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the effeminacy and imbecility of the Persians did not abate of the miracles of such a conquest; that it was suddenly and unjustly gained, and as precipitously lost; and yet allow the man heathen worth who made all that stir till prosperity made him forget himself. He might have expected a better fate; but this subject has been in so many boys' mouths and themes, that it is reasonable for me to give it over and fall upon Dr. Pierce's sermons, which is a great step from Homer's admirer. Not to dispute the eloquence of the person who appears more like a Grecian orator than a Christian preacher for three parts of each sermon, which how necessary, now whole countries are under the Christian profession, I know not, -one would imagine 26 hundred years had worn out the remembrance of idolising insensible orators; that there were no more need of drawing instances from the moral men to encourage virtue, where light and joyful truth have had such influences. But for the selections of young students whose first compositions are far-fetched, and keep alive the stories of the ancients by succession in the pulpit, one should hardly know who Socrates and Zeno were ; and of what importance to the congregation, few in it understand. The great example should be Christ. His doctrine, and the effects of it in the first ages of the church, when innocency and purity filled the minds of men; when the sincerity of their words appeared by the manifestation of good works; when the leaders and people lived in mutual charity and love. If this could be brought into fashion again it were a happy effect of men's labours. And since I have seen that piece of the primitive christianity, Ifancy we are strangely out of the way to heaven; self-denial is a kind of by-path, and many necessary circumstances of a true believer are wholly out of use. Do not wonder I treat with you in this style, since I am assured you own it as the greatest honour that could have happened to you to serve at God's altar, and therefore cannot be displeased when anything is suggested to His glory. Your last to Mr. Evelyn gave us hope of seeing you suddenly.
To Mrs. Saul.
The esteem I have had for you as a neigbour and a deserving person, makes me more concerned for the general censure upon your late quitting your husband and family: had you consulted real friends with your design, they never would have advised a separation without equal consent of both parties; there is something so strict and binding in the marriage vow, that but upon extraordinary causes (the examples of which are rare) any divorce can be lawful: women especially being very tender how they violate that obligation, choosing rather to bear with infirmities, to pray for and endeavour the reformation of an ill man, by all the ways respect and love can suggest, and to bear injuries patiently, valuing their mutual reputation above particular satisfaction, as the necessary duty of a good wife, and the common effects of a good Christian, which qualification enables persons to overcome their own inclinations for a better end yet than present or worldly advantages, and secures their future and more lasting happiness. There is no state of life unattended with cares and troubles, afflictions are common and fall to every one’s share more or less, therefore we should not without great presumption expect to run the course of this life so smoothly as to meet with no rub by the way. I take the more freedom to enlarge upon this subject with you, because I am really sorry one who appeared so sensible of what became her upon all accounts, as I have often observed you were, should take such ill measures in this last action as you have done; you cannot be ignorant how many there are who rejoice at peoples’ misfortunes, and think they excuse their own errors by publishing others' failings; and I wish, and wish it heartily, you had not justified your husband by hurting yourself. I do remember some occasional discourse of yours to me in confidence, concerning some of his miscarriages, which obliged me to lament for you both, that a couple so likely by the agreeableness of person, quality, fortune, and age, should meet with any interruption to their happiness; but do now infinitely bewail it is come to so wide a breach. I was in hopes you had convinced Mr. S. that it was both reasonable as well as convenient to reform the ill habits company might have engaged him in, and that he had wholly designed to take off your suspicion of a relapse; which disposition to virtue and kindness should have been complied with, and cherished by welcome at home, and all endeavours used to confirm him in so good a resolution. I know not what the real cause of dislike is on your part at present, neither will I judge. But were I to recommend Mr. S. to a wife in the temper I find him, I should pronounce in his behalf that he is likely to make a wife as happy as any man I know, if good humour, generous inclinations, industry, and many other good qualities, you have yourself done him the right to acknowledge him possessed of, can contribute towards it. Pray be so kind to yourself and him to return to all the duties of a wife; to forgive past faults like a Christian, to forget them like a friend; to begin your friendship upon a new account; and as caution for him, give me leave to be the person; your word is sufficient for yourself. Since he desires so earnestly to make you happy, banish all obstacles; do not entertain a thought that may check a blessing offered to you both. You will oblige me infinitely by a ready consent to so just a request, you will overcome by it the prejudicial reports concerning you, recover your friends, make an experiment which if successful will prove worth your while. Who would not try it, and submit to harder conditions than any I hope you will find I beg of you to consider well what is offered you, and assure yourself that my zeal proceeds from a perfect belief of your innocency and merit, and a desire to reunite persons who have both deserved so well the esteem of Your friend and servant, M. E.
March 28, 1673. SIR, I acknowledge the receipt of two of your letters unanswered: That of the 20th this day came to my hands,
The address of this letter is lost. It was probably written to one of her relatives at Wotton.
with a note to Will. Hayes, which I have given him. He will punctually observe your orders concerning your horse; for the beer, according to his judgment of things, he believes, since it is left undisturbed to which cellar it should go, it most properly belongs to his, as being worst furnished of any in Deptford; yet upon second orders it shall be bestowed where you please. You need not fear a long comment upon the lady's censure of my indulgence to children, since I confess myself too much inclined to that failing; but I have a maxim never to disturb the company with my own affairs, in showing dislike to servants' mistakes and children's faults; so that sometimes, I believe, I pass for a very fond mother and remiss mistress; yet it may be, in a convenient place, both are reproved; and amongst those who understand civility very well, this method is not unacceptable. Were I willing to entertain grief, I could answer to every particular of your first letter; but since there is no recalling of the dead, let us not mingle past sorrows with the present; every moment produces new occasions to exercise our morality. To comply with Mrs. Palmer's request it is impossible, till I am as much convinced of the excellency of my style as Mr. Alderson is of his preaching, who assured me his last funeral sermon was an elaborate, judicious, welltimed piece; and then all the scraps I have written shall be at her service. And in the meantime advise her, since she is a person of wit, bred under Doctor Bathurst's wing, and lives in the air of the university, to hazard some of her own lines abroad, and try what justice may be in the world. If I do not enlarge at this time, impute it to Easter-Eve; and excuse this character, scarce legible. I am, sir, Your servant.
To my Brother Glanville.
Decem. the last, 1673. SIR, I am not naturally suspicious, especially where I have an esteem. I was, I acknowledge, a little thoughtful what the cause of your silence might be, yet never doubted your friendship; and 3ince it was on so reasonable an account, I am not only pacified for the loss of those kind expressions which I am always sure of from you, but would have added many good wishes to your endeavours for the success in the Captain's concern, which, by this time, I hope is out of question. Pray assure him and his lady I am their humble servant. When you are disposed to make us happy with your conversation, you cannot fail of welcome in a family that rejoice in the hopes of seeing you. . You have conversed so much in the world, that you cannot be ignorant either of your own merit, or how kindly you will be received by those that have a real value for you. Be assured neither care nor industry would be wanting if an occasion would offer. Whatever else is unequal to you must be forgiven. The unsteadiness of the times is such, that a great man's favour is no sooner gained, but one is to begin again; and the difficulty is to know where a new endeavour may be made. The next lesson will try how fast some of them sit. If you were one of the house, you have a talent that might improve what interest you please. I suppose your correspondent is so good, I need not entertain you with news. The satisfaction I had in a week's stay in town was not so great that I should trouble you with the relation of it, besides the honour to have the Duchess's hand, visit the Duchess of Modena, &c. Only this particular I cannot omit concerning Sir George Lane, who is married to a daughter of my Lord of Dorset, a young, handsome person, who has 5000l. to her portion. The son desires to go into Ireland; to oblige him perfectly, the father settles 3000l. a year on his son, and reserves as much for a second venture : makes her a thousand a year jointure, and all the advantages in Ireland. I have had the honour to wait on the lady, and to give them both joy. My father has had his turn in town—proceeds as vigorously as he can in his affair, but they stand it out, which forces him to issue out an arrest against them. What that course may produce is yet to learn. He seemed desirous to finish it himself, as being best able to dispute their right, or defend his own; but the gout seizes him so often, though with less violence, that he is the more solicitous to end it. He is at present in bed, but not very ill. We have our workmen still, but hope a little time will finish all. Your brother watches and prays still, Jack studies and rumi