« ZurückWeiter »
Honours from his Prince; but Virtue is the only true Nobility. The other is nothing but borrow'd Grandeur, and appearing gallant in the King's Livery: which is none of his own, and may be taken from him upon Occasion, like the fine Feathers of the Fowl in the Fable. But he can never be depriv'd of his Virtue, unless with his Life. 'Tis that makes him truly noble and honourable, without the Help of Heraldrý. That procures him the most lasting Veneration, living ; and eternizes his Memory, when dead, without any fulsome Apotheofis, or pompous Epitaph. Virtue never dies. Socrates will still remain immortal in this Sense. Happy Socrátés! Happy Zeno! Happy Philosophers! with your únalterable Virtues of Integrity, Patience and Resignation in the worst of Times ; under the most afflicting Circumstances of Life and Death, never dile may'd, never discom pos’d: in Crosses, chearful; in Troubles, victorious ; in Losfes, triumphant! Just so appears the wise King's Courage, Constancy and Consolation established by Philofopby; never unman'n'd under the worst of Fortunes, insuperably glorious in his Conduct. His Adversity is only an Addition to his Virtue. His Disappointments do but exercise his Prudence, and cross Adventures augment his Fortitude. Felicity, as an ingenious Author says, does not lie in the Veins of the Earth, where we dig for Gold; nor in the Bottom of the Sea, where we fish for Pearl ; but in a pure and virtuous Mind. The Heart of a virtuozis Person is a Paradise, intò which the Serpent never enters; but receives a sudden Repulse. In Navigation, we ought to be guided by the Pilot; in the Course of Life, by the Virtuous. Otherwise, we mal!
meind. The Heart the Serpent ne Navigation
he so far from being able to resist the Force of ill Examples, which break-in upon us in vast Numbers, with a Kind of Authority and Credit; that we shall be apt to herd with the Multitude, or run over to the stronger Side : for most Men either live by Imitation, or are catch'd by mimicking, mocking or doing of Mischief. Vicious Companions will always be aping one another ; and playing of Tricks with their Betters, like Monkeys, cost what it will in the Event.
AS to the virtuous Woman in the Text, Happy is the Man that finds her! Happy is the King that marries her ! But the Question is, Who can find her ? Who can be so happy? It seems by this sacred Quære, that it will be a very hard Matter to search out such a pas ragon of invincible Virtue, as well as almost invinsible Beauty, or to meet with such a confummate Model of Perfection. There's no Doubt but virtuous Women are very scarce in this degenerate Age, of growing worse and worse every Day; when so many of both Sexes are agreed, and both alike guilty, or equally prone to Vice. But the Rarity of the Jewel nakes it the more valuable still, when it is once obtain'd. And without any Question, there are not a few such unblemih'd Ladies to be found in the World. However, he must almost be as wife as Solomon, that can diftinguilh the Virtuous from the Vicious, among the fairest Hypocrites, in the Search. It will be a difficult Thing to discover her now-adays, either by Aspect, Converse or Character, at this Time of Dislimulation and Counterfeit. It would require almost an Age of Experience, to confirm a Man in the Belief of
her Recommendation under that Mask. There is no knowing of Thought or Inclination ; but by Over-Acts of Virtue, manifest Proofs of Chastity, and constant Practices of a modest Continency. How mary rash People have marry'd in Haste, and repented at Leisure?. Some have mistaken their. Market by it, as well as their Choice. However, a Woman indu'd with impregnable Virtue, captivates all Mankind with her Charms; not excepting the greatest Kings, Princes, Noblemen or Conquerors, and generally makes them either a sort of Idola. ters, Votaries or Admirers of her Glory. They do not only admire, but are often ready to adore her excellent Qualities, and superlative Endowments of Mind. She always boldly vanquishes, and disarms the most vicious Hero of the Sword, by the powerful Efforts of her Goodness and Innocence. No Stratagems, how artful or desperate foever, can prevail against her virtuous Fortifications, nor divest her of her infuperable Honour. Her Virtue and her Life go together, and Death it self cannot terrify her into any dishonourable Capitulation, Compliance, or Surrender. She will yield to no. thing ; no inveigling Intrigues, or alluring Promises, but lawful Matrimony or solemn Wedlock: and it is his unspeakable Happiness, who ever marries so rich a Fortune, so rare a Jewel, so great a Glory. She must needs be deem'd worth her Weight in Gold, every Day told over, to consummate the immense Treasure of her indearing Spouse. She is far above any imaginary Value. Her real Price excels all the Rubies and Wealth of the World. Her Virtue must be wonderfully magnetick also in the highest Degree; much above the Loadstone
can prevait agems, hower
great ha her Weisnate the imeris far above is all
confun spoulder real the wo over indearin alue wealth
for the Attraction of Love: so that to como pare this living One to that dead Lump of Earth, would only lessen her Character, fully her Beauty, and turn the Hyperbole the wrong Way, to a Diminution of her Glory. But however, what happy Man foever steers his Course of Life by this steady and unerring Compass, always safely pointing to the fortunate Islands or the richest Indies, will never be in any Danger of Shipwrack by Sea, nor of Ruine by Land. In fine, this is the Lady, that inriches the very Clothes and the Jewels she wears ; and brightens all the Hemisphere about her, like the dazling Sun in its full Meridian. Her internal Beauties shine through, her Apparel, be it never so plain, fine or furbelo'd; and illustrate the external Ornaments or Decencies of her modest Dress to Admiration. In a Word, this rare, virtuous and uncommon Wo. man, whether Queen, Princess or Peasant, ought to be the Darling of all people, and the Delight of Mankind, as well as the Joy of their inamour'd Hearts, and the Love of their ravish'd Souls for her excellent Example, in setting such a noble Pattern of Piety to her oblig'd Sex. So precious a Lady, that she almost silences her present Panegyrift ; and requires a sublimer Pen!
.LO then a faint Description only of her illustrious Excellencies, both Religious and Moral! She is not only a perfect Moralist, but also a good Christian in all Respects. She baffles and abandons all brutál Lusts, carnal Appetites, and irregular Passions, upon their first Rising or Approach. She quashes the very Thought of Baseness; smothers it in the Temptation, and stands in Awe of nothing but her
td Hesind, as all persor Pear mon tha
self and the all-knowing Searcher of her Heart. She knows no Extreams, and commits no Extravagancies in Word or Deed. She has not her Religion to choose, like some other thoughtless Ladies. The Bible, the Prayerbook, the Whole Duty of Man, and the Lady's Calling, are her daily Companions. Her Faith is great; her Hope is well-grounded ; and her Charity universal : So that I can neither intirely confine her to the Church of England, nor absolutely exclude her from it. Her conftant Practice of Piety towards God, is devoutly performd without any foppilh Superstitions on the one Hand, or slovenly Indecencies on the other. She is no Schismatick, Enthusiast, nor Fanatick in her Heart. She can never be said to be a Singularist or a Disenter, but in Respect of Vice. She loves her Saviour's Coat hould be seamless, and not made-up of patch'd Work. She's as great an Enemy to the Parting, as to the casting Lots for his sacred Garment. She hạtes all Divisions and Differences in Religion, only for the sake of Superiority or local Interest; Profit or Honour ; Revenue, Dignity, or the Spirit of Contradiction. She puts all Atheism, Heresy, or Schism, to the Blush, as well as Impiety out of Countenance, by the Orthodoxy of her Principles. She defies the Li, bertine, the Arian, the Socinian, the Deift and the Devil, in any Dispute or Design of Delufion. She abominates, as well as despises, the fly fallacious Arguments, and subtle Quirks of our Protestant Disenters in all Controversies of good Faith or Doctrine, calculated only for some canting Deception. She dislents from nothing but Viciousness and vile Designs. In short, The winds up all controversial Divinity into L 3