A Spanish Cavalier lost a duel with a Dutchman and told his second to bury him before he was stripped; but a crowd stripped him. No shirt was all.
Curiosity can drive people to do rash things.
One day a quarrel happened about a lady between a Spanish Cavalier and a Dutchman. Satisfaction was the word, and they met to decide the dispute. The contest was fierce and bloody, for they closed at the first encounter; and the Don, being mortally wounded, fell down, and cried out to an intimate friend of his who was running to his assistance, but too late, “My good friend, for the love of Heaven, be so good as to bury me before anybody strips me!” Having said this, so great a quantity of blood flowed from his wound that he died immediately. Now this odd request of the Spaniard to his friend raised everybody’s curiosity (as it generally happens in things prohibited) to see him divested of his clothing, especially since it was the dying request and entreaty of a worthy hero of that wise nation who never speak at random, nor drop a word that is not full of mysteries, and each mystery full of sense, so that every one had a great desire to know the meaning of it; and, in spite of all his friend could do to prevent it, he was stripped immediately, and upon search, this spruce blade, who was completely dressed a la Cavalier, and with a curious ruff about his neck worth more than all the rest of his finery, was found–to have never a shirt to his back; at which the spectators could not help smiling, although the event was so pitiable.
[Note: The Northcote fable is the same fable as in the JBR Collection above. Only the illustrations and Application associated with the fable in the Northcote book are displayed here.]
This Spaniard gives a strong example of the vast desire in some men to preserve their reputation unsullied, so as even in the pangs of death to prefer the care of it above all other regards, and close their eyes full of zeal for it; the certain mark of a soul superlatively great, and although at the first view it appears ridiculous, yet we see in this instance that two contraries can be found in the same person, great vanity, yet solidity, mighty show and real substance, and the Spaniard displayed in his utmost calamity a greater zeal for his reputation than for the care of his wounds, and preferred his honour to his life. J. N.