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I must needs mention one more of Lord Peter's projects, which was very extraordinary, and discovered him to be master of a high reach, and profound invention. Whenever it happened, that any rogue of Newgate was condemned to be hanged, Peter would offer him a pardon for a certain sum of money; which when the poor caitiff had made all shifts to scrape up, and send, his lordship would return a piece of paper in this form.*
"TO all mayors, sheriffs, jailors, constables, bailiffs, hangmen, &c. Whereas we are informed, that A. B. remains in the hands of you, or some of
but now shewe me unfaynedly what light or certaintie is there in your precepts?'-'Our pamphlets,' said he, 'are full of riddles and obscuritie, and our long labours and continuall expences, doe, in the ende, bring forth but untimely birthes and phantasies.''Have you not,' replyed I, 'any example, either olde or newe, of any that hath found out the secret?'-'I know,' said he, 'but one that ever attained thereto.'-'I pray you,' said I, 'tell me who that was.'-'It is,' said he, 'he.'-'Who?' said I, 'for I cannot know him unlesse you otherwise name him unto me.'-' It is he,' said he.-'Why,' said I, 'do you then mock me?'-'Well,' said he, 'then I must needs tell you. It is the Holy Father, who hath taught all our blowers that they are but doultes, which in many yeares doe multiply all their somewhat into nothing. Where himselfe yearely in France only transformeth and multiplieth fortie pounds of lead, which may be worth two crownes, into 4000 pounds of golde, which may be worth 600,000 crowns, and then maketh attraction thereof even into Rome.'-'Truely,' said I, 'I will give you tenne crowns the more for breaking your minde so plainly unto me: but I would wish you not to use much such speech in this towne, least our maisters of Sorbonne immediately denounce you an heretick of seventeene carects and a halfe.'" DE LA NOUE'S Politicke and Militarie Discourses. London, 1587, 4. P. 305.
*This is a copy of a general pardon, signed seri servorum.-H.
Ibid. Absolution in articulo mortis, and the t lica, are jested upon in Emperor Peter's letter.Ibid. The form of the pope's general BENTLEY.
at last it shook itself, and began to turn round for a little ease. In short, what with pride, projects, and knavery, poor Peter was grown distracted, and conceived the strangest imaginations in the world. In the height of his fits, as it is usual with those who run mad out of pride, he would call himself God Almighty, *and sometimes monarch of the universe. I have seen him (says my author) take three old high-crowned hats, and clap them all on his head three story high, with a huge bunch of keys at his girdle,‡ and an angling rod in his hand. In which guise, whoever went to take him by the hand in the way of salutation, Peter with much grace, like a well-educated spaniel, would present them with his foot; and if they refused his civility, then he would raise it as high as their chaps, and give them a damned kick on the mouth, which has ever since been called a salute. Whoever walked by without paying him their compliments, having a wonderful strong breath, he would blow their hats off into the dirt. Meantime his affairs at home went upside down, and his two brothers had a wretched time; where his first boutade was, to
*The Pope is not only allowed to be the vicar of Christ, but by several divines is called God upon earth, and other blasphemous titles are given him.-H.
Ibid. Exposes his titles.-BENTLEY.
†The triple mitre or crown.-Bentley.
The keys of the church. The church is here taken for the gate of Heaven; for the keys of Heaven are assumed by the Pope in consequence of what our Lord said to Peter. "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven."-H.
Ibid. The Pope's universal monarchy, and his triple crown and fisher's ring.-W. WOTTON.
§ Neither does his arrogant way of requiring men to kiss his slipper escape reflection.-W. WOTTON.
This word properly signifies a sudden jerk, or lash of a horse, when you do not expect it.-H.
kick both their wives one morning out of doors and his own too; and in their stead, gave orders to pick up the first three strollers that could be met with in the streets. A while after he nailed up the cellardoor; and would not allow his brothers a drop of drink to their victuals.t Dining one day at an alderman's in the city, Peter observed him expatiating, after the manner of his brethren, in the praises of his sirloin of beef. Beef, said the sage magistrate, is the king of meat; beef comprehends in it the quintessence of partridge, and quail, and venison, and pheasant, and plum-pudding, and custard. When Peter came home, he would needs take the fancy of cooking up this doctrine into use, and apply the precept, in default of a sirloin, to his brown loaf: Bread, says he, dear brothers, is the staff of life; in which bread is contained, inclusive, the quintessence of beef, mutton, veal, venison, partridge, plum-pudding, and custard: and, to render all complete, there is intermingled a due quantity of water, whose crudities are also corrected by yeast or barm; through which means it becomes a wholesome fermented liquor, diffused through the mass of the bread. Upon the strength of these conclusions, next day at dinner, was the brown loaf served up in all the formality of a city feast. Come, brothers, said Peter, fall to, and spare not; here is excellent good mutton;‡ or hold, now my hand is
* Divorced the married priests, and allowed concubines.BENTLEY.
†The Pope's refusing the cup to the laity, persuading them that the blood is contained in the bread, and that the bread is the real and entire body of Christ.-H.
Transubstantiation. Peter turns his bread into mutton, and according to the popish doctrine of concomitants, his wine too, which in his way he calls palming his damned crusts upon the brothers for mutton.-W. WOTTON.
Ibid. This page and the two following contain a representation
in, I will help you. At which word, in much ceremony, with fork and knife, he carves out two good slices of a loaf, and presents each on a plate to his brothers. The elder of the two, not suddenly entering into Lord Peter's conceit, began with very civil language to examine the mystery. My lord, said he, I doubt, with great submission, there may be some mistake. What, says Peter, you are pleasant; come then, let us hear this jest your head is so big with. None in the world, my lord; but, unless I am very much deceived, your lordship was pleased a while ago to let fall a word about mutton, and I would be glad to see it with all my heart. How, said Peter, appearing in great surprise, I do not comprehend this at all.-Upon which, the younger interposing to set the business aright; My lord, said he, my brother, I suppose, is hungry, and longs for the mutton your lordship has promised us to dinner. Pray, said Peter, take me along with you; either you are both mad, or disposed to be merrier than I approve of; if you there do not like your piece, I will carve you another: though I should take that to be the choice bit of the whole shoulder. What then, my lord, replied the first, it seems this is a shoulder of mutton all this while? Pray, sir, says Peter, eat your victuals, and leave off your impertinence, if you please, for I am not disposed to relish it at present: but the other could not forbear, being over-provoked at the affected seriousness of Peter's countenance: By G-, my lord, said he, I can only say, that to my eyes, and fingers, and teeth, and nose, it seems to be nothing but a crust of bread. Upon which the second put in his word I never saw a piece of mutton in my
of the absurdities of transubstantiation, which the Pope will not suffer to be disputed.-BENTLEY.