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with his wife than to forsake her; the other, though he was moved with the utmost compassion for his wife, told her, that for the good of their children it was better one of them should live than both perish. By a great piece of good luck, next to a miracle, when one of our good men had taken the last and long farewell in order to save himself, and the other held in his arms the person that was dearer to him than life, the ship was preserved. It is with a secret sorrow and vexation of mind that I must tell the fequel of the story, and let my reader know that this faithful pair, who were ready to have died in each other's arms, about three years after their escape, upon some trilling disgust, grew to a coldness at first, and at length fell out to such a degree that they left one another and parted for ever. The other couple lived together in an uninterrupted friendship and felicity, and what was remarkable, the husband, whom the shipwreck had like to have separated from his wife, died a few months after her, not being able to survive the loss of her.
I must confess there is something in the changeableness and inconstancy of human nature, that very often both dejects and terrifies me. Whatever I am at present, I tremble to think what I may be. While I find this principle in me, how can I assure myself that I shall be always true to my God, my friend, or myself? In short, without constancy there is neither love, friendship, or virtue in the world,
T is so just an observation, that mocking is catching, that I am become an unhappy instance of it, and am (in the same manner that I have represented Mr. Partridge) myself a dying man, in comparison
of the vigour with which I first set out in the world. Had it been otherwise, you may be sure I would not have pretended to have given for news, as I did last Saturday, a diary of the siege of Troy. But man is a creature very inconsistent with himself; the greatest heroes are fometimes fearful, the sprightlieft wits at some hours dull, and the greatest politicians on some occasions whimsical. But I shall not pretend to palliate or excuse the matter, for I find, by a calculation of my own 'nativity, that I cannot hold out with any tolerable wit longer than two minutes after twelve o'clock at night, between the 18th and 19th of the next month, for which space of time you may still expect to hear from me, but no longer, except you will transmit to me the occurrences you meet with relating-to your amours, or any other subject within the rules by which I have proposed to walk. If any gentleman or lady sends to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., at Mr. Morphew's, near Stationer's Hall, by the penny post, the grief or joy of their soul, what they think fit of the matter, shall be related in colours as much to their advantage as those in which Gervase has drawn the agreeable Chloe. But since, without such assistance, I frankly confess and am sensible that I have not a month's wit more, I think I ought, while I am in my found health and senses, to make my will and testament, which I do in manner and form following :
Imprimis: I give to the stock-jobbers about the Exchange of London, as a security for the trusts daily reposed in them, all my real estate, which I do hereby vest in the said body of worthy citizens for ever.
Item: Forasmuch as it is very hard to keep land in repair without ready cash, I do, out of my personal estate, bestow the bear-skin which I have frequently lent to several societies about this town, to supply their necessities ; I say, I give also the said bear-skin as an immediate fund to the said citizens for ever.
Item: I do hereby appoint a certain number of the said citizens to take all the Custom-house or customary oaths concerning all goods imported by the whole city, strictly directing that some select members, and not the whole number of a body corporate, should be perjured.
Item : I forbid all 1-s and persons of qty to watch bargains near and about the Exchange, to the diminution and wrong of the said stock-jobbers.
Thus far, in as brief and intelligible a manner as any will can appear, till it is explained by the learned, I have disposed of my real and personal estate ; but as I am an adept, I have by birth an equal right to give also an indefeasible title to my endowments and qualifications, which I do in the following
Item: I give my courage among all who are ashamed of their distressed friends, all sneakers in assemblies, and men who Thew valour in common conversation.
Item: I give my wit (as rich men give to the rich) among such as think they have enough already. And in case they shall not accept of the legacy, I give it to Bentivolio, to defend his works from time to time, as he shall think fit to publish them.
Item: I bestow my learning upon the honorary members of . the Royal Society.
Now for the disposal of this body.