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holders full power to bury all such dead as they meet with, who are within my former descriptions of deceased persons. In the mean time the following remonstrance of that corporation I take to be very just.
“ From our office near the Hay-market, Nov. 23.
Upon reading your Tatler on Saturday last, by which we received the agreeable news of so many deaths, we immediately ordered in a considerable quantity of blacks; and our servants have wrought night and day ever since, to furnish out the necessaries for these deceased. But so it is, Sir, that of this vast number of dead bodies, that go putrefying up and down the streets, not one of them has come to us to be buried. Though we should be loth to be any hindrance to our good friends the physicians, yet we cannot but take notice what infection her Majesty's subjects are liable to from the horrible stench of so many corpses. Sir, we will not detain you; our case in short is this; here are we embarked in this undertaking for the public good; now, if people should be suffered to go on unburied at this rate, there is an end of the usefullest manufacturers and handicrafts of the kingdom: for where will be your sextons, coffin-makers, and plumbers? what will become of your embalmers, epitaph-mongers, and chief-mourners? We are loth to drive this matter any further, though we tremble at the consequences of it: for if it shall be left to every dead man's discretion not to be buried till he sees his time, no man can say where that will end; but this much we will take upon us to affirm, that such a toleration will be intolerable.
“ What would make us easy in this matter is no more, but that your worship would be pleased to
issue out your orders to ditto Dead to repair forthwith to our office, in order to their interment; where constant attendance shall be given to treat with all persons according to their quality, and the poor to be buried for nothing: and for the convenience of such persons as are willing enough to be dead, but that they are afraid their friends and relations should know it, we have a back-door into Warwick-street, from whence they may be interred with all secrecy imaginable, and without loss of time or hindrance of business. But in case of obstinacy, for we would gladly make a thorough riddance, we desire a further power from your worship, to take up such deceased as shall not have complied with your first orders, whenever we meet them: and if after that there shall be complaints of any person so offending, let them lie at our doors. We are your worship’s until death,
“ The master and company of UPHOLDERS. “P.S. We are ready to give in our printed proposals at large; and if your worship approves of our undertaking, we desire the following advertisement may be inserted in
paper: “ Whereas a commission of interment has been awarded against doctor John Partridge, philomath, professor of physic and astrology; and whereas the said Partridge hath not surrendered himself, nor shown cause to the contrary; these are to certify, that the
company of Upholders will proceed to bury him from Cordwainer's-hall, on Tuesday the twenty-ninth instant, where any six of his surviving friends who still believe him to be alive, are desired to come prepared to hold up the pall.
“ Note; we shall light away at six in the evening, there being to be a sermon.”
No 100. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1709.
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna.
VIRG. Ecl. IV. ver. 6.
Returning justice brings a golden age.
Sheer-Lane, Norember 28. I was last week taking a solitary walk in the garden of Lincoln's-Inn (a favour that is indulged me by several of the benchers, who are my intimate friends, and grown old with me in this neighbourhood) when, according to the nature of men in years, who have made but little progress in the advancement of their fortune or their fame, I was repining at the sudden rise of many persons who are my juniors, and indeed at the unequal distribution of wealth, honour, and other blessings of life. I was lost in this thought, when the night came upon me, and drew my mind into a far more agreeable contemplation. The heaven above me appeared in all its glories, and presented me with such an hemisphere of stars, as made the most agregable prospect imaginable to one who delights in the study of nature. It happened to be a freezing night, which had purified the whole body of air into such a bright transparent æther, as made every constellation visible; and at the same time gave such a particular glowing to the stars, that I thought it the richest sky I had ever seen. I could not behold a scene so wonderfully adorned and lighted up, if I may be allowed the expression, without suitable meditations on the author of such illustrious and amazing
objects: for on these occasions, philosophy suggests motives to religion, and religion adds pleasure to philosophy.
As soon as I had 'recovered my usual temper and serenity of soul, I retired to my lodgings with the satisfaction of having passed away a few hours in the proper employments of reasonable creatures; and promising myself that my slumbers would be sweet, I no sooner fell into them, but I dreamed a dream, or saw a vision, for I know not which to call it, that seemed to rise out of my evening meditation, and liad something in it so solemn and serious, that I cannot forbear communicating it: though, I must confess, the wildness of imagination, which in a dream is always loose and irregular, discovers itself too much in several
' parts of it. Methought I saw the same azure sky diversified with the same glorions luminaries which had entertained me a little before I fell asleep. I was looking very attentively on that sign in the heavens which is called by the name of the Balance, when, on a sudden, there appeared in it an extrordinary light, as if the sun should rise at midnight. By its increasing in breadth and lustre, I soon found that it approached towards the earth; and at length could discern something like a shadow hovering in the midst of a great glory, which in a little time after I distinctly perceived to be the figure of a woman. I fancied at first it might have been the angel or intelligence that guided the constellation from which it descended: but, upon a nearer view, I saw about her all the emblems with which the Goddess of Justice is usually described.
Her countenance was unspeakably awful and majestic, but exquisitely beautiful to those whose eyes were strong enough to behold it; her smiles transported with rapture, her frowns terrified to despair. She held in her hand a mirror, endowed with the same qualities as that which the painters put into the hand of truth.
There streamed from it a light, which distinguished itself from all the splendors that surrounded her, more than a flash of lightning shines in the day-light. As she moved it in her hand, it brightened the heavens, the air, or the earth. When she had descended so low as to be seen and heard by mortals, to make the pomp of her appearance more supportable, she threw darkness and clouds about her, that tempered the light into a thousand beautiful shades and colours, and multiplied that lustre, which was before too strong and dazzling, into a variety of milder glories.
In the mean time, the world was in an alarm, and all the inhabitants of it gathered together upon a spacious plain : so that I seemed to have the whole species before my eyes. A voice was heard from the clouds, declaring the intention of this visit, which was to restore and appropriate to every one living what was his due. The fear and hope, joy and sorrow, which appeared in that great assembly, after this solemn declaration, are not to be expressed. The first edict was then pronounced, “ That all titles and claims to riches and estates, or any part of them, should be immediately vested in the rightful owner." Upon this, the inhabitants of the earth held up the instruments of their tenure, whether in parchment, paper, wax, or any other form of conveyance; and as the goddess moved the mirror of truth which she held in her hand, so that the light which flowed from it fell upon the multitude, they examined the several instruments by the beams of it. The rays of this mirror had a particular quality of setting fire to all forgery and falsehood. The blaze of papers, the melting of seals, and