeman, or a villain. And if his faid neighbours make oath, that he hath for him all these three points rehearsed; then shall the bacon be taken down and brought to the hall-door, and shall there be laid upon one half quarter of wheat, and upon one other of rye. And he that demandeth the bacon shall kneel upon his knee, and shall hold his right hand upon a book, which book thall be laid upon
the bacon and the corn, and shall make oath in this manner.
· Here ye, Sir Philip de Somervile, Lord of Whichenovre, myotener and gyver of this ba
conne: That I Ă, fithe I wedded B my wife, and • fithe I had hyr in my kepying, and at my wylle,
by a year and a day after our marriage, I would not have chaungel for none other; farer, ne 'fowler; richer, ne pourer; ne for none other descended of greater lynage; flepying ne wak. ing, at noo time. And if the feyd B were fole,
rand. I fole, I would take her to be my wife be* fore all the wymen of the worlde, of what con* ditiones foever they be, good or evylle : As
help me God and his Seynres, and this flefh and • all fleshes.
And his neighbours shall make oath, that they truft verily he hath said truly. And if it be found by his neighbours before.named, that he be a freeman, there fhall be delivered to him half a quarter of wheat and a cheefe; and if he be a villain; he shall have half a quarter of rye without cheefe. And then thall Knightleye, the Lord of Rudlow, be called for, to carry all these things tofore rehearsed; and the said corn shall be laid on one horse and the bacon above it : And leto whom the bacon appeartaineth shall afcend upon his horfe, and shall take the cheese before him, if he have a horse. And if he have none, the Lord of Whichea novre shall cause him to have one horse and saddle, to such time he be passed his lordship: And so fall they depart the manor of Whichenovre with the corn and the bacon, tofore him that hath won it, with trumpets, tabourets, and other manner of minitrelly. And all the free tenants of Whichenovré Thall conduct him to be passed the lordship of Whichenevre. And then shall they all return except him, to whom appertaineth to make the carriage and journey without the county of Stafford, at the costs of his Lord of Whichenovre.
No 608. MONDAY, OCTOBER 18.
last paper :
Perjuria ridet amantum.
Ovid. Ars. Am. 1. i. ver. 633.
Forgiving with a smile "The purjuries that easy maids beguile.
DRYDEN Mr. SpecTATOR, ACCORDING TO my promife I herewith transmit
to you a list of several persons, who from 6 time to time demanded the Flitch of Bacon of Sir
Philip de Somervile, and his descendants; as it is preserved in an ancient inanuscript under the ? title of The register of Whichenovre-hall, and of the
bacon fitch there maintained. • In the beginning of this record is recited the law or institution in form, as it is already printed your
To which are added iwo by? laws, as a comment upon the general law, the
substance whereof is, that the wife shall take the * same oath as the husband, mutatis mutandis ; • and that the judges shall, as they think * meet, interrogate or cross-examine the witnef
fes. After this proceeds the register in manner following.
· Aubry de Falstaff, son of Sir John Falstaff, Kt. 6 with dame Maude his wife, were the first that dei manded the bacon, he having bribed twain of his fathers companions to swear falfely in his behoof, whereby he gained the flitch : But he and his said wife falling immediately into a dispute how the said
bacon foould be dressed, it was by order of the * judges taken from him, and hung up again in the hall. • Alison the wife of Stephen Freckle, brought