Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

The day being spent in the tree, it was not in the king's power to forget that he had lived two days with eating very little, and two nights with as little sleep; so that, when the night came, he was willing to make some provision for both; and he resolved, with the advice and assistance of his companion, to leave his blessed tree; and, when the night was dark, they walked through the wood into those enclosures which were furthest from any highway, and making a shift to get over hedges and ditches, after walking at least eight or nine miles, which were more grievous to the king by the weight of his boots, before morning they came to a poor cottage, the owner whereof was known to Careless. He was called up, and as soon as he knew one of them, he easily concluded in what condition they both were, and presently carried them into a little barn, full of hay, which was better lodging than he had for himself. But when they were there, and had conferred with their host of the news and temper of the country, it was agreed that the danger would be greater if they staid together; and, therefore, that Careless should presently be gone, and should, within two days, send an honest man to the king, to guide him to some other place of security; and in the mean time, his majesty should stay upon the hay-mow. The poor man had nothing for him to eat, but promised him good butter-milk; and so he was once more left alone, his companion, how weary soever, departing from him before day, the poor man of the house knowing no more than that he was a friend of the captain's, and one of those who had escaped from Worcester. The king slept very well in his lodging, till the time that his host brought him a piece of bread, and a great pot of butter-milk, which he thought the best food he ever had eaten.

After he had rested upon this hay-mow, and fed upon this diet, two days and two nights, in the evening before the third night, another fellow, a little above the condition of his host, came to the house, sent from Cureless, to conduct the king to another house, more out of any road near which any part of the army was like to march. It was above twelve miles that he was to go, and was to use the same caution he had done the first night, not to go in any common road, which his guide

of meeting pawhat he was even ready purchasing his safety in

knew well how to avoid. Here he new dressed himself, changing clothes with his landlord. He had a great mind to have kept his own shirt; but he considered, that men are not sooner discovered by any mark, in disguises, than by having fine linen in ill clothes; and so he parted with his shirt too, and took the same his poor host had then on. Though he had foreseen that he must leave his boots, and his landlord had taken the best care he could to provide an old pair of shoes, yet they were not easy to him when he first put them on, and, in a short time after, grew very grievous to him. In this equipage he set out from his first lodging, in the beginning of the night, under the conduct of this guide, who guided him the nearest way, crossing over hedges and ditches, that they might be in the least danger of meeting passengers. This was so grievous a march, and he was so tired, that he was even ready to despair, and to prefer being taken and suffered to rest, before purchasing his safety at that price. His shoes had, after a few miles, hurt him so much, that he had thrown them away, and walked the rest of the way in his ill stockings, which were quickly worn out; and his feet, with the thorns in getting over hedges, and with the stones in other places, were so hurt and wounded that he many times cast himself upon the ground, with a desperate and obstinate resolution to rest there till the morning, that he might shift with less torment, what hazard soever he run. But his stout guide still prevailed with him to make a new attempt, sometimes promising that the way should be better, and sometimes assur, ing him that he had but little further to go; and in this distress and perplexity, before the morning, they arrived at the house designed ; which, though it was better than that which he had left, his lodging was still in the barn, upon straw, instead of hay, a place being made as easy in it as the expectation of a guest could dispose it. Here he had such meat and porridge as such people use to have, with which, but especially with the butter and the cheese, he thought himself well feasted; and took the best care he could to be supplied with other, little better, shoes and stockings; and after his feet were enough recovered that he could go, he was conducted from thence to another poor house ; for having not yet in his thought which way, or by what means,

to make his escape, all that was designed was only, by shifting from one house to another, to avoid discovery. * * *

In this station the king remained in quiet and blessed security many days, receiving every day information of the general consternation the kingdom was in, out of the apprehension that his person might fall into the hands of his enemies, and of the great diligence they used to inquire for him. He saw the proclamation that was issued out and printed, in which a thousand pounds were promised to any man who would deliver and discover the person of Charles Stuart, and the penalty of high treason declared against those who presumed to harbor or conceal him; by which he saw how much he was beholden to all those who were faithful to him.

JEREMY TAYLOR. 1613–1667. Jeremy Taylor has been styled by some the Shakspeare, and by others. the Spenser, of theological literature. He was one of the most eloquent and imaginative of the divines of his day. A work which shows him to have been far in advance of his age, was his Liberty of Prophesying, showing the Unreasonableness of Prescribing to other Men's Faith, and the Iniquity of Persecuting Differing Opinions. In addition to this work, he published Holy Living and Holy Dying, Sermons, and other works. He took part with the royalists, and was twice imprisoned ; but was made bishop after the Restoration. His second wife was a natural daughter of Charles I.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

They that enter into the state of marriage cast a die of the greatest contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world, next to the last throw for eternity. Life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow, are in the power of marriage. A woman, indeed, ventures most; for she hath no sanctuary to retire to from an evil husband ; she must dwell upon her sorrow, and hatch the eggs which her own folly or infelicity hath produced; and she is more under it, because her tormentor håth a warrant of prerogative, and the woman may complain to God, as subjects do of tyrant princes ; but otherwise, she hath no appeal in the causes of unkindness. And though the man can run from many hours of his sadness, yet he must return to it

again; and when he sits among his neighbors, he remembers the objection that is in his bosom, and he sighs deeply.

The boys, and the pedlers, and the fruiterers, shall tell of this man, when he is carried to his grave, that he lived and died a poor, wretched person.

The stags in the Greek epigram, whose knees were clogged with frozen snow upon the mountains, came down to the brooks of the valleys, hoping to thaw their joints with the waters of the stream ; but there the frost overtook them, and bound them fast in ice, till the young herdsmen took them in their stranger snare. It is the unhappy chance of many men, finding many inconveniences upon the mountains of single life, they descend into the valleys of marriage, to refresh their troubles, and there they enter into fetters, and are bound to sorrow, by the cords of a man's or woman's peevishness.

Man and wife are equally concerned to avoid all offences of each other, in the beginning of their conversation. Every little thing can blast an infant blossona; and the breath of the south can shake the little rings of the vine, when first they begin to curl like the locks of a new-weaned boy: but when, by age and consolidation, they stiffen into the hardness of a stem, and have, by the warm embraces of the sun and the kisses of heaven, brought forth their clusters, they can endure the storms of the north, and the loud noises of a tempest, and yet never be broken. So are the early unions of an unfixed marriage ; watchful and observant, jealous and busy, inquisitive and careful, and apt to take alarm at every unkind word. After the hearts of the man and the wife are endeared and hardened by a mutual confidence and experience, longer than artifice and pretence can last, there are a great many remembrances, and some things present, that dash all little unkindnesses in pieces.

There is nothing can please a man without love; and if a man be weary of the wise discourses of the apostles, and of the innocency of an even and private fortune, or hates peace, or a fruitful year, he hath reaped thorns and thistles from the choicest flowers of Paradise ; for nothing can sweeten felicity itself but love : but when a man dwells in love, then the eyes of his wife are as fair as the light of heaven; she is a fountain sealed, and he can quench his thirst, and ease his cares, and lay his sorrows down upon her lap, and can retire home to his sanctuary and refectory, and his gardens of sweetness and chaste refreshments. No man can tell, but he that loves his children, how many delicious accents make a man's heart dance, in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges; their childishness, their stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections, their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to him that delights in their persons and society. * * * It is fit that I should infuse a bunch of myrrh into the festival goblet, and, after the Egyptian manner, serve up a dead man's bones at a feast. I will only show it, and take it away again; it will make the wine bitter, but wholesome. But those married pairs that live as remembering that they must part again, and give an account how they treat themselves and each other, shall, at that day of their death, be admitted to glorious espousals; and when they shall live again, be married to their Lord, and partake of his glories, with Abraham and Joseph, St. Peter and St. Paul, and all the married saints. All those things that now please us shall pass from us, or we from them ; but those things that concern the other life are permanent as the numbers, of eternity. And although at the resurrection there shall be no relation of husband and wife, and no marriage shall be celebrated but the marriage of the Lamb, yet then shall be remembered how men and women passed through this state which is a type of that; and from this sacramental union, all holy pairs shall pass to the spiritual and the eternal, where love shall be their portion, and joys shall crown their heads, and they shall lie in the bosom of Jesus, and in the heart of God, to eternal ages.

[From the close of the "Liberty of Prophesying."]

- JEWISH APOLOGUE. WHEN Abraham sat at his tent-door, according to his custom, waiting to entertain strangers, he espied an old man, stooping and leaning on his staff, weary with age and travel, coming toward him, who was a hundred years of age. He received him

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »