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proaching the ladies ruelles, without the quota of shoulderknots. "That fellow (cries one) has no foul; where is "his fhoulder-knot?" Our three brethren foon difcovered their want by fad experience, meeting in their walks with forty mortifications and indignities. If they went to the play-boufe, the door-keeper fhewed them into the twelve-penny gallery: if they called a boat, fays a waterman, I am firft fculler: if they stepped to the rose to take a bottle, the drawer would cry, Friend, we fell no ale: if they went to vifit a lady, a footman met them at the door, with Pray, fend up your message. In this unhappy cafe, they went immediately to confult their father's will; read it over and over, but not a word of the fhoulder-knot. What should they do? What temper should they find? Obedience was abfolutely neceffary; and yet Shoulder-knots appeared extremely requifite. After much thought, one of the brothers, who happened to be more book-learned than the other two, said he had found an expedient. ""Tis true (faid he) there is nothing here "in this will, totidem verbis, making mention of shoul"der-knots; but I dare conjecture we may find them in"clufivè, or totidem fyllabis." This diftinction was immediately approved by all; and fo they fell again to examine. But their evil ftar had fo directed the matter, that the first fyllable was not to be found in the whole writings. Upon which disappointment, he who found the former evafion took heart, and faid, "Bro"thers, there is yet hopes; for, tho' we cannot find "them totidem verbis, nor totidem fyllabis, I dare engage "we shall make them out tertio modo, or totidem literis." This discovery was alfo highly commended : upon which they fell once more to the fcrutiny, and picked out S, H, O, U, L, D, E, R; when the fame planet, enemy to their repose, had wonderfully contrived, that a K was not to be found. Here was a weighty difficulty! but the diftinguishing brother, (for whom we fhall 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 learned ages, nor any where to be found in antient manuscripts. ""Tis true (faid he) the word "Calenda
"Calenda hath in † 2. V. C. been fometimes written with a K, but erroneously; for in the best copies it is ever fpelt with a C: and, by confequence, it was a grofs "mistake in our language, to fpell Knot with a K; but "that from henceforward he would take care it should be "written with a C." Upon this, all further difficulty vanifhed; fhoulder-knots were made clearly out to be jure paterno; and our three gentlemen fwaggered with as large and as flaunting ones as the best.
BUT as human happiness is of a very fhort duration, fo in those days were human fashions, upon which it intirely depends. Shoulder-knots had their time: and we must now imagine them in their decline: for a certain Lord came juft 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 1. Whoever durft peep abroad without his complement of gold-lace, was as fcandalous as a and as ill received among the women. What fhould our three Knights do in this momentuous affair? They had fufficiently trained a point already, in the affair of fhoulder-knots. Upon recourse to the will, nothing appeared there but altum filentium. That of the shoulderknots was a loofe, flying, circumftantial point; but this of gold-lace feemed too confiderable an alteration, without better warrant; it did aliquo modo effentiæ adhærere, and therefore required a pofitive precept. But about this time it fell out, that the learned brother aforefaid had read Ariftotelis dialectica; and efpecially that wonderful piece de interpretatione, which has the faculty of teaching its readers to find out a meaning in every thing but itfelf; like commentators on the Revelations, who proceed prophets without understanding a fyllable of the text. Brothers, (faid he) You are to be informed, "that of wills duo funt general, nuncupatory and scripto
+ Quibufdam veteribus codicibus.
Some antient manufcripts.
I cannot tell whether the author means any new innovation by this word, or whether it be only to introduce the new methods of forcing and perverting Scripture.
By this is meant tradition, allowed to have equal authority with the Scripture, or rather greater.
66 ry. That in the scriptory will here before us, there is "no precept or mention about gold-lace, conceditur: but, fi idem affirmetur de nuncupatorio, negatur, For, bro"thers, if you remember, we heard a fellow fay, when
we were boys, that he heard my father's man fay, that " he heard my father fay, 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 G- that is
very true," cries the other; "I remember it perfectly "well," faid the third. And fo, 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 all in fashion, a pretty fort of flame-coloured fattin for linings; and the Mercer brought a pattern of it immediately to our three gentlemen. "An please your worfhips, (faid he) my Lord "C— and Sir J. W. had linings out of this very piece "last night. It takes wonderfully; and I fhall not "have a remnant left, enough to make my wife a "pin-cufhion, by to-morrow morning at ten o'clock." Upon this, they fell again to rummage the will, becaufe the prefent cafe alfo required a pofitive precept; the lining being held by orthodox writers to be of the effence F 2
+ When the Papifts cannot find any thing which they want in Scripture, they go to oral tradition: thus Peter is introduced diffatisfied with the tedious way of looking for all the letters of any word, which he has occafion for in the will: when neither the conftituent fyllables, nor much lefs the whole word, were there in terminis. W. Wotton.
This is Purgatory, whereof he speaks more particularly hereafter; but here, only to fhew how Scripture was perverted to prove it, which was done by giving equal authority with the canon to Apocrypha, called here a codicil annexed.
It is likely the author, in every one of these changes in the brothers dreffes, refers to fome particular error in the church of Rome, tho' it is not easy, I think, to apply them all but by this of flame-coloured fattin, is manifeftly intended purgatory; by goldlace may perhaps be understood, the lofty ornaments and plate in the churches; the fhoulder-knots and filver fringe are not fo obvious, at least to me; but the Indian figures of men, women, and children, plainly relate to the pictures in the Romish churches, of: God like an old man, of the virgin Mary, and our Saviour as a child.
of the coat. After long fearch, they could fix upon nothing to the matter in hand, except a fhort advice of their father in the will, to take care of fire, and put out their candles before they went to fleep*. This, tho' a good deal for the purpofe, and helping very far towards felf conviction, yet not feeming wholly of force to establish a command; (being refolved to avoid farther fcruple, as well as future occafion for fcandal) fays he that was the scholar, “I remember to have read in wills, "of a codicil annexed; which is indeed a part of the "will; and what it contains hath equal authority with "the reft. Now I have been confidering of this fame "will here before us; and I cannot reckon it to be compleat, for want of fuch a codicil. I will therefore "faften one in its proper place very dextrously. I
have had it by me fome time. It was written by "a dog-keeper of my grandfather's †; and talks a great "deal, as good luck would have it, of this very flame
coloured fattin." The project was immediately approved by the other two; an old parchment scroll was tagged on according to art, in the form of a codicil annexed, 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 filver-fringe ||; and, according to the laudable cuftom, gave rife to that fashion. Upon which, the brothers confulting their father's will, to their great astonishment found these words: "Item, I-charge "and command my faid three fons, to wear no fort of filver-fringe upon or about their faid coats, &c." with a penalty in cafe of disobedience, too long here to infert. However, after fome pause, the brother so often mentioned for his erudition, who was well skilled in criticisms, had found in a certain author, which, he said, fhould be nameless, that the fame word, which in the
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.
will is called fringe, does alfo fignify a broom-flick † i and doubtlefs ought to have the fame interpretation in this paragraph. This another of the brothers difl ked, because of that epithet filver; which could not, he humbly conceived, in propriety of speech, be reasonably applied to a broom-flick. But it was replied upon him, that this epithet was understood in a mythological and allegorical fenfe. However, he objected again, why their father fhould forbid them to wear a broom-flick on their coats; a caution that seemed unnatural and impertinent. Upon which he was taken up short, as one that spoke irreverently of a mystery; which doubtless was very ufeful and fignificant, but ought not to be over-curiously pried into, or nicely reasoned upon. And, in fhort, their father's authority being now confiderably funk, this expedient was allowed to ferve as a lawful dispensation for wearing their full proportion of filver-fringe.
A while after was revived an old fashion, long antiquated, of embroidery with Indian figures of men, women, and children. Here they had no occasion to examine the will. They remembered but too well, how their father had always abhorred this fashion; that he made feveral paragraphs on purpose, importing his utter deteftation of it, and bestowing his everlafting curfe to his fons, whenever they should wear it. For all this, in a few days, they appeared higher in the fashion than any body elfe in the town. But they folved the matter, by faying, that these figures were not at all the same with those that were formerly worn, and were meant in the will. Besides, they did not wear them in the fenfe as forbidden by their father; but as they were a commendable custom, and of great use to the public. That these rigorous clauses F 3
The next fubject of our author's wit, is the gloffes and interpretations of Scripture, very many abfurd ones of which are allowed in the most authentic books of the church of Rome.
The images of faints, the blessed virgin, and our Saviour an infant.
Ibid. Images in the church of Rome give him but too fair a handle. The brothers remembered, &c. The allegory here is direct. W. Wotton.