Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

" could not read without weeping very bitterly; where“ in he gives me an account of the public procession “ which you have made for me at Rome. Alas ! my “ dearest life, must then Terentia, the darling of my « soul, whose favour and recommendations have been

so often sought by others ; must my Terentia droop “ under the weight of sorrow, appear in the habit of “ a mourner, pour out floods of tears, and all this for “ my sake ; for my sake who have undone my fainily, “ by consulting the safety of others ?...As for what 6i you write about selling your house, I am very much s afficted, that what is laid out upon my account “ may any way reduce you to misery and want. If 166 we can bring about our design, we may indeed re“ cover every thing ; but if fortune persists in perse“ cuting us, how can I think of your sacrificing for “ me the poor remainder of your possessions ? No,

my dearest life, let me beg you to let those bear my “ expences who are able, and perhaps willing to do “ it; and if you would shew your love to me, do not “ injure your health, which is already too much im“ paired. You present yourself before my eyes day “ and night; I see you labouring amidst innumer“ able difficulties ; I am afraid lest you should sink “ under them; but I find in you all the qualifications " that are necessary to support you : be sure there6 sore to cherish your health, that you may compass “ the end of your hopes, and your endeavours........... “ Farewell, my Terentia, my heart's desire farewel.”

6

III.

66 ARISTOCRITUS hath delivered to me three of your letters, which I have almost defaced with my “ tears. Oh! my Terentia, I am consumed with grief, “ and feel the weight of your sufferings more than “ of my own. I am more miserable than you are, “ notwithstanding you are very much so; and that for

u

“ this reason, because though our calamity is com« mon, it is my fault that brought it upon us. Iought 6 to have died rather than have been driven out of the 6 city : I am therefore overwhelmed not only with “ grief, but with shame. I am ashamed, that I did « not do my utmost for the best of wives, and the 6 dearest of children. You are ever present before my “ eyes in your mourning, your affliction, and your « sickness. Amidst all which, there scarce appears to “ methe least glimmering of hope.....However, as long " as you hope, I will not despair.....I will do what you « advise me.

I have returned my thanks to those “ friends whom you mentioned, and have let them “ know, that you have acquainted me with their good “ offices. I am sensible of Piso's extraordinary zeal 6 and endeavours to serve me. Oh! would the gods

grant that you and I might live together in the en16 joyment of such a son-in-law, and of our dear chil6 dren...... As for what you write of your coming to

me, if I desire it, I would rather you should be “ where you are, because I know you are my princi•“ pal agent at Rome. If you succeed, I shall come to

you: if not....... But I need say no more. Be careful “ of your health, and be assured, that nothing is, or - 6 ever was, so dear to me as yourself. Farewel, my “ Terentia; I fancy that I see you, and therefore « cannot command my weakness so far as to refrain: 6 from tears.”

IV. " I DO not write to you as often as I might, be-“ cause, notwithstanding I am afflicted at all times, I “ am quite overcome with sorrow whilst I am writing “ to you, or reading any letters that I receive from you. 1 ........ If these evils are not to be removed, I must 6 desire to see you, my dearest life, as soon as pos* sible, and to die in your embraces; since neither the:

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

“ gods, whom you always religiously worshipped, " nor the men, whose good I always promoted, have “ rewarded us according to our deserts....... What a 66 distressed wretch am I? Should I ask a weak woman, “ oppressed with cares and sickness, to come and live in « with me, or shall I not ask her? Can I live without

you? But I find I must. If there be any hopes of my “ return, help it forward, and promole it as much as

you are able. But if all that is over, as I fear it is, 6 find out some way or other of coming to me. This

you may be sure of, that I shall not look upon my“ self as quite undone whilst you are with me. But 66 what will become of Tulliola? You must look to that; " I must confess, I am entirely at a loss about her. “ Whatever happens, we must take care of the repuW tation and marriage of that dear unfortunate girl. " As for Cicero, he shall live in my bosom and in my “ arms. I cannot write any further, my sorrows will “ 110t let me.........Support yourself, my dear Terentia,

as well as you are able. We have lived and flou“ rished together amidst the greatest honours: it is « not our crimes, but our virtues, that have distressed U US..... Take more than ordinary care of your health; “ I am more afflicted with your sorrows than my own. “ Farewel, my Terentia, thou dearest, faithfullest, and « best of wives."

[ocr errors]

Methinks it is a pleasure to see this great man in his family, who makes so different a figure in the forum, or senate of Rome. Every one admires the orator and the consul ; but for my part, I esteem the husband and the father. His private character, with all the little weaknesses of humanity, is as amiable, as the figure he makes in public is awful and majestic. But at the same time that I love to surprise so great an author in his private walks, and to survey him in his most familiar lights, I think it would be barbarous to form to ourselves any idea of mean-spiritedness

from those natural openings of his heart, and disburthening of his thoughts to a wife. . He has written several other letters to the same person, but none with so great passion as these of which I have given the foregoing extracts.

It would be ill nature not to acquaint the English reader, that his wife was successful in her solicitations for this great man, and saw her husband return to the honours of which he had been deprived, with all the pomp and acclamation that usually attended the greatest triumph.

No. CLX. TUESDAY, APRIL 18.

From my own Apartment, April 17. A COMMON civility to an impertinent fellow often draws upon one a great many unforeseen troubles; and if one doth not take particular care, will be interpreted by him as an overture of friendship and intimacy. This I was very sensible of this morning. About two hours before day, I heard a great rapping at my door, which continued some time, till my maid could get herself ready to go down and see what was the occasion of it. She then brought me up word, that there was a gentleman who seemed very much in haste, and said he must needs speak with me. By the description she gave me of him, and by his voice, which I could hear as I lay in my bed, I fancied him to be my old acquaintance the upholsterer, whom I met. the other day in St. James's Park. For which reason, I bid her tell the gentleman, whoever he was, that I was indisposed, that I could see no body, and that, if he had any thing to say to me, I desired he would leave it in writing. My maid, after having delivered her

message, told me, that the gentleman said he would stay at the next coffec-house till I was stirring; and bid her be sure to tell me, that the French were driven from the Scarp, and that Douay was invested. He gave her the name of another town, which I found she had dropped by the way.

As much as I love to be informed of the success of my brave countrymen, I do not care for hearing of a victory before day; and was therefore very much out of humour at this unseasonable visit. I had no sooner recovered my temper, and was falling asleep, but I was immediately startled by a second rap; and upon my maid's opening the door, heard the same voice ask her, if her master was yet up? And at the same time bid her tell me, that he was come on purpose to talk with me about a piece of home news that every body would be full of two hours hence. I ordered

my

maid, as soon as she came into the room, without hearing her message; to tell the gentleman, that whatever his news was, I would rather hear it two hours hence than now; and that I persisted in my resolution not to speak with any body that morning. The wench delivered my answer presently, and shut the door. It was impossible for me to compose myself to sleep after two such unexpected alarms, for which reason I put on my cloaths in a very peevish humour. I took several turns about my chamber, reflecting with a great deal of anger and contempt on these volunteers in politics, that undergo all the pain, watchfulness, and disquiet of a first minister, without turning it to the advantage cither of themselves or their country; and yet it is surprising to consider how numerous this species of men is. There is nothing more frequent than to find a taylor breaking his rest on the affairs of Europe, and to see a cluster of porters sitting upon the ministry. Our streets swarm with politicians, and there is scarce a shop which is not held by a statesman.

As I was musing after this manner, I heard the upholsterer at

« VorigeDoorgaan »