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to the scrutiny, and picked out S, H, O, U, L, D, E, R; when the same planet, enemy to their repose, had wonderfully contrived, that a K was not to be found. Here was a weighty difficulty! But the distinguishing brother, for whom we shall hereafter find a name, now his hand was in, proved, by a very good argument, that K was a modern illegitimate letter, unknown to the Jearned ages, nor any where to be found in ancient manuscripts, “ 'Tis true” (said he) “ the word Calenda “ hath in Q. V. C. * been sometimes written with a " K; but erroneously; for in the best copies it has been
ever spelt with a C. And, by consequence, it was a “ gross mistake in our language to spell knot with a K; “ but that from henceforward he would take care it * should be written with a C." Upon this all farther difficulty vanished; fhoulder-knots were made clearly out to be jure paterno ; and our three gentlemen swaggered with as large and as faunting ones as the best.
But as human happiness is of a very short duration, fo in those days were human fashions, upon which it entirely depends. Shoulder-knots had their time ; and we must now imagine them in their decline : for a certain lord came just from Paris, with fifty yards of gold-lace upon his coat, exactly trimmed after the court-fashion of that month. In two days all mankind appeared closed up in bars of gold-lace t. Whoever durst peep, abroad without his complement of gold-lace, was as fcandalous as
and as ill received among the women. What Thould our three knights do in this momentous affair ? They had fufficiently strained a point already, in the affair of shoulder-knots. Upon recourse to the will, nothing appeared there but altum filentium. That of the shoulder-knots was a loose, flying, circumftantial point; but this of gold-lace seemed too considerable an alteration without better warrant; it did aliquo modo effentiæ adhærere, and therefore required a positive precept. But about this time it fell out, that the learned brother aforesaid had read Aristotelis dialectica; and especially that
* Quibufdam veteribus codicibus : Some ancient manuscripts.
f I cannot tell, whether the author mcans any new innoVation by this word, or whether it be only to introduce the acw methods of forcing and perverting scripture.
wonderful piece de interpretatione, which has the faculty of teaching its readers to find out a meaning in every thing but itself; like commentators on the Revelations, who proceed prophets without understanding a syllable of the text. Brothers, said he, you are to be informed, that of wills duo funt genera, nuncupatory * and fcriptory. That in the scriptory will here before us, there is no precept or mention about gold-lace, conceditur : but, li idem affirmetur de nuncupatoria, negatur. For, brothers, if you remember, we heard a fellow say, when we were boys, that he heard my father's man say, that he heard my father say, that he would advise his fons to get gold-lace on their coats, as foon as ever they could procure money to buy it. By Gm that is very true, cries the other; I remember it perfectly well, faid the third. And so, without more ado, they got the largest gold-lace in the parish, and walked about as fine as lords.
A while after, there came up, a!l in fashion, a pretty fort of flame-coloured fattint for linings; and the mercer brought a pattern of it immediately to our three gentle. men : An please your Worships, said he, my Lord, and Sir J. W. had linings out of this very piece last night. It takes wonderfully ; and I shall not have a remnant left, enough to make my wife a pin-cushion, by to-morrow morning at ten a-clock.
Upon this they fell again to summage the will, because the prefent cafe also required a poli. tive precept, the lining being held by orthodox writers to be of 'the effence of the coat. After long search, they could fix upon nothing to the matter in hand, ex
By this is meant tradition, allowed to have equal authority with the scripture, or rather greater.
+ This is purgatory, whereof he speaks more particularly hereafter; but here only to Mew how scripture was perverted to prove it; which was done, by giving equal authority, with tlae canon, to Apocrypha, called here a codicil annexed.
It is likely the author, in every one of these changes in the brothers dresses, refers to some particular error in the church of Rome; though it is not easy, I think, to apply them all. But by this of flame.coloured fattin, is manifeftly intended purgatory; by gold lace may perhaps be understood, the lofty ornaments and plate in the churches. The fooulder-knots and silver fringe are not so obvious, at least to me. But the Indian figures of men, women, and children, plainly relate to the pi&tures in the Romish churches, of God liks an old man, of the virgin Mary, and our Saviour as a child.
cept a short advice of their father in the will, to take care of fire, and put out their candles before they went to sleep * This, though a good deal for the purpose, and helping very far towards self-conviction, yet not seeming wholly of force to establish a command ; (being resolved to avoid farrher scruple, as well as future occa. fion for scandal), says he that was the scholar, I remember to have read in wills, of a codicil annexed; which is indeel a part of the will; and what it contains, hath equal autthority with the rest. Now, I have been considering of this fame will here before us; and I cannot reckon it to be complete for want of such a codicil. I will therefore fallen one in its proper place very, dextrously. I have had it by me fome time. li was written by a dog-keeper of my grandfather's t; and talks a great dal, as good luck would have it, of this very flame-coloured Cuttin. The project was immediately approved by the oilier two ; an old parchment scroll was tagged on according to art, in the form of a codicil 6.7 nexed, and the fattin bought and worn.
Next winter, a player, hired for the purpose by the corporation of fringe-makers, acted his part in a new comedy, all covered with silver fringo $; and, according to the laudable custom, gave rise to that fashion. Upon which, the brothers consulting their father's will, 10 their great astonishment found these words : Item, I charge and command my faid three fins, to wear no fort of filver fringe upon or about their faid coats, &c. with a penalty, in case of disobedience, too long here to infert. However, after some pause, the brother so often men. tioned for his erudition, who was well skilled in criti. cisms, had found in a certain author, which he said should be nameless, that the same word, which in the will is called fringe, does also fignify a broom-flickit; and doubtless ought to have the same interpretation in this
. That is, to take care of hell;: and, in order to do that, to fubdue and extinguish their lufts.
+ I believe this refers to that part of the Apocrypha, where mention is made of Tobit and his dog.
This is certainly the farther introducing the pomps of habit and ornament.
The next subject of our author's wit, is the glosses and inter. pretations of scripture, very many absurd ones of which are allowed in the most authentic books of the church of Rome. W. Jottom
paragraph. This another of the brothers disliked, beo cause of that epithet silver ; which could not, he humbly, conceived, in propriety of speech, be reasonably applied to a broom-stick. But it was replied upon him, that this epithet was understood in a mythological and allegoricul sense. However, he objected again, why their father should: forbid them to wear a broom-stick on their coats ; a caution that seemed unnatural and impertinent. Upon which he was taken up short, as one that spoke irreve. rently of a mystery; which doubtless was very useful and fignificant, but ought not to be over-curiously pried into or nicely reasoned upon. And, in short, their father's authority being now considerably funk, this expedient was allowed to ferve as a lawful dispensation for wearing their full proportion of silver fringe.
A while after, was revived an old fashion, long antiquated, of embroidery with Indian figures of men, women, and children *. Here they remembered: but too well, how their father had always abhorred this fashion ; that he made feveral paragraphs on purpose, importing bis utter detestation of it, and beltowing his everlasting curfe to his fons, whenever they should wear it. For all. this, in a few days, they appeared higher in the fashion
But they folved the matter, by faying, that these figures were not at all the fame with those that were formerly worn, and were meant in the will
. Befides, they did not wear them in the senseas forbidden by their father ; but as they were a coma mendable custom, and of great use to the public. That these rigorous clauses in the will did therefore require fome allowance, and a favourable interpretation, and ought to be understood cum grano falis.
Bat fashions perpetually altering in that age, the fcholaftic brother grew weary of searching farther evafions, and solving everlasting contradictions, Resolved therefore, at all hazards, to comply with the modes of the world, they concerted matters together, and as
* The images of saints, the blesfed virgin, and our Savioux an infant.
Ibid. Images in the church of Rome give him but too fair a handle, The brcthers remembered, &c. The allegory here is din rect. W. Wotton,
greed greed unanimously, to lock up their father's will in a strong box *, brought out of Greece or Italy, I have forgotten which ; and trouble themselves no farther to examine it, but only refer to its authority whenever they thought fit. In consequence whereof, a while after, it grew a general mode to wear an infinite number of points, most of them tagged with filver. Upon which, the schoJar pronounced ex cathedra t, that points were absolutely jure paterno, as they might very well remember. It is true, indeed, the falhion prescribed somewhat more than were directly named in the will ; however, that they, as heirs general of their father, had power to make and add. certain clauses for public emolument, though not devucible, totidem verbis, from the letter of the will; or else multa abfurda sequerentur. This was understood for canonical; and therefore on the following Sunday they came to church all covered with poinis.
The learned brother, so often mentioned, was reckoned the best fcholar in all that, or the next street to it; infomuch, as having run fomething behind-hand in the world, he obtained the favour of a certain lord 1, to receive him into his house, and to teach his children. A while after; the lord died; and he, by long practice of his father's will, found the way of contriving a deed of conveyance of that house to himself and his heirs. Upon which he took possession, turned the young 'fquires out, and received his brothers in their stead l.
SE C T.
* The Papists formerly forbad the people the use of fcripture in a vulgar tongue ; Péter therefore locks up his father's will in a forong box, brought out of Greece or Italy. These countries are named, because the New Testament is written in Grcek; and the vulgar Latin, which is the authentic edition of the Bible in the Church of Rome, is in the language of old Italy. W.Wotton.
+ The Popes, in their decretals and bulls, have given their fanc, tion to very many gainful doctrines, which are now received in the church of Rome, that are not mentioned in scripture, and are anknown to the primitive church. Peter accordingly pronounces ex cathedra, that points tagged with silver were absolutely jure paterno ; and so they wore them in great numbers. W. Wotton.
# This was Constantine the Great, from whom the Popes pre. kend a donation of St. Peter's patrimony, which they have been never able to produce.
Ibid. The bishops of Rome enjoyed their privileges in Roma