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310. (Abstemius 60) A Woman that would needs Die for her Husband.

A Poor Woman was put out of her Wits, in a Manner, for fear of losing her Husband. The Good Man was Sick and given over, and nothing would serve the Turn, but Death must needs take her instead of him. She call'd and pray'd, and pray'd and call'd, 'till at last Death presented himself in a horrible Shape at her Elbow. She civilly dropt him a Cursie: And Pray Sir, says she, Do not mistake your self; for the Person that you come for lies in the Bed there.

'Tis a common Thing to talk of dying for a Friend; but when it comes to the Push once, 'tis no more than Talk at last.


311. (Abstemius 61) A Son Singing at his Mother's Funeral.

There was a good Man that follow'd his Wife's Body to the Grave, weeping, and wailing all the Way he went, while his Son follow'd the Corps singing. Why Sirrah, says the Father, You should howl, and wring your Hands, and do as I do, ye Rogue you; and not go Sol-Fa-ing it about like a Mad-man. Why Father, says he, You give the Priests Money to sing, and will you be angry with me for giving ye a Song Gratis? Well, says the Father, but that which may become the Priests, will not always become you. 'Tis their Office to sing, but it is your Part to cry.

Funeral Tears are as arrantly hir'd out as Mourning Cloaks: and so are the very Offices: And whether we go to our Graves snivelling or singing, 'tis all but according to the Fashion of the Country, and meer Form.


312. (Abstemius 62) A Jealous Husband.

A Jealous Husband committed his Wife in Confidence to the Care and Custody of a Particular Friend; with the Promise of a Considerable Reward if he could but keep her Honest. After some Few Days, the Friend grew weary of his Charge, and Desir'd her Husband to take his Wife Home again, and Release him of his Bargain; for says he, I find it utterly impossible to Hinder a Woman from any thing she has a Mind to. If it were to turn a Bag of Fleas Loose into a Meadow every Morning a Grazing, and Fetch them Home again at Night, I durst be answerable with my Life for the Doing of it, to a single Flea, but T'other is a Commission I dare go no further in.

'Tis enough to make a Woman a Whore, but so much as to Phansy her One, and then 'tis to no Boot to be Jealous neither; for if the Humour takes her to be jadish, 'tis not All the Locks, Bolts and Spies in Nature that can keep her Honest.


313. (Abstemius 63) A Man that would not take a Clyster.

When the Patient is Rich, there's no Fear of Physicians about him, as thick as Wasps to a Honey-Pot; and there was a whole College of them call'd to a Consultation upon a Purse-Proud Dutch Man, that was troubled with a Megrim. The Doctors prescrib'd him a Clyster; the Patient fell into a Rage upon't. Why, Certainly these People are all mad, says he, to talk of Curing a Man's Head at his Tail.

He that consults his Physician, and will not follow his Advice, must be his own Doctor: But let him take the old Adage along with him; He that teaches himself, has a Fool for his Master.


314. (Abstemius 64) A Wolf and a Sick Ass.

There was a certain Wolf, that in a Qualm of wonderful Charity, made a Visit to an Ass, that lay ill of a violent Fever. He felt his Pulse very gingerly; and pray, my good Friend, says he, whereabouts is your greatest Pain? Oh, gently, says the Ass, for it pricks me just there still where you lay your Finger.

The Charity of our Death-Bed Visits from one another, is much at a Rate, (generally speaking) with that of a Carrion-Crow to a Sheep; we smell a Carcass.


315. (not in Abstemius) A Fox and a Sick Cock.

A Cock took his Bed upon a Fit of Sickness, and a Fox of his old Acquaintance, gave him the Complement of a Visit, and ask'd him how he felt himself. Alas, says the Cock, I'm e'en ready to smother for want of Breath; and if you'd be pleas'd but to stand off, and give me a little fresh Air, I fancy I should be somewhat more at Ease.

The Charity of our Death-Bed Visits from one another, is much at a Rate, (generally speaking) with that of a Carrion-Crow to a Sheep; we smell a Carcass.


316. .(Abstemius 65) Three Things are the Better for Beating.

A Good Woman happen'd to pass by, as a Company of Young Fellows were Cudgelling a Wallnut-Tree, and ask'd them what they did that for? This is only by the Way of Discipline, says one of the Lads, for 'tis natural for Asses, Women, and Wallnut-Trees to Mend upon Beating.

Spur a Jade a Question, and he'll Kick ye an Answer.


317. (Abstemius 66) The Ass's Wish.

An Ass was wishing in a hard Winter, for a little warm Weather, and a Mouthful of fresh Grass to knap upon, in Exchange for a heartless Truss of Straw, and a cold Lodging. In good time, the warm Weather, and the fresh Grass comes on; but so much Toil and Bus'ness along with it, that the Ass grows quickly as sick of the Spring, as he was of the Winter. His next Longing is for Summer; but what with Harvest-Work, and other Drudgeries of that Season, he is worse now than he was in the Spring and then he fancies he shall never be well 'till Autumn comes: But there again, what with carrying Apples, Grapes, Fewel, Winter-Provisions, etc. he finds himself in a greater Hurry than ever. In fine, when he has trod the Circle of the Year in a Course of restless Labour, his last Prayer is for Winter again; and that he may but take up his Rest where he began his Complaint.

The Life of an unsteady Man runs away in a Course of vain Wishes, and unprofitable Repentance: An unsettled Mind can never be at rest. There's no Season without its Bus'ness.


318. (Abstemius 67) A Cat and Mice.

As a Company of Mice were peeping out of their Holes for Discovery, they spy'd a Cat upon a Shelf; that lay and look'd so demurely, as if there had been neither Life nor Soul in her. Well (says one of the Mice) That's a good natur'd Creature, I'll warrant her; One may read it in her very Looks; and truly I have the greatest mind in the World to make an Acquaintance with her. So said, and so done; but as soon as ever Puss had her within reach, she gave her to understand, that the Face is not always the Index of the Mind.

'Tis a hard Matter for a Man to be Honest and Safe: for his very Charity and good Nature Exposes, if it does not Betray him.


319. (not in Abstemius) A Boar and a Fox.

As a Boar was whetting his Teeth against a Tree, up comes a Fox to him. Pray, what do you mean by That? (says he) for I see no occasion for't. Well, says the Boar, but I do; for when I come once to be set upon, 'twill be too late for me to be Whetting when I should be Fighting.

No Man, or State can be safe in Peace, that is no always in readiness to encounter an Enemy in Case of War.


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