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humane, active, conducing to contemplation in most men, I betook myselfe to the nearest fields. (Being in London I commonly dwell in the suburbes, as airiest, quietest, loci musis propriores, free from noises of caroches, waggons, mechanick, and base workes, workshoppes, also sights, pageants, spectacles of outlandish birds, fishes, crocodiles, Indians, mermaids, adde quarrels, fightings, wranglings of the common sort, plebs, the rabble, duelloes with fists, proper to this island, at which the stiletto'd and secrete Italian laughs). Withdrawing myselfe from these buzzing and illiterate vanities, with a bezo las manos to the city, I begin to inhale, draw in, snuff up, as horses dilatis naribus snort the fresh aires, with exceeding great delight, when suddenly there crosses me a procession sad, heavy, dolourous, tristfull, melancholick, able to change mirth into dolour, and overcast a clearer atmosphere than possibly the neighbourhoods of so great a citty can afford. An old man, a poore man, deceased, is borne on men's shoulders to a poore buriall, without solemnities of hearse, mourners, plumes, mutæ personæ, those personate actors that will weep if yee shew them a. piece of silver ; none of those customed civilities of children, kinsfolk, dependants, following the coffin; he died a poore man, his friends assessores opum, those cronies of his that stuck by him so long as he had a penny, now leave him, forsake him, shun him, desert him; they think it much to follow his putrid and stinking carcase to the grave;, his children, if he had any, for commonly the case stands thus, this poore man his son dies before him, he survives, poore, indigent, base, dejected, miserable, &c. or if he have any which survive him, sua negotia agunt, they mind their own business, forsooth, cannot, will not, find time, leisure, inclination, extremum munus perficere, to follow to the pit their old indulgent father, which loved them, stroked them, caressed them, cockering them up, quantum potuit, as farre as his means extended, while they were babes, chits, minims, hee
may rot in his grave, lie stinking in the sun for them, have no buriall at all, they care not. O nefas ! Chiefly I noted the coffin to have been without a pall, nothing but a few planks, of cheapest wood that could be had, naked, having none of the ordinary symptomata of a funerall, those locularii which bare the body having on diversely coloured coats, and none
black: (one of these reported the deceased to have been an almsman seven yeares, a pauper, harboured and fed in the workhouse of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, to whose proper buryingground he was now going for interment). All which when I behelde, hardly I refrained from weeping, and incontinently I fell to musing: " If this man had been rich, a Cresus, a Crassus, or as rich as Whittington, what pompe, charge, lavish cost, expenditure, of rich buriall, ceremoniall-obsequies, obsequious ceremonies, had been thought too good for such an one; what store of panegyricks, elogies, funeral orations, &c. some beggarly poetaster, worthy to be beaten for his ill rimes, crying him up, hee was rich, generous, bountiful, polite, learned, a Mæcenas, while as in very deede he was nothing Tesse: 'what weeping, sighing, sorrowing, honing, complaining, kinsmen, friends, relatives, fourtieth cousins, poor relatives, lamenting for the deceased; hypocriticall heirs, sobbing, striking their breasts, (they care not if he had died a year ago); so many clients, dependants, flatterers, parasites, cunning Gnathoes, tramping on foot after the hearse, all their care is, who shall stand fairest with the successour; he mean
time (like enough) spurns them from him, spits at them, treads them under his foot, will have nought to do with any such cattle. I think him in the right: Hæc sunt majora gravitate Heracliti. These follies are enough to give crying Heraclitus a fit of the spleene.