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bond of friendship; because he remembers no endeavours can raise man above his frailty. He is as slow to enter into that title, as he is to forsake it; a monstrous vice must disoblige, because an extraordinary virtue did first unite; and when he parts, he doth it without a duel. He is neither effeminate, nor a common courtier; the first is so passionate a doater upon himself, he cannot spare love enough to be justly named friendship: the latter hath his love so diffusive among the beauties, that man is not considerable. He is not accustomed to any sordid way of gain, for who is any way mechanic, will sell his friend upon more profitable terms. He is bountiful, and thinks no treasure of fortune equal to the preservation of him he loves; yet not so lavish, as to buy friendship, and perhaps afterward find himself overseen in the purchase. He is not exceptious, for jealousy proceeds from weakness, and his virtues quit him from suspicions. He freely gives advice, but so little peremptory is his opinion that he ingenuously submits it to an abler judgment. He is open in expression of his thoughts, and easeth his melancholy by enlarging it, and no sanctuary preserves so safely, as he his friend afflicted. He makes use of no engines of his friendship to extort a secret; but if committed to his charge, his heart receives it, and that and it come both to light together. In life he is the most amiable object to the soul, in death the most deplorable.
MARRIAGE COMPARED WITH SINGLE LIFE. MARRIAGE is a school and exercise of virtue; and though marriage hath cares, yet the single life hath desires, which are more troublesome and more dangerous, and often end in sin, while the cares are but instances of duty and exercises of piety and therefore if single life hath more privacy of devotion, yet marriage hath more necessities and more varieties of it; it is an exercise of more graces.
Marriage is the proper scene of piety and patience, of the duties of parents and the charity of relations: here kindness is spread abroad, and love is united and made firm as a centre. Marriage is the nursery of Heaven. The virgin sends prayers to God; but she carries but one soul to him but the state of marriage fills up the number of the elect, and hath in it the labour of love, and the delicacies of friendship, the blessing of society, and the union of hands and hearts. It hath in it less of beauty, but more of safety than the single life; it hath more care, but less danger; it is more merry, and more sad; is fuller of sorrows, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but is supported by all the strength of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful.
Marriage is the mother of the world, and preserves kingdoms, and fills cities, and churches, and Heaven itself. Celibate, like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness; but sits alone, and is confined and dies in singularity: but marriage, like the useful bee, builds a house, and gathers sweetness from every flower,
and labours and unites into societies and republics, and sends out armies, and feeds the world with delicacies, and obeys their king, and keeps order, and exercises many virtues, and promotes the interest of mankind, and is that state of good things to which God hath designed the present constitution of the world. Bishop Taylor.
CAUTION REQUISITE IN MARRYING.
THEY that enter into the state of marriage cast a die of the greatest contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world, next to the last throw for eternity. Life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow, are in the power of marriage. A woman indeed ventures most, for she hath no sanctuary to retire to from an evil husband; she must dwell upon her sorrow, and hatch the eggs which her own folly or infelicity hath produced; and she is more under it,because her tormentor hath a warrant of prerogative, and a woman may complain to God as subjects do of tyrant princes; but otherwise she hath no appeal in the causes of unkindness. And though the man can run from many hours of his sadness, yet he must return to it again; and when he sits among his neighbours, he remembers the objection that is in his bosom, and he sighs deeply. The boys, and the pedlars, and the fruiterers, shall tell of this man when he is carried to his grave, that he lived and died a poor wretched person.
The stags, in the Greek epigram, whose knees were clogged with frozen snow upon the moun
tains, came down to the brooks of the valleys, hoping to thaw their joints with the waters of the stream; but there the frost overtook them, and bound them fast in ice, till the young herdsmen took them in their stronger snare. It is the unhappy chance of many men, finding many inconveniences upon the mountains of single life, they descend into the valleys of marriage to refresh their troubles, and there they enter into fetters, and are bound to sorrow by the cords of a man's or woman's peevishness.
As the Indian women enter into folly for the price of an elephant, and think their crime warrantable, so do men and women change their liberty for a rich fortune, (like Eriphile, who preferred gold before a good) and show themselves to be less than money, by overvaluing that to all the content and wise felicity of their lives; and when they have counted the money of their sorrows together, how willingly would they buy, with the loss of that money, modesty, or sweet nature to their relative.
As a very fool is he that chooses for beauty principally; cui sunt eruditi oculi et stulta mens, as one said, whose eyes are witty and their souls sensual.' It is an ill band of affections, to tie two hearts together by a little thread of red and white and they can love no longer but until the next ague comes; and they are fond of each other but at the chance, or the small-pox, or childbearing, or care, or time, or any that can destroy a pretty flower. Bishop Taylor.
THE CHARMS OF PARENTAL AND FILIAL DUTIES.
I AM the happy father of a very towardly son, in whom I do not only see my life, but also my manner of life renewed. It would be extremely be neficial to society, if you would frequently resume subjects which serve to bind these sort of relations faster, and endear the ties of blood with those of good-will, protection, observance, indulgence, and veneration. I would, methinks, have this done after an uncommon method; and do not think any one who is not capable of writing a good play, fit to undertake a work wherein there will necessarily occur so many secret instincts and biasses of human nature, which would pass unobserved by common eyes. I thank Heaven I have no outrageous offence against my own excellent parents to answer for; but when I am now and then alone, and look back upon my past life, from my earliest infancy to this time, there are many faults which I committed, that did not appear to me, even until I myself became a father. I had not until then a notion of the yearnings of heart, which a man has when he sees his child do a laudable thing, or the sudden damp which seizes him when he fears he will act something unworthy. It is not to be imagined what a remorse touched me for a long train of childish negligences of my mother, when I saw my wife the other day look out of the window, and turn as pale as ashes upon seeing my younger boy sliding upon the ice. These slight intimations will give you to understand, that there are numberless little crimes, which children take no notice of while they are doing, which, upon reflection,