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excell their Statues and Pictures, by so much is Virtue in Example more amiable and attractive than in Precepts and Discourses. In good Example we see Virtue alive, and in Motion, exerting itself in the most omely Actions and gracful Gestures.
- Letter from Mr. GAY to Mr. F***.
Stanton Harcourt, Aug. 9, 1718.
HE only News that you can expect from me
here, is News from Heaven, for I out of the World ; and there is scarce any Thing that can reach me, except the Noise of Thunder, which undoubtedly you have heard too. We have read in old Authors of high Towers levelled by it to the Ground, while the humble Valleys have escaped: The only Thing that is Proof against it is the Laurel, which however I take to be no great Security to the Brains of modern Authors. But to let you see that the contrary to this often happens, I must acquaint you that the highest and most extravagant Heap of Towers in the Universe, which is in this Neighbourhood, stand still undefaced, while a Cock of Barley in our next Field has been consumed to Ashes. Would to God that this Heap of Barley had been all that had perished! For unhappily beneath this little Shelter fat two much more constant Lovers than ever were found in Romance under the Shade of a Beach Tree. John Hewit was a wellset Man of about Five and Twenty ; Sarah Drew might be rather called comely than beautiful, and was about the same Age. They had passed through the various Labours of the Year together with the
greatest Satisfaction. If the milked, it was his Morning and Evening Care to bring the Cows to her Hand. It was but last Fair that he bought her a Present of Green Silk for her Straw Hat, and the Poly on her Silver Ring was of his chusing. Their Love was the Talk of the whole Neighbourhood; for Scandal never affirmed, that he had any other Views than the lawful Possession of her in Marriage. It was that very Morning that he had obtained the Consent of her Parents, and it was but till the next Week that they were to wait to be happy. Pera haps in the Intervals of their work they were now talking of their Wedding Cloaths, and John was fuiting several Sorts of Poppies and Field Flowers to her Complexion, to chuse her a Knot for her Wedding Day. While they were thus busied (it was on the lait of July, between two and three in the Afternoon) the Clouds grew black, and such a Storm of Lightning and Thunder ensued, that all the Labourers made the best of their way to what Shelter the Trees and Hedges afforded.
Sarah was frighted, and fell down in a Swoon on a heap of Barley. John, who never separated from her, sat down by her Side, having raked together two or three Heaps, the better to secure her froin the Storm. Immediately there was heard to loud a Crack, aswif Heaven had split afunder; every one was now solicitous for the Safety of his Neighbour, and called to one another throughout the Field : No Answer being returned to those who called to our Lovers, they stept to the Place where they lay; they perceived the Barley all in a Smoak,
and spied this faithful Pair, John with one Arna about Sarah's Neck, and the other held over as to screen her from the Lightning. They were struck dead, and stiffened in this tender Posture. Sarah's left Eyebrow was singed, and there appeared a black Spot on her Breaft: Her Lover was all over black, but not the least Signs of Life were found in either. Attended by their melancholy Companions, they were conveyed to the Town, and the next Day were interred in Stanton-Harcourt ChurchYard.
Human Life, a Pilgrimage ; illustrated by an Eastern
arrived at the Town of Balk, went into the King's Palace by a Mistake, as thinking it to be a public Inn or Caravansary. Having looked about him for some Time, he entered into a long Gallery, where he laid down his Wallet, and ipread his Carpet, in order to repose himself upon it after the Manner of the Eastern Nations. He had not been long in this Pofture, before he was discovered by fome of the Guards, who asked him what was his Business in that Place? The Dergise told them, he intended to take up his Night's Lodging in that Caravansary. The Guards let him know, in a very angry Manner, that the House he was in, was not a Caravanfary, but the King's Palace. It happened that the King himself passed through the Gallery K
during this Debate, and smiling at the Mistake of the Dervise, asked him how he could possibly be fo dull as not to distinguish a Palace from a Caravanfary! Sir, says the Dervise, give me Leave to ask your Majesty a Question or two. Who were the Persons that lodged in this House when it was first built ? the King replied, His Ancestors. And who, says the Dervise, was the last Person that lodged hiere ? the King replied. His Father. And who is it, says the Dervise, that lodges here at present? The King told him, that it was he himself. And who, says the Dervise, will be here after you? The King answered. The young Prince his Son. “ Ah Sir! said the Dervise, a House that changes “its Inhabitants so often, and receives such a per"petual Succession of Guests, is not a Palace but a “ Caravanlary.
The present Life, considered merely in itself, a low
Scene of Action.
HAT is this Life but a Circulation of
little mean Actions? We lie down and rise again. Dress and undress, feed and wax hungry, work or play, and are weary, and then we lie down again, and the Circle returns. We spend the Day in Trifles, and when the Night comes, we throw ourselves into the Bed of Folly, amongst Dreams and broken Thoughts, and wild Imaginations. Our Reason lies asleep by us, and we are for the Time as arrant Brutes as those that sleep in the Stalls or in the Field, 'Are not the Capaci
ties of Man higher than these ? And ought not his Ambition and Expectations to be greater? Let us be Adventurers for another World : 'Tis at least a fair and noble Chance ; and there is nothing in this worth our Thoughts or our Paffions. If we should be disappointed, we are still no worse than the rest of our Fellow Mortals ; and if we fucceed in our Expectations, we are eternally happy.
The Folly and Danger of Procrastination in Religion,
doth not really intend to do a Thing, than when notwithstanding he ought upon all Accounts, and may in all Respects better do it at present than hereafter, yet he still puts it off. Whatever thou pretendeít, this is a meer Shift to get rid of a present Trouble. It is like giving good Words, and making fair Promises to a clamorous and importunate Creditor, and appointing him to come another Day, when the Man knows in his Conscience that he intends not to pay him, and that he shall be less able to discharge the Debt then, than he is at prefent. Whatever Reasons thou hast against reforming thy Life now, will still remain and be in as full Force hereafter, nay probably stronger than they are at present. Thou art unwilling now, and fo thou wilt be hereafter, and in all Likelihood much more unwilling. So that this Reason will every Day improve upon thy Hands, and have fo much the more Strength by how much the longer thou. continueft in thy Sins. Thou hast no Reason in