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LESSONS FOR THE DAY.
THE FIRST LESSON.
Here beginneth the First Chapter of the Book of Preferment.
NOW it came to pass in the 15th year of the reign of George the king, in the 2nd month, on the 10th day of the month at Even, that a deep sleep came upon me, the visions of the night possessed my spirit, I dreamed, and behold Robert the minister came in unto the king, and besought him saying:
O king, live for ever! let thy throne be established from generation to generation! but behold now the power which thou gavest
unto thy servant is at an end, the Chippenham* Election is lost, and the enemies of thy servant triumph over him.
Wherefore now I pray thee, if I have found favour in thy sight, suffer thy servant to depart peace, that my soul may bless thee.
And when he had spoken these words, he resigned unto the king his place of first Lord of the Treasury, his Chancellorship of the Exchequer, and all his other preferments.
And great fear came upon Robert, and his heart smote him, and he fled from the assembly of the people, and went up into the Sanctuary, and was safe.
*The first symptom of the dissolution of Sir R. Walpole's Administration was, the losing his friends in ballotting for a Committee to try the merits of the Chippenham Election.
And the enemies of Robert communed among themselves, saying, "What shall we do unto this man?" And they appointed a committee to inquire concerning him.
Howbeit the man from whom they sought information was possessed with a dumb spirit, and he opened not his mouth, neither spake he unto them good or bad.
Then the committee were in great wrath, and they reported this matter unto the house; but their report was even as a f-t, which stinketh in the nostrils for a moment, and is forgotten.
And I saw in my sleep, and behold all they who sought for places, rushed into the palace in great numbers; insomuch that the courts of the king's house were full.
And they all cried out with one voice saying, "Give us places!" and the sound of their voice reached to the uttermost parts of the land.
And when the people understood that these patriots only sought themselves places, they murmured greatly, and they said amongst themselves, "Verily, verily, all is vanity and vexation of spirit."
Why therefore have we striven in vain? and why have we disquieted ourselves in vain? For behold all men have corrupted their ways before the Lord, there are none that doeth good, no not one.
Corruption, as a moth, hath eaten up their principles, poverty and shame are their portion,
and they and their sons shall be dependent for
Nevertheless the cry of the patriots continued with great violence, and it wounded the ears of the king, insomuch that he was compelled to stop their mouths by giving them places.
As the cry of the hounds ceaseth when the entrails of the beast are divided amongst them, so ceased the clamours of patriots at the distribution of places.
Thus endeth the first Lesson.