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as not to be got away without damaging the cloth, or where it served to hide or strengthen any flaw in the body of the coat, contracted by the perpetual tampering of workmen upon it; he concluded, the wisest course was to let it remain, resolving in no case whatsoever, that the substance of the stuff should suffer injury; which he thought the best method for serving the true intent and meaning of his father's will. And this is the nearest account I have been able to collect of Martin's proceedings upon this great revolution.
But his brother Jack, whose adventures will be so extraordinary, as to furnish a great part in the remainder of this discourse, entered upon the matter with other thoughts, and a quite different spirit. For the memory of Lord Peter's injuries, produced a degree of hatred and spite, which had a much greater share of inciting him, than any regards after his father's commands; since these appeared, at best, only secondary and subservient to the other. However, for this medley of humour, he made a shift to find a very plausible name, honouring it with the title of zeal; which is perhaps the most significant word that has been ever yet produced in any language; as, I think, I have fully proved in my excellent analytical discourse upon that subject; wherein I have deduced a histori-theo-physi-logical account of zeal, shewing how it first proceeded from a notion into a word, and thence, in a hot summer, ripened into a tangible substance. This work, containing three large volumes in folio, I design very shortly to publish by the modern way of subscription, not doubting but the nobility and gentry of the land will give me all possible encouragement; having had already such a taste of what I am able to perform.
I record, therefore, that brother Jack, brimful of
this miraculous compound, reflecting with indignation upon Peter's tyranny, and farther provoked by the despondency of Martin, prefaced his resolutions to this purpose. What, said he, a rogue that locked up his drink, turned away our wives, cheated us of our fortunes; palmed his damned crusts upon us for mutton; and, at last, kicked us out of doors; must we be in his fashions, with a pox! a rascal, besides, that all the street cries out against. Having thus kindled and inflamed himself as high as possible, and by consequence in a delicate temper for beginning a reformation, he set about the work immediately; and in three minutes made more despatch than Martin had done in as many hours. For, courteous reader, you are given to understand, that zeal is never so highly obliged, as when you set it a-tearing; and Jack, who doated on that quality in himself, allowed it at this time its full swing. Thus it happened, that, stripping down a parcel of gold lace a little too hastily, he rent the main body of his coat from top to bottom; and whereas his talent was not of the happiest in taking up a stitch, he knew no better way, than to darn it again with packthread and a skewer.* But the matter was yet infinitely worse (I record it with tears) when he proceeded to the embroidery: for, being clumsy by nature, and of temper impatient; withal, beholding millions of stitches that required the nicest hand, and sedatest constitution, to extricate; in a great rage he tore off the whole piece, cloth and all, and flung them into the kennel, and furiously thus continued his career :
* The reformers in Scotland left their established clergy in an almost beggarly condition, from the hasty violence with which they seized on all the possessions of the Romish church.
The presbyterians, in discarding forms of prayers, and unnecessary church ceremonies, disused even those founded in scripture.
Ah, good brother Martin, said he, do as I do, for the love of God;* strip, tear, pull, rend, flay off all, that we may appear as unlike the rogue Peter as it is possible; I would not, for a hundred pounds, carry the least mark about me, that might give occasion to the neighbours of suspecting that I was related to such a rascal. But Martin, who at this time happened to be extremely phlegmatic and sedate, begged his brother, of all love, not to damage his coat by any means; for he never would get such another desired him to consider, that it was not their business to form their actions by any reflection upon Peter, but by observing the rules prescribed in their father's will. That he should remember, Peter was still their brother, whatever faults or injuries he had committed; and therefore they should, by all means, avoid such a thought as that of taking measures for good and evil, from no other rule than of opposition to him. That it was true, the testament of their good father was very exact in what related to the wearing of their coats: yet it was no less penal, and strict, in prescribing agreement, and friendship, and affection between them. And therefore, if straining a point were at all dispensible, it would certainly be so, rather to the advance of unity, than increase of contradiction.
MARTIN had still proceeded as gravely as he began, and doubtless would have delivered an admirable lecture of morality, which might have exceedingly contributed to my reader's repose both of body and mind, the true ultimate end of ethics; but
* The presbyterians were particularly anxious to extend their church government into England. This was the bait held out by the English parliament, to prevail on the Scots to invade England in 1643, and it proved successful.
† Peter's.-Ed. 1.
Jack was already gone a flight-shot beyond his patience. And as in scholastic disputes, nothing serves to rouse the spleen of him that opposes, so much as a kind of pedantic affected calmness in the respondent; disputants being for the most part like unequal scales, where the gravity of one side advances the lightness of the other, and causes it to fly up, and kick the beam: so it happened here that the weight of Martin's argument exalted Jack's levity, and made him fly out, and spurn against his brother's moderation. In short, Martin's patience put Jack in a rage; but that which most afflicted him, was, to observe his brother's coat so well reduced into the state of innocence; while his own was either wholly rent to his shirt; or those places which had escaped his cruel clutches, were still in Peter's livery. So that he looked like a drunken beau, half rifled by bullies; or like a fresh tenant of Newgate, when he has refused the payment of garnish; or like a discovered shoplifter, left to the mercy of Exchange women; or like a bawd in her old velvet petticoat, resigned into the secular hands of the mobile. Like any, or like all of these, a medley of rags, and lace, and rents, and fringes, unfortunate Jack did now appear: he would have been extremely glad to see his coat in the condition of Martin's, but infinitely gladder to find that of Martin in the same predicament with his. However, since neither of these was likely to come to
* The galleries over the piazzas in the Royal Exchange were formerly filled with shops, kept chiefly by women; the same use was made of a building called the New Exchange in the Strand; this edifice has been pulled down; the shopkeepers have removed from the Royal Exchange into Cornhill, and the adjacent streets; and there are now no remains of Exchange women, but in Exeter change, and they are no longer deemed the first ministers of fashion.-H.
pass, he thought fit to lend the whole business another turn, and to dress up necessity into a virtue. Therefore, after as many of the fox's arguments as he could muster up, for bringing Martin to reason, as he called it; or, as he meant it, into his own. ragged, bobtailed condition; and observing he said all to little purpose; what, alas! was left for the forlorn Jack to do, but, after a million of scurrilities against his brother, to run mad with spleen, and spite, and contradiction. To be short, here began a mortal breach between these two. Jack went immediately to new lodgings, and in a few days it was for certain reported, that he had run out of his wits. In a short time after he appeared abroad, and confirmed the report by falling into the oddest whimseys that ever a sick brain conceived.
And now the little boys in the streets began to salute him with several names. Sometimes they would call him Jack the bald; † sometimes, Jack with a lantern; sometimes, Dutch Jack; § sometimes, French Hugh; || sometimes, Tom the beggar; T and sometimes, Knocking Jack of the north.** And it was under one, or some, or all of these appellations, which I leave the learned reader to determine, that he has given rise to the most illustrious and epidemic sect of Æolists; who, with honourable commemora
The fox in the fable, who, having been caught in a trap, and lost his tail, used many arguments to persuade the rest to cut off theirs, that the singularity of his deformity might not expose him to derision.-H.
That is, Calvin, from calvus, bald.-H.
All those who pretend to inward light.-H.
§ Jack of Leyden, who gave rise to the Anabapists.-H. The Hugonots.
The Gueuses, by which name some Protestants in Flanders were called.-H.
John Knox, the reformer of Scotland.-H.