Page images
PDF
EPUB

of mankind, I should to the relations of particular persons who are now living, and whom I cannot distrust in other matters of fact. I might here add, that not only the historians, to whom we may join the poets, but likewise the philosophers of antiquity, 5 have favored this opinion. Lucretius himself, though by the course of his philosophy he was obliged to maintain that the soul did not exist separate from the body, makes no doubt of the reality of apparitions, and that men have often 10 appeared after their death. This I think very remarkable: he was so pressed with the matter of fact, which he could not have the confidence to deny, that he was forced to account for it by one of the most absurd unphilosophical notions that 15 was ever started. He tells us, that the surfaces of all bodies are perpetually flying off from their respective bodies, one after another; and that these surfaces or thin cases that included each other whilst they were joined in the body like the coats of an 20 onion, are sometimes seen entire when they are separated from it; by which means we often behold the shapes and shadows of persons who are either dead or absent.

I shall dismiss this paper with a story out of 25 Josephus, not so much for the sake of the story itself as for the moral reflections with which the author concludes it, and which I shall here set down in his own words. "Glaphyra, the daughter of

1

6

Was

king Archelaus, after the death of her two first husbands (being married to a third, who was brother to her first husband, and so passionately in love

with her, that he turned off his former wife to make 5 room for this marriage) had a very odd kind of

dream. She fancied that she saw her first husband coming towards her, and that she embraced him with great tenderness; when in the midst of the

pleasure which she expressed at the sight of him, 10 he reproached her after the following manner;

Glaphyra,' says he, thou hast made good the old saying, that women are not to be trusted. not I the husband of thy virginity? Have I not

children by thee? How couldst thou forget our 15 loves so far as to enter into a second marriage, and

after that into a third? However, for the sake of our passed loves, I shall free thee from thy present reproach, and make thee mine for ever.' Glaphyra told this dream to several women of her acquaint

and died soon after. I thought this story might not be impertinent in this place; wherein I speak of those kings. Besides that the example deserves to be taken notice of, as it contains a most

certain proof of the immortality of the soul, and of 25 Divine Providence. If any man thinks these facts

incredible, let him enjoy his own opinion to himself, but let him not endeavor to disturb the belief of others, who by instances of this nature are excited to the study of virtue."

20

ance,

No. 11. A Sunday in the Country
SPECTATOR No. 112. Monday, July 9, 1711

'Αθανάτους μεν πρώτα θεούς, νόμω ως διάκειται,
Τιμα

Pythag.

I AM always very well pleased with a country Sunday, and think, if keeping holy the seventh day were only a human institution, it would be the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilizing of mankind. It is certains the country people would soon degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians, were there not such frequent returns of a stated time, in which the whole village meet together with their best faces, and in their cleanliest habits, to converse with one another 10 upon indifferent subjects, hear their duties explained to them, and join together in adoration of the Supreme Being. Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week, not only as it refreshes in their minds the notions of religion, but as it puts both 15 the sexes upon appearing in their most agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. A country fellow distinguishes himself as much in the churchyard, as a citizen does upon the 'Change, the 20 whole parish-politics being generally discussed in that place either after sermon or before the bell rings.

1

My friend Sir Roger, being a good churchman, has beautified the inside of his church with several texts of his own choosing. He has likewise given

a handsome pulpit-cloth, and railed in the com5 munion-table at his own expense. He has often

told me, that at his coming into his estate he found his parishioners very irregular; and that in order to make them kneel and join in the responses, he gave

every one of them a hassock and a common-prayer10 book; and at the same time employed an itinerant

singing-master, who goes about the country for that purpose, to instruct them rightly in the tunes of the Psalms; upon which they now very much value

themselves, and indeed outdo most of the country 15 churches that I have ever heard.

As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation, he keeps them in very good order, and will suffer nobody to sleep in it besides himself; for if by chance

he has been surprised into a short nap at sermon, 20 upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks

about him, and if he sees anybody else nodding, either wakes them himself, or sends his servants to them. Several other of the old knight's particu

larities break out upon these occasions. Some25 times he will be lengthening out a verse in the sing

ing Psalms, half a minute after the rest of the congregation have done with it; sometimes when he is pleased with the matter of his devotion, he pro

Amen” three or four times to the same

nounces

مسی به می

prayer; and sometimes stands up when everybody else is upon their knees, to count the congregation, or see if any of his tenants are missing.

I was yesterday very much surprised to hear my old friend, in the midst of the service calling out to 5 one John Matthews to mind what he was about, and not disturb the congregation. This John Matthews it seems is remarkable for being an idle fellow, and at that time was kicking his heels for his diversion. This authority of the knight, though exerted 10 in that odd manner, which accompanies him in all circumstances of life, has a very good effect upon But the parish, who are not polite enough to see anything ridiculous in his behavior; besides that the general good sense and worthiness of his character 15 make his friends observe these little singularities as foils that rather set off than blemish his good qualities.

As soon as the sermon is finished, nobody presumes to stir till Sir Roger is gone out of the church. 20 The knight walks down from his seat in the chancel between a double row of his tenants, that stand bowing to him on each side: and every now and then inquires how such a one's wife, or mother, or son, or father do, whom he does not see at church; 25 which is understood as a secret reprimand to the person that is absent.

The chaplain has often told me, that upon a catechising day, when Sir Roger has been pleased

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »