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time and money, you might have had more books and learning sutable to your calling. Some books I
gave you in towne, such as you wanted; I wish you have read and studied them. You have had more than ten pounds of me since your time ended, and might have continued longer with your master to your advantage, so that you needed not have wanted the necessaries you complain of, either to your owne or my disgrace. The rest of your impertinent stuff deserves no answer, as it contains little sence. But if you ffear God, and do well, and mind your business, I shall take as good care of you and the rest of my children, as I have hitherto done by bringing you up to learning and a calling; which, if you make good use of it, will be for your owne advantage, but if otherwise, you must bear the ffrutes of your owne ffolly. But that it may please God to deliver you out of the snares of the world, the fflesh, and the devil, are the earnest prayers of y' loveing ffather,
AN ELEGY ON THE LADY WHELER,
Deceased on St. Mark's Day, 1703.
If legends tell us any thing that's true,
And saints concern themselves with any thing we do,
[When thy wise father made ye wellcome embassie,
And in thy mother's noble company,
Thou did'st with them the Adrian isles adorn,
In such surprising, such angelick form,
As ne'er was in those regions seen before,
Nor shall, now thou art gone, be ever more]
Saint Mark thy guardian-ship did undertake
To be thy guard-did his wing'd lyon make :
The winged guard ere since attended thee
Through faithless France, and lewder Italy,
And brought thee back to native Britany;
And never left thy pious company,
'Till on this day to Heaven he had conveighed thee.
Venetian triumphs, why should I rehearse,
Or sully Heavenly grace with sensual verse ?
On all was earth I'll cast the nuptial vail,
And hide w all admired and did o’re me prevaill;
For though at last I got the victory,
Yet conquer'd most when captive led by thee,
For 'twas your nuptiall bond y made me free.
As golden fruit in silver work enshrined,
So was her beauteous body to her glorious mind;
More rich endowments did her mind possess,
Than can be framed by my unpolish'd verse.
Without her father's charming eloquence, who dare
Her just encomiums venture to declare?
As best of wives when I consider thee,
This loss is more than all the world to me.
More for ber silence she deserved praise,
Than all the female converse of our days,
Not yt she knew not wise discourse to raise,
But would not offer a fool's sacrifice;
She had wise ears as well as charming tongue,
Her words were oft too few, but never thought too long.
She stay'd the proper time, till it was fitt
To speak with gravity, with sence, or wit:
She did not those of weaker parts despise,
Nor choose so much to be a wit, as wise.
Of patience too who had a larger share,
Since you with meekness all my faults did bear?
For thus you learned of St. Paul to do,
Botb to be humble and obliging too.
Forgive me, blessed S'., th' I so oft' did try
These rarest virtues of society.
Unlike the modish ladys of our dayes,
Whose staying much at home is not their praise,
You seldom went abroad, or not at all,
Unless when piety and charity did call.
The house of God, your neighbours in distress,
To that and these you were a constant guest.
Thy sons and daughters in a train did follow thee,
And all admired thy numerous train to see.
Home was the subject of thy prudent care,
Then only all was well when you were there ;
Then every hand was virtuously employ'd,
In every usefull work their skill was try'd.
If you had lived in th' days of Solomon,
All would have thought from you he took ye pattern
When he describes so good, so wise a matrona
Thy fertile womb eighteen dear children bred,
With thee now six do live, with me twelve dead.
For those with thee I fain dissolved would be,
For these I'de stay to bring them safe to thee,
This troop I should have led, bad nature taken care ;
Thy post, my dear, was to bring up the rear.
My dearest dear, I should bave died for thee,
Had heaven pleas’d to favour mine and me.
O why then did'st thou leave me thus behind ?
Thus to out run me looks, methinks, unkind :
I thought my race much nearer run than thine.
As you in goodness have me still outdone,
So now you in this race have me out-run.
Were these the tender smiles thou gavest that day
Thou did'st design from me to flee away!
O pious fraud! but l'le thee haste to find,
For long I cannot, will not stay behind.
It pleased me (though still my heart did burn)
To hear thee talk of Durham, to return
To those dear pledges of our mutual love,
Now all in tears, for your too soon remove;
You meant the holy city, placed above,
Where hallow'd souls sing true, and ever love :
Few mothers are like you, so wisely kind,
Their bodies much your care, much more their mind,
You form’d their words, not into idle talk,
But virtuously to speak, and wisely how to walk;
Of their religion was your greatest care,
You taught them God to love, as well as fear;
Their growth in grace was chiefly your desire,
For this you daily pray'd, and precept did inspire ;
You taught them pious principles at home,
And brought them to the church, still to go on
From grace to grace, till Christ was in them form’d,
And in his righteousness again new-born.
Then to God's Alter you did with them flee,
And offer'd them a living sacrifice to be;
You did not fill their ears with only talk,
But by example shew'd them how to walk :
Your great example so instructing gone,
Virtues they've lost, in you, but rarely known.
Your servants were so kindly used, that they
Desired all their lives with you to stay,
And hardly forced from you to go away.
Your orders were so calmly given out,
That who ruled in your house, might seem a doubt.
No harsh commands 'ere came out of your lips,
Nor groundless passion did your sence eclipse :
The fault was great if you was forced to chide;
And then not noise but reason did decide.
They were of you all justice sure to have,
And mercy oft when they did not deserve :
For all your censures were upright and grave.
In fine, you were more than these words express,
The best of wives, or mothers, or mistress;
But now all's gone, and I am left alone
The small remainder of old age to mourn.
Alone, said I?
O that's not so: it cannot, must not be
Twelve mourning children thou has left with me,
And all that knew thee bear me company.
If where our treasure is, our hearts will be,
Sure mine's in heaven now, because with thee;
Joint hearts in holy love can never part:
Death only parts their bodies, not their heart.
Why doth this lump of clay then press me down,
And thus deprive me of that glorious crown