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But Mr. Veal does what he can to stifle the matter, and said, he would see Mrs. Bargrave; but yet it is certain matter of fact, that he has been at Capt. Watson's since the death of his sister, and yet never went near Mrs. Bargrave ; and some of his friends report her to be a liar, and that she knew of Mr. Breton's ten pounds a year. But the person who pretends to say so, has the reputation of a notorious liar, among persons whom I know to be of undoubted credit. Now Mr. Veal is more of a gentleman than to say she lies; but says, a bad husband has crazed her. But she needs only present herself, and it will effectually confute that pretence. Mr. Veal says, he asked his sister on her death-bed whether she had a mind to dispose of any thing, and she said, “ No.” Now the things which Mrs. Veal's apparition would have disposed of were so trifling, and nothing of justice aimed at in their disposal, that the design of it appears to me to be only in order to make Mrs. Bargrave so to demonstrate the truth of her appearance, as to satisfy the world of the reality thereof, as to what she had seen and heard, and to secure her reputation among the reasonable and understanding part of mankind. And then again, Mr. Veal owns that there was a purse of gold; but it was not found in her cabinet, but in a comb box. This looks improbable; for that Mrs. Watson owned, that Mrs. Veal was so very careful of the key of the cabinet, that she would trust nobody with it. And if so, no doubt she would not trust her gold out of it: And Mrs. Veal's often drawing her hand over her eyes, and asking Mrs. Bargrave whether her fits had not impaired her, looks to me as if she did it on purpose to remind Mrs. Bargrave of her fits, to prepare her not to think it strange, that she should put her upon writing to her brother, to dispose of rings and gold, which looks so much like a dying person's request; and it took accordingly with Mrs. Bargrave, as the effects of her fits coming upon her; and was one of the many instances of

her

her wonderful love to her, and care of her, that she should not be affrighted; which indeed appear in her whole management, particularly in her coming to her in the daytime, waving the salutation, and when she was alone; and then the manner of her parting, to prevent a second artempt to salute her.

Now, why Mr. Veal should think this relation a reflection (as it is plain he does by his endeavouring to stifle it) I cannot imagine ; because the generality believe her to be a good spirit, her discourse was so heavenly. Her two great errands were to comfort Mrs. Bargrave in her affliction, and to ask her forgiveness for the breach of friendship, and with a pious discourse to encourage her. So that, after all, to suppose that Mrs. Bargrave could hatch such an invention as this, from Friday noon to Saturday noon, (supposing that she knew of Mrs. Veal's death the very first moment,) without jumbling circumstances, and without any interest too, she must be more witty, fortunate, and wicked too, than any indifferent person, I dare say, will allow. I asked Mrs. Bargrave several times, if she was sure she felt the gown: she answered modestly, “ If my senses may be relied on, I am sure of it.” I asked her if she heard a sound when she clapped her hand upon her knee. She said she did not remember she did; but said she appeared to be as much a substance as I did who talked with her.

« And I may,” said she, “be as soon persuaded that your apparition is talking to me now, as that I did not really see her: for I was under no manner of fear, and received her as a friend, and parted with her as such. I would not,” says she, “ give one farthing to make any one believe it: I have no interest in it: nothing but trouble is entailed upon me for a long time, for ought I know; and bad it not come to light by accident, it would never have been made public." But now, she says, she will make her own private use of it, and

keep keep herself out of the way as much as she can; and so she has done since. She says, “She had a gentleman who came thirty miles to her to hear the relation; and that she had told it to a room-full of people at a time.” Several particular gentlemen have had the story from Mrs. Bargrave's own mouth.

This thing has very much affected me, and I am as well satisfied as I am of the best-grounded matter of fact. And why we should dispute matter of fact, because we cannot solve things of which we can have no certain or demonstrative notions, seems strange to me.

Mrs. Bargrave's authority and sincerity alone would have been undoubted in any other case.

THE

THE

Christian's Consolations

AGAINST THE

FEARS OF DEATH.

CHAPTER I.

That there is nothing more dreadful than Death, to such as have

no hope in God.

A

N inspired pen styles Death, very significantly, The

King of Terrors; that is to say, the most terrible of all other things: for there is nothing that we can imagine in the world more dreadful and more frightful than Death. It is possible to decline the edge of drawn swords, to close the lion's jaws, to quench the fire's fury; but when Death shoots its poisoned arrows, when it opens its infernal pit, and when it sends forth its devouring flames, it is altogether impossible to secure ourselves; impossible it is to guard ourselves from its merciless fury. There is an infinite number of warlike inventions, by which we commonly defeat the evil designs of the most powerful and dreadful enemies ; there is no stratagem of the most renowned general, no fortifications ever so regular and artificial, nor army ever so victorious, that can retard but for a moment the approaches of Death, this last enemy. In the twinkling of an eye it flies

through through the strongest bulwarks, the deepest walls, and most prodigious towers. It leaps over the largest ditches, the bighest castles, and the most inaccesible rocks. It blows down the strongest barricadoes, and laughs at all our military trenches; every where it finds the weakness of our armour, and through the best tempered breastplate it strikes the proudest hearts.

In the darkest dungeon it comes to us, and snatches us out of the hands of our most trusty and watchful guards. In a word, nature and art can furnish us with nothing able to protect us from Death's cruel and insatiable hands.

There is none so barbaaous, but is sometimes overcome by the prayers and tears of such as cast themselves upon their knees to implore mercy; nay, such as have lost all sense of humanity and goodness, commonly spare in their rage the weakest age and sex: but unmerciful Death hath no more regard of such as humble themselves, than of others that resist and defy it. It takes no notice of infants' tears and cries; it plucks them from the breasts of their tenderhearted mothers, and crushes them in pieces before their eyes. It scorns the lamentations of dainty dames, and delights to trample upon their most ravishing beauties. It stops its ears to the requests of trembling old age, and casts to the ground the gray heads as so many withered oaks.

At a battle, when princes and generals of the enemy's army are taken prisoners, they are not treated as common soldiers ; but unmerciful Death treads under feet as audaciously the prince as the subject, the master as the servant, the noble as the vassal, the rich Dives and the begging Lazarus together. It blows out with the same blast the most glorious luminaries, and the most loathsome lamps. It hath no more respect for the crowns of kings, the pope's mitre, and the cardinal's cap, than for the shepherd's crook, or tbe slave's

chains.

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