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of the terms or matter, I the more admired, and thought that others understood their worth. But now experience hath con. strained me, against my will, to know, that reverend learned men are imperfect, and know but little, as well as I, especially these that think themselves the wisest; and the better I am acquainted with them, the more I perceive that we are all yet in the dark; and the more I am acquainted with holy men, that are all for heaven, and pretend not much to subtilties, the more I value and honor them. And when I have studied hard to understand some abstruse, admired book, I have but attained the knowledge of human imperfection, and to see that the author is but a man, as well as I.
And at first I took more upon my author's credit than now I can do; and when an author was highly commended to me by others, or pleased me in some part, I was ready to entertain the whole; whereas now, I take and leave in the same author, and dissent, in some things, from him that I like best, as well as from others.
John EVELYN. 1620-1706. Evelyn is distinguished for several scientific works, written in a popular style. His Sylva, or Discourse on Forest Trees, led to the planting of an immense number of oaks, afterwards used for ships of war. He wrote of gardening and planting, and his own grounds contained a number of foreign plants, and were kept in fine order. The Czar Peter, when in England, occupied his mansion, and grossly abused his house and garden ; one of his amusements being “ to demolish a most glorious and impenetrable holly-hedge, by riding through it on a wheelbarrow.” Evelyn kept a diary during the most of his life, in which were entered all events of importance, either of a domestic or public nature, and which affords interesting matter for the curious.
(From " Tyrannus, or the Mode.")
FASHIONS IN DRESS. METHINKS a French tailor, with his ell in his hand, looks the enchantress Circe, over the companions of Ulysses, and changes them into as many forms. One while, we are made to be so loose in our clothes, * * and by and by, appear like so many malefactors sewed up in sacks, as of old they were wont to treat a parricide, with a dog, an ape, and a serpent. Now
we are all twist, and at a distance look like a pair of tongs; and anon, stuffed out like a Dutchman. This gallant goes so pinched in the waist, as if he were prepared for the question of the fiery plate in Turkey; and that so loose in the middle, as if he would turn insect, or drop in two. Now, the short waists and shirts in Pye-court is the mode; then, the wide hose, or a man in coats again. * * * Methinks we should learn to handle distaff too. Hercules did so when he courted Omphale; and those who sacrificed to Ceres put on the petticoat with much confidence.
It was a fine silken thing which I spied walking, t'other day, through Westminster Hall, that had as much ribbon about him as could have plundered six shops, and set up twenty country pedlers. All his body was dressed like a May-pole, or a Tom-a-Bedlam's cap. A frigate newly rigged kept not half such a clatter in a storm, as this puppets streamers did, when the wind was in his shrouds; the motion was wonderful to behold; and the well-chosen colors were red, orange, blue, and well-gummed satin, which argued a happy fancy; but so was our gallant overcharged, that whether he did wear this garment, or, as a porter, bear it only, was not easily to be resolved.
For my part, I profess that I delight in a cheerful gayety, affect and cultivate vanity. This universe itself were not beautiful to me, without it. But as that is in constant and uniform succession in the natural, where men do not disturb it, so would I have it also in the artificial. If the kings of Mexico changed four times a day, it was but an upper vest, which they were used to honor some meritorious servant with. Let men change their habits as oft as they please, so the change be for the better; I would have a summer habit and a winter—for the'spring and for the autumn. Something I would indulge to youth ; something to age and humor. But what have we to do with these foreign butterflies? In God's name, let the change be our own, nor borrowed of others; for why should I dance after a Monsieur's flageolet, that have a set of English viols for my concert? We need no French inventions, for the stage or for the back.
Robert BoYLE. 1627–1691. Boyle was one of those experimental philosophers, who arose in England, after the death of Bacon. He confined himself mostly to studies and experiments in chemistry and natural philosophy. He, with a few other scientific men, held private weekly meetings for the cultivation of the “ new philosophy," and afterwards, being joined by others, they were incorporated by Charles II., in 1662, under the title of the royal society. His writings are very voluminous. On theology, as well as on natural science, he published various works, and in his will made provision for the delivery of eight sermons annually in proof of the Christian religion. His Occasional Reflections on Several Subjects, namely, Upon the Sight of a Windmill standing Still; Upon his Paring a rare Summer Apple ; Upon my Spaniel's Fetching me my Glove, &c., were ridiculed by Swift, in his " Pious Meditations on a Broomstick."
REFLECTIONS UPON THE SIGHT OF ROSES AND
TULIPS GROWING NEAR ONE ANOTHER. It is so uncommon a thing to see tulips last till roses come to be blown, that the seeing them in this garden grow together, as it deserves my notice, so methinks it should suggest to me some reflection or other on it. And perhaps it may not be an improper one, to compare the difference betwixt these two kinds of flowers to the disparity which I have often observed betwixt the fates of those young ladies that are only very handsome, and those that have a less degree of beauty, recompensed by the accession of wit, discretion, and virtue; for tulips, whilst they are fresh, do, indeed, by the lustre and vividness of their colors, more delight the eye than roses; but then they do not alone quickly fade, but as soon as they have lost that freshness and gaudiness that solely endeared them, they degenerate into things, not only undesirable, but distasteful; whereas roses, besides the moderate beauty they disclose to the eye, which is sufficient to please, though not to charm it, do not only keep their color longer than tulips, but, when that decays, retain a perfumed odor, and divers useful qualities and virtues, that survive the spring, and recommend them all the year. Thus those unadvised young ladies, that, because nature has given them beauty enough, despise all other qualities, and even that regular diet which is ordinarily requisite to make beauty itself lasting, not only are wont to decay betimes, but, as soon as they have lost that youthful freshness that alone endeared them, quickly pass from being objects of wonder and love, to be so of pity, if not of scorn; whereas those that were as solicitous to enrich their minds as to adorn their faces, may not only with a mediocrity of beauty be very desirable whilst that lasts, but, notwithstanding the recess of that and youth, may, by the fragrancy of their reputation, and those virtues and ornaments of the mind that time does but improve, be always sufficiently endeared to those that have merit enough to discern and value such excellences, and whose esteem and friendship is alone worth their being concerned for. In a word, they prove the happiest, as well as they are the wisest ladies, that, whilst they, possess the desirable qualities that youth is wont to give, neglect not the acquisition of those that age cannot take away.
John BUNYAN. 1628–1688. The author of the celebrated Pilgrim's Progress was the son of a tinker, and for some years travelled about the country, repairing metal utensils. While engaged in this mode of life, he was noted for his profligacy and wickedness, especially profane swearing. But in the midst of it all, he was not without the reproofs of conscience; and by degrees his convictions of sin prevailed, he became a religious man, and at length a preacher in the Baptist denomination. After the Restoration, he was apprehended for holding religious assemblies, and imprisoned for twelve and a half years; during which time he wrote the Pilgrim's Progress, and some other works, with no other books about him than the Bible and Fox's Book of Martyrs. He was afterwards liberated, and preached a while as an itinerant; but, finally, a meetinghouse was erected for him in Bedford, where he attracted large congregations, until the close of his life.
[From the “ Pilgrim's Progress.")
THE GOLDEN CITY. Now, while they were thus drawing towards the gate, behold a company of the heavenly host came out to meet them; to whom it was said, by the other two shining ones, “ These are the men who loved our Lord, when they were in the world, and have left all for his holy name; and he hath sent us to fetch them; and we have brought them thus far on their desired journey, that they may go in and look their Redeemer in the face with
joy.” Then the heavenly host gave a great shout, saying, “ Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lord.” There came, also, out at this time to meet them, several of the king's trumpeters, clothed in white and shining raiment, who, with melodious and loud noises, made even the heavens to echo with their sound. These trumpeters saluted Christian and his fellow with ten thousand welcomes from the world; and this they did with shouting and sound of trumpet.
This done, they compassed them round about on every side; some went before, some behind, and some on the right hand, some on the left, as it were, to guard them through the upper regions, - continually sounding, as they went, with melodious noise, in notes on high ; so that the very sight was to them that could behold it as if heaven itself was come down to meet them. Thus, therefore, they walked on together; and as they walked, ever and anon these trumpeters, even with joyful sound, would, by mixing their music with looks and gestures, still signify to Christian and his brother how welcome they were into their company, and with what gladness they came to meet them; and now these two men were, as it were, in heaven, before they came at it, being swallowed up with the sight of angels, and with hearing their melodious notes. Here, also, they had the city itself in view, and thought they heard all the bells therein to ring to welcome them thereto. But, above all, the warm and joyful thoughts that they had about their own dwelling there with such company, and that for ever and ever. 0! by what tongue or pen can their glorious joy be expressed! Thus they came up to the gate.
Now, when they were come up to the gate, there was written over, in letters of gold, “ Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Then I saw, in my dream, that the shining men bid them call at the gate ; the which, when they did, some from above looked over the gate, – to wit, Enoch, Moses, Elijah, &c., - to whom it was said, “ These pilgrims are come from the city of Destruction, for the love that they bear to the king of this place;" and then the pilgrims gave in unto them each man his certificate,