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'tis the nature of all men still to reflect upon themselves, their own misfortunes, not to examine or consider other men's, not to confer themselves with others : to recount their miseries, but not their good gifts, fortunes, benefits, which they have to ruminate on their adversity, but not once to think on their prosperity, not what they have, but what they want: to look still on them that go before, but not on those infinite numbers that come after; whereas many a man would think himself in heaven, a petty prince, if he had but the least part of that fortune which thou so much repinest at, abhorrest, and accountest a most vile and wretched estate. How many thousands want that which thou hast? How many myriads of poor slaves, captives, of such as work day and night in coal-pits, tin-mines, with sore toil to maintain a poor living, of such as labour in body and mind, live in extreme anguish and pain, all which thou art free from? O fortunatos nimium bona si sua norînt; thou art most happy if thou couldst be content, and acknowledge thy happiness; Rem carendo, non fruendo cognoscimus, when thou shalt hereafter come to want that which thou now loathest, abhorrest, and art weary of, and tired with, when 'tis past, thou wilt say thou wast most happy: and, after a little miss, wish with all thine heart thou hadst the same content again, mightst lead but such a life, a world for such a life; the remembrance of it is pleasant. . Be silent then, rest satisfied, desine, intuensque in aliorum infor.. tunia, solare mentem, comfort thyself with other men's misfortunes, and as the moldiwarpe in Æsop told the fox complaining for want of a tail, and the rest of his companions, tacete, quando me Oculis captum videtis ; you complain of toys, but I am blind, be quiet. I say to thee be thou satisfied. It is recorded of the hares that with a general consent they went to drown themselves, out of a feeling of their misery; but when they saw a company of frogs more fearful than they were, they began to take courage, and comfort again. Confer thine estate with others. Similes aliorum respice casus, mitius ista feres. Be content and rest satisfied, for thou art well in respect of others; be thankful for that thou hast, that God hath done for thee, he hath not made thee a monster, a beast, a base creature, as he might, but a man, a Christian, such a man; consider aright of it, thou art full well as thou art. Quicquid vult, habere nemo potest, no man can have what he will : Illud potest nolle, quod non habet, he may choose whether he will desire that which he hath not: Thy lot is fallen, make the best of it. If we
should all sleep at all times (as Endymion is said to have done), who then were happier than his fellow ? Our life is but short, a very dream, and while we look about, Immortalitas adest, eternity is at hand. Our life is a pilgrimage on earth, which wise men pass with great alacrity. If thou be in woe, sorrow, want, distress, in pain, or sickness, think of that of our apostle, God chastiseth them whom he loveth:They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy, Psal. cxxvi. 6. As the furnace proveth the potter's vessel, so doth temptation true men's thoughts, Eccl. xxv. 5. 'Tis for thy good, Periisses, nisi periisses : Hadst thou not been so visited thou hadst been utterly undone; as gold in the fire, so men are tried in adversity. Tribulatio ditat : and which Camerarius hath well shadowed in an emblem of a thresher and
Si tritura absit, paleis sunt abdita grana,
'Tis the very same which Chrysostome comments, Hom. 2, in 3 Mat. Corn is not separated but by threshing, nor men from worldly impediments but by tribulation. "Tis that which Cyprian ingerminates, Serm. 4, de Immort. 'Tis that which Hierom, which all the Fathers inculcate, so we are catechised for eternity. 'Tis that which the pro verb insinuates, Nocumentum documentum. 'Tis that which all the world rings into our ears.
Deus unicum habet filium sine peccato, nullum sine flagello: God, saith Austin, hath one son without sin, none without correction. An expert seaman is tried in a tempest, a runner in a race, a captain in a battle, a valiant man in adversity, a Christian in temptation and misery. Basil. Hom. 8. We are sent as so many soldiers into this world, to strive with it, the flesh, the devil ; our life is a warfare, and who knows it not? Non est ad astra mollis è terris via : and therefore peradventure this world here is made troublesome unto us, that, as Gregory notes, we should not be delighted by the way, and forget whither we are going.
Ite nunc fortes, ubi celsa magni
in misery, in many grievances; on the other side you have many pleasant sports, objects, sweet smells, delightsome tastes, music, meats, herbs, flowers, &c., to recreate your senses. Or put a case, thou art now forsaken of the world, dejected, contemned, yet comfort thyself, as it was said to Agar in the wilderness, God sees thee, He takes notice of thee: there is a God above that can vindicate thy cause, that can relieve thee. And surely Seneca thinks he takes delight in seeing thee. The gods are well pleased when they see great men contending with adversity, as we are to see men fight, or a man with a beast. But these are toys in respect, Behold, saith he, a spectacle worthy of God: a good man contented with his estate. A tyrant is the best sacrifice to Jupiter, as the ancients held, and his best object a contented mind. For thy part then rest satisfied, cast all thy care on him, thy burden on him, rely on him, trust in him, and he shall nourish thee, care for thee, give thee thine heart's desire ; say with David, God is our hope and strength, in troubles ready to be found, Psal. xlvi. 1. For they that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion, which cannot be removed, Psal. cxxiv. 1, 2. As the mountains are about Jerusalem, so is the Lord about his people, from henceforth and for ever.
255.-ESCAPE OF CHARLES II. AFTER THE BATTLE OF
[THE following narrative, which is extracted from a fuller account, published in 1766, from the Pepys MSS. in Magdalen College, Cambridge, is professed to be written by Charles II. himself. It is certainly very graphic and minute ; and its liveliness is somewhat characteristic of the king in his social hour.]
After that the battle was so absolutely lost, as to be beyond hope of recovery, I began to think of the best way of saving myself; and the first thought that came into my head was, that, if I could possibly, I would get to London as soon, if not sooner, than the news of our defeat could get thither: and it being near dark, I talked with some, especially with my Lord Rochester, who was then Wilmot, about their opinions, which would be the best way for me to escape, it being impossible, as I thought, to get back into Scotland. I found them mightily distracted, and their opinions different, of the possibility of getting to Scotland, but not one agreeing with mine for going to London, saving my Lord Wilmot; and the truth is, I did not impart my design of going to London to any but
Lord Wilmot. But we had such a number of beaten men with us of the horse, that I strove, as soon as ever it was dark, to get from them; and though I could not get them to stand by me against the enemy, I could not get rid of them now I had a mind to it.
So we, that is, my Lord Duke of Buckingham, Lauderdale, Derby, Wilmot, Tom Blague, Duke Darcey, and several others of my servants, went along northward towards Scotland; and at last we got about sixty that were gentlemen and officers, and slipped away out of the high road that goes to Lancastershire, and kept on the right hand, letting all the beaten men go along the great road; and ourselves not knowing very well which way to go, for it was then too late for us to get to London on horseback, riding directly for it, nor could we do it, because there were yet many people of quality with us that I could not
get rid of.
So we rode through a town short of Wolverhampton, betwixt that and Worcester, and went through, there lying a troop of the enemies there that night. We rode very quietly through the town, they having nobody to watch, nor they suspecting us no more than we did them, which I learned afterwards from a country-fellow.
We went that night about twenty miles, to a place called White Lady's, hard by Tong Castle, by the advice of Mr. Giffard, where we stopped, and got some little refreshment of bread and cheese, such as we could get, it being just beginning to be day. This White Lady's was a private house, that Mr. Giffard, who was a Staffordshire man, had told me belonged to honest people that lived thereabouts.
And just as we came thither, there came in a country-fellow, that told us there were three thousand of our horse just hard by Tong Castle,
, upon the heath, all in disorder, under David Leslie, and some other of the general officers : upon which there were some of the people of quality that were with me who were very earnest that I should
to him, and endeavour to go into Scotland, which I thought was absolutely impossible, knowing very well that the country would
all rise upon us, and that men who had deserted me when they were in good order, would never stand to me when they have been beaten.
This made me take the resolution of putting myself into a disguise, and endeavouring to get a-foot to London, in a country-fellow's habit, with a pair of ordinary gray-cloth breeches, a leathern doublet, and a green jerkin, which I took in the house of White Lady's. I also cut my hair
very short, and flung my clothes into a privy-house, that nobody might see that any body had been stripping themselves. I acquainting none with my resolution of going to London but my
Lord Wilmot, they all desiring me not to acquaint them with what I intended to do, because they knew not what they might be forced to confess; on which consideration, they, with one voice, begged of me not to tell them what I intended to do.
So all the persons of quality and officers who were with me, (except my Lord Wilmot, with whom a place was agreed upon for our meeting at London, if we escaped, and who endeavoured to go on horseback, (in regard, as I think, of his being too big to go on foot,) were resolved to go and join with the three thousand disordered horse, thinking to get away with them to Scotland. But, as I did before believe, they were not marched six miles, after they got to them, but they were all routed by a single troop of horse; which shows that my opinion was not wrong in not sticking to men who had run away.
As soon as I was disguised, I took with me a country-fellow, whose name was Richard Penderell, whom Mr. Giffard had undertaken to answer for to be an honest man. He was a Roman Catholic, and I chose to trust them, because I knew they had hiding-holes for priests that I thought I might make use of in case of need.
I was no sooner gone (being the next morning after the battle, and then broad day) out of the house with this country-fellow, but, being in a great wood, I sat myself at the edge of the wood, near the highway
that was there, the better to see who came after us, and whether they made any search after the run-aways, and I immediately saw a troop of horse coming by, which I conceived to be the same troop that beat our three thousand horse; but it did not look like a troop of the army's, but of the militia, for the fellow before it did not look at all like a soldier.
In this wood I stayed all day, without meat or drink; and by great good fortune it rained all the time, which hindered them, as I believe,