13. Pulcheria was charmed with her conversation, and immediately made her report to the emperor her brother Theodosius. The character she gave made such an impression on him, that he desired his sister to bring her away immediately to the lodgings of his friend Paulinus, where he found her beauty and her conversation beyond the highest idea he had framed of them.
14. His friend Paulinus converted her to christianity, and gave her the name of Eudosia; after which the emperor publicly espoused her, and enjoyed all the happiness in his marriage which he promised himself from such a virtuous and learned bride. She not only forgave the injuries which her two brothers had done her, but raised them to great honours; and by several works of learning, as well as by an exemplary life, made herself so dear to the whole empire, that she had many statues erected to her memory, and is celebrated by the fathers of the church as an ornament of her sex.
On the Absurdity of Omens.
1. Going yesterday to dine with an old acquaintance, I had the misfortune to find the whole family very much dejected. Upon asking him the occasion of it, he told me that his wife had dreamed a very strange dream the night before, which they were afraid portended some mischief to themselves or to their children. At her coming into the room, I observed a settled melancholy in her countenance, which I should have been troubled for, had I not heard from whence it proceeded.
2. We were no sooner sat down, but, after having looked upon me a little while, ‘My dear,’ says she, turning to her husband, ’you may now see the stranger that was in the candle last night.’ Soon after this, as they began to talk of family affairs, a little boy at the lower end of the table told her, that he was to go into joining-hand on Thursday—’Thursday!’ says she, ’no, child, if it please God, you shall not begin upon Childermas day; tell your writing-master that Friday will be soon enough.’
3. I was reflecting with myself on the oddness of her fancy, and wondering that any body would establish it as a rule to lose a day in every week. In the midst of these my musings, she desired me to reach her a little salt upon the point of my knife, which I did in such a trepidation and hurry of obedience, that I let it drop by the way; at which she immediately startled, and said it fell towards her. Upon which I looked very blank; and, observing the concern of the whole table, began to consider myself, with some confusion, as a person that had brought a disaster upon the family.
4. The lady, however, recovering herself after a little space, said to her husband with a sigh, ‘My dear, misfortunes never come single.’ My friend, I found, acted but an under-part at his table, and being a man of more good-nature than understanding, thinks himself obliged to fall in with all the passions and humours of his yoke-fellow: ’Do you remember, child,’ says she, ’that the pigeon-house fell the very afternoon that our careless wench spilt the salt upon the table?’ ‘Yes,’ says he, ’my dear, and the next post brought us an account of the battle of Almanza.’