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Aldermen, and was in pain till by their direction he had settled it for the relief of poor in his own and other parishes, and dis. posed of some hundreds of pounds accordingly, as I am credibly informed by the then church wardens of the said parish.
Thus as be conceived himself casually (though at a great distance) to have occasioned the death of one, he was the immediate and direct cause of giving a comfortable living to many."
Burning of Wickliffe's Body by Order of the Council of Con. stuce." Hitherto [A. D. 1428] the corpse of John Wickliffe had quietly slept in his grave about forty-one years after his death, till his body was reduced to bones, and his bones almost to dust. For through the earth in the chancel of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, where he was interred, hath not so quick a digestion with the earth of Aceldama, to consume flesh in twenty-four hours, yet such the appetite thereof, and all other English graves, to leave small reversions of a body after so many years. But now such the spleen of the Council of Constance, as they not only cursed his memory as dying an obstinate heretic, but ordered that his bones (with this charitable caution,-if it may be discerned from the bodies of other faithful people) to be taken out of the ground, and thrown far off from any Christian burial. In obedience hereunto, Rich. Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, Diocesan of Lutterworth, sent his officers (vultures with a quick sight, scent, at a dead carcase) to ungrave him. Accordingly to Lutterworth they come, Sumner, Commissary, Official, Chancellor, Proctors, Doctors, and their servants (so that the remnant of the body would not hold out a bone amongst so many hands), take what was left out of the grave, and burnt them to ashes, and cast them into Swift, a neighbouring brook, running hard by. Thus this brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severnig Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean; and thus the ashes of Wickliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over."* Church History.
* The concluding period of this most lively narrative I will not call a conceit: it is one of the grandest conceptions I ever met with. One feels the ashes of Wickliffe gliding away out of the reach of the Sumners, Commissaries, Oficials, Proctors, Doctors, and all the pudderiug rout of execu. tioners of the impotent rage of the bafted Council : from Swift into A von, from Avon into Severn, from Severn inta the narrow seas, from the narrow seas into the main ocean, where they become the emblem of his doctrine,36 dispersed all the world over.' Hamlet's tracing the body of Cæsar to the clay that stops a beer-barrel, is a no less curious pursuit of “ ruined mortality ;” but it is in an inverse ratiu 10 this : it degrades and saddens us, for one part of our nature at least ; but this expands the whole of our pature, and gives to the body a sort of ubiquity,-a difusion, as far as the actions of its partocr can have reach or influence.
Art. XIII.- A Bachelor's Complaint of the Behaviour of Mar
Mr. REFLECTOR, I am a single man not quite turned of forty, who have spent a good deal of my time in noting down the infirmities of Married People, to console myself for those superior pleasures, which they tell me I have lost by remaining as I am.
I cannot say that the quarrels of men and their wives ever made any great impression upon me, or had much tendency to strengthen in me those anti-social resolutions, which I took up long ago upon more substantial considerations. What oftenest offends me at the houses of married persons where I visit, is an error of quite a different description ;-it is, that they are too loving.
Not too loving neither : that does not explain my meaning. Besides, why should that offend me? The very act of separating themselves from the rest of the world to have the fuller enjoyment of each other's society, implies that they prefer one another to all the world.
I have seen this passage smiled at, and set down as a quaint conceit of old Fuller. But what is not a conceit to those who read it in a temper different from that in which the writer composed it? The most pathetic parts of poetry to cold tempers seem and are nonsense, as divinity was to the Greeks foolishness. When Richard II., meditating on his own utter annihilation as to royalty, cries out,
“ O that I were a mockery king of snow,
To melt before the sun of Bolingbroke," if we have been going on pace for pace with the passion before, this sudden conversion of a strong-felt metaphor into something to be actually realized in nature, like that of Jeremiah, “Oh! that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears,” is strictly and strikingly natural : but come unprepared upon it, and it is a conceit; and so is a “ head” turned into * waters."
We are too apt to indemnify ourselves for some characteristic excellence we are kind enough to concede to a great author, by denying him every thing else. Thus Donne and Cowley, by happening to possess more wit and faculty of illustration than other men, are supposed to have been incapable of nature or feeling : they are usually opposed to such writers as Shenstone and Parnel ; whereas in the very thickest of their conceits,-in the bewildering maze of their tropes and figures, a warinth of soul and generous feeling shines thorough, the “ sum” of which “ forty thousand” of those natural poets, as they are called, “ with all their quantity, could not make up.' Without any intention of setting Fuller on a level with Doone or Cowley, I think the injustice which has been done him in the denial that he possesses any other qualities than those of a quaint and conceited writer, is of ihe same kind as that with wbicb those two great Poets have been treated.
But what I complain of is, that they carry this preference so undisguisedly, they perk it up in the faces of us single people so shamelessly, you cannot be in their company a moment without being made to feel, by some indirect hint or open avowal, that you are not the object of this preference. Now there are some things which give no offence, while implied or taken for granted merely ; but expressed, there is much offence in them. If a man were to accost the first homely-featured or plain-dressed young woman of his acquaintance, and tell her, bluntly, that she was not handsome or rich enough for him, and he could not marry ker, he would deserve to be kicked for his ill manners; yet 110 Jess is implied in the fact, that having access and opportunity of putting the question to her, he has never yet thought fit to do it. The young woman understands this as clearly as if it were put into words ; but no reasonable young woman would think of waking this the ground of a quarrel. Just as little right have a married couple to tell me by speeches, and looks that are scarce Jess plain than speeches, that I am not the happy man,--the lady's choice. It is enough that I know I am not: I do not want this perpetual reminding.
The display of superior knowledge or riches may be made sufliciently mortifying; but these admit of a palliative. The knowledge which is brought out to insult me, may accidentally improve me, and in the rich man's houses and pictures,-his parks and gardens, I have a temporary usufruct at least. But the display of married happiness has none of these palliatives : it is throughout pure, unrecompensed, unqualified insult.
Marriage by its best title is a monopoly, and not of the least invidious sort. It is the cunning of most possessors of
exclu. sive privileges to keep their advantage as much out of sight as possible, that their less favoured neighbours, seeing little of the benefit, may the less be disposed to question the right. But these married monopolists thrust the most obnoxious part of their pa.' tent into our faces.
Nothing is to me more 'distasteful than that entire complacency and satisfaction which beam in the countenances of a new-married couple,-in that of the lady particularly : it tells you, that her lot is disposed of in this world; that you can have no hopes of her. It is true, I have none; nor wishes either, perhaps : but this is one of those truths which ought, as I said before, to be taken for granted, not expressed.
The excessive airs which those people give themselves, founded on the ignorance of us unmarried people, would be more offensive if they were less irrational. We will allow them to understand the mysteries belonging to their own craft better than we who have not had the happiness to be made free of the company: but their
arrogance arrogance is not content within these limits.
If a single person presume to offer his opinion in their presence, though upon the most indifferent subject, he is immediately silenced as an incompetent person. Nay, a young married lady of my acquaintance, who, the best of the jest was, had not changed her condition above a fortnight before, in a question on which I had the misfortune to differ from her, respecting the properest mode of breeding oysters for the London market, had the assurance to ask with a şneer, how such an old Bachelor as I could pretend to know any thing about such matters.
But what I have spoken of litherto is nothing to the airs which these creatures give themsleves when they come, as they generally do, to have children. When I consider how little of a rarity children are,—that every street and blind alley swarms with them,—that the poorest people commonly have them in most abundance,--that there are few marriages that are not blest with at least one of these bargains-how often they turn out ill and defeat the fond hopes of their parents, taking to vicious courses, which end in poverty, disgrace, the gallows, &c. I cannot for my life tell, what cause for pride there can possibly be in having them. If they were young phænixes, indeed, that were born but one in a year, there might be a pretext. But when they are so
I do not advert to the insolent merit which they assume with their husbands on these occasions. Let them look to that. But why we, who are not their natural-born subjects, should be expected to bring our spices, myrrh, and incense, our tribute and homage of admiration, I do not see.
“ Like as the arrows in the hand of the giant, even so are the young children :" so says the excellent office in our Prayer-book appointed for the churching of women. 66 Flappy is the man that hath his quiver full of them :' So say I ; but then don't let him discharge his quiver upon us that are weaponless ;-let them be arrows, but not to gall and stick us. I have generally observed that these arrows are double-headed : they have two forks, to be sure to hit with one or the other. As for instance, where you come into a house which is full of children, if you happen to take no notice of them (you are thinking of something else, perhaps, and turn a deaf ear to their innocent caresses), you are set down as untractable, morose, a hater of children. On the other hand, if you find them more than usually engaging,-if you are taken with their pretty manners, and set about in earnest to romp and play with them, some pretext or other is sure to be quickly found for sending them out of the room : they are too noisy or boisterous, or Mr. does not like children. With one or other of these forks the arrow is sure to hit you.
I could forgive their jealousy, and dispense with toying with their brats, if it gives them any pain; but I think it unreasonable to be called upon to love them, where I see no occasion, to love a whole family perhaps, eight, nine, or ten, indiscriminately,“to love all the pretty dears, because children are so engaging.
I know there is a proverb, “ Love me, love my dog :" that is not always so very practicable, particularly if the dog be set upon you to teaze you or snap at you in sport. But a dog, or a lesser thing, -any inanimate substance, as a keep-sake, a watch or a ring,-a tree, or the place where we last parted when my
friend went away upon a long absence, I can make shift to love, because I love him, and any thing that reminds me of him ; provided it be in its nature indifferent, and apt to receive whatever hue fancy can give it. But children have a real character and an essential being of themselves : they are amiable or unamiable per se; I must love or hate them as I see cause for either in their qualities. A child's nature is too serious a thing to admit of its being regarded as a mere appendage to another being, and to be loved or hated accordingly: they stand with me upon their own stock, as much as men and women do. OT but you will say, sure it is an attractive age,—there is something in the tender years of infancy that of itself charms us. That is the very reason why I am more nice about them. I know that a sweet child is the sweetest thing in nature, not even excepting the delicate things which bear them; but the prettier the kind of a thing is, the more desirable it is that it should be pretty of its kind. One daisy differs not much from another in glory; but a violet should look and smell the daintiest.--I was always rather squeamish in my women and children.
But this is not the worst: one must be admitted into their familiarity at least, before they can complain of inattention. It implies visits, and some kind of intercourse. But if the husband be a man with whom you have lived on a friendly footing before marriage,---if you did not come in on the wife's side,--if you did ndt sneak into the house in her train, but were an old friend in fast habits of intimacy before their courtship was so much as thought on, look about you--your tenure is precarious-before a twelvemonth shall roll over your head, you shall find your
old friend gradually grow cool and altered towards you, and at last seek opportunities of breaking with you. I have scarce a married friend of my acquaintance, upon whose firm faith I can rely, whose friendship did not commence after the period of his mar. riage. With some limitations they can endure that: but that the good man should have dared to enter into a solemn league of friendship in which they were not consulted, though it happened before they knew him,---before they that are now man and wife