« ZurückWeiter »
ACT V. SCENE I.
Cato alone, fc. "It must be som---Plato, thou reason'st wellElse whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality ? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction ? 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us; 'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. Eteinity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
+ Through what variety of untry'd being,
(Laying bis hand on his sword.
N° 639, MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1714.
-Experiar quid consedatur in illos,
JUV. Sat. i. 170.
Next to the people who want a place, there are none to be pitied more than those who are solicited for one. A plain answer with a denial in it is looked upon as pride, and a civil answer as a promise.
Nothing is more ridiculous than the pretensions of people upon these occasions. Every thing a man hath suffered, whilst his enemies were in play, was certainly brought about by the malice of the opposite party. A bad cause would not have been lost; if such an one had not been upon the bench; nor a profligate youth disinherited, if he had not got drunk every night by toasting an outed ministry. I remember a tory, who, having been fined in a court of justice for a prank that deserved the pil. lory, desired upon the merit of it to be make a justica, of the peace when his friends came into power; and shall never forget a whig criminal, who, upon being indicted for a rape, told his friends, “ You see what a man suffers for sticking to his principles.'
The truth of it is, the sufferings of a man in a party are of a very doubtsul nature. When they are such as have promoted a good cause, and fallen upon a man undeser vedly, they have a right to be heard and
recompensed beyond any other pretensions. But when they rise out of rashness or indiscretion, and the pursuit of such measures as have rather ruined than promoted the interest they aim at, which hath always been the case of many great sufferers, they only serve to recommend them to the children of violence or folly.
I have by me a bundle of memorials presented by several cavaliers upon the restoration of king Charles II. which may serve as so many instances to our present purpose.
Among several persons and pretensions recorded by my author, he mentions one of a very great estate, who, for having roasted an ox whole, and distributed a hogshead on king Charles's birth-day, desired to be provided for as his majesty in his great wisdom should think fit.
Another put in to be the prince Henry's governor, for having dared to drink his health in the worst of times. · A third petitioned for a colonel's commission, for having cursed Oliver Cromwell, the day before his death, on a public bowling-green.
But the most whimsical petition I have met with is that of B. B. esq. who desired the honour of knighthood, for having cuckolded sir T. W. a no. torious roundhead.
There is likewise the petition of one who, having let his beard grow from the martyrdom of king Charles the first until the restoration of king Charles the second, desired in consideration thereupon to be made a privy-counsellor.
I must not omit a memorial setting forth that the memorialist had, with great dispatch, carried a let. ter from a certain lord to a certain Jord, wherein, as it afterwards appeared, measures were concerted for
the restoration, and without which he verily believes that happy revolution had never been effect. ed; who therefore humbly prays to be made postmaster-general.
A certain gentleman, who seems to write with a great deal of spirit, and uses the words gallantry and gentleman Jike very often in his petition, begs that in consideration of his having worn his hat for ten years past in the loyal cavalier-cock, to his griat danger and detriment) he may be made a captain of the guards.
I shall close my account of this collection of memorials with the copy of one petition at length, which I recommend to my reader as a very valuable piece.
The Petition of E. H. Esq. “Humbly showeth,
That your petitioner's father's brother's uncle, colonel W. H. lost the third finger of his left hand at Edgehill fight.
"That your petitioner, notwithstanding the smallness of his fortune, (he being a younger bro. ther,) always kept hospitality, and drank confusion to the roundheads in half a score bumpers every Sunday in the year, as several honest gentlemen (whose names are underwritten) are ready to testify.
"That your petitioner is remarkable in his coun. try, for having dared to treat sir P. P. a cursed sequestrator, and three members of the assembly of divines, with brawn and minced pies upon new. year's day.
That your said humble petitioner hath been five times imprisoned in five several county-gaols, for having been a ringleader in five different riots; into which his zeal for the royal cause hurried him, when men of greater estates had not the courage to rise.
« 'That he the said E. H. hath had six duels and four-and-twenty boxing matches in defence of his majesty's title; and that he received such a blow upon the head at a bonfire in Stratford-upon-Avon, as he hath been never the better for from that day to this,
• That your petitioner hath been so far from ?m. proving his fortune, in the late damnable times, that he verily believes, and hath good reason to imagine, that if he had been master of an estate he had in. fallibly been plundered and sequestered.
* Your petitioner, in consideration of his said me. rits and sufferings, humbly requests that he may have the place of receiver of the taxes, collector of the customs, clerk of the peace, deputy lieutenant, or whatsoever else he shall be thought qualified for. And your petitioner shall ever pray, &c.'