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was it possible for the united rhetoric of mankind, to prevail with him to make himself clean again; because, having consulted the will upon this emergency, he met with a passage near the bottom (whether foisted in by the transcriber, is not known) which seemed to forbid it.
He made it a part of his religion, never to say grace to his meat; † nor could all the world persuade him, as the common phrase is, to eat his victuals like a Christian. +
He bore a strange kind of appetite to snapdragon,§ and to the livid snuffs of a burning candle, which he would catch and swallow with an agility wonderful to conceive; and, by this procedure, maintained a perpetual flame in his belly, which, issuing in a glowing steam from both his eyes, as well as his nostrils and his mouth, made his head
* I cannot guess the author's meaning here, which I would be very glad to know, because it seems to be of importance.Original.
Ibid. Incurring the penalty in such cases usually annexed, wants no explanation. He would not make himself clean, because, having consulted the will, (ie., the New Testament,) he met with a passage near the bottom, (ie., in the 11th verse of the last chapter of the Revelations,) "He which is filthy, let him be filthy still," which seemed to forbid it. "Whether foisted in by the transcriber," is added, because this paragraph is wanting in the Alexandrian MS. the oldest and most authentic copy of the New Testament.-H.
†The slovenly way of receiving the sacrament among the fanatics.-H.
This is a common phrase to express eating cleanly, and is meant for an invective against that indecent manner among some people in receiving the sacrament; so in the lines before, which is to be understood of the dissenters refusing to kneel at the sacrament.-H.
Ibid. The fanatics against all set forms.-BENTLEY.
§ I cannot well find out the author's meaning here, unless it
be the hot, untimely, blind zeal of enthusiasts.-Original.
Ibid. They pretend to illumination.-BENTLEY.
appear in a dark night, like the skull of an ass, wherein a roguish boy had conveyed a farthing candle, to the terror of his majesty's liege subjects. Therefore, he made use of no other expedient to light himself home, but was wont to say, that a wise man was his own lantern.
He would shut his eyes as he walked along the streets, and if he happened to bounce his head against a post, or fall into a kennel, as he seldom missed either to do one or both, he would tell the gibing apprentices, who looked on, that he submitted with entire resignation, as to a trip, or a blow of fate, with whom he found, by long experience, how vain it was either to wrestle or to cuff; and whoever durst undertake to do either, would be sure to come off with a swinging fall, or a bloody nose. It was ordained, said he, some few days before the creation, that my nose and this very post should have a rencounter; and, therefore, naturet thought fit to send us both into the world in the same age, and to make us countrymen and fellow-citizens. Now, had my eyes been open, it is very likely the business might have been a great deal worse: for how many a confounded slip is daily got by a man with all his foresight about him? Besides, the eyes of the understanding see best, when those of the senses are out of the way; and therefore, blind men are observed to tread their steps with much more caution, and conduct, and judgment, than those who rely with too much confidence upon the virtue of the visual nerve, which every little accident shakes out of order, and a drop, or a film, can wholly disconcert; like a lantern among a pack of roaring bullies when
* Unconditional or absolute predestination burlesqued.BENTLEY.
† Providence.-Ed. 1.
they scour the streets, exposing its owner and itself to outward kicks and buffets, which both might have escaped, if the vanity of appearing would have suffered them to walk in the dark. But farther; if we examine the conduct of these boasted lights, it will prove yet a great deal worse than their fortune. It is true, I have broke my nose against this post, because fortune* either forgot, or did not think it convenient, to twitch me by the elbow, and give me notice to avoid it. But, let not this encourage either the present age, or posterity, to trust their noses into the keeping of their eyes, which may prove the fairest way of losing them for good and all. For, O ye eyes, ye blind guides; miserable guardians are ye of our frail noses; ye, I say, who fasten upon the first precipice in view, and then tow our wretched willing bodies after you, to the very brink of destruction but, alas! that brink is rotten, our feet slip, and we tumble down prone into a gulf, without one hospitable shrub in the way to break the fall; a fall, to which not any nose of mortal make is equal, except that of the giant Laurcalco,† who was lord of the silver bridge. Most properly therefore, O eyes, and with great justice, may you be compared to those foolish lights, which conduct men through dirt and darkness, till they fall into a deep pit or a noisome bog.
This I have produced as a scantling of Jack's great eloquence, and the force of his reasoning upon such abstruse matters.
He was, besides, a person of great design and improvement in affairs of devotion, having introduced a new deity, who has since met with a vast number of worshippers; by some called Babel, by others Chaos; who had an ancient temple of Gothic
* Providence.-Ed. 1.
+ Vide Don Quixote.
structure upon Salisbury plain, famous for its shrine, and celebration by pilgrims.
When he had some roguish trick to play,* he would down with his knees, up with his eyes, and fall to prayers, though in the midst of the kennel. Then it was, that those who understood his pranks, would be sure to get far enough out of his way; and whenever curiosity attracted strangers to laugh, or to listen, he would, of a sudden, with one hand, out with his gear, and piss full in their eyes, and with the other, all bespatter them with mud.
In winter he went always loose and unbuttoned,† and clad as thin as possible, to let in the ambient heat; and in summer lapped himself close and thick to keep it out.
In all revolutions of government, § he would make his court for the office of hangman general; and in the exercise of that dignity, wherein he was very dexterous, would make use of no other vizard,|| than a long prayer.
He had a tongue so musculous and subtile, that he could twist it up into his nose, and deliver a strange kind of speech from thence. He was also the first in these kingdoms, who began to improve the Spanish accomplishment of braying; and having large ears, perpetually exposed and erected, he
* The villainies and cruelties, committed by enthusiasts and fanatics among us, were all performed under the disguise of religion and long prayers.-H.
Ibid. The fanatics' feigned sanctity; but real roguery.BENTLEY.
†They affected differences in habit and behaviour.-H.
The fanatics opposing reasonable customs.-Bentley.
§ They are severe persecutors, and all in a form of cant and devotion.-H.
|| Cromwell and his confederates went, as they called it, to seek the Lord, when they resolved to murder the king.-H.
Their cant and affected tones.-BENTLEY.
carried his art to such perfection, that it was a point of great difficulty to distinguish, either by the view or the sound, between the original and the copy.
He was troubled with a disease, reverse to that called the stinging of the tarantula; and would run dog-mad at the noise of music, especially a pair of bagpipes. But he would cure himself again, by taking two or three turns in Westminster-hall, or Billingsgate, or in a boarding-school, or the RoyalExchange, or a state coffee-house.
He was a person that feared no colours, but mortally hated all, and, upon that account, bore a cruel aversion against painters; ‡ insomuch, that, in his paroxysms, as he walked the streets, he would have his pockets loaden with stones to pelt at the signs.
Having, from this manner of living, frequent occasion to wash himself, he would often leap over head and ears into water, though it were in the midst of the winter, but was always observed to come out again much dirtier, if possible, than he went in.
He was the first that ever found out the secret of contriving a soporiferous medicine to be conveyed in at the ears; it was a compound of sulphur and balm of Gilead, with a little pilgrim's salve.
He wore a large plaster of artificial caustics on his stomach, with the fervour of which, he could set
*This is to expose our dissenters' aversion against instru mental music in churches.-W. WOTTON.
They quarrel at the most innocent decency and ornament, and defaced the statues and paintings in all the churches in England.-H.
§ Baptism of adults by plunging.
|| Fanatic preaching, composed either of hell and damnation, or a fulsome description of the joys of heaven; both in such a dirty nauseous style, as to be well resembled to pilgrim's salve.-H.