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ard is bound by the custom to readmit her to her • Free-bench.
Here I am,
iny land again. • After having informed you that my Lord Coke observes, that this is the most frail and. slippery tenure of any in England, I shall tell you, • since the writing of that letter, I have, according "to my promise, been at great pains in searching
out the records of the Black Ram ; and at last met with the proceedings of the court-baron, held in
that behalf, for the space of a whole day. The reis cord faith, that a strict inquisition having been "made into the right of the tenants to their several *eftates, by a crafty old steward, he found that, many of the lands of the manor were, by default of the several widows, forfeited to the Lord, and
accordingly would have entered on the premises : "Upon which the good women demanded the benefit of the Ram. I'he steward, after having perufed their several pleas, adjourned the court to Barnaby-Bright, that they might have day e. nough before them.
• The court being set, and filled with a great• conccurfe of people, who came from all parts"to see the folemnity, the first who entered was. " the widow Frontly; who had made her appeare **ance in the last year's cavalcade. The register
obferves, that finding it an eafy pad.ram, and
foreseeing fhe might have further occasion for * it, she purchased it of the steward.
• Mrs. Sarah Dainty, relict of Mr. John Dainty,
(who was the greatest prude in the parish) came * next in the proceffion. · She at first made fome • difficulty of taking the tail in her hand, and was ..observed in pronouncing the form of. penance, 6. to soften the two moft emphatical words into
6. Clincum Clancum : But the steward took care to **. make her speak plain English, before he would let her have her land again. * The third widow that was brought to this world
ly shame, being mounted upon a vicious Ram, i had the misfortune to be thrown by him; upon * which she hoped to be excused from going thro' o the rest of the ceremony : But the steward being * well versed in the law, observed very wisely
upon this occasion, that the breaking of the 6 rope does not hinder the execution of the cri6minal.
• The fourth Lady upon record was the widow Ogle, a famous coquette, who had kept half a 6.fcore young fellows off and on for the space of 6.two years, but having been more kind to her
carter John, she was introduced with the huzzas • of all her lovers about her.
• Mrs. Sable appearing in her weeds, which were very new and fresh; and of the same co• .lour with her whimsical Palfrey, made a very * decent figure in the folemnity.
Another who had been summoned to make ' her appearance, was excused by the steward,
as well knowing in his heart, that the good * squire himself had qualified her for the Ram.
Mrs. Quick having nothing to object against • the indictment, pleaded her belly. But it was ** remembered that the made the same excuse the
year before. Upon which the steward obferved; * that she might fo contrive it, as never to do the I service of the manor. · The widow Fidget being cited into court, infift
..ed that she had done no more fince the death of
her husband, than what the used to do in his life' time, and withal desired Mr. Steward to confider s his own wife's case, if he should chance to die be
• The next in order was a dowager of a very ««corpulent make, who would have been excused • as not finding any ram that was able to carry her ;
upon which the steward commuted her punishment,
and ordered her to make her entry upon a black ox.
• The widow Maskwell, a woman who had long * lived with a moft unblemished character, having • turned off her old chambermaid in a pet, was by * that revengeful creature brought in upon the black • Ram nine times the same day.
Several widows of the neighbourhood, being • brought upon their trial, shewed that they did not hold of the manor, and were discharged ac''cordingly.
A pretty young creature who clofed the proceffion, came ambling in with so bewitching an * air, that the fteward was observed to cast à Theep's
eye upon her, and married her within a month after the death of his wife.
· N.B. Mrs. Touchwood appeared, according to fummons, but had nothing laid to her charge ;
having lived irreproachably fince the decease * of her husband, who left her a widow in the fixty.ninth year of her age. !
• I am, Sir, i&ci'
N°624. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24.
Audire, atque togam jubeo componere, quisquis
Hor, Sat, iii. lib. ii. ver. 77. Sit still, and hear, those whom proud thoughts
do swell, Those that look pale by loving coin too well ; Whom luxury corrupts.
ANKIND is divided into two parts, the busy
and the idle. The busy world may be divided into the virtuous and the vicious. The vicious again into the covetous, the ambitious, and the fensual. The idle part of mankind are in a state inferior to any one of these. All the other are engaged in the pursuit of happiness, though often misplaced, and are therefore more likely to be attentive to such means, as shall be proposed to them for that end. The idle, who are neither wise for this world nor the next, are emphatically called by Dr. Tillotson, fools at large. They propose to themselves no end, but run adrift with every wind. Advice therefore would be but thrown away upon them, since they would scarce take the pains to read it. I shall not fatigue any of this worthless tribe with a long harangue ; but will leave them with this short saying of Plato, that Labour is preferable to idleness, as brightness to ruft.
The pursuits of the active part of mankind are either in the paths of religion and virtue; or, on the other hand, in the roads to wealth, honours, or pleasure. I shall therefore compare the pursuits of avarice, ambition, and sensual delight with their opposite virtues; and shall consider which of these VOL. VIII.
principles engages men in a course of the greateft labour, suffering, and affiduity. Most men, in their cool reasonings, are willing to allow that a course of virtue will in the end be rewarded the inost amply ; but represent way to it as rugged and narrow. If therefore it can be made appear, that men struggle through as many troubles to be iniserable as they do to be happy, my readers inay perhaps be perfuaded to be good, when they find they shall lose nothing by it.
First, for Avarice. The miser is more industrious than the saint: The pains of getting, the fears of losing, and the inability of enjoying his wealth, have been the mark of fatire in all ages. Were his repentance upon his neglect of a good bargain, his forrow for being over-reached, his hope of improving a fum, and his fear of falling into want, directed to their proper objects; they would make fo
many different Christian graces and virtues. He may apply to himself a great part of St. Paul's catalogue of sufferings. In journeying often; in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils among false" brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often. At how much less expence might he lay up to himself treasures in heaven? Or, if I
in this place be allowed to add the saying of a great pbilosopher, he may provide such podelions, as fear neither arms, nor men, nor Jove himself,
In the second place, if we look upon the toils of ambition, in the same light as we have considered those of avarice, we shall readily own, that far less trouble is requisite to gain lasting glory, than the power and reputation of a few years ; or, in other words, we may with more eafe deferve honour, than obtain it. The ambitious man should remember Cardinal Wolsey's complaint. Had I served • God with the fame application wherewith I ferved
my King, he would not have forfaken me in my