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CHOICE OF A WIFE.
When it shall please God to bring thee to man's estate, use great providence and circumspection in choosing thy wife. For from thence will spring all thy future good or evil. And it is an action of life, like unto a stratagem of war; wherein a man can err but once. If thy estate be good, match near home and at leisure; if weak, far off and quickly. Inquire diligently of her disposition, and how her parents have been inclined in their youth. Let her not be poor, how generous soever. For a man can buy nothing in the market with gentility. Nor choose a base and uncomely creature altogether for wealth; for it will cause contempt in others, and loathing in thee. Neither make choice of a dwarf, or a fool; for, by the one thou shalt beget a race of pigmies; the other will be thy continual disgrace, and it will yirke thee to hear her talk. For thou shalt find it, to thy great grief, that there is nothing more fulsome than a she-fool.-Lord Burleigh.
My Lord Wentworth gave some very cavalier advice to one going upon a diplomatic mission; he was up to the system of courts, or he could not have committed himself by such a satire :-" To secure yourself, and serve your country, you must at all times, and upon all occasions, speak the truth; for (says he) you will never be believed; and by these means your truth will both secure yourself if you be questioned, and put those you deal with, who question your veracity, to a loss in all their disquisitions and undertakings.". Lloyd's State Worthies, p. 201.
AN INDIAN'S ACCOUNT OF A LONDON
The English pretend that they worship but one God, but for my part I don't believe what they say; for besides several living divinities, to which we may see them daily offer their vows, they have several other inanimate ones to whom they pay sacrifices, as I have observed at one of their public meetings, where I happened once to be.
In this place there is a great altar to be seen, built round and covered with a green wachum, lighted in the midst, and encompassed by several persons in a sitting posture, as we do at our domestic sacrifices. At the very moment I came into the room, one of those, who I supposed was the priest, spread upon the altar certain leaves which he took out of a little book that he held in his hand. Upon these leaves were represented certain figures very awkwardly painted; however, they must needs be the images of some divinities ; for, in proportion as they were distributed round, each one of the assistants made an offering to it, greater or less, according to his devotion. I observed that these offerings were more considerable than those they make in their other temples.
After the aforesaid ceremony is over, the priest lays his hand in a trembling manner, as it were, upon the rest of the book, and continues some time in this posture, seized with fear, and without any action at all. All the rest of the company, attentive to what he does, are in suspense all the while, and the unmoveable assistants are all of them in their turn possessed by different agitations, according to the spirit which happens to seize them. One joins his hands together, and blesses
Heaven; another, very earnestly looking upon his image, grinds his teeth; a third bites his fingers, and stamps upon the ground with his feet. Every one of them, in short, makes such extraordinary postures and contortions, that they seem to be no longer rational creatures. But scarce has the priest returned a certain leaf, but he is likewise seized by the same fury with the rest. He tears the book, and devours it in his rage, throws down the altar, and curses the sacrifice. Nothing now is to be heard but complaints and groans, cries and imprecations. Seeing them so transported and so furious, I judge that the God that they worship is a jealous deity, who, to punish them for what they sacrifice to others, sends to each of them an evil demon to possess him.-Tom Brown.
THE PAUPER'S DEATH-BED.
Tread softly-bow the head-
Stranger! however great,
With lowly reverence bow;
There's one in that poor
Greater than thou.
Beneath that beggar's roof,
Lo! Death doth keep his state:
Enter-no guards defend
This palace gate.
That pavement damp and cold
No mingling voices sound-
Oh! change-oh! wondrous change-
This moment there, so low,
So agonised, and now
Beyond the stars!
Oh! change-stupendous change!
There lies the soulless clod:
The sun eternal breaks
The new immortal wakes
Wakes with his God.
Wheatley, in his Illustration of the Common Prayer, says of the passing bell:-" Our church, in imitation of the saints in former ages, calls on the minister and others to assist their brother in his last extremity. In order to this, when any one is passing out of life, this bell should be tolled: but now the passing bell is not struck till the soul has left the body. The passing bell was anciently rung for two purposes: one, to bespeak the prayers of all good Christians for a soul just departing;
and the other, to drive away the evil spirits that stood at the bed's foot, and about the house, ready to seize their prey, or at least to molest and terrify the soul in its passage; but by the ringing of that bell they were kept aloof; and the soul, like a hunted hare, gained the start, or had what is by sportsmen called law. In order to do this effectually, a high price was demanded for the toll of the largest bell; for, being louder, the demons must go further off to be out of its reach." The Golden Legend, by Wynkyn de Worde, also assures us that evil spirits have a dislike to bells. "It is said, the evill spirytes that ben in the regyion of thayre, doubte muche, when they here the belles rongen and this is the cause why the belles ben rongen whan it thondreth, and whan grete tempeste and outrages of wether happen, to the ende that the feinds and wycked spirytes should be abashed and flee, and cease of the movynge of tempeste."
There have been some bells of extraordinary magnitude: that at Pekin, in China, weighs 112,000lbs.; is thirteen feet in height, and three feet in the curve; the metal twelve inches thick. Father Le Compte says, that there are seven of these sonorous monsters at Pekin. They had some very large ones at Nanking; but their enormous weight brought down the tower, and they have ever since been buried in the earth. Father Kircher speaks of a bell at Erfurth, 25,000 lbs. weight. Weever says, "In this little sanctuary at Westminster, King Edward III. erected a clochier, and placed therein three bells, for the use of St. Stephen's Chapel; about the biggest of them were cast in the metal these words :
King Edward made thirtie thousand weight and three,
Take me down and wey mee, and more you shall find mee."