Imágenes de páginas

1 receive it, and immediately, with his own Hand, killed < himself.'

Of their Fidelity there are infinite Examples; amongst which, that of those who were besieged in Fidelity ef tit Salona, a City that stood for Cæsar against Garrison of Pompey, is not, for the Rarity of an Accident Sal°na. that there happened, to be forgot. Marcus OSfavius kept them close besieged; they within being reduced to the extremest^Necesiky of all Things, so that, to supply the want of Men, most of them being either slain or wounded g, they had set all their Slaves at Liberty, and had been constrained to cut off all the Women's Hair, to twist instead of Cordage, besides a wonderful Dearth of Victuals, yet they continued resolute never to yield: After having drawn the Siege to a great length, by which OiJavius was grown roorp negligent, and less attentive to his Enterprise, they made choice of one Day about Noon, and, having first placed the Women and Children tipon the Walls to make a Shew, they sallied upon the Besiegers with such Fury, that, having routed the first, second, and thir4 Corps, and afterwards the fourth, and then the rest, and beaten them all out of their Trenches, they pursued them even to their Ships •, and Ottavius himself was forced to fly to Dyrrachium, where Pompey lay. I do not, at present, remember, that I have met with any other Example, where the Besieged ever gave the Besiegers a total Defeat, and won the Field •, nor that a Sally ever was attended with a pure and entire. Victory.


Of Three good Wo^en,

THEY don't run thirteen to the Dozen, as every one knows, and especially in the Duties of Marriage -, for that is a Bargain full of so many True Proof of nice Circumstances, that'tis hard for a Wo- agoodMarraan's Will to keep to it long: Men, tho' riaie:


* Cæsar. Bell. Civil. 1$. i. c. 3.

their Condition be something better under that Tie, have yet enough to do: The true Touchstone and Test of a happy Marriage respects the Time of their Cohabitation only, whether it has been constant, mild, loyal, and commodious.

In our Age, Women commonly reserve the Publication Montaigne'j of their good Offices, and their vehement Opinion of the Affection for their Husbands, till they have

Women, -who ]Qft tfem . or> at leafi-, then jf js tjjat tney

IZyLwfor deign t0 give Proofs of their Good-will: A their Husbands too flow Testimony, and that comes too late; till they are by which they rather manifest, that they never *"*■ loved them till dead. Their Life is full of

Combustion, their Death full of Love and Courtesy: As Fathers conceal their Affections from their Children, Women likewise conceal theirs from their Husbands so maintain a modest Respect. This is a Mystery I dp not relish $ 'tis to much Purpose that they scratch themselves, and tear their Hair. I whisper in a Waiting-woman's, or a Secretary's Ear, Hew were they? How did they live together? I always have that Saying in my Head, JaSiantius mœrent, quæ minus dolent: ' They make the most ado, who are * least concerned.' Their Whimpering is offensive to the Living, and vain to the Dead: We should willingly give them Leave to laugh after we are dead, provided they will smile upon us whilst we are alive. Is it not enough so make a Man revive in Spite, that she who spit in my JFape whilst I was, shall come to kiss my Feet when I am po more? If there be any Honourjrt lamenting a Husband, it only appertains to those who smiled upon them whilst they had them; let those who wept during their Lives, laugh at their Deaths, as well outwardly as inwardly: Moreover, never regard those blubbered Eyes, and that pitiful Voice •, but consider her Deportment, her Complexion, and the Plumpness of her Cheeks under all those formal Veils; 'tis there the Discovery is to be made. There are few who do nqt mend upon't, and Health is a Quality that cannot lye: That starched and ceremonious Countenance looks not so much back as forward, and is, rather intended to get a new Husband> than to lament 3 - the the old. When I was a Boy, a very beautiful and virtuous Lady, who is yet living, and the Widow of a Prince, had, I know not what, more Ornament in her Press than our Laws of Widowhood will well allow j which being reproached withal, as a great Indecency, she made Answer, 'That it was because she was not culti* vating more Friendships, and would never marry again.'

I have here, not at all dissenting from our Custom, made choice of three Women, who have also expressed the utmost of their Goodness and Affections about their Husbands Deaths; yet are they Examples of another kind than are now in Use, and so severe, as will hardly be drawn into Imitation.

The younger Pliny h had, near a House of his in Italy\ a Neighbour, who was exceedingly tormented with certain Ulcers in his private Parts: His Wife, seeing him sq long to languish, intreatcd that he would give her Leave to see, and at Leisure to consider of the State of his Disease; adding, that she would freely tell him what she thought of it: This Permission being obtained, she curiously examined the Business, found it impossible he could ever be cured, and that all he was to expect, was a great while to linger out a painful and miserable Life •, and therefore, as the most sure and sovereign Remedy, she resolutely advised him to kill himself: But finding him a little tender and backward in so rude an Attempt: * Do not think, my Dear, said she, that I have not an equal

* Feeling of the Torments which I see thou endurest, and 1 that, to deliver myself from them, I will not myself

* make Use of the same Remedy I have prescribed to thee; f I will accompany thee in the Cure, as I have done in the

* Disease; fear nothing, but believe that we shall have

* Pleasure in this Passage that is to free us from so many

* Miseries, and go off happily together.' Having said this, and roused up her Husband's Courage, she resolved that they should throw themselves headlong into the Sea, out pf a Window that leaned over it; and that she might maintain, to the last, the loyal and vehement Affection wherewith she had embraced him during his Life, she would

yet * Ep. 24. lib. 6,

yet have him die in her Arms •, but for fear they should fail, and lest they should leave their Hold in the Fall, and thro' Fear, she tied herself fast to him by the Waist, and so gave up her own Life to procure her Husband's Repose. This was a Woman of a mean Family, and, even amongst that Condition of People, 'tis no very new Thing to fee some Example of uncommon Good-nature.

extrema per illos

Juftitia excedens t err is vestigia fecit '.

;'. t. From hence did Justice take her Flight, and here The Prints of her departing Steps appear.

. The other two are Noble and Rich, where Examples of Virtue are rarely lodged. Arria, the Wife of Cecina Patus, a consular Person, was the Mother of another Arria, the Wife of fhrasea Patus, whose Virtue was so renowned in the Time of Nero, and, by Means of this Sonin-Law, the Grand-mother of Fannia: For the Resemblance of the Names of these Men and Women, and their The Story os Fortunes, has led many into a Mistake. This the Death of first Arria (her Husband Cecina Patus havAma, the jng been made Prisoner by some of the EmWiftofQt- peror Claudius's People, after Scribonianus's Defeat, whose Party he had embraced in the War) * begged of those who were carrying him Prisoner

* to Rome., that they would take her into their Ship, where

* she should be of much less Charge and Trouble to them 'than a great many Persons they must otherwise have to

* attend her Husband, and that she alone would under'* take to serve him in his Chamber, his Kitchen, and all

* other Offices k.' But they refused her, wherefore she put herself into a Fishing-boat she hired on a sudden, and in that Manner followed him from Sclavonia. Being come to Rome, Junia, the Widow of Scribonianus, one Day, considering the Resemblance of their Fortunes, and accosting her in the Emperor's Presence, in a familiar Way, she rudely repulsed her with these Words, 'Shall I, said Jhe, speak t to thee, or give Ear to any Thing thou sayest; to thee,

■ in. I Virg. Georg. lib. ii. v. 473. k Plin. Ep. 16. lib. iii.

« in whose Lap Scribonianus was slain, and-thou yet alive ?* These Words, with several other Signs, gave her Friend* to understand, that she would undoubtedly dispatch herself, impatient of supporting her Husband's Fortune. And Tbrafea, her Son-in-Law, beseeching her not to throw away herself, and saying to her, 'What! If I should run 'the same Fortune that Cecina has done, would you that

* your Daughter, my Wife, should do the fame?' 'Would '11 repliedJbe, yes, yes, I would, if she had lived as long,

* and in as good Agreement with thee as I have done 'with my Husband.' These Answers made them more careful of her, and to have a more watchful Eye on her Deportment. One Day, having said to those that looked to her, * 'Tis to much Purpose that you take all this Pains 'to prevent me j you may indeed make me die an ill

* Death, but to keep me from dying is not in your Pow

* er;' and, suddenly rushing from a Chair wherein she sat, she ran her Head madly, with all her Force, against the next Wall, by which Blow being laid flat in a Swoon, and very much wounded, after they had with much ado brought her to herself, ' I told you, said she, that, if you 'refused me some easy Way of dying, I should find out'

* another, how painful soever.' The Conclusion of* so admirable a Virtue was thus: Her Husband Pœt0s, not having Resolution enough of his own to dispatch himself as he was by the Emperor's Cruelty enjoined; one Day, amongst others, having first employed all the Reasons and Exhortations which she thought most prevalent, to persuade him to it, she snatched the Ponyard he wore from, his Side, and, holding it ready in her Hand, to make short of her Admonitions, 'Do thus, Pœtuss said she •, and in the same Instant gave herself a mortal Stab in her Breast, and then, drawing it out of the Wound, presented it to him, ending her Life with this noble, generous, and immortal Saying, Pate, non dolet, ' Patus, it hurts « me not;' having only Strength to pronounce those never to be forgotten Words.

Casta suo gladium cum traderet Arria Pato, £>uem de visceribus traxerat ip/a [uis:

« AnteriorContinuar »