Page:The Emperor Marcus Antoninus - His Conversation with Himself.djvu/429

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249
of Cebes the Theban.

when they begin to recollect, they perceive the Entertainment was nothing but a Visionary Cheat, and instead of a Regale, they have been prey’d upon, and ill used. Now when Men come to this pass, and have spent all that Fortune had furnish’d them with, they are forced to go to Service to these Women; and here all manner of Affronts, and scandalous Practises must be digested: They must bear with every thing, and boggle at nothing: They must Cheat, or betray their Trust, pick a Pocket, or rob a Church, as occasion serves. And when all these Tricks fail them, they are sent to the House of Correction. And how are they handled? Don't you see, says he, a little Door opening into a narrow, dark place? I do, and several ugly, sluttish Women in Rags, are the Inhabitants. You are right. And to describe them to you, she with the Whip in her Hand, is call’d Discipline, she with her Head bending down to her Knees is Grief, she that tears her Hair is Pain: But pray, said I, what ill-look’d Skeleton of a Fellow is that, with ne’er a Tatter to his Limbs, and that Woman too by him, that’s Beauty enough to be his Sister? You have guess’d the Relation exactly, and to satisfy your Question, the Man

is