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discretion, and the pursuit of such measures as have rather ruined than promoted the interest they aim at, which hath always been the case of many great sufferers, they only serve to recommend them to the children of violence or folly.
I have by me a bundle of memorials presented by several cavaliers upon the restoration of king Charles II. which may serve as so many instances to our present purpose.
Among several persons and pretensions recorded by my author, he mentions one of a very great estate, who, for having roasted an ox whole, and distributed a hogshead on king Charles's birthday, desired to be provided for as his majesty in his great wisdom 'should think fit.
Another put in to be the prince Henry's governor, for having dared to drink his health in the worst of times.
A third petitioned for a colonel's commission, for having cursed Oliver Cromwell, the day before his death, on a public bowling-green.
But the most whimsical petition I have met with is that of B. B. esq. who desired the honour of knighthood, for having cuckolded sir T. W. a notorious roundhead.
There is likewise the petition of one who, hav. ing let his beard grow from the martyrdom king Charles the first until the restoration of king Charles the second, desired in consideration thereupon to be made a privy-counsellor.
I must not omit a memorial setting forth that the memorialist had, with great dispatch, carried a letter from a certain lord to a certain lord, wherein, as it afterwards appeared, measures were concerted for the restoration, and without which he verily believes that happy revolution had never
been effected; who therefore humbly prays to be made post-master-general.
A certain gentleman, wlio seems to write with a great deal of spirit, and uses the words gallantry and gentleman-like very often in his petition, begs that (in consideration of his having worn his hat for ten years past in the royal cavalier-cock, to his great danger and detriment) he may be made a captain of the guards.
I shall close my account of this collection of memorials with the copy of one petition at length, which I recommend to my reader as a very valaable piece.
THE PETITION OF E, H, ESQ.
THAT your petitioner's father's brother's uncle, colonel W. H. lost the third finger of his left hand at Edgehill fight.
"That your petitioner, notwithstanding the smallness of his fortune, (he being a younger brother,) always kept hospitality, and drank confusion to the roundheads in half a score bumpers every Sunday in the year, as several honest gen. tlemen (whose names are underwritten) are ready to testify
“That your petitioner is remarkable in his coun. try, for having dared to treat sir P. P. a cursed sequestrator, and three members of the assembly of divines, with brawn and minced pies upon newyear's day,
• That your said humble petitioner hath been five times imprisoned in five several county-gaols, for having been a ringleader in five different riots; into which his zeal for the royal cause hurried him, when men of greater estates had not the courage to rise.
« That he the said E. H. hath had six duels and four-and-twenty boxing matches in defence of his majesty's title ; and that he received such a blow upon the head at a bonfire in Stratford-upon-Avon, as he hath been never the better for from that day to this.
• That your petitioner hath been so far from improving his fortune, in the late damnable times, that he verily believes, and hath good reason to imagine, that if he had been master of an estaté he had infallibly been plundered and sequestered.
• Your petitioner, in consideration of his said merits and sufferings, humbly requests that he may have the place of receiver of the taxes, collector of the customs, clerk of the peace, deputy lieutenant, or whatsoever else he shall be thought qualified for. And your petitioner shall ever pray, &c.'
No. 630. WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 1714.
HOR. Z. Od. i. 2.
Having no spare time to write any thing of my own, or to correct what is sent me by others, I have thought fit to publish the following letters:
Oxford, Nov. 22. <IF you
would be so kind to me, as to suspend that satisfaction, which the learned world must receive in reading one of your speculations,
by publishing this endeavour, you will very much oblige and improve one, who has the boldness to hope that he may be admitted into the number of your correspondents.
• I have often wondered to hear men of good sense and good-nature profess a dislike to music, when at the same time they do not scruple to own that it has the most agreeable and improving influences over their minds : it seems to me an unhappy contradiction, that those persons should have an indifference for an art which raises' in them such a variety of sublime pleasures.
• However, though some few, by their own or the unreasonable prejudices of others, may be led into a distaste for those musical societies which are erected merely for entertainment, yet sure I may venture to say that no one can have the least reason for disaffection to that solemn kind of melody which consists of the praises of our Creator.
You have, I presume, already prevented me in an argument upon this occasion, which some divines have successfully advanced upon a much greater, that musical sacrifice and adoration has claimed a place in the laws and customs of the most different nations, as the Grecians and Romans of the profane, the Jews and Christians of the sacred world, did as unanimously agree in this as they disagreed in all other parts of their economy.
"I know there are not wanting some who are of opinion that the pompous kind of music which is in use in foreign churches, is the most excellent, as it most affects the senses. But I am swayed by my judgment to the modesty which is observed in the musical part of our devotions. Methinks there is something very laudable in the
custom of a voluntary before the first lesson; by this we are supposed to be prepared for the admission of those divine truths which we are shortly to receive. We are then to cast all worldly regards from off our hearts, all tumults within are then becalmed, and there should be nothing near the soul but peace and tranquillity: So that in this short office of praise the man is raised above himself, and is almost lost already amidst the joys of futurity.
• I have heard some nice observers frequently commend the policy of our church in this particular, that it leads us on by such easy and regular methods that we are perfectly deceived into pie. ty. When the spirits begin to languish (as they too often do with a constant series of petitions) she takes care to allow them a pious respite, and relieves them with the raptures of an anthem. Nor can we doubt that the sublimest poetry, softened in the most moving strains of music, can never fail of humbling or exalting the soul to any pitch of devotion. Who can hear the terrors of the Lord of Hosts described in the most expressive melody without being awed into a veneration? Or who can hear the kind and endearing attributes of a merciful father, and not be softened into love towards him ?
And as the rising and sinking of the passions, the casting soft or noble hints into the soul, is the natural privilege of music in general, so more particularly of that kind which is employed at the altar. Those impressions which it leaves upon the spirits are more deep and lasting, as the grounds from which it receives its authority are founded more upon reason.
It diffuses a calmness, all around us, it makes us drop all those vain or immodest thoughts which would be an