« PreviousContinue »
what, I can procure two Gallons of excellent Burgundy, and you and I, and another friend, will meet and fuddle our Noses at your Meeting-house; where un-der the Pulpit, as under the Rose, we may say what we please against either State or Church. Hold, hold a little, interrupted Mr. Alsop, my Meetinghouse is sec a part for the Worlhip of God, and it would found addly to turn it into a Bibbing Hours Not at all, reply'd I ; why not into a Bibbing-House, as well as a Dancing-School, a Burrock-Ball, of the like? Besides, if it be no more than your Kitchen, or your Sraöle, how can a Bottle of good Burgundy prophane it?
Mr. Alfop was here at a Stand ; and while he was puzzling his Noddle with a Salvo, Company came in to his Relies, and so adjourn'd his Conference, fine die.
The Widow's Wedding : Or, A true
Account of Dr. Oats's Marriage with a Muggletonian Widow in BreadStreet, London, August the 18th, 1693. In a Letter to a Gentleman in tbe Country.
HE only news of Importance I have
to coinmunicate to you at present, is, T
that the famous and never-to-be-forgotten Dr. Oates, was marry'd the Be. ginning of this week. You know for
a Perfon of his Constitution, that always express'd, and perhaps inherited, an Averfion to the fair Sex ; and besides, had found out a Back
Door to bestow his Kindness and Strength elsewhere, to confine himself at last to the insipid Duties of Matrimony, is as unnatural and unexpected a Change, as for an old Miser to turn Prodigal. And this perhaps was the surprizing Revolution, which most of our Almanacks, both at Home and abroad, threaten'd us with in the Month of August. I remember I happend to be at Garaway's, when a Gentleman came in and told us the News. Immediately all other Difcourse ceas'd, East-India Auctions, the Price of Pepper, and rising of Currants ; not a Word of our Army in Flanders, or the Siege of Belgrade ; the Turkey Fleet, and the Battel of Landen, were not mention'd in two Hours after. Nay, the Duke of Savoy, who is now working Miracles for us at Piedmont, was whol. ly laid aside. Every Body stood amaz'd, and it was a considerable Time before they could recover themselves out of this Astonishment. At last an old Gentleman, at the upper End of the Table, broke the Silence, and made himself and the Company very merry at the Doctor's Expence.. I remember, fays he, I have fomewhere read, that when Erasmus heard that Martin Luther, of blessed Memory, was marry'd, he should fay in a jefting Manner, That if, according to the old Tradition, Antichrist was to be göt between a Monk and a Nun, the World was now in a fair Way to have a Litter of the Sort. Not that I would (continues he) apply this story to the Doctor ; for God forbid that we should live to see a Brood of fucking Ancichrifts come out of the Doctor's Loins. My Meaning is only this, that fince the Saviour of the Nation has joind his faving Faculty with a damning Talent, (for you are to understand his Lady is a Muggletonian, and those People pretend to have the Power of Damnation) we may now expect to see a Motley Race of half Savi. ours and half Damners. Hold you there, cries ano. : ther Gentleman, you ought to have said half Damners
and half Saviours ; for since the Mother's is the fureft Side, if the Doctor lives to have Children, they'll damn in all Likelihood before they'll fave,
The Doctor (as I have been acquainted by several of his intimate Friends) had ewo Reasons to incline -him to marry in his old Age. The first, was, his
great Concern to see the noble Army of Evidences - defeated ; Bedloe, Dugdale, and Dangerfield, sleeping with their Fathers, wiz. the Witnesses that swore against Sufanna, and those that stond St. Stephen ; Fuller, who, with good Management, would have made a clever Fellow, bury'd alive in a Prifon, Et cetera. Young, his vertuous Companion, routed paft all Hopes of rallying. Others, at the sight of a Pillory or Whipping.Poft utterly discountenanc'd, and aMam'd of their Profession. So the Doctor, finding the whole Hopes of the Family of the Evidences centering in himself, and that if due Care was not taken, the Species would be entirely loft, refolv'd, as far as in'him lay, to prevent its utter Extinction, and to raise up Seed to the Popith Plot himself.
In the second place, the Doctor was toych'd in Conscience for some Juvenile Gambols that shall be nameless. It seems, though he had pity'd the other Corruptions of Popery, yet he still fancy'd Cardinalism. Now, all the world knows Conscience is a sad terrible Thing. What says the Doctor's Friend St. Auftin? Why, Conscientia mille Teftes, Conscience is a thousand Witnesses. Is it therefore to be admir'd if the Doctor, who, make the best of him, is but one single Witness, and scarce that, found himself forcd to yield to a thousand ? So then, as I said before, his Conscience perpetually alarming and disturbing him, the Doctor, merely, ac laft, for his 'own Eafe and Queit, made a Vow to fow his wild Oats, and not to hide the Talent which God had plentifully given him in an Italian Napkini. No sooner was this pãous Refolution communicated to his Friends, who
were mightily pleas'd at the News, but they look'd out sharp to find him a proper Yoke-fellow. It was represenced to him, that a Maid was by no Means fo: his Turn ; the Doctor was far and pursy; a Maidenhead was not to be got without much drudg. ing for't ; and besides, ' was now just the Dog-Days, and who knew but the Doctor's Reins might receive great Damage, in case of a violent Encounter, AC last, an independent Minister advis'd him to Mrs.. Margaret Wells of Bread-ftreet, (whose former Husband was a Muggletonian, and the continu’d of the same Perswalion) urging this Argument in her Behalf, That in her the Doctor might have open and free Ingress, Egress, and Regress, as oft as he pleas'd : That as he mighe enjoy her without the Sweat of, fo he might eternally live with her without the leaft Peril of, his Brows, die being no Charmer, and confequently would not equip him with a Pair of Horns, which he knew the Doctor abominated, as being Marks of the Beast, and altogether Popifli, The Doctor lik'd the Proposal; and, at the first Interview, was so extreamly smitten with the Gravity and Goodness of her Person, that he could neither eat (which was much) nor drink (which was inore) 'till the Business was concluded.
A comical Passage happen'd at the Commons, which I think very well worth sending you : The Doctor going thither for a License, two scurvy Questiops were ask'd him; the first was, . Whether he would have a License to marry a Boy or a Girl? The second, whether he would have a License for behind or before ? At this the Doctor lost all Patience, held op his Cane, and thunder'd out, You Rafval, as thick as Hops, 'till upon the Proctor's crying Peccavi, the Sky clear'd up again.
The Articles of Marriage were as follows : Imprimis, The Doctor promises, in Verba Sacerdotis, to keep never a Male-Servant in his House under six