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dead was chanted; and Charles joined in the prayer which was offered up for the rest of his soul, mingled his tears with those which his attendants shed, as if they had been celebrating a real funeral. The ceremony closed with sprinkling holywater on the coffin in the usual form; and, all the assistants retiring, the doors of the chapel were shut. Then Charles rose out of the coffin, and withdrew to his apartment, full of those awful sentiments which such a singular solemnity was calculated to inspire. But either the fatiguing length of the ceremony, or the impression which this image of death left on his mind, affected him so much, that next day he was seized with a fe
His feeble frame could not long resist its violence; and he expired soon after, aged 58 years, 6 months, and 21 days. " I knew a Russian princess," says one,
" who had always a large silver crucifix following her in a separate carriage, and which she usually placed in her bed-chamber. When any thing fortunate had happened to her in the course of the day, and she was satisfied with her admirers, she had lighted candles placed about the crucifix, and said to it, in a familiar style,
" See now, as you have been very good to-day, you shall be treated well : you shall have candles all night; I will love you; I will pray to you.” If, on the contrary, any thing occurred to vex this lady, she had the candles put ou ; forbad the servants to pay any homage to the poor image; and loaded it with reproaches and revilings.”
Though superstition be generally the mark of a weak mind, such is the infirmity of human nature, that we find many instances of it among men of the most sublime genius and most enlightened minds. Socrates believed that he was guided by a demon. Lord Bacon believed in witchcraft; and relates, that he was cured of warts by rubbing them with a piece of lard with the skin on, and then nailing it with the fat towards the sun on the post of a chamber window facing the sun, Henry IV, one of the most illustrious of monarchs, was very uneasy before his assassination, on account of some prophecies. The enlightened Cudworth defended prophecies in general, and called those who opposed the belief of witchcraft by the name of Atheists.
SWEARING, PROFANITY, &c.
c. THERE is something so low, vulgar, and wicked, in swearing, that it is surprising that men who wish to be considered as wise and politę should be found so much in the habit of it. It is not, however, peculiar to the inferior circles of life, but prevails among the great and honourable, so called. Wise and suitable reproofs of this sin have however had a good effect, as the following instances shew :
Mr. John Howe being at dinner with some persons of fashion, a gentleman expatiated largely in praise of Charles Ì, and made some disagreeable reflections upon others. Mr. Howe, observing that he mixed many horrid oaths with his discourse, took the liberty to say, that in his humble opinion, he had omitted one great excellence in the character of that prince; which, when the gen- . tleman had pressed him to mention, and waited with impatience to hear it, he told him it was this : " that he was never heard to swear an oath in common conversation.” The gentleman took the reproof, and promised to break off the practice.
Another time he passed two persons of quality who were talking with great eagernes, and d-d each other repeatedly. Upon which, taking off his hat, he said to them, “I pray
save you both;" for which they both gave him their thanks.
At the time when the occasion Conformity Bill was debated in Parliament, Mr. Howe passed a noble Lord in a chair in St. James's Park, who sent his footman to call him, desiring to speak with him on this subject. In the conversation, speaking of the opponents of the dissenters, he said, “D-n these wretches, for they are mad." Mr. Howe, who was no stranger to the nobleman, expressed great satisfaction in the thought, that there is a God who governs the world, who will finally make retribution to all according to their present characters; “ And he, my lord, has declared, he will make a difference between him that sweareth and him that feareth an oath.” The Nobleman was struck with the hint, and said, “ I thank you, Sir, for your freedom. I take your meaning, and shall endeavour to make a good use of it.” Mr. Howe replied, " My lord, I have more reason to thank your lordship for saving me the most difficult part of a discourse, which is the application.”
An Elector of Cologne (who is likewise an archbishop) one day swearing profanely, asked a peasant who seemed to wonder, what he was so surprised at?." To hear an archbishop swear,” answered the peasant. “ I swear,” replied the elector," not as an archbishop, but as a prince." “ But, my lord,” said the peasant,
" when the prince goes to the devil, what will become of the archbishop ?)
As Mr. Romaine was one day walking in the street with another gentleman, he heard a poor man call upon God to damn him. Mr. R. stopped, took out half-a-crown, and, presenting it, said, “My friend, I will give you this if you will repeat that oath.” The man started : " What ! Sir,” said he,“ do you think I will damn my soul for half-a-crown?” Mr. R. answered, As you did it just now for nothing, I could not suppose you would refuse to do it for a reward!” The poor creature, struck with this reproof, as Mr. R. intended he should be, replied, “God bless and reward you, Sir, whoever you are. I believe you have saved my soul : I hope I shall never swear again while I live."
The late Dr. Gifford, as he was once shewing the British Museum to strangers, was very much vexed by the profane conversation of a young gentleman who was present. The doctor, taking an antient copy of the Septuagint, and shewing it to him, “O!" said the gentleman, “ I can read this.” “ Well,” said the doctor, “read that passagę," pointing to the third command. Here the gentleman was so struck, that he immediately desisted from swearing.
Swearing, we find, is prohibited by the law of the land, as well as by the law of God. By the 19th G. II, c. 21. s. 1. 4. 6. 7. If any person shall profanely curse or swear, and be thereof con: victed, on the oath of one witness, before one justice of the peace, or by confession; every per.
son so offending shall forfeit as followeth, viz. Every day-labourer, common soldier, sailor, or seaman, ls; and every other person under the degree of a gentleman, 2s; and every person of or above the degree of a gentleman, 5s. And if he shall, after conviction, offend a second time, he shall forfeit double ; and for every other offence, after a second conviction, treble. And if he do not immediately pay down the sum so forfeited, he shall be sent to the house of correction. And if any justice or mayor shall wilfully and wittingly omit the performance of his duty in the execution of this act, he shall forfeit 51. And if any constable or other peace-officer shall omit the performance of his duty in the execution of this act, he shall forfeit 40s.
" HE who knows not how to be silent knows not how to speak,” said Pittacus," and he that hath knowledge spareth his words,” said Solomon; that is, “ He will be few of his words, as being afraid of speaking amiss. He that hath knowledge, and aims to do good with it, is careful, when he doth speak, to speak to the purpose, and therefore saith little, that he may take time to deliberate upon it. He spares his words, because they are better spared than ill spent.” (Henry. ]
An antient hermit, after he had heard the first verse of the 39th Psalm, “ I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not with my tongue,” refused to hear the second, saying, “ the first was lesson sufficient for him.” The reader of this versc to VOL. III,