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wisdom, and words to answer the warden, when I should come to be examined again before him.
After some time, having pen ink and paper about me, I set myself to write what I thought might be proper, if occasion served, to give the warden. . And while I was writing, the master of the house being come home from his worship, sent the tapster to me, to invite me to dine with him. I bid him tell his master, that I had not any money to pay for my dinner. He sent the man again to tell me, I should be welcome to dine with him, though I had no money. I desired him to tell his master, that I was very sensible of his civility and kindness, in so courteously inviting me to his table, but I had not freedom to eat of his meat, unless I could have paid for it. So he went on with his dinner, and I with my writing
But before I had finished what was on my mind to write, the constable came again ; bringing with him his fellow-constable. This was a brisk, genteel young man, a shopkeeper in the town, whose name was Cherry.They saluted me civilly, and told me they were come to have me before the warden. This put an end to my writing; which I put into my pocket, and went along with them.
Being come to the warden's, he asked me again the same questions he had asked me before, to which I gave him the like answers.
Then he told me the penalty I had incurred; which he said, was either to pay so much money, or lye so many hours in the stocks ; and asked me which I would choose. I I repli. ed, I shall not choose either. And, said I, I have told thee already that I have no money; though if I had, I could not so far acknowledge myself an offender, as to pay any; but as to lying in the stocks, I am in thy power, to do unto me, what it shall please the Lord to suffer thee.
When he heard that, he paused awhile, and then told me, he considered that I was but a young man, and might not perhaps understand the danger I had brought myself into ; and therefore he would not use the severity of the law upon me; but in hopes that I would be wiser hereafter, he would pass by this offence, and discharge me.
Then putting on a countenance of the greatest gravity, he said to me, but young man, I would have you know, that you have not only broken the law of the land! but the law of God also ; and therefore you ought to ask him forgiveness ; for you have highly offended him. That, said I, I would most willingly do, if I were sensible that, in this case, I had offended him, by breaking any law of his. Why, said he, do you question that ? Yes, truly, said I : for I do not know that any law of God doth forbid me to ride on this day.
No! said he, that is strange! where, I wonder, were you bred; You can read; can
you not? Yes, said I, that I can. Do not you read then, said he, the commandment; re. member the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work : but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work. Yes, replied I, I have both read it often, and remember it very well. But that command was given to the Jeurs, not to Christians; and this is not that day : for that was the seventh day, but this is the first. How ! said he, do you know the days of the week no better? You had need then be better taught.
Here the younger constable, whose name was Cherry, interposing, said, Mr. Warden, the gentleman is in the right as to that, for this is the first day of the week, and not the seventh.
This the old warden took in dudgeon; and looking severely on the constable, said, what ! do you take upon you to teach me? I will have you know, I will not be taught by you. As you please for that, sir, said the constable, but I am sure you are mistaken in this point, for saturday, I know, is the seventh day; and you know yesterday was saturday.
This made the warden hot and testy, and put him almost out of all patience ; so that I feared it would have come to a downright quarrel betwixt them, for both were confident, and neither would yield. And so earnestly were they engaged in the contest, that there
was no room for me to put in a word between them.
1660. At length the old man, having talked himself out of wind, stood still a while, as it were to take breath; and then bethinking himself of me, he turned to me, and said, you are discharged, and may take your liberty to go about your occasions. But, said I, I desire my horse may be discharged too, else I know not how to go. Ay, ay, said he, you shall have your horse ; and turning to the other constable who had not offended him, he said, go see that his horse be delivered to him.
Away thereupon went I, with that consta. ble, leaving the old warden and the young constable to compose their difference as they could. Being come to the inn, the constable called for my horse to be brought out. Which done, I immediately mounted, and began to set forward. But the hostler, not knowing the condition of my pocket, said modestly to me, sir, do you not forget to pay for your horse's standing? No truly, said Í, I do not forget it, but I have no money to pay it with, and so I told the warden before. Well, hold your tongue, said the constable to the hostler, I will see you paid. Then opening the gate, they let me out, the constable wishing me a good journey ; and through the town Í rode without further molestation, though it was as much sabbath, I thought, when I went out, as it was when I came in.
A secret joy arose in me, as I rode on the way, for that I had been preserved from do. ing or saying any thing that might give the adversaries of truth advantage against it, or the friends of it; and praises sprang in my thankful heart to the Lord my preserver.
It added also not a little to my joy, that I felt the Lord near unto me, by his witness in my heart, to check and warn me; and my spirit was so far subjected to him, as readily to take warning, and stop at his check; an instance of both that very morning I had.
For as I rode between Reading and Maindenhead, I saw lying in my way, the scabbard of an hanger ; which having lost its hook, had slipped off, I suppose, and dropped from the side of the wearer; and it had in it a pair of knives, whose hafts being inlaid with silver, seemed to be of some value. I alighted and took it up, and clapping it between my thigh and the saddle, rode on a little way, but I quickly found it too heavy for me; and the reprover in me soon began to check. The word arose in me, what hast thou to do with that? Doth it belong to thee? I felt I had done amiss in taking it; wherefore I turned back to the place where it lay, and laid it down where I found it. And when afterwards I was stopped, and siezed on at Maindenhead, I saw there was a Providence in not bringing it with me; which, if it should have been found, as it needs must, under my coat, when I came to be unhorsed, might have raised some